From climate change to peak oil and food insecurity, our societies are confronted with many serious challenges that, if left unresolved, will threaten the well-being of present and future generations, and the natural world. This website is dedicated to discussion of those challenges and potential solutions based on scientific evidence and scholarly analysis.

Our goal is to provide a platform for re-examining some of the assumptions we make about our technological, social and economic systems. The posts on this site are generally written by domain experts, specialists and scholars with an interest in these problems and we hope they will generate informed and constructive debate. We will archive seminal papers and posts for future reference.

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Well-estimated global warming by climate models

Posted on 20 July 2014 by Stephan Lewandowsky

Has global warming “stopped”? Do models “over-predict” warming? There has been much recent talk in the media about those two questions. The answer to the first question is a fairly clear “no.” Global warming continues unabated.

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The Frontiers Expert Panel

Posted on 16 April 2014 by Stephan Lewandowsky

Updated below: 17 April 2014

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Clarifying a revisited retraction

Posted on 13 April 2014 by Stephan Lewandowsky

Frontiers has issued a further statement on the retraction of our paper “Recursive Fury” (available at uwa.edu.au/recursivefury). This statement is signed by their editor in chief. It cannot be reconciled with the contractually agreed retraction statement signed by the journal and the authors on 20th March.

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The analysis of speech

Posted on 9 April 2014 by Stephan Lewandowsky

What constitutes legitimate analysis of speech?

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Revisiting a Retraction

Posted on 7 April 2014 by Stephan Lewandowsky

The journal Frontiers retracted our “Recursive Fury” paper on 21 March. Frontiers withdrew Recursive Fury due to legal fears, not academic or ethical reasons. The paper—probably the most widely-read article ever published by Frontiers—can now be found at uwa.edu.au/recursivefury.

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Recursive Fury: A Summary of Media Coverage

Posted on 4 April 2014 by Stephan Lewandowsky

The journal Frontiers retracted our “Recursive Fury” paper some time ago not for academic or ethical reasons but owing to legal fears. The paper can now be found at uwa.edu.au/recursivefury because the University of Western Australia has come to a different risk assessment and sees no reason not to host the paper.

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More Bandwidth for 'Recursive Fury'

Posted on 25 March 2014 by Stephan Lewandowsky

One of my most widely read papers, "Recursive Fury", was recently retracted by the journal Frontiers even though they found no academic or ethical problems with the paper. The reasons underlying this decision are outlined here and here.

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Recursive Fury goes recurrent

Posted on 21 March 2014 by Stephan Lewandowsky

Some 18 months ago I published a paper with colleagues Oberauer and Gignac that reported a survey of visitors to climate blogs which established a small, but significant, association between the endorsement of conspiracy theories and the rejection of several scientific propositions, including the fact that the earth is warming from greenhouse gases. The effects reported in that paper have since been replicated with a representative sample of Americans. No scholarly critique of either paper has been submitted for peer review to any journal to date.

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The value of 'development' for tribal peoples

Posted on 22 February 2014 by Anne Young

Around the world ‘development’ is robbing tribal people of their land, self-sufficiency and pride.

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Disinformation, water scarcity, and conflict: Opinions have ethical implications

Posted on 9 February 2014 by Stephan Lewandowsky

This article by Suzanne Goldenberg in The Guardian caught my attention because it points to another potential source of violent conflict from climate change, namely the depletion of water in some parts of the world. To quote from her article:

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Disinformation, migration, conflict: Opinions have ethical implications

Posted on 1 February 2014 by Stephan Lewandowsky

[8.2.14: Update below] This new type of post, identified by the icon at the right, is intended to draw attention to interesting articles in the scientific literature. I came across an article by Valerie Mueller and colleagues in Nature Climate Change that examined the effects of weather extremes on migration within Pakistan. This research attracted my attention because it meshes nicely with our recent work on climate change and the risk of conflict. Although our work focuses in particular on how misinformation contributes to exacerbating those risks, any evidence for the linkage between extreme weather events and potential conflict triggers is of interest to us.

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Antarctic Confusions

Posted on 2 January 2014 by Stephan Lewandowsky

Australia is home to The Australian, a flagship product of Rupert Murdoch's stable of media organs. Although The Australian is technically a broadsheet, it sadly has a track record of distortion and misrepresentation when it comes to climate reporting.

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Iraq, Climate, and the Media

Posted on 6 December 2013 by Stephan Lewandowsky

The "97%" blog at The Guardian was generous enough to run a piece by me on the similarities and dissimilarities between the media coverage in the lead-up to the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the current reporting of climate change. There is no point in reiterating the piece here, but it may be worthwhile to point to the underlying scholarly article that appeared in American Psychologist as part of a special issue on peace and conflict resolution. Sadly, the journal article is behind a paywall, but I believe that I am entitled to email it to interested parties upon request.

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Subterranean War: Some Reasonable Questions and Answers

Posted on 10 November 2013 by Stephan Lewandowsky & Michael Mann

Further authors: Gerard Hastings and Linda Bauld, University of Stirling

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Australian Climate Change Authority (CCA): Draft report released on targets

Posted on 1 November 2013 by James Wight

On Wednesday, Australia’s independent Climate Change Authority (CCA) released the Targets and Progress Review Draft Report. The new Liberal government plans to abolish the CCA, and the legal requirement to set an emissions target, as part of legislation to repeal the former Labor government’s carbon price. Labor is now reportedly debating whether to negotiate on the bills, but at present Labor continues to defend the existence of the CCA and a cap on emissions. CCA is conducting the Review in accordance with existing law, but acknowledges the Government’s plans to replace the carbon price with an Emissions Reduction Fund, arguing that advice on selecting an emissions target remains relevant regardless of the chosen policy mechanism.

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Association for Psychological Science on Inconvenient Truth Tellers

Posted on 1 November 2013 by Stephan Lewandowsky

The monthly newsletter of the Association for Psychological Science (APS) contains two articles that examine the way in which "inconvenient" scientists are being attacked, both within the discipline of psychology and beyond.

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War or Peace? Psychology's Contribution

Posted on 17 October 2013 by Stephan Lewandowsky

Human beings have been fighting each other in organized warfare since time immemorial. The 20th Century has often been characterized as one of the bloodiest ever. Does this mean that war is inevitable? Will human beings continue to slaughter each other on a large scale?

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FAQs for PLoS1 paper by Lewandowsky, Gignac, and Oberauer

Posted on 2 October 2013 by Stephan Lewandowsky & Klaus Oberauer

This post contains FAQs and answers to the paper by Lewandowsky, Gignac, and Oberauer that was published in PLOS ONE in 2013, entitled The Role of Conspiracist Ideation and Worldviews in Predicting Rejection of Science.

The abstract of the paper is reproduced below, and because PLOS ONE is an open access journal the paper itself can be accessed here:

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Wanted: leader with a vision for a sustainable future

Posted on 1 September 2013 by Helen Camakaris

A sustainable future remains within our grasp but - thanks to the way human brains work - only governments can implement many of the necessary strategies. Our political leaders have a unique responsibility.

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Ethics Lost in Translation

Posted on 15 June 2013 by Stephan Lewandowsky

The tobacco-funded Heartland Institute already lost many of its sponsors—and millions in donations—a year ago when it suggested on a billboard that acceptance of the pervasive scientific consensus on climate change is somehow tantamount to being a serial killer or terrorist. The Institute is now again embroiled in a major scandal: This one does not involve billboards but a serious misrepresentation of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

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The scientific consensus on climate change: Still pivotal and more pervasive than ever

Posted on 16 May 2013 by Stephan Lewandowsky

Science is debate. It’s a debate that takes place at conferences or in the peer-reviewed literature, and scientific debates contribute to the error-correction process that has served science and the public well for a century or more.

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Recursive Fury: Facts and misrepresentations

Posted on 22 March 2013 by John Cook & Stephan Lewandowsky

Our paper Recursive fury: conspiracist ideation in the blogosphere in response to research on conspiracist ideation has been published. The paper analyzed the public discourse in response to an earlier article by Lewandowsky, Oberauer, and Gignac (LOG12 for short from here on), which has led to some discussion on this blog earlier.

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Don't trust your Stone Age brain: it's unsustainable

Posted on 20 March 2013 by Helen Camakaris

Cognitive dissonance is that uncomfortable feeling we have when we know we should invest in solar panels but the 46″ wide screen TV wins out; we know we should catch the bus but we take the car anyway. It’s that sense of discord that arises when emotion and reason don’t get along. And unfortunately, it’s alive and well, sabotaging the climate change debate.

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Caps Review Part 7: Complementary measures

Posted on 18 March 2013 by James Wight

This is the sixth part in a series about the Caps and Targets Review being conducted by the Australian Government’s independent Climate Change Authority (CCA) this year. Part 1 summarized the global climate crisis, Part 2 explained the importance of the review and how CCA should approach it, Part 3 outlined the role Australia should play in climate action, Part 4 debunked the economic justifications for inaction, Part 5 makes my central recommendations on emissions caps, and Part 6 makes recommendations on the design of the carbon price mechanism. This part argues for and suggests some complementary measures.

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Caps Review Part 6: ETS design flaws and pitfalls

Posted on 15 March 2013 by James Wight

This is the sixth part in a series about the Caps and Targets Review being conducted by the Australian Government’s independent Climate Change Authority (CCA) this year. Part 1 summarized the global climate crisis, Part 2 explained the importance of the review and how CCA should approach it, Part 3 outlined the role Australia should play in climate action, Part 4 debunked the economic justifications for inaction, and Part 5 makes my central recommendations on emissions caps. This part makes recommendations on the design of the carbon price mechanism.

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Caps Review Part 5: Emissions caps

Posted on 14 March 2013 by James Wight

This is the fifth part in a series about the Caps and Targets Review being conducted by the Australian Government’s independent Climate Change Authority (CCA) this year. Part 1 summarized the global climate crisis, Part 2 explained the importance of the review and how CCA should approach it, Part 3 outlined the role Australia should play in climate action, and Part 4 debunked the economic justifications for inaction. This part makes my central recommendations on emissions caps.

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Caps Review Part 4: Economics

Posted on 13 March 2013 by James Wight

This is the fourth part in a series about the Caps and Targets Review being conducted by the Australian Government’s independent Climate Change Authority (CCA) this year. Part 1 summarized the global climate crisis, Part 2 explained the importance of the review and how CCA should approach it, and Part 3 outlined the role Australia should play in climate action. This part debunks the economic justifications for inaction.

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Caps Review Part 3: Australia’s role

Posted on 12 March 2013 by James Wight

This is the third part in a series about the Caps and Targets Review being conducted by the Australian Government’s independent Climate Change Authority (CCA) this year. Part 1 summarized the global climate crisis, and Part 2 explained the importance of the review and how CCA should approach it. This part outlines the role Australia should play in climate action.

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Caps Review Part 2: Politics

Posted on 11 March 2013 by James Wight

This is the second part in a series about the Caps and Targets Review being conducted by the Australian Government’s independent Climate Change Authority (CCA) this year. Part 1 summarized the global climate crisis. This part explains the importance of the review and how CCA should approach it.

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Caps and Targets Review: A 7-part Series (Part I)

Posted on 9 March 2013 by James Wight

The Australian Government’s independent Climate Change Authority (CCA) is conducting a Caps and Targets Review this year. In this series I will explain why the review is important, outline what I think its recommendations should be, and attempt to deconstruct everything I believe is wrong with the Government’s climate policies and its underlying flawed beliefs about Australia’s role in climate action.

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