Rajendra K. Pachauri, Chairman, IPCC (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Lewandowsky et. al’s faulty methodology is just one of the paper’s problems; like many other ‘skeptic’ motivation analyses, its central premise is unproven and relies on a SINGLE highly questionable source.
Experts like Steve McIntyre pore over the manner in which the Lewandowsky paper’s survey was conducted. But there is another basic problem with this paper and others essentially similar to it, where a collective analysis proposes to explain why anyone would deny the settled science of global warming. Such papers operate under a false premise, namely that analysis is needed because the science is settled and skeptic scientists – who arguably are the only people qualified in this issue to offer science assessment opposition that might be valid – are corrupt.
No need to go any farther into the Lewandowsky paper than its first page to see this, where it says in the top paragraph that “More than 90% of climate scientists agree that the global climate is changing largely due to human CO2 emissions”, followed with a statement in the second paragraph that researchers “in history and sociology frequently cite the ‘manufacture of doubt’ by vested interests and political groups….”
This latter reference is in regard to the so-called ‘lies’ that skeptic scientists are said to be spreading via associations with right-wing think tanks. Immediately following each statement are citations from people who’ve made basically the same statements over many years: IPCC scientist Stephen Schneider and researchers William Freudenburg, Aaron McCright, Riley Dunlap, Chris Mooney, and Naomi Oreskes. A less evident but still troubling glimpse into this overall problem is the citation on pg 4 of Max Boykoff in regard to “the scientific consensus on climate change is often misrepresented in the media” and on pg 5 of Myanna Lahsen in support of the assertion that there is are “notions of a conspiracy among [skeptic] scientists.”