More insane conspiracy theory from Dr. Stephan Lewandowsky of Bristol University

A new paper by Stephan Lewandowsky once again projects his own conspiracy ideation onto skeptics


One known element of conspiratorial thinking is its ‘self-sealing’ quality (Keeley 1999, Bale 2007, Sunstein and Vermeule 2009), whereby evidence against a conspiratorial belief is re-interpreted as evidence for that belief. In the case of ‘climategate’, this self-sealing nature of conspiratorial belief became evident after the scientists in question were exonerated by nine investigations in two countries (including various parliamentary and government committees in the U.S. and U.K.; see table 1), when those exonerations were re-branded as a ‘whitewash.’ This ‘whitewash’ response can be illustrated by U.S. Representative Sensenbrennerʼs published response to the EPAʼs endangerment finding.

The paper:

Conspiratory fascination versus public interest: the case of ‘climategate …

Basically, the gist of it is that being interested in Climategate, makes you a conspiracy theorist.

What a wackadoodle.

h/t to Barry Wood.

189 thoughts on “More insane conspiracy theory from Dr. Stephan Lewandowsky of Bristol University

      • Good point. I apoligise. I think Mr Bennet has lost his job now. In future I’ll be exclaiming: :Stephan Lewandowsky”.

      • It’s British expletive and he was a “bit of a lad” as we say.
        The expletive Gordon Bennett appears to be a minced oath. It is a version of Gor blimey, which is itself a euphemistic version of God blind me. That, combined with Bennett’s famously outrageous lifestyle and newsworthy stunts, is sufficient to explain why his name was picked out.

  1. What a crock. It isn’t a case of evidence of a conspiratorial **belief** that matters, it’s evidence of the conspiracy itself. In the case of climategate, there were no independent or disinterested investigations, just parties either invested with stakes in the outcome or on record as having held the same position of the warmistas.

  2. What about the “skeptics are funded by Big-Oil” conspiracy theory. What does Lew have say about that one?
    Disclaimer: I’d rather stick red-hot needles in my eyes than actually read the paper.

      • Actually, there are not.
        How many “psychologist” are chasing down imaginary “denier conspiracies” by abusing their access to academic journals?
        The level of irrational vile in Lew’s work is so conspicuous (except to the man himself) that it prevents even sycophantic acolytes like Cook to follow on his steps.

  3. People don’t trust “internal” police investigations because of the obvious conflict of interest. That’s why police are usually investigated by special and separate branches of the police, or in some cases anti-corruption special judicial appointments.
    The issue needs to be correctly framed. Not, that ‘conspiracy’ or more correctly, ‘self interest’ is impossible or highly unlikely, but rather, with any group behaviour, can one expect it to NOT operate? It seems like a rather absurd proposition. It’s rather self evident that conflict of interest is normative in any field of human endeavour.

    • you are very gracious and charitable. I read the climate gate emails differently…I saw a bunch of guys coordinating their activities to advance a common goal…a conspiracy.
      now, I think oswald killed kennedy…i believe that we landed on the moon, and I also believe that these guys got together to restrict access to getting published, and actively worked together to squelch opposing views.
      you are too kind.

      • No I don’t think I’m being particularly nice. There are endless examples of bad behaviour engaged in by groups and I’m pointing out that this is quite normative. If anything, I’m pointing out that humans don’t behave very well a lot of the time, if they think they can get away with it. Consider the history of the tonsillectomy. Millions of completely unnecessary operations performed by doctors on the basis of no credible evidence whatsoever, especially in the 60’s and 70’s. It’s a fairly rare procedure today. If I point out that doctors were not behaving ethically, and hundreds of thousands of them were involved in the bad behaviour, I am not being a ‘conspiracy nut’ because that’s exactly what happened. All you have to do is look at the research on the history of this procedure. However, that doesn’t make me a ‘medical science denier.’ It tends to be the Lewandowsky’s of this world who try to frame such discussions in simplistic ways.

  4. Not all rubbish…
    A quote from the paper..
    “raises the possibility that peopleʼs attitudes are disproportionately shaped by a small but very vocal minority”
    This is well recognised by numerous NGOs / lobby groups
    The squeaky hinge gets the oil

    • “raises the possibility that peopleʼs attitudes are disproportionately shaped by a small but very vocal minority”
      I assume that must refer to the IPCC.

    • As shown by Mann’s bullying of the junior who copied him in on a response to Steve Mc & Amman’s response to Steve Mc’s offer to write a joint paper discussing their differences.

    • Raises the possibility? – I think that was identified about the same time women realised that men would pay for sex.

  5. Speaking of conspircies, Christopher Keating is still offering a [fake] $10,000 reward to anyone proving that AGW is not real:
    I personally think AGW exists. But as a commenter asks, where is the evidence?
    Keating has the Scientific Method backward. The onus is on him to show that man-made global warming exists, it is not up to skeptics toprove a negative.
    But it doesn’t matter anyway. Keating would welch on his bogus offer if Rajendra Pachauri gave him a notarized statement that he was wrong.

      • Disagree. The issue is GW. Everyone agrees that there is GW or Climate Change. The question is whether the A or the C apply

      • We’ve now moved on to another letter – it’s now “irreversible” according to the doomsayers – so; ICAGW. That should impress everyone.

      • No, it’s not ICAGW it’s ICACA
        Just sayin!

      • @DonK31:
        I, for one, do not agree that Global Warming is happening.
        We have a series of cycles of various lengths, some up to 1500 years and a probable one at 5000 years, on top of a 120,000 or so year cycle. “Warming” and “Cooling” depend on which cycle you are talking about.
        On the 120,000 year glaciation cycle, we are now cooling. Have been since the Holocene Optimum.
        On the 1500 year cycle we have been warming, but are right now most likely at an infection point and it does a rapid infect to a cold spike. We will know in a decade if this is Bond Event Zero or not…
        We are warming out of The Little Ice Age (that, IMHO, is about a 750 year 1/2 Bond Event cycle).
        On the 60 ish year PDO cycle we were warming, and are now cooling.
        On the AMO cycle we are inflecting to cooling, but not there yet.
        On the 11 year solar cycle we are at a local warming peak, but a very low one, inflecting into a cold turn.
        So are we “warming” or “cooling”? The answer is “yes”! (but with more cycles headed to cooling than warming and several of them mid-swap to cooling). Overall, we are entering the next glacial. It just takes a few thousand years to notice…. (ice advances about 800 FEET per year, on average, but with much larger decadal and century scale oscillations).
        Overall, IMHO, we are in a natural cooling trend. Just some local ‘wobbles’ that look like recent warming due to the astoundingly short time scale of the human life when compared to geological time…
        So please don’t say “we ALL agree it is warming”… some of us have a much longer time horizon…

  6. Oh good. Some witch doctor climbs out from under the psychology rock to defame a community attempting to conduct a legitimate science discussion.
    He easily demonstrates a firm grasp on bovine excrement, but how much math & physics does he understand?

    • Siberian_Husky 2014/11/12 at 7:00
      Yes. He has earned his continuing very high levels of CAGW grant money, his continuing very high-paid secure government salary, and his secure retirement money based on his fraud and continued deceptions and exaggerations on behalf of the government’s desire for 1.3 trillion in extra tax revenue each year.
      Much like you, eh?

      • He sounds like a very successful and well respected man pursuing a cause that he and the overwhelming majority of scientists agree in.
        I do wonder if you were a little bit more effectual in your own life you might be a little less anti-taxation. Personally I’m quite happy to be taxed at the top rate if it ensures the well being of others less fortunate than me.
        The vast majority of libertarians I’ve met just aren’t very successful people and I wonder whether their views are a function of dubious social skills and difficulty relating to others or just merely selfishness/bitter pills at their own lack of success.
        Maybe a combination of both.

      • Siberian_Husky
        November 12, 2014 at 9:35 pm
        “Personally I’m quite happy to be taxed at the top rate if it ensures the well being of others less fortunate than me.”
        The stench of your lies is cloying. You have never been “taxed at the top rate”, everyone can smell it. You are a burden on free society, you always have been and you always will be. Others, like me, pay so you can keep breathing.
        Out of your depth on a wet pavement? You are so far out of your depth the fish have lights on their noses!
        You thought your fabian long march would work? Grow up! Individuals now have comparable kilotonnes per air burst than than the collective armed forces of the world. You sought control of what is now emasculated. You failed.
        You wanna see what happens when Atlas shrugs this time? Bwahahaha!

      • He had a paper retracted because it was unprofessional. I would have described the paper as using an academic journal to bitch about someone like a thirteen year old girl but you might see it differently.
        ‘does not sufficiently protect the rights of the studied subjects’ and ‘categorises the behaviour of identifiable individuals within the context of psychopathological characteristics’.

      • @Siberian Huskey:
        An existence proof you are wrong. Me.
        Libertarian by nature. Credentialed. Nice house in Silicon Valley. 2 Kids, both honors graduates. Income well above the average (though I still complain about it 😉 and at various times have sat on the Board Of Directors of a medical non-profit and worked at the executive level in publicly traded companies.
        Oh, and having made significant income while living in California I’ve been taxed at the top levels. It is not a good thing. It is destructive of incentive. (Which is a large part of why I have moved to Florida and decided not to make as much wages so have more time for me, and less wasted on paying taxes. Can you say “Gone Galt”?…)
        Your assertions are flat out error.

      • The vast majority of libertarians I’ve met just aren’t very successful people and I wonder whether their views are a function of dubious social skills and difficulty relating to others or just merely selfishness/bitter pills at their own lack of success.

        This is why you need to stop hanging around drug addicts who call themselves “libertarians” simply because they want to get high legally.

    • “Right on the money”? Well yes, the fool does seem quite happy gorging on tax dollars to further his vile attempts to pathologise dissent.
      But as a fool he has not looked too far into the future. There is a little problem, AGW is a physical impossibility. The evidence that climastrologists went and treated the oceans as a “near blackbody” not an extreme “SW selective surface” cannot be hidden or erased. This means no “warming but less than we thought” soft landing for the hoax or any of it’s fellow travellers. For Lewandowsky the future only holds catastrophic head implosion.

    • Siberian Husky, that their was evidence of a conspiracy is irrefutable The emails were leaked. The purpose of the conspiracy was to defend the careers of a small group of Climatologists who called themselves “the Team”.
      In the process of this conspiracy they attacked journals and respected fellow scientists. And to complete the definition, they did so in secret – behind the scenes.
      They claimed that their view was the only legitimate view and denied that any alterative view deserved to be published. To pursue their covert agenda they set about trying to starve a journal of support ion order ot pressurise the publisher. Siberian Husky, if you support the scientific process you cannot support the people who committed the Climategate scandals.

      This was the danger of always criticising the skeptics for not publishing in the “peer-reviewed literature”. Obviously, they found a solution to that–take over a journal!
      So what do we do about this? I think we have to stop considering “Climate Research” as a legitimate peer-reviewed journal. Perhaps we should encourage our colleagues in the climate research community to no longer submit to, or cite papers in, this journal. We would also need to consider what we tell or request of our more reasonable colleagues who currently sit on the editorial board…
      What do others think?

    • This is a reply to: Siberian_Husky November 12, 2014 at 9:35 pm
      If you really think extra tax money will do anything to affect the climate, I don’t think any state in the world will turn down a voluntary contribution.
      Please let us know when you pay more tax than is mandated.

    • LOL. I read this and thought you were being ironic and sarcastic and I laughed pretty hard. Then I read your follow up and realized that you were actually serious. Then I laughed even harder.

    • I would liketo tell you to go away, like I do flies, but everyone has a right to express their opinoin here.
      This does not change the fact you seem extraoridinarily adept at looking foolish in support of a paper that is rediculous in it’s hypothesis, methodology, and conclusion.

    • “The vast majority of libertarians I’ve met just aren’t very successful people”
      No doubt. To be “successful” (rich, famous) one must manipulate large numbers of other people in sometimes unethical ways — that is why Lew is successful and libertarians, minding their own business, are not.
      I am a bit curious why you believe “libertarian” has any relevance in a discussion of climate?

      • He is trolling, as he believes most climate skeptics are libertarians and in his mind libertarians are selfish. Thus using lew logic – only selfish individuals can be skeptics. Everyone that is responding to him is taking the bait.

      • I consider myself Libertarian leaning, which means basically I’m distrustful of the 3 Bigs, Big Government, Big Religion and Big Business and in that order. I feel in the absence a of truly compelling evidence Government should stay out of the way. These views don’t align with the Watermelon’s desire to have a large central government poking there noses into everybody’s lives to fight some ill defined warming which may only be slightly influenced by human activity.

  7. Mr. Lew’s continued behavior speaks to psychological issues of his own. I am not a psychologist, but I married one. I have viewed this type of behavior through studies helping my better half get that credential. Just sayin, fixation through facination can lead to strange things. Perhaps one of our credentialed viewers could comment further, but he seems to have a serious internal problem with no known way out of it now. A plateau has been reached in more ways than one for him.

    • Unfortunately, psychology, as a study, suffers from a pretty unscientific base, as will credentialed viewers’ further comments.

    • I wouldn’t want to fall into the same trap Lewandowski repeatedly leaps into: that is, to attempt to psychoanalyse people he has never met, let alone examined. So I have no idea what makes him do what he does, but I do know that if his profession had any sense of pride he would be hounded out for gross misconduct. Offering so-called professional opinions on the mental state of complete strangers has to be a gross breach of professional ethics.

      • David S,
        Exactly. Where is the self-regulation of the professional organization(s) that Lew belongs to? Will not even one colleague make a formal complaint?

  8. It’s worth noting how in every Lewandowsky Paper, no matter the path set out on, all roads lead to Rome.
    The bloke is obsessed!

    • Yes, strange isn’t it? Every time complete foamer Lewandowsky goes to write another of his turgid psychology papers, he keeps coming back to his own crazed conspiracy ideation about sceptics. It’s like a dog returning to its vomit.
      I fear there is no hope for a “physician heal thyself” solution. For Lewandowsky it may be time for the quiet clinic in the country where all the nurses speak softly, the furnishings are padded and all the utensils are plastic…

      • Nope!
        Always paid all my taxes.
        Still didn’t get any sort of decent road.
        Used the dirt sidetrack when I could instead of the gravel road to save wear and tear on my farm vehicles
        No money left over for rural roads after Council swimming pools, performing arts centres, art galleries, football clubs, lawns and gardens, tree plantings, roundabouts and etc and etc.

    • Stephan Lewandowsky School of Experimental Psychology and Cabot Institute, University of Bristol, 12a Priory Road, Bristol BS8 1TU, UK.
      Preparation of this paper was facilitated by a Wolfson Research Merit Award from the Royal Society to the author.
      Thankfully Mr Lewandowsky’s obsession is no longer funded by the Australian taxpayer.
      British taxpayers, he’s all yours.

  9. Nine inquiries now?
    That number seems to be growing faster than the consensus.
    Reminds me a bit of the bloke who used to go to job interviews with a letter from the local police to state quite clearly and unambiguously that they were not currently seeking this guy in connection with any crime.

  10. Frankly, being called a conspiracy theorist should become a badge of honor, especially, if the theory has reasonable grounds for inquiry.
    E.g. LIBOR, or any number of legitimate attempts to thwart the law or just scrutiny.
    You could call Police conspiracy theorists, specifically in the organised crime department, where they have to at least abstract motive from observations.
    You could even call the NSA a collective of conspiracy theorists, since they’re looking for malfeasance planned by both individuals and groups, and at some point, a sound theory can help connect the dots.
    Set them on Congress, they’ll have to hire more staff just to keep up.
    Lew is using an old and silly Marxist method, to shame people into silence, demean your opponents with insults and shout loudly at them, call them crazy until the public believe you.
    I think that’s on page one of the communist play book. I guess that’s what peer review in Psyche has become.
    Perhaps we can rename the slur as “Skeptical Theorist”, without skepticism, we’re feeble minded goat herders cowering before imagined ghosts in rancid caves. (fer ***k sake take the goats outside to poop.)
    Just sayin’

  11. Basically, the gist of it is that being interested in Climategate, makes you a conspiracy theorist.
    So does that make Monbiot a conspiracy theorist?

  12. for CAGW theorists/believers, evidence against their theory/belief is re-interpreted as evidence for that theory/belief.

  13. I’m not sure if CAGW is a conspiracy or not but conspiracies do exist.
    There’s the definition in the dictionary and there are laws on the books specifically against them.
    Even Mikey Mann recognizes conspiracies.
    He believes Climategate was made up by Lord Monckton conspiring with Anthony Watts who is in the pay of the Koch brothers or some such stupid conspiracy.
    Therefore he must also believe they faked the moon landing and 9/11 was an inside job.
    Mikey never fully explained how he came to his conspiracy.
    This psychology stuff is easy. No wonder Lew likes it.

    • Conspiracies were given a bad name when Sen. Joe McCarthy said there was a Communist conspiracy in the government. He was right, but when he was caught waving around a laundry list and claiming it was a list of the names of communists, the (always left-of-center) press made a big deal out of his “conspiracy theory”. Lew calls it conspiracy ideation, but same-same.
      Ever since then, conspiracies have been ridiculed. But conspiracies exist, there is no doubt. As Adam Smith wrote, ‘People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public.

  14. The primary purpose of these ‘investigations’ was to exonerate the scientists. This point is completely lost on most people.

  15. Definiton of conspiracy
    a) A secret plan made by two or more people to do something that is harmful or illegal.
    b) The act of secretly planning to do something that is harmful or illegal.
    So yes, the Climategate conspirators conspired to harm our economy and us. So, being interested in Climtegate makes me a conspiracy theorist, so what (sarc). I will do my damnedest to help expose those who are involved in destroying our way of life.
    Climate Heretic

    • It is not being a “conspiracy theorist” when the conspiracy is documented. It is being a “conspiracy realist”…
      That they did conspire is a fact.

  16. “…evidence against a conspiratorial belief is re-interpreted as evidence for that belief.”
    If that is an element of “conspiratorial thinking,” what do you call it when evidence FOR a conspiratorial belief is re-interpreted as evidence against that belief? Isn’t that what Lewandowsky has done with the evidence revealed through climategate? There were emails that clearly outlined a conspiracy among certain climate scientists to control the peer-review process and act as gate keepers to publication. Lewandowsky chooses to completely ignore that evidence in favor of touting the outcomes of rigged investigations. How can you even have an investigation when only friends of the accused are present, and opponents are not allowed to present any evidence or ask any questions? That is the very definition of a “whitewash.”

  17. Mark Steyn has comprehensively debunked the “nine inquiries” meme, and can’t wait to get into court to discuss it at length, and in detail. Unfortunately, his opponents are dragging their feet, for some reason.
    Lewandowsky’s “arguments” are just tautologies, which would have got him failed as a first-year undergraduate when I was at university. Obviously, things have changed since then.

    • Are you possibly mixing up Mark Steyn with the work done by Steve McIntyre in relation to these inquiries ‘exonerating’ Michael Mann? If not, could you provide a link to what Steyn wrote?

      • Will, the search engine on Steyn’s site is hopeless, so no, I can’t provide links. But I was following the issue avidly at the time. Steyn (or Steyn’s lawyers) were working roughly in parallel with McIntyre on this issue, and Steyn published frequent posts knocking down the strawmen one by one. He acknowledged McIntyre’s work where applicable.
        Neither of them did all the work on every instance first, but my point is that Steyn let his millions of readers know what a crock it all is a long time ago.

      • OK but what you wrote is then not correct. Steyn did not “debunk the “nine inquiries” meme”. The claim by Mann that there were nine inquiries that exonerated him, were debunked. That’s all.

      • johanna
        November 12, 2014 at 10:26 pm
        “Will, the search engine on Steyn’s site is hopeless, so no, I can’t provide links.”
        You can let google do it for you, just enter
        your search terms
        to search the site

      • I believe Mark is primarily the voice and the face with the intestinal fortitude to tell Mikey to pack sand but a lot of the info comes from Steve as well as some others.

  18. Anthony, I know you are fair and try to present a variety of issues, but you are wasting valuable space and readers time if they read Lew’s stuff. If I wanted to read psychological matters I would select a more credible source than Lew.
    So, if someone want to read his junk, go to the kidz zone.

    • The greater significance of all this is that this fellow isn’t someone sounding off from some remote community college or as a homegrown autodidact. This guy is very well connected within mainstream contemporary psychology. And that’s interesting.

    • I think what Anthony and others are trying to do is knock this nonsense down before it becomes widely accepted as fact. Like the 97 % and to some extent the 9 inquiries.

  19. When I was a kid we spent a week in school talking about early American History and at one point we had to memorize and recite a poem called Grim Cotton Mather by Stephen Vincent Benet. I couldn’t help but think of Lew while remembering that today…
    Poor Lewandowsky was always seeing skeptics,
    Daylight, moonlight, they buzzed about his head.
    Pinching him and poking him till he chugged neuroleptics.
    Skeptics on his website,
    Skeptics by his bed.

  20. I think you hit the nail on the head when you suggested he was insane. He clearly has a problem – several sandwiches short of a picnic, if you take my meaning.

  21. Bad link in the article. The correct link is:
    Pretty nonsensical paper. Not sure how or why this would get published or why anyone would care. Simply comparing how quickly the public lost interest “climategate” to the number of times it’s used on “skeptical” blogs in the years since 2010 is research??? Really?

  22. Hmm,
    “>> Mike,
    > Can you delete any emails you may have had with Keith re AR4?
    > Keith will do likewise. He’s not in at the moment – minor family crisis.
    > Can you also email Gene and get him to do the same? I don’t
    > have his new email address.
    > We will be getting Caspar to do likewise.
    > I see that CA claim they discovered the 1945 problem in the Nature
    > paper!!
    > Cheers
    > Phil
    Nothing to see here, move along…
    This and much more like it in my Climategate iPhone app or Climategate Android App

    • As a UK taxpayer, I am paying to have him tell me that I must be mad to believe that anyone ever conspires against the public interest.
      That is worth commenting on.
      Yes, the guy is pitiable But he is still a danger to the public good.

  23. evidence against a conspiratorial belief is re-interpreted as evidence for that belief.
    You mean, for example: expansion of the Antarctic icecap is re-interpreted as evidence for global warming?

  24. Conspiratory fascination versus public interest: the case of ‘Dr. Stephan Lewandowsky’
    I am looking forward to an article on this ‘case’ by a well reputed psychiatrist as Lewandowsky is always in for more self publicity.

  25. Environmental Research Letters is funded by an article publication charge

    it’s a pay to publish journal, so I’m sure the paper has been through a rigorous review

  26. for the record, does anyone have a list of the “investigations” that Mann et al were subjected to? Seems to me as I remember from the time,, none of them addressed the science itself.
    When CAGW people come forward with defenses of Climategate, I always ask them if they have actually read the emails in their original text. They never have and revert to appeals to authority, just like Leu does. Reading them converted me from an AGW believer to a skeptic.

    • My biggie was harry read me file and how data was treated.
      I will never believe they are telling the truth about global temperature history and therefore I will most likely always doubt their climate predictions.

  27. What conspiracy resulted in the letters in WHAT LYSENKO SPAWNED being an anagram for a prominent conspiracy theorist?

  28. You guys are wayyyyyy too hard on the good Doctor Lewandowsky.
    We should encourage him to testify on behalf of the respected Dr. Mann in the Mann/Steyn case.
    I am sure he would aid Dr. Mann in a fitting manner.

  29. It’s a Strawman argument. Nobody is denying climate change just how much is actually caused by man.
    “In a representative Australian sample, (Leviston et al 2013b) found that only
    around 6% of respondents denied that climate change was happening, whereas the
    publicʼs estimate of the prevalence of that opinion was in excess of 20%—more
    than three times greater.”

    • Nik
      November 12, 2014 at 11:57 pm
      “t’s a Strawman argument. Nobody is denying climate change just how much is actually caused by man.”
      With regards to the “global average temperature anomaly” there has been no change over 18 years and counting.
      There have been changes in weather patterns (lots of blocking highs in the past few years).
      This is doubtlessly not caused by anthropogenic CO2. (The warmists have never predicted it nor did they ever even hint at the idea)

  30. Interesting comparison – watch the same liberal commentators and media reject the official investigation of corruption in the Qatar World Cup bid. Apparently only some thorough official investigations are whitewashes.

    • Nut it is true, Only some thorough official investigations are whitewashes. Hillsborough got there in the end.
      Maybe we will find someone who isn’t a pal of Leon Brittan to investigate his losing the evidence against the child-abusers. Maybe we won’t. But if all official investigations were whitewashes Cameron wouldn’t have so much trouble in getting that whitewash going.
      So Qatar’s bid may not have been substantially more corrupt than the rest of football.

  31. Where there is money to be made, there are conspiracies, and people who want us to believe conspiracies are impossible. A conspiracy is two or more persons (secretly) acting in concert to perform an illegalsubversive, immoral or otherwise impopular act.

    • ” acting in concert to perform an illegalsubversive, immoral or otherwise impopular act.”
      doesn’t have to be ANY of that.
      ” acting in concert to perform SOME act.”

      • really? Then I guess almost everything is a conspiracy then.
        I thought conspiracy was reserved for unpopular deeds.
        Anyway, the climatagate emails proved infamously that climate science is jam packed with conspiracies. The most evil I suppose was the blackmailing of journals who published non alarmist papers.
        And all of the “tell everyone to destroy data before FOI gets them!”.

  32. A person like Lewandowsky, Mann or Oreskes who is in possession of the faith** has an unpersuadable intellect. The signposts on the one way road into the unpersuadable zone are covered with their strange graffiti.
    ** ‘the faith’ is the blind belief in the premise that the fossil fuel industry must be con$piring with any person critical (skeptical) of the observationally unsupported theory of significant AGW by CO2 from fossil fuels.

  33. The Consensus here appears to be that Lewandowsky has a serious psychological or psychiatric problem.
    It is probably an “Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder” defined below as from the “Psychology Today” site.
    “Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder in which people have unwanted and repeated thoughts, feelings, ideas, sensations (obsessions), or behaviors that make them feel driven to do something (compulsions).
    Often the person carries out the behaviors to get rid of the obsessive thoughts, but this only provides temporary relief.
    Not performing the obsessive rituals can cause great anxiety. A person’s level of OCD can be anywhere from mild to severe, but if severe and left untreated, it can destroy a person’s capacity to function at work, at school or even to lead a comfortable existence in the home.”.
    That guy needs treatment and soon.

  34. It is interesting that a Psychologist shows a bias in his own paper. How will this get through the review process.

  35. Why did it take only nine investigations in two countries to exonerate the climate gate scientists? Wouldn’t people have had more confidence in the outcome if it had been thirty-nine investigations in nine countries?

  36. The hide-the-decline incident was not about cherry-picking data that you liked.
    “I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temperatures to each series for the last 20 years (ie. from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline. ”
    This was done because according to a previous email “But that explanation certainly can’t rectify why Keith’s data, which has similar properties to Phil’s data, differs in large part in exactly the opposite direction that Phil’s does from ours. ” No honest inquiry would find this acceptable behaviour for scientists. There was legitimate reason to doubt that the proxies showed unusual warming in the 20th century and fearing that “the sceptics would have a field day” is no excuse for hiding the evidence.
    Science is not a debate that you must win even if you suspect that you are wrong. Society does expect its scientists to fess up even if they are the only ones to realise that they got it wrong, so not doing it is fraud.

  37. It’s quite funny that he himself brings up climategate again, while claiming that sceptics are obsessed by it.
    He claims that skeptic blogs have a “continued and growing fascination” with climategate, which is obviously untrue. Here at WUWT there are 4 climategate articles in 2014, 2 in 2013, 16 in 2012, and 22 in Nov-Dec alone in 2011, following CG2.
    More here.

  38. From the paper:

    In a representative Australian sample, (Leviston et al 2013b) found that only around 6% of respondents denied that climate change was happening, whereas the publicʼs estimate of the prevalence of that opinion was in excess of 20%—more than three times greater.

    But that isn’t what sceptics believe. We know that climate changes, as it always has.
    We doubt that man’s influence on the natural changes is catastrophic and so reject the use of the Precautionary Principle.
    This paper hasn’t been peer reviewed, has it?

  39. Whilst I was initially amused by the points about “lack of interest by the mainstream media” – as if that meant ANYTHING (other than being another potential conspiracy theory…), I am latterly struck by a more fundamental logic bomb.
    Climategate had such a short half-life and the public were so fundamentally disinterested in it that it led to the public thinking that “skepticism” is more prevalent than it really is. Eh?
    Oh, and “skepticism” is defined as those who believe that “climate change is not happening”, which in the broadest sense is roughly nobody on here…

  40. Now I appreciate this is hardly a scientific statement on the man and I’m hardly professionally qualified to cast an authoritative professional opinion but …….The man ain’t quite right….

  41. We should club together to buy Lew a new shovel for Christmas; the one he’s been using to dig such a big conspiratorial hole must be worn out now – and he never learned the axiom about stopping digging.

  42. La Lewny takes self parody to new levels… again.
    Although… when you think about it he may have a point .. the more I read through his stuff and especially watch his eye flicking videos the more I am utterly convinced that AGW must be a complete and utter fantasy that only a nut job would give credence to. Michael Mann doesn’t help either.

  43. On behalf of they Bristolians (soon to be living in the EU green capital or something). . .
    PS: Anthony probably noticed that Brizzle is, indeed, a ‘green’ city – lot of trees, and very nice it is too. Bristolian trees, almost certainly funded by the Koch Brothers, seem to be rather enjoying current climes, as are my girlfriend’s roses. They seem strangely unconcerned with Climategate . . .
    PPS Didn’t Bristol University use to have a good reputation?
    Sorry, really . . .
    ChrisD in Bristol

  44. CAGW
    Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming. Isn’t happening.
    Conspiracy – Anthropogenic Global Warming. Maybe, but sounds a bit nutty.
    Church of Anthropogenic Global Warming. Now that’s more like it.
    The ‘movement’ has all the qualities of a church.
    A set of unshakeable beliefs not supported by evidence.
    Confusion as to what evidence really looks like and how to interpret it.
    Limited real knowledge of the subject of their beliefs.
    Anger & confusion when confronted by those who don’t agree and are prepared to defend their position.
    Support networks for members of the movement.
    Branding of those who disagree as somehow morally deficient.
    Treatment of those who disagree publicly as heretics.
    Suggestion that prominent ‘deniers’ should be punished.
    Lobbying for action to be taken to ward off a supposed enemy.
    Appeal for taxes (tithes) to support their aims.
    Funny how people will latch on to ideas, then at some point stop inspecting them for flaws.

  45. What I don’t understand about climategate is that several of the people involved (Mann, Jones, and Trenberth, at least) mentioned the “lack of warming”….
    What lack of warming?

  46. Perhaps we should revisit Climategate to remind everyone what was said and done in order to make this ‘conspiracy’. It is good in some ways that Lew has highlighted this as people forget quickly, so lets remind everyone.
    Perhaps Lew could help by pointing out where the, lets say, Michael Mann ere ‘exonerated’ ?

  47. Oddly despite the fact that these ‘investigations’ [were] a joke , they DID NOT say there was no issues and that one had done any wrong. While one said, they had done wrong but the FOI clock had been run down and so nothing could be done.
    Or is taking into account the words of those ‘investigations’ part of the conspiracy that Lewandowsky ironically sees everywhere?

  48. Let’s see. the ClimateGate e-mails expose a bunch of activists discussing ways to ensure that papers they disagree with can be suppressed. But if you believe that there is anything wrong with such activity you are a conspiracy theorists.
    Do I have that right?

  49. IMHO this inividual is getting far too much attention for someone who relies upon throwing badly managed and badly collected data into a stats package… Oh, joy, if we all could create publishable papers from such thin gruel!
    It would be interesting to see in the future how history judges him.

  50. I think the guy here on WUWT whom was a magician had it right on this paper. This paper is the red scarf trick.

  51. Serious q – does the Lewn ever publish anything that isn’t about d@n!@r$? What did he do for a living before that gravy train? Does he have a specialty?

  52. Another psychological ‘building block’ of the Green Reich. It’ll probably get him some TV interviews…

  53. The funny part is that all of his points could be flipped around and applied to him, and the other Alarmists. Even his points on self-sealing and climategate. Climategate showed massive abuse of the system etc. etc., and it was re-interpreted as evidence for ACGW, using nine whitewash investigations.

  54. I think it is important to keep very clear one’s intellectual distance from Oreskes’ mythological approach to creating con$piracies.
    Unwisely, Mann and Lewandowsky did not keep their distance from her mythology.
    Then we have the spectacle of the hapless Cook is being set up by Lewandowsky to be the comic foil for skeptics to use.
    Of the four, I only pity Cook. And my pity for him doesn’t extend to his lack of scientific rigor; my pity is only for his poor choice of mythologizing intellects to associate with.

    • Cook is a ‘fan-boy’ who loves being a ‘Team’ hanger on , he has no porblem at all with doing what ever it takes to further the ideas of his ‘heros’ so he gets a big ‘zero’ on the pity scale.

    • M Courtney on November 13, 2014 at 8:22 am
      “Would that be the Cook who like playing fancy dress in Photoshop?”

      – – – – – – – –
      M Courtney,
      Oui. Mais oui, bien sûr.
      Regards my pity for Cook – I have seen, in person and close up, some live discussions by each of the four individuals at several Fall AGU meetings in San Francisco. It was only Cook that struck me as pitiable to some extent in a strange way. It like he was intellectually lost in a strange world that is the myths of the others.

      • He is totally out of his depth , but he is also totally dishonest about it to , hence the need the lie about or change others words. He may not be the person pulling the trigger , but he is happy to be the person loading the gun.

    • knr on November 13, 2014 at 8:29 am
      “Cook is a ‘fan-boy’ who loves being a ‘Team’ hanger on , he has no porblem at all with doing what ever it takes to further the ideas of his ‘heros’ so he gets a big ‘zero’ on the pity scale.”

      – – – – – – – –
      Your characterization of Cook is very similar to mine.
      Yet, we differ on whether to some extent he is pitiable. His written words (in: blogs, tweets, other media, journals) do not invoke in me any pity for him. It is his live in person behavior which I observed fairly close up that invoked in me some feeling of pity for him. Is it an act? I did not sense it was acting.

  55. The classic conspiracy theorist response – proof that the the so-called conspiracy is nonsense is taken as proof that of an even bigger conspiracy. Just repeating stuff over and over doesn’t make it true.This site is awesome.

    • Sir Harry,
      Will you please see fit to reply to Jimbo on the follow the money thread?
      I am asking nicely and it is relevant.
      You can put it here if you like.

      • Sorry I had a lengthy response written and I accidentally deleted it, and then I got busy. I’ve got a bit of time and will get back to my trolling shortly.

      • Thanks Flash,
        Although frankly I’m not actually qualified to give any authoritative view on your comment it does seem fair enough.
        Hey mate, one thing is certain either way and it is that time will tell with all this AGW.CC/CAGW etc stuff…
        Now THAT cannot be denied by any quarter…
        P.S. See yer aroond mate.

      • I’m completely serious, in spite of your compelling argument concerning possible maternal ineptitude affecting my cognition..

      • OK, then, as long as your climate related cognition doesn’t affect your ability to earn a living, support a family and function in society. Or while you’re alone.
        And I’m sure it was just an accident on your mom’s part. She didn’t mean anything by it.
        Happy trolling!

  56. I’ve made a hobby over the years of debunking conspiracy theories for my fellow “old hippies”. That’s what got me interested in ACGW. Normally, I find shaky science and lack of accurate data on the side of the theorists that are crying conspiracy. This time, the more I looked into it, the more questionable the whole case for CACGW began to look. This one is definitely different from your run-of-the-mill JFK, 911 and HAARP conspiracies. No other subject has so much scientific data and observation disputing the popular (therefore ‘correct’) societal perception.

  57. History will have the final say. When in 100 years all this will have been written off as nonsense, then the questions asked, how did this delusion occur? How did all these groups keep this myth going? We will see who were the conspirators then.

    • We won’t.
      Eugenics, Lysenkoism, Freudianism (yes, I did) all were hyped up pseudoscience.
      All caused great harm. All wasted lots of resources. All diverted lots of intellectual rigour.
      And then… they all drifted away.
      The top man was ridiculed and mocked. OK.
      But the thousands of followers wandered down the road whistling. Innocent as virgins to the world.

  58. “exonerated by nine investigations in two countries”

    Exonerated of what? Certainly not acting unprofessionally, certainly of not behaving in despicable ways. Ok yes exonerated of not committing a felony. Whoopee!.
    Nine investigations indicates there was alot of smoke, an awful lot of smoke, even if the instituions concluded fire did not cause the smoke.
    The institutions had their own reputations to protect and their feeble investigations were conducted in order protect the reputation of not only themselves but climate science in general. So a bunch of dishonest, immature, insecure lowlifes act like a$$holes and spit on integrity in science but that’s ok because they were exonerated.
    Thank you dumb as board Lewandowsky for that wonderful insight.

  59. So if anybody was to questions Qatar,s successful bid to host the World Cup.
    Also question the latest report clearing FIFA and Seth Blatter of any corruption and wrong doing would they too be dammed as bitter twisted Conspiracy Theorists.

  60. I agree with Lew about this claim:
    “whereby evidence against a conspiratorial belief is re-interpreted as evidence for that belief”
    The evidence against Climategate being a conspiracy were the several investigations, the actual effect of which was to expand the scope of the conspiracy. It now includes university administrators.
    What I find astonishing is how the Crown and her not-quite-broken-away Colonies are willing to PAY a man to declare the obvious as if it is some big and recent discovery.
    However, William F. Buckley on a radio program was once asked about a vast left wing conspiracy (VLWC) in media. He said it wasn’t a conspiracy in an organized sense, no presiding official, but looked like a conspiracy simply because journalists usually go to the same schools, have the same professors, study the same materials, and most fundamentally are writing about the acts of other people — intrusive, judgemental and therefore inherently left-wing. But not a conspiracy.
    What I see is MANY small conspiracies under one very large umbrella, and that umbrella is socialism. It is more like a jellyfish, a cooperative colony rather than controlled by a central nervous system. Useful idiots in large numbers believe in “hope and change” without once considering what exactly she is hoping for or what exactly ought to change, and into what it should become.
    “Believe nothing until it has been officially denied” (1956) Claud Cockburn. Widely repeated and probably older than Claud Cockburn’s recitation of it.

  61. What a tragedy that Stephan Lewandowsky left Australia. He was the pre-eminent poster on climate change on our national broadcaster ABC. He told us wonderful things all a bit loopy. Still I miss him, there was no better laugh than a Lew’d thread about how we were all going to burn or drown or starve or get taxed into extinction. Bring him back home we miss him.

  62. He’s a “cognitive psychologist”. In other words, academic BS in its purest form. He is so banal, he is like mildew, He feeds on life, on truth.
    there are so many levels of abstraction with this guy, probably a world record. He goes back to Climategate. ” whereby evidence against a conspiratorial belief is re-interpreted as evidence for that belief”
    whereby? who uses that word?
    He is like one of those ponces who wore powdered wigs centuries ago. Sucking up to power while using fancy words.

  63. First, I’ll deal with the important issue.
    “Basically, the gist of it is that being interested in Climategate, makes you a conspiracy theorist.”
    Wrong. That should be:
    “Basically, the gist of it is that being interested in Climategate makes you a conspiracy theorist.”
    The rule is that there should not be a comma after a subject clause. Such a misplaced comma creates the impression that the subject clause is just a subordinate clause and not the main focus of the sentence.

  64. And now the far less important issue of Lewandowsky.
    I see a lot of attempts to attribute people’s beliefs to psychological and/or circumstantial factors. Often it is used to try to imply that the belief is not true.
    This is, of course, a logical error. Perhaps the reason I believe the world is round is because I have invested in a globe manufacturer, or perhaps because I am a total loony. But the reason for my belief does not affect the truth of the belief. That truth is determined by the correspondence between the content of the belief and the shape of the earth.
    Further, use of this attribution degrades the possibility of rational debate, since, with sufficient ingenuity, one can cook up a motivation for just about any belief.
    “You are religious because you fear death and want a divine daddy to take care of you.”
    “You are an atheist because you want to indulge your evil impulses and don’t like that idea of divine judgement.”
    “You believe in man-made global warming because you are a crypto-Marxist wanting to impose the dreaded socialism on everyone.”
    “You are sceptical about man-made global warming because you are a paid shill of Big Oil.”
    And so on. We could produce such claims about pedantry in punctuation, fracking, medical marijuana, and most other issues. (Try it yourself. Dream up a non-rational motivation for Lewandowsky holding the views he does hold.)
    But, when we do this, we are implicitly denying the rationality of those we disagree with. We are saying that the non-rational motivations outweigh their rationality.
    And they can equally well deny our rationality.
    And when we have done that, we have rejected the possibility of rational debate. Our only recourse then is to another logcal fallacy: argumentum ad baculum.

  65. Skeptics cause Alarmists massive cognitive dissonance on emotional issues Alarmists believe are logical. So Alarmists use conspiracy theories to rationalize those that disagree with them, as they do not believe you could logically disagree with their emotional position on any issue.
    Lewandowsky and Cook are two very emotional, pseudo-intellectual individuals on a crusade to save the world. Cook unfortunately is very prone to peer-pressure and once he let in the wrong crowd it was all over.
    Irrational people like this always have some history of drug or psychological abuse.

  66. I kinda like the guy, I mean somebody has to set that data point (of when one is way off the rails), it moves me closer towards normal, right ?

  67. This is not a particularly good rejoinder to Lewandowsky. It is true that there are conspiracy ‘theories’ (actually, pseudo-theories) which are unfalsifiable because they can explain away any attempt at falsification. For example, if the government held an open inquiry into September 11th, and it concluded that the original, official explanation was the best one, conspiracy pseudo-theorists would call it a whitewash. Most readers here would be contemptuous of that conclusion. So it is reasonable to question automatically dissing official inquiries into Climategate as whitewashes. I happen to think they WERE whitewashes, but this has to be explained by carefully dissecting them. The basic logic of Lewandowsky’s argument isn’t fallacious.

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