Monckton’s response to Abraham has drawn the attention of bloggers everywhere. George Monbiot finds it “magnificently bonkers”. Gareth Renowden examines Monckton’s claim to have a science background. Eli Rabett is collecting limericks. Richard Littlemore believes if they look at Abraham’s presentation and Monckton’s response, “most people will conclude that John Abraham is a careful scientist and that the Lord Monckton is a belligerent and unapologetic polemicist”.

Which is perhaps the reason why Monckton, supported by Anthony Watts, is trying to suppress Abraham’s presentation. Over at Watts Up with That? Monckton defames Abraham and asks for help in suppressing Abraham’s speech:

Please contact Father Dennis J. Dease, President of St. Thomas University, djdease@stthomas.edu, and invite him – even at this eleventh hour – to take down Abraham’s talk altogether from the University’s servers, and to instigate a disciplinary inquiry into the Professor’s unprofessional conduct, particularly in the matter of his lies to third parties about what I had said in my talk at Bethel University eight months ago? That would be a real help.

Rather than flood St Thomas with supporting emails, Gareth Renowden is collecting signatures for this statementh:

We the undersigned offer unreserved support for John Abraham and St. Thomas University in the matter of complaints made to them by Christopher Monckton. Professor Abraham provided an important public service by showing in detail Monckton’s misrepresentation of the science of climate, and we applaud him for that effort, and St. Thomas University for making his presentation available to the world.

If you agree, go there and sign.

In his post Monckton claims that Abraham admitted “that his talk is libelous” by producing a revised version. This doesn’t make any kind of sense — people revise presentations all the time for many different reasons. In any case, the original version is still available.

Comments

  1. #1 Mike from Ottawa
    July 21, 2010

    I just finished listening to Professor Abraham’s talk and it was laugh out loud funny, with the steady drumbeat of evidence of Monckton’s, at best, sloppy approach to citation and interpretation of the science. It is no surprise he’s making threatening noises in Prof Abraham’s direction and trying to suppress the opposition through hints of litigation. Part of me hopes Monckton’s been paying no more attention to the recent England Court of Appeal decision in British Chiropractic Association v Simon Singh than he does to citation. BCA v Singh signaled what may be a very considerable change in how the courts approach the use of libel litigation in scientific disputes, in favour of open debate.

    Monckton v Abrahams (not that I would wish the bother on Prof Abrahams) would make a nice addition to the pantheon of Kitzmiller v Dover, Irving v Lippstadt and BCA v Singh. The idea of Monckton under cross examination on oath is almost delicious enough for me to wish he would sue.

  2. #2 Bernard J.
    July 21, 2010

    As most here would know, I’m currently trying to elicit from Louis Hissink, Richard S Courtney, and sundry others on [Joanne Codling’s Monckton thread](http://joannenova.com.au/2010/07/abraham-surrenders-to-monckton-uni-of-st-thomas-endorses-untruths/) an acknowledgement that gases are able to “store” heat, in response to Hissink’s claim that they cannot. Cohenite has conceded, although if one blinked one would miss it, so indirect and provisoed was his concession.

    In a classic display of displacement behaviour, he’s now rabbitting on about whether gravity heats the atmosphere. Somehow the resultant link-trail led me to WTFWWT, and to a comment from Steve Goddard. In reply to the fact that the water temperature at 92 bars depth in the earth’s oceans (equivalent to the surface pressure of Venus) is not 400 C, Goddard says [1:31 pm, 6 May 2010](http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/05/06/hyperventilating-on-venus/#comment-384723):

    The ocean is made of water, which is a liquid. Unlike gases, liquids are not very compressible, so they do not heat much under pressure.

    It seems that half a physics explanation equals a whole physics explanation. By extrapolation. one would only need a non-zero knowledge of physics to know all physics.

    The funny thing is, a number of posters have indicated the holes in Goddard’s thermodynamics, but his ignorance seems to be as incompressible as the cold, still waters of the deep oceans.

    [Post script]

    I just read [this from Goddard](http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/):

    I’m not talking about ocean pressure. I’m talking about atmospheric pressure. Death Valley and the Dead Sea are below sea level. Both are very hot places. Mt. Everest is at the same latitude as Saudi Arabia, and averages about -40 degrees.

    Can some one tell me – does this guy actually have a clue about factors that determine climate?!

    [Post post script]

    [Luboš Motl agrees with Goddard](http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/05/06/hyperventilating-on-venus/#comment-385418).

    [Post post post script]

    [Proof that Goddardis taking the piss](http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/05/06/hyperventilating-on-venus/#comment-385758).

    What would happen to atmospheric pressure if the sun turned off?

    PV = nRT

    If T dropped to zero, then P would also drop to zero. It is the sun which provides the energy that keeps the molecules moving, and keeps the pressure up.

    Over-unity, some?

    Goddard, Motl, and WTFWWT – the gifts that keep on giving…

  3. #3 Bernard J.
    July 21, 2010

    Gack!

    …that gases are able to “store” heat energy…

    I had Goddard’s quotes on the brain.

    Yeah, I know it’s a subtle difference, but it’s a difference nevertheless.

  4. #4 Wow
    July 21, 2010

    “I’m talking about atmospheric pressure. Death Valley and the Dead Sea are below sea level.”

    The adiabatic lapse rate is controlled by gravity.

    T(h)=T(0)+Ah

    So gravity can tell you what A is.

    But that doesn’t say what T(0) is.

    And that’s defined by the energy input and energy output balance.

    And, since the earth is an oblate spheroid, the ice fields of the Arctic are below “sea level” compared to the more equatorial regions.

    (well, if Goddard wants to throw things out that “may plausibly” be true, that statement is just as well researched).

    Anyhow, the surface pressure of Venus isn’t enough to cause an extra 400C warming.

  5. #5 Wow
    July 21, 2010

    “If T dropped to zero, then P would also drop to zero. It is the sun which provides the energy that keeps the molecules moving, and keeps the pressure up.”

    Well, that’s true.

    But that doesn’t cause gravity, does it.

    Other problems include:

    Ideal Gas: Has no zero point energy. Temperature is movement, so there’s a minimum non-zero temperature.
    Space: It’s warm. Can’t find any place colder than 3K.
    Gasses are funny things: Helium goes superfluid. P=0 then? Other gasses also may never get to solid. P=0 in a liquid???

    IMO it’s not worth going into too much detail, since you’ll never be believed even if you had a signed affadavit handed over by God Himself in person.

  6. #6 Wow
    July 21, 2010

    “I have been asking for volunteers, but no luck so far, to disprove that assertion that CO2 can absorb energy, or is any way active in the infra-red.”

    Mind you, that’s a known hiding to nothing, so you won’t get any takers.

    If it has a temperature, it holds energy. It radiates. Maybe not much, but it radiates. That means energy is leaving.

    Something warmer nearby radiates more.

    Energy flows from one to the other, in both directions.

    Energy flow is proportional to temperature to the fourth power.

    Therefore NET flow is from the warmer to colder body.

    (note: this is something no denialist will admit to: that it is NET flow)

    But this doesn’t mean the colder body isn’t radiating. It’s just that it’s getting more than it loses.

    It’s really simple logic, so denialists won’t persue it unless you get them riled up good and proper and their desire drops them right in it.

    Hope this helps.

  7. #7 TrueSceptic
    July 21, 2010

    100 Dave,

    If you’re ready for a chuckle, you could look at some of the stuff at [ilovemyco2](http://www.ilovemycarbondioxide.com/) and in particular the [plastic bottle “proof”](http://spinonthat.com/CO2.html).

  8. #8 Paul UK
    July 21, 2010

    The ‘petition’ to support John is so close to 1000 at 978:

    http://hot-topic.co.nz/support-john-abraham/

    Just a few more.

  9. #9 Paul UK
    July 21, 2010

    Truesceptic@107

    The plastic bottle page is amusing.

  10. #11 Stu
    July 21, 2010
  11. #12 Dave McRae
    July 21, 2010

    Thanks for the tips and links Wow and TS – that bottle experiment guy is good, I sure hope I can get him to stand in front of a CO2 laser, it’s slim pickings so far :)

    And back on topic (I should’ve said this earlier) – thanks to John Abraham for his calm expose of the psuedo-science behind Monckton and to the Uni of St Thomas for not caving into the threats that the anti-science level at science. Renowden has got my wee signature.

  12. #13 adelady
    July 21, 2010

    Dave,
    Pleeease don’t ask that bottle man in for your experiment. I fear he might actually accept your challenge.

  13. #14 Derek Schweinsgruber
    July 22, 2010

    We started a counterattack in support of John Abraham, an argumentum ad moncktonem:
    http://friendsofginandtonic.org/

  14. #15 Paul UK
    July 22, 2010

    Re Bottle Man.

    I can’t actually see how you could prove the greenhouse effect was incorrect unless you reproduced the planets atmosphere in a lab scenario. eg. a largish container with ‘ground’ at the bottom, then the ‘atmosphere’ above that, then some sort of simulated vacuum for space.
    Plus on top of that you would need a source of electromagnetic radiation that mimicked the suns output that reached the upper atmosphere (minus the nasty stuff). Probably a light bulb, but definitely not an IR source!

    You then might see the ‘greenhouse effect’ with a lapse rate running up through the atmosphere.
    You could then try different gases.

    The difficult bit would be simulating the vacuum above the atmosphere.

  15. #17 TrueSceptic
    July 22, 2010

    116 luminous,

    I’ve seen this experiment a few times, including once in a BBC TV programme looking at the whole GW “debate” and there’s one thing I really don’t like.

    The CO2 container contains 100% CO2. I know that we can’t possibly mimic the atmosphere with such small containers, and the “air” container contains 0.04% CO2 anyway, but using 100% makes it appear to be a “rigged” experiment to any “sceptic”. Surely 10% (or 5% or 1%) would be more convincing to us all?

  16. #18 Paul UK
    July 22, 2010

    I have seen that page before luminous beauty.

    But one of the reasons for having a vacuum above the atmosphere would be to make sure the only way heat could escape would be by radiation.

    The more I think about it, the more complex it gets.
    Maybe you could have the whole thing in a big centrifuge to simulate Earths gravity!

  17. #19 Paul UK
    July 22, 2010

    Having said that though. The espere experiment is far more convincing than bottle mans.

  18. #20 Wow
    July 22, 2010

    “The difficult bit would be simulating the vacuum above the atmosphere.”

    Actually, the difficult bit (the bottle is just to indicate that CO2 blocks IR) would be to have a stable temperature difference from one wall of the container to the opposite one.

    The denialist use of Beers Law to “prove” CO2 has no effect is The Bottle experiment but doesn’t apply to the atmosphere mostly because of the temperature difference between the ground and the top of the atmosphere.

  19. #21 luminous beauty
    July 22, 2010

    Here’s the BBC experiment:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ge0jhYDcazY&feature=player_embedded

    Yes, it is only a qualitative demonstration that the effect is real, but pyrgeometers, pyranometers, super computers and satellite platforms are _so_ expensive.

  20. #22 TrueSceptic
    July 22, 2010

    121 luminous,

    IIRC that was 100% CO2 too. It would be more convincing with a much smaller %age.

  21. #23 Wow
    July 22, 2010

    What would ALSO work is to show how much wider the absorbtion spectra was at higher concentrations than “100% absorption”.

    You’d need more than a bottle of CO2 and a thermograph, though.

  22. #24 Paul UK
    July 22, 2010

    I think that BBC experiment is worse than the bottle man one.
    What annoys me is the rubbish misleading animation of the carbon dioxide molecule radiating heat in all directions at the same time!!??
    As if it were some kind of radiator in a central heating system.

  23. #25 Bernard J.
    July 23, 2010

    I’m probably getting to the ‘official bore’ stage in the proceedings, by relating here the guff at JoNoClue, but I can’t help but note that [Codling’s thread](http://joannenova.com.au/2010/07/abraham-surrenders-to-monckton-uni-of-st-thomas-endorses-untruths/comment-page-6/) is currently hosting one Brian W, who comes out with gems such as the one at #259:

    Whether gases store energy or not has already been settled. TECHNICALLY they DO but it is IMPRACTICAL for us human beans. Both sides of the argument get their way. Don’t worry, be happy.See my first post. Screw Louis Hissink. Your monatomic babbling gives it away. There is only one true monatomic gas, and that is HYDROGEN.

    Et Voilà! The periodic table is overturned!

    And it appears that my postulation (at #217) of the existence of a Schrödinger’s gas has been proven, if it is the case that “[b]oth sides of the argument get their way” about whether gases are able to store energy, or not.

    If Brian W and cohenite are their best physicists, then one is forced to wonder if the Codling Crowd could actually boil a kettle for a cup of coffee without hurting themselves.

  24. #26 Paul UK
    July 23, 2010

    Bernard it is tempting to wade into the jo nova thread and throw the denial dogs another bone, but I have better things to do.

  25. #27 Lotharsson
    July 24, 2010

    > …by relating here the guff at JoNoClue…

    Well, I for one, having spent a bit of time “debating” with said Ms Nova on the ABC website, find the scientific implications of these re-Novated gems pretty entertaining.

  26. #28 Wow
    July 24, 2010

    “rubbish misleading animation of the carbon dioxide molecule radiating heat in all directions at the same time!!?? As if it were some kind of radiator in a central heating system.

    Posted by: Paul UK”

    Uh, next time a photon comes in and the CO2 absorbs it, the photon will probably not exit in the same direction as it did the last time.

    Unless you’re depicting a CO2 laser.

  27. #29 Bernard J.
    July 24, 2010

    [Lotharsson](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/07/why_is_monckton_afraid_of_a_de.php#comment-2679660).

    The Codling thread is really quite amusing, and I suspect that few of the crowd, nor Codling herself, really understand why.

    Today’s crowning glory came when, after repeated snipped (by Codling herself) postings from Lonny Eachus, Lonny said at #289 (24 July, 9:01 pm):

    Waaah! Why are you questioning my infallible messiah? At least my unqualified crank gets up and consistently makes a fool of himself!

    If you don’t think that we shouldn’t be represented by scientists then that is the problem here. Joanne is quick to label AGW supporters as being practitioners of a faith.

    and Codling replied:

    [That’s the point Loony. We don’t have scientific gods. we don’t care about qualifications and degrees, we are impressed by people who can reason. You can’t. No more ad homs from you. –JN]

    Ah, the manifold hypocritical ironies…

    Surprisingly, to date my posts seem to have been left alone. I was, in a fashion, hoping to be censored myself, because I’ve been archiving the thread each time I post, but it seems that the strategy in response to me is to ignore it and see if I will go away.

    Fine, if that’s the way they like it.

    It doesn’t make their physics any more correct.

  28. #30 Lotharsson
    July 25, 2010

    Yes, Ms Nova seems entirely unaware that whilst having no “scientific gods” is a good thing, you need to:

    a) **practice** the virtue that you preach – and that Ms Nova extolling the wisdom of every pronouncement from (say) Roy Spencer or Lindzen, especially before there has been time for sufficient peer review is indeed a form of “having scientific gods”

    b) combine the virtue of “no scientific gods” with the ability to **discriminate** between those who can reason **correctly and in accordance with evidence** and those who cannot – an ability Ms Nova does not appear to routinely demonstrate.

  29. #31 Lotharsson
    July 25, 2010

    Following up on my own point (b), I remember on one of the ABC articles that I eventually got her to argue :-) that neither she or I had the skills to figure out whether a given just-published article by one of the contrarians was good science or not (a point I had made of myself several times before).

    But even then she failed to see or admit – even after I pointed it out – that her touting of said article and others like it (that claimed to prove the point of view she held) was unsupportable, if not outright bogus. Surprisingly ;-) she was especially resistant to the notion that my practice of deferring to the strong majority scientific opinion regarding articles/hypotheses where I myself wasn’t competent to make the assessment was entirely in line with – nay, pretty much required by – the very principles she espoused.

    All of which made her invitation to me to come to her website to “learn” about climate science even more unintentionally amusing ;-)

  30. #32 Paul UK
    July 25, 2010

    >[That’s the point Loony. We don’t have scientific gods. we don’t care about qualifications and degrees, we are impressed by people who can reason. You can’t. No more ad homs from you. –JN]

    Ahhh, the triumph of mediocrity.
    Seems quite common throughout modern society.

    Here in the UK it has become a business club. You can only be successful if you are not qualified for the job. This results in those that are unqualified employing more people that are unqualified and sacking those that are qualified because they don’t fit in.

  31. #33 TrueSceptic
    July 25, 2010

    130 Lotharsson,

    Oh, Nova is discriminating all right. *Anything* that attacks or casts doubt on global warming or greenhouse gas theory, no matter how dishonest, incompetent, or contradictory to anything else that casts doubt on global warming or greenhouse gas theory, is correct with absolute certainty. See how easy it is? ;)

  32. #34 adelady
    July 25, 2010

    Thanks TS, I get it now.

    It’s like letting 3 year olds dress themselves. They put on *all* their favourite things. The green socks with the red sandals with the floral leggings under a too small striped purple skirt and the torn tartan shirt – all crowned with the tiara from the fairground and the sparkly remnants of the lei from last week’s party.

    Doesn’t matter – they’re all loved and paraded proudly.

  33. #35 Vince Whirlwind
    July 25, 2010

    The comparison with 3-year-olds is apt.
    It’s all impulse without reason.

  34. #36 Lotharsson
    July 25, 2010

    > Oh, Nova is discriminating all right.

    Indeed. As you pointed out, the problem is that she espouses useful scientific discrimination, but practices the opposite…and most of her sycophants don’t show evidence of … well, *discriminating* between the two.

  35. #37 TrueSceptic
    August 2, 2010

    Scott Mandia has received a [nice little message from Lord Munchkin](http://profmandia.wordpress.com/2010/08/02/monckton-responds-to-my-defense-of-abraham/), asking if he’d like to join John Abraham in the threatened libel case.

    Why stop there? Why not name every other blogger who’s shown Munchkin for what he is? What fun that would be!

  36. #38 Thomas
    August 13, 2010

    having heard both sides of the argument I favour Monckton’s. The science is well evidenced and as far as can be seen supports the fact that since 1998 the planet has been cooling.
    Abraham doesn’t seem to have done his homework or checked the facts so thoroughly. It is no use relying on non-linear differential equations to justify a position. That is the same as forecasting chaos.

  37. #39 Anonymous
    August 13, 2010
  38. #40 Wow
    August 13, 2010

    “having heard both sides of the argument I favour Monckton’s”

    This is proof you haven’t heard both sides…

    “The science is well evidenced”

    From Monkey?

    I don’t think so. Try looking here: http://www.altenergyaction.org/Monckton.html

    And Monckton’s “reply” (or, rather response, since there was no replying being done…) to J Abraham’s presentation had NO SCIENCE WHATSOEVER.

    “Abraham doesn’t seem to have done his homework or checked the facts so thoroughly.”

    Oh dear. Poed?

    His were the only fact checking done. In many cases not possible because Monkey didn’t manage to cite who he was referring to.

    “That is the same as forecasting chaos.”

    Just like the planets. After all, the maths that begat Chaos Theory was in response to a king asking “are the planets stable in their orbits” (the answer to which was at the time “it depends”). This is because orbital predictions are the same as forecasting chaos.

    As is any attempt to be a bookie: predicting the chaos.

    Any staff sergeant in charge of logistics (E4?) also is forecasting chaos.

    None of this seems to mean their jobs are impossible and unable to be useful.

  39. #41 Wow
    August 13, 2010

    “It is no use relying on non-linear differential equations to justify a position. ”

    F=ds/dt from which all ballistics and orbital mechanics comes.

    All of which produce a position in time.

    Isn’t it ironic, don’t you think?

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