More Bad Smells from the Lew-cum-Cookhouse

d101-36

Mmmm, pungent stuff: As a highly-qualified ethics reviewer, Lewandowsky [pictured] is allowed to certify the freshness of his own output

Stephan Lewandowsky and John Cook have just dropped another peer-reviewed pile even more offensive than the thirteen others served up from the Lew/Cookhouse and which are cited in the paper.

Forgive the scatological intro, but this one is even more poisonous than the others for at least three reasons:

1) It makes no secret of the fact that its only purpose is to insult and denigrate people that the authors don’t like (mainly Ian Plimer, Christopher Monckton and Anthony Watts).

2) The lies, incompetence and stupidity are not hidden out of sight in the supplemental material or in misquotes from blog articles that no one—least of all peer reviewers—will ever bother to check. They’re there for all to see, for example in Table Two, which claims to consist of nine pairs of contradictory quotes from the same person. The briefest glance is enough to establish that none of them are contradictory, and one of the pairs isn’t even from the same person.

3) This paper is published, not in some vanity publishing online free sheet, but inSynthese—An International Journal for Epistemology, Methodology and Philosophy of Science.” In eighty years of existence they’ve published articles by major 20th century philosophers like Rudolf Carnap, WV Quine and Hilary Putnam for Gaia’s sake. What are they doing publishing this stuff? (You can read more about the journal here.)

There are already some excellent critiques of the article, by Brandon Shollenberger and by Michel here and here and here.

See also Barry Woods’ comments at some of the above links. Barry, Brandon and Michel have begun the thankless task of combing through the paper for errors, misquotes, quotes taken out of context, non-sequiturs, etc. It has to be done, boring and pointless as it seems. We’ve tried ridicule, formal complaints, replies in journals, comments at blogs, but the Lew/Cook juggernaut just keeps rolling on, from learned journal to learned journal, picking up funding (Royal Society, Wolfson Award, the Psychonomic Society) and—presumably innocent and naïve—coauthors on the way like Elisabeth Lloyd.

One idea I have is to publish the entire article here, numbering the paragraphs, and to invite you the readers to comment, pointing out specific mistakes, misquotes, lies, incoherences etc, that we would then insert into the text as comments. What does everyone think?

juggling

Oops: Lewandowsky has always striven to “find a balance between honesty and effectiveness,” to quote Pseudoscientific Ethics 101. It’s a delicate juggling act, which becomes even trickier [pictured] when you don’t have the balls.

53 thoughts on “More Bad Smells from the Lew-cum-Cookhouse

  1. Michel
    Thanks for the new link. My idea was to publish the whole text, allow comments in the normal way, and then “elevate” comments which refuted a particular point to the appropriate place in the main text. We’d obviously start by crediting you and Brandon with specific points that you’ve made.

    One thing we learned from “Moon Hoax” and the follow up “Recursive Fury” was that the worse the paper, the more difficult it is to organise a coherent critique. Like almost every other blogger I gave in to the temptation to put up a new article at every twist and turn of the developing story. Consequently my serious (and time consuming) analyses of the papers got lost in the general noise. Centralising the critique in this way might just prove more efficient whenit comes to formulating an official reaction.

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  2. Thanks Geoff

    My original idea was to create a new blog dedicated to the paper. Then copy the text on for example a pinned blog post and then link from there to separate posts. These could be (small) posts, reblogs,…. In that case everything is in one central place, readers will land on the text and can follow the links to the specific rebuttals or scroll down to find new ones.

    Your idea is as good and probably much more practical, but I am afraid that there is a lot of material to organize.

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  3. Lewandowsky and Cook and Lloyd (all Recurrent Fury authors) are presumably publishing this in a philosophy journal, as an opinion, vs a psychology journal where naming names would get looked at more critically ethically?

    though Recurrent Fury, was a rehash of the retracted Recursive Fury paper, the names of individuals were dropped from that replacement paper ( in a psychology journal) so that vindicated the complainants. As Prof Markram agreed ( a huge mistake he said)

    I would love to the see ethics approval for this paper.
    I manged to obtain them for Recurrent Fury frrm Bristol, but I think my good fortune with Bristol has probably run out. FOI it anybody?

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  4. The paper is so obviously bad that it doesn’t merit a detailed takedown. Falsifying a theory does not require an alternative theory (Popper, Feynman). There is an alternative theory, mostly natural climate variation. And there is a modified CAGW theory: Observed ECS ~1.65, half of climate models falsified by absence of tropical troposphere hot spot, so no catastrophes so only adaptation if/when needed.
    Showing contradictions by provably taking quotes out of context is the definition of academic misconduct: Intentional misrepresentation of ‘data’.

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  5. As others have pointed out, the paper is not currently available. Brandon Shollenberger (cited above) looks at the following excerpt

    Conversely, a known attribute of conspiracist thought is that it can appear incoherent by conventional evidentiary criteria. To illustrate, when people reject an official account of an event, they may simultaneously believe in mutually contradictory theories—e.g., that Princess Diana was murdered but also faked her own death (Wood et al. 2012). The incoherence does not matter to the person rejecting the official account because it is resolved at a higher level of abstraction; there is an unshakable belief that the official account of an event is wrong.

    Shollenberger explains how a correlation is generated despite no respondent in the survey actually agreeing with both conspiracies. Turns out that Stephan Lewandowsky made a similar comment in 2013. Steve McIntyre, after much struggle, managed to obtain the data behind the study, and made very similar comments. Josh then produced a cartoon to illustrate the point.

    Not only does Lewandowsky produce correlations from diddly-squat, he keeps on repeating the falsehoods when shown to be wrong.

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  6. Geoff says:

    “We’ve tried ridicule, formal complaints, replies in journals, comments at blogs, but the Lew/Cook juggernaut just keeps rolling on . . . ”

    Could we not just ignore it? Is it so imperative for us to discredit Lew & Cook when they are doing such a good job all by themselves? Does anybody important in the climate debate take seriously anything these two jokers manage to get into peer-reviewed journals anymore? Aside from irritated sceptics that is? As Ristvan says, the paper sounds so bad that it’s not even worthy of serious (and time consuming) critique.

    Maybe that’s the plan. Tie sceptics up in a pointless, never-ending process of forensically rebutting a continuous stream of garbage emanating from some part of Lew & Cook’s anatomy (ostensibly their brains, but other anatomical regions might equally suffice as potential candidates) so they don’t spend time challenging far more important and consequential issues. Or does that sound just a little too ideational conspiracist?

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  7. Jaime – they get it into the media – The guardian (for starters) and I saw hundred of tweets of that Guardian article alone in a couple of hours.. it is PR, propaganda to discredit opponents- because peer reviewed science says so…. it is hard to rebut, because no critic has responded in the peer reviewed literature..

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  8. You even get people like Brian Cox quoting the moon hoax paper so unfortunately Lew’s stuff gets around but I bet most people had no idea what he was talking about. Outside the climate circle few people would know or care who Lew is. On balance it’s worth deconstructing but might I suggest that the result is sorted into easiest debunks first? It makes it easier for people to pass on the highlights. Since people are named in this, they may want to take it further but I suggest we don’t spend too long on it because there is always more where it came from.

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  9. Yes Barry, but who takes the Guardian seriously nowadays? They will print AOR on climate change as long as it fits the narrative. Seriously, is there any real evidence that Lew and Cook are making anything other than a slight dent in the reputations of high profile climate sceptics? To seriously discredit climate sceptics, they would have to start doing some real science and start dealing in hard data rather than spurting not just pseudo-psychological babble, but painfully, embarrassingly, transparently, risibly CRAP pseudo-psychological babble. It’s cinematographic propaganda for sure, but not in the tradition of Hitchcock, more like Disney.

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  10. I reckon it would be easy to write a paper making warmists look inconsistent, using Lew’s techniques.

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  11. yes it would – sadly we dont get a royal society grant and a likely 6 figure salary package to do so…
    this is Prof Lewandowsky’s day job. not our spare time

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  12. That’s what really grates – the fact that he gets paid (very handsomely) to pollute the pages of prestigious journals with his seedy anti-climate sceptic propaganda.

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  13. tinyco2, that would be incredibly easy. Just collect newspaper clippings of unfounded claims from activists, make some generic claims, then compare with detailed claims in scientific papers and declare alarmists have no clue.

    It will however not serve anything. It doesn’t prove anything, it is just an unfair comparison.

    But the fact that this has been the tool used in the paper should be emphasized.

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  14. It makes you wonder how many billions are wasted on ‘research’, let alone faux psychology.

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  15. As a science denier, I like to practice thinking several contradictory thoughts before breakfast.

    Today, for instance, it occurred to me that:

    1. Princess Di is still alive
    and yet
    2. Science is dead

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  16. TINYCO2
    The huge amount of wasted resources is as a result of barking up the wrong tree. As an example consider the original “Moon Hoax” paper. It took 18 months for three full professors to filter through the data to get the results they required. To do so they had to
    – delete scam responses that went against their thesis.
    – leave in three scam responses that supported their thesis. That is three responses (out of 1145) that supported both the “Moon Hoax” conspiracy theory and the “Climate Change is a hoax” conspiracy theory. https://manicbeancounter.com/2013/11/14/lewandowskys-false-inference-from-an-absurd-correlation/
    – delete the question about the Iraq War Conspiracy theory.
    – find a statistical correlation that would show positive correlations between climate skepticism and love of conspiracy theories when (a) less than 25% of responses were from climate skeptics (b) the vast majority of both skeptics and alarmists strongly rejected conspiracy theories.
    – avoid any reference to the out relative numbers of responses.
    – avoid the obvious correlation that was staring them in the face. Climate alarmists have quite extreme left-environmentalist views.

    It takes much less time to publish results that strongly support the hypotheses.

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  17. Barry Woods

    “Lewandowsky and Cook and Lloyd are presumably publishing this in a philosophy journal, as an opinion, vs a psychology journal where naming names would get looked at more critically ethically?”

    I don’t see any difference, ethically. It’s true debate in philosophy can seem more personal because ideas, unlike scientific research, “belong” to individuals.

    But Lew & Co aren’t debating. They’re stating why certain unnamed people are unworthy of attention, and shouldn’t be debated with, because of their motivation. Then they name people who they consider incoherent, but without any attempt to identify them with the first group. The paper can be summarised as follows:
    1) Some people are opposed to climate science because it implies a threat to their world view or livelihood.
    2) Some people (Watts, Monckton, and Plimer, who are quoted at length, but many others whose views are summarised with no attempt to identify them) contradict themselves.
    3) Holding mutually contradictory opinions is associated with conspiracism.

    The evidence for 1) is anecdotal, for 2) it’s the quotes that Lew and Cook have truncated and quoted out of context; for 3) it’s the Woods paper, which found precisely zero conspiracy theorists who believed contradictory propositions.

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  18. Don’t even attempt to analyse the patently absurd using logic and, more importantly, your precious time when the only truly sensible reaction is along the lines of “LOL”, “That’s them pesky monkeys still clattering away at the keyboard to produce the same old gibberish” or similar sentiment.

    Simply put, this comedy pair are incapable of anything that adds to the sum of human knowledge. Are they unintelligent, probably the opposite, so why do they waste their energies with such infantile output?

    Well, to them they aren’t wasting their time but are fantastically accomplished at wasting the time of their hated enemy; an ephemeral sub-human that they firmly believe exists – the ‘denier’.

    As ‘respected’ crusaders they are given a free ride by an establishment which is more than comfortable at ignoring their laughable logic and puerile pontificating simply because they’re ‘on the right side’

    By all means bring their papers to our attention (please, ‘cos it’s fun) but forget about squandering any time on careful analyses underpinned by methodical scientific and mathematical logic. That’s been done to death but there’s something about these particular individuals psyches that impels them to repeatedly double down when most would quietly withdraw from the fray e.g. Dr Jones.

    Let them. Sustained positive feedback in their little echo-chamber has only one outcome.

    Other than the odd shaking of heads, amused grunts and raised eyebrows, just ignore them. It’s a reasonable guess that these two untalented but attention-seeking egotists crave the recognition that being ‘holy warriors’ gives them and it’s their opponents (us?) that sustains their habit!

    Ignore them and they cease to be useful to their colleagues who’ll suddenly ‘discover’ the numerous and embarrassing flaws in their publications for themselves – they’ll have been Wadhamized.

    Roll on that day says I.

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  19. ManicBeanCounter

    “It took 18 months for three full professors to filter through the data to get the results they required.”

    I didn’t know Gignac and Oberauer were full professors. Nobody’s ever looked at their output as far as I know, to see what they get up to in their spare time. (And Michael Woods, who provided the key correlation between contradictory belief and conspiracism based on zero informants, is now a full professor too). Actually, Lewandowsky gave preliminary findings at Monash university three weeks after the first data came in, and just days after a belated attempt to get more data from a sceptical site, though it took nearly two years to produce it in prepublished form.

    Do you know how many respondents were thrown out for scamming and how many for being under five or over 95? (Those are the criteria mentioned in the paper. So were there six year olds? And what’s the justification for throwing out 96 year olds?) I believe the total thrown out was about 300.

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  20. It is clear that there are many conflicting views within “scepticism” – that much is obvious to anyone who engages in the climate debate. I always conflate this with individual “sceptics” holding conflicting views. Strictly speaking this is wrong, but on the other hand it is rare to find “sceptics” willing to shoot down each others nutty ideas – which is common on warmist blogs – and so I lump you together. If you won’t disown nuttiness within a discussion, you own it.

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  21. John Tyndall, the ‘Father of Global Warming’, was also a science denier:

    “Life is a wave, which in no two consecutive moments of its existence is composed of the same particles.”

    Schrodinger sailed pretty close to the edge of science denial too, with his neither dead nor alive cat.

    Einstein was seemingly not a science denier as he believed that “God does not play dice”, but there again his statement was contradictory in that he envisaged a supreme deity being in charge of the laws of physics, so in essence Einstein was both a scientist and a science denier.

    Do you think we should perhaps inform Lew and Cook of these rather worrying examples of contradictory mental behaviour on the part of some very famous scientists? Their sister-in-arms Oreskes really should have pointed out to them the troublesome history of science denial among the pioneers of science. Perhaps she did and maybe they conspired to keep it quiet in the interests of more effective climate sceptic bashing.

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  22. Interesting post, RAFF.

    On one hand you observe that there are many conflicting views within ‘scepticism’. I agree with you there. ‘scepticism’ is certainly not a cult – a characteristic of which that there can only be one version of a ‘truth’. I wish that more on the ‘consensus’ side held that view.

    And as for an unwillingness to shoot down others within ones ‘tribe’ for nutty ideas, I can’t disagree either. This doesn’t mean that some don’t but it doesn’t happen that commonly within most fields not just climate ‘scepticism’. I reckon that’s just a human trait and outwith any particular theme including warmism. More nature than nurture I suspect. Itza Yuman thang:)

    Can’t agree with your observation that this reluctance to disagree with tribal members is less apparent within the ‘warmist’ blogs. You’re not suggesting that those within your own group are less than human are you?

    Thanks for giving me the opportunity to exercise my eyebrows when reading your description of how you conflate this multitude of views within the sceptics as being rolled up within an individual sceptic even though you know it’s just plain wrong to do so.

    I’d be careful that your demonstration of prime cognitive dissonance is not seized upon by Dr Lew to demonstrate that you’re really a sock-puppet ‘sceptic’ , pretending to be a warmist (Not that the good Prof would use the word ‘sceptic’ of course when he has another word tattoed to his tongue) .

    He has form for this type of accusation – just ask Dr Richard Betts.

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  23. RAFF

    “It is clear that there are many conflicting views within “scepticism” … I always conflate this with individual “sceptics” holding conflicting views. Strictly speaking this is wrong…”

    Congratulations on your insight there. You have understood that different people may hold different views. The next stage is to accept that each person is not morally obliged to criticise every view which he does not share. You will then have rejoined the human race and foresaken the ranks of the Lew/Cook consortium with its poisonous belief that everyone must think the same, all the time, on pain of being insulted in a peer-reviewed article – in a journal of epistemology – that’s the bit that hurts.

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  24. RAFF – “If you won’t disown nuttiness within a discussion, you own it.”

    RAFF must now apologise for deep ecology, for Earth First!, for Adoph Hitler’s vegetarianism and blood-and-soil environmentalism… He must thoroughly denounce each and every failure of every strain of Malthusianism, and distance himself from ZPG movements past and present, their racism, and what they have inflicted on poor people throughout the world. He must give an account of every failure of every prognostication, prediction, forecast and wild speculation issued by environmentalists, environmental scientists, and blokes in pubs.

    If he doesn’t do this, then he’s clearly a hairshirt green nutjob.

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  25. TINYCO2

    “I reckon it would be easy to write a paper making warmists look inconsistent, using Lew’s techniques.”

    Let’s start with Elisabeth Lloyd, Professor of the History and Philosphy of Science at Indiana University:

    From the Abstract of Lewandowsky, Cook, Lloyd (2016):

    “the findings from climate science form a highly coherent body of knowledge”

    From: “Confirmation and Robustness of Climate Models”:

    “There is no general theory of climate that takes all the complicating factors affecting climate into account and calculates what the effects on [sic] climate change will be on global temperature change, on precipitation, on wind, on pressure change, or on any other significant climate variable.”

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  26. Proof that you don’t need a professorship/PhD and a peer-reviewed publication in a prestigious academic journal to randomly pluck pairs of seemingly contradictory statements from any person’s written public output. You just need to be a complete plonker with a scurrilous agenda to conclude that such statements are evidence of a mental malaise on the part of the subject being ‘analysed’, whose entire world view should therefore be consequently dismissed.

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  27. Geoff Chambers 25 Sep 16 at 7:46 am

    Exactly. I can’t decide if Lew doesn’t know how tentative climate science is or his work is designed to both hide that uncertainty and persuade scientists to abandon it in favour of his own confident vision. I lean slightly towards the former because he clearly knows very little about climate… or basic logic. In a movie he’d be the whining hench man who is always encouraging the bad guy to make bold but stupid moves.

    Even Raff hasn’t fallen for the basic message of this paper that sceptics are individually inconsistent. His only claim is that we don’t correct each other – well right back at you! How many warmist gaffs have been made without a ripple marring the warmist blogosphere? Twice Obama said that it was warming faster than the scientists ever predicted and nobody said a dicky bird (rhyming slang for word). Raff’s side seem to think that anything is fine so long as it’s in the right direction. You can find vastly more internal criticism amongst sceptics than you can with warmists. And you know what? The public recognise a railroad when they see it.

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  28. TinyCO2

    I reckon it would be easy to write a paper making warmists look inconsistent, using Lew’s techniques.

    Yep, difficulty factor 0.5, where 1.0 = shooting fish in a barrel containing no water, just fish. (Think a barrel of pickled herring or somesuch Scandinavian monstrosity.)

    To quote Lewandowsky’s halfwit henchboy John Cook:

    1.

    …I recently taught a Massively Multiplayer Online Course (MOOK) on Climate Denial 101. The 5 characteristics commonly used by climate change deniers, in the order in which I made them up, are as follows:….

    2.

    There is no such thing as climate change denial.

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  29. Jaime,

    indeed.

    Who can forget science’s darkest moment, when a deranged Ernst Schrödinger placed Princess Di in a sealed box with nothing to eat but a week’s supply of catfood and told her he might check back in 8 days, but then again, he might not?

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  30. Mind you there’s something oddly appropriate about the climate contradictors in chief getting their stercoraceous new lew paper published in Synthese. After all, if I remember my high school French the equation goes something like

    these + antithese = synthese

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  31. One area where warmists are not trying to deal with climate misinformation is the lack of correction for THIS paper.

    Raff, over to you.

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  32. This stuff about the incoherence of sceptics is perhaps less interesting than the claim that the body of knowledge on the climate is coherent — and indeed more interesting than his preoccupation with the fantasy evil deniers in his head.

    For years, green argument has depended on the precautionary principle, rather than traded in facts. It is only within the last decade that standards were dropped such that scientific opinion counted as scientific fact. For the likes of Naomi Oreskes that meant re-writing the history of the climate debate, to exclude the precautionary principle. (See also this). For the likes of Lew, it means toying with Bayesian statistical methods until a narrative emerges to support the moral of the story: “uncertainty is not your friend”, which is essentially the same reinvention of the precautionary principle as Oreskes’.

    The best you can say about such re-framing of the precautionary argument as a sure thing is that, analogous to (but far more clumsy) postnormal science, theoretical risk is as good as ‘clear and present danger’ once the magnitude of the risk outcome passes a certain threshold. Hence environmentalists can only conceive of ecological crises as total, overwhelming, and catastrophic, not mere gradual change of costs and benefits, that can be adapted to/taken advantage of over the course of centuries, perhaps millennia, perhaps only requiring political intervention on a post-hoc basis. (Or put more plainly, even if London is finally lost to the sea in the year 2575, is it now more or less of a tragedy than the loss of villages that were lost from the eastern coast centuries ago? It might turn out to be a cost worth suffering.)

    The re-writing of history and adjustment of statistical methods to make the right answer are political acts — moves for position, not developments of scientific understanding. No amount of Lew-Orsekean fudge can make climate models actually agree with each other, can make model ensembles agree with observations, or make the cascade of failed computer model predictions of ecological and social collapse retrospectively correct. And here’s where RAFF’s injunction should apply… Academics have substantively failed to engage the likes of Lew and Oreskes in debate, and have instead allowed such work to fester, if they haven’t in fact capitalised on the demand for it, it being in part what the political momentum depends on, there being no broader popular movement for this form of environmentalism. The academy is where we’re supposed to turn to for evidence, after all. Lew lets the cat out of the bag: academia cannot guarantee the quality of its products are any better than what the bloke at the pub or the psychopath on the internet says in his flame wars. Idle speculation is passed off as the product of the enlightenment. Yet in this country alone, many £millions (perhaps more) are spent on funding bloated research outfits for policy-based evidence-making.

    But the most jarring incoherence is not between hypotheses and observations, it is between what the stated and unstated objectives of green research and politics are. On the one hand saving the planet and mankind. But scratching the surface of these claims has always revealed a deeply regressive tendency — a preference for a political order that is characterised by its fetish for austerity, its dirigisme, for its contempt for ordinary people and democratic control of political bodies, and so on. There is no green Utopia posited which is characterised by abundance. It turns out that if you want the planet to survive, we need to restrain ourselves. That is to say we must be modified. Academics are bent on shaping individuals as much as they are bent on shaping society — it is the same thing. hence Lew is shameless in calling his own blog ‘Shaping Tomorrow’s World’, which claims about itself,

    From climate change to peak oil and food security, our societies are confronted with many serious challenges that, if left unresolved, will threaten the well-being of present and future generations, and the natural world. This website is dedicated to discussion of those challenges and potential solutions based on rigorous scientific evidence and objective scholarly analysis.

    Our goal is to provide a platform for re-examining some of the assumptions we make about our technological, social and economic systems.

    Is it a coincidence that arguments for restraint at the social level take the form of arguments about metabolic relationships just as the arguments for formally and formerly socially conservative arguments suffer political exhaustion? I deny that it is. Lew and Oreskes put old, old wine in new bottles. They do it under cover of ‘science’. Politics, put crudely, is about the production, movement and distribution of resources, and academia has found itself leveraging power by championing a sense of crisis in a way that yesterday’s ideologues could only dream about.

    The final contradiction reveals the truth of all this. It’s a contradiction between the green Utopia offered, and the one that was not offered, and which now offered, has been ignored, save for a few under the banner of the New Environmentalists and Eco-modernists (most of the rest still labouring under the old). It has taken the green movement half a century to realise that its dream of austerity faced so many revolting peasants that it could never work. Rather than emphasising abundance provided by nuclear energy, though, greens have emphasised regulating production and consumption. This is because to admit to the possibility of abundance is to make ‘tackling climate change’ a mere technical challenge rather than an opportunity to accrue political power.

    No, Lew, it’s not a conspiracy theory — it is an observation that ‘shaping tomorrows world’ to the ends you desire necessarily requires the consolidation of political authority, whether you’re aware of it or not. And you beg the question. If you’re not aware of it, you cannot claim any depth of thought; if you are aware of it, you should have been up front about it rather than made ecological crisis a ruse. Either way is each a good reason not to take your good faith — much less the benign intentions of the entire enterprise — for granted.

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  33. Brandon has been busy – tracking down the quotes and saying they are all fake contradictions… very conclusively.

    http://www.hi-izuru.org/wp_blog/2016/09/these-are-not-contradictions/#comment-11067

    Blogging is one thing. A formal Comment to the journal is essential. (but time consuming) Hate to impose, but a joint comment by Brandon/Paul to the journal would be the way to go.. as Paul is an academic – they would be very unlikely to completely ignore it.

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  34. The conspiracy ideationist in me thinks that Lew and Cook are trying to implement the old nazi propaganda technique known as the “big lie”. There’s even circumstantial photographic evidence:

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  35. Here in the USA we have Republicans disavowing Donald Trump and endorsing Hillary Clinton. A former Republican president is among them. This is having an impact on the electoral race.

    When consensus climate scientists reach the level of integrity of Republican politicians and call the entire ouevre of Lewandowsky and Cook for what it is, we in opposition labor in vain.

    Nobody cares what we think of this paper. However, if ATTP,Michael Tobis, Raff, and others from the consensus side were willing to call it out for what it is, we’d be on to something.

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  36. Oh my gosh, I took the plunge and started reading this ridiculous heap of nonsense. So I’ll play the game for a while and waste some time dissecting it.

    They rattle on about the coherence of consensus climate science vs. the incoherence of its detractors. Yet a few paragraphs in and Lew & Cook’s arguments dissolve rapidly into incoherence.

    “1.3.1 Climate sensitivity is low but it is high

    One of the most important, but uncertain, variables that determines the extent of future warming is climate sensitivity, defined as the warming that is ultimately expected in response to a doubling of atmospheric CO2 concentrations from preindustrial times…..

    If sensitivity is high, then continued emissions will increase global temperatures more than when it is low. Low estimates of sensitivity (e.g. 1.5C; Lewis and Curry 2014) are therefore favored by contrarians, with higher values within the range of consensual IPCC estimates—between 1.5 and 4.5C) (Freeman et al. 2015)—being ignored or labeled “alarmist.”…..

    Past climate changes were largely driven by slight variations in solar intensity arising from orbital variations or solar cycles, and those events are entirely independent of contemporary GHG-driven global warming. Moreover, the appeal to past periods of warming also entails a commitment to high climate sensitivity: if climate sensitivity were as low as contrarians like to claim (approx 1.5C), then the minute past variation in intensity of insolation could not have caused the observed warming episodes. Either the climate changed in the past because it is highly sensitive to external forces, in which case we are facing considerable future warming, or its sensitivity to the forces triggered by increasing CO2 concentrations is low, in which case the climate should not have changed much in the past. Except that it did.”

    Eh? Lew & Cook are not able to distinguish between the sensitivity of the climate to orbital forcing, solar variability and atmospheric CO2 concentration it would seem. They capitalise upon their woeful ignorance to pronounce that “sceptics”/contrarians are thus guilty of holding contradictory views that climate sensitivity is both high and low! Unbelievable. I daren’t read any more at the moment.

    Eh?

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  37. And 1.5C is not inconsistent with a range of 1.5C-4.5C. The last IPCC report left off the most likely value probably because it was the low end and not the middle or upper end.

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  38. Following from a post at Trust Yet Verify, Lew etc want to treat this as two party politics. As if all the opposition voices should have a common manifesto. It’s like criticising the Greens for something Farage has said or the SNP for Caroline Luas. In reality, the sceptic side is like a box on the ballot marked ‘None of the above’. The public may not completely control their politicians but they have subtle ways of getting their way, even if it’s by doing an impression of an imovable object.

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  39. There were also quite some interesting typos.

    I found in table 1 two typos:
    – “falsifed” instead of “falsified” (2 x)
    – “falsifable” instead of “falsifiable”.

    Brandon also found two typos in table 2
    (see his new post: http://www.hi-izuru.org/wp_blog/2016/09/these-are-not-contradictions/):
    – 5th row/2th column: missing hyphen in link (following the link gives a 404 error)
    – 8th row/1st column: “00.8” instead of “0.8”.

    Rather sloppy and not noticed by other authors nor by the reviewers.

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  40. Many of the contradictions are by different people. Within a discussion (such as this thread) I do think people should call out statements they disagree with, even if they support their ‘side’ of the argument. I’d expect to be corrected by, say, ATTP, if I err.

    There are of course contradictions by the same person, such as claiming that models are useless or that data shouldn’t be adjusted and yet accepting UAH as showing a pause when such data is reliant upon models and adjustments. Ask a sceptic to explain this and the normal result is silence.

    BTW, Plimer’s statements in the table look contradictory. Not sure of the others.

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  41. With John Cook’s 97% being so widely quoted, his new appointment at GMU and all the controversy his papers with Lew have caused, I wonder if some congressman might want to consider holding some kind of hearing or commissioning some sort of report, like with the hockey stick. Perhaps Brandon Shollenberger or Joe Duarte could be called as witnesses.

    Liked by 2 people

  42. Raff “I’d expect to be corrected by, say, ATTP, if I err. ”

    Even if that happened, it’s not you or us that matters but the major voices. How many times have you or ATTP taken Obama, Prince Charles or anyone else significant to task? You could wave it away as nothing to do with the scientific community, but they are acting as your spokesmen. If you leave their words standing then the public might assume that they’re accurate. I can think of no other reason to keep quiet than that warmists hope that people WILL believe the exaggerations.

    Your side couldn’t even agree that Phil Jones’ department losing the original data and they lying about it was a significant wrongdoing. The subsequent investigation was more about finding the person who released the emails than changing things to make sure the flaws the emails displayed didn’t happen again.

    In all the time since Climategate, warmist actions have been to try and discredit the sceptic side, rather than deal with the flaws in their own. You’re like any other scummy political movement. Unfortunately for you, the public aren’t impressed and lacking any noble leadership will do what they damn well want to and that’s not cut CO2.

    Liked by 2 people

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