The Daily Lew – Issue 4

LewWorld still has no comment of substance, and in the ‘Skeptical Science’ style, is furiously deleting inconvenient comments that ask questions like “What are you going to do now that the removal of the fake responses shows a conclusion reverse of that of your title”?

Jo Nova finds that Lewandowsky has received $1.7 million AU in taxpayer dollars since 2007.

Can you believe how much it costs to do an internet survey these days?

Yet with all that, he used the “free” Kwiksurvey platform.

About Kwik Surveys

Kwik Surveys is a Free to use survey builder. We have designed Kwik Surveys to be easy to use for all experience levels so you will quickly be creating surveys.

Why free? Over 75% of our customers are educational and profit free enterprises with little or no budget.

Free is not the best! Worried about customer support? That is why we offer you a chance to upgrade to premium support.

Science on the cheap, even when you have money. Stay sciency Lew.

In other LewNews, Jeff at the Air Vent says:

…I took Lewandowsky’s survey over at WUWT for entertainment and couldn’t mark any of the conspiracies listed as things I believe. Most of them were complete nonsense, some of which I hadn’t even heard of. Others seem plausible but I don’t have enough knowledge on any of them to claim ‘belief’ at any level. In other words, I had straight negatives for all of his “conspiracy” answers. Aside from the now-obvious fake answers that Steve McIntyre and others identified, the types of conspiracy questions seem to give the study a little more credibility. However, due to the leading nature of the non-conspiracy oriented questions, I am certain that I would have dropped the survey part way in simply to avoid supporting the undisguised intent of the questions. In other words, it seems highly unlikely that the survey attracted many thoughtful climate skeptics.

Yesterday though, we found out from Steve McIntyre that the math of the study was bodged so badly that simple analysis REVERSES the conclusions of the paper.

If we weren’t so familiar with this sort of faked result from the catastrophic-warming-so-we-must-shut-down-our-economy advocates, you might not even believe it were true. At this time, I have no belief that Lewandowsky intends to be a scientist on the matter, but lets see if he offers appropriate retractions – starting with the title.

Anti-green blogs this:

A psychologist who appears to know nothing about science

I spent 20 years getting 200+ papers published in the academic journals which pointed out how unscientific existing psychological research was so I am not too surprised by Stephan Lewandowsky — who as well as being an academic psychologist is also a frantic Warmist.

He has a track record of “psychologizing” climate skeptics. That you have to be psychologically defective to reject warming is his theme. Leftist psychologists have been doing much the same for at least 6 decades to my knowledge but their only real success would appear to have been in convincing one-another. It makes their little bubble-world more comfortable to believe such things

Speaking of unscientific psychological research, there’s this new article about that very subject in the Guardian:

False positives: fraud and misconduct are threatening scientific research

High-profile cases and modern technology are putting scientific deceit under the microscope

Unfortunately, Lewandowsky’s deceit isn’t listed (yet), but there is this:

The questions are certainly intriguing, but unfortunately for anyone wanting truthful answers, some of Smeesters’ work turned out to be fraudulent. The psychologist, who admitted “massaging” the data in some of his papers, resigned from his position in June after being investigated by his university, which had been tipped off by Uri Simonsohn from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Simonsohn carried out an independent analysis of the data and was suspicious of how perfect many of Smeesters’ results seemed when, statistically speaking, there should have been more variation in his measurements.

The case, which led to two scientific papers being retracted, came on the heels of an even bigger fraud, uncovered last year, perpetrated by the Dutch psychologist Diederik Stapel. He was found to have fabricated data for years and published it in at least 30 peer-reviewed papers, including a report in the journal Science about how untidy environments may encourage discrimination.

The cases have sent shockwaves through a discipline that was already facing serious questions about plagiarism.

“In many respects, psychology is at a crossroads – the decisions we take now will determine whether or not it remains a serious, credible, scientific discipline along with the harder sciences,” says Chris Chambers, a psychologist at Cardiff University.

“We have to be open about the problems that exist in psychology and understand that, though they’re not unique to psychology, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be addressing them. If we do that, we can end up leading the other sciences rather than following them.”

Cases of scientific misconduct tend to hit the headlines precisely because scientists are supposed to occupy a moral high ground when it comes to the search for truth about nature. The scientific method developed as a way to weed out human bias. But scientists, like anyone else, can be prone to bias in their bid for a place in the history books.

The field of psychology has come under particular scrutiny because many results in the scientific literature defy replication by other researchers. Critics say it is too easy to publish psychology papers which rely on sample sizes that are too small, for example, or to publish only those results that support a favoured hypothesis. Outright fraud is almost certainly just a small part of that problem, but high-profile examples have exposed a greyer area of bad or lazy scientific practice that many had preferred to brush under the carpet.

Many scientists, aided by software and statistical techniques to catch cheats, are now speaking up, calling on colleagues to put their houses in order.

That’s what we’ve been doing with Dr. Lewandowsky. So far the journal author has been silent. I asked Psychological Science editor Robert V. Kail to investigate this paper, as did others. Crickets.

Perhaps he needs to be reminded of the track record above.

In other news, the sister website to Lewandowsky’s psy-ops efforts, Skeptical Science is the subject of some satire by Bob Tisdale today for their serial deletion panic:

Climate Skeptics Forget the Obvious Intent of the Website SkepticalScience | Bob Tisdale – Climate Observations

…it’s their idea of comedy.

But, this bit of news about Skeptical Science isn’t so funny. Originally I had not planned to make notice of this, but instead sent a courtesy note to one of the authors of SkS that I have corresponded with in the past. What I got back was venom, and not even a hint of remorse for the behavior. So I’ve decided that since that SkS author has no shame, I’d make this latest PopTech expose’ known here:

Ding Dong the Witch is Dead

It is even worse than Phil Jones famous quote in Climategate 1 on the death of John L. Daly:

In an odd way this is cheering news !

Integrity is best demonstrated by what is said when people you don’t care for aren’t looking. As has been repeatedly demonstrated by words and deeds, the proprietors and authors at ‘Skeptical Science’ have no integrity nor compassion.

UPDATE: Steve McIntyre finds more evidence of malfeasance in the Lewandowsky SkS connection here:

He writes:

The relevant posts at six of the blogs have been located, but the relevant post at SkS, either no longer exists or never existed. Today’s question: did John Cook destroy all evidence at the SkS site of the existence of his posting the Lewandowsky thread? if so, why? Or are the claims by Cook and Lewandowsky to have posted the link untrue?

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September 14, 2012 9:46 am

[snip -over the top ~moderator]

September 14, 2012 9:48 am

Psychology is beginning to sound more like Climate Science

September 14, 2012 10:03 am

Sound more like Climate Science? Nah. Psychology got there first, by at least 50 years. It’s all about government funding and authority. When a discipline gets government money AND gets treated by governments as a semi-official source of policy, it will turn evil and stay evil. Unsalvageable.

Rob Crawford
September 14, 2012 10:07 am

The problem isn’t psychology itself, it’s the use of it to mask a political agenda.

William Sears
September 14, 2012 10:24 am

There is still the Last Psychiatrist ( so all is not lost.

Keith Pearson, formerly bikermailman, Anonymous no longer
September 14, 2012 10:29 am

I had tried to stay away from the obvious places that had gloated over Breitbart’s death at the time, like Kos or Twitter, because I knew from past practice the hatred *would* be there. I guess this doesn’t surprise me, but it sure does bring the disgust. Almost no one’s death is cause for that sort of behavior, but as young as Andrew was, leaving behind young children, it’s pathetic. It also reminds us of the character of these people. Andrew drew flak because he was exposing bad behavior. Anthony gets the same response, for the same reason.

September 14, 2012 10:30 am

No truth, no communication.
Once they try the truth, they’ll start communicating.
Are you listening, Fran?

September 14, 2012 10:30 am

These criticisms of psychology (and its academics) are certainly true of all the post-hoc sciences in general (eg. psychology, sociology, poli sci, economics, climate science). Why are people acting like this is suddenly news?

September 14, 2012 10:45 am

UPDATE: Lewandowsky now defers to delays of FOI process rather than answering key questions (see #2 below). Let’s see, you don’t need to explain your methodology because you might later (**might**) provide the info in the FOI process, what a scientific way to proceed.
[emphasis added]

Stephan Lewandowsky at 22:04 PM on 14 September, 2012
Questions continue to be raised for further information relating to this paper. My response is threefold:
1. I see little merit in treading over ground that is already clearly stated in the paper (e.g., the elimination of duplicate IP numbers).
2. Several questions concern material that is presently subject to an FOI request. I will let that process run to completion rather than pre-empt it.
3. The supplementary online material for the article is being extended to contain additional information (e.g., the outlier analysis from the preceding post). The online supplement will be released when the typesetting of the article is complete.
Time permitting, I may also write another post or two on topics relating to this paper that are of general interest.

Ohh, of course, there was “time” for 6-7 sarcastic and obnoxious posts which added almost nothing to understanding, but there is no “time” to actually address the key data and methodological questions? I think I’ve got it….

September 14, 2012 10:54 am

Since I’m intelligent and sane, anyone who disagrees with me must be stupid and nuts.
OK that probably makes more sense when read in a mirror.

David McKeever
September 14, 2012 11:23 am

I’m no friend of the warmists, but for the sake of clarity and fairness, after looking up Breitbart on wikipedia (I’ve never heard of him) I find that the things said about him after his death were no different than what he said about Ted Kennedy after Kennedy died (not a fan of Kennedy either btw).

September 14, 2012 11:40 am

The problem started when these people started to believe that Psychology was in fact a science. When I did Psych 1 back around 1970, it was hosted by the faculty of arts. There are far too many “social sciences” graduates running around spouting crackpot ideas. The shame of it all is that people in positions of authority and influence take notice of them.

September 14, 2012 11:40 am

So his 1993 AMOCO Foundation award will be going back as it is funded by Big Oil? Isn’t that now the BP Foundation, oh the shame! But then maybe s life spent totally within Academia gives you special logical faculties…….
His Vita is on his uni website.

September 14, 2012 11:43 am

That is a good description! Love it

September 14, 2012 11:44 am

I’m no friend of the warmists, but for the sake of clarity and fairness,

Yes, because someone else’s insensitive comments always justifies your own.

September 14, 2012 11:45 am

Seems Lew has a first class seat on the Glowball Warming Fear Mongering & Gravy Train.

September 14, 2012 12:02 pm

Bad science has always been around. The beauty of the present time is that the Internet enables trained amateurs to join the ‘peer-review’ process and subject papers to impartial and in-depth reviews.
A bad scientist’s credibility is like a bubble; one good jab and it’s gone forever. This stage of the development of science will probably be characterized by historians of the future with having a draconic weeding process to eliminate incompetence.
The next stage will be best facilitated by developing a means of teaching school children the art and science of Critical Thinking, the Scientific Method, the Fallacies of Logic, and other useful tools for developing *robust* knowledge and for discarding the products of Bad Science.

September 14, 2012 12:07 pm

I’d like to leave Lew in a room with Burt Rutan and see who leaves in a straight jacket first after discussing climate change. Would probably make for a good YouTube viral video…

September 14, 2012 12:15 pm

David McKeever says: September 14, 2012 at 11:23 am
“…I find that the things said about him after his death were no different than what he said about Ted Kennedy after Kennedy died…”
So what? That Briebart may not have been a saint is irrelevant. The point is that statements like those of Jones, Honeycutt, Bailey, Lehikoinen, and Hartz are a reflection of THEIR lack of integrity and moral character.

Charlie A
September 14, 2012 12:16 pm

Lewandowsky has authored several articles at SkepticalScientist.
He is also a co-author of a series of articles at “The Conversation”, about “the twilight zone of climate change scepticism: where the sun is made of iron and the royals are out to get you.”
Somebody has probably already noted these articles, but I was unaware of them until seeing a link in an article on SkS by Lewandowsky.

September 14, 2012 12:17 pm

So what’s the verdict? Am I (to use a technical term) Nuts or what?
As Lewandowsky has done a mass psychological diagnosis and his conclusions attempt to brand those who are interested in and question the evidence for AGW, Now I hear Lewandowsky worked is flawed, full of holes and “it seems highly unlikely that the survey attracted many thoughtful climate skeptics”. I don’t know what to believe anymore, things used to be simpler when I knew I was crackers!. /Jk
/Or is it?
/yes Jk

Schrodinger's Cat
September 14, 2012 12:34 pm

When I was doing a science degree many years ago, it was common knowledge that about 20-30% of the psychology students were themselves psychologically disturbed or abnormal in some way. It was assumed by the rest of us that the subject became a magnet for some people who may be seeking a deeper knowledge of their own problems.
The bizarre story that is unfolding here and the fact that this paper has been peer reviewed and published makes me wonder if my early observation was not such an isolated case but maybe a fact of life in that discipline.
Of course there are many completely normal pschologists, I presume, so why don’t they speak out for their profession in this tawdry affair?

September 14, 2012 1:01 pm

As I recall, the governer of New Mexico had to veto the following to keep it from becoming law, back in 1995:
“When a psychologist or psychiatrist testifies during a defendant’s competency hearing, the psychologist or psychiatrist shall wear a cone-shaped hat that is not less than two feet tall. The surface of the hat shall be imprinted with stars and lightning bolts. Additionally, a psychologist or psychiatrist shall be required to don a white beard that is not less than 18 inches in length, and shall punctuate crucial elements of his testimony by stabbing the air with a wand. Whenever a psychologist or psychiatrist provides expert testimony regarding a defendant’s competency, the bailiff shall contemporaneously dim the courtroom lights and administer two strikes to a Chinese gong…”

Jolly farmer
September 14, 2012 1:04 pm

I posted on Lewandowsky’s (an Australian taxpayer’s) site, asking why no answers, and pointing out that he has no sense of shame.
Seems to have been snipped. Maybe he does have a sense of shame.
Mods, can you confirm that he has not been back to defend his paper?

Steve C
September 14, 2012 1:11 pm

“Stay sciency Lew.”
Ah, right. “Sciency” is to “science” as “truthiness” is to “truth”.

September 14, 2012 1:24 pm

On quoting from the SkS private emails:
When they first came out, some of us had great fun quoting from them under Josh’s marvellous TreeHut cartoon at
I had twinges of conscience at first, until I saw the nature of their pitiful plotting. Here’s one that’s not rude, or pitiful, but rather charming:

“Well, we can take reassurance in the fact that the ice will still melt, regardless. At least we can count on the ice. Sigh”.

(Can you hear the echo of Humphrey Bogart in “Casablanca”: “We’ll always have Paris.”?)

kadaka (KD Knoebel)
September 14, 2012 1:28 pm

RHS said on September 14, 2012 at 12:07 pm:

I’d like to leave Lew in a room with Burt Rutan and see who leaves in a straight jacket first after discussing climate change. Would probably make for a good YouTube viral video…

What has Lewandowsky done to deserve our pity and our mercy? We’ll send in Lord Monckton.

george e smith
September 14, 2012 1:52 pm

“””””…..Jo Nova finds that Lewandowsky has received $1.7 million AU in taxpayer dollars since 2007. …..”””””
That’s almost as much as Serena Williams got for winning the US Open last week; and SHE really earned every penny of it. And that was before our favorite Uncle ripped her off for a really big chunk of it that, for just sitting on their arses.
So far, Lew doesn’t seem to have earned even one penny of what HE got out of Serena’s earnings.

September 14, 2012 1:58 pm

The good folks at Lewandowsky’s site, which is apparently administered by John Cook (from SKS) are busy rewriting history as fast as they can. To their small credit not ALL critical comment is removed, but anything that lends support or asks the difficult questions, no matter how straightforward, is either snipped in to at time gibberish, or removed in its entirety.
Of course supporter are largely allowed to denigrate and demean at will. A case in point Eli Rabett’s attack which stands:

Eli Rabett at 18:03 PM on 14 September, 2012 … Numerous posts here are using demanding that Prof. L take the time to provide them what they want when they want it, drop everything and gimme, gimme, gimme. A bunch of rent seekers. To paraphrase the Idiot Tracker about Mosher, Fuller and other, they are trying to force the good Prof. L to give them, gratis, the fruits of his labor.
They are, of course, quite happy to use the coervsive power of the government to try and force Prof. L to give them what they want by abusing freedom of information laws, writing to administrators at his university and posting abusive messages, both here (good work administrator) and on their own blogs.

Prompted this detailed response from me, which Lewandowsky’s operatives quickly deleted:

69 A.Scott at 19:44 PM on 14 September, 2012
Since Mr. Rabett’s post consisted largely of denigrating and demeaning those making legitimate requests, perhaps the mods will allow a slight bit of slack in my response …
No Mr. Halpern … people are asking for Mr. Lewandosky to address the seemingly serious shortcomings in his paper.
A paper with a needlessly inflammatory title, presenting a conclusion that has been demonstrated is not supported by the data.
A paper which has been released to the media, and is being used to attack, smear and denigrate those who do not see the science in the same way the authors do.
There was the thinnest of threads to support the titular claim to begin with.
And after review, by skeptics and strongly pro-AGW folks such as Tom Curtis both, it has been shown that thin thread is non-existent.
Tom Curtis said in another early thread at Lewandowsky’s site:

“Professor Lewandowsky, it is a bit rich to complain about the focus of comments on your paper given your title. If you wanted people to pay attention to the fact that among those who reject mainstream science, AGW “skeptics” have unusually low tendencies to accept conspiracy theories, perhaps that should have been the focus of your title, abstract and pre-publication interview(s).”

And he is absolutely right. Especially considering that he and others have shown there is strong evidence there is no valid basis for the title claim.
One of Tom’s first posts on the issue, before he had apparently looked at the data, said the same as his comment to Mr. Lewandowsky, and added that not only was the title inflammatory, but more importantly the title claim was a minor finding and not the big result:

“importantly in my opinion, the title of the paper is not justified by the results, and is needlessly sensationalizing and offensive. Lewandowski found a -.866 correlation between free market ideology and acceptance of climate science, but only a negative 0.197 correlation between acceptance of conspiracy theories and acceptance of climate science. Clearly the link to free market ideology is the big result, and the limited link to conspiracy theory ideation should only be a footnote in this study.”

How many papers ignore the big results, and title their papers based on a minor finding with only a handful of data points to support it?
After Tom Curtis reviewed the data he had this further comment (bolding his):

“… given [the] title, and given the (several) methodological flaws discussed in this post and in my post @12, this has confirmed my opinion that this paper is an “own goal” for opponents of “skepticism” about AGW. It contributes nothing of value scientifically to understanding AGW “skepticism”, and its title is a disaster.”
“For most conspiracy theory questions, “skeptics” only had two respondents that strongly agreed, the two scammed results. Given the low number of “skeptical” respondents overall; these two scammed responses significantly affect the results regarding conspiracy theory ideation. Indeed, given the dubious interpretation of weakly agreed responses (see previous post), this paper has no data worth interpreting with regard to conspiracy theory ideation.
It is my strong opinion that the paper should be have its publication delayed while undergoing a substantial rewrite. The rewrite should indicate explicitly why the responses regarding conspiracy theory ideation are in fact worthless, and concentrate solely on the result regarding free market beliefs (which has a strong enough a response to be salvageable). If this is not possible, it should simply be withdrawn.

These are the questions and comments from an AGW supporter.
And the skeptics, including Mr. McIntyre, Mr. Fuller and others have independently shown the same conclusions. There is bipartisan agreement – the data does not support the findings.
The authors, including Mr. Lewandowsky have been informed of the lack of data to support the papers most visible finding. They have been shown exactly where the problem lies and asked to address it. Again, the questions come from both skeptic and pro-AGW sides.
It is entirely legitimate to expect a timely response to serious questions about accuracy, fundamental questions about support for the paper’s conclusions, especially when the paper has been passed to the media, and is generating numerous negative story’s around it’s headline claim – despite that the headline claim by all appearances is not supported by the data.
Its little surprise most of the authors supporters think that is just fine, see no reason to retract or correct regardless of the apparent demonstrated lack of accuracy – it conveniently fits their position – here the inference is they are looney conspiracy theorists. It would be no surprise either that the authors may well agree.
After all, its doesn’t really matter if the paper is ever published at this point. Bell’s are difficult to un-ring, the damage of the seemingly inaccurate claims is already being done.
If Mr. Curtis, Mr. McIntyre and the others are correct, which the data shows them to be, then Mr. Lewandowsky’s failure to respond and address is a significant issue.
Allowing the paper’s conclusions to continue to be disseminated worldwide, after being given clear and bipartisan evidence of the errors, without timely addressing the legitimate criticism, is a serious ethical and professional issue.
Mr. Rabett apparently see little necessity to timely address or correct demonstrably inaccurate information, despite it being disseminated as fact to the public.
In the end, that attitude, as with the authors, only serves to further alienate the public. They have less and less trust in climate science from either side by the day – in very large part exactly becasue of issues as here.
If scientists don’t take their work seriously, the public says ‘why should we’ …

My recent response to Rabett, at CA was this:
We all know what is going on here. The whole intent seems clear from the start. We’ve seen it time and again from the pro-AGW side … create work branded as research, include inflammatory and sensationalistic headlines, disseminate to the media, who will dutifully lap it up. In my opinion – looking at Lewandowsky, Cook and like’s history, background and actions – its clear [to me] that the “science” is largely irrelevant to them.
As long as its something the media will run with, its a win for them. They know that the public see’s all of those stories … but even if they are shamed into retraction – the retraction stories story’s rarely if ever see the light of day, and never to the masses.
You will never see the large numbers of dutiful warmists who reported the original story, write a followup that says – “You know the story we wrote about Climate Skeptics being looney tune conspiracy theorists? We’ll – turns out it was based on fake data and has been forced to be retracted.”
The question I asked of Eli Rabett:
Do you believe science should be accurate? Or are you one of those just fine with “fake but we’ll consider it accurate” as long as it achieves our goal?

Gunga Din
September 14, 2012 2:06 pm

2. Several questions concern material that is presently subject to an FOI request. I will let that process run to completion rather than pre-empt it.
Damn! I hope the walls I threw up hold!

September 14, 2012 2:09 pm

Sparks says: September 14, 2012 at 12:17 pm …. So what’s the verdict? Am I (to use a technical term) Nuts or what? As Lewandowsky has done a mass psychological diagnosis and his conclusions attempt to brand those who are interested in and question the evidence for AGW, Now I hear Lewandowsky worked is flawed, full of holes and “it seems highly unlikely that the survey attracted many thoughtful climate skeptics”. I don’t know what to believe anymore, things used to be simpler when I knew I was crackers!.

Mr. Sparks –
In response to your recent request – you’ll have to wait a little longer for a more professional diagnosis of your “nutter” status. The results of the re-created Lewandowsky survey are being tabulated. Can’t say when, but likely soon, you’ll be able to confirm with a reasonable degree of confidence, whether you really are nuts or not.

September 14, 2012 2:19 pm

From Lewandowskys blog – a seminal question:

Charliez at 01:26 AM on 15 September, 2012
I am unclear of the significance of this survey. Even if the results are legitimate, why is there any value in determining that a minority of AGW skeptics are also conspiracy theorists? This seems to have no importance to the debate except as a means of marginalizing all skeptics via the extreme positions of a few.

Even if true that a tiny fraction of skeptics also believe the Moon Landing is fake – so what? What scientific or other value does this provide?
And why was it worth 2 years of work and untold dollars spent?

Gunga Din
September 14, 2012 2:46 pm

A.Scott says:
September 14, 2012 at 2:19 pm
….. And why was it worth 2 years of work and untold dollars spent?
Because of where the dollars were spent?

September 14, 2012 3:00 pm

This timely article well states the problem with this ‘science by cause advocacy’ approach. Where scientists largely ignore or subvert science to promote the goals of the “cause” … no rational person can look at Lewandowsky’s and some of his cohorts history, as say they are not almost rabid promoters and advocates.
Same can be said for almost all of the high profile players in the climate science field.
Here with Lewandosky we have a well funded study clearly designed with one goal in mind. Create a “scientific paper” with a premise and headline conclusion designed for maximum media attention. An alleged scientific work whose conclusions, even IF accurate, have no apparent benefit or value.
Its no wonder the public no longer trusts scientists regarding climate, but are largely tuning them ALL out …
Too much advocacy? Scientists and public policy.


James Hansen, director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, recently wrote in the New York Times that if Canada continues to pump oil from its tar sands, “it will be game over for the climate.” This from the same climate scientist who warned three years ago, “We’re toast if we don’t get on a very different path.”
Hansen may be a scientist, but neither statement is scientific. It’s not clear what “game over for the climate” means — either for the climate or for humans. His statement doesn’t take into account that Canada’s oil sands are a tiny fraction of the world’s supply of fossil fuels. And the ramifications of climate on human life and industry lie well outside Hansen’s expertise.
Hyperbolic and emotional as they are, these statements are examples of a scientist speaking not as a scientist, but as an advocate. They address policy, not science. And for these kinds of proclamations, Hansen is embraced by environmentalists and excoriated by climate-change deniers.
But what about all the people in the middle? People who may be willing to accept that the globe is warming, that humans are probably responsible, but still wonder what we might do about it?

This very real problem, that true science is being minimalized, and losing respect of the public becasue of these “science by cause advocacy” types, is the reason the scrutiny must continue.
There will be a day that a real scientist DOES discover something truly important … and the public will ignore it – because the credibility of mainstream science has been so damaged by junk science as with Lewandowsky here.
Science is, or should be, researching a premise, putting it out there to be challenged, responding to the criticism, and then reporting the findings in a rational, straightforward, non sensationalized way.
It used to be you had to make a decision – science or the cause – you couldn’t be both.

September 14, 2012 3:29 pm

Gunga Din says:
September 14, 2012 at 2:46 pm
A.Scott says:
September 14, 2012 at 2:19 pm
….. And why was it worth 2 years of work and untold dollars spent?
Because of where the dollars were spent?

It seems clear it was worth it becasue of the inflammatory and sensationalized headlines, in furtherance of their cause, the authors were able to obtain in the press – while hiding behind the “its not published yet so we aren’t commenting until it is” excuse.
When in reality it does not matter at all if it is never published as of right now. They have achieved everything they are going to already thru release to the press, and the mindless response from the AGW supporters therein.

September 14, 2012 4:06 pm

One of my favourite quotations seems to apply rather well to Lewandowsky.
“The only conspiracies are those created by conspiracy theorists.”

September 14, 2012 4:06 pm

Lewandowsky’s online UWA CV shows he has received over $1.5 million in CLIMATE related grants for the 2011-2014 period, and that these are his first ever climate related grants:

Australian Research Council (Linkage Grant, with Federal Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency).
Creating a climate for change: From cognition to consensus.
(Ben Newell, Brett Hayes, Marilyn Brewer, Stephan Lewandowsky, Andy Pitman, Matthew England, Chris Mitchell), A$216,000 (plus matching contribution from DCCEE), 2012-2014.
National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility.
What about me? Factors affecting individual adaptive coping capacity across different population groups.

(Kerrie Unsworth, Stephan Lewandowsky, David Morrison, Carmen Lawrence, Sally Russell, Kelly Fielding, Chris Clegg), A$330,000, 2011-2013.

And the paper acknowledges it is funded by the top grant above:

Preparation of this paper was facilitated by a Discovery Grant from the Australian
Research Council and an Australian Professorial Fellowship to the first author.

However the truly interesting finding is that the grant is for the 2012-2014 period. Lewandowsky did this work in 2010.
I suspect the grant documents might be illuminating.

September 14, 2012 4:07 pm

A.Scott says:
September 14, 2012 at 2:09 pm
“Mr. Sparks –
In response to your recent request – you’ll have to wait a little longer for a more professional diagnosis of your “nutter” status. The results of the re-created Lewandowsky survey are being tabulated. Can’t say when, but likely soon, you’ll be able to confirm with a reasonable degree of confidence, whether you really are nuts or not.”
Ha! Even if Lewandowsky proves to me, other skeptics believe that the moon landings were faked (which is a bit odd for a skeptic to think so, IMHO), I know the moon landings took place so I must be half way not nuts according to Lewandowsky, Maybe I’ll have to face up to the fact that I’m just a bit quirky and inquisitive and not at all like Lewandowsky’s conclusions suggest, Well, the nurses have managed to break down the wardens door, must dash!

September 14, 2012 4:22 pm

In the article referenced above by Charlie A, Lewandowsky and his co-author say:
In science, to actually contribute at the forefront of a field one has to earn credibility, not demand it. Being taken seriously is a privilege, not a right.
In science, this privilege is earned by not only following conventional norms of honesty and transparency but by supporting one’s opinions with evidence and reasoned argument in the peer-reviewed literature.

If this is indeed the case, Lewandowsky is in the process of forfeiting his privilege.

September 14, 2012 4:31 pm

The phrase “preparation of this paper” obliquely acknowledges that the grants in question didn’t pay for the data collection, just for the writeup.
Otherwise the acknowledgments would say something like “the research reported here.”
An online survey study—even a study with well-designed survey and adequate sampling—costs hardly anything to conduct. Grant funding normally not required.

September 14, 2012 4:50 pm

In an era in which serious physicists offer statistical proofs that our entire world is nearly certainly a computer simulation running on some alien kid’s quantum smart phone, whether the moon landings were faked quite honestly becomes a minor question in a much bigger debate.

Annette Huang
September 14, 2012 4:58 pm

Option 2 – never heard of the man till the latest caper. (Tried to post this comment earlier but wordpress is really annoying in not accepting my login so I’m trying another address.)

September 14, 2012 5:26 pm

Caleb says:
September 14, 2012 at 1:01 pm
As I recall, the governer of New Mexico had to veto the following to keep it from becoming law, back in 1995:
“When a psychologist or psychiatrist testifies during a defendant’s competency hearing, the psychologist or psychiatrist shall wear a cone-shaped hat that is not less than two feet tall. The surface of the hat shall be imprinted with stars and lightning bolts. Additionally, a psychologist or psychiatrist shall be required to don a white beard that is not less than 18 inches in length, and shall punctuate crucial elements of his testimony by stabbing the air with a wand. Whenever a psychologist or psychiatrist provides expert testimony regarding a defendant’s competency, the bailiff shall contemporaneously dim the courtroom lights and administer two strikes to a Chinese gong…”

Rud Istvan
September 14, 2012 5:26 pm

Feynman outed spurious psych experiments in his famous Cargo Cult Caltech commencement speech in 1974. You all are expending too much energy proving nothing has changed. Prof L has already shown his Mann like scientific climatebcolors–assertions, denials, evasions, deleted posts. So that is not new either. Nor will outing them apparently change them. It is religious belief, and they react like other religions to ‘affronts’, as we are sadly experiencing yet again globally.
You cannot reason with zealots. You can attempt to cut off their public funding. You can attempt to muzzle their access to public fora. You can discredit them. But you cannot reason with them. Best to stop trying, especially if the effort only gives their nonsense more publicity.

September 14, 2012 6:20 pm

Professor Lewandowsky…. for the love of humanity… STOP DIGGING!!!!!

September 14, 2012 8:01 pm

Even in Australia $1.7million buys a lot of Lew Paper.

Aussie Luke Warm
September 14, 2012 8:59 pm

I’m really worried that the University of Western Australia is going to further enhance its internation prestige by hiring…Gleick.

September 14, 2012 9:12 pm

Bernd Felsche says:
September 14, 2012 at 8:01 pm
“Even in Australia $1.7million buys a lot of Lew Paper.”
Oh come on grow up, Lew paper? That’s just immature, everyone knows 1.7million dollars equates to Ten pence sterling a roll.

Mickey Reno
September 14, 2012 9:22 pm

A.Scott says: It used to be you had to make a decision – science or the cause – you couldn’t be both.

Exactly right, and it should still be the case. But this is why Post-Normal Science (PMS) was invented, to allow shameless crybaby chicken little advocacy to have a scientific-y-like appearance when advancing fear mongering, pal-reviewed papers.

September 14, 2012 9:29 pm

during the time of the survey period (8/30/2010) a commentator at Bishop Hill “Jerry” cited a link to the survey in Unthreaded (h/t Steve McIntyre), with some trenchant criticism of the types of questions. I think it is worth quoting to have a record on WUWT of contemporaneous criticism, what were obvious flaws seen right away by someone who says he has worked with professional survey companies. No reason to think this comment attracted attention at the time, but it is interesting for what it represents (someone who knows more than Lew & co. about framing survey questions with rigor!!). As Steve Mc notes, the pagination for the “Unthreaded” link will roll onward as more comments are added nowadays at the front end, but here is where it appears now:

Stephan Lewandoski is surveying attitudes to climate science at

As someone who in my time has worked with professional survey companies and Government statistics bureaux, the survey is moderately flawed – e.g. asking two-parter questions with a single answer, failing to define a few terms such as ‘climate scientist’, failing to account for perfectly plausible answers – e.g. does HIV cause AIDS? Correct answer is probably that HIV is a necessary but not sufficent condition (even that is wrong – some people have AIDS but no HIV, many people have HIV but not AIDS – with or without treatment).
Overall he is getting your ( American style ) political beliefs, then a bit of science – very badly worded and designed to turn honest answers into climate propaganda – and then a bit of lifestyle stuff.
With the science questions, the less you know the better, because Thinking Scientists™ look at the deeper questions, so they are as likely to answer ‘wrongly’ as any non-scientist
Aug 30, 2010 at 4:09 AM | Jerry

September 14, 2012 11:06 pm

Someone less biased (prejudiced) than Lewandowsky might also notice that the CYAIDS and CYOKLA conspiracies are held disproportionately by warmists (the former only by warmists), after Steve McIntyre’s initial re-calibration of the data. Maybe that’s what the title of the paper should highlight, or a combination of left/right but not the concocted “moon landing” connection which is not justified by the data.
This comment is about the content and balance of the list of questions, before data analysis is attempted. I haven’t seen much discussion of whether the list of “conspiracy” questions itself may have produced any unrepresentative results, i.e., how does one know what an optimal list of questions would be for analyzing “conspiracy ideation” scientifically?
Also, what is the effect of the particular list of conspiracies he included vs. excluded? I recall seeing that he collected responses on an “Iraq WMD” question (whether the war was over something other than WMD) but has withheld the results?? Anyone know what is going on with that issue and why he withheld that data, if indeed that is the case? I have seen that such a question was asked but that we don’t seem to have data on the responses. He seems to have avoided conspiracy questions that would be more likely to collect the more left-wing warmists as counterparts to the more libertarian free market skeptics (I am well aware that libertarians don’t fall readily into the traditional left-right spectrum). I’m simply asking whether Lewandowsky’s questions are “scientific” and objective in relation to various political/socio/ideological frames that may exist, or does the specific set of questions tend to skew results away from “left wing conspiracy ideation”?
I can imagine a couple of conspiracy questions which the warmists would be much more likely to answer in the affirmative (given that there is indeed some amount of political/ideological split). Various “left wing” conspiracy theories which have kicked around which would likely look different for the “warmist” profile, e.g., Bush-Blair-Cheney secretly conspired to invade Iraq KNOWING there were no WMDs to be found, George W. Bush specifically allowed the 911 attacks to occur (a leftist variant of the “Truther” conspiracy view), the Bush admin. specifically allowed New Orleans to be devastated by Hurriane Katrina (a variant of this was propounded in a comment on Real Climate by no less than RC co-founder Ray Pierrehumbert, to the effect that the Bush admin. specifically neglected the levies when 8 years of Clinton/Gore and many years of local/state Democratic officials were held blameless), etc.
In general, I can’t see that Lewandowsky et al have given any rigorous attention to analyzing what cognitions about “conspiracy ideation” may be or how a survey could really account for different forms and aspects of it. They just wanted a quick n dirty propaganda meme, and got it.

September 15, 2012 1:25 am

That Rabett clown has been around for years. Once I caught him running off at the mouth on some forum and gave him a chewing out. It was like I had caught someone making a t.v. show. He was glad to have a reason to REFER TO HIMSELF: no $#!+: in THE THIRD PERSON.
I knew then the disgustingly stupid parameters a ‘climate activist’ would be found existing under.
Past stupid, [snip – OTT ~mod]

September 15, 2012 1:49 am

One of the more bizarre aspects of Lewandowsky’s paper is his inclusion of the “911 truther” conspiracy.
When Adam Corner, Cardiff University “climate psychologist” and Green Party activist, launched the paper in the UK with an article in the Guardian, his opening paragraph was:- “It’s time to come clean: climate change is a hoax. And the moon landings were faked, 9/11 was an inside job, and the CIA is hiding the identity of the gunman on the grassy knoll.”
I made the point to Corner at the time that most of the “truther” fraternity, in the UK at least, were to found among extreme left wing & environmentalist commentators in the Guardian itself.
An hour’s casual googling reveals numerous links between Adam’s fellow green activists and the “truther” movement.
Only this month, US Green Party Congressional Candidate Carol Brouillet described herself as – Cofounder of the International Media Project, the Who’s Counting Project, the 9/11 Truth Alliance, and the Northern California 9/11 Truth Alliance, Carol is a leading veteran-war and anti-globalization activist and widely considered a leading guru in the 9/11 Truth Movement
In 2009 The US Green Party also issued a statement calling on the the Obama administration’s former ‘green jobs’ advisor Van Jones to leave the Democrats and switch to the Greens, using the argument that, among Greens, Jones, “need not apologise for questioning the behaviour of the Bush administration in connection with the 9/11 attacks”.
In 2008, the US Green Party Presidential Candidate Cynthia McKinney campaigned on the slogan “The only 911 truth candidate for President”
In 2010 Canadian Green Party Ottawa South Candidate, Qais Ghanem , was a conspiracy theorist who believed that the 9/11 attacks were an inside job perpetrated by U.S. government agents.
In 2008 US Green Party candidate in Crawford Texas, Byron De Lear, said We could be facing the biggest cover-up and the biggest crime of our century in regard to 9/11 and what’s going on here.
Of course, all political movements have their mavericks and the above could be all dismissed as publicity hungry political opportunists.
I mean you wouldn’t find a serious, respected award winning climate scientist espousing such a wacky conspiracy theory – or would you?
Pieter Tans, senior NOAA scientist in charge of monitoring CO2 levels at Monau Loa is, like many of his colleagues, a bit of a green activist. When he’s not fulfilling his important scientific work, monitoring possibly the most important single metric in all of climate science – he’s often to be found flying around the world, making impassioned speeches about the need for the rest of us to rein in our carbon footprints.
But Pieter has some more exotic political views as well – in 2006 he signed this obituary letter, in a Boulder Colorado newspaper, for a deceased colleague which includes an invitation to a “911 truther” event and makes it quite clear that all the signatories were active in the movement:-
World has lost a true, humble friend
The world has lost a true friend in Gilbert White, winner of the 2000 National Medal of Science, natural resource adviser to FDR, ecologist before the word existed, president of Haverford College, social scientist and much else he was too humble to mention.
Gil was a fearless thinker who supported ideas that were before their time, such as the project at and ideas that many ridicule or fear, such as evidence that a few people in our government allowed or caused the 9/11 attacks. He’s the eldest in the Oct. 21, 2004, Boulder Weekly photo with us, attending a 9/11 Truth event, although we weren’t identified — see At lunch afterward, he expressed surprise and frustration that the media simply refused to make this an issue in the coming presidential election.
Gil was pretty sure that 9/11 was treason partly because, when he was working in the FDR White House, he witnessed the congratulatory atmosphere there the day of Pearl Harbor. He believed the government had invited the attack to get people’s support to enter World War II, and that something similar happened to get Congress’ (not the people’s) support for the Bush wars.
Gilbert could have been a member of almost any elite, but he preferred non-elitists. He believed in giving power to the people rather than keeping it in the hands of any elite. He hoped that when people learned that the government was complicit in 9/11 that they’d demand the kind of participatory government you can help realize at That’s why we risk accusations of sullying the dead by writing this.
Steven Jones, BYU Physics professor suspended for his work with, and Kevin Ryan, fired from Underwriters Laboratories for speaking out, will speak Oct. 29 from 2 to 6 p.m. in CU’s Math 100, along with the founder of the Muslim-Jewish-Christian Alliance for 9/11 Truth, Kevin Barrett, Ph.D.

It’s quite clear that, although it’s quite hard to find any real evidence of climate sceptics involved in this particular conspiracy – it is widely rooted in the green movement, extending to at least one highly regarded climate scientist.
Lewandowsky and his British mini-me Corner are both active in environmental politics and it is inconceivable that they were not aware of this.
They made a completely dishonest attempt to project an unsavoury aspect of their own movement onto their opponents.

September 15, 2012 3:05 am

Skiphil … that analysis – from 2010 – almost perfectly conforms to the huge number of criticisms received regarding the re-created Lweandowsky survey, posted here and in the comments for the survey
I read somewhere today – here I believe – that a UAW staffer, with some experience in the matter, took the test and contacted Mr. Hanich about the poor;y constructed answers. As I remember it the response was the questions were from other surveys and were well understood and they had no interest in changing them.

September 15, 2012 3:19 am

It’s worth quoting (below) the Richard Allcock comment on this thread if I may, since he posted it on the census thread where there is not supposed to be any discussion. btw, looking at the UWA website it appears that Allcock is not any random admin asst (nothing against them really!) but a highly accomplished prof in biomedical sciences, specializing in genetics and genome research.
So Hanich and Lew (hard to imagine Lew wouldn’t have received that feedback via Hanich, although that’s another question) had highly critical feedback from an accomplished scientist in their own university. Of course by the time the link was circulated to UWA staff they may have thought they were nearing the end of their collection of data, but that does not give any scientific excuse for ignoring powerful objections from a colleague and highly competent scientist surely far more expert in real research methodologies and data analysis than either Lew or Hanich (ooooh but they are…. psychologists and know about psychometrics!).
Here is what Prof. Allcock said on the census thread:

Richard Allcock says:
September 14, 2012 at 8:59 pm
I’m a uwa staff member who took the survey after receiving it off the uwa staff mailing list. Halfway through, I stopped, appalled at the leading nature of the questions and the total inability to state your actual position (ie. you could only agree or disagree, strongly or not with a given statement). The world is surely more grey than that. Having stopped, I emailed Charles Hanich and suggested his survey needs re-writing and even volunteered to help him make the questions more scientific. He repsonded that they were standard questions used previously in the scientific literature and described them as “validated instruments whose psychometric properties were well understood” (paraphrased).

charles nelson
September 15, 2012 3:20 am

Just had a look at Lew’s site and I found this…I kid you not….
“This Theory of Mind is a collection of beliefs of what other people believe or know, what they want, and how they most likely will act. If you have ever sat next to someone on a plane who’s telling you all about Barney’s last summer holiday, oblivious to the fact that you’ve never met or heard of Barney before, then you will understand the importance of a Theory of Mind and how its integrity is central to human interaction.
What does this have to do with our recent paper on the motivated rejection of science?”
Yes, this dazzling prose, dense with complex meaning, filled with stunning insights, brimming with profundity is what you get when governments funnel $1.7 million dollars into Warmist Drivel™.

September 15, 2012 5:39 am

according to Prof Lewandowsky, in a slide show.. slide 19
(Sept 2010, seemingly on this survey results n=1100)
WMD was a negative correlation for ‘climate conspiracy’
I wonder how much a positive correlation it was for ‘pro-science’ blog readers 😉 !

September 15, 2012 5:46 am

even the locals didn’t think the ‘den­iers’ would fall for such a trans­parent survey…
“Yeah, those con­spiracy theory ques­tions were pretty funny, but does anyone think that hard­core den­iers are going to be fooled by such a trans­parent attempt to paint them as paranoids?”

September 15, 2012 5:48 am

Some of the locals at Tamino’s gave up on it as well!!
Qu. 2 of the above survey is as follows:
“I support the free-market system, but not at the expense of the environmental quality”
The respondent is asked if he/she agrees or disagrees with this statement.
If the respondent disagrees it could mean:
1. “I do not support the free-market system”
2. “I support the free-market system and don’t give a toss about environmental quality.”
I got as far as question 2. and decided not to continue.

September 15, 2012 5:49 am

* Robert * at Tamino’s ! 😉 (survey so badly done, telegraphed to participants)
Robert | August 28, 2010 at 4:48 pm |
I guess they’re trying to use those survey questions to identify the nuts haha… All those conspiracy ones were a bit ridiculous (with the exception of iraq not being for WMDs, which is pretty obvious) although I do have to say the JFK lone gunman one is the only one i’m a little unsure about.
What’s the survey being used for?

September 15, 2012 9:05 am

«More than ever our citizens and the new world order need an active and influential Europe.»
José Barroso, President of the European Commission, 12 September 2012, State of the Union 2012 Address
What the hell is he taking about? Is he a skeptic?

September 15, 2012 10:22 am

Barry Woods says:
September 15, 2012 at 5:39 am
WMD was a negative correlation for ‘climate conspiracy’
I wonder how much a positive correlation it was for ‘pro-science’ blog readers 😉 !

Barry Woods, yes, I keep wondering why the data on the WMD/Iraq question has been withheld, probably because it does not fit the “narrative”??
In my lifetime (anecdotally) I have mainly seen “conspiracist ideation” from the political left, much more aligned with alarmist/warmist views. It is fascinating the Lew & co. manage not to notice that phenomenon AT ALL.

Tim Clark
September 15, 2012 11:11 am

He has a track record of “psychologizing” climate skeptics. That you have to be psychologically defective to reject warming is his theme.
Tim Clark: B.S., M.S., PhD (Psychologically Defective)
Looks great on my resume .Always wondered what all those letters stood for.

September 15, 2012 2:13 pm

In my opinion, based on the large database of responses from the re-created survey, the WMD question was withheld because it offered no support for their conclusions
I believe it is likely that the author simply believed the false claim that the war was started only because of the threat of WMD’s – which is demonstrably false. As such they expected a similar vote to other conspiracy theories – that most would vote false. The respondents knew the truth and voted accordingly
At that point it is directly opposite of all other conspiracy response patterns. It will be very interesting to see how the conclusions change when it is included.

David Ball
September 15, 2012 5:50 pm

A.Scott. I have enjoyed reading what you have posted here. Hopefully you can understand my apprehension on the thread containing your reconstructed survey. I have watched over and over the underhanded tactics used to smear and discredit my father (and all skeptics now). Fake interviews, quoting out of context, deliberate attempts to tie him up legally, twisting of words, etc. The list goes on. I have thrown up defensive perimeters on all fronts and watch closely all who post. If one looks, you can recognize wording specific to warmist doctrine. I am not fully open yet, but see honest intent here.
Many do not realize the extent to which some will go to further “the cause”. I do. I would love to be a “peace-nik”, but I know full well that there are those out there who wish harm on us for not falling in line. I am ready for the discussion to become “heated”, if you’ll pardon the pun, but I am hopeful that it will never come to that. They have become increasingly desperate of late.

September 15, 2012 6:31 pm

David – thanks – some interesting things to come I’d guess.
Barry W – that link is pretty astounding, or scary – actually both:

September 15, 2012 6:51 pm

In it is the evidence what Lewandowsky’s belief about the WMD question is:

… people who rejected official WMD explanation for invasion of Iraq

He believes the internet falsehood that WMD’s were the reason to invade Iraq, conflating his belief to official fact. It is nothing of the sort – and the responses to the question convincingly and clearly show people know that.
That WMD’s were the reason to enter the Iraq war is itself a conspiracy theory. Concern over WMD’s was an important concern – but far from the only part. The media and other war haters have pounded on it incessantly but that does not make it true.
The “Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002” – subsequently the “Iraq War Resolution” was the authorizing document passed with strong bipartisan consent in Oct 2002.
A simple read of Wiki shows the resolution contained a myriad of legitimate reasons, including WMD concerns, for the authorization to take military action in Iraq:
+Iraq’s noncompliance with the conditions of the 1991 ceasefire agreement, including interference with U.N. weapons inspectors.
+Iraq’s alleged weapons of mass destruction, and programs to develop such weapons, posed a “threat to the national security of the United States and international peace and security in the Persian Gulf region.”
+Iraq’s “brutal repression of its civilian population.”
+Iraq’s “capability and willingness to use weapons of mass destruction against other nations and its own people”.
+Iraq’s hostility towards the United States as demonstrated by the 1993 assassination attempt on former President George H. W. Bush and firing on coalition aircraft enforcing the no-fly zones following the 1991 Gulf War.
+Members of al-Qaeda, an organization bearing responsibility for attacks on the United States, its citizens, and interests, including the attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, are known to be in Iraq.
+Iraq’s “continu[ing] to aid and harbor other international terrorist organizations,” including anti-United States terrorist organizations.
+Iraq paid bounty to families of suicide bombers.
+The efforts by the Congress and the President to fight terrorists, and those who aided or harbored them.
+The authorization by the Constitution and the Congress for the President to fight anti-United States terrorism.
+The governments in Turkey, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia feared Saddam and wanted him removed from power.
+Citing the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998, the resolution reiterated that it should be the policy of the United States to remove the Saddam Hussein regime and promote a democratic replacement.
Its is my opinion, based on the large response we saw to this question, Lewandowsky by all appearances believed the conspiracy theory was true. And that respondents would vote as they did for other conspiracy theories – almost entirely one sided.
When they did not the WMD question was quietly removed from the results..

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