Lewandowsky had to obtain approval for his survey from the UWA Ethics Committee. Simon Turnill has just received remarkable information on this process through FOI, described in an excellent post here. Documents here.
The information showed that Lewandowsky used bait-and-switch. Lewandowsky had obtained approval for a project entitled “Understanding Statistical Trends”. The original proposal had nothing to do with his bizarre online conspiracy theory. Lewandowsky switched the proposal in August 2010.
In addition to Simon’s points, note that Lewandowsky stated the following in his ethics proposal:
Because I am interested in soliciting opinions also from those folks, I would like to withhold my name from the survey as I fear it might contaminate responding”
Nonetheless, Lewandowsky’s name was prominently displayed at some of the anti-skeptic blogs. Lewandowsky’s fears that the survey would be contaminated seem to have been justified.