back to article Climate sceptic? You're probably a 'Birther', don't vaccinate your kids

A psychologist in Australia - already well known for suggesting that climate "deniers" believe that the Apollo moon landings were faked and that Princess Diana was assassinated - has come out with new peer-reviewed research suggesting that such people also believe that President Obama was not born in the United States, that the …

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  1. Alan Bourke

    There has always been a tinfoil hat brigade

    unfortunately the internet acts as a force multiplier to them.

    1. Robert E A Harvey

      Is it time for this again?

      http://www.eclectech.co.uk/mindcontrol.php

    2. RICHTO Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: There has always been a tinfoil hat brigade

      Not really a 'force multiplier' for the Tin Hat brigade - Linux market share is still at ~ 1%....

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yet again more Warmist blathering, as their dreams end in tatters. Shale gas is coming to the UK, Wind farm lunacy is close to ending. The world is not ending and never was, as people realize. Climate Change belief is falling and stagnating.

    Warmists can take a seat next to the Marxists, Communists, Anarchists, in the dustbin known as History's losers.

    1. Lord Voldemortgage

      I don't think you are helping.

    2. FreeBrad

      I am an Anarchist (well a libertarian at least) and even I agree that anarchism is dead but communism? The word has changed, sure, but the ideology remains the same. I really can't see the difference between socialism and communism.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Really? You say that you don't understand the difference between socialism and communism, but you are confident that communism is not dead? How does that work?

        I can't tell the difference between elephants and mammoths - but I'm sure that there are mammoths around 'cos I saw one in the zoo.

        1. FreeBrad
          FAIL

          There is no difference between communism and socialism. I wish that the ideology of the left had gone the same way as the mammoth, but unfortunately it isn't; otherwise the three main political parties would not exist. All of them are proponents of big government, public surveillance and authoritarian rule which are key elements of socialism and communism.

          How on earth do you think that both communism and anarchism can be dead? they are at opposite ends of the spectrum; And we are a hell of a lot closer to communism than anarchism .

    3. davyclam
      Meh

      This psychiatrist chap is inconsistent. Surely the climate change believers are the very same folk who believe in homeopathy? Not the other way round?

      Wind farms are lunacy, but we still need a reliable and clean source of energy for the future.

  3. Spongibrain
    Childcatcher

    And eating beef from BSE infected herds carries no risk

    Where are we on that one ? I'm still waiting for MY symptoms

  4. Reg. Blank
    Thumb Up

    Proud to be a window licking climate sceptic.

  5. Chronos Silver badge

    Climate sceptic?

    No, I'm just sceptical, end of. Bullshit is everywhere.The first thing I do when faced with one of these "truths" is follow the money. If it leads to one of the usual suspects, well, what's new there?

    The best thing you can do for your kids isn't vaccinate them, it's to teach them to question everything.

    1. P Saunders

      Re: Climate sceptic?

      hard to do that when they just died from polio...

    2. kissingthecarpet
      Childcatcher

      Re: Climate sceptic?

      Easy to say.

      How does your homily translate into action IRL, rather than posting in forums? I don't think you mean "everything" do you? Do you mean just stuff that costs above a certain sum? What about stuff that has no obvious monetary profit motive? Do you teach them to question *you* all the time, and is your answer going to involve coercion? What's the relevance of the answer to a question like "why are you stabbing/shooting me?"

      I think that if your children are say, pre-school, its probably better to concentrate on your other, some may say more important parental duties, like getting them vaccinated, educated, fed, clothed, housed etc.

      Your statement is so general as to be "I'm for Mum and apple pie".

      1. Anonymous Coward
        FAIL

        Re: Climate sceptic?

        > How does your homily translate into action IRL etc, etc

        I think you need to take the medication.

        The OP suggests that teaching the children to think rather than parroting religion (which is pretty much what AGW "science" is at the moment) is pretty important. I can't disagree.

        BTW, it is possible to do this *and* innoculate your children.

        1. Chronos Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: Climate sceptic?

          S: BTW, it is possible to do this *and* innoculate your children.

          Precisely. I was prioritising, not excluding.

          With regard to the comment upthread, yes, my son does question me and my place in this household. It's his right as an individual to do so and disallowing that would be hypocritical in the extreme. What would also be hypocritical would be to allow him to think that power is fair, so quite often I win by default even if I'm wrong. It prepares him for the real world where this sort of thing is the norm.

  6. DJ Smiley
    Coffee/keyboard

    Thnk that Apple never copied anyone

    And samsung copied apple....

    Another one for the pile? ;)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Myths

      My favourite myth is the myth that Osama bin Laden "masterminded" the 9/11 attacks. No one has been particularly interested in telling the truth about that one, least of all Osama himself, who soon realised that it was in everyone's best interests for him to take the credit. The sad truth is that he probably wasn't even told about the attacks until after they happened. The FBI have publicly stated that they have no evidence to link Osama bin Laden to 9/11. However, if you read Wikipedia you'll get rather a different story. It seems that many people who know that Osama was not a 9/11 conspirator carefully avoid saying so in public, perhaps so as to avoid offending people. Take Osama's obituary in The Economist, for example, where they link Osama to 9/11 by quoting Osama's claim that he was with the hijackers on the hijacked aircraft, which makes the point quite nicely. I suppose the Osama myth is fairly harmless at this point. In a way I rather like it as a dramatic demonstration of how most of what people believe is total crap, but in most cases it doesn't matter.

      However, in the case of climate change, perhaps it does matter.

  7. hfhghg6767
    Thumb Up

    Proud to be a skeptic!

    Proud to be a skeptic! Keep up the good work Lewis! =)

  8. David Webb

    Nasa faked the Moon landings, therefore the Female G-Spot is a hoax!

    Damn, I should write books if I can say shit like that.

    1. BongoJoe
      Headmaster

      Female G-spot, as opposed to...?

      1. Eddy Ito Silver badge

        as opposed to

        Female A through F-spots of course unless it's a Caesar cipher but hey how hard could that be?

  9. Alister Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    I think you "Full Disclosure" should be twice the size and in bold - it sums up how I feel as well:

    "Full Disclosure: Your correspondent is quite OK with the idea that CO2 is a greenhouse gas, and further that global temperatures appear to have risen noticeably at the back end of the 20th century - though there is a lot of uncertainty about how much, what they did before records began, etc etc. Nonetheless, I'm personally sceptical - only sceptical, I deny nothing - regarding the accuracy of forecasts and models which predict massively accelerated further warming this century; and also sceptical that anyone knows at all well what the likely consequences of this possible warming would be in terms of sea levels, crop yields etc.

    All that said, it is quite possible that the alarmists are right and the coming decades could see serious sea-level rises, crop failures etc. Unfortunately I'm really, really sceptical about the idea that the human race can support any reasonably advanced and wealthy modern civilisation using only or mostly renewable power. The proposed cure seems likely to be worse than the disease. Furthermore it isn't actually on the table - most of the world's governments don't even offer a serious pretence of trying to achieve it, though they are happy to encourage others to choke their economies to death.

    So I'm a sceptic."

    1. kissingthecarpet
      Meh

      I'm sceptical about sceptics

      Isn't yours and Mr Page's stance "I don't know". Being a sceptic implies a little more than I dunno, especially if your default position is merely the status quo.

      Are you as sceptical about the current state of the nuclear industry as you are about renewables?

      All the "usual suspects" who are happy with the way things are just have to say "Ooooh, are you sure? Maybe you should just not do anything different " with their money-amplified voices to create inertia. If the same amount had been spent on research into renewable energy as on nuclear R&D + power stations that produced no net energy gain, since the idea was first spoken of by scientists, perhaps we would be somewhere different now.

  10. Silverburn
    Alien

    Missing off the list: Creationism. Or aliens.

    Proof - as if any were needed - that people will believe or rationalise *anything*.

  11. Caoilte

    your skepticism is confused

    Because you can't imagine how the human race could beat global warming you refuse to believe in it. That's quite normal. It's not rational, but then few people can think rationally about such an abstract subject.

    However, as a tech journalist, I wish you were more inquisitive and read the non-military news. We've just opened super-connectors with Iceland (Geothermals) and Norway (Hydro storage). Siemens (Desertec) is building super-connectors to Morocco where solar concentrators offer a rare-earth elements free method of generating vast amounts of electricity.

    Against the Grain just broadcast a really good interview with Gar Lipow on this subject, where he goes into some detail on the technological solutions we already have and how we could pay for them here and in the global south. Simply put, If there was cross-border state investment in expanding the projects I described above we could generate 70% of our energy from renewable sources in less than twenty years.

    http://www.againstthegrain.org/program/607/tues-91812-halting-global-warming

    Also this week's Analysis explored the topic of political prejudice in some detail and why people have trouble adapting their opinions on these subjects

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01mqmyw

    Both would be worth while listening to and would offer a lot more of value to you and other readers than the sort of sensationalist pap that I'm more used to seeing in the Metro free-paper.

    1. bill 36

      Re: your skepticism is confused

      You missed a bit.

      "super-connectors to Morocco where solar concentrators offer a rare-earth elements free method of generating vast amounts of electricity"

      During the day!

      1. PyLETS

        Re: your skepticism is confused

        Solar concentrators are also capable of heating up big stores of rock from which electricity can be generated at night too.

        1. bill 36
          Thumb Down

          Re: your skepticism is confused

          I've really tried hard to get my head round that and i've failed.

          Drilling several miles into the earths crust is very valid but the energy recovery from heated stones?????

      2. Lamont Cranston

        @ bill 36

        Still probably more reliable than wind power!

      3. Caoilte

        Re: your skepticism is confused

        Exactly,

        which is why they need to be balanced by other sources (wind) across a continent wide smart grid (where the productive day is also longer) and storage solutions can be made use of (eg Norwegian water storage, but there are other ways).

        The Against the Grain podcast explores this a little bit.

  12. Grikath Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Did anyone check his source material?

    Dutch version of this type of clown:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diederik_Stapel (english wiki is a couple months out of date, but most people will get the gist.)

    The one that tripped Stapel up was "Meat eaters are more antisocial".

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    MMR vaccine deniers?

    Pretty sure many of them fall into the enviro-mentalist brigade.....

    1. kissingthecarpet

      Re: MMR vaccine deniers?

      Yes, but only the crazy New-Agers, not scientists who after all first understood the problems that humans are causing the earth. If a massive science consensus hadn't forced it upon them, not one politician would give a moment's thought to environmental damage of any kind.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: MMR vaccine deniers?

      Not entirely correct.

      There were/are two types of people (or two objections) to the MMR. The first one was that is causes (or may increase the chance of) autism (based on dodgy stats). To which the reply was, quite rightly, that even if true the risks from not having the MMR jab still outweigh the risks from having it.

      However, most people I know who were moaning about the MMR were not talking about MMR vs no jab risks, but the MMR vs individual jab risks. I.e the risks (even slight) from having a multiple jab versus having individual jabs administered at the correct ages (as they used to be). People were complaining that there was (albeit small) and increased risk in illness from combining medicines and that the government were not giving people the choice of the individual jabs (to save money).

      But everytime somebody said "don't want MMR" people always assume that they are idiots because they think it means having no jabs at all - not true. Anyway just thought I'd try to clarify things a bit (not sure if I did mind - must be the cocktail of drugs in my system :-)

      Full disclosure: I objected to the MMR on the fact that I couldn't get (even if I paid the GP) individual jabs (only a few places offered it) I found one in the end though.The reason I objected is because my spouse had a bad reaction to a 'mixed' booster from a GP in the past (when they had no reaction to the individual initial jabs) , and I was prepared to pay to not take the risk with my kid.

      I am not an MMR vaccine denier, but a mixed injection objector - like my drugs, I'd prefer it if you didn't mix them up :-)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: MMR vaccine deniers?

        http://www.forbes.com/sites/davidwhelan/2011/01/05/extradite-andrew-wakefield-to-face-fraud-charges-in-the-uk/

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: MMR vaccine deniers?

          Let's make it perfectly clear.

          Andrew Wakefield wanted people to be scared of combined vaccinations, so he could sell his secretly previously patented single vaccines, thus diverting huge amounts of money from to his own bank accounts.

          People were NOT afraid of combined vaccinations before his self-interested efforts.

          This scheme failed, and the fraudulent published research was outlined in the BMJ, which was why he was struck off from the Medical Register and cannot now practice medicine in the UK.

          He is now skulking in the US, presumably he only speaks English, otherwise he would be inflicting himself on some other more innocent nation somewhere else.

          N.B. He is also not permitted to practice medicine in the US, as he doesn't have a licence to practice medicine there either, although it may possibly appear that he would like people to think so.

          Now, if I had said this, say 4 or 5 years ago, people would be shouting me down, proclaiming him as the New Messiah, trust me, he isn't even close.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: MMR vaccine deniers?

            http://briandeer.com/mmr/lancet-summary.htm

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: MMR vaccine deniers?

            Perhaps the downvoter would like to take a look here

            http://www.bmj.com/content/342/bmj.d22

            a key phrase that may interest you is the following:-

            " in no single case can the medical records be fully reconciled with what was published. This means that the MMR scare was based not on bad science but on a deliberate fraud"

  14. Andy Fletcher

    He missed one out

    Not one mention of religion? A lot of free thinkers aren't into that either.

  15. Havelock
    Black Helicopters

    Wouldn't the "secret recipe" be otherwise known as brain washing?

  16. Mog0
    WTF?

    You count engineer as a scientist?

    "As usual, we would advance our preferred term, "boffin", for an actual real scientist (physicist, engineer, archaeologist etc) to differentiate from the trick-cyclists, sociologists and other marginal eggheads."

    Engineers are not scientists, they are a whole different stream of profession in their own right. I am personally a software engineer and am proud of the term, which means that companies like BT calling their techs who come round to your house with a screwdriver "engineers" annoys me after I spent 4 years at a top university studying to become an engineer.

    The best description of the difference between an engineer and a scientist I've come across is, an engineer learns in order to build things and a scientist builds things in order to learn. The overall aim is different. Science is about learning and engineering is about building something useful (using knowledge that has come from science).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Coat

      Re: You count engineer as a scientist?

      You call yourself an engineer? You're an author.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: You count engineer as a scientist?

      I thought engineers were those things on the side of Tonto's head.

    3. Alister Silver badge

      Re: You count engineer as a scientist?

      @Mog0

      >>>>"As usual, we would advance our preferred term, "boffin", for an actual real scientist (physicist, engineer, archaeologist etc) to differentiate from the trick-cyclists, sociologists and other marginal eggheads."

      >>Engineers are not scientists, they are a whole different stream of profession in their own right. I am personally a software engineer and am proud of the term, which means that companies like BT calling their techs who come round to your house with a screwdriver "engineers" annoys me after I spent 4 years at a top university studying to become an engineer.

      From the passage that you quoted, Lewis is saying that the term "boffin" should be used to describe scientists and engineers, etc, rather than those of the alleged sciences like phsychology. He is not, to my mind, suggesting that you call engineers scientists, anymore than you would normally call archeologists scientists.

      And I find it laughable that you think that four years at Uni makes you a better "engineer" than someone who works on hardware using real tools...

    4. Keith Langmead

      Re: You count engineer as a scientist?

      There are plenty of proper engineers who'd scoff at you calling yourself an engineer. In any other profession it takes more than just going to Uni for 4 years to call yourself an engineer, you have to be properly accredited as well. It's only within IT that we get to blindly call ourselves engineers, and I believe the other professions hate us for it since it devalues the work they do.

      IIRC while they might just be doing screwdriver jobs in your house, proper BT engineers have to do a LOT of training to get that title, and are arguably more entitled to use the name than a programmer.

      Hell, I've spent 12 years actually working in and with computers, but just coding on them, and I still feel somewhat uncomfortable about being referred to as an IT "Engineer", though most people can at least understand that term compared to something like Sys Admin.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: You count engineer as a scientist?

        Agree 100%.

        I''m not an engineer, neither are programmers (a perfectly respectable profession), nor are sales people sales "engineers" .

        I get the feeling companies would call you Grand Vice Rear Admiral of Servers if they thought your ego needed massaged and it would fool you into taking a shitty wage, especially if you weren't formally qualified and they thoguht they could get away with it....

        And people calling themselves "President" in companies, isn''t that sailing pretty close to the wind, legally? Are they tempted to order themsleves a replica police uniform and wear that in the office too? ;)

  17. David Barr
    FAIL

    The science is fine.

    And really. The science is fine. It's the 'research' that cherry picks from other bad research. It's the news articles written by gibbering morons, it's the catchphrases that do gooders spread, it's the well intentioned nonsense that teachers fill children's heads with that I have a problem with.

    The true parts of climate change are not an issue. The rubbish that has surrounded it is.

  18. Sean Inglis

    Lewandowsky's paper is currently being fisked on climateaudit.org where the influence of his personal bias, sloppiness of his methods, and paucity of his understanding are being steadily exposed.

    He'll be lucky if it ends as well for him as it has done for Gergis and Karoly.

    1. NomNomNom

      Uh wrong paper. Plus you could say Lewandowsky's blog is ripping McIntyre apart.

      1. Sean Inglis

        What do you mean by "wrong paper"?

        The point I'm making is that Gergis et al 2012 is the last paper that CA has scrutinised where the methods were incomplete and found wanting; CA asked for details; the papers' authors refused, preferring to mock the hosts statistical expertise; CA pressed ahead and even with vanishingly little information found flaws that meant the paper had to be withdrawn and it is not resubmitted to this day.

        If Lewandowski comes out of the affair merely having had to withdraw his own paper he'll be fortunate.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Uh, no. Lewandowsky blog is being extremely offensive and making a wide variety of preposterous claims, but the ripping apart is all in your mind. The basic problem is that if you post anything on L's blog that is critical and gets to the heart of L's basic incompetence and inability to do science, your posts are deleted. Echo chambers may give the impression of "ripping apart", but when conducted in a vacuum illuminated mostly by the terminally confused nature of the participants, it isn't very useful.

        And, just think of it, L's paper is based on a single internet based opinion survey filled in, as far as we can tell, almost entirely by a self selected group of people who read fan-boy warmist blogs like Deltoid. And yet it purports to expose the ideas of skeptics ? An internet opinion survey, fscking REALLY, and you're trying to defend this ? Even assuming that the statistical treatment is valid (and it is certainly inadequate to handle the sort of data it is used on) the only reasonable conclusion one can take from such surveys is that you can't take anything serious from such surveys !

        A good chunk of the data collected by Lewandosky is "faked", faked that is by the participants who don't answer honestly and truthfully. But what chunk, answer, we have no idea. The idea that some stats can produce meaningful conclusions from this is laughable. There ARE in fact appropriate ways of dealing with this sort of data (apart from tossing it in the bin), concepts like robust regression, unfortunately for Lewandosky if you apply that sort of more rigourous treatment, all trace of any correlations disappear, whichj is probably exactly why he doesn't use such, preferring to pretend that his data is "useful".

        The whole paper is simply a piece of unmitigated bullshit propaganda, and it is a definitely not to the credit of the journal that is ostensibly (because the paper doesn't appear on its list of upcoming publications) being published in, nor to the University of WA, nor to the Australian taxpayer who paid for this.

    2. Silverburn
      Happy

      Sounds like a standard "peer review process" to me.

      Once they've finished slating him, they might even read the paper. Or at least the 1 page summary.

  19. dotdavid
    Boffin

    Birther?!

    Pah! Amateurs. Personally, I'm a flat-Earther.

    1. Bernard

      The earth may be flat

      But does it have rounded edges?

      1. 404 Silver badge
        Trollface

        No

        Because even God can't win in California courts vs. Apple's lawyers.

        ;)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Birther?!

      But how can the earth be flat when it is hollow - with a big hole at the north pole?

  20. SiempreTuna
    Mushroom

    Another Research Paper Brought to You by the University of the Bleedin' Obvious

    So a trick cyclist finally listened to the BS that's been coming from Republicans, Tea Party types and (invariably industry financed) climate skeptic 'researchers' .. only 30 years late.

    Climate deniers almost certainly also believe the CIA shot Kennedy and poisoned Marilyn Munroe: they're people who will ALWAYS believe dumb-ass conspiracy theories before dull, peer-reviewed research.

    Have 95% of scientist declare water is wet and they'll deny that.

    It's no coincidence most are also religious: i.e. people who see 'faith' (the ability to delude oneself that the palpably false is true) as a virtue and who are happy to kill anyone with the temerity to point out 'facts' (the stuff that proves they're talking b*llocks).

    1. Reg. Blank

      Re: Another Research Paper Brought to You by the University of the Bleedin' Obvious

      To concisely summarise the warmist position, as I see it:

      [ Collect climate data (interesting sciencey stuff) ] therefore [ Windmills FTW! (bullshit) ].

      What I particularly object to, and am sceptical of, is the bullshit part.

      The paper could just as easily say "Anybody who doesn't agree with me smells".

    2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: Another Research Paper Brought to You by the University of the Bleedin' Obvious

      "Climate deniers almost certainly also believe the CIA shot Kennedy and poisoned Marilyn Munroe: they're people who will ALWAYS believe dumb-ass conspiracy theories before dull, peer-reviewed research."

      I suspect that the number of people you'd describe as "climate deniers" vastly exceeds the number of people who believe the CIA did either of these things. Therefore, it is numerically impossible for most of the first group to also belong to the second and third groups.

      You may consider this post to be a form of peer review.

    3. launcap Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: Another Research Paper Brought to You by the University of the Bleedin' Obvious

      >It's no coincidence most are also religious: i.e. people who see 'faith' (the ability to delude oneself that the >palpably false is true) as a virtue and who are happy to kill anyone with the temerity to point out 'facts' (the stuff >that proves they're talking b*llocks).

      Ah.. another "the edges cases apply to everyone in the class" idiot.. Maybe you should espouse a bit of scientific reality and ask yourself whether what you wrote was based on fact or the sort of blinkered unthinking prejudice that you lambast others for..

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Another Research Paper Brought to You by the University of the Bleedin' Obvious

      My experience is the total opposite to this...

      "It's no coincidence most are also religious: i.e. people who see 'faith'... "

      I have found that, whilst a lot of people 'believe' in man-made climate doom (and some question it), they still accept other opinions. But from those who lash out against anybody who has the cheek to question man-made impact on the climate most of THEM are religious - and they far outnumber the so-called hard-line deniers of whom you speak. They have the same 'how dare you not believe the same way as me' and 'I totally believe everything I'm told without question' menatality as a relgious fanatic - and unfortunately your post puts you firmly in the very section of society you are trying to mock.

  21. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. P_0

      "1) global warming is happening, and

      2) it's largely man-made.

      There is a depressingly large body of the public who fall into that category, and to lump them in with "birthers", "truthers" and the rest seems reasonable.

      A "skeptic" (spelling deliberate) is simply a description of a competent scientist (among others). A Skeptic questions everything, but once a skeptic has examined the evidence he is prepared to accept it and move on. Crucially, a skeptic is prepared to change their opinions in the face of new facts. Flat-earthers call themselves skeptics too, most people call them idiots. Why? Because they refuse to take any notice of the vast body of evidence that counters the one or two cherry-picked "facts" that they imagine supports their belief."

      I fall under catergory (2) and partially under (1).

      What you say is quite childish. You say a "skeptic" is competent and examines the evidence and then MUST agree with whatever YOU believe. It's silly. You assume you are correct before even examining anything. And you poison the well by saying that evidence against your belief is "cherry-picked" and evidence for is "vast". You shut down any possibility of debate or reasonable discussion from the start.

      "** bonus points for anybody who says this failing to consider the vast sums that Exxon have pumped into denialism over the years, dwarfing by several orders of magnitude anything put in by renewable energy companies."

      I think you are very poorly educated in what is happening. How much money is pumped into "climate research"? How many organization pour money into building up "evidence", World Wildlife Fund, Greenpeace, Sierra Club, Oxfam, etc... And that doesn't include government grants for doing "cliate change research".

      1. Ian 56

        "You say a "skeptic" is competent".

        No, I said a competent scientist is a skeptic. Skeptics themselves can be competent or not.

        "...and then MUST agree with whatever YOU believe". I don't believe I said that. I said that a skeptic will examine the evidence, then accept that evidence (assuming it's valid). What I believe has nothing to do with it. Similarly, I do not assume I am correct - that is the antithesis of skepticism (and in fact typical of deniers).

        "And you poison the well by saying that evidence against your belief is "cherry-picked" and evidence for is "vast". You shut down any possibility of debate or reasonable discussion from the start."

        Once again, what I believe does not matter. Also... The word "vast" is a reasonable adjective to describe the weight of evidence for global warming. Cherry-picking is indeed a common tactic of the denier - you may like to take note of the many articles that use this tactic. Example: A "boffin" somewhere will issue a press release referring to a single study that, with a certain reading, appears to cast doubt on some arcane aspect of the science. Fair enough so far. This will then be pounced on by the deniers as "evidence" that there is a significant controversy, and "all bets are off" (again - typical language). This tactic is called cherry-picking and it is an absolute no-no in respectable scientific circles.

        "I think you are very poorly educated in what is happening ... "

        Possible, even likely - a healthy attitude I might suggest ;). Anyway, I strongly suggest you look into this. When you do, you may be surprised - if indeed you really are interested in "following the money".

        1. P_0

          @Ian 56

          So Ian, you are suggesting it is possible to examine all the facts fairly and come to a different conclusion to you? You agree that this is possible?

          Because it sounds like you are assuming that once people examine the facts they will believe AGW.

          The problem with AGW is, compared to what I would call REAL science, it is unfalsifiable. If I want to prove General Relativity is not true, it's easy. Just find some action or natural phenomena that contradict GR's predictions.

          How am I to falsify AGW "theory"? Because, I am sick of every weather event getting blamed on AGW. Tell me a weather event that falsifies AGW! No you can't, because AGW is an amorphous, nebulous idea, that isn't well-formed enough to test. I honestly think it is pathetic. It's pathetic because Warmists don't actually know what they are arguing, until after it happens. Wait for a hurricane, then blame hurricanes on AGW. Cold winter? That's AGW. What's that, a hot summer? Well, that's because of CO2. It's pathetic. The only comfort I take from this idiocy that is enveloping the industrialized world is that most people no longer believe it.

          As for following the money, I have no idea what you are talking about. What money should I follow? Are you suggesting, for example, that ClimateAudit and WUWT, skeptic websites, take money form Exxon? And you do realize, that the phrase "follow the money" is well used by 911 Truthers to guide people into "realizing" the conspiracy.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Reading your comment....

      I assume you must be a denier based on the points in your own description of a denier....

      Lumping global warming sceptics (a subject where there is a significant volume of scientific material around a complex system allowing for a variety of opinions to be held supporting those opinions) with birthers (Obama was either born in a US state or he wasn't - you either accept the presented evidence or you don't) would appear to be an attempt at an insult rather than a constructive attempt at a debate.

      Is the mention of the vast sums of money that Exxon have pumped into denialism as suggestion that denying climate change is just a conspiracy by global oil companies?

      Any chance that you would modify your opinion at the end of a debate?

      1. Ian 56

        Re: Reading your comment....

        I defined a global warming denier as somebody who doesn't either accept that global warming is happening, or doesn't accept that it's largely man-made (or both). About this, there is no significant controversy at all.

        Of course, there are many other areas which are in doubt - the most obvious being: what is the best course of action to take in the future?

        The mention of Exxon is not part of my argument - I offer it as a counter-example to kind of people who say "follow the money", and expect to be taken seriously.

        "Any chance that you would modify your opinion at the end of a debate?"

        Happens all the time - you don't know me so I'll let that slide :).

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Reading your comment....

          Sorry Ian56, but you're simply ignorant. There is indeed a wide variety of evidence supporting the view that even though the climate is gradually warming, it is doing so for mostly natural reasons just as it has many times in the past. It is an extreme form of denialism to suggest that climate is fixed and only humans can change it.

          Any money, follow the money and you find that the whole warmenist agenda is supported by literally billions of dollars of money, primarily from taxpayers but also from corporates busy reaping even more money from taxpayers, whereas the skeptic side is barely financed at all. Poor old Gleick went to all the trouble of criminally impersonating a Heartland board member to expose the hug sums of money being feed through that organization to skeptics and only ended up demonstrating just how miniscule that financing was,less than 0.1% of the money funding the alarmist agenda.

          There's your most pervasive conspiracy theory around, that the skeptic community only exists because it is massively funded by teh eviloil corporations and baby eaters like those hate figures du jour the Koch Brothers, and as it utterly is untrue those who proclaim it are obviously full on nut-jobs. Pity that Lewandosky didn't include a question on that one in his laughable "survey".

    3. That Steve Guy

      Re: Ian 56

      So you state that if you do not agree with the two points you raised you are a "denier".

      Afraid not, its entirely reasonable to be skeptical especially when so much BS and propaganda is floating around about the subject.

      Here is where I fall.

      1. Climate is changing, Well DUH! The geological record shows it has always changed since long before we humans arrived on the scene. Even leading Skeptics admit this.

      2. Its man made. This where the whole point of the debate is. Humans have only been engaged in heavy industry for around 200 years and have not been taking accurate measurements of the climate around them for less than this time (and even then older devices were less accuate) Granted people are looking at ice cores to try to measure the past but that is still extrapolation and speculation as we do not have accurate global measurements we do today.

      The whole debate between alarmists and skeptics is how much do humans have an impact on the climate? Of allt he climate change that has gone on recently how much is natural and how much isn't? Since we have already established climate always has changed and will continue to do so how do you measure human impact?

      This is why I am skeptical, I am not going to form a conclusion when there is a clear lack of data and climate models predictions have been proven to be woefully innaccurate.

      Papers like this do nothing to further the debate, the arguments presented here are not about the science of climate change but about discrediting anybody who forms an opinion disagreeing with one side of an unresolved debate as a nut job.

      1. Ian 56

        Re: Ian 56

        Good post!

        I like it because it specifically addresses the evidence, and offers counter-arguments. Except for your last paragraph which starts well ("Papers like this do nothing to further the debate"), but possibly (and like LP) misunderstands the difference between skepticism and denial. The author of the quoted article is talking about denialism, not skepticism.

        I won't pretend to able to counter your suggestions directly - I Am Not A Climate Scientist. You might like to go here and look up your arguments. You should be able to find the actual scientific rebuttals / explanations. For example, the number 1 item in the list addresses your first concern - i.e. "the climate's changed before".

        http://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php

  22. Pete 2 Silver badge

    There's misinformation, lack of information and false information

    > misinformation is particularly damaging if it concerns complex real-world issues ...

    There's also the possibility that sometimes the general public is deliberately misled (WMDs, dodgy dossiers etc.) to gain acceptance for a policy. There's a wide range of circumstances where the information is considered "too hard" for ordinary people to understand - especially if they are victims of the british educational system - and has to be "simplified" for their poor little brains to comprehend, On top of that there's situations where information is conflicting and incomplete - that leads to religious and factional side-taking, based more on what people want to believe, rather than on actual information.

    And finally there's "we simply don't know", which would be the mature response to conflicting/incomplete information, if only there wasn't so much benefit to be had from "proving" your side was right.

    Climate change has far too much invested by both sides for any truth to ever come out. Simple observation tells me that the weather I experience in my little corner of the world is hotter/colder/wetter/drier than it used to be (depending when and over what period you care to form an opinion). However, the causes are far from clear and therefore any remediation that may, or may not, be necessary is impossible to propose as we don't have any hard information regarding the cause.

    Our trick-cycling hack definitely falls into the "there's money & fame to be made here" and is positioning himself to exploit that. As such he's just adding to the overall noise without contributing anything useful: ignore.

    1. NomNomNom

      Re: There's misinformation, lack of information and false information

      "Our trick-cycling hack definitely falls into the "there's money & fame to be made here" and is positioning himself to exploit that. As such he's just adding to the overall noise without contributing anything useful: ignore."

      Have you actually read the paper? I suspect you have not before making your sweeping accusation. Perhaps prove me wrong and cite what you think is wrong in the paper? For example do you think any of the claims are unsubstantiated, what proportion and which ones?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: There's misinformation, lack of information and false information

        Nom, it's based on a "random" internet survey from blogs infested with ignorant fan-boi types ! Do you need any other information to conclude that any data derived from it has to be treated extremely skeptically ? Can you point out where the author has honestly attempted to deal with the data issues ?

  23. NomNomNom

    People should read the paper. It's 99% nothing to do with climate change.

    http://psi.sagepub.com/content/13/3/106.full

    It's actually quite interesting and has lots of references to psychological studies that yeild interesting results. Eg:

    "The research on preexisting attitudes and worldviews implies that debiasing messages and retractions must be tailored to their specific audience, preferably by ensuring that the correction is consonant with the audience’s worldview. For example, the work on “cultural cognition” by Kahan and colleagues (e.g., Kahan, 2010) have repeatedly shown that framing solutions to a problem in worldview-consonant terms can enhance acceptance of information that would be rejected if it were differently framed. Thus, people who might oppose nanotechnology because they have an “eco-centric” outlook may be less likely to dismiss evidence of its safety if the use of nanotechnology is presented as part of an effort to protect the environment."

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Facepalm

      um?

      I believe they did a paper on the 'No shit!' factor If you tell people something in words they think they understand, you're more likely to have your [new] belief accepted.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      WTF?

      Pardon?

      Sadly I'm a red toothed, coal burning, tin foil hat (with jackboots) wearing, "denialist". Therefore I cannot understand what on earth that pretentious pseudo-intellectual passage in quotes actually means.

      The short sighted world is going to end and it's all our fault gang are on the ropes, hence their increasingly desperate attempts to discredit anyone who doesn't agree with them. The fascist idiots.

  24. wowfood

    hmm

    I don't believe in global warming

    I do believe in climate change (more on this at the end)

    I do not think the moon landsings were faked

    I don't really think about dianas death (too young when it happened)

    I'm suspicious of the WTC but I'll accept it.

    I believe smoking cigarettes do contribute towards cancer.

    I believe smoking cannabis / marijuana are less harmful to you than alcohol or cigarettes. (so long as it's pure and not been mixed with something else like skunk etc)

    I don't believe that the MMR vaccine causes autism.

    I do not believe in homeopathic medicine, but I do beleive that certain herbs / supplements can help prevent illness by improving circulation / immune response (which has been proven by scientific research)

    As for the believing in climate change, but not global warming. It's hard not to agree that the climate is changing, every year we're getting a new record high temperature, the seasons now seem far less distinct from one another, but I don't believe that CO2 is the primary cause of the problem, a contributory one yes, but not a primary one.

    Personally I believe it's more to do with the earths orbit around the sun. I do agree that we should minimise CO2 release though, not just because the greenhosue gas theory could be true, but moreso because of our health, it's no secret that people in rural areas with cleaner air tend to have better health. And it's no joke we're going to run out of fossil fuels eventually. But the mad dash isn't the best approach. We'd be better off encouraging smaller changes over longer periods.

    Encouraging that new builds all come with solar panels on the roof, stuff like that. Minimize the impact that the new will have. Giving greater subsidies to the railroad / busses so that more people might choose to use them over their own cars. (because lets face it, right now it's cheaper to buy a second hand car and drive up north and back, than it is for a train ticket)

    Notice, through all of this, on all statements, I have said "I believe" these are my personal beliefs, they aren't based on scientific fact, they aren't even based on theory, just my own opinion. That is basically what all these papers which cherry pick the information they want to share do.

    They take a list of facts, normally ones which oppose one another in debate papers, strip out all the opposiiton and then declare "this paper proves that global warming is real" they pick up the information they want to prove their own beliefs. I can do that right now.

    ---------

    Matthew 6:5

    And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.

    ---------

    That single phrase, taken from the gospel of matthew, a religious text, proves without a doubt that priests are actually against what is preached in the new testament. Priests are sinners and we should not be like them. Furthermore.

    --------

    Matthew 6:6

    But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

    ---------

    Telling us not to pray in public, and instead to pray in secret on our own. This is proof that the church itself is a hive of sinners. These two passages, taken from the gospel of matthew, prove without a doubt that the entire christian religion is in fact a falacy which go against their own teachings. A teaching I might add that is read out in a great deal of church services right before reading the lords prayer, a prayer that the church holds in high regard.

    If anything based on these two carefully cherry picked facts. The christian church and religion are both actually insults to their own teachings, and are most probably originated by satanists who wish to insult god. Anyone who is a christian is a satanist, purely based on a warped perversion of two passages from a single religious text.

    On that note, if you have a religious guy start preaching at you, just repeat those two lines to them, it tends to make them stumble at least for a moment, giving you a chance to smirk and walk off, making them look foolish.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: hmm

      Just hand god squadders this book:

      The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins

      1. wowfood

        Re: hmm

        Already got it, it's a great read.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. foo_bar_baz
      Facepalm

      To upvote or downvote?

      You give an example of cherry picking evidence when trying to prove a point. I was curious, so I went and looked up those passages. The intent of your quoted sentences seems clear ("pray standing in synagogues ... to be seen by men"), and even clearer when you read them in context. Matthew 6 starts with:

      "Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them."

      I.e. you should not practice your religion with the intent of looking good to others. It's NOT saying you are not allowed to pray in a church, it simply mentions praying *standing* in a synagogue (a place of prayer after all) as an example. Presumably the norm at the time of writing was to pray sitting or kneeling. In today's context everyone saying the lord's prayer together is hardly an attempt to look holier than the next person.

      So a good example of cherry picking. Then you actually seem to believe your example yourself, and think you've somehow outsmarted a dumb religious fool. D'oh.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Go Lewis Go

    Just because I disagree with a particular hypothesis, a crackpot third rate psuedo-scientist labels me a crackpot. I am sceptical (a healthy scientific position unless the weight of evidence suggests otherwise) with CO2 linked global warming as the computer models are far too simplistic and are prone to massive compound errors.

    There are for more pressing problems such as over population, deforestation, de-speciation etc.

    Just for the record my kids are vaccinated, Diana was killed by a drunk driver, yes there was a moon landing and there are no fucking fairies at the bottom of my garden.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The man is a cock

    see title

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Happy

      Re: The man is a cock

      Agreed. A coc-k, with a final and very definitive 'k'!

      I'm just glad that he's not Mike Hock ;)

  27. Danny 14 Silver badge

    climate sceptic

    The problem is, if you take the known records as a "sample size" then over a geological timescale the sample date range is miniscule. We simply dont know about levels over the years. Even core samples are localised and could have had numerous markers for events such as volcanic activity.

    I'm still a climate change sceptic only because people find one study that supports and jumps on the bandwagon and conversely one study that opposes etc. We simply dont know.

    1. Michael M

      Re: climate sceptic

      "We simply don't know." Which 'we' is this? The 'we' I'm concerned about is myself and climate scientists and that 'we' does know.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: climate sceptic

        Climate scientists?

        Would those be only the ones that support your view or all of them - 'cos ALL climate 'scientisits' know - it's just they don't all agree on WHAT they know.

        Don't forget the same climate 'scientists' predicated we were going into an ice age in the 70s. They KNEW then too.

        I'm not saying they are wrong (in fact I don;t care if they are right or wrong as to me the important thing is how we can produce power in the future and lessen the polution in the air), but they don't KNOW - they are all playing speculation games and each group is cherry picking data (or hiding it from others) to back their own point of view (or financial backer).

  28. Spotthelemon

    A perfectly valid psychological paper on denialism, this has been an area of study since Freud & due to its increased occurance is now being studied by an increasing number of psychologists along with the related subject of Cognitive dissonance. Regardless of which particular aspect of reality they choose to deny, its quite predictable that those with this paricular mental illness react strongly when faced with diagnosis. If one checks the references at the end of the paper one gets a feel for the number of people now working in this area.

    1. Fading Silver badge
      FAIL

      Valid huh?

      Ahh poor old Lewandowsky needs to read up on psychological projection and confirmation bias. Then a course in statistics probably wouldn't hurt (sample size anyone?). Finally a book on group think and a mirror would go a long way to correcting some obvious flaws in research methodolgy.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Spotthelemon, 10:21

      Attempting to form a psychological profile of climate deniers is somewhat trite if you ask me (which no one did incidentally).

      I mean, really, what true value is there to this? Absolutely none. All this piffle about climate deniers coming from the warmists is a complete waste of everyone's time. Does it matter if some people believe the doomsday scenario is crap? Of course not - unless of course it greatly offends one's own position (by which I do not mean your position - I am not attacking you). In reality, it matters no more than the fact that I may be an atheist matters to the Pope.

      Professor Stephan Lewandowsky is arguably at the peak of what Freud labelled the 'phallic phase'. After all, it's quite obvious that the bloke's a prize knob*.

      *Of course, it's not a serious suggestion that; (1) Freud's An Outline of Psychoanalysis has value as anything other than a fire-lighter, (2) Stephan Lewandowsky is in a period of latent sexual development. But it is a serious suggestion that the guy is a prize knob. (That's my opinion, and I'm sticking to it!)

  29. Crisp Silver badge

    Climate Skeptics

    They are probably the ones that move my tools when I can't find them, and responsible for moving my coffee table in the dark to that I bang my shins on it.

    From the tone of the article I reckon that Professor Stephan Lewandowsky believes that climate skeptics kick puppies and make potholes too.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Saddam clearly had WMDs at some point

    I'm told we sold them to him!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Saddam clearly had WMDs at some point

      "I'm told we sold them to him!"

      I heard that Tony Blair assembled them with Jack Straw.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Saddam clearly had WMDs at some point

      Since he killed more than a few thousand Kurds and others of his "people" with nerve gas, which is uncontroversially true, then yes, I suppose at some point he must have had them. Unless of course it was really a giant conspiracy to pretend that he did and those people are really alive and well and living in Australia....

  31. tony72
    Boffin

    Degrees of scepticism

    I'm not a doctor. If I'm ill, and the vast majority of doctors say I have a particular disease and recommend a particular cure, I'm not in a position to argue; unless I'm going to go to the trouble of becoming an expert in the field myself, the only rational position is to give considerable weight to the consensus of opinion amongst those who are experts, even if I don't like the sound of it. It's not fundamentally different with climate change, although mitigating against that is the fact that climate prediction is not in the same position as medicine when it comes to being able to test the theories and models, so there is considerably more room for having a degree of scepticism. However, when the weight of that scepticism tends towards outright rejection of the science, with no real reason other than not liking what the science says, then that is not rational, and having such a degree of scepticism does indeed start to put you in the same territory as Birthers, homeopathists and such like. You sceptics will have to judge for yourselves where you stand on the scale. Personally, while I have considerable doubt over any specific long-term climate predictions, it is only better science that will guide my opinion, not the ranting of uninformed loons.

    As it happens, I actually think the climate debate is actually a bit secondary. Given the accelerating price increases in fossil fuels in recent decades, with analysts predicting that the trend will continue, I really don't see the downside to weaning ourselves off them as soon as is practical, but I'm not going to go off-topic regarding what exactly that means here.

    1. Fading Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Degrees of scepticism

      The old doctor analogy..... This concensus offers leaches as a cure, bleeding and scarification - to be honest I'll side with science rather than the concensus doctors thank you very much. The only ones rejecting science (energy balance, ENSO and AMO, non-"adjusted" raw data) and offering mysticism; doomsday "model" projections based on adjusted data sets and having to be a "climate (priest) scientist" to "understand", are the proponents of CAGW.

      1. NomNomNom

        Re: Degrees of scepticism

        "The only ones rejecting science (energy balance, ENSO and AMO, non-"adjusted" raw data) and offering mysticism; doomsday "model" projections based on adjusted data sets and having to be a "climate (priest) scientist" to "understand", are the proponents of CAGW."

        Oh right, so the scientists are rejecting science, but a bunch of guys on the internet have it all figured out.

        The problem is your references to "energy balance, ENSO and AMO, non-"adjusted" raw data" is akin to astrology. Yes those things exist, just as stars exist, but you are interpreting them wrong.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Degrees of scepticism

          "Oh right, so the scientists are rejecting science, but a bunch of guys on the internet have it all figured out."

          You may have a point. However, there are some very real issues with turning science into a pseudo-religious scientific crusade - which some parties on both side of fence are guilty of at times.

        2. Fading Silver badge
          Boffin

          Re: Degrees of scepticism

          No the "climate scientists" are rejecting science - complete lack of application of the scientific method will do that.

          Given the self proclaimed and self selecting nature of "climate scientists" who adhere to pal review and non-exposure of data and methods - why are their gigo models even given the time of day?

          I merely mentioned some aspects of the science of the Earth's climate as an example of science as opposed to the mysticism offered by gigo models. But thank you for pointing out my problems - you've saved me a fortune in therapy.........

  32. Richard Wharram

    Hmmm

    I'm pretty sure that antivaxxers are most commonly new-age/green so that one correlation that doesn't stack up.

    I think most people who are a bit sceptical about AGW on this side of the pond are the sort of people who don't buy any of the other crazy bullshit lumped with it here. Perhaps in the US where doubts about AGW are commonly held by middle-american church-goers and conservatives it might stack up.

    (Not particluarly sceptical about the science myself, just the idiotic proposed solutions like wind farms)

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sceptic != denier

    Same way as agnostic != atheist.

  34. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  35. Nigel 11
    Happy

    Count yourself lucky

    Count yourself lucky if the nutters find harmless things to believe in, like UFOs or NASA faking the moon landings or WTC conspiracies.

    Without them they might find other things to believe in, like fascism or Maoism or any number of other -isms that have led to a state perpetrating mass murder.. They wouldn't have pre-labelled themselves as nutters, either.

  36. Eddie Edwards
    Thumb Down

    No nerve-hitting here

    No nerve-hitting here. Move along.

    (Of course, Lewis, this article clearly demonstrates that you are willing to reject scientific studies out of hand if you disagree with what their results say. So, it hardly supports your position as a "sceptic", now, does it?)

  37. NukEvil
    Trollface

    Warning:

    The comment you are reading right now has a lot to do with the article itself. However, the writer of this comment (i.e. ME) did not bother to actually read the article before skipping to the comment/forum section of the article (i.e. HERE). If you do not wish to waste any more of your time reading this comment, kindly skip to the next comment, and forget you were ever here. Thank you, and have a nice day.

    Now, on to the actual purpose of the comment (where I will probably restate some of what was just read):

    So I got onto the El Reg site, and noticed the title of this article, and I thought to myself, "Hmm. I do think this was written by Lewis page. I probably shouldn't waste too much of my time on it". So, I clicked on the article, and, lo and behold, there was the name of the...man, I guess?...himself, sitting just below the subheading. So, I simply skipped to the comment/forum section to read the comments that my fellow commenters have left for my entertainment and enjoyment. And, sure enough, most of the comments are mostly derogatory towards the author of the article concerned. Having only read the title of the article itself, I am forced to receive everything the derogatory comments say as gospel, and, therefore must leave here believing that anything else Lewis Page posts is a steaming pile of cat dung being roasted on a stove in a frying pan.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Warning: toxoplasmosis

      "cat dung being roasted on a stove"

      At what temperature is it certain that toxoplasma cysts will be killed?

  38. arrbee
    Meh

    Climate change is *the* big thing in academia at the moment, i.e. it provides the best way to add value in terms of increasing your chances of publicity and gaining further grants for your work. Consequently many academics are looking for ways to include references to climate change in their published work, whatever the actual subject they may be studying. Its no different to the recent rash of references to the Olympics in the UK from public and private organisations with no real connection to that event.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Academic Prostitution

      "Climate change is *the* big thing in academia at the moment, i.e. it provides the best way to add value in terms of increasing your chances of publicity and gaining further grants for your work. Consequently many academics are looking for ways to include references to climate change in their published work, whatever the actual subject they may be studying."

      So, ultimately some scientists are therefore demonstrably willing to prostitute their academic skills and talents for a few shekels. Nothing new there then ;)

  39. Je Suis

    I know Man landed on the Moon, since I watched it live on tv. I'm not American, so I couldn't care less where Obama was born. My kids received any vaccination they needed in their formative years.

    I do NOT believe in MMGW however, since not only have yet to see any convincing evidence (despite the ever-louder protests from those not used to being argued with), and because the main proponents are almost always those of a hard-left wing persuasion stupid enough to believe we can disinvent the industrial revolution and go back to agricultural economies. But that's only for other people, of course, never the "faithful". We're allowed to challenge scientific theories, y'know; it's called democracy. Hard-liners might even remember the concept from school.

    Is it just coincidence this professor comes from the country as the journalist who wanted to make "climate change denial " a criminal offence a few years back? Does that tell us everything we need to know?

    The very fact the pro-lobby have to stoop to slanderous attacks like this proves what the rest of us already know; they lost the argument years ago and can't deal with it.

  40. Nick Galloway
    Thumb Up

    What happened to scientific debate?

    The climate is changing. The climate is really complex to the point the predictions made in modelling have been shown to be wide of the mark. So what is causing climate change cannot be accurately quantified. Therefore we are probably at a loss to influence the change. We just need to do what the human race has been doing throughout the millenia and adapt.

    Just because I am a sceptic doesn't mean I am a conspiracy theorist.

    This chappy shows how warped logic can become under the influence of the giddying heights of academia and the forces of preparing PhD theses.

    Great article to keep those peddling their chicken little theories honest (and more than a little nervous).

    Thank you El Reg for the alternate (and good humoured) perspective.

  41. Beachrider

    I get it that this is a barroom discussion...

    The connection between manmade CO2 and global warming IS the polemic. Most everyone sees that there is recent climactic warming. It has been popular in certain cognoscenti circles that manmade CO2 is a major (or even the KEY) reason for global warming. Some in those groups would rather that no one else disparage or question their facts or logic.

    Saying it louder and over-and-over doesn't change ANYTHING. There are many causes for global warming. They have been presented on this site many times. It simply doesn't change the editorial staff's position that they should continue behaving like those causes should be ignored or suppressed.

    Too bad. Truly, nothing gets done when people ignore one another and just keep shouting.

    Lowering human carbon loading is a good thing. It is not clear-at-all that it has any capability in reducing global warming. The non-manmade causes are really quite impressive.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Good old psychology, the only science where every theory is correct and nothing is falsifiable.

  43. The Serpent

    Has anyone ever attempted to calculate the energy requirement of the Earth's climate over a given period? Even a short time like a day?

  44. Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge
    Childcatcher

    LIAR, n. A lawyer with a roving commission

    The author did not offer a definition of misinformation. I know this sounds odd, but if the author does not explain what is actually meant by the central term, how do we know what is being addressed? More importantly, how can it be measured (not that measurement was an issue in the paper)? Is "misinformation" simply incorrect beliefs? Does it refer to all falsehoods or only those that are knowingly conveyed to another individual or group in an attempt to obtain a specific goal? From the breadth of articles cited, it seems unlikely they all define "misinformation" in the same manner, if at all. I would guess from this that the author conflates several different artifacts.

    Also, the Reg's meta-meta-article (it's a story about a paper that is a summary of other research) leaves off a note that the trick cyclist included to the effect that from a behavioral point of view, it doesn't matter what people believe if you can still get them to act the way you want. Even more important is a caution that "While it is in the public interest to ensure that the population is well-informed, debiasing techniques can similarly be used to further misinform people." ... whatever that means.

  45. BillG Silver badge
    Meh

    Climate sceptic? You're probably a Scientist

    Climate Fanbois Hate Facts

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Professor Stephan Lewandowsky is an ignorant idiot or a political hack

    "a group known as “birthers” claimed Obama had been born outside the United States and was therefore not eligible to assume the presidency ... they were widely believed by a sizable proportion of the public, including a majority of voters in Republican primary elections in 2011"

    There was a massive movement by the Democratic Party supporters throughout the United States to suppress the checking of the Birth Certificates to have their names placed on a Presidential Ballot. This being said, a sizable portion of the public, including the Democratic Constituency, actually believe this!

    The issue with the "birthers" are not necessarily where he was born, but rather eligibility under The U.S. Constitution and U.S. law, where he was born is only a small portion of this, but rather where he was raised, how long he was out of the country as a child, etc. all contribute to this discourse. It is the ignorant news media, who are spreading the disinformation regarding U.S. Constitution Article 2 Secion 1 eligibility. Candidates of both parties, Obama and McCain, happened to raise questions regarding this.

    "Childhood vaccines do not cause autism"

    The statement is half true and half false... it depends on how well educated the individual is and the survey taker's disposition. U.S. legal system and some in the medical industry has determined vaccines could be a contributing factor to children with various immune system conditions can result in spectrum disorders (of which Autism is one well known type.) The Italian legal system is working through this, today.

    The question is not whether there is a link, but how wide spread is the link, whether it is more cost-effective to deal with disease, test for genetic markers before providing vaccines, test for immuno deficiencies before using vaccines, whether to give vaccines at an older age, or whether to break vaccines apart into smaller batches. If a small percentage are disabled vs large percentage chance of death by disease - people can make the right decision for their family, depending on their family history, genetic markers, and immuno deficiency symptoms.

    "Global warming is confirmed by science."

    What exactly does this mean to anyone? The Sun warms the earthen globe, I don't think anyone will deny that. Science also confirms that the temperature of the earth changes, where it was just as warm or warmer during periods where there was no human industrialization. Scientists suggest that carbon deposits in the earth were formerly plant life in the biosphere, so why would anyone in their right mind try to tell us that it is harmful to the earthen biosphere to place it back into circulation again? More plants capturing free energy from the Sun is bad? Growing food faster is bad?

    Clearly, more food with more clean/free energy means more people can be sustained in the biosphere. Does this guy just hate animals & humans?

    People like Professor Stephan Lewandowsky disgust me. Anonymous, because of the haters.

    1. disgruntled yank Silver badge

      Re: Professor Stephan Lewandowsky is an ignorant idiot or a political hack

      "The Italian legal system is working on this today."

      Does one require rigorous biomedical training to join the Italian bar, then?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Professor Stephan Lewandowsky is an ignorant idiot or a political hack

      Note that the origin of the "birther" idea was the Clinton campaign in 2008. It was not a Republican thing originally. Then it was of course fuelled by the extreme levels of secrecy applied by the Obama campaign. And despite what most people seem to believe, a short form birth certificate from Hawaii is NOT proof that one was born there, it was (in 1961) possible to have a birth attested by a relevant person (parent, guardian, etc) without needing any positive proof of a birth within that territory. So if by some chance Barrack Obama had in fact been born in, say Indonesia (or Kenya, whatever) and brought into the state as a newborn then his birth could have been reported by his Mother or Grandparents as having occurred in Hawaii without an attending health professional, and a Hawaiian birth certificate would have been issued to him. If the birth was attended by a doctor or health professional they would have reported the birth themselves. Catered for home births you see. The critical issue here was to show how such a foreign born new born (or relative new born) was brought into the island, something most avid birthers neglected to address.

      And the short form does not list a place of birth or who attended it. To be almost certain one needs the LONG from certificate, a copy (disputed by a few, seemingly on fairly unreasonable grounds) of which was not supplied until after Donald Trump raised the issue seriously.

      So although the theory was wrong, it wasn't impossible and proof positive against the theory had not been presented until 2011. Before that we had only hearsay.

  47. Tigra 07 Silver badge
    Mushroom

    I don't...

    I'll believe in man-made catastrophic climate change when it can be proven that it is actually man-made and the people who prove it are not either an energy company or paid by one.

    Since when did people start believing everything without being shown any proof?

    And for the record i believe Obama is American, 9-11 was Al Qaeda and the moon landings were real etc...

    1. RICHTO Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: I don't...

      You are about a decade behind the times. There has for years now been no longer any reasonable doubt that climate change is at least partially man mad. This is supported by overwhelming observable evidence.

  48. Infernoz Bronze badge
    FAIL

    What a feast of specious argument Sophist man uses including Strawman and logic abuses

    The press should have laughed at him and told him where to put this astoundingly bad excuse for a Press Release!

    So much is wrong with this article, it would take too long to explain.

  49. Stevelane
    WTF?

    Conspiracy? What conspiracy?

    There is a definite conspiracy by psychiatrists to label all conspiracy theorists as suffering from some kind of psychosis or other. The reality is that some conspiracies have an evidential basis and some are just made up rubbish. Lets face it most political events are a result of a conspiracy. Of course climate change is a reality and there is a conspiracy by vested interests to rubbish the idea. There are also those who seek to use climate change to push their own agenda and of course academic psychiatrists love to make money by publishing papers. It is a very murky world we live in.

  50. icetrout

    Global Warming??? Sure buckwheat any thing you say...If someone dares to disagree just slap them with Racist,Tin-Foil Hat, Birther, moniker... PC = Pacified Chimps...Sheeple,Libtard,is what we call adherents to Climate Change & Big Al Gore the Pervert is their lordgodprophet ...

  51. CmdrX3
    FAIL

    I'm a climate "denier". I also applaud the US for their achievement in putting men on the moon, that Princess Diana was killed in a car accident because the driver was probably over the limit. I think birthers are over zealous conservative idiots, and that parents who do not get their children vaccinated are irresponsible. I didn't know either way about WMD's as I was not privy to any information either way and I gave up smoking because of concerns about my health.

    Does that mean that the theories of climate "believers" are stupid and those that are more likely to believe them are idiots.

  52. Maryland, USA

    an inconvenient truth

    Check out The Republican Brain: The Science of Why They Deny Science - and Reality by Chris Mooney (2012). Disbelief in climate change and its manmade causes correlates highly with belief in conspiracies and distrust of government.

  53. John A Blackley

    My conspiracy theory......

    ....overrides your conspiracy theory because I say it does and because I conducted an 'internet poll'.

    That's why I'm a psychologist and you're not.

  54. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    Yeah they're called Fox News viewers

    Yeah, they're called Fox News viewers. The Fox TV network, it's up to each local station to have news or not... Murdoch-owned newspapers here in the US have a certain political stance, but Fox News stands alone. In all seriousness, I don't know how it is overseas (other than the phone hacking scandal), but in the US this channel has the most distorted information I've ever seen concentrated in one place. They did in fact espouse Obama being born overseas -- even after the certificate was released and verified to everybody else's satisfaction; that global warming is false (see below); the vaccination thing (again, after it was both proven false, and furthermore they made sure not to mention that newer vaccines have had the mercury-based preservative removed anyway); and the WMDs -- they STILL bring up every now and then how they were obviously there, just hidden or destroyed. They have been known, when some piece of information they aired is PROVEN to be false, instead of a retraction they will bring it back up again, with THEIR OWN PREVIOUS COVERAGE as some kind of support "proving" it's true, because after all it was aired on a national news network.

    To paraphrase a partciularly ridiculous exchange I saw on there (when my dad was watching it -- and yes, despite being a scientist I've found he eats it up and is gravely misinformed on numerous topics):

    (during a cold snap in the US)

    (some ditzy "reporter"): "So, this seems to disprove that whole global warming thing, doesn't it? The whole country's cold!"

    (climatologist): "Well, no, we are having a cold snap in north america, but the whole planet has not cooled off, and on average temperatures have increased over the last xx years."

    (ditz): "Well, I think this proves the falseness of global warming. I guess we'll just agree to disagree, why is your point more valid than mine anyway?"

    (climatologist): "Well... I'm a climatologist, I study this for a living."

    (ditz): "I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree."

    Yeah!

  55. Maryland, USA
    Thumb Down

    Samples of one tell us nothing

    Lewis Page doesn't fit the profile of his fellow believers. Well, neither do I. I'm a rare bird: an animal-rights vegetarian who favors nuclear power. But unlike Page, I don't try to claim, "I don't fit your profile, therefore your profile is invalid."

  56. Emilio Desalvo
    Coat

    "your climate sceptic needs to be "treated", and would be likely to have supported slavery prior to the US Civil War"

    Which means they are all Democrats, given that the Republican Party was founded at the time by Abraham Lincoln...

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