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Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Inside the Matrix: Deniers @wattsupwiththat are still debating evolution!

Sou | 5:09 PM Go to the first of 4 comments. Add a comment

This will be short and weird. Today Anthony Watts posted an article at WUWT touting red pills and blue pills or red teams and blue teams or something (archived here). He's still waiting and hoping for someone from his "side" to disprove 200 years of science.  Goodness knows, they've had enough time and opportunity to do so, but haven't because they can't.

I mean, 200 years is long enough, surely, for someone to prove that we have physics, chemistry, biology and geology all wrong. That our technology can't possible work because it's based on fake science.

For context, this is what is happening to global surface temperature. Last year the global average surface temperature was more than 1.2 C above the 1881 to 1910 mean, and it was the third time in a row that we'd experienced a "hottest year on record":

Figure 1 | Annual global mean surface temperature. Anomaly from the 1881-1910 mean. Data source: GISS NASA.

Into the matrix

If you want to see the shambles that deniers and disinformers have got themselves into, this WUWT thread is exemplary. Anthony's fans are all stark staring mad, honestly. The thread has more than 300 comments.

Sometimes it veered off into debates about creationism vs evolution. That's how wacky science deniers are. And at least one person wanted to pit an "intelligent design" advocate against climate scientists, maybe (mistakenly) thinking he'd advocate against the greenhouse effect.

One of the things you'll notice is that deniers are ever hopeful, wanting someone else to disprove science. None of them question why their "someone else" hasn't done so yet, despite all their claims that they could turn all science upside down and inside out. Pat Frank wants engineers to look at climate models. Well, why hasn't he got them to do so? In fact, why doesn't he go one further and get together with a bunch of engineers and build a climate model based on engineering rather than physics? (Now that would be an interesting challenge - to build a climate model without any physics!)
June 6, 2017 at 5:49 pm
Climate models are engineering models, not scientific models. Pruit needs to get two or three validation and verification teams of hard-minded engineers to look at those models.
When it comes to climate models, physical scientists have shown themselves incapable of distinguishing accuracy from precision. Blue team, red team, if they’re scientists both teams will be negligent. Their negligence has been going on for 30 years. It won’t suddenly improve.
Engineers pay strict attention, because accuracy means things don’t fail. Let engineering teams get hold of the models for a little V&V, and the models are toast. 

Then there are the people who are unable or unwilling to read scientific papers, like Science or Fiction (what a name!), who wrote how it "simply isn't good enough":
June 6, 2017 at 12:59 pm
Let us only hope that EPA avoids the sloppy and unprecise citation practice adopted by IPCC and rather document the results in a way that makes them independently verifiable.

It simply isn´t good enough to follow the practice of IPCC and just point to an entire paper without identifying the relevant statements, figure, or table within that paper.
Ha ha. In among all the comments and WUWT articles that make ridiculous claims with not a skerrick of evidence, without any link to a scientific paper let alone the page and paragraph number of a statement in a scientific paper. Steven Mosher retorted:
June 6, 2017 at 3:02 pm
The IPCC is a SUMMARY of the science, not a recapitulation.
I’ve never had any problem finding the support in the papers.
But then I actually read the chapters that lie within my experience.
And I actually read the papers in the bibliography.
IF you want your windows washed and diaper changed, then try a different field.
Or sign up as a reviewer and make suggestions to IMPROVE the document

Then Sheri added, probably as sarcasm, unaware that yes, where they exist, the IPCC reports do include different perspectives on the science, including contradictory findings:
June 6, 2017 at 5:33 pm
That summary includes opposing views, of course, since science looks at all viewpoints and objectively presents all such viewpoints.

The thread was mostly comments from "climate hoax" conspiracy theorists. For example, JohninRedding not only thinks climate science is the biggest hoax the world has ever seen (involving almost all of humanity conning deniers at WUWT), but has a conspiracy theory all ready for what would happen if it were shown to be a hoax!
June 6, 2017 at 5:13 pm
You would hope something like this could do some good. However, I am afraid the Blue team would be so wedded to their agenda that they could not find common ground. And worse yet, if the Blue team did admit that the science is not there and the risk is not great, the media, politicians, academia and your average liberal would ignore the results. Their whole global governance agenda is built on controlling the world’s economy out of fear of a climatic apocalypse. 

Rud Istvan, who's a favourite of Judith Curry, is another "climate hoax" conspiracy theorist, claiming that science is a religion. That's the sort of silly throwaway comment disinformers resort to when all else fails:
June 6, 2017 at 1:53 pm
SoF, warmunism is a religion. WE principles work for me. 

I'll finish the examples with a comment from Steven Mosher, who seems to be one of the few person interested (or allowed) to take on the batshit crazies in this particular thread. As he points out, Scott Pruitt is in trouble. He won't be able assemble a red team, or not one with any coherent, consistent scientific position on climate science that says what he wants.
June 6, 2017 at 3:24 pm
The blue team work is already done.
The issue is there is No red team, and those who might join it are dying or too old to finish any meaningful work

What next for the disinformation machine?

This WUWT article was sandwiched between more than a dozen articles about Trump pulling out of the Paris agreement. That event has Anthony Watts and probably many disinformation organisations at a loss on where to go next. Now that the worst President in the history of the United States has given them what they wanted, where do they go from here?

Is there any point to continuing to mock science? To what end? The fossil fuel shills have what they want. Their job is done, as much as it can be.

The coal sector will continue to decline and the renewables sector will continue to grow. Electric vehicles will continue to replace smog-generators. On the other hand, more streams will get polluted in the USA as Trump and Pruitt have mandated, however that won't happen in every state.

Many people in the USA and the rest of the world will continue to work to mitigate climate change. Meanwhile the US is at greater risk. I mean it's the start of the hurricane season and there is as yet no-one appointed to head up FEMA or NOAA.

If Anthony Watts can't come up with anything other than "climate science is a hoax", then I don't know how his blog will fare. There are plenty of conspiracy nutters around so I'm thinking that's all he has left. Expect some more ice age cometh articles any day now :)

Update: Whoa! That didn't take long did it!
[Added by Sou less than an hour after posting this article. 5:54 pm AEST]


  1. There has already been a Red Team.

    The Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project began in 2010, including climate sceptics Richard Muller and Judith Curry and partly funded by the Koch brothers.It was intended as an independent check on the existing temperature datasets.

    Despite great expectations from the denier community BEST showed that the existing datasets accurately reflected global warming.

    1. Good point, but all that happened is that the deniers got out the blue paint and slapped it all over Muller et al. Oh, and Judith Curry did a runner so she didn't get covered in paint too.

  2. Creating a Red Team is the opposite of the scientific method. Normally you gather evidence and come to a conclusion. One becomes member of the Red Team by pledging allegiance to an outcome and then, I guess, search for evidence that supports the outcome and ignore the evidence that does not.

    I would love to see them try. If you make it concrete and they have to explain how to select the politically correct Red Team persons and make sure no normal scientists get in and how they want to make sure that the Red Teams stays politically correct. This exercise can only be hilarious, but I admit this is easier for me to say not having to live in America.

    More in my recent post: Red Cheeks Team

  3. I still haven't got used to who's red and who's blue in the USA. Even talking about red and blue teams indicates the political motivation behind this. As if GOP is red therefore anti-science, and blue team is democrat and are the ones that do the science. Mind-bogglingly wrong of course. At least one would hope so.

    Why I get mixed up is because I think of red as left wing and blue as conservative.

    All the conservative politicians here wear the same shiny pale blue ties so we can tell that they are ... politicians (and of conservative persuasion).

    Red makes me think of Chairman Mao.


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