Monday, February 8, 2016

#1590: Willis Eschenbach

Willis Eschenbach is a climate change denialist kook blogging at Watts Up With That (WUWT), and cited by Steve McIntyre’s Climate Audit. Eschenbach has a BA in psychology and a California Massage Certificate from Aames School of Massage, and he has experience as a construction manager. Now, climate change denialism comes in various versions; Eschenbach’s view is apparently that “the preponderance of evidence shows that humans are the main cause of the increase in atmospheric CO2 … I don’t think that the change in CO2 will make any meaningful difference to the temperature” (more here). A good discussion of his criticism of the BEST project can be found here. As you may remember, the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature (BEST) project was a project funded by private groups (including the Koch brothers) to provide an independent evaluation of the data and even included known climate change skeptics on the team – turns out that their findings were in line with mainstream research, which caused some, uh, consternation among the denialists. And here is a discussion of Eschenbach’s claims to the effect that Greenland has only lost a fraction of its total ice mass and that it’s nothing to worry about. Here is a discussion of his own (unpublished except for on denialist blogs) hypothesis about global warming; needless to say, it’s not going to be included in the IPCC reports, and that’s not beause there’s a conspiracy (other than a rather official one of keeping pseudoscientific rubbish by delusional kooks out, if that counts).

How much of a crank is he? Unsurprisingly, Eschenbach is not above lying. And then there is this (do check that one out). And here is a discussion of his letter to the Editor-in-Chief of Science Magazine lamenting the fact that they let science and evidence guide their coverage of climate change: “The problem is that you are extremely well educated, strong, strikingly good looking, and a wickedly-smart woman by all accounts … and while those are all good things, that’s a scary combination. One downside of that particular melange is that as a result, it’s very possible that people, particularly men, haven’t told you the unvarnished truth in years.” Wheee.

Diagnosis: That this guy has become something of a celebrity in the denialist movement should tell you quite a bit about the movement. (And him.)

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