Mann and Lewandowsky go psychotic on climate skeptics

618_odd_tiny_violin[1]From the tiny dog whistle violin department.

Dr. Michael Mann and Dr. Stephan Lewandowsky have a new paper out that redefines the term “climate ugliness”. Apparently FOIA requests are “harassment”. And Internet blogs “wrongly sidestep peer-reviewed literature”. Oh Mann, tell that to the IPCC who used magazine articles as sources for AR4. The title suggests all this is happening “subterranean” when in fact blogs are all out in the open, while Dr. Mann continues to fight expensive legal battles to hide his publicly funded emails at the University of Virginia and imagines the Koch brothers behind every virtual rock and tree.

Mainstream climate skeptics admit there has been warming in the last century, CO2 has an effect, but that the issue has been propped up by biased surface temperature measurements and oversold by activist scientists (such as Mann) and the media, since we have seen that climate sensitivity has been observed to be significantly lower than claims by computer models.

Since they are slowly losing the argument as nature keeps adding years to “the pause” in global warming, what Dr. Mann and Dr. Lewandowsky are doing is engaging in suppression of dissent.

Suppression of dissent occurs when an individual or group which is more powerful than another tries to directly or indirectly censor, persecute or otherwise oppress the other party, rather than engage with and constructively respond to or accommodate the other party’s arguments or viewpoint. When dissent is perceived as a threat, action may be taken to prevent continuing dissent or penalize dissidents. Government or industry[1] may often act in this way.

Their tactic is exactly the same thing that went on in communist Soviet Union with dissenters. It is called Political abuse of psychiatry. Psychiatry was used as a tool to eliminate political opponents (“dissidents”) who openly expressed beliefs that contradicted official dogma. Dissenters were labeled as having a form of mental illness that needed to be cured.

We all know how that turned out. The Soviet Union is no more.

Anyone who doubts Dr. Mann is political and using political tools to suppress climate skeptics and access need only look at his recent political rallies and writings endorsing the Democratic gubernatorial candidate of Virginia, Terry McAuliffe. He’s taking that side because it is likely McAuliffe promises to fight to keep his UVa emails secret if elected. The Republican candidate, Cuccinelli, has tried to have those emails exposed to sunlight under FOIA requests and lawsuits. There must be something particularly damning in those emails for Dr. Mann to fight this hard and turn himself into a political tool.

IMHO, it is Dr. Mann and Dr. Lewandowsky who need psychological evaluations, not mainstream climate skeptics.

Here’s their paper: 

The Subterranean War on Science

By Stephan Lewandowsky, Michael E. Mann, Linda Bauld, Gerard Hastings, and Elizabeth F. Loftus

Science denial kills. More than 300,000 South Africans died needlessly in the early 2000s because the government of President Mbeki preferred to treat AIDS with garlic and beetroot rather than antiretroviral drugs (Chigwedere, Seage, Gruskin, Lee, & Essex,2008). The premature death toll from tobacco is staggering and historians have shown how it was needlessly inflated by industry-sponsored denial of robust medical evidence (Proctor, 2011). The US now faces the largest outbreak of whooping cough in decades, in part because of widespread denial of the benefits of vaccinations (Rosenau, 2012). According to the World Health Organization, climate change is already claiming more than 150,000 lives annually (Patz, Campbell-Lendrum, Holloway, & Foley, 2005), and estimates of future migrations triggered by unmitigated global warming run as high as 187 million refugees (Nicholls et al., 2011). A common current attribute of denial is that it side-steps the peer-reviewed literature and relies on platforms such as internet blogs or tabloid newspapers to disseminate its dissent from the scientific mainstream. In contrast, the publication of dissenting views in the peer-reviewed literature does not constitute denial.

The tragic track record of denial has stimulated research into its political, sociological, and psychological underpinnings (Dunlap, 2013; Jacobson, Targonski, & Poland, 2007; Kalichman, 2009; Lewandowsky, Oberauer, & Gignac, 2013; Lewandowsky, Gignac, & Oberauer, 2013; Oreskes & Conway, 2010). Although research has focused on diverse issues — from HIV/AIDS to vaccinations to climate change — several common variables have been isolated that determine whether people are likely to reject well-established scientific facts. Foremost among them is the threat to people’s worldviews. For example, mitigation of climate change or public-health legislation threatens people who cherish unregulated free markets because it might entail regulations of businesses (Heath & Gifford, 2006; Kahan, 2010; Lewandowsky, Gignac, & Oberauer, 2013; Rosenau, 2012); vaccinations threaten Libertarians’ conceptions of parental autonomy (Kahan, Braman, Cohen, Gastil, & Slovic, 2010; Lewandowsky, Gignac, & Oberauer, 2013); and evolution challenges people’s religious faiths (Rosenau, 2012). Another variable that appears to be involved in science denial is conspiracist ideation (Kalichman, 2009; Lewandowsky, Gignac, & Oberauer, 2013; Lewandowsky, Oberauer, & Gignac, 2013; Lewandowsky, Cook, Oberauer, & Marriott, 2013; Smith & Leiserowitz, 2012). Thus, AIDS is thought to be a creation of the US Government (Kalichman, 2009), climate change is a “hoax” perpetrated by corrupt scientists (Inhofe, 2012), and research into the health effects of tobacco is conducted by a “cartel” that “manufactures alleged evidence” (Abt, 1983, p. 127).

The conspiratorial element of denial explains why contrarians often perceive themselves as heroic dissenters who — in their imagination — are following Galileo’s footsteps by opposing a mainstream scientific “elite” that imposes its views not on the basis of overwhelming evidence but for political reasons. Mainstream climate scientists are therefore frequently accused of “Lysenkoism,” after the Soviet scientist whose Lamarckian views of evolution were state dogma in the Soviet Union. Other contrarians appeal to Albert Einstein’s injunction “. . . to not stop questioning” to support their dissent from the fact that HIV causes AIDS (Duesberg, 1989).

This conspiratorial element provides a breeding ground for the personal and professional attacks on scientists that seemingly inevitably accompany science denial. The present authors have all been subject to such attacks, whose similarity is notable because the authors’ research spans a broad range of topics and disciplines: The first author has investigated the psychological variables underlying the acceptance or rejection of scientific findings; the second author is a paleoclimatologist who has shown that current global temperatures are likely unprecedented during the last 1,000 years or more; the third and fourth authors are public-health researchers who have investigated the attitudes of teenagers and young adults towards smoking and evaluated a range of tobacco control interventions; and the fifth author has established that human memory is not only fallible but subject to very large and systematic distortions.

This article surveys some of the principal techniques by which the authors have been harassed; namely, cyber-bullying and public abuse; harassment by vexatious freedom-of-information (FOI) requests, complaints, and legal threats or actions; and perhaps most troubling, by the intimidation of journal editors who are acting on manuscripts that are considered inconvenient by deniers. The uniformity with which these attacks are pursued across several disciplines suggests that their motivation is not scientific in nature.

In light of the lethal track record of denial, one might expect opprobrium to be reserved for those who deny the public’s right to be adequately informed about risks such as AIDS or climate change. Paradoxically, however, it is scientists whose research aims to inform the public of such risks who have been at the receiving end of hate mail and threats. Thus, the first author has been labeled a “Nazi zionist kike” and has been accused of “mass murder and treason.” The second author has been attacked on a neo-Nazi website and has received envelopes with a powdery white substance resembling Anthrax (Mann, 2012). The third author has received anonymous abusive emails and nighttime phone calls in her home. This abuse is at least in part orchestrated because the frequency of such emails tends to increase when scientists’ e-addresses are posted on contrarian websites.

Other attempts of intimidation have involved the solicitation of potentially compromising information from the first author by a non-existent internet “sock puppet” whose unknown creators pretended to be victimized by climate deniers — and who then splattered the private correspondence on the internet (Lewandowsky, 2011). At a public level, an American lobbying outfit has recently likened climate scientists to the Unabomber in a billboard campaign, and a British tabloid journalist entertained the execution of the second author by hanging in what passes for a “mainstream” newspaper in the UK (Delingpole, 2013).

Another common tool of harassment involves FOI requests. Under many legislations around the world, email correspondence by an academic is subject to almost unconditional release. During the last 9 months, the first author has been subject to numerous requests for correspondence and other documents, including trivial pedantry such as the precise time and date stamps of blog posts. In a paradoxical twist, accusations of impropriety were launched against the first author when an FOI-release confirmed that inconvenient research (Lewandowsky, Oberauer, & Gignac, 2013) was conducted with ethics approval. The allegations — by bloggers unaccountable to any form of review or ethical scrutiny — cited the fact that ethics approval was granted expeditiously (for details, see Lewandowsky, Cook, et al., 2013). The second author and his former university endured vexatious demands for the release of personal email correspondence by Virginia’s Attorney General. Those actions attracted national and international attention and were labeled a “witch hunt” by Nature (2010). The demands were ultimately rejected with prejudice by the Virginia Supreme Court. Other attacks on the second author involved front groups like the “American Tradition Institute” and the “Competitive Enterprise Institute” which sought access to his personal emails, professional notes, and virtually every imaginable document from his entire career. The third and fourth authors’ research center on tobacco control has been subject to a number of extensive FOI requests from a tobacco giant, Philip Morris International, for confidential interview records involving teenaged participants. Notably, the identity of Philip Morris was disguised during the first FOI request, which was launched with a law firm serving as a front group (Hastings, MacKintosh, & Bauld, 2011). The information requested included “all primary data,” “all questionnaires,” “all interviewers’ handbooks and/or instructions,” “all data files,” “all record descriptions,” and so on.

The use of FOI to obtain correspondence or research data mirrors legislative attempts by the tobacco industry to gain unhindered access to epidemiological data (Baba, Cook, McGarity, & Bero, 2005). At first glance, it might appear paradoxical that the tobacco industry would sponsor laws ostensibly designed to ensure transparency of research, such as the Data Access Act of 1998. However, the reanalysis of inconvenient results by obtaining the raw data is a known tool in the arsenal of vested interests: Michaels (2008) shows how epidemiological data have been subjected to industry-sponsored re-analysis because of their regulatory implications, such as the link between tobacco and lung cancer or the link between bladder cancer and chemicals used in dye production. Re-analyses by industry bodies often fail to detect such well-established links (e.g., Cataldo, Bero, & Malone, 2010; Proctor, 2011). Similarly, results by the first (see Lewandowsky, Cook, et al., 2013), second (see Mann, 2012), and third (Sims, Maxwell, Bauld, & Gilmore, 2010) author have been reanalyzed on internet blogs (sometimes by the same individuals). Those reanalyses used various tricks, such as the violation of strong statistical conventions relating to the inclusion of principal components, to attenuate the inconvenient implications of the research—specifically, that the warming from greenhouse gas emissions is historically unprecedented (Mann, Bradley, & Hughes, 1998) and that those who oppose this scientific fact tend to engage in conspiracist ideation (Lewandowsky, Oberauer, & Gignac, 2013; Lewandowsky, Gignac, & Oberauer, 2013). Another tactic to discredit “inconvenient” peer-reviewed results involves publishing alternative versions of “the evidence” using different sources that proport to be equally legitimate. For example, the third author’s review of the impact of smoke-free legislation in England, published by the UK government (Bauld, 2011) was the subject of a report by Imperial Tobacco, the world’s fourth-largest tobacco company. Entitled “The Bauld Truth” as a play on the third author’s name (Imperial Tobacco, 2011), it presented alternative, non peer-reviewed evidence as more viable and opened with the statement that the third author’s review was “lazy and deliberately selective”. Anyone familiar with climate disinformation on the internet will recognize those rhetorical tools as the standard fare of dismissal of inconvenient science.

A further line of attack involves complaints by members of the public to scientists’ host institutions with allegations of research misconduct. The format of those complaints ranges from brief enraged emails to the submission of detailed, elaborately-formatted multi-page dossiers. The scientific literature on querulous complainants (e.g., Lester, Wilson, Griffin, & Mullen, 2004; Mullen & Lester, 2006) explicates the nature of the majority of such complaints. However, not all complaints to universities are from querulous individuals: The tobacco industry, specifically Philip Morris, used complaints to scientists’ deans or department heads as part of their action plan to discredit researchers who investigated the health risks of smoking (Landman & Glantz, 2009).

The fifth author has experienced a particularly chilling legal attack based on an article that disputed the legitimacy of the claim by an individual (whose name was not released) that she had with the help of a psychiatrist recovered a “repressed childhood memory” of sexual abuse by her mother (for a review of the case, see Geis & Loftus, 2009). Although the suit was ultimately settled, the complaints to the university delayed publication—or indeed any public mention—of the research by several years (Loftus, 2003).

Those attacks on scientists by personal abuse, vexatious use of FOI and the complaints process, and legal proceedings, have not only consumed valuable time, thereby delaying research, but have also taken an emotional toll. Those attacks have caused considerable trauma among some junior scientists known to us. However, the problem does not end there. Even more concerning is another line of attack that directly targets the integrity of the scientific process: We are concerned about the activities of individuals outside the scientific community and of little scientific standing, who systematically insert themselves into the peer-review and publication process to prevent the publication of findings they deem inconvenient. Those insertions typically involve emails to editors which have been described as “bullying” by some parties involved. Far from being isolated incidents, at last count we have identified 7 editors of several journals who have been subject to such bullying tactics across two disciplines; viz. climate science and psychology.

Once again, precedents for those attempts to subvert the scientific process involve the tobacco industry. A 1995 Philip Morris action plan explicitly devised strategies to interfere with funding of health research. Those strategies included approaches to the appropriations committee of Congress (albeit without raising the profile of the tobacco industry), and the writing of letters critical of public-health research to the editors of scientific journals by associates of the industry’s Tobacco Institute (without necessarily revealing their associations). Landman and Glantz (2009) show how this plan was translated into action.

What are the consequences of such insertions by external parties into the scientific process? There is little doubt that pressure from the tobacco industry affected the course of medical research, if only by consuming massive amounts of scientists’ time that could otherwise have been devoted to research (Landman & Glantz, 2009; Proctor, 2011). It also delayed the translation of that research into interventions and policies that could have saved lives by reducing smoking rates. There is also a growing body of literature which suggests that the aggressive efforts by climate deniers have adversely affected the communication and direction of climate research (Brysse, Oreskes, O’Reilly, & Oppenheimer, 2013; Freudenburg & Muselli, 2010; Lewandowsky, Oreskes, Risbey, Newell, & Smithson, 2013), and allegations of defamation have led to the re-examination of one of the first author’s papers to eliminate legal risks that is ongoing at the time of this writing (Lewandowsky, Cook, et al., 2013).

How should the scientific community respond to the events just reviewed? As in most cases of intimidation and bullying, we believe that daylight is the best disinfectant. This article is a first step in this effort towards transparency. Knowledge of the common techniques by which scientists are attacked, irrespective of their discipline and research area, is essential so that institutions can support their academics against attempts to thwart their academic freedom. This information is also essential to enable lawmakers to improve the balance between academic freedom and confidentiality of peer review on the one hand, and the public’s right to access information on the other. Finally, this knowledge is particularly important for journal editors and professional organizations to muster the required resilience against illegitimate insertions into the scientific process.


You can leave comments on the paper at the journal here


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Rule is simple…whatever Lew and Mann accuse others of, they’ve been guilty themselves of the same repeatedly.

The APS deleted my comments earlier: Screen capture of partf of my 1st comment below:
Professor Lewandowsky is clearly (in part) refering to my requests in the article:
I made 2 comments in reply to this APS article, they were both removed
missing comment 1:
The nature of the error in LOG12 and it’s implications is linked below, in a comment I made on Prof Lewandowky’s website (he had not responded)
I also reported the substantial factual error in the methodology of LOG12 to Psychological Science and asked the Chief Editor of Psychological Science to investigate it, and if he would ask Professor Lewandowsky to supply the proof of posting timestamps and the raw data to me, if Prof Lewandowsky failed to respond..
and to quote, the Chief Editor said this:
From: Eric Eich
Sent: Tuesday, August 27, 2013 7:33 PM
Dear Barry–Sorry to disappoint, but no. Best, Eric
this was in response to my email request below:
On 27/08/2013 10:20 AM, barry.woods wrote:
“Dear Professor Eich
I will try to contact Professor Lewandowsky (& UWA) and ask him again. If he fails to respond to my requests, will the journal consider asking on my behalf?
Best Regards
Barry Woods”
Hard to make a comment about a paper, if a data request is refused, and the journal will not help get it.
If the journal will provide the requested data, I will put a comment to the journal about this paper.
However, given the Chief Editor’s email to me refusing to help me to obtain the requested data, how confident can I be that I am not wasting my time?
I am a member of the public, who now finds this article (and the authors & APS response to my concerns) quite intimidating. ”
end missing comment

Alan Robertson

What was that- state pen, not Penn State?

The truth is that GHGs have an effect on global air circulation but not on surface temperature and the effect on circulation is miniscule compared to the effect from solar and oceanic variability.
Hold the feet of AGW proponents to the fire until they demonstrate reliably how much our emissions alter the global air circulation.
Natural variations cause latitudinal climate zone shifts of up to 1000 miles in regions downwind of a long ocean track such as western Europe.
Let them demonstrate with evidence in support just how far our emissions would shift the climate zones.
I’d guess less than a single mile.

pablo an ex pat

Looks like projection to me too

It is beyond parody

The clearest case of projection I’ve seen in a while.

Pat Michaels

I’m betting that his email shows how much he received from Fenton for RealClimate. Mann does not work for free.

Mark Hladik

As far as my funding from the Koch brothers, if anyone has seen my missing checks, please send them immediately. I’ll send Anthony my snail-mail address, and he can forward them to me … … …
Mark H.

Jenn Oates

How does this tripe even get published?
Okay, I know the answer, but still.

There must not be a lot of other researchers on these subjects. Lewandowsky had to cite Lewandowsky 15 times.


Funny he doesn’t mention the millions who’ve died from malaria due to the de facto ban on DDT (instigated by people like Mike Mann and in the absence of sound scientific evidence).


Great article, Anthony! My guess is that these rent-seeking academics are starting to feel the pinch where it counts, i.e. funding sources.
Mr. Gore’s Climate Reality Project is reeling from donor base losses, so the funding drought due to false (fraudulent) CAGW claims continues.
BTW, President Obama issued a Presidential Directive on Climate Preparedness today:

gopal panicker

they are using the tobacco industry as a straw man…if they have the truth they should welcome questions…these guys are now paranoid

Bob Tisdale – just remember, this is only paper number one…in true Lew form, he will get another one published, based on the comments at WUWT.

Ken Hall

Any attempt to suppress dissent is an activity which stands in complete opposition to real scientific investigation. No scientist worthy of the title, would ever suppress dissent. Nobody should blindly accept the word, (or published paper), of any scientist. ALL scientific discovery should be allowed to be checked for validity, repeatedly.


We can expect more and more of this kind of tripe as the climate data does not match the bogus IPCC projections. What I wonder is, can Nobel prizes ever be revoked?

All the wailing from Mann and co merely confirms that the internet and connectivity of global communications empowers ordinary people to eyeball and question what public sector workers are doing with the taxpayer’s hard earned money, and there is nothing the public sector hates more than the disinfectant of daylight shone on their activities, with the ensuing questions seeking accountability that naturally follow…

Chris @NJSnowFan

On who’s time did he write this paper on PSU???
I would love to play a Texas Holdem tournament with M. Mann.
I bet every time he tried to bluff I would bust him.


Awwww, poor babies!


Call me a cockeyed optimist, but this screed absolutely reeks of panic and desperation. Asking to see the data presumptively constitutes malicious harassment? This makes me think of nothing so much as a fishmonger who refuses to let you smell the product before you take it home.

The new Next Generation Science Standards are not instruction-based as in the transmission of knowledge but constructionism. The student builds up an understanding from the supplied Big Concepts and Ideas to categorize their hands-on experiences. Textbook learning is on its way out. Mann and Lewandowsky know this. If anything, constructivism is even further along in Australia than in the US. And AGW is one of the primary concepts to be pushed on students per the definition of what it means to be Globally Competent. Students are also primed to defer to degrees and credentials. The window to recognize what the students are to be taught whatever the actual reality is is narrow timewise.
Rebecca Costa is a good example of pushing instinctual responses now instead of factual rational inquiry. So is the book Ecomind. So is all the virtual reality Gaming coming to K-12 classrooms as a means of engagement that helps decrease dropouts. gives specific examples of what is being pushed.
These people really do refer to the rational mind as the “ego-mind” and they would like to see it hibernating so no one is in a position to contradict desired public policies.


Mann et al are guilty of assisting in the deaths of countless third world people by making sure that £Billions are spent needlessly in useless research regarding CAGW.
Kettle, black, pot, calling, the. Rearrange to suit.


Interesting… even though the article is open for comments, there still is not a single comment. Gate keeping like Real Climate?


Can I assume Lew didn’t ask prominent bloggers and sceptic scientists if they too get harassment or worse?


“Science denial kills. More than 300,000 South Africans died needlessly in the early 2000s”
Bad science kills more. 10 times that number have died because of the bad science behind the DDT ban. Funny the article overlooked that inconvenient result. is a link to a current story on the constructionism in the new science standards. Students taught this way will be in no position to dispute any model provided by anyone with political pull.
All of this Big Ideas emphasis is designed to create the filters and lenses used to interpret reality. It is perception being targeted and the psychological research on the potentials of this to affect guiding beliefs that influence future behavior go back to 1962 and Abraham Maslow and Carl Rogers.
Again Mann and Lewandowsky know all this. It’s ordinary parents and taxpayers who need to appreciate why the CAGW pushers are trying to buy time until the Core Values and Core Beliefs Mindsets deliberately cultivated by K-12 can rescue them from reality. And keep the funding coming and the desired public centric economy and society transformation in place.


According to the World Health Organization, climate change is already claiming more than 150,000 lives annually (Patz, Campbell-Lendrum, Holloway, & Foley, 2005), . . . .

That absurdity, primarily based on ridiculous projections of death from tropical diseases migrating to now-warmer climes, is enough to cast a large shadow of dubiousness over the international agencies that endorse such alarmism.
Their article is a smear job. It deliberately avoids taking note of the hundreds of knowledgeable scientists who disagree — some of whom are apostates from warmism, and most of whom are not free-market fanatics. This number is far greater than the number of independent scientists who were contrarians in the debate about tobacco or vaccination.


Craig says:
November 1, 2013 at 11:28 am
“Science denial kills. More than 300,000 South Africans died needlessly in the early 2000s”
Bad science kills more. 10 times that number have died because of the bad science behind the DDT ban. Funny the article overlooked that inconvenient result.

Make that 100X that number have died from the bad science behind DDT…


I work for a large Midwestern law enforcement agency which has a staff of several people whose sole purpose it is to respond to data practice requests. In order to make their job simple, we archive every document, message and email coming into or out of our agency.
When someone submits a request for data, we don’t throw a temper-tantrum or sulk about being persecuted, we simply give them what they are entitled to under the law. To that end, we pride ourselves in our compliance with the law……on the other hand, we all understand that if one of us were to deliberately violate data practice requirements or encourage someone else to violate FOI law, that we would expect that person to lose their job, pay a fine and/or spend time in jail.
Why does it work this way for us…..but not for scientists.
Are they not civil servants, just like us?

Professor Lewandowsky was clearly writing about me here:
“….the first author has been subject to numerous requests for correspondence and other documents, including trivial pedantry such as the precise time and date stamps of blog posts.”
My second deleted comment at APS. A copy of the email I sent to Professor Lewandowsky, reporting to him the errors in LOG12, asking for a correction:
Deleted APS comment::
“Here is the email I sent to Professor Lewandowsky:
From: barry.woods
Sent: Thursday, September 05, 2013 12:32 PM
Dear Stephan
I wish to formally report to you (as lead author and contact) a substantial factual error in the methodology of one of your papers –
“NASA faked the moon landings – Therefore [Climate ]science is a Hoax: An Anatomy of the Motivated Rejection of Science” by Stephan Lewandowsky, Klaus Oberauer, Gilles Gignac – Psychological Science [LOG12]
I have also reported this factual error to the Chief Editor of Psychological Science.
The factual error is:
The LOG12 methodology states that the survey was posted at the SkepticalScience website, when in fact the survey was not posted at the Skeptical Science website.
This has the following implications for LOG12, which will require corrections to the paper:
1) The methodology of LOG12 states that the survey was posted on the website (1 of 8 websites) This claim appears to be falsified.
2) The methodology also states that the survey was potential visible to 390,000 visits from readers, including 78,000 sceptical visits at the website. This is a key claim of the paper that the survey was potential viewed by a large, broad audience, (with a 20% sceptical audience) representative of the wider general public. As the survey never appeared at the website this claim is falsified
3) Additionally, the content analysis of is used to assert that there was a diverse representative audience across the other 7 blogs that linked to the survey. As the survey was never show at the claim of diverse and wide readership for the whole survey, based on a content analysis of http://www.SkepticalScience is now unsupported by the evidence in the supplementary material.
New content analysis will be required for the other 7 blogs, including readership traffic volumes as well. Tom Curtis a Skeptical Science regular author and [moderator] contributor (like yourself) appears to have established beyond doubt that the survey for LOG12 was not posted at the Skeptical Science website.
Tom Curtis wrote to Steve McIntyre (who had made a similar analysis ) publically confirming this in April 2013, following the publication of LOG12 in the Psychological Science journal. To put the importance of Skeptical Science into context, the Skeptical Science website, is by far the most well known, with the highest traffic of the all blogs surveyed.
If you recall, I requested evidence that the survey had been linked at Skeptical Science on July 31st 2012, and at the time you stated to me that you had had the url for it, but had lost it, and perhaps that John Cook had deleted it, (this would also be against UWA policies for data retention I believe)
From: Stephan Lewandowsky
Sent: Wednesday, August 01, 2012 11:00 AM
“Hi Barry, the survey was done about 2 years ago, and I don’t have the link to SkS: I worked with John Cook directly at the time and he posted it (and I made a note of it), but I don’t have the actual URL to the survey dating back to the time when he posted it. I suspect he removed it when the survey was closed because then the link would have been dead.
Regards Steve”
John Cook has since rather ambiguously stated that he did post the survey (to Geoff Chambers), but can provide no evidence for the survey ever being posted at Skeptical science. Tom Curtis (also from SkepticalScience) has publically completely contradicted this, as does the evidence in the Wayback machine web archive for the Skeptical Science website. It appears John Cook merely tweeted it from his personal twitter account (at a time when he had a mere 1000 twitter followers) and these tweets did not appear at the Skeptical Science website.
This is a substantial factual error in the methodology of the paper and not a simple matter of scientific debate or interpretation, the survey was either posted at Skeptical Science website or it was not. I suggest that the authors now confirm the fact that the survey was not linked at the SkepticalScience website this for themselves by checking with the owner John Cook.
I then expect that the authors will then seek to quickly issue a correction to the methodology of paper. This will presumably require new content analysis for all the seven remaining blogs, as the Sceptical Science website content analysis cannot apply, due to the fact that the survey was not posted at the SkepticalScience website
I do believe this situation originally arose due a simple innocent error in email miscommunication between yourself and John Cook in August 2010, where you believed that John Cook was going to post it on the Skeptical Science website.
I do think it is in the best long-term interests of the journal and authors, (due to the fact that the paper has seen wide media attention), if they were seen to quickly make the relevant corrections to the paper, following formal reporting of this substantial factual error about the papers methodology to the authors and journal.
Best Regards
Barry Woods
(Tom Curtis has publically stated that he contacted the authors and John Cook about this issue via email in September 2012 (see Tom Curtis writes, link below) but he did not state whether his emails had been acknowledged)
I have also raised this error with Chief Editor of Psychological Science in more detail, but it simply comes down to whether the survey was posted at SkepticalScience website or not.
I had also copied him our private correspondence from a year ago as a reminder, but I have removed that from this comment.”
: end 2nd deleted comment at APS
Tom Curtis recently wrote on his own blog that the survey was not posted at Skeptical Science:


Charlatans fighting to make a getaway after selling the emperor new clothes.

Chuck L

To paraphrase former NJ Governor Thomas Keane, “Mann and Lewandowsky, perfect together.”

Luther Bl't

“A common current attribute of denial is that it side-steps the peer-reviewed literature and relies on platforms such as internet blogs or tabloid newspapers to disseminate its dissent from the scientific mainstream. In contrast, the publication of dissenting views in the peer-reviewed literature does not constitute denial.”
Evil bloggers. They want to strip us naked. Horrid people. /sarc

I guess the alarmists are in bunker mentality. Elsewise, they would have dumped Mann a long time ago. There is work being done that do bring into light the possibility that there is something called AGW. But Mann attacks it because it questions his disreputable work.
I suspect Mann is not far from the wheels of the bus, and it is not the skeptics pushing him closer. he has become an embarrassment to their cause.
Lewandowsky always was.

Mac the Knife

Since they are slowly losing the argument as nature keeps adding years to “the pause” in global warming, what Dr. Mann and Dr. Lewandowsky are doing is engaging in suppression of dissent.
Suggest we euphemistically refer to Mother Nature’s now 17 year long global warming hiatus as ‘Mann-o-pause’.

jerome bastien

I was just re-reading an article that appeared in the American Spectator a few years ago. The reason I was re-reading it was that its probably one of the most important and insightful essays ever written about American politics. I just finished reading it a second time and seeing this post just reinforces how dead-on this essay really is.
Funny thing is, it actually mentions Michael Mann, albeit as one example amongst many. Read it, share it, …


So am I understanding that secret forums where you coordinate your discussions is a sign of mental instability according to Lewandowsky and Mann? If so what does that say about Skeptical Science and their private forums?

Mac the Knife

Craig says:
November 1, 2013 at 11:28 am
“Science denial kills. More than 300,000 South Africans died needlessly in the early 2000s”
Bad science kills more. 10 times that number have died because of the bad science behind the DDT ban. Funny the article overlooked that inconvenient result.

Spot On, Craig!
That’s precisely what I was thinking, when I read that line of unfounded conjectural drivel.


I am very disappointing to see Elizabeth Loftus’s name on this paper.
Loftus was instrumental in destroying the last great hysteria of the 20th Century. Back then it was not unusual for a women (and it was mostly women) to show up at the police station after “discovering through therapy” the memory of daddy murdering or sexually abusing someone. Thousands of families were broken apart or financially ruined and hundreds of people spent time in prison because of this hysteria.
It was all rather sad and creepy.

F. Ross

Drs. Mann & Lewandowsky remind me (metaphorically) of the picture in “The Picture of Dorian Gray”; they just keep getting uglier and more rotten with each new chapter in their lives.


There are lots of leftists among prominent contrarians. Someone should compile a list whose URL could be posted as a riposte to these “motivated reasoning” smears. Here are a few names off the top of my head, to which I urge others here to add names:
Claude Allègre, (A prominent force in the socialist party in France.)
Richard S Courtney
Judith Curry
Robert G Brown
Steve McIntyre
Freeman Dyson
James Lovelock
Incidentally, here’s what Solomon wrote in his book, The Deniers (2008), pages 136-37:

“. . . here is a list of just ten of the more prominent [skeptical] scholars in the field and their institutions. See if the first words that come to your mind are “crackpots,” “out of the scientific mainstream,” “naive,” or “irresponsible.”
[list follows]
This large number of respectable contrarians (at lest on their topic-specialty–see page 46) is what this smear-job paper chooses not to confront and implicitly denies.


Oops–I forgot to outdent my last paragraph.

Brian R

So now Michael Mann is a psychologist? Maybe he’s become a paleo-dendro-psychologist.


Is it legal for publicly funded Penn State, through Dr Mann, to be actively involved in politics, especially in a different state (Virginia)?

Tom J

‘The first author has investigated the psychological variables underlying … ; the second author is a paleoclimatologist … ; the third and fourth authors are public-health researchers who have investigated the attitudes of teenagers and young adults … ; and the fifth author has established that human memory is not only fallible …’
Got that? So, we have a bunch of blather from five highly excremed … er, esteemed … authors, four of whom appear to profess some level of psychological understanding – that is, the underlying motivations behind human behavior.
Let’s have a go at it guys. Let’s consider the underlying meaning behind what is undoubtedly their preferred ‘sustainable’ energy source: Windmills. Ok, for a start, a windmill requires a long shaft, standing unabashedly erect as if ready to penetrate the heavens. If the hidden meaning behind this is not yet clear, well, here’s the kicker: What does it take to get these virile windmills going; what does it take to electrify them? Well, they’ve gotta’ be blown on, of course. And, the final beauty is the seeming fulfillment of a long held fantasy: The belief that it can be ‘sustained’.
I love it when rank amateurs attempt to analyze the behavior of others without a clue that they themselves are just as subject to analysis. I have little doubt that my foregoing analysis applies to those five insecure jokers. After all, what other possible explanation could there be for the enviro community’s passionate love affair with an energy source that’s as impractical and unreliable as wind is. I mean, it’s well known that there’s oftentimes periods when the wind just can’t get it up. Yet it remains the environmentalist’s totem. Freud once said that sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. May I add, Lewandowsky, that sometimes it’s not.


To describe Mann or Lewandowsky as idiots savants would be an insult to savants and idiots.
They’re a pair of worse-than-useless clowns. They’ve done so much damage to their respective fields of inquiry that it’s hard to envision how either can remain tenable without throwing said transgressors under the bus.
Mann uses anything which could vaguely have a purported response to any kind of climate and then picks what suits his cause, inverts it if it helps, chops off anything inconvenient, then shakes and homogenises it. If he could do these things without arousing suspicion he’d be the James Bond of climatology – but he’s clueless about statistics rendering him not fit for purpose.
Lewandowsky might seem like an eccentric oddball when you see him on video but he’s just an awkward know-nothing. He’s furiously butt-hurt because he (as a professor of psychology no less) got taken in by “Alene Composta”: a scam so transparent that someone with the social skills of a developmentally normal 5-year-old could see it a mile off. So his warped ego decides to write heavily-funded and ever-more fantastically risible diatribes against the imagined enemies ranged against his fragile persona.
Reality is distilling the henchmen of the laughable global weirding scam down to a fine spirit.
You can see a soon-to-be classic vintage in M&L’s effort.
It smells like concentrated stupid.

PeterB in Indianapolis

Mann and Lewandowsky are perfect examples of what you get when you cease to teach people logic and critical thinking.
Unfortunately, we still don’t teach logic and/or critical thinking to the vast majority of children anymore, so we are doomed to get far more Manns and Lewandowskys. In spite of the fact that CAGW is crumbling and “Obamacare” is failing even more spectacularly than I possibly imagined that it would, I still fear greatly for the future.
People who don’t know HOW to think will simply think what those in power tell them to think (or more accurately, they will simply believe what they are told to believe without actually thinking at all…)

Bruce Cobb

Their ids are showing. And it aint pretty.

Peter Miller

As I read the article, I could just imagine the tantrums, the grinding teeth, the little clenched fists and the stamping of tiny little feet.
No one in their right mind writes/publishes this sort of stuff unless they are deliberately trying to misdirect attention from their own misdemeanours.
Now come on, just which sceptic has been sending envelopes containing ‘anthrax’ to dodgy ‘scientists’? Give me a break, no wonder these ‘climate scientists’ live in a world of their own – the problem is the huge amounts of financial swill, slopping around in the troughs from which they feed – and they don’t want the current very comfortable situation to cease, or God forbid, they might have to find a real job. Not surprisingly, I understand the current job opportunities for failed ‘climate scientists’ is on par with those of a tail gunner for a World War II Flying Fortress.
Mann has become a byword for bad science, while Lewandowsky is the same for whatever sort of quackery he purports to peddle..