Thursday, December 26, 2013

Boxing Day Special: NASA faked the moon landing - a Christmas gift from WUWT

Sou | 8:40 AM Go to the first of 20 comments. Add a comment

As a Christmas special, Anthony Watts paraded out Christopher Monckton, who wrote how his religion frowns on lies while proceeding to tell lie after lie after lie.  He spent much of the article wrongly accusing climate and other earth system scientists all around the world of fraud, deception, being on the take, profiteering and being socialists. (And using a verb as an adjective in the process.) Lots of bedazzled WUWTers bowed their heads and chanted homage to the lord (Monckton), while atheistic WUWTers chastised him for bringing religion to WUWT and socialist WUWTers objected to Monckton's suggestion that socialism is immoral. (Archived here - and updated here in case anyone wants to waste time wading through 342 comments just to learn about the myriad weird and illogical non-reasons people come up with to justify their rejection of science. Or to collect more evidence of just how nutty Christopher Monckton is - eg his comments about how species could not have evolved and his illogical comments trying to justify his claims that climate science is a hoax.)

Then Anthony gave us some insight into how the Watts family spends its leisure time.  Anthony wrote an article saying how his children are off playing their favourite game - find the money.  Yes, quite literally.  He hides coins around the house and says it keeps his children amused for hours looking for them. He gave instructions so his readers so they could teach their children how to play 'find the money'.  He even posted a number of snapshots showing how to hide the coins in plain sight. Very educational and intellectually stimulating, eh? (Archived here.)

After that Anthony gave his readers an article about the Apollo 8 moon mission, with what is known as the Genesis or Christmas Eve broadcast - passages from Genesis that were recited by the astronauts, Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, and William Anders. (Archived here - updated archive here.)

Anthony included this historic shot taken by the astronauts as they orbited the moon.  His article contained no swipes at climate scientists or anyone else, which made a nice change.

Credit: NASA

In the comments several people joined in an argument about whether or not the moon rotates.  Some said it did and some said it didn't.

Gerald Kelleher says (excerpt):
December 25, 2013 at 12:30 am
This is one wonderful insane world because when people can force themselves to believe the moon spins when clearly it doesn’t then forget interpreting climate !...
...For goodness sake give the world a magnificent Christmas present this year and deal decisively with this issue because if you can’t get rid of the mindnumbing idea that the moon spins as it orbits the Earth then what can be said of getting rid of the notion that humans can control the Earth’s temperature.

Gareth Phillips says (excerpt):
December 25, 2013 at 2:58 am...The mon does not actually spin or rotate on it’s own axis, it’s can’t if it keeps the same face to the earth....

Here is what we would see over time if the moon wasn't in a synchronous rotation with Earth.  That is, if its speed of rotation was longer or shorter than the time it takes to go around Earth.


There's more from Gerald Kelleher, who is a very confused bloke but doesn't know it.  He not only asserts that all the world except he is wrong and that the moon doesn't rotate, he hasn't grasped the difference between sidereal and solar days.  He says (excerpts - archived here):
December 25, 2013 at 2:09 pm
People who believe that the moon spins are a troubled people and always have been that way despite its persistence as mainstream policy and it comes from the same group who will announce to the world that all the effects within a 24 hour cycle such as daily temperature rises and falls are not due to the rotation of the Earth by virtue that they insist that there are more rotations of the Earth in a year than there are days -
It is a fact not generally known that,owing to the difference between solar and sidereal time,the Earth rotates upon its axis once more often than there are days in the year” NASA /Harvard
It is an intractable problem for the necessary intellectual and interpretative talent is not available at the present time to square away the 24 hour AM/PM system with the Lat/Long system which keeps the Earth turning at a rate of 15 degrees per hour is being obscured by a bunch of cretins who can’t seemingly begin with the fact that when you wake up tomorrow you not only wake up to another day but also another rotation of the planet and they never,ever fall out of step.
All I can see are bluffers with a lot of voodoo thrown in. People think the ‘climate issue’ is the problem but it is much,much bigger than that – it is a uniquely human problem that started a few centuries ago.

In a later comment, Gerald maintains that NASA is wrong on another score or, more properly, a variation of the moon rotating score - writing (excerpt):
...For $17 billion the wider public has an organization that once landed men on the moon yet has the population believes the far side of the moon receives sunlight due to rotation -(December 25, 2013 at 2:57 pm)

We've got a couple of live ones! NASA faked the moon landing...

The comments section housed other gems.  Or perhaps I should refer to them as lumps of coal for Christmas. After all,  WUWT readers don't like to think that climate deniers like them also number people who think that NASA faked the moon landing. You could say it's a Christmas gift from Anthony Watts to Stephan Lewandowsky et al (Archived here.)

Dorian Sabaz says:
December 25, 2013 at 4:21 am
Here is a question for all to consider….
Why are there no photos of the Earth from the Moon surface?
You’d think after thousands of years of looking at the Moon from the Earth, that when finally Man stands on the surface of the Moon the first thing any astronaunt would do, is take a photo of Mother Earth…no?
That photo you show above is only from an automated probe going to the Moon. Where are the photos of the Earth from the Moon?
Afterall, from the surface of the Moon, the Earth would look about four times larger as that of the Moon seen on the Earth. It would be very spectacular, considering there would also be no atmosphere too, just black sky. And much of the time the Sun would be in opposition, that is, the Earth would be between the Moon and the Sun, it would make it perfectly large, clear and beautiful.
Oh…before you point out that single ridiculous photo of the Earth in the back drop of the lunar lander (the only supposedly photo of the Earth), take a very close look at where the Earth is, the Moon does not rotate on its axis with respect to the Earth, thus it is always facing the same way, that photo shows the Earth as if it rising, and that can not be, the Earth must be straight up. Use common sense. The Earth can never rise or set on the Moon.
So where are the photos? After the greatest adventure of Mankind, it seems EVERY SINGLE ASTRONAUNT forgot to take a photo of the Earth FROM THE MOON’S LUNAR SURFACE.
Now isn’t that interesting.

bruce1337 says:
December 25, 2013 at 8:36 am
Just for the record: Here’s another one who doesn’t buy the manned moon landings anymore. While there’s a mountain of inconsistencies to discuss, this is probably neither the time nor place to do it. Just this one teaser: 44 years of technological progress, and modern heavy lift vehicles still don’t come anywhere close to the Saturn V’s capabilities. cAGW isn’t the only grand deception of the TV era…

To finish, here is another comment from WUWT.  Alan Robertson says (my bold italics):
December 25, 2013 at 7:28 am
Hello, Dorian. It’s a pity that you chose to run from the conversation. However, there is a positive aspect resulting from your unfortunate statements.
You are serving as a prime example of how people will not be shaken from their mistaken beliefs, no matter how much truthful information is given to them.
Thank you, Merry Christmas.

That could apply to 98.4% of people who comment at WUWT, although they'd have to leave WUWT if they were interested "truthful information" about climate.".


  1. Earth from the Moon's surface (Apollo 17).

  2. So Tony's poor kids have to spend hours looking for just one dollar's worth of coins?

    1. My reaction was more along the lines of - surely there are more fun and entertaining activities in which children could also learn about the world they live in. It's probably a question of what one values most in the world.

  3. How old are these kids? Unless Tony's talking grandkids (or it took Tony until his fifties to figure out where children come from), sub-teens and teenagers aren't that easily amused, nor that stupid that they couldn't figure out their dad's favourite hiding spots. Easier still, all they have to do is read their dad's blog article and it'll be easy peasy from now on. Then again, maybe this is evidence of recessive genes at work.
    Speaking of recessive genes, non-commenters mentis duo, Gerald Kelleher and Gareth Phillips should use a simple model of the earth-moon system, i.e. an orange and an apple, to convince themselves that moon has to rotate on its axis as it moves around the earth. Then again, maybe they're too busy exposing the horrendous fraud of the heliocentric model of the solar system. Hell, you've only got to look outside every couple of hours to see that the sun is orbiting the earth. P.S. Gerald and Gareth, don't try this at night as the sun won't be there.

    1. They wouldn't believe it because its a model!

    2. I'm a little surprised that Gareth Philips gets this so wrong. Unless it's someone different, he - currently - is maybe the only person I've encountered who's commented both on my blog and on WUWT and with whom it actually seems possible to have a constructive discussion. I hadn't really regarded him as an outright denier, but then I've been wrong before :-)

    3. Hi And&c... (How do you like to be referred to these days? Is there a short version of your new name?)

      Gareth backed off a little after getting a quick lesson in lunar rotation from his son. Not completely - he conceded that "so in theory you can say yes, it rotates".

      See December 25, 2013 at 9:30 am in the archive or F3 his name

      So his attitude on this topic at least, looks to be born of ignorance rather than a stubborn "all the world is wrong except me" approach of Gerald Kelleher. Gareth's general tone isn't inconsistent with being able to have an amicable and maybe even a constructive discussion :)

    4. Sou, people seem to be calling me Anders (or, sometimes, TP). Given all the possible things I could be called, either is fine :-)

      Gareth certainly asked a question about why the surface temperature trends could be so variable even if global warming was ongoing. I explained that such a small fraction of the excess energy is heating the land and atmosphere, with most going into the oceans, the surface temperature trend is very sensitive to small variations in the rate of ocean warming. He responded politely to that. I don't if he believed me or if it changes his views at all, but it was a nice change :-)

  4. Who says that moon landing denial and climate denial run in the same circles?

  5. What a glorious train wreck that thread is. I also note that Watts didn't write "merry christmas" in Japanese at the bottom of the main post, he wrote "katakana" which is the name of a type of Japanese script. And got corrected in Russian in the thread! And then also nobody bothered to stop their conspiracy long enough to sympathize with the snowsnake guy whose wife died a few weeks ago. Now that's community, that is - they were too busy conspiracy theorizing to show even a skerrick of concern. For all we know that's a xmas day cry for help ...

    I counted three moon landing denialists in that thread. In 10 years of fart-arsing around on internet forums, I've never before seen three moon landing denialists in one place (outside of moon landing denial sites, obviously). That plus two people who think the moon doesn't spin - one of whom is quoting Kepler as a source.

    And they wonder why Lewandowsky wanted to write a conspiracy theory paper about them ...

    1. There are lots of people at WUWT trying to set the "NASA faked" and "non-rotating moon" people straight. If only they were as willing to consider what NASA scientists have found when it comes to climate as they are when it comes to space.

      The majority at WUWT are very tolerant of pseudo-science and crazy conspiracy theories but it appears they do have some limits.

    2. I bet they didn't care before the lewandowsky paper... It would be interesting to see how moon landing deniialists were treated before lewandowsky

  6. Just tried to inject a few facts into the 'debate' over at WUWT, here's a copy in case it never fails to appear...

    His Lordship twice cites Legates (Science and Education 2013) as evidence that the concensus is supported by a vanishingly small fraction of papers. However he fails to mention the response published in the same journal which in turn found that the Legates paper contained serious misrepresentations, and it is the number of papers that reject the consensus that is small. A free preprint of the response can be found here

    The IPCC reports are amongst the most reviewed documents on the planet, going through several rounds of public review. Indeed as his Lordship provided his services as an Expert Reviewer it is slightly odd that he now regards the reports as not having been reviewed in 'any accepted or acceptable sense.'.

    Another source given is the work of Dr Rachel Pinker, His Lordship does not see fit to mention that several climate scientists including Dr Pinker have several times disagreed with the interpretation Lord Monckton places on her work, see 'assertion 7' in this document for several examples:

    Several have asked for an example of a model projection being accurate. Here's one, the IPCC AR3 included model runs baselined in 1990. For the 20-year period to 2010 under scenario A2 the prediction was for a rise of 0.35C or 0.175C/decade. Acccording to Woodfortrees the actual trend in HADCRUT4 was exactly that. This because, notwithstanding the recent slowdown in the global surface temperature rise, in the 15 years ending in 2005, the rate of increase was approximately double that predicted. Hence 15-17 years is clearly not long enough to draw conclusions about the long term trend. Nor is it correct to say that no models predict such hiatuses. Here's one with a 21 year plateau...

    1. Phil, I see you got a response direct from Smokey/DBStealey:

      PJ Clarke says:

      For the 20-year period to 2010 under scenario A2 the prediction was for a rise of 0.35C or 0.175C/decade… the 15 years ending in 2005, the rate of increase was approximately double that predicted.

      So? You are simply cherry-picking from 2005. The actual, long term recovery since the LIA has been ≈0.35ยบ/century. And of course, global warming has now stopped. Inconvenient that fact, eh?

      PJ continues:

      15-17 years is clearly not long enough to draw conclusions about the long term trend. Nor is it correct to say that no models predict such hiatuses.

      First off, you cannot label the halt in global warming as a “hiatus” unless global warming resumes. So far, it has not: global warming has stopped. Words matter, PJ, and your spin does not go unnoticed.

      The models are all wrong. All of them.

      And yes, 17 years is long enough to draw conclusions about the trend. You are just moving the goal posts, as you are with your 21 year plateau.

      Face it, PJ, the real world is debunking your runaway global warming belief. It ain’t happening.

      As usual with Smokey, his old sock puppet name belies his nature - lots of heat, no light.

    2. Smokey/David Stealey really is hilarious no? A clearer example of 'projection' would be hard to imagine. Every debating crime he accuses his opponents of he commits himself several-fold.

      I posted up a couple of charts, one from RealClimate, another from IPCC AR5, demonstrating that, despite a recent slowdown, observed temperatures are within the ranges predicted by IPCC models. Naturally these were 'fabricated', where he himself has never found a rigged chart from an obscure denier site that he doesn't like.

      He metaphorically bangs the table demanding more measurements and evidence, the more that is provided, the louder he denies that there is any, 'the models have all failed' he insists, even after been shown the IPCC AR3 projections 1990-2010 that got the trend exactly right, the 100% of scientific societies that endorse the conclusion of AGW are 100% bought and paid-for conspiracists.

      The logical fallacy that temperatures have changed naturally before therefore the current rise must be also natural seems to be his only position, and although he himself will never be satisifed even if the greenhouse effect of every molecule of manmade CO2 was measured to within three decimal places, when challenged to provide a physical cause, or measurements of the 'natural' driver of warming, his response is more wide-eyed, spittle-flecked snark. The null hypothesis - that an object with a known and measured radiative imbalance will tend to warm - cuts no ice at WUWT.

      Laugh out loud funny. Do keep it up Dave, for us in the convinced/concened camp you really are the gift that keeps on giving.

      In that thread, Monckton of Benchley provides good comedy value also...

      The global warming scare, and the behavior of some of the trolls here, shows what can happen when there is no moral belief in the value of truth itself.

      I have had several peer-reviewed papers published.

      In the spirit of the season .... OH NO YOU HAVEN'T.

    3. I got a kick out him jumping from "you've got to look at temperatures since the little ice age" to "yes, 15 years is enough - global warming has stopped". What will he say the next time there's a record hot year? He'll probably go back to the little ice age bounce again.

      If he's still around in 2050 when temps have shot up, there's no more summer Arctic sea ice and maybe Pine Island Glacier is half way to Western Australia, he'll still maintain that it's just a bounce from the little ice age.

    4. Phil Clarke: OH NO YOU HAVEN'T.

      And in the spirit of the Christmas Panto Season, the WUWT audience would recognise this as their cue to respond in chorus: "OH YES HE HAS" (even though he hasn't).

      I do think the Monkfish would make a splendid Widow Twankey though...



  7. Smokey argues from non-existent personal authority, as typical of many dismissives. The business about who has authority is key to the WUWT-plex, because they know they don't have any. Tony's self-reported wounded feelings about being able to wander incognito around AGU is just typical of the psychosis.

  8. I offer this model, originally inspired by events at Skeptical Inquirer(SI) a few years ago.
    They ran a straightforward article by a NASA scientist explaining global warming,
    The Editor, Kendrick Fraser (a good guy) got a bunch of letters from a small, but intense group of subscribers, of the form: from skepticism to hoax, cancel my subscription. He even got one or two from long-time CSI folks who'd debunked many silly real hoaxes.

    1) Many people have as an element of pride "I am a skeptic. I weigh evidence, don't jump to conclusions, make reasoned assessments. I think nonsense is nonsense."

    a) it is much easier to be a skeptic of spoon-bending, spirit mediums, Bigfoot, faked-moon-landings, etc, etc, and it is good for one's ego to read of such and shake one's head at the craziness.

    b) Very few people manage to be equally skeptical in all things, but it was very clear from the SI experience that people could be skeptical in many ways, but when something like AGW came along, totally dismissive of real science for ideological or other reasons. That might be the *only* one where they rejected mainstream science. i.e./, AGW-selective-skeptics.

    3) I don';t watch WUWT very often, but in studying the SalbyStorm there, at NOVA and BISHIOP HILL:
    a) Everybody thinks they are classic skeptics, the reason they are skeptical of AGW.
    b) Many instantly accepted Salby's story and many amplified it with paranoid/conspiracy theories, plus offering great hopes that a certain Viscount could save Salby.
    c) A very, very few considered themselves AGW-skeptics, but commendably warned against jumping too fast onto Salby's story.... although they seemed mostly worried that "their side" would look bad if it turned out not tot be true. One explicitly said:
    "I personally would not give food to Lewandowsky conspiracy petri dish' ... but the cornucopia of sustenance only increased.

    4) Anyway:
    a) Although scientists have more practice at real skepticism than most (good venture capitalists are in the same league in different topics) even great ones can believe weird things. (Prime example: Linus Pauling and Vitamin C, or on the other side, Pauling's hostility to Shechtman's discovery of quasicrystals.)

    b) People don't like "their side" looking bad, so good climate scientists distance themselves from all-out doomsayers, and Watts seems to be unfond of "slayers."

    c) So, I am unsurprised that at least some WUWT folks would try to calm the no-moon-landers. Of course, people with multiple, wrong, and opposite ideas about why AGW is wrong ... might be OK.

    Disclosure: I've written occasional articles for SI. Fortunately. the AGW-selective-skeptics seem to have departed the readership.


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