back to article Climate sceptic? You're probably a 'Birther', don't vaccinate your kids

A psychologist in Australia - already well known for suggesting that climate "deniers" believe that the Apollo moon landings were faked and that Princess Diana was assassinated - has come out with new peer-reviewed research suggesting that such people also believe that President Obama was not born in the United States, that the …

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      1. Sean Inglis

        What do you mean by "wrong paper"?

        The point I'm making is that Gergis et al 2012 is the last paper that CA has scrutinised where the methods were incomplete and found wanting; CA asked for details; the papers' authors refused, preferring to mock the hosts statistical expertise; CA pressed ahead and even with vanishingly little information found flaws that meant the paper had to be withdrawn and it is not resubmitted to this day.

        If Lewandowski comes out of the affair merely having had to withdraw his own paper he'll be fortunate.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Uh, no. Lewandowsky blog is being extremely offensive and making a wide variety of preposterous claims, but the ripping apart is all in your mind. The basic problem is that if you post anything on L's blog that is critical and gets to the heart of L's basic incompetence and inability to do science, your posts are deleted. Echo chambers may give the impression of "ripping apart", but when conducted in a vacuum illuminated mostly by the terminally confused nature of the participants, it isn't very useful.

        And, just think of it, L's paper is based on a single internet based opinion survey filled in, as far as we can tell, almost entirely by a self selected group of people who read fan-boy warmist blogs like Deltoid. And yet it purports to expose the ideas of skeptics ? An internet opinion survey, fscking REALLY, and you're trying to defend this ? Even assuming that the statistical treatment is valid (and it is certainly inadequate to handle the sort of data it is used on) the only reasonable conclusion one can take from such surveys is that you can't take anything serious from such surveys !

        A good chunk of the data collected by Lewandosky is "faked", faked that is by the participants who don't answer honestly and truthfully. But what chunk, answer, we have no idea. The idea that some stats can produce meaningful conclusions from this is laughable. There ARE in fact appropriate ways of dealing with this sort of data (apart from tossing it in the bin), concepts like robust regression, unfortunately for Lewandosky if you apply that sort of more rigourous treatment, all trace of any correlations disappear, whichj is probably exactly why he doesn't use such, preferring to pretend that his data is "useful".

        The whole paper is simply a piece of unmitigated bullshit propaganda, and it is a definitely not to the credit of the journal that is ostensibly (because the paper doesn't appear on its list of upcoming publications) being published in, nor to the University of WA, nor to the Australian taxpayer who paid for this.

    1. Silverburn
      Happy

      Sounds like a standard "peer review process" to me.

      Once they've finished slating him, they might even read the paper. Or at least the 1 page summary.

  1. dotdavid
    Boffin

    Birther?!

    Pah! Amateurs. Personally, I'm a flat-Earther.

    1. Bernard

      The earth may be flat

      But does it have rounded edges?

      1. 404
        Trollface

        No

        Because even God can't win in California courts vs. Apple's lawyers.

        ;)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Birther?!

      But how can the earth be flat when it is hollow - with a big hole at the north pole?

  2. SiempreTuna
    Mushroom

    Another Research Paper Brought to You by the University of the Bleedin' Obvious

    So a trick cyclist finally listened to the BS that's been coming from Republicans, Tea Party types and (invariably industry financed) climate skeptic 'researchers' .. only 30 years late.

    Climate deniers almost certainly also believe the CIA shot Kennedy and poisoned Marilyn Munroe: they're people who will ALWAYS believe dumb-ass conspiracy theories before dull, peer-reviewed research.

    Have 95% of scientist declare water is wet and they'll deny that.

    It's no coincidence most are also religious: i.e. people who see 'faith' (the ability to delude oneself that the palpably false is true) as a virtue and who are happy to kill anyone with the temerity to point out 'facts' (the stuff that proves they're talking b*llocks).

    1. Reg. Blank

      Re: Another Research Paper Brought to You by the University of the Bleedin' Obvious

      To concisely summarise the warmist position, as I see it:

      [ Collect climate data (interesting sciencey stuff) ] therefore [ Windmills FTW! (bullshit) ].

      What I particularly object to, and am sceptical of, is the bullshit part.

      The paper could just as easily say "Anybody who doesn't agree with me smells".

    2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: Another Research Paper Brought to You by the University of the Bleedin' Obvious

      "Climate deniers almost certainly also believe the CIA shot Kennedy and poisoned Marilyn Munroe: they're people who will ALWAYS believe dumb-ass conspiracy theories before dull, peer-reviewed research."

      I suspect that the number of people you'd describe as "climate deniers" vastly exceeds the number of people who believe the CIA did either of these things. Therefore, it is numerically impossible for most of the first group to also belong to the second and third groups.

      You may consider this post to be a form of peer review.

    3. launcap
      FAIL

      Re: Another Research Paper Brought to You by the University of the Bleedin' Obvious

      >It's no coincidence most are also religious: i.e. people who see 'faith' (the ability to delude oneself that the >palpably false is true) as a virtue and who are happy to kill anyone with the temerity to point out 'facts' (the stuff >that proves they're talking b*llocks).

      Ah.. another "the edges cases apply to everyone in the class" idiot.. Maybe you should espouse a bit of scientific reality and ask yourself whether what you wrote was based on fact or the sort of blinkered unthinking prejudice that you lambast others for..

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Another Research Paper Brought to You by the University of the Bleedin' Obvious

      My experience is the total opposite to this...

      "It's no coincidence most are also religious: i.e. people who see 'faith'... "

      I have found that, whilst a lot of people 'believe' in man-made climate doom (and some question it), they still accept other opinions. But from those who lash out against anybody who has the cheek to question man-made impact on the climate most of THEM are religious - and they far outnumber the so-called hard-line deniers of whom you speak. They have the same 'how dare you not believe the same way as me' and 'I totally believe everything I'm told without question' menatality as a relgious fanatic - and unfortunately your post puts you firmly in the very section of society you are trying to mock.

  3. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. P_0

      "1) global warming is happening, and

      2) it's largely man-made.

      There is a depressingly large body of the public who fall into that category, and to lump them in with "birthers", "truthers" and the rest seems reasonable.

      A "skeptic" (spelling deliberate) is simply a description of a competent scientist (among others). A Skeptic questions everything, but once a skeptic has examined the evidence he is prepared to accept it and move on. Crucially, a skeptic is prepared to change their opinions in the face of new facts. Flat-earthers call themselves skeptics too, most people call them idiots. Why? Because they refuse to take any notice of the vast body of evidence that counters the one or two cherry-picked "facts" that they imagine supports their belief."

      I fall under catergory (2) and partially under (1).

      What you say is quite childish. You say a "skeptic" is competent and examines the evidence and then MUST agree with whatever YOU believe. It's silly. You assume you are correct before even examining anything. And you poison the well by saying that evidence against your belief is "cherry-picked" and evidence for is "vast". You shut down any possibility of debate or reasonable discussion from the start.

      "** bonus points for anybody who says this failing to consider the vast sums that Exxon have pumped into denialism over the years, dwarfing by several orders of magnitude anything put in by renewable energy companies."

      I think you are very poorly educated in what is happening. How much money is pumped into "climate research"? How many organization pour money into building up "evidence", World Wildlife Fund, Greenpeace, Sierra Club, Oxfam, etc... And that doesn't include government grants for doing "cliate change research".

      1. Ian 56

        "You say a "skeptic" is competent".

        No, I said a competent scientist is a skeptic. Skeptics themselves can be competent or not.

        "...and then MUST agree with whatever YOU believe". I don't believe I said that. I said that a skeptic will examine the evidence, then accept that evidence (assuming it's valid). What I believe has nothing to do with it. Similarly, I do not assume I am correct - that is the antithesis of skepticism (and in fact typical of deniers).

        "And you poison the well by saying that evidence against your belief is "cherry-picked" and evidence for is "vast". You shut down any possibility of debate or reasonable discussion from the start."

        Once again, what I believe does not matter. Also... The word "vast" is a reasonable adjective to describe the weight of evidence for global warming. Cherry-picking is indeed a common tactic of the denier - you may like to take note of the many articles that use this tactic. Example: A "boffin" somewhere will issue a press release referring to a single study that, with a certain reading, appears to cast doubt on some arcane aspect of the science. Fair enough so far. This will then be pounced on by the deniers as "evidence" that there is a significant controversy, and "all bets are off" (again - typical language). This tactic is called cherry-picking and it is an absolute no-no in respectable scientific circles.

        "I think you are very poorly educated in what is happening ... "

        Possible, even likely - a healthy attitude I might suggest ;). Anyway, I strongly suggest you look into this. When you do, you may be surprised - if indeed you really are interested in "following the money".

        1. P_0

          @Ian 56

          So Ian, you are suggesting it is possible to examine all the facts fairly and come to a different conclusion to you? You agree that this is possible?

          Because it sounds like you are assuming that once people examine the facts they will believe AGW.

          The problem with AGW is, compared to what I would call REAL science, it is unfalsifiable. If I want to prove General Relativity is not true, it's easy. Just find some action or natural phenomena that contradict GR's predictions.

          How am I to falsify AGW "theory"? Because, I am sick of every weather event getting blamed on AGW. Tell me a weather event that falsifies AGW! No you can't, because AGW is an amorphous, nebulous idea, that isn't well-formed enough to test. I honestly think it is pathetic. It's pathetic because Warmists don't actually know what they are arguing, until after it happens. Wait for a hurricane, then blame hurricanes on AGW. Cold winter? That's AGW. What's that, a hot summer? Well, that's because of CO2. It's pathetic. The only comfort I take from this idiocy that is enveloping the industrialized world is that most people no longer believe it.

          As for following the money, I have no idea what you are talking about. What money should I follow? Are you suggesting, for example, that ClimateAudit and WUWT, skeptic websites, take money form Exxon? And you do realize, that the phrase "follow the money" is well used by 911 Truthers to guide people into "realizing" the conspiracy.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Reading your comment....

      I assume you must be a denier based on the points in your own description of a denier....

      Lumping global warming sceptics (a subject where there is a significant volume of scientific material around a complex system allowing for a variety of opinions to be held supporting those opinions) with birthers (Obama was either born in a US state or he wasn't - you either accept the presented evidence or you don't) would appear to be an attempt at an insult rather than a constructive attempt at a debate.

      Is the mention of the vast sums of money that Exxon have pumped into denialism as suggestion that denying climate change is just a conspiracy by global oil companies?

      Any chance that you would modify your opinion at the end of a debate?

      1. Ian 56

        Re: Reading your comment....

        I defined a global warming denier as somebody who doesn't either accept that global warming is happening, or doesn't accept that it's largely man-made (or both). About this, there is no significant controversy at all.

        Of course, there are many other areas which are in doubt - the most obvious being: what is the best course of action to take in the future?

        The mention of Exxon is not part of my argument - I offer it as a counter-example to kind of people who say "follow the money", and expect to be taken seriously.

        "Any chance that you would modify your opinion at the end of a debate?"

        Happens all the time - you don't know me so I'll let that slide :).

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Reading your comment....

          Sorry Ian56, but you're simply ignorant. There is indeed a wide variety of evidence supporting the view that even though the climate is gradually warming, it is doing so for mostly natural reasons just as it has many times in the past. It is an extreme form of denialism to suggest that climate is fixed and only humans can change it.

          Any money, follow the money and you find that the whole warmenist agenda is supported by literally billions of dollars of money, primarily from taxpayers but also from corporates busy reaping even more money from taxpayers, whereas the skeptic side is barely financed at all. Poor old Gleick went to all the trouble of criminally impersonating a Heartland board member to expose the hug sums of money being feed through that organization to skeptics and only ended up demonstrating just how miniscule that financing was,less than 0.1% of the money funding the alarmist agenda.

          There's your most pervasive conspiracy theory around, that the skeptic community only exists because it is massively funded by teh eviloil corporations and baby eaters like those hate figures du jour the Koch Brothers, and as it utterly is untrue those who proclaim it are obviously full on nut-jobs. Pity that Lewandosky didn't include a question on that one in his laughable "survey".

    3. That Steve Guy

      Re: Ian 56

      So you state that if you do not agree with the two points you raised you are a "denier".

      Afraid not, its entirely reasonable to be skeptical especially when so much BS and propaganda is floating around about the subject.

      Here is where I fall.

      1. Climate is changing, Well DUH! The geological record shows it has always changed since long before we humans arrived on the scene. Even leading Skeptics admit this.

      2. Its man made. This where the whole point of the debate is. Humans have only been engaged in heavy industry for around 200 years and have not been taking accurate measurements of the climate around them for less than this time (and even then older devices were less accuate) Granted people are looking at ice cores to try to measure the past but that is still extrapolation and speculation as we do not have accurate global measurements we do today.

      The whole debate between alarmists and skeptics is how much do humans have an impact on the climate? Of allt he climate change that has gone on recently how much is natural and how much isn't? Since we have already established climate always has changed and will continue to do so how do you measure human impact?

      This is why I am skeptical, I am not going to form a conclusion when there is a clear lack of data and climate models predictions have been proven to be woefully innaccurate.

      Papers like this do nothing to further the debate, the arguments presented here are not about the science of climate change but about discrediting anybody who forms an opinion disagreeing with one side of an unresolved debate as a nut job.

      1. Ian 56

        Re: Ian 56

        Good post!

        I like it because it specifically addresses the evidence, and offers counter-arguments. Except for your last paragraph which starts well ("Papers like this do nothing to further the debate"), but possibly (and like LP) misunderstands the difference between skepticism and denial. The author of the quoted article is talking about denialism, not skepticism.

        I won't pretend to able to counter your suggestions directly - I Am Not A Climate Scientist. You might like to go here and look up your arguments. You should be able to find the actual scientific rebuttals / explanations. For example, the number 1 item in the list addresses your first concern - i.e. "the climate's changed before".

        http://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php

  4. Pete 2 Silver badge

    There's misinformation, lack of information and false information

    > misinformation is particularly damaging if it concerns complex real-world issues ...

    There's also the possibility that sometimes the general public is deliberately misled (WMDs, dodgy dossiers etc.) to gain acceptance for a policy. There's a wide range of circumstances where the information is considered "too hard" for ordinary people to understand - especially if they are victims of the british educational system - and has to be "simplified" for their poor little brains to comprehend, On top of that there's situations where information is conflicting and incomplete - that leads to religious and factional side-taking, based more on what people want to believe, rather than on actual information.

    And finally there's "we simply don't know", which would be the mature response to conflicting/incomplete information, if only there wasn't so much benefit to be had from "proving" your side was right.

    Climate change has far too much invested by both sides for any truth to ever come out. Simple observation tells me that the weather I experience in my little corner of the world is hotter/colder/wetter/drier than it used to be (depending when and over what period you care to form an opinion). However, the causes are far from clear and therefore any remediation that may, or may not, be necessary is impossible to propose as we don't have any hard information regarding the cause.

    Our trick-cycling hack definitely falls into the "there's money & fame to be made here" and is positioning himself to exploit that. As such he's just adding to the overall noise without contributing anything useful: ignore.

    1. NomNomNom

      Re: There's misinformation, lack of information and false information

      "Our trick-cycling hack definitely falls into the "there's money & fame to be made here" and is positioning himself to exploit that. As such he's just adding to the overall noise without contributing anything useful: ignore."

      Have you actually read the paper? I suspect you have not before making your sweeping accusation. Perhaps prove me wrong and cite what you think is wrong in the paper? For example do you think any of the claims are unsubstantiated, what proportion and which ones?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: There's misinformation, lack of information and false information

        Nom, it's based on a "random" internet survey from blogs infested with ignorant fan-boi types ! Do you need any other information to conclude that any data derived from it has to be treated extremely skeptically ? Can you point out where the author has honestly attempted to deal with the data issues ?

  5. NomNomNom

    People should read the paper. It's 99% nothing to do with climate change.

    http://psi.sagepub.com/content/13/3/106.full

    It's actually quite interesting and has lots of references to psychological studies that yeild interesting results. Eg:

    "The research on preexisting attitudes and worldviews implies that debiasing messages and retractions must be tailored to their specific audience, preferably by ensuring that the correction is consonant with the audience’s worldview. For example, the work on “cultural cognition” by Kahan and colleagues (e.g., Kahan, 2010) have repeatedly shown that framing solutions to a problem in worldview-consonant terms can enhance acceptance of information that would be rejected if it were differently framed. Thus, people who might oppose nanotechnology because they have an “eco-centric” outlook may be less likely to dismiss evidence of its safety if the use of nanotechnology is presented as part of an effort to protect the environment."

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Facepalm

      um?

      I believe they did a paper on the 'No shit!' factor If you tell people something in words they think they understand, you're more likely to have your [new] belief accepted.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      WTF?

      Pardon?

      Sadly I'm a red toothed, coal burning, tin foil hat (with jackboots) wearing, "denialist". Therefore I cannot understand what on earth that pretentious pseudo-intellectual passage in quotes actually means.

      The short sighted world is going to end and it's all our fault gang are on the ropes, hence their increasingly desperate attempts to discredit anyone who doesn't agree with them. The fascist idiots.

  6. wowfood

    hmm

    I don't believe in global warming

    I do believe in climate change (more on this at the end)

    I do not think the moon landsings were faked

    I don't really think about dianas death (too young when it happened)

    I'm suspicious of the WTC but I'll accept it.

    I believe smoking cigarettes do contribute towards cancer.

    I believe smoking cannabis / marijuana are less harmful to you than alcohol or cigarettes. (so long as it's pure and not been mixed with something else like skunk etc)

    I don't believe that the MMR vaccine causes autism.

    I do not believe in homeopathic medicine, but I do beleive that certain herbs / supplements can help prevent illness by improving circulation / immune response (which has been proven by scientific research)

    As for the believing in climate change, but not global warming. It's hard not to agree that the climate is changing, every year we're getting a new record high temperature, the seasons now seem far less distinct from one another, but I don't believe that CO2 is the primary cause of the problem, a contributory one yes, but not a primary one.

    Personally I believe it's more to do with the earths orbit around the sun. I do agree that we should minimise CO2 release though, not just because the greenhosue gas theory could be true, but moreso because of our health, it's no secret that people in rural areas with cleaner air tend to have better health. And it's no joke we're going to run out of fossil fuels eventually. But the mad dash isn't the best approach. We'd be better off encouraging smaller changes over longer periods.

    Encouraging that new builds all come with solar panels on the roof, stuff like that. Minimize the impact that the new will have. Giving greater subsidies to the railroad / busses so that more people might choose to use them over their own cars. (because lets face it, right now it's cheaper to buy a second hand car and drive up north and back, than it is for a train ticket)

    Notice, through all of this, on all statements, I have said "I believe" these are my personal beliefs, they aren't based on scientific fact, they aren't even based on theory, just my own opinion. That is basically what all these papers which cherry pick the information they want to share do.

    They take a list of facts, normally ones which oppose one another in debate papers, strip out all the opposiiton and then declare "this paper proves that global warming is real" they pick up the information they want to prove their own beliefs. I can do that right now.

    ---------

    Matthew 6:5

    And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.

    ---------

    That single phrase, taken from the gospel of matthew, a religious text, proves without a doubt that priests are actually against what is preached in the new testament. Priests are sinners and we should not be like them. Furthermore.

    --------

    Matthew 6:6

    But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

    ---------

    Telling us not to pray in public, and instead to pray in secret on our own. This is proof that the church itself is a hive of sinners. These two passages, taken from the gospel of matthew, prove without a doubt that the entire christian religion is in fact a falacy which go against their own teachings. A teaching I might add that is read out in a great deal of church services right before reading the lords prayer, a prayer that the church holds in high regard.

    If anything based on these two carefully cherry picked facts. The christian church and religion are both actually insults to their own teachings, and are most probably originated by satanists who wish to insult god. Anyone who is a christian is a satanist, purely based on a warped perversion of two passages from a single religious text.

    On that note, if you have a religious guy start preaching at you, just repeat those two lines to them, it tends to make them stumble at least for a moment, giving you a chance to smirk and walk off, making them look foolish.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: hmm

      Just hand god squadders this book:

      The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins

      1. wowfood

        Re: hmm

        Already got it, it's a great read.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. foo_bar_baz
      Facepalm

      To upvote or downvote?

      You give an example of cherry picking evidence when trying to prove a point. I was curious, so I went and looked up those passages. The intent of your quoted sentences seems clear ("pray standing in synagogues ... to be seen by men"), and even clearer when you read them in context. Matthew 6 starts with:

      "Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them."

      I.e. you should not practice your religion with the intent of looking good to others. It's NOT saying you are not allowed to pray in a church, it simply mentions praying *standing* in a synagogue (a place of prayer after all) as an example. Presumably the norm at the time of writing was to pray sitting or kneeling. In today's context everyone saying the lord's prayer together is hardly an attempt to look holier than the next person.

      So a good example of cherry picking. Then you actually seem to believe your example yourself, and think you've somehow outsmarted a dumb religious fool. D'oh.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Go Lewis Go

    Just because I disagree with a particular hypothesis, a crackpot third rate psuedo-scientist labels me a crackpot. I am sceptical (a healthy scientific position unless the weight of evidence suggests otherwise) with CO2 linked global warming as the computer models are far too simplistic and are prone to massive compound errors.

    There are for more pressing problems such as over population, deforestation, de-speciation etc.

    Just for the record my kids are vaccinated, Diana was killed by a drunk driver, yes there was a moon landing and there are no fucking fairies at the bottom of my garden.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The man is a cock

    see title

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Happy

      Re: The man is a cock

      Agreed. A coc-k, with a final and very definitive 'k'!

      I'm just glad that he's not Mike Hock ;)

  9. Danny 14 Silver badge

    climate sceptic

    The problem is, if you take the known records as a "sample size" then over a geological timescale the sample date range is miniscule. We simply dont know about levels over the years. Even core samples are localised and could have had numerous markers for events such as volcanic activity.

    I'm still a climate change sceptic only because people find one study that supports and jumps on the bandwagon and conversely one study that opposes etc. We simply dont know.

    1. Michael M

      Re: climate sceptic

      "We simply don't know." Which 'we' is this? The 'we' I'm concerned about is myself and climate scientists and that 'we' does know.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: climate sceptic

        Climate scientists?

        Would those be only the ones that support your view or all of them - 'cos ALL climate 'scientisits' know - it's just they don't all agree on WHAT they know.

        Don't forget the same climate 'scientists' predicated we were going into an ice age in the 70s. They KNEW then too.

        I'm not saying they are wrong (in fact I don;t care if they are right or wrong as to me the important thing is how we can produce power in the future and lessen the polution in the air), but they don't KNOW - they are all playing speculation games and each group is cherry picking data (or hiding it from others) to back their own point of view (or financial backer).

  10. Spotthelemon

    A perfectly valid psychological paper on denialism, this has been an area of study since Freud & due to its increased occurance is now being studied by an increasing number of psychologists along with the related subject of Cognitive dissonance. Regardless of which particular aspect of reality they choose to deny, its quite predictable that those with this paricular mental illness react strongly when faced with diagnosis. If one checks the references at the end of the paper one gets a feel for the number of people now working in this area.

    1. Fading
      FAIL

      Valid huh?

      Ahh poor old Lewandowsky needs to read up on psychological projection and confirmation bias. Then a course in statistics probably wouldn't hurt (sample size anyone?). Finally a book on group think and a mirror would go a long way to correcting some obvious flaws in research methodolgy.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Spotthelemon, 10:21

      Attempting to form a psychological profile of climate deniers is somewhat trite if you ask me (which no one did incidentally).

      I mean, really, what true value is there to this? Absolutely none. All this piffle about climate deniers coming from the warmists is a complete waste of everyone's time. Does it matter if some people believe the doomsday scenario is crap? Of course not - unless of course it greatly offends one's own position (by which I do not mean your position - I am not attacking you). In reality, it matters no more than the fact that I may be an atheist matters to the Pope.

      Professor Stephan Lewandowsky is arguably at the peak of what Freud labelled the 'phallic phase'. After all, it's quite obvious that the bloke's a prize knob*.

      *Of course, it's not a serious suggestion that; (1) Freud's An Outline of Psychoanalysis has value as anything other than a fire-lighter, (2) Stephan Lewandowsky is in a period of latent sexual development. But it is a serious suggestion that the guy is a prize knob. (That's my opinion, and I'm sticking to it!)

  11. Crisp

    Climate Skeptics

    They are probably the ones that move my tools when I can't find them, and responsible for moving my coffee table in the dark to that I bang my shins on it.

    From the tone of the article I reckon that Professor Stephan Lewandowsky believes that climate skeptics kick puppies and make potholes too.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Saddam clearly had WMDs at some point

    I'm told we sold them to him!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Saddam clearly had WMDs at some point

      "I'm told we sold them to him!"

      I heard that Tony Blair assembled them with Jack Straw.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Saddam clearly had WMDs at some point

      Since he killed more than a few thousand Kurds and others of his "people" with nerve gas, which is uncontroversially true, then yes, I suppose at some point he must have had them. Unless of course it was really a giant conspiracy to pretend that he did and those people are really alive and well and living in Australia....

  13. tony72
    Boffin

    Degrees of scepticism

    I'm not a doctor. If I'm ill, and the vast majority of doctors say I have a particular disease and recommend a particular cure, I'm not in a position to argue; unless I'm going to go to the trouble of becoming an expert in the field myself, the only rational position is to give considerable weight to the consensus of opinion amongst those who are experts, even if I don't like the sound of it. It's not fundamentally different with climate change, although mitigating against that is the fact that climate prediction is not in the same position as medicine when it comes to being able to test the theories and models, so there is considerably more room for having a degree of scepticism. However, when the weight of that scepticism tends towards outright rejection of the science, with no real reason other than not liking what the science says, then that is not rational, and having such a degree of scepticism does indeed start to put you in the same territory as Birthers, homeopathists and such like. You sceptics will have to judge for yourselves where you stand on the scale. Personally, while I have considerable doubt over any specific long-term climate predictions, it is only better science that will guide my opinion, not the ranting of uninformed loons.

    As it happens, I actually think the climate debate is actually a bit secondary. Given the accelerating price increases in fossil fuels in recent decades, with analysts predicting that the trend will continue, I really don't see the downside to weaning ourselves off them as soon as is practical, but I'm not going to go off-topic regarding what exactly that means here.

    1. Fading
      Facepalm

      Re: Degrees of scepticism

      The old doctor analogy..... This concensus offers leaches as a cure, bleeding and scarification - to be honest I'll side with science rather than the concensus doctors thank you very much. The only ones rejecting science (energy balance, ENSO and AMO, non-"adjusted" raw data) and offering mysticism; doomsday "model" projections based on adjusted data sets and having to be a "climate (priest) scientist" to "understand", are the proponents of CAGW.

      1. NomNomNom

        Re: Degrees of scepticism

        "The only ones rejecting science (energy balance, ENSO and AMO, non-"adjusted" raw data) and offering mysticism; doomsday "model" projections based on adjusted data sets and having to be a "climate (priest) scientist" to "understand", are the proponents of CAGW."

        Oh right, so the scientists are rejecting science, but a bunch of guys on the internet have it all figured out.

        The problem is your references to "energy balance, ENSO and AMO, non-"adjusted" raw data" is akin to astrology. Yes those things exist, just as stars exist, but you are interpreting them wrong.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Degrees of scepticism

          "Oh right, so the scientists are rejecting science, but a bunch of guys on the internet have it all figured out."

          You may have a point. However, there are some very real issues with turning science into a pseudo-religious scientific crusade - which some parties on both side of fence are guilty of at times.

        2. Fading
          Boffin

          Re: Degrees of scepticism

          No the "climate scientists" are rejecting science - complete lack of application of the scientific method will do that.

          Given the self proclaimed and self selecting nature of "climate scientists" who adhere to pal review and non-exposure of data and methods - why are their gigo models even given the time of day?

          I merely mentioned some aspects of the science of the Earth's climate as an example of science as opposed to the mysticism offered by gigo models. But thank you for pointing out my problems - you've saved me a fortune in therapy.........

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