John Cook - Climate Claim Prevalence. Source Monash University.

John Cook: “Machine learning holds a key to combating [climate] misinformation”

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

After training a computer to look for online climate “misinformation”, John Cook was surprised that people don’t trust the proposed solutions.

Climate change: How machine learning holds a key to combating misinformation

John Cook
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Monash Climate Change Communication Research Hub

“A lie can travel halfway around the world before the truth can get its boots on.”

This quote appears in many forms. In some variants, the quote involves footwear. In other cases, the truth is struggling to get its pants on.

Regardless of the details, the sentiment encapsulates a key challenge of misinformation. By the time the meticulous task of fact-checking is complete and the correction has been disseminated, the misinformation has already spread widely and achieved all sorts of mischief.

Consequently, misinformation researchers speak wistfully of the “holy grail of fact-checking” – automatically detecting and debunking misinformation in one fell swoop. Machine learning offers the potential of both speed and scale – the ability to identify misinformation the instant it appears online, and the technical capacity to distribute solutions at the scale required to match the size of the problem.

But the holy grail quest faces a seemingly insurmountable hurdle. Misinformation evolves and sprouts new forms. How can you detect a myth before you even know what it is or what form it will take?

Once we had trained our machine to detect and categorise different misinformation claims, we fed our model 20 years’ worth of climate misinformation – more than 250,000 articles from 20 prominent conservative think-tank websites and 33 blogs. It’s the largest content analysis to date on climate misinformation, making it possible to construct a two-decade history of climate misinformation.

The results weren’t what I expected at all.

The erosion of public trust in climate scientists

During the past 15 years, I’ve been debunking scientific climate misinformation – the type of myths that fell under the categories “it’s not happening”, “it’s not us”, or “it’s not bad”.

It turns out these were the least common forms of climate misinformation. Instead, the largest category of climate misinformation was attacks on scientists and on climate science itself.

Climate misinformation isn’t about providing its own alternative explanation of what’s happening to our climate. Instead, it’s focused on casting doubt on the integrity of climate science, and eroding public trust in climate scientists.

But that’s not where misinformation is focused – the focus is on attacking scientists and science itself. There’s a dearth of research into understanding and countering this type of misinformation, let alone public engagement and education campaigns to counter their damage.

Read more: https://lens.monash.edu/@politics-society/2021/12/08/1384230/climate-change-how-machine-learning-holds-a-key-to-combating-misinformation
Herr John Cook Self Portrait

John Cook, we don’t have to provide an alternative explanation. It is enough for us to show that the alarmist model of global climate change is wrong.

Cook has a fascinating track record when it comes to climate communication, he has produced some interesting visual communication pieces in his time (see right and below).

But the one question he is not asking is, is there a legitimate reason for people to be skeptical?

How many predictions of imminent catastrophe have failed? How many “cheaper than coal” renewable energy schemes have instead driven up electricity bills? Why do places like California and Europe have such expensive energy, if renewables are the cheapest option? Why do greens expect people to go on believing them, when so much of what they say is just plain wrong?

Another John Cook Climate Communication. Originally posted on Cook’s Skeptical Science website.

Climate communication can only take a movement so far.

In the end, renewable energy advocates have to deliver value. If they can’t deliver, all the AI “misinformation” bots in the world won’t save their precious green revolution, from the gathering spontaneous uprising of ordinary people who are fed up with politicians frittering away their hard earned tax dollars on useless green boondoggles which inflict painful costs on ordinary people.

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Streetcred
December 8, 2021 10:08 pm

When it come to “climate misinformation”, John Cook, ex cartoonist from UQ, is a super-spreader !

Last edited 1 month ago by Streetcred
Scissor
Reply to  Streetcred
December 9, 2021 4:46 am

Neil Ferguson is saying that COP 26 could have been a super-spreader event that would explain the recent rise of covid in Scotland, and he’s calling for another lockdown.

Anon
Reply to  Streetcred
December 9, 2021 4:51 am

One could imagine Josef Goebbels trying to do the same thing. It was Hansen & Gore that kicked the whole thing off and the “misinformation” Cook is targeting is the “truth finally getting it’s pants on“. And if he is concerned about public trust, he might try genuine hearings about the CRU East Anglia email hacks or a Red Team – Blue Team exercise as proposed by folks in the Trump administration.

Cook’s solution is all laid out here, if he chooses to follow the advice:

Pandemic researchers — recruit your own best critics

With research moving faster than ever, scientists should invest in reducing their own bias and allowing others to transparently evaluate how much pushback their ideas have been subjected to. A scientific claim is as reliable as only the most severe criticism it has been able to withstand.

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-01392-8

I find it interesting that Nature calls for one solution for Covid19 & the opposite solution for Climate Change. With this bifurcated scheme, I predict Cook will continue to be surprised by his findings: “The results weren’t what I expected at all.” (lol)

Last edited 1 month ago by Anon
Tom Abbott
Reply to  Anon
December 9, 2021 6:22 am

“and the “misinformation” Cook is targeting is the “truth finally getting it’s pants on“.”

Exactly.

Thomas
Reply to  Streetcred
December 9, 2021 8:39 am

Cook say , “It turns out these [claims that it’s not happening, not us, not bad] were the least common forms of climate misinformation. Instead, the largest category of climate misinformation was attacks on scientists and on climate science itself.”

But the included graph shows that claims of “The science is unreliable” have fallen from 40% to 30% over the past 20 years, and there is no data given for “attacks on scientists.”

The largest increase was in claims that “the solutions won’t work.” They went from about 20% to about 50% in the past twenty years. This makes sense, since we are now at a point where solutions such as wind and solar are proving to be unworkable.

Mike
December 8, 2021 10:12 pm

Cook….”How can you detect a myth before you even know what it is or what form it will take?”
Going to Skepitcal Science is a good start.

Russell Cook
Reply to  Mike
December 9, 2021 9:54 am

During the past 15 years, I’ve been spreading scientific climate misinformation – the type of myths that fell under the categories “it’s not happening”, “it’s not us”, or “it’s not bad”.

Fixed John Cook’s (no relation to me) sentence for him. Regarding his last bit there, it’s actually a variant of a quite common false talking point about what skeptic climate scientists are alleged to say, which, as near as I can tell, traces back to a speech given by the AGW side’s beloved alarmist book author Ross Gelbspan. I wrote about the occurrences of that “it’s not happening” talking point in my 2014 blog post ” Skeptic Climate Scientists are Inconsistent on what They Say.’ Spread This Line Widely; NEVER Check its Veracity.”

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Russell Cook
December 9, 2021 7:24 pm

What Cook and his SS pals have been spreading is DISinformation.

December 8, 2021 10:14 pm

Wonder if this climate misinformation from 2008 would be detected by his AI
“IT MAY be time to stop describing south-eastern Australia as gripped by drought and instead accept the extreme dry as permanent, one of the nation’s most senior weather experts warned yesterday.
“Perhaps we should call it our new climate,” said the Bureau of Meteorology’s head of climate analysis, David Jones.”

Mike
Reply to  Keith Woollard
December 8, 2021 10:24 pm

Exactly. Most proclamations from scientists are probably wrong or at least incomplete.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Mike
December 9, 2021 1:52 am

I trust engineers more than scientists. If an engineer builds a bridge or airplane, it had better work! And it almost always does.

Alan the Brit
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
December 9, 2021 4:44 am

Thank you good Sir, we engineers frequently have to behave like doctors, & save lives, before they are under threat!!! Climate scientificky peeps have no responsibility or duty of care, & their predictions are always way past their retirement days, & never held accountable, & yes I’ll say it again, “we were simply basing our predictions on the best available science at the time!!!” Best get out of gaol/ jail free card on offer!!!

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Alan the Brit
December 9, 2021 5:30 am

An architect friend of my forestry consulting firm- when I asked how architects were trained in the ancient world- said there really were not architects as we know them- they were builders with a lot of experience- the earliest tended to over engineer buildings for safety. Then as time went by the slowly improved on their techniques. The earliest Greek (and especially Egyptian) temples had pillars way bigger than necessary. By the time of the Parthenon, they mastered the techniques.

He also said that those paying for the buildings- sometimes had the architect stand under an arch as the lintel was installed. If it wasn’t installed correctly or the arch wasn’t designed correctly, the “architect” would be the first to know. Now that’s a fine way to encourage responsibility! As for “climate scientists”- any who don’t drastically lower THEIR carbon footprint – are proving themselves to be liars, idiots and hypocrites. At least the engineers, architects and builders had better prove themselves or else. No “else” for climate scientists so they can claim anything about the future climate. We foresters have much in common with engineers- we use science to accomplish something useful for humanity. And if we ruin a forest while harvesting wood- everyone will know it very quickly. But the “climate scientists” can ruin economies and our advanced civilizations and they’ll be dead before its proven they were the cause- partly because not enough people pay attention to skeptics- partly due to the disinformation on that skeptical science web site.

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
December 9, 2021 5:53 am

IIRC, in the code of Hammurabi, there is a section that says if a building collapses, killing the owner, the builder will be put to death.

“Hey, Balathu, make sure those extra beams get installed, or you get to visit the headsman with me.”

Graham
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
December 9, 2021 12:56 pm

Architects here in New Zealand are a lot like climate scientists.
They have designed many leaky buildings and many buildings that have had to be demolished because they are not up to earthquake standards.
Their excuse is that they were not aware or they did not know that certain building materials were faulty and their designs let water in.
The founders Theater in Hamilton is lying idle due to perceived earth quake risk and will be demolished but not a word from the architect.
Climate scientists will claim that the did not know and they followed the science when the climate emergency fades and they realize that they should have looked and studied past warm periods over the last 12000 years before hyping up a small warming after the end of the Little Ice Age.

Duane
Reply to  Mike
December 9, 2021 8:17 am

Real scientists don’t make proclamations.

Real scientists ask questions, formulate hypotheses to possibly answer the questions, design tests or experiments to test the answers to such questions, draw conclusions (if able), and then challenge other scientists to replicate their experimental data and/or come up with better alternative hypotheses and proofs thereof.

Wash, rinse, repeat, and only only expect to create successively better approximations, not to proclaim the ultimate “truth”.

AntonyIndia
December 8, 2021 10:19 pm

Someone stop “Machine Learning” as it might uncover all Climate Armageddon misinformation!!

Not really: it will be as good or bad as its human programmers.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  AntonyIndia
December 8, 2021 10:35 pm

‘machine learning’ as it’s quaintly termed, has nothing to do wuth programming, which is sheer mathematics. It has everything to do with the ‘training’ material.

If you tell the system that every paper you disagree with is wrong, it will automatically flag every new paper you disagree with as wrong. You can then point to the results and say: “Look! I was right!” This a Climate Scientology in action again, full circle to the original conjecture.

LdB
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
December 8, 2021 11:37 pm

Certain media organizations make a fortune with algorithms able to do that and push advertising 🙂

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
December 9, 2021 6:51 am

Exactly, neural nets only respond according to the input-output pairs they have been fed.

Mike
December 8, 2021 10:20 pm

Climate misinformation isn’t about providing its own alternative explanation of what’s happening to our climate. Instead, it’s focused on casting doubt on the integrity of climate science”

And a good thing too. Or does cuckoo believe there should be no doubts about the integrity of science? This is blatant scientism [ an exaggerated trust in the efficacy of the methods of natural science applied to all areas of investigation ] and it’s spreading faster than Christianity.

Last edited 1 month ago by Mike
Tom Abbott
Reply to  Mike
December 9, 2021 6:28 am

The Data Mannipulators who created the bogus Hockey Stick global temperature profile are the ones casting doubt on the integrity of climate science. Pointing this out is not misinformation.

John Larson
Reply to  Mike
December 9, 2021 3:26 pm

This is blatant scientism [ an exaggerated trust in the efficacy of the methods of natural science applied to all areas of investigation ] and it’s spreading faster than Christianity.”

What in the world did you think was going to happen?

If you train the children to ignore the possibility that materialism only scientists could be mistaken (victims of confirmation bias, essentially) does it not seem inevitable to you that many will assume that the “scientific community” is effectively immune from such mundane human vulnerabilities?

I suggest you can’t have this cake and eat it too, as the saying goes.

Weylan R McAnally
Reply to  John Larson
December 10, 2021 2:20 pm

You can indeed have a cake and then eat it. But you cannot eat a cake and then still have it.

Confirmation bias is inherent and nearly impossible for the individual to tease out of his work product. It takes someone else to point it out. Unfortunately, in mainstream climate science there is nobody to point it out.

John Larson
Reply to  Weylan R McAnally
December 10, 2021 11:09 pm

I read the saying to mean the cake can only be eaten or uneaten . . but yes. one has to have it before eating it . .

Anyway, if the “scientific community” discounts the possibility that there is a “Creator” component to the universe, I suggest they are creating a systemic “confirmation bias”, and have gone off the deep end, so to speak. Not mentioning that they are discounting that potential is just asking for people to engage in “scientism”, it seems to me.

Science did pretty well before that ubiquitous silent assumption became the norm. But, on atheism, there simply is no logical reason to refrain from “killing off” your competition, obviously. It’s a good thing . .

Mike
December 8, 2021 10:27 pm

the focus is on attacking scientists and science itself.”

Cuckoo seems – like many warministas – to be unable to differentiate between science and scientists.

LdB
Reply to  Mike
December 8, 2021 11:22 pm

Nothing wrong with attacking the science it is supposed to be robust enough to survive that. The issue is that “climate scientists” then want to dictate the solution mixing lefty ideology along the way and force it on the population of the world. They push the one line plan that renewables and emission control will save the world when it is obvious to an imbecile that it is never going to work.

If climate scientists stopped being activists that would be a good start as it’s hard to trust someone who comes across like a snake oil salesman.

Last edited 1 month ago by LdB
MarkW
Reply to  LdB
December 9, 2021 6:16 am

It’s also quite evident that the world doesn’t need saving.

Paul
Reply to  MarkW
December 9, 2021 4:16 pm

I watched George Carlin say that on one of his shows. Very good !
last I knew that particular show can still be found on Utube

paul courtney
Reply to  LdB
December 9, 2021 9:30 am

Ldb: “it is obvious to an imbecile….” But not obvious to Mr. Cook, suggesting some notch below “imbecile” applies.

Pop Piasa
Reply to  paul courtney
December 9, 2021 1:32 pm

TMH (though politically incorrect these days) comes to my mind when I see what these mathematician PhD trespassers in meteorology and paleoclimatology propose as the master-controller of all things climate.

After some consideration it occurs that they are purposefully ignorant of anything that contradicts their self aggrandizing (and quite lucrative) narrative of how climate surely must work.

They wish for the general public to be forced into that same state of ignorance.

Pop Piasa
Reply to  LdB
December 9, 2021 1:11 pm

Once a scientist takes an activist position supporting a pet theory, that person has forsaken the responsibility of scientific neutrality and no longer can be considered unbiased in presented research, especially when proxies are used in deceptive ways to help the media form a bias in the minds of the public.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Mike
December 9, 2021 6:32 am

“science itself”

This *is* science. Some people make outrageous claims, and others call them out on their claims. That’s how real science works.

Trying to shut down one side of the argument to the benefit of the other side is not science. It’s censorship.

George Daddis
Reply to  Mike
December 9, 2021 7:45 am

I’d trust Dr Jill on a matter of science before Dr John.
Anyway, some needs to tell Cook that Fauci already claimed the mantle of “personifying science”

Dave Fair
Reply to  George Daddis
December 9, 2021 10:50 am

Michael Mann the Nobel Prize winner beat Fauci to the punch by years.

Zig Zag Wanderer
December 8, 2021 10:31 pm

Climate misinformation isn’t about providing its own alternative explanation of what’s happening to our climate. Instead, it’s focused on casting doubt on the integrity of climate science, and eroding public trust in climate scientists.

Sheer projection, yet again! The truth is:

Climate Scientology isn’t about providing its own explanation of what’s happening to our climate. Instead, it’s focused on casting doubt on the integrity of climate skepticism, and eroding public trust in climate skeptics.

Ken Irwin
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
December 8, 2021 11:14 pm

Cook’s defense of his position consists almost exclusively of casting aspersions on his detractors – most normal persons BS detector goes off when presented with such proof – machine learned or otherwise.
Mine beeps like a fire alarm whenever I read carp like this.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Ken Irwin
December 9, 2021 12:14 am

Mine goes off like a five-alarm siren every time I see his face

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
December 9, 2021 1:59 am

The motto of the Skeptical Science web site is, “getting skeptical about global warming skepticism”. So a few years ago I posted a comment there asking if it was OK to be skeptical about those who are skeptical of global warming skepticism. I was then told that any more comments like that and I’d be locked out of the site.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
December 9, 2021 2:22 am

What really ticks me off about the Skeptical Science web site is their list of “Global Warming & Climate Change Myths”: https://skepticalscience.com/argument.php
I’m no scientist but having read almost everything here at WUWT for a few years I can see just how defective that list of myths is. I think it might be an interesting and fun project for the WUWT community to deconstruct that list- which could then be attached as another page to this blog.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
December 9, 2021 2:30 am

One example of their myths is (#6), “models are unreliable”- and the comeback to that is “Models successfully reproduce temperatures since 1900 globally, by land, in the air and the ocean.”

Wow, models that can successfully predict past temperatures!

Every one of the comebacks is extremely ignorant! The list of myths has 198 entries. Funny, but that table of “myths” on the left and their “true science” on the right should be reversed.

MarkW
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
December 9, 2021 6:20 am

With the number of tunable variables available in the climate models the only thing that is surprising is that these models don’t match past climates perfectly.

The other telling point is that even after “successfully predicting past climate”, these same models are all over the map when trying to predict future temperatures. If the models were as good as claimed and the science was as well understood as they claim, then the models should agree on what is going to happen in the future.
The fact that the models don’t agree on the future just proves that any past agreement is nothing more than the result of careful tuning.

PS: In their projections of the past, the models don’t match the actual data, but rather they match the homogenized and carefully massaged data.

Last edited 1 month ago by MarkW
Carlo, Monte
Reply to  MarkW
December 9, 2021 6:55 am

Don’t forget that the future predictions projections turned out to be nothing more than simple linear extrapolations of CO2 content, as divined by the operators, regardless of the number of CPU cycles wasted.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
December 9, 2021 6:48 am

“One example of their myths is (#6), “models are unreliable”- and the comeback to that is “Models successfully reproduce temperatures since 1900 globally, by land, in the air and the ocean.””

The models are not reproducing past temperature since 1900, they are reproducing a bogus, bastadized past temperature record. The written, historic temperature records don’t look anthing like the computer-generated bogus temperature record profile.

What does it say when your Climate computer model reproduces science fiction, in the form of past temperatures? It would say to me that the model is also science fiction.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
December 9, 2021 6:41 am

“Instead, it’s focused on casting doubt on the integrity of climate skepticism, and eroding public trust in climate skeptics.”

This is certainly what Cook is all about.

It’s difficult to cast doubt on skeptics. All skeptics do is ask questions and ask alarmists to prove their assertions. What is there to doubt?

The problem for alarmists like Cook is they have no evidence to backup their climate change claims, so they make it up, like this AI effort. GIGO.

That doesn’t seem to be working too good for them, but I guess they have nothing else to do but continue to double-down on claiming assertions are facts.

Skeptics know the difference.

DMacKenzie
December 8, 2021 10:55 pm

So he automated a keyword search, then prescribed the sources where the searches would be done….you could get any result you want out of that approach just by selecting or rejecting the words or phrases that skew the count in what you consider to be an appropriate manner.

Art Slartibartfast
Reply to  DMacKenzie
December 9, 2021 12:49 am

If you torture the data long enough, it will tell you anything.

Besides, it is long known in marketing communications that good advertising cannot compensate for a bad product. Same applies here, all the propaganda in the world cannot make up for bad science.

Reply to  DMacKenzie
December 9, 2021 4:57 am

He omitted to add “John Cook” to the list of sources.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  DMacKenzie
December 9, 2021 6:50 am

“you could get any result you want out of that approach”

That’s the idea.

All’s fair in Love and Climate Change Propaganda. After all, he’s saving the world.

Redge
December 8, 2021 11:24 pm

“A lie can travel halfway around the world before the truth can get its boots on.”



The irony, it burns.

BCBill
Reply to  Redge
December 9, 2021 12:49 am

It does burn. A primary strategy of the warmunists is to publish garbage science (e.g., the hokey shtick) and then refuse to print retraction or corrections even in the face of overwhelming evidence of error. This is such a classic propagandist ploy, i. e., accuse your opposition of committing your crime so that you claim the advantage of being first to the post.

Doonman
December 8, 2021 11:27 pm

What with these self appointed climate worriers wanting to fight all the time?

All they ever talk about is fighting, attacking and combating stuff.

LdB
Reply to  Doonman
December 8, 2021 11:39 pm

It’s how you frame continuing on when you are on a losing cause. You don’t have to battle if your cause is popular as people just agree and follow the cause.

Last edited 1 month ago by LdB
H B
December 8, 2021 11:30 pm

Jeez I wonder why no one trusts climate science with tosser like Mr Cook how long has he been working on that PhD in bullshitology

LdB
Reply to  H B
December 8, 2021 11:43 pm

It’s a special area of Climate Science tm which is called climate psychology. It’s a sign that your science field has got so retarded that you are struggling to convince the drunk down the pub,

George Daddis
Reply to  LdB
December 9, 2021 7:54 am

Closely related to that non-science field of study “Climate Communications”. (E.g. George Mason University among many others.)

Yet MSM treats their releases as Gospel.

Scissor
Reply to  H B
December 9, 2021 4:54 am

Likely the “SS” part of his “self portrait” was a Freudian double entendre.

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  H B
December 9, 2021 6:56 am

The first letter of his family name must certainly be misspelled — should be a ‘K’.

Russell Cook
Reply to  H B
December 9, 2021 10:19 am

In seemingly ironic fashion, John Cook’s PhD is in Philosophy (no joke! – I used to have a direct link to his thesis PDF file, but now I have to use an Internet Archive capture of the link). I featured his presentation among several others under the basic idea that the issuing Universities should revoke these since they rely on meritless ‘evidence’ about their accusations of energy companies colluding with skeptic climate scientists to spread disinformation: “Reposition Graduate Degrees as Theory rather than Fact

Last edited 1 month ago by Russell Cook
Climate believer
December 8, 2021 11:31 pm

“….and eroding public trust in climate scientists.”

Then stop lying, exaggerating and making sh@t up, easy.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Climate believer
December 9, 2021 6:54 am

Cook is 97 percent of the problem, not the solution.

paul courtney
Reply to  Tom Abbott
December 9, 2021 9:36 am

Mr. Abbott: 97% is precisely. mathematically correct. Ya gotta use the right inputs.

Vincent Causey
December 8, 2021 11:43 pm

To paraphrase Dr Fauci, when you criticise climate scientists you criticise science itself.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Vincent Causey
December 9, 2021 12:16 am

Exactly. To paraphrase a well-known meme:

“I am Science!”

Thomas Gasloli
December 8, 2021 11:48 pm

The fight against “misinformation” is just the elite fighting to censor the truth that challenges their lies. People don’t trust “the science”, people don’t trust the media and the government, because of 20 years of “climate science” lies, 2 years of COVID lies, and none stop lies on every other issue. Censorship and increasingly draconian measure in the so called “democracies” of US, EU, … are the only hope of the lying elites.

Chaswarnertoo
December 8, 2021 11:55 pm

It is easier to fool people than convince them they’ve been fooled.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Chaswarnertoo
December 9, 2021 6:55 am

Until they are shivering in the dark.

TimTheToolMan
December 9, 2021 12:08 am

I wonder how long it will take before “its not bad” begins to increase.

Meh.

Maybe never considering most people, climate scientists included, dont know the difference between climate and weather and latch onto every unfavourable weather event as being caused by climate change.

Keitho(@bat1heavy)
Editor
Reply to  TimTheToolMan
December 9, 2021 1:01 am

That’s what they accused us of back in the antedluvian past. My response was of the form; we know, colder is weather, warmer is climate change. Then they began telling us colder was also because of CO2 enhanced Global Warming, soon renamed as Climate Change and so we became Climate deniers, a completely meaningless phrase. Climate psychology, working for the grifters every day.

Joe
December 9, 2021 12:36 am

If he truly wanted an “AI Misinformation Detector” to be acceopted by the skeptic community as a useful tool, he would *also* share the details of its implementation, and exactly how it was trained. Not holding my CO2 in.

Curious George(@moudryj)
Reply to  Joe
December 9, 2021 7:41 am

I disagree. An artificial intelligence is better than no intelligence at all.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Curious George
December 9, 2021 11:01 am

Misinformed intelligence is destructive. Intelligence and vigor combined with ignorance or ideology-driven “facts” are the most destructive of all.

Chris Hanley
December 9, 2021 12:47 am

John Cook PhD (cognitive psychology UWA) B.Sc. (UQ) is not qualified to assess climate research and ought not be taken seriously.

Last edited 1 month ago by Chris Hanley
paul courtney
Reply to  Chris Hanley
December 9, 2021 9:41 am

Mr. Hanley: Attacking Science again, eh? Dr. Fauci on line 1 for you. /sarc

December 9, 2021 12:47 am

When the mathematical basis of climate science is a lie, then everything built on that lie is also a lie.

Peta of Newark
December 9, 2021 1:23 am

I’m struggling with this bit (too much double negative)

Quote:”Climate misinformation isn’t about providing its own alternative explanation of what’s happening to our climate. Instead, it’s focused on casting doubt on the integrity of climate science, and eroding public trust in climate scientists.”

That’s not how Science and Scepticism is supposed to work.

The Sceptic/Reviewer will look at and assess the scientist’s work i.e. The Science, and criticise that.
(When it hasn’t been ‘lost’ ‘accidentally deleted” “eaten by the dog” or locked behind a paywall)

The Sceptic will look for logical and scientific errors.
(Violations of the laws of thermodynamics are a good place to start)

Error #1: It is NOT the task of the sceptic or reviewer to postulate a new theory

Error #2: Revolving around the eroding public trustbit and is that:
The Scientist should not take criticism of their work as personal criticism.
Science is supposed NOT to be a fashion parade by its very definition

That goes to the very heart of the matter and if we’re in Cliche Mode today:
“If you cannot stand the heat, get out of the kitchen”

and is where Cook falls flat on his face – as those pictures reveal.
He is promoting himself more than his work.
Sorry Cookie, you are doing science now, not cartoons.
Diametrically opposite vocations and if you cannot differentiate them, you can not be A Scientist. Fall at the first hurdle.

So exactly what sort of place is Monash?
Not a University that’s for sure – more like some sort of modelling agency is it, are Kate Moss and Noami Campbell on their books?

(Patently not and if Cook is their best advert……… <words fail>)

edit to PS
He patently doesn’t know what computers are or what they do – he is appealing to a False God.

Last edited 1 month ago by Peta of Newark
Prjindigo
December 9, 2021 1:40 am

One fantasy holds the key to the other fantasy. OK, I’ll buy that.

“Machine Learning” is how you launder stupidity.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Prjindigo
December 9, 2021 4:12 am

“Machine Learning” is how you launder stupidity.

Ha ha. Consider that stolen!😜

Laertes
December 9, 2021 2:10 am

We used to call it “scientific debate”, but now it’s “attack on science”. As if science was a personified deity of some sort, sacred and to be believed. “Climate denier”, anyone?

Science for the Science God!

December 9, 2021 3:04 am

Skepticism of “solutions” is growing as the ridiculous costs begin to appear. Note too that the graph is of fractions. The decline in other forms of skepticism does not mean they are lessening in number. Skepticism as a whole is growing.

leitmotif
December 9, 2021 3:18 am

John Cook has never been involved in climate misinformation.

He has, however, been involved in a great deal of climate disinformation.

Definition of misinformation
incorrect or misleading information

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/misinformation

Definition of disinformation
false information deliberately and often covertly spread (as by the planting of rumors) in order to influence public opinion or obscure the truth

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disinformation

Joao Martins
December 9, 2021 3:23 am

Climate misinformation isn’t about providing its own alternative explanation of what’s happening to our climate. Instead, it’s focused on casting doubt on the integrity of climate science, and eroding public trust in climate scientists.

Was dr. Cook looking at a mirror and describing himself when he wrote this???

leitmotif
Reply to  Joao Martins
December 9, 2021 3:27 am

No, he was just checking his hat was straight.

lee
Reply to  leitmotif
December 9, 2021 3:38 am

Unfortunately it wasn’t his hat it was his night filled gozunder

Joel O’Bryan(@joelobryan)
December 9, 2021 3:39 am

apparently according to John Crook Cook, your monthly electric bill horror is climate misinformation.

Uncle Mort
December 9, 2021 3:44 am

I don’t know about machines, but John Cook does remind me of perpetual motions.

Brian Andrews
December 9, 2021 4:01 am

I think John Cook’s Machine Learning AI way way smarter than John Cook is. The AL seems to have worked out that the science is unreliable and that the solutions won’t work.

But in a funny sort of way, John Cook seems to have taught his AI to be skeptical!

Welcome to WUWT John Cook’s AI! You are among friends here.

Michael in Dublin
December 9, 2021 4:23 am

What an ingenuous way of cooking the books.

2hotel9
December 9, 2021 4:42 am

Machines don’t “think”, they only do what they are programed to do, so when liars program them to lie all they do is produce lies.

December 9, 2021 4:50 am

John “Cook The” Book

Bob Weber(@coolclimateinfo)
December 9, 2021 5:07 am

”Climate misinformation isn’t about providing its own alternative explanation of what’s happening to our climate. Instead, it’s focused on casting doubt on the integrity of climate science”

***** The current climate science is disinformation. *****s

My climate INFORMATION is strictly about the only alternative explanation anyone needs to understand climate change, which does cast doubt on climate science integrity (particularly upon activists like John Cook).

The SUN controls the Climate, Absolutely.
comment image

Bruce Cobb
December 9, 2021 5:13 am

Interesting. By coincidence, machine learning also holds a key to combatting misinformation regarding the Emperor’s new clothes, which are very fine indeed.

Tom Abbott
December 9, 2021 5:39 am

From the article: “John Cook
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Monash Climate Change Communication Research Hub
“A lie can travel halfway around the world before the truth can get its boots on.”
This quote appears in many forms. In some variants, the quote involves footwear. In other cases, the truth is struggling to get its pants on.
Regardless of the details, the sentiment encapsulates a key challenge of misinformation.”

This is rich! The King of Misinformation is instructing us on misinformation as if he is an innocent bystander.

whatlanguageisthis
December 9, 2021 5:42 am

Another example of programming a computer for the answer and then going and looking for proof. This machine learning approach is not looking for misinformation – it is looking for the phrases the programmer tells it to look for.

A skeptic challenges a method, and they don’t trust science? That is how science is supposed to work.

The climate experts are shown to use algorithms that always result in an exponential growth curve, regardless of starting data, and we are supposed to believe them? The climate experts are shown to be hiding things, in their own words, and we are supposed to believe them? The climate experts delete data, and we are supposed to believe them? The climate experts adjust data, and won’t share the methodology, and we are supposed to believe them? That is NOT how science is supposed to work.

Wade
December 9, 2021 5:45 am

This is something I really believe: The truth can survive all assaults thrown against it, but a lie needs a strong fortress of censorship and propaganda to protect it. The answer to misinformation is, not less speech, but more. If what a person is saying is a lie, it will wilt under the light from the truth. So shine the truth on the lie! When, in all of history, have those who try to censor thoughts they did not like been the good guys?

I just read this piece a few minutes ago, and I think it is very appropriate. There are two paragraph that I really like:

In 2021, it seems a luxury to worry that a will determined and shaped entirely by received ideas and our own personality-driven desires might not be entirely free. Today, before any of us decides what it is we want, we open our phones and participate in our own manipulation at the hands of those who actively want us to think, and see, and vote differently than our own wills would have us do. If we were not entirely free before, in other words—we are far less so now.

When polled, nearly two out of three Americans (62%) say they are afraid to express an unpopular opinion. That doesn’t sound like a free people in a free country. We are, each day, force-fed falsehoods we are all expected to take seriously, on pain of forfeiting esteem and professional opportunity.

Abigail Shrier was talking about how toxic the transgender movement is. But it can equally apply to all the woke movements, such as climate change. The lie hates the truth because it knows it cannot stand against it; therefore, the lie has to silence the truth at all costs. Calling inconvenient facts “disinformation” is just one way these people do that.

Last edited 1 month ago by Wade
Tom Halla
December 9, 2021 5:45 am

Anyone repeating Cooks’ 97% claim is spreading misinformation.

Thom
December 9, 2021 5:58 am

It all comes down to claiming incessantly that the same physical phenomenon is responsible for every weather and environmental outcome that is not considered “normal” by the very people making the claims.

MarkW
December 9, 2021 6:02 am

Once again, they start with the assumption that anything they disagree with is a lie.
In their minds they themselves are incapable of error.

David Elstrom
December 9, 2021 6:10 am

One thing we can count on from the self-anointed is drab predictability. The side that includes in its tactics personal invective against critics, frivolous lawsuits, data cooking, colluding against FOIA requests, e-mail destruction, suppression of opponents’ professional articles, and much much more, accuses it’s opponents of all these things. Obviously there are no mirrors or other reflective surfaces in climate zealot homes or offices.

steve
December 9, 2021 6:36 am

Cook was a cartoonist until he found there was a better quid in fake Climate scares Much better for the ego as well as the wallet… Fortunately he is an absolute lightweight and deserves no attention at all.

Michael E McHenry
December 9, 2021 6:55 am

Somebody should tell him that the top science journals say that there is a Reproducibility Crisis in academic science. Good reason to doubt the output of academic science

Smart Rock
December 9, 2021 6:56 am

He gives new meaning to “Cooking the books”

Gordon A. Dressler
December 9, 2021 7:48 am

I saw right there in the above article’s title that there would be words coming from the John Cook . . . and a voice inside me said “read no further”.

Unfortunately, I am poorer for having ignored that inner voice and reading the entirety of Cook’s sophomoric ramblings given above.

However, reading the comments in this section gives me hope that all is not lost and humans still have a chance.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
December 9, 2021 11:15 am

Cook and the whole of CliSciFi provide “negative knowledge.” People believing their propaganda have actual knowledge sucked out of their brains. Additionally, their ability to think rationally is damaged. Human knowledge retrogrades.

Petit_Barde
December 9, 2021 7:53 am

Who’s this John … Crook ?

Aeitiuz
December 9, 2021 7:56 am

Eric Worall asks an important question: “How many predictions of imminent catastrophe have failed.” But there is a better question to ask.

How many predictions of imminent catastrophe (or any catastrophe) have succeeded? I have asked this question of dozens of climate change proponents and never gotten a good answer. If anyone here has an answer, I’d like one. Thanks.

Andy Pattullo
December 9, 2021 7:58 am

“Machine learning” is a mythical concept. Machines don’t have understanding, they simply do math. John Cook learning is an impossibility. He is so saturated with righteous belief, his brain seems incapable of insight and therefor incapable of change. If your thoughts can’t change you can’t learn.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Andy Pattullo
December 9, 2021 11:19 am

Very true. Initially I trusted Mann’s Hockey Stick. It was only later I learned it was scientific fraud. That realization caused a whole cascade of thought changes about science, government, society influencers & etc. based upon further studies.

Walt
December 9, 2021 8:20 am

If you pile up a huge pile of false claims, government funding and media support it does not become reality.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Walt
December 9, 2021 11:20 am

To many it is reality; look at the polls.

December 9, 2021 8:33 am

Machine learning? I wonder what Charles Babbage would have thought about that?

On two occasions I have been asked, ‘Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?’ I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question.

Charles Babbage

ThinkingScientist
December 9, 2021 9:08 am

Cook. Pot. Kettle. Black.

John Cook seems to be completely lacking in self-awareness. He seems to have no idea that everything he says can equally apply to him. Lewandowsky is the same.

“Science is the organized skepticism in the reliability of expert opinion.”
– Richard Feynman

Last edited 1 month ago by ThinkingScientist
Eda Rose-Lawson
December 9, 2021 9:12 am

“Climate misinformation isn’t about providing its own alternative explanation of what’s happening to our climate. Instead, it’s focused on casting doubt on the integrity of climate science, and eroding public trust in climate scientists.”

Has this man ever noticed that sceptic viewpoints have been banned from the BBC and other news outlets, at least as far as the British media is concerned, so how does he think we are eroding public trust?

Doug D
December 9, 2021 9:23 am

Well , Nazi, one reason we don’t trust anything you say is just you and your past record . Another reason is because intelligent people know that models are not evidence . And why would anyone bother putting together a new separate explanation for climate change , when your hypothesis attempting to overthrow the well established accepted theory of climate cycles . We already know the likely causes of climate change and have known it decades before the co2 hoax your involved in.
So go put your Nazi suit and attitude in the closet and quit embarrassing the scientific community

Raven
December 9, 2021 9:31 am

It turns out these were the least common forms of climate misinformation.

This also explains why practically no one visits Skeptical Science these days.

Damon
December 9, 2021 12:18 pm

If Skeptical Science believes his nonsense, why don’t they pay his salary?

December 9, 2021 12:55 pm

The open access Nature article reporting this research is fascinating:
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-021-01714-4

Turns out us skeptics, our blogs and websites, are an ongoing research topic among the academic alarmists. The article’s references to other equally nutty studies is extensive. Worth a laugh all by itself.

Aaron
December 9, 2021 1:44 pm

I wonder what he used as his “truth” reference when he was programming his “machine”.

John in Oz
December 9, 2021 1:48 pm

we fed our model 20 years’ worth of climate misinformation

There’s a good start to get the result you want.

Scott
December 9, 2021 3:12 pm

Isn’t it telling how they’ve completely given up trying to win the scientific argument in favor of consensus and shutting down debate?

Alan M
December 9, 2021 4:33 pm

Sorry if this has been mentioned elsewhere (didn’t see it) but even funnier than the actual Cook article is that Oz ABC Fact check has used it, about half way down

Jeff Alberts
December 9, 2021 7:18 pm

Misinformation is mistaken information. What Cook is talking about is DISinformation, which is deliberate, like anything coming from the Obama/Biden White House.

MARTIN BRUMBY
December 9, 2021 9:15 pm

Well, John Cook is one of a small band that I would trust even less than Boris.

And that’s saying something.

What’s with Monash University?

No content with employing a blatantly dishonest dimwit like Cook, they produced a paper the other week claiming that masks reduce Covid transmission.

The claimed statistical significance of their “research” was pretty much the same as their claimed statistical significance for distancing. But they suggested that masks worked and distancing didn’t.

Which sounds “unusual” to me.

Only other mask benefit “study” I’ve seen was from Bangladesh. That was also obviously contrived.

Greg
December 10, 2021 4:07 am

Odd to find that as 100s of billions are poured into “energy transition” and our entire way of life is threatened by this propaganda that “solutions are not working” should evolve.
Catastrophic claims get more shrill, it’s worse than we thought, it’s a climate “crisis” here and now, while we have cut CO2 emissions.
Obviously it is working , right ?

Jon R
December 10, 2021 10:50 am

Apparently large computers are all communist and can’t be questioned because they are TheScience .

Kevin Stall
December 11, 2021 7:07 pm

Who says we trust the programmers

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