UPDATE: For all you angry taunting types (Stoat aka William M. Connolley for example) that claim that this post represents a claim of conspiracy theory itself (hint: try to find the word in the post) you might want to register you participation in the original in the census here – Anthony
There’s a lot that has been going on behind the scenes with the Dr. Stephan Lewandowsky “moon landing paper” affair. It turns out that Dr. Lewandowsky is part of a larger association that I dub the Cook-Lewandowsky Social-Internet Link.
You see it turns out that all that serial deleting of comments when Steve McIntyre asked some simple questions about how some blog responders might have “faked” responses in Lewandowsky’s survey, thus rendering it useless for the conclusion, had a root in the behavior seen on John Cook’s main website, Skeptical Science. Poptech has just published a scathing review of the intolerance for debate/questions there. I found this one comment he posted as stunning:
“Exit strategy for the Meet the Denominator thread: Do we have one? [...] Poptech is indefatigable …Against such an adversary traditional methodologies are doomed to impasse. This makes the thread the Skeptical Science version of Afghanistan (substitute with many other protracted losing campaigns). I say we let Rob write up a closing synopsis …but giving Skeptical Science the last word. And lock the thread & throw away the key.” – Daniel Bailey [Skeptical Science], February 18, 2011
John Cook opines:
“[O]ne of the moderators flagged Poptech as a spammer and that deleted EVERY comment he ever posted off all the comments threads.” – John Cook [Skeptical Science], October 11, 2011
“[W]e should have a blanket ban of any mention of Poptech in any SkS blog posts – not give him any oxygen.” – John Cook [Skeptical Science], March 21, 2012
We have our troublemakers on WUWT as well, and I’ve banned a few, and I understand this is sometimes neccessary, but this sort of intolerant behavior when it comes to debating facts in evidence has surfaced again recently with Steve McIntyre’s straightforward questions to Dr. Lewandowsky. See Lewandowsky Censors Discussion of Fake Data:
Comment didnt last long.
There’s a curiosity about the time stamp, it appears to have been edited server side or perhaps Steve submitted the comment twice and the second one was deleted and the first one snipped. We can’t be sure, but it is clear that on that thread, wholesale intolerance for questions about the methodology of the Lewandowsky “moon landing paper” were the norm as many other commenters had their comments snipped or removed in asking similar questions. It is a green sea of “moderator response”.
There’s even identical language in the deletion between Skeptical Science and Lewandowsky’s thread:
at Lewandowsky’s “ShapingTomorrowsWorld”:
Moderator Response: As an FYI, compliance with the Comments Policy of this site is non-negotiable; moderation policies are not open for discussion. If you find yourself incapable of abiding by these common set of rules that everyone else observes, then a change of venues is in the offing.
at Skeptical Science:
“…Finally, please understand that moderation policies are not open for discussion. If you find yourself incapable of abiding by these common set of rules that everyone else observes, then a change of venues is in the offing.”
Now here’s the surprise, and the reason for the post title. The website URL for that Lewandowsky thread is: http://www.shapingtomorrowsworld.org/news.php?p=1&t=210&&n=159
Who runs shapingtomorrowsworld.org ? This public domain information shows who:
Yes John Cook is the administrator for Lewandowsky’s outlet at shapingtomorrowsworld.org. So, given what happens on his own blog, where there’s serial deletion of comments, and even post facto modification of comments later without the commenters knowledge, it really should not surprise anyone to find that same sort of behavior going on at the Lewandowsky thread when difficult direct questions are asked.
What is even more interesting is that it appears to be a University of Western Australia owned domain, as this little note at the top of the report tells us:
What other domains is Cook associated with? There’s the next surprise. Again, this is public domain information available to anyone who cares to look:
Yes, John Cook also runs the Climate Science Rapid Response Team website that marshalls over 135 climate scientists into action whenever there is an outbreak of difficult to answer climate questions posed by skeptics.
It also turns out, that Stephan Lewandowsky is John Cook’s academic advisor:
According to the SkS private forum, Cook and Lewandowsky are very close. One of the forum participants, Tom Dayton, described his background as follows:
Then my PhD in experimental psychology from the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Oklahoma, where I briefly crossed paths with Steve Lewandowsky, John Cook’s current academic advisor and coauthor while he was a visiting professor.
That’s quite a little activist organization they have running out of the University of western Australia. I wonder if UWA officials realize the extent that UWA has become a base for this global climate activism operation and if they condone it?
It also begs the question of who’s paying the bills? Cook hasn’t produced anything recently in his chosen field of a cartoonist that I am aware of, and it appears he’s fully engaged in climate now.
[This post was edited for clarity about 45 minutes after it was first published - Anthony]
UPDATE: Steve McIntyre reports the survey was also distributed on the UWA campus. He writes:
Some information from sources at the University of Western Australia. On October 21, 2010, the following email was sent to the UWA staff mailing list:
UWA researcher Charles Hanich is seeking participants for a web-based survey of attitudes towards climate science (and other sciences) and skepticism. The survey carries no risks for participants. To participate in the survey please use this link:
Completion should take less than 10 minutes and all data will be analyzed anonymously and without monitoring or identifying individual responses.
[Notice approved by:
Human Research Ethics Committee,
Research Services, University of Western Australia ]
For some strange reason, the invitation is online at a web aggregator here. (I Googled the survey id.)