Saturday, April 26, 2014

There's a 63.57% consensus at WUWT!

Sou | 3:19 AM Go to the first of 6 comments. Add a comment

Nope, I'm not talking about the cause of global warming. That's popularly known as the 97% consensus. Almost 100% of climate scientists would agree that humans are responsible for virtually all of the global warming since the 1950s - and that's supported by real hard physical evidence.

What I'm talking about is the consensus that fake sceptics should form a fake sceptic society (archived here, latest update here). There is only 63% consensus that they should. Okay, let be precise about this.  Out of every 100 people who voted at WUWT on the issue:
  • 63.57 agree there should be a fake sceptic society
  • 24.18 disagreed
  • 12.25 couldn't make up their mind one way or another.

Data source: WUWT

In all, 1,717 people were willing to sign on.  Not earth-shattering, given the millions and millions of readers Anthony claims, but you really only need three people to form an organisation.

Bill McKibben is adopted by fake sceptics as a role model

Anthony's having a second shot (I wrote about his first effort here, but everyone got bored and got talking about thermometers instead:D).  He's appealing to his followers to imitate Bill McKibben and get organised.  He wrote in admiration:
Could just as easily be used to describe crazy Bill McKibben. Most of us think he’s nuts, and he most likely is. The difference is he got out of his “armchairs living in their own deluded and secluded cloud cuckoo land” and formed 350.org. Now look at we have, an organization that has successfully lobbied for blocking the Keystone pipeline by affecting the office of presidency. Do you think weepy Bill could do that himself without having organized first?

Perhaps that's a clue as to what Anthony will be naming his new organisation:

Get unionised brothers and sisters!

As well as adopting Bill McKibben as their role model, the supporters are keen to get organised like a labour union. Which all seems very strange given that most fake sceptics are driven by an ideology that is vociferously opposed to trade unions, socialism and anything that threatens their "freedom" to do and say whatever they want whenever they want. Here's an example of the rhetoric from an article Anthony has copied to get his followers on side (my bold italics):
There’s nicer ways of saying it but if want to be a force to be reckoned with, you have to get all ganged up. You seriously want to take on that exploitive employer, get unionised brothers and sisters. You want political change, form a lobby group. You don’t want that wind farm monstrosity blighting your life, start a local campaigning group. You want equal civil rights irrespective of the colour of your ass, start marching en masse. You want women to have the vote, get those bustles out of the drawing rooms and onto the streets as a mob waving placards and make the powers that be listen to you.

No, let's follow Marxist guerilla's, some fake sceptics say

Those opposed are also using odd language, saying that they prefer the tactics of guerilla warfare. Dirk H isn't the only one who's expressed this viewpoint:
I voted against this organisational idea as I think that only mass subversion stands a chance. We are most effective as a million guerrilas and saboteurs of the brainwashing system. Orthogonal warfare. Little bucks, much bang.

Who'll be crowned the Chief Fake Sceptic?

Going by the comments, it's premature to appoint anyone to key posts. On the other hand, it pays to plan ahead. Does Anthony want to be CEO or President? Going by the comments, not too many people would vote for him.  So if they do form a fake sceptic society, who will play a role?
  • President and/or Chair - since it will probably be a US-centric society a peer of the realm, even a potty peer, should lead the fake sceptics - (Christopher Monckton)
  • Vice chair (or chair of vice?) or vice president
  • CEO - if Anthony Watts gets pipped at the post for President, he'll make sure he gets this job
  • Vice President of Public Relations and Media Communication (Marc Morano, if he didn't think it beneath his dignity)
  • Treasurer (who can they trust?)
  • Chief Finance Officer
  • Head of Operations
  • Head of Security (Smokey the sockpuppet <- must read to the last balloon!)
  • Chief Scientist (Kenji, Anthony's dog who is a fully paid up member of UCS)
  • Chief Conspiracy Theorist (Tim Ball)
  • Chaplain (Rev Richard S Courtney of the Cornwall Alliance)
  • And someone to make the coffee - maybe Janice Moore, who seems to be happy to take a subservient role going by her adulatory comments. And no "real man" would take on that job.

Update: William Connolley has blogged about this too, at Stoat.

From the WUWT comments

Some people are very aware that it won't be possible to present a united front on most issues. The only thing that unites them is their opposition to science. Some are asking for details. Others are saying "just get on with it". Some are in favour of forming an organisation. Some are against. Here are some of the comments and suggestions from WUWT.

Oatley seems to be supportive of Anthony Watts taking a leading role and rising above the lowly status he currently has, and says:
April 25, 2014 at 3:18 am
Doing so, centers the position…think planting a flag, around which support can gather. Once organized, your voice, Anthony can rise above the field.

pokerguy is willing to change his mind provided it doesn't cost too much and if there's the occasional booze-up, and says:
April 25, 2014 at 3:22 am
I voted “no,” but I’m open to changing my mind. Certainly if there were such an organization I’d join it, even if I remained unsure as to the wisdom of the enterprise. But tell us more about it, What in your view would our tactics be? Would there be dues? Would there be an administrative committee running the thing? Meetings? (I vote Vegas for the first) 

Patrick has lost heart and thinks it's all too late, and says:
April 25, 2014 at 3:24 am
I voted unsure in the poll, but didn’t comment in the thread reason being is it is far too late to stop the alarmism, green enegry drive and carbon taxes. Too many vested interests. It’s in and it’s here to stay. I don’t see Abbott abolishing the carbon tax in Australia. 

Peter Martin (@JunkkMale) wonders if anyone will take any more notice of them than they do now, and says:
April 25, 2014 at 3:28 am
If such an entity does come to pass, it will be interesting with statements how some MSM outlets choose to refer to it by way of qualifying adjectives, as can happen, often selectively. Or they may just settle on omitting mention at all. That can happen too. 

350.org is international, but in this case, maybe Matti Virtanen could take a leaf out of SkepticalScience.com's book and says:
April 25, 2014 at 3:46 am
Would it be a US organization, or international? Which languages would it use? If English only, how would it differ from the GWPF? – Personally, I do see a need for a clearing house that would provide articles and news in German, French, Spanish and Russian at least, not to mention Chinese and Japanese. But who’d pay for the translations?

Rob Dawg isn't really a conspiracy theorist, but he's convinced there will be fake fake sceptics joining up to sabotage their heroic efforts. (Maybe someone will enrol their dog.) Rob says:
April 25, 2014 at 3:29 am
It still all seems like the group would end up being way too easy to discredit based on the potential individual acts/positions of members. And make no mistake, infiltration with this intent is a certainty. A lowest common denominator issue. Secondly groups organized around a position of being against something are too easy to marginalize. What kind of traction would an international working group to debunk phlogiston get? Phlogiston isn’t even real while CO2 is. better to continue to attack bad science than to legitimize the politicalization by becoming political as well. 

Jim Cripwell says the world has been waiting for a hundred years for global warming to stop, it can afford to wait a bit longer for the first nail in the coffin proving climate science is a hoax. And anyway political crises are unfolding just the way they should:
April 25, 2014 at 3:42 am
I quote “There’s simply no other way to get an issue onto the political agenda”
I disagree completely. This ought to be a scientific issue, not political, The issue will, in the end, be settled scientifically. The Supreme Court of Physics is the empirical data. In the end the empirical data will prove that CAGW is a hoax. We just have to wait.
There is no harm in waiting. The politics is such that we are going to go on using fossil fuels to the limit of the finances involved. We are going to go on putting more and more CO2 into the atmosphere into the indefinite future. With the current political crisis in the Ukraine, politicians are getting a reality check on the geopolitical implications of energy.
So, I believe, undoubtedly, the universe is unfolding as it should. 

G. Karst is a staunch individualist who sees corruption whenever two or more individuals get together and says:
April 25, 2014 at 7:10 am
Edim says: April 25, 2014 at 4:15 am Organization = Corruption. You just end up with dogma.
I agree.
I grow weary of special interests becoming eternal activists. Never adjusting dogma to evolve to new facts on the ground. Organizations pool money and power. Money and power corrupts the hearts of those involved when the end justifies the means.
It seems to be the condition of Man. We have struggled since the dawn of mankind. GK 

Monckton of Brenchley is on the pro side and is probably already clearing a space on his wall for the Presidential Seal and says:
April 25, 2014 at 7:08 am
I’m with Anthony on this. There needs to be an effective skeptical organization that acts as an exchange between the various skeptical groups and also as an additional and powerful voice. Let’s do it. 

Magic Turtle does some magic with numbers (is this a dig at Anthony and his wrong arithmetic denying the 97% scientific consensus?) and says:
April 25, 2014 at 7:02 am
“I’ve closed the poll with a count of 2701 votes. While there was a clearly decisive result,…”
Not if you measure the poll’s decisiveness by its entropy (i.e. its implicit uncertainty) I’m afraid.
There was clearly a majority in favour of the proposal, but the poll’s decisiveness was just 11.50%, which is less than half-way towards unanimity. This means that the voting group was far more uncertain (88.50%) than certain (11.50%) that it was in favour of the proposal.
So contrary to its superficial appearance of a decisive vote in favour of the proposed organization, this result provides only weak scientific evidence of popular support for it in fact. 

Some people fear they are so far fake that they won't even qualify for membership of a fake sceptic society. markstoval says:
April 25, 2014 at 7:28 am
@David Ball says: “As a person skeptical of the so-called “greenhouse effect”, I will be left to the wayside by such a group anyway.
As you may be aware, to go against the prevailing “consensus” or “paradigm” will certainly get you into trouble with the Church of Scientism. Periodically I ask why there has never been a real-world experiment that would prove that “greenhouse” gases do what they are said to do, but I am usually just told that there is no need for any such experiment or that I should read “first year physics”.
To answer your question; no your kind would not be welcome and you know it. 

dlb sets some enticing but impossible targets and says:
April 25, 2014 at 7:36 am
Stay with the empirical evidence, don’t go near any controversial theories. Leave that for the warmists so they can be shot down.
Have a core set of beliefs which ideally should be lukewarm.
Avoid a political stance, particularly that of the right.
Be open with funding and avoid big oil, coal etc.
Sympathise with moderate environmentalists, but go after the nutjobs.
Hound the opposition at every opportunity, but above all use science. 

Cold in Wisconsin is more realistic and says:
April 25, 2014 at 7:25 am
Sorry, but science will not be sufficient. 

John Whitman lists a whole bunch of things that would prevent him from participating. I've only posted the first three, you can read the rest of them here. He says:
April 25, 2014 at 7:21 am
If, as many did on the poll post and now did on this post, this idea of climate skeptic ‘organization’ is phrased and expressed in military terminology, then I cannot participate.
If, as many did on the poll post and now did on this post, this idea of climate skeptic ‘organization’ is advocated for the purpose of any political objectives, then I cannot participate.
If, as many did on the poll post and now do on this post, this idea of climate skeptic ‘organization’ is described as an ‘anti-ideology’ campaign, then I cannot participate....

While Mr Lynn is probably the most sophisticated but maybe to high falutin' for WUWT and says:
April 25, 2014 at 7:28 am
Chris says: April 25, 2014 at 7:06 am
. . . Keep it civil, keep it focused on facts, keep the extremism out of the official discourse, go where the data leads. Find a board or steering committee made up primarily of credentialed physical scientists. Consider a primary mission of education and clearinghouse, as opposed to fact-checking or debunking “main stream” science and discourse. There is no way to win that debate. Such a group would be better served to simply ignore the noise of mainstream debate and focus instead on simply trying to gather, understand, and disseminate the best of the available science – on ALL SIDES.
I think what Chris is describing is something like a new professional Society or Association of scientists. Perhaps it could be called the Association of Earth Sciences, or something, aimed at restoring balance to the CAGW tilt evinced by the existing science associations, and encompassing scientists from a wide variety of disciplines. This is certainly a laudable goal, and I think we’d all love to see such an organization founded.
The ‘Terra Home’ organization a few of us discussed back in 2009 would be a different animal, a general-public membership organization set up like the Sierra Club, or maybe the National Space Society, with the broad goal of encouraging the Progress of Man, especially the rational exploitation of resources to bring the benefits of civilization to all the peoples of the Earth, while maintaining careful stewardship of the planet. See my comments above:
[links to various WUWT comments redacted]
There is no reason not to work toward the creation of both such organizations.
/Mr Lynn 

The WUWT comments are still coming thick and fast. Here's the latest update for anyone interested. 


  1. "In all, 1,717 people were..."

    Given the habitual sockpuppetry among climate change deniers its probably far fewer people than that. Lets remember that the GWPF:

    "Its income suggests that it only has about 80 members"


    1. Difference is I'm not sure that only 80 WUWT-ers would be enough to pay Anthony the salary he's hoping for. He might have to tap a Heartland donor or someone and that would put off some of his members :(

  2. So when AW writes "Could just as easily be used to describe crazy Bill McKibben. Most of us think he’s nuts, and he most likely is.", isn't that
    diagnosing people in absentia as having mental disorders?

  3. As per Pseudoskeptics Are Not Skeptics, if they called it Pseudoskeptics United, it would be a fine idea.

  4. I suspect Magic Turtle is 'taking the Mickey', ie poking fun at Anthony and Christopher Monckton and co.

    1. Ya think?

      Was that really the swivel-eyed Viscount being roused from the crypt? Bet that Presidential Seal sports a pink portcullis. He'd have the College of Heraldry on the case if he didn't know the subject much better than them ...


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