The Church of Monckton

Barry Bickmore is compiling a list of the politicians, journalists etc who have damaged their credibility by relying on Christopher Monckton as a source of infomration about climate science.

Also well worth a look is Alden Griffith’s lucid explanation of what is wrong with Monckton’s claim that “Arctic sea ice is just fine”.

Comments

  1. #1 Ben Lawson
    August 22, 2010

    OMG, another black list! :-)

    Oh that’s right, they wanted to hitch their wagon to “a star” until, suddenly, they didn’t…

  2. #2 Scott A Mandia
    August 22, 2010

    Agreed. Both Barry’s blog post and Alden’s video are superb and definitely in the “must-see” group.

  3. #3 MFS
    August 22, 2010

    Fantastic video by Alden Griffith!

    It’s one of the best showcases of the pitfalls of cherrypicking I’ve seen so far. Makes me wonder whether a certain commenter who goes as ‘sunspot’ is not a Monckton sockpuppet… :)

  4. #4 Bernard J.
    August 22, 2010

    Alden Griffith gives Greenman a run for his money!

    Now let’s see how the trolls spin Griffith’s presentation…

  5. #5 Jeremy C
    August 23, 2010

    Didn’t Abbott meet with Monckton at the beginning of this year…

  6. #6 MFS
    August 23, 2010

    Jeremy,

    Yes, but it’s not like Abbott has any credibility to lose on climate change… His party after all contains (or contained) the likes of Nick Minchin and Wilson Tuckey…

  7. #7 Donald Oats
    August 23, 2010

    Jeremy C @5,
    Indeed Tony Abbott did meet with Monckton (and Plimer, whose book he tried to read) earlier this year. I tried to get a question onto the recent Q&A program on the ABC, the one where Abbott was a panelist. The basic idea was to ask Tony Abbott, the then opposition leader, how he would rate AGW on a scale of 0 to 10, where 0 is equivalent to the statement “Strongly disagree with the theory of AGW” (or in Tony Abbott parlance, “Climate change is a load of crap!”), and 10 is “Strongly agree with the theory of AGW”. In other words, a really simple rating of where he stood. I wanted to ask for his rating a) before meeting with Monckton, and b) after meeting with Monckton. This was before the election.

  8. #8 Andrew
    August 23, 2010

    Donald Oats – I would have liked to ask something like, “You may be aware that the opinions of Monckton and Plimer are not supported by scientists who actually work on climate change issues – if you become Prime Minister will you instead be taking advice from Australia’s Chief Scientist?”

  9. #9 JasonW
    August 23, 2010

    I wish Monckton would cease to be such an issue – can we make that happen?

  10. #10 adelady
    August 23, 2010

    Sorry, JasonW. Monckton and his many admirers set the pace on this one. He has to be refuted, again, and tiresomely again, for as long as people cite him as a worthwhile source.

    We can only hope that another senate committee holds competent hearings with qualified people explaining real science. But until Monckton has been displaced as the most recent “expert” to testify there, we’re pretty well stuck.

  11. #11 Lincoln
    August 23, 2010

    I was handing out flyers for GetUp! in Bennelong on Saturday. There was somebody from the Climate Sceptics Party there. She was running around acting appropriately insane so much so that I actually had a few people come up to me and comment about what a nut she was. I think she was doing her “cause” more harm than good.

  12. #12 jakerman
    August 23, 2010

    Don’t miss Alden Griffith’s [other presentation](http://www.fool-me-once.com/2010/07/global-warming-has-stopped.html)!

  13. #13 Snarki, child of Loki
    August 23, 2010

    This line from Bickmore particularly struck:

    The sorts of people who are Monckton boosters have one thing in common–they want to be perceived as the sort of no-nonsense iconoclasts who aren’t afraid to question the status quo.

    They REALLY want to be (seen as) brave iconoclasts, but are lazy.

    Real iconoclasts face consequences; no consequences for these, because their questioning of status quo only extends to scientific consensus, rather than political or economic vested interests.

  14. #14 spangled drongo
    August 23, 2010

    Tim,

    Where were you when they needed you?

    http://www.noteviljustwrong.com/blog/general/481

  15. #15 SC (Salty Current)
    August 24, 2010

    [I knew I shouldn't go looking](http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-3YWGfQkeZU).

    I’m speechless.

  16. #16 MFS
    August 24, 2010

    spangled drongo,

    What’s with the linkspam? Do you actually have a point to make? How does it relate to Monckton?

  17. #17 Al
    August 24, 2010

    re. http://www.fool-me-once.com/2010/08/arctic-sea-ice-is-just-fine-rebounding.html Would someone mind explaining the most obvious difference between the two “visual snapshots” about 45 seconds into Alden Griffith’s presentation? (I would ask him, but I’d have to create a Google a/c just to do it.) 01/17/1980 shows the northern hemisphere covered in green, and 01/18/2009 shows it covered in white. Is this real? It gives a strong impression that Arctic sea ice is just a small part of the picture if half the world has gone white. Was it taken on a snowy day, or what? Thanks.

  18. #18 sod
    August 24, 2010

    for a start, i everything that is shown in a Monckton slide should be considered to be false.

    the 1980 picture shows everything green, but greenland. so it does not show snowcover. (or something went wrong in siberia that year..)

    here is a [link](http://nsidc.org/sotc/snow_extent.html) to the snowcover gaphs.

    the trend, of course, is down.

  19. #19 Al
    August 24, 2010

    Thanks, sod. I must say then, that for a “debunking” presentation to show these two pix side-by-side, without commenting plainly and specifically on their misleading effect, is to give them a false legitimacy. I mean, you see two pictures which are apparently pictures of the Earth taken from space, and no matter that it looks like the whole of Europe and the U.S. was snowing that day, you feel compelled to take it at face value. It’s just too much to imagine that the “snow” might instead be an overlay with the help of Microsoft Paint, or be depicting something else entirely. So I honestly think that Alden Griffith should not show these pictures if he’s not going to immediately follow them with directly comparative correctional pictures.

  20. #20 Stu
    August 24, 2010

    Al and sod, the cryosphere sea ice images only include snow cover for the last few years, as it was unavailable previously. Just pretend it’s not there, it’s the sea ice that’s of interest.

  21. #21 Jeremy C
    August 24, 2010

    SC,

    Great video, thanks, I felt sorry for the audience.

  22. #22 Dave H
    August 24, 2010

    Noooo… today I found out that the legendary Patrick Moore is an AGW “skeptic” :(

  23. #23 Wow
    August 24, 2010

    I don’t think it’s the same Patric Moore you’re thinking of.

    That one is I believe this Patrick Moore:

    [Patrick Moore](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patrick_Moore_%28environmentalist%29)

    Whereas the one who would know better is this one:

    [Patrick Caldwell-Moore](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patrick_Moore)

    If nothing else, THAT Patrick would know about optical depth and the effect of even “saturated” absorption in a thermally stratified atmosphere.

  24. #24 Dave R
    August 24, 2010

    >Whereas the one who would know better is this one: Patrick Caldwell-Moore

    That one as well. He was touting David Bellamy’s conspiracy theories and proclaiming “it’s the Sun” in his Sky at Night magazine a recently. Not really surprising given what a raving wingnut he is.

  25. #25 Wow
    August 24, 2010

    Do you have the issue number? I think I’ll drop him a little letter about Optical Depth and the last 30 years of solar TSI and temperatures.

    I think he’s just getting old and confused.

    He knows what optical depth is.

    Yes, he’s an honorary member of the department I used to attend. If it really is the same Patrick, then he needs to be reminded of his astronomy.

    Sad, isn’t it.

  26. #26 Wow
    August 24, 2010

    Yup, I’m gonna have to be skeptical of the claim, Dave. All I can find is *Dr.* Patrick Moore talking about climate change being false and nothing anywhere turning up with any thing from *Sir* Patrick Moore and climate change in any quote from that man (or, indeed, in any topic his name appears in about the man).

    I see a LOT of people saying “Patrick Moore says climate change is a crock”, but not one of them has a quote or link to anything the Sir version said and as I’ve pointed out, there’s another Patrick Moore who has a doctorate. And these people never say which or where it was said.

  27. #27 Dave R
    August 24, 2010

    Issue #46, March 2009, article ‘Radical thinkers and sacred cows’.

    >The current sacred cow is that the present phase of global warming is due to human activity; anyone who questions this is politically incorrect. Unfortunately, there is evidence that the Sun is responsible, so that the role of Homo sapiens is not major. One of our most popular television broadcasters, Dr David Bellamy, is banned from the TV screen becaus ehe has been revealing what may — ironically! — be called ‘An Inconvenient Truth’.

  28. #28 Wow
    August 24, 2010

    Well looks I’ll have to shove his nose in it.

    Damn, it’s sad to have to teach him astronomy.

    I’ll have to think whether I’ll have to really rub it in or just lead him to the water.

  29. #29 Dave R
    August 24, 2010
  30. #30 Alden Griffith
    August 24, 2010

    Hi Al-

    So I honestly think that Alden Griffith should not show these pictures if he’s not going to immediately follow them with directly comparative correctional pictures

    I am showing exactly what Monckton shows. I do follow these up by plotting the actual sea ice extent data for those months. This tells you in one number what Monckton is forcing you to try to quantify with your eyes. For the matter at hand, you should ignore the snow-covered ground and look at the sea ice. Also Monckton picks Jan 1980 which is below the trendline, and Jan 2009 which is above the trendline. This will show even less of a difference.

    Also, you should now be able to comment without a google ID.

    Hi All- sorry for the Patrick Moore confusion. It’s not Sir Patrick Moore, but the Patrick Moore formerly of Greenpeace. If you watch “Not Evil Just Wrong”, you will see him saying things that I can’t believe a Ph.D. ecologist would say….

    -Alden

  31. #31 Brent
    August 24, 2010

    Still, whichever Patrick Moore he turns out to be, he makes a good point about global warming being a crock. That’s good econmy of words. Others might say that it’s a scare story dreamed up by a bunch of over-earnest eco-obsessive watermelons (green on the outside and red on the inside) who have managed to divert gigantic public funding to serve their quackery, but who are fast losing the public debate as the pesky planet refuses to conform to the alarmist projections.

    This global warming you all waffle on about exists solely in the dodgy graphs you worship. Will you Jeremiahs have the decency to admit you were wrong when the “anomalies” turn out to be nothing of the sort?

  32. #32 Dave H
    August 24, 2010

    > Comment by Brent blocked. [unkill]​[show comment]

    Ah, bliss…

  33. #33 TrueSceptic
    August 24, 2010

    24 Dave R,

    Yes, Patrick (Sky at Night) Moore is a wingnut but AFAIK he has never been anti-science. Are you sure about your comment? I don’t read the mag but have been watching SaN since the 1960s and I’ve never seen him express anything like that.

  34. #34 TrueSceptic
    August 24, 2010

    26 Wow,

    I suspect that (Sir) Patrick Moore is largely unknown outside the UK except by astronomers, both amateur and professional. The programme that made him so well known here is monthly and not at prime time on a main channel; it would be shown on PBS, if at all, in the US, for example.

    OTOH, Sallie Baliunas is an astronomer and astrophysicist who might have influenced him …

    Anyway, he’s [not all bad](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patrick_Moore#Activism).

  35. #35 Dave R
    August 24, 2010

    TS:
    >Are you sure about your comment?

    Yes, see #29.

  36. #36 dhogaza
    August 24, 2010

    Then there’s the early Greenpeace dude Patrick Moore, also a global warming skeptic …

  37. #37 Marion Delgado
    August 25, 2010

    MFS I think he wants us to realize – after the video footage appears of him driving his old Chrysler into the crowd at an Earth Day rally – that he was “not evil, just wrong.”

  38. #38 Anarchist606
    August 25, 2010

    Monkton tried to make climate scepticism an election issue in the UK via the UK Independence Party for whom he is a ‘science advisor’ but then failed to get on the ballot even.

    However in Australia – voters have had a change to to make climate scepticism an election issue…via the emergence of a single issue political party dedicated to giving the voters a chance to vote for freedom! Enter The Climate Sceptics Party!

    Interestingly within the taxonomy of climate change denial these lot are from the ‘it’s all natural’ school of thought; “From us, we know that the climate change issue has been exaggerated. It is not man-made, it is cyclical.” However they also claim nobody knows, “The alarmist theories propounded by the IPCC and other political bodies are crippled by huge uncertainties.” Which is an odd contradictory position to say that ‘it is uncertain that climate change is happening, but if it was humans would not be to blame.’ Sounds like somebody making a excuse up in advance, ‘Nobody can say a crime has been committed but even if you find evidence to say a crime has been committed then I’d like to point out in advance that I didn’t do it!’

    So how did voters respond to this golden opportunity to send a clear message to the political class?

    “The Climate Sceptics Party attracted just over 18,000 votes across the country. If their presence was designed to embarrass the Greens, which by definition must be a climate change acceptor’s party, then they failed. The Greens received 1.26 million votes in the Upper House.

    The Greens, as noted before, attracted the biggest swing of 3.9 per cent. This was followed by the Sex Party and the Shooters Party. The electorate has spoken and this might be its plan: tackle climate change, make love and, then shoot the lights out.”*

    Election fail. Climate Sceptics were beaten by the Sex Party.

  39. #39 James Haughton
    August 25, 2010

    Anarchist606, the Climate Skeptics poor results just show that the Australian Electoral Commission is part of the conspiracy. Undoubtedly they failed to correct votes from rural electorates for the urban heat island effect. The Climate Skeptics got less votes in 1998, so they must be massively increasing.

  40. #40 Bernard J.
    August 25, 2010

    I will make a bold prediction: “comment-2750161″ will soon cease to exist, as it breaches the conditions of this blog.

    On the matter of [Patrick Moore's editorial](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/08/the_church_of_monckton.php#comment-2750051), it is an interesting collection of different levels of scientific denialism.

    Halton Arp’s ideas are certainly maverick, and probably require a functioning intuition of relativity in order to reliably critique them. This means that it would be mostly experts in the area of astrophysics that have the capacity to onbjectively deconstruct them – and also the same people who need to come up with explanations for many of Arp’s observations about redshift… Arp is after all a competent observational astronomer, and discrepancies in observation can lead to greater understanding in a field, no matter which way the explanation falls. He might be crazy, but he’s not a slouch when it comes to scientific documentation: he simply appear to require additional help to interpret it.

    Climate change is much less fraught with the arcane qualities of relativity; it is more Newtonian in aspect and should be easily unsderstood by an educated and well-informed person who carries no ideological baggage. AGW Denialism cannot reasonably be compared to the challenges by Arp, because the physical fundamentals are much more clear (to non-astrophysicists!), and given the more ‘local’ nature of the phenomena, the data are more numerous, and more easily supported by experimentation ad by cross-referenced scientific theories and laws.

    In his last sentence Moore appears to imply that Darwinian evolution is a “sacred cow”, and also ammenable to “death”. Whilst the ultimate explanation for the story of life on Earth might not be exactly described by Darwinina evolution, such an explanation won’t be far from Darwinism, and given humanity’s current available evidence it is the most parsimonious explanation. It is also an explanation available to anyone who is prepared to leave childhood-level fears and credulity behind.

    I’m not really sure what Moore is trying to achieve with an editorial that entwined such disparate levels of scientific denialism. If he is seriously including evolution denialism in his narrative, as his last sentence implies, I would suggest that wherever it is that his motivations come from, they did not at any time reside in science.

    It is certainly not an editorial that I would automatically attribute to Sir Patrick Moore. However, I am sad to say that if one compares the signature in [Dave R's link](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/08/the_church_of_monckton.php#comment-2750051) with that of [Sire Patrick Moore](http://sirpatrickmoore.com/), one can only conclude that [they are one and the same person](http://i37.tinypic.com/fe3nlj.jpg)…

    It seems that as much as a Renaissance man as Sir Patrick is, he is as suseptible to misinterpretation of matters beyond his training as are the more humble amongst us.

  41. #41 jakerman
    August 25, 2010

    Is Anthony Cox (cohenite) an office holder of teh Climate Skeptics Party?

  42. #42 Bernard J.
    August 25, 2010

    [Jakerman](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/08/the_church_of_monckton.php#comment-2750675).

    Cox/cohenite was secretary for the Australian Climate Sceptics [sic] party. I’ve seen nothing to indicate that he is not still that office-holder.

  43. #43 jakerman
    August 25, 2010

    And Cox also was involved in bringing Australia the discredit of the Church of Monckton tour. That is now two cow pats for Anthony to chew on and try to swallow.

    Good to get a measure of where the so called “climate sceptics” are at.

  44. #44 Wow
    August 25, 2010

    “In his last sentence Moore appears to imply that Darwinian evolution is a “sacred cow”, and also ammenable to “death””

    And in my letter I’ve pointed out one “sacred cow” to Patrick: that once great men will always be great men.

    Bellamy was a great television naturalist. And Patrick thinks that just because this is true (it is) that David’s words have some validity.

    I’ve then shown Patrick the timeline that shows Bellamy saying that climate change is the biggest threat to nature, being left out of future work, complaining that his words against then PM John Major were the reason for his being canned, then years after his abandonment by media, his complaint that his stance against climate change caused his downfall.

    I then pointed out that Sir Isaac Newton went into Alchemy in his later years.

    The sacred cow “Once great = Always great” is one Patrick doesn’t have a problem with.

    I decided not to rub his face in it.

  45. #45 Wow
    August 25, 2010

    “Anyway, he’s not all bad.

    Posted by: TrueSceptic”

    No, but he’s not thinking. I’ve explained a few things in ways an astronomer *knows* the universe works, pointed him to Spencer Weart’s work on the internet and the ISBN for the book and offered to help explain the science appropriate for an astronomer with some knowledge of astrophysics.

    He’s not all bad, but

    a) he’s buying David Bellamy’s POV as true merely because he was a great TV environmentalist, now merely a mentalist

    b) he’s ignoring what he DOES know because he hasn’t considered it in light of the theory of climate that leads inevitably to AGW

    If he follows up, I’ll see if he wants to put a piece in Sky at Night mag about it. If he ignores it, then yes, he is bad, just not all bad. That’s no excuse to deny thinking.

  46. #46 Gaz
    August 25, 2010

    The Climate Sceptics vote in the House of Reps was 317 parts, I mean votes, per million. It was a *trace vote*, surely too small to have any effect.

  47. #47 jakerman
    August 25, 2010

    BTW of the combined 1.26 million Green votes and the 18,000 votes for climate sceptics [sic], for perspective, the ratio is 99% to 1%.

  48. #49 Stu
    August 25, 2010

    >The Climate Sceptics vote in the House of Reps was 317 parts, I mean votes, per million. It was a trace vote, surely too small to have any effect.

    What about parts per million by volume? I’ve always though that climate ‘sceptics’ are far too loud.

  49. #50 Brent
    August 25, 2010

    Hi, guys! I thought you might like to read the following by somebody called Caroline May:

    “This unquestioned adherence to the theory of Global Warming bears all the markings of what traditionally would be recognized as a religion. Complete with sin (the emitting of carbon dioxide), scriptures (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assessment reports), commandments (drive a Prius, use Compact Florescent Light bulbs, do not eat meat etc.), indulgences (carbon offsets), proselytism, prophets (Al Gore), priests (scientists), prophecy and apocalypse (floods, hurricanes, dead polar bears), infidels (Warming skeptics), and salvation (the halting of carbon emitting industrial progress) . . . .”

    Kinda puts it in a nutshell, eh?

    [Cue Jeff Sinecureblogger: "Hah! May is a mouthpiece for... grrr, how I hate them... Big Business." I wonder what Jeff's position is in this religion. Any suggestions?]

  50. #51 adelady
    August 25, 2010

    I neither know nor care who Caroline May might be. What I do know is that she had a deprived childhood.

    Anyone who thinks that “industrial progress” is forever and inextricably linked with “carbon emitting” was clearly not permitted to watch television cartoons. The vision of the Jetsons and others of their ilk whizzing about in unpolluted skies in silent but very spiffy vehicles was a definite pointer to alternative power sources.

  51. #52 Stu
    August 25, 2010

    Hi Brent! I thought you might like to read the following by somebody called Stu:

    Brent, you’re an idiot.

    That is all.

  52. #53 David Marjanović
    August 25, 2010

    Brent, make the evidence go away or shut up.

    Hint: denying its existence does not make it go away.

  53. #54 TrueSceptic
    August 25, 2010

    35 Dave R,

    Thanks. He doesn’t seem like a raving denialist though: just someone who’s expressing doubt and being too trusting of what he hears.

    I bet he’s never been shown the truth about Bellamy’s claims.

  54. #55 TrueSceptic
    August 25, 2010

    40 Bernard,

    It is worth bearing in mind that Moore is not a scientist and has no formal qualifications in, say, physics: he is very much in the British amateur tradition. For any not familiar with him or Sky at Night, see [here](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patrick_Moore).

  55. #56 chek
    August 25, 2010

    [Brent said:](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/08/the_church_of_monckton.php#comment-2750828) priests = scientists

    I think that tells us all we could ever need to know about your intellectual grasp of the real world, thanks Brent.

  56. #57 TrueSceptic
    August 25, 2010

    44 45 Wow,

    That’s something I was going to do. Has he replied to you?

  57. #58 Paul UK
    August 25, 2010

    Hi Brent@50

    >Caroline May: “This unquestioned adherence to the theory of Global Warming bears all the markings of what traditionally would be recognized as a religion. Complete with sin (the emitting of carbon dioxide), scriptures (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assessment reports), commandments (drive a Prius, use Compact Florescent Light bulbs, do not eat meat etc.), indulgences (carbon offsets), proselytism, prophets (Al Gore), priests (scientists), prophecy and apocalypse (floods, hurricanes, dead polar bears), infidels (Warming skeptics), and salvation (the halting of carbon emitting industrial progress) . . . .”

    Have you seen Caroline Notmays response?:

    “This unquestioned adherence to the theory of Global Cooling bears all the markings of what traditionally would be recognized as a dictatorship. Complete with forbidden ideas (punishment and harassment for discussing or researching global warming), thought police (scientists sacked, research establishments closed, funding to be halted), media manipulation (greenwash, bad science, lies), indulgences (drive gas guzzlers, private jets, chop down forests to produce the meat on their plates etc.), party propaganda officers (Monckton et al), partkom secretaries (economists, statisticians), propaganda (‘the others predict floods, hurricanes, dead polar bears, don’t believe them, you have never had it better’ or ‘people will die without fossil fuels’ or ‘CO2 is just a trace gas’ or ‘CO2 is just plant food’), democratic opposition (scientists and the vast majority of humanity), and 5 year plans (enjoy the ride, you don’t need to think beyond a few years, we’ll think for you) . . . .”

  58. #59 John
    August 25, 2010

    Is this the same Brent who admits that he doesn’t have any evidence to back up his chosen belief preaching about faith?

    Oh dear.

  59. #60 MFS
    August 25, 2010

    Brent,

    I thought you were quarantined in your very own thread…

    I find [your quote quite](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/08/the_church_of_monckton.php#comment-2750828) amusing, if I don’t quite see your point.

    Are you suggesting religious scriptures are well-researched pieces of scientific understanding based on provable and disprovable phenomena?

    The main difference to me as a scientist is that practically every piece of science that supports the view that the globe is warming, and our carbon burning is to blame, can be disproved. Yet this is mysteriously failing to happen, even as deniers like you await the second cooling (which still fails to materialise).

  60. #61 Brent
    August 25, 2010

    No, MFS, you misunderstand. Science and scientists are two different things.

    Science is… well, I was about to attempt a definition in my own words, and then I thought it better to ask you for your own definition. Please: be my guest.

    The definition of Scientist is changing fast. It used to mean: “One who practices science, who seeks to discover laws of nature, who disseminates his/her discoveries and has them validated by others, thereby adding to a unified and self-consistent corpus of knowledge.”

    It is coming to mean, “A member of a profession tarnished by infiltration of pseudoscientists who make unfalsifiable and alarmist prophesies based on a partial and selective use of the laws of physics.”

    MFS, if you truly are a scientist, the sooner you and your colleagues unhitch your wagon from the hokum peddlers the sooner your reputation will recover. What’s that quotation – “It enough for evil to triumph that good men stand back and do nothing” (something like). The public is fast realising that Global Warming’s a load of twaddle. Do yourself a favour and come over to our side.

    If somebody down the pub asks you what you do for a living, you’ll be able to hold your head up and say, “I’m a scientist, not to be confused with all those scaremongering climatological bullshitters who’ve been getting us a bad name!”

  61. #62 adelady
    August 25, 2010

    I’ll happily “come over to our side” one day, Brent.

    On that day I’ll be following the lead of the wonderful, inspired, Nobel-Prize-winning genius who’s proved all of the physics and related science to be mistaken – and not just mistaken, mistaken in a way that removes all of our concerns. (I’ll not be too thrilled if that genius proves we’ve been underestimating these dangers way too much.)

    Until your “side” has science on its side, I’ll stay right where I am.

  62. #63 Wow
    August 25, 2010

    “57

    44 45 Wow,

    That’s something I was going to do. Has he replied to you?

    Posted by: TrueSceptic”

    No, sent it off by snail mail.

    Won’t hear back for a while.

  63. #64 Paul UK
    August 25, 2010

    Brent:
    >”A member of a profession tarnished by infiltration of pseudoscientists who make unfalsifiable and alarmist prophesies based on a partial and selective use of the laws of physics.”

    A nice definition of Monckton, although I question the use of ‘profession’.

  64. #65 Paul UK
    August 25, 2010

    >The public is fast realising that Global Warming’s a load of twaddle. Do yourself a favour and come over to our side.

    You seem to suggest an interest in science, so what is this thing about ‘sides’?

    Surely science isn’t about sides, or are you creating sides for political purposes?

  65. #66 Donald Oats
    August 25, 2010

    The Sex Party beat them (the Climate Sceptics Party) presumably because the CSP had severe electile dysfunction. Even the Shooter’s Party came before them.

    Hopeless. And that is in spite of the national daily spending the last few years plugging the sceptic’s line for all its worth.

  66. #67 John
    August 25, 2010

    This is how Brent practises science:

    >I think we both believe that the sun is the major driver of climate, although explaining the precise mechanism lies in the future.

    Believe, Brent! Believe!

  67. #68 Brent
    August 25, 2010

    Paul UK @ #58: No, I hadn’t read Caroline Notmay’s response.

    I wasn’t aware of a Global Cooling movement. Unless we’re talking about the next ice age, I think any such movement would be as unwelcome as the IPCC. Apocalypse stories are as old as the hills; you’d think that modern man would be too sophisticated to fall for it every time (and the next one!), but it’s just human nature I guess.

    I also wasn’t aware of reserch establishments being closed down. Even if there were secret cabal of denialisti working in the Tindall Centre, holding meetings at remote beauty spots and posting lookouts in case the Met Office bosses sent snoopers, the conversations would go like this:

    “Hey, did you see that the Maldives government is holding cabinet meetings in scuba gear?!”

    “Yeah, they’ve swallowed the scare story big style.”

    “So, have you sold your cottage on the coast?”

    “No way, mate, it’s good for a few centuries yet. But I told the neighbour that the waves will be lapping round his ankles next year. He’s selling it to me at half price.”

    “Like the student in the Canterbury Tales! Brilliant! You bloody crook, you. Here’s another line we can borrow: The nuclear fusion boys say that there will be fusion power stations in fifty years. They’ve been saying it since 1960, and nobody calls their bluff!”

    For the Tindall boys to ‘come out’ would be writing their own P45, so I don’t jolly well think so!

  68. #69 Brent
    August 25, 2010

    John @ # 67:

    Yes, mate, scientists (and members of the public who follow science) cherish the unexplained. Take for example sunspot cycles: would you challenge the statement that the mechanism causing the cycles remains a mystery, and merits the recent investment in better observation satellites, and that our understanding will improve in future years, and we may even aspire to a full understanding in future decades or centuries?

    By the way, John, have the roads melted in your town yet? I just got back from Egypt, and they seem to take 50C in their stride. Makes you wonder what all these well-heeled westerners are winging about. Could it be a yearning for some pre-industrial golden age, where men were men and children got rickets?

  69. #70 chek
    August 25, 2010

    [Brent said:](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/08/the_church_of_monckton.php#comment-2751030) “you’d think that modern man would be too sophisticated to fall for it every time (and the next one!), but it’s just human nature I guess”.

    You sum yourself up succinctly Brent.
    You readily believe any old propaganda twaddle because you don’t have the chops to tell the difference between stories and facts.
    I reckon they could have you burning witches within a week, you’re that gullible.

  70. #71 Jeff Harvey
    August 25, 2010

    Brent,

    Its a shame I suggested that you read Simon Levin’s book. If you indeed have read it, your posts show that not one vestige of it has sunk into your head. Not that I expected it to…

    As for one of your earlier quips, I have revised it:

    “A member of a profession tarnished by infiltration of pseudoscientists who make unfalsifiable and denialist prophesies based on a partial and selective use of the laws of physics”.

    There. That’s better. You see, Brent, the vast majority of statured scientists are not denialists like you try and suggest. At the same time, with only a few exceptions, the vast majority of scientists who are denying AGW have very poor publication records with little in the way of citations. This is why some of them are household names: because there are so few of them. Why else would some of the denialists be well known when their scientific credentials are so thin? Scientific qualifications matter, and these are usually based on long publication records and many thousands of citations by our peers. You will be hard pressed to find more than a small handful of contrarians who exhibit such qualifications. If you can provide me with a list of scientists with many publications and citations I would be interested to see it. But until now you are mostly speaking out of your butt (you should be called ‘Passing Wind Mk II’).

    Basically, as most here knew here a long time ago, you do not really know much of what you are talking about. And your inability to grasp the thrust of Levin’s book (if indeed you read any of it) is proof of that.

  71. #72 Jeff Harvey
    August 25, 2010

    One last point for Brent:

    Are you suggesting for a second that conditions in Egypt are no problem because the locals can deal with it because these conditions are ‘normal’ there?

    If you are seriously suggesting this, then you are a lot more deluded than even I thought before. And it goes to show that Levin’s book was certainly way over your head. Let me put it more succinctly: if much of the planet’s surface was subjected to prolonged (or even short) bouts of 50 C temperatures, then we would be counting down the time in only years or months until our extinction. No question about it.

    If you have not figured out why this is so by now, then I think its a waste of my precious time explaining it to you. Let me just give you a hint: humans are not exempt from the laws of nature. Take it from there.

  72. #73 Brent
    August 25, 2010

    Jeff, I got half way through Levin’s book and stalled. Kept falling asleep. I won’t say that it made no sense, but ecology is a strange, soft sort of science, highly dependent on interpretation and outlook.

    I have a small confession here: when I recently read the statement (I forget by whom) that “All science is maths”, my instant reaction was to applaud the sheer ‘hardness’ of that proposition; the uncompromising idea that if you can’t measure it it ain’t there. But that knee-jerk was quickly followed by the thought that science is also qualitative and desciptive. One minor example would be the discovery of a certain ‘vector’ in medicine. That is a qualitative leap; until this mosquito or that contaminated well has been considered, there ain’t no maths to be done. So the idea that “all science is maths” is unacceptable.

    The problem I had with the ecology book you recommended, Jeff, was that there were no numbers. It was more like reading a descriptive text on poetry or history or media studies. People like you say things like, “The coelocanth is extinct: FACT”, followed by, “Ah, no, there’s one over there!” As a scene from Monty Python’s Life of Brian it works; as science it fails.

    I still think of ecology as a soft science, and that stripping it of its “ology” is fair. Let it henceforth be known as “ecography”. And as for “climatology”, let it henceforth be known as “bunkum”.

  73. #74 chek
    August 25, 2010

    Brent said(http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/08/the_church_of_monckton.php#comment-2751246) “I still think of ecology as a soft science, and that stripping it of its “ology” is fair. Let it henceforth be known as “ecography”. And as for “climatology”, let it henceforth be known as “bunkum”.

    You really couldn’t make up that degree of self-regarding stupid even as a parody.

    If you want a picture of the future according to Brent, imagine a moron stamping on his own face – forever.

  74. #75 Jeff Harvey
    August 25, 2010

    Brent,

    The book was made for lay readers like you. If you want maths, read Brian Maurer’s ‘Untangling Ecological Complexity’ or Stuart Pimm’s ‘The Balance of Nature’, amongst many other titles. Fragile Dominion takes what we know and tries to spell it out for those who want to better understand in basic terms what the conventional wisdom is on the the rules governing the assembly and functioning of ecosystems. The fact that you claim to fall asleep during reading says more about you than the contents of the book. It suggests that you really do not understand the challenges facing the scientific community in deciphering the huge array of factors underpinning the functioning of ecosystems, or of the importance of scale in these processes. Sure, I can suggest articles in many scientific journals and books that would be way over your head, if you want. But as you have no pedigree in the field I thought that I would start by suggesting an accessible read. Even this appears to be beyond your basic understanding.

    The book was reviewed by myself in Nature and by Sir Robert May in Science (both in 2000). Your critique, as I said, just says more about your intellectual limitations and inherent biases than any weakenesses that may occur in the book. It is an excellent attempt to bridge different disciplines in such as way as to show the reader what we know (and more importantly, what we don’t know) about ecological communities and ecosystems at the same time that we are nickel and diming many to death. It aslo explains why this is unwise, given our utter dependence on them.

    And far from being ‘soft science’, ecology is in reality perhaps the most complex of the life sciences because cause-and-effect relationships are decidedly non-linear. I have spoken with molecular biologists who are scared to death of ecology because of the complexity involved. Those who claim that ecology is ‘soft-science’ are, for the most part, clueless (you too, Brent, but no surprise there). You are also lazy. The empirical and theoretical literature are laden with studies in which the biodiversity-stability-ecosystem functioning debate is argued and discussed. You just haven’t bothered to look beyond the end of your nose.

    Your comments above, to be honest, reek of self-righteous arrogance, as if you are able to distinguish between sound and soft science. They have the Dunning-Kruger effect all over them. Some advice: before making asinine remarks about ecology I suggest that you go to a statured university and study the subject. You will soon realize that there is a lot to it; more than you think.

  75. #76 Marion Delgado
    August 25, 2010

    Over at Greenfyre on their latest Monckton thread “Lily in the Pink” they’ve got a veritable Monckton clone. Same style, same arguments, even. Probably a good insight into the mentality involved.

  76. #77 Richard Simons
    August 25, 2010

    Brent @ 73

    The problem I had with the ecology book you recommended, Jeff, was that there were no numbers. [. . .]

    I still think of ecology as a soft science, and that stripping it of its “ology” is fair.

    When I was an undergraduate in the late 60s, the seminars we had that were given by graduate ecology students were notorious for being heavy in maths (mainly principal component analysis).

    Your failure to find it suggests that you have not looked very far.

  77. #78 Ian Forrester
    August 25, 2010

    Brent said:

    The problem I had with the ecology book you recommended, Jeff, was that there were no numbers

    Oooh dear, poor Brent, someone gave him a copy without page numbers so he couldn’t use the Table of Contents or Index to find important features.

    However, Brent, I’m surprised that an individual of your self-procalimed intelligence was not able to offer a simple solution. Take a pencil, start at “page 1″ and write a “1″ on that page, continue to “page 2″ and so on.

    Viola, you now have “numbers”. Such a simple solution, I’m surprised you didn’t think of it yourself.

  78. #79 Paul UK
    August 25, 2010

    >Yes, mate, scientists (and members of the public who follow science) cherish the unexplained. Take for example sunspot cycles: would you challenge the statement that the mechanism causing the cycles remains a mystery, and merits the recent investment in better observation satellites, and that our understanding will improve in future years, and we may even aspire to a full understanding in future decades or centuries?

    In the context of climate science it isn’t directly required that we know why sunspots occur. The only requirement is know what radiation, fields etc directly/indirectly effect Earth and when they occur.

    In the long term however it would be useful to understand the Suns mechanisms better.

  79. #80 Paul UK
    August 25, 2010

    Brent:
    >I wasn’t aware of a Global Cooling movement.

    The point that was made, although you failed to understand, was that silly analogies can be made by anyone about anything, especially in the realms of politics and PR etc.

  80. #81 Paul UK
    August 25, 2010

    Brent:
    >By the way, John, have the roads melted in your town yet? I just got back from Egypt, and they seem to take 50C in their stride.

    1. What do you expect Earth to be like if the Northern Hemisphere had 50c temps for the large part of the year?
    What do you think the Tropics would be like?
    Do you understand the worlds weather system?

  81. #82 Brent
    August 25, 2010

    PaulUK: You ask me: “Do you understand the worlds weather system?”

    Yes.

  82. #83 Stu
    August 25, 2010

    Can you demonstrate that you do, Brent?

  83. #84 Paul UK
    August 25, 2010

    >PaulUK: You ask me: “Do you understand the worlds weather system?” Yes.

    Clearly you do not, otherwise you wouldn’t suggest that someone in Egypt dealing with 50c temperatures was relevant to climate or even weather in another part of the world.

  84. #85 clippo uk
    August 25, 2010

    re the Patrick Moore, yes there are 2 (maybe moore !!). The real anti AGW one is Dr Patrick Moore, a Canadian Ecologist who went over to the dark side, whereas the other, Sir Patrick Moore, is the well known but aged astronomer so famous on UK tv for his mannerisms. However, he is also a fervent supporter of UKIP (the United Kingdom Independence party) who, of course the deputy leader is currently Monckton. UKIP is currently going thro’ a leadership campaign & I believe Monckton is interetsed in leading.

    I dropped them about 6 years ago – bunch of nutters and the previous leadership under Nigel farage had strong open links to the EU version/branch of the CEI.

    Re David Bellamy, poor chap thought he’d been dumped by the Beeb because of his anti-AGW stance but I’m sure the media have investigated and found he was dumped long before any such utterance. So, he doesn’t know his own history.
    Finally, I was told long ago that he was dumped by the BBC because of ‘strange behaviour’ in Co. Durham. Not saying it was illegal or anything (I don’t know the details)but the BBC thought it innapropriate for , in effect, a childrens’ presenter

  85. #86 Paul UK
    August 25, 2010

    I believe Sir Patrick Moore the Astronomer who lives at Selsey Bill, is an AGW skeptic.

    Him and the other one are on this list:
    http://businessandmedia.org/specialreports/2007/globalwarming/SkepticalScientists.asp

    And i’m sure I have heard him made comments about it on the ‘Sky at Night’ once.
    He probably goes along with the cosmic ray hypothesis although I can’t be sure.

  86. #87 Paul UK
    August 25, 2010

    Actually that list I posted of Skeptical Scientists has Patrick Moore the Astronomer listed as a scientist, but he is an amateur!
    He has no formal science qualification. I’m not even sure he has any qualifications. It’s just the monocle and the fact he covered the Apollo moon shots in the 60s and 70s for TV, that everyone thinks he is some whiz.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A13785816

  87. #88 Wow
    August 25, 2010

    No, he has no academic qualifications. He has a few honorary positions, but that’s all.

    But astronomy (especially with webcams and widefield scopes for comet spotting) is still very much open to amateurs. As long as you have good skies. So the lack of any academic qualifications doesn’t really mean anything within this sphere.

    It’s just that Patrick is operating out of his sphere.

  88. #89 Jeremy C
    August 25, 2010

    Look don’t pile into Sir Patrick just because he has swollowed the denier guff, if indeed he has.

    I have always enjoyed The Sky at Night and as to saying he is an amateur astromoner yes thats true but if he was a dodo he wouldn’t have had the long line of professional astronomers from everywhere lining up to appear on his program this past fifty years. And if I remember the program does have a list of firsts such as snaffling the first photos off the Russians of the far side of the moon back in, was it, 1959.

    However, if you really want something funny the Two Ronnies did a fantastic skit sending up the Sky at Night about 30 years ago. I saw it as a boy but can still remember how funny it was.

  89. #90 John
    August 25, 2010

    So global warming will only be a problem when the roads start melting.

  90. #91 John
    August 25, 2010

    And “cherishing the unexplained” is a nonsense excuse. Essentially you have faith in a belief you have no evidence for. We have a scientific theory described by you as “logical” and “watertight”, backed by records deemed “trustwothy”. Who’s religious now?

  91. #92 Lotharsson
    August 25, 2010

    Tim, it seems like Brent hasn’t learnt a damn thing in his own special thread, so I don’t see the point of letting him post freely now.

    > And “cherishing the unexplained” is a nonsense excuse.

    I don’t believe it’s accurate either.

    Scientists cherish *explaining the previously unexplained* – what the heck do you think motivates them? The ongoing *existence* of the unexplained can be downright annoying – and even personally offensive – to them!

  92. #93 Wow
    August 26, 2010

    “Look don’t pile into Sir Patrick just because he has swollowed the denier guff, if indeed he has.”

    He’s being “piled into” (IMO no such thing is happening) because he’s not thinking. He knows, as an astronomer, many things that support the science that leads to AGW. Contrarians are overwhelmingly proclaiming these things Patrick KNOWS to be true as false (this is why we call them deniers as opposed to skeptics), so he should be able to see where the truth is being killed off. But still he buys into their spiel.

    If he doesn’t seem to be willing to admit his knowledge applies, then he’s going to deserve to be piled into, just as Roy Spencer does for his faith, because like Roy he’d be willing to ignore what he knows if it leads to something he doesn’t like.

    (note: I have NO PROBLEM with Roy Spencer having faith, but when he abandons science if it disagrees with his faith, he’s not a scientist. Look at the Guardian article on skepticalscience and how Cook is religious: he’ll accept science as What God Did.)

  93. #94 Wow
    August 26, 2010

    “and as to saying he is an amateur astromoner yes thats true but if he was a dodo he wouldn’t have had the long line of professional astronomers from everywhere lining up”

    False equivalence, Jeremy.

    This is the same line of reasoning I think Patrick is going in to when he takes Bellamy’s side of the story (which can be shown completely false by looking at the public record: IIRC someone in the Independent did just that) and why Frank Dyson is being listened to on climate.

    Frany Dyson is a clever physicist. But he’s not a climatologist and he lets what he does know blind him to the possibility of what he doesn’t know.

    And, again, this could be something Patrick is suffering under and why I’ve written what an astronomer knows that abuts the climate sciences.

    ‘course he gets a lot of mail and the message may not be written in a way that gets through to him, so anyone else (including True Sceptic), go have a go showing him too.

    At some point he’ll have to admit

    a) there’s something to the climate science and AGW
    b) that if there IS a sacred cow, the denialists are the ones starving people looking for a beefburger

    or refuse to accept what he knows. At which point he’d be in denial.

  94. #95 Michael
    August 26, 2010

    Donald @ 63;
    “The Sex Party beat them (the Climate Sceptics Party) presumably because the CSP had severe electile dysfunction. Even the Shooter’s Party came before them.”

    So the SP had premature election?

  95. #96 Jeremy C
    August 26, 2010

    No, but the CSP is clearly suffering from a case of countous interruptus.

  96. #97 Eli Rabett
    August 26, 2010

    viscoutous corrruptus

  97. #98 Brent
    August 26, 2010

    Paul UK @ #56: No, I hadn’t read Caroline Notmay’s response.

    I wasn’t aware of a Global Cooling movement. Unless we’re talking about the next ice age, I think any such movement would be as unwelcome as the IPCC. Apocalypse stories are as old as the hills; you’d think that modern man would be too sophisticated to fall for it every time (and the next one!), but it’s just human nature I guess.

    I also wasn’t aware of reserch establishments being closed down. Even if there were secret cabal of denialisti working in the Tindall Centre, holding meetings at remote beauty spots and posting lookouts in case the Met Office bosses sent snoopers, the conversations would go like this:

    “Hey, did you see that the Maldives government is holding cabinet meetings in scuba gear?!”

    “Yeah, they’ve swallowed the scare story big style.”

    “So, have you sold your cottage on the coast?”

    “No way, mate, it’s good for a few centuries yet. But I told the neighbour that the waves will be lapping round his ankles next year. He’s selling it to me at half price.”

    “Like the student in the Canterbury Tales! Brilliant! You bloody crook, you. Here’s another line we can borrow: The nuclear fusion boys say that there will be fusion power stations in fifty years. They’ve been saying it since 1960, and nobody calls their bluff!”

    For the Tindall boys to ‘come out’ would be writing their own P45, so I don’t jolly well think so!

  98. #99 Brent
    August 26, 2010

    Ian Forrester (#72),

    No, the pages in Simon Levin’s ecography book were numbered. That wasn’t the problem. The ‘science’ was all descriptive, rather like that Monty Python sketch where the lady asserted that “dinosaurs are thin at one end, much much thicker in the middle, and thin again at the other end”. Whilst this may be true, it is not “useful” science, and I have a problem with so-called scientists who make grand qualitative pronouncements but are careful to avoid falsifiability criteria.

    Back on the “Empirical Evidence” thread we agreed on such criteria – both ways: based on annual average GISS temperature in coming years(AAGISST for short):

    We said that, in coming years: (i) If on two occasions, AAGIST anomaly > 0.75C – Warmists win. (ii) If on two occasions, AAGISST anomaly < 0.35C – Denialists win.

    We sceptics are a rational bunch, and it’s normal for us to agree conditions under which we would declare defeat; I was grateful – and a tad surprised – for unsceptics signing up to such clear-cut criteria. Either the world is heating up catastrophically or it ain’t. The sooner we all agree which is the case the better.

    By the way, my earlier comment about the Egyptians coping with 50C was partly due to a BBC documentary in which academic ‘experts’ asserted that if UK temperatures rose by 6C the emergency services would be paralysed by melting roads. Alarmist, wouldn’t you agree?!

  99. #100 chek
    August 26, 2010

    [Brent said:](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/08/the_church_of_monckton.php#comment-2754741) By the way, my earlier comment about the Egyptians coping with 50C was partly due to a BBC documentary in which academic ‘experts’ asserted that if UK temperatures rose by 6C the emergency services would be paralysed by melting roads. Alarmist, wouldn’t you agree?!

    Having consulted my experts Brent, they find you a simple-minded buffoon with no grasp of straightforward concepts such as ‘abnormal conditions’ and ‘non-instantaneous adaptation’ or ‘secondary consequences’.
    Having experienced your unceasing pillockry for several months I have to admit I’m inclined to agree with them.