How do I know? I'd like to say I have hacked his email account, email@example.com but that hasn't happened. Instead, like trying to read the vacuous but dangerous mind of Vladimir Putin, I have to examine his every utterance, dissect his behaviour and try to discern his motives.
And having spent many a spare minute looking deeply (as deeply as his followers examine things) at the posts on his site, I can only assume that he is working assiduously to support the science behind climate change - that's the real, consensus, 97%, science - by humiliating the deniers by showing up how stupid they really are.
The penny dropped a few weeks back. Well, actually last year when Ronald Voisin made some claims about insect anal emissions about the same time that someone (I can't remember who but it might have been Willis Eschenbach) made some dumb comment about where all the bodies were for the animals that were going extinct. Same place that all those road kill bodies end up going - decomposed and recycled. Nothing mysterious, other than that someone claiming to be intelligent ends up looking stupid.
|Roy Spencer holds up graph showing how well Anthony's strategy is working - note the sharp increase at the right hand end|
Anthony's plan works like this. Allow someone with a crackpot idea to post it on his site. Voisin's series of articles on insects (archived) gives a classic example of this. In it, clear as day, he suggested controlling climate by reducing the population of insects and microbes by 6%. It would be patronising to say that he's an engineer, just like Manuel is from Barcelona, but no biologist would ever consider the possibility of controlling populations of microbes in the way that Voisin meant it. When confronted on the stupidity of the idea, he ran so fast backwards that he encountered himself coming the other way in a parallel universe. You'd think he would learn.
But he doesn't, apparently, because he has recently been thinking about what the centre of the Earth might be like. Could the core act like a nuclear reactor (archived)? I think we can answer that one - no would be quite likely. There are plenty of unanswered questions about the Earth's core, but that's because we have to infer things about the core from the information we can deduce from indirect observations and, whisper this, models. But as a nuclear reactor. My first question is how does the fissible material get concentrated enough to allow fission but catastrophic fission, as in a bomb, not happen? And I'm not an engineer or nuclear physicist.
But it's not Voisin's piece I am interested in so much as a few of the comments. They provide me with evidence that Watts is running a stealth science site aimed at killing the denier memes by exposing their stupidity, and that of their proponents, to the light of reason.
Let's look at this one:
Velikovsky. For those who have never encountered Velikovsky, he was an early form of science denier nut (he's dead, I can libel him all I like) who was briefly popular in the 1950s in pre-Von Daniken days, for taking bits of archaeology and ancient literature and totally screwing around with it to produce a pile of drivel that looked somewhat convincing because it referenced piles of real research. Real scientists, historians and archaeologists pointed out how ingloriously wrong Velikovsky was in choosing to alter planetary dynamics in order to preserve a "truth" inside ancient myths.
I'm not going to try to do any calculations to work out how much heat was needed to evaporate all that water but I am going to question the notion of how rapidly it happened. I suspect, and I reckon all scientists who work in this field would agree, that you could outpace the growing ice sheets by standing still most of the time and taking a pace back every few days, if not weeks.
Look, more Velikovsky. And notice the dig about " such phenomena as electric charge, electro-magnetism and plasma physics" which are presumably known to armchair scientists like Slee. Rather think not. And it would be useful to have some idea of how plasma physics, for example, has anything to do with Ice Ages, but I suspect that is for a future comment. Since science currently explains Ice Ages pretty well using the established physics, it doesn't need to include these other effects. If it isn't necessary, use Ockham's Razor.
If the stupid were not obvious enough from Slee's comment, let's briefly alight on a comment from someone called ladylifegrows. The important point is this:
The theory was true before we had a mechanism for it. That is important, because the next breakthrough is mind-boggling: the diameter of the Earth is expanding. In the time of Pangea, it was around 70% of its current diameter. The Cambrian and Devotion life were sea-bottom and mid-ocean because there was no land. By the Permian, the first swampy land areas came to be and amphibia and certain plants colonized the land as soon as it thrust up above the waters.Difficult to know where to begin. Devotion is, I assume Devonian. No life on land in the Cambrian or the Devonian? Not so fast. There is compelling evidence for land plants in the Cambrian and even that some animals walked on land. By the Devonian, which ended nearly 200 million years after the beginning of the Cambrian, we find a thriving terrestrial ecosystem, with well established plants and plenty of small arthropods scurrying around. M'lady doesn't know what she's talking about.
Questions of ice ages and geological time will become easier to resolve when Earth scientists understand the real nature of the change from Pangea to several continents.
And was the Earth at the time of Pangea (300 to 200 million years ago) a mere 70% its current diameter. No.
With these levels of scientific ignorance and stupidity, we should be welcoming Watts's efforts at bringing them to light and allowing them to be ritually humiliated by those of us whose command of the Internet enables us to go to other sites and do something that is called "fact checking". In so doing, and putting our results on that self-same Internet, we are adding to the sum of human knowledge, educating the majority of the science deniers and converting just a few at a time over to the world of reality. For this, Anthony Watts is my hero. I mean, a few weeks ago he even did the humiliation but himself.
And to make it even better, why not set up a club for the loony deniers, posing as a learned society to which, presumably you must at least register, therefore giving your personal details to the evil climate scientists because, as we now know, Anthony Watts is on their side. Why else would Tosh draw that graphic and put Anthony on the scale close to the Michael Mann end of the scale?
|He's been warning us all along|
Anthony - you've been found out. Perhaps it would be best to admit that you have been fooling all these people all along. By hosting the potty ideas of Christopher Monckton, allowing Roy Spencer to dribble any scientific reputation he had down the drain, enabling a whole series of engineers to show that engineering isn't science, and an entire busload of commenters, moderators and their socks drawers to out themselves as complete idiots, you have advanced the cause of climate science more than any other single person, and I include the sainted Al Gore in that.
I think you deserve the Nobel Prize. Since it can go to three people at a time, perhaps sharing it with Michael Mann and James Hansen would be a fair reflection of your accomplishment.
But I must admit that your strategy is probably too subtle for others to appreciate. That's why I've written this piece. You deserve the highest praise for allowing idiotic and ill-thought out ideas to be shown on the world's most popular climate science site(TM) so that anyone can see how idiotic and ill-thought out they are. But it just goes to show how wrong I've been all this time.
And that's satire, Chris.