Thursday, December 11, 2014

Bob Tisdale does a Wondering Willis - it's "mind blowing" that a science blog wrote about WUWT

Sou | 4:48 PM Go to the first of 8 comments. Add a comment

Remember when Wondering Willis wrote that scathing piece about Anthony Watts and WUWT, saying that Anthony couldn't tell good science from pseudo-science crap even if he had a year to think about it?  His article was one long insult to Anthony and WUWT.

Now Bob Tisdale has done the same (archived here). In another full-on insult to WUWT, Bob writes how he finds it unbelievable that any proper science site would take the least bit of notice of the nonsense that goes on at Anthony Watts' blog.

What that tells you is that now two of the most prolific writers at WUWT have a fairly realistic picture of WUWT's place in the world. Both Willis Eschenbach and Bob Tisdale view Anthony Watts in the same way as most other people do. Anthony Watts runs a fringe blog that is not to be taken seriously by anyone, let alone by anyone who knows anything about climate science.

When two of Anthony's staunchest allies come out with this sort of thing, you see that they realise that WUWT is just another inconsequential blog that happens to attract a lot of people - but not the type of audience anyone would want to boast about.

Mind blowing and truly bizarre

Bob uses words like "mind boggling" and "truly bizarre" to describe his reaction to the realclimate article. He is probably astonished that anyone outside the deniosphere bubble has heard of WUWT, let alone that reaclimate.org would write an article about the (dead or dormant) WUWT widget. Who in their right mind (according to Bob) cares about a misleading widget - or any of the tricks deniers use to deceive the world? He's wrong. Research shows that when you expose the tricks that deniers get up to, people respond. They can see more clearly how disinformers are dishonest.

Bob can't envisage that anyone can do more than one thing.  I've seen that before with low-achievers. They are amazed that someone can whip up a blog article in their own personal time, for example, and still produce high quality research in their day job. Bob also seems to think that Professor Stefan Rahmstorf should stop his "physics of the oceans" research and get a new job developing climate models. Why? I don't know. Maybe Bob thinks it's a growing field. Or maybe it's because Bob can't understand physics of the oceans, so he thinks it not worth researching.

There is a lot more wrong with Bob's article. As usual he packs a lot of wrongs into a big space. For example, Bob is unable to distinguish between the importance to the ordinary person of the temperature on the surface of the earth - where we live, work and play, and the importance to science of the amount of heat being stored in the ocean. Bob's inability to see the obvious is fairly typical of those who inhabit the ignorant end of denialism.

The WUWT widget died in September, but Bob says he's had the word that someone is going to resurrect it.

You can go to realclimate.org to see the tricks that are used in the WUWT widget. It's a good example. You'll also find a better widget. Well, it's really a chart that you can copy onto your own website that gets updated automatically every month. It's got CO2 plotted against surface temperature. It needs a bit of work still. (The colours are hard to see, for example, and the typeface is too small compared to the size of the chart, and it would be nice to be able to change the background and foreground colours. Are there any widget programmers out there with time on their hands?)

It's got the important things right, though. Such as the relationship between CO2 and surface temperature is consistent with physics, unlike the WUWT widget. And it shows the solar radiation in a meaningful way, unlike the WUWT widget.

From the WUWT comments

The usual. Nothing terribly illuminating except where Willis Eschenbach points out that to keep up the hits, Anthony Watts has to endlessly regurgitate garbage - with umpteen pseudo-scientific or political "essays" from "guests" every single day. Otherwise his readers would wander elsewhere to write their one-liner denialisms. Whereas RealClimate.org has a strong readership base because of its high quality scientific articles, even though they've been a bit less frequent this past few months (since Gavin Schmidt became Director of GISS, NASA). And the quality of the discussions at realclimate.org remains very high, is focused on science and encourages people to think. While the quality of comments at WUWT is below low and aimed at the unthinking mindless hordes.

I won't bother posting any comments. It's enough to know that Bob Tisdale, like Willis Eschenbach, holds WUWT in extremely low regard. If you want to read them, they're here.


  1. It simply amazes me that none of the comments focus on the most damaging critique of the WUWT widget: the arbitrary scaling of CO2 to temperature. Then they garble other good arguments about showing the current number of sunspots as a proxy for solar irradiance instead of the trend. Or go on the counterattack -- why show the 2009 image instead of 2014? Well ok, they're right, 5 whole missing years of pause. At least one commenter used the word "mendacious". [snork] Just try to get one of these guys to look at data prior to 1998 and out come the lame deflections -- it's adjusted data, UHI diddit, 1850 was the end of the LIA so of course it's warming up. blah blah blah.

    The rules for dealing with WUWTers:

    1) Never make more than one argument at a time.
    2) Don't hide any declines.
    3) Don't expect the above two rules to help.

    1. People commenting at WUWT wouldn't have read the RealClimate critique let alone cared (or understood it). The fans know it's safer (for their denial) not to know. Almost no WUWT readers follow links, especially links to a science website. It gives them a headache.

      Bob Tisdale didn't mention any of the criticisms, though he put up the graphic with the summary. He wouldn't have understood them so wouldn't have risked trying to describe them. His main concern, apart from padding out his article with some irrelevant SST charts, was a complaint that RC used an older version of the widget - which was almost identical to the "new" one anyway.

      I did see that Steve Mosher is getting a gravel rash, crawling back to Anthony and the WUWT-ers. That doesn't surprise me either.

    2. Bob is triumphantly spamming his execrable graph of 2000m OHC in 10^22 J against 2000m temperature ON THE SAME AXIS. I suggested he switch to 10^21 J and really flatten out that temperature curve before someone sharp-eyed noticed the barest hint of a slope to it. Will he get it?

      Probably not. So no, they don't understand the criticism about appropriate scaling, or they do and don't care because they're lying sacks of bull feces.

      Mosh IS playing nice today. Odd.

  2. In another full-on insult to WUWT, Bob writes how he finds it unbelievable that any proper science site would take the least bit of notice of the nonsense that goes on at Anthony Watts' blog.

    Sou, I am sorry, I thought you were exaggerating. At least a little. For a nice rhetorical effect. Thus I read the archive and I cannot come to another conclusion.

  3. Actually, I'm sincerely flattered by Bob's titanic effort to be funny , as it more than slight;ly recalls a 2012 piece of my own .

    Let's give him a Wegman Award for Christmas !

  4. Another rat leaving the sinking ship. Remains a rat.

  5. To check how realistic the scales are on the improved widget. Just do a very simple rough calculation for TCR ( Transient Climate Response ) from the widget.

    0.6 C x 280/75 = 2.24 C for a doubling of CO2 from 280 ppm to 560 ppm.
    This is well within accepted values for TCR.

  6. I do understand the exponential response to a delta function driver. We are not dealing with a delta function. We have an insidious driver that is slowly accumulating.
    The response may be an inverse exponential. For the first bit it is essentially linear.
    The equilibrium state is another matter all together. The temperature will keep rising after the forcing has stabilised.


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