Anthony Watts

Mon, 2011-04-04 19:04Jim Hoggan
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Paul Krugman's Must-Read NY Times Op-Ed On Immoral Climate Denial

New York Times op-ed columnist Paul Krugman has a must-read piece today noting the “cynical careerism” of climate deniers who won’t even acknowledge the truth when one of “their own” discovers that climate science is sound.  Singling out Anthony Watts as an example of this head-in-the-sand approach, Krugman notes that Watts and other climate skeptics changed their tune about the Koch-funded Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project when its lead researcher testified in front of Congress last week that climate change is real and man-made.  It wasn’t what the skeptics - or the anti-science GOP - wanted to hear.

UC Berkeley physicist Richard Muller - whose reputation as a climate skeptic and funding by a Koch foundation the Republicans likely assumed made him one of “theirs” - instead shocked the hearing by reporting that his group’s preliminary results find a global warming trend “very similar to that reported by the prior groups.”

Krugman notes that Anthony Watts had recently “praised the Berkeley project and piously declared himself ‘prepared to accept whatever result they produce, even if it proves my premise wrong.’”

But then of course when Professor Muller announced the preliminary results of his study upholding the scientific basis of climate disruption, Watts ridiculed the hearing Muller attended as “post normal science political theater.”

Mon, 2010-09-27 12:22Richard Littlemore
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WUWT: Just Enough Information to Mislead

You can’t beat Anthony Watts’ team at WUWT (either Watts Up With That or We Use Wishful Thinking, it’s hard to tell) for the delicate selection and presentation of “evidence” to argue that climate isn’t changing.

Here, for example, is a post that trumpets a Nature article on the climate effects of the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation. WUWT also credits the reputable German publication Der Spiegel as an intermediate source for this information and then posts the graph (left) as easy visual proof that what’s happening in climate today is all part of a normal up and down.

But have a close look at that graph. First, it doesn’t come from the Nature paper or from Der Spiegel. It was cobbled together on a denier site run by an engineer named Alan Cheetham.  Second, the yellow lines showing a downward resumption on the right side are based on - well, actually, on no data points whatever. While Cheetham may have a crystal ball, a touching optimism or a cavalier disregard for objective presentation, he has no evidence at all.

But he has a fan in Anthony Watts. Watt does that tell you?

Tue, 2010-06-22 16:45Brendan DeMelle
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Christopher Monckton's Lies Exposed (Again) By The Guardian

In yet another brutal take-down of ‘Lord’ Christopher Monckton’s claims to royalty and relevance, Bob Ward at The Guardian exposes the fabrications Monckton has whipped up to endear Margaret Thatcher fans to his own ‘work’ as a climate skeptic.

Ward’s piece, “Thatcher becomes latest recruit in Monckton’s climate sceptic campaign,” illustrates again the main point that DeSmogBlog readers know all too well - that climate denialism is about politics, not science.

Ward, who is policy and communications director at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at London School of Economics and Political Science, was inspired to write the piece after reading Monckton’s outlandish claims in a blog posted on Anthony Watts’ blog.

In his guest blog on WattsUpWithThat, Monckton claims that, among all the advisers to Margaret Thatcher in the mid-80s, he was “the only one who knew any science.” 

Monckton is not a scientist by any stretch, he holds a journalism degree. Apart from his recent paid speeches at tea parties and climate conferences as an anti-science crusader, his career in daily news and tabloid journalism has had nothing to do with science.  But that hasn’t stopped him from pretending to be one. He’s like the fake doctor in the 1940’s advertisements who really, really wants you to trust him that cigarettes are safe, and it’s okay to spray DDT on your kids.

Wed, 2010-06-16 02:20Morgan Goodwin
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Sceptics On the Road: Watts in Australia

This week and next week, prominent climate sceptic blogger Anthony Watts is touring Australia to help promote the country’s newest political party, the Climate Sceptics party.  Single issue parties are not unusual in Australia, and the Sceptics have been working to create a “new centrist party” to push for a “truthful, common-sense approach to [climate change] and all issues.”

The Climate Sceptics turned heads in January when they had to beg their members for an extra $20,000 to pay Christopher Monckton’s stipend as part of $100,000 in tour fees.  This begs the question: where does the cash come from to pay for the speaking tours of Australia? 

DeSmogBlog asked the Australian Electoral Commission if the party had registered itself yet and reported on any income.  Unfortunately, as a new party, they do not need to file their finances until October.  Furthermore, the sceptics party website clearly lists all the rules about what donations need to be disclosed and which ones do not (donations less than $11,200 can be anonymous under Australian law.)

Watts’ tour is being billed as a tool to fight the Australian government’s weak and industry-friendly Emissions Trading Scheme, which it recently put on hold for about 3 years.  Leon Ashby, the president of the Sceptics party, says “these presentations will make you think hard about the gap between the facts, public perception and where our political leaders want to take us.”

Thu, 2010-01-21 18:37Mitchell Anderson
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Urban Heat Island Myth is Dead

Another climate change denier myth - this one a favorite of Anthony Watts and his Watts Up With That” blog - has just bit the dust.

Many skeptics for years have sought to explain away decades of climate research by showing slides of weather station thermometers sited next to heating vents or surrounded by asphalt.

This much-touted “urban heat island effect” was supposed to trump all those fancy graphs and equations that egghead scientists were fixated on. Except it’s not true.

A recent peer-reviewed paper in the Journal of Geophysical Research looked at data from 114 weather stations from across the US over the last twenty years and compared measurements from locations that were well sited and those that weren’t.

They did find an overall bias, but it was towards cooling rather warming.

According to the authors,

the bias is counter intuitive to photographic documentation of poor exposure because associated instrument changes have led to an artificial negative (“cool”) bias in maximum temperatures and only a slight positive (“warm”) bias in minimum temperatures.”

Oops.

Fri, 2009-11-20 13:33Kevin Grandia
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Climate contrarians spinning hard with stolen email files

I’ll admit, as someone who spends most days looking for leaked documents, the package of stolen emails and documents from the Climate Research Unit at East Anglia University is pretty juicy. Anything that provides insight into the inner-workings of your opponents is pretty much manna from heaven in this line of work.

I have been going through all the files today and I hate to disappoint but it just ain’t the scandal climate conspiracy theorists want it to be.

These emails are blissfully being spun by the climate contrarians as proof of some type of worldwide conspiracy by scientists to fake the climate change crisis. Michelle Malkin, who relishes Ann Coulter-esque statements, goes so far as to call it “the global warming scandal of the century.”

Right.

As Brad Johnson writes, it’s more likely proof that climate deniers are the crazed conspiracy theorists we always thought they were.

At the center of the conspiracy claim is a quote in a casual conversation between colleagues talking about Mike’s Nature “trick.”

They are referring to the Michael Mann hockey stick study from ten years ago that has been the subject of attacks by climate skeptic bloggers for many years now. In fact, it got so bad that the US National Academy of Sciences was called in by the US Senate to look further into the validity of the Mann study.

Mon, 2009-09-07 08:38Peter Sinclair
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Climate Denial Crock of the Week/1998 Revisited

One of the enduring myths of climate denialism is that global warming stopped sometime in the last decade. I see it in the blaring headlines of pseudoscience websites, in comments on my videos, even some of our most “distinguished” journalists have been taken in.

Tue, 2009-07-28 21:13Kevin Grandia
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Climate Crock of the Week: What's Up with Anthony Watts [take 2]

Okay, let’s try this again.

Peter Sinclair producer of the well-known “Climate Crock of the Week” video series, posted a video debunking weatherman Anthony Watts who runs a Climate Denier Den also known as his Watt’s Up With That blog.

The video was auto-scrubbed by YouTube after Watts claimed the video broke YouTube’s copyright rules. The video has since been reviewed by a number of US copyright experts and (big surprise) there appears to be nothing that could be construed as anything but fair use. 

This whole situation has raised the ire of even some of the more ardent commenters on DeSmogBlog who normally disagree with pretty much everything we say on this site. One such commenter, Rick James wrote:

“I have to admit it doesn’t look good for the skeptic side when something gets scrubbed like this. Watts loses some stature here unless he can post something convincing about why he did it on his blog. Silence won’t get it done.”

One could speculate that Watts had a problem with the clips Sinclair used of Watts being interviewed by Glenn Beck on Fox News (Watts formerly worked as a weatherman for a Fox News affiliate), but that would be pretty weak given that Watts has no problem excerpting large swaths of print articles like this one posted tonight from the BBC on his own website.

As I have asked on two posts here on DeSmog and on Huffington Post: tell me Mr. Watts, what part of this video is it that gives you the right to have it removed from the public discourse on climate change? You can email me at desmogblog [at] gmail [dot] com.

Here’s the video again, reposted on YouTube:

Mon, 2009-07-27 15:54Kevin Grandia
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Climate Crock Anthony Watts Scrubs YouTube Video

UPDATE: You can download a copy of Sinclair’s Climate Crock: What’s Up With Watts here (39MB format: .mov) - it has been taking forever to get up on Vimeo.

So what do you do when someone posts a YouTube video saying you’re a crock? One way is to complain and get it wiped clean off the ‘inter-tubes.’

A video called “Climate Crock of the Week” about head-in-the-sand global warming denier Anthony Watts was posted last week on YouTube by Peter Sinclair who has been running the “Climate Crock” series for quite sometime now.

The video was making the blogosphere rounds, getting a lot of comments on YouTube and on a post I did over the weekend here on DeSmogBlog as well as Huffington. And then “poof” this happened: 

The video was removed after Watts complained under YouTube’s Copyright Infringement guidelines. This has become known as a DMCA Takedown - with the DMCA being the US copyright law used to criminalize anyone infringing and/or circumventing copyrighted works.

Sat, 2009-07-25 13:52Kevin Grandia
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Climate Crock of the Week: What's Up With Watts? [flame war edition]

NOTE: Anothy Watts has demanded that YouTube remove Sinclair’s video. This is the notice Sinclair received from YouTube: “This is to notify you that we have removed or disabled access to the following material as a result of a third-party notification by Anthony Watts Surfacestations.org claiming that this material is infringing:”

The Watts Up With That readers are an “emotional” little gang of online trolls that have way too much time on their hands - with way too little science - trying to prove that climate change is nothing to worry about.

Peter Sinclair (who has recently become a contributor here on DeSmog) did his Climate Crock of the Week video on Watts. You can check it out below and maybe after take a swing by the YouTube version to see the massive flame war that the video has provoked.

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