A lot of people are under the mistaken impression that Willis Eschenbach is one of the smarter people at WUWT. I can tell you now, that if that's the case, then WUWT does not attract smart or educated people. It's purely for ignorant dumb deniers and that's it. Any hope that Anthony Watts might have had for getting recognition (other than for comedy or contempt) is misplaced.
There have recently been some really, really dumb articles at WUWT from Anthony's stand-by guest commenter Willis Eschenbach, including this one, where Willis Eschenbach showed he doesn't understand what causes seasons on Earth - and this one I just wrote about, in which Willis Eschenbach deliberately misrepresents sea level and provides misleading charts. Remember, Willis is the chap who penned a long article slamming his erstwhile friend Anthony Watts, saying he is not able to tell the difference between pseudo-scientific crap and meaningful science.
The reason I'm writing this is just in case anyone is under the false impression that Wondering Willis has an ounce of smart when it comes to climate science. He doesn't. Here is a comment he wrote today to the batty Duke:
Willis Eschenbach November 16, 2014 at 6:52 pm
rgbatduke November 16, 2014 at 7:56 am
Doctor Robert, thanks as usual for your detailed and always fascinating comments. I was with you right to the end, where you said:
.. Increased CO2 almost certainly warms the earth, and is almost certainly responsible for a substantial fraction of the post 1850 warming observed. …
I fear I don’t understand where your certitude comes from. As far as I know, we have good evidence that increased CO2 increases the amount of upwelling radiation absorbed by the atmosphere.
However, that’s very different from saying that increased CO2 “warms the earth”. This is one of the things that people have been trying to establish for 30 years, with very little success … so what evidence makes you “almost certain” that increasing CO2 warms the planet?
And even if such evidence existed, saying that “CO2 warms the earth” is very different establishing to a near certainty that such an increase is “responsible for a substantial fraction of the post 1850 warming observed”. Again, people have been looking for evidence for this claim for decades, and I certainly haven’t seen enough evidence to make me even “vaguely convinced”, much less “almost certain”, that CO2 is a major player in the post-1850 warming.
I mean, as far as we know from the ice cores, the CO2 level didn’t vary much in the thousand years prior to about 1850. As a result, CO2 was NOT a major or even a minor player in the pre-1850 warmings and coolings, (LIA, MWP, etc) … given that we have good evidence that such large temperature swings happen without CO2, what makes you “almost certain” CO2 is not just a player but a major player in the modern warming?
As a result, I’m curious … what is the evidence upon which you base those two “almost certain” comments?
My best to you as always,
Remember that it was only a couple of days ago that Wondering Willis was singing the praises of Guy Stewart Callendar for determining, back in 1938, that CO2 had already warmed the Earth, and for calculating by how much the Earth would continue to warm as more and more fossil fuel was burnt. Now he's done an about face and is arguing that not only was Guy Stewart Callendar wrong, he's acting as if he never existed, writing "This is one of the things that people have been trying to establish for 30 years". Then possibly contradicting himself again, and writing: "people have been looking for evidence for this claim for decades".
If you want more evidence of how far Wondering Willis will go to deny climate science, then look no further than his often-stated claim that the surface temperature has fluctuated by +/- 0.3 degrees over the past century! For example here and here and here.
I don't think I've ever seen Willis acknowledge this, for example:
|Data source: NASA GISS|
As for today's comment, what on earth can Willis mean when he writes:
As far as I know, we have good evidence that increased CO2 increases the amount of upwelling radiation absorbed by the atmosphere.
However, that’s very different from saying that increased CO2 “warms the earth”.
What does he think it means when there is more long wave radiation absorbed by CO2 and less escaping to space, if it doesn't make the Earth warmer?
What it does mean, is that Wondering Willis Eschenbach, for all his posturing and grand-standing and pretending to be clever, is in the same category as the idiotic Smokey / dbstealey at WUWT. Even Anthony Watts is smarter than Wondering Willis, and that's not flattering to Willis or Anthony.
Anthony Watts rarely writes anything himself so he's in a bind. He long ago ran out of credible people for his guest essays. Lately he's been favouring the silly - like Eric Worrall. Christopher Monckton, the entertainer, has been noticeable by his absence. Anthony doesn't post Tim Ball's articles as "guest essays". He tries to distance himself from Tim's mad conspiracy theories by posting them as "guest opinion" or similar.
Some people have suggested that WUWT is on its last legs. However you could have said that many years ago and been wrong. I don't know what will happen from here on in. Anthony Watts is at another crossroads. Does he continue to veer further and further from science or will he try to regain lost ground?
I think he'll probably muddle on with what little he's got. He does provide a service in giving idiots an outlet to post dumb comments and let off steam. If he keeps going the way he is, then I'd say my job is almost done. I don't plan to close up shop. I will say, though, that WUWT makes it easier every day to ridicule the dumb deniers.