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The Conversation — cleansing skeptical thoughts — Read the banned comments here

Comment deletion at The Conversation

The Fake Conversation where Bill’s informative, polite comments are removed, but the replies are left there.

Last week Bill Johnston posted a detailed, comprehensive analysis of Sydney Observatory thermometer record here that shows that most of the warming recorded there is due to buildings and freeways. But photo’s and graphs are “denier” stuff, and The Conversation is so afraid some its readers might see those historic photos they ban links to Bill’s work and joannenova.com.au. Apparently when the Bureau of Meteorology discusses “Australia’s hottest decade” it is off topic to discuss the condition of their thermometers.

Bill Johnston was happy to defend his work in comments at The Conversation, but Blair Trewin, who wrote the post itself, was entirely absent. Cory Zanoni had to close the dangerous thread. He removed scores of comments, but left replies to Bill Johnston intact. Some “conversation”.

At least 46 of Bill Johnston’s comments were deleted from Australia’s climate in 2016 – a year of two halves as El Niño unwound   and 19 deleted from Australian climate politics in 2017: a guide for the perplexed. As Bill says: They obviously want to stay perplexed; uninformed; scary-cats, without a paddle for their leaky canoe.

Some skeptics will say “don’t bother writing comments there” — but that is exactly what The Conversation editors appear to want, so don’t! It’s a fake conversation when half the views get censored. Copy your most informative, considerate comments and put them here so the world can see what The Fake Conversation is afraid of. Tax dollars were used to set up a site that appears to be non-stop advertising for the academic grants machine. A lot of the contributors are funded by tax dollars, and the site is still supported by universities which also get tax dollars. Unless the Conversation allows dissenting voices the Liberal Coalition are crazy to let it get away with being a propaganda outlet for “Big-Gov”. Let it run on private funding and donations.

Bill may have set a new record for censorship at The Conversation. He wrote to me yesterday with this (examples of the hot and banned comments are below).


Here are their community standards. The truly wonderful thing about this particular post, is that its Author, acclaimed Bureau climate scientist Dr. Blair Trewin didn’t come near the thing. The outcome is entirely embarrassing for Trewin, the Bureau, the Minister and the politics of climate change generally. It is also embarrassing for those associated with the Technical Advisory Forum, who could not be bothered researching any data.

Homogenisation has an interesting history. While there are reasons to adjust data to account for weather station moves and other discontinuities, the way it is done assures that if suitable trends exist they are preserved in some form; if they don’t, they become implanted by the process. Unfortunately, historical records are poorly documented and researching their history like I’ve been doing is tedious work. (Try getting a research grant LOL).

Staff working in the Sydney Weather Bureau office would notice that the site moved from the northeast to the southeast corner of the cottage yard in 1949; that the Cahill Expressway opened in 1958; that the 1.8m high brick wall was built in 1972/3; later that instruments moved to a relocated single large screen (possibly around 1974); and that the large screen is replaced by a small one in 2000.

The default position with homogenisation is that if data changes are not explained by metadata (or someone forgets what happened), they are due to the climate; which as a fall-back position is absurd. Combined with opening of the Cahill Expressway, the 1949 step-change is the one the professors tell us evidences “unprecedented climate warming in the latter half of the 20th century”. The 1973, brick wall, caused accelerated warming; while moving sensitive instruments to  the small screen caused increased frequency of extremes and trends in extremes. The story is absolute bollocks.

While the girls and boys over at the Conservation lap it up and in obnoxious haste slap down anyone or any evidence that challenges their fantasies; Blair Trewin is missing in action.

The real significance of undocumented changes at the Observatory site, is that although data are not used directly to estimate Australia’s warming; the homogenisation process spreads the embedded faults far and wide. Potentially, they infect ACORN data as far away as Alice Springs (via Tibooburra).

Many sites have undocumented faults that are detected statistically then carefully researched. Homogenists prefer to tell the data what changed and then invent an adjustment using other data that are not homogeneous. Homogenisation of Williamtown RAAF involves numerous datasets that are faulty; same for iconic sites such as Broome, Laverton RAAF; Alice Springs; Mount Gambier; Geraldton; Melbourne; Rockhampton; Launceston. Across Australia no data are useful for detecting unambiguous climate-related temperature trends.

The whole thing is a carefully contrived myth which should be openly investigated (and not by the CSIRO).




Comments The Conversation don’t want you to see

Claims are made by the Bureau, that Sydney has just experienced its hottest ever year.

There is indisputable photographic evidence available in the public domain, that the Stevenson screen was moved to a more exposed position within the enclosure in front of the cottage in 1949. This caused minimum temperature to step-up (not trend, but step).

It is unarguable that the Cahill Expressway opened in 1958. This caused warm air to wash-over the site; Tmax stepped up abruptly in 1958.

Photographs also show a brick wall was built immediately south, and within metres of the relocated screens, most probably in 1972; possibly 1973. Tmin stepped-up indicating the wall trapped heat within the enclosure, which is not dissipated by advection to the local atmosphere, or radiation to space during the night.

A Bureau publication confirms that a small screen replaced the former large one in 2000. Both Tmax and Tmin stepped-up. The small screen is more sensitive to transient heat eddies, than the large screen and the sensor is more sensitive to slight temperature changes, than thermometers.

Google Earth shows vegetation close to the site (trees etc) were removed in 2006; which is also confirmed by site metadata (Page 7 vs. P.8), causing an abrupt increase in exposure to the east; which of course warms the site. Since 2006, the site has been kept fairly clear, except that there is now a hedge along the front fence, which matches the one on the western (cottage) side of the enclosure.

With those changes NOT adjusted-for by homogenisation (which can be verified by the ACORN adjustments file), how can it be that:

Claims are made by the Bureau, that Sydney has just experienced its hottest ever year?

That is a fair question; Blair Trewin is the homogenisation expert; he should be in a position to answer.

Claims are not extraordinary. Evidence, which is in the public domain, is presented in my essay at Jo Nova’s site. (I offered to do an article here once!) I deny being a denier (whatever that is);

I am an open-minded scientist asking a reasonable question.

As you say Ben:
“ When you ask a genuine question, you’ll see people make an effort to answer it – which is one of the great positives of this site.”


Dr. Bill

(Zap …

Hello Bill,Your comment on ‘Australian climate politics in 2017: a guide for the perplexed’ has been removed.There are several reasons why this may have occurred:

  1. Your comment may have breached our community standards. For example it may have been a personal attack, or you might not have used your real name.
  2. Your comment may have been entirely blameless but part of a thread that was removed because another comment had to be removed.
  3. It might have been removed for another editorial reason, for example to avoid repetition or keep the conversation on topic.

For practical reasons we reserve the right to remove any comment and all decisions must be final, but please don’t take it personally.

If you’re playing by the rules it’s unlikely to happen again, so feel free to continue to post new comments and engage in polite and respectful discussion.

For your reference, the removed comment was:

I don’t have “a side of politics.”

Furthermore, I pointed the group to a post that I did on Sydney Observatory,
(http://joannenova.com.au/2017/01/sydney-observatory-where-warming-is-created-by-site-moves-buildings-freeways/) and apparently no one could read the pictures. Others dug out a report that I wrote seeking an independent review into the Bureau and its methods. It was not accusing anyone of anything; it was a fair request supported by evidence.

Again the few who giggled-over it here, couldn’t read the pictures, let alone the text.

And hear you say “ If you post extraordinary claims, you’ll be called upon to provide extraordinary evidence. If you post outright misinformation, it’ll be fact-checked and you’ll be called out on it.

So far you’ve failed on both counts.”

What nonsense; you do yourself a disservice and I don’t see any concern for those whose livelihood are under threat. Married people with mortgages and the rest; what a crushing blow for them. “Green jobs” is myth – just name one. Go and ask a bloke in overalls who greases the boilers if he wants a “decarbonisation job”; she’d probably wack ya one.


Dr. Bill

For more information you can read our standards.

Kind regards,

The Conversation

And the banned stuff continues:

Hello Harry,

Staying right on-topic, there is only one weather station around Sydney that has a long record, which happens to be the one surrounded by the Cahill Expressway, AKA Sydney Observatory.

Sydney AP is from 1940; daily data for Richmond, Bankstown, Cambden are later. There are a couple of other broken records (Prospect Res., Riverview) and a few monthly ones (Manly and Blue Mountains POs); the rest are recent AWS and few of those datasets are reliable.

(I’ve researched all of those by the way.)

Over at Jo Nova’s you can see the station changed in 1949, 1958, 1972/3 using your very own eyeballs. Provided they work, the evidence is unequivocal as they say. (The change to a small screen in 2000, is in a Bureau publication.)


Dr. Bill


Hello Bill …

For your reference, the removed comment was:

I have asked the moderators to reinstate the comments they removed. Even in this post-truth world, it is unfair to deny me freedom of speech and open inoffensive discourse, is whet is said to be a “conversation”. Standing by itself, your reply is both patronizing and inappropriate. I’ve provided links to the Jo Nova essay three times; each time they are removed.


Sydney Observatory where warming is created by site moves, buildings, freeways

It bothers me deeply that many on this site make unsubstantiated claims. I have gone to a great deal of trouble to analyse and research climate data from all over Australia (Sydney is the example I focus on here); and I say categorically, there are temperature data useful for tracking climate-related trends. (Sydney Observatory data embed two undocumented site changes, which I’ve shown have happened using aerial photographs. Those site changes result in faux-trends, that have nothing to do with the climate..

So although I am not in a position to dispute claims about CO2; there is no empirical evidence that temperatures are increasing.

Thus the hypothesis that CO2 is affecting temperature in Australia is unproved.


Dr. Bill


For your reference, the removed comment was:

For a bloke with qualifications, it is difficult to believer that you are so passionate about a cause that is not proved. I have looked at data for most of Australia’s so called high quality weather stations; visited some and spent months researching what there is to know.

The whole network is a shambles. It is not possible to determine trends from data that is in-filled; from sites whose history is not known; sites influenced by station moves; telephone exchanges being built in post office yards; aircraft movements; traffic; urban in-filling.

Homogenisation is a trick. At Sydney Observatory, the Bureau ignored a site move in 1949, and building of a brick wall within metres of the screen in 1972. The case is unarguable – aerial photographs show those changes happened.

See: http://joannenova.com.au/2017/01/sydney-observatory-where-warming-is-created-by-site-moves-buildings-freeways/

It makes a difference to all these debates that no real trend exists in Australia’s temperature record. The warming is fabricated from the bottom up.Given the state of the data, it can’t be proved.

Its not just Sydney Observatory; its also the case at Alice Springs, Darwin, Devonport, Onslow everywhere – Rockhampton, Tennant Creek; the original Stevenson screen at Laverton was on the roof of the met office; swimming pools are built, trees grow or are chopped down, some stations have been all over town and more – to the army base, the ag-farm, back to the bowling club, where a three-story hospital is built next door!

If there is no no unambiguous trend in data, then what difference will any “renewables” make?


Dr Bill

UPDATE:  More censored Conversations

Paul Matthews

This is a common occurrence at the so-called “Conversation”. It seems that comments that link to sites like Jo Nova or WUWT are usually deleted, in an unstated censorship policy. See Censorship at the Conversation where numerous comments were deleted and then Geoff Chambers was banned completely from the site.


@BarryJWoods reminds us the winning censorship prize goes to a Lewandowsky/Cook article

Not the record?  There is one where 100 comments removed out of 187. Cook/Lew article

@JoanneNova Record for most deleted @ConversationUK comments? theconversation.com/establishing-c… Wayback captured a lot.


Geoff chambers

I was banned from the Conversation several months ago. Details at https://cliscep.com/2016/07/06/censorship-at-the-conversation/

One of their first and most farcical acts of censorship on me was to ban a comment for linking to WattsUpWithThat. When other commenters objected, the environmental editor intervened to state that comments could be removed for linking to sources he considered unreliable.

I’m particularly irritated that my old University is financing this Soviet style propaganda machine. I thought of writing to them pointing this out, but decided it would have little effect.

What about a petition addressed to all those universities in Australia and the UK which are financing the Conversation, pointing out that there’s probably some rule in their university statutes that forbids supporting organisations that practice censorship? Anyone there with a legal mind who could formulate such a petition statement? We’ll publicise it at cliscep.com and no doubt others will too.


UPDATE: DavidR in comments supplies this link as proof that Bill J can still comment, but we never said he couldn’t and the link shows deletion after deletion.  80% gone.  Thanks David. :- )

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