Goodbye 2012 and hello 2013: life, the universe and blogging

Dear all,

Many thanks to the readers of this blog for your continued patronage. I hope all readers – regardless of their views on climate – enjoy the holiday break while spending time with loved ones. Be kind to yourself and others.

I’ll be taking a short break to recharge – but I’d also like to share some thoughts on the direction of WtD and what you will expect from early January 2013.

On January 21 2013 Watching the Deniers will reach its third anniversary. Three years! Wow, time flies right?

I certainly plan to keep the blog running for the forseeable future as I’m happy with the modest success it has enjoyed so far. When I started I thought I’d keep it up for a year at best. I never imagined it would be three years, nor did I ever expect the level of recognition WtD has achieved. I’m planning to branch out in new ways and I’m delighted to share those plans.

In which the author of the blog discusses the future of the blog

I’ve been making some important changes in my personal life in order to spend more time writing. After almost three years of trying to fit my writing around a full-time job, single parenthood, friendships and a new relationship I’ve decided to scale back my career and work part-time.

While numbers aren’t what drive me, this blog nets a reasonable volume of traffic on a monthly basis – enough to make me consider a career as a writer, commentator and/or researcher.

I admit came to this topic as a novice, lacking qualifications in both science and journalism. However blogging has been an invaluable apprenticeship. It has forced me to write nearly every day for the last three years. However the most valuable lesson I’ve learnt is that time equals quality.

I can’t realise my ambitions for this blog and what I hope to say by working full-time and juggling my other commitments. Something has to give…

And so, after an extensive period of reflection I’ve decided to scale back my career in the corporate world and make a leap of faith.

Watching the Deniers has been a labour of love and in many ways a chronicle of my life these past three years. Becoming a climate blogger has been one of the most rewarding intellectual experiences fo my life – I “see” the world differently.

But in order to realise my ambitions as a writer I have to make that leap of faith: and that is exactly what I’ve done. I’m giving up some income, professional status and lifestyle while happily down-shifting. These are sacrifices I’m happily making in order to realise my ambition of becoming a (semi) professional writer and commentator on climate change and environmental issues.

I believe this extra time will enrich the content of this blog and other projects.

And much of this is due to you – the reader. To this day I’m amazed that anyone takes the time to read my words. This has given me enormous confidence to start new a new phase in my life. Indeed, this blog has taught me an a valuable lesson: “I have something worth saying.”

For that I thank you all.

Next year: WtD video, social media and focus on conspiracy culture

So what to expect from next year?

Firstly WtD videos!

I’ve been experimenting with video technology for some time. I’m excited to be branching out in this manner. At this point I plan to release a short video on a fortnightly basis. I’ve already created several videos which I’m comfortable releasing. I hope readers will also enjoy the videos as much as they do the blog posts.

Secondly, I’m going to bring the focus back to examining the claims of sceptics and conspiracy culture. Over the last year the content of the blog has ranged widely – maybe too much. I feel its time to refocus efforts on the claims of the sceptics and conspiracy theories. I feel that is a niche worth exploring and there is still insufficient commentary from the media and academia on this topic.

Thirdly I’m going to try to spend more effort using social media such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. My experiments to date with Twitter have been successful and I feel I can build on this.

And so in closing…

Thanks for reading WtD and your support over the years.

I’ll see you all in early 2013.

All the best.

Mike @ WtD

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97 thoughts on “Goodbye 2012 and hello 2013: life, the universe and blogging

  1. uknowispeaksense says:

    Mike, good luck in the new venture. I’m sure we are all looking forward to the videos. I know I am. I think it will be great to see a tightening of the content you put up as well. Find your niche and do it well and it will be an improvement on an already fantastic blog. Enjoy the break and all the best over the Christmas period. Mike

  2. john byatt says:

    The happiest time of my life was very frugal, living the self sufficency lifestyle, not sure that it would have worked out in the ctiy but certainly did.were we where living.

    I have already made my new year’s resolution, next year no presents as such, instead we will donate a lump sum to the red cross and give all relatives and friends a card telling them their present was to our planet and those less well off than they

    Sou has also started a new blog HOT WHOPPER, well worth following,

    Videos are great but I have to watch them early in the morning to save Mbs

  3. Eric Worrall says:

    Hi Mike, enjoy your break – I look forward to an interesting 2013. And good luck with the downsize / refocus. I came to a similar conclusion when I decided to reorient my life around my family, and leave the bustle of the London banking scene. Follow your heart.

  4. john byatt says:

    Did you hear about the guy who went from the Gyro in the UK to the dole in Australia and called it downsizing,
    i would call that an upgrade, but that is just me

  5. Thank you for your work in the past. I’ve greatly enjoyed your articles,and the comments people have made on them. I look forward to many more.
    Merry Christmas and a Happy new Year.

  6. Mark Porter says:

    Regular lurker, and an occasional poster. Great to see you’ll be back next year. Merry Christmas Mike, Uknow, John and especially to eveyone’s favourite AGW grinch…Eric!

  7. Skeptikal says:

    Merry Christmas to all… yes, even the alarmists!

  8. Sou says:

    All the best for the holiday season and hoping 2013 is brilliant for everyone – ‘skeptics’ and ‘alarmists’ alike.

    Mike – very much looking forward to what I’m sure will be terrific blog articles, videos and social chatter. I don’t always comment but read your words of wisdom often.

    John, thanks for the kind words – and back atcha 🙂

  9. As a regular lurker and occasional poster, I have really enjoyed your articles, Mike, as well as the discussions in the comments. Your plans for next year sound great.

    Merry Christmas to Mike and all of the commentators (and lurkers) here.

    • Sez the conspiracy theorist, Eric (or is that Stephan?)

    • Nick says:

      Watts is quite unable to grasp that his obsession with Mann is actually quite sinister and pathological…that would be “too funny” if it wasn’t actually a serious issue. I regard Watts as a stalker who attempts to drape his primal motivations with pseudo-intellectual rationalisation.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Mann’s over the top reaction, and attempt to turn a harmless prank into a conspiracy theory is a good indication of who has the issues.

      • Watts doesn’t recognise sarcasm or science. Maybe he has an “s” issue?

      • Nick says:

        Watts’ “harmless prank” is another offering from a serial stalker’s suite of behaviors.. Watts blog is dedicated to ugly character attacks on scientists and other public figures. Now he sends a calendar to one of his targets,and expects that target to now relax for a little chuckle with his tormenter! That’s a sign that he has a screw loose. He has no empathy or self-awareness.. Of course,when the target does not feel particularly jollied by the ‘gift’,then the attacks recommence. Classic bullying.

        You need to fucking wake up,Eric. You REALLY need to wake up!!! Watts is an unpleasant man. And a complete waste of time as a commenter on science.

  10. Eric Worrall says:

    Hilarious – the new Matt Damon film “Promised Land”, an cinematic attack on gas fracking, was funded by big oil.

    • It is a bit sad that private funding of all sorts isn’t open. I agree with the author. His piece would be even stronger had he admitted all his own interests openly. He is also an anti-science denier – and attended the 2010 Heartland conference. I agree with him on the funding issue, but he’s not exactly unblemised himself, is he now?

      • Eric Worrall says:

        I could say the same thing about scientists funded by politicians who have a vested interest in maintaining the alarmist fiction.

        In this email Keith Briffa talks about pressure to tell a nice tidy story – pressure which other emails indicate comes from politicians.

        I know there is pressure to present a nice tidy story as regards ‘apparent unprecedented warming in a thousand years or more in the proxy data’ but in reality the situation is not quite so simple. We don’t have a lot of proxies that come right up to date and those that do (at least a significant number of tree proxies ) some unexpected changes in response that do not match the recent warming. I do not think it wise that this issue be ignored in the chapter. For the record, I do believe that the proxy data do show unusually warm conditions in recent decades. I am not sure that this unusual warming is so clear in the summer responsive data. I believe that the recent warmth was probably matched about 1000 years ago.

      • On openness, we’re agreed. Here’s a blatant liar in action,!

        You keep bashing Climategate. Nine investigations and you L.O.S.T. To continually reintroduce it is to reinforce your obduracy in the face of inconvenient facts. Lewanowsky eat your heart out.

      • What about the other eight? You going to cherry pick those too. You lost. You’re a loser.

        • Eric Worrall says:

          I hardly count the whitewashes, run by people like Lord Oxburgh with undeclared interests in green organisations.

          The closest Climategate has come to court adjudication was the press complaint against James Delingpole brought by the University of East Anglia, which upheld Delingpole’s right to call the Climategate scientists “untrustworthy, unreliable and entirely unfit to write the kind of reports on which governments around the world make their economic and environmental decisions” – because James was able to furnish evidence from the Climategate archive that his statements were accurate.

      • Eric – what about Delingpole’s role in Corby? You see, there is a conspiracy, caught on camera. You believe in conspiracies. Here’s a real one.

        • Eric Worrall says:

          He succeeded didn’t he – he raised the profile of injustice committed against ordinary people by the wind racketeers.

          And it looks like Britain is about to make sweeping cuts to alternative energy subsidies – watch the rent seekers bleat.

          I look forward to seeing the green revolution continue on a level playing field. Ha ha ha.

      • So you admit you guys do conspiracies. Now I understand. Because you do them you think everyone else does them. Bizarre denier logic. It’s called projection.

        As for green energy, you’ve already lost on that. It’s the fossil fuel subsidies you should be bleating about. But you won’t. Just denier drum, empty, but makes a large noise.

        I guess this is another Worst Denier Ever failure. Accuse your opponents of being in conspiracy – and yet the only proven conspiracy is on your side.

        Well done Neville Chamberlain/Stephan Lewandosky/Misplaced Eugenics Historian/Selective Quoter. You’re utterly inept. Own goal, after own goal.

        Which side are you on?

      • Nick says:

        Eric selectively quotes Keith Briffa’s email from 1999….disappointing as usual,E,another shitty smear a la Watts.

        Read the whole email and you see that his then belief[actually uncertainty] about current warming’s status was incidental to the thrust of the thing,which was about the desirability of using the widest range of proxies possible in presentations. The ‘pressure to present a nice tidy story’ is an ever present one in translating detailed fields into summaries,nothing to do with political pressure,general or specific.

        Thirteen years later and the picture is clearer on MWP/ contemporary warming. It’s pointless isolating Briffa’s old passing thoughts to attempt some kind of summary of his present views or the views of the field.

        Scientists do not have a ‘vested interest’ in this issue. The symptoms of AGW are abundantly clear. The efforts of Watts are narcissistic and shallow.

  11. zoot says:

    Lloyds of London views climate change as the insurance industry’s number one issue:

    Climate change is estimated to cost the world economy $1.2 trillion annually, which is proving to be a stress test for the insurance industry. Lest you think that’s a niche concern, insurance accounts for seven percent of the global economy and is the world’s largest industry.

  12. I’m a wanna be cut’n’paster, like Eric (nee Staphan). Gosh, I hope this works.

    Anthropogenic climate change (ACC)/anthropogenic global warming (AGW) is not a hypothesis. It is a robust theory, referred to as “settled fact” by scientists.

    Per the National Academies of Science, in their 2010 publication Advancing The Science Of Climate Change (pp 44-45):
    “Some scientific conclusions or theories have been so thoroughly examined and tested, and supported by so many independent observations and results, that their likelihood of subsequently being found to be wrong is vanishingly small.

    Such conclusions and theories are then regarded as settled facts.

    This is the case for the conclusions that the Earth system is warming and that much of this warming is very likely due to human activities.”
    • See dub-dub-dub

    And note that the above National Academies paper is available for free download after a free registration. No purchase necessary. And the quote is from pages 44 & 45.

    Subsequent to this, Huber and Knutti (2011) quantified that human attribution as being 74% and 122% due to humans (with a best estimate of around 100% human attribution). In other words, natural variability is not responsible for the observed warming trend.
    • See dub-dub-dub

    Since then, Gillett et al (2012) also examined the human attribution of the warming trend observed. They found that humans are responsible for 102% of observed warming from 1851 to 2010 and 113% of the observed warming from 1951 to 2000 and 1961 to 2010 (averaged together).
    • See dub-dub-dub

    The world is warming and humanity (inconveniently for those in denial), through its fossil-fuel emissions, is the cause. QED.

  13. Heartland and smoking, Popcorn heaven. It gives me a chance to repost!

    “There are many reasons to be skeptical about what professional anti-smoking advocates say. They personally profit by exaggerating the health threats of smoking and winning passage of higher taxes and bans on smoking in public places. The anti-smoking movement is hardly a grassroots phenomenon: It is largely funded by taxpayers and a few major foundations with left-liberal agendas.”

    It’s the same boilerplate they re-used for global warming.

  14. zoot says:

    Here’s another glacier that doesn’t know global warming stopped 15 years ago:

  15. Eric Worrall says:

    Lord Monckton forces the withdrawal of the hate crime suggestion by an Austrian professor that “deniers” should be executed.

    The only thing the professor didn’t specify was which facility should be used to perform the executions – Auschwitz or Bergen-Bergen.

  16. john byatt says:

    People have had some nasty experience posting at jo nova, bombarded with sceptic crap, threats. etc, john brooks comment

    John Brookes
    December 20, 2012 at 11:22 pm · Reply
    Someone here decided it would be a good idea to email my boss. He invites him to look at this post. But to save him some trouble, he says to:

    “Go to Mr. John Brookes comment where he surpasses Robyn Williams example of equating Climate Skeptis to Pedophiles and states that skeptics are pedophiles.”

    How anything I wrote can be interpreted as above, I can’t begin to understand.

    Look. I post here under my own name. I don’t try and hide. And I rely on the common sense of the decent people here to not abuse this information.

    I disagree with much of what is posted on this blog, and I sometimes say so rather directly. But I don’t mean anyone any harm. I’m just stirring. There is absolutely no need to go to my employer, putting words in my mouth, and trying to get me into trouble.

  17. Here’s a great denier Poe. A tip of the hat to the buffoon of Texas, Tory Aardvark.

  18. john byatt says:

    If you wish to see the deniers in full contradiction to the facts follow this at ABC unleashed over the next few hours, The climate sceptics party and just grounds posters will be out in force,

    • The comments are out there already talking of “debate” and “balance”. I look forward to the debates gravity, relativity, quantum mechanics and evolution.

      • john byatt says:

        Bill from the climate sceptics party has just turned up, others are Geoff and JohnM or cohenite (cox)

        JohnM is a bit like eric, he will post twenty comments all the same claiming that the temperature has not increased in 16 years

      • Fascinating responses. There are new memes and new lies on the board. One from “John” lists organisations he asserts do not back AGW. The problem is he’s wrong. Just take the American Chemical Society – is unquestioned support. Or how about the AIPG –

        I’ve not read them all – but basically the guys another deniar (denier+liar=deniar).

        That is a tired, worn-out and thoroughly discredited bit of alarmist jargon.

        There are many scientific and technological bodies that refute AGW, and a lot more who have not rejected the theory but who have reserved judgement pending acceptable evidence.

        Try these:

        The following societies have rejected AGW:
        The American Institute of Professional Geologists
        The Russian Earth Cryosphere Institute
        Brazil’s MetSul Weather Center;
        American Chemical Society
        The Polish National Academy of Science
        The Pulkovo Observatory,

        The following North American scientific societies have not taken the direct position of refuting AGW but have declined to support AGW because it has not yet been proved.

        American Association of State Climatologists
        American Association of Petroleum Geologists
        American Geological Institute
        Canadian Federation of Earth Sciences.

        There are others, if you are prepared to read with an open mind.

  19. Richard Ryan says:

    “But in order to realise my ambitions as a writer I have to make that leap of faith: and that is exactly what I’ve done. I’m giving up some income, professional status and lifestyle while happily down-shifting. These are sacrifices I’m happily making in order to realise my ambition of becoming a (semi) professional writer and commentator on climate change and environmental issues.”

    Translation – have decided to join the gravy train generating money from bullshit. It was either this or become a priest.

    • Watching the Deniers says:

      That constitutes your first warning: personal insults will not be tolerated.

      See rules of conduct:

      ‘Treat all posters, commentators and readers with respect and refrain from personal insults and ad hominem attacks”

      • uknowispeaksense says:

        Mike, come and jump on the gravy train! As an ecologist and researcher, I’ve been pulling in a massive $70000 per year before tax for a few years now. Talk about the good life! I was telling my nephew the other day he should get out of the mining industry and do something to help the environment and he asked me why as a first year geologist he should give up $120000 plus accomodation and meals. I told him that he’s missing out on the gravy train.  


    • uknowispeaksense says:

      Generating money from bullshit? Annoyed that yours gets given away freely? Seriously though, it would be nice to see someting of substance in your comments so that an honest discussion can take place. Given the calibre of your contribution so far, I won’t be holding my breath.

    • john byatt says:

      Richard, go back to the creationist blog where you belong, idiotic statements about gravy trains just confirm your religious idealology.

  20. Richard Ryan says:

    no warnings for calling people “deniers” LOL? childish, ban all debate typical fervour

    • john byatt says:

      The site is called watching the deniers richard
      let me explain whenever you post, how your position is consistent with the beliefs of fundies,
      should be fun, stick around

    • Watching the Deniers says:

      Hurling insults is not a form of debate. You’ve not been banned. You’ve been warned to moderate your language and not insult the blog owner.

    • uknowispeaksense says:

      You’re reaching. You will find that the blog owner here allows all sorts of nonsense from deniers like yourself and with good reason. You all tend to make foolish statements that do nothing to ingratiate yourselves with others who may be reading and not commenting. You’ve made two in a row and still haven’t produced anything of substance. Well done. Keep them coming. If you want to find sites that actually do censor comments, check out WUWT, Climate Audit, Bishop Hill and Jo Nova. I am one of many who have been heavily censored at the last three and banned from WUWT merely for raising valid questions. So, Dick, raise your valid question.

      • Richard Ryan says:

        I dont need to spout out all the lack of evidence or certainty, Non (you know where that fits) … its all been done before. Keep the faith, brother, the world will end soon … do you have a shelter too?
        Lets have a confession from all the true believers about how many of you practice what you preach … none of you drive cars, use electricity, fly on airplanes etc etc do you?

        • uknowispeaksense says:

          Oh dear, straight into mucking around with my pseudonym and still nothing of substance to add?…tsk tsk tsk. Well, now that we have established your maturity, Dick, do you mind if I call you Dick? Now that we have established your maturity…. I will make my confession. I do drive a car and use electricity, live in a house, eat food, breathe, but I am carbon negative in my day to day life. My house produces more electricity than it uses. We have a composting toilet and collect rainwater. My car is extremely fuel efficient but I rarely use it, preferring to walk or ride when possible. I grow most of my own vegetables, giving the excess to my neighbours, reducing their carbon footprint. I have my own chickens and goats which I use for eggs, meat and milk. I enjoy getting out on weekends where I volunteer in bush regeneration and treeplanting. I guess you could say I walk the walk. I am also a scientist researching feral animal ecology. Should my management recommendations be adopted for the species I am working on, carbon emissions from the damage it does through soil disturbance will be reduced by thousands of tons per year. Do I have a shelter? No.

          So, Dick, do you have anything of substance to bring or just more childish quips?

      • john byatt says:

        If you have the room mike get some turkeys they graze all day and only need a little food, much tastier than chicken, also rabbits which we bred for food for 30 years are top quality return on food given,except for vegetarians,
        we fed our rabbits lucerne and produced the equivelant of one meal per week fifty two weeks per year
        we had a goat, pigs chickens turkeys ducks rabbits and my veggie garden was bigger than the block we now live on , was a small crops grower sending our produce to brisbane markets and ran a plant nursery, supplied reforestation species to landcare, built and sold nesting boxes for all native hollow log dwelling species, also built chicken arks and sold them off.
        turkeys are easy to pluck, not even hot water required,
        wonderfull life for children

        • uknowispeaksense says:

          John, I tried turkeys a few years ago but they are far too noisy for my liking. When I go out to do the fieldwork I collect wild rabbits. I also manage to get a deer every third trip or so. My youngest can’t get past the eewwwww factor but she’ll come round eventually.

      • john byatt says:

        not too keen on wild rabbit, home raised and fed rabbits are gourmet delight

        these were the ones that we were raising .

        • uknowispeaksense says:

          For sure the domestics are much nicer but I’d have Buckley’s chance of getting my youngest to accept eating something cute and fluffy that she would no doubt name lol. I used to joke that every rabbit we would get would have to be called Stu. She was not amused. I don’t mind the wild ones. I soak them in brine for 12 hours before cooking or storing. It takes that weird bittery taste they can sometimes have. Also reduces the gaminess.

  21. john byatt says:

    Ah brine, no one buys lambs tongue anymore so you can buy them for about $4 a kilo on the sunshine coast, I pickle them in brine for four days then boil up peel and press, my wife loves them as a salad dish.

    so richard you asked, now how about telling what you do, or don’t you care, I know that the TCS party members (creationists) celebrated earth hour by turning on all their house lights and driving their car around the block for the hour

    • Richard Ryan says:

      hey Johnny Baptist, good to see that you;re true to your religion and living in a cave. Humour me, do you believe in God? Its remarkable if you dont given your obsession with it but I digress. Tell me also (as all deniers are conspiracy theorists and creationalists) why all you true believers dismiss every scientist who debunks your religion as crooked big oil paid frauds but you rave about every unqualified dickhead (e. g. Flannery) who agrees? And when they get exposed (Climategate) – thats another conspiracy … Odd? You do know also that Zeus lasted a lot longer than your god …

      • Climategate? Seriously? You LOST Climategate. Nine separate investigations vindicated the science. Nine. You also LOST in Virginia with Cuccinelli and New Zealand with NIWA. LOST – because the facts trump ideology.

        Over 98.8% of all climate papers support AGW. Under 0.2% support your position? Assuming we’re all sheep, what inspired you to follow the weaker flock?

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