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Thursday, December 31, 2015

Fake Sceptic Awards for 2015

Sou | 9:33 PM Go to the first of 52 comments. Add a comment
Happy new year, one and all. It's been quite a year, and another hot one. It's also that time of the year when bloggers do a round up of what happened in 2015. This year I've put together some of the most memorable denier moments and present them as awards. Ask me tomorrow and I might put together different instances. There are so many examples from which to choose. Anyway, here goes:

Arithmetic Fail Award: Judith Curry


The Arithmetic Fail Award goes to Judith Curry, who couldn't figure out if more than half and more than 50% meant the same thing, and was gobsmacked to discover that science shows that human activity has probably caused more than 100% of the warming since 1950. (Link)


Most Boring Blogger Award: Bob Tisdale


The Most Boring Award will be no surprise. It goes to Bob Tisdale, who is widely regarded as the most boring blogger by science deniers and science lovers alike. Bob is what is known as a pseudo-scientist, a quack, a crank. He can also be described as a climate conspiracy theorist, or libeller, who claims that scientists fudge the data. He has a reputation for trying to deceive his readers. However because his articles are so tedious, he doesn't rank among the top science disinformers.


Big Con Award: Anthony Watts and Jo Nova (and her Rocket Scientist)


The Big Con award is shared between Anthony Watts and Jo Nova, with her Rocket Scientist from Luna Park.


Anthony Watts' Big Con was his heralded secretive society, which is still dormant. The Open Atmospheric Society was created in 2012 but it took two years before Anthony Watts announced it. It took another 12 months before it was discovered (properly, though not announced) that it was a creation of Anthony Watts himself. Despite lots of promises and solicitation for members in September 2014, there was no sign of action, apart from a badly written press release, until June 2015. In July this year Anthony announced that he was seeking nominations for the board that was supposed to be in place six months earlier (by 1st January 2015). The vote was meant to be held by 20 August this year, but nothing has been announced. (It's also noteworthy that Anthony hasn't chosen his own journal to publish the paper he first promised back in 2012.)

Jo Nova and her Rocket Scientist partner have continued their Big Con this year, eking out Force X and the Notch reborn in dribs and drabs (the latest is No. 21) of mostly unintelligible gibberish. The big con is based on the as yet undelivered promise that when David Evans (the Rocket Scientist) finally figures things out (with the help of Jo's readers) it will turn climate science on its head.


Climate Conspiracy Award: Tim Ball


It would be hard to topple Tim Ball when it comes to climate conspiracies, or any conspiracy theories for that matter. Tim is the author of the first chapter of the "sky dragon" book that rejects the greenhouse effect, and a darling of Anthony Watts, blog owner at WUWT. (Anthony has all but given up writing any blog articles himself. He's handed the reins to a nonentity called Eric Worrall, and fills the gaps with press releases and guest pseudo-scientists, climate conspiracy theorists and right wing extremists.)


Godwin's Law Award: Tim Ball and Anthony Watts


Tim Ball also shares the honour of the Godwin's Law Award. He quoted both Hitler and Osama bin Laden to show that climate science is a hoax. He can share the award with Anthony Watts, who posted his articles.


Most Unprofessional Scientist Award: Roy Spencer and Judith Curry


Roy Spencer wins the award for the Most Unprofessional Scientist, particularly for his Facebook article in which he suggested that terrorists kill the attendees at COP21, and for a follow up blog article in which he mocked Native Americans.

The runner up is Judith Curry who, over the year, continued her descent into science denial. Along the way she continued to disparage her fellow scientists, effectively accusing scientists at the NOAA of fraud and NOAA and NASA scientists of playing politics with science. She also cosied up with one of the sleaziest US presidential hopefuls and science denier, Ted Cruz, and the ugly libeller Mark Steyn.


Most Duplicitous Blogger Award: Anthony Watts


Anthony Watts doesn't write many blog articles these days. He won this award for an email he sent to Dr Tom Peterson, falsely accusing him of fraud, and then his unseemly reaction after it was published here, and after it was picked up by Andy Revkin of Dot Earth at the New York Times.


Your nominations?


Feel free to post your nominations in the comments, and to create more awards :)

52 comments:

  1. Off topic but as 2015 is nearly over I'd like to thank you Sou for all the hard work, all those blog-posts, all the tedious checking and re-checking, all the reading of countless papers, all so you can give us, your readers, good factual information every single day.

    Hotwhopper is a big part of my daily 'internet routine' and with me being active elsewhere on the web fighting the deniers on a daily basis, has proven very useful in finding out what the heck the deniers are on about at any given moment.

    Your ability to rapidly dissect denier memes is second to none and has given me (and many others) the much needed insight and argumentation to fight the countless denier nonsense du jour.

    Thanks!

    And a happy 2016.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, HK, and happy new year.

      We're now 44 minutes into 2016 and I can say that it's been quite warm this year so far :)

      Delete
    2. Nine hours and counting... Happy New Year, Sou - and many, many thanks!

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    3. Happy new year to you, too, cRR :)

      Delete
  2. The year of the coming out of Roger Pielke Sr. Joining a UK right-wing PR group, the GW Policy Foundation, to study silly loaded questions based on the lies of Christopher Booker in The Telegraph.

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    Replies
    1. Happy new year, Victor. The denier lobby groups have been doing it tough lately. Hopefully they'll find it even tougher this year. Roger Sr wouldn't be adding any credibility to the GWPF. Maybe they'll co-opt Judith Curry this year - she's a fan of theirs.

      Delete
    2. Hm, hopefully they 'll get an easier year. Or hopefully, not, in my more militant moods.
      The point is the ONLY reason climate revisionism had a somewhat tougher year is reality + confrontation. Nothing else.
      Hoping they will get an even tougher 2016 is hoping for an even more devastatingly hot year. Well, chances are really good.

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    3. Had to wait a little while longer to avoid superstitious bad luck.

      Happy New Year from Germany!!
      I promise 2016 will be scientifically interesting.
      Hopefully also a wonderful, tolerant and rational year.

      Delete
    4. What's the superstition, Victor and where does it apply? (I hope I didn't inadvertently bring bad luck to anyone.)

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    5. The superstition that congratulations before the event give bad luck. We need a new etiquette for that because "event" is no longer well-defined in a globalized internet world.

      Delete
    6. Strictly speaking the new year starts at 00Z regardless of where on the globe you live, surely? It is Coordinated Universal Time after all ...

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    7. Happy new year Peter. I hope it's not been too wet for you. I read the floods were very bad, especially on the west coast.

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  3. Happy New Year everyone.

    The kids and I went out for a midnight walk straight after 12:00 am, and the temperature was in the low 20s. Even for January here it's a particular balmy night.

    It will be interesting to see the final wash-up from 2015, and how 2016 progresses. I truly hope that it's not as hot-headed as the early signs indicate...

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    1. It is looking to be another very mild, though rainy night, here in Kent (SE England). After the hangover recovery routine, I've job to do at the weekend - cut the grass - in December!!!

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    2. Happy new year, Bernard and Anonymous.

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  4. I'd like to nominate all our politicians for an award - the Platter of Platitudes - for signing an agreement that none of them intended to honour.

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    Replies
    1. Happy new year, Millicent.

      I'll remain hopeful. Some governments are doing good things and making some headway. South Australia is forging ahead with wind power and is investigating other options. Victoria might come good, but they've got a very dirty power station to rid us of before scoring any points.

      Delete
    2. And happy new year to you too Sou.

      Delete
  5. Richard Tol in the Obsessed Much-Ado-About-Nothing category.

    Lurker

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    Replies
    1. Happy new year, Lurker. That's a good award for Richard.

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  6. It's still New Years's Eve in Washington, so I'll nominate a US politician who managed to move to the front of the pack of climate deniers in the US Congress with his McCarthy-like witch hunt against scientific research: Lamar Smith, chair of the House Science Committee. Smith's attacks against NOAA scientists were a serious abuse of power that show the country (and whole world) what can happen if the deniers win the presidency. -- Dennis

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    1. I second the Lamar Smith nomination. I think he's one of the more despicable AGW deniers. Don't know how Sou missed that one, but as she said, there was so much epic fail by the deniers to choose from this year.

      He wins the 'Abuse of Political Power' category hands down.

      Delete
    2. Sadly there are too many winners and not enough trophies but as each year passes, remaining a misanthropic crusader against science will be a harder and harder row to hoe.

      Even if the GOP takes the Presidency in November I predict there will be more trophies in 2020 than winners.

      Happy New Year everyone and particularly Sou whose work rate is almost as considerable as the esteem in which she is held by the scientific community.

      Delete
    3. Happy new year to you all, Dennis, metzomagic and PG.

      Yes, Lamar Smith - add that to the list of awards.

      Delete
  7. Eric Worrall rings out the old year with this absolute gem about a record-breaking snow storm in Montreal over at WTFUWT: https://archive.is/bm11V

    Anthony earns my nomination for quote of the year with 6.5 hours to spare in his time zone in the comments: https://archive.is/bm11V#selection-7421.0-7457.23

    I'd love to assure him that the weather will be more cooperative for him next year, but I'd be lying my arse off if I did.

    Happy New Year all. As our Canadian friends say, keep your sticks on the ice ... if you can find some. Cheers.

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    1. Happy new year Brandon.

      Eric has two articles today I see, both atrocious. (Anthony does make out he's lost his temper from time to time. It could be just in case his readers miss a pro-science comment to flame. Or it could be that he doesn't like people criticising WUWT. (I'm surprised he read the comment. He's not been seen much at WUWT lately. I figured he'd handed his blog over to Eric Worrall and is doing other things.)

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    2. What's really interesting to me about Worrell's article about the snowstorm is that even with a massive El Nino as an out, they're so wedded to the "look it's it's still snowing" canard that they've gone all aggro on me for pointing out that surface temps at the N. Pole were 28 degrees above normal yesterday ... which is just above freezing in absolute terms. I mean damn, I know weather models are wrong, but 28 degrees wrong? I ... I just ...

      ... clearly I just need another drink.

      Happy New Year to you, Sou, keep fighting the good fight.

      Delete
    3. WUWT just got surreal for me:

      ------------

      https://archive.is/CdZye#selection-12737.0-12819.252

      Aphan
      December 31, 2015 at 9:57 pm
      “Eric, perhaps you should explain exactly what you meant to imply with every single word that you said in the article so Brandon Gates doesn’t waste his time, and ours, with his version of what he thinks you meant…but did not say yourself? :)”

      Too late. I’m a very accurate predictor of future behavior apparently. :)

      Eric Worrall
      December 31, 2015 at 10:34 pm
      Alphan, don’t get too stressed about Brandon :-). Brandon likes to visit WUWT, to exercise his freedom to comment, on one of the few climate sites which allows divergent opinions, then reports back to the mothership when it all gets a bit much for him.

      ------------

      https://archive.is/CdZye#selection-10835.0-10980.5

      Brandon Gates
      December 31, 2015 at 10:12 pm
      That’s all very interesting, Aphan, but it’s not clear how any of that directly addresses why your statement …

      "No commercial or private pilots actually take off and fly based upon the forecast produced by a computer weather model at some earlier point."

      … is not so apparently at odds with this regulation:

      "Weather Requirements and Part 121 Operators Like Part 135 operators, flight crews and dispatchers operating under Part 121 must ensure that the appropriate weather reports or forecasts, or any combination thereof, indicate that the weather will be at or above the authorized minimums at the ETA at the airport to which the flight is dispatched (14 CFR Part 121, section 121.613)."

      Aphan
      December 31, 2015 at 10:23 pm
      “indicate that the weather will be at or above the authorized minimums at the ETA at the airport to which the flight is dispatched (14 CFR Part 121, section 121.613).”

      Computer modeled weather can only idicate what MIGHT be, or SHOULD be….it cannot indicate what the weather WILL be. Only current weather reports can do that.

      ------------

      [Emphasis mine] Yes by God, I'm reporting back to the mothership to say that this is the reason to be furious with the Watts and Worrells of the world -- they are apparently all too happy to twist reality for people who quite obviously struggle to do it for themselves.

      Delete
    4. Its always delightful to watch the adventures of Brandon in Wonderland. It's funny how, with the massed ranks of the inmates lined up against you, they still manage to fall flat on their faces.

      Delete
  8. A worthy selection and some very worthy awardees.

    And I'll add my rowdy foot stamping to the applause for the work you do. It's not just that you read all the rubbish so that I don't have to. It's that you use the opportunity to present the right information in your own very readable formats and a very handy list right at the bottom of your post of the relevant papers and reports. I don't have to go looking for the information or wrack my brains for the who was it and when was it published details of the paper seemingly cremated rather than buried in my memory bank.

    Unfortunately I think you might be right about this El Nino year. Rather than you getting to take it a bit easy with only a few posts a week, I suspect there'll be the more usual daily fodder for a smackdown of idiocy. This is the golden chance for some of these idiots to mumble El Nino at every inconvenient fact coming their way, but it seems they'll still be cooking up more episodes in the never-ending series of The Conspiracy Of The Thermometers. Any other producers would have abandoned the doomed project the third time they had to jump the shark to get any interest.

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    1. Deniers do seem to be getting more ratty. Somewhat aimless, not able to come up with anything new to focus on. El Nino is one thing but it's not been a big part of their denial so far.

      Thanks for your kind words, and happy new year, adelady.

      Delete
  9. As a relatively recent addition to your following of many lurkers and some very smart commenters, let me add my thanks to those of others.

    Sou, you have had a giant year. Thanks heaps.

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  10. I nominate Julie Bishop for the Forked Tongue Award, for her excellent performance in Paris where she sang the praises of the agreement while simultaneously pushing coal.

    I also nominate Greg Hunt for the Talking Out Of Arse Award, for everything he has done since becoming Minister for the Environment.

    Maurice Newman for the ZOMFG SPACE LIZARDS!!!! Award, for his amusingly loony rants at irregular intervals.

    Hell, where do you stop? :D

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    1. Those are worthy nominations, CC. Happy new year :)

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    2. Suggest adding Malcolm Turnbull for an "Not being Abbott but keeping his policies anyhow is not good enough" award.

      Delete
  11. Great post Sue, and very funny. I've been out of the loop for a while, and still the same names doing the same things. Makes you think they're not capable of changing their minds.

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    1. Thanks, Mike, and happy new year.

      It's great that you're back blogging. I've given you a shout out in the latest article, and added your new blog to the blogroll.

      Delete
    2. I'm rather excited about Mike's resurfacing - an intelligent voice whose disappearance I sorely missed.

      Oh, and Sou, I forgot to add my thanks - your tireless scrutiny of Teh Stupid (it burns!) has been a wonderful public service. If only circumstances were such that some of the worst Stupid didn't actually come from the conservative public servants in the Australian Liberal and National parties...

      Delete
  12. Is there an award for Best Foreign Language Denier? I'd like to nominate one "collectif des climato-réalistes", a group of french speaking deniers headed by a second zone mathematician and a chemistry professor near retirement. Add a bunch of right wing économists and some aging engineers, including our friend Bardinet, which Sou already debunked. They are very active on the french speaking Web, and even published some books. They organisés à " Contre-COP21" in Paris attendre by some 30 mostly gray people.
    But anyway, a very happy new year from Brussels.

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    1. Sounds good, Raoul. I only occasionally come across deniers from places other than the USA, Canada, the UK, Australia and New Zealand. If I was better at languages ...

      Happy new year to you from Australia.

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    2. You're not missing much... usually a translation of the usual suspects' memes.
      BTW, sorry for the french autocorrect: I meant "They organized a "Contre-COP21 attended by ..."

      Delete
  13. Happy New Year Sou!

    Thanks for all the due diligence and bloody hard work.

    Happy New Year to everyone else too!

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  14. I nomínate myself for writing material like this

    http://21stcenturysocialcritic.blogspot.com.es/2015/08/disastrous-sea-level-rise-threatens.html

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    1. Naaah - not really.

      Do you notice all your (climate) blogs seem to follow the same pattern? A fairly sensible start laying out some facts. And then a conclusion that has no connection to those facts. Just a leap to some ideological prejudice such as it is a government scare story to take money off you. I suggest you vary your style and perhaps introduce some critical thinking into your offerings.

      Delete
    2. Happy new year, Fernando and Jammy Dodger.

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    3. Happy New Year Sou.

      2016 will be interesting.

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    4. Slightly belated happy new year to Sou and her readers.

      2016 interesting? I woke up yesterday to the first frost of my winter. Who will be the first denier to claim no warming since 2015?

      Delete
    5. Happy 2016 to you, too, Catmando.

      A: First there will be arguments that 2015 isn't the hottest year on record, citing NASA or NOAA showing that the probability of it being the hottest year is "only" 72.9% (while the probability of the next hottest year, 2014, being hotter than 2015 is just 9%)

      Delete
  15. No awards yet for Andrew "putting the lies in every Sunday" Bolt for his continual repetition of the 'No Warming since 1998' climate crock complete with dodgy misleading graphics just about every weekend in his TV show - and in his newspaper columns, etc ..when he takes a break from demeaning and slandering our Aussie First Peoples and especially Adam Goodes? Why that racist piece of worm-ridden filth is allowed to constantly misinform the public on national TV, radio and of course the Murdoch media is beyond me.

    PS. Just found your blog Sou via Greg Laden's fb link. Loving it.

    ReplyDelete

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