Even warmists should be appalled

War on science

Anyone who values the integrity of science and the scientific process should be appalled at the Spencer and Braswell/Remote Sensing debacle (see here and here).

You can disagree 100% with the conclusions of Spencer and Braswell, but you should still be horrified at the abuse of process and the corruption of the proper scientific method that has allowed chit-chat on warmist blogs to claim the scalp of the editor of a peer-reviewed journal, and force him to make an apology to a warmist scientist for daring to publish the paper in the first place.

Don’t wait up. The silence is deafening. In fact, in yet another highly offensive and inflammatory piece on ABC’s left-wing echo-chamber The Drum by Stephan Lewandowsky (see here for Jo Nova’s view on Lewandowsky) we have quite the reverse. Not only does he fail to defend scientific integrity, he viciously attacks Spencer further with a string of cheap ad hominems and smears, claiming at one point, laughably (but at the same time dead seriously), that:

“every single ‘sceptic’ paper has been debunked within the scientific community.”

Wow. How blinkered can you get? It is a truly extraordinary tirade – full to the brim with insults and positively fizzing with white-hot anger, but demonstrating that his grasp of reality is highly tenuous – whereas the consensus science is squeaky clean, of course, “deniers” (a highly abusive term in itself) peddle only:

“ideology, subterfuge and propaganda.”

Unleashed? More like unhinged. You can read it for yourself here.

And where’s the defence of the scientific process? Of scientific integrity? Of the proper procedures for rebuttal? Nowhere to be seen. I wonder what Lewandowsky’s reaction would have been if a paper by Jimmy Hansen or Gavin Schmidt had been subjected to the same treatment. Would we have seen the same reluctance to condemn the abuse of process? Answers on a postcard. Obviously, it’s only an abuse when Lewandowsky himself determines the science warrants it.

The kind of hyperbole that Lewandowsky engages in his articles does nothing for the most important cause of all, the search for truth in science. His view is that scientific debate should apparently be censored and restricted to the papers that he personally considers appropriate, in other words that anyone who dares challenge the consensus is a [cue cliché] filthy denier funded by big oil. I am sure everyone else is as thoroughly sick of such stereotyping as I am.

But I guess we can take comfort from the fact that such a display of barely controlled rage betrays a deep-seated underlying weakness and fear. As I mentioned in a previous post, the CO2 hypothesis is built on such shaky foundations, all it takes is a puff of wind to shake them, and get the alarmists winding themselves up into full-blown tirades of abuse and vitriol.


  1. Luke Skywarmer says:

    I sense a great cognitive dissonance in the field of science… somebody else has ‘gone away’.

  2. An apology to Trenberth !!! You have got to be kidding ! [snip]
    I had a email correspondence with Trenberth over a period [snip] claiming his good mate Jones did not state that there had been no recent warming (of course he did, both on Hansard and BBC record).

  3. Nothing short of absolutely appalling, and to think I wasted time reading it too…I’ll never get that time back, I should sue someone.

    In order to tell us how wonderful and impartial “real” climate scientists are, he has managed to expose his obvious bias, and the way this is written seemingly laughs in the face of all things “scientific method”. If people believed it, I imagine it could be considered a literary pyrrhic victory?

  4. I actually just read Lewandowsky’s disturbing rant on The Drum then… bizare

  5. Kevin R. Lohse says:

    The Left -linked warmists are doing what they do best:
    1. If you throw enough BS, some of it will stick.
    2. A Lie will be half-way round the World before the Truth gets it’s boots on.
    3. The Truth can be smothered with a 1000 little lies.
    Aussies are used to this – they have a socialist PM who follows this pattern 24/7.

  6. What a shame Stephan Lewandowsky doesn’t apply the same principles to himself when he writes for the left-wing looney opinion piece The Drum, that he applies to others on his own university funded website http://www.shapingtomorrowsworld.org

    Under it’s ‘Comments Policy’ it states the following:

    *No accusations of deception. Any accusations of deception, fraud, dishonesty or corruption will be deleted. This applies to both sides. Stick to the science. You may criticise a person’s methods but not their motives.

    *No ad hominem attacks. Attacking other users or anyone holding a different opinion to you is common in debates but gets us no closer to understanding the science. For example, comments containing the words ‘religion’ and ‘conspiracy’ tend to get deleted. Comments using labels like ‘alarmist’ and ‘denier’ are usually skating on thin ice.

    Seems its okay to censure comments on his own site, but when he ventures out of his insulated world of academia to write an opinion piece for the ABC, he’s quite happy not to apply the same principles to himself.

    • Nice catch, Baldrick.

    • S. Elliott says:

      Wow, you totally missed the point of the “Comments Policy” and twisted as the dishonest closed minded usually do. Simon joins you Baldrick.

      • You conveniently “forgot” to explain just how we “missed the point”, and launched into a typical ad hom. Yawn.

      • Would you care to enlighten me then S.Elliott? Can you explain why it is okay for Lewandowsky to employ double standards when it suits him?

  7. This guy calls himself a scientist? What a joke!

  8. Leigh Prentice says:

    What is it with the name (Will) STEFFEN/STEPHAN (Lewandowski)? And both american-educated and possibly born. Weird. The latter even claims his area of particular interest as a psychologist is “the difference [between] scepticism and denial when it comes to Climate Change”. And for this (and hopefully other research) he has, he announces proudly, been “funded continuously since 1990”? [oh dear, I’m sorry- I suppose that’s ad hominem]

  9. Peter Wilson says:

    I find it utterly inexplicable that Wagner should have thought it necessary to apologise to Trenberth, of all people! How did Trenberth come to be a party to these proceedings anyway, other than through the publication of some snide remarks on RealClimate? Is it because Wagner allowed a paper to be published which disputed the findings of Trenberth et al ? I can think of no other connection.

    So I am wondering, just what is Trenberths status in the climate science community, that merely allowing a criticism of Trenberths work into the literature is considered sufficient reason to both resign AND apologise? Is there anyone else in the scientific world who’s reputation is so monumental that any taint of disagreement is considered grounds for banishment and contrition?

    The question answers itself, of course. If there were such a person, they could not be part of the scientific community, because the scientific process does not allow for such immunity from scrutiny. Not for Newton, not for Einstein, not for Darwin, not for Hawking. And certainly not for Trenberth.

    Just who does Wagner think Trenberth is?

  10. John Poelwyk via Facebook says:

    Should we be surprised at any of this??
    It’s all about the science of money!!
    Those from the science community that are receiving huge grants etc should fully disclose them everytime they publish.
    Then we will see the real motives!!

  11. Funny that ABC go for opinion first and news second. I think dear old Lewandowsky needs some professional help!

  12. Rick Bradford says:

    Even warmists should be appalled
    Don’t be silly. To be ‘appalled’ implies a sense of morality, whereas the AGW crowd are well known as people whose aim is simply to ram their preferred worldview down everyone’s throats by any means.

    Their intent is to cripple capitalism, and in pursuit of that goal, anything goes, in a truly amoral sense.

    It was never about science, even 20 years ago.

  13. Simon, where possible, I refer to the ABC Drum as “Ad hominem Unleashed”.

    Feel free to share…


    • Very apt, Jo!

      • [snip – if you manage to contribute something worth publishing, rather than childish abuse, it might get approved]

        • [snip – this is a sceptic blog – you turn up playing the troll, you will be snipped. If you wish to contribute sensibly, fine, but otherwise, go and play at RealClimate or something, and stop wasting my time]

  14. Gary Hemminger says:

    This is not about science. This is about money. Follow the money. Climate Scientists have lost all credibility. It doesn’t matter if you are a warmist or a skeptic. Climate science is corrupted and there is no getting back in the short or medium term.

    What we have here is what Burt Rutan is trying to tell the public. The public forgot the difference between a scientist and an engineer. Climate scientists are trying to pretend they are engineers. Engineers have to make things that actually do something and don’t screw up. Scientist are weenies that make up theories that might or might not be true, but have little basis in reality.

    Can you imagine if computer models were used to insure the safety of airlines? If computer models are so great why don’t we use them for ensuring the safety of airlines, buildings, etc… Forget the actual engineering, just base everything on some scientists computer models. We would have plans that crash and burn on takeoff.

    The AGW movement will die out and it isn’t because of climate scientists it is because of people like Burt Rutan and Walter Russell Mead.

    • Umm… correct me if I’m wrong, but computer modeling is used in the design of aircraft, see http://quest.nasa.gov/aero/background/tools/. I’ve even been on a plane a couple of times and it has always managed to get off the ground without crashing and burning.

      • Almost a decent point, couched in sarcasm, naturally. So you are comparing the computer models used for designing aircraft based on well-understood physical laws with those to model a vastly more complex chaotic climate system…? What’s your point?

        • Russell Hamstead says:

          Actually the point has more merit than it intitially appears, even with computer aircraft design, planes fall out of the sky all the time. The safety record of aircraft and the rules incorporated into airframe design are primarily the result of past experience. Rounded aircraft windows came about because the deHavillard Comets windows started blowing out and they were falling from the sky, something noone had predicted untill that point.

        • Why is my almost decent point “naturally” couched in sarcasm. Is it because you think I believe in AGW and that sarcasm is the only means I can resort to prove my point? No where in my post did I try to equate aerospace computer modeling to climate modeling, this was what Gary was trying to do. Russell, Planes don’t just fall out of the sky “all the time”, and when they do it is usually some sort of human error that is the cause. Sorry, my point is, Gary refers to scientists as “weenies”, and discounts the fact the scientists and engineers work together to achieve amazing things, i.e the Mars landings. A feat surely impossible without a coordinated effort. Yet Gary’s pointless and insulting post remains, where as my insulting and pointless post was removed?

  15. Russell Hamstead says:

    I have mailed an official complaint to the ABC, this article in constantly labeling sceptics as “deniers” is a massive breach of ABC’s editorial policy, which the recently used as an excuse to oust glenn milne. Lets see what lame argument they come up with

  16. This Lewandowsky character sounds very insecure in his own position. A scientist he is not. To reject outright any doubt in AGW is very revealing as it shows a dishonest approach to the give and take of science. This is not science, it is a political agenda. Sort of brings new meaning to the academic subject of “Political Science”.

  17. and for some more possibly not outright as that but from Australian Academy of Science. Misleading but possibly not outright aggression skim through my submission to the Clean Energy Legislation (carbon tax) look at the claims about temperature and sea level rises.

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