Research Links Climate Science Denial To Conspiracy Theories, But Skeptics Smell A Conspiracy

Wed, 2012-09-05 13:42Graham Readfearn
Graham Readfearn's picture

Research Links Climate Science Denial To Conspiracy Theories, But Skeptics Smell A Conspiracy

IF the world's conspiratorial blogosphere was broken up into food items on a wedding buffet table, then an eclectic array of plate-fillers would surely be on offer.

There would be canapés topped with faked moon landings and hors d'oeuvres of Government-backed plots to assassinate civil rights leaders.

Sandwich fillings would come from US military staff at Roswell in New Mexico (cheese and alien, anyone?). The alcoholic punch would be of the same vintage as that which the British Royal family gave Princess Diana's chauffeur, as part of their plot to kill her. All of the catering would be provided by the New World Order.

Then there's the salad of human-caused climate change being a hoax, with the world's climate scientists, national academies and the declining Arctic sea-ice all in on the conspiracy.

Professor Stephan Lewandowsky, a cognitive psychologist at the University of Western Australia (UWA), is about to publish research which shows that a strong indicator of the rejection of climate science is a willingness to accept conspiracy theories.

His paper, to be published in the journal Psychological Science, is titled “NASA faked the moon landing - Therefore (Climate) Science is a Hoax: An Anatomy of the Motivated Rejection of Science”.

The study details the results of a controlled online questionnaire posted on blogs between August and October 2010.

Among the conspiracy theories tested, were the faking of Apollo moon landings, US government agencies plotting to assassinate Martin Luther King, Princess Diana's death being organised by members of the British Royal family and the US military covering up the recovery of an alien spacecraft that crashed in Roswell, New Mexico.

In the paper, Lewandowsky concludes that “endorsement of a cluster of conspiracy theories… predicts rejection of climate science”. The research also claims a correlation between people who endorse free-market economics and the “rejection of climate science”.

He told DeSmogBlog:

There's a fair bit of previous literature to suggest that conspiratorial thinking is part of science denial. Conspiratorial thinking is where people would seek to explain events by appealing to invisible, powerful collusions amongst individuals, rather than taking events at face value. The absence of evidence for the conspiracy is sometimes taken as evidence of its existence and any contradictory evidence is itself embedded into the conspiracy.

In his paper, Lewandowsky adds: “Endorsement of the free market also predicted the rejection of other established scientic findings, such as the facts that HIV causes AIDS and that smoking causes lung cancer.”

Given the well documented links between free market think-tanks and climate science misinformation, this finding isn't surprising.

But back to that “conspiracist ideation” trait which Lewandowsky and other researchers, such as Pascal Diethelm and Martin McKee, have identified among people who reject science.

Because rather fittingly, no sooner had Lewandowsky's paper begun to make headlines than the world's loose, nimble and definitely-not-conspiring network of climate skeptic blogs began to construct their own conspiracies about Lewandowsky's research.

The survey was conducted online and Lewandowsky's research team approached climate blogs requesting they post a link to the survey. Some eight “pro-science” blogs agreed to post the link, which gained 1147 responses.

Lewandowsky's researchers also emailed five popular skeptic blogs, but none of those approached posted the link to the questionnaire.

But had Lewandowsky actually fabricated the claim he had emailed five sceptic blogs, asked Anthony WattsJo Nova and others, smelling a consipracy. 

Steve McIntyre, a long-time mining industry consultant and active climate sceptic, even encouraged blog readers to email the ethics department at Lewandowsky's university.

“If Lewandowky’s claim about five skeptic blogs was fabricated, it appears to me that it would be misconduct under university policies,” wrote McIntyre.

Once McIntyre had come down from the conclusion he had just jumped to, he later admitted that actually, he had been emailed by one of Lewandowsky's researchers after all but offered a “dog ate my homework” excuse.

Meanwhile, Lewandowsky says he has been “inundated” with requests to release the names of the four remaining bloggers his team contacted.

But since the approaches to bloggers were conducted on the presumption of privacy, the academic has asked his university's ethics committee and the Australian Psychological Society if he is free to release their identities.

Not content to wait, Australian skeptic blogger Simon Turnill has sent a Freedom of Information request to UWA asking for Lewandowsky's emails. Lewandowsky told DeSmogBlog:

So now there's a conspiracy theory going around that I didn't contact them. It's a perfect, perfect illustration of conspiratorial thinking. It's illustrative of exactly the process I was analysing. People jump to conclusions on the basis of no evidence. I would love to be able to release those emails if given permission, because it means four more people will have egg on their faces. I'm anxiously waiting the permission to release this crucial information because it helps to identify people who engage in conspiratorial thinking rather than just searching their inboxes.

Lewandowsky revealed that two of the five skeptic blogs approached even replied to the email they were sent.

One stated “Thanks. I will take a look” and another asked “Can you tell me a bit more about the study and the research design?”

Perhaps an inbox search for these phrases might help some bloggers to move on from their latest conspiracy theory.

Or maybe, just maybe, the real story is that the New World Order hacked their email accounts or a CIA operative secretly dropped a memory-lapse drug into their fake moon juice?

Previous Comments

Do you really believe what you have been spouting or has this all been a leg pull?

Do you really believe what you have been spouting or has this all been a leg pull?”

I think you maybe right Lloyd. Surely this has got to be a joke. No one could be that gullible, except if they were mentaly ill, or those on serious drugs. Even deniers probably keep this dude on the outer.

We have probably fallen for age old advice. Never argue with a fool; onlookers may not know the difference.

Plus our mate has such endearing debating techniques e.g. you moron, you idiot.

 

He could be a Poe. He could be schizophrenic or some other mental illness. Or he could be acting out of conceit and ideological wilfull blindness. I don't know. We've had our sport, and he did provide that. There is only a point to arguing with him further if in fact he is in the last group, those acting from immoral motives. There is a chance of getting him to wake up to himself. If he is in the second group we might be able to persuade him to seek help. I think the last group is the most likely.

I don't think anyone so gullible and brain dead as to fall for the CO2-fraud and the big bang ought to be pointing the finger at others. 

Imagine being so mentally incompetent as to believe there is a thing called “space-time”. What next? Unicorn-Aicraft-carrier?

Yes. HMS Unicorn was aircraft maintenance ship and light aicraft carrier that was in the Royal Navy during the Second World War and for quite a while afterwards.

Right. Good comeback (not).  I'd wonder at someone who is so gullible as to think that there is an entity “space-time.” The phenomenon of space is confirmed every waking moment. But “space-time”? Proof that stupid people will believe anything they are told so long as it has been throttled into them that its mainstream. 

I used to work with a technician who believed pretty much every single conspiracy theory out there.  After a while you just shut them out.  He showed up for work one day with a gun… and was summarily escorted from the building.  (He was a nice enough guy though.)

I think Birdy's paid to appeal to the conspiracy theory crowd out there.  Just look at some of his first posts;

But major oil interests represent the status quo. The CO2 fraud is a hindrance to new energy development.

Sounds very republican to me.

He also sounds like he's spitting out the same style of Pseudo Science that Bob Armstrong did.

http://climatecrocks.com/2012/05/29/richard-leakey-evolution-is-real-des...

A pox on all religions be they abrahamic or gaian .

But the prime fact that alarmists who think the molecule which with H2O is the building block of life will kill us all rather than just provably green the planet with very little change in temperature must overcome is that if all the oxygen which allows us animals to exist were not locked up in CO2 until the evolution of photosynthesis , we would not be here to argue the issue .

I'd argue that he's running the same computer program to present this stuff.

Lloyd I think we could make a BS detector this kind of scam artists, a Turing Detector as it were.  I wonder what a Beysian Filter would make of his posts?  I also wonder whether a writing analysis program would correlate Birdy to Bob Armstrong.

Space has no shape. So unlike an object it cannot be stretched, compressed, warped, tunnelled into or any of that nonsense.  Obviously I'm serious. I'm seriously digusted with scientists who don't practice the scientific method but substitute the cult of personality instead.  Time does not exist, but we need it as a concept. We derive time from regular movement and simultaneity. Its hardly something to stretch and mess about with. 

People have to go back to the basics. They have to cast about for other models and they have to stop reinforcing mistakes. 

I was hoping, in part for your sake, that this was just an elaborate leg pull. I thought that it probably wasn't. I am writing under the assumption that you mean what you say.

I could give many reasons why you are wrong but what would be the pont? You have reasons which I can only guess at for wanting to believe in these conspiracies. Any refutation that I give will be looked at, not to understand my viewpoint, not to test your own, not to understand what is going on, but solely to find what you can tell yourself is a weakness. You are unwilling to admit that you might be wrong so you will attack peoples integrity rather than admit that you might be wrong. There are words that describe this behaviour and they are not nice ones.

Admit that you might be wrong. Admit that opponents have integrity. Respect opponents. Respect those you disdain as supposed puppets.  Be prepared to believe what is really uncomfortable to believe.  Eschew the satisfaction that you get from thinking you know the truth and others do not. Do these and you mif=gh understand what is happening. Do these and it might be worthwhile arguing with you because you will have something substantial to bring to an argument.

No you cannot find where I'm wrong. You are just lying. But lets have that evidence for the global warming fraud that you were so gullible as to fall for.  Remember what we were looking for. 

We were looking for on the one hand a good apriori-case from the ground up. But on the empirical side we were looking for:

1. Evidence for the likelihood of catastrophic warming.

2. Evidence that a little bit of human-based warming, during a brutal and pulverising ice age ……. is a bad thing …

3. Evidence that extra-CO2 warms the earth globally, and at sea level, even a little bit. 

This blog is about the politics and the PR. Go to a blog that deals with the science for that. Their moderation is likely to delete personal attacks and attempts to change the topic however.

I have good reason to believe that providing you with rational arguments would be a waste of time. You are unwilling toi question your paranoia.

And in an observational science you look for multiple lines of evidence that all tell the same story. But that takes a bit of time to get the knowledge and a willingness to step back and see the whole picture. These are things that I have seen no evidence of you trying to do.

You haven't got any evidence. You've never seen any evidence. The politics is very simple. Its driven from the top down. And you useful idiots who hate the need for evidence in between. Here is a representative of the class of people pushing this anti-science nonsense. They have all the power and they want more, effectively enslaving humankind. They want to control energy and fresh water:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yy1Fk05T2p8

Gozer the Traveler. He will come in one of the pre-chosen forms.

During the rectification of the Vuldrini, the traveler came as a large and moving Torg! Then, during the third reconciliation of the last of the McKetrick supplicants, they chose a new form for him: that of a giant Slor!

Many Shuvs and Zuuls knew what it was to be roasted in the depths of the Slor that day, I can tell you!

Yes yes that's all very good. But it used to be about evidence.

One day you'll understand yourselves as the useful idiots and bankers rent-boys that you are. It won't be when it snows in Sydney in the summertime. But some years after that.

Here's a great review of all the skeptic scientific work;
http://www.skepticalscience.com/Powell-project.html
http://www.skepticalscience.com/Powell-projectPart2.html
http://www.skepticalscience.com/case-against-AGW-part3.html

To reiterate the principal conclusions of that series:

  1. 70% of the global warming skeptics identified, including some of the most outspoken, have no scientific publications that deny or cast substantial doubt on global warming.
  2. None of the papers provides the “killer argument,” the one devastating fact that would falsify human-caused global warming. Each skeptic argument has been debunked in other peer-reviewed papers.
  3. The skeptics have no plausible theory to explain the observed global warming.
  4. Even though the evidence for human-caused global warming and the scientific consensus have grown stronger, no skeptic who wrote in the first half of the 1990s has recanted. To be a climate skeptic is to remain a skeptic.



In short, you got nothing backing you up.  Case Closed.  Bu Bye!

More to the point, this is how nature says “Do not touch!”

http://faculty.ycp.edu/~kkleiner/ecology/lectureimages/Predation/donttou...

The rebellion against evidence, and the need for evidence, continues apace. Big news straight from Randi's internet sewer. Where people huddle together in denial of scientific reality. The (UN)skeptics movement has been co-opted. From the great work it did during the 70's and early 80's it has fallen and has become the most pernicious movement in the world today, the jihad not excepted. Being as the skeptics movement pushes every last preference, leftist or rightist, of the banking elite. From global warming, to cancer “cures” that kill tens of thousands every year, looting them and the public at the same time .

But its a broad church in its own mind this (un)skeptics movement. Some amongst them purport to be of the hard right. Some “skeptics” have even found a love for “libertarianism.” Like that incredible bonehead Michael Schermer.

Its a bizzare skewed “libertarianism” specifically in favour of current cartelised and government-supported banking arrangements, and a “libertarianism” that never sees private debt that it doesn't love. Chinese communist nationalisation of Australian strategic goods, under this demonic form of libertarianism, becomes “free trade” as does any cronyist government-to-government deals benefiting chiefly bigshots. 

The (un)skeptics never exercise reason in matters scientific. Never never never. Its like a kind of blood oath that they take. Its just not allowed. Its akin to making a bad smell in public or swearing at the magistrate in court. Never discuss the evidence logically. Never discuss the evidence logically.  Never discuss the evidence logically. This is the neural-linguistic programming they rewrite themselves with minute in minute out. Its a 24 hour committment and any excuse will do. 

Gozer the Traveler. He will come in one of the pre-chosen forms.”

Ahhh yeemember the phophecy fondly. Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies! Rivers and seas boiling! Forty years of darkness! Earthquakes, volcanoes. The dead rising from the grave! Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together… mass hysteria!

People are going to crap themselves when Gozer comes, the rapture, the Mayan cycle and armageddon. They are all lining up.

We should probably be careful talking about all this stuff. The USA gov has software that flags these words we are talking about in an attempt to warn others of the impending inescapable RFID doom. They probably have our ip's now, have a dossier and the black ops will be following us. In fact, one dude yesterday stared at me for a considerable length of time. I was going to introduce him to the peoples elbow, but I'm sure his mates were in the tower with scopes on me.

How Alex Jones isn't sniped I don't know. He has it all on them man. His videoes and articles disclose their plan in granular detail! I think maybe it's because he is just two steps of the shadow gov, two steps man, no gravy for him.

 

Here's an excellent video by a Barry Bickmore, a Republican Scientist.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vDNXuX6D60U

(Wasn't Christy relagated to a Korean Journal after that debacle?)

The reason this video came to mind is that Barry mentions what kind of journals you can find denial science in.  Statistical analysis of Dog Zodiak signs, potential landing sites for UFOs, etc.

If that's where you're looking, you're trying too hard.

I leave you all with Fox Mulder's immortal office poster;

http://www.calwatchdog.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/I-want-to-believe-...

So the idea that he shows up A REPUBLICAN is more significant then that he shows up without evidence!!!! Ha ha ha you moron. 

This is also typical of the skeptics. So mentally lazy and scientifically incompetent are the skeptics, that they go on the working premise that if a Republican corroborates a Democrat, its got to be the truth.  Experience ought to have taught people that the safest working model is that Democrats are repulsively evil and that Republicans are just repulsive. Or that at any given time one party is stupid, the other is evil, and when they get together they do things that are both evil and stupid. 

Sorry everyone, I was fishing the past few days and not online. This 'Bird' person is clearly not following the comment policy. We'll deal with this soon, likely by deleting the entire thread since it seems to have been polluted throughout by 'Bird'.

So, Bird, this is your final chance - would you please reveal who you are and whether you are paid to troll here (and by whom)?

Read the comment policy please. If you answer the questions, and promise to abide by the policy, I just *might* let you stick around. Let's hear the truth about you. If you really believe everything you wrote here, then you should be willing to come forward. Who are you?

Just lock the thread. Bird provides a useful demonstration of the sheer perverse irrationality of conspiract theorists. Some denialists will say no one could be that foolish. You can point to him. On this thread he has a use. Just don't let him post elsewhere.

Agreed…

You know who I am Brendan. I gave you my last name. What I want to know is how you “scientists” (ho ho) start off with a flat black body that doesn't rotate, and a model to do with SURFACE TEMPERATURE, and make this leap to GAS TEMPERATURE in a body that is rotating, and is not a black body.  I know how you do it. You do it with a series of irrational leaps. Logic-defying leaps of …. unlogic. 

lord!

welcome to Area 51.

Satellite photos of area 51 show craters like those that they rigged up for the Apollo series of film-fakeries.  So its possible that this could be where some of the filming was done of fake-moonwalking. The idea would then be to blow smoke at everyone about area 51. Start and support any number of rumours about area 51. You only hide real conspiracies behind fake ones, and there is really no other way to hide them. Thats why you get all this bizzare talk about area 51 and the Philadelphia experiment and this sort of thing. Its really the criminals using their fail-safe ways to hide more prosaic criminal activity. The more earth-bound criminal activity. The sort where they hurt people, enrich themselves, obstruct scientific progress, turn government agencies over to their own empowerment … this sort of thing. 

This comment thread is now closed. It's gotten far off-topic, and there are many examples of abuse of the comment policy. 

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