Stephan Lewandowsky’s slow motion Psychological Science train wreck

Train wreck at Gare Montparnasse, Paris, France, 1895 – Image: Wikipedia

I’m a bit of a latecomer to this affair, as Lucia and Jo Nova took an early lead on pointing out the many problems with the survey methodology (or lack thereof) with the paper:

Lewandowsky, S., Oberauer, K., & Gignac, C. E. (in press). NASA faked the moon landing – therefore (climate) science is a hoax: An anatomy of the motivated rejection of science. Psychological Science.

“Motivated” is the key word here, as it appears there were hidden motivations for this paper. It seems though, once you scratch the surface of Lewandowsky’s paper, that it is nothing more than a journal sanctioned smear of climate skeptics based on not only faulty data, but data gathered with a built in bias.

Besides what we already know about the flawed sampling method, the lack of follow up with skeptic blogs to make sure they got communications inviting them to post the survey, and the early release of results before the survey was complete, the most troubling new revelation appears to be that some climate skeptic blogs got different questionaires than their counterpart AGW advocate blogs. If true (and it appears to be based on the survey numbering system) this negates the study on the basis of inconsistent sampling, and I think it is time to ask Psychological Science editor Robert V. Kail to investigate this paper, and if he finds what the skeptics have, start a retraction. I’ve sent him a courtesy note advising him of this issues with this paper.

Here’s a summary of what has been going on the last couple of days.

Jo Nova has a great summary here, and writes about one Australian investigator who was invited to take the survey questions two years ago, kept screen shots of it,  and did an analysis. She wrote:

Graham from OnlineOpinion was so struck by the study he’s written a post titled: Fish rot from the head Part 1.

Read it to get familiar with the survey questions.

Next there’s the who got what version of what survey problem, Jo notes this:

Leopard on the Bishop Hill thread has noted that Steve McIntyre is asking Lewandowsky why there are two or even three different forms of the survey? Why indeed?

Paul follows them up:

The Deltoid, Tamino, Mandia and Hot-Topic blogs were sent the survey number surveyID=HKMKNF_991e2415 on about August 29th. That survey is on the archive, and starts with 6 questions about free markets.

Bickmore and Few Things had the survey number surveyID=HKMKNG_ee191483 also about Aug 29, but this one doesn’t seem to be on the archive.

Steve Mc was sent survey number surveyID=HKMKNI_9a13984 on Sept 6th. This survey is on the archive, and it starts with 5 completely different questions! About how happy you are with life.

This right here should be enough for a retraction from the Journal. If different surveys were sent to different bloggers, and no mention of it was made in the paper or justified in the methodology, then this amounts to purposely biased data from the beginning. UWA may also find grounds for academic misconduct if Lewandowsky purposefully sent different sets of questions based on the type of blog he was inviting.

And then we have the fact that Lewandowsky was discussing preliminary results at a seminar, while the surveys were still open and he had not heard back from the skeptic blogs yet, such as the follow up invitation to Steve McIntyre. Having an open discussion of the survey is highly irregular, because attendees/viewers are free to take the survey, possibly biasing the results.

On the 23rd of September, 2010, Dr. Lewandowsky gave a presentation at Monash university which included the following slide:

Lewandowsky & Gignac (forthcoming)
•Internet survey (N=1100)
•Endorsement of climate conspiracy (“hoax by scientists to get grants”) linked to endorsement of other conspiracies (“NASA faked moon landing”)
•Conspiracy factor without climate item predicts rejection of climate science

So three days after (unsuccessfully) asking for cooperation in fieldwork, Lewandowsky is publicly announcing the preliminary results while the surveys are still open, and he hasn’t heard back from invited distributors. Steve McIntyre of Climate Audit notes that he received a follow up invitation on around Sept 20th. (which he didn’t notice until this story broke). Note the N=1100 value in the preliminary slide. The final paper cites an N<1200 value.

And it seems they are still at it, here’s a recent WUWT comment:

Daniel H says:

September 1, 2012 at 6:03 am

Anthony, there was recently another survey (longer, and with a 1-5 scale) put out by Lewandowsky’s research assistant, Charles Hanich, on June 4, 2012. It seems that the link for this survey was only posted on two blogs: Watching the Deniers and Skeptical Science. Charles Hanich was also responsible for creating Lewandowsky’s 2010 survey, as mentioned in the comments here.

Unfortunately, the link to the June 2012 survey is also unavailable. However, a skeptic called the “Manic Bean Counter” captured all the survey questions and dissected them on his/her blog, here. The following is Manic Bean Counter’s breakdown of the types of questions asked in the survey:

1. Climate Change – 5 questions
2. Genetically Modified Foods – 5 questions
3. Vaccines – Benefits and harms – 5 questions
4. Position of the Conservative / Liberal perspective (US definitions) – 7 questions
5. Select neutral (check of the software, or check for spam?) – 1 questions
6. Free market system v social justice / environment / sustainability – 5 questions
7. Conspiracy theories (political) – 6 questions
8. Conspiracy theories (scientific) – 6 questions
9. Personal Spirituality & Religion – 8 questions
10. Evolution – views upon – 7 questions
11. Corporations – 13 questions
12. Personal emotional outlook – 6 questions

The striking thing is that we have John Cook’s Skeptical Science blog listed as presenting both the original as well as the most recent survey. It as been discovered that Cook is a co-author with Levandowsky on a similar paper:

Lewandowsky, S., Ecker, U. K. H., Seifert, C., Schwarz, N. & Cook, J. (in press). Misinformation and its correction: Continued influence and successful debiasing. Psychological Science in the Public Interest.
http://websites.psychology.uwa.edu.au/labs/cogscience/documents/LewandowskyEcker.IP2012.PSPI.pdf

One wonders how much Cook contributed to the questions, based on his understanding of his readers likely responses. It is strange irony indeed that the paper discusses “debiasing”, when so many potential biases in Lewandowsky’s methods are clearly obvious to even the casual reader. Wikipedia even cites them for this paper in a section on “debunker

Australian Professorial Fellow Stephan Lewandowsky[5] and John Cook, Climate Communication Fellow for the Global Change Institute at the University of Queensland (and author at SkepticalScience.com)[6] both warn about “backfire effects” in their Debunking Handbook.[2] Backfire effects occur when science communicators accidentally reinforce false beliefs by trying to correct them. For instance, a speaker about global warming may end up reinforcing the crowd’s beliefs that global warming is not happening.

Backfire indeed, this Lewandowsky “moon landing” paper is a full force backfire now.

Based on what I’ve seen so far, it is my opinion that Lewandowsky set out to create the survey data he wanted by manipulation of the survey system through multiple undocumented surveys, incomplete and non-representative sampling, biased survey questions, and essentially no quality control. There weren’t even significant safeguards in place to prevent individuals from taking the survey multiple times, appearing as other identities. There are so many things wrong with this paper that I can’t see it surviving intact.

I think what we have witenessed here is yet another example of noble cause corruption, where the end justifies the means in the minds of the players.

In reviewing Lewandowsky’s writings (here at The Conversation) over the past couple of years, it because painfully obvious that he sees climate skeptics as a scourge to be dealt with and that even crime can be justified:

Revealing to the public the active, vicious, and well-funded campaign of denial that seeks to delay action against climate change likely constitutes a classic public good.

It is a matter of personal moral judgment whether that public good justifies Gleick’s sting operation to obtain those revelations.

I believe that Dr. Lewandowsky set out to show the world that through a faulty, perhaps even fraudulent, smear campaign disguised as peer reviewed science, that climate skeptics were, as Jo Nova puts it, “nutters”. Worse, peer review failed to catch any of the problems now in the open thanks to the work of climate skeptics.

My best advice to Dr. Lewandowsky right now is: withdraw the paper. It has become a lighting rod for everything that is wrong with team climate science today, and multiple lines of investigation are now in progress including FOI requests and demands for academic misconduct reviews at your University of Western Australia.

I can’t see any of it ending well for you given your reticence to offer supporting data or explanations.

About these ads
This entry was posted in Climate ugliness, Opinion, Peer review, Stephan Lewandowsky and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

154 Responses to Stephan Lewandowsky’s slow motion Psychological Science train wreck

  1. Yup. It is worse than we thought.

    Richard

  2. Peter Miller says:

    Isn’t it standard practice for ‘climate scientists’ to: i) lose the supporting data, ii) have it eaten by the dog, or iii) be unable to access for supposed copyright or privacy reasons?

    Remember, only the homogenised/manipulated/tortured data is allowed in ‘climate science’.

    Lewandowsky was therefore only using standard ‘climate science’ practices – so, not much new here then.

  3. Chris B says:

    Post-moral Science business as usual..

  4. Brian Cooper says:

    Wow… Just wow. Speechless

  5. charles nelson says:

    University of W.A., that’s Perth isn’t it? The Ghost Metropolis.

  6. charles nelson says:

    Oh and whilst I’m on the subject…how does Lewandowsky reconcile the fact that 30 ex Nasa employees, including ASTRONAUTS signed a letter expressing their scepticism about CAGW?
    Is he implying that these, rocket scientists, engineers and astronauts don’t believe that NASA landed a man on the moon?

  7. Ben Pile says:

    Lewandowsky has lots of strange ideas. Previously, he claimed that the less you know about something, the more likely it is that it will be worse than you think it is. http://www.climate-resistance.org/2012/06/reinventing-precaution.html

  8. Maus says:

    So what? I don’t see you having any peer reviewed and published papers on the subject. Freakin’ deniers, I swear.

    REPLY:
    I actually have two peer reviewed papers in Climate, plus a third on the way. see http://wattsupwiththat.com/about-wuwt/publications-and-projects/

    You might want to do your research before shooting you mouth off again in a swearing. Be as upset as you wish. Cheers, – Anthony

  9. R. Shearer says:

    How many climate “gates” does this make? I’ve lost count.

  10. catweazle666 says:

    Compare and contrast:

    It is a matter of personal moral judgment whether that public good justifies Gleick’s sting operation to obtain those revelations.

    Stephan Lewandowsky.

    To capture the public imagination, we have to offer up some scary scenarios, make simplified dramatic statements and little mention of any doubts one might have. Each of us has to decide the right balance between being effective, and being honest

    Stephen Schneider.

    Is this what is referred to as “Post-Normal Science”?

  11. Otter says:

    Currently getting no access to Jo’s site; this has been going on for at least an hour. Of course it could just be access in my region of Ontario…

    [snip - unnecessary]

  12. Jimmy Haigh says:

    the lewandowsky affair typical of”climate science’. They made up all the data and it is a load of bollocks.

  13. LamontT says:

    And Maus winds up for the slam dunk and lands hard on his face in a complete miss.

  14. Frank Kotler says:

    A commenter over at Bishop Hill’s refers to it as “the Lew paper”… and notes that the pun is intentional. :)

  15. Elizabeth says:

    Australian Science what a shame

  16. Rick Bradford says:

    Lewandowsky has not matured emotionally beyond the point where he believes that what he wants to be true, automatically *is* true.

  17. Duke C. says:

    Prediction-
    This will turn out bad for Charles Hanich, Lewandowsky’s research assistant, whether or not he had direct knowledge of the goings-on.

  18. MonktonofOz says:

    I did an survey (sorry cannot reveal the data as the dog ate my email so FOI is pointless and my lawyer is bigger than your lawyer) which showed a 76.3% probability that anyone who used the letters “MAUS” in their blog name was a secret UWA acolyte who had forgotten to take their pills that day. My survey has about the same degree of significance as the good Perfessor except, except, mine was not taxpayer subsidised. Nice one Anthony; keep keeping the peer review process honest as the academics can’t or won’t.

  19. Maus says:

    Anthony: “You might want to do your research before shooting you mouth off again in a swearing. Be as upset as you wish. Cheers, – Anthony”

    You know, I forgot the sarc tag and thought about posting a follow up to make it more clear. But then I figured there was no possible manner in which something so ludicrous could be confused with an actual argument put forward by one of your detractors. Apologies for any confusion that’s resulted from setting the bar too high.

    REPLY: It had no hint of satire to me, sorry. I take ‘em as I see ‘em – Anthony

  20. Alex says:

    Looks like standard CAGW “science” to me, lie cheat make stuff up (for the imaginary greater good) and loose all the raw data when called out on the crap.

  21. Louis Hooffstetter says:

    Thank you Dr. Lewandowsky for providing yet another shining example of the quality of research we’ve come to expect from climastrologists. I do hope it’s not too late to get this paper into AR5, as it is certainly on par with previous research by Drs. Mann, Jones, Briffa, Rahmstorf,Santer, Steig, & Gleick.

    Best of luck.

  22. _Jim says:

    Ben Pile says September 5, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    Lewandowsky has lots of strange ideas. Previously, he claimed that the less you know about something, the more likely it is that it will be worse than you think it is.

    Is this “the less you know about something, the more likely it is that it will be worse than you think it is” thing applicable to dogs too?

    (as dogs know nuthin ’bout physics or the other sciences for that matter …)

    .

  23. Mike Haseler says:

    For information I’ve written on behalf of the Scottish Climate & Energy Forum asking the university to investigate this misconduct.

    If we don’t get satisfactory action from the University, then I think the next stage is to take out a libel action as it appears to be an open and shut case of an individual deliberately setting out to harm reputations and given the potential number of litigants this cost could be enormous for all the authors, the journal and perhaps even the University.

  24. Wanglese says:

    He obviously doesn’t work in the real world. I’ve found that conspiracists who believe in faked NASA moon landings are more likely to believe in apocalyptic views of the world, including catastrophic climate change, even if the various scenarios and conspiracies are at odds with each other.

    It’s a condition known as credophilia.

  25. Paul Marko says:

    Did he really think he would be able pull this off without question? What has happened to the moral and ethical base of these, so called, scholar scientists. It has to be the threat of the research grant money leaving the station for another scientific discipline.

  26. cui bono says:

    Anyone wanting to have a go at a counter survey can try http://www.surveymonkey.com/ .

    Also, Elizabeth says (September 5, 2012 at 4:19 pm)
    Australian Science what a shame

    Elizabeth, it’s not just Australia. They’re everywhere! We’re all in danger from them! Warn the people while you still can!

    PS: Lew, does the above mean that 98.4% of sceptics are paranoid?

  27. Berényi Péter says:

    Why, the dangers of bread are well known, as well as those of Dihydrogen Monoxide. Still, deniers abound.

  28. BarryW says:

    Post-moral science. Perfect name for Lewandowsky’s brand of voodoo (or maybe the “v” should be a “d”).

  29. Doug Proctor says:

    In the petroleum industry, we have a term, a “Bar Geologist”. He is one who literally hangs around bars and lounges, scrounges gossip and “secrets” from buddies and loudmouths about fabulous opportunities and the lowdown on geological backgrounds for sizzling oil projects. He is later full of swagger and scattered detail that makes him sound in touch and having a wide ranging expertise, so much so that small, promotional companies will pay him stupid money to come on board. His paperwork is sloppy but colourful, and always lacking the answers to key questions (that he’ll get back to you on “later”). But ultimately he is a man familiar with jargon, a penchant for jumping on whatever bandwagon is clattering by, and the death of any investment based on his word.

    Lewandowsky has all the attributes of a Bar Psychologist. (He probably leaves the bar before the bill is settled, like his geological colleague).

  30. jim2 says:

    What’s wrong with you guys? The paper was very properly pal reviewed. That’s the post-normal standard and by God this paper stands!

  31. Bob Johnston says:

    Considering the alarmists continue to use the “97% of climate scientists believe in CAGW” rubbish I’m certain any criticisms of this piece of garbage will be ignored also.

  32. David Ross says:

    Here is Lewandowsky at full flow in 2009

    Lewandowsky’s Ode to Joy

    Fraction too much fiction in ‘climategate’
    Stephan Lewandowsky
    The Age, December 5, 2009
    http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/politics/fraction-too-much-fiction-in-climategate-20091205-kb9g.html
    Stolen emails do not support wild claims of scientific misconduct.

    ‘Climategate has gone viral on the web, forcing the director of the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia to step aside pending an investigation. Hacked emails point to leading climate scientists withholding data, subverting the peer-review process, and distorting information. These are stunning accusations of serious misconduct, but are they true?

    They are not. Even if we presume that the stolen material is authentic, the notion that climate data is being nefariously withheld is fantastical. …

    [...]
    If climate scientists invented a trend, why are 400 out of 442 glaciers monitored worldwide retreating at a rapid rate? Why are sea levels rising? If climate scientists cooked the books, why have wind speeds in the southern oceans increased by 20 per cent since 1980? If climate scientists cheated, why is the human toll from civil wars in Africa a function of temperature? Darfur is a climate war, and a recent study showed that every extra degree Celsius in a given year increases the likelihood of civil conflict in Africa by 50 per cent. Best scientific estimates predict an additional human toll of 390,000 in Africa by 2030 because of climate change.

    No, the climate scientists did nothing wrong. They just produced amazingly good science on a shoestring budget for the betterment of humanity. Everything we experience today was predicted 10 years ago and could have been ameliorated by heeding scientific advice.

    And just because it is an interesting detective story, what about that “decline” that was being “hidden”? Paleoclimatology is a fascinating discipline that provides us with a temperature record dating back millennia by using “proxy” measures, such as the width of tree rings, corals, or ice cores. Proxies are calibrated by correlating them with modern temperature records. More than 1200 such proxy measures exist and, oddly, one of them showed a decline after 1960 while actual temperatures increased. This finding is well-known and cannot be hidden. But it makes no sense to graph the decline because we know what the temperatures were after 1960. So, the “trick” is simply to plot temperature using the best available measure for any given time period; proxies where necessary and measured temperature otherwise. This hides nothing.
    [...]
    Beautiful science like this is a human achievement that ranks equal to Beethoven’s 9th symphony. Why would anyone forgo that for the hysterical caterwauling surrounding some cherry-picked stolen emails?

    Can’t you just hear the violins and heavenly choir when gaze upon the beauty of Mann’s hockey stick. It’s enough to bring a tear to the eye of a drowning polar bear.

    Here’s what happens when data goes missing.

    Prof. Lewandowsky, get some therapy.

  33. DocMartyn says:

    “Revealing to the public the active, vicious, and well-funded campaign of denial that seeks to delay action against climate change likely constitutes a classic public good”

    Is this not an example of a classical conspiracy theory?
    The Thermogeddonists are the real conspiracy theorists.

  34. Rob JM says:

    How can you call this a scientific paper when it was published in a psychology journal to start with!

  35. throgmorton says:

    There are people that actually tell the truth in online surveys ??
    There are people that actually believe the results of online surveys ??

    Hey have I got a deal for you.

  36. Robert of Ottawa says:

    Can some Aussie make a formal complaint to his university and the rags that publish his “work”.

  37. Shane Kerr says:

    Shorter Lewandowsky. “I went on the internet and found conspiracy theories – therefore climate change is real.”

  38. mfo says:

    Lewandowsky says:

    “As our physical understanding of climate change has become more and more robust, public debate has become progressively more disconnected from the scientific literature.

    “It’s unsurprising, then, that Hans Schellnhuber, chief climate advisor to the German government and himself a natural scientist, recently argued that 90% of all research on global change ought to be conducted by social scientists.”

    “…CO2 accumulates in the atmosphere in the same way as the water level in a bathtub rises while the tap is on. Absent any leakage, the only way to stabilize the water level is to shut off the tap completely.

    “…we must eventually reduce emissions to zero if we wish CO2 levels to stabilise and then, by natural absorption, to ever so gradually reduce over time.

    “According to our Treasury, cutting emissions by 90% by 2050 would still see per capita GNP rise from the current $50,000 to around $80,000.”
    http://theconversation.edu.au/infantile-climate-discussion-rages-while-the-atmosphere-chokes-557

    Note to students of Lewandowsky: escape while your brain still works properly.

  39. Manfred says:

    The truly embarrassing thing for all those concerned is that this “research” will forever be available – an enduring testamonial of the authors, their institution and the journal, so hopefully named ‘Psychological Science’.

  40. Ric Werme says:

    Maus says:
    September 5, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    > You know, I forgot the sarc tag and thought about posting a follow up to make it more clear.

    I’ve learned over time that hurling insults, even at friends, will likely be taken literally.

    Two suggestions:

    1) Don’t forget the </sarc>

    2) Don’t insult people.
    You can have a perfectly reasonable discussion with someone you don’t like if you lay off the insults. It’s very hard to have a computer-mediated discussion with someone you like if use insult. Jest doesn’t convey well.

    > Apologies for any confusion that’s resulted from setting the bar too high.

    If you’re using insults of any sort, your bar is not very high.

  41. omnologos says:

    Isn’t it also interesting, despite the grand title, the press release fanfare, and at least two MSM articles about Lew’s findings, not one of the usual suspects fell for it: no Romm, no Tamino, no Cook. Actually I don’t think anybody who’s anybody in the online climate discourse has used Lew’s “results” for anything.

    As things stand I wouldn’t be surprised if Lew were considered a bit off the rails even by fellow activists.

  42. Tom J says:

    Where does one begin with this? Only a cursory reading is necessary to recognize that Lewandewsky has engaged in a complete violation of professional ethics, or at least ethics as I understand them. It is quite a wonderful thing actually, that nature saw fit to create an organism that is sentient and that can actually discover how it works. That deserves respect. To attempt to control another either through force, manipulation, and/or deception is a violation of that respect. It seems to me that out of all the disciplines the ones involving medicine and human behavior have the highest ethical bar. It appears Lewandewsky has broken it. I’m sorry but to deceive others is not something to be done. He is not an impressive psychologist. He lacks enough knowledge of his own behavior to even question it and it speaks badly on that professional journal to even consider carrying his results.

  43. Ric Werme says:

    I’m amazed at the multiple different surveys. I’d assume that there is no safeguard between people taking each different survey, though I suppose one could post-process things to look at IP addresses and hostnames, and maybe also discard surveys from know anonymizer sites. (And what’s the gain for doing that? Dumb question, I guess – What’s the gain to mount a DoS attack on a web server you don’t like?)

  44. Robert Roosen says:

    “When truth becomes a commodity,
    honesty is an oddity.”

  45. pat says:

    Rick Bradford -

    Lewandowsky has long seen himself as the mature one when it comes to CAGW:

    2007: OnLineOpinion: Stephan Lewandowsky: Nappy changes, oil changes, and
    climate change
    In light of those facts, seeking to expand an economy by unabated continued
    reliance on fossil fuels is, simply put, infantile. It is only the toddler
    who wants the lolly now, only the nine-year-old who cannot wait a week for a
    laptop, and only the fleet manager who makes a buck by saving on the oil
    change who would think that our country’s record on climate inaction
    represents good economic management…
    The issue is how to bear the total price tag of US$20 trillion
    ($20,000,000,000,000) which represent current estimates of the cost of
    climate inaction for the remainder of the century…
    http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=6687

  46. manicbeancounter says:

    Unfortunately Anthony, the survey I captured is a later version. Jo Nova brought to my attention that this is NOT the questionnaire used in Lewandowsky et al 2012. There are similarities but this appears to be a development of the 2010 survey, and was probably being trialled at “Watching the Deniers” site.
    Ambit Gambit seems to have captured the original survey.

    There are still some shortcomings that I think have not been fully recognised.
    1. If “climate denial” is on a par with “holocaust” or “smoking” denial, why not start by referencing the clearest statement of the evidence, rather than opinion surveys. That is, if direct evidence is available, why resort to hearsay evidence?
    2. But if opinion surveys are used, then they should at least be good ones. But the primary references are Anderegg, Prall, Harold, & Schneider, 2010 (Most climate scientists believe in the science) and Doran & Zimmerman, 2009 (97% of climate scientists = 75/77 cut from >3000 responses).
    3. Even so, surely the association with NASA Moon Landings was correct? After all, the title is “NASA faked the moon landing|Therefore (Climate) Science is a Hoax: An Anatomy of the Motivated Rejection of Science.” Not when 93% of all respondents gave it a firm thumbs down.
    4. When Lewandowsky says over >1100 responses, and only talks about those who “reject the science”, it surely implies that all (or at least the vast majority) of responses were from the people he is attacking? Actually, around 15% of responses were from skeptics, in terms of answers to four “climate science” questions. Professional polling organisations in the UK state these figures. But a scientific journal seems not to have insisted.
    5. There are loads of conspiracy theories. But one of the most popular in recent years is something like “Climate denial only exists as a serious force due to significant funding by oil and tobacco interests.” I can’t imagine how anyone with a broad knowledge of the climate blogs could overlook that one.

  47. What is sadder – even though they apparently received significant (heck – looks like “huge” to me) grants and funding, Lewandowsky was too cheap to use a professional online survey organization.

  48. Paul Coppin says:

    Ryan Maue had the Universal Descriptor for these intellectually challenged “academics”: “batshit crazy”

  49. pat says:

    anthony, Sage Publications’ Robert Kail thanks Lewandowsky:

    Sage Publications: Psychological Science: Acknowledgment
    The Associate Editors and I wish to acknowledge the invaluable aid provided by guest reviewers of manuscripts submitted to Psychological Science in 2009. We are deeply grateful for their generous, conscientious, knowledgeable, and constructive help. -Robert V. Kail
    (lengthy list includes):
    Stephan Lewandowsky
    http://pss.sagepub.com/content/21/12/1925.full

    Acknowledgements for years prior to and post 2009 do not have the full A-Z on a single page and you have to be a subscriber to gain access, e.g.

    2010
    http://pss.sagepub.com/content/22/12/1609.extract

    so i can’t say if Lewandowsky has been a regular reviewer.

  50. Streetcred says:

    September 5, 2012 at 4:13 pm | LamontT says:

    And Maus winds up for the slam dunk and lands hard on his face in a complete miss.
    =================

    hehehehe … like this ? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k3QtnqHmPh4&feature=player_detailpage

  51. Jim says:

    Those questioning this research should do an foi on the ethics application
    To perform this research at the uwa. These applications can contain a
    Lot of detail and they HAVE to be held by the university.

    Because this research involves human subjects, the NHMRC can become involved.
    No university wants to be audited by NHMRC. References to misconduct
    Should will be stronger if he is found to have violated his own undertakings
    In an ethics application. The final arbiter here is not necessarily university,
    It is NHMRC which has the authority to ban the university from doing any
    Research involving human subjects.

  52. lurker passing through, laughing says:

    Perhaps Gleick was a research adviser on this latest example of AGW promoter ethics. Mann could serve as damage control mentor.

  53. Streetcred says:

    Seeing as that Maus is repentant let’s rephrase this to, “Lewandowski winds up for the slam dunk and lands hard on his face in a complete miss!”

  54. Maus says:

    Rice Werne: “… your bar is not very high.”

    Indeed. My bar is very low and tailored to working with those that have severe mental disabilities. And yet it is so high that what is obvious farce to those that lack the ability to exercise bodily functions voluntarily is, quite apparently, a common mode of rebuttal used by those that are non-skeptical. (I assume you would consider ‘gullible’ or ‘believer’ to cross the line of decorum.)

    You may make of that what you will. I find it educational. And quite a bit more than a little frightening.

  55. Ric Werme says:

    Maus says:
    September 5, 2012 at 6:14 pm

    > Rice Werne: “… your bar is not very high.”

    How did you know my given name is Eric? :-) I often cut & paste names so I’m sure I have haven’t messed them up.

    Indeed. My bar is very low and tailored to working with those that have severe mental disabilities. And yet it is so high that what is obvious farce to those that lack the ability to exercise bodily functions voluntarily is, quite apparently, a common mode of rebuttal used by those that are non-skeptical.

    I’m not surprised. I think there are two effects going on, both coupled to rapidly skimming
    hundreds of comments here. One is that I tend not to look at a comment all ways, and often
    interpret comments as serious comments before realizing they were not.

    The other is better known – in a medium like this all the little visual clues are absent, e.g. there’s no open hand gesture to brush away a teasing insult, no closed fist to say you’re serious. Try communicating with your patients through a 3rd party in a setting where they can’t see you. I suspect they’ll have a lot more trouble picking out the jokes.

    Use </sarc>s, use smilies, provide an obvious clue to show when you’re winking.

  56. u.k.(us) says:

    Maus says:

    September 5, 2012 at 6:14 pm
    =================
    Where do you take your game now?
    It will be interesting to see, after this post.
    You went from intentionally misunderstood, to an object of pity.

    I can’t wait to see the next act, in your play.

  57. X Anomaly says:

    Hey you guys! Stop attacking scientists! No sarc needed I’m afraid. Read what happens in Australia when science, “comes under attack”. The government gets really angry, and threatens funding cuts…….where it cuts the funding though, that’s another matter entirely!

    lol

    http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/56912.html

    Serious consequences.

  58. pat says:

    Lewandowsky is scheduled for an event at the Institute of Cognitive and Brain Sciences at University of California at Berkeley in November:

    Seminar: 11/30 – Stephan Lewandowsky, University of Western Australia
    11:00 to 12:30 PM at: 5101 Tolman Hall
    Cognition and climate science
    ….A second, largely independent, variable that determines rejection of science is conspiracist ideation; e.g., the belief that NASA faked the moon landing is associated with rejection of scientific propositions. (d) Acceptance of climate science can be enhanced by underscoring the scientific consensus.
    http://icbs.berkeley.edu/events/event.php?rid=164

  59. Monopole says:

    To Charles Nelson above (September 5, 2012 at 3:37 pm),

    If you think Perth is a Ghost Metropolis, you ain’t been here recently. This place has been a boom-town for the best part of the past decade despite the best efforts of a lousy left-green Federal Govt. (The boom is due to evil industries like oil, gas and mining). But yes, we have our share of charlatans and intellectual midgets, many of whom populate our once excellent universities. I am dismayed by the low level of integrity and rigour displayed by this study – yet another stab in the heart of science.

  60. Martin Clark says:

    @Jim:
    “Is this “the less you know about something, the more likely it is that it will be worse than you think it is” thing applicable to dogs too?
    (as dogs know nuthin ’bout physics or the other sciences for that matter …)”
    Not sure about that :-)
    I discovered years ago that our Oz cattle-dog cross knew more about Bioclimatic Charts (DBT°C v RH%) than the CSIRO.
    Enthusiasm for chasing a ball always fitted Olgyay’s “Comfort Zone”.

  61. Ian says:

    All of the links to Lewandowsky’s questionnaire do not provide any information as all give comments that the site is unavailable. This includes that from Jo Nova on Bishop Hill’s blog. Perhaps the best approach to this paper is, as Jo Nova has suggested, to write to the Secretary, Human Research Ethics Committee, Registrar’s Office, University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Highway, Crawley, WA 6009 (email hreo-research@uwa.edu.au)

  62. Alice Thermopolis says:

    Lewandowsky is scheduled for an event at the Institute of Cognitive and Brain Sciences at University of California at Berkeley in November:

    Seminar: 11/30 – Stephan Lewandowsky, University of Western Australia
    11:00 to 12:30 PM at: 5101 Tolman Hall
    Cognition and climate science
    ….A second, largely independent, variable that determines rejection of science is conspiracist ideation; e.g., the belief that NASA faked the moon landing is associated with rejection of scientific propositions. (d) Acceptance of climate science can be enhanced by underscoring the scientific consensus.
    http://icbs.berkeley.edu/events/event.php?rid=164

  63. bushbunny says:

    cui bono LOL Of course we could be experiencing this in reality. All alarmists are waiting to adjust our atmosphere to accommodate a new species of humans? Infiltrated by some ET?
    ROFLF!

  64. TonyM says:

    Rather than recommend a withdrawal it is best to keep hammering the paper.
    This will keep highlighting the unscientific manner with which climatology is often practised (at the alarmist level).

  65. kcrucible says:

    “I’m amazed at the multiple different surveys. ”

    It’s a proven statistical trick that you can modify people’s answers to questions based on what they were doing/thinking about before asking the question. Seen several studies about it. If the intro questions varied between “type” of site, it would seem that he was trying to skew the responder to answer later questions in a particular way, no doubt to make the pro-AGW crowd seem healthy and well-adjusted, and the skeptic crowd seem nuts. (from the sounds of it, it didn’t work as well as he’d hoped.)

  66. bushbunny says:

    Dogs amongst whom I count my dearest and loyal canine friends, are aware of impending earthquakes and some are terrified by thunderstorms. But on a serious note, when you are talking about academics, I proved an historical point, and two people talking at an important Sydney venue, didn’t name me and others that disagreed with them, but we were considered conspiracy junkies, and because of my vocal stance on climate change, I was referred to a climate change denier, a JFK assassination doubter, and wait for it, holocaust denier? The latter absolutely floored me and I complained to the university. They didn’t do anything, but blog entries disappeared. So this proves if they can’t beat you on the science aspect, they will try to character assassinate you? Hack into your website. Jo Novas had ‘Forbidden’ when I tried to access it the other day, it was corrected, and others also had the same problem. They’re losing and know it.
    The UE won’t adopt a 30% target as hoped. The new environment minister is halting all these green ineffective and costly wind and solar subsidies. So what will this do to carbon permits? Tory Aardvark website will keep you updated on what is happening in Europe.

  67. Aussie Luke Warm says:

    How embarrassment for the University of Western Australia. How embarrassment for Australian science.

  68. F. Ross says:

    @Maus says: September 5, 2012 at 6:14 pm

    Stop digging. It’s deep enough.

  69. Sean says:

    Playing nice and pointing out the fallacious nature of this will have no impact.

    You fail to recognize that their purpose is to enter this idea into the public consciousness, and once there it remains. Just like the lies about the moon landing, no amount of debunking will remove it, there will still be many who believe it.

    The AGW cult knows the power of propaganda and they are not interested in facts or science, only “science communication” wherein the science is actually irrelevant. Only the initial appearance of science is needed for this purpose, it is a means to an end, and it is only important for long enough to ensure the distribution of the message.

    The AGW cult has been successful in marketing their beliefs. It will take much more than pointing out errors to move the public. Even many of my conservative friends, while they may be skeptical of the “solutions” proposed by green activists, still accept the AGW hypothesis as some sort of fact. While most of my liberal friends are just completely closed to hearing any countervailing information on this topic. Very few people have the interest to learn more about either the science or the corruption of it. We are up against both inertia and cognitive dissonance.

  70. pat says:

    only 6.5% of australians ‘could be characterised as “climate change sceptics”‘ (not CAGW sceptics, naturally)! undoubtedly another govt-funded survey that needs some serious examination:

    3 Sept: Griffith University, Australia: Australians adapting to climate change
    Research from Griffith University and Cardiff University in Wales has found that Australians are accepting climate change and are taking adaptive action.
    The two-year project involving nearly 7500 Australians and 1800 Britons found 90 per cent of Australian and 89 per cent of British respondents accepted human causal impact on climate change.
    Though comparison findings showed striking similarities overall, Australian respondents viewed climate change as a more “immediate, proximal, and certain threat” than British respondents and were beginning to adapt to it through changes in their thinking, feelings and behaviours…
    Australian project leader, Professor Joseph Reser from Griffith University’s School of Applied Psychology and the Griffith Climate Response Program, said only 6.5 per cent of Australian respondents could be characterised as “climate change sceptics”.
    “There has been a continuing and widespread misreading of the Australian public’s acceptance of and often deeply felt responses to climate change,” he said…
    71 per cent of Australian respondents reported that climate change was influencing the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events.
    “What also stands out, from a psychological perspective, is the finding that psychological adaptation to climate change appears to act as a powerful mediator between experienced psychological distress at the media coverage and implications of climate change and behavioural engagement.
    “Most Australians are not paralysed by the debate, they’re taking action” Professor Reser said…
    The research was funded by the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency through the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility at Griffith University and the Griffith Climate Change Response Program and is ongoing.
    To access the full report got to http://www.nccarf.edu.au/publications/public-risk-perceptions
    http://poc-app.griffith.edu.au/news/2012/09/03/australians-adapting-to-climate-change/

  71. bushbunny says:

    I am sure you know, but did you know that during the Roman warm period, temps were sometimes 2 – 2-5C warmer than today. (250BC-AD 450). In the medieval warm period they sometimes were 3 C warmer allowing grape growing in Britain.
    http;/www.co2science.org/subject/summaries/rwpeuropemed.pl I can’t read the last pl, but you will find it under Roman Warm Period (Europe- – Mediterranean) – - Summary.
    Keep at ‘em, Anthony.

  72. Bill Illis says:

    What is the penalty for a pro-CO2-warming professor in publishing a fake completely unethical study?

    - a new $1 million 5-year grant; or,

    - a disciplinary hearing.

    9 times out of 10, it is the new funding program. 1 time out of 10, it is a fake unethical disciplinary hearing followed by reinstatement and then the new funding program.

    I have never heard of a single pro-AGW academic ever receiving a disciplinary action.

  73. anarchist hate machine says:

    bushbunny says:
    September 5, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    cui bono LOL Of course we could be experiencing this in reality. All alarmists are waiting to adjust our atmosphere to accommodate a new species of humans? Infiltrated by some ET?
    ROFLF!

    This should be made into a movie

  74. Rob Munning says:

    ” Maus says:
    September 5, 2012 at 6:14 pm

    (snip)

    You may make of that what you will. I find it educational. And quite a bit more than a little frightening.”

    The response to your first post surprised me somewhat,though I have observed something similar in the past.

  75. Smokey says:

    Bill Illis,

    Lewandowsky wants polling data on skeptics. 
Knowing his agenda, does he:


    1) Ask them honest questions, or

    
2) Sell his soul

  76. Rob Munning says:

    I thought the term
    “Freakin’ deniers,I swear”
    gave it away

    REPLY:
    I get email like that every day that isn’t satire. So I’m probably desensitized. – Anthony

  77. bushbunny says:

    Pat at 5 Sept. Yes in someways Australians are adapting, but not because we hope to change the climate, BECAUSE ELECTRICITY IS SO EXPENSIVE. In cold areas we are adapting, by going to bed to watch TV with an electric blanket on. Only one globe in a three globe lighting fixture. On the Northern Tablelands of NSW one green counciller has tried to ban wood smoke and people are turning to cold/hot air conditioners, that take up more electricity. Wood is expensive by far now, it is a luxury form of heating, unless you have a farm with lots of dead trees on it. They are trying to erect a wind farm, but looking for investors (you’d have to be mad!) and I know some people who have put in $35,000 worth of solar, taken out a loan to do it too, and moaned when the NSW government was going to cease subsidies. The NSW renigged. But the writing is on the wall. It depends on how they word their surveys.

  78. bushbunny says:

    PS. Where I live, the temps plummet at night in winter, depending how close to the valley creek on lives, as frost and cold work downhill. It can plummet to minus .15 C. But frost doesn’t form if it is overcast, and the weather announcers point this out. Being surrounded by pastoral or agricultural land, our farmers are more interested in soil science and improving production rather than worrying about methane emitted by cows and sheep, that the Greens wanted to put a levy on being $15 a head of beef or cattle and $7 for a sheep or lamb. It didn’t pass. This carbon tax is now having some impact on our mining industry, and one spokesman suggested Europe not invest in Australia, because of the mining tax and carbon tax. It’s bad news all the way, and we can thank the Greens and AGW alarmists for that. Ozzies are no fools, and although some will go along with it, when it hits their pockets, they take action.

  79. Ernie says:

    When ever I see a survey on Climate Change the questions seem to be specific enough to enable the authors to satisfy their bias but at the same time too vague to enable the respondant to express any doubt about what is a complicated subject.

    The question I thought was missing from the survey, could have gone something like this….

    Q. Do you agree with the IPCC’s conclusion that human caused emmisions of CO2 is primarily responsible for most of the 0.4 degree increase in Global Mean Surface Temperature Anomalies during the late 20th century.

    Or maybe something a little simpler like……

    Q. Do you think atmospheric CO2 concentration is just one of multiple factors that determine the climate.

    Simpler still…..

    Q. We don not know enough about Climate Change to say what is the main cause of it at this point.

    I suspect these sorts of questions would show that there are many rational, non-conspiracy theorists out there that have doubts about the “Consensus”.

    Wouldn’t it be good news if the “consensus” was wrong and we’re all going to be ok as long as we don’t panic and do something really stupid.

  80. John Brookes says:

    The psychology of “skeptics” should be a subject of research. The vast majority of “skeptics” don’t know enough to sensibly form an opinion on AGW, but they do anyway. Why? They often bolster that opinion by spouting nonsense (2nd law of thermodynamics etc). Why? Just why have they decided not to accept something that they don’t understand?

    As for the “warmists”, most of them don’t know enough to sensibly form an opinion on AGW, but they do anyway. Some of them even spout nonsense in support of their opinion. There is no doubt in my mind that the psychology of people who readily embrace every new doomsday scenario is also worth studying. But I think these people are not the majority of “warmists”.

    But, the “warmists” don’t spout anywhere near as much nonsense as the “skeptics”. Indeed, the “warmists” argument is like a bucket with a few small holes, while the “skeptics” arguments look more like someone trying to carry water in a net.

    REPLY: Subscribing to Bill McKibben’s Twitter feed for a few days should dispel the false disparity you espouse.

    In the meantime, since you are at UWA, and obviously want to protect the reputation of the educational institution you work for, when will you be calling on Lewandowsky to retract this train wreck of a paper? – Anthony

  81. Maus says:

    Ric Werme: ” I often cut & paste names so I’m sure I have haven’t messed them up.”

    And you can tell that I don’t. Apologies for the mangling.

    “Try communicating with your patients through a 3rd party in a setting where they can’t see you.”

    Face to face is no guarantee either if you’re dealing with the deaf, individuals with flat affect, those from different cultures, etc. If anything we make a mistake of relying to heavily on culturally and capability specific signalling cues. About nothing to be done for it but to approach things with the hope that a charitable understanding is warranted.

    Though if the topic at hand takes on a religious nature there’s simply no hope to avoid a faux pas no matter the case.

    TonyM: “This will keep highlighting the unscientific manner with which climatology is often practised (at the alarmist level).”

    However this is a psychology paper. Certainly it represents an inappropriate excursion for psychology when speaking of climatological views; which might make a good psychology or sociology paper if you’ve a mind to write for grants. However, within the broader scope of science it is certainly appropriate that it be retracted. There’s simply no credible manner to state that this was an issue of negligence, rather than fraud, in the experiment design.

    In terms of messaging or narrative, as some other posters’ have mentioned, the same occurs. Having the paper retracted for faults allows demonstrating the usurpation of science for the purpose of messaging or narrative. Yes, it’s a bit self-serving and circular, but that’s how those sorts of things work out. The attempted upshot is to shame the ‘science’ community for holding ‘anti-science’ kneejerk ideological approaches. Such that if retracted this paper becomes an arsenal for that argument, and if not: “But it’s peer-reviewed and published.”

    Which is a rather unfortunate palliative for personal ignorance.

  82. William says:

    Stephan Lewandowsky’s slow motion Psychological Science train wreck

    I am truly curious at what point support of the extreme AGW movement and the green energy scams will collapse. Perhaps, the financial collapse of countries precipitated by massive spending on ludicrous “green” schemes will be the tipping point or planetary cooling due to an interruption of the solar magnetic cycle.

    Trillions of dollars are being proposed to be spent on boondoggle schemes which will not significantly reduction carbon dioxide increases but will have significant negative effects to the environment and to humanity. An example is the EU and US mandated conversion of food to biofuel (massive loss of tropic forest and unsustainable increase in the cost of food). Western countries do not have trillions of extra tax payer funds to spend on irrational policy schemes that will damage the environment and result in starvation and malnutrition.

    The fact that actual planetary warming is less than the lowest IPCC model prediction and is found only at high latitudes logically supports the assertion that the planet’s response to a change in forcing is to resist the change (negative feedback, planetary clouds in the tropics increase reflecting more sunlight in to space) rather than to amplify the change (positive feedback) due increased water vapour in the atmosphere.

    Analysis of top of the atmosphere radiation changes Vs changes in planetary temperature also support the assertion that planetary clouds increase in the tropics thereby reflecting more sunlight off into space thereby resisting forcing changes rather than amplifying them.
    Carbon dioxide is not a poison. Plants eat CO2. A doubling of CO2 increases cereal yields by 30% to 40%. Plants make more effective use of water when CO2 rises which reduces desertification. The increase in atmospheric CO2 is unequivocally a significant net benefit to the biosphere and to humanity. Crop yields are and will continue to increase. There is and will be increased net precipitation. The biosphere expands when the planet warms with most of the warming occurring at high latitudes. That is a fact.

    Science is unequivocally on the side of “sceptics”. No rational person, regardless of their political affiliation would support trillion dollar boondoggle schemes.
    http://www-eaps.mit.edu/faculty/lindzen/236-Lindzen-Choi-2011.pdf

    On the Observational Determination of Climate Sensitivity and Its Implications
    We estimate climate sensitivity from observations, using the deseasonalized fluctuations in sea surface temperatures (SSTs) and the concurrent fluctuations in the top-of-atmosphere (TOA) outgoing radiation from the ERBE (1985-1999) and CERES (2000-2008) satellite instruments. Distinct periods of warming and cooling in the SSTs were used to evaluate feedbacks. An earlier study (Lindzen and Choi, 2009) was subject to significant criticisms. The present paper is an expansion of the earlier paper where the various criticisms are taken into account. The present analysis accounts for the 72 day precession period for the ERBE satellite in a more appropriate manner than in the earlier paper. We develop a method to distinguish noise in the outgoing radiation as well as radiation changes that are forcing SST changes from those radiation changes that constitute feedbacks to changes in SST. We demonstrate that our new method does moderately well in distinguishing positive from negative feedbacks and in quantifying negative feedbacks. In contrast, we show that simple regression methods used by several existing papers generally exaggerate positive feedbacks and even show positive feedbacks when actual feedbacks are negative. We argue that feedbacks are largely concentrated in the tropics, and the tropical feedbacks can be adjusted to account for their impact on the globe as a whole. Indeed, we show that including all CERES data (not just from the tropics) leads to results similar to what are obtained for the tropics alone – though with more noise. We again find that the outgoing radiation resulting from SST fluctuations exceeds the zerofeedback response thus implying negative feedback. In contrast to this, the calculated TOA outgoing radiation fluxes from 11 atmospheric models forced by the observed SST are less than the zerofeedback response, consistent with the positive feedbacks that characterize these models. The results imply that the models are exaggerating climate sensitivity. …

    ….However, warming from a doubling of CO2 would only be about 1C (based on simple calculations where the radiation altitude and the Planck temperature depend on wavelength in accordance with the attenuation coefficients of wellmixed CO2 molecules; a doubling of any concentration in ppmv produces the same warming because of the logarithmic dependence of CO2’s absorption on the amount of CO2) (IPCC, 2007). This modest warming is much less than current climate models suggest for a doubling of CO2. Models predict warming of from 1.5C to 5C and even more for a doubling of CO2. Model predictions depend on the ‘feedback’ within models from the more important greenhouse substances, water vapor and clouds. Within all current climate models, water vapor increases with increasing temperature so as to further inhibit infrared cooling. Clouds also change so that their visible reflectivity decreases, causing increased solar absorption and warming of the earth….

    http://www.uiweb.uidaho.edu/bioenergy/NewsReleases/Biodiesel%20Energy%20Balance_v2a.pdf
    Vast amounts of agricultural land are being diverted from crops for human consumption to biofuel The immediate consequence of this is a dramatic increase in the cost of basic food such as a 140% increase in the price of corn. Due to limited amounts of agricultural land vast regions of virgin forest are being cut down for biofuel production. The problems associate with this practice will become acute as all major Western governments have mandate a percentage of biofuel.

    Analysis of the total energy input to produce ethanol from corn show that 29% more fossil fuel input energy is require to produce one energy unit of ethanol. If the fuel input to harvest the corn, to produce the fertilizer, and to boil the water off to distill ethanol/water from 8% ethanol to 99.5% ethanol (three distillation processes) to produce 99.5% ethanol for use in an automobile, produces more green house gas than is produced than the production consumption of conventional gasoline. The cost of corn based ethanol is more than five times the production cost of gasoline, excluding taxes and subsides. Rather than subsiding the production of corn based ethanol the same money can be used to preserve and increase rainforest. The loss of rainforest is the largest cause of the increase in CO2
    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1725975,00.html

    The Clean Energy Scam
    The U.S. quintupled its production of ethanol–ethyl alcohol, a fuel distilled from plant matter–in the past decade, and Washington has just mandated another fivefold increase in renewable fuels over the next decade. Europe has similarly aggressive biofuel mandates and subsidies, and Brazil’s filling stations no longer even offer plain gasoline. Worldwide investment in biofuels rose from $5 billion in 1995 to $38 billion in 2005 and is expected to top $100 billion by 2010, thanks to investors like Richard Branson and George Soros, GE and BP, Ford and Shell, Cargill and the Carlyle Group.

    But several new studies show the biofuel boom is doing exactly the opposite of what its proponents intended: it’s dramatically accelerating global warming, imperiling the planet in the name of saving it. Corn ethanol, always environmentally suspect, turns out to be environmentally disastrous. Even cellulosic ethanol made from switchgrass, which has been promoted by eco-activists and eco-investors as well as by President Bush as the fuel of the future, looks less green than oil-derived gasoline.
    Meanwhile, by diverting grain and oilseed crops from dinner plates to fuel tanks, biofuels are jacking up world food prices and endangering the hungry. The grain it takes to fill an SUV tank with ethanol could feed a person for a year. Harvests are being plucked to fuel our cars instead of ourselves. The U.N.’s World Food Program says it needs $500 million in additional funding and supplies, calling the rising costs for food nothing less than a global emergency. Soaring corn prices have sparked tortilla riots in Mexico City, and skyrocketing flour prices have destabilized Pakistan, which wasn’t exactly tranquil when flour was affordable.
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2008-04-14/biofuel-production-a-crime-against-humanity/2403402
    Biofuels ‘crime against humanity’
    Massive production of biofuels is “a crime against humanity” because of its impact on global food prices, a UN official has told German radio. “Producing biofuels today is a crime against humanity,” UN Special Rapporteur for the Right to Food Jean Ziegler told Bayerischer Runfunk radio. Many observers have warned that using arable land to produce crops for biofuels has reduced surfaces available to grow food. Mr Ziegler called on the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to change its policies on agricultural subsidies and to stop supporting only programs aimed at debt reduction. He says agriculture should also be subsidised in regions where it ensures the survival of local populations. Meanwhile, in response to a call by the IMF and World Bank over the weekend to a food crisis that is stoking violence and political instability, German Foreign Minister Peer Steinbrueck gave his tacit backing.

    http://news.yahoo.com/prime-indonesian-jungle-cleared-palm-oil-065556710.html
    Prime Indonesian jungle to be cleared for palm oil
    Their former hero recently gave a palm oil company a permit to develop land in one of the few places on earth where orangutans, tigers and bears still can be found living side-by-side — violating Indonesia’s new moratorium on concessions in primary forests and peatlands.

  83. Ally E. says:

    This dog that eats all the data… do you think it’s the same dog? Must be a big dog!

  84. u.k.(us) says:

    Maus says:

    September 5, 2012 at 9:44 pm

    “Which is a rather unfortunate palliative for personal ignorance.”
    ============================
    How about specifics ?
    Now we move into psychology ?

    And away from science, come back when you are ready.

  85. Slabadang says:

    Well !
    Its so obvious. Lewandowskis main problem was how to avoid sceptics because he knew he wouldnt get the answers he wanted, So he made a “Mr Bean” plan “Mr Bean” to let the CAGWpropaganda blogs to act like sockpuppets for him.pretending to be sceptics.

    Lets thank Mr Lewandowsky to give scptics just another argument and reason not to trust CAGW-movement. We also have observations to back even this new argumemnt against the green fanatics. They obviously have no moral no principles no shame and they dont care about science a bit. For Lewandowski its only about socialist propaganda.and his University as well as the editor, peers and magazine managed to shoot another buckshot in their own credability.

  86. MangoChutney says:

    Lewandowsky, S., Oberauer, K., & Gignac, C. E. (in press). NASA faked the moon landing – therefore (climate) science is a hoax: An anatomy of the motivated rejection of science.

    Lewandowsky faked the data – therefore (cAGW) science is a hoax. An anatomy of the motivated rejection of science.
    Liljegren. L,, Nova, J., & Montford, A. (published)

  87. All over the internet you see (otherwise) rational people railing against religion in a most illiberal manner, declaring that religion is child abuse, insanity, and etc. Here we see the same weapon aimed at people who are properly skeptical of the political consensus on AGW / climate change.

    Just as with every civilisation, we ought to be very careful what weapons we manufacture, since there is no guarantee who they will be used on …

  88. John M. Chenosky, PE says:

    It is Polaks like Professor Lewandowsky that give us all a bad name.

  89. Maus says:

    u.k.(us): “Now we move into psychology ?”

    Second paragraph of the OP: “Lewandowsky, S., Oberauer, K., & Gignac, C. E. (in press). NASA faked the moon landing – therefore (climate) science is a hoax: An anatomy of the motivated rejection of science. Psychological Science.”

    If you have some outstanding question about my response to TonyM then simply express what you feel is unclear or erroneous and I’ll be happy to address it.

  90. u.k.(us) says:

    John Brookes says:

    September 5, 2012 at 9:29 pm
    ———-
    Just say the word Anthony.
    I’m tired of being nice.

  91. jorgekafkazar says:

    Maus has a history of making insulting comments. Bold below by me.

    Maus says:
    August 16, 2012 at 9:37 pm

    jorgejafkazar: “Peer reviewer faustus has pointed out a genuine mistake in methodology. ”

    Ah yes, the Heckler’s Veto. But then I object to your peer review of peer reviewer faustus’ peer review so your post isn’t fit for publication. And if you have any decency you’ll remove it post haste. This is absurd of course. But the problem is that your post is capricious, non-responsive, and makes no attempt to establish the ‘genuine’ nature of any of alleged mistake….

    But irrational and unthinking nonsense about the arbitrary notions chosen for clarity is itself arbitrary. And if arbitrariness is dispositive then peer reviewer faustus’ peer review is unfit for purpose. And your even more arbitrary sycophantism is even less fit still.

  92. Skiphil says:

    [cross-post with BH] I’m perusing the website for the Assn. for Psychological Science which publishes the journal, and I note that they refer to it as their “flagship” journal with claims that the journal Psychological Science is “highest ranked”:

    “…Psychological Science is the highest ranked empirical journal in psychology.”

    Thus it purports to be much more than just one of countless journals, a standard bearer for the entire field. They just had another article retracted this summer (see below), so they may be particularly sensitive and vulnerable right now over problems with a new article. On the one hand they may want (psychologically speaking) to dig in and defend their journal’s reputation against barbarians hordes. OTOH, their standards and review procedures may be more vulnerable right now. Good time to insist upon critical scrutiny of the Lewandowsky fiasco.

    journal is called Psychological Science (sic)

    They just had this article retraction on July 30, 2012:

    RETRACTION of a recent article in same journal

    The following article has been retracted by the Editor and publishers of Psychological Science at the request of the lead author, Lawrence J. Sanna:

    Sanna, L. J., Chang, E. C., Parks, C. D., & Kennedy, L. A. (2009). Construing collective concerns: Increasing cooperation by broadening construals in social dilemmas. Psychological Science, 20, 1319–1321. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9280.2009.02458.x

    In a letter to the Editor (Eric Eich), Dr. Sanna wrote:

    The data reported in this article are invalid and should not be considered part of the scientific literature. The responsibility for this problem rests solely with the first author, Lawrence J. Sanna. Coauthors Edward C. Chang, Craig D. Parks, and Lindsay A. Kennedy are in no way responsible for this problem.

    In response, the Editor noted that Psychological Science follows the retraction guidelines developed by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). Dr. Sanna was urged to follow these guidelines carefully in drafting a retraction notice, particularly with respect to stating the reasons for the retraction, to distinguish misconduct from honest error….

  93. Skiphil says:

    The first sentence of the retraction statement for another article (see above) in Psychological Science would make for a good first sentence for a Lewandowsky withdrawal/retraction:

    “The data reported in this article are invalid and should not be considered part of the scientific literature….”

  94. Keith says:

    In defence of Maus, I could see he / she was taking the p.
    BTW, I love the de-bunking of Lewandowsky.

  95. LabMunkey says:

    This Quote from Joe just nails it:

    “Faked the Moon landing? Not only do skeptics agree that the moon landing was real, two skeptics actually went to the moon and took photos (that’ll be Harrison Schmidt and Buzz Aldrin).”

  96. Bulldust says:

    Frank Kotler says: September 5, 2012 at 4:15 pm
    A commenter over at Bishop Hill’s refers to it as “the Lew paper”… and notes that the pun is intentional. :)
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Aren’t you supposed to flush said paper when it’s covered in *self snip* ;-)
    On a serious note I feel bad for UWA and their alumni (of which Jo Nova is one BTW). When you have stuff like this passed off as peer reviewed research it tarnishes not only the academic field in question but the whole school by association. UWA is supposed to be Western Australia’s top university … simply sad.
    As for John Brookes … where is your data that supports your statement that sceptics are far more full of nonsense than warmists?

  97. David, UK says:

    John Brookes says:
    September 5, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    In Brookes we have a classic case of a Warmist fixated on what he perceives the majority or minority of Warmists or Sceptics to believe, rather than the actual science. How typical.

    As a Sceptic myself, I couldn’t give a toss what the majority of any particular pre-defined group thinks. I am sceptical of the positive H2O feedback hypothesis, ergo I am sceptical that additional CO2 released into the atmosphere will lead to runaway chaotic global warming. The alternative to scepticism is faith.

    Equally importantly, I am capable of understanding that all of the proposed “solutions” have no merit whatsoever. Even some Warmists admit that cutting emissions by X amount (at a cost of X trillions of dollars) will have no measurable effect on world temps. Biofuel. Wind farms. Don’t get me started. This only reinforces my scepticism as I question the motivations, and intellect, of those who trumpet these grossly expensive “solutions.”

    And this, in the eyes of Warmists, makes me either a “denier” (i.e. psychologically unhinged) or a “denialist” (a recently made-up word designed to convey evil intent). Such is the threat of scepticism to their faith.

  98. Streetcred says:

    John Brookes says:
    September 5, 2012 at 9:29 pm
    The psychology of “skeptics” should be a subject of research. The vast majority of “skeptics” don’t know enough to sensibly form an opinion on AGW, but they do anyway. Why? They often bolster that opinion by spouting nonsense (2nd law of thermodynamics etc). Why? Just why have they decided not to accept something that they don’t understand?
    ——————————————————————————

    Brooksie goes for the big slam dunk and dunks himself … as usual. Mate, you’re going to hurt yourself like this.

  99. Rikard says:

    “Human CO2 emissions causes climate change”

    What kind of question is that? So badly framed that it can mean anything. Someone who believes there is evidence that CO2 causes a temperature rise of at or below 1°C per doubbling SHOULD answer Yes, (most sceptics would probably agree) but one cannot assume they do as a very public debate takes place on wether it will be 3°C or more. I would have my fingers slapped in under graduate school for posting such a question and this man purports to be a professor. Sigh!

  100. DirkH says:

    John Brookes says:
    September 5, 2012 at 9:29 pm
    “The psychology of “skeptics” should be a subject of research. The vast majority of “skeptics” don’t know enough to sensibly form an opinion on AGW, but they do anyway.”
    “As for the “warmists”, most of them don’t know enough [...] . But I think these people are not the majority of “warmists”.”

    John Brookes, NONE of the warmists I spoke to in real life ever heard of the positive water vapor feedback posited by CO2AGW science. When asked what the biggest greenhouse gas is they invariable answered CO2. Because that’s what the newspapers suggest.

    Before you write your next paper that proves your preconveived opinion (I don’t care how you do that, but I’m sure you’ll manage), just for fun, ask a few real life warmist fanboys. And then don’t ever tell anyone about what you find out; it would damage your career if you did.

  101. Jannie says:

    I am a bit ashamed of my Alma Mater, UWA, but not surprised.

    I completed my Masters in coursework at the UWA Law School about ten years ago. One research paper tangentially concerned Aboriginal justice and crime rates. I happened to mention to the lecturer that I had read Keith Windshuttle, who criticised the “research methods” of the politically correct writers of the ‘black armband view of history’. This lecturer was visibly shocked, he looked at me as if I had just publically confessed to raping children, how could anybody be both so evil and so stupid as to admit it? Turns out he had never read any Windshuttle, but he knew he was evil and knew that nobody should read it. I nearly failed the course, which taught me something.

    The UWA I know is a beautiful campus, but it is bereft of academic freedom, standards are questionable, and if you don’t adopt the biases of the faculty heavies you will not get a half decent degree, and dont even think about getting a job there.

    So there it is, I wouldnt trust Lewandowsky or the faculty to produce a genuine paper which tries to increase our understanding of a question. Sadly UWA is a political machine of the Left, and all the follies that go with that are in abundant evidence.

  102. cui bono says:

    Oh, fabjous fantasy:

    “The data reported in this article are invalid and should not be considered part of the scientific literature.The responsibility for this problem rests solely with the first author, Michael E. Mann. Coauthors Raymond S. Bradley and Malcolm K. Hughes are in no way responsible for this problem.” – Michael Mann.

  103. Disko Troop says:

    I thought “Capricorn One” was a documentary. I mean, Karen Black! What’s not to like about a film with Karen Black, James Brolin and that fount of all truths, O J Simpson in it .
    “An Inconvenient Truth” on the other hand was so full of holes that it could not possibly be a documentary. Perhaps they could have used Steven Seagal instead of Al Gore. They look the same.
    Lewandowsky seems to live in a fictional world, perhaps he should go into films as well.

    Ivor Ward

  104. Otter says:

    brooksie, you should stick to cheer-leading for your god, michael mann, as he continues his assault upon decent people for Daring to have an opinion that counters His Word in any way- especially when it is about Him.
    The pom-poms have more sense than you.

  105. bushbunny says:

    Jannie you are not alone. I was told years ago by a Ph.D student of history at UNE, don’t provide any info that goes against the academics in charge of your papers an alternative view point, although graduate students are supposed to do their own independent research! When I presented a alternative and obvious rebuttal of a historical local topic, I was refused a supervisor because it was going to show up their so called academics research. You are not alone in your criticism of UWA. They are just holding on to their tenure, bending over to placate political schemes and not interested in the truth, and of course they have to preserve their superior in a subject matter as being the only truths available. Glad you received your MA though. I have still a few units to go before I proceed to mine.

  106. Komrade Kuma says:

    WARNING WILL ROBINSON – SATIRE APPROACHING

    It is outrageous Anthony Watts that, like the dolt Bolt in Australia, you cast further aspersions on the brilliant work of the dedicated anti-AGW Denier, the most honorable and honored Professor Stephan Lewandowsky, OUTRAGEOUS. The lies and falsehoods peddled by the rest of the CLIMATE DENIERS cabal are bad enough but are at least confined to the miniverse of the DENIER BLOGOSPHERE. You bring their filthy assertions to the mainstream using the corrupt agency of your popular web site thereby perverting the public mind with doubt about The Consensus faith in global warming created by the toxin CO2.

    It is crystal clear that Lewandowsky et al’s methods are beyond reproach as is The 97% Consensus on Climate Science. The Consensus was established as firmly in indisputable fact by that brilliant survey conducted in order to demonstrate the fact. This is the true genius of self reference plain for even deniers to see but of course they refuse to achnowledge the new reality.
    Lewandowsky et al have trodden the hallowed path of truth and adapted the consensus establishing methodologies to their study which clearly exposes the intellectual corruption of the Denier movement. It is only DENIERS that question the validity of this landmark piece of psychological research and the opinions and false assertions of DENIERS are in no way equal to the radiant truth emanating from the genius Lewandowsky and his brilliant co authors.

    To appreciate the true genius of Stephan Lewandowsy all posters here should view the following

    END OF SATIRE

    (Seeing is believing):-

    and

  107. Paul H says:

    On the subject of presenting preliminary results prior to all the data coming in, isn’t the proprietor of this blog just as guilty of making this same, supposed, error, only with considerably more acclaim and fanfare?

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/05/10/a-report-on-the-surfacestations-project-with-70-of-the-ushcn-surveyed/

  108. Mike Mellor says:

    Thank you Dr. Stephan Lewandowsky for killing the peer-review dragon.

  109. Shevva says:

    Name calling bullies always try and pick on the more intelligent in the class as they will always show they for what they are, name calling bullies.

    This concerns me in two ways 1) The corruption of the universities maybe nearing a tipping point 2) The relevance of these so called higher education institutes and what/who they produce.

    I will not mention what this education now costs.

  110. Pointman says:

    When I think of the time and effort put in, to get Psychology at least recognised as a first cut at a science, and contrast that with the damage a clown like Stephan Lewandowsky can single-handedly do to its credibility, I’m appalled. On every conceivable front, the Lewandowsky paper fails massively. Who on Earth were the referees?

    All those erudite people and their studies, research and papers, lent a spurious legitimacy and authority to the whole thing and having laid that essential groundwork, facilitated what inevitably followed.

    http://thepointman.wordpress.com/2012/05/25/the-real-bastards/

    Pointman

  111. David A. Evans says:

    Here I go, into the fray.

    Maus. if it’s of any help, I knew your were being sarcastic/ironic on two counts…

    a) The over the top nature of the original comment.
    b) a) may have been influenced by my knowing you’re a sceptic.

    Anthony, having seen exactly this kind of over the top comment from a section of the CAGW types and not knowing you are sceptic however was also correct in his response. moderating huge numbers of comments as Rik Werme said, you just can’t remember all the nicks.

    Just goes to show, you can’t assume in this medium that people will see things the way you do, best to remember the /sarc tag

    DaveE.

  112. Ric Werme says:

    John Brookes says:
    September 5, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    But, the “warmists” don’t spout anywhere near as much nonsense as the “skeptics”. Indeed, the “warmists” argument is like a bucket with a few small holes, while the “skeptics” arguments look more like someone trying to carry water in a net.

    On your Facebook page you note:

    You’ve got to be very careful on Facebook! Before you know it you could lose thousands of dollars, or worse. As you get older, the danger increases, until by the time you are in your seventies, even thinking about Facebook can lose you money. You have been warned.

    I understand that FB is making me lose time, and given that time is money, you may be right. (I would posit that in my experience, WUWT is the much greater time sink.)

    I also understand your comment appears to be tongue-in-cheek.

    However, I can’t think of any acquaintances that have “lost” money on FB. Some have probably spent money, but I think they knew what they were doing.

    Given that I’m less than a decade from my seventies, perhaps you could explain your logic in more detail.

  113. Babeth says:

    Way up in the comments was a quote from a former paper by Dr. Lewandowsky claiming that the tragedy in Darfur was “caused by climate change”. Well… I have bad news for the eminent scientist: religion is actually the main factor, as described in at least one book by the Belgian journalist Els de Temmerman who has visited the region multiple times in the ’80 and ’90 and reported on the ever recurring atrocities there. Overpopulation may be another factor, but it’s mainly the adherents of one religion treating non-adherents (who -by the way- happened to live in a far better region of the country (more fertile, more ores and such) than their own) as cockroaches to be exterminated or at least enslaved. Climate by the way is constantly changing (see for instance what happens in the areas where rain forests are being destroyed… less rain, or am I wrong ?) and certainly in Africa which is the longest inhabited-by-humans-and-thus-changed area on this world.
    Back to the topic:
    When I was studying for my Masters in Communication Sciences in Brussels (Belgium) we were told that when holding surveys at NO point were we allowed to change the questionnaires. At ALL times were we to use the same set of questions during a research because using different questions would invalidate the resulting data and our research would be refused for consideration. We were also told to make as certain as possible that no “doubles” (multiple questionnaires filled in by the same persons) occur. Have scientific standards changed so much in 20 years’ time ?

  114. sunsettommy says:

    I see that there are people still determined to smear skeptics despite that the AWG conjecture is long dead and buried.A conjecture that even warmists have been defending less and less these days as they shift to a new mode of attacks against the “deniers” themselves as an attempt to get them out of their way by reducing their influence.This Lewandowsky paper is just another attempt to screw over the skeptics much like Naomi Oreskes and Stephen Schneider has tried to do in recent years.

    It is apparent that there is another reason why they continue to do their dead on arrival attacks and that has to do with building control over those they perceive as an enemy to their post normal science paradigm.They have a new world order to build on and one of the methods is to attacks those they perceive as being in the way to that goal.

    They will go on screaming for years to come and that this is indicative of their anti science attitudes since they are coming from a POLITICAL perspective.It is all about control and thankfully they are bad at it because there are plenty of lemming out there to do their bidding.Lemmings I confront week after week in the various places I visit on the internet.

    I am afraid that this will go on for years as the political regimes around the world continue to try pushing their pseudoscience and pseudo environmentalism as their means to build a powerful socialist world government.First regional and them coalesce into a giant government where they push their socialist utopian brand on the world.

    The future is going to get really ugly.

  115. David A. Evans says:

    Oh, and the other thing about the original post maus made.

    S/he is correct, Anthony hasn’t published any peer reviewed papers in the psience of psychology.

    That is exactly what made the comment so funny for me as before he published on the temperature data it was the exact criticism made in the field of climatology.

    I apologise to Ric Werme for misspelling his name as Rik in my previous post.

    DaveE.

  116. John Brookes says:

    Jannie, you read Windshuttle. Why? The man is a fraud. He pretends to be a historian, but simply ignores the testimony of witnesses when it suits him. Your supervisors horror was at your gullibility.

    Honestly, if you wanted to do a masters in economics, and owned up to admiring Ayn Rand, or you wanted to do a PhD in physics, but had a theory that Einstein was wrong, you would get the same horrified response. And you don’t need to have read Rand or any of the Einstein sceptics to know that they are nutters.

    All these poor persecuted free thinkers. Does it never occur to them that they aren’t being persecuted for their radical thoughts? They are being persecuted for being stupid, or ratbags, or both. But feel free to keep indulging your Galileo complexes.

  117. Bob Layson says:

    I believe that some supporters of the CAGW crusade are conspiring to make it look like sceptics such as me are conspiracy theorists. Oh dear. Does that make them right for once, in one instance? Perhaps, but then so would I be if they are so conspiring.

  118. klem says:

    If these researchers were actually good at what they do, they’d do the same study investigating the alarmist side. It might be entitled “IPCC faked climate alarm – therefore (climate) science is true: An anatomy of the motivated acceptance of science.”

    Somehow I doubt they will investigate climate alarmism in the same way they did climate skepticism. I doubt they would have the balls.

    cheers

  119. j ferguson says:

    Forgive me for this wildly O/T, but: A large poster of the Gare Montparnasse wreck hung in our office for a few years. After a while, captions began to be affixed to it: “OK, Pierre, if you are so smart, you drive.” “Louis, I think I’ve got it, throttle on the left, brake on the right.” and so forth, but the very best was “That day, young Charles De Gaulle realized that his future might not lie in railroading.”

    FWIW, There is a photo of a similar wreck at Dublin’s Huston station where the effect of a long downhill run from Inchicore to the station and some imprecision in setting the brakes had the same result.

  120. hewhotypes says:

    From Lewandowsky et al:

    Oreskes and Conway
    documented that a small number of organizations and individuals have been instrumental
    in those contrarian activities, arguably motivated by a laissez-faire free-market ideology
    that views as threatening any scientific finding with potential regulatory impact…

    Sounds like a conspiracy theory to me — the free-market contrarians are all in it together, and are trying to overheat the rest of us.

  121. Maus says:

    jorgekafkazar: “Maus has a history of making insulting comments.”

    Perhaps you didn’t notice that the reply to you, which you take umbrage at, and my posts in this thread have in common that they poke fun at genuflections to peer review. Now you’re certainly free to put forward the argument that peer review is useful and our expectations of it are satisfied. Though I daresay you’re best off waiting for a thread that’s not about Lewandowsky before you take up that task.

    bushbunny: “They are just holding on to their tenure, bending over to placate political schemes and not interested in the truth, and of course they have to preserve their superior in a subject matter as being the only truths available”

    More ironic in that tenure is purported to cure this very problem. If you are not familiar with Thomas Kuhn, you might find his writings of interest.

    David A. Evans: “Anthony, having seen exactly this kind of over the top comment from a section of the CAGW types and not knowing you are sceptic however was also correct in his response.”

    Yep, as I said the error was mine for expecting too much of the quality of argument from the canon point of view. Though, given that’s the case, I can hardly sort out how to make things obviously absurd unless I resort to typing with my forehead. However, this seems rather inconvenient and I suspect the output would be inscrutable.

  122. wobble says:

    John Brookes says:
    September 6, 2012 at 5:50 am

    Honestly, if . . . you wanted to do a PhD in physics, but had a theory that Einstein was wrong, you would get the same horrified response.

    Unless of course your name is Edwin Hubble. Then your work can get Einstein to say that the cosmological constant was “the greatest mistake of my life”.

    And you can get a Space Telescope named after you.

    Who is this John Brookes guy, and does he understand anything about science?

  123. John Brookes says:

    September 6, 2012 at 5:50 am

    “..or you wanted to do a PhD in physics, but had a theory that Einstein was wrong, you would get the same horrified response. And you don’t need to have read … any of the Einstein sceptics to know that they are nutters.”

    I am no physicist, but isn’t a lot of cutting edge physics questioning Einstein’s theories? No physicist should be beyond questioning.

  124. Kyle says:

    @John Brookes 5:50
    Honestly, if you wanted to do a masters in economics, and owned up to admiring Ayn Rand, or you wanted to do a PhD in physics, but had a theory that Einstein was wrong, you would get the same horrified response. And you don’t need to have read Rand or any of the Einstein sceptics to know that they are nutters.
    ———————————–
    Really, this is ridiculous. First, Ayn Rand was not an economist so I don’t know why anyone would be horrified to have a Master’s student who admired her. That statement is a complete non sequitur. Second, Einstein was misguided on several principles, most notably his refusal to accept that quantum mechanics is not completely deterministic. In addition, he developed his cosmological constant for the wrong reasons. So far, his theories have been correct but I wouldn’t be horrified at any of my students for postulating competing theories with supporting evidence. That’s what being a scientist is!

    I have a Ph.D. in Genetics and yours is the type of attitude that resulted in tremendous lost time not studying so-called “junk” DNA, now shown by the ENCODE project to be highly functional and deeply involved in the regulation of gene transcription. Throughout history science has advanced by challenging the “consensus” view. Dr. Barry Marshall (jointly appointed to UWA!) is a modern example of how the consensus can be totally wrong. Scientific theories aren’t proven by consensus, they are proven by matching the real world.

  125. wobble:

    At September 6, 2012 at 9:05 am you ask

    “Who is this John Brookes guy, and does he understand anything about science?”

    I answer, he is a troll who often afflicts WUWT threads. And, no, he doesn’t.

    Richard

  126. jorgekafkazar says:

    Skiphil says: “ ‘…Psychological Science is the highest ranked empirical journal in psychology.’ ”

    It is certainly rank, if the Lew Paper is any indication of their typical quality. Perhaps they should change the name to ‘Psycho Science.’

  127. TonyM says:

    Maus:

    With Pr Lewandowsky we can dispense with the science when it comes to climate (no, I don’t imply any fraudulant element at all).

    If a field calls itself science then the key participants ought behave as scientists and rigorously question the methodology rather than scratch around and then advocate, politicise and foster with religious zeal.

    I am familiar with Prof Lewandowsky’s writing on the subject of CAGW and this paper reflects the same lack of scientific thought and pall of confirmation bias and advocacy.

    His motives may be simply altruistic but I have little time for scientists who wish to be excused on the basis of wanting to save the planet. The likes of Hansen admitting to exaggeration on the grounds of altruism simply means that the process is politicised and accordingly science is shunted out the window.

    If he is unaware of his predilection then he makes for being a poor scientist and is a poor advertisement for UWA which historically has had a good standing.

    Perhaps it calls for a psych analysis – of the guys who wrote the paper.

  128. jorgekafkazar says:

    Maus says: “…I can hardly sort out how to make things obviously absurd unless I resort to typing with my forehead. However, this seems rather inconvenient and I suspect the output would be inscrutable.”

    Though much improved.

  129. D. J. Hawkins says:

    Paul H says:
    September 6, 2012 at 4:17 am
    On the subject of presenting preliminary results prior to all the data coming in, isn’t the proprietor of this blog just as guilty of making this same, supposed, error, only with considerably more acclaim and fanfare?

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/05/10/a-report-on-the-surfacestations-project-with-70-of-the-ushcn-surveyed/

    Son, since I don’t see a /sarc tag lying about, I mean this sincerely: Have you always been this thick or did someone hit you in the head recently? Do you seriously mean to suggest that the unsurveyed stations would become aware of the preliminary results and conciously or unconciously adjust their historic readings or metadata? Because that’s the only way you could possibly draw a parallel to the current discussion.

  130. DirkH says:

    Kyle says:
    September 6, 2012 at 9:26 am
    “I have a Ph.D. in Genetics and yours is the type of attitude that resulted in tremendous lost time not studying so-called “junk” DNA, now shown by the ENCODE project to be highly functional and deeply involved in the regulation of gene transcription.”

    That was pretty obvious – when I was a kid I started to learn programming and at the same time read about genetics. I read that a gene was something that encoded a protein, and that the rest was junk DNA. I asked myself, so where’s the control logic.Well, can only be in the stuff that doesn’t produce genes.

    I told my biology teacher that we have enzymes that repair genetic defects. He didn’t believe me and gave me a bad grade. Biology was not his strong point. I learned to have more patience with my teachers.

  131. DirkH says:

    John Brookes says:
    September 6, 2012 at 5:50 am
    “All these poor persecuted free thinkers. Does it never occur to them that they aren’t being persecuted for their radical thoughts? They are being persecuted for being stupid, or ratbags, or both.”

    You justify persecuting stupid people? Do you persecute stupid people yourself? Do you think that persecution for the stupid is right? Are you a warmist? Are all warmists of such a vile bent?

  132. j ferguson says:

    Kyle,
    Could you elaborate a bit on the inhibiting effect of designating some DNA “junk?” Is what these guys just did what would have been done sooner, or is it different? Where did the demarcation between useful and junk DNA lie? How was junk DNA distinguished from the good stuff? Was it just that no-one had gotten to it yet?

    On a more climate related issue, could it be that disposing of all the not-understood DNA as junk might be similar to dismissing the question of whether there has been an increase in “Total Energy” on Earth because it’s too difficult to arrive at that figure and “seemingly” much easier to derive a temperature – which seems a pretty sorry substitute to me, at least.

  133. Carl says:

    I read that a gene was something that encoded a protein, and that the rest was junk DNA.

    That is one, narrow definition of a gene; another includes the upstream and downstream untranslated regions within the mRNA; another includes upstream and downstream promoter elements beyond the transcribed regions. You could also define a gene based upon heritable elements. Promoter elements can be far away from the gene, such as enhancer elements; and these and other “control” elements have been known and studied for decades.

    I learned to have more patience with my teachers.

    And the reverse, perhaps.

  134. RokShox says:

    What controls were in place to prevent warmists from feigning skepticism and answering the survey dishonestly?

  135. John M. says:

    “What controls were in place to prevent warmists from feigning skepticism and answering the survey dishonestly?”

    We have our conspiracy, we have a winner, no more calls please.

  136. Kyle says:

    @j ferguson
    Don’t want to get too far OT, but the designation “junk DNA” was first coined in 1972. Basically the consensus notion that most of the genome was nonfunctional prevented funding for that research for about 20-25 years. The prevailing theory of the time was that the 2% of protein encoding DNA was the only functional part and the rest of the 98% was mostly non-functional. Leslie Orgel and Francis Crick argued in a 1980 article in Nature that “much DNA in higher organisms is little better than junk…[it] can be compared to the spread of a not-too-harmful parasite within its host…[it has] little specificity and conveys little or no selective advantage to the organism.”* Same issue, Doolittle and Sapienza: “Natural selection operating within genomes will inevitably result in the appearance of DNAs with no phenotypic expression whose only ‘function’ is survival within genomes. Prokaryotic transposable elements and eukaryotic middle-repetitive sequences can be seen as such DNAs, and thus no phenotypic or evolutionary function need be assigned to them.”

    Can’t do research if you can’t get money! To be fair, much of our recent progress is due to improved methods and the human genome map. However, the attitude of “we can’t figure out what this DNA does therefore it’s useless” was an argumentum ad ignorantiam that has since been proven false. This article from 2007 does a decent job of summing up the field:
    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=what-is-junk-dna-and-what

    My views on what constitutes genes, junk DNA, and the like are far different from the mainstream so a WUWT comment isn’t really the best place to flesh out the idea. I cross-trained in computer science so I view the genome as a fluid multi-dimensional parallel processing unit. That’s not widely accepted although several prominent genetic researchers have privately expressed their agreement.

    Back on topic, the Lewandowsky paper should be reported to the Australian equivalent of the Institutional Review Board for UWA. It’s their job to protect the institution from researchers improperly recording data with human subjects. Believe me, they will not hesitate to shut him down. Failure to do so could result in an audit of all IRB protocols and a loss of all funding to the institution.
    —————————
    *Orgel LE, Crick FH (April 1980). Selfish DNA: the ultimate parasite. Nature 284 (5757): 604–7
    Doolittle WF, Sapienza C (April 1980). Selfish genes, the phenotype paradigm and genome evolution. Nature 284 (5757): 601-3

  137. Otter says:

    DirkH~ you are SO lucky brooksie isn’t honest. Otherwise he’d be nodding ‘Yes’ so hard, his head would snap clean off.

  138. Hot under the collar says:

    The level of debate of the Lewandowsky paper (and sadly, some of the posts) is about as good as ‘skeptics have more nutters than warmists – so we are right – nah nah nah nah nah’!
    Unfortunately it sums up much of todays climate ‘science’ with ‘research’ aimed at how they can prove their warmist political and religious mantra. Junk science is just that, whatever side of the argument you are on as WUWT contributors are only too ready to point out.

  139. Streetcred says:

    September 6, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Otter says:
    DirkH~ you are SO lucky brooksie isn’t honest. Otherwise he’d be nodding ‘Yes’ so hard, his head would snap clean off.
    ————————————
    Otter, given Brooksie’s predilection to fantasy as supported by his posting and the pasting that he gets at JoNova as well, I can only conclude that he has a particular fetish for ‘S&M’ culture … what other explanation could there possibly be for his perpetual invitation of such regular scorn and ridicule in blogs ? Clearly, the bloggers at JoNova are beneath him in the quality of the scorn and abuse that he considers that he deserves and this leads him here to challenge the eminent WUWT bloggers to do their worst.

  140. cui bono says:

    Re psychology: Jung once speculated that because UFO sightings usually cited saucer shapes or cylindical objects that this might be down to sexual projection.

    Does the fascination of modern climate scientists with hockey stick shapes demonstrate a similar phenomenon?

    Worth a paper or two in a journal, imo. /sarc

  141. David Jones says:

    Maus says:
    September 6, 2012 at 8:41 am
    jorgekafkazar: “Maus has a history of making insulting comments.”

    I can hardly sort out how to make things obviously absurd unless I resort to typing with my forehead. However, this seems rather inconvenient and I suspect the output would be inscrutable.

    It appeared that is what you were doing!

  142. Maus says:

    TonyM: “If a field calls itself science then the key participants ought behave as scientists and rigorously question the methodology rather than scratch around and then advocate, politicise and foster with religious zeal.”

    I don’t disagree with you. The problem is that the mythological definition of science is ‘the scientific method’, while the practical definition is ‘what people with university degrees do’. To move from the latter to the former requires asking a great deal of people. That they observe science and see if there’s any science in it.

    RokShox: “What controls were in place to prevent warmists from feigning skepticism and answering the survey dishonestly?”

    None of the standard tools to detect the most obvious spoilers and deceivers were used. Multiple instances of the same question were not asked and interviews were not performed. Nor of course was it ‘survey’ as there were multiple different surveys that were given out.

    Of course, the data that was received was contrary to presentation of the conclusions regardless. Errors of this magnitude require a purposeful approach or a complete and utter ignorance of the most basic research practices. The only answer here is that it was fraud. Either on the part of Lewandowsky, the editor, and the reviewers. Or that they were all victims defrauded by whichever institution claimed that they have learned their craft.

  143. Bulldust says:

    Komrade Kuma says: September 6, 2012 at 3:47 am
    Thanks for the videos … I had never seen those before. They truly speak for themselves. I couldn’t believe they weren’t a spoof, but I checked his photos at UWA. /boggle

    Incidently I notice Desmog now has a piece on Lewandowsky and the reactions at:
    http://www.desmogblog.com/2012/09/05/research-links-climate-science-denial-conspiracy-theories-skeptics-smell-conspiracy

    I find this an interesting stance when Desmog’s primary funder is Mr John Lefebvre, who on Wiki has the following:
    As an environmental advocate, Lefebvre is a chief benefactor of DeSmogBlog.com,[1] a whistleblower blog run by Vancouver public relations specialist James Hoggan. The site’s focus is on exposing those who deny the effects of fossil fuel upon the world’s climate while covertly working on behalf of fossil fuel producers.
    Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Lefebvre

    So their mind bubble that “denialists” are all funded by Big Fossil Fuel is legit, but the suggestion that climate scientists might be influenced by the billions in known government funding for climate science is conspiracy?

    Two things:
    1) I am confused.
    2) where’s my BFF cheque?*

    Cheers,
    Bulldust
    will accept wire transfer as well.

  144. dlb says:

    John Brookes – We don’t like strangers in in this town…. particularly those of the warmist variety. (sarc)

    Seriously John, I quite look forward to your comments at Jo Nova’s blog. Although I don’t always agree with you, I find you come across as quite civil. You also seem be shown respect there, perhaps tolerated may be a better word :). It’s a shame many of the commenters on other blogs are so partisan and intolerant of other views.

  145. Jannie says:

    John Brookes:@September 6, 2012 at 5:50 am

    I read Windshuttle because he focused on research theory and scientific method. He came from the old UNSW Marxist school (pre post modern), that insisted that conclusions could only be made if supported by a testable hypothesis and verifiable evidence. One of his old fashioned rules was that you should read a book before you make claims about the author, the content or the conclusions. Another rule was that ad hominem attacks do not substitute for rational argument. I doubt you have read Windshuttle, and that deficiency informs your opinion of his work.

    In academia I have met many people with the same superior attitude that you have, and generally they are happy to support conclusions without supporting evidence, so long as it suits their broader political beliefs and their access to grant funding or tenure. Like Lewandowsky, they are politically astute but intelectually flaccid.

    Are you aware of the Stalinist authoritarianism that lies just under the surface of your soft leftism? You seem to think its justifiable to persecute somebody who you think is stupid, or you think is a ratbag. Be careful, you will be judged and condemned by your erstwhile friends, using the same cruel standards that you apply to others.

  146. sorepaw says:

    The design of Lewandowsky et al.’s survey is a mess. “Climate change” is supposed to be at the core of it, yet there are many more questions about a wide range of conspiracy theories than about CAGW. And, as many have noted, there is no item about the notion that opposition to CAGW doctrines is all the product of a conspiracy by oil companies. The “other science questions” on the survey number exactly two: one about smoking and lung cancer and the other about HIV and AIDS.

    All of this is assuming that there was just one version of the survey, instead of multiple versions whose variations were not mentioned in the report, as may in fact may have been the case.

    The manner in which participants were recruited was grossly inept.

    Only correlations and the results of structural equation modeling were reported—no means, standard deviations, or frequencies for any of the survey items.

    The framing provided for the research, in the introduction and in the discussion, is completely prejudicial and includes many citations of dubious sources.

    The title doesn’t fit the results of the study, as belief in a free market appears to account for a lot more of the CAGW skepticism in the sample than “conspiracist ideation” does.

    Political psychology is already one of the weakest specialties within the discipline, but an article like this will reduce those who are trying to bring some rigor to banging their heads agains the nearest wall.

    I teach survey research methods to undergraduates as part of an experimental psychology course. I have to wonder whether Lewandowsky or his coauthors ever passed such a course. A student project as poorly executed as theirs appears to have been would earn an F.

  147. Taphonomic says:

    If something like this had happened back in Mark Twain’s time, the good professor would be a candidate for tar and feathers and being run out of town on a rail (like Huck’s Duke and Dauphin).

    Times have changed and not for the better.

  148. Peter Hannan says:

    RobJM hit the nail on the head: psychology is nowhere near being a science, in the proper sense of the last five hundred years, since Galileo. A good Mexican friend of mine refers to the practitioners of this ‘art’ as pepsichologists (it works better in Spanish, because of the spelling conventions). But then, there are really weird things in Spanish: ‘ciencia’, ‘science’ includes areas of ‘knowledge’ like theology, aptly described by Ronald de Sousa (I found the quote in Daniel Dennet, Darwin’s Dangerous Idea) as ‘intellectual tennis without the net’! Light relief, I recognise.

  149. Paul H says:

    D. J. Hawkins,

    “Do you seriously mean to suggest that the unsurveyed stations would become aware of the preliminary results and conciously or unconciously adjust their historic readings or metadata?”

    How many people actually saw Lewandowsky’s presentation prior to filling in the survey? How many of those were then motivated to fill in his presentation? How many of those had mischievous intent? You seem certain of the answers to these questions. And the irony here is that you respond with conspiracy theory: evil warmists saw Lewandowsky’s presentation and became motivated to game the survey.

  150. richardscourtney says:

    Paul H:

    At September 6, 2012 at 11:53 pm you say to D. J. Hawkins,

    And the irony here is that you respond with conspiracy theory: evil warmists saw Lewandowsky’s presentation and became motivated to game the survey.

    No your claims of “irony” and “conspiracy theory” are mistaken: there is only your display of refusal to face reality which is typical of warmists.

    It is normal for web surveys to be ‘gamed’ so competently conducted surveys use methods to inhibit the ‘gaming’. This survey failed to take such precautions.

    Richard

  151. wobble says:
    John Brookes says:
    September 6, 2012 at 5:50 am

    Honestly, if . . . you wanted to do a PhD in physics, but had a theory that Einstein was wrong, you would get the same horrified response.

    Unless of course your name is Edwin Hubble. Then your work can get Einstein to say that the cosmological constant was “the greatest mistake of my life”.

    And you can get a Space Telescope named after you.

    No response from John Brookes, and I assume that we won’t hear from him on this thread again.

    His claim that Einstein can’t be credibly questioned simply because he was Einstein captures the mentality of CAGWers perfectly. It’s a good thing that Edwin Hubble didn’t share the same mentality as John Brookes.

  152. D. J. Hawkins says:

    Paul H says:
    September 6, 2012 at 11:53 pm
    D. J. Hawkins,

    “Do you seriously mean to suggest that the unsurveyed stations would become aware of the preliminary results and conciously or unconciously adjust their historic readings or metadata?”

    How many people actually saw Lewandowsky’s presentation prior to filling in the survey? How many of those were then motivated to fill in his presentation? How many of those had mischievous intent? You seem certain of the answers to these questions. And the irony here is that you respond with conspiracy theory: evil warmists saw Lewandowsky’s presentation and became motivated to game the survey.

    In response:

    1. Who knows?
    2. Who knows?
    3. Who knows?

    The fact that it is impossible to determine how much gaming may have occured due to premature disclosure is one of several fatal flaws in the study. It isn’t up to me to prove it was gamed, it’s up to the survey designer to show what he did to prevent it. In this case, precious little.

    “You seem certain of the answers to these questions.” No, I am not. Nor did I ever say so. Nor did I ever even infer that was the case.

    “And the irony here is that you respond with conspiracy theory…” You need to improve your reading comprehension skills. A LOT. No where did I use the word conspiracy. And gaming wouldn’t need to be an organized, collective choice. Individuals of similar political inclinations could easily decide on their own to “help” the cause.

    You think simply throwing out the word “conspiracy” is enough to embarrass people so they won’t look deeper into the facts, otherwise they’ll be considered just another nutter. You’re pathetic.

  153. Ian H says:

    Apart from the ridiculousness of the survey, there is another issue here to do with comparison of numbers of different magnitudes. The number of people who believe the moon landings were faked is tiny. If one looks at climate alarmists you will find moon landing conspiracists make up a very small part of that group. And if you look at climate sceptics you will also find that moon landing conspiracists make up a very small part of that group. Looking at the proportions of moon landing conspiracists in each group actually tells us almost nothing about either climate sceptics or climate believers.

    I have no idea what moon landing conspiracists think about climate change. What moon landing conspiracists think about anything is of very little interest to me. These people have logical powers of deduction so impaired that even if they reach conclusions I might agree with, it is almost certainly by accident and via a logical reasoning process that I would find incomprehensible.

Comments are closed.