Over at WUWT, AW wondered Is it time for an “official” climate skeptics organization, one that produces a policy statement, issues press releases, and provides educational guidance? To me, that looked like a fairly crude attempt to monetise WUWT and provide some kind of career path for himself. But, it would be a big step, and risk humiliating failure. So he vacillated and started a poll. He doesn't know his own mind, perhaps someone else does.

The results are now in and they present a quandry: there's a clear majority of votes in favour, but a clear majority of those who could actually be bothered to comment against. What that says - but what AW doesn't point out - is that the fire-and-forget unthinking multitude are the support group. That's not the sort of support you want. This resembles oh-so-much the "shall I sue them?" post - all the yahoos said "yeah, yeah go for it" but he didn't dare.

There's also a fairly perceptive comment that AW quotes, but clearly doesn't understand:

It’s become a social activity, a recreational pastime, a macho ego trip, a catharsis for a lot of tangential frustrations. Log in quickly, hurl an insult or two and surf onto the next brawl. Underneath the most combative blogs, out of hundreds of comments, barely a single digit percentage of the comments even reference the original blog topic, whatever it was.


* Sou takes the piss out of the "nuclear reactor" post.
* KK wonders

More like this

Popcorn time again, it seems. Starting at the end, Anthony Watts is "threatening" to sue Greg Laden. Although from that, its hard to see why. Going back to the bottom, GL originally took the piss out of AW for believing in sky fairies. Phil Plait ("No, Diatoms Have Not Been Found in a Meteorite")…
Ah, the (self) pity of it. AW has a long lame series of excuses for why he went all the way to Bristol to hear Michael Mann talk but did not ask, or even try to ask, any questions. Sou takes it to pieces, but you really don't need that. Obviously it wasn't necessary to ask a question in order to…
Hard on the heels of Wegman's farcical attempt to sue Mashey comes Watts's incompetent attempt to meat-puppet wiki. If you want to see my comments at WUWT that didn't survive moderation, you'll need to read stoat spam or just imagine them; I said nothing that wasn't obvious. My favourite, I think…
An interesting little saga. WUWT had a post up as An interesting issue with ice core data. That's a link to the webcitation, beacuse as of now the post has been removed from WUWT, on the grounds that it was utter drivel. Which is correct - it was. Pretty well the whole thing was error, but for…

There are already plenty of "official climate sceptic" orgs.

In the US they call the biggest one 'the Republican Party'.
In Canada it's 'the Conservative Party'.
In the UK you've got yer UKIP.
In Australia...

They issue press releases, and policy statements.
Educational guidance, not so much.

But AW should definitely go for it.
Anything that keeps the rubes stuck to their keyboards is very likely to reduce their use of internal combustion engines, and thereby their carbon-footprint.

By The Very Rever… (not verified) on 25 Apr 2014 #permalink

Even worse, given how divided the septics are on the facts you are going to get a lot of ragequits whenever that organizations gives the "wrong" explanation for why AGW isn't a problem. Admit that CO2 causes the greenhouse effect and the dragonslayers drop out, claim that it doesn't and lots of others will walk out in disgust.

The only reason their movement works is because for the most part they don't try to create a unified view on the science but in true post modern spirit let everyone have their own opinion.

[Now you mention it, that's something I should have looked at when I looked at the NIPCC report: whether they actually try to present a viewpoint, or just attack other peoples'. But, I tried to avoid reading too much of it -W]

You can buy the domain.

If the pseudo-skeptics would discus amongst each other and be able to come up with their consensus position, I would take them more seriously and would be more willing to read their [mod, snipped].

By Victor Venema (not verified) on 25 Apr 2014 #permalink

The furry WUWT fans shown above will provide 2,000,000 clicks a month for peanuts

#6 Russell.


By WhiteBeard (not verified) on 25 Apr 2014 #permalink

In the Salby blog storm last year
Internet handles {Colin Henderson, Thinking Scientist, KenB, DCA} offered/pledged funding for Salby and
and {tumetuestumefaisdubien1, metamars} suggested crowdfunding, all based on an unmsupported email to pseudoskeptic bloggers.

Somehow, I suspect thsoe funds didn't get there. A few people bought Salby's book in support, although I'd be curious to know how many had the math and physics background needed. :-)

By John Mashey (not verified) on 25 Apr 2014 #permalink

Tony Willard's supply is sour.

By Steve Bloom (not verified) on 25 Apr 2014 #permalink

I think it would be a great idea, I suspect discussions with skeptics would be a lot shorter and more productive if they were to actually nail their colours to the mast and stat explicitly what their scientific position actually is on the key topics. However as they can't even agree that the rise in atmospheric CO2 is anthropogenic (which is known with *very* high certainty), the project is doomed to failure, which is why I suspect there were so many against it.

By Dikran Marsupial (not verified) on 26 Apr 2014 #permalink

Isn't Heartland already doing the actions Anthony discusses on behalf of the BS community?

By climatehawk1 (not verified) on 26 Apr 2014 #permalink

Sou at HotWhopper has the best name for Anthony's new group:

That Keith Kloor article is a very sad item. If somebody accuses a person of being defensive, that person cannot and may not defend. It's difficult to know how to be both reasonable and honest in the midst of the phony skeptic mishigass. He makes so much sense in many ways, and then undermines it with his vendetta against the many of the most audible voices for reality.

By Susan Anderson (not verified) on 27 Apr 2014 #permalink

How about the Neo-Venusians for a name?

It is of course impossible to really know what someone thinks, one can only analyze actual behavior.

a. Those who reject the main consensus (getting warmer, and we're doing it, and under BAU it will cause much damage) and often called {contrarians, deniers, dismissives (as per Six Americas studies) might fit in several categories:

a.1) Real skeptics may be unfamiliar with climate science, say they don't know much and they doubt it ... but if they care at all, they look into it and usually come to support the consensus. A good example was Michael Shermer.
Hence, this tends to be a transient status, since any real skeptic would ask people and look for credible sources.

a.2) People nonskeptical on the topic, and who are exposed to a steady stream of selective or misleading claims from someone they trust, or news sources, or because they happen to wander into the blogs that do this.
Perhaps this status can be changed if exposed to credible information, but if not, it is more likely that the next fits:

a.3) Those who go much further into pseudoskepticism a term with a long, well-established history. Again, one cannot know what anybody thinks, but I'd speculate that the unpaid vast majority strongly believes this, whereas I am less sure of some of the minority who get paid for it. Changing from this state seems extremely rare.

The ontology is:

a. dismissive (from observed statements) on this topic
- a.1 real skeptic
- a.2 nonskeptic
- a.3 pseudoskeptic

It can be very hard to distinguish among these from a single statement, but much easier if one can see a trajectory over time in response to new information, especially if it challenges what they said. There is pretty good evidence that many the more vocal participants in dismissive blogs exhibit strong pseudoskeptical behavior, although some are not so strong, and some are commendably able to show skeptical thinking on related topics.

b. accepts mainstream consensus
- b.1 real (scientific) skeptics who know the science well enough and typically have explored the arguments against.

- b.2 nonskeptics who accepted it because of other beliefs, and occasionally switchbecause some strong pseudoskeptic challenges them and shakes their beliefs. Rare, but happens.

By John Mashey (not verified) on 27 Apr 2014 #permalink

Helas!--the plight
Of your basic

"What is it 'bout
The 'little guy'
That he'll not our
flim-flam wares buy?"

Bemoan the hive's
Best smarty-pants
Anxious for their
Green research grants

'Midst "Amen!" wails
Of eco-claques
And Gore-groupie

And worry-wart chats
That lack a clue
Just how one might
The helots screw


So what's with you
Pathetic dorks
That you avoid
What really works?

Want to sucker
The hoi-polloi
With any ol'
Hive rip-off ploy?

Well if surefire
Your "hooks" you'd sink
And gull poor saps
With your group-think

Then guide your cons
By this slick rule
Which always will
The peons fool

And morph any
Headless chickens
Into headless


Practice first the
Hum-bug you'd preach
And only then
For wallets reach

For coolie-trash
Follow leaders
Not hypocrite
Pig-trough feeders

You in fact make it appear actually simple along with your presentation but I locate this subject to be actually something which I believe I may possibly never recognize. It seems too complicated and quite broad for me. I

By Casey Laughbaum (not verified) on 28 Apr 2014 #permalink

John should accordingly note that my critique of the innumerate and since redacted rate-of-extinction graph in the first editions of The Earth In The Balance appeared in The Skeptical Inquirer

Wheee... first Curry, now Watts, have picked up on a paper discussing an apparent slowdown in sea level rise. They both object to the authors proposal to use an ENSO correction which eliminates the apparent slowdown.

Of course, since the paper's data ends in 2011, there seems to be an easy way to test whether or not the apparent slowdown was related to a big 2011 La Nina, which would be to look at the next couple years of data... but, nah, that would be too difficult, wouldn't it?

(mind you, the Curry post also reproduces the AR5 WGI SLR graphic which, in my opinion, exaggerates past variability in SLR by including the Jevrejeva paper whose methodology realclimate fairly soundly picked apart)

But are Septics funded by Stink Tanks?

Dikran Marsupial, from the link, a new meaning for No True Scotsman?:
Scottish Sceptic says:
May 1, 2014 at 7:11 am
I’m sorry the title is really stupid.
Because if they don’t hold water then they are not skeptical arguments.

It would never work. There is no cohesive alternative view to the mainstream one. Any attempt to build one would just lead to people leaving when their pet theory, be it OMG ITS THE INSECTS or ABIOTIC OIL, wasn't included.

Oh, there's a cohesive alternative:


Find one, including Spencer, who doesn't believe that.

By Hank Roberts (not verified) on 02 May 2014 #permalink

Hank: "


Find one, including Spencer, who doesn’t believe that."

What about the professional deniers employed by the stink tanks? Do they actually buy the crap they're peddling?

By Mal Adapted (not verified) on 02 May 2014 #permalink

"Do they actually buy the crap they’re peddling?"

When I used to work in environmental law, the good side that is ;) , I talked to one of the senior partners about the lawyers on the anti-environmental side. He said many them deep down knew what they were doing was wrong, but some of the anti-environment lawyers truly believed what they were doing was the right thing, and they were the most dangerous kind.

I can't say who, but I'm sure some of the professional deniers truly believe they are correct. They are probably the most motivated to keep peddling their nonsense to the public.

By Joseph O'Sullivan (not verified) on 02 May 2014 #permalink


Sure, Roy has a list, but can he get his clients to read it ?

I especially like "the non-rectilineal harmonic regressivity of the constant ..."

Makes perfect sense to me :)

By Kevin O'Neill (not verified) on 03 May 2014 #permalink

I don't think we should believe him.

By David B. Benson (not verified) on 04 May 2014 #permalink

Might be useful to categorize them according to which step of the denial ladder they occupy.

You know:
"It's cooling"
"It's wiggles"
"It's unavoidable"

By Hank Roberts (not verified) on 12 May 2014 #permalink

Evidence of a trend developing:



[Nice -W]

By Hank Roberts (not verified) on 19 May 2014 #permalink…

"... the country’s information aggregators are picking up on the urgency: the “news” is getting better at disseminating facts and ideas about climate change.

For me, the sudden flood of climate change stories generates relief, not terror: the world is finally acknowledging, on front pages and in top stories, the truth that scientists have known for a long time. Media representations are aligning with reality, even if that reality is still invisible or only barely discernible to non-scientists. I feel less alone.

But how climate media affects me doesn’t matter. I’m the choir.

What matters is whether the new density of climate news is reaching people beyond the core of climate nerds and, more importantly, whether the new information is causing people to change the way they think and behave. Unfortunately, I don’t see much evidence that the heightened volume (in both senses) of climate warnings is having much impact — yet.

The right wing pundits respond by adding a ring to their increasingly outrageous denial circus, as a core of them will continue to do come hell or (literally) high water. They are paid to deny and are therefore a lost cause. ..."

By Hank Roberts (not verified) on 21 May 2014 #permalink…

... the Environmental Policy Alliance, a group with ties to prominent conservative donors including the Lynde and Harry Bradley and the Searle Foundations, has run full-page print ads this week in Politico and USA Today comparing “Obama’s EPA” to terrorists and anarchists who would shut down a quarter of the nation’s electric grid....

... The Environmental Policy Alliance, a subsidiary of another group called the Center for Organizational Research and Education (CORE) that is run out of the D.C.-based PR firm Berman and Company, has been running a campaign against the EPA since March. In an earlier incarnation CORE had been named The Center for Consumer Freedom, an organization originally formed by Phillip Morris to fight smoking bans in restaurants.

By Hank Roberts (not verified) on 06 Jun 2014 #permalink