Friday, October 30, 2015

Anthony Watts tells more fibs about NOAA

Sou | 7:55 PM Go to the first of 26 comments. Add a comment
There's a US congressman who's out of control when it comes to things environmental and climate. His name is Lamar Smith. Not satisfied with data, he wants NOAA to provide him with emails and stuff. The general consensus is that Lamar Smith isn't capable of assessing data. He can't tell one number from the rest. And he's a conspiracy nutter of the type that Peter Sinclair found when he and greenmanbucket installed a hidden camera to record the Science Committee:

Lamar Smith has been vindictively harassing scientists for some time now, in a clear abuse of power. Weirdly, the US legislators have made him, an anti-science advocate, chair of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. Smith gets lots of money from oil and gas companies, and from that perspective some would argue he's only doing what he's paid to do. But that would be wrong. He gets paid to represent the American people, not the oil and gas sector. His job is to do what is right for Americans, not to line his campaign chest with donations from lobby groups.

Anyway, he's been on a wild rampage trying to stop climate science from progressing. He's another one who can't wait for the world to burn. As Ars Technica reports, he's also falsely and maliciously accused scientists of "altering data".

Reminds me of James Inhofe, who wanted to send climate scientists to gaol because he didn't like what the research was showing.

He's got the data but doesn't know what to do with it

The NOAA provided Lamar Smith with all the data - but he's not satisfied with that. According to The Hill:
Smith, the chairman of the House Science Committee, vehemently disagreed with the study’s findings. He issued a subpoena for communications among the scientists and some data, leading to charges from Democrats that he was trying to intimidate the researchers.

Late Tuesday, NOAA provided Smith with some more information about its methods and data but refused to give Smith everything he wanted.

NOAA spokeswoman Ciaran Clayton said the internal communications are confidential and not related to what Smith is trying to find out.

“We have provided data, all of which is publicly available online, supporting scientific research, and multiple in-person briefings,” she said.

“We stand behind our scientists who conduct their work in an objective manner. It is the end product of exchanges between scientists — the detailed publication of scientific work and the data that underpins the authors' findings — that are key to understanding the conclusions reached.

Clayton also refuted Smith’s implication that the study was political.

"There is no truth to the claim that the study was politically motivated or conducted to advance an agenda,” she said. “The published findings are the result of scientists simply doing their job, ensuring the best possible representation of historical global temperature trends is available to inform decisionmakers, including the U.S. Congress.”

Deniers are proud of having an utter nutter in Congress

Anthony Watts and his band of conspiracy nutters are ecstatic that Americans elected a malicious utter nutter to Congress (cache here, now archived here). Anthony wrote:
Wow, just wow. I told Dr. Tom Peterson in an email this summer that their highly questionable paper that adjusted SST’s of the past to erase the “pause” was going to become “their waterloo”, 

Well, that's just part of it. As above, but with stronger words, Anthony Watts falsely accused Tom Peterson of fraud. You might recall that didn't impress Andrew Revkin, of DotEarth at the New York Times.

Before leaving this subject, remember that Anthony Watts gets his "science" from the crank pseudo-scientist Bob Tisdale. They think that night time marine temperatures are a better representation of sea temperature changes than are the thousands of buoys that are used these days. (It's a long story.) They are both very wrong and know it (they've been told often enough. Of course it could be they are just too stupid to understand).

And if you want to know what the fuss is all about, I've gone into some detail describing the NOAA paper that was published earlier this year.

Marooned and Ridiculous, but not by Dr Peterson

Anthony Watts also wrote about being "professional". He thought it was unprofessional of Dr Peterson to allow Anthony Watts' completely unprofessional email get published here at HotWhopper. He said that my snark-free article was "wackadoodle spin". Considering the fact that most of the words in that article were Anthony's own words, perhaps you will agree.

Now Anthony Watts, who often posts articles arguing that climate science is a hoax, claimed that Tom Peterson "made" a cartoon:
Another reminder of Peterson’s “professionalism” is this political cartoon he made portraying climate scientists holding different published opinions as “nutters”, while working on the taxpayer’s dime, courtesy of the Climategate emails in 2009. 

At least Anthony accepts that people like himself who think climate science is a hoax are "nutters":

Thing is, Tom Peterson didn't make the cartoon. (I have that from Tom Peterson directly.) He simply forwarded it to Dr Jones. A bright spark from somewhere (I don't know who) sent the cartoon to Tom Peterson. It was prompted by an editorial in the journal Nature in February 2007, which stated in part:
The IPCC report, released in Paris, has served a useful purpose in removing the last ground from under the climate-change sceptics' feet, leaving them looking marooned and ridiculous. 

It was probably only after that cartoon was made public that Anthony Watts started his unfunny cartoons from Josh. (You'll also recall that he falsely accused John Cook of making cartoons that he didn't. It was someone else.)

The HotWhopper award of the day goes to the first person who can identify the "marooned and ridiculous" deniers. Anthony's probably feeling quite miffed that he's not in the frame (as usual).

Loopy Doo

There's one more thing that Anthony doesn't seem to know. Tom Peterson retired from NOAA some months back. Some people might call him loopy, but Anthony Watts is quite out of the loop and will never get inside.

From the WUWT comments

This fiasco has caused deniers to go bananas. Anthony's silly article prompted has prompted 370 thoughts so far. This is a lot these days. (WUWT isn't nearly as popular as it was back in the heady days of stolen emails.) (The archive sites aren't working at the moment, so you'll have to make do with Google's cached version.)

Anthony Watts seems to forget that almost no-one who reads or writes at WUWT has any science qualifications, yet unlike the people at SkepticalScience.com (several of whom are climate scientists), WUWT-ers reject science and put themselves forward as "experts". They are nothing but fakes:
October 28, 2015 at 1:19 pm
You seem to forget, that the majority of people at the “skeptical science” blog, are in fact, NOT scientists.

msbehavin' says that scientists shouldn't have fun. He's probably quite happy with their time being wasted pandering to out-of-control congressman and their vexatious demands for emails:
October 28, 2015 at 3:35 pm
As far as I know, neither Josh nor Anthony are publishing cartoons on anyone else’s dime except their own. My taxes shouldn’t be going to pay for a supposed “scientist”‘, working for an entirely taxpayer-funded agency, to create political agenda- driven cartoons of any type.
Hans, is this the type “science” you want to pay for? I sure don’t.

Steve Lohr is another nutter who doesn't know that Lamar Smith is an embarrassment to the USA, and a laughing stock to the rest of the world, if they've heard of him.
October 28, 2015 at 1:06 pm
They can be as hostile as the wish toward Congress but it is the equivalent of a teenager telling mom they “ain’t gonna” well here is the deal: the golden rule applies and Congress has the gold and they will make the rules. This pair is only the tip of the berg in my opinion and the political agenda behind “scientific studies” is becoming all too apparent. These little snot wads can pitch a fit but I am thinking this Congress has had enough. Contempt of Congress, while they may think it cool to their moon bat buddies, isn’t the kind of resume builder I would want in the final years of my career. Game on!

Like most of the deniers at WUWT, Jay Turberville doesn't know that "all the information" is already publicly available and was provided to Lamar Smith. He just wants other information that's unrelated. Conspiracy theorists like Anthony Watts and Lamar Smith need to imagine there is a secret plot. They persuade themselves that they are being fooled, rather than the simple truth that they are not being fooled but being foolish.
October 28, 2015 at 1:19 pm
I’m just a regular civilian, non-scientist type, but I thought that the way you KEPT scientific integrity was specifically by letting other people see all of the information and processes of your scientific work. That is one of the main pillars of the scientific process.

Hot under the collar wants someone to steal documents from NOAA:
October 29, 2015 at 12:26 pm
Wonder if any insiders at NOAA are so sick of the corrupt politicising that they may start leaking some of the communications. After all, what have they got to hide if it is just science?
Refusing to release the detailed information from a public agency when it has already been suggested that the ‘study’ is politically biased ‘science’ just confirms the accusation.
Maybe its time to start leaning on the weaker perps at NOAA in order to get at the bigger fish. It’s surprising how the threat of fines and prison can alter any false idea of loyalty from co-workers.

Is Tom T taking a potshot at Anthony Watts, who was most upset that his email to Tom Peterson was made public?
October 28, 2015 at 1:31 pm
Simply put If you work for the government all work e-mails are public records.NOAA’s claim of “confidentiality” is bogus. No reasonable person expect confidentiality when exchanging correspondence with a government employee on a government server. You either know or should know that such communications are public records. 

Paul Westhaver starts off okay then falls in a hole. Thing is that Lamar Smith and the fans of WUWT can barely read, much less understand, a scientific paper or data. And notice the conspiracy ideation - as usual.
October 28, 2015 at 11:57 pm
Reading and UNDERSTANDING is fundamental.
It is the spokeswoman who, of course, has made the claim that some data and methods were provided not ALL data and ALL methods, those in particular that contributed to the fudging of the results. There is more data. There are more methods… the sleaze methods in particular, and there are the Hillary-esque a la Climategate data files, emails, computer programs, all that BS that happens behind the scenes.
I am not taking the word of Ciaran Clayton.

References and Further Reading

Light at the end of the tunnel - Nature editorial, February 2007

Andy Revkin update on Anthony Watts' disgusting email to Tom Peterson - New York Times, June 2015

Congressman doubles down, accuses NOAA scientists of doctoring results - article by Scott K. Johnson at Ars Technica, October 2015

My Representative - Michael Tobis on Lamar Smith's shenanigans

From the HotWhopper archives


  1. The polar bear is Professor Roy Hinkley, Ph.D. (aka the Professor)
    The propeller headed tranny is Eunice Lovelle Wentworth Howell (aka Lovey)
    The ginger tranny on the far left is Ginger Grant (aka Flatline)
    The cracker tranny on the bottom is Mary Ann Summers (aka Snowballs)
    The satellite dish is Willis Eschenbach (aka Radiohead)
    The North Pole sign is Bob Tisdale (aka Motorhead)
    The icebergs are Willard Anthony Watts brains (aka Braindead)

    1. Could you wrote that in a more offensive fashion?

  2. There's a comment in there from dbstealey complaining about sock puppets.

    1. So now WUWT are in favour not only of Big Guvmint, but in a Big Guvmint that harasses people because they hold views it doesn't like. I'd have thought that if there were more genuine posters on that site and fewer sockpuppets belonging to dbstealey and his pals, such hypocrisy would be held in derision.

      Oh, and it would appear from his comment that dbstealey is still moderating even if this is no longer acknowledged on the WUWT credits page.

  3. From left to right: John Christy (the professor), Jim Inhofe, Roger Pielke Sr. (Gilligan), Patrick Michaels (Thurston Howell III), Richard Lindzen (the skipper) and Fred Singer.

    I recognized all but the photo of Singer, although Michaels gave me some difficulty. Eventually I located the Guardian article that identified them all. Not a fan of it, personally. I think the photomontage is crude in most senses of the word.


    The original Gilligan's Island cast photo: http://www.freakinawesomenetwork.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/open1.png

  4. If AGW were a hoax it should be becoming easier and easier to debunk, as it becomes (with time) larger and larger.

    Any tampering with the temperature record would result in increasing divergence from reality, that would eventually be reflected in inconsistencies with the natural world outside.
    Such as the melting of ice, indications of changes of seasons from plant life, human fingerprints like the nights warming faster than days, "plant zones shifting pole ward and upwards", etc.

    Without knowing whether the overall number of active climate scientists is changing, we can still acknowledge that there must be a number of young climate scientists replacing the number of retirees, over the past decade or so.
    And we note that this intake of new blood has occurred without any whistle-blowing exposure of any underlying fraud.
    And more specifically, there's been time for the secret-son-of-a-denier- weatherman to infiltrate the ranks of budding climate scientists, in order to learn how the supposed hoax is coordinated and carried out.

    Over time other scientific disciplines have become involved. First was the original could-CO2-have-caused-it hard sell in geology. To biology, ecology, agronomy, fisheries, etc.
    With all these many interfaces, there would be many opportunities to uncover any disconnects between real reality and the hoax's expectation.
    And, though climate science may be a factor, this research is often occurring in other University departments, and other scientific periodicals, and sometimes (?) other funding. Thus unreasonably increasing the size of the necessary conspiracy.

    1. Why the need for a conspiracy?

      There's little future in publishing anything which may blatantly contradict the currently favoured view.

      As any sort of scientist:
      You may see your funding dry up.
      Under some circumstances it may well sideline you.

    2. SOF: the larger and longer the conspiracy, the more stable it becomes. Few people know that the Earth was actually disk-shaped up until the 1st millennium BC when the Round Earth consensus plotters started up. Fat chance of returning it to its old shape now.

    3. The need for conspiracy is because even if you believed that every scientist on earth was grossly dishonest, it would be impossible for so many disparate disciplines in so many disparate teams to all get results that point to the same overall result.

      You aren't going to get the sea rising if both Greenland and Antarctica are building ice. With no coordination you'd get countries side by side reporting contradictory temperature trends - like a patchwork quilt. Without coordination you'd not get reports that fish are moving polewards, or that planting zones are moving polewards. etc etc

      So it would have to be one humungous conspiracy.

      As for funding - funds dry up when you run out of novel things to research and report, not the opposite. Funding would be what would prompt someone to divulge a conspiracy. That's assuming that whoever is behind the conspiracy hasn't got all the people who sit on funding committees in their pockets, and all the journal editors, and all the mass media, and all the world's photographers etc etc.

      Then again, there are people who would rather believe the fantastical than what makes sense. They'd rather believe there is a conspiracy of funders, and that every single scientist is grossly dishonest, and all are being paid to doctor results; and all manage to coordinate their doctored results across disciplines, and national borders, and generations. That there is a secret cell deep underground (or on another planet?) that coordinates every bit of scientific research that is in any way connected with climate and earth sciences, and that recruits new scientists, editors, science journalists etc before they do any research or reporting. Probably before they are in high school. In some cases it would have to be before they reached high school and started doing science projects.

      When you can't face facts, believe the utterly impossible.

    4. Marke:

      "As any sort of scientist:
      You may see your funding dry up.
      Under some circumstances it may well sideline you."

      You mean like what happened to Einstein in his "miracle year", right?

    5. Oh, believing scientists are fundamentally dishonest and every single one of them only reports results that suit some imaginary master plan, also requires one to believe that science deniers are fundamentally stupid. That there is not a single sceptical person in the world who is able to figure out that all the science is wrong. Or even that some of the science is wrong.

      Not a single fossil fuel company has been able to come up with research showing the world isn't warming. Not a single organisation like the Heartland Institute or Australia's Institute of Public Affairs has been able to find anyone who can point out where the science is wrong.

      It assumes that deniers aren't just on the outer, they are so dumb that even after decades of trying, there hasn't been a single soul who could find any loopholes in the inner. Who could find a smoking gun. Let alone any person, or country or organisation who had the wit or motivation to show that climate science is a hoax.

      Don't tell me that Tony Abbott wouldn't have loved to overturn climate science. Don't tell me that Stephen Harper wouldn't have loved to - or most of the Republicans in the USA. Or China, or Russia, or India.

    6. Personally, I'm of the view that a conspiracy of two people is too large to be stable. This is obvious enough from press accounts of criminal conspiracies. When someone I respected (whoever) generalized this, I latched onto it for my own.
      Maybe I should identify myself as someone who is cautious about being too skeptical. My favorite magazines are 'Skeptic' and 'Skeptical Inquirer'.
      Also, as a person with a comfort and fondness among hard (predictable) sciences, who abhors Psychology. So I don't know Lewandowsky's (and Cook's?) views...

      But I'd suggest that someone who now accepts an uber-climate-science-conspiracy must have started out with smaller ones. 'That teacher is out to get me' [of course, sometimes that's true]. The politicians...The bankers...
      Some comes from religion. To be anti-evolution ('I'm not descended from a monkey') or a young-earther means you've separated yourself from whole branches of science.
      In the US at present, much of it is among Republicans who can't fit AGW within their political and economic and philosophical world views. So they reject it out of hand

    7. "There's little future in publishing anything which may blatantly contradict the currently favoured view."

      There actually is a big future in that. It gets you noticed. Enough to be invited for conferences to give presentations. Funding applications allow you to point out the uniqueness of your research. New avenues to explore.

      Marke clearly has never ever written a single scientific funding application in his life, as he'd known how much time is spent on trying to point out where your research is so special.

    8. "Two people can keep a secret if one of them is dead"

      Re funding : all important national science institutes agree explicitly that AGW is real. These are not national climate science institutes but institutes for all scientists - who stand to lose funding for other fields if more is directed to climate science (it won't all be new money, after all). Not only do non-climate scientists stand to lose by accepting climate science they are the people best qualified to judge if that science is junk. They conclude, by an overwhelming majority, that it's not and that it is important.

      Marke probably thinks that funding applications start with "My research will show that ...", which of course would send it straight to the bin. Unless, for instance, you're Muller pitching the BEST project to the Kochs when naturally the situation is reversed - they're paying for the promised results, not some airhead 'search for truth'. A promise which was not kept in that case, of course. Hee hee.

      I still have an image of Steve McIntyre screaming at his screen as he first read about BEST : "No! No! No! Data is for demanding, not for using! Using it can only lead to confirmation! Jeez, anybody would think they actually believe the crap we've been selling them! OMG, this is catastrophic!" Fleshed-out it could make an amusing Downfall Parody :)

    9. A conspiracy claim requires evidence, just like any other claim.

      There is evidence that groups lobbying against the theory of AGW are engaged in a conspiracy. Whether this conspiracy is illegal or not depends on your opinion I guess.

    10. I have discussed conspiracy stuff with others, and we came to the conclusion you don't need an organised conspiracy for there to be a "conspiracy".

      A "conspiracy" can be an emergent behaviour of a group of people who think in a particular way - no one in the group would think of themselves as being part of the conspiracy, rather the conspiracy arises from the group's internal relationships.

      I put "conspiracy" in quotes as you can argue this sort of emergent behaviour cannot be called a conspiracy, according to the dictionary definition of a conspiracy.

    11. Marke: "There's little future in publishing anything which may blatantly contradict the currently favoured view."

      You are the paradigm of the Dunning-Kruger effect.

  5. Rebutted by an actual researcher here: Richard Alley - What drives scientists?

    Like most deniers you haven't a clue.

    1. Above in reply to marke.

    2. I was wary of making direct eye-contact myself ;)

    3. Firesign Theater had a comedy record (it's more complicated, but never mind) called "Everything You Know Is Wrong", the premise of which that the record had been made by a UFO conspiracy theorist who was presenting his evidence in audio form. It is extremely funny.

      At one point, he plays the soundtrack of a "Secret Air Force General's Training Film" about about how to handle an extraterrestrial attack: ("Beware! Your brain may no longer be ... the Boss.")

      It includes this passage:

      "What to do if an alien appears!

      ONE: Drop under the seat of your plane, and look away!

      TWO: Avoid eye contact!

      THREE: If there are NO eyes, avoid ALL contact!

    4. That's a great video of Alley, by the way. It rings entirely true.

    5. Palindrom, What a memory blast! From further on in the same segment:

      THEY think he is insane.
      Yet, HE outranks them.
      His option -- command!

      ONE: He seals off the area.
      TWO: Acquires expert scientific assistance.
      THREE: Evacuates all government personnel.
      FOUR: Bombs aliens back to stone age.

  6. Read this by Judith Curry and weep.

    "I’ve heard enough behind the scenes (including discussions with NOAA employees) that I am siding with Rep. Smith on this one.

    The politicization of climate science has gotten extreme. I don’t know where to start in trying to ameliorate this situation, but Congressional oversight and investigation into what is going on in government labs does not seem inappropriate under these circumstances.

    It’s a sad state of affairs that climate science has come to this."

    The unintended irony is enough to make your head explode.

    1. Yup, let's have those political partisans do the oversight - then we're sure the politicization will stop. Right?

  7. Somehow.. Some scenes from Harry Potter come to my mind... Hogwarts managed by creeps loyal to the-one-whose-name-cannot be uttered.. World is strange.. Imagination more so.. Fortunately all is fairytale and soon we shall wake up in a sane world.. Promise. ?


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