Thursday, March 24, 2016

Despondent deniers: Why fake sceptics are losing and more...

Sou | 6:54 PM Go to the first of 7 comments. Add a comment
There isn't a lot happening in the deniosphere. The hottest ever records and latest US opinion polls are making the climate conspiracy theorists somewhat despondent. I've pulled together a round-up of some recent articles at WUWT. It's a motley collection covering the fake sceptics war against science, denier hustlers, and weather forecasts and climate models.

Doing the Hustle - too little too late

The disillusionment and despondency started with a "too little too late" article (archived here) about some denier film. The "climate hoax" film was from the anti-science organisation CFACT, and fake sceptics and climate disinformer Marc Morano were pushing it as the ants pants. Despite a lot of hoo-haa late last year, it didn't go anywhere. Almost no-one has seen it. It was shown to a small number of people from a side-street in Paris during COP21 and as far as I know, that's it. As a last ditch effort, the backers are saying there is going to be a one time only national screening in 500 movie theatres in 200 localities across the USA. The film is promised to be shown on 2 May but it looks as if people have to sign up before they can find out where. And they'll have to pay for the privilege of having people tell them what they want to believe: that climate science is a hoax. 

WUWT deniers were not impressed.

Fake sceptics are in disarray and losing their war against the planet

Larry Kummer wrote a long article that was reposted at WUWT (archived here), telling deniers why they are "losing" their war against science and our planet. He started by saying how deniers have fallen into the trap of thinking they are winning their war against the world. He writes that climate conspiracy theorists risk turning their already weak position into a losing position. His evidence that they are losing (have lost?) their war includes the fact that the fake sceptic positions (many and various) are opposed by organisations that number:
  • almost all major scientific organisations, 
  • virtually every nation in the world and their governments
  • major international organisations (World Bank, UN)
  • the mainstream media (New York Times, The Guardian, Washington Post etc)
  • large NGOs (the WWF, the EDF, and Greenpeace)
  • religious organisations (Catholic Church).
In Larry's mind it all boils down to money, that's about the only language that deniers speak, after all. He seems to be suggesting that if deniers got organised and got more money they'd be able to succeed in their quest to destroy Earth.

He adds that denier websites are amateurish and that public opinion is against them. His suggestion for winning their war against the planet is to elect someone who says he doesn't "believe" science as US President. Someone who'll tear down all US defenses. Someone like bible bashing Ted Cruz or, at a pinch, that chap who has a reality TV show - what's his name? Oh, that's right, Donald Trump.

Larry thinks that as more wild weather events come to pass, climate conspiracy theorists will lose more ground. His only suggestion when it comes to science, is: "Congress can require NOAA or the NSF to test the models with independent oversight (i.e., a neutral multi-disciplinary team of experts). The results would tell us much."

That thought leads into the next item.

Forecasting models are wonderful

In the latest WUWT article (archived here), Anthony Watts is enthusiastic about super-models for weather forecasting.  I don't mean super-models in the fashion sense, I'm talking about extremely powerful models run on super-computers. The one being written about has extremely high resolution. From Anthony's copy and paste:
The highest-resolution National Weather Service’s official forecasts have grid spacing of one point for every three kilometers. The model the Oklahoma team is using in the SHARP project, on the other hand, uses one grid point for every 500 meters — six times more resolved in the horizontal directions.

It's not there yet, but in future years meteorologists hope to be able to more accurately forecast the location and timing of, say, hail storms up to two hours ahead, and give warnings based on the forecasts.

Anthony made an effort to explain why he thinks that weather forecasting models are terrific but climate models aren't. Anthony Watts wouldn't know the first thing about climate models except that, in his role as chief WUWT disinformer, he's supposed to trash them. He foolishly wrote at the top of his copy and paste:
While climate models tend to be open-ended and impossible to verify for the future they predict until the future becomes the measured present, weather models can and have been verified, and they keep getting better. 
I was going to write about all the wrongs in that single sentence, but Steven Mosher beat me to it, saying among other things how models are normally described in terms of how skilful they are, not whether or not they are exactly correct in every respect. In reply to Steven, Anthony wrote how he was right, even if in order to be "right", he had to redefine the words "open-ended" and "verify". He wrote:
[another wild claim from drive by Mosher. I’ve used weather forecast models on a daily basis for 3 decades. Yes their predictive skill has improved since 30 years ago. Many many times then and now they get the forecast for the next day for a location exactly right – that’s what I call verified. The prediction was verified by the actual result. Climate models that predict 25-50, or 100 years out have NEVER been verified by an actual result, and can’t be until he time elapses. They can’t even be assessed for predictive skill right now for 25-100 year forecasts. That’s why I call climate models open-ended and it is not a meaningless term, but a judgment of their inability to be verified. Tough noogies if you don’t like my description -Anthony]
Weather forecasting models and climate models are based on the same physical equations. Many weather forecasting models use climate models as their base and vice versa. The main differences between them are:
  • Weather forecasting models are used to forecast weather a few days ahead. Climate models are used to make projections of climate, under different forcing scenarios, decades ahead.
  • Weather forecasting models are continually updated with observations, assimilating the latest observational data often in real time. Therefore weather forecasts won't stray far from recent weather. Climate models typically don't incorporate observations except for initialisation. They are not dependent or have input from weather observations of today, yesterday, last week or last year.
One thing on the plus side for Anthony, is that he's distanced himself from Bob Tisdale's silliness. Bob erroneously thinks that climate models should forecast near term weather.

Here's a TedX talk about an investigation into climate models by computer scientist Steve Easterbrook:

From the WUWT comments

BernardP has a suggestion for CFACT and Marc Morano:
March 21, 2016 at 12:19 pm
To have any impact, Climate Hustle would have to be shown on major TV networks, starting with FOX. Showing it in theaters or selling it on DVD will only attract the already-convinced climate skeptics.
While the Warmists have gained all the levers of powers to control the political, decision-making, agenda, Skeptics are left alone to play by themselves in their sandbox.

March 21, 2016 at 12:28 pm
Reason;I think Morano and persons making film needs to make a buck out of this. Its perfectly normal/OK 

Arbeegee figures the game of hustle, hide and seek is so the film Hustle can be nominated for the Academy Awards
March 21, 2016 at 1:41 pm
Let me guess that this is mostly marketing scheme to get proper review coverage. Also minimal theatrical distribution might be necessary to qualify for certain awards such as the Academy Awards. It’s also possible that the distribution scheme includes “four walling” where the producer actually rents the theater and then pockets the profits. Some may remember “Sunn Classic Pictures” that did this more than 3 decades ago with documentaries on topics like the search for Noah’s ark. 

TonyL agrees the denier's war is lost. He thinks it's because younger people are stupid:
March 22, 2016 at 9:40 am
The war is lost, and public education is one big reason. Consider the “young adults”, if you can call them that, coming out of the public school system. They are scientifically illiterate, and believe CAGW theory as given fact. WHY? Simple, they have been taught CAGW as given truth since their earliest days. They know nothing else. Worse, they are the enlightened ones, and so think of unbelievers as knuckledraggers and uneducated rubes. Therefor, they cannot be reached. They occupy a position of moral superiority and do not have the scientific ability to evaluate even the simplest facts. Now going on two generations, people in this group constitute a sizable, and growing fraction of the adult population. And They Vote.
In response to all this, we have a call to “Test the Models”. Again. As a strategic move to win the war. Given the situation on the ground, I can not think of a more useless proposal. Testing the models is not even useless, it is irrelevant. People don’t know and don’t care about “models”. The models have been tested and failed. It did not make any difference then, it wont make any difference now.

Chris Hanley has a warning:
March 22, 2016 at 1:40 pm
Look folks LAWRENCE N. (Larry) KUMMER is a player, he’s some sort of investment consultant although he’s not currently registered with FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority see FINRA Broker Check CRD# 1752708).
On his Linkedin page he proudly states he supports the IPCC.
IMO his articles here, while invariably obscure and hard to pin down, are intended as a form of demoralisation as demonstrated by the original title of his piece (on his website) “Why skeptics will lose the US climate policy debate”, the “…will lose …” changed to “… could lose …” for WUWT consumption.
The contents remain the same.

On climate models and weather forecasts, Marcus thinks that climate models shouldn't try to model climate. He wrote:
March 23, 2016 at 5:14 pm
…This is the realm that climate forecasting should have stayed in, short range weather !! 

References and further reading

Explainer: the models that help us predict climate change - article by Kamal Puri, Aurel Moise, Robert Colman and Tony Hirst, at The Conversation, April 2015

Why trust climate models? It’s a matter of simple science - article by Scott K Johnson at Ars Technica, September 2013

Easterbrook, Steve M., and Timothy C. Johns. "Engineering the software for understanding climate change." Computing in Science & Engineering 11, no. 6 (2009): 64-74. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/MCSE.2009.193  (pdf here)


  1. With every passing year it becomes clearer that the deniers are just crazy dudes shaking their fists at the sky

    1. ... and stealing emails, harassing scientists, committing various acts of libel and slander, and making death threats.

  2. Oh how I miss those once so frequent "its all over for AGW theory" posts.

    1. I guess that they finally put all of the nails in the coffin of AGW theory ;)

  3. They are losing the battle in the press comments sections .
    Over the last five years I have noted considerable change from clamorous effective denial and few authoritative rebuttals to many informed comments for every piece of nonsense.
    We have a long way to go to win the war.
    Unfortunately we have yet to see effective policy from the English speaking world to combat the problem. With the latest spike in temperatures we will hopefully see some movement In the efforts of the governments of USA Australia Canada and New Zealand. Until that happens winning the battle over the comments sections is a hollow victory at best.
    Sou I would like to thank your tireless effort
    reading the nonsense day after day it must be a will sapping exercise.
    You have done all on this planet a great service in being many combatants main source of the goings on and new developments in the denialosphere. Often reading Hot whopper for arms me about the latest nonsense saving hours of effort to find the fallacy or misrepresentation of the next piece of idiocy from those in denial. Thanks hugely and I hope you and the others from the climate realist blogs get the recognition you all deserve in the future.

  4. The models have been tested and failed.

    Only in LOL WHUT?! land. If you feed recent observed forcings into the models, unlike the projected ones they had to use previously (because, duh, it was the future then), the models track the recent surface temps quite well. See Figure 1 here:


    "Models are broken" is the deniers' mantra. Just keep repeating it without bothering to do a reality check every once in a while, and any lie becomes 'fact'.

  5. I have noticed a less virulent WUWT recently that makes posting a little less unpleasant.
    The "attack dogs" seem to have put themselves on a shorter leash - or are simply absent.
    Is it me or is there a few more science advocates there too?

    I recently had a push at Tisdale on a couple of threads - and he stopped coming back at me.
    However Stealey put up this post (in part) in the "66 my" thread...

    "I just love it when the alarmist crowd tries to argue that old CO2 canard. It is ridiculously easy to refute. Fun, too. ☺"

    I refuted the "refutation" - and yep, it was easy (and actually fun too).


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