Friday, July 11, 2014

Charles Battig shows signs of hysteria at WUWT

Sou | 5:43 PM Go to the first of 5 comments. Add a comment

Denier's are a weird mob, rife with contradictions. Anthony Watts has an article at WUWT, written by someone in an hysterical funk (archived here). His name is Charles Battig, and this time the weird is that his article appears under the title:
Climate Change Hysteria and the Madness of Crowds
You'd think that if someone wanted to claim that scientists or the general public are hysterical, that person would avoid sounding hysterical himself. Instead his article is full of hyperbole and flowery rhetoric. As well as all the usual insinuations and fake allegations you will have come to expect from science deniers. I've highlighted some of Charles' own words:
Years of relentless doomsday prognostications by a variety of public voices spanning the political-scientific spectrum have found their mark in a gullible and guilt-prone public. There is a Medusa-like quality in the serpentine web of doomsday prophets, including members of the Club of Rome, Paul Ehrlich’s “Population Bomb,” and the current White House science advisor, John Holdren.

That's given me an idea for a novel. Maybe it's already been written. The plot would be against a background of a twentieth century minus the warnings from the Club of Rome. A twentieth century without Paul Ehrlich. And slipping into a twenty-first century where a government has no science adviser. (That last one could be modeled on the Australian Government, which is the first government in 83 years where there is no science portfolio.)

Imagine a world where breakthroughs in medical and agricultural science have increased the life span of humans - but a world without any family planning. A world of ten or 12 billion or more people. Imagine a world where there was no government cooperation in waste management or resource use. A world in which there were no limits on pollution or growth or exploitation of natural resources. A world that was permanently under a shroud of thick smog, full of sulphur dioxide and other noxious gases. A world devoid of national parks and state forests. A concrete world where a forest, perhaps even a tree was a rarity. A world where the hole in the ozone layer spread to the mid-latitudes and medical and agriculture science could not prevent genetic aberrations.

Would some people get hysterical in such a world, I wonder?

Would they act as hysterically as Charles Battig when he waves his arms in protest at science, with his banal hockey stick protests and clichéd "Al Gore is fat" comments?
Al Gore’s contribution to making climate change a co-equal amongst the four horsemen of the apocalypse is matched by M. Mann’s reinterpretation of global temperature history. Repeated refutations of “faulty” science and failed predictions of climate calamities have not deterred these marketers of doom. Cut the head off, yet it lives on.

Poor old Charles. He's in a real tizz. He is despondent because he reckons not enough people are taking any notice of the fake sceptics and their attempts to confuse. He makes a point of listing some of his favourite fake sceptics and disinformers, letting us know about his own paranoid conspiracy theories:
Countering this climate doomsday propaganda has been a number of scientists and independent organizations. Manipulation of the historical temperature record by our own government agencies has been documented. Such revisions serve to make the historical record conform to the political aims and views of our Federal government, that global warming is occurring and is linked to fossil fuel use.  Proliferation of internet access has provided the new open public soap box, independent of traditional media, itself fully in the climate panic mode. Web sites maintained by Anthony Watts, Marc Morano, and Steve Milloy are just a few of many striving to get the unpoliticized science before the public.

Independent organisations? That's a joke. As John Mashey's investigations reveal, funding for many of those so-called "independent" organisations are funneled through the same "independent" source and sing from the same hymnal. Some of them share people too.  They have to. There aren't enough deniers to go around to not share them.  Denier Bob Carter, for example, gets wheeled out by various different organisations as one of their own.

Update: I'd never come across Charles Battig before, but it's ironic that he talks about "independent organisations". You can read on desmogblog about him and his own organisation:
VA-SEEE, described as a “grassroots organization,” was founded by climate change skeptic Fred Singer who is also president of the Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP). The VA SEEE appears closely related to SEPP and is also connected to the “Climate Chance Reconsidered” report of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC).

As for Charles' "manipulations" - that pure denier tripe, trying to make out that temperature records of growing metropoli that have shot up higher than the surrounding areas should not be adjusted downward to account for the effects of urbanisation. Or that there should not be corrections made when a weather station is moved or read at a different time of day from the norm.

Anthony Watts is not political? Pull the other one. As for swiftboater Marc Morano - the person who promoted falsehoods about John Kerry so he wouldn't be elected President. Or Steve Milloy, who writes "junk science".

As you know, with many deniers it all comes down to their hip pocket. Money and self-interest is what drives a lot of people to reject science. Charles' article is no different. He weaves his money-mania throughout and ends up comparing climate science to the tulip bubble of the seventeenth century.

By the way, on Charles Battig's own website, he's shown that Anthony's "guest essay" was actually written for the right wing website "American Thinker" not for WUWT. Anthony Watts only gets thrown (or pinches) the crumbs these days.

From the WUWT comments

Well, it appears that Anthony Watts' readers like hyperbole, rhetoric and flowery language. Most of all they like it when they come across someone who'll feed their paranoia about "evil guvmint", which is why WUWT exists after all. It's the market in action - a niche product for a niche market. The wilfully ignorant who can feed off each other's delusions. Conspiracy theorists who believe that climate science is a hoax.

Justthinkin says:
July 10, 2014 at 8:23 pm
Well written and simple,informative article. Thank you.

Brute says:
July 10, 2014 at 8:27 pm
For sure, climate change (whatever it means to the choir) will go and a new delusion will take its place. In fact, I reckon it’s been ready to go for a while but there is nothing as “exciting” yet available to take its place.

(What has Paul Sagan to do with Cosmos?) cnxtim says:
July 10, 2014 at 8:32 pm
Not forgetting Paul Sagan’s protege and the otherwise excellent Cosmos series infecting a new generation of students with the CAGW myth.

 johanna says (excerpt from a much longer comment about conspiracies and money):
July 10, 2014 at 9:20 pm
Nice article – concise, clear and uncluttered.


  1. I guess cnxtim meant Carl, not Paul.

  2. johanna says:

    "Nice article - concise, clear and uncluttered." (by any actual facts)

    FTFY, Johanna.

  3. As an American and "thinker," I'm a bit insulted that articles like those appear in "American Thinker."

  4. Which is why some people call the thing "American Drinker". Although this could be seen as an unfairly negative portrayal of the many alcohol users who accept the mainstream scientific position on AGW.

  5. Sou says:

    Independent organisations? That's a joke. As John Mashey's investigations reveal, funding for many of those so-called "independent" organisations are funneled through the same "independent" source and sing from the same hymnal. Some of them share people too. They have to. There aren't enough deniers to go around to not share them.

    It's funny (well, not really) how S. Fred & co. crop up all over the place. Elsewhere, a contrarian posted a link to a TED talk by some chap called Alex Tabarrok, who seems to favour the tech-will-fix-it, cornutopian meme. Never heard of him, so I had a look and it turns out he's a right-wing economist and a prof. at George Mason University, no less *and* affiliated with the ironically-titled Independent Institute. Yes, you guessed it, another libertarian "think tank" peddling - amongst other things - climate change denial and conspiracist ideation.

    Which is where S. Fred popped up, along with a few more of the usual suspects. The "Independent" Institute produced a report in 2003:

    New Perspectives in Climate Change: What the EPA Isn’t Telling Us
    by S. Fred Singer, John R. Christy, Robert E. Davis, David R. Legates, Wendy M. Novicoff

    As public debate examines new developments in the ongoing debate about past climate change, it is important to recognize that there have been a number of additional advances in climate science, many of which were concurrent or after the publication of the most recent (2001) Assessment of Climate Change by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and the 2000 National Assessment of U.S. Climate Change. This latter document was used extensively by the U.S. Environmental Protection agency in its 2001 Climate Action Report.

    As shown in The Independent Institute’s new report, New Perspectives in Climate Change: What the EPA Isn’t Telling Us, critical portions of science in all of these reports are misleading, inaccurate, unreliable, or simply wrong. However, that is not an indictment of the individuals involved, but is rather more symptomatic of the nature of science when funded by a government leviathan.


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