Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Anthony Watts tries for one foot in the Hitler camp and one foot out

Sou | 1:31 AM Go to the first of 39 comments. Add a comment

I've noticed a few people expressing shock and disbelief that Anthony Watts would put up the article that Tim Ball wrote the other day.

I don't know why they picked out that particular one.

Yes, it was shocking. Yes, it was not only one of the dumbest articles you'll ever read, it was horrible. Tim Ball was basically accusing climate scientists of being Hitlers. He quoted a passage from Hitler's writings to prove that climate science was one big con. (Yeah - weird!) He was accusing climate scientists of massive deception on a centuries-long world-wide scale, which is something that Anthony encourages his readers to believe quite often. So that's nothing new.

Thing is, Anthony Watts often posts articles by Tim Ball, some of which, to my reading, have been just as shocking as the one he posted the other day.

I won't go into the detail of the article itself.  I'll just point out that it took quite some time for Anthony to finally hint that he knows this time he's gone way too far. Well, he's gone too far on many occasions. However, this time he's decided he'd better try to distance himself from the article. He's belatedly added a tiny little post-script:
Disclaimer [added]: This post is entirely the opinion of Dr. Tim Ball, it does not neccessarily reflect the opinion of Anthony Watts or other authors who publish at WUWT. – Anthony Watts

Too little, too late. He doesn't actually dissociate himself from the article, you'll notice. He doesn't say - this is most definitely NOT my opinion. All he says is that it doesn't "necessarily" reflect his opinion. It might or might not. He's not saying. Most certainly he doesn't think it's necessary to remove the article. He'd only remove an article that made him look silly even to the dumbest fake sceptic reader - like the time he posted how Greenland was completely ice free 650 years ago, and then later after he was told what nonsense it was, took the article down. Anthony only seems to be concerned about what his fake sceptic readers will think of him. Which is probably why he's left this article up. His audience these days are more like Tim Ball than your average lukewarmer. Anthony can't afford to alienate them.

The fact that he included "or other authors" suggests that one of his "other authors" wanted to be dissociated and told Anthony so in no uncertain terms. That's pure speculation. There could be a clue in the comments. I haven't read them and don't intend to do so. There are limits.

The thing of course is that it's Anthony's blog. He chooses what ideas to promote and what to not. He chose to promote an article likening climate scientists to Hitler and claiming that climate scientists are engaged in some unbelievable (by any rational person) gigantic multi-decadal, global deception. He can't dissociate himself from the article by writing that he doesn't necessarily endorse it.

Cannily he didn't put a time or date when he wrote his disclaimer. However people have been archiving the article. I could have archived one of the first three, I can't remember. I did decide Tim's WUWT article was too gross for HotWhopper. There are limits to what you'll read here. However I've changed my mind. Not that the WUWT article isn't too disgusting, and I'm certainly not going to write any more on the subject than the brief description I've already given. What I figured was worth writing about was that Anthony Watts is not immune to social pressure. And the way he handles the pressure from two sides is to pretend to dissociate himself from this kind of extremism without actually dissociating himself from it. He keeps a foot in both camps. Or so he thinks. My bet is his supposed "disclaimer" comment will satisfy very few people.

It wouldn't satisfy me. Does it satisfy you, I wonder?

By the way, you can get some idea of how long it took Anthony to write his disclaimer by checking the archived versions. The only one that carries the disclaimer so far is the fourth one. The one with the time and date stamp: 25 Nov 2014 13:26:03. The first archive was at least 3 hours after Anthony Watts put up the article at WUWT. So it was somewhere between 24 Nov 2014 09:53 and 25 Nov 2014 13:26:03 when he wrote it. And he posted the article originally at around 23 Nov 2014 20:16.


  1. On Webcite, there are archives with the disclaimer made at: 2014-11-23 21:48:04 and 2014-11-24 13:44:46, that gives us 20 minutes more. ;-)

    Brian Macker at WUWT and Everett F Sargent at Rabett Run point out the when you read the full citation in Mein Kampf, Hilter was actually accusing the Jewish Bankers of using a Big Lie strategy. Thus the climate scientists are the Jewish bankers. You can figure out what that makes WUWT. That would explain why they want to delay mitigation, didn't we tell them that people in other countries, the poor and vulnerable would suffer most?

    The WUWT post got 95 "votes", the average is that this is an "excellent" post. Up to now 21 bloggers like the post. It has almost 500 comments, about 97% seem to be okay with this kind of language, do not protest. This Nazi conspiracy theory seems to be WUWT mainstream.

    Sou, maybe you read this horrible stuff more often and slowly get used to it. I find this pretty shocking.

    The number of Nazi references is growing according to Robert Grumbine: "@rgrumbine: Long term trend is more Nazi references at WUWT 1 in 2006, 12 in 2008, avg 60/yr 2009-2013, 110 and counting in 2014." That growth seem to be more than the growth in readership when Watts made his fortunes on the back of stolen emails around 2010. (The last year may not be representative, it may also contain automatically generated pages with Nazi quotes from previous years.)

    At least this affair shows the decent conservatives and true Christians what kind of people they are collaborating with. This does not fit to their official ideology or religion.

    1. Looking at WUWT is like rubbing the underbelly of the internet and seeing what falls off.

      Is this a bad time to mention Bob Altemeyer's - The Authoritarians?

    2. Unfortunately, many of the Nazi collaborators considered themselves "decent conservatives and true Christians".


    3. Let me get this straight: Tim Ball quotes Hitler. Someone connects Hitler's quote to "Jewish Bankers". Therefore it is double bad. It is not really that difficult to illustrate Hitler's hatred of the Jews.
      I really need to see the Venn diagram of how Hitler and the Jews are related to climate change.

    4. Victor, my reading this sort of stuff on WUWT before on many occasions doesn't mean I don't find it just as shocking each time. This time was the most blatant example, but Tim Ball weaves anti-semitism into many of his articles at WUWT and his usual theme is that climate science is a giant hoax.

      The anti-semitic theme creeps into denialist articles of the conspiracy nutter kind from various sources. It builds on other anti-semitic themes that go way back in time, from before climate science became a hot issue. Malcolm Roberts of the Galileo Movement has used it, causing right wing political blogger Andrew Bolt to dissociate himself from him - it was that bad. (That's almost the equivalent of Sen Inhofe saying he accepts climate science.) That was what prompted journalist Ben Cubbie to write:

      I find myself confronting an unusual problem: how does one critically analyse a pile of horse shit?


      I think the reason these sort of WUWT articles have gone almost unnoticed, despite their frequency, is that everyone knows that Tim Ball is a wacko conspiracy nutter and an alleged defamer of scientists. They don't bother reading what he writes, knowing it's complete nonsense.

      I've called out Anthony Watts on several occasions for promoting this rubbish. Too many people give him a free pass. He's managed everyone's expectations very nicely thank you very much. People expect garbage and that's what they get.

      What I don't get is why anyone would give him or WUWT any credence. Ever. But they do. Even scientists have supped with the man. Despite all this. I don't get it.

    5. Anonymous, Ball quotes Hitler and suggests that climate scientists are like Hitler. The full quotes shows that he compares climate scientists with Jews.

      Yes, both have nothing to do with science, like WUWT.

    6. After reading Ball's garbage I agree he actually affirmatively quotes Adolf Hitler to "explain" what is driving the alleged global conspiracy behind "the big lie", in this case supposedly AGW.

      Delusion, paranoia, conspiracy fantasies, and pathic projection (projection w/o analytical reflection). With the anti-Semitism added it all comes together. What drives these people? Horkheimer and Adorno wrote some interesting stuff about this in Elements of Anti-Semitism (in Dialectic of Enlightenment: Philosophical Fragments).

      Good to know that Ball only may reflect the opinion of Anthony Watts and Co., but not necessarily.

    7. Actually, the quote that is used by Ball in an affirmative way isn't about "Jewish bankers" specifically (which wouldn't make it in any way better, if it was). The quote is from an anti-Semitic rant in Hitler's "Mein Kampf" against "The Jews".

  2. Add to Monckton, Delingpole. It's telling of their mindset. They wish.

  3. And they get upset by the word "denier"? Really?
    And the top target for their Serengeti Strategy is David Mann, a Jewish Scientist?
    Not surprising if you surf Google. You'll find a good many articles about Jews being behind the "Climate Change Hoax."

    Read this, directly from the comments of WUWT:
    Joel says:
    November 23, 2014 at 12:41 pm
    Get real, he is talking about the techniques used by the ethno-Bolsheviks and their central banksters cohorts(both sides of the same coin), he was not advocating using such lies and deceptions. Context people, context.

    [2 links removed. One was to an Anti-Semitic website, and the other I was too disgusted to check. The website I checked had another article on the "Climate Change Hoax" being directed by Jews. Wonderful Anthony - keep the link up so we all know who you are]

    MCourtney says:
    November 23, 2014 at 1:05 pm

    If you mean Jews, say so.

    This is not a debate I want to be in…
    [At least this MCourtney fellow saw the light here, although can't agree with much else he says about scientists in other comments]

  4. "All he says is that it doesn't "necessarily" reflect his opinion. It might or might not. He's not saying."

    Perhaps he's waiting for the Heartland Institute to instruct him what his opinion is.

  5. Ah, poor dumb Tim Ball. And Bill Happer, and John Coleman. The combination of advancing age and prejudice can do terrible things to a mind.

    All I can hope is that when or if I get to that age I won't be shouting at the squirrels to keep off my damn lawn.

  6. Watts is committed to giving his readership rapid article turn-over, the same way that say Huffpo and Buzzfeed does.

    Some sites resort to "side boob" to maintain story turnover rates.

    Tim Ball is WUWT's side boob.

    1. Drudge Report was one of the first to use "rapid article turn over". It's more about the headline than the actual article which more often than not contradicts the headline. Reminds me of the freak shows at the county fairs I went to as a kid. The carneys would not let you look too long and hard at a single grotesquery feeling it would not stand up to too much scrutiny. The Gish Gallop does this as well. Folks like Sou can only comment with quality on a small amount of what Anthony slings up.

  7. Methinks, Dim Bulb, err Tim Ball, is invoking the antisemitic canard card.


    That conspiracy theorist extraordinaire Willard Anthony Watts is still A-OK with that, even though, you know, its been pointed out to him, might, just might, appear to suggest that he is sympathetic to that particular POV. The stupid, it burns.

  8. My father was in occupied Holland under the Germans in WW2. He was killing Germans when he was only fourteen! He suffered from PTSD all his life.
    We used to go flying together and it was then that he told me all about his doubting his sanity and morals.
    I simply said to him I would have done the same.

    These deniers do not know what a Nazi is! They cannot even see that they are just like them!


  9. Sou, thank you for reading and summarizing these (really weird) articles. Your first sentence got me curious enough that I tried to read Tim Ball's article. I couldn't get through it. I scanned the comments looking for a ray of sunshine. There is none I could find.
    The whole of the article, especially the comments, concerns me greatly. More so than the whole of climate change: the timescale for humans to amplify this kind of mischief is much shorter than that of the climate's ability to cause something equal. The impact of this "Tim Ball and his cohorts" mischief can be incredibly devastating as we have seen time and time again throughout history. Is this a new signal rising above the noise? Who pay attention to this type of "change"?

  10. I don't know if you caught this but Canadian scientists are now under the influence of Obama: http://bit.ly/1tiamHL

  11. Holy sh*t. Tim Ball's piece on WUWT has been rated 5 out 5 stars by 94 voters and it's even disgusting to a scum bag like me.

    1. Well, 94 votes. How many actual people might be another matter. Never ever forget:

      "Just a small handful of people ran all of the most offensive accounts. What looked like a substantial group of objective skeptics to the outside observer was actually just a few bitter and biased posters with more opinions then evidence."


    2. There are people, wacky conspiracy theorists, all gravitating to WUWT now that Anthony's come out with this latest overt bit of bigotry and conspiracy theorising from Tim Ball. There were almost 500 comments from I don't know how many people from all around the world. That's a lot these days at WUWT. WUWT used to get that many comments more often when WUWT was in its prime. Now not so often.

      Probably most were from the USA, but some are from Australia and the UK and elsewhere. Could be two or three hundred people. Which isn't a lot in the context of the US population.

      Remember, people like that don't have too many places where they can vent their spleen among friends. Without being challenged. Normal people are spread across the entire rest of the internet. The cranks are pulled as if by a magnet to the conspiracy blogs. So yes, it seems like a lot, but it's not really a lot.

    3. Almost 100 votes and almost 500 comments is a sufficient sample.

      This sample gives this post 5/5 stars, calls it excellent. If there were more reasonable people there, they could at least have made one click and vote the article down.

      In the comments there is almost no opposition to this tone. They could have made an anonymous comment, as long as you do not doubt WUWT "science" and you just ask whether this is the best way to delay mitigation, you can write anonymous comments.

    4. Sou, Did I mention that this kind of behavior is closely associated with those who support authoritarians? Racist... sexist, gay bashing... Its all normal to them.

      If you read Bob Altemeyer's book, he's got some funny stories about running world simulation games. Only one day, he ran it with all people who had authoritarian leanings. After the first global war, he had to start the game again, but its pretty common to see the place trashed, particularly by 'them'. All global problems get solved and everyone makes more money if Authoritarians aren't in the mix.

      It kinda makes me wonder why Lomborg works with these creeps. Apart from the millions in cold hard cash he's been paid for goofing around, and pretending to do something he's not.

  12. Bob Tisdale objects .... not to Ball but to Sou.

    [Removed link - see comment policy, Lars. - Sou]

    1. That fits with the unsavoury sides of his character he's recently revealed (pornography, theft). A couple of weeks ago I might have been surprised, but not now.

    2. What's the porn and theft stuff?

    3. Pornography and theft? Please do share.

    4. Sorry. There's been some talk about this recently. A short while ago "Bob" stole some of my photos and artwork (and name) and used them in some new blog he's started, and got people writing comments intended to titillate. I don't go there myself, but I've seen evidence of the former and someone sent me a tweet with a screenshot of the latter. Pretty gross. Much worse than the misogynistic/sexist rants at WUWT and some of them were bad. It's probably how he and his denier mates "relax" when not writing pseudo-science crap. Going by the comment I saw, I'd guess it's like Gabby's cartoon on steroids, but I wouldn't know for sure and don't care to check. http://blog.hotwhopper.com/p/sexism.html

      That's all I have to say on the subject. I won't be taking comments on it.

  13. The WUWT comments are, as usual, total rubbish, except the following. It warms the heart to have their incisive understanding of scientists and science so clearly displayed. Priceless!

    "Uncle Gus
    November 25, 2014 at 10:20 am
    People think of scientific research as a sort of ivory tower occupation. In reality, it’s like a combination of show biz and professional gambling. Like a gambler, you’re always hoping for that big score that will set you up for life, and few ever get one. As in show business, you’ll do anything for that next gig, because it’s that or Mickey D’s.
    The mystery is why people with brains go into it in the first place…"

    1. Or Gus, you might just be incredibly curious to understand how the universe works. So curious in fact that you take crappy comp to do it. My mom didn't accept AGW for 2 reasons 1) Hadn't seen proof and 2) it's all about money. The first one took a few graphs on surface temps, ice loss, OHC and sea level followed by Q&A to understand the science. The second one was a simple question - "Mom, do you remember how I lived and what I got paid before I left academia to go to business?" Discussion over, my Fox news-watching mom now accepts the AGW facts. The funny thing is like many subjects we discussed in the past, her lack of a high school education did not stop her from asking really deep questions in order to understand the basic principles. I give her more credit than the average pseudo skeptic I run into.

  14. Ball comes across as a particularly effective kind of skeptic. If you listen to him, he sounds reasonable and measured. He's probably a nice guy, actually. The average person, not knowing science and with nothing else to go on, would think this guy was credible. And yet this guy has personally produced zilch in the way of refuting AGW.

    Hey, lookee here: https://twitter.com/BallExposed

    1. People who get sued by more than one scientist for defamation are not likely to come across as "nice guys". I've met people before who've spread lies about others. They are not "nice".

      There is no way anyone could construe the fantasies he weaves into his blog articles as anything but wacky conspiracy theories. About as far from "reasonable and measured" as one could get.

    2. Dr. Ball is being sued for defamation? Sou do you have a link to the Ball lawsuit?

  15. Check out Watts at his magnanimous best:


    "I have a post up that quotes Hitler and compares you to 'the lying Jews'. Do you want to refute it?"

  16. If I had a moustache like Watts, I'd add a disclaimer too.

  17. I've seen the quotation below from Maurice Strong before and I'm pretty sure Strong was talking about how one could write a possible novel; it sounds to me like something Ayn Rand would write.

    "...referred to the cabal when he speculated in 1990,

    What if a small group of these world leaders were to conclude the principal risk to the earth comes from the actions of the rich countries?…In order to save the planet, the group decides: Isn’t the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn’t it our responsibility to bring this about?"

  18. About the Maurice Strong statement, the account here is different from what I thought:

    "Strong then took to his website to address the issue:
    Although I seldom respond to media criticisms which are for the most part ideologically based it is useful to put on record for those who may be interested, the facts which have been the subject of misinformation, misinterpretation and outright lying by my critics (number 4 directly addressed the quote used by Beck): 4. A particularly dishonest statement by long-time critic, Peter Foster, to his own editor, citing a fictional account which was clearly stated to be an extreme scenario of what might happen by the year 2030 if we failed to act. This specifically stated that it was not a prediction, and certainly not a recommendation, but the kind of prospect we must seek to avoid."


  19. "Disclaimer [added]: This post is entirely the opinion of Dr. Tim Ball, it does not neccessarily reflect the opinion of Anthony Watts or other authors who publish at WUWT. – Anthony Watts"
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
    "not necessarily"

    But then again,
    quite possibly it does reflect Anthony's opinion!


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