Anthony Watts has been loudly protesting that he doesn't get funding from fossil fuels interests. Or more accurately, he may or may not have had such funding in the past but he doesn't at present.
Within the same 24 hours, with no apparent sense of the irony, Anthony puts up an article co-authored by the discredited Willie Soon, who reportedly is paid by fossil fuel interests. It's a tired list of denier memes going way back in time. Nothing new at all. Anthony is digging deep in his denial of science and still failing to come up with any fresh ideas.
In the article (archived here) by the denialist trio Green, Armstrong and Soon, Anthony Watts promotes:
- The abysmal effort by science deniers to get a populist vote on climate change through a fraudulent "petition" known as the Oregon Petition. This is doubly ironic, given all the protests about the scientific consensus, with Anthony trying to argue that even though almost all scientific papers on the subject attribute global warming to human actions, it doesn't mean squat.
- A paper that claims to be a "scientific" forecast of global surface temperatures. The paper is listed by Google Scholar as being cited 27 times. Of those citations, sixteen are from the authors of the original paper; four are from the denialist organisation eike-klima-energie; one is from science disinformer Marc Morano at ClimateDepot; one is the discredited McShane and Wyner paper; one is from science denier David Stockwell.
- A supposed "scientific" forecast, which isn't based on climate science at all. It's based on nothing more than mathturbation.
- A supposed "scientific" forecast that the global surface temperature this century will remain within +/- 0.5 degrees of that in 2008. That's a two bob each way bet of "no change" with a hedging margin.
I don't know what Green, Armstrong and Soon mean by this statement:
Most importantly, computer models and scenarios are not evidence—and validation does not consist of adding up votes
The Green, Armstrong and Soon Forecast
This is what the Green, Armstrong, Soon so-called "scientific" forecast looks like:
|Data source: NASA and Green, Armstrong & Soon (2009)|
Compare that with the IPCC projections from the AR5 WG1 Summary for Policy Makers (page SPM-36), which unlike the above, are based on climate science, calculating the impact of carbon emissions on surface temperature:
|Source: Adapted from IPCC Summary for Policy Makers|
|Source: IPCC Summary for Policy Makers|
WUWT builds another straw man
Green, Armstrong and Soon state:
The modelers have correctly stated that they produce scenarios, not forecasts. Scenarios are stories constructed from a collection of assumptions. Well-constructed scenarios can be very convincing, in the same way that a well-crafted book or film can be.
The IPCC and its supporters promote these scary scenarios as if they were forecasts. However, scenarios are neither forecasts nor the product of a validated forecasting method.
In any case, they are not quite correct. When Green, Armstrong and Soon write that the the IPCC produces scenarios, what I believe they mean is that the IPCC reports projections for different given scenarios, or in the case of AR5, for different pathways (RCPs).
Principles from the Unprincipled
Green, Armstrong and Soon allege that, despite the IPCC not making forecasts, in the forecasts they don't make they manage to violate "72 of 89 relevant scientific forecasting principles". These science deniers don't link to any list of the so-called "scientific forecasting principles" developed by Armstrong (of Green, Armstrong and Soon), so here it is. (It takes no more than a glance to realise why they decided not to link to it.) Nor do they indicate which of the principles the IPCC violates in the forecasts it doesn't make.
Here is a sample from Armstrong's "scientific principles":
- Use brainstorming and other processes.
- The strength of evidence cited by Armstrong as underpinning his "scientific principles" includes: "Received wisdom", "some empirical evidence", "Strong empirical support from research in personnel selection", and "common sense". All sounds very scientific doesn't it!
- Principles include: "Make sure forecasts are independent of politics". It's a pity they didn't include "make sure forecasts are independent of ideological denial"!
I reckon Green, Armstrong and Soon probably sat down together and did a little brainstorming to decide how best to try to hoodwink the public into believing that climate science is a hoax.
My advice to Anthony Watts, J. Scott Armstrong, Kesten C. Green and Willie Soon? Leave brainstorming climate to people knowledgeable about climate science.
My advice to J. Scott Armstrong? Learn the difference between "principles" and a step-by-step (and very basic) "how to" manual. Maybe one of his colleagues at Wharton will help out. (He's actually employed at Wharton? Good grief. I thought that in the corporate world, Wharton still had an reputation for quality. Still, I guess if MIT can keep Lindzen on the books then Wharton can have some duds too. Leaving aside the fact that they are step-by-step instructions rather than "principles", J. Scott Armstrong's effort at enunciating forecasting principles seems amateurish and awkward. And as far as marketing skills goes, J. Scott Armstrong is not crash hot when it comes to marketing science denial, is he.)