Yes, why DOES John Cook of ‘SkepticalScience’ and the 97% have to use identity theft in his ‘research’?

If it wasn’t enough that John Cook dresses himself up as a Nazi in his SkS uniform on his forum, now we have him caught in what looks to be identity theft of a well known scientist.

A WUWT reader writes via email:

I thought I might ask you for your comment on this before I rush to judge John cook.

The Reference Frame: Identity theft: the thief of Lubos_Motl turns out to be a well-known man

Specifically, I’m curious:
1) Why john would wish to post comments anywhere under any circumstances using another persons name?
2) How many other times has he done this?
3) Does he intend to do this again?
Thanks for your time.

This isn’t a brush away issue that he can ignore, as Dr. Lubos Motl found out yesterday, John Cook has been using the name of Dr. Lubos Motl to post comments that Dr. Motl has NOT written.

Dr. Motl writes:


Today, one hour ago, was the first time when I was seeing these pages but interestingly enough, you may find lots of things over there posted by Lubos_Motl. And this Lubos_Motl happens to use the e-mail address jc@sks… and the same IP addresses as another, less prolific participant of those discussions, John Cook! ;-)In the first thread – including comments about the possible influence of the Sun on the hockey stick and exchanges about a planned alarmists’ letter to Anthony Watts analyzing the meaning of the word “denier” – we read:

John Cook: … If a few more agree with the idea of this blog post (noting it won’t directly engage Watts or even mention him, it’ll be a general discussion post) and the direction I propose we go with the d-word issue, I’ll have a crack at writing it over the next day.

EDIT: sorry, accidentally posted this under my Lubos_Motl username, sorry for any confusion :-(

Tim Curtis: would you please stop posting as Lubos Motl. There is reason to doubt his sanity, so I don’t like seeing his name. Further, it is his name, and therefore one you are not entitled to use.

Rob Honeycutt: John… You freak me out every time Lubos Motl’s name pops up!

John Cook: Sorry about the Lubos thing. Was posting some Lubos comments for the UWA experiment and forgot to log back in as John Cook.

For the record, if just one or two of you SkSers jumped over to the Technical Forum and posted some comments to the 4 Experiment Conditions, I’d get my 10 comments and wouldn’t have to log in as Lubos anymore. Only one or two more comments required to get the quota. Just some incentive for you :-)

EDIT: one of the conditions now has 10 comments, so only 3 more threads (with 2 of them only requiring one more comment). So Lubos very close to being put to bed :-)

EDIT: only one more thread to go…

Minutes before this September 26th, 2011 commitment, we were reading these comments in the other threads:

Lubos_Motl: Ocean acidification is a strong sign that humans are raising CO2 levels. But it’s also a grave environmental concern as the acidification is causing damage to coral reefs which are some of the most diverse ecosystems on the planet. Adding insult to injury, the increased CO2 causes warming which is causing further damage to the coral reefs through bleaching. Corals provide both evidence for man-made global warming and concern over its impacts.


Lubos_Motl: The past tells us much about what our future holds in store for us. In the past, when the Earth was warmer than it is now, sea levels were metres higher than current levels. So just on the sea level front alone, we can expect severe impacts on the vast majority of the human population living on coastlines. The past also describes these concerning feedback events, where warmer temperatures lead to further release of greenhouse gases. We’re already seeing this start to happen in the Arctic, with methane bubbling from the permafrost and methane clathrates. The past paints a vivid picture of our future and it’s a picture of great concern.

Well, you can figure out that these paragraphs were written by a scientifically illiterate imbecile rather than Luboš Motl – because you are a TRF reader – but what about others? In Parts 2–4 of the other thread, the same Lubos_Motl wrote lots of other things:

Lubos_Motl: Cherry picking: What this post fails to mention is other factors also affect climate. Urban heat island also causes nights to warm faster than days. Ozone depletion causes the stratosphere to cool. This supposed evidence is just cherry picking supporting evidence and hiding the rest.

The article also cites ocean warming as evidence, and yet ocean warming has stalled since 2003. As more than 90% of global warming is going into the oceans, which means ocean heat is the best measure for global warming, the conclusion is obvious – humans can’t be causing global warming because global warming isn’t happening!

Good point re cosmic rays. The simplistic argument that the sun can’t cause global warming only looks at one possible link between sun and climate – total solar irradiance. But the relationship between the sun and our climate is much more complicated than that, as the solar magnetic field modulates the amount of cosmic radiation hitting the earth. This affects cloud formation which also interacts with our climate in complicated ways, with lower clouds causing cooling and higher clouds causing warming. A prettily coloured graphic created for young children doesn’t even begin to capture the complexities of our climate system.


Lubos_Motl: It’s hilarious that this article cites Usoskin 2005. That paper concludes that over the last few decades, the correlation between sun and climate breaks down. Therefore, recent warming must have some other cause. This article’s own sources debunk its assertion that the sun is causing global warming!

The full truth about the percentage of CO2 is that over 99% of the atmosphere is oxygen and nitrogen, both gases which are not greenhouse gases. So the fact that CO2 is a small percentage is irrelevant to the strength of its greenhouse effect. It’s like holding an election in a town of 1000 people where only 10 people vote. They may only be a small number but each individual has a significant effect. It’s the same with CO2. Of course, you don’t have to take my word for it – what do measurements find? Both planes and satellites measure heat as it escapes to space and both find a big bite out of the outgoing heat, at precisely the wavelengths that CO2 absorbs heat. The greenhouse effect is an empirically observed fact.


Lubos_Motl: Good point re the co2 lag. Not only was co2 higher in the past, it also lags temperature, showing temperature drives co2, not the other way around. The ice core record is not kind to the warmist agenda.

Good point re the number of scientists. The alarmists like to boast about there being 2500 scientists who wrote the IPCC report. But the number of skeptic scientists is AN ORDER OF MAGNITUDE greater than the number of alarmist scientists. Not only there is still a debate, the weight of opinion leans heavily towards the skeptic point of view. This article presents the compelling evidence that explains why.

John Cook: Note re Lubos Motl: I won’t use the name Lubos Motl or any of our names in the final webpage used in the experiment (so the last two comments by Rob and Steve won’t be used, I’m afraid).

Full story: http://motls.blogspot.com/2015/07/identity-theft-thief-of-lubosmotl-turns.html#more

To me, this is the most telling comment:

John Cook: Sorry about the Lubos thing. Was posting some Lubos comments for the UWA experiment and forgot to log back in as John Cook.

This is just unbelievable; “the UWA experiment”. Think about what this refers to: University of Western Australia. This is where Cook launched his career defaming climate skeptics by helping Stephan Lewandowsky in designing/running a gussied up poll that was never actually posted on climate skeptic websites, that purports to give answers by climate skeptics, to be used in a paper where it is claimed that climate skeptics are believers that “the moon landing was faked“. What sort of “experiment” was John Cook running by stealing the identity of Dr. Lubos Motl, and writing comments under his name?

Cook is a man who has co-authored two papers about how climate skeptics are not to be trusted because in essence, “they are crazy conspiracy theorists”. Yet, John Cook, now of the University of Queensland after leaving his connections at UWA, has so little moral integrity that he’ll post comments on his own website (the SkS forum, see below) as a skeptical scientist, such as Dr. Lubos Motl?

Who else has John Cook impersonated? Has he encouraged his team to do this? These are valid questions that need answers.

This may be actionable, not just to get his latest smear paper retracted, like the first one was, but legally actionable. And maybe it’s time, because quite frankly I’m getting tired of this crap coming from this band of zealots in Australia who seem to have no scruples or integrity. Identity theft of another scientist’s name to post fake comments is just beyond the pale.

This isn’t the first time Cook and crew has done something reprehensible like this. Readers may recall he and his team of moderator zealots have been caught changing user comments after the fact:

On “Skepticalscience” – Rewriting History

This is why Skeptical Science has it’s own special category on the links at WUWT’s sidebar:

Unreliable*

Skeptical Science – John Cook
* Due to (1) deletion, extension
and amending of user comments,
and (2) undated post-publication
revisions of article contents after
significant user commenting.

Then there’s all the questionable tactics Cook used to create a faked 97% consensus: Richard Tol’s Excellent Summary of the Flaws in Cook et al. (2013) – The Infamous 97% Consensus Paper

May I suggest Mr. Cook, that your next fake persona name be: What. A. Slimeball.

UPDATE: Since some commenters have run astray in their thinking, assuming incorrectly that this lab exercise was related to the “moon landing” and “fury” papers, perhaps this addition will help clarify the issue. I sometimes forget readers don’t keep up on the vagaries of the SkS underworld as much as I have.

These comments were from the SkS private “subscribers only” forum, where you had to be on the “inside” to be a part of it. So, these were not public comments like we see on WUWT, but rather a discussion with his network of sycophants helping with his “research”.

The point that needs to be driven home is that rather than getting real comments, he had his buddies (and himself) write faked up comments from their own perspective as “fake skeptics”, and then analyzed those for his research experiment. Whether the results of that experiment made it into any published research is unknown.

Essentially, he and his friends made up pre-biased data, by “assuming” they knew what a skeptic comment might look like, and that’s an issue of integrity. What we see is an attempt to ascertain if a few skeptical comments are influential enough to undo the “good” of an alarmist post. That’s where “noble cause corruption” is at work. It seems he wants to find excuses to explain why everyone should censor skeptics out of the conversation, something he’s actively pushing on CNN right now.

Therefore the important question is: did he get the required ethics approval to make up his own data for that lab exercise?

See:
http://www.research.uwa.edu.au/staff/human-research/approvals

The mendacity of creating commentary from your own group to use it to analyze and then label another group is truly mind boggling.

If readers are going to register complaints, they need to do so in this context, not from the standpoint of this being about public comments faked up by Cook, that remains to be determined, yet given the behavior, we would be correct to look for such instances. Readers should take care not to make complaints to universities that this incident shows that Cook faked public comments, as inaccurate complaints will be ignored and make it more difficult for other complaints to get a hearing.  Until further details become available, it is probably best that readers hold off anyway.

422 thoughts on “Yes, why DOES John Cook of ‘SkepticalScience’ and the 97% have to use identity theft in his ‘research’?

    • Not speechless, this behaviour by a rabid huxster is totally expected from the likes of John Cook by stealing the identity has proven his morals are that of a cesspool dweller. John Cook you sir are a liar a cheat a thief a totally dishonest man, you don’t have an decedent bone in you body you are a mirror image of the data fraud liars and cheats that live in your shadowy world of grant seekers.

    • A brief query.

      Is this legal?
      Or – I am no lawyer – illegal?

      If the latter – might this be a civil tort – libel?
      Or a criminal offence – perhaps malfeasance; misrepresentations; demanding money with menaces [although hat might fit every watermelon under the Sun . . .)?

      Auto – asking because I would like to know what to call these shameless carp-imitators.

    • What a creep. But what should one expect from a guy who likes dressing up like a Nazi?

    • I have written to UoQ’s academic registrar (Prof. Joanne Wright) – see website for contact to alert her to this potentially damaging situation… got to do your bit to help them out,

  1. May I suggest that if John Cook is sorry, it’s sorry for having been caught red-handed.

  2. John Cook and Michael Mann set the standard in ‘climate science’, so what else would you expect.

    That 97% paper of his was such rubbish, but his PR on it was such that all the gullible politicians and ecoloons in general quickly started quoting it as gospel.

    When there are no ethics, standards or moral judgement, then John Cook and his cronies stand high in place.

  3. Antony:
    Just to update you and your readers, there has, as of now, been no response from the SkS team.
    Thanks for bringing this to at the attention of a wider audience.
    It is distressing to read the terms of derision and contempt used to refer to Dr Motl, who was an early proponent and developer of string theory…
    Derision and scorn were heaped upon him by…a guy who dresses up like a nazi, and used to draw comics?
    wow.

      • Ghost, whatever you wanted to do to JC, I’m sure we’d all like to join you and do the same

        I have liberal friends who are constantly quoting the 97% at me as a reason why they shouldn’t listen to anything I say on this topic.

      • Sam, I love it when the 97% paper is quoted to me. I quickly reply, “Really? Are you staking your credibility on the 97% paper? That tells me all I need to know about your ability to scrutinize a paper. Say no more.”

        They usually pause and look at me with concern wondering what they just said that was so bad. I have a feeling that this forces them to think twice about using the 97% number.

      • He would need ethics approval (which he almost certainly doesn’t have) to use identity theft as a research method. A complaint by one of those whose identity was stolen to the appropriate research ethics committee should be enough to get him in serious trouble.

      • He is running a course on how to defeat deniers or some such vague title. So having given permission for that, he will probably be celebrated for impersonation, despite the strict plagiarism rules there.

      • Ian H has hit the nail on the head. It is also likely that Cook, by impersonation, has infringed acceptable email usage policy (he used jc@uq..). A complaint to UQ on this and the research ethics aspect should trigger an investigation, if UQ is a reputable organisation…

      • Jack, I believe that over the last few years, UQ has given up trying to pretend that they are a reputable institution.

    • That’s a good question! As someone with two degrees from UQ (BE and MBA) I have been ashamed to be associated with them since they offered the Cook class in denier-sliming.
      If they don’t sack him over this, they will sink even further in my estimations (which I didn’t think was possible).

      • Put in a complaint to the University. There is a Public Sector Ethics Act Queensland which Cook has with doubt breached. This Act applies to all Queensland Universities (mentioned in the Act), government entities and to Local Government Search for the Act and download it

      • Whitewash or slap on the wrist. Or both. Or nothing. Aww, screw it. Can’t even be bothered to care what these idiots are up to, anymore.
        I was in for the science before these numbskulls were even born. Still in for the science.
        The wonder of the things we know and the wonder of all the holes in our knowledge. What is the connection? What is(are) the driver(s)? Have we even identified them all?
        I find that all far more compelling than what these goobers are doing. Always will.
        Apologies to the author, Anthony, and do not blame him for posting this. It is sadly necessary.
        WUWT? plays an important role in calling all sides out. Keep it up.

  4. It’s not that he’d do it that shocks me. Almost nothing shocks me anymore. However, that he would admit to it in a public forum, accessible to all. If I didn’t know the reputations of the people, I would have readily accused a third party of staging the whole thing. Similar to Gleik’s fake SuperVillain memo. This is just TOO MUCH. Too blatant. It staggers belief that he would be so arrogant as to post repeatedly under a fake name and then confess to it on a publicly recorded channel.

    It ain’t a conspiracy if they really ARE out to get you.

    • Ben, Cook got found out. From the orginal article:

      …[Cook] was discussing things with his fellow climate warriors at the Skeptical Science Forums, a website affiliated with his SkepticalScience.COM. The website was “closed” and only accessible to the community of Cook’s friends, not publicly available at that moment, but its content became available to search engines later; the server linked to below contains a precise, bit-wise copy of the pages that Cook et al. had created. Steve [McIntyre] sent me five interesting examples of the forum pages:

    • I suppose if you think the POTUS has your back you can do whatever you like without fear of retribution.

      I find this whole thing sickening but it is certainly part of a pattern in this alarmist movement.

  5. Unbelievable. I’ve enjoyed his weak and often muddled circular reasoning in past ‘responses’ to skeptic arguments, but I never thought he was capable of this type of thing. He belongs on DeSmog Blog.

  6. Doesn’t surprise me one bit. The length and breadth of tactics that evil people (yes, I do mean evil) are exemplified by J.Cook, Lewandowsky, M. Mann, A. Gore, Obama, Hansen, etc. Skeptic scientists should realize that this blatant evil exists among a very influential group of alarmists and that playing nice due to holding the belief that these people are convinced of the CO2 impact on climate is a losers game.

  7. Inertia: Lying once started is difficult to stop.

    It became a modus operandi of the whole alarmist movement. Then they suffer a “professional depression”.

  8. I wonder who will be first to leap to his defence? The contrived justification should be wondrous to behold.

      • Mike: I sometimes think that to these people, “the means justifies the end” (to be clear, they don’t care what the cause is, they just want the control over people).

  9. Does anybody know the background on the trolling quota? I’ve had my suspicions about this sort of thing, but this removes any doubt.

  10. So it appears that he:
    1. impersonated a scientist in order to get the quotes he wanted for his research
    2. encouraged his friends to write posts providing suitable input to his research
    3. impersonated other “names” in order to get the number (quota) of posts he needed for his research.

    If that’s true then to me that’s falsifying results and therefore misconduct.

  11. This is clearly an attempt to prove that sceptics will believe anything from their own side.
    And it clearly hasn’t been published so it clearly didn’t find what was useful to Cook. Because sceptics, by definition, don’t believe anything.

    He was trying to prove that Climate Sceptics are Fake Sceptics. And failed.

    Or he was just trying to discredit real climate scientists – like Motl – in order to ruin their careers.
    As Cook is a man who has been known to falsify research in the past (97%) and is an organiser of a way-out-the pseudoscience blog… it is possible he was just trying to commit intellectual vandalism.

    This is hard to discuss without going into the spam filter as we all know it’s frau…

  12. It’s not identity theft as such; but it is impersonation if, and only if, he represented himself as the actual and real Lubos Motl. Such is the nature of pseudonymity on the internet. Every random person has no necessary connection to their nickname.

    — Jquip

    • Point taken J, but there are some counterpoints

      It boils down to: Cook signed another man’s full name while posting in his area of expertise. Full posts that were not obvious satires and were designed to deceive people. That is an active deception to people who are not able to discern the difference.

      To compare, Mark Twain is dead, and you are not posting literary criticism or in gilded age wit. Therefore, it’s not deceptive. Or, on a ruder sense, if someone called “GoreTheFirst” comes here, declaring us all heretics that he will chop off all our heads, that would be obviously not be Al Gore. We’d laugh and go on with our lives.

      However, if someone submitted a letter to the editor of the New York Times, arguing coherently that carbon markets will harm the poor even worse the climate change and signed Al Gore’s name, that would be deception and Gore would be justifiably enraged.

      I may not be a lawyer, but this appears to be fairly straightforward libel.

      • I may not be a lawyer, but this appears to be fairly straightforward libel.

        Well sure, it could be libelous. In the US that would only require that Motl show that the posts caused him economic damage. But Libel and Slander are different considerations than impersonation or Identity Theft.

    • “Mark Twain
      July 23, 2015 at 11:20 am
      It’s not identity theft as such”

      A person pretending to be Mark Twain on the Internet would say that wouldn’t she.

    • If his intent was to show that skeptics will accept anything “from their side”, then he obviously would have been intending to represent himself as the real Lubos Motl.

    • Mine is a much better example of the grey area. I’m not Tim Allen but my first name IS Tim. I’m not trying to be Tim Allen and I dont think anyone would confuse me for him. Besides Tim the tool man isn’t Tim Allen either. Its a character Tim Allen plays.

      This “Lubos Motl” impersonation case is crystal clear by comparison.

  13. Maybe now people will be more willing to admit that some of the warmistas are straight up liars and fraudsters.
    Call them what they are, and identify in plain language what they do.

      • Wouldn’t work, think Assange …

        When someone is impersonating someone else, it should be illegal in many other countries, at least in any democratic country …

      • Cook didn’t commit the act in Sweden, so no go …

        Regarding the Assange story,

        the woman of concern was (still is?) a groupie (today well known radical feminist, with both her feet in her mouth, spewing her nonsense in Swedish media and on Twitter …() that ended up in bed with A. and discovered that another groupie (one of her closest friends!) was doing that too, during the very same period of time … So the rape claim was (still is) bogus, as she was disappointed and obviously as she left traces on the Internet that she couldn’t wipe out completely … If she did comment on how lovely it was, I can’t see how it could be classified as a rape, as she created the hole situation by letting A. live at her place during this period of time … The Swedish media has made a hype of the situation …

        A. is only afraid of getting stuck in the Swedish legal system and I can’t blame him …

      • “A. is only afraid of getting stuck in the Swedish legal system and I can’t blame him …”

        My understanding is that A. is afraid that Sweden would turn him over the the USA if they got their hands on him. That, my friend, is a truly frightening scenario.

    • Wouldn’t The Climate Communications Fellow of the UoQ seem to be the UoQ’s face of climate communications ?
      How many faces does it take ?

  14. To bad Dr. Patrick J. Michaels did not have this information (cook stealing Dr. Lubos Motl.name) for his Congressional testimony. NOW that would have been fun. Maybe next time. drat, drat, drat.
    michael

  15. This is not reflecting well on Lewandowsky, is it?
    I would think that anyone associated professionally or otherwise with Cook had best be speaking up, and that right quick and in no uncertain terms condemning this blatant misconduct.
    It may be difficult for anyone closely associated with Cook to claim ignorance.

    • Lewandowsky – poached by the Royal Society and the University of Exeter.
      The RS has seen it’s credibility shredded since Paul Nurse faked the BBC’s “Meet the Sceptics” programme. This is more of the same

      As for the University of Exeter?
      Nah. I can’t think of a scientific organisation in Exeter that may be corrupt and so corrupting of the university.

    • “anyone associated professionally or otherwise with Cook had best be speaking up”

      You mean like President “97%” Obama ?

      • Poor Ed “97%” Davey, former UK Climate & Energy Change Minister, didn’t survive his first election since using the phoney consensus (not that he realised )

  16. When Nuccitelli and Rob Honeycutt pestered notrickszone for a few weeks or months, that was when the SkS kids envisioned their CO2AGW Truth Attack Superhero teams, I actually had a rather good impression of Rob.

    Now, given that he was in on that identity theft “UWA experiment”, and all the rest of the SkS kiddies, I gotta revise this opinion. They are all frauds. As none of them has blown the whistle. They are all equally immoral. I wanted to say unethical but these days I think ethics is a fraudulent parody of morals for the relativist anyway.

    • “They are all frauds. As none of them has blown the whistle. They are all equally immoral.”

      Tom Curtis (not “Tim,” as the head post has it) stands out there for his willingness to say unpopular things.

  17. They say certain bad behavior is only difficult the first time you do it. Soon one becomes “given to their sin”, and it becomes something one doesn’t think twice about. Finally it becomes so familiar and so much a part of one that one commits such a glaring example that one gets called on it. Apparently this hold true for “Cooking the books.”

  18. Cook more like Crook. It is becoming more obvious by the day that AGW “theory” is falling apart. The faithful will do anything to hide facts before Paris in December, if that involves adjusting data or impersonating scientists who disagree with AGW so be it. The end justifies the means, how many times have we heard this in history and what does it say about the people who can justify anything to promote their beliefs?

  19. The ends justify their means.
    There is no level of ethical behaviour they can breach as they recognize no limits.
    The old truth, a fool is certain where more rational people doubt .
    The purveyors of the Cataclysmic Climate Cult are idiots, hence they will continually exceed our expectations of their moral depravity.
    The 5 basic laws of human stupidity by Carlo Cipolla really apply here.

    Fanatics and fools harbour no doubt of the veracity of their data,no possibility that they could be mistaken and know they have the moral high ground.
    Most of us have difficulty achieving such a triumphant state of certainty, what with doubt being the best tool to limit excess.
    Most people learn from the things they knew for sure, that turned out to be wrong, but some others must remain convinced they are perfection personified to their bitter end.

    In some cases as personified by the Team IPCC ™ and their sycophants they will be perfectly wrong all their lives.
    Of course Cook will be promoted for this behaviour, he is modern academia personified, Gilbert& Sullivan comes to mind.

    • Cook’s done nothing worse than Trenberth (lose the Chinese data, that’s convenient).
      Or Mann (hide the decline trick, that makes the proxies look useful).
      Or Steig (let’s extrapolate the peninsular over the whole Antarctic, that looks scary).

      But Cook did one thing that’s unforgivable.
      He’s been caught.
      He’s been caught in something that can be challenged legally and not just via pal review.

      • Well Gleick has been caught, and nothing happened to him. They’re protected, by the media, the politicians, by ALL the taxpayer money of the world.

      • Gleick never admitted in public to falsifying documents. Nor did he admit to identity theft in order to acquire the stolen documents. To this day he claims that they were e-mailed to him anonymously.

  20. The entire leaked SkS forum is online here:

    the article in question is here:
    http://www.hi-izuru.org/forum/General%20Chat/2011-09-23-Immortalized!.html

    2011-09-25 15:36:48 Lubos Motl username
    John Cook

    john@skepticalscience…
    123.211.208.191
    Was waiting for someone to notice and freak out. I still need a handful of comments for each condition of our blogging experiment so I created a new user account, partly so it’s not confusing having comments from the “author” of the blog posts and secondly, having a Lubos comment might’ve got some attention and attracted a few SkSers into the threads (that idea didn’t pan out at all). Anyway, while I have your attention, the links for the 4 conditions are:

    Warmist blog post, all warmist comments
    Warmist blog post, all skeptic comments
    Skeptic blog post, all warmist comments
    Skeptic blog post, all skeptic comments
    All I need is a few more comments in each thread, to get it up to 10 comments each, so please go in there and post a strongly pro-warmist or pro-skeptic comment to help with our experiment. Thanks!

    There is another article about it here..
    http://www.hi-izuru.org/forum/General%20Chat/2011-09-21-Need%20a%20handful%20of%20comments%20from%20SkSers%20for%20our%20blogging%20experiment.html

    John Cook

    john@skepticalscience…
    123.211.208.191
    BUMP: am bumping this thread, just a reminder, need about 6 more comments per condition so just need a few SkSers to get in there and engage with each other. Links below:

    I’ve been conducting a psychological experiment with UWA cognitive scientists testing for the effects of blog comments on readers’ comprehension. The first stage of the experiment was live on SkS and we’ve analysed the data and found that for a warmist blog post, there was no difference in reader comprehension when the reader was exposed to all warmist comments or no comments. However, when the reader was exposed to all skeptic comments, their comprehension dropped.

    So it’s officially been quantified – reading the comments threads on denier blogs will make you stupid.

    Anyway, we’re now moving onto stage 2 of the experiment – they’re going to conduct a similar experiment in the lab at UWA but with a twist – they’re going to have 4 conditions:

    Warmist blog post, all warmist comments
    Warmist blog post, all skeptic comments
    Skeptic blog post, all warmist comments
    Skeptic blog post, all skeptic comments
    You’ve already seen and been horrified by my hideously evil skeptic blog post. I’m now asking SkSers to perform duties even more arduous – I need you to embrace your inner-climate-denier and post skeptic comments avidly supporting the denier post. Specifically, we need 10 comments for each condition. So it only really requires a handful of SkSers going into the 4 conditions (linked above) and interact with each other, either wholeheartedly embracing and endorsing the post or vigorously criticising and nitpicking it. We will then take the 4 conditions into the lab and see what impact they have on reader comprehension, see if it confirms our first result.

    Note: we’ll of course change the names in the lab experiment so your comments will be anonymous and it won’t be shown as an SkS post either.

    So many thanks in advance for helping us out with our experiment :-)

    —————————————————————-

    As this is done in conjunction with UWA, and Cook used a real, VERY identifiable persons name (Lubos Motl) , also someone who is an opponent of John Cook’s this should be horribly unethically for UWA.

    oh look – John Cook publicly labels Lubos Motl (a respected scientist) a – Climate Misinformer.

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/skeptic_Lubos_Motl.htm

    • Good sleuthing, Barry. Shall we take bets that the whole stinking lot of them will be given a bye?

    • Barry: What you and Lubos have described – with evidence – is surely Academic malfeasance. Surely there is a process within academia for sanctions on Cook. No? Is UWA such a naive institution? (Def: showing a lack of experience, wisdom, or judgement)

    • We need to know the nature of this “study” did the university approve it on the understanding that these would be real skeptic comments? I find it hard to believe that an experiment where you use fake strawman quotes would be approved.

    • Well, further down the same thread:

      .. t need 10 in total for each so if a few SkSers could jump in and engage with each other, get blatantly warmist or blatantly denier, would be great:

      Prefaced by:

      Note: we’ll of course change the names in the lab experiment so your comments will be anonymous and it won’t be shown as an SkS post either

      What can one say? Maybe: Who would have expected better?

      • He’s doing a study, and he’s openly asking people to pretend to be something that their not in order to get enough posts?

    • Cook: “So it’s officially been quantified – reading the comments threads on denier blogs will make you stupid.”

      No bias here then? – Weird science…

    • I find Cook’s analysis interesting. Basically, he is saying that “reader comprehension” (which is another term for brainwashing) is unchanged regardless of the volume of warmist postings, but as soon as independent thought hits a warmist blog “reader comprehension” drops. Like roaches, warmist blog propoganda scurries under the flashlight of skeptic logic.

    • Wow. Not only did they use false identities to make comments, they were blatantly fabricating skeptic comments and representing them as genuine for the purposes of measuring their impact on readers

      In other words, they didn’t measure the impact on readers of being exposed to skeptic comments. They measured (if you could call it that) the impact to readers of comments fabricated comments. This is so many levels of wrong the Devil himself could not untangle it.

    • Barry: Well found. This reads as if Cook was asking his friends to write comments, including non-genuine ones, to be analysed in one of Cook’s papers. You may even read this as Cook writing fake comments himself.

      • Dr. Tol he is merely taking hypothesis testing to the next level. Since its inception hypothesis testing has been criticized by many as simply tearing putting forth a strawmen H0 and tearing it down. Its not surprising to see hypothesis testing move to the next level from strawmen H0’s torn down with real evidence to strawmen H0’s torn down with strawman evidence.

      • The thing is that any intentionally “skeptic” comments by SkSers aren’t likely to have any actual logical substance. To argue logically means to argue for the truth and I cant see them doing that if its contrary to their beliefs or even seriously questions their beliefs.

        Besides, frankly I doubt they’re capable otherwise they’d think that way all the time.

        So they’re most likely arguing illogically with varying degrees of capability to convince and then are surprised when some people cant spot the logical flaws and are confused.

        This is an experiment? Cook wades in the toddling pool of intellect.

      • Cooks Conclusion: fake comments by people pretending to be someone else, who’s position they do not agree with, are likely to confuse the reader.

        WOW! What amazing insight can we next expect? That water is wet?

    • I should clarify. L brings in grant money AND has his study methods approved by UWA’s human subjects committee. He’s clear as far as UWA is concerned. That’s just how these things work. I left the U in disgust last year /not UWA, btw).

    • Mike it goes further. The Public Sector Ethics Act Queensland applies to University of Queensland and all its employees. Cook has breach many sections of the Act. I think the Act comes under the criminal code and I believe complaints should be made the University and to QCAT (Queensland Civil and Adminstrative Tribunal)

  21. Well, he also gave his “Skeptical Science” blog an intentionally misleading name. Seems to be a pattern. He does seem to have a real gift for and affinity to propaganda; maybe that accounts for his apparent fascination with Nazi outfits.

    • I think we should go easy on that Nazi outfit business. In his mind he was innocently:
      1. Making a visual pun on the initials of his website.
      2. Visually communicating “I’m a storm trooper for climate justice,” because he’d replaced the Nazi insignia with his site’s Puzzled Penguins logo. (You have to look closely to see all the small substitutions.)
      It’s not a crime but a blunder.

      • > 1. Making a visual pun on the initials of his website.

        That episode left me thinking he chose the name and initials to approximate SS.

      • “I think we should go easy on that Nazi outfit business.”

        Not to worry. I don’t think of the guy as a Nazi. More of an inept cartoon super villain:

        When the cartoon guy boasted “Nothing is beneath me!” I immediately thought of John Cook. :-)

      • rogerknights, if John Cook ever explains why he chose to host those images like you just did, I’ll probably make fewer jokes about it. Mistakes get made. You own up to them, and then you move on. But note, you do have to own up to them. Until you do, they’re fair game.

        If anything, people have been quite tame on this on. It’s probably a good thing I don’t live near Cook. If I did, I would have made flyers with his image on them advertising his site. Because what he did is not funny, but that kind of would be. Mostly because there are so many jokes that would be perfect for it.

    • Michael Palmer.

      Skeptical Science choose the title “Skeptical” as they are skeptical about climate change skeptism – they say so on the website.

      The photoshopped photos are intended as a lark, it is obvious. Think of them as satire.

    • His interest in propaganda is might have influenced the choice of his field of study as Stephen Lewandowsky’s grad student; the cognitive science of decision-making, and I didn’t read details about his research.

  22. “Tim Curtis: would you please stop posting as Lubos Motl. There is reason to doubt his sanity, so I don’t like seeing his name.”

    Little of this crowd does surprises me, anymore. But this statement…

    I guess it completely escapes Mr. Curtis whose sanity he should doubt in light of this.

    • It’s fairly irregular that Lubos even posts on global warming issues. For instance, he’s been focused in on the Greek default lately. The majority of his posts are deep in the weeds physics. Occasionally he dips into AGW.
      Hardly a compulsive obsessive like Cook

  23. Does anybody feel like challenging Cook on his sock-puppetry in the comments over at the SkS site (if only to see how quickly your comments get deleted by moderators)?

    • It’s been 3 or 4 years since anything of note has popped up at SkS. I mean stuff he’s proud to tell mom about.

      Why gussy up the place?

    • I tend to believe a thorough shunning is the best idea.
      They will alter, edit or delete any comment in any way they choose, so why even give them a URL or email address?

  24. I’m a great proponent of a person’s facial expressions as being the window to the soul. When I look at Cook (and Lewandowsky as well) the windows are cloudy. It’s all in the eyes. A sincere smile lights up the eyes, as does a sincere emotion of any kind. In the few pictures employed by this two-man clown troupe, their eyes are absent from the expression. The classic is the Nazi Uniform picture…the grimace on Cook’s face is from the nose down, and the nose itself is bolstering the disdain with which Cook ‘jokes’.

    The Lewandowsy ‘ideation’ video? Same thing. He’s very phony and devious, plain as the nose on his face.

    Just my $0.02, but all of this slithery slimeball stuff is to be expected from the likes of Cook….just look at his face.

    • I was thinking the exact same thing when I re-Googled his picture and thought what a smarmy, disingenuous look he has.

  25. I bet he is going to tell us that it was a “d+enier” impersonating “J.C.” impersonating Lubos Motl. One Cook is enough to spoil the broth. Must be pretty interesting for a man like Lewandowskiwitch to study such a case of mistaken identity.

  26. He could try impersonating Judith Curry. That way, the initials in his e mail address wouldn’t give him away. Also, it would be gender-bending so he would be a hero of the media.

  27. Who are these children, and why do they think they are smart (and moral) enough to tell me how to live (to paraphrase Kathy Shaidle)?

  28. It sounds like Mr. Cook is suffering from “Noble cause corruption”:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noble_cause_corruption

    “Noble cause corruption is corruption caused by the adherence to a teleological ethical system, suggesting that persons “will utilize unethical, and sometimes illegal, means to obtain a desired result,”a result which appears to benefit the greater good.”

    “Conditions for such corruption usually begin where individuals perceive no administrative accountability, lack of morale and leadership, and the general absence of faith within the criminal justice system. These conditions can be compounded by arrogance and weak supervision.”

      • I know! I was surprised to find this definition there, so I made sure to copy the salient paragraphs here. Maybe I should have taken a screen shot too. ;->

  29. Wow. This is pretty bad.
    Another peek behind the curtain.
    It gets nastier every peek.
    Will there ever be consequences?
    Doubt it.

  30. If you want to know what the weasels do, observe what the weasels CLAIM their opponents do, and then you will know what the weasels do.

  31. I just emailed the following to CNN. I suggest that everyone else ought to do the same to any outlet that is publishing John Cooks opinions.

    ==============================================================================
    Dear CNN,

    You have been posting articles on Climate Change Denial by John Cook. For example: http://www.cnn.com/2015/07/22/opinions/cook-techniques-climate-change-denial/index.html

    John Cook, founder of the website Skeptical Science, has been and apparently posting comments to the Skeptical Science website using the user name Lubos_Motl.

    Lubos Motl is a theoretical physicist who highly skeptical of climate change. Cook has adopted the identity of Motl when making posts. That, in and of itself, is very troubling. Faking comments or posts by assuming someone else s identity is wrong. However, from the comments Cook himself made, it appears that Cook posted comments as Motl then use those very same comments in an ‘experiment’ that Cook himself ran.

    For more background on the situation please read:

    http://motls.blogspot.com/2015/07/identity-theft-thief-of-lubosmotl-turns.html

    This type of behavior is unacceptable and very well may be illegal.

    I suggest that CNN needs to rethink your relationship with John Cook. At the very least, CNN should investigate the situation. If Cook has been posting comments with the intention to persuade people that he is Lubos Motl, that in and of itself is enough to shatter the idea that anything Cook reports on the subject of climate change is believable. If Cook used the fake comments in his ‘experiments’, then that is scientific fraud.

    CNN is in the news business and that business is based upon honest reporting. The purported behavior of John Cook is beyond dishonest. CNN needs to remove all content related to John Cook until this issue is investigated.

    Sincerely,
    Eric Dahlgren
    ==============================================================================

    This goes beyond labeling, it goes beyond the faked studies. This is so absolutely unacceptable that I am (almost) at a loss for words.

    • Eric; CCN will dismiss all our comments Perhaps FOX might find some joy to it. Myself I am hoping that some persons in the Australian Gov picks up on it, as some of their past policy decisions were made on studies done by Mr. Cook.
      “Why none dare call it Treason” anyone care to finish?
      michael

    • It’s been years since CNN has done honest reporting. They are barely distinguishable from MSNBC.

      • Everyone has a breaking point, my friend. They might be biased journalists, but they are still journalists. Clear and unambiguous fraud admitted in his own words is pretty darn condemning, and it might open people’s eyes. That’s why sending this to CNN is important. They have private leverage against Cook and their reputation to protect. Even if they don’t believe it is enough to discredit him, something like this should at least get a boss to come down and say “stop embarrassing us”

      • As Kate from smalldeadanimals.com says, CNN is that background noise at the airport.

  32. ‘ why DOES John Cook of ‘SkepticalScience’ and the 97% have to use identity theft in his ‘research’?’

    I would guess it is because he is lying scum bag that cannot pratice good science .

    • You are too kind.
      He does not practise good science.
      That doesn’t mean he cannot practise good science.
      It just means he will not practise good science.

  33. Knowledge of this tends to raise one’s suspicions that there might not be as many individual trolls out there as folks would think.

  34. Anthony,
    Seems to me that he would be more likely to use
    Watt A Slimeball
    It does make you wonder though about that Conspiracy Ideation paper paper and the validity of all the purported responses as perhaps ALL SKS kidz using various pseudonyms weather from Identity Theft or just synthesized like the Model Data.

  35. Here’s hoping Lubos follows through. Still not likely to stop much of anything though.

    Do you guys begin to see why I tend to be so pessimistic about this? When these *** can do stuff like this and their supporters not only don’t condemn, but support them, wherein lies hope?

    I don’t see any of the usual suspects on the warmist side weighing in here.

    • But now whenever the 97% paper is mentioned it can be pointed out that the 97% were all the author faking the responses under false names.

      And it might even be true. It fits his modus operandi.

      He won’t claim otherwise. Also, he can’t point to his raw data as we know that was rubbish.
      We’ve got him. Because he’s proven to be corrupt.

      • And it won’t matter one bit to those pushing the agenda. It won’t matter to the politicians. And it won’t matter to the media. THAT’s the point I’m making. We have the proof, and they WILL NOT LISTEN because they don’t care.

        The tiny hope I have is with the very few people who are actually open-minded enough to listen and engage. I just don’t think they represent a large enough group to matter. Certainly that’s the case in my personal circles.

    • “When these *** can do stuff like this and their supporters not only don’t condemn, but support them, wherein lies hope?”

      Well quite simple really. The lying will be their own downfall. While the truth is on our side, and will lead us to victory.

      Or put another way: An organization so corrupt cannot afford anymore to hire one honest soul as they would risk exposure of their corruption. THey must lie MORE! There is no way back for them – until it reaches a point where they will look so ugly not even criminals will touch them with a ten foot pole.

      • It is the best proof possible that the argument is political and socially ideological and not scientific. People tend to wed to those ideologies so strongly that no logic or evidence of criminal activity can change their minds.

  36. Forget about the legal aspects, this is yet another gut check for the climate science community. Here we have a researcher who produced a paper that was cited by the President of the United States and is used routinely to discredit skeptics. Now we have evidence that suggests that this researcher has been falsifying data.

    Will the climate science community mount an investigation? Does climate science have any ethical standards? The reaction of the Journals and the Universities involved with Cook will say volumes about the credibility of climate science.

    In the past when these things have happened, the climate science community has swept them under the rug. So why should we “trust the science” if the scientists and untrustworthy? Why should we “trust the science” if the climate science establishment has no ethical standards?

  37. This Cook is, together with Mann and Oreskes, an “advisor” for climatetruth.org, the organisation behind forecastthefacts.org, collecting signatures to force Smithsonian to fire Dr. Willie Soon.

    What a bunch of evil people, and 97% of scientists are not standing up against them. Disgusting.

  38. Silly question: what kind of “experiment” requires sock puppet commenting? I guess this is the state of social “science.”

    • The kind that is used to paint climate skeptics as conspiracy theorists and the like.
      Or the kind that purports to show that skeptical commentary makes people stupider.
      This is a similar meme to one that built up steam a few elections ago, that people who watch Fox news actually become dumber the more they watch…as if knowledge is being sucked out of ones eyeballs directly out of the brain, like the space vampires in the movie Lifeforce.

  39. Good God.

    I hope any SkS’ers with any shred of integrity (if there in fact are any with a shred of integrity, I’d like to believe there are) reading this reconsider the wisdom of associating with John Cook via SkS.

    • Most of the SkS’ers knew his pseudonym because they are his accomplices.
      That’s what you expect from a pseudoscience site like SkS.
      Yes, the Guardian has proven fraudsters as regular commenters.

      The Guardian just has poor technical understanding. They don’t get science.
      And they don’t realise SkS are the loony fringe, expecting warming 5 x the level of mainstream science.

    • I knew my comments would get modded out eventually.
      I’m just so wrathful at the awful abuse of power that this cartoonist has wrought on the integrity of science.
      Sorry.

      • It was most likely the fr**d word. I’ve noticed that posts get released from mod hell after a quick review from moderators to make sure someone (who may in fact deserve it) isn’t being called names.

      • “… I’m just so wrathful at the awful abuse of power …”

        Who could blame you? I would be very suspicious of you if you were not wrathful.

      • M Courtney

        John Cook-The-Books is a failed cartoonist. Like Hitler (Cook’s SS uniform) was a failed artist.

        Eugene WR Gallun

  40. John Cook is not a scientist. He is a psychology graduate student. As has been published in the literature, most social science studies are wrong. These guys like to make things up as they go along. Remember Cook throwing away about 90% of his selected data? That’s par for the course for psycho-dummies.

    It comes as no surprise that Cook is trying to bring down real scientists like Lubos Motl. Lubos earned his PhD by doing original research, while kiddies like Cook make it up. Cook gets away with it because the psychology field is made up of dishonest people who could not make it in legitimate science. It’s all about jealousy.

    Crooks like Cook will always be around.

    • I am a bit puzzled . Unlike most people here it seems I know very little about J Cook so I did a bit of looking around and via the Wayback machine found his own statements about his credentials , from a time when he was setting up skepticalscience.:

      “About Skeptical Science

      This site was created by John Cook. I’m not a climatologist or a scientist but a self employed cartoonist and web programmer by trade. I did a Physics degree at the University of Queensland and while I achieved First Class Honours and could’ve continued onto a PhD, I instead quit academia and became a professional scrawler. Too much doodling in lectures, I think. Nevertheless, I’ve pursued a keen interest in science and if anything, found my curiosity about how the world works increased once I wasn’t forced to study for impending exams. —–”
      I did not make this up, the link is :
      http://web.archive.org/web/20080213042858/http://www.skepticalscience.com/page.php?p=3

      Is this the same person that all this post is about ? He is claiming a first class degree in Physics – no mean feat surely?

      • Hi Mike. In your link Cook says he is not a scientist. On other sites he says he is a PhD candidate in psychology. His papers certainly are not science, and don’t know of any physics papers he has written. No doubt, he is a smart guy, just confused about the real world and the scientific method.Go ahead and analyze his data collection methods in his phony attempt to arrive at a 97% consensus number and you will see that he has forsaken science altogether.

        His methods are laughable and make intelligent people shiver to thin, that crap like Cook’s is published at all.

        I don’t know the guy, but I have read at least one of his papers. Is he really a cartoonist? That’s probably the better career for him.

      • Hello again, Brian. It is instructive to read the comment of Brandon Schollenberger who captures what is exactly going on with John Cook. Here’s the link to his comment

        .https://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/07/23/yes-why-does-john-cook-of-skepticalscience-and-the-97-have-to-use-identity-theft-in-his-research/#comment-1991962

        Cook is one of those guys that dreams up a project, decides his outcome, and then fabricates his data to arrive at that outcome. This is Cook’s science, and is a crooked as it gets. If this guy wanted to buy you a beer, you would slit your throat avoid the situation.

  41. Possible courses of action. Contact: CDPP Australia’s General Prosecution Service
    General Fraud

    The prosecution of fraud offences is a major part of the practice of the CDPP. These prosecutions are fundamental in protecting the resources of the Commonwealth for the benefit of all Australians. Fraud prosecutions are diverse, can be committed in numerous ways and span the broad range of Commonwealth programs and assistance available to the Australian community, as well as the Australian taxation system.
    Other types of fraud prosecuted by the CDPP include: . . .
    . . .identity fraud;
    Commonly used offences
    s.134.2(1) Criminal Code – obtaining a financial advantage by deception
    s.135.1(1) Criminal Code – general dishonesty – obtaining a gain . . .

    Penalties
    1. The maximum penalty for an offence against section 134.2(1) of the Criminal Code is 10 years imprisonment.
    The maximum penalty for offences against sections 135.1(1), 135.1(3) and 135.1(5) of the Criminal Code is 5 years imprisonment.
    Sentencing
    The CDPP provides sentencing data to the Commonwealth Sentencing Database (CSD). Permission to access the CSD can be obtained at http://njca.com.au/sentencing/ .

    Relevant Legislation
    Criminal Code

    The University of Western Australia has Guidelines for dealing with fraud and corruption at UWS
    (Recommend archiving all the relevant posts before they are deleted. )

    Another effective recourse would be to notify the Australian Museum’s Eureka Prize Sponsors to tell them hear how their donations were used to honor fraud. Perhaps they could be persuaded to have the funds recovered and donated to Lubos and others exposed this fraud!

    • Well, I dunno, Phillip. It could well be that poor little Mr. Cook is truly hampered by a heretofore undisclosed disability of the psychological kind: Dissociative Identity Disorder (formerly known as Multiple Personality Disorder) seems to fit the bill, does it not?!

  42. Anyone familiar with Lubos’s writing style can tell those are not authored by him. Pretty outrageous behavior

  43. All this stuff coming out from the Pope. Has anyone checked where Cook was at the time ?

  44. As a world dealing with the evils of extremism, we ask the people who’s faiths are being taken to extremes by others as a cover for terrorism to police their own, or to at least speak out with a vengeance! Granted, this current save-the-climate issue on this thread pales in comparison. Still, laws enacted to deal with the perception of impending global climate doom could begin a road to such an approach as terrorism’s known atrocities.

    It is time for Cook AND Lewandowsky to go before a jury of his peers. Else the silence of those peers deafens.

  45. “John Cook: Sorry about the Lubos thing. Was posting some Lubos comments for the UWA experiment and forgot to log back in as John Cook.”

    I take it he stole the identity and qualification of Dr. Motl in order to conduct taxpayer funded ethical university peer reviewed research to prove that skeptics are unethical.

  46. My suggestion to Anthony is if possible he should enable gravatars. They are based on the email address without disclosing it, so immediately you can ascertain if someone else is using your name. And if someone is posting on climate blogs with different names but the same email address you can immediately tell from the icon.

    Both the computer generated and especially the user chosen gravatars are valuable for verification, since they don’t change and are common to most WordPress blogs.

  47. I would be shocked if I learned that anyone who has followed this “debate” for any length of time is surprised at this latest example of chicanery from the alarmist side. I have been watching underhanded trickery from the alarmists for decades. Let us not forget the original Hansen congressional testimony and the turned off A/C units at the very start of this racket. (yes, I do mean racket)

    Let us recall that the governments of the world all see something in this racket for themselves and science is now mostly a government funded racket. So, my friends, what else can be expected? As the man who resurrected the libertarians movement in the US in the middle of the last century once said, “the state is a gang of thieves writ large”.

    One in a while the state will toss one of its own under the bus if it pleases them or helps them, but it is rare. So, I wager that Mr. Cook will get away with this one just as he did the last one. He will not pay any damages nor will he see even an hour in jail … “Scott Free” comes to mind.

  48. Stealing someones name happens or used to happen a lot on Andrew Bolt’s blog in Australia. It was always the Marxists and warmists that did it. They would take someone’s name and put in comments opposite to their usual position. Readers quickly woke up and opposed the thief. Now they used devices like calling themselves Dr..
    Bolt is not a scientist but he contributed a chapter in the same book as Anthony. He compiles sceptical pieces for his readers.

  49. The fact that climate change academia does not take these people to task speaks volumes.

    John Cook and his cronies and the media publishing their ‘research’ have proven that mainstream climate change science is a lie and fit only for flushing down the toilet.

  50. I have a question here:

    Obviously John Cook is not above deceiving or lying to make (ie. create!) the point he wants to make.

    However, the lubos_motl moniker was only used in they (supposedly) secret SkS-Forum and maybe for some faked UWA-experiments.

    Which means he would not be above faking ‘responses’ to a supposedly posted polls on SkS (or other places) under faked identities where he (according to his own words) could:

    .. get blatantly warmist or blatantly denier,

    My questions is:

    Has he used this ‘identity’ anywhere in a public or official capacity?

    Obviously, the guy’s not that smart, but even he must realize that a moniker like: lubos_motl combined with an email like jc@sks .. will arise suspicions.

    My question is: Can it be demonstrated that John Cook officially or anywhere publicly tried to impersonate Lubos Motl?

    Without that, I’d think, all we have is a proof of a deeply depraved character running SkSc .. (And that, we knew already, didn’t we?)

    • The point that needs to be driven home is that rather than getting real comments, he had his buddies (and himself) write FAKED UP COMMENTS, and then analyzed those.

      Essentially, he and his friends made up pre-biased data, by “assuming” they knew what a skeptic comment might look like.

      Therefore the important question is: did he get the required ethics approval to make up his own data for that lab excercise?

      See:
      http://www.research.uwa.edu.au/staff/human-research/approvals

      The mendacity of creating commentary from your own group to use it to analyze and then label another group is truly mind boggling.

      • As I said to Dr. Tol Cook is only taking hypothesis testing to its next level. Standard hypothesis testing in actual science is creating a strawman hypothesis then tearing it down with real evidence. Cook has simply extended that logic and is tearing down a strawman hypothesis with strawman evidence.

      • Mind boggling, indeed.

        I just wrote an email to my last year and next year psychology instructor about this. I’m curious what, if anything, he will say.

        He might have interest because he and a group of his students were writing up a paper for publication on the psychology of why people don’t change their views on climate change when presented with facts. Or facts as he and the students sees them, anyway. Regardless of their views, surely he and they cannot defend John Cook’s behavior here!

      • @Tom T
        Not exactly.
        He is creating a strawman hypothesis and _confirming_ it with strawman “evidence”.

      • The point that needs to be driven home is that rather than getting real comments, he had his buddies (and himself) write FAKED UP COMMENTS, and then analyzed those ….

        The mendacity of creating commentary from your own group to use it to analyze and then label another group is truly mind boggling

        I completely agree with that. However it is something very different from ‘identity theft’ or ‘impersonating’ somebody else publicly, which probably would be actionable ofenses …

      • I doubt very much that this was a lab “exercise”. I suspect ist could have been some sort of rehearsal for a large-scale deception. What we see here is imo just the camouflage. The fact that the broth-spoiler disgused as a ‘n+azi’ shows not only a considerable lack of understanding of history, but some highly questionable disposition towards megalomania. May be he even thinks he is at war with the skeptical world?
        IF he got some sort of (un)ethical approval, this might be considered as aiding and abetting identity theft.

      • Such an approach would be consider professional malpractice for an acedmic , however its clear his university views such approaches has ‘acceptable’ has long as they results in news grasping headlines .

        The sad reality is once Obama stood up in public and give the whole 97% BS validation , Cook became virtual untouchable, becasue it was his ‘work’ that the paper prior to it that Obama was seen to refer too.

      • Anthony, a question. I don’t know what data WordPress makes available to you, but can you analyze your own archive to see if there was any other psuedonym abuse by this group in general or Cook in specific?

  51. I googled ‘skeptical science Lubos Motl’ and the first four entries were:

    ‘Climate misinformer: Lubos Motl – Skeptical Science’

    You really can’t make this stuff up (unless you’re Cook).

  52. Everybody, sooner or later, sits down to a banquet of consequences – Robert Louis Stevenson

    Not only have alarmists not had to suffer consequences, they are often rewarded for misdeeds. It is past time that the inevitable happens. Perhaps Lubos Motl can start the ball rolling.

  53. I have a different theory to most people commenting here. I don’t think that this guy and his cronies are acting like warmists – I think they are more wicked and less principled than that. I think they are simply out to create mischief, confusion and hatred wherever they can. I think they are deliberately injecting lies and deception into a controversy, and then doubling up the effect if they can, by revealing what they have done, but in a way that points fingers at one side. Oh yes, I realise JC has a history in this which is ‘obviously’ in acting in an unprincipled way for the one side. However, I think this is quite a long-term intervention which deliberately uses the ‘experiment’ motif, and has been through several phases over several years. He and his collaborators are cleverer than we might think. Never underestimate your enemy, and NEVER believe them. There are people acting here who are, above all, antagonistic to the truth. Warmists are more likely to believe they are friends, being more naive and trusting than sceptics, but their own honest but mistaken beliefs are being cruelly and deliberately trashed here.

    Someone is attempting to game the whole arena.

    • It’s Marxism. Destroy the capitalist system, no matter what the cost. And here is the giveaway.

      Australia’s original proposal for an Emissions Trading Scheme intended to tax agriculture’s recycled “carbon” emissions on the same basis as fossil carbon emissions. They intended to tax very poorly researched supposed emissions by cattle and sheep, but studiously refused to allow credits for the sequestration side of agriculture’s carbon cycle, the carbon which the grass they eat had removed from the atmosphere.

      This would have quickly bankrupted Australia’s livestock grazing industries. In turn this would have rendered the 60% of Australia’s land area which is used for grazing economically valueless, enabling the government to direct that land into “socialised” ownership without compensating the current owners for the loss of their savings.

      Agriculture is the last sector of the Australian economy still dominated by small business capitalism. The last sector where the owners make the business decisions and do the work. Half of the people engaged in farming in Australia have already been driven out, and the decline is gathering pace.

      This would also very likely cause the collapse of the entire financial system. As I said, no matter the cost.

  54. Ok, I admit it- I’m guilty. I went over to SKS to find out what they have to say about this thread and… spiked their daily visitor count.

    • I hate Illinois Nazis…not unlike those SKS clowns and John Cook LOL. Keep up the good fight wuwt crew!

  55. It is interesting to note that Steve McIntyre contacted Lubos about this. Since English is not Lubos’ first language the syntax is a bit garbled. But I think there may be a Steve Mc type forensic examination in the works.

  56. A Godwin – really?

    Even by WUWT’s low standards, that is low.

    [standards haven’t changed, only your opinion of them – if you don’t like what is said here, you have the adios option. this might be better since your sole purpose here seems to be to complain. -mod]

      • davideisenstadt

        Not that I can see any evidence that Cook did dress up as a Nazi officer.

        But even if he did, what is the relevance?

      • harrytwinotter
        July 23, 2015 at 7:56 pm

        davideisenstadt

        Not that I can see any evidence that Cook did dress up as a Nazi officer.

        But even if he did, what is the relevance?

        Grössenwahn – the german word for megalomania

      • If you haven’t seen the evidence, i am literally speechless…why dontcha try a google image search for cook? But my guess is you’ve already seen it, after all Cook himself posted the image to the SS website.
        As for the relevance of that, its hard to invoke Godwin when the target himself dresses like an SS officer.
        When the comparison is made by the individual in question, its not incorrect rhetoric to point it out.
        Have you dressed like a nazi recently?
        Had photos taken of you playing dress up?
        Posted those images on your website?
        Anyway, I did your google search for you…7.7 million results, .19 seconds.
        here, check for yourself.
        https://www.google.com/search?q=John+Cook+nazi&client=safari&rls=en&biw=1825&bih=896&source=lnms&sa=X&ved=0CAYQ_AUoAGoVChMIk_229qDzxgIVRPWACh3IQwsB&dpr=1

        lazy troll.

      • davideisenstadt.

        I still haven’t seen any evidence Cook dressed up like an SS officer. And I have not seen any evidence that Cook posted the photo on the SkS website.

        And what does a photoshopped photo of Cook have to do with the accusation of identity theft? Kind of ironic when the photo was probably stolen ie it was a theft.

        It is a Godwin.

        [here you go, from the Sks forum via this WUWT post https://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/08/06/skeptcial-science-takes-creepy-to-a-whole-new-level/ – mod]

        Cook as Nazi from the SkS forum

      • harrytwinotter,

        Its not some randome SS officer. Its a Photoshop of Heinrich Himmler himself.

      • Harry, you are being nonsensical now. making up claims that well documented things didn’t happen, and self contradictory as well. He didn’t do it, it must be fake and if it wasn’t then it was stolen

    • Harry you really are a sick puppy, I have had some experience with the twinotter a simple basic plane, not built as tough as the old single otter but an OK plane. That said to have the name of a plane in your posting name could possibly indicate a similar confused standard of thought processes as aforementioned Mr Cook.

      That would suggest to me that you may benefit from some counselling and a huge amount of education, then get back to us.

      • heres a few names for you…I think that they are apt.
        apologist, shill, liar, fool.

      • See, this is why I can’t even take climate trolls like Harry seriously. Am I really supposed to believe he doesn’t know about Cook’s Nazi roleplaying? Or that Climate Nazi wannabes have in the past quoted mein kampf, called for skeptics to be rounded up and place in concentration camps, made propaganda films full of false depictions of their enemies or even showing their children being killed for daring to disagree, or any of the many other Nazi like behavior they have got up to? Really?

    • Harry, it is very well accepted that Godwin’s Law does NOT apply in cases where people have actually been photographed dressed as Nazis.

      In that particular case Quatermain’s Law applies, and it is open season on them: Give them as much flak as possible.

    • harrytwinotter, if You photoshop yourself as a SS Officer then I will call You out as a bad person who is offensive to those who suffered in the Holocaust.
      You don’t get to claim “Godwin” or “It’s just a laugh” or that “My freedom of speech means I can support the SS”.
      You do have that freedom, but you will be condemned.

      That’s what Cook did. I condemn him for it.
      You support him for it.
      Be ashamed.

      • M Courtney.

        Well I did, so too bad. You do not get to tell me to feel ashamed.

        They appear to be a lark.

        As to your other accusations – bizarre. You might as well accuse WUWT of the same as they are promoting the photos to a wide audience. Not to mention other satire I have seen this website.

        PS nice of you to comment on my comment that is still under moderation, moderator’s privilege I guess.

        [mcourtney is not a moderator here, and has no access to the system of any kind -mod]

      • Harry, a “lark”? Let’s just say he had a lapse of judgement. Fine. One of my friends dressed as Hitler for Halloween in High School. His explanation, “it was the scariest costume I could think of”. However, it was still considered offensive and he was forced to go home and change.

        However, Cook isn’t a child in school. He made those pictures as an adult and posted several of them himself. It shows his lack of character and judgement.

        To compare, When SkS was first launched, Watts and the mod group cracked down on anyone who used the “SS” acronym for the site, citing it as poor taste and name caling.

        Personally, I would not continue to post them. However, using them as examples of the quality of this man’s reasoning while discussing his poor judgement on another matter? That is certainly fair game in the realm of debate.

      • “[mcourtney is not a moderator here, and has no access to the system of any kind -mod]”

        Fair enough, I made a mistake. My comment was flagged as “Your comment is awaiting moderation.”, so I assumed only moderators could see it, other than me.

      • benofhouston.

        Indications are the photos were downloaded from the SkS server without consent. A photo intended for a private audience. And a satirical photo at that. It may well have been done in response to the SS slur posted by some of the commenters on this forum.

        “poor judgement on another matter?”

        Well that is an accusation only, and a serious one. Identity Theft is considered a crime under many legal jurisdictions. Personally, I do not see any relation to the Godwin, other than to perhaps discredit Cook.

      • hey hoary:
        you should be ashamed.
        your mom should be ashamed…9 months of work for less than nothing.

      • You are really going to try and claim that these pictures were private? If you post pictures on a public web server, then they are public. If we had gone into his e-mail account, hacked into his PC, or broke into his iCloud, then that would be something else entirely.

        As for Identity Theft being serious accusation. Yes it is. However, the evidence is unambigious, actions were clearly done by Cook, and he admitted to it in his own words with the explicit statement that desired effect and (from responses) the actual effect was to make people think that Motyl was writting comments. Unless you somehow are saying that someone else posted as Coook pretending to have been posting as Motyl, a defense that surely would have surfaced by now, trying to say.that he didn’t do it is invalid and commenting about the seriousness of the charge. You can make the case that this isn’t Identity theft in a legal sense, but that’s an entirely different discussion.

        The pictures were raised in the commentary of his reasoning for how he thought this could be mildly acceptable, which is an opinion piece. Pulling up the fact that he has shown poor judgement in the past is perfectly valid in this context.

      • benofhouston.

        Familiarise yourself with the details before you accuse someone of something.

        And always keep in mind: the forum postings were stolen.

    • Notice: no condemnation of Cook’s deliberate deception, but rather an attack on WUWT.

      Just as I said would happen. So predictable.

      • TonyG.

        “deliberate deception”.

        You have evidence of a deception? I do not see any myself.

      • If one wants to talk about deliberate deception, one might ask who “harrytwinotter” actually is. Given he’s posting from Cook’s neighborhood in Australia, and given his bent here, one might think he’s got some connection to the SkS crowd. How about it “Harry”… care to expound on what I already know?

      • I’m surprised that he chose Heinrich Himmler for the Photoshop. Wouldn’t his role model be Joseph Goebbels, surely ?

        Whatever, I think I’ll post the description of the end of Herr Goebbels from Wikipedia, as it does give some hope:

        “On the evening of 1 May 1945, Goebbels arranged for an SS dentist, Helmut Kunz, to inject his six children with morphine so that when they were unconscious, an ampule of cyanide could be then crushed in each of their mouths.[225] According to Kunz’s later testimony, he gave the children morphine injections but it was Magda Goebbels and SS-Obersturmbannführer Ludwig Stumpfegger, Hitler’s personal doctor, who administered the cyanide.[225]
        At around 20:30, Goebbels and his wife left the bunker and walked up to the garden of the Chancellery, where they committed suicide.[226] There are several different accounts of this event. According to one account, Goebbels shot his wife and then himself. Another account was that they each bit on a cyanide ampule and were given a coup de grâce immediately afterwards.[227] Goebbels’ SS adjutant Günther Schwägermann testified in 1948 that the couple walked ahead of him up the stairs and out into the Chancellery garden. He waited in the stairwell and heard the shots sound.[226] Schwägermann then walked up the remaining stairs and once outside he saw the lifeless bodies of the couple. Following Joseph Goebbels’ prior order, Schwägermann had an SS soldier fire several shots into Goebbels’ body, which did not move.[226]
        The bodies were then doused with petrol, but the remains were only partially burned and not buried.[227] A few days later, Voss was brought back to the bunker by the Soviets to identify the partly burned bodies of Joseph and Magda Goebbels and the bodies of their children. The remains of the Goebbels’ family, Hitler, Eva Braun, General Krebs, and Hitler’s dogs were repeatedly buried and exhumed.[228] The last burial was at the SMERSH facility in Magdeburg on 21 February 1946. In 1970, KGB director Yuri Andropov authorised an operation to destroy the remains.[229] On 4 April 1970, a Soviet KGB team used detailed burial charts to exhume five wooden boxes at the Magdeburg SMERSH facility. The remains from the boxes were burned, crushed, and scattered into the Biederitz river, a tributary of the nearby Elbe.[230]”

        I’m not sure about the wayback machine being tampered with in the future so I thought I’d post this again, before William Connolley changes the Wiki entry to:

        “Josef Goebbels’ family lived happily ever after”.

      • Anthony Watts.

        An attempt at a subject change. Very well. If you are indeed “Anthony Watts” (I have no way of telling), you should discuss your accusation of identify theft based on stolen information you received. Not to mention not being able to tell the difference between a photoshopped photo and an actual photo.

        Yes visit Australia, have a drive around. Big place hey? They speak English there too. I have heard their weather is better in spring.

        So you think you know something (which I doubt because you show aptitude for making stuff up). In that case care to expound of how much care you take with the privacy of your commenters?

        [when it comes to disruptive trolls with fake names and throwaway email addresses to hide identity, I don’t much care about your concerns, as stated in our policy page, if you want respect, use your name. I’ve been to Australia, and I know far more about this entire episode that you do, unless of course, you are John Cook or one of his forum buddies posing here as “harrytwinotter” ;-) – Anthony]

  57. John Cook’s on-again, off-again “Doctorate” was “on” for this revealing presentation at Univ. of Queensland Centre for the Study of Science, Religion and Society

    “Dr John Cook, The University of Queensland, “Climate Change and the Weightier Matters: a Christian View on Global Warming”, 3 August 2012”

  58. So now we know (at least one of) the sources of the identity thieves trying to ruin the reputations of skeptics. I myself was the victim of identity fraud right here on WUWT some months back. Some anonymous slimeball using faked IP addresses posted a whole lot of mindless, hate-filled trollbait signed with my name. Most of it was directed at moderators of WUWT, so until the chaos got sorted out, I got temporarily banned from WUWT. My personal and professional reputation took a massive hit. Sales of my sceptical book, Carbon Is Life, fell off a cliff.
    I don’t think Cook wrote the fakes posted under my name – the style of Cook’s fakes is much more insidious and understated, whereas the fakes in my name were simply nasty hate-filled drivel. But now we discover that “the Lubos thing. Was … for the UWA experiment…” !
    So is Cook teaching researchers to forge identities of innocent people who disagree with them, and trash their names and reputations? Did THIS get ethics approval from already known to be corrupt UWA “ethics” process? Is there a whole class of gullible waifs over there in the deep west obediently trashing reputations far and wide – but always of skeptics?
    This is my warning to every skeptic posting honest and thoughtful articles and comments anywhere: there are alarmist scum willing to descend into the dirtiest moral sewers in order to ruin you. Every now and then run a search for your own name appearing on climate forums, and make sure that everything that seems to have been posted by you, really was.
    And my warning to Cook: as we close in on the fraudster who stole my good name, I am increasingly confident of an action for defamation against the individual concerned. And if said individual is or was a student or collaborator of yours, expect your name to be included.

    • Ron,
      I’ve just ordered a copy of your book, as a small compensation for the financial harm done to you by these low lifes. I liked the colourful flowers on the cover :-)
      Fellow WUWTers, perhaps more of you could rally round so that Ron can afford to pursue legal redress and nail this scum.

      • My reply to Phil. is in moderation. Unfortunately, a paragraph I intended to be bolded is presented as being a quotation which it is not. Sorry.

    • Ron House:

      Thankyou for reporting the identity theft of you on WUWT and the ensuing difficulties. That was news to me and I am saddened by it.

      I write to warn that your intention to seek legal redress has little hope.

      I, too, have suffered from impersonation on the web and also – including on WUWT – trolls claiming I had said other than I had.

      The original case I experienced was a long smear campaign by John Hunter against John Daly and me. That campaign concentrated on me when John Daly died. Hunter’s campaign was a response to John Daly providing a journal with evidence – based on documents I obtained from the RS Library in London – that a paper by John Hunter was based on fabricated data. Hunter’s smears were widely quoted on the web as being true, and I could usually tell where they originated because they repeated Hunter’s claim that I lived in a town I have never visited. But all legal advice was for me to ignore the campaign because the costs and difficulties of a legal case against someone in a foreign land would be too great.

      Richard

      • Hi Richard,

        Thanks for your kind thoughts. I was sad to hear you had received a similarly disgraceful attack. I think a large part of these attacks is intended to make us distrust each other, never being quite sure what other people really stand for. I probably wouldn’t waste my time and money if the attacker turns out to be a lone loser in the US. But if said loser has attachments to Cook, that’s a different matter entirely. And I’m in the same country as Cook! ;-)

      • The claim that you lived in Epsom appears to have originated with an oufit called SourceWatch, presumably confusion with your employers address?

      • Phil.

        As usual, you are wrong.

        The Epsom assertion was first promulgated as one of Hunter’s lies. SourceWatch was one of several smear sites that copied it along with other more serious fabrications from Hunter. In light of a current WUWT thread, it is perhaps worth noting that the site of Greg Foster (aka Tamino) was another which copied and publicised Hunter’s lies.

        The only practical response is to ignore the smear campaigns because attempts to refute them encourages mud to stick. But, as your post demonstrates, the malign remember the falsehoods and try to justify them.

        The important points are that these smear campaigns are not a new phenomenon, they spread across the web, and obtaining legal redress for them is impractical although – as Ron House says has recently found – they can provide real difficulties.

        Richard

  59. At the EDX web site; one can post reviews.
    https://www.edx.org/course/making-sense-climate-science-denial-uqx-denial101x-0
    So I am posting this:

    “John Cook has been discovered:
    A) Posting comments to ‘experiments’ under false names.
    B) Using other people’s identities online.
    C) Soliciting online friends to post false comments in order to skew experiments and online questionnaires
    D) Using skewed online questionnaires for writing so called research papers.

    For complete information visit these sites:
    http://motls.blogspot.com/2015/07/identity-theft-thief-of-lubosmotl-turns.html#more

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/07/23/yes-why-does-john-cook-of-skepticalscience-and-the-97-have-to-use-identity-theft-in-his-research/

    I suspect that the comments go into limbo until approved. When I click ‘post review’, nothing happens to indicate a posting.

  60. Cook is a participant in the Stonehouse Standing Circle, the strategic planning forum run by PR professional and DeSmog director, James Hoggan with David Suzuki etc. (funded by internet gambling money from launderer, John LeFevre)
    Professional mind molding is not known as a field allowing for skepticism and self criticism, add the conviction that all opposition is morally degenerate, the skill to frame and tailor opinion at will and the result should not surprise.
    http://stonehousesummit.com/about-stonehouse

  61. If these warmists have to cheat to get their points across than that makes me wonder about the quality of these points, apart from the quality of their consciousness.

  62. Followed up with posting this comment to CNN’s climate denial article:
    http://edition.cnn.com/2015/07/22/opinions/cook-techniques-climate-change-denial/

    “CNN Please note that the author of this propaganda article may have committed and encouraged academic and online fraud by posting under other people’s/bloggers identities.

    “Documents expose John Cook as committing the following:
    A) Posting comments to ‘experiments’ under false names.
    B) Using other people’s identities online.
    C) Soliciting online friends to post false comments in order to skew experiments and online questionnaires
    D) Solicited online friends to specifically assume characteristics when responding to specific online questionnaires.
    E) Using skewed online questionnaires for writing so called research papers.
    F) Posting comments in online blogs under assumed names of real people.

    There is a strong likelihood that Cook was targeting results for one or more of his alleged research papers; including his trumped up 97.7 percent false consensus.

    UWA and Queensland should both investigate Cook’s academic research subversions. Australia’s prosecutors should investigate John Cook’s identity theft actions.

    UWA and Queensland should also investigate John Cook’s co-authors as possible collaborators.

    For complete information visit these sites:
    http://motls.blogspot.com/2015/07/identity-theft-thief-of-lubosmotl-turns.html#more

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/07/23/yes-why-does-john-cook-of-skepticalscience-and-the-97-have-to-use-identity-theft-in-his-research/”

    • Balderdash.

      The personal attack is taking someone else’s identity and defaming them by posting comments that they would never have made under the other person’s identity.

    • Re “Jamal Munshi”:

      My analyses have shown that a reliable method of detecting trolling is to look for comments that start with a compliment for the website as a whole, followed by a denunciation. Genuine posters simply state their case, good or bad.

      • Yep. Standard False Flag concern troll tactics. They know their usual bull won’t work when one of their own has been caught red handed like this. And few if any will want to try to stand behind him because it will just make them look equally corrupt. So expect to see scores of ‘new’ posters who all sing from the same hymn book about how this isn’t really science and can’t we all just get back to discussing what the El Nino is doing or what the real climate sensitivity might be. Nothing to be seen here, move along.

    • this is a thread concerned with discussing an individuals actions and behavior…this is in no way a “personal” attack…whats being attacked are actions.

    • Jamal Munshi, I suspect you are John Cook in disguise.
      Indeed, I am assuming you are a liar.
      That is what John Cook has done by practising deceit. He has poisoned the well of debate.
      And you now look like a liar because of it.

      [the person Jamal Munshi, is most definitely NOT John Cook, do’t make that assuption – mod]

  63. Regarding Cook’s behavior in using Motl’s name, it appears that Cook faked reality on purpose.

    Lying is the process of intentionally faking reality, therefore Cook is a liar.

    Lying is fundamentally self-abdication from reality. Cook has.

    John

  64. Over the years, I’ve read on this blog about a lot of bizarre and dishonest behavior on the part of climate change alarmists, but this takes the cake. Pardon my Anglo-Saxon, but what the f–ck?

    :O

  65. A more charitable (although possibly false) explanation is that perhaps they were writing various fake comments to train people how to evaluate and classify comments (although having them all written by AGW proponents undermines the effectiveness of this as a training exercise, arguably). That’s the least damning explanation I can come up with.

    Regardless, it’s defamatory to use actual people. They should have used pseudonyms, not real people’s identities—even if it was all a training exercise.

    But if they were actually used to produce a paper, holy c-w!

  66. Um, guys. You’re kind of missing a huge element of this story. This post says:

    This is just unbelievable; “the UWA experiment”. Think about what this refers to: University of Western Australia. This is where Cook launched his career defaming climate skeptics by helping Stephan Lewandowsky in designing/running a gussied up poll that was never actually posted on climate skeptic websites, that purports to give answers by climate skeptics, to be used in a paper where it is claimed that climate skeptics are believers that “the moon landing was faked“. What sort of “experiment” was John Cook running by stealing the identity of Dr. Lubos Motl, and writing comments under his name?

    Implying this “experiment” had something to do with the Moon Landing paper, but that’s not the case. This experiment was an entirely different matter. The actual experiment was discussed in the Skeptical Science forum. In fact, that discussion was part of what led to the discovery of John Cook having done this (which I’ve known about for some time now and thought was old news).

    Long story short, John Cook wanted to “prove” being exposed to skeptics made people dumber, therefore the best way to handle the global warming debate was to effectively exclude skeptics. This is the fundamental underpinning of the innoculation approach he now advocates in all of his lectures and public relations campaigns. One of the first steps toward this idea was the “experiment” he refers to here. It’s described as:

    I’ve been conducting a psychological experiment with UWA cognitive scientists testing for the effects of blog comments on readers’ comprehension. The first stage of the experiment was live on SkS and we’ve analysed the data and found that for a warmist blog post, there was no difference in reader comprehension when the reader was exposed to all warmist comments or no comments. However, when the reader was exposed to all skeptic comments, their comprehension dropped.

    So it’s officially been quantified – reading the comments threads on denier blogs will make you stupid.

    Anyway, we’re now moving onto stage 2 of the experiment – they’re going to conduct a similar experiment in the lab at UWA but with a twist – they’re going to have 4 conditions:

    Warmist blog post, all warmist comments
    Warmist blog post, all skeptic comments
    Skeptic blog post, all warmist comments
    Skeptic blog post, all skeptic comments

    You’ve already seen and been horrified by my hideously evil skeptic blog post. I’m now asking SkSers to perform duties even more arduous – I need you to embrace your inner-climate-denier and post skeptic comments avidly supporting the denier post. Specifically, we need 10 comments for each condition. So it only really requires a handful of SkSers going into the 4 conditions (linked above) and interact with each other, either wholeheartedly embracing and endorsing the post or vigorously criticising and nitpicking it. We will then take the 4 conditions into the lab and see what impact they have on reader comprehension, see if it confirms our first result.

    Note: we’ll of course change the names in the lab experiment so your comments will be anonymous and it won’t be shown as an SkS post either.

    So many thanks in advance for helping us out with our experiment :-)

    The entire point of the campaign was to make fake comments, so it is no surprise fake names were used. Using the name of an actual person was stupid, but it’s hardly the serious offense people are making it out to be since it was just in the Skeptical Science forum. If the Skeptical Science group wants to use the names of skeptics within their own little forum, it’s messed up, but… who really cares?

    By the way, there’s no need to look at e-mail or IP addresses. John Cook flat-out said he made that account in another thread:

    So please drop by and engage with some of the threads as either extreme warmist or skeptic. Don’t make me have to register another fake denier username like Steve Goddard and give Alby heart palpitations :-)

    If you ask me, the real story here is that the UWA was involved in an “experiment” this silly. The results of this “experiment” show fake comments intentionally written by people to be terrible mockeries of those they dislike cause confusion in onlookers.

    Seriously. That’s what the UWA spends it’s time and money studying?

    • Brandon writes “If the Skeptical Science group wants to use the names of skeptics within their own little forum, it’s messed up, but… who really cares?”

      Well if they used a “Brandon Shollenberger” fake account and posted replies on your behalf, I suspect you’d be pretty upset about it too. Afterall “the public” are going to read them and think you’ve got no clue about whatever “you” posted about.

      Whether the public are dumber for that is arguable, but there is little doubt the public perception of you is going to be that you’re dumber…

      So I expect to answer your question, you would care.

      • Huh? Did you read what I said? As I clearly said:

        If the Skeptical Science group wants to use the names of skeptics within their own little forum, it’s messed up, but… who really cares?

        So no, I wouldn’t care. I mean, I’d be confused if John Cook decided to post in his forum under the name Brandon Shollenberger, but why would it matter to me? You say:

        Afterall “the public” are going to read them and think you’ve got no clue about whatever “you” posted about.

        But no, they wouldn’t. That was my entire point. Cook only did this within the Skeptical Science forum. If their forum hadn’t been released for public dissemination, something he never wanted to happen, nobody outside their group would have seen him use the fake name.

        I repeat, these comments were not posted publicly; they were posted privately.

      • Brandon writes “If their forum hadn’t been released for public dissemination, something he never wanted to happen, nobody outside their group would have seen him use the fake name.”

        But it was released and so Lubos was seen to have posted like that. Besides, what kind of “experiment” has a set number of “internal” postings (no doubt for statistical purposes) and no public interaction at all?

        I suspect the original intention was to post them for public interaction. If not, what would you speculate was their intention with this “experiment” ?

      • Brandon: “John Cook wanted to “prove” being exposed to skeptics made people dumber”. Ok, made which people dumber? I presume the wider public, not the SKS inner core.
        Good research by the way.

      • TimTheToolMan:

        Brandon writes “If their forum hadn’t been released for public dissemination, something he never wanted to happen, nobody outside their group would have seen him use the fake name.”

        But it was released and so Lubos was seen to have posted like that.

        So what? If John Cook wants to roleplay Brandon Shollenberger in the bedroom and video tape it, he can. That’s true even if later on somebody breaks into his house, copies the tapes and releases them to the public. I wouldn’t be bothered by it.

        (Unless somebody actually forced me to watch the videos. But then I’d be mad at them, not Cook).

        Besides, what kind of “experiment” has a set number of “internal” postings (no doubt for statistical purposes) and no public interaction at all?

        None. But this answer goes for AntonyIndia too, if you read the forum, you’ll see Cook tells the Skeptic Science the comments they submit will be anonymized before being used in the experiment. That means all the names, fake or real, would be removed from the comments before they were seen by anyone participating in the experiment. Which is exactly what you’d expect if you thought about how an experiment like this would be done with an unbiased mind as nobody would want to do an experiment like this with identifiable names being used. But you:

        suspect the original intention was to post them for public interaction. If not, what would you speculate was their intention with this “experiment” ?

        Even though the intention of the experiment is explicitly laid out in the forum. Heck, you wouldn’t even have to go to the forum. I quoted the post which laid it all out. Just by reading the comments you responded to, you’d have seen the intention was to use these comments “in the lab at UWA” and “we’ll of course change the names in the lab experiment.”

        But no, why would anyone bother to read what they respond to? Why look at what people who’ve researched subjects provide as evidence or consider the possibility there might be a reason they hold the views they hold? It’s not like evidence or critical thought is supposed to matter here or anything.

      • Brandon writes “Just by reading the comments you responded to, you’d have seen the intention was to use these comments “in the lab at UWA” and “we’ll of course change the names in the lab experiment.”

        Fair enough. I expect that will apply to the Lubos name too. You’re right.

    • Brandon is correct in assessing this as terribly silly ‘experimentation’ … (plainly it in no way ranks as any sort science, in company with some other ‘cognitive psychology’ online surveys).

      However that does not mitigate the other issue: The use of someone’s name to make false statements within a group of any size or structure is undoubtedly offensive, and ignorant, and also it was also very naive to assume it would never be leaked or otherwise become public.

      It sounds like a simple minded exercise in justifying the excluding dissenting voices from a (the?) debate.

      It all raises some serious questions about the intelligence and sanity of the man.

      • His SS cosplay was leaked. He knew it was going to be leaked.
        It was not intended to be private.

        It couldn’t be private as the effect of sceptic comments on the experimenters is meaningless. It needed those who weren’t in on the gag to see the fake comments.

    • @ Brandon Shollenberger July 23, 2015 at 9:05 pm

      “If the Skeptical Science group wants to use the names of skeptics within their own little forum, it’s messed up, but… who really cares?”

      As a participant on “Making Sense of Climate Science Denial” I noticed many comments under a name of “Brandon Shollenberger”.

      Was that commenter you, or, a sockpuppet? How would other course participants know?

      • That was me. It also wasn’t a forum for the Skeptical Science group, or a little forum. In other words, it wasn’t anything like the forum in question, so your rhetorical point is highly misleading.

        Seriously, why do you guys care so much about what name somebody posted under in a small, private forum where people largely knew what he was doing? If you could show me anyone other than maybe a Skeptical Science person was tricked by this, I’d care. But you can’t, because they’re the only ones who saw it.

      • Brandon Scholl……so you post often at SKS, huh? All the while defending the stupidity from them.

        Cook illicits fake responses in order to draw a conclusion denigrating his opposition….WOW!!!….And you defend his madness because….”it was never supposed to be public.” SO F@CKING WHAT!?!?!…..He used the fake comments to “teach” and to “inform” through his experimentation and to what affect?–all it can possibly show is that disengenuous alarmists make really stupid and misleading comments.

      • gaelansclark:

        Brandon Scholl……so you post often at SKS, huh? All the while defending the stupidity from them.

        Cook illicits fake responses in order to draw a conclusion denigrating his opposition….WOW!!!….And you defend his madness because….”it was never supposed to be public.” SO F@CKING WHAT!?!?!…..He used the fake comments to “teach” and to “inform” through his experimentation and to what affect?–all it can possibly show is that disengenuous alarmists make really stupid and misleading comments.

        Yes, clearly that’s it. I post so often at SkS, that’s how I knew what sort of uniforms they like to Photoshop themselves into over there. And I released that information because I thought everybody would think the people there are great for dressing up like that, because everybody loves a good WWII reference.

        I mean, obviously all I ever do is defend SkS. Lewandowsky, Cook, Nuccitelli. They’re all my pals. The only person who likes me more is Michael Mann.

      • Brandon:
        Your interest in our concerns is faked.

        If you don’t agree, that’s your business. You stated your opinion, that’s it.

        All the rest of your comments are diversionary; stunted absurd attempts to demean others here.

        Facts:
        Cook faked comments.
        Cook solicited others to fake comments.
        Cook extensively solicited others to fake comments in order to seriously skew comments. Then promised to falsify records and retroactively change data into anonymous records.
        Cook used the names of people whose opinions he derided to post false comments under their names.

        That last one is identity theft. Damaging a person’s reputation and character, in print, is libel.

        Cook is a liar. Cook creates and incites fake data and research. Cook defames others.

        And you insist this is a problem for you, Brandon? Other than whining at us, what is your purpose posting all of your complaints about our concerns?

      • “…Seriously, why do you guys care so much about what name somebody posted under in a small, private forum where people largely knew what he was doing?…”

        Brandon:
        You know, as well as anyone who has any real experience with the internet, that anything posted under a directory with an URL address is public unless specifically restricted or otherwise protected.

        That’s the way web crawlers basically work, testing urls and scraping their unprotected contents.

        People trying to create their first websites often create directories that are ‘public’, but links are not provided in the main web site’s pages. That does not make the private. It does make them ‘disconnected’ or not ‘linked’.

        You know all this Brandon as your web skills are well above the ordinary.

        Following up my previous comment;
        Cook brilliantly, or not, posted his nefarious intent and actions on the web!
        Post under a website address? It is public unless specific restrictions and protections are enabled. Ignorance or lack of intelligence does not make the website or the posts any less public!

        Back in 1995, I interviewed a web programmer for a position. Since they mentioned currently working at a company developing web programs; I asked specifically what their working url and subdirectory was. During the interview, I turned and typed the url into my computer and up popped their current work.

        Their work was very good and yes, we did hire them. However, their shock at all of their current coding being exposed on the web was immense. After bring stunned and alarmed, they claimed it couldn’t be live… Surely their administrator was putting protections in?…

        The candidate willing provided a few more ‘secret’ directories and we quickly discovered that even their ‘secret’ exclusive web coding was easily accessible.

        Before we hired that person, they dashed back to their supervisor who raised the issues with their security department and system administrators. Outside of their public business front web pages, all of the sub-directories vanished from public view within a week.

        Ignorance, arrogance, stupidity, or all three are not a defense. Coding on the web is equivalent to standing in a crowded mall and shouting to everyone. You want privacy? Take and practice precaution!

    • I think Brandon needs to increase his legal knowledge. He doesn’t seem to understand libel.

      • In the cyber age, there is no longer an expectation that one’s comments will remain private. “You can libel someone by writing about them on a personal blog, providing at least one person accesses the defamatory material.”

        So John Cook is responsible for his actions whether in a private forum or not, since he has no control over how that information will be used. Is impersonating another individual libelous? Probably.

        That being said, the offense has to be significant enough to warrant pursuing it in court, otherwise you’re simply wasting your time and money. Dr. Motl seems to understand that even if some here don’t. He might be better off seeking a retraction or pursuing it through academic channels rather than the courts. At the moment he seems to be having a bit of fun with it, so should everyone.

      • ATheoK “Cook is a liar. Cook creates and incites fake data and research. Cook defames others.” The fake data and research Cook has created has played an important part in the ongoing fraud and destruction of science which has resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of people, destroyed the careers and reputations of many scientists, caused the adoption of destructive environmental solutions, wasted trillions of dollars, and helped create a global nazi police state while UN NGOs destroyed the environment in third world countries and displace indigenous people.
        Anyone involved in this fraud is evil. I don’t want to get complacent about scammers.

    • Brandon, “Lubos Motl” is not a fake name. Making fake comments by a real person does cross an ethical line; it’s not just stupid.

      For an experiment it would be proper to use real threads from real blogs. For real data, not fake posts for fake results.

    • but brandon there weren’t “fake nam,es” used …there were real names used…real names of real people who deserve some control over just what thoughts and opinions to which their(unusual( names are attached.
      They aren’t fake names…they are someone else name.
      Hows about I go on some fettish site and start posting about how much you like scat?

  67. As for the ice core record showing that atmospheric CO2 concentration lags temperature: That is true over a good ice core record of close to half a million years. And for around/over 99.95% of that time, the sum of carbon in the atmosphere, hydrosphere and biosphere was largely constant. Warming caused carbon to move from the hydrosphere to the atmosphere in form of CO2, and this (and its cooling converse) formed a positive feedback.

    Nowadays and ever since fairly accurate carbon budget accounting started around 1958, human activity is and has been extracting a lot of carbon from the lithosphere and transferring it to the sum of the atmosphere, biosphere and hydrosphere. Unlike 99.95-plus % of the past which was before the Industrial Revolution, the warming is accompanied by the atmosphere having carbon being removed from it by the sum of the biosphere and hydrosphere, mostly the hydrosphere.

    And please do not get confused away from this fact by citations that improperly equate a ton of carbon with a ton of CO2 – a ton of carbon is the carbon content in 3.664 tons of CO2. Global carbon budget figures are often in terms of gigatons (AKA petagrams) of carbon.

  68. Identity theft?

    I do not think so.

    I know what the experiment was, some of the details are still on the Skeptical Science website.

    It appears to be an experiment involving priming (if that is the correct term). Different types of comments were posted under a blog post, and readers were surveyed to see if comments affected their comprehension of the blog post.

    No big deal.

    • I see Brandon Shollenberger has already covered what I posted, sorry about the duplication my bad. I came to a similar conclusion independently but I didn’t notice he had already posted it.

    • What a silly cover up story.

      If that were true they would use meaningless names. Or anonymous names. But he “randomly” chose Lubos Motl.
      “Lubos Motl”, that happens to be the name of a real sceptic.

      I suppose that it could have hit on a random name of a sceptic but that would make more sense if the sceptic was “John Smith”.
      “Lubos Motl “is such an unlikely combination of letters to hit upon by chance.

      But that’s what you’re claiming.
      And that these random letters, “Lubos Motl”, were going to be re-ordered to something anonymous sometime later, honest.
      You just hadn’t got around to that yet. But you were going to, for sure. In fact, come to think of it, you could have simply not used “Lubos Motl” in the first place. If only you had thought about it.

      Very silly story.
      Blatantly a falsehood..

  69. This is how I understand what Cook’s experiment will be about. I am sorta just guessing — with little actual information.

    Cook’s experiment seems to be about giving people a printed piece of “warmist science” to read followed by comments on that article. There will be four different sets of comments each attached to the same article. One set will have well known warmists proponents making favorable comments on the article. Another set will have the same well known warmists proponents making unfavorable comments on the article. Another set will be of well known “deniers” making favorable comments about the article. And the fourth set will be of the same well known “deniers” making unfavorable comments about the article.

    People will receive only one set. Afterwards they will be asked questions about their understanding of the article.

    Being that this is John Cook-the-books running this we can guess what his conclusion will be. Comprehension will be enhanced by favorable comments and diminished by unfavorable ones. Name recognition will also have an effect. “Surprisingly” he will find that negative comments by well known warmist proponents will have a much smaller negative effect than negative comments by will known “deniers”. (Please remember the test will be of comprehension of the science (what a joke) in the article — meaning what the article was about — not about agreement or disagreement with the article (though there is a 97% chance such questions will come at the end).

    There is a good chance he will try to equalize his test subjects — half being self-identified warmists and half being self-identified skeptics. (He won’t use the term denier in assembling his groups.) Probably he will get his test subjects by exclusively advertising for them on warmists sites as he has been known to do in the past.

    John Cook-the-books will then conclude that denier comments disrupt people’s ability to understand the “science” in the article.

    We have found out that all comments will be written by John Cook-the-books cronies at Skeptical Science so we can expect that the comments made by “deniers” will reference faked moon landings.

    !) If the university that will oversee this has any ethics left, the use of real names will not be permitted. I take that back. That decision will be not be based in ethics since they probably don’t have any left but on fear of being sued.
    2) John Cook-the-books is “safe” and he will give the university the answers that it wants so for the rest he will receive a “Right On! and help with funding.

    I am just guessing about all this, of course.

    Eugene WR Gallun

  70. This is the same UWA that blackballed Bjorn Lomborg from setting up a research centre.

    It was going to be a great partnership –

    http://www.news.uwa.edu.au/201504027455/events/new-economic-prioritisation-research-centre-uwa

    Until the staff, students and twittersphere revolted –

    http://www.uwastudentguild.com/bjorn-lomborg-has-no-place-at-uwa/

    And the university backed out –

    http://www.news.uwa.edu.au/201505087564/message-vice-chancellor-australian-consensus-centre

    The place is a complete joke. It is not a university but a socialist collective.

    • Until the staff, students and twittersphere revolted –

      We don’t know that. It is quite reasonable to assume that it was just John Cook and a few accomplices faking the twitterstorm.
      They had a material interest in avoiding debate and are known to use such deceits.

  71. If this story is true, then it must have consequences. This is not minor impropriety.

    Here is another bit of work, perhaps not quite so evil, but bringing great discredit none the less. On 24th April 2015 The Conversation published an article by Matthew England. It contained a chart of “Ocean Heat Content” which everybody should inspect closely. There is at least one major problem which is self explanatory. Other serious problems flow from that, notably in the citation of others.

    https://theconversation.com/the-climate-hiatus-doesnt-take-the-heat-off-global-warming-40686

    My apologies for not reading it properly when it was news. But today’s news makes today seem a good day for highlighting it.

  72. We should also be questioning the ethics of the “real” scientists who colluded with Cook

  73. Another triumph for the University of Queensland and higher education in Australia. Paging the Minister of Education…

  74. Interestingly John Cook wrote a paper on identity theft:

    This paper discusses the crime of Identity Theft as it pertains to cybercrime. Identity theft is a crime that has evolved from theft of mail to theft of victim’s identity from financial institutions, computer systems, and magnetic strips of credit cards. Identity theft is a crime that can affect its victim’s years after it is committed. With Identity Theft, organized crime and terrorists have increased their activities by the financial gains of money fraud and false identities. In response to Identity Theft, various counter-measures range from consumer education to government legislation. Consumer protection from Identity Theft is a constant task that requires attention to financial records, updates to computer security software, and evaluating suspicions e-mails asking for personal information. Corporation protection from Identity Theft provides a dual effect, since it also protects its consumers if performed effectively. Collaboration on security standards in financial transactions, improving security of hardware, and constant updates of security patches are some of the methods available for corporation use. Law enforcement agencies fight against Identity Theft with the aid of corporation assistance and legislation specifically made to prosecute the criminals who commit Identity Theft. While various methods are present to combat Identity Theft, the growth of the crime continues today. This paper provides reasons Identity Theft continues to exist and the associated risks.

    OK, not that John Cook

  75. The Post Modern CIimate Alarmism scientific method involving a new
    post modern slant on falsification, namely ‘data / identity forging.’

  76. Whoops. I gave somebody too much credit there. SkepticalScience used that chart almost as is on on 25 April 2012. And it does indeed resemble to a much greater degree than I anticipated Levitus et al 2012.

    There are other problems with the chart, but the great untruth, which to my surprise is in all three, is that at various times between 1976 and about 1992 the oceans had zero heat content. Based on that, the chart tells us that in a ten year period towards the end, heat content rose by about 50%. Oh, what a tangled web we weave! And so many of us, too!

  77. “Cook launched his career defaming climate skeptics by helping Stephan Lewandowsky in designing/running a gussied up poll that was never actually posted  on climate skeptic websites.”

    I’ve never seen any evidence that Cook helped Lew design his poll, and he specifically didn’t help him to run the poll, but hindered him, by promising to post the poll at SkS and then not doing so. (He did tweet it.) (See the FOI emails from Lew to blogowners in August 2010 obtained by Simon Turnill and now available at Climate Audit).

    In the internal SkS “Treehut Files” Cook enthuses about an experiment he’s planning to launch false sceptic comments. He promises his fellow conspirators that he’ll inform them before launch.

    Something’s missing from the story. I’d guess its private emails from the saner of his close collaborators telling him to stop.

    • [I accidentally posted this to an old blog entry at Bishop Hill, slightly edited and reposted here]

      I think the most important facet of Cook’s identity theft is in the area of the UWA comment quotas. Based on these apparent comments, and the fact that Cook is admitting to posting as Lubos Motl, I find it highly probable that the Lewandowsky surveys that generated the Moon Hoax paper were based substantively on ginned up responses by Cook and possibly some of his friends who seem to know about his identity theft, but don’t object to the practice of sock puppetry, but only object to his using a real identifiable skeptic’s name. It’s possible and likely that Cook and his team posed as and pretended to be a skeptics for the purpose of those surveys! When Steve McIntyre brought up the issue of spoofed answers in his original analysis of the Moon Hoax paper, IIRC, Cook and Lewandowsky poo-poohed that notion, saying they had “controlled” for obviously faked responses based on IP address analysis. But did they control for their own faked survey answers, posted under sock puppet names and under the false Lubos Motl identity? Can we now be sure that they themselves weren’t posting some responses that were fake but “more plausible” sounding in their own minds? And what of their role as impartial judges of that question as experimental controllers of the analysis? This is beyond the pale. The Moon Hoax paper, the 97% paper, and any other papers based on John Cook controlled surveys must be retracted.

      Ah, fanaticism, there’s no end to the interesting places it takes you…

  78. Your (Motl’s) first quote can be found here
    http://www.hi-izuru.org/forum/Technical%20Stuff/2011-09-21-BLOG%20EXPERIMENT%20CONDITION%201_%20warmist%20post,%20warmist%20comments.html
    on a thread which starts:

    “As the second part of our experiment on science blogging, we’ll be showing 4 conditions to lab participants at the Uni of W.A. The condition for this thread is Warmist Blog Post, Warmist Comments. So would be great if a handful of SkSers could post glowing, very warmist comments to our “How we know…” blog post – posted here in this forum thread. We need exactly 10 warmist comments…”
    the link is to
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/thread.php?t=2837
    which is not available.

    So there was an experiment at UWA using fake comments. Does anyone know how to obtain that “not available” SkS post?

    • Unless I’m mistaken, that link went to this thread. All the links like that went to threads in the Skeptical Science forum. The number at the end identified which thread was which. They just obviously don’t work with the forum being in a new location (and me not having a database setup with the information stored about which thread is which).

    • Quote: “So there was an experiment at UWA using fake comments. Does anyone know how to obtain that “not available” SkS post?”

      Sure — just make up something. Anything….

  79. I wonder how many of the papers judged to comprise the 97% were in fact written by sock-puppets to help achieve the headline figure?

  80. Mr Cooke is a textbook example of what Alan Sokal calls: “post-modernist imposters”. “Charletan” is an older and equally applicable word.

  81. I would like to suggest making this blog entry stay at the top of the main page for a week or so. But I don’t know if this is even possible now (haven’t seen it done in the last year or so).

  82. The ends justify the means for such activists. Be they anti-capitlist pro-global warming like Catherine Porter in Seattle (look up her interview with Ezra Levant) or just plain pro-global warming like John Cook. To both, lying is part of the method of getting their message across and so its totally acceptable behavior.

  83. “Clearly the skeptics are not clever enough to appreciate the sublime reasoning of the climate enlightened.”
    Brandon_Shollenberger

    [moderator note: this person posted a reasonable comment, but did so as “John_Cook”. The name was changed by the moderator to read “anon”. Please stop posting as “John Cook”.]

  84. What upsets me most about these shenanigans is the differential treatment.

    Never mind the posing as Nazis, the willful deceit in the papers and “research”, the verifiable lies and misrepresentations, the posing as other people online, the likes of Cook and Lewandowsky nevertheless end up showered with plaudits, grants, careers and so on.

    Then on the other hand, we’ve seen a genuine scientist, Sir Tim Hunt, have his reputation completely and utterly trashed and he’s been put through the social media public square of flogging for…..nothing.

    It turns out that his primary accusers were willfully deceptive and the worst of the lot, Connie St.Louis, an outright liar. And to beggar belief further, said accusers were all academics involved in journalism and/or journalistic ethics. Connie St. Louis is still in post at City University. And despite the facts now coming out, Tim Hunt is still now regarded as some kind of offensive “sexist” dinosaur and there’s no taking back the incredible stress he and his family went through over this affair.

    What on earth has happened to academia that worms prosper and good people are punished so?

  85. Anyone who has read Lubos’ blog would recognize his thick accent and unique style, since English is not his first language. The Cook quotes are so obviously fake…

  86. The broader question is why anyone considers Skeptical Science an authority. From Wikipedia:

    “Skeptical Science has become a well-known resource for people seeking to understand or debate climate change, and has been praised for its straightforwardness. … The Washington Post has praised it as the “most prominent and detailed” website to counter arguments by global warming skeptics. In September 2011, the site won the 2011 Eureka Prize from the Australian Museum in the category of Advancement of Climate Change Knowledge.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skeptical_Science

    For a critical look at its content, see this examination of its article about Professor Roger Pielke Sr in their “Climate Misinformer” section:

    http://fabiusmaximus.com/2015/07/24/skeptical-science-looks-at-roger-pielke-sr-87604/

    Score: ten shots, no hits. And this is their good work. Compared to the SkS page about Judith Curry (Prof of Atmospheric Science at GA Inst Tech), the Pielke Sr post looks like the Britannica.

      • David,

        I too love Stalin snark (and even more so, Russian dark humor), Of course, Stalin wasn’t that interested in propaganda. He didn’t want anything said by opponents, but didn’t care if the State news was believable.

        What we’re seeing now is highly effective political marketing by John Cook and his allies. To see this as science is a “category error.” it’s not. But it works.

        Consider this example, the SkS hit piece on Roger Pielke Sr. The SkS post is brief and powerful. My rebuttal takes over 2,000 words and has only a fraction of the smear’s power. The SkS piece is endlessly repeated by activists and even scientists (who have no regard for the damage it does to their institution). Rebuttals are boring, and get little attention.

        Smears are hot. Fact-checking is not.

  87. Desperation is now he name of the game. “Whatever it takes” uses
    a policy of no scruples, no integrity, no scientific validity – plus the appearance of numerous, self-proclaimed ‘Nobel laureates’ popping up everywhere to enhance the MSM press release validity.

  88. What is the definition of identity theft? Using someone else’s login? Or just plain fakery?

  89. John Cook posts under an alternative username: WUWT members are up in arms.

    Willie Soon _knowingly_ publishes work without disclosing his funding from the fossil fuel industry: WUWT members start a support petition.

    I’m glad y’all have your priorities straight.

  90. Was John Cook absent for the lecture in basic ethics on his science course?

    There is no excuse for fraudulently using the identity and qualification of someone else in order to conduct ‘research’. It doesn’t matter if the emails were within a private group or even if you are sending an email to your mother, you just shouldn’t do it.

    If the SkS lot have indeed been conducting ‘research’ using false identities then what this is telling us is that they are so fanatical about their cause that they are willing to conduct fraudulent research in order to communicate their biased view of ‘climate science’.

    It also speaks volumes that the University of Western Australia ethics committee
    has ignored and rejected concerns already expressed about their unethical and now it appears possibly fraudulent research. As their ethics committee are condoning this the only way forward I can see is for the Australian Government to step in and investigate to stop them wasting more public money.

  91. I emailed CNN – no reply. Not surprised. I did email the story to the University of Queensland and got a reply stating the University would investigate and that I would hear back from them shortly, I suspect that I’ll get a canned reply.

  92. Is Cook using any outcomes from the UWA “experiment” in his Climate 101 course?

    That course is run by UQ and if he is using faked data, someone could be in deep do-do. !

  93. The lovely thing about a conspiracy, is that if someone starts sniffing around you can call them a conspiracy theorist and instantly discredit them. I mean, there’s NEVER been a real conspiracy in history, right?

  94. You are all forgetting they are “Saving the planet and the human race” and by all means necessary. If they have to break a few actual laws it is just a casualty of the cause, we saw that with Peter Gleick. In the same way if they have to rewrite science for the cause, they will.

  95. Some prominent politicians are accused of spying. Yet their administrations fail the basic background check on their own sources. How come?

    Of course, they may be able to figure out another explanation to this elementary embarrassment. Wonder what that might be. :-)

  96. The username was changed to an anonymous name for the experiment. In other words, it[Lubos_Motl] was not used in the experiment and was never used outside of the private Skeptical Science forum.

    So he says he didn’t commit “identity theft” but still doesn’t deny making up comments for “the experiment.”

  97. The actions of Dr. John Cook in this matter clearly encompass identity theft, defamation and research fraud. In addition they would almost certainly be a serious breach of ethical guidelines of the university, the granting agency supporting his research and any professional journal in which he has published findings contaminated by such behaviour.

    It is now incumbent upon the university, granting agency and journal (or journals) to disavow themselves of any tolerance of such behaviour. At minimum this would demand termination of his employment, rescinding of any current grants and retraction of any publications tainted by such malfeasance. To not take firm action can only bring into question the integrity of any associated parties.

    In addition, the serious and blatant nature of the offences involved pose a very real concern for the mental condition entailed. Justice and common sense would seem to also call for psychological assessment as to whether treatment or criminal charges is appropriate.

    It is worth noting that this matter is not alone in raising very serious concerns involving climate research at the University of Queensland. For further detail see:

    http://www.climate.conscious.com.au/docs/Email20July2015.pdf
    Or use: http://bit.ly/1Lp9VZu

    A one-page précis is here: http://www.climate.conscious.com.au/docs/Precis20July2015.pdf
    Or use: http://bit.ly/1IlNWQB

    Walter Starck

    • Wow. I actually feel sorry for the University of Queensland now. I mean, they’ve threatened to sue me, but I still wind up feeling sorry for them because they have to put up with this sort of nonsense.

      Why do people have to go so far out of their way to make it hard to not think of these people as the bad guys? I mean, this story could have been a great chance to talk about how bad John Cook’s involvement in the global warming debate is, but instead, everybody here just latched onto the stupid “identity theft” narrative and wound up making him the victim.

      • And that is the problem. People like you keep making stupid accusations which are not only completely wrong, but they’re so over-the-top wrong people like me have to respond to them because we’re not so dishonest we can ignore libelous accusations like yours.

        Thus forcing us to defend people like John Cook, because they’re victims of people like you.

      • the nuance of his misadventures may be too abstract for some…but its clear to everyone just how sad and misguided cook is…to think that this type of research is consistent with academic standards today is to be troubled, no?
        like this type of endeavor is worthwhile in any world one can imagine?
        yet this effluvia passes as science today.

  98. John Crook is no scientist. His only marketable skill is making websites (wich anyone can these days) so in order to “Protect/Support” his daughter he jumped onto the bandwagon so that his website would be relevant and have traffic and even funding from the doomsayers. In short he’s worthless.

  99. John Cook is simply an academic imbecile who is chasing dreams as a climate change jihadists. In reality, he is irrelevant to the climate debate because climate science really is about science and not politics, and in science there is no consensus. It just takes one scientist to prove all the others are wrong.

  100. Please don’t send letters to universities about this matter unless/until we get new information about the “UWA experiment” suggesting it is worth doing. As far as the use of Lubos’s name goes, John Cook was having a private joke among a few friends on a private forum. It’s not a legal issue. The faked comments attributed to Lubos were never intended to go public (Cook said so in the forum), and there was no deception involved.

    The “UWA experiment” is not connected to the other published papers of Lewandowsky that we have previously discussed. Whatever it was — it appears clumsy, pointless and badly designed (as per usual) but that is a separate issue to the “lubos” comments. It may never have been finished or published.

    For what it is worth, Brandon Shollenberger has a good grip on the situation. Read his comments carefully.

    • However, it should be noted that claiming something was only “a private joke” is not a successful defense against libel nor is it really very private to post something on an internet discussion group where any participant can simply click “Forward” to broadcast it to the world. It also seems strange that if everyone in the group knew it to just be a joke why Cook would have gone so far as to create an email address in the name of Lubos Motl.

      Although the whole thing may seem too inept to be a serious attempt at impersonation the level of competence also exhibited in Cook’s formally published research make it difficult to simply dismiss this as only a misunderstanding.

      WS

    • +1 and +1 to Brandon
      Cook is an idiot, but I think the ‘experiment’ was never meant to be put out there for the public to view.
      What we need to push for is Cook to explain exactly what his (seemingly daft) experiment was about.

  101. Anthony, you are being too charitable. So you establish that John Cook wrote fake skeptic comments. Yet you expect us to believe that when he wrote a paper and put a link to a survey for the moon landing paper, whose purpose was to designate skeptics as having nutty ideas, that he didn’t do any fake skeptic comments at that time.

  102. The faked comments attributed to Lubos were never intended to go public (Cook said so in the forum)

    Are you kiddin’?

    Who the heck believes what that man says???

  103. Found this.comment on the SkS forum made by Alex C:
    “Plus you may run into problems if any lab rats have ever heard of him.”

    What does he mean by that? Who were these ‘lab rats’ that were involved in Cookie’s ‘experiment’? It sounds like they weren’t people who knew that JC was masquerading as Lubos and could therefore theoretically believe that the comments really were from LM.

    • Which brings me to question my own comment up-thread where I belleved Cookie’s impersonation of LM wasn’t for public consumption.

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