'Climate deniers are extreme free marketeers or conspiracy theorists' – Lewandowsky

Lewandowsky shares a platform with Anna Rose (Australian Youth Climate Coalition) and Naomi Oreskes (Merchants of Doubt) – says it all really…

UPDATE 2: Jo Nova says it could be the worst paper she has ever seen:

an ad hom argument taken to its absurd extreme, rebadged as “science”

UPDATE: As expected, the eight “pro-science” web sites included some of the most vociferous “denier smear machines” – Deltoid, Un-Skeptical Pseudo-Science, Tamino, Scott Mandia and a handful of others. So, Prof Lewandowsky, precisely how many “deniers” did you actually find visiting those sites? As one commenter at Tamino stated:

“Yeah, those con­spiracy theory ques­tions were pretty funny, but does anyone think that hard­core den­iers are going to be fooled by such a trans­parent attempt to paint them as paranoids?”

In other words, as we expected, it’s a complete crock, and a desperate attempt to portray genuine, educated and well-informed sceptics as nut-jobs. TOTAL FAIL. (h/t Bishop Hill)

More deeply offensive nonsense from Stephan Lewandowsky, polarising the debate further and successfully ensuring that reasonableness and the prized middle ground is never threatened. It just shows the desperation to which “The Cause” is reduced in order to try to silence dissent and win the argument by default:

An Australian study says avid climate change deniers tend to be either extreme free marketeers or conspiracy theorists who believe the moon landing was faked or Princess Diana was murdered.

The study, to be published in the journal Psychological Science, also found that those who reject the scientific consensus on the human contribution to climate change are more likely to to reject other scientific findings such as the linkage between tobacco and lung cancer or between HIV and Aids.

The paper, titled “NASA faked the moon landing – Therefore (Climate) Science is a Hoax: An Anatomy of the Motivated Rejection of Science”, was based on a survey of more than 1000 visitors to blogs dedicated to discussion of climate change.

“We find that endorsement of a laissez-faire conception of free-market economics predicts rejection of climate science,” the paper says. “We additionally show that endorsement of a cluster of conspiracy theories (e.g., that the CIA killed Martin Luther King or that NASA faked the moon landing) predicts rejection of climate science as well as the rejection of other scientific findings.”

The paper says that a staunch belief in free markets was an overwhelmingly strong factor in the rejection of climate science and was a stronger factor than conspiratorial thinking.

It surveyed people on attitudes to a range of conspiracy theories, including that the United States allowed the September 11 attacks to occur and that SARS was produced in a laboratory as a biological weapon. (source)

Lewandowsky is a true believer and regularly smears anyone who dares to question the “consensus” (see here, for example, and at The Conversation here), so it’s hardly a surprise that the results are as they are. In the real world, the caricature of a ‘denier’ presented here applies to a tiny fraction of those who question some aspect of the alarmist position. This crude and offensive assessment is then extrapolated to anyone who challenges any part of the Gospel according to Gore.

It’s a tired old tactic – rather than acknowledge that there exists a spectrum of scepticism, the majority of which is entirely valid, this study is yet another attempt to tar all realists and sceptics as extremist fruitcakes.

The paper (which can be found here – PDF) does not list the blogs from which the survey results were taken (why not?). It states that respondents were self selected from 8 “pro-science” [by which it means pro-consensus science] climate blog web sites, but that no “skeptic” sites chose to post the request (ACM wasn’t asked). So I assume that the blogs which did post the link were mainly populated by those accepting the consensus position – if so, what was the actual size of the sample that were classified as “deniers”?

In the same week as the death of Neil Armstrong, I am deeply offended by the suggestion that anyone who questions the alarmist and politicised consensus must therefore believe the moon landings were faked. Lewandowsky should get out of his ivory tower and talk to some genuine sceptics, rather than paint this idiotic, one-dimensional picture of “denialism”.


  1. One thing I often notice with people like Lewandowski is that they want to discuss anything except climate science. So we always hear about tobacco, lunar landings, 911 etc.

    They cling to their ridiculous ‘concensus’ but never want to discuss the accuracy of computer models. They bang on about respicting the science but ignore inconvenient facts. eg CO2 lagging behind temperature etc.

    So who are the real science denialists??

  2. I know 3 conspiracy theorists and they are all global warming radicals.

  3. Richard Abbott says:

    To conclude that those who are suspicious of climate change conclusions are all conspiracy theorists is likely a direct reflection as to how longbow logic is used to determine climate change conclusions.

  4. Unfortunately the majority of the population aren’t deep thinkers, which is why people like Goebbels were so effective.

    That said, now we have the net, its a double edged sword for propagandists.

    Someone should call him out to show his resources – that usually shuts them up when they realise they have been called out. And then just keep at them until they finally flare up and show their true colours…and then still keep at them asking them to show thier sources….

    This “battle” is won by those who are the most persistent and seek nothing but the truth. And the truth will come out.

    And those who lie ad infinitum will only have a Nuremberg style trial to face at them end – the truth will come out.

  5. “Idealism and a morbid conscientiousness are two of the most dangerous evils from which a modern progressive State has to suffer.” Arthur Conan Doyle from “The Great Boer War”, page 51.

  6. It seems to me that the paper is saying that people who believe in faked moon landings, 911 truthers, conspiracies et al, are more likely to disbelieve the consensus position on Climate Science. This is basically saying that the “nut jobs of the internet” (to borrow a phrase from our esteemed PM) who don’t believe the government position on moon landings and 911 and JFK etc etc don’t believe the government position on climate change. Big deal – that’s a given. It doesn’t say *anything* about how most climate sceptics feel about 911, NASA etc. – it just isn’t a bilateral thing.
    I would bet good money that a survey of ACM and WUWT readers would show they actually have a higher acceptance of the moon landings than the general population.

  7. Kim Masek via Facebook says:

    How dare they I am neither of those things I’m an ordinary person who has a brain and common sense. They must be worried about losing there fake jobs.

  8. Prof Lewandowsky doesn’t seem to want to open this study to any outside scrutiny. On 29th July I emailed the letter below to his UWA email address and am yet to receive a response. I know of at least two leading sceptic blogsites which were not invited to participate. I don’t know of any which were. This looks like another case of hiding the data from proper scrutiny to me.

    Dear Professor Lewandowsky,

    You know I am not a fan of your when it comes to climate change matters.

    I am considering making a response to your paper. I was actually a respondent to the questionnaire (if I remember correctly it was linked via The Conversation but it may not have been. However before I do I would like to know which 5 ‘skeptic os skeptic leaning’ sites were approached but failed to post the link?

    If you refuse to tell me which sites they were can you tell me why you are refusing that information?

    I specifically refer to this:

    “Visitors to climate blogs voluntarily completed an online questionnaire between
    August and October 2010 (N = 1377). 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.”

    Thanking you in anticipation

    • Bob in Castlemaine says:

      Jaymez I think the saddest thing here is that UWA allows its academic reputation to be further trashed by continuing to associate itself with such ill conceived rubbish.

  9. peter laux says:

    So Lewandowsky is a “consensus” man is science? Oxymoron number one.
    I’m afraid i’m not obsequious enough to do that, I need at least one little empirical evidence to base a scientific belief on and AGW has none – not one empirical evidence to indicate mans co2 emissions drive the slight and stalled global warming.
    I note that the opposite of a sceptic is gullible.

  10. Charles Gerard Nelson via Facebook says:

    One of the strangest things about Warmists is their ability to project their own worst faults onto us..their opponents.
    We are well organized and well funded…yea right! That’s rich coming from a gang that has been getting fat off government grants for 25 years.
    We believe in whacky things…yea sure. What was it…12 billion dead due to gobal warming by 2010?
    They are nutjobs and the Gov loves them because it gives Gov a chance to tax and control…which is what Gov wants.
    It’s been the coldest winter in Australia for 50 years (longer in some parts) Get at Warmist to DENY that!!!

  11. Richard N says:

    Seems to typify just how radical these people can get . Unfortunatlely there does not seem to be any lack of jouros especially from ABC who are willing to swollow this BS and regurgitate it here there and evwerywhere.

  12. Surely free markets are a good thing? Very confused study.

  13. Read some of Lewandowsky’s papers and you find that he is a conspiracy “ideationist” himself. His ‘theories’ on knowledge restructuring weren’t useful in countering negative public perceptions of the nuclear industry, but CAGW propagandists are less discerning.

  14. I took the questionnaire and kept a copy of the questions.

    A summary of that questionnaire is here.

    This is important. It will indicate adverse results that have been omitted. (e.g. the beliefs on climate and GM foods). Even without the survey, Lewandowsky does not show the “denier” to “believer” ratio, nor whether part-finished surveys were included. The sort of results a proper pollster would ask.

    [REPLY – this is extremely helpful, thank you]

  15. agwnonsense says:

    brings to mind the 3 stooges

  16. The people in this new “must watch” vid can hardly be called conspiracy theorists. http://www.theboywhocriedwarming.com/watch-now.php

  17. Typical school yard politics.
    Only pick on the least popular.
    Portray them as unacceptable to the group.
    Spread rumors as fact.
    Do whatever it takes to stay popular.
    This is what we should grow out of. Alas, the left has yet to graduate.

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