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Lewandowsky’s “research team”. Who is Mike Hubble-Marriott?

The fourth name on the new Lewandowsky paper is Mike Hubble-Marriott, from “Climate Realities Research, Melbourne”. What isn’t listed on the paper, is that Mike’s “climate research” is published under the anonymous moniker of Mike, on a site called WatchingTheDeniers A site incidentally, which is linked in the paper. Perhaps they ought to have disclosed that?

Climate Realities Research has no website, it doesn’t appear to be a registered business, and Googling doesn’t shed any light on it. Just how serious is his research?

“Mike” gave it away on The Conversation blog a long time ago, sort of, saying “my real name which is Michael Marriott – thus, any charges of anonymity can be dealt with.” Hubble-Marriott, or Marriott, what’s the difference? Hmm. (See Watching the Deniers) In his other life, he worked for a law firm as an information services manager. Perhaps he still does? But now apparently he’s a climate researcher. OK.

I’m not fussy about qualifications, there are plenty of Profs who can’t think. But Lewandowsky and Hubble-Marriott think qualifications are all that matter. Hypocrisy anyone?

Mike commented on this blog in March 2010 as “Mike” on this thread, but in the end failed the logic and accurate English bar, and his right to comment was retracted indefinitely until he could improve. He couldn’t curb his reflexive use of the word “denier”, nor could he justify it. His whole blog is named after it. Watching the deniers. It’s not possible to have a polite open-minded science discussion with someone who thinks they are talking to a “denier”. After all, a denier has a defective brain, they can’t think, can’t reason, and it doesn’t matter what a denier says. Lewandowsky, Cook and Hubble-Marriott, know they are right. It’s unscientific.

I’d like to thank Mike for posting the comment (or link) that was the all time funniest for me, ever. In 2010, Mike turned up on my blog, asked questions, and got answers. He then dismissed or ignored the papers and the reasons we offered, and went back onto his site to say he’d studied us, “done an experiment” (the methods and design appear to be lacking a tad), and that the Dunning Kruger (DK) effect explained our over-confidence.

To appreciate the humour, you need to know that the DK effect is where people who don’t know much confidently overestimate their ability. His marvellous insight and experiment were written with a glorious honesty. Right at the start Mike explains how little he knows, and thus spends his entire post proving he himself is the ultimate case study in Dunning-Krugar. Projection, anyone? I swear, I was surprised it was not labelled “satire” at the bottom.

Here’s Mike Hubble-Marriott, co-author of Stephan Lewandowsky and John Cook, talking about his scientific ability in 2010:

I have a confession to make: I am not qualified to discuss the intricate, technical details of climate science.

It’s beyond my capability.

I can grasp the essentials, and even make sense of (some) the actual peer reviewed research that I read. However I am very conscious that I have large gaps in my knowledge, and that crucially I am not qualified to critique the work of science.

In order to have a real understanding I’d need to pursue a Bachelor of Science and post-graduate degrees to be able to speak authoritatively on climate science.

Selected notes from his research:

My own experiment: Jo Nova’s blog

I entered these boards to see how readily the denier community centered around this board potentially exhibited the Dunning-Kruger effect.

These people are not stupid, they’re curious

The first poster accepts the papers are talking about CO2 concentrations and temperature rises: they simply reject the papers conclusions. The second poster does not think contain any evidence, and easily dismisses them.

Do I regard these individuals as “stupid”, “imcompetant” or “completely unskilled”? No, not at all! Actually, I did not expect them to be any of those thingsl. The heart of the matter is this: too many people think they are qualified in areas they are not.

I came away with the conclusion that many members of this community are articulate, engaged with the debate and intellectually curious.However, like me they lack a full understanding of the science.


At heart many “deniers” claim to be curious individuals. I think there is some truth to that.

Helping them understand just how fiendishly complicated the science that supports climate change actually is may engender more respect for the work scientist do. I also think those in the denier community might enjoy the oppurtunity [sic].

Perhaps we should be less concerned with bombarding the deniers with the results of research, but engaging them with how the science works. I actually think many of them would be fascinated.

Otherwise many of these individuals are left to the mercy of the peddlers of conspiracy theories and pseudo-science.

As Dunning-Kruger suggests:

…If they can be trained to substantially improve their own skill level, these individuals can recognize and acknowledge their own previous lack of skill

Perhaps scientists should be reaching out to the denier community and giving them an intimate insight into the scientific method and how they arrive at their conclusions.

The full post is really something. I answered it at comment #100 on my thread.

Let’s give the man a point for honesty, and a smile for giving it his best. But enough is enough. WatchingTheDeniers is “like Deltoid” but without the science, which is really saying something. One of his main points of “research” is the trashy ad hom. He was one of the the ringleaders of the compulsive namecallers I wrote about. He, bless him, thinks it helps the planet to clutter the climate science debate with discussions about conspiracy theorists, and anti-Semitic deniers, as if they could affect the climate, or have anything to do with atmospheric evidence.

The name-calling attacks are so bad they would probably qualify as naked defamation. He and others on the web strung them by tenuous inference from the vapor. One technique used on WatchingtheDeniers goes like this: take a quote out of context, then mix it with quotes made by other people, then speculate about the connection, saying this “is similar too” that.  If someone uses a two-word phrase which some anti-Semites also use, that is “evidence” the first user is also an anti-Semite. Read between the lines! It’s guilt by association of the most vacuous kind.

I expect he thinks that what he does is research rather than just advanced name-calling. Will Lewandowsky be helping his “research” out with any of the $2 million in taxpayer funds he has received? (See here and here for grant details.) I suppose, for even asking that, it will be more fodder for the “conspiracy ideation” machine. But that kind of science is ideatic, if you know what I mean… 😉

As for  Recursive fury, (the paper of the moment) Mike’s past research and qualifications are irrelevant of course. The paper stands or falls on its own reasoning and I’ll have more to say about that very soon.


Obviously Mike is welcome to discuss and defend his views on this thread, though moderation may be slow today.

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