Saturday, September 6, 2014

Conspiracy theorist Anthony Watts counting down to "sue the pants off" SkepticalScience

Sou | 4:07 PM Go to the first of 27 comments. Add a comment

Update - see below- Anthony's had second thoughts and has now decided to hedge his bets. Then he had a third thought. Wonder of wonders - so many thoughts in his little head all at the same time, competing for his attention. (An observed trait of conspiracy theorists is that they can hold conflicting ideas simultaneously.)

Oh my. Anthony Watts is letting his paranoia (and narcissism) show (archived here). He's noticed something in the sidebar at SkepticalScience.com and has decided that it signals nefarious intent.

Here's the link to the home page at SkepticalScience.com. What Anthony wrote about is in the sidebar on the right. It's time bound, so if you are reading this at a later time it will probably look different. To capture how it looks now, here is a screen grab with my arrow pointing to the SkepticalScience teaser:

If you click on the link on the SkS image, you get to another page.

What can it be? Anthony Watts hasn't a clue (a normal state of affairs), but in true conspiracy theory style, has pretty well decided whatever it can be is "no good". He wrote a headline:
The ‘Skeptical Science’ kidz are up to no good again

In the WUWT article underneath Anthony let his paranoia run rampant, writing:
...All of the silhouettes are greyed out now, but one can rest assured they be filled in with cartoonish caricatures once the countdown clock on the lower right reaches zero.
My guess? John Cook has likely put his failed cartooning talents back to work again. Given the juvenile fascination former cartoonist turned amateur psychologist and numbers bookie for the 97% John Cook has with smearing climate skeptics, this will reveal itself as some sort of interactive “name and shame” application for the top 100 climate skeptics worldwide.
I hope it does, because if so, and if it turns out to be as libelous as I think it will be, it will give a whole bunch of people a reason to sue the pants off that whole team of creepy playtime Nazi cross dressers. Bring it.

Notice how Anthony adds some unsubstantiated statements. SkepticalScience is very proper and neither SkepticalScience nor John Cook gets into muckraking. They don't "smear climate sceptics". They don't need to. Fake sceptics condemn themselves by their own words. And why do you think Anthony doesn't give any examples of his allegations? It's because he can't. SkepticalScience is about reporting the science and showing why denier memes are wrong.

Still, we'll have to wait another day and seven hours or so to see if he's right and if SkepticalScience has changed tack. I'd be very surprised if it has. It's committed to reporting climate science. It doesn't even allow ad homs, let alone defamation.

While we're waiting, perhaps someone will deliver a message to Anthony Watts.
Message to Anthony Watts: Anthony, it's some science deniers who are prone to skating too close to defamation. Not so much people who accept mainstream science.


Anthony Watts has had second thoughts, probably after reading the WUWT comments - or maybe HotWhopper -  and has decided to hedge his bets. He's added some more words to the bottom of his original article:
Of course it could also be a rah-rah application, where each of the silhouettes is a “real climate scientist”, and the popup text message is all about how they “feel” about climate change…like these clowns.

"These clowns" being scientists who were describing how they feel about global warming. Anthony is a tough antihero for whom feelings are a sign of weakness. Except when he's feeling brave but trepidatious and when he doesn't like feeling ignored.

Anthony doesn't want to look like a wimp, so he belatedly back-backtracked and added this further bit of speculation:
Whatever it is, it will likely be the caliber of sort of lowbrow stuff we’ve seen before, like the “designed to be funny but actually horrifying” 10:10 video which blows up children who don’t want to go along with climate change in school.

From the WUWT comments

There aren't any yet. I'll update as they accrue. We've got a few, but none are as paranoid as Anthony's own article. Remember that nobody has seen what the teaser is about yet, so all comments are based on nothing but greyed out shadows of people.

jmichna doesn't have a clue but decides whatever it is, it's bound to be childish.
September 5, 2014 at 10:16 pm
High school antics… sophomoric at that. Ought to be cute.

omnologos has quite an imagination
September 5, 2014 at 10:35 pm
First 100 victims of the climate holocaust?
We should play a guessing game. Winner to be hospitalized as mentally unwell since he or she reasons like Cookie

Nik actually counted all the figures in the image and said:
September 6, 2014 at 12:02 am
There are 99 figures there. I’ll bet they’re going to do something on the 99.99999% scientists believe in agw paper. 

leftturnandre implores Anthony to leave off the conspiracy theories and mudslinging and be daring enough to write about science instead. But it's clear he doesn't want Anthony to go overboard in that regard. He doesn't want WUWT to go as far as writing about real science, because he also thinks that WUWT shouldn't be promoting SkepticalScience.com. Probably he just wants some pseudo-science served up occasionally. SkS is way too sciency for the denier crowd.
September 6, 2014 at 1:06 am
I don’t know if it’s wise to do this variation of feeding the trolls. WUWT gets a huge amount of traffic and ranks around 9800 in Alexa. SKS is a mere borderline phenomenon ranking in the 88,000 region. If you feed them with links they may grow. Also articles like these may be counter productively strengthen their adepts in the believe of the demonic character of sceptics. Don’t accept their war. Also maybe recognise that this type of polarisation is just early “stage 1 classification” in the accumulation to genocide.
Take the high ground. Ignore them and stay friendly.
A better alterative is concentrating on the science. Maybe my first blog could be inspiration.


  1. Say What?! Suing cartoonists now?!? Um, how about the ever 'hilarious' Josh?

  2. Naturally, Watts assumes it is about him.
    Also, "Bring it."? What's he gonna do, throw one of Monckton's graphs?

  3. Wow, so now Watts is indignant about an image that cannot be deciphered. Is this evidence of psychosis? Perhaps the SkS image is another ingenious experiment by Stephan Lewandowsky.

  4. Perhaps the SkS image is another ingenious experiment by Stephan Lewandowsky.

    Hmmm. ;-)

  5. Okay - how about we see who can come up with the best paranoid conspiracy theory. I'm sure we can do better than the WUWT crowd :) For one thing, I don't think there as many prominent fake sceptics in the world as there are figures in the SkS image.

    Perhaps it's:

    A meeting of the prison guards at FEMA camps?

    The people in charge of HAARP who are manipulating the climate?

    The lawyers lined up to sue the pants off WUWT?

    A meeting of all the heads of state who are plotting AGENDA 22 :)

    1. Sou, I think you are underestimating reality. Whatever loony conspiracy theory we can come up with, a true conspiracy theorist can do better (read: crazier). Really, even if you combine all four examples above you are not even close to what mindboggling things they can construct in their minds.

    2. The 99 blogsters who will be disappeared in accordance with the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

      The 99 descendants of Martin Bormann who have built a global empire known as The Underground Reich.

      The 99 signatories of the letter that forced Pope Benedict XVI to resign rather than face being exposed as a woman.

      The 99 radio meteorologists who had advanced warning of Hurricane Katrina but deliberately failed to warn anyone as part of a plan to bring about a matriarchal, socialist, utopian state.

      Will complete this later. Someone is knocking on the front door. Impatient sods! And at this hour of the night. It sounds like they're kicking it in.

    3. George Montgomery has won a world cruise in a surprise lottery and has had to hurry away to catch the boat. He wishes me to inform you that he will be, like, utterly chilled and non-blogging for the foreseeable future, and any communications purporting to be from him are the work of an imposter resentful of his good fortune.

    4. Conspiracy theories are in the realm of the faithful whose mythical almighty all knowing god/s is/are keeping an eye on them to see if they sin against all sorts of irrational rules according to their simplistic dogma.

      I prefer to think that a putative almighty being that is all knowing through all time and space does not give a stuff what some 'smart' monkey is doing on Earth. Even if it is just masturbating in public.

      The projection of these fools own motivations on to others that they can barely understand to comprehend the state of play is another self evident delusion.


  6. There is a large asteroid alert for 7th September 2014 , is this the countdown at SkS, or something else? Intriguing.

    1. This asteroid has been dubbed Pitbull with its closest approach being over New Zealand:

      Newfound “Pitbull” Asteroid Will Zip By Earth on Sunday.

  7. That screenshot is a gimme - I'd recognize Tol's silhouette anywhere!

    1. I don't think that's Tol. I'm betting it's Jason Box.

    2. You may well be correct...it's definitely ONE of those "creepy playtime Nazi cross dressers"...

  8. Keep it up Sou,
    you, SkS, and friends are unnerving the guy.
    If only he's pay attention to Earth observations he'd really be unnerved,
    alarmed even,
    if only. . . toooo much conflicting information . . .
    muust keep the Faith.

    His melt down will be interesting, when it comes . . .

  9. | Nik actually counted all the figures in the image and said:
    | September 6, 2014 at 12:02 am
    | There are 99 figures there. I’ll bet they’re going to do something on the
    | 99.99999% scientists believe in agw paper.

    Please don't discourage an all-too-rare rare attempt at independent quantitative research. But Nik miscounted... there are 100 figures.

    1. So, the number of figures is being *adjusted*, and always *upwards*, eh? Now, of course I'm not implying that anything fraudulent is going on, but, you know...

  10. To me they all look like silhouettes of The Simpsons characters.


  11. The thing is, when the gadget is shown to be something completely else than what the paranoid stricken brains at WUWT came up with, the paranoid can always claim that it was changed due to the fact that the paranoid knew. So the paranoid can keep in believing that they were right and as a perceived bonus they also thwarted the plans of their opponent.
    Pretty much like the religious fanatics who believe that the end of the world is coming, again and again and... In a neverending cycle of self delusion.

    1. Well, no, because it'll have taken forever to create the actual piece, and there's no way to have created a 'substitute' since Saturday.

      We now know what the piece is and - surprise! surprise! - Watts turns out to have been as well informed and as capable of drawing rational conclusions as usual.

      If he or (more likely) any of his winged monkeys is reading - you look like a fool, Anthony, but that's hardly new.

    2. It won't be long before most Wattians forget what this really was and remember it as being the libellous assault Watts said it would be. A simple trick - instinctive, even - for rightwing authoritarian types.

  12. WUWT gets a huge amount of traffic and ranks around 9800 in Alexa. SKS is a mere borderline phenomenon ranking in the 88,000 region.

    Toolbars are a kind of intelligence test, or at least a test of savvy. A 9800 Alexa ranking is about as flattering to WUWT as "bestseller" is to Barbara Cartland novels.

    1. Besides that, Doug, it has already been shown the Alexa ranking is problematic:


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