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: http://www.shapingtomorrowsworld.org/news.php?p=1&t=210&&n=159

Who runs shapingtomorrowsworld.org ? This public domain information shows who:

http://whois.domaintools.com/shapingtomorrowsworld.org

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

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

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

http://whois.domaintools.com/climaterapidresponse.org

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:

http://www.kwiksurveys.com/online-survey.php?surveyID=HKLJIN_61fa37b2

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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SanityP

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

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.
http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/constructing-an-alternative-vision-of-either-the-natural-or-human-world-as-the-basis-for-a-college-degree/ 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.

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.

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

jp

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

michaeljmcfadden

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.
– MJM

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

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

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.
http://www.cartoonebooks.com/books.php?book=156

NikFromNYC

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:
http://www.psmsl.org/data/obtaining/stations/111.php
Isn’t sea level self leveling any more? Suddenly surging seas as reported in headlines might be expected to show up somewhere, right?

ocker

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

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

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.

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!
Ken
=====================================================
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. 🙂

Elizabeth

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

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

Another jar of “climate science” worms.

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

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.

Betapug

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. http://www.atimetolaugh.com.au/
I liove the first strip in this collection:
http://auspacmedia.com.au/listing/1074/A_Time_to_Laugh_-_Christian_based_comic_strips
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.
http://www.sev.com.au/
And do not forget his position at the University of Queensland:
http://www.gci.uq.edu.au/AboutUs/OurStories/MrJohnCook.aspx
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:
http://pics.uvic.ca/climate-insights-101/clear-air

David L. Hagen

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.

Antonia

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.

Fred

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

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)

tckev

Is http://joannenova.com.au site suspended again or is it just me??

Steve C

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.

Maus

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.

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.
John

Robbo

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:
http://www.uwa.edu.au/climate-science/news/media
http://www.uwa.edu.au/climate-science/community
(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

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.

Francisco

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:
http://buythetruth.wordpress.com/2009/10/31/climate-change-and-the-death-of-science/
[…]
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):
Quotes:
…‘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

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.

William

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.
http://www.drroyspencer.com/2012/09/uah-global-temperature-update-for-august-2012-0-34-deg-c/
http://www-eaps.mit.edu/faculty/lindzen/236-Lindzen-Choi-2011.pdf
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….
http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamestaylor/2012/04/11/a-new-global-warming-alarmist-tactic-real-temperature-measurements-dont-matter/
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.
http://joannenova.com.au/2012/09/there-goes-the-biofuels-21-billion-dollar-industry-reality-bites-in-eu-draft/
”… 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.”
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1725975,00.html
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2008-04-14/biofuel-production-a-crime-against-humanity/2403402
http://news.yahoo.com/prime-indonesian-jungle-cleared-palm-oil-065556710.html

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.
🙂

Dale

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.

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/02/28/the-gleick-tragedy/#more-57881
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.”
New:
Axiom 2 of “The Law of Warmist BS”
NO LIE is too big or too small, as long as it serves THE CAUSE

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

MrE

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

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

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

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.

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.

Robert

the thick plottens…

JD Ohio

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.
JD

AntonyIndia

Another, possibly worse association: Stephan Lewandowsky and John Cook are co-authors of the “Debunking Handbook” http://www.shapingtomorrowsworld.org/Debunking-Handbook-update-feedback.html

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

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
http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/266186.html
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

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. 🙂

Skiphil

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”.

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 answerpot.com 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

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.