Paging David Appell and Nick Stokes again: time to fess up and apologize

“Paging David Appell and Nick Stokes again: time to fess up and apologize” (2012-05-28). Those “alarmists” are always exaggerating, as Anthony Watts loves to imply remind us. Even about things as mundane as so-called death-threats!

I mean, it’s not as if they’ve had to escape from the trunk of a kidnapper’s car, is it? Or that they were threatened with having their children “brutally gang-raped”. (What, that one’s true? Never mind.) And as anyone who’s up-to-date knows “You will be chased down the street with burning stakes and hung from your f*** neck, until you are dead, dead, dead!” is what all the cool kids say when they’re chillin’. Heck even (apparently actual) scientist Judith Curry thinks saying that “AGW fraudsters” should be dealt with thus – “Knock them down. Kick them until they quit moving. Check for breathing. Repeat.” – is simply a cute turn of phrase.

So when Rupert Murdock’s The Australian declares “no death threats in emails [to climate scientists]” because an Australian’s freedom of information request for a specific institution, specific short period of time, and specific small number of individuals doesn’t turn up much, when that pretty much settles the question for Anthony. Forget all the stuff that happens outside that tiny slice of space/time! Doesn’t count.

This means that Anthony can justify swaggering across the internet spouting self-serving nonsense like this about comments deploring aggression and threats towards climate scientists by the aforementioned David Appell and Nick Stokes amongst others:

They can be men, apologize for their errant and childish behavior towards me and other skeptics on this matter, and move on. I’ll be happy to accept their sincere apologies posted here or on their own blogs and put the matter behind us. Ball’s in your court fellas.

By the way Anthony’s completely unable to control any of the vicious stream of denialist comments that his readers, without his explicit encouragement, make. It takes all his effort just to censor his critics! No time left over at all for that other stuff, which is purely for theatrical effect anyway.

As always, Anthony offers himself as exemplar. He get’s angry e-mails, but he’s strong enough to laugh them off. Man up, warmists, Anthony-style! He’d never overreact to the purely hypothetical situation of angry people trying to confront climate scientists at their offices or wave hangman’s nooses at conferences.

Oh, wait. He did overreact, didn’t he? When little Anna Haynes showed up (uninvited!!!!) at his offices seeking to speak with him, he freaked. But that, of course, is different.

One thing for sure, Anthony won’t mention the ABC News program Media Watch’s investigation into the coverage of threats against climate scientists. Nothing gets in the way of bluster like a factual dissection.

But what the emails don’t prove is what The Australian splashed on its front page on May the third… “Climate scientists’ claims of email death threats go up in smoke”

He’ll stick with the pull-quote from Rupert Murdock’s The Australian, thank you.

Update from the comments: Vicious denialist threats are pretty much routine and they are explained away by people like Anthony Watts, who do everything in they can to encourage them.

2 thoughts on “Paging David Appell and Nick Stokes again: time to fess up and apologize

  1. The Guardian’s ridiculous claim of 75% Arctic sea ice loss in 30 years – patently false

    Anthony reposts ‘HauntingtheLibrary’ on a Guardian report on musician Jarvis Cocker’s moving into environmental activism, especially on the Arctic ice. At the end of the post the G posts a list of ‘chilling facts about the Arctic’, starting with:

    Of the Arctic sea ice, 75% has been lost over the past 30 years. Last year saw sea-ice levels plummet to the second-lowest since records began. It is estimated that the North Pole could be ice-free in the summer within the next 10-20 years.

    and giving Greenpeace as its source.

    Well we can’t have that kind of talk echoing round the blogosphere can we? So Tony tries to shut it down as ‘patently false’ because the extent of Arctic sea ice is very close to the average for the last three decades. Apparently Five minutes or less of checking would have prevented this blunder.
    So where did Greenpeace/The Guardian get 75% from?

    Well, rather less than five minutes turned up this on the Greenpeace site

    In 30 years we’ve lost 75% of the Arctic sea ice

    In 1979, at its lowest point, there were 16,855 cubic kilometres of Arctic sea ice. In 2011 that had dropped to 4,017 – a little over a quarter of that original figure.. The embedded Newsnight video explains the difference between volume and extent nicely. Following the link for the source data takes you to the University of Washington’s Polar Science Centre’s site PIOMAS site where they write:-

    In 1979, at its lowest point, there were 16,855 cubic kilometres of Arctic sea ice. In 2011 that had dropped to 4,017 – a little over a quarter of that original figure.
    So, far from being ‘patently false’, the Greenpeace/Guardian Arctic fact is (a) talking of volue, not extent and (b) based on the best source of arctic ice data around. I left a comment pointing this out.

    Nope. Not good enough.

    b>REPLY Perhaps, but Four things. 1. PIOMAS is a model. 2. PIOMAS is not an actual measurement. 3. Saying a model predicts a 75% loss is no better than NASA’s Jay Zwally saying the Arctic could be nearly ice free by 2012. (See the sidebar and link above it) 4. Slingo said the 75% loss for volume isn’t supported.

    I then posted an extract from Schweiger et al 2011 which details the validation of PIOMAs against observations and so forth, also an extract from the testimony to Parliament of distinguished Professor of Ocean Physics at Cambridge, Peter Wadhams who came to the same number using submarine and satellite observations (he being the guy who rode the subs and colelcted the data. I thought they’d love this guy at WUWT, a real hands on scientist collecting real data). He wrote

    In 1990 I published the first evidence of ice thinning in the Arctic in Nature (Wadhams, 1990). At that stage it was a 15% thinning over the Eurasian Basin. Incorporating later data my group was able to demonstrate a 43% thinning by the late 1990s (Wadhams and Davis, 2000, 2001), and this was in exact agreement with observations made by Dr Drew Rothrock of the University of Washington, who has had the main responsibility for analyzing data from US submarines (Rothrock et al., 1999, 2003; Kwok and Rothrock, 2009) and who examined all the other sectors of the Arctic Ocean. […] Even if we only consider a 43% loss of mean thickness (which was documented as occurring up to 1999), the accompanying loss of area (30-40%) gives a volume loss of some 75%.

    The same number from the model and the data. As I wrote So a guy who has actually been there, collected and published data says the 75% figure is correct …... In answer to a query from a poster, I posted an excerpt from a RealClimate post on PIOMAS, including that same number again

    While there is lots to do in improving both measurements and models to reduce the uncertainty in modeled ice volume, we can also say with great confidence that the decline in observed ice thickness is not just an effect of measurement sampling and that the total sea ice volume has been declining over the past 32 years at astonishing rates (for instance a 75% reduction in September volume from 1979 to 2011).

    The claim of the guardian being patently false is surely ripe for an update now, no?

    Erm, no

    REPLY Sorry Phil, wrong again. They were clearly talking about extent in the article, not volume, and PIOMASS as a model is not in line with measured Cryosat and overfly data. I’m still convinced that you are being paid to write this stuff by some NGO. – Anthony

    (Anthony frequently accuses me of being paid to post, as a distraction. I just ignore him. The cryosat/overfly stuff was based on a factually wrong post by Bill Illis accepted without a trace of scepticism)

    So I laid out (again) my reasons for believing that the 75% number referred to volume, not extent and quoting Prof Wadhams again. This drew a blustery response:-

    1. Guardian made no mention of volume. The entire article is sloppy.
    2. PIOMAS isn’t definitive. It is a “no consequence if wrong” model
    3. Extent doesn’t support 75% loss, neither does Navy PIPS.

    Stop wasting my and everyone else’s valuable time with your diversions. The Guardian did a crappy job, they were wrong, and if you want to cite Greenpeace as a source, then I think that fits in line with what I have long suspected – you are a paid shill for them or for some related NGO, making your points no better than The Guardian’s citation.

    including the remarkable assertion that Wadham makes no citation of submarine data, other than an appeal to authority

    So I pointed Anthony to the list of references at the end of his article, the first of which is:-

    Kwok, R., and D. A. Rothrock ( 2009 ), Decline in Arctic sea ice thickness from submarine and ICESat records: 1958- 2008, Geophys. Res. Lett ., 36, L15501.

    This drew more bluster about Wadhams’ testimony, ending with I call bullshit on the man, and his testimony. That goes for you too Mr. Clarke.

    So in summary, the Guardian was incorrect in its 75% claim which was about ice extent, the respected PIOMAS model is wrong, citing a paper based on data is the same thing as erm, not citing the data and Ocean Physicist and submariner Professor Peter Wadhams of Cambridge University is full of it.

    Hope thats clear. LOL!

    [It’s comical how readily Anthony discards facts that undermine his beliefs and how he clings to any nonsense that sounds like it supports his beliefs. Such a “skeptic”. Attacking the messenger’s always a useful distraction too. – Ben]

  2. Ben, Eli Rabett has an interesting posting on June 13th, “Carrick finds a mirror“, it truly shows the very ugly side of the threats routinely sent to Phil Jones.

    [Thanks for the tip! I’ve added it to my coverage of the same contemptible post. = Ben]

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