I choose this particular website piece – which was written against my American Thinker article 'Yet Another Hottest Year Since 1880?' - because it reflects the zealotry and intemperance which is quite common amongst those who accept the anthropogenic global warming (AGW) theory. It appears that the transcendent importance of the cause – saving the world from capitalists and other devils – warrants (at least in this case) such unrestrained language.
The website is called What'sUpWithThatWatts and it's obviously deemed by its owner to be the pro-AGW antidote to Watts Up With That? (“the world's most viewed site on global warming and climate change”); which is run by the meteorologist Anthony Watts. What'sUpWithThatWatts is not unlike, therefore, the website Skeptical Science (which will be mentioned again in a few moments); whose blurb says that it is “getting skeptical about global warming skepticism”.
My bet is that the owner of this website choose the name 'What'sUpWithThatWatts' partly because he guessed that when you Googled 'Watts Up With That?' - the AGW scepticism site - you'd also probably find (which you do!) What'sUpWithThatWatts; just as when you Google “global-warming scepticism” and suchlike, the well-known website against global-warming scepticism - Skeptical Science – ironically always comes up literally on top.
The owner of What'sUpWithThatWatts (he doesn't give his name) describes his site in the following manner:
“This website is both my personal learning project and my contribution in the struggle to confront the ongoing attacks on rational science and objective learning, that are the hallmarks of the faith-based 'skeptics' movement.”
I wasn't particularly offended by the vituperative and sarcastic language (in the piece 'American Thinker: Another hottest year since 1880, Murphy Say What?') because the writer seems to use it against everyone else who dares to disagree with him on global warming.
For example, at random, I found comments such as this: “Another irritating part of Anthony's blog is how he tries to come across like some fair minded person...” And elsewhere on his blog:
“Unfortunately the Lord [ Monckton]....presents an advocates sales pitch. His science is cherry picked and distorted with a fiction writer's zeal.”
The latest diatribe I found against such evil “deniers” was dated the 22nd of December 2014. It reads as follows:
“Mr. Steele.... considering your noble sounding appeals to Carl Sagan's advice and a 'civil' debate, I'm appalled at the ease with which you lie about scientists, their science and Earth observations.”
In other words, the zealous language he uses against me is exactly replicated against all his other opponents. Indeed his sounds like a AGW inquisitor.
This man - for whatever reasons - has an extremely high opinion of himself. He also has a very strong conviction that everything he says – at least when it comes to global warming - is the absolute truth (even if that truth is borrowed from scientists he agrees with). He's also convinced – judging by the immoderate language - that those who say otherwise are devils (a word he no doubt wouldn't use).
Scepticism About Global-Warming Scepticism?
The writer tells us that “SkepticalScience.com” (in response to something I wrote about that website) contains “threads” which are “civil, informative and remain on topic”.
He has a few things to say about true scepticism too. In his own words:
“Skepticism is about asking questions and wanting answers and being open to best information available, even when that information steps all over pervious understanding/belief. It's not about winning or ego, it's about learning. Skepticism is about not fully trusting anyone, not even yourself. Skepticism is about weeding though nonsense and allowing the evidence to dictate what one trusts.”
And elsewhere he tell us that “skepticism is a joke without an honest desire to learn; keep in mind one directional skepticism”.
His position on scepticism, then, can be more or less summed up in this way:
i) Scepticism directed at the anthropogenic global warming theory is false scepticism (i.e., “one-dimensional scepticism”).
ii) Scepticism which accepts is is true scepticism.
Now bearing all that highfalutin talk about the true nature of scepticism and being “civil, informative and remaining on topic”, this is a selection from what he says about my own American Thinker article (which had irked him so much in the first place):
“.... another rambling kindergarden-ish cherry-picking collage”, “... childish reasoning”, “tossing out a bunch of discombobulated strands”, “Is this what Thinking in America has come to?”, “.... someone who's consumed by hustling and playing the 'Number$ game and such”, “All that matters; is turning those numbers into profits”, “an irrational appeal to distrust scientists and ignore the evidence”, “Does that really represent American thinking?”, “Screaming high octane nonsense at hard working professionals so you can ignore their information”, “.... your objections are fabrications and misrepresentations that depend on repeating meaningless talking-point-lies over and over - and then driving home your distraction with personal innuendos...”, “Why do you folks think understanding our climate system deserves such malicious contempt?”, “It's about out-screaming the information that real experts are sharing with us”, “this class-clown”, “Absolute disinterest in understanding stuff. All about playing his crowd and racking political points”, “Keeping the public as confused and apathetic as possible”....
But my favourite has to be this: “Murphy never got past his name calling.”
Now all that sarcasm and invective can be found in a piece of 791 words – and 149 of them a quotation from my American Thinker article. In other words, there's not much else other than sarcasm and invective.
In all honesty, I was going to discuss his points against me one by one. However, beyond the vitriolic and sarcastic language, I soon discovered that there were no points to discuss.
In addition, the writer seems to think that if he keeps on using the word “geophysics” (usually “underlying geophysics”) his readers will be naïve enough to believe that he's purely and solely on the side of scientific truth. (I mean the word “geophysics” is pretty impressive, isn't it? It's almost as impressive as the later “discombobulated strands”.)
The blogger even quotes my article – in some detail - and concludes with the following bit of rhetoric:
“What's that all about? What good is tossing out a bunch of discombobulated strands while totally ignoring the underlying geophysics of what's happening?”
Some of his other statements are just inane. For example, he says:
“The only message that rings through in this article is an irrational appeal to distrust scientists and ignore the evidence.”
He must surely know that AGW sceptics can cite hundreds of scientists whom they trust – on global warming and on much else. In any case, most AGW sceptics aren't asking people to distrust scientists. They're asking them to distrust some scientists. In fact I suspect that most AGW sceptics wouldn't even use the word “distrust”. They would use the words, yes: “be sceptical”. (Especially if those scientists work for the UN, the IPCC, the EU or for governments.)
Politics & Religiosity
Since this believer seems to see politics in all AGW scepticism, it's easy to see at least some politics in his own words. That's especially the case when he says that people like me (the evil ones) are “[k]eeping the public as confused and apathetic as possible”.
Oh, the recalcitrant and uncooperative “public”! You know, all those with false consciousness who've been brainwashed by the media, the oil lobby and nefarious politicians (which politicians?). Or, to use his own words, the “sheople” who “just eat [my words] up”.
Now what about AGW religiosity? Take this sad and imploring homily:
“Why do you folks think understanding our climate system deserves such malicious contempt? What's wrong with seriously understanding what's happening within this biosphere and climate system that we all depend on for everything?”
So when he's not spitting and hissing at his opponents, he's on bended knee imploring us little devils to just go away.
To be honest, this blogger sounds like he treats all his opponents as convenient and easily-dismissed stereotypes. To put all that in simple words: he never seems to stop shouting.
Try to imagine that people like this man actually working for an organisation such as the IPCC or another other governmental/UN institution. Yes, I know, the IPCC would never speak using this man's vicious and flowery prose-style because it would be counterproductive to do so. (After all, the members of the IPCC, etc. rely exclusively – don't they? - on academic and scientific articles; which - by (self)definition - must be objective and entirely free from bias.) It's the IPCC's Green/environmentalist activist and politician proxies who indulge in What'sUpWithThatWatts-style rhetoric and Stalinist tactics.
Then again, this particular blogger doesn't supply us with any personal or academic details anyway. Indeed he doesn't even supply his readers with his name. So perhaps that's because he does indeed work for a venerable anti-AGW organisation. Perhaps it's the vicious alter-ego of Al Gore or Dr Michael Mann.