Seen elsewhere

 

Buy

Books
Click images for more details

Support

 

Twitter
Recent comments
Recent posts
Currently discussing
Links

A few sites I've stumbled across recently....

Powered by Squarespace
« Fleshing out the cosmoclimatogy hypothesis | Main | +++Michael Gove responds to Climate Control+++ »
Wednesday
Apr092014

Ethical confirmations

As if any confirmation were required that Lewandowsky's papers were ethically compromised the expressions of dismay from the wilder fringes of the green movement provide it in buckets.

Ugo Bardi, an Italian chemist who seems to have something to do with the Club of Rome, has resigned from the editorial team at Frontiers in disgust, penning a long protest article here. In it we learn that although he has no opinion on the ethical or legal aspects of the paper he is convinced that Frontiers has let Lewandowsky down.

It is not for me, here, to discuss the merits and demerits of this paper, nor the legal issues involved (noting, however, that the University of Western Australia found no problems in hosting it on their site). However, my opinion is that, with their latest statement and their decision to retract the paper, Frontiers has shown no respect for authors nor for their own appointed referees and editors. But the main problem is that we have here another example of the climate of intimidation that is developing around the climate issue.

And, as if to put the seal on the conclusion that the paper was bunk, support for Bardi's decision comes from Peter Gleick, a man with long and deep experience in the area of ethical compromise:

Not retracting academically flawed papers is bad for a journal; so is retracting academically sound ones.

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

Reader Comments (103)

Ugo Bardi clearly has no moral compass. Surely the first duty of any journal is to show respect to the reader and not the author. If the journal has evidence that there are ethical and legal issues with a piece of work (never mind it's scientific value), and the evidence is incontrovertible as far as Lewandowsky's work is concerned, then it must retract the paper.

The position of UWA is for them to decide. From the released documents I would suggest that the UWA ethics office has been under the thumb of Lewandowsky and has not acted with integrity and a full sense of values. Unfortunately it seems that this also goes right to the top of the senior management of the university with the disgraceful and indefensible public position of their vice-chancellor who frankly should know better.

Ugo Bardi is just reinforcing the opinion of many people of academics living and working in an ivory tower. Frankly Frontiers is better off without him.

Apr 9, 2014 at 9:20 AM | Unregistered CommenterPaul Dennis

"Frontiers has shown no respect for authors nor for their own appointed referees..."

I suggest to Ugo Bardi that respect is a two-way street; the lack of respect shown to Frontiers by Lewandowsky and his tame reviewer, McKeown would have been enough to give the journal pause.

Apr 9, 2014 at 9:28 AM | Registered CommenterHarry Passfield

Books by Ugo Bardi:

La Terra svuotata (The Empty Earth)
La fine del petrolio (The End Of Oil)
Storia petrolifera del bel paese (History of Petroleum Italy)
Il libro della Chimera (The book of the Chimera )
The Limits to Growth Revisited

He is also president of Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas (ASPO) in Italy.

Apr 9, 2014 at 9:34 AM | Unregistered CommenterTerryS

Dr Bardi has mixed up the two papers, which does rather weaken the force of his confected fury. With all due respect to this blog - deservedly influential - can I ask why Professor Lewandowsky's research merits this degree of interest?

Apr 9, 2014 at 9:36 AM | Unregistered Commenteralan kennedy

Support for Loonydowsky from Ugo and the upright and morally sound Peter Gleick tells you all you need to know.

I just love it when the boot is on the other foot- as the dramagreens are starting to find out.

Apr 9, 2014 at 9:42 AM | Unregistered CommenterDon Keiller

I was amused by this statement that Ugo Badi penned:

"People who actively engage in the denial of the validity of climate science and of its results are often defined as "deniers" or "fake skeptics." They rarely have scientific credentials in the climate field, or even in science in general and their statements are only superficially scientific."

I'm not sure he really ever managed to understand the group of people he was criticising.

http://cassandralegacy.blogspot.it/2013/03/desdemonas-trap-facing-denial-in.html?m=1

Apr 9, 2014 at 9:45 AM | Unregistered CommenterJonathan Cook

The closest thing to Bardi in the UK is Steve Jones of BBC fame. Perhaps they have been following a climate debate, but not on this planet.

Apr 9, 2014 at 9:54 AM | Registered Commenteromnologos

alan kennedy:

can I ask why Professor Lewandowsky's research merits this degree of interest?

It is because it is cancerous pseudo-science masquerading as legitimate research, and the problem with not addressing tumours is that they have a nasty habit of spreading and of becoming malignant.

Apr 9, 2014 at 9:57 AM | Registered CommenterSimon Hopkinson

Gleick has 100% hit rate , if he says its true it not and if he says if wrong its right.
But what we are really seeing here is the reaction of child that has to date always got their own way and have been told NO for the first time in their life, stupid, arrogant and worthless. In fact in line with normal climate ‘science’ practice, you have to work hard to be worse than some of the BS pseudoscience’s such has astrology are , so I would like to congratulate climate ‘science’ of the result of all its hard work.

Apr 9, 2014 at 10:06 AM | Unregistered Commenterknr

Ugo Bardi describes to his readers Recursive Fury as:

The paper reported the results of a survey that showed that the rejection of climate science was often accompanied by a similar mindset on other scientific areas. So "Climate skeptics" were also found to reject the notion that AIDS is caused by the HIV virus and that smoking causes cancer. A result not at all surprising for those of us who follow the climate debate in detail.

Which struck me as pretty amazingly wrong really, and as I said on STW, if Bardi isn't sure of the purpose and description of the paper he is protesting the withdrawal of, then I'm not sure why anyone would value his opinion of the "behavior of the journal"!

As Paul Matthews points out on twitter, now four people have pointed out Bardi's apparent mistaken understanding of Fury's description and purpose on his blog.

One of those pointing out his error is Tom Curtis, and he gets this response from Bardi:

Sorry, but "Recursive Fury" does report on what I said it reports - that is the correlation of various attitudes against science which was described more in detail in a previous paper (LOG12). Then on, it goes into describing the reactions to that - but the gist of the paper is on this attitude. So is my note.

Pretty unimpressive really, he clearly misreports the paper and implies the reasons are only because of issues only related to LOG12. His "gist of the paper" has no relation to actual reasons people complained. If this is is how he treats the followers of his blog then I can only agree with the sentiments of the Bish's tweet to this page:

You can tell @FrontPsychol were right to withdraw the Lew paper by looking at the people who are angry about it.

Apr 9, 2014 at 10:07 AM | Registered CommenterThe Leopard In The Basement

Alan

Two main reasons this has such traction on the skeptic blogs

1 - It's a set of arguments that are being won by the skeptics. Retracting a paper is really the 'nuclear option' for the journal, so shows that they consider there to be some fundamental failures in the paper /research (noting that in academic publishing, being simply wrong is not a crime - many papers probably are in some way, and the occasional more serious errors are corrected by amending the paper).

2 - Lew made it personal. Firstly with the botched manner of approaching the 'skeptic'* blogs to host the 'Moon Hoax' questionnaire, then by attacking individuals who had the temerity to criticise this and the other failings of the Moon Hoax paper (such as the apparent cock-up in not having the questionnaire linked from SkS).

* Inverted commas round 'skeptic' in this case because of course not all the blogs approached are sceptical of AGW in general - Pielke Jnr in particular is no skeptic, while Climate Audit is narrowly focussed on maths/stats issues rather than on the mechanistic issues of the greenhouse effect.

There are also two wider issues involved -

The first is that the retraction is important in undercutting the support for the 'hangers on' on the periphery of climate science. Lew is not a climate scientist, but appears to be very strongly opinionated on environmental issues - the chance of him producing unbiased and therefore credible research on the difference in opinions between deniers/skeptics and mainstream/alarmists is minimal, yet similar research ('97% of scientists' etc) has been published and is frequently referred to by politicians and similar.

The second is the question of 'what is peer review'?. The green hangers on often criticise skeptic arguments because they have not been peer reviewed, as though peer review is some ultimate seal of accuracy (which as many of us who have been inside the system know is a long way from the truth). In this case we appear to have a situation where the peer review process has not worked as it should.
It appears that the author and editor agreed on the two initial reviewers, including one who did not have the relevant expertise and experience in the field of study (i.e not familiar with psychological research protocols). Unsurprisingly, given her background and biases, this reviewer appears to have found nothing untoward in the paper. The second reviewer, an experienced research psychologist, offered a (reportedly) strongly negative review and then removed himself from the process when it was apparent that the paper was proceeding in something close to its original form.
A further apparently suitable peer reviewer was named, but withdrew very shortly (it would be interesting to hear from this reviewer, as to whether this was because of a first reading of the paper showing it to be unsuitable, outside his actual expertise or for other reasons such as time pressure or conflict of interest).
This led to the unfortunate situation where the Editor, who would appear to have a strong partiality towards this paper (hence not binning it after the first negative review), acted as the only peer reviewer with relevant experience within the discipline Not by any means the ideal situation, and one where a flawed paper was more likely to get printed.

Apr 9, 2014 at 10:22 AM | Unregistered CommenterIan Blanchard

Too funny. I've tried to get a couple of things into the comments. Not really nasty, but pointing out his errors and attitudes. Nothing has passed Ugo the censor after the first couple of critical remarks by Brandon and Tol (and even Tom Curtis of all people). But this thing did:

"AnonymousApril 9, 2014 at 1:15 AM

Ugo Bardi, what (and how) you write brings us back to the long discussed question of how well do activism and science mix. In my humble opinion, as we can all witness, not too well..."

The good doctor probably thought that was written for his support?!

Apr 9, 2014 at 10:22 AM | Unregistered CommenterSven

I think what is important in the whole Lew&Crew affair is that it gives probably so far the best good picture of the mindset of the Team. Even better that the hockey stick wars or maybe even Climategate. For them it's a war. Attack the enemy with whatever means. The end justifies the means. Protect your own whatever it takes. Even if they produce ultimate shite, never give in. Never EVER admit mistakes. Make it personal. Attack the character of your opponents. Create links to to the EVIL (Big Oil, Koch). Get as much ammo as you can get (peer review is always a magic word that multiplies fire power). And so on.
Psychological advice, anyone? By a real psychologist I mean.

Apr 9, 2014 at 10:31 AM | Unregistered CommenterSven

Simon H

Much more succinct than my explanation. No less accurate for it though.

Sven
Slightly harsh on Tom Curtis, who has a reasonable record of engaging with and even offering support to reasonable skeptics when a good point is raised (as with the question of whether the Moon Hoax survey was actually hosted on SkS - he agrees with Richard Drake's assessment that, based on all the available evidence, it looks like it never was there).

We ought to be careful not to categorise everyone into 'us v them' - it's something many of the alarmists have done, hence characterising everyone who deviates from the mainstream opinion as 'deniers' and 'anti-science', which of course anyone who spends any time on here (or at CA, or Lucia's) knows is fundamentally wrong. Many contributors at all three blogs have much stronger science (or maths or engineering) education backgrounds than their critics, and also hold a range of opinions as to the accuracy and reliability of climate change science. Very few are truly 'deniers' of climate change, in the sense of considering additional CO2 to not potentially have some effect on temperature and other weather-related phenomena.

Apr 9, 2014 at 10:39 AM | Unregistered CommenterIan Blanchard

Bardi has a blog on the Italian newspaper Il Fatto Quotidiano. Commenting on his blog article might well provoke a media story there. This could get interesting.

Apr 9, 2014 at 10:53 AM | Registered Commentergeoffchambers

I wrote
"I've tried to get a couple of things into the comments. Not really nasty, but pointing out his errors and attitudes. Nothing has passed Ugo the censor after the first couple of critical remarks by Brandon and Tol (and even Tom Curtis of all people)."
In all fairness, I was wrong. It took some time (probably Ugo was just busy), but the comments appeared.

Apr 9, 2014 at 10:58 AM | Unregistered CommenterSven

AS AN ITALIAN NATIONAL I JUST WISH OUT OF THIS CLICHE'D NIGHTMARE

;)

Apr 9, 2014 at 11:00 AM | Registered Commenteromnologos

Geoff - I wouldn't hold my breath about Il Fatto or any other Italian newspaper. I once caught a journalist red-handed in the total and absolute fabrication of a non-story, and nothing happened.

Another time, another newspaper mandhandled the London Underground map to add a station that never existed.

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHH is only answer.

Apr 9, 2014 at 11:03 AM | Registered Commenteromnologos

"...can I ask why Professor Lewandowsky's research merits this degree of interest?"

I think you will find that Lewandowsky assigned psychological disorders to a bunch of named sceptics on the back of a questionaire that none of them responded to. He went on, by extension, to attribute these disorders to all sceptics. There are people out there, and indeed who visit this blog, who want to believe him and this gave them support for their views because it came from an academic.

He holds an award from the Royal Society which funds him at Bristol University. His research is of a standard that would not deserve to be called third rate. And the warmists love him. Go figure.

Apr 9, 2014 at 11:05 AM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

Ian Blanchard

"Slightly harsh on Tom Curtis, who has a reasonable record of engaging with and even offering support to reasonable skeptics..."
Yes, I know his history and therefore agree, I was probably a bit harsh. It was more with his writings right now on the good doctor's shapingthebrightgreenuniverse site in mind. There, right now, he's quite ridiculous in defending the undefendable.
Agree also with all the rest of your comment.

Apr 9, 2014 at 11:06 AM | Unregistered CommenterSven

Addition to geronimo's comment:
the “climate sceptics are conspiracy theorists” meme is out there, repeated by Lord Deben, Ed Davey, and on the semi-official Obama twitter site.
Once they've placed the tinfoil hat on you, it's difficult to get it off. It's only a matter of time before Bob Ward demands we have a special badge sewn to our clothes (Are you reading this Lew? See! Persecuted victim complex!)

Apr 9, 2014 at 11:45 AM | Registered Commentergeoffchambers

Well look who's furious now :)

Apr 9, 2014 at 11:46 AM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

"Well look who's furious now :)"

I guess you mean the warmies. A number of the people libelled by him live in the UK, and he works here, I would be more than happy to contribute to a legal fund for one of the people so libelled to sue this charlatan and have a court of law judge whether the article is good science or not.

Apr 9, 2014 at 12:21 PM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

DGH notes Lewandowsky's latest missive on the "More Lewdness" thread...

http://www.shapingtomorrowsworld.org/rfSpeech.html

I commented on the "More Lewdness" thread.

Apr 9, 2014 at 12:30 PM | Registered Commenterthinkingscientist

Geoff Chambers says:-

It's only a matter of time before Bob Ward demands we have a special badge sewn to our clothes.

it is quite scary that we have reached the point where this is not just an idle observation but that there are lots of people who would support such a policy.

Apr 9, 2014 at 12:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterGlebekinvara

JamesG, Steve M made that joke in his blog post title Lewandowsk's Fury!

Apr 9, 2014 at 12:43 PM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

Geronimo on the legal route:
Tony Newbery at Harmless Sky pointed out long ago that the Burton judgement on showing “An Inconvenient Truth” is a wonderful demonstration of the way the legal approach works, and could work in our favour. Most people coming across the Lewandowsky affair would dismiss it as a pointless dispute between two bunches of sad obsessives. Only a lawyer would find it interesting (Judge Cocklecarrot and the affair of the seven redbearded climatologists comes to mind).
There's some worrying going on behind the scenes. I complained to the Guardian that Nuccitelli's “Bullying” article was defamatory of McIntyre and me. They didn't reply, but the link to DeSmogBlog is broken. (Readfearn's article at DeSmogBlog cites my complaint letter and is tagged with my name). Likewise the editor of the McKewon article has delinked DeSmog.
I've called Lewandowsky a liar, a fraud, a fool and a charlatan on my blog, which is in France. McIntyre has cited my insults, which anyone is free to do, of course, without risk to themselves. I'd imagine I'd therefore be badly placed to accuse Lewandowsky of libel, but I know nothing about libel law. I'd imagine only McIntyre, Watts and JoNova would be well placed to make that accusation, since they were named in the paper. The others were named in the supplemental information, which frankly would have remained confidential if we sceptics hadn't drawn attention to it.
Lewandowsky's taunting at Shapingtomorrowsworld, boasting about Fury being the most popular (!) paper and so on, suggests he's looking for a fight. There's something tragic about the bloke. He does gliding and rock climbing too.

Apr 9, 2014 at 12:47 PM | Registered Commentergeoffchambers

Well if P. Gleick implies the actions of the Journal were unethical, those actions must have been so; after all, Gleick IS the ultimate authority on ethics

Apr 9, 2014 at 12:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterChuck L

Ooh. Lew's latest as linked by thinkingscientist above is a beauty. Over the top into the valley of death with damp squibs blazing. He's amazing.

Apr 9, 2014 at 1:00 PM | Registered Commentergeoffchambers

I agree with Gleick as quoted. Has he implied that he thought these Lew Papers were not worthy of a retraction?

Apr 9, 2014 at 1:08 PM | Registered Commenterjferguson

I would be more than happy to contribute to a legal fund for one of the people so libelled to sue this charlatan and have a court of law judge whether the article is good science or not.
Apr 9, 2014 at 12:21 PM geronimo

Be careful before making such an offer. I understand that someone doing that becomes liable to share in picking up the entire tab if the case goes against them.

Apr 9, 2014 at 1:27 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

thinkingscientist

Lew "Although we have destroyed all correspondence and documents involving the allegations against us at the request of Frontiers"

Well that is ‘useful’ because now they can and do claim that
‘The total absence of evidenced for a conspiracy is proof of the conspiracy at work.’

As they cannot produce the delete request from Frontiers as the deleted that.
Now would it fun find out if Frontiers had any proof they had ever made this request, or is this unavailable because they too ‘deleted it’ Why you need or want to is a very good question.

Apr 9, 2014 at 1:34 PM | Unregistered Commenterknr

the complainants can quite happily publish their own complaints for all to see.....

Apr 9, 2014 at 1:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

Ugo who?
Oh yeah, the Ugo Bardi who is wrong about oil, a member of the Club of Rome that is famously wrong about everything, and who makes a living off of misrepresenting history and predicting doom.
And the same Ugo Bardi who could not even write a letter of resignation and protest without confusing two different papers (which raises some interesting questions about the other) and is so stupid as to think that climate skeptics do not believe HIV causes AIDS.
That Ugo Bardi holds himself out as intelligent and well informed while at the same time claiming we are experiencing peak oil sort of sums up rather well, I think.

Apr 9, 2014 at 1:40 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

Like I said. The problems for Frontiers have just started.

Apr 9, 2014 at 1:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterBrute

Foxgoose is proposing a class libel action in comments at
http://www.shapingtomorrowsworld.org/rfSpeech.html

Apr 9, 2014 at 2:06 PM | Registered Commentergeoffchambers

re-posted from Shaping Tomorrows world, pending moderation at Retraction Watch - due to 4 urls))
http://www.shapingtomorrowsworld.org/rfSpeech.html#3508

Barry Woods

I was defamed/libelled as much as Prof Richard Betts was (UK Met Office, IPCC lead author) we both appear in the data set. Big laughs…
(and there were some at the Met Office as well, according to Richard)

Frontiers must have taken a look at the copious examples of one or more authors being utterly conflicted in researching sceptics., both ethically and with conflicts of interest.

just one example, Michael Marriott writing on his personal blog “Watching the Deniers” blog before after and during the research period, that I and Anthony Watts are Deniers, Disinformers, [part of ] Denial machine, writing Verified Bullshit and suffering form a psychological defect Dunning – Kruger – would give any psychology journal slight pause for thought, perhaps..

http://watchingthedeniers.wordpress.com/2012/07/20/here-we-go-again-watts-up-with-that-pushing-the-no-consensus-myth/
http://watchingthedeniers.wordpress.com/2012/09/13/watts-explains-why-lewandowsky-paper-on-conspiracy-theories-is-wrong-its-a-conspiracy-between-john-cook-and-the-prof/

especially as co-author Marriot has ZERO psychology qualifications.. he has also been attacking Jo Nova (named in the paper) and her husband David Evans for years (including a particulary nasty, conspiracy theory and anti-Semitic set of innuendoes: http://watchingthedeniers.wordpress.com/2012/08/06/the-protocols-of-the-elder-climate-scientists-and-banksters-is-the-media-is-twigging-to-just-how-extreme-some-sceptics-are/

look at his [Marriott's] about page – his affiliation listed for the ‘Recursive Fury’ paper – Climate Realities Research – appear to be purely a vanity creation, I can find no official records of a company or institution.
http://watchingthedeniers.wordpress.com/about/

Apr 9, 2014 at 2:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

I think Lewandowsky needs to go and read Steve McIntyre's two letters. Having read them, it is my view that they put forward a powerful argument based on clear evidence written by a person who has a strong reputation for not jumping to conclusions.

Lewandowsky is out of his depth, he has no clear argument and no evidence to support his claims. He is whining because his pet theory, which looks to me to be nothing more than outright prejudice and bigotry dressed up as psycho-babble, has been shredded by the very people he seeks to harm.

Lewandosky's theory appears to completely contradict the very basis of science, which is that all science must be open to question. What Lewandowsky appears to have done is re-label valid scientific questioning and doubt as heresy.

Feynman said it best in his classic cargo cult science address:

The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool.

and

When you have put a lot of ideas together to make an elaborate theory, you want to make sure, when explaining what it fits, that those things it fits are not just the things that gave you the idea for the theory; but that the finished theory makes something else come out right, in addition.

In summary, the idea is to try to give all of the information to help others to judge the value of your contribution; not just the information that leads to judgement in one particular direction or another.

and finally, of great relevance to climate science, from Feynmans "What is science?" lecture:

Science alone of all the subjects contains within itself the lesson of the danger of belief in the infallibility of the greatest teachers of the preceding generation.

Apr 9, 2014 at 2:34 PM | Registered Commenterthinkingscientist

Thinking...

I replied over at Lewdness but it appears this conversation is on topic here so...

Dr. Lew also implies, rather explicitly, that Anthiny Watts hacked the SKS private forum and then trolled the stolen pages for the malicious content. It's rather unlikely that Anthony hacked the site. Accordingly Dr. Lew's claim is both malicious and defamatory.

Talk about recursion!

Apr 9, 2014 at 2:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterDGH

Barry Woods, I went to the watching the deniers link. Marriot appears to see in others that which he wishes to see, so a good bed fellow for Lewandowsky. As one commenter noted, no reasonable person could construe the passages about the historical facts of "gold smiths" as being anti-semitic, and noting the influence in society that comes from being very rich is not evidence that the writer therefore believes in a conspiracy theory, only that very rich people have undue influence. Try becoming the US president without the backing of very rich and influential people.

Lewandowsky and Marriot have some pretty extreme and unpleasant beliefs about agw sceptics and seem to be desperately casting about to find support for their prejudices.

I am sceptical of agw because (a) I have highly relevent training and experience in earth sciences and (b) scepticism is science. And I remember watching the moon landings live on TV and how exciting that was for a 6 year old. I don't smoke either, because of the high risk of contracting lung cancer. I don't think agw is a conspiracy, although I do think it has provided opportunity for those who want to make themselves richer, or impose their political views on others undemocratically. That doesn't make it a conspiracy.

Am I allowed to think for myself and demand a substantial burden of proof before sanctioning huge costs? According to Lewandowsky and Marriot, anyone who dissents from what they believe can only be labelled as mentally ill. This is the modern equivalent of burning heretics and witches.

The problem for Lewandowsky and Marriot is that because they do not have the necessary earth science learning and credentials, they appear to base their entire belief in agw on the opinions of others. My advice is take no-ones word for it.....

Apr 9, 2014 at 4:00 PM | Registered Commenterthinkingscientist

If any of those named in the Fury paper, or the supplementary data, are interested in exploring the possibility, at least, of a joint no-win no-fee class action against Lewandowsky et al, Frontiers and UWA they might be interested on this legal article on choosing jurisdictions for internet libel cases.

It seems you can have a go anywhere where any of the parties reside or where significant exposure of the libel has taken place.

Since Lew has libelled people in US, UK, Australia & France at least - it seems we might have a good choice.

Also Lew has been bragging that 30,000 copies were downloaded - so it would be a simple discovery matter to compel Frontiers to reveal IP addresses.

Of course UWA have now decided to "stand by their man" by republishing the paper with an inflammatory header - while at the same time telling us all how their insurers will be happy to cough up - it would take a sharp Oz libel lawyer with a heart of stone not to oblige them.

Sadly - the wretched 21013 UK libel act appears to protect "peer - reviewed papers".

It's almost as if the great & good were expecting some legal action in that area soon.

Apr 9, 2014 at 4:06 PM | Registered CommenterFoxgoose

I just returned to the FOI docs that we're published by desmog blog and realized I'd made an error. I recalled that Anthony Watts referred to the malicious comments in the secret SKS forum. But in fact it was Steve McIntyre.

Lweandowsky wrote, "Except that in this case, to allege malice against John Cook, hackers trolled through two years of his private conversations and found exactly nothing."

I hardly think Steve McIntyre hacked the forum. Alleging that he did is likely malicious and defamatory.

Apr 9, 2014 at 4:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterDGH

From Marriott's about (as linked to by Barry Woods)

I’m Mike Marriott, a 40+ year old living in Melbourne. I work as an information manager for a large professional services firm

So he appears to have no relevent psychology nor earth science qualifications. The closest he seems to get to science is that the first part of his double-barreled surname is "Hubble". By his own admission:

I have a confession to make: I am not qualified to discuss the intricate, technical details of climate science.

It’s beyond my capability.

I can grasp the essentials, and even make sense of (some) the actual peer reviewed research that I read. However I am very conscious that I have large gaps in my knowledge, and that crucially I am not qualified to critique the work of science.

In order to have a real understanding I’d need to pursue a Bachelor of Science and post-graduate degrees to be able to speak authoritatively on climate science

But I do have those technical qualifications. But according to Marriott if I use my qualifications to critically think for myself and find the evidence supporting agw insufficient, then I must be "mentally ill".

Pot, meet kettle.

Apr 9, 2014 at 4:31 PM | Registered Commenterthinkingscientist

It would appear from this article, on Australian medical publishing, that peer-reviewed papers do not enjoy protection from libel litigation in Australia.

Apr 9, 2014 at 4:57 PM | Registered CommenterFoxgoose

Correction, I should have said "I do have some of those technical qualifications."

Don't want to be accused of Dunning-Kruger syndrome!

Apr 9, 2014 at 4:58 PM | Registered Commenterthinkingscientist

Foxgoose: You may have shown another motivation to bring Dr Lew to England.

Apr 9, 2014 at 5:09 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

Interestingly - this article claims Australia is the easiest jurisdiction in the world for funding & launching class actions.

Apr 9, 2014 at 5:11 PM | Registered CommenterFoxgoose

Richard

Doesn't matter where Lew goes.

Class action lawyers home in on the deepest pocket - in this case UWA and their insurers.

I seem to remember Lew set you up in the paper with a quote from me - though I've forgotten what it was.

Would you be prepared to add your name to a no-win no-fee deal?

Apr 9, 2014 at 5:16 PM | Registered CommenterFoxgoose

One thing that never ceases to amaze me is how those who support "climate science" and anybody associated with it, seem to exist in an alternate universe to everybody else. Name one other area where failures in quality control should not be tackled out of respect for those involved.
Maybe the MPs expenses scandal should have been suppressed out of respect for them.
Maybe we should not be having further enquires into the Hillsborough disaster in the 1980s, because it might tarnish the reputation of the police.
Maybe people should not be allowed to sue medical professionals for negligence.
This last group are far more deserving of our respect than a few noisy academics who want to deny freedom of speech to those who disagree with them.

Apr 9, 2014 at 5:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterKevin Marshall

Foxgoose:

Sadly - the wretched 21013 UK libel act appears to protect "peer - reviewed papers".
But “Fury” isn't a peer-reviewed paper any more, is it? It's just a blog article.
A good reason for pursuing the action in Britain, it seems to me, is that if Lew claimed peer reviewed paper status, it would expose the scandalous change in the law that puts one type of publication in a category all of its own, like Holy Writ. This factor alone would make the story newsworthy. The fact that Lew is at Bristol and the recipient of a five figure sum and a medal from the Royal Society also gives the story a certain interest to the British taxpayer.

Apr 9, 2014 at 5:51 PM | Registered Commentergeoffchambers

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>