Monthly Archives: November 2011

Watt won’t they stoop to?

We’ve reported a bit about the BEST study, and Anthony Watt’s frantic fault-finding after having promised – months ago – to accept the results even if they proved him wrong.  (They did.  Resoundingly).

A brief summary of the last few weeks’ climate news might read:

  • BEST proves skeptics wrong – in spite of being run by a skeptic
  • Attribution studies provide link between extreme weather events and global warming
  • Re-insurers run the numbers and say: we’re in trouble

With floods in Thailand which disrupted the hard disk supply line internationally, increasing seismic activity and tsunami risks across the globe, a dustbowl in Texas, and several attribution studies starting to make the statistical link between extreme weather and AGW, you’d think denial would be a dead duck.  (It’s impossible to call it skepticism any more).  With the (literal) deluge of evidence recently, it’s hard to believe that anyone would be willing to embarass themselves publicly to that extent.

But no, the deniers keep going, and Watts’ denialism knows no bounds.  These days I tend to stay away from WUWT in the interests of keeping my blood pressure down, but today I followed a link from Climate Progress. 

The first thinkg I noticed was something about a link between the Aurora Borealis and temperatures.  The poor man.  We’ve had clouds, the sun, ENSO, and, of course the moribund Urban Heat Island effect, none of which have had much impact on the major scientific findings, so now he has a new axe to grind.  At least this one’s pretty.   (Note: if you read denier blogs, you could be forgiven for thinking that climate science ignores natural variability completely.  It doesn’t.  It simply takes it into account, quantifies its effect and refines the understanding of how much warming is caused by anthropogenically-produced greenhouse gases.  The answer remains: most of it.) 

But the link from Climate Progress was a response to a different meme.  Pennsylvania State University (where climate scientist Michael Mann works) has been embroiled in a paedophilia scandal, and the university’s president has resigned.  Although this is nothing whatsoever to do with Mann, who has been exonerated from any wrongdoing in the Climategate faux-scandal in no fewer than seven independent enquiries, the climate denial blogs have made the connection

As one commenter on Climate Progress said, the denier bloggers have “waddled so low into the scum that they are now armpit deep.”  I couldn’t have put it better myself.  This is just sleaze, and it says a great deal more about how desperate the deniers are getting than it does about Mann or any other climate scientist who is subjected to this poison.

All was not lost.  One commentator, who apparently thought it was vomit-inducing, linked to Prof Scott Mandia’s page soliciting funds for the Climate Scientists Legal Defence Fund, which is designed to lodge an action against people who harass climate scientists with unreasonable requests for information under FOIA legislation and effectively slow down their work (this, incidentally, is the background to Climategate.)

Thanks, Peter-whoever-you-are.  I donated.