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Monday, November 17, 2014

WUWT at the crossroads? Willis Eschenbach declares (again) he is nothing more than a dumb denier

Sou | 3:59 PM Go to the first of 17 comments. Add a comment

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.


  1. Sou you are relentless. This is a good thing as these nongs do not know what day it is let alone what the day has to offer.

    You are beating the crap out of these morons.

    I am trying to understand dark matter and dark energy. If all of reality turns out to be a mere holographic projection by quantum wavelets from some two dimensional surface at the edges of some higher n-dimensional space. I will say these idiots only are parasites on real scientists. These parasites distort real data and then make up absolute drivel.
    I would like these same deniers explain to me how C60 or Buckyballs can show diffraction in a two slit experiment. bert

  2. I put all sou's posts at CCD

    willis commented on this one "Willis Eschenbach Whatever I write at WUWT, within a few days there are folks all around the blogosphere telling me what an idiot I am.

    1. John, I must be missing something. What is CCD?

    2. facebook, climate change discussion, a bleeding bunfight


    4. Lol - thanks, John. Got it.

  3. Some people have suggested that WUWT is on its last legs. ... He does provide a service in giving idiots an outlet to post dumb comments and let off steam.

    As long as the second sentence remains true, WUWT is not on its last legs. Willard will always have a long list of people wishing to post whatever thoughts pop into their heads. And he will publish them as long as they continue to adhere to the deniers' dogma. -- Dennis

  4. I'm a denier who blogged for Anthony Watts a few years ago who was foolish enough to give me a stage. He had to let me go because he realized that I was an embarrassment to his blog.

  5. Wonderin Willis can pound nails fast and he can pound at his keyboard fast. That is the extent of his skills. He is a man of action -- idle hands are not tolerated.

  6. Sou,

    If I may once more hijack your blog to park a post as an insurance policy, I just left this at WUWT, in response to the latest bletherings


    Hi Chris,

    You hang your argument on the peg that the norms of academia are that listing a publication on your CV means that you accept 'full personal responsibility' for everything in that publication.

    Even when the 'publication' is the cover art for a pamphlet published over a decade ago, listed in the 'Other Publications' section on page 22 of your CV, after a slew of magazine artices and Realclimate blog posts.


    So, let us assume, purely for the purposes of argument, that the cover of the pamphlet was indeed misleading. How many were misled? Can you find any reference to the WMO publication in the literature, policy deliberations, the press, the blogosphere prior to the Climategate faux scandal? Nope, me neither. Course not. It's COVER ART!.


    Here, try this. The actual 'norms of academia' are that if you use data from a study to produce a figure, you cite and credit the source, as the WMO does. Mann listing the figure on his CV could be interpreted as vanity, there again he prodcued the data, so why not? But it in no way means he created the graph, which we know was actually done by Jones.

    Oh, and the red noise stuff? Long since discredited. The 'trendless' red noise used by McIntyre was completely unrealistic, amd the magnitude of his 'artificial' hockey sticks was tiny compared to the real thing, oh and he had to data mine his results, the top 100 out of 10,000 runs.

    But of course, you knew all the above. Your obsession with Mann and the Hockey Stick, a sideshow in the science supporting AGW, is nothing short of hilarious.

    Please don't stop with the self-beclowning.

    1. Excellent, Phil.

      I'm short of time, but I wrote an article.

    2. In response to Moncktons claim that 'I see no evidence in Phil Clarke’s comment that the head posting was inaccurate.' I attempted to help him out ...

      And that's the problem. The 'evidence' that Mann (or his lawyer) misled the court adds up to nought, based on a misinterpretation of Muir Russell's accusation and a hugely inflated assumption of Mann's actual involvement in the production of the cover for an obscure pamphlet. We're beyond nitpicking here.

      And the criticism of the MBH's study is no more than a rehash of points laid out by McIntyre' and McKitrick's 2005 paper and a reproduction of the economist's non-peer reviewed summary. You don't mention published responses to the paper by Huybers, von Storch and Wahl and Amman, which showed, inter alia, that M&M's use of this persistent red noise invalidated the claims made and that studies using appropriate red noise found that MBH98 passed the threshold for statistical skill, but the MM05 reconstructions failed verification tests.

      I mentioned the magnitude of the generated hockey sticks. Look at Figure 7. Now zoom in on the y-axis for the 'MBH' graph. Oh, look, its plotted on a different scale to the 'red noise' sticks. Now that, your Lordship, IS misleading ....'

    3. PS. William Connolley reminds us of Monckton's claim that a graph reproduced in a newspaper article authored by himself had nothing to do with him ...

      (scroll to the end).

      Nothing short of hilarious.

    4. Hooray! I've been censored and banned.

      [SNIP – PROVE your accusation – your opinion is worthless, and as you know you are a long time persona non grata here due to your petty and surly behavior, both here and elsewhere. So, I’m not inclined to engage you again here just because you have another unsubstantiated opinion. No need to reply. – Anthony]

      Dearest Anthony,

      Which part is unsubstantiated? Here's what Mann's lawyers actually said:-

      The “misleading” comment made in this report had absolutely nothing to do with Dr. Mann, or with any graph prepared by him. Rather, the report’s comment was directed at an overly simplified and artistic depiction of the hockey stick that was reproduced on the frontispiece of the World Meteorological Organization’s Statement on the Status of the Global Climate in 1999.

      and Dr. Mann did not create this depiction, and the attempt to suggest that this report suggested an effort by Dr. Mann to mislead is disingenuous.

      Its clear from the stolen emails and the caption that Mann's involvement in the graph was confined to the fact that one of the curves plotted by Phil Jones used data from a study he co-authored.

      Or was it Chris's long-debunked talking points about the MBH study, red noise and all. I gave the authors of the papers that exposed that bunk, go read them.

      Or do you deny that Fig 7 uses a different y-axis for MBH to disguise the difference in magnitude? You do have to zoom in a few times (its Ctrl and + on most browsers) but the evidence is there in black and white. If you want a more egregious example, look no further than Fig 1 in McIntyre and McKitrick 2005, where they had to upscale the axis on the 'red noise' curve by a factor of 10!.

      Clearly you did not want Chris or your readership exposed to too many facts or too much evidence, equally clearly your claim to encouraging open debate is pure self-serving humbug. Perhaps such an assertion is petty and surly, but it has the great merit of being true. Don't worry, I won't be wasting any more of my valuable time ..

      Cordial Regards,


      PS If you want petty and surly, contrast Chris's absurd contortions trying to rope in Mann as creator of the WMO graphic, with his abject refusal to acknowledge that a graph in a newspaper article bearing his name had anything to do with him,


      Huybers, P. (2005), Comment on "Hockey sticks, principal components, and spurious significance" by S. McIntyre and R. McKitrick, Geophysical Research Letters 32 doi:10.1029/2005GL023395.

      von Storch, Hans; Zorita, Eduardo (2005), Comment on "Hockey sticks, principal components, and spurious significance" by S. McIntyre and R. McKitrick, Geophysical Research Letters 32 doi:10.1029/2005GL022753.

      Wahl, E. R.; Ammann, C. M. (2006), Robustness of the Mann, Bradley, Hughes reconstruction of Northern Hemisphere surface temperatures: Examination of criticisms based on the nature and processing of proxy climate evidence, Climatic Change.

      A true sceptic uses ALL the data.

    5. Anthony Watts - what a loser

      Nicely done Phil. He had nothing left.

    6. As evidenced by the poor confused man in one breath challenging me to PROVE my accusation, at the same time instructing me not to reply .... so much for encouraging open discussion.

    7. That's Anthony Watts all over.

      If he was really going to ban people for being petty and surly, I could name dozens of people he should have banned, including Christopher Monckton (and Willis Eschenbach).

      If he wanted people to substantiate what they write, he'd ban almost all of his regular contributors.

      If Anthony Watts was interested in factual content, he'd have chosen a different line of business altogether - not a science denying blog.


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