Wow. Just Wow. Desperate Deniers Sink to All-Time Low to Smear Uber-Vindicated Penn State Climate Scientist

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"Wow. Just Wow. Desperate Deniers Sink to All-Time Low to Smear Uber-Vindicated Penn State Climate Scientist"

http://games.gearlive.com/blogimages/head_asplode.jpgClimatologist Michael Mann works at Penn State.  Penn State is going through a horrific and inexcusable child-sex-abuse scandal.  Ergo….

Yes, two of the top climate science deniers on the web, Steve McIntyre at ClimateAudit and Anthony Watts of WattsUpWithThat, actually went there.

Nobody should be shocked about Watts.  Last year, when a demented, violent individual, James Lee, held people hostage at gunpoint in Maryland, Watts wrote this amazing headline:

And the first line of his post was “Well, you filthy readers, see what happens when we don’t acquiesce?“ He has still never retracted this.  Watts is a guy who just a few weeks earlier had demanded that others on the web “dial back the rhetoric.”

But it was Steve McIntyre at ClimateAudit who launched this smear Thursday (click here if you have a strong stomach).  As long-time Climate Progress commenter MapleLeaf wrote at the long thread on this at DeepClimate:

No words can describe my anger at this uncalled for action by McIntyre who is knowingly trying to capitalize on (and benefit from) the suffering and pain of sexual assault victims. Absolutely disgusting in the extreme.

I can almost understand why McIntyre and Watts made such a desperate attack.  They’ve utterly lost the argument on the merits.

Watts’ entire denial career was based on finding gremlins in the land surface temperature record that would somehow show scientists had overestimated warming.  But it turns out that not only could no one else see the gremlins Watts claimed to find, but a Koch-funded analysis by skeptics that he himself was closely associated with found recent warming “on the high end” and speeding up.

McIntyre’s entire denial career was based on discrediting Mann and the work proving recent warming is unprecedented in magnitude and speed and cause (so the temperature history looks like a Hockey Stick).

But the Hockey Stick and Mann have been independently investigated and vindicated more times than any other facet of climate science or any other climate scientist (see links below).  As the journal Nature summed up the National Academy of Science’s National Research Council report on the Hockey Stick in 2006, “Academy affirms hockey-stick graph.”  Most recently, the NSF Inspector General concluded its investigation of Mann, “Finding no research misconduct or other matter raised by the various regulations and laws discussed above, this case is closed.”

So McIntyre and the deniers have nothing left whatsoever but the most over-the-top character assassination imaginable.  McIntyre’s case against Mann has become so weak that he actually cites an egregious (and retracted) blunder by someone else:

Clive Crook of the Atlantic Monthly mercilessly criticized [sic] Penn State for their fatuous findings that success in bringing revenue to the university and accolades from peers necessarily meant that misconduct was precluded:

The Penn State inquiry exonerating Michael Mann — the paleoclimatologist who came up with “the hockey stick” — would be difficult to parody. Three of four allegations are dismissed out of hand at the outset: the inquiry announces that, for “lack of credible evidence”, it will not even investigate them.…

You think I exaggerate?

Yes, setting aside the wrong link, McIntyre seems completely unaware of the fact that Crook’s statement in boldface is false, I debunked it, and Crook retracted it!!!  Talk about “difficult to parody.”

As I explained here at the time:

Crook seems completely unaware that the inquiry he links to was a second investigation of Mann by Penn State.   The first three allegations were thoroughly examined and dismissed in Penn State’s first review of Mann.

Had Crook actually read the link he provides, he would know that since it clearly states that after  thoroughly reviewing all of the relevant material, “The Inquiry Committee determined there was no substance to this allegation and further investigation of this allegation was not warranted,” for each of the first three allegations.

I have no idea where Crook came up with the phrase he puts in quotes “lack of credible evidence”….

Crook’s original is here.  The “correction” is here.  For reasons that defy explanation, the Atlantic has left that erroneous post up even after Crook (lamely) retracted his mistakes (but not the conclusions that were based on those mistakes).

McIntyre should simply retract his entire piece and apologize.

Watts states, “Steve McIntyre writes about what many of us have been thinking about Penn State’s failures at investigating its own, such as the appearance of a whitewash investigation done about Dr. Michael Mann and Climategate.”

Really?  Many deniers have been thinking about this shameless and utterly nonsensical link?  Many deniers have been thinking about the claims that McIntyre makes about the Penn State investigation of Mann even though they were erroneous, debunked and previously retracted?

Well, I suppose Watts would know the state of denier “thinking.”  And to go by his commenters, he clearly does.

Recent Studies Vindicating the Hockey Stick:

  1. Temperatures of North Atlantic “are unprecedented over the past 2000 years and are presumably linked to the Arctic amplification of global warming” — Science (2011)
  2. GRL (2010):  “We conclude that the 20th century warming of the incoming intermediate North Atlantic water has had no equivalent during the last thousand years.“
  3. JGR (2010):  “The last decades of the past millennium are characterized again by warm temperatures that seem to be unprecedented in the context of the last 1600 years.”
  4. Human-caused Arctic warming overtakes 2,000 years of natural cooling, “seminal” study finds (2009)
  5. Unprecedented warming in Lake Tanganyika and its impact on humanity (2010)
  6. Current Global Warming Is Unprecedented Compared to Climate of the Last 20,000 years, Study Finds (11/11)
« »

24 Responses to Wow. Just Wow. Desperate Deniers Sink to All-Time Low to Smear Uber-Vindicated Penn State Climate Scientist

  1. Mike Roddy says:

    Watts and McIntyre are utterly cretinous commentators who have waddled so low into the scum that they are now armpit deep. Their blog pronouncements have a desperate diarrhea tinge, as the putrescence of their entire careers has engulfed both them and their dumfounded followers.

    They were never about knowledge or facts, and their recent humiilations on the actual scientific playing field matter neither to them or their followers. Watts is a college dropout, who wouldn’t recognize a piece of scientific data if he tripped over it. McIntyre plays bizarre games with statistical jargon, and makes discombobulated accusations about data to the scientists who actually developed and understood it.

    Sorry, Anthony and Steve, you are pure circus acts, and thanks for the unintentional humor you have always brought to my own published efforts on this subject. You are no more at fault than court jesters or dungeon maintenance men. No, the real fault is in the media, who grants you podia as if either one of you knew anything whatsoever on the subject of global warming. Here’s the answer to that one: zip.

  2. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Arendt coined the phrase the ‘banality of evil’, and we ought to invent some new ones. Perhaps ‘shamelessness’ would do for a start, in this case. Moreover, just below the surface, and erupting more and more often like a suppurating carbuncle is sheer, rank, hatred.

    • I disagree about their hatred. I think it’s simply money. Hence the shamelessness: they know why they’re doing what they’re doing, so there’s never a moment to feel unsure or caught out on an argument that’s been re-bunked. Money.

  3. Tim says:

    How pathetic will McIntyre and Watts get before they simply implode? They cling to the phony “climategate” scandal like its a life preserver all the while remaining impervious to the fact that the data they tried to discredit has been reproduced several times over. The oft-reproduced data renders the entire grant-grubbing conspiracy theory as irrelevant as it already was utterly implausible. Watts’s “heat islands” have been swamped by reality and he just stands there blubbering like an idiot.

  4. I didn’t even know I could still be shocked to this extent.

    Watts and McIntyre have shown themselves to be so despicable that there seems to be no redemption for them.

  5. Chispa says:

    I too am amazed at the lengths these two men will go to try and discredit science. They are the supreme example of -if you can’t amaze them with your brilliance; baffle them with your bulls**t.

  6. kermit says:

    Watts and McIntyre presumably feel some satisfaction in knowing the feelings they have stirred up, with no apparent thought to the damage to themselves. I assume that, like a junkyard dog tied to a post and abused as a pup, these men are damaged goods, but they are so distasteful I cannot find any sympathy for them in my heart.

  7. Martin Palmer says:

    I’ve wondered about Watts’ sources of funding. If he was getting directly or indirectly paid for his stuff, that would explain a lot, in my opinion.

    Watts has a business that sells weather gadgets and that sells weather software to television stations. This business is called ItWorks, and the software business is named Intelliweather.

    I notice that several Fox stations use his software.

    I wonder just how many Fox stations use his software, and just what percentage of his business comes from Fox?

    • Drewski says:

      I have been banned from WUWT because I have been asking Watts what happened to all those donations he pandered for the days before he released his earth stations study. I saw dozens of people say that they would send hundreds to him. They were scammed/

  8. Spike says:

    Denialists are losing rationality as the evidence becomes uncontestable. Naomi Klein has more about their twisted arguments here:

    http://www.thenation.com/article/164497/capitalism-vs-climate

  9. a face in the clouds says:

    Guess some foul balls aren’t worth retrieving. Not even climate change and Holocaust denier Jeff Rense would quote Watts and McIntyre on this one.

    Of course they are welcome to prove me wrong.

  10. Merrelyn Emery says:

    When people taking extreme positions get cornered, they have only one way to go. Think back on all the cult or group suicides you can remember and don’t be surprised. There will be more desperate efforts like this, ME

  11. Bernard J. says:

    New law of internet discussion – when a blogger confabulates his real target with (completely unrelated) pædophiles, s/he automatically loses all credibility, and the debate.

    Perhaps it could be framed thus:

    “As an online denialist war against reason and/or science grows more desperate and irrational, the probability of a comparison involving pædophiles or other immorality approaches 1.”

    Watts and McIntyre should be submitted and catalogued as the type specimens.

  12. Ron Taylor says:

    They are chronic liars and propogandists. A chronic liar lies so naturally and easily that he not longer knows he is lying. He has lost all ethical boundaries that would cause him to hesitate, realizing that he is lying. It has become his way of communicating. The propogandist cares nothing about being debunked. Just keep repeating the lie, say it louder, say it a different way, but just keep saying it, and saying it, and saying it… Not to do so is to admit to the total emptyness of one’s self. A soap bubble, all bright and shiny and quivery on the outside, nothing on the inside.

  13. Lou Grinzo says:

    As loathsome as this incident is, nothing in it should surprise any of us.

    Many of us have been saying for a long time that as the evidence about the truth of climate change piled up (meaning evidence visible to the public, not to scientists, who have known what’s going on for a long time) the deniers would try to shift the goalposts, change to other arguments (e.g. many are moving from “it’s not warming” to “it’s warming but it’s not because of humans” or even “it’s warming and humans contribute but only a tiny amount” — the “sensitivity” angle), and, when all else failed, get unforgivably nasty. I think we’re seeing all those things happen in fits and starts, with the example Joe write about being merely one of the most offensive and recent.

    Expect much, much more of it in the next 10 to 20 years.

    As always, I think it’s instructive to compare the CC deniers and the Y2k doomers. That latter group faced a hard and fast deadline, complete with irrefutable proof that they were wrong. There was no uncertainty, no probabilities to talk about — did this massive banking system failure on 1/1/2000 happen because of Y2k or would it have happened anyway? The magic date came and went, and nothing happened. (Although one prominent Y2k doomer was saying as late as March of 2000 that we weren’t out of the woods yet!?) So they had no choice but to give up and move on to other things.

    The CC deniers, by comparison, face no such hard and fast deadline, merely a steady accumulation of evidence and impacts that erodes their arguments in the eyes of the public, which is all they care about. (Their arguments are nothing but low-grade balloon juice to scientists, so adding more evidence changes nothing.) As a result, they will cling ever tighter to the mast of their sinking ship and fight like trapped rats, right up to the point where they have to let go and swim for safety, crawling all over each other and anyone and anything else in the way.

    If they weren’t doing so much harm to the world in general as well as those people, like Mike Mann, they attack relentlessly, they would be easy to ignore or even use as a source of entertainment.

    And as for Mann and the hockey stick — take a good reproduction of it and show it to someone who isn’t engaged with CC at all. Tell the person what it shows in the simplest terms — it’s temperature over the last X years — and mention that it’s been repeatedly confirmed by various groups of scientists. And watch the reaction. That will tell you why the hockey stick and Mike Mann will always be a target of the deniers; his work is so persuasive with that audience, the only audience deniers really care about, that the deniers have no choice but to try to destroy both. Hence this latest abomination by Watts and McIntyre.

    • kermit says:

      Lou, it would be more accurate to compare the advocates of climate science to the Y2K “alarmists”. The difference is that in the year or two leading up to Y2K, management listened to their geeks. We upgraded hardware, upgraded operating systems, and rewrote old software. Retired programmers were hired to fix the antique programs written in obsolete languages. On New Year’s Day, a Sunday, I dragged myself into work (I was recovering from the flu). I still had to reboot all of the workstations to get the network running, altho we were otherwise fine (Because the plant engineer and I had taken care of things over a period of months). Ask anyone who was in IT then – it would have been a disaster, if we hadn’t taken steps.

      The difference is, that the Koch bothers et al would not have made a profit by our failing to upgrade, so we didn’t have to fight them. As it was, we told the bosses, and they said “Crap! Well, if it’s cheaper in the long run, I guess we’ll have to do it. Make it so.”

      Unfortunately, because we’re not fixing things now, nobody will be telling us in 2030 that global warming wasn’t going to be a problem. They’ll know it is.

  14. I submitted the comment below at McIntyre’s blog. (Here‘s an archive to prove it.) It appeared for a while, but later got deleted.

    * * *

    McIntyre

    You only profess “concern” for rape victims this time round because it’s a handy cudgel to whack Prof. Mann with. But where were you when climate scientists and climate campaigners were getting rape threats against their children?

    One [climate] researcher told of receiving threats of sexual assault and violence against her children after her photograph appeared in a newspaper article promoting a community tree-planting day as a local action to mitigate climate change.

    Where was your righteous indignation when this was reported? Nowhere, that’s where.

    Rapes and rape threats are reprehensible, whether perpetrated by a PSU coach or by climate ‘skeptics’. This is what I think, and I’m sure this is also what Mann thinks. You seem to think that rape threats are OK if climate ‘skeptics’ do them. Shame on you.

    And a shout-out to “RC” of “FOIA” fame

    In case you’re reading this: Do you really think that a blatant political hack such as McIntyre will lead you to the unvarnished truth about climate change? Please think for yourself. I’m available at s w i f t h a c k at m a i l dash o n dot u s. Let us talk.

    – frank

  15. W Scott Lincoln says:

    Yet another example of how some people can’t help but frame recent events in the context of their deep personal prejudices, all while ignoring the most important aspect of the story – the fact that multiple children were probably sexually abused.

    Just the other day someone tried to claim some sort of link between the Penn State issue and Iowa’s legal acceptance of marriage equality.

    There is no doubt that people with these unwavering prejudices who just can’t let something go will find anything, literally anything, to stay seemingly relevant in the world.

  16. John Tucker says:

    Its unbelievable he went there. And he did went there and checked.

    Also a few likewise Republican linked groups; right wing supposedly “Christian” organizations have tried to whip this tragedy up into anti gay propaganda.

    Its a good time to remind them all:

    Sandusky is married and they adopted six children.

    Sandusky and Paterno are both registered Republican­s ( http://www­.salon.com­/2011/11/0­9/jerry_sa­ndusky_and­_joe_pater­no_registe­red_republ­icans/ )

    If they want to try to make this tragedy into something to score political with, go ahead. Its beyond creepy and its going to blow up in their faces.

  17. MapleLeaf says:

    Dear Joe,

    Thank you for highlighting this very sad episode. I agree completely with what you say here, “So McIntyre and the deniers have nothing left whatsoever but the most over-the-top character assassination imaginable.”

    As someone else has noted (Rob H.), history is going to judge people like Watts and McIntyre (and their supporters) very harshly.

  18. Scrooge says:

    Watts and McIntyre are losing ground. They have nothing left but to get more bizzare. Its just tin foil hats now.

  19. I have taken a stab at explaining how those on the Right can come up with this type of attack and still apparently live with themselves: http://politics2100.wordpress.com/2011/11/04/pathologyofthewill1/

    I am calling it a “Pathology of the Will” or a culture of excessive willfullness. Though I suppose that some denialists might call themselves centrists, the movement gets its feverish pitch from the political and economic Right.

  20. Steve Funk says:

    Seems to me you are attacking a strawman. McIntyre’s post was about Anthony Lasaga, a convicted pedophile who published at least one climate-related paper. I had to read it twice before I saw the brief mention of Mann, a coathor with Park, who was a coauthor with Lasaga on another paper.