Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Anthony Watts goes to AGU Fall Meeting

Sou | 3:59 PM Go to the first of 23 comments. Add a comment

Update: here is the schedule for the live #AGU13 videos. I don't know if they will all be made available on demand, so if there's something you want to see best set your alarm clock :)

The AGU Fall meeting is the biggest annual conference of the American Geophysical Union.  It attracts scientific researchers from all around the world and has a huge program.  This year there are around 22,000 people attending in person.

How to view the AGU Fall Meeting on-demand videos

Those who aren't able to get there can view the sessions on video.  This is the last year the on-demand sessions will be open to all and sundry.  From next year onwards you'll have to be an AGU member, according to their website.  (It costs $US50 a year to join as a full member or, if you don't qualify for membership, as an associate - $US20 if you are a student.  Here is a list of the benefits.)

You don't need to pay anything this year so jump right in!

The  instructions on how to get access to the videos aren't very clear and you have to jump through a few hoops.  This is what you need to do, if you're not already registered.
  1. Go to http://virtualoptions.agu.org/
  2. Scroll down and enter your email address in the box under "Registration"
  3. Check your email and click the hyperlink or copy and paste it into the address bar on your web browser
  4. On the page that appears,  be sure enter promo code AGU13 so you aren't charged $100
  5. On the next page fill in the boxes - you'll need to repeat your email address and come up with a password
  6. When you get to the end you can go back and check your email again, you'll need to view it in HTML, not plain text, to read it.
  7. Click on this link again  http://virtualoptions.agu.org/ and enter the email address and password you provided in step 5.
  8. I think it's here that you have to fill in more details
  9. You'll finally arrive at the page you want, which is full of videos - live streaming and all the sessions held so far.
  10. Set aside several hours for the next several days.
  11. Enjoy and learn :)

WUWT readers paid Anthony Watts to attend the AGU Fall Meeting

Anthony Watts got some money from his readers to go to the AGU Fall Meeting.  He also managed to get a press pass. So far he's written four blog articles:
  1. An article which mainly consisted of a link to the AGU Fall Meeting videos page
  2. An article which mainly consisted of a photo of a link to the AGU Fall Meeting videos page, saying Steve McIntyre was having trouble with figuring out how to access them (nothing new in that)
  3. Two blurry photos about the Ethics Workshop
  4. An article of Anthony's "first impressions" (archived here)

In his "first impressions" article, Anthony didn't report anything of note.  He put up a few blurry snapshots and a couple that weren't framed well but at least they were more or less in focus.

Anthony shows his ignorance of AGU blogs

Two of Anthony's photos were of a poster showing the AGU blogs.  Anthony said he hasn't heard of any of the AGU blogs.  He doesn't get out much.

I'd have thought he would have come across at least Dan Sattersfield's blog, since he is a meteorologist. Dan's Wild Wild Science Journal blog has been around in one space or another for years and is very popular.

Ethics Workshop

Anthony says his first stop was an ethics workshop.  All he said about the content was:
 "It addressed the lack of ethics in several hypothetical situations."  
Very incisive in-depth reporting!

Of course maybe all his "stop" consisted of was opening the door and snapping some pictures.  (He wrote about another WUWT-er who attended, saying the topics weren't what he was interested in.  Not very interesting at all.)

Ironic: flaunting (fair) game photography

One of Anthony's photos was of a woman at her laptop.  Anthony posted the picture to mock a sticker on the laptop which was: "Gas sucks ride a bike".  Anthony thinks it's "ironic" that someone who rides a bike would use a laptop - or something like that :(

In the comments Pippen Kool asked:
"By the way, do you have to get the permission of people when you take pictures and post that way? I’m just wondering."

To which Anthony replied using phrases that I assumed would have disappeared out of even the most sexist mens' vocabulary by 1990 at the latest: "it's all her fault, she was flaunting. She WANTS to be noticed.":
REPLY: This woman was sitting in a commons area in the basement of Moscone south with a bunch of other people using laptops. This is a public place, no permission needed. Besides, she’s flaunting, she WANTS to be noticed. Besides, she’s already being photographed by the camera in the background.- Anthony

zootcadillac, a professional photographer wrote about his understanding of privacy and photography.  To which Anthony responded, using not dissimilar language: "fair game":
REPLY: Moscone Center is the city’s convention center. It is a public facility. Thus, photos of anyone on the public city owned property is fair game. – Anthony

Anthony thought it ironic that someone would have a sticker on a laptop urging people to use less petrol. The wider irony is Anthony posting about an ethics workshop and a close up shot of a woman with comments about "flaunting", "WANTS to be noticed" and "fair game" - all in the one blog article.

Kevin Trenberth is too busy

Another bit of non-reporting that Anthony provides is the fact that he saw Kevin Trenberth in the corridor and Anthony tried to interview him - just like that - out of the blue.  However Dr Trenberth was on his way to another commitment and wouldn't give Anthony Watts the time of day.

All up, Anthony's first blog articles on the AGU event are non-events.

From the WUWT illiterati

I wrote this to let readers know how to access the AGU videos.

But the other reason I'm writing this is not so much to report Anthony's lack of reporting anything of scientific interest or his ignorance of science blogs or his questionable ethics.  It's because even I am surprised by some of the comments at WUWT, and I've been following WUWT fairly closely for almost a year now. If you didn't already know that WUWT is a haven for the scientific illiterati, well the comments below might enlighten you.

Here are some of the more extreme reactions (archived here):

TalentKeyHole Mole says "science = fascism":
December 9, 2013 at 5:32 pm
Nazi extremist-tippers movement hijacked the AGU I’d say. Only difference in the fellow with the “Repent” sign outside and the President on the sign inside is … location. Ha!

EW3 says "science is filth":
December 9, 2013 at 5:33 pm
You are going to use lye soap to feel clean again.

PaulH thinks the NSA is spying on everyone and says:
December 9, 2013 at 5:45 pm
Oh, and note the wall mounted video surveillance camera aimed directly at “gas sucks” lady’s laptop. I wonder which three-letter organization is monitoring her online activities. Come to think of it, there must have been many such cameras scattered throughout the convention centre, eh?
ldd says "scientists are all thieves":
December 9, 2013 at 5:57 pm
You have my admiration Anthony, don’t thing I could stand being in a den of thieves.
dbstealey says that a scientific convention - to a WUWT-er - is a fearsome event that takes enormous courage to venture into.  It is on par with stepping into the lion's den. He's probably got that right from the illiterati viewpoint:
December 9, 2013 at 6:19 pm
Good for Anthony! He wasn’t afraid to step into the lion’s den.
I had to laugh at the pitiful appeal for eyeballs for their blogs [pic #6]. I’ve been following this debate since the 1990′s, and I didn’t recognize a single one of them.
They could add all those blogs together, and even if they doubled and squared their traffic, they wouldn’t reach nearly as many readers as WUWT.
Cut off the attendees’ taxpayer funding, and Anthony & John Whitman might be the only ones there! Those other folks need real jobs.

Janice Moore says:
December 9, 2013 at 7:02 pm
A.F.L.C.I.O. (as if I really care)

zootcadillac in a deluded moment thinks petty-minded anti-science blogger, Anthony Watts must be causing quite a stir among the 22,000 attendees and says (excerpt):
December 9, 2013 at 7:05 pm
Give ‘em hell fella, even your presence must be ruffling feathers and personally I’m all for that.


  1. At least Watt's minions are perspicacious enough to sense that science is their enemy.

  2. "I had to laugh at the pitiful appeal for eyeballs for their blogs [pic #6]. I’ve been following this debate since the 1990′s, and I didn’t recognize a single one of them."

    And therein lies dbstealy's problem. He's been following a fallacious debate that has traction only amongst the ignorati, and hence he will have had no exposure to real scientists.

    Not being recognised by a fool and an ignorant is hardly going to perturb any of the credible members of the AGU. He might as well slap at them with a piece of soggy spagehtti.

    Bernard J.

    1. Watts may be 'at' an AGU meeting, but he isn't really there. He's just trailing around feigning purpose, contributing nothing and observing even less. It's the dullest of self-indulgence, and his clownish audience is pretending their money is well-spent... as usual.

      'dbstealey' is 'following the debate'? He's lying to himself as well.

    2. Although he got a press pass, I doubt anyone would give Anthony a job as a reporter on his form so far.

      All he's done is posted some bad snapshots, mostly of signs scattered about the conference.

      Apart from that short sentence about the Ethics Workshop, he's written nothing about any of the sessions.

      He's since posted a press release about the "coldest spot" discovery, which he didn't need to go to AGU13 to do.

      There are a couple of days to go. Let's see if he can come up with an article that's worth anything. He has a woeful track record when it comes to writing anything himself so I won't hold my breath. His blog relies on guest bloggers and copies of press releases.

    3. I tracked the details on the press pass. KPAY is a Fox affiliate for whom Anthony has been doing the morning and evening weather for several years, apparently.



      Also claims he does some broadcasts on climate and science. Though probably not at the same time.

    4. Unfortunately, dbstealey has cut to the heart of the matter. Each time I attend an international conference, I feel energized by the interaction with, and respect of, my professional colleagues. And yet, during that long homeward flight on the trans-oceanic jumbo, the happiness turns to ashes knowing that dbstealey has never heard of me. Nothing raises my spirit, not even running my name through Google Scholar to view the citations of my work. What reward can there be if I am never cited by dbstealey? The horror, the horror.

    5. This comment has been removed by the author.

    6. dbstealey: "They could add all those blogs together, and even if they doubled and squared their traffic, they wouldn’t reach nearly as many readers as WUWT."

      Because they are not writing for idiots. Or publishing porn.

    7. Lars, your analogy is aposite - WUWT is to climate science as pornography is to a genuine human relationship...

      It satisfies the fantasies of those who can't do it the real way - check.

      It bears no more than a superficial resemblance to the real thing, and is easily discerned as wildly different by anyone with half a brain - check.

      It can lead to a disturbed understanding of the real thing, and to grave harm to all parties affected - check.

      Moustaches - check*.

      Bernard J.

      [*Apologies to all mo-bros of upstanding character, but it was begging... ;-) ]

    8. heh. My first chuckle of the day....and it is afternoon here. Thank you.

    9. Comparing WUWT to pornography is an excessive smear associating upstanding characters with sociopaths. The upstanding characters at Abby Winters should be offended to be compared to WUWT because they've never accused climate scientists of being "no less guilty of genocide" than Radovan Karadžić, and they've never spread misinformation that threatens the future of our civilization.

      The sub-genre featured in the movie "8mm" might be more appropriate, but I'm still trying to repress my memories of watching that movie over a decade later.

  3. Just saw on twitter #AGU13 feed, the Brave Sir Robin :)

    Watts Up With That ‏@wattsupwiththat 5m
    Leaving #AGU13 early today. Unfriendly to press and my hearing impaired situation. Knew it wouldn't be friendly but they are being petty

    Unkindly, I strongly suspect there's more than just hearing impairment

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Somebody recognized the name of his badge?
      But seriously, pretty much every professional conference I've been to, at least in the last 25 years of so, has had interpreters at pretty much every major session. Not so much in the posters or BoF (interest group) meet and greets, but really Tony, get it together.

    3. 'Unfriendly to press' ...'they are being petty'....what utter crap. Unfriendly to Watts [if indeed he was recognised by any there] for the simple reason that he is professionally 'unfriendly' to researchers.

      More of Watts' tiresome narcissism, and pettiness is his signature. It's always projection...

    4. So Watts can't read the posters or the Powerpoint presentations?

      The fact is that the facts and the science aren't friendly to his fantasies. Put simply, there's no chum to be found in the real world of science so he'll just have to leave it to his band of "Dear Playboy..." writers to come up with the guff for his blog.

      Bernard J.

    5. Selective blindness and deafness, along with selective memory loss, are what sustain Watts's fantasy.

  4. If our Anthony is at AGU he's keeping a very low profile. I've been looking out for him and haven't seen him anywhere.

    Most presentations at AGU are highly technical. Since Anthony has no scientific training or expertise it's likely can't make heads or tails of anything he sees here. Thus he's bored, which explains his leaving early.

    Oh, and "unfriendly to press" is absolute unmitigated crap, if you'll pardon the language. AGU goes out of its way to emphasize communications and outreach.

  5. Watts did get some small gratification at Judith Lean's presentation, especially when his ego was stroked.

    And he's managed to piss off David Appell to boot.

    Bernard J.

  6. impressive string of comments on WUTWAT: they're not just angry with the climatologists, they're angry with all the scientists at AGU. goddamn Marxists should stop wasting our taxes. i mean, it's not as if knowing about how the planet we lives on works could have economic benefits or save lives or anything, right? :rolleyes:

    1. Anthony Watts main purpose in life is to provide a cyber-watering hole for the Illiterati, who despise all forms of knowledge and learning, not just climate science. They are:

      n. The opposite of the Illuminati, who take pride in their high level of knowledge and learning. An Illiterati takes pride in the fact that they are ignorant and refuse to learn (adjust their paradigm) often to the severe detriment of those around them.


  7. Hmmm...Anthony Watts' AGU presentation seems to be getting traction on Judith Curry's blog... http://judithcurry.com/2015/12/17/watts-et-al-temperature-station-siting-matters/


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