One thing I've noticed from Anthony Watts on his blog WUWT is the number of times he talks about being scared. Monckton has done the same thing in the letter sent around ahead of his recent dismal tour of Australia.
More and more the literature shows that the conservative brain is ultra-sensitive to 'scared'. Maybe that's why his brain doesn't work most of the time.
For example, today Anthony started off saying that the notion of Hiroshima bombs as used by John Cook and James Hansen is false. He was writing about a talk given by John recently, in which he was quoted in The Australian saying "our planet has been building up heat at the rate of about four Hiroshima bombs every second".
He used the word "scare" or a variation eight times in his fairly short article. Then Anthony wrote some sums and decided it was "only six tenths of a watt per square metre." so "nothing to worry about". We'll come back to that later.
John Cook didn't plagiarise James Hansen's idea
Anthony accuses John Cook of plagiarising James Hansen. Hansen used the Hiroshima bomb analogy in a Ted talk in May 2012 that Anthony read about. The thing is, if Anthony ever visited any science sites like skepticalscience.com, he'd know that John Cook has been measuring energy in terms of Hiroshima bombs (or Hiros) for a long time. Back in March 2011, John republished this article by Mike Sandiford on skepticalscience.com. Professor Sandiford may have coined the term "Hiro". This is well before the May 2012 Ted talk given by James Hansen that Anthony accuses John Cook of plagiarising.
I'm not about to go looking to see whether Mike Sandiford was the first to use the comparison. I wouldn't be surprised if it was first used before then but perhaps the credit should go to Mike Sandiford. Whatever, I bet Professor Sandiford wouldn't be as petty about the matter as is Anthony Watts.
Here is how Mike Sandiford presented it at The Conversation article with the headline: Our effect on the earth is real: how we're geo-engineering the planet. (Mike Sandiford is Director of the Melbourne Energy Institute and Professor of Geology at the University of Melbourne.) Some extracts:
So how do we compare?
Our best estimates place human industrial emissions of sulfur dioxide and CO₂ at five and 100 times natural volcanic emissions, respectively...
An old story retold
One can imagine our shock jocks rolling their eyes at this quote, proclaiming yet more “warmist” propaganda as part of an organised climate science “swindle” hell bent on undermining the modern industrial world, or securing more government largesse.
But it only sounds like it might have been written in recent times because I have altered the wording to fit the modern context.
In reality, the author did not use “carbon dioxide”. Rather he used “carbonic acid”, a term in vogue generations ago, and a dead giveaway as to its ancestry.
And I bet our shock jocks would never guess it originates from one of the most celebrated geologists of his time.
The quote is from Arthur Woodward, “keeper of geology in the British Museum”, Fellow of the Royal Society, President of the Royal Linnean society.
Woodward’s comments appeared as preface to a classic geological text by Robert Sherlock – “Man as a geological agent” – published in 1923.
Intriguingly, Woodward’s quote followed with the suggestion that, “Man … may be approaching a stage when he should pause to consider whether his use and alteration of the crust of the earth itself are for future as well as for present advantage.”
Though he didn’t use the term, Woodward was probing the implication of man’s potential to “geo-engineer” the planet, almost 90 years ago.
You can read the complete article here at The Conversation.
Doing the sums
Back to Anthony briefly. What he did I'm not really sure but I do know I got a different answer to him. He worked out that four Hiro every four seconds equates to 0.6 watts/sq meter.
Okay I did the sums again and I get .4 watts/sq metre. That's 0.4 joules every second every square metre. In the same order of magnitude.
The reason for the difference between Sandiford and Cook I'm not sure about. I think they are talking different things. Anyway, here on SkepticalScience it shows net heat increase was running at 0.73 ± 0.16 watts/sq m. for the period 2002-2008, and rising.
There's a nice visual of incoming and outgoing radiation on the NASA website.
Anthony gets everything wrong
So Anthony got everything wrong again.
Firstly he got it wrong about James Hansen being the first to use the Hiroshima bomb analogy, or at least that it was used on SkepticalScience the year before Hansens' TED talk.
No delete number two -- I'm not sure if he got the sums wrong at all. I'll replace it with - four bombs a second equates to one bomb every four square km on earth each year! Which does make you stop and think. Most of the effect is going into the oceans, which will have its own consequences.
Thirdly, Wotts surmises that Anthony is looking at things all wrong anyway. Which may well be right too. I must admit that I couldn't figure out what Anthony was going on about with his 500 watts/day business. When earth is in balance there is no net change. It's zero. But what we're doing is adding energy to the system and that will come at a big cost.
Finally - isn't he a scaredy cat. Like most disinformers, he recognises that one of the reasons people deny is to quell cognitive dissonance arising when reality clashes with world view. And he does his best to keep that old amygdala from exploding.