Monday, September 03, 2012

Here There Really Be Tygers

Institutional Review Boards, commonly known as IRBs, are the here there be really Tygers of research, no sensible bunny wants to go there if it can be avoided, and the Human Subjects IRB, aka those fuckers, are a particularly vicious and confused sub species.  This brings Eli to the current version of Clint Eastwood addresses a chair in the climate blogs, with an on leave Stephan Lewandowsky sitting for the examination in advanced parsing.

So, young bunnies ask, what do IRBs have to do with all this?  Well, Australia, where Stephen resides and works, is not the US, where Eli is in residence at least this month, but for the purpose of blogging, let us pretend that the Earth is round.  The bright lights of lukewarmerism and worse have decided that there is a conspiracy yea verily, when Stephen said that he wrote to a number of the denialaty asking if they would post a request to take his survey designed to ascertain the prevalence of conspiracy theory predilection among the various types inhabiting science blogs.  Prof. L also wrote to a number of the other type blog owner operators.  The resulting manuscript was based on response from readers of the later, which L listed and, as shown by the current hoo ha, showed that why yes, climate change denial is associated with a fair degree of belief in the various Illuminati.

Now Lucia, for the sake of argument, has, as is her wont, had a half bright idea of writing to the various proprietors of the Climate Audits, Bishop Hills, WUWT, asking if L. had written to them would they object to it being made public.

Bottom line:  In doing so, the divine Ms. L. has guaranteed that just about all US IRBs would forbid Prof. L. from making public  the names of those he wrote to.  Why the little hares ask?  Well, IRBs are very worried about social pressure being brought onto any subject involved in a study.  She just did.

But despair not, the whole rigamarole can be (Eli suspects is being) written up for a second publication demonstrating the truth of the hypothesis put forth in the first.

Willard Willard (not Willard Anthony) is going to have a lot of fun with this.

UPDATE:  Stephan L. IS having fun with this.  

It has been pointed out that the major association in the Lewandowshy paper was between the Ayn Randies and the denialists.  Eli wishes to point out that most of the Ayn Rand fans, when not running sub three marathons spend their lives wondering what conspiracy kept them holed up in the attic and not, as their destiny insures, becoming stinking rich.  The few who make it spend their lives holed up in their cellar protecting their wealth from those who conspire to steal it.

Same thing


rab said...

well, Lucia seems pretty sensitive to any suggestion that she's a conspiracy theorist. Maybe she thinks it's a conspiracy... did I just get lost there in recursion? Anyway, all this fiddling while Rome burns.


kT said...

Rabett Run is the new RocketsandSuch.

Just google Adhesiabloc.

Sou said...

Ha ha - blogs that regularly smear climate scientists are complaining that they are being ignored by scientists who are exploring predictors of rejection of climate science.

And many of the complaints from the 'free market' fanatics are that humans don't cause global warming! (Confirming the findings of the survey.)

Some people say that climate science is 'complicated'. Climate science is a piece of cake compared to the mysteries of the human brain.

(I was so fascinated by the spectacle that, while I'm not much of a blogger, I wrote a long post about it.)

Sou said...

(This comment disappeared into the ether - was it the lizard men or capcha)

What I was saying was that the survey found that free market extremism was a better predictor of rejection of climate science than holding more broad-based crank conspiracy theories.

IMO there were not enough responses from conspiracy theorists, other than those who think climate science is a giant conspiracy/hoax, to draw any meaningful conclusions. I doubt they hang out on climate science blogs.

dbostrom said...

A "Candid Camera" moment. "What do you mean, we're conspiracy theorists? Here, let me show you the secret plot that proves we're not conspiracy theorists."

This metaphor and joke is complete in all details, including lunatics burrowing in stolen databases, hunting for signs and sigils.

Anonymous said...

A response frpm Lewandowsko...

Rattus Norvegicus said...

And on the Lewandowsky blog post the award for biggest own goal goes to...


Such a modest screen name...

badger badger badger said...

McI is true to form:

David B. Benson said...

The is a paper on arXiv entitled "Denial Logic"; the abstract fits this situation.

bill said...

One is reminded of fellow Australian (and there the similarity ends!) Jo Nova's entertaining notion that the concept of a Conspiracy Theory is in itself a conspiracy* to silence those promulgating said theory. By 'the class who want to be Global rulers', no less.

(That'd be us, then?)

Ah, the eternally recursive World Beyond Satire...

Incidentally, can anyone trump Ms. Nova's -

"When someone points out that the Regulating Class want to bring on a world government, they're called a “conspiracy theorist”.

*Sorry, a conspiracy!!!

Rattus Norvegicus said...

I think the situation is neatly summed up by commentator "Foxgoose" over at the Lewandowsky thread:

"The current premise is that there are no "Human Subjects"..."

I think that sums is up accurately. The question remains: are subhuman subjects entitled to the same protections as human subjects...

bill said...

PS; Ms. Nova is also considerably exercised by the extent to which the Gold Bullion of the world has become covertly impregnated by tungsten. Tungsten, I tell you! Where will it end, people!?

Sorry, just need to go and have a little lie down...

Jeffrey Davis said...

re: paragraph 1

Sprik Engrish, Troops.

dhogaza said...

badger badger badger, it gets better:

"In Lewandowsky’s post today, he reported that the inquiry was not sent out by him personally but by his research assistant. I searched again this time under the term “” and located an email from Charles Hanich on Sep 6, 2010 asking that the survey be posted by Climate Audit and a second request two weeks later.
Like many people, I get lots of emails. I didnt know Hanich and I didn’t pay any attention to the request at the time. I didnt reply.

Oh, gosh, he *was* contacted, just didn't realize it, so L hasn't been fabricating his claim of contacting five skeptic blogs after all.

Others are probably going to find requests from his grad student, too, wanna bet?

That thread (linked to by badger-b-b) is pretty hilarious as it pretty much exposes the regulars to be the conspiracy - "they're all liars!" - theorists they claim not to be. Very cool. The old-style Mosher reads just like five years ago ...

bill said...

ba san has a pretty nifty Captcha reading robot, is all I can say. I could use it, as my mere meatware is finding them more-and-more tricky!

'Ump Nietzsche' and 'Anal Must' sound classy indeed!

Speaking of classy - dhogaza, that is truly classic. Indeed, Lewandowsky's follow-up paper promises to be a hoot!

Sou said...

Lots of people took exception to the title of Stephan's paper. I've since made a couple of suggestions on my blog that should satisfy all concerns. Here's another suggestion:

"The Government Made Me Pay Tax - Therefore (Climate) Science is a Hoax: An Anatomy of the Motivated Rejection of Science"

If we put our heads together perhaps we could come up with other better suggestions for Stephan, which would satisfy even the most ardent free market ideologue who thinks climate science is a giant conspiracy.

bluegrue said...

McIntyre has posted the text of the e-mail asking for putting up the survey link which he had ignored

Dear Mr McIntyre,

I am a research officer at the University of Western Australia, and I am seeking your assistance with a web-based survey of attitudes towards climate science (and other sciences) and skepticism. The survey has been approved by the University’s ethics committee and carries no risks for participants. Completion should take less than 10 minutes and all data will be analyzed anonymously and without monitoring or identifying individual responses. We collect no personal identifying information,
save for age and gender.

I would greatly appreciate it if you could perhaps post the link below, which goes directly to the survey, on the Climate Audit blog,
so that your readers could participate if they chose to do so. We do not ask you to endorse the survey in any way, simply to make it available to your readers.


Thank you very much for your assistance and do not hesitate to contact me for further information.

Kind regards,

Charles Hanich.

Looks like Lucia did not get the memo, CA is still listed as not having been contacted.

J Bowers said...

Bishop Hill ends his update... wait for it... "so there was at least one invitation issued." The band keeps playing while the deck chairs are shuffled. But now they're sore because they weren't amongst first in line and... wait again... alarmists had had a chance to figure out how to game the survey.

Sou said...

Stephan's paper stated there were thirteen requests issued, quite a few more than the 'at least one' comment suggests.

Only eight bloggers were happy to post the link.

Purely by coincidence, for sure, the only bloggers who ignored the request were the 'skeptic' bloggers. They are normally so accommodating of climate science - not!

So the 'sceptics' screamed blue murder once the paper was released. Those that really weren't invited will be put out, taking it as an insult that they aren't rejecting science vehemently enough.

This is really funny to watch :)

(Is there another paper in all this?)

EliRabett said...

In spite of the chaptcha reading robots let's give it a try w/o


Anonymous said...

Though there exist RECAPTCHA cracking bots, it's just as (if not more) likely that "ba san" is using human readers. In other words, you can't win.

On the post topic:

I realize psychologists have a different set of standards from everyone else in science (won't say "lower", because that would not quite CAPTCHA it), but this isn't really supposed to be a legitimate "study", is it??

Tell me it's only intended as a joke (and/or to see how the "skeptic" blogs react)


Lionel A said...

These 'sceptics' seem to be Black-Knighting themselves - how strange.

And where's Cadbury when we need him?

dhogaza said...

"I realize psychologists have a different set of standards from everyone else in science (won't say "lower", because that would not quite CAPTCHA it), but this isn't really supposed to be a legitimate "study", is it??"

I think the legitimate study might be that of analyzing their knee-jerk and rabid "SL's lying lying lying!" response to the first paper!

Anonymous said...

Well, IRBs are very worried about social pressure being brought onto any subject involved in a study. She just did.
Evidently, the reason he can't confirm he didn't ask us is we are not subjects. If so, I don't see how having non-subjects state they would like their status as non-subjects confirmed could be putting pressure on subjects!

I have no idea what IRB's might decide, but it's pretty idiotic to make it impossible for someone to document the methods used to collect data.

willard said...

Is Willard Willard me?

If that's me, I regretfully must say I'm too late to the party to pretend having fun.

In any case, what David Benson says.

willard said...

Oh, there is perhaps this bit:

> Am I the only person to receive notification of a supposed new CA posting “Lewandowsky Was Gleicked”, but which does not appear on CA ?

This was written on Sep 1, 2012 at 12:48 AM.

At Lucia's we learn that:

> I was drafting a post on Lewandowsky and inadvertently pressed Publish instead of Save Draft. I changed the setting to Pending within 10 seconds before any comments. it’s just that it wasn’t finished.

This was posted on September 1st, 2012 at 7:12 am.

As I'm writing this, we're on the evening of September 4th and no blog post appeared yet.

All these time coordinates must mean something.

The truth is out there, I'm sure.

willard said...

For those who do not like to chase link, we also read at Lucia's:

> Like many people, I get lots of emails. I didnt know Hanich and I didn’t pay any attention to the request at the time. I didnt reply.

Please note how Steve falls back to the goofiness of the study, compromised by Gleickian answers, and "but that is another story".

willard said...

When will we read "Lewandowsky Was Gleicked"?

toto said...

willard: well, looks like Eli guessed right after all - you do seem to be having fun with this :)

dhogaza said...

"> Like many people, I get lots of emails. I didnt know Hanich and I didn’t pay any attention to the request at the time. I didnt reply."

Therefore, she, like McI, wasn't contacted! So SL is a liar!

Getting weaker ...

"If so, I don't see how having non-subjects state they would like their status as non-subjects confirmed could be putting pressure on subjects!"

Oh dear, you didn't get the message the McI and Lucia were indeed contacted, so they were actually subjects, and the author has quite reasonably kicked the question of exposure upstairs. If he gets approval, I'm sure he'll point out that those "not contacted" actually were contacted, as McI and Lucia now admit.

Sou said...

dhogaza - that was a post by McI, not Lucia.

Tony looked and looked (couldn't bear to think that he was ignored when McI wasn't) but he couldn't find any request. He can't quite accept he may have been overlooked so says it could have gone into his spam folder.

(I'm trying to imagine how Tony would have presented the survey had he posted a link. I doubt he could have resisted the temptation to guide respondents down the 'right path'.)

dbostrom said...

I have no idea what IRB's might decide, but it's pretty idiotic to make it impossible for someone to document the methods used to collect data.

A human subjects IRB is frequently an excellent example of the sum being less than the parts. Maybe the brainwaves are out-of-phase, resulting in partial or even complete cancellation? Throw in a few ethics specialists (secular humanist priests) and practically anything can happen.

J Bowers said...

Stephan L. is now having MORE fun with this.

J Bowers said...

Comment of the week.

hengistmcstone -- "The lesson in this is Mr McIntyre et al should be paying more attention to emails addressed to themselves and less attention to reading other peoples"

Anonymous said...

J Bowers : hengistmcstone's comment is definitely a keeper. It's almost as if this whole spat was set up just to lead into that punchline. Or is that too fanciful a thought?


Anonymous said...

"Steve falls back to the goofiness of the study"

No debate there.


Anonymous said...

It really is quite extraordinary.

The denialist survey Mark II is already heavily bestowed with data, courtesy of those who are complaining about the preliminary mention of the first one. And if those of the not-inclined-to-believe-the-science pursuasion don't like the methodology, heck, they've already provided enough material that a completely different style of analysis could be used - to wit, a psychological profiling of the blog comments of selected, well-known names, analysing both their attitude to the fact of human-caused global warming, and their propensity to believe in a conspiracy to present NITBiTS in a negative light.

And they've already engaged in a nice display of sincerity, so it would be quite simple to sort the poes from the from the nutters. Oo - did I display a bias? Perhaps I should exclude myself from any blog science analysis of the data...

Bernard J. Hyphen-Anonymous XVII, Esq.

willard said...

Ok. I think I found another mole.

Please consider this at Stephen's:

> As a comment to your mention of me in your article: I have not testified to the "UK Parliament" or any of its subcommittees. In 2006, I testified to a subcommittee of the US House Energy and Commerce Committee. However, it would be inaccurate to say that I testified there as a "blogger".

Here's the beginning of Stephen's memorandum:

> Together with Ross McKitrick, I have published several peer-reviewed articles on 1000-year reconstructions and reconstructions, made invited presentations to a panel of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, to a subcommittee of the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee and a Union Session of the American Geophysical Union and have in-depth personal knowledge of CRU proxy reconstructions. I was a reviewer of the IPCC 2007 Assessment Report. I am the "editor" of a prominent climate blog,, which analyzes proxy reconstructions. I am discussed in many Climategate Letters.

Here are some preliminary conclusions:

First, yes, but Wegman.

Second, Stephen's right: to testify is not to send a memorandum, nor two, one under the name of Steve, the other under the name of Stephen. This is a very important nuance and Stephen (Lewandowsky) should correct his sentence.

Third, there is Steve McIntyre at the beginning of the memorandum referred above, and there is Stephen McIntyre, signed at the bottom of it.

Fourth, notice how Stephen (McIntyre) construes his sentence to exclude that he sent the memorandum as an "editor" of a blog.

Fifth, are emails "letters?"

We're now getting some parsomatics.

Perhaps Eli was right, after all.

Meanwhile, crickets are still chirping at Lucia's.

John Mashey said...

Re: McIntyre

To McK05 (McKitrick talk to APEC, 04/05/05) one can add MM05x, talk given by McIntyre 05/11/05 sponsored by Cooler Heads Coalition + George Marshall Institute.

See Strange Tales and Emails, Appendices B.2. B.3.

The MM05x PPT was given to Ed Wegman by Joe Barton's staffer Peter Spencer (an attendee at 3 Heartland conferences) in early September 2005. IT almost certainly was the "blueprint" for the Wegman Report.

McIntyre could add:
1) In that 05/05/11 talk, p.10), he FALSIFIED the Lamb sketch of N. Europe temperatures to have been the view of the 1995 IPCC, whereas it had only appeared in 1990, was gone by 1992, SSWR, Strange Scholarship..., p.15, and IPCC 1995 had a much better chart, which already had early hockey-stick like graph.

2) Likewise, MISLED BY OMISSION, p.11, on boreholes: Huang(1997), ignoring the later work by the same group (1998, 2000). See SSWR, pp.139-140.

3) He FALSIFIED p.12, by ascribing a 2005 quote from my favorite dog astrology journal here or here as being a 1995 quote from Science. A month before, McK05 had the correct citation in a similar talk.

4) He MISLED (and maybe FALSIFIED) p.18, i.e., by generating graphs with unrealistic persistence, then sampling for the 1% of most positive hockey sticks. See DC and Moyhu.

He should quote these accomplishments as well.

EliRabett said...

Of course Eli was right, get with the program:)

willard said...

Words fail me.

It seems that there might be some correlation between our current program and Keith's post about climate hype:

Please note Andrew Adams' post about YesButClimateGate.

Could we consider that **Lewandowsky was Gleicked** as a bit hyped?

Hmmmm. Big hmmmm. [1]


PS: Thanks for your accomplishment list, Mash.

bill said...

Graham Readfearn joins the party.

Sou said...

My suggestion on Stephan's blog, that the fake skeptics do their own survey if they aren't satisfied with this one, went down like a lead balloon.

One person, despite making umpteen posts about the survey on multiple blogs, even asked why I'd think he would be interested in knowing what his fellow 'skeptics' think!

The contortions of conspiracy theorists knows no bounds.

John Mashey said...

Willard: thanks, now if somebody has a little spare time and wants to help. I'm in process of updating Strange Scholarship for a 2-year anniversary, including a dissection of McIntyre's talk that was the WR blueprint. See slide 4, The importance of the hockey stick to the IPCC.

McIntyre shows 6 graphs, from L to R, then 2nd row L to R. TAR:

1. TS p.29
2. ? WG Draft SPM Fig 6??
3. main, p.134
4. ? WG DRAFT fig SPM-1??
5. ?? Looks like another copy of 1, maybe in place of SPM p.3 (not shown)??
6. main, p.134.

Items 1,3 and 6 are clear. The others I'm not sure of. I think the point of this slide was the HOCKEY STICK I EVERYWHERE!
of course, TAR WG I is 881 pages, and ANY Figure that was in the SPM was also in the TS and the main report. Then it looks like there were two drafts (?, did those appears somewhere else?)

Anyway, if anyone recognizes the ?? cases, please point at them.

bluegrue said...

@ Mashey

I googled for the captions

Figure 2 seems to be this one:
TAR Synthesis Report, Question 1-9,page 140.

Also used as Figure SPM-10b (last page) here

bluegrue said...

Fig. 4
Questions 1-9, page 49 in the PDF

J Bowers said...

The House of Commons guidelines to those giving written or oral submissions to select committees refers to such people as 'witnesses' who are giving 'evidence'. Deliberately deceiving in such evidence can end up with the 'witness' being held in contempt. Some may quibble about whether they gave 'testimony' or not, but I think I may be justified in saying there's a situational pattern here.

Guide for Witnesses to House of Commons Select Committees (fuller PDF at the bottom)

bluegrue said...

@ Mashey

Correction for the Graph 4 HTML link (brought to you by The Joys of HTML-Frames), it's part of question 2.

bluegrue said...


Graph 5 looks to me like Graph 1 with the caption cut off.

The caption explicitly states it is based on figure 2.20 from WG1, Chapter 2. HTML-version here:

So Figure 2.20 from WG1 is Graph 3.

willard said...

Hmmmm. A very big hmmmm:

>`Regarding the psuedonym “Nigel Persaud”…. due tell us more, Josh. Point out where using a pseudonym is suddenly being a sock puppet? Inquiring minds want to know.

Perhaps Carrick should stick to rigid brawny science:

Phil Clarke said...

Willard T Watts is cross with you ....

"Eli Rabett demonstrates the central problem with some academics entrenched in the climate issue: A holier than thou attitude, combined with no fear of retribution for behaviour, wrapped up in a childish web persona."

Anthony Watts Sep 6

"Best Michael Mann headline evah"

Anthony Watts Aug 22

The headline so adulated was 'Get lost'). Nothing childish there....

Watts demonstrates the central problem with some blog scientists commenting on the climate issue: their scientific education level is poor, so unable to engage on equal terms with actual scientists they resort to ad hominem attack, character assassination and pictures of ponies.

Anonymous said...

@J Bowers.

Funnily enough, McIntyre is familiar with the idea of written testimony when its other people testifying (

Another East Anglia misadventure yesterday, this one about the written testimony of Sir Edward Acton (VC, U of East Anglia) to the UK Parliamentary Inquiry about a recent response by the Information Commissioner Office (ICO) to apparent but time-barred FOI violations.

Regards, Millicent

J Bowers said...

Did McI ever get around to informing the HoC select committe that one of his submissions was wrong? He didn't have time to, prior to the inquiry.

EliRabett said...

Follow the damn links Willard Willard. And don;t use those naughty words here on RR

willard said...

Which words, dear Eli?

Which links and in what order, dear Eli?

No time to look them all, right now.

John Mashey said...

re: bluegrue
Thanks! I think I've got enough now, although McI's own descriptions on next page don't seem consistent, but that's no surprise.

EliRabett said...

There is but a single majic word on Rabett Run, after which the duck descends and clobbers your comment.

J Bowers said...

Stephan L keeps having fun. Some are not amused but are amusing.

bill said...


EliRabett said...

Nah, Eli is the Happy Hopper:)

J Bowers said...

Cranks lose court case against NZ temperature record, NIWA awarded costs

" Similar issues (as to the limited nature of his expertise), apply to the evidence of Mr Dedekind.

[54]… Mr Dedekind’s general expertise in basic statistical techniques does not extend to any particular specialised experience or qualifications in the specific field of applying statistical techniques in the field of climate science. To that extent, where Mr Dedekind purports to comment or give opinions as to NIWA’s application of statistical techniques in those fields, his evidence is of little assistance to the Court."

Ed Darrell said...

If one does not wish to be considered a believer in phony conspiracy theories, one should stop believing in such hypotheses.

I'm wondering who will be the brave set of journalists to ask Mitt Romney whether he thinks the Moon landings were faked, and then follow up with other anti-science views.

I have a parochial interest in that series of questions, too: In the Mormon church, it might be considered "preaching false doctrine" to breach against Darwin's theories of evolution. Would Romney confess?

Marcel Kincaid said...

Such a modest screen name [Omnologos] ...

Libertarianisn is highly correlated with Dunning-Krugerism ... an overestimation of one's own intellectual acuity. Libertarians remind me of those New Agers who think that "anything is possible!" is some deep philosophical insight. It's remarkable how many libertarians refer to "econ 101" as if a) they actually took the course or remember anything from it and b) taking an introductory course in a subject makes one an expert and exposes one to the entire range of analysis of the subject.