Lew’s Lost Conspiracy

At the end of my post summarising Lewandowsky’s Recursive Fury” paper,
I presented the list of conspiracy theories found in the Supplemental Material, with the number of quotes supporting each theory.

There are 22 conspiracy headings in the Supplemental material, and only eleven conspiracies listed in the paper. Of course, there’s plenty of botching, as you’d expect from Cook and Marriot, who did the analysis. One theory – “Gravy train” -is listed twice, each time supported by one quote. Six other conspiracy theories are supported by just one quote. Only four theories are supported by more than ten quotes. They are:
1) Warmists faked data (38)
2) Methodology flaws (35)
3) Didn’t email deniers (29)
4) SkS conspiracies (15)

The first three are among the eleven or so (depending how you define them) conspiracy theories analysed in “Recursive Fury.” The fourth one, “SkS conspiracies”, isn’t. The fourth most frequently mentioned conspiracy theory in the Supplemental Material (the raw material for the analysis) mysteriously disappears from the paper.

The fifteen quotes under the heading of SkS conspiracies are listed at the end of this article, giving source and quote, or in the Cook/Marriott nomenclature, “Title; URL; and ‘Excerpt Espousing Conspiracy Theory’.”

Among the fifteen quotes under this heading, the greater number – numbers (1)-(5), all from the same BishopHill thread, plus numbers (9) and (11) – all stem from my observation (first noted by Barry Woods) that the Moon Hoax survey didn’t appear to have been publicised at SkepticalScience, contrary to the claim made in the paper.
(The latter two quotes, by me and Steve McIntyre, clearly assert that the survey wasn’t publicised at SkepticalScience. This point had already been raised at TalkingClimate, at SkepticalScience itself, and at Lewandowsky’s blog, Shapingtomorrowsworld. None of these three blogs were analysed in “Recursive Fury”.)

Of the others, (6) to (8) and (12) to (15) discuss the relationship between Cook/SkS and Lewandowsky, often using the term “conspiracy” ironically.
(10) is about UWA and completely off-subject.

Two of the quotes under this heading reappeared at Recursive Fury (p.26) under the heading “Beyond Recursion”, which discusses the supposed extension of conspiratorial ideation to include other actors, including SkS, the University of Western Australia, the Australian government etc. But all mention of the suspicion about SkepticalScience’s non-participation in the survey disappears down the Cook/Marriott memory hole, adding savour to the paper’s claim (p.31) that the reason for choosing these two non-scientific nonentities to conduct the analysis was to avoid accusations of conflict of interest.

Note that the very first quote under the “SkS Conspiracies” heading has been truncated, leaving out the very quotes from Cook which made my point. It’s hardly surprising that in this, his very first peer-reviewed paper, Cook should suppress material which portrays him as a liar and a star-struck wally in thrall to his scientist-hero. But, as the paper notes in the paragraph devoted to eliminating conflict of interest, “… the availability of these raw data enables other scholars to bring an alternative viewpoint to bear during any reanalyses.”



1) Comment by geoffchambers on Aug 31, 2012 at 11:06 PM
“I think the following quotes from John Cook’s emails to fellow authors on his private email threads demonstrate that Skepticalscience did NOT participate in the survey – whatever else Stephan and John may have got up to together.”

[Strangely, Cook missed this comment from me on the same thread:
(Aug 31, 2012 at 12:04 PM)
”Where did the respondents come from? Only at Tamino’s did the survey announcement provoke any discussion, where a couple of dozen regulars made largely critical comments about how difficult it was to fill in honestly. The obvious answer is Skeptical Science, but there’s no mention of it at the site, and John Cook (who had developed quite a crush on Lew) can be seen in a private email ten months after the fieldwork mentioning to a colleague the research that his mate Lewandowsky had done, as if it was nothing to do with him.”]

2) Comment by Foxgoose on Sep 1, 2012 at 1:30 PM
I think a real showstopper is SKS moderator & author Tom Curtis’ reply to Geoff at SkS:- “…. in my opinion, the title of the paper is not justified by the results, and is needlessly sensationalizing and offensive”. I wonder if Lewandowsky groupie John Cook agrees.

3) Comment by omnologos on Sep 1, 2012 at 11:39 PM
He even invented most or all of SkS involvement.

4) Comment by Richard Drake on Sep 2, 2012 at 9:51 PM
My post at SkS has already been deleted without trace together with all posts since the one following Geoff’s last post – including the one accusing me of being a tinfoil hatter. Mass deletions with no record or reason given. I think we now know the answer to the question we’ve been asking John Cook. Perhaps he’ll have to start a new sub-section for “Cookie’s Cock Ups”

5) Comment by Paul Matthews on Sep 3, 2012 at 10:11 AM
Yes, the thread at Sks makes fascinating reading as the liars tie themselves in knots. People might want to take a copy in case it mysteriously disappears. First we are told (#14) that “Skeptical Science and John Cook are not associated with Lewandowski’s study.” Then we are told (#15) that they did host the survey in 2011. Geoff points out that this doesn’t make sense (#16), and Cook changes his story in #15 to 2010, despite the fact that Geoff says he has already searched the Wayback archive for the relevant period and it’s not there. Foxgoose asks for clarification (#22) and is referred to back to Cook’s muddled and false answer. Geoff again points out the contradiction in #27 and #31 and asks why they would delete the survey. That’s an interesting theory – that Tom Curtis’s comments may be designed to allow a Gergis-style climb-down

6)Stephan Lewandowsky’s slow motion Psychological Science train wreck
The striking thing is that we have John Cook’s Skeptical Science blog listed as presenting both the original as well as the most recent survey. It as been discovered that Cook is a co-author with Levandowsky on a similar paper. One wonders how much Cook contributed to the questions, based on his understanding of his readers likely responses. It is strange irony indeed that the paper discusses “debiasing”, when so many potential biases in Lewandowsky’s methods are clearly obvious to even the casual reader.

7)Anatomy of the Lewandowsky Scam
An invitation was apparently also posted at Skeptical Science, a blog operated by John Cook, a close associate of Lewandowsky. However, Skeptical Science rewrites its history from time to time and the original posting, apparently deleted in one of its occasional pogroms, is no longer online.

8)Lewandowsky update
from the buddy of John Cook at Un-Skeptical Pseudo- Science

9)Comment by Geoff Chambers
On 3 Oct 2010 Cook informs his colleagues: “..then I got involved with Steve Lewandowsky and some of his cognitive colleagues who is very interested in the phenomena of science blogging and they’re planning to do some research into the subject that I’m going to help them with”. 6 October 2010 he tells them: “I’ve been having some intriguing conversations with Steve Lewandowsky who’s throwing cognitive experiment ideas at me to see what’s technically possible. Having a significantly sized group of people classified as skeptic or proAGW makes all sorts of interesting experiments possible.” It makes no sense that he should be informing his fellow authors that he’s going to do something he’s just done two months ago. I therefore conclude that the survey was not publicised on Skeptical Science, and the eight blogs who are said in the paper to have provided respondents therefore shrink to six. How Lewandowsky managed to get 1300+ respondents from Tamino’s, Deltoid and Scott Mandia’s is a mystery he should be asked to explain.

10) The Cook-Lewandowsky Social-Internet Link
That’s quite a little activist organization they have running out of the University of western Australia. I wonder if UWA officials realize the extent that UWA has become a base for this global climate activism operation and if they condone it?

11) The SkS “Link” to the Lewandowsky Survey
In my opinion, the evidence is overwhelming that SkS never published a link to the Lewandowsky survey. In my opinion, both Cook’s claim to have published a link and Lewandowsky’s claim to have seen it are untrue. But even if Cook did post a link and then destroyed all documentary evidence of its existence, the situation is equally unpalatable. Update: Both Lewandowsky’s University of Western Australia blog shapingtomorrow and John Cook’s skepticalscience blog appear to have blocked me. Other readers report that they can access these sites, but here’s what I get.

12) BS detectors
The ‘conspiracy’ among green climate bloggers has been further revealed by the leak of John Cook’s secret forum (link). SkepticalScience seems to becoming the ringleader for conspiratorial activities by the green climate bloggers. All this is high entertainment for those of us who follow the climate blog wars. But take a step back, and consider how bad this makes you look, and how poorly it reflects on the science and ’cause’ that you are trying to defend.

13)Lew – a few final thoughts
He’s buddies with John Cook, he of climate alarmist heaven Skeptical Science fame

14) Skeptical Science conspiracy theorist John Cook runs another survey trying to prove that false “97% of climate scientists believe in global warming” meme
I felt this to be an important step to protect the recipient. From the language and pre-selection filters imposed, clearly there is no further doubt about the connection of John Cook’ s Skeptical Science effort to the advocacy disguised as science going on at the University of Western Australia with Stephan Lewandowsky.

15) Lewandowsky: ethical considerations for “moon landing denier” paper
http://www.australianclimatemadness.com/2012/10/lewandowsky-ethical- considerations-for-moon-landing-denier-paper/
This conclusion is lent weight by the close association between Prof Lewandowsky and the Skeptical Science web site, which is well known for ridiculing and demeaning anyone (including respected atmospheric and climatic scientists) who questions any part of the AGW consensus. Examples of the tone employed include sections entitled “Lindzen’s Illusions”, referring to MIT Professor Richard Lindzen, “Spencer Slip-Ups”, referring to Dr Roy Spencer of the University of Alabama, Huntsville to name but two.

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