Sunday, October 30, 2022

Saturday, October 29, 2022

                          KICKS CENSORSHIP UP A NOTCH

After banning many climate scientists in 2012, Anthony Watts added a new feature to his climate blog:


 Some big changes coming to WUWT in the near future


You may have already noticed that commenting is faster. 

That’s because whitelisting is now enabled. 

Of course the usual banned words and blacklisted commenter memes will go straight to the nether regions as before. 

Some comments that are questionable, and require the attention of a moderator will get held for review, but for 99% of people making comments, you’ll see an immediate speed improvement. 

After a million comments the hard way, it is time to work smarter. This is a win-win for the readers as well as the moderation staff, and particularly for me.

And, there are other improvements coming. 

Drop us a note if you see inappropriate comments.

 A decade later, he's still trying to soundproof his echo chamber:

 2022 OCTOBER 29

Anthony Watts

COMING SOON: Commenting here will require registration

First, don’t panic – we are going to make this easy. Starting About November 7th/8th, commenting on WUWT will require you to be a registered user. Read on for the hows and whys.

For over 15 years, WUWT has been open to commenting by anyone. That had both good and bad aspects to it. 

The good was obvious – anyone could immediately comment by simply placing their email address and name/handle into the comment box. The first comment required approval, after that comments went unfettered provided the commenter didn’t use any of the prohibited words or phrases that most platforms already flag as inappropriate.

The bad was not so obvious – and appeared mostly behind the scenes ...

We are being spammed by an extremely clever and aggressive spambot.

The bot uses several techniques to spoof users but is trying a new one today.

Then there’s Twitter, which has millions of “bots”...

How many bots do we have on WUWT? Well, there could be dozens to hundreds…  we don’t really know a total bot count.

What we do know, is that it is getting worse, and as the climate alarmist establishment gets even more zealous, trying to make people believe there is a “climate crisis”, our workload to weed out false commentary from bots and other fakes has increased significantly.

When I started WUWT in 2006 the Internet was a different entity. Now, it’s a climate war zone, and we have to harden the fort against daily attacks...

We have a process by which we are going to use some automation assistance to help our valid pre-existing users get registered. I don’t want to give the details, because that will tip our hand to the bots and the bullies. Let’s just say, you’ll be hearing more soon...


Reply to 

Friday, October 28, 2022



 by Jacob Schell

One of the most revealing artifacts of Latour’s intellectual shift is a 2004 article, 

“Why Has Critique Run out of Steam?,” 

which is in effect a self-disavowal. The article presaged the crisis that now afflicts academic critical theory, which is still seen by both detractors and adherents as a subversive, iconoclastic discipline, but whose practitioners have largely settled into the role of rubber-stamping the latest ideological fads of cultural liberalism...

But climate science, for Latour and like-minded critical theorists, wasn’t to be grouped in with Cold War-era Big Science—even if climate science was, and is, both “Big” and “Science.” It’s not hard to see why. Postwar Big Science had been linked with the military-industrial complex and the West’s pursuit of geopolitical dominance. In contrast, climate scientists aligned themselves with activist causes that originated in the counterculture, and saw themselves as fighting on behalf of humanity as a whole and against the fossil fuel industry and other industrial juggernauts. Hence, to join with the forces critiquing climate science would be a tactical error that mistook the struggles of the early 21st century for those of the previous century.

Even if we accept that premise, a dilemma remains: What work is left for the critical theorist resigned to “trusting the science”? After all, this attitude places such a figure well downstream from the social arena Latour spent the prime of his career critiquing: that of science and its social, technological, and monetary support systems. So in this new scenario, the theorist waits passively to receive truths worked out in advance somewhere upstream. At best, after receiving these truths, produced by scientists competing over NSF funds and summit invitations, the critical theorist adds some intellectual polish—or develops a hermeneutic to stigmatize skeptics.

One objective of late 20th century critical theory had been to maintain the intellectual sovereignty of the social theorist and of the institutional and livelihood trappings around this figure. A theorist who doesn’t merely “trust the science” has his or her own type of work to do, and thus has solid ground on which to assert intellectual autonomy.

In 2004, despite his pivot, Latour still valued this autonomy. In “Why Has Critique Run Out of Steam?” he attempted to deal with this dilemma through an appeal to the anti-modernist philosopher Martin Heidegger. Heidegger offered Latour a distinction between authentic and alienating experience, which Latour hoped to repurpose as a mechanism to help a new generation of critical theorists distinguish “good” from “bad” science. The distinction is vague and almost tautological. Still, Latour recognized that if critical theorists were to retain any intellectual autonomy, they would have to refer to some kind of value system more fundamental than science.

In the 2020s, the intellectual offspring of critical theory have joined not only the fight against global warming, but the fight against “misinformation.” This alignment amounts to being even more credulous about claims of stable, non-political distinctions between truth and falsehood, since such distinctions are necessary to determine what counts as “misinformation.” At the same time, though, those informed by critical theory still engage in selective science skepticism (notably, about the areas of biology dealing with sex differences).

For critical theory, this represents a double failure. Latour’s desire for a rigorous analytical mechanism for choosing which science to embrace and which to treat as politically constructed has not been fulfilled. 

Instead, a coalitional logic worked out well upstream from the terrain of critical theorists now determines which science they must identify as good or bad. Critical theorists do not even cherry-pick which science they deem trustworthy. They simply wait to be told—by the foundations that fund their work, or by political parties and activists—which cherries to pick and which to avoid.

Thursday, October 27, 2022

                                   THE SCIENCE IS SETTLED

spewed from a supervolcano, microplastics have infested the atmosphere and encircled the globe. These are bits of plastic less than 5 millimeters long, and they come in two main varieties. Fragments spawn from disintegrating bags and bottles (babies drink millions of tiny particles a dayin their formula), and microfibers tear loose from synthetic clothing in the wash and flush out to sea. Winds then scour land and ocean, carrying microplastics high into the atmosphere. The air is so lousy with the stuff that each year, the equivalent of over 120 million plastic bottles fall on 11 protected areas in the US, which account for just 6 percent of the country’s total area.

Matt Simon

 is a science journalist at WIRED, where he covers biology, robotics, cannabis, and the environment. He’s also the author of Plight of the Living Dead: What Real-Life Zombies Reveal About Our World—And Ourselves, and The Wasp That Brainwashed the Caterpillar


Wednesday, October 26, 2022



 Apocalypse Then and Now

By Julian Brave NoiseCat

In March 2019, HuffPost sent me to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, home of the Oglala Lakota Nation in South Dakota

But a week before I arrived… The reservation was pummeled by a blizzard... and the reservation’s creeks overflowed...

Amid the flooding, I drove all over the reservation to survey the damage, eventually arriving at Wounded Knee, site of the infamous 1890 massacre and… a mass grave of one hundred forty-six Lakota...

Here before me, in one scene, were the interlocking forces of genocide, ecological apocalypse, resistance, and repression—the imperial roots of the climate crisis and their colonial fallout.

Monday, October 24, 2022

                          ALL THE NEWS THAT'S FIT TO PINT

Professor Stevens, the world climate report describes clouds as the greatest uncertainty factor for climate forecasts. Why is that?

Bjorn Stevens: See that cloud out there? In my field, most people think of a cloud as these compact white objects in the blue sky...

ZEIT: Just like in the children's book… How much water does this cloud contain?

Stevens: A cloud the size of an old building can only hold a liter of water.

ZEIT: That would fit in a pint of beer!


Compressing water to a density of 2.2 in a beer stein poses a serious maß extinction risk.

Friday, October 21, 2022

The world was his laboratory

 "At the height of the so-called Science Wars, in the mid-1990s, many saw the field of STS—or, just as often, what they’d heard about it—as a menace. Richard Rorty once described Latour as “the bête noire of science worshippers.” 

He had intended the title as an honorific, but it also summed up the suspicion, perhaps most vividly expressed by the biologist Paul R. Gross and the mathematician Norman Levitt in their 1994 polemic against postmodernism, Higher Superstition, that Latour was little more than “a Panurgian imp, come to catch all those solemn scientists with their pants down.” The titles of papers like “A Relativistic Account of Einstein’s Relativity” or “Do Scientific Objects Have a History? Pasteur and Whitehead in a Bath of Lactic Acid,” the latter of which was translated by Lydia Davis, did little to help his case.

In a typically reflexive turn, Latour began to examine how this hostile misunderstanding between “the two cultures” had come about. In 2004, he published “Why Has Critique Run Out of Steam?,” which posed the question of whether his early work on “the social construction of facts” had unwittingly laid the groundwork for dangerous anti-scientific thinking—in particular, climate change denial. “We want to add reality to scientific objects, but, inevitably, through a sort of tragic bias, we seem always to be subtracting some bit from it,” he wrote. “Like a clumsy waiter setting plates on a slanted table, every nice dish slides down and crashes on the ground.” Latour emerges in the essay as the kind of regretful character to whom Kazuo Ishiguro might be drawn—a man who, late in life, comes to realize that he has unwittingly served the enemy, and, with a somewhat exaggerated show of remorse, attempts to control the perception of his legacy. Propulsive, light-footed, and often very funny, it is the essay for which he seems to be most well-known on American college campuses, perhaps because of the seductive, if misleading, portrait it presents of the influence of French theory.

Later, Latour argued—correctly, I believe—that climate deniers had seized the tools not of postmodern critics but of the most naïve positivists (i.e., the facts are not yet certain enough) to launch their attack on scientific reality. In the final phase of his career, as global temperatures soared, he devoted himself to the climate crisis.5 With his knack for ferrying knowledge between networks, he published polemics, curated art exhibits, acted in plays, surveyed French villagers, and co-authored papers in scientific journals. Some of Latour’s critics dismissed these activities as a kind of penance, an effort to rebuild faith in the knowledge he once appeared to regard with skepticism. Latour maintained that it was not him who had evolved but the world. As he wrote in Facing Gaia, published in 2017:

Although certain scientist friends believe that I have stopped being a “relativist” and have started “believing” in the “facts” about the climate, it is on the contrary because I have never thought that “facts” were objects of belief, and because, ever since Laboratory Life, I have described the institution that makes it possible to ensure their validity in place of the epistemology that claimed to defend them, that I feel better armed today to help researchers protect themselves from the attacks of negationists. It is not I who have changed, but those who, finding themselves suddenly attacked, have understood to what extent their epistemology was protecting them badly."

Whole obit at  N+1 

                                  IT'S A BIRD ! IT'S A PLANE!

           The Rolls-Royce of  electric aircraft is exactly that:
Former Enron guru Robert Bradley wants to keep Houston Oil Club eyes from rolling heavenward,  lest they notice the free market has already launched electric Spitfires into the sky:

Battery Airplanes? Nope! 

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- October 20, 2022

In a sea of government subsidies and PR stunts, the Deep Decarbonization movement regularly tees up alternatives to direct fossil fuel usage.

 Posing as technological optimists, the strategy is to change the mindset of mineral energy dominance, so that an attitude of “if government builds it, they will come” can be politically possible.

But what is physically possible is not what is economically prudent, defined as using less resources rather than more to allow other wants to be met. 

The market picks winners, leaving losers for government. Rather than tax-and-spend, taxes should be reduced for individuals and business to allow greater market entrepreneurship

Perhaps sometime in the future a revolution will take hold from what is today’s best practices, but by then, the technology might be wholly different from what the government is subsidizing. 

When it comes to airplanes, batteries are the killer: too heavy, too bulky. Energy density, in other words. (And that electricity is probably fossil-fuel created anyway.)

Thursday, October 20, 2022

                    " THIS CO2 STUFF IS PURE DELUSION"

Famed Watts Coal PR flack Willie Soon fears The American Geophysical Union is out to get him :

" You really want to puke. You literally want to puke. These are the worst criminals that you can find … they threaten they want to shoot you, they want to do something to you, it's very worrisome… I don't think Joe Biden is the true President."

For some reason Willie's Heartland  Conference powerpoints, including his photoshopped  rewrite of  E=MC2 as 
' IPCC = Gangster Science '
do not endear him to geophysicists who've read:

Sunday, October 16, 2022

                       TROPOPAUSE OUTREACH: HELPING

Evolution skeptics at the Heartland Institute and  Climate Depot argue that since temperature decreases with altitude, the head of a six meter tall giraffe is ~42 millidegrees C cooler than its hooves, an increment approximating the annual rate of man-made global warming .

Reaching for the tropopause is a tried and true approach to climate mitigation 

The  HICD  researchers seek Discovery Institute and Friends of Tar Sand Science funding to determine if so-called 'evolutionary' warming adaptation can be outperformed, and the sponsor's Stewardship of Creation improved, by CRISPR research aimed at mitigating global warming by producing taller specimens of endangered species.
The Anti-CAGW collective hopes that if COP-27's Egyptian hosts showcase their proposal, CRISPR amplified Nubian giraffes with heads a meter closer to the tropopause than the current norm will soon be able to rewind the climate Doomsday Clock by a year simply by standing up.

Sunday, October 9, 2022


I saw Bruno Latour lose a debate with Sokal at the LSE, and win over an audience at Harvard.  His conversation lived up to his family's best wines, which is saying something. 

Sunday, October 2, 2022



Saturday, October 1, 2022


Aerial view of gas erupting though to the surface of the Baltic Sea where the Nord Stream pipeline runs

AUTHOR, Andreas Malm  of  Lund University,  tells The New Yorker why:

"I am in favor of destroying machines, property, not harming people... and I think property can be destroyed in all manners of ways or it can be neutralized in a very gentle fashion… or in a more spectacular fashion as in potentially blowing up a pipeline that’s under construction.”



            The World is Not Enough 1999

James Bond Pipeline Scene

When “M” needs to stop an atom bomb from exploding, she sends Bond and Dr. Christmas Jones to handle the job… They speed through a gas pipeline on an inspection 'pig'  attempting to disarm the stolen A- bomb it contains They succeed in removing its plutonium core but its conventional  explosives go on ticking, and they hop off the pig seconds before it explodes, blowing up 50 yards of the pipeline.