This forum is about wrong numbers in science, politics and the media. It respects good science and good English.
Thomas gets his justified desserts.
Well maybe not justified. The comment chain gave me hope. A lot of sensible people jumping in and pointing out that these are talking toy trains we are talking about, NOT an attempt to undermine the youth of the world.
(This is number related because the number of sensible responses >> non sensible. && it's the Guardian and it is always fun to point a jesting finger in their direction)...
Enid Blyton, The Rev Aubrey, what next do they want to censor?
And what ever happened to the Robinson's marmalade Golly***?
The "do gooding liberals" seem to go out of their way to imagine that people are more sensitive than they really are. Except of course if you are christian...
I'm surprised the objection wasn't to the Fat controller being called "fat". But he is Sir Toppham Hatt..... evidently one of the establishment and thus not deserving of any sympathy for the unfortunate way he is referred to.
Yes, the high ratio of sensible to not sensible comments for that particular Guardian article is interesting.
I remember that articles in the environment section of the Guardian used to get a pretty respectable ratio for sensible to not sensible comments up to about 2010. The ratio used to be about 1 or maybe even higher, but from 2010 it dropped to a small fraction of 1 after the Guardian made it much more difficult for AGW sceptics and enviro-sceptics to post comments.
The increased difficulty in posting critical comments in the Guardian's environment section was covered in blog posts by a number of AGW sceptic bloggers at the time, and I collected some links a few years ago describing the situation below:
The significance of the 2010 date is probably connected to Climategate (which happened at the end of 2009). After Climategate the Guardian's environmental journalists regarded AGW sceptics as a much bigger threat to their cause.
George Monbiot (Moonbat) also published a conspiracy theory in the Guardian that comment sections were being disrupted by the activities of "fake grassroots movements" (also known as "astroturfing"), and this might be another reason that it has become much more difficult to post comments that are critical of the environment section articles. The Guardian's environment section management may be taking the view that anybody who is opposed to environmentalism can't be a genuine poster, and must be being paid to post.
Following on from my previous post, if I had to identify who was largely responsible in the Guardian for the increased difficulty in posting critical comments in the environment section, I would point the finger at Damian Carrington.
Carrington isn't just a plain environmental journalist, he has a wider remit at the Guardian. He was appointed by the Guardian in 2008 as environment website editor, as described here:
The Guardian confusingly tends to describe Carrington's job title as being "Head of Environment", which makes him sound as though he is the environment editor, but John Vidal actually has the latter job title. As I understand it, Carrington is in charge of the environment website operation, which will include him having jurisdiction over who comments on the site.
Carrington's previous employers were the BBC, New Scientist and the Financial Times. It's no surprise that the BBC and New Scientist would employ a Green activist journalist like him, but the Financial Times is a bit more of a surprise. There are definitely plenty of Greenies in the financial community, but I would have thought that the obvious lack of numeracy displayed in his article writing would make it tricky for him to be taken seriously by the readers of a financial newspaper.
The person who has announced the Guardian's appointment of Carrington in the above article is Ian Katz, who has now moved on from the Guardian to be the editor of the BBC's flagship news show "Newsnight". Given Katz's previous track record in promoting Greenery I suspect you won't see very much criticism of Greenery on Newsnight.
After the pasting she got in comments, she's claiming it was all a joke: