Critical mass of Cotton

Yesterday, the climate blogosphere reached critical mass of Cotton. Douglas J. Cotton. And with that critical mass, as such things go, they go boom. Lucia has previously announced why Doug Cotton is banned at her place. Undeterred, and fully advised he has been banned for bad behavior (here at WUWT also), Mr. Cotton continues to use his Cotton Socks™ to sockpuppet his presence throughout the climate blogosphere, and today, Lucia has had enough and has decided to provide Doug his own thread for entertainment purposes called: The Fullness of Time: Doug Cotton Comments Unveiled!

Lest you think this is a problem exclusive to Lucia’s shop, I can advise you that just about every sceptical climate blog has had similar problems with Mr. Cotton posting his own brand of physics under his real and/or list of sockpuppet names and fake emails. We’ve heard that even the Prinicipia/Slayers have un-welcomed him, and over the weekend, it seems critical mass has been achieved as new blogs weighed in via emails behind the scenes. With that, I offer this short play:

Doug J. Cotton orders a pizza (A play in one act)

[The stage is split in half. On the left, Cotton’s study–a room full of books, piles of books, thousands upon thousands of books. In the center a desk covered in manuscripts. Cotton occupies the chair, quill in hand, dashing out another screed. Outside it is snowing, or raining, or sleeting or roasting hot.

On the right, a telephone on a card table. Seated at the table a youth, gender unimportant. Maintains perfect stillness until the phone rings–as it must.]

Cotton: It is a frigid night, and possibly raining, snowing, sleeting perhaps, definitely hot due to atmospheric pressure. In five strokes of the quill I will have completely gutted the Greenhouse Effect and replaced it with the Autonomous Thermal Gradient! Ah… but I am faint with hunger. To the telephone, anon! [He digs under stacks of manuscripts to find the phone. Success.] Hello, Domino’s? I’d like to order a pizza. [to self] Damn these tiny buttons.

Youth: [picking up phone] Thank you for calling Domino’s. How may I be of service?

Cotton: I would like to order a pepperoni pizza. Extra cheese. Oh, and with olives.

Youth: Is that all?

Cotton: That’s about it. What’s the total?

Youth: Nineteen eighty including tax. Your phone number?

Cotton: 555-6219. 234 5th Ave Southeast, Sydney… My name is Doug… Doug Cotton… Doug J. Cotton… I will not soon be forgotten. [awkward pause] I have my own blog. I have a paper describing a new paradigm coming out.

Youth: [nonplussed] Uh… great. That pizza will be delivered in about a half hour. [tries to hang up]

Cotton: Hold on there, youngster. Is it finished yet?

Youth: We’ve hardly had–

Cotton: Okay… well… is it finished now?

Youth: Sir, I haven’t even called the order in–

Cotton: How about now?

Youth: No.

Cotton: Now?

Youth: Still no.

Cotton: I’ve changed my mind. I want salami instead of pepperoni. Genoa salami. With the fatty parts cut out.

Youth: I’m afraid we’re–

Cotton: Is it done yet?

Youth: Look, Mister Doug J. Cotton, you have no idea how this works. Pizza doesn’t appear magically when you say the word. It’s a process. It takes time and heat. Three hundred seventy five degrees, twenty minutes, plus driving time. Got it? Goodbye. [Youth and Cotton hang up simultaneously]

Cotton:[Cotton picks up the phone again, dialing.] I have completely eviscerated the Greenhouse Effect, you know.

Youth: You again? Look, Mr. Cotton, the cheese is finished, and it’s going in the oven, so–

Cotton: Is it done?

Youth: Uh, no.

Cotton: Then we have time to chat. You see, we deal here with fundamental differences in the way we view the world which I believe are rigidly fixed in our flawed interpretations of The Second Law of Thermodynamics. There is also the problem of pride. Does anyone really expect those who have dedicated their professional lives to a phantom magic gas to easily come to grips with just that? Yet that is exactly what the situation boils down to. Can you imagine Roy Spencer conceding that everything he has ever written is meaningless drivel? In a way it is a blessing that he is spared that realization but I am have no compassion for him whatsoever. It will be interesting to see how he responds to the inevitable. We shouldn’t have to wait much longer.

Youth: I’m not sure exactly what you’re talking about–

Cotton: Well I guess nobody wants to hear about how the Stefan-Boltzmann Law is applied in flawed ways. That is too bad. I may present that evidence anyway. For the moment let me explain how I intend to go about it…

Youth: [Slams phone down] Asshole.

Cotton: [not missing a beat] …as long as there exists simple criteria sufficient to account for all planetary atmospheres. I have also explained why Spencer is wrong in his assumptions about pressure, bank vaults exploding and internal energy generation on Uranus. Ah… What’s that beeping noise? [Looks quizzically at the phone. Hangs up the receiver. Pauses. Picks it up again.]

[masking voice with an atrocious accent.] Ees thees Daw-mee-nose?



Credit: This bit of humor was originally created for a troll with a similar M.O., the late John A. Davison who also once graced the pages of WUWT some years ago.  Jim Anderson at decorabilia, who also experienced Davison, originally wrote this satire in John A Davison Orders a Pizza.

Since that satirical play describes Mr. Cotton’s present day trolling antics and claims about the greenhouse effect equally well, I decided to adapt it with some changes. Readers might note that some phrases (like bank vaults exploding) are borrowed from this thread at Roy Spencer’s.

You can watch Mr. Cotton’s video, and decide for yourself if his ideas have any merit.


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It is rather amazing that Doug has not figured out that no one is required to engage him nor give him space at their blogs. He may, of course, create a blog of his own at, Blogger or other sites. He can create microblogs– also for free. He can tweet. He can post videos. And so on. All sorts of places will let him post his ideas and if people care to read them, they will.
But he doesn’t have any particular right to derail my blog comments with off-topic comments merely because he wants to discuss something I didn’t happen to post on. And he wouldn’t have the right even if his physics were correct.
It is also rather amazing that he will post so many comments knowing they will be moderated and — for the most part– no one will read them or take them seriously. I figured collecting them together was fair. People unfamiliar with Doug can now see the sorts of things he writes. If they wish, they can google, find his vast trove of insight and engage him … elsewhere.

The Cotton off-topic comment spamming is getting out of hand. I noticed it on Roy’s blog and then Jo’s when he spammed both ADL topics with his perpetual discussion of his “theory” of greenhouse physics. Unfamiliar commentators were engaging him not knowing any better. Mr. Cotton is not a physicist (though may have a physics degree) but a software developer in Australia who owns a ton of domain names,
His one website makes some amazing claims,
“With just one $55 consultation here in our Sydney Office you will learn how to prevent cancer, diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease and other life threatening diseases by minimising oxidative stress and inflammation that are known to cause premature aging.”


12 seconds were quite enough. I doubt if this record will stand long, however.


He’s taken to threatening legal action on Jeff ID’s blog.
I suggested contacting his internet service provider and filing a complaint.


I will never understand the mentality that uses multiple sock puppets. I have one online screen name, it’s not my real name as I’ve been around for far too long, starting at the end of ARPAnet, to know how easily people will track you based on a real name or email and try and make your life miserable. The Internet is full of too many mentally ill people, especially when you have a less than common name. But I do use a consistent screen nom de net, I have never felt the need to create fake personas to try and bolster my argument by agreeing with myself.


Until you linked to Master Cotton’s youtube video, he had a scant 1400 views over several years… Now, dear God, it seems inevitable he’ll see an influx in traffic, and most likely assume he has acquired new faithful acolytes and converts, who have have recognized his genius, and have come over to his “world view.” Master Cotton will thence take heart, steeling his resolve to continue to spread his “message.” In a sense, Anthony, you have assumed the role of Pandora… What is left in the box?

I’ve been thinking about calling this kind of behaviour filibustering. The parallel’s not exact, of course, but it’s the best I could come up with. Respect to Lucia, Anthony and all those others “Speakers of the House” who try to keep debate on the straight and narrow, neither censoring nor allowing such destructive practices which are in the end the enemy of freedom of speech and expression.

filiblustering would be a better word, I think – Anthony

I’m glad it was you that said that AW: I considered it then thought it might be too tricksy. Filiblustering it is!

you should copy all kotten comments to lucias post. put all his crap in one place

Here is some irony, look at this website of his and the counter at the bottom right,
…now refresh the page. With traffic like that no wonder he is carpet bombing skeptic sites.


People need to get a dose of BS to tune their BS discriminators, just like children need to play in the dirt to avoid allergies (maybe). If there were a way to limit Mr. Cotton to say, two posts per thread, this would allow the readers to sample his BS and build their immunity. I am averse to censorship but also to thread spamming. Could there be a congenial middle ground?

Does he do T shirts?


Part of what I do is design and install high security walk in vaults. If they are exploding, I need to know about it, but haven’t to date…… 😎


“Outside it is snowing, or raining, or sleeting or roasting hot.”
I What this made me picture was a glassless prop “window” with a painted canvas behind it that has various weather scenes painted on. It slowly scrolls past showing the changing “weather” through out the play.

Zero tolerance of DJC on my blog too – it’s the only way

Bob Ernest

Mr. Watts, the play was wonderful. Thanks very much for your alterations to the original and sharing it with us.

Mr. C has two trait in common with the late Dr D. First, they cannot be wrong. Second, their intuition is always correct. For example, “the earth cannot warm the sun”
Mr C has a unique view of molecules reacting to radiation, specifically: “The radiation which is emitted by the cooler atmosphere will have frequencies which are generally lower than the original radiation from the surface. If some of this radiation gets to the warmer surface it cannot be converted to thermal energy. ”
His views are derived from Claes Johnson at who says “The net result is that a warm blackbody can heat a cold blackbody, but not the other way around. A teacher can teach a student but not the other way around. The hot Sun heats the colder Earth, but the Earth does not heat the Sun.”
But Johnson is wrong. The sun is warmer by a microscopic but nonzero amount due to the presence of the earth. Once you reject the “alternative” physics of Johnson and Cotton then the rest of their theories quickly crumble.
Dr D was a Malthusian warmist. Dr D read Tim Flannery’s book (full of garbage) and everything clicked because everything Davison had read and intuited (by his own admission) about the end of civilization was right there in Flannery’s book full of solid facts. In short Dr D was duped and didn’t realize it. But it fit with his Malthusian philosophy:
“The only solution I can offer involves the reduction of our numbers by at least two orders of magnitude to around 70 million, or very roughly the world’s population prior to the industrial revolution a mere two centuries ago. It was that revolution that produced this result. Never in the history of the planet have such great changes taken place over such a short period of time. I consider pandemic disease to be the most likely means by which this reduction will occur. ”
Now I will see if this post makes it through the “C” filter….

Evolutionists scream that random chance generates ever more progressive and ‘adapted’ creatures. Cotton et al are clear indications that this theory is nonsense, and a new theory of devolution must be pursued in which intelligence, skills, faculties and cunning degrade, atrophy and finally come to an inert rest.

[Do not “test” here, nor on other threads. Use the “Test” thread from the Main Menu links. Mod]

He reminds me of an infamous poster back in the grand old days of Usenet (this would have been in the mid-90’s), a cat who went by the name of Archimedes Plutonium. he would spam science message board after message board with long dissertations about how the entire universe was one giant plutonium atom. And the he would bitterly and endlessly argue with anyone who chose to dispute his assertions.


the solution, with thanks to Randall Munroe:


I actually read through one of his posts that was briefly up at The Air Vent. He has become incoherent. His sentences don’t even scan well as Star Trek techno-babble.
He is as kooky as the AGW believers who see CO2 behind everything, and whose response to any weather experience is “reduce CO2”.


The guy is dangerous, not because he is wrong, but because he is wrong and startlingly tenacious about it. Game changing revelations do in fact happen in science from time to time, and those discoveries have difficulty getting traction because the ground has been poisoned by the likes of Cotton. Someone with a real break through will, inevitably, sound a lot like Cotton at first blush. Cotton ensures that the baby is likely to be thrown out with the bath water.

DeWitt Payne

Speaking of technobabble, here’s a link to what may be the all time classic: The Chrysler Turbo Encabulator Video. How they managed to do it and keep a straight face is beyond me.

Janice Moore

GREAT PLAY, Anthony! A playright is born!
One little edit:
“Cotton: I would like to order a pepperoni pizza. Extra cheese. ,,, AND A TON OF BALONEY… .”
D.C. was only another run-of-the-mill HIGHLY ENTERTAINING kook (with a book — free of course) to me and SO MUCH FUN to TEASE. Then, when he implied in a reply to me about 2 weeks ago that he is inspired by God, he crossed over into vile and I realized he is not just sick, but twisted.
Steven M-osh-er! We actually agree wholeheartedly about something!
And, sigh, we are all giving him the time of his life with all this attention. He’s sitting at that table with the thousands of books around him at this very moment, giggling with goblin-like glee. Meh, so what. EXPOSING HIM TO WARN OTHERS was worth it.
Good show, Anthony Watts (and Lucia)!
Admiringly (of ANTHONY, not you),

pochas says: March 10, 2014 at 9:23 am
People need to get a dose of BS to tune their BS discriminators, just like children need to play in the dirt to avoid allergies (maybe). If there were a way to limit Mr. Cotton to say, two posts per thread, this would allow the readers to sample his BS and build their immunity. I am averse to censorship but also to thread spamming. Could there be a congenial middle ground?

Mr. Cotton is free to post his ideas on his website or anyone that wishes to entertain them. As he has done so here,
It is not “censorship” for a website owner to stop off-topic comment spamming. Using your logic all spammers should get a two comment post per topic. Now maybe you want to waste time reading comments about enlarging your manhood but I prefer things that are actually on topic.
Mr. Cotton is 100% a spammer as his comments have no remote relation to anything being discussed in the topic and he should be treated as such.

Evan Jones

I remember John A. Davison well. Interesting in some ways, but worse of a crank than even me.
He found himself unable to distinguish the tolerable/intolerable line.

Dear Gang: I’m the last person to be PC…way last, but perhaps one ought to consider that this gentleman (IMO) may be unwell but able to function in day to day activities. In past “adventures” I have found that its best to unilaterally ban these types as soon as one recognizes that they have been previously banned. To him, (IMO) he is not trolling, YOU are the ones not making sense and its his job to stop or save you. Generally engaging them directly like this is not the best of ideas, IMO, because it can trigger them (IE-empty (or not) threats of litigation). Over half the time, these people do eventually “snap” when directly engaged, especially on what they perceive as a personal level because it feeds their grandiosity and self importance while simultaneously feeding their “mission”. These types may be prone to get creatively vicious, become a time sinkhole to Your productive time or quite destructive. They realize they are crossing the line, but are unable to stop themselves.
Just my opinion.

The most informative thing about his YouTube video is it has over 400 comments…. almost all from Cotton himself. It is as if he kept finding his video online for the first time and thought he needed to spam it.

Janice Moore

@ Poptech (re: 11:17am) — LOL!

My last comment went into the filter for obvious reasons.

Poptech wrote:

The most informative thing about his YouTube video is it has over 400 comments…. almost all from Cotton himself. It is as if he kept finding his video online for the first time and thought he needed to spam it.

Yes it kinda reminded me of this scene


Steve from Rockwood

You know it just doesn’t pay to engage a pizza boy in a discussion on the 2nd law of thermodynamics anymore. They’ll hire anyone these days. Used to be they could only get PHDs. But with the recent surge in climate science funding…there’s a bit of a shortage.

Come’on Man! Haven’t you learned rule #1 yet? Don’t feed the trolls. As was pointed out earlier, you’ve now generated more hits, posts, and views on this troll’s garbage in a single afternoon than he could ever hope to generate on his own. The reason he haunts these blogs is precisely to garner the attention you’ve now given him. Much more attention than he’d ever get at his own blog. Just banish him to the troll bin and be done with it.
REPLY: Normally I’d agree with that advice, but Doug has become a one-man epidemic, and this post serves to put many people on notice of his unsavory antics in sockpuppetry. It also gives a place to refer people to in the future. While Cotton might see a short term gain in interest, the long term trend will likely be negative.
Thanks to this heightened awareness, servers are being updated with improved Cotton Filters that are being shared. – Anthony


It’s all about “my book”. Here are the instances of him trying to flog his book. Only one per comment.

“my new book “Why it’s not carbon dioxide after all” available soon on Amazon.”
“hypothesis in my book”
“Lucia, my book is entitled “Why it’s not carbon dioxide after all”
“(in the Appendix of my book)”
“heat creep” explained in my book.”
“Lucia. You personally may think the information in my book to be worth $0,”
“as I have in the book”
“which I have presented in a book””

Do you think he’s trying to flog his crappy, bound toilet paper sheets?

I have seen times when Lucia will adjust her filters, and accidentally block some of her readers. This time she has blocked me. I will wait until I get home to use my desktop instead of a tablet computer on someone else’s WiFi.
Life is tough.


Here is Doug at Spencer’s still trying desperately to flog his BS book. Sheesh!


I suspect that Doug has a personality disorder, he ‘knows’ he is right and can’t understand why people don’t listen to him.
If you are reading this Doug here is a bit of advice. Keep quiet and your book will be a bestseller because you are right. No need to spam or flog your book because it will sell itself. Wait patiently and you will soon enjoy the fruits of your labour. You may even become ‘rich’ like me. 😉


Jimbo says:
March 10, 2014 at 1:21 pm
To me, the fun was watching David Appell spar with him. Two misguided egos pummeling each other over made-up issues nobody else cares about.

Gary Hladik

eric1skeptic says (March 10, 2014 at 9:53 am): “Mr C has a unique view of molecules reacting to radiation, specifically: [snip]”
To me the strongest evidence that he knows he’s wrong is his refusal to perform a relatively simple experiment that would–if he’s right–bring him fame, fortune, and a Nobel Prize, i.e. Dr. Spencer’s “Yes, Virginia” experiment, or some variant of it:
All this writing, blogging, and spamming would be unnecessary if he could actually demonstrate his “theory” via experiment.
BTW, knowing that verbiage is no substitute for experiment is a crucial part of Pochas’s “BS discriminator” (9:23 AM).

Mike Rossander

re: wws at March 10, 2014 at 9:57 am:
I remember Archimedes Plutonium! He was fun – for about the first half hour…

David, UK

Haha! Just followed the YouTube link; about 99.9% of comments are from Doug himself! Jeez, talk about preaching to the converted.

Gunga Din

Maybe if we all (with fingers crossed) promised to read his next book he’d start one and so have less time to jack of….er….derail the topics on other blogs?

Oh, it’s so OBVIOUS! I went to the Cotton video. During the whole 10 minutes (of disjointed drivel)…there is a “clicking sound” in the background. Now, any really good “climate rebel” would know IMMEDIATELY that this is the sound of a geiger counter. Meaning that Cotton really understands that Svensmark’s Cosmic Ray Thesis (TM) is correct, and everything is controlled by Cosmic rays, Cloud Seeding by the Rays, and the resultant change in Short Wave albedo or reflection due to same. (Of course now, let’s not forget the Solar Wind, shielding from same, and the “ups and downs” of the cosmic ray intensity due to the change of solar wind, correlated with sun spot density..)
That you Mental Midgits out there couldn’t make this connection, reveals the slug like brains you all have! GET WITH IT, NOW! (And WHERE IS MY PIZZA?)


“eric1skeptic says:
March 10, 2014 at 9:53 am”
Homeschooling my granddaughter and the grandson of a friend. The AP World History book I am using suggests that China breeched the 100 million population during the Song Dynasty (960 – 1279 CE) so the world definitely had more than 70 million at the start of the industrial revolution. It doesn’t seem the Malthusians can get anything correct.

I came to think of Doug as ‘Cottonmouth’ without realising that cottonmouths are known for standing ground when threatened. Neologism?


Gary Hladik says:
March 10, 2014 at 2:38 pm
The key part is the existence of a heat source in the mix. It is true that, for objects which are passively warm, a cooler object will not heat the warmer one. But, that is not the system configuration for the greenhouse effect. There, the Sun heats the Earth’s surface, and the atmosphere impedes the surface’s ability to dissipate that heat back out to cold space.
Here’s the conceptual problem for me, though, which I have not seen satisfactorily answered anywhere. The greenhouse gases actually act to cool things. The lapse rate is established by the boundary condition imposed at the effective radiating surface near the top of the atmospheric column by the re-radiation occurring there from the GHGs. If there were no re-radiation, then the atmosphere would become isothermal from top to bottom (obviously, not including the diurnal cycle of warming and cooling).
It can be pictured as a pyramid, with the base at the surface, and the peak at the effective radiating surface. Adding more GHG should raise the pyramid higher, resulting in a broader base, implying an increase in the surface temperature. However, it should also increase the lapse rate, increasing the slope of the sides of the pyramid, narrowing the base at the surface, implying a decrease in the surface temperature.
Which effect wins out should be dependent on the quantity of the gas, and the other temperature moderating influences going on.
In a nutshell, I am not at all convinced that surface temperature is monotonically related to quantity of GHG. It is surely a positive function, which heats the surface beyond what it would be without any atmosphere at all. But, I see nothing which dictates that it must have incrementally positive slope generally in all possible states of the system.
Unfortunately, it is impossible to do experiments to nail these things down, as we have only a few planet sized laboratories in which we can make observations, and no way of running controlled experiments. Which is why I tend to take things people (and, not just the crackpots) say with such certitude about what will, or will not, happen with a couple of grains of salt.

Reminds of a character who infested the main Vietnam War feed on Usenet back in the day, where this deluded individual spent all his time, 24/7, spewing quoted revisionist Chomsky diatribes against all and sundry viewpoints and in particular participating war veterans. In the end everyone who wanted a reasonable conversation on the topic moved to a moderated private mailing list, leaving the idiot solely talking to himself…