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

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.


45 thoughts on “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

    1. I was going to post a denial of this statement, but popped over to Lubos Motl’s page first. I had read (for the most part) his blog post from other sources. What I had not read were his comments in the comment section. Which caused me to pause and ask the question – just how many alarmists are there? Maybe Cook is posting all the nonsense under other names as well, notably Mann’s.

      We know that “twitter” storms are really the authorship of 4 individuals who have learned how to game the system, not 10s of thousands of folks. Cook’s latest antics brings into question how many of the “97%” are Cook himself.

  1. Its always possible that the UWA is trolling Cook big time, together with the rest of the community which is reviewing and publishing in this particularly niche field. They have his web traffic history, after all.

  2. Jeff,
    That was a particularly misleading post at WUWT. Brandon S deals with it here. John Cook used the name in the private SKS forum. He wasn’t impersonating anyone. Everyone there knew that Lubos Motl was not a member of the forum. Why he used it I don’t know, and it doesn’t make sense to me, but it hardly matters to anyone outside.

    1. I don’t have anything to do with the WUWT post and have not read it. I just generally dislike dishonest people and was in a particularly grumpy mood last night. If he is willing to lie and put fake posts up where I can google Lubos at SKS (a very unique name), where does he draw the line. Hell, I don’t care where he draws the line, the man is dishonest for “the cause”.

      I will admit he seemed to only have been operating in his own backyard. I don’t really know how public this all was back in the day but there is an awful lot of fake Lubos available on the internet.

      1. “I can google Lubos at SKS”
        It was a private, pass-worded forum for the folks at SKS. Not available to Google. It is now because someone (Brandon I think) got in somehow and published it on sceptic websites.

        1. Well, WUWT has written an “update”. And it says, inter alia:
          “These comments were from the SkS private “subscribers only” forum, where you had to be on the “inside” to be a part of it. So, these were not public comments like we see on WUWT, but rather a discussion with his network of sycophants helping with his “research”.”

          1. Where’s the password nick? Just because you whisper on a street corner, does not mean you have any expectations of privacy. you said password protected. We know the directory was not indexed. That did not mean it was password protected.

            Want to remove your foot from your mouth yet?

          2. WUWT says “where you had to be on the “inside” to be a part of it”.

            Can you find the forums on the wayback machine? You say it was available to anyone on the internet.

          3. I also said it was not indexed. Are you reading impaired? Want to try with a first grade primer?

            And you still did not show where it was password protected. Athletes tongue bothering you yet?

          4. Oh, and for the record. Security 101. Anonymity is NOT a security plan. SO just because you do not “publish” all the directories on your server does not mean someone will not find them. So that just makes Cook a moron and a thief. (along with his other titles of disrepute).

          5. Nick Stokes:

            Can you find the forums on the wayback machine? You say it was available to anyone on the internet.

            You can also request that your archived material be removed from the wayback machine.

            There was non-indexed material from the SkS website that was later taken down by SkS members, based on their own comments.

          6. I should mention that any readable URL can be archived with the wayback machine. You just have to supply the URL and make a request.

            Leaving a URL (that you wish to keep private) unprotected and having somebody discover it doesn’t make that person a hacker, it just means the URL’s author is incompetent.

          7. Carrick, here’s a bit of serendipity, I read this entry earlier today at the archived SKS data at this link:

            2011-09-23-Removing SkS from Wayback Machine.html

            The entry is directly after the above experiment links

            2011-09-21-BLOG EXPERIMENT CONDITION 1_ warmist post, warmist comments.html
            2011-09-21-BLOG EXPERIMENT CONDITION 2_ warmist post, skeptic comments.html
            2011-09-21-BLOG EXPERIMENT CONDITION 3_ skeptic post, warmist comments.html
            2011-09-21-BLOG EXPERIMENT CONDITION 4_ skeptic post, skeptic comments.html
            2011-09-23-Removing SkS from Wayback Machine.html.

            It looks like they did cover their tracks WRT wayback.

          8. “Covering their tracks” is not the way I put it, but there clearly was a concerted attempt to keep private certain internal discussions. That has always struck me as driven by paranoia, but awareness of wrong doing (which is what your phrase suggests) is certainly an alternative explanation.

          9. Nope, your statement is fair. Covering their tracks is not the motivation they seem to be expressing.

            I don’t think they see the problem with their actions whatsoever so there is little need to cover. Can you imagine if I impersonated Lewandowsky for the purposes of a ‘skeptical’ study? They might actually be able to work out my complaint if they happen to read that question.

    2. “Why he used it I don’t know, and it doesn’t make sense to me,….”

      You are not alone, Cook makes no sense to lots of people. Maybe Cook should be studied to see why he fantasizes about being a Nazi or fantasizes about being Lubos Motl. Could all those years of writing children’s stories left Cook undeveloped and thinking like a child? Are there any psychologists Cook knows that can help him out?

    3. Why do you believe his claims?
      As typical in your view, skeptics are misleading while kooks like Cook get every benefit of the doubt.
      You are a contortionist, willing to bend any direction to excuse and ‘splain away things you don’t like.

    4. Stokes, have you any ethical sense? Posting using someone else’s identity for a psychology experiment at UWA?

      “He wasn’t impersonating anyone.” You are ridiculous. He was impersonating Lubos Motl. He say so. Curtis tells him to stop it.

      1. Let’s say: “Creating fictitious posts or quotes, using some other real persons name, for experimental purposes.”

        Go explain that one, Nick.

    5. The size or lack thereof of the audience, nor claims of a private forum, mitigate any defamatory imputation. It is sufficient that someone read the imputation. The offence, if any, is compounded if done with malice. Why would Cook impersonate Lubos if not to ridicule him?

  3. Jeff not related to this post but back on April 5, 2011 you had a post on the heat content of the atmosphere and the oceans using 1005 J/kg/K for air and 3993 J/kg/K for ocean water. I have used these values on some of my posts and taken some heat for them (no pun intended) Can you give me a source for the air1005 J/kg/K value? Thanks

  4. The real issue for me is that LOG 12 has a number of responses from people classified as skeptics that appear to be false. That motivated alarmists impersonated skeptics and responded in such a manner as to make skeptics look like conspiracy theorists.

    Now we see that John Cook is willing to impersonate a skeptic. Now we see him write that he is doing so as part of a UWA experiment.

    Did John Cook again impersonate skeptics for the purpose of falsifying the data for LOG 12?

  5. This is an example of people in their own little world pretending that they deal with reality. Rather than trying to understand why people disagree with them directly – that is trying to understand alternative opinions – climate alarmists manufacture their view of what those alternative opinions are. This is the basis of the experimental UWA study. Another aspect is begin any discussions with comments that justify prejudice, making opponents appear lower than them. For eample, John Cook’s retort on Facebook begins

    A number of peer-reviewed studies have observed a link between climate science denial and conspiratorial thinking. The most prominent examples are the conspiracy theories extrapolated from quote-mined excerpts of stolen private correspondance of climate scientists, in the episode known as climategate. A similar conspiratorial episode spun from quote-mined stolen private correspondance was published by Lubos Motl this week, and has been uncritically propagated by other online commenters.

    The argument is one of expert scientists against uncritical bloggers, who are incapable of thinking straight. If the catastrophic global warming hypothesis and the efficacy of the climate mitigation as a policy cure-all are less than a priori truths, then such prejudice will lead to false perspectives.

    1. It probably seemed ethical to try to protect the reputations of thousands of consensus scientists, including Nobel and Crafoord prize winners, who hid, adjusted or manipulated experimental data after national academies of science were united into a giant, worldwide “Ministry of Consensus Science (UN)Truths” on 24 Oct 1945.

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