I have closed several comment threads which were the recipients of the bulk of recent "spam" comments - it's pretty annoying weeding through all that stuff, so hopefully this will simplify my life a little.
Several people have asked me for my further views on the Hockey Stick, particularly given the recent extensive discussion at RealClimate. I've definitely felt enlightened by some of the discussion that's taken place in threads here. I have downloaded and started to read through Mann's 2008 paper and look at some of the associated data, but my personal comfort level with the science is still too low to make any really substantive comment. From what's been said by both sides it does seem to me that Mann has been careless in a rather long series of particular examples, but again my comfort level with the state of data handling in this field is still much too low to say whether he was abnormally careless, or simply facing the usual levels of befuddlement we all do when looking at complex collections of information. Steve McIntyre's recent Make a Stick article might be useful too - but once again I find his actual conclusions very hard to pull out from the vagueness and unreferenced allusions.
Anyway, given that some of the closed threads had recent non-spam comments, feel free to continue raising issues under this thread, which I will moderate very lightly if at all (as per the title, pretty much everything's on topic). Thanks.
[Update - 40 hours later and still 0 comments on the approval queue - sorry I closed the older threads, but this is a huge improvement with all the garbage I'd been seeing!]
[Update 2 - just had to wait a couple of days - spam as bad as ever. I closed some more threads, we'll see.]