Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Anthony Watts fails to save face, pretending not to be excited

Sou | 1:23 AM Go to the first of 14 comments. Add a comment

Remember a couple of days ago how Anthony Watts was itching to "sue the pants off" skeptical science? How he just knew that they were up to something nefarious. How he figured that John Cook and his team were going to defame deniers? (Would that even be possible?)

He was wrong.

To hedge his bets Anthony later added that perhaps they were going to say something about science itself but if they were, they'd do it in Monty Python style like the 10 out of 10 video that some group came up with (not SkepticalScience), which deniers pretend "shock horror" about. He was wrong about that, too.

A failure to predict - and more

In a pathetic attempt to save face, today he wrote:
The latest propaganda stunt from the Skeptical Science Kidz is underway and it is about as exciting as it is predictable. 

If it was as exciting as it was predictable by Anthony, then he's saying he failed to find it exciting just as he failed dismally in his attempt to predict it.

At least he's owning up to his failure to predict. Or did he make another gaffe and was wanting to make out that he did predict it, when he didn't, but messed up and said it was very exciting.

The SkepticalScience initiative was exciting enough for Anthony to write two articles about it, wasn't it.

What other dismal failures does he achieve in his delayed reaction to 97 hours?

Anthony Watts mistakes Greenland for the entire world - and gets even Greenland wrong

Anthony probably likes to think he deceives his readers well. Perhaps he does, but that's because his readers are only too willing to be deceived not because Anthony is any good at deception.

His deception today is that he presents the ice sheet way up on a freezing cold summit in central Greenland as a good proxy for the entire world.  That's as ridiculous as presenting the Simpson Desert as a proxy for the entire world.

Anthony put up a chart of GISP2 temperatures and couldn't even get that right, labeling it as stopping in 2000, when in fact it stopped in 1950 and shows the temperature up to 95 years before 1950. In other words, it doesn't show any temperatures past 1855.

Flawed chart from WUWT, annoted by HotWhopper

See if you can spot other things wrong with the chart. I mean the chart itself, not just the fact that the average global temperature on earth is quite a bit higher than minus 30 degrees Celsius. Or the fact that temperatures in any one spot on land will fluctuate more than the average temperature over the entire earth.

Anthony Watts thinks weather happens by magic

Then Anthony disputes the fact that all weather now is affected by the amount of energy in the system. He seems to think that physics doesn't apply with some weather. Quoting climate scientist Kevin Trenberth, Anthony wrote:
all weather is now connected to climate change” – Yikes, every cloud is hiding a climate change boogie man now?

Yes, Anthony. If there was less energy in the system then weather would be different. What do you think. Is some weather governed by magic?

Anthony knows he's a loser, so invokes Godwin's Law

Then he sees a Nazi salute in a friendly wave. He wrote:
I had to chuckle though, because the SkS kids went to all this trouble to make this page where when you mouse over one of the cartoon character climate scientists, their arm goes up in the air to say “hey, I’m part of the consensus!”. That sort of high salute reminds me of the Nazi dress up photos we found last year on the Skeptical Science website. 
Can you believe that Anthony sees a Nazi salute in this sort of pose? What a warped mind he must have.

Professor J Marshall Shepherd. Credit: SkepticalScience

The dress up photos he refers to are about how some people at SkepticalScience coped with Anthony Watts and other lowlifes calling them Nazis in the past. Instead of letting it get to them they made light of the disgusting name-calling. In private. On a private website. Then the images were stolen.

Oh, and it looks as if HotWhopper is getting to Anthony too. Excellent!

PS While I was writing this article, readers were commenting about Anthony's recent effort and picked out other points of interest.

From the WUWT comments

biff33 thinks it was predictable. Maybe, but Anthony failed to predict it.
September 8, 2014 at 3:21 am
Don’t you mean as boring as it is predictable?

Kit Carruthers wonders what goes on in Anthony's twisted mind when he sees children waving.
September 8, 2014 at 3:44 am
Anthony, so do school kids remind you of Nazis? They put their hands up too!

knr decides to act the fool and writes:
September 8, 2014 at 3:56 am
Trenberth ‘missing heat ‘ is a result of poor science not of good theory.
For if temperatures had increased in the way they said they would, STELLED SCIENCE, with increases in CO2 , then there would be no need for any ‘missing heat ‘ in the first place . The fact he cannot justify or even remotely prove his ‘missing heat’ idea is the reason why he tried to reverse the null hypothesise in the first place. And approach which results in a total fail for any undergraduate handing in an essay, would seem to be an acceptable standard with climate ‘science’ professionals . And they wonder why they consider a joke. 

Oatley finds it rather odd that Anthony Watts claims the average global temperature of earth is around minus 30 degrees Celsius, and asks:
September 8, 2014 at 4:05 am
Help me understand the RH scale on the graph…

jmrSudbury doesn't comment on Anthony's major mistake, but answers Oatley's question:
September 8, 2014 at 4:50 am
The air temperature of Greenland averages near -30 C. — John M Reynolds

richard verney looks again at Anthony's chart and wonders how the settlers survived in ancient Greenland:
September 8, 2014 at 6:03 am
I do not disagree with your summary of the charts, but is the reconstruction of the past temperatures accurate?
How could the Vikings with their primitive technology (and no mechanical aids such as mini diggers and tractors) have farmed Greenland for a couple of hundred years if the temperatures were only about 1 or so degrees warmer than today? That is the question that should be asked when tuning the proxies.
Where they were located (and I accept that their settlements were not spread right accross Greenland), it must have been about 4 degrees (and possibly more) warmer than it is today, if not just 1 or 2 harsh winter would have wiped them out.

Greg is a bit worried that Anthony Watts is giving publicity to proper science communicators (instead of the usual WUWT fare of paranoid conspiracy theories):
September 8, 2014 at 4:54 am
This is too feeble to even bother trying to counter it.
Don’t flatter thier sorry efforts by reading and commenting on them. 

JLC is baffled that anyone would be interested in what climate scientists have to say about climate. It just goes to show how out of touch with reality are deniers. JLC - most people aren't very interested in the pseudo-science quackery and paranoid conspiracy theories, which is the normal fare at WUWT.
September 8, 2014 at 5:30 am
This baffles me. It might increase the number of hits on their website and entertain the true believers but I can’t see that it would achieve anything else. 


  1. Ever decided to ignore somebody then felt the urge to email them just to tell them that you're ignoring them? Watts is so bored with the 97 hours initiative he just HAS to tell his readers exactly how unexcited he is. Round One to 'the cartoonist'.

    The GISP2 chart is by Don Easterbrook, and a favourite of dbSmokey. As you point out, it ends well before AGW could have become detectable. See this Hot Topic post for a detailed rebuttal:-


    and for Richard Alley's comments on why the chart should not be put to this purpose see Dot Earth.


    i was surprised when my comment to this effect was actually posted at WUWT (putting a copy here almost certainly helped, thanks for the venue), and Watts has updated the post and put up a chart from Loehle 2007 to prove Mann wrong.

    Trouble is, Loehle 2007 was corrected by Loehle 2008 (after Gavin Schmidt tore some serious holes in it at RealClimate) and the 2008 version does NOT show unprecedented temperatures. Gosh, Professor Mann knows what he's talking about and Watts doesn't. I am shocked, I tell you, shocked.


  2. I only comment on WUWT in the vain hope that Sou will quote me in one of her articles. I think that's twice now, thanks :-)

    Inspired by Anthony seeing Nazi salutes where there aren't any, I found that he performs such raised arm gestures in one of his Youtube vids. I screencapped it, but am not brave/stupid/childish enough to open that can of worms by posting it anywhere and using it to accuse him of also looking like a Nazi. What's the point?!

  3. The GISP2 graph doesn't include the warming since 1855. "Years before present" indeed starts at 1950, and the first data point is "95", i.e. 95 years before 1950... 1855...

  4. I have a sneaking suspicion that Willard Tony has never stopped to think about where on planet earth the GISP2 data was collected. A picture is worth a thousand words...


  5. So predicable, and yet totally not predicted by Watts! Anthony has even less skills than Paul the Octopus.

  6. >That sort of high salute reminds me of the Nazi dress up photos we found last year on the Skeptical Science website.

    Hang on, wasn't he shocked, shocked I tell you by the SkS hack at the time? (Probably on the - uncharacteristically for AW - perfectly reasonable assumption that a turn-about might then be construed as fair play!)

    So what's changed that lets him bring it up repeatedly now?

  7. I've seen a few references to this on non-climate blogs that I read (such as Pharyngula).

    So it does look like this is getting at least some visibility outside the usual circles, although my reading habits are probably still skewed a fair bit to the left...

  8. Anthony Watts is the equivalent of Maury Povich (host of a tabloid TV talk show). To paraphrase USA Today columnist Whitney Matheson: 'Don't be fooled by the self-titled sobriquet "The World's Most Viewed Blog on Global Warming and Climate Change"…. Anthony Watts is miles farther down the commode than Roger Pielke Jr.'

  9. With the GISP2 chart discredited Watts has apologised and corrected it. Sorry, of course he hasn't, he's put up a series of increasingly absurd charts showing warmer temperatures - y'know hundreds of thousands of years ago. Once I finished chortling at his discomfiture I posted this.

    "LOL. the shorter version - here's a graph of GISP2 ice - core data that shows Mann is wrong. Ooops - I've (well actually Easterbrook) messed up the time-axis, properly plotted it shows Greenland hasn't been this warm for over 2,000 years (and Greenland is not the globe). Never mind - here's Leohle (2007). Ooops! That was full of errors, but here's Loehle (2008). What - you want me to add in the modern record? Nope, not doing that because it would prove Mann correct. But look over here, I found this chart showing that if we go back 140,000 years, NEARLY TO THE LAST INTERGLACIAL or this one OVER 1 MILLION YEARS AGO temperatures were warmer.

    So I am right and Mann was wrong. So there.

    Keep 'em coming Anthony. I love a good laugh. When did you give up on science? ROFL.

    PS - you wrongly credited the graph to Richard Alley. Here (again) is what he said about the validity of your attempt, he thinks you're either stupid, misguided or misled.

    "First off, no single temperature record from anywhere can prove or disprove global warming, because the temperature is a local record, and one site is not the whole world. One of the lessons drawn from comparing Greenland to Antarctica and many other places is that some of the temperature changes (the ice-age cycling) are very widespread and shared among most records, but other of the temperature changes (sometimes called millennial, or abrupt, or Younger-Dryas-type) are antiphased between Greenland and the south, and still other temperature changes may be unrelated between different places (one anomalously cold year in Greenland does not tell you the temperature anomaly in Australia or Peru). [..] So, using GISP2 data to argue against global warming is, well, stupid, or misguided, or misled, or something, but surely not scientifically sensible. And, using GISP2 data within the larger picture of climate science demonstrates that our scientific understanding is good, supports our expectation of global warming, but raises the small-chance-of-big-problem issue that in turn influences the discussion of optimal human response. "

    How long before this chart re-appears? After all, you clearly got nuthin' else.

  10. Sou. Apologies for abusing your hospitality, however I have learned that posts that I make at WUWT and then copy here have a better chance of not being disappeared by the site that does not censor. Last one, promise, we all know that 'debate' with dbSmokey is a waste of time

    "Keep em coming I ask, and DBStealey does not disappoint. Thanks for adding to the comedy! Did you not read what Alley said about using his GISP2 data (even correctly-plotted) in the way you just did? 'Stupid, misguided or misled' were his exact words.

    Here is the Prof Mann quote again ... ' There are now dozens of hockey sticks and they all come to the same conclusion. The recent warming does seem to be unprecedented as far back as we can go"

    The original hockey stick studies, and the recent updates go back about 2,000 years, max. So in context, clearly that was his timeframe for 'unprecedented'. For what its worth the GISP2 ice core and Loehle do not conflict with that conclusion, though of course to draw any firm conclusions about the whole planet from a single point in Greenland would indeed be 'stupid, misguided or misled'. Read what he wrote about antiphasing.

    Of course the planet has been warmer, if you go back hundreds of thousands or millions of years, when insolation patterns and even continental boundaries were different. I struggle to find anything more comical than to present this as rebuttal of Professor Mann's point.

    Still ROFL."

    1. Any time, Phil. It's not abuse, it's called "keeping us in the loop" (or is it keeping up with the loopy WUWT-ers). It's good to know there's one person who hasn't been banned at WUWT.

  11. Thanks. Though we're down to pure entertainment now; I asked how long before the GISP2 chart would re-appear, after I showed them that Alley himself pointed out that using it for this purpose was stupid. The answer? 1 hour and 21 minutes, thanks Dave Stealey. Do these people really have zero self-awareness?

    I may not be banned, but my response has not appeared, probably removed by Smokey in his dual role as poster AND moderator. What larks!.

    1. Stealey does more harm to WUWT than any of its detractors: maintaining an editorial policy that gives room for cranks and removing posts that would ultimately serve to protect WUWT from descending into quackery.

  12. "I had to chuckle though, because the SkS kids went to all this trouble to make this page where when you mouse over one of the cartoon character climate scientists, their arm goes up in the air to say “hey, I’m part of the consensus!”. That sort of high salute reminds me of the Nazi dress up photos we found last year on the Skeptical Science website."

    In all fairness, when the cursor is placed on the heads of the scientists, their hands do go up, so the picture shown by Sou is not what Watts is referring to. Kit Carruthers' description is correct.
    The scientists are being shown doing what students in classrooms do every day. They have been called on, and they raise their hands. They are not waving, as Sou also wrote, and failing to distinguish between raising one's hand and a Nazi salute – the position of the arm is different – is a typical example of Watts' ignoring evidence and seeing what he wants to see.


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