Monckton goes bananas

By Gareth Renowden 08/12/2010

Scrotum is laying low it seems, so (as yet) I have no inside information on the doings of the the good Lord Monckton in Mexico beyond his own words, but they are extraordinary enough to demand a post. Monckton is in Cancun with Roy Spencer (satellite temperatures a speciality), the pair acting as emissaries for the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT), a Scaife-funded organisation devoted to the usual denial. Monckton is helpfully providing regular updates on his doings via another of his fossil-funded US sponsors, the SPPI blog. It appears he’s gone bananas

Dr. Spencer and I decided to try banana daiquiris instead. After a good 20 minutes — well, this is the Mañana Republic — the head waiter hovered along to our table and told us our daiquiris would be along in a minute. He had hardly made this ambitious promise when the wine waiter shimmered in and explained that there would be no banana daiquiris because — yes, you guessed it — ’we have no bananas’.

Lacking the necessary fruit, the sceptical pair settled for frozen margaritas. My experience with said drink usually involves two headaches — one on the way in, as the cold explodes in my sinuses, and one the morning after — but in the noble lord’s case it seems to have caused a major episode of sceptical revisionism. Apparently, poor old Dick Lindzen is suffering because his papers are not impressing his peers:

Within months, a savagely-phrased and deliberately-wounding rebuttal was published by one of the most prominent of the Climategate emailers. It was one of those tiresome papers that pointed out one or two supposed defects in Professor Lindzen’s analysis, but without being honest enough to conclude that these defects could not and did not alter the Professor’s conclusion.

Monckton rather glosses over the serious methodological problems with Lindzen’s paper that meant his conclusions could not be supported by the evidence he provided. But let’s not let the facts stand in the way of a good tale. It appears that Douglass and McKitrick have suffered equally badly, and it’s nothing to do with any “supposed defects” in their work, it’s all the fault of that mean old IPCC.

Perhaps it was the lack of bananas, or an excess of tequila, that drove the Viscount Brenchley to liven up the “sombre” proceedings at Cancun by gatecrashing a green business luncheon attended by Nick Stern, Richard Branson and assorted Mexican billionaires. John Vidal of the Guardian was there:

Holding forth in the centre of the UN climate conference lunch party, he claimed that man-made climate change was not happening and businesses should hesitate before investing in green energy.

Most people steered clear, but Monckton had no hesitation in barging in on conversations, reeling off statistics and arguments that, he said, proved not only that the world was not warming but that “certain newspapers” were not reporting the reality.

Eventually the patience of the organisers wore thin, and he was asked to leave — but not before Vidal had recorded a short exchange with the potty peer. It’s well worth a listen.

Monckton appears to concede that 2010 was a year of record setting warmth, blaming it on El Niño, but then later claims there’s been no warming since 2001. The rest of his patter is a glib Gish Gallop of standard Monckton nonsense. But there’s more… The CFACT crew have been conducting more merry japes — here’s Monckton introducing a short Youtube video nominating the CFACT “Kook of the Week” (an unlucky NZr). I leave it to the reader to decide who might be the real “kook”.

[PS: In his latest Mexican missive, he reveals he’s working on a dramatic new piece of scholarship:

I have recently been preparing a learned paper for the Econometrics Journal on the so-far-unaddressed but surely not-unimportant question of how to determine the amount of ’global warming’ that might actually be prevented by any proposed strategy to mitigate future ’global warming’ by taxing or regulating carbon dioxide emissions, or by adopting alternative technologies.

I expect it will pass peer review, because he’s the only peer who will read it.]

[Harry Belafonte (& friends)]