Thursday, September 24, 2015

Every day is denial day at WUWT, with models

Anthony Watts and his readers are deniers. There's no way around that. AP journalists might try calling them "climate change doubters", but deniers have no doubt. They have complete confidence in their conspiracy theory that climate science is a hoax.

A case in point. Yesterday it was greenhouse effect denial day at the climate conspiracy blog WUWT. Anthony Watts has rejected the greenhouse effect, again, publishing an article by some chap from New Zealand who went to see one of the Thin Ice viewings (archived here).

In the past, Anthony has been known to come out and declare that he doesn't exactly reject the greenhouse effect. It's just that he thinks it suddenly stopped working or something like that. This is happening less and less often, as he lets his blog slip further and further into conspiratorial paranoia.

Anyway, yesterday Anthony didn't bother with any disclaimer that he, blog owner, accepts the greenhouse effect. As climate change kicks in, Anthony knows that he must hang onto whatever visitors he can get. If that means letting go of any semblance of reality, so be it. Page hits matter.

Ian Wishart is from New Zealand. He has declared himself as a climate science denier. Apparently he's even written some books about how he rejects science. He recently went to see Simon Lamb's documentary "Thin Ice". He wrote:
The film begins with Simon Lamb mocking sceptics of climate change by suggesting they are alleging a grand “conspiracy” of “dishonest climate scientists”. His documentary, he said, was intended to be a neutral revelation of what the climate scientists were doing so people could make up their own minds about whether they were being honest or dishonest about climate. Within a few minutes I felt they were being dishonest, but no one in the audience would have known unless they were well briefed on the facts.

So not only does Ian Wishart deny climate science, he's a climate conspiracy freak. He thinks that climate scientists are dishonest.

Here is more of what he denies:

He denies the greenhouse effect. Ian is basically arguing that because an increase of the greenhouse gas CO2 is sometimes a feedback, that it can't be a forcing. In fact he doesn't even accept that extra CO2 is a feedback. He doesn't accept the greenhouse effect altogether. Ian wrote:
The CO2 did not “cause” the temperature increases – the temp increases caused the release of more CO2.
He's wrong. Any increase in atmospheric CO2 will cause global warming. It doesn't matter whether that increase is on its own - like now, or whether it was precipitated by something else, like Earth's tilt or wobble. More CO2 means warming.

Ian denies that climate models are useful. He says they are rubbish, writing about a " just published report in the journal Nature Climate Change" - which was "just published" two years ago, in August 2013!  Yes, it's an odd about face for a science denier to accept a science paper, isn't it.

Anyway, in that paper, the authors surmise the difference between modeled and recent surface temperatures could be attributed to some or all of ENSO, the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, aerosols and/or stratospheric water vapour. Which only goes to show that models are indeed useful in helping to isolate possible factors that have an impact on climate. Without any climate models, all we'd have would be observations, with nothing to compare them to. There'd be no way of working out what factors are contributing to what effect on climate. That's where climate models come in.

I think that deniers have a weird notion  of what climate models are and how they are useful. The seem to think that climate models are only useful if they are exactly the same as observations. However, climate models are much more than that. They are very useful for showing what impact the different forcings and feedbacks have on climate.

Finally, Ian doesn't believe that humans are causing climate change. He wrote:
The UN’s AR5 report was out of date even before it hit the newsstands. AR5 claims a consensus higher than “95% certainty” that human-caused CO2 emissions are predominantly driving global warming, but critics and even many scientists are now asking, “based on what evidence?”
Duh! The evidence is there in black and white (and red and green) in the IPCC reports. No scientist worth his or her salt is asking "based on what evidence?". And Ian doesn't cite a single scientist who is asking that question. He just made that up out of thin ice. Here's just some of the evidence, from the land and sea surface:

Data source: GISS NASA

And here's a bit more - just from the sea surface:

Data source: UK Met Office Hadley Centre

And there's more, from the level of the sea:

Data source: U Colorado

To reject all the scientific evidence is not "doubt" it's denial. I don't know what got into the Associated Press that it is pussy-footing around dismal deniers. Anthony Watts and Ian Wishart are an example of deniers of the greenhouse effect, of global warming, of surface warming and probably of sea level rise and ocean acidification and melting ice and all the other things that we're doing to our planet.

Gavin Schmidt on climate models

As Gavin Schmidt said: "...unfortunately observations of the future are not available at this time."

From the WUWT comments

Here is some more denial from deniers.

Latitude is a hard core denier and conspiracy theorist, who is sad:
September 22, 2015 at 6:21 pm
The saddest part is after all this time and all this money…
..we still don’t know if it’s a pause, hiatus, plateau, peak…or even if they whole thing was made up

Marcus is even deeper in denial. In the hottest year on record, immediately following a hottest year on record, and most probably the hottest decade on record, following after the previous hottest decade on record, which followed three successive hottest decades on record, he's an ice age comether:
September 22, 2015 at 6:31 pm
Looking at the ” Unadjusted ” historical data, I’d say we’re about to dive head first off the plateau into the next LIA !!!!

Tim's an uber conspiracy theorist of the climate kind. Very deep in denial. No doubt about it:
September 22, 2015 at 6:46 pm
One day a few years into the future I can imagine there will be plenty of studies into the cost of the the great climate swindle. Not just in terms of money, but also the knock on effects of not having that money to spend in a time of global recession on growth/inequality/social/health areas and subsequent loss of life this caused.
Possibly even further into the future studies on the impacts of delaying action on future scientific discoveries based on sound scientific principles due to the damage done to the scientific community in general after the collapse of AGW theory(counting chickens perhaps).
I can’t help but think also if less time had been spent in the political sphere on global warming what effect that might have had on the current instabilities in the middle east that we seemed so ill prepared for(tenuous i know). 
MCourtney has no doubt either, and is also deep in denial.  And an ugly denier at that, having given up any pretense of being the polite son of the raucous father:
September 23, 2015 at 1:14 am (excerpt)
Sadly there won’t be plenty of such studies.
AGW is analogous to Eugenics.

Marcus is so deep in conspiracy nuttery that he is wanting to send thousands and thousands of scientists from all around the world to gaol:
September 22, 2015 at 6:27 pm
Eco-terrorism is taking it’s last few dying breaths…finally !!! Next up, jail time for these frauds !!! 

1957chev is another denier and conspiracy nutter:
September 22, 2015 at 6:40 pm
Just a scare tactic. The image makes it real, for many people. Scammers.

Dawtgtomis is a denier and conspiracy theorist of the right wing kind:
September 22, 2015 at 6:56 pm
The way this thing has taken on a life of it’s own, The facts don’t matter as much as the rhetoric. That’s what makes it so suspected of being a pseudo-science cloaked agenda of socio-economic takedown.

There are lots more where those thoughts came from - some even worse. Denial is a very good description.

References and further reading

The Inside Story of Climate Science, Thin Ice - documentary films by geologist Simon Lamb

Fyfe, John C., Nathan P. Gillett, and Francis W. Zwiers. "Overestimated global warming over the past 20 years." Nature Climate Change 3, no. 9 (2013): 767-769.  doi:10.1038/nclimate1972 (pdf here)

Why trust climate models? It’s a matter of simple science - article by Scott Johnson at Ars Technica

From the HotWhopper archives


  1. I've studied connedspiracy theory extensively and the people involved. It's very difficult to unwind their thought processes. Imagine a giant rubber-band ball revolving around in their head. Everything is "connected" and everything has a "nefarious purpose". They cannot imagine a world any different.

    But if you look at what they're objecting to, you can find their true motivation, which you've quoted: Fear. They are very afraid that there pathetic little lives might be impacted in some way, so they conjure up connections in their little minds that "must" be nefarious.

    Nothing must challenge their world-views, not even real facts or real events connected to real facts. If this happens (and it happens all the time with climate topics), they invent connedspiracy conjecture to create an acceptable excuse to wrap around that rubber-band ball.

    I've met and known many face-to-face and their character and personality reflects this deep-seated fear. They're afraid of everything and their response mechanism is to object strenuously to anything they can't accept. They'll use terms likes "facts" when spreading provable lies; they deny trained experts and even the repeatable scientific method; they truly believe that unlearned opinions carry more weight then experts and experience; and they repeatedly exhaust their limited lexicon by retreading their theories again and again as "evidence".

    These are classical signs of narcissistic mental midgets. Selfish, arrogant, ignorant, stupidly prideful, obnoxious and opinionated, they've fallen into a dangerously deluded mind-set that fabricates fear around every issue, every topic.

    Connedspiracy idiots exhibit a dangerous disconnect from reality and if you examine the belief systems of domestic terrorist who have attacked society you will find the same connedspiracy beliefs in those individuals too. This is why law enforcement has long targeted this group because a few have engaged in violent activity.

    The Internet, shortwave, talk radio, church groups and the deep web are deeply populated with these sorts of people. They number in the millions and this is no exaggeration. Many are so caught up in their fear that they don't actually speak out in any public way so you'll easily miss identifying them as connedspiracy theorists, but I've known many (thousands) as one of their leaders.

    In time I realized how terribly wrong I was. The characters of the people I was with deeply disturbed me. I wound up having to reject it all, unwinding that rubber-band ball in my own mind until I revealed the core. This took many years, many lost friends and many lost speaking engagements as I began to teach something else altogether.

    Connedspiracy theorists should be treated like cult-members; they need to be rescued from the grip of these groups; educated on what is real, true, factual and taught to discard what isn't; they need to understand the deep levels of harm they have done to themselves and others; and they need a pathway ahead to a better life and the acceptance of reality. While I am not trained in this area, these are the things that I had to do for myself, family and a few friends I retained along the way. I have zero patience for connedspiracy advocates however, and will not help those who are not looking for help. I only assist those who are questioning this false paradigm.

    More and more people have come to reject the climate connedspiracy because of the tireless efforts of so many to expose this lie.

    If you want to find connedspiracy climate deniers, visit the connedspiracy websites, this is where they all hang out in an echo-chamber of rampant stupidity. WUWT is tiny compared to others in terms of participants. It was definitely a wrong turn for WUWT to encourage. WUWT is losing their audience which is why connedspiracy theory is flourishing there - it's actually all he (Watts) has left. But it's a very dangerous and deluded direction to take.

    1. The fear motive comes through all climate science denial very strongly. The other day there was an article at WUWT where the author was petrified of the word "acidification". He went on and on about how that word is used to scare people.

      That's like being scared shitless of the thought of a hat, or a lump of rock, or a pumpkin, or a picket fence, or bunsen burner, or a grain of sand, or a metre, or an ounce. How those people function day to day I'll never know.

    2. Lordy. I hope he doesn't grow hydrangeas.

      If you want deep and meaningful blue rather than pedestrian conventional pink, you have to a.c.i.d.i.f.y the soil. Scary, huh?

    3. Thanks for you thoughts and experience Anon, I hope the worst is behind you and you can now grow in more fruitful directions. I recently read a book called, "The Heretics: Adventures with Enemies of Science." by Will Storr which looks at these sorts of people. It takes a psychology angle on how to some extent we are all prone to sloppy thinking,confirmation bias, narrative over facts and other shortcuts our minds tend to make.

      It has an interview with Lord Monckton which I found interesting. He links up the "left-wing conspiracy" who "only want power by any means", to global warming. It shows the way these people fears all link up into a world wide conspiracy.

      The principle motivations of these people is fear, an anger of past or possible future threats. For example Lord Monckton seems to hate the Left because he blames them for the UK losing the British Empire where much of his family history is entwined. Therefore any policy the Left takes up is inherently bad and he must fight it. He believes the Left wants to destroy the West and its industry.Why? For power!

  2. Your first quote is hilariously close to science.

    The saddest part is after all this time and all this money…
    ..we still don’t know if it’s a pause, hiatus, plateau, peak…or even if they whole thing was made up

    We know it wasn't a peak, because it went up. Tamino is pretty clear that it's all made up, but at the same time, the physics suggests there was a hiatus decade (just not a statistically significant one).

  3. An apparently otherwise sane 'AGW is a hoax' acquaintance of mine objected to my use of 'denialist' because it made denialism sound like a religion. Not my intention, but...yeah. And the shoe fits; he's a fundamentalist libertarian. So I suggest that the term 'climate change doubters' be replaced with the more accurate 'denialist'.

    1. The usual whinge is that "denialist" is meant to echo "Holocaust denialism", and hence is some kind of smear. This is, of course, silly.

  4. Ian Wishart and WUWT is a marriage made in heaven. WIshart is full on conspiracy theorist

  5. In NZ Wishart is written off as a conspiracy driven loon.
    Some of his more extreme views include NZ was colonized by Celts before maori arrived around 1200CE complete with a conspiracy to hide the archaeological evidence.
    The so called evidence is hiding in plain site at the local university's library for any one who can be bothered to look.
    The sites are only closed to the public prevent curio hunters violating pre European contact burials.
    It did surprise me that a piece from such a fringe source got into my top five science news story's on google here in NZ. Such a result suggests some effort to get it to rate highly.


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