Climate Extremism & The Chilling Effect On Free Speech

Climate Extremism & The Chilling Effect On Free Speech (2015-01-12). Anthony’s buddy Benny Peiser, doubles down on the environmentalists are hateful murderous Nazis, not rational, contemplative, free-thinkers like us denialists argument. Benny’s got a passel of right-wing media quotes to prove it!

What’s got Benny’s knickers in a knot, other than opportunistically hopping on the anyone who criticizes us is just like the Islamic murderers in France wagon?

Well, it’s all about Benny of course.

It seems his crony Nigel Lawson at their “high-profile” Global Warming Policy Foundation is so discredited that he’s having a tough time getting on the air at the BBC. And as everyone knows, free speech requires that dishonest statements get just as widely heard as honest ones. Doesn’t it? That’s a Chilling Effect on dishonest partisans!

Also in 2014 Dr. Lennart Bengtsson, 79, jumped from the GWPF after two weeks when he discovered that the GWPF wasn’t part of a “peaceful [scientific] community”. Benny’s left wondering how his anti-science “think tank” can recruit spokespeople. That’s also a Chilling Effect on dishonest partisans!

The GWPF’s critics “reminds me about the time of McCarthy” said Dr. Bengtsson. Here’s a tip for Benny and Bengtsson: McCarthy was the guy who accused people he didn’t like of being communists. Remind you of anyone?

Pielke Jr. appears to get booted from a journal for giving an unfavorable peer review to some shoddy science

Pielke Jr. appears to get booted from a journal for giving an unfavorable peer review to some shoddy science (2013-02-21). So much truculent stupidity at Watts Up With That recently! All just background noise here in the world of reality. This one’s entertaining though, especially as once again it illuminates Anthony Watts’ habit of blindly piling on any complaint of persecution of fellow denialists.

What happened? Dr. Roger Pielke Jr. wrote another of his “everyone’s mean to me” blog posts because he was dropped from the editorial board of Global Environmental Change. Why? Because they hate him and only ever pretended to like him. The reality however is hilariously different.

First though, Anthony’s contribution. He insta-pasted a snide accusation from Mark Steyn, a notoriously inflammatory right-wing flunky, who after the obligatory self-referential muttering about the evil Dr. Michael Mann declared that “…Professor Pielke, expelled by the palace guard of climate conformism, appears to have been felled by the very pathology he identified.”

Our un-inquisitive and hasty Anthony was forced to walk it back a bit though as you will notice when carefully examining his post’s slug; “pielke-jr-gets-booted-from-journal-for-giving-an-unfavorable-peer-review-to-some-shoddy-science”. It’s missing the ass-covering “appears to get” which was added to the post title later. The post now starts with a non-correction by Roger. It seems he still considers himself rudely dumped, but not for the reason he howled about. I can still hear the wahhhh-mbulance though.

So what really happened? The thin-skinned drama queen thought he was kicked to the curb as payback for his blog criticism (Science is the Shortcut) of a paper, Climate change prediction: Erring on the side of least drama?, published in Global Environmental Change. Sadly, it turns out that none of the journal’s other board members were even aware of Roger’s devastating blast, making it hard to sustain the accusation.

In fact, Roger had reached the end of his term and had clearly been coasting. Expected to review up to five papers a year, as many as 30 in his six years, he had been requested to review 18 papers. He’d only actually reviewed six and hadn’t submitted a review since August 2010. His replacement coincided with that of five others, who presumably all simultaneously pissed off the secret editorial board leaders…

2013-02-23 Update: “Rabett” calls it: victim bullying.

Dr. Michael Mann invokes the Streisand effect

“Dr. Michael Mann invokes the Streisand effect” (2012-07-20). Anthony Watts delights in climatologist Dr. Michael Mann’s response to the bluntly defamatory attack piece in the National Review Online by the demagogue Mark Steyn titled “Football and Hockey”. Anthony barely notices that Steyn tries to link Dr. Mann to the Penn State child abuse scandal. What counts is that Dr. Mann has demanded a retraction, which means more people will read the insinuations. See, malicious lies and slimy insinuations work. Go there! Click! Click!! Click!!!!

Anthony can be reliably depended upon to take the low road, but this is contemptible even for him.

I love Steyn’s slippery wording when he tries to suggest that Penn State “felt obliged” to investigate Dr. Mann’s scientific integrity, implying that they acted to cover up the evil deeds of a member of their inner sanctum when in fact they were trying to address fabricated denialist accusations. Steyn’s little pulpit is called “The Corner” and he has surely painted himself into one…

Remember how all those investigations turned out? Pretty good actually. But of course they are all the product of the same secret worldwide Communist conspiracy, right? Every denialist attack on Dr. Mann’s “hockey stick” evidence has crumbled into ignorance and partisan deception, all that’s left to an enraged denialist is wild, baseless, personal attacks like this.

Steyn, in his lazy malicious way, wanted to send his readers to, the “Competitive Enterprise Institute” blog (notice how all “scientific skepticism” is nurtured  by partisan right-wing mouthpieces?) to a post by Rand Simberg titled The Other Scandal In Unhappy Valley. which now contains this statement of bold journalistic defiance:

*Two inappropriate sentences that originally appeared in this post have been removed by the editor.

A few other reactions:

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]

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.

Trenberth: null and void

Trenberth: null and void (2011-11-03). Anthony Watts finds an excuse to make insulting references to a climate scientist. Will wonders never cease? Seems hard to reconcile with his regular calls for niceness.

This time Anthony’s decided that the scientific insights of a British publicist named Ben Norman will be his means of unraveling the global warming fraud. Anthony throws in references to Eurekalert and Wiley-Blackwell to give the appearance of scientific legitimacy, but I think he’s hoping no-one actually reads past his misleading headline.

Norman simply grouped together three recent papers, Ken Trenberth’s provocative “null hypothesis” paper and responses by Dr. Judith Curry (you know, the sciencey wiz who’s decided that eyeballing trends and muttering vaguely about uncertainty is as hard as anyone should have to work) and Dr. Myles Allen (who thinks that Trenberth’s idea is too radical but “Curry’s counter proposal to abandon hypothesis tests is worse”).

I know that Anthony’s mainly trying to smear Dr. Trenberth, but it seems odd that he’s mocking the idea that the default scientific presumption should be that humans are affecting our environment. That’s what underpins his juvenile “surface stations” project! Yeah we’re warming the Earth, but only in a few tiny spots and only in a way that hides the real climate trend (anything other than warming).

His readers comments are the usual assortment of ignorant profundities and jealous paranoia.

Michael Mann wades into the UVA thicket as intervenor

Michael Mann wades into the UVA thicket as intervenor” (2011-11-02). I’ve sat back a bit lately, enjoying the sight of Anthony and his Team imploding over the results of the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature (BEST) study, but this post cries out for a “WTF?”

Anthony Watts sympathetically re-posts Chris Horner’s whining about how Dr. Michael Mann has been allowed to intervene in the American Tradition Institute’s lawsuit over… Dr. Michael Mann’s correspondence during his time at the University of Virginia.

Why on god’s green earth should Dr. Mann be permitted to intervene in a lawsuit over his own correspondence? What could he possibly know? What insight could he possibly offer? What interest is it of his?

Whereas the ATI’s lawyers, who are also the ATI petitioners, assert that they are pure as driven snow (ideologically at least). They’re highly qualified, as attorneys, to confidentially assess the documents in question without revealing then to the petitioners (that would be themselves). Too bad they were widely broadcasting their intention to widely distribute the material they had tentatively been given permission to inspect under a protective order.

Smooth move, Chris.

Chris does however quite rightly assert that there is no “vast right-wing conspiracy”. It’s actually quite tiny and close-knit.

Getting GRLed

Getting GRLed” (2011-09-27). Did you know that Geophysical Research Letters editor Noah Diffenbaugh is a thug? According to Anthony Watts it’s true! You see the denialist’s favorite economist Roger Pielke Jr. submitted a paper on tropical cyclones (they’re not worse!) and it was rejected (it the sense of being told to resubmit), simply because the two reviewers wanted revisions! This is clearly more bullying by “the Team”. And also a conspiracy.

Summarizes Anthony, who knows scientific oppression when he sees it (emphasis mine):

It came back with two reviews, both with some corrections, one reviewer suggesting publication without major caveats [originally spelt “caeats”], the other grudgingly [originally spelt “grudingly”]suggesting publication to the editor, Noah Diffenbaugh, and asking for revisions. So far so good (you’d think).

The ever-stringent Anthony opines that the paper “seems straigh[t]forward enough”, but you’d think that Roger Jr.’s claim that “increasing damage around the world over the period(s) of record can be explained entirely by increasing wealth in locations prone to TC landfalls” might need some supporting analysis and not simply rest on what seems a mere assertion.

Perhaps Richard Tol’s comment on Anthony’s post gets to the real heart of the matter:

The decision for major revision was justified as the original paper oversold its results.
Instead of revising the paper, Pielke Jr decided to pick a fight and was told to FO.

Turns out this is all normal boilerplate editorial communication but the thin-skinned Roger Jr. will not revise (ie improve) his paper. He’s chosen to stomp away in a huff shouting about bad faith. The JGR is dead to him! Seems the bad faith lies with Roger Jr. unless you listen to Anthony’s followers. In which case Roger Jr.’s taking a noble stand against a fifth-rate “Team” journal’s bullying. Considering the years of complaining about scientific journals, both Anthony and his reader’s ignorance of how journal submissions work is quite stunning.

Tip to Anthony: look before you leap and pause long enough before posting to run spellcheck. Otherwise your posts look hasty and ill-considered. What? They’re supposed to be?

New term from the Chronicle: “Climate Thuggery”

New term from the Chronicle: “Climate Thuggery” (2011-08-01). Funny how the National Association of Scholars sounds a lot like the National Academy of Sciences. I guess Anthony Watts didn’t spot the difference. The “Scholars” have been subverted by conservative interests and are now merely a right-wing front, the Academy is actual distinguished scientists (I mean, communists). Also the “Chronicle” isn’t the respected Houston Chronicle, it’s just the mouthpiece of the National Association of Scholars.

Now then given Anthony’s approval, sparked by roving bridge-builder Dr. Roger Pielke Jr., of “NAS” President Peter Wood’s position on the climate change debate, what are his credentials? Well, like most denialists, Wood’s education is entirely outside of the field of climate science. He’s an anthropologist. He’s an enthusiastic conservative though, so of course he thinks properly. That’s pretty much it.

So let’s turn to Climate ThuggeryWood’s final nail in the coffin of (arguing about) AGW. The first three sentences are a pretty good warning:

Is anthropogenic global warming (AGW) a valid scientific theory?  Is it well supported by the empirical data or is it mostly an artifact of computer modeling?  I don’t have answers to these questions.

From there it’s just resentful assertions such as “Far from welcoming discussion, [the proponents of AGW] seek to suppress it.” and false claims of using lawsuits to silence denialist critics. (The lawsuit accusations are hilarious as the lawsuit Wood mentions was aimed at correcting denialist Tim Ball’s actual libel; Ball is remembered for explicitly trying to use a lawsuit to silence a critic, a tactic which blew up in his face when the criticisms were confirmed.) And, of course, that denialists are being bullied. Dr. Wood’s whole piece is classic example of combining baseless accusations with claims of victimization.

All this because apparently Wood found himself squirming under the microscope of John Mashey after accusing Mashey of defending the “tattered reputation of “hide the decline” Michael Mann, the climate scientist whose famous “hockey stick” chart shows exponentially increasing global temperatures in the near term”. Tellingly, Dr. Mann remains highly respected in the climate science field, and the out-of-context “hide the decline” quote was not by Mann. But that just gets lost in the confusion with Wood’s other nonsense. Read the whole idiotic original complaint at Bottling Up Global Warming Skepticism, which by word count is actually about P.T. Barnum, and don’t miss out on the pleasure of Peter’s pompous squirming in the comments. covers Dr. Wood’s ignorant partisanship at NAS President Peter Wood: wrong, dishonest or hopelessly compromised?

2011-07-04 Update: Someone’s embarrassed at “The Chronicle of Higher Education”. John Mashey and Robert Coleman were given space to respond to Wood’s political attack. Read Bottling Nonsense, Misusing a Civil Platform and see Wood neatly packaged.

Real Climate on Spencer – Bad timing or just bad judgment?

Real Climate on Spencer – Bad timing or just bad judgment?” Anthony Watts decides to read nefarious purpose into the timing of a RealClimate review of denialist scientist Roy Spencer’s book “The Great Global Warming Blunder: How Mother Nature Fooled the World’s Top Climate Scientists”. They seem to have posted it on the same day that a series of massive tornadoes (nothing to do whatsoever with global warming!!!!!) took out power in Spencer’s hometown of Huntsville, Alabama.

Did they deliberately release their review when they thought they would be safe from Spencer’s devastating intellectual rebuttal? Those cunning, corrupt, dishonest communist climate scientists! But the always high-minded Anthony Watts sorted it out with an e-mail offering ethics advice. Anthony’s readers start the libeling by themselves.

So what of Spencer’s book? Could he be right? Would it really take “only one research study to cause the global warming house of cards to collapse”?

Well unless you embrace Spencer’s astonishing belief that decades of work by thousands of scientists around the world could actually flip into untold thousands of admissions of “my bad”, no.

Instead Spencer accuses “the IPCC researchers” of “fundamental mistakes” that only he has discovered, but never identifies the dumb scientists or references their alleged mistakes. He waves away detailed paleo data with “we don’t have a clue”. (I suppose as a creationist he is uncomfortable with any date before 4004 BC.) He’s so intellectually flexible that he’s already contradicted his own book in later papers. Is it true that “short-term fluctuations in the energy balance and surface temperature are consistent with a low climate sensitivity” (the whatever-he-can-get-away-with book, April 2010), or  that “the climate system is never in equilibrium” ( the peer-reviewed Journal of Geophysical Research, August 2010)? I guess the ice ages are impossible.

Perhaps next Spencer will be confidently asserting that toothpicks are made when beavers sneeze? He should stick to remote sensing, where he actually has some expertise.

Read some other critiques at Climate Progress and Barry Bickmore. Anthony Watts and right-wing blogs such as “The American [un]Thinker” offer gullible high praise of course.