The Cook-Lewandowsky Social-Internet Link

UPDATE: For all you angry taunting types (Stoat aka William M. Connolley for example) that claim that this post represents a claim of conspiracy theory itself (hint: try to find the word in the post) you might want to register you participation in the original in the census here – Anthony

There’s a lot that has been going on behind the scenes with the Dr. Stephan Lewandowsky “moon landing paper” affair. It turns out that Dr. Lewandowsky is part of a larger association that I dub the Cook-Lewandowsky Social-Internet Link.

You see it turns out that all that serial deleting of comments when Steve McIntyre asked some simple questions about how some blog responders might have “faked” responses in Lewandowsky’s survey, thus rendering it useless for the conclusion, had a root in the behavior seen on John Cook’s main website, Skeptical Science. Poptech has just published a scathing review of the intolerance for debate/questions there. I found this one comment he posted as stunning:

“Exit strategy for the Meet the Denominator thread: Do we have one? […] Poptech is indefatigable …Against such an adversary traditional methodologies are doomed to impasse. This makes the thread the Skeptical Science version of Afghanistan (substitute with many other protracted losing campaigns). I say we let Rob write up a closing synopsis …but giving Skeptical Science the last word. And lock the thread & throw away the key.” – Daniel Bailey [Skeptical Science], February 18, 2011

John Cook opines:

“[O]ne of the moderators flagged Poptech as a spammer and that deleted EVERY comment he ever posted off all the comments threads.” – John Cook [Skeptical Science], October 11, 2011

“[W]e should have a blanket ban of any mention of Poptech in any SkS blog posts – not give him any oxygen.” – John Cook [Skeptical Science], March 21, 2012

We have our troublemakers on WUWT as well, and I’ve banned a few, and I understand this is sometimes neccessary, but this sort of intolerant behavior when it comes to debating facts in evidence has surfaced again recently with Steve McIntyre’s straightforward questions to Dr. Lewandowsky. See Lewandowsky Censors Discussion of Fake Data:

Comment didnt last long.

There’s a curiosity about the time stamp, it appears to have been edited server side or perhaps Steve submitted the comment twice and the second one was deleted and the first one snipped. We can’t be sure, but it is clear that on that thread, wholesale intolerance for questions about the methodology of the Lewandowsky “moon landing paper” were the norm as many other commenters had their comments snipped or removed in asking similar questions. It is a green sea of “moderator response”.

There’s even identical language in the deletion between Skeptical Science and Lewandowsky’s thread:

Shub at Bishop Hill on identical language from mods at Lewandowsky blog and at SkS

[emphasis added]

at Lewandowsky’s “ShapingTomorrowsWorld”:

Moderator Response: As an FYI, compliance with the Comments Policy of this site is non-negotiable; moderation policies are not open for discussion. If you find yourself incapable of abiding by these common set of rules that everyone else observes, then a change of venues is in the offing.

at Skeptical Science:

“…Finally, please understand that moderation policies are not open for discussion. If you find yourself incapable of abiding by these common set of rules that everyone else observes, then a change of venues is in the offing.”

Now here’s the surprise, and the reason for the post title. The website URL for that Lewandowsky thread is:

Who runs ? This public domain information shows who:

Yes John Cook is the administrator for Lewandowsky’s outlet at So, given what happens on his own blog, where there’s serial deletion of  comments, and even post facto modification of comments later without the commenters knowledge, it really should not surprise anyone to find that same sort of behavior going on at the Lewandowsky thread when difficult direct questions are asked.

What is even more interesting is that it appears to be a University of Western Australia owned domain, as this little note at the top of the report tells us:

What other domains is Cook associated with? There’s the next surprise. Again, this is public domain information available to anyone who cares to look:

Yes, John Cook also runs the Climate Science Rapid Response Team website that marshalls over 135 climate scientists into action whenever there is an outbreak of difficult to answer climate questions posed by skeptics.

It also turns out, that Stephan Lewandowsky is John Cook’s academic advisor:

According to the SkS private forum, Cook and Lewandowsky are very close. One of the forum participants, Tom Dayton, described his background as follows:

Then my PhD in experimental psychology from the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Oklahoma, where I briefly crossed paths with Steve Lewandowsky, John Cook’s current academic advisor and coauthor while he was a visiting professor.

That’s quite a little activist organization they have running out of the University of western Australia. I wonder if UWA officials realize the extent that UWA has become a base for this global climate activism operation and if they condone it?

It also begs the question of who’s paying the bills? Cook hasn’t produced anything recently in his chosen field of a cartoonist that I am aware of, and it appears he’s fully engaged in climate now.

[This post was edited for clarity about 45 minutes after it was first published – Anthony]

UPDATE:  Steve McIntyre reports the survey was also distributed on the UWA campus. He writes:

Some information from sources at the University of Western Australia. On October 21, 2010, the following email was sent to the UWA staff mailing list:

UWA researcher Charles Hanich is seeking participants for a web-based survey of attitudes towards climate science (and other sciences) and skepticism. The survey carries no risks for participants. To participate in the survey please use this link:

Completion should take less than 10 minutes and all data will be analyzed anonymously and without monitoring or identifying individual responses.

Ref: RA/4/1/4007

[Notice approved by:

Human Research Ethics Committee,

Research Services, University of Western Australia ]

For some strange reason, the invitation is online at a web aggregator here. (I Googled the survey id.)

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September 12, 2012 2:50 pm

Oh my ! I’ll have to read this again …

September 12, 2012 2:50 pm

Oh Anthony. Of course they know. The administrators outnumber the professors at most Australian universities and there is a template all over the West ever since the Cold War that government and Big Business and Higher Ed should basically plan and run the economy for their own benefit in a classic Corporatist manner. With AGW and Climate Change and Biodiversity as the necessary explanations for the redesigns. is a story I did on the push in the US to make all higher ed about coming up with imagined solutions for today’s “complex problems or challenges.” That title is based on a verbatim quote from a new requirement the accreditors are pushing in the US. And the accreditors do not push anything in the US that does not tie into UNESCO’s radical redesign of international higher ed through accreditation and the misnamed Orwellian Quality Assurance process. Very active in Australia and the UK and Scandinavia especially.
The only chance we have is to air out AGW and education at the same time. Especially since they are both statist tools in political, social, and economic Transformation schemes. And if you know where to look the UN regularly says so.

September 12, 2012 2:54 pm

I wonder how much (if any) of the grant money awarded to Lewd Lew might have found its way into funds supporting Cook’s activities. I see a UWA investigation on the horizon.

September 12, 2012 3:03 pm

Who said us Aussies are easy going, tolerant, laid back, outdoor types? This intolerant fear of criticism is becoming too common. Conspiracies indeed!

September 12, 2012 3:16 pm

Does anyone know why Jo Nova’s site says that the account has been suspended?

September 12, 2012 3:18 pm

Anthony, anything interesting pop up if you run “The Conversation” blog through your WHOIS queries?
As I’ve pointed out before though, the comment censorship thing in Australia seems to be a special case: it’s relatively rare that I’ll have smoking comments censored here in the US, Europe, or Asia despite an antismoking internet stalker out there (GeneBB … just Google “McFadden AND GeneBB” and you’ll see what I mean) who does his best to convince boardmeisters to ban me. It happens a little more frequently in the UK, but it’s Australia where I find my comments being regularly sucked into black holes — both at private sites and newspaper sites. I don’t know if it’s a cultural thing, a “technical” thing (i.e. perhaps the Aussies use web programs that make deletions easier), or what, but it seems to exist.

it probably has to do with the name of your website, which also triggers the WUWT spam filter. I’d take it out – Anthony

September 12, 2012 3:26 pm

This comment from the thread at Poptech is telling … drills down to the core issue:

It’s fairly encouraging to see that these guys are absolutely certain the climate data alone isn’t near enough to convince more than small children

He goes on to say they must resort to PR propaganda since the science is simply not there

September 12, 2012 3:29 pm

at least we know Mr. Cook’s cartoon work is original and not derivative.

Here is the link for when JC turns off image linking.

September 12, 2012 3:31 pm

Ho hum, yup, as expected given that the vast majority of single site tide gauge records worldwide show ruler straight trends with a bit of noise, the closest hundred year old tide gauge to the U of W. Au shows utterly no trend change in our high CO2 era:
Isn’t sea level self leveling any more? Suddenly surging seas as reported in headlines might be expected to show up somewhere, right?

September 12, 2012 3:35 pm

It is all simpler than one might think.
In AU, left wing governments supply “grants” and funding to left wing academics and “news” outlets. Right wing governments provide fewer “grants”.
The market rules. If you wish to be funded by the government purse then you provide left wing propaganda.

Malcolm Miller
September 12, 2012 3:37 pm

I also want to know why Jo Nova’s site shows a notice saying it has been ‘Suspended’. What is behind this?
REPLY: DDoS attacks. She’s had a couple of threads outlining them. I wonder what sort of group might want to take down her website? Oh, wait. – Anthony

September 12, 2012 3:39 pm

It is only 110 days till the end of Kyoto. It looks increasingly unlikely it will renewed.
Without Kyoto, they may still claim the science is beyond doubt, but the truth is that politicians have seen through them.

September 12, 2012 3:43 pm

Ken Stewart says:
September 12, 2012 at 3:03 pm
Who said us Aussies are easy going, tolerant, laid back, outdoor types? This intolerant fear of criticism is becoming too common. Conspiracies indeed!
I find most average Aussies are easy going, tolerant, laid back. I can’t speak to the outdoor type. However, when moving to academia, all you have to do is go to The Conversation and you’ll find all the intolerant, mindless, group think, angry communist wannabees you’ll ever want to engage with. It’s a hoot! They have a rating thingy for each comment. I always try to achieve the most negative points in each thread I comment on. I’m usually successful. 🙂

September 12, 2012 4:03 pm

Australia would be much better off if they let Asia just take it over. They are overgoverned, overrated, stuffy, overpoliced, controlled by politically correct minorities,full of themselves and their education system is now third world rated. Examples Gergis paper fiasco, Flannery, carbon tax now all this stuff with good ol Lew…its endless. Don’t send your children there to study my advice

charles nelson
September 12, 2012 4:05 pm

In Australia there is an unholy alliance between the GreenLabor Government and a number of establishments which should by rights be impartial, but because of their reliance on Gov. Grants, promote the party line. Cardinal amongst these are the ABC and the CSIRO.
Having introduced the electorally lethal “Carbon Tax” on July 1st the Government’s strategy is clear, persistently and repeatedly tell the population that the economic hardship they are feeling is worth it to save the Planet!

Jimmy Haigh
September 12, 2012 4:11 pm

Another jar of “climate science” worms.

September 12, 2012 4:15 pm

This couldn’t be yet another obvious example of the Pal Review network, could it???? Nope… Nothing unusual…. Move along….. Nothing to see here.

September 12, 2012 4:20 pm

I highly recommend monitoring The Conversation from the US or Europe as well. Its stories are planted memes and its fascinating just how well they fit comparable templates here in the US. Beyond AGW and ed, there is a Bioregional movement as well and desires to cut back where people can build to combat sprawl. Reminds me of Portland, Oregon.

September 12, 2012 4:21 pm

John Cook has had a business selling cartoons to Christian churches (mostly of the fundamentalist persuasion lampooned by progressives for their “unscientific views” ) for years.
I liove the first strip in this collection:
His science fiction online subscription comic strip business, begun as soon as he graduated with his Astro Physics Phd, went into decline when he began trying to charge for it.
Seems to be still active in a different form.
And do not forget his position at the University of Queensland:
Perhaps he makes money from the many links to the Skeptical Science website as an authoritative reference in academic venues.
See for example the website resulting from the second largest endowment grant in Canadian University history:

David L. Hagen
September 12, 2012 4:21 pm

In light of Lewandowsky’s recent “scientific” endeavors, it is very interesting to read his 7 Ma 2012 opinion at The Conversation:

Much is known about what passes for cognition among those who deny overwhelming scientific evidence by resorting to conspiracy theories and scurrilous accusations against actual scientists.
The overwhelming tenor of this psychological knowledge is that, by definition, such denial will remain impervious to evidence as it is based on ideology and frantic defence of worldviews rather than the rational scepticism of actual science.

September 12, 2012 4:29 pm

I just visted the Conversation, James Sexton, and saw that John Cook has written, “Cherry pickers ignore the fact that our planet is currently building up heat at the stunning rate of around 3 Hiroshima bombs per second. Instead, they focus on short periods of the surface temperature record. This record bounces up and down from year to year as the ocean exchanges heat with the atmosphere, meaning that it’s possible to find any short period during a long-term warming trend where temperatures fall briefly. Meanwhile the planet continues to build up heat – around 250 Hiroshima bombs worth since you started reading this article.” – From, “How do people reject climate science?”
But wait! There’s more! “So what happens when 97 out of 100 of climate scientists agree that humans are causing global warming?
“Those who reject the scientific consensus lavish their attention on the 3% minority, magnifying their significance and turning a blind eye to the 97% of scientific experts.”
Words fail that this man is taken seriously.

September 12, 2012 4:39 pm

Hmm… Sounds familiar. Guess who else emerged from the nexus of Uni of Oklahoma. Hint: Refer to Gergis et al.

September 12, 2012 4:46 pm

It is time that John Cook was cited for a breach of the Queensland Public Sector Act which applies to the University of Queensland who is his employer. It is likely that some of his posts and comment have also breached the Professional Engineers Act Queensland which requires any person (including the crown) to be registered if providing an engineering service (eg advice about heat and mass transfer, costs of so-called renewable energy etc)

September 12, 2012 4:51 pm

Is site suspended again or is it just me??

Steve C
September 12, 2012 4:51 pm

Hmm, the WhoIs service is very useful. But a WhatElseAreTheyAssociatedWith service would be a very handy tool too.
And Jo’s back on line, as at 23:48 UTC.

September 12, 2012 5:07 pm

ocker: “In AU, left wing governments supply “grants” and funding to left wing academics and “news” outlets.”
“You might be a redneck, if your family tree doesn’t fork.” — Jeff Foxworthy.

September 12, 2012 5:14 pm

Speaking of the disintegration of intellectual integrity and/or competence in the CAGW climate science dialog, has Mann been using wisely his curiously long extended sabbatical from PSU; which if I recall correctly was for the express purpose of working on improving climate science communication for the so-called consensus team?
Is he using it for advising Hollender, Cook, Lew’sky, Gergis, Gleick and the CSRRT’s Abraham? If he is then he is wanting in the using it wisely department . . . . me thinks.

September 12, 2012 5:20 pm

Perth is a small place… we have always known in our academic community that the UWA Climate Science Centre is the most coordinated and best funded (by the University of Western Australia and by the federal Australian Research Council) warmist propaganda machine in our country, with access to the ABC, government-funded blogs, public talks, local radio stations every time they want and without challenges. It’s mostly a 3-man show: Lew, Cook and UWA maths professor Kevin Judd, who is the real strategist behind all this (Judd once said his mission is to drive deniers out of Australian universities).
These are a couple of pages from UWA’s Climate Science Centre, see what I mean:
(notice the obligatory polar-bear-on-a-floe, as well as the loony green-left links).
Does anyone think it would be possible for a young postdoc or PhD student not already politically committed to The Cause to do research in that intimidating environment, to be considered for a promotion, to be admitted to that department in the first place, or to even wish to go there? Welcome to the new McCarthyism.

D. J. Hawkins
September 12, 2012 5:31 pm

cementafriend says:
September 12, 2012 at 4:46 pm
It is time that John Cook was cited for a breach of the Queensland Public Sector Act which applies to the University of Queensland who is his employer. It is likely that some of his posts and comment have also breached the Professional Engineers Act Queensland which requires any person (including the crown) to be registered if providing an engineering service (eg advice about heat and mass transfer, costs of so-called renewable energy etc)

If your professional boards are anything like ours (U.S.), this is almost certainly wishful thinking. He would have to solicit business explicitly as an engineer. There would have to be a contractual relationship with specific individuals/corporate entities. Blogging an opinion or touting a particular method/product to the general public would hardly count.

September 12, 2012 5:33 pm

A.Scott says:
September 12, 2012 at 3:26 pm
This comment from the thread at Poptech is telling … drills down to the core issue:
It’s fairly encouraging to see that these guys are absolutely certain the climate data alone isn’t near enough to convince more than small children
He goes on to say they must resort to PR propaganda since the science is simply not there
That’s the Mike Hulme doctrine. I never tire of reading the quotes that appear here:
Mike Hulme, founding director of the Tyndall Centre, and Professor of Climate Change at the University of East Anglia (UEA) […] Hulme has been a champion and exponent of post-normal science for some years to serve his own socialist agenda, and this is what he has to say about post-normal science (some italics added):
…‘self-evidently’ dangerous climate change will not emerge from a normal scientific process of truth-seeking…scientists – and politicians – must trade truth for influence. What matters about climate change is not whether we can predict the future with some desired level of certainty and accuracy.
Climate change is telling the story of an idea and how that idea is changing the way in which our societies think, feel, interpret and act. And therefore climate change is extending itself well beyond simply the description of change in physical properties in our world…
The function of climate change I suggest, is not as a lower-case environmental phenomenon to be solved…It really is not about stopping climate chaos. Instead, we need to see how we can use the idea of climate change – the matrix of ecological functions, power relationships, cultural discourses and materials flows that climate change reveals – to rethink how we take forward our political, social, economic and personal projects over the decades to come.
There is something about this idea that makes it very powerful for lots of different interest groups to latch on to, whether for political reasons, for commercial interests, social interests in the case of NGOs, and a whole lot of new social movements looking for counter culture trends.
Climate change has moved from being a predominantly physical phenomenon to being a social one…It is circulating anxiously in the worlds of domestic politics and international diplomacy, and with mobilising force in business, law, academia, development, welfare, religion, ethics, art and celebrity.
Climate change also teaches us to rethink what we really want for ourselves…mythical ways of thinking about climate change reflect back to us truths about the human condition…
The idea of climate change should be seen as an intellectual resource around which our collective and personal identifies and projects can form and take shape. We need to ask not what we can do for climate change, but to ask what climate change can do for us…Because the idea of climate change is so plastic, it can be deployed across many of our human projects and can serve many of our psychological, ethical, and spiritual needs.
…climate change has become an idea that now travels well beyond its origins in the natural sciences…climate change takes on new meanings and serves new purposes…climate change has become “the mother of all issues”, the key narrative within which all environmental politics – from global to local – is now framed…Rather than asking “how do we solve climate change?” we need to turn the question around and ask: “how does the idea of climate change alter the way we arrive at and achieve our personal aspirations…?”
We need to reveal the creative psychological, spiritual and ethical work that climate change can do and is doing for us…we open up a way of resituating culture and the human spirit…As a resource of the imagination, the idea of climate change can be deployed around our geographical, social and virtual worlds in creative ways…it can inspire new artistic creations in visual, written and dramatised media. The idea of climate change can provoke new ethical and theological thinking about our relationship with the future….We will continue to create and tell new stories about climate change and mobilise these stories in support of our projects. Whereas a modernist reading of climate may once have regarded it as merely a physical condition for human action, we must now come to terms with climate change operating simultaneously as an overlying, but more fluid, imaginative condition of human existence.

Alan Watt
September 12, 2012 5:50 pm

From the final paragraph:

It also begs the question of who’s paying the bills?

Correction: it does not beg the question; it raises the question. “begging the question” (petitio principii) is an informal logical fallacy which occurs when one or more premises implicitly assume or state in a different form the conclusion. See here for discussion and examples. It is similar to a circular argument.
What is clearly meant by this discussion is the facts revealed point to additional question(s) which should be asked.
Enjoyed it.

September 12, 2012 5:50 pm

Interesting post concerning the shenanigans concerning the Cook-Lewandowsky Social-Internet Link.
John Cooke’ site is clearly propaganda as opposed to science based. There is no acknowledgement at that site of the fundamental AGW issue.
Satellite measurement of planetary temperature change and other independent temperature series support the assertion that planetary warming has stalled. (Cooke’s site displays the GISS temperature series which has been manipulated to create a linear increase and does not match the satellite data.) The fact that the warming has stalled and the fact that the amount of warming is roughly a third of what is predicted indicates the extreme AGW paradigm is not correct.
The reason for the stalling of planetary warming is the planet’s response to a change in forcing is to resist the forcing (negative feedback) by increasing planetary clouds in the tropics which reflects more or less sunlight off into space to resist the forcing change. The IPCC general circulation models which are used to make the long term predictions, have all been set up with positive feedback (amplification of forcing changes). If the planet’s feedback response is to resist the forcing change then the warming due to a doubling of atmospheric CO2 is less than 1C with most of the warming occurring at high latitudes which will cause the biosphere to expand, rather than the IPCC’s amplified predicted 1.C to 5C. (i.e. There is no dangerous warming due to a doubling of atmospheric CO2.)
The lack of warming and the connected negative feedback due to an increase in tropic clouds to resist forcing changes are the number one issue for the so called “skeptics”. Observation of planetary temperature change VS CO2 increases and analysis of top of the atmosphere radiation VS changes to surface temperature changes disproves the extreme AGW paradigm.
On the Observational Determination of Climate Sensitivity and Its Implications
We estimate climate sensitivity from observations, using the deseasonalized fluctuations in sea surface temperatures (SSTs) and the concurrent fluctuations in the top-of-atmosphere (TOA) outgoing radiation from the ERBE (1985-1999) and CERES (2000-2008) satellite instruments. … … We again find that the outgoing radiation resulting from SST fluctuations exceeds the zerofeedback response thus implying negative feedback. In contrast to this, the calculated TOA outgoing radiation fluxes from 11 atmospheric models forced by the observed SST are less than the zerofeedback response, consistent with the positive feedbacks that characterize these models. The results imply that the models are exaggerating climate sensitivity….
…. However, warming from a doubling of CO2 would only be about 1C (based on simple calculations where the radiation altitude and the Planck temperature depend on wavelength in accordance with the attenuation coefficients of wellmixed CO2 molecules; a doubling of any concentration in ppmv produces the same warming because of the logarithmic dependence of CO2’s absorption on the amount of CO2) (IPCC, 2007)….
This modest warming is much less than current climate models suggest for a doubling of CO2. Models predict warming of from 1.5C to 5C and even more for a doubling of CO2. Model predictions depend on the ‘feedback’ within models from the more important greenhouse substances, water vapor and clouds. Within all current climate models, water vapor increases with increasing temperature so as to further inhibit infrared cooling. Clouds also change so that their visible reflectivity decreases, causing increased solar absorption and warming of the earth….
A New Global Warming Alarmist Tactic: Real Temperature Measurements Don’t Matter
What do you do if you are a global warming alarmist and real-world temperatures do not warm as much as your climate model predicted? Here’s one answer: you claim that your model’s propensity to predict more warming than has actually occurred shouldn’t prejudice your faith in the same model’s future predictions. Thus, anyone who points out the truth that your climate model has failed its real-world test remains a “science denier.”
P. S.
Joanne Nova’s interesting and informative site is up and running. Ms. Nova has a scope which has profound implications concerning the scam of converting food to biofuel.
”… crop-based biodiesel has a worse carbon footprint than normal diesel. “
“The proposals are contained in long-awaited EU plans to address the indirect land use change (ILUC) impact of biofuels, a subject that has split officials, biofuel producers and scientists, delaying legislative proposal for almost two years.
ILUC is a theory that states that by diverting food crops into fuel tanks, biofuel production increases overall global demand for agricultural land. If farmers meet that extra demand by cutting down rainforest and draining peatland, it results in millions of tonnes of additional carbon emissions.
The draft law includes new ILUC emissions values for the three major crop types used to produce biofuels: cereals, sugars and oilseeds. These values must be included when calculating emissions savings from biofuels under an EU fuel quality law designed to encourage fuel suppliers to cut emissions from road transport fuels by 6 percent by 2020.”,9171,1725975,00.html

September 12, 2012 6:10 pm

The “message” Lewandowsky has put out there with this flawed work and its inflammatory (and unsupported) title, only hits a nerve because the work is shown to be corrupted by the authors methods, and sources of data.
The papers goal was clearly stated from the beginning – to try to associate skeptics with rejection of science.
1. The running head of the paper is “Motivated Rejection of Science.”
2. Here is Hanich’s explanation of the purpose:

Hanich to Pielke,
the rationale behind the survey is to draw linkages between attitudes to climate science and other scientific propositions (eg HIV/AIDS) and to look at what scepticism might mean (in terms of endorsing a variety of propositions made in the media).

3. And here is the name of the paper:

“NASA faked the moon landing|Therefore (Climate) Science is a Hoax: An Anatomy of the Motivated Rejection of Science”

The papers intent is extremely clear – to link skeptic’s with the rejection of climate science.
Yet the data used to support the authors claims and conclusions about climate skeptics was all from survey data collected entirely thru strongly pro-AGW sites.
The authors claim these strongly pro-AGW sites have a “diverse audience” while offering nothing to support this important claim.
And the data they collected strongly evidences that bias, with the small relative share of responses identified as “skeptical.”
Collecting information used to support claims about skeptics thoughts about, and alleged rejection of, climate science thru strongly pro-AGW sites, and nothing from those with a large share of skeptic members, makes little or no sense. It is clearly not “science”
I would ask the authors why they did not include one of the largest of all the climate sites – Watts Up With That. Their readership is largely skeptic based and can, and are currently showing that they will, provide the data regarding their views…
And for the pro-AGW viewpoint, why wasn’t Climate Progress selected? Probably the largest reach of all climate science oriented sites.
The “message” further hits a “nerve” because it is, in my personal opinion, purposely and necessarily inflammatory.
True “science” should rely of the facts and the data, not heated bombast and inflammatory rhetoric, to express its conclusions.
When sloganeering, and trying to create sound bites to catch the medias attention makes its way into the very names of papers, especially as here where there is the thinnest of threads of data even supporting the headline as it is, the authors have gone too far.
“Skeptical Attitudes Toward Science” or even Skeptics and Motivated Rejection of Science” while still in my opinion over the top, completely convey the message without resorting to tawdry “science by press release” sloganeering.
In my opinion, and I’ve recently read some interesting commentary support it, when messengers choose to resort to shrill puffery and bombast regarding science, they do considerable damage to the reputation and public perception.
And as a result the message is increasing being considered irrelevant by the “masses.”
In other words – it is not the skeptics doing damage to the public’s attitude toward climate science, but rather the increasingly vitriolic and “cause promoting” presentation from the science community – which in the public’s eye is increasingly seen as unprofessional – that is decreasing the public’s interest in and concern about climate science.
One might call it the “Motivated Rejection of Al Gore’s Bombast” effect … hmmm, perhaps there is another project there.

September 12, 2012 6:29 pm

I was going to bring up the WHOIS links and the fact all those sites are hosted at the same hosting company the other day when the Lew-Cook link was speculated. Can’t remember why I didn’t.

September 12, 2012 6:31 pm
One more demonstration of (drumroll…….)
“The Law of Warmist BS”
“You can save yourselves a lot of time, and generally be correct, by simply assuming that EVERY SCARY PREDICTION the global warming alarmists express is FALSE.”
Axiom 2 of “The Law of Warmist BS”
NO LIE is too big or too small, as long as it serves THE CAUSE

September 12, 2012 7:21 pm

A little interesting Lew-Cook reading:
Why do people reject science? Here’s why …
Lew. Sep2011
How do people reject climate science?
Cook Sep2012

September 12, 2012 7:23 pm

Didn’t he use SkS for the survey? Is that a conflict of interest?

September 12, 2012 7:33 pm

This all falls under: “Wrestling Pigs in Mud” analogies…
Dangerous to do – You get dirty and the PIG gets happy!

September 12, 2012 7:41 pm

I find it courious that Lewandowsky could not come up with data supporting his imaginary 97% consensus. To remedy this, he decided to make up his own data using an obvious bogus survey, and get it published. Who should this embarrass more, Lewandowsky or the journal that agreed to publish his moronic work?

Bill Illis
September 12, 2012 8:28 pm

Skeptical Science was created to correct what Cook perceived as the “myths” about climate science.
But what they have done instead is just create a whole ‘nother set of “myths” for the pro-warmers to quote from endlessly.
If you think about, the primary concern of the pro-warmer set is that people believe in the theory.
They don’t actually care if it is right or not.
They just want everyone to believe in it. So it becomes a communications exercise and they don’t care if that is done ethically or not either. People must believe. It is their number 1 priority. Fixing the climate isn’t. Doing their own personal share of reducing GHGs isn’t. Gathering empirical data isn’t.
It is important for most people to have others agree with them. It is a big part of our human nature. But for Cook and Lewandowsky, it is all they are concerned about.
They will give up when we keep showing them how the non-believers are growing and will soon become the vast majority. In psychological terms, they will move on to some other cause when this cause is lost.

September 12, 2012 8:30 pm

For the record, I like John Cook and his site Skeptical Science. I think he does very good work fighting a load of disinformation on AGW issues. Jo Nova’s site is fun to comment on. But like most “skeptical” web sites (including this one), new posts come out far too frequently.

September 12, 2012 8:38 pm

the thick plottens…

JD Ohio
September 12, 2012 8:38 pm

The Wikipedia entry for SkS does not mention its problems associated with deleting comments. Someone with more knowledge than I ought to challenge the wikipedia version and correct it.

September 12, 2012 9:02 pm

Another, possibly worse association: Stephan Lewandowsky and John Cook are co-authors of the “Debunking Handbook”

September 12, 2012 9:25 pm

This kind of guilt-by-association using Internet registries is hilarious. That someone’s name and contact information appear means next to nothing. They might even be forged. You ate also implying control where all you have is a name associated with a Web property buy. There is little forensic evidence here, none that would stand up in court, and little that passes the straight face test.

Kevin Hilde
September 12, 2012 9:30 pm

In case anybody has forgotten, Lewandowsky’s been making the same arguments for quite a while. If we accept his incorrect definition of “conspiracy” then it seems he’s long written conspiracy theories about conspiracy theories.
Here he is in April, 2011
Funny thing is I had totally forgotten about him and just today realized I had commented twice on an article he’d written. They’re still there. I guess The Drum doesn’t snip quite as quickly.

James Allison
September 12, 2012 9:38 pm

Sorry mods Slightly OT
Comment by Steve McIntyre at Climate Audit
Posted Sep 12, 2012 at 10:34 PM | Permalink
I’ve also received information from the University of Western Australia that the questionnaire was distributed on campus. It’s hard to understand what legitimate purpose was served by this. I’ll post separately on this point.
I’ll bet about now Lewandowsky wished he had never poked SM with a stick. 🙂

September 12, 2012 9:51 pm

Cook and Lewandowsky are engaged in propaganda not science. They believe it is a war of words on behalf of their version of “science” but they are engaged in a propaganda online, not in scientific activity. The Lewandowsky “moon conspiracy” paper is an effort to put a simple propaganda meme into wide circulation, with the imprimatur of a leading psychology journal: that dissenters from climate science orthodoxy are nutty conspiracists who don’t believe the moon landings occurred. The title is inflammatory and even Tom Curtis of SkS recognized quickly that it is unacceptable in relation to the actual data and contents of the paper.
Now it appears from Lewandowsky’s own data that as few as ONE of the 1100+ responses (one which likely may be faked as Steve McIntyre is suggesting) is the basis for Lew’s title. This needs to be examined, analyzed, pushed hard…. for if it’s true that the very title is based upon spurious or unreliable data, that will push the discussion toward looking for the line between utter incompetence and outright conscious fraud.
Given that the very title of Lewandowsky et al (2012) is based upon alleged statistical significance of a belief in the fantasy conspiracy about faked Moon landings for “skeptics” about climate science, that should discredit the paper right there. Not only is Lewandowsky overtly seeking to equate dissent from climate “consensus” with demented conspiracy-mongering, he is picking the most easily falsifiable conspiracy claim when it (faked moon landings) is the least evidenced in his own data.
Why did he pick that one to highlight in the title? Not because it is the best supported, but because it is the most ridiculous and sensational. It’s not clear it has ANY support in his own data, but in any case the “therefore” of the title is blatantly unsupportable: there is no possible causal connection between a belief of one (probably fake) respondent to an online survey and Lewandowsky’s generalized “therefore (climate) science is a hoax” attributed to skeptics generally.
The title of Lewandowsky’s paper is clearly “inflammatory” (and unjustifiable) — therefore, by the moderation rules of Lewandowsky’s own STW blog, this title should be snipped as “inflammatory” whenever it appears in a post at STW (I am quoting it here not to be inflammatory, but simply to quote what I am discussing):

[A]“NASA faked the moon landing, [B]Therefore (Climate) Science is a Hoax: An Anatomy of the Motivated Rejection of Science”

Utterly unacceptable as the title of a scientific paper when the paper’s own data provide no basis for attributing [A} to skeptics generally and no possible causal connection between [A] and {B} to justify the “therefore”.

September 12, 2012 10:05 pm

Re: James Allison at 9:38pm and WUWT’s Update above, here are my questions to Steve McIntyre on the new thread about the intriguing AnswerPot page thrown up by Google:

The date shown is 21st October 2010. Can we rely on this from as the date Charles Hanich made the request known? And to whom? How do we know that the mailing list this was sent to was UWA only Steve?

There’s been no mention by Lewandowsky of a mailing list to invite further responses so it would be fascinating to receive answers to these questions from the only people that know for sure. But I don’t currently see how Steve deduced that the mailing list AnswerPot lifted this from was internal to UWA. Maybe I’m missing something obvious but it’s best not to jump to too many conclusions with ‘aggregator’ sites like this, without the original email. Well worth publicising though, for the crowdsleuthing to begin 🙂

Donald Woerd
September 12, 2012 11:25 pm

As local I can confirm that the Maths Prof Kevin Judd is the mastermind behind UWA AGW. He is apparently a brilliant mathematician, chess and go player, and computerwizz. He is a typical reclusive mad scientist. There is no doubt he is behind all UWA.

Brian H
September 12, 2012 11:32 pm

jp says:
September 12, 2012 at 3:16 pm
Does anyone know why Jo Nova’s site says that the account has been suspended?

From time to time she suffers DoS attacks, etc. It’s fine now.

September 12, 2012 11:41 pm

[typo fixed in article, thanks ~moderator]
On the Cook post-edited and KGB-type handling of inconvenient and embarrassing posts on all of those websites (Cooked book websites?). Doesn’t that mean they should all get listed on the right sidebar with that other totally unreliable web site (SKS)? That way, they might be found in a websearch engine when someone types in “unreliable climate”?
Time to start placing those heavily stomped and propagandized website utterings of Lewdy Lew and his false prophet buddy, globally cooked down under Cook into the searches of the world as bad science profs.
Maybe, UWA will finally realize that this crowd are really bad for the public image and future alumni fundings that maybe UWA will get some backbone and clean up their climate religion propaganda cesspools?

September 12, 2012 11:50 pm

I just had another comment deleted (no explanation given) on SKS. I used dana1981’s own words from his article to ask 3 questions. This is the third time it has happened. IMO they have no room for dissenting views on the site. dana1981 is crying about “his side” (pro AGW) not getting fair treatment in the press. The gist of the article is how folks must act to get the government to act on AGW. The first article he said the media was trying to be “balanced” when they used (i think John Cristy) to present the other side. The new article uses “fake balance” to blame the media. I guess it’s blame the messenger not the message in his view. TIA

September 12, 2012 11:54 pm

Bob says:
September 12, 2012 at 7:41 pm
I find it courious that Lewandowsky could not come up with data supporting his imaginary 97% consensus. To remedy this, he decided to make up his own data using an obvious bogus survey, and get it published. Who should this embarrass more, Lewandowsky or the journal that agreed to publish his moronic work?
These people are like a 600 pound nudist; The only one who is embarrassed are the ones who look at them.

M Courtney
September 13, 2012 12:21 am

hypergeometric says:
September 12, 2012 at 9:25 pm
“This kind of guilt-by-association using Internet registries is hilarious. That someone’s name and contact information appear means next to nothing. They might even be forged. You ate also implying control where all you have is a name associated with a Web property buy. There is little forensic evidence here, none that would stand up in court, and little that passes the straight face test.”
Interesting that the doubt-spreaders are trying to quarantine Cook from Lew.
Lewandowsky is clearly going down; his reputation is already ruined.
I guess the Rapid Response team are scared of going down with him.
I remember when RealClimate was the go-to blog for closed-minded climate catastrophists. Any scientific question was met with “go to RealClimate”… until it crashed and burned by way of partisan moderation.
Will SkS go the same way?

September 13, 2012 12:41 am

hypergeometric says:
September 12, 2012 at 9:25 pm
This kind of guilt-by-association using Internet registries is hilarious. That someone’s name and contact information appear means next to nothing. They might even be forged. You ate also implying control where all you have is a name associated with a Web property buy. There is little forensic evidence here, none that would stand up in court, and little that passes the straight face test.
Does that help your straight face test regarding their association?

September 13, 2012 1:01 am

Lewandowsky can’t debate climate science because he doesn’t understand it. He believes that to question, to doubt, to be skeptical is wrong. Lewandowsky is an enemy of the scientific method. He is Dr. Propaganda himself.
The Lewandowsky method is to take a viewpoint he disagrees with and rather than debating the evidence for the viewpoint, he puts up an analogy and debates that as if that were the subject under discussion.
Lewandowsky is the king of the straw man analogy.

September 13, 2012 1:04 am

Donald Woerd says:
September 12, 2012 at 11:25 pm
re: Kevin Judd, he definitely seems to be the other key player along with Lewandowsky, and they are closely tied to SkepticalScience:
I don’t know what Kevin Judd may or may not be a “whiz” in but his article about climate models and “predictions” shows an overweening confidence in models that few of even the IPCC’s most fervent defenders would claim (I thought we were told that the IPCC doesn’t claim such definite “predictions” anyway??):

Confidence in climate forecasts
Posted on 4 August 2010 by Kevin Judd
Guest post by Kevin Judd
Climate scientists are telling us that the earth’s average temperature is going to rise 2 to 3 degrees over the next 50 to 100 years. How do they make this prediction? And why are they confident their prediction will be correct? Climate scientists make this prediction using a climate model. So what is a climate model? ….
[see article at link for complete text] ….
….These models make correct predictions because they are based on general scientific principles, often referred as “Laws”, like the law of gravity. General scientific principles are important because they connect phenomena that are not obviously connected. For example, the principles of microwave ovens are related to the greenhouse effect. The principles of car engines and power stations are related to how the earth will warm up. The principles of aircraft are related to winds, storms, and ocean currents…..

James P
September 13, 2012 1:05 am

“The survey carries no risks for participants”
But quite a few for the authors.. 🙂

September 13, 2012 1:05 am

As Cook is a ‘Team ‘ wannabe this is hardly surprising, and you only have to see his efforts over Mann’s book to see how very desperately he wants in . Sadly for Cook ‘the Team ‘ is a rather exclusive outfit under and he can kiss rear as much as he like but he will very be truly ‘one of them’

September 13, 2012 1:14 am

fyi, I haven’t seen it mentioned but Lewandowsky has moderator privileges at SkepticalScience — he is clearly the “SL” in the moderator responses on this thread because the first person “I” refers to the article and SL’s specious comparison of the future to driving into a brick wall at 80 kph (of course if the choice is hit a brick wall at 80 kph or enjoy “economic rewards” of drastically changing our economies then it’s an easy choice, but both sides of that comparison are highly tendentious at best):

Moderator Response: I am intrigued by the various degrees of alarmism raised to counter my suggestion that people would be ill-advised to drive into a brick wall. I agree, if avoiding the wall meant driving into a ravine, then the choice would be challenging indeed. However, this is not the choice we have to make. There are clear precedents that it is possible to slow down while being paid to do so: Denmark cut carbon emissions by 21% between 1990 and 2006 while at the same time increasing its GDP by a whopping 44%, and Germany reduced carbon emissions by 28% whilst increasing GDP by 32% and creating more than 300,000 clean-energy jobs at the same time. Lest you think only Europeans can be that smart, the Australian CSIRO released a study recently which indicated that some 3 million jobs could be created during a 20-year transition to a low-carbon economy. So, there is no imaginary ravine. The choice is between hitting a brick wall and the economic *REWARDS* associated with slowing down and avoiding the impact. SL

September 13, 2012 1:16 am

Here is how Australian John Cook changed career from web cartoonist to CAGW media spin doctor(?). From his own old web site:
“Smarter than experts
Due to bandwidth and server load issues, you need to subscribe to access cartoons archived over 24 months ago (sorry, it was that or close the site down). Subscription costs are AUD$15.00 (around 9 Euros or $11USD) for 12 months. ”
“There’s a Ig Nobel prize winning paper with the beautifully worded title “Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties in Recognizing One’s Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-Assessments”. It led to an effect, named after it’s authors, called the Dunning Kruger effect. The paper basically shows that incompetent people lack the competence to rate their own skill level. Consequently, they have an inflated view of how good they are. You see it every year on the American Idol auditions. I also see it in global warming debates, where layman skeptics somehow think they more about climate than all the climate scientists who have spent their lifetime studying and publishing research on climate. The winning punchline was submitted by feyanne. There were 21 finalist punchlines chosen for this cartoon. This cartoon was archived on 2009-10-24.”

Disko Troop
September 13, 2012 1:21 am

Oh what a tangled web we weave,
When first we practice to deceive!
Sir Walter Scott, Marmion, Canto vi. Stanza 17.
Ivor Ward

September 13, 2012 1:30 am

John Cook was promoted to “Research Fellow in climate communications at the Global Change Institute” at the University of Queensland
A quote: “John is now working to bring together research into effectively countering misinformation. He says while some work has been carried out, no one has brought it altogether. “I’m trying to pull it all together and come up with practical guidelines.” Since he first entered the climate science debate, John says it is now moving in a more positive direction. “In Australia, it now seems to be shifting towards solutions and carbon pricing. That’s a positive step.” He says it helps that both major political parties publicly accept the idea of climate change. “That means we’re looking at the best solution rather than still arguing about the science.”

September 13, 2012 1:34 am

This seems to be the announcement in Feb. 2011 that the Climate group at UWA was about to launch the blog “ShapingTomorrowsWorld” in conjunction with SkS — it doesn’t mention a blog name but Lewandowsky chimes in at the bottom and describes what seems to be his conception of STW (and John Cook registered the domain in the name of Lewandowsky on Feb. 21, 2011:
Voicing values and climate change
Posted on 9 February 2011 by Mark Edwards
A short piece for the general audience of RTR radio, Perth, Australia.
….. [visit link for complete text] ….
concluding remarks [Mark Edwards]:

The cultural climates of organisations will need to change if we are to meet the challenge of global climate change.
To facilitate the conversations we must have, the climate science group at UWA will shortly be unveiling a blog that is dedicated to informed discussion about our society’s future. To find out more about this blog, visit or keep tuned for more climate casts right here on RTR.
Gentile, M (2010), Giving Voice to Values: How to Speak Your Mind When You Know What’s Right, Yale University Press, New Haven, CT.
Newspoll 2010, Public attitudes towards climate change
Oreskes, Conway (2010), Merchants of doubt : how a handful of scientists obscured the truth on issues from tobacco smoke to global warming, 1st U.S. edn, Bloomsbury Press, New York.
“There is much public demand for reasoned discussion about the way in which we can now move forward to tackle climate change. While there is much exciting science that remains to be discussed at, a different forum is required for development and discussion of ideas relating to the solutions to the climate emergency. There is much interest in such a forum, and the urgency of the issue is self-evident. The University of Western Australia is sponsoring the efforts of the university’s climate science group to set up such a discussion forum in the form of a high-quality blog that will be run by academics at the University of Western Australia and around the nation. This blog will be going live within the next few months and skepticalscience will keep you updated on developments.”
Stephan Lewandowsky

September 13, 2012 1:54 am

anthony, not sure if u realise your old friend is Director of the Global Change Institute at QUT, as well as a Professor of Marine Science:
University of Queensland Global Change Institute
Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg
Global Change Institute – Director
Inaugural Director of the GCI and Professor of Marine Science, at The University of Queensland (UQ), Ove is deeply motivated by a desire to communicate science effectively; to undertake game-changing research; and to find high-impact solutions to address several of the most pressing and serious challenges facing humanity worldwide, such as climate change, food security, clean energy and population growth.
ove’s awards keep coming, the Smart State Premier Fellow is a recent goodie:
Australian Govt: Australian Research Council: 2012 Australian Laureate Recipient: PROFESSOR OVE HOEGH-GULDBERG
Ove has received numerous awards including the Queensland Smart State’s Premier Fellow, the Eureka Prize for Scientific Research, the Thomson Reuters’ ISI Highly Cited Researcher award, the Wesley College Foundation Medal, the UCLA Distinguished Scholar Award and the Whitley Certificate of Commendation for the book The Great Barrier Reef. He was a member of the Royal Society’s Working Group on Ocean Acidification and a founding member of the Australian Climate Group, now Climate Scientists Australia.

September 13, 2012 1:59 am

whereas Cook is pretty much a regular Fellow:
University of Queensland Global Change Institute
Mr John Cook
Family row spawns quest to debunk climate myths
An argument with his father- in-law sparked Skeptical Science creator John Cook’s passion for debunking climate science myths.
“We had a long discussion where he said it was a hoax and global warming wasn’t happening”, says John, now a Research Fellow in climate communications at the Global Change Institute.
“At the end of the conversation he gave me a speech by a US Republican senator which gave all his arguments about why it was a hoax. I started researching it and found all his arguments were the opposite of what the science was saying. I started building a database at first for the next family meal. Then it became a bit of a hobby.”

September 13, 2012 2:31 am

hypergeometric says:
September 12, 2012 at 9:25 pm
“This kind of guilt-by-association using Internet registries is hilarious. That someone’s name and contact information appear means next to nothing. They might even be forged. ”
But Lewandowsky’s internet survey is research? Of a quality as the taxpayer who funds it can expect? I don’t think so. Or are you trying to safe Cook while throwing Lewandowsky under the bus?

September 13, 2012 2:58 am

This smells exactly like the web in europe with potsdam. There are very few people globally controlling the message. It is a scandal and dishonest activism disguised as science.

September 13, 2012 3:14 am

(Lewandowsky) The professor/teacher has lost their true and honest purpose when the become the propagandist whose methods are designed to shut down the human mind.

September 13, 2012 3:17 am

Exposing John Cook’s lack of an ethical moral compass — YAWN. But please do keep it up. IMO any person who supports his argument with “Cooked”-up articles should be ignored.

September 13, 2012 3:17 am

“That’s quite a little activist organization they have running out of the University of western Australia. I wonder if UWA officials realize the extent that UWA has become a base for this global climate activism operation and if they condone it?”
I don’t really like the thinking behind this kind of comment. It implies people (that we happen to disagree with) should have their freedom of speech curtailed by some backdoor means. We see this kind of thinking a lot from Team AGW and I don’t think we should stoop to the same kind of thinking.

September 13, 2012 4:11 am

the thick plottens…
Brilliant, Robert. Says it all.

September 13, 2012 4:38 am

Ryan says:
September 13, 2012 at 3:17 am
Ryan, I think it’s about the purpose(s) of universities and whether any lines can and should be drawn between research and teaching about research vs. propaganda for a cause. Especially with publicly funded operations, taxpayers in any country have every right to monitor and be concerned about potential sectarian, activist, and/or propagandistic uses of their funds. We can be sure there would not be this kind of funding for the “freedom of speech” of “skeptical” bloggers, but it does appear that public funds have found their way to Lewsandowsky’s activist blog for “the cause” and also probably to John Cook and SkS to the extent they are providing support operations….. that is a legitimate public concern for taxpayers of that country. Other observers are free (our freedom of speech) to raise the matter, although of course we do not get a vote on the politicians who are enabling this specific instance.

Glenn Tamblyn
September 13, 2012 4:42 am

Intriguing Anthony.
You have decided that SkS is an unreliable site – you list it as such in a sidebar. Then you devote an entire post to trying to read the tea-leaves on what Steve Lewandowsky’s paper means and ‘links’ to John Cook etc.
Thanks for all the extra traffic by the way.
You might care to do an analysis of the posts at SkS and how many do not carry the John Cook byline. The author community over there is rich, deep and thriving. Why? Because there is a large community of people who are concerned about the issues, want to express opinions based on a deep understanding of the science and communicate that to others.
Various commenters here have mentioned the moderation policy at SkS. Very simply, that policy. enforced by the community, is based on several things. Aggresion, insults to others, abusive language is off-limits. Political comment is off-limits – boring as! Endlessly off-topic comments are off-limits. If a thread is about subject A, there is a low tolerance of discussing subject B. If you want to discuss subject B, move it to that thread. There is a low tolerance for unsubstantiated statements. References, citations etc are required.
Also there is a low tolerance of statements that contradict the published rebuttals on the site without addressing the substance of those rebuttals. Not because there is a problem with people disputing the rebuttals – there isn’t. Dispute the rebuttals by all means – that will be freely accepted and discussed. However using a general thread to dispute a published rebuttal isn’t generally accepted. The moderators will gently, and then more forcefully redirect discussion to the relevant thread. Similarly posters who engage in web-search ‘dumps’ will be given little latitude. Stick to the point, give references for claims and don’t run-away-at-the-mouth.
Mention has been made here of PopTech. Poptech has a track record of flooding threads with multiple voluminous posts. Overwhelming the thread and distracting from the capacity of other participants to contribute is discouraged. If the Poptech’s of the world aren’t capable of mounting a cogent case in anything less that 10,000 characters they are discouraged for the benefit of other participants. That isn’t supression of their views, it is supression of their tendency towards verbal diarrhoea. Yes, the needlessly prolix are discriminated against for the benefit of other participants. No apologies made or needed for that.
Do the Authors at SkS have an agenda? Yes, We want discussion of climate science carried out at the highest level possible, deeply based on the science. Unfortunately we often find that skeptic commenters post opinions based on less understanding of the science and data than one might hope – not all, some are very well informed.
However, when a poster, for example, makes a comment about ‘temperatures haven’t warmed since X’, where they haven’t considered what time scales are meaningful for assessing this, haven’t recognised that they may only be considering warming of the atmosphere which is only 3% of the observed warming in the Earth’s systems, etc etc, what policy should a site take. Should they just let anyone say anything they like? Or should they take the approach that when someone makes a statement that is factually in error (I am not discussing opinion here, just facts) the site has an obligation to make the case to that person about the factual errors they are commiting?
You have a more lenient policy here Anthony, of letting people say what they like with relatively little moderation/site admin involvement in correcting the most egregious errors of fact. SkS does not operate on that basis. We will point out to people when we think they are factually in error while allowing them to make counter arguments. And we have a much lower tolerance of comments about politics, conspiracy theories, hidden agenda’s etc. You may be comfortable with indulging peoples predilection for entertaining such outlandish ideas. We are not. And we do not apologise for that fact. We will discuss science with serious interested parties. The wing-nuts (and unfortunately they are more common than we might like) can go find another forum to haunt.
And no doubt said wing-nuts will go to another forum and complain about how badly they were treated. Meh. Life is too short to concerned about every crank. There are a lot of serious skeptics who want to discuss subjects rationally and civily. Which we do. But don’t expect that skeptic views will be easily accepted. We do reserve the right to apply the blow-torch to them. If a skeptic argument has merit, it should be able to survive the blowtorch.
REPLY: And the shoddy way you treated Dr. Roger Pielke Sr., coupled with the way you treat other scientistists such as Christy and Lindzen, along with your post facto revisionism of comments and issues that don’t paint you in a favorable light shows what your true agenda is. Note I didn’t revise your comment, run strikethorughs though sections of text, edit it or delete it, as SkS has regularly demonstrated. – Anthony

Eric (skeptic)
September 13, 2012 4:56 am

Bill Illis said: “But what they have done instead is just create a whole `nother set of “myths” for the
pro-warmers to quote from endlessly.”
It’s a shame because some of the original myth posts are pretty useful for debunking the oversimplified tripe that passes for “skeptic” commentary at political blogs. I followed a link from one of those (a liberal blog) and started quibbling with some details in the SkepSci post, and ended up quibbling with a number of them.
I think part of the problem is they have debunked most or all of the myths worth debunking and now spend far too much time promoting and defending a caricature of “denier” which is basically a politically motivated rejector of science. But to do that they have to stretch the definition of consensus science to include all sorts of weird crap like Lewandownski’s own belief that rejection of science (defined by them) dovetails with belief in conspiracies. Circular thinking is the best way to describe it.
After being told that Lewandowski had 100 papers, I investigated and saw a lot of interesting papers. I purchased one and found it to be more scientific than I ever expected from a paper on psychology. Unfortunately this recent work of his is extremely poor quality.

jonny old boy
September 13, 2012 5:19 am

I saved the thread on SkS facebook page where I made a complete idiot about of Daniel Bailey. They deleted my comments and banned me from the site but I have saved it for posterity !!

Jason Calley
September 13, 2012 5:31 am

It is no wonder that academia works so hard to make unthinking drones. Here is what Lord Bertrand Russell said almost 60 years ago: “It is to be expected that advances in physiology and psychology will give governments much more control over individual mentality than they now have even in totalitarian countries. Fitche laid it down that education should aim at destroying free will, so that, after pupils have left school, they shall be incapable, throughout the rest of their lives, of thinking or acting otherwise than as their schoolmasters would have wished. Diet, injections, and injunctions will combine, from a very early age, to produce the sort of character and the sort of beliefs that the authorities consider desirable, and any serious criticism of the powers that be will become psychologically impossible.”
Bertrand Russell, “The Impact of Science on Society”, 1953, pg 49-50
Conspiracy? No, just simple consensus among powerful people who believe that they should maintain their power.

September 13, 2012 5:54 am

[pointless taunt – moderator]

michael hart
September 13, 2012 6:37 am

I stopped visiting or even mentioning THAT website quite some time ago, shortly after first visiting it and experiencing the so-called “moderation” first hand.

Eric (skeptic)
September 13, 2012 6:39 am

Glenn, you make some good points, particularly about the depth (although I would say breadth) of the authors. There is even a healthy cross section of political opinion probably helped by the ban on politics. But there are also numerous problems. One is the constant violations of the ban on “sloganeering”. Unforunately it is very inconsistently enforced, even the moderators will sometimes sloganeer in response to sloganeering.
A related flaw (same as WUWT) is allowing one paragraph “proofs” and “disproofs” of some major portion of AGW or CAGW or the need for urgent action in any and all threads. As McIntyre (who doesn’t allow those) points out, the proof or disproof of such a complex subject simply cannot be done in a paragraph.
Most importantly I don’t think you have addressed the bad social science like Lewandowski’s being inserted and defended ad nauseum. In that case you forgot to light the blowtorch and you ended up with a gas explosion.

David Ball
September 13, 2012 7:00 am

Glenn Tamblyn says:
September 13, 2012 at 4:42 am
I posit that is Sks is the non-science venue, and has an agenda.
The posters that come here from SKs seem to be focused only on the “science” that supports their view, i.e. the satellite record. The aim of Sks and it’s “policy” is to keep the focus on only things that support this assertion. Myopic? Yes. Scientific? No.
The other problem is that there is a clear agenda to promote their world-view. “Shaping tomorrow’s world”? What has this to do with climate science? It is an EMOTIONAL plea to live our lives the way THEY deem fit. Based on weak science. That is politics, nothing to do with science.
Some of us see through your political machinations. An honest look at ALL the data pulls the rug right out from under your agenda. You cannot control the discussion here, and it drives you nuts.

September 13, 2012 7:04 am

Glenn Tamblyn says:
Mention has been made here of PopTech. Poptech has a track record of flooding threads with multiple voluminous posts. Overwhelming the thread and distracting from the capacity of other participants to contribute is discouraged. If the Poptech’s of the world aren’t capable of mounting a cogent case in anything less that 10,000 characters they are discouraged for the benefit of other participants. That isn’t supression of their views, it is supression of their tendency towards verbal diarrhoea. Yes, the needlessly prolix are discriminated against for the benefit of other participants. No apologies made or needed for that.

You are a liar Glenn, I have never done any such thing and have no such track record. Every single comment I ever made at Skeptical Science was in direct response to the original topic or a comment made by someone else in the discussion. In certain topics I get multiple commentators responding to me and in turn responded to each individually – that was not “flooding” anything. It is amazing that when you can’t back up your bullshit you resort to fabrications. This is not Skeptical Science were you can delete my responses. I am sure you can dig up the handful of comments I made in frustration at the moderators who kept obsessively censoring my comments as that is the dishonesty and lies one can expect from the zealots at Skeptical Science. You are not interested in the truth and this will be slowly and for you guys (painfully) exposed.
Words of wisdom from Glenn,
“Capitalism has reached its Use By Date, need a replacement” – Glenn Tamblyn
“If you can make the opposite view look not just wrong but deliberately misleading then that really weakens the other persons credibility.” – Glenn Tamblyn
“Power to the People.” – Glenn Tamblyn

September 13, 2012 7:43 am

Glenn Tamblyn says:
September 13, 2012 at 4:42 am
You might care to do an analysis of the posts at SkS and how many do not carry the John Cook byline. The author community over there is rich, deep and thriving. Why? Because there is a large community of people who are concerned about the issues, want to express opinions based on a deep understanding of the science and communicate that to others.

Which shows that:
“Dup-id” is as “dup-id” does.
(Apologies to Forrest Gump)
Seriously, anyone who is “concerned about the issues”, wants to “express opinions based on a deep understanding of the science” and “communicate that to others” would be wise to stay far away from the SkS and associated websites.

Sean Peake
September 13, 2012 8:33 am

Seems that Lewandowsky has blown a hose in his head

Peter Crawford
September 13, 2012 9:24 am

Jim Spice, do you think your comment was published here because A) It was an example of the razor sharp wit climate alarmists have in their armoury or B) It was an example of just what clunking bellends climate alarmists often are ?
My guess is B.

September 13, 2012 10:05 am

Ryan says:
September 13, 2012 at 3:17 am
“…We see this kind of thinking a lot from Team AGW and I don’t think we should stoop to the same kind of thinking.”
You are expressing noble sentiments, however this is not a situation where you can sit back with raised palms, deploring the uncivil behavior of others. To do that would be like calling yourself a pacifist for not raising a finger to help a woman or child as they were violated; it might fit the definition of pacifist, but it also fits the definition of coward.
What is the danger? Well, John Cook is meddling with free speech. And Lewandowsky is attempting to marginalize those who speak freely. That can be pretty dangerous, in any social setting, but especially when it becomes government policy.
Who is funding these two fellows, (and their cohorts, if there are any?) Is it the government, in any way, shape or form? If so, you ought be annoyed, if not alarmed, because it is your tax dollars that are going into meddling with your free speech.
I am not subscribing to any sort of conspiracy theory. However I do believe we need to stand up for our right to speak freely, share ideas freely, and come up with rational solutions freely, without facing the threat of marginalization or ostracism. “The price of Liberty is eternal vigilance.”

September 13, 2012 12:07 pm

Glenn Tamblyn says – Political comment is off-limits – boring as!
They have two recent post/articles on the politics of AGW. I guess their “read only” post/articles. “Political comment is off-limits – boring as!” SMH
I can’t even get questions answered using the exact words from the post/articles. I admit I was wrong on one comment when i called the site tabloid trash. You folks post a subject one day allowing the author to make statements not backed by any science let alone peer reviewed science. Then two or 3 days later go after somebody who doesn’t believe your theory for their Gimp Gallish (?) not sure of the exact phrase. When i pointed it out my comment was deleted.
What i find amusing is the “we debunked” this that or the other. Like you are the final word in the debate.

jonny old boy
Reply to  Clyde
September 13, 2012 1:12 pm

I love their use of “osterich” , “we debunked” and “reference a citation please” ….

September 13, 2012 1:40 pm

To Glenn Tamblyn,
My dad used to repeat to us a piece of advice my grandfather gave to him. He said there are three things you never want to give people cause to call you, a liar, a thief or a cheat. You Mr Tamblyn are treading extremely close to the line of being a liar.
I quit visiting SkS due to constant deletion of comments and rude arrogant responses. Deleted comments violated no policy except for the apparent policy of not allowing any dissenting opinion or difficult question. And with regard to aggression and insult and abusive language, few have demonstrated a higher ability at that than your own Dana1981.
I’d have to google you to find out who you are, but based on your comment above, one has to question whether or not you possess any sort of honor or integrity. There is no question on you having no sense of shame.

Craig Loehle
September 13, 2012 2:16 pm

Wouldn’t this qualify as a conspiracy? Secret committees, hidden associations, using university resources for political activism, clandestine meetings?
REPLY: It’s only a conspiracy if skeptics do it. Don’t you any get anything? /sarc – Anthony

September 13, 2012 2:55 pm

Since when did proving some people are suspicious of government, gullible or even outright dishonest PROVE the global warmimg hypothesis – ignore this stupidity !

jonny old boy
September 13, 2012 3:42 pm

Timg56… Dana, Daniel and the SkS crowd are SCARED to death by any question that even comes close to making the public notice their Emporer is not wearing any clothes. My wife said I was a bit childish for spending an evening making a total fool of Daniel on the SkS FB site but I am glad I did and saved the thread before they deleted it….

September 13, 2012 6:45 pm

One can see the disgusting quality of SkS “moderation” in full display on the Lewandowsky threads at “ShapingTomorrowsWorld”
SkS authors and mods are out in full-court press trying desperately to deflect and obstruct all critical questions and points with combinations of snipping, diversion, stalling, obtuseness, and filibustering.
SkS flacks should be deeply embarrassed that they cannot press Lewandowsky to answer elementary questions about methodology and data. Instead, they tag-team opposition to any and all critics while SkS mods snip away. Those thread are a travesty for science and open discourse. Lewandowsky writes six of the more puerile posts I have ever read from a supposed academic scientist and the SkS crowd acts as his loyal team running interference for him, trying desperately to help him get to the goal line.
The goal line is evidently to keep a vile and incompetent paper in play long enough to enable more media headlines. Once it is part of the folklore of media commentary on climate issues it will never go away, and the SkS propagandists know this well.

September 13, 2012 8:25 pm

Glen Tamblyn:
“Dispute the rebuttals by all means – that will be freely accepted and discussed.”
I call BS (and no, not Bad Science). I have repeatedly disputed the rebuttals with links to papers and information. In return I am not met with my comment being “freely accepted and discussed” but instead I get insults (“climate ostrich”, etc), ridicule and simple deletion.
And it’s not limited to SkS, challenge any key AGW pillar on any CAGW site and you’re met with exactly the same.
Want to know something ironic? The only sites who actually offer a full and free scientific discussion are the “anti-science” sceptic sites.

David Ball
September 13, 2012 8:44 pm

The oppressor claiming to be oppressed. Chapter 3 in “Tyranny for Dummies”.

September 14, 2012 6:12 am

Glenn Tamblyn says: More warmist BS, on September 13, 2012 at 4:42 am
Note to sensible people (warmists can stop reading here):
In science, your predictive record is an objective test of your theory and your competence in your field.
The global warming alarmists have NO predictive track record. ALL of their scary global warming and wild weather predictions have failed to materialize.
The warmists have predicted catastrophic global warming in response to increased atmospheric CO2, yet despite increasing CO2 there has been no net global warming for 10-15 years.
The warmists have also predicted wilder weather in response to global warming, yet there is nothing unusual about today’s weather when compared to the historic record.
The evidence strongly suggests that global temperature changes experienced in recent centuries are overwhelmingly natural in origin, and that changes in atmospheric CO2 experienced over this period have NO significant impact on global temperatures or weather.
Furthermore, there is growing evidence that global warming alarmism is a social phenomenon, not a scientific one. For further information, please see
“Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds”, Charles Mackay, 1841.

September 14, 2012 8:15 pm

Here is Glenn Tamblyn secretly conversing with his SkS pals and saying “we need a conspiracy to save humanity”:

And this isn’t about science or personal careers and reputations any more. This is a fight for survival. Our civilisations survival. .. We need our own anonymous (or not so anonymous) donors, our own think tanks…. Our Monckton’s … Our assassins.
Anyone got Bill Gates’ private number, Warren Buffett, Richard Branson? Our ‘side’ has got to get professional, ASAP. We don’t need to blog. We need to network. Every single blog, organisation, movement is like a platoon in an army. ..This has a lot of similarities to the Vietnam War….And the skeptics are the Viet Cong… Not fighting like ‘Gentlemen’ at all. And the mainstream guys like Gleick don’t know how to deal with this. Queensberry Rules rather than biting and gouging.
..So, either Mother Nature deigns to give the world a terrifying wake up call. Or people like us have to build the greatest guerilla force in human history. Now. Because time is up…Someone needs to convene a council of war of the major environmental movements, blogs, institutes etc. In a smoke filled room (OK, an incense filled room) we need a conspiracy to save humanity. [As quoted by Geoff Chambers in this Bishop Hill thread. ]

I don’t know whether to we should take Glenn Tamblyn seriously or laugh at him, to be honest.
PS: My first comment in WUWT threads in many months. I had to set up a new email account just for this since WordPress has all my other email addresses and wouldn’t allow commenting without log on to WordPress.

September 14, 2012 9:50 pm

It’s a wee way back in the thread, but someone wanted to know who Lewandowsky is connected to. His Facebook friends including Stefan Rahmstorf, Jim Salinger and David Karoly among others

September 14, 2012 10:01 pm

The Skeptical Science Facebook page is moderated by Barbel Winkler, whose Friends list also makes interesting reading and gives you access to John Cook’s Friends list.

Gunga Din
September 15, 2012 8:44 am

Perhaps Josh could do a cartoon along the lines of what you get when you are “Cooking in the Lew”?

September 16, 2012 2:18 pm

OT — but not really.
Psychopathic personalities adhere to no principle except pursuing their own ends by any means possible. They habitually strive to gain positions of authority over others, either by election or by appointment. The only common denominator is their willingness to prevail by subtle or bold deception, regardless of the cost to others. It has been argued they are a psychologically distinct species of humankind owing to having no — zero — empathy.
Since people diagnosed with this condition are far more common than widely understood, they are also more dangerous when joined in a common purpose, especially one paid for by public funds awarded by other psychopaths.
This reference to “The Mask of Sanity” offers a fascinating (if disturbing) revelation of who and what psychopaths really are:
Psychopaths are superbly successful con-men because they are literally restrained by no limits when it comes to gaming others for their own benefit. FWIW.

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