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« Get on board for a Green Future - Josh 180 | Main | Fisking Emmott »

Lewandowsky's conspiracy paper goes mainstream

Hilariously, the Telegraph has published an article promoting Stephan Lewandowsky's "conspiracy theorist" paper - you know, the one that surveyed readers at all the main non-sceptic blogs and discovered that sceptics were all conspiracy theorists (see first comment here).

The article is written by one Jonathan Pearlman. Bad journalist or green activist? Anyone know?


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Reader Comments (93)

Pointman (in the referenced article), on the ongoing tragedy of Soviet abuse of psychiatry:

A sad problem also came to light. Nobody knew how many current residents of long-term institutions had gone in healthy but had now become clinically insane. They freed all those who could still function in the outside world but as for the rest, beyond some real humanitarian care for them, there wasn’t much that could be done for them. Some of them are probably still there now.

Thank you for writing that. And this:

Who cares what number of people the study was conducted on. Who cares how the research was slanted. Who cares if they used an inappropriate statistical method. Haven’t we learned anything from history? Isn’t it obvious the direction that it’s trying to head in?

And this:

The real moral blame lies elsewhere. It’s the people at the very head of the chain, the very ones who should have known better. The authoritative highly educated and very respected ones, who produced those learned papers and dissertations. Because a human being had a lower intelligence than normal or crippling disabilities, they were a burden on society and could therefore be considered somehow disposable. ... Because someone disagreed with the state’s political viewpoint, they had to be insane, so it was okay to not only take away their liberty but their sanity as well.

All those erudite people and their studies, research and papers, lent a spurious legitimacy and authority to the whole thing and having laid that essential groundwork, facilitated what inevitably followed. They all got away with it too. Every last one of them.

They were the real bastards.

We have to watch out in discussions like this, lest we say anything even obliquely to legimitise such abuse of academia and science. The history shouts no.

Aug 29, 2012 at 12:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

You guys are being disingenuous! You are condemning the conspiracy theorist idea based on the wrong conspiracies ^.^

We are ALL conspiracy theorists and it is not possible to interpret modern politics without suspecting conspiracies round every corner and behind every new policy.

Tim YEO anyone?
John Gummer and Forewind anyone?
Al Gore film in every school anyone?
EU makes 70% of our laws but we dont mention it anyone?
Agenda 21 has been signed by your County Council anyone?
Government keeps on finding reasons not to develop UK shale anyone?

OK I am outing the fact that I am a conspiracy theorist!

Oh yes I forgot....

Government policy on energy and climate change anyone?

Aug 29, 2012 at 12:30 PM | Registered CommenterDung

Lol, you people still believe sheeple read papers. /sarc

Reader figurs of the failgraph - The Daily Telegraph : 581,249

Population of the UK - 63,047,162 (July 2011 est.)


The newspapers are becoming obsolete I'd start ignoring them, makes life much easier.

Aug 29, 2012 at 12:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterShevva

Talking of Tim Yeo and his new affection for a third Heathrow runway, hot off the presses on our Unthreaded:

“Developer of second generation biofuels technology TMO Renewables has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the authorities of Heilongjiang, China. The MoU will see TMO provide long-term large volume biomass feedstock supply for future bio-fuel production facilities from Heilongjiang State Farm, the largest state owned farming corporation in China.” Tim is Chairman of TMO (courtessy of Cumbrian Lad and Lord Beaverbrook)
If this does not constitute the depths of corrupt conspiracy then I really will contribute to Michael Mann.

This ties in with my post earlier on Unthreaded:

The Energy and Climate Change Committee will publish its report on Low-Carbon Growth Links with China (HC 529) on Wednesday 29 August 2012 at 00.01 am.

It will then be available at from 00.01 am on Wednesday 29 August 2012. Further copies may be obtained from the Stationery Office (0845 702 3474) or from the Parliamentary Bookshop (020 7219 3890).

Aug 29, 2012 at 12:50 PM | Registered CommenterDung

Jo Nova now has a post on this.

Lewandowsky – Shows “skeptics” are nutters by asking alarmists to fill out survey

She says that she was not one of the 5 sceptic blogs allegedly asked to run the survey, which is curious since she the most popular Australian sceptic blog and even based in the same city as Lewandowsky.
Perhaps he avoided her because of posts like this one on her site.

Aug 29, 2012 at 12:56 PM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

Dung: I claim not to have committed the disingenuity. For one thing, I quoted with approval 'jim' on Adam Corner's saying "Conspiracy the­or­ists abound on both sides of the cli­mate and enviro fight." I agree that we are all conspiracists in some shape or form - with the vital rider that we do not all fit Lewandowsky's highly pejorative characterisation: “With conspiracy theories, you start out with a theory and stick to it no matter what the evidence." The problem here is that paranoia is an ever-present danger and with paranoia, particularly in self-reinforcing groups, can come truly maniacal political movements. How do we guard against that? It's not often that discussions in this area get that real. Thanks for pushing in that direction.

Aug 29, 2012 at 12:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

Thanks Paul. I liked this from Ms Nova at the end:


(If you could call it that)

Lewandowsky, S., Oberauer, K., & Gignac, C. E. (in press). NASA faked the moon landing—therefore (climate) science is a hoax: An anatomy of the motivated rejection of science.. Psychological Science.


Aug 29, 2012 at 1:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

My God, I adapt a mental image of the snake worshipping, human-sacrificing caste in 'Conan the Barbarian' to the modern context of 1000s of psychologists banding together as a priesthood to portray 'skeptiks' as mentally-disturbed untermenschen, and it's taken seriously?

It's hyperbole, gross exaggeration. I don't really mean they're going to sacrifice 'deniers' on their altar, only that they just imagine it....:o)

Aug 29, 2012 at 1:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlecM



No reverse sockpuppetry there, just a committed (no not that kind) anti-warmist with his own unique and sometimes illuminating perspective. I am prepared to concede that his take on radiative physics may be correct; time will tell. No need to be suspicious of diversity in climate skepticism. If you think what he says is over the top, it's the height of sanity compared to some of what we have to deal with from the other side.

Aug 29, 2012 at 1:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterChris M

Committed? Bloody well should be.......

Aug 29, 2012 at 1:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlecM

OMG! Maybe he's right, maybe I'm a conspiracy theorist!
I still want to know what really happened to Dr. David Kelly....
....and Shergar too come to think of it?
Pass the tin-foil someone.

Aug 29, 2012 at 1:34 PM | Unregistered Commentermeltemian

More on TIm Yeo:

Yeo is Chairman of TMO :

“Developer of second generation biofuels technology TMO Renewables has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the authorities of Heilongjiang, China. The MoU will see TMO provide long-term large volume biomass feedstock supply for future bio-fuel production facilities from Heilongjiang State Farm, the largest state owned farming corporation in China

The UK is funding China in terms of low carbon:

(FCO = Foreign and Commonwealth Office)

55. The FCO’s Prosperity Fund spent £5m on work to support the climate change, energy
and economic reform agenda in China in 2011–12, but in 2012–13 the overall Prosperity
Fund will fall from £20m to £18m per annum, with £4.5 to be spent in China.

The above UK investment also covers:

No matter how significant its low-carbon ambitions may be, China is bound to develop
its conventional fuel capacity; coal is cheap and abundant and demand continues to soar.
Even though the oil and gas sector is based around “conventional” fossil fuels, British
expertise could help to ensure that those resources were accessed in the most sustainable
way possible.

Am I being a stupid conspiracy theorist or is the UK government subsidising China in producing bio fuels so that Tim Yeo's company can make him some more money?

TIM YEO's own DECC select committee is also funding this:

51. A number of UK Government Departments were running programmes in China with
low-carbon aspects. In 2011, DECC signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on
low-carbon co-operation with China’s National Development and Reform Commission
(NDRC). The aim of the MoU was to support China’s low-carbon pilots and DECC now
funds four projects in this area. The budget for this work was £200,000 a year until 2014.

It stinks

Aug 29, 2012 at 1:38 PM | Registered CommenterDung

The idea that those who expose the IPCC failings are psychologically challenged, is a continuing theme and considerable government money is involved.

Check out this from 2010, "We are thinking the wrong thoughts",, which highlighted this Conference - "Facing Climate Change, Climate Change Denial", University of the West of England, March 2009

“Man-made climate change poses an unprecedented threat to the global ecosystem and yet the response, from national policy makers right through to individual consumers, remains tragically inadequate. The Centre for Psycho-Social Studies at the University of the West of England is organising a major interdisciplinary event Facing Climate Change on this topic at UWE on 7 March 2009.

Facing Climate Change is the first national conference to specifically explore 'climate change denial'.

Check this also, "We are not thinking the wrong thoughts, we just don't know how to think the right thoughts", written in response to a paper from Professor Andy Pitman of the U. of New South Wales.

“Oh, my personal view is that climate scientists are losing the fight with the sceptics. That the sceptics are so well funded, so well organised, have nothing else to do. They kind of don’t have day jobs. They can put all of their efforts into mis-informing and mis-communicating climate science to the general public whereas the climate scientists have day jobs and this actually isn’t one of them.

All of the efforts you do in an IPCC report is done out of hours, voluntarily for no funding and no pay whereas the sceptics are being funded to put out full-scale misinformation campaigns and are doing a damn good job I think.”

Joanne Nova wrote about him at the time,

Aug 29, 2012 at 1:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterDennisA

Over and over again, the warmista project their own pathologies onto skeptics. There is conspiracy among the warmista, demonstrated by the climategate emails. But the CAGW social mania is primarily an extraordinary popular delusion and madness of the crowd. This hybrid beast is well explicated by RobinEsquire above.

Aug 29, 2012 at 1:48 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

Chris M: I worked out the equality all on my own.

Meltemian: I too would like to know what happened to David Kelly. Does that make me paranoid? No - but concentration of the darkest side of every issue, a bit like incarceration in a Soviet psychiatric unit, can be less than the best for anyone's mental health. TS Eliot famously said that we human beings cannot take too much reality. Look what happened to his editor for The Wasteland, Ezra Pound, if you want one of thousands of examples.

One key I think to retaining some semblance of sanity in an insane world is admitting when we don't know. ("We know" is the mark of the Pharisee, I heard a perceptive Jewish speaker say about the guy at the start of John 3. Such confidence sounds harmless but, as told by the gospel, it led within a few short years to the most paranoid state-sanctioned murder in history.)

Most of the time we don't know. How we remind each other of this essential fact is of course just a little challenging :)


The CAGW social mania is primarily an extraordinary popular delusion and madness of the crowd.

The social mania yes. There's also a pervasive monetary motive to go along to get along - which, [snip] is for me an alternative to a naive conspiracist view. Yet you rightly say that there's evidence of conspiracy in the Climategate emails. As always it's a mixed bag. We don't have all the data, just as Churchill didn't in 1938. Situation normal.

Aug 29, 2012 at 2:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

Even more on Tim Yeo:

To the sums already earned by Mr Yeo from renewables you can add the following:

Consultancy payments from TMO year to 30/12/11 £50,599
"granted" to Mr Yeo in 2011 458,333 A shares in TMO at £0.01 per share (non tradeable I think)
When the ordinary share price reaches £0.45 Mr Yeo can sell 333,333 of them and make £166.666.
When the share price reaches £0.60 Mr Yeo can sell the remaining 125,000 for £75,000
Total = £241,666

Mr Yeo chairs a committee which is spending £200,000 a year in China to encourage them to spend money with companies like TMO and they have spent money with TMO.
This is certain to increase the share price of TMO?

Aug 29, 2012 at 2:57 PM | Registered CommenterDung

Apparently, Lewandowsky believes that those who fail to support the IPCC 'consensus' are irrational.

1. The 'consensus' assumes the average IR flux emitted by the Earth's surface is the same as that from an isolated black body in a vacuum when a century of objective observation disproves this.

2. People supposedly trained [in psychology] to be able to detect and quantify irrationality in others and who claim those who disbelieve (1) are irrational, believe (1) is correct, as do many others.

3. The reason for this failed circular argument is because they're too dumb to realise it has failed.

I rest my case........

Aug 29, 2012 at 3:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlecM

Dung: keep up the good work. Note it doesn't matter if this is labelled conspiracy theory or not. The facts are shocking enough. By any interpretation Yeo should out on his ear. It often doesn't matter. But note another strangeness - when conspiracy has genuinely been found and the guilty punished we no longer refer to the early critics of the same as conspiracy theorists, even when they have been called this by their enemies and uncaring hangers-on at the time. This way conspiracists can never be proved right about anything. It's self-reinforcing twaddle.

[snip.] (And great editing, esteemed host, across a number of threads today.)

Aug 29, 2012 at 3:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

Lewandowsky neither asked for example JoNova nor Jennifer Marohasy. Seems to be a study in the "style" of the Soviet Union and East Germany (where certain psychologists/psychiatrists tried to play down the abuse of psychiatrizations after the fall of the Berlin Wall). [snop] or possibly snip ]

Aug 29, 2012 at 3:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterSeptember 2011

looking at Adam Corner - Guardian omits to say what he is researching:

9 July: Guardian: Adam Corner: Communicating climate change: where next?
With public interest waning and climate change not going away how can the gap between scientific and social consensus on climate change be bridged?
(Adam Corner is a research associate at Cardiff University and policy advisor to the Climate Outreach and Information Network. His interests include the psychology of communicating climate change)
Climategate – the illegal release of private emails from the University of East Anglia – has also been critical, but not for the reasons most people assume. It did not have a widespread impact on public opinion – but it has almost certainly created a reluctance to engage among climate scientists and other science communicators. Anyone who puts their head above the parapet knows that they may be subjected to a barrage of criticism...

Adam links from the Guardian to his own New Scientist piece below, which informs us his field of study is, unsurprisinglly, psychology. am sure he is aware that the "deafening silence" that greeted Climategate II was the silence of the MSM?

15 Dec 2011: New Scientist: Adam Corner: Climate change drops off 'hot topic' list
(Adam Corner is a research associate at the School of Psychology, Cardiff University, UK. His research interests include the communication of climate change)
More intriguing is the explanation offered for the receding concern about the threat posed by climate change. The survey's authors suggest that the lingering effects of the 2009 Climategate affair – the release by climate sceptics of private emails between climate researchers at the University of East Anglia (UEA) – has knocked people's trust in climate science.
To those who observed the deafening silence that greeted the release of yet more of the hacked UEA emails last month, this is a curious explanation. It has become a media truism that the fallout from Climategate dented public confidence in climate science. But the few polls that have asked directly about it, which the BSA did not, have painted a more nuanced picture. A US study in 2010, found that Climategate primarily influenced those who were already sceptical...

and adam advises this lot:

Climate Outreach and Information Network: Trustees, Patrons and Advisory Board
We are currently looking to expand COIN's Board of Trustees...
Kate Lonsdale
Kate’s work for the UK Climate Impacts Programme (UKCIP) currently focuses on adaptation to climate change in organisations. Previously she was a Lead Author on a technical paper for the United Nations Development Programme’s Adaptation Policy Framework and has recently managed a 2-year project investigating the social implications of catastrophic sea-level rise in the Thames Estuary...
Kate has been an active member of the Local Agenda 21 team of Oxford City Council, now ‘Building Alternatives’ through which she was been trained in the facilitation and design of inclusive meetings and events. She has recently completed a post-graduate diploma in ’Change Agent Skills and Strategies’ at Surrey University...
Advisory Board
George Monbiot. Radical Invesigative Author and Columnist...
Dr Rajat Gupta. Journalist, Broadcaster and Visiting Fellow of Green College, Oxford
His doctoral study developed an innovative GIS-based domestic energy, carbon-counting and carbon-reduction model (DECoRuM), the working of which has been widely published in academic journals and newspapers alike. DECoRuM is now being developed as a toolkit for carbon emission reduction planning for use by UK local authorities...
Rajat is an able computer modeller and has been a judge on a number of international design competitions. He has been awarded research grants from the European Commission, Energy Saving Trust, Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors Education Trust, Pilkington Energy Efficiency Trust and South East Proof of Concept fund...
David Ballard. Director, Bath Consultancy Group
David has a strong background in business having spent his early career in increasingly senior roles in Finance, Strategy and Marketing with the Royal Mail, Esso Europe Inc. and THORN EMI...
Since 1998, David has devoted his professional life to the challenge of sustainable development, with a particular interest in human responses to issues such as climate change...
Susan Ballard
Following a successful career as a BBC Programme Maker, and a high-profile climate change web project for Oxford University, Susan became Owner and Co-Director of Alexander Ballard Ltd in 2006.
This consultancy helps Business and the Public Sector to improve their strategic response to climate change using the Performance Acceleration Climate Tool (PACT) developed with Hampshire County Council and their partners in the European Spatial Planning and Adaptation to Climate Events (ESPACE) consortium...
Susan has now moved from managing communications for a low carbon technology project at Bath University to a new part-time role based at the Natural Environment Research Council where she is keen to get the latest scientific findings on environmental change embedded in policy.
Susan continues to advise, train and coach senior scientists and government departments in communication...
Eka Morgan
Radio journalist and environmental consultant. For five years editor of Friends of the Earth International's magazine "Link"...
The Rt. Hon. Michael Meacher MP: UK Minister for the Environment 1997-2003
Penney Poyzer: Community activist, campaigner for lifestyle change and presenter of BBC2 series "No Waste Like Home"

can't help it...i am a conspiracy theorist.

Aug 29, 2012 at 3:26 PM | Unregistered Commenterpat

Warning Conspiracy theory coming up

Maybe Lendowsky getting on about Climate Change hes trying to bag some Climate Change
funding for his Phychology department at his University.

Aug 29, 2012 at 3:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterJamspid

as for Jonathan Pearlman - not a brick in place to build one of these rooms to date:

11 Nov 2011: UK Telegraph: Jonathan Pearlman: Australia to set up public cooling rooms as worsening heatwaves predicted
Public cooling rooms could be set up across Australia to allow people to take refuge from the country's worsening heatwaves under a proposal circulated in a new climate change report
But the heat waves are expected to get hotter and longer, according to the report by PricewaterhouseCoopers and government and meteorology experts...

how come UK Telegraph readers would be interested in the following, when Lemon is a complete unknown (never heard of him til now) who - after an online search - seems to occasionally get into a Murdoch online website called "The Punch", and Haskell is no doubt as unknown in the UK as he is here. even Gina's billions have probably not been enough to make her a household name anywhere but in Australia, and certainly not in the UK, so why is the article in the Tele at all?

16 Feb: UK Telegraph: Jonathan Pearlman in Sydney: Gina Rinehart pens 'universe's worst poem'
Australia's richest person, the mining magnate Gina Rinehart, has been ridiculed for penning an anti-government poem that rhymes "rampant tax" with "political hacks" and pleads for "special economic zones"...
An Australian poet and satirist, Geoff Lemon, said Ms Rinehart had achieved "almost functional iambic heptameter" but that the poem soon went off the rails.
"[It] attempts a noble challenge: the rendering of economic theory and politico-economic ideology into stirring verse," he said on the Crikey website...
A creative writing lecturer at the University of Western Australia, Professor Dennis Haskell, praised Ms Rinehart for effort but noted her use of grammar and punctuation – particularly full stops – was poor.
"As a poet she's about as good as I am at mining," he told ABC radio...

Aug 29, 2012 at 3:35 PM | Unregistered Commenterpat

It all comes down to basic psychology of creating a bogey man to keep the children from misbehaving.

For example, we are kidding ourselves if we think NASA don't use the moon-landing conspiracies to silence critiques by suggesting they are mentally deranged. That's because it is far easier to dismiss something as far-fetched as the moon landing conspiracy, than it is to dismiss a politician who asks: "what was the purpose of spending all that money for NASA to ... ".

And once the public have this idea that the critics of NASA are moon-landing conspiracists, it is relatively easy, to suggest anyone else who criticises NASA is just as derranged as a moon-landing conspiracists.

So, e.g. it is no surprise that James Hansen finds it so easy to work at NASA even though he gets something like $1million private income and is a 3x arrested head of department. (Can you imagine a civil servant in the UK getting away with that?) But NASA needs Hansen is because they get a huge dollop of money from environmental "research" funding which is largely driven by the hysteria created by Hansen.

And what will happen to anyone who criticises NASA? Out comes the suggestion that only moon-landing conspiracists could criticise NASA!

Aug 29, 2012 at 3:37 PM | Registered CommenterMikeHaseler

Very helpful Mike. NASA's early history shows the same problems writ large, as can be seen from one seemingly innocuous sentence on Wikipedia:

A significant contributor to NASA's entry into the Space Race with the Soviet Union was the technology from the German rocket program (led by Wernher von Braun, who was now working for ABMA) which in turn incorporated the technology of American scientist Robert Goddard's earlier works.

Von Braun came to the States via Project Paperclip, which was kept totally secret for many years, with much of the information still classified. Here's one of his biographers (Piszkiewicz) explaining why it had to be secret in Braun's case:

The Allies discovered Dora and the Mittelwerk when United States Army troops entered the area on April 11, 1945. They unearthed a human disaster that had been planned by the Nazi regime, executed by the SS, and compounded by the economic collapse of the Third Reich in the final weeks of the war. The victorious army discovered corpses everywhere. Hundreds of victims had been dumped on the ground adjacent to the crematorium, a low building part way up a hill. In the days before liberation, thousands died of starvation and cholera. Bodies were fed into the ovens four at a time, day and night, but piled up faster than the ovens could consume them. At the nearby city of Nordhausen, the Nazis also created an associated camp to house even more slaves for the Mittelwerk. It, too, was littered with corpses. By one estimate, it held 6,000 bodies in varying stages of decomposition. During their two years of operation, 60,000 inmates passed through the Mittlewerk and the Dora, Nordhausen, and associated concentration camps; at least 25,000 died there.

What this doesn't mean is that Robert Goddard, the father of US rocketry, after whom GISS is named, was anything but an outstanding, peace-loving scientist and American. How exactly the Germans got to copy his designs is one other thing I don't know. Talk about a mixed bag - from start to finish.

The fact the unstable take such grotesque facts and use them to smear the innocent doesn't let those like Allen Dulles who conceived and implemented Paperclip off the hook. There has to be a reckoning. But we have to be all the more careful with the history in the process.

Aug 29, 2012 at 4:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

Conspiracy is a fun and lazy way to pretend the side you are seeking to denigrate can be ignored.
It is the shallow thinker's ad hom.
Lewandowsky appears to be very lazy and shallow indeed.

Aug 29, 2012 at 4:31 PM | Unregistered Commenterlurker, passing through laughing

Re Lewandowsky:

'He replied, soaking it all up. In a bold twist reminiscent of Soviet psychologists, he called the skeptics “bullies” and the attacks “orchestrated”:

Bear in mind that a proportion of those comments is orchestrated and for all we know there are only a handful of people with multiple electronic “personas” each, who are paid to create disproportionate noise.

He believes that the attacks are “paid for” and denies that thousands of real people disagree with him. Which means he’s shielding himself from the awful truth, that he might be a deluded puppet of big-carbon-finance and an apologist for big-government, which aims to trick the public out of it’s money by distorting science.....'

Definitely dumb................

Aug 29, 2012 at 4:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlecM

The way to avoid being sucked into a conspiracy is to concentrate on the facts. I notice that no-one has argued against my basic criticism of the 'consensus', which is that it assumes a totally unrealistic boundary condition for heat transfer in the climate models [apparently leading to a 5 fold increase over reality of IR energy absorption in the lower atmosphere, hence the 'positive feedback' is an artefact].

Aug 29, 2012 at 5:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlecM

Dung, you seem to have truncated a value in the "with £4.5 to be spent in China" comment.

Should that read £4.50p?

Aug 29, 2012 at 5:51 PM | Unregistered Commentersteveta

Aug 29, 2012 at 8:57 AM | Foxgoose

That was fabulous satire.

Anyways, I may be a skeptic or even a lukewarmer. CO2 and some of man's other activities are likely warming up the atmosphere. It's obviously in combination with natural cycles since those don't just go away when man starts up an automobile. Is man responsible for 10%, 50%, 90% of recent warming? I don't know.

There's a lot of scientific discussion trying separate man's effect from nature's like whether a doubling of CO2 has no feedback, a negative feedback (Spencer, Lindzen, etc.) or a strong positive feedback (IPCC). But the "debate" mostly diverges from the core science we need to understand and veers off in a multitude of directions.

But what really sent red flags for me was the speed with which the possibility of man being the main driver of warming with CO2 to assumption that such warming would be really bad and that reducing CO2 greatly was the solution (as was turning off cheap energy and building expensive energy solutions). In other words, the "problem" barely had the paint dry on it when the "solution" was claimed to be clear and needed immediately. Everything was neatly bundled in one package and from the same sources no less. It looks like it had political motivation from the get go.

I don't believe AGW is a conspiracy theory at all. I believe it is a common tool with various uses by seemingly divergent interests. Academics can get grant money and some even fame and fortune. Alternate energy groups can get government subsidies and proclamations that their product is superior. Politicians can get votes. Environmentalists can feel good about themselves. Peak oil people are relieved. Malthusians like where this is headed. This thing as a ton of inertia.

What a frigging mess.

(By the way, I wouldn't classify the Moon landing hoax as a conspiracy theory. It is more the outright denial of facts; a delusion. Conspiracies have open ends which allows them to endure. The Moon landings are a closed book.)

Aug 29, 2012 at 6:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterMikeC

The reading-challenged reminds me of the joke at the top of this page...

Aug 29, 2012 at 7:52 PM | Registered Commenteromnologos


Er um thanks but only His Grace can edit out his bloomers hehe.

Aug 29, 2012 at 8:23 PM | Registered CommenterDung

I do perceive conspiracy theories, they are all over warmist rags how come Lewandowsky has rigid and very 'selective prejudice'?

Madness, Chicken Little would say, but who cares, that the postulated scare never ever actually fits the reality of factual observation?

That's what I call, the theory of a real conspiracy.

Aug 29, 2012 at 8:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

See also: "Unfit For Debate – Rahmtorf’s Flies Off – Unleashes Tirade Against 'Conspiracy Theororist' Skeptics".

See furthermore geoffchambers comments, for example, here and here (h/t Katabasis at JoNova's site).

[In March I wrote at Klimazwiebel that one (in that case Naomi Klein) mustn't call 'it' pejoratively a "conspiracy", and I referred for instance to Wells' Open Conspiracy. My (long) post were deleted by WK. Although that was the first deletion, I never commented at Klimazwiebel again (except one time), because it seems to me that discussions too often were somewhat kidding or fruitless. But I posted the same comment then again on another forum/web page (and gave a link to that forum at Klimazwiebel (my last comment there)); after a while a troll or trolls appeared at that forum, which was a very quiet forum for many years; the troll vilified apparently a real person (no public figure/at least not known to me) and posted apparently a real name and the address (and other things) of the person he/she defames. Within one or two weeks the whole forum and all threads were shut down.]

Aug 29, 2012 at 9:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterSeptember 2011

Aug 29, 2012 at 11:25 AM | Robinson: It's this Pearlman, right? He's an Aussie as well, which leads me to believe he's shilling for a friend here.

" he has written stories on underpaid migrant workers and negligence claims in schools."

Bit of a "Neville Nobody" as we say in the Antipodes. He should have stuck to writing up the school tuck-shop scuttle-butt.

Aug 30, 2012 at 5:09 AM | Unregistered CommenterStreetcred

[Snip O/T]

Aug 30, 2012 at 6:16 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlecM

Since a lot of the NASA astronauts who went to the moon on the Apollo missions are skeptical of global warming, does Lewandosky think that these astronauts are confessing to something about not going to the moon?
Lewandosky is a transparent fraud in this paper. I wonder if his other 'academic' work is of similar quality and character?

Aug 30, 2012 at 1:26 PM | Unregistered Commenterlurjer, passing through laughing

Do go and see what geoffchambers has found out at the BH Grauniad: are CC sceptics likely to be conspiracy theorists Discussion, 4.58pm today.

Aug 30, 2012 at 5:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterMessenger

Lucia at "The Blackboard" has a post up with an excellent proposition for skeptic blog hosts re: Lewandowsky

Tweet your permission for Lewandowsky to ‘out’ you

Aug 30, 2012 at 8:18 PM | Registered CommenterThe Leopard In The Basement

Like Geoff Chambers, I too acquired the raw data from Katabasis.

I have done a number of pivot tables of the beliefs in various conspiracy theories against the rating people gave of agreement with the CO2 consensus on a scale of 0-100.

My preliminary results are as follows.

1. 86% of respondents gave an agreement of 80 or more with the CO2 consensus. Not surprising given that the blogs are all militantly pro-consensus.
2. Belief in conspiracy theories does not significantly differ according to agreement with the CO2 Consensus or not.
3. As such rather than skeptics being anti-science, it would appear that a number of blogs are home to people who - how shall I put this - are unable or unwilling to see that there could be alternative points of view.

Having re-read the original paper, there is nothing in that paper that contradicts these conclusions.

Aug 31, 2012 at 2:25 AM | Unregistered CommenterManicBeancounter

Lewandowsky replied.

Sorry, no, they likely replied to my requests under the presumption of privacy and I am therefore not releasing their names.

I've asked him to confirm he didn't contact Bishop Hill and the three other blogs on my list so far. Presumably he won't presume we want privacy when we've said the opposite.

Aug 31, 2012 at 4:42 AM | Unregistered Commenterlucia

Aug 31, 2012 at 4:42 AM | lucia

[Lewandowsky's reply:]

Sorry, no, they likely replied to my requests under the presumption of privacy and I am therefore not releasing their names. [emphasis added -hro]

YMMV, but I find it very unlikely that not a single one of these mysterious skeptic bloggers, who had purportedly been approached by Lewandowsky, chose to alert the rest of us - even anonymously, so as to preserve their "privacy" - to the important study Lewandowsky was undertaking.

Amazing. Simply amazing.

Aug 31, 2012 at 6:01 AM | Registered CommenterHilary Ostrov

Lewandowsky says:

Sorry, no, they likely replied to my requests under the presumption of privacy and I am therefore not releasing their names.

Wow! It's looking increasingly like Lewandowsky was just incredibly unlucky with his skeptic blog selections.

Lewandowsky must have inadvertently selected the 5 most shy, reticent, and disparate skeptic blogs on the planet! ;)

Aug 31, 2012 at 9:00 AM | Registered CommenterThe Leopard In The Basement

I love having my opinions canvassed - but I lie every time.

Aug 31, 2012 at 10:24 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Reed

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