When last we heard from Christopher Monckton he was too gravely ill to answers questions about how someone claiming to be him and using his ISP had altered his own wikipedia entry and added on obvious fabrication, to wit,
The Guardian “is reported to have paid Monckton £50,000 in damages.”. Monckton seems to have made a rapid recovery, because within a week or two he was speechifying at Cambridge University:

He challenged Al Gore’s film An Inconvenient Truth, describing it as the “Best Sci-Fi Comedy Horror” film of the year, and claimed to have found serious and deliberate scientific errors in both An Inconvenient Truth and IPCC reports.

These included the deliberate alteration of decimal places when calculating the retreat of ice sheets, and an attempt to conceal climactic history by censoring the high temperatures common in medieval Europe from climactic data in order to exaggerate the relative level of today’s temperatures.

I think that’s about a typo in the SPM (which was quickly corrected), and the usual rubbish about the hockey stick. This bit is good:

All this demonstrated how well he had engaged his audience, as well as provoking interesting statements from the Viscount. These included claims that “there is no such thing as market failure,” and that when dealing with environmental issues government’s should “stand back and let the private sector do its job” instead of interfering.The re-colonisation of Zimbabwe was among the other theories the Viscount toyed with.

By the way, if you haven’t read Monckton saves the day!, you should.

Anyway, Jonathan Leakes reports in the Times that this wacky speech was part of something bigger

Monckton has obtained funding from a right-wing Washington think tank, the Science and Public Policy Institute (SPPI), to create a second film that will also be sent to schools. Entitled Apocalypse No, it parodies Gore, showing Monckton presenting a slide show in a vitriolic attack on climate change science.

Bob Ferguson, president of the SPPI, said: “We have filmed Christopher [Monckton] making a presentation to the Cambridge University Union . . . It could be sent out quite soon. We want to inform the public and policy makers that there are different views on climate change.”

And Leakes also has:

This weekend, however, the campaigners behind the High Court case said they planned to send copies [of the Swindle] to 3,400 secondary schools “to counter Gore’s flagrant propaganda”. …

The distribution of The Great Global Warming Swindle is being funded by Viscount Monckton, who is part of a counter-campaign to undermine the scientific consensus on climate change.

Monckton was one of the backers of Stewart Dimmock, the Kent lorry driver and school governor who took the government to court for sending copies of Gore’s film to schools.

The two are connected through the New party, a right-wing group whose manifesto was written by Monckton and of which Dimmock is a member. …

Dimmock was awarded only two-thirds of his costs and is understood to have a bill of more than £60,000. Monckton confirmed that he was among his “backers” but refused to confirm if he had financed the case.

I hope he’s not planning to use the imaginary £50,000 he got from the Guardian to pay the bill!

Oh, and take everything Leakes wrote with a pinch of salt because he joins the ranks of the useless journalists who wrongly reported that the judge said that Gore’s movie contained nine errors.

(Via Monckton’s wikipedia entry.)

Comments

  1. #1 David
    October 14, 2007

    an attempt to conceal climactic history by censoring … climactic data

    Al Gore’s silence about orgasms is all part of some conspiracy?

  2. #2 Tony
    October 14, 2007

    When you can’t get your crankery into peer-reviewed journals, then target the kids. They should offer 2-for-1 climate denial & Ayn Rand lessons.

  3. #3 luminous beauty
    October 14, 2007

    I breathlessly await the day Monckton proves Einstein wrong by solving all those excruciatingly long strings of partial differential equations on the back of an envelope.

    I was particularly moved by his humiliation of the correspondent in the Observer piece, challenging him to iterate a Mandelbrot series by hand, and then showing him up by doing it on a computer.

    What brilliance! For a twelve year old.

  4. #4 IanP
    October 15, 2007

    There are many recent examples of challenges to Al Gore’s film An Inconvenient Truth – one of the world’s foremost meteorologists, Dr William Gray has called the work that helped Al Gore win the Nobel Peace Prize “ridiculous” and the product of “people who don’t understand how the atmosphere works”. Dr Gray, is a pioneer in the science of seasonal hurricane forecasts and he recently told a packed lecture at the University of North Carolina that humans were not responsible for global warming.
    I think it is only fair that these opinions are also taught and considered. Why all this worry over who funded who and for what..?
    It seems a bit strange to me that you write off all veiws that differ from Mr Bush who I gather is not regarded as a an earth/climate scientist but more as the bearer of a message which appears to be ill founded.

  5. #5 Tim Lambert
    October 15, 2007

    Sorry IanP, but the judge rejected your idea. Students need learn about mainstream science, not every theory that disagrees with mainstream science.

  6. #6 guthrie
    October 15, 2007

    Ian, you might like to read this Realclimate piece of Gray:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006/04/gray-on-agw/

  7. #7 Dano
    October 15, 2007

    IanP, you should properly attribute your cut/pastes – you know, what they taught you in grammar school two years ago. See, what they teach you in school really is useful in the real world!!!!

    Best,

    D

  8. #8 cce
    October 15, 2007

    Gray doesn’t understand anything he can’t fly a plane into. Even Lindzen has said as much.

    One of Bush’s many problems is that he has the benefit of the best science available, and chooses to ignore it. Multiple reports from the National Academies stretching back to the ’70s all say the same thing, yet he ignores the combined weight of experts in the field in favor of Michael Crichton. The result is worthless policy like “carbon intensity” and “voluntary” goals.

    ****
    Critique my presentation on climate change skepticism here:
    cce.000webhost.org

  9. #9 Coin
    October 15, 2007

    Gray’s paper begins with a quote from Senator Inhofe calling global warming a hoax perpetrated on the American people, and ends with a quote by a representive of the Society of Petroleum Geologists stating that Crichton’s State of Fear has “the absolute ring of truth.”

    Hm. Is this person in fact “one of the world’s leading meteorologists”? I wouldn’t know, just checking.

    It does sort of seem sometimes that EVERY person who for whatever reason winds up stepping forward to denounce global warming/thimerosal vaccines/allopathic medicine/evolution just HAPPENS to always be “one of the world’s foremost” in whatever field it is they’re denouncing.

  10. #10 IanP
    October 15, 2007

    Dr Vincent Gray who has been a member of the UN IPCC Expert Reviewers Panel since it formed and has submitted a very large number of comments on their drafts. Dr Gray has made “intensive study of the data and procedures used by IPCC contributors”. Dr Gray has written to request that the IPCC is disbanded. “I began with a belief in scientific ethics, that scientists would answer queries honestly, that scientific argument would take place purely on the basis of facts, logic and established scientific and mathematical principles. Right from the beginning I have had difficulty with this procedure. Penetrating questions often ended without any answer. Comments on the IPCC drafts were rejected without explanation, and attempts to pursue the matter were frustrated indefinitely. Over the years, as I have learned more about the data and procedures of the IPCC I have found increasing opposition by them to providing explanations, until I have been forced to the conclusion that for significant parts of the work of the IPCC, the data collection and scientific methods employed are unsound. Resistance to all efforts to try and discuss or rectify these problems has convinced me that normal scientific procedures are not only rejected by the IPCC, but that this practice is endemic, and was part of the organisation from the very beginning. I therefore consider that the IPCC is fundamentally corrupt. The only “reform” I could envisage, would be its abolition.”

    If you or your readers are interested the full text of this can be found on http://www.nzclimatescience.net.

    There are many other very well known earth scientists in addition to the two Dr Grays who are less than confident in the workings and findings of the IPCC. ‘Mainstream science’ as you put it Tim, surely must cover these people too.

  11. #11 cce
    October 15, 2007

    “[Gray’s] knowledge of theory is frustratingly poor, but he knows more about hurricanes than anyone in the world. I regard him in his own peculiar way as a national resource.” — Lindzen
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/05/23/AR2006052301305_pf.html

    Gray knows Hurricanes. He knows little else. All you have to do is read some of his rhetoric, and it is abundantly clear that he isn’t interested in learning anything from anyone.

  12. #12 Tim Lambert
    October 15, 2007

    Vincent Grey [has no qualifications or publications in climate sceince](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2006/05/you_too_can_be_a_leading_clima.php). The fact that he submitted a lot of comments and most were rejected does not make him an expert — it suggests that the opposite is true.

  13. #13 ianP
    October 15, 2007

    Probably better qualified than most of us Tim…Dr. Gray has a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from Cambridge University, England and has had a long career as a research scientist in Britain, France, Canada, New Zealand and China. Dr. Gray has published over 100 scientific papers on energy and materials, plus a dozen on climate science. On Climate science issues I’ll follow Dr Gray before Mr Gore anyday!

  14. #14 cce
    October 15, 2007

    Here’s some literature you might be interested in.
    http://ipcc-wg1.ucar.edu/wg1/wg1-report.html

    Or, if you want to want to count published papers, try:
    http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/authors/jhansen.html

  15. #15 IanP
    October 16, 2007

    Thanks cce good read … but the volume of publications doesn’t always make good science or the conclusions in them correct. I prefer to look at both sides of the argument. The obvious errors, misleading comments and gaps in both the IPCC and Nasa studies are compelling reasons to look a lot more closely at other work and alternative ideas.

  16. #16 Chris O'Neill
    October 16, 2007

    “Dr. Gray has a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry”

    Most of climate science is a branch of Physics, not Chemistry, but I expect some people think something with “Physical” in the name is a type of Physics. Dr. Gray’s work with hurricanes is not in the field he qualified in. On Climate science issues I’ll follow the qualified climate scientists Mr Gore follows before Dr Gray anyday!

  17. #17 Robert
    October 16, 2007

    Disambiguation alert: there have been two Grays mentioned in this thread. William M. Gray is a hurricane specialist in the US; Vincent Gray is a chemist in New Zealand. Both are cranks.

    Hope this helps.

  18. #18 IanP
    October 16, 2007

    Vincent Gray works with hurricanes? I think you are confusing him with William Gray – you may need to use your grey matter on this one Chris. Perhaps a bit like Mr Gore – easy to make mistakes if you are more concerned with politics rather than the science.

  19. #19 IanP
    October 16, 2007

    My guess is that Robert is a psycologist. How does name calling ‘cranks’ help progress the climate change science. Is that what you do if you don’t understand or agree with other opinions?

  20. #20 Robert
    October 16, 2007

    IanP asked:

    How does name calling ‘cranks’ help progress the climate change science.

    It helps others by saving them time when they need to separate wheat from chaff? For example, I’m more familiar with Bill Gray than Vincent Gray, but your post #10 above helped me to recognize Vincent Gray as a crank. Thanks. You saved me some time.

  21. #21 Chris O'Neill
    October 16, 2007

    “Vincent Gray works with hurricanes?”

    Sorry, I thought you were still writing about the Dr Gray you started your writing with. (I wonder why IanP suddenly changed from one to the other.) In any case the most important thing I said applies to both Dr Grays (or is it Dr Gray and Dr Grey), i.e. most of climate science is a branch of Physics, but I expect some people think something with “Physical” in the name is a type of Physics, e.g. “Pysical Chemistry” (Vincent Gray or Grey) or “Geophysical Sciences” (William Gray). Perhaps IanP is one of these people. I’ll stick to following the real physicists and mathematicians who specialize in climate science rather than the blow-ins that IanP prefers.

  22. #22 Eli Rabett
    October 16, 2007

    All cranks are Grays in the climate.

  23. #23 Eli Rabett
    October 16, 2007

    wrt physics, chemistry and climate. There are areas of chemistry, mostly physical and analytical that are basic for studying climate. For example, atmospheric chemistry, biogeochemistry, analysis of samples. With the exception of computational fluid dynamics the study of atmospheres, oceans and the soils grow much more from chemistry than physics.

  24. #24 cce
    October 16, 2007

    “but the volume of publications doesn’t always make good science or the conclusions in them correct.”

    Then you agree that the number of papers published by Bill Gray has nothing to do with his understanding of AGW theory.

    “The obvious errors, misleading comments and gaps in both the IPCC and Nasa studies are compelling reasons to look a lot more closely at other work and alternative ideas.”

    Gray’s chronic and repeated errors on the subject undercut any authority that he presumes to have. The fact that he bookends these errors with declarations of hoaxes and conspiracies tells you everything we need to know about his ideas.

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