Thursday, February 9, 2017

In his efforts to promote fake #climate news, Anthony Watts censors Nick Stokes

Sou | 4:52 AM Go to the first of 39 comments. Add a comment
While you're waiting for more in-depth articles, here's something you don't see every day at WUWT. Anthony Watts has put Nick Stokes on moderation (again).

Notice the conspiratorial thinking, false claim and Anthony's obsession with money? He implies that no-one would accept science unless they were paid to do so! Well, the opposite may be the case for Anthony - after all, Anthony said his reason for rejecting science was that he might have to pay more tax. (Nick has let WUWT know on previous occasions that he doesn't get paid to write about climate. He's retired, after a long and successful career at CSIRO.)

Not everyone was impressed by Anthony's censorship. John@EF dryly commented:
February 7, 2017 at 5:07 pm
“endless diatribes” … hmmmm. Oh, you must mean informed substance and logic …. I can see why that threatens you.

Even some fake sceptics were unimpressed with Anthony's censorship. plazaeme wrote:
February 8, 2017 at 12:17 am
What a pity. I always look up Nick’s comments in any thread, to get an intelligent and informed sight of the “other part”. I don’t think he is always balanced. Quite the contrary, but you need a counter balance to get a balanced view.
Anything less than a free pass is a loss. Me thinks. 

Also, what did Nick Stokes have to say about the appallingly wrong article from David Rose. that caused Anthony Watts to get so hot under the collar? Well, he pointed out that David Rose lied in his article, writing:
February 4, 2017 at 9:15 pm
remember “cannot be reproduced.” David Rose lies. Bates did not say that. And it isn’t true.
There Nick was quoting another commenter. What David Rose actually wrote was equally wrong, claiming:
Because of NOAA ’s failure to ‘archive’ data used in the paper, its results can never be verified. 
Of course the results of NOAA can be verified - as shown by all the other data sets, as well as a separate independent analysis by Zeke Hausfather and co. Here's a reminder from Zeke of just how little change the NOAA update makes to the record - and how the total of all NOAA changes reduces the long term trend, not increases it. The recent trend is very slightly increased for NOAA (h/t Windchasers):

And Nick Stokes let people know that David Hoffer was wrong extrapolating out from David Rose's wrong article here, where Nick wrote:
February 4, 2017 at 9:49 pm
““If ALL the data and ALL the code are gone””
OK David. What are you actually on about? Who suggested “If ALL the data and ALL the code are gone”? What is the basis for it? I thought David Rose was making it up, but it seems that you have enhanced it.

And showing that David Rose's chart was wonky, Nick Stokes wrote:
February 4, 2017 at 8:54 pm
The graph shown here is the usual David Rose dishonesty. The difference between NOAA and HADCRUT is almost entirely due to the difference in anomaly bases (1961-90 vs 1901-2000). If you put them on the same 1981-2010 base, it looks like this;

You can read more about how Nick Stokes calmly, politely and patiently tried to inject some sanity into the mad hysteria at WUWT after David Rose's non-bombshell false allegations. (More than 900 mostly empty, conspiratorial, over-excited, non-skeptical thoughts - a bonus Anthony has rarely seen since the hysteria of the non-event of "Climategate".)

Anthony didn't go so far as to claim outright that David Rose didn't lie, but he blamed the graphics department for one of the big deceptions in the article (where he put NOAA data on a different baseline to HadCRUT data), writing:
The faithful have been claiming that there’s no difference between the NOAA and HadCRUT temperature datasets depicted in the Rose article, saying it’s a baseline error that gives the offset. I’ll give them that, and that may have simply been a mistake by the Mail on Sunday graphics department, I don’t know.

I'm surprised that Anthony lost his cool so badly that he put Nick Stokes on moderation. After all, it's the push back from people like Nick, who understands and accepts science, that keeps Anthony's conspiracy theorists riled up enough to visit WUWT and comment.

PS Nick Stokes didn't tell me about this. It's not his style. I found out all by myself, by girding loins and visiting Anthony's rabid mob site.

PPS Here is a link to one of the comments Nick Stokes made on the death threats revealed in emails at ANU, when Anthony Watts claimed they weren't real (when they were).


  1. "We tolerate your endless diatribes" Isn't that what the the scientific community is saying to Tony?

  2. Watts' "endless diatribes" is the real world's patient explanation and rebuttal of nonsense that impersonates scientific discussion down his rabbit-hole.
    Endless (to Watts) because Nick has to (again patiently/politely) repeat himself because of willful ignorance and nastiness that is worn there as a badge.
    I've come to the conclusion that if they want an echo-chamber, I personally can do without witnessing that sort of human behaviour.
    It is often sickening to behold.
    Never mind to receive.

  3. I'm confused: accusing people of lies and fraud is standard procedure at WUWT.

  4. "Here's a reminder from Zeke of just how little change the NOAA update makes to the record - and how it reduces the trend, not increases it:"

    This isn't quite correct. The recent NOAA update does increase the recent trend. The *total* of all NOAA adjustments, though, reduce the total trend, as shown in that chart and by the tweet.

    That's the distinction: the recent NOAA update versus all adjustments.

    1. Thanks - I'll add that note.

    2. Don't forget Watts telling Nick to just STFU

      From WUWT:
      Anthony Watts February 4, 2017 at 11:23 pm
      Nick, it’s time for you to just STFU

    3. Nick was warned. Nevertheless, he persisted.

      Rightists can't handle persistence from people who have the truth behind them.

  5. I don't know if it can get lower than telling Nick Stokes to STFU. Snakes can't crawl that low. How about, it's lower than a Naked mole-rat.

  6. Off topic, but still realted to science communication, is this thread at The Conversation:


    The comments are very good, and not as trolled as I'd have expected.

  7. The reason that Watts silenced Nick is simple. Nick's carefully framed and evidenced arguments were devastating the nonsense of Rose and Bates, (and by implication, Curry) on the WUWT thread, and also at the Curry House.

    Watts is simply using the ostrich strategy, as is his want. If he won't release Nick's comments from moderation I suggest that others paste links to his points at Curry's, and perhaps take screen captures just to see what Watts lets through and what he censors.

    1. Exactly, they are trying to make this small kerfuffle into a media campaign, "Climate Gate 2".

      Nick's contribution has the potential to deflate the propaganda before the minions go out and cry to the world about the evil climate scientists.

  8. It does not take long for Anthony Watts to reveal what sort of person he is. What a toad.

    1. It is clear what Anthony Watts is up to. He fakes a bit of outrage then uses it to attack more credible blogs such as SkS, RC and HotWhopper.

      This tactic is known as "virtue signalling".

  9. It's generally the case that in any enclave, outsiders are held to much higher standards of behaviour than insiders.

    1. It is also part of the Authoritarian Followers mindset.

    2. I ve never considered such a thing before but i believe you
      are absolutely correct.
      I really like this. Explains alot of interaction between people.

  10. I am also under moderation. It nicely makes sure that people who refresh their page to see the new comments, will never see yours once it is released after several hours. Cannot let too much science on WUWT.

    I'm still of the believe you are a paid commenter.

    Interesting, given that it is their typical strategy to accuse others of what they do themselves. A few paid commenters helps give the impression that WUWT is an important blog, one that media has to pay attention to and people need to read. Who has get. Watts is good at PR. Would also explain the low quality of most comments.

    1. Being in moderation might also stop the email alerts from going out. Him and Jo Nova are so transparent.

      I am permanently in moderation (or just blocked completely). They had no quarms about doing that to me as I am not a high-profile commenter. Nick Stokes is a high-profile commenter

    2. "I'm still of the belief you are a paid commenter"
      translates to:
      "I well know you're not paid, and that's what riles me, a [poorly] paid commentator, when you give me yet another science/stats lesson gratis"

  11. I sometimes wonder if a hypothetical anon commenter would make a carefully worded, outrageously scientifically wrong comment at WUWT, that fits with their jaundiced narrative of science denial would be moderated. Just saying. Bert

    1. It wouldn't have to be "carefully worded" as long as the tribalism was clear. Any spittle-flecked rant would do provided it targeted the right enemies.

  12. I laughed at Anthony claiming that he still believes Nick was a paid commenter. Partly because it's often claimed that the stupidest alarmist conspiracy is that "skeptics" are paid by big oil, and partly because it just shows that if you want to moderate someone just make up something that you claim to believe.

  13. To understand the psyche and recent desperate behaviour of Anthony Watts, we must remember what he did in June 2015.
    In an email He directly accused the Karl et al team of fraud.

    Obviously, Anthony Watts is very keen on war metaphores, Pearl Harbor, Waterloo, etc.
    Well, I believe that General Watts has met his Stalingrad.
    He pushed too far into enemy territory, in quest for something with only symbolic value. He didn't wisely retreat in time, didn't watch his flanks, and has now been totally encircled by superior evidence. The help from the outside was too weak and couldn't break through, and he doesn't allow himself to break out.
    The only options are to surrender or die..

    Beyond war metaphores, in (sur)real life, there are of course other options.. Old Zombies and their undead arguments can never die, after ingesting a dose of memory loss and fact-resistance..

    1. Olof, that wasn't the first time, although it was the first time he directly said it to a particular person.

      He was a (co-)author on a SPPI piece some years ago (2010) that directly and unequivocally accused NOAA of fudging the data; it stated NOAA had deliberately removed high-altitude and high-latitude data to inflate the warming trend. Even most of the 'skeptic' blogs went after Watts for that claim. We'll never know exactly what happened, but ultimately the direct claim that NOAA deliberately removed these stations was removed from the report...but the report itself (I refuse to link to it) still suggests deliberate manipulation to increase the trend.

      If I remember correctly, it wasn't long after that (or was it slightly before?) that Pielke Sr complained about 'uncollegial' actions of Peterson et al, when they used initial data from Watt's surface station project to show the claims about poor station siting causing warming was untrue.

      Maybe Tom Peterson can remember?

  14. lol, I read the (archive) blog post on wuwt

    wow - what loonies, and still a few arguing the basic physics

    just looks like a conspiracy theorist echo chamber to me - give it a few years and David Icke better watch out

  15. Nick Stokes is
    1) very polite
    2) endlessly patient
    3) data-based
    4) numerate
    5) knowledgeable
    6) highly competent

    It's clear why Watts & Co. might want to ban him.

    1. I suspect that's why some of the saner "skeptics" seem disappointed by his banning

      his approach to debunking can be very effective

    2. some science to back up Nick's approach


      "Conspiracy theory (CT) beliefs can be harmful. How is it possible to reduce them effectively?

      Three reduction strategies were tested in an online experiment using general and well-known CT beliefs on a comprehensive randomly assigned Hungarian sample (N = 813): exposing rational counter CT arguments, ridiculing those who hold CT beliefs, and empathizing with the targets of CT beliefs. Several relevant individual differences were measured.

      Rational and ridiculing arguments were effective in reducing CT, whereas empathizing with the targets of CTs had no effect. Individual differences played no role in CT reduction, but the perceived intelligence and competence of the individual who conveyed the CT belief-reduction information contributed to the success of the CT belief reduction. Rational arguments targeting the link between the object of belief and its characteristics appear to be an effective tool in fighting conspiracy theory beliefs."

    3. It's also why Watts believes Nick ought to be paid...

  16. This comment has been removed by the author.

  17. I stopped attempting to post at WUWT some years ago, and if Nick is now being fettered, there's really no reason to lurk there any more, he invariably posted a far superior and elegant version of what I would have said.

    Watts contravened his own policy on sockpuppets when he allowed 'Smokey' to both contribute and secretly moderate discusions. Now he has done the same to his policy on courteous discourse. We all know the meaning of STFU.

    Time to boycott.

  18. Anthony's excuses in the archived comments are comedy gold. When the non-muppets criticise him he falls back on the 'authority' of the Lord High Grand Auditor himself.

    "you only have the current perspective, I have years of dealing with Nick Stokes. Steve McIntyre gave up on him years ago, see: xxxxx//climateaudit.xxxx...xxxx/sliming-by-stokes/

    Well, the Auditor is certainly an expert on sliming, but Nick Stokes doesn't do that.

    1. Nick commits the crime of being almost always unflappable, unfailingly polite (not responding to flames in kind) and being way more knowledgeable than Anthony about temperature in particular - Anthony's supposed expertise (ahem).

      Also, I don't think Anthony has quite forgiven Nick Stokes for making a donation to help the family of the WUWT moderator when he died a few years ago. That would have been very difficult for Anthony to swallow. Anthony has fallen back on it as an excuse for not banning Nick a couple of times in the past. He hasn't raised it lately. He's probably thinking (hoping) that there's no-one left at WUWT who'd remember and chastise Anthony for not giving Nick the respect he deserves.

  19. Yeah, my life is too short (and growing shorter by the day--go figure) to go to the site that shall not be named. Just like my avoidance of other false fact places such as Fox "News," I rely on people like Sou to provide the outrageous buffooneries first hand. Ironically, if it wasn't for deniers I wouldn't know as much about this subject as I do.

    1. "Ironically, if it wasn't for deniers I wouldn't know as much about this subject as I do."

      totally agree, and in the process gained an appreciation and respect for all the scientist who work on AGW

  20. Congratulations to Nick Stokes for his record and frankly amazing duration on WUWT without being banned/permamoderated !

    More seriously, I always read your explanations with great interest, so thank you for your efforts for the silent but grateful unknowledgeable persons I happen to be with - I'm sure I'm not the only one.

  21. I appreciate those who make the effort to provide an anchor of truth at WUWT, but sometimes wonder if it is worth the effort. Being unwilling to contribute "clicks" to a site that counts every click as a sign of "truth", what is baffling to me is that so many people think "popularity" will affect the earth we live on.

    Pretty desperate. US is an undescribable mess, being in the hands of these monsters. If you want a cauld grue, check this out (minutes 6 and 12, for example):

  22. That foul mouthed Australian deserves everything he gets. Nick Stokes needs to learn the meaning of civility, decency and sciencey.


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