Cook & Lew label senior Met Office climatologist a ‘conspiracy theorist’

Cook and Lew - twisted reality

Cook and Lew – twisted reality

UPDATE: Cook and Lew tie themselves in syntactical and grammatical knots  over at Un-Sk Ps-S trying to explain that they weren’t really calling Betts a conspiracy theorist…

In John Cook and Stephan Lewandowsky’s twisted version of reality, anyone who disagrees with them is a conspiracy theorist.

So obsessed have they become with this piece of cheap psychobabble that they have written two papers about it, the second claiming that there was conspiracy theorising from sceptics in the responses to the first paper, which also accused sceptics of conspiracy theorising about climate change. Following me so far? [No – Ed]

In the Supplementary Information for the second paper (a PDF here – make sure you know where the zoom button is), Cook and Lew quote from a guy called Richard Betts, who left a comment at Bishop Hill, as follows:

The thing I don’t understand is, why didn’t they just make a post on sceptic blogs themselves, rather than approaching blog owners. They could have posted as a Discussion topic here at Bishop Hill without even asking the host, and I very much doubt that the Bish would have removed it. Climate Audit also has very light-touch moderation and I doubt whether Steve McIntyre would have removed such an unsolicited post. Same probably goes for many of the sceptic blogs, in my experience. So it does appear to that they didn’t try very hard to solicit views from the climate sceptic community. 

This is labelled  by the learned Professor and his Eureka-Prize-winning sidekick as an “excerpt espousing conspiracy theory” under the category of “Didn’t email deniers”.

So who is Richard Betts? I’ll give you a clue. He leads the “Climate Impacts area, specialising in ecosystem-hydrology-climate interactions but also overseeing work on urban, health, industry and finance” at the UK Met Office…!

Current activities

Richard is Head of the Climate Impacts strategic area, which includes climate impacts research and also the climate change consultancy unit.

The Met Office’s main role in climate impacts research is to facilitate a more integrated approach to the assessment of climate change impacts, in collaboration with specialists across the wider academic community. A large part of our impacts research, therefore, involves examining the interactions between different impacts areas, such as agriculture, natural ecosystems, water resources, glaciers, urban areas and human health.

Richard leads the impacts theme of the JULES community land surface modelling programme. This collaborative project forms part of UK-wide efforts to assess impacts in an internally-consistent manner. (full bio here)

He is also a Lead Author for IPCC AR4 WG1 and a Contributing Author for IPCC AR4 WG2… and Cook and Lew think he’s a climate conspiracy theorist. Bahahahahaha! Epic fail!

UPDATE: Thanks to Barry Woods for Richard’s Twitter response:

Lewandowsky et al clearly deluded!

More laughs to be had at the following sites:

Background to the Lew Papers is here.


  1. Lew Skannen says:

    I am beginning to wonder whether we, as skeptics, have all maybe overstepped the mark and made a rather large mistake about this. One which we may soon regret.
    At first it was fun to laugh at Cook and Lewandowski because we thought they were arrogant, ignorant, pompous crooks but now I am beginning to suspect that they may be genuinely mentally disturbed and in need of proper treatment and care.
    I feel bad for making fun of them and would never have done so had I only known…

  2. Lewandowsky and Cook take their moon landing denier paper very seriously!

    • They really believe the moon landing hoak baloney? Well that would be quite a smack in the face of Phil Plait who is a rabid snotty warmist with his book and blog debunking the moon landing hoak claims convincigly showing lots of evidence that Apollo missions did indeed make landings on the moon and come back.

      He he……

  3. Just watermelon madness – PS love the new ACM look.

  4. Climate Daily says:

    Reblogged this on Climate Daily.

  5. Just thought we really need to put Richard Betts’ tweet about it (after he had a twitter conversation with Skeptical Science, Dana, etc) here for posterity. Richard tweeted the location of his ‘ conspiracy comment’ at Bishop Hill and added….

    Richard Betts @Richardabetts
    @wattsupwiththat @lucialiljegren @aDissentient Here
    at Aug 31, 2012 at 9:00 PM. Lewandowsky et al clearly deluded!

    find it all on

  6. manicbeancounter says:

    Somebody should do some proper research on belief in conspiracy theories. Something that they will find is the belief in conspiracy theories is greatest in closed societies. Particularly those that do not want to be contaminated or challenged by alternative ideas. The most common means is to encourage a highly prejudiced evaluation of statements, either according to the source from which they originate, or whether the content supports / counters the society’s viewpoint. A consequence is that such closed societies will make huge blunders in who they categorize as supporting “untruths”, or in identification of untruths. Another is that they will quickly rush to judgement based on prejudices. The LOG12 paper was a poor attempt at trying to extend prejudiced judgments in the area of climate, by a hugely biased survey and analysis of the responses.

  7. As Ben once said, “Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain – and most fools do”; and Crooked Cook and Loopy Lew are amongst the most foolish. I’ve never been able to understand what Lew is on about and Cook’s too bent to know anything, really.

  8. “So obsessed have they become with this piece of cheap psychobabble that they have written two papers about it, the second claiming that there was conspiracy theorising from sceptics in the responses to the first paper, which also accused sceptics of conspiracy theorising about climate change. Following me so far? [No – Ed]”


    I love this! What a tongue-twister! I want to put this on my wall as to always start my day with a laugh.

    Those two clowns just can’t work it out, can they? If they see conspiracy theories everywhere, isn’t that a sign of something?

    Cheers! 🙂

    • Old Ranga from Victoria says:

      As an Australian taxpayer, I’m starting to feel really angry about the way these two Australian universities are using my tax dollars. What’s happened to academic standards? What’s happened to the higher education of our young people? Does it all get down to just money, money, money? How do the two Vice-Chancellors face themselves in the mirror each morning? How do they face their VC colleagues?

      It’s no use asking what the hell the relevant Federal Minister is doing – I don’t know or care who’s keeping that seat warm until the election – because there’ll be no upholding of traditional standards from that lot. Post-modern posturing and compromising instead.

      Shame, shame, shame.

      • I’m with you on that. What I find surprising is that they can look people right in the face and keep on lying. It seems to be a trait shared by all “climate scientists”. That makes it a crime right there. Yes, I can understand it (they have no other option. To admit the lie will collapse the whole foul tent), but it still surprises me – more so because everyone seems to let them continue lying, even when it’s becoming ever more obvious.

        When are these guys going to jail?


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