Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Dan Coffman's climate conspiracy fiction at WUWT

Sou | 3:50 PM Go to the first of 31 comments. Add a comment
As AGU15 approaches, it looks as if Anthony Watts is trying to distance himself a tiny bit from all the climate conspiracies he promotes on his blog. Anthony's got a poster session at AGU15, and he probably dreads being laughed out of the conference. Today he's promoting a climate conspiracy novel, written by a science denier who thinks climate science is a hoax (archived here). Anthony says he "believes" just a little bit, but leaves plenty of conspiracy ideation to appease his readers. He wrote:
I’m not fully comfortable with the “hoax” title, as there indeed has been some warming in the past century, some of it man made and some of it natural variation, but there’s also been a largess of funding and a shedload of zealotry and hype attached to all of that, and that’s what this book is about.

The author, Dan Coffey Coffman, says he's a retired Earth scientist, but I can't find any papers by him on Google scholar. So what science he's done is a mystery. Dan is appalled by mainstream science. He prefers the contradictory denier memes on blogs like WUWT. He's not an Earth scientist, he's a wannabe Earth burner.

He wrote:
I am appalled at the war the current Administration and the EPA are waging against fossil fuels. Many good books and websites such as yours have effectively debunked the pseudoscience behind climate change. Sadly, this academic evidence has done little to sway alarmists, educators, regulators, the liberal media or the Pope.
His book is about a hero denier who is an American, and who will save the USA (not the world), overcoming the fiendish plot of a dastardly Russian, who single-handedly invented the global warming hoax.

One of Dan's fans think global warming is all God's fault. There's no appeasing an angry god I suppose. Anyway, like Bob Tisdale, Dan wants some freeby publicity to sell his self-published book.

From the WUWT comments

More than one WUWT readers get his science from denier novels instead of scientific papers.

John Whitman, defender of secretive open societies, likes Michael Crichton's fiction:
October 27, 2015 at 3:51 pm
Michael Crichton thriller ‘State of Fear’ was effective.
I will check ‘A Sinister Charade’ out.

Steve Garcia does, too.
October 27, 2015 at 5:21 pm
Yeah, Crichton’s “State of Fear” is where my head went to, too. We could USE another similar book. You never know how many still open minds are out there and might look more objectively at global warming if presented as well as Crichton did.
For me, I bought the book not having ANY idea it had a skeptical POV about global warming. As it slowly dawned on me that it DID, I found myself giggling – at “How in the HELL did I happen to pick THIS book out – of all books I could have chosen – at the book store?” That was back when book stores actually existed….LOL
Yeah, I will buy it. I hope he is a good writer!

TomRude comments on the originality of the plot:
October 27, 2015 at 7:35 pm
Good American/Bad Russian… So original. 

Darwin Wyatt doesn't believe Anthony Watts. Or only 0.001%:
October 27, 2015 at 8:13 pm
Anthony’s statement that there has been some warming caused by man is dubious at best. I used to think some % of warming (however small) was due to man but it’s clear from this graph (link) from Joe Bastardi that there just isn’t any evidence for it. If it’s not 100% hoax, it’s 99.999% hoax.
https://archive.is/pL0y4 [replaced link with archived version]

Apparently Joe Bastardi doesn't believe in global warming, because we increased population and wealth through the industrial revolution. That's Telltale Technique No. 2 of climate science denial.


  1. I noticed that old flawed Scotese graphic is on Bastardi page. With an 'interpretration' by Nasif Nahle, one of the dodgy Sky Dragon Slayer 'scientists' who don't believe the 'greenhouse' effect even exists and thinks CO2 cools the earth. That's the best those idiots can do?

  2. "The author, Dan Coffey, says he's a retired Earth scientist"

    For a climate change denier, that usually means they worked as a geologist for an oil company. It would be interesting to see if the rule holds in this case, but these people can be rather bashful about their past.

    1. Coffman (title) or Coffey (main text)?

    2. Fixed - thanks, Millicent.

    3. Paul Edgecomb: Your name is John Coffey?
      John Coffey: Yessir, Boss. Like the drink, only not spelled the same.

  3. "I’m not fully comfortable with the “hoax” title, as there indeed has been some warming in the past century, some of it man made and some of it natural variation..."

    One question (well, two actually).

    What proportion of the warming in the last 100 year is "natural", and what is (are) the source(s) and what is the evidence?

  4. If you go to Amazon you can get a feel for the quality of the writing from the "Look Inside" feature.

    Spoiler alert: it is crap. Even ignoring the denier aspect of it.

    1. Can't read then idiot?

    2. FYI: If you insist on signing yourself as 'idiot' then you should choose "Name/URL" from the "Reply As" options and type "Idiot" in the name box and leave the URL box empty. But please rest assured that there's no need, in your case, to type "Idiot" anywhere: it is entirely superfluous given the standard of your posts.

    3. @ Millicent, reading comprehension isn't your strong point is it?

    4. Oh I comprehend trolls with little or no effort.

    5. Yea, Millicent thinks he/she is a wit, at least they were half right.

    6. I think that's quite good. If only it hadn't taken you 20 hours to think of it, and if only you had thought of it.

  5. OK, I'm really laughing about this. Dan Coffman has a series of items which are apparently self published under "Verity Fables", with a description stating:

    "A VerityFable™ is a fun read intended to accompany a bold cup of coffee or a refreshing iced drink. These fables are fictional short stories which examine a useful truth. They intertwine alternate realities with historical or contemporary circumstances to entertain, stimulate and sometimes aggravate curious minds of all ages."

    He's written a blog post promoting fiction as fact. Without, in this case, realizing it. I can't think of a better description for most of the WUWT nonsense, and in this case the book is clearly labeled as such.

    1. I'm really laughing about Sou's inability to get the most basic facts like author's names right. It only takes a few seconds of research.

    2. Yeah! Sou made a typo! That proves global warming is a hoax! Ha ha ha, he gotcha good, Sou!

    3. In the interests of accuracy and laughing: I think the author only has one name, actually.

    4. Other fascinating(?) books from Coffman:

      Abbot Jovic's Icons - "This short story chronicles the heretofore unknown ordeal of Abbot Jovic when a satanic curse, Christian anathema and alien visitation combined to alter history. The 'real case' for ancient aliens?

      Titu Miata's Spider - "A twelve year old Nazca boy with the gift of visions is responsible for creating one of the greatest mysteries of the ancient world. In the process, he unwittingly pits one god against another and learns the lessons of destiny, death and tomorrow." Purpose (?) of the Nazca lines and destruction of Cahuachi, conflict of gods - not certain what 'useful truths' are in this one.

  6. From Coffman's FB page: "Does the human suffering which has plagued Kosovo for thousands of years stem from either satanic evil or divine punishment? Some evidence suggests ancient aliens are to blame for the perpetual misery of people living in this part of the world."

    I think "Idiot" might be the author.

    1. What on Earth happened to this guy in Kosovo? A bad split-up? No reception? A stubborn packet of Balkan Itch?

      I think he's confusing the place with Essex.

  7. In a novel plot twist Russia schemes to bring down the western world by sabotaging the world market for the single product from which it derives nearly 60% of its export revenue.

    1. Somehow I don't think the Russians really want the world oil market to collapse. But I guess I could be wrong.

    2. They do it to bring down the Western Banks. Duh.

    3. I was reminded of the 47 Ronin. Loyal Russian agent out to revenge the fall of Mikhail Gorbachev.

  8. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    1. ""It’s not a good book. It’s a bad book. It’s a really bad book. That’s what makes it so great."


      [Replaced link in line with the comment policy, Sou]

  9. Daniel Maurice Coffman completed a Ph.D. at Purdue in 1972, with his thesis titled Advances in the Theory and Classification and Modeling of Stream Channel Networks. He published several co-authored papers based on this topologically-focused work within a couple of years of his dissertation and then stopped.

  10. Actually it would be kind of fun to write an airport potboiler:

    A young, idealistic Ph.D. student starts work on an obscure climate-related thesis topic (post-1850 secular changes in Madagascar land snail shell thickness and potential correlation with temperature and precipitation trends) and gradually becomes immersed in the AGW community.

    Slowly, doubts start to creep in as her fellow grad students steadily fall prey to bizarre fatal accidents or else come into unexpected financial windfalls, depending on how closely they hew their research findings to the Consensus. Her supervisor assures her that nothing is wrong ("statistically speaking, graduate students in climate science do have a very high mortality rate") but starts keeping a closer eye on her work, movements and communications.

    THe plot takes an unexpected but predictable turn one day while conducting field work when she stumbles across Michael Mann soldering a resistor in series with a PRT sensor at a meteorological station. At first she accepts Mann's smooth explanation ("There's a light on this sensor that won't light on one side, so instead of taking it home to my workshop, my dear, I'll fix it up here") but later that evening realizes he had ad-libbed from How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

    While going for a walk to clear her head she has a lucky escape when an IPCC helicopter fires an air to ground missile into her empty tent. Her apparent death buys her enough time to get to the coast and board a tramp freighter headed for San Francisco disguised as a simple Somali pirate.

    The race is on. Can she make it to Tony Watts to tell her story to the world before the combined forces of the UN, NASA, the NOAA, the AAAS, the AGU, etc., etc. catch up to her and silence her for good? Can she save both herself and the global economy, or will she fail and be among the first in a wave of billions of fatalities?


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