Stormy teacups: misrepresenting Recursive Fury

I’ve been watching the flow of Twitter messages and commentary regarding claims the Met Office’s Richard Betts was a labelled a “conspiracy theorist” in Recursive Fury. Like Betts I was bemused by such claims. 

Fortunately, John and Stephan have posted an article on Shaping Tomorrow’s World explaining the facts – I refer readers to paragraph discussing the collection and presentation of raw data to see the origins of the this misrepresentation. I’ve republished their article in full below. Despite attempts to misrepresent the paper, the situation has been clarified (see Richard’s Twitter feed). 

Betts is a lead author on AR5 (WG2), a scientist whose contribution I deeply admire.

Recursive Fury: Facts and misrepresentations

Our paper Recursive fury: conspiracist ideation in the blogosphere in response to research on conspiracist ideation has been published. The paper analyzed the public discourse in response to an earlier article by Lewandowsky, Oberauer, and Gignac(LOG12 for short from here on), which has led to some discussion on this blog earlier.

Refreshingly, the journal Frontiers makes all papers available for free with no paywall. Another unique feature of this journal is that readers can post comments directly beneath the abstract. Unfortunately this has led to the posting of a number of misrepresentations of the paper.

In this post, I’ll be addressing some of these misconceptions (but being careful to practise what I preach, will adopt the principles of the Debunking Handbook when I debunk the misconceptions). So here are some key facts about the Recursive Fury paper:

Conspiracy theorists are those who display the characteristics of conspiracy ideation

Yep, just stating the obvious, right? Recursive Fury establishes, from the peer-reviewed literature, the traits of conspiracist ideation, which is the technical term for a cognitive style commonly known as “conspiratorial thinking”. Our paper featured 6 criteria for conspiratorial thinking:

  1. Nefarious Intent: Assuming that the presumed conspirators have nefarious intentions. For example, if person X assumes that blogger Y colluded with the New York Times to publish a paper damaging to X, then X presumes nefarious intent on the part of Y.
  2. Persecuted Victim: Self-identifying as the victim of an organised persecution.
  3. Nihilistic Skepticism: Refusing to believe anything that doesn’t fit into the conspiracy theory. Note that “conspiracy theory” here is a fairly broad term and need not involve a global conspiracy (e.g., that NASA faked the moon landing) but can refer to small-scale events and hypotheses.
  4. Nothing occurs by Accident: Weaving any small random event into the conspiracy narrative.
  5. Something Must be Wrong: Switching liberally between different, even contradictory conspiracy theories that have in common only the presumption that there is something wrong in the official account by the alleged conspirators. Thus, people may simultaneously believe that Princess Diana faked her own death and that she was assassinated by MI5.
  6. Self-Sealing reasoning: Interpreting any evidence against the conspiracy as evidence for the conspiracy. For example, when climate scientists are exonerated of any wrong-doing 9 times over by different investigations, this is reinterpreted to imply that the climate-change conspiracy involves not just the world’s climate scientists but also the investigating bodies and associated governments.

We then went on to identify responses to LOG12 that exhibited these criteria. Our analysis was entirely based on whether or not public statements conformed to the criteria just listed—we made no comment on the merit of any criticism (except in cases where speculations were plain wrong).

A common misrepresentation of Recursive Fury is articulated by one commenter who says “conspiratorial ideation is defined in such a way that any criticism of LOG12, whether true or false, comes under that heading.” Actually, our criteria for conspiracist ideation come from a number of peer-reviewed examinations of conspiratorial thinking and have nothing to do with the substance of any criticism of LOG12. Our objective in Recursive Fury was to demonstrate that some of those criteria arguably applied to the public discourse surrounding LOG12. It does not follow that any criticism of LOG12 involves conspiratorial thinking. Of course not. But if some (not all) critics of a paper on the role of conspiratorial thinking in science denial engage in, well, conspiratorial thinking in response, that’s of scholarly interest.

The criteria for conspiracist ideation are applicable without regard to a statement’s truth or falsity. Recursive Fury is not about defending LOG12. On the contrary, this latest paper puts on the scholarly record many criticisms of LOG12 that had previously been limited to blogs, and it did so without evaluating or rebutting the substance of those criticisms. Some defence!

A few critics have complained that we didn’t include their methodological critiques of LOG12. Such critiques do not fit the conspiracist criteria, which is why they weren’t included. Those critics are welcome to submit rejoinders or comments on LOG12 to the journal in question.

A range of different conspiracy theories are posted in Recursive Fury

Recursive Fury reports and analyzes a number of conspiracy theories regarding LOG12. These range from “global climate activist operation” to “ringleader for conspiratorial activities by the green climate bloggers,” to Stephan Lewandowsky receiving millions of dollars to run The Conversation.

Some folk are able to overlook these many documented instances and insist that “There is no ‘conspiracy’ Mr. Lewandowsky – no matter how many times you try to manufacture one.” Recursive Fury documents a whole spectrum of conspiracy theories. As you get further into the paper, the conspiracy theories become broader and more extreme until you get to my personal favourite – maths professor Kevin Judd being the grand poobah of the “global climate activist operation” at the University of Western Australia. Somehow, those who insist “there are no conspiracies” manage to skip over entire sections of the paper.

It appears that “conspiracy denial” may be another phenomenon associated with climate denial. One blogger cannot see that his claim that climate scientists “colluded with government officials to avoid the law” is conspiratorial. Similarly, another blogger thinks accusing the University of Western Australia of being “a base for this global climate activism operation” is not a conspiratorial hypothesis because he didn’t use the word “conspiracy”.

The Supplementary Material is “raw data”

As well as the Recursive Fury paper, we also published Supplementary Material containing excerpts from blog posts and some comments relevant to the various observed recursive theories. In the paper, we characterise this as “raw data” – all the comments that we encountered that are relevant to the different theories. In contrast, the “processed data” are the excerpted quotes featured in the final paper, where we match the various recursive theories to the conspiracist criteria outlined above.

One misrepresentation of Recursive Fury is that we accuse Professor Richard Betts of the Met Office of being a conspiracy theorist because one of his quotes appears in our raw data. This inclusion of a relevant comment in the raw data of a Supplementary Material document was reported in hyperventilating fashion by one blogger as aspectacular carcrash. However, there is no mention of Professor Betts in our final paper and we are certainly not claiming that he is a conspiracy theorist. To claim otherwise is to ignore what we say about the online supplement in the paper itself. The presence of the comment in the supplementary material just attests to the thoroughness of our daily Google search.

Nevertheless, I can see how this misunderstanding arose. The Supplementary Material features the heading “Excerpt Espousing Conspiracy Theory” referring to the excerpted quotes that we pasted into the spreadsheet. In hindsight, the heading should have been  “Excerpt relevant to a recursive theory”, because the criterion for inclusion was simply whether or not they referred to one of the hypotheses. The analysis of conspiracist ideation occurred after that, and involved the criteria mentioned at the outset.

In this context, it is important to point out that one reason we made the raw data available is for other scholars to be able to cast an alternative interpretative light on the public discourse relating to LOG12. As we note explicitly in the abstract, it is possible that alternative scholarly interpretations can be put forward, and the peer-reviewed literature is the appropriate forum for such analysis.

LOG12 is in press

The original “Moon Landing” paper (referred to as LOG12) is still in press and due to be published soon. The fact that there was a long delay between acceptance and publication is one of the quirks of the peer-review publication process. Sometimes a paper can move from acceptance to publication with surprising speed (as was the case with Recursive Fury). Sometimes it can take months.

However, this random timing has been over-interpreted by many parties, consistent with the “Nothing occurs by Accident” criteria. For example, one commenter argues that“LOG12 was fundemenatlly [sic] flawed from the start, and throughout. It offered no valuable insight or understanding as a result. It is clear to any rational outside observer it had one purpose – to be used to promote the authors advocacy of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming – and to demean and denigrate those who do not believe as he does. The fact this paper has never been published, as Lewandowsky’s repeatedly claims, confirms this finding.” It will be interesting to see whether this commenter resists the “Something Must Be Wrong” urge when LOG12 is published or continue to assert that the research is “a fraud”.

Conclusion

Hindsight is always 20:20 but perhaps we should have anticipated the response to LOG12. The results of LOG12 implied that conspiratorial thinking is linked to climate denial, and hence might emerge in turn to defend climate denial against cognitive analysis – and that’s what happened, as we document in Recursive Fury.

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83 thoughts on “Stormy teacups: misrepresenting Recursive Fury

  1. So much fury directed at Lew et al in the so-called sceptic community – and yet so little fury directed at those who condone the continued theft of emails. Delicious.

  2. tlitb1 says:

    I’ve been watching the flow of Twitter messages and commentary regarding claims the Met Office’s Richard Betts was a labelled a “conspiracy theorist” in Recursive Fury. Like Betts I was bemused by such claims.

    I assume the author of these words is Mr Marriott the co-author of the Recursive Fury paper?

    If so then it seems that Mr. Marriott was bemused *like* Richard Betts. Does this mean Mr Marriott was bemused same manner? Or caused to be bemused by the same reason?

    If Mr Marriott;s understanding of bemusement is only via “watching the flow of Twitter messages” then I think this is the key tweet from Richard Betts:

    @skepticscience You included my remark in list entitled “excerpts espousing conspiracy theory”. This means you think I buy conspiracy theory.

    I think you see here a candidate for a statement of bemusement and about what Betts is bemused.

    Betts is clearly basing his bemusement *only* on the supplementary material. Not on anything anybody else has said to him. He had his attention drawn to the supplementary material and then he made his mind up and then still tweeted the above in response to John Cook saying “It’s raw data, not final paper.”

    Richard Betts eventually seems content to accep/t the explanation in the above article that the labelling of the supplementary material was incorrect.

    So I take it that Mr Marriott is bemused that the supplementary material of the paper, he co-authored, was labelled in the way it was?

    If so, and since the collation of “raw data” in the SM was, I believe, the prime area of responsibility of Mr Marriott and Mr Cook, can I take it that it was Mr Cook who made this error of labeling?

  3. john byatt says:

  4. john byatt says:

    another conspiracy , that you even consider deliberate and call either fraud proves the point

    Eric Worrall says:
    March 23, 2013 at 7:41 am
    Monckton thinks the solution is to launch a lot of civil fraud cases against leading climate scientists, try to secure some convictions. If he goes forward with the plan, its going to make for an interesting popcorn event.

    Frankly I think the issue is a little more complex than that. I believe there has been scientific fraud, but I think it is difficult to draw a clear distinction between deliberate malfeasance and blinkered fanaticism. I believe the evidence in the Climategate emails is more they were such true believers, it warped their objectivity.

    • Nick says:

      Monckton is evidently almost as good a lawyer as he is a scientist. He is on record pretending to be a scientist before an Australian audience. He forgot the ABC had the tape rolling.

  5. Barry Woods says:

    Richard Betts , I’m pretty sure would dislike the title and intention of your blog…..

    I have a long standing invitation to visit Richard at the Met office, and I’m sure we will have a good laugh about this…

    Richard Betts @richardabetts
    @wattsupwiththat @lucialiljegren @aDissentient Here http://t.co/dyeFLpilTp at Aug 31, 2012 at 9:00 PM. Lewandowsky et al clearly deluded!

    that means you to, as a co-author..

    • Eric Worrall says:

      They’re like fundamentalist Christians, sifting world events for the hand of Satan.

      Anything, no matter how inane, which supports their narrative, they embrace uncritically.

      Someone, sometime, is going to have a lot of fun with this blind faith.

      • Whilst on the topic of delusional positions, do explain to Barry your theory of eugenics.

      • For those truly interested in a blow-by-blow of this fury in a teacup, Richard Betts’ twitter feed is https://twitter.com/richardabetts.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        I cite 1930s alarmist Eugenics to demonstrate that large scale delusion, even among scientists, is plausible. It counters your argument that a bunch of academic institutions arguing something is so must make it so.

      • john byatt says:

        Except of course that the fundamentalist christians are all like yourself denying the science, and claim that it is driven by satan and the end times.

      • I know, your analogy is quite amusing. It could be pointed most everywhere. Careful where you aim it, it could do you a severe mischief.

        And, you are asserting I argue solely from authority. Intriguing. From what do you argue?

      • john byatt says:

        So Betts is a fundamentalist christian is he ?

        Richard Betts ‏@richardabetts 20 Mar
        @lucialiljegren Thanks – and that’s the problem with Rose’s article. He claims models shown to be wrong. Not true. @nmrqip @dougmcneall
        View conversation

      • Nick says:

        PROJECTION,Eric. YOUR projection.

      • zoot says:

        I cite 1930s alarmist Eugenics to demonstrate that large scale delusion, even among scientists, is plausible.

        You have never cited anything about eugenics that demonstrates “large scale delusion”.
        One conference (or even three) is not evidence of a large scale delusion.
        This is demonstrated by the Heartland conferences which involved a vanishingly small number of people addressing each other. They were in no way an indication of anything “large scale”.

    • john byatt says:

      You either did not read the post or do not know Betts as well as you claim

      “Despite attempts to misrepresent the paper, the situation has been clarified (see Richard’s Twitter feed).

      Betts is a lead author on AR5 (WG2), a scientist whose contribution I deeply admire”.

    • There are many blog names chosen for their controversy. Personally, I’m not in favour of them. Much as per the “all models are wrong” blog name discussion, the names will annoy some and attract others.

    • john byatt says:

      So you flooded him with all the conspiracy theory sites posting that claim , he thought that you were honest and had a laugh

      seems to accept the sks version now

      drama queens

  6. john byatt says:

    Roy mustard posts on loss of rights under NSW liberals

    http://roymustard.wordpress.com/

  7. zoot says:

    Erric, at what point during Monckton’s presentation did you interrupt to point out he was talking conspiracy theory twaddle?
    You’ve already told us you disagree with him on the one world govt crap. Have you told him?

    • Eric Worrall says:

      No – there wasn’t much opportunity for conversation afterwards. I had a short conversation with him, but as you can imagine, everyone wanted his time.

      I did publicly disagree with him about his views on abortion and Islam. Monckton thinks Islam is a threat to freedom, and he’s a hardcore pro-lifer.

      I think women should control what happens to their bodies, whether they want to face the risk and trauma of bearing a child. And as I said before, I find Levitt’s connection between forcing women to rear unwanted children, and crime committed by socially dysfunctional adults, to be compelling.

      http://www.freakonomics.com/2005/05/15/abortion-and-crime-who-should-you-believe/

      I also believe that Islam is undergoing an equivalent of the Christian Reformation. Much of the violence of terrorist crazies like Al Qaeda is aimed at moderate Muslims, to try to prevent modernisation. Countries like Algeria and Turkey contain large numbers of modern Muslims who are indistinguishable from modern Christians – they drink, they smoke, they watch footy, and they don’t want to kill anyone. Give Islam a few decades, and the violence and turmoil should subside.

      I had a couple of questions, but I was more interested in asking about his plan to shut down the alarmist movement, than disagreements about the nature of International alarmism. I also asked in the wake of the Eastleigh by-election, when he expected to get the call from the Palace, which got a laugh :-).

      • Steve says:

        Eric,
        With you asking questions, Christopher, Lord Monckton’s address sounds as if it was entertaining.

      • rational troll says:

        Monckton has a plan to shut down the alarmist movement………………………………… hahahahahahahahahahaahhaahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahhahahahahahahahahahaahahhahahahahaahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahahahahahhahahaahhahahaahahahahhahaahahhahahahahahahaha………………………………………………………………………………., hahahahahahahahaahhahahaahahahhaahhaahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahaahahahhahahahahahahaahhahaahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhaahhahaahhahahaahhahahahahahahahahaahhahahahahahahaha………

        I lost $50 once in a game of cup and ball, at least i had the sense to realise afterward I’d been suckered. How much did it cost you to get played?

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Monckton thinks the solution is to launch a lot of civil fraud cases against leading climate scientists, try to secure some convictions. If he goes forward with the plan, its going to make for an interesting popcorn event.

        Frankly I think the issue is a little more complex than that. I believe there has been scientific fraud, but I think it is difficult to draw a clear distinction between deliberate malfeasance and blinkered fanaticism. I believe the evidence in the Climategate emails is more they were such true believers, it warped their objectivity.

      • zoot says:

        No – there wasn’t much opportunity for conversation afterwards.

        Sounds like he’s changed his presentation since those two statisticians accepted his invitation to “interrupt at any time”.
        Pity you haven’t got the cojones to tell the loony lord that he is barking mad when he states that climate scientists are part of a plot to destroy agriculture (amongst other things). That is conspiracy thinking of the most deranged order and makes you, as his apologist, look quite foolish.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Next time I see him, I’ll ask the question. I’m sure he’ll be back.

      • On the use of the law and climate, Monckton isn’t arguing a very strong case, is he? Cuccinnelli’s signal failure, NIWA’s abject defeat, Heartland bottling it on fear of disclosure, none of those seem to point to a history of success in the courts. It seems to me that, much like firing off volleys of FoIs, this is a “denial of science service” attack. Wouldn’t the money spent on lawyers be better spent sponsoring a chair of climate science somewhere? Physics probably doesn’t accord Chancery Lane any special status.

      • Nick says:

        Monckton lied about getting a payout from The Guardian. Just like he lies about a lot of things. Monckton put in a complaint to UTas for publicity reasons recently. Expect another Moncktonian fantasy outcome there,too.

      • Nine investigations. Eric, you lost, nine times. How many investigations do you think you’d need before you get to your right answer?

        If the Lew fits, wear it.

      • john byatt says:

        Horatio Algeranon | March 1, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
        “The Lord of Libel”
        – by Horatio Algeranon

        The Lord of Libel
        Right on cue
        Hurls abuse
        Then vows to sue

  8. Eric’s lack of self awareness of his own recursive fury has a certain charm.

    Certainly the deniers (and they are deniers) who have come after me, personally, have accused me of being a commie; a shill of the illuminate, a dupe of the UN and a hater of humanity. Or even attempted smears – attempting to link the warming of the planet to eugenics. And they are all furious…about something.

    In the meantime, the likes of Eric expect a free ride on their anti-facts. Temperatures are not rising – if you ignore 90%+ of the globe; sea level is not rising – except it is; polar bear populations are steady – except they’re not; citing Watts and Nova – when conservative magazines such as SciAm shun their work as propaganda.

    Their fury at Lewandowsky is that of self-recognition. Ugh, is that really me in the mirror? Yes, sir, it is. Three bags full.

    • Eric Worrall says:

      I think you’re a communist – but then I’m a right winger ;-).

      • john byatt says:

        extreme right eric, my son is a right winger

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Lets be clear here, I’m an Adam Smith Libertarian – I think government should be kept in its box.

      • john byatt says:

        so does the tea party,of course as long as they control the box

      • john byatt says:

        Adam Smith

        “According to the system of natural liberty, the sovereign has only three duties to attend to . . . First, the duty of protecting the society from violence and invasion . . . secondly, the duty of protecting, as far as possible, every member of society from the injustice or oppression of every other member of it . . . and, thirdly, the duty of erecting and maintaining certain public works and certain public institutions, which it can never be for the interest of any individual, or small number of individuals, to erect and maintain; because the profit would never repay the expense to any individual or small number of individuals, though it may frequently do much more than repay it to a great society.”

      • john byatt says:

        and it was george bush who destroyed both civil rights and voting rights
        we have a local right wing nutter who writes letters to the editor
        today
        he he urging that every Australian be allowed to keep a gun in the house, not in a safe but hung up near the front door in case a machete wielding maniac might try to break in, climate change denier as well

        http://www.owenguns.com/

      • Eric Worrall says:

        so does the tea party,of course as long as they control the box

        Why can’t people be left alone to lead their own lives?

        Thats part of the problem I have with climate alarmism – most of your “solutions” involve intervention – interfering with people’s lives, constraining their choices.

        You’re half hearted about decarbonisation solutions, such as nuclear power, which might actually yield emissions reductions without the need for draconian curbs on freedom.

        As for the gun thing, just a little O/T isn’t it? But yes, I believe in self defence – if some scuzball breaks into your house, their safety IMO comes a distant second to the welfare of the victims of the home intrusion.

      • Nick says:

        Eric,people’s choices impinge on others freedoms,as Adam Smith was aware. How come you’re 250 years behind him?

        We have less room than ever to maintain the delusion that individuals choices must trump collective benefit. Just how do you manage it?

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Why do you think we have “less room than ever” to maintain the delusion that individual choices must trump collective benefit?

        Why should I be my brother’s keeper, when I’ve got bills of my own to pay?

        We both know that a switch to nuclear power would drastically reduce CO2 emissions, without the need to change how the economy and society functions. Why don’t you embrace it wholeheartedly, and ditch non solutions like wind and solar?

      • Nick says:

        No man is an island sweetie,that’s the ecological truth…It would help if you has some grasp of ecological budgeting. We are forcing ourselves to change how we operate,the capitalist neo feudal model gives us little choice.

        “Why should I be my brother’s keeper when I have my own bills to pay”? Groan.

        I’m not opposed to nuclear power,however the lead in time of establishing a plant here will be very long,and would take massive subsidy,which you do not approve of.. The coal industry are opposed to a rival baseload technology,have been for years,and they direct policy. We do the easy stuff here,friendly legislation,tame unions and political parties.

      • How right wing are you? Living in the UK I’ve never voted left of the LibDems in my life?

        Have you considered that you may be so far to the right that your views of concertinaed the majority of the population as communists – much as those maps the USA from a New York perspective don’t acknowledge most of the fly-over states of the lower 48?

  9. john byatt says:

    It was only about a month ago that eric claimed that the fossil fuel funding of sceptics was pennies compared to the funding of AGW.

    Now he is claiming that no funding occurs,

    new level in self contradiction

    • Nick says:

      Monkeys like Eric demand peanuts…actually that’s unfair to monkeys. Only in human society can people be persuaded to argue against their own interests by waving a few baubles at them.

    • Eric Worrall says:

      Sorry, at what point did I suggest no funding occurs?

      What I was disputing was the Mannian paranoid fantasy of a vast, SPECTRE like conspiracy of big oil producers, laughing as they trash the planet for their grandkids .

      In case you haven’t noticed, a lot of big oil producers have invested in alternative energy and carbon markets in a big way. Climate alarmism is an opportunity, not a threat, to big oil. With their enormous productive capacity, deep pockets, and their ability to control both the supply and demand for carbon credits, there is no end of games they could play to rip off their fellows in carbon markets.

  10. john byatt says:

    gobsmacked,

    after years and years of claimed AGW conspiracies, including even Monckton’s own published claims of OWG agendas,

    now everyone of them claim that they are not conspiracy theorists,

    references to data being manipulated are just that, conspiracy theory.

    then you have the huge anti science following of the fundamentalists and their direct reference to a link between a global conspiracy and the book of revelations.

    It is too late for the deniers to try to disown the conspiracy theorists that make up the majority of their followers.

    • Eric Worrall says:

      How is your big oil funded climate denial machine conspiracy theory going, John?

      And your conspiracy theory that everyone who “denies” climate alarmism is a closet creationist?

      • john byatt says:

        So you deny any link between conspiracy theorists, creationists and the denial of climate change.

        well eric he is your lord Monckton preaching OWG to the creationists,

        http://catchthefire.com.au/2009/10/one-world-government-is-almost-here-lord-monckton-of-british-house-of-lords-on-youtube-video-and-2gb-radio-interview-with-allan-jones/

        tough it out fella

      • john byatt says:

        One of the loonies @ comments, eric’s allies

        My next step is to inform Alan Jones and expose agendas in full regarding

        * Vaccine
        * Commission for foreign relations CFR
        * Deindustrialization and enslavement
        * Exterminations of 90% of human population (depopulation)
        * Microchip
        * Al Gore and his plan to tax every thing on the planet earth
        * Left and right side in Australian politics and who served people or NWO
        * Calling for abolish private owned reserve bank of Australia
        * Spying on our movement, CCTV, mobile conversations, sms and internet
        * Plans for national broadband network (in USA named internet two)

        Fighter for freedom

      • john byatt says:

        I think that denial of fossil fuel company involvement in disinformation re heartland is a part of the conspiracy

      • Nick says:

        Eric,you live in a dream world. Our next federal government takes its advice from the resource industry via its front the IPA. The IPA pushes the lie that it is an independent body while being terrifically shy about revealing its donors. Using lax laws,they conspire to present ‘policy ideas’ free of the fingerprints of their paymasters

        No doubt you are pleased that the COALition is being encouraged by the IPA to abolish climate change by dismantling bureaucracies,slashing research and changing letterheads. Al this malarkey is for the purpose of maintaining shareholder value in coal resources made defunct by realistic environmental accounting. It’s the dream world you live in,isn’t it?

        I guess the IPA will be suggesting we can simply manufacture styrofoam prostheses for shrinking glaciers to complete the illusion.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        John, I can easily find lunatics who support your cause, and claim this proves you are a bunch of nutters.

        For example, Osama Bin Laden famously made a speech urging action to combat climate change, and inviting Westerners to join his Jihad.

        http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2010/01/20101277383676587.html

        Does this mean all alarmists are terrorist crazies? Or does it mean a small number of alarmists are terrorist crazies? Or might it mean some people with other agendas see climate alarmism as a convenient prop for their ambitions?

        And Nick, yes you’re right – I am hopeful that the Coalition will roll back the climate change laws enacted by Gillard. That way I won’t have to move country again, to escape alarmist inspired economic ruin.

      • john byatt says:

        We are not talking about one crazy here eric we are talking about all the loony young earth creationists, truthers like monckton, 911 nuts, moon landing nuts,

        a plethora eric and you say that osama bin laden made a speech condemning bush for inaction on climate change,….. so did most of the world eric.

        your absurdity was already tried by heartland remember?

        most of the world do not believe the crazy conspiracies that are the hallmark of AGW denial

      • Eric Worrall says:

        People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

        I already cited David Attenborough calling humanity a plague on Earth.

        And you’ve seen my link to David Suzuki calling for politicians who disagrees with his scientific position to be thrown in jail.

        And “boiling ocean” jailbird Hansen – difficult to know where to begin with that one, its like shooting fish.

        As for Al Gore, try the following quiz – pick which quote came from Al Gore’s “Earth in the Balance”, vs quotes from the Unabomber’s manifesto. You will find its harder than you think. I got 67% right.

        http://www.crm114.com/algore/quiz.html

      • john byatt says:

        eric you name a few people who wish to jail those who spread misinformation

        here is a political party The climate sceptics

        one of their policies is to jail all scientists involved in AGW

        http://theclimatescepticsparty.blogspot.com.au/2013/02/time-to-jail-climate-scamsters.html

        so you have a whole political party making you look stupid

      • john byatt says:

        And one of the loonies there believes that jail is too good for them
        remember your psychopath mates eric who were going to chase female scientists down the street and rape them in front of their children.?

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Whatever John.

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/05/11/death-threats-against-climate-scientists-story-deader-still/

        Yes I’m sure some crazy things were said in the wake of Climategate. People get pretty upset when they discover someone they trusted was lying to them. But has anyone actually been raped or murdered because of their views on climate change?

        Of course, I mean has an alarmist been murdered. Because between Bin Laden and the Unabomber, I can cite a number of people who have been murdered by lunatics who believed in climate alarmism.

      • john byatt says:

        “when they discover someone they trusted was lying to them.”

        so you are once again claiming a conspiracy .

        yet you claim that you do not think it is a conspiracy

        how does your mind resolve that issue ?

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Consider the following climate email:-

        http://www.ecowho.com/foia.php?file=1054757526.txt

        I think that trying to adopt a timeframe of 2K, rather than the usual 1K, addresses a good earlier point that Peck made w/ regard to the memo, that it would be nice to try to “contain” the putative “MWP”, even if we don’t yet have a hemispheric mean reconstruction available that far back

        The scientists are discussing using dodgy uncertain reconstructions and spin to try to minimise the apparent impact of the Medieval Warm Period.

        Is this a prosecutable offence? Is it a conspiracy of liars? Or is it simply people who are utterly committed to a POV, and who have lost their objectivity on the issue?

        I tend towards the latter view. But I can understand how people could arrive at different conclusions.

      • Nick says:

        Conspiracist ideation much,Eric? Your understanding of that email is sadly silly. The reality is staring you in the face,if you knew any decent background to the MWP and research into and around it.

        Trying to ‘contain’ the putative ‘MWP’ is actually trying to get a better handle on it as an actual real event,and if it exists, in duration and anomaly. Reconstructing to only 1000 years BP does not contain/constrain it as its start falls outside the period…hence the welcoming of a 2000y series that will start well before the MWP was generally agreed to begin. In 2003 as they said they had no SH recons to even confirm any alleged synchrony. You like to point out Oroko Swamp as a clincher…but when you actually read the paper and look at the recons, an MWP does not particularly stand out,matched by peaks over the next 400 years after it is alleged to end.

        But I can understand how someone would not agree :they are motivated rejectionists,with a preconception,supplied by their paranoid crank peers,that something naughty can be seen in the text. Maybe some spooky shadows,or some blurring around the words,or the choice of type face perhaps? If you read it backwards maybe there’s some secret message?

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Nick, do you actually read what you type before you hit post?

        An objective way of stating that objective might have been “we need to analyse the significance of the MWP, in the context of a longer timeframe”.

        The alarmist description of intent though was “we need to contain the putative MWP”.

        Why the need to “contain” the MWP?

        Because of course a strong MWP contradicts the narrative that the 20th century warming is unprecedented – it might be used to “deniers” to cast doubt on the theory that CO2 is responsible for 20th century warming..

        And that narrative, that pressure to tell a “nice tidy story” (cf the Briffa email I’ve cited several times) is important to the alarmists, because they know in their hearts they are right, and subordinate contradictory evidence to their mission to save the world.

      • Nick says:

        Eric,just admit your construct of that email is wilfully batty. What does ‘putative’ mean? ‘So-called’…the guys are not really big believers in it. Lord knows why we should respect palaeoclimatologists views,it isn’t as though they have any background in paleoclimatology ,is it? And again,it occurs around 900ish-1200ish AD,right between 1000 and 2000y recons. Hence the need to contain it,,,Sheesh,is it that hard to understand? Have you looked at any papers covering the period? Lots of time slip between sites…and its is massively funny listening to someone argue for the MWP but reject any value in palaeoclimatology when it suits them!!

        You’ve convinced yourself that CO2 is excused for any number of personal reasons,and you think a just-so MWP will give your fervent hopes some legitimacy. I keep telling to look at the ice: Grosjean 2007,the Otzi papers,Polyak et al 2010 on the recent collapse of Arctic ice shelves.etc. But no,you’ll stick to an idealised MWP [warmer than now despite physical evidence] with a few anecdotes of good harvests,and some much-reduced nonsense about Greenland.

        Don’t be a crank all the time,please!

      • Nick says:

        And you don’t seriously believe that you can come across as ‘objective’ when you use the derogatory ‘alarmist’ in the next breath? Who is lacking detachment here,seriously?

  11. Eric Worrall says:

    He he – a little recursive fury at people who poke fun at his junk science paper.

    The Betts fumble was funny though – he did list Betts’ comment under the heading “Ecerpts espousing conspiracy theory”. So Lewandowsky’s incompetence is public and humiliating

    • A bit like your continued idiocy being put on display everytime you type something.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        You’ve got to admit, putting a comment written by the head of the MET climate impacts unit under a heading “Excerpts Espousing Conspiracy Theory” is a bit of a hoot.

        Its all very well for Lewandowsky to try to explain it away after the fact – basically admitting his team did not thoroughly review their own paper – but the Betts fumble stands as part of the public record of what he actually did.

        Given obvious howlers like that, I’m surprised any of you take the rest of the paper seriously. Except of course, the paper plays to your own conspiracy theories and delusions – so you kind of have to accept it, don’t you?

      • Nick says:

        It IS all very well to explain it away ‘after the fact’ if the explanation makes sense. Context, sweetie.

        And if the first ‘fact’ advanced is just a typical idiot construct from rejectionists,it’s worth helping them understand. Then watch them try to shift their positions.

        Some first ‘facts’ advanced by rejectionists:

        climate is not warming [rejection]…climate is not warming much [arguing the toss]…climate warming is an artifact of UHI [argument despite evidence]…climate change is not a problem [misplaced confidence,assertion]…it’s cheaper to adapt than mitigate [creation of false dichotomy,and no costings advanced]…hockey stick is broken [rejectionism,argument from ignorance]…climategate emails prove scientists destroyed data, hid declines,and etc [argument despite evidence=assertion without basis]…UN is trying to establish world government [paranoia]….climate scientists are activists [projection]…if it snows it’s GW,if it floods its GE,etc [argument from incredulity,admission of confusion]

        It’s been a grim month [like most every month] for rejectionists, as demonstrated by their routine of fixing the smile and waving. And not publishing any science.

    • Sou says:

      What is interesting is that Eric calls Betts’ comment a ‘fumble’. Intriguing insight into Eric’s thought processing.

      • john byatt says:

        and a conspiracy theory that monckton is a conspiracy theorist.

        reality free zone when eric writes

        ” the paper plays to your own conspiracy theories and delusions – so you kind of have to accept it, don’t you?”

    • Barry Woods says:

      For the avooidance of doubt, is the Marriot author, the blogger Watching the Deniers?

      Prof Judith Curry is in there…

      as is Paul Matthews (another uk academic)

      Good thing Lewandowsky didn’t stumble across Richard Betts article he wrote for Bishop Hill!!! A climate scientist writing article at Bishop Hill (cannot compute!!)

      I know Richard quite well, and fact told him about this, did you see the tweet about a good laugh will be had in the ‘office’ tomorrow..

      ‘office’ = the UK Met Office!

      http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/research/people/richard-betts

      • Eric Worrall says:

        The Betts fumble is simply an indicator of the sloppy methodology Lewandowsky used.

        If a comment by a staunch support of alarmism like Betts can be classified under “Excerpts Espousing Conspiracy Theory”, then you have to wonder about the rest of Lewandowsky’s analysis.

        For such a blunder to slip through Lewandowsky’s own analysis, his team’s analysis and internal review, and external peer review, is quite a poor showing – regardless of how much Lewandowsky tries to smooth over his mistake after it was brought to his attention.

      • Is this the Bishops Hill post you refer to? http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2011/11/9/dangerous-climate-change.html (If not, feel free to correct.)

        Eric, you may want to check the calibration on your “alarmism” meter. It seems to have poor gradation.

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