Is It Time To Stop The Insanity Of Wasting Time and Money On More Climate Models?

“Is It Time To Stop The Insanity Of Wasting Time and Money On More Climate Models?” (2015-09-14). Wait a second. Hasn’t the only faintly credible denialist argument been that all the climate modelling and climate projections are too preliminary? We should keep waiting, twiddling our thumbs, until perfect data and projections are in hand? Then, presumably, the denialists will swing into righteous eco-warrior action. No, for Dr. Tim Ball it’s now about wasteful funding. Apparently ignorance is again bliss.

I still flick a bored eye over to Anthony Watts’ clown convention every now and then, and this post made me laugh enough to spend a moment scrolling through the “science.”

Today Anthony has loaned his dunce’s pulpit to Sky Dragon kook Dr. Tim Ball so he can mutter that climate projections aren’t as precise as he requires, that there aren’t enough “stations”, and that if you copy and paste carefully enough even the IPCC can be made to admit that the data is awful. Shut the whole thing down!

Hard to put much credence in Dr. Ball’s “career as a climatologist” (actually he’s a retired geographer and semi-pro Letter to the Editor writer) when he’s still trying to sell the out-of-context “hide the decline” source code quote from 2009. That dog won’t hunt. Also, does he really think that climatologists are trying to forecast climate? Ball seems to have a very rudimentary notion of how his alleged profession gathers climate data, or how it is used. Most of his gotcha quotes stop just before the actual meaning is explained, but this can possibly be put down to a short attention span.

Hell, Dr. Ball seems to have even forgotten that “stations” aren’t the only way we gather climate data. Maybe he should dust off those National Geographic magazines and look for articles about “satellites.” They’re brill. They go everywhere!

Actually, Dr. Ball seems to hold Australian garden-variety denialist and conspiracy enthusiast (ask her about the Rothschilds) Joanne Nova in high esteem, so perhaps he’s hidden an admission of poor judgement amongst his contemptuous bluster.

An Open Letter to Dr. Phil Jones of the UEA CRU

An Open Letter to Dr. Phil Jones of the UEA CRU” (2011-11-27). Just like Anthony Watts, the first thing darling Willis Eschenbach did with the “new” batch of (years-old) Climategate e-mails was search for his own name. And he found it! Hardly surprising, after-all he was one of people who “mail bombed” the Climate Research Unit with “freedom of information” requests.

Again just like Anthony’s response, this “new” batch of old messages is merely an opportunity to serve up warmed-over self-righteous fury. Did you know that Dr. Phil Jones didn’t instantly respond to Willis’ meandering nit-picking accusatory e-mails? Indentured servants, err… university professors, must jump to attention when a taxpayer speaks! Did you also know that Dr. Jones failed to respond in the way Willis instructed him to? Such petty defiance!

Also, Dr. Jones no longer has his high school term papers available for public dissection. He’s hiding something!

As noted in comments here, Willis’ open letter to “Dear Dr. Jones” about his “polite, scientific request” uses the word ‘lie’ at least twenty times and the word ‘liar’ at least twice.

The intention of the “mail bombs” was to obstruct the scientist’s activities and to sift through their responses for anything that could be twisted to the denialist’s purpose. That game continues.

P.S. All the highlighting of disputes and arguments between the real climate scientists “revealed” in the latest batch of old stolen e-mails kind of undermines the whole conspiracy thing. Bit of a mixed message, Willis.

Climategate 2.0 emails – They’re real and they’re spectacular!

Climategate 2.0 emails – They’re real and they’re spectacular!” (2011-11-22). Remember Climategate? The stolen climate scientist e-mails that denialists tried to cherry-pick and twist into… something? Happened just before the Copenhagen climate conference. Anthony Watts and his team remember and they’re still sullenly licking their wounds over that misfire (but putting on such a brave face…).

Now we have new stolen e-mails with “new revelations!” Coincidentally, just before the Durban climate conference.

Oh. It’s just a second batch of even tamer messages from the first theft. Still, plenty of opportunities to make a fuss, tut and titter, and infer darkly. That’ll do, right Anthony? Especially since the first thing Anthony seems to have done is search for his own name. (Could vanity be the motivation behind everything Anthony’s done?)

Here are a few links on Climategate 2.0, I doubt I’ll cover what will undoubtably be a flood of outraged irrelevant posts on Anthony’s blog:

Look for Fox News, the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal and similar news organizations to credulously report the new “revelations.”

Climategate–the Made Up Story, or Mr. Assange, WUWT?

Climategate–the Made Up Story, or Mr. Assange, WUWT? Anthony Watts’ associates express their annoyance that Julian Assange of Wikileaks is claiming to have been the first publisher of the stolen Climategate e-mail excerpts. It was them, damn it! They are the hipster heroes!

“Charles the Moderator” says the e-mails were on Wikileaks because he uploaded them. Economist Ross McKitrick makes the nuanced statement that Assange et. al. are “nothing but fakes and cretins.”

Perhaps “Charles” was afraid of legal complications, but I thought it was all public property…

Ah the good old days, when the denialists momentarily had a new way to convince themselves that they’d uncovered the vast decades-long conspiracy to use climate data to install a communist world government!


I’ve hesitated to dip my toes back in the swamp water that Anthony Watts tries to pass off as a science blog, because road-kill skunks are more pleasant than the mental stench he generates. It lingers longer too. But the recent anniversary of “Climategate” and the denialist response to it has brought a smile to my face.

Slightly more than a year ago Anthony and his pals where foaming at the mouth about corrupt, evil, lying climate scientists and proclaiming the death of the Global Warming Scam (which it must be said they pretty much do weekly). Cooler heads, the kind that think objectively, found the “evidence” of stolen, out of context e-mails and the claims made from them far-fetched to say the least. The denialist crowd thought they were having their long-deserved moment in the sun.

Where do we stand today?

  • A series of investigations in the UK and USA showed that the denialist accusations of exclusion, conspiracy and falsification were baseless misrepresentations.
  • It’s widely recognised that Climategate has no implications whatsoever for the evidence and magnitude of man-made Climate Change. It was simply used to orchestrate an unwarranted attack on particular people.
  • Denialist blogs have turned to disgruntled “he said-she said” complaints about the independent investigations of the accusations, while sea ice and Al Gore are once again favorite topics at WUWT.
  • Self-important denialist Steve McIntyre, who was in many ways central to the furor, now says “I planned to write a one-year anniversary piece on Climategate, but have found it difficult to capture the right tone.” That’s code for “I’m tired of pretending that I’m outraged about inconsequential private e-mails, but I can’t think of a way to change the subject without embarrassing myself.”

Anthony’s recent post Climategate – still the issue tries to repeat the original accusations, with as little correction or legitimate context as he can get away with. It’s an entertaining read from an informed perspective. I can easily imagine Anthony’s irritation at having to couch so many of the “fatal” accusations in such half-hearted ways.

Update: I came across this excellent overview of the whole “scandal” over at ClimateSight, a new blog by a student climatologist before writing this post, but it slipped my mind until now (the following day).

Thanks for playing!

2012-07-19 Update: Norfolk police have called off their investigation for procedural reasons, but state:

“However, as a result of our inquiries, we can say that the data breach was the result of a sophisticated and carefully orchestrated attack on the CRU’s data files, carried out remotely via the internet. The offenders used methods common in unlawful internet activity to obstruct inquiries. There is no evidence to suggest that anyone working at or associated with the University of East Anglia was involved in the crime.”

Ocean cooling contributed to mid-20th century global warming hiatus (and so did the PDO)

Ocean cooling contributed to mid-20th century global warming hiatus (and so did the PDO). Poor Anthony Watts seems in a foul mood here. Muttering about news story that doesn’t give him access to all the data, references to “public money”, particularly asinine comments about press release photos (where on earth does “grinning like a banshee” come from?), etc. You’d think he’d be clutching at a report about oceanic cooling with both hands…

Maybe he’s irritated that Dr. Phil Jones, who the denialists tried to bring down with the false “Climategate” controversy is publishing science again? Or is it that the paper discusses cooling, which the lying climatologists supposedly never talk about and he has no idea how to react.

So the paper in question is being published as a Letter in Nature titled An abrupt drop in Northern Hemisphere sea surface temperature around 1970 (here’s the abstract). It says that “the hiatus of global warming in the Northern Hemisphere during the mid-20th century may have been due to an abrupt cooling event centered over the North Atlantic around 1970, rather than the cooling effects of tropospheric pollution.” Don’t you just hate it when scientists observe things and try to understand them?

Anthony spots professor David W.J. Thompson "grinning like a banshee".

A new must read paper: McKitrick on GHCN and the quality of climate data

A new must read paper: McKitrick on GHCN and the quality of climate data“. Economics professor Dr. Ross McKitrick of the University of Guelph has performed a comprehensive review of the GHCN surface and sea temperature data set! It’s published in… Oh, it’s a vanity publication by his denialist friends at The Global Warming Policy Foundation.

Anthony Watts’ associates keep trying to repackage the accusation that the temperature data sets are untrustworthy and hence there is no Global Warming, but they can never make it stick. This time McKitrick even tries to slide in a few “Climategate” e-mails for support. Let’s look at the two excerpts that Anthony posts:

1.2.3. Growing bias toward lower latitudes – This actually biases against warming. McKitrick tries to float the idea that “this implies less and less data are drawn from remote, cold regions and more from inhabited, warmer regions.” In fact it’s well established that the warming anomaly is more pronounced at higher latitudes. Either McKitrick is uninformed or he’s trying to mislead readers.

2.4. Conclusion re. dependence on GHCN – Another canard from Ross, claiming that “All three major gridded global temperature anomaly products rely exclusively or nearly exclusively on the GHCN archive”. Guess what? There aren’t large overlapping collections of weather stations around the world. What climatologists interested in historical temperature trends do is select stations from the larger group that meet their analytical requirements. Good morning Rip Van Winkle.

Climatic collision on the National/Financial Post website

Climatic collision on the National/Financial Post website. Anthony Watts is busy deleting contacts from his Rolodex and trying to frame the sudden and unwelcome media scrutiny of global warming denialism as part of the Climategate “whitewash” and the alleged “blacklist” of denialists.

Canada’s National Post newspaper, a long-time source and also re-distributor of climate science misinformation, has for the first time printed an intelligent and skeptical assessment of the global warming denial position. Jonathan Kay’s article Bad Science: Global Warming Deniers are a Liability to the Conservative Cause is an entertaining exposé of many of the smug deceptions that the Post’s own doctrinaire columnists, such as Terrence Corcoran, have been regurgitating for years. Quite a startling development. Kay’s telling quote is this:

How has this tiny 2-3% sliver of fringe opinion been reinvented as a perpetually “growing” share of the scientific community?

Columnist Terrence Corcoran naturally has taken exception to having the plug pulled on his cozy bubble-bath. Bad politics The politicization of climate science reaches new low with the development of a deniers blacklist is his response. Strangely, he starts with a reference to the “first principles of good science” before blustering at length about a “scientific mop-and-pail crew”, talking about the astrological signs of the paper’s authors and trying to imply that compiling the alleged “denialist blacklist” was a stealthy librul operation. Actually, the list of denialist scientists was collected from documents published and distributed by denialist lobbyists. But bluster on, Terrence.

Anthony declares that of the two columns “One in my opinion, [is] ugly, the other matter of fact.” No prize for guessing which one Anthony likes.

Reports from the Guardian Climategate Debate

Reports from the Guardian Climategate Debate: Surprise, surprise. In Anthony Watts’ report of the debate on the Climategate false controversy hosted by the Guardian newspaper, climate scientists are “devious” and “appallingly bad” but denialist Steven McIntyre, who spoke from behind a lectern to give him more ‘authority’, gets “the largest applause”.

Here’s a different view of the panel’s performance:

  • Prof. Davies said the CRU has learned about the need for public engagement in the scientific discussion.
  • Steve McIntyre sidestepped the challenge that “any competent individual could reproduce a temperature series from publicly accessible data”. Slippery as always, but an embarrassing exposure of his grandiose claims.
  • Bob Watson said the reviews had high integrity and robust conclusions, accused the media of getting carried away with “skeptic” allegations.
  • Doug Keenan claimed that “bogus fraudulent research is rife throughout science.” and “AGW is a fraud.” Clinging to his paranoid denialist views I guess.
  • Fred Pearce, looking for a way to climb back down from his gullible reporting, called the  saga is more a tragedy than a conspiracy and said that the CRU inquiries were well conducted.

Nothing like getting the spin in as fast as possible… Three inquiries (four if you count the tangential Penn State inquiry) completely clear the CRU climate scientists of any deception and yet the volume and fervor of the denialist accusations of “whitewash” and conspiracy simply rises.

The louder you say it the righter you are Anthony?

Oxburgh’s 5 page Climategate book report gets a failing grade

Oxburgh’s 5 page Climategate book report gets a failing grade“. Oh, here’s a shocker. Anthony Watts tells us that the latest report on Climategate, by the Oxburgh Panel, is worthless. A whitewash!!!!

The Global Warming Policy Foundation, the denialist operation that is home to such notables as Ian Pilmer and Nigel Lawson, call it “Another Unsatisfactory Rushed Job“.

Steven McIntyre is still fixated on a certain word, he declares “Oxburgh’s Trick to Hide the Trick”.

Could it be because the report exonerates the Climate Research Unit and Dr. Phil Jones (emphasis mine)?

We saw no evidence of any deliberate scientific malpractice in any of the work of the Climatic Research Unit and had it been there we believe that it is likely that we would have detected it.  Rather we found a small group of dedicated if slightly disorganised researchers who were ill-prepared for being the focus of public attention. As with many small research groups their internal procedures were rather informal.

Or because of how they describe the assaults of denialists like Steven McIntyre (emphasis mine)?

We have not exhaustively reviewed the external criticism of the dendroclimatological work, but it seems that some of these criticisms show a rather selective and uncharitable approach to information made available by CRU.  They seem also to reflect a lack of awareness of the ongoing and dynamic nature of chronologies, and of the difficult circumstances under which university research is sometimes conducted.

2012-07-19 Update: Norfolk police have called off their investigation for procedural reasons, but state:

“However, as a result of our inquiries, we can say that the data breach was the result of a sophisticated and carefully orchestrated attack on the CRU’s data files, carried out remotely via the internet. The offenders used methods common in unlawful internet activity to obstruct inquiries. There is no evidence to suggest that anyone working at or associated with the University of East Anglia was involved in the crime.”