Climate deniers fail to check in boxes, hilarity and fake scandal ensures: in-box-gate anyone?

Above: film recommendation for climate sceptics

And so it seems the great scandal to have rocked the world’s climate blogs is coming to a close. All for want of a decent “search” facility in some individuals email accounts…

I’ve already commented on the sceptic reaction to the Lewandosksy paper – or should that be overreaction – and was part way through a post commenting on how some of the premier climate sceptic bloggers had worked themselves up to purple-faced-internet-troll-levels-of-rage.

For those new to the scandal de jour it goes like this: Professor Lewandosksy and his fellow authors of the paper created an online survey for readers of blogs related to climate change to complete.

In fact, if you read his paper the methodology is carefully outlined… but wait, we are dealing with a segment of the internet community that excels in motivated reasoning and will see any form of criticism as an excuse to indulge in the internet equivalent of “going postal”.

Two issues seemed to seemed to have caused a great deal of fuss for the sceptical community:

  1. Links to the survey were made available on “warmists” blogs such as Skeptical Science etc.
  2. But what really got up their noses was their claim no-one bothered to ask “sceptics”!

The accusation, thinly veiled as they usually are, is that Lewandosksy and his colleges were gaming the survey. Indeed, accusations of “fraud” and “retract the paper” were being casually bandied about by sceptic bloggers and their forum trolls… er readers.

Anthony Watts set the tone, harrumphing in a post:

I keep all my email, and I see no such contact or invitation. I’ve searched WUWT and found nothing in comments from him inviting to participate either. To be thorough, I also searched for any communications from his co-authors Klaus Oberauer and Gilles Gignac. I’ve found no invitation of any kind, but I did find that a commenter in the USA, PaulW left a note about it on WUWT here: But, he’s not affiliated with UWA or the authors, and it was purely a comment of curiosity. One of our moderators, D.B. Stealey took the survey (now deleted) after seeing the comment, and noted “Interesting questions.” but he didn’t note any invitation to post it on WUWT, nor did I. 

Similar lack of confirmed invitations are being reported in other skeptical blogs, and the list is growing. But, for some reason, Dr. Lewandowsky refuses to divulge which skeptical blogs he contacted

Good ol’ Jo Nova is actually running tally on her blog about which sceptic bloggers didn’t receive an invitation:

Tally so far: skeptics asked = 0 ; not asked = 25. 

UPDATE: McIntyre finds one email from 2 years ago from uwa that he didn’t reply to.

Noted climate sceptic Steve McIntyre commented in the discussion thread on Watt’s blog:

I originally searched for Lewandowsky and had had no returns. In a comment above, I gave permission for Lewandowsky to identify me if they had sent me an email that I hadn’t located. InLewandowsky’s post today, he reported that the inquiry was not sent out by him personally but by his research assistant. I searched again this time under the term “” and located an email from Charles Hanich on Sep 6, 2010 asking that the survey be posted by Climate Audit and a second request two weeks later. 

Like many people, I get lots of emails. I didnt know Hanich and I didn’t pay any attention to the request at the time. I didnt reply. 

Lewandowsky stated that the blogs in question “likely replied to my requests under the presumption of privacy and I am therefore not releasing their names.” Given that I made no reply, I don’t understand why their original inquiry would raise confidentiality issues. 

The study itself looks pretty goofy and to be compromised by fake (Gleickian) answers from readers of Tamino, Deltoid etc , but that is another story.


And according to a post just made by Professor  Lewandosksy others would have been sent invites (though for privacy reasons details are not released):

It has come to my attention that one of the individuals who initially denied—yes, folks, that’s the correct word, look it up in a dictionary—having received an invitation to post a link to my survey on the rejection of science on his blog, has now found that email. 

This is laudable, if entirely unsurprising, and I bear no grudge against that person for having had such trouble finding a message from two years ago among mountains of other correspondence—anyone who has ever had to respond to frivolous FOI requests can share that pain. 

Should any others want to continue searching their correspondence, it might be helpful to know that my assistant has just re-read old correspondence from some time ago (e.g., from Thu, 23 Sep 2010 08:38:33 -0400) with considerable amusement in light of the frivolous accusations flying about the internet that we may not have contacted those blogs with a request to post a link. 

One of the many tourist attractions in southern Western Australia is the town of Mt Barker, famous for being the gateway to the Porongorups. The Porongurups offer multiple recreational opportunities, among them some multi-pitch granite slab climbs (250 m, Rock Gibraltar) that I highly recommend because they make the climate wars look boring. Mt. Barker also features nice wines, and perhaps most famous of all, it is the home of the world’s best free-range eggs. 

There are lots of eggs left in my fridge.

Ponder that dear readers: even with the evidence sitting in their own email in boxes, the *cough* sceptics *cough* denied receiving the invitations.

And instead reacted in a manner totally disproportional to the event.

Well color me surprised!


As I noted in the previous post, the climate denial machine reacted with all the vitriol and faux-outrage it is wont to muster.

The blogger over at Bishop Hill got really worked up actually using the language of conspiracy in their title “The plot thickens“:

The pressure is ramping up on Stephan Lewandowsky at quite a rate of knots. The illusion that his paper was a bona fide contribution to the academic literature has faded away with the news that his headline – linking denial of the US moon landing and AGW scepticism – was not even supported by his data. The first allegations of academic fraud have been made.


Is there some dastardly deed afoot!

Good God man!

Man the sceptic blogs, and blast off a reply!

Australian Climate Madness went into overdrive by lodging an FOI request – you know, the standard bullying and invasive tactic used by the denial machine to intimidate and waste the time of genuine scholars.



How about this climate “sceptics”:

It’s called a search function: I believe most of your email accounts would have one.

That is all sceptics, carry on.

Back to cherry-a-picking data you go!

4 thoughts on “Climate deniers fail to check in boxes, hilarity and fake scandal ensures: in-box-gate anyone?

  1. uknowispeaksense says:

    I bet Anthony has one sitting in his somewhere too. I think that Lewandowski, given the ridiculous list being made at The Blackboard with the idiot in charge over there demanding,
    “If Lewandowksy did contact me in my capacity as operator of The Blackboard, I grant him permission to reveal this to the world. In fact, since I would prefer he reveal that I was one of the bloggers I do not grant permission for him to refuse to reveal I was contacted,” should forego the privacy and just list all those that were contacted. I’m guessing that there would be quite a few with red faces. And yes, I had to read that nonsense twice too.

  2. […] 2012/09/04: WtD: Climate deniers fail to check in boxes, hilarity and fake scandal ensures: in-box-g… […]

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