Open Thread – Offline for awhile

I’ll be offline anywhere from 48-72 hours. The reason?

My lovely wife has another GA surgery scheduled for tomorrow at Stanford, hopefully the last one, and while I’ll have some sporadic Internet access, I don’t plan on focusing on anything but her. We are leaving today and I’m in transit while you read this as this is an automatically scheduled posting.

Guest authors and moderators may fill the void if you wish. If not, no worries.

Please, keep it civil.

143 thoughts on “Open Thread – Offline for awhile

  1. Good luck with everything!
    I think, with a clean thread, this would be a good time to mention that the site’s comments are getting way too high of a percentage of “THEY ARE LIARS BECAUSE THEY LIE WHAT DO YOU EXPECT” type comments, and smug self-congratulatory comments which basically amount to “SO WHAT NOW SCIENTISTS, HUH?” This shift in tone over the last 12 months has been really irritating, it’s much more difficult to weed through to good commentary after articles.

  2. Seeing as this is an open thread what I would like to know from ‘Warmists’ is what would falsify the theory of Anthropogenic Global Warming? Read this first.

  3. More surgery? I was hoping that it was all behind you. May success and a rapid recovery be your path.

  4. First and most important, I hope all goes well.
    Second, it seems like I’m getting more action from AGW Believers who seem to think that they need to “correct me and show me the errors of my ways”. I guess it never occurs to them that they could be wrong and need to be corrected from the “errors of their ways”.

  5. Anthony,
    Please be assured that my thoughts are with you both and all will go as you no doubt fervently hope. Strength to all and best wishes.

  6. Imagine IF the Arctic sea ice extent ‘recovers’ to the ~1979 level and global mean temperatures go on a downward trend; where would the debate be? What would James Hansen say? Monbiot? Schmidt? Would they admit that they were wrong? Highly unlikely.
    After all is said and done – global warming has always been good for the planet. Global cooling has always been frowned on by most life forms [see tropics].

  7. tvtropes has a page about Global Warming. It’s rather funny.
    ” debate among the media and the general public rages on over veracity. Politicians and academics on both sides repeat “does not” and “does too” again and again using various synonyms and scientific citings to make it sound less like a playground brawl.”

  8. I’ll add my prayers and best wishes. Hope all goes well. Your family is your top priority.

  9. Food vs. Fuel. Old argument, I know, but the facts are starting to come out even in the NYT.
    “Rush to Use Crops as Fuel Raises Food Prices and Hunger Fears”
    But last year, 98 percent of cassava chips exported from Thailand, the world’s largest cassava exporter, went to just one place and almost all for one purpose: to China to make biofuel. Driven by new demand, Thai exports of cassava chips have increased nearly fourfold since 2008, and the price of cassava has roughly doubled.
    Each year, an ever larger portion of the world’s crops — cassava and corn, sugar and palm oil — is being diverted for biofuels as developed countries pass laws mandating greater use of nonfossil fuels and as emerging powerhouses like China seek new sources of energy to keep their cars and industries running. Cassava is a relatively new entrant in the biofuel stream.
    But with food prices rising sharply in recent months, many experts are calling on countries to scale back their headlong rush into green fuel development, arguing that the combination of ambitious biofuel targets and mediocre harvests of some crucial crops is contributing to high prices, hunger and political instability.
    This year, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization reported that its index of food prices was the highest in its more than 20 years of existence. Prices rose 15 percent from October to January alone, potentially “throwing an additional 44 million people in low- and middle-income countries into poverty,” the World Bank said.

    Suggest linking via Google news to get past the NYT register wall. Search on Biofuel .

  10. I, my beloved Libby, the intrepid Killowatt, and all the birds on the feeder wish you and your wife well.

  11. Contrary to what the warmists seem to think most anti global warming folk are ardent conservationists. Therefore I suggest that all, warmists and anti, check out the Decorah Eagle nest cam. Be sure to watch the Utube stuff.

  12. Our prayers are with your family, always. No worries, all will behave or we’ll introduce them to… the gatekeepers. Right ctm?

  13. Best wishes to you and your spouse. Hope all goes well and recovery is swift.
    P.S. A second to TheFlyingOrc’s earlier observation. I’m not sure if this will be effective in counteracting it, but I think a reminder, at the end of each post, to keep it civil and avoid snark might do wonders.

  14. Let me add my sentiments to those of the other well-wishers. The best of luck to you both.
    In case any WUWT readers don’t know him, I recommend Matt Ridley’s blog. See this recent post, for example:
    “I call it my tourniquet theory and it goes like this: if you are bleeding to death from a severed limb, then a tourniquet may save your life, but if you have a nosebleed, then a tourniquet round your neck will do more harm than good. This metaphor can be applied to all sorts of scares and their remedies, but it is climate change that I have in mind. Over the past few years it has gradually become clear to me that climate change is a nosebleed, not a severed limb, and that the remedies we are subsidising are tourniquets round the neck of the economy. ….”
    … with references to two journal papers to back up his point.

  15. Like others here, I’m keeping you and your wife in my prayers. Best wishes always.

  16. Bless you folks as you travel, your sweetie to get better, and I will watch over the Sutter Buttes and make sure they will be there when you return home.

  17. Prayers and best wishes, Anthony.
    Now, park bears, now that Ranger Smith is away, let’s rummage in those dumpsters!

  18. All surgeries are serious, I hopes your wife’s goes well and a speedy recovery. Hopefully the last!

  19. Prayers for you both-I’ve dealt with my wife’s illness for eight years. Now we are finally getting somewhere…

  20. Anthony,
    My best wishes from my family to yours. I hope all goes well and life returns to where it should be; happiness, ordinary day-to-day joy and no worries for the future.

  21. Anthony, you and your lovely wife have so many people here wishing you both well. Add me to the multitude. All the best.

  22. “By the way, what is GA surgery?”
    My guess is “General Anesthetic” NOS
    I’m wishing we had news and praying that it is good.

  23. My best wishes to Anthony and his family, especially his wife of course. Meanwhile, the BBCs Richard Black is reporting a new claim that the Arctic ice will now be completely gone in the summer months by 2016 (+/- 3 yrs). The claim is made by the same bunch that made the previous “gone by 2013” claim and is based on their new “sooper dooper” computer model. Read it here:

  24. Very best of luck Mrs Watts and keep holding on Anthony.
    My thanks as always for your grit and integrity.
    I did enjoy your post on the PokeMobile.
    Cheers JJ

  25. Smokey says:
    April 7, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    And my nomination for headline of the week:
    AMA Quacks On Climate

    True, but remember the AMA represents only an eighth of the doctors in America. The rest are smart enough not to join.

  26. Gary says:
    April 7, 2011 at 7:04 pm
    Climatologist Tim Ball being sued by Mchael Mann and Andrew Whats his name.

    I think this story needs to be on WUWT front page (when Anthony returns and has the time. Or maybe a mod?

  27. Anthony,
    You give us a window into your private life that most would not do. I hope everything goes stupendously, because I’m very selfish. I want you back doing your amazing stuff on this blog without you needing to worry about your family. However, family matters come first–as always.

  28. Thank you, Anthony. Very best wishes for your wife, you and your kids and family during all of this.
    Don’t worry about WUWT, we have evolved into a self-aware cyber-organism & will look after things while you take care of your wife. Best always.

  29. Anthony, I hope and pray everything goes well for your wife. And that she has a speedy recovery. We will miss you, for sure, but we all understand that family comes first. Take care and God Bless.

  30. Anthony, may the surgery accomplish all its goals, and Mrs Watts’ recovery be complete and as pain and stress free as possible. I appreciate all you do for the promotion of science and the scientific method.

  31. I met a woman tonight who works for a major, brand name corporation. She knows that global warming is b.s., she understands the manipulation of media, we discussed it. Yet she still refers to all solid polution as a “carbon footprint.” I didn’t correct her as it was a friendly, family gathering where it would be inappropriate. But to me, it demonstrates how pervasive the language of the new global warming culture is now.

  32. >I met a woman tonight who works for a major, brand name corporation. She knows >that global warming is b.s, she understands the manipulation of media
    And we all know that the best source of trustworthy unbiased information, scientific rigor, lack of media manipulation, and complete selflessness comes from corporations! I can think of many great examples……TEPCO, BP, Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, Countrywide, Enron, etc…

  33. Wishing your wife well for a successful operation and a speedy recovery. These are harrowing times in any family and always first priority.
    Some of the comment I read up-thread about some of the vitriol which is dogging the climate debate somehow brought the Elephant nursery rhyme to mind…
    “It was six men of Indostan
    To learning much inclined,
    Who went to see the Elephant
    (Though all of them were blind),
    That each by observation
    Might satisfy his mind
    The First approached the Elephant,
    And happening to fall
    Against his broad and sturdy side,
    At once began to bawl:
    “God bless me! but the Elephant
    Is very like a wall!”
    The Second, feeling of the tusk,
    Cried, “Ho! what have we here
    So very round and smooth and sharp?
    To me ’tis mighty clear
    This wonder of an Elephant
    Is very like a spear!”
    The Third approached the animal,
    And happening to take
    The squirming trunk within his hands,
    Thus boldly up and spake:
    “I see,” quoth he, “the Elephant
    Is very like a snake!”
    The Fourth reached out an eager hand,
    And felt about the knee.
    “What most this wondrous beast is like
    Is mighty plain,” quoth he;
    “ ‘Tis clear enough the Elephant
    Is very like a tree!”
    The Fifth, who chanced to touch the ear,
    Said: “E’en the blindest man
    Can tell what this resembles most;
    Deny the fact who can
    This marvel of an Elephant
    Is very like a fan!”
    The Sixth no sooner had begun
    About the beast to grope,
    Than, seizing on the swinging tail
    That fell within his scope,
    “I see,” quoth he, “the Elephant
    Is very like a rope!”
    And so these men of Indostan
    Disputed loud and long,
    Each in his own opinion
    Exceeding stiff and strong,
    Though each was partly in the right,
    And all were in the wrong!
    The Moral of the Elephant Rhyme:
    So oft in theologic wars,
    The disputants, I ween,
    Rail on in utter ignorance
    Of what each other mean,
    And prate about an Elephant
    Not one of them has seen!!”
    Seems to sum up the current state of climate science and is an ‘elephant in the room’ which can’t be ignored.

  34. I add to all of the above my own best wishes for a good outcome for your wife. At such a time the real values in our lives come forward.
    This is also an opportunity for me to say how much I personally appreciate the tremendous effort you put into maintaining such breadth of view and continuing high standard on WUWT. Under the circumstances it becomes even more admirable.

  35. Sincerely hope all goes well. My thoughts & prayers are with you both. Come back v soon!

  36. Good luck with the op.
    Just when you get used to living in 1984 it’s 1982 all over again.
    Return of the Commodore 64
    A 1980s computer which was the best seller of its time and introduced users to games such as Donkey Kong and Lemmings is being relaunched as a retro classic.
    The new Commodore 64 comes complete with the original chunky beige casing, clunky keyboard and rainbow logo.
    But as well as allowing owners to play the original games, this version is also capable of running the latest software packages.

  37. Prayers, and best wishes for your lovely wife, for yourself and your family.
    Don’t rush back – your wife and family come first! we’ll be on our best behaviour in the meantime.

  38. Anthony, you are a hero to a lot of non-groupthinking ordinary people.
    May the road rise to meet you & your family.

  39. Anthony
    Our thoughts and prayers are with your wife, yourself and your family and our hopes for a successful outcome and prognosis.
    In all the tumult of recent days, we seem to have missed the passage of a significant anniversary. Three years ago Algore announced his intention to spend $300 million to create an army of 10 million “volunteers” to force the government to act on solving global warming.
    I guess we would have to say he was somewhat successful, although calling folks who are collecting the overly generous pay and benefits of government employment “volunteers” seems to be a bit of a stretch.

  40. Hope all goes well. Take care, both of you. The weather will still be here when you get back.
    Dave G

  41. Trenberth’s new excuse for falling temperatures”
    From New Scientist:
    “The pervasive increase in water vapour changes the intensity of precipitation events with no doubt whatsoever,” Kevin Trenberth of the US National Center for Atmospheric Research told a meeting in January. “Yes, all events. Even if temperatures or sea surface temperatures are below normal, they are still higher than they would have been, and so too is the atmospheric water vapour amount and thus the moisture available for storms.”
    In other words warming is still happening even if its colder.
    So as if we go into a new ice age as Trenberth stands on the Mississippi glacier watching it calve off into the freezing water of the Gulf of Mexico 50 miles South of what was New Orleans – he will be saying “Yes CAGW is real – instead of minus 37 it would have been minus 45 if it hadn’t been for all the CO2”.

  42. Best wishes from Texas for a successful surgery and speedy recovery. I had to look up “GA” surgery and now have a bit more medical knowledge rattling around in my brain. GA surgery sounds like quite an ordeal. You have my sincere wish that this is the last surgery required.

  43. Trusting everything goes well.
    Don’t worry about us, we’re big kids now, we hope.

  44. Our thoughts are with you, Anthony.
    Without belittling that in any way, I thought it might be interesting to see the split between religious and non-religious ways of expressing the same thing in this thread.
    Count of the word ‘wish’: 49 (not counting the one in the article)
    Count of the word ‘pray’: 22
    It’s made more complicated than that, though, because quite a few of the ‘pray’ers use ”best wishes’ as well.
    If I was a climate scientist, could I call this a proxy reconstruction? 🙂

  45. At the risk of stepping out of bounds:
    “If I was a climate scientist, could I call this a proxy reconstruction? :)”
    You could call it what you want. What it is is not governed by what you call it.
    Regarding “wish” v. “prayer”–I think I have said something thrice, using the word prayer in one, I think (I have not checked). Sometimes, I find, I make people uncomfortable using “religious” words, and since I don’t (in this thread) want to make anybody uncomfortable…..
    For me, personally, the words are pretty much interchangeable.

  46. Best wishes.
    Now for a serious question which I hopefully frame correctly.
    Science fact: Air is transparent to sunlight.
    Why does heat when rising from surfaces cast a shadow? I have obsserved this recently and have no idea why a shadow should arise.

  47. …..gonna get me into an argument yet.
    On prayer–one could argue that we have all been praying for the well-being of the Watts–the only questions have to do with to whom or what the prayers are are directed.
    The other: “Science fact: Air is transparent to sunlight.”
    I have no credentials with which to purchase automatic credibility, but don’t think that is a fact.
    I thing there are two problems with it–one is that “air” is poorly defined.
    The other is that depending on what “air” means” it is transparent (or nearly so) at some frequencies and quite opaque at others.
    And maybe a third–are those really shadows (what ever THAT means)? Or are we seeing interference patterns from differing refraction indices in the air currents?

  48. Biofuels article, in the NYT no less!

    The starchy cassava root has long been an important ingredient in everything from tapioca pudding and ice cream to paper and animal feed.
    But last year, 98 percent of cassava chips exported from Thailand, the world’s largest cassava exporter, went to just one place and almost all for one purpose: to China to make biofuel. Driven by new demand, Thai exports of cassava chips have increased nearly fourfold since 2008, and the price of cassava has roughly doubled.

  49. Comforting thoughts to you and your family.
    Your spirit for truth makes it easy to care.
    Strength to you and yours.

  50. Our local Democrat congressman Schrader voted for funding to keep government open and to strip EPA’s power to regulate greenhouse gases
    The local lunatics are lambasting him.
    civiletti April 07, 2011 at 5:12PM
    “He just thinks the government should do nothing about it until Congress approves. this from Paul Krugman:
    So the joke begins like this: An economist, a lawyer and a professor of marketing walk into a room. What’s the punch line? They were three of the five “expert witnesses” Republicans called for last week’s Congressional hearing on climate science.
    But the joke actually ended up being on the Republicans, when one of the two actual scientists they invited to testify went off script.
    Prof. Richard Muller of Berkeley, a physicist who has gotten into the climate skeptic game, has been leading the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project, an effort partially financed by none other than the Koch foundation. And climate deniers — who claim that researchers at NASA and other groups analyzing climate trends have massaged and distorted the data — had been hoping that the Berkeley project would conclude that global warming is a myth.
    Instead, however, Professor Muller reported that his group’s preliminary results find a global warming trend “very similar to that reported by the prior groups.”
    The Republicans and those Democrats paid-off by the energy industry will do nothing to stop climate change before the planet is reduced to a cinder. And Congressman Schrader will stand on principle and go along.”

  51. From mkelly on April 8, 2011 at 9:25 am:

    Science fact: Air is transparent to sunlight.
    Why does heat when rising from surfaces cast a shadow? I have obsserved this recently and have no idea why a shadow should arise.

    You have likely seen mirages caused by heat such as with a paved road. Layers of colder and warmer air are involved, with colder air being denser thus having a higher optical index of refraction. The differences lead one to see “waves” of heat emanating upwards from sources of heat like fires and BBQ grills.
    You are seeing a shadow because the light rays are being refracted from the straight path you’d otherwise expect thus they strike a surface elsewhere. I’ve noticed those rippling shadows myself. That’s what causes them.

  52. All the best to you and your wife!
    May I tell you a (true) story:
    I used to work at a nuclear power plant. A long term colleague at our technical support laboratory (off site) was seriously ill and in a coma. An individual went round with a giant card and collected the signatures of well over half the staff members (several hundred). The “selling point” was:
    You may not know this guy but he is a long term friend and supporter of the Station. We want his wife to know there are hundreds of people who care and we want one of the first things he sees when he wakes up to be a card full of the signatures of people, most of whom he may not know but are supporting him.
    You can guess the impact on both of them. (Incidentally, he made a complete recovery.)
    For anyone who reads this, why not put a simple one-liner on this thread, even if you feel you don’t know Mrs Watts. I doubt if either Anthony of his Mrs will object to knowing there are hundreds who care …

  53. Found in Steve Oregon’s comment from April 8, 2011 at 10:27 am:
    “The Republicans and those Democrats paid-off by the energy industry will do nothing to stop climate change before the planet is reduced to a cinder.”
    The eco-loons want Republicans and Democrats to stop the Sun from exploding?
    I can understand the political appeal. As opposed to the “carbon” taxes that won’t be stopped if “global warming” goes away, if the Sun explodes then all collections of the “Sunshine Tax” will cease immediately.

  54. I have never seen so many daffodils in so many places during Mrs A’s and my local tours in the past couple of weeks – fantastic. I am sure that the clue to this proliferation is something to do with the weather, but none of the media seemed to pick up on it. Shame on them. Perhaps the reason could be to do with climate change, and because flowers are involved in the equation, no-one wants to rock the boat; no-one wants to create an ugly scene.
    I wish that Mrs W has a successful op, and that Mrs A, who went for yet another mammogram yesterday, both have successful outcomes.
    My Best Regards,

  55. Steve Oregon says:
    April 8, 2011 at 10:27 am
    “this from Paul Krugman:”
    “The Republicans and those Democrats paid-off by the energy industry will do nothing to stop climate change before the planet is reduced to a cinder.”
    Nobel prize winner and scientist Krugman plays the Big Oil smear game?
    It looks like these days this is the expected behaviour from Nobel Laureates (i’m thinking of Pachauri and Gore here.) Maybe the Nobel prize committees check whether a scientist or person is really a lunatic before they even nominate him.

  56. House passes Upton’s bill to halt EPA’s GHG regulations
    Apr 7, 2011 Nick Snow OGJ Washington Editor

    WASHINGTON, DC, Apr. 7 — The US House approved Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton’s (R-Mich.) bill aimed at halting the US Environmental Protection Agency’s imposition of greenhouse gas limits under the Clean Air Act by 225 to 172. The Apr. 7 action came a day after the US Senate cast a 50-to-50 tie vote on a similar bill, just 10 votes short of what was required for approval (OGJ Online, Apr. 7, 2011).
    “Our thoughtful, bipartisan solution reins in an EPA gone wild whose bureaucrats are oblivious to the nation’s economic woes and soaring unemployment,” Upton said following the House’s vote. “EPA’s regulatory bonanza will cause already soaring gasoline prices to rise even higher as refiners are caught in the EPA’s web of costly regulations.”

    Democrat spending of almost 40% more than revenues, is dumping a crushing burden on our children and grandchildren! Then they burden small companies to further destroy the jobs needed to pay the taxes!!!
    Where are the statesmen/women to restore fiscal sanity?

  57. Dear Mrs. Watts,

  58. In my life time a Nobel has gone (in my mind) from the most prestigious honor to something just above a declaration that the person has genital herpes.

  59. From the NYT article on biofuel-driven-food-price-rises:
    “While no one is suggesting that countries abandon biofuels, …”
    Uh, I have news.

  60. I found this quote:
    “A good woman inspires a man; a brilliant woman interests him; a beautiful woman fascinates him; and a sympathetic woman gets him.”

  61. It’s an open thread, so why not ?
    At the end of a very ordinary joke I received was….
    ” Save the planet, it’s the only one we know of that has chocolate”
    Worth fighting for.


    Coolest March since 1994
    Apr 8, 2011; 10:58 AM ET
    Remote Sensing Systems has released their satellite measured temperature data for the month of March 2011.
    March 2011 ended up as the coolest March globally since March of 1994. The actual global temperature anomaly for the lower troposphere last month was negative 0.026 C.
    This is also the first month since June of 2008 that the global temperature anomaly was in the negative.

    But of course, they stick in at the end:

    Despite the recent cooling, the decadal temperature trend for the lower troposphere remains upward at + .145 C. (see image below)

    From 70.0°S to 82.5°N, Land and Ocean, “Trend = 0.145 K/decade.”

  63. All the very best wishes Mrs Watts.
    Warm thoughts from Australia for you especially and your family.

  64. Wishing you the best possible outcome, and the best of care,
    You will both be in my prayers at this time.
    Robin (new Zealand)

  65. Anthony Watts. What can I possibly say? My best wishes and prayers are with you, as they have always been. You are both amazing people and I can’t believe my good fortune to have found your site and to have “met” you through your good works. May God bless and heal you both.

  66. Mr. and Mrs. Watts: May you live as long as you wish, and love as long as you live. Godspeed.

  67. Mr Watts
    I am so old that I seldom pray. But when I read your post I said a prayer for your lady wife, again, and you and all your family.
    I hope you realise the importance and value of the work you do for us all. A light shining in the darkness.
    This side of the pond, we get incessant warmist propoganda on all 4 BBC TV channels and all their radio channels. Pumped out by the BBC’s non-scientist “environment correspondents”. Which I am forced to pay for as the BBC licence fee is compulsory on pain of fine or eventual imprisonment. Your site – and sites like BishopHill over here provide balance and perspective For which much thanks.
    Again – prayers for your wife and your family

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