Wednesday, December 14, 2016

After the Rally for Science, Anthony Watts' illiterati crowd call for science to end

Sou | 10:09 PM Go to the first of 12 comments. Add a comment
I wrote to flag the rally that was held to coincide with AGU16. Anthony Watts, who yesterday missed the fact that it was on, finally found a flyer but I don't know if he went or not. He posted some photos, but he didn't take them. Instead he filched them from Twitter and gave no credit. This tweet has one of the photos Anthony posted, but didn't take himself.

Anthony also posted the video but again didn't give credit to the people who made it. Here is the same video, courtesy of ClimateTruth, from its Facebook page.

Anthony Watts wrote:
I’m not sure what, if anything they accomplished, except to put on a show. I don’t think serious people paid much attention to it. I surely didn’t, because science and clown-like theatrics really don’t mix.

Yet he was sufficiently impressed to write a blog article about the rally. Anthony added:
UPDATE: I forgot to mention that this rally was conducted on the steps of a Catholic Church, St. Patricks on Mission Street, which is right across from the Jessie Square/Yerba Buena gardens. Seems a perfect place to pitch a religion, doesn’t it?
Which goes to show that disinformers and deniers don't know the difference between science and religion. Who's surprised?

The irony is that Anthony Watts, two years in a row, has shown he's desperately trying to get some recognition from the same people he despises. He's submitted a poster to the AGU Fall Meeting twice now. Nothing's come of them. His poster from last year was about the paper he promised way back in 2012, and has never seen the light of day. From the poster, it wasn't too promising so I'm not surprised he's not been able to publish it. This year's effort is based on a blog article by Willis Eschenbach. The blog article wasn't much chop, so I doubt that the poster will be either.

Here are some photos taken by Collin Maessen (thanks, Collin), who runs the excellent blog, Real Skeptic. (You may recall his article about the 97% consensus earlier this year.)

Rally to Speak Up for Science. Credit: Collin Maessen of Real Skeptic

Speakers at the rally to Speak Up for Science. Credit: Collin Maessen of Real Skeptic

Science is under threat, particularly in the USA. Donald Trump is putting anti-science people in key positions. Lamar Smith has been attacking science and scientists for some time now. In Canada, the previous Prime Minister Stephen Harper took actions that resulted in a lot of important scientific material to be lost.

When knowledge is destroyed and when people in power don't place value on it, societies are at risk of crumbling. In the case of climate knowledge it's worse than that. Destroying knowledge and taking actions that harm our environment don't just put human societies at risk, they endanger the very environment on which we rely.

From the WUWT comments

Anthony Watts led the way in dissing scientific knowledge and his anti-science fans followed suit. Here are some of the comments from people who want to destroy the world. The WUWT crowd won't be happy until the last book is burned, the last computer sent to the tip, the last satellite turned into space junk, scientists everywhere sent to jail or worse, and the last university and research centre shuts their doors. If you think I'm exaggerating, I'm not. See below.

Philip took to ridiculing the people who work hard to inform society:
December 13, 2016 at 3:39 pm
To Quote a different set of muppets, “Look Ma no brains”

Most of the comments were as stupid as this one, from toorightmate
December 13, 2016 at 2:49 pm
At long last!
We all now know what a group of scientists looks like.
It is truly amazing.

Pop Piasa hasn't heard about all the floods all over the world, or the wildfires, or the heat waves and droughts that have claimed so many lives in recent years. He or she is a hard core denier who will still reject climate change when Boston is under the sea.
December 13, 2016 at 3:21 pm
Geez- the things eggheads have to come up with to get attention and generate money. Too many solvers of dubious problems. Let them work on cancer or heart research until the “climate calamity” starts claiming lives. 

More empty taunts, this time from scientific illiterati Justthinkin, who shows no sign of ever harbouring a rational thought:
December 13, 2016 at 2:24 pm
Paul said….”Being irony impaired is apparently very difficult for these people.”.
Au contraire. Being irony impaired IS EXACTLY what these useful idjits are. They are born with it. Ignorance can be cured through learning….stupid is forever. 

Mike Flynn places no value on knowledge, either. Typical of the right wing authoritarian follower who votes for "scumbucket" politicians.
December 13, 2016 at 2:40 pm
They had to use to use the unused lab coats for something, I suppose.
Climatologists don’t use or need labs, or experiments, or facts.
Hand waving and strident assertions are enough for climatologists!

Anthony Watts has managed to whittle his audience down to the dim, dumb dregs of society. He must be so proud. sadbutmadlad is again typical of this. How much climate change will they put up with before some of them start blaming scientists for not telling them what is happening?
December 13, 2016 at 2:56 pm
Naomi is right, climate change will cost the American public trillions – in increased taxes. And in increased prices due to taxes on business. The public will pay. The “scientists” will be the only ones to benefit as they become the new oligarchy, just like the socialist masters of the USSR, spending their ill-gotten gains on gaudy trinkets such sea-side mansions.

The perennial liar and disinformer, jim steele, who makes a habit of personally attacking scientists and misrepresenting science, does it again, and speaks of "alternative hypothesis". We're still waiting for a credible "alternative hypothesis" to appear. (No, "it's the sun" doesn't cut it.)
December 13, 2016 at 2:56 pm
We skeptics have been ardently standing up for science, casting a critical eye on unproven hypotheses and providing alternative hypotheses. Science is never to be trusted unless a hypothesis is thoroughly vetted. Oreskes and Mann are trying to hoodwink people into thinking, if someone doubts their favored hypotheses, then it is an attack against science, when those criticisms are simply revealing the shortcomings of that favored hypothesis. While people like Trenberth try to enforce mindless groupthink by suggesting researchers never debate skeptics, as well as trying to reverse the null hypothesis, only the skeptics are maintaining the very foundation of the scientific process.
This rally should convene in front of Mann or Trenberth’s office demanding they stop corrupting the scientific process. 

Rudd Istvan comes right out and says he wants the USA to stop doing any science. When you don't like the findings, put your hands over your ears, shut your eyes, and chant "La la la I can't hear or see you". Better yet, stop the research - according to science disinformers. ristvan wrote:
December 13, 2016 at 3:10 pm
Jim, I agree. Am thinking the appropriate timing is just after 20 Jan 2017. About when a new administrations NSF senior officer announced all funding to them and theirs ceases because of abuse of science, pseudoscience, and nonscience. 

co2islife is the same. He wants to shut down the centres of knowledge creation.
December 13, 2016 at 3:04 pm
Liberals simply pollute and corrupt everything. They are making a sham of science. These are activists, not scientists. Trump needs to go after universities.

alexwade has a very warped idea about the income of scientists. He really seems to be under the illusion they have private jets and luxury homes. Scientists don't earn huge salaries. If it was money that motivated them, they'd have chosen a different career.
December 13, 2016 at 3:10 pm
If climate change is such a serious threat, then it will still be a threat with absolutely no funding whatsoever. Put your money where your mouth is: keeping doing “studies” that say it is a threat for free.
Of course, what will happen is they will loudly and publicly pout about a loss of funding and hope the Trumpster relents or is not re-elected. If neither happens, then the screaming banshees will have no choice but to move on because private jets and luxury homes aren’t free. The quest to stop the alarmists will only last until they run out of money. As long as they have enough money in reserve to pay for the high-life, it will survive. But if Trump isn’t re-elected, everything will quickly pick up where it left off. 

That's enough. If you want to read more, there's plenty. It's a dismal view of the worst humanity has to offer.


  1. "I’m not sure what, if anything they accomplished, except to put on a show. I don’t think serious people paid much attention to it. ... science and clown-like theatrics really don’t mix."

    That's amusing, because Tony could be describing his own blog here. -- Dennis

    1. Those were my thoughts as well. I find it amusing for someone who pushes such nonsense as Watts does to have the nerve to deride others.

  2. A lot of people are seriously unclear about budgets. They think hundreds of dollars is serious cash, because it's a big discretionary spend.

    But they forget that rent is that or more *every month* so the salary needs to be thousands per month. And if you work for a couple years, you need to multiply by 24. And they forget that a research project needs several people on it, so you multiply again. And that's just salaries; you'll need to pay for travel and equipment too.

    Now your half-million-dollar grant doesn't seem so huge; even if the prof is corrupt, there's not much to skim. Never mind the constant oversight.

    1. Agree. For all their adoration of the golden calf (and billionaire real estate moguls), many deniers are very naive when it comes to money. I'm thinking a lot of them have never been in a management position (or any position where they are responsible for a budget, other than their grocery bill. And probably not that either, given most are old men who would think it's women's work.)

      Most WUWT-ers these days are quite unfamiliar with academia and research, scientific or otherwise, which suggests they've never attended college or uni (depending what country you're from). Some at WUWT have said they have, but I think Anthony's got rid of most of those now.

  3. Anthony Watts: "UPDATE: I forgot to mention that this rally was conducted on the steps of a Catholic Church, St. Patricks on Mission Street, which is right across from the Jessie Square/Yerba Buena gardens. Seems a perfect place to pitch a religion, doesn’t it?"

    Isn't it interesting how the American right wing has claimed for decades that they are morally superior because Christ. Nowadays they often use the term religion as a curse word. This fits to their behaviour going against teachings of Jesus, the Catholic Church and nearly any other Church in the world, except for the hard-right wing ones in the USA.

    1. Oddly, Anthony Watts has said that he's Catholic. He seems quite happy to live in mortal sin these days and he's doing his best to send the rest of the world to hell :(

    2. It is puzzling. I am pretty sure that the Christian faiths contain an injunction "thou shalt not bear false witness" ie lying is a sin.

      It is pretty clear that Watts and the right-wingers DO lie - I wonder how they rationalize that? My conclusion is they are not genuinely religious either, I think they are just saying what is necessary to pander to their supporters.

  4. "alexwade has a very warped idea about the income of scientists."
    I usually interpret that remark to imply that scientists should starve to death. Give such alexwades the chance and trust me, that will become the policy in no time flat. Another thing on which history is quite clear.

  5. OMG, Watts and his gaggle of bobble-headed anti-science morons piss me off.

  6. The Mike Flynn commenting on WUWT couldn't be THE Mike Flynn of Trump's mad general fame ?! or his son !?

  7. Watts attended the excellent CSLDF session, sat in front row opposite lectern, glowered, but as usual, asked no questions & nobody really cared he was there. A few years before, i happened to sit behind him and it was the same. He is brave at his blog.

    Then Malcolm Hughes, lawyers Fontaine & Mandig and I spent 3 hours in an Irish sports bar for lunch. That was fun, especially to meet Mandig. Fontaine I've known since 2010, which proved useful when Wegman&Said sued me for $2M last year.

    Oh, of more import than Watts Gov Jerry Brown spoke strongly.

    1. I guess Watts is not going to say much if he doesn't have the bully pulpit. A personal blog has got to be one of the best bully pulpits around.


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