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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

No, Willis - WUWT is not a science site - eg CO2 in the atmosphere

Sou | 3:35 AM Go to the first of 15 comments. Add a comment

Wondering Willis Eschenbach and his fellow deniers at WUWT are a bit miffed that no-one but a science denier would ever mistake WUWT for a science site (archived here).

Willis rambles on about the importance of "public peer review", which is a laugh. WUWT isn't for "public peer review". It's for deniers to push their varying contradictory brands of pseudo-scientific claptrap, slap each other on the back and tell each other how "scientists don't know nuffin'".  At least one denier doesn't agree that WUWT is for "public peer review", which disappointed Willis no end.

What "public peer review"?

On a science site, would people who knew anything about science (or "public peer review") let the comment below stand unchallenged and uncorrected? It's been there for about two days now and not a soul commented on it. This is in the very same discussion that is claiming that WUWT is a science site for "public peer review".

It is typical of deniers at WUWT. They would rather see someone get something wrong than be accused of understanding anything to do with climate science. They fear being labelled a warmist. Or worse, a warmunist. (Most are right wing extremists whose biggest fear, after climate science, is communism.)

GeeJam wrote (excerpt):
January 17, 2015 at 2:43 am
Yes we all are phenomenal, aren’t we Crispin. Our daily obsession to discover the truth. You, I (and thousands of others) would be lost if WUWT went down.
Speaking of the truth, it’s interesting to see that ‘Hot Whopper’ (mentioned by Willis above) thinks that 30% (Yes 30 percent!) of all atmospheric CO2 is completely man-made. Mmmmm. So, maybe that above chart attempts to isolate those ‘Climate Rationalist’ science sites who know darn well that naturally occurring CO2 is around 388 ppm (96.775%) and anthropogenic CO2 is only around 12 ppm (3.225%).
I wonder if any of the other ‘Climate Sophist’ sites think HALF of all the atmospheric CO2 is our fault!

30% of the CO2 in the air today is there because of human activity

In case there's a lurker who doesn't understand, I'll explain. (Hopefully you're sufficiently astute to know that 30% isn't half.)

Since civilisation began right up until just before the industrial revolution, CO2 in the atmosphere was maintained at a relatively stable 280 parts per million (ppm). As much CO2 went up into the air as was taken out each year. After humans started burning fossil fuels (coal and oil) at a great rate, CO2 started increasing. More was going into the air each year than was being absorbed by plants and oceans. It now stands at around 400 ppm. Virtually all this extra accumulated CO2 is there because of human activity - burning fossil fuel, which releases CO2 while using up oxygen; chopping down trees and other activities. It would be a whole lot more, except for the fact that half of what we've emitted has been absorbed on the land and in the oceans.

  • 400 - 280 = 120 ppm - that's how much of the CO2 in the air is there because of us.
  • 120/280 * 100 = 43% - that's the percentage of CO2 we've put into the air compared to what it was before we started using the air as a rubbish dump for waste CO2.
  • 120/400 * 100 = 30% - that's the percentage of the CO2 in the air today, which is there because of us.

If you go way back to 800,000 years ago, well before the humans evolved, you'll find that atmospheric CO2 varied between about 190 ppm and 300 ppm (tops). There's more CO2 in the air today than there has been in hundreds of thousands of years. And it's all because of us.


Anthony Watts admits he isn't part of any science blogging community

PS Anthony Watts himself provides proof that he's not part of any "in-crowd" when it comes to science blogging. I just noticed this late addition to Willis' article:

I thank Willis for his analysis and for his kind words. It should be noted that as far as I know, I have never been contacted by Jarreau to ask to participate in the survey. Shades of Cook and Lewandowsky’s methodology where you get your desired result by selecting your sample beforehand. (i.e. only ask the people that are in your circle) – Anthony

Memo to Anthony, just so you know, many people who took part in the survey were not contacted by Paige Brown Jarreau directly. It was word of mouth. You need to try to worm your way into scientific circles. If you ever decided to become a science blogger instead of an anti-scientist blogger, you might get to hear about surveys like that one.

(As it is, it was a survey of science bloggers, not pseudo-scientific conspiracy nutters. I don't think there were any anti-vax sites that took part either, or flat earthers or lizard men - so Anthony shouldn't feel too badly.)


  1. Heh heh. As you said yourself, Sou, in a comment you left on Paige Jarreau's site:

    The blog I probably visit most frequently I didn't list - because I don't rate it as a science blog, although I see that it appears on your map.

    Spot the most fundamental of category errors: the Lol Whutters self-identify as a science site, when in fact they are an *anti-science* site. In fact, WUWT is almost purely a political site. Jarreau's survey specifically asked *science* blog owners what other *science* sites they frequently read.

    The only reason they got on the map at all is because Ed Hawkins at Climate Lab Book (who *is* a scientist,BTW) mistakenly or otherwise listed Real Climate and WUWT as the science sites that he reads regularly. I suspect that like most of us rational souls that read WUWT, it is more out of a morbid curiosity to see what load of codswallop they have come up with next than anything else.

  2. ETA: In Willis' article at Lol Whut?, he says:

    Whether you look at total page views, “bounce rate”, page views per visitor, daily time on site, Alexa rating, you name the metric, WUWT comes out an order of magnitude ahead of any other climate blog. For example, Alexa rates WUWT as the 20,839th most popular blog worldwide … while RealClimate is an order of magnitude lower down, at 217,939th among all blogs.

    I guess Willis doesn't realise that Alexa is self-selecting too, and that Anthony regularly encourages his readers to vote his site up in the Alexa ratings. So actually, Willis, by any measure of reality, Lol Whut? is a joke. If you want to look at how relevant Lol Whut? *actually* is compared to Real Climate, why not look at a more objective measure like Google PageRank, where Real Climate rates a respectable 7, and Lol Whut? a lowly 3.

  3. The CO2 misunderstanding that skeptics confuse themselves with is based on their inability to grasp the concept of the word "net". Conservatives in general seem incapable of understanding this term (for example, when in comes to taxes).

    Skeptics simply cannot understand that nature's contribution is the sum of nature's emissions and nature's sinks, and that nature is not a net producer of CO2. I repeat, they cannot grasp what the word "net" means.


  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    2. LOL, he agrees with himself. So funny.

    3. Pathetic isn't it? Not an original idea from any of them. Just repeating stuff they have read on some denier site that Sou criticises? Presumably they think that is a reliable source.

    4. Well this one seems to have stopped taking his Haloperidol. Perhaps we should alert the authorities in case he starts violently disagreeing with himself.

    5. Haloperidol? What, to cure their hiccups? :)

    6. Anon's two comments have been consigned by Sou to the the HotWhoppery

  5. What's more telling is that the GeeJam comment wasn't admonished, but instead given tacit approval. How is it that such ignorance thrives?

    This comment following from the GeeJam comment gives a clue.

    "Let’s see. I usually hit:
    WUWT, Bishop Hill, NotALotOfPeopleKnowThat, NoTricksZone, RealScience, JunkScience, Judith Curry, Susan Crockford and JoNova. And then gentleman (and gentleladies) such as Donna Laframboise, Jennifer Mahrosey (sorry about the spelling!), William Briggs, Chiefio, Tallbloke…. and at least a dozen others, probably twice that (but not evvvvvery day).
    I’ve never heard of most of the sites this….. lady?… refers to."

    Yep, all the usual denier blogs. Never even 'heard' of a real science site. Classic confirmation bias.

    1. "[...] Jennifer Mahrosey (sorry about the spelling!) [...]"

      i like that: acknowledgement that it's spelled wrong, with the additional kick that they can't even be arsed to google it. way to show some respect for the author of one of your favourite blogs, GeeJam!

  6. Re; GeeJam's nonsense.

    I get my monthly pay packet in cash (I don't, but go with me). After noting down the serial numbers of the notes, because thats how I roll, I deposit it in the bank, because I don't want to carry all that cash around all month.

    Later in the month, I go back to the bank to withdraw some of the money I deposited earlier. Then I realise - all the serial numbers are different to the notes I deposited! Did the bank give me someone elses money? GeeJam says yes.

    What conclusions can we draw about GeeJam from that fact?

    1. Yeah, it could be as simple as that, Frank.

      (BTW IIRC Frank D worked last time.Might be worth trying it for a while longer.)


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