Friday, March 5, 2010

Watts vs. Bolt: Who's the Dumbest Denier?

You have to see this to believe it. Anthony Watts, perhaps the most influential global warming denier, just cited an article from 1989 to prove there's no global warming. You read that right: 1989. Check it out:

Here’s a blast from the past. Dr. James Hansen’s view in 1989 seemed a lot more temperate than it does today. Back then, he’s ready to accede to a study that says something counter to what his theory predicts, saying “I have no quarrel with it”. Today, he uses labels like “deniers” (see here) when such contradictory essays and facts are made public. What a difference 20 years makes...

Well yes, Anthony, actually it does, because over those 20 years, scientists have been accumulating data, and temperatures have been increasing. That's sort of how you become more sure of something: by collecting evidence over time. The fact that Hansen was "temperate" back in 1989, when the evidence for global warming was less unequivocal, would seem to prove that his current views are based on accumulated evidence rather than conspiracy.

Here's the beginning of the NYT article Watts cites:

January 26, 1989
U.S. Data Since 1895 Fail To Show Warming Trend

By PHILIP SHABECOFF, Special to the New York Times
Correction Appended

WASHINGTON, Jan. 25— After examining climate data extending back nearly 100 years, a team of Government scientists has concluded that there has been no significant change in average temperatures or rainfall in the United States over that entire period.


The study, made by scientists for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration was published in the current issue of Geophysical Research Letters. It is based on temperature and precipitation readings taken at weather stations around the country from 1895 to 1987.

So Watts's logic is that 22 years of additional data should not allow James Hansen to become more certain of his conclusions?

This bit of boorishness follows right on the heels of another denier, Andrew Dolt Bolt of Australia, making the bizarre accusation that Apple is behind a new "answers to global warming skeptics" iPhone app. Here was his Twitter post:

Breaking News: Al Gore is funding iPhone apps to create secret new world order. First to be sent to the chambers - me. He must be stopped.

Even many of Bolt's commenters were able to squint through the fog and realize that Apple hosts, not develops, iPhone apps. No one's stopping skeptics from developing their own app.

So I propose a vote. What's dumber: Anthony Watts insinuating that a 21-year-old New York Times article disproves global warming, or Andrew Bolt claiming that Apple is nefariously developing global warming iPhone apps? I report, you decide.


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  2. I vote for Bolt.

    He gets a lot of his misinformation directly from WUWT anyway so isn't even smart enough to come up with anything of his own.

  3. Bolt's much more stupid, but it's his job to be a right wing idiot.

    Watts should know better.