Lewandowsky’s bear-baiting behavior

Skeptic Baiting and Academic Misconduct

Guest post by Tom Fuller, writing at The Lukewarmer’s Way

I see here at Watts Up With That that Australian professor Stephan Lewandowsky has teamed up with other climate activists to publish a paper designed to make skeptics look like flat-earth mouth breathers unfit for polite society. As I know from personal experience that this is not true for the majority of skeptics I have met in person or online, I feel a response is in order.

A 17th century engraving on bear-baiting

A 17th century engraving on bear-baiting (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I encountered Professor Lewandowsky last year when he used a horribly constructed push poll to gather opinions from skeptics about their belief in various conspiracies. Unfortunately, the opinions he received were from climate activists, many recruited from his current co-author John Cook’s weblog Skeptical Science, who took the poll while pretending to be skeptics and posted fraudulent responses. As Professor Lewandowsky discussed the poll with potential respondents while it was still active, it’s possible that he effectively encouraged fraudulent responses and hence may be guilty of academic misconduct.

Sadly, much of Lewandowsky et al’s current paper references that project and a paper that details it. The paper is described as ‘in press.’ Perhaps a more accurate description is dead and buried, never to see the light of day.

Other than a confession of sloppy science and unethical behavior, I fail to see what that project could have produced in the way of furthering human understanding of the mind, human nature or any other form of science.

As a non-skeptic I feel the strong desires to a) defend skeptics as not fitting Lewandowsky’s description and b) slap him across the face for contributing to the cheapening of the already debased nature of climate conversations. So we’ll put Matt Ridley’s remaining six questions on hold for a moment while we discuss this.

The paper is titled “Recursive fury: Conspiracist ideation in the blogosphere in response to research on conspiracist ideation”.  It is published in a journal titled Frontiers in Personality Science and Individual Differences, a publication I had not heard of prior to this morning. The paper is 57 pages long, so my comments are based on a cursory reading. Lewandowsky was joined by John Cook, principal contributor to the climate activist weblog Skeptical Science and Klaus Oberauer, who has collaborated with Lewandowsky frequently.

Lewandowsky maintains a weblog here. As I mentioned above, I have prior experience with him. In 2012 he published a series of posts on conspiracy ideation. When I criticized his methodology he deleted about 50 comments I made. Perhaps I’ll discuss that episode further–Steve McIntyre blogged about the incident here.

Again, this paper is a description of the reaction of bloggers and commenters to the flawed project I described above. He seems to think it noteworthy that its flaws were pointed out to him on various weblogs, including his own. He actually writes that pointing out his shoddy work is evidence of conspiracist ideation.

His first ‘error’ in describing his previous project in his current paper occurs on page 7 of this paper. He is describing the methodology of how he conducted the poll meant to uncover conspiracy thinking on the part of skeptics. He writes,

“Lewandowsky et al. placed links to their study on a number of climate blogs with a pro-science orientation but a diverse audience of readers, including a notable proportion of climate \skeptics. The survey queried people’s belief in the free market (which previous research had identi ed as an important predictor of the rejection of climate science; Heath & Gi ord, 2006), their acceptance of climate science, their acceptance of other scienti c propositions such as the link between HIV and AIDS, and most important in the present context, conspiracist ideation.”

That is not true. Links to his survey were published on climate activist weblogs. Far from having diverse audiences, those blogs are frequented almost exclusively by other climate activists. Both Lewandowsky and the blog administrators discussed the purpose of the survey and conveyed with a nudge and a wink that it would be great fun for activists to pretend to be skeptics and sign up for all the outlandish theories they could.

As the survey methodology was so clumsily constructed there was no way of preventing or even monitoring this–and that may have been intentional, given Professor Lewandowsky’s lengthy experience in the field, having published 140 papers.

Worse yet, respondents from different weblogs were shown different versions of the questionnaire and no attempt was made to stratify the data by source. It really is very poor research design to have labored so mightily and bring forth a mouse.

Lewandowsky refused to report on inconvenient data. One of the conspiracies he asked about was the Iraq invasion by the U.S., asking if there were additional motives beyond the stated ones for the attack. When it was pointed out that the U.S. Congress, the UN and several other august bodies shared the same opinions as those he wanted to label as conspiracy theorists, the question and its answers disappeared from the results. Nor does he mention that for many of the conspiracy theories, more respondents who honestly identified themselves as firm supporters of the climate consensus believed in conspiracy than did skeptics, both in gross numbers and in some cases percentages.

Lewandowsky et al’s current paper then focuses on blog reaction to his study. Again, he uses sloppy methodology and finds the results that confirm his bias. Using his methodology, my written reactions to his research project would have qualified as conspiracist ideation. I wrote a guest post on skeptic weblog Watts Up With That where I detailed my objections to his research design, the execution of the survey and what he wrote on his weblog regarding results.

As a professional market researcher my objections were to sloppy work, ill-conceived design choices and blatant confirmation bias. I am not a skeptic. I don’t hold much with conspiracy theories. I just hate to see self-aggrandizing hacks cheapen the reputation and further utility of public opinion polling.

One conspiracy theory he holds as evidence of the looniness of skeptics is belief that Climategate was real and that scientists conspired to conceal evidence. Lewandowsky writes,

“Concerning climate denial, a case in point is the response to events surrounding the illegal hacking of personal emails by climate scientists, mainly at the University of East Anglia, in 2009.

Selected content of those emails was used to support the theory that climate scientists conspired to conceal evidence against climate change or manipulated the data (see, e.g., Montford, 2010; Sussman, 2010). After the scientists in question were exonerated by 9 investigations in 2 countries, including various parliamentary and government committees in the U.S. and U. K., those exonerations were re-branded as a \whitewash” (see, e.g., U.S. Representative Rohrabacher’s speech in Congress on 8 December 2011), thereby broadening the presumed involvement of people and institutions in the alleged conspiracy.”

As the author of a book on Climategate I will tell you right now that some skeptics regard it as a conspiracy. I don’t believe that that makes them conspiracy theorists. Here’s why:

  1. Scientists have admitted manipulating data presented to policy makers in AR4. Specifically they hid the decline in tree ring data to allow them to claim confidence in their statistical findings. This confidence was unwarranted. They discussed this openly in the revealed Climategate emails.
  2. None of the five investigations into Climategate investigated the scientific issues. Science was specifically excluded from the remit of four of the investigations and the fifth looked at the research record of the institution involved, reviewing papers submitted for review by the institution itself, none of which formed part of the controversy.
  3. Nobody has come up with a non-conspiratorial explanation for this email from Phil Jones to Michael Mann:

“Mike, Can you delete any emails you may have had with Keith re AR4? Keith will do likewise… Can you also email Gene [Wahl] and get him to do the same? I don’t have his new email address. We will be getting Caspar [Ammann] to do likewise. Cheers, Phil”

Now, I know that some skeptics are in fact believers in conspiracy theories, as are some climate activists. Just as some skeptics, politically conservative, are possessed of the lunatic notion that Obama was born in Kenya or on the moon, some climate activists are equally gripped by the fatal peril posed by vaccines or GMOs.  There are real kooks out there.

But as we wrote regarding Climategate, we found no evidence of a conspiracy to change the science–what we found was the more normal and grubby practice of working together to push ‘their’ theory to the top and push others’ theories down, using poor practice and judgment. It was a mundane example of what happens when people chase fame and glory. They justified their behavior because they felt their cause was just.

But what Lewandowsky et al have produced here is the equivalent of bear-baiting in London in the 18th Century. It is a sport designed from cruel motives, aimed at eroding sympathy and legitimizing further cruelty.

I get that Lewandowsky is a committed climate activist and regards skeptics as a mortal threat to his belief system. What I don’t get is why a publication would allow his personal therapy to appear on its pages.

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136 thoughts on “Lewandowsky’s bear-baiting behavior

  1. ” the lunatic notion that Obama was born in Kenya”

    Well, I hate to bring this up because it’s very likely Obama was born in the U.S., but there’s a difference between “lunatic” and “very likely wrong.” As much as the entire Democratic Party likes to pretend otherwise, many people around Obama, including Obama himself (!) on his author bio website as well as reputable news sources in Illinois, claimed Obama was born in Kenya prior to 2007. It’s not a lunatic conspiracy theory requiring massive collusion, it’s just a very understandable confusion seized on by people who don’t like Obama and are prepared to believe the worst about him. Much less respectable theories like the Bush National Guard questions have not been deemed “lunatic” — that particular conspiracy theory was even endorsed by CBS’ 60 Minutes (a mistake that cost Dan Rather his career when the memos he relied on were quickly identified as crude forgeries produced in Microsoft Word).

  2. “But as we wrote regarding Climategate, we found no evidence of a conspiracy to change the science..”

    I haven’t read your book but am curious how you covered the notorious ‘Nature Trick’ and concluded no evidence of distorting science.

  3. Hey! I‘ve just discovered that I’ve been found guilty of Nefarious Intent, in the company of Steve McIntyre, Joanne Nova, and Anthony Watts – and in a peer-reviewed paper! (see notes to table 3 in Lewandowsky /Cook / Oberauer / Hubble-Marriott 2013).
    This is the proudest moment of my life.

  4. Goebbels said if you repeat a lie often enough then it becomes the truth. They have the learned the lesson well. But for a few good men standing up when they should have the entire world paid a horrible price. Thank you for standing up Anthony! That is exactly what a good man can do!

  5. Hi Philip

    What they were trying to distort was statistical confidence in their findings. They used a trick to hide the decline in modern tree ring temperature recordings that were lower than temps measured with thermometers and satellite readings. They did this to preserve the notion that the tree ring records were reliable.

    However, as many have pointed out, there are other records that roughly coincide with the tree ring records.

    Their sin was claiming ‘certainty’, not (necessarily) being wrong about past temperatures.

  6. Lewandowsky and his methods needs to be made public and to his University and its head of Academia, how this sad excuse of a professor is still employed at the public’s expense is shocking. Is he actually allowed to teach youngsters?? God help them!!!!

  7. As someone who believes that wheat (not by definition “genetically modified” but rather significantly altered by cross breeding methods) is possibly the most unhealthy foodstuff a person can put in his mouth (and with plenty of research to back that up), I’m a little put off by being labeled a conspiracy theorist. An excellent article up until that point though, Lew has obviously lost any ability to be impartial or fair.

  8. Perhaps Lewandowsky could answer why climate activists mostly reject nuclear power as a low carbon alternative to fossil fuel, despite the fact the nuclear option represents the most painless way to decarbonise the economy.

    Even the Moonbat, climate activist George Monbiot, posed this question.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/mar/21/pro-nuclear-japan-fukushima

    Monbiot though is a true believer – he doesn’t get that reducing CO2 emissions is not the highest priority for many alarmists – otherwise there would be more support for the nuclear option.

  9. Philip Thomas

    I do not think Tom Fuller is suggesting that there was no distortion, rather that there was. But on indiviual levels and for personal or group reasons. Therefore, although Tom Fuller may dislike the behaviour, he does not consider it a conspiracy.

  10. “I get that Lewandowsky is a committed climate activist and regards skeptics as a mortal threat to his belief system. What I don’t get is why a publication would allow his personal therapy to appear on its pages.”

    *

    I agree. These journals need to tighten their game. Is “Frontiers in Personality Science and Individual Differences” a new journal? It might we worth looking into to see if it is just another front for the Cause. Whether it is or not, when are editors – and the MSM, come to that – going to start insisting on professionalism and proper reporting? Isn’t anyone asking why these haters of all things human have open access to the media while any counter view is stifled?

  11. Thanks Tom, Anthony.

    140 papers? 140 papers??!? The only way Lewandowsky could contribute to his cause would be by printing them all out, sticking them together and covering an area of Australia with them, thus reducing the albedo fractionally. Good Australians everywhere should throw tinnies at this self-inflated imported idiot wherever he goes.

    Oh, and talking of conspiracist ideation, I hope all Australians take the (very) thinly-veiled advice of Al Gore and vote for the wonderful, intelligent and honest Ms. ‘no-carbon-tax’ Gillard in the upcoming election. You know it makes sense if Big Al says so.

  12. This is what I wrote to McIntyre on 4 December 2012: ‘Steve, good to hear you are OK. When you began to discuss Lewandowsky, I thought for my self that you better should stop with this. The level was too low to waist your precious time with.’ Thanks nevertheless to Tom Fuller for devoting some time to this subject, being an embarrassment to the scientific community.

  13. While I agree with the substance of this post in every way, I think you cheapen it by expressing a “strong desire” to “(b).”

    My guess is that Lewandowsky is thinking to himself, “I’ve gotten inside his head.”

    Otherwise and excellent post.

  14. The most troubling aspect of Lewandowsky is not what he does but what he is allowed to do with impunity. No member of the academic establishment or credulous “press” will bother him, will they? No journalist cared that Obama left “born in Kenya” in his official biography for 17 years and no journalist cares that Lewandowsky is a twisted, hate-filled, little man hell bent on smearing skeptics. We have a much bigger problem on our hands than we realize.

  15. thomasfuller;
    Their sin was claiming ‘certainty’, not (necessarily) being wrong about past temperatures.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    It seems to me that their sins went far beyond that. I for one don’t judge them on the climategate emails alone. Keith Briffa for example published a hockey stick graph that turned out to be constructed from just a dozen trees, one of which represented nearly 1/2 the data. That same Keith Briffa is quoted in the climategate emails pleading with others not to buckle under the pressure from politicians. Michael Mann’s climategate emails must be read in the context of his own computer program, demonstrated to seek out and more heavily weight hockey stick shaped data such that it would produce a hockey stick out of any large climate data set. Phil Jones being quoted as intending to keep contrary material out, even if he had to re-define the meaning of peer review. Discussions about getting editors who allowed contrary articles to be published fired. Discussions about the need to make the MWP disappear (which it did not long after, only to reappear when it became increasingly apparent that could not continue the sham).

    I could go on much longer, but I think this makes my point. Context makes hide the decline far worse than what you represent in your comment.

    Consp!racy? I don’t know. Intense stress and political pressure makes people do some pretty stupid things. Like launching a shuttle when the design engineers themselves say it isn’t safe. I think you are letting these guys off lightly…. far too lightly.

  16. There is no grand conspiracy on either side, there are people who are frankly a bit mad on both sides .
    But there are groups of people and individuals who for different reasons of self interest , career advancement or political outlook who are ready , willing and able to do whatever it takes in the name of ‘the cause ‘ And Lewandowsky is one of them.

  17. The reputation of the University of Western Australia must be as low as it can go.

    Lewandowsky is a typical social scientist. They rely on citing each others work. Lewandowsky’s execrable ‘paper’ was reviewed for publication by:

    Michael J. Wood, University of Kent, United Kingdom
    Elaine McKewon, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia

    Reviewer Wood gets 6 citations in the text of the Lewandowsky paper and reviewer McKewon gets 5 citations. What’s not to like from the reviewers point of view? It doesn’t matter whether the paper should be hung on the outhouse doorhandle to get the most out of it.

    Incest rules in social science. Is that a conspiracy theory?

  18. Off topic slightly,

    But has there not been an update to UAH within the past 24hrs?

    Usually AW is pretty sharp with the updates.

  19. What people must understand is that they have lost the argument over global warming. Cook knows this all too well regarding the lack of warming for 16 years. So they resort to desperate tactics (which will fail) to keep the good ship global warming climate change afloat. You can’t defeat the truth no matter what. It will always, always come out on top whether sceptics are right or wrong. So far it looks like we were right over climate sensitivity (and Cook knows this).

    “The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.”
    Winston Churchill

  20. The simple question to all AGW’s is “where is the footprint of your theory”….doh?…mmm quite.
    Let me explain…if you are correct the Troposphere should have warmed.
    However no evidence found after years of satellite data and weather balloons.

    Anthony: Jo Nova suggested 28 million weather balloons have been sent up….can you verify this?

  21. “Open Access/Pay to Publish” journal…. IMO, from experience in my area of expertise (physiology/neurology), not the most credible place to publish a peer reviewed paper

  22. Davidmhoffer,

    This time, I am with you. Fuller is a well-intentioned “market research professional.” He recognizes a scam when he sees one. His issue is that he cannot analyze the physics himself to conclude there is little if any reason to worry about CO2, and sees so much publicity given to the concept, that he cannot disprove it to himself.

    He is a good writer and a good thinker who does not know about heat transfer, thermo, the spectrum of electromagnetic radiation, how outgoing IR is thermalized by CO2 after it is excited, etc…

    Dr. Brown, where are you???

  23. Sorry Anthony. Seemed like entering into a verbose description of my feelings, regarding the author, would simply result in an equivalent meaning. I’ll go sit in a corner and eat worms.

  24. The reputation of the University of Western Australia must be as low as it can go.

    Lewandowsky is a typical social scientist. They rely on citing each other’s work. Lewandowsky’s execrable ‘paper’ was reviewed for publication by:

    Michael J. Wood, University of Kent, United Kingdom
    Elaine McKewon, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia

    Reviewer Wood gets 6 citations in the text of the Lewandowsky paper and reviewer McKewon gets 5 citations. What’s not to like from the reviewers point of view? It doesn’t matter whether the paper should be hung on the outhouse doorhandle to get the most out of it.

    Incest rules in social science. Is that a conspiracy theory?

  25. ‘I just hate to see self-aggrandizing hacks cheapen the reputation and further utility of public opinion polling’
    I found this explanation, by a not particularly natural ally, of his motives to be compelling.

    I seek excellence, as does he. Whether we agree with it or not , we can recognise it. And neither he nor I see any excellence in what Lew et al have produced

  26. Lewandowsky lies if he said HE placed the survey on blogs. He placed nothing. An assistant of his e-mailed vague, poorly-written requests to various blog owners, asking them to host the surveys. Lewandowsky’s name was not mentioned in those request e-mail messages. Skeptical blogs like WUWT.com and ClimateAudit.org likely ignored these messages as coming from spammers bent on accessing the many readers of these high-traffic sites.

    After all this came out, and should have embarrassed him, Lewandowsky self-excuses the absence of his name and the lack of any mention of the clear intention behind his assistant’s requests by claiming that blog owners, on seeing his name, would have likely refused his request. Based on what? No experience indicates anything of the sort. This bald and false assertion is his own speculation, and nothing more. What did Lewandowsky have to lose by simply communicating honestly with the sites his assistant anonymously spammed? Nothing. But since it was done this way, REAL skeptical sites refused the requests, presuming them to be spam or unimportant in a normal, high volume day.

    One can only presume Lewandowsky wanted his survey of “skeptics” to come strictly from very low traffic sites whose audiences are known to be slanted towards his alarmist ideology. And that’s why his paper on the subject will always be considered pure trash by scientists (and fair-minded psychology students).

    But in spite of all that, Lewandowsky gets lots of “Team” kudos from Climate Scientologists, and 2 big fleshy publications to add to his CV, for a University who’s deans and leading lights have apparently lost all ability to distinguish true scholarship from rank propaganda.

    Welcome to the Brave New World.

  27. My advice to Anthony and the WUWT team is to ignore this person. He is getting more exposure than he is worth. Stephan Lewandowsky has some serious self-esteem issues and is prepared to pull facts right out of his ass.

    Normally I would be in hyper-attack mode but this is sceptic baiting, so don’t be baited.

  28. @eworrall1 says: February 5, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    Nor, it seems, is the increasingly fevered Monbiot, aware of photosynthesis. You’d have thought a zoologist? Wouldn’t you?

  29. We are making a huge mistake by talking about this. All this [self snip] is looking for is attention and WUWT is the only place he is getting it. You KNOW that he is reading this. The first paper smelled of desperation, this one reeks of it.

    He has had his fifteen minutes.

    Back to obscurity for you “Professor”.

  30. eworrall1 says:
    “Perhaps Lewandowsky could answer why climate activists mostly reject nuclear power as a low carbon alternative to fossil fuel, despite the fact the nuclear option represents the most painless way to decarbonise the economy.”
    Without going into detail, which to many people would be self-obvious, I suggest that the nuclear power option is decidedly NOT painless.

  31. thomaswfuller2 says:
    February 5, 2013 at 1:36 pm
    Hi Philip

    What they were trying to distort was statistical confidence in their findings. They used a trick to hide the decline in modern tree ring temperature recordings that were lower than temps mesured with thermometers and satellite readings. They did this to preserve the notion that the tree ring records were reliable.

    However, as many have pointed out, there are other records that roughly coincide with the tree ring records.

    Their sin was claiming ‘certainty’, not (necessarily) being wrong about past temperatures.
    ——————————————————————————————————————

    Their sin was not claiming ‘certainty’ on the results other earlier proxy data and findings; they were claiming certainty based solely on their own science and their own data, which makes it a despicable fraud.

    Mann, Bradley, Hughes’ raw data showed that dendrochronology could not be used to establish that recent acceleration in temperature had taken place; so they used a devious trick to ‘hide the decline’. Colleagues in CRU were aware of this faking method while the rest of the world was not; they said nothing. Only a lawyer paid to defend would argue that this not a scientific conspiracy. You would first have to argue that MBH98 was not a cornerstone of AGW science.

    Doakes

  32. thomaswfuller2 says”What they were trying to distort was statistical confidence in their findings. They used a trick to hide the decline in modern tree ring temperature recordings that were lower than temps measured with thermometers and satellite readings. They did this to preserve the notion that the tree ring records were reliable. “.

    Your second sentence disprove your first sentence. It wasn’t “statistical confidence” they distorted, it was their findings. They did this by publishing distorted data. The data was distorted by removing the sections of the data that did not fit the findings they wanted and by adding in some other data which was not part of their study but which did fit the findings they wanted. ie, they found result A but distorted the data to get result B.

    davidmhoffer covers more, above.

  33. “Recursive fury: Conspiracist ideation in the blogosphere in response to research on conspiracist ideation”.

    Since these authors weren’t accurate in formulating their “conspiracist ideation” to begin with, there’s no chance a recursive analysis of a response will enlighten anybody.

    And what’s with this “fury” term? Connected with “Recursive”, does that mean the spin is intensified?

    That’s not science; that’s useless drivel.

  34. I don’t know Tom. I suppose it depends on your definition of a conspiracy.

    Let’s see, a group of people who decide, in secret, to exaggerate (lie) about results of studies and ensure other people’s studies and opinions of the subject are quashed in order to advance a particular perspective/ideology…….

    I’m not a conspiracy theorist. But, the word conspiracy doesn’t exist as a theoretical term. What’s missing that this doesn’t rise to the level of an obvious conspiracy among like minded ideologues? I think in some circles people are more afraid of being labeled than their desire to call things for what they are. I’m not.

  35. Agree with TomR. He shouldn’t be indulged here. Instead, take his arguments apart when he authors something on The Conversation. Clearly he isn’t very well in the head – one only has to look at his YouTube videos about climate denial to see what I mean.

  36. Several commenters on the recent activities of Professor Lewandowsky have suggested that the University of Western Australia should be informed of his ‘shonky’ science. I recently did just that. I sent to the University Vice Chancellor (VC) a copy of one version of questionaire used in the conspiracist research project together with a detailed critique of the questionaire. I also criticised the use of university resources and scarce external research funds on research work which would not provide a useful original contribution to the fund of psychological knowledge, even if properly conducted. The VC referred the matter to one of his lackeys who simply advised me that the relevant university ethics committee had seen the questionaire and approved of its use. No attempt was made to respond to the several specific issues raised by me.

    I then requested the University Secretary to refer the matter to the University Senate. This brought forth a response from the VC himself in which he told me that the matter would not be referred to the Senate. If I had further concerns I could publish an article setting out those concerns. That will be difficult to do as Lewandowsky’s article is still ‘in press’ as I understand it.

    The summary is: the University doesn’t want to know.

    More recently, I have written directly to Lewandowsky challenging his notion that climate skeptics base their views on conspiracy and not science. I reviewed quite a bit of science in the process and advised him that notwithstanding my clear understanding of the science I was still skeptical of the IPCC/CAGW notion. I don’t expect a reply.

  37. Lewandowsky’s sees his academic deceit as a necessary evil, not to save the world from climate change, but to rid the world of people that disagree with him. Before Lewandowsky there was God, or so he thinks.

  38. Recursive idiocy: Ridiculous garbage in the social science literature in response to criticism of ridiculous garbage in the social science literature

  39. Somehow when I think of Lewandowsky the image that comes to mind is the Psychiatrist/Jailer of Sarah Connor in Terminator 2. You know, the tosser with the pen, patronising and telling his colleagues “she’s a loon”.

    But she isn’t. The Terminator IS real….

  40. The phrase, “conspiracy theorist”, is a clever way of demonizing people who don’t believe governments and officialdom generally. It’s really bizarre, because when cabinet papers are opened after thirty years it’s clear that governments lied at the time. Think of the Gulf of Tonkin incident that gave the US the excuse to start bombing North Vietnam. Apparently it never happened.

    Governments lie all the time and as nobody wants to be labelled a conspiracy theorist, they get away with it. But thankfully with the internet they no longer control information and people are becoming brave enough to defy the insulting labels – and find fellowship with like-minded doubting Thomases. Take a bow, Anthony Watts, for faciltating this fellowship of climate realists. Where would we be without you?

  41. Not a conspiracy?
    ” conspiracy usually involves a group entering into a secret agreement to achieve some illicit or harmful objective: a vicious conspiracy to control prices.”

    These people were conspiring to avoid the FOIA law. And if this is the usual way of “pushing” their theory and “pushing down” on others, the scientific community is corrupt.

  42. Should have quoted: “what we found was the more normal and grubby practice of working together to push ‘their’ theory to the top and push others’ theories down, using poor practice and judgment.”

    For shame!

  43. Since I could not even watch the Superbowl on Sunday without CBS inserting an interview with Obama on the lead up to the game, can we invent a new phrase…..Obama-baiting. Definition: The continual application of Obama media content through every media channel on a 24/7 basis until a person runs screaming from the media device “I can’t take it anymore!!”.

    I think I am there already!!

  44. cui bono says | February 5, 2013 at 1:50 pm:

    “Oh, and talking of conspiracist ideation, I hope all Australians take the (very) thinly-veiled advice of Al Gore and vote for the wonderful, intelligent and honest Ms. ‘no-carbon-tax’ Gillard in the upcoming election. You know it makes sense if Big Al says so.”
    —————-

    I hope that there’s a /sarc tag there somewhere because voting for any more destructive Fabianism of ju-LIAR Gillard will not happen. Jeesh ! … I’d rather have my fingernails pulled out.

  45. Am I the only one who thinks Thomas Fuller’s articles are transparent?

    1. Pick a subject that is so bleeding obviously playing to its audience that you are guaranteed a standing ovation.

    2. Write exactly what you think the audience wants to hear using mainly bits that have already been said elsewhere.

    3. Revise the article, littering with borderline contentious ‘truths’ that you assert that ‘we’ all hold. Put these close to passages that the target audience is most likely to agree with, or be flattered by.

    4. Sit back and let psychology work its magic: “Obama IS a US citizen”; “The underlying science of AGW is STRONG”; “There is NO conspiracy”

    FFS Why should we even be reading a story about Lewandowsky?

    Check out every post TF has made on WUWT and they follow this same, tired routine. I thought in his line of work (marketing) you were supposed to be dynamic, not dragging the same viral technique through the quagmire ad infinitum.

    We all eulogised TF a year or so ago after the cracks appeared and he got a new job. Why the return? Does he still have leftover energy light bulbs he couldn’t flog when he was a green technology consultant for the last Labour government?

  46. The thing about Monica Lewandowsky is that he knelt before what he saw as power and authority and in the manner of all “social scientists” swallowed the lot.

    I have an Institute here on Anglesey. We are conducting a survey on Stephan Lewinsky . Initial results are startling. I will keep you all informed when all the results are in.

    P.S I am trying to get a shark-infested pool going here at my Insitute. Not having much success so far. If any other evil megalomaniacs on here have any tips on getting a really good infestation up and running, please let me know.

  47. I contacted the Uni of WA Alumni association in an official role as a member of the Adelaide Uni Alumni and wasn’t even responded to

  48. Lewandowsky committed scientific fraud in his accusations against me. I say that with complete clarity because the last time in which he libeled me, I explained my positions by email. He deliberately contradicted his knowledge to make a point in his paper.

    “Conspiracist ideation is arguably particularly prominent on climate blogs, such as
    when expressing the belief that temperature records show warming only because of
    systematic adjustments (e.g., Condon, 2009).”

    He knowingly made a completely false accusation very similar to the last one. I have written to the journal but expect the usual replies.

  49. “Scientists have admitted manipulating data presented to policy makers in AR4. Specifically they hid the decline in tree ring data to allow them to claim confidence in their statistical findings. This confidence was unwarranted. They discussed this openly in the revealed Climategate emails.”

    You are new to this topic so you can be excused for this error. The truth is that The Team had collected data from 1960 or so to time of publication that showed a decline in temperatures as found in tree ring proxies. They chose not to show their own data and to replace it with thermometer data that showed an increase in temperatures. That choice has nothing to do with statistics or theory. It is as simple as stealing candy from a child. They discussed this matter in emails. That is moral error and betrayal of science. No other description of it is possible. Clearly, they falsified their published data for the purpose of protecting the AGW narrative. No public body asked them about this matter. They have not been exonerated in any fashion whatsoever.

  50. thomaswfuller2 says:
    February 5, 2013 at 1:36 pm
    “Hi Philip
    What they were trying to distort was statistical confidence in their findings. They used a trick to hide the decline in modern tree ring temperature recordings that were lower than temps measured with thermometers and satellite readings. They did this to preserve the notion that the tree ring records were reliable.”

    This post is a tad confused and confusing. See my comment just above.

  51. Actually, the whole approach is moot. It does not matter what one side or another believes outside the realm of discussion. What matters are the facts on the ground. You can’t disprove that 2+2=4 by pointing out that a whole passel of conspiracy nuts and 7-day creationists also believe 2+2=4.

    Come to think of it, I would speculate that within the realm of communist nuts, the great majority would turn out to be CAGW alarmists. But that has exactly zero to do with establishing the truth or falsehood of global warming theory (with or without the “A” or “C”).

    The only thing that actually matters is the science, itself.

  52. In addition to my comments above, I think it worth noting that, had screwy lewy’s criteria been applied to warmist blogs, the result would have been the same. Consider the rampant accusations of funding by Big Oil, Koch brothers, and so on. Then you’ve got the remarkable case of Gleick who was so certain that a consp!racy existed that he impersonated an executive member of Heritage Foundation and when the documents he stole failed to contain the damning evidence he was certain existed, he inserted a document that was quickly revealed as a forgery. Obviously he expected that the forged document would hold up under scrutiny because he was certain his suspicions were correct. This from a supposed ethicist.

    The Pot is not only calling the Kettle black in this case, but is insisting that the Pot is white.

  53. I came across this brilliant comment made today by A. Scott on the Frontiers website:

    http://www.frontiersin.org/Community/WhosWhoActivity.aspx?sname=A_Scott&UID=79990

    The overall community response, Mr. Lewandowsky, was, first, to try to identify the source of your “data” on “skeptic responses,” as you failed to include that important information in your paper. You refused to cooperate and identify the sources, or the blogs you contacted and offered to, forcing the many skeptical science blogs to attempt to identify for themselves. You then played games, going so far as to taunt them on your blog, intimating you contacted them, when in fact it was your assistant who did so. A decision you went to your ethics committee and obtained permission for, as you stated your credibility with skeptical science blogs, and the likelihood they would participate, was low.

    Most of these blogs identified the contact with your assistant – who did not associate your name, as we now know – by your design, after a few days of digging, no thanks to you. There was no conspiracy involved – simply an attempt to try to identify your sources, as you refused to provide that data. Once it became apparent your data on “skeptic” responses came from canvassing at blatantly anti-skeptic sites, friendly to you and your co-authors, and NOT from sites with a general readership skeptical of the science, the response focused on the quality – or lack thereof – of your data.

    A significant crowd sourced effort was undertaken to review your data as presented – for source quality, and regarding your sensationalized conclusions. You also refused to provide the supplemental information to easily do this work, instead, again, choosing to ridicule the people making this effort and forcing them to manually recreate your claims.

    Concurrently, responding to taunts from participants at YOUR blog, an effort was undertaken to recreate your survey and, unlike with your data collection efforts, to obtain “skeptic” data from participants who actually WERE skeptical .

    That effort was highly successful, obtaining thousands of responses from across the world primarily within a period of approximately 48 hours. This response was the result of a single request, made on a Friday evening, at the largest climate related blog currently operating – Watts Up With That. That effort, including review and validation of the data, is ongoing. The simple facts are however, that contrary to your N=less than 200 skeptic responses to your “skeptic” beliefs survey with its highly flawed methodology, the crowd-sourced effort was able to obtain N=thousands+ of high quality responses from people who actually are skeptics in just a couple days.

    Your continued and repeated attempts to falsely portray, denigrate and demean those who are skeptical of the science are reminiscent of the active propaganda campaigns of the worst types from the past.

    There is no “conspiracy” Mr. Lewandowsky – no matter how many times you try to manufacture one. There IS a large and growing group of people skeptical of the science behind the catastrophic anthropogenic global warming claims. The alleged “consensus” science behind these claims is increasingly challenged by the regular release of new data and new studies as we learn more about the extremely complex interactions and operation of what we call our “climate.”

    As one of those individuals, and as the person who invested considerable time, effort and expense in recreating and obtaining VALID, legitimate skeptic data, your attempts to repeatedly smear those whose sole offense is attempting to find the truth behind the climate science claims, is simply reprehensible.

    Today at 11:45am

    A. Scott I would also ask the question of Mr. Lewandowsky … you continue to refer to your “LOG12″ paper as “published.” I may well be wrong – but the last I was aware your paper, while submitted, has never been published. Presumably directly due to its clearly documented failings, along with its sensationalized claims.

    Today at 11:48am

  54. I think this article confuses “groupthink” with conspiracy. The fact is undenialable that alarmists acted in concert against the scientific interest. That does not necessarily require them to have actively “conspired”. The more likely scenario is that they reinforced their own dumb group prejudices to go off down a scientific alleyway.

    On the other hand, as an ex-insider from the wind industry, it’s an open secret that they conspired to mislead the public on a number of issues from bird kills to jobs. And its hardly justifies calling it believing in a “conspiracy” to believe they tried to hide the effects on birds or that e.g. “45,000 jobs” from wind in the UK did not materialise as they promised back in 2000. And I think all this talk about sceptics believing in “conspiracy” is idiotic and misses the whole point. Because it is not believing in a “conspiracy” to have stated that they were wrong to say “children won’t know what snow is” or “it is currently warming” after 16 years of no warming.

    So how does this theory of “conspiracy” add one iota to the sum of human knowledge?

    They got it wrong — end of story.

  55. OK.
    I question the cheats, liars, hypocrites, fraudsters and chicken Littles who, with the help of self-interested politicians steal from the tax payer.
    If that makes me a conspiracy theorist, so be it.
    A typical strategy from the left is to demonize (Racist, Homophobe Xenophobe Islamophobe….!!!) those who question their goals, methods and\or motives.
    A tactic straight out of Alinsky’s ‘Rules for Radicals’.
    In the Soviet Union, the academia and especially social ‘scientists’ (And I use that term very loosely) such as Lewandowsky were instrumental in squashing dissent and their ‘research’ (Paid for by the state) was used as a tool to eliminate “dissidents” who expressed views that contradicted official dogmas.

  56. JImbrock says: “These people were conspiring to avoid the FOIA law.”

    Some times the simplest statements are the most truthful.

    Yes, there was clearly a criminal conspiracy. The criminal nature is backed up by the UK information commissioner and the conspiracy element is a simple tick box against the legal requirements for conspiracy (see other posts).

  57. One of the most insightful quotations I have heard is,

    “The only conspiracies are those indulged in by conspiracy theorists.”

    The conspiracy theorists are on the alarmist side, such as Mann and his big oil funded denialist conspiracy and that (side) is where the conspiracies are, as the comments above and many bloggers have documented.

    In fact I would go further and argue that no clear line can be drawn between consensus and conspiracy. The former morphs into the latter without the participants even realizing it.

  58. As for Climategate … since climategate

    1. The interest in “global warming” on google trends has dropped by 2/3
    2. The share price of the top wind turbine produces has dropped by some 90%
    3. Carbon markets have plummeted
    4. There has been no progress on any replacement for Kyoto – indeed legally there is no legally binding treaty to reduce CO2 at the moment

    Whether or not it was a “conspiracy”, the facts are that something like 85% (based on carbon emissions) or 90% (based on the renewable investors) have decided it is all over. The only reason this has come up again, is because the only people who still listen to people like Lewinsky are the sceptics. No one else cares.

  59. What he lacks in the humour department, he sure makes up for in enormous self esteem, “trick cyclist heal thyself”.

  60. You may name yourself no skeptic, my friend, but I’ll personally attest that you’ve long been properly doubtful of a catastrophic future.
    ========================

  61. Other_Andy says:
    February 5, 2013 at 4:36 pm

    Right on the nose! Too bad that our side has let slide the issue of demonization.

  62. I’ll suggest that folks bone up on the acronyms
    NI = nafarious Intent
    MbW = must be wrong

    its in the end of his paper, there are a few other SS and UCT.

    When you post a comment, check your thinking. are you saying something substantive, factual, or just engaging in one of these types of responses. Funnier will be to learn the system and use it to characterize comments made by others..

    In general in a flame war youll find thid kind of ideation everywhere. But to have fun with it you’ll have to visit other places

  63. Those claiming alarming AGW by CO2 are obsessed by conspiracy in somewhat paranoid ways.

    First they are obsessed by their conspiracy theory that anyone who scientifically opposes their claims of alarming AGW by CO2 must be paid secretly by evil Gaia-hating capitalists and USA billionaires.

    Second Lewandowsky and Cook have been shown to be conspiring with their fellow AGW alarmists (see John Cook’s site and the leaked emails from the site’s closed inner group) to project onto skeptics their own obsession with conspiracy theories.

    Third, it is well documented in major countries involved in the climate science research and assessment that there has been a coordinated effort by a significant ‘team’ to block and avoid FOIA requests. Conspiracy? Well CG1 and CG2 do provide a more than sufficient starting point for some journalist investigations to put some serious pressure on some folks about whether it was a conspiracy.

    Fourth, James Hansen and John Cook supporters of alarming AGW by CO2 are literally unbalanced scientifically. Their unscientifically myopic obsession solely with CO2 is so irrationally unbalanced scientifically that one has to wonder if it meets the criteria for conspiracy. I do not know but, it is well known in the blogosphere and the media that there are CO2 alarmist efforts to exclude open scientifically skeptical discussion (censorship at Cook’s blog and by policy at the BBC (Harribin)). And it is well known publically the IPCC biases its assessments by cherry picking only research supporting alarming AGW by CO2 and actively excludes research and evidence that does not support alarming AGW by CO2. Closed ideology versus conspiracy might be a moot point at this developed stage of the fall of alarming AGW by CO2.

    These poor alarming AGW by CO2 conspiracy ideators ( Lewandowsy’s term used on himself seems nice) really need some urgent skeptical help. Actually, they have no choice; they are already being helped by skeptics, although they are obviously reluctant to admit getting help. : )

    I vote that the above can all be caused by inept people who are so unprofessional in the pursuit of research that they actually thought the ‘cause’ was normal in science. Idiots.
    John

  64. Moderators,

    I just this second posted a comment that disappeared without going into the normal ‘awaiting moderation’ mode.

    Can you check the WP nether regions for it?

    Thanks.

    Probably the use of the Konspiraticalness verbiage binned it.

    John

  65. Watch the pea on this one.

    If you reject CAGW then Lewandowsky will say you “reject climate science”, the whole branch of science – non-sensical, but yes, you reject a branch of science.
    But if you reject AIDS/HIV then you reject AIDS/HIV i.e. you don’t reject microbiology.
    If you disbelieve the moon landing then you disbelieve the moon landing took place i.e. you don’t reject space exploration.

    If doesn’t suit Lewandowsky to write about the rejection of CAGW because the evidence strongly suggests a modest and mostly inconsequential warming will result from continued CO2 emissions, so people who “reject” (there’s a better phrasing) that aren’t actually in denial at all.

  66. As a self confessed comedy conspiracy theorist my opinion is suspect but this is not

    “1863   H. Cox Inst. Eng. Govt. i. xi. 275   The crime of conspiracy consists in the agreement of two or more persons to do an illegal act, or to do a lawful act by unlawful means.” Oxford English Dictionary.

    The definition is quite wide ranging as are most definitions but the central premise has me worried that my plot with another neighbour to have our dogs* leave a daily ‘present’ on our nosey neighbours lawn leaves us open to prosecution.

    While I’m at it of course man landed on the moon – where do you think all the cheese comes from?

    * I have a LIBORador (I’ll get my coat)

    /sarc

  67. If somebody wants to have fun they could take the communications from the SkS forum that was hacked and apply the following

    NI: Nefarious Intent.
    PV: the pervasive self-perception and self-presentation among conspiracy theorists as the victims of organized persecution.

    NS: Nihilistic Skepticism: low trust and paranoid ideation

    NoA: nothing is an accident.

    MbW: must be wrong.

    SS: self sealing. Evidence against the conspiracy is taken as evidence for it.

    UCT:

    In particular pay attention to the responses they had over the gleick affair. Now that would be funny.

  68. I see this statement in two comments upthread:

    “Lewandowsky’s execrable ‘paper’ was reviewed for publication by:

    Michael J. Wood, University of Kent, United Kingdom
    Elaine McKewon, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia”

    Does this statement refer to Lewandowsky, Oberauer, and Gignac, in press in Psychological Science?

    Or to the new Frontiers in Psychology piece?

    And how would anyone not involved in editing or reviewing for the journals in question know who the peer reviewers were?

  69. Leave our St Stephen Lewendowsky head of the heaters church in Australia ALONE!
    He writes on the ABC (Govt media) and his articles are the best laugh I get from the site. If you continue to pursue him like this we won’t get any of his 1000 post articles that attract all manner of nut cases.

  70. “I get that Lewandowsky is a committed climate activist and regards skeptics as a mortal threat to his belief system. What I don’t get is why a publication would allow his personal therapy to appear on its pages.”

    What I don’t get is why any reputable university would house him – and even more importantly, why he is given tax-payers money to distort the truth and to persecute truth-seekers.

    As for conspiracies: anyone who denies that there are ever political conspiracies for whatever end, needs their head seeing to. How can anyone who has followed the story of the JFK assassination doubt it, just to cite one example? Whoever killed Kennedy and for whatever reason, we were not told the truth; and that is now generally accepted. A cover-up of that magnitude has to involve a conspiracy. Follow the story of the autopsy and everything and everyone connected, just for one small part of the indicators.

    ‘Conspiracy theorists’ try to keep politicians honest, and try to make journalists look beneath the surface of what they are told to write.

  71. And yet another post vanishes into the ?spam. Sigh. This is happening an awful lot lately – I don’t post often but three of my last four posts have vanished. No conspiracy I’m sure …

  72. Steven Mosher says:
    February 5, 2013 at 5:58 pm
    I’ll suggest that folks bone up on the acronyms
    NI = nafarious Intent
    MbW = must be wrong

    its in the end of his paper, there are a few other SS and UCT.

    When you post a comment, check your thinking. are you saying something substantive, factual, or just engaging in one of these types of responses.
    _____

    Maybe you should follow your own advice, as I see nothing “substantive, factual, or just engaging” in your post. Instead you try to stereotype individuals you know nothing about — implying “nafarious” (sic) intentions behind our comments.

    You certainly seem quite full of yourself. All the more reason to dismiss anything you have to say.

  73. Mosher, regarding the SkS Gleick comments.

    At the time, over at Bishop Hill the SkS commentators were asked why they didn’t follow up their Heartland release post and tell their readers that Gleick got fingered. The response was that it was peripheral to the climate debate and that SkS focuses on the science.

    I’ve parsed all their HTML content into a database.

    Ordering all 5087 threads by comment count:

    – at position number 1 with 278 comments we find “Denialgate? Heartland Institute Exposed: “.
    – at position number 13 (out of 5087) with 111 comments we find “WOW! Peter Gleick was ‘Heartland Insider’!!!”.

    (can do a similar exercise just ordering thread files by file size)

    — Skeptical Science, caring about the science.

  74. Sam the First says:
    February 5, 2013 at 6:42 pm

    If Mods have trouble with your posts they will tell you. Mods are likely short of help just now.

  75. Sam the First says:
    February 5, 2013 at 6:39 pm

    All you say is that you are a JFK conspiracy theorist. I doubt that Mods are not too happy about that on a forum where skeptics are defending themselves against the scurrilous charge of being conspiracy theorists.

  76. So, let me get that straight. This  “study” was meant to show that climate skeptics tend to be more paranoid than alarmists. The study seems to be very poorly done and designed to deceive, but even if it wasn’t,  what exactly would that study prove? Maybe that skeptics are less gullible than most? 

     I am thinking of an absurd example to illustrate this:

    Suppose you run a very misleading ad on TV (something like “eating fat-free candy all day will make you slim”). Then you poll viewers to find out who falls for this ad, and who doesn’t. Then you show that those people who don’t fall for the lie also tend to disbelieve some ads that are mostly truthful (such as “exercising on this or that treadmill will help you keep the weight off”). Does that make the original ad true?

  77. A.D. Everard says: @ February 5, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    … These journals need to tighten their game. Is “Frontiers in Personality Science and Individual Differences” a new journal? It might we worth looking into to see if it is just another front for the Cause. ….
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Sure sounds a bit weird. It seems to have that touchy-feel good patina I equate with the hegalian/marxist types. I am not sure it is actually a peer-reviewed journal in the classic sense.

    About….
    Mission Statement

    Frontiers in Personality Science and Individual Differences is a Specialty Section of Frontiers in Psychology….
    …Research on personality and individual differences has major applications, e.g., to education, work, health, and psychopathology. Accordingly, the specialty section provides a forum for reporting and reviewing original empirical research dealing with theoretical and applied issues concerning all areas of personality and individual differences…..

    Frontiers in Personality Science and Individual Differences welcomes the following tier 1 article types: Book Review, Editorial, General Commentary, Hypothesis & Theory, Methods, Mini Review, Opinion, Original Research, Perspective, Review, Specialty Grand Challenge and Technology Report…..

    Frontiers in Personality Science and Individual Differences welcomes the following tier 1 article types: Book Review, Editorial, General Commentary, Hypothesis & Theory, Methods, Mini Review, Opinion, Original Research, Perspective, Review, Specialty Grand Challenge and Technology Report.

    All articles must be submitted directly to Frontiers in Personality Science and Individual Differences, where they are processed by the associate and review editors of the Specialty Section.

    All articles published in Frontiers in Personality Science and Individual Differences will be subjected to the Frontiers Evaluation System after online publication. Authors of the original research articles with the highest impact, as judged by many expert readers, will be invited by the Field Chief Editor of Frontiers in Psychology to write a prestigious Frontiers Focused Review – a tier 2 article. This is referred to as “democratic tiering”. The author selection is based on article-level impact metrics of Original Research published in the Frontiers Specialties. Focused Reviews are centered on the original discovery, place it in a wider context, and aim to address the wider audience across all of Psychology.

    Open Access Statement

    Frontiers’ philosophy is that all research is for the benefit of humankind. Research is the product of an investment by society and therefore its fruits should be returned to all people without borders or discrimination, serving society universally and in a transparent fashion.

    That is why Frontiers provides online free and open access to all of its research publications.

    http://www.frontiersin.org/Journal/JournalInfo.aspx?name=Personality_Science_and_Individual_Differences&x=y

  78. Let’s pass the hat and see if Kenji Watts, a distinguished member of the Union of Concerned Scientists, can get a paper published in this and the rag BEST got published in.

  79. The Bear quotes: `Australian professor Stephan Lewandowsky …’

    This nut-job Lewandowsky is definitely not Australian. He is some form of cultural pollutant, drifted in from somewhere or other in North America?

    Can you guys please take him back?

    And please stop referring to him as an Australian. Please? It fully creeps the Bear out. Thanks.

    Grrrr ….

  80. Peter Crawford says: @ February 5, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    ….P.S I am trying to get a shark-infested pool going here at my Insitute. Not having much success so far. If any other evil megalomaniacs on here have any tips on getting a really good infestation up and running, please let me know.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Switch to Piranha

  81. “Maybe you should follow your own advice, as I see nothing “substantive, factual, or just engaging” in your post. Instead you try to stereotype individuals you know nothing about — implying “nafarious” (sic) intentions behind our comments.

    You certainly seem quite full of yourself. All the more reason to dismiss anything you have to say.
    #########################

    1. I’m not implying that you have nefarious motives.
    2. I’m suggesting that people check themselves before implying nefarious motives.
    3. you engaged my unengaging post.
    4. I didn’t sterotype anyone, I offered advice as i would do anywhere.
    5. You seem to be concluding that what I said Must Be Wrong.

    Maybe, you misunderstood me. if so, i’m sorry.

  82. Dave A.

    You were one of the folks who responded to Dr. loo in a scientific fashion.
    he said something, you didnt believe
    faced with that you have 3 choices.

    1. Conclude he Must be Wrong.
    2. Conclude he must have bad motives.
    3. Show why you think he was wrong, by doing your own science.

    You did 3 and conducted your own poll.

    It would be fun to go through Manns book and do the same kind of analysis. People should have fun with dr. Loos ideas and turn them back on folks, rather than engaging in #2. Now, #2 may well be true.. but proving it is tough and weak compared to #3.

  83. Many years ago at Sydney University there was an occupation of the Administration and student unrest during the Vietnam War.
    A completely separate university Psych Dept, that of the University of NSW, decided to study this behaviour and see if there were a method of defusing it.
    They sent in ‘The Wizard’, a plausible figure in flowing robes with signs of Aquarius upon them and a group of followers, lovely young ladies,fairly scantily clad, that followed The Wizard around as a sort of harem.
    The Wizard held a public meeting where he talked aimlessly about deserts and life, it was packed, and intervened to “defuse’ a front lawn parade of the Sydney University Regiment attacked by radicals.
    The Wizard’s cover was blown when the grant application for the research was leaked and like Puff the Magic Dragon,he disappeared.
    Perhaps Philip Thomas @Bad Science Feb 5 3 44 is onto something.
    As a fellow conspiracy theorist perhaps this article, with a rehash of old publications that we have all read, is part of a further metastudy to define the core conspirators and their modes of behaviour and thinking with the aim of defusing them.
    This article is a great time waster if we actually want to study climate.
    Be interesting to know if there is WA Uni funding for this type of study.Should be publicly available.
    Lets see if history repeats itself.

  84. “Conspiracist” – such a strange word. I wonder how I spent so many decades having never ever seen it before. I also wonder if Mr. Lew. has a fixation… a compulsion… and obsessive ideation on conspiracies?…. Does he feel compelled to check under his bed an night? To be sure he isn’t being hunted haunted by conspirators? Is that where his unholy fixation originates?

  85. In the article ….”..Lewandowsky maintains a weblog here. ..”

    I very strongly recommend that no-one goes there …. my experience there is extreme censoring , deletions then banning…

    To date his latest article has only 7 comments, mainly the inmates giggling amongst themselves at their cleverness at partaking in this episode of baiting .. John Cook and Eli Rabbet put in appearances…

    I suggest that if we leave them alone they will run out of giggles and it will soon fizzle out.

  86. I find good counter to anyone interested in Lewandowsky (and you will not find many, it is mainly us keeping him publicized) is to forward links to his two youtube videos, stating I disagree with him, “but he is a riveting and convincing speaker” …

    I don’t hear back from the recipients, who I presume watch the clips and then go off to have a long shower, and go away silently, scarred for life…
    (…and no one has ever agreed with the statement of his speaking ability).

  87. Lewandowsky says in his blog:
    The article also generated data. Data, because for social scientists, public statements and publically-expressed ideas constitute data for further research. Cognitive scientists sometimes apply something called “narrative analysis” to understand how people, groups, or societies are organized and how they think.

    Data? A long, long rambling convoluted discourse on what each web site says about him, and a total of TWO tables appear in the paper:

    And Fig 1 is simply a list of websites, while Fig 2 is “Summary of impact of peer-reviewed psychological articles on conspiracist ideation published in 2012”

    He has not advanced the science much at all beyond the vague status his own words below reveal:

    “Conspiracist ideation has been repeatedly implicated in the rejection of scientific propositions, although empirical evidence to date has been sparse. ……the overall pattern of the blogosphere’s response to LOG12 illustrates the possible role of conspiracist ideation in the rejection of science, although alternative scholarly interpretations may be advanced in the future…”

    Oh, it is a tragedy that in this world today men get paid for feeble works such as this.

  88. Apologies, the quote above should have been,

    “The only conspiracies are those engaged in by conspiracy theorists.”

    Lewandowsky’s personal green/climate credentials aren’t that great. His house backs onto a golf course. A game he presumably plays, because why else buy a house that backs onto a golf course. In a location where it doesn’t rain for 6 months of the year and vast amounts of water are required to keep the grass green. And if the alarmists are correct rainfall will dramatically reduce as (when?) AGW continues and water will be rationed.

    In fact, our uber alarmist Flannery has predicted that Perth will have to be abandoned as the rains stop and the dams run dry.

  89. Conspiracy is real and we’ve all been part of one.
    Think surprise birthday party.
    A silly point?
    Maybe, but proof we are all taught early that people do conspire and it’s normal.
    Take that to adulthood and any doubt in a relationship, be it personal, with coworkers, in business or with one’s government and it is easy to believe in a conspiracy.
    For example: major gains were made toward transparency in government with FOIA.
    Government and academia are tearing it down and not being pushed by MSM.
    Is that a conspiracy?
    Are they conspiring to do that?
    Are they acting independently in their own best interest by not being so free with information?
    cn

  90. Steven Mosher:

    At February 5, 2013 at 9:51 pm you say

    I offered advice as i would do anywhere

    Thankyou. Next time we want advice from you we will ask for it. Until then you are at liberty to keep it to yourself.

    However, I can understand why you would want to offer your advice anywhere: everybody wants to unburden themselves of worthless baggage.

    Richard

  91. As conspiracy theorist I cannot resist thinking that Lewandowsky is just very clever and joined a circle around Alan Sokal and Jean Bricmont whose aim it was to test the quality of certain scientific journals like Social Text. The first article in their fake series was ‘Transgressing the Boundaries: Toward a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity’.

  92. Responding to Lewandowsky’s outpourings gives the impression he’s worth responding to. Damn, I’ve just wasted 10 seconds of my life pointing that out.

  93. The point of bear baiting was to kill the bear, terribly and publicly.
    Lewandowsky is a fraud and a fool. But to the extent that skeptics rise to his bait, he is allowed to win.
    The only response Lewandowsky and his klown karnival deserve is mocking and then only fleetingly.
    If his peers accept his faux studies as legitimate science, it only shows poor judgement or worse.
    Let him try his pathetic self-parody of science. I cannot think of a better spokesman for AGW kooks than Lewandowsky.
    Do not interfere when your opponents are reduced to the sorts of things Lewandowsky, Gleick, Gore, etc. have decided to pursue.

  94. What is it with conspiracy theorists these days? It wasn’t long ago that conspiracy theorising was a noble and respected profession. Think of the excitement and mystery they generated around the JFK assassination, and all the books and films that followed. But nowdays they are pushed to the margins of society.

    It is so bad, that a powerful tactic in debating is to try and force your opponent into a line of argument where you can back him into a corner with the words “so, you’re a conspiracy theorist then?” Game over. The debate is won and lost in that moment.

    Just as opponents of same-sex marriage are accused of homophobia, so anyone arguing against the powerful interests of the climate change lobby, is accused of conspiracy theory “ideation.” The underlying premise of this attack, of course, is that anything involving a conspiracy is as mind blowingly ridiculous as fairies in the bottom of the garden.

    Why this should be so is curious. Evidence suggests that conspiracies exist. What would you call the collusion of individuals in the banking industry to fix libor rates if not a conspiracy? What would you call the collusion between Chris Huhne and his former wife to pervert the course of justice if not a conspiracy?

    One could go on, but the point is clear. There are conspiracies involving 2 individual. There are conspiracies involving whole industries. And yet, if you believe in conspiracy theories, you also believe in fairies at the bottom of the garden. Daft.

  95. lurker passing through, laughing says: February 6, 2013 at 5:04 am

    “… I cannot think of a better spokesman for AGW kooks than Lewandowsky.
    Do not interfere when your opponents are reduced to the sorts of things Lewandowsky, Gleick, Gore, etc. have decided to pursue…”

    Well and wisely said.

    “Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake”. Napoleon Bonaparte (1769 – 1821)

  96. Thomas Fuller: “I am not a skeptic.”

    Are you sure? Maybe you’re not a Skeptic, but it seems apparent you are a skeptic.

  97. Lewandowsky: ““Concerning climate denial, a case in point is the response to events surrounding the illegal hacking of personal emails by climate scientists, mainly at the University of East Anglia, in 2009.”

    Climate scientists hacked their own emails??

  98. “implying “nafarious” (sic) intentions behind our comments.”

    Come now, Reg, he IS an english major. /sarc

  99. Jeff Alberts, no. I’m a Lukewarmer. I accept the physics that show CO2 as one of the causes of global warming. I accept that the globe has indeed warmed as we have indeed emitted large volumes of CO2.

    However, I do not accept the model outcomes and calculations that purport to show a high sensitivity, or even much in the way of potentially high sensitivity, of the atmosphere to a doubling of concentrations of CO2.

  100. Maybe I’m just blind, but I can’t find a download link for this paper. Can anyone point it out to me?

  101. The alphabet soup game idea of Steve’s can be fun.

    M.I.C.K.E.Y. M.O.U.S.E.

    Mosher’s Incidental Comments Keep Everyone Yawning

    Mosher Opines Under Subjective Erudition

    : )

    What a fun pastime. Here we are fiddling around as lukewarming folk prepare to morph into luke-neutrality.

    John

  102. So another Lew Paper, and?
    To bear bait you need to annoy, hurt and corner the beast.
    This bit of Lew-paper does nothing, except mildly revolt.
    Nausea, at a fellow mans decent into madness is the best I can do.
    This man and his fellow travellers need help.

  103. Thomas Fuller,

    “Accept the physics”??? You sound like the eminent tool Snerk on your own website. Anyone who accepts the physics does not understand Physics. Accept communion, accept a donation, accept a compliment, but never Accept the Physics! I still have my undergrad textbook if you would like to borrow it.

  104. thomaswfuller2 on February 6, 2013 at 8:39 am

    Jeff Alberts, no. I’m a Lukewarmer. I accept the physics that show CO2 as one of the causes of global warming. I accept that the globe has indeed warmed as we have indeed emitted large volumes of CO2.

    However, I do not accept the model outcomes and calculations that purport to show a high sensitivity, or even much in the way of potentially high sensitivity, of the atmosphere to a doubling of concentrations of CO2.

    – – – – – – – –

    thomaswfuller2,

    I think your conception of a position that you label ‘lukewarmer’ has at least one false hidden premise.

    How to predetermine the unknown scientific knowledge in the future on the subject of the total earth-atmospheric system?

    Lukewarmer labeling does just that. It presumes to know something that is at best a very very early work in progress.

    The intellectually honest label for your ‘position’ would something like ‘Small AGW by CO2 Hypothesis Believers’.

    At another level, I think your conception of the position you label ‘lukewarmer’ conflates a guess with a prediction. In either case, the first order of climate science business is to complete the scientific self-correction process of replacing the ideological driven AGW by CO2 myopia with an open and transparent balanced dialog of all the dynamic factors of the extremely complex earth-atmospheric system. Profound funding shifts are needed to reaffirm scientific objectivity is possible in climate research. Then we will see about your hypothesis belief; your ‘lukewarmer’ meme.

    John

  105. Ahh… should have noticed this earlier.

    Frontiers in Psychology posts the identities of the “action editor” and the reviewers.

    Received: 05 Nov 2012; Accepted: 02 Feb 2013.
    Edited by: Viren Swami, University of Westminster, United Kingdom
    Reviewed by: Viren Swami, University of Westminster, United Kingdom
    Elaine McKewon, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia

    It’s probably not a good idea, then, to submit any commentary or reply articles to FOP.

  106. “Perhaps a more accurate description is dead and buried, never to see the light of day.”

    Or in press as the authors claim? What were you saying about your views on conspiracy theories further down? That you don’t hold with them? Evidently.

    ” I fail to see what that project could have produced in the way of furthering human understanding of the mind, human nature or any other form of science.”

    To collect evidence regarding the mindset of conspiracy theorists – which the authors tell us. You say that you only scanned the article – clearly you weren’t lying.

    “slap him across the face for contributing to the cheapening of the already debased nature of climate conversations.”

    Firstly, I enjoyed the most likely unintended irony of this comment. Secondly, given your defence of individuals who make what I would consider libeous comments regarding professional scientists (you know, like charges of academic misconduct), one has to wonder if you have been paying attention to the ebb and flow of discourse.

    “a publication I had not heard of prior to this morning.”

    Yet you have taken the time to attack its reviewers and editors, not to mention contributors.

    “The paper is 57 pages long, so my comments are based on a cursory reading.”

    So, basically, you’re saying that your acidic criticisms aren’t actually based on a careful analysis of the paper’s content. So, really, one has to ask why you’ve penned this blog post? After all, you’ve just told us that you aren’t qualified to ‘review’ (if this hatchet job can be considered a review) it.

    On that note, I’m not going to comment any further. I think you have done my work for me.

  107. You should consider the possibility Lewandowsky & Cook are joking.
    After a not to well conducted poll and the resulting paper by Lewandowsky in limbo he teams up with one of the premier gadflys from the AGW sphere and write a paper that looks like a joke: The title is an obvious provocation, the content a parody of postmodern text analysis where they pretend to prove a strong strain of paranoia in the sceptics response to the orignial paper.
    If the purpose was to provoke sceptics and have a laugh at anyone taking this seriously it would have to look like this. Only thing that is missing is Gleick as coauthor.

  108. Perhaps Lewandowsky could answer why climate activists mostly reject nuclear power as a low carbon alternative to fossil fuel, despite the fact the nuclear option represents the most painless way to decarbonise the economy.

    Trees. Plant trees.

  109. thomaswfuller2 says:
    February 6, 2013 at 8:39 am

    Jeff Alberts, no. I’m a Lukewarmer. I accept the physics that show CO2 as one of the causes of global warming. I accept that the globe has indeed warmed as we have indeed emitted large volumes of CO2.

    However, I do not accept the model outcomes and calculations that purport to show a high sensitivity, or even much in the way of potentially high sensitivity, of the atmosphere to a doubling of concentrations of CO2.

    Thomas, either you failed to notice the capital S and the lower case s I used in the two different instances of the word. Skeptic with a capital S to me denotes those skeptical of CAGW, lower case s would be a skeptic in the general sense. Clearly you’re the latter, and a little of the former. That was my point. Sorry if I was too obtuse. Mosher rubs off on people. ;)

  110. Governments lie all the time and as nobody wants to be labelled a conspiracy theorist, so they get away with it.

    Yes they do. My favorite along those lines is Drug Prohibition. The Government forbids certain drugs while at the same time segments of that very same government import them. And get a pass from the rest of government. The record of this goes back at least to the Vietnam War and is well documented. If any one wanted to look. And was willing to be labeled.

  111. Quackademic says: February 6, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    said … ” …. [......]… On that note, I’m not going to comment any further. I think you have done my work for me….”

    Geez ducky, that was a lot of words to actually say very little… we can plainly see where you are coming from!!

    Someone actually thinking the work of Lewandowsky has any merit at all (other than as cheap propaganda material) worries me. I thought it would only be him, and perhaps his mum who would do so.

    Hey… I just had a thought! Stephan!? Is that you, Stephan??!

  112. I’ve read the entire 57-page paper.

    According to its analysis of “conspiracist ideation,” anyone who assumes that whatever his opponents say Must Be Wrong and has Nefarious Intent behind it is engaging in … conspiracist ideation.

    Therefore, every psychiatric diagnosis presented in the paper can be applied, with at least equal validity, to Lewandowsky himself and to his coauthors.

    Quackademic is welcome to keep refraining from commenting.

  113. John Whitman,
    If, as you claim, climate science is a ‘work in progress’, then would it not be correct to point out that those who claim the science is settled and that we are facing (and experiencing even now) a climate crisis) have even less to stand on?
    I find it interesting that generally the criticisms are on the moderates who assert that things are not really so terrible, and seldom if ever on the extremists making their …interesting….claims of authority and engaging in pitiful Quackademic game playing.

  114. Steve Mosher hits nail on head:
    Embrace Lewandowsky’s quackademic game as a game and play it. Against him and his fellow kooks. Use his own tools and ‘analysis’ techniques on the numerous AGW promoter authors who explicitly make claims of great conspiracies dedicated to killing children and wrecking the Earth.
    The bear should sit back and laugh, not allow itself to be baited by petty faux academics and kooky konspiracy promoters.

  115. lurker passing through, laughing on February 7, 2013 at 5:23 am

    To John Whitman,

    I find it interesting that generally the criticisms are on the moderates who assert that things are not really so terrible, and seldom if ever on the extremists making their …interesting….claims of authority and engaging in pitiful Quackademic game playing.

    – – – – – – – –

    lurker passing through, laughing on,

    Thanks for your comment.

    I guess in politics there can be in some limited number of areas reasonable room for compromise / moderation / luke-ism . So in those areas (whatever they are) politically moderate positions are not despised per se. Some areas in politics do not tolerate moderate positions and those are where one sees despising moderates more than ‘purists’.

    I think in physical science with nature strictly settling dispute there is no (epistemologically) moderate position. Some scientific thesis is or it isn’t correct wrt nature so perhaps there is a case for a special kind of radical contempt for moderation / compromise / luke-ism. I tend to think the AGW lukewarmer position as just a tactical expedient and not a fundamental scientific position in any way. I see it as scientific irrelevance.

    John

  116. John Whitman says: February 7, 2013 at 9:34 am

    “…I think in physical sci I tend to think the AGW lukewarmer position as just a tactical expedient …”

    Although I believe we have not enough data, and have not yet invested enough time to have any real idea yet about the direction of our climate, I think it is fair enough for people to form some sort of opinion based on what we do know at this point.

    At least they are not using it as an excuse to entirely re-jig the global economy and/or get rich and/or famous.

  117. markx on February 7, 2013 at 10:41 am

    John Whitman says: February 7, 2013 at 9:34 am

    “…I think in physical sci I tend to think the AGW lukewarmer position as just a tactical expedient …”

    Although I believe we have not enough data, and have not yet invested enough time to have any real idea yet about the direction of our climate, I think it is fair enough for people to form some sort of opinion based on what we do know at this point.

    At least they are not using it as an excuse to entirely re-jig the global economy and/or get rich and/or famous.

    – – – – – – – – – – –

    markx,

    Appreciate your comment.

    I would perhaps give some benefit of a doubt to lukewarmers that they are not radical noble cause corrupted planet saving ideologists if there was explicit evidence that generally they are not. I do not have that explicit evidence. I fully expect the ranks of lukewarmers to swell with refugees from the alarming AGW position as science continues to destroy the position of alarming AGW followers. The refugees will not have forsaken their radical environmental ideologies so there will be leveraging of a lukewarmer position over time back again to great urgency and catastrophe. Sigh.

    So, given that I find lukewarmers having a position that contains a fundamental false scientific premise, I cut them no slack just like, for the same reason, I cut the supporters of alarming AGW by CO2 no slack.

    John

  118. This man is not a scientist he is a psychologist which just about says it all. In psychology your claims cannot be wrong only different to others. Psychology was a course offered to a friend at Sheffield University as it was ”impossible to fail”.He took it and gained a BA and ended up as a builder.

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