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The video that Anthony Watts does not want you to see: The Climate Denial “Crock of the Week”

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"The video that Anthony Watts does not want you to see: The Climate Denial “Crock of the Week”"

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This is the video that Anthony Watts demanded YouTube take down.  This is what the former TV weatherman who runs a leading anti-scientific website, WattsUpWithThat, is afraid to let the public see:

Fortunately, Anthony Watts knows even less about copyright laws than he does about climate science, if that’s possible [see "Diagnosing a victim of anti-science syndrome (ASS)"].  So YouTube has put it back up after temporarily removing it, which is standard practice for them.

Here’s some background on the terrific video from DeSmogBlog:

Peter Sinclair producer of the well-known “Climate Crock of the Week” video series, posted a video debunking weatherman Anthony Watts who runs a Climate Denier Den also known as his Watt’s Up With That blog.

The video was auto-scrubbed by YouTube after Watts claimed the video broke YouTube’s copyright rules. The video has since been reviewed by a number of US copyright experts and (big surprise) there appears to be nothing that could be construed as anything but fair use.

As any viewer can plainly see, there is nothing in the video that infringes on any copyrighted work by Watts — it is apparently just the devastating content that Watts is afraid of.

Watts is capable of dishing out the most virulent attacks on leading climate scientists, like James Hansen and Mark Serreze (see Exclusive: New NSIDC director Serreze explains the “death spiral” of Arctic ice, brushes off the “breathtaking ignorance” of blogs like WattsUpWithThat) — but he can’t even take a factual and, by WattUpWithThat standards, relatively mild attack on himself.

This whole situation has raised the ire of even some of the more ardent commenters on DeSmogBlog who normally disagree with pretty much everything we say on this site. One such commenter, Rick James wrote:

I have to admit it doesn’t look good for the skeptic side when something gets scrubbed like this. Watts loses some stature here unless he can post something convincing about why he did it on his blog. Silence won’t get it done.”

One could speculate that Watts had a problem with the clips Sinclair used of Watts being interviewed by Glenn Beck on Fox News (Watts formerly worked as a weatherman for a Fox News affiliate), but that would be pretty weak given that Watts has no problem excerpting large swaths of print articles like this one posted tonight from the BBC on his own website.

As I have asked on two posts here on DeSmog and on Huffington Post: tell me Mr. Watts, what part of this video is it that gives you the right to have it removed from the public discourse on climate change? You can email me at desmogblog [at] gmail [dot] com.

Ironically, if Watts understood the law, he never would have asked YouTube to take it down, since it is standard operating procedure for them to take down such a video in response to such a request — and then put it back up when the author of the video asks them to.

But then Watts also has no understanding whatsoever of scientific matters.  His life’s work — to discredit the U.S. temperature record — has itself just been utterly discredited, as the video shows (see also Must-read NOAA paper smacks down the deniers: Q: “Is there any question that surface temperatures in the United States have been rising rapidly during the last 50 years?” A: “None at all”).

Watts publishes stuff by deniers like Roger Pielke, Sr. that is so lame, so willfully anti-scientific in its effort to confuse short-term weather with long-term climate trends, that it actually tries to dismiss the startling 30-year record of Arctic sea ice loss with the statement that “since 2008, the anomalies have actually decreased” (see “Like father, like son: Roger Pielke Sr. also doesn’t understand the science of global warming “” or just chooses to willfully misrepresent it“).  And, just for the record, there is no evidence whatsoever that the anomalies have decreased since 2008 (see “Will we see record low Arctic ice VOLUME this year?“).

Watts is so desperate to respond to the record warming the planet is now seeing that he trotted out a 2-year-old post on cold temperatures in Argentina (see “Unscientific America: From the moon-landing deniers to WattsUpWithThat“).

So please distribute the video as widely as possible.  Everyone should see what Anthony Watts is afraid of — the scientific truth.

UPDATE:  Pielke, Sr. has commented on the video, complaining that it links deniers like Watts to the tobacco issue.  GetEnergySmartNow explains why the link is a fair one.

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23 Responses to The video that Anthony Watts does not want you to see: The Climate Denial “Crock of the Week”

  1. caerbannog says:

    Just a quibble — I don’t think that youtube has officially reversed itself yet. Another individual (not greenman3610) posted the video on a different youtube “channel”.

    The video has not yet been restored to greenman’s channel.

    That being said, I am *so* looking forward to the snarky followup video that greenman is certainly working on right now!

    [JR: I an inquiring about this. They should have asked to reinstate, I'm told.]

  2. Lou Grinzo says:

    I suspect a lot of people here at CP do what I do when I see a video posted like this: I read the text of the post and then don’t actually watch the video because it takes too much time.

    Trust me: Watch this video.

    I will be posting it on The Cost of Energy very soon.

  3. A Siegel says:

    caerbannog is right. YouTube has not restored the video, but it has been put up on other channels by Kevin Grandia who has more resources behind him (legal and otherwise) than Sinclair. I think Grandia is taunting Watts to come after him and escalate this even further.

    And, if YouTube takes it down, there look to be others ready to host it.

    [JR: It looks like you're right. I informed Grandia that we've been told YouTube should put it back up at Sinclair's request. That frees them from potential liability -- of which there ain't any anyway.]

    As per the item that you linked to, pretty astounding that Pielke wrote with such astonishment that one can link climate skeptics/deniers to the tobacco industry’s efforts to distort the science on tobacco’s health risks.

    That post, by the way, has links to a number of the web discussions of “Sinclair vs Watts” including, now, this one. And, it might be worth mentioning that Greenfyre has a full set of Peter Sinclair’s excellent “Climate Denial Crock of the Week” series.

  4. Rick Covert says:

    What a case of shooting yourself in the foot. It reminds me of the incident where Bill O’Reilly tried to prevent Al Franken’s book, Lies, and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them, A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right, was thrown out of court over false claims of copyright infringement over Fox’s so-called copywritten phrase ‘Fair and Blanced’. I’m surprised the judge didn’t hit his head on the ground after falling out his chair in cackles of laughter.

  5. Anthony Watts has selling snake oil for years… He’s a buffoon who deserves every ounce of contempt we can throw his way.

    Everyone who owns a blog needs to post this video.

    Well done, Peter Sinclair.

    I also wrote in April about the links between deniers to tobacco executives.

    http://one-blue-marble.com/blog/2009/04/21/big-tobacco-big-oil-big-coal/

  6. Mike says:

    It took Watts two years to finally understand what Tamino was telling him all the time. http://tamino.wordpress.com/2007/07/30/surface-stations/

    [JR: I don't think he understands this yet....]

  7. Brewster says:

    Probably the biggest mistake Watts ever made… A real boon for the pro-AGW crowd!

    All this Hooraw will get Sinclair more play than ever..

  8. MarkB says:

    Re: #4

    Rick is correct. Watts, in an attempt to suppress free speech, has inadvertently helped elevate Sinclair’s work, similar to how Bill O’Reilly helped elevate Al Franken. Sinclair for U.S. Senate?

  9. I’ve included the video and quotes from Joe Romm’s post in my own broader take on the climate change “debate”

    http://creativegreenius.wordpress.com/2009/07/29/the-real-climate-change-debate-are-all-deniers-evil-or-are-some-merely-ignorant/

  10. Brooks Bridges says:

    I’m surprised no one mentioned what was to me the most important part of the video – it showed that Watt’s “gold standard” choices of weather stations produced data virtually indistinguishable from the combined results from all 1200 stations.

    This invalidates his entire effort to discredit the US weather station data – his main claim to fame.

    [JR: Well, I suspect they didn't mention it because I had blogged on it recently.]

  11. Rick Covert says:

    Kudos to Peter Sinclair for this one even though Anthony Watts practically handed this to Sinclair on a silver platter. Sinclair explains away the all the denier talking points with elegance and simiplicity. I enjoy going to his site and viewing the videos because they are easy even for me to understand. :)

  12. hapa says:

    Probably the biggest mistake Watts ever made… A real boon for the pro-AGW crowd!

    listen to brewster, folks. when you lie for a living, good tactics are that much more important.

  13. Paul K says:

    I really enjoy Peter Sinclair’s videos, and he has one on the Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect, that really demolishes the denier statements of how UHI effects have distorted the global temperature records. That video by itself blows Anthony Watts’ hypothesis away, for anyone who can connect the dots.

    I actually exchanged emails with Mr. Watts on July 19/20 talking about censorship on Watts Up With That site, and talking specifically about removing links to the Sinclair video ‘Watts Up With Watts’.

    I am astounded that he attempted to squelch discussion of his hypothesis by trying to limit access to the Sinclair video. He made a very poor decision, and blew away his own espoused philosophy. This is consistent with what I have observed at WUWT. He doesn’t even believe in his own dictums, but simply twists information and acts in a way that allows him to best develop propaganda to push his POV.

  14. Michael says:

    The tobacco industry link really made me laugh. ‘Well, it’s smoke and smoke is CO2 innit? So must be banned or we’ll die next week! Or the week after!’

    If I were Watts, I’d just have ignored the copyrights issue and laughed at the video’s sheer ridiculousness.

  15. dhogaza says:

    Well, Watts has a meandering defense of both his DMCA takedown and his report itself, complains that people don’t understand the difference between censorship and copyright, etc. His meandering defense doesn’t mention the DMCA or fair use at all, rather his copyright claim stating that the work can’t be copied in part, etc. Standard boilerplate which is overridden by fair use.

    He includes a bunch of childlish pokes at Peter Sinclair and complaints at the inaccuracy of his analysis, the NCDC analysis, not surprising given his belief that all of climate science is a crock.

    The information density is startlingly low …

  16. From Peru says:

    JR: you should take a look at the WUWT site.

    Antony Watts has posted an angry response to this video, and after criticising “copyright violations” in the video and “ad hominem attacks”, he explains something about the “homogenization of the weather stations” that mix the records of the “good stations” to the “bad” ones.

    In other posts he states that most US rural stations are located in airports. According to him, the airport buildings create a local “heat island”, even if those airports are outside the cities.

    What response could be sent to Antony?

    [JR: Stay tuned.]

  17. From Peru says:

    JR: I guess this Anthony Watts stuff will be the material for a new post?

    [JR: Most certainly.]

  18. Paul K says:

    I read Mr. Watts response and rationale for trying to squelch the Peter Sinclair video. Mr. Watts is incredibly sensitive to claims of censorship, and uses material from other sources routinely at WUWT.

    He defends the surreptitious acquisition and dissemination of information. Last year, The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley wrote a treatise on climate sensitivity. Monckton then took a professional courtesy copy of Arthur Smith’s response (that Dr. Smith had submitted for publication), and published it himself on a denier website without the author’s permission. Mr. Watts defended Monckton’s action, and explained why stealing and publishing someone else’s work was fair game.

    Later, Dr. Smith graciously gave his after the fact permission to post the response, if Monckton would stop referring to the response as the position of Mr. Smith’s employer, instead of Dr. Smith’s individual work (the response was not part of his job responsibilities, and he wrote the response on his own time and dime).

    Judging how Mr. Watts responded in that case, and in many other situations, we can safely reach this conclusion:

    Anthony Watts has clearly flip-flopped on this issue.

  19. Anonymous says:

    You guys are a bunch of crocks yourselves!
    A one degree change in temp over 100years and people are going nuts about it and attempting to make laws to “help save earth”. Like humans actually are big enough to burn up the world. Who do we think we are anyway?? Climate change is real and natural, it goes in warm/cold cycles. If people freak this much about a natural 1-2 degre temperature change, think what they’ll do when earth’s magnetic pole switch polarity…
    Also, anyone with half a brain now knows that weapons of mass destruction are real. Come on people!~

  20. J says:

    I wonder about the whole climate change issue. I think most of it is natural. Now I cant speak about other areas but my area has been steadily cooling for the last 7 years. This summer was almost non existent. We normally average in the mid 80s and the last few years, especially this year, 80s are not as common. I would have to think that global warming would be just that, global and not regional. Even though I do not fully believe in man made global warming, I still agree in lowering carbon and other forms of pollution from a health standpoint and a resource standpoint.

  21. David Godfrey says:

    he can’t be that horrified to have us see it – he’s put it on his website after all. I dont really see any cause for great jubiliation here, his rebuttal is well thought out and seems quite reasonable. In all I’d say he comes out of this better than his detractors do. Anyway,for a balanced view why not see the video, read these comments, go to his site, see his comments and those of others.
    As for the ‘deniers’ label – it’s offensive,being sceptical is what science should be all about, the science is not settled, denier carries all the baggage of Holocaust Denial as you well know.