Feeds

Climate denier bloggers sniff out new conspiracy

Moon landing faked ∴ climate science faked ∴ study of conspiracy believers faked

Security for virtualized datacentres

Climate skeptic bloggers the world over have a shiny new conspiracy to obsess about: whether a University of Western Australia psychology professor "faked" a research study.

In a deliciously recursive fury, the research – which looked at correlations between belief in "climate change conspiracies" as associated with other "conspiracist ideation" – is being held up by conspiracy theorists as evidence of a conspiracy.

The research, conducted by University of Western Australia psychology professor Stephan Lewandowsky is outlined here and the paper, to be published in Psychological Science (which means it’s survived the peer-review process) can be downloaded as a PDF here.

The key conclusions of NASA faked the moon landing, Therefore (Climate) Science is a Hoax: An Anatomy of the Motivated Rejection of Science, drawn on a questionnaire completed by more than 1,100 individuals who completed a questionnaire linked to various science Websites, include:

* Rejection of climate science was strongly associated with endorsement of a laissez-faire view of unregulated free markets; and

* Rejection of climate science and other accepted science (smoking causes lung cancer, HIV causes AIDS) is associated with "conspiracist ideation".

Lewandowsky writes (somewhat provocatively, perhaps) that "a general propensity to endorse any of a number of conspiracy theories predisposes people to reject entirely unrelated scientific facts".

The latter propositions have sent various denialist bloggers through the ceiling and, in their enthusiasm to cry conspiracy, they’ve tried to unpick the research methodology by accusing the researchers of lying in the paper. At issue is this claim:

"Links were posted on 8 blogs (with a pro-science science stance but with a diverse audience); a further 5 'skeptic' (or 'skeptic'-leaning) blogs were approached but none posted the link."

As is documented by Graeme Redfearn on his DeSmogBlog, one blogger first stated that Lewandowsky didn’t approach "skeptic" blogs at all before admitting that he was one of the blogs approached.

For both Jo Nova and Anthony Watts, the conspiracy exists in the claim to have asked "skeptical" blogs to take part, and are demanding that he "name names" for all the blogs invited to take part.

Redfearn reports that Lewandowsky has asked permission from his university and the American Psychological Society to do just that, since UWA’s ethics committee and the Society would both take exception to a release without specific permission from the individuals contacted. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
SECRET U.S. 'SPACE WARPLANE' set to return from SPY MISSION
Robot minishuttle X-37B returns after almost 2 years in orbit
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
'Utter killjoy Reg hacks have NEVER BEEN LAID', writes a fan
'Shuddit, smarty pants!' Some readers reacted badly to our last Doctor Who review ...
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
White LED lies: It's great, but Nobel physics prize-winning great?
How artificial lighting could offer an artificial promise
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.