Anthony Watts is a creep. Yes, you knew that. Today there's another example. He wrote about how he's been stalking climate scientists and their families (archived here). It's another low from Anthony Watts, posting aerial shots of what he said was the roof of the homes of some scientists in the USA. He was pawing through the Internet and Google Earth looking to find climate scientists who didn't have solar panels on their roofs. Anthony wrote:
From the “arch denier Watts leads the way” department (see my photos below) I thought it would be interesting to see how many climate scientists actually have solar power on their home, so I did an aerial survey to find out. The results don’t speak well for them. Don’t worry, I did not disclose anyone’s address – AnthonyThe first thing that struck me was how sleazy that was. The second was how offensive it is to judge a person's understanding of climate change by whether they had solar panels or not. The third thing that I noticed was that most of the photos showed houses surrounded by trees. Trees have a habit of blocking the sun and don't mix well with solar panels. Another thing I noticed was that he got some houses wrong - one he discovered and at least one he didn't.
Anthony doesn't approve of governments offering incentives to install solar, even though he has admitted he himself got a government rebate via PG&E. Nor does he understand that installations should be sited well. He wrote about Dr James Hansen having the solar panels on the roof of the barn not the roof of the house, if it was his house. The house was surrounded by trees, the barn was not. It's not uncommon for people to put solar panels on the roof of the garage or other building nearby if the house is subject to shade. Anthony implied that this wasn't good enough.
No, scientists do not have to stop living their lives, and neither do you
His article reminded me of an article by Michael Mann on Facebook. He pays for his electricity to be provided by windpower, not solar. But that's not the point. He wrote this when he saw a comment implying that climate scientists should stop leading normal lives if they are to be believed about climate. The implication was that if scientists use modern transport to go to Antarctica or their university or wherever to study climate change, then they are hypocrites. Professor Mann wrote:
I actually find this sort of argument rather offensive. Nobody--at least not I, certainly--is telling anyone they have to stop living their lives, that they have to stop traveling etc. That is a straw-man argument promoted by propagandists like Bjorn Lomborg. By parroting their specious claims you are facilitating their attacks.Anthony posted a photo of what he claimed was Michael Mann's house - except it wasn't!
I have been quite consistent and clear in arguing that what we need to do is put a price on the emission of carbon and incentivize, dramatically, the shift away from fossil fuel burning to renewable energy. We can do this in a way that is not in general disruptive of a reasonable lifestyle. If you ask, am I in my own life doing what I can do to decrease my carbon footprint, then the answer is yes--I get my electricity from wind power (I pay extra for that but am happy to), I drive a hybrid vehicle, I recycle, reuse, and reduce energy and resource usage wherever possible. Personal responsibility plays a role, but any real solution is going to require policy change at the highest level, including a price on carbon. I have pretty much devoted by life to trying to make that happen. So let's stop with the false dichotomies, specious arguments and the crypto-ad homs, and focus on the problem at hand. Thanks.
Anthony Watts plays hero and persecuted victim
Deniers would be delighted if climate scientists gave up their careers and went to live in caves, surviving on cold stone soup. They want scientists to stop observing how rapidly climate change is occurring and reporting what's causing it.
Anthony boasted about how put up some solar panels a couple of years ago, and played both hero and persecuted victim in the process, in the style of conspiracy theorists:
But, I’m the evil one, according to many climate scientists, anonymous coward bloggers, and activists.I remember coming across his articles from back when he installed his panels. He tried to make money out of his readers. He also didn't know that the rebate he got from PG&E was from the government - it was part of the government's renewables incentive program!
Scientists use email therefore climate science is a hoax
This intrusion into the personal lives of scientists from Anthony Watts is more than distasteful, more than offensive, it's downright creepy. He makes a habit of it. In another article today (archived here), he is rubbing his grubby hands together at the prospect of wrapping them around up to sixteen years of personal emails belonging to two eminent climate scientists, Professors Malcolm Hughes and Jonathan Overpeck from the University of Arizona.
With deniers, the content of emails doesn't matter. They never find anything in them that shows wrong-doing or that climate science is a hoax. With conspiracy theorists, all that's needed to prove their "climate hoax" conspiracy is the existence of emails. Using email is proof that climate science is a hoax, in the mind of science deniers. When they can't find anything wrong with the emails, that just proves to the utter nutter deniers that the conspiracy is deeper and darker than ever and extends even further. It's not even evident in private emails! (Climate science deniers are nutty as a fruit cake and are, by definition, conspiracy theorists.)
A Cautionary Postscript
The horrific assassination of British MP Jo Cox should act as a caution for Anthony Watts and his personal vendetta against scientists, whose only "crime" is doing scientific research. He should be very wary of doing or writing anything that would lead one of his nutters to do something like that. I doubt he'll stop.
From the WUWT comments
Anthony's audience hasn't changed. He still targets the right wing authoritarian followers who believe that climate science is a hoax and an ice age cometh, urged on by the disinformers who know that's not true, but who don't want to mitigate global warming.
June 16, 2016 at 3:30 pm
A good market opportunity for sellers of dummy solar panels to make it look like you’re willing to subscribe to the narrative, even though you know solar panels are a waste of money.
bradpeterson commented on Anthony leaving in road names in his photos:
June 16, 2016 at 3:37 pm
I would suggest blurring out road names. You identify cities, and many satellite shots also show adjacent road names. With both of those it’s rather easy to obtain an address.
Anthony Watts explained how easy it is for people of ill-intent to stalk the private homes of climate scientists and their families:
June 16, 2016 at 4:24 pm
I missed a couple adjacent road names, fixed now and images updated. Thanks. However, anybody can figure out these addresses with less than 5 minutes of searching on Google and other services. That’s how I did it. No secret haxor skilz needed.
William R is envious of successful professionals at the top of their field:
June 16, 2016 at 4:09 pm
Those poorly funded public servant socialist-leaning academics sure do have nice houses. Such men of the people. I wonder where they got all that money from. Green living at it’s be$t.
Mick In The Hills thinks that living near the coast, as 85% of Australians do, proves that climate science is a hoax.
June 16, 2016 at 4:13 pm
Good work Anthony.
A while back I thought of outing alarmist activists and politicians with beachfront properties here in Australia.
Maybe they know something they’re not telling the punters?
Gunga Din thinks that the (wrong) photo of the (wrong) house of Michael Mann's family tells him all he needs to know. He's wrong:
June 16, 2016 at 4:38 pm
Hypocrisy is another word that may come into play. It’s commonly understood as “Do as I say, not as I do.” But some of who have been around for awhile know that it isn’t that simple. If we’re stuck in a pit ourselves, it’s not hypocrisy to tell someone else not to jump in with us. That’s passing on wisdom learned “the hard way”.
Hypocrisy is pretending to be something you are not, one who pretends he’s not in a pit.
Maybe if Mann had spent less of other people’s money on law suits he could have spent more of other people’s money on solar panels. Just like Hansen.
These people are stuck in a money pit that they demand others fill.
For what? Ego? Power?
Will Nelson summed up the view of science deniers, except for his "open flame":
June 16, 2016 at 4:41 pm
Actually, if they really practiced what they preached they’d have to be living in mud huts and cooking with an open flame.
commieBob wrote how solar photovoltaics are the way to save money, which is what science deniers care about:
June 16, 2016 at 4:44 pm
Back in the 70s I did a fair bit of work on pv solar. It saved my employer a bucket of bucks by reducing fuel resupply trips to remote locations. The payback was less than a year.
I could have engineered a system that would never need resupply but it would never have paid back its cost. Inspection and maintenance trips were necessary anyway. The extra cost for fuel resupply was the difference between renting a Beechcraft and renting a DC-3.
PV can really pay off if it is part of an engineered system. Even so, it doesn’t become part of the equation until most of the easy energy conservation steps have been taken first.
expat is doing his part to end fossil fuel use, despite being a science denier:
June 16, 2016 at 4:54 pm
I’m a huge skeptic but use only solar on my 20 acres to power everything but the hot water heater and stove which are propane. Don’t even have grid power to the property. Run the house and barn/workshop just fine with it too. A well and septic take care of the other utilities so with the garden and critters I’m self contained. Still not a greenie though.
The rest of the comments are wishful thoughts of science deniers when they get to read personal emails (archived here). They'll be sorely disappointed and will have to come up with a conspiracy theory to explain the lack of evidence of a conspiracy:
coaldust can't wait to see the hidden truth and doesn't know the truth isn't hidden:
June 16, 2016 at 4:49 pmMany deniers, like Taylor Pohlman, think that getting personal emails despite their being no evidence of wrong-doing is okay, while getting documents when there is some evidence of wrong-doing (in the case of ExxonMobil) is not okay:
When the light flicks on
Shining in dark spaces
We see hidden truth
June 16, 2016 at 5:58 pm
They aren’t subject to FOIA, but are to subpoena – which can be much worse. However, in both cases you generally have to be specific – in this (FOIA) case, they were. In the Exxon case, it was a 40 year fishing expedition, with no evidence of a crime a priori. That’s not allowed in either situation.
Duncan seems to think that it's emails, not scientific research on climate change or evidence of dangerous warming, that is driving policy:
June 16, 2016 at 5:06 pm
I work in the private sector, I understand I would not want my emails made public. There is always a little fudge factor to get through the daily grind which could be construed as dismissive but definitely not fraud or endangerment. Would I go to court over them and spend many thousands to prevent releasing them, absolutely not. When it is public money, I guess the purse is limitless. As well, my emails are not driving policy of governments to spend billions of tax payer money.
nigelf has already come up with a back-up conspiracy theory in the style of recursive fury:
June 16, 2016 at 5:18 pm
Something tells me that hard drives are crashing all over the place right now and we’ll see next to nothing.
asybot is one of several people who wants to know where Christopher Monckton's case is at. Does anyone know what he or she is talking about?
June 16, 2016 at 5:40 pm
It is a big step on the road to truth, no matter where it will lead us. I think some one else asked about where Moncton’s case is at . Can he elaborate ( anybody) without jeopardizing his case?
Just Some Guy thinks that the media is in on the "climate hoax" conspiracy:
June 16, 2016 at 5:44 pm
Looking forward to reading them. Although if there are any big smoking guns related to the Hockey Schtick, I doubt the media will cover it.
Michael Jankowski decides that resisting making private emails public is proof that climate science is a hoax.
June 16, 2016 at 7:11 pm
Hard to believe they didn’t have something to hide considering their legal battle to keep them hidden in response to a FOIA request.
GeologyJim doesn't know that there are all sorts of reasons for some government records not being made public. There are lots of exemptions to FOIA. Would he object to his personal records held by the government being plastered all over the Internet? Would he object to commercial-in-confidence records being plastered all over the news? I'd like to see him get emails to and from Lamar Smith.
June 16, 2016 at 6:37 pm
This is an excellent decision, because it drives home the point that work done with taxpayer support is completely subject to FOIA. If you take public money, you have to divulge all your communications and results.
Next up: Public access to computer code written/used by tax-funded researchers
In high school math class, the maxim was “Show all your work”
John Harmsworth tosses in an irrelevant thought, explaining how despite global temperatures rising at an alarming rate, an ice age is comething:
June 16, 2016 at 8:45 pm
Except given the limited amount of time we have left using fossil fuels and the even more limited residency time of atmospheric CO2, it’s pretty iffy that we will dodge the next glaciation without putting Oprah- sized mirrors in space. Also, CO2 has next to nothing to do with temps.
John talks of stench and fear, both in abundance at WUWT:
June 16, 2016 at 8:46 pm
Ah. That strange smell is the stench of fear in the once
sacred halls of truth in academia. Charlatans beware;
“what goes around comes around” bites hard indeed.
References and further reading
Michael Mann on Facebook, how he is not telling anyone they have to stop living their lives (and how he powers his home with wind power).
From the HotWhopper archives
- Curses! It's a conspiracy! The Fury is Back Thrice Over - July 2015
- A short note on stolen emails - March 2013
- Double standards at WUWT. When is a witch hunt a witch hunt? - February 2015
- Yucky tasting medicine: You can't do that - only us - sez CEI - April 2016
- CEI and WUWT attack the messengers, and the strange role of Judith Curry and Peter Webster - May 2016