Climate Deniers: You’re Not Paranoid – We Really are Out to Get You

February 7, 2013


So here’s what happened. A curious group of psychologists did some reading of climate denial materials, and noted the odd correlation between climate denial and a grab bag of wackjob conspiracy theories, i.e., moon landing hoax, AIDS conspiracy, etc – your standard “they’re all in this together and of course they say that it just proves they’re all in on it” kind of reasoning.  If you’re a moon landing nut, you are more likely to be a climate denier.

…endorsement of a cluster of conspiracy theories (e.g., that the CIA killed Martin-Luther King or that NASA faked the moon landing) predicts rejection of climate science as well as the rejection of other scientific findings

And for God’s sake, don’t get ’em started on Chem trails…for examples,  just peruse the comment threads of any of my  videos…

So, anyway, they published, and of course, the expected squeals from the climate denial community ensued. But, there was another thing, too.

Turns out, according to climate deniers, that studies showing correlation of climate denial with conspiracy theories, are in fact more evidence themselves of just how deep the conspiracy goes….

Hence, another paper.

I said this stuff writes itself. Maybe you thought I was joking?


In the case of the response to our earlier paper, we were struck by the way in which some of the accusations leveled against our paper were, well, somewhat conspiratorial in nature. We therefore decided to analyze the public response to our first paper with the hypothesis in mind that this response might also involve conspiracist ideation. We systematically collected utterances by bloggers and commenters, and we sought to classify them into various hypotheses leveled against our earlier paper. For each hypothesis, we then compared the public statements against a list of criteria for conspiracist ideation that was taken from the previous literature.

This follow-up paper was accepted a few days ago by Frontiers in Psychology, and a preliminary version of the paper is already available, for open access, here.

The title of the paper is Recursive fury: Conspiracist ideation in the blogosphere in response to research on conspiracist ideation, and it is authored by myself, John Cook, Klaus Oberauer, and Michael Marriott.


43 Responses to “Climate Deniers: You’re Not Paranoid – We Really are Out to Get You”

  1. omnologos Says:

    You’re out of date on this story. And you should be more careful instead of associating with dubious characters such as Lew.

    • greenman3610 Says:

      Your position has been triangulated, and this comment has been added to your file.

      • omnologos Says:

        You can keep speaking in jest but – as I have been repeatedly pointed at as conspirator to hide the truth about chemtrails (by a chemtrailer of course), this cannot work with me.

        Lew’s paper is complete rubbish. Face the fact. Even if the two of you agree on climate change it doesn’t mean you have to sell your soul for any fabrication he makes.

        • greenman3610 Says:

          I got two words for you.
          Predator drones.

          • omnologos Says:

            Actually Lew has a word about me himself, or two. It’s unattributed but you can find it in the bit where there is a link to Bishop Hill and a statement about bold statements.

            It’s easy to reconstruct the path and read my original comment in full and in context, and so it’s easy to understand that Lew understood not a word of what I was talking about.


          • uknowispeaksense Says:

            “and so it’s easy to understand that Lew understood not a word of what I was talking about.”

            If ever there was a comment that spoke for itself, this is it. Nothing like a bit of self awareness. I think Lew nailed it.

    • ontspan Says:

      I guess somehow it’s Peter’s fault that you respond on his blog and therefore associate him with your dubious character self?

      • omnologos Says:

        Thanks Charles for confirming my point, and ontspan for equating me writing a blog comment to Lew and Cook writing a “scientific” paper.

        There’s somewhere a debate about why so many climate alarmists believe skepticism is a conspiracy just as (in their minds) support for GMO is.

        • ontspan Says:

          Rest assured that I never will compare your scribblings here with writing a scientific paper. Those two are simply worlds apart. Nice try though 😉

  2. When reading the discussion on the fake moon landing paper it struck many of us that the protesting climate science deniers were providing rich data for a follow-up paper. It’s great the authors made use of it 🙂

  3. I’ve got a theory about the rising number of contrails… it’s due to the rising number of aircraft.
    The additives that are put into aviation fuel are also a corporate ‘secret’ (a bit like the muck they put in fracking fluid is ‘secret’). Aviation fuel is a hydrocarbon like any other fossil fuel and dumping the pollution directly into the upper atmosphere actually has a more harmful effect. However aviation fuel has nano-particles added to make the engines run more smoothly & last longer. These nano-particles are spewed out the back along with the hydro-carbon pollution and soot particles. It is these tiny particles that then act as a ‘seed’ for a water droplet to form around, which is why con-trails spread out into a haze & then turn to ‘clouds’ as they fall.
    It is all just more fossil fuel ‘pollution’ as far as I’m concerned and the effects are self-evident. I’ve watched contrails spread out on a summers day & the temps drop by 5 degrees as the sun is shaded (maybe the solar industry should take out a class action against the aviation industry).
    Perhaps also, as CO2 levels rise in the atmosphere there is a feedback which leads to progressively more condensation from this aviation pollution, as the atmosphere is carrying more moisture from global warming & of course maybe it’s a combination of all of the above.
    I’d certainly like to see more research into the damage done by aviation pollution (but there’s no funding for some reason)

  4. Dill Weed Says:

    This road is not worth going down, greenman. Stick with the science.

    I suggest retracting this article and stating that science determines our current understanding.

    There is naught to be gained and much to be lost in diversions like this.

    • omnologos Says:

      Forgot to add that many here and at SkS are convinced that Big Oil and other nefarious industries secretly fund skeptics to sow doubt and prevent meaningful climate action.

      That does sound like a conspiracy theory to me.

      • No need to consider if “nefarious industries” secretly fund climate skeptics and right-wing denier politicians. The public record speaks for itself.

      • greenman3610 Says:

        • greenman3610 Says:

          • omnologos Says:

            And it’s a conspiracy with mysterious ways as big European oil spends money for “green” propaganda. In the meanwhile the vast majority of alarmists in two successive British parliaments has resulted in…a giant waste of resources with little to show. Obviously it’s because evil skeptics are in control of it all.

          • The key distinction is that the one side has evidence whilst the other merely blusters. It’s a bit like their position on the science; one has evidence and the other merely bluster.

          • omnologos Says:

            JHS – you’re right. One side has evidence that there is no CAGW in the cards. The other side, merely blusters.

          • Ah, let’s see, I’m just counting the number of articles in Nature and Science that back Omno’s position on the science… None. How very odd. Can he explain that without a conspiracy theory? I’m turning Papa Smurf blue in anticipation.

          • omnologos Says:

            You’re counting angels on pins John…you have no idea what my “position on the science” is, because you cannot be bothered to read.

          • Gosh, that was an easy win, Omno, thank you. I rather thought you’d decline the invitation to play without being able to use a conspiracy theory. After all you’re now pushing 28Gate. Face it, to the nearest decimal point amongst climate scientists, amongst 28 attendees there wouldn’t have been one so-called sceptic – there are too few to justify inclusion. Your sensitivity on Lew is completely understandable – and deserved.

          • omnologos Says:

            See? No matter how often I write that 28Gate has been a BBC scandal with zero consequence on climate science (and a million consequences on public trust of a public-paid institution), you cannot help yourself making absolutely stupid remarks here that have zilch to do with science. QED.

          • So, to recap, you can’t (or won’t) explain why Nature and Science don’t take your point of view on the science – at least now without invoking a conspiracy theory.

            There are conspiracies, no question, they exist. First Exxon’s and now Koch’s funding of denial is public. Delingpole’s mini-conspiracy over windmills in Corby is public (videoed even). I don’t deny conspiracies exist. It just turns out SkS are justified in their position on Big Oil. There’s the rub – they have evidence.

            As for 28Gate, fill your boots.

          • omnologos Says:

            No, no, to recap, you’re unable to read and to sustain a conversation.

          • One can’t have a conversation with someone, like your good self, who stonewalls. But your lack of considered response is more than ample.

          • omnologos Says:

            Yes, you are stonewalling. You proclaimed your knowledge of my “science” without knowing a thing about it. You made statements about 28gate I have never made, and pretended I had to answer for your fantasies.

          • I did read this, I know, I know, you cast your pearls and then swine like me show up. I rather took it that you didn’t believe in ACC. So, I think I do know something of your scientific beliefs – unless you disown your blog. Yet, again, Nature, Science and just about every other journal (dishonourable exception of E&E, PSI) does. I just wondered what your explanation was for this discrepancy.

            As for 28Gate, you complained no sceptics were invited as in “It turns out that only 3 were current scientists (all alarmists). The rest were activists or journalists (t)” I merely pointed out that sceptical scientists are about as rare as hen’s teeth so their not being invited in proportion to 28 isn’t, numerically, a big surprise.

            By you are “To refuse to answer or cooperate”/

            I know you won’t answer. And I know why.

          • omnologos Says:

            1- the “impossible” page is my best ever piece of sarcasm, and it’s so good few can understand it

            2- the BBC could invite whoever they wish. The 28Gate problem is that they didn’t invite who they said they had invited. And then tried to cover it all up. It’s the attempt at cover-up that makes it a -gate.

          • uknowispeaksense Says:

            Sarcasm. The weapon of the witless…..and you’re proud of it? That’s just sad.

          • Ah, so very much explained there then, if that is your best piece of sarcasm then your work is still very much in progress.

  5. Alec Sevins Says:

    It’s disappointing when people lump climate denial together with HIV/AIDS “denial.”

    There were strong motives for “Big Pharma” to make “AIDS” a virus-borne disease vs. a behavioral problem (as it was originally suspected to be). Also, the ability of a normally benign retrovirus to wreak such havoc while laying dormant for ever-changing periods of time has never been logically explained. The whole African AIDS thing never made sense, either. They’ve had rampant illness for centuries; why is it suddenly HIV-related?

    Contrasted with CO2’s well-understood role in the greenhouse effect, I don’t see the two issues having any bearing on each other. Global warming denial flies in the face of logic, while HIV/AIDS has many signs of being a conjured phenomenon, or at least not caused by a retrovirus.

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  7. Two words. Donors Trust.

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