Saturday, September 13, 2014

Denier weirdness: Paranoid conspiracy blog WUWT branches out into ozone hole denial

Sou | 8:16 PM Go to the first of 18 comments. Add a comment

WUWT has earned a reputation as the go-to blog for climate science denial. Now it's branching out into ozone hole denial. It wasn't always so.

Here are some facts from NASA about the Ozone hole.

What is the Ozone Hole?
The ozone hole is not technically a “hole” where no ozone is present, but is actually a region of exceptionally depleted ozone in the stratosphere over the Antarctic that happens at the beginning of Southern Hemisphere spring (August–October).
Satellite instruments provide us with daily images of ozone over the Antarctic region. The ozone hole image below shows the very low values (blue and purple colored area) centered over Antarctica on 4 October 2004.
From the historical record we know that total column ozone values of less than 220 Dobson Units were not observed prior to 1979. From an aircraft field mission over Antarctica we also know that a total column ozone level of less than 220 Dobson Units is a result of catalyzed ozone loss from chlorine and bromine compounds. For these reasons, we use 220 Dobson Units as the boundary of the region representing ozone loss. Using the daily snapshots of total column ozone, we can calculate the area on the Earth that is enclosed by a line with values of 220 Dobson Units (the white line in the figure below).

WUWT rejects ozone science

Today Anthony Watts put up an article by his sleazebag buddy Tim Ball, an ozone hole denier, who wrote:
...It only appears the Montreal Protocol worked because there was no problem in the first place. Variations in ozone were perfectly natural. 

No, Tim is wrong. Human-made substances have depleted stratospheric ozone. Tim has more:
There are no holes in the ozone. There were none when it became a political issue in the 1990s and none today. 

Tim Ball is a science denier. He rejects climate science and now rejects ozone science. He also fantasises paranoid conspiracy theories. His mind is a phantasmagorical cesspool, mixing greenhouse effect denial (he's a "slayer" author) and larger than life scientists who in his mind rule the world.

So today Anthony Watts is promoting Tim's fantasies about ozone.

Apparently Dr Susan Solomon is now the leader of the secret cult planning to take over the world and put all science deniers in FEMA camps, or some such nonsense. Or so Tim Ball seems to think.

After Anthony Watts' recent debacle over 97 hours, his dummy spit at the tweet by President Obama, and his retreat from his "satirical spoof" (does Anthony know the difference between satire and parody?), one could be forgiven for thinking that he is in meltdown mode. Climate science has got the better of him and he's given up.

Casual readers may conclude that Anthony Watts' blog is no longer the go-to blog for science denial. Now it's the go-to blog for wacky conspiracy theories.

WUWT watchers know better. That's pretty well where Anthony Watts decided to target his blog, after a shaky start in the early days, full of good intentions but lacking in substance. Science (and PlayStations) didn't attract the readership he sought because he couldn't compete with quality. So he decided to go for anti-science, pseudo-science and wacky conspiracy theories. There's a niche market for that. It won't get him respect but it helps pay the bills.

Is the ozone hole recovering yet?

The CSIRO has some charts showing the depletion of CFCs since the Montreal Protocol came into effect. Needless to say, WUWT is wrong when it claims that it's all a conspiracy by the One World Government / UN / Agenda 21 / FEMA / HAARP / or whatever.

In the last couple of days there was a press release saying that the ozone hole has stopped growing. By the mid-2020s we might start to see signs of an actual recovery.

There are some videos and graphics at NASA, showing changes in ozone over time. (H/t Michael Brown).

From the WUWT comments

Anthony has far more than his share of barely literate conspiracy nutters. That's his target audience these days. He courts them deliberately.

paullitely wrote:
September 12, 2014 at 10:13 pm
Ah – Ha! Clearly this is a cheap shot to convince everyone that humans can control the climate at the Ozone Hole, and by extension the. Human controlled CO2 Global Warming theory has legs. However, humans are arrogant to think they control Nature on that scale. It is not happening. Now I see the Ozone story was an early attempt to use climate “science” to manipulate humans politically and economically for power and profit.

john robertson rivals Tim Ball in paranoid delusions:
September 12, 2014 at 11:36 pm
Actually it is kind of fitting, appropriate even, that the WMO orchestrates the last stand of the CAGW crusade.
They orchestrated this CAGW meme deliberately.
The WMO caused the creation of the IPCC, as planned.
Our bureaucrats working in unison, through an unelected unaccountable organization, created, promoted and are still desperately trying to protect from investigation, this fraud.
To claim unprecedented global warming from a brief span of time, during the warm half of a natural cycle, is at best incompetence.
But to deliberately attempt to gain power through mass hysteria, whipped up over such a nonevent can only be fraud.As seen in the ever changing historical temperature records.
Now as the cycle continues, the schemers are exposed.
Just like common serial liars, these institutional BS artists are reduced to telling larger and more elaborate tales to cover the decline of their absolute certainty.
Well I guess we were rich when this all started, so we could afford an infestation of fools and bandits upon the public troughs, now we ain’t so rich and maybe soon we will get a little wiser.
Poverty sharpens the mind, so it is said, as when you are scratching to get by you stop feeding bloated parasites such as the UN , WMO and IPCC.

Greg has to venture as far as the wacky Lyndon Larouche before finding "evidence" for his paranoid fantasies:
September 13, 2014 at 1:23 am
Warning: there seems to be a lot conspiracy type logic buzzing around this topic however, this article seems to give some information about the dubious validity of some early measurements by Solomon and other in Antarctica and original Rowland and Molina hypothesis on which the whole anti-CFC crusade was built.
[Redacted link to Lyndon Larouche's website. Sou.] 
Until today I too had always believed it was well founded. It all starts to sound as doubtful as the CO2 scam.

jorgekafkazar is a One World Government conspiracy nutter, and writes:
September 13, 2014 at 12:17 am
Obviously, since the UN is no longer focused on world peace but on world domination, it’s time to write our congressmen and senators requesting that we stop funding the UN. 


  1. "In the last couple of days there was a press release saying that the ozone has stopped growing." Should that be the ozone HOLE has stopped growing?

    1. Thanks, MWS, fixed.

      [Memo to self - proof read before posting :( ]

  2. Thats a wonderful article and set of comments at WUWT. Its so funny how they have a tissy fit when Stephan.Lewandowsky labels them conspiracy theorists and then they go and prove him right with crap like this. I'm surprised the less stupid deniers don't begin to suspect that WUWT is really a secret arm of the IPCC, dedicated to proving what numpties climate change deniers are.

  3. Tim Ball is completely off his rockers.

    In one sentence he will say that ozone varies naturally. (Which would imply that any 'holes' would be natural)

    And then in another he says there is no hole, despite the unequivocal evidence that it exists.

    You can't get more loopy that that can you?

    And then of course Watt's legion of blind followers dutifully clamour over each other to see who can get the most outrageous fact-free opinion in. The crazier the better. Talk about well trained.

    And of course anyone dumb enough to wander by and try to explain the facts (if they can even get it past the comment bin) will be hounded down with ad homs, false accusations and outright nastiness. Shameful!!

    1. If you didn't know his history, you'd think this was a deliberate effort to rack up evidence for an insanity defence in the defamation lawsuits against him.

  4. It could have been a good and informative blog-post about someone way out realism - if it hasn't been riddled with name calling. The anti science-people needn't to be called "sleazebag" or "cesspool". Why does the author give them ammunition for tit for tat? Their ridiculous science denial is more than enough.

    I know its sometimes not easy not to fall for such vocabulary - such people tend to draw others down to their level. But once you are that down, they beat you with experience.


    1. Speak for yourself - they don't beat me. Talent trumps experience every time.

      The secret is not to let them get you mad, which is not something they're capable of. They're used to handing it out but when they have to take it they start whining, which is never attractive but can be terribly amusing.

    2. No, as a long-time Tim Ball fan I thought "phantasmagorical cesspool" was genius!

  5. I couldn't quite understand the reuters story: it waffled between "it's not shrinking" and "it's growing". "Not shrinking" has been reported before, and the area trend seems to be slightly down. Is this just a not-yet-significant trend, which should become significant next decade?

    1. The way I read it was that the layer as a whole is showing some signs of recovery with " indications of a small increase in total ozone". Over Antarctica, the "hole" seems to have stopped getting bigger, but it won't be till 2025 or so before it becomes measurably smaller.

    2. Here's the actual press release that Reuters didn't mention a link to.

      "Total column ozone declined over most of the globe during the 1980s and early 1990s. It has remained relatively unchanged since 2000, but there are recent indications of its future recovery."

      There's a link to a PDF of the report, and a link to some annual reports.

    3. Pages 23-30 seem relevant. Seems that some measures are significantly up, some are up but are not yet significant. Lots of interesting tidbits in there.

  6. I guess Tim Ball wasn't awake when the problem of ozone depletion became a political issue in the 1970s, not the 90s as he said.

    1. Tim Ball wasn't awake when he retroactively created the "Climatology" program at the U of M either. It's all kind of a blur, really, but he's a big draw at retiree lunch lectures (sadly, I'm not making this up).

    2. I imagine there was no money to be made in ozone depletion denial prior to the period surrounding the Montreal Protocol. You could be forgiven for hypothesising why the ozone science of the 1970s may have slipped some minds.

  7. Still , Tim Ball has one fan: Matt Ridley. This was published in the UK as a Op Ed piece in The Times:


    Anthony get a mention for his "diligence"

    1. O.M.G.

      I didn't know Matt Ridley was a nutter. I thought he was just a free market luke warmer.

    2. He's our recently removed Secretary of State for the Environment's bezzy mate, which explains why dear Owen Paterson refers to the environmental movement as "the Green Blob", haw-haw. Apparently Ridders owned our environmental policies like Grima Wormtongue owned Rohan. Paterson's batshit crazy ramblings sadly betrayed Ridley's real thoughts on the subject of climate and the environment, as far as this British citizen is concerned.


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