Posted by Jeff Condon on September 14, 2012
The term “conspiracy” is one of the most overused words in climate jargon. Just using the word conspiracy with a person has become a popular way to discredit those who question any of the facts presented by an official body. With so much information available there is only enough time to focus on things that interest you. People simply shut their minds off to unfamiliar topics at the mere mention of the word.
A conspiracy in law is a plan by two or more people to break the law in the future – per wikipedia.
A conspiracy as described by dictionary.com definition 1 is an evil, unlawful, treacherous, or surreptitious plan formulated in secret by two or more persons; plot.
But then there is definition 5 – any concurrence in action; combination in bringing about a given result.
The implication of Lewandowsky’s paper is that you cannot believe in a conspiracy and operate effectively in science. The paper was a blatant political attack to attempt to discredit those who disagree with both Lewandowsky’s childlike economic theory as well as his poor grasp of climate science. So he calls skeptics conspiracy theorists. Unfortunately we see everywhere, evidence of conspiracy per all definitions. Does the IPCC not conspire to expand awareness of their view of free market economics simultaneously with environmentalism. Of course it does, they have a whole section on economic impacts on the environment. Were there meetings between the government paid authors on how these messages should be conveyed? Of course. And if you are one who holds a different view of free market function than these government paid authors, does that planning seem to have a negative impact on the future of the human race and environment? It most certainly does in my opinion. In other words, the multi-author presentation of their preferred, message regarding free-market economics is both planned and negative in consequence.
I guess that makes me a conspiracy theorist – or does realist better describe the view?
A second issue though is that I took Lewandowsky’s survey over at WUWT for entertainment and couldn’t mark any of the conspiracies listed as things I believe. Most of them were complete nonsense, some of which I hadn’t even heard of. Others seem plausible but I don’t have enough knowledge on any of them to claim ‘belief’ at any level. In other words, I had straight negatives for all of his “conspiracy” answers. Aside from the now-obvious fake answers that Steve McIntyre and others identified, the types of conspiracy questions seem to give the study a little more credibility. However, due to the leading nature of the non-conspiracy oriented questions, I am certain that I would have dropped the survey part way in simply to avoid supporting the undisguised intent of the questions. In other words, it seems highly unlikely that the survey attracted many thoughtful climate skeptics.
Yesterday though, we found out from Steve McIntyre that the math of the study was bodged so badly that simple analysis REVERSES the conclusions of the paper.
If we weren’t so familiar with this sort of faked result from the catastrophic-warming-so-we-must-shut-down-our-economy advocates, you might not even believe it were true. At this time, I have no belief that Lewandowsky intends to be a scientist on the matter, but lets see if he offers appropriate retractions – starting with the title.