Added an addendum. Sou 28 Nov 14
Update again - The article I've written about now has more than 500 comments (archived here) and Anthony has chosen to not dilute it's impact (he's not posted any other article today), unusually but not unexpectedly. Thus adding considerable weight to my contention that Anthony Watts saw the opportunity presented by Tim Ball's article as too good to pass up. He couldn't believe his luck when he got the huge bonus that scientists themselves even offered to lodge a complaint at WUWT. This is being mis-sold as if it means Tim Ball's nasty weird impossible ideas has legs (smoke and fire). Meanwhile Anthony Watts is sitting back with a big smirk on his face, rubbing his hands gleefully.
Sou - 28 November 2014
Tim Ball wrote an absolutely disgusting article from his first words to his last and everything in between, and Anthony Watts went and put it up on his blog - see here. Lots of people were appalled and shocked. So you can guess how bad it must have been. For anyone to be shocked at something that appears at WUWT it has to be really, really bad.
Anthony's reaction was shameful and continues to be so. He tweeted at one point (h/t rubiginosa):
@BarryJWoods I've offered Betts a guest post to refute it and I've put a disclaimer on it. See PM to you
— Watts Up With That (@wattsupwiththat) November 26, 2014
Can you imagine? WUWT claimed that all climate scientists, including Richard Betts, are fooling the world and engaged in some giant deception, and Anthony has the gall to invite a scientist to "refute" it. He sees a chance to get more people to read his blog.
Canny Anthony sees a chance to boost his readership
"Aha", Anthony thinks to himself. "Here's an opportunity to try to lift my flagging Alexa rating". He runs it all through his head and realises that if he took down the article his main audience would not approve. A lose-lose proposition. But if he leaves it up and manages to persuade some real scientists to "refute" the claim it's a win-win. If he can
I'm surprised that Richard Betts and Tamsin Edwards took up Anthony Watts rather disgusting "invitation" to "respond" to that vile article by Tim Ball. Why they acted as if they had to answer the "tell us if you've stopped beating your wife" challenge. They did. And their article was very good, too. I cannot criticise them for anything they wrote. You can read it here.
I don't think it was a good idea for them to have written it at WUWT. They are just having their strings pulled by Anthony. Maybe elsewhere if they felt they had something to say. And I don't like the fact that they let Anthony off the hook a little bit by quoting his excuses, though I'm pleased to see that they didn't let him off the hook about his awful "dislaimer". And it was a hard-hitting article, particularly for those two. Richard and Tamsin know how I feel about associating with people like Anthony Watts and I can't imagine they care a great deal. In any case, that's not what this article is about.
You wouldn't believe it of anyone else
Anthony Watts on the other hand, I can and do criticise. Instead of an unequivocal apology, this is what he wrote (archived here):
I agree that Dr. Ball’s post had some “over the top” rhetoric in it, and it is my error that the post was published without benefit of editorial actions. It does not reflect my views. My excuse is simply that I was distracted by a extreme challenge in my life at the time, and I didn’t get to vet the guest post as I normally would have. That won’t happen again. On the plus side, this issue illustrates why one of the most common ugly claims about WUWT, the claim of being in the pay of “big oil” or some NGO, can’t possibly be true. If that were true, I could have long ago hired an assistant editor and such missteps would not occur. While there are many things that the IPCC can be validly criticized for, parallels with Nazism is not one of them.
While there remain wildly disparate views about climate science, I see that there are people on both sides that are gravitating towards a more central and in my opinion, more reasonable view. Climate skeptics and climate advocates should do everything possible to help facilitate such dialog, otherwise all we have is just noise. – Anthony Watts
An article that was full on claiming climate scientists have all deceived the world in some grand hoax by citing Hitler - not once but twice. Prominently. Tim Ball used Hitler's writings as his proof that climate scientists are all deliberately deceiving the world in some mad, bad, coordinated effort lasting decades - Tim says the hoax began before the IPCC was created and scientists have been perpetrating it ever since. He's nuts. Nasty nuts. And Anthony Watts doesn't disown what he wrote. The closest he comes is "it doesn't reflect my views".
Does Anthony say "I'm sorry"? Nope. At least he's not being dishonest.
Does Anthony unequivocally distance himself from the opinion of Tim Ball? Nope. Why would he? That would alienate 80% of his readers.
Does Anthony say it should never have been posted? Nope. In fact the opposite. He says of the ugly article that it merely had some "'over the top' rhetoric in it. And that it shouldn't have been published without "benefit of editorial actions". In other words, he reckons the article was fine. All it needed was a bit of editorialising.
Anthony trades on the situation to milk sympathy, crying "poor" - how low can he go
Not only that but that dreadful man is blaming his own atrocious action on his lack of an assistant and lack of money. He's not only not apologising, he's using this dreadful example to milk sympathy from his readers. Just how much lower can he sink in anyone's estimation?
He claims he doesn't read every article. What a cop out. That's not only not an excuse, it's an appalling admission on his part. He should read every article. It's not as if he's not got the time. He's not busy writing articles. He very rarely does that. Some of the time he doesn't even bother laying out his copies and pastes properly.
Anthony Watts is not a real blogger. He's a notice board thumb tacker. He gets people to write for free and pinches the rest of his articles from other people's blogs and from syndicated science news feeds.
His complaint that he can't afford an assistant is bullshit. No blogger of any decency would have posted Tim's disgusting article. Bloggers do read what they post. In any case Anthony Watts probably earns more from his non-blogging notice board than anyone else who blogs on climate - with his donations, his no-name societies that go nowhere, his panhandling for holidays, his merchandising, his speaker fees. And that's on top of all his other business interests and income.
I've got to say that Anthony Watts' behaviour is appalling in every way.
Anthony Watts isn't the only opportunist. See this tweet. Tamsin Edwards is weirdly treating it as an honour to be allowed to tell people that WUWT is wrong and that scientists aren't crooks. And trying to claim (wrongly) that her article was "only possible" because she and Anthony had dinner together. That's either post hoc rationalisation or extreme self-deception. Anthony would just love to have scientists post articles for his mates to throw rocks at. Most scientists aren't so foolish as to comply. Some used to. Not any more. There is so much wrong with Tamsin's tweet (and approach - eg commenting at WUWT and tweeting like crazy) that I won't even bother. I'm sure every reader can see it.
From the WUWT comments
Two people, Barry Woods and Tony Brown (climatereason) both agreed the article was bad. But then it started, as Anthony no doubt hoped for. The controversy. The attacks. The article hasn't been up long and already there are 21 comments.
Nigel S says vaguely and to no-one, or more likely accusingly to Richard Betts and Tamsin Edwards:
November 27, 2014 at 5:28 am
You started it!
John Leggett claims that Tim is right - picking up on Anthony's signalling:
November 27, 2014 at 5:33 am
When a group of people are committing a massive fraud. When their actions are causing the deaths of thousands if not millions of poor people and insuring they and their children will continue to live in poverty. When they advocate actions that will destroy the environment (wind farms and solar farms). When they want do destroy the economies of the developed world and bring everyone’s lives down to the level of North Korea It is hard to be civil in response to their lack if civilly.
Then a crude one liner from Jimmy Haigh.
November 27, 2014 at 5:33 am
They do not like it up ‘em!
Richard M thinks that it's all the scientists fault. He imagines "hate language" where there is none and uses it to rationalise the appalling behaviour at WUWT.
November 27, 2014 at 5:45 am
I suggest that Richard and Tamsin work to clean up their own house first.
Complaining about describing the techniques used by climate activists (maybe not all climate scientists) accurately is weak. How many climate scientists have stood up publicly and condemned the use to hate language from activists and scientists like Mann? Have you guys gone to activist web sites where skeptical comments are deleted and skeptics banned to voice your objections? If so, I sure haven’t seen it.
Sorry, but when your side started the name calling, ad hominem attacks and massive propaganda to denigrate anyone skeptical of AGW, you really need to show some good faith. Until then you’ve lost the right to complain.
omnologos does an Anthony Watts and keeps a foot in both camps. He probably thinks that freedom of speech equates to freedom to defame. It doesn't.
November 27, 2014 at 5:47 am
There’s a propaganda aspect to climate change action and it might be appropriate to quote from the evil master of propaganda, Hitler, without offending anybody.
However I don’t believe climate scientists are part of any conspiracy, I support Tim Ball’s right to speak out his mind and my right to ignore his opinions.
wickedwenchfan says Tim's article was spot on and that 97% of scientists over the past several decades have been involved in a coordinated program of deception. He's nuts. And nasty. Like Tim Ball. Not like Anthony Watts. Anthony Watts is nasty and conniving and an opportunist. He's not nuts.
November 27, 2014 at 5:52 am
Parallels with Nazism? No, the original article simply quoted from Mein Kampf, which is something else entirely. The charge was willfull deception and the means needed to carry it out on a large scale. You don’t have to slaughter millions of people to use tactics that the Nazis first systematically used for their benefit. More mundane uses of their tactics are also possible. I didn’t read the intitial article and think that the IPCC was about to start rounding people up and putting them on cattle trucks just because Hitler’s name was used. I simply nodded my head about the incredible nature of humanity and it’s ability to be deceived.
I was thinking earlier when someone here said he was polite, that he didn't speak out on Tim Ball's article - or I didn't see it. And he didn't. And he apologises. Good for him. M Courtney wrote:
November 27, 2014 at 5:52 am
Two wrongs don’t make a right… and we are only responsible for ourselves.
I wasn’t outspoken enough on the original post.
I should have condemned the demonization of people whom I disagree with, more fully.
For that I apologise.
Yes. I’m very glad this post appeared.
Stacey, who has obviously not read an IPCC report or a Summary for Policy Makers in her entire life (or she'd know they reflect each other), says the scientists might not be Hitler, but they are all deceiving the world. She's one of the nuts.
November 27, 2014 at 5:55 am
Sorry I do not see how Dr Tim Ball’s post is in anyway offensive and neither did he call the alarmists Nazi’s as implied by Dr Betts and Dr Edwards.
He used an example of how people could be fooled by a big lie he could have used any other example from the Stalin era or middle ages where the King or Pope is God’s anoninted representative on earth.
The IPPC reports may well be the state of the art in man made global warming, although better men and women than me have shown otherwise. What cannot be called into question is the deception created by the summary for policy makers.
I paraphrase ” Hey guys get those names no ones going to check whether they have pHd’s or not. This was pre Kyoto.
I pose one other queation imagine if all the billions wasted on climate change research and subsidies had been spent saving lives in the third world would it be tens of people or millions of people?
The big lie of the Nazi’s, Stalin, Pol pot resulted in millions of dead.
The big lie of the climate change community resulted in ????????? still counting?
"Bob Tisdale" who thinks that Tim's article was fine by all accounts and that I was nasty for criticising Anthony over it, or so I've been told, just wanted to see his name in print. He doesn't side with anyone one. He's another fence sitter. That must hurt after a while.
November 27, 2014 at 6:00 am (excerpt)
Thank you, Tamsin and Richard, for your post and your concerns.
And thank you, Anthony, for posting it.
davideisenstadt is typical WUWT:
November 27, 2014 at 6:06 am
these guys were part of a group that promoted the big lie…over and over again, using goebbels’ techniques. if they get compared to a historical figure once in a while (like george bush had been, numerous times) well, so be it.
no tears shed here.
And the WUWT winners are the execrable Tim Ball and Anthony Watts
Okay, it's time to do a head count. How does WUWT fare? I've added Anthony Watts to the 21 comments, making it out of 22. He's the "half-baked excuses".
- 4/22 or 19% - Fake sceptic apologies, or otherwise clearly disowning the sentiments expressed by Tim Ball
- 18/22 or 82% - Half baked excuses, scientists are deceiving all humankind, and/or just wanted to see their name in print (including fence-sitters).