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Posts Tagged Lord Christopher Monckton

Don’t trust Monckton! Ken Perrott Jun 01

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This is a great presentation which needs wider coverage. In it Professor John Abraham from the School of Engineering (University of St Thomas, Minnesota) does an excellent job of dissecting Lord Christopher Monckton’s deceit on climate change. Not a single one of Monckton’s claims stand up to scrutiny (see Abraham presentation or click on image).

Many of the claims and presentations made by those opposing the science of climate change could be similarly debunked. Unfortunately, this takes time. It’s quicker to lie or make wild claims than it is to do a critical assessment of evidence.

The great thing is that Abraham has put in the time for us. He critiques of presentation made by Monckton last October. Abraham has chased up the references. Emailed the scientists who did the work. His presentation is balanced, unemotional and authoritative. But very telling.

After watching this if you are honest you would never take any of Monckton’s claims seriously again. He has been thoroughly discredited.

It’s over an hour long – but well worth the effort and time of watching.

UPDATE: Abraham’s presentation has now been made available on YouTube as videos which can be downloaded. There is also a complete list of his source on Planet Climate.

2nd UPDATE: Monckton has now attempted to refute Abraham’s analysis (see A Preliminary Response to John Abraham – the extremists join the climate debate at last!). Bit of a tirade, I’m afraid.

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Climate change deniers’ tawdry manipulation of ’hockey sticks’ Ken Perrott Jan 20

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Warning: This post abounds in “hockey sticks.”

Poneke’s recent blog post, 13 years of Climategate emails show tawdry manipulation of science by a powerful cabal at the heart of the global warming campaign, precipitated a lively discussion. Well, perhaps “discussion” is too kind because it was dominated by extreme deniers.

Now, I don’t want to label people unjustly. I respect those who are sceptical of the IPCC climate change conclusions, but are willing to stick with the science in discussing them. I reserve the term “deniers” for those irrational souls who grab at anything they can (cold days, snow, 1998 temperatures, IPCC mistake on Himalyan glaciers, etc., etc.). No interest in the science – just in using “sciencey” claims to advance their preconceived conclusions.

But my point in this post is to deal with one of Poneke’s claims which is demonstratively untrue.

The “Gish gallop”

A tactic of deniers, also common to evolution deniers, which dominated their approach in the comments on Poneke’s post is the “Gish Gallop.” They fire out arguments like a machine gun, one fabrication after another – moving quickly on before any particular fabrication can be examined and refuted. I guess it’s what you do if all you rely on is fabrications.

Well, taking George Monbiot’s advice (stick with the first fabrication, concentrate on that and don’t be diverted by new fabrications) I thought I would show Poneke he is wrong in his claims about “Mann’s now infamous ’hockey stick’ graph.” He calls it ’the ‘hockey stick’ graph the IPCC has quietly dropped from its reports’ and also claims ’it was totally discredited and dropped from subsequent IPCC reports.’Mann’s data on temperature changes over time were included in the 2001 reports and Poneke claims they were not in the 2007 IPCC reports.

I challenged Poneke several times on this and he repeated “Mann’s hockey stick has been thoroughly discredited and the IPCC has dropped it from its reports, just as I state.”

The “infamous, discredited” hockey stick

That’s the problem with quoting yourself as the authority – you can be wrong and not know it. It’s always best to check. If Poneke had done so he would have found this figure below in the 2007 reports. The original data from Mann (MBH 1999) is included with, of course, more recent data. Here is the reference for Poneke, or anyone else doubting my claim - Figure 6.10, page 467,  Chapter 6: Palaeoclimate,The Fourth Assessment Report (AR4), WG I The Physical Science Basis. Mind you, I gave this information to Poneke in a comment to his post – but it was deleted!

Poneke’s cavalier attitude to facts like this should surely leave any claims to journalistic integrity in tatters.

And far from this work being “thoroughly discredited” or abandoned, it has been expanded with more, recent, data. The graph below is from Mann’s 2008 paper (Proxy-based reconstructions of hemispheric and global surface temperature variations over the past two millennia).

National research Council report vindicates Mann

In this paper Mann was responding to suggestions made by the National Research Council in its report  Surface Temperature Reconstructions for the Last 2,000 Years. This thorough and rigorous investigation formed part of US House of Representatives Committee hearings on Mann’s “hockey stick” figure arising from criticisms made by climate change sceptics. It is very authoritative.

The report basically supported Mann’s findings:

“The basic conclusion of Mann et al. (1998, 1999) was that the late 20th century warmth in the Northern Hemisphere was unprecedented during at least the last 1,000 years. This conclusion has subsequently been supported by an array of evidence that includes both additional large-scale surface temperature reconstructions and pronounced changes in a variety of local proxy indicators, such as melting on ice caps and the retreat of glaciers around the world, which in many cases appear to be unprecedented during at least the last 2,000 years.”

In fact the NRC produced their own “hockey stick” in the report (see figure below):

Lord Monckton’s lies about the “hockey Stick”

Poneke’s false assertions on the “hockey stick” graph are, unfortunately, very common. It’s one bit of mudslinging that has found purchase with most deniers repeating the lie. Even some sceptics believe the story.

Lord Mockton has been a prolific propagator of this lie. He even appears in the infamous “climategate” emails saying of the “hockey stick”: “the US National Academy of Sciences has described as having “a validation skill not significantly different from zero”. In plain English, this means the graph was rubbish.”

Problem is – search through the NRC report and you just won’t find those words (“a validation skill not significantly different from zero”). Nevertheless this allegation has been repeated innumerable numbers of times in conservative newspapers and websites. Some of these also claim (as does Poenke) that the IPCC had abandoned the data (see for example the policy Brief from the Commonwealth foundation – Climate & Penn State – demanding a McCarthyist-style investigation of Mann). But even Mockton acknowledges that the UN continues to use the defective graph.”

I guess it just makes a good story so these conservative sources tack it on. As does Poneke.

But, again, where is the journalistic integrity it that?

Footnote: Poneke is continuing his campaign against facts by petulantly demanding that scientists should not speak out on climate change! (see Taxpayer-funded Science Media Centre gets a curious ratings boost from global warming).

Why – because they are biased!

Well, I guess they are – after all they are obliged to deal with facts – not the fairy tales of witch-hunting deniers and conspiracy theorists.

Mind you, he makes sure these facts don’t get into his blog comments. Mine certainly haven’t lately.

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See also:
Journalist thinks world climate-science publications are controlled by cabal
Analysis of stolen CRU emails by NZ blogger shows tawdry manipulation of facts — Poneke’s credibility now in tatters – Hot Topic

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Monckton requires religious certification for scientists? Ken Perrott Jan 18

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Lord Christopher Monckton, the 3rd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley – Chief Policy Adviser of the SPPI

Christopher Monckton is one of the leading lights in the movement to discredit the International Panel on Climate Change, climate science and its findings on the human contribution to current climate change. Local climate change sceptics and deniers like Ian Wishart, the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition, The Climate Coversation Group and bloggers pro0moting a denier platform eagerly promote his statements and videos.

Monckton is the Chief Policy Adviser of the Science & Public Policy Institute (SPPI) which disseminates propaganda aimed at discrediting climate science and scientists. So it’s worth considering what his ideological approach to science is.

Science gives us nothing!

Monckton has a rather revealing article, What is science without religion?, on the SPPI blog. Much of the article attempts to discredit science and scientists, often associating science with the worst aspects of humanity – similar to Ben Stein’s approach in his creationist Expelled film. But the last two paragraphs hint at a very objectionable policy towards science. He says

“Precisely because the worst sort of scientists are prone to say, intolerantly, that religion is not a legitimate pastime for any scientist, many scientists have come to the view that they no longer need to adhere to any moral precept at all. Morality, they say, is the province of religion and not of science. We, they say, can do what we like as long as we can get away with it, and there is no such distinction any more as true or false, right or wrong, just or unjust.

Perhaps, therefore, no one should be allowed to practice in any of the sciences, particularly in those sciences that have become the mere political footballs of the leading pressure-groups, unless he can certify that he adheres to one of those major religions — Christianity outstanding among them — that preach the necessity of morality, and the reality of the distinction between that which is so and that which is not. For science without the morality that perhaps religion alone can give is nothing.”

So what can we take from this. He is saying without religion, specifically Christianity, one has no morality or concept of truth. Really he is proposing that science should be subordinate to relgion, to its concept of truth and morality. Instead of scientists determining the accuracy of their ideas by testing against reality they must test them against religious “truth” and “morals.”

Climate change denial similar to intelligent design

This is exactly the approach taken by the anti-science activists of the intelligent design movement. While I don’t by any means wish to equate very climate change sceptic with intelligent design, Monckton’s position does give some ideological explanation to the observation that many climate change deniers are also Christian apologists and intelligent design/creationism proponents.

So just imagine of Mockton had his way. Scientists would have to have religious certification, capable of being withdrawn anytime their findings contradict the religious “truth” promulgated by the Church.

Imagined lining up every six moths for your “scientific warrant of fitness.” Being examined by the local Bishop, Priest, Parson, Iman, Monk, etc., and, depending on how they thought you did in their test, relying on their accreditation, their stamp of approval.

I guess that’s one way of eliminating climate change!

What a silly man.

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