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« More Deben conflicts | Main | More bad news for greens »
Wednesday
Sep052012

More Lew

Interestinger and interestinger.

I noted yesterday that McIntyre had unearthed an invitation to take part in the Lewandowsky survey. However, there is much about the survey that still appears problematic. Firstly, the invitation was sent on 6 September 2010, but upholder blogs like Deltoid had received the link more than a week earlier on 28 August.

McIntyre received a reminder two weeks later. Just three days after that, Lewandowsky was discussing preliminary results in public, which seems rather odd.

But there's more. In the comments at Lewandowsky's recent post on his "conspiracy theory" article, Steve McIntyre wonders why the survey he was told to complete was different to the one that was sent to Deltoid.

1) the link attached to the email to me HKMKNI_9a13984 was not the same as the link as at the Deltoid survey HKMKNF_991e2415

2) the number of questions noted up in comments at Deltoid was 40, while only 31 were reported in the article. In addition, the project description at UWA mentions questions concerning "life satisfaction" but these are not listed in the APpendix. What happened to them?

Another commenter notes the presence of another survey, number HKMKNG_ee191483, as well.

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Reader Comments (123)

As I point out in my comment at Lewandowsky, releasing results of an opinion survey while it is still open automatically discredits the survey. It potentially biases future participants. This is a rule he would have learned as an undergraduate, assuming he knows anything at all about how to conduct a valid opinion poll.

Sep 5, 2012 at 7:47 AM | Unregistered Commenterjohanna

Lewandowsky 's methodology and 'paper' is an embarrassment to social science, and the fact that he is a professor should be an embarrassment to his university and wider academia.

Sep 5, 2012 at 8:05 AM | Registered Commenterlapogus

Am afraid those weren't "preliminary", rather the packaged outcome which has then been peer reviewed

Sep 5, 2012 at 8:15 AM | Registered Commenteromnologos

For the sake of collation I really think I should show my GIYF work in one place here:

The survey Charles Hanich offered Steve Mc is the same as the one Charles Hanich offered to Junkscience back in September 2010 here:

JunkScience Archive

BTW This means it seems at least one skeptic site did offer the link so Lewandowsky may want to revise his paper with that detail?

However it appears from this sample of two, that sceptics were targetted by a different survey to the ones offered to the majority of "pro-science" blogs - although maybe we'll find out differently once Lewandowsky has finished checking the ethics of releasing the details with the Pope or Dalai Lama whatever ;)

Since the wayback archive shows the first pages of the two here, you can see the first questions on each:

HKMKNI_9a13984 - Brand A - "Skeptic"

HKMKNF_991e2415 - Brand B -"Pro-science"

HKMKNG_ee191483 - Brand C - Mystery?

Sep 5, 2012 at 8:50 AM | Registered CommenterThe Leopard In The Basement

It's very simple, first write the answer: [Variable1] believe that the moon landings where fake.

Second identify where you will get the correct responses from: Deltiod, SkS, etc.

Third fill in the blanks: [Variable1] = Has an American walked on the moon?

It's so much easier to get grants when you can promise the correct outcome, either that or Lewandowsky is a very bad academic.

Sep 5, 2012 at 8:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterShevva

Lewandowsky's (lack of) judgment, analytical skills, and knowledge of social science methodology should not have allowed him to obtain a university degree anywhere. The fact that he can be a senior professor obtaining nationally funded grants etc. is simply astonishing. What has happened to academic and research standards??

Sep 5, 2012 at 8:57 AM | Registered CommenterSkiphil

@ Skiphil 08:57

"Lewandowsky's (lack of) judgment, analytical skills, and knowledge of social science methodology should not have allowed him to obtain a university degree anywhere. "

What, not even UEA?

Sep 5, 2012 at 9:15 AM | Unregistered CommenterJoe Public

The irony Lewandowsky's 'standard 'of academic work, would be unacceptable for any undergraduate studying in his own department . Its amazing how often that is true for 'the Team' too , you have to wonder how their students view them when they perform in this way.

Sep 5, 2012 at 9:18 AM | Unregistered CommenterKnR

Many thanks to Leopard for collating information on the three surveys. All were conducted by kwiksurveys, who, according to commenter A Scott at Rankexploits, suffered a hack in June 2012 and have tragically lost much data.

Sep 5, 2012 at 9:29 AM | Registered Commentergeoffchambers

"an embarrassment to social science" I didn't know such a thing was possible.

Sep 5, 2012 at 9:33 AM | Unregistered CommenterDocBud

DocBud

:-)

Sep 5, 2012 at 9:52 AM | Registered Commenterjamesp

Geoff

"suffered a hack in June 2012"

Just as well we're not conspiracy theorists...

Sep 5, 2012 at 9:54 AM | Registered Commenterjamesp

We know that Climate Audit received an invitation to participate in the survey one week after posts were already up at six “pro-science” blogs. We still don’t know when SkepticalScience, the most important “pro-science” blog, posted the invitation, since the invitation has been deleted, and can’t be found on the Wayback machine. I’ve been trying to find out on this thread:
http://www.skepticalscience.com/AGU-Fall-Meeting-sessions-social-media-misinformation-uncertainty.html#comments

First I was told John Cook was too busy to answer, then John Cook answered: “2011” which he later corrected to 2010. Then the moderator said he was tired of my incessant questions, and that I should email John Cook directly.
Before I could do so, I received a very cordial email from John Cook, offering to answer my questions. I asked when the invitation to participate in the survey was posted, when the post was deleted, if there were any comments, and if so, were they still available. That was two days ago, and I’m still waiting for a reply.

I posted a comment on the SkS thread above detailing my correspondence with Cook and saying that I’d post his reply for the benefit of SkS readers when I received it.

The moderator replied: Not unless it is explicitly made clear that the contents of the email are for public dissemination.
to which I replied:
OK, fair enough. Obviously I’ll accept any terms of confidentiality that John demands. But what kind of a blog is this, where the blog owner might want to say things to a known sceptic and critic that he wouldn’t want to share with his own readers?

This reply has since been deleted.

Sep 5, 2012 at 9:59 AM | Registered Commentergeoffchambers

geoffchambers

I posted a comment on the SkS thread above detailing my correspondence with Cook and saying that I’d post his reply for the benefit of SkS readers when I received it.
The moderator replied: .....
to which I replied ...
This reply has since been deleted.
I'm beginning to understand why it is impossible to communicate with these people. They are deafened by the sounds bouncing off the walls in their echo chambers.
Does it never occur to any of them that there is nothing more likely to make you look ridiculous than allowing comments from critics and then deleting them when it becomes apparent that they are ... well ... critical?

Sep 5, 2012 at 10:11 AM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

That's an important finding from the Leopard.

The Deltoid, Tamino, Mandia and Hot-Topic blogs were sent the survey number
surveyID=HKMKNF_991e2415
on about August 29th. That survey is on the archive, see Leopard's link, and starts with 6 questions about free markets.

Bickmore and Few Things had the survey number
surveyID=HKMKNG_ee191483
also about Aug 29, but this one doesn't seem to be on the archive.

Steve Mc was sent survey number
surveyID=HKMKNI_9a13984
on Sept 6th. This survey is on the archive, see Leopard's link, and it starts with 5 completely different questions, about how happy you are with life.

Sep 5, 2012 at 10:12 AM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

..........This reply has since been deleted.
Sep 5, 2012 at 9:59 AM geoffchambers

Give the guy a break Geoff.

He obviously needs a couple of days to put his head together with Stephan and finally work out the methodology of the paper.

These things can't be rushed you know - post modern scientific quality control!

Sep 5, 2012 at 10:13 AM | Registered CommenterFoxgoose

It appears the survey DID appear at Junk Science (so much for 5 sceptical blogs rejecting it)

Possibly the 24th September (based on news archive at Junk Science.)

Which drew this comment from Junk Science (who also said they did not endorse it)

Junk Science:
"I went through the above and felt it has numerous problems - questions are framed in absolute terms but lack useful definition (climate change is used frequently but is not defined, do they mean CAGW, natural variability with some anthropogenic component or what?). Climate scientists is used as a generic term without distinguishing between modelers (PlayStation® Climatology) or physical scientists (very few geologists are impressed by claims of CAGW, for example).

Basically it seems to be fishing for conspiracy theorists in an effort to associate them with CAGW skepticism. I suspect Hanich & HREC are likely to get a lot of complaints about this framing"

http://junksciencearchive.com/sep10.html

so I doubt many people filled it in completely based on that commet (would be interesting to see numbers from refering URLs, but we have already asked for that data, not forthcoming.


and it was introduced to Junk Science as from the research assistant, at UWA, no mention of Lewandowsky, unlike the 'pro-science' blogs, who knew it was Lewandowsky (except for Mandia, who introduced it neutraly)

Sep 5, 2012 at 10:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

guys why not post these intersting findings where NON-sceptics might see it.!!!

ie Lewandowsky (comments seem to be allowed) please be extra civil.
http://www.bishop-hill.net/blog/2012/9/5/more-lew.html#comments

Sep 5, 2012 at 10:58 AM | Registered CommenterBarry Woods

Still on the subject of Lewandowsky, I’ve been discussing bra sizes and Bayesian statistics with Lucia at
http://www.climate-resistance.org/2012/06/reinventing-precaution.html
I’m a bit out of my depth on both counts, and could do with some expert input. It’s a very long thread, despite Ben having deleted a major portion which was getting out of hand. It shows Lewandowsky (and Ben Pile) at their best.

Sep 5, 2012 at 11:05 AM | Registered Commentergeoffchambers

I second Barry's point above. Lewandowsky, like John Cook at SkS, seems to have a policy of letting sceptics make fools of themselves for the benefit of his fans. It's not working.
There's a market researcher on the Lew thread who's anxious for information on survey methodology etc. I've provided some, but there's no doubt more to be said.

Sep 5, 2012 at 11:09 AM | Registered Commentergeoffchambers

Sep 5, 2012 at 10:58 AM | Barry Woods

I've been posting there with the "tlitb1" handle when I think I have something to the point that I would like an answer to. I agree about civility - I think I have successfully reined back any snark and not reacted to any distracting snark- it certainly would be a great way to contrast with some of the weeping, and moaning from the fan-boys there* ;)

* That was a snark in a different forum :)

Sep 5, 2012 at 11:14 AM | Registered CommenterThe Leopard In The Basement

Barry Woods
The survey mentioned at Junkscience has the same ID as that received by Steve McIntyre,and is not the one which is the subject of this survey. Someone should check the correlations claimed by Lewandowsky against the raw data.
Maybe checking the questions in the two surveys might indicate why the two “sceptic” blogs received a different questionnaire. He’s published the raw data for one survey but not the other, which presumably hasn’t been written up yet.

Sep 5, 2012 at 12:29 PM | Registered Commentergeoffchambers

Geoff

BUT he is claiming that he sent the survey to 5 sceptical blogs which he said rejected it..

As the Junkscience survey was the same one, he sent Steve Mcintyre, why is he getting all smug about it... If you look at the comments at Deltoid and Tamino's the survey may have been changed, because the regulars were so damm critical about it..

http://tamino.wordpress.com/2010/08/28/survey-says/

http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/08/29/survey-on-attitudes-towards-cl/

Whatever, the claim was he sent the survey to 5 sceptical blogs, and it was sent to the 8 blogs that answered it, this is shown to be a 'lie'. ie steve receved a different survey, Junk Science published the link to a different survey (in the time of the field trials)

additionally, what happened to the results from the survey published at Junk Science....

Sep 5, 2012 at 1:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

Sep 5, 2012 at 1:30 PM | Barry Woods
Sep 5, 2012 at 12:29 PM | geoffchambers

I may be interjecting out of turn here…

We really shouldn’t have to do this but we are left to pick amongst the hints and innuendo that Lewandowsky is giving here. This picking amongst the crappy dissembling allows the charlatans to squeak “Gish gallop, gish gallop” in response - either because they are just plain liars, or, are just too dense to notice that the questions are all directed to the same specific subject and have a single required response.

Now, even though Lewandowsky doesn’t acknowledge Steve McIntyre by name, I would say that Lewandowsky *has admitted* that the JunkScience and Steve McIntyre surveys were part of the same study because he says this about Steve’s discovery of the email.

“[one of the individuals] has now found that email”

"one of the individuals" == Steve Mc, right?

Therefore Lewandowsky must consider both the HKMKNI_9a13984 and HKMKNF_991e2415 questionnaires as part of the survey, and we know that the questions on HKMKNI_9a13984 are not discussed in the final paper.

I don’t say it is impossible but I can’t see an explanation for all this that allows this paper to be published in a journal that wants to keep its reputation above laughable.

Sep 5, 2012 at 1:46 PM | Registered CommenterThe Leopard In The Basement

I agree with Leopard - Lewandowsky has effectively admitted that Stebve was an original, one of the 5 sceptical blogs recipients (and we now know he recieved a different surevy....)

----------------
the people at the 'pro-science' blogs were very critical of the survey!!! ;-)
Which is probably why John Cook deleted it at Skeptical Science, to spare Lewandowsky's blushes of reading the comments there ? just a surmise.. ;-)

---
I have posted the below, on the Lewandowsky blog article..

Barry Woods at 22:49 PM on 5 September, 2012
Presumably the reason that Skeptical Science deleted the survey article,was because the comments were so critical of the survey.. and John Cook & co were sparing the authors a few blushes?

like the comments at Tamino's and Deltoid (and some had 'fun' with the survey, supporting Tom Curtis' thoughts..

http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/08/29/survey-on-attitudes-towards-cl/

http://tamino.wordpress.com/2010/08/28/survey-says/

A selection of below from many recognisable, 'pro-science' commentators:

Tamino's: Rattus Norvegicus | August 28, 2010 at 3:59 pm |
"You missed the long series of questions about various conspiracy theories. Those were fun!"


Tamino's: pointer | August 30, 2010 at 11:42 am |
"Yeah, those conspiracy theory questions were pretty funny, but does anyone think that hardcore deniers are going to be fooled by such a transparent attempt to paint them as paranoids?

Also, here are two words that, when put together, ought to make anyone critical of this research: “online” and “survey"


Tamino's: Sekerob | August 29, 2010 at 11:17 am |
"These surveys are designed for an outcome, which as was apparent from the reply in first post, and thus in this case for either entertainment or wind-up, or a learning point on who ordered the survey for correct slotting. They’re so transparent."

Tamino's: Robert | August 28, 2010 at 4:48 pm |
I guess they’re trying to use those survey questions to identify the nuts haha… All those conspiracy ones were a bit ridiculous (with the exception of iraq not being for WMDs, which is pretty obvious) although I do have to say the JFK lone gunman one is the only one i’m a little unsure about."


Deltoid: Marion Delgado: August 30, 2010, 6:42 am
I definitely thought the survey was poor and tendentious, fwiw.

Deltoid:
August 30, 2010, 5:17 am
"It is a seriously weird questionnaire. I stopped doing it when I realized that the UWA logo directed one to the kwiksurveys site rather than UWA. Is it some sort of attempt to spish? Quite apart from the inept conspiracy questions that don’t allow “no idea” as an answer, and the two-part questions where you might have different response to the two parts.
BTW – they say the experimenter is Charles Hanich, not Stephan Lewandowsky as you put Tim…."

------------

I would recommend that readers at this blog, read the comments and criticisms made at the time at the pro-science blogs....

All 'pro-science' surveys found are linked in the first comment here:
http://talkingclimate.org/are-climate-sceptics-more-likely-to-be-conspiracy-theorists/

By the way, what happened to the results & data, obtained from the survey that actually was posted at Junk Sceince (lots of actual sceptics' read that blog) did they not meet the pre-conceptions?

http://www.shapingtomorrowsworld.org/ccc2.html#comments

Sep 5, 2012 at 1:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

The reminder email to me came on Sept 23 - the same day that Lewandowsky gave his Monash seminar on the results of the "survey".

The link sent to me was the same link as posted by JunkScience. There were two different links referred to in the angry blogs. Stratification by link is presumably available but was not reported by Lewandowsky.

Sep 5, 2012 at 2:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterSteve McIntyre

Steve, this is grossly inept as well as clearly intended to smear. I've been thinking back to your Slimed by Bagpuss the Cat Reporter on 7 February 2010. The Empire Strikes Back response to Climategate got dirty at that point. Did it ever really recover?

Sep 5, 2012 at 2:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

The survey link for "skeptics" commences with the following questions:

* 1. In most ways my life is close to my ideal
* 2. The conditions of my life are excellent
* 3. I am satisfied with my life
* 4. So far I have gotten the important things I want in life
* 5. If I could live my life over, I would change almost nothing

while the survey for warmists commences with the freemarket questions.

In a comment above, a reader quotes a comment from a Tamino reader about Iraq WMD that appears to have been on the survey, but which has not been reported.

Tamino's: Robert | August 28, 2010 at 4:48 pm |
I guess they’re trying to use those survey questions to identify the nuts haha… All those conspiracy ones were a bit ridiculous (with the exception of iraq not being for WMDs, which is pretty obvious) although I do have to say the JFK lone gunman one is the only one i’m a little unsure about."

Hmmmm.

What was the question? Why weren't the answers reported?

Sep 5, 2012 at 2:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterSteve McIntyre

Steve McIntyre
So is Lewandowsky’s comment:
Should any others want to continue searching their correspondence, it might be helpful to know that my assistant has just re-read old correspondence from some time ago (e.g., from Thu, 23 Sep 2010 08:38:33 -0400) with considerable amusement in light of the frivolous accusations flying about the internet that we may not have contacted those blogs with a request to post a link
addressed to you? A simple look at the exact time of the reminder should clear that up.

In which case, Lewandowsky is clearly not following this discussion very closely.
Stratification by link is not a possible explanation, given that on 23rd of September he was already reporting a survey with 1100+ respondents. In other words,he’d already done the analysis to eliminate the 232 respondents with duplicate IPs and impossible demographics on the data from the six/eight “pro-science” blogs. The Hanich half of the survey was apparently forgotten about, and may now be a victim of the unfortunate hack at Kwicksurveys.

Sep 5, 2012 at 2:30 PM | Registered Commentergeoffchambers

* 1. In most ways my life is close to my ideal Yes.
* 2. The conditions of my life are excellent Pretty much but the ass-mar sucks sometimes and maybe a certain appendage could be a tad bigger.
* 3. I am satisfied with my life 100%.
* 4. So far I have gotten the important things I want in life Absolutely.
* 5. If I could live my life over, I would change almost nothing. Pretty much again, though the duck a l'orange on the Isle of Wight was a bad choice, wish I'd gone the lamb.

Now I'm not clear what I'm supposed to do next, do I voluntarily admit myself to a mental hospital or do I wait to be sectioned. MrsBud is a certified mental health Social Worker so maybe she can expedite things. Either way, clearly I am a danger to society and something needs to be done.

Sep 5, 2012 at 3:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterDocBud

Steve, the paper's methods section (which runs to all of 10 lines, after almost 5 pages of introduction) says "Table 2 lists items retained for analysis together with their abbreviated variable names." with a footnote 3 that reads "The survey included several additional items (e.g., querying perceived income rank), none of which were relevant to the constructs of interest." That statement seems to be untrue since Robert clearly identifies it as a conspiracy question. Presumably it was something like "The invasion of Iraq was not because of WMD", and it was omitted because too many respondents agreed with it?

Perhaps Lewandowsky has been learning data selection techniques from certain climate scientists.

Sep 5, 2012 at 4:42 PM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

Paul Matthews
Administering questionnaires with batteries of disparate questions, then only publishing the bits which support your theory, seems to be standard practise in psychological research into climate sceptics.
Adam Corner’s recent paper, which was discussed at length at
http://www.climate-resistance.org/2012/03/shrinking-the-sceptics.html
turned up the interesting result, hidden in the data, and not commented on in the paper, that supporters of the Green Party were more sceptical of global warming than any other political group. I can think of for reasons for that. The respondents were mainly nineteen-year-old Welsh female psychology students, and voting Green and being sceptical about global warming might both be signs of teenage rebellion, possibly linked to unresolved Oedipal questions. Still, it’s odd that the authors didn’t want to talk about it, and didn’t publish the data in their paper which would allow one to discover such a fascinating fact.

Sep 5, 2012 at 5:24 PM | Registered Commentergeoffchambers

It is worth re-emphasising that (as Steve M. mentioned), Lewandowsky's name was not mentioned in the emails sent to at least some sites. I am just waiting for him to blame his research assistant, or 'communication failures', for the fallout. If I were a lowly research assistant seeking support from others to promote a survey, surely using the best known or most distinguished name in the research group would be normal practice? Not always in this case, apparently. Although, it seems that some recipients had different information. As to exactly which survey we are talking about ... ay-yi-yi ...

Huge congratulations to BH denizens on getting to the bottom of this quagmire. As for dragging Steve McIntyre into it - oh dear. The University of Western Australia is in for a torrid time.

Sep 5, 2012 at 5:47 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohanna

I found an interesting Lewandowsky post on a blog I have never come across before called "Ambient Gambit" .

The author is someone who had completed the Lewandowsky survey and he has some analysis - he mentions omissions from the final paper such as a Iraq/WMD question, and he has a set of screen shots of the full survey, it looks like he took HKMKNF_991e2415.

I notice that questions 1-5 of HKMKNI_9a13984 are the same as questions 28-32 in this survey so maybe the two have the same question but just in a different order?

Sep 5, 2012 at 5:55 PM | Registered CommenterThe Leopard In The Basement

Geoff Chambers - I don't understand your use of the term "pro-science" to describe and distinuish blogs like Deltoid where sometimes hysteria trumps science. Isn't the B-H blog a "pro-science" blog? Maybe "non-skeptical blogs" and "skeptical blogs" would be a better way of distinguishing B-H from Deltoid. Or maybe something more in line with the WUWT blogroll categories of "Lukewarmers", "Pro AGW Views" and "Skeptical Views" blogs. Otherwise someone might conclude blogs that disagree with Deltoids POV are not pro-science sites.

Sep 5, 2012 at 6:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterWindy

I've been out to lunch today so I'm not sure if anyone has posted this link to an index of psychology papers called "Economic Psychology Online"

http://www.onlinepsychresearch.co.uk/studies/past-studies/economic-psychology-past-studies/

It describes a Lewandowsky/Hannich study dated Sept 17th 2010 as:-


The study seeks to relate attitudes towards science, with particular emphasis on climate science, to (a) attitudes concerning free markets, (b) skepticism vs. gullibility, (c) life satisfaction, and (c) perceived scientific consensus.

The "life satisfaction" item seems to relate to the HKMKNI_9a13984 study which Steve M received - but not to the others.

Is it possible that Hannich or someone else at UWA got their questionnaires in a twist?

Sep 5, 2012 at 6:21 PM | Registered CommenterFoxgoose

What's the difference if he invited skeptical blogs to participate or not. If he didn't talk to skeptics, no matter what the reason, how can he come to conclusions about what they think? Telepathy?

Sep 5, 2012 at 6:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterFred 2

Sep 5, 2012 at 6:21 PM | Foxgoose

It is looking like the "life satisfaction" questions appeared on both surveys but in different positions see this from Ambient Gambit:

Questions 28 to 32 have also been removed. It was a mystery to me why they were in there in the first place as they ask how I feel about my life. That they play no part in the paper suggests that whatever theory was being investigated using them failed to pan out. If this is the case it is bad practice, and basically dishonest, not to report the failure.

Sep 5, 2012 at 6:57 PM | Registered CommenterThe Leopard In The Basement

I can just imagine the meeting of the executive sub-committee of UWA.

"so, this feller Lewandowsky has done things which exposed the University to criticism?"

(Apparachnik) "Sadly, it seems so, sir."

"Well, what can we do about it?"

"Nothing, sir, he is a Tenured Professor".

If only the Vice Chancellor had Jeeves available to advise.

Sep 5, 2012 at 7:31 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohanna

I realized today that the questionnaire left out one of the most popular conspiracy theories of today.
Something like

"Climate denial only exists as a serious force due to massive funding by oil and tobacco interests"

I wonder why Lewandowsky would leave this out?

Sep 5, 2012 at 7:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterManicBeancounter

Yes, ManicB, a point I made a week ago based on a comment from Alex Cull on Adam Corner's original thread:

The “oil-funded cli­mate deni­alist con­spiracy theory” (for want of a better and more suc­cinct name) appears to be a variant of the crop of ideas that were rampant about Jewish plu­to­crats a cen­tury ago, but with Exxon and the Koch brothers standing in for the Elders of Zion.

Cull's wording (which I think is entirely justified) took me in a very serious direction historically. But your definition, with one amendment from me here:

Climate denial only exists as a serious force due to significant funding by oil and tobacco interests.

is very amenable to be incorporated in one of these {1- StrDis; 4 - StrAgr} surveys. It would be fascinating to see the results with this included.

Sep 5, 2012 at 8:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

Richard D, you can go back even further with the conspiracy theories about big money conspiracies. Karl Marx was brought up on it, and expounded it. To be fair to even the most dogmatic proponents of CAGW, they owe more to the Marxian strand of thinking than the Nazis.
You will also find a parallel with another strand of this thinking. The Marxist idea (started by Marx himself in his actions with the First Communist International) was that only a small number of people could properly interpret true interest of the proletariat, through understanding the material forces of history. Now we have the small numbers of climate scientists only being able to truly interpret the data and the climate models.

Sep 5, 2012 at 10:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterManicBeancounter

Lewandowsky is apparently letting info dribble out to a sober minded disseminator of information ;)

(maybe the ethics guru he is consulting suggested this?)


In this marvelously deranged writeup of the story so far - the kind you could only hope to see on DeSmog - lurks a nugget of information:

Lewandowsky revealed that two of the five skeptic blogs approached even replied to the email they were sent.

One stated "Thanks. I will take a look” and another asked "Can you tell me a bit more about the study and the research design?"

Sep 5, 2012 at 10:52 PM | Registered CommenterThe Leopard In The Basement

wowe...desmog is seriously deranged...it makes Greg Laden seem human, which is quite a feat

Sep 5, 2012 at 11:34 PM | Unregistered Commenterdiogenes

Leopard

Lewandowsky is apparently letting info dribble out..
Yes, and it’s sometimes subtly different from what is in the paper
“Links were posted on 8 blogs” in the paper’s method section has become “Some eight "pro-science" blogs agreed to post the link..”.

“Lewandowsky's researchers also emailed five popular skeptic blogs..” yes, but with an invitation to fill in a different questionnaire, a point which Lewandowsky has yet to concede.
The questionnaire was “... posted on blogs between August and October 2010”. All six known postings occurred in August. Has he got a surprise for us?

Sep 6, 2012 at 3:55 AM | Registered Commentergeoffchambers

A sample paragraph from DeSmog:

Because rather fittingly, no sooner had Lewandowsky's paper begun to make headlines than the world's loose, nimble and definitely-not-conspiring network of climate skeptic blogs began to construct their own conspiracies about Lewandowsky's research.

Hmm. Where does one start?

I like 'loose, nimble and definitely-not-conspiring network of climate skeptic blogs'. That's really rather true. I know the 'definitely-not-conspiring' could be ironic but who can say for sure? Don't we do things out in the open, with all the pleasure and pain that involves?

Now let's turn our attention to 'began to construct their own conspiracies'. Note that this, even if it was a perfectly fair description of what has been going on around here, on Lucia's, at WUWT, Jo Nova's and elsewhere, is totally different from signing up for a well-worn conspiracy theory such as are used in the survey, like the idea that the FDR administration knew about the Pearl Harbor attack ahead of time.

But what about we replace 'began to construct their own conspiracies' with 'began to ask some pointed questions'. The latter is definitely true, the former just a bit weird (not least because someone omitted the 'theories'). But that requires the removal of the 'rather fittingly' at the beginning. And while we've got it in for adverbial phrases let's trim the too-knowing 'definitely'. Thus we arrive at:

No sooner had Lewandowsky's paper begun to make headlines than the world's loose, nimble and non-conspiring network of climate skeptic blogs began to ask some pointed questions about Lewandowsky's research.

That's rather good. And then one would have to illustrate the pointed questions and would no doubt choose the mystery of 23rd September 2010, the date of the second email asking Climate Audit to participate and Lewandowski's public presentation of what are now styled as his preliminary findings, strongly suggesting all possible participation had already ended.

Ah, but that wouldn't suit DeSmog so well because it wouldn't make Steve McIntyre and sceptics out to be total idiots for asking the question.

At which point I realise I'm stuck. My hopes of being a ghost-writer or even a humble subeditor for DeSmogBlog are in tatters.

And if you believe I had such hopes then you may have the necessary credulity to think that there is something to learn from the DeSmog account. Apart of course from the nugget already extracted by our big cat in the basement.

If trillions didn't depend on the climate debate this would be a joke. That trillions continue to go in one futile direction relying on such codswallop is beyond parody.

Sep 6, 2012 at 4:20 AM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

Lewandowsky: "Uncertainty is nobody's friend."
Bookie: "Wanna bet?"

Sep 6, 2012 at 6:21 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlex Heyworth

I'm perusing the website for the Assn. for Psychological Science which publishes the journal, and I note that they refer to it as their "flagship" journal with claims that the journal Psychological Science is "highest ranked":

"...Psychological Science is the highest ranked empirical journal in psychology."

Thus it purports to be much more than just one of countless journals, a standard bearer for the entire field. They just had another article retracted this summer (see below), so they may be particularly sensitive and vulnerable right now over problems with a new article. On the one hand they may want (psychologically speaking) to dig in and defend their journal's reputation against barbarian hordes. OTOH, their standards and review procedures may be more vulnerable right now. Good time to insist upon critical scrutiny of the Lewandowsky fiasco.

journal is called Psychological Science (sic)

The first sentence of the retraction statement for another article (see below) in Psychological Science would make for a good first sentence for a Lewandowsky withdrawal/retraction:

“The data reported in this article are invalid and should not be considered part of the scientific literature….”


They just had this article retraction on July 30, 2012:

RETRACTION of a recent article in same journal

The following article has been retracted by the Editor and publishers of Psychological Science at the request of the lead author, Lawrence J. Sanna:

Sanna, L. J., Chang, E. C., Parks, C. D., & Kennedy, L. A. (2009). Construing collective concerns: Increasing cooperation by broadening construals in social dilemmas. Psychological Science, 20, 1319–1321. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9280.2009.02458.x

In a letter to the Editor (Eric Eich), Dr. Sanna wrote:

The data reported in this article are invalid and should not be considered part of the scientific literature. The responsibility for this problem rests solely with the first author, Lawrence J. Sanna. Coauthors Edward C. Chang, Craig D. Parks, and Lindsay A. Kennedy are in no way responsible for this problem.

In response, the Editor noted that Psychological Science follows the retraction guidelines developed by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). Dr. Sanna was urged to follow these guidelines carefully in drafting a retraction notice, particularly with respect to stating the reasons for the retraction, to distinguish misconduct from honest error....

Sep 6, 2012 at 7:50 AM | Registered CommenterSkiphil

Sep 6, 2012 at 7:50 AM | Skiphil

That story is mentioned on Retraction Watch here

I notice that Maurizio/omnologos commented there maybe he has some further background? I think most people agree that the Social/Psychology field has the highest incidence of retracted papers.

Sep 6, 2012 at 8:00 AM | Registered CommenterThe Leopard In The Basement

Don't expect the retraction to come from the author. Desmogblog, in the article linked by Leopard above, has spoken to Lewandowsky. He talks about: "His paper, to be published in the journal Psychological Science.." So it's presumably passed peer review and been accepted.

Sep 6, 2012 at 8:10 AM | Registered Commentergeoffchambers

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