“Fare thee well, friend” (2012-11-13). What bad manners! Just as Anthony Watts’ anti-Gore skype-in is about to start Dr. Roger Pielke Sr. says he’s giving up (“retiring“) his blog. Now, more than ever, denialists must shout!
Was he “the best climate scientist in the world”? So sayeth Anthony’s commenters. Well he is the one of the few “skeptics” with legit scientific (meteorology) credentials, and he does admit that “humans are significantly altering the global climate”. Anthony loves to get as close as possible to Dr. Pielke to try to transfer the scent of semi-credibility to himself.
Dr. Pielke has certainly produced legitimate scientific work, but in the field of climate science he’s mainly been a disgruntled complainer. He seems focused on how all the other climate scientists have formed a secret club and arguing that we must be 200% sure before doing anything. Also, scientists who recognize global warming are advocates (while those who grudgingly accept it but seek to minimize its significance and prevent action aren’t). He has also cleverly noticed that the phrase “climate change” could refer to cooling as well as warming. If that were happening.
Maybe Dr. Pielke just got tired of trying to sell the same old half-truths week after week?
“Fly your flag – Veteran’s Day” (2012-11-11). Anthony Watts implies that if you didn’t fly the Stars and Stripes today you’re a traitor. Of course two days ago he was pleased to regard flying the American flag upside down or at half-mast as legitimate political protest over majority vote against Republicans in the Senate, the House of Representatives and for President.
I repeat Samuel Johnson’s observation from a few days ago – “patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.“
For myself, I respect the risks and sacrifices of, in my case, Canadian soldiers year ’round and treat with deep skepticism any efforts to consume them, or our enemies or civilian bystanders, in pursuit of political goals.
California Academy of Sciences pulls the plug on their climate change exhibit (2012-02-19). Anthony Watts provides the following deep analysis: if a science museum (“the über green California Academy of Sciences”) replaces a climate change exhibit in a space used for rotating exhibits, this proves that there is no Global Warming.
Also, if a climate change exhibit isn’t eye-catching it proves that the public doesn’t trust commie climatologizers.
This counts as victory in denial-land?
“CO2 increases to make drunken clownfish“ (2012-01-18). Seriously Anthony? Researchers reported in Nature Climate Change (Near-future carbon dioxide levels alter fish behaviour by interfering with neurotransmitter function) that increases in dissolved CO2 changes clownfish behavior and all you can do is snicker about the word ‘clown’? Then you report The Daily Bayonet’s hint that the scientists were manipulatively using the clownfish’s cuteness to attract attention.
Anthony Watts looks in the mirror.
From the New Scientist coverage:
Carbon dioxide in the ocean acts like alcohol on fish, leaving them less able to judge risks and prone to losing their senses. The intoxication adds to the threats that global warming and ocean acidification pose to marine ecosystems.
Couldn’t be because clownfish were “the first type of marine ornamental fish successfully bred in captivity on a large-scale“, could it? Neither Anthony Watts or the Daily Bayonet have made the slightest effort to think it through.
Most netizens will be aware that today is a day to protest SOPA, the controversial “Stop Online Piracy Act” bill introduced in the United States House of Representatives in October 2011 but not yet passed.
In essence, SOPA would give content creators a tool to enforce copyright by, among other things, blocking access to “infringing” websites. The driving force behind this are wealthy corporate interests in the music, television and film industries. The concern is that this will be used as a tool for suppressing free speech by simply alleging copyright infringement.
In the context of climate denialism you’d think that Anthony Watts, who often rails against imagined suppression and censorship of “climate skepticism” would be particularly concerned. But no. Crickets over there on an issue that Anthony would have us believe is fundamental to his activities.
Perhaps Anthony sees an easy way to harass people expressing views he doesn’t like and tool for impeding his critics. He’s tried, comically, to use copyright infringement as a weapon in the past.
2012-01-19 Update: I track Anthony’s blog by RSS feed, which apparently didn’t include his post about the horrors of SOPA. It ends with a press release from conspiracy enthusiast Senator Jim Inhofe, who has in the past seemed eager to use the power of his office to intimidate. Anthony’s late-in-the-day take on the issue turns out to be predictable, as are many of his reader comments are about how SOPA is intended to help the Obama communists crush individualism. Progressive resistance is more nuanced; SOPA is a gift from beholden politicians to media conglomerates intent on protecting their profits that, through ill-design, places free speech at risk. Isn’t that the same thing?
“Merry Christmas – open thread” (2011-12-24). Anthony Watts takes up a new cause, the “War on Christmas”, by not wishing Happy Holidays to his readers. It’s Christmas or nothing! Funny how everything he does has a myopic, xenophobic tinge to it.
He also reminds his followers to remember Winston Churchill’s advice: “Never give up, never give in.” Yeah, Winston was all about encouraging ignorant people to stubbornly resist the facts. Here’s three Churchill quotes Anthony may want to ruminate over during his holidays:
- A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject.
- A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.
- Man will occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of the time he will pick himself up and continue on.
Thanks for all the schmaltzy YouTube videos though.
Here at Wotts Up we take a skeptical view of the alleged life of Jesus and of all demands for faith in the unproven. We do hope that you take advantage of this Western cultural ritual to enjoy some time with friends and family.
Update: Of course, even while trying to quote Winston Churchill Anthony Watts manages to both misquote and be selective. Churchill’s full remarks are here, some particularly relevant excluded words are in bold:
never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never-in nothing, great or small, large or petty – never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense.
Honour and good sense are provably anathema to Anthony and his supporters.
“Climategate 2.0 emails – They’re real and they’re spectacular!” (2011-11-22). Remember Climategate? The stolen climate scientist e-mails that denialists tried to cherry-pick and twist into… something? Happened just before the Copenhagen climate conference. Anthony Watts and his team remember and they’re still sullenly licking their wounds over that misfire (but putting on such a brave face…).
Now we have new stolen e-mails with “new revelations!” Coincidentally, just before the Durban climate conference.
Oh. It’s just a second batch of even tamer messages from the first theft. Still, plenty of opportunities to make a fuss, tut and titter, and infer darkly. That’ll do, right Anthony? Especially since the first thing Anthony seems to have done is search for his own name. (Could vanity be the motivation behind everything Anthony’s done?)
Here are a few links on Climategate 2.0, I doubt I’ll cover what will undoubtably be a flood of outraged irrelevant posts on Anthony’s blog:
Look for Fox News, the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal and similar news organizations to credulously report the new “revelations.”
“Things we don’t know – about climate“. More Christmas Guest pudding. 3,000 words by Paul Murphy. Short version: Paul doesn’t know anything about climate, or even science really, and he likes to watch movies on TV.
“Quick, somebody slap a carbon tax on this new planet“. Oh, I see what you did there, Anthony. You used a completely un-related NASA astronomy news report to make fun of carbon taxes! That is so clever! It’s like you’ve jumped all the way to Class Clown with a rank of Grade Six!
Is your headline the only thought you had? Apparently yes.
“Antarctic Ozone Hole smallest in five years“. A blind copy-and-paste from Anthony Watts from the scientific journal MSNBC. A smaller ozone hole is indicative of success in altering human emissions (chlorofluorocarbons), but a short-term trend is probably not statistically significant.
Doesn’t fit the narrative, does it, Anthony? Slapping on a bit more cover for the anti-science?