Sunday, March 13, 2016

More BS from the unethical fraud Anthony Watts - 97% of climate science *IS* for real

Sou | 11:20 AM Go to the first of 17 comments. Add a comment
Anthony Watts is continuing to work hard to appeal to the dregs of humanity. He has all but rid his blog, finally, of any normal-thinking human being. He thinks he has to keep up his fight against reason and ethics, and has another protest about the 97%. Anthony really doesn't like it that 97% of scientific papers that attribute a cause to warming have it caused by humans. It seems he'll go to any lengths. That's because more than 97% of his readers are climate conspiracy nutters who think climate science is a hoax, and he can't bear to lose a source of income (his blog). Anthony Watts is trying to corner the market of paranoid conspiracy theorists and other shady types. Surely no sane person who prides themselves on their rational ability would admit to being a fan of WUWT.

One of the main reasons that Anthony Watts claims "fraud" is because he has just learnt that researchers working together as a team actually talk with each other while doing research. In particular, they clarify with each other what exactly is meant by different classification definitions to make sure they are all on the same page. I wonder how he thinks the 97% paper got written? (You write one para, I'll write the next, and I won't show you mine and you don't show me yours.)

Anthony applauds a script kiddie who doesn't return the favour, and who spends some of his time hacking forums and much of the rest boasting about it and misrepresenting what he steals. When Anthony can't find evidence of a conspiracy he portrays honest work as dishonest, and the dishonest deniers push the meme because they've nothing else to push. (Yesterday Anthony was promoting a climate hoax television show claiming that climate science was a conspiracy. The show was made in 1990. He is really scraping the bottom of the barrel these days.)

Anthony Watts tries to deny that he loves the "F" word, contrary to evidence

In this latest article (archived here) Anthony Watts falsely claimed that he doesn't like the word "fraud" and said he didn't think he'd used it in a headline before. One of his conspiracy fans proved him wrong. WUWT is nothing more than one big "fraud" allegation, claiming climate science is a hoax, a conspiracy. To wit:
  • around 97% of Anthony's copies and pastes of press releases about new science have a headline starting with the word "claim", meaning that his readers are not to "believe" science
  • Anthony wrote an email to a top NOAA scientist accusing him and his colleagues of fraud
  • When news of that hit the NYTimes, Anthony then accused the NOAA scientist (and yours truly) of "sliming" him - can you believe it?
  • A Google search returns 6,930 results of the word "fraud" at WUWT, 2,030 results of the word "fudge", 4,260 results with the word "hoax", 2,040 results with the word "manipulate" and 4,570 results with the word "fake".
  • Many of his articles are alleging fraud, fakery or wrong-doing by scientists as are many of the "thoughts" left by his readers.

False accusations are all he's got. In this case he has nothing. 

Anthony Watts is unethical - what's new?

When you read the latest article, it's about how a script kiddie stole more stuff from SkS (he's done it before) - this time, two confidential documents. They were apparently only confidential because they were for future publication. Yes, you read that right. The articles were not secret never-to-be-revealed confessons - they were intended for publication. (Some journals won't accept papers already in the public domain, though I doubt that's what prompted the thief to sell his stolen wares.) Rather than alert John Cook that someone had stolen confidential material and released it before it was published (and maybe before it was submitted for publication), Anthony once again chose the low route. He could have waited for it to be published, but no. He decided that being seen as the unethical chap that he is was better than being scooped by John Cook himself.

Can you imagine, say, a reviewer of a peer-reviewed paper publishing that paper on a blog before it was published in a journal? He or she would be pilloried by their colleagues, and probably black-banned by journals.

Research teams work as a team - who'd have guessed?

The snippets Anthony posted weren't anything new or startling. They were just a couple of paragraphs about the process that the Cook13 researchers went through when assessing the 11,944 abstracts they examined to see what the science says. On a rare occasion, one of the researchers may have looked at a paper, apparently. Anthony says that was "cheating". Why? Was it because looking at a paper would make it easier to see if a paper was attributing a cause to global warming? That would make the 97% finding more solid, not less, surely!

The only other piece of "damning" evidence was that the researchers worked as a team. Because they lived far apart from each other they worked together through a private discussion forum. In that forum they discussed the finer points of the classifications they were using to categorise abstracts. An example would be agreeing that a paper would have to specify that at least 50% of warming would need to be attributed to human activity before an abstract could be categorised as "Explicit endorsement with quantification". Anthony and his script kiddie protege appear to be arguing that scientists working as a team shouldn't talk to each other. Goodness only know how they think researchers should collaborate.

Independent doesn't mean what disinformers think it means

Anthony made much of the fact that the researchers worked as a team. However they each separately categorised the abstracts. The discussions they had were around the meaning of the categories themselves, not about whether one or other abstract fit within one of the categories. (Not that I could see much wrong if they did do the latter. But that was the system the researchers set up.) Each abstract was categorised separately by at least two different researchers, independently. If there were differences, it went to a third round. What Anthony and his script kiddie are alleging is that there was a lot of discussion of individual abstracts. There wasn't. The only time that happened was in the early testing phase of the project, when the system was being designed and examples of abstracts were used to show how to categorise them. Once the project itself started, the researchers didn't discuss the abstracts with each other.

I expect there is a good reason for independent analysis. It was part of the research design. However I could see an equally valid project being one where researchers work on abstracts together. 

Disinformers disinform - who'd have thought?

The fact that conspiracy theorists have to resort to misprepresenting snippets stolen from a private website, and snippets of conversation from a hacked forum says it all. The fact that deniers lie, steal and demonstrate a willingness to be grossly unethical tells you all you need to know about their character.

Why disinformers do and don't dispute the findings

Deniers and disinformers, you'll have noted, have not done any analysis like this. Their claims of "fraud" and "hoax" rely on the fact that science shows that humans are causing global warming. Their allegations of conspiracy would fall apart if they were to investigate and find the science said something different :) So while they want to dispute the findings of Cook13, at the same time they don't want to dispute the findings. This is consistent with the inconsistency of conspiracy theorists, who espouse the impossible. They can believe two contradictory things at the same time.

The big research question is...

Why haven't any deniers researched the science? Why are they so reluctant to examine the papers themselves? The answer is obvious. Disinformers know very well that almost all scientific papers on the subject point to humans being the cause of the current global warming. So science disinformers like Anthony Watts won't do it. I'd say that run-of-the-mill deniers don't attempt it because of one or more of the following:
  • they are afraid of what they will find out, that humans are causing global warming
  • they are too stupid to know how to find a single paper, let alone thousands of papers
  • they are not stupid, just incompetent
  • they are lazy and don't want to be viewed as dishonest as well as lazy
  • they are scared of the cognitive dissonance, knowing what they discover will smash their view of the world
  • they are cowards.

Almost half a million downloads

By the way, the award-winning Cook13 97% paper has now been downloaded 466,227 times. Suck it up, deniers!

Conspiratorial "thoughts" from WUWT

One can only marvel at the incapability of deniers, their conspiratorial mindset and their wilful ignorance. WUWT provides a rich source of material for cognitive scientists and is a repository of the some of the worst examples of our species. Anthony Watts is doing a very good job of weeding his blog of any rational, sane person or even irrational people of good character. He's down to the dregs:

Unmentionable suffers the logical fallacy of personal incredulity and admits to being a conspiracy theorist:
March 12, 2016 at 8:11 am
“… is indeed nothing more than a manufactured outcome.”
Was there ever any real question that this was an unbelievable number? It’s a shameless equivalent to the number of people in North Korea who voted for the Dear Leader, with just as much scientific credibility as a consensus, or a mandate to ‘rule’ the Journals. We’ve all been around long enough to know how this works, and the shenanigans played over pot-‘o-cash, and pecking order. A claim like that is shameless dross and should have been laughed out the door from the outset.

Mark J Takatz might agree with the 97% finding, but rationalises his continued science denial by accusing scientists of lying for the past 200 years - a prime example of Recursive Fury, modifying the conspiracy theory as more facts emerge:
March 12, 2016 at 8:12 am
Ya know, someone made an argument along the lines of “how can so many scientists be lying.” I remarked to myself that they don’t need to be lying to be wrong. But, I wonder, is that even the case? Maybe they really are all lying, at least, maybe a large enough percentage are lying to shift the narrative in their favor.
I really don’t understand how people can grow up to be so dishonest. I used to think that nearly everyone was basically honest, only hiding things about themselves they found embarrassing (addictions, etc.). Anymore, I just don’t know.

ironicman takes the lazy route to denial, and rejects the evidence outright:
March 12, 2016 at 1:42 pm
‘I’ve never met any scientists not in full support of taking action to curb co2 emissions.’
Its my melancholy duty to inform you that CO2 doesn’t actually cause global warming, the plateau in temperatures for 19 years and massive model failure is proof of that.
All those scientists have been brainwashed by their own propaganda.

MikeN asks the script kiddie if he meant what he said about Anthony Watts:
March 12, 2016 at 10:40 am
Could you clarify that Brandon e-mailed this, and not that you copied it from somewhere? I was under the impression that Brandon wanted you and other readers of this blog to ‘go die in a fire’.
From his blog:
At this point I can only say Watts is either a deranged sociopath with no sense of morality who derives sexual pleasure by spreading lies to the greatest number of people possible or is an idiot savant whose one field of mastery is deluding himself into believing whatever idiotic things he finds most convenient at any given moment.”

benben asks the Big Question that's on everyone's lips (I'm kidding)
March 12, 2016 at 8:41 am
Anyway, instead of complaining about the paper, why not just re-do the analysis? Is just a meta-analysis, shouldn’t take too much time if you have a couple of volunteers, which I’m sure you can find on this blog. Then you’ll have something nobody can ignore :)

He has no takers. AndyG55 makes up an excuse for his laziness, wrongly claiming that consensus has nothing to do with science. How does he explain the fact that probably no chemistry paper today first proves the existence of atoms and molecules?
March 12, 2016 at 11:51 am
“why not just re-do the analysis?”
That has to come under the “why bother” category.
It was irrelevant then, its irrelevant now.
(even though its about the only thing that politicians have to hang their AGW on)
You still don’t know that consensus has absolutely nothing to do with proper science, don’t you?
Or are you a sociologist ?

steverichards1984 opts for a wacky conspiracy theory in another example of recursive fury:
March 12, 2016 at 12:35 pm
I note that the co-author Mark Richardson has left University of Reading and joined NASA’s JPL working on the ‘Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2’.
We may now have a satellite to be suspicious of. 

Weather businessman and conspiracy nutter John Coleman opts for the money conspiracy theory. Deniers are money obsessed and many only see the world through a money filter. Weird isn't adequate:
March 12, 2016 at 12:21 pm
It is clear that the 97% of scientists figure is an exaggeration. The issue is how much of one. It is also clear to me you can buy a lot of scientist for 4.7 billion dollars year (the amount of Federal budget dollars allocated to pro AGW research). I believe the percentage of scientists doing pro AGW research and therefore appearing to BELIEVE AGW is a purchased percentage. Remember next to sex, money is the most power force in our modern society. 

References and further reading

John Cook, Dana Nuccitelli, Sarah A Green, Mark Richardson, Bärbel Winkler, Rob Painting, Robert Way, Peter Jacobs and Andrew Skuce 2013 Quantifying the consensus on anthropogenic global warming in the scientific literature Environ. Res. Lett. 8 024024 doi:10.1088/1748-9326/8/2/024024 (open access)

From the HotWhopper archives


  1. Chewy: All gristle, no meat.

  2. Denialism is a religion. You are supposed to take it on “faith” (versus facts or evidence) that climate science isn’t true. Because it is faith-based and not fact-based, denialism attracts nutters, connedspiracy theorists and idiots (morons) who spew all kinds of complete nonsense, most which is also faith-based and not facts.

    This low-standard permits all kinds of conjecture and straw arguments to be introduced and outright fabrication. Anything (like religion) is allowed - and anything can become doctrine of the denialist meme. We’ve seen this over and over again, with a total disregard for facts, evidence, science or peer reviewed publications and research.

    Like religion, unrequitted predictions always fail to come true, which angers these disciples into fits of paradoxical rage against those who point out these failings.

    We’re not dealing with intelligent people here, we’re dealing with (suffering) their stupidity. Quite a few of them were (s)Elected into Congress and the Senate, with the Republican party being host and home to the indoctrinated (brainwashed) fools that make up the denialist creed.

    But now they’re getting quite desperate, which is why the dredge up old abandoned arguments and recycle their failed ’proof’ as much as possible. But Nature isn’t cooperating, which angers them even more. They’re now the laughing stock of the world, idiots and fools, true ignorant morons that have absolutely no excuse whatsoever for accepting and admitting to reality.

    We’re supposed to suffer these arrogant stumbling blocks politely, but I disagree with this approach. It’s far too late now for humanity to tolerate people who would continue to destroy and advocate the destruction of the only habitat we have. They’re criminals of the mind and criminals of policy and inaction, they’re the real eco-terrorists in our midst and should be treated as the criminals that they are.

    1. I tend to agree, ridicule is the only approach tbh, if you haven't modified your views by now - then you really have no one but yourself to blame

      that is why, imo the "consensus" is such a powerful tool

  3. "Anthony Watts is trying to corner the market of paranoid conspiracy theorists and other shady types. "

    No chance, unless he puts Jo Nova and a few others out of business.

    1. There's no way to corner a market where the cost of entry is so low.

    2. The cost of entry is your dignity, but I guess dignity isn't really all that big a price to pay.

  4. MikeN asks the script kiddie if he meant what he said about Anthony Watts:

    Anyone who wants to understand why there is no scientific progress coming from these holy perfect scientists and the only skeptical people in this world should read that link.

  5. The dishonesty is breathtaking. Some of the know nothing utter nutters in fact don't know how the science is done.

    But John Coleman of all people knows full well that this is ridiculous. "It is also clear to me you can buy a lot of scientist for 4.7 billion dollars year (the amount of Federal budget dollars allocated to pro AGW research)"

    That 4.7 billion pays for _everything_. In particular, the satellites that collect the data that his business relied on. Those satellites would be flying regardless of the state of the climate. We still need to predict rainfall, storms and all the rest of it.

    I'm not convinced that he's not as dumb as a bag of hammers, but this is one thing he knows/knew for certain.

    1. If you go inside some of the documents, you will also find that fracking research, nuclear research and other such green things get lumped into the "climate change" kitty.

  6. All hope that science can possibly support their nonsense has gone. So climate change deniers, because they are in denial and not rational people, can only resort to sorry stuff like this.

  7. Sou,

    In this latest article (archived here) Anthony Watts falsely claimed that he doesn't like the word "fraud" and said he didn't think he'd used it in a headline before.

    I got a serious case of the giggles when I read his lede sentence. And my own page or so of notes demonstrating how silly it is got binned. I found no fewer than three articles where he used the word "fraud" in a headline of an article he wrote himself. As you note, when he or his guest authors aren't writing the word themselves, it's what they're dog-whistling. His fans' Pavlovian responses don't shy from using it one whit.

    I find myself wondering if his sudden distaste for the word "fraud" is because it's finally occurring to him that some swords are dual-edged.

    As ye reap, so shall ye sow.

    1. Update: two shorter comments poking at the irony of Anthony's new-found reticence on using the word "fraud" made it through moderation last night. They were subsequently clipped overnight. The nutters' "rebuttals" remain.

      As the WHUTTers very own Janice Moore would say, "I must be over the target".

    2. The hit parade continues. Me replying to Schollenberger:

      Brandon Gates
      March 13, 2016 at 4:29 pm

      [SNIP – come up with a better argument than “you are being obtuse”. Stop wasting everybody’s time – Anthony

      I fear that my attempt to untie the convoluted "thinking" behind this latest effort is just as tedious and rambling as the original material, but it was at least cathartic for me to write.

  8. As I've noted before, if the Denialati want to refute the 97% figure all they need to do is to list the papers in the sample that don't fall within the definition.

    That way we can see exactly who it is that doesn't agree with the consensus, and the manner in which they disagree.

  9. "Their allegations of conspiracy would fall apart if they were to investigate and find the science said something different"

    There's no danger of that happening, however.
    Like everything Anthony Watts is involved in, it amounts to nothing:

    The Consensus Project Re-analysis
    A. Scott's 'Recursive fury' survey replication
    Journal of the Open Atmosphere Society
    Watts' adventures in peer review land
    Watts' Brave Sir Robin routine

  10. Sou, your idea of a google search restricted to specific sites is interesting, and got me looking at some other examples.

    FYI, the term 'IPCC' only appears 20% more often than 'climategate' on WUWT ('climategate' appeared 14,100 times). But the term 'IPCC' is actually eclipsed by the terms 'climategate' and 'fraud' over at Nova's blog! 'Fraud' and 'dogma' appear half as often as 'IPCC' appears at J.Curry's blog.

  11. This guy Anthony Watts never graduated from an undergraduate college compared to guys far more educated. He’s obviously made a career of being a climate denier. And he’s done that on Fox who doesn’t give an opposing view from any of the majority of legitimate meteorologists.


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