Tuesday, July 24, 2007

UHI demythifications

Steve Bloom and Hank Roberts points out that Control Climate Change copied their post which Eli linked to in the original post here, verbatim from Real Climate.


Control Climate Change has a notice at the bottom of their web page

copy; 2007 Control Climate Change and Crossbow Communications. All Rights Reserved.
Since they copied Real Climate's work without permission, they clearly cannot claim copyrights or any rights about the text. Crossbow Communications is a public relations firm located in Denver run by one
Gary Chandler
Crossbow Communications
PO Box 101413
Denver, Colorado 80250

Crossbow claims success in placing agitprop in a number of newspapers. They have represented mining and agricultural interests in the past. It was very naughty of them and I am not sure what is going on. I have written to them and we will see. Apologies. Paranoids are often right.

UPDATE: Hank got deeper into this while Eli was changing the post. See the comments.


Anonymous said...

Silly Rabett, that post is verbatim from RC (and *not* attributed).

Anonymous said...

Er, ah, Eli --- is that "Control Climate Change" blog an authorized copy of Realclimate's topic? Or a ripoff? Look at them side by side. Ah, I see on review Steve caught it minutes earlier.


Anonymous said...

Let's view source, shall we? "Crossbow" ....

Chandler is a marketing and communications professional with more than 20 years of experience, including government relations, media relations, membership development and sponsorship development. He has provided award-winning marketing and communications consulting to companies and nonprofit organizations in a variety of industries. In addition, he is the author of nine books and has been published in magazines and newspapers around the world.

Chandler has led projects for Tracy-Locke/BBDO Advertising & Public Relations, the National Cattlemen's Association, Hays, Hays & Wilson, Earth News and Crossbow Communications.

So who's paying him to copy RC posts and wrap them in other people's material and advertising?

Part of the clever international astroturf climate science conspiracy? Or maybe someone else is paying for it.

Looking forward to investigation by the mice, or DeSmog, or someone who can find out.

Anonymous said...

Backtracking a bit more:
NCL Staff: Gary Chandler
www.nclweb.org/about/staff/gar - [Cached]

Published on: 8/4/2005 Last Visited: 8/4/2005

"NCL" looks to be one of those sites that pretends to be a civic or research page and actually serves ads -- basically, pretending to be a civic organization. Lots of ads for attorneys and mortgages and such.

I dunno, I try to be an open and trusting soul. Perhaps I'm misreading what appears. But the deeper I click, the more it smells like pond scum.

Tell me I'm wrong, Eli.

Anonymous said...

Deeper -- their 'community' page is some kind of video push thing called 'KickApps' with nothing in it but a picture of a guy who doesn't look 15 and another one whose image is very shady (that's a photographic, not a moral, judgment).

I found these interesting tidbits looking into "kickapps"

KickApps — User-Generated Video & Social Networking at Your Website
“KickApps is different than other social media platforms because it lets us expand our reach while maintaining control over our brand and messages.” ...

And this:

Update: I was contacted by Eric Alterman, founder and CEO of KickApps , who had a few interesting points to make about my KickApps review. ...

And this:


Ok, clearly this is just Gavin in drag so there' s no problem.

Wait, am I cynical enough yet?

Anonymous said...

Ya know, Eli, I've seen this before --- some website that had complete copies of RC, but then had their own separate discussion threads that were very high bogosity misdirection stuff so anyone who read the original post then got bafflegabbed into blitheration and concluded it was all just too confusing.

Last time (a year or more ago) I found such a clone page, I just emailed a pointer to the RC Contribs, and I never looked back to see what happened. I hope they got it closed down.

But -- it's a stock way to weaken any group --- clone them, pith the clones, and use them in bulk to distract and confuse the public, being poor copies.

It's also a way to spoof the search engines. It might be worth some serious effort to see if it's being done. And find out who's paying for it.

Anonymous said...

View source on this. But not if you aren't using Firefox with Javascript turned off and no cookies. I noticed one of the other "nclweb" type pages has a javascript to ping you, too.

Talk about getting deeper.

is an advertising page, that directs you to: ..../searchportal.information.com

Dano said...

I used to find this stuff linked from TechCentralStation, Hank. Job shops set up in a monthly leased suite in a 1-story office park. Their days are over; they are just trying to game the system for a little while longer.



Marion Delgado said...

I doubt Eric Alterman is his real name. Top that!

No, seriously. Why not pick a DBA like that? Climate stuff, huh? I think Liberals are into that. Liberals like that guy in Slate or whatever ... look .. here he is, Eric Alterman ... call yourself that ... look ... if he don't like it tell him to go @#$# himself.

More seriously, I dunno if this is "bad" in the grand scheme of thing. It's unsigned, and frankly, amusingly, it might reach people who are skeeered off because a science blog has numbers and stuff.

It's GOOD that, if this is a rip-off, climate science posts are now seen as a valuable commodity. :)

Marion Delgado said...

Also, is Eli having us on? He comments at RC all the time, they put up about a post a week - if that - this post was not long ago, etc. Almost no way he wouldn't know it was a "reprint."

EliRabett said...

Eli reads a lot of stuff, and remember he is a split personality who has to read twice as much. Further he enjoys senior moments.

Sadly No. He is not putting you on and he got taken good (bad)

Hank Roberts said...

Marion, two different levels here.

First one is the thief's page, the website seems to be stealing material and using it to attract attention and clicks to advertisers, maybe just venal. Dano's convinced me this is probably just routine cheese-stealing, pointing out that it happens often enough.

The second level --- the 'community' link thing underneath the page of stolen material --- is an off-the-shelf drop-in product from 'the real' Eric Alterman, sold to let any website owner provide a place for exchanging videos. It's apparently meant to attract people who don't read or write much.

Both suck, but for different reasons.

Marion Delgado said...

ankh, I am from rural Alaska. These "big city ways" leave my head spinning! :)

Anonymous said...

Dano, I'd welcome hearing more about this stuff here or anywhere else. You know your way around stuff I'm just stumbling into for the first time -- I always find that's true.

And that includes "it's trivial" --

I need to conserve my outrage, and apply it most usefully.

Dano said...

Hank, I created the Dano character to use at TCS to see if I could trace the source of the misinformation being spread there; I later expanded its purpose and used it to inform some work I was doing.

The misinformation starts from many fronts, from changing tactics starting with the old Astroturf, to Andura Smedacek (Chapela and Bt corn), to the front group you just found. The key is who funds it and it's always a vested interest that spreads FUD to keep the business model on track. Start with 'what vested interest needs to spread this BS' and go from there. The tactics vary across a wide range. The surfacestations is transparently a tactic of sowing doubt; seeking truth would take the path of measuring temps and winds across transects to quantify surface effects and obstruction extent.

At TCS years ago, you used to be able to view source on comments to see e-mail addresses. Some guys out of Detroit area were immediately commenting on how to procedurally recall Gray Davis (IIRC) on the day he announced he was going to raise mileage or emission standards in CA (maybe CO2, can't remember). After a few of these guys complained about me calling them on their tactics (including e-mailing them about FCC rules), TCS implemented a login and password, but you could still View Source and see e-mails used to log in. Among those who didn't set up a dummy e-mail, TCS contributor Henry I Miller from Hoover was commenting as 'epidemiology wallah', spreading FUD about health care costs, and CEI lawyer Chris Horner was using a sock puppet to bash my transportation accident statistics (my great regret was not screen printing that information and getting his license revoked). Alex Avery tried to trash Tyrone Hayes' work, which I thoroughly rubbished to the point poor Alex thought I worked in Tyrone's lab, but all I was doing was reading the Hayes paper and pointing out where Avery was lying thru his teeth.

Anyway, the Dano style was effective with those type characters, but it achieved ends in much the same way you do: by pounding the literature; I just either add ridicule or mirror opponent's rhetorical tactics (or both). My means were/are different than yours but the results are the same, and I enjoy your comments, focus, and ability to not get distracted.

Best, sir,


Marion Delgado said...



Image: sunglass wearing rabbit inundated by rising beach tide and glaring sun.


Anonymous said...

While we're waiting for Mr. Chandler's reply to Eli ...


EliRabett said...

FWIW I received a the following reply from a Rich Benvin

Sorry about that. I am simply using realclimate.org's RSS feed and not sure why it is not including the source link. It says it is but I now see that it's not. I will try to figure it out.

Thanks for your patience,

Hank Roberts said...




If you would like to link to us and stream our RSS feed, feel free. You can use any of our banner graphics or icons, or let us know if you want something of a particular size."

So, I guess you could do that too, Eli. What would it look like, done correctly? Know any place that does "link to" RC and stream the RC "RSS feed" -- whatever that is? I'd like to see how it should work.

Still curious.
-- Hank Roberts

Hank Roberts said...

Well, oops.

I found several sites that do offer RSS feeds of RC. The way it's supposed to work, they show some topic titles and a link, and the link when clicked opens the actual RC website.

By contrast this guy has ("view source" -- can't copy and paste it in here, it makes the blogger software barf)

--- copied the text from RC verbatim
-- set up his RSS software so HIS site_offers_ the to give people an RSS feed of the RC text but it's going to be a link to his website, under his name. He's offering, not taking, an RSS feed. He's not linking to where he gets his text, he's offering it as though it were his, for others to link to him.

It ends up with:

If you liked my post, feel free to (here a clickable link to get people to) subscribe to my rss feeds

and then

end of feedtiser
Money Making Options
Make high income with your blog
Monetise your blog with text ads

Sigh. So --- He's offering a RSS feed of stuff copied from RC but not a connection to RC.

-- set up a lot of clicky buttons so his copy under his name can be sent to Yahoo and Digg and other sites.


You know, my plumber once told me there were only two things you really needed to know, to be a good plumber. And I think it applies to setting up pipes in the InterTubes too.

Water flows downhill. Don't lick your fingers.

Similarly with information. Know which way the stuff is supposed to be flow, and how to tell input from output.

Then again, my plumber's pretty savvy about the Web too.

Marion Delgado said...

what's TCS?

Dano said...

Tech Central Station, a hotbed of lobbying FUDdom run by a front group.



Anonymous said...

Since they copied Real Climate's work without permission, they clearly cannot claim copyrights or any rights about the text."

...and if you use the article in part of whole without crediting its author, it is actually "Copyright infringement."

Copyright law allows you to quote parts of an article (for critiques, support in one's own articles, etc) as long as you credit the author, but as far as I know, to reprint an entire article, you have to have the author's permission and must credit that author.

Hank Roberts said...

From the bit of email Chandler sent Eli, he's confused Eli and RC, so he can now claim he thought he did tell RC he was trying to set up RSS. I hope you'll disabuse him, Eli. Whatever.

He should tell RC he's trying to catch their RSS feed to display it on his website, as RC says to let them know.

He can claim incompetence, looking at the source page a bit deeper. It appears he bought a "Can'O'Website" product of some kind, dumped it into his blank page, and then started typing and pasting stuff in between the lines.

As Eli says, I got in deeper. Gotta take a _loongg_ hot shower as a result and throw out HTML clothes --- and I still didn't get in deep enough to tell if the guy bought two different off-the-shelf-website products, or if both layers of his site are from Eric Alterman's. Maybe he can blame whoever wrote TFM.

Anyhow, someone ought to let RC know just so they're properly on notice he's copying stuff (ineptly).

As I parse the bit quoted from his email to Eli, he can claim he thinks he told RC by telling Eli. I think.


EliRabett said...

anhk, I suspect the occasional visitor from RC glances here every so often. Bellette is the only one who comments tho.

Anonymous said...

As I parse the bit quoted from his email to Eli, he can claim he thinks he told RC by telling Eli. I think.

for copyright, it is actually not a matter of telling them.

its a matter of asking.

you can't copy someone else's stuff in its entirety with without first getting permission -- period. and whether you reprint all of it or even part, you need to credit them.

Ignorance of a law does not let you off the hook.

Marion Delgado said...


What do you think of the Climat Rabett?

It was created in reference to the climate rabett here:



thanks for explaining TCS

Horatio Algeranon said...

Marion, I like your climate rabett.

Kind of the Ray Charles of rabetts.

I have my own version of a climate rabett.

Mine is indigenous to the plains of the western US. They are very shy, but they like to hang out by NOAA temperature stations, which is where i photographed this one (for subsurfacestations.org )

EliRabett said...

Eli received another message from Rich Blevins:

Subject: You jerk

I realize that the feeds from controlclimatechange.com were not working properly and not citing you as a source. I apologized and said I would take care of it. You complained to my hosting company and now all my sites are shut down. What is your problem? I said I would take care of it! You want to spread the word about global warming? So what is the big deal if the source is not cited for two days? You are real stiff and you're never going to get the word out about global warming with your attitude. Now I have a real headache on my hands. Thanks a lot, jerk!

Rich Benvin

Eli never complained to any hosting company. Who would take a Rabett chewing a carrot seriously, but there are a lot of powerful mice out there.

Anonymous said...

"now all my sites are shut down"

...and all my advertising funds have disappeared." (Poof!)

Does this guy really expect us to feel sorry for him?

There is a right way of doing stuff and a wrong way.

Some people seem to think it makes no difference. That's the kind of attitude that produced the Iraq debacle.

People need to be told that it's NOT OK to print stuff without citation and that there are consequences when you screw up (so don't screw up)

Perhaps then, we won't have the f...ing free-for all we do now.

guthrie said...

Once again it seems that allies of the kind of people who worship law and order like to play fast and loose with the law.

I mean, this is such childsplay that commondreams.org, a lefty website has had the necessary legal bits about common use policy and attribution displayed on it as long as I can remember, which is going back a few years now.

EliRabett said...

Commondreams also copied a bunch of Times Select stuff until recently, something Eli found useful.

Hank Roberts said...

I suppose he can next blame whoever wrote the Real Fine Manual he got with his BigCan'O'Website for not explaining the basics about how to use it. There are warnings:


Only an actual copyright owner can contact an ISP and get a website taken down. Someone he copied from complained.

Couldn't be me, nor Eli (who was nice enough to let him know he had a problem) ---- he didn't copy anything from us.

He's blaming the messenger. Very ill-informed.

Could be that his ISP is required to tell him who complained, I dunno; but he's a communications professional, he'll work it out.

Anonymous said...

ankh said: "Only an actual copyright owner can contact an ISP and get a website taken down. Someone he copied from complained."

Only the copyright owner can file a copyright infringement suit with the USPTO.

But that is not what we are talking about here.

In a case in which there is the possibility of an infringement suit, all affected parties will undoubtedly act to protect their own self-interest.

I know if I ran an ISP and it were brought to my attention that someone using my service was (or even might be) infringing on copyrights, I would act immediately since otherwise, i could be held liable.

i'm sure there is probably even something in the ISP service contract that gives them the right to suspend service until it is shown that the party in question is NOT violating copyright law.

I would not be surprised if that is what happened in this case.

Hank Roberts said...

Let's hope not. There IS a "fair use" provision in the law. Saying someone "might be" violating copyright is too damned easy, because it's impossible to disprove without the involvement of the copyright owner.

Someone "might be" copying something that is already a copy, in the public domain.

If it were possible to shut someone's weblog down by just telling the ISP they "might be" violating copyright --- you're into really deep nastiness.

Yes, the law now works, in practice, that way. But hey, we dont' have Habeus Corpus in the USA now either. Both those losses are, I hope, temporary defects that will be fixed.

There are ISPs that don't care about that. That's the worst case situation, that allows denial-of-service attacks, the copyright 'extreme rendition' making a website disappear.

You want that? I thought not.

If someone just made an accusation without the involvement of any actual copyright owner, and as a result someone else loses their online voice, this is way worse than someone being caught borrowing.

The copyright owner has the right to tell someone to fix their problem --- then to complain to the publisher if need be.

The rest of us have the right to tell the guy he's got a problem, tell the authors the guy's got their words, and point and hoot and holler.

If we're generous we've got the opportunity to help whoever wrote the BigCanO'Website manual add a few lines on how to actually get RSS working. Or help the website dude learn how to Google for "rss feed" and find a page with one and view source and copy the code and edit it.

But --- if it's anonymous accusations to trigger shutdown of websites you're recommending --- I recommend a reread of the basic documentation of your civilization before proceeding.

I'll continue to hope that an actual copyright owner contacted the guy. There were a lot of chunks of text on the guy's page, lots of possible people (besides RC) who could complain based on provable ownership of copyright in material.

If someone who didn't have anything to protect sent an anonymous accusation to the ISP and the guy lost his website til he understands how to set up RSS, that sucks.

Just because you _can_ use the interpretation of a stupid and venal business-dominated government to make a stupid and fearful ISP delete the bungled attempt of a possibly educable and perhaps even friendly kindergarten-grade webbisher doesn't mean it's smart.

Because it's easier to make enemies than friends.

Lord, I go away for three days and it's conspiracy city.

I hope it's all just bad digestion and misunderstanding and there's a real copyright owner involved here at all.

EliRabett said...

Hey Ankh, before you left it was conspiracy city.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, but that was them, and this is us!

Anonymous said...

Meanwhile, attempting to find something actually on topic, I found this:


Ha! This will twiddle everyone.

Urban Clear Islands In the Fog

-----BEGIN EXCERPT ---------

"... . Lee (1987) briefly noted that urban areas in the Central Valley often induce clearing of fog and stratus cloud cover in a pattern described as an "urban clear-island" (UCI) (Figure 1). This phenomenon has also been observed in southern Germany by Sachweh and Koepke (1995 and 1997). The clearing of dense fog and low stratus cloud above an urban area in a localized -- nearly circular-- island' formation is however not fully understood. The present research investigates surface meteorological parameters at urban and non-urban sites during a series of three UCI episodes at Fresno, California in January 2005. It is hoped that this initial undertaking will provide guidance for future inquires into UCI's in the Central Valley and elsewhere.
Preliminary Findings The UCI at Fresno, California was first detectable in GOES imagery at 1400PST on all three January 2005 dates. The area of the UCI was observed to be quite variable from hour-to-hour. On 19 January 2005 the first measurable UCI was approximately 66km2 in total area. The 1500PST UCI grew to 371km2 and the final detectable UCI on this date was 519km2. The UCI began to fill at 1700PST and the GOES image for the evening hours became contaminated with higher cirrus-type clouds that made detection and measurement difficult. The 20 January 2005 UCI grew from 44km2 at 1400PST to 171km2 at 1500PST and 198km2 at 1600PST. The GOES Nighttime Fog Product (NFP) (Underwood et al. 2004) was used to detect the UCI after sunset and the UCI was completely filled by 1700PST. On 21 January 2005 the UCI at 1400PST was approximately 48km2 in total area. The 1500PST area estimate was 341km2 and the 1600PST estimate was 329km2. The GOES-NFP image revealed that the UCI began filling before 1700PST (160km2) and was completely filled by 1800PST.

A correlation analysis was performed to assess the linear relationship of UCI development and the variability of both meteorological and pollutant observations at Fresno during the three day period. Statistically significant relationships were found between: UCI area and Solar Radiation; UCI area and Air Temperature; UCI area and moisture parameters including Vapor Pressure, Relative Humidity, and Dew Point Temperature; and UCI area and ozone (O3) concentration.

Finally the meteorological data from Fresno was compared with data from the non-urban observation station at Parlier, California. Distinct differences were observed between the following rural and urban parameters: Soil Temperature (approximately 0.5 to 1.0 „aC greater at urban site prior to UCI detection); Relative Humidity (approximately 4 to 7% less at urban site prior to UCI detection), Incoming Solar Radiation (approximately 25 to 35 Wm2 more SWR at urban site one hour prior to UCI detection).

4. Conclusions This work is a first step in understanding the complexities of UCI development in radiation fog and near-surface stratus clouds in the Central Valley of California. The simple analyses performed are meant to provide direction for further research. The correlations of surface meteorological observations and UCI development suggest that the urban environment is more moisture starved than surrounding rural areas and the air temperature is higher. The fog or stratus deck also seems more transparent to solar radiation (a thinner cloud layer) at the urban site compared to the non-urban site. The concentration of pollutants, such as ozone, suggests that air quality degradation in the urban environment may also play a role in the development of UCI's. This is of course an incomplete look at the conditions accompanying the UCI, as boundary layer data is not readily available for sites in the Central Valley. In the future it is hoped that sounding data can be collected during a number of UCI episodes to provide insight into the conditions aloft during this unique cloud dissipation process.
-------- END EXCERPT ------

This is a test posting, to find out which group of readers first siezes on this as either useful information or definitive proof of ... whatever.

I'll add that in my decades of hang gliding, I and other pilots have also noticed occasional nearly circular holes opening in low thin cloud/fog layers.

Our observation is that these don't just happen over urban areas; I suspect they just got noticed there --- more observers.

We've always thought it was something like a big thermal bubble of warm air having gathered itself together in calm conditions and finally lifting off. Though others have speculated about mystery rays from outer space, the liftoff or landing of a mile-wide invisible flying saucer, and such.

Nod to conspiracologists ...

Anonymous said...


"But --- if it's anonymous accusations to trigger shutdown of websites you're recommending --- I recommend a reread of the basic documentation of your civilization before proceeding."

I wasn't recommending anything,

Just stating the way copyright law works.

When it comes to ISP's making decisions about whether to suspend and discontinue service, that's their prerogative. For example, If they have terms of service that says no porn and I use their service to disseminate porn, they can terminate my service -- period.

You might no like that, but that's another issue entirely.

Anonymous said...

Just sayin', should anyone be tempted to make trouble instead of help solve the problem, it can bite you back:



"EFF files suit for damages over abuse of DMCA

"Aaron Schohn - Samuelson Law Technology and Public Policy Clinic - Boalt Hall, November 12, 2006

"... While the DMCA requires that only the copyright holder or authorized licensee can demand content removal, the act’s preservation of ‘safe harbor’ from liability requires immediate content removal while copyright ownership or authorization is established.

"Essentially, an individual can force an ISP to remove allegedly infringing content while the copyright status of the content is determined. This effectively allows individuals to silence or disrupt critical commentary under the guise of copyright infringement...."

Don't want that being done to USA-based science sites now do we?

Anonymous said...

One last snark for this topic:

Anonymous said...

stop me before I ...


Too late.

Hank Roberts said...

So I got to wondering, _what_ other blogs exactly.
Well, well, there were indeed a lot of them on this model.

Anonymous said...

And now he's got something back up --- all Yahoo News RSS feeds at this point --- at the 'controlclimatechange' page.

Curious; at the very top of the source is a reference to
http://gmpg.org --- perhaps where he got his BigCanO'Website? That link leads to an amazing chunk of, er, something.

GMPG claims to be

".... an experiment in Metamemetics. The first aim of Metamemetics is to create a structure of principles that foster the construction and propagation of elemental ideas. The GMPG attempts to stimulate simplification of virtual substructures and bring people to question established structures and their relationships. Because people are not used to seeing elemental technologies or concepts which are powerful and immediately usable, frequent and novel encounters with GMPG efforts provoke optimism and empowerment, nevertheless reawakening criticism of complexity and a desire for simplicity.
.... * XFN - XHTML Friends Network
* XMDP - XHTML Meta Data Profiles
....Connecting people through incremental simplicity."

Whoah! That's what we need, incremental simplicity.
And advertising servers. Yeah.