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Introduce yourself

edited August 2016 in Latte Bar
It's been suggested that we have a place to introduce ourselves. I'll start.

I live in Victoria, in south-eastern Australia, just under the second highest mountain in our land (which isn't high by world standards). I spent much of my childhood in a small town the next valley over which, at the time, was a centre for tobacco and hop growing (tobacco and beer). I studied and spent much of my working life in Melbourne, with some years in Adelaide, and did the obligatory time traveling the world in my late adolescence/early adulthood.

Reading comments on a share trading forum is what got me started talking about climate. I'd never before come across conspiracy theorists en masse. On the one hand I was fascinated by their drive to tell the world about their latest conspiracy, and how proudly they wore their ignorance. On the other, I was spurred to respond - in the fashion of "seeing something wrong on the internet".

When I started replying I very quickly realised that there was a lot I didn't know either. That got me researching climate science. I discovered vast resources on the internet, including information rich websites of the R&D institutions, weather/climate agencies, and universities etc, as well as climate bloggers.

So really, you can credit science deniers for the creation of Sou and HotWhopper :)


  • edited August 2016
    OK, here goes... I'm an electrical engineer by education, erstwhile computer designer turned professional programmer. I've been programming computers in one form or another since 1974, which is pretty scary when you think about it. I also happen to be the co-founder of a successful now multi-national hi-tech corporation. I was the techie, the other guy was the entrepreneur. Our software handles something like $20 billion of transactions per year and growing. I just love it when some gormless climate change denier tries to school me on anything computing related. On the internet, no one knows you're a dog :-)

    I originally hail from the States pretty close to New York City in north New Jersey. But my first job out of uni brought me to Amsterdam in early 1979. I stayed there for 7 years, and speak pretty fluent Dutch. Not bad for a Yank. There I met my business partner and we came to Dublin in 1985 and started our company. Been living here ever since. So my web handle is actually Metz O'Magic (my trademark for the hobby web sites I design). Having lived in Europe for so long, I suppose I'm pretty much a raving liberal compared to most of my former country cousins.

    My interest in the climate change discussion began back in 2009, coincidentally just a few months before 'Climategate' broke. I had just belatedly watched An Inconvenient Truth, and it piqued my interest enough to start reading various climate change sites to see what the fuss was all about. Fortunately for me, I already had a pretty good bullshit detector to hand as I was an actual skeptic, having been actively involved fighting 'woo' in all its manifestations for years at sites like and the Skeptical Inquirer. So I began my climate change investigations at places like, and Spencer Weart's excellent resource: The Discovery of Global Warming - A History.

    And here we are today, courtesy of Sou's excellent debunking site.

    ETA: aside from web site design, my hobby is computer gaming, primarily deep thinking ones like adventure/puzzle and complex role-playing games. I was a gaming journalist back in the early days of the on-line sites, being an editor at the now defunct Games Domain Review from ca. 1997 - 2001. So that explains my avatar a bit. It's Gordon Freeman from the Half-Life series, and let's just say that there's more than a superficial resemblance there.

    And that's way too much information about me. I'll stop now :-/
  • My username is a not very creative derivation of Bärbel Winkler. As the "ä" might hint at, I live and work in Germany. Not sure what really triggered it, but I have always had a lot of interest in environmental issues and have been active as a volunteer docent at the local zoo "Wilhelma" in Stuttgart and a conservation group for many years. Over time - starting with watching AIT in 2007 - and while learning more and more about it, I became increasingly aware and concerned about climate change and what it will mean for generations to come. As a means to turn this concern into something productive, I joined the Skeptical Science team in 2010 and started translating selected content into German (of course not alone but with the help of others!). Since 2013 I've been coordinating the translation efforts for all languages, write a blog-post every once in a while and even had the pleasure to contribute to some papers published by members of the SkS-team.

    To see what I've been up to at SkS, please check out my profile page there.

    In my "real" job, I work full time in IT at Kärcher (think high-pressure cleaning equipment from "around the house" to Mt. Rushmore) where I help to support the SAP-systems running most of the back-end software.

  • edited August 2016
    I'm a software consultant, been in the business since the 1970s. I blog on political issues. I'm a father, a grandfather, and in another life I am also a novelist. I'm way outclassed by the people here, but I've always thrown my heart in anyway.

    Visit my new blog at Unfinished Progress, and drop me a comment. 
  • Your new blog looks terrific, DC. I've added it to the Wiki. (Will be adding blog descriptions when I get a minute, or someone else might make a start on that.)
  • My name is Ian, my background is Physics, Electronics and Astronomy. I've been passionately interested in environmental matters since the 80's and climate change has become more dominant in my canon of concerns in the last few years. My website is where I've started to include climate articles in my blog (as well as astronomy).

    I'm currently halfway through the EdX Denial101x course "Making Sense of Climate Denial" which I can thoroughly recommend.

  • I'm a mad-scientist-in-training with a focus on biotechnology, formerly Dutch and currently living in the UK. I'm not really all that focused on climate in particular (beyond the whole 'stop ruining the planet you idjuts!'), but I'm a very strong supporter of scientific education and the debunking of woo, conspiracies and anti-scientific nutjobs of various stripes. Originally got into all this through occasionally helping with demonstrations and workshops for kids, and being warned about possibly running into more rabid antivaxxers when I came to the UK. My background doesn't help much with that, while I have so far avoided comparisons to Dr Mengele I do think it pays to be prepared for the crazy. Regardless, I've spent quite a bit of time figuring out how to (politely) deal with the fallout from Wakefield's fraud and fear mongering, and that drew me in to the more public discussions online about how to debate science with those who don't know anything about it. Not sure how I got from there to HotWhopper, but here I am.
    Sadly, not much I can actually do about climate change. Apart from explaining how the nutters are wrong, the most I could do is maybe working on biofuel or some such, but that'll depend on where my career takes me.
  • I am a scientist, currently working mostly on the removal of non-climatic changes (inhomogeneities) from climate station data.

    I was born in The Netherlands, were I studied physics. The basics of physics were interesting, but I did not see myself working in it. I was missing the societal relevance and the atmosphere looked much more relevant. I could not have formulated it like that at the time, but the atmospheric is a beautiful complex and complicated system, with variability on all averaging time and spatial scales.

    So I was fortunate to get a PhD studying clouds, which was how I got to Bonn because they had beautiful instruments to measure clouds. When I was between contracts (science unfortunately is mostly done in temporary projects) our local climate sceptic was willing to hire me a few months if I would go to a seminar on homogenization. She was digitising data and this data needed to be quality controlled and homogenized. I fell in love with the homogenization methods (I have always mainly worked on methodological questions and algorithm development) and now work on homogenization together with a colleague.

    Next to this, I also blog at Variable Variability, am on twitter and sometimes on Reddit. I started blogging about everything to do with variability. Had not expected that people would be interested in such an exotic topic like the removal of inhomogeneities from climate data. But then I got to know the weird climate "debate" in the Anglo-American countries and how a movement of climate "sceptics" made a big scandal out of normal scientific data processing. Since then part of my blogging is trying to explain what we do and why this is necessary.
  •  I am either a cook or an industrial psychologist depending on what job I am applying for.  I have the appropriate qualifications for either job. I have spent about half of my working life working for major industrial caterers and the most of the rest working for various government or educational  entities in a couple of countries  as a psychologist/applied researcher.

    I had not even heard of climate change (well except for those articles in the 1970s Scientific American about global cooling which I read as they came out) until I ran into something on Tim Lambert's  blog, Deltoid.  I had encountered Tim years before in another forum and had a great respect for him so I started to look into some of the issues he and others were addressing,

    I have since come to the conclusion that global warming is our only real worry. Terrorism/capitalism/creeping socialism/Ebola/Zika/whatever are all minor problems, They might kill a few people but from the view of survival of humanity they are incidental.

    At the moment I am retired, lazy and don't do enough to push the sentiments in the last paragraph.
  • We're here!

    Hello HotWhoppers. I "recognise" many of you. Good work Sou and gang on setting up this new website.

    Been a long time concerned citizen on climate change, since probably the late 80's because I "believe" in science. Though it was a faraway problem then it feels far more pressing now.
  • I have degree in accounting, and near majors or minors in history, philosophy, and English. I am retired. My hobbies are bluegrass guitar, which I don't mind saying I play exceedingly well, collecting acoustic steel-stringed guitars, and collecting Asian antiques. I play music once a week with a Chinese orchestra student from a nearby university. He's extremely good... upright bass, which is just the most fabulous accompaniment there is: the bottomless bottom. I originally got interested in climate through Realclimate. My son, unlike me, was very interested in science and math from an early age, so I was looking for a scientific subject he and I could read together when he was in high school. I borrowed Gavin Schmidt as a sort of role model, and my son began considering science as a career. My son did not stick with climate for very long, but I did. He is now a resident physician at Johns Hopkins, so it worked.
  • I live in suburban Vancouver, up  a bluff from the seaside.  My entire life has been spent near the sea in BC, except for a few years in Montreal.  My background is in the arts, with a spotty career in music-making and performing.

    My great interest in climate change has matured in recent years to a state of wonder: I most wonder about those folks who resist or reject the entire subject of climate change.  I came up against the implacable denial about ten years ago in  a forum devoted to Ayn Rand (where I am an indefatigable critic).

    All climate discussions there eventually stall  out or flame out, since the 'consensus' is that global warming observations are unreliable and probably derived from a conspiracy to deceive. This position lets every armchair genius to rant about a Them and to rubbish every attempt to build a case for engaging more deeply.

    I am most often stymied from my goals of understanding how my erstwhile opponents got to their state of mind. The conversations stumble out of the gate due to the overwhelming hostility to the entire field of discussion.   

    It was the partisan gulf between the 'deniers' and 'accepters' that fascinated me, how a self-styled group reinforced their individual distastes. Keeping an eye on and understanding that mindset brought me to HotWhopper. I hope to raise an issue when I am effectively stymied in discussion. I am most interested in finding means to continue discussion, to keep an opponent engaged, to find gambits that do not reinforce the other person's hostility ...

    This is a great addition to the HotWhopper empire of reason!
  • I'm a scientist who - like Sou - started a blog that mainly addressed the nonsense on WUWT.  I, however, didn't have Sou's stamina and, after a year or so, changed the blog to ...and Then There's Physics. I mainly blog about climate, but sometimes blog about my own research.  My blogging has also led to me being an author on a few climate-related papers, including one with Sou.
  • wsscherk said:
    It was the partisan gulf between the 'deniers' and 'accepters' that fascinated me, how a self-styled group reinforced their individual distastes. Keeping an eye on and understanding that mindset brought me to HotWhopper. I hope to raise an issue when I am effectively stymied in discussion. I am most interested in finding means to continue discussion, to keep an opponent engaged, to find gambits that do not reinforce the other person's hostility ...
    5 to 10% of the population may well like the consequences of climate change, want more of it. Because they are not willing to say so, they claim not to accept the science.

    There is nothing you can do to convince this part, who likes hostility as a means to keep people from thinking.
  • Hi, everybody!

    I'm a nobody trained in nothing but I have good personal hygiene. So, I've got that going for me.
  • Hi.

    My preference is for abysmal personal hygiene. I find it makes the conspiracy theorists keep their distance. If one makes the mistake of coming within reach I attempt to suffocate them in my armpit. This works wonders for civil discussion and rational debate.

    I try to make the effort to be basically scientifically literate, as much because it's interesting as because it's sensible, but have no science training or qualifications as such.

    Also, I like roses.
  • Giday.
    Griff from NZ.
    Not the one on wuwt.
    Or egriff at the guardian.
    I know most of you from reading climate blogs over the last few years.
    I first was persuaded about the reality and urgency of climate change due to the obvious logic errors in blog comments from those in denial and following and fact checking their sources .Often little actual knowledge of climate science is needed to see though the nonsense spurted all over the web just a rudimentary grasp of logic .

    After a while my interest lead me to Sou's Hot Whopper which I have since used as both a source of information to debunk the nonsense and as a staring point for my daily read of climate blogs like ATTP ,Open Mind et al.

    I have no formal education and little personal hygiene so we have  all sorts on here .

    We all share this blue marble in space together.
    As it is the only one we have doing an uncontrolled atmospheric experiment on it  is really not a good idea.

  • edited October 2016
    Looks like a good crowd here.    

    I'm the one with the quirky blog, WhatsUpWithThatWatts.blogspot, (among others) which was my response to Anthony Watts banning me from his WUWT back in 2011.  I've become a target on occasion so feel a need to give a deeper bio, though it's a bit uncomfortable, which is why I've taken so long.   Either it's too long or it leaves out stuff I think is important.  Here goes,  I was born in Germany 1955, immigrated to Chicago before I was a year old.  Grew up bilingual and bi-cultural, thanks to my parents, siblings, Chicago's rich German community at that time, including the Davis Theater and full time German movies, double features plus intermission newsreels (German) acting as supplemental German lessons.

    Thanks to cosmopolitan parents my Chicago childhood saw us visiting all the museums, parks, music from the outdoor Grant Park to symphony.  My mom was fascinated with the world and passed along her infectious enthusiasm.  I've been an interesting witness to the parade of scientific discoveries starting with the Deep Sea Challenger's visit to the Mariana Trench, and the Plate Tectonics revolution - I was young but I absorbed it enough to be able to explain it to some of my Dad's friends and others.  

    I've been a lover and voracious consumer of popularized science starting with my older brother's Popular Mechanic, Popular Science, and grandma's National Geographic's, plus hours looking at her ancient Encyclopedia Britannica, listening to her explaining the ideas and mysteries that had been teasing humans since forever, while sitting on her lap.  

    For whatever reason I was a sponge and became an attentive spectator to the past 50 years of scientific discoveries and learning and revelations that finally revealed countless previous mysteries.  The pageant of Earth's Creation (4 billion+ years worth one day at a time) is the most astounding thing I can imagine and I'll never understand why so few share my enthusiasm.

    I love this planet and her story with a visceral passion few can relate to and many have ridiculed, though I'm past giving a damned about the put-downs anymore.  

    For all the love of life and learning my parents imparted, money was not part of the mix and I've been a working man since high school days.   

    I wanted to see the world and experience life, but had to pay my on way by working and saving.  This has resulting in a very rich tapestry of experiences and awarenesses thanks to many dozens of jobs I've experienced for at least a few days, weeks, months.  Though over the decades I also managed to achieve a respectable mastery of both culinary arts and carpentry - (a consummate mastery requires a single minded focus I never aspired to, too much other living and learning to do between having to work.)

    I spent a number of decades being put down for my minimalist environmentalist attitudes and all my global warming concerns.  It wasn't until about '92 and reading Bill McKibben's End of Nature, that I finally started appreciating that I wasn't the crazy one.  Now I spend my spare time trying to write some coherent thoughts and participate in the public dialogue.  

    I live, most happily in a rented 600 sq ft cabin (with my gal and a dog), on forty acres, 25 miles outside a small town and I'm amazed and grateful at how beautifully life worked out for this lil freakster.  If only I weren't witness to the downfall of humanity and my children's futures, life would be perfect.

    Thank you Sou for putting together this space.

  • I discovered this place from a link citizenschallewge provided on another forum. My background is in photography, journalism and technical writing. After neglecting a college degree for decades I graduated in 2014 with a degree in Environmental Policy and Communications. After looking around here I found a lot of good information and smart people. I'll lurk for a while and post occasionally while I get familiar with the forums, and I'm sure I'll learn a lot. 
  • It was Bärbel who steered me here; thanks for that! I'm a Dutch father, last - a brief foray - active in local politics on a provincial level. Seriously wondering just when we will discover - with 20/20 hindsight - that we have tipped the domino's over and runaway Climate Catastrophe has started decades before?! I read about St. Matthews Island once, long ago and thought it a perfect analogy for Celestial "Island" Earth and Mankind... to only later later discover: ... there is always someone else on Internet beating "me" to the punch. 
    BTW: the Dutch Government was sued by Urgenda and ± 900 co-plaintiffs, one being my daughter. She had the privilege to sit right next to Marjan Minnesma (front & center) as the verdict was read: the Dutch government lost the "Klimaatzaak": a World First.
    Strong feelings:
    • Governments - ± 80% stakeholders in worldwide Fossil Fuels Interests - cannot be trusted to act against their own vested interests; they need revenues to win the next election, forget about the bigger picture.
    • Plan for a year: plant rice. Plan for a decade: plant trees. Plan for the Future: Educate the children!
    • Consider unfettered GHG emissions our first full-scale Geo-Engineering "project": it does not bode well for future projects I think.
    • Geothermal energy is still largely ignored, but could provide what we need, when we need it and potentially become the biggest existential challenge to Fossil Fuels Interests... so *why* is it ignored again?

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