Anthony Watts Saves Alarmist From Becoming A Skeptic

Close call. An alarmist was on the verge of becoming a skeptic, but Anthony Watts saved his warmist soul.

I had a distressing Monday that I have not yet written about. A report in the Telegraph quoted a blogger who claimed to have evidence that NASA and NOAA falsified climate data to show the planet is warming when in reality it’s actually cooling. It gave me an opportunity to think skeptically on the science of global warming.

A day later, my eyebrows were raised by Anthony Watts who told he was critical of Goddard’s claim. Watts is known for his skeptical blog, “What’s Up With That?” WUWT commonly “debunks” global warming claims.

Then Watts replied by saying that Goddard “made major errors in his analysis.” Needless to say, I was shocked, although I was also secretly pleased to see Watt’s response, which improves his integrity in my opinion. I can respect a person with whom I disagree, especially when I see them display intellectual honesty.

My initial reactions to Goddard’s claim were denial, then anger. I was angry at the possibility that the scientific establishment could be hoaxing us all based on falsified data. However, this is highly unlikely.

Learning a lesson about myself – Climate change skeptic shakes my belief in man-made global warming – Green – News – Catholic Online

I made the horrible mistake of correctly counting the number of stations with fabricated data, and using only raw untampered data in my analysis. Another huge sin was pointing out that NASA has changed their graphs.

Thank you Anthony for saving a true believer from the sin of denial. Who knows how many other millions of potential skeptics you have saved from heresy. We certainly didn’t want to sway public opinion against the EPA ruling at this critical time.


About stevengoddard

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75 Responses to Anthony Watts Saves Alarmist From Becoming A Skeptic

  1. Bad Andrew says:

    Yeah, AW’s behavior in all of this is disappointing, but also unsurprising.


    • Josik says:

      Sad but true.
      AW is like all the others and over time he will himself destroy his own success. WUWT has became too big and AW has since some time ago started the downward spiral. He probably feels he now has the power to set the full and only agenda, to ban everyone who disagrees with him and to openly attack those he just dislike.
      A well known recipe about how to tear down your own reputation.

  2. hell_is_like_newark says:

    Anyway you two could come to terms over your disagreements? These internal pissing matches within the land of skeptics is only going to give ammunition to the ‘man-made induced climate disaster lobby’.

    • What could possibly go wrong? says:

      In real scientific circles argument (and even public ones) should be the normal, not the exception. Acting in fake consensus is a sure sign of propaganda instead.
      That said… Were there any scientific / mathematical reasons given that demonstrate WUWTs rejection of the biased data claim?

    • It isn’t up to me. I’m just reporting on Anthony’s shenanigans.

    • Chip Bennett says:

      Where did people get this idea that debate – even passionate debate – isn’t part of scientific pursuit?

      Science is not a matter of consensus – and even though professional courtesy is a reasonable expectation, neither is science a matter of particular congeniality.

      • _Jim says:

        An unrealistic view of the ‘scientific process’ prevails in the mind of the lay person. Conflict is normally seen as bad, agreement good. This must stem from preschool which precedes Kindergarten and the ‘grades’ that follow even; the teacher wants cooperation, not conflict.

        • The problem is that Anthony doesn’t understand that they have no interest in his scientific opinion. He is just useful to them to save their religion from a crisis, and then they will go back to bashing him.

          Anthony thinks he is pulling a big coup to gain respectability, but all he is doing is alienating both sides.

        • Chip Bennett says:

          So, in other words (and fitting, since we’re dealing with Marxists underlying the Religion of Climate Change), Watts is willfully rendering himself as a useful idiot.

        • _Jim says:

          How about an unwitting, unknowing, well, fool. I don’t think classical ‘idiots’ are salvageable, whereas fools are educable.

        • kirkmyers says:

          I don’t think Watts has come to grips yet with the type of people he is dealing with in the so-called climatology community. They don’t give a hoot about the truth and are contemputouus of lukewarmists like Watts, who they secretly despise and dismiss and marginalize at every opportunity.

          The fight against the human-CO2-causes-warming mythology is a brawl that will be won with hard-edged facts and a steadfast refusal to back away from the truth, not matter how startling it might seem. There’s no room for Queensberry Rules when dealing with dishonest Warmist ideologues who long ago sold their integrity for research dollers, self-promotion and a lofty position among what will one day be remembered as greatest assemblage of scientific fraudsters in the history.

          The charge that scientists at NOAA and NASA are manipulating data should come as no surprise, especially to Watts. The evidence of data temperating is overwhelming and well documented. Instead of protecting or “giving the benefit of the doubt” to the perpretrators of this dishonesty, Watts and other AGW critics should be exposing their criminal activities whenever they get a chance. It’s time to quit pussy-footing around. The people of the world are being vicitimized by the greatest fraud in scientific history.


      • Latitude says:

        Chip….read Anthony’s post again….
        Anthony accused Steve of a strawman argument…
        ….Steve was talking about two different things

        How many stations were dropped..
        …how many stations were reporting infilled data

        Either Anthony is severely reading challenged (which I seriously doubt)..
        …or he did it on purpose

        • annieoakley says:

          I think that Anthony is having difficulty believing that both NOAA and NASA are making up data to validate a political agenda. Maybe? I always liked his site before.

        • Robertv says:

          I think that Anthony does not want to believe that both NOAA and NASA are making up data to validate a political agenda. He has still hope there are some good people in government .But the moment he sees the light he will become the biggest conspiracy theories spokesman the world has ever seen. Freefall = Freefall

  3. R Shearer says:

    If you like your falsified data, you can keep it. Period.

  4. V. Uil says:

    Anthony’s ego is a terrible thing to behold.

  5. Joseph says:

    Well, the respect for Watts I had is now gone. Keep up the good work, Steve.

    • Robertv says:

      Anthony Watts too is just a human being. He just can’t make that final step. (or maybe he knows how evil government can be)

      • Jason Calley says:

        I think you are right. There are a lot of people who know — absolutely know — that something is wrong with the “climate science” that is being dished out by our governmental agencies, but they are just not able to make that very uncomfortable and painful step to realize that this is fraud, not incompetence.

        Most sceptics have so much faith in, and love for, science that it hurts to think that purported scientists are consciously lying to them.

  6. _Jim says:

    Interesting that this should be posted on Below is a copy of a response I made to Mac in another thread, but I think it’s more relevant here in this one given where this was posted.

    – – –

    Mac June 26, 2014 at 1:11 pm
    I don’t get it. Have the Warmist goons come to this guy Watts’s house, and threatened to hit him over the head with a board? Did they promise him a guest spot on “The View”? What gives?

    – – –

    _Jim June 26, 2014 at 1:22 pm

    Suggest watching the video below for the complete story, but let me break it down for you (cut to the chase as it were) first.

    Watts, Zeke, Mosher are members of the establishment.

    Goddard represents Galileo

    Galileo one day invents the telescope, and by looking at the raw min max temp data sees inconsistencies with the ever-increasing temp record produced by a branch of the establishment

    Galileo sends correspondence off to some part of the establishment with a new revelation; it looks highly likely that forgeries or fabrication of whole sets of ‘number’s exist in the Holy Data Book.

    On that day, the establishment, feeling their oats, comes down hard on Galileo for reaching conclusions ‘not in harmony’ with the ‘bulk’ of the beliefs and dogma of the establishment.

    Galileo, sticking by his Copernicus guns, in trial repeats his ‘heresy’, thereby earning him the title of heretic from the establishment.

    It’s a repeat of history. See the video below for details.

    (Start at the 20 min mark to get to the ‘chase’ scene.)


    • Bad Andrew says:


      I left comment on that Catholic Online page (I’m a Catholic for God’s sake) and they deleted it. Yes, it was snarky, but sheesh.


      • _Jim says:

        I don’t really want to deride them too hard, Andrew, I was raised (and still hold) Catholic beliefs too. I know it’s cliche, but, repeating the line spoken by Tom Cruise as Lt. Kaffee from A Few Good Men “I [just] want the Truth!”.

        • Iggy Slanter says:

          The more I watch that movie the more sympathy I have for Col. Jessup.

        • _Jim says:

          There may be a reason these are sometimes classified as “tragedies”; a form of drama based on human suffering in which no one seems to win …

          There are times where the Jessup character is preferred, such as demonstrating his adherence to duty in e.g. willing to stand guard duty at Gitmo.

  7. Ben Vorlich says:

    Don’t worry Steve it was only Zeke trolling 😉

  8. Send Al to the Pole says:

    It kept getting softer and squishier over there at WUWT. One foot in the warming chapel.

    It was just a few years ago that McIntyre had NASA admitting that 1934 was warmer than 1998. History changed itself. I understand now… it’s all becoming clear…

    My guess is that the Borg are planning to get rid of Spencer, Christy, and whoever is running RSS, and soon there will be a unified message of hot hot hot, from the climate bakery.

  9. timspence10 says:

    If 10, 20 or 30% of the original data are missing then 10, 20 or 30% of the original data are indeed missing – end of story.

    It’s perfectly correct to reach a firm conclusions of fraud by examining the raw data.

    Reducing temps from the 1920’s and 1930’s is a SCANDAL.

  10. emsnews says:

    All of this is too easy to resolve! If missing, it is missing. And on top of that, the ‘heat island effect’ is worse and worse over time due to growing urbanization and asphalt activity so the ‘corrections’ should reverse this inherent extra heat caused by urban spread, not the reverse.

    WUWT has been falling off a cliff lately over and over again, I have noticed. Like Science Skeptics, they have to massage the wrong puppies lest the dogs bark at them.

    Steven, your politics here are very right wing and I am a conservative liberal and this is a disagreement issue between us but you have been spot on about technical matters concerning temperature issues and I salute you for this, thank you.

  11. Shanna M says:

    Reading the post over at WUWT, it doesn’t seem that AW really disagrees with the data here. The points that I took away from his post was:

    1. Some of the missing data is really just late. Electronic monitoring info gets sent everyday, where as the observers using the mail send their data in each month. This explains why the last couple months may have some missing data.

    2. Not all stations have daily observers. He cites a fire station where the weekend crew does not record the temperature, so there are missing data points on every Saturday/Sunday.

    3. Some stations have not replaced observers who have moved, retired, died, etc. Or the replacement observers may not be checking in as often as before.

    So of the ~40% of the datapoints with missing data, some of it will be filled in later with raw data when the paperwork arrives in the mail, and some of it will never be filled in with raw data. I’m curious how much of that chunk of missing data is caught up in the postal system (would be interesting to see how much data is missing for the month of June on July 1st and July 21st).

    My takeaway is this. Missing data has always been around in the dataset, but at a very low level, until it suddenly shot upwards. When that happened, the quality of the data decreased and should have been made very public. At ~40%, the dataset is pretty much useless. Imagine if baseball statistics only used 60% of the games played by a batter to determine his batting average!

    • Latitude says:

      Shanna, you have to keep your eye on the pea over there….
      Anthony accussed Steve of a strawman argument….Steve was talking about two different things (infilling, and stations that have closed)

      Anthony turned “stations that are not even there” into a day or two late mailing it in….

    • Gail Combs says:

      E. M. Smith addressed the Missing data and updating scam in the Bolivia Effect half a decade ago.
      Posted on 8 January 2010

      ….Alright Already, what is this Bolivia Effect?

      Notice that nice rosy red over the top of Bolivia? Bolivia is that country near, but not on, the coast just about half way up the Pacific Ocean side. It has a patch of high cold Andes Mountains where most of the population live. It’s the patch of yellow / whitish mountains near the top in this picture:

      One Small Problem with the anomally map. There has not been any thermometer data for Bolivia in GHCN since 1990.

      None. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Nothing. Empty Set.

      So just how can it be so Hot Hot Hot! in Bolivia if there is NO data from the last 20 years?

      Easy. GIStemp “makes it up” from “nearby” thermometers up to 1200 km away. So what is within 1200 km of Bolivia? The beaches of Chili, Peru and the Amazon Jungle.

      Not exactly the same as snow capped peaks and high cold desert, but hey, you gotta make do with what you have, you know? (The official excuse given is that the data acceptance window closes on one day of the month and Bolivia does not report until after that date. Oh, and they never ever would want to go back and add date into the past after a close date. Yet they are happy to fiddle with, adjust, modify, and wholesale change and delete old data as they change their adjustment methods…)

  12. talldave2 says:


    • _Jim says:

      ‘Patents’ prove this (even though they try to be as un-ambiguous as possible, to the point of saying/repeating the same thing multiple ways) …

    • tom0mason says:

      What do you mean?
      What? Do you mean –
      That speech no matter how clearly pronounced, articulated, or enunciated is rendered unintelligible? Surely that is a hearing problem.
      Or was Carl Popper refering to reciting poorly in a non-native language?


      • _Jim says:

        Maybe this is it part of it:

        “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.”

        There will always be the Nick Stokes out there whose apparent job is to not understand.

        • tom0mason says:

          Sometimes there is someone who resolutely will not understand. Of course that depends on how you define the word ‘is’…

  13. Dave says:

    Interesting stuff. 2 questions
    1). Can you post links to Nasa’s changing graphs (or are these made by you)?
    2). I followed a previous link you posted to acquire the raw data. I found many individual files, I think one per station. I figured out the layout, put a couple together, but realized it would take me all day to covert each stations file and append into a singular database for my own analysis. Like you, I’m hands on with numbers. Is there a consolidated data set of all stations in one file?

  14. RTK says:

    “In questions of science the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual.” – Galileo Galilei (1564-1642)

    Watts is a phony.

  15. Eliza says:

    Gail: My Fatherworked for the WMO in Bolivia and Paraguay and placed most of the Stevenson Boxes (through respective goverments) in those countries during the 70’s. BTW in 1985 he told me AGW was just a scam to get more taxes. He did not bother to explain the science which I would not have understood anyway LOL

  16. Scarface says:

    Why don’t you ask Steve McIntyre to take a good look at your work and conclusions on this issue.

    If there is someone who can make or break it, it will be him!

  17. RossP says:

    I cannot understand what Anthony is arguing about. I have always read Steve’s work to be more like investigative journalism –he looks at the current data and then digs back to older records from the same source and finds significant changes. He then usually reports it with one of those very clear easily understood graphs. The changes are not from recent days but years or decades ago. What is wrong with that??
    Both Eliza and I put up on WUWT the recent figures with the 34% fabricated data ( I put a second post up with Steve’s corrections ). No one has commented on them –even Nick Stokes who had a go at my first post before the correct figures were posted.

    I note that Anthony has made comment in the second part of his “essay” that he would love to use raw data but the system is in such a mess that it cannot be done ( or words to that effect ). Is this not really agreeing with Steve to a large degree and how can Anthony agree with any work based on this raw data if that is his view of it ?

    • The raw data is fine. There is more than enough to generate a meaningful temperature trend with a Monte Carlo distribution of error.

      The problem is that they tamper with the data and obliterate the signal.

  18. jeremyp99 says:

    Paul Homewood (Not A Lot Of People Know That) is on USHCN’s case,

    He thinks their adjustments stink

    • markstoval says:

      I tried to make a comment quoting Paul Homewood and linking to his post but now I am in moderation again.

      Most likely they don’t like this quote:

      In other words, the adjustments have added an astonishing 1.35C to the annual temperature for 2013. Note also that I have included the same figures for 1934, which show that the adjustment has reduced temperatures that year by 0.91C. So, the net effect of the adjustments between 1934 and 2013 has been to add 2.26C of warming.

      Note as well, that the largest adjustments are for the estimated months of March – December. This is something that Steve Goddard has been emphasising.

      It is either that, or Paul Homewood is also person not to be mentioned over there. (how F’ing many are there?)

      • _Jim says:

        Why not post a simple one-word entry on the Test page? Something really neutral like “Wind” or “rain”. See if you are being modded … then try SG’s name …

        • markstoval says:

          Good Idea. I’ll try that early tomorrow morning when everything is on auto pilot (I think).

          I am now tending to believe that some word in my post triggered it but I can’t figure out what word as there was no profanity or any word like “fraud” this time. But I am beginning to suspect that Anthony has a long list of words that you can not use without being moderated. (and/or there is a list of us undesirables)

    • JDoherty says:

      In fact, if you look in the comments, so does Anthony Watts. I think Steve’s emphasis on raw data is very important, but the flicking graph showing an “anomaly” does not support his argument as well it might. Anomalies have to be calculated from a mean over some defined span. By selecting the span, I can shift the _apparent_ relative temperatures and manipulate the degree, sign and statistical significance of any trend. NOAA and GISS both use migrating spans for calculating the mean off which anomalies are derived. Every so often that span moves some ten years forward. When this happened in the 1990s, Hansen took advantage of it to shout from the roofs how “warm” it was. NOAA states that they “adjust” to the 20th C average and that this doesn’t affect relative temperatures or trends, which is where Steve’s graph DOES help. It seems clear that relative temperatures are being changed.

  19. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Steven, there’s a couple things I don’t understand here.

    As I understand it, you produced a “hockeystick” graph. Anthony pointed out that it was wrong. You thanked him for finding the error. Steve McIntyre speculated that it was like the Marcott error, and further investigation found that to be the case.

    You then made a new post, and in it you said:

    More than 40% of USHCN final station data is now generated from stations which have no thermometer data.

    Anthony said, no that’s not true. He said that in many, perhaps most cases, the data is simply late, and will be entered when it arrives. Since the network is manned by volunteers, the data is often a couple months late, and sometimes as much as six months.

    Now, WITHOUT taking sides here, let me ask you if this is an accurate representation of the events. We can talk about who is right and who is wrong later if you wis, but first, I’m trying to ascertain the facts. So I ask, are there any mistakes in that description?

    My regards to you,


    • Willis,

      I have posted the exact E-mail exchange.

      Anthony appeared to be unaware of how much data is missing, got very agitated, and started trashing me all over the Internet. The missing station number is valid and has nothing to do with late data – there is an exponential curve of monthly station data loss which has been occurring since 1990.

      As far as me “thanking him” that was a completely different issue from several weeks earlier which was causing a glitch in the 2014 final averages early in the month of May. The recent exchange was on June 1, at a time when the raw and final data sets through May were in sync.

      His statement “YOU NEED TO DO BETTER” was entirely his mistake, and I am astonished that he allowed that to be used by unscrupulous people to undermine the massive publicity coup we had won this week. He has a tremendous amount of explaining to do to the entire skeptic community.

      • Latitude says:

        Anthony appeared to be unaware of how much data is missing…
        looks that way…….
        When I replied that he should have had these numbers memorized by now. My post was deleted and I was put on moderation….
        sunshinehours1 says:
        June 26, 2014 at 2:52 pm

        Anthony, there are 1218 stations. That means there should be 14,616 monthly records for 2013.

        There are 11568 that have a raw and final data record = 79%. of the 14,616

        There are only 9384 of those 11,568 that do not have an E flag. 64.2% of the 1,4616

        There are only 7374 that have a en empty error flag. 50%. of the 14,616.

        36.8% is close enough to 40% for me.

        And yet the NOAA publishes press releases claiming this month or that is warmest ever.
        REPLY: Thanks for the numbers, I’ll have a look.< Anthony

        • Latitude says:

          I’ll have a look……?

          So they’ve been trashing Steve all over the internet…and havn’t even looked at the numbers

    • Dear Willis,

      You have the same access to the station data that all of us do. You can look at the numbers & determine for yourself if your hypothesis is true or false.


      • Willis Eschenbach says:

        Stark, as in many situations, the truth is less important than what the principals think is the truth … so I wanted to find out from Steve what he thinks the issues are.

        So I asked him. Not clear to me what you have to do with anything.


        • Dear Willis,

          Jaw-droppingly verbose tendencies aside, your above post contains a testable hypothesis, which you failed to examine before requesting that other people answer questions that you have.


        • Willis Eschenbach says:

          Stark Dickflüssig says:
          June 27, 2014 at 3:25 am

          Dear Willis,

          Jaw-droppingly verbose tendencies aside, your above post contains a testable hypothesis, which you failed to examine before requesting that other people answer questions that you have.


          Thanks, Dick. If you’d identify the “testable hypothesis”, I’d be glad to discuss it. Me, I was just trying to see if I had my facts right. I don’t see a hypothesis there, testable or otherwise.



    • Chris BC says:

      Willis, I would make the analogy that Anthony Watts is playing the role of John McCain here, by “reaching across the aisle”. Based on some earlier comments he has made when in the company of warmists, it appears to some he extent he wishes to be liked and/or respected by warmists. This is folly, and they will cut off that reached out arm just as sure as they did with McCain, time and time again. And at this point McCain has zero respect from anyone who knows the difference between poop and apple butter.

      I also see an analogy with Watts problem with the term “fabricated”. There are many political commentators, and not necessarily even liberal ones, who still refuse to call the Obama line about liking and keeping doctors and health plans a “lie”. I would be very curious to know just exactly how dishonest a statement would have to be in their minds before they called it a lie.

      In my mind “fabricated” is definitely an appropriate term. Even if the data is a reasonable estimation (And there are reams of evidence that it is NOT reasonable estimation.), it is still legitimate to call it fabricated when the % of missing data is so large.

  20. geran says:

    Willis–I can understand why you don’t understand.

    If someone says 2 + 2 is not equal to 5, and then someone says “No that’s not true. If you add 1 someday to 2 + 2, you will get 5”.

    It can be confusing.

    • Willis Eschenbach says:

      Thanks, geran. I can understand.

      And if I said yesterday that 2 + i = 6 and today you say “No, 3.14 * 7 = x is true. If you add 1 to the x you will get 6.”

      It can be confusing.


      PS—geran, your post was as helpful to me as I’m sure this post was to you. Next time, if you leave out the mysterious allegory and actually said what’s on your mind, I might have a hope of understanding your point …

      • geran says:

        “Next time, if you leave out the mysterious allegory and actually said what’s on your mind, I might have a hope of understanding your point”

        If you know it is an allegory, then you got the point!

        • Willis Eschenbach says:

          Great! Since you know that mine was also an allegory, then you must have gotten my point.

          Soooo … what was my point?


  21. Larry Fields says:

    Here’s a reminder: Neither you nor Anthony plays on the Hockey Team. And those guys are laughing up their sleeves at the moment.

    This rhubarb is completely unnecessary. My recommendation: ripe tomatoes at 10 paces. And no biting. Then shake hands, like the gentlemen you both are.

    BTW geran, when you use ethanol as a solvent, 2 + 2 really does equal 5. 🙂

  22. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Thanks, Steven. I’ll take a look at the email exchange, it’s exactly what I wanted.


  23. Larry Fields says:

    I’m not really current on this stuff. And it’s difficult for me to speak with open-minded people who are only familiar with the Scare-of-the-Month-Club malarkey. I only feel comfortable raising the most unambiguous examples — like the infamous Briffa ‘study’.

    A few years ago, the available TOB graph looked really fishy to me, with the putative ‘correction’ changing almost linearly over time. I do understand Time of Observation Bias. But what the heck does the “S” after TOB mean?

    I do not know which raw data sets are available to The Great Unwashed. I don’t even know if the data sets that are advertised as raw are truly raw, or just moldy. I’m not completely sure what ‘infilling’ is. And forget about homogenizing!

    What the world really needs right now is a “. . . for Dummies” book on the subject of wholesale climate data diddling. Each page should have a Weird Vocabulary sidebar that defines the arcane terminology used on that page.

    Each graph should have CLEARLY labeled axes.

    And please lose the spaghetti. Having a zillion graphs plotted on the same page, with some colors used more than once, is unforgivable.

    The concepts and basic info are probably not that difficult. But the Climobabble, hand-waving, and cluttered graphs are really getting in the way for those of us who are generic science geeks, but not climate geeks.

    But nooo! That will never happen. It would be too sensible.

    Anyway, that’s the background for the odd humor in my previous reply.

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