Monckton uses a sock puppet

i-2a02f2d7602239b6e886a15db9df99d1-Carlb-sockpuppet-02.jpg

The Climate Science Rapid Response Team received a verbose query from Abu Ali Al-Hussain who oddly enough, sounded exactly like Christopher Monckton.

I liked this bit from Monckton’s sock:

The IPCC has been making long-term predictions of future climate states on the basis of modeling: yet its 2001 Third Assessment Report says that the climate is a complex, non-linear, chaotic object, so that the prediction of future climate states is not possible.

The Third Assessment Report did not say that predication of climate was not possible, but rather:

A complex, non-linear system may display what is technically called chaotic behaviour. This means that the behaviour of the system is critically dependent on very small changes of the initial conditions. This does not imply, however, that the behaviour of non-linear chaotic systems is entirely unpredictable, contrary to what is meant by “chaotic” in colloquial language. It has, however, consequences for the nature of its variability and the predictability of its variations. The daily weather is a good example. The evolution of weather systems responsible for the daily weather is governed by such non-linear chaotic dynamics. This does not preclude successful weather prediction, but its predictability is limited to a period of at most two weeks. Similarly, although the climate system is highly non-linear, the quasi-linear response of many models to present and predicted levels of external radiative forcing suggests that the large-scale aspects of human-induced climate change may be predictable, although as discussed in Section 1.3.2 below, unpredictable behaviour of non-linear systems can never be ruled out. The predictability of the climate system is discussed in Chapter 7.

Comments

  1. #1 Axel
    May 1, 2011

    Sadly Mr. Lambert, you are a hair-splitting, nit-picking pedant. What Monckton said, and the IPCC reported over the matter of chaotic systems amopunts to the same thing.

    It is pretty desperate stuff on your part to try and make some major big deal out Monckton’s statement. Is this the best you can come up with? Looks like you might lose your grant, or even your tenure, if Tony Abbott has anything to say about hokum peddlers like you. It’s time for you to face facts, and start speaking the truth.

  2. #2 cbp
    May 1, 2011

    Monckton: “the climate is a complex, non-linear, chaotic object, so that the prediction of future climate states is not possible”

    IPCC: “… This does not imply, however, that the behaviour of non-linear chaotic systems is entirely unpredictable”

    @Alex, care to explain how exactly these two positions amopunt to the same thing?

  3. #3 Ben Lawson
    May 1, 2011

    Yes “Axel”, in place of those “hair-splitting, nit-picking” statements from scientists, let’s have more sweeping falsehoods from towering intellects like Monckton’s. Quite right.

  4. #4 Mike
    May 1, 2011

    @2. Damn! You beat me to it! I was going to quote those exact same two lines.

    I’m pretty certain it was in junior primary school where we first started doing english comprehension in class, which included answering questions about what was exactly said in a particular section of text.

    I’m thinking Axel missed those classes.

  5. #5 Douglas McClean
    May 1, 2011

    Are Axel, Monckton, and the supposed sock puppet all intending to endorse the “climate is unpredictable because its nonlinear, so no worry forcing it away from the state that has sustained agricultural civilization, because hey, who can say what will happen”?

  6. #6 David Horton
    May 1, 2011

    And I love the threat – “Looks like you might lose your grant, or even your tenure, if Tony Abbott has anything to say about hokum peddlers like you”. Trouble is he is probably right!

  7. #7 Ben S
    May 1, 2011

    [...] we think it more appropriate to refer you to someone with an equally profound mis-apprehension of these same issues.

    Quote of the day.

  8. #8 Ender
    May 1, 2011

    Axel – “Looks like you might lose your grant, or even your tenure, if Tony Abbott has anything to say about hokum peddlers like you. It’s time for you to face facts, and start speaking the truth.”

    Is Tony Abbot the leader of Tea Party of Australia now?

    Not that it really matter however perhaps when the deniers get in charge are we going to have a purge of scientists?

    Mind you I can’t see the difference. Is it better to be governed by people who ‘accept’ the reality of climate change and then do nothing about it (Labor) or by climate change deniers that still do nothing about it?

    Either way nothing gets done and the coal and mineral lobbyists break out the champagne.

  9. #9 bill
    May 1, 2011

    Ah, Tony Abbott, great white hope of the angry and the terminally bewildered across the country!

    ‘prediction… is not possible’

    ‘not… entirely unpredictable’

    Yep, in Abbott World these 2 statements are certainly identical! Or not. As required.

    It’s the great man’s great loss (and, who knows, possibly Alex’s?) that he was not born an American citizen, and so has missed the opportunity of participating in the glory that is the current Republican Congress, and body in which he would feel entirely – indeed, spiritually – at home…

  10. #10 Lotharsson
    May 1, 2011

    For those not in the know, it might be relevant to note that the Climate Science Rapid Response Team says of itself:

    > The Climate Science Rapid Response Team is a match-making service to connect climate scientists with lawmakers and the media. The group is committed to providing rapid, high-quality information to media and government officials. To use the service, requesters use the inquiry form to identify themselves, pose their question and provide a deadline for the response. That information is then immediately sent to Dr. John Abraham, Dr. Ray Weymann, and me.

    Note that first name – John Abraham is the name of the Professor of Thermal Sciences who famously [reviewed many of Monckton's claims](http://www.stthomas.edu/engineering/jpabraham/) and found them wanting, leading Monckton to [respond inappropriately, demand financial compensation and censorship of the presentation along with other unsavoury retaliatory measures](http://www.skepticalscience.com/Monckton-tries-to-censor-John-Abraham.html) in addition to [ineffectively blustering that Abraham was wrong](http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/georgemonbiot/2010/jul/14/monckton-john-abraham).

    It would be irresponsible not to speculate that (a) Monckton holds a grudge and (b) thought he had a clever way to entrap Abraham via his sockpuppet. Of course, it would only be clever if Monckton was right that Abraham was wrong – and it would be fair to say sans speculation that Monckton has not been the sharpest tool in the shed for determining correctness of scientific propositions.

    Lovely chap, that Monckton, eh what?

    Oh, and Monckton still appears to be taking climate science lessons from local clueless troll Brent – insisting that the Central England Temperature Record is a suitable proxy for global temperature anomalies.

    Add “twit” to “lovely chap”.

  11. #11 Alan
    May 1, 2011

    I don’t know the date of my death, hence I am immortal.

  12. #12 ChrisC
    May 1, 2011

    Axel@1

    Looks like you might lose your grant, or even your tenure, if Tony Abbott has anything to say about hokum peddlers like you.

    Tim is a computer scientist at UNSW who blogs on climate in his spare time. As far as I’m aware, he’s not involved in professional climate research, which makes it all the more amusing that he’s able to so easily squash the various idiocy offered up by the likes of Monckton and yourself.

    I’m assuming that UNSW is happy with Tim’s performance, as they appear to have kept him on staff for a while. So exactly why is Tony Abbott going to be sacking Tim now? I thought is was us evil climate researchers who were suppressing free speech and firing “heretical” skeptics? Is correctly quoting IPCC documents a dismissible offence these days? Will Tony Abbott be taking over all staffing decisions at UNSW, or will all ARC grants now be subject to Mr. Abbott’s approval?

  13. #13 john byatt
    May 1, 2011

    john byatt says:
    1 May 2011 at 8:33 PM
    Any Australians, please lodge an official complaint re this Breach of code of practice at ABC , Ted Lapkin has distorted Stephan Schneider’s call for honesty into a call for dishonesty,

    Code: others viewpoints must not be misrepresented,

    http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/387130.html

    [Response: Of course, it won't be the first time people have made false claims about Steve's views.--eric]

    john byatt says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    1 May 2011 at 9:09 PM
    Anyone wishing to swamp, yes i mean swamp the abc with complaints re #65

    can in the first instance do so here, enough is enough

    http://www.abc.net.au/contact/complain.htm

  14. #14 Chris O'Neill
    May 2, 2011

    Sadly Mr. Lambert, you are a hair-splitting, nit-picking pedant.

    Sorry Axel, that job has already gone to climate science denialists.

  15. #15 Harald Korneliussen
    May 2, 2011

    What is “amopunting”, and why doesn’t Axel, who valiantly leapt in with a first comment full of insults, got his own thread yet?

  16. #16 Lotharsson
    May 2, 2011

    > What is “amopunting”,…

    When you haven’t got any decent logic or evidence in your armoury, so you desperately punt some bullshit over the opposition’s heads and hope that it will distract them long enough to forget that you don’t have a leg to stand on…and your best remaining ammo is actually excrement?

  17. #17 Lotharsson
    May 2, 2011

    I’m guessing Monckton may have taken online [social interaction lessons from Scott Adams](http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2011/04/why_sockpuppetry_is_stupid.php). Perhaps because they both exhibit some similar personality … er, attributes?

  18. #18 Chris O'Neill
    May 2, 2011

    Is it better to be governed by people who ‘accept’ the reality of climate change and then do nothing about it (Labor)

    They would have done something about it if they really were the government. Trouble is, the Labor party wasn’t really the government.

  19. #19 Lars Karlsson
    May 2, 2011

    It could be worth quoting the passage from IPCC TAR Ch 14 Advancing our understanding, Executive Summary, which is so popular among quote mining deniers, in its entirety:

    “* Improve methods to quantify uncertainties of climate projections and scenarios, including development and exploration of long-term ensemble simulations using complex models. The climate system is a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible. Rather the focus must be upon the prediction of the probability distribution of the system’s future possible states by the generation of ensembles of model solutions. Addressing adequately the statistical nature of climate is computationally intensive and requires the application of new methods of model diagnosis, but such statistical information is essential.”

  20. #20 Dylan
    May 2, 2011

    Axel:
    >It is pretty desperate stuff on your part to try and make some major big deal out Monckton’s statement.

    Surely you mean Ali Abu Al-Hussein’s statement?

  21. #21 MItch
    May 2, 2011

    I always wonder about people that quote AR3 when AR4 is available. Here is an appropriate quote in answer from AR4 Ch1:

    To put it another way, long-term variations brought about by changes in the composition of the atmosphere are much more predictable than individual weather events. As an example, while we cannot predict the outcome of a single coin toss or roll of the dice, we can predict the statistical behaviour of a large number of such trials.

  22. #22 mistermuz
    May 2, 2011

    Amopunting sounds like some brilliantly nonsensical Victorian pastime cooked up by Lewis Carol.
    It should be invoked every time Monckton spouts off ad nauseum.
    Eg. At the appearance of a new absurd Monckton quote, instead of exhausting ones self in pointless rebuttal simply post “I say! Who’s for a jolly good spot of amopunting?” to which others add “Oh raather!”, “Pip Pip old boy” and so on. Or use it as a term in itself “Monckton’s latest amopunting”, “This is the worst amopunting yet”, “Archbishop Pell is amopunting with the best of them” etc.

  23. #23 kermit
    May 2, 2011

    Axel, if I have a kilogram of ball bearings in a can, and one of them is painted red, and an open topped box in front of me, I can pour the ball bearings into the box. I cannot predict where the red ball bearing will end up – it’s a chaotic system, and many small initial conditions will profoundly affect its journey (even though the physics of it is quite simple). But I will know *precisely how much mass the box will gain, and will know quite a bit about its changed behavior afterward.

    Weather forecast is predicting specific events and intensities at a particular location for a particular date – rather like the location of the red ball bearing. But we know quite a bit about the changes in the system as a whole, because of the changes in proportions of chemicals and heat in the system. These are not just models, BTW – it’s observable now, or haven’t you been watching the news for the last couple of years?

    Are you smart enough to be actually paid money by the Koch brothers and their ilk, or have you been snookered into shilling for them for free?

  24. #24 J Bowers
    May 2, 2011

    cbp — Monckton: “the climate is a complex, non-linear, chaotic object, so that the prediction of future climate states is not possible”

    The climate may well be chaotic, but it has a signal. Monckton’s made this kind of “mistake” before. In one of his videos he states (5:40) “…there may be certain, what they call, dynamical effects. That means very sudden and very dramatic losses of…sea ice…” …not.

  25. #25 spyder
    May 2, 2011

    Alex: sprezzatura or sock puppet?

  26. #26 Lotharsson
    May 2, 2011

    Sprezzatura, Alex is not. He sounds too forced, too spiky, insufficiently casual and nonchalant and with a lack of even the veneer of apparent expertise. Lovely word though – thanks :-)

    But I have been wondering if Monckton himself might try to sockpuppet this thread, or even comment as himself. For a while on some of the forums I frequented it seemed like he turned up anywhere he was critiqued in rather short order.

  27. #27 James Haughton
    May 2, 2011

    I just reread the Potty Peer’s wikipedia page and discovered that he is a “liveryman of the [Worshipful Company of Broderers](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Worshipful_Company_of_Broderers).
    Presumably this is due to his penchant for embrodering the truth.

  28. #28 Vince whirlwind
    May 2, 2011

    @26, Lotharsson – Don’t we *all* start every new day with a quick vanity-google?

  29. #29 Lotharsson
    May 2, 2011

    Vince – LOL!

  30. #30 paulmurray
    May 3, 2011

    “Is Tony Abbot the leader of Tea Party of Australia now?”

    Yes. The Tea Party, as an organisation, doesn’t exist – it’s simply a name for republican voters in the USA. They invented the name to try to disassociate the official party from the batshit lunacy that makes up it’s base.

    Tony Abbot is leader of the opposition conservative party.

  31. #31 ianam
    May 3, 2011

    This thread is such crap. The IPCC did in fact say just what Monckton’s sock said they said, with the omission of “long-term”. But the ability or inability to predict some future “climate state” (i.e., “the weather”) is not at all relevant to the issues at hand.

  32. #32 Chris O'Neill
    May 3, 2011

    ianam is such a crap liar.

  33. #33 jakerman
    May 4, 2011

    Ianam you’re just wrong.

    Monckton:

    >*Third Assessment Report says that the climate is a complex, non-linear, chaotic object, **so that the prediction of future climate states is not possible.***

    TAR:

    >the behaviour of the system is critically dependent on very small changes of the initial conditions. This does not imply, however, that the behaviour of non-linear chaotic systems is entirely unpredictable… although the climate system is highly non-linear, the quasi-linear response of many models to present and predicted levels of external radiative forcing suggests that the large-scale aspects of human-induced climate change may be predictable, although as discussed in Section 1.3.2 below, unpredictable behaviour of non-linear systems can never be ruled out. The predictability of the climate system is discussed in Chapter 7.

  34. #34 Lars Karlsson
    May 4, 2011

    If Monckton is talking about prediction of specific future states (as opposed to statistics of such states), then it is actually the first part of his claim that is a lie:

    “The IPCC has been making long-term predictions of future climate states on the basis of modeling:…”

  35. #35 Jeremy C
    May 4, 2011

    The Pinker Moment 2011

    With Monckton’s upcoming Australian tour are there going to be those quasi live ‘debates’ and will people be fielded to oppose him? I don’t mean Tim’s takedown (Pinker anyone….) but things such as Monckton’s appearance on Channel 7’s Sunrise where he used his motormouth technique to browbeat a climate scientist – you know where Monckton speaks so fast it seems he knows what he is talking about and its not till you go over what he has said that you find its all wrong but it sounds really impressive.

    The stunt I’d like to see pulled on Monckton on one of these live TV shows is while Monckton is in full flight for the person opposite him to calmly pour out a glass of DDT. This person would then say to the presenters how Monckton says its harmless to drink and challenge Monckton to drink it then and there.

    Now Monckton will immediately deny that he ever, ever said any such thing so another prop that will be needed would be a tablet computer with a soundbite of Monckton saying DDT is harmless (I’m assuming he has said this somewhere at sometime) and this is played back very loudly so the lapel mics pick it up.

    Tim showed that the only way to expose Monckton in public is through good preparation so thats why I think people need to start thinking now about his trip.

    Perhaps asking Monckton on air how his cure for aids is coming might be a quick way to shut him up. However again you will need documentary evidence that can be played back then and there because he will deny it.

  36. #36 Bernard J.
    May 4, 2011

    Jeremy C.

    What you are asking for is an interview similar to [the one where Tony Jones skewered Ian Plimer on Lateline](http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2009/s2772906.htm).

    I’d dearly love to see Monckton sitting opposite Jones. Perhaps the regular gentlefolk of Deltoid could propose a second interview subject to debate Monckton on Lateline, and we could then select a shortlist to take to the ABC for their consideration…

  37. #37 Rick Bradford
    May 4, 2011

    Perhaps this time around, the caring and sharing posters here can mobilise to achieve their stated desire to “show up with a bucket of DDT” so that “The Lord [Monckton] could guzzle some DDT”, though I don’t think Christopher Booker is coming, so getting him to “pamper himself with some white asbestos” may have to wait.

  38. #38 Eli Rabett
    May 4, 2011

    Bring a chess clock to any discussion with Monckton or Morano.

  39. #39 Jeremy C
    May 4, 2011

    Bernard,
    The Plimer, Monbiot, Jones three way stands head and shoulders above any media tangle with deniers to date. The trouble with dealing with Monckton is he is a much better snake oil salesman than people like Plimer and I guess he would not let himself get into a similar situation to that Lateline interview.

    Remember, as soon as he opens his mouth in public he lies, don’t forget when Tim took him on the first thing Monckton did was grab the audiences attention with mock humblenss to ‘congratulate’ Tim to be the first person to ‘debate’ on AGW, ever. The crowd appluaded loudly not realising he had just told them a very big porkie, in his first sentence. It was very, very clever, very, very well executed and he had the audience in the palm of his hand.

  40. #40 savemejeebus
    May 4, 2011

    OT, but I thought I’d share a scene from Erik the Viking:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d8IBnfkcrsM

  41. #41 Vince whirlwind
    May 4, 2011

    You can’t compare Plimer and Monckton.

    I don’t know what happened to Plimer, but he’s an otherwise well-respected member of Australia’s scientific community with a long history of teaching and mentoring many in the science community.

    Monckton is nothing of the sort – he’s an untrained attention-seeking kook who’s never contributed to anything worthwhile to any community. I’m not sure why Jones would bother, but if he did it would just be a joke.

  42. #42 Wow
    May 5, 2011

    Vince, Plimer is a nut too. He’s a scientifically trained nut as opposed to a journalism trained nut, but still a nut.

    He’s also an attention whore too.

    The differences are pretty miniscule.

    PS what’s needed in any discussion in front of the public is a bunch of people with recorders and access to the internet and some compositing software off screen.

    Take a recording of Monckton’s statements. Check up on them and if you can get video of his lies add them to the recording of his false statement.

    Then, when collected, put it up on display for the public to see.

    Monckton relies on people not having time to check up on what porkies he makes (this is the entire point of the gish gallop). Remove that assumption and he’s a far less able liar than you’d expect.

  43. #43 Mike
    May 5, 2011

    I think the differences between Plimer and Monckton vary hugely depending on what aspect you’re talking about.

    Monckton is well-spoken but seems to be just plain batshit crazy of the “would be better off in a padded cell” variety, whereas Plimer I think is a lot more complex (and quite sane). How, despite being very well educated in science, Plimer has managed to dig such a hole for himself (and his reputation) would make a good PhD psych thesis. You’d think a university Professor of Plimer’s status would take extra precautionary research steps before putting a “science” book riddled with errors into print for everyone to preserve for posterity and say “wow – I wonder what went on inside Plimer’s head way back then?”.

  44. #44 Wow
    May 5, 2011

    > How, despite being very well educated in science, Plimer has managed to dig such a hole for himself (and his reputation) would make a good PhD psych thesis.

    Being nuts would do it.

    :-)

  45. #45 rhwombat
    May 5, 2011

    Actually Wow, I think that age and ego may do it in some otherwise sane and competent people. I’ve witnessed the effect in a few eminent academics (including my own father): an otherwise open and enquiring mind becomes more and more parochial and defensive as they fall off the wave front. On the other hand some, like Frank Fenner or Marc Oliphant, became more radical and clear-sighted as they aged: retaining their marbles gave them very long perspectives and fewer inhibitions about discussing them with all and sundry (including young whipper-snapers like me). BTW is there something about Adelaide here? All of the examples that come to my mind hail from the self-styled Athens of the South! Probably just selection bias and parochialism on my part…though that doesn’t explain Plimer’s decent.

  46. #46 Marion Delgado
    May 5, 2011

    That Monckton can hold any idea beyond a couple of minutes, even a grudge, raises my opinion of him, greatly.

  47. #47 peterd
    May 6, 2011

    Mike@43: I’m inclined to agree that Plimer is sane (and complex). I think though that he becomes obsessed by “causes”, to the point that he loses perspective. A case in point is the book “Telling Lies for God”, with its repetitious hammering away at creationists. The loss of perspective comes about when you mortgage your house to mount a law suit against people who “tell lies for God”. Down that path, ruin beckons.

  48. #48 Wow
    May 6, 2011

    > Actually Wow, I think that age and ego may do it in some otherwise sane and competent people

    And what turns people nuts? They operate a long time in society and therefore could be called otherwise sane (competency has no bearing on sanity). But something gets them. Maybe like David Ike, the idea that we are invaded by lizard aliens who are taking charge. That’s nuts. But he’s an otherwise sane and competent person.

    Insanity isn’t running around gibbering insanely 100% of the time.

  49. #49 Chris O'Neill
    May 6, 2011

    Jeremy C:

    The trouble with dealing with Monckton is he is a much better snake oil salesman than people like Plimer

    That’s why a skilled interviewer like Jones is needed.

    and I guess he would not let himself get into a similar situation to that Lateline interview.

    I guess an interview would have to be based on something/s Monckton has published so it wouldn’t be an open-ended debate as he normally does. Perhaps he would get out the similar situation by refusing an interview.

  50. #50 Jeremy C
    May 6, 2011

    Chris,

    Good point. You get the impression that Monckton knows he is relying on the gift of the gab so he may not let himself get into a situation similar to that Plimer faced on Lateline with Jones and Monbiot (I wanna go to a Monbiot event here in London sometime wearing a T shirt with the immortal words, “ill breeding” blazoned across it) e.g. look at how Tim caught Monckton out and the resulting howls of outrage from the deniers foot soldiers across the blogosphere for months afterwards. Going up against that guy Koch on Ch 7’s Sunrise with his ADT mouth is an easy stretch for Monckton.

    But seriously, Monckton’s tour highlights an advantage the deniers have created in Australia which is their evangelistic efforts to go to communities across the country and shape their propaganda to the people in the communities so as to cultivate an ongoing resentment and opposition to the science of AGW. I think a lot of people trying to deal with AGW are missing this trick e.g. it must be very exciting to be chosen to go to one of the seminars that Al Gore ran in Australia to be trained in how to talk about AGW and persuade people. The problem is (and I am not, not blaming Gore’s sterling efforts) is that people come away from such things with high expectations of dealing with people at high policy and decision taking levels in Australia and would find it hard to consider trudging between dingy progress halls in dusty towns across districts like the Riverina and else where to talk with groups of suspicious locals about AGWand the risks we are running with it who might just scoff and interject. Much more exciting is having a meeting with some middle ranking executive on the 25 th floor of a glass tower in Sydney’s CBD who agrees with you on every point you make on AGW but who only does what they are told anyway.

  51. #51 rhwombat
    May 6, 2011

    Wow: Sanity is a legal concept, not a clinical one. Nuts is neither. I agree that Plimer is an attention whore, as is Monckton, but Monckton never had credibility, whereas Plimer did, within his field. When he first took on the pious hypocrites outside his discipline, many applauded the effort (if not the execution), but when he became both addicted to the attention AND convinced that he had a valid contrarian point, he lost perspective and made a public fool of himself. I suppose that could qualify as nuts, but, if so, of a very different scale and degree of venality to that of Monckton. Macadamias vs coconuts perhaps. BTW, in my (fairly extensive) experience of those scheduled under the Mental Health Act, very few are either conventionally competent or “gibbering insanely 100% of the time” (unless, perhaps, they have an hereditary peerage and self-treated Grave’s disease.

  52. #52 Rick Bradford
    May 6, 2011

    There’s no need for a reappraisal on Monckton.

    I’m sure the views of people here won’t have changed since last year, when, apart from wanting him to guzzle DDT, you characterized him as: “unqualified liar and fraud … pathological liar … two-bit rhetoric whore … egotistic charlatan and fraud … upperclass twit of the decade … potty peer … mischief-making clown …” who “will lie through his teeth” to his audience of “crackpots … the nutty and the paranoid … angry retired men with nothing productive to do on a Friday afternoon.”

    In short, the standard measured Left/Green response to anyone who dares to disagree with them.

  53. #53 Donald Oats
    May 6, 2011

    People like Monckton need strong and preferably different opponents at each and every townhall, country pub, and church building where he plies his trade. If he loses traction at a few such meetings in a string, then he may lose confidence. That makes it easier for the next opponent, so long as they are well prepared.

    Trouble is, Monckton knows his craft – rhetoric – and consequently is adept at deflection and redirection as means of regaining control of the audience. It takes a very experienced public speaker to stand a good chance of blunting that behaviour.

    Ian Plimer has a less effective method of rhetoric, and gets rattled a fair bit easier than Monckton – not a pushover though, which is what makes the Monbiot, Plimer, and Tony Jones Lateline interview so incredible to watch (the transcript gives no hint to the excellence of the video). I’d pay money to see a similar takedown of Monckton on national TV by a journalist :-)

  54. #54 Wow
    May 6, 2011

    The other alternative is just to state things with absolute confidence at those meetings.

    When he asked “Does anyone know what $SOME_FIGURE is to three decimal places”, someone ought to have said “3.0956. Does that have enough decimal places for you?”.

  55. #55 Wow
    May 6, 2011

    > Wow: Sanity is a legal concept, not a clinical one. Nuts is neither.

    Yes, “nuts” is a colloquialism. It can also mean the seed of certain trees and shrubs if you’re a biologist. Luckily I closed my eyes before the great blinding flash of the obvious hit me.

    > but Monckton never had credibility

    Sorry, he had plenty. Among the credulous denialists, but he had credibility. He’s losing it because he’s getting even more nuts as time goes by.

    > I suppose that could qualify as nuts, but, if so, of a very different scale and degree of venality to that of Monckton

    Yes, Monkton was nuts to begin with. Of that there is no doubt.

    But this may be nothing more than a paraphrasing of Scrooge. Monkton was in Maggie Thatchers government as an aide and he got attention. How do we know that he wasn’t as sane as Plimer and just got addicted to the attention?

    Again, there’s not a lot of difference between the two. Both went nuts. Plimer almost definitely because of the attention, Monckton got attention long before he got notoriety, therefore it’s much harder to ascertain, but it’s certainly possible.

    And Monckton is more nuts than Plimer, but this is rather like saying that Geoff Capes is not as strong as Hulk Hogan. Both make the ordinary punter look wimpy (or sane) in comparison.

  56. #56 John
    May 6, 2011

    >I’m sure the views of people here won’t have changed since last year, when, apart from wanting him to guzzle DDT, you characterized him as: “unqualified liar and fraud … pathological liar … two-bit rhetoric whore … egotistic charlatan and fraud … upperclass twit of the decade … potty peer … mischief-making clown …” who “will lie through his teeth” to his audience of “crackpots … the nutty and the paranoid … angry retired men with nothing productive to do on a Friday afternoon.”

    And what about those statements is untrue?

  57. #57 John
    May 6, 2011

    >I’m sure the views of people here won’t have changed since last year, when, apart from wanting him to guzzle DDT, you characterized him as: “unqualified liar and fraud … pathological liar … two-bit rhetoric whore … egotistic charlatan and fra*d … upperclass twit of the decade … potty peer … mischief-making clown …” who “will lie through his teeth” to his audience of “crackpots … the nutty and the paranoid … angry retired men with nothing productive to do on a Friday afternoon.”

    And what about those statements is untrue?

  58. #58 SteveC
    May 6, 2011

    @ Rick Bradford

    In short, the standard measured Left/Green response to anyone who dares to disagree with them.

    And thus all those who agree with his deliberate and wilful misrepresentation of fact and science are right-wing rednecks?

    OK then, if you say so.

  59. #59 Rick Bradford
    May 6, 2011

    @SteveC

    No, I don’t say so — people on this blog say so.

    “Then the stacked audience of Monckton-lovers … crackpots who will compose 90% of the audience … the stupid and the venal … fruitcakes normally make up the bulk of the audience …”

    It’s the kind of petty hatred shown in these remarks that is helping the AGW movement lose public credibility and support.

  60. #60 Lotharsson
    May 6, 2011

    > No, I don’t say so — people on this blog say so.

    Evidence Fail.

    The quotes you provided do not support your specific claim – that “others” say “all those who agree with his deliberate and wilful misrepresentation of fact and science are right-wing rednecks”. Nothing in your quotes characterises all Monckton-disagreers, let alone as “rednecks”. Commenters go out of their way to point out they’re talking about the majority rather than the totality.

    There’s not even the hint of an implication that the disagreement is politically sourced, which is the apparent basis of your frame – well, in combination with your tone trolling. Apparently it’s “petty hatred” to actually call a liar, fraud and crackpot a liar, fraud and crackpot complete with documentary evidence. What words that carry the same meaning do you suggest would be acceptable to your tone filter? Or are the very concepts “petty hatred”?

    Oh, and by the way, if the type of thing you appear to call “petty hatred” turns people away from or invalidates an argument, then you should be pointing out that Monckton doesn’t have an arse to sit on, let alone a solitary leg to stand upon. Go find some of his invective when he’s throwing red meat to a “friendly” audience and then come back here and report how much he’s helping the “emissions-as-usual movement” “lose public credibility and support”…

  61. #61 bill
    May 6, 2011

    Yep, that’s right, it’s all about the blog commenters.

    Future generations will look back, wringing their hands and lamenting ‘if only those Left/Green folks at Deltoid hadn’t enabled contrarians to cull out those lists of unkind words we might have saved the world.’

    Ah, rueful day… yet another yet another nail in the coffin of AGW etc. etc. …

    Public support and credibility is being lost by meanie commenters on specialist blogs, rather than via, say, mass TV coverage of national leaders disporting themselves in front of ‘Bob Browns [sic] Bitch’ placards, we gather?

    Or talkback radio’s oppositely-directed conspiracy-mongering and oblivious Dunning-Kruger mouthing off? These hatreds aren’t even petty, scarily enough. But rudeness and hostility directed at AGW proponents (Lefties/ Greenies/Marxists all!) is part of the ‘natural background belligerence’, and is therefore undetectable…

    In short – people do not doubt AGW because of comments they’ve never read on blogs they’ve never heard of. They doubt it because of well-funded disinformation campaigns and any climate action’s perceived inconvenient impact on their own lifestyles.

    Fortunately science is not decided by polling, because I’m not too sure how much of the public has any credibility on this issue!

  62. #62 Lotharsson
    May 6, 2011

    > No, I don’t say so — people on this blog say so.

    Evidence Fail.

    The quotes you provided do not support your specific claim – that “others” say “all those who agree with his deliberate and wilful misrepresentation of fact and science are right-wing rednecks”. Nothing in your quotes characterises all Monckton-disagreers, let alone as “rednecks”. Commenters go out of their way to point out they’re talking about the majority rather than the totality.

    There’s not even the hint of an implication that the disagreement is politically sourced, which is the apparent basis of your frame (“standard measured Green/Left response”) – well, that in combination with your tone trolling. Apparently it’s “petty hatred” in your view to actually call a liar, fraud and crackpot a liar, fraud and crackpot complete with documentary evidence. What words that carry the same meaning do you suggest would be acceptable to your tone filter? Or is expressing the very concepts in any way engaging in “petty hatred”?

    Oh, and by the way, if the type of thing you appear to call “petty hatred” turns people away from or invalidates an argument, then you should be pointing out that Monckton doesn’t have an arse to sit on, let alone a solitary leg to stand upon. Go find some of his invective when he’s throwing red meat to a “friendly” audience and then I’m sure you’ll feel the need to report back how your same standards apply…

  63. #63 Mike
    May 7, 2011

    So Rick, are you implying that Monckton is telling us all the honest-to-god truth about global warming?

    Really?

    I mean, comments asserting that he knows it’s all part of a plan to impose a communist world government are the hallmark of someone with their thinking faculties intact? Telling people you have a cure for AIDS is too?

    I think you need to get out and about and seriously appraise some of the things Monckton has said.

  64. #64 jemima
    May 7, 2011

    Thanks for that handy breviary of sobriquets for Monckton, Rick. I don’t see any obvious error amongst them, do you?

  65. #65 Chris O'Neill
    May 7, 2011

    Bradford:

    In short, …

    Shorter still: the standard statement of facts about Monckton.

  66. #66 Barry Woods
    May 7, 2011

    Monckton merely seems to be quoting exactly from AR3

    “The climate system is a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible.”

    http://www.grida.no/publications/other/ipcc_tar/?src=/climate/ipcc_tar/wg1/501.htm

    Third bullet point from the bottom, so whilst he might be said to be repeating it, it is not his words, but the IPCC’s.

  67. #67 Marco
    May 7, 2011

    Barry, read the REST of that bullet point.

    Lying by omission is lying, too.

  68. #68 pough
    May 7, 2011

    Barry Woods agrees that Monckton is making a hash of quoting and is lying by omission:

    Monckton merely seems to be quoting

  69. #69 jrkrideau
    May 7, 2011

    @ wow No. 56

    3.1416 but some people can go on for a good few more digits.

  70. #70 Barry Woods
    May 7, 2011

    Deltoid said in response to that quote:

    “The Third Assessment Report did not say that predication of climate was not possible”

    I was merely pointing out that the quote was accurate and provied the link (which has the context), Deltoid seemed to imply it was not.

  71. Barry Woods:

    Well, if you want to use such lawyer-like arguments, note that Monckton’s sock wasn’t “quoting exactly from AR3″. Monckton’s sock said,

    > The climate is a complex, non-linear, chaotic object, and therefore the prediction of future climate states is not possible.

    AR3 says,

    > The climate system is a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible.

    If such quoting is “exact” quoting (as Barry claims), then I wonder what “inexact” quoting will look like…

    frank

  72. And seriously, why are the inactivists so silent over the idea of Monckton creating a sock puppet called ‘Abu Ali al-Hussain’ of the ‘Doric Foundation’ who is supposedly advising the emirs and other high-powered people in the Gulf states?

    frank

  73. #73 Mike
    May 7, 2011

    Barry I think it is fairly obvious that Monckton was cherry picking bits for his quote.

    The context he seemed to deliberately leave out from the IPCC statement was this:

    This does not imply, however, that the behaviour of non-linear chaotic systems is entirely unpredictable, contrary to what is meant by “chaotic” in colloquial language.

    When you deliberately omit qualifying statements in order to change the context of what was being said from “this doesn’t mean it’s entirely unpredictable” to “it’s entirely unpredictable”, I think that’s worth mentioning, don’t you?

    Now granted, the average person on the street reading Monckton’s sock-puppetry might not even notice this, and might now be going around spruiking that even the IPCC admits that it’s all totally unpredictable. But that wouldn’t actually be the truth, would it?

  74. #74 Chris O'Neill
    May 7, 2011

    The Climate Science Rapid Response Team received a verbose query from

    Name: Dr. Abu Ali Al-Hussain

    Email: (censored)

    Organization: Doric Foundation

    Organization Description: Academic advisors to a group of Gulf States’ sovereign wealth funds

    Also relevant is that Monckton is a liar who thinks the people he asks questions of are stupid.

  75. #75 WotWot
    May 8, 2011

    Don’t have personal heroes, but Frank Fenner comes as close as anybody.

  76. #76 V. infernalis
    May 8, 2011

    In wonder what would happen if you got Ian Plimer and Roy Spencer in the same room together, what with Roy Spencer being a creationist and all.

  77. #77 Andrew Dodds
    May 9, 2011

    V infernalis –

    Probably not much, to be honest. The Pseudoscience Exclusion Principal prevents one pseudoscientist seeing and errors in any other pseudoscientist’s statements (‘work’ seems the wrong word), in much the same way as they cannot see contradictions or errors in their own work when it is repeated back to them.

  78. #78 yabadabadoo
    May 9, 2011

    The climate system, if chaotic, is not very chaotic – there is a roughly 60% correlation between Milankovitch cycles and the paleo record.

  79. #79 Doug Mackie
    May 9, 2011

    Andrew @75
    I wish I had used a term like Pseudoscience Exclusion Principal when I wrote about the phenomenon at hot-topic

  80. #80 Rick Bradford
    May 9, 2011

    @60 Lotharsson

    > Go find some of his invective when he’s throwing red meat to a “friendly” audience.

    No. You go and find it.

    Go and find where Monckton has suggested that people who disagree with him should “guzzle some DDT”, and must be a “pathological liar”, “two-bit rhetoric whore”, “egotistic charlatan and fraud”, and other vulgar abuse.

    Fortunately for us skeptics, Monckton, unlike yourself, has sufficient self-awareness to realise that even if you believe that if someone is a liar and fraud, you score no points with abuse — the uncommitted rightly view it as a bullying tactic and reject it.

    It’s odd, that the Left/Green movement, with its obsession with winning at all costs, hasn’t cottoned on to this simple idea, but to the benefit of all this lack of awareness is sinking them further every day in the public arena.

  81. #81 chek
    May 9, 2011

    “… is sinking them further every day in the public arena.”

    And your specific evidence for this is …..?

  82. #82 lord_sidcup
    May 9, 2011

    @Rick Bradford, Monckton apologist

    So you think Monckton doesn’t resort to abuse? Who said this of John Abraham’s calmly delivered and insult free critique:

    ..artful puerilities, delivered in a nasal and irritatingly matey tone (at least we are spared his face — he looks like an overcooked prawn)..

  83. #83 Wow
    May 9, 2011

    > Go and find where Monckton has suggested that people who disagree with him should “guzzle some DDT

    Well, According to Monkfish, DDT is completely safe to eat.

    So you, apparently, disagree with the swivel-eyed maniac too.

  84. #84 Lotharsson
    May 9, 2011

    > Go and find where Monckton has suggested that people who disagree with him should “guzzle some DDT”, and must be a “pathological liar”, “two-bit rhetoric whore”, “egotistic charlatan and fraud”, and other vulgar abuse.

    Logic ain’t your strong suit, is it?

    Monckton hasn’t said those particular things, so I won’t waste my time looking for them.

    But he’s said plenty of other things that qualify as “vulgar abuse” and worse. Since apparently searching the Internet ain’t your strong suit either, [try this](http://www.desmogblog.com/directory/vocabulary/4737).

    Oh, and make sure you read all the way down that page:

    > When Wessel told him that his family were Jewish, Monckton carried on.

    There’s plenty more from Monckton that one would expect would qualify in your book as “vulgar abuse” and beyond if the quotes you provided demonstrate your definition of the term. He routinely berates people who disagree with his idiosyncratic take on climate science in the most colourful terms.

    Bet you don’t find any of them on your own though.

  85. #85 Davoe
    May 10, 2011

    Interesting conversation on Monckton here with some rather entertaining screeching from John McLean claiming the CSIRO and IPCC have not proven global warming. (http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/1816194.html)

  86. #86 Vince whirlwind
    May 10, 2011

    Is that “John McLean [EMPTY SPACE WHERE IT USED TO SAY PHD]“, or a different John McLean?

  87. #87 Barry Woods
    May 10, 2011

    yes, it is paraprhased slightly i did not notice that..

    ie missing “long-term prediction”

    But is that not being pedantic, the argument is Over predictions of Future states, ie by 2050 -2100 , is a long term prediction, etc..

    so I don’t reaaly see much wrong with it..

    I am still intrigued why the continued fascination with Monckton. He is a non-entity in the UK, a member of UKIP, which is a joke political party in my eyes.

    Even the BBC stitched him up in that Storyville documentary.

    Whatever you, I or monckton do. China and India (and Africa with China’s help) will continue to grow their economies, with China’s amd India electricity energy demands predominantly coming from coal for decades to come.

    Even if the UK ceased to emit anything, this would be replaced by Chinas emission in momths. AGW or CAGW right or wrong this is going to happen, so better to mitigate/adapt this would benefit the worlds poorest.. ie infrastructure to cope with extreme weather events work, whether they are naturally derived, or 5, 10, 15 % maybe attributed to AGW.

    The fact that some overly emotional greens are calling the likes of Mark Lynas and George Monbiot ‘Chernobyl Death Deniars’, wold indicate thatthe great AGW delusion and mass popular bandwagon will soon descend into memory, whilst the remaining believers (catastrophic version) increasingly get more shrill and attack each other for not being ‘pure’ enough’

    witness Vince Cable and Chris Huhne (both Liberal democrats) in heavyweight ministers in UK politics.

    Guardian: Vince Cable and Chris Huhne clash over carbon emissions
    “Vince Cable has refused to support new carbon reduction targets recommended by the Committee on Climate Change”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2011/may/09/vince-cable-chris-huhne-carbon-emissions?intcmp=122

  88. #88 Lotharsson
    May 10, 2011

    > …, so better to mitigate/adapt this would benefit the worlds poorest…

    People who advocate this usually have not shown that it is better, as you have not. Most often they have argued – as you have – that it is necessary, because other options are infeasible. Generally they have not shown this either. In addition, they often they seem to argue, as you appear to, that the main concern is “extreme weather”, which is a profound misreading of the scientific concerns – one that leads you into erroneous analysis.

    > … increasingly get more shrill and attack each other for not being ‘pure’ enough’…

    A funny thing happened, at least in the US. What you have described is eerily similar to what’s happening in the Republican Party with the Tea Party movement.

    Guess which side of US politics voted to assert that greenhouse gases and climate change were not problems? Guess how well that accords with your prognosis?

  89. #89 lord_sidcup
    May 10, 2011

    ..a member of UKIP, which is a joke political party in my eyes.

    UKIP – a “joke political party” that happens to be the only political party in the UK (other than the BNP) that would agree with Barry’s bold and baseless assertions re. AGW.

  90. #90 Barry Woods
    May 10, 2011

    88# The simple answer to that is, UKIP and the BNP are both non entity crazy parties that the ‘greens haven’t bothered to lobby for the last decade.. if they had I’m sure they would believe as well! ;)

    China and India will keep building those coal fired power stations though….. and whatever the EU does (or like the USA does not do) on emissions reductions, will be exceeeded by the developing world. So CO2 will keep rising.

    Adaptation, etc is the only way forward if you believe in CAGW because politically it is suffering from words but no action(has done for years), as adaptation/mitigation WOULD benefit those – the poorest – that suffer from natural weather disasters right or wrong, adaptation would benefit millions of the worlds poorest people and save countless hundreds of thousands of lives.

    Interesting times/choices for the politicians now.

  91. #91 Wow
    May 10, 2011

    Yes China and India do keep building those wind turbines and solar panels, don’t they, Baz.

    I guess the EU and USA need to adapt to the new knowledge and start building them too or be left behind whilst China adapts and forges ahead.

  92. Barry Woods:

    > yes, it is paraprhased slightly i did not notice that..

    > ie missing “long-term prediction”

    > But is that not being pedantic, the argument is Over predictions of Future states, ie by 2050 -2100 , is a long term prediction, etc..

    That’s rich, Barry. Right after you threw out a pointless pedantic argument with your “I was merely pointing out [...]“ gambit, I simply used the gambit back against you, and now you’re complaining that — wait for it — I was being “pedantic”!

    That’s rich, isn’t it?

    Oh, and the ‘Monckton is not important’ argument? I see where you’re going with that. Every time someone you like says something that’s total garbage, you claim that it’s “not important”; yet every time someone you don’t like says something that’s remotely somewhat incorrect, suddenly it’s of supreme maximum utmost importance.

    But you see, if Monckton isn’t of any importance, may I ask why you’re so obsessed with Tim Lambert, who’s apparently even less important than Monckton? Tim doesn’t get invited by policy institutes to give speeches, and Tim doesn’t get invited to testify before the US Congress. Why then are you so obsessed with him?

    (Or, perhaps by your ad hoc ‘logic’, your obsession is suddenly “not important” and any discussion of it is merely “pedantic”?)

    frank

  93. #93 Jeremy C
    May 10, 2011

    Its interesting how the denier meme setters started using the word ‘catastrophic’ when they found they could no longer deny the reality of AGW.

  94. #94 Barry Woods
    May 10, 2011

    yes they do keep building solar and wind turbines, and then they SELL them to the West.. How much of their overall electricity generation is produced by wind and solar..

    How much actually is produced by coal and nuclear.. ?

    “Coal makes up 70 percent of China’s total primary energy consumption, and China is both the largest consumer and producer of coal in the world. China holds an estimated 114.5 billion short tons of recoverable coal reserves, the third-largest in the world behind the United States and Russia and about 13 percent of the world’s total reserves. There are 27 provinces in China that produce coal. Northern China, especially Shanxi Province, contains most of China’s easily accessible coal and virtually all of the large state-owned mines. Coal from southern mines tends to be higher in sulfur and ash, and therefore unsuitable for many applications. In 2008, China consumed an estimated 3 billion short tons of coal, representing nearly 40 percent of the world total and a 129 percent increase since 2000. Coal consumption has been on the rise in China over the last eight years, reversing the decline seen from 1996 to 2000. More than 50 percent of China’s coal use in 2006 was in the non-electricity sectors, primarily in the industrial sector. The other 50 percent is used in the power sector.”

    Source: http://www.eia.doe.gov/cabs/China/Coal.html

    More of the same from Lomborg
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/todays_paper/A%20Section/2011-04-21/A/15/20.0.2574900523_epaper.html

    plus:
    “The explosive recent growth in Chinese solar and wind generation equates to going from zilch to a small fraction: Wind today generates just 0.05 percent of China’s energy, and solar is responsible for one-half of one-thousandth of 1 percent.”

    So how to persuade the Chines to stop burning all that coal?
    I don’t think it very likely that any Western government can or will, prentending that China is ‘green’ is the true ‘denial’

  95. #95 rhwombat
    May 10, 2011

    Barry Woods: “look over there! Those Commies are worse! I am not a BP flak!”

  96. #96 chek
    May 10, 2011

    Blimey!

    Looks like Barry is self-destructing or disintegrating under the pressure of Catastrophic Denialist Boogiemen! (CDBM).

    China! Ooooooh scary!

    Take a tip Barry dear; have a nice cuppa tea, stay away from the usual web-presence suspects who specialise in inducing exactly your brand of existential ignorance-based despair, and leave the serious thinking to those who actually comprehend the real problem sans stupid, manufactured distractions and better yet are professionally equipped to handle it.

    Madness and unassuagable lower middle management angst awaits you otherwise.

  97. So by Barry Woods’s logic, it’s OK for Monckton to use sockpuppets because CHINA!!!!!!!!!

    What a frigging idiot.

  98. #98 Chris S.
    May 11, 2011

    All these words and Barry still hasn’t touched on Monkton’s use of a sock puppet that was supposedly advising the emirs and other high-powered people in the Gulf states. One wonders why Barry doesn’t comment on this – perhaps he’s hoping his attempt at thread derailing (the attempt to justify the quote in comparison to the IPCC failed miserably so he’s moved on to China) will make people forget old Abu Ali.

    I wonder if Abu Ali Al-Hussain would qualify as a non-anonymous commentator on certain blogs – those that decry the more obvious use of pseudonyms as somehow dishonest?

  99. #99 https://me.yahoo.com/a/_4KIfrwRxNWU8qEsAFrxolQ6Tw--#4599c
    May 11, 2011

    You tell ‘em, Barry! Coal is good for you! Just see

    http://www.coalcares.org/cleanenergy.html

    and

    http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=129849&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1562064

    Warning: one of these is a hoax — can you tell which? If you’re having trouble, see
    http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2011/05/coalcares/

  100. #100 Davoe
    May 11, 2011

    re: Vince whirlwind

    [Dr?] John McLean [PHD?] demanded people reveal how many peer-reviewed papers they had published – so he is the very same person.

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