Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Rally to Stand Up for Science: and Anthony Watts, a fish out of water at #AGU16

Sou | 12:01 PM Go to the first of 16 comments. Add a comment
First things first. As you may or may not know, there's a rally for science in San Francisco Tuesday and it's not AGU16. This is a rally organised to coincide with the gathering of scientists. It doesn't seem to have been all that highly publicised, at least not outside of the science community.

I didn't learn about it until a day or so ago. It's been promoted on Facebook and by @ClimateTruth and others on Twitter, but so far I haven't found any blog or normal website or much of anything else.

The rally is at Jessie Square, 740 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA on Tuesday 13 December at 12 PM - 1:30 PM PST. (see map)

Despite the minimal publicity, lots of people will be there from what I can gather. The 25k plus crowd at AGU provides a decent base from which to draw people to rally. So if you're in the San Francisco area - go and show your support for science. If you can't make it, I understand the event will be streamed live from the Facebook page of ClimateTruth.

From the Facebook page, speakers are: scientist Michael Mann, Naomi Oreskes, Peter Frumhoff at Union of Concerned Scientists, Leila Salazar at Amazon Watch, Andres Soto at Communities for a Better Environment, David Karabelnikoff at Idle No More Bay Area, and James Coleman, student fellow at Alliance for Climate Education.

The partners of the rally are: The Natural History Museum, ClimateTruth.org Action, Amazon Watch, Greenpeace USA, Sierra Club, SF Bay Chapter, Oil Change International, CommunitiesFor A BetterEnvironment, Center for Biological Diversity, Alliance for Climate Education, Idle No More SF Bay.

Anthony Watts takes photos of signs at AGU16

Anthony Watts has written his first article after arriving in San Francisco for his annual outing there (archived here). It's a puff piece, with nothing of substance. It does however make one wonder how he manages to pass himself off as "press". Going by his article he hasn't spoken with a soul since arriving - which seems odd for a member of the press.

The WUWT article comprised mainly the following:
  • Two mid-sized photos of the sky and San Francisco skyline
  • One mid-sized photo of the AGU registration area
  • Six very large photos of signs
  • Two photos of a past AGU meeting
  • Three tweets
  • A screen grab of an entry on Michael Mann's Facebook page.

The photos and tweets were mostly interrupted by Anthony writing insults about scientists and talking about some of his conspiracy theories.

His article also shows he is way out of the loop when it comes to climate politics and science. He missed the AGU update that would have told him that Exxon has dropped sponsorship of the student breakfast at AGU16 this year. Since that's the only AGU Fall Meeting event they sponsored, their name is not on the list of sponsors this year. Anthony did notice the missing name, even though he didn't notice the AGU article. He devoted two paras of his blog article to pronouncing his conspiracy theories, followed by a gigantic muddy blurred photo of the sponsorship sign:
Along the way, I spotted this sponsorship sign, similar to ones I’ve seen in years past. Notably missing was Exxon-Mobil, though Chevron was there. This is odd, because there was a big AGU stinkeroo with #ExxonKnew earlier this year from climate activists about getting AGU to drop the Exxon-Mobil sponsorship. The board decided they’d keep it, and they were the subject of much derision from the leftists that make up the vocal climate wing of AGU.

So, apparently, AGU either caved quietly, or they were too stung with the derision to dare posting the Exxon-Mobil name as a sponsor on a big poster in registration., or on the 2016 Fall meeting website. Seems pretty hypocritical to me…unless, Exxon-Mobil decided to yank the sponsorship because they just got tired of putting up with a bunch of crybabies. Hopefully I can find out more.
Anthony doesn't know much about business or sponsorship agreements, does he.

Insulting scientists whose respect he craves

Anthony took lots of photos of signs, using them as an opportunity to insult award-winning scientists. He took aim at 2016 AGU Honorees Shaun Lovejoy, Richard B. Alley and Naomi Oreskes. Elsewhere in his article he took a swipe at Katharine Hayhoe and Michael E. Mann.

No rally against science, except at WUWT

Anthony doesn't know about the #StandUpforScience rally either, even though he posted a tweet and facebook entry with details about it. As a top and tail to the tweets he copied and pasted he wrote:
Today and Tuesday, Michael Mann will give another Manntastic pitch over “attacks” on science while pitching his book. That should be entertaining....
One of the tweets was this one, which was retweeted by Michael Mann:

Anthony still didn't mention the rally. Under his copied tweets and above a copy and paste from Michael Mann's facebook page, Anthony added:
...He’s got several sessions. The one on Tuesday says he intends to rally the press.
His "rally the press" comment was his misinterpretation of this part of the entry on Michael Mann's Facebook page:


Now what that tells me is that, like most deniers, Anthony Watts doesn't click links 🙈.

Seems to me that Anthony's going to miss some of the entertainment, unless he checks out HotWhopper. Not that he will mind. He'd prefer to spend his time squaffing the free beer.

From the WUWT comments

Here is a sample of thoughts, including one from Anthony, which shows he hasn't a clue of how other people see him, has an over-inflated opinion of himself, and is afflicted with paranoia.

daveandrews723 comes up with a question. I wonder does he know which science is "settled" and which isn't. He might learn some of the difference if he went to AGU16:
December 12, 2016 at 11:07 am
What is your basic response when people tell you, “the science is settled. rising CO2 levels are and will continue to lead to dramatic rises in global temps” and all the severe consequences that will ensue?

Anthony Watts replied to Dave, and admitted that he has never been confronted with a question quite like that. He also gave us a glimpse of his insecurities and fake bravado:
December 12, 2016 at 11:10 am
They never confront me with that question. Most just avert their eyes and give a wide berth when they recognize me. They don’t like difficult retorts.

Phillip Bratby wonders how Anthony, climate blogging disinformer and promoter of pseudoscience, can go to a place where real science is discussed by real live scientists:
December 12, 2016 at 11:15 am
I don’t know how you manage to put yourself in the position of being surrounded by so much failed science and BS propaganda. 

Steve Case doesn't know about AGU On Demand, where even he could ask a question from the comfort of his own home, and writes:
December 12, 2016 at 11:20 am
Too bad there won’t be any video with question & answer time )-: 

aaron has his own conspiracy theory about Exxon sponsorship. It's a strange one, especially if it's coming from a fossil-fuel loving climate science denier. He thinks Exxon is secretly supporting real science.
December 12, 2016 at 11:22 am
I think most likely Exxon continued support but asked not to be publicly acknowledged.

co2islife offers to make a fool of Anthony Watts, in front of the very people from whom he craves acceptance:
December 12, 2016 at 12:44 pm
@Anthony Watts, a few years ago AGU had a Panel Q&A Session. You should make sure some real skeptics are in the audience to ask questions. I would assemble a group, each armed with their best smoking gun question, and scatter then throughout the audience so they can’t be avoided. I would hit them with one after another uncomfortable question, and get their squirming on film. 

nicholas tesdorf is fairly typical of WUWT readers who despise knowledge with a passion, fear it, see the world as "sides", and have not a clue about the research environment (or AGU).
December 12, 2016 at 1:17 pm
Good luck to you and Willis in your presentation. I admire your persistence and thick hides in attending such a meeting. It must be a bit like wandering around a Nineteenth Century Insane Asylum. I am looking forward to more reports from the Inside.

I can only guess why Anthony never tells his readers about AGU On Demand. Is it because he doesn't want them exposed to science directly, without his disinformation filter? Is it because he's scared they'll question the money they send him to travel there, with nothing to show for it except a few meagre, badly written articles about almost anything except science? ossqss asked:
December 12, 2016 at 1:36 pm
All the best to you and Wiillis Anthony. Are any of the presentations on live feeds? I would like to peek in on some and yours of course.


  1. My wife is there running a couple of rooms but alas I couldn't make it. I would be more than happy to chat with Anthony, not about science (because it's clear he's not there for science) but instead about the money he's collected on paypal and what if anything those who donated will receive in return.

    1. Shame you couldn't make it. I haven't yet either. Maybe one day :)

      As for what they get for their money - IMO it's a bit like buying a lottery ticket. You're paying for fantasies. The difference is, it's possible to win a prize with a lottery. WUWT fantasies won't ever come to pass.

  2. The bit where Anthony imagines himself a fearsome adversary avoided by frightened scientists is comedy gold.

  3. I tried to say people are being take advantage of but failed.
    That is what is happening and it will get more prevelant.

  4. Sou - Surely Anthony is passing himself off as a "scientist" rather than "press"?

    Rather than bleating about RSS temperature this time around the Willard/Willis poster reveals an increase in total precipitable water. According to the RSS website "This increase can be formally attributed to human-induced climate change":


    Presumably the dynamic duo will be publishing a blog post to that effect real soon now?

    1. It's unclear, Jim. Other years he got a press pass so that he didn't have to pay the conference fee. That includes last year when he had a poster too.

      This year I'm not sure. He said he's getting free beer this year, which might mean he actually paid the registration fee - or his fans did on his behalf.

      He wants to be both, I suppose. He has no reporting skills nor any scientific acumen, so he's facing an uphill battle.

  5. I cracked up when I read these posts:

    Man Bearpig December 12, 2016 at 1:18 pm
    Anthony, has Trump offered you the top job at NOAA yet? Or are you not allowed to comment on that yet?

    Anthony Watts December 12, 2016 at 9:18 pm

  6. No chance. To work at NOAA a job applicant has to pee into four different bottles... not to test for drugs, but to make certain the applicant can count.

    1. Yeah, but with Trump in charge, the only qualification needed is if Putin likes him.

  7. Here's a fine comment by that actuarial giant, Bob Tisdale
    December 13, 2016 at 4:10 pm

    Amazing! A bunch of people out complaining about something that may or may not happen. Foolishness at its best.

  8. @ PG

    it is cutting edge "denier" logic, eerily similar to the equally bazaar antivaxxer logic


  9. Willard/Willis have issued a press release:


    Key finding:
    The finding of an observationally measured increase in downwelling radiation of 3.3W/m2 since 1988, in addition to the increase in downwelling radiation over the period as calculated by the IPCC, with little corresponding change in temperature, calls into question the applicability of the concept of “climate sensitivity”.

    My alter ego and I are well and truly blocked, so perhaps somebody else could ask them to explain their disagreements with RSS?

    1. Jim - The poster's key finding is slightly different. It says:
      "Key Finding: This leads us to a curious position where we have had a larger change in forcing from water vapor since 1988 than from all the other IPCC-listed forcings since 1750."

      My initial thoughts are that an increase in water vapor is generally considered a feedback, not a forcing and that everyone knows that it is larger than direct forcing. I.e., what's actually curious about this result? It seems completely inline with all other evidence.

      Also, regarding the text from the press release you quoted; where did they get the "little corresponding change in temperature" from? Little change in temps since 1988? Good grief!

    2. Agree, Kevin. I'm putting together an article on this now. Have started it, but not finished. Tied up most of today, so might not be for a few hours.

      Willis has never understood that forcings result in feedbacks.

    3. Plus Anthony probably doesn't understand his AGU16 poster.

    4. Okay - I've posted what I've done to date - hope it makes sense. (I'm not able to focus fully on it right now.) Might do more later, when I get home again tomorrow.


Instead of commenting as "Anonymous", please comment using "Name/URL" and your name, initials or pseudonym or whatever. You can leave the "URL" box blank. This isn't mandatory. You can also sign in using your Google ID, Wordpress ID etc as indicated. NOTE: Some Wordpress users are having trouble signing in. If that's you, try signing in using Name/URL. Details here.

Click here to read the HotWhopper comment policy.