Friday, October 16, 2015

Another conspiracy theorist "comes out" at WUWT: David Siegel

Sou | 8:42 PM Go to the first of 32 comments. Add a comment
Anthony Watts has announced a fan, who learnt all he needs to know about climate after reading WUWT for 400 hours (archived here). What have I learnt about climate science deniers after reading their nonsense for several hours a day over several years? Not a helluva lot. Then again, I'm not a cognitive scientist. I have discovered that they'll generally expend an awful lot of energy promoting their rejection of science. A whole lot more than investigating it.

UPDATE: A group of us have now written a response to David Seigel's article. We posted it at the same website: Medium.com. Feel free to recommend, like, comment, tweet and generally spread it around, especially if you come across people touting the Siegel denialisms.

Sou - 29 October 2015

I've also figured out that science deniers like to congregate with other science deniers. They don't find much joy in real life, so they get together in cyberspace. I expect they find it reassuring to find there are other people in the world who think the earth is flat, or that it was created by a god 6,000 years ago, or the equivalent for climate denial. Rather in the manner that Gabby so eloquently put it, in the cartoon on sexism:

David Siegel thinks climate science is a hoax

David Siegel says that this year he spent the equivalent ten weeks full time (400 hours) and came to the conclusion that all the world's experts are wrong. It's a conspiracy, he's decided. Looking at his blog, with quotes from science disinformer Denier Don Easterbrook, he wasted most of his time scouring denier blogs, and was particularly drawn to climate conspiracy theories. In other words, the crank magnet works.

Think about what he claims to have discovered in just ten weeks full time (or the equivalent). He decided that he's right. He's proclaiming that all the thousands of scientists are wrong. In ten short weeks, he's figured that two centuries of science is wrong. That all the experts who've each spent anything up to forty years or more, building on the knowledge of thousands more scientists who went before them, who also would have each spent upwards of thirty years or more studying the earth, atmosphere, cryosphere, oceans and more - they are all wrong.

David complains that no-one will take any notice of his (not) amazing discovery. He wrote:
I submitted my piece to every liberal publication, from the LA Times to the Atlantic Monthly to National Geographic to Huffington Post and many more. They all turned it down. Now I’m launching it myself and hope you will read it and help spread the word.

Well, he's finally hit a real climate blog. He's featured here at HotWhopper. Let's hope he enjoys his little moment in the sun (which he thinks is what's causing global warming. Actually not. I think he doesn't know that the world is warming. It's all a hoax, he reckons.)

I'm not a climate scientist but...

Now David starts off explaining "I'm not a climate expert..." in the manner of denier politicians. He's not up with the latest, is he. Anyway, here is what the people in Australia who are climate scientists think about that (warning: strong language):

And algore is FAT!

So why does David Siegel reject 200 years of science? Hard to say. He makes all sorts of silly excuses, which are along the lines of the following, but it doesn't explain why he rejects science. Here are some of his supposed reasons (or pretty close :D), based on his very long article on his website. (He says it's 9,000 words - not nearly as long as the IPCC reports.)
  • Al Gore is fat (what can I say? I don't think he is. Not really.)
  • It only takes one paper to disprove a theory (he's wrong, and in any case he has yet to discover that one paper, of course)
  • Consensus doesn't matter (it does. Science projects almost never start from first principles. Research builds on what is accepted science. Imagine if every bit of research first had to prove the existence of atoms before they could embark on any further research.)
  • The hockey stick is tree rings (he ignores the other proxies that were used in working out past temperatures, in the original hockey stick as well as all the subsequent ones. Typical denier.)
  • The IPCC is "playing games". (That shows that David Siegel entertains conspiracy theories of the climate kind.)
  • The NOAA is fudging data (It's not. Again, David Siegel has to resort to a climate conspiracy theory to justify his denial.)
  • He's a fan of Anthony Watts (it takes all kinds and who cares about inconsistency?)
  • He's discovered Willie "it's the sun" Soon (I was beginning to suspect that David Siegel is an imposter. He's not. He really does write - books on "the future of technology, the Internet, and business" according to Amazon).
Actually, I didn't even get half way through his article on his own website (archived here) before I got bored. It's nothing more than a rehash of pseudo-science claptrap from Anthony Watts' climate conspiracy blog.

Nothing to see here, folks. If someone is dumb enough to fall for the old "climate conspiracy" nuttery, then they don't deserve any more attention. Think about it. Not only are all the world's climate scientists in on the hoax, they've managed to conspire with all the world's geologists, oceanographers, glaciologists, ecologists, and more - and somehow, they've all managed to get results that point in the same direction. And they've been successfully keeping the hoax a big secret from what must be around 10% of the world's population (science deniers and nutcases) for decades.

I'll let you speculate what other wacky conspiracy theories David Siegel holds dear.

From the WUWT comments

CodeTech is quite dismissive. He says that it only took him a few hours to decide that it was easier being a denier than bothering to learn any science:
October 16, 2015 at 12:17 am
From my experience, as soon as you cross this line you will discover all of your previous friends clamping their hands over their ears and screaming “la la la la la” so they don’t have to hear.
Good luck with this, though!
I also started out believing the narrative, and it really only took a few hours of looking at data to realize it was a load.

kalya22 is disappointed. She or he was hoping for something different to a regurgitation of the everyday nuttery at WUWT. It's just a whole heap of copy and pastes from WUWT with some added verbiage from David Siegel.
October 16, 2015 at 1:30 am
Congratulation Mr. Siegel for your courage and efforts. Frankly, I was disappointed by your article. As you say, we are loosing the battle and simply re-stating facts to prove our point is not working. So I was hoping you would present a new way. But you aren’t. I don’t see how you hope to win. To win, a different approach is evidently needed and I was hoping to get that from your article. I however wish you the best of luck! 

From the HotWhopper archives

David Siegel isn't the first to be proud that he's a flat earther. Others have gone before him:

And now on Medium.com

Climate Change is Real, and Important - group article on the same website as David Siegel's article, explaining the science and showing how David Siegel got practically everything wrong
(Added by Sou - 29 October 2015)


  1. So now I am forced to choose between every prestigious scientific body on the planet and some writer of books on e-commerce who reads denier websites without the ability to spot the BS that I'd expect any intelligent nine year old to have?

    1. It's difficult, isn't it? Decisions, decisions... and the clock is ticking.

  2. 400 hours? He spent much more time than Ivar "And I spent a day or so - half a day maybe on Google" Giaever to come to the same wrong conclusion.

    1. You could say that David Siegel is a bit thick. It took some time at WUWT before he could figure out which of the myriad contradictory WUWT denier memes conspiracy theories he liked best.

      Is an ice age comething?

      Is it Force X and the Notch?

      Is it warming but only because of the blob and El Nino?

      Is the greenhouse effect not real? Or is it real?

    2. At least Ivar "Emerititus" Giaever had a Nobel Prize in a wholly unrelated field.

      400 hours is less than an single semester's work for an undergraduate science student, and Siegel's was almost certainly less well spent.

    3. Giaever ... yes, but he also followed in Fred Sietiz's footsteps, long history with a nice little company named Philip Morris...
      So, he had practice.

  3. kalya22 ("we are losing the battle") seems disheartened. A straw in the wind perhaps?

    1. And notice their emphasis on "winning". That is telling. Not much interest in scientific fact, obviously.

      I used to wonder why sportspeople cheated, it seems pointless considering that sport is an artificial construct to begin with - if you don't like the rules then why play? Then it struck me that they cheated to avoid losing - I wonder if the climate change denial mentality is the same.

  4. The cynic in me says Siegel is doing this to pump up sales of his (clearly lame) business books. Several are currently selling for a whopping $0.01.

    1. His books are all about the future, right? Forecasting, but without any models to test his ideas.

      Maybe he needs to build some different mental constructs.

  5. His faith in his sources is touching;
    Some researchers here are funded by the Heartland Institute. I believe these people would quit if they felt pressure to do anything other than authentic science and trying to get the word out.

    Of course they would.

    BTW has anyone actually read any of Donna LaFramboise's climate writing? I thought that she had slipped away into deserved obscurity.

    1. Are you sure it is not a fake article that the gullible Anthony took without suspecting anything.. That Heartland scientists note suggests to that direction..

    2. Could be. However the rest of the post and links imply a certain amount of work.

    3. Yeah.. However, that on Heartland scientists statement is true parody.. (no, I did not have urge or time to go and read his piece, life is too short - thanks Sou and others for these glimpses to parallel wuwt universe)

  6. You don't seem to understand Siegels point. Oh well. There's a reason the alarmists aren't winning, and it's not because their opponents are in denial.

    1. How so? "nothing more than a rehash of pseudo-science claptrap" summed it up well.

      And the denialists are winning, you say? Well, maybe on your world.

    2. kalya22 October 16, 2015 at 1:30 am
      ...As you say, we are loosing the battle.

      Ravencroaft 12October 17, 2015 at 6:50 AM
      ...There's a reason the alarmists aren't winning, and it's not because their opponents are in denial.

      Confused? You won't be after the next episode of SOAP.

    3. LOL Millicent, I was wondering the same thing. Losing or winning? Which is it? Better question, which is more important to deniers - PR wins or the science?

  7. 400 hours? And that makes him an "expert"?

    Puh-swearword-lease. Pretty much every real job in the world has a 90 day probationary period, before which you can be fired without cause on the grounds that you just can't handle the work. And that's for minimum wage jobs.


    1. That's what he claims. However going by his article he didn't read any climate science. He got as far as finding conspiracy theories, and a bit of pseudo-science, from WUWT and decided that would do. Then he stopped his research.

      He succumbed to the climate conspiracy theory that every climate scientist is part of a giant scam, except for the people who don't do science and work for right wing lobby groups like the Heartland Institute.

      What he didn't get to figure out was that what little science he might have picked up (if he could've understood it) would have come from the climate scientists who he doesn't believe.

      In essence, he should have come to the conclusion that there is no such thing as climate, on the grounds that the untrustworthy scientists claim that there is such a thing as climate.

  8. Gosh, still here Sou? Well, I spose there are enough gullible folks out there to keep you going. I saw this post by David Siegel and wondered if the guy was real or was a genuine lefty type deserter to the camp of denialism. I figured if anyone could find fault with him it'd be you. But nope, not a thing. Just more tired old singing from the Alarmist hymn book. Guess that means the guy's the real deal. Thanks for this! :)

    1. Oh my God...the pain Sou must be suffering from receiving your painful, oh-so-scientifically grounded shots! The pain, the pain. I feel so sorry for her. She'll have major trouble pulling on her big girl pants today, I betcha'.

    2. Gosh Billy Bob: after all this time you still cannot think of one intelligent thing to say. My commiserations.

    3. Billy Bob, there's always gullible fools spouting the already discredited rubbish again and again. As for New Denier Dave's piece: nothing new except that someone is prepared to admit to boasting how much effort they've taken to be right and still get it wrong.

  9. Billy Bob is a little "special" is he? Hit and run...

    Still, he does make a point. People like Billy Bob here are not good at evaluating what someone says.

  10. He gets us on the "Temperatures are rigged" + "Warming stopped" combo. I don't support a cabal of corrupt scientists to rig global warming data so that it shows warming stopped in god damn 1998. Until we get some soulless leftist charlatans who can actually fabricate a POSITIVE FUCKING SLOPE you won't see me at any more fundraisers/human sacrifices. I don't care how good the organic hummus is--I'm out!

    1. I share your disillusion. When we were asked to switch allegiance from the Soviet Union to the IPCC we were assured that this time godless unfreedom would prevail in short order, only to feel fooled again.

    2. Cugel... you knew the rules about talking.

      Settle your affairs. The IPCC temperature adjusting team will be dropping by to lower yours permanently.

      And don't bother to run. You know their reach is global.

    3. Could always try to escape this world beyond the reach of the UN and IPCC, and join the science deniers who are living on another planet. :(

  11. David Siegel on WUWT (or any other right-wing publication): "Over the years, I built a set of assumptions: that Al Gore was right about global warming, that he was the David going up against the industrial Goliath. In 1993, I even wrote a book about it."

    An entire book on global warming? The description he wrote of this book before does not contain any word about global warming. Who knows it might be mentioned somewhere in the book. But a book "on global warming"? No.

    David Siegel before WUWT: I am very concerned about the environment. I wrote a book a few years ago, called What is Worth Doing? that highlights what I think are the three most important things people should do to save the planet and its inhabitants. The first is the population problem, which is as scary as the experts say it is. In my lifetime, there will be 10 billion people on this planet. Every day, 350,000 people are born, and 90,000 people die, for a net surplus of 240,000 more human beings on this planet. Every single day. It adds up. The US has the highest population growth rate (One percent annually: half births and half immigration) of all industrialized nations. That's higher than some parts of India. By 2050, there will be half a billion Americans, and if that doesn't scare you, nothing will. While the population problem is huge, there is no such thing as a direct population solution. The solution lies in the hope that women will achieve the equal status in society they deserve. We wouldn't be in this kind of trouble if women were making the decisions. Working toward women's health, education, rights, and equality are more important than almost anything else you can do for yourself, or the rest of the people, animals, and other things that live on planet earth.
    The second part concerns diet. I am a vegan, and I eat a low-protein starch-and-salad diet. I am in great shape and health. I wish more people knew about the wonders of eating a low-protein, carbohydrate-based vegetarian diet, so I have put some information in my What is Worth Doing section for you to read. Eating one pound of beef a week uses over 50,000 gallons of water a year. Dairy products, when you do a little research, turn out to be just as bad. I know it sounds crazy, but consumption of dairy products and protein is the source of osteoporosis in this country. In time, our eating habits cause the chronic health problems that cause us to spend so much money on health care. Perhaps you'll read my health pages and learn more.
    The third part is that, of the three R's: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, the first is by far the most important. Our consumer lifestyle in the United States is much more harmful to the environment than all the subsistence-level people living in the third world put together. Each person in the developed world generates more waste and takes more resources than about 30 people in the undeveloped world, and there are only 5 times more of them than there are of us. With 5% of the world's population, the US uses 25% of all the energy produced on the planet.

  12. I've just added an update to this article: A group of us have now written a response to David Seigel's article. We posted it at the same website: Medium.com. Feel free to recommend, like, comment, tweet and generally spread it around, especially if you come across people touting the Siegel denialisms.

    1. Very well written and easy to follow. Hopefully it is widely read...I know I will reference it as often as I can. Thanks to Sou and the rest of the authors for taking the time and effort to pull this together. Unfortunately, the future depends on the few who take climate change seriously and are dedicated to actively fighting for action. Strong thoughtful responses to the misinformation trash and attacks on science propagated by fossil fuel interests is necessary and sadly never ending. None of this garbage should be left unchallenged. And, of course, the more creditable voices heard the better. Keep up the good fight.


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