Gee…Deniers More Likely to Be Conspiracy Nuts. Go Figger.

September 9, 2012

Well, hit my head and call me shorty…..Who could’ve seen this coming?

Medical Express:

More than 1000 visitors to blogs dedicated to discussions of climate science completed a questionnaire that queried people’s belief in a number of scientific questions and conspiracy theories, including: Princess Diana’s death was not an accident; the Apollo moon landings never happened; HIV causes AIDS; and smoking causes lung cancer.

The study also considered the interplay of these responses with the acceptance of climate science, free market ideology and the belief that previous environmental problems have been resolved. The results showed that those who subscribed to one or more conspiracy theories or who strongly supported a free market economy were more likely to reject the findings from climate science as well as other sciences.

The researchers, led by UWA School of Psychology Professor Stephan Lewandowsky, found that free-market ideology was an overwhelmingly strong determinant of the rejection of climate science. It also predicted the rejection of the link between tobacco and lung cancer and between HIV and AIDS. Conspiratorial thinking was a lesser but still significant determinant of the rejection of all scientific propositions examined, from climate to lung cancer.


A study suggesting climate change deniers also tend to hold general beliefs in conspiracy theories has sparked accusations of a conspiracy on climate change-denial blogs.

The research, which will be published in an upcoming issue of the journal Psychological Science, surveyed more than 1,000 readers of science blogs regarding their beliefs regarding global warming. The results revealed that people who tend to believe in a wide array of conspiracy theories are more likely to reject the scientific consensus that the Earth is heating up.

University of Western Australia psychologist Stephan Lewandowsky based the findings on responses from an online survey posted on eight science blogs. According to the paper, Lewandowsky approached five climate-skeptic blogs and asked them to post the survey link, but none did.

Now, climate-skeptic bloggers are striking back with a new conspiracy theory: that the researchers deliberately failed to contact “real skeptics” for the study and then lied about it.

“(F)or some reason, Dr. Lewandowsky refuses to divulge which skeptical blogs he contacted,” wrote Anthony Watts, who blogs on the popular climate skepticism website Watts Up With That?

In the audio clip below, Rush Limbaugh explains that he knows climate science is a conspiracy,  precisely because of the widespread agreement among scientists…

LiveScience again..

Believing that climate change isn’t happening or that it’s not human-caused requires a belief that thousands of climate scientists around the world are lying outright, Lewandowsky and his colleagues wrote in their new paper. Conspiracy theory beliefs are known to come in clusters — someone who thinks NASA faked the moon landing is more likely to accept the theory that 9/11 was an inside job, for example. So Lewandowsky and his colleagues created an online survey and asked eight mostly pro-science blogs and five climate-skeptic blogs to post a link to the survey for their readers. The respondents were self-selecting, but highly motivated to care about climate science, the researchers noted.

Unsurprisingly, the results did not please climate-skeptic bloggers, some of whom responded by accusing Lewandowsky of not attempting to contact them at all. In an email to Lucia Liljegren, who blogs at The Blackboard, Lewandowsky declined to name the bloggers he emailed, citing privacy concerns.

In response, Liljegren wrote, “I think who Lewandowsky contacted will reveal whether he really even tried to conduct a balanced survey,” urging other bloggers to publically give permission for Lewandowsky to reveal their names. The researcher told DeSmogBlog that he has contacted his university’s ethics committee to find out if he is allowed to do so.

In the meantime, Simon James, who blogs at Australian Climate Madness, has submitted a Freedom of Information request to the University of Western Australia in an effort to force the release of emails related to the study, and prominent climate-change skeptic Steve McIntyre has urged readers to email the university with academic misconduct complaints.

McIntyre later reported that an email search turned up a request from one of Lewandowsky’s collaborators.

“[T]o our knowledge, our results are the first to provide empirical evidence for the correlation between a general construct of conspiracist ideation and the general tendency to reject well-founded science,” Lewandowsky and his colleagues concluded. Psychological research has found that conspiracy beliefs are hard to dislodge, they wrote, but efforts to debunk multiple lines of conspiratorial reasoning at once may help.

38 Responses to “Gee…Deniers More Likely to Be Conspiracy Nuts. Go Figger.”

  1. […] reported here recently on research showing that climate deniers are more likely to be conspiracy nut jobs. Here’s another video example, as if one was […]

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