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?

Species Extinction is Nothing New

Species Extinction is Nothing New (2012-06-04). Anthony Watts thinks that Australian denialist Viv Forbes’ reviewed scientific paper unposted Letter to (no particular) Editor deserves a wide audience, so he makes it a “Top Post”. “Steam engines” didn’t kill the mammoths, so why would a few puffing coal plants? This is pure stupidity being given a gold star.

DId you know that them “professional alarmists” are trying to replace the “deflating” “global warming bubble” with a crazy new scam called “species extinction”? Anything to force us back into caves with the commies, I guess.

Humans (well a few of them at least) will be able to use their “freedom” to innovate out of any theoretical environmental crisis, so them animals should stop complaining and start innovating too. Otherwise tough luck and rightly so.

Anthony with his usual acumen uses a Dodo (unequivocally hunted to extinction by humans) to mis-illustrate Viv’s deep environmental insight, but I think he just forgot about the Ostrich.

Anthony’s proudly ignorant commenters are near universal in espousing libertarian tough love for the critters…

WUWT – helping to educate UEA students on climate

WUWT – helping to educate UEA students on climate” (2011-12-04). Gosh, Anthony Watts was “educating” students in a United Arab Emirates [senior moment reversed] University of East Anglia introductory Environment class according to some of the “new” stolen Climategate e-mails! He’s pretty puffed up about it too.

Err, make that “edumacating“. Climate scientists were stunned to learn that a lecturer was using material from university drop-out Anthony Watt’s blog, as well as from his Aussie twin Jo Nova (ask her about the Rothschilds), in his course material. Material which has frequently been shown to either intentionally deceive or be based on scientific ignorance.

Give yourself a pat on the head, but don’t try to rub your tummy at the same time, Anthony. You’re an expert now as long as no-one notices the lecturer’s admission that “I don’t have a grounding in climate science“. All you’ve really done is provide an example of how gullible random Googling can propagate lies and ignorance.

Why is 20 years statistically significant when 10 years is not?

Why is 20 years statistically significant when 10 years is not?” (2011-11-05). Anthony Watts loves a long-winded sneering crank who can slap together reams of irrelevant charts (see Willis Eschenbach). Here he gives us James Padgett, ironically also known as WUWT commenter “Just the Facts”, who asks if PhD climatologists “are smarter than a 5th grader” after implying that climate scientists are only vaguely aware of the sun.

Padgett has a “simple vision” that beats the pants off of all those chrome-domes and their complicated ‘takin’ everything into account’. It’s just the sun, don’t you know! Thus ending Global Warming forever.

The statistical question posed in the post title is, unsurprisingly, never answered. When all is said and done James Padgett has simply gone to great lengths to prove that he’s not “smarter than a 5th grader.” Naturally Anthony’s commenters declare Padgett’s assertions to be “Very, very interesting and important” and rail about the arrogance of them scientists and their studyin’.

You know you’re reading the theories of an utter idiot when Padgett’s opening paragraph is this:

Many of you are aware that the concept of continental drift, proposed by Alfred Wegener, was widely ridiculed by his contemporaries. This reaction was in spite of the very clear visual evidence that the continents could be fit together like a giant puzzle.

Wegener’s theory is a perfect example of that pinnacle of denialist scientific method known as “eyeballing”. Wegener’s theory always had its supporters but wasn’t accepted for 40 years until evidence emerged that explained how the continents had actually moved (although he almost had it right). Just like no-one takes denialist Global Warming “science” seriously because it is utterly unable to explain the observed climate trends with only natural influences.

You do have to admire Padgett’s determined arm-waving though. It’s eye-wateringly hard work pawing through reams of charts, squinting as hard as possible to ignore everything that doesn’t suit his pre-determined conclusion.

Why do denialists make so many contradictory arguments at once? None of them stand up, they’re all merely efforts to distract:

  • The temperature records are wrong / OK, maybe they’re pretty good.
  • It’s not warming / OK, maybe it is warming.
  • The warming has stopped / OK, maybe it hasn’t stopped.
  • It’s not us / OK, maybe it is us.
  • It’s not harmful / OK, maybe it is harmful.
  • It’s not unfixable / OK, maybe “fixing” it would be really difficult.

Sharpen those eyeballs, James, if you want to be more than noise.

The Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project puts PR before peer review

The Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project puts PR before peer review” (2011-10-20). Remember the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature (BEST) study begun by the “reliable” Dr. Richard Muller? Their results are in and it seems Anthony Watts has been run over by reality and taken away by the wahhhhhambulance.

Back in March Anthony seemed sure that the BEST study would be free of the corruption, manipulation and deception, unlike everything the thousands of other climate scientists had produced. He declared that he was “prepared to accept whatever result they produce, even if it proves my premise wrong.

Suddenly, for some reason, Anthony’s tune has changed. Now Anthony is disgusted by Dr. Muller’s “media blitz” of his results. Results that, inconveniently, confirm all the conventional analyses of modern temperature trends and completely gut Anthony’s years of false criticisms.

Did you know that “Not one of the BEST papers have completed peer review“? It’s sort of true! Never mind that Anthony spent literally years falsely pre-announcing that his own amateur surface-stations “study” would prove that the rising temperature trend in the USA was the product of biased weather station choice and changing urban environments. Never mind that releasing pre-publication versions of scientific papers is a widespread practice, and never mind that the paper that Anthony was eventually able to help produce couldn’t support his own claims.

Did you know that “a basic procedural error that has been discovered in the methodology that will likely require a rework of the data and calculations, and thus the conclusions may also change“? Eagle-eyed Anthony has discovered that Dr. Muller used too much data! The first rule of cherry picking is to ignore as much data as possible, don’t you know.

Also, despite of Anthony’s habit of continuously posting articles noting localized cold or snow, Anthony wants you to know that “the issue of ‘the world is warming’ is not one that climate skeptics question, it is the magnitude and causes.” Even he’s given up on that. Technically.

Addition: Here’s the BEST’s global temperature trend compared to the three historical temperature trends created by evil, cheating, communist, climatologists. Break out your magnifying glasses and you’ll see that the differences are enormous!

The BEST Temperature Reconstruction matches previous results

BEST Study temperature reconstruction matches previous results! Shocking.

Whether or not the world is really warming, Anthony’s certainly feeling the burn. From Open Mind:

In my opinion it’s clear what Watts is really upset about — the results from the Berkeley team have confirmed that the other main global temperature estimates (NASA GISS, NOAA/NCDC, and HadCRU) got it right, and that station siting/urban heat island effects are not responsible for any of the observed temperature increase. The real reason all these analyses (including Berkeley’s) show temperature rise is: the globe is warming.

I’ll add links to other websites covering this entertaining development as I find them.

High level clouds and surface temperature

High level clouds and surface temperature (2011-10-06). Anthony Watts thinks that winemaker Erl Happ is S-M-R-T, so he posts his long explanation of why global warming, which isn’t happening, is all because of clouds.

Although tamino has a different opinion of Erl’s science, I’ll just say that I think Erl’s complete quotation of Wordsworth’s poem is the most convincing, and useful, part of his argument.


Dr. Martin Hertzberg responds to Dr. Michael Mann

Dr. Martin Hertzberg responds to Dr. Michael Mann (2011-10-05). Anthony Watts posts another letter from Martin Hertzberg to the Vail Daily, this time responding to Dr. Mann’s slap down. Although Martin seems to delight in the attention (a key denialist motivation), he’s simply compounding his failure.

  • If his “hockey stick” criticism is based on the opinion of “a large number of scientists”, please name five relevant scientists.
  • If the “so-called climategate e-mails revealed an appalling lack of scientific integrity and manipulations by a cabal of advocates of that theory”, please name one inquiry that agrees.
  • If the IPCC “got rid of the embarrassing Medieval Warm Period” after Mann’s alleged fabrication of the paleotemperature record, why did it never appear in the global paleotemperature record?
  • If John Daly was “a distinguished Australian scientist” who questioned Mann’s paleotemperature reconstructions, why doe he have no discernible scientific credentials?

Good work, Martin! (You too Anthony.)

Thanks to Michael Mann’s response, a newspaper censors a letter to the editor ex post facto

Boom, sez Martin.

Boom, sez Martin.

Thanks to Michael Mann’s response, a newspaper censors a letter to the editor ex post facto (2011-10-02). Anthony Watts tells us that Michael Mann, lead bully of “the Team”, has forced the proud Vail Daily to withdraw a Sept. 30th, 2011 Letter to the Editor from the skeptical mind of Martin Hertzberg, titled Vail Valley Voices: Researcher disputes evidence for global warming.

Could it be that Dr. Mann found Hertzberg’s analysis so embarrassingly accurate that he had to use his secret power connections to eradicate the hated thing? Hmm. No. Dr. Mann never made any such request.

What did he do? He wrote a response on Oct. 1st, 2011 that effectively started with this:

“It’s hard to imagine anyone packing more lies and distortions into a single commentary.”

Someone at the Vail Daily, whose brain cells happened to brush up against each other, had a look and realized that Dr. Mann was right. Really, really, right. The issue suddenly wasn’t about the noble rights of the upstanding Martin Hertzberg, self-identified “long-time denier of human-caused global warming”, to tell whopping great malicious lies. It was about whether the Vail Voice was legally exposed for carelessly spreading his false and defamatory statements. They chose to put as much distance as possible between themselves and what was clearly a piece of crap.

Anthony can’t even keep his indignation straight. He starts off implying that the Vail Daily is a noble vehicle for free speech, but turns on them with a series of nitpicking remarks intended to impugn their professionalism (does Dr. Mann live in Vail? I think not! Why the obsequious one day turnaround for Mann’s response? Why did the paper call Hertzberg a “denier”? Oh, that’s his self-description. Etc).

After all the howling it seems that the Vail Daily has re-posted the offending Letter to the Editor, apparently with some of the stupider things removed. What do we learn about Martin Hertzberg? He’s a big fan of the deceptive Oregon Petition. He knows that the greenhouse effect is “fear[ ]mongering hysteria… devoid of physical reality.” He considers anthropogenic CO2 emissions “about as significant as a few farts in a hurricane.” He’s heard of the Medieval Warm Period. He knows that diplomats and bureaucrats “have huge egos and a lust for power.” Finally, he’s a co-author of the idiotic Slaying the Sky Dragon: Death of the Greenhouse Gas Theory, so he’s already had his ass kicked repeatedly on the same topics. I think Martin’s journey to the dustbin of history will be a short one.

In my opinion it’s better to leave these things “up” as originally posted and insert a correction at the start so they are in legitimate context and not left as unchallenged assertions. That way Anthony’s link to the Wikipedia entry for freedom of speech need not be indignantly displayed. I think he should have, uh, censored the sentence “In practice, the right to freedom of speech is not absolute in any country and the right is commonly subject to limitations, such as on libel, slander, obscenity, incitement to commit a crime, etc.” though, because that’s the exact issue here.

P.S. Anthony, I think your Latin’s a bit over-enthusiastic. Also the Sherlock Holmes-by-screen-capture schtick is wearing thin, especially in light of your coy pretense of ignorance about Martin Hertzberg’s denialist contributions. Don’t bury the lede.

2011-10-03 update: Some good coverage at caerbannog (Michael Mann opens a can of whupass on a global warming denier) and at Rabbet Run (It Must Be The Neighborhood).

New peer reviewed paper: clouds have large negative cooling effect on Earth’s radiation budget

New peer reviewed paper: clouds have large negative cooling effect on Earth’s radiation budget (2011-09-20). Har, har. The word “feedback” is present in the URL of this post by Anthony, but no longer in the title… This is as close as Anthony gets to admitting he has once again jumped in with both feet, in haste and seeing only the conclusion that suited him.

Anthony’s certain that a new (peer-reviewed!!!!!!) paper by Richard Allan proves, once and for all, that clouds cause climate. So everyone can relax, those scientists were lying all along. Anthony claims that according to the paper:

a combination of satellite observations and models [show] that the cooling effect of clouds far outweighs the long-wave or “greenhouse” warming effect.

When the paper’s author, along with climatologist Bart Verheggen and even Roy Spencer point out that Anthony’s conclusion is not supported by anything in the paper, his fundamental response is a truculent “I saw things differently.” But why should he ‘fess up? Doctrinaire commenters such as ‘Roger Knights’, ‘Tall Bloke’, ‘RockyRoad’, etc will always praise his erroneous interpretation.

Bart asks:

Could you please point out where in this paper it is mentioned that “clouds have large negative-*feedback* cooling effect on Earth’s radiation budget”?

Roy Spencer says, with what must be considerable pain given his ‘my science serves my [denialist] politics’ perspective:

Bart is correct. This paper is not about cloud feedback…it is about the average effect of clouds on the climate system, which the IPCC, Trenberth, Dessler, et al. will all agree is a cooling effect. It is an update of the early estimates from ERBE many years ago.

Richard Allan, the paper author, comments:

I was surprised that this paper was mis-interpreted as suggesting negative cloud feedback. This is a basic error by the author of the post that has been highlighted by many contributors including Roy Spencer.

Even the contrarian Steven Mosher had something interesting to say about the motives of Antony’s “skeptical” supporters (emphasis mine):

it is also fascinating because of what we dont see. usually you will see a whole crew of commeters pounce on the word “model”. This time they didnt.

They didnt because they thought the paper supported spencer. But it was on an entirely different topic. That misunderstanding kinda silenced the usual “models are bad” crew.

Thanks to my commenters for drawing this entertaining post to my attention. It’s a classic example of Anthony’s enthusiastic ignorance. I’ve been overloaded with work and with supporting the recently concluded Toronto International Film Festival and would have missed this…

The science is scuttled: Abraham, Gleick, and Trenberth resort to libeling Spencer and Christy

The science is scuttled: Abraham, Gleick, and Trenberth resort to libeling Spencer and Christy (2011-09-07). Did you know that pointing out the repetitively flawed science of denialist scientists like Roy Spencer and John Christy is “libelous”? Anthony thinks so, and so does Dr. Roger Pielke Sr.

Opinion: The damaging impact of Roy Spencer’s science, recently published in The Daily Climate, is apparently a nasty example of this criminal. How dare they point out that “Over the years, Spencer and Christy developed a reputation for making serial mistakes that other scientists have been forced to uncover”? Well, maybe it’s not actually libelous because it’s kind of true. But surely it’s mean! That alone is proof that AGW is a lie.

The reliable Dr. Roger Pielke Sr. has consulted his friends and they all think Roy and John are swell, so there.

It seems that the denialist defenses have fallen all the way back to complaining about “tone”? Maybe Anthony’s cartoon sinking ship is falsely labeled just like the false science he touts.