the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

Archive for July, 2015

John Cook – Missing the Point Again

Posted by Jeff Id on July 25, 2015

So a couple of days ago Lubos Motl of the Reference Frame blog discovered that his name was being used by extremist envirowhacko John Cook.   Lubos wrote a rather funny reply in an unserious tone which was then followed up on by a number of blogs including this one.   Lubos’s post was titled: Identity theft: the thief of Lubos_Motl turns out to be a well-known man.  I followed up with a rather angry post about Cook lying to people for his own gain.   Note the title I used:

John Cook Proprietor of SKS, Repeat Coauthor of Dr. Stephan Lewandowsky Caught Red Handed Impersonating Lubos Motl for Purposes of a University of Australia Research Project

What am I saying in that?

Cook impersonated a known scientifically credentialed skeptic with fake bad arguments, showed those fabricated bad arguments to people (possibly changing the name on the comment beforehand) and planned to use their responses in another publication attacking reasonable climate skeptics.    In his own words:

As the second part of our experiment on science blogging, we’ll be showing 4 conditions to lab participants at the Uni of W.A. The condition for this thread is Skeptic Blog Post, Skeptic Comments. So would be great if a handful of SkSers could post glowing, very skeptic comments to our Denial blog post – posted here in this forum thread. We need exactly 10 skeptic comments.

Here are links to four versions of articles Cook put together so you can understand the tone of what he wrote: Link 1, Link 2, Link 3, Link 4. These show the articles and the poorly contrived ‘skeptic arguments’.

This is what passes for a scientific study at the University of Western Australia.

The claim that his argument was a skeptic argument, is of course a lie because extreme advocates made the arguments in very poor fashion.  The claim that Cook has the scientific know-how to evaluate a scientific argument is a problem for me, but beyond basic competence it is quite clear that on climate science he has lost all objectivity.  Of real concern to me, did he get paid for the work, has it ever been used in print or will it be in the future?   I don’t really know but I do know that he intended to publish it from this comment.

Will definitely post about the experiment
John Cook Probably after it’s been accepted or published though, best not to pre-empt the peer-review process.Not sure if I’ll post the actual article and comments – that will be something to ponder way down the track. Could have a bit of fun with it.

That quoted comment was in a file where thoughts on the study implementation were discussed prior to beginning.   Interestingly Glen Tamblyn, expressed the same concerns that we all should have about this kind of chicanery. HIS bold, not mine.

Glenn Tamblyn Once your experiment is complete it might be good to actually do a post on it, showing all 4 versions and commenting prominantly that both warmist and skeptic comments were written by the same people

Also in that same file, another commenter Steve Brown expresses concern that the skeptic arguments were a bit too realistic.

Steve Brown It’s really got me wondering how many of the regulars at WUWT are genuine and how many are SkS contributors having a laugh after the pub.  Some of those skeptic comments were a bit too realistic.

Which is of course the point of what I’m writing.   The arguments are not realistic as they are made by and interpreted by advocates, biasing the study irreconcilably prior to it even being launched.  Cook is such an advocate though that he even suggested handing out a flyer to those who read the “denier” stuff such that too many don’t get converted by accident.

Why write about this again today?

So I was sent a link to a facebook post today.   John Cook wrote a ‘scathing’ reply to Lubos’s funny post.  John is peddling his debunked claim that skeptics believe in ridiculous conspiracy theories.  In it, he admits to moving forward with this above experiment.

Here is an excerpt of John Cook, unwittingly admitting to his gamesmanship.

The stolen private correspondance from 2011 involved Skeptical Science team members developing comment threads (both supporting and rejecting climate science) for use in a psychology experiment. In the private forum (only), I posted a few comments under the pseudonym Lubos_Motl (to signify that the comments were taking a contrarian stance). The username was changed to an anonymous name for the experiment. In other words, it was not used in the experiment and was never used outside of the private Skeptical Science forum.

Consequently, Motl’s accusations of identity theft are demonstrably false. Further, I find it extraordinary that Motl publicly posts comments about me being hanged, and allows public comments on his blog that approve of torturing and murdering me. I find it equally extraordinary that such misleading and venomous posts are uncritically endorsed by third parties such as Richard Tol, Anthony Watts and Roger Pielke Jr.

And this is where Cook missed the boat,  Starting with the fact that the allegedly ‘stolen’ correspondence quoted here was left on line where anyone who was interested could find it and could hardly be considered private.  Besides that, we only have his word that he didn’t share Motl’s name with his experiment victims, I do tend to believe this because he does take himself pretty seriously and you wouldn’t want to bias such a well-considered experiment, but we don’t really know do we.  In this episode, he admits actually performing the experiment where he and other advocates from SKS pretended to be skeptics, and then likely rated answers of his hapless victims who responded to the fake arguments he happened to conjure. Perhaps the reason we cannot find the results in the promised paper, is that they weren’t up to Skeptical Science(TM) well known standards for proper ridicule of non-advocate climate scientists (AKA normal folk).

Keep in mind that John is a man who is completely incapable of objectively recognizing that climate models are not matching observation.   In other words, he and other SKS’rs intended and initiated a scammed study, falsely claiming to be comprised of climate skeptic arguments, for their own purposes.  The study was likely funded by government tax dollars of some sort through UWA but we don’t know.  He did use Lubos’s name on a non-linked public forum on the internet, and may have used them in the actual study, however his protests of innocence on this miss the point and instead confirm the type of “statistical study” he and by association Lewandowsky prefer.

And he is so thoroughly confused on the matter that he doesn’t even recognize his own chicanery.

All for the cause.

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John Cook Proprietor of SKS, Repeat Coauthor of Dr. Stephan Lewandowsky Caught Red Handed Impersonating Lubos Motl for Purposes of a University of Australia Research Project

Posted by Jeff Id on July 23, 2015

UPDATE:  Just to be clear to the crowd.  Nobody believes this had to do with LOG 12,13 or papers of the moon landing genre.  Not sure what the study had to do with.  Also, these Lubos posts were not initially visible to the public but were made visible to an unknown number of others by John Cook and eventually released to the public by someone else.  Not that I care either way, I just don’t want to be accused of saying something I didn’t say.   I was rather grumpy when I wrote the post and I suppose I still am, that is why it is called the Air Vent after all.


After being libeled in a journal by Lewandowsky and Cook in 2013: “Recursive fury: Conspiracist ideation in the blogosphere in response to research on conspiracist ideation” where Cook and Lew made claims which they knew from personal emials between us were false, I’ve learned today that none other than John Cook was apparently impersonating Lubos Motl for purposes of a UWA Experiment. An excerpt from his emails at this site is below but the link to the bitwise record of the mess is here.

Tom Curtis would you please stop posting as Lubos Motl.  There is reason to doubt his sanity, so I don’t like seeing his name.  Further, it is his name, and therefore one you are not entitled to use.

John Cook

Sorry about the Lubos thing

Was posting someLubos comments for theUWA experiment and forgot to log back in as John Cook.For the record, if just one or two of you SkSers jumped over to the Technical Forum and posted some comments to the 4 Experiment Conditions, I’d get my 10 comments and wouldn’t have to log in as Lubos anymore. Only one or two more comments required to get the quota. Just some incentive for you 🙂

EDIT: one of the conditions now has 10 comments, so only 3 more threads (with 2 of them only requiring one more comment). So Lubos very close to being put to bed 🙂

UWA being the University of Western Australia.

Now they have libeled me multiple times, libeled numerous other climate blog writers less obviously, violated basic ethics rules of psychology as a matter of habit, yet are very heavily government funded.  From Lewandowsky and Cook’s last paper:

A more extended variant of this hypothesis cited S.L.’s research funding available on his webpage (A$4.4 million
in grants) and drew attention to A$762,000 specifically for climate research. Moreover, the commenter argued
that this funding did not include A$6 million that the Australian Commonwealth Government provided S.L. and
colleagues to run ‘The Conversation’ [DC 122]. ‘The Conversation’ refers to an online newspaper (https://theconversation.
com/au/who-we-are) that is primarily written by academics and is funded by a consortium of major
Australian universities and other scientific organizations. (S.L. has no editorial role in this initiative but has written
numerous articles for TheConversation.)

And even better, for those of you who consider CNN to be a news source, CNN considers John Cook of enough credibility to publish this very article today:

Ostensibly to inform the audience of Cook’s idea of climate change denial.


So we now know with certainty that John Cook of Skeptical Science is a paid professional liar.  He should be deeply ashamed of himself.   This kind of activity is beneath the foundations of what liberalism is supposed to be, and matches every bit of what I see liberalism is.   CNN allowed him to publish an article on their news organization yet this same man is willing to lie for personal gain.  Untrustworthy, pathetic, small men.  I am a known skeptic, one disparaged by his CNN article, libeled by Cook and Lewandowsky, and I wouldn’t even consider for a moment acting in this manner to prove any cause.

He’s wrong on the science too.

I’m thoroughly disgusted with you Mr. Cook.  You have permanently spent your honor for a SKS blog with no credibility.

For the rest of the story, here is a link to Lubos Motl’s blog.


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Pat Michaels Powerful Testimony

Posted by Jeff Id on July 23, 2015

Pat Michaels testimony at the Committe of Natural Resources was fantastic.  Very short but he really nailed it.  He mentions Nic Lewis who was a coauthor of our Antarctic rebuttal paper to Steig a few years ago.  Nic has been doing some of the best work on climate sensitivity for several years now.   He and Judith Curry released a paper which showed a much lower climate sensitivity is likely accurate, but more importantly, they narrowed the range of sensitivity.   It was great seeing it mentioned to congress.
Anthony Watts covered this yesterday at WUWT, apparently Dr. Michaels rewrote his speech right before he talked because of some denier rant by Congressman Lowenthal (D-NY) another left-wing know nothing, just before he spoke.

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A Different Opinion

Posted by Jeff Id on July 22, 2015

What if global warming were reversed and the release of CO2 caused cooling.   Would that be better or worse than today?   Would we be happier as biological entities in a cooling world or would food have a harder time growing?  Would more snow, and more glaciers help the biosphere of planet Earth be stronger?  Would lower sea levels and increased glaciation make life generally better across the planet? I read a post at Judith Curry’s blog today that started with a single phrase that I disagree with:

We know that climate change is a problem

Climate change as we are now taught being global warming of course.   I’m feeling a bit like the slow kid today, because I’ve been studying this subject for a while and I flatly don’t see any of the problems from warming.  We aren’t seeing any more storms, rains, droughts, or weather extremes than we have seen in the past.   They are simply and scientifically not happening.   We have only seen very mild warming, vastly less than predicted, and ground measured temperature had no statistical trend in recent decades until the alarmist types inexplicably yet predictably tweaked upward the temperature trend of the incredibly confusing and weak quality oceanic data that makes up 70 percent of the record.  Even that new higher trend doesn’t match models.

BUT what if we had global cooling?  Now that would be frightening to me.   Plants don’t like cold, and nor do animals, especially furless pale skinned monkeys like me.  I like beaches and sunshine over cloud and snow. The next ice age is definitely coming if we trust the incredibly rhythmic history in ice core records, it is due, and it will surely be devastating and not the kind of devastating of a few C of warming, the kind of devastating that puts a mile thick glacier in my back yard for 80,000 years or so.  I would suggest that even 4C of cooling would be horrifically bad, and I would also suggest that every aspect of mainstream science suggests that we are overdue for a chill of greater magnitude than that.   Even without the big ice age, the vastly milder little ice age in recent centuries is powerful evidence that even a small temp change downward has a seriously negative consequences to life in general.  Less food production being right on the top of the list of bad things. If cold is bad, and it surely is, and extreme scientists claim that more than 2C warmer is death to the planet, we must be in the ideal life window!!

I wonder what makes scientists so sure that the planet Earth has achieved the best temperature for life in this exact millennia?  I’ve seen no case made for this argument.  No papers released which prove or even rationally demonstrate that today’s temperatures are the best ever!   I’ve only seen doom and gloom predictions in both temperature directions from government science, while us unfunded science practicing folk having no realistic expectation of Earth balancing at this exact temperature range over any kind of pseudo-permanent time frame.  The planet will be different no matter what we do.

And then there are those reasonable people who see warming as mild, yet still want to do ‘something’ to help poor unwitting Gaia.  The middle grounders.  With so much nonsense going on in the subject, it is quite relaxing to see a bit of pragmatism from someone, but I don’t think even this group has the right of it.

A different view:

I want to suggest something to you folks who are so certain that even moderate warming requires a ‘response’.  Especially those many of you who believe in the limitation of burning fuels.  Instead of making the assumption that change caused by humans is necessarily and absolutely a bad thing, as so many of you readers and self-declared moderates do, I want you to consider an entirely reasonable alternative.  Warming is net beneficial for life, humanity, weather, plants, animals, polar bears and penguins.  The evidence for this is not minor, it is in fact everywhere.  Observation ahead of theory.

We are releasing CO2 into the atmosphere and will have doubled the microscopically small pre-industrial CO2 levels in the near future no matter what we do with government policy.   Of course that atmospheric concentration is still vanishingly small as a percentage of the air, but it is unequivocally known that this gas will still cause additional warming.  It turns out that it is a small warming effect because even with the most aggressive warming assumptions, as the oceans can absorb literally a thousand years of the energy involved global warming with only 1C of temp change.  That fact is way too often overlooked in climate science, even by the most skeptical of scientists and bloggers.  More importantly though for this article, is that plant life generally experiences extreme reduction in growth at below 180 PPM concentration.  Basically, CO2 levels are near plant starvation levels and in pre-industrial days we were right on the edge.  Greenhouses respond to this known scientific fact by intentionally increasing the CO2 levels to as much as 1000PPM, to achieve better plant growth, which is a fact far too often overlooked in alarmist science.

So I would suggest something different for consideration.   I would suggest that instead of being a disaster, or a problem on any level, increased CO2 levels at the magnitude we have and will achieve in the next 200 years, are in fact the single greatest positive environmental improvement that humanity has been able to achieve for life on planet Earth.  More plants, greener oceans, more dynamic pole ice keeping oceanic currents flowing, powerful fertilizer, more land, slightly more humid air.  All of these effects are scientifically justifiable and likely more realistic than the more hurricanes and shrinking fish, acid water nonsense our delicate neurons have been assaulted with per the whims of our extremist ridden scientology class aka “Climate Science (TM)”.

The single best thing humanity has ever done for wildlife on Earth.   Greener, better, stronger, all because of CO2 and a bit of mild warming.   In net balance, this positive isn’t a minor effect either, because atmospheric CO2 fertilization of near critically starved plant life has a huge impact on growth, improved biodiversity in the long term and will impact animal life in the same manner for years to come no matter which new productivity choking regulation our extremist overlords imagine.

So to those who believe CO2 emission should be reduced in any way, I tell you that there is no scientific evidence to support your assertion.  By simple reason, we are very unlikely to be at the perfect temperature as a planet, by the same reason, colder is certainly worse for life.   It seems pretty obvious to me that warmer is better for humanity and all of the wildlife on Earth but the amount ‘warmer’ we can expect from CO2 process is highly limited due to oceanic thermal mass and the extreme coldness of that mass.

When we think we “know global warming is a problem”, I am stating to you that we know no such thing, those who claim to know it is a problem have mislead themselves.  I would suggest that we know global warming is not a problem, that it is nicely beneficial for all life on earth.  It is greener, better, stronger and if we are really lucky, might help us stave off that next ice age for a short spell, although I doubt CO2 will have that kind of power over the weather.

It really is the greatest travesty of the whole global warming meme, the assumption that the net outcome is a problem.  It is so easy to accept and so hard to objectively reject that a human induced change to planetary temperatures caused by various forms of combustion, is a bad thing.  In reality, fossil fuels are an absolute boon to plant life, wildlife, human life and our economy.  I urge those of you who fall into the category of ‘must do something’ to reconsider.  Scientifically, the combustion of fossil fuels, humanity is likely one of the most environmentally beneficial acts we ever performed as a species and stopping that combustion is expensive, environmentally ignorant, and fortunately for the ‘do something crowd’, impossible to stop.

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Lewandowsky’s Mess – A question of misrepresentation and scientific integrity

Posted by Jeff Id on July 15, 2015

With the endless continuation of Dr. Stephan Lewandowsky’s attacks on those skeptical of the conclusions of activist climate science, I don’t think I’ve made something clear enough in the past.  In his Recursive Fury article, Lewandowsky published a derogatory statement as a scientific fact, completely contrary to the facts he had in his possession (generally a scientific no-no)and I can prove it fairly convincingly.  The article in question was taken off line immediately in response to my complaint, the reference was changed to something else equally inaccurate but less derogatory and the article went back on line.  Others were still affected by the slash and burn tactics and the paper was eventually retracted in its entirety due to numerous complaints about ethics and statistics.  Now Lewandowsky is on line with the same ridiculous conclusions of his retracted article still boldly stated, and he is making as much publicity of it as he can yet the names of the subjects studied removed.  Below, I have clarified what Lewandowsky published inaccurately about me and what information he possessed at the time he published this retracted article.

In our first run in with Lewandowsky here he published a scientific article titled “MOTIVATED REJECTION OF SCIENCE NASA faked the moon landing|Therefore (Climate) Science is a Hoax: An Anatomy of the Motivated Rejection of Science”, citing my name and ascribing a belief to me which I do not hold.  Citation of a subject by name, while ascribing what is basically a mental pathology to them as a form of diagnosis, is clearly unethical thing to do in a psychology paper, but that is beside the point I am trying to make.  I contacted him directly,  explained my beliefs and requested a retraction.

His inaccurate claim was:

Thus, AIDS denial has been linked to the belief that the U.S. Government created HIV; the tobacco industry viewed lung cancer research as an \oligopolistic cartel,” and climate deniers believe that temperature records have been illegitimately adjusted to exaggerate warming (e.g., Condon, 2009).

While the claim is inaccurate , it could be potentially interpreted as an honest mistake by an uncareful researcher.  I wrote the following to Lewandowsky personally by email which he received and responded to.  Basically he cannot claim to not have knowledge of this matter.

Surprisingly and unfortunately, your recent paper has garnered a lot
of attention in press which has created concerns on my part.  Besides
obvious ethics issues with respect to intentionally damaging the
reputations of those you “study”, you should be aware that upon
review, you have used my name and reference in this paper in
demonstrably misleading and libelous manner.  Your recent article has
falsely represented me as a global temperature trend denier amongst
numerous other inaccurate characteristics.  Specifically, you have
referenced an on-line article that I wrote about access to data (not
the result) to represent that I hold an anti-science position.  In
other words, your reference does not support or even address your
conclusion. Leaving the other ugly implications in this publication
aside, it is only a complete ignorance of station adjustments which
could legitimately lead you to conclude that my mention of these
substantial corrections was “anti-science”.  Had you contacted me, I
would have explained you that these large adjustments to temperature
are real and necessary, but every working scientist questions their
magnitude to varying extent.

My email continued:

Admittedly, it was rather shocking to be attacked with such stunning
inaccuracy when I have so often argued in support of the reality of
anthropogenic warming.  There are hundreds of examples of my
scientific opinions on line.


I never have “denied” global temperature trends or the
anthropogenic component and have often argued their unequivocal
existence in print.

Lewandowsky acknowledged my email with a short reply that acknowledged the problem.

I don’t believe I cited you inaccurately given the context of what I was saying and referring to—although I agree that your  name was listed in a sentence with the noun “denier,” thereby creating a tacit association that was in fact not intended on my part. All I wanted to do is to cite an example of criticisms of adjustments that—like it or not—often involve conspiracist ideation.

Again, this of course does not appear to reach the level of intentional misrepresentation.   He’s arguing some kind of sophmoric nonsense possibly out of embarrassment and despite his apparent reasonableness in his first email, I eventually had to go to Eric Eich to get the matter resolved for THIS article.  As you can see, Lewandowsky was fully informed of my work and my opinions on the matter of global temperature trends by email.  He had plenty of time to check the veracity of my claims online if he somehow doubted my email and I had clearly stated my own belief in global warming directly to him personally.

So then a short time later Lewandowsky published another paper, this one claiming to study the supposedly irrational response of people to his fake Moon Landing article — “Recursive fury: Conspiracist ideation in the blogosphere in response to research on conspiracist ideation.”

The paper contained the statement I believe we can accurately classify as intentionally misrepresenting his data:

“Conspiracist ideation is arguably particularly prominent on climate blogs, such as when expressing the belief that temperature records show warming only because of systematic adjustments (e.g., Condon, 2009) …..”

A more dishonest representation of my own repeatedly stated opinions is hard to imagine.  Dr. Lewandowsky was clearly aware of my blog as he linked two times to it and he had my opinions by email.  So those are the basic demonstrable facts (data in terms of a soft Psychology paper) which Lewandowsky had in his possession.  Since the facts directly contradict his scientifically published assertion, we can hypothesize as to the reasons for his repeated misrepresentations.   Ironically, the good doctor may have diagnosed his own condition in his recent republication (sans names) of the previously retracted recursive fury paper:

Several of those hypotheses were based on what we call unreflexive counterfactual thinking; that is,
the hypothesis was built on a non-existent, counterfactual state of the world, even though knowledge about the
true state of the world was demonstrably available at the time.

However, a second, somewhat simpler explanation is plausible.  Knowing Lewandowsky’s outspoken political extremism against free market capitalism, it could potentially fit our current state of knowledge about his reasoning as well (from here):


A false representation of a matter of fact—whether by words or by conduct, by false or misleading allegations, or by concealment of what should have been disclosed—that deceives and is intended to deceive another so that the individual will act upon it to her or his legal injury.

I suppose we will never know the truth.

After this unpleasant experience, I do wonder though if even that can reach the limit of an ‘ethical violation’ in some of these psychology journals. Considering that Lewandowsky, a government funded psychologist who is very much active in promoting governmental solutions, would publish and republish attack papers only loosely disguised as science without negative consequence to his reputation and continued funding, is a matter we should all be concerned about.  That multiple psychology journals have now carelessly passed several unethical and scientifically inaccurate articles of this type through their peer review process without negative consequence to their own reputation and funding is simply beyond comprehension.

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If you made six figures for writing nonsense, would you stop?

Posted by Jeff Id on July 9, 2015

I received an email today from a reader who generously shared some Lewandowsky related news on the climate front.   As you know, I haven’t exactly been energetic in my posting.  I’m rather disgusted with climate science and while I still read regularly, I don’t seem to be able to find the energy to actually give a crap about what the leftist Climate Science(TM) crowd says.   Still, I can be dragged from my grumpy shell.  Here is the article of interest, written by these luminary visionaries – bork!!
In short, Stephan Lewandowsky has published yet another piece of fake science, using yet more government money, stolen from productive free-market minions, for purposes of bashing on those of us who can read a graph.  AKA, climate skeptics.   At this point, even other leftist scientists like Dr. Ivar Giaever are bailing out of the climate science wagon.  You have to be a shill or a moron to not understand that climate science is a scam at this point.  Not that it stops the ever-less relevant Real Climate guys from diving on the constant grenades to cover the scam.
Here is Steve’s real funding disclosure for his fake paper:
The first author was supported by a Discovery Outstanding Researcher Award from the Australian Research Council during
part of this research, and he has been supported by a Wolfson Research Merit Award from the Royal Society since 2013. In
addition, the research was supported by internal funding from the University of Bristol and the University of Western Australia.
The remaining authors have no funding to report.
I literally cannot imagine living in a world where the likes of Stephan Lewandowsky receive “outstanding researcher awards” (lc intended).   The man is the lowest form of life on this planet as history will certainly show.  There is no value in his publication other than to slander those who disagree with him.   Intellectually, and mathematically he doesn’t reach the kneecaps of the majority of readers of this blog and the man has reached high fame by slandering our group.
Anyway, I replied to the email as follows:
I’m trying to make myself care about this. Lew is a leftist political hack who will never give up.  Cook is tagging along with a moron, so what does that make him.
I read/skimmed most of the article because I found myself fogging out after a few paragraphs.  How does a “journal” publish something like that?   How do “scientists” take it seriously?
It ain’t much like engineering.
Publish away Lewie.   No matter how extreme you are, you cannot stop basic observation which contradicts theory.

Dr. Roy Spencer

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