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« Tobis on Mann | Main | Jurassic PR - Josh 154 »

Another ecowarrior loses the plot

Anthony Watts has posted up details of another example of the extraordinary behaviour those at the forefront of the global warming movement are willing to engage in. It's not quite at the levels of wackiness exhibited by Peter Gleick, but it's not far off.

To understand the back story, you need to read this post, and then take a look at this comment by Anthony.

There are some rum coves among the greens.

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Reader Comments (31)

makes you wonder how many other essentially 'fake' organisations there are out there..

Worthy of a WUWT post all by itself, Depending how amused/annoyed the WUWT mods and Anthony are I suppose..

Mar 6, 2012 at 9:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

I'm just fascinated that he needed 3 aliases to take on WUWT. One wasn't enough?

Mar 6, 2012 at 10:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterLamontT

Thanks for that Bish, brightened the day!

And answers affirmatively a philosophical question of the highest order: do bed bugs feed on trolls?

Mar 6, 2012 at 10:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterBruce

Barry Woods,
On the chance that you might have looked at Huffington Post once or twice, have you ever wondered, as have i, about the organizations run by the people with columns running down the left side of the page?

How many of them have more than 4 employees or even any employees. And these folks always have high position. it would be nice to see one of them, even once, admit to being just an intern at the Institute for the Communication of Thermal Hysteria, rather than President. Few of them have sufficient class.

Mar 6, 2012 at 10:37 PM | Unregistered Commenterj ferguson

It's very illuminating to view hashtag #climate on twitter.

Around 70% of the "twittering" is from various green activist-groups/consultancies/charities/PR outfits/ngo's etc etc - all retweeting the same daily green scare-of-the-day.

In the UK alone, there seem to be hundreds of one-person would-be quangos desparately trying to leech some of your hard earned taxes trickling down from the bigger fish.

I think if you've come out of uni with a degree (or two) in "environmental studies" - it's probably your only chance of earning a crust.

When the scam's finally over - what are we going to do with them all?

Hint - Mao's Red Guards drove the unproductive bureaucrats with whips to work in the paddy fields.

Mar 6, 2012 at 10:56 PM | Registered CommenterFoxgoose

Lice infestigation.

Mar 6, 2012 at 11:09 PM | Registered CommenterPharos

Is there a pattern here? Is this shoddy 'Institute' on the following path:

They pick up on the fear. They pick up on the fashion. They pick up on the prospect of making a lot of money and/or fame out of it. They go beyond their competence. They go over the top. They play to an ill-informed gallery of gullibles and zealots. They rejoice in their faith. They make fools of themselves. They go crazy. They make nuisances of themselves. They commit crimes. And when they get a bit older and wiser, they will, I hope, cringe with embarassment as their crassness and stupidity.

Oh what a bloody waste of everyone else's time.

Mar 6, 2012 at 11:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Shade

Add bedbugs to the very long list of things that make the CAGW crowd "unable to get their word out"!

Mar 7, 2012 at 12:25 AM | Unregistered Commenterdfbaskwill

Foxgoose: Mao's Red Guards also took part in the worst mass murder the world has ever known. How can you say such things from anonymity and sleep soundly at night? You often influence this forum to take an extremely hard line against our 'enemies'. I would really like to know who you are.

Mar 7, 2012 at 1:14 AM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

Like all narcissists, Humpert cannot bring himself to make an open apology, whining instead about Watts putting his "personal life at risk". Pathetic.

Mar 7, 2012 at 1:50 AM | Registered Commenterrickbradford

Apparently Malte Humpert has tried to 'disappear' himself by taking down all his personal pages. His technical expertise on Arctic matters is only matched by his technical expertise about how caches work. Not that it matters, as some WUWT readers had already saved copies of them anyway.

Bedbugs! Tee hee. As Anthony said, it is hard to know whether to laugh or cry - but so far most people are laughing. Very damaging, when people laugh at you. Probably for the first time in his life, Malte's pwecious self-esteem has intersected with reality.

Mar 7, 2012 at 3:08 AM | Registered Commenterjohanna

As Anthony said, it is hard to know whether to laugh or cry - but so far most people are laughing. Very damaging, when people laugh at you. Probably for the first time in his life, Malte's pwecious self-esteem has intersected with reality.

Mar 7, 2012 at 6:48 AM | Unregistered Commenterchan luu

The "three aliases" thing is actually pretty common. Many people use that technique. They create the illusion that their side of an issue has more support than it actually has by creating a supporting crowd. It can be pretty obvious when it happens, too. it isn't so hard to spot. Mr. Watts' site moderators picked up on it fairly quickly. "Institute", indeed. I'd be willing to bet the perpetrator has seen the inside of an "institute" once or twice. In fact, that is the entire method of operation for organizations such as Fenton Communications. They create an entire array of what appear to be separate "grass roots" organizations that are actually designed to make an issue seem to have more popular support than it actually does. Knowing that many people are crowd followers, they simply create what amounts to a bunch of sock-puppet organizations to provide the crowd them those people to follow. Twisted, in my opinion.

Mar 7, 2012 at 6:57 AM | Unregistered Commentercrosspatch

@foxgoose... two things that history should have taught us...

Never unleash the power of ignorance
Never unleash the power of the mob

These beasts of ignorance and the mob eat ALL in their path and never stop until their hunger is sated.

Mar 7, 2012 at 7:41 AM | Unregistered CommenterJiminy Cricket

@Richard, I know you believe that posting with anonymity reduces someone's credibility.

With BH allowing open registration, I am seriously considering coming out of the closet. My real name adds no weight to my presence, but for various reasons it may be time.

Then I considered my previous job. One of the senior guys was a typical IT Greenie. My name is unusual. Googling me is quite easy. I have no Facebook or Twitter presence. Posts here under my real name would have certainly prevented me getting the job. He was as small-minded individual.

The owner of the company where I work now has investments in Wind Farms.

When you have a family to support in a backwater part of Europe, and in an industry where Greenies are rife, it does concentrate the mind to put your names to opinions.

I am still considering "coming out", but just some feedback.

Mar 7, 2012 at 7:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterJiminy Cricket

Mar 7, 2012 at 1:14 AM | Richard Drake

Personally I value Foxgoose comments on here, usually well worth a read. But I agree that this comment was misjudged.

Not because anyone (including you, but possibly excepting the most rabid cAGW propagandists) is likely to take it as a serious suggestion.

But because it isn't really apposite.

The obvious parallel with Mao's Red Guards (and Pol Pot's merry crew, the Khmer Rouge) isn't with possibly disgruntled taxpayers, it is with the Khlima Rouge cAGW hardliners.

They are the ones hoping we all 'enjoy' a simpler, more buccolic, agrarian existence. Turning our backs on the 'evils' of modern civilisation & doing honest toil in the fields whilst they thin our ranks to a more sustainable level with their whips and little pick axes.

Make no mistake - that is the logical endpoint of hardline greenie beliefs.

Mar 7, 2012 at 8:15 AM | Unregistered CommenterMartin Brumby

Mar 7, 2012 at 7:52 AM | Jiminy Cricket

C'mon Jiminy!

Go for it.

I'm sure anyone with IT skills could find me in two minutes. How many Australian Wild Horses are there in your phone book?

And the majority shareholder in the Company I work for has massive BigWind investments.
And my line Director is MD of a Ruinables Company.

Am I bothered?


(Does help being nearly 65, I have to admit...)

Mar 7, 2012 at 8:20 AM | Unregistered CommenterMartin Brumby

Jiminy Cricket: I've always enjoyed that choice of moniker, by the way. I do, and have always, respected your right to use a pseudonym for these kinds of reasons. But this freedom for those with the best of motives comes at a price - even for them, and especially for the wider community. One price is that people say destructive things that they wouldn't if they were using their real name - and when they learn there's no reputation price for this they get into a habit of it. Another is sockpuppetry of the kind that Anthony Watts has uncovered here - and as Anthony makes clears this kind of thing takes us large amounts of time for moderators at places like Watts Up With That. That's very unproductive time for them, caused (if you care to think of it this way) by the freedom you enjoy. I don't say that to make anyone feel terrible but to make the community as a whole wiser.

Martin Brumby: The history is valuable but here's a word of warning. There have been times in history when such forces have pitted themselves against each other in a false antithesis - the most notable for most of us being Germany after the First World War. The extremists took over the argument, leaving no room for the moderate middle. We have to be aware of this in all we say and do.

Barry Woods: You're still my hero!

Mar 7, 2012 at 8:35 AM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

Jimmy Cricket: It really depends on your career choice and how petty minded your boss is. I was a gov't employee up until my retirement so I used a nic. I keep my nic for the political sites but for science sites like this I use my real name. But I'm retired and you're not.

Mar 7, 2012 at 10:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterRhoda Ramirez

Jiminy Cricket: try a method of rational decision making and write down the costs and benefits of outcomes to be multiplied with estimates of the probabilities they will happen. If you lose your job, it may be an enormous cost. What is the probability that it will happen? What is the benefit of using your own name? I think that if the probability of losing your job is more than one percent, you should remain in the closet from a rational point of view. I always use my own (unique) name but I am retired and my former employer would never have fired me unless I would have insulted the company.

Mar 7, 2012 at 10:19 AM | Unregistered Commentermindert eiting

Foxgoose: Mao's Red Guards also took part in the worst mass murder the world has ever known. How can you say such things from anonymity and sleep soundly at night?
Mar 7, 2012 at 1:14 AM Richard Drake

Lighten up Richard!

I enjoy your posts on here which are generally knowledgeable and thoughtful - but you do verge on pomposity at times.

For the avoidance of doubt - I'd better make clear that my suggestion of driving unemployed "environmental studies" graduates into the paddy fields with whips was a joke. In future I will diligently mark my attempts at humour with a "smiley" to avoid misunderstandings.

I do understand a little bit about the iniquities of Mao's Cultural Revolution - since I saw the immediate aftermath while on a trade delegation to China at the time of the "Gang of Four" in 1976.

I remember well having whispered conversations in English with a hotel waitress, who explained that being overheard could mark her out as a possible "bourgeois" and lead to punishment even then.

Time has even lent some romanticism to the rather dire state of hygiene offered to Beijing's visitors at that time. After having to evacuate my hotel room several times, when my ancient, blackened loo regurgitated floods of sewage from the floors above, I became quite ill and had to punctuate my lectures with unexplained intermittent departures from the podium.

I think you're exaggerating the actual death toll from the Cultural Revolution by the way. Although terrible and never properly researched, I believe well informed commentators put it at around one million - well behind those market leaders in terror, Hitler, Stalin & Pol Pot.

I'm touched by your desire to get to know me - but I'll decline the invitation to "come out". Intemperate anonymous ranting and ridicule, aimed at those who desire power over their fellow men, has been a feature of all societies (at least since at least ancient Greece) and I doubt anyone's going to wipe it out anytime soon.

Mar 7, 2012 at 11:53 AM | Registered CommenterFoxgoose

When I said 'took part in' I was thinking of Mao as the biggest mass killer of them all. I don't follow the stats that closely but someone I met at an Aegis meeting in London about Darfur, who himself survived the Holocaust as a child, felt the same. Anecdotal but powerful - Aegis being devoted to fighting genocide but of course aware of the difficulties of definition and doing the numbers afterwards.

What I've been inching towards is a 'new ethic' for blogs which allow pseudonymity. Pseudomyity should be seen as a priviledge that if you take it up you put aside being as trenchant (or divisive) as you would be if you were using your real name.

As for being pompous, note I take a reputation hit for that, whenever it occurs or is thought to occur. Did that occur to you as you wrote that? Did it cross your mind that this statement about me could be viewed as unjust and cowardly - even if it was 100% accurate?

Mar 7, 2012 at 12:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

I would encourage people to use their real names. I'm glad I switched.

I think that fears of adverse influence on careers are over-stated. The chances of the head of your company reading BH is very slight, and the chance of any action against you even slighter. None of my colleagues have even noticed. I think many of us overestimate the significance of our blog comments!

One positive factor is that it discourages over-the-top ranting. Another forum I belong to insists on real names, and this leads to more civilised discussions.

As Martin says, age / career stage can be a factor. I'm considerably younger than him but increasingly find as I get older that I no longer give a **** about what people think.

Mar 7, 2012 at 12:56 PM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

Did that occur to you as you wrote that? Did it cross your mind that this statement about me could be viewed as unjust and cowardly - even if it was 100% accurate?
Mar 7, 2012 at 12:49 PM Richard Drake

Well.... cowardly I suppose I have to take on the chin - since I post anonymously.

Unjust, even if 100% accurate? No, I don't buy that - how can pointing out a truth be unjust?

Mar 7, 2012 at 3:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterFoxgoose

Whenever anyone writes a sceptical letter to the Scotsman or the Herald, there appears within days a reply from someone with an impressive sounding job in one of the myriad of greenie "organisations" which are likely to consist of one person and a computer. The same names are regularly quoted in any article with any connection to the environment.

I had a run in with one of them years ago on USENET, before they invented Climate Change and were trying to ban cars on various other pretexts. I challenged him as to how many people he represented; his reply "It's not a membership organisation".

Mar 7, 2012 at 4:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterNW

Foxgoose: It's unjust because, if ever you were to be pompous (perish the thought) and I was to say so - or even if you weren't but I persuaded others to think so - you would not pay the same reputation price as exacted from me.

I've chosen not to care too much about such matters for myself, by the way. And I'm grateful you've conceded the other word, which I won't repeat. It isn't in my rule book to condemn those with whom I differ, as I've been taught that I will be judged with the same severity and I need all the loopholes I can find :)

I may have a finely developed sense of irony but anyone pseudonymous joining in the rejoicing in this victory for truth from Anthony Watts and team (and I consider it a big one) was going to raise a wry smile. I doubt that in itself would have triggered a comment and the mounting of the this particular hobby-horse.

I realised your final sentence was meant light-heartedly. I chose to interpret it as I imagined a supporter of Malte Humpert or anyone concerned about climate dangers might - or indeed an unbalanced sceptic. I often do that.

There's no way that we are not going to cause offence by stating our views in the climate area but I'm seriously with the ethos of Barry Woods since my strange experience of a week ago, when I felt the term "World's Dumbest Christian" was very applicable to me. I won't try and explain further on that cos that could also cause offence :)

Paul Matthews is a good guy who sometimes disagrees with me and Hilary Ostrov's the same, except for the gender. There is something to be gained by using one's real name and it's hard to describe except to say that I'm proud to have such as these as friends.

Mar 7, 2012 at 5:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

I am always impersonating myself on-line.

Mar 7, 2012 at 6:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterJeff Norman

There is something to be gained by using one's real name and it's hard to describe except to say that I'm proud to have such as these as friends.
Mar 7, 2012 at 5:05 PM Richard Drake

With respect, Richard, I think we have a deep and unbridgeable philosophical difference in our approach to internet blogging.

I regard it as a convenient way of carrying forward a very old and useful tradition of lampooning and ridiculing the dubious motives and hypocrisy of those who seek or wield power.

Currently, the environmental movement, in all its manifest guises, has produced an abundant crop of fools, knaves, crooks and parasites who provide a particularly attractive and rewarding target for such a diversion.

Think of those 18th century cartoons by Hogarth, Gilray & Rowlandson and their numerous anonymous imitators, lampooning royalty, politicians and high society in often scurrilous and obscene detail.

I believe this kind of rumbustious and "over the top" knockabout is quite effective in exposing fault lines in societies - and it's also quite enjoyable.

I don't however confuse anything in the blogosphere with real life or real relationships. I find it quite difficult to understand people who expose their real identities on blogs or social networking sites since they can never be sure of the identities, motives or psychological quirks of people they interface with.

Still, each to his own - and good luck to Barry and yourself with the Kumbaya approach to climatology.

Mar 7, 2012 at 8:07 PM | Registered CommenterFoxgoose

Another Eco Warrior who does not have a background in statistics, climate or meteorology - The Arctic Institute looks more at International Relations and International Law. The founder has a BA in Political Science 2007, and an MA in European Studies 2009.

When the climate community asks about the source of funding of Heartland Institute or the GWPF, should they not also ask who funds the Arctic Institute? Eight members of staff, yet no address, no country, no organisation.

Mar 7, 2012 at 11:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterManicBeancounter


I regard it as a convenient way of carrying forward a very old and useful tradition of lampooning and ridiculing the dubious motives and hypocrisy of those who seek or wield power.

This has been my approach. My name does not add scientific weight. But I have a degree in engineering, and have been a partner of major consultancy firm. I have specialised in QA. I do understand politics (I have met senior politicians) lobbying and how business really gets done. My hobby is history.

I have deliberately made comments on this site with the Politics of the situation in mind, not the Science. I have not treated it is as a social forum. Sometimes my comments have been "direct" and uncompromising. I have at times been a "bit of a bastard". But this is a very focused site. People do not want to read through lots of social interaction. I read the comments because they add value even if I do not agree with them. I have learnt a great deal.

I got p*ssed off with the BBD events over the last few months, not because I had anything against his views, but because via his actions the site was being devalued.

My considering "coming out" was a reflection that I think the game has moved on. Three years ago I felt very isolated in my views. The amount of CAGW bullshit that needed skewering great. Now? The more the "denier" is used, the more we are winning the debate. I think it is time to be more confident in ourselves. Also I would like to post under my name just to see how it effects my style ;-.)

Having said that, yesterday I found out something about my company that means I will hang fire a while. I trust my current HR department. New people have to be assessed. Jiminy Cricket is not very trusting, but myself? I am a trusting soul, but Environmentalists I have learned to be wary of.

Pragmatism to the fore :-)

Mar 8, 2012 at 8:11 AM | Unregistered CommenterJiminy Cricket


the Kumbaya approach to climatology.

That I found the most amusing phrase in your response but not the most convincing. But then I didn't find all that much convincing.

The analogy with Hogarth falls down because we know exactly who he was. Same for the great satirists like Swift. Those that chose to remain anonymous are (surprise) much less known and I would argue were far less effective in their own day.

But any such analogy will only take us so far, in any case. The online world is profoundly different. On a blog like this, over time, we do establish something akin to relationships in the 'real world'. That's why BBD was such a pain (thanks Jiminy for going there). But it goes much deeper than that.

I'm not in favour of the Kumbaya approach to climatology, much though I enjoy the phrase. I'm arguing for something quite different: that if you choose to use a pseudonym it is generally accepted that you cannot be as trenchant or divisive as those who use their real name.

It's not all about the Kumbaya moments. It's about my right to be more divisive than you, because I take a reputation hit when I am so. I'm not advocating everyone using their real name. Like Jiminy I'm a pragmatist - but also an experimentalist. I think a changed culture in this regard would be an extremely potent and worthwhile experiment.

Mar 8, 2012 at 5:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

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