Saturday, August 31, 2013

Denier Weirdness: Science deniers just can't wait for disasters

Sou | 11:27 AM Go to the first of 2 comments. Add a comment

On the one hand science deniers at WUWT protest what they term "alarmism", in other words the warnings about what is likely to happen as global warming continues.  On the other hand they get it all wrong and jump on things that either aren't predicted to happen or about which science is less certain.

For example, while the heat events and heavy rains expected with global warming are already happening and increasing, science deniers either ignore it or pretend it isn't real.  Instead they build strawmen and talk about tornadoes and hurricanes (tropical cyclones to most of the world, by far the majority of science deniers live in the USA).  The science isn't all in on whether these will increase or decrease.  Some science suggests that tropical cyclones will increase over time, other studies suggest that they won't, but maybe they will get more intense or larger cyclones will increase.  Tornadoes is another question altogether - to do with wind shear etc.

Today, Anthony Watts complains (archived here) that his neighbours on the east coast of the USA haven't been hit with hurricanes this year - the implied response he wants from his fans is that global warming isn't happening or if it is it's a good thing.  Tropical storms are still hurting other people.  But they don't live in the USA so they don't count.

Anthony avoids writing about the long drying out of his own neck of the woods, which is predicted by global warming.  Or the current fire raging in Yosemite and the increase in wildfires in America's west over time.

Why does he avoid what is happening and build strawmen?  Why does he point at squirrels while ignoring wildfires in his own backyard? Why does he continue to promote silly denialist rubbish? Because he doesn't like paying tax - or that's the reason he gives anyway.  It's a strange reason for building strawmen and denying science, but there you go.


  1. Why do Tony and his acolytes do what they do? My hypothesis is that they are doing what Bolta (aka Andrew Bolt)does in his newspaper column. They are debating the point regardless of the science or, in Andy's case, social, economic and political reality, for that matter. In one of his defamation trials, Bolt revealed to the judge that he included 'facts' that supported his contentions while excluding those 'facts' that contradicted his opinion pieces. Why? Because, broadly speaking, it wasn't his job to inform his readers of those excluded facts.
    Getting back to Tony, he suffers from confirmation bias syndrome as a result of concentrating on 'winning the debate' which, for all purposes, is virtually non-existent in climate science circles. We should be thankful that he doesn't quote from Mein Kampf or the Bible which is a time honoured way of cheap point scoring in student debates. After all, who has the time in a competition debate to verify that such a quote is accurate or even exists. Maybe Tony et al do quote from the Good Book (the Bible not Mein Kampf) because I've long ago given up the opportunity cost, timewise, of actually reading their poorly researched, slanted misinformation (shades of creationism propaganda).

  2. Any understanding of Watts has to start from the fact that he is very stupid. Anybody clever enough to simulate such stupidity would have found something better to do than be Watts. It's either genuine stupidity or performance art on a grand scale. I plump for the former.

    He is an attention-seeker, that's obvious. He was a small-time TV weather-presenter who felt good about himself - which speaks volumes. Inevitable victim of ageism, he was Jonesing for exposure and, as luck would have it, found it. He'll never let the illusion of celebrity go again. (If I had to bet, I'd want 2-1 on there being a doting mother in the background.) All the same, $250 for a lecture? He used to get more for opening supermarkets.

    He'd heard of the UHI, so when this AGW thing came up he jumped on it as the explanation. No data, no good reason to think the professionals had missed it, it was his idea and that was good enough. He still clings to it - the proof is in the paper he's always about to publish.

    I think WUWT became the tabloid denier site of choice because the man himself is such an empty suit. It's clear now, though, that the real players have left Watts swinging in the wind and even he might be realising it. Lindzen's getting pretty weird as well, and Pielke Snr lost it years ago. Spencer more or less defines going emeritus, and Christy isn't looking much better. The strain of failed denial - not just AGW but every environmental problem, and in some cases evolution - for a lifetime has to take a toll. I like to think so anyway.


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