Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Perennially Puzzled Bob Tisdale writes a fan letter to George Clooney and Lewis Black

Sou | 5:08 AM Go to the first of 5 comments. Add a comment

Today Perennially Puzzled Bob Tisdale is being "very serious" Bob Tisdale.  He has written an open letter at WUWT to Lewis Black and George Clooney.

Yes, that's right.  Bob was so gratified with the response that he got from his "Open Letter to the Honorable John Kerry U.S. Secretary of State"  - archived here, that he's trying his trick again.  (We're still awaiting for Bob to publish the reply he got from John Kerry, but I'm sure Secretary of State Kerry would have been most appreciative of all he learnt from Bob.  Bob is undoubtedly too humble to share his gushing praise.)

I know who George Clooney is but I hadn't come across Lewis Black before.  Thanks to Bob, I've discovered he's an American comedian.  Bob wants to teach them both about climate pseudo-science.  He reckons they've learnt enough about real science and he want to persuade them to join him and other members of the Scientific Illiterati.

Bob didn't begin too well.  He wrote (archived here):
At the Britannia Awards, in a response to what must’ve been a question about the recent typhoon that stuck the Philippines, George, you said in part:
If you have 99 percent of doctors who tell you ‘you are sick’ and 1 percent that says ‘you’re fine,’ you probably want to hang out with, check it up with the 99. You know what I mean?
Let me ask: Would you see a podiatrist or a proctologist for a sore throat?
Hilarious, isn't he - that crafty old Bob.

I have a feeling that if they got that far, Lewis and George would have at that point consigned the letter to the bin saying something like - "another crank letter".

Bob Tisdale gets stuck into Lewis Black for "appealing to authority".  I guess Bob doesn't like authority.  Guess which authority Lewis Black appealed to?  Was it Anthony Watts? No.  Was it Bob Tisdale? No.  It was scientists!  Lewis said:
Interviewer: Well, now what's your thoughts on...I know you must have some thoughts on climate change.
Lewis Black: Well, it's real. Well, what's amazing is that people just kind of say it's not real. Well, you know, when most of the scientists of the world and, the Pentagon but really, the scientists say. Most scientists tell you it's real. So guess then - you know what it is, then it's real.
There's a group of people who think scientists are really like ...they treat them as if it's a coven of witches. "Oh, oh, they made this thing up".  
They didn't make it up.
You're watching like a chunk of ..you know, a polar ice cap, a chunk - it's called defrosting. "Have you never looked in the fridge, Jackass?"....
It's like being on the Titanic.  
So yeah there's climate change." 

Yes, it sounds better when Lewis Black says it than when I write it :)

I doubt either George or Lewis would bother with the rest of Bob's letter.  However, given readers of HW are gluttons for punishment of the science denying kind, I'll comment on a couple more bits. Bob wrote:
The climate science community, under the direction of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), has only been tasked with determining whether manmade factors, primarily carbon dioxide, could be responsible for the recent bout of global warming, and what the future might bring if the real world responds to projected increases in manmade greenhouse gases in ways that are similar to climate models. They were not asked to determine if naturally caused, sunlight-fueled processes could have caused the global warming over the past 30 years, or to determine the contribution of those natural factors in the future—thus all of the scrambling by climate scientists who are now trying to explain the hiatus in global warming. 

Now Bob has never read an IPCC report from the look of it.  If he ever does he'll blush with embarrassment no doubt, recalling those lines he tapped on his keyboard (being the honest upright citizen that he thinks he is).  Even if Bob didn't bother with the words in the report, like the section on page TS-21 about natural forcings, that starts with this sentence:
Solar and volcanic forcings are the two dominant natural contributors to global climate change during the industrial era.
...and just looked at the pretty pictures, he'd have to see figures like the one below showing radiative forcing from natural sources of volcanoes, the sun and greenhouse gases.  (Greenhouse gases are "natural".  They behave as they always have.  What's different now is that we've added humungous amounts of them to the air so there is more to act naturally!):

Source:  IPCC AR5 WG1 - Box TS.5, Figure 1 (page TS-103)

It's no wonder that, because he avoids science and despite being "very serious" and perennially puzzled, Bob thinks the world warms by oceans that warm by magic.  Bob is utterly convinced of this.  He writes emphatically:
I agree that global surface temperatures have warmed, but satellite-enhanced sea surface temperature data and ocean heat content data both indicate the oceans warmed via naturally occurring, sunlight-fueled, ocean atmosphere processes—not via manmade greenhouse gases. 
I mean, look at the chart above.  Just take another look.  You can click on it to see it more clearly.  The middle squiggly line is the change in incoming solar irradiance.  That's the "sunlight" that's Bob thinks is fueling the oceans.  Now tell me - how on earth did the sunlight suddenly start getting so much more potent in recent years?  Why is it still getting hotter even though the sun isn't sending any more energy?

Of course - slaps forehead - there is one item below that solar irradiance that's shooting up.  It's greenhouse gases!

Bob goes on and on about how the scientists don't have a clue about science and he, Bob Tisdale, writer of tedious cut and paste posts at WUWT, has all the answers.  Unfortunately Bob has to rely on those ignorant scientists to supply him with data so he can torture it into charts of derivatives of derivatives subtracted from derivates to pretend that the oceans are heating up by magic.  If only Bob could sail the seas and take its temperature.  He might find that all the scientists are wrong again and there is really no such thing as an ENSO :(.

About half way through his long rambling article, Bob writes this:
George, your response to Typhoon Haiyan prompted this memo. 
And proceeds to lecture George on the number of cyclones that made landfall in the north west Pacific.

Now here is what George Clooney was reported to have said in the article to which Bob Tisdale linked:
 The Academy Award winner added that while there is no way to know if global warming was responsible for the typhoon, denying the existence of climate change is "ridiculous."
Yep, that's right.  George could have been a climate scientist with his cautious wording.  Bob has built a strawman in typical denier fashion.

Bob's article is long and boring and tedious and full of links to his blog and his books and all his other WUWT articles and jumps from one of his pet "theories" to another though it's all really the same magic ocean heating "theory" and he rambles on in a long and boring and tedious fashion (did I say his article was very long...and boring...and tedious?).

In the comments, Bob links to another article about ENSO, complaining that his comment wasn't taken seriously or something.  Now that article is very good.  It's short and to the point and has pretty pictures.  It's written by Bill Chameides, Dean of the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University.

Bill Chameides is a real scientist, unlike Bob Tisdale.  And unlike Bob Tisdale, Bill Chameides is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a fellow of the American Geophysical Union, a recipient of the American Geophysical Union’s MacElwane Award, and is included in ISIHighlyCited, a compendium of “the most highly influential scientists and scholars worldwide,” comprising less than one-half of one percent of all publishing researchers.

Bob Tisdale could learn a thing or two from Bill Chameides - if he chose to.  Not least of which would be how to write clearly and concisely.

Bob might not be the best pseudo-scientist in the world, but he isn't heartless.  It's just that he has invested so much time and effort in creating his delusions that I cannot imagine him ever letting go of them.  He's very proud of his following, though I'd be very surprised if anyone had a clue of what he goes on about.  He finishes his letter to George and Lewis with this glimpse into the goodness of his heart:
In closing, I want to thank you again for your efforts in disaster relief and other charities. It’s unfortunate that there aren’t more proactive organizations that help developing nations create infrastructures, warning systems, evacuation plans, temporary storm shelters, etc., so that people around the globe are capable of moving out of harm’s way. Cleaning up the Earth a little bit is not going to stop tropical cyclones or the death toll associated with them. Moving people away from the coasts during cyclones definitely helps, though. 

Despite his front in lecturing George Clooney and Lewis Black, Bob comes across as, well, maybe genuine, not sycophantic or obsequious like Wondering Willis.

From the WUWT comments

I overdid it last time, so I'll just post a couple of comments.  Oh, okay - three comments (as archived here).

GAT says we've reached the pinnacle:
November 26, 2013 at 7:18 am
Calling this downturn in temps a hiatus or pause lends credibility to the Alarmist GW cause. Can we all start referring to this as a “top” in the cycle or an inflection point?

Jaye Bass doesn't know anything about science and says, guilelessly:
November 26, 2013 at 8:28 am
So the IPCC is assuming the truth of the thing they are trying to prove?

I do enjoy reading comments from Pippen Kool who, this time, says:
November 26, 2013 at 8:33 am
Bob Tisdale: “Would you see a podiatrist or a proctologist for a sore throat?
Depends on if they can make their point in less that 3000 words and 10 figures…


  1. Considering where Bob keeps putting his foot, and what comes out of his mouth, his podiatrist and proctologist must be very busy men .

  2. Regarding GAT's comment about a top of cycle vs or an inflection point, s/he doesn't seem to realise that in the context of a "hiatus" (which isn't) in warming a point of inflection would be the point at which the concavity of the curve changes. In other words GAT's offering opposite options, and given the scientific evidence I'm happy (in mathematical* terms) to accept the latter - that warming is about to accelerate again compared with the recent past.

    [*If it was couched in terms of humanity and personal preference though I would be very reluctant to accept this inevitable but scientific conclusion...]

    Bernard J.

  3. There have been announcements that we've already entered a "long-term cooling trend" since at least 2007, so GAT's suggestion is a bit late. Deniers are themselves retreating to "hiatus" and "pause" because that there cooling keeps failing to materialise, and they have a horrible suspicion that quite the opposite is going to happen very soon. On the plus side, some of them may not live to see it confirmed.

  4. Trouble is, in Bob's analogy he's a VetMFHom (http://www.bahvs.com/)

    Quiet Waters

    1. I can't imagine why this caught my eye :
      “Homeopathy for Mania and Psychosis – Treating the Dark Side”


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