back to article Climate denier bloggers sniff out new conspiracy

Climate skeptic bloggers the world over have a shiny new conspiracy to obsess about: whether a University of Western Australia psychology professor "faked" a research study. In a deliciously recursive fury, the research – which looked at correlations between belief in "climate change conspiracies" as associated with other " …

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  1. Turtle

    What if....

    How 'bout a study along the lines of "Capitalism is evil, therefore global warming is real"? We'd get the same kind of conclusions.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What if....

      Yes, but this is different, because capitalism is evil and global warming is real.

    2. Loyal Commenter Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: What if....

      Well, the thing is, most sane people believe in facts.

  2. Wallyb132
    FAIL

    This is one of the most horribly written articles i've ever read on El Reg.

    1. Jason Ozolins
      WTF?

      META-FAIL

      This is one of the least helpful comments on El Reg.

      So, would you care to say *how* it's horribly written?

      Long, excessively adjectival, self-indulgently luxuriant run-on sentences?

      Or sentence fragments?

      Or too many short paragraphs?

      Or is it just that you don't like the suggestion made by the researcher who is the subject of the article?

      One thing you can say for the pure laissez-faire outlook of "The world will be better off as a whole if each individual agent acts in accordance with its own interests" is that it's a blanket statement, and essentially unfalsifiable. Things not working out? Must be over-regulation. There'll always be enough of that evil regulation in any real country or financial system to save the LFers from ever having to admit that the market failed. Everything that moves markets in crazy ways is short-term noise, everything that moves them in a sane ways is the eventual, inevitable correction by the Invisible Hand of the Market, assuming everyone gets sufficiently the #$(@ out of its way. It's a powerful, sustaining faith with little room for doubt or nuance.

      As for the links between that and "conspiracist ideation"... they are probably best uncovered by conspiracist ideators.

      1. Shades

        Re: META-FAIL

        This is one of the least helpful comments on El Reg.

        I may be wrong but judging by your post history you either don't visit El Reg, or at least the comments sections, very often do you? ;)

        1. Scott 19

          Re: META-FAIL

          Looking at a lot of commentators history's a lot of astroturfing going on, guess they've been sent over by the PR site DeSmogBlog.

  3. Captain DaFt
    Facepalm

    This just in;

    "Conspiracy theorists hatch new conspiracy", Film at Eleven.

    Funny thing with these types, it's only not a conspiracy if it can be bent to follow their favorite conspiracy, if it doesn't fit into their favorite conspiracy, then obviously, it's a conspiracy!

    (Obviously, I'm part of a conspiracy for posting that... I think?)

    1. Fibbles
      Trollface

      Re: This just in;

      You're only thinking that way because of all the mind controlling chemicals you've absorbed from eating Monsanto foods and breathing air tainted with chemtrails.

    2. Psyx
      Pint

      Re: This just in;

      "Funny thing with these types, it's only not a conspiracy if it can be bent to follow their favorite conspiracy, if it doesn't fit into their favorite conspiracy, then obviously, it's a conspiracy!"

      Quite. Only last week some loon on this very website accused me of being a member of the government being paid to spread pro-government disinformation (about the frikkin' Vienna Convention of all things) on this website.

      Check this site out:

      http://vigilantcitizen.com/vigilantreport/the-occult-symbolism-of-the-2012-olympics-opening-and-closing-ceremonies/

      Yes: They're seriously considering that Wenlock and Mandeville were both named that way because the ceremonies were intended to release the anti-christ, and they couldn't resist making "WE UNLOCK MAN DEVIL" merchandising. I tried pointing out a few fallacies in the comments, but oddly, all my comments were deleted.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: This just in;

        Psyx,

        Fuck you, I just snorted perfectly good coffee out of my nose reading that- put a giant health warning in next time please :)

        (Not reading any more on that site, in case we get into the "Obama is an alien" territory- proper tinfoil and teabagger bizniss on there)

        1. NomNomNom

          Re: This just in;

          Have you seen Obama's Earth Certificate?

        2. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

          Re: This just in;

          Obama isn't an alien, he's a lizard. He was born on Earth though so can't be an alien.

      2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: This just in;

        Hah. Just what a stinking government Vienna-Convention-distorting agent provocateur would say. We're on to you, Psyx.

  4. NozeDive

    NOTHING TO SEE HERE

    MOVE ALONG PEOPLE

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: NOTHING TO SEE HERE

      So YOU say...

  5. lambda_beta
    Linux

    It's real!

    The moon is made of green cheese.

    1. h4rm0ny

      Re: It's real!

      And how do you feel about Iraq as a conspiracy theory. One of the questions in the survey reads:

      "The Iraq War in 2003 was launched for reasons other than to remove WMD from Iraq..." and asks you to rate the truth of the statement.

      So if someone thinks just maybe WMD (I'm sure we'll find some soon) wasn't the reason, they're a "conspiracy theorist" and lumped in with people who don't believe in the mood landings?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It's real!

        I believe in mood landings, I had a right strop at the top of the stairs the other day.

        1. h4rm0ny

          Re: It's real!

          "I believe in mood landings, I had a right strop at the top of the stairs the other day."

          Bloody Daleks.

  6. Cartman

    Who the hell let Chirgwin write for the Register?

    Googling Lewandowsky tells you this paper has caused quite the scandal and should be retracted. He is being accused of academic fraud for his methods and blatant political agenda.

    1. Goat Jam
      Boffin

      Re: Who the hell let Chirgwin write for the Register?

      Having read a few articles by R Chirgwin I have come to the conclusion that he is a bit of a luvvie.

      He tells us that 1100 were polled but fails to mention that there were only 10 responses.

      http://joannenova.com.au/tag/lewandowsky-stephan/

      Apparently it "survived the peer review process" though.

      What that is worth in these days of "Science is the new religion" is debatable.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Who the hell let Chirgwin write for the Register?

      "Googling Lewandowsky tells you this paper has caused quite the scandal and should be retracted. He is being accused of academic fraud for his methods and blatant political agenda."

      ....which once again illustrates the fact that psychology is among the softest of the soft sciences, and I use the word "science" advisedly.

      1. Kerry Hoskin

        Re: Who the hell let Chirgwin write for the Register?

        I'd never use the word psychology and science in the same sentance

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Who the hell let Chirgwin write for the Register?

          Also, you'd apparently not use the worse "sentence" in the same sentence as "psychology" and "science". I know who inspires more confidence so far.

        2. David Pollard

          Re: Who the hell let Chirgwin write for the Register?

          "'I'd never use the word psychology and science in the same sentance [sic]."

          Popper's objection to Freud's theories, that they are not open to falsification, appears to be losing validity.

          http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120604181847.htm

          So maybe the realm of science really does increase with time.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Who the hell let Chirgwin write for the Register?

            Freudian 'theory' is a blight on Psychology. It's the equivalent of chemists still believing in phlogiston.

      2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        Re: Who the hell let Chirgwin write for the Register?

        Psychology is a fairly broad discipline. You *can* use scientific methods (controlled experiments, double-blinds, etc.) to explore how people behave. Perhaps the main difference is the extent to which you can get published *without* having done these things.

        This paper would seem to be a case in point. I couldn't begin to enumerate the uncontrolled variables in this experiment. It is distressing that anyone claiming to be a scientist would ever think it was worth trying. Even the terms aren't rigorously defined. Different people have different reasons for "behaving in ways that cause *other* people to classify them as climate skeptics" and then disagree with them about whether they are or not.

        That's beyond soft science. That's vacuous rhetoric.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Who the hell let Chirgwin write for the Register?

      I think somewhere in the production staff they figured letting him in would provide "balance" for Orlanksi and Lewis. Unfortunately, they forgot that even the people who disagree with them agree they at least write entertaining articles.

    4. David Pollard

      Re: Who the hell let Chirgwin write for the Register?

      "Googling Lewandowsky tells you this paper has caused quite the scandal and should be retracted. He is being accused of academic fraud for his methods and blatant political agenda."

      Does this accusation not confirm Lewandowsky's hypothesis?

  7. Ben M

    This could've been an interesting take on the story...

    But it wasn't. It was so full of promise to begin with, yet it ended up playing "got your nose" with El Reg readers as if they're a 4-year-old.

    It was almost orgasmic to read your wickedly insightful link between those who were crying foul over being labelled conspiracy theorists by claiming this study was a conspiracy. A delicious irony if ever there were one.

    But this El Reg hack must think we're idiots. Labelling someone a conspiracy theorist isn't a legitimate way to shout them down. It's the equivalent to putting your hands over your ears and singing "My Favourite Things".

    Your article could've done more than defend Lewandowsky's refusal to hand over names of blogs asked because that would breach protocol. It could've asked how any meaningful conclusions could be drawn from a sample size of 10 who said the moon landings were faked.

    Dig a little deeper and there's perhaps an even more delectable twist of irony. Of those 10 who thought the moon landing was staged in a Hollywood studio, only four answered the rest of the survey in a way indicating they were "denialists".

    The other six were "alarmists".

    Surely the lesson to be drawn is that more alarmists believe the moon landing was faked than do denialists. No?

    1. Simon Brown
      Boffin

      Re: This could've been an interesting take on the story...

      "sample size of 10"

      vs

      "drawn on a questionnaire completed by more than 1,100 individuals who completed a questionnaire linked to various science Websites, include:..."

      ?

      1. Goat Jam

        Re: This could've been an interesting take on the story...

        They sent out 1100 surveys and got 10 back.

        1. h4rm0ny

          Re: This could've been an interesting take on the story...

          He seems to have also had an interesting approach to choosing who to send the surveys too, with a lot of mainstream AGW-skeptic sites checking and confirming that they aren't aware they were ever contacted. So it seems he may have deliberately picked fringe sites to contact as well.

        2. Tom 13

          Re: This could've been an interesting take on the story...

          Wowsers! I love this one:

          7. The Iraq War in 2003 was launched for reasons other than to remove WMD from Iraq

          1 S Agree 2 Agree 3 Disagree 4 S Disagree

          Unlike most El Reg Posters, I support the 2003 Iraqi invasion, and even I'd Strongly agree with that statement. Saying anything else would be to focus on a single sentence out of 100s from the UN speech. Certainly doesn't make me a conspiracy theorist.

        3. Some Beggar
          FAIL

          Re: This could've been an interesting take on the story...

          @Goat Jam

          They got 1147 surveys back. 10 of them were completed by people who think the moon landings were a hoax. Read the paper itself rather than relying on the bizarre slants of that blog or this blog.

      2. Ben M

        Re: This could've been an interesting take on the story...

        Lewandawsky's attention-grabbing headline was an express link between "climate change deniers" and "moon landing deniers". Or as he put it so well for roll-out in the media:

        NASA faked the moon landing, Therefore (Climate) Science is a Hoax: An Anatomy of the Motivated Rejection of Science

        He may have received 1100 responses in total, but according to his data, only 10 responses came back with "somewhat agree" or "strongly agree" that the moon landing was a hoax.

        Firstly, that's a rubbish sample size.

        Secondly, when tracking those 10 responders' answers, it reveals only 4 "denied" Lewandawsky's version of the consensus. The other 6 agreed with (or strongly agreed with) his version of the climate consensus.

        But of course, you can disregard all of this because it must be written by a conspiracy theorist.

        1. Some Beggar
          Meh

          Re: This could've been an interesting take on the story...

          I agree that the headline bears little similarity to the actual conclusions, but I'd question your reasons for doubting the statistics. 1100 responses is a perfectly reasonable number for a survey like this. The fact that 10 thought the moon landing was a hoax is a depressingly large proportion but that is not in itself a reason to assume the 1100 sample was somehow skewed. The correlation between doubt about the moon landings and doubt about climate science depends _not_ on the raw number of climate change doubters in the subset of 10, but on the difference between this ratio and the ratio in the other 1090 samples. If I had a spare envelope I could knock up some confidence figures for the hypothesis ... but I'd be surprised (or rather "appalled") if these aren't given in the full paper.

          (in fact, I just checked the paper itself and all the pertinent figures and calculations are included)

          1. Tom 13

            Re: reasons for doubting the statistics.

            If the questions are garbage, the statistics are irrelevant. I just read the survey, and the questions are garbage. The head shrinkers had an axe to grind, so the survey will produce that result.

            1. Some Beggar

              Re: reasons for doubting the statistics.

              @Tom 13

              Garbage questions was not the reason given by the poster I was responding to.

          2. h4rm0ny

            Re: This could've been an interesting take on the story...

            Granted it's about the difference in ratios, but when 0.9% of your sample report believe the moon landings are a hoax and 6 out of those 10 also agree with the author that burning fossil fuels over the last fifty years has increased the atmospheric temperature to some measurable degree, then you're on very dodgy ground in making your headline conclusion that AGW-skeptics believe the Moon landings were faked. More of the believers in hoax also believe that CO2 raises temperatures than don't believe that.

            Now what you're saying is that it can still support that conclusion if you are looking at the ratios. I.e. if 40% of people who think CO2 has no effect disbelieve the Moon landings, but just 20% of people who do think CO2 has an effect do, then disbelievers of CO2 causing warming are more likely to be disbelievers of Moon landings.

            That's potentially true, but there are some serious problems with it. The first is that the sample size actually is too small. You say that 1100 responses is reasonable, but that is the number of total responses. The number of applicable responses as any good statistician would immediately pick up on, depends on which question you are asking - in this case whether you believe the moon landings are faked correlated with belief in AGW - which in this case is just ten people. I'll illustrate. If I ask a thousand people to rate Lady Gaga as a musician as Good or Bad, that could be a decent sample size (we'll ignore selection bias for now, just as the author of this study has). But if that group there are 10 Muslims and 7 of them say she's Good, then whilst my selection group for how "people" think might be 1000 respondents, my selection group for what muslims think, is ten. Not 1,000. But ten. The reason is because there are 2bn muslims in the world and 10 is a non-representative sample. Think of it as a Venn diagram where whatever you want to test has to fall into the intersection of both groups. The moment you start restricting the set of people you're talking about, you have to start discarding some of your responses. That's a slight simplification, but good enough for non-Statisticians and essentially true. There's nothing that really changes that basic principle.

            The sample size really is too small to draw the conclusions drawn from it and the way it is presented, is very far from suggesting to people that of the respondents, only 0.9% who believed the Moon landings were faked; and that of them, 60% were actually believers that CO2 increased global temperatures. The stated conclusions and headline are horribly misleading to the point that I call them wilfully disingenuous.

            And the whole thing is flawed from the outset not just because of the framed questions and ropey analysis, but because it has the selection bias from Hell.

            Disraeli said there were 'lies, damnded lies and statistics." I wouldn't even dignify this paper with that last one, just the first two. It knew what it wanted to prove and by Jupiter, it would do so! I wonder how many of the commentators here actually have the survey and the results spreadsheet open and have looked at it. I have, and it's rubbish. If I can poke holes in it, then any competent statistician would (and will) rip it to shreds. This thing is a blot upon the whole field of statistics. Sorry that I worked my way up into a rant, but however cynical I may become, an academic should be better than this.

            1. Some Beggar

              Re: This could've been an interesting take on the story...

              @harmony

              That's an awful lot of words. Unfortunately, the first few lines of the third paragraph are nonsense so I didn't bother reading the rest. It simply isn't true that a small subset of a larger sample immediately qualifies as "too small". Sticking an "any fule kno" clause in there doesn't magically make that the case. As I said in my previous post, the relevant figures and calculations are all detailed in the full paper - which is available as a pdf linked to in the article. I can't see anything unusual in there. Can you point out the problem you see with the statistics in the actual paper?

              The valid criticisms of the paper are that the questions are arguably loaded and the headline conclusions don't seem to represent the detailed conclusions. Those are valid criticisms of a disturbingly large proportion of this sort of survey. The statistics themselves seem fairly uncontroversial.

              1. h4rm0ny

                Re: This could've been an interesting take on the story...

                "That's an awful lot of words. Unfortunately, the first few lines of the third paragraph are nonsense so I didn't bother reading the rest"

                That's a good start.

                "As I said in my previous post, the relevant figures and calculations are all detailed in the full paper - which is available as a pdf linked to in the article. I can't see anything unusual in there. Can you point out the problem you see with the statistics in the actual paper?"

                I have both the report and the raw data used for it open right now. If you had bothered to read my full post, you would find the information you requested already posted.

                1. Some Beggar
                  WTF?

                  Re: This could've been an interesting take on the story...

                  OK. I have now read the rest of your previous post and it contains not one single reference to anything specific in the paper. I have no idea why you're pretending that it does.

                  1. h4rm0ny

                    Re: This could've been an interesting take on the story...

                    "OK. I have now read the rest of your previous post and it contains not one single reference to anything specific in the paper. I have no idea why you're pretending that it does."

                    Well there was the specific reference to ten of the respondents disbelieving the Moon landings and the specific reference to the sample size of 1100. That's about all I needed for my point. If you want the specific column references and labels for the relevant questions, they are 'R / CYMoon', 'Y / CYClimChange' and 'AC / Cause CO2'. But that's hardly necessary or germaine. So I have no idea what "specific reference" omissions you feel are undermining my argument.

                    It's an explanation of why ten respondents are the applicable sample size for talking about whether or not AGW-skeptics are more likely to disbelieve the Moon landings, not the total 1100 respondents. You could ask a thousand people what they thought of Lady Gaga but if only ten of the respondents to the survey are muslims, then your sample size for what muslims think of Lady Gaga is not 1100, but 10. The point is basic and understandable.

                    1. Some Beggar

                      Re: This could've been an interesting take on the story...

                      "the specific reference to the sample size of 1100"

                      The sample size wasn't 1100. You haven't read the paper. I genuinely don't know why you are pretending that you have.

                      1. h4rm0ny

                        Re: This could've been an interesting take on the story...

                        "The sample size wasn't 1100. You haven't read the paper. I genuinely don't know why you are pretending that you have."

                        There were 1,147 respondents. If you think someone using common short-hand of knocking off a couple of digits to make a more human-readable number is grounds for accusing someone of lying, then I pity you. Yes, it's quicker to say: "eleven hundred" than it is to say "one-thousand, one-hundred and forty-seven" and I type as I talk, typically. I gave easily understandable criticisms and explained in layman's terms why your comment about sample size was misleading. And you choose to respond by saying because I wrote 1,100 instead of 1,147 I am "pretending".

                        Insulting and contrived.

                        1. h4rm0ny

                          Re: This could've been an interesting take on the story...

                          Oh, and amusingly in an earlier post of your own you write:

                          "1100 responses is a perfectly reasonable number for a survey like this"

                          So it's okay for you to round off 47 respondents, but the moment someone you disagree with writes the same thing, they are are lying and it shows what they write is flawed? I don't suppose you're going to apologise, are you?

                          1. h4rm0ny
                            Facepalm

                            Re: This could've been an interesting take on the story...

                            Oh, and I guess while I'm dealing with the absurdities of your attack on my integrity, I might as well ask you if you yourself read the entire 33 page paper before commenting here? Because the point that I was making was a basic and uncontroversial one about sample size, for which simply downloading and looking at the actual raw data (which I did), was sufficient. You are the one that claimed to have evaluated and found flaws in the paper itself. I have skim-read it and pretend no more than that. But if you're going to write accusations like "you haven't even read the paper" or suggest that you have greater insight into it, then I want to know if you're actually claiming to have read those 33 pages of small-size text before telling me I'm wrong. Because if not, you just sound like you're trying to argue by sounding knowledgable, rather than actually pointing out anything that is wrong in my argument.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              @h4rm0ny: Re: This could've been an interesting take on the story...

              "This thing is a blot upon the whole field of statistics."

              But for pop psychology, it's rather typical.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Conspiracy theorists

    .... seem to be acting in similar ways to those suffering from paranoia.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Conspiracy theorists

      Very frequently, the former is frequently populated WITH the latter. It takes a certain kind of paranoia to think that the world is engaged in a convoluted plan to get you because only YOU know the true truth (and everyone else is just a mindless zombie without even knowing it). Worst part is, they genuinely believe it and believe anyone else is just trying to shake them, making them believe it all the more in a self-fueling loop.

      1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
        Black Helicopters

        Must resist, must resist!..... Cannot resist

        Just because you are paranoid, does not mean they are not out to get you

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Must resist, must resist!..... Cannot resist

          But then, it could be said that 'perfect paranoia' is 'perfect awareness' - whatever that may be :)

          1. Tom 13
            Joke

            Re: Must resist, must resist!..... Cannot resist

            But there is good news: Paranoid schizophrenics outnumber their enemies at least 2 to 1!

  9. PatrickE
    Flame

    denial denial denial bwahahaha

    Chirgwin - you really are a dick.

    The study caused contention ond consternation on "denier/sceptic/nazi-loving conspiracy blogs" (sarc) like Watts Up With That because of glaring oddities which came to light after publication. For instance - it looks as though 3 different surveys were used, depending on where the recipient seemed to fit on the denier-believer scale and Lewandowsky claimed that sceptical blogs failed to respond to the survey(s), whereas blogs such as WUWT have stated that they were never approached to begin with. Lewandowsky refuses to identify which sceptical blogs he approached and failed to note in his paper that more than 1 survey was used.

    Since Lewandowsky is impugning the reputations of various sceptics by associating them with deniers of the NASA moonlandings, it seems only reasonable for them to respond. Perhaps in you opinion they should shutup and simply accept Lewandowsky's opinion of them?

    For myself - I watched Neil Armstrong et al reach the moon and was totally captivated. As far as I am concerned, it happened. Similarly, I accept that there has been slight warming over the last 100 years or so of approximately 0.7degC. I accept that part of this will be anthropogenic *especially* as related to land use change (see Pielke Snr), part will be natural and part is due to artefacts of adjustments to the temperature records for *homogenisation purposes* as these seem to cool the past and warm the present.

    On the other hand I do "deny" the extrapolation of this warming to imply some frightful, disastrous future. In fact, I go so far as to say that whether or not this future arises, that reactions to it are social and political in nature and not merely technical and therefore I have as much right to decisions regarding how we deal with this future as any politician, lobbyist or scientist.

    1. magrathea

      Re: denial denial denial bwahahaha

      I've noticed repeated attempts to asociate, in the public's mind, three groups with moon landing deniers -

      1) Iraq, afghan war objectors

      2) 'Something fishy and corrupt happened at the world trade centre' types

      3) Climate change theory detractors

      I guess it can't be a conspiracy - but, if not, what is it? ;)

      1. h4rm0ny

        Re: denial denial denial bwahahaha

        Someone always seems to try and link those they disagree with to any group that is popularly disliked as a way of attacking them, no matter how ludicrous. Someone was on here the other month ranting about how fascism was a right-wing ideology. Completely oblivious, apparently, that it's a Left Wing ideology. Mussolini pretty much brought the term into modern usage as part of his socialist movement. The NAZIs were the National Socialist Workers Party. But "fascism" is bad. Right wing politics is (to the poster) bad. Therefore Right Wing is Fascism. It's muddy thinking at its best (worst). Some people don't care about accuracy - they just love throwing mud and hoping it will stick. It's easier than making an argument for some people.

  10. jake Silver badge

    I smell large quantities of crap ...

    Substitute "The Internet" for "Usenet" in the following:

    "Usenet is like a herd of performing elephants with diarrhea. Massive, difficult to redirect, awe-inspiring, entertaining, and a source of mind-boggling amounts of excrement when you least expect it."

    --Gene Spafford, 1992

    One of the few times I actually woke up my wife laughing when reading/contributing to Usenet in the wee hours.

  11. Diogenes
    Headmaster

    Also not stated was...

    ... the fact that for the "warmists" Lewandowsky sent the invitations, for the "skeptics" his totally unknown reasearch assistant did. To quote Jo Nova "He did it through another name, Charles Hanich, an assistant who was not named on the paper, so how would skeptics know to look for it?"

    And to further quote Jo

    "Once Steve McIntyre figured this out (not with any help from Lewandowsky) he found 2 emails which he had not noticed or replied too. The other blogger at JunkScience not only got an email but posted it with the warning that the survey looked dodgy: “Basically it seems to be fishing for conspiracy theorists in an effort to associate them with CAGW skepticism. I suspect Hanich & HREC are likely to get a lot of complaints about this framing.”

    For the record

    I believe climate is changing.

    I do not believe that man has more than a small influence on the change.

    I believe the massaging of the raw data and an underestimation of the UHI effect is skewing the record

    I believe Neil Armstrong landed on the moon

    I do not believe the CIA assassinated Kennedy

    I do not believe Harold Holt was taken by a Chinese submarine or the CIA had any involvement in the Whitlam sacking (for my fellow antipodean readers :-)

    Right - got that

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Also not stated was...

      I find it all kind of funny.

      I'm a hard scientist. A statistician by trade who writes statistical models. Having read innumerable papers I don't buy the arguments for AGW. In fact, it is funny, neither do a significant number of the papers. The consensus view appears to be that the climate is changing. Whether this is relevant against climate effects in the recent past like the Medieval Warm Period is contentious. Some researchers have smoothed it out, others have not. Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere having increased is also the consensus. Whether that increase is relevant in geological time is contentious. Whether Carbon Dioxide in the air has a causal relationship to the climate, or vice versa, or neither, is definitely contentious.

      Most of the people I know who have the same position as me regarding disbelief in AGW (a rather large crowd of people I have to say) are hard scientists of one form or another. None (at least as far as I am aware) are conspiracy theorists in the anti-moon landing ways. Many are probably of the opinion that the Iraq war was not about WMD though, and since that seems to be part of the poorly conducted survey it worries me that a paper of this nature can make it through peer review.

      1. perlcat
        Unhappy

        @ ""I find it all kind of funny.

        I don't. I find this kind of stuff (bogus science used to demonise opposing viewpoints) with the added legitimacy of "peer review" that turns out to be more of a "buddy review" to be downright scary. Especially when it gets used to gin up media lynch mobs that trash real people with real careers.

  12. Kharkov
    Pint

    I think THEY told you all to say all this...

    You're ALL with THEM...

    Me against the world...

    But there's always beer!

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: there's always beer!

      [Cackles evilly]

      Yes, Kharkov, keep drinking the beer. It's good beer, isn't it. You /like/ the beer, yes?

  13. Homer 1
    Holmes

    Libertarians reject science shocker

    "Rejection of climate science was strongly associated with endorsement of a laissez-faire view of unregulated free markets"

    IOW science denialism is strongly linked to right-wing politics, which in turn is linked to Christian fundamentalism, exactly the sort of people one would expect to reject science and create conspiracy theories in defence of their dogmatic principles.

    Not to mention the fact that such people typically come from the southern (i.e. oil) states in the US, which makes them equally predisposed to reject anything that might threaten the source of their affluence.

    Surely Lewandowsky didn't really need to conduct a study in order to understand that. He could have attended a few Tea-Party conventions, or just watched Faux News for a couple of days.

    1. h4rm0ny

      Re: Libertarians reject science shocker

      And you got all this from his 10 respondents who participated in his survey? You are certainly a master of insight to be able to get the above from such a tiny sample size.

      1. h4rm0ny

        Re: Libertarians reject science shocker

        I misread that. He got more than 10 respondents. It was 10 respondents who said that that the Moon landings were hoaxes (that's 0.9% of respondents). And interestingly, those 10 respondents included people who agreed with his views on AGW.

        Apologies for the wrong information.

    2. Psyx
      Stop

      Re: Libertarians reject science shocker

      "Libertarians reject science shocker"

      WTF has Libertarianism got to do with it?

      I don't think you can make that link, unless the word has somehow changed it's meaning.

      Just because the Tea Party somehow claim to be part Libertarian-defined, that's not reason to link every Libertarian movement with right-wing religious nut-bars, nor anti-science viewpoints.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Libertarians reject science shocker

        "Just because the Tea Party somehow claim to be part Libertarian-defined, that's not reason to link every Libertarian movement with right-wing religious nut-bars, nor anti-science viewpoints."

        No, but the overwhelming prevalence of angry, insecure, racist, sexist, homophobic, science-fearing right-wing religious nut-bars in the American "Libertarian" sector is.

        1. Psyx
          Stop

          Re: Libertarians reject science shocker

          "No, but the overwhelming prevalence of angry, insecure, racist, sexist, homophobic, science-fearing right-wing religious nut-bars in the American "Libertarian" sector is."

          Please don't call them that thing. They aren't. It's not what the word means. It's like when Far-left communist countries call themselves "Democratic", or totalitarian regimes refer to themselves as "People's"

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Libertarians reject science shocker

            Sorry, Psyx, but going on my (unfortunately apt to increase when I least want it) sample so far, pretty much every self-identifying "Libertarian" I've met has been a swivel-eyed borderline nutjob, convinced that The Foreigns, The Homosexualists and The Liberals are taking part in a grand conspiracy to do down good folk.

            Male, pale, stale, ill-informed, angry. They exhibit the classic hate and blame pathologies of the disenfranchised, yet they're the most influential group of people in the most heavily armed nation on the planet. Something is fucked-up there.

            As Eurotrash, I was horrified to discover the doublespeak involved- "Libertarian" basically means "freedom of the strongest/richest/most violent/least ethical" and fuck the rest. I was expecting exactly the opposite, a John Stuart Mill style attempt to check abuses of power both by the executive and the mob to maximise public good by giving the largest amount of freedom to the largest number of people. Instead, I discovered a horrifying petty, childish, dog in the manger set of rationalisations that I would find troubling even in a toddler.

          2. Tom 13

            @Psyx

            Leave the troll alone. He's just found a new term and he doesn't know what it means so it must be evil. Progressives are like that.

            I'm not a libertarian myself, but I know what the term means and I respect their logical faculties.

      2. Homer 1
        Holmes

        Re: Libertarians reject science shocker

        "I don't think you can make that link, unless the word has somehow changed it's meaning."

        You must be one of those non-libertarian libertarians then, the sort don't subscribe to the most fundamental tenet of libertarianism: "a laissez-faire view of unregulated free markets".

        Which is sort of like being an atheist Christian or a vegetarian sausage.

        1. Psyx
          FAIL

          Re: Libertarians reject science shocker

          "You must be..."

          You effin' what? So you've decided that my quibble with a definition ties me to that politic leaning?

          What have my personal politics got to do with the definition of a word?

          And no: I'm neither a Libertarian, an Atheist Christian, nor a vegetarian sausage.

          1. Psyx
            Thumb Up

            Re: Libertarians reject science shocker

            (Obviously the thumbs-down there was from someone disagreeing with me about what my personal politics are) /rolleyes

          2. h4rm0ny

            Re: Libertarians reject science shocker

            I have some vegetarian sausages in my freezer. They're quite nice actually.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Libertarians reject science shocker

          "You must be one of those non-libertarian libertarians then"

          Anti-antidisestablishmenlibertarianism?

          You have helped coin a new and probably unwanted word!

  14. bill 36

    when i meet a moon landing denier

    I point out a simple inescapable truth,

    You can bet your bottom dollar that the Chinese and especially the Russians were tracking the Apollo missions as though their lives depended on it, including listening and measuring the radio traffic.

    If either of them even sniffed a fraud it would have been front page news.

    As to this article, the author is simple reporting the story and i dont read any bias in it.

    Why are you attacking him?

    I ask the question as a CO2 skeptic and not as a climate change skeptic. The difference is important.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: when i meet a moon landing denier

      "As to this article, the author is simple reporting the story and i dont read any bias in it.

      Why are you attacking him?"

      It's a Reg reader fad. One does it then nearly all of them are. Sooner or later, most Reg readers resort to a personal attack, be it against the subject of an article, its author, someone on the forum who disagrees with them ... you name it. Of course, my statement could be construed as a personal attack too, but it's one of those sad cases where just stating facts will be painted that way in the usual, "No, *you* are!" argument ...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: when i meet a moon landing denier

        SHUT UP U SMELL OF WEE

        (etc.)

      2. Goat Jam

        Re: when i meet a moon landing denier

        "Why are you attacking him?"

        Because he "reported the story" which was utter nonsense without doing the most rudimentary research to evaluate its veracity.

        You know, that "fact checking" that profeshinul jernahlists used to do back in the olden days.

        He even went out of his way to point out that it "survived the peer review process" and failed to note how spectacularly that peer review process had failed and how that once being subject to public scrutiny the entire thing was shown up to be a complete load of warmist lies and propaganda disguised as science packaged specifically so that it was easily digested by the easily led and overly credulous brigade in the mainstream media (and its consumers).

        If you want pre-chewed nonsense presented as "a story" go ahead and watch any nightly TV news program, they are filled with that crap.

        Just don't expect people here to swallow such tripe without complaint.

        1. bill 36
          Mushroom

          Re: when i meet a moon landing denier

          "Because he "reported the story" which was utter nonsense"

          And you don't get the irony in that? Never mind eh!

          The Register is the satirical publication of the technology world and advertises itself as just that. Even the logo is a clue along with its slogan.

          Its full of fanbois, androids, chocolate factories, ink companies, online tat bazaars, you name it and its all the better for it.

          It often hits raw nerves though doesn't it, especially when the stick is being poked at your particular nest which for me anyway, makes it all the funnier.

          I don't think that i need reminding that the nightly news is indeed is full of crap, no argument from me but if you want your technology world dumbing down then Computer Weekly is the answer.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    El Reg

    Well done El Reg you have fianlly reached the bottom of the barrel it's shameful really I liked this web site.

    1. Psyx
      Stop

      Re: El Reg

      "Well done El Reg you have fianlly reached the bottom of the barrel it's shameful really I liked this web site."

      You'll be back for Lewis' articles.

      Which are just the same in their selective reporting, except they support the opposite viewpoint.

      But that's ok, I guess?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: El Reg

        Try some stats.

        http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/theregister.co.uk

        All in the red.

        1. bill 36
          Mushroom

          Re: El Reg

          Yes and only ranked three behind RBS one of the biggest banks in the world.

          Statistics are good eh?

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    OH and...

    The Author can go rot by the use of the word denier and what it entails.

  17. PatrickE
    Facepalm

    The study itself seems to find that there is a conspiracy to squash science - Pg 3

    "The reasons for this declining public concern are manifold. Researchers in history and sociology frequently cite the manufacture of doubt" by vested interests and political groups as a factor (Jacques, Dunlap, & Freeman, 2008; McCright & Dunlap, 2003, 2010; Mooney, 2007; Oreskes & Conway, 2010; Stocking & Holstein, 2009). For example, over 90% of environmentally sceptical books published since 1972 have been demonstrably sponsored by conservative think tanks (Jacques et al., 2008). Oreskes and Conway (2010) analyzed the shared ideological underpinnings of organized attempts to question well-established scienti c ndings over the last few decades, from the link between smoking and lung cancer to the causal role of chlorofluorocarbons (CFC's) in eroding the ozone layer to, most recently, the ndings from climate science. "

    Hmm. Vested interests, conservative think tanks, shared ideological underpinnings. Lewandowsky looks like he wants to find bad anti-science guys and what do you know? He does, he does! Its a giggle really.

  18. Steelhead

    Nothing particularly new here. From someone who is both a Christian and a scientist, nearly all the Christians I talk to who believe in a 6000 year old Earth created in 6 days quote me various studies both a) supporting their claim for a young Earth and b) supporting evidence against AGW. These two certainly go hand in glove along with their flat out rejection of the scientific concensus. And, oh yes, many state either a) disbelief in the Moon landings or b) If we did do it we shouldn't have as it is too much like the Tower of Babel [sic].

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      agreed nothing to see here. You don't really need to do a research study and publish a paper, its pretty much common sense, it’s as obvious as the link between doner kebabs and food poisoning.

    2. fishman

      As an atheist, most of the Christians I talk to don't believe in things like a 6000 year old earth - but they come from more mainstream churches liike the Catholic Church, Methodist Church, etc.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And can I just be extremely snippy and point out the long and glorious history of quacks and bad academics in Anglo countries hiding behind "exotic" names and a "Doctorate", lame or otherwise not relevant in some cases, in order to self-promote? Sometimes folk even change their surnames to get credibility in this way .... a reverse example would be Netanyahu''s father - changing from original Polish surname Mileikowsky to appear more "local".

  20. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    What is does not seem to recognise

    Is that many people would believe in conspiracy theories to justify to themselves that no action needs to be taken about any particular matter.

    I know many such people. Usually, it goes like "If I accept that smoking is causing me to cough up pieces of my lungs every morning I will have to do something about it. Instead I will convince myself that the dangers of smoking are a conspiracy by labour/greens/NHS/communists and pretend that I have a chronic bronchitis which has nothing to do with smoking. Problem solved."

    Such people would come up with a conspiracy theory of convenience whenever faced with anything they can procrastinate about, but it is a complete cause-effect reversal in terms of the study mentioned in the article. Not that believing one myth will cause them to believe in others but it is that they will embrace any number of myths to suit their desire to avoid action.

  21. Robinson
    Stop

    Conspiracy...

    I'm not a conspiracy theorist, preferring the cock-up/Human Nature theory. However this phrase gave me pause:

    "(which means it’s survived the peer-review process)"

    The reason it gives me pause is because there's a bit of a myth that peer review is somehow aids progress and guarantees that the study contains an element of truth. This is wrong. All it means is that the study has gained the acceptance of other people who do the same kind of studies, in the same kind of way (the Paradigm).

    I find Lehrer instructive in this instance:

    http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/12/13/101213fa_fact_lehrer

  22. mhenriday
    Pint

    Wow, Richard - you really seem to have touched a nerve !

    But thanks, anyway, for reporting this and in particular for providing a link to the article, which I found of great interest. The greatest problem, apart from that mentioned by Vladimir Plouzhnikov above (which to my mind is a wee bit beside the point, as what he seems to propose is one mechanism (there are surely others, as well) behind the corollations observed in the research, rather than a denial of them), lies in what was chosen to represent a «conspiracy» - introspection is a blunt probe, but I detect no tendencies in myself to believe that the Apollo moon landings were faked, despite a strong belief that the US/UK invasion of Iraq had nothing to do with «weapons of mass destruction» and Anthony Charles Lynton Blair's infamous «45 minutes». No reasonable person with any knowledge of human history can deny that conspiracies do exist - and that new ones are launched all the time - it is when one begins to believe that history itself is a conspiracy that one crosses the fine line to paranoia. But how to tell them apart ? I think, for example, that such organisations as Scientology or the Unification Church have rather more to do with extracting money from the gullible than with a «spiritual» impetus on the part of their respective founders ; do these beliefs make me paranoid ? Probably not, but then again, I haven't checked the criteria outlined in DSM V....

    Henri

    1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

      Re: Wow, Richard - you really seem to have touched a nerve !

      I'm sorry if I made an impression that I think it is the only mechanism. I suspect it may be statistically significant but no attempts were made in the study to isolate and identify whether such mechanism exists.

      Regarding conspiracies - I think there are plenty of conspiracies that happen all the time but they are short-lived and involve a limited number of people. Even so, the presence of such conspiracies becomes suspected/known/confirmed very quickly.

      When the alleged conspiracy requires decades of cover up by hundreds of people in order to exist you can pretty much rule it out quite safely. Humans are not able to keep secrets (I think we evolved this way and for a good reason).

      Now, there may be situations where interests of a group of people are aligned in the same direction through some objective causes and, logically, these people would individually act to preserve their interests (without any specific agreement with or even knowledge about the others) which will create an impression of collaboration or concerted action. I think those are often confused with conspiracies but they are not.

  23. deadlockvictim
    Trollface

    Neil Armstrong

    I'm beginning to wonder if Neil Armstrong himself is just a figment of NASA's imagination. I need to find a website with a black background, white text and animated GIFs to prove that his life-story was filmed in a Hollywood parking lot. It would explain why he was so «recluse» all these years.

    One wonders what the Apollo 13 crew knew and why they needed to be taken out.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Neil Armstrong

      The moon landing didn't use a "Hollywood parking lot" for filming as you suggest. In actual fact it was a slag heap in Rotherham which is now unrecognisable, having since been transformed into a nature park.

      1. Psyx
        Joke

        Re: Neil Armstrong

        "The moon landing didn't use a "Hollywood parking lot" for filming as you suggest. In actual fact it was a slag heap in Rotherham which is now unrecognisable, having since been transformed into a nature park."

        I know this is untrue, because nothing in Rotherham would ever pass as a nature park.

        And the slags are all still there.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Neil Armstrong

      You just called him a spider? Godammit, man!

    3. Mephistro Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Neil Armstrong (@ deadlockvictim )

      " I need to find a website with a black background, white text and animated GIFs..."

      You forgot the Comic Sans!

  24. g e
    FAIL

    Climate science is 'accepted science' now?

    If it were the discipline of chemistry it would still be trying to transmute lead into gold, it's got a long way to go to be 'accepted' in the same sense as modern day accepted sciences like physics-ology, chemistry-ology, etc. Climatology is still in its infancy.

    As a 'science' a lot of its raison d'etre is to find the flaws within itself, not promulgate itself as the ultimate truth or find interpretations of results to support political agendas.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Giggle

    Someone should make Orlowski and the Daily Mail read this, pref at gunpoint.

    Brilliant story, thanks, perfect way to start a Friday :)

    1. h4rm0ny

      Re: Giggle

      In what way is it a "brilliant story"? Have you read the survey? It contains numerous questions that cannot be answered in any way other than that which confirms the author's preconceptions, there seem to be three different versions of the survey floating around, the conclusions are based on the ten responses the author actually got to their survey (an absurdly small sample size), no realistic measures to control for self-selection of the sample group - indeed, it actively prejudices the sample group. For instance, the survey sent to the "non-skeptic" group was done under the author's own name whilst elsewhere that was concealed. It was also a very odd list of "skeptic" sites that the author chose to select for sending the questionnaire to, avoiding several popular and mainstream "skeptical" sites, and instead targetting more fringe sites.

      Read a question that asks you to assert whether the 2003 invasison of Iraq was about WMD or not and tell me whether you think that question is an acceptable way to categorise people as "conspiracy theorists" or not.

      The author of this study is a crank. I have seen YouTube videos by him where he says he has seen <insert flawed viewpoint> posted on AGW-skeptic forums, therefore AGW-skeptics think that thing. It's like saying I saw a post about how great the iPad is on Reg forums thus the view of El Reg is that the iPad is great. And I'm not exagerating. This person actively demonizes people he disagrees with using fundamentally flawed logic and terrible science. And if you take a look at this survery, even if more than 10 people had responded to it and they weren't purely self-selecting, the flaws in it would make it very difficult to tease out any actual meaning from the results.

      The only way I can see this making you giggle is if it confirms some bias you already have and therefore you just like seeing an attack on those you disagree with, regardless of whether that attack was actually legitimate or not.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Giggle

        Thank you, your angry swivel-eyed foaming made me continue to giggle.

        1. h4rm0ny

          Re: Giggle

          "Thank you, your angry swivel-eyed foaming made me continue to giggle."

          I think it is right to get angry about bad science and academic dishonesty. If that makes you giggle like an idiot, that's up to you.

          For most of us, laughing at people for caring about things stopped being considered cool sometime in Secondary School.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Giggle

            Ah, and now the ad-hom insults and pseudo-intellectual willy waving, classy. You really are quite amusing, in a car crash way :)

      2. Turtle

        @h4rm0ny: Re: Giggle

        "In what way is it a 'brilliant story'"?

        He liked the results of the study. He can simply dismiss climate skeptics on, let's say, "psychological grounds" and so avoid the thorny, and (to my mind) intractable issues with the "evidence" - such as it is - supporting AGW.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    I believe I can super-categorise the findings:

    "Republicans are stupid" sums it up quite nicely I believe.

  27. Marek
    Unhappy

    Some Confusion

    I keep seeing people refering to there being only 10 respondents. I believe there were over 1000. The confusion seems to be resulting from analysis of the responses.

    Lewandowsky subtitiled his paper in such a way that it implied that if you were a moon landing conspiracist you likely did not accept the tennets of CAGW. By isolating just the respondents that answered in the affirmative that the moon landings were faked it showed that only 10 of the respondents and selected this option. Further analysis of just those 10 respondednts showed that 6 out of 10 believed unquestioningly that CAGW is real. Only 4 of the 10 were skeptical of CAGW.

    So in summary over 1000 respondents of whom only 10 though moon landings were fake.

    This appears to be a terribly ill conceived and conducted paper with large numbers of questions to be answered (why was he revaling prelimanry findings when the survey was still live?).

    Oh and Chirgwin; you're a supercillious git.

    1. h4rm0ny

      Re: Some Confusion

      Yep - I initially misread it like that and posted similarly above. You can actually get hold of the data yourself now (it's been provided by one of the AGW-skeptic sites) and see how dubious the conclusions are. 0.9% of respondents apparently believe the Moon landings were hoaxes.

      The other elephant in the room is how he chose the sites to send the survey too. A lot of mainstream AGW-skeptic sites are checking and confirming they aren't aware of being contacted.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Some Confusion

      Your average mad right-wing sciencephobe "Libertarian" nutter has trouble with numbers over ten, if they aren't allowed to remove their shoes, of course.

  28. itzman
    FAIL

    This does not compute Captain

    Now has it, or has it not, been the case that the chief attack on the sceptical position was to claim that sceptics were a group funded by, and driven by the interests of, big oil? In short, a conspiracy.

    So we have the interesting position of the warmists:

    - claiming that people who oppose their views are an organised conspiracy

    - claiming that people who see conspiracies everywhere are less likely to believe in global warming.

    "The power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them... To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just as long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies – all this is indispensably necessary. Even in using the word doublethink it is necessary to exercise doublethink. For by using the word one admits that one is tampering with reality; by a fresh act of doublethink one erases this knowledge; and so on indefinitely, with the lie always one leap ahead of the truth"*

    It is clear who is in denial and violating the principles of logic here.

    Why, if the case is so overwhelming, would they need to do that?

    *"Double think" from 1984, by George Orwell.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: This does not compute Captain

      I rather fear that the ghost of Eric Arthur Blair would like to punch you in the throat for co-opting him in such a mendacious manner. Motherfucker was not a fan of the GOP side of the force.

      1. Tom 13

        Re: was not a fan of the GOP side of the force.

        True. But I'm pretty sure he'd HATE the crap in this alleged "scientific study" even more. And for precisely the reasons outlined above.

  29. The Envoy
    Pint

    "Does not compute"

    It's Friday!

  30. NomNomNom

    why is this even news? who cares what some blogs are saying on the internet? Wouldn't it make more sense to look at what's happening in the world. Eg hows the arctic ice doing?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Blog, schmog!

      "why is this even news? who cares what some blogs are saying on the internet? Wouldn't it make more sense to look at what's happening in the world. Eg hows the arctic ice doing?"

      Well, it's doing some good for the flowers in my garden, where seemingly most of it has dropped this summer. The rest of the missing ice is currently in my water storage butts, judging by how full they are ;)

      But I happen to agree with you, entirely, So you get an upvote from me!

  31. PatrickE
    WTF?

    Has this article been edited?

    Since I first read this article it appears to have been edited and the bits about Jo Nova and WUWT added, also the bullet points and the structure modified. The original was more of a rant about how silly denier conspiracy theorists were. The PDF links were at the end. Not cool el reg to edit an article without noting the change.

  32. Mephistro Silver badge
    Facepalm

    o_O

    "or who strongly supported a free market economy were more likely to reject the findings from climate science as well as other sciences."

    The fact that there is so many people out there that still thinks that 'free markets' -Adam Smith's ones- actually exist hints at the existence of lots of potential believers in phony conspiracy theories. The "free market" is -at most- just a point of unstable equilibrium that lasts -at most- for all of seven seconds, before monopolies, cartels, laws, taxes, insider trading, media ownership, banks and lobbying kick in.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Meh

    Meh!

    I will probably get downvoted for this comment, but surely equally important an issue is that of (over)population and resource loading/capability?

    As much as I enjoy the (A)GW debate, I do think that overpopulation and resource consumption is equally as important and would love to see some *serious* articles about this on The Register.

    I would imagine that study of this matter is not quite so 'endemic', probably because it's not as easy to get a grant or to impose new taxes. Or is that the cynic in me talking?

    1. h4rm0ny

      Re: Meh!

      I too would love to see such an article. Academics tend to be very wary of approaching this particular elephant in the room however, for fear of the massive attacks on them it tends to generate. We certainly can support more people on the planet than we currently do. We almost certainly cannot support everyone with an average US-level lifestyle. Whether we can support the current or greater numbers of people that we have right now long term, or if we're consuming resources at a greater level than we will be able to replace them, I have no idea. Fossil fuels will obviously run out, a shift to nuclear should be able to cover us for quite a long time. But potable water is actually being used at a greater rate than it is being replaced from what I've read and there is agricultural degredation as land is depleted of nutrients and forests are destroyed to make land for growing cattle feed (soy) for the US beef market. Long-term sustainable or not, I have no idea. And the climate is changing (whether by human activity or something else) so that will have effects. But whilst we don't know for certain how much we can sustain long term, there certainly seems no technological or socialogical reason why there needs to be quite so many of us. We could all still create new technologies and have a good social life if there were only four billion of us. So why take the risk?

      The better educated people are and the more opportunities there are for women in the workplace, the greater population reduces in a humane and voluntary way.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Meh!

        "Academics tend to be very wary of approaching this particular elephant in the room however, for fear of the massive attacks on them it tends to generate"

        Indeed. Much like the Global Warming debate there are zealots in both scientific camps willing to throw their rattle out of the pram rather than have a coherent and adult debate.

        I did find this article which touches upon the subject:

        http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2012/06/20126191060849944.html

        Individuals such as Dr Robert Zubrin of The Center for Security Policy (www.centerforsecuritypolicy.org) states that "The idea of 'overpopulation' is not science at all, but a pseudo-scientific cover for racism and genocide". I can imagine having a well balanced scientific debate with this chap could be troublesome :)

        "Why take the risk?", you say. I could not agree more. The strange thing is that I have seen global warming proponents use this argument when addressing anthropogenic forcing but who then summarily dismiss such an argument when addressing overpopulation and resource consumption.

        It's going to be so, so difficult approaching this subject for these and many other reasons. But IMO it's a debate that should be had, sooner rather than later. Fortunately there is some movement on this - but unfortunately that debate will always include the likes of Robert Zubrin who attempt to smother debate with chants of 'neo-nazi like genocide'.

  34. El Andy

    News at 11: Crackpots buy into just about every crackpot theory going.

  35. John Armstrong-Millar

    Too funny..You just can't make this stuff

    Or can you?

  36. mememine69
    Thumb Up

    Believer Conspiracy Theory

    Help, an evil oil exec is bribing me with money and holding a gun to my head and telling myself and the dishonest scientists how to think and type our beliefs on climate blame, er shame, er change. Help!

  37. This post has been deleted by its author

  38. mememine69
    Happy

    REAL planet lovers are happy, not disappointed the crisis was just exaggerated.

    Meanwhile, the entire world of SCIENCE, journalism and progressivism had allowed bank-funded and corporate-run “CARBON TRADING STOCK MARKETS” to trump 3rd world fresh water relief, starvation rescue and 3rd world education for just over 26 years of insane attempts at climate CONTROL.

    *Obama had not mentioned the crisis in the last two State of the Unions addresses.

    *Julian Assange was of course a climate change denier.

    *Occupywallstreet did not even mention CO2 in its list of demands because of the bank-funded carbon trading stock markets run by corporations.

    *Socialist Canada killed Y2Kyoto with a newly elected climate change denying prime minister and nobody cared, especially the millions of scientists warning us of unstoppable warming (death).

    Find us one single IPCC warning of "crisis" that isn't surrounded by "maybes" as in "possibly" and "potentially" etc. NEVER have they said it will happen, only might happen. Never. Deny that.

    Help my planet is on fire..........................maybe?

  39. Bernd Felsche
    Thumb Down

    Richard Chirgwin; you NEED HELP.

    You don't seem to have the neceessary command of the English language to understand the meaning of "denier" (not having declared what is being denied) and "conspiracy" when it is the products and the subsequent behaviour of an individual that is being criticised.

    Like Richard Chirgwin, Professor Lewandowsky of the University of Western Australia seems to prefer infamy over obscurity; refusing to withdraw/hold the LewPaper from press in the face of the massive cockups in the design, conduct and analysis of the "experiment".

    When even a cursory analysis of the raw data lead to a conclusion that contradicts the headline hypothesis, the Professor doesn't blink.

    When further analysis shows that his hypothesis is dependent largely upon results tainted by obvious gaming of the survey which was conducted by soliciting responses largely from one demographic, the Professor doesn't blink.

    When the questionaires omit the vastly more popular conspiracy theories of e.g. big oil/fossil fuel industry supporting the "skeptics", the Professor doesn't blink.

    Instead of addressing the tangible, substantial flaws identified not only by the "usual suspects" but by "believers" in CAGW, the Professor "defends" with insults and distractions.

    It doesn't take a conspiracy for Lewandowsky to behave like Chirgwin or vice versa. Self-interest, arrogance, ignorance and a degree of sociopathy are sufficient.

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