Government Scientist to Tony Heller: You’re a Fucking Bonehead

As a rabidly partisan, anti-government nut job, I love to accuse the government and everyone who works for the government of lying and conspiring to take away our freedoms. Exhibits A and B:


I have to admit though, there are occasions when I can get a little over zealous. I’d like to share one of those times as a cautionary tale for other professional deniers out there.

Climate Troll Tip: Conspiracy theories are a tried and true method for building your audience on the Internet.
Climate Troll Tip: Conspiracy theories are a tried and true method for building your audience on the Internet.

The particular incident I’m going to tell you about was back in 2008 when I was new to the climate denier game. What I did was insinuate that the evil geniuses at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) were fudging satellite data to make it look like arctic ice was melting more than it was. It was a logical conclusion for me to come to. After all, I know for a fact that global warming isn’t happening and that government scientists take orders from socialist politicians who want to scare us all into cutting CO2 emissions so they can destroy capitalism. And when you put two obvious facts like this together, you just know there’s more measurements getting exaggerated at a climatologist’s convention than at a compulsive liar’s fishing contest.

Now, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m barely qualified to read a thermometer never mind interpret satellite data. I don’t have any kind of degree in climatology, I’m a software programmer for chrissakes. Nonetheless, I was able to get my amateur analysis of NSIDC’s data published over at the Register and also reprinted on the famous climate denier blog, “Watt’s Up With That.” I guess content providers will accept anything these days. I didn’t even have to publish under my real name, Tony Heller, and went by my pseudonym, Steven Goddard. Ain’t freedom a wonderful thing?

Anyway, my super sophisticated methodology was to compare two pretty satellite pictures of the North Pole created by the University of Illinois that were taken one year apart. Next, I superimposed one of them on top of the other and even made a little YouTube video from them. Then, using only the fine-tuned instrument of my naked eye and keen intuition as a computer programmer, it became apparent to me that the NSIDC published data was greatly exaggerating the extent of the sea ice melt in in 2008. Aha! I had caught those lying bastards red-handed!

Of course, I didn’t bother to put a quote from a knowledgeable scientist or a representative from the NSIDC in my article. Why should I? I’m Tony FUCKING Heller, crusader for liberty and slayer of squishy liberal dirt bags. This was a chance to make a splash right out of the climate denier gate. I mean, why would I want to risk having someone who knew what they were talking about spoil my investigative work exposing these government scientists that I already knew must be lying? Now, of course, I couldn’t directly accuse these scientists of lying without any proof and still maintain credibility. What I did do is give my article a catchy little headline, “Arctic Refuses to Melt as Ordered,” and subtitled it “There’s Something Rotten North of Denmark” to hint at the malfeasance I knew must underlay NSIDC’s work.

1331010929880_3216350There was just one problem: it turns out I didn’t have a fucking clue what I was talking about.

To make a long story short, I ended up having to print a retraction and even an embarrassing apology on the Register’s website:

My apologies to Dr. Meiers and Dr. Serreze, and NSIDC. Their analysis, graphs and conclusions were all absolutely correct. Arctic ice is indeed melting nearly as fast as last year, and this is indeed troubling.

What’s even more embarrassing was just how certain I was of the correctness of my analysis as demonstrated in my debates with fellow climate deniers in the comments section of the WUWT the blog. For example:

Numerical integration by counting pixels is a standard technique in image processing. Any error that is introduced is much less than the 45% difference seen in the latest imagery from today. No one can seriously argue that minor differences in pixel areas will account for this.

And this:

This is very simple stuff. Some people here are making bold declarations that I am in error, without actually addressing the methodology that I used.

And this in response to commenter Jeff:

Jeff,

Your logic is again flawed. NSIDC predicted that Arctic Ice extent would >12% lower than last year. Even using their highly questionable measurements, they are off by at least 25%.

And this:

Thus my calculations are conservative, because the actual amount of ice increase away from the pole is greater than the pixel count. This is not a question of pixel precision, which has very little impact on the 30% number.

Jesus, what an arrogant, incompetent prick I look like!

But looking back at this debacle, my biggest miscalculation was not considering that guys from NSIDC might actually chime in on the debate and slap my dick in the dirt in front of all of my fellow deniers on WUWT:

Mr Goddard:

Under our “sea ice news and analysis” site, you will see a link to frequently asked questions. It is a useful educational resource and as such I suggest that you read it. Furthermore, you might want to analyze the raw data themselves which are freely available at NSIDC.

Mark C. Serreze
NSIDC

And then there was this from Walt Meier, also from NSIDC:

Mr. Goddard’s approach to counting pixels is simply not the correct approach…Mr. Goddard need not have wasted his time doing his image pixel counting. He could’ve simply referred to the UIUC site, which actually counts the pixels properly and creates a timeseries plot.

As if that wasn’t enough butt-hurt, Meier, in his response that was posted to the Register for the entire world to see, basically calls me a fucking bonehead (without using those exact words, of course) and takes a shit on my entire article:

My first blog post for Watts was less than auspicious.
My first blog post for Watts was less than auspicious.

Besides this significant error, the rest of the article consists almost entirely of misleading, irrelevant, or erroneous information about Arctic sea ice that add nothing to the understanding of the significant long-term decline that is being observed.

Now, you might think that making a complete ass of myself in front of my peers would force me to be more diligent before making bogus claims. But as we have seen already and as we shall see some more, not a fucking chance!

8 thoughts on “Government Scientist to Tony Heller: You’re a Fucking Bonehead

  1. […] a complete ass of myself in front of those same peers trying to debate a government scientist and ended up having to eat crow. Finally, I was driven off the “Watts Up With That” blog because my posts were so far […]

    Like

  2. Wow.. what a dishonest dumb shit you are… the real Goddard’s Headlines are HILARIOUS!!.. Mock the foolery of Climate Science…

    Are you just such a turdd.. cant get humor??

    Goddard is effective… REAL SCIENCE… this blog sounds like an angry teen… LOL!!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s