Lewandowsky's bear-baiting behavior

Skeptic Baiting and Academic Misconduct

Guest post by Tom Fuller, writing at The Lukewarmer’s Way

I see here at Watts Up With That that Australian professor Stephan Lewandowsky has teamed up with other climate activists to publish a paper designed to make skeptics look like flat-earth mouth breathers unfit for polite society. As I know from personal experience that this is not true for the majority of skeptics I have met in person or online, I feel a response is in order.

A 17th century engraving on bear-baiting

A 17th century engraving on bear-baiting (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I encountered Professor Lewandowsky last year when he used a horribly constructed push poll to gather opinions from skeptics about their belief in various conspiracies. Unfortunately, the opinions he received were from climate activists, many recruited from his current co-author John Cook’s weblog Skeptical Science, who took the poll while pretending to be skeptics and posted fraudulent responses. As Professor Lewandowsky discussed the poll with potential respondents while it was still active, it’s possible that he effectively encouraged fraudulent responses and hence may be guilty of academic misconduct.

Sadly, much of Lewandowsky et al’s current paper references that project and a paper that details it. The paper is described as ‘in press.’ Perhaps a more accurate description is dead and buried, never to see the light of day.

Other than a confession of sloppy science and unethical behavior, I fail to see what that project could have produced in the way of furthering human understanding of the mind, human nature or any other form of science.

As a non-skeptic I feel the strong desires to a) defend skeptics as not fitting Lewandowsky’s description and b) slap him across the face for contributing to the cheapening of the already debased nature of climate conversations. So we’ll put Matt Ridley’s remaining six questions on hold for a moment while we discuss this.

The paper is titled “Recursive fury: Conspiracist ideation in the blogosphere in response to research on conspiracist ideation”.  It is published in a journal titled Frontiers in Personality Science and Individual Differences, a publication I had not heard of prior to this morning. The paper is 57 pages long, so my comments are based on a cursory reading. Lewandowsky was joined by John Cook, principal contributor to the climate activist weblog Skeptical Science and Klaus Oberauer, who has collaborated with Lewandowsky frequently.

Lewandowsky maintains a weblog here. As I mentioned above, I have prior experience with him. In 2012 he published a series of posts on conspiracy ideation. When I criticized his methodology he deleted about 50 comments I made. Perhaps I’ll discuss that episode further–Steve McIntyre blogged about the incident here.

Again, this paper is a description of the reaction of bloggers and commenters to the flawed project I described above. He seems to think it noteworthy that its flaws were pointed out to him on various weblogs, including his own. He actually writes that pointing out his shoddy work is evidence of conspiracist ideation.

His first ‘error’ in describing his previous project in his current paper occurs on page 7 of this paper. He is describing the methodology of how he conducted the poll meant to uncover conspiracy thinking on the part of skeptics. He writes,

“Lewandowsky et al. placed links to their study on a number of climate blogs with a pro-science orientation but a diverse audience of readers, including a notable proportion of climate \skeptics. The survey queried people’s belief in the free market (which previous research had identi ed as an important predictor of the rejection of climate science; Heath & Gi ord, 2006), their acceptance of climate science, their acceptance of other scienti c propositions such as the link between HIV and AIDS, and most important in the present context, conspiracist ideation.”

That is not true. Links to his survey were published on climate activist weblogs. Far from having diverse audiences, those blogs are frequented almost exclusively by other climate activists. Both Lewandowsky and the blog administrators discussed the purpose of the survey and conveyed with a nudge and a wink that it would be great fun for activists to pretend to be skeptics and sign up for all the outlandish theories they could.

As the survey methodology was so clumsily constructed there was no way of preventing or even monitoring this–and that may have been intentional, given Professor Lewandowsky’s lengthy experience in the field, having published 140 papers.

Worse yet, respondents from different weblogs were shown different versions of the questionnaire and no attempt was made to stratify the data by source. It really is very poor research design to have labored so mightily and bring forth a mouse.

Lewandowsky refused to report on inconvenient data. One of the conspiracies he asked about was the Iraq invasion by the U.S., asking if there were additional motives beyond the stated ones for the attack. When it was pointed out that the U.S. Congress, the UN and several other august bodies shared the same opinions as those he wanted to label as conspiracy theorists, the question and its answers disappeared from the results. Nor does he mention that for many of the conspiracy theories, more respondents who honestly identified themselves as firm supporters of the climate consensus believed in conspiracy than did skeptics, both in gross numbers and in some cases percentages.

Lewandowsky et al’s current paper then focuses on blog reaction to his study. Again, he uses sloppy methodology and finds the results that confirm his bias. Using his methodology, my written reactions to his research project would have qualified as conspiracist ideation. I wrote a guest post on skeptic weblog Watts Up With That where I detailed my objections to his research design, the execution of the survey and what he wrote on his weblog regarding results.

As a professional market researcher my objections were to sloppy work, ill-conceived design choices and blatant confirmation bias. I am not a skeptic. I don’t hold much with conspiracy theories. I just hate to see self-aggrandizing hacks cheapen the reputation and further utility of public opinion polling.

One conspiracy theory he holds as evidence of the looniness of skeptics is belief that Climategate was real and that scientists conspired to conceal evidence. Lewandowsky writes,

“Concerning climate denial, a case in point is the response to events surrounding the illegal hacking of personal emails by climate scientists, mainly at the University of East Anglia, in 2009.

Selected content of those emails was used to support the theory that climate scientists conspired to conceal evidence against climate change or manipulated the data (see, e.g., Montford, 2010; Sussman, 2010). After the scientists in question were exonerated by 9 investigations in 2 countries, including various parliamentary and government committees in the U.S. and U. K., those exonerations were re-branded as a \whitewash” (see, e.g., U.S. Representative Rohrabacher’s speech in Congress on 8 December 2011), thereby broadening the presumed involvement of people and institutions in the alleged conspiracy.”

As the author of a book on Climategate I will tell you right now that some skeptics regard it as a conspiracy. I don’t believe that that makes them conspiracy theorists. Here’s why:

  1. Scientists have admitted manipulating data presented to policy makers in AR4. Specifically they hid the decline in tree ring data to allow them to claim confidence in their statistical findings. This confidence was unwarranted. They discussed this openly in the revealed Climategate emails.
  2. None of the five investigations into Climategate investigated the scientific issues. Science was specifically excluded from the remit of four of the investigations and the fifth looked at the research record of the institution involved, reviewing papers submitted for review by the institution itself, none of which formed part of the controversy.
  3. Nobody has come up with a non-conspiratorial explanation for this email from Phil Jones to Michael Mann:

“Mike, Can you delete any emails you may have had with Keith re AR4? Keith will do likewise… Can you also email Gene [Wahl] and get him to do the same? I don’t have his new email address. We will be getting Caspar [Ammann] to do likewise. Cheers, Phil”

Now, I know that some skeptics are in fact believers in conspiracy theories, as are some climate activists. Just as some skeptics, politically conservative, are possessed of the lunatic notion that Obama was born in Kenya or on the moon, some climate activists are equally gripped by the fatal peril posed by vaccines or GMOs.  There are real kooks out there.

But as we wrote regarding Climategate, we found no evidence of a conspiracy to change the science–what we found was the more normal and grubby practice of working together to push ‘their’ theory to the top and push others’ theories down, using poor practice and judgment. It was a mundane example of what happens when people chase fame and glory. They justified their behavior because they felt their cause was just.

But what Lewandowsky et al have produced here is the equivalent of bear-baiting in London in the 18th Century. It is a sport designed from cruel motives, aimed at eroding sympathy and legitimizing further cruelty.

I get that Lewandowsky is a committed climate activist and regards skeptics as a mortal threat to his belief system. What I don’t get is why a publication would allow his personal therapy to appear on its pages.

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[snip – While I agree with the comment, let’s not go there, I suggest you choose a different label – Anthony]

talldave2

” the lunatic notion that Obama was born in Kenya”
Well, I hate to bring this up because it’s very likely Obama was born in the U.S., but there’s a difference between “lunatic” and “very likely wrong.” As much as the entire Democratic Party likes to pretend otherwise, many people around Obama, including Obama himself (!) on his author bio website as well as reputable news sources in Illinois, claimed Obama was born in Kenya prior to 2007. It’s not a lunatic conspiracy theory requiring massive collusion, it’s just a very understandable confusion seized on by people who don’t like Obama and are prepared to believe the worst about him. Much less respectable theories like the Bush National Guard questions have not been deemed “lunatic” — that particular conspiracy theory was even endorsed by CBS’ 60 Minutes (a mistake that cost Dan Rather his career when the memos he relied on were quickly identified as crude forgeries produced in Microsoft Word).

“But as we wrote regarding Climategate, we found no evidence of a conspiracy to change the science..”
I haven’t read your book but am curious how you covered the notorious ‘Nature Trick’ and concluded no evidence of distorting science.

Hey! I‘ve just discovered that I’ve been found guilty of Nefarious Intent, in the company of Steve McIntyre, Joanne Nova, and Anthony Watts – and in a peer-reviewed paper! (see notes to table 3 in Lewandowsky /Cook / Oberauer / Hubble-Marriott 2013).
This is the proudest moment of my life.

albertalad

Goebbels said if you repeat a lie often enough then it becomes the truth. They have the learned the lesson well. But for a few good men standing up when they should have the entire world paid a horrible price. Thank you for standing up Anthony! That is exactly what a good man can do!

Hi Philip
What they were trying to distort was statistical confidence in their findings. They used a trick to hide the decline in modern tree ring temperature recordings that were lower than temps measured with thermometers and satellite readings. They did this to preserve the notion that the tree ring records were reliable.
However, as many have pointed out, there are other records that roughly coincide with the tree ring records.
Their sin was claiming ‘certainty’, not (necessarily) being wrong about past temperatures.

Mycroft

Lewandowsky and his methods needs to be made public and to his University and its head of Academia, how this sad excuse of a professor is still employed at the public’s expense is shocking. Is he actually allowed to teach youngsters?? God help them!!!!

As someone who believes that wheat (not by definition “genetically modified” but rather significantly altered by cross breeding methods) is possibly the most unhealthy foodstuff a person can put in his mouth (and with plenty of research to back that up), I’m a little put off by being labeled a conspiracy theorist. An excellent article up until that point though, Lew has obviously lost any ability to be impartial or fair.

Perhaps Lewandowsky could answer why climate activists mostly reject nuclear power as a low carbon alternative to fossil fuel, despite the fact the nuclear option represents the most painless way to decarbonise the economy.
Even the Moonbat, climate activist George Monbiot, posed this question.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/mar/21/pro-nuclear-japan-fukushima
Monbiot though is a true believer – he doesn’t get that reducing CO2 emissions is not the highest priority for many alarmists – otherwise there would be more support for the nuclear option.

ConfusedPhoton

Philip Thomas
I do not think Tom Fuller is suggesting that there was no distortion, rather that there was. But on indiviual levels and for personal or group reasons. Therefore, although Tom Fuller may dislike the behaviour, he does not consider it a conspiracy.

“I get that Lewandowsky is a committed climate activist and regards skeptics as a mortal threat to his belief system. What I don’t get is why a publication would allow his personal therapy to appear on its pages.”
*
I agree. These journals need to tighten their game. Is “Frontiers in Personality Science and Individual Differences” a new journal? It might we worth looking into to see if it is just another front for the Cause. Whether it is or not, when are editors – and the MSM, come to that – going to start insisting on professionalism and proper reporting? Isn’t anyone asking why these haters of all things human have open access to the media while any counter view is stifled?

Thank you Sir!!!!!
Alfred

cui bono

Thanks Tom, Anthony.
140 papers? 140 papers??!? The only way Lewandowsky could contribute to his cause would be by printing them all out, sticking them together and covering an area of Australia with them, thus reducing the albedo fractionally. Good Australians everywhere should throw tinnies at this self-inflated imported idiot wherever he goes.
Oh, and talking of conspiracist ideation, I hope all Australians take the (very) thinly-veiled advice of Al Gore and vote for the wonderful, intelligent and honest Ms. ‘no-carbon-tax’ Gillard in the upcoming election. You know it makes sense if Big Al says so.

cui bono

Bugger! Meant ‘increasing the albedo’. Will now go and knee myself in the groin.

Mindert Eiting

This is what I wrote to McIntyre on 4 December 2012: ‘Steve, good to hear you are OK. When you began to discuss Lewandowsky, I thought for my self that you better should stop with this. The level was too low to waist your precious time with.’ Thanks nevertheless to Tom Fuller for devoting some time to this subject, being an embarrassment to the scientific community.

pottereaton

While I agree with the substance of this post in every way, I think you cheapen it by expressing a “strong desire” to “(b).”
My guess is that Lewandowsky is thinking to himself, “I’ve gotten inside his head.”
Otherwise and excellent post.

Mike Mangan

The most troubling aspect of Lewandowsky is not what he does but what he is allowed to do with impunity. No member of the academic establishment or credulous “press” will bother him, will they? No journalist cared that Obama left “born in Kenya” in his official biography for 17 years and no journalist cares that Lewandowsky is a twisted, hate-filled, little man hell bent on smearing skeptics. We have a much bigger problem on our hands than we realize.

graphicconception

Mycroft, I am with you 100%.
“Waste of space” does not really cover it.

davidmhoffer

thomasfuller;
Their sin was claiming ‘certainty’, not (necessarily) being wrong about past temperatures.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
It seems to me that their sins went far beyond that. I for one don’t judge them on the climategate emails alone. Keith Briffa for example published a hockey stick graph that turned out to be constructed from just a dozen trees, one of which represented nearly 1/2 the data. That same Keith Briffa is quoted in the climategate emails pleading with others not to buckle under the pressure from politicians. Michael Mann’s climategate emails must be read in the context of his own computer program, demonstrated to seek out and more heavily weight hockey stick shaped data such that it would produce a hockey stick out of any large climate data set. Phil Jones being quoted as intending to keep contrary material out, even if he had to re-define the meaning of peer review. Discussions about getting editors who allowed contrary articles to be published fired. Discussions about the need to make the MWP disappear (which it did not long after, only to reappear when it became increasingly apparent that could not continue the sham).
I could go on much longer, but I think this makes my point. Context makes hide the decline far worse than what you represent in your comment.
Consp!racy? I don’t know. Intense stress and political pressure makes people do some pretty stupid things. Like launching a shuttle when the design engineers themselves say it isn’t safe. I think you are letting these guys off lightly…. far too lightly.

knr

There is no grand conspiracy on either side, there are people who are frankly a bit mad on both sides .
But there are groups of people and individuals who for different reasons of self interest , career advancement or political outlook who are ready , willing and able to do whatever it takes in the name of ‘the cause ‘ And Lewandowsky is one of them.

Billy Liar

The reputation of the University of Western Australia must be as low as it can go.
Lewandowsky is a typical social scientist. They rely on citing each others work. Lewandowsky’s execrable ‘paper’ was reviewed for publication by:
Michael J. Wood, University of Kent, United Kingdom
Elaine McKewon, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia
Reviewer Wood gets 6 citations in the text of the Lewandowsky paper and reviewer McKewon gets 5 citations. What’s not to like from the reviewers point of view? It doesn’t matter whether the paper should be hung on the outhouse doorhandle to get the most out of it.
Incest rules in social science. Is that a conspiracy theory?

dwr54

Off topic slightly,
But has there not been an update to UAH within the past 24hrs?
Usually AW is pretty sharp with the updates.

Jimbo

What people must understand is that they have lost the argument over global warming. Cook knows this all too well regarding the lack of warming for 16 years. So they resort to desperate tactics (which will fail) to keep the good ship global warming climate change afloat. You can’t defeat the truth no matter what. It will always, always come out on top whether sceptics are right or wrong. So far it looks like we were right over climate sensitivity (and Cook knows this).

“The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.”
Winston Churchill

james griffin

The simple question to all AGW’s is “where is the footprint of your theory”….doh?…mmm quite.
Let me explain…if you are correct the Troposphere should have warmed.
However no evidence found after years of satellite data and weather balloons.
Anthony: Jo Nova suggested 28 million weather balloons have been sent up….can you verify this?

“Open Access/Pay to Publish” journal…. IMO, from experience in my area of expertise (physiology/neurology), not the most credible place to publish a peer reviewed paper

Davidmhoffer,
This time, I am with you. Fuller is a well-intentioned “market research professional.” He recognizes a scam when he sees one. His issue is that he cannot analyze the physics himself to conclude there is little if any reason to worry about CO2, and sees so much publicity given to the concept, that he cannot disprove it to himself.
He is a good writer and a good thinker who does not know about heat transfer, thermo, the spectrum of electromagnetic radiation, how outgoing IR is thermalized by CO2 after it is excited, etc…
Dr. Brown, where are you???

Sorry Anthony. Seemed like entering into a verbose description of my feelings, regarding the author, would simply result in an equivalent meaning. I’ll go sit in a corner and eat worms.

Billy Liar

The reputation of the University of Western Australia must be as low as it can go.
Lewandowsky is a typical social scientist. They rely on citing each other’s work. Lewandowsky’s execrable ‘paper’ was reviewed for publication by:
Michael J. Wood, University of Kent, United Kingdom
Elaine McKewon, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia
Reviewer Wood gets 6 citations in the text of the Lewandowsky paper and reviewer McKewon gets 5 citations. What’s not to like from the reviewers point of view? It doesn’t matter whether the paper should be hung on the outhouse doorhandle to get the most out of it.
Incest rules in social science. Is that a conspiracy theory?

EternalOptimist

‘I just hate to see self-aggrandizing hacks cheapen the reputation and further utility of public opinion polling’
I found this explanation, by a not particularly natural ally, of his motives to be compelling.
I seek excellence, as does he. Whether we agree with it or not , we can recognise it. And neither he nor I see any excellence in what Lew et al have produced

Mickey Reno

Lewandowsky lies if he said HE placed the survey on blogs. He placed nothing. An assistant of his e-mailed vague, poorly-written requests to various blog owners, asking them to host the surveys. Lewandowsky’s name was not mentioned in those request e-mail messages. Skeptical blogs like WUWT.com and ClimateAudit.org likely ignored these messages as coming from spammers bent on accessing the many readers of these high-traffic sites.
After all this came out, and should have embarrassed him, Lewandowsky self-excuses the absence of his name and the lack of any mention of the clear intention behind his assistant’s requests by claiming that blog owners, on seeing his name, would have likely refused his request. Based on what? No experience indicates anything of the sort. This bald and false assertion is his own speculation, and nothing more. What did Lewandowsky have to lose by simply communicating honestly with the sites his assistant anonymously spammed? Nothing. But since it was done this way, REAL skeptical sites refused the requests, presuming them to be spam or unimportant in a normal, high volume day.
One can only presume Lewandowsky wanted his survey of “skeptics” to come strictly from very low traffic sites whose audiences are known to be slanted towards his alarmist ideology. And that’s why his paper on the subject will always be considered pure trash by scientists (and fair-minded psychology students).
But in spite of all that, Lewandowsky gets lots of “Team” kudos from Climate Scientologists, and 2 big fleshy publications to add to his CV, for a University who’s deans and leading lights have apparently lost all ability to distinguish true scholarship from rank propaganda.
Welcome to the Brave New World.

Lewy’s sick. No other explanation. Severely obsessive, for starters.

Jimbo

My advice to Anthony and the WUWT team is to ignore this person. He is getting more exposure than he is worth. Stephan Lewandowsky has some serious self-esteem issues and is prepared to pull facts right out of his ass.
Normally I would be in hyper-attack mode but this is sceptic baiting, so don’t be baited.

I agree with you that I did not list the exhaustive extent of what the Team did wrong.

@eworrall1 says: February 5, 2013 at 1:38 pm
Nor, it seems, is the increasingly fevered Monbiot, aware of photosynthesis. You’d have thought a zoologist? Wouldn’t you?

TomR,Worc,MA

We are making a huge mistake by talking about this. All this [self snip] is looking for is attention and WUWT is the only place he is getting it. You KNOW that he is reading this. The first paper smelled of desperation, this one reeks of it.
He has had his fifteen minutes.
Back to obscurity for you “Professor”.

Maybe the moderators can put all my comments into one post…(sorry)
Here are the reviewers of this paper:
http://uts.academia.edu/ElaineMcKewon
http://www.kent.ac.uk/psychology/people/woodm/
A grad student and a “post graduate” researcher….

eworrall1 says:
“Perhaps Lewandowsky could answer why climate activists mostly reject nuclear power as a low carbon alternative to fossil fuel, despite the fact the nuclear option represents the most painless way to decarbonise the economy.”
Without going into detail, which to many people would be self-obvious, I suggest that the nuclear power option is decidedly NOT painless.

thomaswfuller2 says:
February 5, 2013 at 1:36 pm
Hi Philip
What they were trying to distort was statistical confidence in their findings. They used a trick to hide the decline in modern tree ring temperature recordings that were lower than temps mesured with thermometers and satellite readings. They did this to preserve the notion that the tree ring records were reliable.
However, as many have pointed out, there are other records that roughly coincide with the tree ring records.
Their sin was claiming ‘certainty’, not (necessarily) being wrong about past temperatures.
——————————————————————————————————————
Their sin was not claiming ‘certainty’ on the results other earlier proxy data and findings; they were claiming certainty based solely on their own science and their own data, which makes it a despicable fraud.
Mann, Bradley, Hughes’ raw data showed that dendrochronology could not be used to establish that recent acceleration in temperature had taken place; so they used a devious trick to ‘hide the decline’. Colleagues in CRU were aware of this faking method while the rest of the world was not; they said nothing. Only a lawyer paid to defend would argue that this not a scientific conspiracy. You would first have to argue that MBH98 was not a cornerstone of AGW science.
Doakes

thomaswfuller2 says”What they were trying to distort was statistical confidence in their findings. They used a trick to hide the decline in modern tree ring temperature recordings that were lower than temps measured with thermometers and satellite readings. They did this to preserve the notion that the tree ring records were reliable. “.
Your second sentence disprove your first sentence. It wasn’t “statistical confidence” they distorted, it was their findings. They did this by publishing distorted data. The data was distorted by removing the sections of the data that did not fit the findings they wanted and by adding in some other data which was not part of their study but which did fit the findings they wanted. ie, they found result A but distorted the data to get result B.
davidmhoffer covers more, above.

RockyRoad

“Recursive fury: Conspiracist ideation in the blogosphere in response to research on conspiracist ideation”.

Since these authors weren’t accurate in formulating their “conspiracist ideation” to begin with, there’s no chance a recursive analysis of a response will enlighten anybody.
And what’s with this “fury” term? Connected with “Recursive”, does that mean the spin is intensified?
That’s not science; that’s useless drivel.

I don’t know Tom. I suppose it depends on your definition of a conspiracy.
Let’s see, a group of people who decide, in secret, to exaggerate (lie) about results of studies and ensure other people’s studies and opinions of the subject are quashed in order to advance a particular perspective/ideology…….
I’m not a conspiracy theorist. But, the word conspiracy doesn’t exist as a theoretical term. What’s missing that this doesn’t rise to the level of an obvious conspiracy among like minded ideologues? I think in some circles people are more afraid of being labeled than their desire to call things for what they are. I’m not.

Malcolm

Agree with TomR. He shouldn’t be indulged here. Instead, take his arguments apart when he authors something on The Conversation. Clearly he isn’t very well in the head – one only has to look at his YouTube videos about climate denial to see what I mean.

Several commenters on the recent activities of Professor Lewandowsky have suggested that the University of Western Australia should be informed of his ‘shonky’ science. I recently did just that. I sent to the University Vice Chancellor (VC) a copy of one version of questionaire used in the conspiracist research project together with a detailed critique of the questionaire. I also criticised the use of university resources and scarce external research funds on research work which would not provide a useful original contribution to the fund of psychological knowledge, even if properly conducted. The VC referred the matter to one of his lackeys who simply advised me that the relevant university ethics committee had seen the questionaire and approved of its use. No attempt was made to respond to the several specific issues raised by me.
I then requested the University Secretary to refer the matter to the University Senate. This brought forth a response from the VC himself in which he told me that the matter would not be referred to the Senate. If I had further concerns I could publish an article setting out those concerns. That will be difficult to do as Lewandowsky’s article is still ‘in press’ as I understand it.
The summary is: the University doesn’t want to know.
More recently, I have written directly to Lewandowsky challenging his notion that climate skeptics base their views on conspiracy and not science. I reviewed quite a bit of science in the process and advised him that notwithstanding my clear understanding of the science I was still skeptical of the IPCC/CAGW notion. I don’t expect a reply.

Mike

Lewandowsky’s sees his academic deceit as a necessary evil, not to save the world from climate change, but to rid the world of people that disagree with him. Before Lewandowsky there was God, or so he thinks.

Ian H

Recursive idiocy: Ridiculous garbage in the social science literature in response to criticism of ridiculous garbage in the social science literature

ThinkingScientist

Somehow when I think of Lewandowsky the image that comes to mind is the Psychiatrist/Jailer of Sarah Connor in Terminator 2. You know, the tosser with the pen, patronising and telling his colleagues “she’s a loon”.
But she isn’t. The Terminator IS real….

Antonia

The phrase, “conspiracy theorist”, is a clever way of demonizing people who don’t believe governments and officialdom generally. It’s really bizarre, because when cabinet papers are opened after thirty years it’s clear that governments lied at the time. Think of the Gulf of Tonkin incident that gave the US the excuse to start bombing North Vietnam. Apparently it never happened.
Governments lie all the time and as nobody wants to be labelled a conspiracy theorist, they get away with it. But thankfully with the internet they no longer control information and people are becoming brave enough to defy the insulting labels – and find fellowship with like-minded doubting Thomases. Take a bow, Anthony Watts, for faciltating this fellowship of climate realists. Where would we be without you?

JImbrock

Not a conspiracy?
” conspiracy usually involves a group entering into a secret agreement to achieve some illicit or harmful objective: a vicious conspiracy to control prices.”
These people were conspiring to avoid the FOIA law. And if this is the usual way of “pushing” their theory and “pushing down” on others, the scientific community is corrupt.