September 15, 2012 5 Comments
Dr. Stephan Lewandowsky is a “cognitive psychologist” at the University of Western Australia who seems to have a rather magnificent obsession with promulgating the message of the purported perils of “dangerous” climate change. By his own admission, he also likes to take trips back to the future.
On September 3, Lewandowsky began the rapidly snowballing descent of his credibility with a post that begins:
I recently published a paper on the motivated rejection of science that is forthcoming in Psychological Science.
How can one have “recently published” something “that is forthcoming”? And why in this particular post does Lewandowsky provide no link to this “recently published … forthcoming” paper?! Nor does he tell his readers in which issue of the journal they might find this opus in support of his Magnificent Obsession.
One might also ask why Anthony Watts received no response to his enquiry to the journal at which this purportedly “recently published” paper “is forthcoming”:
I asked Psychological Science editor Robert V. Kail to investigate this paper, as did others. Crickets
This does not inspire confidence in either Lewandowsky or the editor of the journal Psychological Science.
Notwithstanding several interim diversions of the desperate kind in lieu of responding to legitimate questions regarding his survey, his paper, and his methodology, it was not until September 10 that Lewandowsky chose to highlight – and provide – an introductory link to his paper.
Lewendowsky’s “published … and forthcoming” paper (which he claims is “In press”) begins as follows:
More than 90% of climate scientists agree that the global climate is changing largely due to human CO2 emissions (Anderegg, Prall, Harold, & Schneider, 2010; Doran & Zimmerman, 2009).1
In the conspicuous absence of any due diligence on his part, I can (almost) understand why Lewandowsky might have blinded himself to the many faults of the authorities to which he chose to appeal.
There can be no doubt that he is dedicated to “the cause” and I cannot imagine that he would have conducted any due diligence prior to granting credence to the fault-riddled conclusions of Anderegg et al or those of Doran and Zimmerman.
I have yet to see any evidence that Lewandowsky’s “published … and forthcoming” paper is anything but “motivated” by his dedication to “the cause”.
There are so many questions that have arisen from Lewandowsky’s purportedly published paper that he’s chosen to avoid answering, that one might wonder if his mere “over 90% of climate scientists agree” was a typo!
After all, the climatically correct mantra (according to his sources, which include the pronouncements of Anderegg who uses the “data” compiled by green hobbyist Prall, a tech-support guy at the University of Toronto) is we’re doomed … and so is the planet.
It matters not that the late great communicator, Saint Stephen of Stanford was the mentor and/or sponsor of Anderegg’s abysmally inadequate “paper” from which the “97% of climate scientists” meme was derived.
Lewandowsky’s “survey” – and the paper he has purportedly “published” – has so many deficiencies, even from a transparency perspective let alone from the perspective of those who know far more about survey design (e.g. Thomas Fuller) and statistics (particularly Steve McIntyre) than Lewandowsky has been able to demonstrate he possesses.
So I found it somewhat amusingly ironic that, in a follow-up poll to ascertain who among the skeptics might have participated in Lewandowsky’s 2010 survey, those who chose Option 2, “I’m a skeptic and I DID NOT participate in the Lewandowsky survey in 2010″ constitute … 97% (as of this writing, Total responses to all four options = 1,698), where it has consistently hovered since I began periodically checking on September 14.
Full disclosure: I chose Option 2 … which places me among the clear majority whose voices Lewandowsky seems to want to silence – as he has recently demonstrated by the post-moderation purging of inconvenient comments on his flurry of self-serving “revisionist” blog-posts.
Dr. Judith Curry recently remarked on her blog:
Conspiracy theorists (?)
The latest ‘explanation’ for lack of belief in the IPCC consensus ‘truth’ is that these non believers are conspiracy theorists.
While I have used the term ‘auditors’ for deep investigations of problems with climate data, BS detection seems much more apt for this particular issue.
Lew, get a clew. I hope this experience with the skeptical bloggers has revealed what they are really all about, as they have revealed YOUR conspiracy by finding a really big pile.
Motivated (?) reasoning
[Curry concludes by offering:]
an alternative hypothesis: the motivation reasoning is on the other side, the liberal defenders of the CAGW consensus. Once the ‘consensus’ argument stepped beyond climate science into the realm of ‘dangerous’ impacts and ‘solutions’ involving global changes in governance and energy policy, BS detectors were triggered in people who didn’t share that motivation.