It would be preferable to simply ignore Christopher Monckton’s seemingly laughable attempts to undermine climatology, but given the power of the Internet to turn long-discredited arguments into serious threats to academic freedom, such a strategy would not be wise. Monckton has launched a campaign against John Abraham of St. Thomas University for daring to demolish the former’s mendacious presentations on global warming. Abraham’s repost is thorough and devastating. So devastating and damaging to Monckton’s credibility is it that Monckton is asking for his acolytes to flood the university with calls for disciplinary action against Abraham.


George Monbiot sums up the problem thusly:

To give you a flavour of Monckton’s reasoning, here are some examples of what he cites as evidence of Abraham acting out of malice:

  • Abraham pointed out that Monckton “has not written a single peer-reviewed science paper on any topic”;
  • Abraham stated that Lord Monckton “presented a lot of data with no citations or no explanation”;
  • He pointed out that “if you don’t tell us where it’s from we can’t assess the data”;
  • He explained that a graph displayed by Lord Monckton was “almost off by 100%”.

All this is accompanied, like so many of Monckton’s responses, with a demand for money (in this case $110,000 to be paid to a charity of Monckton’s choice), an apology and retraction and an insistence that Abraham’s critique be removed from all public places.

Perhaps the university will ignore Monckton’s ravings nonsense. But unwarranted attacks on Michael Mann’s reputation provoked a full-scale inquiry at Pennsylvania State University. Of course, Mann was vindicated, but not until after he received death threats and had his life turned upside down by those who would rather lash out at the experts rather than accept the facts about climate change.

An online petition in support of Abraham is here. If you have time, take in at least some of Abraham’s critique. Then add your name to the growing list of those who care about honesty and integrity in this most critical of public dialogues.

Comments

  1. #1 Thomas
    July 15, 2010

    Your last link is broken

  2. #2 Lichanos
    July 15, 2010

    Of course, Mann was vindicated…
    Some would say ‘whitewashed.’ There are many rather well founded criticisms of the lameness of the investigation, but that’s neither here nor there. Some accused Mann et al. of fraud, but and he was ‘vindicated’ there, however, that was never the real issue. Witholding data, gaming the peer review process, defaming critics while accepting – privately – their criticism, etc. etc. was the issue. Not high crimes, but not ethical either.

    Some clever folks will say that after they have vigorously defended Mann against charges of fraud, that I am ‘moving the goalposts’ by claiming that was never the issue. But it was never the issue for any but a small group of conspiracy-minded folks. You might consider this editorial by one of your fellow AGW people:

    http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2010/07/climategate-and-the-big-green-lie/59709/

    …but not until after he received death threats…
    Absolutely deplorable, no question. Such awful behavior is common to controversies these days. Are you going to tell me with a straight face that AGW folks never do such things? Are you claiming that there is an organized hit squad out for his head?

    …and had his life turned upside down…
    Big deal. Boo hoo. You make yourself a public figure, that’s what happens.

    …by those who would rather lash out at the experts rather than accept the facts about climate change.
    The experts again. ALL the experts agree with you, accept the ones who don’t, and they are not experts, correct?

    Are you aware of the fact that I need only change a few words and your rant could be switched with those from Stalinists advocating shooting lots of nasty ‘bourgeois’ elements, or the Inquisition explaining the unfortunate need to burn recusant heretics at the stake? I know you are not advocating that, but you talk like a True Believer. People ‘lash out’ at Mann because they think his arguments are weak and he and his supporters claim that those who say that are hypocrites, shils for Big Oil, Deniers of the Truth, and probably the Holocaust, etc. etc.

  3. #3 Steve Bloom
    July 16, 2010

    Watch out for the subtext, Lichanos.

    Shorter Clive Crook: My friend Fred needs to sell books.

  4. #4 Lichanos
    July 16, 2010

    #3:

    Subtext..? You are too subtle for me. Please expand.

  5. #5 Tony Sidaway
    July 16, 2010

    Thusly isn’t a real word, you know.

    Lichanos, of course you’re entitled to give your opinion of what the evidence shows, but you are not entitled to have your shrill claims dignified with the word “fact”. You’re not entitled to your own version of those.

  6. #6 lichanos
    July 17, 2010

    #5

    Thusly isn’t a real word, you know.

    If it’s not a real world, how did I read it? I wonder, were any of our words real words when they were first coined?

  7. #7 Tamarron
    July 19, 2010

    Are you aware of the fact that I need only change a few words and your rant could be switched with those from Stalinists advocating shooting lots of nasty ‘bourgeois’ elements, or the Inquisition explaining the unfortunate need to burn recusant heretics at the stake? I know you are not advocating that, but you talk like a True Believer. People ‘lash out’ at Mann because they think his arguments are weak and he and his supporters claim that those who say that are hypocrites, shils for Big Oil, Deniers of the Truth, and probably the Holocaust, etc. etc.

    …what?

    To the best of my knowledge, and reading comprehension, Hrynyshyn says several things in this blog post. He disses Monckton, and supports Abraham’s critique of Monckton’s commonly used slide show. He then describes Monckton’s response, and argues that Monckton has instigated nasty internet vigilantism against Abraham. Even if this were a total fabrication, you have yet to make any connection of how this relatively mild blog post comes within a universe of approaching an “inquisition”.

    It’s true if you replace a few words, it does sound very bad. For instance,

    It would be preferable to simply ignore Christopher Monckton’s seemingly laughable attempts to undermine climatology, but given the power of the Internet to turn long-discredited arguments into serious threats to academic freedom, such a strategy would not be wise.

    Can easily become

    It would be preferable to simply kill and rape the corpse of Christopher Monckton’s seemingly laughable attempts to undermine climatology, but given the power of the Internet to turn document the many assassinations of known climate skeptics , such a strategy would not be wise.

    Obviously, this proves…

    You may have actually intended to make a point of some sort with your post. If so, my apologies, I cannot decipher any rational agenda with the words you used in the way you used them. In short, I think you are simply a crude propagandist with no valid argument to make.

  8. #8 facepalm
    July 19, 2010

    *sigh* Please, don´t feed the troll, Tamarron.

    lichanos just said: “Hey, look here, I can quote-mine your text, and that proves you are the evil one!”.
    This is of course a ridicilous claim and shows his lack of arguments.

    But you just gave him an example just how to quote-mine the words. NOW he can take your example and shriek: ” Hey, look what the evil AGW-Freaks are saying!” and he is even right!!!! m( *facepalm*

    So, please, dont´t feed the troll.

  9. #9 stewart
    July 19, 2010

    I signed the petition in support of Abraham. Delusional liars need to be confronted with reality.

  10. #10 James Redford
    July 19, 2010

    Below is Christopher Monckton’s response to John P. Abraham:

    Christopher Monckton, “Response to John Abraham”, Science and Public Policy Institute (SPPI), July 12, 2010. http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/images/stories/papers/reprint/response_to_john_abraham.pdf

    In the “Foreword” by SPPI on p. iv of Monckton’s above article, it says that Monckton publicly accuses Abraham of:

    “”
    * Bad faith in having “furtively” spent eight months preparing his savage personal attack behind Monckton’s back, entirely contrary to accepted academic practice;

    * Malice in having made dozens of serious allegations about Monckton when he knew the allegations he had made were false in every material particular, or had no reason to believe the allegations were true;

    * Appealing to a false authority on the subject of the climate that, as a lecturer in fluid mechanics, he did not possess (Monckton demonstrates Abraham appears at times incompetent even in arithmetic);

    * Academic dishonesty in having repeatedly made up statements that Monckton had not made, having put those statements to other scientists, having obtained hostile responses from those scientists, and having included those hostile responses in his attack as though they were responses to what Monckton had said; and

    * Lying repeatedly by misstating what Monckton had said and then attacking those misstatements; by falsely and repeatedly alleging that Monckton had misrepresented scientists’ results when Monckton had either accurately represented the results or not cited the scientists he was alleged to have misrepresented at all; by unjustifiably and repeatedly impugning Monckton’s integrity, qualifications, experience, and competence in a manner that he knew to be inaccurate; and by repeatedly taking Monckton’s words out of their context and making a wilful nonsense of them.
    “”

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