Sunday, June 15, 2014

Denier weirdness: The US President is taunting Anthony Watts

Sou | 11:16 PM Go to the first of 28 comments. Add a comment

Anthony Watts proclaims to the world that he rejects science (archived here). He doesn't like what he considers as being taunted. He wrote about a speech that President Obama made at the University of California Irvine.

Here is what Anthony refers to as taunting. The President was talking about people who don't want to mitigate climate change - as reported by Associated Press and abcnews (US) - Anthony's own bolding:
“They say, ‘Hey, look, I’m not a scientist.’ And I’ll translate that for you: what that really means is, ‘I know that manmade climate change really is happening but if I admit it, I’ll be run out of town by a radical fringe that thinks climate science is a liberal plot,’” he said.
“There’s going to be a stubborn status quo and people determined to stymie your efforts to bring about change. There are going to be people who say you can’t do something. There are going to be people who say you shouldn’t bother trying. I’ve got some experience with this myself,” Obama said.
“It’s pretty rare that you’ll encounter somebody who says the problem you’re trying to solve simply doesn’t exist. When President Kennedy set us on a course to the moon, there were a number of people who made a serious case that it wouldn’t be worth it,” he continued.
"But nobody ignored the science. I don’t remember anybody saying the moon wasn’t there or that it was made of cheese,” Obama said.

Anthony spoke of logic, claiming that the President made a logical fallacy. Anthony didn't say what the fallacy was. (Anthony can't tell the difference between an analogy and a logical fallacy. He's not too bright at the best of times. He also thinks his article is satire. It isn't.) Given that Anthony views what the President said as taunting, the logical conclusions to be drawn from his blog article is that Anthony Watts is claiming:
  1. he is part of the radical fringe that thinks climate science is a liberal plot and/or
  2. he thinks climate change is real but you can't do something and shouldn't bother trying and/or
  3. he is the rare person who says the problem simply doesn't exist and/or
  4. he is ignoring the science.

Since Anthony is not ignoring the science, he's actively rejecting it, then that leaves 1 and 2 and 3. I'm betting that Anthony feels taunted because he sees himself as part of a radical fringe that thinks climate science is a liberal plot and feels uncomfortable to be so categorised. (Check the WattMeter in the side bar for evidence that his audience is the same.)

No comments at WUWT yet but expect more denier weirdness.


Victor Venema said...

His moderators also do not like taunting.

[ Mr. Venema, you wonder why you are on moderation, it is because you are sneering and taunting on your own blog. an example is that you took a comment by our host, suggesting you have a fixation on WUWT and then added words not said to make it "My immature and neurotic fixation on WUWT", writing a 4,225 word blog post to that effect. it proved exactly the point about you having a fixation on WUWT and Mr. Watts. you will probably write about this too. -mod]

Catmando said...

Watts is an odious creature, hypocritical beyond belief, thin skinned and not blessed with much intelligence - my opinion at least. Actually, he comes across like one of those kids at school who will say anything to get some friends, and won't care whether what he says is consistent.

BBD said...

Sou reminds us to check the Wattmeter, which I have noticed to be surprisingly consistent. "CAGW, control, money power, left, government".

From their own keyboards...

numerobis said...

And dbstealey.

The word soup doesn't seem to handle morphology: you see both government and governments listed. Luckily it's an english site, so the only common morphology is plural/singular.

metzomagic said...

There's only one thing I visit the actual WTFIUWT site for (thanks to Sou's tireless efforts to put a buffer between rational thought and... it), and that's the ENSO Meter, far down in the right-hand column. I notice that, for the first time in years, it has crept up over the 0.5 mark. Schadenfreude is the applicable word here, and while I certainly do not rejoice in the realisation that the climate is going through some serious distress due to the unnatural anthropogenic forcings being thrust upon it, I do look forward to us leaving the freakin' faux 'pause' behind so that we can finally put some serious mitigation on the table... or not.

Cugel said...

An odious hypocrite indeed, and stupid beyond his own understanding. I think he knows he's stupid which makes him feel insecure, hence the hissy-fits.

Watching Watts trying to grasp what baselines and anomalies are - and repeatedly failing - is quite jaw-dropping.

Cugel said...

And always gore.

Cugel said...

I am similarly conflicted. I hope there isn't an official El Nino because 2014 is already on course to be the warmest year yet without an El Nino to blame for it. Without regular La Ninas the mythical Pause just gets eaten away by the trend.

numerobis said...

I wonder if Cameron will get up on the board anytime soon.

I also wonder if they'll *ever* get over their obsession with Mann, as if he was the only climatologist in the world.

cRR Kampen said...

May I suggest e.g. http://www.wunderground.com/blog/Tropicsweatherpr/comment.html?entrynum=75 ?

Ernest Hurley said...

It is entirely strange that Mr Watts is being attacked from both sides of the fence.
The Warmists believe he is evil incarnate ,with that damned most popular blog site and the Slayers believe he is a useful puppet of the militant left.
I am sure that no one ever started out to become a hate figure of both sides of the fence and it would be interesting to hear views on the way the politicization of the matter has effected people ,outside of the scientific view.

Jammy Dodger said...

No, not entirely strange at all.

Ernest Hurley said...

Thank you for that sophisticated and erudite response.

Sou said...

I doubt many people are aware of the existence of that little fence. They'd have to twist their head around so far to the right to see it they'd get a crick in their neck ;)

Anonymous said...

"It would be interesting to hear views on the way the politicization of the matter has effected people, outside of the scientific view."

Isn't that exactly what the Peanut Gallery at WUWT (and the WUWT Idjit widget) demonstrate every day?

FLwolverine said...

Please do not try to portray Watts as some sort of centrist figure or, worse, a fence sitter who is still making up his mind. If there is a fence, Watts is on the same side of the slayers - he has put himself squarely in the denialist camp, and that doesn't change just because he and some fellow travelers don't like each other.

numerobis said...

I'd call him a fence-sitter: he's never quite sure whether to believe the globe is warming or not, whether CO2 traps heat or not, whether the seas are rising or not, whether there's scientific consensus or not ... It's a bit bewildering watching him build so many fences to sit on, when he could instead just read the research, but hey, it's a free country.

Jp said...

"It is entirely strange that Mr Watts is being attacked from both sides of the fence.
The Warmists believe he is evil incarnate ,with that damned most popular blog site and the Slayers believe he is a useful puppet of the militant left.
I am sure that no one ever started out to become a hate figure of both sides of the fence and it would be interesting to hear views on the way the politicization of the matter has effected people ,outside of the scientific view."

That someone who promotes anti-science bs and gets so much wrong would be attacked by those who support and believe in the science is to be expected. If it was a matter of a few mistakes and if he had the integrity to admit to them and correct them, he wouldn't be the figure of derision and ridicule that he is and Sou would have to find a new hobby.

I don't know how much evidence you have for stating that he's being attacked by some denialist faction, but if it's true that wouldn't be surprising, or strange, considering the range of positions (inconsitent with each other) in the denier camp: it's not warming, it's warming but only a little bit and nothing to worry about, it's warming but it's natural and nothing we can do about it; and withing those groups there is a large faction of conspiracy theorists _ it's a scam, a hoax, scientists are being paid to produce shonky research to support one world government... blahblahblah. It's almost inevitable that he writes something that some denier faction would disagree with.

The one thing all deniers have in common is that there's never any evidence, direct or circumstancial, to substantiate their opinions; whether they bring up scientific points or political points (eg., climate science is well funded, therefore implying that it's been corrupted) they can never back them up with anything that resembles real science or evidence of whatever conspiracy they're alluding to. And if assertions don't have to be backed-up, well...then... there's no limit to the amount of nonsense that can be spouted. Which is why reasoning with a denier is an absolute waste of time.

"evil incarnate" is a bit hyperbolic; "intellectually dishonest fucking idiot" will do.

"most popular blog site". So what? And Coca cola is the most popular drink. All it proves is that the world is full of gullible, unthinking, ideologically motivated idiots as well as a lot of people who don't care about their health (a large proportion of which are poor, uneducated, uninformed) and will drink any shit.

"politicization of the matter". There's no politicization of the science and hence no politicization from those who accept the science. The only politicization is on the science-denying, right-wing conservative side of politics; the side which funds disinformation, the side which, lacking substance, uses sophistry to defend their dumb talking points. Of course, "right-wing conservative" is a broad umbrella, and the opprobrium applies only to those who let their ideology or financial interests compromise their integrity. Conservatives like scientist Barry Bickmore in the US or Australian politician Malcom Turnbull, I respect.

How has it affected me? It's made me more pessimistic about the fate of humanity. When I see big money and corrupt media barons with an agenda to push, how they can disinform and brainwash so many people so as to distort the political debate for their own benefits, it's hard not to be pessimistic.

There is a real debate to be had _ the debate about the policies to tackle global warming _ but unfortunately, it's pointless having such a discussion with people who don't accept the science and therefore that we should be doing anything to mitigate the warming, let alone doing anything with any sense of urgency.

metzomagic said...

Pretty much the way I feel about the whole AGW denier schtick, Jp. Well said.

BBD said...

And now we have the BOM ENSOMeter! Truly we are spoiled rotten here at HW.

Thank you, Sou!

Victor Venema said...

Sounds like moderation at WUWT is not there to improve the discussion in the comments, but to punish people for their behaviour elsewhere.

Reminds one of the anecdote of a drunk that lost his key somewhere and looks for it below the street light.

metzomagic said...

OT, but interesting in the light of Sou having just added the BOM ENSO Tracker to the right-hand column of the blog: breaking from GISS, hottest May on record:

GISS GLOBAL Land-Ocean Temperature Index

bratisla said...

sorry for off topic, but since Sou is mentioned ...

from the latest WUWT : "Open thread – what could we do better?", a comment from Richard Mallett :
"When the ‘blog spawn’ like Hot Whopper make valid objections to WUWT, either engage them in debate, or admit they make some valid points. They are not always the enemy. Similarly with the CAGW advocates like Skeptical Science – don’t make fun of them, engage them in debate. Both sides (or both ends of the spectrum) can learn from each other, if they stop seeing each other as the enemy.

[Reply: Problem is, they will not debate in a fair, moderated forum. ~mod.]"

No further comment needed.

BBD said...

And yet... Note that the strongly coupled atmosphere-ocean prefiguring EN hasn't happened. Another Modoki? Another non-EN as in 2012? Still too early to say, IMO.

Jammy Dodger said...


I note that my "sophisticated and erudite" response (thank you) got more attention and answer from you than all the other rather longer answers that have been offered. Which reinforces my initial idea that you were not really interested in making an interesting point or discussing it.

So, I think you are right. My response was as sophisticated and erudite as needed to match your posting.

Sou said...

I missed that comment, bratisla, though I did notice a handful of visitors (six I believe) from WUWT yesterday. The mod is typical of WUWT disinformers:(


bratisla said...

banning people daring to contradict frontally Watts, then moaning that these people don't want to "debate" ... well, I was not surprised, and I assumed you aren't - I just reported that so that you can chuckle a bit.

The WUWT open thread is still interesting, though (in the middle of the usual comments) :
- several people are asking for a "counter SKS", as they feel less efficient when engaging with someone using SkS
- several people are also asking for a kind of summary of "what we ["skeptics"] know"
Let's see if Mr Watts will go as far as implementing these suggestions - the second one should be especially interesting, seeing how they can disagree with each other ("it's the sun !" "no, the cosmic rays !" "GHG don't exist !" etc.)

(in the paparazzi department : I didn't know that Poptech was in a full fledged war against Mosher, to the point that he got a warning from Watts himself. My oh my).

Sou said...

You've prompted me to write about it :)