Thursday, August 1, 2013

Anthony Watts gobs his smack and is back to promoting dragon slayers

Sou | 2:23 AM Go to the first of 13 comments. Add a comment

Anthony Watts was gobsmacked, but it didn't last.  He must be running out of people to write articles for his blog WUWT.  He's got two of the worst featured today - Tim Ball and Donna Laframboise.

Anthony promotes a dragon slayer

Tim Ball is a former geography teacher from Canada who doctors his CV - falsely claiming a Doctorate Doctor of Science when he means a PhD (h/t William Connolley for the correction).  He's also listed as an author of the book: Slaying the Sky Dragon - Death of the Greenhouse Gas Theory.

Now that's odd isn't it.  Just a few hours ago, Anthony Watts was tickled pink that he'd been praised (sort of) in an article in The Guardian for attempting to prove the dragon slayers wrong, yet here he is promoting one of them.  (The slayers don't "believe" in greenhouse gases!)

You may also recognise the name Tim Ball because he attracts libel suits, like here and here.

The arts have no place in science

The other one, Donna, spends her hours trying to argue that the IPCC reports shouldn't contain any references to material from the World Meteorological Organisation, NASA or any agency that publishes information relevant to climate, unless it has also been published in a scientific peer reviewed journal. Essentially she is arguing that WGII: : Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability and WGIII: Mitigation of Climate Change shouldn't be written, since those reports draw heavily on industry data, government policy documents etc.  It doesn't affect WGI: The Science of Climate Change, because most of the references in WGI are from the scientific literature.  Although she does want to exclude any science that pre-dates peer reviewed journals, such as the work of Sir Isaac Newton.

In today's article she seems to be arguing that people who run scientific organisations shouldn't do anything else, like write novels.  I believe she would regard Albert Einstein as particularly deviant since he played the violin, which must be every bit as bad.  Whether it's high art or popular literature, strait-laced Donna and pleb Anthony argue that people who work in science should not indulge.


  1. It is quite funny that LaFramboise cannot spell "MacLaine". Instead we get "Maclane" and "MacLean".

    1. And to think she pretends to be a journalist.

      BTW, I don't know what's wrong with the Guardian today. The mods there deleted a comment of mine that pointed out some of the crankery and pseudoscience on WUWT - and I even toned it down for public consumption.

      I guess the deniers complained. I hear they don't go much for "free speech" :D

    2. I gave up on the Grauniad after their climategate debacle and their outsourcing of the truth to the mob on their forum, for which they never had the decency to apologise or even admit their error. Never forgave them, or Monbiot.

  2. > falsely claiming a Doctorate in Science when he means a PhD

    That's wrong. A PhD *is* a doctorate in science. What he claims is a Doctor in science; that is indeed different.

    1. Ah yes, Thanks, William. You're absolutely right.

      I don't have either one :)

      (Yet - maybe one day.)

  3. I haven't run across Laframboise's name for a while. She must be preparing for the next IPCC report, hoping to get on TV or something so she can spew her nonsense around in the name of "balance." I'll wager that she never distinguishes between WGI and WGII when she attacks the IPCC for its use of grey literature.

    -- Dennis

    1. You may have noticed, Dennis, that she also attacks anyone under 30 years of age who does science. I believe she has again a particular distrust of people like Louis Pasteur, Lawrence Bragg, Enrico Fermi, Alan Turing, Marie Curie - indeed probably any scientist who achieved anything before they turned 50 years of age, which is practically every scientist.

    2. Oi, you forgot Einstein, who was 26 in his annus mirabilis!


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  5. He must be running out of people to write articles for his blog WUWT.

    I received a mail today from the WUWT blog post notifier that said there was a new post on Arctic sea ice linking to this analysis: Is shrinking sea ice a bad thing?

    The analysis is a bit naive (showing a correlation between March mean sea ice extent and US/Global GDP), but I wouldn't call it outright fake skeptic. Maybe Watts agrees, because the article can't be found on WUWT as of this moment.

    And that's too bad, because there aren't any sea ice updates whatsoever on WUWT this year. Just when a recovery seems to be on the way...

    I wonder when Watts will notice/decide to jump in. It takes a lot of guts for fake skeptics nowadays to say something misinformative about Arctic sea ice.

    1. Neven, agree. I'm surprised Anthony hasn't jumped on the uptick of the past couple of days. Maybe he hasn't noticed or maybe he is worried that it will drop suddenly again and he'll be accused of jumping the gun in the fashion of "StevenGoddard".

  6. That would be the Tim Ball who launched a $250K lawsuit for defamation, after his qualifications to speak on GW were questioned, then bailed out when it became clear that his opponents' counter-claim that he was 'viewed as a paid promoter of the agenda of the oil and gas industry rather than as a practicing scientist' was no more or less than fair comment?
    Laframboise's purile crowdsourced audit of the IPCC report to show it's conclusions were not based on peer-reviewed science was farcical. It took me a moment on Google Scholar to find that a book chapter they'd categorised as not reviewed was in fact a verbatim reprint of a journal article that had been cited 150 times. Then they chucked all the references to other IPCC reports in the non-reviewed bucket, even though these are some of the most reviewed documents on the planet, and as you noticed ... this
    Newton, I., 1675: Letter to Robert Hooke, February 5, 1675. In: Andrews, R., 1993: The Columbia Dictionary of Quotations
    went in the non-reveiwed pile. Was this key to the IPCC conclusions? D’Ya think?


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