Lewandowsky’s Peer Reviewer Makes Things Up

Guest essay by Brandon Schollenberger

As most people reading this blog know, a paper by Stephan Lewandowsky, Recursive Fury, was recently retracted. This is a big deal as scientific papers are rarely retracted, and merely being wrong doesn’t cause it to happen. One would instinctively assume that means there was something very problematic with the paper.

That’s not how people are portraying it. Quite a few people have spun this retraction of a paper criticizing skeptics as demonstrating skeptics are in the wrong. One of them is Elaine McKewon, one of the peer-reviewers for Recursive Fury. Unfortunately, she does this by making things up.

McKewon recently published an article you can find here and here. The article contains numerous errors, to the point it grossly misrepresents Recursive Fury. This can be seen in its very first sentence:  

In February 2013, the journal Frontiers in Psychology published a peer-reviewed paper which found that people who reject climate science are more likely to believe in conspiracy theories.

Recursive Fury did nothing of the sort. It didn’t claim to examine relative amounts of conspiratorial ideation in any groups. It didn’t attempt to compare or quantify levels of such ideation. There is no way to read Recursive Fury as doing what Elaine McKewon claims it did. She has simply made this up.

What does it say when a peer-reviewer of a paper makes an obviously untrue claim about what the paper shows? I don’t know. What I do know is it should make everyone question McKewon’s judgment when she says:

Recursive Fury was theoretically strong, methodologically sound, and its analysis and conclusions – which re-examined and reaffirmed the link between conspiracist ideation and the rejection of science – were based on clear evidence.

But that’s not the only basic point McKewon got wrong. She also misrepresents an indisputable fact. Her portrayal of the events leading up to Recursive Fury being retracted is:

Shortly after publication, Frontiers received complaints from climate deniers who claimed they had been libelled in the paper and threatened to sue the journal unless the paper was retracted.

After taking the paper down from its website, Frontiers began its investigation and arranged a conference call so that the journal’s manager, legal counsel, editors and reviewers could discuss how to proceed.

Before the call ended, three academics, including me, argued that scientific journals must not be held to ransom every time someone threatens litigation. In response to our concerns, we were assured by the journal’s representatives that the legal matter would be considered settled once the two sentences had been amended as agreed.

Yet the paper remained in limbo while the journal’s investigation into the academic and ethical aspects of the study dragged on for more than a year.

The important part is where McKewon says “the paper remained in limbo.” Her portrayal holds “the paper remained in limbo” because of threats of legal action regarding two sentences which could be amended to address the complaints. That is a figment of her imagination. Here is what Brian Little, editor for the journal says happened:

The article was removed on February 6th because of a complaint about a factual error. We did due diligence, contacted the authors, had it corrected and it was put up again.

Notice the last part. Little clearly states the paper was put back online after it was amended. McKewon’s portrayal pretends this never happened. This means she can only claim “the paper remained in limbo” because of those supposed “threats of legal action” by ignoring the fact those complaints had actually been resolved.

To see what actually happened, we can simply ask the journal itself. It explains:

I think there’s a misunderstanding: the manuscript was accepted for publication by Frontiers on Feb 2, and the provisional (i.e. non proof-read) PDF was made available immediately, as we do in most cases. Because there was subsequently identified a need for authors, reviewers, editor and associates to review and Chief editors to agree on the modification of one specific line in the text, the provisional PDF was hidden on Feb 6 while this modification was agreed. The paper was then published in the agreed form on March 18, and as you know was subsequently unlinked while we deal with all the complaints and allegations.

In other words, the paper was first taken offline to address the complaints McKewon refers to. Once they were addressed, it was reposted. It was then taken offline a second time in response to other complaints. Those later complaints are what led to the paper remaining in limbo for nearly a year.

Given that, when McKewon asks:

Just how clear would the legal context need to be for Frontiers to stand up to intimidation and defend academic freedom? First, the two sentences discussed in the conference call had been amended as agreed, which satisfied the journal’s lawyer even under the former libel laws.

She shows she has no idea what she’s talking about. She’s created a story which ignores basic facts nobody disputes, facts which even the simplest of research would have uncovered. All she had to do was look at the Retraction Watch article about the paper’s retraction and follow the first link it offers for background. Or she could have asked the journal.

Only, if she had done that, she’d have found the journal says her entire argument is bogus. She claims the paper was retracted because “the journal’s management and editors were clearly intimidated by climate deniers who threatened to sue.” The journal disagrees. It says:

Our decision on the retraction of this article was taken on the basis of a number of factors. This decision had nothing to do with caving in to pressure and was driven by our own analysis of various factors and advice received.

The journal directly contradicts Elain McKewon’s argument. Had she questioned the journal for her story, she’d have known that. Had she investigated or researched the story, she’d have known the paper wasn’t placed in limbo because of the complaints she referred to. And had she reread Recursive Fury, she’d have known it did not find “people who reject climate science are more likely to believe in conspiracy theories.”

But she apparently didn’t do any of that. Even though she describes herself as a “journalism PhD candidate,” she didn’t do any of the basic journalism that goes into doing a story.

And she is one of the people who approved Stephan Lewandowsky’s work for publication.

Go figure?

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128 thoughts on “Lewandowsky’s Peer Reviewer Makes Things Up

  1. Just wondering how a PhD “candidate” becomes a peer reviewer. I was under the assumption the most recognized journals went to established scientists for “peer” review.

  2. It’s odd when even a peer reviewer who usually remains anonymous feels a need to repair their reputation. So far on The Conversation 28 of the 183 comments (15.3%) have been removed. This is called a Conversation by some.

  3. Another interesting point is Elain McKewon is a third year journalism PhD student:

    Elaine McKewon is a third-year journalism PhD student at the University of Technology, Sydney examining coverage of climate science in Australian newspapers during 1996-2010. The primary aim of her study is to explain how the scientific consensus on climate change was reconstructed as a ‘scientific debate’ in the Australian news media.

    She has published five papers and one book. That seems like a weak resume for a reviewer to me, but I’m not an academic so I don’t know. What I find more interesting is her area of focus appears to be the Lewandowsky/Cook meme of consensus + conspiracy. That makes it hardly surprising she’d approve of Lewandowsky’s paper.

  4. Why am I not surprised that someone selected to review a Lewandowsky paper shows a strong alarmist bias and a poor grasp of facts?

  5. The comments on that site are a hoot … I note that despite the article being published today, they’ve already closed comments. This from a website called “The Conversation”? What kind of “conversation” is that?

    I also note (as did Gary) that more than 10% of the comments were removed … censor your conversation much?

    w.

  6. “… people who reject climate science …”
    should better be read as
    “people who do not simply swallow what’s nowadays presented as climate science”

  7. It gets better …

    Elaine McKewon is a third-year journalism PhD student at the University of Technology, Sydney examining coverage of climate science in Australian newspapers during 1996-2010. The primary aim of her study is to explain how the scientific consensus on climate change was reconstructed as a ‘scientific debate’ in the Australian news media.

    Pre-judge the situation much?

    w.

  8. I still don’t understand what a “third-year journalism PhD student” is doing reviewing a paper … makes me wonder who her advisors might be.

    w.

  9. The website where Elaine published her screed has an email address to “report abuse”, so I sent them this …

    Dear Friends:

    You published a post today. In it, the author made a number of accusations that, despite repeated requests, she either could not or would not back up with facts.

    After censoring about 15% of the comments, you closed comments. On the same day. Not only that, but bizarrely, some comments were censored but the response to the censored comments was left in …

    I’m not sure how this qualifies as a “conversation”, when one in eight of the comments is censored, people are censored but their opponents are still allowed to reply, and then the “conversation” is shut down entirely.

    I’ve sent this to “report abuse” in the hopes you could explain this abuse of your readers’ trust …

    w.

    We’ll see what happens …

    w.

  10. It gets clearer when you see her previous work. She covers only two topics—prostitution, and how “deniers” are crazy and misguided:

    BOOKS
    74
    The Scarlet Mile: A Social History of Prostitution in Kalgoorlie, 1894-2004

    PAPERS
    221
    TALKING POINTS AMMO: The use of neoliberal think tank fantasy themes to delegitimise scientific knowledge of climate change in Australian newspapers

    279
    DUELLING REALITIES: Conspiracy theories vs climate science in regional newspaper coverage of Ian Plimer’s book, Heaven and Earth

    180
    Resurrecting the war-by-media on climate science: Ian Plimer’s Heaven+ Earth

    243
    The historical geography of prostitution in Perth, Western Australia

    43
    Hedonists, ladies and larrikins: crime, prostitution and the 1987 America’s Cup

    Dang …

    w.

  11. The primary aim of her study is to explain how the scientific consensus on climate change . . .

    Their never has been a “scientific” consensus on climate change. There was a public relations campaign that tried to force this idea on folks. If she wants to study something she should examine the failure of PR to convince people to suspend common sense and basic physics.
    Willis asks who her advisors might be. They have to be as wonky as she is.

  12. She could really make a mark if she wrote about climate scientists prostituted to alarm.
    =====================

  13. Following on from the Ship of Fools fiasco, are we any way surprised by this? I’m not! What makes me sick is that my taxes are paying these people to “produce” this rubbish!

    Welcome to Australia.

  14. Willis,
    You missed the best part of that post:
    “DISCLOSURE STATEMENT

    Elaine McKewon receives an Australian Postgraduate Award from the Australian government’s Department of Education. This scholarship enables research that is in the public interest and free of vested interests.”

    What a hoot!!!!

  15. Her description of her upcoming PhD …

    Preaching the Controversy: The Influence of the Industrial-Thinktank-Media Complex on the Australian News Media’s Coverage of Climate Change, 1996-2010 (PhD – working title)

    In my PhD research, I am examining Australian newspaper coverage of climate science during 1996-2010 with the aim of explaining how the scientific consensus on climate change was reconstructed as a ‘scientific debate’ in the news media.

    Theory

    I am developing an interdisciplinary model of the social production of scientific ignorance – the process whereby a coalition of agents from different social fields constructs a false scientific controversy at the public level in order to undermine authoritative scientific knowledge. This theoretical framework integrates concepts from the history and philosophy of science, journalism studies, sociology, political science and communication theory.

    Empirical Studies

    First, I identified the drivers of newspaper coverage of climate change in Australia and the news sources who accessed the news media to discredit authoritative scientific knowledge about climate change. I found that these news sources have historical, material connections to American think tanks, Australian conservative political parties and economic interests in the fossil fuel, mining and energy industries – all of which oppose policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

    I then mapped out the discursive strategies used by these news sources and the ideological basis of the narratives propagated through discourse coalitions that permeate the Field of Power which encompasses the political, economic, academic, media and think tanks social fields.

    Finally, I designed synchronic case studies to examine the representation of scientific knowledge about climate change in newspapers across Australia. My case studies confirmed that ideological and partisan orientation are the main factors that determine a newspaper’s or journalist’s attitude towards the science of climate change.

    In my future research, I plan to build on my PhD study to further investigate how economic interests use think tanks, the news media, social media and social movements to engage in the social production of scientific ignorance in order to manipulate policy debates in the areas of environment, energy and public health.

    The part that was pure gold that she is developing:

    … an interdisciplinary model of the social production of scientific ignorance – the process whereby a coalition of agents from different social fields constructs a false scientific controversy at the public level in order to undermine authoritative scientific knowledge. This theoretical framework integrates concepts from the history and philosophy of science, journalism studies, sociology, political science and communication theory.

    My goodness, she’s integrating philosphy of science, journalism, poli-sci, and communication theory into Elaine’s Theory Of Everything … can’t wait to see how that comes out …

    In addition, it’s no surprise that she believes in Lewandowsky’s conspiratorial theories … she manufactures them herself. She actually thinks that she has “identified the drivers of newspaper coverage of climate change in Australia and the news sources who accessed the news media to discredit authoritative scientific knowledge about climate change …”

    The media, in Australia as elsewhere, has by and large been lap-dogs for the alarmists … and she actually believes that the skeptics are controlling the Aussie media? Really?

    And they accuse us of believing in conspiracies? It is to laugh …

    w.

  16. I personally believe the general view is that it doesn’t matter whether a paper is scientifically accurate, as long as it makes “deniers” look bad.

  17. Yeah, she wrote a whole article bashing Fairfax for letting a skeptic “slip through the cracks” and get an article published. She then spends the rest of the article bashing the author, the journals the author published in, and trying to tie everything to some grand conspiracy funded by Exxon. Roy Spencer was right. They’ve stolen April Fools day from us.

    http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2014/1/13/policy-politics/fairfax-misleads-self-titled-climate-expert

  18. One of Elaine’s tweets …

    I note that she doesn’t retweet often … but when she does, she’s willing to retweet Dana Nuccitelli …

    And she is nothing if not inconsistent in her tweets:

    Australia’s hottest year was no freak event: humans caused it

    and

    US cold wave implies nothing about global warming

    Stay classy, Elaine!

    w.

  19. Sadly, her “journalism” is par for the course: fact checking has become a thing of the past.

  20. I doubt there are many advisors or professors at universities these days who would attempt to correct a woman or minority researching in a politically correct field like climate change. They would be afraid of being charged with sexism or racism themselves. For a similar reason, no one at Fort Hood was willing to censure or report the suspicious behavior of Nidal Hasan, despite having “Soldier of Allah” on his business card. Political correctness trumps everything else these days. So expect a lot more mediocre graduates to come out of universities believing they are the smartest people the world has ever seen.

  21. How about a story on conspiracy theory climate denying prostitutes? That could be interesting. lol.

  22. ….and her doctoral adviser is Dr Catriona Bonfiglioli who earned her own PhD by:

    Catriona was awarded her PhD by the University of Sydney in 2005 for her doctoral research investigating genetic technologies in the Australian news media.

    http://www.uts.edu.au/staff/catriona.bonfiglioli

    So, it appears one can get a PhD by studying newspaper articles on a specific subject. Wow. I probably qualify for dozens of PhD’s by now and just never knew it.

  23. So Elaine McKewon believes that there is an ongoing process “whereby a coalition of agents from different social fields constructs a false scientific controversy at the public level in order to undermine authoritative scientific knowledge.” All these agents from different social fields are secretly getting together to undermine the scientific consensus. Talk about conspiracy ideation!

  24. Just my opinion but she sounds a lot like a modern day Joseph Goebbels in the making; just needs a few more years and a bit more power.

  25. I glimpsed the type of set this so called scholar moves about with. You know what I mean. Lattes and chardonnay by the gallon. Backs bruised from slapping each other on the back. One time doing it tough on the streets, I saw a man down on his luck whose eyes made my heart so heavy, approach a table of chardonnay sipping academics around the corner from UTS in Sydney and ask for a dollar. What still haunts me is their reaction. Or should I say their lack of reaction. They sipped and chomped as if the man was invisible and inaudible. And that friends is how climate doom sayers would wish that those who believe in asking questions should be. Invisible and not worthy of their attention. Ok gotta get back to reading how Abe Lincoln was working for J. Edgar Hoover who was really a time hopper from the planet Covert. Interesting read.

  26. So I guess is peer review depends on the bias and quality and value judgements of the peer? Who’d have thought?

  27. I think I could help Elaine McKewon with her research, she could watch a recent screening of the History Channel “Love hate and Propaganda” closely, watch Goebbels whip up the crowd to a frenzy at a time when they were suffering their worst losses and see how his propaganda effected the crowd, reality and common sense was pushed aside as they cheered! Now consider the recent resounding defeat of the Labour party and the Greens in Australian elections especially Tasmania where both defeated leaders made 20 minute speeches that had all the hallmarks of Victory except they had to concede they were defeated. If Elaine then views the speeches made by the Labor Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten addressing a crowd in Western Australian just before the re-run of the W.A. Senate vote (the last election was declared invalid due to a lost or misplaced parcel of counted votes) the same Goebbels propaganda effect is clearly there as he works the crowd whipping them into common agreement. Techniques the same, scares and fears introduced and the theme, we didn’t really lose, this time we will win. Forget the economic mess we left you, forget our muddling disarray, we are really, really the winners.

    Now that is a subject crying out for examination! Similar with the Greens leader who is thumping the same drum, forget our culpability we deserve? your vote of confidence in us!! Scares and propaganda. Delivering a similar theme, that is driving those who believe in Catastrophic warming.

    There is NO attempt at “conversation” just their view, their right to rule, others must be silenced and you need political power to achieve that ultimate level of censorship and control. The power to exclude!

  28. Geez I wish I knew that one could get a PhD simply by reading the newspaper when I did mine. I could have spent more time sitting in at home drinking beer and reading the paper rather than trying to come to grips with quantum mechanics and high temperature reaction theory. Bugger, looks like I wasted my time then eh.

  29. What does it say when a peer-reviewer of a paper makes an obviously untrue claim about what the paper shows?

    It says that she didn’t understand it, and perhaps that she never actually read it.

    Next question: Since when is a journalist a “peer” within the field of psychology? An astrologist, maybe. A phrenologist, certainly. How does a journalist rate? Was her undergrad in palmistry?

  30. Brandon Schollenberger said,

    “There is no way to read Recursive Fury as doing what Elaine McKewon claims it did. She has simply made this up.”

    Her path to her PhD takes her down the rabbit hole into a interest conflict wonderland.

    John

  31. Brandon Schollenberger said in the article here:”…One of them is Elaine McKewon, one of the peer-reviewers for Recursive Fury…”

    What she actually said is “…The paper, which I helped to peer-review,…”, and this MAY well be distinct from her being an official peer reviewer. It could mean anything, – a large or a small contribution.

    It is not unusual for a professor who receives a paper for review to send copes around for his/her graduate students (WITH appropriate admonitions) to be aware of, and to comment on. This could even be useful and proper. However such “delegation” must be scrupulously chaperoned, and perhaps that did not happen here (on the part of student and/or adviser), as the remarks in McKewon’s article seem carelessly assembled and arrayed, and incautiously released.

  32. Two of my comments were removed and the following notification sent to my email. There was no explanation of which specific rule of the forum I had breached.
    —————————————————————————
    Your comment on ‘The journal that gave in to climate deniers’ intimidation’ has been removed.
    There are several reasons why this may have occurred:
    1) Your comment may have breached our community standards. For example it may have been a personal attack, or you might not have used your real name.
    2) Your comment may have been entirely blameless but part of a thread that was removed because another comment had to be removed.
    3) It might have been removed for another editorial reason, for example to avoid repetition or keep the conversation on topic.

    For practical reasons we reserve the right to remove any comment and all decisions must be final, but please don’t take it personally.
    If you’re playing by the rules it’s unlikely to happen again, so feel free to continue to post new comments and engage in polite and respectful discussion.
    For more information you can read our standards here:

    http://theconversation.com/community_standards

    —————————————————————————
    Comments such as these are permitted as long as they are addressed to the correct side of the fence of political correctness. I suppose it’s because they add substantial information to the conversation.

    “Like that manic spray is just so totes QED’ed.”
    “whole lotta balone there helen, enough to fill all hot-dogs in a stadium.”
    “Dumbfounded”
    “Oh look over there. Greg North has found a squirrell.”

  33. Shouldn’t peer reviewers be disclosed in the interests of evaluating the level of scrutiny that a publication gets? Reviewers might be more careful if they know that bad research will reflect poorly on them as well as the author? It would also become pretty clear who is covering for each other. Peer Review would thus have to be something of a “certification” like when your accountant signs your tax return and attests to its accuracy. Likely far fewer studies would be published, but perhaps they would be of better quality.

    My respect for a PhD just went into the tank. I didn’t think it could go much lower, but alas it has.

  34. I am wondering in the broader picture, how prevalent and endemic all ‘fraudulent science’ actually is?

    With the enormous sums of money being poured into all branches of science and research,, it appears to me there is an opportunity for a comprehensive journalistic expose of all activities that can be classified as suspect, or at lease ‘items of interest’.

    Looking at the variety of extraordinary tactics applied against those who question or oppose;
    emotive images, threats of criminal action against those who dare to ‘deny’ coupled with the revelations of the massive incomes of certain people in the vanguard of CAGW, it seems quite possible that the ‘get the denier’ programme of attempting to muzzle or denigrate is possibly the MO of many of these heavily funded qualified scientists.

    So it begs the question, is science the newest criminal activity?

    Just a thought….

  35. Cold in Wisconsin said in part: April 1, 2014 at 10:59 pm “Shouldn’t peer reviewers be disclosed in the interests of evaluating the level of scrutiny that a publication gets?…..”

    Yes – but that won’t happen. Keep in mind that “peer review” means next to nothing. Search “peer review is bogus” (or supply your own invective in the search term) and you will see the sorry state of the review process. Few if any reviewers would brag about their contributions.

  36. “And had she reread Recursive Fury, she’d have known it did not find “people who reject climate science are more likely to believe in conspiracy theories.”

    How about ‘read’ to begin with?

  37. Excellent takedown, Brandon.

    And remind me to never, ever argue with Willis. His deconstruction rapier is far too formidable for a lightweight like either Elaine McKewon, or the truly despicable Lewandowsky.

    But it’s fun seeing the corner they and their enablers have painted themselves into, using their own words and fake accomplishments…

  38. @Willis, 952pm.
    And they accuse us of believing in conspiracies? It is to laugh …
    It would be if it was not so sad. (but thanks for the comments above!).

  39. This comment (borrowed from Retraction Watch, has a nice summary:

    http://retractionwatch.com/2013/03/28/why-publishers-should-explain-why-papers-disappear-the-complicated-lewandowsky-study-saga/#comment-52861

    “This may be one of a tiny handful of cases in which a journal might be justified in erasing, rather than withdrawing, an article. The circumstances here are almost unique.

    The lead author is a psychologist. He reports that he has recorded and analyzed the responses of a number of people to a particular event. On the basis of that analysis, he draws certain professional conclusions about the psychological and cognitive status of his subjects. He writes up his data, analysis, and conclusions and submits them for publication. Whether he did so well or badly, this is simply the paradigm of academic psychology. Forget climate politics. Forget “provocative” titles. Don’t even worry about whether this is good science or not. Measure it only against the professional obligations implied by the paradigm.

    First, the senior author has an extraordinary conflict of interest. The behavior under study is precisely public criticism of the author’s professional competence. Psychology in particular has a deep concern with the distortions caused by even relatively trivial conflicts of interest.

    Second, it is probably safe to assume that Prof. Lewandowsky did not write his Psych. Sci. paper simply to create the experimental conditions for the Frontiers paper. Still, negative reactions to the Psych. Sci. paper were entirely predictable. This was not a “natural” event. On the contrary, the experimental set-up (the contents and release of the then-unpublished Psych. Sci. paper) was completely under the author’s control. Thus Prof. Lewandowsky created, controlled, conducted, analyzed, and published a psychological experiment without any disclosures to, or consent from, the subjects.

    Third, regardless of whether consent was required for the experiment, the authors published individually identifiable information about, and analysis of, the mental health and cognitive status of their subjects. This is not simply bloggish, lay opinion. This is, mind you, published as objectively determined, scientifically verified, analysis by professional psychologists for publication in a professional journal — concerning named individuals who were not willing subjects and did not consent to participation in a study, or to the release of personal mental status information.

    Fourth, some of the information then turned out to be wrong.

    Perhaps, despite appearances, this is all ethically acceptable in psychology. But, if not, Frontiers has a hard choice. They really shouldn’t proceed to publication. It’s an ethical minefield. But retraction or withdrawal, with detailed explanations, would look like an attempt to cast blame on the authors or others — and might make things worse. Having gotten this far into the process, duck and cover may be the best, and perhaps even the most ethical, choice among rotten alternatives.”

  40. C’mon everyone, let’s go easy on Elaime. After all, she’s practically 97% of a doctorate.

    Do these strategically shaved apes realize how desperate and narcissistic they appear with that ‘I <3 CS' mantra? I'm shocked, SHOCKED I tell you, that they managed to find room on a napkin to crank out that insipid doodle.

    The whole lot is revolting.

  41. davidmhoffer says:
    April 1, 2014 at 10:16 pm

    Just think how many PhD’s Steve Goddard would qualify for by this standard!

  42. ROTFLMFAO … Elain McKewon has a disturbing fascination with prostitution in small country towns … I guess that figures.

  43. 2 April: SMH: Peter Hannam: ‘Conspiracist’ climate change study withdrawn amid legal threats
    Climate change academics say the decision by a publisher to retract their paper examining the links between conspiracy theorists and denial of global warming because of legal threats could have a “chilling effect” on research…
    “Sadly, it has turned into a routine for outsiders with no scientific standing to approach, bully, or intimidate journals, editors, and academics,” said Professor Lewandowsky, now at the UK’s University of Bristol.
    One person commenting on the Frontiers’ website asked for the ‘‘full details of the investigation,’’ saying the paper had been ‘‘derogatory and insulting’’ by naming people as conspiracy theorists who were ‘‘merely pointing out errors in the previous paper’’…
    John Cook, a researcher at the University of Queensland and a co-author of the second paper, said the Frontiers’ decision to retract the work might have a “chilling effect” on research.
    “It means that if a paper is published that the climate deniers don’t like the look of, they can bombard the journal with complaints or threats,” Mr Cook said.
    “Knowing they have had success once might embolden them to try to retreat the strategy again.” (Mr Cook also helms the Skeptical Science website.)
    Kim Heitman, a lawyer for the UWA, said the university had done its own risk analysis before publishing the paper online. “There’s no reason to take it down,” Mr Heitman said.
    The university had also received complaints from some groups. “It’s quite relentless,” he said.
    “There’s always a close interest in everything that Steve (Lewandowsky) does,” Mr Heitman said. “We are conscious that we are going to be targeted by people opposed to his works.”
    The university, though, had also received plaudits from around the world for its decision to publish the paper.
    “I couldn’t list them,” Mr Heitman said. “And I wouldn’t list them, having regard to the fact that anyone who issues a ‘thanks UWA’ will probably get their own enquiry.”

    http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/conspiracist-climate-change-study-withdrawn-amid-legal-threats-20140402-35xao.html

  44. 1 April: Brookings Institute: Adele Morris: An EPA-Sanctioned State-Based Carbon Tax Could Reduce Emissions and Improve State Finances
    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is developing a proposed rule due out in June that could allow states to use carbon excise taxes or fees to limit the one-third of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions that come from power plants…
    A national price on carbon currently has little traction in Washington, but EPA’s power plant rule could open the door for a straightforward state-based tax…
    Here are some potential benefits to such a system: … (LIST OF TWELVE)
    (Adele Morris, Fellow, Economic Studies, Climate and Energy Economics Project
    Policy Director, Climate and Energy Economics Project)

    http://www.brookings.edu/blogs/up-front/posts/2014/04/01-epa-carbon-tax-can-help-environment-state-finances-morris

    2 April: Guardian: Kelly Rigg/Wael Hmaidan: Seeking the political will to secure a carbon-free future
    Global leaders must see the IPCC report for what it is: one last chance to stop catastrophic climate change
    Don’t believe anyone who tells you that a 100% renewable energy-powered future is unrealistic…
    (Kelly Rigg is the executive director of the Global Call to Climate Action, a network of more than 400 non-profit organisations. Follow @kellyrigg on Twitter.
    Wael Hmaidan is director of Climate Action Network International. CAN is a network of more than 850 NGOs from 100 countries working together to fight the climate crisis. Follow @whmaidan on Twitter)

    http://www.theguardian.com/global-development-professionals-network/2014/apr/02/ipcc-report-climate-change-carbon

  45. When journalists come to believe they qualified to give opinions about scientific
    subject matter, I’d say they have disqualified themselves as journalists. Repeat after me : journalists are not scientists. Journalists are not scientists.

  46. 2 March: International Business Times: Athena Yenko: Conspiracy Related Studies Face Precedence of Legal Retractions
    For Elaine McKewon, research associate at the University of Technology Sydney’s Centre, the retraction implied that Frontier is a “spineless” institution.
    “They caved in at the first pushback from the climate change denial community. To retract a paper is just the most extreme action that a journal can take, and it was thoroughly unwarranted in this decision. It was really quite breathtaking.”…

    http://au.ibtimes.com/articles/546241/20140402/conspiracy-climate-change-university-western-australia.htm

  47. kim says: “She could really make a mark if she wrote about climate scientists prostituted to alarm.”

    Yeah, ” The Prostitution of Science : crime and nobel cause corruption in climatology. “

  48. ‘…she does this by making things up.’

    That will be the epitaph for “climate science”: “They made it up”.

  49. Willis Eschenbach says:
    April 1, 2014 at 9:52 pm
    “Her description of her upcoming PhD …”
    My God, the paranoia! How do these people function in society? Willis, thanks for taking the trouble to look into this BS. I think i would have been too nauseated to manage it.

  50. JJ says: “Next question: Since when is a journalist a “peer” within the field of psychology? ”

    Very good point. Not only is she not yet a PhD in anything, her field of competence has nothing to do with psychology as a science. The journal did the right thing in retracting the paper but the editor that allowed this to happen needs to be removed.

  51. Quality in usage of Theory of Science has fallen…. say a lot of the results and the presented articles/papers.

  52. candidate for a Friday Funny!

    2 March: ABC The World Today: Fad not facts: call for new approach to climate change
    ELEANOR HALL: An Australian National University science academic says it is time to call in the advertising industry to make sure that the warnings from climate scientists hit home…
    Dr Rod Lamberts, says scientists have done all they can to alert governments to the need for action, but that professional marketing may be more effective..
    SIMON LAUDER: The deputy director of the Australian Centre for Public Awareness of Science at the ANU, Dr Rod Lamberts, says the latest IPCC report has failed to make a difference to the debate.
    ROD LAMBERTS: This looks to me to be unfortunately the case of the same thing happening over and over again, where people who support the science and are concerned about what the science is telling us believe that throwing more and more facts at the issue in the public space will make a difference, and I seriously doubt that it will.
    SIMON LAUDER: He says it’s time for a less scientific appeal.
    ROD LAMBERTS: If the goal is to affect change, then I believe we need to step more into the realms of advertising and marketing and so on, in terms of delivering messages that are supported by what the science is telling us, but don’t have the science in those messages.
    That’s not what we need anymore.
    SIMON LAUDER: And why do you think that would work?
    ROD LAMBERTS: I think it would have a much better shot at working because we’ve seen evidence, there’s evidence to suggest appealing to people’s emotions will have a stronger effect than trying to appeal to their brains via some kind of, you know, fact channel…
    ***(LOL- SOOO ABC) SIMON LAUDER: And presumably, the target of an advertising campaign would be politicians?
    ROD LAMBERTS: Probably not. I think many of those folks; their positions are not set by the science necessarily, but their positions are fairly set by the other forces. I think it’s more about the people in the middle; people who may or may not change, who aren’t really sure what to believe, aren’t sure what they can do.
    SIMON LAUDER: Another question I have about using advertising and marketing which is, I guess, divorced to the science to some extent. Does that open up the opportunity for critics and sceptics to label it a scare campaign again?
    ROD LAMBERTS: Yeah, they’re doing that anyway. I just don’t think that matters anymore…
    SIMON LAUDER: It’s not a new idea; there are already ads which attempt to spread the word about climate change.
    VOICEOVER (excerpt from climate change advertisement): This is the biggest threat humankind has ever faced. Humans have caused this…
    SIMON LAUDER: Copywriter and creative director at Jara Consulting, Jane Caro, says advertising isn’t effective if it’s too shocking, but she doesn’t believe more scientific facts will be convincing on their own.
    JANE CARO: Facts have never changed anyone’s mind about anything, sadly. It’s very hard for scientists to understand this, because they’re highly rational people, but in actual fact, no-one has ever been rationalised out of a belief…

    http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2014/s3976695.htm

  53. Louis says:
    So Elaine McKewon believes that there is an ongoing process “whereby a coalition of agents from different social fields constructs a false scientific controversy at the public level in order to undermine authoritative scientific knowledge.” All these agents from different social fields are secretly getting together to undermine the scientific consensus. Talk about conspiracy ideation!

    ===

    Yes, all this endless talk of an “multi-million dollar, international denial industry” that no one ever seems to get a penny from, is about the clearest case of conspiracy “ideation” going.

    It’s like a thief assuming everyone else is dishonest. It’s called “projection” in psychology, but I suppose a journalism student may not be aware of that kind of thing.

  54. Off Topic

    Bill McKibben, at MSNBC/Green says:

    ‘Climate scientists’ should go on strike! Because politicians aren’t listening to them, and more importantly not doing what they are told to by ‘climate scientists’.

    Interestingly, there is a poll underneath asking readers if they “see climate change is a threat to their life or well-being”. The vast majority even there seems unimpressed.

  55. April 2, 2014 at 12:34 am | pat says:

    candidate for a Friday Funny!

    JANE CARO: Facts have never changed anyone’s mind about anything, sadly. It’s very hard for scientists to understand this, because they’re highly rational people, but in actual fact, no-one has ever been rationalised out of a belief…

    And THAT is the sad fact of what we are up against … our arguing facts is not going to overcome warmista belief.

  56. The title of this post was: “Lewandowsky’s Peer Reviewer Makes Things Up”

    Why should anyone be surprised about this?

  57. Bernie Hutchins on April 1, 2014 at 10:54 pm is right. As a PhD student myself I’ve been given papers to review by my professor (along with the rest of her students). We then discuss everyone’s inputs and jointly create her review response. She stands behind the final submission.

    I would be very remiss, though, if I went public with my review comments on a paper. For one thing it would undermine my professor who is the official peer reviewer, whether she considered my comments to be right or not. So my conclusion is that McKewon’s supervisor must have agreed with her review and — for whatever reason — approved of her going public. That wouldn’t happen at my university, but perhaps Australian universities are different.

    The fact that this paper was sent for peer review to journalism academics indicates that it was considered by the Journal to be about journalism and not science. So I don’t expect there was any requirement to review the science, and perhaps not even the methods employed. Perhaps the focus would have been on the impact of the story and not its content. Or perhaps I’m just biased!

  58. Reasons for Frontiers to retract:
    A comment from under the abstract (Geoff complained to Frontiers)

    http://journal.frontiersin.org/Journal/10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00073/full

    Geoff Chambers to the editors of “Frontiers”
    Author of “Recursive Fury” Michael Marriott runs a blog

    http://watchingthedeniers.wordpress.com/

    Between 28 August and 22 September 2012 he published 13 articles attacking climate sceptics who had criticised LOG12. According to the above article, the content analysis of sceptic blogs was carried out “in real time” starting 28 August, by John Cook and Michael Marriott, chosen specifically for the task for their lack of bias.

    It”s not surprising the raw data (see supplemental data above right) is so full of errors. While collecting the data for this study, Marriott was at the same writing an article every two days insulting the authors of the very data he was collecting.
    In order to protect your reputation, please withdraw this paper.

    - See more at: http://journal.frontiersin.org/Journal/10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00073/full#sthash.tD1lPICd.dpuf

  59. One of my comments: (I complained to Frontiers AND UWA about ethical conduct)

    http://journal.frontiersin.org/Journal/10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00073/full

    Barry Woods
    A coauthor of this paper M Marriott write as the blogger – Watching the Deniers –
    Whilst researching this paper, Marriot was also writing article about LOG12 in defence of Lewandowsky et al (LOG12) and articles against the critics of LOG12. in quite disparaging terms (as is his right)

    I am known to him, prior and durring the research period (including commenting politely at his blog)

    I commented here, politely on his first article: (pointing out thatonly antis-sceptic blogs surveyed in LOG12)

    http://watchingthedeniers.wordpress.com/2012/08/24/conspircism-and-climate-scepticism-empirical-research-confrims-what-we-all-know-and-some-predictions/#comments

    August 31, 2012 at 12-33 pm

    more articles by Marriot – Watching the Deniers, about Lewandowsky LOG12 (attacking the critics of LOG12))

    http://watchingthedeniers.wordpress.com/2012/08/28/climate-deniers-object-to-being-called-conspiracy-theorists-propose-conspiracy-to-explain-why-labelled-such/

    http://watchingthedeniers.wordpress.com/2012/09/04/climate-deniers-fail-to-check-in-boxes-hilarity-and-fake-scandal-ensures-in-box-gate-anyone/

    http://watchingthedeniers.wordpress.com/2012/09/06/denial-101-the-academic-study-of-climate-scepticism-as-diagnostic-and-risk-management-tool-first-draft/

    http://watchingthedeniers.wordpress.com/2012/09/17/dear-marc-morano-we-say-climate-change-you-say-nasa-moon-walkers-nasa-moon-walkers-nasa-hoax/

    The one below about Lewandosky LOG12 and Watts response,note the graphic my named WUWT article, stamped “Verified bullshit”

    http://watchingthedeniers.wordpress.com/2012/09/13/watts-explains-why-lewandowsky-paper-on-conspiracy-theories-is-wrong-its-a-conspiracy-between-john-cook-and-the-prof/

    http://watchingthedeniers.wordpress.com/2012/09/11/inboxgate-names-of-sceptic-bloggers-contacted-revealed-for-nasa-paper-sceptics-still-not-happy/

    In the article below, (in Comments) Marriot says he tracking the comments of high profile sceptics

    http://watchingthedeniers.wordpress.com/2012/09/10/a-cabal-of-bankers-and-sister-souljah-lewandowsky-versus-the-extreme-sceptic-fringe/

    http://watchingthedeniers.wordpress.com/2013/03/22/stormy-teacups-misrepresenting-recursive-fury/

    http://watchingthedeniers.wordpress.com/2012/09/07/versiongate-inboxgate-and-now-niwagate-or-when-denial-echo-chambers-implode/

    http://watchingthedeniers.wordpress.com/2012/09/06/inbox-gate-ok-now-its-getting-just-plain-silly/

    http://watchingthedeniers.wordpress.com/2012/09/06/inbox-gate-continues-desmogblog-notes-sceptic-blogs-responded-to-lewandowsky-request/

    http://watchingthedeniers.wordpress.com/2012/09/04/climate-deniers-fail-to-check-in-boxes-hilarity-and-fake-scandal-ensures-in-box-gate-anyone/

    http://watchingthedeniers.wordpress.com/2012/09/04/lewandowsky-et-al-versus-the-were-not-conspiracy-theorists-but-brigade-part-1/

    Marriot does not seem to like sceptics Jo Nova, Anthony Watts,Marc Morano, Lord Moncton or Andrew Bolt.

    In the article below, I have (or try to) a polite exchange, saying perhaps his blog name is atagonistic, and discuss how I’d changed my my blog name, so as to make it easier to engage. (he’s not buying it)

    http://watchingthedeniers.wordpress.com/2012/09/14/psa-community-and-discussion-guidelines-published-under-about-wtd/#comment-14661

    I’ve made a number of comments on his blog, anyone can see that I have been civil and polite and attempted to engage, he states he has been tracking people, and is clearly not a neutral party to this debate.

    I discovered this weekend another article of his, with his now favourite graphic,my article at WUWT stamped – Verified Bullshit

    http://watchingthedeniers.wordpress.com/2012/07/25/anthony-watts-cherry-picks-quote-about-record-greenland-melt-surprised-hardly/

    The orginal article with my WUWT post (which I only came across this weekend) stamped verified bullshit, and accusations of ‘misinformation’, cherry picking: tagged BULLSHIT, DENIER, DISINFORMATION

    http://watchingthedeniers.wordpress.com/2012/07/20/here-we-go-again-watts-up-with-that-pushing-the-no-consensus-myth/

    “This post is authored by well-known climate “sceptic” Barry Woods: – Watching the Deniers (Marriot)

    I might ask both the universities involved the ethics committee, is this really an appropriate researcher for this paper

    I might ask the journal the same, and ask the authors, please remove my name and my quote from this paper and maybe a statement that my name appearing in the suplemntary data does not mean I am conspiracy theorist.

    (a courtesy they have perfomed this action with Professor Richard Betts) they also might want to do this for all concerned, including Paul Matthers ( a UK academic) and Prof Judith Curry a USA academic.

    As the authors were in hostile debate publically, with named human subject in this paper, Mcintyre, Geoff Chamber, Lucia, Jo Nova) I do not see how this passed the UWA ethics considerations for this research.

    I also note that Skeptica Science blog John Cook, and co-author with Lewandowsky of the Debunking Handbook, are involved with Al Gores Climate reality project, which adds a political dimension.. and complete confoirmation thatthe researchers are not neutral obervers in the area of research,and should not be researching their oppenent for any psycholoigical papers.

    Al Gores project I note uses slogans Reveal the Denier, and Destroy Denial..

    Professor Richard Betts response to his name being included, was refreshing inthe Recursive Fury paper was refreshing (quoted here)

    http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2013/3/21/lewandowsky-and-cook-in-spectacular-carcrash.html

    - See more at: http://journal.frontiersin.org/Journal/10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00073/full#sthash.tD1lPICd.dpuf

  60. The comments on that site are a hoot … I note that despite the article being published today, they’ve already closed comments. This from a website called “The Conversation”? What kind of “conversation” is that?

    Don’t worry,
    The leftist media here in Australia could give Pravda a run for their money.

    Although, considering the ABC is taxpayer funded, perhaps that should read: “For our money”…

  61. Not the best complaint (actually probably th eworst) I’ve ever made, angry and irritated and in a big rush.(I was on holiday and wrote most of it on a tablet, Frontiers gave a stupid deadline), but I do stand by it

    To: Frontiers in Psychology Editorial Office
    Cc: barry.woods

    Subject: Woods Complaint –
    Breach of National Research Statement – Identifiable human particpant in a pyschological research databank – Hostile/conflicted researchers –
    No consent sort out, nor given – Hostile researchers – ‘Fury’ and LOG12 Lewandowsky et al

    The Purpose (National Stement)

    The purpose of this National Statement is to promote ethically good human research. Fulfilment of this purpose requires that participants be accorded the respect and protection that is due to them. It also involves the fostering of research that is of benefit to the community.

    This complaint is to the authors (and their accredited employers) of the ‘Fury’ paper and ‘Moon’ paper and to the University of Western Australia and it demonstrates I believe multiple breaches of the ethical requirements for research on human participants, as such the papers should be withdrawn and any identifiable data (including unattributed comments, as these can be googled) of all unwilling participant destroyed. I will list the reasons below:

    1) The authors of the paper have been shown to active protagonists in the climate debate – championing the work of LOG 12 and attacking its critics, throughout the research timeframe at the publically funded blog Shaping Tomorrows World (Lewandowsky) – Watching the Deniers – (Marriott) – Skeptical Science (John Cook – & Lewandowsky is regular author there and co-author of the SKS debunking handbook)

    2) Conduct: One of more of the authors is openly hostile towards me on his blog Watching The Deniers (M Marriott) (A Watts and others), publically labelling me DENIER, DISINFORMATION, DUNNING-KRUGER, bullshit and verified bullshit (his caps). This I feel alone is grounds for the ‘Fury’ paper to be withdrawn on ethical grounds lone (tainted, by the authors behaviour on his private blog) and all named individual data collected for this research to be made known to ( I have provided detail directly to the authors on their blogs (and to the journal already, but I will collate – referenced to this complaint, to follow as background material to my complaint.)

    http://watchingthedeniers.wordpress.com/2012/07/20/here-we-go-again-watts-up-with-that-pushing-the-no-consensus-myth/

    3) Respect: One or of authors have failed to show respect or behave professional to the people named in the paper or the ‘sceptical’ community. Prof Lewadowsky’s blog posts as one example (more to follow) taunting the 5 sceptical blog owner he had ‘contacted’ on his blog and giving interviews about it – at places like Desmogblog (a website, that has a number of those sceptic blog owners photographed, named and shamed tagged denier, misinformed, disinformation, denial industry, amongst other derogatory labels, in it’s Denier Disinformation Database online –

    http://www.desmogblog.com/global-warming-denier-database

    How is it possible that Prof Lewandowsky did not see that this was totally inappropriate. A professional, would have JUST emailed the 5 blog owners straight away and said it was you, here is copy of the email my assistant Hanich sent you. THIS behaviour alone, I think demonstrates the hostility of Prof Lewandowsky to his research subject matter (so called ‘sceptics’ or just members of the public that resent being labelled) and should preclude him (in my opinion) from this research and any research in this area.

    4) Conflict/Vested Interests: Lewandowsky and Cook are the authors of a number of Skeptical Science (SkS) accredited books, these books are a credited with UWA and Queensland Logos (is this official?) Lewandowsky is a regular author at the Skeptical Science website. What is Prof Lewandowsky role at SkS, is it purely a private interest (but why the University accreditation, and the debunking handbook, is promoted on the UWA – Shaping Tomorrows World blog. Skeptical Science would be considered in direct antagonistic opposition to Watts Up With That, Climate Audit and all the other sceptic blogs.

    5) Conflict/Vested Interest: Skeptical Science and its authors have a vested interest (it looks like commercial relationship) providing material for Al Gore’s – Climate Reality Project – Reality Drop. As such they have a direct interest in opposing and countering sceptical blog material.

    One example, my
    Watts Up With That article entitled – What Else did the 97% of scientists say,

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/07/18/what-else-did-the-97-of-scientists-say/

    which author Marriott, claims to have debunked labelled, stamped Verified Bullshit, over an adulterated WUWT graphic, .

    http://watchingthedeniers.wordpress.com/2012/07/20/here-we-go-again-watts-up-with-that-pushing-the-no-consensus-myth/

    this was then endorsed by Skeptical Science

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/consensusforbes.html

    “For example, see a recent article debunked by the blog Watching the Deniers, where somebody had cherry-picked skeptical quotes from a few scientists who responded to the Doran and Zimmerman study (Eos, January 20, 2009). This only reveals that some people confuse consensus with unanimity. – Skeptical Science (SkS)”

    6) Harm:Respect: Further concerns are the authors and UWA have caused me harm, have failed to treat me with respect, not sort or obtained my consent and have not been able to show any justification for deceiving in my questions Prof Lewandowsky about LOG12 and by concealing from there research and following this particular named human participant whose comments (what else) have been collected

    7) Complaint: In light of the summary above, My complaint is that the authors and UWA and any other associations of the authors, have failed to comply to the National Statement of Ethical Conduct in the Field of Human Research

    The Purpose

    “The purpose of this National Statement is to promote ethically good human research. Fulfilment of this purpose requires that participants be accorded the respect and protection that is due to them. It also involves the fostering of research that is of benefit to the community.”

    http://www.nhmrc.gov.au/_files_nhmrc/publications/attachments/e72.pdf

    The National statement is a actually further 111 pages long, but this is merely, I believe, the technical detail for those that perhaps do not realize that all that follows automatically from the 3 sentences above. The onus I believe is on UWA to demonstrate that they complied to the National Statement for this research, (‘Fury’ & ‘Moon’) not for the unwitting/unwilling participants to show where they UWA failed to comply to the National Statement.

    Please demonstrate that the authors Lewandowsky, Cook and Marriott in particular and the further co-authors of ‘Fury’ and ‘Moon’ authors are fit, unconflicted and appropriate persons to study [these] human participants. The paper is littered with activist rhetoric like ‘climate denials’ and references to the Exxon/fossil fuel denial industry funding sceptics, conspiracy theory. How on earth did the peer reviewers not pick this up! and not say that it was inappropriate for psychologists of all people to talk this way.

    8) RESPECT: Please demonstrate the research justification for the LOG12 and Recursive Fury papers is beneficial and cause no harm.

    Because harm has been done, I was initially amused to find myself named in the data alongside Richard Betts, where the researchers of sceptics were so unaware of the debate and the people they research, that this was in fact Professor Richard Betts of the UK Met Office,Head Of Climate Impacts and IPCC lead author, he asked if he was a conspiracy theorist and was met with a response from the an author. I asked the author, I was ignored, I asked another author (Watching the deniers) I was ignored. I asked all the authors by posting my concerns and asking for a response on the Skeptical Science blog, and Shaping Tomorrows World blog I was ignored. I asked the UWA to contact the authors and respond to me, I have received no response from any of the authors.

    Both Richard and I were named in the data for Fury and when we enquired why, we were we not treated equally.

    My expectation of the journals and University and the whole field of psychology, that as an unwilling/unwitting participant in psychology research that finds my name in a paper, that my questions would be acknowledged and answered as a courtesy at the horror I felt of the ethical conduct, when I realised how many breaches of the Ethical Conduct had been brought to UWA and the journals attention

    I expected that as soon as the authors public hostility towards me, and named others in the paper was shown, that the paper would be retracted, apologies given and an ethics and misconduct investigation would be undertaken. Sadly not

    9)HARM and RESPECT

    I approached UWA and the journals as concerned member of the public, not a label like a denier, concerned that without my consent identifiable data about me had been collected, in Marriotts words that well know sceptics were tracked – WHY, WHAT FOR, what possible justification, have I committed a crime, please explain yourself here., labelled a disinformer, or Marriotts ever so eloquent Bullshit or Verified Bullshit, I was shocked to find that he had labelled me – Dunning-Kruger (and I should not have to explain to anybody, least of all a psychologist why) I was rather less surprised to find John Cook endorsed it

    I now feel unable to express myself freely publically, whilst I have a thick skin and can explain to my young children rude abusive people on the internet are to be ignored, I do not want to risk them finding me labelled by psychologist in any way shape or form for official research. So I can NOT I feel express myself freely under my name anymore. The fact that I was perceived as of specific concern to be followed by psychology researcher, and perhaps my words twisted quoted out of context, as I have described in the ’Fury’ case (my comment cherry picked, partially quoted)

    10) ETHICS and GOOD FAITH

    perhaps just an anecdote to take into account: When Lewandosky was championing Peter Gleick as a hero (despite behaving unethical (and criminally?) to ’sceptics’ – Heartland incident) , I was writing to Marc Morano and Heartland to ask them to tone it down, not to publish Peter’ Gleick’s email address because I was concerned about whether his professional tragedy (Revkin – NYT) might turn into a personal tragedy.this was private correspondence

    but Prof Richard Betts, Dr Tamsin Edwards and I believe Dr Katie Hayhoe was copied ) can verify, my Good Faith not that I feel my conduct has in anyway demonstrated that I have ever communicated with anybody without behaving like a civil adult. I have also worked hard to try to depolarise a hostile debate, and tried to engage with the supposed ‘other side’ (including M Marriot) and persuade everybody to behave as adults.

    I was not exactly a fan of Peter Gleick see why here:

    http://unsettledclimate.org/2012/02/02/clarifications-and-how-better-to-communicate-science/

    11) My Request of UWA (given the circumstancces of demonstrably hostile / conflicted researchers)

    I ask UWA identify any comments or data collated about me and held in any databank, or in other form, and present it to me.

    I ask UWA to destroy any information collected in breach of the National Statement

    I ask UWA as a courtesy to me, to provide, the grant funding, the research justification and ethical clearance for this research

    I ask as a courtesy that UWA shows the benefit that this research project will bring to the community

    I expect that UWA undertake (or any of the authors) seek to obtain my consent to perform further research on me, and that any any research justified as being allowed to deceive the participants fully complies with the National Statement.

    The whole area of the ‘blogospheres’ surrounding climate change blog wars is no doubt a fascinating subject and I would think benefit from research to understand not least how psychologists and other climate scientists started using the language and rhetoric of political activists, and seemingly believe in an exxon/fossil fueled climate change denier industry? My only gain in the last 3 years would have been getting paid expenses to visit the Met Office to appear in a video with Prof Richard Betts, for their My Climate and Me project, so my only linkage to anything would be ‘big climate’ itself

    Best Regards

    Barry Woods

    I have typed this in an email, in rich format, I hope that the formating comes through ok, because if a deadline, I hope that everyone can excuse and typos and bad/confusing grammar

    I will collate all the evidence I have previously supplied with links and reference that support this complaint, and send them on later. As I’m still on Easter holidays with my family.

  62. Julian in Wales says:
    April 2, 2014 at 1:25 am

    “Go figure?” – I did ; she is a journalist.

    Effectively instead of following the story, she has become enmeshed in the narrative.
    That’s a pity because it causes the risk, not sure with how many degrees of freedom,of becoming unable to remain objective.
    So the work she does, however commendable,is seen in that light by those who actually seek the truth from wherever it may come.
    Even if it is from some geologist who is paid in his day job by miners.
    She studies Dr Plimer.
    When I was a CO2 warmist he converted me to understanding the nature of the null hypothesis, and how it eventually must be applied to the GCM’s.
    The Null Hypothesis being that the Earth is warming by natural forcing as it emerges from the Little Ice Age.
    Others who entered politics, such as our last Prime Minister, actually thought that the ‘Science[on climate] was in’.
    We need thinking science trained journalists in Australia.
    Assuming consensus science has any merit is useless in the context of the abysmal lack of scientific data in ‘Climate Science’, whatever disciplines that covers.
    Not to mention the failure of their predictive theories.
    When the ABC actually puts on a real debate about this, as its funding demands, it will be possible to reach more thinking people who remain strictly agnostic about the CO2 narrative and the conspiracy theories that surround it.
    .

  63. pat says:
    April 2, 2014 at 12:34 am
    “JANE CARO: Facts have never changed anyone’s mind about anything, sadly. It’s very hard for scientists to understand this, because they’re highly rational people, but in actual fact, no-one has ever been rationalised out of a belief…”

    I guess it takes one to know one.
    “Jane Caro (born London, 1957) is a social commentator, writer and lecturer based in Australia. ”
    ” Caro has worked in the advertising industry”
    “Caro says she is a feminist and atheist.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jane_Caro

    So she says feminists and atheists are irrational.

  64. Elaine McKewon is a PhD student at UTS which is an inner city “university” that used to be Sydney Technical College, its just down the road from the ABC headquarters ( ` UK BBC and makes the US BPL look very neutral) and a battery hen institution for all manner of leftards and CAGW alarmists. Elaine McKewon is about as wired up to the moon on climate change as is Lewandowsky. Move along folks, nothing to see there, just another alarmist frothing at the mouth after drinking the kool aid.

  65. Climate obsession degrades the ethical and critical thinking skills of those who help promote it.

  66. “JANE CARO: Facts have never changed anyone’s mind about anything.”
    Really? Do you honestly, seriously believe that? How can you live?

  67. In The Conversation article–

    https://theconversation.com/the-journal-that-gave-in-to-climate-deniers-intimidation-25085

    Elaine quotes this academic (Sarah Green, Michigan Tech ) from under the retraction notice.

    http://journal.frontiersin.org/Journal/10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00293/full

    “I am dumbfounded to see a scientific paper retracted by the editor because of threat of libel. The fundamental job description of a science editor should include the defense of academic freedom. I certainly expect my newspapers to defend freedom of the press; do scientific publications now hold themselves to lower standards?” – Sarah Green, Michigan Tech

    This is of course presumably the same Sarah Green, who is a regular author and contributor at Skeptical Science….

    The retracted paper being written by regular contributors and authors (and the founder of ) Skeptical Science….

    One of the key criticism being the LOG12 survey not being held at Skeptical Science and Cook/Lewandowsky refusing to respond to this.

    Sarah (which includes a link to her publication record at Michigan Tech)

    https://www.skepticalscience.com/posts.php?u=3364

    The Conversation really is appalling, I have had many civil comments removed, on a number of articles.Do you think there is any way for someone to get a formal response into the Conversation?

  68. Recursive Fury did nothing of the sort. It didn’t claim to examine relative amounts of conspiratorial ideation in any groups. It didn’t attempt to compare or quantify levels of such ideation. There is no way to read Recursive Fury as doing what Elaine McKewon claims it did. She has simply made this up.

    This should have been followed by a paragraph summarizing what Fury WAS about.

  69. As others have noted, PhDs are a debased currency these days. Based on what McKeown is doing to get hers, tens of thousands of people (including our esteemed host) ought to have multiple PhDs already.

    What I find most disturbing is that she has been permitted to do a PhD where the outcome is determined in advance. The answer is already there, and all that she is doing is collecting “data” to support her predetermined conclusion. That’s kinda the opposite of what my pre-post-modern understanding of what research is meant to be about.

    What would I know? I went to school and university back in the days when a certain amount of rigour and discipline underpinned learning.

  70. Are you saying that Elain McKewon believes there is a conspiracy? Well, so does Lewandowsky and Mann and…

  71. What does it say when a peer-reviewer of a paper makes an obviously untrue claim about what the paper shows? I don’t know.

    Brandon, yes you do know. But you are too diplomatic to state what it says. It says she never read the paper she was supposed to have reviewed. I guess that is what passes for Journalism today. Dan Rather, Martin Bashir, Piers Morgan, etc. Incompetence is the new standard it appears.

  72. As an editor in an (unrelated) journal, I’ll say the following: It can be hard work to find diligent, qualified, and impartial reviewers. Qualification is fairly easy: Does the reviewer have a reasonable publication record in the particular area of research? A quick search on Google Scholar is usually a sufficient check. As many have pointed out, Ms. McKewon would not normally qualify on this count.

    Most journals offer authors the option of listing who they think might be qualified to review the paper. This is where you can usually distinguish between authors who are really interested in publishing a good paper and those who are trying to game the system. The best authors will usually recommend high profile experts who are not collaborators or close colleagues, and certainly not former students.

    A red flag immediately goes up if the recommended reviewer is a PhD student or recent PhD graduate who has prior ties with the author. For example, I recently had one author recommend referees who were all recent graduates from his own group!

    So if my journal were reviewing the case, I’d immediately look into whether Prof .Lewandowsky listed Ms. McKewon as a recommended referee. (Ms. McKewon was an undergraduate at the University of Western Australia and very likely was a student in one of Prof. Lewandowsky’s courses. This would normally represent a conflict of interest. )

    - TGB

  73. Reason and their data didn’t work so hey let’s get right down and dirty with emotion and paid spin merchants, but first we’ve gotta go after those traitorous MSM journos, smother them in stinking manure and cower them for good.
    Sounds like a plan Elaine and your warmist seniors will be more than happy for you to have a bash at anything under the circumstances. Undergrads, freshmen, help…..anybodeeeeee!

  74. I have never considered suing for libel because of that paper. And their claim that other skeptics ‘claimed to have been libeled’ is to me is nothing but a scheming way to spin a bad paper.

  75. Throwing more and more facts at the issue

    i disagree Pat, very few facts are involved , just a convoluted unsupported opinion.

  76. Global warming should be good for prostitutes – they will be able to walk the streets scantily clad without getting chilly.

  77. “The Conversation really is appalling, I have had many civil comments removed, on a number of articles.Do you think there is any way for someone to get a formal response into the Conversation?”

    The Conversation doesn’t wish to discuss their decisions. Take it as a badge of honour.

  78. Being the consummate journalist, Elaine McKewon will no doubt be enjoying the greater breadth of readership that a hugely successful and internationally recognised site like WUWT can offer!
    (sarc)

  79. Now we need to find out who the other reviewers were.

    And how were they picked?

    Why would a born-again already-believer in Lewandowsky’s conspiracy theories be chosen to review the paper? A PhD candidate in a different speciality. Were the others chosen because of their already-known support?

    How does this Journal decide on reviewers? Did Lewandowsky suggest the reviewers?

    That is not the definition of “peer-review” that Lewandowsky repeats endlessly.

  80. Other reviewers had reviewed it, were named on the paper. then dropped out (AFTER publication)
    Michael Wood being one of them.

    “Also worth noting is that Frontiers has changed the list of reviewers on three occasions. (Frontiers names the reviewers/) The reviewers were originally said to be Elaine McKewon and Michael Wood. This was changed to McKewon and editor Viren Swami. Then the list of reviewers was changed to McKewon, Swami and Prathiba Natesan, Then Natesan was removed from the list of reviewers, returning the list to McKewon and Swami again.

    I wonder how often they re-state who the reviewers of a paper and whether any other Frontiers paper has incurred three re-statements.” S Mcintyre commenting at Retraction Watch

    http://retractionwatch.com/2013/03/28/why-publishers-should-explain-why-papers-disappear-the-complicated-lewandowsky-study-saga/#comment-52705

  81. I wonder how her trashing of news media will help her in her first job interview with news media? Also, couldn’t Lew find a psychologist to review his psychology paper? Maybe there is still some ethical conduct practiced in this post modern field. Can we find out who all the reviewers are – com’on you forensic electron wizards out there.

  82. I find it interesting that the only PhD I know personally is a conspiracy nut. I mean a full and complete 9/11 Trufer, with all the trimmings. Well qualified in his area of expertise, but a definite example that intelligence (presuming that study makes one intelligent, of course) doesn’t mean you can’t be gullible as well. Remember how many scientists believed Uri Geller could bend spoons with his mind?

    BTW, wasn’t journalism better when it was created by people whose sole ability was being able to write well? Does it really take a PhD to do so?

  83. Elaine McKewon is a third-year journalism PhD student at the University of Technology, Sydney examining coverage of climate science in Australian newspapers during 1996-2010. The primary aim of her study is to explain how the scientific consensus on climate change was reconstructed as a ‘scientific debate’ in the Australian news media.
    ==============
    What??

    Wasn’t it Australian researchers that showed the scientific consensus on ulcers was wrong? That bacteria, not stress, causes ulcers?

    Why not explain how the scientific consensus on ulcers was reconstructed as a ‘scientific debate’ in the Australian new media?

    The bate about climate is no different than the debate about ulcers. “Scientific consensus” has no scientific meaning. Thus is cannot be part of a “scientific debate’.

    “Scientific consensus” is a political term. Thus her thesis should read as follows:

    The primary aim of her study is to explain how the political debate on climate change was reconstructed as a ‘scientific debate’ in the Australian news media.

  84. Conspiracy theories?

    You mean like “there was no Gulf of Tonkin incident”
    or “the Lusatania was carrying Arms & Ammunition”
    or “critical information was witheld from the commanders at Pearl Harbor”
    or “19 men armed with box-cutters hijacked 4 airplanes on 9/11/2001″
    or “the woman attesting to Iraqi atrocities against Kuwait was the daughter of a Kuwati diplomat”
    or “some Germans tried to assassinate Hitler in 1944″
    or “insider climate scientists communicated with each other to help obstruct the publication of papers skeptical of CAGW”

    Evidently there are many conspiracy theories. Some are true, some are false, some are indeterminate without additional information.

    Belief in conspiracies therefore might just mean that skeptics are more likely to be critical thinkers.

  85. This is the current listing on the paper on the Frontiers website:
    Edited by: Viren Swami, University of Westminster, United Kingdom

    Reviewed by:Viren Swami, University of Westminster, United Kingdom
    Elaine McKewon, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia

    Swami’s entire published work concerns the assessment of beauty. Very highly qualified…

  86. MeKewon is quoted as saying – “Before the call ended, three academics, including me,”

    I find that disturbing. First, I always thought “academics” taught. If that be the case here, God pity the students. A journalism major and she says “including me,” instead of “including myself”? And her area of study for her doctorates is “The primary aim of her study is to explain how the scientific consensus on climate change was reconstructed as a ‘scientific debate’ in the Australian news media.” And to do this she starts out by totally ignoring the facts and data laid out daily by a variety of agencies and only reading someone else’s interpretation of that data. I would guess that she will never get her PHD since she will never, EVER, be able to explain that without doing the work herself.

  87. “This should have been followed by a paragraph summarizing what Fury WAS about.”

    yep.

    Here is what Recursive Fury did.

    1. It identified 6 styles or patterns of conspiracy ideation drawn from published literature
    For example one such pattern is NI, or nefarious intent. To explain. A person exhibits
    NI styles of thinking when they attribute Nefarious Intent. You read a paper, the paper
    says “The sun doesnt explain the warming”. Then rather than looking at the data and
    and methods, you reject the paper and say “These warmists are just try to establish a
    a socialist state” Note. There may well be a nefarious intent. Nefarious Intent only
    DESCRIBES the pattern of thinking. The pattern is ” I disagree with X, therefore the
    person who claims X, must have a nefarious Intent.

    2. Next, they looked at the statements many skeptics made about the first Lewandowsky paper.
    These statements all showed patterns ( see the 6 patterns) of conspiratorial ideation.

    3. The paper did not make any arguments about the truth or falsity of the beliefs. It just
    showed that people used or had these thought patterns.

    Lets go over the thought patterns

    Nefarious Intent: (see above)
    Persecuted Victim: playing the victim
    Nihilistic Skepticism: refusing to belief anything that contradicts your theory
    Nothing occurs by Accident: every little incident confirms your theory
    Self-Sealing reasoning: Interpreting evidence against your theory as evidence for your theory.
    Something Must be Wrong: Switching between theories on the basis that something must be wrong.

    ############

    It’s actually a good list. Its a good list because you can find people on ALL sides of the debate
    using these forms of thinking.

    Note: none of these forms of thinking is a method of science.

    Also, you can go through any thread here or any thread at huffington or any blog and find people using the six styles of thought and reasoning. Also, SOMETIMES the style of thought is correct.

    How to avoid conspiratorial ideation.

    1. Stick to the data and methods
    2. AVOID attributing motives. The science is more certain then your thoughts about other peoples
    motives. You cant see their motives and you cant predict their motives and you cannot test them.
    3. Dont play the victim.
    4 Avoid Nihilistic skepticism. Guess what? you might be wrong about C02 have no effect or a small
    effect.
    5. Realize that things do happen by accident. yes, random shit happens.
    6. Don’t switch theories. If you have a theory about why GW is wrong, stick to it or not.
    If you see something wrong with your theory, you cant merely switch to another pet
    theory. You cant, for example, criticize the surface record and then use it.

    Summary:
    Fury had the potential to be a good paper, but they needed to address Conspiratorial Ideation
    on ALL SIDES of the debate. They also needed to avoid libeling people. They could have done this by using anonymous comments. Or lewandowsky could have used HIS OWN comments
    as examples as he has uses the 6 mental styles above.

    For example. In his first paper Lewandowsky requested that his name be hidden when posting the questionnaire. Why? well because he claimed to be a victim of harassment from skeptics.
    At the time he made this claim, nobody really knew who he was. They could have used the comments from SKS folks who were convinced that I hacked Gleick. They could have shown how the entire debate is shot through with this kind of reasoning.

  88. “Don’t switch theories. If you have a theory about why GW is wrong, stick to it or not”

    “When the facts change, I change my mind”

    ““The sun doesn’t explain the warming” <— Sigh.

    "Stick to the data and methods" <— the data doesn't show catastrophic AGW. The methods had to be pulled though gritted teeth from Mann. His methods are most CERTAINLY questionable. As are all the well documented adjustments to the data by NSDC.

    The biggest problem with C/AGW, is 1) The Data — never seems to really back up the initial press releases.

    2) The methods. The amount of adjustments to global temperature data is odd shall we say, HADCRUt4 showing different(warmer) than HADCRUT3 for example. Science on food production showing an INCREASE in crop yields. IPCC showing a reduction. The data never matches the headlines.

    Publish ALL the IPCC climate model data openly and without question. Let GISS open source its temperature data and methods. They shouldn't have anything to fear. Lots of very clever coders work in the private sector and can figure out all this stuff.

  89. These two TWEETS from Mckewon are copied from her Twitter feed. Their juxtaposition shows such irony that she cannot see it. Apparently, ‘scientists’ get hate mail; Andrew Bolt has people just ‘mean to him’.


    Hate mail, stolen data, hacked servers, lawsuits and death threats – just a day in the life of a #climate scientist”

    ===========================================================

    “People have been mean to #AndrewBolt and he’s so ‘scarified’ he doesn’t know if he can take it any more”

  90. Lewandowsky has the option to write a paper that is essentially an improved ‘Recursive Fury’ and submit to a journal with Mosher’s suggestions (Steven Mosher says on April 2, 2014 at 8:31 am) .

    Mosher, you might get a pyschpaper co-authorship out of it with all the perks thereof.

    John

  91. As a minimum a reviewer of this paper should have had some grounding in non-parametric statistics – the analysis of questionnaire data is not an easy matter. I don’t know that a journalist was the best choice.

  92. “Because there was subsequently identified a need for authors, reviewers, editor and associates to review and Chief editors ..”

    “and associates to review” is struck out – why?

  93. You know what. Im going to help out good old lew…

    I DO believe there is likely a conspiracy to use Cagw to push global taxation and other political ideals of… whoever. I will make it easy for him. I base this on two main points. First we are told by most, co2 taxes are the ONLY way…..Also, if people such as lew, mann, trenberth, and scores of others actually believe the are following the data rather then trying to fit the data to their beliefs… well then apparently we have scores of entirely incompetent people who somehow rose to the top of this particular field of “science”. It is much easier to believe there is simply an agenda, and that data is secondary to the political goals.

    Imagine you are micheal mann, or one of these other folks. I mean some of these folks the entire planets future is in peril if we stay on this path. They spend their time worrying about people who do not currently believe them? (most people WOULD believe in agw well before it was a major issue if it was real and the world was indeed warming consistently) OR what if that same effort was put towards convincing those who DO believe the memes to truly change their lifestyles. International agreements being pushed seek to curb emissions by a few percentage points. What if even half of those who again think the entire planet is in severe danger acted on it? I HAVE changed my lifestyle in relation to the enviro issues I actually believe. If I still believed co2 was a major issue my lifestyle would release almost none of it.

    So why the dis connect? If this isnt a political agenda, and saving the very earth itself is the goal, then why dont we see more of a push on those who are already “enlightened” to live up to and be a shining example for the rest of us??? SO yeah, agenda seems much more likely then complete idiocy. If I was on a quest to save humanity from itself Id be much more concerned that those that agree with me will barely even change their ways, rather then those who do not yet see the light. Keep in mind in this narrative, every little bit helps, and “we have no time” and we will continue to see increasing issues, that will convince more and more people….. right??? So why not get the enlightened to act? If not even the enlightened care enough to act, how can you expect the heretics, and plebs to get it?

  94. Bernie Hutchins, she was definitely a formal reviewer. She was listed by the journal from the beginning. People just never paid much attention to her name.

    Scarface, I don’t doubt Elain McKewon read the paper. That would have been a year ago. It wouldn’t be surprising if she was foggy about it.

    rogerknights, I agree. Sadly, that’s a downside of not having an editor read your work before publishing. It’s easy to miss obvious things like that. Then again, I wrote this entire piece in one hour while wanting to go to bed. I’m surprised it came out as well as it did.

    Gerry, I’m not sure. It was struck out in the source so I copied it that way.

  95. I updated this post on my site, and I thought I’d share the update here:

    4/2/2014 Edit: I’m happy to say Social Science Space, one of the two organizations I linked to in this post, addressed a complaint I sent them promptly and fairly. They’ve updated their piece to now include the e-mail I wrote to them about Elaine McKewon’s piece. I think that’s the ideal way to handle factual inaccuracies. It lets people see the original mistakes and see the correct information. Feel free to take a look.

    I haven’t heard back from The Conversation, but I don’t expect much from them. I’ve tried to get them to fix other factual inaccuracies in the past without any luck. I doubt things will be any different this time.

  96. You know, an honest discussion might or might not actually resolve any problems, but it would at least be a novelty.

    It is appropriate that we laugh, but sometimes I think laughing at things like “the Conversation” censoring dissent distracts from the sick fact of the behavior.

  97. Brandon Shollenberger said: April 2, 2014 at 11:06 am: ”Bernie Hutchins, she was definitely a formal reviewer. She was listed by the journal from the beginning. People just never paid much attention to her name.”

    Thanks Brandon. I saw that from the comment of Barry Woods at 6:28 am today. Quite bizarre. To me being “listed” seems more like a “review editor” than a “peer reviewer”; the latter should almost always remain officially anonymous. But this case seems a wretched outlier in all its aspects.

  98. I went to this UWA publications page to see how Recursive Fury is described. http://websites.psychology.uwa.edu.au/labs/cogscience/Publications.html

    Here is what I find in the two lines they used to describe the paper.

    Corrupt journal name. It’s Frontiers [strong]in[/strong] Science, not Frontiers [strong]of[/strong] Science.

    Corrupt reference to volume:article in journal. Should be 4:73, not 4.

    Corrupt doi number. It’s doi 10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00073, not doi 103389/fpsyg.2013.00073.(1st period missing) A search of doi.org will only return a page if the doi is correct.

    I suspect Lewandowsky personally wrote those two lines as a demonstration of the quality of his work.

  99. Arrghhh. Used the wrong brackets in my last comment. Should be…
    Corrupt journal name. It’s Frontiers in Science, not Frontiers of Science.

  100. She’s got a conspiracy theory all of her own going on, and will probably make a fine journalist.

  101. “discourse coalitions that permeate the Field of Power which encompasses the political, economic, academic, media and think tanks social fields.”

    Awesome. Could be one of the worst sentences ever.

  102. Brandon Shollenberger,
    Oops. Mea culpa.

    You’re right. Don’t know what made me type Science instead of Psychology. Old timers disease maybe. The point still stands concerning his own corruption of the journal name. I’d expect him to get that right as that isn’t the only paper they published by him.

  103. Bob Koss, no problem. It’s always embarrassing, but funny, when we make a bigger mistake than the one we’re correcting.

    As an update, I received an e-mail from The conversation saying they’ve raised my points with the author and will be looking into them. I don’t know if anything will come of it, but at least it confirms Elaine McKewon is now aware her piece is factually inept. It’ll be interesting to see how she reacts.

  104. April 2, 2014 at 3:35 pm | Eamon Butler says:
    She’s got a conspiracy theory all of her own going on, and will probably make a fine<b lying journalist.

    There, fixed that ;)

  105. April 2, 2014 at 3:35 pm | Eamon Butler says:
    She’s got a conspiracy theory all of her own going on, and will probably make a fine lying journalist.

    There, fixed that ;)

  106. Evidently it’s beyond the competence of journalism students to accurately paraphrase the Abstract of a scientific article. In addition to making a fictitious hash of the findings of the first Lewandowsky paper, McKewon comes up with this weird notion:

    “No fewer than 97% of climate scientists now endorse the scientific consensus on the reality, causes and significant risks associated with climate change.”

    She embeds in this claim a link to Cook13, which naturally fails to show what McKewon seems to think it does. Cook doesn’t even pretend to know how many climate scientists believe in “significant risks associated with climate change.”

    Then again, she hasn’t finished her PhD. I’m sure she’ll have mastered English comprehension by the time her degree is awarded.

  107. I’m sorry, but I am still flabbergasted that people can earn Phd’s from established universities by reading newspapers. This blows my mind. I understand that the Phd’s are not in hard science, but still you’d think there would be some real data gathering.

    And, even in soft sciences, isn’t there such a thing as Null Hypotheses

  108. Willis … I, Brandon, Barry, Steve McIntyre and a number of others identified the ridiculousness of this peer review debacle way back then … including questioning the multiple changes in listed peer reviewers. We also challenged the fact that after a number of other reviewers withdrew, that the Journal Editor for the paper, Dr. Viren Swami, who is also a key referenced cite in LOG12 (and Fury if I recall), appointed himself one of the reviewers.The ethics of the Editor responsible for review and approval for publication being a reviewer seems highly suspect.

    To my knowledge no one [ever] received a reply on this from the Journal.

    Michael Wood graciously (and quickly) replied to an inquiry from me back when this occurred that he had asked to withdraw and that his name be removed due to the fact he raised a number of issues that were not addressed by the authors or journal. He seemed to be a reasonably qualified reviewer to me.

    The other thing you might enjoy Willis is if you check out who published Ms. McKewon’s book, you might smile at the answer. From memory, if I recall correctly, it was published by Lewandowsky’s employer back then – UWA. Which is yet another direct violation of the Journal’s rules – having a prior business relationship.

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