How does Heartland funding Anthony Watts show "the lying-based anti-science denial movement at work"?

The quotes in my question are from a previous question. This actual question was: "Which of the Heartlandgate documents most clearly shows the lying-based anti-science denial movement at work?"

One answer stated: "(1) Heartland is giving money to Anthony Watts" This is not an isolated sentiment on this issue as can be seen at many warmer blogs like ThinkProgress, DeSmogBlog and SkepticalScience. However, the SkepticalScience analysis is limited to:

"Confirmation that skeptic blogger Anthony Watts is part of Heartland’s funded network of misinformation communicators.

“We (Heartland) have also pledged to help raise around $90,000 in 2012 for Anthony Watts to help him create a new website to track temperature station data.”"

Watts describes the intended project for that funding on his blog as follows:

"It is simply for this special project requiring specialized servers, ingest systems, and plotting systems. They also don’t tell me what the project should look like, I came up with the idea and the design. The NOAA data will be displayed without any adjustments to allow easy side-by-side comparisons of stations, plus other graphical representations output 24/7/365.'

Watts intends to take existing NOAA data and provide a user friendly interface for displaying it. So what evidence is there that Watts is going to use that funding for "misinformation" as SkepticalScience calls it?


It's apparent from many answers the some people don't know what the word "evidence" means. Here is the backwards thinking I am seeing here and elsewhere on this issue.......

"Evidence" is something that supports warmist belief.

"Misinformation" and "lies" are things that are contrary to warmist belief.

"Debate" with skeptics is a waste of time.

"Skeptics" are an impediment to progressing this issue and deserve the derision they receive.

Who's really anti-science?

Update 2:

@pegminer - Sigh, you have it backwards...again. I highly respect science and the scientific method. I need to for my job. I'm in the testing and verification business along with risk assessment. If I gave poor technical advice, it would be very costly. And that's the precise reason I have the attitude that I do towards this issue.

I see poor, unsubstantiated advice that is likely to be very costly. The risk/reward ratio is way out of whack. To ignore this is to be ideological not scientific.

13 Answers

  • 8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    What evidence is there that Watts will use it the funding to spread misinformation? Well, that's what Heartland has already been paying Dr. Fred Singer to do, and Watts already spreads misinformation on his own site.

    What's your theory, that if you have the Mafia start sending money to an independent crook that the crook will use the money for the public good? Not likely.

    EDIT: Eric, there is no double standard, I don't believe anyone should be paid to lie about science, whether they're like Singer who has lied about cigarette smoking and global warming, or whether they're lying as "alarmists."

    Another EDIT: Ooh, ooh, I've got the answer to your question, Mike, about who's really anti-science. It's YOU. You always has been, your hatred of science and specifically climate scientists comes out in virtually every question you ask. If anyone doubts that, they can just look at your past questions...oh wait, you keep your past questions and answers SECRET--something you have in common with Heartland.

    One more EDIT: If you think you respect science so much Mike, go back and read your own questions (you won't let the rest of us do that) and see if you can detect a pattern in the things you say about climate science and scientists. It will become apparent very quickly that you have no respect for either the field or the people involved. You claim to be involve in "risk assessment," but I don't think you've given any sort of realistic thought to the risks involved if you are wrong about climate change. Try figuring out the expected costs of climate change if it actually occurs according to the mean of the models and "business as usual." You're welcome to weight the costs according to the probability of those models being realistic, although if you put that factor at less than 10% I would think you're greatly fooling yourself. Even with a 10% weighting I think you would have no problem coming up with numbers in the trillions of dollars. Then you might try also estimating lives lost through drought-caused famine, increased flooding other places, etc. Then think about the risks involved if the models are too CONSERVATIVE--that might be another 5% weighting, and costs of that are HUGE. Only after you've made such estimates can you say that the "risk/reward ratio is way out of whack."

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  • 8 years ago

    Hi, Mike. I suspect you might have slightly misinterpreted my last answer; from your point of view, there really isn't any hope [unless I have a stroke and lose all critical facilities, and my memory.]

    The answer to your question here is simple:

    *The released papers show clearly Heartland is an avowed liar. They detail using the same denying tactics which Big Tobacco used back when they were saying there was no evidence cigarettes cause cancer for denying human-caused global warming. They even pay some of the same people, I believe - S. Fred Singer for one.

    *Heartland gives money to Watts. The exact amount is actually written down. Watts currently admits he gets that money.

    *Watts is a proven liar. Rebuttals of his stuff, by actual climate scientists and people in related fields, are all over the internet, the science journals, and even in the popular science press. We know that whenever there's a result he doesn't like, he goes after it, claiming conspiracy and bad science, or twists the meaning to something he likes more.

    I believe that covers the basics.

    What do you call people who, by their deliberate inaction during one period of time when preventive action was known to be needed, are complicit in harm occurring to a large group of people during a later period of time?

    What do you call people who conspire to prevent any action being taken to mitigate that harm, for their own benefit?

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  • 8 years ago

    OM, it seems you have broken the 'code'.

    All of this points to the larger problem with the warmist movement, which is their ongoing effort to *stop* debate. By itself, that aspect qualifies the movement as anti-science.

    And why is anyone surprised that Heartland supports various skeptical websites, etc? Are we supposed to believe that WWF, the Sierra Club, and Soros *don't* support entities that support their position? C'mon. Besides, its a private organization; they have the right to support whomever they choose, and no one has the right to pry open their books.

    The money flowing into the pro-AGW camp is at least 3 orders of magnitude higher than what the skeptics receive...but that disparity is not large enough for them...they want all funds cut off. Heartland must really be doing a good job, if they scare the warmists this much.

    Soros is funding an NGO in California which is dedicated to getting all the TV stations to fire (or silence) all weather broadcasters who do not support AGW. Hedi Cullen wants them de-certified. So much for the First Amendment.

    Suzuki wants skeptical politicians tried as criminals.

    Hansen wants energy executives tried for 'crimes against humanity'. So much for the rule of law.

    Kennedy wants skeptics treated like 'traitors'. Does this mean firing squads?

    Pachari and Branson want skeptics 'blasted into space'. Nice.

    This is not a scientific debate. It is a totalist movement, and it is trying to silence all opposition. The tactics are ad hominem, disqualification, appeals to authority, 'no true scottsman', etc.

    These are not efforts designed to promote an objective search for the truth; they are the workings of a movement which seeks to squelch debate and impose their vision on the rest of society.

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  • Eric c
    Lv 4
    8 years ago

    Someone wrote:

    "What evidence is there that Watts will use it the funding to spread misinformation? Well, that's what Heartland has already been paying Dr. Fred Singer to do, and Watts already spreads misinformation on his own site. "

    This is another good example of alarmists double standards. Many alarmists receive money from special interests groups to run alarmists blogs. But if a skeptic receives money that is not ok. This logic is very perverse.

    But lets look at the ethics of anyone receiving money. Lets say you (a believer) are concerned about climate change. So concerned that you open up a blog to educate people about this subject. Is that unethical? No. Lets say that a special interest group shares your concern and wants to help you out by funding you some money. Is that unethical? No. After all you do need to eat, and this will allow you to spend more time on your blog. But if a skeptic were to give you money to promote skepticism would that be unethical? Yes. Because you are going against your belief system. But Anthony Watts is not going against his belief system so there is nothing wrong with that. That is unless you do have some evidence that Watts DOES believe in global warming but he is running his blog for financial gain. I am waiting for you to show me that evidence.

    What I suspect is that most alarmists have this elitist mentality. People how think they are incapable of being wrong; therefore, anyone who disagrees with them has to be lying. This elitist mentality is then reinforce by the mentor student relationship, where the mentor educates (brainwashes) his students into believing his view. The student's views are then further reinforced by only reading literature from the "pal review" system that exists in the climate science community (proved by the climate gate emails). Any internal conflict that they may indeed be wrong is solved by thinking that since the consensus thinks so, I am indeed right.

    Lastly, people the reason why people like Watts, Spencer and Christy are fighting against climate change is not because of special interests groups. Is that they are concerned. Cheap energy has brought billions of people out of poverty and misery. If global warming is indeed real and its effects catastrophic then we need an 80% reduction in carbon emissions. Anyone who thinks we can achieve this without having major and detrimental effects on our society is crazy. If climate change is not real, to subject billions of people around the world to such hardships would be a crime. That is our opinion and we are entitled to that. But that does not make us evil.

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  • Paula
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Ah, another loaded question. As much as I'd like to, I can't answer this question because the only one causing any harm is the fake one you left off the list.

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  • Gary F
    Lv 7
    8 years ago

    <<Watts intends to take existing NOAA data and provide a user friendly interface for displaying it.<<

    So, let me get this right. Watts is going to take data that Deniers claim is bogus (and that is already available both as numeric data sets and graphical output) and create an idiot-proof interface so that people who are too stupid to find or understand the data can make graphs they won't understand of data they claim to be corrupt and falsified.

    Good idea - but I would have done it for $50,000.


    Ian --

    So you're saying that Watts can take falsified data and present it in a simple way - and that the bad data will then become facts (good data?) that will prove AGW is a hoax.

    That would mean that Deniers are not using science - they are using magic.

    Well, sh!t, then why didn't you guys just say so from the beginning? That sounds like money well spent to me.


    Ian --

    It might not be as simple (whatever that means) as what Watts intends, but then, it was setup for people who know what they are doing.

    It takes about 10 lines of code to pull 2 (or 2,000,000) sets of station data.


    Ian --

    <<That means it's going down right?<<

    Right - unless you turn it upside down. If you look at the reflected image in a mirror it fcks up the whole space-time continuum thing - so, in general, I would advice against that.

    But it seems you have the basics and don't need me, after all.


    Mike --

    >>The risk/reward ratio is way out of whack.<<

    You do not (cannot) know that and it has no relationship to your job skills. The equation is - at best - nonparametric (I doubt your job calls for a lot of nonparametric testing) and I cannot even begin to imagine what the probability density functions might be for either of those variables - and neither can you. All you have done is masquerade your own subjective value judgment as some faux economic equation.

    If you're not careful, you might morph into jim.


    Atheist Chuck --

    The reliability of every set of station data has been identified by real climate scientists. Watts raised no questions that had not already been considered and resolved and his answers range from redundant to misinformed to ignorant to lies. His BS paper provides nothing relevant about anything in the real world.

    Your are right about one thing: science is science. It's a shame that you do not know what the meaning of 'is' is.

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  • 8 years ago

    Probably because the documents (if you actually read them) show how Heartland operate.

    "An estimated $36,000 to pay lawyers for litigation over whether Heartland can be forced to hand

    over records of conversations with a donor of some five years ago. Maureen Martin, our legal

    counsel, is working with a lawyer in Madison County, which is dramatically reducing what would

    otherwise be the cost."

    found at "Point 6" of the is document

    After all the noise about the public's right to know, why are they fighting so hard to keep this "person" a secret.

    Referred to as "the Anonymous Donor" he is mentioned several times in this document

    Point 4 mentions he gave only 979,000 in 2011 the smallest amount he has given since 2005

    (where are all those skeptics) I think if we knew who "the Anonymous Donor" was we would have a very good indicator to Heartlands real motives, the fact they are spending 10s of thousands of dollars to try and keep him anonymous says much about how much they really value openness and truth.

    It would be pretty short odds that he/she will either be an oil billionaire or a media billionaire (with a fading Australian accent).

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  • Ian
    Lv 5
    8 years ago

    He was going to create a website which would display data into an easy to read graphical format. As you know, most alarmists hate facts. Facts are not scary. Facts tend to prove to non believers that the CAGW is an overblown hoax. Facts are bad. They want data adjusted to fit their belief. They want scary predictions. End of world stuff. They want sea level rise predictions covering New York skyscrapers, they want people bursting into flames if they step outside in the sun, they want kids contemplating suicide instead of living in eternal hell hot weather.


    @Gary F... Watts said "The NOAA data will be displayed without any adjustments to allow easy side-by-side comparisons of stations, plus other graphical representations output 24/7/365. Doing this requires programming, system design, and bandwidth, which isn’t free and I could not do on my own."

    As far as I know the NOAA does NOT currently do this, but like any good alarmist you don't seem to have any qualms about making stuff up. Can you tell me where I can find unadjusted NOAA data in graphical format?

    If you know you can do it cheaper, I'd pitch a proposal to Heartland if I were you.

    @Gary F...If you knew how to do that for the Argo data that would impress me even more. I would LOVE to see that data in graphs. Of course you'd have to phone me up and tell me how to read it. "Hey Gary, what does that descending temperature anomaly line mean? That means it's going down right?"

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  • 8 years ago

    just look at the DATA

    I don't give a sh!t where the funding comes from if it helps. Locating BIASED stations is a GOOD thing for science. Even NOAA admits that the standard deviations of samples have the degrees of error he is summizing. We can all cry about how it handed the "deniers" a card, but science is science.

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  • JimZ
    Lv 7
    8 years ago

    Who's really anti-science?

    Dook is prime example of someone who is anti-science. I rarely respond to him because I consider him a troll but he provides a good caricature of an extreme alarmist. People like that and Gleick aren't interested in debate or science. That is why Dook blocks just about anyone that disagrees with him. In fact, alarmists hide behind their warped science and are really among the most ignorant out there. They really seem to think their political view rises to the level of science. They attempt to use cherrry picked facts to push their politics and they are all about stifling any opposition to that extreme political agenda. If we are interested in science and facts, we shouldn't dance around that obvious fact. Not all leftists are alarmists but nearly all alarmists are far leftists and AGW is all about pushing a leftist agenda. You try to argue facts with them and discuss the actual science but they aren't interested in debating. They are interested in shutting you up and anyone else that disagrees with them. If you are a leftist and not totally on board, you are a traitor to them. If you are a conservative and disagree with them, you are far worse.

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