Thursday, December 24, 2015

Deniersville: in the spirit of Christmas, the gift that keeps on giving

Sou | 2:07 PM Go to the first of 26 comments. Add a comment
Over the past few days I've begun but not finished several articles - guiltily enjoying time spent on other worthwhile activities (such as making jam from nectarines fresh from the tree; and roasting coffee beans; and finding pretty jars; and wrapping them up for the family for Christmas). On Monday Sunday I drove to Albury, through weird stormy weather, watching the smoke from a scary bushfire in the next valley over. (I was reminded that the danger from bushfires isn't just the fire itself, sometimes the roads are impassable because of fallen trees. The wind was fierce and wild and the day was another scorcher - 42 °C, 107.6 °F)

In a fit of rationalisation, I figured this is as good a time as any to take a short break. HotWhopper turned 3 earlier this month, and over those 36 months, it has averaged almost one and a half articles a day. That seems like a good target for the next three years.

Credit: John Cook

Denialism doesn't take breaks

If you are missing your daily dose of denial, it marches on relentlessly.

At first, the fake sceptics didn't know how to react to the COP21 agreement in Paris this month. Some tried to argue that the leaders of 195 nations are deluded, along with their advisers, most of the world's media, 97% of climate scientists and almost all professional associations of scientists throughout the world.

Maybe they realised that wouldn't fly because that effort didn't last. It's old news, or maybe they are pretending it didn't happen.

Judith Curry continues full bore into science denial

Following on from her stellar performance as requested by US denier politician Ted Cruz, Judith Curry has decided to settle down and make her home in Deniersville. She has been publishing a swathe of articles by science disinformers and pseudo-scientists.

There was propaganda by professional disinformers Pat'n Chip (the CATO Institute pays them to come up with climate disinformation). She posted an article by one of WUWT's resident pseudo-scientists, Perennially Puzzled Bob Tisdale - who has only lately figured out something that scientists have known for a long time - that sea surface temperatures in the 1940's are iffy (though he missed the iffiest bit - the big peak). Judith posted Anthony Watts' press release about his surface station poster in which he went beyond the data into conspiracy theory land. About the latter, Judith even claimed that he "appears to have produced a robust and important analysis", though as usual, she didn't say what she found "robust" or "important" about it. If she read it, it shows she's incapable of analysis or critical thought herself. There were other bits and pieces, like a run-of-the-mill article by some otherwise unknown run-of-the-mill denier weakly protesting the 97% consensus.

As an aside, Judith Curry has been embraced by WUWT's resident conspiracy nutter, Tim Ball, as one of his kind. That's as big an endorsement as one can get if one aspires to conspiracy nuttery like Judith does.

WUWT on ozone and volcanoes

WUWT continues to forge ahead with business as usual. In deniersville this means coming up with one wacky idea after another. I mentioned in passing a couple of days ago the AGU poster session from Peter Ward, in which he claimed that there is no greenhouse effect. It's ozone depletion that's causing global warming.

Today I discovered there are two of them. Anthony Watts posted about the first one, Peter Landon Ward, PhD, a few days ago. Now he's put up an article from his other half, a David Bennett Laing, Asst. Prof.of Geology, Univ. of Maine (retired) (archived here).

Their hypothesis has more holes than 1980's grunge-wear. It's probably in the spirit of Christmas - a gift of denial intended to tug on the emotions - to make you laugh or make you cry or make you despair for deniers.

(Given WUWT's ozone hole denial, some people who are not aware that the one consistent thing about science denial is its inconsistency, might wonder that WUWT would post an article that relies on ozone depletion to explain global warming.)

Open thread

As I said, I'm taking a short break, which is why in this article, I've only written about the nonsense without saying why it's nonsense.

HotWhopper will resume normal service after Christmas, which comes a day earlier here than where many of you live. Meanwhile, feel free to comment about anything you like on climate, weather, energy policy or anything vaguely related.


rugbyguy said...

Merry Christmas and enjoy your little rest.. you've earned it. Your work is much appreciated by this lurker... ;-)

Sou said...

Thanks, rugbyguy. Merry Christmas to you and yours.

Soosoos said...

Happy Christmas Sou! From another of many appreciative lurkers.

ProvidenceMine said...

Today is Christmas Eve and it's a raining 68 degrees.

Feels more like Easter to me :P

ProvidenceMine said...

Sorry. I forgot to mention that I live in NYC.

Victor Venema said...

Given the enormous bunk Judith Curry is promoting it is hard to believe that she believes this is science. But either she is very good at improv theatre or she really does feel that SHE, of all people, is the modern day Galileo. At least they say the "what?!?" in this 10-second video is from Curry. My favourite moment from the Cruz' "hearings".

Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas Sou from another appreciative lurker. It is really helpful to read your articles which are pitched at the right level for me. My level of understanding is so much higher compared to 18 months ago when I started reading the blog. You and attp daily reading for me now.

Treesong said...

Merry Christmas, jolly Festivus, and a happy, less smoky New Year to the proprietor of the only blog I read daily. Also happy birthday (save that until it's relevant).

Anonymous said...

Same here in Washington -- 70F when this time of year 50F is considered warm. Not a snowball in sight for James Inhofe to show us!

Brandon R. Gates said...

Enjoy your deserved, and obviously needed, break over the holidays, Sou. Cheers.

Lionel A said...

Sou you owe yourself a well earned rest, well for a few days at least, have a good Christmas. This from a windblown and soggy UK to one who is experiencing another type of heat effect. Hell & High Water indeed.

Thanks for all your efforts, you are up there with SkS, RealClimate, Tamino, ATTP and others in this task of countering the denial of how bad the effects of AGW will be under BAU. It is significant that the likes of Curry are reduced to ranting at a Congressional Hearing and complaining about getting grants and publishing.

A few weeks back I though Curry must have reached the extent of her spin into flat-out science denial but then along comes Ted Cruz.

For those likely to get book tokens as I commonly do then one recommended volume is Raymond Bradley's 3rd edition of 'Paleoclimatology: Reconstructing Climates of the Quaternary'


Lionel A said...

"Not a snowball in sight for James Inhofe to show us!"

Now that would make a good starting point or basis for a children's book 'The Last Snowball'. I was about to write that children's stories would be about Inhofe's level but then realised that would be insulting to children.

Bernard J. said...

Sadly, some people's Christmases have gone up in smoke:


Sou said...

Thank you all for the good wishes - and wishing you all a happy and safe Christmas. As Bernard wrote (see comments under the next article too), sadly, more than 50 homes in my home state went up in smoke today - along the Great Ocean Road - a favourite summer holiday destination, and, for some of our family, a bit too close for comfort - but they are safe with us, thankfully.

Dan Andrews said...

I have the second edition, Lionel. Have you had a chance to compare it with the third edition? That is, what has been added or altered? If it is just minor updates I'll stick with the second, but if it has added new chapters or new directions of research I'll buy the third as well.

Anonymous said...

Bah, humbug!

Lionel A said...

Sorry for the delay, events and sickness have held up a response. I do not have the second edition with which to compare but given that edition was published in 1999 and much has developed since then the 'Third Edition' I think would be worthwhile.

Have a look at the Preface to this 'Third Edition' here:


Lonnie Thompson 'Foreward' is also worth attention.

I have Cronin too but this volume, which I have only had for a few days now, promises to be most enlightening.

Lionel A said...

Sorry, Live link, I hope, to Google books and

Paleoclimateology: Reconstructing Climates of the Quarternary Third Edition.

Lionel A said...

Now for some humbug, this time Tamino has demonstrated how Richard Lindzen came up with some humbug recently:

Richard Lindzen: limited understanding?.

Dan Andrews said...

Thank you, Lionel. In hindsight, I should have thought of looking up the preface myself and not bother you for something googable. I have put that book in my Amazon wish list now, and will buy it in the new year once Christmas bills are paid off and my next contract comes in. Hope you're feeling better, and may you have a Happy (and healthy) New Year. :)

Dan Andrews said...

Just been reading the generous amount provided on Amazon's preview page too. Now I'm even more embarrassed I didn't think to do that first and ask questions later. I'm also tempted to not wait till the new year to buy it. Wants it now. sigh. Seems no matter how old we get there is still that inner want-child with which we must contend.

Cliff said...

Merry Christmas MobyT :)

Sou said...

Happy New Year, Cliff. Say Hi to HC for me :)

Lionel A Smith said...

A late comment but I have just bumped into David Bennett Laing on Desmog in comments below:

"Climate Scientists Canceling Their New York Times Subscription Over Hiring of Climate Denialist Bret Stephens

By Graham Readfearn • Thursday, April 27, 2017 - 16:59"

Sadly many responses to and fro appear to have been binned. This included two replies to Laing he having lionised Knut Ångström, one citing with a book link 'Box; The Saturation Fallacy' pages 53-55 of 'The Warming Papers' edited by David Archer and Raymond Pierrehumbert'.

The other was, having sought out the two Real Climate posts on this aspect from 2007 (as cited in the aforementioned Box) I linked to those. Laing came over superior and abusive repeatedly using terms such as 'warmists' and 'religion' and then complaining about insults from another.

Laing is keen to promote his book 'In Praise of Carbon: How We’ve Been Misled Into Believing that Carbon Dioxide Causes Climate Change' (no reviews on Amazon.com). I have discovered an interesting response to Ward and Laing by John Mashey at Stoat :


Marco said...

I noticed some problems with the commenting, too. It was unfortunate, as I wanted to point out to him that Knut Ångström wasn't the leading physicist at the time. He likely mistook him for his father, Anders.

Also, Ray Pierrehumbert had an easy explanation where Ångström (Knut, that is) went wrong:

Lionel A Smith said...

That Real Climate article is the one I pointed Laing at providing links to both parts. That is when he started hissy-fitting.

If Laing had bothered to read at that 'Warming Papers' googlebooks link I supplied he would have discovered that it was about Knut Ångström but I think he just fired back from the hip.

Link to that John Mashey post at Stoat: