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The Guardian: “Impartial” New Study Denouncing Climate Deniers

Written by John O'Sullivan

Key UK global warming spin machine The Guardian newspaper  is at it again touting a new paper by discredited “soft” science experts. The “Big Story” here is the newly-published paper ‘Alice in Wonderland’ mechanics of the rejection of (climate) science: simulating coherence by conspiracism’ (September 19, 2016) which takes long- discredited strawman alarmist talking points and runs them up a flag pole for treehuggers to salute.cook-and-lewandowsky

The Guardian asserts the new paper debunks skeptics who use “contradictory arguments” as follows:

“A new research paper published in the journal Synthese has looked at several of these contradictory arguments that get thrown around the blogosphere, the Australian Senate and the opinion pages of the (mostly) conservative media.

The paper comes with the fun and enticing title: “The Alice in Wonderland mechanics of the rejection of (climate) science: simulating coherence by conspiracism.”

Why Alice? Because, as the White Queen admitted: “Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

The three authors, including Dr John Cook, of the University of Queensland, look at both rhetorical and scientific arguments put by deniers.

One example is the popular theme that casts “sceptics” as “dissenting heroes” who bravely oppose “political persecution and fraud”. You know, like modern-day Galileos.”

Did you get that? Climate spin merchant John Cook, creator of the biased Skeptical Science disinformation blog,  is being held aloft as a debunker of delusional skeptics who believe “six impossible things before breakfast.” Well, if ever there was an “impossible thing” it would be the reincarnation of John Cook being a “Dr” of Psychology when it is rumored that in a former life dear old John wiled away his days, not in the lab, but in his tattoo parlor inking butterflies and love hearts on bronzed Aussie arms. (note: the paper doesn’t cite Mr Cook as a “Dr” of anything).

And is it any wonder that the “scientists” who are most vocal in proclaiming a climate crisis are from these “soft” sciences, not a physicist or analytical chemist between them.

The Dunning-Kruger effect is real at The Guardian, ignoring or not checking the credentials of its sources and proven infamy in having junk papers retracted. Rather than do real journalism and check the provenance of the claims The Guardian goes all out in once more attacking a long-established and eminent professor of Geology, Ian Plimer and his 2009 book, Heaven and Earth.

Plimer is at a disadvantage for being, you know, one of those ‘cranks’ who actually studied proper science and passed exams to doctoral level. Plimer, an actual professor, may not know his way around a tattoo gun but he certainly knows a fraudster when he sees one.

The Guardian piece then hangs it’s hat on the other “expert” author of the paper, “Lead author Prof Stephan Lewandowsky, an expert in cognitive psychology at the University of Bristol, has written several research papers finding links between the rejection of science, “conspiracist ideation” and the belief in free market economic principles.”

Yes, he’s that Stephan “Retraction man” Lewandowky author of infamous junk science paper (‘The Recursive Fury’) that he penned aided and abetted with Cook and mocked mercilessly worldwide by skeptics before it was retracted.  Canadian statistician, Steve McIntyre audited Lewandowsky’s fraudulent data and concluded:

“Lewandowsky, like Gleick, probably fancies himself a hero of the Cause. But ironically. Lewandowsky’s paper will stand only as a landmark of junk science – fake results from faked responses.”

Another of Lewandowsky’s preferred pal reviewers of his “science” is Mike Hubble-Marriott, from “Climate Realities Research, Melbourne”. Mike’s “climate research” is published under the anonymous moniker of Mike, on a site called WatchingTheDeniers A site incidentally, which is linked in the paper. Perhaps they ought to have disclosed that?

As Jo Nova reported:

“Recursive Fury, the ideated paper that Stephan Lewandowsky, John Cook and Michael Hubble-Marriott tried to publish early last year, was of such poor quality that it was placed in the scientific limbo-land of being not withdrawn, not retracted, and not published for almost 12 months. Lewandowsky previously published an article claiming skeptics believed the Moon Landing was faked, based on only 10 anonymous internet responses gleaned from sites that hate skeptics.  Recursive Fury made out that skeptics who objected this previous paper were barking-mad conspiracy theorists with nefarious intent.”

Lewandowsky, formerly of University of Western Australia (Dept of Psychology) has been banished on secondment at the University of Bristol, UK indefinitely. In the ‘pal review’ traditions of modern junk science (aka post-normalism) Lewandowski and Cook prefer to get their reviews done by “reliable sources” such as “Dr” Viren Swami of the University of Westminster (Swami’s doctorate was on body size ideals across cultures).

When you look closely at this and other papers by Lewandowsky and Cook all you are really reading is ad hominin dressed up as research.  None of this stuff could pass muster in the “hard” sciences. But playing politics and name calling is all par for the course in the so called “social sciences” (an oxymoron).

These “experts” specialize in publishing papers that attempt to portray real experts with PhD’s in Physics, Chemistry and Thermodynamics, etc. for being “deniers” of global warming and the moon landings.

But so dimwitted (or dishonest) are Lewandowsky and Cook that they fail to see that it is, in fact, NASA space scientists and former astronauts, among others, who are debunking their climate cult (‘49 Former NASA Scientists Send A Letter Disputing Climate Change’).

I’m reminded of that saying “the standards we walk by are the standards we accept”.

Lewandowsky and Cook are shamelessly making a living breaking the central tenet of science — namely, that evidence is always more important than opinions. Their mission appears to be to return us to pre-Enlightenment days when Bishops controlled the public conversation. In this post-post-modern era, some things are so post they’re posterior – some parts of science are returning to unscience.  This “science” is not about your data or reasoning, and not about your results — it’s about your ability to get a grant, a title, a university badge.

With such a track record we should no doubt expect another embarrassing Groundhog Day moment for The Guardian when this new “paper” is likewise withdrawn.


Comments (2)

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    One wonders if The Graduania will be printing an apology and correction regarding MISTER Cook, for a Mister he is. Mr Cook has an undergrad degree and claims to be progressing a psychology PhD (the world needs more of them to feed the poor, heal the sick and improve living standards) researching how people think about climate change while earning dosh as an “adjunct lecturer” at UWA and an “adjunct researcher” at UQ. One hopes he is walking between those two august institutions and not flying and putting so much more CO2 into the atmosphere. I’m 97% sure he is not “Dr”. Adjunct just means a thing added to something else as a supplementary rather than an essential part. Quite.

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    Simon Conway-Smith


    Basically, just more Lew (loo) paper, suitable for the post-erior.

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