Another plonker from Lewandowsky

UPDATE: It seems another poll/study flies in the face of what Lewandowsky claims about “Free Market Thinkers” Ouch, that’s gotta hurt. See below. NOTE: The section after the graphic has also been updated for clarity by contributor A. Scott. – Anthony

From the “if you keep saying it enough people will believe it”department and the patron saint of conspiracy ideation, Stephan Lewandowsky, comes yet another paper which tries to make people believe that a good portion of climate skeptics think the moon landing was faked, and that free market advocates are likely to be climate skeptics. It also looks like he recycled questions from previous Lewpaper efforts.

Lewpaper3

The paper data gathering effort supposedly polled 1,000 Americans.

A. Scott writes:

Lewandowsky’s “Recursive Fury” work referenced a new paper undergoing peer review at the time –that used a professional survey firm to survey a random panel of 1,000 people in the US.

That new paper; “The Role of Conspiracist Ideation and Worldviews in Predicting Rejection of Science,” has recently been published in PLOS ONE.

This new paper is comprised of 39 questions, including approximately 20 of the original questions from the Lewandwsky “NASA Faked the Moon Landing—Therefore, (Climate) Science Is a Hoax…”  (LOG12) paper.

In addition to adding questions on GMO foods, vaccines etc., the new paper makes another significant change. The LOG12 paper used a 4 point Likert scale for its answers, while this new paper converts to a 5 point Likert scale. This change addresses one of the criticisms of the LOG12 paper, that the 4 point scale Lewandowsky chose purposely forced ‘either/or’ answers by failing to provide a ‘Neutral” answer option.

While PLOS ONE is a ‘pay to publish’ journal it does have positives, including that papers are not firewalled and are readily accessible to all, and they have an open data policy. It appears Lewandowsky has complied – the paper includes the aggregated response data in a table, and Lewandowsky appears to have made the raw data available at his site as well (link below).

PLOS ONE outlines a defined peer review process, which uses “Academic Editors” who “work together to orchestrate the peer-review process.”

 

The AE evaluates the paper and decides whether it meets the editorial criteria for publication:

“AEs can employ a variety of methods, alone or in combination to reach a decision:

  • They can conduct the peer review themselves, based on their own knowledge and experience
  • They can take further advice through discussion with other members of the editorial board
  • They can solicit reports from further referees”

There are no peer reviewers listed on the paper – only an Editor, Tom Denson, from the University of New South Wales, Australia. Professor Denson kindly and quickly responded to my inquiry, noting the paper was sent to multiple reviewers who provided anonymous feedback to himself and the author, that the paper was revised in accordance with those comments, and was eventually accepted for publication pursuant to meeting the PLOS ONE criteria. He indicated it was PLOS policy that reviewers remain anonymous.

Although anonymous, at least the paper received outside review. Prof. Denson also appears to be qualified as Editor.

PLOS ONE notes that after publication:

“… all articles are opened up for interactive discussions and assessment in which the whole scientific community can be involved”

 

It will be interesting to see how that works, but it does open the door Lewandowsky and the other authors needing to professionally to engage with their critics.

Comments are currently open at the PLOS One page for this paper noted below.

In the “Moon Landing” paper, Lewandowsky set out to obtain responses regarding the beliefs of climate change “skeptic’s.”  Unfortunately Lewandowsky’s methods and protections were seriously flawed, and as such his data collection effort was rightfully challenged.

Although they collected approximately N=1300 responses, these were almost entirely obtained thru promotion at sites openly critical of the skeptic positions and beliefs. Analysis of the data they obtained identified that only approximately N=150 of the total could be considered legitimate skeptic responses.

In this new paper, Lewandowsky uses a professional U.S. survey firm, and a random “panel” of 1,000 U.S. citizens. Ignoring the findings themselves for a moment – this new survey data should provide a professionally and independently obtained “base line” data set.

Lewandowsky’s email comment to Guardian on the new study:

 

”There are some other more subtle differences, and despite all that, the results are pretty much identical: Free-market worldviews are strongly associated with rejection of climate science and conspiratorial thinking is associated with the rejection of all scientific propositions tested, albeit to varying extent. This is a pervasive pattern now that has been shown multiple times in the literature by a number of different authors. I am now fairly convinced that wherever there is science denial, there is also a conspiracy theory waiting to be aired.

I cannot be sure of the causality, but there are multiple lines of evidence that suggest that the involvement of worldview, such as free-market principles, arises because people of that worldview feel threatened not by climate change or by lung cancer, but by the regulatory implications if those risks are being addressed by society. Addressing lung cancer means to control tobacco, and addressing climate change means to control fossil-fuel emissions. It’s the need to control those products and their industries that is threatening people with strong free-market leanings.”

 

Setting aside the analysis and findings, it would appear to me, supported by Lewandowsky’s comments noted above, that my past stated beliefs he would use this new paper – with its independent data collection source and methods – to try to rehabilitate the  serious deficiencies and compromised work he has published to date in this series.

I would note the Lewandowsky “Recursive Fury”  paper was removed by Frontiers in Psychology in April 2013 due to numerous complaints. Going on 7 months later, no action has occurred regarding Frontiers promised swift review of the issues.

I would also note Lewandowsky’s original LOG12 paper – “NASA Faked the Moon Landing—Therefore, (Climate) Science Is a Hoax…” was finally published online after a long delay. This paper was received by the journal Psychological Science May 22, 2012, accepted by them July 7, 2012, was released by Lewandowsky to the media in August 2012, but was not actually published online by the journal until March 26th, 2013.

Both the Moon Landing and Recursive Fury papers received significant exposure in the media, being used to smear those skeptical of the catastrophic anthropogenic global warming claims.

And the ever reliable Guardian, continues that process with this new paper.

The paper is open access, you can read it here:

The Role of Conspiracist Ideation and Worldviews in Predicting Rejection of Science

Stephan Lewandowsky, Gilles E. Gignac, Klaus Oberauer

http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0075637

DATA for the paper available fro Lewandowsky site here:

 

http://websites.psychology.uwa.edu.au/labs/cogscience/documents/PLOSONE2013Data.csv

 

”FAQS” on the paper at Shaping Tomorrows Worlds:

 

http://www.shapingtomorrowsworld.org/lewandowskyFAQPLoS1.html

Here is a Guardian Article on the Lewpaper3 – headline: “Climate sceptics more likely to be conspiracy theorists and free market advocates, study claims

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/planet-oz/2013/oct/02/climate-change-denial-skeptics-psychology-study-conspiracy-theories

 

UPDATE:
==================================================

Politico – Study: Tea partiers know science

By Tal Kopan

10/17/13 2:04 PM EDT

A finding in a study on the relationship between science literacy and political ideology surprised the Yale professor behind it: Tea party members know more science than non-tea partiers.

Yale law professor Dan Kahan posted on his blog this week that he analyzed the responses of a set of more than 2,000 American adults recruited for another study and found that, on average, people who leaned liberal were more science literate than those who leaned conservative.

 

However, those who identified as part of the tea party movement were actually better versed in science than those who didn’t, Kahan found. The findings met the conventional threshold of statistical significance, the professor said.
Kahan wrote that not only did the findings surprise him, they embarrassed him.

“I’ve got to confess, though, I found this result surprising. As I pushed the button to run the analysis on my computer, I fully expected I’d be shown a modest negative correlation between identifying with the Tea Party and science comprehension,” Kahan wrote.

To view online:
http://politi.co/1gOvkKs

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165 Responses to Another plonker from Lewandowsky

  1. JDN says:

    Conspiratorial thinkers also reject propositions from organized religion, government, medicine, and even other conspiratorial thinkers. So, there are inadequate control questions in this study.

    I really like PLoS One, but, this sounds like a clunker of an article.

  2. techgm says:

    “Trust in science has been declining since 1970’s.”

    Besides the error of attributing emotion (trust) to something that is inanimate (science), the article errs in that the decline in trust has been with scientists (not “science”) – that people believe that (many) scientists have been corrupted by grant money and a lust for recognition, and/or that their skills are 2nd-rate.

  3. Peter says:

    From the abstract he appears to be taking a potshot at the Anti GM guys like David Suzuki and much of the CAGW crowd? That could be entertaining.

  4. philjourdan says:

    Still trying to shoot the messenger. I guess some people are so far gone down their rabbit hole, they have lost touch with reality. Lewandowsky should make himself a subject of his papers. At least he kind of knows about that subject.

  5. PLOS ONE is a pretty good journal (hell, I published there!), and their refereeing standards are usually excellent. In the recent prank played on open access journals by John Bohannon at Science Magazine http://www.sciencemag.org/content/342/6154/60.full , PLOS ONE came out looking very good. But they’ve clearly screwed up dismally here. Shame.

  6. GeneDoc says:

    PLoS One is the money-making arm of the PLoS family of journals. It will publish anything that reviewers consider “scientifically sound” regardless of potential impact. All papers are reviewed, but the quality varies considerably. They published 25,000 papers last year. With their author pays model, it generates considerable revenue that is used to support the other, more rigorous PLoS journals. I am deeply suspicious of PLoS One papers in my field.

  7. Jimmy Haigh. says:

    “Climate science” is all about bullshitters making up bullshit.

  8. Mark Bofill says:

    Seems to be a man of one idea, doesn’t he. It gets stale after awhile though.

  9. richardscourtney says:

    Anth0ny:

    I note that you report

    Guardian Article on the Lewpaper3 – headline “Climate sceptics more likely to be conspiracy theorists and free market advocates, study claims”

    So, the pro-AGW propagandist rag the Grauniad (Brits will understand that spelling) headlines that the study “claims” and does not headline that the study finds or reports.

    Some things are so wrong that even their supporters can see it.

    Richard

  10. Jquip says:

    Watts: “He STILL is using the “Free Market” beliefs are associated with climate denialism.”

    That wouldn’t surprise me at all, actually. Those that are suckers for every sales spiel thrown at them don’t tend to be free market types. They desparately need someone to babysit them and safeguard them from their lack of incredulity about used cars and combovers.

  11. Kate Forney says:

    I would have to agree that free market advocates are likely to be client skeptics (and quite likely the converse as well). Why? Clear thinking and careful consideration of all available evidence.

  12. David L. says:

    What a horribly written title! He should take a writing class.

  13. chris y says:

    techgm says: October 17, 2013 at 4:12 am

    “Trust in science has been declining since 1970’s.”

    Besides the error of attributing emotion (trust) to something that is inanimate (science), the article errs in that the decline in trust has been with scientists (not “science”) – that people believe that (many) scientists have been corrupted by grant money and a lust for recognition, and/or that their skills are 2nd-rate.

    ******************

    Bingo! Well said.

    I think the terminology chosen is deliberate. It is inconceivable that Lewandowsky et al. are that stupid.

  14. The Iconoclast says:

    “Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself.”
    — Milton Friedman

  15. Bernd Palmer says:

    See here some Q&A from one of the Authors, Oberauer:

    http://www.shapingtomorrowsworld.org/lewandowskyFAQPLoS1.html

    I would like to see the questionnaire in order to see how they measure e.g. “Free-market worldviews” and how they determine a causals relationships.

  16. Txomin says:

    Plenty of academics have built an entire career by republishing the same thing over and over. Lewandowsky struck gold with this nonsense, why change? It’s either this or unemployment.

  17. Andy West says:

    These efforts by Lew are little better than the right-wing aligned ‘scientific opinions’ expressed by some during the 1930s that Bolsheviks and certain ethnicities were somehow ‘inferior’. Now wholly discredited, of course.
    Both views are memetically driven; Lew is merely a mouthpiece for invasive memetic culture he’s failed to gaurd against. The same level of discredit is inevitable, one day.

  18. Ric Werme says:

    Lewandoski and McKibben in the morning before I’ve had coffee? You are not a nice man this morning, Mr. Watts.

  19. multiple lines of evidence that suggest The preferred term used by the unethical to promote something that has no statistical significance. See also: 97% consensus.

  20. Bernd Palmer says:

    From: http://www.shapingtomorrowsworld.org/lewandowskyFAQPLoS1.html
    “Sadly, the public is currently prevented from exercising that right, especially as it relates to climate change, because the media coverage in many countries fails to reflect the overwhelming and strengthening scientific consensus.”
    Is there any evidence for this? Show me the proof! Over the past years, climate scare stories were all over the media in virtually all papers over the world.

    “Science is debate, but that debate takes place in the scientific literature and at scientific conferences. In the history of science, we are not aware of a case in which a serious scientific issue was adjudicated by tabloid journalists or their modern-day equivalents such as blog commenters. Anyone truly interested in scientific debate can contribute to it by submitting papers to the relevant journals for peer review.”

    As long as climate science is communicated to the public in the form of apocalyptic messages, rational people (including scientists) tend to question the science output. Given the proven miscommunication by the IPCC and associates (not to forget the Nobel Prize winner Gore), the public has the right to ask for critical reviews; the IPCC is not God!

  21. Bill Illis says:

    Lewandosky just wants everyone to agree with his personal viewpoints, in climate change and his left-wing economic and political philosophy.

    And since some people don’t agree with him, he wants to show that there is something wrong with them. Lewandosky takes this to such a ridiculous level that it is verging on an all-consuming obsession.

    Science has nothing to do with it.

  22. François GM says:

    I’ve always had the feeling that those on the right tend to be more rational than those on the left, who seem more emotional. Evidence: differences in political leanings between Arts and Science students. A rational approach to science is, of course, preferable. So it is not surprising to me that more conservatives than socialists (liberals in USA) question climate Science.

    As to conspiracies, it is the CAGW crowd that sees Koch and Big Oil conspiracies where none exists.

  23. suzewannabe says:

    “Monkeys may soon fly out of my bu**”, study claims.

    [Language. Mod]

  24. D. Holliday says:

    Seriously? Conservatives don’t believe in science? What we don’t believe in are “consensus” driven, politically motivated statements by supposed scientists like this dork Lewandowsky.

  25. hunter says:

    So those who deny the science about GMO’s should be a good group to test this theory.
    Do those who reject GMO food fulfill Lewandowsky’s ‘science’?

  26. Rick Bradford says:

    I could equally easily write a paper entitled “Hippie Environmentalists, Professional Activists and neo-Marxist drones are more likely to accept climate change alarmism” and it would be equally true.

  27. Gary Pearse says:

    “..conspiratorial thinking is associated with the rejection of all scientific propositions tested…”
    “…It’s the need to control those products and their industries that is threatening people with strong free-market leanings.”

    No Lew, analytical skepticism is an integral part of the scientific process. ‘Authorities’ have a vested interest is silencing skepticism. Even a soft science like psychology should understand this pillar of the scientific process.

    The second quote is pure projection. All the huff and puffery including your own is motivated by the anguish that you guys have been unable to ‘control the products and industries’. Oh and the free market is the source of ALL real wealth. Lewandowski is the face of what would be controlling the rest of us if allowed to achieve their goals. One thing I will say in his favor is at least he is honest about his socialist-elite control motivation.

  28. Margaret Hardman says:

    Or he could have sampled 1000 comments here to see how many seem to mention free market ideas (eg smaller government, fewer taxes) or conspiracy ideas (eg scientific fraud, climate”gate”). I wonder what picture that would paint?

  29. dcfl51 says:

    As far as I am aware there is only one conspiracy theory which relates directly to climate science: this is the theory that climate skeptics are well organized and well funded by “Big Oil”. Surprisingly, this conspiracy theory didn’t appear in the surveys on which Lewandowsky based his papers. I wonder why not. This theory is ideation in spades !

    When Lewandowsky first came out with his rubbish, Jo Nova tried to engage with him. She explained the scientific basis behind climate skepticism and invited Lew to refute it. He didn’t accept the challenge, instead falling back on the Appeal to Authority fallacy. So, who is “rejecting the science” ? There isn’t any indication that Lewandowsky knows the difference between the science and a sceance.

  30. rogerknights says:

    “Trust in science has been declining since 1970’s.”

    For why, see for a start Dan Greenberg’s Science, Money, and Politics and Henry Bauer’s Dogmatism in Science and Medicine.

  31. hunter says:

    The Abstract shows he is not seriously seeking a relationship between science and politics. He is ignoring that lefties reject the science on GMO foods, on nuclear energy, and are shown in study after study to be more poorly educated in general.
    Also, it would be fun to link which political wing holds more people who believe in auras, karma, astrology, new age stuff in general, etc.
    Frankly Lewandowsky is boring.
    I would suggest our host simply ignore this faux researcher in the future.
    He is derivative, unoriginal and like so many others who feed at the trough of AGW, ethically challenged.

  32. James Strom says:

    Lewandowski seems to be a man in pursuit of a fallacy. Let’s suppose that his work is pristine and he has proved that there is an unusually high number of conspiracy theorists among people who reject CAGW. What would that tell us about the work of someone like Lindzen, to pick just one example of many? Nothing. So what is the point of his research? If he were doing serious cognitive science he would have to be using radically different methods. It is shocking that he continues to be funded and published.

  33. Ric Werme says:

    Addressing lung cancer means to control tobacco, and addressing climate change means to control fossil-fuel emissions.

    I don’t have experience where he lives, but in the US, education has been more effective than access controls with the decline in smoking and drunk driving. America’s “War on Drugs” leans on access controls and has nothing to show for its cost (other than fostering street crime). http://www.theatlanticwire.com/national/2012/10/chart-says-war-drugs-isnt-working/57913/ shows the addiction rate vs expenditures – the addiction rate stays around 1.5% for the entire graph.

    This is not to say education can control fossil-fuel emissions though it (as propaganda) has increased the number of “solutions” that have failed to control fossil-fuel emission. (Well, the CO2 released by buring fossil fuel, such power plants try to consume, not emit, fossil fuels.)

  34. Mariner says:

    “I am now fairly convinced that wherever there is science denial, there is also a conspiracy theory waiting to be aired.”

    And that, folks, was the winner of the October unconscious irony contest.

  35. tom0mason says:

    So the free market thinker looks at the measured and observed weather and climate of the last 15 years and notes –
    Global Temperatures have not risen.
    CO2 levels have maintained their continued rise unabated.
    Hurricanes, and cyclones have reduced in number and also to some degree in intensity.
    Tornadoes have reduced.
    Droughts have been declining.
    NH winters appear to becoming colder, longer, or more intense.
    No increase or acceleration in sea level rises.
    The Arctic is still frozen during the summer.
    The Antarctic has seen an increase in sea ice levels.
    Greenland has not significantly melted.
    The tropics are still in the temperature range that they have been during the whole of instrumental record keeping.

    Given all the above would it be sane for anyone to believe the CO2 as a greenhouse gas is destroying our globe? I for one do not. The climate is too complex for those simplistic climate models, and modelers to accurately track.
    Certainly Lewandawsky et al want us all to accept without question the theory of CO2 ‘greenhouse gas’ forcing the climate to a catastrophic state, and not to acquiesce to such prognostication require that we are ridiculed and called names.

  36. Pamela Gray says:

    All I can say is that I am forever in debt for a very good class in Research Design and Critique taught by a very good college professor who will always remain dear to my heart for his no-holds-barred dogged, relentless commitment to the task of turning out well-prepared graduate students.

    The above paper would be one in which we would have panned endlessly. By the way, there is quite the back story about faked papers. There is even a website called “retractionwatch”. If you choose a pay-to-publish online journal, you tread on thin ice.

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2013/10/03/228859954/some-online-journals-will-publish-fake-science-for-a-fee

  37. Pamela Gray says:

    That is not to say that the current paper is fake. But it does give reason to think that if a well-done faked paper with fatal flaws can get in, a less well-done real paper with poor design and unsupported conclusions can get in.

  38. Bob Shapiro says:

    “He STILL is using the “Free Market” beliefs are associated with climate denialism.”

    Wait! He actually might have something here. By implication, he says that socialistic beliefs are associated with climate catastrophism. Sounds right to me.

  39. Gerry - England says:

    Since governments have got so involved with funding science, is it such a surprise given the mess governments make of everything they go near that the populace are more sceptical about their claims? In Booker & North’s book Scared To Death, they highlight how much governments get wrong based on just one flimsy report. People also use their personal experience. With vaccination for example, I believe it is generally good, but the MMR vaccine has questions against it with regards to autism. I have a close friend and have worked with somebody who have both experienced a child becoming autistic having received the MMR vaccine. The doctor who suspected a link was subjected to the full force of the establishment to say he was wrong. I believe his evidence has been satisfactorily countered but there does seem to be a lack of enthusiasm to look further at why normal children become autistic shortly after received the MMR jab.

    Given that the government will be in trouble should a link be proved, they won’t be keen to fund it. The pharma companies that make the vaccine won’t be keen either. And given the hounding the only person who has questioned it received, why would somebody of limited means put their career on the line?

    On free markets, if wind and solar power was so great and profitable, private companies wouldn’t need to be bribed with taxpayers’ money to get involved would they?

  40. dccowboy says:

    Lewandowsky should refer to Eisenhower’s Farewell Address, “Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been over shadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity…. The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present and is gravely to be regarded.” i.e., the Government gets the research results it pays for. It isn’t ‘conspiracy’, per se, but a natural result of the way research is now funded.

  41. Pamela Gray says:

    I too wonder why this author continues to beat his own drum. The history of published research is significantly colored with puke. Which sometimes leads to considerable harm, even death. If Lewandowsky is more than a one-note “player”, he should be going after climate puke papers. That he has not done so leads me to believe he may not know good papers from bad, even though there are plonkers on both sides of climate science research, indeed on both sides of ANY topic of research.

    But I also suspect that most serious climate science researchers consider his work as extremely low hanging fruit, if not already rotting on the ground. Especially so when it comes to “survey” research. In my opinion, this form of research is an easy Ph.D. degree and one I give little time considering.

  42. Steve Keohane says:

    The label for the photo, Lewpaper3.png with a minor spelling correction, says it all.

  43. David Chappell says:

    Two words sum up Mr Lewandowsky – intellectually dishonest.

  44. RC Saumarez says:

    @Pamela Gray,
    “Climate puke”! So much better than Climate Porn!
    Unfortunately, this weapons-grade idiot is coming to the UK, thereby lowering our academic standards still further. But at least he’ll have the same working hours as most of the Guardian readers.

  45. Keith says:

    I am now fairly convinced that wherever there is science denial, there is also a conspiracy theory waiting to be aired.

    Is that right, Stephan? There was an awful lot of denial of science in Stockholm a few weeks ago in preparing the AR5 Summary of Political Malfeasance, with the scientific evidence now having to be rewritten to match the political statement (as per standard IPCC procedures). Are you convinced that a conspiracy theory is waiting to be aired that explains the political denial of a climate refusing to comply with models? Come on then, out with it.

    A whole load of projection, as ever.

    Lewpaper – I like it :-D

  46. Pamela Gray says:

    Continuing on with puke papers I found this at retractionwatch. The Sokal quote is priceless.

    http://retractionwatch.wordpress.com/2013/09/19/fredrickson-losada-positivity-ratio-paper-partially-withdrawn/

    “Sokal told us he thinks the case raises other issues:

    ‘Last but not least, there is a huge open question, which concerns not Fredrickson and Losada but the entire psychology community, and particularly those people working in “positive psychology”. How could such a loony paper have passed muster with the reviewers at the most prestigious American journal of psychology, netted 350 scholarly citations, and been repeatedly hyped by the “father of positive psychology” (and past president of the APA), without anyone calling it into question before a first-term part-time Masters’ student in Applied Positive Psychology at the University of East London came along and expressed his doubts? Where were all the leaders in the field of positive psychology? The leaders in the application of nonlinear-dynamics models to psychology? Was everyone really so credulous? Or were some people less credulous but politely silent, for reasons of internal politics?'”

  47. Keith says:

    Oh, and he missed a sitter for Poland against England the other day…

  48. _Jim says:

    GeneDoc says October 17, 2013 at 4:30 am

    They published 25,000 papers last year. With their author pays model,

    (bolding mine)

    Sounds like the shortwave broadcasters’ model (the actual *owners* of the transmitters, not those whose voice you hear); for 50 to 75 dollars an hour on a yearly contract-commitment basis you, too, can have a national voice on a par with Lewandowsky or Alex Jones preaching or ranting on the subject of your choice …

    .

  49. Snotrocket says:

    You can get a much better appreciation of where this paper is coming from if you replace the words ‘Free-Market Worldview’ with ‘Libertarian worldview’ – and just how the author wants to control that which is a threat to his worldview.

  50. John B says:

    Mr Watts.

    ‘Plonker’ – British slang commonly used referring to a person who is a wally; dope; pillock; dunderhead; bear of little brain.

    ‘Plonker’, you might care to note, is also British nursery slang for ‘poo’.

    Either way…

  51. Greg Goodman says:

    “This is a pervasive pattern now that has been shown multiple times in the literature by a number of different authors. I am now fairly convinced that wherever there is science denial, there is also a conspiracy theory waiting to be aired.”

    Those who he classes as “conspiracist” will question everything. So will those who are genuinely sceptical and enquiring Those who believe what is laughably called climate “science” question nothing.

    He does nothing to distinguish the first two groups and concludes that anyone who is not in the latter group must therefore also be a member of the first group.

  52. Keitho says:

    You could paraphrase this by saying “free market conservatives having learned to spot BS at almost any distance see the CAGW story for what it is. On the other hand they see the scientific justification for vaccinations and GM crops.”

    If you need any help in understanding any of this please contact your nearest conservative, preferably an engineer and always someone who is old enough to tie their own shoelaces. Getting tired of these “sailors know about the sea” stories coming out of social “scientists”.

  53. Ken G says:

    “This is a pervasive pattern now that has been shown multiple times in the literature by a number of different authors. I am now fairly convinced that wherever there is science denial, there is also a conspiracy theory waiting to be aired”

    Seems true enough. Seems to me the same people who keep denying the abundance of evidence for the 15+ year pause, for one example, are the same people that keep weaving conspiracies about big oil funding deniers.

    “Free-market worldviews are strongly associated with rejection of climate science”

    Another way to put it is blind acceptance of it is strongly associated with socialist world-views.

  54. Snotrocket says:

    Keith says October 17, 2013 at 6:59 am

    “Oh, and he missed a sitter for Poland against England the other day…”

    And I kid you not, Keith, I swear the commentator said the pass came from Glik!!! And, you will note also, Lewandowski played on the LEFT WING and Glik was lying in defence!!! :)

    For those who think I make it up, see this link with the team sheet: http://www1.skysports.com/football/teams/poland

  55. Greg Goodman says:

    John B says: “‘Plonker’ – British slang commonly used referring to ”

    It was popularised by TV character Del Boy as in the catch phrase “don’t be a plonker, Rodney”. It means penis, dickhead, dork.

  56. _Jim says:

    Andy West says October 17, 2013 at 5:00 am

    These efforts by Lew are little better than the right-wing aligned ‘scientific opinions’ expressed by some during the 1930s that Bolsheviks and certain ethnicities were somehow ‘inferior’.

    I thought pop-control was more a leftist-influenced endeavor? Am i wrong? Take Margaret Sanger for instance … Quickie from wiki:

    Margaret Higgins Sanger (September 14, 1879 – September 6, 1966) was an American birth control activist, sex educator, and nurse. Sanger popularized the term birth control, opened the first birth control clinic in the United States, and established organizations that evolved into the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

    Social activism

    In 1914, Sanger launched The Woman Rebel, an eight-page monthly newsletter which promoted contraception using the slogan “No Gods, No Masters”

    Margaret Sanger spent much of her 1914 exile in England, where contact with British neo-Malthusianists …

    Eugenics

    As part of her efforts to promote birth control, Sanger found common cause with proponents of eugenics believing that they both sought to “assist the race toward the elimination of the unfit.” Sanger was a proponent of negative eugenics, which aims to improve human hereditary traits through social intervention by reducing reproduction by those considered unfit. Sanger’s eugenic policies included an exclusionary immigration policy,

    Now, I ask again, R or L?

    .

  57. Ed Zuiderwijk says:

    Why don’t we turn L’s statement around and state that “those of a left-leaning political orientation, hence adherents to a collectivist ideology, are more likely to accept a ‘consensus’ point of view and are more likely to reject opinions based on an individualistic approach such as self-learning and verification”.

  58. Snotrocket says:

    “Trust in science has been declining since 1970’s.”

    A totally meaningless, quantifiable and objectively immeasurable fact. Sort of gives the clue to the content of the rest of the paper.

  59. Gary says:

    There’s a very simple reason why otherwise intelligent people fall into conspiracy mindsets. It’s because governments are corrupt. Period. Once you find out your darling lover is a liar, you are suspicious of everything they do, everything they say. Governments lie. Period. When I was younger I fell into the conspiracy trap, but luckily I had some intelligent men sit me down and tell me: “not everything you hear is true, but sometimes they really do land on the moon,” or words to that effect. This freed me to find real world shenanigans with real world causes and effects.

    But the conspiracy train is still rolling mightily these days, what with the internet revealing a thousand new juicy “top secret” secrets every second, scary things that will doom mankind and bring about absolute destruction. A million new straw men are recreated every day, fodder for the media canons, fallacies for those who refuse to refute the real arguments on the table.

    It’s still fallacy. Pity that debate isn’t/wasn’t pre-req for high school diplomas. Pity that the scientific method isn’t/wasn’t more strongly instilled within our rank and file graduates. But this is the playing field, folks. What to do?

    Just keep talking. Keep picking. Keep poking. I figure the climate will eventually swing and we’ll all look like brilliant gurus. NOT! I was intimately involved in IT and telecom back in the days preceding Y2K. Back then people came to me, scared and worried, wanting to know the truth: “were we really gonna go down in flames?” I always laughed them off and assured them that most systems were already attended to and that thousands of us jokers had been working to resolve the issue for months (even years). When the world didn’t come to an end was I looked at as a guru? Nope. No one even remembers being scared, let alone thankful enough to thank me. I’m not saying I helped save the earth from Y2K. I’m saying, as an insider, I helped allay the fears of many friends and family. I seek to do this today about AGW though I am certainly no “insider” this time around. I’m a techie – not a man of science.

    “Global Warming” will die the death that all untruths eventually succumb to. In the meantime people can work to hurry along its death as quickly and politely as possible. We are not in control of the climate but we can control what we think and say and do.

  60. Bob Greene says:

    I might agree with his conclusion if he replaced “science” with “scientists.” The constant drumbeat of climate horror projections, each scarier than the last and look like release dates are scheduled so as not to compete but to amplify could make most sentient beings a bit skeptical. I’m not sure what the free market worldview has to do with trust of scientists. Maybe he should have thrown in Koch Brothers and Tea Party.
    @Pamela Gray: Thanks for the links to Retraction Watch and “climate puke.” Maybe it appeals to my free market worldview.

  61. johng1962 says:

    He’s an Arsehole! End of!!

  62. MarkW says:

    It doesn’t surprise me that those who don’t believe that govt is the answer to all problems, (IE free market types), would be skeptical of the AGW scam in which govt is required to take control of the economy in order to protect us from a problem that only they can see.

  63. Eric Booth says:

    Here’s an abstract from an as yet unpublished rebuttal paper which evidently uses the same data as Lewandowsky, et al:

    The Role of Alarmist Ideation and Worldviews in Predicting Rejection of Science

    Background

    Among American Liberals, but not Conservatives, trust in politicized climate science has been increasing since the 1970’s. Climate science has become particularly polarized, with Liberals being more likely than conservatives to accept the notion that greenhouse gas emissions are warming the globe. Likewise, opposition to genetically-modified (GM) foods and vaccinations is often ascribed to the political Left although reliable data are lacking. There are also growing indications that acceptance of climate science is suffused by alarmist ideation, that is the general tendency to endorse alarmist theories including the specific beliefs that inconvenient scientific findings, such as the recent 17 year pause in global warming, constitute “denial” of science.

    Methodology/Principal findings

    We conducted a propensity weighted internet-panel survey of the U.S. population and show that liberalism and restricted-market worldview strongly predict acceptance of politicized climate science, in agreement with their stronger and opposing effects on acceptance of vaccinations. The two worldview variables predict opposition to GM. Alarmist ideation predicts rejection of two of the three scientific propositions, albeit to greatly varying extents.

    Conclusions

    Restricted-market worldviews are an important predictor of the acceptance of any scientific findings that have potential regulatory implications, such as alarmist Global Climate Models, but not necessarily of other scientific issues. Alarmist ideation is associated with the rejection of all scientific propositions tested which may undermine the politicized publications of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. We highlight the manifold cognitive reasons why alarmist ideation would stand in opposition to the scientific method. The involvement of alarmist ideation in the rejection of science has implications for science communicators.

  64. _Jim:

    At October 17, 2013 at 7:23 am you ask

    Now, I ask again, R or L?

    The answer is neither or both because the true answer is that the cited behaviour is totalitarian, and totalitarians can be found across the entire political spectrum.

    Totalitarianism is evil, and mistaken ideas that it can only be found at some parts of the political spectrum are dangerous: it lowers guards against totalitarians with other political allegiances.

    Richard

  65. Jan Smit says:

    Alternative title:

    The Role of Narcissistic Projection and Worldviews in Predicting Acceptance of Nonsense.

  66. JJ says:

    The trustworthiness of science has been declining since the 1970’s.

    I cannot be sure of the causality, but there are multiple lines of evidence that suggest that the involvement of worldview, such as command economy principles, arises because people of that worldview feel, not threatened by climate change or by lung cancer, but instead attracted by the regulatory implications if those risks are being addressed by society. Addressing lung cancer means to control tobacco, and addressing climate change means to control fossil-fuel emissions. It’s the desire to control all products and their industries that is beguiling people with strong nanny government leanings.

  67. Craig says:

    Let’s assume that Lewandowsky really believes his conclusion that “the involvement of conspiracist ideation in the rejection of science has implications for science communicators,” why is he silent on the obvious implications? Why is he not today publically calling for mainstream climate science to not stop the behavior that gives ammunition to those who would propigate conspiracist ideas – refusing to release data and methodologies, adjusting data without explanation, thwarting FOIA, rejecting falsifiability, and the other actions that, at best, give the appearance of impropriety? Why isn’t he calling for the release of publically-funded emails and show there is nothing to hide when fighting the release only serves to fuel the conspiracy?

    It’s hard to accept the premise that conspiracist ideation standing in opposition to the scientific method is a problem when mainstream climate science regularly fails to follow the scientific method in the first place. Notwithstanding, if climate change is the problem we’re told it is, and conspiracist ideation is what is stopping us from taking it seriously, isn’t openness and transparency as important as the science itself?

  68. Vince Causey says:

    Lew’s paper raises the corollary. If we must ask why sceptics tend towards free market views, we must also ask why believers tend towards socialist or statist views. Given Lew’s answer to the first question, one could equally reply that people with socialist/statist views believe in cAGW precisely because mitigation entails statist solutions, government intervention and redistributive economics.

    Of course, Lew isn’t going to give this answer. He might say something like “People with liberal/left wing views aren’t contaminated with the free market blinkers that prevents those types from seeing the truth,” or something equally logically absurd. In other words, the liberal/socialist/leftist positions are characterised by an absence of a property (free market blinkers) rather than with properties of their own.

    But, if we look at the activities of cAGW scientists we see not merely the absence of free market views, we see a vigorous pursuit of pushing mitigation policies. Why is this, if not that they themselves are driven by statist ideologies?

    If Lew’s paper has anything to commend it, it is that it has shown the politicisation of climate science – on both sides of the divide. Having now let the cat out the bag, he must confront his own reflection in the mirror, to mix metaphors.

  69. John West says:

    ”In summary, although a free-market worldview is a powerful predictor of the rejection of scientific findings that have regulatory implications such as climate science, we found its effect to be far from general: The involvement of worldview in vaccinations was arguably small, and it was entirely absent for GM foods.”

    I think somebody has confused “rejection” with an escalated requirement for evidentiary standard of evidence required for regulatory implementation among those with a free-market world view. The higher the impact of regulatory intrusion the higher the standard of evidence required. While “some credible evidence” may have been enough to phase out CFC’s impacting a small portion of the economy and individual’s lives, to control carbon emissions greatly impacting the economy and individuals to the point of putting large portions of humanity at risk requires a higher level of evidentiary support.

    Non-exhaustive list of Levels of evidentiary support:
    Reasonable suspicion
    Reasonable to believe
    Some credible evidence
    Substantial evidence
    Preponderance of the evidence
    Clear and convincing evidence
    Beyond reasonable doubt

    At what level is it acceptable to condemn the less developed world to squalor for the sake of trivially reducing a possible future inconvenience?

    ”Our main SEM model showed a negative association between conspiracy theorizing and conservatism (as well as with free-market endorsement), suggesting that conspiratorial thinking is more prevalent on the political left than the right.”
    Well, there you have it, completely contradicting his own paradigm that conspiracy ideation = climate denial = political right. Perhaps he should consider an alternative paradigm like “climate alarmism denial” = climate realism.

  70. Steve Oregon says:

    “Trust in science has been declining since 1970’s.”

    Of course it has. It’s entirely justified and a reaction to
    the diminishing adherence to truth in science declining since the 1970’s.

    Any pit stop over at ClimateCentral.org, (should be called ClimateExcuses.org) loads one up with the chronic distortion and deceit climate science has become.

    The site is a disgraceful display of science abandonment from an alter of mendacious authority.

    They have a lack of hurricanes sermon.

    http://www.climatecentral.org/news/what-happened-to-the-2013-atlantic-hurricane-season-16616

    “The scant number of storms is surprising given some of the favorable conditions that exist that would normally fuel tropical cyclones. Forecasters say that three main features loom large for the inactivity: large areas of sinking air, frequent plumes of dry, dusty air coming off the Sahara Desert, and above-average wind shear. None of those features were part of their initial calculations in making seasonal projections. ”

    Our pal Joe stopped by to “reject their science”.

    By Joe Bastardi (16827)
    on October 16th, 2013
    …..” By the way, Saharan dust is a cop out. IT IS THE PRODUCT OF THE PATTERN…NOT THE CAUSE. The Saharan dust is because of the abnormal build up of higher pressures, which is a sign of sinking, all of this a sign of the drying that is taking place, which takes us back to the IPCC trapping hot spot being debunked in front of our very eyes.”

    The two sides are not even debating any longer.
    The alarmists are in fetal position whining for more time to start behaving while the parent skeptics lecture them to stand up and be adult.

  71. JohnWho says:

    ” I am now fairly convinced that wherever there is science denial, there is also a conspiracy theory waiting to be aired.”

    Perhaps he is right – his science denial is causing him to put forth this conspiracy theory.

  72. RockyRoad says:

    Lewandowsky–the Alinsky acolyte.

  73. Jan Smit says:

    @ richardscourtney October 17, 2013 at 7:46 am

    Precisely Richard. But taking an even wider view, the political spectrum itself is a subset of what I like to refer to as the spectrum of violence. In other words, the entire gamut of political positions – from extreme left to extreme right – falls into the wider set of coercive methods to achieve a given strategic goal or policy objective. Or to put it in layman’s terms, the system is broke!

    We need to think so far outside of the boxes within the boxes we have so meticulously constructed to control our social environment that we are almost incapable of such giant leaps in our thinking. They entire spectrum will collapse eventually under the weight of its own hypocrisy, but until that day we must at the very least resist the tendency towards further totalitarian control – stop the rot.

    But please bear in mind that any type of collectivist entity that uses the threat of violence to coerce its subjects to pay tax and comply with its often arbitrary rules is already totalitarian at its heart. And that definition covers just about every ‘government’ on earth – scary!

  74. Dave in Canmore says:

    “TRUST in science has been declining since 1970’s.”

    Other commenters have pointed out just how empty this statement is but if skepticism is an integral part of the scientific method, wouldn’t this be a good thing?

  75. dp says:

    Until he admits he has a problem he will never begin the recovery process to reclaim his mentally healthy life. I suppose thought he could have been born that way.

  76. Elliott M. Althouse says:

    If his survey asked a group of 1000 physicians, dentists, PhD chemists and physicists, and engineers would he get the same result? Not to mention statisiticians should be included. I find it hard to believe there are very many (less than 2) conspiracy theorists amongst the posters at WUWT, Climate, etc. and Climate Audit. It is intriguing that someone can publish utter nonsense and get away with it.

  77. Old Hoya says:

    Questioning Big Brother as always been recognized as a form of mental illness. We have always been at war with EastAsia precisely because the enemy is warming the planet….

    How do we characterize the disposition toward science by CAGW fanboys who believe that there are more hurricanes, malaria, extinctions and an imminent ice-free Himalayas because the rapid warming has already taken place?

    Notice that skepticism directed at the most politicized corner of science since Lysenko is treated like a form of mental illness or sociological aberration by this clown. “Lewandowsky” is becoming a synonym for self-satire.

  78. UK Marcus says:

    In the phrase conspiracy theory, what part of the word ‘theory’ does he not understand?

  79. Schitzree says:

    Speaking personally, my ‘Trust in Science’ has never been greater. Now Activist Scientist…

  80. Don B says:

    Too bad that Lew didn’t interview Matt Ridley……

    “Climate change has done more good than harm so far and is likely to continue doing so for most of this century. This is not some barmy, right-wing fantasy; it is the consensus of expert opinion. Yet almost nobody seems to know this. Whenever I make the point in public, I am told by those who are paid to insult anybody who departs from climate alarm that I have got it embarrassingly wrong, don’t know what I am talking about, must be referring to Britain only, rather than the world as a whole, and so forth.

    “At first, I thought this was just their usual bluster. But then I realised that they are genuinely unaware. Good news is no news, which is why the mainstream media largely ignores all studies showing net benefits of climate change. And academics have not exactly been keen to push such analysis forward. So here follows, for possibly the first time in history, an entire article in the national press on the net benefits of climate change.”

    http://www.spectator.co.uk/features/9057151/carry-on-warming/

  81. Snotrocket says:

    Vince Causey says October 17, 2013 at 7:55 am:

    “Lew’s paper raises the corollary. If we must ask why sceptics tend towards free market views, we must also ask why believers tend towards socialist or statist views. Given Lew’s answer to the first question, one could equally reply that people with socialist/statist views believe in cAGW precisely because mitigation entails statist solutions, government intervention and redistributive economics.”

    That. Vince, is possibly the best rebuttal of this compartmentalised claptrap I have read to date. Good one!

  82. I’m with Bob Shapiro at 6:07 am on this one.

    Lewandowsky can be right for the wrong reason.
    Free Marketers and Climate Skeptics probably do correlate. Causality between the two is complex because there is positive feedback.

    [Command and Control Progressives, Socialists, and Social Democrats] and Climate Alarmists probably also correlate as Climate Alarmism is a convenient justification to build a new social governance.

  83. Andersie says:

    I’ve quickly read the paper when it was featured in an article on the Guardian. Despite the way it was represented there, the paper’s conclusions (and title!) actually sound pretty reasonable.

    Some excerpts:
    “Our main SEM model showed a negative association between conspiracy theorizing and conservatism (as well as with free-market endorsement), suggesting that conspiratorial thinking is more prevalent on the political left than the right.”

    “a striking feature of the opposition to climate science is that worldview-driven polarization often increases with greater levels of education [3] and greater science literacy [17], suggesting that the opposition reflects a cognitive style rather than a deficit of knowledge or ability.”

    “Free-market worldviews are an important predictor of the rejection of scientific findings that have potential regulatory implications, such as climate science, but not necessarily of other scientific issues. Conspiracist ideation, by contrast, is associated with the rejection of all scientific propositions tested.”

    As I understand it, it says that if you’re pro free market you’ll be more inclined to reject ONLY climate change science, and even more so as your scientific literacy increases. While conspiracy theorists (nutters) usually reject ALL science (and therefore, I assume, have generally a very poor scientific literacy). Finally, it says that the majority of nutters, according to their survey, are leftists.

  84. James Griffin says:

    Lewandowsky looks on any challenge to official version of events as a conspiracy theory…he would no doubt take the same view with 9/11…..so let us examine the towers collapse. Steel melts at 2,500f…..kerosene in an open fire will burn at a max of 1,800f….deficit is 700f. However the twin towers were enveloped in thick black smoke indicating inefficient fires starved of oxygen meaning an even lower temp estimated at around 850f…..1,650f short of the melting point of steel. So fire did not bring down the towers. Even if the fires had melted the steel and the trusses with their concrete load collapsed it would leave layer upon layer of broken concrete….in large sections, as per the aftermath of an earthquake. And in this case the 47 steel beams which were the core of the buildings would be clearly visible as in the construction photos. It would look like an old record player with several records stacked on the turntable with the central spindle standing up in the middle. But there was no trace as the towers were obliterated with concrete pulverised. On top of this the buildings came down at near free fall speed breaking Newtons Law of Motion.
    The declaration that falling floors acted as a pile driver is also nonsense as the top third of the South Tower came away and fell to one side….thus the so called pile driver was no more but the building still collapsed. Close ups showing explosive squibs.
    The reason I mention the above is that the moron we are discussing would call any challenge to the official fairy story a conspiracy theory. However as with the climate…….science and physics will always win out.

  85. rogerknights says:

    “Trust in science has been declining since 1970’s.”

    Especially in environmental science, source of many over-hyped scares. See Aaron Wildavsky’s But Is It True?

    Re conspiratorial ideation: How about claims of a “well-organized, well-funded denial machine”?

  86. Eric H. says:

    No s*** Lew! Those who don’t want to look at the data tend to follow their ideological and political leanings. Heck, even those who look at the data will tend toward confirmation bias, and from what I have read of you, you are no exception.

  87. more soylent green! says:

    No matter how many times you expose the falsehoods, strawmen, half-truths and outright lies these operators will just keep on repeating the same message. Expose them and they move on to a new venue the next day.

  88. richardscourtney says:

    James Griffin:

    re your post at October 17, 2013 at 8:51 am.

    The melting point of steel is not relevant to why the Twin Towers fell when exposed to burning aviation fuel. Structural steel softens, bends and creeps under stress at much lower temperatures than its melting point. It loses all structural support ability at ~800°C and would fail to support tall buildings at temperatures well below that. I think you will find this paper provides all the information you need on the matter

    http://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1345&context=engpapers

    On WUWT we do not accept any conspiracy theory thrown about. We evaluate assertions for their flaws. And that is why we find the writings of Lewandowski to be laughable.

    Richard

  89. Louis says:

    “I am now fairly convinced that wherever there is science denial, there is also a conspiracy theory waiting to be aired.”

    I have to wonder if Lewandowsky looked into the fact that when alarmists like Gore and Mann are confronted with science that contradicts their pet theories, such as the recent lack of warming, they resort to blaming the “KochMachine” conspiracy. Doesn’t blaming scientific observations on the Koch brothers count as conspiracist Ideation? Try googling the phrase, “blames Koch brothers.” You will get over a million hits blaming the Koch brothers for every evil the left has ever imagined.

  90. LKMiller says:

    For another view, see the following:

    Yale Law professor Dan M. Kahan was conducting an analysis of the scientific comprehension of various political groups when he ran into a shocking discovery: tea party supporters are slightly more scientifically literate than the non-tea party population.

    http://www.ijreview.com/2013/10/87474-yale-professors-surprising-discovery-tea-party-supporters-scientifically-literate/

  91. rogerknights says:

    John West says:
    October 17, 2013 at 7:58 am
    …………..
    The higher the impact of regulatory intrusion the higher the standard of evidence required. While “some credible evidence” may have been enough to phase out CFC’s impacting a small portion of the economy and individual’s lives, to control carbon emissions greatly impacting the economy and individuals to the point of putting large portions of humanity at risk requires a higher level of evidentiary support.
    **************

    Bernd Palmer says:
    October 17, 2013 at 5:02 am
    From: http://www.shapingtomorrowsworld.org/lewandowskyFAQPLoS1.html

    “Science is debate, but that debate takes place in the scientific literature and at scientific conferences. In the history of science, we are not aware of a case in which a serious scientific issue was adjudicated by tabloid journalists or their modern-day equivalents such as blog commenters. Anyone truly interested in scientific debate can contribute to it by submitting papers to the relevant journals for peer review.”

    If you’re going to tax the populace into fuel poverty and beyond, and tax industry into uncompetitiveness with non-taxing Asian economies, and destabilize the power grid, and impose rolling blackouts, you can’t just tell the populace it is their duty to grin and bear it. You must answer the populace’s questions and ripostes, and do so in open public debate, not just in the journals. You must not try to squelch public questioning and debate.

    Anyway, the populace will push back against these impositions in time, if the Divergence continues. And ALL science will be toppled from its pedestal if that happens.

  92. Steve Keohane says:

    LKMiller says:October 17, 2013 at 9:29 am
    Beat me to that link!

  93. Louis says:

    It’s a circular argument to equate “climate science” with science in general and then point out that people who are skeptical of climate science are less trusting of science.

    It’s also a no-brainer to conclude that those who have Free-market worldviews will be skeptical of any unproven scientific theory that calls for more control over the markets.

    My own “conspiracist ideation” tells me that government funding of science is going to favor findings that support more government and more government control of everything. That doesn’t make me anti-science. It makes me opposed to the corruption of science by politics. I suspect that Lewandowsky can’t see the difference.

  94. _Jim says:

    re: richardscourtney says [on] October 17, 2013 at 7:46 am

    Richard, in many instance my questions on sensitive issues are to be viewed in a strictly rhetorical vein while attempting to enhance the contrast with the contemporary conservative (there, I said it!) viewpoint; this was one such instance.

    Recall the “A Time For Choosing” speech given by Ronald Reagan who said (paraphrasing) ‘there is neither left or right, but only up or down’ … the exact quote follows:

    we must choose between a left or right, but I suggest there is no such thing as a left or right. There is only an up or down. Up to man’s age-old dream–the maximum of individual freedom consistent with order — or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism.

    http://reagan2020.us/speeches/A_Time_for_Choosing.asp

    PS I don’t have near the time-resources that some posters have at their disposal and therefore must get to the point in short order. Posting is sometimes intermittent or curt on account of these limitations. Please bear these points in mind going forward and we may both enjoy a pleasant, positive relationship.

    .

  95. dbstealey says:

    more soylent green! says:

    “No matter how many times you expose the falsehoods, strawmen, half-truths and outright lies these operators will just keep on repeating the same message. Expose them and they move on to a new venue the next day.”

    This is a despicable tactic. It is used even by the President of the United States. Saul Alinsky gave the recipe that they all follow:

    Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it. Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions. (This is cruel, but very effective. Direct, personalized criticism and ridicule works.)

    Mitt Romney was by all accounts a very decent human being, who took no inheritance, and gave multi-$millions to charity. Any normal person would be happy to have him as their neighbor. His kids are typically all-American.

    But Romney was instantly demonized by the Obama campaign, until even folks who should have known better started to wonder about the baseless innuendoes. It was the worst character assassination in our history, bar none.

    Same with the Tea Party [IANAR, nor a Tea Party member]. The Tea Party formed under G.W. Bush as a protest against profligate spending and disregard for the Constitution. It still has those concerns as its mission.

    But like Romney, the Tea Party was demonized incessantly. Only those people who think for themselves can see what is happening. Don’t be a tool of the Alinskyites. When you think for yourself you make good decisions. Otherwise, you are being manipulated with the rest of the mindless crowd. Or worse, you will be another Lewandowski.

  96. David L. Hagen says:

    Illogical Lewandowski
    Lewandowsky has such poor research skills that he begins with a logical fallacy of the false dichotomy:

    ” addressing climate change means to control fossil-fuel emissions.”

    He presumes central control (“mitigation”) is the only option, ignoring the possibilty that adaptation is 100 times more cost effective and readily achievable.

  97. JJ says:

    ““a striking feature of the opposition to climate science is that worldview-driven polarization often increases with greater levels of education [3] and greater science literacy [17], suggesting that the opposition reflects a cognitive style rather than a deficit of knowledge or ability.”

    Hey dumbass, maybe the fact that opposition to “climate science” often increases with greater levels of education and greater science literacy suggests that the opposition is not worldview driven. Maybe, opposition to “climate science” is based on an understanding of science, and the recognition that much of what is promoted as “climate science” ain’t it. Perhaps instead, “climate science” is in important ways simply politicized pseudo science, a fact that is not comprehended by the motivated reasoning “cognitive style” employed by people who self-select to participation in other pseudo-scientific endeavors. Like the field of psychology, for example.

  98. Joe says:

    “this is the theory that climate skeptics are well organized and well funded by “Big Oil”. ”

    There ARE a number of skeptics funded by big energy. There are groups like Heartland that receive large donations from those same industries. I don’t think anyone has claimed they are “well organized.”

  99. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    Greg Goodman said on October 17, 2013 at 7:21 am:

    John B says: “‘Plonker’ – British slang commonly used referring to ”

    It was popularised by TV character Del Boy as in the catch phrase “don’t be a plonker, Rodney”. It means penis, dickhead, dork.

    Actually, as the word is used here in the US, and as seen elsewhere, when referring to an object, it is synonymous with turd, as in a large turd, having as much value as such. In your example of it referring to a person, that meaning also works.

    This is easy to understand, as I can readily testify to from personal experience and from being within earshot elsewhere, the sound of a large turd hitting the toilet bowl water is plonk. Thus naturally a plonker is a turd, as I’ve heard and read it used many a time here in the States.

    By this origin, I know your definition by US usage is wrong, as I have anecdotal evidence from a reliable source that the sound of a large penis hitting the water is “Damn, I hate when that happens!”

  100. richardscourtney says:

    _Jim:

    I am replying to your post at October 17, 2013 at 9:54 am.

    I, too, hope “we may both enjoy a pleasant, positive relationship”.

    I was not aware of your quote from Ronald Reagan and I am very grateful for it because I applaud it, and I would not have thought there would be a statement from him that I so completely agree. Thankyou for providing it because it goes the the heart of what I was trying to say.

    WUWT is a ‘broad church’ and when we divide on the basis of politics or religion we all lose the ability to learn from each other. In my opinion we need to unite against totalitarianism and we can use our differences to learn from each other how to oppose totalitarianism.

    The AGW scare is driven by totalitarian aims from politicians of both left and right. I genuinely think that greatest understanding of them all is afforded by using the understandings of people from both left and right among the WUWT ‘community’. I freely admit that I fail to understand the lunacy of people like Lewandowski.

    All the best

    Richard

  101. Reg Nelson says:

    It’s not a conspiracy theory, it’s a conspiracy fact. The Climategate scientists conspired to:
    – Dodge FOIA requests
    – Blackball scientists that held opposing views.
    – Manipulate and adjust data to support their bias confirmation
    – Promote science that furthered their political agenda. They even had a name for their conspiracy: “The Cause”

    These are facts, not theories. Their own words exposed them.

  102. Chad Wozniak says:

    Uh, aren’t the AGW crowd the true “deniers” of science? Worse than that, they are the deniers of a new Holocaust – the deaths from hypothermia and starvation being caused by attempts to control CO2,

  103. Theo Goodwin says:

    “I cannot be sure of the causality, but there are multiple lines of evidence that suggest that the involvement of worldview, such as free-market principles, arises because people of that worldview feel threatened not by climate change or by lung cancer, but by the regulatory implications if those risks are being addressed by society.”

    Lewandowsky misses huge groups of people when he casts his nest. For example, I belong to a group of people who are skeptical of regulatory regimes because we have learned that they are often ineffective and cause more harm than good. For example, efforts to regulate speech on college campuses in the US rarely achieve their ends but cause much confusion and rancor about what can be spoken by private individuals. To make matters disastrous, cases of prohibited speech are not adjudicated but are summarily decided by people employed by the university who have no special expertise in the matter.

    Does my point have anything to do with regulations regarding climate? Sure, how about the US government decision for ethanol mandates? The results have been mixed at best.

  104. richardscourtney says:

    Joe:

    At October 17, 2013 at 10:13 am you make these untrue assertions

    There ARE a number of skeptics funded by big energy. There are groups like Heartland that receive large donations from those same industries. I don’t think anyone has claimed they are “well organized.”

    Your falsehoods are spread across the web, but they are untrue.

    Please read the active WUWT thread on the subject and contribute to it if you want. Clearly, the reading will correct your faulty education. To help you, I provide this link to the thread

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/10/15/oh-the-pain-kochmachine-is-in-many-american-universities-including-penn-state/

    Richard

  105. Marlo Lewis says:

    Lewandowsky must be deeply unreflective not to see the flip side of his thesis: Collectivist worldviews are an important predictor of belief in “consensus [i.e. groupthink] science.” Collectivist world views are an important predictor of belief in the desirability of centrally planned energy markets. Collectivist world views are an important predictor of belief in the desirability of global treaties to establish global governance. Collectivist worldviews are an important predictor of belief that unregulated capitalism is destroying the Earth.

  106. The Iconoclast says:

    Another interpretation of his results might be that people who understand and value the importance of free markets are good at detecting stalking horses intended to undermine or destroy them.

  107. Reading that FAQ page, I notice Lew points out factors that “renders the present research important.” And it’s important because the public “must also understand”.

    This is my analogy to how Lewandowsky must see himself: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-DIETlxquzY

  108. diogenese2 says:

    Whenever I see a survey I first enquire after the sample size and selection. This one tells me that “1001 were recruited” but “1383 responded” ! 382 were incomplete or failed “filtration”and discarded . This was from a panel of 5.5m americans held by the INDEPENDENT survey company, where can be found details of the process. There I went and found ” Now you can specify, price and populate your research study with qualified responders who match your most exacting criteria”! The specification relevant to this study are nowhere to be found.
    There is a lot to be said about this study but the only acknowledgment says more than enough.
    “We thank John Cook for his contributions during questionnaire design”.
    A further irony is that Lewendowski is now a Professor at the University of Bristol, UK, whose alumni include Paul Dirac. His questionnaire includes the usual conspiracy questions around tobacco. Bristol Uni’s earliest large benefactor was H.O.Wills & Co. Never mind Professor Woodbine – you are never alone with a strand.

  109. John Kannarr says:

    Yale Professor’s Surprising Discovery: Tea Party Supporters More Scientifically Literate

    http://www.ijreview.com/2013/10/87474-yale-professors-surprising-discovery-tea-party-supporters-scientifically-literate/

  110. commieBob says:

    James Griffin says:
    October 17, 2013 at 8:51 am

    The nice thing about WattsUpWithThat is that bad science gets shredded no matter which side it supports. If richardscourtney hadn’t beat me to it, I would have written a similar post.

  111. Gary says:

    “I’ve got to confess, though, I found this result surprising. As I pushed the button to run the analysis on my computer, I fully expected I’d be shown a modest negative correlation between identifying with the Tea Party and science comprehension,” Kahan wrote. “But then again, I don’t know a single person who identifies with the Tea Party,” he continued. “All my impressions come from watching cable tv — & I don’t watch Fox News very often — and reading the ‘paper’ (New York Times daily, plus a variety of politics-focused internet sites like Huffington Post & Politico). I’m a little embarrassed, but mainly I’m just glad that I no longer hold this particular mistaken view.”

    Get outside the echo-chamber more often, Mr. Kahan. You might learn something.

  112. Craig says:

    This paper lines up one false premise after another in the introduction.

    ”For example, if a scientific consensus cannot be accepted as the result of researchers converging independently on the same evidence-based view, then the belief in a scientific conspiracy can provide an alternative explanation for the consensus.”

    If nothing else, the Climategate emails demonstrate that the idea of “researchers converging independently” is questionable. This alone necessitates consideration of alternative explanations.

    ”Moreover, because conspiracist ideation need not conform to the criteria of consistency and coherence that characterize scientific reasoning its explanatory reach is necessarily greater than that of competing (scientific) theories. ”

    This has the causality backwards. It’s the fact that mainstream climate science regularly and blatantly does not conform to the consistency and coherence that characterize scientific reasoning, to say nothing of the systematic suppression of competing (scientific) theories that is, in no small part, the genesis of conspiracist ideation.

    ”Conspiracist ideation is also typically immune to falsification because contradictory evidence can be accommodated by broadening the scope of the conspiracy, often with considerable creativity. ”

    “Immune to falsification” precisely defines mainstream climate science. No conspiracist ideation is necessary to see it in practice. That fact that mainstream climate science implicitly, if not expressly, denies that science must be falsifyable in and of itself justifies rejection of mainstream climate “science.”

    ”The prominence of conspiracist ideation in science rejection is not unexpected in light of its cognitive attributes:“

    What shouldn’t be unexpected is science rejection in light of the behavior of mainstream climate scientists. From refusing to release data and code to adjusting data without explanation to patently unscientific research to rejecting the requirement of falsifiability, you can’t play fast and loose with the scientific method and then conclude that conspiracist ideation is behind the opposition of the scientific method or the rejection of science.

    Nor can you conclude that a free-market worldview leads directly to a rejection of science that has regulatory implications. Regulatory implications give rise to an incentive to look past consensus, and consider the quality of science, and it is the quality of science not the worldview that leads to rejection.

    The more revealing, and also not unexpected, observation is the prominence of those who do not hold a free-market world view and deny that there are fundamental problems with the conduct of mainstream climate scientists and with mainstream climate science itself.

  113. Spartacus says:

    This mix from “Yale” professors claiming relations between any political tendencies and scientific knowledge are just outstanding and incredible pathetic to say the least. Giving some credit to these kind of so called “studies” or “discoveries” remember me some claims made by alarmists. From the same graphic I can conclude that no Tea Party members excel in scientific knowledge, beyond rank 19. So the ” intelligent” non Tea Party members are better than Tea Party members. Come on…
    What were the questions, how the universe was picked up? Why the samples are so different in size 430/1886??? I can choose 20 high school students with blonde hair and claim that they are more scientifically enlightened than 80 students with brown eyes. With the kind of detail gave by the “Yale” professor, this experiment would have exactly the same validity. Very very poor experiment design. In coherence with the problems that we identify in alarmists claims, this study should never have been even mentioned in this site.
    Whenever you mix politics with science, you’ll end up getting distorted knowledge.
    Some tea party that I know believe that the Earth has about 4000 years and god created everything in 7 days. Is this the kind of scientific knowledge that was eligible for this professor’s quest? No one knows. In a word – impressive. It would be fun to see the opinions if this was made by any professor from Burma or Iran…

  114. Mike Mangan says:

    This Kahan study resulted in the reports back in May of climate skeptics knowing more than believers…

    http://in.news.yahoo.com/global-warming-skeptics-know-more-science-climate-change-051913092.html

  115. Mike Wilson says:

    He’s not going for an Ig Nobel is he?

  116. David L. Hagen says:

    I will stick with The Declaration of Independence

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. . . .

    Margaret Thatcher (1975 Oct 10) on
    A Free Society and the Economy

    A man’s right to work as he will to spend what he earns to own property to have the State as servant and not as master these are the British inheritance.
    They are the essence of a free economy. And on that freedom all our other freedoms depend.

  117. Kitefreak says:

    As George Carlin would have said – this is some “major league BS”. Psychology is a really broad area of scientific study but this kind of utter garbage is of the not very scientific kind, like all that UTTER PISH from Freud about Oedipus complex and penis envy and anal-retentive personality (stemming from potty training, no less – seriously, look it up).

    As for “conspiracist ideation” – the guy and his co-authors are totally away with it – did they just make that term up? I’ve read some sh*te in my time (have BSc in Psychology), but this is some of the most completely unscientific drivel I’ve had the misfortune to cast my eyes over.

    Now, having said that, I do think the study of how the term conspiracy theory/theorist is used – in the MSM and everyday conversation – is most interesting. Personally I find it fascinating. Ever since George Bush said “let us not tolerate outrageous conspiracy theories”, it made me think, “well, what is a ‘conspiracy theory’ anyway?”. Take the LIBOR (inter-bank interest rate) rigging scandal which came to light recently; people said it was going on for years but they were labelled conspiracy theorists (tin foil hat, etc.), then, when it came out that it had actually been going on it wasn’t a conspiracy theory anymore. Did it become a conspiracy fact? No, just dropped from the headlines. I think basically it can be used as a label to put people off investigating stuff (including climate change) and discovering FACTS which contradict the official story. This piece above looks like a classic example (and I admit I’ve only read the abstract as presented above). Pure, unadulterated BS.

  118. JEM says:

    Spartacus – I don’t find his numbers, or his findings, to be particularly questionable.

    The Tea Party movement began – and is today – largely a fiscal-sanity movement, and it’s not unexpected that those frightened by the scale of government indebtedness should also be more numerate than those who are not, or who simply don’t pay attention to the issue.

    It also stands to reason – and it’s no more than a guess – that those at the extreme end of his scale of expertise may be professorial types whose expertise may be deeper but less broad, and whose cultural bearings – as does the author – come from within the cloistered leftist confines of the academy.

    And so we see in climate science – based on their public posturing the highly-credentialed crust that drive the climate ‘consensus’ appear to be – extensively though certainly not exclusively – textbook leftists, while the data-driven end of the skeptic community tends to be broader in both range of expertise and experience as well as in political position.

  119. connolly says:

    David Hagen
    Thatcther in her destruction of the National Union of Miners did the folllowing:
    1.She said she “broke quite new political ground,speaking ominously on climate change” to the Royal Society (U.K. Academy of Science) in September 1988, just months after Hansen’s U.S. Senate testimony on the same subject. “It is possible … we have unwittingly begun a massive experiment with the system of this climate itself,” she hectored scientists, universities and government departments.
    2.Thatcher then set up the Hadley Center for Climate Prediction and Research and was one of the main political forces to establish the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) .
    She held a press conference upon the release of the first IPCC assessment (1990) and warned that “greenhouse gases … will warm the Earth’s surface with serious consequences for us all.” 3.Thatcher, after she was booted out of office in 1990, she prevailed on George H. W. Bush to sign the United Nations Framework Convention of Climate Change in 1992,
    Thatcher is the godmother of the Kyoto Protocol.
    The history of climate alarmism shows clearly that in politics always follow the money. The pity of climate science is that it wasn’t dragged kicking and screaming by Thatcher but like any half smart whore followed the money. Lewandowsky is a particularly tawdry example of the process.

  120. In agreement with JJ 10:08 am
    ““a striking feature of the opposition to climate science …. increases with greater levels of education [3] and greater science literacy [17],

    Say what?!
    A) “opposition to … science” increses with greater levels of …. science literacy” There is only one way for this statement to make sense:

    B) Opposition to climate science done poorly ought to increase among those with greater levels of science literacy. Can it be any other way?

    So, one is left to conclude given A) that if science literacy is correlated with climate science in general, then B) climate science in general must be done poorly.

  121. Lars P. says:

    From the “if you keep saying it enough people will believe it”department

    Hm, this lew person does not seem to have many ideas, just a few, but obsessive ones.

    He is coming back again at the same conspiracy ideation, believing in the conservatives conspirating against science. In my view this has pathological traits.

    Interesting enough, if anything is attributed to the political left, then “reliable data are lacking”.

    I bet that his analysis fails to check if there is any relationship between climate rejection and science supporters who may be also free market supporters which may be a common trait of the technical people, enough to make the difference, which land suddenly in his “conservative” bucket.

    Interesting enough representative warmists alarmists tend to be malthusians, authoritarian advocates, be against the democratic process and pro centralisation, believing in big government solution.
    In their minds all others are idiots, only they and their clique is right and they know the best to decide for everybody. People are too stupid to judge meme:

    http://joannenova.com.au/2013/09/michael-brown-astronomer-says-science-is-not-about-debate-the-people-are-too-stupid/

    Oh and I forgot: they believe in big oil, big coal, big gas conspiracy to ruin the world.

  122. george e. smith says:

    Well we know that Director Ron Howard (Opie) faked the whole launch sequence in “Apollo 13″ the movie, to where even the astronauts wondered where he got the video from.

    So yeah; maybe the whole thing was faked in Photoshop.

  123. Lars P. says:

    chris y says:
    October 17, 2013 at 4:48 am

    techgm says: October 17, 2013 at 4:12 am

    “Trust in science has been declining since 1970’s.”

    Besides the error of attributing emotion (trust) to something that is inanimate (science), the article errs in that the decline in trust has been with scientists (not “science”) – that people believe that (many) scientists have been corrupted by grant money and a lust for recognition, and/or that their skills are 2nd-rate.
    ******************

    Bingo! Well said.

    I think the terminology chosen is deliberate. It is inconceivable that Lewandowsky et al. are that stupid.

    exactly, well said.

  124. Blarney says:

    @Stephen Rasey
    Opposition to climate science (i.e. climate alarmism) grows with scientific literacy in pro free-market people. For liberals, it is the opposite, as found by Dan Kahan in a previous paper (The polarizing impact of science literacy and numeracy on perceived climate change risks – http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v2/n10/full/nclimate1547.html).
    I suspect that such an impact of political worldviews on a scientific issue may be indicative of a lack of sufficient data from which to draw definitive conclusions.

  125. george e. smith says:

    “””””……Gary says:

    October 17, 2013 at 11:53 am

    “I’ve got to confess, though, I found this result surprising. As I pushed the button to run the analysis on my computer, I fully expected I’d be shown a modest negative correlation between identifying with the Tea Party and science comprehension,” Kahan wrote. “But then again, I don’t know a single person who identifies with the Tea Party,” he continued. “All my impressions come from watching cable tv — & I don’t watch Fox News very often — and reading the ‘paper’ (New York Times daily, plus a variety of politics-focused internet sites like Huffington Post & Politico). I’m a little embarrassed, but mainly I’m just glad that I no longer hold this particular mistaken view.”

    Get outside the echo-chamber more often, Mr. Kahan. You might learn something……”””””

    I’ve actually attended three outdoor TEA party gets together, all in downtown San Jose Ca.

    No; I can’t describe them (the people) to you; because ANY description I might give; that’s as in ANY description, would only apply to the half dozen or so persons currently in my field of view. If I turned around, I would have to give you a different description of TEA partiers.. The ONLY apparent common element, is that for some daft reason, each one of them thought they were being Taxed Enough Already. I was just a fly on the wall spectator, since, not being either a citizen, or an illegale, I am not allowed to vote.

  126. LKMiller says:

    Since I posted the first reference to the Kahan study, maybe a few words from someone who is identified as part of the Tea Party (actually 912 Project, but we are kindred spirits) are in order.

    JEM above has it about right. The caricature of the Tea Party portrayed by the lapdog media and the Democrat party is nothing but a pack of lies. First and foremost, we are very concerned for the future of our country, seeing it being flushed down a rathole toward some utopian leftist graveyard. Fiscal sanity was the key driver at the beginning – many of us got involved because we opposed the first bailout under Bush the Younger. It remains a key driver, and why we are sickened by the failure of the RINO-lead House and their jelly-legged brethren in the Senate to stand tall with Ted Cruz and Mike Lee.

    However, this is a science forum, not political. Just wanted to clear up any confusion there might be.

  127. _Jim says:

    richardscourtney says October 17, 2013 at 10:18 am

    I was not aware of your quote from Ronald Reagan and I am very grateful for it because I applaud it, and I would not have thought there would be a statement from him that I so completely agree. Thankyou for providing it because it goes the the heart of what I was trying to say.

    Aghast at the admission (RC not omniscient after all! Just ‘funning’ with you now Richard.)

    WUWT is a ‘broad church’ and when we divide on the basis of politics or religion we all lose the ability to learn from each other. In my opinion we need to unite against totalitarianism and we can use our differences to learn from each other how to oppose totalitarianism.

    Please, *I* made no such attempt at division and object to the subject’s introduction into *our* dialog (i.e., between you and me; regarding an address of the board that is purely your prerogative). Please look again at the first post and note the question marks at the ends of interrogatories … the quest here (though crude and time-limited nonetheless) is to determine the ‘trvth’ after the examination of evidence germane to whatever subject was initially brought up. And, I feel strongly about not to bowing nor genuflecting at the altar of ‘PC’ and therefore any and all subjects are open to debate, within the limits of board and the host’s pol(icy)(ices), of course, regardless of ordinate pressure brought to bear by those other than the host and his or her policies.

    Pax, et al, RC.

    .

  128. Andy West says:

    _Jim:
    At October 17, 2013 at 7:23 am you ask
    “Now, I ask again, R or L?”

    In social evolution one rule rarely covers all cases, but generically speaking I go with Richard Courtney, agressive population is practised by both extremes. But in the particular period quoted (1930s) and in Europe (don’t know too much about the rest), ‘scientific’ backup for population control (a la eugenics, phrenology, whatever) was definately a tool of the right, of course culminating in the dreadful things done by the facists in 1940s. The British Royal society (and other societies) only finally distanced themselves from eugenics when it became obvious that the far right were using it as scientific justification for the dreadful road they were travelling down.

  129. andywest2012 says:

    oops… ‘agressive population CONTROL’ that is…

  130. Tsk Tsk says:

    “I am now fairly convinced that wherever there is science denial, there is also a conspiracy theory waiting to be aired.”

    Funny, I thought it was all a big conspiracy by Big Oil. SO many conspiracies, so little federal funding. What WILL we do?

  131. Andy, consider the proposition that “Left-Right” is poor model.
    Political systems are not linear or planar, but are closer to a Cylindrical Coordinate system.

    From a point of greatest individual freedom, whether you go left (west, counter clockwise) or you go right (east, or clockwise), eventually you will find the very same totalitarians waiting for you.

    The only real difference between Fascism and Communism is in the ownership of property. Individuals are without rights and serve the state in either definition. The vertical component of the cylindrical system is the ownership of property.

  132. A. Scott says:

    The new Kahan findings are quite interesting, as Kahan’s prior work is a prominent part of all the Lewandowsky papers. As is the entire “Free Market” association.

    If the free market association becomes tenuous then Lewandowsky’s entire premise begins to collapse(as if it needed help for that )

  133. Geoff Sherrington says:

    In Australia, where Lewandowsky used to be at University, the accusation of conspiratorial behaviour is made predominantly by AGW enthusiasts. Typically with no evidence, they repeat the line that sceptics are conspiratorially organised and funded. As a variation, they will claim that sceptics have failed to show that there is a conspiracy among AGW scientists, therefore (illogically) AGW science is sound.
    It is the AGW crowd that is forever raising conspiracy as an issue. Blame them for red herrings.
    I know of no sceptics here who are organised and funded. I do know of the Institute of Public Affairs, a think tank that is organised and funded, and which receives frequent mention by AGW people. However, the IPA is a body based on logical thought rather than scepticism, so I discount it as a sceptical group. It deals with mostly economic and political matters far more than rejection of science.
    The many sceptics known to me do not reject science per se. They reject POOR science. That is a crucial difference.
    It is also a reason why the Lewandowsky thesis fails, The examples that are used for comparison, such as vaccination and genetically modified foods, do NOT have significant accusations of poor science in the mix.
    For that reason alone, the paper is a comparison of chalk and cheese. It is essentially invalid. I’d not accept it if I was reviewing it.

  134. Geoff Sherrington says:

    Concerning the side thread of eugenics, AGW supporters might be sensitive to this account of part of the life of Svante Arrhenius, often promoted as the father of GHG theory.
    “Svante Arrhenius was one of several leading Swedish scientists actively engaged in the process leading to the creation in 1922 of The State Institute for Racial Biology in Uppsala, Sweden, which had originally been proposed as a Nobel Institute. Arrhenius was a member of the institute’s board, as he had been in The Swedish Society for Racial Hygiene (Eugenics), founded in 1909.[11]”
    From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Svante_Arrhenius

    BTW, the work on radiation physics by Arrhenius on CO2 and water vapour was heavily based on incoming moonlight being split into parts of the spectrum by a calcite prism, then the heat (energy) of each part measured by a bolometer. While this might have been the best apparatus available at the time, it might not stand modern scrutiny. Errors were large enough to often give a gain in energy of light passing though the atmosphere, but these non-conforming readings were selectively pruned. Also, given that human breath contains rather more CO2 than the ambient air, the presence of a person close to the apparatus in a semi-confined room could wreck the experiment, if such an idea is taken to extreme. Contrast it with the extraordinary clean apparatus measures being taken at CERN by Kirkby & others, investigating charged particles and nucleating particle formation.

  135. jorgekafkazar says:

    WHAT LYSENKO SPAWNED

  136. Brian H says:

    The Tea Party stereotype is again refuted by fact.

    Just for laughs, compare the grounds of a site used by Tea Partiers after a rally with similar grounds after a leftist one. Site One: cleaner than when the rally started. Site Two: trash, burned cars, piles of faeces, smashed windows and looted interiors of local storefronts. ,

  137. Max Hugoson says:

    I don’t know about this “Tea Party/Neandrethal Conservative”, and whether I’d be considered well versed in “science”. I guess like Marconi, since I’m only a dingy “engineer”, I really don’t have the “chops” to go up against real “scientists”. But then, I wonder…if once considers the “behavior” of the “scientists” in the climate realm, (hiding data, being arcane and obscure about sources, analysis methods, computer “codes” developed for making their papers)…versus “engineers” (Mandated by the FDA, NRC, FAA, etc. to PRODUCE and DOCUMENT computer codes, and structural analysis and device (for medical devices) parameters and data…under penalty of law)..if one REALLY looked closely at this marked difference in ethics, behavior, etc., do you think that ANY “Climate Scientist” would actually board an AIRPLANE designed by “Scientists”, rather than “Engineers”???? NOT ON YOUR (THEIR) LIVES they wouldn’t!

  138. AntonyIndia says:

    Before the Snowden revelations I didn’t believe in a single conspiracy theory: now I do in one that proved to be factual: the NSA network spying on every connected person on this planet. CAGW was never a conspiracy in my view, just peer pressure combined with pear shaped reviews and some politics or religion. Happened before: many Scientific breakthroughs were started by a single person against a tidal wave (>=97%) of old knowledge hanger- on’s with.

  139. Chuck Bradley says:

    I suspect the key words are near the beginning of the methods section: “propensity weighted”.
    My translation: “We hired someone to select people that would demonstrate the thesis.”

  140. Colorado Wellington says:

    Sixty years after his death the crafty Georgian still controls our discourse with Comintern’s definitions of left and right.

    Cui bono?

  141. Blade says:

    Lewandowsky is merely rationalizing his own cognitive dissonance with all these propaganda papers. It is necessary because of the inconvenient truth: almost all kooks come from the left.

    (1) The JFK grassy knollers were the first of them to infect the mainstream that I can remember. They were easy to explain since the core justification for all their nonsense was to simultaneously lionize their favorite philanderer-in-chief JFK, while shifting blame away from the left – the Communist governments that despised him and the Communist that shot and killed him. That was a two-fer and a no-brainer for the leftists of the 1960’s and 1970’s, getting to attack the CIA and America, while pushing the Communists off the front page and resulting in a revisionist history where many people couldn’t connect “Communist” and “Oswald” together if their life depended on it. As for anti-Science, this is where they made their bones with talk of “magic” bullets, gunshot echos and skewed timelines.

    (2) The Apollo landings being described as faked also had a nucleus of Communist propaganda at its core, probably state sponsored at first and fed to their willing brainless zombies in our education and media institutions. Although we all laugh at this particular crowd of kooks, it can be useful as a measure of the gullibility of the left. Yes there were other factors besides the “We can’t show up the Soviets” reason, for example it served to attract Nixon haters naturally, but the majority of them that I have read about are simply mindless leftists malcontents, gullible to the core, and receptive to any story that either hurts America, defense, intelligence, and Republicans. If the conspiracy theory is in any way favorable to the Soviets specifically or Communism in general then they get that two-fer again. The anti-Science leftist philosophy showed up here as well, speaking of incorrect shadows, flags flapping and other nonsense.

    (3) When Islamic terrorists flattened the WTC towers and part of the Pentagon you would think the leftists would finally shut up. But no way. They immediately set upon the most incredible revision including blaming variously Cheney, defense contractors, paramilitary security companies and of course the Jews. Nothing that happened that day escaped their wild and mentally sick imaginations. As usual there was the opportunity for another two-fer here, or perhaps three. Along with exonerating the religion of peace that hates Jews more than any other, they get to use them as scapegoats and they also get to smear Bush 43 and the inexplicably hated Cheney. The three-fer comes into play by extending this delusion to simultaneously describing the Pentagon and Intelligence agencies as both inept for missing some early warning sign and being so incredibly efficient that they orchestrated the mother of all secret attacks, on ourselves. The leftists are all over this insane 9/11 truther garbage, and they put their anti-Science credentials right on the line here with melting steel strawmen, and missiles, and controlled implosions.

    Contrary to everything Lewandowsky says and thinks, Anti-Science is like a bug zapper that attracts double-digit IQ leftist dummies like Rosie O’Donnell just for example. And it helps us spot them easier because they cannot help themselves from opening their big mouthes and inserting both feet.

    So Lewandowsky has set upon an impossible quest here, but damned if he won’t keep trying though. The forum mouth-breathers at DU and DailyKOS and Huffington ( and probably Real Climate and Tamino ) live for this stuff. Don’t believe me? Start a thread at those places discussing those three topics and also here at WUWT. That’s a study Lewandowsky should be able to accomplish. He’ll find a much better reception for these kook theories there than anywhere else.

  142. PaddikJ says:

    Ah, Lewie – a walking, talking demonstration of the rhinoceros hide of the utterly clueless. These people are indestructible.

  143. jeremyp99 says:

    My opinion is that Lewandowsky – and McKibben – are personality disordered. They are certainly serious obsessives. Mann’s increasingly abusive behaviour towards those who DARE disagree with him suggests the same. I think maybe a spell in the Lubyanka would sort out their state of false consciousness :-)

  144. jeremyp99 says:

    @Colorado Wellington says: October 17, 2013 at 11:18 pm

    Apropos of not a lot, the term “Left” being applied to a political position arose as a result of the French Revolution, when in the French Assembly, the Royalists sat on the right of the chamber, the revolutionaries on the Left. Certainly, the French Revolution set the precedent with regard to the Left’s deep fondness over history, when things don’t go their way, for wholesale slaughter.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Left%E2%80%93right_politics

    And slightly apropos of something, driving through the Caucasus mountains in 1968, onwards to Uncle Joe’s Georgia, we came across the following slogan painted in huge letters on a rock face.

    Long Live Stalin.

  145. jeremyp99 says:

    @Geoff Sherrington says: October 17, 2013 at 5:29 pm

    Eugenics ceased in Sweden as late as the mid-70s. My stepdaughter lived there for 6 months a couple of years back, and found it, beneath the veneer of social democracy, to be a deeply racist country.

    And of course, the Fabians in the UK, the so-called Socialist “intellectuals”, were big fans of Eugenics, Wells even going as far as saying that “useless” citizens should be put down. GB Shaw was with him as well on this. Nice people. A blot on Labour’s early Methodist, working class origins.

  146. Steve Keohane says:

    Max Hugoson says:October 17, 2013 at 8:34 pm
    Imagining something could work is a bit different than actually making it work. Cheers to engineers.

  147. JPeden says:

    Andy West says:
    October 17, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    “… ‘scientific’ backup for population control (a la eugenics, phrenology, whatever) was definately a tool of the right, of course culminating in the dreadful things done by the facists in 1940s.”

    The Nazi Fascists were Socialists.

  148. JPeden says:

    jeremyp99 says:
    October 18, 2013 at 3:37 am

    “My opinion is that Lewandowsky – and McKibben – are personality disordered. They are certainly serious obsessives.”

    I agree. But instead of, say, simply washing their hands over and over like respectable obsessive-compulsives, they want to cleanse/control the whole freaking world. Imo, they want to control it and us because they can’t control their own minds, or fears. It’s also nice to get paid for it at the same time.

  149. Andrew says:

    Hm. Lewandowsky is not the only person to align belief or otherwise in AWG with a left/right political stance. I have commented on this before on this site. Forget left and right, and look at the evidence.

  150. Colorado Wellington says:

    @jeremyp99 October 18, 2013 at 3:42 am

    French Revolution set the precedent …

    Without a doubt. The durable innovation of the celebrated son of Georgia was applying this assembly shortcut for ancien régime to his modern rabble-rousing competitors.

    I wonder if the painted letters still exist on the same mountain or if Stalin’s old and new admirers found a more stately place.

  151. eyesonu says:

    Prior to Lewandowsky bringing up the moon landing conspiracy I had never heard of it. Does that make me a “believer/denier”?

  152. james griffin says:

    Ref my posting yesterday on the twin towers….steel framed buildings have never collapsed to fire and if they did they would not come down at free fall speed into their own footprint.

  153. Lars P. says:

    james griffin says:
    October 18, 2013 at 10:59 am

    Richard has answered your post above:
    richardscourtney says:
    October 17, 2013 at 9:13 am

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/10/17/another-plonker-from-lewandowsky/#comment-1451073

  154. Lars P. says:

    As many have highlighted above, Lewandowsky does several dishonest tricks here using:
    “- the role of conspiracy …. rejecting the science.”

    Alarmists talk of climate science as “the science”. The climate-science church scripture is known as “the science”.
    Skeptics have pointed out point out that much that comes in climate science is poor science, not using properly the scientific method, hiding the data, truncating etc etc. Gergis comes to mind, Marcott and so on – starting from the emblem, the hockey stick.
    But this for Lewandowsky is: “rejecting the science”.
    And instead of looking at the arguments that skeptics put forth he is “studying” the skeptics, trying to find common traits on points in an obsessive quest to mudden the waters.

    Oh my, poor students who have such a person as teacher.

  155. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    james griffin said on October 18, 2013 at 10:59 am:

    Ref my posting yesterday on the twin towers….steel framed buildings have never collapsed to fire and if they did they would not come down at free fall speed into their own footprint.

    Oh look, it’s a 9/11 Truther.

    Your previous post shows you are woefully ignorant of the common heat treating processes of heat-treatable steel, as most assuredly construction beams would be of such rather than common low-carbon steel, even at your hypothesized 850°F max much of the original strength would be lost from tempering too hot, if the steel was cooling from that temperature.

    But the beams were not cooling. You are apparently ignorant of how much strength is lost from steel when heated and kept hot, by the way your previous comment was harping on the melting point. Newsflash, a bar of steel does not have to heated until it splatters for it to start sagging. And you’re also apparently ignorant of decarburization, scaling, how steel is corroded and destroyed by exposure to fire.

    Seriously, I have now learned to never again get a propane BBQ grill with stamped steel grids, no matter the coating. Despite the thermometer assuring me it does not get beyond 850°F in the enclosure, after only two years the cooking surface is trashed and starting to break up.

    I was watching the news that day. I’m a machinist, know heat treatment of steel, studied forging and welding. I saw the roiling never-ending fires. I knew the towers would fall. As I said then, “Steel can only withstand so much.” Knowing the inevitable, I waited for the evacuation order.

    You, sir, are a moron.

  156. A. Scott says:

    kadaka … don’t forget – steel that was support a myriad of loads – including the simple load of dead weight … a single failure causes a cascading failure which destroyed the structural strength and integrity of the towers.

    As the steel failed at the fire levels it collapsed, taking out floor below – initially inside the structures shell …after a number of floor failed the structural integrity of the shell failed and the massive weight of the floors above cause the entire tower to collapse.

    That it would fail in the same way as a controlled demolition makes perfect sense. A controlled demo destroys key structural points causing collapse by its own weight.

    Seeing [windows] blowing out at lower levels – which the conspiracy people claims shows controlled explosion – was a function of the interior [collapse] which proceeded the exterior collapse, and of the pressure changes blowing out windows.

  157. RACookPE1978 says:

    james griffin says:
    October 18, 2013 at 10:59 am

    Ref my posting yesterday on the twin towers….steel framed buildings have never collapsed to fire and if they did they would not come down at free fall speed into their own footprint.

    OK. How many hours/days/years have YOU spent cutting, burning, welding, machining, heat-treating, building, erecting. fabricating, lifting, demolishing, exploding or designing steel? I do NOT request you give me your Professional Engineer registration number nor your engineering or architectural degree and university pedigree, just the number of years YOU have spent working with steel.

    Have YOU seen the drawings or photographs of exactly how these Trade Center floors were supported?
    Do YOU realize that each concrete floor was a horizontal concrete slab, supported only on the ends by a simple bent steel wire truss between the inner and outer vertical steel framing members?
    Do YOU realize that this steel bent-wire truss was made up of small, 1/2 inch diameter stiff wires bent into a complex “weave” between a small 3/16 inch thick upper and lower 1 inch x 3/4 inch channel, covered only by a blown-on (painted) fire-proofing insulation intended to provide 1 hour fire protection against “paper and office” fires (wood, paint, paper, carpets, plastic, and interior decorations and coverings?
    Do YOU know how far a 1/2 inch dia wire 30 feet long bends under its own weight, even when at its maximum strength at room temperature?
    Do YOU know how far a welded wire and channel truss 30 feet long bends under its own weight, even when at its maximum strength at room temperature?
    Do YOU know how far a welded wire and channel truss 30 feet long carrying a concrete slab and a full “dead load” of a commercial office spaces and occupants bends under its own weight, even when at its maximum strength at room temperature?
    Do YOU know how far a 1/2 inch dia wire only ten feet long bends when it has been heated to only 750 degrees for an hour? Would you like a photograph of that 10 foot long, 1/2 inch dia wire rod after it has been heated to a “mild red” glowing heat of just 750 degrees for 30 minutes?
    Do YOU know how much strength a bent-wire truss has after it has been heated to 850 degrees in a fuel-fed fire that blew off ALL insulation and fire-proofing for 2 hours?

  158. Big Don says:

    techgm says:
    “Besides the error of attributing emotion (trust) to something that is inanimate (science), the article errs in that the decline in trust has been with scientists (not “science”) – that people believe that (many) scientists have been corrupted by grant money and a lust for recognition, and/or that their skills are 2nd-rate.”

    This is exactly correct. The whole concept of “trust in science” is absurd. I myself am perhaps politically retarded. Whether a view on any topic is considered to be “conservative” or “liberal” seems to me to be arbitrary. I find it difficult to sort people into one of these categories, even if they themselves will declare themselves to be one or the other. Reality is too complex and multidimensional for me to get my head around being able to look at it all from just two discrete political viewing points. On the other hand, I have no problem whatsoever sorting people into the categories of “smart” and “stupid”. Smart people don’t take other peoples word for things. They evaluate the evidence and arguments themselves, and draw their own conclusions. Stupid people do take peoples’ words for things, since they are not comfortable thinking for themselves. When dealing with the Russians, Reagan used the phrase “Trust but verify”. This was a politically brilliant statement because it pandered to both of the voting constituencies — “trust” to comfort the stupid, and “verify” to satisfy the smart.

    Many stupid people view “scientists” as being some sort of oracles, with profound knowledge conferred upon them through some sort of magical learning process. Smart people realize that in reality, scientists are just ordinary folks like you and me, subject to all the same human strengths and fallibilities as the rest of the population. Some are selfless and sincere, others are ruthless and self serving. Most of them are smart, but you’ll find that some of them are indeed stupid. One thing that they all are, is human, meaning that each and every one of them errs once in a while. So there are many scientists that I admire, many that I respect, many that I like, but none that I “trust”. When scientist-A presents a conclusion to a scientist-B, scientist-B will generally say something like “Very intriguing — walk me through how you arrived at it.” Scientist-A is not offended by this request, since it is the normal thing for a smart person to do. If scientist-B judges that Scientist-A’s case is sound, he or she may then wish to perform their own experiment to see if they can replicate the results. If they are successful, they will likely conclude that the theory is valid. Smart scientists don’t even fully trust themselves, and will always be open to new evidence that arises in the future that may throw a wrench in the theory.

    I myself have concluded that the astronauts truly landed on the moon based on decades of evidence that it actually happened, with no compelling evidence that it didn’t. I have not reached this conclusion simply because I “trust science”. “Science” screws up once in a while. Just ask women who took thalidomide to reduce morning sickness, 50 or so years ago.

  159. wayne says:

    So do liberals blindly “trust” or better truly believe what is told to them by “experts” when it aligns with their world-view, apparent this is true especially with the word ‘climate’ attatched. They sure do reject all peer-reviewed paper to the contrary, that is also true as this paper shows.

    “Science is the belief in the ignorance of the experts.”
    – Dr. Richard Feynman

    “It doesn’t matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are. If it doesn’t agree with experiment, it’s wrong”.
    – Dr. Richard Feynman

    I’m definitely not a liberal, a free market thinker in physics, and will continue to stick with Feynman’s proper view of “science” and not Lewandowsky’s (who ever he is).

  160. Eric Gisin says:

    The skeptic community forgets there are loons on both sides of AGW: it’s either a catastrophe or a government hoax. If you are anti-corporation the former and if you are anti-government the latter. Skeptics recognize the government’s role but don’t believe AGW was “invented” to control us, but the paranoid do.

    If your survey identifies AGW beliefs on an spectrum, you should find the extremes on both sides correlate to paranoia in other fields.

  161. Lars P. says:

    Lewandowsky misses to define science. This allows him to put whatever he wants in that place and drive the conclusions he wants.

    To my understanding science is defined by the use of the scientific method.
    From wikipedia:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Science

    “Science (from Latin scientia, meaning “knowledge”[1]) is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe.”
    (my underlying)

    As Wayne has just posted above:
    “Science is the belief in the ignorance of the experts.”
    – Dr. Richard Feynman
    “It doesn’t matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are. If it doesn’t agree with experiment, it’s wrong”.
    – Dr. Richard Feynman

    As Craig above mentioned:
    ““Immune to falsification” precisely defines mainstream climate science. ”

    So Lewandowsky’s replacement of “science” with current “mainstream climate science” is wrong.

    Skeptics have repeatedly pointed out the failures to use the scientific method, the drift of climate science away from science.
    Each paper without proper raw data release and clear description of the methodology, thus not allowing duplication of the results is a drift away from science – see above “tested”.

    Clearly, Lewandowsky does not understand what science is or willfully ignores it.
    I cannot believe he is doing this on purpose, so my only option left is that he does not know, which begs the question how can such a person who does not understand what science is and how science works find a harbor in a scientific organization?

  162. manicbeancounter says:

    At least 36 of the questions in this paper were trialed in a survey at

    http://watchingthedeniers.wordpress.com/2012/06/07/take-this-test-please-uni-of-wa-survey-on-science-and-values/

    This I evaluated a few hours later at http://manicbeancounter.com/2012/06/07/australian-climate-science-opinion-survey-confirming-prejudices/.
    When LOG12 was published two weeks later I at first thought this was the paper.
    Two things that failed to make the cut for the final questionnaire. First were 15 questions on Christianity and Evolution. Imagine the outcry if Lewandowsky had tried to link Christian belief to “denial of the climate”.
    Second were 13, very similar, questions on corporations, written by someone with an extremely anti-business viewpoint.

    Given that one of the co-authors of the “Recursive Fury” paper is the proprietor of “Watching the Deniers” blog, there is a backstory awaiting to be pursued.

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