Lewandowsky: a conspiracy theorist or just evil?

There’s nothing I dislike more than evil people who set out intentionally to destroy the reputations of others knowing they don’t deserve it. Ever since I read Lewandowsky’s research and discovered he had done research into how a lie sticks even after it is retracted (in that case Iraq WMD), I have strongly suspected Lewandowsky intentionally falsified data (or at least the analysis) intending to harm the reputation of the decent people who are sceptics. It appears to me he expected that even if he had to retract the article, that it would not matter because he believed that all the public would remember is the original lie.
Hopefully that research is also bogus and the public are less gullible than Lewandowsky thinks they are.
But as former Chairman of the Scottish Climate and Energy Forum I know that sceptics are all altruistic people who far from benefiting from being sceptics or believing in some conspiracy, are very much forced by their training and education in science and engineering to hold the views they do despite their own personal wishes and almost without exception to their own personal cost.If I’m right, and I’ve no reason to believe I am not, Lewandowsky is by far the most evil person in the climate issue. I’m not sure whether the correct term is psychopath or sociopath, but he clearly had not the slightest empathy with his victims nor any moral compass. It appears to me he knowingly & intentionally set out to spread a lie, not as a spur of the minute reaction, but as a carefully planned campaign. That is sickening.

And this is why I am speaking my mind.

The only way I can see he would honestly have attacked sceptics is if he, despite knowing that people do form conspiracy theorists, was himself a chief conspiracy theorist, falsely believing that behind the good men and women who are sceptics lies some “dark unseen force”. That seem incredible unlikely – but not impossible.
Conspiracy theorist or just a blatant liar, nothing short of a full and frank apology, showing he understands what he did was morally wrong, will convince me he is not a danger to society and should never be allowed to do research involving real people again.
Now, we have clear evidence that his analysis was a sham.  Ruth Dixon and Jonathan Jones have had a comment published in Psychological Science criticising the LOG ‘Moon hoax’ paper (Psych Science) and LGO ‘Role of Conspiracist Ideation’ (PlosOne)

Reanalysis of the survey data sets of Lewandowsky, Oberauer, and Gignac (2013) and Lewandowsky, Gignac, and Oberauer (2013) indicates that the conclusions of those articles—that conspiracist ideation predicts skepticism regarding the reality of anthropogenic climate change—are not supported by the data“.

As we all know, all you really need to do to show their claims are bogus is to plot their data, which is what D&J do in Fig 1 for LGO (for LOG, it’s in the supplementary information file). The paper clearly suffered a bit from being edited down to 1000 words. There’s more at Ruth’s blog on their findings https://mygardenpond.wordpress.com/2015/03/26/commentary-in-psychological-science/ and on the timeline and struggle they had to get it published https://mygardenpond.wordpress.com/commentary-timeline/ There’s now a post at BH http://www.bishop-hill.net/blog/2015/3/27/lew-paper-shredded.html
(Thanks Paul for highlighting this)

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6 Responses to Lewandowsky: a conspiracy theorist or just evil?

  1. wolsten says:

    It will be interesting to see if the prat gets in touch with you from a legal angle. You have my support – though it may have to be moral if you are looking at a large bill!

    • Scottish-Sceptic says:

      If Lewandowsky is even half as intelligent as I think he is, he knows he’s done wrong and if all the sceptics were to take legal action against our reputations being falsely damaged he’d be left with absolutely nothing.

  2. John Smith says:

    Person A thinks that Global Mean Surface Temperature is a dubious construct and reconstructions of 1000 year old GMST to within .0 degrees is even more dubious
    Person B thinks that Person A is a hapless stooge of right wing Fossil Fuel Industry propaganda
    therefore Person A exhibits ‘conspiracy ideation’
    strange world we’re livin’ in

  3. manicbeancounter says:

    Part of Lewandowsky’s problem – and many of the strongest supporters of climate is a belief in the a priori truth of climate. This can be seen from the name-calling, the primacy of the climate models over the real world data and every implausible reason for rationalizing where people should disagree. Lewandowsky has conspiracist ideation and errant “free-market” views. Others say it is secretive big-oil funding (a conspiracy theory not included by Lewandowsky in his surveys) or evangelical Christians rejecting science. His view may be similar to B-movie police officers, who “know” the truth, so suppress or tamper with evidence, along with influencing witnesses to get results. This may get justice in the short term, but once pursued people lose sight of where truth lies, and results become more and more influenced by belief and prejudice.
    By comparing the two LOG surveys I independently arrived at the same result that Dixon and Jones have done – people with strong views on climate science (for or against) also have strong views on conspiracy theories (for or against). Having little opinion on one area is a predictor of having little opinion on the other.
    But by comparing the blog survey with the internet survey I find something more fundamental that Lewandowsky et al have missed. The strong believers in “climate science” have extreme-left views. It is this political belief that drives the belief in climate.

    • Scottish-Sceptic says:

      The evidence I have seen suggests that sceptics are really apolitical in their outlook. They just tend to vote on the right because most are in the private sector and parties on the left are hostile to the private sector. It’s not ideological so much as just a pragmatic assessment.
      In contrast, as you suggest left wing idealism seems to go along with global warming belief.The best way to put it is this: many alarmists are alarmists because they are left wing. Whereas most sceptics tend to the right because they are sceptics – however they would just as willingly vote for any party if there were an important issue,

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