Update: Current count of editors resigning from Frontiers in protest at it caving in to intimidation from science deniers = 3 (three). See Graham Readfearn's article at DeSmogBlog for details.
Poor, sensitive little Anthony Watts is upset. He wrote a letter and sent it to all and sundry and no-one took the slightest bit of notice.
Today he's complaining (archived here) that Professor Ugo Bardi, (former) Specialty Chief Editor of the journal Frontiers in Energy Research, has resigned from Frontiers. He resigned because, as he wrote:
...my opinion is that, with their latest statement and their decision to retract the paper, Frontiers has shown no respect for authors nor for their own appointed referees and editors. But the main problem is that we have here another example of the climate of intimidation that is developing around the climate issue. ..
...The climate of intimidation which is developing nowadays risks to do great damage to climate science and to science in general. I believe that the situation risks to deteriorate further if we all don't take a strong stance on this issue. Hence, I am taking the strongest action I can take, that is I am resigning from "Chief Specialty Editor" of Frontiers in protest against the behavior of the journal in the "Recursive Fury" case. I sent to the editors a letter today, stating my intention to resign.
You can read Professor Bardi's full explanation and commentary on his blog.
This is even longer than my usual fare, so to save bandwith for people not interested, I've split it. Click here to read more. It might amuse you - if you're a closet watcher of the weird and wacky world of conspiracy-theorising climate science denial and the unfathomable thought processes of The One who regards himself as The Fearless Famous Leader :)
Just some guy...
Anthony Watts, part-time local radio weather announcer and pseudo-science blogger of conspiracy theories and other nonsense, wrote:
It is important to note that Mr. Bardi is NOT the editor of Frontiers in Psychology, where Lewandowski’s Recursive Fury paper was published, then retracted. He’s just some guy that works for the same publisher on another publication. His resignation would be akin to some middle level division manager at a company resigning because some other division manager made a decision he didn’t like, even though the decision doesn’t even affect his division.
Just some guy? Akin to a middle level division manager? This is what passes for a put-down by a middle aged guy from Chico, who's sole claim to success is a wordpress blog pandering to science deniers, conspiracy theorists (of the One World Government, Agenda 21 kind) and pseudo-science quacks.
Anthony Watts has a much grander impression of himself than anyone else does. The admiration of Anthony's staunchest fans pales by comparison with Anthony's admiration of himself.
Ugo Bardi, on the other hand, is Professor Ugo Bardi, who is a more modest, unassuming man going by how he describes himself on his blog and elsewhere. (Or maybe he just has a lot more self-confidence than Anthony Watts and doesn't see the need to boast.)
Ugo Bardi teaches physical chemistry at the University of Florence, in Italy. He is interested in resource depletion, system dynamics modeling, climate science and renewable energy.
Professor Bardi doesn't bignote himself. You have to dig deeper to find that he is a member of the Club of Rome, founder and former president of the Italian section of ASPO. That until fairly recently he did research in solid state physics. Now he researches depletion of non-renewable resources and sustainability models and is Professor of Chemistry in the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Firenze. I had to go to Google Scholar to find his publication history, and what I found was extensive.
Hey someone, anyone, look over here, this is world-famous denier blogger Anthony Watts wanting your attention
Seems there’s a little too much emotion with this one, Ugo Bardi, who seems to have a burr up his butt for WUWT (in comments to his own article) while completely ignoring complaints like this one.
Maybe you know this blog: http://blog.hotwhopper.com/ - they debunk WUWT every day. But it doesn't seem to help against the Stockholm syndrome of WUWT readers
Complaints like this one
What Anthony was referring to when he wrote "complaints like this one" was a letter he sent off to anyone and everyone. Firstly to the Vice-Chancellor at the University of Western Australia and the Editor of Psychological Science, presumably for publication of the paper "NASA Faked the Moon Landing therefore (Climate) Science is a Hoax: An Anatomy of the Motivated Rejection of Science" Then four days later he sent the exact same letter to Frontiers in Psychology presumably for publishing the paper "Recursive fury: Conspiracist ideation in the blogosphere in response to research on conspiracist ideation".
Malice aforethought and more...
If you want to read Anthony's grand effort at letter writing, you can see it archived here. Otherwise, read on for some of his Very Important Points.
I make this complaint because I believe that this research was not only done improperly, but with malice aforethought.
I'll give you a minute to clean your keyboard :) Are you ready for more? Okay, let's go.
Waaaa! Look at me, look at me. This next point is all about how Anthony Watts is a Very Important Person (aka a real, dinky di VIP) who Does Not Tolerate being ignored. But just in case these inconsequential know-nothings haven't heard of VIP Anthony and his Most Important Blog, he writes:
I operate the most popular climate related blog in the world, WattsUpWithThat.com (WUWT) which typically logs approximately a million unique visitors per month, with typical months having 4 million page views. WUWT also recently approved its one millionth comment. By the definitions given in the LOG paper, WUWT would be a “popular climate blog”.
The World's Most Famous Pseudo-Science Blog: Oh, don't fret, there is more where that came from. WUWT is Influential! He's still a bit worried that the ignorant academic intelligentsia outside of the deniosphere might not recognise His Importance, so he continues:
WUWT is widely read by both sides of the debate and has been the subject of national television interviews, international print and web media stories, as well as the impetus for some congressional investigations into irregularities in climate science. While the audience is primarily of the climate skeptic nature, suffice it to say that WUWT is read by those who both embrace it and those who hate it due to its wide reach.
It's all true. It's been the "subject of national television interviews" (and reports from their ombudsman) and "
By the way, does anyone know what "congressional investigations" Anthony is taking credit for? It can hardly be the Wegman review. That faked up investigation was precipitated in 2005, with the Wegman report prepared in 2006. AFAIK, this was before Anthony started blogging at all, let alone about climate science. (He started on climate science after a fitful attempt to blog about technology and other miscellany didn't pan out. AFAIK his first blog post wasn't until November 2006 and he didn't get started on science denial until April/May/June of 2007.
The Punch Line: Confirmation bias! Huh?He was ignored. Oh, the ignominy! He writes:
The reason for my compliant (sic) is that Dr. Lewandowsky, his co-authors, and his assistant excluded WUWT from the LOG paper data sampling process, and by doing so, created a situation that created a result that confirmed their expectations. This is not a case of hurt feelings or concerns of being left out, quite the contrary, my concern one of data gathering accuracy as it relates to the LOG paper. It seems that they created a confirmation bias by the procedure chosen.
So, they created a situation that created a result that confirmed their expectations. I'm not at all sure what Anthony is alleging here. (Although this letter of Anthony's isn't doing too badly in that regard.) Is he saying that if WUWT had published the survey (which he could have copied from Junk Science, which he reads, if he'd wanted to), then the findings would have been different? Perhaps the association between free market ideology and climate science denial would have come out more strongly? Or perhaps he's arguing that the weak association between conspiracy theorising and science denial would have emerged as being stronger.
On the other hand, maybe in a roundabout way, Anthony is letting the University and journals know that in his opinion, fake sceptics don't ever read any blogs other than denier blogs, or pseudo-science blogs, or conspiracy theorising blogs. You might think that's the case but it's not. And that's not what LOG12 found. Nor is it what you'll find here, or at Deltoid, or at Tamino's place or at any other normal climate blog. We don't just get lurkers, we get science deniers making comments. By my estimate, 17% of the 1,145 respondents to LOG12 were science deniers, which is more than the general population as far as I know. Twelve per cent agreed that climate science is a hoax which should be way more than the general population.
If only they'd asked us, the results would have been different!
Here's a bit more and maybe it will give a clue as to what Anthony meant by "bias". He wrote:
Based on this behavior, I suggest that the LOG sampling was biased by design, with specific intent to create a predetermined outcome, because had the LOG authors contacted WUWT and had we run their survey, or if the other skeptic blogs had noticed and run the request from the unknown Mr. Hanich, I suggest the data sample gathered would very likely not support the premise of their paper.
Now what I'm wondering is whether or not Anthony even read the moon landing paper. You'll recall, the main finding of the moon landing paper was that:
Rejection of climate science was strongly associated with endorsement of a laissez-faire view of unregulated free markets, and
...endorsement of free markets was highly predictive of rejection of climate science
If Anthony did read the paper, and assuming by some giant stretch of imagination he understood it, what he is therefore alleging has to be one of the following:
- Rejection of climate science is not strongly associated with endorsement of a laissez-faire view of unregulated free markets.
- Endorsement of a laissez-faire view of unregulated free markets is strongly associated with acceptance of mainstream climate science.
Of course, Anthony might not have been referring to the main finding. He might have been referring to one of the other findings. For example (my bold italics):
A second variable that was associated with rejection of climate science as well as other scientific propositions was conspiracist ideation....The relative importance of those two constructs differed between climate science and the other scientific propositions. We suggest that free-market ideology was more important for climate science than conspiratorial thinking.
Could Anthony have been suggesting the opposite is the case? That conspiratorial thinking is more important for climate science (rejection) than is free market ideology?
Maybe so. Or maybe he's referring to the third finding.
The third construct, the perception that previous environmental problems have been solved, turned out to predict rejection of climate science, but not of the other sciences.Anthony could be alleging that people who think that previous environmental problems have been solved are more likely to accept climate science.
There is one more choice. The research suggested that:
Finally, we replicated the finding that perceived scientific consensus is associated with acceptance of science.
If it's that one Anthony is thinking of, then what he is alleging is that people who don't believe there is scientific consensus about climate science are more likely to accept mainstream climate science.
Summing up Anthony Watts' hypotheses
I'll sum up the options and you can all take a wild guess as to just what is rattling around in that denier brain of Anthony Watts. His hypothesis could be one, some or all of the following:
- Option 1. Free marketers are more likely to accept climate science.
- Option 2. Conspiratorial thinking is a better predictor of climate science denial than is free market ideology.
- Option 3. People who think past environmental problems have been solved are more likely to accept mainstream climate science.
- Option 4. People who don't accept the scientific consensus around climate science are more likely to accept mainstream climate science.
Conspiracist ideation is, by definition, difficult to correct because any evidence contrary to the conspiracy is itself considered evidence of its existence.
This article is already way too long, so I'm leaving out the usual "From the WUWT comments". Click here to read the article about how he's been ignored by "just some guy" - with comments of the usual calibre.