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Saturday, November 15, 2014

Nervous or stupid laughter from WUWT as their anticipated ice age cometh fades

Sou | 3:59 PM Go to the first of 10 comments. Add a comment

Some people laugh nervously when they get scared. Some people become hysterical when stress becomes too great to bear. That's what seems to be happening at WUWT today.

There's nothing of substance at WUWT since the article I wrote on earlier, about the extra hot seas. There is one new article (archived here), which got a much larger than normal response - 497 comments so far. It seems to be providing a release from the pent up anxiety, knowing about the record heat that's being observed lately. The new article was by Perennially Puzzled Bob Tisdale, who seems to be pushing the idea that it won't get hotter or drier or wetter with global warming because it's just models.

Bob put up a chart from the IPCC AR5 Synthesis Report, which showed the risk levels in different parts of the world and the potential for risk reduction.

It looks to me that the chart is of marginal utility, being more illustrative than predictive.  I say that from a parochial perspective because the chart doesn't list the three biggest hazards we face in the region in which I live, which are extreme heat, wildfire and water shortages (and associated threats to agricultural production and health).

Here's the diagram for what it's worth. It's Figure 2.4 from the recently released IPCC AR5 Synthesis Report - Longer report. Unlike Bob Tisdale, I've added the caption. Click the chart for a larger version:

Figure 2.4: Representative key risks for each region, including the potential for risk reduction through adaptation and mitigation, as well as limits to adaptation. Identification of key risks was based on expert judgment using the following specific criteria: large magnitude, high probability or irreversibility of impacts; timing of impacts; persistent vulnerability or exposure contributing to risks; or limited potential to reduce risks through adaptation or mitigation. Risk levels are assessed as very low, low, medium, high, or very high for three timeframes: the present, near term (here, for 2030-2040), and long term (here, for 2080–2100). For the near term, projected levels of global mean temperature increase do not diverge substantially across different emission scenarios. For the long term, risk levels are presented for two possible futures (2 °C and 4 °C global mean temperature increase above pre-industrial levels). For each time frame, risk levels are indicated for a continuation of current adaptation and assuming high levels of current or future adaptation. Risk levels are not necessarily comparable, especially across regions. {WGII SPM Assessment Box SPM.2 Table 1} Source: IPCC AR5 Synthesis Report - Longer report.

The chart shows a map of the world, with risks for nine regional areas, being six inhabited continents, the oceans, the polar regions and small islands. It purports to show the risk level for the present, the near term (2030-2040) and the long term, for two scenarios, 2°C and 4°C. As well as that it shows the potential for additional adaptation to reduce the risk.

So the diagram is quite clever, fitting a lot into the one chart. But it is very much simplified, which is why I say it's of marginal practical use. It is more illustrative than pragmatic. To get a better appreciation of the main risks to each region and the potential to adapt or not, or to act to reduce the various risks, you'll need to read the report itself - and the more detailed reports.

Nervous or stupid?

Bob Tisdale at WUWT is making light of the chart. That could be because it makes him very nervous so he jokes to reduce the stress. Or it could be because he is too stupid to realise that it should make him very nervous or at the very least, it should prompt him to act. If one takes his article at face value, it's because he's too stupid. He wrote:
The map resembles the planet Earth, where most of us reside. The continents are in the right places, and so are the oceans. But we know that’s not the Earth. The risks illustrated are based on climate models, and we know that climate models used by the IPCC for their reports are not based on Earth’s actual climate, as it has existed in the past, or as it exists now. The maps output by climate models may resemble our Earth, but they’re fantasy maps of a fantasy world. They create nothing more than an illusion…an illusion that is intended to make it look like bad things will happen in the future if we all do not agree to reduce our carbon footprints.

Bob's intelligent enough to understand what the diagram represents, but too thick to understand that the diagram is based, not just on models of future climate but on expert knowledge of past climate plus the current and potential economic, social and physical status of each region. He adds:
We need a name for the imaginary planet simulated by climate models—a planet that looks like Earth, but is not Earth. I’ll propose the climate-modeled planet be called TurnsToCrap. No matter how the modelers present the product of their endeavors, they show the planet TurnsToCrap.

So far his article has 497 responses, which must be a record not just for an article by Bob Tisdale, but for WUWT itself for this year. It's rare these days to get so many comments from the WUWT denialati. It comes across as an hysterical release of pent up nervousness.

The deniers have had a lot to get anxious about this past few weeks, with a swathe of announcements of record high temperatures shattering their dreams of an ice age to cometh.

From the WUWT comments

Most of the 497 comments are one-liners, with the deniers vying with each other to make the silliest remark. I've scanned some of them and few are genuinely funny. Most would not win a prize at a comedy festival. Quite a few did pick up on the fact that the future is grim if we don't reduce emissions. And there were a fair few who made an obligatory reference to "algore". Here's a small sample, you can read the rest here:

November 14, 2014 at 11:32 am
Planet X, Y or Z, depending on the excuse needed.

Red Dust
November 14, 2014 at 11:34 am
Reblogged this on Scratch Living and commented:
I know a good name for the imaginary planet simulated climate models for the IPCC, “Paycheck” or “Easy Grants”.

Matthew R Marler
November 14, 2014 at 11:35 am
Good contributions above. Here are mine:
Democratic Republic of Alarm.

Mike Bryant
November 14, 2014 at 12:14 pm
Fear Sphere

Scott Wilmot Bennett  
November 14, 2014 at 4:46 pm
Terror Sphere
Terra Fear
steven strittmatter
November 14, 2014 at 12:30 pm
Algore-an. (As in a great disturbance in The Farce)

Jtom referred to the glaringly obvious about WUWT in general and this thread in particular. It could be that he intended it as an insult to career scientists rather than as an insult to his fellow WUWT illiterati. That would be if he was too incompetent to know he was incompetent:
November 14, 2014 at 7:57 pm
This might help explain the Dunning-Kruger Effect, which says stupid people are too stupid to realize they’re stupid:
DAVID DUNNING: Well, my specialty is decision-making. How well do people make the decisions they have to make in life? And I became very interested in judgments about the self, simply because, well, people tend to say things, whether it be in everyday life or in the lab, that just couldn’t possibly be true. And I became fascinated with that. Not just that people said these positive things about themselves, but they really, really believed them. Which led to my observation: if you’re incompetent, you can’t know you’re incompetent.
DAVID DUNNING: If you knew it, you’d say, “Wait a minute. The decision I just made does not make much sense. I had better go and get some independent advice.” But when you’re incompetent, the skills you need to produce a right answer are exactly the skills you need to recognize what a right answer is. In logical reasoning, in parenting, in management, problem solving, the skills you use to produce the right answer are exactly the same skills you use to evaluate the answer. And so we went on to see if this could possibly be true in many other areas. And to our astonishment, it was very, very true. 


  1. I once saw Hitchens say that he would never use Jesus's line 'forgive them father as they do not know what they do!'. His reason? he was not the son of god! Because I duffer from Dunning Kruger myself I will say it again. 'Forgive them father they know not what they do!' Bert

  2. This is another example of "the odd way things play out in your head" vs reality,

    "Some people laugh nervously when they get scared. Some people become hysterical when stress becomes too great to bear. That's what seems to be happening at WUWT today."

    There is nothing "nervous" or "scared" about the article, that's just your "imaginings", "suggestings" and "reading between the linings" - you have to distort everything for it to make sense in you weird head.

    Climate model performance is has been pretty woeful and any statements to the effect "the climate models say" is like the start of a "knock knock" joke to the sceptics and they're having a bit of fun with it, so what?.

    The scared and nervous and other rubbish is all you.

    1. So, anyway, do you think that Tisdale is right or wrong or neither? In your own words, using scientific terminology, theories, etc., explain specifically why you think that.

    2. Going by your recent conspiratorial thinking demo, KBO, you probably regard the 490 plus comments at WUWT as really and truly the most profound utterances you've ever read about climate :(

    3. Again sou, the weird version of things that plays in your head,

      "the 490 plus comments at WUWT as really and truly the most profound utterances you've ever read about climate"

      I never said anything about that. The words "you probably regard" is your head "adding things". If you're going to criticise things, stick the facts, not what plays in your head - As we've seen before, that version's pretty screwed.

    4. George, KBO has nothing to say about the article or the IPCC report or Bob Tisdale's mistakes, except to indicate that he or she has no sense of the ridiculous, and is very quick to take offense (on behalf of deniers everywhere) at the fact that WUWT is being ridiculed, yet again.

      My heart isn't bleeding.

    5. Sou, if I didn't know better, I'd guess that KBO is using the Keyesian-style tactic of trying to take over the comments on an article without actually writing any science. In that genre, I'll suggest, and I'm not the first, that Bob T sees himself as a combination of a latter-day Galileo and a re-born Martin Luther. T's mantra is "the models are wrong!". Of course they're 'wrong' as every science model is 'wrong' because they're approximations of reality and will never, ever, ever be precise enough or good enough for skeptics who want 100 per cent certainty. Skeptics asking the question, "Should I start planning for an outdoor ceremony for my 100th birthday celebration in 2070?" want the answer to be "Computer says 'Yes'." with no caveats, no cautions.

    6. George, Bob Tisdale thinks climate models are weather forecasting models. Or pretends to at any rate.

      He doesn't understand what different climate models are for and how they are used or their value. Nor does he understand the difference between climate and weather. About the only thing Bob Tisdale has learnt from all the science he's read (all from the climate scientists he despises, mind you) in the past few years is how to get sea surface temperature data from KNMI climate explorer. He's taught himself a bit about the mechanics of ENSO, from reading what scientists have explained. He doesn't know much else.

      What any rational person would think of as remarkable consistency between modeled climate projections and observations, Bob dismisses as too different to be of value. Goodness only knows what he thinks of denier predictions, which are off base by two degrees or more and heading in the opposite direction to observations.

      Bob wouldn't be satisfied unless the models and observations were aligned each day every day to within 0.001 degrees Celsius. He's an ignoramus when it comes to climate.

  3. I really do love it when climate change deniers discover logic arguments or rationality explainers like Dunning-Kruger. If they looked into the research for Dunning-Kruger they might actually realise that the testing of the stupid people also gave them the correct answers and how everyone else had answered and had them rank themselves. This is the equivalent of us handing them the climate data. The stupid/incompetent people fail to understand the information, fail to understand that they have gotten it wrong.

  4. Can't we just dispense with trolls like KBO entirely? If a Wutter wants to argue the merits of one of WUWT's articles then that is fine, but gobshite like KBO's is just annoying and does nothing for either side of the debate: whether he's a shill or a mindless prick hardly matters.


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