How Dare You?

I don't know that I have the words to discuss this one, but I'm going to try. Yesterday, I wrote a post asking how stupid does Anthony Watts think you are because he had sent an e-mail to a guy saying (in part):

In my last telephone conversation with you, I stated (paraphrasing) that “I believe you folks aren’t doing anything fraudulent, but you are doing what you feel is correct science in what you believe is a correct way”.

After seeing the desperate tricks pulled in Karl 2015 to erase “the pause” via data manipulation, I no longer hold that opinion. You needed it to go away, so you prostituted yourselves, perhaps at the direction of higher ups.

Then when I criticized him for accusing the guy (Tom Peterson) and his colleagues of committing fraud, he first denied having used the word fraud:

Then tried to insist he hadn't accused the person of fraud because he said:

Even though his e-mail clearly states that was his old position which he now rejects. Watts sent an e-mail to explicitly reject the idea he feels Peterson and colleagues are innocent of fraud then turned around and said that proves he believes they're innocent of fraud.

That's pretty messed up. In the hope things were simply muddled, I figured I'd e-mail Watts so we could try to resolve things with more than 140 characters. I was about as cordial as is possible, but Watts wasn't having any of it. Watts began his response with:

1. You've resorted to labeling/name calling on Twitter, calling my statements "stupid."

I kid you not. I said the tweets Watts posted to claim he hadn't accused anyone of fraud were stupid. You know, the ones where he first denied having used the word then turned around and argued his e-mail's position was the one it explicitly rejected. I think it is reasonable to call things like that stupid. Because they are.

But to Watts, calling something he said stupid is "labeling/name calling." I have no idea how that works. If I say, "I made a stupid mistake," am I calling myself names? Am I labeling myself something? I hope not. I've acknowledged having made many stupid mistakes in my life. I suspect most of us have. That's because everybody, no matter how intelligent they might be, will sometimes do something stupid.

Watts continued:

2. You are claiming I'm "insane" in this email: " It is simply insane to now tweet to claim your e-mail said you hold the opinions it explicitly said you now reject."

Just like making stupid mistakes, we all sometimes do things that are not rational. In the heat of the moment, when emotions are flaring, it can be very easy to make logical leaps that are completely misguided. That can lead to us saying things which sound insane. That doesn't mean we are all insane. It just means sometimes we do insane things.

Put simply, doing something stupid/insane does not mean you are stupid/insane. Everybody knows that. Except Watts, apparently. To him, calling anything he says or does "stupid" or "insane" is labeling/name calling. But when he accuses people of committing fraud, he's not calling anyone names. He's not labeling anyone:

3. “ I'd like this issue to be resolved in a friendly manner because it seems an incredibly stupid thing to argue over.”

4. Your first two statements prevent the latter one from happening. It seems to me that you are doing exactly what you accuse me of doing, except I never did any labeling/name calling. You have.

He's just being perfectly reasonable when he says things like:

You needed it to go away, so you prostituted yourselves, perhaps at the direction of higher ups.

That's perfectly reasonable and civil. It's perfectly fine for Watts to say a group of pople prostituted themselves, "perhaps at the direction of higher ups," but don't you dare call anything he says "stupid." That's vile. Do that, and well:

We don’t see eye to eye on most things, and trying to communicate with you seems a pointless exercise when you resort to labels/name calling. So, I won’t bother further.

I think that's a great standard. The next time Anthony Watts labels anyone, or calls anyone names, we should all just say responding to him "seems a pointless exercise when [he] resort[s] to labels/name calling." I'm sure he'd understand. I mean, it's not like just about every post he's ever written has resorted to labels/name calling. I mean, it's not like he runs posts comparing people to Nazis or anything.

Oh wait:

[Hitler] was a leader whose lies and deceptions caused global disaster, including the deaths of millions of people. In a complex deception, the IPCC established a false result, the unproven hypothesis that human CO2 was causing global warming, then used it as the basis for a false premise that justifies the false result. It is a classic circular argument, but essential to perpetuate the phony results, which are the basis of all official climate change, energy, and environmental policies.

I mean, if it's horrible for me to call something Watts said "stupid," what does it mean to say:

When you understand what Adolf Hitler is saying in the quote from “Mein Kampf” above, you realize how easy it was to create the political formula of Agenda 21 and the scientific formula of the IPCC.

This is a guy who routinely insults anyone he dislikes, freely accuses people of criminal activity and defends comparing people he dislikes to ****ing Nazis.

But oh god, I called something he said "stupid." How horrible.


  1. Below an excerpt from wattsupwith that---slightly edited. It appears that the quoted words were not those of Mr. Watts.

    When you understand what Adolf Hitler is saying in the quote from “Mein Kampf” above, you realize how easy it was to create the political formula of Agenda 21 and the scientific formula of the IPCC. Those responsible for the formation, structure, research, and final Reports, easily convinced the world they were a scientific organization making valid scientific statements. They also quckly and easily marginalized skeptics, as the leaked CRU emails exposed.

    Do you have another or better explanation of a motive?

    Disclaimer [added]: This post is entirely the opinion of Dr. Tim Ball, it does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Anthony Watts or other authors who publish at WUWT. – Anthony Watts

  2. sammy, indeed they were not. I may not have made that as clear as I could have in this post, but I did say:

    I mean, it’s not like he runs posts comparing people to Nazis or anything.

    Anthony Watts runs lots of posts. Mosts of them weren't written by him. Similarly, when I said he:

    defends comparing people he dislikes to ****ing Nazis.

    That's defending the action, not taking the action himself. Watts only added the disclaimer you quote after a great deal of pressure, and even then, his position is that the post doesn't compare people to Nazis.

    If not for the massive uproar that post caused, I doubt Watts would have said a word to distance himself from that post. And despite that uproar, he hasn't apologized for it, said the Nazi comparisons were bad and wrong, and he's perfectly happy to have Tim Ball (the one who wrote the post) as one of his most prolific contributors.

    The weirdest part is he's quick to complain when people say "denier" because (in part) of the Nazi connotation, yet he's fine with having blog posts that compare people to Nazis on his website.

  3. The whole Nazi connection to CGW needs to go away. In fact, using Nazi references in any context other than referring to the actions of Nazis or Nazi wannabes needs to stop. It's juvenile and it's lame and usually a pretty good indicator that the one using the reference is lacking any decent argument for their position.

  4. Michael Schonewille, I couldn't agree more. I had gone into a bit more detail about my agreement, but my phone is stupid and ate my comment, so I'll just leàve it at that.

  5. So you are criticizing Anthony Watts' hypocrisy by comparing what he said to what Tim Ball wrote? Got it.

  6. No Shub Niggurath. As sammy and I just discussed, Anthony Watts hosted a post by Tim Ball which compared people to Nazis. He has not apologized for it or pulled it down. He has not criticized Ball for writing it, but rather, has kept Ball on as a prolific contributor and defended him on Twitter. At the same time, the official ruling as given by WUWT is the post did not compare anyone to Nazis, and anyone who says it did is wrong (and possibly just trying to start trouble).

    That is what I am criticizing Watts for.

  7. So you're contrasting the attack on a US federal government agency head (which Watts did not do) to a comparison to Nazis (which Watts did not do).

  8. I have no idea what you just said Shub Niggurath. It might help if you took the time to actually explain what your point is. These one sentence comments aren't doing anything.

    I don't even know what you're referring to. As far as I know, nobody here has even referenced "a US federal government agency head." We've talked about Tom Peterson, but he isn't the head of NOAA.

  9. That's right. You said you can call AW 'stupid' because it's not like he never calls names, and point to a Tim Ball post as example. You say you want to call AW 'stupid' because he accused Tom Peterson of fraud, which he didn't.

  10. That isn't what I said at all Shub Niggurath. In the future, if you're going to claim I've said things, would you quote where I supposedly said them so people can judge for themselves? That'd especially be helpful when you're claiming I've said things I've directly showed I didn't say. For instance, you claim I "say [I] want to call AW 'stupid because he accused Tom Peterson of fraud,'" yet I never said anything of the sort. In fact, I pretty much said the exact opposite. Multiple times. I spent several paragraphs in this post explaining how that's not true.

    As far as I can tell, what you claim I've said has practically no bearing on what I've actually said. It'd be easier to tell though if you'd actually explain enough to allow people to judge what you have to say.

  11. Pingback: Misquoting | Izuru

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