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Thursday, September 3, 2015

The scientific illiterati rise up at WUWT

Sou | 1:48 AM Go to the first of 14 comments. Add a comment

Illiterati: Definition from the Urban Dictionary

The opposite of the Illuminati, who take pride in their high level of knowledge and learning. An Illiterati takes pride in the fact that they are ignorant and refuse to learn (adjust their paradigm) often to the severe detriment of those around them.

Sometimes science deniers are quite unabashed about their desire to suppress all knowledge and particularly scientific knowledge and education. Anthony Watts has a "guest essay" by Eric Worrall (archived here), in which he claims that:
  • Earth and Space Science is only about climate
  • Earth and Space Science is "dogma" and "politically convenient pseudoscience".
Hmm. That sums up WUWT rather well, don't you think?

Problems with comments?

Sou | 1:05 AM Go to the first of 2 comments. Add a comment

Two people now have told me they have had difficulty posting a comment. My apologies - there's not a lot I can do.

One solution has been to be to try a different browser.

Failing that, feel free to send me a comment by email to sou at (and let me know that it's a blog comment and the article you're commenting on) and I'll post it for you.

Google is in the middle of making changes, some of which seem to be have been causing a few bugs in the system over the past few days.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

On the recurrent fury of unethical bloggers and how Anthony Watts issues a correction

Sou | 10:43 AM Go to the first of 31 comments. Add a comment

Anthony Watts issues a correction? Surprised? Yes, you should be. Anthony Watts makes too many mistakes and publishes too many more. If he corrected all the wrongs on his blog WUWT would be one long correction. He didn't issue a correction for the following that have appeared on his blog in the past few days:

Nor did he issue a correction to his article that claimed that global warming is caused by steampipes in Russia, or that it's insects that are causing global warming.

And has Anthony published an apology and correction to his false allegations that NOAA researchers committed fraud - here and here and here? No, not at all.

But today, he's published an article (archived here) that complains that authors have issued a correction to a paper. That's right. Not only does Anthony Watts almost never issue a correction for the errors on his blog that are made multiple times every day - he has posted an article complaining that some authors did issue a correction!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Stretching credulity or the limits of knowledge at WUWT: An ice age cometh

Sou | 2:55 PM Go to the first of 17 comments. Add a comment

There still isn't much happening in deniersville. The hottest year ever has flummoxed them, leaving them flailing ahead of Paris - so far. Anthony Watts is so stuck for contributions to pin on his blog noticeboard that he's scraping the bottom of the barrel with a very dumb "ice age cometh" article by petroleum geologist Dr. Norman Page (archived here). I wonder if this is the sort of thing that Anthony will publish in the first edition of his OAS journal?

Norman is a science-denying ice age comether from way back who by now should have learnt a few things. He hasn't. What he claims to have done is written an article for an eight year old child. From what he's written, an eight-year-old would run rings around Norman when it comes to climate science.

Norman starts off badly, when he can't even get the name of a well-known publisher of dictionaries right. I mean it's cute, but ...:

Miriam (sic) – Webster defines Epistemology as
the study or a theory of the nature and grounds of knowledge especially with reference to its limits and validity

Monday, August 31, 2015

WUWT's Latest Alarmism: The Climate Hoax Collapsing Civilisation Global Governance Hypothesis

Sou | 7:35 PM Go to the first of 31 comments. Add a comment

Just after an article about reproducibility of psychological research, Anthony Watts has put up an article from Paul Driessen from CFACT (archived here), which is full of irreproducible nonsense. Paul is one of those people who wants to get rid of any and all environmental regulation. He won't rest until the USA brings back smog.

As you'd expect from a person whose job is to spread disinformation (Paul is employed as the "senior policy analyst" for CFACT, which I gather is code for "propaganda officer"), his article is full of falsehoods.

On reproducibility: Replicated errors and double standards from Anthony Watts at WUWT

Sou | 2:32 PM Go to the first of 24 comments. Add a comment

The most recent article from Anthony Watts, who runs a climate conspiracy blog called wattsupwiththat, or WUWT, demonstrates once again that he doesn't understand the first thing about scientific research. It also provides another lesson in the telltale techniques of climate science denial, and the double standards of Anthony Watts. 

What the WUWT article (archived here) is about is an article in the New York Times (without a link), which in turn is an article about a paper in Science about the lack of reproducibility of many psychology papers. That is, Anthony published a "guest essay" about a New York Times article about a paper, topped and tailed with some irrelevant silly comments from Anthony himself. (Anthony doesn't write much himself these days. He's probably conscious that most of what he writes is too silly for public consumption so he copies and pastes press releases and denier blog articles from elsewhere, and relies on "guest essays" of dubious quality from his readers.)

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Nothing New: On natural variability and global mean surface temperature

Sou | 4:46 PM Go to the first of 15 comments. Add a comment

Denier blogs are going through a hiatus so I wandered a bit and got to reading a conversation, of sorts, at Judith Curry's blog (archived here). A couple of pro-science types decided to join in to help inform lurkers, while deniers were busy flogging their dead horses.

The subject was the slowdown on global mean surface temperature over the past few years, when various influences came together in a particular way. (Eg the PDO in a cool phase, volcanic aerosols in the stratosphere etc).

At one point someone wrote how he didn't think scientists anticipated natural variability in climate. He was questioning Tamsin Edwards who he reported as writing: "That pause in warming of the atmosphere surprised the media and public, even though scientists always expected this kind of thing could happen in the short term".

It was cold in the 1930s, really it was (compared to now)

Sou | 2:50 AM Go to the first of 10 comments. Add a comment

There's little if any quality control at WUWT. Blog-owner Anthony Watts doesn't have what it takes to do the job, according to his friend Willis Eschenbach. And I'm inclined to agree with Willis, which makes a change, since I don't often agree with him.

Today there's an unsophisticated article that Anthony's posted (archived here). It's by someone I've not come across before to my knowledge, Sheldon Walker. Sheldon is wanting to tell WUWT readers about the change in trends in global mean surface temperature since records began.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Satellites rule in deniersville, except when sea levels are rising

Sou | 4:49 PM Go to the first of 11 comments. Add a comment

Science deniers at WUWT are a funny lot. Their sole purpose in visiting denier blogs seems to be to sing the refrain "it's not happening", with the occasional faint chorus of "if it is it's not bad". WUWT deniers in the main haven't got quite as far as "if it is bad, there's nothing we can do about it".

Some of Anthony Watts' guest articles are good illustrations of that. There was a "guest essay" by David Middleton  yesterday (archived here) about a press release on the NASA website about how quickly sea levels may rise.  The press release was consistent with other recent estimates that seas will probably have risen by a metre or more by the end of this century or early the next, particularly if we stay on our current emissions trajectory (and maybe even if we don't).

David Middleton, who you might recall thinks all lizards are the same, wanted to reject the NASA article outright, claiming that "The only way sea level rise could approach the high end of the IPCC range is if it exponentially accelerates…". And he drew a chart with an exponential curve. Having made that wrong statement and putting up his exponential chart, he then drew a wrong conclusion, writing: "The rate from 2081-2100 would have to average 20 mm per year, twice that of the Holocene Transgression. This is only possible in bad science fiction movies."

One major flaw in David's argument was that he assumed that seas would rise according to some smooth chart, either linearly or exponentially. What he failed to factor in was that the main contribution to sea level over coming decades will be from melting ice. Another major flaw was that he himself used data and referenced a paper that showed that seas have risen at more than double his "impossible" rate in the relatively recent past.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Arctic sea ice extent is fourth lowest so far this year

Sou | 10:34 PM Go to the first of 23 comments. Add a comment

It's that time of the year again when the sea ice in the Arctic is disappearing. It doesn't look as if there will be a record low extent this year, but there's not a lot of ice around. At the moment it's the fourth lowest on record for this time of the year, according to the interactive chart provided by NSIDC (with my annotations).

Source: National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC)

There are links to most of the main sea ice pages on the HotWhopper Climate Metrics page. Here are a couple of charts from the University of Bremen, as at 28 August 2015:

To stay up to date with what's happening, go to Neven's Arctic Sea Ice Blog.  His latest article is about a storm in the Beaufort Sea, which is undoubtedly breaking up ice in that region.

There's not much more to say, except to express concern that the region is at high risk. Not just from melting sea ice and all the changes that brings, but from shipping traffic and resource exploration. Those risks affect the Arctic and because of the wider impact of changes in the Arctic, affect the whole world.

I'll keep an eye on things and probably post an article shortly after the minimum, which should be within the next three weeks.

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