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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Anthony Watts Stokes another crazy conspiracy theory at WUWT

Sou | 12:38 PM Go to the first of 22 comments. Add a comment

Just when I thought WUWT was getting dull.  Well, it is dull at the moment, but Anthony brightened it up a little bit with another of his conspiracy theories (archived here).  This time it's about Nick Stokes, who has an excellent blog called Moyhu.

I think this is what prompted Anthony's article - or a discussion of same at The Auditors blog. I didn't go to CA - who'd bother?  But Nick's article looks to be related to what was discussed by Big City Lib, so I think I'm on the right track. (I gather Steve McIntyre is another one of the fake sceptics who are working feverishly to help Michael Mann win his court case against Mark Steyn.)

[Update: I succumbed, because I figured some of you will go there anyway.  Might as well offer you the archived copy to save you the trip. Sou.]

Nick Stokes is a very affable chap (and a retired CSIRO scientist IIRC) who comments from time to time at WUWT.  Nick only rarely gets a bit annoyed with people, but I don't think I've ever seen him lose his cool in the way Anthony Watts and Wondering Willis Eschenbach are prone to do.  I glossed over Anthony's mocking taunt because it was just another silly Josh cartoon.  Then I decided to read the comments to see how Nick reacted.

Nick reacted with mild amusement in his usual polite fashion

This is how Nick reactedNick Stokes says:
March 3, 2014 at 11:36 am
Verity Jones says: March 3, 2014 at 11:06 am ” I hope he realises this is affectionate teasing.”
Thanks, Verity, yes I quite liked the cartoon. I’m used to being characterised as a Black Knight, so it’s a relief to just have a topological problem.
Sorry to be late to the threadjacking, but as Sherry has now figured, I think, I do live in the land where koalas grow, and it’s 6.30 am. As to being paid, well, I’m afraid Sherry’s “white male between 45 – 65 years old” is a little on the optimistic side. I’m enjoying my retirement.

Anthony Watts was accusatory and full of (wrong) conspiracy ideation

This is how Anthony Watts reacted:

Anthony Watts says:
March 3, 2014 at 7:50 am
@ _Jim I don’t think Nick craves attention, but, as I have observed before, given his tenacity to post hours of such bluster, I think he’s paid to do it. I could be wrong, but it’s either that, or he is terminally afflicted with XKCD disease.

And there's more. Dodgy Geezer says and Anthony replies:
March 3, 2014 at 8:01 am
As far as I can see, Nick is not dishonest. Misguided, maybe. And not a public figure. It seems a little unpleasant to run a cartoon on him.
REPLY: Up until the current CA thread, I would agree about the “not dishonest” part. But even Steve McIntyre called him that now, and Steve does not use such labels lightly. – Anthony

I expect Anthony's cracking an inside joke with his last sentence.  Often Steve McIntyre just insinuates and lets other people use the "labels".  However has no hesitation in suggesting scientists are 'dishonest' and their science a 'scam' and 'fake', especially when he hasn't the wit to work out their research.

And still more. M Courtney says - and see Anthony's reply:
March 3, 2014 at 8:16 am
It doiesn’t seem fair to mock someone because we disagree with him.
Nick Stokes doesn’t lie. Nick Stokes isn’t personally abusive. Nick Stokes doen’t deserve derision.
I do think Nick Stokes is wrong but I want to hear Nick Stokes so as my thoughts are challenged.
Mocking Nick Stokes as though he is Micahel Mann demeans Josh and elevates Mann.
REPLY: I would disagree, look at my early days of getting involved in climate debates. I was pretty much a nobody until I had an idea that ruffled some feathers, then I was labeled and derided in all sorts of ways within a week of posting the surfacestations project. Nick has elevated himself in the climate debate, he is well known by all the players. Not one person in the CA thread or here has said ‘who is Nick Stokes?”. When so many people are familiar with you across continents and venues, I think you’ve reached public persona status. William Connolley would be another example.
Nick is the most polite troll one could hope to encounter, but it makes me wonder if he isn’t paid to do what he does. If he wasn’t polite, and got into flame wars, he would long ago have been banned. Instead, he plods along with tenacity combined with obfuscation to diminish skeptic arguments that can go on for days in threads. Many people would lose patience and tell others to “sod off”, but if your paid position requires your presence to be effective, you’d do everything you could to stay within the rules.
I could be wrong, but that is why I think he is employed to comment on climate threads. Besides, this isn’t derision, it’s satire. Tying oneself up in knots is funny to watch.
I should add in Nick’s defense, he was the only person on the other side (that I am aware of) of the debate to contribute to Robert E. Phelan’s (our wonderful deceased moderator) funeral. – Anthony

Now if one were to speculate that Anthony's conjecture is based on his own knowledge and experience with those who are much more prolific than Nick is at WUWT, one would ask him how much Willis Eschenbach, Smokey, Janice Moore, Greg, ferdberple, Mark Bofill, Dodgy Geezer, M Courtney and all the other regulars get paid :D

Willis Eschenbach spits nastiness and feigns care for the "poor"

And if you thought that was bad enough, read what Wondering Willis Eschenbach has to say.  Willis doesn't like it when Nick points out the holes in his articles.  He doesn't even like it when Nick pays him a compliment.  Willis doesn't like competition full stop.  Especially not competition from someone who does know what he's talking about (unlike Willis).

Willis Eschenbach says, after quoting two people who said Nick was polite and honest and deserves some respect (extract):
March 3, 2014 at 12:05 pm
Nick is doing his best to push policies that he knows hurt, impoverish, and even kill the poor.
You can rub his tummy and blow in his ear all you want, you can say he deserves respect and we shouldn’t poke fun at him.
Me, I stand back, look at what his polite and “not dishonest” claims cost the poor of the world, and spit on him. He deserves no respect at ll, none. He’s doing his best to cast honest men as liars, and liars as honest men. For him, truth is immaterial, as long as he doesn’t have to admit that he is wrong. This is not innocent behavior. It’s not funny or cutesy. It is damaging and destructive.
For me, he’s playing games with his damn word fiddle while Rome burns. I don’t think he even believes many of the ideas he puts forward, and indeed, as you can see by the cartoon, in many cases there’s no way his ideas make coherent sense.
But the ideas he pushes and supports are still hurting, impoverishing, and killing the poor, and while the cartoon is funny, the end results of his actions are not humorous or entertaining in the slightest.

And they have the cheek to get upset when people point out they deny science.  This pair, Anthony Watts and Wondering Willis Eschenbach, are seriously wacked conspiracy theorists with delusions of grandeur and a huge chip on their shoulders.

I won't bother with the rest of the comments.  They are a mix of "Nick's alright for a warmist" and "Nick's a nasty, mean paid shill" and "Nick's dishonest because he believes in AGW".  You can read them here if you want to.


  1. I would hang another picture for Willis but quite frankly I think he'd enjoy the notoriety. Plus this is a gallery of.....what they are....I think he may qualify as something else. he

  2. Well, frankly Eli thinks this is the result of Nick nailing Steve McIntyre again, which appears to have. . . .

    1. Agree, Eli. Not that Steve would ever admit it. It's when he's shown to be wrong that Steve shouts "fraud", "dishonest" etc. He's worse than, but not unlike the way Roger Pielke Jr behaves.

      Does he really think no-one notices?

    2. Why didn't Steve use his mathematical skills and econometric models to predict the GFC? Why is he so reactive and not proactive when it comes to climate science? Does his auditor-like activities and lack of original climate science research qualify him as belonging to the helminths?

    3. McIntyre may well do proactive research, but if it was honest work he wouldn't want to publish the results.

    4. "helminths" ... had to look that one up...there's definitely a reactionary, almost knee-jerk, nature to almost all climate contrarianism

  3. Shorter Watts : "Nick Stockes is nice, that means he's up to something - he can't be nice without any hidden agenda !!! "
    This is VERY telling about his world vision.
    Poor Watts.


  4. I guess this is another instance of "Ill doers are ill deemers". Wasn't Watts supposed to get 88K for setting up some website, until Gleick made it publicly known? Who knows how much he gets paid through donations, extra weather gadgets sold, and (in)direct payments from free market think tanks. Of course, this is considered normal in the US.

    Oh, and BTW, isn't Grand Auditor a more fitting term? As in Grand Inquisitor? :-P

  5. Sou -

    I am afraid that you're wrong on this one.

    You see, what "skeptics" say in the posts and comments at "skeptical" blogs is just so important, that the ecoNazi cabal has to hire people like Nick to argue with them at their websites in a desperate attempt to try to prevent "skeptics" from writing the same paranoid fantasies over and over, day after day.

    You fail to realize that "skeptics" are so important "they" (meaning the cabal) will do anything to "distract" "skeptics" from their devastating work in uncovering and dismantling (as keyboard warriors) the global statist attempts to starve children (the poorer, the better).

    Clearly, being as open minded as they are, "skeptics" are vulnerable to counter-arguments made a blogs (think of all the times that you've seen them change their minds because of carefully crafted counter-arguments) - so the work of someone like Nick is potentially extremely valuable to the team of fraudsters getting billions from research grants, and so he gets remunerated quite handsomely for his efforts.

    Anthony's logic, and that of the other commenters that are reasonably sure he's getting paid, is impeccable as usual. It is truly amazing how they have sniffed out the "warmist" plot. No CAGW cultist could have been so smart to see through the ruse.

    If you weren't so gullible and blinded by your desire for dead children (the poorer the better), you'd realize that.

  6. Is this 'Joshua' troll one more name for the bradthing?

    Did he actually say Watts is in the 'ecoNazi cabal' as proved the fact Watts lets Stokes write on his blog?

    All climate revisionists are quite mentally impaired (yes, I have now exhausted all of them).

    1. It was tongue in cheek, CRR. Taking Anthony's conspiracy to the extreme :)

    2. And there I thought I was playing Anthony's delusional reasoning down, Sou. :-)

      I'll take it as a compliment that cRR mistook that comment as one a "skeptic" might write.

      It's really hilarious that Anthony and company have such an inflated sense of their own importance.

      It's also quite funny how so many self-described "skeptics" agreed with Anthony's speculation about Nick getting paid for his blog comments - without even the slightest attempt at due skeptical scrutiny that would make the absurdity of the speculation obvious.

      They give skepticism a bad name.

    3. Oi :)
      Well done, Joshua... Particularly that last sentence of yours got me :D
      But climate revisionism got so rotten nowadays, what with Roy Spencer's crap of last!

    4. CRR, you've been tripped up by Poe's law ;)

      Folks often have to read blog comments carefully so as to avoid confusing parodies with the rants of genuine kooks. And that's one positive about WUWT -- you can be nearly 100% confident that the posts there have been authored by genuine loonballs.

    5. Happens to me a handful times/annum and I love it every time :)
      No so those who I get to trip over my little traps, but who wants symmetry in these things.

  7. Perhaps Watts is clearing house before the El Nino comes? It's time for them to dig in deep, ready for the inevitable assault. Enemies within the walls are not welcome at such times.

  8. I've been analyzing the 1900 comments found in the Salby affair last summer.
    1) About 90% of dismissives (climate deniers) gullibly bought Salby's story, in a manner that should help Nigerian 419 lads to select their contacts.

    2) They were not only dismissive but mostly pseudoskeptics ridden by strong Morton's Demons. They eagerly grabbed any random idea that supported them, and most (not quite all) vehemently rejected facts they didn't like and argued with (mostly real skeptics like NicK) counseling caution or bring inconvenient facts like court cases, RateMyProfessor, and then the NSF debarment. The generated 100+ insults of various sorts, of which 23 were directed at Nick, making him the champ, followed by John Brookes with 18.

    Nick either has rhino hide, or like some, views insults as a badge of honor.

    For something similar, see long discussion @ Amazon, in which R.G. Reynolds and Morgan Wright emulate Anthony and Gavin Cawley acts as does Nick. At one point, Morgan puts up his transcript for BA in biology from a (good) liberal arts school, and says he will argue with no one of lesser background.

    1. John, It could be fascinating to run language sentiment analysis software against WUWT comments, and also SKS and the other blogs. My hunch is you'd see far more scorn, derision and mockery on some of the contrarian sites, but it'd be interesting to see the stats. Also I bet the posts themselves would rate differently than the comments.

    2. Yes, very likely.
      They also use a lot of "dog-whistle" terms where they all know that X is bad.

  9. I guess what Watts and Co. are really saying is go away: we don't want any contact with reality here. And Eschenbach comments are so vile anyone with a 3 digit IQ would have to wonder how they survived moderation. Seriously: my estimation of the average IQ of WUWTers just went down 10 points.

    1. Eschenbachs comments survive moderation at WUWT simply because the inmates are running the asylum - dismissives, pseudoskeptics, and climate science deniers. With moderators like dbstealy pumping out attacks and distortions, with argumentum ad hominem a primary conversational tactic, and led by Watts (who thinks that because Stokes disagrees with him rather tenaciously, he must be paid for it), reasoned discussion is not to be expected.


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