An open letter challenging the EPA on CO2 regulation

An open letter challenging the EPA on CO2 regulation (2012-12-28). A line has been drawn in the sand! The environmental gauntlet has been thrown! A fist has been clenched! A steely gaze has been directed! The GIANTS of climatology have been aroused! (Maybe we could have phrased that last one better.) Anthony Watts has added his name to a newspaper opinion piece!!!

So, preeminent 21st century climatologist (Not really. In fact, not even a bit), Joe D’Aleo has written a damning critique (not) of the EPA’s conclusion three years ago that rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations will have harmful environmental consequences. And an important newspaper, the Washington Post has printed it! (Err.. the “Examiner”.) The usual denialist travelers like Fred Singer, Tim Ball, Don Easterbrook and Anthony Watts have signed on along with others we will leave unmentioned out of pity.

Here’s the laser-sharp money quote fired, like a diamond bullet, at the very core of the EPA, that Anthony urges his readers to “consider widely republishing”:

“In summary, it is not incorrect to argue that further study of the role GHGs play in climate is in order.”

My mind is spinning! From trying to decipher the meaning. I guess they want the EPA to stop trying to “P” our “E”?

What are Joe & Co. steamed about? Well mainly they hate government regulation on principle. Also they think that the EPA should have spent ten years replicating all the findings of modern climatology instead of just pulling out the relevant peer-reviewed journals. By the way, did you know that some of those journals aren’t American?

In what alternate reality is this proud “Open Letter” anything other than a kick me sign? Have D’Aleo, Watts and pals forgotten that their grade-school assertions were all shot down three years ago? Maybe they’re hoping that we’ve forgotten.

Rabett Run has an amusing sampling of the EPA’s responses to various inept denialist complaints. I wish there was an index to them, but here’s a useful Google search string. Plenty of chuckles in there.

A wave of heated peer pressure results in shrinking integrity

A wave of heated peer pressure results in shrinking integrity” (2012-07-08). More enthusiastic broadcasting of baseless aspersions by our dear Anthony Watts. Gail Combs (not, apparently, a scientist unless she’s one of Anthony’s “anonymous cowards”) says:

“As a scientist, I KNOW other scientists will lie through their teeth when it comes to money or their career.”

Trust the “citizen auditors”, who have no agenda whatsoever! They are actually blind-folded (well, blinkered) as they operate the Ouija Board of Truth.

Tamino makes an excellent point about Anthony’s intellectual and ethical bankruptcy: What is “ad hominem”? It really says something when denialists like Anthony and “Gail” are so willing to categorize such a diverse group of people as uniformly corrupt just to suit their partisan biases.

Meanwhile Anthony & Co. mime shivering during a blistering hot summer and pretend to puzzle over why “the media” keeps talking about heat waves…

P.S. Another interesting example of Anthony’s resentful sneering and intimidation (the link in his reply gives his foot soldiers the commenter’s contact details) in the comments:

REPLY: “Not by bloggers…” yeah sure. There’s that holier than thou academic side of you again. I’ll bet you think internists and patent clerks can’t contribute anything either. Your wrongness about who can contribute is exceeded only by your condescension. If this is all a waste of time to you, then take a hike rather than lecture down to us, if it isn’t kindly shut the hell up and let’s compare publications later – Anthony

Seems Anthony’s critics are either “hit and run anonymous cowards” or politically motivated “trolls” that must be carefully labeled so readers discount them, until it’s finally necessary to not-censor them: [SNIP: You are not funny. You are done. Get lost. -REP]

Pielke Sr. on the quality of global surface stations

Pielke Sr. on the quality of global surface stations” (2011-08-14). The Stupid that won’t die! Dr. Roger Pielke Sr., an actual denialist climate scientist, reminds us of Anthony Watts’ “outstanding report” on the siting quality surface temperature stations used in the US Historical Climate Network, Is the U.S. Surface Temperature Record Reliable?. (Oops, “Page Not Found”. Are the Heartland Institute lobbyists shuffling that embarrassment off to the side?) The “scientific” follow-up was Analysis of the impacts of station exposure on the U.S. Historical Climatology Network temperatures and temperature trends in the Journal of Geophysical Research.

You remember the “outstanding report” that Anthony kept promising would prove how dishonest conventional climate scientists were except… it didn’t? And the ground-breaking paper that… confirmed the conventional scientific conclusions about global warming. But he sure did a good job collecting amateur photos of weather stations.

So Dr. Pielke is going to do a home slide show too! Prepare for an onslaught of “random” photos of weather stations. Maybe he and Anthony can obscure the failure of their shared project with a new flood of irrelevant amateur photos? Sounds like a great way to keep heads bobbing in time.

The End is Near for Faith in AGW

The End is Near for Faith in AGW (June 25th, 2011). Anthony Watts posts a prediction by ordinary citizen Russell Cook (“semi-retired graphic artist” and right-wing blogger for the climaterealist denialists). It’s over! The warmists have lost! Or are just about to lose. I love these over-the-shoulder declarations of victory from people as they flee the debate.

Apparently his “seventeen+ months of research” allows him to declare that Al Gore’s 2007 documentary film, the last word in climate science, is based on a lie. Perhaps even more than one! Also “the media” are all mean to denialists because they don’t give equal time (except Fox News, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, The Times, The Telegraph, National Post, The Australian, etc.).

Here’s the vile canard that started off all the skeptic-bullying:

Skeptic scientists are accused of being in a fossil fuel-funded conspiracy to “reposition global warming as theory rather than fact“…

Here’s the big problem I found:  That accusation is based on a 1991 memo no one was allowed to see, using an out-of-context sentence, promoted by a person who was not a Pulitzer winner despite accolades to the contrary, who was credited with finding the memo by Al Gore, but Gore had the memo collection in his own possession four years earlier.

Actually, I thought that “skeptic scientists” were being accused of misrepresenting physical science and climate evidence. My bad I guess. So an unseen 1991 memo, declared to be taken out-of-context, is the real smoking gun behind all this cruelty and dispute? Oh, the irony! Oh, the blinding faith!

I will agree that it would be great to see (the eternally constipated?) Richard Lindzen, a Republican “science” witness on any number of topics since 1991, scowling in front of a House Committee again. He didn’t do too well last time, except in the imagination of self-convinced denialists.

Anthony optimistically declares victory too while strangely turning away from the science:

“When the public learns about huge faults in the skeptic scientist accusation, combined with the faults in the IPCC, the result may send AGW into total collapse.”

You’re dancing on the head of a pin, Anthony.

Alarmists refuse to take on skeptical geologists

Alarmists refuse to take on skeptical geologists” (June 8th, 2011). Anthony Watts agrees with the assertions of Canadian right-wing lobbyist Tom Harris in the reliably denialist Financial Post newspaper (No Climate Debate). Funny how fast Anthony was to copy-and-paste this one. Harris says that if “alarmists” won’t be caught dead presenting at the same symposium last month in Ottawa, “Earth climate: past, present, future“, as debunked denialists (make that “leading geoscientists”) like Bob CarterIan PlimerHenrik Svensmark and “Friends of Science” director Norm Kalmanovitch, they’re chicken. (They couldn’t squeeze Lord Monckton in there?) Friends of Gin and Tonic ask some interesting questions about this.

Unlike medical researchers, who are rushing to embrace discredited and debunked anti-vax fraud Andrew Wakefield in debate.

According to Harris, “climate skepticism was widespread” at the recent industrial GAC-MAC conference (Joint Annual Meeting of the Geological Association of Canada, the Mineralogical Association of Canada, the Society of Economic Geologists and the Society for Geology Applied to Mineral Deposits), but we’ll have to take his word on that. It doesn’t seem to show up in any of the 26 other Symposia or Special Sessions though.

Here’s Professor Andrew Miall’s Symposium preface, with a few editorial remarks:

Earth climate: past, present, future
Andrew Miall
The scientific debate about climate change is far from over [not contested]. Some of the projections of climate change and its consequences contained in the 2007 Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have been called into question [successfully?].. This symposium will address some of these issues and present a geological perspective on the scientific debate. For example, what is the relative importance of water vapour versus carbon dioxide as a medium of heat retention in the atmosphere? How important have variations in solar output and in sunspot levels been in determining energy input to the Earth’s atmosphere? Is the current global temperature regime now warmer than the Medieval Warm Period or the Holocene Hypsithermal? [Gosh, no-one’s ever thought of studying those things before! Someone should get on that.] This is a significant question, given that many damaging ecological, faunal and weather changes have been predicted based on such warming. Yet Earth and its assemblage of life forms clearly survived these and even earlier exceptionally warm periods [not so good for some species of course, but perhaps we should roll the dice anyway]. Is it possibile [sp] that other causes, such as the density and ubiquity of the human presence on Earth, rather than climate change, may be the cause of the observed deterioration in many environmental indicators? [Of course they are factors! This is not an either/or situation.]

“The scientific debate about climate change is far from over.” Ooh, that stings. Could this prove that the alleged alarmist chorus of “the science is settled” is a despicable alarmist tactic? No, that evergreen denialist straw-man argument that has never been true. Climate scientists don’t make that claim. Just like plate tectonics, we’re continually refining our understanding. This doesn’t mean the core principles are teetering on the brink of rejection. Funny how often questions like “is it possible that” show up in these ‘criticisms’. Plenty of things are possible, but showing them to be more likely is the tricky part.

To repeat the words of  George Bernard Shaw; “I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig, you get dirty; and besides, the pig likes it.” Credible scientists apparently understand this and stay out of the pig pen.

On a personal note, I once studied under Dr. Miall. It’s sad to see him in his late sixties endorsing such sloppy discredited arguments. While geologists know that huge environmental changes have affected the Earth in the past, some of them seem incapable of connecting the dots that the extinctions that resulted from those changes could have any bearing on this species, or that the evidence shows that these environmental changes are occurring at rates never recorded before.

Rising From My Long Winter’s Nap

Yawn… Hey, the sun came back! It warm again! (Note to self: the junk calories at Watts Up With That are no foundation whatsoever for a proper hibernation; Anthony gamed that stupid internet popularity poll! He is not the handsomest man in school.)

As I dozed off in January the global (i.e. my neighbourhood) temperature trends (for a few weeks at least) indicated the clear return of a new ice age. How I wept bitter tears as I shuffled into the den I share with Al Gore, knowing I had been fooled by those climate scientists and their greedy self-interest!

Yet I was already too sleepy to beseech forgiveness from the noble citizen-scientists who had so bravely rejected the alleged evidence and the so-called physical science. The warming had stopped, just like Henrik Svensmark had said it would. Snow was falling (somewhere), just as Anthony Watts was always pointing out. The Arctic sea ice was piling up anew just a Steve Goddard had promised. CO2 was plant food! I knew I was in for more than the usual number of hibernation dreams in which I found myself in public without my fur on.

So what’s happened during my nap? Let’s gather a list of Anthony’s winter whoppers in the comments. I hear that Anthony has been encouraging his readers to drown out scientist’s voices. And did Watts really try to wriggle into the spotlight and falsely pre-announce the results of Dr. Richard Muller’s Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature (BEST) project’s “skeptic” dream-team reexamination of global temperature trends, only to misrepresent their initial findings and declare that they were dead to him because it, err, matched the published scientific consensus?

Here are some entertaining (or infuriating if you are Anthony Watts) quotes from Dr. Muller’s 2011-03-31 Testimony to the Committee on Science, Space and Technology, who was brought in by the controlling tea-party Republicans as a dependable tame scientist:

“Many US stations have low quality rankings according to a study led by Anthony Watts. However, we find that the warming seen in the “poor” stations is virtually indistinguishable from that seen in the “good” stations.” and later, “Did such poor station quality exaggerate the estimates of global warming? We’ve studied this issue, and our preliminary answer is no.”

“In our preliminary analysis of these stations, we found a warming trend that is shown in the figure. It is very similar to that reported by the prior groups: a rise of about 0.7 degrees C since 1957.”

“The Berkeley Earth agreement with the prior analysis surprised us” [Must suck when your boasts of transparency prevent you from jigging things to match your personal biases, eh Dr. Muller? Don’t worry, your Republican pals will legislate the Earth’s temperature, along with the value of pi and that annoying evolution thing.]

Which brings us to this website… As much as I try to have fun with Anthony Watts’ malicious website, I can’t keep this up by myself. Getting inside Anthony’s head is not only time-consuming but corrosive and claustrophobic, and my Significant Other is much more fun to interact with. In the Fall I had some research help from a few readers, which I greatly appreciated. I need to find a way to facilitate this more directly and where appropriate recognize contributions. Put your thinking caps on and look for a post here discussing some options.

In the meantime, I’ve finally got e-mail working here and you can contact me privately at ben@wottsupwiththat.com.

Garbage: Another environmental claim proven to be hyped

Garbage: Another environmental claim proven to be hyped. Anthony Watts finds an Oregon State University press release that says the Pacific Ocean’s “Great Garbage Patch” isn’t the size of Texas after-all.

From the press release:

“There is no doubt that the amount of plastic in the world’s oceans is troubling, but this kind of exaggeration undermines the credibility of scientists,” White said. “We have data that allow us to make reasonable estimates; we don’t need the hyperbole. Given the observed concentration of plastic in the North Pacific, it is simply inaccurate to state that plastic outweighs plankton, or that we have observed an exponential increase in plastic.”

This, of course, proves that environmentalists are liars and that there is no Global Warming. But what about the disgruntled claim that “mainstream” scientists always cover up for each other and make the data fit the desired result? I guess Assistant Professor of Oceanography Angelicque White is the only honest scientist out there.