Today the deniosphere has provided yet another example of the crazy and paranoid conspiracy thinking that underpins all of climate science denial. WUWT deniers have wrapped up their paranoia together with one of the other constants of denial - defaming people. The criteria for conspiracist ideation includes assuming people have "questionable motives" at best if not "nefarious intent". That is consistent with the incessant defamation you'll find on denier blogs. It doesn't take much for conspiracy theorising deniers to jump from assuming nefarious intent to assigning nefarious intent and screeching "fraud" and "fakery".
This little episode also comes with a less constant but occasional feature you'll see from deniers - that of wishing people dead.
Update: See below for a comment by John Cook on the Skeptical Science facebook page.
One of the five telltale signs of science denial is calling on fake experts. Anthony Watts at WUWT keeps very strange company and looks to some very odd people as his fake experts. For example:
- uber-conspiracy theorist Tim Ball (who believes that the UN and the IPCC and the World Meteorological Society are part of an evil plot to set up a world government headed by Maurice Strong or Tom Wigley)
- the potty peer Christopher Monckton, who claims that he found a cure for AIDS; who in an exclusive for the conspiracy blog infowars, claims that Obama's birth certificate is a forgery; and who prompted a letter from the Clerk of Parliaments (UK), telling him to stop claiming that he's a member of the House of Lords when he's not.
- the obsessive auditor, Steve McIntyre, who arranged an FOI harassment campaign against the Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, and then did nothing with the data; who cried "fake" and "scam" protesting deniers aren't conspiracy theorist, while simultaneously claiming a nefarious plot was afoot to block his IP address
- and more.
Luboš Motl wants the death penalty for the cripple
Anthony has surpassed himself this time. His "expert" today is a very odd chap called Luboš Motl. To give you some idea of what goes on in Luboš' head, he once visited HotWhopper and this is what he wrote on May 15, 2014 at 4:40 PM - saying I (the cripple) and William Connelley should get the death penalty (for an article about McCarthyism claims):
Decent people all over the world should find all conceivable legal tools to physically liquidate ultra extreme fascists who authored the disgusting article on this blog and who have intimidated the Swedish scientist. Apologizing the reaction by the climate fascists is unforgivable and as far as I can say, William Connolley and the cripple on this blog should get a death penalty.
Twisted "Something Must be Wrong" and "Nefarious Intent"
Some of you might have seen an article at WUWT earlier today (archived here) in which Anthony Watts accuses John Cook, of Skeptical Science, of identity theft. Which is ironic, since Anthony himself relies on the theft of private conversations in material stolen from a hacked private forum to support his fanciful claim. This is what Anthony wrote, assuming "something must be wrong" and "nefarious intent" (two of seven criteria for conspiracy ideation) - my emphasis:
If it wasn’t enough that John Cook dresses himself up as a Nazi in his SkS uniform on his forum, now we have him caught in what looks to be identity theft of a well known scientist.
The real story behind all this denier paranoia
There was no identity theft, needless to say. All that happened was that John Cook was getting some help from his colleagues at SkepticalScience (in their private forum), while preparing for a research project with the University of Western Australia. According to the stolen material published at WUWT and at Luboš' blog (even though heavily quote-mined by them), the research project had something to do with typical "warmist" and typical "fake skeptic" comments or similar. AFAIK, the research has not been published (yet). This was all in the SkS private blog only - not elsewhere. Not in public, and not in the research project itself, John Cook wrote some of the comments/articles as if from Luboš Motl. That's all.
As was made clear, this didn't go any further than the SkS private forum. Luboš Motl's name wasn't used anywhere else. It most certainly was not identity theft. How could it be? Can you imagine anyone at SkS thinking for one nano-second that someone like Luboš Motl would be invited to join the SkS private discussion board? Sheesh!
And the mock photos that Anthony referred to (which John Cook had nothing to do with) were put up after deniers (including those at WUWT) kept making Nazi references to the people who run and contribute to Skeptical Science. Some of the people used dark humour - in private - to help each other deal with the horrible name-calling from deniers. (Laughter is the best medicine, as they used to say in the Readers Digest.) The mock photos and the so-called "identity theft" nonsense were derived from stolen material.
Yes, that's right. Anthony uses stolen material to falsely accuse John Cook of theft!
How twisted is that?
From one conspiracy theorist to another then another
It gets worse. Anthony is relying on an article by Luboš Motl for his accusation. (Most of you probably have never heard of Luboš Motl. He is a very strange character, best avoided.)
And it gets even worse. Luboš is relying on something sent to him by Steve McIntyre, who is prone to conspiracy ideation himself. Steve is the The Auditor who has been forgotten by most people these days. Who has faded into obscure irrelevance, after his quote-mining heyday when he distorted and misrepresented snippets of stolen emails. Who's greatest contribution to climate science in the past couple of years is mistaking water mass movement for water temperature. Who purloined responses to a WUWT copy of the "moon landing" survey on conspiracy theories, never letting the data see the light of day.
BTW - h/t AndrewT - Some of you might recall Steve McIntyre being outed on Deltoid, for his sock-puppetry, when he was the only one talking up his attacks on Michael Mann's work using the pseudonym Nigel Persaud. Steve admitted it. (I think Tim Lambert got there first, but I could be wrong. Maybe Eli Rabett can fill us in.)
The website was "closed" and only accessible to the community of Cook's friends, not publicly available at that moment, but its content became available to search engines later.He's wrong with the last bit. The contents were never made available to search engines. Not from the forum itself. I expect the stolen material from the forum hack is available to search engines though.
Luboš even included this on his blog, from the material stolen SkS private forum:
John Cook: Note re Lubos Motl: I won't use the name Lubos Motl or any of our names in the final webpage used in the experiment (so the last two comments by Rob and Steve won't be used, I'm afraid).
It didn't stop Anthony or Luboš from claiming "identity theft" though. Although according to Luboš Motl, Steve McIntyre urged him not to overstate things:
It's perfectly fine with me, of course. In fact, thanks. I hope that Anthony doesn't overstate much - but Steve McIntyre will surely warn him against overstating, just like he warned me. ;-)
Anthony's conspiracy theory
Anthony uses this as an excuse to put forward another crazy denier conspiracy theory, writing:
Who else has John Cook impersonated? has he encouraged his team to do this? These are valid questions that need answers.John hasn't "impersonated" anyone at all, let alone Luboš Motl.
From the blog of Luboš Motl
LOL, I wouldn't be surprised, but I think that the people who would be willing to believe that I believe such things are so hopelessly fucked up that I don't want them to think anything nice about me, anyway. Instead, I want them to die.
I hope and pray that you now crucify that little lying shit, Cook.
I don't know whether it is possible or practicable for you to sue him and take him for everything he's got. I gather you know some very influential people in Czechia and elsewhere. I'd love to think they might be able to help you in this regard.
Scumbag Michael Mann gets his litigation paid for (probably ultimately by the US taxpayer) and he is the GUILTY party. You're the INNOCENT party — you should get yours paid for too from similar public funds in Czechia (but best of all by the EU), along with a huge financial award just for bringing a legal action against the fucker.
Failing that, if I ever saw you torturing then murdering him, I wouldn't lift a finger to stop you, and if my eye-witness evidence were the only potential evidence against you then you'd never see the inside of a court.
Get the bastard. And get him good, Luboš.
You might want to capture as much of that nonsense as you can for posterity..... or whatever legal action they invent. After all, you might make the libel section of Lewandowsky's next paper or SKS may decide to go after you in an even crazier fashion.
I am shocked that they stooped this low. I know Gleick did it to Heartland with no real consequences so I suppose they can do it too. I will read the CNN article later but I laughed at his bold title in the article of fake experts.
Wow! I don't know if there are a lot of public figure 'Lubos Motl's running around your neck of the woods, but as you know, it is a fairly unique moniker in the US.
Jeff Id • 11 hours ago
I think that you are on to the exact path that Steve McIntyre is looking. It did refer to the UWA experiment which is the university of western Australia. He and Lew are disparaging and libeling skeptics for the receipt of government and other money. Professional mud slingers at this point.
I have no idea which law might or might not be broken regarding your personal name but regarding an experiment, unless he was trying to elicit a reaction from you and write about that reaction, it looks like an attempt to produce fraudulent data for another skeptic bashing article. He should be horrifically embarrassed -- and defunded. The weak reaction from his comrads is pretty telling as well.
I agree with you Lubos. You should share the money.
Bernd Felsche suggested that the comments that were stolen and made public by the hacker, be removed from public view. Is he wanting Luboš to sue the script-kiddie who hacked the private SkS forum? Or write to himself, or to Anthony Watts? He wrote - 14 hours ago:
You can't (shouldn't) call him a "criminal" unless he's been convicted. Especially if you want to leave the (essentially free) functions of law enforcement to do their thing after you lodge a complaint. Until convicted, he's an "alleged" whatever.
I don't know exactly how you'd do that from the Czech Republic. You must, at the very least, write a formal demand for tthe defamatory material to be removed from public view before it can lead to further, potential damage to your valuable reputation. You should CC any hosting provider(s) carrying such material.
Record when and how you sent your demand. You will need that when you lodge your complaint.
Australian publishers are rather on edge at the moment regarding material that might be defamatory. One newspaper got sued for a headline that could lead people to believe that the Treasurer could be 'bought".
To which Luboš, in apparent seriousness, replied (excerpt):
I've been contacted by a group that wants to file formal complaints and I said Yes. Let's see whether anything comes out of it.
As Jeff Id wrote 16 hours ago
It isn't sane.
From the WUWT comments - paranoia plusIt's really hard to pick out the best or worst comments at WUWT. It's paranoia plus! Everyone there seems to be absolutely convinced that John Cook stole the identity of Luboš Motl to fake something or the other - though they don't know what, how or why. Therefore all warmists are making up stuff. Therefore no science is to be trusted - it's all fake!
WUWT has to be home to one of the biggest collections of paranoid conspiracy theorists on earth. Is it the heat that's addling their brains or is it the rise in CO2 that's depriving their brains of oxygen?
July 23, 2015 at 3:48 pm
The point that needs to be driven home is that rather than getting real comments, he had his buddies (and himself) write FAKED UP COMMENTS, and then analyzed those.
Essentially, he and his friends made up pre-biased data, by “assuming” they knew what a skeptic comment might look like.
Therefore the important question is: did he get the required ethics approval to make up his own data for that lab excercise?
The mendacity of creating commentary from your own group to use it to analyze and then label another group is truly mind boggling.
The mind boggles :) Remember Anthony's jumped to crazy conclusions before, when he couldn't wait to "sue the pants off that whole team of creepy playtime Nazi cross dressers". Only to pretend it was "predictable", when he found out it wasn't about him. He is quite paranoid about anyone associated with SkepticalScience (and tends to think everyone's world revolves around Anthony Watts).
M Courtney has gone even further, and seems to be suggesting that John Cook faked 11,944 scientific papers over the past twenty years, stealing the identity of 29,083 authors and fooling 1,980 journals, their editors and reviewers.
July 23, 2015 at 1:02 pm
But now whenever the 97% paper is mentioned it can be pointed out that the 97% were all the author faking the responses under false names.
And it might even be true. It fits his modus operandi.
He won’t claim otherwise. Also, he can’t point to his raw data as we know that was rubbish.
We’ve got him. Because he’s proven to be corrupt.
The mind boggles more :)
Then there was the usual "climate science is a hoax" comments, like this one from DirkH, who seems to be convinced he has some unidentified "truth" on his side:
July 23, 2015 at 1:12 pm
“When these *** can do stuff like this and their supporters not only don’t condemn, but support them, wherein lies hope?”
Well quite simple really. The lying will be their own downfall. While the truth is on our side, and will lead us to victory.
Or put another way: An organization so corrupt cannot afford anymore to hire one honest soul as they would risk exposure of their corruption. THey must lie MORE! There is no way back for them – until it reaches a point where they will look so ugly not even criminals will touch them with a ten foot pole.
And here is mpaul, spinning the spin even further. Deniers cannot fathom that climate science is based on real data. They rationalise it all away with their conspiracy theories, claiming that scientists are "falsifying data". They are all nuts!
July 23, 2015 at 1:05 pm
Forget about the legal aspects, this is yet another gut check for the climate science community. Here we have a researcher who produced a paper that was cited by the President of the United States and is used routinely to discredit skeptics. Now we have evidence that suggests that this researcher has been falsifying data.
Will the climate science community mount an investigation? Does climate science have any ethical standards? The reaction of the Journals and the Universities involved with Cook will say volumes about the credibility of climate science.
In the past when these things have happened, the climate science community has swept them under the rug. So why should we “trust the science” if the scientists and untrustworthy? Why should we “trust the science” if the climate science establishment has no ethical standards?
This comment is very mixed up. jaypan accepts that 97% of climate science/scientists know that global warming is real. That is, he accepts the findings of Cook13. However he thinks that people are evil for wanting Willie Soon to reveal his sources of funding when he writes one of his silly papers. He probably thinks that deniers should be allowed to be dishonest.
July 23, 2015 at 1:22 pm
This Cook is, together with Mann and Oreskes, an “advisor” for climatetruth.org, the organisation behind forecastthefacts.org, collecting signatures to force Smithsonian to fire Dr. Willie Soon.
What a bunch of evil people, and 97% of scientists are not standing up against them. Disgusting.
Mark Bofill wants us all to reconsider something. Yes, Mark. Considered and reconsidered. Who would I rather be associated with? A group of scientists and others who devote their time to informing the public about climate science, or a bunch of nutty conspiracy theorists whose sole purpose in life is to defame scientists and think that 200 years of science is a hoax? No contest!
July 23, 2015 at 1:29 pm
I hope any SkS’ers with any shred of integrity (if there in fact are any with a shred of integrity, I’d like to believe there are) reading this reconsider the wisdom of associating with John Cook via SkS.
This has just been posted by John Cook on the Skeptical Science Facebook page:
A number of peer-reviewed studies have observed a link between climate science denial and conspiratorial thinking. The most prominent examples are the conspiracy theories extrapolated from quote-mined excerpts of stolen private correspondance of climate scientists, in the episode known as climategate. A similar conspiratorial episode spun from quote-mined stolen private correspondance was published by Lubos Motl this week, and has been uncritically propagated by other online commenters.
The stolen private correspondance from 2011 involved Skeptical Science team members developing comment threads (both supporting and rejecting climate science) for use in a psychology experiment. In the private forum (only), I posted a few comments under the pseudonym Lubos_Motl (to signify that the comments were taking a contrarian stance). The username was changed to an anonymous name for the experiment. In other words, it was not used in the experiment and was never used outside of the private Skeptical Science forum.
Consequently, Motl's accusations of identity theft are demonstrably false. Further, I find it extraordinary that Motl publicly posts comments about me being hanged, and allows public comments on his blog that approve of torturing and murdering me. I find it equally extraordinary that such misleading and venomous posts are uncritically endorsed by third parties such as Richard Tol, Anthony Watts and Roger Pielke Jr.
Collin Maessen at Real Sceptic has an article about this too.
About the hack of the SkepticalScience private discussion board (updated link to all the "hack" series)
The 5 telltale techniques of climate change denial - Article by John Cook at CNN. BTW if you read the comments to this CNN article, you'll see lots of deniers using one or more of the five telltale techniques of climate change denial.
From the HotWhopper archives
- Conspiracy theorist Anthony Watts counting down to "sue the pants off" SkepticalScience - September 2014
- Anthony Watts fails to save face, pretending not to be excited - September 2014
- Then they attack you...and then... - August 2013
- Curses! It's a conspiracy! The Fury is Back Thrice Over - July 2015
- Anthony Watts weakly protests Recurrent Fury - July 2015