Thursday, June 14, 2018

Climate science deniers take a dim view of reading science and heeding experts

Sou | 12:39 AM Go to the first of 11 comments. Add a comment
The other day (was it only yesterday) Anthony Watts predicted that newly-appointed Jim Bridenstine would soon lose his job as head of NASA (pictured right).

Anthony was relying on an article by James Delingpole on a competitor site of WUWT, Breitbart. James wrote scoffingly, quoting Mr Bridenstine:
I read a lot”?
What was Bridenstine thinking?
What indeed - reading for heaven's sake. Who in their right mind would read? Not James Delingpole, that's for sure.

Yep - Fake sceptics "have just kind of made their stuff up"

James, who said, on a BBC program that he doesn't read scientific papers, "It is not my job to sit down and read peer-reviewed papers because I simply haven’t got the time…. I am an interpreter of interpretations", added:
Does he seriously want to put out the message that the primary difference between the climate skeptic position and the climate alarmist position is that the latter group has done the most thorough reading, whereas the skeptics have just kind of made their stuff up from the top of their heads?
I'd say that's about it, wouldn't you?

(You can try your luck watching the BBC program if you missed it. It doesn't work for me and the BBC in its wisdom has removed most of the YouTube videos, though not all snippets.)

Jim Bridenstine at his nomination hearing

Now young Anthony Watts was enthusiastically predicting the demise of Mr Bridenstine and headed up his copy and paste with this pronouncement:
Wow, “say anything” to get the appointment, then reverse your position. I see a “you’re fired!” Trump moment in the not too distant future.
So I investigated to see just what was the "anything" that Jim Bridenstine said to get the GOP majority to support him. Did he reject climate science to toe the party line? Not at all.

As reported at SpaceNews.com, Jim Bridenstine was cautious at his nomination hearing but he did confirm that global warming was extremely likely to be the result of human activities. Here is what was reported:
Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) asked Bridenstine if he agreed with the statement that “climate warming trends over the past century are extremely likely due to human activities.” Bridenstine responded with “yes.”

Bridenstine was reticent, though, to agree with questions by Schatz and other senators about whether human activity was the primary cause of climate change. “Human activity absolutely is a contributor to the climate change that we are currently seeing,” he said. Asked by Schatz if it was the primary cause, he said, “It’s going to depend on a lot of factors, and we’re still learning more about that every day.”

Jim Bridenstine actually reads! (Drain the swamp)

Below is the nub of what Anthony Watts and James Delingpole objected to - that Jim Bridenstine changed his view about climate change after listening to experts and reading. What true blue denier would take heed of experts in a subject and who the heck reads anything these days, let alone science? From the Washington Post:
In the interview, Bridenstine said there was no single event that cause him to change his thinking. As chairman of the Environment subcommittee, he said he “listened to a lot of testimony. I heard a lot of experts, and I read a lot. I came to the conclusion myself that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas that we've put a lot of it into the atmosphere and therefore we have contributed to the global warming that we've seen. And we've done it in really significant ways.”

Before heeding experts, Bridenstine used to rely on denier blogs

Now Anthony and James might not have kept up with the change in thinking of Bridenstine. Back in 2013 he sounded like your average numbskull at WUWT, talking about medieval warming, raising furphies like hurricanes and tornadoes, and claiming that "global temperatures stopped rising ten years ago" (i.e. back in 2003). Perhaps the fact that temperatures have continued to rise prompted him to investigate real science.

From the WUWT comments - Is Anthony Watts working with the US government on science?

From reading the replies at WUWT, it's clear that science deniers will turn on anyone who decides they prefer fact to fiction. Anyone who doesn't support wacky conspiracy theories is suspect.

There was a little gem in the comments, which everyone seemed to ignore. (WUWT-ers don't take all that much notice of what their host says.) Paul Black wrote, as part of a longer comment:
June 11, 2018 2:26 pm
Good. At least we don’t have NASA and the EPA run by anti-science lunatics.
Well, they do have Willie Happer advising the president, too…imagine Anthony Watts working with the US government on science! (shudder)...
And Anthony Watts replied, suggesting he is working with "the Swamp"!
June 11, 2018 2:34 pm
There’s no need to imagine it. Shudder on.
You read it here first - assuming you don't visit WUWT :)

The comments include several from a couple of people trying to educate those who refuse to be educated. They were shouted down by many more comments from various people spouting a lot of pseudo-science babble. That's the whole point of denier blogs. They are an outlet for people to protest and reject reality, which is all too much for their little minds to handle.


  1. I was under the impression that Delingpole read a lot. After all, there were huge numbers of stolen CRU emails to read through and it would have been unthinkable for him merely to highlight the excerpts chosen - most likely - by the Russian Petrostate.

    As for NASA's newest employee, Willard Watts. If in Trump's crazy world Scott Pruitt can be head of the EPA, I can see no reason Willard cannot be lead engineer of rocketry.

  2. I can see no reason either why the leader of the Climate Science Resistance(North American Wing) can't be chief engineer at NASA. After all, how hard can it be?

  3. It is indeed hard to conceive of a better qualified candidate for the post of Special Climate Advisor to Donald Trump. After all, Watts was Lead Author on the game-changing 2012 paper (*) that showed US Temperature trends (and therefore global, naturally) were a fraction of those reported, supporting the Trump Truth that global warming is just a hoax got up by the Chinese.

    He also pioneered the practice of allowing moderators to post under a false name in the threads they were refereeing, an entirely justifiable subterfuge in the war on fake news. Surely Trump would approve.

    (*) Available real soon now. It was announced on his flagship blog, that's what counts.

    1. I wonder where Smokey/DStealey/DBoehme/insert_sockpuppet_here hangs out now and under what name...

  4. I've always thought it plausible that a large proportion of Watts' regulars are actually members of the blog staff. We'll never know...

  5. I am Delingpole, Interpreter of Interpretations. Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair.

    1. Ha!

      It's been a while since I looked on any of Delingpole's works, but despair I certainly did. The man's an idiot.

  6. O/T. Watts has posted an open letter from 33 current and former members of the Royal Geographical Society whining about mainly inconsequential parts of that organisation's position statement on AGW.

    If you're reading this Anthony, thanks for highlighting the 99.72% ratio between non-dissenters and dissenters in that learned society. Even higher than the climate science discipline!


    1. I don't think that's off-topic, actually. Having elderly scientists and engineers sign off on a statement filled with scientific inaccuracies and non sequiturs is just business as usual fir that crowd. Some of the usual suspects show up on thst list of signatories.

      Another red flag is that 32 of the signatories are current or past members of the AAPG (American Association of Petroleum Geologists) and/or the PESGB (Petroleum Exploration Society of Great Britain).

      This 1934 remark by Upton Sinclair is still apt: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!”

  7. Indeed, the indefatigable Nick Stokes points out that a Fellowship is available to anyone with a relevant qualification or 6 years experience, by payment of the appropriate fee.

    And there are >12,000 of them. 33 signatories taken from current AND former members is an embarrassing fail.



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