(the story so far) Peter Sinclair produced a video debunking the climate change Denier “surface station” fable. The main champion of that fable Anthony Watts filed a DMCA complaint and Youtube removed the video.
[Character notes: In his rebuttal/refutation/response it seems Watts would like to play at being Henry V, roused to rightous and Royal fury by a mock from some unworthy, but merciful in his Royal Majesty. What we actually get is decidedly more reminiscent of the rogue, coward and liar Bardolph.]
But enough, now your humble patience pray, Gently to hear, kindly to judge, our play…
Act III Scene 1
Enter Bardolph: Watts begins his response by rambling for almost 1200 words about his travels in the past week, numerous almost random personal attacks and ridicule against Peter Sinclair, descriptions of the sources of some of the videos’ images, and anecdotal recollections of Warner Brothers and copyright issues. Actual content or substance to this point? between zero and none.
Not to be too pedantic, but that’s not true. In the first place what Sinclair does is more ridicule than personal attack.
Secondly, to qualify as a logical fallacy such as Personal Attack, Ad Hominem, or Appeal to Ridicule Sinclair would have had to use these tactics instead of giving a substantive case. To the extent that he mocks Watts he does so as well as giving a coherent, evidence based argument; which may be counter to the rules of etiquette, but not of logic.
In fairness one cannot say at this point that Watts has committed any of these logical errors either. Although he indulges in a great deal of personal attack and ridicule he doesn’t seem to have any point at all, much less one that he is trying to make with real or false logic.
Watts then attempts to pass off his DMCA complaint to Youtube as the kindly patrician using this “teachable moment” to educate the naive Sinclair about the realities of “fair use” and copyright. The tone is so patronizing, pompous and arrogant, not to mention transparently disingenuous, that I had to go wash myself. I have felt less slimed after picking slugs in the garden for an evening.
He then moves on to the claim “But my copyright had been ignored”, ignoring (or ignorant of) the fact that “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. ” Grandia. Watts is instead asking the reader to believe that the video actually is in violation of copyright, a logical fallacy known as a Bulverism ie he takes as given the very thing he needs to show.
Assuming we are gullible enough to believe that, he then says “And well, lets face it, he got the facts wrong …” Ok, which facts? how are they wrong? what are the credible sources that support this claim? For now we are expected to take this claim on faith.
We are then asked to believe that if only Sinclair had “made nice” to Watts (humbled himself before the King?) that Watts would have granted Sinclair the right to use the material after some minor modifications. Right. Hence a DMCA complaint rather than a communication to Sinclair to make the changes or he would take action. I believe that.
We are then treated to feigned shock (shock I say!) at the reaction of the “alarmosphere” to Watts’ actions. Apparently we should all have realized that his actions having video removed was not to prevent anyone from seeing it, but really just the kindly, wiser patriach ‘helping’ the new kid.
How base of us not to believe the best of Watts. Here he had Sinclair’s best interests at heart all along, and we thought ill of him. I am now as remorseful and repenitent as he was kindly and shocked! Aye, every bit as much.
We then get 500 words describing the vile and hateful comments and emails he got. No doubt he did. Every climate blogger does, especially if you’re part of the “alarmosphere.” Watts does not give any mention of the more thoughtful comments, or the various blog posts about the issue, or the substantive issues raised, etc.
FINALLY we get to the “facts” Sinclair supposedly got wrong. In fact there are nine of them. Trouble is, none of them have anything to do with Sinclair.
All of the “errors” that Watts’ alleges are supposedly errors in the NCDC Talking Points related to: Is the U.S. Temperature Record Reliable? document that Sinclair uses as a source for some of his points in the video. OK, Anthony? … this here is what you apparently would call a “teachable moment.”, viz:
- That’s between you and the NCDC, it’s got nothing to do with Sinclair;
- Your claim that these errors were made is nothing more than that, a claim;
- The correct way to address the supposed errors is to have had taken issue with the NCDC when you became aware of it over a month ago, which apparently you have not done;
- This is a particularly slimey rhetorical trick in that you are holding Sinclair responsible for something that Sinclair had nothing to do with, nor can answer to.
- Since it is not directed at the NCDC I suppose you are hoping that they won’t reply to these criticisms either.
And apparently you would like us to believe that the NCDC document is riddled with errors, but that you have said nothing about it for over a month? The only criticism of substance that you have made is about a minor citation error. Why the silence? Was Watts going to have a “teachable moment” with the NCDC too?
Let’s hope the NCDC does respond to Watts’ allegations soon so that he can get the most out of this “teachable moment.”
His two greatest criticisms are kept for last though. First, apparently the NCDC talking points memo does not have a named author! You know, just like every other document issued under departmental or institutional names. If Watts is concerned about accountability then here’s a little fyi … the entire NCDC is taking responsibility for it. They are the ones to talk to; and by the way? Fallacy: Red Herring.
Second, Fallacy: Straw Man. Watts states that the NCDCs’ having “Two national time series were made using the same homogeneity adjusted data …” means that they mixed all of the data together. As Watts says “Seems reasonable, until you understand what “homgenization” really is.” Yeah, if only Watts knew what homogeneity adjusted data” is. It really isn’t “homgenization”, or vice versa.
And before he goes there, they have nothing to do with homosexuality, homogenesis or any other homo.* word either
So then we get some 400 words of gibberish because Watts is apparently scientifically illiterate and too arrogant to consider checking whether he knows what he is talking about, but I am sure it sounds very convincing to the faithful.
We then get a humourous revelation when Watts denys the charge of censorship as evidenced by
“I was the first one to report on the NCDC Talking Points Memo. Fearing science, video and all that, I chose to publicly blog on a subject critical and even damaging to my own research, knowing full well others would pick it up…” (emphasis added)
Ahhh. And if he thought no one would pick up on it, he would not have ever mentioned it? So he was willing to go for full disclosure of things he knew everyone would learn about anyway. How very brave and noble of him.
In fact Watts takes full credit for anyone in the public sphere, including Sinclair, ever hearing of the Memo in the first place. If it hadn’t been for Watts mentioning it in his June 24th post how would anyone else have ever heard of it? Other than the June 12th NCDC: Press Release that is.
So you see, if it were not for Watts fearlessness and kindness Sinclair could never have made the video in the first place. How kind, merciful, and generous is our Dear King!
So in the end Watts says nothing that is relevant, credible, or accurate. Certainly he has not shown that there was any cause for his issuing a complaint to Youtube, nor that his claim of errors in the NCDC report may have any truth to it, nor what that has to do with Sinclair. How his post is supposed to improve his reputation with the sane and thoughtful is beyond me, but then most of his site is like that. The sin be upon his head.
Enter Chorus: And so a Host of full 3,500 words went out girdoned, sluiced and loined, and did smite Logic, Sense and Method about them until Reason itself lay lifeless upon the field. And though many a logical fallacy was committed, and many irrelevant points were laid thus before the assembly, even so the Battle was lost.
For when the mire and blood of battle cleared all beheld fair Laird Sinclair unscathed, with nary a wound upon him. Aye, in his Fury Bardolph hath madly loosed many an arrow into his own feet, for he had cast his eyes upwards and railed to the Heavens of his own great Goodness and Wisdom,
Which oft our stage hath shown; and, for their sake, In your fair minds let this acceptance take.
I had meant to note that the trolls have certainly not been quiet over at One Blue Marble, and I love the response:
UPDATE: Aug 2nd
Joseph Romm seems to be having a hard time taking Watts seriously too; I can’t imagine why … I LOVE the “inanity defense”, says it all right there.
Exclusive: Watts offers ‘inanity defense’ for his effort to censor Sinclair’s video, saying he was “doing him a favor.” Sinclair replies, “His reaction pretty much confirmed that my psychological profiling was dead on.” « Climate Progress
During warmer periods of Earth’s past, ocean upwellings were rare and the vast majority of the ocean was considered “stratified,” meaning that a pervasive, warm surface layer prevented cool and nutrient rich deep water from reaching the surface. Earth Gauge
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Denier “Challenge” aka Deathwatch Update: Day 276 … still no evidence.
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