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Name-calling fairy dust: “Conspiracy Theorist”

Image: Lewandowsky, Fairy Dust, Logic, Ad hominem

Ad hominem Unleashed on the ABC

On our ABC there’s lots of talk “about evidence” but next to nothing of actual evidence. (The empty homage to “evidence” is handy though, it keeps the pretense alive that it’s a scientific conversation). Stephan Lewandowsky is still doing his Picasso-brain-best to search in all the wrong places for enlightenment.

Is the planet warming from man-made CO2? Lewandowsky “knows” it is. Why? Because the 9/11 truthers are conspiracy theorists (and conspiracies are always wrong). O’ look, a few people ask odd questions about an accident in a building years ago, and sometimes those people are also the species Homo Sapiens Climata Scepticus (!). So it follows (if you are insane) that because some people still doubt the official story of an unrelated past event, man-made global warming will contribute 3.7W/m2 in the year 2079, and we’ll all become souffles in the global Sahara.

I’m not making this stuff up. I’ve tallied up the obvious errors from both articles. His power to confuse himself with red herrings is …  “impressive”.

Lewandowsky scorecard for logic and reason

Argument from authority                   4

Baseless Assertion                                    3

Unsubstantiated Name-calling          1

Ad hominem                                                 2

Red Herring                                                  6

Total                                                              – 16

Lewandowsky uses his Magic Fairy Debating Dust to preemptively stop discussions of climate science evidence.  If anyone complains against any mainstream position on anything, he can define whatever it is as  a “conspiracy theory”. Then his omnipotent powers as a cognitive scientist kick in. I quote: “The nature of conspiracy theories and their ultimate fate is reasonably well understood by cognitive scientists”. He who knows can foresee the ultimate fate of all conspiracy theories. A handy talent which could save us doing expensive Royal Commissions, or Supreme Courts, or heck, we could just use this talent to save us the bother of any courts or commissions or investigations at all.

So God and Lewandowsky, apparently, can always tell the difference between a whistle-blower and conspiracy theorist. (Too bad some conspiracies have turned out to be right. And who cares if a lot of skeptics don’t think it’s a conspiracy in any case). Lewandowsky uses  the name-calling to “poison the well” against people who don’t even believe in a conspiracy, but happen to also be skeptical…

So God and Lewandowsky, apparently, can always tell the difference between a whistle-blower and conspiracy theorist.

The “conspiracy theorist” smoke bomb is multi-purpose. Because it judges people, and not the physics, the ad hominem slur can be applied ad lib.

I’ll see his “conspiracy theory” and raise him one: How about the conspiracy theorists who think (without evidence) that all major skeptics are paid by big oil, and are only in it for the money?

In the end, if the question involves “climate” you can say yay or nay to the conspiracy and who cares? Unless the clouds are conspiring, Lewandowsky is looking in all the wrong places.

And Anthony Watts’ extraordinary program to photograph (for free) the sites that NOAA manages with $4 billion dollars, does that mean anything? No — Lewandowsky could have saved everyone so much time. He can trivialize anything into submission with motherhood statements that miss the point:

For several years now, armies of irate pensioners have been swarming the countryside, spurned on by feverish websites, taking photographs of thermometers in the belief that this would invalidate concerns about climate change — and seemingly unaware of the fact that the utility of a thermometer derives from the accuracy of its measurement rather than anything captured by a colour photo.

It’s good to know, isn’t it, that it doesn’t matter if a thermometer is sitting 3 feet above a concrete platform in the sun, or next to an air-conditioning vent, or near a runway with jet aircraft, it won’t make any difference to the temperature it records. In the new Lewandowsky-Themometer-Law: if it can be captured by a camera, it can’t affect the reading. Somehow thermometers can compensate for all artificial influences that can be photographed. (Does Lewandowsky realize that “accurate” can be accurate, but meaningless? The thermometer could measure to two decimal places and be accurate, but we want the temperature of the region, not the temperature of a a square foot of air near a concrete wall.*)  As a bonus, Lewandowsky manages to be rude and patronizing to everyone over 60 as well: educated retirees become “irate pensioners”.

Lewandowsky tries to casually slide some evidence in there, but nothing much is going his way. He speculates that US Navy submarines must be part of these “conspiracy theories” because they show so much Arctic melting, but if they are in on the Big Scare Campaign, the US Navy got the wrong memo. The USS Skate surfaced at the North Pole in 1959, and the US Navy has photos of it.

US Navy photo of US Skate Submarine surfacing at the North Pole in 1959

US Navy photo of US Skate Submarine surfacing in the Arctic in 1959 (Thanks to John Daly)

The Skate records says: “We surfaced near the North Pole in the winter through thin ice less than 2 feet thick.”

Apparently there a many similar examples all over the web.

Lewandowsky religiously defends his “authorities”

Likewise, climate “sceptics” obsessively yelp at the alleged frailties of the surface temperature record and accuse respectable scientific agencies of “fudging” data, oblivious to the fact that multiple independent analyses of the temperature record give rise to the exact same conclusion.

We might be “oblivious” to the success of independent analyses (which all adjust their own “exact same” conclusions every few years), but it’s more likely that Stephan is  “oblivious” to the obvious: Those independent groups all use the same thermometers (the magic ones next to airports, asphalt, air conditioners and concrete).

Then Lewandowsky mocks Andrew Bolt because he mistakenly thinks Bolt wrote off a British report as a whitewash for the wrong reason (something about the head honcho riding a bike). But Bolt knows it’s a whitewash for lots of reasons, including that Lord Oxburgh is President of the Carbon Capture Association. Let’s guess how much Carbon Capture would be worth if Oxburgh’s committee announced that the science was poppycock. Would that be zero, or less? Do tell us, Stephan Lewandowsky, Australian Professorial Fellow in Psychology, if someone wanted to get an independent real analysis of climate science, would they pick the Chairman of wind energy firm Falck Renewables, who stands to lose prestige, power, and money if he finds anything wrong with the CRU?

The word you’re looking for is Gullible.

With his devout faith in foreign committees and scientists who’ve admitted to losing their data, and sending “awful emails”, Lewandowsky appears to be going out of his way to risk his career and reputation to defend the blatantly corrupt.

Does the University of WA support this kind of reasoning?  For the sake of the UWA science faculty’s reputation, it’s time he was censured. (Please send the man to remedial logic and reason classes ferrgoodnesssake.)

Does the ABC think this irrelevant smear contributes to “public debate” (what, it’s fodder for those who can’t think, and target practice for those who can?)

Australian taxpayers, you pay a professorial type salary to this man who can’t reason, and you pay for the forum he parades his irrational fuming on.

It’s time to protest.

Other articles on Lewandowsky:

http://joannenova.com.au/2010/03/picasso-brain-syndrome/

http://joannenova.com.au/2009/12/confused-you-might-be-a-psychologist/

H/tip to Steve. Thanks!

UPDATE

*Some people think I’m mixing up precision and accuracy here — which means I didn’t explain myself well enough. In this case I’m warning Lewandowsky that there is something that trumps precision and accuracy, and that’s relevancy. We are looking for trends across decades and for air temperatures that cover square kilometers. A thermometer next to tarmac that was laid 10 years old, is giving us neither. The thermometers can be both precise and accurate, but their results can still be meaningless.

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Name-calling fairy dust: "Conspiracy Theorist", 7.8 out of 10 based on 4 ratings

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113 comments to Name-calling fairy dust: “Conspiracy Theorist”

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    Grant

    This attribute of conspiracy theorising applies in full force to the actions of climate “sceptics” who operate outside the peer reviewed literature:

    Oh! So the IPCC are conspiracy theorists too because they no longer rely on peer reviewed literature.


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    Curt

    Hilarious, and wonderfully written. Thanks for making me laugh. I hope I never get on your bad side.


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    Mark D.

    Jo, His comment: “The nature of conspiracy theories and their ultimate fate is reasonably well understood by cognitive scientists” Sounds a bit like the Dunning-Kruger effect ploy. I have seen it (DK effect) referenced at all kinds of AGW support blogs. It is plain and simple Psycho-babble used as a defense when you have nothing else (the I’m smarter and better educated than you argument). I found this study which confirms my observations namely that the “effect” is not confined to “reasonably competent” and lower but instead even the competent i.e. EVERYONE.

    http://sitemaker.umich.edu/kburson/files/bursonlarrickklayman.pdf

    I say Lewandowsky suffers from this Burson-Larrick-Klayman effect!


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    Colin Henderson

    You can counter ignorance with scientific evidence, but you can’t fight religion with logic. Global Warming is a religion and as such operates outside the realm of, and is immune to logic, reason, and scientific evidence.

    Colin in London, Ontario, Canada

    PS Nice work Joanna!


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    FijiDave

    Go, Jo!

    “The word you’re looking for is Gullible.” – the only word not in the dictionary.

    Goodness, Jo, your husband better have a watertight excuse if he comes home late :)

    Great article, thank you.


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    David C

    Another great post Jo. Thanks!


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    picarl

    Ask him about the great fraud of the 20th century, in his own area: Freudian psychoanalysis. It’s been totally discredited and is now an embarrassment. Freud was a cocaine addicted ratbag with his crazy theories. But he held them up as “science” and fools followed him for half a century.


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    BobC

    Breathtaking… These people must be self-selected; no one with a lick of sense would appoint someone this ignorant and, yes, stupid to defend them.

    Not to mention totally disconnected from any sense of reality. Apparently, Stefan Lewandowsky, Australian Professorial Fellow in Psychology, thinks that physical facts about the world are determined by his judgment on people’s sanity and mental processes. That he could make it to a high level of academia while preserving this magical view of the world is a devastating indictment of our educational system.

    So Stefan; Here’s a short course in debunking conspiracy theories:

    First, the number and kind of people who believe in a conspiracy theory is irrelevant to the truth of that theory. (Sort of like the number of government-dole scientists who believe in the AGW hypotheses is irrelevant to the truth of that hypotheses.)

    Second; You can’t debunk a conspiracy theory with ad hominem attacks on the believers. It can only done by taking, one at a time, all the facts used to support the theory and showing that either 1) the supposed facts are mistaken, or 2) they don’t support the theory. (I suggest you study JoNova’s “The Skeptic’s Handbook” to see how it is done.)

    In other words; you have to deal with evidence and he real world — something your education apparently hasn’t prepared you for.


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    Joe Spencer

    As the apologists for climate alarm are reaching a frenzy in the media, it’s refreshing to see some straighforward, honest, comment in the MSM
    Carbon tax is an expensive fraud


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    BobC

    This attribute [denying evidence, apparently] of conspiracy theorising applies in full force to the actions of climate “sceptics” who operate outside the peer reviewed literature

    Hm… so what does Stefan make of these 200 peer-reviewed and published papers skeptical of AGW?
    ( http://petesplace-peter.blogspot.com/2008/04/peer-reviewed-articles-skeptical-of-man.html )

    He couldn’t be denying that they exist, could he?


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    Mark D.

    Bob C @10 that is a great link! I found this quote:

    “Peer review, on which lay people place great weight, varies from being an important control, where the editors and the referees are competent and responsible, to being a complete farce, where they are not. As a rule, not surprisingly, the process operates somewhere in the middle, being more than a joke but less than the nearly flawless system of Olympian scrutiny that outsiders imagine it to be. (http://www.independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?id=1963)

    Also worth remembering.


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    Rereke Whaakaro

    It has always struck me that Psychology is the least empirical of all the sciences.

    At least with Climatology, you can (theoretically) take past observations and design models that will replicate that past to a known degree of accuracy (in my opinion, this is where the Team went wrong – under the pressure of being required to get the “right” answers, right now, they were forced to change history, because the math was just too complicated). But at least climate systems, being cyclic (if complex), could bend to objective analysis once the required mathematics have been defined.

    When I studied Psychology, as an undergraduate, it was assumed that people always react rationally, and that they can therefore always be classified a one point on a number of dimensions, the results of which places you in this box, or that box. It also assumed that people have no sense of humour, and no appreciation of art.

    I have to admit that when I first heard that RK Pachuri had referred to something as “Voodoo Science” my first reaction was, “What has that got to do with Psychology?”


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    Rereke Whaakaro

    Mark D: # 10

    Also, if I understand it correctly, the purpose of peer review has more to do with the prevention of plagiarism than it does with the accuracy or veracity of the subject matter. I could write total drivel (and probably often do), but as long as I base that drivel on the work of others, and do not plagiarise anybody, it should be accepted for publication.

    It is then up to other researchers to publish papers that debunk my drivel with something more approaching reality.

    The history of the “science” of Phrenology is a good case in point.


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    Jimmy (another Geologist)

    I’ve met only one (thankfully) ’9-11 truther’. He’s also pro AGW. How does that work in the Prof’s grand view of things?


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    Mark D.

    Rereke, my observation is that the people that take up Psychology as a profession are categorically the ones that most need their help.

    The Peer Review ploy is one of my pet peeves. Most of the time it is said by buffoons that don’t want to admit they know nothing at all about the discussion so they throw that out to shut down debate.

    As for phrenology I always thought that was related to the “School of Hard Knocks” whereby the bumps on your head could be interpreted as experience! :)


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    Here’s more of the same from Kurt Lambeck:
    It’s a call really for rational debate to get the facts out, not to have that discussion deflected by extreme views that are not really based on the science
    Lambeck is one of 250 scientists who signed an open letter published in Science magazine, urging action on climate change.
    Interviewed on Aunty Lambeck complained that personal attacks had come into the debate and focus should be on the evidence. Well yes, Kurt, and maybe you should acknowledge explicitly how much of that has come from your side.
    Incidentally, Kurt, when did it become a ‘debate’? Up until the release of the emails, all I ever heard was that the science was settled, anyone who wanted to ‘debate’ the issue was in the pay of Big Oil!
    This open letter is a rather sad joke – except for the fact that only 250 people were willing to put their name to it.
    That part made me laugh. I could probably find more people who believe there’s a UFO base under Ayers Rock.


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    Ronnell

    Links to viseo of Joel Rogers saying that USA emission targets impossible to achieve in if the ecomomy was brought to a halt!!

    “…I hope you all realize that you could eliminate every power plant in America today and you can stop every car in America today. Take out the entire power generation sector. Take out all of the transportation sector. And you still would not be anywhere near below 80% below 1990 levels. You would be closer to around 60% it would be around 68% percent and that is with bringing the economy to a complete halt. Basically.” ~ Joel Rogers of Apollo 2008 -

    http://www.fusionfx.net/


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    Ronnell

    700 Peer-Reviewed Papers Supporting Skepticism of “Man-Made” Global Warming

    http://www.populartechnology.net/2009/10/peer-reviewed-papers-supporting.html


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    ed gallagher

    We have a truther on our Boat Design web site. His philosophy also includes zero growth economics, a kind of anarchist survivalist credo, and a sort of regional self sufficiency dogma. Add to that the ever present AGW elitism and a belief that the U.S. used the atomic bomb for revenge and experiment purposes. He also claims that we bombed those two cities knowing that it was full of pows and further claims that wwe engineered the bombing of Pearl Harbor in order to maintain American “hegemony” over Asia. Sadly he also claims that he was a college professor, infecting young minds with that drivel and nonsense. He makes Ward Churchill look almost well adjusted.


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    Ed, what’s a guy like that doing with boat design? Surely he doesn’t require anything more advanced than a log raft.


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    Louis Hissink

    Peer review becomes abused in those sciences that can’t do in-situ experimental verification of the hypotheses, and hence becomes the means by which the status quo is maintained.

    The intelligentsia use it all the time to deflect criticism of their ideas.


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    Rereke Whaakaro

    Gregoryno6: #16

    … there’s a UFO base under Ayers Rock

    I thought that was supposed to be a secret :-)


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    TimM

    It’s been my experience that the same people who wanted me to watch 9/11 ‘truth’ videos also desperately wanted me to watch (and believe) ‘An Inconvenient Truth’.
    That was my first clue 5 or so years ago that something wasn’t quite right about the AGW meme, and that ‘Inconvenient Truth’ was as likely to be accurate as any of the 9/11 conspiracy theories.


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    Grant

    If I was a student or ex-student of Prof Lewandowsky I would be asking for a refund of my tuition. Problem is many of those he has taught would be oblivious to his poor grasp of logic. Mind you with would have been great if you realised how gullible he is and had submitted some essays with his kind of reasoning in it :-)


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    mick

    This is what you get when you send a trick cyclist in to do the herding. All this turgid, heavy, germanic labouring & only a few red herrings and a couple of consumptive old ad homs to show for it at the end …even Christ would think twice about trying to feed the multitudes with that lot. Any mobile phone salesman worth his salt could’ve done it in two paragraphs as well as throwing in a footy tip.

    I vote we all chip in for a singing telegram announcing climate scepticism has collapsed just as he predicted to put him out of his misery.


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    Keith

    “Even if each one of us on the face of the earth stopped emitting greenhouse gases tomorrow, not another ounce into the atmosphere, the temperature would still rise,” she told ABC radio today. : Sackett – the epitome of reason.

    She also refers to Lambreck’s emissions. Curious how these people have all coincidently pushed out their opinions. It’s almost like they’re conspiring to mount a counter attack. But of course, I must be mistaken.


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    Bulldust

    Slightly off topic… apparently thinking Jessica Watson did not sail around the world is akin to being a climate skeptic:

    http://www.smh.com.au/national/jessica-watson-hits-back-at-critics-20100507-uhc8.html


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    FijiDave

    OT, I know, but it is a shame that Jo’s fellow countrywoman Jessica Watson, on the cusp of completing her admirable circumnavigation of the planet at the tender age of 16, has thought fit to compare critics of her feat with sceptics. It somehow takes some of the gloss off her amazing achievement.

    Perhaps some kind soul would point this out to her. Don’t allow alarmists to use her celebrity to further their pernicious propaganda. At sixteen years old she may be an ‘old salt’, but certainly not yet wise to the ways of the world.

    Jessica then compared the debate surrounding her record attempt to global warming.

    I mean there’s millions, properly billions of people who still don’t believe in global warming, so I’m more than happy to settle for a few people going against the tide and declaring that mine hasn’t been an official circumnavigation,” she wrote.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/australia/3669160/Jessica-Watson-hits-back-at-critics


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    FijiDave

    Hey, Bulldust, you beat me to it :)


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    Bulldust

    Yeah you were just behind my usual morning stroll through the online media. Was just reading up on the pummelling Wall Street took over night… they almost called a trading halt on the US market at one stage. The bitter irony is that investors are fleeing for safe havens and buying US dollars/debt and gold ATM, where they would have been investing in one of the healthiest developed economies of the world (i.e. Australia) had it not been for Rudd’s capricious mining “super” tax announcement.

    So instead of being in the mid US90c’s the Aussie is languishing around US88c now… but a devalued Aussie is what Rudd wanted, I guess… so he got that. We got to have thousands taken off our super savings. Can’t wait for the next Aussie election to vote these idiots out. We can kill two dodos with one stone that way… the ETS and the “super” tax.


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    pat

    keith –

    penny sackett is out and about. your link to herald sun was AAP piece about her interview with ABC; radio australia also has a piece on her; and SMH has:

    7 May: SMH: BEN CUBBY AND DEBORAH SMITH: Delay on emissions trading will cost Australia dearly, warns PM’s top adviser
    THE chief scientist, Penny Sackett, says Australia is moving too slowly to bring its greenhouse gas emissions under control, exposing the nation to high risks and financial costs, after the federal government’s decision to shelve its emissions trading scheme.
    The warning came as a leading Chinese government adviser criticised Australia’s lack of action on climate change, saying the Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, had reduced the chance that the world could curb global warming before it was too late.
    The rare public statement from Professor Sackett, the government’s leading scientific adviser, said: “We are not acting with sufficient speed to reduce the large degree of risk that climate change poses to our health, our environment and our livelihoods.”..
    Professor Sackett told the Herald she was concerned by the government’s decision to delay its ETS legislation.
    “Any action that is delayed puts us at higher risk of dangerous climate change,” she said..
    http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/delay-on-emissions-trading-will-cost-australia-dearly-warns-pms-top-adviser-20100507-uh7i.html

    SMH doesn’t name the Chinese Govt adviser, but:

    7 May: Age: John Garnaut: Chinese lash PM on emissions inaction
    A leading Chinese government adviser has criticised the gap between Kevin Rudd’s action and rhetoric on climate change, saying he has reduced the chance that the world can curb global warming before it is too late.
    (Professor) Pan Jiahua (director of the Research Centre for Sustainable Development at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences), who addressed the Politburo on climate change policy in February, said the Prime Minister’s decision to postpone the emissions trading scheme gave rich countries an excuse to do less and discouraged developing countries from doing anything…
    http://www.theage.com.au/environment/chinese-lash-pm-on-emissions-inaction-20100506-ugxa.html

    so John Garnaut who wrote the Age piece is:

    Ross Garnaut
    His son, John Garnaut, is a journalist for Fairfax Media newspapers.
    http://www.mediaman.com.au/profiles/garnaut.html

    abc radio last nite had the Chinese angle on “what the papers say”, giving me the impression it was the Chinese Govt itself criticising Rudd. however, Pan Jiahua looks more like an IPCC shill to me:

    Pan Jiahua: Senior Fellow and Deputy Director, Research Centre for Sustainable Development
    Chinese Academy of Social Sciences
    Currently executive director of CASS – RCSD and professor of economics at CASS Graduate School. He received his PhD at Cambridge University in 1992.
    He worked for the UNDP Beijing Office as a Senior Programme Officer and advisor on environment and development and for the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) Working Group III on Mitigation as a senior economist in the Technical Support Unit and a co-editor of IPCC Working Group III Third Assessment Report Climate Change 2001: Mitigation; a lead author on sustainable development and mitigation in the IPCC WG III 4th Assessment (AR4, 2003-2007) and a UNFCCC expert reviewer on national communications..
    http://chinausclimate.org/en/person/440


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  • #

    I posted about Lewandowsky here -

    http://theclimatescepticsparty.blogspot.com/2010/05/conspirator-theories-of-stephan.html

    I even emailed him to see if he wanted to respond, but no reply as expected.


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    janama

    The opening paragraph of the 250 scientist’s letter Penny refers to says the following:

    Many in the popular press and other media, as well as some in the halls of Congress, are seizing on a few errors that have been found in the Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in an attempt to discredit the entire report. None of the handful of mis-statements (out of hundreds and hundreds of unchallenged statements) remotely undermines the conclusion that “warming of the climate system is unequivocal” and that most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-twentieth century is very likely due to observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations.

    SO WHAT! no one denies that the globe is warming, in fact we think it’s a good thing because a warmer planet will provide more food and everyone would prefer to be warmer than colder.

    The science she refers to is the statement about man’s involvement. They are still using the “Very Likely” line. Surely we should act when they can confidently say “proven to be” – Unfortunately they can’t prove their assumptions and they’ve had years now to get their act together and have still failed.


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    janama

    BTW – I must add: here is the page where you can sign the petition.

    http://www.openletterfromscientists.com/list-of-signers.html

    I’ve signed up – will be interesting to see whether I get accepted :)


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    BobC: May 7th, 2010 at 6:19 am

    Please do not use this link (http://petesplace-peter.blogspot.com/2008/04/peer-reviewed-articles-skeptical-of-man.html) in any arguments as it is not defensible. It is an old unverified list I had been compiling from 2008 and used without my permission. It includes various non-peer-reviewed papers from sites such as arXiv.org.

    The current list that is updated and verified Ronnell posted,

    700 Peer-Reviewed Papers Supporting Skepticism of “Man-Made” Global Warming
    http://www.populartechnology.net/2009/10/peer-reviewed-papers-supporting.html


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    Ronnell

    global warming 1958 style
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0lgzz-L7GFg&feature=player_embedded#!

    November 2nd, 1922. Arctic Ocean Getting Warm; Seals Vanish and Icebergs Melt.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/03/16/you-ask-i-provide-november-2nd-1922-arctic-ocean-getting-warm-seals-vanish-and-icebergs-melt/

    Guess what?

    HUMAN BEINGS ARE STILL HERE!!


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    Rereke Whaakaro

    This is the reason why we will never win any argument with the likes of Stephan Lewandowsky, Michael Mann, Gavin Schmit, William Connolley, Stephen Schneider, et al:

    “I know that most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it be such as would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives”.

    Leo Tolstoy (1828 – 1910)


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    Rick Bradford

    AGW alarmists view skeptics like the Saudi government views women — that they are dangerous to the established order; that they should be hidden away, not allowed to mix, not seen, not heard. Their mere presence is an affront to the All-wise and All-merciful one (Algore?).


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    AC

    The ABC’s use of slurs from Hamilton and Lewandowsky in place of debating the evidence for the CAGW hypothesis reminds me of something straight out of a Politburo handbook for dealing with dissenters from the party line. Label them capitalist roaders (i.e. linked to ‘Big Oil’), social deviants and bad elements or call them psychiatrically disturbed. The old Soviets of the ABC propaganda unit live on. Any night now, expect the knock on the door.


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    David Cooke

    “Professorial Fellow in Psychology” – that really says it all about Lewandowsky. Of course he’ll call anyone who doesn’t share his world view a conspiracy theorist, or worse.


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    Roy Hogue

    Sounds like a man full of himself.


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    Bernd Felsche

    Lewandowsky’s apparently not cognisant of the stuff that he should know.

    Prof. Dr. Dr. Gunnar Heinsohn wrote in Anfang und Ende des Klimawahns (Rise and Fall of the Climate Delusion):

    Das Auftreten ganzer Wissenschaftlergruppen, die unter dem Deckmantel angeblicher Objektivität und Sorge Schreckensszenarien [zur Globalerwärmung] entwerfen, die durch bereitwillige Medien in politischen Druck verwandelt werden, was dann zu Aufträgen für die verantwortlichen Wissenschaftler führt.

    published in Leviathan (Vol 24, Nr 24, 1996) and translated (poorly) by me today:

    The appearance of whole groups of scientists, who under the cloak of objectivity and concern design scare scenarios; which through willing media are transfromed into political pressure, which then leads to contracts for those scientists.

    Similarly, in 1997, Dr Wolfgang Thüne (IIRC) wrote that all experts and relevant bureaucrats and politicians know that there was no greenhouse effect.


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    yoyo

    This link list the $112k to $124k (perhaps more for special statuses as a fellow) taxpayers are shelling out for a professor of psychology to hector them about global warming. The question is: are we getting value for money? He may well be an excellent psychological researcher, however he seems to fill his days writing on the ABC Drum website about climate change. I’m not happy about my tax dollars being spent on someone abusing their position as a psychology researcher to blog about his views on climate change, and how anyone who doesn’t conclude what he concludes is a lunatic.

    Would you belive a priest who says anyone who disagrees with him on climate science is under the influence of Satan? He should know, after all! No, you wouldn’t.

    We’re not nuts. He’s just a blowhard who pays his mortgage with your taxes, while calling you a loony.

    http://www.hr.uwa.edu.au/hr/salary_scales/academic


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    janama

    yoyo – what an academic does in his own time (blogging on the ABC) has nothing to do with his employment as an academic.

    ——

    [ Exactly, so why does he use his official title? I'm giving the point to yoyo. (sorry janama). Lewandowsky is not writing as a citizen, he's writing as a professorial fellow of UWA. -- JN ]


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    janama

    Steve McIntyre has published his March address at Trinity College, University of Toronto, on the Climategate scandal – well worth reading.

    http://www.climateaudit.info/pdf/mcintyre-trinity.2010.pdf


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    Mark

    Maybe this bludger should read Bertrand Russell’s words sometime.
    “That a belief is widely held is no proof whatsoever that it isn’t utterly false”.

    No fan of Hannity as a rule but if it gets the message across.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iatOrhLfIfU


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    janama

    The wonderful Lord Monckton addresses the US Congress yesterday.

    http://icecap.us/images/uploads/Monckton10-May6-HouseMarkeytestimony.pdf


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    yoyo

    janama, normally I’d agree, but in this case, he’s used his publicly funded position to speak on a topic outside his personal expertise.

    His arguement is essentially an appeal to authority. The authority used in this case is his own position at the UWA. He’s not introduced as a “keen gardner, enthusiastic cyclist and all-round nice guy”, but rather as “a Winthrop Professor and an Australian Professorial Fellow at the University of Western Australia”. That same title and reputation is what he relies upon to conince us the readers that he is someone to whom we should listen. The gravitas implied by his position also brings grants into his faculty for psychological research, which makes it dangerous for him to then use that same authority to comment on climate change.

    The UWA ethics code states:
    “Staff members are encouraged to comment publicly in relation to their area of professional expertise. When staff members are representing the University the highest ethical and professional standards are expected of them primarily due to the sensitivity of some issues within the community.

    Staff members in their capacity as private citizens have a right to make public comments. If a staff member is publicly commenting on an issue not within their professional expertise, the staff member must make it clear that the comment is being made in a private capacity”.
    http://www.hr.uwa.edu.au/publications/code_of_ethics#38

    He sails rather close to the wind on this one, because his comments about settled science is most definately off-patch. His commentary on conspiracy-nutters however, is within his expertise. The question then remains: What was the core topic? If climate change is the central theme, he’s off patch and it’s an issue. If his topic was focused on the nature of conspiracy theorists, then that’s not so much an issue. This post is borderline because he uses his reputation as a brainiac of psychology to back up his conclusion that AGW is a fact (outside of expertise) and assert that anyone who doesn’t think so is a loon (within expertise, however flipant).

    He’s written 3 posts on unleased:
    * 3 May 2010: Evidence is overrated when you’re a conspiracy theorist
    * 29 March 2010: The peer reviewed literature has spoken
    * 11 March 2010: Climate debate: opinion vs evidence

    In his March 11 article he states: “but because any delay in taking action against climate change will increase the human and financial burden on future generations, it is our responsibility now to cease tolerating lies, misrepresentations, puerile accusations, and conspiracy theories that are unworthy of public discourse in a mature democracy.”

    The only things in common about these three articles are his credentials as a psychology professor at UWA, his assertion that AGW is an indesputable fact, and that anyone questioning that fact is highly questionable themselves. He’s become a climate blogger and he’s used his UWA position to do it.


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    Speedy

    Janama @ 53

    The Good Lord – I like his work! The beauty of his testimony is that it’s written in plain English (almost like he wants people to understand what he’s saying :) ) and everything he’s said can be checked from the public domain. Compare that to any IPCC report.

    Having heard this, I can’t see how the Congress can claim ignorance on the subject. Coming back to haunt the remaining warmists will be the question – “did you know or SHOULD you have known that AGW had such a weak scientific basis?”

    Thanks for the link.

    Cheers,

    Speedy


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    yoyo

    Oh, I almost forgot that http://www.hr.uwa.edu.au/hr/publications/public_comment states:

    “A member of staff commenting publicly on a public issue other than in a professional or expert capacity should do so from her or his private address and should not use the name of the University, or otherwise identify herself or himself as a member of the staff of the University. Whatever staff members may say or do they should also be mindful that they do not injure a person’s reputation or create any basis for defamation action. Understandably, the University cannot be responsible for any claims that might follow such comments.”

    What did he say about a certain tabloid blogger again? “scurrilous”, “strayed close to psychiatric territory”
    What did he previously say about “a visiting British aristocrat who is a serial fabricator”?


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    janama

    Fair enough yoyo – I concede you make a pertinent point.


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    Bulldust

    Rereke Whaakaro:
    As a former academic I remeber a cynical saying that used to do the rounds which went along these lines:

    “If you steal from one source it is plagiarism, but if you steal from many sources it’s research.”

    Like all such humour there is more than a touch of truth to it. I hope this helps explain the research/peer review system for you ;)


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    Rereke Whaakaro

    Pat: #37

    I have just read your comment.

    Tracing the links between Ross Garnaut, John Garnaut, Pan Jiahua, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and the IPCC is a nice piece of analysis. Very impressive. I tip my hat to you.


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    Rereke Whaakaro

    Rick Bradford: #44

    Be careful about saying the name of the evil one. When the New World Government is formed, we may all find ourselves under Sharia Law.


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    Rereke Whaakaro

    Bulldust: #58

    I hope this helps explain the research/peer review system for you

    Yes it does, thanks.

    My stuff never gets published in the public domain, so I have always felt free to shamelessly steal from everybody, and not bother with attribution.

    But gosh, I never realised that I was actually doing research – wow! :-)


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    Rereke Whaakaro

    yoyo: #54

    Could I please ask you to quote the comment number when referring to something somebody else has “said”.

    On my first reading of your comment, I thought you were referring to Janama #53, which was about Lord Monckton’s evidence before the US Congress.

    It was only later that I realised that you were actually referring to his comment at #50.

    You came close to getting both barrels there … :-)


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    Rereke Whaakaro @26 – I was only joking! And I’ve had a hell of a day explaining that to the man who arrived in the black helicopter.


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    matty

    I will out myself and say my tertiary background is Psychology (Bachelor of Applied Science)Curtin Uni – Western Australia. Why applied science?? Because they made us do a decent bit of statistics that most psych courses don’t. I was left aghast by the complete lack of substance this discipline has. It was a waste of my life that I regret, and full of wankers too. I remember one depressing moment half way through the 2nd year looking around and noticing that all the good guys had left. There I was with a horde of backstabbing effeminate bespectacled suckholes feeling very lonely. We were completely underwhelmed by our staff, and after 3 years did not feel qualified to do anything much but that did not stop many from going along with the fraud by doing further study.

    I got interested in AGW because I smelt something, and psychology is only really useful in the study of group effects, and Lewandowsky is part of a big one here. How ironic?

    But the unthinkable is happening. Their comfortable feel good zone is eroding from underneath their feet and Lewandowsky is too ignorant to know that he has traded his objectivity and become a follower. If Abbott gets up and he may the way Rudd is tracking we will have a Royal commission (my guess) and that will be an ugly event for Lewandowsky’s everywhere.


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    Louis Hissink

    Matty @ #64

    Your experiences are similar to those that I and the author of the Raff Report (www.henrythornton.com) had during the middle 1970′s when we both were obliged to study pyschology 101 at Macquarie University as part of the “cross-disciplinary studies” we were subject to.

    You are much too kind.


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    matty

    RE: Louis Hissink #65

    psychology in the 70′s…….oh my god. A bit like rock and roll in the 60′s – you had to be there. I’ve been wondering when someone was going to blow the whistle on this crap, but no. Social psychology I don’t have a problem with(group studies) but the rest is shite. The sociologists/social psychs will dine out on AGW for the next 30 years once it really folds.


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    J.Hansford

    Well said Jo. You basically tore him to pieces…. well his pathetically ill founded argument, that is.

    What has happened to the standard of Australian Universities, that a man of such illogical thinking can be called a professor in one. It beggars belief.

    It would be a distinct possibility, that nowadays if you sent your child to Uni…. They’d come out dumber than the bright eyed students that went in.


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    Baa Humbug

    “The word you’re looking for is GULLIBLE”

    Damn this womans words are worth 2 Bushido Blades.

    Lets look at Lewd’s words. (btw did anybody read to the end of Lewds diatribe?)

    “The conspiracy theory known as climate “scepticism” will soon collapse because it must be extended to include even the macrolepidoptera, including the rhopalocera, geometroidea and noctuoidea. Yes, the European moths and butterflies must be part of the conspiracy, because they mate repeatedly every season now, rather than once only as during the preceding 150 years.

    There will always be people who believe that Al Gore issues mating orders to butterflies via secret rays sent from Pyongyang. But they are not the people who contribute to a rational society in the information age”.

    Am I the only one who rolled over in fits of laughter at the above?

    Al Gore issuing mating orders? Pyongyang? Moths?

    Maybe he is on medication (nudge nudge wink wink) Pheeewt (hold breath) Poohhhhhh yeah man!!! cool shit this, know what I mean? Moths man, they got a connection to the lord man, lord Al. He’s tellin ‘em to go forth n multiply. Pheeeeewt (hold breath) poooooohh man this is good shit.
    Hey, you wanna go forth multiply like butterflies? cool man


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    Siliggy

    The Skate records says: “We surfaced near the North Pole in the winter through thin ice less than 2 feet thick.”

    Apparently there a many similar examples all over the web.

    some here:
    http://www.navsource.org/archives/08/08578.htm
    and here:
    http://www.csp.navy.mil/asl/Submarines.htm

    Some warmers have said these two photos are faked (1) (2). They say “no light at that time of year”:
    Just another example of crazy warmist conspiracy theories. Are these submariners all part of some big anti AGW plot?
    http://www.athropolis.com/sunrise/sun-mar.htm


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    janama

    another contender for the useless research folder.

    http://www.niehs.nih.gov/health/docs/climatereport2010.pdf

    The purpose of this paper is to identify research needs for all aspects of the research-to-decision making pathway that will help us understand and mitigate the health effects of climate changeas well as ensure that we choose the healthiest and most efficient approaches to climate change adaptation.

    Humans have successfully adapted to environmental change over time, from evolving natural physiological responses to the use of science, technology, and knowledge to improve our lives and advance our health. From the dawn of the industrial age, people have made great strides in improving health, and enjoy a markedly improved quality of life. However, these improvements have come at a cost that must now be understood and addressed. Climate change will force humans to negotiate with their changing environment as never before to find ways to reshape it both for short-term protection and long-term alleviation of health consequences.
    There is no doubt that we have the capacity to find ways to avoid many of the worst health effects of climate change, and indeed, given the universality and potential magnitude of such effects, we have an ethical imperative to do so. The research needs described in this document should guide the process, helping us to develop the proper tools and make informed choices that will ultimately result in better health and better lives for the citizens of the United States and of the world.

    Interagency Working Group on Climate Change and Health


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  • #

    It takes a weird mind to get the idea to employ the tradgedy of 9/11 for the service of debating science.


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    Amr

    This article is a great way to start the weekend.
    Amr Marzouk


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    Why does Lewandowsky make appeals to authority? If we are to listen obediently only to authorities then Lewandowsky must be rejected out of hand because he is not a climate authority. Why is the concept of logic so foreign to so many academics? Shouldn’t they all be forced to take courses in logic and deductive reasoning?


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    Bulldust

    Dr Roy Spencer hammering another nail in the coffin of the IPCC talking about feedbacks:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/05/07/spencer-strong-negative-feedback-found-in-radiation-budget/

    Looks like the paper is going to be published in JGR… I wonder if it will get a mention in the next IPCC summary (AR5?).

    Yeah, who am I kidding?


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    MadJak

    Many Psychs always have the same occupational hazard. They spend all day with people who have issues. Occasionally it rubs off. And then who counsels the counsellor? Oh well, there’s always their ABC they can do a dummy spit all over.

    I agree with the sentiment, if this guy is an example of Australian academia – just as with Clive hamilton, my son won’t be going to an Aussie University (if he chooses that path).

    To date I have found no causality between Conspiracy theorists on 9/11, Moon landings etc and scepticism -just like I have found no evidence of causality between C02 and Global warming. I guess now that Team AGW have hit out against them, they’ll probably start coming here. The few people I have had discussions on these matters have in fact been AGW scientologists.

    Never mind, it could be a good a good thing for them, a healthy dose of scepticism might be good form them, and finally maybe we might see team AGW actually insisting on finding evidence linking C02 to GW – Nah, who am I kidding?

    Let’s see if we can encourage AGW that we’re some organised group of people. The conspiracy theories they would come up with could be a rel laugh.

    Oh well, I’m back off to report to Enron HQ – has everyone else got their timesheets in?


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    janama

    speaking of the ABC is it just my connection but has the whole of the ABC Online gone off line? – can’t get radio or news etc to open.


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    Joe Spencer

    NEWS: Another Whitewash, just in.
    Monckton cuts a lonely dash, among another cosy cabal of Climate Scientists and Policy Advocate’s.

    Eminent U.S. Climate Researchers Stand United on Science, Policy Action


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    pat

    give thanks…

    7 May: HeraldSun: Malcolm Farr: One in three voters against paying for climate change ‘myth’
    •One-third against climate change bills
    •Two-thirds don’t believe it is real
    •Low-income earners most resistant
    The survey showed two-thirds of respondents were not convinced by man-made climate change, despite “billions of dollars of government propaganda,” said John Roskam of the Institute of Public Affairs.
    “These polls also show Australians won’t pay huge amounts of money to fix a problem they are not sure exists,” said Mr Roskam…
    http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/national/one-in-three-voters-against-paying-for-climate-change-myth/story-e6frf7l6-1225863480451


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    MadJak

    This one just in:

    28% of Obsessive Compulsive disoder patients have climate change related disorders

    Now I understand Mr lewdansky – he’s just trying to drum up more business, I see now. So the ABC is merely a marketing instrument for the “get rich out of global warming crowd”

    I understand now.


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    Bob Malloy

    Bull dust @74:

    If as wuwt are right and JGR publish Spencer on negative feedback’s as well as Nature publish on co2 only being responsible for 5 to 10% of warming.

    http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/22624

    Mann, Jones and company will all be on sick leave with ulcers. How could they have lost control of the Journals.


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    Rereke Whaakaro

    Gregoryno6: #63

    I’ve had a hell of a day explaining that to the man who arrived in the black helicopter.

    Touché


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    janama

    The ABC is back – couldn’t access anything all night. So unleashed has come back with a naive child telling us we are going to jeopardise her future by not towing the AGW line.

    Give me a break! I’ve had it up to … with the ABC!


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    Ronnell

    This is a great web site that monitors the ABC!

    ABC NEWS WATCH:-

    http://abcnewswatch.blogspot.com/


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    Roy Hogue

    I don’t know how many readers are familiar with the Peter Principle first put forth in 1969. It basically says that in any hierarchy people are promoted until they reach their level of incompetence and then they stay there forever. As I remember, Dr. Laurence J. Peter, the main author of the book, The Peter Principle, Why Things Always Go Wrong, said it shouldn’t be taken too seriously. Yet it’s borne out in daily life so much that I’ve taken it as a basic axiom of life.

    Needless to say, so many of the AGW camp remind me that they’ve reached their level of incompetence where they are no longer able to handle the demand of evaluating data they take in and turn it into useful information.

    Incompetence in one thing does not imply incompetence in another. But here you have Lewandowsky who can’t handle getting himself and his preconceived ideas out of the way so he can evaluate the actual arguments of both sides. Yet this is a requirement of his job.

    Is this incompetence? For his job it certainly is.


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    David, UK

    “The nature of conspiracy theories and their ultimate fate is reasonably well understood by cognitive scientists.”

    And what, I wonder, Mr Lewandowsky, about conspiracy FACT? Like conspiring to delete emails and data? Like conspiring to keep heretics out of the peer-review process, even if that means redefining what the peer review process is? Like conspiring to hide the decline, using Mike’s Nature trick? Like conspiring to keep certain “dirty laundry” (i.e. inconvenient data) hidden? Oh, I could go on, but you get the point: what would your cognitive scientists make of these twisted individuals who have engaged in such real, documented conspiracies?


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    L Nettles

    Because I am one of Anthony Watts Army of Davids I have been called a lonely Nutter and now an irate pensioner by people who know nothing about me. I think they know as much about the climate as they know about me.


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    average joe

    That mourning video from pyjamas lost its appeal to me when it finished of saying the earth
    was divinely created.

    Looks like its produced by some religious group. Not good for “us”.

    Anyway, something really “divine” is going on over at wattsupwiththat.

    I think the Venus posts by Steven Goddard, with links to Steven Wilde will have great implications.

    When you stop just accepting what other “authorities” is saying, and start your own thinking, its amazing what can come out of it;

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/05/06/hyperventilating-on-venus/#more-19270

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/05/08/venus-envy/#more-19311

    And Wilde;
    http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=1562&linkbox=true&position=4

    After reading this, you realize that it fits what you learned in your thermodynamic classes, and the rest was just hot air.

    Couple that with the book from Roy Spencer, and there is nothing left of the AGW hoax.

    Nothing, but Global Mourning.

    (Wether its dive or not is still up to debate)


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    blouis79

    The ABC (Robin Williams) also had a story on Dunning-Kruger Effect (paper from 2009) – less capable people overestimaet their ability. More capable people underestimate. The item used climate change as an example of “deniers” being dumb.
    http://www.abc.net.au/rn/scienceshow/stories/2010/2893602.htm

    On my interpretation it is the climate scientists and true believers who look to be the insightless ones by the Dunning Kruger Effect.


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    Joe Veragio

    Lord Monckton in the US Congressional hearings, Thursday.

    The Full Video ~ 350 MB is worth watching.

    He is a lot more impressive in the video than the reports in the media & on the Committee’s own partisan website would suggest.

    Note the Scientisits cosying up with the chair in the one group photo.

    The committee panel actually seemed a lot more balanced than any of the inquiries in the UK, with at least 3 members questioning the veracity & independence of other inquiries or giving Monckton their time to highlight & restate the flaws .

    Monckton seemed to be the only witness who was really crediting the audience with a modicum of intelligence, demonstrating with facts and figures, while the 3 scientists tended to make general assertions and giving their (no doubt very emminent) interpretations and opinions – as if that should be good enough – which sadly it seemed to be for the chair and one side of the panel.

    The effect of this hearing will largely depend on how it’s represented in the media though, there being one particularly odious character on the panel giving them plenty to spin it with.


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    Roy Hogue

    Joe Veragio @93,

    I watched all of the testimony but couldn’t quite bring myself to watch the questioning. There were four men talking in vague generalities about what they know they know. And not one of them could speak some actual data from which I could tell if they know what they know they know.

    And then there was one man who, without even making it look hard, shot down the whole global warming case by simply pointing out the statistical misrepresentation. Monkton is amazing. Too bad so many in congress have so much face saving to do over global warming. We’ve got to throw enough of them out that we can get our country back.


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    Joe Veragio

    Roy @ #94:, You really should try to watch the questioning (though not all all at one sitting).
    Then you’ll see why they put Monckton up, instead of more conventionally qualified scientists.
    However much the clearly divided panel tried to ridicule Monckton, as try they did and being really quite offensive, he was brilliant.
    Watch the bicycle.

    The white haired elderly statesman was also very effective in questioning the Oxburgh lady.

    You can see he had been well briefed and the questions were being asked for effect, whereas the left side of the panel were less ‘parliamentary’ in their questioning.


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    Roy Hogue

    Joe,

    I’ll give it a whirl when I get a little more time. But if you’ve ever read any of Monkton’s stuff you’ll have no doubt at all that he can chop the legs right out from under fools so fast they won’t even see it happening. Brilliant is almost an understatement.

    And what shoots down the AGW nuts is that they stoop to ridicule rather than arguing their case. Problem is, they don’t know how to answer something like being shown the statistical misrepresentation because they know it’s right in the first place.


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    Joe Veragio

    Here’s just a flavour then Roy,
    Congress’s Sad Embarrassment

    In this case Monckton remained deferential (as ever), letting the inquisitor betray their ‘command’ of the points they chose to engage on.


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    Tel

    On the subject of Dunning-Kruger effect and education in general, this one is good for a laugh:

    http://www.physorg.com/news192688538.html

    “It is gravity that moves the fluid in a siphon, with the water in the longer downward arm pulling the water up the shorter arm,” he said.

    Oh dear, “pulling”, really?

    “The column of water acts like a chain with the water molecules pulling on each other via hydrogen bonds,” he said.

    The invention of high tensile water must have some very useful applications — fishing nets for example. Needless to say, the person making these statements has a PhD in Physics.


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    Mark D.

    Tel, on this I have to agree with him (insofar as gravity is the force). If it were atmospheric pressure alone would not the siphon work in reverse? (higher pressure at the lower outlet of the tube).

    It is gravity that causes any stream to flow at all and a siphon is just a “long cut” around an obstruction.

    Further you can demonstrate the same force of gravity with a rope over a pulley. If the rope is the same length it doesn’t move. if you pull one end a few feet longer then the rope “flows”. If you extend the idea say over a cliff with hundreds of feet of rope in a neat coil at the top of the cliff gravity (not atmospheric pressure) will pull the whole coil over the edge of the cliff. The same would happen even if you built a wall at the top of the cliff (dam) for the rope to have to “climb” over.

    In a siphon the tube prevents the liquid from pulling apart by preventing atmospheric pressure to equalize in the middle of the tube. It is the strength of the siphon tube to resisting atmospheric pressure from crushing the tube and the molecular makeup of the liquid (keeping it a fluid) together with gravity that keeps a siphon flowing.


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    Mark D.

    Tel, I am certain that this topic is probably going to cause fits of argument. :)


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    Tel

    Mark, I agree that gravity is important, after all without gravity there would be no atmospheric pressure.

    However, “pulling” via a chain of hydrogen bonds is just plain wrong. There is no tensile force that can be transmitted through water. Atmospheric pressure pushes the water up the short leg of the siphon, just like the quoted dictionary definition says.


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    Mark D.

    Tel,

    I had hoped this would get more of a “rise” out of people because siphons are fascinating! They seem so easy and logical at first and then you find that there are odd observations. I didn’t post to cause debate so much as have fun with the not so obvious. I included some of the prevailing comparisons (rope) for effect. It seems that some liquids behave like rope and will self siphon. Then there are other defiant observations; Like for example siphons apparently can flow in a vacuum and from wiki:

    height limitation assumes that a liquid cannot take a negative pressure. In practice, liquids such as water and mercury exhibit a property known as tensile strength and are able, under certain conditions to take negative pressures. One example is in tall trees, where the water is pulled up from the roots further than 10 meters, the conventional limitation imposed by gravity and atmospheric pressure.

    and this post outlines some of the oddities of siphons:
    http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/2372/how-does-a-siphon-work

    Much like the “well understood climate” there are still minor mysteries in even the lowly siphon. Of course you are right it is awfully hard to “pull” on any volume of water (maybe my as yet unpublished: [study of anti-gravity effects of fluids confined in an inverted 'u' tube] will shed some light on the subject. :)


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    Joe Veragio

    Dr Hughes was holding forth about his great creation , on BBC Radio 4 too , late last night – this alleged error in the Dictionaries of the world.
    Has he got a book coming out or something ?

    What such a narrow view of the World fails to appreciate however, is that the Oxford English, at al. are not seeking to explain the laws of the Universe, but about Language. Language is about Common Usage, with all the contradictions and misconceptions that embraces.

    fer goodness sake, just look at what it has to say about global warming

    “… the gradual increase in the overall temperature of the earth’s atmosphere due to the greenhouse effect caused by increased levels of carbon dioxide, CFCs, and other pollutants.”

    and that’s not even the AGW variety.

    It’s definition of siphon however is actually quite correct, in saying:-

    “…a tube used to convey liquid upwards from a container and then down to a lower level, the flow being maintained by atmospheric pressure.”

    Were it not for the atmospheric pressure the liquid would evaporate and float away then being unable to maintain the flow through the tube.

    Indeed the account from the PhysOrg.com website that :-

    Dr Hughes said the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) since 1911 had incorrectly stated that atmospheric pressure was the operating force in a siphon when in fact it was gravity.

    does appear to be somewhat at odds with the actual extract form the Oxford English above.

    While the workings of a siphon may indeed be fascinating, is such a manufactured non-controversy really worthy of such a tax payer funded position – when there are so many more pressing misconceptions to be dealing with ?

    Now who fancies engaging with The Oxford University Press on the much more substantive mis-representation ?

    As they don’t appear to have an entry for the less inflamatory ‘Climate Change’ yet, perhaps they could address all this when they get back around to ‘C’, by which time the GW may be so passe anyway.


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    Roy Hogue

    Joe Veragio @95,

    I finally got enough time to listen to the whole hearing from start to finish and you’re right, I should have kept going the first time.

    I even took notes — unfortunately too many to go over all of them. But I note that the consensus is still alive and well. I also note that some members of the House of Representatives are a bit remiss in the common courtesy and respect category, including the chairman who is a rabid warmer from way back.

    Did you notice the claim of 8 inches sea level rise over the last century at the Golden Gate Bridge as though that should scare everyone? Ask anyone who flies regularly if sea level stays constant. Over the years the airport I flew out of has had its elevation adjusted upward a whole foot. Let’s not even mention the fact that San Francisco is right on the leading edge of the San Andreas Fault and may well have actually sunk some relative to sea level over the years. California is not a place of constant elevation. A good earthquake can change it measurably.

    Monkton was in good form, fearless but respectful except when the idiot on the panel questioned his being a Lord. He stands up well with facts and figures as opposed to the others with their generalities. And oh yes, don’t forget, the IPCC is conservative! They never resort to scare tactics or use questionable material. They would never do that, would they?

    If it wasn’t so dangerous I could write it all off as a bad joke.

    Unfortunately for them the cat has gotten out of the bag when they weren’t looking and it’s going to be a bit hard to get it back in again.


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    Roy Hogue

    I can’t help commenting on the siphon problem:

    In a siphon you have a situation where water flows upward through part of a tube and then downward through the remainder of the tube. The outlet of the downward leg of tube must be at a lower elevation that the inlet to the upward leg. The actual length of the tube on each side is of no direct consequence, only the level of the two ends counts for anything. And they need not be far enough apart for any difference in atmospheric pressure to make any difference.

    Here is what happens:

    Both columns of water have weight but the downward one weighs more than the upward one – the water depth is greater. Subtracting off the force of air pressure at the opening of each tube, the weight of the water in the downward leg reduces the pressure at the top by more than the water in the upward leg. Voila, water flows uphill because air pressure can push water up the upward leg more easily – less force required — than up the downward leg. It’s gravity that does the work all the way around since the water would have no weight and there would be no air pressure either without gravity. The siphon will continue as long as the upward leg is submerged in a source of water. The original California Aqueduct system made good use of this principle to avoid expensive pumping stations at several points.

    There’s a limit to the height through which a siphon can lift water. If the weight of the water in the upward tube exceeds the force air pressure can place on the bottom of the tube no water can flow.

    Mark D.,

    Your rope analogy doesn’t represent a siphon at all. Increase the length of the two legs of the siphon until air pressure can no longer raise the water in the upward leg and you’ll get empty space at the top — vacuum except for some water vapor if you filled the tube properly before setting it up. Unlike the rope, water molecules have no significant ability to stick together in the face of any real force trying to separate them. On the other hand the rope does stay together, at least up to the point where it breaks because the weight of it on each side of the pulley exceeds its elastic limit at the pulley.

    A better analogy would be sipping your iced tea through a straw. Your mouth reduces the pressure at the top of the straw and air pressure pushes tea up the straw into your mouth.


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    Reed Coray

    Long, long, ago in a galaxy far, far, away, I took a psychology class. The only thing I remember from that class is a story the instructor related to the class. Apparently, a bunch (if that is the correct collective for an assemblage of two or more Lewandowskys) psychologists decided the fate of mankind rested on knowing the answer to that eternal question: faced with an unsolvable problem, who, educated people or uneducated people, would more rapidly give up seeking a solution to the problem. To answer this question, the psychologists devised a problem involving some kind of a board (like a checkerboard) and a “piece” (like a chess piece) that was only allowed to move in a limited number of ways. Two points on the board were identified. The piece was placed on the board at point 1 and the test subjects were asked to find a set of viable moves that would result in the piece ending up at point 2. The psychologists designed the problem so that there was no solution. With stop watches in hand, the psychologists timed the test subjects. The psychologists were surprised by the result: some of the test subjects solved the problem. If I remember correctly, a solution could be found if the board was treated as a three-dimensional object, not a plane. Since no condition of the test prohibited such a treatment, a solution was found to the psychologists’ unsolvable problem. I don’t know what the psychologists concluded from this test, but I came to two conclusions: (1) the test subjects should have included (a) educated people, (b) uneducated people, and (c) psychologists, and (2) for any question involving the real world, put absolutetely no credence in the findings of psychologists.


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    Joe Veragio

    Roy Hogue: @104.
    on : US Congressional Hearing on Foundations of Climate Science

    I finally got enough time to listen to the whole hearing from start to finish ……, I should have kept going the first time.
    …………
    If it wasn’t so dangerous I could write it all off as a bad joke.

    Roy, I’m glad you finally managed to see all of it.

    It’s surprising ‘though how little comment there’s been on this hearing generally. Seeing the cosy relationship between the committee and the academics reminds one of Thomas Jeffersson’s warning, not to trust them.

    Seeing this last great vibrant democracy sleep walking it’s way under the spell of the politico-academic elite, is Liberal western democracy making us too complacent, too lazy and accepting of authority to protect our freedoms ?


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    Roy Hogue

    Joe @107,

    I’ve often said that life has become too easy and the consequence of bad decisions could be put off too easily. But that’s changing and consequences are more immediate and more severe. People are starting to wake up. A few Democrats are not running again and a lot of the rest are looking over their shoulder to see how close the wolf is getting.

    The Senate seems to have a better grip on the harm this thing can do and it looks like Obama’s cap-and-trade is dead for the moment.

    You might see a congressional hearing on CSPAN but that’s about all. The media are every bit as much the lapdogs of the administration that the scientists are so they won’t mention it, much less will they question it.


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    If anyone is interested I created a whole page debunking all the 9/11 Truther nonsense,

    Debunking 9/11 Conspiracy Theories


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    JW

    Brilliant article. I love it. This is typical from the global warming enthusiasts nowadays. By the way naye sayers. The 9/11 commission is full of holes if you’re honest. You can choose to go with what is non-fantastical but this event is complex. If you want to trust a government report from a government (or any government) who consistently puts out misinformation be my guest. Baye on sheeple. It’s so easy to defend what we’ve been told with the magical fairy conspiracy dust isn’t it? You might as well just call your debator a racist or a homophobe to get them on the defensive from the start. The herd mentality is the easiest route of logic and imagination isn’t it? I’m sure you feel cozy in your neglegence. On the other hand, how come Global Warming isn’t on the same level of conspiracy theory as the Hydrogen bubble apocolypse no doubt blogged about by an eco-pychotic? There’s just as much “evidence”. The story is just as fantastical. Could it be because it secretly tells the story of oil use and corporate destruction of the globe? Sound familiar? Hmmmmm….
    Here’s to those very few of us doing the actual thinking for the rest of you. -JW


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    [...] “Lewandowsky uses  the name-calling to “poison the well” against people who don’t even believe in a conspiracy [about man-made global warming], but happen to also be skeptical…Jo Nova May 2010“ [...]


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    [...] and my name alone routinely elicits frothing at the mouth by various people (e.g., http://joannenova.com.au/2010/05/name-calling-fairy-dust-conspiracy-theorist/), not to mention the hate mail I receive. Because I am interested in soliciting opinions also from [...]


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    [...] I have been writing on the climate issue in public e.g. [here] and my name alone routinely elicits frothing at the mouth by various people, not to mention the hate mail I [...]


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