Climate craziness of the week: seriously “ducked up” science

It was recently reported that journalism lost a lot of jobs this year, and again in July. After looking at this piece from the UK Telegraph, where the journalist couldn’t separate fantasy from reality, taking the word of a “scientist”, there’s no need to wonder why.


I’m sorry, really I am.

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July 9, 2019 1:30 pm

As a poor to middling swimmer, I would welcome webbed feet. 🙂

R Shearer
Reply to  PaulH
July 9, 2019 3:53 pm

Yes, Michael Phelps is a has been, and let’s not rule out the possibility of a dorsal fin.

Reply to  R Shearer
July 10, 2019 1:55 am

With the current rate of sea lever rise we’ll have the time to evolve webbed feet by the time we need them.

Martin A
Reply to  PaulH
July 9, 2019 11:24 pm

Or even a complete fish’s tail.

Mayor of Venus
Reply to  PaulH
July 9, 2019 11:36 pm

Why wait for evolution? Buy yourself a pair of swimming fins for your feet. Better, faster, and cheaper (NASA slogan copyright), and available for YOU (not distant decedents) now.

Michelle Z.
Reply to  Mayor of Venus
July 11, 2019 8:07 am

spell check, please.

Johann Wundersamer
Reply to  Mayor of Venus
July 15, 2019 5:04 pm

Save money. Step aside before the shoes get wet.

July 9, 2019 1:33 pm

Not only webbed feet, but gills for breathing under water too, I am sure.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Earthling2
July 9, 2019 2:45 pm

Gills and undoubtedly sonar like dolphins and whales! Most people in advanced countries already have the blubber necessary for insulation.

Reply to  Clyde Spencer
July 10, 2019 2:19 am

and a whole pile are as daft as the walrus that went over the cliffs too…similarities are there;-)

a happy little debunker
Reply to  Earthling2
July 9, 2019 4:28 pm

Patrick Duffy would be turning in his grave – if he were dead!

Patrick MJD
Reply to  a happy little debunker
July 9, 2019 10:35 pm

He went on from “Man from Atlantis” to being “Bobby Ewing”, not sure which role he was best in but he didn’t shoot JR.

Keen Observer
Reply to  a happy little debunker
July 10, 2019 6:55 am

He was dead for a year…for tax purposes.

Tom Halla
July 9, 2019 1:35 pm

Somebody’s been watching Waterworld. Or is he just what the military once euphemized as a “feather merchant”?

Matthew Bergin
Reply to  Tom Halla
July 9, 2019 3:20 pm

That was my first thought when I read the report. Who needs science. Today if you need a new theory just go watch the movies.

Mayor of Venus
Reply to  Matthew Bergin
July 9, 2019 11:16 pm

Or read comic books. Specifically, Uncle Scrooge 5, “Secrets of Atlantis”.

July 9, 2019 1:39 pm

That’s not fair! Somebody quickly act against that climate change!
I want to evolve to grow wings and be able to fly without my hang glider. If we act NOW, that might be possible!

July 9, 2019 1:39 pm

The article is from January of 2015.

Reply to  Anthony Watts
July 10, 2019 2:25 am

hi Anthony, so ask CTM to fish out(ha ha) the one i sent about optometrists doing their bit for agw;-))))

Reply to  ddpalmer
July 9, 2019 7:09 pm

Sometimes a bit of retrospection is very apropos. I had a laugh, thank you.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  ddpalmer
July 9, 2019 10:30 pm

I would say Mr. Watts isn’t a regular reader of a trashy UK publication.

Reply to  ddpalmer
July 10, 2019 2:23 am

and I wonder how many warmist midwives have been checking babies feet…in case;-) lol
4yrs and not a finny kid yet ..tsk tsk

Tom in Florida
July 9, 2019 1:47 pm

Well, that’s what happened in the movie Waterworld.

July 9, 2019 1:49 pm

If only, that would be awesome

The Reverend Badger
July 9, 2019 1:52 pm

Yes, but the problem is, Anthony, you are a journalist yourself with this lovely site and yet you restrict discussion of the work of the scientists Nikolov and Zeller.
Could you remove the plank from your own eye please.

Rich Davis
Reply to  The Reverend Badger
July 9, 2019 6:07 pm

That’s not true. It’s been debunked here many times as the curve fitting nonsense that it is.

J Cuttance
Reply to  Rich Davis
July 10, 2019 1:45 am

Everybody’s been debunked, mate … everybody.

Reply to  The Reverend Badger
July 9, 2019 6:33 pm

Are you badgering Anthony?

Craig from Oz and/or Sierra Madre
Reply to  The Reverend Badger
July 9, 2019 8:15 pm

Wait? You are now the article police?

If you’re the police, then where are your Badgers?

Robert Austin
Reply to  Craig from Oz and/or Sierra Madre
July 9, 2019 9:43 pm

Ya, we don’t need no stinkin’ badgers.

Reply to  The Reverend Badger
July 10, 2019 1:41 am

Perhaps the true inspiration of the article being discussed, Lysenko, would be more up your alley.

July 9, 2019 1:55 pm

do you really believe he was serious!

I think you may be seeing hyperbole (an extreme exaggeration made for emphasis or humour).

Reply to  ghalfrunt
July 9, 2019 3:35 pm

Given the nonsense routinely being touted by so called serious climate scientists, how can you tell the difference?

Reply to  ghalfrunt
July 9, 2019 4:18 pm

Given the nonsense being pushed by your average serious “climate scientist”, how can you tell the difference?

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  ghalfrunt
July 9, 2019 5:36 pm

“do you really believe he was serious!”

Really?? It’s in the “Science News” section. You’re really going to say it was meant as a joke? Zaphod must be so disappointed in you.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Jeff Alberts
July 10, 2019 9:44 am

Zaphod’s just zis guy, you know?

July 9, 2019 1:57 pm

In that simply wizard film LOCAL HERO there was a lovely girl, a diver, whose feet were very slightly and spookily webbed! Bring it on I say!

Gunga Din
Reply to  Coeur de Lion
July 9, 2019 3:05 pm

More CO2. More Gillyweed.
No problem.

michael hart
Reply to  Coeur de Lion
July 9, 2019 11:11 pm

That was a little gem of a movie. Remember the Texan oil-magnate played by Burt Lancaster?

“Good sky you’ve got here, MacIntyre. Well done.”

Moderately Cross of East Anglia
July 9, 2019 1:57 pm

Obviously to go with the webbed brains who concocted this nonsense…

July 9, 2019 1:58 pm

The guy sounds like a quack.

Reply to  beng135
July 9, 2019 7:06 pm

The whole thing is a canard.

Hocus Locus
Reply to  jorgekafkazar
July 10, 2019 1:28 am

With a mallardorous air

Keen Observer
Reply to  Hocus Locus
July 10, 2019 7:03 am

It seems like you’re trying to drake this fellow’s reputation through the mud by implying that he’s a loon.

Joel O'Bryan
July 9, 2019 1:59 pm

“Once serious scientists chasing grants earn mockery instead” should be the Lead Line to the story.

Matthew is just climbing on-board the climate funding Gravy Train, and Matthew gets his 15 minutes of infamy turned into mockery. I feel sorry for the graduate students he supervises. I really do.

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
July 9, 2019 3:14 pm

Matthew probably is 15……….

I can’t believe they actually published this

July 9, 2019 2:00 pm

So the check out isle tabloids outlasted Kmart.

July 9, 2019 2:00 pm

More likely that we will evolve a weaker sense of smell to offset the stench of climate emerency bull$h!t

July 9, 2019 2:01 pm

re: “Humans could evolve webbed feet”

Those are called “Dolphins” (or it it porpoises?)

July 9, 2019 2:02 pm

There are no words…..

July 9, 2019 2:02 pm

The Stupid, It Burns!

July 9, 2019 2:03 pm

You mean someone watched Waterworld and actually took it seriously?

July 9, 2019 2:05 pm

It quacks.

Robert MacLellan
July 9, 2019 2:06 pm

So, his research was watching “WaterWorld” staring Nick Cage? He must have a rich fantasy life and would be more successful as a novelist.

John in Oz
Reply to  Robert MacLellan
July 9, 2019 3:57 pm

Kevin Costner, not Nick Cage, although if he is living a fantasy life as you suggest then it could be Cage.

Peter Morris
Reply to  Robert MacLellan
July 9, 2019 4:22 pm

I kind of want to watch your version of Water World.

Curious George
July 9, 2019 2:10 pm

Didn’t it happen in Doggerland?

Bryan A
July 9, 2019 2:12 pm

Saw a TV program recently regarding Mermaids evolving from Terrestrial Humans that moved to the water.
This and other great science fiction

July 9, 2019 2:13 pm

OK then.

If sea levels rise to the maximum possible, it won’t actually be that much, maybe 180 feet. The thing is that we have a huge amount of unpopulated land. We currently huddle together on a lot of arable land. If we move off that to unproductive land we will more than make up for any land we lose to inundation.

Thing two: By the time the seas rise 180 feet, the world population will be decreasing at an alarming rate because we aren’t breeding fast enough to replace ourselves.

Thing three: The next glaciation is coming and all this crap will be moot.

Reply to  commieBob
July 9, 2019 3:55 pm


I really wish global warming/climate change would effing hurry up. I wan’t all the beachside condo’s flooded, I want more hurricanes (people might start building to survive them) I want more heat to melt the poles and free up billions of acres of land for agriculture; I want it all………bring it on!

And if I survive long enough to evolve web feet I’ll be several thousand years old.

Is there nothing climate change can’t accomplish?!

Mike Haseler (Scottish Sceptic)
July 9, 2019 2:13 pm

The reason the press are dying is nothing to do with the cut-n-paste mentality that pervades much of the press. Instead, the cut-n-paste mentality is a consequence of the slow death of journalism, which was destroyed when the internet took away much of its advertising revenue.

To put it in perspective, 50 years ago, if you wanted to sell a house, a car or even a cricket bat, you had to take out an expensive advert in a paper. If you wanted to hire someone for a job, to advertise a business – you had no choice but to put an advert in a paper. And as a result, if you were looking for a house, a car, a job, you had little choice but to buy a newspaper. The result was that advertising revenue for papers was absolutely phenomenal.

Then we had the printing (linotype) revolution, that suddenly enabled a whole raft of new magazines like autotrader (which funded the Guardian). Then we had the internet which enabled all these advertising sites to go online. Both these revolutions (as well as the onward rise of TV) took away the funding from newspapers with the result they could no longer afford to do real journalism and instead resorted to low cost copy-n-pasting of other people’s press releases.

The result, as well as the susceptibility of the press to non-science campaigns like the climate cult, has been a massive cut in jobs so that even on my own small street there are two former journalists.

In some areas (local papers) there has been reform with many local papers shutting down, or becoming geographically syndicated papers with a lot syndicated geographical wide content and much less local. But as yet, with the exception of a few papers like the Independent which have turned into glorified blogs, whilst the larger national papers have cut back, they still survive at least in name. So, as yet we have not seen the fundamental reform of the sector that is long overdue.

So, yes, I do see these latest jobs losses as part of a continuing and ongoing haemorrhage jobs as they haemorrhage readers to places like this which cater for more niche interests. However, no, the move to copy-n-paste was not the cause, but the consequence of these historic changes.

Reply to  Mike Haseler (Scottish Sceptic)
July 9, 2019 2:57 pm

I have friends who were at the top of the newspaper business.

The loss of advertising revenue is absolutely true, as you say.

But the death of the papers is from left content. You don’t have to cut-and-paste junk; you can cut-and-paste interesting, factual information.

In the southeast, McClatchy has bought up most everything. As the businesses got weak, McClatchy jumped in. They may be more efficient, but they continue to bleed. Because of content.

Content, content, content. People don’t want what they are selling.

Duncan Smith
Reply to  Mike Haseler (Scottish Sceptic)
July 9, 2019 3:28 pm

Or could it be the internet has allowed common people to educate and fact check similar claims that would not have been available 25 years ago. I am sure copy and paste journalism has been around for hundreds of years. When news arrived on horseback, no one traveled hundreds of miles to do investigative journalism. Today everyone can be a journalist just with a cell phone or GoPro, even in a war zone. No more “sanitized” news for the masses.

July 9, 2019 2:15 pm

The St Kilda islanders had prehensile toes for climbing cliffs in search of Gannett eggs. I’m sure some of them might have had webbed feet too

July 9, 2019 2:15 pm

Oh yeah, on half the way to evolve to a dolphin 😀
Due to climate change – what else 😀

July 9, 2019 2:21 pm

I hope I evolve into a dolphin

July 9, 2019 2:22 pm

It must be a left-over article from April 1st.

July 9, 2019 2:22 pm

HEre iin Germany we have to pay attention not to evolve to polarbears</aA

All grey / blue shadet dots indicate possible ground frost iin the coming mornig.

Doctor Gee
July 9, 2019 2:24 pm

What a quack!

Jason Foster
July 9, 2019 2:27 pm

This quacks me up.

Reply to  Jason Foster
July 10, 2019 6:19 am

Jason Foster

It’s just quackers.

July 9, 2019 2:28 pm

….sure we could.
But, then we wouldn’t call the creature a human. We’d call it a seal.
This guy must’ve really liked “Waterworld”.
(BTW it certainly won’t be happening in the mere 50 years we have left, but who am I to rain on their parade?)

July 9, 2019 2:30 pm

Very amusing. I believe that occasionally a child is born with webbing
between toe or fingers, and Doctors remove it..

But as per Darwin’s “”Theory” if that child was born into a muddy or very wet place, then webbing could be a advantage, so such a variation would continue.

But just as with so many things in Nature, such a happening takes a very long tem, like hundreds of thousands of years.


Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Michael
July 9, 2019 5:42 pm

“But as per Darwin’s “”Theory” if that child was born into a muddy or very wet place, then webbing could be a advantage, so such a variation would continue.”

Not likely, unless your life depended on it. Diseases and mutations that should have ended quickly are instead prolonged, due to medical science, the ability to live without fear of predation, etc. We’re not really evolving any more.

Reply to  Michael
July 10, 2019 3:15 am

The inhabitants of the Fens are popularly believed to have webbed feet. It is a gross calumny to apply the claim to the whole of Norfolk though!

Reply to  Susan
July 10, 2019 4:39 am

Also denizens of the Somerset levels. Caused by inbreeding , not wet feet.

Gary Petersen
July 9, 2019 2:32 pm

What bunch of foolishness! From a “man of science” nonetheless. How many “millions of years” would that take (assuming you believe in that other foolishness: evolution). If, according to “scientists” we’ll all be dead from global warming, I don’t think we’ll be walking there, quacking as we go!

I sure hope “Doctor” Skinner is NOT a medical doctor. I feel sorry for his patients if that’s his doctorate.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Gary Petersen
July 9, 2019 5:43 pm

“assuming you believe in that other foolishness: evolution”

Don’t need to believe, there’s actual evidence.

Tomas Homer
Reply to  Jeff Alberts
July 10, 2019 5:18 am

Which Laws of Evolution were applied to arrive at the idea of humans developing webbed feet?

July 9, 2019 2:36 pm

Skinner?? Makes selkies come to mind, also Kurt Vonnegut’s Galapagos. The seas have been rising since the end of the last ice age with no effect. Fantasies.

Robin Hardy-King
July 9, 2019 2:36 pm

It’s an obvious wind-up. The Telegraph is a sceptical paper. James Delingpole writes for it.

Duncan Smith
July 9, 2019 3:06 pm

This article is from 2015, the science has advanced so much further since then. We will have fins and gills too.

Flight Level
July 9, 2019 3:09 pm

Perhaps even grow wings ? Just imagine the fuel savings if everyone could take care of air travel by own means ?

Noise being a major drawback as most greens apparently already use vegetal substances that could get them supersonic even in the early climb.

July 9, 2019 3:12 pm

Evolve webbed feet in just 12 years?
CO2 can move evolution along real quick now.

Arthur G Foster
July 9, 2019 3:51 pm

How’s this:

“Alaska is trapped in a kind of hot feedback loop, as the arctic is heating up much faster than the rest of the planet. Ocean surface temperatures upwards of 10 Fahrenheit hotter than average have helped to warm up the state’s coasts. When Bering and Chukchi sea ice collapsed and melted months earlier than normal this spring, the University of Alaska climate specialist Rick Thoman characterized the water as “baking”.

“ ‘I intentionally try to not be hyperbolic, but what do you say when there’s 10- to 20-degree ocean water temperature above normal?” Thoman told the Guardian. “How else do you describe that besides extraordinary?’

“The hot water has affected sea birds and marine life, with mass mortality events becoming commonplace in the region. The National Park Service characterizes Alaska’s increasingly frequent sea bird die-offs, called ‘wrecks’, as ‘extreme’. ‘The folks in the communities are saying these animals look like they’ve starved to death,’ said Thoman.”

Most readers will actually take this seriously. –AGF

John in Oz
July 9, 2019 4:01 pm

Why aren’t people who already live in a wet environment developing webbed feet?

Olympic swimmers spend a large proportion of their time in the water yet they have normal, although often very large, feet.

Professional surfers, regular swimmers, those who shower/bathe regularly?


Jeff Alberts
Reply to  John in Oz
July 9, 2019 5:44 pm

Because living or dying doesn’t depend on them having webbed feet.

July 9, 2019 4:06 pm

This is exactly what happened to Patrick Duffy :

Swimming advise :
– Avoid to swim like this more than 12 feet (+- 1000000) in a row otherwise you will very likely (97% odds) develop the webbed hands, gills and adipose eyelid syndrome by year 2030, and this will be the end of the World as you see it.

July 9, 2019 4:43 pm

Is this the next UN IPCC shindig?

July 9, 2019 4:50 pm


Nicholas McGinley
July 9, 2019 5:12 pm

Nearly 400′ of sea level rise in the past 18,000 years, and still no webbed feet.

Why would any fool think that moving shorelines inland a ways would cause a land mammal to mutate?

Oh, well, it fits with the rest of the anti-science drivel their religion preaches.

These jackasses really need to get a grip.

I wonder how much time any of them spend realizing that their worlds are immortal in the information age, and they will be laughed at by their progeny for the next forever thousand years.

The odds of this insanity not sticking to them for all of time is zilch.

Nicholas McGinley
July 9, 2019 5:13 pm

Nearly 400′ of sea level rise in the past 18,000 years, and still no webbed feet.

Why would any fool think that moving shorelines inland a ways would cause a land mammal to mutate?

Oh, well, it fits with the rest of the anti-science drivel their religion preaches.

These jackasses really need to get a grip.

I wonder how much time any of them spend realizing that their words are immortal in the information age, and they will be laughed at by their progeny for the next forever thousand years.

The odds of this insanity not sticking to them for all of time is zilch.

Steven Mosher
July 9, 2019 6:28 pm


seems like the telegram left out some key details

The doctor was specifically asked to predict how we would change in three different worlds

1. Water world. 2. Ice world. 3) off of our planet

In short he was asked on a TV show to predict how living under water would effect our evolution.

Reply to  Steven Mosher
July 10, 2019 2:38 am

You have an English Lit degree so put the blame where it belong on the stupid journalist who inserted the standard reference to climate change to try and suck up to the boss.

Water World: This scenario relates to global warming – melting ice caps could lead to a drastic rise in sea levels, forcing humans to live in an underwater community.

Most of us would not put a Water World together with Climate Change but not that journo idiot.

July 9, 2019 7:21 pm

“Dr Matthew Skinner claims humans could evolve to have webbed hands and feet and less body hair so they could move quickly through the water”

How does that work, exactly!?

Our eyes would even become more like cats, so we could see in the murky gloom of seas and rivers and our lungs would shrink as we became used to using artificial tanks to breathe underwater.”

Clearly, Dr. Skinner does not understand evolution.
In Dr. Skinner’s thinking, adjustments to be able to use, forage, swim, etc. are passed on to their progeny…

Another leftist elitist fantasy.

Reply to  ATheoK
July 9, 2019 8:25 pm

I think he forgot that he read Kurt Vonnegut’s Galapagos decades ago:

Galápagos is the story of a small band of mismatched humans who are shipwrecked on the fictional island of Santa Rosalia in the Galápagos Islands after a global financial crisis cripples the world’s economy. Shortly thereafter, a disease renders all humans on Earth infertile, with the exception of the people on Santa Rosalia, making them the last specimens of humankind. Over the next million years, their descendants, the only fertile humans left on the planet, eventually evolve into a furry species resembling sea lions: though possibly still able to walk upright (it is not explicitly mentioned, but it is stated that they occasionally catch land animals), they have a snout with teeth adapted for catching fish, a streamlined skull and flipper-like hands with rudimentary fingers (described as “nubbins”).

July 9, 2019 8:43 pm

Will the ‘silly season’ of MSM news reporting carry on for another 12 years?

Ed Zuiderwijk
July 9, 2019 8:58 pm

Dr Matthew Skinner works at the Kentucky Fried Duck company. A sideline of his research deals with the question why, in spite of having been embedded in air for over a million years, humanity did not develop wings.

dodgy geezer
July 9, 2019 10:25 pm

If God had wanted me to evolve, He would have given me an Environment.. .

July 10, 2019 12:15 am

But they say the world is going to burn up, so I’m thinking more like huge hair to shade our heads and maybe a camel hump or two or even gigantic ears to dissipate heat. The possibilities are endless!

Ivor Ward
July 10, 2019 1:23 am

I was hoping to evolve into a Blackfin 32 with Cat 3208 diesels.

July 10, 2019 1:48 am

It is appropriate on many levels, and not at all surprising, that climate nutters would ressurect Lysenkoism and embrace it.

July 10, 2019 4:31 am

So if all humans evolve webbed feet and global warming doesn’t happen …. will everyone need to have their feet circumcised?

July 10, 2019 8:36 am

Ducks have webbed feet because they never invented boats/

Reasonable Skeptic
July 10, 2019 9:10 am

I will go to Wall-Mart and buy flippers. Humanities brains allow us to adapt and overcome…. and come up with stupid ideas too.

July 10, 2019 9:36 am

The more the gaggle of climate changers are being completely ignored the more catatonic and ridiculous they’re becoming. I sense a more frenetic crisis in their outpourings of late –

Al Miller
July 10, 2019 11:03 am

…and in other news, humans could develop brains if CO2 scam goes away!

July 10, 2019 2:53 pm

Ha ha. I am laughing at youse. Climate denialistas

I actually got fed up with your stupidity a long time ago, and decided to act unilaterally. Im not boasting, but this is what a true woke elder has been able to achieve:-
I have evolved a snorkel-type appendage on the top of my head, for breathing under the 300 feet of sea rise that is inevitable. Hairy feet to help me on the long migrate to Antartica, which will be the only habitable place on the planet

Most important, i have evolved a thick furry wig, because although it seems warm today, by the time nasa have finished, it will be sub zero

July 11, 2019 2:31 am

Given the amount of blubber I already have, I’m thinking a whale-human development instead.

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