Update - see below- Anthony's had second thoughts and has now decided to hedge his bets. Then he had a third thought. Wonder of wonders - so many thoughts in his little head all at the same time, competing for his attention. (An observed trait of conspiracy theorists is that they can hold conflicting ideas simultaneously.)
Oh my. Anthony Watts is letting his paranoia (and narcissism) show (archived here). He's noticed something in the sidebar at SkepticalScience.com and has decided that it signals nefarious intent.
Here's the link to the home page at SkepticalScience.com. What Anthony wrote about is in the sidebar on the right. It's time bound, so if you are reading this at a later time it will probably look different. To capture how it looks now, here is a screen grab with my arrow pointing to the SkepticalScience teaser:
If you click on the link on the SkS image, you get to another page.
What can it be? Anthony Watts hasn't a clue (a normal state of affairs), but in true conspiracy theory style, has pretty well decided whatever it can be is "no good". He wrote a headline:
The ‘Skeptical Science’ kidz are up to no good again
In the WUWT article underneath Anthony let his paranoia run rampant, writing:
...All of the silhouettes are greyed out now, but one can rest assured they be filled in with cartoonish caricatures once the countdown clock on the lower right reaches zero.
My guess? John Cook has likely put his failed cartooning talents back to work again. Given the juvenile fascination former cartoonist turned amateur psychologist and numbers bookie for the 97% John Cook has with smearing climate skeptics, this will reveal itself as some sort of interactive “name and shame” application for the top 100 climate skeptics worldwide.
I hope it does, because if so, and if it turns out to be as libelous as I think it will be, it will give a whole bunch of people a reason to sue the pants off that whole team of creepy playtime Nazi cross dressers. Bring it.
Notice how Anthony adds some unsubstantiated statements. SkepticalScience is very proper and neither SkepticalScience nor John Cook gets into muckraking. They don't "smear climate sceptics". They don't need to. Fake sceptics condemn themselves by their own words. And why do you think Anthony doesn't give any examples of his allegations? It's because he can't. SkepticalScience is about reporting the science and showing why denier memes are wrong.
Still, we'll have to wait another day and seven hours or so to see if he's right and if SkepticalScience has changed tack. I'd be very surprised if it has. It's committed to reporting climate science. It doesn't even allow ad homs, let alone defamation.
While we're waiting, perhaps someone will deliver a message to Anthony Watts.
Message to Anthony Watts: Anthony, it's some science deniers who are prone to skating too close to defamation. Not so much people who accept mainstream science.
Anthony Watts has had second thoughts, probably after reading the WUWT comments - or maybe HotWhopper - and has decided to hedge his bets. He's added some more words to the bottom of his original article:
Of course it could also be a rah-rah application, where each of the silhouettes is a “real climate scientist”, and the popup text message is all about how they “feel” about climate change…like these clowns.
"These clowns" being scientists who were describing how they feel about global warming. Anthony is a tough antihero for whom feelings are a sign of weakness. Except when he's feeling brave but trepidatious and when he doesn't like feeling ignored.
Anthony doesn't want to look like a wimp, so he belatedly back-backtracked and added this further bit of speculation:
Whatever it is, it will likely be the caliber of sort of lowbrow stuff we’ve seen before, like the “designed to be funny but actually horrifying” 10:10 video which blows up children who don’t want to go along with climate change in school.
From the WUWT comments
jmichna doesn't have a clue but decides whatever it is, it's bound to be childish.
September 5, 2014 at 10:16 pm
High school antics… sophomoric at that. Ought to be cute.
omnologos has quite an imagination
September 5, 2014 at 10:35 pm
First 100 victims of the climate holocaust?
We should play a guessing game. Winner to be hospitalized as mentally unwell since he or she reasons like Cookie
Nik actually counted all the figures in the image and said:
September 6, 2014 at 12:02 am
There are 99 figures there. I’ll bet they’re going to do something on the 99.99999% scientists believe in agw paper.
leftturnandre implores Anthony to leave off the conspiracy theories and mudslinging and be daring enough to write about science instead. But it's clear he doesn't want Anthony to go overboard in that regard. He doesn't want WUWT to go as far as writing about real science, because he also thinks that WUWT shouldn't be promoting SkepticalScience.com. Probably he just wants some pseudo-science served up occasionally. SkS is way too sciency for the denier crowd.
September 6, 2014 at 1:06 am
I don’t know if it’s wise to do this variation of feeding the trolls. WUWT gets a huge amount of traffic and ranks around 9800 in Alexa. SKS is a mere borderline phenomenon ranking in the 88,000 region. If you feed them with links they may grow. Also articles like these may be counter productively strengthen their adepts in the believe of the demonic character of sceptics. Don’t accept their war. Also maybe recognise that this type of polarisation is just early “stage 1 classification” in the accumulation to genocide.
Take the high ground. Ignore them and stay friendly.
A better alterative is concentrating on the science. Maybe my first blog could be inspiration.