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Thursday, June 1, 2017

Sides - to fry or not to fry, or covfefe? WUWT is a haven of climate science denial

Sou | 9:49 AM Go to the first of 55 comments. Add a comment
Anthony Watts is running another poll on his blog wattsupwiththat, to see how many of his readers accept science and want to mitigate global warming. He's done this before. A few years ago he found that 98.1% of his readers declared themselves as "skeptics", meaning they are conspiracy theorising climate science deniers. Today he wants to test his readership again, to make sure he's still got what it takes among the dimwit dismissives. He wrote about "sides":
Since WUWT is read by both sides of the issue, I thought I’d run a poll to ask, so here goes.
The "sides of the issue" are those who want the world to fry vs those who don't. It is those who accept science vs those who are anti-science. Anthony's target market is the latter. They are the ones who send him money to take an overseas jaunt, only to turn tail and run at seminars. They are the ones he can fool into paying him heaps to join his fake "society" - that never eventuated. They are the ones that even after all his broken promises, still support him.

In today's poll, Anthony Watts is asking WUWT readers if they "believe the U.S. should remain in the Paris Climate Agreement". What he found was that 93.5% of his readers want the world to heat up faster. 93.5% of WUWT readers want the world destroyed by climate change. That's a drop from a previous poll held four and a half years ago at WUWT.

Below is a comparison of the results from 2012 and 2017. The one on the left was taken today. The one on the right was taken in September 2012.



Now you might think that means that WUWT is attracting more people who accept climate science. That may not be the case. Looking at the comments over the past few weeks and months, WUWT has shifted even more to the wacky end of climate science denial.

There's more.

WUWT readers suffer from the mental illness now known as "covfefe", which the White House press secretary, Sean Spicer, admits has affected not just Donald Trump, but several other people in the White House. Here are two examples of people who've demonstrated this:

MikeM is at least aware of one of his big mistakes, not others:
May 31, 2017 at 12:51 pm
Crap. I misread the question and voted yes when I meant to vote no…. :S

ClimateOtter thinks it's dyslexic fingers, not covfefe. A sign she (or he) could be wrong.
May 31, 2017 at 2:32 pm
My dyslexic finger hit ‘yes.’
Griffy boy, do us a favor and vote ‘no’ so mine cancels out. 

M Courtney is a wacky conspiracy theorist who rejects the last 200 years of science, but he knows a captive and biased audience when he sees it, so there's (faint) hope for him yet.
May 31, 2017 at 3:16 pm
I would have voted No but I won’t because:
A) I’m not American and so have no right to tell you how to act.
B) This is not a random sample. This is the same methodology as Lewandowsky used when he did his survey of sceptics on SkS.
This is wrong.

M Courtney is a WUWT fan from way back. In recent months, WUWT readership has lurched further into craziness.

BTW - here is the covfefe tweet that had the world covfefe-ing. It was up for hours until Donald Trump took it down this morning:



Update - abuse of the Rose Garden


The latest is an announcement from Donald Trump's personal Twitter feed. He's going to grandstand in the Rose Garden. Does this mean that he'll take questions from the press? Does this provide another opportunity for a show of support for climate change mitigation? Will he announce he is shifting his allegiance away from Putin and Duterte to Syria and Nicaragua? Does this mean he'll support visitors from Syria but not Saudi Arabia? These and other questions may be answered on Thursday (US time).





55 comments:

numerobis said...

My schadenfreude is fired up at the US withdrawal from Paris. The EU and China have immediately announced they're leaving the US in the dust where it wants to be.

I wonder how far the US will fall behind in my lifetime.

Millicent said...

A while back the numpties at WUWT were saying - with no evidence at all - that Pope Francis had been installed by the KGB/FSB.

Now we have a climate change denier in the White House and there is plenty of evidence that the KGB/FSB helped to install him.

Bernard J. said...

Numerobis, however far the USA falls Australia will be hot on its heels, as long as we keep voting in the rabid radical conservatives of the Liberal [sic, gag...] and National parties. Today Liberal MP Craig Kelly posted that he had 'bubbly" at the ready to celebrate Trump's withdrawal of the US from the Paris agreement:

https://twitter.com/workmanalice/status/870076424861790211/photo/1

and elsewhere he said that Australia should follow suit:

http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/turnbull-backbench-questions-paris-climate-deal-commitment-if-trump-pulls-out-20170601-gwi5vl.html

If someone here has the ear of Craig Kelly, I have a challenge for him. I can introduce him to dozens of climate scientists and ecologists who will explain the science to him, and carefully unpick his denialist claims. All he needs to do is to contact me via this thread and I'll arrange the meetings. I can also rustle up some radio and TV media to record the conversations for posterity.

I'm sure that he will be keen to meet the experts, so that he can explain to them why they're all wrong and he is right...

Sou said...

I'd forgotten about that, Millicent. That was Smokey/DBS/David Boehm etc. I haven't seen him at WUWT lately. Maybe he's decided to accept science. (Fat chance.)

jrkrideau said...

@ Bernard J.

Perhaps Turnbull is a trifle more intelligent than Kelly?

Just out of interest what are Australia's trade figures with the EU & China? vs the USA? I am not sure joining the ranks of pariahs would be good for business.

Given the charge-ahead attitude the EU & China are showing towards dealing with global warming, dropping out of the Paris Accord might not be good for business.

Bernard J. said...

jrkrideau, indeed - although many of us are constantly wondering...

With a little luck he and a small cadre of semi-sensible LNP pollies will restrain the worst of the RWNJ excesses, although after the last few years one can't help but fret a little.

We have a lot of trade with both China and the EU. China is a market for our mining and agriculture commodities, and the EU our ag. I firmly believe that anyone leaving the Paris agreement should have heavy carbon tariffs leveed on their exports, and I suspect that in the not-too-distant future that will happen to any country that doesn't play nicely in trying to keep the planet habitable, so hopefully that thought is buzzing around the minds of the rational conservatives. It's certainly front and centre for many of our businesses - hopefully they'll advocate vociferously enough that the coal money shouts less loudly than the future profits in other industries.

Victor Venema said...

The comparison with Nicaragua is not fair. They did not sign the Paris Agreement because it is much too weak. They aim to reach 90% renewable energy in 2020.

I don't know about Syria, but I could imagine they are just distracted. America is isolated as long as mitigation sceptic Trump tramples like a baby.

Joshua said...

=={ Since WUWT is read by both sides of the issue, I thought I’d run a poll to ask, so here goes. }==

Hilarious that Anthony seems to believe that his poll would be representative of anything other than a collection of opinions expressed by people allied by their climate "skepticism." Rather an amusing window into the depth of his analysis.

But I am not sold your comparison of the two polls, Sou, given that they were asking for responses on very different questions. For example, it is at least theoretically possible to be a "skeptic" who thinks Trump shouldn't pull out of the Paris accord, or (albeit, less likely) to be a "realist" who thinks the U. S. should pull out of the accord. Also, I'm not sure either poll would stand up as a measure of the % of WUWT readers who are "skeptics," or as a measure of the % who "want the world to heat up faster."

Sou said...

Joshua, all it takes to know that WUWT fans are almost all fake sceptics is to visit the website. The polls put some numbers on it, for those who question their own judgement.

What you are saying is that there are may be a few fake sceptics at WUWT who want the US to keep to the Paris agreement. I agree. That's suggested by the numbers, given that almost all readers of WUWT are fake sceptics. It's also indicated in the comments there.

I don't find evidence of your suggestion that of the few WUWT readers who accept science, any want the US to pull out of the Paris agreement. There's nothing in the comments to indicate that, nor anywhere else on the internet.

While some fake sceptics refuse to accept the world is warming, they are few. Many fake sceptics at WUWT have stated that they want the world to warm, a lot. Usually giving the reason that where they live it gets cold, at least in winter time.

I'm curious to know what you think the polls indicate, if not that most people at WUWT are fake skeptics - with many if not most of the regulars being professional or amateur disinformers.

metzomagic said...

Well, at least you can't say he never promised us a rose garden.

One wonders whether RWNJs/libertarians are familiar with concepts like 'externalities' and 'tragedy of the commons'. These are simple concepts, with plenty of tragic examples throughout human history that illustrate what happens when such things are ignored.

Sorry, those are rhetorical questions. I find myself asking them a lot lately.

Joshua said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joshua said...

Sou -

=={ The polls put some numbers on it, for those who question their own judgement. }==


It seems to me that online polls generally are not useful for measuring what they are purportedly measuring. IMost likely, only a relatively small % of the readers respond, and the respondents don't likely comprise a representative sample. And they certainly aren't representative of the more general population (as Anthony amusingly seems to believe).

The numbers at WUWT measure something, but I don't know they measure anything meaningful, or that they can be meaningfully interpreted. I would reject pretty much any conclusions that are drawn from online polling, outside of something like: "These results tell us something very vague and/or limited about those people who chose to respond."

It seems self-evident that the vast, vast majority of commenters at WUWT are "skeptics" (with the use of quotes, my version is in a sense, the equivalent of your "fake skeptic"). It's not entirely clear that's true of the readership more generally, but that's certainly a reasonably safe bet also.

I don't agree that it is only a "few" who reject that the world is warming (I think that is a "skeptic" propaganda line that isn't born out by the evidence I observe - along a few different tracks - and I'm surprised to see that you believe that to be the case). As I/m sure you'e seen, WUWT comments are filled with arguments such as that no warming is taking place, or we can't tell if warming is taking place, or the measurements that tell us that the warming is taking place are fraudulent, or that the world is cooling, etc. It becomes politically convenient for "skeptics" to say that only a few among them doubt that the world is warming or that there really is a GHE, but their arguments are very often not logically coherent with either belief.

And while the group of people who "want" the world to warm faster is well represented in the WUWT commentariat, I don't know how widespread that position is. I tend to think it's pretty small. My observation is that there are a lot who make arguments that current warming has a net benefit, but that isn't quite the same as wanting warming to be faster. My sense is that a lot of people who argue that the net effect of warming is beneficial do so only as a way to defend against climate change mitigation - not as a coherent conceptualization that logically would lead to them "wanting" more warming.

We've touched on this before, but I also doubt that (most) are disinformers. I think that most are ideologues who shape their views on climate change to fit with their political world view. As such, I don't think that for most, their goal is to misniform, but to confirm their sense of identity.

Joshua said...

...borne out...

Joshua said...

=={ One wonders whether RWNJs/libertarians are familiar with concepts like 'externalities' and 'tragedy of the commons'. }==

I have yet to see an example where online libertarian types take the concept of externalities seriousli... well, except when they're talking about externalities that fit with their ideology - such as positive externalities from burning fossil fuels to get energy.

Victor Venema said...

Washington post on the unfair treatment of Nicaragua.

Eric Worrall said...

Paris agreement bye bye

Victor Venema said...

Realistically: America bye bye, if it does not get rid of his WUWT president soon.

Eric Worrall, do you already know whether the world is cooling or warming?

Millicent said...

Dear me. Eric's doing an impression of a five year old and he doesn't even realise it. Too many metallic particles in the brain perhaps?

Nigel Franks said...

The USA: just another country whose products and services I will never knowingly buy.

Sou said...

Point taken, Victor. You saw this tweet from @ananavarro

Nicaraguan businessman friend: "A group of us will ask Ortega to sign Paris Accord. Being in same group w/Trump is so damn embarrassing.

Sou said...

>>"It seems to me that online polls generally are not useful for measuring what they are purportedly measuring."

Yes, exactly. In this case they are measuring the ideological inclinations of readers at WUWT. (Same with television phone-in polls.) They show that almost all Anthony's readers are fake sceptics, which is what the HW article is all about.

PS Don't get too hung up on the snark articles here, Joshua. While I don't understand where you're coming from (is it a defense of deniers?), there are probably better, more serious articles where you can argue whatever points you are trying to make. E.g. this one about wilful ignorance.

jgnfld said...

As we all know a drunk has to hit rock bottom before they will change. The US and possibly Australia too (?) appear to be on that course.

Trump's unique skill is that he make take the US to rock bottom more quickly and if so that might end up being a good thing over the long haul.

jgnfld said...

"may take"

Anonymous said...

I tweeted this point last night - the USA is the only country in the world to deliberately and consciously turn its back on the Paris agreement and its undertaking to keep human-caused global warming below 2°C.

Think about that for a moment...

Actually, think about that for hours, days, weeks, months, and years.

Bernard J.

Bernard J. said...

On last night's 'Last Word' with Lawrence O'Donnell, Dan Rather grouped the US's withdrawal from the Paris agreement together with Nicaragua and Syria. It's disappointing to see this confabulation because Nicaragua is the exact diametric opposite of the USA in the Paris context: Nicaragua wanted greater punishments for countries that did not do their share to mitigate their emissions and thus to keep warming below 2°C, and refused to be involved in Paris because they didn't want to support what they saw as an inadequate response.

And of course Syria couldn't even get any representatives out of the country in order to participate in the first place.

This message needs to be repeated again and again so that everyone in the State realises just how isolated is that single, lone country in terms of eschewing the rest of the world's agreement to try to assure a future for humans and for much other life on Earth.

Bernard J.

Bojangles said...

Well said Eric.
When looking back on June 1st 2017 in about 10 years, we will see that the withdrawal of the USA was the first stage of the crumbling down of the "house of cards" of the Climate Scam.

Sou said...

"bye bye" warrants a "Well said"? Bojangles has a low bar for wellness.

She or he could be right about the crumbling of the climate scam although I'd put the date at the 8 November 2016. (Donald Trump the laughing stock of the world did strengthen opposition to science denial on 1 June, but he became US President in November last year.) I wonder what event Bojangles would see as marking the crumbling of the tobacco scam, which was perpetuated by the same people as those who've been running the climate scam?

Millicent said...

" in about 10 years, we will see that the withdrawal of the USA was the first stage of the crumbling down"

I am never entirely sure when satire is intended. Or have Bojangles mental faculties degraded so far that he can no longer remember how Climategate was supposed to be that very same thing?

Bojangles said...

Hi Sou,
You forgot to mention the "fossil fuel lobby"...
What is it that makes it so difficult for you and other Milennial type figures to accept the political reality of today as it is? The Paris Agreement is dead. Period. Let us look for other and better ways to produce abundant and reliable energy in the future, that do not harm the environment. Forget about windmills and solar panels for mass energy production. Their energy density is simply to low.

Harold said...

Mostly the energy you get from burning fossil fuels is not an externality because that is what you paid for when you bought the fuel. It is impossible for those in the deniosphere to understand the difference between economic and social costs and benefits.

Sou said...

That's a very mixed up comment, Bojangles. Political reality? Read my latest article for my take on political reality.

The Paris agreement is not going away. One out of 193 country's Presidents is saying he's opting out. (I was going to call him a leader, but that's not true. He's no leader.) That leaves the rest of the world still in it, plus all the businesses and states in the USA that have said they will continue to support it.

What 'better ways' would you suggest that don't include the abundance of cheap energy available from wind and solar?

And me a "Milennial [sic] type figure"? You're confusing me with my great nieces and nephews.

Sou said...

The very use of the word "social" causes deniers' brains to fry. They can't accept that they must share the world with others of their species. The rest of us wonder at the diversity of our species.

Bojangles said...

You may not be a milennial, but you surely behave like one. Always complaining and not prepared to accept any different point of view. I say it once more Sou: the Paris Agreement is dead (just try to do some deductive thinking). Cheer up. The future looks bright. Don't be so sou(r).

Sou said...

>>You may not be a milennial, but you surely behave like one.

Why, thank you. That made my day.

Millicent said...

Hey Bojangles, what happened to Climategate? When did that stop being the event that was "the first stage of the crumbling down of the Climate Scam" in the deluded minds of climate change deniers?

Harry Twinotter said...

Trade sanctions against the United States are a possibility. They are stuck with Trump for 3 and a half more years, I wonder how much more damage he can do.

Harry Twinotter said...

Yes the Australian ABC is guilty of a misrepresentation by comparing the US to Nicaraguan and Syria. As much as I like the ABC they are still a media organisation prone to populist and sensational writing, you have to keep an eye on them.

Harry Twinotter said...

A driveby post.

"Their energy density is simply to low."

Bojangles, seriously? You have not heard of storage technologies? And you are still cherry-picking anyway - each gigawatt hour of energy produced by wind or solar is one less gigawatt hour produced by burning fossil fuels. Fossil fuel and nuclear can still be used to guarantee baseload when necessary.

Harry Twinotter said...

We will see how the climate change denier conspiracy theorists will react when the shoe is on the other foot.

The idea is Authoritarian Followers will cut their authority figure a lot of slack, in contrast to the viciousness they treat their bogeyman.

Bojangles said...

I think you have never heard of the principle of cost effectiveness, in other words feasible power generation. The energy density of wind and solar are so low, that it costs a fortune to produce reliable energy. But hey, you don't care about costs. As a good socialist you expect that someone else will pay the bill. Unfortunately, especially the poor people of the western world are the victims here.

Jammy Dodger said...

"I think you have never heard of ..."

Oh come on Bojangles. This is not the school playground. Is this just a weak attempt at trolling? Most of the discussion about renewables is their cost effectiveness and everyone here is aware of that.

I might as well say you have never heard of the tragedy of the commons and how those costs should be included in fossil fuels.

Oh, wait ...

jgnfld said...

How is in NOT "socialism" to externalize costs for harm and have everybody pay by having to deal with the immediate (e.g., health) and long term (e.g., pollution, climate) consequences of unfettered coal and other fossil fuel use. You seem fine with fossil fuel companies extracting that expense of the production cycle from each individual at no cost to themselves. Some socialism is good, I guess.

As JD says above, the tragedy of the commons is real and the expenses involved are real.

Harry Twinotter said...

Bojangles.

"As a good socialist you expect that someone else will pay the bill."

And there you have it - out with the insults. It did not take long with this one. Sad - really sad.

Sou said...

It's not so much an insult as an ideological declaration, diluted with pseudo-concern for "the poor".

He doesn't care if his "poor" go to an early grave with black lung disease, COPD, and other respiratory ailments. He would be delighted if they never got the chance to profit from clean energy.

What's the bet he'd never thought about "the poor" till disinformers told him it was a good line to add.

His throwaway line suggests he most certainly doesn't "believe in" "the poor" getting any share of the wealth they generate for other people. Deniers are exploiters through and through.

Bojangles said...

Oh Sou, it is so predictable. I make one remark on socialism in a comment and you respond by trying to disqualify me personally by making at least 5 insults, false convictions and suggestive lines of thought. It is so funny to see how you milennial type people behave.

Nevertheless let me explain a bit. You seem so much to be concerned about the health of coal miners (are they among your friends?), but why don’t you care at all about the people starving from cold nowadays? Of course, labor conditions for miners should be improved as much as possible, but this process is already underway. No, the much greater group of people that suffer nowadays are the poor people in the western world. Taking away affordable and reliable energy from them is the real crime. Here in Spain we suffered a harsh and very cold winter (as in many places throughout the world). At the same time the energy prices increased dramatically, because wind and solar could not provide the necessary energy, and the government assessed that in Spain alone on average 4 people a day (in total about 400) have died from could throughout this winter, because they were cut of from electricity. I know about this because I live among the people that suffer this madness.

So try to open your eyes and also look at the negative side of your so called renewable energy future. Given the current technologies (wind and solar) there is no future (use your calculator and you will find out). It is a blessing for mankind that the USA pulled the plug from the current Paris Climate scam. Let us focus at a much better treaty with attention on other forms of power generation that can really solve the energy problem in the future beyond 2040.

Marco said...

It's funny you mention Spain, considering it is one of very few countries in the world where the general public has to pay extra for producing electricity at home. Also quite funny is that one reason prices soared in the winter of 2017 was...export to France, which has closed several of its nuclear plants for maintenance. It also was hit by less rain and thus significantly less hydropower, and to add injury to insult, fossil fuel prices increased, too.

In other words, relying on fossil fuels would not have decreased the bill...

Millicent said...

" in Spain alone on average 4 people a day (in total about 400) have died from could throughout this winter"

Air pollution in Spain blamed for 30,000 deaths each year

Do please link to where you have expressed your concern for the huge toll on Spanish lives that the Oil and Motor lobby are responsible for.

Otherwise we will all have to dismiss what you write as hypocritical gob shite.

Sou said...

A fossil fuel shill, ignoring the damage from fossil fuel pollution and global warming. To add to the other responses, in the summer of 2003, the horrific heat wave killed more than 3000 people in Spain, and 70,000 plus across all of Europe. That's what Bojangles is pushing for. What's it worth to him to avoid it? (Let them eat air-conditioning, I imagine. But what about when the temperatures rise to 50C plus? What use is a non-working air conditioner?)

That's leaving aside increasing problems of fire as the world heats up - to life, agriculture and forestry.

It's also leaving aside the fact that renewable alternatives are rapidly becoming cheaper than coal, even without pricing in the external costs of coal burning. Here's a more nuanced view of Spain's economy, including the place of fossil fuels.

Jammy Dodger said...

Hypocritical self-serving cherry-picked gob shite to be precise.

Sou said...

BTW I could find no reference to winter deaths from cold in Spain, let alone linked to burning or not burning coal, apart from the increased deaths from pollution that Millicent posted. Perhaps Bojangles will oblige - though he needs to be mindful of the comment policy (no links to denier and climate conspiracy sites).

Bojangles said...

I feel no urge to reply to the enormous amount of BS facts that I read in the postings above. I have another "fact" for you. Last year 905.000 people died in Spain as a result of being alive.
Sou, if you still think that current renewables generate power at lower cost than fossil fuels, then I feel sorry for you, because there must be either some loose wires in your head or you don't know how to handle a calculator. The laws of physics simply do not allow current renewables to be efficient.

Sou said...

Too much like hard work, Bojangles? Or is it that you can't deny what's been said?

As for efficiency - read the article and use Google. Lower cost is not measured in efficiency of conversion, it's measured in cost per unit electricity produced, e.g. cost per MWh. The costs of renewables keep falling. The cost of coal keeps rising by comparison.

Millicent said...

"I feel no urge to reply to the enormous amount of BS facts that I read"

How very post truth of you. Yeah that's it in a nut shell: reality doesn't work for you so you have your very own alternative facts. Its odd that we can routinely link to our "BS facts" whereas you don't link to your "alternative facts".

I love the way that the laws of physics have now been invoked. When one thinks of all the costs involved in extracting coal, transporting it to a power plant, removing and dumping the combustion products, cleaning up the environment, providing health care for those made ill by all the above, then what the heck is our delusional friend gibbering on about?

Bernard J. said...

"The laws of physics simply do not allow c̶u̶r̶r̶e̶n̶t̶ ̶r̶e̶n̶e̶w̶a̶b̶l̶e̶s̶ fossil fuels to be e̶f̶f̶i̶c̶i̶e̶n̶t̶ sustainable."

FIFY.

Sou said...

I don't think deniers understand the meaning of sustainable. Many of them hear it and launch into Agenda21 conspiracies and fears they'll be sent to FEMA concentration camps.

To help them, it means fossil fuels cannot last forever. It also means that burning them is tipping the nature out of kilter, so it cannot be continued for that reason. (We are part of and completely dependent on the natural world, so if nature is tipped out of balance, so are we.)