Watts Up With 97 Hours Of Consensus

The so-called sceptics like Anthony Watts often have some very interesting predictions and speculations about global warming and climate change. Especially the predictions they make when dealing with their opponents can get very strange. The latest example of this was when Anthony Watts noticed a new widget on the Skeptical Science website.

Not much information was present what this widget was about. It had some sort of outline in it and a countdown, but what it was counting down to wasn’t obvious at the time. When you clicked on the widget it directed you to a page full of silhouettes.

widget crowdThe only thing this told you is that Skeptical Science had something planned, but not what that was. Here’s where Anthony Watts comes into the picture with some very strange speculations in his blog post ‘The ‘Skeptical Science’ kidz are up to no good again‘ (archived here):

Ah those kidz, what are they up to now? The image you see is from their “new” web page [www.skepticalscience.com/nsh/?] which is some sort of flash program with a bunch of silhouettes of people that can be rotated and moved in a pseudo-3D way. All of the silhouettes are greyed out now, but one can rest assured they be filled in with cartoonish caricatures once the countdown clock on the lower right reaches zero.

My guess? John Cook has likely put his failed cartooning talents back to work again. Given the juvenile fascination former cartoonist turned amateur psychologist and numbers bookie for the 97% John Cook has with smearing climate skeptics, this will reveal itself as some sort of interactive “name and shame” application for the top 100 climate skeptics worldwide.

I hope it does, because if so, and if it turns out to be as libelous as I think it will be, it will give a whole bunch of people a reason to sue the pants off that whole team of creepy playtime Nazi cross dressers. Bring it.

Charming already, but he later adds this to it:

Of course it could also be a rah-rah application, where each of the silhouettes is a “real climate scientist”, and the popup text message is all about how they “feel” about climate change…like these clowns.

Whatever it is, it will likely be the caliber of sort of lowbrow stuff we’ve seen before, like the “designed to be funny but actually horrifying” 10:10 video which blows up children who don’t want to go along with climate change in school.

I could talk about how this is basically nothing more than a personal attack. Or that the nazi images were stolen from a private forum and were intended as a private joke. Or that the 10:10 video was a misguided attempt at using some dark humour in an advertisement. I could also go into some of the later added additional claims Anthony makes. Like how Richard Tol supposedly has falsified the 97% consensus found by Cook et al 2013, but he did no such thing.

No, I’m not going to talk about that. What I am going to do is quote Anthony Watts one more time:

When you resort to name calling, you’ve lost the argument.

When you don’t know what someone is planning personal attacks and baseless speculations aren’t an option if you want to be taken seriously. Especially when you say things like in the above quote. What you should do is stick to what you can figure out from the information that you do have, or risk losing credibility when it’s revealed what is about:

Climate scientists from across the globe feature in our 97 Hours of Consensus campaign addressing one of the most significant and harmful myths about climate change. Each hour, beginning at 9am Sunday EST, September 7th, we’ll publish a statement and playful, hand-drawn caricature of a leading climate scientist. Each caricature lists the scientists’ name, title, expertise and academic institution.

97hours banner

97 Hours of Consensus communicates the fact that 97% of climate scientists have concluded that humans are causing global warming. The research, conducted by scientists at The University of Queensland’s Global Change Institute, University of Reading, Michigan Technological University and Memorial University of Newfoundland found that 97% of relevant climate papers endorsed human-caused global warming. The paper was published in the academic journal Environmental Research Letters in May 2013.

It’s just a simple social media campaign that brings attention to the scientific consensus on global warming and at the same time gives refutations to common climate science myths. No “name and shame” or “lowbrow stuff,” it’s all about pointing out basic and well established scientific facts.

Michael Mann


Update 2014-09-09 @ 18:18
Just four days after Anthony Watts published the blog post I talked about in this article he wrote the following tweet:

Anthony Watt's character assassination tweet

With how he attacked John Cook and Skeptical Science I don’t know how to respond to him saying this.

Collin Maessen is the founder and editor of Real Skeptic and a proponent of scientific skepticism. For his content he uses the most up to date and best research as possible. Where necessary consulting or collaborating with scientists.