Sunday, June 23, 2013

Hell Hath no Fury like a Denier Scorned or The Only People who Accept Science are Paid Trolls? WUWT?

Sou | 9:16 AM Go to the first of 16 comments. Add a comment

Tell me your real name, occupation and source of income or I'll ban you!

Anthony Watts and his band of deniers are predictable.  Hell hath no fury like a denier faced with facts. In a recent thread you can see what happens.  Here is a rundown.

A commenter by the name of Jai has been reminding WUWT readers about numbers and science and the dearth of deniers in the world.  Anthony Watts is not about to let any nonsense such as facts get in the way of a good yarn.

Jai gets an avalanche of attention for saying scientists accept AGW

Jai writes a total of nine comments so far by my count.  The first comment of his got all the deniers very worked up.  This is what he wrote in response to an article that three members of the American Meteorological Society resigned because, unlike the society, they reject climate science.
June 21, 2013 at 1:32 pm Only 14,000 more members to go.
Apparently they had a problem with this:
There is unequivocal evidence that Earth’s lower atmosphere, ocean, and land surface are warming; sea level is rising; and snow cover, mountain glaciers, and Arctic sea ice are shrinking. The dominant cause of the warming since the 1950s is human activities.
This happens to be the position of :
And then he listed all the scientific societies and professional associations that have endorsed the fact the humans are warming the earth.  So his post was quite long.  It's a long list.  (His comment wasn't nearly as long as William Astley's, who typically adds a zillion words every time he writes a comment.)

Well, you should have seen the reaction.  In total, jai's name is mentioned 97 times in that thread.  Now isn't that a familiar number!  Only nine of those times are comments from jai himself.

On "hassling" and conspiracy ideation

The onslaught gathered pace fairly quickly after John Tillman wrote about Anthony getting funds from the Heartland Institute.  This is what Anthony replied:
REPLY: Actually Heartland didn’t provide that money, they connected me with a donor who ran a technology company.  The work that was funded to make the NOAA data for the CRN easily viewable (since they NEVER mention this new state of the art network in the monthly state of the climate reports) is still in progress here http://climatereferencenetwork.org- Anthony
Jai then does some conspiracy theorising of his own and asks Anthony not for a name, not for a particular business, just for the industry the donor works in:
June 21, 2013 at 5:19 pm Hey Anthony!  Can you provide the industry that your “technology company” donor works in?

Anthony sez "no, people like you will just hassle those people".  Hassle an entire industry?  I suppose...

Anyway Anthony gives us all a lesson in "hassling". Plus conspiracy theorising. (my bold italics):
REPLY: Why not ask Peter Gleick, I’m sure he has plenty of stolen information yet to be revealed. I’m not going to share since the goal of him and people like you is to hassle those people....
You really need to stop with the regurgitated hate-talking points. All you are succeeding in doing is showing people how little you really know and how biased you are. – Anthony 
...Can we get a FAQs on “Jai Mitchell”? For example, is that your real name or a fake, what NGO’s do you belong to, and who pays you to spread this stuff here? - Anthony
Apparently writing a list of scientific organisations and asking for the industry Anthony's benefactor works in is "hate-talking points".  Crikey!  I'd hate to peer inside Anthony's head any more than I have already.  It's a weird paranoid place.

Anthony deletes the next comment from jai, somewhat mysteriously writing this.
[snip - questions upstream require your attention before going further, since you have been skipping them, I'm going to help you remember - Anthony]
Is this the first time a comment has been deleted because a reader hasn't answered a question they've been asked?  Like I said, jai's name is mentioned 97 times, 86 of those mentions are by others.  So that could be anything up to 86 questions that jai didn't answer.  Whew! that's a lot.

Anyway, Anthony lets jai's next one through, though not without another rejoinder and more conspiracy ideation:
jai says:
June 21, 2013 at 5:44 pm  Anthony, I didn’t ask for specifics, I don’t care who gives you money. It was only in the interest of the topic of discussion. If your donor in some way associated with the fossil fuel industry? That shouldn’t be too revealing to your sponsor.
Have a good weekend!
REPLY: “Technology company” should be plainly evident as NOT being a fossil fuel company.
So no FAQs from you? Like if you are a fake name or employed by an NGO to be here? – Anthony
And jai replies politely, thanking Anthony (apparently easily dropping his conspiracy theory when faced with facts) - while Anthony tries once more to get all jai's personal information:
jai says:
June 21, 2013 at 5:48 pm  No Technology company does not in any way shape or form indicates they are involved with the fossil fuel industry, since you said they are not then that’s enough, thanks for answering my question!
REPLY: so why are you afraid to answer questions put to you? – Anthony

Finally Anthony sums up the questions he's been wanting jai to answer:
June 21, 2013 at 5:53 pm @Jai Mitchell, to be clear the questions are:
1. Is Jai Mitchell a fake name?
2. Are you a member of an NGO that has issues with WUWT?
3. Are you paid by an organization to be commenting on blogs? The reason I ask is that you don’t seem to be employed during the day, and you have a constant stream here.

Not having managed to get the FBI file on jai, Anthony Watts decides jai goes onto the first and probably last rung of the "ban" list:
Anthony Watts says:  June 21, 2013 at 6:01 pm @Caleb Since he is a disruption, and won’t engage, Jai is now on moderation, his comments will always get the attention of a moderator at this point.
"Won't engage" is Anthony's code for "he won't give me all his personal details"

It doesn't take much for WUWT-ers to form a lynch mob behind Anthony Watts

Jai made 9 comments with a total of 97 mentions, Janice Moore made 15 comments from a total of 19 mentions.  Being a denier like Janice doesn't rate highly on WUWT.  Goes to show if you want fame on WUWT you have to write something vaguely sciency and then the anti-science mafia will rise up as one in their paranoia and form a lynch mob, with cries of "troll", "hate" and all the rest.

Brings back memories...

I reckon Anthony must be worried his new moderation policy might wreck his audience demographics.


  1. I can understand why someone would not want to reveal their identity on WUWT. Climate scientists get death threats from people who deny climate change so it would take a fairly hardened soul to reveal their personal particulars to those people.

    I thought Jai was very polite and did not deserve the rudeness and the bullying he received.

  2. Just had a thought. Has Anthony ever revealed his source of funding for his blog? It's becoming more and more common for news sources on the web to reveal any possible conflict of interest in a disclosure statement. I can't see one on WUWT but perhaps I'm looking in the wrong place.

    1. Rachel, Anthony has a "tip" jar and who knows what goes into it. Could be lots or little. He also has advertising I think and that can bring in a lot of revenue if you do it right. Not sure if a political blog like that would make all that much. Nothing like, say, a computer blog or a digital camera blog. Still he gets a lot of traffic so it's probably more than peanuts.

      Whether he has any other sponsors I don't know. He's often writing that he's gallivanting off to somewhere or other and for that he probably gets paid. His blog isn't a full time occupation. He does other stuff too.

      He does seem to be aiming for the nuttier end of town these days. Maybe his blog has grown into one big headache and he's given up on it. That might explain why he is so erratic in the blog articles and why he throws a tantrum every time someone writes anything that bears even the slightest resemblance to actual, real scientific fact.

      On the other hand, he might have always been a paranoid conspiracy theorising style of denialist. I didn't pay his blog much attention until a few months ago :)

  3. Hot Whopper is always a good read. I look at WUWT regularly but the insanity is so dense there that you miss half the really crazy stuff.

    This is the crazy stuff at Climate Etc

    1. Wow. What an effort. Is that your work? It's very good. There are way too many Australians on the list. How did that happen? Too much time on their hands?

      It's given me an idea of how to manage my articles about particular denier fantasies. I'll need to mull it over some more. (People are often looking to find what's wrong with what so and so said. They know it's wrong but may not know quite enough to know why it's wrong.)

      Another idea is to have an annual award for the most fantastical denier yarn. A bit like the Ig Nobels but without science. There could be specialist categories as well as generalist categories and an overall winner. Someone could be doing it already I suppose, but if not I reckon we could rouse up a panel of judges pretty easily :)

    2. I found WHT's guide to the Climate Clowns at JC's an invaluable gazetteer. There are just *so many* of them it's initially quite difficult to sort them all out. I remain indebted to him for his efforts.

      WRT "way too many Australians", Web is (I think) the originator of the Larrikin Hypothesis of antipodean CC denial.

    3. Yes, the larrikin theory is really about being a bully and trying to mock authority and pranking when it suits them. In Canada they call them hosers, and here in the USA we call them rednecks.

      I do understand lots of Australians such as Sou, and the gang at SkS, and Deltoid are not in the least showing these larrikin tendencies. It's likely a set of people tied to some cultural heritage.

      BTW, If anyone tries to make a list for all the clowns at WUWT, it will be an encyclopedic effort.

    4. Wagathon seems a duplicate, 33 and 56

    5. There are way too many Australians on the list. How did that happen? ...

      It's from a lifetime of walking around upside down.

  4. Anthony's blog has the distinction that you could post under your real name and he'd never believe you.

  5. Ok looking down the thread, Watts snips Jai's comment about smoking. Apparently Watts is touchy because his parents died of smoking related illnesses. Very sad, but it doesn't stop him from receiving money from the pro-smoking Heartland Institute. What a hypocrite. If only Watts was honest enough to admit that the anti-science PR tactics that convinced many Americans smoking was safe are still in use in the area of climate science by the same scientists and organisations. Obviously this shocking information is a bit too close to the bone for Anthony.

    1. Wonder how he tolerated a user ID of Smokey for so long.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. Given Watts' enthusiasm for real names and knowing who pays who to spread what where, it's probably worth pointing out that commenter Smokey is also moderator DB Stealey (a fact that dbs is now trying to cover up and, as with everything else, is doing so ineptly: DB Stealey's current gravitar; DB Stealey's original gravitar). Consequently, Smokey was often commenting on and moderating comments on the same article.

      Conflicts of interest is just one more area where Watts is happy to show brazen hypocrisy.

  6. Hi! I am Jai Mitchell and I was the one attacked so vociferously for revealing the obvious sociopathy of WUWT. For your information, while AW stated that he deleted my comments because of a reference to "tobacco" because he was so hurt that his parent's died from smoking. Well, the comment I made regarding tobacco was ancillary and an afterthought of a larger post regarding the strategy of institutional opposition to climate change science and policy.

    The real reason that AW deleted my post was because I posted this defining interview by Amy Goodman at DemocracyNow! That reveals the funding of 'sceptic' communities like WUWT.

    The interview that was deleted is posted here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wrsnCR6TMJw

    1. Thanks, Jai, for filling us in. And for the youtube link.

      (Sorry for the delay. Comments to older articles go to moderation automatically, to help control spam.)


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