Saturday, January 2, 2016

About this blog and me

I'll start 2016 with some rambling about this blog and where I'm coming from.

Back in 2011 I started commenting at Anthony Watts' blog, WattsUpWithThat.  I did it with trepidation since I knew Mr. Watts had quite the reputation for banning skeptical commenters regarding his insinuations and pronouncements.  I tried being rational and civil, but the contrarian tactic of baiting to divert the conversation must have suckered me over his tolerance-line for alarmists and I found myself joining his legion of the banned and effectively being censored from his online "debate".  Ironically his compatriots seem to have no limits on the hysteria, insults and fabricated claims they are allowed to inject - oh but you better not confront them with facts, that's unacceptable in their echo-chamber "debate."

What's a little go-getter to do?  Roll over for Anthony?  Why?  When I could respond with a blog of my own.  Thus, "What's Up With That Watts" was born.  Dedicated to examining contrarian claims; learning about their debate tactics; confronting their arguments with reason and links to authoritative sources for learning; and sharing that information with other concerned students and citizens.  Deep down I was also hoping to spur some dialogue with other like minded individuals, perhaps even encourage some to engage in the public "debate" themselves.

It's been a little over four years now and I'll admit looking at some of the earlier posts occasionally I cringe - you see, I'm not a professional writer, nor scientist, I'm a skilled worker, a tradesman with decades of experience and a respectable mastery of carpentry and culinary arts.  Real trades where you must do real work and meet other's expectations in a timely and satisfactory manner, as opposed to professional pundits and PR wizkids who don't have to do anything but talk and talk and talk.

In my free time rather than contenting myself with pro sports, or Hollywood fiction and celebrity worship, or obsessing over getting ahead of the Jones, my life long passion has been learning about our magnificent planet Earth and I've been aware of, and interested in, climate science since my high school science classes in the early 70s.  

Writing about it has been a couple decades long and ongoing learning process, sure sometimes I flop, but at least I'm trying, it's up to readers to decide if I'm getting anywhere, or to do better themselves.  

Yesterday, in a pleasantly cosmic-giggle sort of way, the New Year was ushered in with WUWTW's visits meter passing 200K, (it hit 100K August 2014).  Who knows what that means.  Other than knowing I'm not counting myself, I haven't a clue how many of those are visits from real people or bots, or how many actually read the posts.  Responses/comments have been few, but positive, more would be welcomed.

I do know the visits come from around the globe, my top ten starts with United States, followed by Russia, United Kingdom, France, Ukraine, Germany, Australia, Canada, China, Turkey.  It would be fun to hear from some of those visitors.

Starting 2016 I want to change the tone of this blog a bit and focus a little more on conveying my own personal journey of discovery and appreciation.  I might even sequence the first weeks of blog posts on a systematic review of the fundamentals of our global heat and moisture distribution engine, including the usual cornucopia of appropriate links folks have come to expect from me.  (I haven't forgotten about the JimSteele/ClimateHorrorStory affair, but that's a big project requiring days of uninterrupted focus and it'll still be a while before real life allows me that luxury again.)

Considering the title of this blog is, "What's up with that Watts", and the fact I write less and less about Anthony himself I must include mention of the blog that does keep a close eye on Anthony Watts and whom you can trust to clarify his latest shenanigans, of course including links going back to the actually science that Sou bases her conclusions on - 
the incomparable  
Ben's is another resource worth becoming familiar with.

With that, Happy New Year to all, may 2016 bring some enlightenment to the blind.


Sou said...

Happy new year, CC. I look forward to reading this year's articles, just as I've learnt from your articles in the past. Thanks for the mention, too.

citizenschallenge said...

Thank you Sou, it's nice to know you're looking in on WUWTW.
As for your Hotwhopper, the quality of your information and incisiveness of articles, are great -
wish there were more like it out there.
Can't recommend it enough.

It's a shame Anthony doesn't take a hint and start learning from your reviews of his WUWT blog posts.

Kevin O'Neill said...

Best wishes for the new yearc.c.,

I especially like your posts on interactions with pseudoskeptics. I've occasionally wandered into the denial zone and spent (some would say wasted) my time trying to swat down the incessant nonsense. Unfortunately I simply don't have the patience of a Nick Stokes to do it on a regular basis.

Like you, I'm simply intrigued by how the minds of these people work. Long ago I wrote a short little essay (actually concerning politics, but equally appropriate to climate change, economics, and many other fields) titled Ignorant, Stupid, Insane or Just Plain Evil? Obviously pseudoskeptics come in all flavors. They are diverse and it's not always obvious which category they fit into.

For instance, I recently ran into Fabius Maximus on Brad DeLong's economics blog. I referred to Fabius Maximus as "a known denier on the climate blog circuit" and he must have considered this an insult. He then claimed to be "a somewhat dogmatic supporter of the IPCC and major climate agencies" - which I found to be quite amusing.

As I pointed out, he has dozens of references on his website to the usual list of pseudoskeptic resources; WUWT, Willie Soon, Scafetta - the usual smorgasbord of denial. One can also review his website and find numerous quotes that indicate anything *but* being a staunch supporter of the IPCC.

None of this is unusual in dealing with pseudoskeptics; the names change, the specific issues being addressed change, the blog venue changes - but the overarching pattern of debate, rhetoric, and logic is the same. In almost everyone of these interactions there is a complete logical disconnect on the part of the pseudoskeptic.

Does Fabius Maximus truly believe he is a dogmatic supporter of the IPCC? Can his past and present statements and beliefs be reconciled with supporting the results and conclusions of AR5? No. So why the claim? Ignorant, stupid, insane or just plain evil?

Perhaps it's because my background includes a lot of time spent on repair, fault analysis, and corrective action reports that I try to find out where their thinking went wrong. But in any event, I do really enjoy your posts on these types of interactions.