Comment fakery at WUWT

toss I must admit that I'm surprised, because up till now I've not detected this, or heard of anyone complain of it. Routine censorship, of course, but fakery is a new thing. So:

Potholes In Their Arguments is a post on the recent IMF report. I put in a comment pointing out that it was a bit late to the party, others already having said the same thing (and, I didn't add, had said it with less verbosity; the prose there is somewhat prolix). That got an unexciting reply, to which I responded:

William Connolley Your comment is awaiting moderation.
May 29, 2015 at 12:17 pm

Plenty of other people got there ahead of you; try… for example. Ignorance of prior art is part of what’s holding you lot back.

Notice the date and time; that's because I cut-n-pasted it straight from the WUWT page after I submitted it. And kept a copy of it, as I've learnt to do.

Imagine my surprise when I read the reply, from Willis Eschenbach May 29, 2015 at 2:17 pm:

William Connolley May 29, 2015 at 12:17 pm

Plenty of other people got there ahead of you; try… for example."

Thanks for an interesting article on the total global sea ice coverage, William. However, I fear I don’t see the relevance to the current discussion...

And now I look at "my comment" on the WUWT page, I discover that it doesn't say what I wrote. Someone has faked in the wrong link. Oddly enough, my subsequent complaint of fakery didn't get published.

This seems to me to be below barrel-scraping from AW and his merry gang of clowns. I've learnt that they're often so desperate to "win" that they need to censor those with unwelcome views; but actually faking comments I would formerly have said was beneath even them.


I wondered if I'd somehow made a mistake, implausible as it seems. But no; they really had faked it. How can you tell, for 100% sure, even if you really want to deny it? Because the original has now been silently restored (sigh; now switched back to the original fake). Just to prove how incompetent they are, though, the response to the original fake is still up: here's an archive (sigh, again; no, that's not a useful archive) and screen capture:



* …into the bucket of jellied eels
* A child’s garden of wikipedia, part I
* Is dead?
* Regret theory in practice - Bronte Captial.
* The now-retracted Science paper on gay canvassing: he lied about the funding of his study to give it more credibility - um, you could see how that would work.
* No, blog posts cannot replace scientific articles -VV

More like this

Mostly misc. I start with this erg screenshot, which I hasten to add is not mine, though that will be obvious to the cognoscenti immeadiately, or indeed to anyone who has sweated out 2k and got not even close to 6:06.8 - I can't even quite manage 7:10 for 2k, let alone for three times as long.…
Crandles kindly reminded me that I had three £100 bets with him; they're formalised here (an earlier version at £67 each is here), as: Crandles offers 3 separate bets on the average of [2012, 2013 and 2014] (to be above/below 4.294, I take the high side), of [2013, 2014 and 2015] (4.119, ditto) and…
At this time of the year, as I cycle past the rape fields (this isn't a reference to some Balkan horror, just the plant), I take note of the dying of the yellow, for it signifies that the spring recolte is once again due. I measure my life by the passing of such seasons: the winter league; tideway…
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…

Why do you waste your time with WUWT? (There's actually also a non-altruistic case for not wasting time at WUWT.)

[Ha. Good question. Firstly, altruism, probably in the Hobbesian sense. Secondly, fun. But neither makes any sense if its not possible to talk; so I'll probably give up at this point -W]

By Martin Gisser (not verified) on 29 May 2015 #permalink

Oops, delete the non! (I'm neither dyslexic nor dyscalculatoric or dyslogotoric... but often confuse +/- and left/right...)

By Martin Gisser (not verified) on 29 May 2015 #permalink

..."comment has been returned to its original wording."
It never happened!

I hope Sou collected all of this. It's priceless.

Three possibilities: Malice, incompetence, or malicious incompetence. I call choice #3. That could be the website's subheading: WUWT: Malicious Incompetence.

By Robert Murphy (not verified) on 29 May 2015 #permalink

This is really disturbing. The only way it could have happened was deliberate misrepresentation; it's not like it could have been a copy-and-paste error.

By Raymond Arritt (not verified) on 29 May 2015 #permalink

Weasels like to play with their food.

By Eli Rabett (not verified) on 29 May 2015 #permalink

"but actually faking comments I would formerly have said was beneath even them."

Why would you expect them holding different standards for their own comments and visitor comments? It's a nonsense factory they're keeping up there. Can't have it ruined for occasional factoids published by themselves or other people.

Shall we see if it's turtles all the way down?
oneillsinwisconsin Your comment is awaiting moderation.
May 29, 2015 at 8:53 pm
Stoat has the original of his comment screen captured.

“William Connolley Your comment is awaiting moderation.
May 29, 2015 at 12:17 pm

Plenty of other people got there ahead of you; try… for example. Ignorance of prior art is part of what’s holding you lot back.”

What was the purpose of altering his comment and then substituting a link other than the one he provided.

Oh, and I’ll screen capture *this* comment as well after submitting it :)

[You have appeared. I'm curious to see how they handle this. I suspect, by ignoring it, if they possibly can -W]

By Kevin ONeill (not verified) on 29 May 2015 #permalink

Should I be happy or sad that a link to one of my pieces gets censored there?

[You were too relevant, I fear. It was necessary that the whole post not be totally pointless -W]

By Tim Worstall (not verified) on 30 May 2015 #permalink

"And now I look at “my comment” on the WUWT page, I discover that it doesn’t say what I wrote."

Not uncommon. The same's happened with me when a link was changed on another (UK) blog. Manchild pussies.

[This is the first I've heard of it. What was the blog where it happened to you? -W]

"but that CO2 is not the only driver of climate as some would have us believe. "

Straw man sophistry, much?

I think your comment was homogenized so that it more closely accords with nearby comments.

By David Sanger (not verified) on 30 May 2015 #permalink

I am not sure whether I get your update. In the archive you link to in the update and on the current WUWT homepage the link in "your" comment and in Willis response goes to NASA sea ice.

[Yes, you're right; I think the archive must be just-off-time; I definitely saw the fixed version. Or so I think. But now I can't prove it, sadly.

I could take the lesson of always screen shotting the things. But actually, if it comes to that, the lesson is easier: just don't comment there -W]

By Victor Venema … (not verified) on 30 May 2015 #permalink

as per VV. not sure I am following this.

your 1st and 2nd comment are identical on the current wuwt post and the archive and screenshot you have given.

only different comment is that in your spam page, but this is easily faked, right? so not sure we can be 100% sure

[Yes, agreed; I can't prove this 100% -W]

You might consider a pharmacological explanation for your experience.

[I'm beginning to wonder. That doesn't of course explain how the link was correct when I cut-n-pasted it off the WUWT moderation screen, of course -W]

Whoops - Looks like my previous hasty cut/paste went awry :(

Since I am a regular user of the same archiving facility as William on a regular basis, I do have to agree that his technique looks as though it needs some improvement. If at some point WUWT did display his original link to the world at large it is not currently visible in the record, as far as my admittedly aging eyes can see.

Has The Stoat got a set of screenshots squirrelled away somewhere, both belt & braces coming in quite handy at moments such as this?

[Nope, I've fouled this up, and screenshot (and, it looks like) archived the wrong thing. So I have no evidence that they ever restored the true link. I only have my original cut-n-paste of my comment -W]

All you need to do is look at WE's reply to the previous (wrong link).

WE's wrong link response is proof that something is up at WUWT.

William Connolley May 29, 2015 at 10:23 am
Willis Eschenbach May 29, 2015 at 10:52 am
dbstealey May 29, 2015 at 11:55 am
dbstealey May 29, 2015 at 11:57 am
dbstealey May 29, 2015 at 11:59 am
William Connolley May 29, 2015 at 12:17 pm
Willis Eschenbach May 29, 2015 at 2:17 pm

"Thanks for an interesting article on the total global sea ice coverage, William. However, I fear I don’t see the relevance to the current discussion, or how that means that Mr. Taylor “got there ahead” of me. You sure you’re in the right thread?"

So, while I'm NOT suggesting whom might have done so (or am I), a known WUWT moderator was there posting just before William's comment, that particular individual left that particular WUWT comment thread, and hasn't been seen in that thread since (in the form of an actual post).

Kind of looks like a classic Hit and Run though.

By Everett F Sargent (not verified) on 30 May 2015 #permalink

"Nope, I’ve fouled this up, and screenshot (and, it looks like) archived the wrong thing"

That's something of a shame William. It would have been nice to have (almost!) irrefutable proof of such dirty doings at WUWT. I've certainly had comments binned, and "snipped" to change the message, but I don't ever recall suffering bare faced fakery.

I'll check my own archives when I have a spare 5 mins, but unless memory fails me (entirely feasible!) I fear nothing similar lies within.

The chicanery may have spread to the disabling of un-appreciated links at Bishop Hill,

[The Bishop censors worse than WUWT -W]

From my perch in NZ, WUWT (and others) are off-line. A DOS attack or something is going on. Possibly your problem was an early symptom of that, Stoat. Say, we deniers need a new mega-site for skepticism, will you volunteer, Stoat? :-)

@ Everett

Cant see what you are getting at. Are you sure you haven't got the comments mixed up in your head (happened to me a couple of times)?

The relevant comments are the last two

William Connolley May 29, 2015 at 12:17 pm (wrong link)
Willis Eschenbach May 29, 2015 at 2:17 pm (what u quote)

and all seems in order to me. Not saying it didn't happen, but can't really prove it.

But RC moderation.


In all honesty, even in your worst pharmacologically induced nightmares, can you imagine The Stoat posting a link to a Heartland Institute piece on global sea ice in that context?

Monckton never ceases to amaze: his latest Australian pal has extended revisionism to rewriting the Bible-- Who knew

"Coal made possible ...the flowering of the Church of England.
Thanks to coal, hymn books could be printed cheaply and thanks to coal there were trees left in the land to make the paper..."

Russell, you continue to delight (and Monckton to astound). What a mad bad dangerous world we inhabit.

I hear that Texas is blaming its floods on sin and sodomy. Is there no way to make stupidity it's own reward in a way that doesn't hurt the rest of us? (No don't answer, rhetorical)

By Susan Anderson (not verified) on 31 May 2015 #permalink

Looks like a bunch of dbstealey's comments, and crucially Willis' comment referring to William's ammended comment, have been disappeared.

Pants. Down. With. Caught. Their.

[Still there for me I'm afraid -W]

By Kit Carruthers (not verified) on 01 Jun 2015 #permalink


Three possibilities: Malice, incompetence, or malicious incompetence. I call choice #3.

You neglect the possibility of incompetent malice.

Robert Murphy

Three possibilities: Malice, incompetence, or malicious incompetence.

Heh. As you're no doubt aware, a corollary of your eponymous law is Hanlon's (or Heinlein's) Razor:

Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

As you observe, attribution to stupidity doesn't rule out malice as well, and we find an abundance of both when confronting the causes of AGW.

By Mal Adapted (not verified) on 01 Jun 2015 #permalink

I never realized malice was temperature dependent !

I'm skeptical that WUWT would be caught out deliberately faking comments. That comes under the 'too good to be true' category. I can't see AW thinking he could get away with something like that without being caught, and without the reputation hit outweighing any other benefit to be gained from the fakery.

Is the possibility that a hacker made the change hoping Stoat would 'catch' the fakery and discredit WUWT too far fetched?

By Michael Hauber (not verified) on 01 Jun 2015 #permalink

> and thanks to coal there were ...

My conspiracy theory is that eradicating the coalbeds removed a great many embarassing fossils. Of course they couldn't get all of them, but during the early years in England there may have been many interesting surprises to be found -- and burned.

"Plant fossils are common in coal beds. Coal is the compacted result of peaty plant material. These are the remnants of extinct plants from Carboniferous period 300 million years ago, when the world was covered in lush, green vegetation. Illinois was near the equator and much warmer and wetter. It was the age of insects, with 6-foot-long millipedes and dragonflies with yard-long wingspans..."

By Hank Roberts (not verified) on 01 Jun 2015 #permalink

Ah, well. Too bad the evidence of the faking of the visitors comments at WUWT is still out there. That's to say, no way of knowing where it is if there's some somewhere in the possession of WUWT moderators or elsewhere.

The Surface Station paper is not dead yet! In a recent WUWT comment, Anthony stated:

"Well Mr. Beeton, it’s because of people like you who will attack it for sport, we have been very very careful, almost to a fault. We completely started over [from] our original effort, and since the paper is being done with zero funding (again because of people like you that will attack us even getting a dime for the effort) it takes a very long time when everything is volunteer. That’s all I’m going to say about it, but feel free to be as upset as you wish."…

[Well, how jolly exciting. Although I don't feel fully confident its as alive as he suggests -W]

"Well, how jolly exciting. Although I don’t feel fully confident its as alive as he suggests -W"

I think it is because of people like you that he isn't publishing it! Stop criticizing his efforts, or he'll take his toys and go home!

More seriously: getting a paper ready for peer-review is actually hard work (it would be nice if blog-scientists like AW would recognize that the necessary rigor for writing even a slapdash peer review paper is high, and part of the value of the peer review process in contrast to throwing together some analysis in a blog post). So I could believe that the paper is still making slow, painful progress, consistent with AW's assertion. But on the other hand, if the results were as clear-cut and damning as he'd like - I think he'd find a way to get it out sooner.


"But on the other hand, if the results were as clear-cut and damning as he’d like – I think he’d find a way to get it out sooner."

If the results were as clear-cut and damning, he would not have had to throw out the first effort and start over, as he says they've done in the quote above.

That after about a year of Evan Jones defending the first effort as being something that just needed a bit of tweaking here and tweaking there to pass muster. He very suddenly became very quiet, and now months later AW says "We completely started over [from] our original effort" ...

I do love the way AW whines that they have to be very careful because, ummm, people won't accept his work at face value but insist on pointing out his errors, oh, I mean "because of people like you who will attack it for sport".

That would be a scrap of an excuse, MMM, but unless n-g is no longer on board it's not one they can use. Even if he isn't they have RP Sr. to rely on, who if nothing else has oodles of experience successfully polishing up very minor results for publication.

Anyway, Watts will never admit to his minions that he never had anything of significance, so the ball is kept permanently in the air. An alternative might be giving up because of claimed oppression by the climatati, but then his excuse for not showing his work would evaporate.

By Steve Bloom (not verified) on 03 Jun 2015 #permalink

(cross-posted from WUWT:… )
The irony of it all, regarding which side of the AGW issue has a crushing need to get screencaptures. William Connolley probably had both web tabs open to the Forbes James Taylor / Tim Worstall same-day articles, and absentmindedly didn’t catch that he copied ‘n pasted Taylor’s article link into his 5/29/15 12:17 pm WUWT comment, and now makes a Federal case out of a situation which created no new AGW believers, calling it “comment fakery” at his Stoat blog.

[Well, its a theory, but it can be tested, by reading what I actually wrote, instead of making things up. As I said, I cut-n-pasted from the screen after I'd submitted my comment. Which you can tell, because as I said I cut-n-pasted William Connolley Your comment is awaiting moderation.
May 29, 2015 at 12:17 pm
Plenty of other people got there ahead of you; try… for example. Ignorance of prior art is part of what’s holding you lot back. So no, its not possible that I accidentally copied the wrong link into my comment. Its necessary that someone is faking here: I can't prove to you that its WUWT faking it not me, but it has to be someone faking it. And I know its not me -W]

Meanwhile, one of his Stoat commenters back in March (#4,… ) linked to my Internet Movie Database site “pre-review” post about Oreskes’ Merchants of Doubt movie, but my pre-review COMPLETELY disappeared from IMDB sometime afterward. Funny thing here, my pre-submission screencapture (… ) corroborates what the Stoat commenter saw online. (Connolley might wish to inform that guy about my new review at IMDB, which mentions the prior one’s disappearance, )

Meanwhile, he admits at his own Stoat comment section that he has no proof he placed his WUWT comment the way he said he did, yet insists a conspiracy exists to doctor obscure WUWT comments. Contrast his trivial matter with the individual running “Schatzie’s Earth Project”, where she permits Lubos Motl’s comment (… ) to remain at a post where she called me and numerous others murderers of ‘overheated’ Arctic explorers, but she felt compelled to delete mine (screencapture here when it was under moderation…×640.jpg ; online version archived here ). I merely commented that she needed to back up her assertions. I guess it undermined everything she had to say about an overheated Arctic sending two explorers to their deaths.

[You're offended by having your comments deleted, which I guess is natural enough, but are totally uninterested in comment censorship at WUWT; perhaps that too is natural enough -W]

Say, wasn’t Wikipedia’s AGW pages faced with a larger kind of the same undermining problem during a certain person’s time there?

[No -W]

By Russell Cook (… (not verified) on 05 Jun 2015 #permalink


I got offended by some comment censorship over at WUWT not so very long ago. Since such things are evidently of interest to you please feel free to read all about it at:

Mark Serreze and the Arctic Sea Ice Death Spiral

The abstract?

Anthony Watts has been telling porky pies again.

The conclusion?

Without a word of thanks to yours truly Anthony Watts has now published an “Update” to his original article. The salient bits read as follows:

The original article implied that NISDC’s Mark Serreze made the statement about sea ice being gone in 5 years, ending in 2012, when it was actually NASA’s Jay Zwally that made the claim in the National Geographic article. The language has been clarified in the paragraph to reflect this.

Thanks for permitting my comment here, and not altering the web links. (The 2nd-to-last screencapture link goes to a "404 not found" here, but works fine at WUWT; the difference here being that somehow the copy 'n paste from WUWT messed up the "x" in the last 8 characters of the url.)

"... I cut-n-pasted William Connolley Your comment is awaiting moderation..." And, without a screencapture to show you had the Worstall article in your url, how do you prove you didn't erase a misplaced James Taylor url and substitute Worstall's? Take such a claim to a court hearing where a cross examining attorney poses that question, and the jury has reasonable doubt in their minds.

[Ah, good, I think you've finally seen the point you missed last time, which lead you to post your erroneous comment here and at WUWT (will you correct it there, I wonder?): this can't have been an accident. Someone has to be faking. I'm not sure why you're bringing in the lawyers: its perfectly obvious that neither side has proof. But *I* know I haven't faked it, so I know WUWT did.

And this seems like a suitable time to give up commenting there. On reflection, I should have given up some time ago, when the censorship became ridiculously heavy -W]

Meanwhile, seems Jim Hunt, for all his efforts, misses the bigger point. Does anyone actually see an Arctic 'screaming' in the last couple of years ( ), so much so that someone name "Schatzie" is convinced a pair of lost Arctic explorers were trooping around in 70°+ weather (or what ever she guesses) before they disappeared? Has anyone ever proven Arctic ice melt is the direct result of spiking CO2?

My overall point is, I see two opposing sides of the AGW issue, and the AGW side knocks themselves out to assassinate the character of skeptics by calling 'em 'industry-paid crooks', and not one of you, including Mashey-the-accumulator-of-nothing-but-guilt-by-assocation, has ever backed up the accusation that the "pay" is done under explicit or otherwise instructions to knowingly lie and fabricate false material.

[This, as DA notes below, is pretty rich given the content of AW's latest email -W]

By Russell Cook (… (not verified) on 06 Jun 2015 #permalink

Russel, stop pretending about one side doing the character assassination -- simple read Anthony Watts' shockingly rude email to Thomas Peterson (of the Karl et al paper), which contains this:

"You needed it to go away, so you prostituted yourselves, perhaps at the direction of higher ups."…

I see far more sleaze from the deniers than from the opposite camp, with Watts the King of it.

By David Appell (not verified) on 06 Jun 2015 #permalink

Russell Cook wrote:
"Has anyone ever proven Arctic ice melt is the direct result of spiking CO2?"

A recent paper measured CO2 radiative forcing near Barrow, Alaska (and also in Oklahoma) from 2000 to 2010. They found an increase of 0.2 W/m2 over that period. That's probably the most direct of a link you can get in climate science.

"Observational determination of surface radiative forcing by CO2 from 2000 to 2010," D. R. Feldman et al, Nature 519, 339–343 (19 March 2015)

Press release: "First Direct Observation of Carbon Dioxide’s Increasing Greenhouse Effect at the Earth’s Surface," Berkeley Lab, 2/25/15

By David Appell (not verified) on 06 Jun 2015 #permalink


Please don't get me started on The Arctic!

Perhaps you missed my "bigger point"? Apart from the heavy handed moderation there's proof positive (fully archived!) that Mr. Watts is either extraordinarily forgetful or is happy to knowingly lie to his adoring public when it suits his purposes.

Which option do you think applies?

"... Someone has to be faking. ..." Ya!

And the reason why I bring in the court hearing metaphor is to point out the obvious: whether it is more plausible that some sinister plot exists at WUWT to ridicule Connolley via altering a single url link resulting in a muddled comment point at best, or if the situation is instead one where Connolley absentmindedly copied the wrong link from a similar web page tab and has to backpedal among his friends just to save face while concocting a ridicuous plot. When no absolute proof is found on either side, folks instead consider what is more plausible.

[You're not thinking; thinking is required. Read what I wrote. It is not possible for a transcription error to have occurred. It is necessary that one or another be faking this -W]

Luv David Appell. He's miffed about some 'character assassination' seen in a basically private email and wants to compare that to nearly two decades of open accusation of corruption against a broad range of scientists that's never been backed up with actual evidence??? Rummage through the comments at his own 2012 blog starting with mine (… ) and you'll see Appell sidesteps my challenges to prove skeptics are paid 'industry shills'.

[I think DA's claims of character assassination are well founded; AW is indeed an unpleasant character, though he usually remembers to put on a polite face in public and let others do the trash taking for him.

As to your link; what you're trying to say there is somewhat muddled; ""to prove the science is settled" sounds like a std denialist meme; if you want to see the science, then you should read the IPCC report, of course, of if you find that a little too dense for you, provides a simpler introduction -W]

That is what you guys do. Sidestep direct challenges on the 'crooked industry-funded' skeptics and how they are instructed to do what they do. Spooks the daylights out of me, none of you guys refute what I say or even lift a finger to try.

Gent's, I'll repeat what I've said several times now at Peter Sinclair's ClimateCrocks (… ) and elsewhere: you need to develop your exit strategy. The 'Koch/Exxon/dark money' excuse for the public to ignore skeptics will implode, and then you will have to answer to your compulsion to trash skeptics' character as a first-line defense of AGW.

By Russell Cook (… (not verified) on 08 Jun 2015 #permalink

Russell, if it makes you feel any better, I don't think you are in the pay of fossil fuel interests.

I just think you are [Um. No, I'm going to cut that, in the interests of open and welcoming debate, and not looking like WUWT -W]. And with you many, many other pseudoskeptics.

Happy now?

Sidestep, sidestep, sidestep. Did I mention that's what you fellows on the AGW side do? Tedious as it might be, you can go through pages of comment dialog at Christopher Keating's blog (here… and in the prior posts prompting that one) and see how he first made the accusation that skeptic climate scientists were in the pay (and thus under the insinuation of being instructed by) of the fossil fuel industry, and then sidestepped my challenges to back up his accusation at every occasion I posed them.

[I've no doubt that many people have accused many other people of doing things that were untrue; and many other things that were true. However, the relevance of that to this post is unclear. I've accused WUWT of faking comments, which is certainly true; you've made some suggestions of accidental errors, which are provably untrue; where does the paid-for stuff come in? -W]

DA can crow all he wants about AW's slams, he still sidestepped what I said about open widespread unfounded accusations that skeptic scientists are paid to lie.

Thanks for the Wiki link, but I'm fully aware of iterations of it wanting readers to dismiss anything related to IPCC criticism: "Who put the “ICE” and its 'reposition global warming as theory (not fact)' phrase in Wikipedia?"

[Ah, you're sad about [[Climate change denial]]... oh, or are you? Its certainly the top hit for “reposition global warming”. But you appear to be linking to [[Information Council on the Environment]], which isn't. Your own blog has a higher rating than that! That article, as it says, is a bit crap due to not citing sources; it said that when you referenced it, but you didn't mention that.

Anyway, I'm sure you'll be delighted to know that the CC denial article sources the quote to a 1991 article: Wald, Matthew L. (1991-07-08). "Pro-Coal Ad Campaign Disputes Warming Idea". New York Times. Retrieved 1 March 2013, which I think predates all of your speculation -W]

And, thanks for editing out whatever commenter "Marco" said, but we all can guess pretty much what that might have been …… while also realizing that "Marco" just blew the entire 'paid industry shill' notion completely out of the water. If he can't find proof that I'm paid to lie and operate under specific instructions to do so, and he can't rise to my challenge of reading through any of the material he holds so dear (Wikipedia, Gore's / Gelbspan's / Oreskes' / Hoggan's books) to find physical evidence to back up the accusation, then 20 years' worth of that effort is toast, wouldn't you say? So, for him to stoop to try to knock down some other "domino" defense wall against engaging in actual scientific debate (skeptics are economically motivated, skeptics are religious zealots, skeptics are right-wing nuts, skeptics are knuckle-dragging ignorant, skeptics are literally insane, etc, etc, etc) is not all that much different than the creation science people do when one of their domino defenses for their preconceived conclusion topples.

Look in the mirror and ask yourselves why you engage in creation science-style lash-outs against your critics rather than endorse pure science debates?

[I'm happy enough to talk about science, if you like. But you don't seem to be interested in it; nothing you've said has been about science -W]

You science fellows are more than welcome to attend the ICCC10 conference in D.C. in a couple of days, you know. By all means, also bring your evidence proving the folks there are paid & instructed to lie by whatever 'illicit money' handlers you think handle 'em.

[No; that would be silly.

So, per the comment below: *are* you paid for... commenting here and elsewhere? I mean, do you have paid or contract employment, part of whose terms of payment include commenting on people's blogs, in newspapers, that kind of thing? -W]

By Russell Cook (… (not verified) on 08 Jun 2015 #permalink

Russell Cook:’ll see Appell sidesteps my challenges to prove skeptics are paid ‘industry shills’.

And all this time I thought your job as a Heartland "expert" was to follow Tom Harris around and make approving noises at his Facebook comments. What's the difference between a paid and an unpaid shill?

Pushing false premises is another hallmark of AGW believers, as shown by commenter "Greg H". Astute readers here can go back in time and see how consistent my commenting has been on this overall topic, and judge for themselves whether this so-called "job" as Greg calls it is anything they way he insinuates it to be. Tom Harris is aware of how much of a slave to temptation I am to my log-time hobby of trying to find ANYONE who can back up the 'corrupt skeptics' accusation rather than lob pathetic drive-by hits about it. So far, Greg and the rest of you fellows are no different than all the rest I've encountered over the last eight-ish years of doing what I do. Feel sorry for Greg in particular, though, he just steered straight into a brick wall of his own creation…

[Rather than leaving us guessing, it might be better if you just answered the question; see the end of #54 -W]

By Russell Cook (… (not verified) on 08 Jun 2015 #permalink

1) Actually, very few of the anti-science bloggers are good enough to get fossil funding, especialy sicne they'll do it for free :-)
As per 2010's Crescendo to Climategate Cacophony

p.9 "Figure 2.6 is a more detailed catalog of possible reasons for doing
anti-science. For any given person or organization, some reasons can be confidently inferred. Others are
at best speculation, especially lacking direct experience. People observably come to anti-science by
various routes and different combinations of reasons, quite often not financial. Many who accept or repeat
climate anti-science have no obvious financial connections. For instance, politics or ideology seemed to
be more relevant in APS2009. Ego or attention can be strong motivators for some people. Getting
introduced to and promoted by a US Senator can be more desirable than some consulting fee."

p.10 has the flowgraph of money (black) memes (red). Few in the blogpshere get any money.
The money is well-laundered above that.

pp.93-95 show known funding from Exxon and\private foundations, of which some are fossil (Scaife, Kcohs, at least). Of course, it is very hard to find direct fossil energy money from corporations, because those records aren't public, unlike IRS Form 990s.

Much has been learned since 2010, but so far I haven't seen any reason to make any major revisions to the model there.

Of course, as per Fakery 2..., we have much better records of tobacco funding of think tanks, see PDF pp,37-42, and p.43-49, Joe Bast's defense of Joe Camel in a begging letter for money from Philip Morris.
Joe Camel was probably the msot "successful" marketing campaign in American history, if you measure success by increasing the number of teenage smokers.

By John Mashey (not verified) on 08 Jun 2015 #permalink

Watts has received money:…

[Yes, but the publically available amounts aren't large. I wouldn't call him a "paid shill" based on that; and I'm dubious that is his motivation. Indeed, if you look at a few of his attempts to "cash in" on his "denialist leadership position", they've been disastrous failures -W]

By David Appell (not verified) on 08 Jun 2015 #permalink

"and he can’t rise to my challenge of reading through any of the material he holds so dear (Wikipedia, Gore’s / Gelbspan’s / Oreskes’ / Hoggan’s books) to find physical evidence to back up the accusation"

Russell Cook, can you please show any evidence that I hold Wikipedia, Gore, Gelbspan, Oreskes, Hoggan "dear" ?

And could you also please not make us laugh too much, it really hurt my sides when I saw someone refer to creation science, and then invite us to ICCC10, in which several signatorees of the Cornwell Alliance's declaration on global warming take place or have taken place. It is a pity that Beisner won't be talking this year...

Re: #59
1) Companies donate to politicians, some of which is findable
2) Companies pay lobbyists, hard to find
3) Companies pay think tanks and front groups, hard to find except for ExxonMobil's odd use of Foundation for a while, some old Heartland funding documents found in LTDL, and the 2012 leak. Of course, for strategy and intent, the 1998 GCSCT memo is hard to beat. Usually, it's very hard to tie money into a think tank to specific actions by specific people.
Every year, think tanks go back to funders and tell them ehat good work they've done and ask for money. Even in the LTDL, it's easy to find begging letters than specific money for specific actions.
4) Now and then, one finds a Willie Soon /Smithsonian situation, and equally clear, if less specific things like Western Fuels and Michaels, Balling, Idso, and Lindzen in early 1990s.
5) Koch funding is especially byzantine, especially as Donors Trust got going.
6) Then there are awards for books, speakers fees, consulting.
7) Bloggers rarely rise to the level of access to such funding streams.

By John Mashey (not verified) on 09 Jun 2015 #permalink

Russell @54 - I note that you sidestepped my question @50, so I'll repeat it slightly more succinctly.

Is Anthony Watts a liar, or not?

Watts has virtually nothing in the way of qualifications and his blog is a testament to the lack of depth to his intellect, however it is inconceivable that he could be merely wrong.

By Craig Thomas (not verified) on 11 Jun 2015 #permalink

On another note - if you *really* want to dip your toes in some pure crazy, Jo Nova's sad blog is waaaay more effective than Watts'.

By Craig Thomas (not verified) on 11 Jun 2015 #permalink

John Mashey:

"Companies pay think tanks and front groups, hard to find"

Some worthy efforts:

American University School of Communication Investigative Reporting Workshop;
Institutionalizing Delay: foundation funding and the creation of U.S. climate change counter-movement organizations.

JM: "Usually, it’s very hard to tie money into a think tank to specific actions by specific people."

And even harder since Citizens United v. FEC.

What Is to Be Done?

By Mal Adapted (not verified) on 12 Jun 2015 #permalink

Before DONORS Trust/Capital Fund, it was easier to find *foundation* donations, but those are not *company* donations, except in the few cases, like ExxonMobil Foundaitin, where they gave that way.

If EM writes a check directly, there is no public record, except by accident.
The best corporate records we ahve ar the ones in the Legacy Tobacco Documents Library.

Re: Bob Brulle's piece, yes, that's a key one, hence my post on it, which also had the supplementary material in handy form.
Bob was out here on sabbatical in 2012-2013, and here for dinner a few times. We traded a lot of spreadsheets.

By John Mashey (not verified) on 12 Jun 2015 #permalink