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Jan 28, 2010

Hamilton: Fran Kelly falls for Monckton's media manipulation

Fran Kelly and the ABC are the latest victims to fall prey to notorious climate change sceptic Lord Monckton's media manipulation. Why did Kelly not question her controversial guest and his preposterous claims?

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Fifty metres from where I sit at the ANU, 300 meteorologists and oceanographers are listening to the latest research on climate change at the annual conference of the Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society.

But you wouldn’t know it. Instead of sending someone over to hear what the scientists are saying, Radio National this morning decided to give over its program to a charlatan, Lord Monckton, who expounded unchallenged his bizarre theories.

He earnestly told Fran Kelly on Radio National that decades of climate science research could not be believed because the scientists are being paid by governments and governments want to cede national sovereignty to a “world government”.

He compared climate scientists, like those at the conference next door to me, to the eugenicists of Nazi Germany and to the Soviet scientific fraud Trofim Lysenko. It was one of the most shocking slanders ever heard on the ABC.

Fran Kelly allowed Monckton to present himself as a credible scientific voice, and could not challenge his repeated absurdities. She did not ask him what his qualifications were. She did not ask him why he lied about being a member of the House of Lords, or why he claims to be a Nobel laureate.

She did not ask him about his preposterous claims to have won the Falklands war or to have invented a cure for Graves’ disease, multiple sclerosis, and HIV.

Nor did she ask Monckton why Kevin Rudd, Barack Obama and the leaders of Europe, Japan and the developing world would participate in a process designed to relinquish national sovereignty to a communist world government.

Monckton’s views are so extreme that even some of Australian’s hardened climate deniers will not go near him. Tony Abbott will not meet him. Even Barnaby Joyce regards him as too dangerous to associate with.

Janet Albrechtsen, the Australian’s right-wing attack dog, laments the fact that “…while Monckton has mastered the best arts of persuasion, he also succumbs to the worst of them when he engages in his made-for-the-stage histrionics.”

Most of Australia’s leading climate scientists have declined requests to debate Monckton on air because they understand that debating him on the science carries the implication that Monckton is a scientist with something worthwhile to say.

They also know that what Monckton lacks in credibility he more than makes up for in showmanship. In a 10-minute radio or TV debate the showman who is willing to lie brazenly will usually come out on top, especially against a scientist hamstrung by the quaint belief that truth emerges from the careful presentation of the evidence.

One of his former editors said of Monckton that he has the ability to talk nonsense in a very compelling way; some naïve members of the public lap it up.

Fran Kelly is not the only journalist suckered by the denialists, although one would expect the ABC to have a better understanding of the scam than Channel 7’s Sunrise.

Some in the profession have been known to express bewilderment at the rise and rise of climate denial. When Al Gore was interviewed on Lateline a while back, Leigh Sales spent the first half of the interview asking him to respond to the claims of the sceptics.

She then asked “Why do you think the sceptics are so influential?”, apparently unaware that she had answered her own question by spending half of the interview talking about them.

Over recent months we have witnessed a sustained assault on the reputation of Australian climate scientists led by the Australian newspaper, which magnifies and gloats over every real or confected mistake by the IPCC and promotes the opinions of every mad-eyed denier, including Monckton.

Throughout this trashing of scientists, the CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology have been missing in action. The Academies of Science have been silent too. It’s well past the time they roused themselves from their slumber and muscled up to those now ditching three centuries of science in favour of a fanatical belief.

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159 comments

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159 thoughts on “Hamilton: Fran Kelly falls for Monckton’s media manipulation

  1. Evan Beaver

    I didn’t realise you’re just over at ANU Clive. I’ll come by and say Hi one day.

  2. Ian

    More old pyjamas

  3. David

    I listened to Ms Kelly’s acceptance of the mad man Monckton’s diatribe this morning in disbelief. But also in dismay at either the lack of preperation for the interview or ignorance of the topic by Kelly. As I listened I pleaded, Fran don’t let him get away with it, ask him to back up his lies, his phoney offering of truth, she did not and because she did not try to bring some balance to the interview, she failed dismally both as a broadcaster of some repute and as a professional. The idea that Kelly would go into such an interview without being able to not only get information of sustainable substance, but unable to question him from research and knowledge she had gained previously. If she did research it was not evident this morning.
    The ABC failed dismally this morning. Not for the interview itself but in the way the interviewer failed the listener, both for and against climate change. It is be hoped interviewers with more ability than Ms Kelly get the chance to put Monckton through his paces, with more knowledge of the subject than that shown by Fran Kelly.

  4. scot mcphee

    Of course Fran, the ABC’s very own Liberals-talking-point-regurgitator, had a completely uncritical interview with Monckton. When I heard her announce after AM had finished, that Monckton will be on her show, I merely cursed her reappearance on Radio National after a blessed summer without her News-Ltd-driven agenda and turned the radio off.

    Fran Kelly is without doubt the laziest and most asinine journalist that I’ve heard on the ABC.

  5. Glenda Gartrell

    Kelly’s program could also be known as the clean slate – anyone [preferably from the right] can come along and write on it. At least the ABC must be saving on production costs.

  6. scot mcphee

    Glenda certainly they are not spending anything on research!

  7. Mr Squid

    if you thought fran kelly’s program was a joke, you should have seen the rubbish Monckton coverage on ABC Online. Still, I suppose we can’t expect anything else from Newscrap Lite dopes who do lambourgini and nullabor.

  8. Michael

    Slander, insults, innuendo but not a scintilla scientific fact to repudiate Monckton’s claims. What a pathetic, greedy, lying lot you mad scientists are.

  9. Tom McLoughlin

    Err Clive, methinks you are frothing a bit. Fran ran him after 8 am today?

    Therefor in the shadow of the (say Sydney) last edition of AM show? Or after 7.45am in the shadow of the Sydney main news bulletin over 15 minutes?

    In other words it’s the B list of content. I haven’t gone to the web link to see Lord Twit (agree he is a fraud) but I do know my ABC scheduling quite well.

    I am pretty confident it was a token balance piece. In terms of real politik influence that segment would be about a 2 out of 10 in that broadcast shadow, with Michelle Grattan at 7.35 am an 8 or 9 out of 10. A ten minute variation and real credibility is all it takes.

    Perhaps of much greater concern was Alan Jones unscientific ideology of pandering to big business energy sector with his climate denialism on Australia Day broadcast last Tuesday, promoting Lord Twit event at Sheraton on the Park on 2GB. Sad stuff. Where is a patriotic prostrate cancer service when needed?

  10. Most Peculiar Mama

    @Clive Hamilton

    “…He compared climate scientists, like those at the conference next door to me, to the eugenicists of Nazi Germany…”

    Appears YOU like dishing out the Nazi missives though:

    “…Instead of dishonouring the deaths of six million in the past, climate deniers risk the lives of hundreds of millions in the future…”

    “…Holocaust deniers are not responsible for the Holocaust, but climate deniers, if they were to succeed, would share responsibility for the enormous suffering caused by global warming…”

    “… climate deniers are less immoral than Holocaust deniers, although they are undoubtedly more dangerous…”

    “…So the answer to the question of whether climate denialism is morally worse than Holocaust denialism is no, at least, not yet…”

    Sound familiar Clive?

    “…It was one of the most shocking slanders ever heard on the ABC…”

    No Kettle, that would be your “A letter to your father”.

    You. Are. A. Pathetic. Joke.

  11. Tom McLoughlin

    Yep, there it is at 8.05 am.

    Also having just read the comments, quite wrong. Kelly is a national treasure. Her show easily thrashes Adam Spencer local parallel for content and substance – not that it’s a competition really. The latter is Sienfeld in the long time state of ALP (just think Long Bay Gaol for public policy integrity), the former is a brain that would fill the hall of the Opera House (not that I’ve ever been), and usually questions faster than a metal storm patent.

    3rd day back from holiday for Ms Kelly and those early mornings like a shift worker. The 3rd day usually does it. But no I reckon I will skip the web link , in the shadow where it belongs.

  12. Johnfromplanetearth

    Interesting how it all becomes unscientific when the other point of view is presented, well Clive Hamilton…debate Monckton, it’s simple get up there and confront him. You won’t of course because he will destroy you in about 30 seconds.

  13. Mark Duffett

    How do you reconcile

    Most of Australia’s leading climate scientists have declined requests to debate Monckton on air because they understand that debating him on the science carries the implication that Monckton is a scientist with something worthwhile to say.

    with

    …the CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology have been missing in action. The Academies of Science have been silent too. It’s well past the time they roused themselves from their slumber and muscled up to those now ditching three centuries of science in favour of a fanatical belief.

    How do you ‘muscle up’ without debating? Bear in mind that scientific organisations and societies don’t really speak as corporate bodies, never have. The main burden of ‘muscling up’ would still have to fall on individual practitioners.

    It’s not as if climate denialists are the only ones ditching science for fanatical belief, either. Anti-vaccination activists spring to mind as well past due for their comeuppance, too.

  14. Cavitation

    I wonder if Lord Monckton if really a performance artist. It seems that “Lord Monckton” is an english language translation of “Baron Münchhausen”, who he is clearly aping.

  15. Stevo the Working Twistie

    The Divine Ms Miranda loves Mad Monckton. I’ve spent most of the day trying to decide who comes out of that little tryst looking worse. Can you actually achieve negative credibility?

  16. scot mcphee

    Tom I’ve got no idea how you can think the world of Kelly. She is the softest interviewer on the ABC. She’ll ask the same idiotic question repeatedly when clearly the interviewee is disinclined to answer and not modify her approach. Her smug idea of a “gotcha” question to a minister is typically just some dumb parrot of the News Ltd headline du jour, I’ve never heard her ask a thoughtful question in years of listening to her. She’ll give any old opposition thought-bubbles floating on for minutes at a time for “balance” and never seek to question whether they speak any sense or not. She is, in a word, a hack.

  17. Julius

    I heard Monckton on Ms Kelly’s program. She obviously attempted to make it a little bit difficult for a very practised performer. However, the real interest for me is how Clive Hamilton, who has to be accurate and honest if he has any claims on our attention about AGW, has discredited himself with his reporting of this morning’s broadcast. Listen or listen again if you are in doubt and compare CH’s extravagances.

    E.g. He merely gave Eugenics (which was not notably associated with Nazis until Hitler’s madness and wickedness took effect) and Lysenko’s agricultural science as examples of how long scientific ideas which were later thought to be all wrong could survive if supported by the state and its money. As to world government, he most pointedly drew attention to the failure of Western governments to check the draft treaty provisions which would have provided for a “world government” (he insists the concept is in there) to control economic life. And, if you were attempting to represent what he said fairly you would note his rejection, twice, of the word “conspiracy” while noting the self-interest of many players in the financial industry who have already (though he didn’t emphasise this) started to make money out of trading ETS cerificates and associated derivatives.

    It doesn’t really take his examples to show how scientific fashion can last a long time before it blows up. One of the better known recent ones was the cause of stomach ulcers, universally supposed by the medical profession including not least the specialists who made money out of it, to be caused by such factors as stress, but now known to be caused by helicobacter pylorus.

    Moreover, would it be unfair to suppose that the money specialists were making and the comfortable lives they were leading with that spending powere was a big reason why they didn’t do the research work which would have disclosed the truth?

  18. scot mcphee

    “It doesn’t really take his examples to show how scientific fashion ”

    Ahh. Scientific fashion. But why are we to believe a man (i.e. Monckton) who either:

    a) deliberately lies and distorts, or

    b) is completely ignorant of, the actual science and/or the process of science?

    He invents data. He cherry-picks other data. He in fact does libel and smear his opponents (he is after all, from the world of politics where I assume this sort of thing is usual).

    His lies: http://rankexploits.com/musings/2009/moncktons-artful-graph/ and here are well-documented. He’s thouroughly refuted in every scientific sense. It’s a pity that modern day right-wing climate denialists and the journalists who are beguiled by them think that physics is somehow mediated via “debate”. Very post-modern of them.

  19. john2066

    What’s hilarious is that as it gets close to actually doing something about climate change, actually paying a slight cost to change our behavior, the fossil fuel industry is coming out all guns blazing, with the usual suspects at the Australian “newspaper” geeing them up.

    I personally think we should just let it burn, and watch the morons deniers burn in their own filth. Yes it means we’ll be toast as well, but it would be worth it for the satisfaction.

    PS I’m still really annoyed at the selfish old fools who died from the vicious heatwave last year in Melbourne- clearly faking their own deaths to panic us! I’m sure if they had just read the ‘Australian’ they would have realized the heat was a leftist trick !

  20. twobob

    What sort of a fool would seek to defend the indefensible lies of lord pontification?

    That he is a liar is self evident and that he is given airtime on the ABC is a travesty.
    But still any and all who seek to use his pathetic name will be tarred with the same brush. If I were a denialist I would shudder but fools rush in dont they.

  21. sblake

    its simple.large ego meets large ego. The facts go out the window

  22. David

    Scot I’m sure I’ve seen some of those graphs of Moncktons, or very very similar on Bolts blog. Surprise surprise.

  23. Frank Campbell

    Shamilton the Recycler. Same old Savonarola diatribe. Pure ideology. Not a trace of journalism.

    And why assume that people take Thatcher relics like Mad Monckton seriously? You target him for very good reason, don’t you Clive? By lambasting Lord Freak you avoid the real issues of IPCC incompetence and the stench emanating from those 3000 emails (which neither you or Bernard Keane will ever read).

    Why does Crikey promote this continual content-free barrage? There’s not a hint of originality, wit or evidence…

    Is it just to get the Pro/Anti climate cult dogs barking again? Not a long-term survival strategy Crikey…

  24. Frank Campbell

    Tom: “Where is a patriotic prostrate cancer service when needed?” Nice one. (I didn’t know parrots had prostates.)

  25. epamis

    I believe that Christopher Monckton’s claim of winning the Nobel Prize is tongue in cheek as he identified an error in the 2007 IPCC report where they claimed that sea level rises would be ten times what the quoted study suggested. The IPCC report was changed to correct this error therefore Monckton is ‘claiming’ some credit on the report and subsequent Nobel prize.

    It is a shame you have wasted so much time and energy on a personal attack rather than arguing the points he makes.

    Having read some of his material, he does not ‘deny’ climate change but raises the following:
    – Temperatures have been rising steadily since ~1850 as the planet exits a mini ice-age. The rate of temperature rise at the blade of the ‘Hockey Stick’ graph is no more significant than other temperature rises in history including the period from 1910 to 1940 – well before significant CO2 emissions.
    – The IPCC has hypothesised a number of ‘forcing’ mechanisms which magnify the generally understood impacts of CO2 on global temperatures. Monckton believes these have been exaggerated which results in much greater forecast temperatures than would otherwise occur.
    – The forecasts published by the IPCC are not being realised, with temperatures since the 1998 El Nino event particular being relatively stable. Even Phil Jones from the CRU’s figures suggest the trend for the past 10 years has been 0.17 degrees per century vs 4.7 degrees per century for the medium IPCC scenario.
    – The IPCC uniformly claims that global warming will result in negative outcomes for everything from sea level rises, mass extinctions, famine, more extreme weather, etc, etc. Historically, extreme cold has resulted in more extinctions and, more recently, greater human casualties through increases in infections diseases such as seasonal flus, etc. Plants actually grow more vigorously in high CO2 environments which will increase agricultural production and CO2 absorbsion.
    – Even if man-made CO2 emissions are having an impact on global temperatures, it is more sensible to a) wait to see the actual results of global warming, and b) invest in adapting human activity to suit the new environment.

    My personal view is that a single-minded focus on CO2 as the ‘bad guy’ is distracting from the real environmental issues such as pollution and dwindling natural resources, and more immediate concerns such as child povety and human rights abuses.

  26. john2066

    Franks Back! Mr ‘They used to raise sheep in greenland, now they dont so global warmings a scam!’ raises his head again!

    Hey Frank, here’s a link to show you that they are growing more things than ever in Greenland:

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article4791047.ece

    The simple fact is that global warming is an inconvenient fact which might costs the fossil fuel industry some money, so nothing will be done about it.

    Just once I’d like to see all the nong heads on here whinging about climate scientists actually look at the amount of money spent on lobbying etc by the fossil fuel industry against doing anything – it truly dwarfs what the green groups spend.

    But anyway, lets face facts – the lobbies and deniers have won ! and nothing will be done. Our main focus now should be that global warming deniers get the full rich feedback they so rightly deserve from the public as the full results come in!

  27. nugget

    Julius
    Professor Barry Marshall, University of Western Australia Medical School. discovered the link
    between Heliobacter Pylori and stomach ulcers.
    He did this by infecting himself with the microorganisms then curing it because it was impossible to get the permission to experiment on patients.
    He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine so I believe you owe a little more respect.
    Doesn’t sound like a conspiracy amongst doctors and specialists to me.

  28. Michael

    I was at the Monckton function at NSW Club yesterday and whilst I detest his Monarchist views, his science was impeccable. No wonder Hamilton refuses to face him, he’d get slaughtered. The gig is clearly up for the Warm Mongers.

  29. Tamas Calderwood

    But Clive, you’re not a climate scientists either. Why can you bang on about this subject yet demand any sceptic be qualified in climate science before they can speak?

    And this is just gold: ” It’s well past the time they roused themselves from their slumber and muscled up to those now ditching three centuries of science in favour of a fanatical belief.”

    Uh huh. I agree. I just see it from the flip side and am rather glad that we sensible sceptics have now roused against this apocalyptic claptrap.

  30. Barbara Boyle

    Barb

    Missed it ‘cos RN breafast pisses me off, for a number of reasons. It’s tragic,’cos I was an addict

  31. tone47b

    Look, Fran Kelly is a lovely person I’m sure, and very earnest and sincere. But she is a lousy interviewer – she mangles her questions, talks over replies and seems to never actually listen to what people say anyway. So a snake-oil salesman like Mr (no imperialist titles here, thanks!) Monckton would walk all over her.

    I rarely get to hear the radio past 7:30, so I didn’t hear it, and I won’t bother listening online, either.

  32. baal

    Miranda Devine tweeted today accusing Clive Hamilton of lies and Crikey of something for not pointing out he’s a ‘mad green’. Perhaps she means ‘mad’ in the sense of being a ‘mad’ cricket or football teal fan. A slur nonetheless. It seems the internet has ushered in endless opportunities for the unqualified to indulge in unlimited mutual abuse.

  33. Tom McLoughlin

    Well I actually wrote an essay on Lysenkoism, in Genetics class at ANU and I got a HD for the piece (I liked the politics): Monckton’s reliance as a precedent is easily distinguishable in my view further below

    By the by, even here Monckton is out of his depth given there is now limited scientific evidence for Lysenkoism to quote the wikipedia entry on epigenetics:

    “The molecular basis of epigenetics is complex. It involves modifications of the activation of certain genes, but not the basic structure of DNA. Additionally, the chromatin proteins associated with DNA may be activated or silenced. This accounts for why the differentiated cells in a multi-cellular organism express only the genes that are necessary for their own activity. Epigenetic changes are preserved when cells divide. Most epigenetic changes only occur within the course of one individual organism’s lifetime, but, if a mutation in the DNA has been caused, some epigenetic changes are inherited from one generation to the next.

    Reference: V.L. Chandler (2007). “Paramutation: From Maize to Mice”. Cell 128 (4): 641–645. doi:10.1016/j.cell.2007.02.007. PMID 17320501.

    ……………….

    I doubt you can compare the history of science in the first decades of 20C (Lysenko 1920-30ies) even to 1950 with the modern scientific discipline: Instant communications, modern instruments, powerful mass media, fierce peer review and competition for funding for best research. The idea anyone could run a global fraud for very long isn’t plausible.

    The sniping at the edges of climate change proves nothing. For Monckton to reach back 80 years is desperate stuff.

    The truth I reckon is the IPCC has under reported dangerous climate change all along, and that’s very scary. Glaciers? Look at Kilimanjaro – it’s disappearing every year. North west passage with shipping. Farming in Greenland etc etc.

  34. scot mcphee

    Epamis

    If Monckton can raise such a killer blow on the many years of published climate science (not just the IPCC) then he can write it up and get it published in a proper science journal. Neither ABC Radio National nor the “NSW Club” where Michael attests his so-called “impeccable” science has occurred is the venue in which actual science is carried out. He’s neither an actual scientist nor a ‘mathematician’ as Miranda Devine described him today. He’s a journalist and a political operator, nothing more.

    In other words, he’s a scientific fraud at least until the day his article is published in Nature.

    N.B. Tamas Calderwood, along with Clive, I am not a scientist either. However neither of us (at least I’m not) are trying to operate a deception in which we declare that science is a fraud and our own limited expertise trumps that of the overwhelming numbers of climate scientists. I’ll trust Nature et al over Monckton’s – and your own – lies and distortions any day of the week.

  35. Tom McLoughlin

    Fran Kelly is the business. Any federal parliament sitting day, it’s the insider forum, and the serious people are either on there or listening. If you don’t like it you’re probably off the pace ….my condolences. No doubt there are many real politik connections to traverse in order to get the sub culture/beltway but it’s real enough. An acquired taste I would say. Perhaps you don’t like her balance?

    Every Friday she has heavy hitters in the sector including other press gallery.

    One reason – it’s web referenced unlike say 702. So everyone knows they will have to wear it, including in parliament later that day.

    I can’t say I detect any of the specific criticisms mentioned above, excluding Monckton unheard. Once was enough Sydney 702 the day before with Deb Cameron, who did grill him.

  36. Tom McLoughlin

    @Epamis,

    The so called plateau effect for 10 years, dubious. But even accepting, massive Chinese and Indian particulates (like size of Victoria smog, whacking South Korea, Japan) adding to ‘global dimming’ (see wikipedia, 4 corners) but not resolving the underlying GHG CO2 equivalent forcing. A catastrophe delayed.

    Meanwhile increase in record weather highs in Oz, reported in the news today.

    As for illness in warm areas – one dose of malaria in the tropics was quite enough thanks. And all the other invertebrate parasites that operate in warming. Which surely is why most hot countries suffer major economic and social disadvantage. Humans might think they rule the world but invertebrates really are masters of evolution, and our evolution too from inside out.

  37. AR

    JohnOffPlanet “it all becomes unscientific when the other point of view is presented,..” – think about why!

  38. Tamas Calderwood

    Scot McPhee – well, you could try critically analysing the issue for yourself. But hey, if you want to take the oh so trustworthy IPCC and the “hide the decline” scientists on pure faith then go right ahead.

    Me, I’ll make my own judgement based on the fact that there has been no net warming since 1995 despite record human CO2 production and the fact that natural climate change has produced far warmer and colder periods in the past.

  39. baal

    how weak are we to think that Tamarsewood can keep reciting that line about ‘no net warming since 1995’ as the last word!!!

  40. Julius

    @Nugget. I am puzzled as to how to deal with your curious contribution. Should I be patient with the simple-minded, or impatient with one so discourteous that he doesn’t bother to read and understand.

    You say “Julius
    Professor Barry Marshall, University of Western Australia Medical School. discovered the link
    between Heliobacter Pylori and stomach ulcers.
    He did this by infecting himself with the microorganisms then curing it because it was impossible to get the permission to experiment on patients.
    He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine so I believe you owe a little more respect.
    Doesn’t sound like a conspiracy amongst doctors and specialists to me.

    Of course. I am well aware of Barry Marshall’s overthrow of the self-interested complacency which had ensured that many people who, if only the specialists had given a bit of time to scepticsm and research, had expensive and painful operations performed on them, often with lasting deleterious effects, when, as Barry Marshall and Robin Warren showed, they could have been cured with antibiotics. So…. and this is just for those who need things spelled out very simply, it is a pretty good example of people who are made comfortable by rivers of taxpayers’ (and, in that case, health fund contributors’) gold proceeding on their intellectually comfortable path without a spur to make them do better.

    I have read someone making a contrast between Exxon’s $35 million put into largely sceptical research and the considerably more than $30 billion paid by governments to aid the IPCC’s task of determining what to do about mitigation of the effects of greenhouse gas emissions, all premised on the basic James Hansen theory being right. Maybe there are flaws in that, major or minor, but that kind of point is not irrelevant to the credibility of the IPCC case, especially when there are glaring cases of self-interest like that of its President who is a well-paid partisan consultant whose livelihood would be undermined by refutation of the IPCC’s case.

  41. j-boy57

    Monktons promoter on the “its crap tour downunder” tour,he of the twelve grandchildren was a doozy.
    These guys need as much airtime as possible they can’t go five minutes without invoking the spectre of the
    fourth riech.(didn’t the green movement originate in germany).
    Monkton needs an hour all of his own in prime time where he can enlighten us all on his views in detail.

  42. Tamas Calderwood

    Oh – and check this latest consensus out: “Only one in four American Meteorological Society broadcast meteorologists agrees with United Nations claims that humans are primarily responsible for recent global warming, a survey published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society reports.”

    Sounds like a consensus to me – a sceptical one, that is.

  43. scot mcphee

    Tamas,

    I can at least critically evaluate a claim like “no net warming since 1995” and see that it’s just pure bullshit. Why 1995? What’s special about 1994? What about if you include the data from 1994? 1996? 1992? 1987? 2003? Can you give me the “net warming” since … 2004? Or all these dates. Then tell me exactly what 1995 is so important?

    My “at least” critical evaluation filter – very finely attuned thank you very much – tells me anything that relies on accusations of “conspiracy”as a reason to explain away simple facts – like 9/11 truthers, no-moon-landings, and birthers, are 9-nines full of crap. And my critical analysis filters also tell me that climate change denialists argue using the exact same rhetorical stratagems as creationists – anti-science, anti-fact, anti-reality.

  44. Julius

    Here’s a prediction that I haven’t got from anywhere but logic. Abbott’s alternative policy on CO2 reduction will be based on trees (and perhaps a bit of biochar).

    He’s ruled out a carbon tax and an ETS. No one can take CO2 sequestration seriously, at least as less than a long term measure. So it has to be sequestration in vegetation, with lots of help from Indonesians and PNG people willing to sell their land for reforestation or their forests for preservation, or just a willngness to be paid to do the regrowing or maintenance themselves. Australin reforestation will have to be a big part of it too.

    It seems reasonable to suppose that Indonesia and PNG wouldn’t raise any objections that they haven’t already raised to their nationals (or governments) being paid full price for assets which actually remain in a condition which is good for them for a number of reasons such as employment and wildlife conservation. Therefore that part of any such policy can’t be written off with derision.

    In any battle of fudged figures and failed policies it is far from obvious that Abbott would come off worse than Rudd amongst increasingly sceptical voters who will would like to believe that there might be a pretty painless win-win solution to a problem that probably won’t appear to have the urgency that last year’s fires gave it for some people.

  45. Tamas Calderwood

    Scot Mcphee – we have 31 years of satellite temperature data. It shows that the world warmed from 1979 – 1998 and then started cooling. I chose 1995 because a linear regression back to that date shows no net warming (it shows cooling if only I go back to 1998). If you go back to 1979 it shows 0.39C of net warming.

    So put it all together and what the temperature record shows is that the world warmed for about 15 years in the 80’s and 90’s and just as China, India and the emerging markets really hit their stride and humans really started horking out the CO2… the world stopped warming.

    How on Earth is that a truther, moon landing conspiracy theory equivalent? Doesn’t it raise questions about the theory?

    Y2K, Swine flu, SARS, Bird Flu, Mad cow disease – Scot, there have been plenty of apocalyptic scares that were false. Global warming is another.

  46. scot mcphee

    Broadcast meterologists? TV WEATHERMEN? The same lot that denialists castigate with “they can’t predict the weather a week out how can they predict the climate”. You know, but I am not a real doctor I just play one on television.

    Of course, after you finish with the “there’s no warming meme” you’ll move onto “but humans didn’t cause it” to “there’s nothing we can do about it” or like Julius maybe go to “reducing actual carbon output is no salve for it”. And around and around.

    Just like creationists. First fables and misrepresentations: “the eye is so complex and perfect it HAS to be designed”; outright lies: “there’s no fossil record”; denial: “it’s not reliable”; “your dates are wrong”; then confusions about ‘proof’ and ‘scientific method’: “its not proven beyond all doubt that X”; “not all scientists agree X”; then pointless demands to prove arbitrary, non-essential, or endlessly recursive issues: “show me the missing link between arbitrary x and arbitrary y”; finally a statement of pure ideology which shows the speaker can never be convinced otherwise: “GOD PUT THEM FOSSILS THAR TA FOOL TEH UNBELIEVERS” … then hoping everyone’s forgotten the original sequence of arguments, recursion).

  47. Tamas Calderwood

    Um… ok Scot. Do you have any arguments that relate to the actual temperature record?

  48. scot mcphee

    “I chose 1995 because a linear regression back to that date shows no net warming”

    Exactly, thank you. You chose that date because it supports the conclusion you wish to make. In other words, you have a ideological problem with the facts.

    I get the point about apocalyptic predictions. But as far as I’m aware, active steps were taken to mitigate each and every one of those proposed calamities. Therefore, what would have happened had nothing been done cannot be predicted with reliability. Maybe climate change won’t be as bad as we think. Maybe we’re doing the wrong thing about it. But they are different arguments to saying “it does not exist”, when the scientific consensus is that it does.

    The point remains, you and Monckton have an ideological conviction that “science is wrong”. Monckton lies about it – his graphs are a proven farrago. None of that is scientific skepticism, it’s just ideological dogma.

  49. Tamas Calderwood

    Scot – just to clarify, the temperature jumped up in 1998 then crashed down the following year, which sort of cancelled the 1998 peak out on an average. That means you can do a regression back to 1995 that shows no net warming.

    I have actually done a regression back to every year from now until 1979. The warming trend only shows up if you go back past 1995.

    Don’t you think that’s strange? More CO2 is meant to mean more warming, yet it doesn’t show up in the temperature record.

  50. scot mcphee

    “The warming trend only shows up if you go back past 1995.”

    In other words, you stopped your analysis at 1995 because to go back any further proves climate scientists right. You have a predetermined conclusion and will only cite evidence that supports that conclusion?

    Please let me know when Nature publishes your article on that – I’ll use my university database to get access to it and read it.

  51. Tamas Calderwood

    Scot – No, in the above posts I stated that the trend back to 1979 is +0.38C.

    However, when you analyse the data, it shows that the warming trend recorded from 1979 stopped in the mid 1990’s.

    When did it stop? Well, if you do a regression back to every year from 1979 until now (as I have done) it shows that there has been no warming since 1995. So that’s why I state that there has been no warming since 1995.

    Yet you keep throwing these slurs my way about my “ideological” agenda. But all I am doing is pointing out the numbers. Why is that ideological? My conclusion is based on the data whereas yours is based on trusting “scientists”

    And I’m sorry, but Y2K was another unfounded panic. South Korea and Japan did nothing to fix the millennium bug and they seemed to survive just fine. And don’t get me started about all the other scares that have been totally oversold. I mean, c’mon: SARS, Avian flue, swine flu, Mad Cow… did we really need to spend those multiple-billions to “solve” them?

    And finally, don’t give me that “when you publish your paper in the peer reviewed journal” nonsense. I can make rational arguments without being an academic. And I think the leaked CRU emails show that academics don’t exactly run the “peer review” process all that fairly…

  52. pedro56

    Tsk Tsk Clive – isn’t it awful when somene else gets more media coverage than you. Jealousy is a curse you know. And like you can criticise others for extreme views – aren’t you the guy who wants to ‘suspend democracy’ to push your own agenda? I’m glad voters saw through your lunacy about the environment – fact is no matter how much we do in Oz to reduce our emissions it won’t make one lick of difference to global temperatures – but hey – at least everyone will ‘feel better’ – right….? Plus why aren’t you attacking Rudd for his recent silence on global warming?

  53. scot mcphee

    “And finally, don’t give me that “when you publish your paper in the peer reviewed journal” nonsense. I can make rational arguments without being an academic. And I think the leaked CRU emails show that academics don’t exactly run the “peer review” process all that fairly…”

    And right on cue, there’s the ideology. I chose to believe science, which publishes with a peer review process, and what peer-reviewed scientists tell me, and not accusations of science conspiracy.

    The CRU emails show nothing of the kind and quoting them as such is just quote-mining. Another favorite of the creationists.

    “There is a long-term warming trend that has become strong and persistent over the past three decades.” – actual scientists.

    The past year, 2009, tied as the second warmest year in the 130 years of global instrumental temperature records (Figure 2a), in the GISS surface temperature analysis. The Southern Hemisphere set a record as the warmest year for that half of the world (Figure 2b).

    Global mean temperature was 0.57°C (1.0°F) warmer than the climatologic average (the mean for the 1951‐1980 base period). Southern Hemisphere mean temperature was 0.49°C (0.88°F) warmer than the mean for the base period.
    The global record warm year was 2005, for the period with near‐global instrumental measurements (since the late 1800s). Sometimes it is asserted that 1998 was the warmest year. The origin of this confusion is discussed below.

    There is a high degree of interannual (year‐to‐year) and decadal variability in both global and hemispheric temperatures. Underlying this variability, however, is a long‐term warming trend that has become strong and persistent over the past three decades.

    – Hansen, Reudy, Sato, Lo http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2010/20100127_TemperatureFinal.pdf

  54. nugget

    Julius
    I did read and understand, you said firstly:
    “Moreover it would be unfair to suppose that the money specialists were making and the comfortable lives they were leading with that spending powere(sic) was a big reason why they did not do the reasearch work which would have disclosed the truth.”

    This clearly implies a conpiracy to defraud.

    You then somewhat moderated this to:

    “proceeding on their intellectually comfortable path without a spur to make them do better.”

    You may twist your words whichever, way you like but some of us still understand with total clarity!

  55. baal

    Calderwood: your claim that the 2KY bug was another example of a non-threat that never eventuated is interesting. The measures taken to prevent the 2KY problem world wide were extensive (and cost a lot of money) which is why it in fact it didn’t happen. I think you should avoid mentioning that one if you want to make your case that nothing need be done to prevent climate change because it isn’t going to happen. No that any logical or factual malfunctions in your argument seem to give you any pause.

  56. Patrick1941

    Well, I went to L Monkeyton’s talk this last Wednesday in Sydney. I was staggered by the audience’s capability to be ‘swung along’ by someone using crowd enlivening tactics. NB I never applauded them once – just for the record. I am no climate scientist by the way, but have worked in science all my life so my comments are mostly about presentation.

    For someone claiming to challenge some pretty serious science, I would expect some ‘real’ science. I saw none. Some comments recorded and notes made that evening:

    Alan Jones:
    · “It is the height of human arrogance that man can effect climate.”
    · “We must thank Lord Monckton for the incontrovertible evidence he presents.”

    Ian Plimer:
    · “For 80% of time the planet has been warmer than it is now. Therefore how can CO2 drive climate change.”
    · (in response to AJ’s intro of Monckton) “Wished we had the UK education system that educated LM in Oz.”

    Monckton:
    · “When HIV first appeared we should have locked them all way in isolation.”
    · “To solve the energy problem in Africa, we should use fossil fuel to generate electricity for them.”
    · “Only 6 polar bears have died, and that not due CC.”
    · “There are 5x more polar bears now than there were in 1940.”
    . “The arctic temperature is 2C cooler now than in 1940.”
    · To disprove some IPCC temperature data he took the last 10 or 15 years of graphical data and displayed it on 3 to 4 year graphs which of course each came out with a different slope. Thus proving, he said, that because each of his graphs were clearly wrong, as each graph gave a different result, the IPCC data was false also.
    . On ozone: “Mt Erebus emits CFCs which are the cause of the variations in the size of the ozone hole.”

    Monckton talked down to the audience most of the time. He set up his relationship with the audience by running off an old latin quote from memory, followed by some theatre about the technology of a spade. Each slide had a pseudo ‘aristocrats crest’ on it.

    If I used pp slides the way he did I would expect never to be asked to speak again. Too many without source, source poorly quoted, complex maths slides put up quickly and taken down with a snide comment about being too difficult for the audience ………. and on it went.

    His two lap-dogs were no better, if not worse because they supported this farce.

    If he was not being taken seriously by so many people who do not wish their consumptive lifestyles to change, it would the saddest, tragic, illogical, sick display of frustrated ego I have ever seen.

    I am though still glad I went.

  57. Most Peculiar Mama

    @baal

    “…The measures taken to prevent the 2KY problem world wide were extensive (and cost a lot of money) which is why it in fact it didn’t happen…”

    Really.

    I didn’t see many planes drop out of the sky; networks crashing; global stockmarkets and banking industry collapses…so what happened?

    Oh that’s right…they ‘fixed’ the problem before anything could occur. Riiiiight.

    How much money did you make off the scam?

    Enough to retire?

  58. Julius

    @Nugget. By the standards of a judge who has to determine at the outset whether words can bear the defamatory imputation alleged you are just plain wrong.

    There is, clearly, nothing that “clearly implies a conspiracy to defraud” in saying

    “Moreover, would it be unfair [that is the way I put it: you manage to misquote me – despite managing a “sic” further on!] to suppose that the money specialists were making and the comfortable lives they were leading with that spending power was a big reason why they didn’t do the research work which would have disclosed the truth?”

    1. Where’s the conspiracy, the planning to do something evil by two or more persons?

    2. Where’s the defrauding, the conscious taking of another’s money in the knowledge that you are taking it under false pretenses and deliberately fooling him that you are giving value?

    No, it is all about lack of motivation to change their accustomed ways of thought and practice, and, if I may say so, evidently that is what the point is. If you are earning plenty of money, enjoying your life, and happily doing something which makes you a respected professional person that you were taught was the right way to do things, of course you have to be a rather special individual to think your practice and practices might require that you seek to throw a bomb into them.

    You, Nugget, could prove yourself a special individual by acknowledging that you have been intellectually slack and made a bad point.

  59. baal

    Mama: what a weird response. Surely you remember all that special patches being installed in computers world wide.? Or were you on another planet? Perhaps you are still there. I hope it’s cool. And I love the implication that the only reason I would bring up 2KY is because I made money out of it. Yeah we’re all part of this conspiracy to take your guns away.

  60. Most Peculiar Mama

    @Patrick1941

    “…If I used pp slides the way he did I would expect never to be asked to speak again. Too many without source, source poorly quoted, complex maths slides put up quickly and taken down with a snide comment about being too difficult for the audience ………. and on it went…”

    That was exactly what I saw when Al Gore presented his “Inconvenient Truth” presentation.

    Spooky.

    “…If he was not being taken seriously by so many people who do not wish their consumptive lifestyles to change, it would the saddest, tragic, illogical, sick display of frustrated ego I have ever seen…”

    You sound scared.

    Just what is it exactly that you – and the other AGW proselytes – are afraid of?

    If you are so sure of your position why are you so wrought with fear that others are questioning your beliefs?

    It sounds as though Monckton’s lecture prompted you to question some of the extremities of your orthodoxy.

    Sounds very enlightening. I’m glad you went too.

  61. Most Peculiar Mama

    “…were you on another planet? Perhaps you are still there. I hope it’s cool…Yeah we’re all part of this conspiracy to take your guns away…”

    Seek help. Now.

  62. nugget

    Julius,
    Indeed, I made no point !
    I was merely refuting a bad example you gave.
    1.) The conspiracy lies in the deliberate failure to do the research. “They “means two or more people does it not?
    2.) The defrauding lies in the money “specialists were making” without doing such research.
    Is this not ” money made under false pretences, deliberately fooling that value is given” ?

    Medicine is not the only field requiring a “bomb under it”.
    If two people agree with one another, why do we need lawyers.

  63. Patrick1941

    Oh Mama most peculiar, you sound so sure of yourself and you make such assumptions about my position.
    I am not going to get into any long debate here, but suffice to state my position once only.
    Global warming and climate change are not the problem – they are symptoms of a whole set of problems associated with a society that over-consumes, and pollutes and over-populates its home.
    When we wake up and the conversation gets to grips with such a context will I at last begin to believe we are moving in the right direction.

  64. Ben Aveling

    > I didn’t see many planes drop out of the sky; networks crashing; global stockmarkets and banking industry collapses…so what happened?

    We spent large amounts of money to make sure it wouldn’t happen.

    Boring, but true. Sorry.

    The fear with Y2K was not that some things would go wrong, but that lots of things would go wrong at the same time. For example, the phone company supplier I worked for did some testing and found that our building’s security system locked all the doors, and we couldn’t get into the building. No big drama, we called a locksmith and all was OK. We also found that there were problems with some of our equipment. No big problem, we fixed it long before 31/12/99. But imagine if both of those problems had happened at once. Need to get into building to fix phones, need to fix phones to get into building.

  65. my say

    i stopped listening to breakfast months ago, although i did catch the genrleman who was broadcasting in the holiday season

  66. Tamo

    Y2K was recognised as a risk to be managed, but organisations really clicked into managing it when the company directors received legal advice that they might be personally liable if the risk wasn’t properly dealt with.

    The deadine was known and the IT departments identified the probable sources of risk and spent up to 2 years fixing it. So did the corporate communications departments manage the risk – which might explain why you didn’t hear of any failures.

    If you doubt that a computer program bug can cause an aeroplane to fall out of the sky, I invite you to remember the ANZ crash in Antartica.

  67. Elan

    MPM, you get called a goose and God knows what else. It’s rubbish of course.

    But the potential;-potential!! for a massive problem re Y2K was real.

    I know ought of the technicalities. But I know of those who do.

    I was, at the time very up close and personal with a member of a vastly experienced technical team monitoring the mainframe computers for the middle slice-North to South-of Australia.

    I am fully conversant with the atmosphere at that time. It was an acute awareness by tech’ experts that there WAS a POTENTIAL comp glitch that COULD occur.

    For two days two men camped on site! The countdown occurred. Nothing happened.

    All were considerably relieved.

    ………..but of course, because nothing happened,- nothing was ever going to happen, it was a complete furphy…..wasn’t it?

    It was not. The potential WAS there. And the concern by experts (I’m talking coal-face experts) was palpable for good reason.

    NOW;-try not to patronise me, because that IS your style, and it is bloody irritating, and forces a response, which can get so tedious.
    _____________________

    As to the rest,-is it changing? is it not?-are we responsible?

    Having just read through 60 posts, I’ll leave that to the rest of you.

    Our descendants will find out, one way or the other. What do we care?

  68. scot mcphee

    “Calderwood: your claim that the 2KY bug was another example of a non-threat that never eventuated is interesting. ”

    The other thing about this that’s interesting is that it was mostly a media hysteria. The idea that Jumbo Jets would fall out of the sky I only ever heard in the newspaper *. Most experts I know including myself just rolled our eyes and carefully checked our source code to make sure that we had rid ourselves of silly date assumptions and then moved on to lunch afterward.

    * On the other hand perhaps they would have and Boeing engineers fixed any software bugs they found in their fly-by-wire systems well in advance.

  69. Julius

    @ Nugget

    Oh dear. Try and keep more than a couple of words in mind at one time.

    It is not enough that “they” are “two or more persons”. They have to be consciously planning together for their to be a conspiracy.

    As to your eccentric understanding of “defraud” which removes an essential mental element or two (i.e. of being conscious of the wrongness of what you are doing and being deliberate in your deceiving) your suggestion that specialists not doing the research would be part of doing wrong by defrauding people that certainly does not pick up on what I said and you purport to adopt, namely,
    ” Where’s the defrauding, the conscious taking of another’s money in the knowledge that you are taking it under false pretenses and deliberately fooling him that you are giving value?”.

    A. specialists do not, ordinarily, conduct research or initiate it – but might, I suggest, if they weren’t complacent in their intellectual formation, and lacking in motivation to innovate. It is not ordinarily a part of a specialists job to do research however commendable it may be to do so. He is not taking money to do research which he doesn’t do.

    B. You seem to assume that specialists hold themselves out as state of the art innovators and researchers rather than just practitioners of the current best accepted practice. Wrong.

  70. Most Peculiar Mama

    @Patrick1941

    “…they are symptoms of a whole set of problems associated with a society that over-consumes, and pollutes and over-populates its home…”

    Don’t be so disingenuous. That’s not the argument being presented and you know it.

    Nobody argues with the need to reduce the pollution blight on the Earth.

    You – and the other AGW believers – are arguing that that pollution is carbon.

    I’m simply telling you you are wrong.

  71. Most Peculiar Mama

    Appreciate various commentators above re-confirming that the Y2K ‘bug’ was indeed a monumental scam that lifted untold millions out of unsuspecting and gullible corporates and governments chasing a computer bogeyman that ultimately never existed.

    Like Bigfoot and the Loch Ness monster it MIGHT have existed, but really there was nothing to worry about.

    That’s the kind of irrational fear insurance companies just love.

    The parallels between Y2K and the IPCC-led AGW ‘scam’ grow bigger and more apparent everyday.

  72. Elan

    Not a goose. But not very bright,-THAT surprises me.

    ‘re-confirming a monumental scam’. How very silly.

    If only for the fact that I did nothing of the kind, and of course you know that!

    Still, all this does come down to a bit of a game doesn’t it? Sparring just for the sake of sparring.

  73. nugget

    Julius,
    Sorry,
    Not having your great intellect is a disadvantage but nonetheless-

    A.) In order to become a specialist research in a particular field (usually relating to specialty) must be carried out prior to qualification. He is taking money for research done by others in his field.

    B.) Does not the wonderful system we have ensure that no “intellectually complacent” people reach this level or are we all being dudded?

  74. Most Peculiar Mama

    “…Sparring just for the sake of sparring…”

    No, but it IS getting really boring.

    The talk should be on why Clive Hamilton is a fraud and a hypocrite or are we all in agreement?

  75. Michael

    Come one come all !!

    Tote now open.

    THE BET 1:

    Rudd will NOT resubmit the ETS

    THE ODDS:

    1:2 (that’s two to one on in Totespeak)

    THE BET 2:

    Rudd will blame Abbott for the collapse of his world saving scheme

    THE ODDS:

    1:5 (that’s five to one on…etc)

  76. Elan

    Read the whole lot. Nobody changes the opinion of their opposite number. I won’t change yours, and vv.

    I DO find Hamilton a tad strange-but that relates to something earlier.

    What I find boring though, is your contention that one ‘side’ is a fraud.

    I mean, come on! Really?

    ‘…..or are we all in agreement’ ? ..er, well,…no.

  77. Hugh (Charlie) McColl

    @MOST PECULIAR MAMA

    “Nobody argues with the need to reduce the pollution blight on the Earth.”

    If you spend about five minutes on just about any site in the climate change blogosphere you will find someone who “argues” for and/or against absolutely anything – possibly in the same sentence. So, in relation to the quote above, I’m sorry but, in your own words, I’m simply telling you you are wrong.
    However, unusually you have adopted a potentially concrete position on something – that carbon is not (or cannot be?) part of the “pollution blight” on the Earth. Would you like to expand on this notion?

  78. baal

    @Hugh – don’t hold your breath hoping for something rational. I bet it will be ‘carbon is essential to life’ or some such platitude (spliced with the usual spiteful ad hominems).

  79. nugget

    Elan
    How much fun would it be if we all agreed? About as much fun as root canal therapy!
    What if both sides are frauds?

  80. Hugh (Charlie) McColl

    Back off BAAL. We can speak for ourselves here, thankyou.

  81. baal

    and I am sure you will – probably with the same degree of rudeness

  82. baal

    PS I didn’t realise this was a private conversation. Perhaps you should hold it somewhere else.

  83. jeebus

    @Scott, your post deconstructing the denialist/creationist anti-science movements was brilliant.

    @MPM, when you feel the need to tell everyone else to get help, perhaps the problem is not with everyone else.

  84. Elan

    Nugget,

    I suspect SOME on both sides are….frauds?? No. Some on both sides are distorting and exaggerating facts to suit their own point of view.

    No biggie I suppose,-politicians upwards do the same thing.

    Those that come after will pay. Or not.

    (P/post: my attempt at an abbreviated vice versa came out as a w. It was of course v v).

  85. Most Peculiar Mama

    @Hugh (Charlie) McColl

    “…that carbon is not (or cannot be?) part of the “pollution blight” on the Earth. Would you like to expand on this notion?…”

    Explain to me in what state the chemical element ‘carbon’ is currently at “pollutant” level on the Earth.

    Be specific.

  86. Evan Beaver

    What? All you’ve got left is semantics Mama?

    You are no doubt aware ‘carbon’ is short hand for CO2, CH4 and is often interchanged for all of the greenhouse gases.

    Pure carbon exists as a pollutant in particulate emissions, particularly from diesel vehicles and to a lesser extent from various coal burners.

    Does that help?

  87. Most Peculiar Mama

    @jeebus

    “…when you feel the need to tell everyone else to get help, perhaps the problem is not with everyone else…”

    Not everyone…just one.

    Please tell me you are not (yet) another Crikey muppet that imagines conversations that didn’t take place?

  88. Patrick1941

    Oh sigh – big big sigh. I thought this might be of interest, but no, just people with nothing better to do with their time. I think I will unsign from Crikey, if I can, or if it will let me.

  89. chinda63

    Hugh – MPM will answer your question when she comes back from her lunch break.

    Don’t you just love watching your hard-earned tax dollars being pissed up against the wall?

  90. Johnfromplanetearth

    AR: The other point of view is not allowed by the loony left, it’s your way or the highway and it matters not if your road leads to nowhere. Monckton will debate anyone , even you! Go along and challenge him, there will be a large attendance, an open forum to discuss civilly i hope man made Climate Change. It won’t take to much time out of your day, so if you can spare about 30 seconds for him to demolish you please attend. Ask him if your own clean habitat will be saved and will you still be able to drive that brand new volvo you always wanted? After all that is all alarmists are really concerned about now isn’t it!

  91. Most Peculiar Mama

    @Evan

    “…Does that help?…”

    Not good on specifics are you Evan.

    “…You are no doubt aware ‘carbon’ is short hand for CO2, CH4 and is often interchanged for all of the greenhouse gases…”

    Only in your world. Using such unscientific shorthand semantics is fraught with danger and misinterpretation. A lesson Kevin and Penny have since learned.

    ‘Carbon’ is the base of almost all organic compounds; why are you being so selective?

    Again [now this is getting really boring] explain to me in what state the chemical element ‘carbon’ is currently at “pollutant” level on the Earth.

    In order to have “pollution”, something must be “polluting”.

    Tell me WHAT IT IS.

  92. Evan Beaver

    Try read to the bottom of my comment next time. I know it’s a lot of words for you.

    “Pure carbon exists as a pollutant in particulate emissions, particularly from diesel vehicles and to a lesser extent from various coal burners.”

  93. Most Peculiar Mama

    “Pure carbon exists as a pollutant in particulate emissions, particularly from diesel vehicles and to a lesser extent from various coal burners.”

    The WHO and EPA have VERY specific guidelines as to what concentrations constitute an atmospheric pollutant.

    None of the above examples you cite come within a bull’s roar of being classified as such.

    Try again.

  94. Evan Beaver

    No, I’m not going to try again. What in christ’s good name are you on about? Do you think that establishing that some people don’t provide you with the exact definition of pollutant you determined earlier proves anything or has any relevance at all?

    Fill your house with pure carbon and let me know how that goes for you.

  95. Captain Col

    I just love the good Lord. Monckton, that is. He’s great. He revs up the semi-educated socialists something terible. And it’s easy to find them congregating here at Crikey. Mention his name and they go bonkers. Apoplectic.

    Why, because there’s no one who can face him and win. And even their ABC heros shut up and let him speak because they know he’ll make them look stupid if they open their mouths.

    More power to him, I say!

  96. Most Peculiar Mama

    “…Fill your house with pure carbon and let me know how that goes for you…”

    I did.

    They cost my husband a bundle, but boy do they sparkle.

    I just wish I had more fingers.

  97. Hugh (Charlie) McColl

    @MOST PECULIAR MAMA

    “Pollutant”. I beg your pardon MPM. I presumed that when you used the expression “pollution blight” and asserted that carbon was not part of that blight, you yourself already had a conception of ‘pollution’ and ‘carbon’ and, for that matter, ‘blight’.
    Now you want me to define that pollutant thing. But it’s your terminology – you explain it. If you don’t want to, well don’t, but please refrain from passing the parcel.

  98. jeebus

    @Elan, and that’s how the denialists have won the current battle on AGW, by exploiting the tendency of reasonable people like yourself, who lean towards even-handedness when it comes to contentious issues.

    In reality, comparing the two sides is like comparing apples to oranges.

    On the one side you have thousands of climate scientists conducting research and reviewing each other’s work, each study adding to the overwhelming weight of evidence in support of AGW. On the other there’s a hodge podge of concerned laymen, fossil fuel lobbyists, political ideologues, religious ideologues, and genuine skeptics, picking and clawing away at that mountain of scientific data looking for fault, incompetence, or manipulation.

    When a flawed study or piece of data is inevitably unearth, it is trumpeted loudly as the smoking gun that undermines every other piece of evidence. We’ve seen it with the hysterical responses to the ICU emails, and now with the incorrect numbers for the Himalayan glacier melt estimates. Both cases were deserving of scrutiny and re-evaluation of the studies and research involved, but to say it undermines the entire case for AGW would be like saying the structural integrity of a building is in doubt because the electrical wiring was poorly engineered.

    The greatest flaw in this ‘debate’ is that the skeptics and the deniers themselves are not subject to the same process of scrutiny and level of integrity as the science or the scientists. Monckton and Plimer have repeatedly manipulated data, made personal attacks against their opponents, and have made outrageous statements with no citation or evidence whatsoever, and yet they are given the benefit of the doubt.

    How can a public figure claim AGW was designed to bring about a one world communist government and ever expect to be taken seriously again?

    It is because we trust the media to sort the charlatans from legitimate voices of authority. In the case of AGW, the Anglosphere’s media has failed miserably by trying to be fair to all sides of the political spectrum.

    Cranks, partisans, and compulsive liars, have exploited this goal of balanced reporting by injecting political controversy into issues of science and reason in order to push their ideological agenda.

    Balanced reporting for the sake of balance has to stop.

  99. Most Peculiar Mama

    “…Do you think that establishing that some people don’t provide you with the exact definition of pollutant you determined earlier proves anything or has any relevance at all?…”

    Of course it does.

    According to AGW believers like yourself, THE FATE OF THE ENTIRE PLANET DEPENDS ON IT.

    Scientific nomenclature is VERY specific. so why are you so comfortable in dealing with spurious misrepresentations, assumptions and half-truths?

    Do you work for the IPCC?

  100. baal

    If Monckton is a ‘lord’ then we all are

  101. baal

    weird the way this mama person thinks anyone who points out a flaw in her verbiage must be working for the IPCC

  102. Most Peculiar Mama

    @Hugh (Charlie) McColl

    “… But it’s your terminology – you explain it. If you don’t want to, well don’t, but please refrain from passing the parcel…”

    Let’s get a few things perfectly clear: carbon is not a pollutant; carbon dioxide is not a pollutant.

    Neither of them are causing dangerous levels of “pollution” in the atmosphere.

    The unsustainable amount of detritus and refuse from 6.5 billion souls and counting is most definitely “pollution”.

    Again, reduction of that “pollution” is NOT the AGW believers argument. They believe the earth is “heating” due to an increasing in carbon dioxide “pollution” levels.

    Hilariously, they maintain this pretense despite there being no evidence of any such a link between CO2 and temperature; even the Warmenists concede that. The science is pretty simple to understand.

    Moving to “renewable” energy sources does and will NOT change the quantum of landfill rubbish generated by humans on this planet one jot.

    And only a stupid ignorant fool would suggest otherwise.

  103. baal

    This thread reminds me of the Monty Python sketch featuring the man looking for an argument who goes into the wrong room and gets abuse

  104. philiseedogollomoo

    MPM
    Talk about sparring for the sake of sparring!

    My favourite colour is blue.

    Anyone for an argument?

  105. baal

    you mean a blue!

  106. nugget

    It goes like this .
    It took 100 years to prove (to denialists satisfaction) that smoking causes lung cancer.
    How long has the global warming theory been about (yes its just a theory ) ?
    I suggest we’ve got about 90 years to go with MPM
    You are all wasting your exhaled CO2 !

  107. Hugh (Charlie) McColl

    @MOST PECULIAR MAMA

    Thankyou for your response. You propose that neither carbon or carbon dioxide are pollutants and they are not causing (dangerous levels of) pollution of the atmosphere.
    My dictionary defines pollute thus: destroy the purity or sanctity of; make foul or filthy; contaminate or defile (man’s environment); hence pollutant.
    I wonder whether you can imagine a point at which the concentration of C or CO2 in the atmosphere would constitute pollution or whether you see such a concept as illogical or irrational? Because later in your piece you state that the “.. unsustainable amount of detritus and refuse from 6.5 billion souls and counting is most definitely “pollution”. I know that landfill is far more visible and obvious than transparent gases but I thought that the (uncontested) evidence of atmospheric CO2 levels rising during the last century was connected, pretty strongly, to that same unsustainable amount of detritus etc. from 6.5 billion souls. Do you contend that there is no connection?

  108. scot mcphee

    Most Peculiar Mama doesn’t understand the physics of CO2. It’s very simple, incontrovertible really, that more CO2 == higher temps – a fact uncovered by the 1950s.

    My guess is that because CO2 is found in the atmosphere as a natural constituent of air that she ? will claim it is therefore not a ‘pollutant’. But N2 is also a natural constituent of the atmosphere (the most abundant!), and I invite MPM to try and live in an atmosphere that is 100% N2 and see how that goes.

  109. nugget

    Scot
    Lets be reasonable 50% N2 and 50% CO

  110. scot mcphee

    LOL, Nugget.

    I believe that Argon is the third most naturally abundant gas in the atmosphere. As this is “natural”, Argon cannot possibly be a “pollutant”. Therefore it must be OK if we create an atmosphere of 50% N2, 30% CO, 20% Ar. These are all naturally occurring gases … can’t hurt anything. These Argon-alarmists, I tell you, it’s a fraud! Man could live on 100% Argon, it’s a noble gas after all, and after all science wants to destroy the nobility with its socialist agenda! Scientists should stop with all these “facts” about Argon!

  111. baal

    So, pollution has to be defined as harmful to humans, as opposed to ‘natural’ which means to be avoided but not destroyed. Except for the ‘unnatural’ things created by humans, either new toxins or an over-abundance of natural ones. Continue?

  112. nugget

    Oh Mama where are you?

    Cat got your tongue ?

    People in greenhouses should’nt throw stones !

  113. Elan

    @Elan, and that’s how the denialists have won the current battle on AGW, by exploiting the tendency of reasonable people like yourself, who lean towards even-handedness when it comes to contentious issues. (Jeebus)
    _____________

    I don’t you know!! I have no doubt whatsoever that it IS getting hotter.

    I’m simply too bloody cynical and tired to argue the toss.

    On this specific issue that is.

    As Nugget said it would be pretty boring if we all agreed, and I guess the essence of democracy is to discuss/disagree, BUT:

    I see no point in wasting my time on it. Both sides have distorted data, which really damages the credibility of their message.

    On this I will seek as I find.

    And yes,-I find Plimer to be a condescending twat. Is that because ‘ah believe in der cause’ ? No. It’s because Plimer is a condescending twat.

    Monckton reminds me of Oswald Moseley.

    It’s all so knackering. I simply can’t be facked.

  114. AR

    Pat1946 – thanks for enduring Moneyton and your precis. Please do return but whatever you do, DO NOT FEED TROLLS, specifically MPM and its remora (I believe that most are it using different names and call on the Crikey moderator to check the (tekky thang) computer address and exclude all except one – mustn’t censor, just stop the logorrhoea.

  115. nugget

    aR
    Me hearties.
    Yeah, you might call it the Steve Irwin in me but i likes given them tidbits, seeif they carnt biteme.
    Argh

  116. BigDon

    I think Mr. Hamilton should do a little research into Lord Monckton’s credentials, as he clearly is a member of The House of Lords, also his Lordship did not claim to be a Nobel laureate as I’ve heard him mention this on Jim Ball’s radio program on 2UE – he merely said he should have been awarded a Nobel prize for certain assistance he gave & it was a tongue in cheek comment anyway.
    Here below is proof of Lord Monckton’s right to be a member of The House of Lords & not just a life peer either, he is the real deal. From The House of Lords website : –

    House of Lords Journal 240 (Session 2006-07)

    Viscountcy of Monckton of Brenchley in the Peerage of the United Kingdom The Lord Chancellor
    reported that Christopher Walter Monckton had established his succession to the Viscountcy of
    Monckton of Brenchley. The Clerk of the Parliaments was accordingly directed to enter the Viscount
    Monckton of Brenchley on the register of hereditary peers maintained under Standing Order 10(5).

  117. Julius

    @ BIGDON would you mind adding to the research you have done and which you have urged on Clive Hamilton by following up the evidence of

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Hereditary_Peers_elected_under_the_House_of_Lords_Act

    I got there by Googling for “hereditary peers elected House of Lords”.

    As you can see Monckton’s name does not appear amongst the hereditaries who have been elected to represent all hereditaries under the 1999 Act which turned the House of Lords into a repository for those favoured by the PM’s patronage even more than it had been.

    It is possible that he was entitled to and did take his seat before that Act came into force and it is possible that he has subsequently been elected but, on the face of it, he is not a member of the House of Lords in the ordinary sense of being a voting member of that house of legislature (any more than most Irish peers were despite their being genuine titled members of the nobility).

    I don’t know whether the issue of the government’s meanness about “club rights” has been resolved. Apparently peers who had been active members of the House of Lords but did not seek election under the 1999 Act or were not elected were excluded from the use of the Lords facilities (presumably including library, tea rooms etc – whatever were conveniently referred to as “club rights”) once they were no longer entitled to be voting members of the House. This seemed a bit odd to anyone aware of the way retired MPs in Australia can use Parliamentary Libraries, dining rooms etc.

  118. nugget

    So Bigdon,
    What is your point?
    In Australia contrary to popular pommy belief, we were born with our own brains.
    He is a denialist, I don’t care how many plums he has in his mouth, he should share the atmosphere he deserves with MPM.

  119. Ben Aveling

    http://www.parliament.uk/mpslordsandoffices/mps_and_lords/alphabetical_list_of_members.cfm contains only a Lord Lang of Monkton – not the same spelling and not the same person.

    His wikipedia entry reports “Although an hereditary peer, Monckton is not a member of the House of Lords.[3] He was an unsuccessful candidate for a Conservative seat in the House of Lords in a March 2007 by-election caused by the death of Lord Mowbray and Stourton. Of the 43 candidates, 31 – including Monckton – received no votes in the election.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher_Monckton,_3rd_Viscount_Monckton_of_Brenchley

  120. Ben Aveling

    And here are some more accusations against Monckton: http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/05/monckton_caught_making_things.php

    On the matter of Trolls, remember that a reason some Trolls can’t be persuaded is because actually know that the position they are taking is wrong. And they don’t care. They aren’t here to find truth, they’re here for a fight. They often understand the material perfectly well, sometimes better than you do. If they can persuade you to believe something that they know is false, they win. If they can make you lose your cool, they win. If they waste your time, they win. Such trolls can’t be persuaded because they already know that they are lying.

    > “I do not attempt to convert my opponents–I aim at converting their audience.” –David Goodman (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:DGG)

  121. Julius

    With perhaps 100 others (including a number of scientists including full professors and at least one particle physicist and one serious mathematician of my acquaintance) I heard Monckton give an extended address at lunchtime today followed by questions. His quick clever answers to long questions that one is familiar with from radio interviews gave way to long careful erudite answers to short questions. Without a note, he is an extremely effective purveyor and clarifier of complex information and advocate.

    Quiggin and Hamilton and others who may have been invited to debate him but declined were wise. I have heard them all and Monckton would have wiped the floor with them. He is BTW quite well enough equipped as a mathematician to burrow into the IPCC’s models and understand them and their areas of mere guesswork or fabrication.

    Don’t bother with Wikipedia on him. It is written by his opponents, anonymously and quite without scruple, never by him, though occasionally a scene of battle when some of his supporters chip in.

    On matters I have been interested in he gave interesting and obviously very well informed answers. For example, he has met Svensmark (“The Chilling Stars”, with Nigel Calder) and has a high regard for him as a capable and honest scientist but is only willing to say that his thesis just might eventually prove to be the major missing explanatory element, the silver bullet. As he pointed out the data needed to prove it has only been collected since 1983 and it remains to be proved.

    On another was ocean acidification. He called on Ian Plimer who was present to give the first part of the answer to that, it being in his scientific field. Plimer pointed out that the CO2 reacts with masses of rock deep in the ocean and that buffers whatever needs to be buffered. He pointed out that there are fossils of shelled creatures from times when there was hundreds of times the current amount of CO2 in the atmosphere.

    Monckton went on to explain that the essential alkalinity of the oceans might be slightly reduced towards neutrality but that a serious problem of acidic oceans there was not and would not be.

    Also present was the author of Climategate Analysis by John P. Costella, a scientist, who got up a book length analysis of the leaked emails in a form which I am about to read as
    C_Docs_Lavois_climategate analysis john costella.pdf

    That was sent by a lawyer friend but it will be available I judge from its file name on the Lavoisier Group website before too long.

    I am told that Costella’s book is devastating for anyone who wants to remain an innocent believer in the honesty of the scientists involved.

  122. oovergro

    Fran Kelly is a terrible disappointment
    She is fundamentally ignorant of Australia beyond the trivia of party politics.
    She is gratuitously aggresssive, and her interviews are predictable in their ineffectiveness

  123. nugget

    Julius

    What is the motive for dishonesty of the ‘scientists involved’ ?

  124. baal

    @Nuggett Good question. I doubt you will get an answer. Several times I have sen the charge made but never and explanation except ‘to get research grants’. Indeed one contributor to this thread has a habit of asking people who argue with her if they work for the IPCC!

  125. nugget

    Yes ,

    Those evil scientists want research grants so they can establish a world communist government.

    Good plan, wish I had thought of that one !

  126. Julius

    Monckton said he started his many addresses at American universities with “Don’t believe a word I say” and he has obviously found it a very good way, with student audiences particularly, of making the point that they should go and check from the sources anything he says that they don’t feel inclined to take at face value. According to him he doesn’t say anything which can’t be verified from appropriate sources.

    No doubt there have been plenty of people trying to catch him out on that one but, setting aside corrupted Wikipedia (which I do use for all sorts of things but recognise as corruptible by concerted attempts to take it over in matters political, ethnic etc.)

    My own reference to the honesty of scientists was a limited one. I can expand it a bit now because I have now read 35 per cent of Costella’s online book and it is quite devastating even if you don’t accept every one of Costella’s comments. So, can I can now agree with those who “…. told [me] that Costella’s book is devastating for anyone who wants to remain an innocent believer in the honesty of the scientists involved”.

    There is only very slight evidence of everyday financial dishonesty as Costella points out at the beginning where he notes a little tax avoidance fiddle.

    And there doesn’t seem to be much of a case for suggesting that, if you were talking to any of the people who wrote the emails or are quoted, you would be deliberately lied to, unless perhaps you were Steve McIntyre or another of their perceived enemies.

    For those who, without reading the Costella compilation and commentary, doubt that any imputations can be reliably made on the honesty of “the scientists involved” and pose as test question (to paraphrase) “what would their motives be?” I would say, just start by regarding them as human beings, as human beings gathered in a little clan or trible or close extended family, and compare them with Catholic bishops and priests in Ireland who covered up wrongdoing for generations, or almost any police force every few decades where extensive corruption, bashings etc. eventually reach the light of day.

    If you want examples of the tenacity with which existing ways of doing things can be rationalised and fiercely defended consider the legal profession’s resistance to reform over centuries, or just a few decades in which it has at last become unnecessary for a QC’s junior to be paid two thirds of his leader’s fee or, indeed, to employ a junior at all. (That leads to the question about why “silk” should still be awarded at all – I am sure that offers an analogue to (climate) science practice too.)

    Motivations are rarely simple for intelligent people and I suggest you read the Costella compilation for yourself and see people behaving – a few with credit – in ways that should conform to your understanding of our imperfect human nature. My remark about honesty was aimed really at some of my high-minded friends who expressed disapproval of those who cast doubt on the work of all those (unknown but imagined as ideal presumably) scientists (as the IPCC authors were supposed to be – and no doubt are, if not relevantly in all cases) and thereby put our grandchildren’s welfare at risk. As these friends couldn’t or wouldn’t do the work (which someone with mathematical equipment like Monckton, or a particle physics background like Dr Tom Quirk are equipped to do and actually do) to see if the supposed consensus stood up as justification for spending trillions. Hence my view that the CRU email scandal (note how it is less often referred to now as “theft” and more often as “leaking” by a “whistleblower”) will be the way into the minds of such non-scientists. Unless they have over-committed themselves to the alarmist cause as many media people have, they will most likely flip. It will be forever before Phillip Adams’s climate views go the way of his communism but I expect even an honest chap like Tim Colebatch will drag his feet before conceding – assuming that the actual science reduces to a neutral position where there is no proven case for alarm rather than total overthrow in favour of “The Chilling Stars” and variable cloud cover explanations of recent warmings.

  127. Julius

    And BTW, the crack about communists and world government is based on either misinformation, perhaps from the over-edited Wikipedia, or casual indifference to what Monckton (would have) said.

    He justifies speaking of Communists – someone put the question to him so he explained – by reference to the hammer and sickly flags being carried by many in the mobs that tried to disrupt the Copenhage events, or some of them. Similarly, he answers Janet Albrechtsen and others who question his references to Hitler Youth by relating a story of a private meeting (in Copenhagen I think) being invaded and disrupted by young Germans because, afterwards he found at least one of three shocked older German journalists in tears and explaining that this was what happened in the 1930s when gangs of Hitler Youth would invade private houses to disrupt and destroy opposition to the Nazis.

    “World government”? Well, I gather it was Monckton who ran his critical eye over the vast draft treaty which had just about got to the conference in Copenhagen without a peep from Western democratic governments and, having exposed its terms, caused it to be withdrawn.
    He gave an amusing account of how he forced unwilling petty bureaucrats in Copenhagen to let him see the updated version – which, belatedly, they gave him at the bottom of a vast pile of irrelevant papers. Though it was constantly fiddled with during the conference he couldn’t get a look at the updates. He did note that much of the really offensive stuff had been removed in what he did see. However, unless you are willing to give your time to homework thorough as his it would be unwise to sneer at his alleged “world government” remarks.

    We may all find ourselves very grateful to Monckton’s willingness to use his PR flair and, on the face of it (though not really when you examine it) extravagant language, to attract attention to the needed debate. And if he proves wrong or causes the IPCC mob to sharpen up their act and eventually win full acceptance, that’s fine too.

    BTW some of his most telling figures show that, on the IPCC’s own figures, a reduction of 30 per cent in CO2 emissions will only reduce atmospheric temperature by 0.2 degrees C – at vast cost. Also that the actual projections of CO2 in the atmosphere by 2100 are overstated by 100 per cent or more. I haven’t checked with his sources or re-done the calculations but I am inclined to think that these would stack up.

  128. baal

    re Julius and Costella and why scientists cheat, this little quote seems to be a good example of the way the conspiracy mind sets (once you’ve ‘seen’ it, it’s there and all the signs prove it:

    >>(from Julius) For those who, without reading the Costella compilation and commentary, doubt that any imputations can be reliably made on the honesty of “the scientists involved” and pose as test question (to paraphrase) “what would their motives be?” I would say, just start by regarding them as human beings, as human beings gathered in a little clan or trible or close extended family, and compare them with Catholic bishops and priests in Ireland who covered up wrongdoing for generations, or almost any police force every few decades where extensive corruption, bashings etc. eventually reach the light of day.>>

    ‘gathered in a little clan’? or ‘tribe’ etc etc. The collecting of these people and putting them in a paranoid psychological setting suggests seeing ‘human beings’ in a particular way, frightened grooups who will twist everything to their advantage etc & the analogy with beleaguered bishops is risible. At the back of this is a suspicion that maybe all scientists and science are up to no good. Or anyone who shares knowledge. A conspiracy of corrupt elites. Neat isn’t it.

  129. Julius

    @BAAL
    I prefer evidence to generalised blather and I suggest that you might take the same view by reading the Costella analysis and, if you disagree profoundly with it, giving us the benefit of your review and even re-analysis of the same emails.

    Even your particulars so far suggest an unwillingness to read what people write and try to understand it.

    What on earth has your characterisation of my words “gathered in a little clan or tribe” from which you significantly my reference to “extended family” was omitted, got to do with “putting them in a paranoid psychological setting”? I merely attempt to get the reader to enlarge his imagination and call on his experience to remember or at least to understand how groups may function. And who said anything about “beleaguered bishops”? My point is not about people who necessarily feel beleaguered. Did the Catholic hierarchy in Ireland which regularly switched paedophilic priests around from one parish to another feel beleaguered? On the contrary, they seemed to have felt immune to criticism or constraint. So police hide the wrongdoings of their colleagues because they feel beleaguered? Not at all, at least usually.

    I am not particularly concerned to explain the motivations for the unfortunate behaviour disclosed in the East Anglia emails (which extend far beyond the people working in the CRU). Read the stuff and wonder, I suggest. The fact is more important than the motive, but none of it should surprise anyone with a few decades of experience of scientists, lawyers, politicians, public servants and other tribes. That doesn’t mean that you would actually expect those nice scientists you meet regularly at your college dining table or wherever are likely to behave as badly or as incompetently as the emails indicate – just that it is well within the bounds of human experience.

    A point worth considering is the rise of so many of those who would have started pretty low in the scientific pecking order to positions of power, influence and fundedness in a new area of mixed sciences promoted from the time of James Hansen’t evidence to Congress or a bit earlier. Not too many Ivy Leaguers, MIT, Caltech, Oxford or Cambridge professors. And not many from the “hard” sciences. A few modestly competent mathematicians like Karoly, but it is the excessive claims for the mathematical modeling as against the collectors and analysers of evidence that makes it possible for those, like Monckton, who have no other relevant qualifications but enough mathematics, to do a job on the IPCC’s output.

    If you were a distinguished physicist like Freeman Dyson (not a sceptic so much as one who looks to alternatives to reducing CO2 emissions), or an MIT professor like the leading sceptic Richard Lindzen, you wouldn’t be behaving as if you were part of a pack of mongrels which had, rather insecurely and recently, taken over a wolf pack’s lair.

  130. Michael

    Here, here Julius.

  131. Mark Duffett

    Good dog, Julius.

  132. Michael

    Behold MarkDuffet’s excellent contribution!
    The only one of the Warm Mongers who makes any sense.

  133. Julius

    Thank you Mark. It is always pleasing when a well-mannnered German Shepherd is recognised as First in Show.

  134. philiseedogollomoo

    Julius
    The motivating factors you use as an example Catholic priests, police all have very clear motives, those of power, sexual gratification and money.
    These motives parrallel those of the establishment ie Monckton et al, those who have existing commercial interests in keeping the status quo.\

    As you say “motives of intelligent people are rarely simple” nonetheless it is important to establish these for a prima facie case against.

    The only motive that I can think of is to create a public mischief and I don’t think this is so.

    The Howard goverment so ran down our tertiary institutions that any scientist with monetary motivation has long since departed.

    Climbing the ladder ? Well that would only occur in the particular field of climatology, however most scientists in most fields, seem to agree that AGW is happening.

    Again, I remain unconvinced you have uncovered true motives.

  135. Julius

    @philiseedogollomoo
    “I remain unconvinced you have uncovered true motives” seems to place you pretty close to having accepted that a lot of climate scientists have behaved very badly as shown in the leaked emails. But I doubt if you have had time to read Costella’s remarkably thorough 130 pages or so. I suggest you do because then you might agree that the motive or several motives of those participants whose behaviour Costella criticises are not central to the charge.

    It is worth pointing out perhaps that it is NOT necessary to establish motive for their to be a prima facie case against someone if you are using the legal analogy (and I can’t think of another that you might be appealing to). Motive will often help to identify the person who has done the known misdeed. It may help to establish that an observed action was not an accident. It could even help to determine the probability that misinformation was or was not dishonest or that a claimed defence of self-defence was not undermined by there being a strong motive to kill the victim. However, it is not generally, and not in this case, I suggest, a necessary ingredient to believing that some scientists have behaved very badly. And it wouldn’t help them much to suggest that they had no motive for what they have done.

    Each person’s motive may have been different, and, so far as we are concerned with a narrow look at particular emails, it may be that there were different motives and purposes for different emails. What I would suggest does help to make it more readily comprehensible if the only vaguely suggestive analogies of bishops and police won’t do is team solidarity against (perceived) outside attack. Morality is what is the done thing in a group, once small and tribal, now much more extended, and that draws attention to the point that we can usually feel happily moral about something, even jusify moralism, high dudgeon, indignation etc. if we are comfortably conforming to the implicit requirements of group solidarity.

    The emailers in a real sense would have thought they were doing the right thing and fighting the good fight in nearly every case (exceptions are noted where someone holds out for higher standards). But….that they have let down science and scientists is the theme of Costella’s analysis.

    No doubt you can think of occasions when you have deplored the excesses of those who have been fighting for a cause, especially of course if the bad means used are exposed and the cause is lost anyway. (Iraq might provide some examples at one end of the scale). At a comparatively innocent level I can recall the enthusiasm of a team of election campaigners who, when it was discovered that their candidate had been subjected to a pretty vicious campaign by letter box drop from a third-party organisation of activists, went round removing the offending pamphlet from letter boxes and substituting one quickly got up for their candidate.

    I would be interested to know what you think of Costella’s analysis beyond quibbles.

  136. baal

    Julius: well i seem to have at least drawn you out to express yourself in the language of insult (‘mongrels’ indeed) which seems to be at the heart (or liver) of most of what drives the attempt at high minded principled logic and argument adopted by deniers.

  137. baal

    Further to that, just as you judge me by what I say in posts (rather than books I’ve read) so I comment on your contributions. Telling people to go off and read the same books you have doesn’t add weight to your own writing

  138. Venise Alstergren

    MICHAEL: What are the odds that Kevin Rudd will promise more Oz troops to President Obama for Afghanistan? Evens?

  139. philiseedogollomoo

    Julius

    Firstly, there is no doubt that climatology is a “soft science”, secondly there is no doubt that to prove AGW beyond doubt we need more than 100 years of data to prove statistical significance.

    Yes, Costella seems to have uncovered some sort of conspiracy to fudge if his evidence is permissable, however this is outside his area of expertise B.E(elec.)Hons BSc Hons PHD Physics.

    (only on brief reading I didn’t wade through all)

  140. A government big enough to give you everything, is strong enough to take everything you have.

    Geeze allot of butthurt lefties.

  141. Julius

    @philiseedogollomoo
    On the lawyer’s principle that you wouldn’t be saying it if it wasn’t meant to be part of your argument I assume you are attaching importance to “this” (however you define what “this” is) being “outside his area of expertise”. If true it would no doubt tend to make his conclusions worth less weight. However I don’t think it is true.

    1. Physics is right at the heart of a lot of the most important aspects of climate science (and no discipline seems to make one expert in all aspects); cf. for example the peer reviewed and other papers of Dr Tom Quirk, a retired particle physicist.

    2. Costella’s claimed expertise in statistics and statistical method, though I wondered a bit at a couple of his assertions, is entirely relevant to much of the IPCC scientists methodology and reported results. You will see that he is very critical of the inability he detects of CRU people to handle statistical calculations he would expect a 16 year old to be able to do. An exaggerated jibe I suspect but, still, the point is the relevance of his areas of expertise. Likewise Monckton focuses on the mathematical modeling, the standards of evidence, and the extrapolations to be drawn from the IPCC’s own figures based on his one relevant area of expertise – though he is inclined to add his classical training in logic to his Applied Mathematics.

    Although heading in a sceptical direction I don’t know that I would go so far as to agree with your “secondly there is no doubt that to prove AGW beyond doubt we need more than 100 years of data to prove statistical significance”. However, I think I may have been confused by the conflation of two different elements there. “Proof beyond doubt” and “to prove statistical significance”. I suppose there are quite a few important elements in the understanding of and calculations for the great climate model which could be ascertained to a conventional point of statistical significance such as 95 per cent (two sigmas) without having 100 years of data. To be reasonably certain about a climate model which can explain almost everything from the Ice Ages (Ian Plimer says we are still in one of the Ice Ages and the earth was usually much hotter and moister!) to the African monsoon shifts which greened and dried out the Sahara etc. etc. we would presumably need far more than 100 years of data.

    One the one hand one could say “yes, and we should insist on that great climate model being established so we won’t have to turn round and acknowledge that we have overlooked some long cycle such as the 2400 year Halstatt[zeit] cycle (had to Google for it and found another 2400 cycle as well) and have to acknowledge therefore that there could easily be some causal factor about to change our world unexpectedly”.

    On the other hand we could say “yes, that’s all very well, but the immediate question is whether the IPCC’s models are valid and reliably predictive which all depend on a high degree of positive feedback from the extra water vapour they suppose to result from the initial extra warming from CO2 increases.” We would then proceed to focus on possible falsifications of those models which are the basis for worrying about the next few decades. As I travel in a sceptical direction I see those models falling before the work of David Evans (which Monckton claims originated with him), Lindzen and Choi, Douglass, Pinker et al.

    My predictions, on which I would place modest bets, are that variations in cloud formation will be discovered to be the most important variable within the next five years. Even money on that one. And as a missing part of the explanation of recent warming and of changing cloud formation I would take 3 to 1 on “The Chilling Stars” explanation which depends on cycles of solar magnetism affecting the showers of cosmic radiation which play a big part in cloud formation.

    @BAAL
    Saying you have drawn me to express myself “in the language of insult” because I have used the word “mongrels” seems a rather convoluted and uncertain way to make a point of dubious merit. It is not as though I referred to or addressed anyone involved in the current discussion as a mongrel (not, anyway, by any means a word which is always an insult). I wonder why you would regard it as less insulting if I had made my point more prosaically by saying that an MIT professor would be less likely to display the mob behaviour and conspiratorial aggressiveness of those whose rise to power and influence from the ranks of the second rate or traditionally less esteemed. But that makes a legitimate point, even if a speculative one, and the fact that it suggests a lack of esteem for the emailers is merely and essential consequence of the judgment made or adumbrated.

    I do think you ought to read what Costella has written before you can expect someone to take seriously anything you say which hinges on a view derived from reading it. I do think Costella has made a good case for serious misbehaviour by most of those involved in the CRU based scandal. Good if you want to take that from me. But I am 200 per cent keener on others actually reading the book if they are otherwise disposed to take IPCC science on trust.

  142. baal

    @Julius: Actually I am not commenting on Costella whom I sure I should read like so many other treatises about so many issues that befuddle so many of us; but I am not really arguing the climate change case at all, merely commenting on the style of those who are trying to discredit the scientists. Do it convincingly or not at all. Use language well, ditto. That’s all really.

  143. Julius

    @ BAAL

    You are obviously capable of nice discriminations so I think you really understand that I am not “trying to discredit the scientists” in the ordinary sense of producing facts and arguments which show that they should be given no credit.

    Literally I suppose you could say that I was clearly enough suggesting that giving credit to them just because they were scientists working in the field or fields of climate science was not necessarily justified. And… once I had read about a third of Costella’s analysis I was willing to give it as a source of at least secondary evidence on the question whether those involved in the emails which were leaked were trustworthy.

    What I have done and all I intended to do was the approximate equivalent to advising a young friend with a bit of money to invest “That project of Jones’s that you describe certainly sounds attractive on the face of it but you ought to have a word to McTavish who might tell you a few stories about his experience with Jones’s schemes”.

    I don’t want to do too much work myself on this “Jones’s scheme” but don’t think I should support others in trusting it.

  144. philiseedogollomoo

    Julius
    I am not in any way questioning his statistical analysis, merely his ability to analyse emails and draw conclusions from them.

    One must also look seriously at how these emails were obtained because heresay evidence is not usually acceptable.

  145. philiseedogollomoo

    Julius

    As we have recently learnt from the “ute gate ” affair, emails are not secure, and there is no guarantee of reliability.

  146. Julius

    @ philiseedogollomoo

    You seem to question whether the email hoard is truly what it appears to be. Really?

    Within a few days of the leak (as it presumably was, rather than some hacker’s work) no one from CRU was trying to deny that the emails published were all genuine and untampered with. The need for defence against the attack they invited was such that all the efforts by everyone from Phil Jones down were to characterise the leak as theft and to put favourable or at least harmless interpretations on the emails. Remember the immediate attempt to say that the “trick” was a bit of mathematical cleverness.

    Next point in what you seem to be saying is that you regard them as “heresay(sic)”. I am afraid your understanding of the evidentiary concept of hearsay is as dodgy as your spelling of it. What makes hearsay second best evidence, if allowed in legal proceedings at all, is that the facts are not related directly by witness A who observed them but by witness B who was told by A about the observation of the facts. It is A that you need to cross-examine in order to make sure that none of the usual problems of observation or memory or veracity have sullied the evidence, but you can’t because you only have B to question.

    None of that has anything to do with the current question unless you want to say that Costella has not reliably copied the emails that he analyses. He is quite explicit about his procedure and offers means of checking where he has given a summary.

    I don’t understand what relevance the “utegate” affair has. True, Turnbull found himself waving around an email which was real but, unfortunately, really concocted and sent by the wretched Grech. There appears to be absolutely no parallel with the East Anglia University/ CRU emails. As I have pointed out no one concerned has denied that they are genuine and accurately reproduced. None of the apparent authors has denied authorship to the best of my knowledge. So what is your point and in what direction does it take the argument?

  147. philiseedogollomoo

    @ Julius

    You say the leaks were characterised as theft, were the police involved in an investigation of such theft, if not, why not?

    You say that they were then characterised as “favourable or harmless” really, is this how you would have interpreted them or do we rely on advice of a number cruncher ?

    I get back to my main point being was Costella the best man for this job?

  148. philiseedogollomoo

    @Julius

    If you provide evidence for your case of dubious nature, should you not expect cross examination?

  149. Julius

    @philiseedogollomoo

    1. I doubt that the police were involved or even that those using the word “theft” were concerned to use it in a legal sense rather than moral. It was used by all and sundry who did not want the scandal to be taken seriously as a count against the IPCC or a major part of its network (as the CRU at East Anglia is). I don’t suppose anyone would have wanted to call in the police rather than taint the users of the information as people handling stolen goods (A bit like the German purchase of names from a former Swiss bank employee who has undoubtedly stolen information about Germans who may have used the Swiss bank for tax evasion. I doubt if those who used “theft” about the CRU emails would object to the German government’s receipt of stolen goods! And I don’t think I do either).

    So the reason why police weren’t called in, if they weren’t, is obvious in the context of what was really at stake.

    In view of your apparent doubts about the “reliability” of the email horde that Costella has done a job on – by which I take you to mean their authenticity and the accurate reproduction thereof – I emphasise that the apologists use of the word “theft”, also used by Dr Phil Jones, he head of the unit, is logically an affimation that the leaded emails are the real thing.

    As it happens, I think those emails might well have been leaked to a Russian organisation in order to give a bit of cover to the leaker. It could appear that a hacker had somehow got access.

    2. Nothing you had said made it clear to me that your “main point was [that] Costella [might not be] the best man for this job”. I am not sure what your criterion would be for “best man”.

    He is seems, on the face of it, admirably well qualified and to have done an excellent job though it would be great if there were a Royal Commission or equivalent with several highly qualified commissioners and counsel to assist. It is just that, as far as I am aware, no one has hitherto done such a thorough survey and analysis of the emails and published it. So far, therefore, he stands in possession of the field. By all means, someone, read his book and give an honest critical review of it without relying on the sort of quibbles that anyone can easily generate to waste the time of those who suspect that they are trivial or a misrpresentation but feel forced to chase them down.

    3. Then you ask “If you provide evidence for your case of dubious nature, should you not expect cross examination?”.

    Of course. So what is your point?

    I was explaining a major part of the rationale for the rule against hearsay evidence of which you seemed to have an imperfect grasp. It has little to do with “the evidence for [anyone’s] case [being] of dubious nature” because all material evidence should be considered carefully to see whether it needs testing by cross-examination if only to elucidate its meaning and implications and have its detail confirmed with proper accuracy. So, of course, the cross-examination that you would want to apply to the evidence is much more restricted if you are ahearing what A saw and heard from B to whom A allegedly told it.

    As I said, that has nothing much to do with this case because it is not Costella that you would want to cross-examine – unless you found major discrepancies between what he has printed of the emails and the originals. You would want to examine, cross-examine and re-examine the senders of the emails, and their recipients, as to what they were up to. Ideally, it should be part of a Royal Commission or equivalent inquiry into the “reliability” of the IPCC’s science and the data used so that, when counsel assisting the inquiry gives a fair summary of how bad those emails look when measured against the IPCC’s mission and supposed standards and the standards of scientific method and ethical conduct the counsel for the persons impugned, and the CRU – and even the IPCC – will be able to call their witnesses to explain what they really meant and what it all means when put in context. Then their witnesses would be cross-examined.

    At no point would Dr Costella come into it for questioning. His relevance is simply that his book would probably be the foundation document for putting together counsel assisting’s opening address after he or she has deputed to junior counsel the task of going over the same ground to ensure that relying on Costella’s work is sound, and improving on it or clarifying it as need be.

    So far we are stuck with Costella’s book being the best way of understanding what was in the East Anglia/CRU emails and what their significance is. Anyone who cares whether some scientists dealing with an aspect of science which is very important, if only because of the amount of money which could be wasted if they are wrong, are a disgrace to science, or anyway, dangerous to our economic welfare, should read the Costella book.

  150. Julius

    @

    I missed your “You say that they were then characterised as “favourable or harmless” really, is this how you would have interpreted them or do we rely on advice of a number cruncher ?”

    And you have missed the point that the only people characterising them as “favourable or harmless” were apologists for the CRU emailers who couldn’t deny that they were genuine even if they wanted to muddy the waters by referring to them as stolen. Of course I don’t interpret them that way, or does Costella – if that is the person you refer to as “a number cruncher” (though why you would I don’t know, since little of his number crunching abilities are needed for what he has done). Anyone who took an interest in the reporting of the email leak here and overseas would be well aware of the numerous attempts by apologists for the CRU to characterise the whole corpus of emails as nothing but petty storms in the staff room type stuff, and in cases like the “trick” to invent an explanation which doesn’t stand up.

  151. Flower

    Hello Clive

    Have a look at the latest shenanigans of the fossil fuel criminals. Their seeds of deception make the hapless CRU scientists look like Mother Teresa and Einstein rolled into one!

    http://www.alternet.org/story/145507/coal_ash_industry_manipulated_epa_data%2C_ghost-wrote_agency_reports_for_a_decade

    Hey – perhaps Poppa Bolt and his devotees would be interested in the article?

  152. philiseedogollomoo

    Royal commission ?

    I thought we had just conducted one, where do we apply for payment ?

    What I hear you say you need some findings etc. tell that to the people of NSW

  153. Julius

    @ Flower

    What possible relevance to the credibility of the IPCC/CRU et al. who are rightly squirming at the picture painted by the leaked emails to point to yet another example of industry (allegedly) trying to minimise environmental constraints in order to maximise profit. If anything, it only serves as a reminder of the difficulty of finding wholly honest, reliable, courageous people anywhere. No doubt the coal industry that wants to market coal ash has plenty of scientists backing them and spruiking for them.

    Who do you think would be more likely to tell a lie to save his job: a PR person who can easily obtain employment elsewhere if he is good at his job; or a scientist in a specialised field who, despite being good at his job, is not likely to find it easy to get employment elsewhere?

    On reflection, I think you have added to the reasons for regarding the soft-science clique connected to the CRU as more likely to be corruptible than an industry spokesman, at any rate no less corruptible by self-interest.

  154. Flower

    Poppycock Julius and the bobbing and weaving quickstep is rather pitiful.

    The UK Parliamentary Science and Technology Committee has announced an inquiry into the unauthorised publication of data, emails and documents. The Independent Review is inviting written submissions from the public therefore rather than bore us witless with tedious iteration and repetition, why not address the terms of reference?

    http://www.parliament.uk/parliamentary_committees/science_technology/s_t_cru_inquiry.cfm

    What I can anticipate from the pending outcome, is that the forces of evil do not reside at CRU.

    Furthermore, I anticipate a McClimategate enquiry in the not too distant future. One of the outrageous lie spewed f rom the toxic Wind in the Willows – Toad at Toad Hall, is that the US was responsible for millions of deaths from malaria because they “banned” DDT.

    William Sanjour spent 30 year as a senior official at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and more particularly during the restrictions on DDT. He responded to claims in the New York Times, years before we had the displeasure of receiving Toad of Toad Hall in Australia, however, his letter was not published – more subterfuge from the forces of evil:

    “Half Truths About African Effort to Cut Malaria:

    Your June 29 article “Business Joins African Effort to Cut Malaria” contains the half truth: “Fears that uncontrolled outdoor spraying of DDT would contaminate ecosystems led many nations, including the United States, to ban the pesticide.”

    ‘The half not included is the fact that EPA, in 1972, only banned the crop use of DDT. Public health uses, such as cited in your article for preventing malaria, were explicitly exempted from the EPA ban. This point is important because opponents of the ban on crop use of DDT in the United States have frequently and incorrectly cited the EPA ban as contributing to the spread of malaria in Africa.’

    http://home.comcast.net/~jurason/main/Default.htm

    Obviously you have no idea about environmental toxicology. Flyash is radioactive, contains heavy metals and is an ideal resting place for PCBs and dioxins but that is nothing for the “corrupted” denialist to worry about, is it?

  155. Julius

    @ Flower

    No doubt your toxicology point is correct. But what’s the point? Of course polluters and people who may gain from an activity which is polluting are likely to argue against some or all restraints on them and some of that argument may be dishonest.

    And what’s your point about the parliamentary inquiry into the leaked emails and their implications?

    Presumably it has been set up because preliminary assessments of the emails, a lot less thorough than Costella’s “Climategate Analysis”, has already shown what a blow the affair is to the credibility of the whole IPCC enterprise and the political and commercial commitments and careers which have been hung on it.

    I am only advocating that people expose themselves to the evidence. The Costella book is only indirectly about the science but it seems to have the merit of being unassailable in the factual truth of what it relies on.

    As I have already said, I am open to seeing Monckton proven to be an eloquent charlatan and, if I followed up on collateral matter such as what he has actually said about DDT, malaria etc. and why and whether he can justify it I might find that anything he says on any subject requires even more scrutiny than it would otherwise deserve. For the moment I prefer to focus directly on the climate science related matters.

  156. Ben Aveling

    People. We are all aware that Lord Monckton has on occasion been less than totally honest and open. That alone doesn’t mean he’s wrong. Likewise, we are all aware that the IPCC have on occasion been less than totally honest and open. That alone doesn’t mean that they’re wrong. And anyway, this isn’t Monckton vs the IPCC, there are many other players.

    On this and on all other posts on this topic, could we please keep the conversation a bit more focused on the science and a bit less obsessed with personalities.

    Many, perhaps most of you, on both sides of this know far more about the science that I. But it’s reached the point where I no longer know why you think the other side are wrong, they just are, they just must be.

  157. Julius

    From the 7.30 report transcript of Kerry O’Brien’s interview of Prof Michael Oppenheimer who was intended, presumably, to balance or squash the rather inadequate representation of Monckton’s case:

    “It’s a complicated problem, but that’s what we elect political leaders for, to take the evidence, sort it out and make sensible policy. We don’t elect people to be daunted by scientific complexity.” That was from Oppenheimer. With those views what criticisms would he have of Monckton taking part in a political debate on the subject?

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