California’s drought situation in pictures – what a difference one year makes

“California’s drought situation in pictures – what a difference one year makes” (2014-01-18). Anthony Watts is in anguish over the California droughts (there’s been plenty of wild fires too). Click through to see Anthony rue the delay in government intervention and put his faith in climate models! No, this is not Bizarro Earth.

Why won’t someone do something! We needed government intervention last year!

Yesterday, Governor Brown declared a drought emergency, which is probably a bit too late.

But don’t worry, climate models show that everything will be A-Ok next year.

if the Nino 3.4 model ensemble is to be believed, then California will likely see a strong precipitation rebound in 2014/2015.

Naturally Anthony maintains his confidence that every instance of cold weather, anywhere, is proof of no global warming ever while every instance of hot weather or drought is just a sticky patch. But it’s getting hard to do it with a straight face.

HotWhopper takes Anthony to task nicely: Finally, if a “bit too late” – Anthony Watts talks about the drought in California.

50,000 attend rally with speech against climate agenda in Poland

50,000 attend rally with speech against climate agenda in Poland (2013-11-12). Hey Anthony Watts, lately you’ve been frothing over “Warmist” exaggeration of Super Typhoon Haiyan fatalities. (Except it doesn’t look like there was any exaggeration, does it?) How does if feel being caught doing what you tried to accuse others of, in literally the same breath?

Thanks to HotWhopper for unravelling this one: How’s That Polish Exaggeration Going, Anthony Watts?

Anthony, your original title was “50000 at Rally Against Climate Agenda in Poland” and your copy-and-pasted post led with UN climate summit in Poland greeted by 50,000 angry Poles rallying against UN”. You had to walk it back a bit, huh?

In fact (as opposed to CFACT) CFACT president David Rothbard spoke at an “Independence March” organized by nationalists and right-wing groups as a counter to official celebrations of Poland’s Independence Day (commemorating Poland’s 1918 release from Prussian, Austrian and Russian control). They didn’t give a shit about climate change. Far-right rioters leave trail of destruction in Polish capital: “The main target of the rioters appeared to have been any symbol of left-wing, liberal views” – Reuters

A good match, ideologically, I guess. But if Anthony thinks he can pass off CFACT egging on far-right rioters as Poles throwing the oppressive yoke of UN climate scientists… I’ve got a bridge for sale in Brooklyn.

“Watching the Deniers” makes hilarious goof while accusing WUWT of “doctoring” NSIDC images

“Watching the Deniers” makes hilarious goof while accusing WUWT of “doctoring” NSIDC images (2013-07-05). If Anthony ever happens to be right about something, which like a stopped clock is about once every 43,200 instances, you can be sure he’ll beat it to death (or is it more strut about like a rooster?). When Anthony’s Aussie ditto head Eric Worrall spotted an accusation at Watching the Deniers (WtD) that Anthony had doctored an Arctic Sea Ice Extent graph to conceal the fact that the decline in Arctic ice extent was more than 2 standard deviations away from Anthony went .

Silly Mike, Anthony only by pure chance used the option on the NSIDC charting web page that suppressed the display of statistical significance! That’s just misrepresentation, not dishonesty, the kind of thin line that Anthony spends his life dancing back and forth over.

Anthony Watts likes to use the version of this chart that excludes statistical context. Makes it easier to imply that every wiggle is “just natural”.

Anthony Watts likes to use the version of this chart that excludes statistical context. Makes it easier to imply that every wiggle is “just natural”. Click to see the difference.

After a short display of indignation Anthony runs quickly through the gamut of blogging postures.

  • Victim card: WtD is driven by “hatred”!
  • Anticipation of censorship: “I’ve left a comment explaining Mr. Marriott’s absurd misconception and asked for an apology. We’ll see if it passes moderation, and if he lives up to his “professional services” label.” Oh, it made it along with all the other denialist ditto head attacks. Mike ain’t you, Anthony.
  • Megalomania: The king of the interwebs commandeth and threatens – “Change it sir. I won’t ask again.”
  • Ad hominem digging.
  • Dog whistle: “In the meantime, you can leave comments here.
  • An update to the whining: Anthony contentedly reports that WtD has been forced to change their post, retracting the “photoshop” claim. Funny I can’t recall Anthony ever doing the same, I guess he’s always been right.

Thus ending Global Warming. Which was natural anyway if it was happening. Which it wasn’t.

Neil Armstrong, First Man on the Moon: 1930-2012

Neil Armstrong, First Man on the Moon: 1930-2012 (2012-08-25). Do you really think that Anthony Watts would pass up the chance to sidle up beside a great man so he can poke his nose into the spotlight? Bet your ass not.

“America has just lost its most heroic son” declares Anthony, tissue dabbing the corner of his eye as he ‘reflects’ on the death of Neil Armstrong, first man to step on the surface of the Moon.

I wonder if Anthony will recognize the contrast: Neil Armstrong did something courageous and audacious. He was part of a concerted effort to face a challenge that had no guarantee of success, that required the best efforts of the entire nation and had to be reinvented every step along the way to finally achieve it. That was America in the 1960’s.

Denialists today say the environmental risks we clearly face aren’t so bad (maybe they’re even good!), are lies, or can’t be conveniently solved and fight for inaction. This is Tea Party America in the 2000’s.

America has gone from “can do ” to “can’t do”.

So Anthony when you declare, through crocodile tears, that “America’s manned space program is also dead” remember that thinking people know that it’s wounds come from the determined efforts of ‘small government’ political zealots like yourself. Reflect on that while you pretend to exalt NASA’s most famous representative.

Farewell to Neil Armstrong, a courageous and dedicated explorer from a time when America faced challenges rather than set them aside and bickered over them.

We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too. – President Kennedy, 1962.

Detecting regime shifts in climate data – the modern warming regime ended in 1997

Detecting regime shifts in climate data – the modern warming regime ended in 1997 (2012-07-03). Anthony Watts blindly publishes another piece of scientific nonsense. Sam Outcalt, Emeritus (naturally) Professor of Physical Geography (naturally) has screwed around with Excel and discovered you can turn pretty much any data trend into a parabola that suits your goals if you just rescale things and only plot cumulative sums of deviations from average.

“This short analysis indicates that an alternate model of climate change based on serial regime transitions rather than anthropogenic global warming is consistent with the results of the Hurst Re Scaling analysis.”

It’s so simple! Um, too simple:

“Cumulative sums can show very interesting behavior. They can also be extremelytricky to deal with statistically. That’s not a problem for Outcalt, his post doesn’t seem to have any statistics.” – Open Mind

This is what fake linear temperature trends look like when plotted along side real temperature the the way Outcalt did:

Looks like Dr. Outcalt’s dunce-cap methodology turns any linear trend into a parabola that can be presented as proof that the trend has reversed…

955 words and four references (do “personal communications” really count?) are all Outcalt needs to underpin his argument. I think Anthony’s denialist blog is the pinnacle of this “paper’s” trajectory. Outcalt is a retired permafrost guy, his last paper seems to have been in 1994.

‘Ads by Google’ helpfully suggests that “If you use a spreadsheet to manage work, you should watch this helpful 1 minute video.” Maybe the good Perfessor should take Google’s inscrutable advice?

Update: Here’s a real temperature trend, from 1800 to 2010. Notice the lack of “regime change” in 1997? This data is from the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project, in which Anthony placed great faith until it didn’t give the result he wanted.

“So what?” you say, another emeritus academic outside of his area of expertise who thinks he’s “proved” everyone else is wrong. Dime a dozen at Watts Up With That. Well… true. But every now and then (meaning several times a week) a classic example of Anthony’s tactics comes along and gives us a useful way to deconstruct Anthony’s method:

  1. He will publish literally anything with a “conclusion” that suits his agenda, even if he has no ability whatsoever to understand it. Perhaps especially if he doesn’t understand it.
  2. He will imply that any forthcoming criticism will be malicious so that his readers will think that Anthony has the intelligence to anticipate and dismiss factual scientific criticism:

    “Great paper. Thanks for re-posting this Anthony. Hurst makes perfect sense and it is well defended in the paper. I think Tamino is over his head with a paper like this.
    REPLY: Oh, he’ll try to shoot it down anyway. – Anthony”

  3. He posts new stuff so fast that by the time anyone intelligent can respond his mesmerized audience has forgotten about it other than a few unshakable rearguard commenters. Although they will all keep a vague memory of another perfect proof, probably contradicting earlier perfect proofs, that there is no global warming, which stopped in 1997 anyway.
  4. He counts on his denialist ditto heads to repost WUWT posts so that if any intelligent analysis infects the comments of his own posts and disrupts the head-nodding the copies will remain uncorrected and continue to deceive. (Of course he’ll never correct his own post either, so that readers that don’t mine the comments will remain unaware.)
  5. His censors “moderators” will always invoke (im)plausible deniability when Anthony’s caught and will pretend his readers are up-to-date in all the physical sciences anyway:

[REPLY: Anthony publishes lots of stuff, not all of which he agrees with. It is simply "interesting". WUWT commenters are fully capable of critiqueing the work and have done so. Anthony is not a co-author on this article and is not required to justify or explain anything, especially to anonymous individuals using anonymous proxy servers. Check site policy regarding that. -REP]

Not particularly clever, but effective if you lack peripheral vision.

Update: Anthony re-applied his denialist french kiss to Outcalt’s fake technique one day later when Outcalt sends him some rigged solar data: Another regime change indication – this time in solar data. One day the climate switch flipped in 1997, the next day the switch flipped in 2005. Just pick one and stick with! This time Anthony gets called on it too fast to slip away and pulls an “as I expected”:

UPDATE: As I expected he would, Dr. Leif Svalgaard takes exception to this characterization of the identification of October 2005 being a regime changepoint, saying:

While I agree that the sun is going quiet, the ‘step change’ is spurious. It is mainly due to a sporadic, single magnetic storm in September 2005: http://hirweb.nict.go.jp/sedoss/solact3/do?d=2005%2c09%2c04 and here is the next rotation: http://hirweb.nict.go.jp/sedoss/solact3/do?d=2005%2c10%2c01 You can find many such steps.

Such step changes happens all the time: http://www.leif.org/research/Ap-1844-now.png They are just weather, not climate.

Of course Anthony takes as “skeptical” view of the opinions of actual solar experts as he thinks can get away with:

While I defer to Dr. Svalgaard’s overall superior knowledge on the dynamics of sun, and agree there are many sharp transitions in the Ap record, this looks to me to be a step change event of merit based on the factors listed above. I’ve yet to see a fully convincing explanation that this was a spurious event rather than a regime changepoint. But, I remain open to seeing such an explanation.

A refreshing change on sea level policy – use historical data rather than model projections

A refreshing change on sea level policy – use historical data rather than model projections (2012-03-13). Anthony Watts approves of a North Carolina environmental bill that mandates that scientific evidence be ignored. Only the politically appointed North Carolina Coastal Resources Commission is permitted to declare how much sea-level will rise (or, err, not rise), so there!

Anthony is, naturally, dead set agin gubmint reg’lation unless he happens to be fer it. Especially if it orders the smart people to shut up. Naturally the “science” behind the bill was a single misinterpreted paper.

Maybe Anthony should look a bit further back before cuddling up to using only historical records to decide what will happen in the future. The King Canute of old commanded the tide to halt to prove that the natural world pays no attention to politics, not to allow his buddies to build condos on beaches.

Then the king leapt backwards, saying: ‘Let all men know how empty and worthless is the power of kings, for there is none worthy of the name, but He whom heaven, earth, and sea obey by eternal laws.’

God of course doesn’t exist, but the “eternal laws” are not ours to set.

This brainless bill died in the House. Sorry Anthony! I guess no-one wanted to displace legislating the value of pi from the top podium of ignorance. I’ve heard you’ve made a few visits though, how’s the view from up there?

Another skeptical university professor fired – related to CARB’s PM2.5 air pollution regulation scandal

Another skeptical university professor fired – related to CARB’s PM2.5 air pollution regulation scandal (2012-06-16). In case you were wondering, every time a prickly right-winger gets fired from a university it’s because of persecution by the oppressive liberal intelligentsia. Anthony Watts wants to make sure you learn what he discovered on the always-reliable WingNut Daily (fyi, it’s all driven by intellectuals resentful over the failure of Communism). The Los Angeles Times has some coverage too.

Seems the John Galt wannabes at the American Center for Law and Justice are fightin’ the good fight for James Enstrom, a UCLA researcher fired after 35 years for daring to expose fraudulent research that was used to “justify draconian diesel vehicle regulations” as well as fake credentials at the “vile” (that’s Anthony’s description) California Air Resources Board. I guess the wheels of liberal oppression grind slowly.

Diesel exhaust is good for you and should not be regulated (pay no mind to the 750,000 annual Chinese deaths from particulate pollution). So is second-hand smoke.

Dr. Enstrom was defending his conclusions about the pish-poshedness of secondhand smoke years ago. Back in 2005 he was already invoking the right-wing’s favorite boogeyman Lysenko in defense of his tobacco epidemiology research. His Scientific Integrity Institute, solely concerned with the integrity of one J.E. Enstrom, Ph.D., came into existence at around the same time.

I suppose I have to say it: there’s no question that academic freedom needs protection and that legitimate examination of any scientific consensus is deeply important. Too bad that hypocritical partisan zealots like Anthony are so busy poisoning the debate. By the way Anthony, which is it? Close all universities because they’re dens of communism leeching off the noble taxpayer, or don’t touch the freedom of academics? ‘Cause if you only howl about the plight of right-wing allies you’re not really operating on principle, are you? What we actually get from you are incessant calls to fire academics that you don’t like and to strip funding from programs that don’t support your politics.

It’s YOU that academic freedom needs protection from, not Enstrom or Drapela.