Climate Denial Crock on Monckton

Peter Sinclair‘s latest video is on Christopher Monckton:

Comments

  1. #1 lord_sidcup
    April 13, 2010

    Have people seen [this letter from Monckton to Kiven Rudd](http://resources.news.com.au/files/2010/01/05/1225816/411816-monckton-letter-to-rudd.pdf)? He’s a bit…. well, judge for yourselves.

    Interesting to see that he also uses the crowned portcullis (symbol of the UK Parliament) in his letterhead. As pointed out in #28 above, he shouldn’t be doing that. The UK parliament’s website states:

    “[The Crowned Portcullis](http://www.parliament.uk/site_information/parliamentary_copyright.cfm#Crowned)

    Use of the House emblem, the Crowned Portcullis, is governed by the following statement:

    The principal emblem of the House is the Crowned Portcullis. It is a royal badge and its use by the House has been formally authorised by licence granted by Her Majesty the Queen. The designs and symbols of the House should not be used for purposes to which such authentication is inappropriate, or where there is a risk that their use might wrongly be regarded, or represented, as having the authority of the House.”

  2. #2 Bernard J.
    April 13, 2010

    Well, it looks as though [my post on The Drum](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/04/climate_denial_crock_on_monckt.php#comment-2424754) did not pass moderation. A subsequent comment that I made is up, but there’s still no sign of my reply to Jo Nova.

    It seems that Auntie is leaning further to the right every day.

    I just hope that Nova/Codling reads my post here – I’d be really interested in hearing what she has to say by way of response.

  3. #3 TrueSceptic
    April 13, 2010

    101 Lord Sidcup,

    I like your spelling “Kiven”. Australian accent? ;)

    But yes, Munchkin is still using the emblem, or one *very* similar.

  4. #4 TrueSceptic
    April 13, 2010

    102 Bernard,

    Just like any other denidiot, she will accuse you of ignoring the science and resorting to ad hom attacks.

  5. #5 TheATHiker
    April 13, 2010

    It looks to be off of YouTube now.

  6. #6 TrueSceptic
    April 13, 2010

    105 TheATHiker,

    What is? [Video here](http://www.youtube.com/user/greenman3610).

  7. #7 Bud
    April 13, 2010

    Paul UK

    Thanks for that info. Went to a hustings last week organised by the RSPB just before he apparently joined and the UKIP candidate was obviously a skeptic and despite the fact that all questions were about conservation, he managed to include immigration and the EU in every answer.

    They are indeed a funny lot at UKIP. Nigel Farage’s assertions in the European country that Belgium wasn’t a real country were hilarious, and cost him a fair bit of money in fines as well IIRC. Where I’m from – Sheffield – their local branch appears to depend entirely on a single family. The Arnotts are fielding no less than four candidates across the parliamentary and council elections on May 6th, including one in my constituency.

  8. #8 Bud
    April 13, 2010

    DoH! “European Parliament”, not “European country” ^^^. I think I am suffering from final-year deadline dementia.

  9. #9 quokka
    April 13, 2010

    It is plain that much of the climategate nonsense was an attempt to discredit the HadCrut global temperature record using any means available including slander and character assassination.

    In a couple of posts over on the Drum, I strongly suggested that it was time to cut the crap, put up or shut up and for skeptics to actually produce an alternate surface temperature record using the GHCN dataset.

    It seems that a couple have made an honest attempt:

    http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2010/03/24/thermal-hammer/

    They find a per decade trend of +0.248C compared to HadCrut +0.224C for the land surface temperature since 1978.

    Joanne Nova will not be at all pleased. Will they be thrown under the bus too?

  10. #10 Bud
    April 13, 2010

    It is little wonder that there is a problem with communicating the science if you assume that the majority of people who are sceptical of GW are stupid, gullible or both.

    I don’t think that is the assumption across all of the population. However, when it comes down to people expressing their self-described “scepticism” on internet message boards and have obviously taken enough of an interest in the subject to profess admiration for the climate denier de jour, then that’s a different matter.

  11. #11 dorlomin
    April 13, 2010

    Would this be the same Moncton who allegedly is working on a cure for aids?

  12. #12 Chris S.
    April 13, 2010

    quokka #109.

    The second reply in your link:

    “I’d prefer to not see any confirmation of Jones’ work, but my first pass through this leaves me saying “cool”. Let me take a few more passes. In the mean time, congratulations to Roman. I suspect if Jones was right, it was by accident.”

    No further comment necessary…

  13. #13 Lars Karlsson
    April 13, 2010

    @111: AIDS, Grave’s disease, multiple sclerosis and the common cold. Quite a miracle cure.

  14. #14 Alan
    April 13, 2010

    Bob Carter will be talking at a forum in my home town soon. I’d like to go, in the hope that I might get a chance to ask him a question from the floor.

    Over to you folks: let’s hear your suggestions for a zinger.

    “Do you now accept that your paper with McLean and de Freitas was wrong?” might not get much traction with the angry, over-60 farmers who will make up most of the audience.

  15. #15 Fran Barlow
    April 13, 2010

    Alan McMahon@99

    Most of the truly ignorant and marginalised don’t give a toss one way or the other.

    Precisely why the shaggy dog story, particularly if couched in terms that address their cultural angst, appeals. That’s why the plebeian good sense of their own version of Joe the Plumber works for them.

    It is little wonder that there is a problem with communicating the science if you assume that the majority of people who are sceptical of GW are stupid, gullible or both.

    It is very clear that the usages of our system produce significant numbers of marginalised and ignorant people. As a person who is an egalitarian and a humanist I find this unacceptable and strongly favour measures that would underpin more equitable and inclusive societies.

    My name is not Pollyanna though. We do face an ecosystem service problem that is simply not about to wait around while we design and implement a more equitable social system. We cannot allow our concern with the sensitivities of the marginalised to confound our attempts to deal with something that will in short order setback the life chances of whole swathes of marginalised humanity if not all of us. Whether they know it or not, almost all of us will be harmed
    one way or another, and them in particular if robust policy is not implemented very soon.

    It is also self defeating because if you actually believe the above is true then communication is impossible.

    In some cases, this is true. Some people are simply too damaged to make communication beyond the prosaic possible. As a teacher who has worked out in Sydney’s less salubrious suburbs, I have met such people on a regular basis. One must assume that were they able to grasp their legitimate interests, they would have us act to defend them.

    These people are not skeptics in any meaningful sense precisely because they don’t grasp what it is they doubt and have little means to approach such a grasp. What they are is more akin to people overhearing conversations in another language in a lift. Some of the words are familiar and with a little confabulation they can put it together in something that is intelligible, but a critique is clearly impossible. If they visit Jo Nova or Bolt, then they can copy and paste something that superficially more scientistic but it will still be a shaggy dog story. They will still be little distinguished from the ventriloquist’s dummy. The irony is that Jo Nova, if she is not a witting trickster with a narcissistic streak or someone playing to a market niche, is surely a ventriloquist’s dummy of sorts herself. Indeed, she may be all three.

  16. #16 Jimmy Nightingale
    April 13, 2010

    I’ve made a few comments over at The Drum on that Jo Nova piece, however I’d like to take the opportunity to publicly acknowledge Lotharsson’s work. Brilliant stuff and not a single coherent comeback from Ms Nova.

  17. #17 Fran Barlow
    April 13, 2010

    Over to you folks: let’s hear your suggestions for a zinger.

    Ask him why farmers should take the risk that he is right and all the people who actually do relevant scientific work in the field are wrong. Ask him why even the rough possibiolity that the livelihoods of these farmers children and the value of the land could be ruined by drought, unseasonable rain or coastal inundation. Ask him why the risk of ingress of invasive pests or new diseases made possible by climate change would be worth having. Ask him what he thinks will happen if a significant portion of Bangladesh is rendered uninhabitable? Where will these displaced people go?

  18. #18 Jeremy c
    April 13, 2010

    Lord_Sidcup @ 101. Thanks for posting Monckton’s letter written to our Kev.

    It just shows that Monckton is the gift that just keeps on giving. Just sit back for a minute and think how Kev felt, if he read any of it, at being regarded as a complete and utter idiot by a condescending Monckton (I’m assuming the letter is genuine and not something from a Chris Morris sketch).

    Two things. 1st, I just don’t get why the deniers hang on to Monckton. The second is more serious…… Just imagine if we find a single, easy, straighforward way to mitigate climate change. Would the reputation and work of people like Mockton make it very difficult to convince people at large that a straighforward solution to global warming has been found.

    Regarding Monckton’s letter, by far the best bit is the bright shiny crown that sits at the top of the page. Just wonderful!

  19. #19 TrueSceptic
    April 13, 2010

    115 Fran,

    These people are not skeptics in any meaningful sense precisely because they don’t grasp what it is they doubt and have little means to approach such a grasp. What they are is more akin to people overhearing conversations in another language in a lift. Some of the words are familiar and with a little confabulation they can put it together in something that is intelligible, but a critique is clearly impossible. If they visit Jo Nova or Bolt, then they can copy and paste something that superficially more scientistic but it will still be a shaggy dog story. They will still be little distinguished from the ventriloquist’s dummy. The irony is that Jo Nova, if she is not a witting trickster with a narcissistic streak or someone playing to a market niche, is surely a ventriloquist’s dummy of sorts herself. Indeed, she may be all three.

    QFT

  20. #20 Mike
    April 13, 2010

    Oh man. Just got myself into an exchange there at the Drum with someone called “Doc_Navy”.

    The word clueless springs to mind. He thinks because he is a taxpayer he by default has unfettered access to everything he wants in any Government or taxpayer funded organisation. Even classified projects in the military (yes you read that correctly).

    I often wonder whether denialist minds are actually representative of a cluster-group of individuals who have been exposed to severely neuro-toxic substances. Could this be the case?

  21. #21 Stu
    April 13, 2010

    >I often wonder whether denialist minds are actually representative of a cluster-group of individuals who have been exposed to severely neuro-toxic substances. Could this be the case?

    Unfortunately we’ll never know, Mike. That’s classified military information.

    Whoops…

  22. #22 el gordo
    April 13, 2010

    As an egalitarian and a humanist I’m happy to let our democratic system create a more equitable and inclusive society, but I will not be encouraging children to swallow CO2 malarchy to create utopia.

  23. #23 Fran Barlow
    April 13, 2010

    El Gordo started:

    As an egalitarian and a humanist …

    Laughable. Apart from the obvious indifference you show to human welfare over this issue or its impact on equity for that matter, at no point have you ever uttered anything like an idea connected with interest in human wellbeing or equality here. If you have uttered them someplace else in cybersapce, now’s your chance to point us to it.

    And for the record, you ask all of us to swallow your CO2 ‘malarchy’ all the time.

  24. #24 Fran Barlow
    April 13, 2010

    Some examples of El Gordo’s “egalitarian” and “humanist” advocacy, in case he has overlooked them …

    Ralph Hillman became the new executive director of the Australian Coal Association last August.

    He is a government man, being a former ambassador for the Environment and the OECD. He was also head of the Trade Development division of the Dept. Foreign Affairs and Trade.

    Is he the right man for the job? Does he know that AGW is a monstrous fraud? Does the coal industry have a PR arm? If not, I gladly offer my services for a small consideration.

    el gordo of bathurst (Reply)
    Sat 31 Jan 09 (02:52pm)

    Turnbull is a wimp and Costello (my apologies to the host) has proven he is just as spineless over climate change.

    We have to give our support to the Nationals, at least they have the bottle.

    el gordo of bathurst (Reply)
    Tue 26 May 09 (06:58am)

    Offering himself as a better spruiker for coal interests and touting for the Nationals seem poor exemplars for someone claiming to be a humanist or egalitarian. Would he walk into a National Party gathering and make this claim? Would he walk into a meeting of the ACA and argue for egalitarianism and humanism at coal companies and expect a reasonable hearing? It’s hard to imagine.

  25. #25 el gordo
    April 13, 2010

    Being an economic rationalist does not exclude me from humanist values.

  26. #26 Fran Barlow
    April 13, 2010

    If you were an economic rationalist El Gordo, you would favour full internalisation of the costs of every industrial process, including of course, that for coal. Plainly you don’t as this post shows:

    Ralph Hillman became the new executive director of the Australian Coal Association last August.

    He is a government man, being a former ambassador for the Environment and the OECD. He was also head of the Trade Development division of the Dept. Foreign Affairs and Trade.

    Is he the right man for the job? Does he know that AGW is a monstrous fraud? Does the coal industry have a PR arm? If not, I gladly offer my services for a small consideration.

    //blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/a_shady_offer_from_the_solar_carpetbaggers/

    el gordo of bathurst Sat 31 Jan 09 (02:52pm)

    No economic rationalist would be advocating a vote for the rural porkbarrel kings known as the National Party as you do here:

    Turnbull is a wimp and Costello (my apologies to the host) has proven he is just as spineless over climate change.

    We have to give our support to the Nationals, at least they have the bottle.

    http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/liberals_in_a_climate_of_confusion

    el gordo of bathurst (Reply)Tue 26 May 09 (06:58am)

    I’m wondering how you aquare this with your claims above? Since when does the ACA or the National Party favour either inclusiveness or egalitarianism?

    You are a compulsive dissembler.

  27. #27 John
    April 13, 2010

    A humanist, economic rationalist and scientific expert. How lucky we are to have a true renaissance man here.

  28. #28 John
    April 13, 2010

    @ Fran 115, I agree. The language used at McIntyre, Watts and Nova is complex and designed to dazzle and make people feel like they’re experts. My, all these graphs! All these statistics! The posts are so long! I don’t know what they mean but they “seem reasonable.”

    Then those bozos come here and repeat the same abbreviations (El Fraudo, I’m looking at you) to pretend they have some kind of authority on the topic.

    What I like about Deltoid, Real Climate and Open Mind (among others) is that they’re entirely accessible. These websites are designed to inform, not impress the impressionable and gullible (i.e. Fraudo).

  29. #29 Lotharsson
    April 13, 2010

    Apologies as this is strictly OT – but we’ve spent a bit of time on this topic in this thread already.

    More Ms Nova gems for posterity:

    Doh: Neolithic “thinker” says that if an institute in da US ever pays a woman in Australia then that means Phil Jones didn’t try to hide declines, (even though he admits he did.)

    It must be tough when basic logic escapes you and you are left to chuck slurs.

    In context, it seems like that could be interpreted as a tacit admission that she has been paid by The Heartland Institute or The CEI…and it’s highly ironic that basic logic escapes her in the first sentence of the paragraph – the poster never claimed that, let alone the “hide the decline” furphy.

    In response to a comment about ad homs, referring to the CRU scientists:

    All they have to do to make their personal character irrelevant was act with standard scientific conscience and ethics

    So apparently ad homs are just fine with Ms Nova if scientists don’t act according to her definition of conscience and ethics. (Given that she claims her moral position is unassailable after penning a smear job, one HOPES that scientists don’t share her ethics and morals.)

    And in response to a commenter saying “It is those who attack the science and rationalism that has lifted us out of the stone age who show a stone age mentality.”, Ms Nova:

    exactly Jerry. So why do you do it?

    I feel like I’m back at primary school.

    And a bonus from Graeme Bird arguing against the idea that McIntyre should have got the Canadian data from Canada:

    But when you are dealing with science fraud you have to get the data from all sources or else it can be tampered with.

    Epic Fail!

  30. #30 Bernard J.
    April 13, 2010

    I second [Jimmy Nightingale’s sentiment](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/04/climate_denial_crock_on_monckt.php#comment-2426251). Lotharsson has been a stalwart on that thread, and as I was reading it last night it was quite apparent that Nova/Codling does not have the wherewithall to actually engage in a real-time debate on anything scientific. She’s a bit like Graeme Bird in that respect – “show me the evidence” is all that she can manage.

    She’d be plastered against a wall in a debate with Tim Lambert. In fact, I think that I might promote that meme – that Nova/Codling offer herself up for a debate when next she’s in Tim’s corner of the world – because she’s had a lot to say both about Tim and about the Lambert/Monckton debate.

    There’s no way that she’d accept, but it’ll be interesting to read her reasons why. And if she just avoids responding altogether, well, she still ends up looking like a goose…

  31. #31 Bill O'Slatter
    April 13, 2010

    @127 Credit where credit is due. RomanM, statistical consultant to McIntyre, has managed via JeffID to replicate Phil Jone’s result using RomanM’s methods( see @109). This is truly remarkable. Game Over.

  32. #32 el gordo
    April 13, 2010

    How about Jo and Tim having a debate on Andrew Bolt’s new radio station?

  33. #33 Lotharsson
    April 13, 2010

    …because she’s had a lot to say both about Tim…

    Including:

    I have pointed out the errors in Lamberts blog many times http://joannenova.com.au/tag/lambert-tim/

  34. #34 Chris O'Neill
    April 13, 2010

    Mike:

    Just got myself into an exchange there at the Drum with someone called “Doc_Navy”.
    The word clueless springs to mind.

    I pointed out the satellite derivation at http://www.ssmi.com and this is how he responded:

    SSMI *is NOT* one of the four databases used for global temp calculation. those four would be:

    NASA GISS (Surface based)
    HadCruT (Surface based)
    UAH (Satellite based)
    RSS (Satellite based)

    Needless to say, RSS is at http://www.ssmi.com. The words “arrogant moron” spring to mind. These are the sorts of people we are dealing with.

  35. #35 Andrew
    April 13, 2010

    Is Chen Zheyu @128 really just about food and Buddhism? How strange…

  36. #36 lord_sidcup
    April 14, 2010

    Apologies for mangling the name of your PM in #101 (Kiven!) – my careless typing and nothing to do with the Australian accent (digs himself a deeper hole).

    Monckton’s arrogance is astounding. He offered Kevin Rudd ‘personal briefings on why “global warming” is a non-problem’. He is not a scientific expert. He is does not hold political office. Like me he is simply a private citizen of the UK. He uses his hereditary title and illegitimately uses the emblem of the UK parliament on his letterhead to present himself as a person of importance. The rest of his letter reads like the kind of rant that wouldn’t even make publication in the letters page of a regional newspaper. You couldn’t parody the man.

    Contrary to the impression Monckton might give when abroad, he isn’t a public figure here in the UK and most people have never heard of him. Indeed, my impression is that hard-core deniers here are rather embarrassed by him.

    I have contacted the Houses of Parliament to point out his use of their emblem. I’m not expecting much to come of it, but it is worth a try.

    (In case you are wondering, I’m not a real Lord. I use the title in an ironic way, which I think is just as legitimate as someone using the title having inherited it.)

  37. #37 Stu
    April 14, 2010

    Are you actually from Sidcup, m’lord? I grew up in Bromley you know, but I was just a revolting peasant.

  38. #38 kfr
    April 14, 2010

    And the 2nd climategate report is in and ……….. no malpractice found:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8618024.stm

  39. #39 lord_sidcup
    April 14, 2010

    Stu – I have no connection with Sidcup, I’m just a bit of a fan of the comic character [Roderick Spode](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roderick_Spode) from the Jeeves novels. I like to think that if Woodhouse were writing today he would base a character on Monckton, a bit like he based Spode on Oswald Mosley. I actully live in Hackney, London N16 – we have peasants too.

  40. #40 Dappledwater
    April 14, 2010

    #138 – kfr – funny how they still manage to get a few kicks in nevertheless.

    “We cannot help remarking that it is very surprising that research in an area that depends so heavily on statistical methods has not been carried out in close collaboration with professional statisticians”

    Sounds rather insinuating doesn’t it?.

  41. #41 Lotharsson
    April 14, 2010

    …no malpractice found…

    No doubt there are already a hundred posts around the Internet proclaiming it a whitewash that is just another part of the Great Conspiracy. I expect someone will post a link to it on Ms Nova’s “whitewash” thread at The Drum followed by the inevitable screeching…

  42. #42 lord_sidcup
    April 14, 2010

    #138 It seems the BBC have changed their position a little. On the Radio 4’s Today programme this morning their correspondent (Shukman I think) claimed CRU would be criticised for understating the uncertainties surrounding climate science (I have no idea what he based this on as the report wasn’t available at that time). No mention of that in the BBC report you link to, although they do give undue coverage of conspiracy theorists allegations about Lord Oxburgh.

  43. #43 Stu
    April 14, 2010

    Dappledwater,

    >138 – kfr – funny how they still manage to get a few kicks in nevertheless.
    “We cannot help remarking that it is very surprising that research in an area that depends so heavily on statistical methods has not been carried out in close collaboration with professional statisticians”

    >>Sounds rather insinuating doesn’t it?.

    No, it doesn’t. The panel performed a critical analysis of what goes on at the CRU. How many organisation could there be in the world that, if subjected to a rigorous independent review, would receive a pure and glowing endorsement with no criticsm at all? Less than a handful I reckon.

    I think the critical comments are evidence that the review has been performed properly.

  44. #44 kfr
    April 14, 2010

    140 – dappledwater. Yup, but i think it’s in the nature of such investigations in order to almost prove to be balanced, you have to find something to criticise. And to be fair, such is the nature of academia these days, would you necessarily expect subject specialists to have the statistics expertise?

    More important is the continued vindication of Prof Jones. Hopefully Monbiot will come to realise his response was a rather indefensible knee jerk reaction.

  45. #46 Dappledwater
    April 14, 2010

    Stu, read the article again and pretend you understood very little about climate. Do you think there’s a little bit there that can be easily misconstrued?. I’m not talking about a deniosaur’s warped logic either.

  46. #47 Dappledwater
    April 14, 2010

    kfr, the choice of words “very surprising” implies some kind of shonky behavior or inappropriate practice. I’m just saying the man or woman on the street is confused enough as it is without people, who should know better, creating more ammunition for the deniosaurs. I mean it’s not like civilization is at risk or anything !!!!!

  47. #48 Lotharsson
    April 14, 2010

    The Economist has a fairly reasonable article on climate change science. IIRC they seem to have become one of the better sources of climate science reporting.

  48. #49 Chris S.
    April 14, 2010

    @Dappledwater: Do you not find it surprising that “research…has not been carried out in close collaboration with professional statisticians”? I must admit that I find it curious. The Institute I work at has several statisticians on the payroll and every piece of work that is published by the institute gets run past one or more of them before it is submitted for review. That CRU doesn’t do this, despite being attached to a university that has a statistics degree programme is surely worthy of note at the very least?

  49. #50 Paul UK
    April 14, 2010

    Comment in the conclusions of the CRU report:

    >”Rather we found a small group of dedicated if
    slightly disorganised researchers who were ill-prepared for being the focus of
    public attention.”

    Which summarises what I thought from the start.

  50. #51 lord_sidcup
    April 14, 2010

    My feeling after having read the report is that CRU is basically under-funded, but I don’t suppose the average ‘sceptic’ will be calling for CRU to be given more resources to improve its organisation, manage its archives and documentation, and deal with all of the freedom of information requests.

  51. #52 John
    April 14, 2010

    Deniers already know the truth – that global warming is a scam for meagre scientific funding and any panel review is just a whitewash by vested government interests. Only the selfless oil companies can get us out of this mess.

    Over at Brent’s favourite hangout the government conspiracies are already flying:

    That was not science. That was fraud.

    There should be outrage over this! This report is meaningless….toilet paper.

    This will not bring closure to Climategate. This shows the cack-handed way the University of East Anglia have dealt with this scandal. This must be the worst attempt at a whitewash in recent history – LOL

    So a guy who is making a fortune off of promoting AGW finds that the science is sound.
    And in other news, a criminal caught stealing jewels denies he did anything wrong.
    True believer syndrome is how victims of con-artists rationalize their being fooled. Con-artists cover up their scams by pretending nothing is going on.

    Don’t be. Bob Ward and the Grantham Research Institute (headed by Lord Nicholas Stern, no less!) are bankrolled to the tune of tens of millions of pounds by Jeremy and Hannelore Grantham, the same people who bankroll Greenpeace, WWF, The Union of Concerned Scientists, the Woods Hole Research Center (not to be confused with the oceanographic body) and a plethora of other eco-fanatics and advocates. Just remember that every time Bob Ward opens his mouth – he is the mouthpiece of his paymasters.

    So the House Of Lords are in on it too. No wonder they rejected that honest scientific mastermind Lord Monckton.

  52. #53 Stu
    April 14, 2010

    Dappledwater @ 146

    >Stu, read the article again and pretend you understood very little about climate. Do you think there’s a little bit there that can be easily misconstrued?. I’m not talking about a deniosaur’s warped logic either

    I hadn’t really thought about it like that, but one thing I can see is that the BBC article doesn’t misrepresent the report. The report is obviously responsible for its own conclusions, and to me those conclusions seem reasonable.

    How could the conclusions be misconstrued? Genuinely, I’d like to know your thoughts there.

  53. #54 Anarchist606
    April 14, 2010

    Back the in 80s when AIDS first appeared, Monkton – then inside the corridors of power – was happy to use fear as a weapon. He promoted the solution to AIDS; global mass quarantine;

    “there is only one way to stop AIDS. That is to screen the entire population regularly and to quarantine all carriers of the disease for life. Every member of the population should be blood-tested every month … all those found to be infected with the virus, even if only as carriers, should be isolated compulsorily, immediately, and permanently.” This would involve isolating between 1.5 and 3 million people in the United States (“not altogether impossible”) and another 30,000 people in the UK (“not insuperably difficult”).

    Wow – imagine the global legal powers you’d need to enforce a mass program of testing and quarantine? You’d global treaties dis-empowering each individual person on the planet and subordinating them to an enforced programme of medical testing. You’d need to build loads of internment camps worldwide (of the kind conspiracy theorists love talking about) and the like. Imagine the cost of this? It would be an astronomical cost, I would guess dwarfing the cost of mitigating climate change.

    Not only that – I can’t see how it would ever work. You’d need 100% accuracy in the testing to contain it. Human error would ensure that would not happen if nothing else. People would resist as internment is the consequences of getting caught out… It would be a total disaster.

    So only a few years ago, our brave freedom fighter was proposing an unworkable global testing and quarantine system for AIDS and now we’re supposed to see him as a freedom fighter against global treaties of climate change.
    http://anarchist606.blogspot.com/2010/04/monkton-puzzle-freedom-and-climate.html

  54. #55 Dr Dave
    April 14, 2010

    Chris S. (#149) – no I don’t find it surprising. My experience is:
    1. If every bit of research that is being undertaken using statistics involved professional statisticians then output would drop dramatically. There just aren’t enough statisticians around to make this anything other than a forlorn aspiration;
    2. Many statisticians within academia are (understandably) keen to develop their own research rather than provide advice into projects that are quite marginal for them;
    3. When you do approach a statistician with a specific question, they will often give you an answer to a different question altogether! ;-)

    This paragraph from the report remains key in this context:

    “Although inappropriate statistical tools with the potential for producing misleading results have been used by some other groups, presumably by accident rather than design, in the CRU papers that we examined we did not come across any inappropriate usage although the methods they used may not have been the best for the purpose. It is not clear, however, that better methods would have produced significantly different results.”

    Note the last sentence.

  55. #56 John
    April 14, 2010

    Yes Anarchist, and Monckton is allegedly against big government.

  56. #57 Dappledwater
    April 14, 2010

    Chris S @148 – curious indeed, but couldn’t it have been worded in a less dramatic way?.

  57. #58 Chris S.
    April 15, 2010

    Re: #154 & #156

    DW – Quite possibly.
    Dr. Dave, I accept that the stats that CRU used were good enough, but I remain suprised that the unit didn’t utilise any of the stats bods who run the degree courses at UEA – the fact that they were based at UEA covers points 1 & 2. Trust me – I hear you on point 3 from bitter experience :) that’s still not an excuse.

    I guess this conversation should really be on the other thread now…

  58. #59 Lotharsson
    April 15, 2010

    I remain suprised that the unit didn’t utilise any of the stats bods who run the degree courses at UEA…

    From the state of acadaemia (which I only loosely hear about second and third hand, so it may no apply here) I wouldn’t be surprised if

    a) there was no CRU budget to pay any of the stats bods

    b) the stats bods need to focus on their own publications because research, research, research is how you get ahead and anything else – even necessary or desirable work – is an impediment.

  59. #60 Chris S.
    April 15, 2010

    Lotharsson @#158

    You may well have a point there, after all there was no interesting, groundbreaking analytical techniques going on at CRU! Snark aside, the budgetary angle could well be the reason why no professional statisticians were on the CRU payroll, I sometimes forget how lucky we are here to have our own pet statisticians on tap.

  60. #61 Lotharsson
    April 15, 2010

    You may well have a point there, after all there was no interesting, groundbreaking analytical techniques going on at CRU!

    Not being a statistician, I have no real idea whether the CRU work was groundbreaking or interesting in the field of statistics, or merely fairly routine. I’d welcome more insight into that question.

  61. #62 Chris S.
    April 15, 2010

    Nor I. Perhaps that’s one for James Annan or tamino to answer…

  62. #63 Bill
    April 16, 2010

    Speaking of ‘Lord’ Monckton, his latest ‘They’re at it again’ video really has to be seen to be believed –

    http://hot-topic.co.nz/monckton-goes-bp-in-bonn/

  63. #64 John
    April 16, 2010

    I’m sure Christopher Monckton will just elect himsself leader of the free world like he elected himself to the House Of Lords.

  64. #65 Johnmacmot
    April 16, 2010

    Peter Green’s 2nd insight into the World of Monckton is up. If Peter wanted to, there could be a number of further installments……

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=duxG4lyeSlc&playnext_from=TL&videos=1YBLbQWaDzg&feature=sub

  65. #66 Sou
    April 16, 2010

    It’s interesting all this talk about statisticians. When I worked for an agriculture agency some years (mumble … I mean decades …mumble) ago, it employed one specialist biometrician to assist probably around 800 to 1000 or more researchers (the dept was bigger back in those days). He approved every project design before it started and provided advice throughout. That agency was, I believe, unique in this regard. Most similar agencies at the time didn’t employ a specialist, the scientists relied on their own training in stats (which was provided in ag science degrees at the time). These days there is a lot of complex systems work and specialists in bioinformatics are the go.

    Small research units with 3 full time researchers would not keep a statistician fully employed. They would have to make an arrangement with someone to work on an ad hoc basis. And as others have said, it would need to be with someone familiar with climate research. Not as simple as it might sound to organise, but not that difficult if they can make an arrangement with someone suitable. It does eat into the budget though.

  66. #67 harbinger
    August 27, 2010

    Are you people for real? It’s like a bunch of kids in a school playground.

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