Saturday, March 30, 2013

Anthony, Watts Up With Those WUWT HotWhoppers? AN INDEX

Over the past few days I've been getting acquainted with the blog because it has done a good job of tracking Anthony Watts' increasingly irrational assault on the science of climatology.  She's only been at it for a few months, but has produced many posts worth sharing.

Since getting information out there to folks who are being lied to by the well oiled disinformation machine is my main goal ~ of which Anthony Watts is a leading light ~ I have compiled an index with short descriptive teaser quotes.  For your reference as well as for sharing with others.

Sou, at HotWhopper, I tip my hat to all the work you have put into your excellent blog.

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Anthony, Watts Up With Those WUWT HotWhoppers? An Index

HotWhopper stuff

▼  March 2013 

Today I saw an article by Willis Eschenbach on WUWT about a recent paper by James Hansen, Pushker Kharecha and Makiko Sato*. 

Willis' article is full of errors as is usual (eg for DKE comedic relief see this article on Willis 'hypothesising thunderstorms' | Warning: head vice recommended.).

I'll only highlight one curious aspect, where for some inexplicable reason Willis is motivated to reject the impact of Pinatubo (just like Anthony denied the findings of his own and others).{...}
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Blogger Anthony Watts is boasting that his denial shenanigans finally got some attention from normal people who aim to educate others about climate change. For some unknown reason he was interviewed by James Stafford for  There have been a number of articles commenting about that interview, so I'll just post some links rather than repeat the points: {...}
What I'm writing about is how Anthony subsequently proves that what he regards as a 'smear' is spot on.

Anthony is particularly thrilled because not only did he (briefly) feature on RealityDrops for spreading disinformation, he managed to catch the attention of Professor John Abraham, who with  Professor Scott Mandia and Dr Ray Weymann set up the Climate Science Rapid Response Team.{...}
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Anthony Watts criticises Michael Mann for refusing to 'debate' Roy Spencer because not only is Spencer a climate science denier, he is an evolution denier.

Anthony Watts can't tell the difference between science and religion as evidenced by the fact that he thinks this tweet, which is about science, is a comment on religion:
"I'm not interested in "debating" climatechange and evolution denier Roy Spencer on your "news" network." {...}
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Green with Envy ~ March 24, 2013
Anthony Watts proclaims his Greend Credentials
Anthony Watts has put up a post about his solar installations.  Just in case any of his readers thought he was becoming altruistic, he assures them that his reasons for adopting clean energy are the same as his reasons for opposing clean energy: $$Money$$ {...}
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Watts confuses local with global - yes, again!
Watts once again confuses average global temperature with local temperature.  Now you might say, what's new about that.  This time he writes about a video mix including some of a Ted talk, in which David Roberts points out that if we don't cut CO2 emissions enough soon enough, more places will get too hot for people to survive there. {...}
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Deniers are all in a tizzy because apparently last summer wasn't the worst ever for insured losses in Australia.  (Note that some Australian deniers are so blind to reality that they think the world is about to enter an ice age, so I wouldn't take them seriously.)  {Go figure some interesting cherry picking going on here.} {...}
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Willis Eschenbach has written an article about a recent PNAS paper, Homogeneous record of Atlantic hurricane surge threat since 1923 by Grinsted et al, which finds:
"...In particular, we estimate that Katrina-magnitude events have been twice as frequent in warm years compared with cold years (P < 0.02)."
Click here to download the paper and supporting info. {...}
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In a strong surge in overconfidence, Willis makes up two charts of the surge indices listed Table S2 in the supporting info (he didn't get the paper itself).  He says he sees no trend, and asks:
What am I missing? {...}
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Congrats to WUWT and Poptech ~ March 19, 2013
I've been poking fun at all the pseudo-science, conspiracy nuttery and fake scepticism that goes on at WUWT.  Now I'll give some credit where credit is due: {...}
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The remaining 220,000? stolen emails from CRU have been made available to various disinformation merchants, including Anthony Watts.

Mainstream media ignores it completely.

In the same spirit as Stoat, here is a summary. So far, after more than three days of collective 'digging' by the anti-science propagandists:
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Anyone who's ever written a paper or used academic journals for research (any research, not just scientific research) will realise that Willis Eschenbach has done neither or he's deliberately targeting the Dunning Kruger set.  (Going by the rest of his article probably both.)

Courtesy Willis E in Protest No. 7 from WUWT re the Marcott et al Holocene temperature reconstruction, recently published in Science: {...}
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Interesting to watch Anthony Watts disintegrate. Immediately after a link to Delingpole's blog, Anthony provides his readers with this choice quote, removing the mask he sometimes dons (that of the 'reasonable man').  He's not even bothering to pretend any more.

Anthony Watts:  "I hope one day that FOIA’s true identity can be revealed so that he can be properly applauded and rewarded for his signal service to mankind. He is a true hero, who deserves to go on the same roll of honour as Norman Borlaug, Julian Simon and Steve McIntyre: people who put truth, integrity and the human race first and ideology second. Unlike the misanthropic greenies who do exactly the opposite."

Watts has firmly aligned himself with the likes of James Delingpole, Tim Ball and Christopher Monckton who suffer extreme denialism of the most odious kind. {...}
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On Denier Doublethink ~ March 13, 2013
... One thing stood out above all else.  Deniers' capacity to hold two or more opposing notions at the same time.

How can a rational person believe that if I took the temperature in Melbourne for one year, 10 years, 100 years or 10,000 years - it would be identical to the average surface temperature of the entire world over those same periods.  That's right.  That's an example of the sort of thinking that I've come across with not one but two people on different websites today. {...}
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I wanted to put this figure into my previous post on Marcott et al (2013), but the article was already too long.  I think it's the best of the lot.  It was probably a bit too complex for mainstream media so hasn't been given much attention.

Take your time to digest it.  The authors have tried to fit a lot into the one diagram and there are lots of stories in it. {...}
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It is interesting to see the lengths Denial Merchants will go to try to fool people.  Take Anthony Watts for example.  He used to have a battle between what he knows to be the case with climate change and what he 'wishes' to be the case, and most of the time let what he 'wished' determine what he presented and how he presented it.

Lately Watts seems to have swung into full-on Disinformation Mode. {...}
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I wonder if r. b. has ever asked himself how the atmosphere gets warm? {...}

On WUWT today, there's a guest post by Brandon Shollenberger about the paper "Recursive Fury" by Lewandowsky et al (2013) (accepted for publication). 

This brings to 25 the number of WUWT 'protest' articles (tagged "Stephan Lewandowsky") since September last year, after his first paper became public. {...}
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Update 2+  So far there are now three four five six seven eight nine ten eleven twelve thirteen fourteen fifteen sixteen WUWT protest articles not counting the sleazeball's (approaching this might even beat the number of protests against the Lewandowsky et al paper).  The first few are touched on in this article.{...}
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How about supporting this and passing it along to others. {...}
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The latest data from Mauna Loa shows CO2 hit 396.8 for February. 

Last year it rose by 3.24 ppm between February and May.  Maybe this is the year we hit 400 ppm just as WTD suggested last month!
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WUWT HotWhoppers of the Day ~ March 7, 2013
How does this work?  From WUWT today.  "There is also the transfer of heat from the relatively warmer water through the ice to heat the cold air." {...}
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Talking about right-wing authoritarians: muddled thinking, double standards and compartmentalised brains, from WUWT today: {...}
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If you haven't heard of Monckton before, he is probably the only Viscount from England who earns his living as a professional clown (with apologies to honest clowns).  He appears in front of audiences in Australia and the USA promoting disinformation about climate and threatening to sue any scientist who crosses his path, particularly but not necessarily if they are a climate scientist.  

Most people regard Monckton as a rather unsavoury idiot or worse.  However, to a small (and shrinking) minority, he has been raised to God-like status. {...}
{Speaking of The Lord Monckton see here, here, herehere, here}
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Australia's Angry Summer ~ March 4, 2013
The Climate on Steroids - Five key facts: {...}
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OMG - now Anthony Watts is posting "CO2 is plant food" articles on his blog...
Let's have a look at what his guest blogger, John Coleman* writes because it's a good example of a 'let's be reasonable, all the world's scientists are committing fraud' approach to denying science (as opposed to a more aggressive "CAGW Lysenko commie-socialist-fascist all the world's scientists are committing fraud" approach): {...}
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Has Anthony Watts* done an about face?  Is he now advocating for regulations to cut emissions of waste CO2?

Judge for yourself.  Anthony has put up an article in which he mocks the right wing fear campaign against environmental regulations and the global cooling 'scare', that some newspapers in the USA were engaged in during the 1970s. {...}
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Apparently astrayalien has Watt's disorder and doesn't know the difference between the Australian national aggregate for an entire summer season and a local daily maximum at a single site. {...}
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▼  February 2013 

That's right, Anthony pretended to be his dog! He thinks it's hilarious that UCS accepted his subscription in his dog's name (Kenji).  Others will no doubt be bemused by the lengths to which he felt he had to go in order to 'spy' on the highly secretive (not!) UCS.
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A Whopper of a Watt-ism ~ February 26, 2013
This from WUWT. Anthony Watts in-line comment in an article on ocean temperatures...

Heating the entire surface of the earth by 0.7 degrees Celsius (which has happened since about the 1950s), isn't 'statistically significant' compared to daily temperature variations in a single location?  Strange comparison. We are well on our way to causing the planet to heat up much much faster than in past warming events - dangerously so. {...}
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Global warming in the imaginary world of science deniers

Behold a lesson on the greenhouse effect by j.m.  It was posted on the anti-science website WUWT (under the fake drawing by David Rose in the article by Anthony Watt's birther-mate Monckton).

Once again, on WUWT it's generally hard to tell the people who are sending up Watts from the Dunning-Kruger examples (people who are ignorant about the subject but don't know just how extraordinarily ignorant they are). {...}

If you think that headline is dumb, how about this one?

Here's the article from which Watts mangled his weird meaningless headline. 

(Has anyone else noticed that Watts' blog has gone from very bad to very very bad quality lately?  Seems to have got stuck somewhere between boring, irrelevant and painfully wrongheaded. {...}
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Bacci's "Delusional Dribble" ~ February 19, 2013
... Actually, most people (Bacci excepted) don't need a model to broadly predict weather on the monthly scale.  Next month is the start of autumn down here and we know from experience that autumn brings milder temperatures (but it can still get a bit hot).  We can even predict with reasonable accuracy that in five months time (July) the average monthly temperature in southern Australia will be cooler than the average for this month (February) and there will likely be snow on the ranges, while in the northern hemisphere the ice in the Arctic will be melting. {...}
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1. Are engineers and geo-scientists who work in the oil sector less likely to accept climate science?
Um - yeah?  No?  Not quite the point of the research? And if it were true, what did you expect? 
2. Bombshell!!!! The Arctic froze this winter!!!!
denmor 'blown away' again; {...}
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This article has been republished on numerous sites. It deserves to be.  Here it is again in case you missed it elsewhere.  (Republished with permission from The Conversation.)  - MobyT {...}
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On one of my rare visits to the blog of Judith Curry, I came across a conundrum.  She had an article discussing whether the ends justify the means.  

In it she had a paragraph about Peter Gleick who, by pretending to be someone else, obtained revealing documents from the Heartland Institute.  She implied that she believes the ends did not justify the means in that case.  Her very next paragraph was about the stolen emails from CRU, and the way she referred to them it's clear she believes that when it comes to stealing thousands of emails, the ends did justify the means. {...}
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A body of research is building to try to determine what it is that motivates some people to make stuff up, particularly about topics like climate science.

A lie is different to a mistake.  Mistakes can be corrected.  When people deliberately tell lies they generally have to dig deeper holes for themselves as aspects of the lie are revealed. (In a similar vein, later in this post I make reference to a paper that deals with attempts to construct fantasy conspiracy theories, and how the theories are altered as facts become too obvious or contradictory.){...}
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Deniers will often go on ad nauseum with the wrong notion that there isn't enough CO2 in the air to make the slightest bit of difference to climate.  To prove not all deniers are alike all of the time, here is a comment on Anthony Watt's science denying website, replying to a comment by Steven Mosher (as quoted).
According to fred berple, the amount of CO2 we're adding to the air is so humungous it's pressing on the sky's floor, walls and ceiling to such an extent that less water will evaporate!  (Try to tell that to the Queenslanders.) {...}
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If you've ever wondered how climate science deniers can keep getting it so wrong, this might give a clue. 

Unfortunately high school physics doesn't cut it when it comes to anatomy.  Now if astrayalien (who is currently leading the pack when it comes to hot whoppers) had also studied biology he might have learnt that the gut is used for digestion of food, not digestion of science.  (You've got to wonder how astrayalien went in his physics class!) 
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How to be a Denier Troll ~ January 14, 2013
These are the only posts of Hanrahan's (to date) in a thread that began with a copy of this article on climate change from the Washington Post. 

You will note the absence of: a) science and b) any reference to the substance of the original post. {...a look at six whoppers}
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HotCopper Whopper: Dead Heat! ~ January 12, 2013
The heat is affecting deniers on HotCopper, new ones keep climbing out of the woodwork as more extreme events are reported.
500 million years ago... or 5,000 years...
So who wins the HotWhopper of the week award?  The Cambrian Period enthusiast who wants to send us back 500,000,000 years, or the Young Earther who knows nothing existed till 5,000 years ago? {...}
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As if to underline the well-known fact that climate science deniers don't read any climate science, denmor, on HotCopper, posts an article by John O'Sullivan suggesting that NASA has just discovered the sun.  This is the same John O'Sullivan who, if you will remember, has very whacky ideas.  Only a year ago he was blogging about how he doesn't accept basic atmospheric physics of the greenhouse effect, which was first demonstrated 150 years ago in the mid-nineteenth century. {...}
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... Australia's 'big heat' has evoked a similar response from climate science deniers - 'climate rage'.

It works like this.  You're already hot and bothered from the record heat.  You see an article, tweet, or comment about the records broken by the current heat wave. If you're hard-wired to deny science, climate rage kicks in and you attack the keyboard: {...}
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Australia's heat wave is getting some attention.  Not just here in Australia, we can't ignore it, but from elsewhere as well.  It's a real doozy.  You can read about it on MotherJones, and in the UK Guardian, The Telegraph and in many places on the blogosphere, like here and here.

One of the big problems is that we've had a lot of rain this past year or two - aka the 'big wet', when large areas of the continent were covered in water - to the north, south, east, west and in the centre of Australia.  2010-11 was the wettest summer on record in Victoria and in Darwin and no-one can forget the tragic loss of life in the Lockyer Valley when Queensland flooded in the same season.  Once the water evaporated, sank into the ground or flowed to the sea the plants started growing again.  (If you remember, the 'big wet' followed the 'great drought', which didn't end till 2010.)  That means lots of fuel for fire.{...}

Reaction from deniers
This blog pokes fun at the silliness that pervades a share trading site, HotCopper, from top management down.  (It's a microcosm of the world that science deniers and conspiracy theorists inhabit, seeing the conservative old white male as its target market.)  

But there's nothing silly about the weather extremes in Australia over the past few years.  There have been too many tragedies.  Yet there are still a few people who simply cannot accept that our climate is changing.  While the continent has been sweltering in a record heat event, they write things like this, in response to a post about this article from The Age about the record heat (bear in mind that these are posts on a Science and Medicine forum):{...}
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HotCopper Dumbest Post Award ~ January 8, 2013
An alien view?
Astrayalien promotes beliefs alien to science.  He provides a link to John O'Sullivan (another denier crank) who believes that the atmosphere has a cooling effect and that without it, earth would be 121 degrees Celsius.  (Yes, that's actually on his website!)  O'Sullivan's ideas are so ridiculous that I doubt anyone has ever bothered to refute them. (I stopped reading once I got to the bit about the atmosphere having a 'cooling effect'.)

And if you were in any doubt about the collective IQ on HotCopper, six more HotCopper-ites agree with astrayalien than disagree. {...}
{Speaking of John O'Sullivan see here, here, here}
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What happened last year
The Bureau of Meteorology has released the Annual Climate Statement 2012.  Some of the main points are: 
...Australia had near-average rain and above-average temperatures during 2012, but the average annual values conceal a year of contrasts: 
La Niña brought above-average rain early in 2012
Reduced rainfall in winter and spring was associated with a warm central Pacific Ocean and positive Indian Ocean Dipole
Annual nationally averaged rainfall very slightly above average, with 476 mm (1961–1990 average of 465 mm).
A warmer-than-average year, 0.11 °C above average 2003–2012 the fifth-warmest 10-year period on record.

Enter 2013 - with a whopper of a heat wave
2013 has started with a whopper of a heat wave extending over most of Australia.  And this looks like being record heat despite no El Nino.  This animation derived from the Bureau of Meteorology temperature charts shows how the heat wave moved across the country from New Year's Day to Saturday 12 January Thurs 10 January yesterday (click for larger version).  The forecast predicts it won't be stopping for a while yet, with temperatures in some parts projected to be more than 50C (122F) next Sunday: {...}
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Are most share traders members of the scientific illiterati or is it just the ones who post on 'Australia's most popular share discussion board' HotCopper?  Could be worth some research (on another day). 

The following examples show that anything posted on HotCopper should be read with supreme scepticism if you must read it at all.

Monckton gets it wrong again {...}
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A Whopper of a Dog's Breakfast ~ January 4, 2013
"I know for a fact that water vapour is the largest greenhouse gas.  Over double that of CO2."

At this point, muzzarati could have continued to show off a basic understanding of climate science with something along the lines of:

"Unlike CO2, water vapour has a very short lifetime in the atmosphere - a matter of hours to days.  From early human civilisation to the beginning of the industrial revolution, when CO2 was fairly steady at around 285 ppm, the main causes of fluctuations in climate were things like large volcanic eruptions and changes in the amount of incoming solar radiation."

"Now that we've added another 40% of CO2 to the atmosphere, earth is getting hotter.  Warmer air means more water vapour in the atmosphere.  The extra water vapour is what's known as a positive feedback. The more carbon dioxide we put in the air the hotter earth gets and the more water evaporates and the more it can stay in the air before precipitating.  Earth warms not just from the extra CO2 but also from the extra H2O.  Not good!"

But no.  Muzza decides to take the low road - to denialism. {...}
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Stephan Lewandowsky does research in one of the more fascinating areas of science - human cognition.  In this article on, he writes about two different modes of reasoning: rapid reasoning and deliberative reasoning.

"Rapid reasoning "relies on relatively shallow analysis of stimuli, which allows us to respond in situations in which time is at a premium".

Deliberative reasoning "requires slow deliberation but is guided by more complex rules"."
An example of 'rapid reasoning'
I'll stick my neck out here and say that when it comes to some topics, like climate science, there are people whose emotional triggers are so sensitive that they don't get to exercise their 'deliberate reasoning' capability. Here's an example of an emotive reaction - Hanrahan confuses a critique of a book with the 'assassination' of a character.  {...}

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1 comment:

Sou said...

Wow - for once I'm lost for words, believe it or not :)