Friday, July 27, 2012

Watts up with that Anthony's major announcement?

About his project unrelated to health, FOIA, politics, society
Update Saturday: Wow, the last paragraph in Wikipedia contains what I consider the most likely answer to the mystery:

According to the Heartland Institute 2012 fundraising plan document, they agreed to help Watts raise $88,000 to set up a website, "devoted to accessing the new temperature data from NOAA's web site and converting them into easy-to-understand graphs that can be easily found and understood by weathermen and the general interested public."

LM: BTW the Guardian plans to publish a significant news at the same moment: it may be the same thing.

Update Sunday: It was related to NOAA but it turned out to be a paper claiming that NOAA incorrectly doubled the late 20th century warming trend in the U.S. See James Delingpole's summary that I found more comprehensible than Anthony Watts' press release.

Well, it's fine but yes, I am disappointed. I wouldn't agree that this has a global importance; the U.S. is 2% of the globe, after all. Also, it's just another paper claiming something about those matters. Let me admit that its importance may be a bit inflated because Anthony is still excited about publishing a paper somewhere.
The world's most visited climate blog, Watts Up With That, just interrupted the publishing of new posts for two days. An inner circle of the Earth's 11 climate skeptics including your humble correspondent was informed about the interruption by e-mail at the same moment.

We are told to expect a major announcement of an unprecedented and controversial event on Sunday around 9 pm (Pilsner Summer Time: I suspect Anthony also meant noon Pacific Daylight Time and not Pacific Standard Time), one that led Anthony to cancel vacation plans, will arguably attract the attention of the whole planet, overshadow the Olympic games, reconstruct or destroy the United Nations, and perhaps even delay the war in Iran.

And believe me, Anthony generally doesn't like much hype and big words (similarly tome) so this is either his unprecedented hype that may turn out to be a dud or a really big story.

Anthony also told us he wouldn't respond to our e-mails before Sunday so I honestly don't know what it is and I can't find out (I guess). Moreover, the symmetric position of my e-mail inside the list suggests that other people in the list such as Steve McIntyre don't know what's going on, either. If you try to Google search for anthony watts major announcement, you will quickly get stuck in a TRF infinite loop, too. ;-) Three more speculative threads are hosted by Bishop Hill, Steve McIntyre, and Suyts.

So we may only speculate what the announcement is going to be. Is it a new energy-efficient server, the kind of stories that we could see on Anthony's Facebook wall most recently?

Or Climategate III (with a bombshell that doesn't make it just another fading sequel which contradicts Anthony's word "unprecedented")? A hockey team member confessed he was FOIA, the Climategate whistleblower?

An error in an irrelevant table written down by an assistant to James Hansen or his grandkids has been found? Anthony Watts is an alarmist who has pretended to be a skeptic and he will boast he has duped the real skeptics? ;-) Or is he selling the WUWT domain to George Soros and Real Climate?

A new pound of black asphalt was added to a U.S. weather station, making it darker and warmer? Has Anthony measured the climate sensitivity to be 50 degrees Celsius per doubling? Or does he have a proof that CO2 is cooling the planet?

Has Mann filed a lawsuit against WUWT for its being a climate heretic website that realizes that Mann's work is a pile of garbage? Is Watts being blackmailed by an armed thug hired by Al Gore? Has Rajendra Pachauri together with Joe Romm hacked WUWT? Maybe the article about the interruption was written by them and on Sunday, they will post "climate change is real, that's the big story". :-) A mass resignation in scientific societies? Has CERN proved that the climate is changing due to the Higgs boson?

The evil Big Oil corporations have finally sent billions to Anthony's bank account so that he can distribute it to other evil skeptical bloggers who may finally begin to attack the climate scientists?

Is the climate Armageddon coming this Sunday? Has a group of hawkish climate skeptics pretending to be doves – led by Anthony – kidnapped the U.S. Olympic team and demand the cancellation of the IPCC etc.? Or, as WUWT reader Matt suggested, is Watts running for the U.S. presidency as an independent?

You may offer your own explanations. I have no idea about the character, sign, or severity of the message. We will see on Sunday.

Off-topic: Higgs

Things were much clearer with Matt Strassler's quiz asking his readers when the first 125 GeV Higgs boson was produced by the humans without their realizing they had done so.

All thermonuclear bombs and colliders before the 1980s had vastly insufficient energies (below 1 GeV in the former case) and SpS at CERN in the early 1980s which discovered the W-bosons and Z-bosons still had insufficient luminosities (chances of a Higgs were of order 1% over there). So it "probably" had to be the Tevatron in 1988 or 1989. Sensible. No one noticed the particle in the 1980s but the production of the Higgs boson still managed to ignite the fall of communism: I must answer this thing when I am asked about the practical applications of the Higgs boson again. ;-)

Incidentally, by accident, the Higgs boson could have also been produced much earlier than that.

And I would also like to stress that the question whether a Higgs boson existed during a particle collision doesn't actually have a sharp answer. Only the final states may be predicted and all the intermediate histories contribute to the probability amplitude and interfere with each other.

So both Higgs-ful histories as well as Higgs-less histories contribute to the probability of a particular final state and we may only see the particular random events "encouraged" both by Higgs-ful and Higgs-less histories. Still, this problem is a bit academic because the actual events had the energy-momentum of the final product so accurately aligned with the Higgs boson mass (the width and therefore uncertainty of the Higgs mass is well below 1 GeV) that you may be "de facto sure" that the collision may be blamed upon the Higgs boson if the reconstructed mass agreed within the width.


  1. I'm guessing that it has to do with the climategate emails or something along that line. There's little other reason for a delay.

  2. Interesting, climategate e-mails? They've been studied for years by now. Lots of people know them. What new could Anthony add now? It's little bit like a theory that he has a new interpretation of the Bible. ;-)

    Or do you mean something about the way they were obtained? He found out who did it or he will confess he did it? ;-) Interesting ideas, too.

  3. OTOH, I remember that months ago Steven Goddard's blog was taken over by someone who announced his death and of course posts stopped.
    The key would provide WUWT an occasion to go through the file first-hand and catalog the juiciest parts.
    OTOH again, at Bishop's some people think it has to be bigger than just the key and that Anthony is checking a story. Besides, FOIA always gave the link to the files simultaneously to several people (redundancy is cool).
    We have two days to speculate as if we were philosophers :-)

  4. All these things are intriguing but I feel that this is really up to our imagination or lack of it so the reality on Sunday is likely to have nothing to do with the speculations. It's still fun to speculate, though.

    I thought that Steven Goddard's "gravedigger" was just some irrelevant nephew, a kid who wanted to be funny, or something like that who has nothing to do with the real stories here.

    Can't FOIA and Anthony Watts be the same person? This would be a loophole in one of your arguments. :-)

  5. I'm thinking he's found serious errors in the adjustment code of GISS that over adjusts all temperatures upwards. It won't matter to alarmists though. CAGW is a religion to them no matter how much it is discredited.

  6. Perhaps. I still feel that he wouldn't interrupt the traffic for two days and the wording suggests something bigger.

  7. Last week the UK police announced the end of their investigation into climategate and made some very misleading comments in their press release.

    I would imagine that this pissed off the "hacker" known as "FOIA" bigtime.

    I would suggest that the news is that Anthony has been sent the code to unzip the FOIA archive and to get the rest of the emails.

    That would explain the delay - Anthony is busily looking to see what goodies are inside and preparing a very long blog post. Could be time for some more fun.

  8. Sounds cool. Do you think the explanation is compatible with Anthony's calling the event "unprecedented" if it is "just another batch" of e-mails?

  9. Anthony started his post with "Something's happened". When the first climategate emails were released, the blog post on said "A miracle just happened.". Sounds like it could be a clue to me.

  10. Or maybe just a hint that the texts were written in the same languages and both referred to events? ;-)

  11. If it is "just another batch" then no. Depends on what is inside. The fact that FOIA sat on these emails as a sort of "nuclear option" suggests that there could be some toxic material inside that goes way beyond CG1.

    The fact that Steve Mc is not involved in helping Anthony sieve the information is odd. But it could also imply that the material is too controversial and that he cannot involve Steve. Or maybe he does not need help if much of the information has already been highlighted by FOIA and all Anthony has to do is write the narrative to put it in context.
    But then I might be completely wrong. I hope not. Hope the RC crowd have a sleepless night.

  12. Actually, he is retiring from climate blogging to start raising oranges in Greenland.

  13. I would suggest it is a 1-sigma observation. Good enough for climate science.

  14. Maybe FOIA is Gavin Schmidt. After all, the first emails were posted on RC and I seem to recall that a password was needed to do it.

  15. "Major announcement" relative to what ?...

  16. Looks like he has an exciton too.

  17. Ah well, lost my entire reply, let's restart...
    I guess Steve Goddard went several times showing the misadjustments between GISS and raw temperatures, not at the level of the code, but graphically as a plot of differences. But my memory is not reliable, and it might not be GISS:

    On the religion thing, I just read recently a short philosophy book titled, and you will excuse me, "Mindf*cking - A Critique of Mental Manipulation" (C McGinn). The actual title doesn't have a *. The man says, somewhere and among many things, that the mindf*ck being thorough and long-standing, can become a structuring element of the world view. At that point people will refuse truth that confronts their world view.
    A companion book is possibly "On Bullshit", by HG Frankfurt, basically telling that bullshit doesn't care about truth or falsity, etc. just the ahem narrative.
    Finally, reading the Wikipedia entry on Baudrillard's "Simulacra and Simulation", of Matrix fame, also sheds light on this and that.

  18. Anthony updated his post with a few "it's not this" (namely, not FOIA-related) and stating it's about a project of his.

  19. I give up. I hope this will not be some stupid anticlimax.

  20. Something to do with this release?

  21. Maybe Anthony booked his vacation with one of those Ček travel agencies, that seem to have a habit to disappear over night, along with clients deposits. :-)

  22. It's something to do with the Fall et al paper and the BEST project. He anticipates media interviews which probably indicates a serious wounding of the CAGW monster, one that CAN NOT be ignored by the press. A lot of people NEED a new skeptical point to safely upset the global warming narrative. By "people" I mean the credulous politicians and journalists who dutifully regurgitated the "overwhelming scientific consensus." Any excuse to take this albatross off of their necks would be appreciated.

  23. My guess is writer's block. He's hit the wall. And it made him loopy.

  24. That's compatible with my nightmare scenario #1, namely that he will use the WUWT fame to offer millions of servers with miniblades to lower the energy bill: ;-)

  25. Jitter, unless you were joking, the entity is called an "excitation" (eks-sai-tey-sh@n), although an exciton wold be a perfectly solid name for a physics particle, too.

  26. Maybe we should number the Higgs excitations to make it easier.

    Would it be possible to make an analog to a 5 dimensional state in the superfluid and see if there is a Higgs excitation there?

    Maybe a Higgs string;-)

  27. In this jaded world there is nothing that is unprecedented any longer, except perhaps the staggering vacuity of the modern intellectual classes, for which there is no precedent. (I exempt Lubos of course from this condition). Since Casper is almost always right, and wishes to maintain his good reputation amongst the masses, he would prophesy that Anthony is going to confess that he now believes that flying saucers are the way of the future. However Casper will hedge his bets by saying that this is only a probability. Perhaps Anthony has figured out that 911 was an inside job?

  28. OMG :-) I didn't know about this.

  29. Anthony has posted an update saying, among other things, that the announcement has "nothing to do with FOIA issues."

    That said, I'd like to say something about the encrypted files. I'm still not persuaded that the code is unbreakable. AES256 uses a 256-bit key, it's true, but 7-Zip accepts a password of any length, even so little as one character; from this it generates a 256-bit key, so, obviously, the search space might be much smaller than 2^256.

  30. Rumors and more rumors:

    via Bishop's place.

  31. If folks are subscribed to this thread: I have updated the article because I think I know what the mysterious project is...

  32. Yeah but the President said Anthony didn't build that.

  33. Do you mean Obama, Klaus, or Pat Meier-Johnson? ;-) And what did he exactly say? I don't see it.

  34. Could it be that the excition has been caused by too much Viagra. Could take a couple of days to reduce the heat. ;-)

  35. Muller is absolutely dishonest. He was never a skeptic,

    "I was never a skeptic" - Richard Muller, 2011"If Al Gore reaches more people and convinces the world that global warming is real, even if he does it through exaggeration and distortion - which he does, but he’s very effective at it - then let him fly any plane he wants."
    - Richard Muller, 2008"There is a consensus that global warming is real.’s going to get much, much worse." - Richard Muller, 2006"Let me be clear. My own reading of the literature and study of paleoclimate suggests strongly that carbon dioxide from burning of fossil fuels will prove to be the greatest pollutant of human history. It is likely to have severe and detrimental effects on global climate." - Richard Muller, 2003

  36. Obama 7.13.2012:

    "If you've got a business - you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen."

  37. Well, the US has been where Anthony has focused all of his energy, I can understand why he is excited about it. It is like Higgs being excited about whatever that thing was that was discovered.

  38. It is important for two reasons at least

    1) the US weighs in with a disproportionate number of stations on the global temperature. It is the US data that has convinced law makers to tax CO2 and strangle the economy. Money decisions are very important.

    2) Concurrently another paper is coming up ( Muller 2012) which relies on the manipulated and badly corrected data base that Watts et al are revealing as erroneous. Had this press release not come, the AGW, Climate Change, Climate disruption crowd would have gone to town.

    The importance is political.

  39. Tx for your explanations, Tom and Anna.