Talk:Watts Up With That?

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Former good article nomineeWatts Up With That? was a Natural sciences good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
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September 18, 2010Peer reviewReviewed
October 14, 2010Good article nomineeNot listed
Current status: Former good article nominee
WikiProject Blogging (Rated C-class, Mid-importance)
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Associated Press ends use of "Climate Denier" term[edit]

FYI, AP Announces move to "climate doubter" in their influential AP style guide. Apparently because of similar concerns continually discussed here. Capitalismojo (talk) 19:43, 24 September 2015 (UTC)

That doesn't look like a realistic solution to the problem to me. As it says, '“We’re getting good and bad from both sides, which is just about right,” says Borenstein.' This in itself shows a quest for a false balance. Even by their own terminology, they missed a trick: they say 'When there’s space for more words, an approved alternative is “those who reject mainstream climate science.”' So what happened to the contraction 'Climate change rejectors' rather than the very weak 'doubters'? Highly partisan, by my reading. --Nigelj (talk) 20:28, 24 September 2015 (UTC)
I think the more relevant part is that AP rejects the term "Climate change sceptics", too. Here is from the horse's mouth. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 17:14, 27 September 2015 (UTC)
Indeed. This is a style guide for journalists, whose content is placed in media across the political spectrum (which in the US spans from centre-right to far-right), and who want to avoid angry letters from deniers. Wikipedia doesn't have that problem. We do not need to mince words. Guy (Help!) 08:00, 12 October 2015 (UTC)
Actually, the styleguide is widely used by writing and editing professionals across all fields, not just journalists "concerned about angry letters". We aspire to be crteating neutral professional quality editing here, hence the importance. A notion that the US media spectrum spans from "centre-right to far-right" says more about the editor than the actual state of the US media. Capitalismojo (talk) 19:00, 12 October 2015 (UTC)
Indeed it does. I find it quite hard to find a "centre-right" mainstream media outlet in the US.... ;-) --Stephan Schulz (talk) 19:04, 12 October 2015 (UTC)
Well, the centre has moved so far to the right that these days Margaret Thatcher is viewed as a socialist... Anybody who thinks there is a "liberal bias" in the US media, urgently needs to travel more and read the press in other advanced democracies. Over here, it's a standing joke. Guy (Help!) 21:16, 12 October 2015 (UTC)
It is an interesting step although I'm not yet convinced it will work. If I understood Nigelj's point, I agree. If I didn't catch the intended point I'll make my own — one of my pet peeves is a response along the line of "both sides are disagreeing with me so I must've done something right". Probably not.
I'm in sympathy with their point about skeptics although I would go further. As has been pointed out on these pages, all good scientists are natural skeptics; it is or ought to be, part of the natural process of scientific research. I wouldn't limit the term to those who debunk pseudoscience. That said, "while I am sure some so-called "climate skeptics" truly believe they are debunking pseudoscience, that's not really what they are doing. I am sympathetic to those who are debunkers of pseudoscience that the term has been partially co-opted by "climate skeptics".
I also think it's disingenuous of those who use the term "denier" to pretend they are not aware of the implied connotations. While some might initially use that term without being aware of the insidious parallels, when they continue to use it after it has been pointed out one can only assume they really know better and do it intentionally.
The problem, of course, is that "doubters" is a crude term and only approximately describes what a subset of the self-described "skeptics" believe. On a more positive note, it is good to see that the AP recognizes a problem and is attempting to address it. Perhaps the discussion it engenders will be helpful (I can always dream).--S Philbrick(Talk) 19:36, 12 October 2015 (UTC)
Take it up with Mr Freud, denial is a recognised psychological or sociological description of behaviour. To soften the "denier" wording, the alternative "denialist" has some currency, but simply referring to climate change denial avoids that problem. . . dave souza, talk 21:09, 12 October 2015 (UTC)
There are two problems with your observation. First, it is not uncommon for a term to be used in a clinical sense for some period of time, but then get co-opted by others, leading to the abandonment of the term in the original sense. cf. moron. Second, one might cling to a term if it is both apt and there are no reasonable alternatives. "Denier" fails on both counts. While there are a small number of climate doubters who really are denying broad swaths of climate science, that is not generally true and most specifically not true for the majority of contributors to WUWT. It also fails as this discussion arose because of the AP suggestion of a better alternative. Do you object to the AP suggestion? If so why?--S Philbrick(Talk) 18:23, 16 October 2015 (UTC)
I buried the lede. My main concern is the approved alternative: "those who reject mainstream climate science". While I'm sure there are many in this category, it isn't an accurate description of many of them and certainly not myself. To oversimplify, I think the science is roughly right (subject to the usual problems in all scientific research — at any point in time many of the current papers have conclusions which will be revised, sometimes in small ways and sometimes in big ways with more research). My main problem is with the politicians and policy wonks who propose "solutions" or make alarmist predictions which are not supported by the science.--S Philbrick(Talk) 19:43, 12 October 2015 (UTC)
@S Philbrick, you "buried the lede"? Sorry, I don't know what you mean by that. The problem here is WUWT, have AP published anything about the blog? . . dave souza, talk 21:03, 12 October 2015 (UTC)
As for politicians and policy wonks, the relevant ones in this context are those who write or comment in the blog about their alarmist claims of disastrous economic effects or curtailment of their liberty if anything is done about the scientific findings, and so conclude that the science Must Be Wrong. Don't believe what you read on the blog. . . dave souza, talk 21:03, 12 October 2015 (UTC)
No, the problem here isn't WUWT. Heaven knows they have their own problems but the problem here is a Wikipedia article about WUWT, which uses the term "deniers' in connection with people who are raising questions about climate change issues. The AP article is about precisely that issue. Now, I suppose it can be argued that the AP guide is for journalists and we are not journalists, but it is quite common for the Wikipedia style guide to lean on the AP style guide when appropriate. It doesn't always control, but we shouldn't ignore it when it makes sense. It may or may not in this case, but I haven't seen any coherent arguments for ignoring it.--S Philbrick(Talk) 18:32, 16 October 2015 (UTC)
Nope, it's not about using "the term 'deniers' in connection with people who are raising questions about climate change issues". It's about reliable sources which use the term for a blog run to promote false answers about climate change science. . . dave souza, talk 19:43, 16 October 2015 (UTC)
I agree with part of your point. As an encyclopedia, we are recording what reliable sources say about the subject, even when their word choice is pejorative or lacking in evidence. However, your charge that the blog is run "to promote false answers about climate change science" is a very serious charge. Do you have any evidence to back up that claim?--S Philbrick(Talk) 21:07, 16 October 2015 (UTC)
While I'm confident there's better evidence around, just to be topical how do you think "raising questions" describes "Alarmists happily ignore the fact that it is easy to have record high global temperatures in the midst of a hiatus or slowdown in global warming". Looks to me like a bonkers assertion, not a question, ymmv. . dave souza, talk 21:38, 16 October 2015 (UTC)
Your link was blocked by my software; when I pushed through a ended up at a general archive site and didn't see any content. Based on the title are you referring to this?--S Philbrick(Talk) 21:53, 16 October 2015 (UTC)
@S Philbrick: This is not about you, it's about a blog that is the go-to site for climate denialists. But if the denial apologists want to accept the AP style guide then so be it - we can start removing the weasel term "climate skeptic" from Wikipedia, and that is significant progress. Guy (Help!) 21:16, 12 October 2015 (UTC)
The AP style guide is about usages of terms going forward. It isn't about whitewashing history. An encyclopedia records that history as neutrally as possible. Thus, for example, we wouldn't expect a journalist today to use the term "moron" to refer to someone (with the obvious exception of accurately capturing quotes of others), but we would expect to retain the term in this encyclopedia to show the history of the term how it was used in the past as well as how and why it is not used that way currently. That applies, mutatis mutandis, to climate skeptics. If we accept the AP style guide (which we have not yet done so) we would refrain from using the term in text going forward, but we would retain an article talking about the term as it has been used historically.--S Philbrick(Talk) 18:39, 16 October 2015 (UTC)
I've modified my position based on Dave's excellent point above.--S Philbrick(Talk) 02:09, 17 October 2015 (UTC)

It is designed to be pejorative and not descriptive. The site does not deny any hard climate data as far as I'm aware. If you have examples I'd like to see them. He disputes future predictions that are made and adjustments made to the data and criticizes what he views as unscientific and biased editorial positions from media outlets, political figures and government funded institutions. You will never find him denying that the climate changes, that is ridiculous. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.207.135.183 (talk) 10:41, 23 October 2015 (UTC)

I disagree. Climate change denial is the wilful rejection of scientific consensus in favour of a set of ideologically-driven views unsupported (and usually flatly contradicted) by good evidence. To call it denial is technically entirely correct. To call it skepticism is wrong in every conceivable sense. I can see why we might seek a less aggressive term than denialist (contrarian would work for me) but if the only choices are skeptic or denialist, then only denialist is actually correct. All the problems come from the fact that those so-labelled dislike it, whereas problems with the term skeptic stem from the fact that its use in this context is entirely Orwellian. Guy (Help!) 15:43, 8 January 2016 (UTC)
Figures for 2013-14 indicate that of 69,406 active authors of climate science papers, 4 rejected anthropogenic global warming. That's 0.006%. The climate change debate in politics is increasingly at odds with the scientifically established reality. Guy (Help!) 23:23, 13 January 2016 (UTC)

Current edit war[edit]

"Climate reality" is a joke. WUWT is denial of reality, and calling it "reality" when it disagrees with virtually all experts is vandalism. --Hob Gadling (talk) 12:38, 4 March 2017 (UTC)

If it's anything other than vandalism, it would help to see an explanation that notes past discussions and what has changed since. --Ronz (talk) 15:35, 4 March 2017 (UTC)


This page is dishonest. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 184.151.114.65 (talk) 01:41, 11 March 2017 (UTC)

Yes, WUWT is dishonest. This article, based on reliable sources, covers that point. . dave souza, talk 16:43, 14 March 2017 (UTC)
No, WUWT is not "dishonest," Dave. It is unrivaled as the world's top climate blog. Although alarmists and skeptics alike are welcomed there, the dominant view is in-between, what is often called "lukewarmist" or "climate realist." That's not the POV of Wikipedia's admins, but it is very much in the mainstream of scientific opinion, and is included as such in the spectrum of "consensus" opinions in the various surveys of "consensus" strength.
The AMS (American Meteorological Society) just did another survey of American broadcast meteorologists. They found that only 15% of those meteorologists now believe that more than 80% of the last fifty years' warming is due to human activity. Another 34% think 61-80% of the warming is due to human activity. That means a total of 15+34=49% believe that more than 60% of the last fifty years' warming is due to human activity.[1]
The IP is correct that this article is horribly biased. Unfortunately, I've given up hope of Wikipedia ever adopting a neutral POV on anything related to climate science, or any other politically sensitive topic. NCdave (talk) 14:42, 24 July 2017 (UTC)
Why is the opinion of "broadcast meteorologists" more relevant than that climatologists who do actual research? This does not sound like a useful link to include. --Hob Gadling (talk) 19:16, 24 July 2017 (UTC)

As we're not getting any discussion here, I think partial protection is in order if it continues further. --Ronz (talk) 23:28, 18 April 2017 (UTC)

Application of the equivocation fallacy[edit]

The global warming arguments of the IPCC and other institutions reach their conclusions through application of the equivocation fallacy ( http://wmbriggs.com/post/7923/ ). In this way, naïve citizens are led to false or unproved conclusions from the arguments of others.--Terry Oldberg (talk) 05:42, 1 February 2018 (UTC)

Even assuming that this is a reliable source on climate, which it is not (it's just a guest post by some layman who has not published any peer-reviewed research on climate change, on a blog of some other layman who has not published any peer-reviewed research on climate change either [1]), what is its relation to the article Watts Up With That??
Sounds like an application of the Red herring fallacy to me. Also sounds like an application of the straw man fallacy. Try to get it into a peer-reviewed publication, and the peer review will tell you what exactly it is wrong with it. If you succeed, you may be able to use it as a source, but not on the WUWT article. Until you do, good bye. --Hob Gadling (talk) 06:55, 1 February 2018 (UTC)
  1. ^ "A 2017 National Survey of Broadcast Meteorologists" (PDF). Retrieved July 24, 2017.