Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Denier Nostalgia: A blast from the past at WUWT

Sou | 2:18 AM Go to the first of 6 comments. Add a comment

I get the feeling that Anthony Watts doesn't know which way to twist or turn. Everywhere he looks he's facing climate change. WUWT has so far posted ten articles protesting the US National Climate Assessment (nearly two a day on average), with the following headlines:

  1. National Climate Assessment report: Alarmists offer untrue, unrelenting doom and gloom (archived here), which is an article by "dirty energy industries' best friend" Marlo Lewis, who is some chap from the US-based right wing lobby group the Competitive Enterprise Institute.
  2. I’ve been waiting for this statement, and the National Climate Assessment has helpfully provided it (archived here), in which Anthony quotes "Steve Goddard" of all people, then goes on to push Evan Jones' as yet unpublished work with as yet no substance to underpin it (discussed here and here)
  3. Quotes of the Week: Some early comments on the National Climate Assesment report (archived here); in which Anthony has some more quotes from science contrarians and disinformers like Pat'nChip
  4. Some advance copy on the National Climate Assessment Report (archived here); in which Anthony appeals to the scaredy cat deniers "they are trying to make people afraid of the more mundane weather" and goes on to give a bit of the content of the report.
  5. What the National Climate Assessment Doesn’t Tell You (archived here); a protest article by Pat'nChip from the right wing science disinforming lobby group, the CATO Institute.
  6. National Climate Assessment ‘frequently confuses climate with climate change (archived here) A copy and paste of another silly protest by Chip of Pat'nChip of the Cato Institute.
  7. Commentary on the salesmanship of uncertain science in the National Climate Assessment report (archived here). An article where Anthony says he "I didn’t comment much yesterday, I decided to read the report and consider it. Having done that, I’ll throw in my two cents with this statement." And his own two cents turned out to be nothing more than a comment about the website, nothing else. Really and truly. He's incapable. (I agree with Anthony about the bling. It's web designers gone mad. Awfully frustrating.) Having nothing further to add, Anthony filled his article up with comments by other people, including James "interpreter of interpretations" Delingpole, Roger Pielke Sr, Judith Curry and his mate from the weather station among others. 
  8. Official statement by ACS: Release of National Climate Assessment demands action (archived here) and yes, that was just a copy and paste.
  9. FT: ‘No one trusts Washington on climate change’ (archived here) a copy and paste courtesy Eric "eugenics" Worrall of part of an article by Christopher Caldwell in the Financial Times plus a snippet from the Wall St Journal.
  10. Manmade ‘climate disruption’ – the hype and reality (archived here) a guest article by climate science denier Paul Driessen from CFACT.
There could be more or maybe Anthony thinks that ten is enough. The National Climate Assessment is obviously not as important to deniers as Marcott13.

In between protests, Anthony tried to resurrect some old and worn out denier memes, including freshening up the 97% consensus attack using material stolen from SkepticalScience - but it was a real fizzer.

Poor Anthony. No-one was paying him any attention. In a moment of daring he decided to risk the family home by shooting off a defamatory tweet about Michael Mann. We'll probably have to wait and see if Anthony's attempt at grabbing the justice system limelight works but I doubt it. He's too small a fish to bother frying. 

For good measure, and not knowing how else to fill his daily quota, Anthony decided to wind back the clock to the glory days of WUWT, when he garnered some attention from the denialati with cherry picked snippets of stolen emails.  (What is it with deniers and their obsession with stolen property?) He elevated a comment by the irreverent reverend, sometime playground monitor at WUWT and Cornwall Alliance pastor, Richard S Courtney.

Now Richard isn't too bright (he and Anthony suit each other). Even after all these years he doesn't know his decline from his nature trick, and he wrote:
In the same week as MBH98 was published I wrote an email on the ‘ClimateSkeptics’ circulation list. That email objected to the ‘hockeystick’ graph because the graph had an overlay of ‘thermometer’ data over the plotted ‘proxy’ data. This overlay was – I said – misleading because it was an ‘apples and oranges’ comparison: of course, I was not then aware of the ‘hide the decline’ (aka “Mike’s Nature trick”) issue.

Richard is convinced that one cannot compare temperature reconstructions with the instrumental record, which is pretty dumb. How does he think that scientists can work out how much cooler or warmer it was in the past if they don't compare it with the present? Goodness knows how he copes with satellite data being converted to temperature. Anyway, being of the normal denialist bent Richard was sure that something was amiss back then and having a brain that can't be shifted no matter what evidence is put before him, he is still stuck in the 1990s. (Do I need to add that of course there was nothing hidden? All the charts in the papers were discussed well and truly in the literature. But that would spoil a good denier story. For people who are new to climate discussions, this article at the Union of Concerned Scientists will bring you up to speed.)
As for Anthony, he was happy enough to use a couple of stolen emails as a filler article while he waits patiently for someone to offer him another "guest essay". He figured he'd let his readers indulge in a bit of denier nostalgia.  Who can blame them. The present isn't giving them anything to work with. And about all he's got at the moment is Eric "eugenics" Worrall and Tedious Bob Tisdale.

I wonder how far back he'll go next time? If he travels too much further back in time he'll run out of climate stuff. I suppose he could write about airconditioners in Washington DC.  His readers are old enough to remember, though some of them may have a bit of trouble in that department, going by the comments he's getting these days.

WUWT is getting very tired. The glory days are gone, never to return. How much longer will it last?


  1. How much longer? Well, there are still people that want to believe cigarette smoking is not harmful to human health. No one has been able to prove to them the connection because they insist upon 100% certainty. They just have fewer friends now. Very sad actually.


    1. Well, I said I wondered how far back Anthony would go next time. Turns out he went back only six days. The latest article at WUWT is exactly the same, word for word, as a blog article he posted only six days ago!

      Something has really rattled Anthony that he's gone way back to "climategate" and now he can't even remember what he did six days ago. Weird.

    2. They're never going to get their 100% certainty without a parallel universe for a comparison of data generated by a 'parallel' earth that reduces its fossil fuel use or never starts using fossil fuels. Neither can we turn back time and have a re-run of earth's history in which fossil fuels are not used or their use is restricted to collect data that can be compared with the data we've got now.

  2. "Richard is convinced that one cannot compare temperature reconstructions with the instrumental record, which is pretty dumb. How does he think that scientists can work out how much cooler or warmer it was in the past if they don't compare it with the present?"

    I'd guess he does not want to see that comparison being made.

  3. I'm curious if there's actual evidence of recent degeneration, or just that it takes a bit over a year to taste every dish, and afterwards it's all just reheated mush.

    1. I plan on doing a "best of" again one day soon. From what I see, WUWT muddles along with normal denier nonsense, then crashes spectacularly with a spate of total idiocy over a few days, then muddles along for a bit, then crashes - and repeat.


Instead of commenting as "Anonymous", please comment using "Name/URL" and your name, initials or pseudonym or whatever. You can leave the "URL" box blank. This isn't mandatory. You can also sign in using your Google ID, Wordpress ID etc as indicated. NOTE: Some Wordpress users are having trouble signing in. If that's you, try signing in using Name/URL. Details here.

Click here to read the HotWhopper comment policy.