Cook and Lewandowsky Tell the Truth

There’s a new paper out by John Cook and fifteen co-authors – (a “metastudy of metastudies” according to co-author Naomi Oreskes) by “an all-star lineup of climate consensus experts” according to Dana Nuccitelli in the Guardian who is himself part of all-star lineup. It’s been been severely mauled by Brandon Schollenberger here and here, and magnificently ridiculed by Josh at Bishop Hill

Its main target is a critique of Cook’s famous 97% paper by Richard Tol. It further claims to show that, not only is there a consensus around global warming in the region of 90-100%, but that it gets bigger the greater the expertise of the people questioned. The graph illustrating this fact has been shown by Brandon to be drivel, based as it is on “qualitative assessment of expertise” or sticking data on a chart in order to make a nice pattern.

Something striking about this paper is the unusual lengths the authors have gone to to publicise their work. Besides Nuccitelli in the Guardian, there’s Chemistry professor Sarah Green, who is quoted at Science Daily and at Thinkprogress while John Cook is quoted in articles at the sites of Bristol University and the University of Queensland where he claims that the success of COP21 was largely due to him and his co-authors:

“The progress made at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21) in Paris late last year indicates that countries are now well and truly behind the scientific consensus too. It has been studies like this that have compelled politicians and policy-makers to act on climate change – and the Paris Accord is testament to that action.”

an astounding claim, which, when you think about it, is almost certainly true. Have you ever heard a mainstream politican demonstrate the slightest acquaintance with climate science? What else have they ever done but parrot: “Experts agree that… the science tells us…”?

Lewandowsky, in an article devoted to the article of which he is co-author, is even more upfront about the importance of the study as a propaganda tool:

Given that recognition of the expert consensus is a gateway belief that determines the public’s attitudes toward climate policies, and given that informing people of the consensus demonstrably shifts their opinions, it is unsurprising that attempts continue to be made to deny the existence of this pervasive expert consensus.

…a corollary of which is that, by the same reasoning, it is unsurprising that attempts continue to be made by climate propagandists like Lewandowsky to shore up belief in the existence of this pervasive expert consensus.

Lewandowsky continues:

Like other forms of disinformation, this denial of the expert consensus impinges on the public’s right to be adequately informed about the risks it is facing. It is therefore potentially ethically dubious.

The claim that disagreeing with Lewandowsky and his co-authors is potentially ethically dubious links to an article by philosopher Lawrence Torcello which is cited in another recent article by Lewandowsky which contains another important insight:

“…it is known that the mere mention of climate change can increase authoritarian attitudes… Climate change and other threats may therefore increase people’s general readiness to aggress toward deviant groups that seem to threaten individuals’ and society’s safety and well-being…”

Well said Lew. As a member of the deviant group in question, I concur wholeheartedly.

I wrote a reply to the Bristol University article, saying, among other things:

“Professor Lewandowsky and his Doctorate Student John Cook are serial liars, beginning in 2012 when they falsely claimed that the respondents for Lewandowsky’s first opinion survey on climate change were obtained from Cook’s website Skeptical Science, and they haven’t stopped lying since, notably in a defamatory paper which was retracted, then reissued in a slightly revised form last year. Four of the co-authors of this paper are associated with Skeptical Science, which, despite its name, is devoted to attacking those of us who are sceptical of some of the claims of the climate science “consensus.” The authors of this paper are waging a political campaign, using junk statistics, to denigrate those who apply the true principles of scientific scepticism.”

I write stuff like this all over the place, to the Press Complaints Commission, Bristol University Research Ethics Committee, Retraction Watch, and any media outlet that will accept such comments, each time making the point that Lewandowsky and Cook are proven liars. (The best exposition of my case is Steve McIntyre’s article based on Barry Woods’ and my evidence).

My quixotic campaign has been fairly unproductive so far (though we did get one Lew paper retracted, which led to me and McIntyre being fingered by Nuccitelli in the Guardian as bullies – hence the unsuccessful complaint to the Press Complaints Commission).
I really don’t know what else to do. The fact that one proven liar is claiming to have prodded 195 countries into signing a multi-trillion dollar international treaty and another one is asserting that disagreement with his opinions is morally reprehensible seems to me to be something worth making a fuss about. But how to do it effectively?

43 thoughts on “Cook and Lewandowsky Tell the Truth

  1. I have no idea whether Cook or Lew ‘lied’ but I have experience of being accused of lying here and on other “sceptic” sites when I’ve done no such thing. The word ‘lie’ is dubious currency among “sceptics”. Just out of interest, if I put up a page on my website mentioning a survey but then fail to link to it from the home page or anywhere else, am I lying to say I posted it? I’m not saying that happened, but your ‘proof’ that SKS didn’t post it seems to be a copy of the front page.

    Actually I have no interest or trust in psychology papers (of any sort) and no interest in discussing consensus or lack of it belief in the greenhouse effect of CO2. But I hope you have a ball with it.

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  2. Raff,
    I assumed (naively, I realise) that anyone who would throw around accusations of lying would, themselves, behave in a manner that was beyond reproach. If they feel comfortable making such accusations, you would expect them to assume that such freedom is open to anyone. However, what seems to be the case is that those who feel they have the freedom to throw around such accusations also seem to feel that they also get to define when something is a lie and when it is not. My impression is that when it is said by someone with whom they disagree, it is a lie; when it is said by themselves, or someone with whom they agree, it is not. Quite impressive, in some sense.

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  3. RAFF
    Read the McIntyre article I link to, and you’ll see that Lewandowsky and Cook didn’t just “lie”, in the sense of saying something that turned out to be mistaken. They told barefaced lies. In my email correspondence with Cook, I suggested he’d made a mistake in forgetting to post the link, which Lewandowsky could easily rectify by altering “8 scientific blogs were contacted” to “7 scientific blogs were contacted” (the paper hadn’t been published at the time.) They didn’t do that.

    ATTP
    Read McIntyre’s account. Then come back and say who you think is correct, McIntyre or Cook and Lewandowsky.

    And how do you feel about fig 1 in the article you co-authored? The one with no units on the x axis? If you used a graph like that in a marketing presentation for – say – financial instruments, you’d be in big trouble. Have you shown it to your colleagues at the University of Edinburgh’s Department of Astrophysics? Have they started giving you funny looks?

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  4. “The fact that one proven liar is claiming to have prodded 195 countries into signing a multi-trillion dollar international treaty and another one is asserting that disagreement with his opinions is morally reprehensible seems to me to be something worth making a fuss about. But how to do it effectively?”

    Let’s assume that Cook is not suffering from delusions of grandeur and take his statement at face value. What he’s saying then is that a [disputed] 97% consensus of climate change ‘experts’ forms the bedrock of political action on climate change – real world observations (which give mixed messages on the validity of AGW/CAGW) and the [contested – in copious peer-reviewed scientific publications] science which suggests we are primarily responsible for most or all of recent global warming take a back seat.

    Climate science is complex, but it’s not impenetrable to the public like say, quantum electrodynamics or molecular bio-chemistry would be. In that respect, a consensus of experts on the subject is useful but not absolutely vital and indeed it would be highly desirable for policy makers attempting to restructure the international economy to at least acquaint themselves with the basic scientific arguments for and against AGW/CAGW theory. This they have not done, preferring instead to defer to authority via a consensus (be it actual or confected) or, worse, rely upon the biased rantings of climate change activists, environmentalists and rabid socialists.

    With science and observations increasingly bringing into question just how concerned we should be about man’s influence on the climate, consensus messaging has become more and more vital to glue together the supposed scientific ‘expertise’ and the resulting political action based upon that expertise. So yes, Lew and Cook are right; their dishonest attempts at manufacturing a consensus – and, to a lesser extent, their equally scurrilous attempts to discredit the voice of sceptics – have proved instrumental in driving forward international action on climate change. And that fact itself should set alarm bells ringing across the globe.

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  5. ‘Instrumental’ I say, but not all important, just in case the authors of climate science consensus studies do get the false idea that they have single-handedly swayed political action on climate change. So Cook probably is suffering in some measure from delusions of his own self-importance. I have to be careful when talking about him and Lew, because Cook in particular just strikes me as a creepy little man who makes my skin crawl and this of course, is not a justifiable reason to dismiss his views.

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  6. Geoff, I read McIntyre’s account yesterday and was amazed that you and he could be so dogged in your pursuit of what, to me, seems utterly uninteresting.

    Lewandowsky could easily rectify by altering “8 scientific blogs were contacted” to “7 scientific blogs were contacted” (the paper hadn’t been published at the time.) They didn’t do that

    That is just stupid. The evidence you/McI present is clear. SkS was contacted. You have emails to prove it. So why should they say only 7? The issue as I understand it is whether a link was posted and you seem to have found no proof that it was. You then treat this absence of evidence as evidence of absense and shout ‘liar’. You shouldn’t need telling that it is not logical.

    ATTP, yes indeed. Judging by comments here and elsewhere, you are a much more accomplished liar than I am 😉 In fact I am surprised anyone believes anything that you say. But of course that must be the goal and all these accusations, mustn’t it? Geoff/McI’s doggedness explained.

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  7. The reason it matters that they lied about the survey being hosted at Sks is that they use that to support their false claims about sceptics participating.

    The fact that they lied about this is well established. One of the Sks team admitted that the survey was never posted there.

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  8. RAFF
    No I’m not treating the absence of evidence as evidence of absence. I shouldn’t have to spell this out, because it’s all in McIntyre’s article, but here goes.
    1. Lew contacted eight blog owners and asked them to post a link to his survey. All said “Yes, will do,” except Cook who said: How about I start off with a tweet? To which Lew replied: “A tweet for starters sounds good.”
    2. When Barry Woods pointed out to Lew that the survey didn’t seem to have been posted, at SkS, Lew replied that he knew it had been, since he “…had ‘made a note’ of it, though he had not kept the ‘actual URL’.” (I’ll grant it’s possible that Lew really thought it had been posted, and this was just the kind of fib someone might tell to get rid of someone who was pestering them.) He then suggested maybe Cook had effaced it once the survey was completed – a very odd thing to do.
    3. The Wayback machine showed clearly that no link was posted in the relevant period.
    4. Cook finished his long teasing conversation with me by saying: “I did provide a link to the survey,” which obviously referred to the tweet, and could get him out of the accusation of lying, at a pinch.

    The problem lies not in the fibs or evasive responses of Lew to Barry and Cook to me in Aug/Sep 2012, but in the fact that the eight blogs claim was repeated when the paper was published many months later, despite the fact that I’d pointed out to Cook how easy it would be to correct it. We know why. Appended to the paper was a study by Cook of the SkS readership which claimed that 30% of its readers were sceptics (not impossible). Possibly a reviewer at Psychological Science had queried the validity of a survey of sceptics carried out uniquely at antisceptic blogs.

    It took Lewandowsky three weeks after the fieldwork to announce preliminary results (Sept 2010 at Monash University) nearly two years for a ”prepublished” version of the paper to appear on-line (July 2012) and a further eleven months before publication. Clearly, there were problems.

    Here’s a fascinating mystery. Cook let Lewandowsky down seriously by not publishing a link to the survey, despite the fact that, as we know from internal SkS mails, Cook hero-worshipped Lew. Why? Having learned from Barry Woods in Aug 2012 that Cook had screwed up, Lew immediately hired Cook to conduct content analysis of sceptic comments for the famous “Recursive Fury” paper (on which Cook screwed up again). Why? Is it possible that Cook didn’t tell Lew that he’d failed to post a link, and that Lew really didn’t know?

    In November 2012, after the fieldwork for “Recursive Fury” paper was finished, Lew mailed Cook and asked “What happened to the ‘Not Published at SkS’ conspiracy theory?” to which Cook replied evasively “Oh, that’s so last month.”

    It seems highly probable that Cook lied to Lew. But Lew needed SkS and its band of activists, and Cook needed the prestige of co-authorship of a peer-reviewed paper, and eventually a PhD under Lew’s tutelage. And that’s where we are today; two mediocre minds locked together in mutual distrust, like some apparition from Dante’s Inferno.

    I’m sorry you’re not interested in psychology. It’s so much more fascinating than temperature anomalies.

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  9. Heh, what a load of old donkey droppings.

    Even my cat knows enough stats to rubbish THAT.

    Naturally, up pop the ‘Usual Suspects’ to defend the indefensible, what a surprise!

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  10. Geoff, you continue to surprise me. Show me the “barefaced lie”. You suggested that Lew should change the 8 sites contacted to 6 and yet in (1) above you confirm that he did contact 8. You show that it is quite possible that Lew believed Cook had published the link, so how was he lying when he said they had? I know this is the sort of thing “sceptics” like to proclaim as “lies” – he believed it was true; he said what he believed to be true; it turns out not to be true; therefore HE LIED – but that is not how the rest of the thinking population works. You say to anyone who will listen Cook lied but then admit in (4) that he didn’t.

    By the way, the Wayback Machine is not guaranteed to store every page of every site. There are pages on sites I maintain that are not stored despite having been up for years. So non-appearance on the machine means little.

    Clearly, there were problems.

    Or maybe he had better things to do. Or maybe such delays are common, I don’t know – do you?

    Unless there’s something more concrete that you didn’t mention, you seem to have no evidence of a lying, barefaced or any other variety, and yet you shout LIAR loud and wide. Contrary to what you say, I am interested in the psychology of people (just not in psychology papers); you are indeed fascinating.

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  11. RAFF
    Dear oh dear. Having accepted to enter this discussion I’m bound to continue to the bitter end, I suppose, or else give you the impression of a win on hairsplitting points.

    1. Lew lied to Barry when he said he knew the survey had been posted at SkS. He didn’t, because it hadn’t. I merely suggested that it might have been a small lie, a “go away and stop bothering me” lie, in order to explain their otherwise inexplicable behaviour. It is possible that at the time Barry contacted Lew, two years after the event, Lew thought it had been posted. But saying he knew it had been, because he’d made a note of it, was a lie.

    2. Cook lied to me, saying the survey had been posted and then taken down. I kept pressing him for details (there was an exchange of about eight emails I think) until he finished with the evasive “I did post the survey” (meaning on Twitter). That last sentence is strictly true (though deliberately misleading), but the rest of what Cook told me, as he tried to wriggle out of admitting that it had never been posted at SkS, was false.

    3. As Steve McIntyre’s article makes clear, Wayback recorded the front page, showing all articles over the relevant period, plus the sidebar with a list of articles. The survey isn’t there. Non-appearance means the post didn’t appear. You don’t need a record of all pages, merely those covering the relevant time period.

    4. “Maybe such delays are common.” Come on, two years to publish a survey, when he had the main results on slides three weeks after fieldwork? And when it went on-line in “pre-publication” mode, as a “forthcoming” article according to Psychological Science’s writer in residence, there was another eleven month wait before the paper was actually published. By which time the second paper, with analysis of reactions to the first paper carried out by Cook, had already been published, twice revised, and withdrawn!

    5. “I am interested in the psychology of people (just not in psychology papers).” Good. That’s something we have in common. What a pity Lew isn’t.

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  12. Geoff you appear to playing the same game as someone I discussed with recently. He was attacking MBH98 and after I pointed to flaws in his first argument he progressed to a second. When that came up wanting he slid effortlessly to a third, and so on. Coincidentally his arguments too were McIntyre inspired.

    I don’t feel like playing that game again. Your 3:50 is what it is, and there are no lies there. I don’t doubt that if I followed you down the rabbit hole of your new claims they would lead the same way and end in another rabbit hole.

    Barry, Curtis makes it clear that he thinks Cook is honest.

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  13. “Barry, Curtis makes it clear that he thinks Cook is honest.”

    He does? Really?

    Has he sought professional psychiatric assistance?

    Sounds like he needs it.

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  14. I love that Cook and Lew’s work is defended. It says to me that it’s worth defending because they’ve got little else to promote. Keep it up Raff and ATTP.

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  15. Whether or not Cook lied (and I suspect he did) it is blatantly obvious that he is not an ‘honest broker’. When assessing the character of individuals, the discernment of a pattern of behaviour is more important than looking at individual instances of bad behaviour or ‘poor judgement’. Cook has a long and dishonourable record of deviousness, evasiveness and dishonesty in his professional life and in his academic output. The fact that he has based his career on proving the case for dangerous man-made warming and attempting to discredit those sceptical of dangerous man-made warming begs the question: was he drawn to this career because of his personal ‘qualities’ or did the requirements of the job mean that those latent personal ‘qualities’ came to the fore? Fascinating, as Raff says.

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  16. Tiny, as always you misunderstand. It is not about defending their work, most psych papers are unreproducible so that is a fool’s errand. There should be plenty of targets in the work without having to accuse the authors of dishonesty. But if you are going to shout “liar” then you (Geoff, Barry, McI etc) should present evidence that proves it – directly, not a repeated cycle of new accusations.

    The title of “Recursive Fury” does have some merit though. Here is a recursive argument of the Geoff Chambers / Steve McI type:

    function rabbit_hole() {
    present_new_argument();
    wait_for_reply();
    rabbit_hole();
    }

    As you’ll see, it is infinitely recursive.

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  17. The “pants on fire” picture is very appropriate for the climate consensus paper. When John Cook gave a talk on the paper in October 2014 he proclaimed one of the major achievements was a Barak Obama tweet, or at least a tweet from the Barak Obama’s twitter account.

    Ninety-seven percent of scientists agree: #climate change is real man-made and dangerous.

    In the Q&A session John Cook admitted that the survey looked for support for the most banal form of global warming, and the surveyed papers were not all written by climate scientists.
    At the Sks website is prominently displayed THE DEBUNKING HANDBOOK, by Stephan Lewandowsky and John Cook. It begins

    It’s self-evident that democratic societies should base their decisions on accurate information. On many issues, however, misinformation can become entrenched in parts of the community, particularly when vested interests are involved. Reducing the influence of misinformation is a difficult and complex challenge.

    The consensus paper is deliberate misinformation. Cook and Lewandowsky are knowingly using propaganda techniques to undermine democracy. The latest paper is a means of making sure that this misinformation is not countered.

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  18. Something I find interesting about these studies is that they use wording like “humans are causing recent global warming”. What does that mean, though? If it means that 97% of scientists agree that humans are causing some part of the global warming we’re seeing, then I agree with it. If it means that humans are causing all or nearly all of it, then I don’t agree and they didn’t do their research very well. Just take a look at the scientific literature, you’ll see that not nearly as much supports Mr. Cook’s view than he thinks. Also, someone correct me if I’m wrong, but using this data available on SkS, I found that the average level of endorsement (according to authors’ own ratings) is 2.93016535581, or 3. Now that means that the average level of endorsement of all those papers (about 2,100) is only at implicit endorsement, which the authors of Cook et al. 2013 define as:

    (3) Implicit endorsement
    Implies humans are causing global warming. E.g.,
    research assumes greenhouse gas emissions cause
    warming without explicitly stating humans are the
    cause
    ‘. . . carbon sequestration in soil is important for
    mitigating global climate change

    Now, of course, I would agree even with 2, but I guess my view is too radical for the scientific literature. 🙂

    With Cook et al. 2013, they say 32.6% endorsed AGW, and of the abstracts expressing a position on AGW, 97.1% endorsed the consensus position that humans are causing global warming. What does that mean, again? It sure doesn’t mean what Obama and the mainstream media claims it does, that’s for sure.

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  19. JAIME
    ”Cook has a long and dishonourable record of deviousness, evasiveness and dishonesty in his professional life and in his academic output ..was he drawn to this career because of his personal ‘qualities’ or did the requirements of the job mean that those latent personal ‘qualities’ came to the fore?”

    Good question. There’s a partial answer in an interview at the Guardian
    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/blog/2010/aug/25/solar-physicist-religion
    in which he says that it’s his Christian faith that drives him.

    The interviewer, one Graham Wayne, says of John: “He seems to embody many of the virtues Christianity is supposed to endow, and few of the vices history records so frequently.”

    But I’d take anything Graham says with a pinch of salt. Once on a Guardian comment thread he expressed a desire to bend me over a table and “roger” “me – a surprising offer, given that we’ve never been introduced, and neither of us is in the first flower of youth.

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  20. Geoff,

    Oh no, not another climate change evangelist whose faith and whose desire to put the world to rights is matched only by their enthusiasm for spreading the gospel of scientific truth.

    Of course, this was in the last few heady days before Climategate hit and it became clear that a nastier smell permeated the hitherto fondly portrayed rose-fragranced Garden of the Climate Cultists. But really:

    “I don’t know if there is a Heaven, but if there is, Cook’s ticket is probably half paid for already.”

    Blimey! I wonder now if Cookie is still halfway to heaven or whether he’s halfway to hell?

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  21. RAFF
    ”…if you are going to shout “liar” then you (Geoff, Barry, McI etc) should present evidence that proves it – directly, not a repeated cycle of new accusations.”

    ..which is why I linked to the McIntyre article rather than one of my own, since the reasoning is particularly well laid out, and why I have explained at length here the rather tedious reasoning that demonstrates that Cook and Lewandowsky lied.

    My ”repeated cycle of new accusations.”is simply a repeated cycle of replies to your repeated refusals to recognise an obvious lie when it’s pointed out. Since you’re not stupid I can only assume you’re doing it to annoy. You’ve succeeded.

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  22. Raff’s not interested in proof, he’s just here to argue with us. He doesn’t care about the consensus any more than he cares about whether Pachauri has harassed his work force. It seems to be a feature of warmists that they want to tut about our behaviour rather than keep their side credible. Endless nit picking rather than substantial arguments. ‘But it’s not about me,’ Raff will write. No, it should be about the issues but it never is. And that’s why you ARE a liar Raff. You pretend to give a sod about CO2 but you don’t.

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  23. Geoff, McI’s article, to which you link makes the claim:

    Subsequently, the actual email correspondence between Cook and Lewandowsky has been obtained through FOI. It completely confirms Chambers’ original surmise that Cook had sent out a tweet but forgot or otherwise failed to place a linking blogpost at SKS. It shows that Lewandowsky’s claim to have “made a note” of the linking blogpost was untrue. And as to Cook’s claim that his email correspondence was “forensic evidence” containing his “reply that I posted it on the same day”? Surely it can only be described as a baldfaced lie.

    But it doesn’t “completely confirm” your surmise, it confirms only that a partial dump of Lew’s mail spool doesn’t disprove your surmise. Again, absence of evidence is treated by you as evidence of absence. If you had Cook’s mail spool, all of Lew’s spool, records of any phone conversations or texts etc, you would have a more complete case. But you don’t. At best you have partial evidence of dishonesty gleaned from one part of the record and people’s memories a year or more after the event.

    So you present what you claim are incontrovertible lies and it takes a lot of time for me or anyone else unfamiliar with the story (or even those familiar with it) to read through the links and digest it. And when it turns out that what you claim to be concrete is actually jelly, your argument loses credibility. Instead of accepting that (you admitted earlier that other explanations were possible), you just pour more jellycrete into the mold and claim now it is concrete. So should I repeat the exercise, or just treat whatever you say as probably jelly?

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  24. RAFF
    ”..it doesn’t “completely confirm” your surmise, it confirms only that a partial dump of Lew’s mail spool doesn’t disprove your surmise.”

    “Confirm” in the sense of “provide overwhelming evidence for..” though not in the sense of “prove beyond a shadow of doubt.”

    If Lew’s mail dump is only partial then he has committed an illegal act in withholding information subject to an FOI request.

    If there was a follow-up mail from Cook saying: “There, I’ve posted it now,” he’d tell us, wouldn’t he? If there was a single one of SkepticalScience’s 30,000 regular readers (2010 figures) who remembered filling in the questionnaire, or even seeing the post, they’d have come forward, wouldn’t they? No-one can see the post. No-one can remember seeing the post. No-one ever mentioned seeing the post. It wasn’t there on the page where it should have been if it had been posted. And Cook never told Lew he’d posted it.

    I’m only continuing to lob back your increasingly soft balls because you have made one important point. There is an important distinction to be made between a general atmosphere of mendacity which infuses the utterances of almost every defender of the warmist position, from the PhD student quoted by Barack Obama right down to the humblest President of the Royal Society, and a demonstratable outright lie. That’s the only reason for concentrating on one minor inaccuracy in one paper, at the expense of the other hundreds of examples of putrid distortions of the truth which befoul this field.

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  25. Geoff, the issue is not whether there was ever a link as well as a tweet but whether Lew/Cook believed there was a link. It is difficult to detect what someone actually believes. I don’t lie if I believe what I say is true when in fact it isn’t, just like McIntyre didn’t lie when he said he hadn’t been asked to post a survey by Lew or that he hadn’t received data that he in fact had. Those are mistakes, not lies.

    I know the lie-accusation is the basic currency of “skepticism” – it goes hand in hand with the idea of conspiracy (why else lie). Many scientific organizations apparently “lie”, may scientists, many commentators etc. I, according to Paul Matthews here, lie. The lie-accusation gambit is a basic part of the manufacturing of doubt and I can see its usefulness. But I don’t see why you buy into it so thoroughly.

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  26. Raff,
    It’s almost as if the only way some can justify their views is to dismiss any evidence that it is probably a minority position, and to suggest that all those who promote views with which they disagree are simply dishonest. That can’t be right, though, as we’re surely dealing with people who are beyond reproach.

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  27. The interesting thing for me, whenever the Cook, Lew et al roadshow launches another one of its blockbusters, is to scan the author list and see if, by any remote chance, they’ve managed to drag a gullible, real scientist into the mire this time.

    I therefore spent a half hour or so Googling the current perps and, fortunately, no real damage has been done to serious science.

    As far as I can see the co-authors are Cooky’s tame SS cult followers, a handful of student activists still growing out of their their Greenpeace dreams and a few embittered veteran, activist doom-mongers like Naomi, Bart & our own dear Ken.

    When I find a proper scientist’s name, I’ll start to worry.

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  28. I find it weird that so much climate alarmism is based on making arcane, hair-splitting distinctions, such as Raff’s dedication to arguing that Lew doesn’t lie, he just doesn’t speak the truth. Most people don’t see any difference. But then Raff has form. Every discussion he gets into soon evolves into nit-picking of bizarre minutiae as soon as he realises that he has been badly defeated for the umpteenth time. Then he strolls from blog to blog claiming victory because his opponents keep changing the subject. It is as if he learned how to argue from watching Monty Python. It simply doesn’t occur to him that most people find such behaviour, and Lew/Cook’s behaviour too, as signs of alarming immaturity.

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  29. After a bottle of red and some ragu, I have come to some conclusions, evidence free just like climate science.

    1.most people are not interested in climate science but just suspend belief when a proposition is so often proclaimed by the BBC and MSM. Those guys lost our trust.

    2.The cause is proclaimed by Greenpeace. People watch footage of the demos and vandalism and conclude that the global warming problem does not exist. History shows that Greenpeace is always in the wrong.

    Over the weekend, 3 couples got together and, without me saying anything, both of the other men, whom I expect do not follow climate blogs, poured ridicule on the concept of global warming.

    All this consensus stuff is utterly pointless. The constituency has been lost.

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  30. MiaB, so according to your logic McIntyre did indeed lie when he said he hadn’t been asked to post a survey by Lew and he did indeed lie when he said that he hadn’t received data that he in fact already had. What’s good for the goose…. Should I start commenting everywhere I can, as Geoff does, that McIntyre is a baldfaced LIAR?

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  31. Raff, as usual you are wrong. Explain the logic you claim you are using. An email goes into a spam filter, and it should do if it comes from Lew. And let’s not go down the rat trap of SM asking for a spreadsheet when he Did Not. Try harder. And explain why all Lew’s emails to sceptic blogs went to spam. My guess is that Lew sells sex toys online to boost his income. Pure comedy gold. You discredit the gullibilist position without even trying.

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  32. “Should I start commenting everywhere I can, as Geoff does, that McIntyre is a baldfaced LIAR?”

    By all means – if you really, really want to come across to a wider audience as a bigger uninformed, obnoxious crackpot than you have already.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. And to add to Man in a Barrel’s point, McIntyre did NOT say he hadn’t been asked to post a survey, but simply that he couldn’t find any evidence tht he had. It seemed like nit-picking at the time, but of course he was right to make the distinction, because he knew the kind of characters he was up against – people like RAFF, who would attack any vaguely framed assertion as an example of general mendacity. Other prominent bloggers did go as far as to say “I didn’t get a mail from Lew” and Lew was able to twist their honest statements into accusations of conspiracy theorising.

    My attempt to concentrate on one specific statement in a peer-reviewed paper which was clearly false and clearly known to be false when made is a failure, since the likes of RAFF simply deny the evidence before them. I shall therefore go back to the wider definition of lying favoured by RAFF and point out that under this wider definition, which covers all obvious attempts to mislead by rhetoric, selective choice of evidence etc., Lew lies in almost every sentence he writes.

    Liked by 2 people

  34. One huge and obvious difference between the honest and the dishonest is that Steve Mc acknowledged that he did get an email (after it was pointed out that it was from Hanich, making no mention of Lew), whereas the other lot still have not admitted that they didn’t post the survey at SKS.

    Liked by 2 people

  35. Raff, Curtis did admit the survey was not posted at the Skepticalscience website. He wrote about it on his blog, I wrote about it on my blog and he weaseled out of replying to my questions, after showing up. Several people in the Skepticalscience back-entrance blog *knew* skeptics’ comments were being collected for a study by Cook but no one thought it fit to object. The list of lies, obfuscations and rationalizations from this crowd is long.

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  36. Inconsistencies are never hard to find when Cook and Lew are involved.

    In my comment on Cook 2013, I note that
    U Queensland claimed there is a confidentiality agreement for the abstract raters, even though a Freedom of Information request reveals that there is no such agreement.

    Cook claimed that time stamps were never collected, even though he had earlier suggested that he would use said time stamps to stamp out my concerns about rater fatigue. (One rater submitted 765 abstract ratings within 72 hours.)

    See http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/11/4/048001

    Liked by 1 person

  37. Pingback: The calibre of climate “skepticism” | …and Then There's Physics

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