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Feb 4, 2010

Monckton's Melbourne meeting: a gathering of men in Richie Benaud blazers

What's it like to attend a Lord Monckton meeting? For the cheering crowd of Old-Australia-RSL-club climate change deniers who flocked to see him, it was like a rock concert.


Outside Lord Monckton’s meeting at the Sofitel Hotel in Collins Street, the young men from Lyndon LaRouche’s Citizen Electoral Council handed out newspapers warning against “Hitler-style genocide”.

“Carbon trading is the British Empire trying to wipe out the nation state,” a LaRouchie explained.

What did they mean?

For the CEC, the theory of human-induced climate change was not merely wrong. It was a lie, a conscious fraud cooked up by, well, Prince Philip, actually, as part of the British Royal Family’s perfidious scheme to depopulate the planet.

But where, one wondered, did that leave Lord Monckton, the man outside whose event the CEC was canvassing? Wasn’t he a British aristocrat? Was he in on the plot, too?

The Larouchie hesitated for a minute.

“You have to realise, they like to confuse people.”

One shouldn’t imply that the CEC was representative of the huge crowds attending Monckton’s tour. That would be unfair. The LaRouchites were much younger, for a start.

Inside Monckton’s Melbourne meeting, most of the attendees looked like Ian Plimer. It was a gathering of men in Richie Benaud blazers, sometimes accompanied by silver-haired wives, dressed up as if for a night at the opera.

Naturally, the attendees didn’t believe in evil plots led by the Royal Family. In fact, they seemed, if anything, distinctly anglophile, in that Old-Australia-RSL-club kind of way. They’d come, after all, not to listen to Chris Monckton but rather to the “Third Viscount of Brenchley”, a man who was touring not “Australia” but (his slide informed us) the “Commonwealth of Australia”, a distinction that, in context, seemed to matter rather a lot. It was a crowd who saw nothing strange in a priest kicking off proceedings with the Lord’s Prayer, nor in the heraldic crest that adorned every overhead, a grisly emblem with a crown hovering majestically above a portcullis.

John Howard battlers, for the most part: the old, the white and the angry. That anger — and it was palpable — provides a potential constituency for Tony Abbott, and perhaps even a large one. When a picture of Kevin Rudd flashed on the screen, the hostility was immediate and unfeigned.

Later, the Viscount asked rhetorically: “Do we want an emissions trading scheme?”

“No!” came the shout. “No!”

Could supporters of the ETS — by its nature, an unhappy negotiated compromise — muster the same passion in its defence? One very much doubts that Penny Wong, these days, attracts roaring crowds.

The deep outrage felt by climate sceptics, their sense of facing a fundamental attack on their way of life, provides Abbott, at the very least, with a pool of active supporters: highly motivated people to hand out how-to-vote-cards, make phone calls, attend meetings.

But whether he can turn that constituency into a majority is a very different question. For while Lord Monckton eschewed, for the most part, the wraparound jumper craziness of the CEC, he nonetheless strayed regularly into X Files territory. Copenhagen, he explained, represented an attempt to impose world government by bureaucratic coup d’etat.

He put on a Nazi accent. The real plan at Copenhangen was, he said, all about “the New Vorld Order!”

Indeed, the fascist jackboot seemed to have already come down on poor old England, which was now ruled by “commissars” (a word he repeated several times) from the European Union.

“We in Britain are no longer free.” His voice turned mournful. “I know what it feels like to lose my democracy. Make sure you don’t let your democracy go so cheaply.”

In some respects, this kind of black helicopter nuttiness might have seemed like an add-on to the main message but in other ways it was central. For Monckton was there to explain that there was no climate crisis at all. The temperature was falling, not rising. The sea ice was just fine. So, too, the Eurasian snow cover and the Antarctic ice and the hurricanes and the polar bears. They were all as right as rain, and there were graphs and charts and formulas to prove it.

And that, of course, raised a second question, one that necessarily haunts climate sceptics. If, as Monckton said, the majority of scientists are scandalously and incompetently wrong about global warming, why does the scientific community go along with the charade? What about the media and the political mainstream? Why aren’t they embracing the truth?

The answer doesn’t automatically involve a conspiracy but it certainly marches you a long way that direction. You’d think that a researcher who could allay the world’s fears about global catastrophe would be crowned with laurels. But, no, apparently not. Someone must be getting to the scientists, forcing them to toe the party line. Someone is making sure that the journalists don’t dare speak out. Why, it’s probably the same people who turned Britain into a dictatorship without anyone noticing!

You can see the difficulty for Abbott.

The attendees at the Monckton performance might seem, at first, the traditional pillars of the Liberal Party, an organisation that’s always done well with old, comfortable, white folks. But there’s a big difference between Menzies’ people and Monckton’s people.

Once upon a time, the Liberal Party, an organisation temperamentally suited, after all, to hierarchy, accorded an almost royal deference to Big Science. Menzies presided over an Australia that wondered at atom splittings and Sputnik launchings, and not in the sceptical sense of that word but with genuine awe, with the mysteries expounded by clipboard-carrying oracles understood as evidencing the remarkable advances of the modern age.

Under Howard, however, the party embraced a populist anti-elitism, in which the instincts of ordinary folk always trumped the hoity-toity pronouncements of over-educated know-it-alls. Throughout the culture wars, the high falutin’ elitists in their inner-city apartments, those whining postmodernists confounding the common sense of you and me and the bloke next door, were a perennial punching bag for the Liberals and their mouthpieces.

The climate debate thus arrived with an oppositional script already well-prepared: on the one hand, the fancy-dancing, silver-tongued scientists and ideologues, with their incomprehensible graphs and statistical charts; on the other, the hard-working traditional Australians forced to feel bad about SUVs and air travel by self-righteous scolds.

Slapping down some scientific poindexter became, then, a reflexive defence of values associated with the ’50s, even as it manifested an attitude to the research establishment that Menzies would have found incomprehensible.

Right-wing populism is neither new nor confined to Australia. As a political tactic, a demagogic anti-elitism was imported from the US where it served Republicans for decades, and accordingly it’s in the US where the consequences can be seen to their fullest. George Bush might have been the fortunate son of a political dynasty but his political career centred on a “just folks” persona in which Bush, a brush-cutting Texan cowboy, fronted as the kind of guy with whom you could have a beer — in contrast with, say, John Kerry, who’d undoubtedly clear the entire bar by, like, talking about politics and stuff.

As a touchstone for electability, the “would I go drinking with this man?” test was, of course, spectacularly insane: a moment’s thought would suggest that proving yourself affable company for alcoholics would not, in and of itself, qualify you to control a nuclear arsenal. Nonetheless, it won Bush two elections and, in the process, shifted the way that the US — and hence the world — thought about power and politics. For, whatever other promises he may have reneged upon, as President, W remained true to an anti-intellectual populism. He was a man with a swagger, an avowed non-reader, a Decider who did his deciding by gut rather than by brain. The political consequences of a presidency ruled by a stomach might be increasingly apparent from New Orleans to Baghdad, but, as Charles Pierce argues in his book Idiot America, the implications for science are even worse.

“If we have abdicated our birthright to scientific progress,” he writes, “we have done so by moving empirical debate into the realms of political, cultural and religious argument, where we all feel more comfortable because there the Gut truly holds sway. By the rules governing those realms, any scientific theory is a mere opinion and everyone’s entitled to those. Scientific fact is as mutable as a polling sample.”

If your instinct tells you that climate change is a fraud cooked up by leftists still angry about the fall of communism, well, who or what could convince you otherwise? As Pierce points out, the populist disdain for authority means that everyone is an expert — and thus no one is. Worse, in a debate centred on gut feelings, real knowledge becomes a manifest disadvantage, a palpable signifier of inauthenticity. You trust some wingnut blogger precisely because they’re not a research scientist — that’s why they can speak so freely!

Monckton’s supporters might protest that, actually, his tour was all about science. There were graphs, there were charts, there were statistical analyses.

Well, of course there were. But you can’t actually do science that way, can you! How many people in the Sofitel audience knew what a Stefan-Boltzmann Equation called itself when it was at home? Not so many, one presumes — but we all knew how to hiss demonstrably when an outraged Monckton revealed that, throughout the 1600-page UN report of 2007, there was no mention (not one!) of said equation. (It was, one presumes, crowded out by all the plans for a world government!)

You might think that Monckton should be publishing his equations and graphs to the peer-reviewed literature, the traditional route for challenging a scientific paradigm. Ah, but he can’t, because the journals and the university and the other government-funded institutions prefer to foster apocalyptic projections rather than the arguments of a man who says the environment’s just peachy the way it is. Why? Well, now we’re back to interesting theories about commissars and the collapse of democracy and the rest of it.

Abbott thus faces a ticklish dilemma. On the one hand, the deniers bring a passion that an Opposition sorely needs. On the other hand, the climate sceptics teeter on the verge of overt hostility to the very establishment that the Liberal Party needs to win over. Populists, after all, despise and mistrust not only greenies and EU commissars but Big Media and Big Business.

The Liberal Party, well, not so much.

John Howard managed — most of the time — to present himself simultaneously as a populist and a man of the establishment. Perhaps Abbott can do the same. But it doesn’t seem likely, at least partly because the rhetorical tenor of the sceptics has grown so shrill.

Afterwards, when the crowd shuffled out, the LaRouchies were still on the street spruiking.

Did they know that Lord Monckton also opposed the New World Order?

They were pleased to hear it.

But what about the Royal seal on all his slides. What did they make of that?

The LaRouchie thought for a moment and then he brightened. “Perhaps he’s an agent,” he said. “Prince Philip has agents all over the world, you know.”



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265 thoughts on “Monckton’s Melbourne meeting: a gathering of men in Richie Benaud blazers

  1. Ian

    More old pyjams. Perhaps Crikey should change its name to the “AGW Deaf Old Farts Club”. Getting worried that you really may have been hoodwinked? For goodness’ sake, even The Guardian is expressing doubts. Give the propaganda a rest Crikey, and get back to what you used to do well – investigative journalism.

    Here’s a challenge – publish nothing from either side on AGW for a week. Bet you can’t help your self.

  2. Mark Duffett

    “If we have abdicated our birthright to scientific progress,” he writes, “we have done so by moving empirical debate into the realms of political, cultural and religious argument…

    Hmmm. To me, this sounds more like the chickens of trendy post-modernism coming home to roost.

  3. Elan

    Wee Chris was on Adelaide’s 5AA this am. Leon Byner. I haven’t listened to Byner for several months, but this was interesting……..

    It was a deniers (God! that spelling reminds me of stockings!),-love-in. Including Byner.
    He would have been happy to take calls from believers I’m quite sure,-but they would have been hung out to dry!

    I’ve managed just under 30 seconds before the dump switch was used. It was pointless to phone in…., I would have broken my record.

    (He IS rather childish-wee Chris. He refers to Wong as Wrong. I would never distort names……).

  4. Aron Paul

    Thank you for reporting this. The more daylight let in on this the better.

    Though by the way, I always thought the CEC blamed THE QUEEN for the drug trade and everything else – have they moved on to Philip now? What about Prince William? Where is he in all of this? They’re going to have a ball when Charles is king with all his organic farming and forest preservation etc.

  5. harrybelbarry

    ” a fool is easily parted with his money ” How many oldies have said this ? bet a few were there at the Snakeoil salesman show. want a laugh- go to AGMATES website, their friends paid chris and wife $100,000 to come to Australia and talk bull sh@t. A family of Flat earthers.

  6. Andrew

    It is a worrying sign when large parts of society fall prey to professional fraud, the raison d’etre to be found in a combination of a vested interests-driven disinformation campaign, dumbing down populism by large segments of the media, widespread ignorance and the fear of change, even change which will save the atmpshere from extreme pollution.

    Charlatans reign supreme, the media being only too happy to give them a dream run, increasing its ratings. That a coalition of “man over nature” ideologues will enjoy propaganda “success” reflects the inclination by many to deny environmental realities they may need to confront.

    Deniers seek uncertainties in future climate projections, cf. dates of Himalayan glacier melt or Amazon deforestation, ignoring the inherent uncertainty of any future predictions. Most of all they ignore the fact that, to date, the IPCC has UNDERESTIMATED ice melt rates, sea level rise, feedback effects and the proximity of tipping points, not least looming release of hundreds of GtC as methane from permafrost, lake sediments and bogs.

    Combing thousands of stolen e-mails, deniers extract single words out of context, placed on hundreds of phoney websites whose writers appear hardly familiar with the basic laws of physics, a weakness for which they over-compensate using toxic ad-hominem against environmentalists.

    The spectre of Australia’s two major parties, the one professing, the other hardly pretending, to accept the overwhelming scientific evidence of climate change, battling over alternative strategies for 5 percent emission reduction relative to 2000, would have been funny had the implications not been so serious.

  7. Aron

    Seriously, I LOVE reading this sh*t. How great is it? Nothing entertains like the insanity of others.

  8. Perry Gretton

    For the record, the Guardian hasn’t started to turn. Quite rightly, it’s taken issue with certain lazy or over-zealous or duplicitous scientists. They need to be taken to task because they undermine the credibility of all climate scientists.

    As to the issue of global warming, the science is in and it’s time we did something about it.

    Good article, by the way.

  9. glazedham

    Mmmmm was i dreaming, or did the world get together and ban aerosols a few years back..and styrofoam..and put those star stickers to reduce fluro-carbon fueled fridges. Was this all a folly and actually a ruse? Did aerosol fluro-carbons cause the hole in the ozone layer. Or was this an elaborate photoshop scam cooked up by Steve Irwin?

  10. Most Peculiar Mama

    “…It was a crowd who saw nothing strange in a priest kicking off proceedings with the Lord’s Prayer…”

    As opposed to an even more bizarre “Welcome to Country” ceremony?

    “…why does the scientific community go along with the charade?…”

    After badly failing at trying to silence dissent, the “scientific community” now finds itself in damage control, desperately trying to salvage what little credibility it has left.

    The peer-review process lies in tatters, almost beyond redemption.

    As IPCC High Priest, Pachauri is a global embarassment and an affront to decent scientists everywhere. The pro-AGW crowd should be thoroughly ashamed to have him as their spokesperson.

    “…What about the media and the political mainstream? Why aren’t they embracing the truth?…”

    They are. Everywhere. Although you appear to be in denial.

    Even the normally rapturous George Monbiot says Phil Jones should go.


  11. appopiso


    Yeah we tried to ban Aerosols in Aus but somehow TA who was hiding in a monastery escaped, sorry.

  12. Mr Pastry

    Nutters against the idea are as ugly as nutters for the idea. Shame Crikey cannot walk in between the two and come up with some really well observed commentary.

  13. baal

    Seems there are as many nutters posting messages on Crikey as turning up at mad Monckton meets

  14. Johnfromplanetearth

    I’ve never looked good in the cream, beige, off white or ivory. That was funny, the whole article was funny, a typical response by those who are finding it incredibly difficult to find fault with Monckton’s arguments. The pseudo intellectuals are going crazy with this, Monckton has taken all comers to the cleaners and alarmists everywhere are feeling a little lost and lonely knowing how much of a fool they have been falling for this con job called man made climate change. There are no more corners to run and hide, they are taken up by Faine, O’Brien, Bowden and Flannery. Tell me, when did Al Gore care about the science in his oscar winning fantasy movie An Inconvenient Lie? There were graphs, there were charts, there were statistical analysis all over it and he won an Oscar! Nice try, but the gig i up, the fraud has been exposed and people are starting to wake up out of their slumber and realise they no longer wish to be conned. The science is far from in on this and it has only just begun as the arrogance of man is exposed. How arrogant are we that we think we are that important in the overall time scale of the this planet’s history, Mother Nature will flick us off like a speck of dust when ever she feels like it. Lefty’s don’t really care about climate change, they just want a nice clean place to live for themselves, they’re major concern is how will all of this nonsense inconvenience me and where will i park my volvo!

  15. Flower

    Toad of Toad Hall is a psycho for hire with omnicidal tendencies. His visionary power only extends to his ability to see at night, just like other bug-eyed insects.

    Toad, that DDT you’re flogging off on behalf of the chlorine industry and Monsanto et al, is meant to kill rivers and little babies. For the “Lord’s” sake Toad, stop guzzling the stuff – it’s a gender bender and impacts on the endocrine system (see literature on DDT, thyroid malfunction and poppy eyes!)

  16. JamesH

    Johnfromplanetearth is absolutely correct when he writes: “Monckton has taken all comers to the cleaners”. Everyone who comes to one of Monckton’s paid snakeoil sales pitches has indeed been taken to the cleaners. It’s no wonder that “pseudo intellectuals are going crazy with this”, Plimer for one must be enjoying the sensation of a rapidly filling bank account.

  17. Frank Campbell

    It’s fascinating to watch rationalisations under construction. Sparrow’s verbose ramble is a blueprint to rationalise a major political failure, a comforting revision of the recalcitrant present. Cruel fact is the anthropogenic global warming hypothesis has lost traction. The Green Left (my tribe) entered Copenhagen like a medieval army, complete with Crikey missionaries like Anna Rose. Chindia the Dragon shattered them with one flick of its tail. Nothing left except decaying hubris and frozen condoms.

    Meanwhile, back at the branch, the climate modellers’ soaring layer-cake of assumptions and statistical analyses sagged. The 3000 hacked emails sank in. Data manipulated, hidden and deleted. Dissident scientists hounded and vilified. Peer review rigged. Journals captured or condemned.Confident predictions disproved by observational data. Pachauri exposed as a carpetbagger…

    AGW isn’t dead yet, but it’s not at all well.

    So what do Sparrow, Keane and Rundle do, with choral unanimity? They pretend the lunatic Right-wing fringe is the problem, seducing the old, white and angry. The climate fiasco first delivered us the Mad Monk, thanks to the gullible Green Left. Inconceivable! “The Libs will split”, rundered Thundle. Now Sparrow et al curse Mad Monckton, the sorcerer who leads the dumb blazered masses, masses who endanger the planet, civilised Liberals and the ALP…

    But hang on…we know that Monckton is a rotting Thatcherite relic, full of idiotic notions. We expect the lunatic Right to hang upon his every maggot. And we know that AGW has Savonarolas too: Clive Hamilton for one: “suspension of democracy” and internet censorship. Denialists and Believers are two sides of the same cult. A cavern of trolls shrieking every day on Crikey and Bolt. (Not one of the slack fuckers have ever read the East Bumcrack emails…)

    Ideologues like Sparrow, Keane and Glassjaw are incapable of facing the evidence, political or scientific. They’d rather live in a private virtual world. They’d rather patronise than realise the AGW cult is doomed, even if the hypothesis isn’t. “Climate action” is going to happen very slowly now, if at all. Prince Charles Armageddon party (July 2017) looks like a fizzer.

    The climate cult is empowering the Right.

    Don’t think for a moment that resistance to the AGW cult depends on geriatric men in Coolangatta. Remember that many scientists have been cowed by AGW. Privately many have serious doubts about the computer modelling which AGW rests on. And scepticism amongst the general population has grown steadily since 2006- about half are now dubious. Including 13% of Green voters in the last poll. I never saw a Green in a blazer.

    Cults, manias and fads are sociologically similar. Triumphant one minute, embarrassing the next.

    AGW has reached that tipping point.

    I can’t wait to watch the, ummm, repositioning of Spundlekeane, Manne, Hamilton, Adams…A rehab resort at Coolangatta perhaps?

  18. Alexander Berkman

    Nice article Jeff, a good way to bring the nutjobs out in the comment arena! Nice to see a bit of racism appearing from probably the most peculiar nutjob of the lot. Climate change deniers like to spend a lot of time harping on about lack of evidence yet spend no real time out where it matters – perhaps they could go and visit some of the massively deforested areas of this country let alone elsewhere or perhaps go and have a nice drink from Lake Baikal in Russia or even catch a ride on that mammoth ice sheet that has recently broken away from Antarctica. You cannot deny in any way that every single day, worldwide, we humans spew tonnes and tonnes of pollutants into the atmosphere through industry, transport and agriculture, log the lungs of the earth, degrade our precious waterways and so forth, all to fuel a machine based on infinite growth. Growth for growth’s sake, as Edward Abbey put it, is the same principles as a cancer cell. At least admit we live on a finite planet, that we humans have caused damage and that perhaps we could take responsibility for our actions and slow the machine down and start repairing the damage we have inflicted. But alas that would be too much to ask for, actually accepting responsibility for our actions, oh no, climate changer deniers want business as usual and by the look of the current govt and the scary looking opposition it seems they’ll get their way.

  19. Julius

    @ Andrew

    You say “Combing thousands of stolen e-mails, deniers extract single words out of context, placed on hundreds of phoney websites whose writers appear hardly familiar with the basic laws of physics, a weakness for which they over-compensate using toxic ad-hominem against environmentalists.”

    You ought to keep better electronic company if that is all you think there is to be said about a scandal which has led to a parliamentary inquiry because many people think it seriously undermines the credibility of science and scientists as well as the practitioners of soft science who, the emails seem to show, find any threat to their new eminence pretty alarming. You could read Dr John P. Costella’s comprehensive assessment of the emails “Climategate Analysis”.

    Your use, like that of the earliest apologists for the East Anglia/CRU disgrace of the word “stolent” is interesting. It seems to put you in the mindless “my team right or wrong category” because, on the one hand it acknowledges that the emails are genuine and, on the other, attempts to provide a totally irrelevant and illogical reason for deploring any use of the emails which is derogatory to those who sent them. It seems pretty clear, does it not, that the emails were leaked by a whistleblower from within? Unlawful perhaps, but less heinous than the conspiracy to defy Freedom of Information requirements that one finds in the emails themselves.

    It is hard to disagree with your “The spectre of Australia’s two major parties, the one professing, the other hardly pretending, to accept the overwhelming scientific evidence of climate change, battling over alternative strategies for 5 percent emission reduction relative to 2000, would have been funny had the implications not been so serious”.

    It is hard to disagree because even a sceptics’ sceptic can see that, if the IPCC “consensus” collapses but only slowly the money wasted even on achieving a 5 per cent reduction will be huge – beyond noisy submarines and even Joint Strike Fighters that aren’t looking too flash, almost up with what health care costs for the additional over 80 population of the next few decades.

    According to Monckton, the IPCC’s own figures show that a reduction of 30 per cent in emissions would lead to no more than a 0.2 degrees Celsius reduction in global average temperature. Without spelling that out or examining the sources that seems to need answering even if he is just a little bit close to the truth before Australia starts doing expensive things that will not affect our climate at all.

  20. Kieran Crichton

    So…the good viscount, who occupies a seat in the House of Lords BY RIGHT, laments the decline of democracy in the middle of a rant about climate change?

    Kudos to him for seeing how fundamental the issue is.

    But, gee man, this guy looks like he needs a pith hat and a safari suit. He’s the sort of ne’er-do-well that used to be sent off as the aide-de-camp to some obscure representative of the British Empire, back in the day. Thinking he can swan in here like Lord Muck (oh, yeah… that he is) with the crest of the British Parliament emblazoned on his slides, blow all the old hierarchical horns and expect deference for it is a bit rich. That people do give deference is sad: they have become courtiers to a man who couldn’t even put his own coronet on the right way round. He’s a throwback, albeit with a distinctly modern twist.

    If Lord Monckton had been around in the 1930s, he would have been rapturous in support of appeasing Germany, and would have welcomed the potential for world domination by the Nazi party. He would have doubted whether fascism was a serious threat to anyone, so let’s keep the party going chums. Sheer fact: his rhetoric in 2010 belongs to these attitudes. So I wonder whether he would welcome a global government, so long as it was the sort of fascist setup that enshrined the privilege of these second-generation arriviste aristocrats? What would his audience think of him then?

    Menzies would have despised this clown, even if he would have loved the fancy titles and hierarchical flummery. It is salutary to remember that when Menzies retired he took up two largely honorary positions, as Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports, and chancellor of Melbourne University. John Howard clearly isn’t going to follow in his hero’s footsteps; what will Abbott do?

  21. Tom McLoughlin

    On the politics of communicating science: I spoke to a public meeting early 90ies on the NSW south coast about the science of design of conservation zones. That roads, clearings etc were sub optimal because they were highways for ferals both plant and animal, and separated natural population dynamics for genetic health etc.

    These are sound scientific ecological points, though inconvenient for regional land management because people want roads and clearings to do stuff, not least have a picnic, and enjoy the conservation zone otherwise excluded from resource extraction, agriculture etc.

    But it was when I said the argument was with the scientists that there were howls of anger. Almost visceral. Beyond the issue at hand. My theory would be this: These were the folks who didn’t go to the city for higher education. Who weren’t academic in school generally. They weren’t going to listen easily to a city person confronting them with their life experience of disappointed limitations and working class reality. It wouldn’t matter how true the advice was.

    The last thing they wanted was someone to rip the scab off or feel talked down to. Indeed being a regional raised person I even shared a sympathy for loathing city condescension. Which is why I was willing to make the trip.

    If I’d understood more of human nature back then I would have taken a more practical approach to encourage trust. They understood practical skill, demonstrated ability, things you can see and feel. And offered them some upside to a new situation, rather than more disappointment or restraints. Because they were saturated with that already.

    It’s this resentment no doubt Monckton is slyly exploiting, of a desire for rebellious mischief against the smart *rses who always push them around. It could be all those perks and nepotism have reduced the sincerity and credibility stocks of those bearing a truthful message. One is reminded of the movie about Gandhi – when the Indian people stopped listening to the Independence leaders, he moved out into and amongst the people wearing their clothes and living their agricultural life without changing his message one jot. And the people trusted him for it.

  22. gregb

    Will the loquacious one acknowledge that Mann has been exonerated by Penn State University? Of course it was just a whitewash by his colleagues, protecting the brethren, wasn’t it Julius?

  23. nicolino

    Irrespective of the mad Monckton’s ill-informed diatribes, who doesn’t he take a trip to Tuvalu or the Cartnet Islands and let him tell the locals that it’s perfectly safe for them to remain where they areas the planet is not warming. I am sure they will appreciate his reassurances along with the rest of these denialist buffoons.

  24. Captain Col

    Older people are smarter.

    I’ve said it before and Possum Comitatus has proved my point with statistical whizbangery, so it is no surprise that older people went to see Monckton. They know more than the young. They’ve seen such new age wizzardry as global warming (and even global cooling) before and they’ve seen it evaporate into thin air as the next latest thing grabs the short attention spans of the oh-so-modern-up-to-the-minute bright young things and they flit from bright light to bright light.

    Jeff, you’ll look back from your easy-chair-dotage and wonder why the youths in your latter years couldn’t be more sensible. But then you’ll re-read the rubbish you wrote way back then and know.

  25. achimova1

    Nicely argued essay on how our democracy works – and terribly worrying, given that we are not playing for sheep stations but the whole planet! Fortunately, Monckton is so bizarre that most thinking people, even Liberal voters, are not impressed, once Monckton’s background is revealed – eg Christopher Monckton and the Heartland Institute

    And so on

  26. billie

    Lord Christopher Monckton does not sit in the House of Lords.

    There were 35 seats and 43 candidates and his peers did not elect him to a seat in the House of Lords.

  27. Most Peculiar Mama


    “…who(sic) doesn’t he take a trip to Tuvalu or the Cartnet Islands and let him tell the locals that it’s perfectly safe for them to remain where they areas(sic) the planet is not warming…”

    And they’ll find….nothing.

    There is no evidence of sea-level rise at Tuvalu outside normal oscillations.



    El Nino has the greatest impact on Pacific sea levels and (surprise) it makes them LOWER than normal.

    Damn those facts.

    Well done for sticking to the talking points. I know you so want to believe the Tuvaluans are drowning.

    More than likely subsidence from over-development of their coral atoll – which ironically would grow in a warmer climate – is a greater cause of any observed land level changes than the bogeyman of global warming.

    But nice try though.

  28. baal

    @Captain Col: how delightfully deluded to imagine that old people know things because they’ve seen it all before. That, my dear, is an equally good sign of having learned nothing from life.

  29. Perry Gretton

    If old age conferred perspicacity, I’d be a genius.

    Global warming is a reality. Accept the fact and cease listening to conspiracy theorists.

  30. baal

    Monckton doesn’t ‘own’ a seat in the House of Lords either by right or election. As an heriditary peer he had to be elected but he got no votes. Perhaps he thinks he ought to be there. Or more likely that he’s too good for the place. After all, they are only ‘lords’. He comes from a more important place

  31. baal

    I think the islands referred to are the Cataret islands

  32. Stevo the Working Twistie

    Please, please, please hurry up and end world. I can’t take much more of this.

  33. Hugo Furst

    Mr Patry’s comments are half-baked.

  34. Julius

    @ Kieran Crichton

    An incoherent rant with no discernible point is just time wasting bad manners, but it is absurd from any point of view when you start it with a statement which is totally false and easily discovered to be so. As someone has already pointed out, Monckton is not a member of the House of Lords and you seem to be so out-of-date that you are not even aware that no one, since the 1999 Act, is a member by right.

  35. glazedham

    What caused the hole in the ozone layer dammit?

  36. Hugh (Charlie) McColl

    Not so fast MPM. Cite one reasonably recent text book (not Plimer) that backs up your statement about the coral atoll:
    “… which ironically would grow in a warmer climate…”.

    When you’ve finished (or not, if you ever get started), explain what possible evidence you have that could show that changes to Tuvalu’s land/sea (whatever) levels are:
    “More than likely subsidence from over-development of their coral atoll”.

    And you still haven’t explained your claimed knowledge (yesterday) of the proposed “conversion” of Latrobe Valley electricity generating facilities from “coal to gas” – as floated by Tony Abbott this week. You reckon my suggestion that there is a sleight-of-hand in these weasel words is simply wrong, yet you provide no evidence whatsoever. You seem to have no idea so why tell me I am wrong?

  37. Julius

    @ GregB

    When I read your “Will the loquacious one acknowledge that Mann has been exonerated by Penn State University? Of course it was just a whitewash by his colleagues, protecting the brethren, wasn’t it Julius?” I was inclined to ask simply “exonerated on what charge?” and I still am though I now find a better question to throw back. After reading the following extract from today’s Los Angeles Times you might care to say why you think he has been exonerated at all…..

    By Frank Warner

    February 4, 2010

    Reporting from Allentown, Pa. – A Penn State University panel on Wednesday cleared a climate professor of falsifying data, concealing information and misusing confidential information, but ordered a full investigation into whether he violated academic standards in researching global warming

  38. Michael

    “Everyone who comes to one of Monckton’s paid snakeoil sales pitches has indeed been taken to the cleaners.”
    Jamesh you silly thing – you were at the Wiggles Concert. Monckton was next door.

  39. thedukeofmadness

    Jeff, you ask why all those scientists (political or otherwise) go along with the lies.

    It’s the same reason Laurence Olivier did terrible films towards the end of his career, like Inchon (look it up) and Boys From Brazil.

    For the money, dear boy, for the money.

    Scientists who go along with the lie get a slice of the Billions and Billions of dollars being poured into climate research.

    I wish I was a morally corrupt climate scientist so I could get some of it too.

    Screw me for doing humanities subjects at school.

  40. ty_webb

    what sort of name is Monckton anyway….

    As a greens supporter, I am disappointed with the way that the ALP has lost their environmental message through poor communication. Rudd and Wong have been hopeless.

    btw Crikey, it is a bit unfair to mention Monckton and Benaud in the same sentence. One of them is a legend and the other proliferates yesterdays propoganda to niche support groups.

  41. Frank Campbell

    Further to my comment @3.40pm…

    What a difference a month makes…

    Spundlekeane (surely one person writing as three) don’t seem to be aware the ground has shifted. Left like a three-headed shag on a rock. It’s only a few weeks ( just before Australia’s Great Annual Sleep) since mainstream media wouldn’t touch Monckton with rubber gloves, one never read a critical word about AGW in the Fairfax press and any ABC sceptics were as quiet as gays in Malawi…

    Just look at them now. Lord Nutcracker is ubiquitous, numerous questions have been asked and implied in news reports on the Bumcrack email hoard, and tonight AGW IRCC architect Oppenheimer was lightly grilled by Kerry O’Brien…

    O’Brien used statements by Beddington, New Labour’s Chief Scientist, to probe Oppenheimer. (As I said on Crikey yesterday, Fairfax ignored Beddington.) Beddington admitted that there were fundamental uncertainties in climate science, criticised the behaviour of the computer modelling clique and alarmist overstatements of the AGW case. Oppenheimer agreed that there were “fundamental uncertainties” in climate science. (He also dismissed the Himalayan glacier matter as a mere “error”- nothing wrong with the IPCC system.) A remarkable admission and totally at odds with the 3000 emails: the absolute belief of the modellers in their cause is evident throughout. There’s plenty of angst about nailing down details- but the central tenets of the belief system are unquestioned. Every bumcracker knew that the slightest deviation would result in excommunication and career derailment.

    But Oppenheimer wants it both ways: fundamental uncertainties, but nothing apparently which erodes the core belief.

    Now that the cult has been wrecked politically and destabilised scientifically, we can expect to see many academic defections from the Missionary Position. My money says that the last person lying flat on the ground legs wide apart will be ….Robyn Williams of the ABC’s Science Show. Circa 2016.

  42. 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.

  43. Broggly

    To be fair, civil liberties and surveillance systems (like ubiquitous security cameras and soon to be introduced spy drones) are a bit of a concern in the UK. Still, it reads like he was saying the EU is a big stalinist bloc, which is sheer wingnuttery.

  44. glazedham

    Thank God you’re here Aveling. This was about to get craaaaaaazy! phew.

  45. Andrew

    It may not be generally reallized by those who would like to call themselves “sceptics” (true scepticism involves examination of an issue from a range of perspectives and is inherent in science) that, by associating themselves with self-proclaimed “Nobel Prize winners” (http://www.monbiot.com/archives/2009/12/10/ukips-latest-acquisition/ ; http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2006/nov/14/science.comment) they loose any credibility they may have had.

    Not to mention the systematic fabrication of data by deniers (http://www.amsi.org.au/index.php/news/84-science-news/281-ian-enting-author-of-twisted-critiques-ian-plimers-heaven-and-earth).

    Deniers are good in inventing strawman arguments, a principal one assuming as if any climate projections can be inherently accurate in terms of magnitude and time.

    Nothing is further from the truth. Based on large bodies of evidence regarding past (geological) proxy-based climate data, ice core data and atmosphere/ocean/cryosphere mesurements since the early 20th century, climate projections are, by definition, only BEST ESTIMATES.

    A bit like the BEST ESTIMATE that, if one drives a motor car with poor breaks at 200 km/hour, one puts his life at risk

    This pertains to the Himalayan gLACIER melt (which may precede or postdate 2035), THE Amazon forest demise and other projections.

    This in addition to THEIR ignorance of the basic laws of physics. alternatively, would deniers define the pioneers of physics and chemistry (Stefan, Bolzmann, Kirschner, Arrhenius, Chalender) as the forerunners to a “global conspracy of scientists” ?

  46. 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 those scientists capable of getting peer reviewed stuff published have on occasion been less than totally honest and open.

    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.

  47. Elan

    Wee Chris did say he was going to take up these issues in the House of Lords.

    So he is en..titled? or perhaps they just let anyone in nowadays.

    I do so lament the falling standards nowadays.

    I suppose I should listen to talkback tonight, to hear the devoted wax lyrical about wee Chris and his talk at the Intercontinental (formerly Hyatt) earlier this evening.

    Tell me,-what is the point of ANY of these talks? After all they are attended by devoted followers. Isn’t that rather preaching to the already converted?

    I know I should care more, but I find it all so buggeringly boring.

  48. Frank Campbell

    Interviewing Penny Wong is like phoning Bigpond tech support. An endless loop. Tony Jones on “Lateline” asked Wong eight times what ETS costs would be at levels higher than the current 5%.
    Answer: “You’re call is important to me, Tony…”

    This silly interview exemplifiesthe absurdity of Australia “reducing emissions” unilaterally and at high cost. 5% of very little is bugger all. The climate will be unaffected, yet the political system is in thrall to this lumbering leviathan. Once launched, it will gather momentum regardless- which was Jones’ implicit point.

    The economic murkiness of the ETS – for no “climate” benefit whatever- will eventually sink the ALP. Turnbull and his Latte Libs were the first casualty. Spundlekeane, Adams, Manne et al: beware the law of unintended consequences.

  49. ty_webb

    agreed Frank but then again, name 1 honest Coalition or ALP politician?

    Back in 2007 & 2008, I actually thought Penny Wong was going to be a politician with substance and a real ‘up and comer’ for the ALP. She is as bad as Rudd, Tanner is the only ‘good’ member from my perspective. I still think that Wong has alot to offer with the right leadership but we won’t see it under Rudd.

    I did not like Whitlam, quite the contrary actually, but atleast he came in with a bang and went out with a bang. I know that it is terribly complicated, but I wonder whether we will ever have a PM that will do what is right for the environment rather than being pre-occupied with re-election? The one thing that I like of the TA policy is that there is actually direct action involved with the environment rather than the ETS money merry-go-round.

    The Greens are far from perfect in many many many areas but I have more comfort in their supposed integrity than anything that the ALP or the Coalition could offer me!!

  50. John Bennetts

    @MPM (5:19pm today).

    Thank you for the reference. Unfortunately, it in no way supports your rant. After measuring sea levels by both satellite and terrestrial methods at many island sites, over 25-plus years, the average rate of sea level rise is variously reported as being 0.9 to 3.4mm per site per annum.

    RISING, not falling!

    And this is AFTER allowing for El Nino, barometric pressure, tides and other seasonal and short period effects.

    Please learn to read – this handy skill can, at times, assist in selection of data which supports your contention. In this case, you have shot yourself well and truly in the foot, if not the head.

    Now, who was it who said that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing?


  51. Andrew

    To anyone who is interested in climate science rather than ad-hominem and conspiracy theories:

    The release of more than 320 billion tons of carbon from buried early biospheres, adding more than one half of the original carbon inventory of the atmosphere (~590 GtC) to the atmosphere-ocean system, has triggered a fundamental shift in the state of the atmosphere at a rate of 2 ppm CO2/year, a pace unprecedented in the geological record with the exception of the effects of CO2 released from craters excavated by large asteroid impacts.

    Recent paleoclimate studies, using multiple proxies (soil carbonate δ13C, boron/calcium, stomata leaf pores), indicate that the current CO2 level of 388 ppm and CO2-equivalent level of 460 ppm (which includes the methane factor), commits warming above pre-industrial levels to 3 to 4 degrees C in the tropics and 10 degrees C in polar regions, leading to an ice-free Earth.

    Such conditions existed in the early Pliocene (5.2 Ma) and mid-Pliocene (2.8 Ma) Pliocene, about the time Australopithecine bipeds were emerging from tropical forests. Pliocene climates changed gradually and pre-historic humans responded through migration. There is nowhere the 6.5 billion of contemporary humans can go, not even the barren planets into the study of which space agencies have been pouring more funding than governments allocated for environmental mitigation to date.

    It appears difficult to explain to the public and politicians that, at 460 ppm CO2-equivalent, the climate is tracking close to the upper stability limit of the Antarctic ice sheet, defined at approximately 500 ppm. Once transcended, mitigation measures would hardly be able to re-form the cryosphere, which serves as the Earth’s thermostat, from which cold ocean and wind current emanate – keeping lower latitudes cool. Once the ice melts the atmosphere-ocean system shifts to greenhouse Earth conditions such as existed about 15 Ma (mid-Miocene), before 40 Ma (Eocene), and much of the Cretaceous (141 – 65 Ma), when only small burrowing mammals could live on land.

    About 2.8 Ma, the mid-Pliocene, temperatures rose by at least 3 degrees C above pre-industrial and sea levels rose by 25+/-12 meters. About 15 million years ago the rise of CO2 to near~500 ppm resulted in global temperatures about 4 degrees C above pre-industrial level and sea level by about 40 meters. Since the early 20th century the rate of sea level rise increased from about 1 mm/year to about 3.5 mm/year [6] (1993 – 2009 mean rate 3.2+/-0.4 mm/year.

    The world is in a lag period, when the consequences of human greenhouse gas emissions and land clearing are increasingly manifest, including atmospheric energy levels which drive hurricanes and is shifting climate zones toward the poles, with consequent desertification of temperate zones, i.e. southern Europe, southern Australia, southern Africa. The desiccated forests become prey to firestorms, such as in Victoria and California.

    Global warming is modulated by the ENSO cycle, including relatively cool La-Nina phases. Studiously ignorant climate change deniers, who would like to call themselves “sceptics”, use these cycles to claim “global cooling”. In contravention of basic laws of thermodynamics (Stefan-Boltzmann law, Kirchner law) which underlie the infrared absorption/emission resonance effect of greenhouse molecules, they invoke the role of short-lived (9 days average atmospheric residence) water vapour but neglect the long-term effects (centuries to millennia) of the well-mixed CO2 and nitric oxides. The increased frequency of the El-Nino is tracking toward conditions of permanent El-Nino, free from the effects of polar-derived currents (Humboldt Current, California Current). Such conditions existed about 2.8 Ma ago.

    Climate change is appropriately described as a global oxygenation event affecting geological carbon deposits as well as the present biosphere. At 2 ppm/year the scale of carbon oxidation exceeds the highest recorded geological rate of 0.4 ppm/year, recorded at the Paleocene-Eocene boundary at 55 Ma when about 2000 GtC were burnt, triggering an extinction of species.

  52. Anthony David

    Andrew. You are not playing by the rules. One has to preface your comments with ad hominem attacks and strawman arguments.

    If I may, I would add the following to the list of scientific observations and predictions. At about 450ppm (2038 at the latest), the surface ocean changes in carbonate ion concentrations will have a serious effect on Southern Ocean fauna, in particular the winter larval stages of aragonite (a particular configuaration of calcium carbonate) forming pteropods. Pteropods are abundant in the Southern Ocean and form a significant part of the diet of larger fauna, including baleen whales. At lower latitudes, aragonite formation in other fauna such as coral will shutdown at higher concentrations which is expected to follow in another seventy or so years.

  53. schijinrealisme

    @ most peculiar mama
    Those pesky facts indeed.
    I’m not sure the report you link to shows what you claim it does.

    ‘As at December 2007, based on the short-term sea level trend analyses performed by the National Tidal Centre using the Tuvalu SEAFRAME data, a rate of +6.0 mm per year has been observed. Accounting for the inverted barometric pressure effect and vertical movements in the observing platform, the net sea level trend is +5.3 mm per year. By comparison, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in its Fourth Assessment Report (IPCC AR4, 2007) estimates that global long-term sea level rise over the last hundred years was of the order of 1 to 2 mm/yr.’

  54. Evan Beaver

    I liked this article. Who cares if it contains personal commentary about Monckton? It has colour and movement, and I for one am sick to death of the dour political commentary about this issue. People will, as always, make up their own minds about the truth.

    Thanks Jeff.

  55. baal

    @Frank Campbell: nice bit of wishful thinking to presume that AGM is a cult promoted by Robyn Williams et al. >>I can’t wait to watch the, ummm, repositioning of Spundlekeane, Manne, Hamilton, Adams…A rehab resort at Coolangatta perhaps?>>

    How droll. AGM is over because (this week anyway) AGM has been shafted because a man called Monckton had tea at the National Press Club. Maybe the tidal shifts of the supposedly erudite watchers like Campbell himself is the topic which we should be most concerned with. It’s a wobbly old world all right.

  56. Mark Duffett

    Oh, for heaven’s sake. It’s the Carteret Islands.

  57. philiseedogollomoo

    Old farts in pyjamas.

    Would’nt know if their arses were on fire !

  58. Most Peculiar Mama

    @John Bennetts

    “…Thank you for the reference. Unfortunately, it in no way supports your rant.

    …from the BoM Tuvalu Sea Level report:

    “…It has been recognised since the beginning that this would require several decades of continuous, high quality data. The preliminary findings are being provided, but caution should be exercised in interpreting this information…”

    Sounds as reliable and accurate as an IPCC ‘forecast’.

    “…An additional sea level record for Tuvalu is available from the Joint Archive for Sea Level, namely a 23-year sea level record for Funafuti. The monthly sea level data for this record are shown in Figure 16 and contains a relative sea level trend of +0.92 mm/year…”

    Barely perceptible on even the most sensitive equipment, but by all means keep believing in “The Great Drowning”.

    No apology necessary.

    @Hugh (Charlie) McColl

    “…explain what possible evidence you have that could show that changes to Tuvalu’s land/sea (whatever) levels are: “More than likely subsidence from over-development of their coral atoll”…”

    And this one’s for you:

    “…The historical gauge was sinking relative to the SEAFRAME primary benchmark by an average of about 1 mm per year. For effective long-term sea level monitoring the vertical stability of tide gauges must be monitored relative to a benchmark network that stretches a fair distance inland to stable ground…”


  59. schijinrealisme

    further to most peculiar mama:
    I think the link you were actually looking for was one of the following:
    Both reject the summary, albeit tentatively made, conclusions published in the report you actually linked to. However, the former, a paper prepared by the New Zealand coal chemist Vincent R Gray, simply states, in regard to the + 5.3 mm/yr average sea-level rise at Tuvalu cited in the BOM report, “the 6 mm/yr rise is unjustified’ without, ironically, justifying this rejection. The latter, a paper prepared by the geologist Cliff Ollier, inexplicably interprets a graph plotting sea-level trend averages in mm/yr against time included in the same report and showing increasingly flat but still positive values as somehow indicating stable sea-levels; hence, ‘virtually constant’ sea-level rises seems to have been confused with ‘virtually constant’ sea-level. Even my ten-year old son was left scratching his head and asking, ‘an adult wrote this, right?’

  60. appopiso


    I assume you can read.

    Why have you ignored Andrew ?

    “Studiously ignorant climate change deniers”

    Ring any bells MPM & Julius ?

    If your brains were on fire I wouldn’t P in your ear !

  61. Julius

    @ Appopiso

    One of my time savers is to ignore the no-doubt enjoyable punch-ups between MPM and those provoked or provoking because if there is any constructive outcome from my contributing it wouldn’t be from my taking part in that. I think the idea that you, Appopiso, could take part in a civilised, corteous, rational discourse may be a forlorn one but I hang this note on your last post because you refer to Andrew.

    Andrew – most likely Andrew Glikson who appears to know quite a lot about science or at least be able to enjoy reading IPCC related stuff – has made a lot of assertions above but they are unsourced (unlike, I have to say, much of what I heard Monckton say last Monday) and, even if they were, it would take a long time to check on his sources, so it is quite unreasonable to challenge MPM or anyone for having “ignored Andrew” on this blog at this stage.

    It is much more reasonable to ask what effort you have made to read Dr John P. Costella’s online book “Climategate Analysis” (of which I am still at the 35 per cent mark) and to ask what conclusions you draw. I infer that you take the science of global warming/climate change on trust because you have no relevant analytical skills of your own to apply but I give you credit as an ordinarily educated person for having some idea of what is required for scientific progress so your view of the behaviour of the emailers would be relevant. On that aspect of the disputes are you not disappointed with your ally GREGB who offers as a jibe at me that I should concede that PennState U has exonerated Michael Mann (whose arrogance surely shines through the CRU emails) only to be answered by my quote from the LA Times which, on the face of it, shows that he is far from exonerated?

  62. my say

    how sad for them all, i saw the t.v. series about Darwin i have this image of these people looking like the ones that tried to roll Darwin and the young scientists of the day.

    It is quite bazaar people except new technology well some any way, use phones fly on planes perhaps use computers but something they cannot see but can only read about
    they do not want to understand or decide not too.
    I feel so sorry for them they are missing the world as it goes wizzing past them
    and gee i am 60 and i am enjoying the ride.

  63. John Bennetts


    Please look again. The graph which oscillates at the left hand side and then smooths out to level as it approaches 2009 does not indicate that sea levels have ceased to rise… this series of graphs smooths the noise from the signal re actual annual SL rise.

    The flat portion is in all cases above zero… not by much, but certainly enough to demonstrate a relentless annual rise, continuing through decades, of a mm or up to 3.5, depending on the station.

    When MPM and other casual readers misconstrue this, then they jump to the conclusion that these curves demonstrate the opposite of reality, which is that irrefutable and consistent evidence, gathered from both space-based measurements and those on land, indicate that the sea level is rising, and that the actual rise during the past 25 years has been 20 to 80mm or more.

    This is very significant when considered over a term of, say, 100 years. The effect on lowlying properties, flood levels and beaches will spread ripples (sorry!) througth the real estate industry, displace tens or hundreds of millions of lowland dwellers world wide and cause social upheavals at least as significant as those following WWII.

    Remember, this is only one effect of AGW – small things like drought, temperature rise, famine and species loss also are unavoidable unless humanity reverses its current effect on the environmnet very soon indeed.

    Hot on the heels of this disruption, resource wars will be inevitable.

    Our grandkids will curse us all.

    Both reject the summary, albeit tentatively made, conclusions published in the report you actually linked to. However, the former, a paper prepared by the New Zealand coal chemist Vincent R Gray, simply states, in regard to the + 5.3 mm/yr average sea-level rise at Tuvalu cited in the BOM report, “the 6 mm/yr rise is unjustified’ without, ironically, justifying this rejection. The latter, a paper prepared by the geologist Cliff Ollier, inexplicably interprets a graph plotting sea-level trend averages in mm/yr against time included in the same report and showing increasingly flat but still positive values as somehow indicating stable sea-levels; hence, ‘virtually constant’ sea-level rises seems to have been confused with ‘virtually constant’ sea-level. Even my ten-year old son was left scratching his head and asking, ‘an adult wrote this, right?’

  64. schijinrealisme

    however cautiously its interpretations are advanced, the BOM report you link to explicitly does not offer, as you imply it does, ‘no evidence of sea-level rise at Tuvalu outside normal oscillations.’
    I’m still unsure as to why you linked to it.

  65. schijinrealisme

    @ john Bennets,
    umm, that’s exactly what I was saying.

  66. John Bennetts

    (My apologies – the previous post contains others’ content at the foot, in error. Herewith correct version.)


    Please look again. The graph which oscillates at the left hand side and then smooths out to level as it approaches 2009 does not indicate that sea levels have ceased to rise… this series of graphs smooths the noise from the signal re actual annual SL rise.

    The flat portion is in all cases above zero… not by much, but certainly enough to demonstrate a relentless annual rise, continuing through decades, of a mm or up to about 3.5mm, depending on the station.

    When MPM and other casual readers misconstrue this, then they jump to the conclusion that these curves demonstrate the opposite of reality, which is that irrefutable and consistent evidence, gathered from both space-based measurements and those on land, indicate that the sea level is rising, and that the actual rise during the past 25 years has been 20 to 80mm or more.

    This is very significant when considered over a term of, say, 100 years. The effect on lowlying properties, flood levels and beaches will spread ripples (sorry!) through the real estate industry, displace tens or hundreds of millions of lowland dwellers world wide and cause social upheavals at least as significant as those following WWII.

    Remember, this is only one effect of AGW – small things like drought, temperature rise, famine and species loss also are unavoidable unless humanity reverses its current effect on the environment very soon indeed.

    Hot on the heels of this disruption, resource wars will be inevitable.

    Our grandkids will curse us all.

  67. Julius

    Re Andrew’s earlier post where he did give a couple of sources. One was to George Monbiot and the other to the paper he normally appears in, The Guardian. Maybe there is something in those two citations which would discredit Monckton but I doubt it, any more than I would expect the current state of Wikipedia on a controverted subject (try Islamic science for another) to be worth hanging one’s opinions on. I’m afraid I long ago slotted Monbiot into the unreliable category when I heard him talking utter nonsense on Lateline in the sense that he was totally ignoring some elementary economic truisms such as the response of enterprises to rising prices.

    If someone picked up Monckton on, and disproved, some of the highly specific points and facts I heard him utter and some of which I have already posted that would be important (to me anyway) and convincing. As I have said, he could still be shown to be a Horation Bottomley standard charlatan but people sneering at the English upper classes in juvenile ways is a reflection on the underemployed of working age and sound health and others who frequent Crikey blogs. One such, content to sneer but not to think or check, wondered how Monckton could claim to be able to have a matter raised in the Lords without his being a member as if he was making the ridiculous claim attributed to him (but a joke of course) about the Nobel Prize. The answer, of course, is that he would have plenty of friends in the Lords who could be relied on to do it for him.

  68. schijinrealisme

    @ John Bennetts again,
    my point was that the only rejection of the BOM report’s summary conclusions I could find were either unsubstantiated or based on the incompetent interpretation of a graph. What is extraordinary is that in the latter case, this could not only be undertaken by a professor of Geology, but also published, albeit only on the internet, under his name.

  69. appopiso


    You cannot have a “corteous, rational discourse ” sic, with someone who cannot spell courteous

    you twat.

    I have given up on any discourse with people who cherry pick their facts and arguments ,

    regardless of source.

    notice no sign of MPM

    You both lead with your chin !

  70. Julius

    Re rising ocean waters and ocean acidification:

    I have heard a lot of papers, including one by an Canberra public servant on the work of Rhodes Fairbridge which leaves me totally agnostic about the rising sea level warnings. More recently there has been some correspondence published by the leading researcher of sea levels in the Maldives (over about 30 years) writing to the PM or President of the Maldives to point out to him that his case for lots of money to combat the problems of rising sea levels was complete hokum and unjustified by the facts. (I am sure you would find it by Googling).

    A number of older friends (and younger friends pointint to old photographs) point out that the same rocks are showing at the same levels on the same tide conditions now as in the 1940s or whenever. Such commonplace, common sense, observations require an answer. And that’s without going to the areas in which Prof Bob Carter may fairly claim to be an expert….

    Maybe the answer is that we haven’t yet seen any serious sea level changes but that the IPCC models show that the increases in CO2 since the 1940s and the heating effects flowing from positive water vapour feedback (also unproven but modeled) will eventually, by thermal expansion of the ocean, and the addition of water from ice that is at present above sea level, cause some alarming sea level rises. I am not sure why a rise of 20 or 30 cm should be a big problem to cope with outside the deltas in Bangladesh. The Dutch could teach us how to protect beachfront houses in Coogee. The problem there for those who think that immense amounts of money should be spent almost immediately, or foregone, is that the IPCC’s data on sea levels has to be dodgy when it can report that the Himalayan glaciers may disappear by 2035 when the report on which the claim was ultimately based shows that the date should be 2350. So, that part of “the science” has to be regaded as very unsettled.

    On ocean acidification, which I have heard a Coalition spokesperson say now appears to be the real worry if CO2 continues to increase, and with which I was inclined to agree, Ian Plimer says it is bull*t because (a) there are fossil shellfish from times when CO2 levels were many many times higher than they are now and (b) the rocks in the ocean buffer the CO2 levels by some chemical interactions that I don’t recall. Monckton, as I have previously noted, added that the ph level of the ocean is -8.5 which is quite alkaline and all that the acidification arising from adding CO2 might do would be to move the ph level some way towards the neutral figure of 7. Any comment from someone who knows what they are talking about?

    It does occur to me as I write this that CO2 is absorbed most readily in the cooler waters of the high latitudes so it is possible that some changes there in the ph levels might be bad for some specific creatures with shells. Even so, one would want to know a lot more, e.g. at what rate such creatures evolve. Remember that, even for creatures as complex as butterflies there can be major evolutionary changes under the influence of natural selection and environmental changes in a couple of decades (as long known in the coal burning days of the English Midlands). Bacteria obviously can evolve many times as fast. Shellfish? Corals? (Anyway corals can adapt as a family by moving south or, in the Northern Hemisphere, north away from the equatorial zones to the slightly cooler, anf from the merely warm tropics to the slightly cooler tropics. And if they won’t, we can move them, like a flock of sheep moved to suitable country. But that presupposes that warming is a problem, anthropogenic or otherwise.

  71. John Bennetts

    Julius, only a know-nothing like Monckton would ever envisage a pH of -8.5. It just ain’t possible.

  72. Julius

    @ Appopiso

    You are a case aren’t you? Of course I can spell “courteous” and, allow me to point out what will perhaps be obvious to most readers, that you are most likely the ultimate Troll seeking to undermine all respect for those who support the full IPCC agenda.

    (I am not a “denialist” or anything but a seeker after truth – though I do object to Australia spending a lot of money for no result that matters to us – so I do not welcome your intervention however damaging to the extreme believers).

    My principal reason for saying that about you or your Appopiso persona is the absurdity, on its very face, of your

    “You cannot have a “corteous, rational discourse ” sic, with someone who cannot spell courteous”.

    Also it is disingenous, as much as absurd, to suggest that you believe I couldn’t spell “courteous”. Anyone with any feel for language (and no dyslexia problem) can tell pretty reliably whether someone is a semi-literate person, which might make “rational discourse” difficult or someone who is simply prone to missing the occasional literal. (The bright dyslexic are in another category). Thus bazaar for bizarre or their for there are probably just literals, heresay for hearay suggests unfamiliarity with the concept, and the appearance of careless typing throughout a message suggests either laziness or discourtesy to the reader. Disinterested when the right word (by conventional educated standards) is uninterested, infer instead of imply, but perhaps not these days anticipate instead of expect could be a bit more of a worry if you are hoping that your carefully expressed views will be exactly understood… It should be noted that none of the examples justify such a ridiculously absolutist judgment as you – perhaps the ultimate perfection in Trolls – purport to have made.

  73. Julius

    @ John Bennets

    Thanks for contributing something factual and manageable. I think I probably misquoted Monckton as saying -8.5 for the pH level of the oceans because of my own fading memory of Matriculation chemistry. I am pretty sure he said 8 point something and 7 for neutrality (which obviously should have excluded the minus sign in my post).

    Setting aside that part of the nonsense, I find this by Googling
    “Ocean acidification is the name given to the ongoing decrease in the pH of the Earth’s oceans, caused by their uptake of anthropogenic carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.[1] Between 1751 and 1994 surface ocean pH is estimated to have decreased from approximately 8.179 to 8.104”

    Also “Seawater pH is limited to the range 7.5 to 8.4.”

    Both are from wikipedia. While there were physicists and mathematicians present I am not sure about chemists when I heard him. A pity no one probed further about the pH levels. Presumably Ian Plimer, who had already rubbished the acidification concerns, didn’t think M had said anything egregiously wrong (which probably means that he wasn’t as it would have been foolish of Plimer not to say “actually…..” rather than let M’s and their cause’s case to be undermined). It was BTW, only in answer to a question that acidification came up at all and M basically let Plimer answer. So, I don’t think it is even a prima facie case of M being caught out – only a reason for paying close attention to what he asserts and testing it.

    Mind you, it is peripheral

  74. appopiso

    Oh yeah

    Well why do you attack me for same you toss !

    You are the king of “incoherent rant with no discernible point is just time wasting bad manners”

    please take jurisdiction over your kingdom.

    Lord Monckton my kingdom for a horse !

  75. Julius

    @ John Bennetts

    I don’t know how that “Mind you, it is peripheral” got into the end of my last post. It doesn’t seem totally inappropriate to the context but I note that someone else, maybe you, had previously found extraneous material in his post as published…

  76. Julius

    @ Appopiso

    I am beginning to wonder whether you are not a Troll but someone owed sympathy for the disability which prevents fluent use of a keyboard. I am sorry if the explanation for your terse angry rudeness is a neurological or other problem which should exclude all hint of sarcasm from a respone to you.

  77. appopiso


    Yes, you are right.

    I have a tumour in my frontal lobe that allows me to detect BS instantly !


    Where is that horse my Lord Monckton !

  78. Most Peculiar Mama


    “…notice no sign of MPM…”

    Was there a question amongst all the drivel?

  79. Most Peculiar Mama

    Let’s see if the dog whistle works…

  80. Flower

    Come on Julius – you’re still dragging that Costella brief from thread to thread but for some strange reason, you’ve not provided a link so I conducted a quick search and voila! The source from which you glean your “facts” is one Mr John Costella, offering to run for the Senate, representing the “Climate Sceptics Party.” Hmmm…perhaps you are he?

    The plot then thickens when Costella resorts to auto suggestive tricks and speculation:

    “We don’t seem to have Jones’s reply, but the translation would be something like “absolute trouble-maker and useless idiot.”


    Verballing an opponent places Mr Costella in the same league as a dodgy cop, wouldn’t you agree?

    Then one is confronted with obsolete, conspiracy theories on various “assassinations” – nothing too scientific about that! To add insult to injury one is force-fed 150 photographs of Mr Costella, his blushing bride, hugs and kisses, an assortment of guests and a few ankle biters in attendance on his wedding day!

    Other denialist bloggers have referred to this egotist as “John Costella of SPPI” where Mr Toad is Chief Policy Advisor. This is rather confusing since the Heartland Institute has published just about everything that Costella has ever written.

    With grim reapers like this at the helm and fossil fuel corporations being sued around the planet for human rights’ abuses, corruption and environmental destruction (think BHPB $5 billion, Chevron >$27 billion etc) funds may run dry, so how will these storm troopers ever manage to expand their “new vorld order?” Not by employing old codgers, Smeer and Smit of Dads’ Army and mein Führer (who’s medicated to the eyeballs), Mr Toad of Toad Hall surely?

  81. appopiso


    Yeah well the cow bell worked,

    Julius has been tricked into accepting Bull from Lord Monkton in exchange for his Kingdom !

    I know,

    lets have a royal commission !

  82. Anthony David


    I should have been more explicit about the nature of aragonite. Shells/corals made of aragonite are more sensitive to a drop in pH than those made of calcite which has a slightly different crystal structure. Magnesian calcite, deposited by other organisms, is more soluble than aragonite.

    Regarding the refutation of “ocean acidification”, from what I can see at this blog post is actually a refutation of the idea of an “acid ocean”. What is also interesting is a paper is referenced in that blog post, who’s principal author is J.C.B.(sic) Walker.
    That particular paper talks about carbon equillibration over *geological time”. The earth will go on, regardless of any extinction events as has happened in the past. Human civilisation, on the other hand, is measured on a much smaller scale than “geological time”. Yes, the carbon dioxide decays in the atmosphere in response to the chemical processes outlined in the paper. After a few thousand years, the atmospheric CO2 will reach a new equillibrium. That is in the scale of human civilisation and is the reason why there is concern.

    Interestingly, J.C.G. Walker was looking at the issue of the presence of liquid water in the Archaean when incoming solar radiation was significantly less than the present time and the need for a greenhouse mechanism to resolve this conundrum. He also suggested a mechanism where where glaciation could shut down the weathering cycle and why such glaciation would be short-lived (as observed, in geological time). I do not know if that assertion has been refuted since 1981.

    As an aside, Walker devoted much of his research into the carbon cycle and even published a book “Numerical Adventures in Geochemical Cycles” in 1993 to encourage people to play with simple numerical models that ran on a PC using the carbon dioxide, bicarbonate and carbonate reactions to see how these change over time in the atmosphere and oceans. These models show the equilibration of atmospheric CO2 over time in response to the extremely sudden (in geological time) injection of CO2 into the atmosphere. This behaviour is similar to that observed 55 million years ago where a lot of recent work has been done to understand what happened.

    An overview paper I found that looks at the observed and expected ocean response to changes in atmospheric CO2 is http://www.pnas.org/content/106/49/20602 Which is publicly downloadable as far as I can see.

    As for pteropod evolution, I don’t know. I understand they are relatively long-lived so their evolution rate probably would not be in the order of centuries but much longer. I suspect there would be a significant crash in some species and a rise of others. How that plays out in the short term is a tough call. I do know that different coral species vary in their susceptibility to acidification.

    The moth issue was an issue of adaptation within one species’ natural variation, quite different to this case.

  83. Hugh (Charlie) McColl

    Julius, if you want to learn something about the process and effect of ocean acidification you had best delete from your mind the stuff you have compiled from 1) Carter, 2)”…a Coalition spokesperson” and 3) Plimer and his recent book. There is excellent and current stuff coming out of the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) at Townsville and one of AIMS’s more revered scientists (now retired), J.N.(Charlie) Veron, recently published a book – “A Reef in Time” which gives a good, layman-friendly roam around the oceans with plenty of simple chemistry and maths, maps and diagrams and fantastic photos. It’s not the be-all and end-all but it is pithy, relevant and respectful…. and no typos that I could find!

  84. Diana

    Monkton is the epitome of the barmy English lord. This twit has made a lot of false claims and the besotted old farts who swoon all over him don’t seem to care. Some of Monktons little fibs –
    He says he is a member of the House of Lords. He isn’t. He ran for election in 2007 and got no votes – not one – not even his family or friends voted for him.
    He claims to have received a Nobel Prize and even had a natty little gold pin made for himself as ‘proof’, but that’s another lie.
    He says he has discovered and developed a broad-spectrum cure for infectious diseases, sort of a one drug fixes it all thing, he says it will cure MS, AIDS, influenza, food poisoning, and more. No-one has ever heard of this supposed miracle cure.
    He claims to have personally won the Falklands War by persuading the British government to use biological weapons. Absolute rubbish.
    He also seems to be clairvoyant. In October last year he claimed he had read the treaty that would be signed at Copenhagen, although that treaty had not yet been written. He also claimed that the treaty said that a world government would be created – another lie.

    Why would anyone accept anything this fool said as truth?

  85. philiseedogollomoo


    Couldn’t say it better myself, but would also add that anyone quoting him should be in the same

    basket !

    Did I hear you say Julius ?

  86. appopiso


    My point to Julius exactly !

    But it seemed to miss his brain.

    Those emails are a joke and the interpretation is a joke !

    And this makes Julius ?

    You guessed it

    A joke !

  87. Julius

    @ Flower

    I am not aware of Dr John P. Costella as his name appears on the front cover of “Climategate Analysis” being the John Costella you refer to, or to the website you refer to. I was sent a .pdf copy of his book by a lawyer friend and found that it speaks for itself though I am still only 35 per cent of the way through (and have seen the FT’s and other stuff on the emails as well before Costella’s work).

    If Costella was offering himself as a candidate for the Climate Sceptics Party (as you suggest) then I suppose someone has flattered him into offering himself for the unrewarding task of running for political office – and no doubt he might find iit stimulating once, especially as a Senate candidate with no hope of winning but a couple of chances to get on radio and TV to give his views on something the PM tells has is more than a little bit important.

    I am interested to know how you would have responded if, like Jones, you had been asked by an American what “prat” meant, as applied to one of their colleagues. Jones was already calling a colleague a “prat” so who is verballing him!!!???

    I would have thought Costella was providing a proper translation by suggesting that Jones was wanting to convey “absolute trouble-maker and useless idiot.” Would you have had less of a problem if Costella used “a fool and a bit of a nuisance” as his way of characterising what Jones or one of his minions had said of a colleague?

    If you can say that you have read most of the emails and it doesn’t make you think that the output of the scientists involved may have as much to do with pursuing a cause as doing good scientific research and getting to the truth then I don’t think there is much help to reconcile our view which can be got on a Crikey blog.

  88. Julius

    @ Diana

    WHY do you believe ANY of the following assertions that you make without sources, or even one of them

    “Some of Monktons little fibs –
    He says he is a member of the House of Lords. He isn’t……..

    He claims to have received a Nobel Prize and even had a natty little gold pin made for himself as ‘proof’, but that’s another lie.

    He says he has discovered and developed a broad-spectrum cure for infectious diseases, sort of a one drug fixes it all thing, he says it will cure MS, AIDS, influenza, food poisoning, and more. ……… [ YOU ARE NO DOUBT RIGHT IN SAYING “No-one has ever heard of this supposed miracle cure”.]

    He claims to have personally won the Falklands War by persuading the British government to use biological weapons………

    He also seems to be clairvoyant. In October last year he claimed he had read the treaty that would be signed at Copenhagen, although that treaty had not yet been written…… [Are you seriously suggesting that there was no draft of a treaty when one was to be signed off on in December? His claim, when I heard him, was to have got hold of a draft which the Copenhagen-related bureaucrats had prepared, and that what he then disclosed caused it to be withdrawn and rewritten].

    He also claimed that the treaty said that a world government would be created – another lie.
    [No, he characterised the powers that the original draft treaty was proposing should be arrogated to unelected people as those of a world government in relation to important economic matters].

    Surely SOMEONE who is so concerned about the effect Monckton is having or might have could come up with some reason for believing your allegations. What sources? And you could cross-check with the actual text of the Copenhagen first draft treaty.

  89. Julius

    @ Anthony David

    Thanks for re-inforcing my interest in the acidification question which I will try to follow up before I next speak to a politician about the CO2 emission business.

    @ Hugh (Charlie) McColl

    It was a much younger (than Charlie Veron) at the CSIRO in Hobart who put me on to the acidification problem but I have rather neglected that aspect of the overall CO2 issue.

    I have heard Charlie Veron a couple of times on Ockham’s Razor. As I noted in correspondence with Robyn Williams who put him on as speaker, it is a pity he is so dogmatic and dismissive of scptics in the areas where he carries no particular authority except knowing lots of scientists. I thought the points in his own area, about corals, could have been usefully supplemented with something about rates of evolution, the possibilies of remedies, possibly by transplants from areas closer to the equator to areas further away, etc. He would have had time had he stuck to his own expertise.

    Of course the economics of curbing CO2 emissions change enormously if it is only acidification that we areally have to worry about. And loss of the Barrier Reef, or having to restock it with equatorial or genetically modified corals at great expense would be quite a big cost to Australia but of absolutely negligible interest to decision makers in the Chinese or Indian governments.

    It does occur to me that serious damage to some coral reefs around Pacific islands by acidification could open the way to damage by the ocean which could be as bad as the alleged, but unproven, prospect of sea level rise.

  90. Flower

    Tut tut Julius – do you think one of these Costella chaps is an impostor?

    Now let’s not forget that the most important issue in this entire saga is the science on climate change, followed very closely by the nature of the critters who speak as an authority.

    Here is John P Costella’s bio and his self-published credentials:

    “By day I’m a manager at a “Wall Street” firm up the Paris end of Collins Street. In previous lives I’ve been a Department of Defence engineer, a high school teacher, a video store clerk, a nuclear physicist, and a McDonald’s manager.

    “Weights at the gym keeps me in fair shape (the photos with an extra 20 kilos are pre-2005). Stranger hobbies include writing a book on Climategate, being an “expert” on the Zapruder film of the JFK assassination, and rewriting the Constitution for my book on the Republic. For some years I was a presenter on Radio for the Print Handicapped. I’m willing to try anything!”

    Gee “anything” John Costella?

    “John P. Costella B.E.(Elec.)(Hons.) B.Sc.(Hons.) Ph.D.(Physics) Grad.Dip.Ed.”

    Oh and here’s a few more narcissitic mugshots as well:


    Now ain’t that so weird Julius? The following are the credentials of one John P Costella (where the credentials are identical) published by SPPI (Monckton’s den of used car salesmen!):

    “John P. Costella – B.E.(Elec.)(Hons.) B.Sc.(Hons.) Ph.D.(Physics) Grad.Dip.Ed”

    Then we have the following “unrelated” sceptic’s article which states:

    “This was pointed out in great detail by John P Costella of the Virginia-based Science and Public Policy Institute”


    Now do let go of Toad’s medieval pear of anguish Julius and settle down – the jury’s still out on CRU so off you go and play with your marbles.

    Verballing – definition: The putting of damaging remarks into the mouths of suspects during interrogation.

    PS: Tinkerbelle says no more porkie pies or the nuptials are off – ya hear that Julius?:


  91. Hugh (Charlie) McColl

    Julius, I didn’t ask for a reason why you might not want to read Charlie Veron. You might have noticed that an interview on a radio or TV program, being a pretty impromptu sort of a thing, is quite a different exercise from the considered-in-your-own-time process of writing a thesis or book or memoir. Charlie Veron is possibly a real-life ‘professor’ in the field of coral taxonomy. He’s a bloody guru who has toiled virtually his whole working life trying to understand how and why corals and coral reefs are the way they are.
    For our considerable edification, Charlie Veron has put his thoughts down on paper and put them before the public. I just suggested you might learn something – you apparently, already know it all. OK. Terrific.

  92. Julius

    @ Charlie

    If all you were seeking to do was instruct me then I thank you for that and apologise for supposing you might possibly be interested in a little dialogue with your pupil.

    I have heard noting, and do not think I suggested I had, which would deter me from reading stuff that Charlie Veron is expert on. To make one of my small points a bit clearer though, let me say that I have known quite well for over 10 years a considerably more distinguished marine scientist than Charlie Veron (not that I wish to dispute his eminence in any way), Paul Gross the former Director of the Woods Hole Institute amongst other distinctions on his CV. As it happens I have only asked him if he had anything to say about the AGW hypotheses generally. His reply was to send me a sceptical link but say he was sick of combating BS and would leave it to others.

    As I certainly don’t know much about ocean acidification or corals I would certainly want to learn more from him (and this blog makes me think of asking PG about both corals and acidification by CO2 absorption) as well as from Charlie Veron.

    You are in error in supposing that he was responding to questions in an interview or any other “pretty impromptu sort of at thing”. It was Ockham’s Razor which allows a carefully prepared and timed opinion statment or argument to be put for nearly 15 minutes. I am surprised that you don’t know the RN program since it is run by Robyn Williams and therefore heavily oriented toward scientific matters (as perhaps one would suppose from its name). Your imputation against me therefore appears to fail unless you think it illegitimate to express disappointment at an expert using most of his allotted time to speak about matters that he is not expert in and thereby leave no time to enlarge on those that he knows most about.

  93. baal

    Ian Plimer spoke on Ockham’s Razor a few months ago. Aside from his quite interesting assertions about climate in the past he spent/wasted most of the talk abusing the warmers with unsubtle invective. Shame really.

  94. Julius

    Agreed BAAL. I don’t think I heard Ian Plimer but I became aware of him annoying many more worthy people than Charlie Veron did (as far as I know) and that probably would have given him a lot of satisfaction.

  95. Julius

    @ Flower

    You do make Costella sound like an odd bod which makes me glad that I expressly recommended reading “Climategate Analysis” for the emails rather than his comments. Not that most of his comments seem astray, but they made me think I would like to consider them more thoroughly. For example several references to the likely criminal charges against several CRU people seemed odd, though he may well be right that there is clear evidence of criminal breaches of UK FOI law if that is what he has in mind.

    But aren’t you a bit wary about falling in with the habit of Crikey bloggers against sceptics and “denialists” which is to make nearly all the contributions ad hominem attacks only? (Andrew ?Glikson is an obvious exception, and Anthony David seems to be another from a quick search of my memory). Costella’s work stands or falls by what he has written and reproduced, and your comments would be interesting because truly relevant if you read what he has produced thoroughly enough, including checking his summaries if you doubt them, and then produced your reasoned criticisms of his line and your case for the essential innocuousness of what is disclosed by the emails.

    Having sat on professorial selection committees I doubt that most of those who sent the emails would have been appointed to any academic position in a respectable university if the emails had been part of what was considered, as they would have been if available.

  96. Flower

    My dear Julius

    I sincerely trust that the thugs (whom you so admire) don’t hack my confidential emails between friends and colleagues – oh my oh my!

    But deception always attracts men of dubious character who perpetuate a lie that gets halfway around the world before the truth can get its pants on.

    Better to know nothing than half-know many things from a deceiver!

  97. baal

    @Julius: I am not sure I read you right but Plimer sound cheap and gripey, as if it was more important to have a swipe at as many as he could because he might not get another chance – a decision which means he probably won’t. Do you really mean he would be satisfied because he got up my nose ? He sounded paranoid and daft

  98. baal

    he ‘sounded’ sorry

  99. appopiso

    King Julius of BS

    You are a name dropping JOKE !

  100. appopiso

    I didn’t know there was a Faculty of BS at the University of Woolloomooloo,

    indeed with its own full Professor of BS !

  101. appopiso

    Actually King Julius of BS

    How do you get the time for all these blogs whilst driving your bus.

    I hope the passengers know you are not watching the road !

  102. Julius


    I believe you when you indicate that you might find your confidential emails embarrassing if widely published. On reflection, however, I think my correspondence, both ways, would not embarrass me or other senders with minor explicable and therefore not important exceptions, and apart fom a few usually joking references to people which might appear (and be) unkind.

    None of that is of much relevance to the points you make explicitly or implicitly. The word “thugs” has no relevance to those working on the emails like Costella so it seems to imply that you believe a group of conspiratorial “denialists” organised a sophisticated hacking with cover provided by the Russian connection. Now that we are in the realm of the IPCC believers’ conspiracy theories [note that they seem to entertain them just as much as “denialists” do] we might as well accept the possibility, as far as any of us are likely to know at present, that there was a metaphorical break-in by thugs, perhaps employees planted by the villains outside. But so what? Depends perhaps whether it is a “just war” or whether they failed to find WMDs. But they did. All or little relevance once the issue turns to what the emails tell you.

    The point you omit to make is that the hacker or whistleblower didn’t provide a complete archive of every email sent or received over the many years of emails disclosed. Could that mean they are unfairly selected? Possible but there is one major flaw in that defence. None of the emailers, or other CRU people have come back with “yes, but you have been had, I did send email A but I followed it up with one that corrected what I had said, and I did receive email B which you say required a reply denying its imputations, but I also did reply to it and said xyz”.

    So “thugs” is a distraction and one doesn’t have to approve of whistleblowing to accept that the emails appear to be genuine, not selectively leaked in any important degree, and prima facie devastating to the credibility of all aspects of IPCC work which depend on those who sent the emails.

    As to the latter half of your last post which hinges on your notion that deception is being practised by conspirators – of dubious character of course – who have, in their dealings with the emails, have sent lies round the world which haven’t yet been countered with the truth, can you please spell out what justifies this characterisation of the CRU scandal? As opposed, for example, to people who were not disposed to regard the work of the IPCC as sound science rather than campaigning politics being given the emails and analysing them openly.

  103. Julius


    Philiseedogollomoo and Appopiso are Most Peculiar Mama’s natural children from her wild young days in the drug scene, hidden in a cave but occasionally found on the loose.

    How to test this? Leave it to Dr Pachauri’s institute perform its research rituals for a good fee?

  104. Johnfromplanetearth

    JAMESH: Is that all you’ve got? FFS give me an argument, who got taken to the cleaners? They had to fly him out here? He had to have venues booked to seat hundreds of people? He had to sleep somewhere? He had to eat? Do you know how much it costs to hire a professional speaker? Clinton makes a fortune touring the world babbling on about this and that? Sports people, ex politicians, professional sales people all work the circuit. Of course not all of them come to Australia to enlighten the dullards here about the truth of climate change. The moment that happens the Left go digging around home looking for that box marked insults and cheap jibes to be used in case of dire emergency. The Left are in deep trouble as they scratch their heads wondering who to believe next, they sure can’t believe any scientific evidence anymore. It’s like they are on a rollercoaster to nowhere and they can’t get off!

  105. Hugh (Charlie) McColl

    Just to bring this blog back to Planet Earth on the Gold Coast, wearing Richie Benaud blazers (remember?), no matter how skeptical you are it’s hard not to notice that sea levels are rising. You don’t need to be told, you don’t have to ask an expert, you just have to apply your own commonsence. There is no scientific argument against sea level rise. All along the miles of canal-front McMansions the old codgers must be wondering what will happen when the 500mm of freeboard that was there when they built the house 20-30 years ago is down to 100mm and every passing tinnie or idling speedboat pushes a bow wave onto the front lawn and marble pavers.
    Of course they’ll expect the local council to make good the submerging revetments (under the Queensland Canals Act, local government is responsible for canals as if they are streets) but councils will still be trying to find money to pump sand back onto the fast receding beaches. The cost of maintaining submerging canals is breathtaking and there are whole landscapes of them in SE Queensland. We ain’t seen nothin’ yet – hence the appeal to any witchdoctor or charlatan for any sort of mollification.
    Julius, you say you “…. certainly don’t know much about ocean acidification or corals…”. Is that humility? If so then stay away from big words like hypothesis.

  106. appopiso


    King Julius of BS

    Big word for a bus driver.

  107. Flower

    My dear Julius

    Greed and control of the masses are not the motives of ethical whistleblowers. When next you conspire with your alter ego (Costella), advise him that in the eyes of the honourable majority (and the judiciary), it’s a criminal offence to profit from stolen goods.

    If you persist in dodging the issues raised by other posters and covering up for tawdry shills and thugs, at least endeavour to keep both hands on the keyboard!

  108. ranga

    Taken from Mike Carlton SMH

    “Monckton has a Cambridge degree in classics, ie latin and ancient greek, and a diploma in journalism (whatever that means) from Cardiff.
    He can blather mathsy stuff in TV interviews, but that does’nt mean he is a mathematician”

    Sound familiar anyone ?
    Seems to aptly describe your fellow blogger known as Julius.

    He seems low to average on science and maths, but petty with regards english, latin and greek.

    Please come clean discount Monckton AKA Julius.

  109. Andrew

    January 2010 the warmest on record.

    see http://www.drroyspencer.com/ .

    Not even Monckton can change that

  110. Julius

    @ Flower

    I’m afraid we are on different planets. “Greed and control of the masses are not the motives of ethical whistleblowers” strikes me as if someone suddenly said “Of course JFK was murdered by the Mafia: they did it because he had used his influence to have their Hollywood movies ruined by having to star Peter Lawton”. It is certainly well ahead of the rather similar allegations that Monckton makes about the bureaucrats preparing for Copenhagen, because he had at least read the draft documents.

    You have completely dismissed the idea that the leakers of the emails (and there would probably have to be leaks even if there were outside hackers so that the hackers would know what to go for) were simply people with a conscience within the CRU who saw how its work was being conducted, or, somewhat less high-minded, had decided that the CRU was supporting objectively bad science and, since the leaker couldn’t openly overcome the consensus of insiders, decided to expose the work to public review. I ask, rhetorically I’m afraid across the void dividing our planets, how you justify dismissing those possibilities?

    You are, maybe, crazy brave, or would be if you were not shielded by anonymity, because your view of the email disclosure is likely to be tested pretty well in the parliamentary inquiry. What will you say if the inquiry reports convincingly that the emails disclose scandalous behaviour by the CRU people and their correspondents? Still a put up job by some people who are greedy and wanting to control the masses? Or will you content yourself with “Well I went on fighting the political battle on the blogs without evidence in the hope I could make bricks without straw (and that no one would bother to read the emails). I fought the good fight!”

    Suggesting that Costella is my alter ego or that I am conspiring with him (a bit difficult to conspire with a true alter ego I would have thought) sounds like sheer paranoid madness. Where do you get that from. I am not Costella, nor have I met him. I have read a substantial part of his book “Climategate Analysis” and given my prima facie view of what it discloses without any Criky blogger indicating that they have also read a substantial part of it. So much for your crew being willing to engage with issues rather than make ad hominem attacks. Of course the email business doesn’t do anything to advance scientific knowledge but it is obviously important to the future of climate policy since it tends to undermine the credit of the IPCC agenda hitherto being followed by most governments (or, realistically, the subject of the pretense that they were doing so). Rather than outrage at someone suggesting that his reading 35 per cent of Costella’s book undermines much of the residual credit he gave to the IPCC science and is likely to do so for others when they read it, shouldn’t you and your lot find out what it is about – say a couple of hours reading?

    Your remarks about “stolen goods” have several defects. One is that you have not offered any credible evidence that anyone has profited from the disclosure of the emails. If you mean Costella, whose book I have been able to read online at no cost, then your case fails at the first hurdle. The even bigger defect is that you assume that the emails were both illegally and, in a moral sense, wrongfully disclosed which is at best not proven. If they were illegally, though few would say immorally, disclosed then what do you make of The Guardian and other newspapers and journals published for profit using the text of them in numerous articles? And if you exempt them from censure on the grounds that they had a public duty (by tradition) to disclose what they knew and what they thought to the “masses” or even just the bien pensants opinion makers, on what grounds do you forbid the public disclosure and discussion of them by anyone, once they are in the open?

    “If you persist in dodging the issues raised by other posters “. I would suggest that it is a case of the pot calling the kettle black except that this kettle doesn’t acknowledge failing to deal with any issue raised by other posters which in any way involve me (e.g. I have not involved myself at all with MPM’s punch-ups and the responses to them).

    So, put up please.

    What issues have I not dealt with that I ought to, and how have they been raised as issues?

  111. Julius

    @ Ranga

    I am not sure whether Mike Carlton has the status of authority for his opinions in Sydney so I shall take it that you are simply raising the question whether Monckton has sufficient qualifications as mathematician (and one should say “formally or informally” because it is only very recently that good mathematicians knew their stuff because they had been taught it all at a university).

    On the one occasion I have heard him speak he referred to “Applied Mathematics” as something required for some other qualification or course he had or had undertaken. One interesting link is

    http://www.parliamentspeakers.com/Speaker/Christopher+Monckton++Viscount+Monckton+of+Brenchley It seems to confirm that story that he is quite well known for devising mathematical puzzles (including one that cost him a lot of money but perhaps helped him to sell more of the next edition). As one who used to devour anything by Martin Gardiner in paperback or scientific journals, I presume Monckton is pretty good at mathematics and would be good enough to know when he has reached his limits.

    As I am, FYI. When asked to tutor someone who was struggling with differential equations and partial differentials I had to pass on the ground that my university maths was pretty limited, particularly after years of disuse. So, when I want to get to understand something mathematical which is beyond me I badger my seriously qualified friends to give me the patient hours of explanation (or email correspondence) so I can understand. And that is despite the fact that, contrary to what you and others seem to suppose, I don’t have a settled view of anything controversial in the scientific realm to do with climate science (as opposed to the economics and some policy implications). So, I am not a campaigner for anything except that people shed their emotional and intellectual defences enough to examine the evidence (as Professor Oppenheimer, an IPCC panelist from an Ivy League university advocated on the 7.30 report).

    As I am not nearly as interested in the secondary evidences of Monckton’s actual qualifications as you appear to be I have not gone beyond a bit of simple Googling. The sources provided are multiple if not overwhelmingly authoritative:

    Thus from http://fw.farmonline.com.au/news/nationalrural/agribusiness-and-general/general/lord-monckton-high-priest-of-scepticism/1734882.aspx?page=6
    there is
    “He says he’s a classical architect by training, but his experience in policy making for former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, assessing scientific scares, gives him credibility.

    He’s become a very rich man making and selling mathematical puzzles, …”

    which fits in with my recollection of his saying that he had to have Applied Mathematics for his architecture.

    There’s a Noosa News piece describing him as a Harvard classics and mathematics graduate which sounds like some mixing together of bits and pieces – maybe he studied architecture at Haarvard.

    Then here http://www.mathpuzzle.com/eternity.html you will see evidence of mathematicians taking his work seriously.

    I wonder why people offer cheap jibes and sneers without first going to see if there is any basis for the view that he knows some worthwhile mathematics and then, since there is obviously such a basis, checking it properly.

    For my part, I would be interested in evidences that you know anything relevant RANGA.

    For example, I do not claim to be have the mathematics needed to test, e.g. Ian Wilson’s work on the Jovian planet influences on the Sun’s meridional flows or his suggestions about the possible causes of the approx. 60 year Indian monsoon failure/famine cycle, so I ask other who know their, will put up with a lot of questions, and whom I can trust.

    Can you help me understand this (which follows)?

    I have been flattered to have been included in cc’s of emails such as this:

    [It was headed “Are the 400 peer reviewed articles credible”]

    “Dear X

    Thank you for this valuable item that you just sent:

    Is this a credible list ? Seems so to me. Appreciate if anyone can say otherwise.
    If it’s credible, we’ll take this up as a point to hammer hard.

    Glancing at the list I see some familiar and respected sceptical and denialist names. I have not really studied the list yet.

    For the first time I have followed up from the list a paper by Heinz Hug.

    A critical review of the hypothesis that climate change is caused by carbon dioxide

    He is saying that the celebrated and widely used Kirchhoff emissivity-absorptivity law is invalid, with particular details and particular reasons.

    As a matter of fact (J.-M. P. Robitaille), when the law is stated and applied exactly as per the strict rules as enunciated by Planck (2nd edition in English 1914) the law is valid, but it is practically never so stated and used, and because of the tacit violations of the rules it is often used invalidly. Hug’s paper is not very clearly expressed and is not clearly thought out in theoretical terms, and so I find it very hard to be clear about its validity.

    The matters discussed here are rather subtle and are usually treated in a messy and mistaken and invalid way in the literature, and what is really happening is hard to work out. One can be sure that the literature has very many errors in this, but one has hardly any idea how important are such errors: perhaps they are trivial, perhaps important, in diverse circumstances.

    Please would you very kindly be willing to further circulate this email that I am now writing in the hope that it may reach someone who has studied both Hug and Robitaille (and of course Planck) and will kindly enlighten me on the meaning and validity of Hug’s (2000) paper “A critical review of the hypothesis that climate change is caused by carbon dioxide”, Energy and Environment 11: 631-638.

    As it stands, the Hug paper contains far too many trivial errors and what looks to me like a very serious conceptual error about the Planck distribution and the Einstein B coefficient. I am not right here saying that this apparent serious error is really an actual error, only that it seems so, but I am saying that I want to check this point, and asking has someone else already checked it?

    Yours sincerely



    Likewise, I wonder if you RANGA are up to helping me with this, from the same mathematician in response to my sending him some stuff:

    “I agree with Spencer and you that the analysis by Lindzen is not very clear, and might be challenged.

    As you probably know, I am working on the 2007 paper of Ferenc Miskolczi. This paper is rather obscure, but I am working with Ferenc on clarifying it. As I read this paper, together with further analysis by Ferenc, the Miskolczi model gives a simpler and more principled and reliable estimate of the strength of the negative feedback than the Lindzen estimate. The result is perhaps an order of magnitude estimate of a warming not more than 0.3C for a CO2 doubling. We are still working on this, and the clarification has not yet been published.”

    Needless to say I haven’t a clue what the Miskolozi model is but maybe just one of the Crikey bloggers could show that they are capable of engaging on the substance rather than ad hominem by elucidating that – or suggesting further questions which show that they know what they are talking about.

    HERE’S A SHORT ONE – are you up to it?

    It is headed somewhat mysteriously “Re: A Most Illuminating Link”

    “For example, the IPCC “feedback” story arbitrarily takes it that there is a reference response against which all feedback is measured, the Planck response. The following url shows the fallacy of this arbitrary and physically unjustified assumption.



    “On sitting down and reading the article by Fabry, cited by Milne 1922, ( http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1922MNRAS..82..368M
    Milne is a great authority), I find that Fabry’s argument is seriously flawed. Fabry and Milne ignore the requirement for the validity of the Kirchhoff universal equality of absorptivity and emissivity, correctly stated by Planck as requiring strict thermodynamic equilibrium with a black body in the system. Nearly all textbooks ignore this requirement. The result is that the Fabry paper is unreliable. What should replace it I do not know.

    But it is a reminder that it is very hard to make very broad generalizations, and one should not rely unnecessarily on broad generalizations of doubtful provenance.”


    “Thank you for sending me this email.

    <> [I think the reference was to Lindzen & Choi’s August paper in Geophysical Research Letters]

    The IPCC doesn’t want to know the reality. You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink.


    So far as I can work out, the level of sophisitication of thinking needed to understand the Lindzen and Choi paper is way beyond that available in the parliamentary debate.


    I agree that one could be distracted by looking at past history as does Plimer. But it is a matter for both approaches, not one else the other.

    Yes, it is a question that needs a direct mechanical answer, as to *what is the effect of CO2 on the climate*. You frame it as the question <>. I think that may be an unwise choice of how to frame the question. The story about positive and negative feedback is one way of tackling the question as to what is the effect of CO2 on the climate, but it is not the only way of tackling it. Indeed, I think that the whole story as debated in terms of positive and negative feedback is a dangerous game. The story is accepted by all IPCC people and nearly all anti-IPCC people. In particular, Lindzen, Spencer, Paltridge, Kininmonth. I have for long been saying that the use of the IPCC “feedback” formalism to attack the IPCC doctrine is like in boxing leading with one’s chin. The IPCC “feedback” formalism is conceptually very unsatisfactory, invented by a gang of bureaucrats to compare flawed AOGCMs on a Procrustean model. It is a recipe for slipshod thinking.

    You will note the very important distinction that I am drawing here,

    between on the one hand

    (a) the “feedback” story (examined for example with enthusiasm by Monckton because it seems to him something that he can understand, though I think he doesn’t understand it with any real depth) that the IPCC uses in debating and which I call the ‘formalism’ (which is told in terms of at most ordinary differential equations with few degrees of freedom), and that you are referring to here,

    and on the other hand

    (b) the AOGCMs which cannot be discussed in brief terms and which require very powerful computers to run because they work on partial differential equations with very very many degrees of freedom.

    (a) is needed to provide a way of talking in ordinary language about (b).

    People read the term “feedback” and think “Ah, yes, this is very scientific and engineeringly practical. Of course I am up to mark with all such things. No one will question the fitness of this line of argument except an ignoramus, and of course that is not me. I learnt all about this when I was at university. Of course I will talk in these terms.” But the models in terms of the IPCC formalism are very shoddy indeed, and it is no wonder that Lindzen finds it hard or impossible to tell a good story in terms of them and that Spencer complains that Lindzen’s story is very untidy and even shoddy.

    In the general context, I am saying that I think the question should better be expressed as above in the terms “what is the effect of CO2 on the climate?” The more pointed question about feedback is like the barrister’s example about beating one’s wife, I think, except that it has some the angles different from the latter. I am not denying that the concepts of feedback may be useful, but I am noting that in serious textbooks about the theory of dynamical systems, which are the really relevant mathematics texts here, the word ‘feedback’ is not used. In a sense, ‘feedback’ is too imprecise a term to be useful in many serious mathematical contexts. This email of mine is feedback to yours, but not in any precise mathematical sense. The IPCC people cite Bode 1945 as their source for their “feedback” story, but if you read that book, of which I own a copy, you will find nothing like the IPCC story; the citation verges on fraud, but they give no better citations.

    People, including Spencer and Lindzen do not take kindly to being reminded of the above considerations that impugn the IPCC formalism that they all use, but I have an email from Spencer at least saying that he recognises that I know more about the proper terminology of dynamical systems theory than he does. But so far he has not made the next move, and started to read serious texts about the theory of dynamical systems, which he must do if he really wants to understand this problem.

    Yours sincerely,”


    “Thank you for this email. I am glad to read what people are saying.

    I think it may interest you to look at work by Tom Segalstadt on the same subject that Tom Quirk writes about, the sources of atmospheric CO2. So far as I can work out, the man-made CO2 emissions are less than 5% of the natural sources such as hundreds of volcanoes under the ocean in the Pacific ring of fire. I think this deserves explicit mention in a serious discussion. The term ‘natural sources’ is not quite explicit enough for my liking.

    As I have mentioned to you, the work of Ferenc Miskolczi shows I think rather conclusively that the water vapour feedback is strongly negative, to use the flawed terminology of the IPCC formalism. You can find some info on the Miskolczi analysis at http://www.friendsofscience.org/assets/documents/The_Saturated_Greenhouse_Effect.htm
    The presentation there is not the best possible. I am working on improving the logic and clarity of the presentation of the Miskolczi analysis, but I am not yet ready to publish.

    To clarify a little the difference between what I call the IPCC formalism and what I call the AOGCMs. A clear example of the use of the IPCC formalism is in Monckton’s articles about feedback, which I expect you are familiar with. This seems like simple mathematics but really it is not good physics. Only good physics can solve these problems. The AOGCMs are the mighty models that run on supercomputers and give rise the pictures such as


    This is far more complex than the formalism can express. There are good reasons why such mighty models cannot do the job. They can parrot a correct physical solution that has already been derived from first principles, but they cannot themselves originate and derive one from first principles.

    By the way, I do not think it safe to assume that petrol and oil and coal are fossil fuels. It is well on the cards, so far as I can work out, that they are geologically driven inorganic products of methane from the very deep interior of the earth. The presence of organic residues in them may perhaps develop as the products near the surface when thermophilic bacteria grow in them. if you do not have time to read Gold’s 1999 book The Deep Hot Biosphere, you may like to have look at chapter 22 of Lance Endersbee’s 2005 book A Voyage of Discovery, which discusses Gold’s hypothesis. I am not up to date with the latest on this, but I am not inclined to dismiss it out of hand.

    It is a shame that Lindzen and Choi 2009 chose not to bother to use a valid mathematical method to analyse their dataset. It puzzles me to wonder why they were so lazy or incompetent or pigheaded or were inhibited by some other factor. They are in a position to get good mathematical advice, and they ought to have done so. Their conclusion of negative feedback is more or less right but its being expressed in terms of the flawed IPCC formalism makes it much less clear and persuasive, and, strictly speaking, makes it invalid.

    The IPCC formalism deserves that title because it is not a physical theory, it is just a kind of book-keeping format that is intended to cover all possible relevant physical theories without itself being a physical theory.

    By the way, I think you will find that Tom Segalstadt thinks that the lifetime of CO2 in the atmosphere is about 6 years, not 20.”

    ON ACIDIFICATION [not his area]

    “Thank you for this.

    I suggest you look up some reliable source about oceanic acidification.

    I think it important to explicitly mention volcanic sources of ocean CO2.”

    AND AS I AM SURE YOU WILL ENJOY EMAILS AMONGST PEOPLE ON THE SCEPTICAL SIDE, HERE IS SOMETHING WHICH HAS THE GREAT MERIT OF HONESTY [as I am only am, for the most part, only an interested onlooker who has always supposed that Rudd’s policy would be to do only a little harm to us on climate change and the costs of pretending to combat it and no harm to re-election, I hadn’t read this properly before. Like all the quoted emails from my mathematician friend they are from late 2009. ] It is to multiple recipients.

    “Roy Spencer’s blog of 6 Dec 2009 writes:

    [that is Spencer]

    Thank you Roy. It’s taken you a while to work this out for yourself since I tried to get you to see it when I visited you………

    If we are lucky, you may eventually also work out that mathematically and physically valid models are needed for tricky problems like this one.

    The rubbishy Hansen-IPCC formalism, that till now you and Lindzen and others have insisted on using (“Oh, it’s just a simplification” I hear you say), just won’t do.

    Your next step hopefully will be to consult a few textbooks of dynamical systems theory or get some good advice on the subject; as you write:

    [Spencer again I think]

    Even a quick glance at a textbook or two would help. That means you, X. But don’t limit your attention to purely numerical modelling. You need to grasp the relevant general theory of ordinary differential equations, structural stability and bifurcation theory.

    Yours sincerely”


    I confess that looking up that correspondence has made me realise that the nice pat question on both sides as to whether positive water vapour feedback has been proven and, if so, what its mulitplying effect is for the small heating resulting from CO2 increase on its own is probably an oversimplification. Not that that fact is of any comfort to those who want to say that “the science is settled”. Mind you, I am inclined to think that work on cloud cover may provide something closer to “settled science” within the next 10 years and, obviously, that has a lot to do with the radiative balance if one addes albedo from clouds to the opposite water vapour greenhouse effect.

    So, believers, do you really want the CPRS passed? Or are you even more attracted to a Hamiltonian hair shirt and want a Green version passed, in Australia? At what cost, with what effect on Australia’s or anyone else’s climate? I advocated passing the ETS in December, for political reasons, on which it looks as though I am now likely to be proved wrong. But. let’s face it, there never was, and still is not, an economic case for Australia to install uneconomic wind farms, subsidise solar panels, or to try an curb CO2 emissions in ways that would make electricity in Australia much more expensive. Having said all that, I am wondering why I have hedged my bets with an investment in Better Place. I suspect that its prospects of success will depend on the price of liquid hydrocarbons going so high that recharging with electricity from out good old coal burning power stations, and, later nuclear power, will become economic.

  112. aj

    Suggest anyone who is a global warming or climate change believer and has access to Foxtel checks out Lord Moncktons address tonight from the National Press Club on the a-pac community channel at around 9.30pm and MAKES UP THEIR OWN MIND where their tax dollar is spent and how it betters our nation and planet. You owe it to yourself to hear the other side occasionally, if only to reconfirm your own thinking – please keep an open mind though.
    All common themes are addressed and rebuked using facts and data, not opinion and convenient models. It will at least get you thinking what will happen to the world carbon footprint when we shut Australian production down and move it offshore (and the inflation).
    Maybe the ABC and even Crikey could investigate the accuracy of the claims being made, rather than reporting the hair colour and jackets of the crowd. I’m thirty years off retirement, and just a very ordinary working taxpayer with kids worried about the future.
    Weather always changes – this time last year Sydney was in a heatwave and now we are building the ark it’s raining so heavily. The planet is resilient.
    And who is following the Gore money trail in the media?

  113. Julius

    @ RANGA

    My deficiencies in understanding markups has caused me to omit, in my last post, several passages where my correspondent quoted me and replied to them. You will find them at successive marks and these are what should be there

    “It does of course add to one of the persistent mysteries for conscientious laymen earnestly trying to get a handle on AGW issues which is why such devastating blows to the IPCC “consensus” haven’t killed it long ago.”

    “It is also a bit strange that none of the parliamentary sceptics were up to date with what Lindzen and Choi published in August and quoting it loudly in the last couple of weeks.”

    “Just a speculation, but I wonder whether some otherwise sound sceptics have been distracted by Ian Plimer’s long views, and in principle similar questions that I have entertained focusing on the explanation of major climatic changes since the end of the last Ice Age (such as in North Africa, the Great Lakes and the Indus Valley) when the point is that something new resulting from the Industrial Revolution is being alleged and the key to that is the question whether there is positive feedback or not which brings”

    and “the question whether there is positive feedback or not”

    There may be more but I haven’t had time to check. I can see that there are some total omissions where I have used <> so I shall get back to this promptly I hope, always assuming you are serious if not agreeing that we are discussing the greatest moral issue of our time.
    the Lindzen and Choi paper to the fore.

  114. Julius

    @ RANGA

    Final repairs after inadvertent misuse of markup symbols. Here is the whole of what I intended to include of my mathematician corresponden’t reply to Roy Spencer’s blogged remarks:

    “Roy Spencer’s blog of 6 Dec 2009 writes:

    ‘My first task is to convince both observationalists and modelers that much of what they previously believed about atmospheric feedbacks operating in the real world can be tossed out the window. Obviously, this will be no small task when so many climate experts assume that nothing important could have been overlooked after 20 years and billions of dollars of climate research.’ [that is Spencer]

    Thank you Roy. It’s taken you a while to work this out for yourself since I tried to get you to see it when I visited you………

    If we are lucky, you may eventually also work out that mathematically and physically valid models are needed for tricky problems like this one.

    The rubbishy Hansen-IPCC formalism, that till now you and Lindzen and others have insisted on using (“Oh, it’s just a simplification” I hear you say), just won’t do.

    Your next step hopefully will be to consult a few textbooks of dynamical systems theory or get some good advice on the subject; as you write:

    ‘It is time for an independent review of climate modeling, with experts from other physical (and even engineering) disciplines where computer models are widely used. The importance of the issue demands nothing less.’ [Spencer’s blog again I think]

    Even a quick glance at a textbook or two would help. That means you, X. But don’t limit your attention to purely numerical modelling. You need to grasp the relevant general theory of ordinary differential equations, structural stability and bifurcation theory.

    Yours sincerely”

  115. Julius

    @ Andrew

    You are a brave and honest man to post that particular link to make the point that January 2010 was a very warm month compared to others in recent decades.

    January 2010 the warmest on record.

    see http://www.drroyspencer.com/ .

    Looking at his first graph it appears that today’s heat doesn’t affect what appears to be an almost level or slightly declining temperature trend over the last 10 years. Not that I have ever been much impressed by the anti-warmist’s enthusiasm for the actual or supposed decline in global temperatures over the last 10 years. Certainly it adds to existing doubts about each of the IPCC’s numerous models but it doesn’t do more, by way of proof, than show that the IPCC models are missing important elements. But read on…..

    Anyone who reads Spencer’s web pages will see that he is making a strongly argued case for most of the recent warming (i.e. since 1970) being explicable by “natural” causes. It is interesting stuff. NB his logical point about inferring higher sensitivity from the smallness of the presumed forcing is worth noting

    “For a given observed temperature change, the smaller the forcing that caused it, the greater the inferred sensitivity of the climate system. This is why Jim Hansen believes in catastrophic global warming: since he thinks he knows for sure that a relatively tiny forcing caused the Ice Ages, then the greater forcing produced by our CO2 emissions will result in even more dramatic climate change!

    But taken to its logical conclusion, this relationship between the strength of the forcing, and the inferred sensitivity of the climate system, leads to the absurd notion that an infinitesimally small forcing causes nearly infinite climate sensitivity(!) As I have mentioned before, this is analogous to an ancient tribe of people thinking their moral shortcomings were responsible for lightning, storms, and other whims of nature.

    This absurdity is avoided if we simply admit that we do not know all of the natural forcings involved in climate change. And the greater the number of natural forcings involved, then the less we have to worry about human-caused global warming.”

    So, ANDREW, given that you have to admit there is much to be known about natural forcings in order to get the AOGCMs right, what do you think will be the main elements that plug the gaps in the models. Any advance on cloud formation and cloud cover?

  116. Frank Campbell

    Check out the new BBC poll reported tonite: shows a big shift away from AGW belief. Since November. I think the point just tipped.

    It makes AGW commentary (such as we see daily from Keane and Sparrow,plus burps from Glassjaw about “climate lunatics”) ridiculous.

    Looks like the point has already tipped, tossers, while you were, ummmm, busy.

  117. John Bennetts

    @Frank Campbell:

    There is a fundamental difference between polls and science.

    You are clearly very happy to back opinion against demonstrated fact (albeit perhaps fact which comes with an error range).

    Best of luck, mate, but this places you right in the flat Earth movement.

  118. Andrew

    By their own admission those in denial confirm theirs is a war against science, conducted by reference to popular opinion, which is in itself misled by denialists, thus forming a closed loop.

    According to the denial syndrom:


    (Equivalent to an assertion such as, for example: “If most people believe smoking is harmless, then smoking must be harmless”.)

  119. Julius

    @ Andrew

    I think you are indulging in a bit of deceptive, misleading, sleight of hand.

    While I don’t recognise the people you characterise as “denialist” who admit to conducting a “war against science” that may be because I try and avoid even reading nonsense on whatever side of any argument it may be. However, it does occur to me that what you are describing is more accurately described as a battle by those you describe as “denialists”, no doubt extending to ordinarily rational sceptics, to defeat the political consequences of what they see as erroneous IPCC science.

    So it would be a war against the propagation of one view of scientific truth encapsulated perhaps in the description believers have given to it when saying “the [sic] science” is settled.

    Not the same thing at all as a campaign involving a rejection of scientific standards such as the occasional eruptions of Creationists (sometimes under the Intelligent Design flag) to try and prevent biology being taught properly.

    Of course, if you are hinting at a looming battle between the “wisdom of crowds” and the “madness of mobs” you may be right if one can infer anything from the demonstrations in Copenhagen.

  120. John Bennetts

    @Julius, 9:06pm:

    You have stated “Looking at his first graph it appears that today’s heat doesn’t affect what appears to be an almost level or slightly declining temperature trend over the last 10 years. ”

    Dr Roy Spencer said no such thing and his graph dmonstrates no such thing.

    What this climatologist has stated is that the observed upward trend in temperature is multiplied by other factors, and that thus the IPCC modelling may be incorrect. He concludes that further work is needed, but that his preliminary estimate is that we have more time than the IPCC have stated to get our anthropogenic greenhouse gases under control.

    I do not see on his site anywhere a statement that would justify your conclusion.

    You have apparently been deceived by your wish that the temperatures be declining. It is this a priori assumption that has led you astray.

    It is intellectually and academically dishonest to represent your delusions as fact and it is a great personal insult to Dr Spencer that you have misrepresented him in this manner.

    If there is any purpose in engaging in on-line discussion, it must be founded on an assumption of basic honesty. In this case, your contribution, which I note is hidden behind an alias, does not achieve that standard.

  121. Andrew

    The end 20th century and early 21st century include the 3 WARMEST PEAKS recorded (i.e. 1998, 2002, 2007) since measurements began. No warmer peaks are indicated by proxy studies of Holocene climates (summarized in IPCC chapter 6)

    As in Rennies (Scentific American) climate questions and answers (http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=seven-answers-to-climate-contrarian-nonsense:

    “Claim 3: Global warming stopped a decade ago; Earth has been cooling since then. 1998 was the world’s warmest year in the U.K. Met Office Hadley Centre’s records; recent years have been cooler; therefore, the previous century’s global warming trend is over, right? Anyone with even a glancing familiarity with statistics should be able to spot the weaknesses of that argument. Given the extended duration of the warming trend, the expected (and observed) variations in the rate of increase and the range of uncertainties in the temperature measurements and forecasts, a decade’s worth of mild interruption is too small a deviation to prove a break in the pattern, climatologists say.

    Recently, Associated Press reporter Seth Borenstein asked four independent statisticians to look for trends in the temperature data sets without telling them what the numbers represented. “The experts found no true temperature declines over time,” he wrote. If a lull in global warming continues for another decade, would that vindicate the contrarians’ case? Not necessarily, because climate is complex. For instance, Mojib Latif of the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences in Germany and his colleagues published a paper in 2008 that suggested ocean circulation patterns might cause a period of cooling in parts of the northern hemisphere, even though the long-term pattern of warming remained in effect.

    Fundamentally, contrarians who have resisted the abundant evidence that supports warming should not be too quick to leap on evidence that only hints at the opposite.”

    Further, regarding “natural forcings” (a point raised earlier on this thread)

    Claim 4: The sun or cosmic rays are much more likely to be the real causes of global warming. After all, Mars is warming up, too.

    Astronomical phenomena are obvious natural factors to consider [pdf] when trying to understand climate, particularly the brightness of the sun and details of Earth’s orbit, because those seem to have been major drivers of the ice ages [pdf] and other climate changes before the rise of industrial civilization. Climatologists, therefore, do take them into account in their models. [pdf] But in defiance of the naysayers who want to chalk the recent warming up to natural cycles, there is insufficient evidence that enough extra solar energy is reaching our planet to account for the observed rise in global temperatures.

    The IPCC notes that between 1750 and 2005, the radiative forcing from the sun increased by 0.12 watt/square-meter—less than a tenth of the net forcings from human activities [pdf] (1.6 W/m2). The largest uncertainty in that comparison comes from the estimated effects of aerosols in the atmosphere, which can variously shade Earth or warm it. Even granting the maximum uncertainties to these estimates, however, the increase in human influence on climate exceeds that of any solar variation.

    Moreover, remember that the effect of CO2 and the other greenhouse gases is to amplify the sun’s warming. Contrarians looking to pin global warming on the sun can’t simply point to any trend in solar radiance: they also need to quantify its effect and explain why CO2 does not consequently become an even more powerful driver of climate change. (And is what weakens the greenhouse effect a necessary consequence of the rising solar influence or an ad hoc corollary added to give the desired result?).

    The most recent contrarian fad is based largely on work by Henrik Svensmark of the Technical University of Denmark, who argues that the sun’s influence on cosmic rays needs to be considered. Cosmic rays entering the atmosphere help to seed the formation of aerosols and clouds that reflect sunlight. In Svensmark’s theory, the high solar magnetic activity over the past 50 years has shielded Earth from cosmic rays and allowed exceptional heating; but now that the sun is more magnetically quiet again, global warming will reverse. Svensmark claims that, in his model, temperature changes correlate better with cosmic ray levels and solar magnetic activity than with other greenhouse factors.

    Svensmark’s theory has so far not persuaded most climatologists, however, because of weaknesses in its evidence. In particular, there do not seem to be clear long-term trends in the cosmic ray influxes or in the clouds that they are suppose to form, and his model does not explain (as greenhouse explanations do) some of the observed patterns in how the world is getting warmer (such as that more of the warming occurs at night). For now, at least, cosmic rays remain a less plausible culprit in climate change.

    And the apparent warming seen on Mars? It is based on a very small base of measurements, so it may not represent a true trend. Too little is yet known about what governs the Martian climate to be sure, but a period of heavy dust storms on the planet that made its surface relatively dark might have increased the amount of absorbed sunlight and raised temperatures.

  122. Frank Campbell

    J. Bennetts/Andrew Glikson:

    You’re missing the point.

    (i) “There is a fundamental difference between polls and science.” There sure is. I wouldn’t so crass as to suggest otherwise. They’re two unrelated things. I’m talking about the political failure of AGW and its proponents. Political failure means that nothing effective can be done about AGW. I’d have thought AGW proponents would be very interested in that. “Where have we gone wrong?”, “who is to blame?” That mob of geriatric Tweed Heads RSL dickheads, or anglo-celts, or Lord Planckton the feral amoeba? Or maybe Keane, Sparrow and Glassjaw Guy aren’t wanking in harmony- the vibes are all wrong? Get some new apologists…Or is it the selfish, gluttonous SUV proletariat?Or is Big Oil greasing the arses of dissident Bumcrack scientists?

    Can’t you see how myopic and self-serving all these arguments are? Of course many denialists are just as devoted to the Cult as you are; I’m not even a denialist, contrary to your prejudicial assumption. You’re two sides of the same sect. You are both toxic and dangerous. AGW alarmism and fraud have pissed off the population. Period. Incompetent and damaging AGW economics (ETS, wind turbines…)have pissed off the population. Period. The failure to develop baseload powergen means whatever is done to reduce emissions is farcical- the pink batt and lightbulb mentality.The tossmopolitan solution is in hand…Your political and economic incompetence has led to gross neglect of environmental degradation. This has pissed off the population. Period.

    And now your incompetence is handing power to the most repulsive elements in this country (and every other country): why do you think we have a Neanderthal bully like Abbott running the Libs? Why do you think unbeatable Rudd is looking strained- and why is he tip-toeing to the climate change exit?

    (ii) “By their own admission those in denial confirm theirs is a war against science, conducted by reference to popular opinion, which is in itself misled by denialists, thus forming a closed loop.” : The only closed loop here is your tautology.

    The war is ABOUT science. The climate modellers (scientists?) went to war to protect their hypothesis. It was a dirty war. Read the evidence. All of it. And learn to distinguish between the denialist sect and sceptics. Your incompetence and hubris created all those vile trolls. The AGW cult trumpeted Armageddon. But remember, denialists are not your opposition. Your opposition is now the very populace that you needed to convince. Yet all AGW propagandists can do is patronise and demean those you need most. Too late. You’ve blown it.

    What will happen now? Spin, fudging and fakery from social democrat parties everywhere, as they try to disguise their retreat. Expect more sops to AGW like the entire new Lib policy (a handful of trees, a bit of this and that, while their clients rip out the forest). It’s late, maybe I’ll make some more predictions tomorrow, if you ask nicely…

  123. brutus


    The capers up

    My thanks to detective appopiso for getting to the bottom of it

    Julius is indeed none other than Viscount Monckton.

    Might work in Pommieland, but we are too smart for you in Australia.

    What’s that I hear you say Julius ?

    E T TU Brutus

    I have one last thing to say to you Julius AKA Viscount Monckton and that is

    philliseedogollomoo, please take this message to your Queen.

  124. John Bennetts

    Give us a break, Frank. You are off topic, loony, unnecessarily aggressive, foul mouthed and just plain wrong.

    The science is not in doubt. Bits and pieces of it are worthy of further research, but for 20-plus years it has been as plain as the nose on your face that AGW is happening and that, sooner or later, it will exact a price on this world and our farms, fisheries and houses.

    I admit only that the speed of the advance of AGW is up for discussion.

    Your rant about economics, politics, wind, pink batts and so forth can wait for another day. I will probably agree with much of what you say on these topics. For the moment, please put aside the dumbing-down of Australia by The Rodent, the content of the 120 or so contributions to this thread and re-read the original article.

    The pommy git is indeed wrong, a proven liar and has been allowed by a complacent press to gain too much air time and apparent credibility. That in no way makes what he says correct.

    We do need to sort out the science, but we need to heed the scientists. I presume that you do not seek medical remedies from used car salesmen, but the git is of even lower repute than a suburban perveyor of used conveyances and should (will eventually?) be treated as such.

    I certainly disagree with the factored up REC’s for reverse cycle hot water systems, inflated subsidies for solar photovoltaic power and silly nonsence re pink batts, but this thread is about Monckton. He is responsible for enough silliness without trying to include these politicians’ jokes in his luggage.

    Perhaps we will find ourselves agreeing re the need to adopt a nuclear option, perhaps not. Monckton hasn’t ventured there either, as far as I know.

    But I do know that he is dangerous, a liar, a fraud and that he is part of the problem, not the solution – whatever that may be.

  125. Julius

    @ John Bennetts

    It doesn’t do credit to your brains for you not only to criticise someone but to impute dishonesty and a motive which deceives me because of my wish to find a declining temperature WHEN WHAT YOU SAY CAN SO EASILY BE CHECKED BY REFERENCE TO WHAT I HAVE WRITTEN AND WHAT IS TO BE FOUND AT ROY SPENCER’S URL -which you don’t cite but was by Andrew and is http://www.drroyspencer.com

    When you say
    “You have stated “Looking at his first graph it appears that today’s heat doesn’t affect what appears to be an almost level or slightly declining temperature trend over the last 10 years. “

    Dr Roy Spencer said no such thing and his graph dmonstrates no such thing.”

    You should have added at least what I said immediately after what you quote from me, if not more. That is

    “Not that I have ever been much impressed by the anti-warmist’s enthusiasm for the actual or supposed decline in global temperatures over the last 10 years.”

    As you can see it is unlikely in the extreme that I would have been motivated by what you attribute to me from your imagination (I exclude malice though your record suggests intense censoriousness is part of your nature) which is the rather patronising

    “You have apparently been deceived by your wish that the temperatures be declining. It is this a priori assumption that has led you astray.”

    If I have erred in my first glance interpretation of Roy Spencer’s first graph, I expect that anyone else who looks at it will at least see why I might see elements in it which, as well as those which point to a much hotter month in January 2010, also point to a slightly declining trend in the anomalies over about 10 years (as well as indicating that a hot month like January is the counterpart of some cooler months in the middle of the charted period).

    I commend attention to what Dr Roy Spencer says and suggest that readers give more time to it than I have.

    As anyone will know who read the correspondence from my mathematician friend who knows Roy Spencer and corresponds with him I am happy to count him as on the right side in at least two important aspects of the climate science wars. He appears to be being honest and willing to listen (eventually) and improve his methodology from convenient reliance on the IPCC’s own formalism (as my mathematician friend calls it) to a more complex understanding of chaotic deterministic dynamic systems.

  126. Frank Campbell

    John B: ” Frank. You are off topic, loony, unnecessarily aggressive, foul mouthed and just plain wrong”

    Hey John, this is Crikey! If you want Camberwell Niceness, there’s always New matilda…

    “The science is not in doubt. Bits and pieces of it are worthy of further research, but for 20-plus years it has been as plain as the nose on your face that AGW is happening…”

    No John, as leading proponents of AGW now say (Beddington. Oppenheimer, Trenberth) , the fundamentals of climate are still not well understood. Note “fundamental”. What is observably correct is GW, rising from c 1975 to 2000, now on a 10 year plateau (the plateau which so upsets Kevin Trenberth- it HAS to be warming, he says- it’s just that we’re not measuring it adequately). No one has a clue what the sodding thermometer will do next. O’Bama the Limerick comedian was joking today about “snowmageddon”- just the sort of weather-driven denialist dog-whistle which drives AGW down in the polls. Galling, but there it is…

    None of this means we should do nothing, but this is my point- and why it is crucial to The Topic: the AGW cult has utterly screwed the political and economics of AGW mitigation. Casting around for scapegoats as Keane and Sparrow do (and the rest of you) is pointless. To think that AGW can be knocked over by the hilarious Lord Planckton, a perfect Barry Humphries character, is absurd.

  127. peach1

    It all boils down to this. The sceptics are the types who want to continue rubbishing and polluting the earth without having to pay for the clean up. They want to leave that to future generations.

    They remind me of rubbish dumpers who do their deed at night, hoping that someone else will clean up the mess.

    In other words anti-social and utterly selfish types.

    My preferred solution for those types is to put them all on an ice float off Antarctica and if the ice melts before it makes landfall, I would say tough luck.

  128. Julius

    @ PEACH1

    I suppose it is interesting to see just what people will say without any evidence except that a Crikey blog is not a place to find a representative sample of anything much.

    I see you refer to “The sceptics” so I shall assume that you do not deny scepticism a high place amongst the intellectual virtues particularly when applied to unproven areas of science. I take it you are referring to those who have various degrees of doubt about the adequacy of the IPCC “consensus” for describing the way things are and what is likely to result from continued burning of fossil fuels.

    If that is so, would you care to give reasons for the views you express? Or are you just emoting? If so, would you please explain why we should be interested in your emotions about climate change and people who express doubt about some of the current explanations?

  129. baal


    I think it’s probably not a good idea to think of ‘skeptics’ as a holistic class. A true skeptic would be skeptical of other skeptics. Whereas those calling themselves ‘skeptics’ on this issue seem to be rather prone to the herd instinct (albeit as outcasts from the larger gathering). Perhaps ‘rogues’ would be a more useful and accurate term

  130. Julius

    @ Frank Campbell

    I have close relations, as well as friends, who are strongly Labor and strongly Liberal, but no Greens so I am happy to find such rationality and balance in a Green. Like the Democrats before them, they have inevitably moved to outflank the ALP on the left because that is the only way they can get elected once an ALP government has, inevitably, got enmeshed in the realities of the capitalist economy.

    So, though I have myself planted thousands of trees and have run an environmentlist campaign for a local council which resulted in important changes in the direction of more trees and other vegetation and less concrete and bitumen as well as regeneration of major manmade eyesores, I am not a Green and wish that they would do their good work within other parties.

  131. Julius

    @ BAAL

    I am sure you are right. Some of the sceptics I know seem to have become tribal out of, I suppose, human nature’s tendency to the herd instinct after repeating themselves a hundred times and committing a fair bit of energy to the cause. Also from seeing a herd on the other side I suppose. However, though I admit to having been influenced by some of the evidence one or two have pushed my way, these herd-sceptics are not what I saw, e.g. when I heard Monckton. It was a gathering organised by a former very senior Treasury official so, not surprisingly, it wasn’t a lot of men in Richie Benaud blazers or rustic rednecks.

    Now to something more interesting to me right now when I think of it. How come BAAL?

    Wasn’t he a loser in the contest with the fierce two headed Jahweh-El monster?

    I’ve always preferred Mammon myself, but using that nom de guerre would only remind me that I am not rich enough.

  132. Frank Campbell

    “The sceptics are the types who want to continue rubbishing and polluting the earth without having to pay for the clean up.”

    This is why you’re losing the political battle (and therefore the lot): the Cult assumption is (a) that anyone who queries AGW and its derivatives is “selfish” and anti-scientific etc. (b) all pollution can be conflated with CO2. CO2 becomes a proxy for the endless abuses the planet has been subjected to forever.

    Apart from exuding patronising, Hamilton-style moralism (and therefore self-defeating), the cult conveniently glosses over the fact that obsession with AGW has distracted everyone from the daily gang-rape of the environment.

    And by alienating the population, you’re handing power to the feral Right. One example- the Vic Libs intend to reintroduce cattle into Alpine national parks.

    So why you bang on about AGW, the rednecks advance.

    Predictions: Rudd is already retreating from his Calvinistic bully-pulpit. The “greatest moral challenge” in world history will degenerate into empty gestures and fragments, not too dissimilar to Abbott’s compost heap of hypocritical “anti-AGW” measures. Rudd’s 5% CO2 reduction target is a joke to start with- 5% of very little cannot affect climate at all. You all know that, right?

    I won’t mention Anna Bligh and Brumby…Mr and Mrs Coal.

    Rudd has to retreat because of AGW’s rapid decline in the polls. Once a cult cracks, people are instantly embarrassed to have ever belonged.

    The best compromise in this scenario (for AGW cultists) is a raft of reforms which each have multiple benefits (reforestation for example. Not Abbott’s 20m fig-leaf trees, which is but a tiny fraction of current plantations , for instance) including CO2 reduction. (The AGW hypothesis may be sick, but it isn’t yet dead). The Libs have already grasped this basic point. Trouble is, AGW has propelled the most reactionary elements of the Right into power already, so their pre-environmental reforms will at best be out-weighed by increased environmental rapacity. Look at Costello- he’s off to wipe out the rest of Cambodia’s rain forest and productive arable land with oil palm plantations, felling teak etc. And he’s a Malvern Latte Lib!. You know what Wilson Tuckey thinks of trees…

    Any AGW-driven change which adversely affects the economy is doomed from now on. That was the message of Dopenhagen. Why should Australia unilaterally screw itself while Chindia fouls the world? So if you want a quick reduction in Australia’s relatively tiny GHGas emissions, convert brown coal filth (filth of many sorts) to gas- for example.

    Sadly, thousands of useless, murderous wind turbines will continue to be built, because this vast cost has already programmed into the system. The humane and sensible thing would be to stop right now. But these dirty, polluting things (they must have FF backup) remain the symbol par excellence of the sincerity of politicians about climate change…noisy towers of hypocrisy which ruin the lives of the weak and distant…

  133. Frank Campbell

    Julius/Baal: how often do I have to say it? Denialists and Believers are two sides of the same cult.

    what’s always missing from this “debate” is awareness of the history and sociology of science (the Bumcrack emails are academics behaving normally, just with higher stakes; paradigms rise and fall, usually after savage battles between scientists; journals are often partisan- just as the emails demonstrate…)

    And no one pays any attention to the sociopathy of cults…this current one is typical. Which is why outcomes can be predicted…

    since climate science depends on very long observational time-frames, the most likely outcome is not absolute victory for either side. AGW will just slide slowly down the list of priorities. Having committed themselves prematurely and with cultish enthusiasm, social democratic politicians will find it hardest to extrictae themselves from the mess. But they’ve started. They love political power far more than electrical power. They’ll leave purity to the impotent, like Rev Clive Hamilton.

  134. Flower


    This is not just about global warming. It’s about the collapse of the ecosystems on which humans depend and major systems are already on life support!

    This is all about contaminated rivers, oceans, soil, air, salinity, food crops, livestock and intensive farming, threatened biodiversity including mass fish and bird deaths, hazardous waste and the realisation that 70% of new and re-emerging diseases afflicting humans are zoonotic in origin.

    This is about 6.7 billion humanoid ferals Frank and the non-humans are fighting back. You see they’re becoming resistant to man’s antibiotics. Little wonder when the US slaughters 10 billion chickens a year – strewth what a mess!

    What have we done Frank? What are we doing? Do you wonder why Nature buried her hazardous waste? No, I thought not. Equilibrium Frank that’s why (no science credentials required there!) and I doubt she’d anticipated ferals plundering her toxic waste repositories to bring this muck to the surface to poison her planet.

    Anyway Frank if it’s business as usual you”re after have a look at this little beauty:

    ‘An Australian firm has signed a $60bn (AUS$69bn; £38bn) deal to supply coal to Chinese power stations. Clive Palmer, chairman of the company, Resourcehouse, said it was Australia’s “biggest ever export contract”.’


    Wow! You’re not from sunny Queensland are you Frank? No worries because we’ve got Premier, Barney Rubble here in the West and it’s “drill baby drill!”

    So Frank, you think that the illegal trawling through electronic garbage has undermined the huge amount of peer-reviewed scientific data on climate change? Do you think that these revelations will halt the collapse of the planet’s ecosystems? Do you think that China will resurrect its ban on the “one child” policy? Do you believe that the greedy multinational corporate grim reapers will cease raping the planet or plundering and wiping out the ecosystems of defenceless people around the world?


  135. Frank Campbell

    Julius: spot on, “Frank is a rational and balanced Green”. But the Greens aren’t, so we need another prediction.

    13% of Green voters in the last poll (Jan) were AGW sceptics. (some of the rest were probably too embarrassed to admit doubts). This number will rise.

    Given that the parliamentary Greens are now single-issue Cultists, as the cult collapses they may hold or even attract unhappy cult voters from other parties. If so it will be a false dawn. And bad news for the real environment.

    Brown’s time is nearly up. That might be the opportunity for a rethink and new leadership. But I’m not optimistic. Perhaps the most likely outcome is continued wailing about Armageddon but less gnashing of teeth- i.e. the carapace of the cult remains but practicalities (and the effluxion of time) convert the sect back into a denomination again. “Denominations” all began life as sects (Methodist, Baptist, you name it). The magnetism of the mainstream is inexorable.

    But perhaps I’m just a congenital optimist.

  136. Julius

    @ Frank Campbell

    Your short version is pretty close to bulls-eye accurate I would say. Though I doubt that the cultish denialists are in anything like the same number as the cultish believers. Compare Huguenots who got themselves burned and expelled with the mass of their persecutors who had the state on side.

    I am not sure what you would regard as absolute victory for the denialists? Those lined up to reject the CPRS on both scientific and economic grounds (and remember that they don’t have big business as represented by the Business Council of Australia onside, or Malcolm Turnbull, or, nominally Tony Abbott) would probably be totally satisfied by general acceptance that there was no particular reason to expect a global average rise in temperture of more than one degree C in the next 90 years with the consequential collapse of all the more wasteful ways of dealing with such a distant and small problem.

    As I predicted and circulated three years ago when assessing why Rudd would win the 2007 election he was never going to be fooled by those opinion polls showing overwhelming belief in the need to do something urgently about AGW but would behave entirely politically and pragmatically. And so it has turned out, don’t you agree? Except of course that his cynicism about the issue has allowed him to leave it to work its damage on the Coalition without his bothering to steer the issue at all. Now it is likely to bite him, as I think we agree.

  137. Julius

    @ Andrew

    You say “In Svensmark’s theory, the high solar magnetic activity over the past 50 years has shielded Earth from cosmic rays and allowed exceptional heating; but now that the sun is more magnetically quiet again, global warming will reverse. Svensmark claims that, in his model, temperature changes correlate better with cosmic ray levels and solar magnetic activity than with other greenhouse factors.

    Svensmark’s theory has so far not persuaded most climatologists, however, because of weaknesses in its evidence…..”

    That is, in substance, what Monckton said when someone asked him about Svensmark. From memory he also said that he knew and thought well of Svensmark and that the relevant data had only been collected since 1983 so this theory couldn’t be proved (yet).

    Now let me ask a bit more of your learning and expertise. Nir Shaviv has written papers which suggest that cloud cover is a critical variable which has been inadequately accounted for quite independently of the Svensmark thesis. However I find at


    Is the causal link between cosmic rays and cloud cover really dead??

    the following:

    “First, we should note that so called “skeptics” like myself or my serious colleagues never claimed that cosmic rays explain all the climate change, it does however explain most of the solar-climate link and a large fraction (perhaps 2/3’s of the temperature increase over the 20th century).

    Now for the paper itself. ”

    and he goes on to deal with the critical article comprehensively.

    Googling for Shaviv and clouds I also found this which would serve to give those unfamiliar with the Svensmark theory a bit of background. (See also his book “The Chilling Stars” written with former New Scientist editor Nigel Calder)


    I can’t find in a quick look the first article by Shaviv I came across which dealt with cloud cover over the last million years but I found, e.g. this


    which deals with a phenomenon in the Pacific that I had not even heard of……

    Let’s hope Svensmark is right!!

  138. Frank Campbell


    But cultish denialists are rapidly increasing in numbers. Until the last three or so years one rarely heard, even in the dead of night, the shriek of a denialist troll…scenting blood, they’re awake and prowling in packs. The rancid cavern known as Bolt’s Bolthole is a seething mass of the Fanged Acephalous Bat-troll, hanging upside down above their own guano…

    They feed on passing vegan cyclists, leaving only the helmet.

    There’ll be no absolute victory for anyone. The inertia of the system alone ensures that. The Greens will probably get some risibly small “carbon price” up…face-saving all round for the ALP etc.;Rural people will continue to be asset-stripped and sickened by wind turbines. Abbott will serenade the environment, while dogwhistling every redneck in the country.

    Rudd is a quaint case. He’s an old-fashioned Qld developmentalist Philistine and religious to boot. (send the cops in and gets the nudes off the gallery wall…) Statistically, he’s un-Australian. He’s also a bureaucratic martinet (Dr Death under Goss) who grinds his staff into the ground. He has been attracted to the moralising hubris of the AGW cult though (“greatest moral challenge since the fall of the Pharoahs” etc (which was caused by the failed introduction of Myki ticketing, incidentally, something about inferior stone…), but this pull towards evangelism contradicts his archaic belief on permanent capitalist growth: “I want a big Australia”. That’s the real Rudd. Hell will freeze over before Rudd sacrifices Growth for AGW. Since Dopenhagen he knows you can’t have both.

  139. Julius

    Look out Frank, one of those Troll/Clone hunters will have gone to hear Monckton and pass you the palm for his ubiquitous manifestation on this blog. Such eloquence! That’s the giveaway.

  140. gef05

    The explanation for why nutters like this chap have got a toehold in the debate is rather simple:

    The climate change scientists are dodgy.
    The climate change science is dodgy.

    I’m surprised there aren’t more gatherings like this taking place.

  141. ty_webb

    can’t believe this story still has legs.

    It is very unaustralian to mention Richie Benaud in the same breath as Monckton.

  142. Julius

    @ TY_WEBB

    Definitely not Richie Benaud. I saw Monckton described as Scottish, so think Douglas Jardine and recall that Jardine money was probably made out of finding ways to feed the Chinese appetite for opium. On the other hand, I remember an old Australian friend, a cricketer himself, who regarded Douglas Jardine as a good friend – so there you are, it may be that seductive charm of the English upper classes (I doubt if Monckton is old aristocracy, let alone the old nobility whose forbears would have tried to lose gambling in the 18th century what their remoter ancestors took by force of arms and the favour of the feudal lord, the King).

    Nutter he ain’t. Eloquent showman yes. Confident enough to face ridicule with equanimity. Whether he is a Horatio Bottomley class charlatan (cp too his near contemporary Maundy Gregory) remains a possibility but those who want the world to believe in and act on dangerous warming caused by CO2 emissions shouldn’t underrate him or his intellect.

    BTW consider how much dodgy science and covering up of raw results there is in the pharmaceutical industry world wide. How would it be that the scientists who go into the business of working on potentially life saving drugs for which they will never get a patent themselves and which is not likely to lead to eminence as a Professor behave in the way that many IPCC related scientists are accused of behaving? Another analogy: in each field there are a lot of barely connected specialties aggregated under broad descriptions such as Big Pharma and IPCC. Extend that: how many scientists would have a material motive for arguing that the work of scientists at a partly competitive company (cf. e.g. Pfizer and Roche) is dodgy even if it was?

  143. baal

    This thread may by now be legless, but I dare say the topic will be revisited incessantly, elsewhere, by the same hardy contributors, so perhaps it might be cleverer to to see the debate in these terms: the globe is warming, whether fully caused by human activity or not it would be foolish to aggravate or amplify the process.

  144. Julius

    @ BAAL

    Who could disagree? Actually some do. They are willing to say that warming at some unstated rate would be beneficial. The ability to feed five billion Africans and Yemenis in Northern Siberia doesn’t stike me as necessarily a great idea so I shall just agree with your common sense view. The trouble is it reminds me of the story of the pilot who crash lands in a field and asks the nearest person where he is. “24.20.14 degrees South, 140.14.20 degrees West” is the answer to which the pilot says “You must be a government accountant”. “Oh why do you say that?}” says his informant. “Because what you say is absolutely accurate and absolutely useless” replies the pilot.

    So, I say, that sounds sensible but what definite action or omission does it entail?

  145. baal

    Two words really: burn less.

  146. Johnfromplanetearth

    Warming alarmists are people who walk around all day worried about EVERYTHING, worried about the air we breathe, worried about the water we drink, worried about the soil from where we grow our food, worried about every chemical ever invented for use in anything we have ever used it for!
    Enviromentalists (greenies if you like) are just people who think the only thing wrong with the country is there aren’t enough bicycle paths! Turn off this, turn off that, don’t warm yourselves in winter, don’t cool yourselves in summer, don’t travel in that car, don’t travel in that plane…yet they all still do!!!! Never mind the fact that the planet has been around for approximately 4.5 billion years and us humans only traveled out of Africa about 70,000 years ago. It’s all natural, it’s what nature does and has done for hundreds of millions of years, 95% of all species that have ever lived are extinct, don’t think for a minute that we are going to beat the odds and remain on this little blue ball forever. I bet the dinosaurs thought they were going to live forever too and they were around for 250 million years and they ate everything that grew and some of them ate anything that moved.

  147. baal

    @JohnfromPlanetEarth – that’s not a bad list to be worried about! Well done. Things are getting clearer on the dark side of the moon are they?

  148. Alex H

    MPM, thankyou for the link to the BOM paper on climate change impacts at various sites in the Pacific. It is a well written document and quite clearly shows a typical sea level rise of ~4mm/yr over the past 14yrs (refer to p13 in the report, although I recommend reading the whole thing).

    http://www.bom.gov.au/ntc/IDO60033/IDO60033.2007.pdf for those who can’t find it above.

    I fail to see how it supports your view that everything is OK though – it goes to show it isn’t what you read but how you choose to read it…

  149. Flower

    Musings of an ordinary punter – where the votes count!

    1. SHAVIV Dr: “Fossil fuels should be controlled, not because of their adverse affects on climate but to curb pollution. I am therefore in favour of developing cheap alternatives such as solar power, wind, and of course fusion reactors (converting Deuterium into Helium), which we should have in a few decades.”

    Comment: Different hypothesis, identical solutions – good stuff!

    2. SINGER Fred: – Scientist and tobacco shill, says “little or no warming since 1940s.”

    Comment: Big fat raspberry!

    3. CARTER Bob, marine and petroleum geologist states that “the statistics used by the IPPC show that no ground-based warming has occurred since 1998” (yawn).

    (a) States that “lower atmosphere satellite-based temperature measurements, if corrected for non-greenhouse influences such as El Nino events and large volcanic eruptions, show little if any global warming since 1979.”

    Comment: We ordinary punters know about El Nino and his frigid sister and also of PDO’s climate impacts however, humans emit an estimated 130 times more CO2 than volcanoes which obviously is irrelevant to Bob’s creative accounting!

    4. SOON & BALIUNAS (Willie and Sally) – Astrophysicists/sceptics. A review article is published in the peer-reviewed journal Climate Research. Three of journal’s editors resign— calling the paper “flawed.” 13 of the scientists cited in the paper publish a rebuttal saying that Soon and Baliunas seriously misinterpreted their research in the paper.

    5. MONCKTON Windbag in the Willows (“member of the British House of Lords”):

    (a) “Global warming has stopped for 10 years.”
    (b) “Global warming has stopped for fifteen years.”
    (c) “ Dog poop is more dangerous than global warming.”

    Julius – Does the plank in your eye hurt much and can we look forward to your contribution during an official investigation into McClimategate?

  150. realist


    I suggest you watch “the road”, a new release.
    May be fiction but may also describe a future reality.
    It may moderate some of your views

  151. realist


    From reading above blogs you are wasting your breath.
    There seems to be no shortage of BS artists for any investigation, why do you wan’t another ?
    One thing your mate Julius has is a lot of wind !
    Why can’t moderators put a limit say 250 word , enough to get your point across and forces people to answer the question !

  152. Diana

    Somewhere there must be a moderator or three for this discussion. Please, dear moderators, could you slap a word limit on contributions? Say 250 words maximum? That might help deal with one person’s obvious desire to completely take over this discussion.

    Julius, my pet – I don’t need to quote my sources, just do a Google and find them all for yourself. They are all matters of public record. That might give you something to do besides deluging this discussion with meaningless waffle.

  153. Flower

    Dear Realist

    If an enquiry into CRU is appropriate then we punters are entitled to an enquiry into the already proven lies and disinformation published and peddled by McClimategate who are duping the public!

    Example: Ian Plimer – fraud and mining director, where his farcical “Heaven and Earth” received scathing reviews from Australia’s most respected scientists yet unrepentant, Plimer continues to flog his book off to the nearest halfwit.

    Climate, environmental and health researchers from every institute must learn to defend themselves against the thugs and rent boys in the fossil fuel industry which is endeavouring to “buy” up places of learning. The crime and corruption which pervades the FF industry is well documented yet continues with impunity!

  154. Julius

    @ Diana

    I didn’t ask you to quote your sources.

    I asked you why you believed such obvious nonsense. No amount of Googling or more serious research could justify the stupidity of asserting that you believed all or most of what you did assert.

    Whatever your sources of gossip or ill-informed malice, your statements are just plain wrong. Unless you are sufficiently dishonest to claim that someone who makes a joke about deserving the Nobel Prize for something or other has actually claimed to have won one.

    Just as someone with an IQ of 100 is usually quite unable to tell which person has one of 125 and which 150 it is possible that you are so stupid that, even if you met and heard him, you would not recognise that Monckton is a very smart and sophisticated operator. It is beyond all belief that such a smart operator would leave himself open to the very easy refutation of a claim e.g. to be a member of the House of Lords or a Nobel Prize Winner.

    Maybe you are not very stupid, but, if so, you really should try not to keep stupid company which dumbs you down.

  155. realist


    Agreed, however, enquiries do not always get desired results.
    I point to the litany of royal commissions that have happened in the past not always successful, but always expensive.
    They can be fudged by limiting terms of reference (Howard was adept at this) and findings are not always acted upon, with no subsequent recriminations from commissioners.

    As far as corruption is concerned, some say the ICAC is a toothless tiger.
    I really dont know what the answer is.

  156. Flower

    Dear Diana

    Should we continue feeding this troll? Is he not delusional?:

    1. “Monckton of Brenchley, is a member of the British House of Lords”:


    And on the toad’s very own website – SPPI:

    2. “His contribution to the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report in 2007 – the correction of a table inserted by IPCC bureaucrats that had overstated tenfold the observed contribution of the Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets to sea-level rise – earned him the status of Nobel Peace Laureate:”

    [Edit] Stop that

  157. Julius


    I too readily accepted your
    “Ian Plimer spoke on Ockham’s Razor a few months ago. Aside from his quite interesting assertions about climate in the past he spent/wasted most of the talk abusing the warmers with unsubtle invective. Shame really.”

    I have just gone to Ockham’s Razor transcripts and found that the first one which concerned Plimer was an attack on him by Kurt Lambeck with Robyn Williams tossing in reference to a (presumably critical) review of Plimer’s book on top of that.

    The link to the transcript is http://www.abc.net.au/rn/ockhamsrazor/stories/2009/2589206.htm

    Considering how broadly dismissive Lambeck was of Plimer’s book “Heaven and Earth” and how offensive Lambeck was it is interesting to note that Plimer’s reply was 75 per cent or more crisply stated and relevant scientific facts, and that he didn’t even mention Lambeck. Plimer’s talk is here:

  158. John Bennetts

    Dear moderator, if in fact there be same, I have just taken the time to re-read this lengthy thread. As usual, much comment has arisen from a few abusive contributors.

    Chief amongst these show-stoppers, one stands out for his negativity, abusiveness, longwindedness and irrelevance. One prime technique is to claim that those who he targets are stupid, thus displaying the paucity of his own arguments.

    I respectfully suggest that real moderation is required.

  159. Julius

    @ John Bennetts

    Your habitual emotional censoriousness would be better backed up if you bothered about fact. I have no doubt, since my contributions have been longest, and I have just implied, not “claimed” or said, to be precise, that one blogger claiming to be a female with the name of the goddess of the hunt and a vituperative malicious and unscrupulous tongue is stupid, that you are referring to me.

    Now let us look at your values, which is to say your ethics or morality. You are willing to shut down free speech on the slightest pretext. One is that you (or those you patronisingly presume to defend) are too lazy or clumsy to flick down quickly so they can ignore anything in the way of reaching the bloggers with whom they feel comfortable. The other is that your or others’ feelings may be hurt so the possibility of that should be curtailed.

    Others might use some rude word like “pathetic” to describe such a travesty of intellect and character but I shall content myself with asking you to specify, apart from the one acknowledged case, any “abusiveness” or “claim” that anyone is “stupid”, let alone any frequency of either.

    And how, if you don’t want to read or others to be able to read, material that makes you uncomfortable, do you justify your tolerance of the total rubbish and rudeness (about Monckton) that “Diana” contributed late in the blog?

  160. Papa Pio

    Oh I like it. I missed all this while in flight coming home. Go for it Big Julie. Don’t hold yourself back with that careful dignity of yours. Let go more often with the spice. Of course J Bennetts is pathetic. That is the word. Like all the rest of the weak c**ts who want the moderator to use the blue pencil on people who aren’t nice to them.

  161. Pom

    What a lot of pathetic tossers with chips on the shoulder. Reminds me of my Kiwi friends’s joke about the “balanced Australian” – one with a chip on both shoulders.

    Wrong diagnosis probably. I get a whiff of all those wannabe Barry Humphries, Germaine Greers, Clive James’s etc. who came back from the old Dart with tails between their legs without having met anyone who could disturb their ideas of what a successful Pom, let alone a real peer of the realm, was like. Never met one so they go back to the comic books.

    Mind you Monckton is said to be Scotch, which is bad, and a Mick (too long in Oz I’m afraid: I mean Roman Catholic) which is dangerous. OK why? All those starving because biofuels have been produced at the expense of food are probably alive because the Popes (and Ayatollahs) won’t distribute frangers. And then there is Guy Fawkes. Just because they have morphed into bombing Bali night clubs doesn’t mean they aren’t on the case.

    Still Diana, I don’t mind how much rubbish you spout if you’re a proper Aussie sheila and enjoy f**king with anyone who knows where the c******s is. Go on, have another go, meet me back in Earls Court and I meet even offer you an upgrade to a Viscount.

  162. ty_webb

    thats a bit harsh Pom…. the funniest thing about the poor mans australian (aka kiwis) is that estimates have about 400k living in Australia, thats 10% of their population.. they either like our chips or our women, probably both!

  163. baal


    re Ian Plimer on Ockham’s Razor (in October on ABC). I think my recollection of his approach in the second half of the talk is correct.

    From the sentence

    “Great institutions such as the ABC, CSIRO, some professional societies and academies and many university institutes have now become totally politicised.

    Dispassionate, independent, fearless advice from government departments now no longer seems possible.”

    more or less to the end … it’s a list of gripes and unsubstantiated assertions about the bias of media he claims support climate change (as if it were an ideology – which I think is the source of his and other deniers’ problem). The negative assertions about coverage may fit with your own world view but they are hardly measured – more aggrieved and resentful. In a word unscientific. I think Monckton has the same problem but has defter or craftier media skills (with the subtly of a charming steamroller)

  164. Elan

    SO??? Have you converted each other?? No??

    Well moderation is unnecessary isn’t it?

    You are not convincing each other so give it up.


  165. Friedrich Gauss Niemeyer

    Ladies and Gentlemen I think we should be grateful that there is no censor, or is it moderator, who would decide to save us the great effort of reading or skipping over everything in this conversation.

    I wish to thank you Julius for sharing with us those interesting letters from your mathematician friend.

    Until I read those I was of the opinion that the only scientific question which, taken to the ultimate, mattered, was whether there was enough positive feedback from water vapour to make the warming from the additional carbon dioxide greenhouse gas important. Now I understand that the mathematician who wrote those letters is saying that both the persons who make models for the IPCC and their critics like Professor Lindzen and Dr Spencer are accepting models which depend on much simplified mathematics when, in reality, a proper model of global climate run on big computers needs more dynamical theory. That seems to me important.

    I would support you Julius when some people, like Mr Bennetts, suggest that you what you are writing is irrelevant. On that I would say two things. One is that you have said much that is important to anyone who wishes to understand where the problems with the official scientific opinions may be. The other is that I have looked back at Mr Sparrow’s article and many of the comments so I can say for sure that you Julius are saying much that helps to decide whether the rude things said about Lord Monckton are correct and, more important than correct, whether they undermine what he has to say.

  166. Isis

    My Lord BAAL, you are half right I think. Professor Plimer does have a bit of a rant. But mostly he is, as you conceded way back, fascinating ab0ut the ancient earth. Now if only we could get Julius to edit his stuff and put it as well as Plimer does we should support him for a slot on Ockham’s Razor too. Or maybe, come to think of it, not Julius but that mathematician who says a plague on all their houses.

  167. Flower

    Friedrich Gauss Niemeyer – Mr Monckton sets the example for rudeness and undermines anything that he (himself) has to say (despite Julius’s feigned and hypocritical indignation!):

    “Where are they all today, those bed-wetting moaning Minnies of the Apocalyptic Traffic-Light Tendency–those Greens too yellow to admit they’re really Reds?

    “Bed-wetting liars, hucksters, shysters, fraudsters, and racketeers ever-more-extravagantly rewarded with honors and prizes for their ever-more-extravagant falsehoods, fables, and fictions.”

    Tonight on Mediawatch we have even more slanderous allegations from the “gentleman” Monckton and his abusive sidekick, Alan Jones:


    Poor, pathetic old hacks – dead but won’t lie down!

    And I suspect it’s only a matter of time before the law catches up with the “Lord”?

    This aging hypocrite delights in smearing the names of all and sundry. Could his arrogance be due to this week’s news that his good friends at Exxon Mobil, earned 19.4 billion dollars this year or perhaps it’s because the Big Oil industry in the US spent $154 million on lobbying in 2009 – 16% more than in 2008? I imagine they’ve indemnified him in the very real potential for a class action?


  168. realist


    You see thats where you go wrong.

    If you think we are impressed by hereditary title, think again !

    A bullshitter is a bullshitter.

  169. Julius

    @ Realist

    I’m afraid Pom has got us right. We are impressed by the hereditary title. Provoked, outraged, forced into inverted snobbery, all those unlovely traits some old cringe brings out in us.

    Did the Duke of Wapping Central open my one and only exhibition of faux-Aboriginal daubs in Carnaby Street? Oh, didn’t I manage to slip it into the conversation?

    How would we react if he were just retired SAS Sergeant Chris Monckton who did a mature age degree in maths and launched himself on the speaking circuit?

    Mind you without a seat in the House of Lords his title should be going the way of the Polish Prince and French Marquis. (Princess Radziwill – I ask you! – Jackie Kennedy/Onassis’ sister in case you have forgotten). But that wouldn’t suit the New Labour masters of political patronage who want to go on appointing their mates to the Lords and its perks. So we have Lord Bragg who deserves to be respected for his work on TV not as an upper house legislator; Australians like Lord Broers who was a fine V-C of Cambridge but not much heard of as a legislator, but they are only cover for all the appointments of political leftovers and nuisances.

    No lads and lasses, we do let Christopher Monckton get far further up our nose than we should *because* he has a hereditary title.

  170. realist


    “how would we react if he were just retired SAS Sergeant Chris Monckton”

    Well we would humour him, just as we do former PMs who open their mouths when they should be kept shut.
    But we would ignore him just as we do former PMs who open their mouths when they should be kept shut.

    If someone with qualification talks outside his area of qualified expertise, he should not write down such qualification in order to receive merit for such.
    For example a medical doctor writing a letter to an editor about an issue not related to medicine should NOT call himself Doctor even though this is his agreed title !
    I believe this is an unwritten law, but nevertheless if broken throws the entire subject into DISREPUTE.

  171. Julius

    @ Realist
    OMG, not two of us. This can’t be a Crikey blog. You make exactly the same pedantic point I might have made myself.

    We (many Aussies) are impressed indeed by hereditary titles in the sense I dealt with but I couldn’t agree more with the point you make about what we ought to be impressed by in the sense of giving credit to as authority.

    I have been known to fume over academics lending their academic titles to campaigning letters on subjects that are pretty well unrelated to their qualifications and titles, especially if they have attached the name of their (and maybe your or my) academic institution to the letter as well.

  172. Mark Duffett

    I wouldn’t say a medical doctor using the ‘Dr’ appellation when writing about a non-medical issue ‘throws the entire subject into disrepute’. It just makes said doctor look like an investment banker.

  173. realist

    @ Julius

    As far as I know academic institutions do not allow use of their insignia without express permission, particularly when such use is for pecuniary gain or to add credibility.
    However, I am aware of cases where it has been done without knowledge of the institution involved.
    Senior academic staff have been known to attach insignia to their letterhead, however, I would have thought this inappropriate behaviour unless carrying out work solely for the institution involved.
    eg senior clinical tutor

    Is it appropriate for private consultation- I would say no.

  174. realist

    @Mark Duffet

    And I suppose investment bankers are held in high esteem for their ethical practices ?

  175. John Bennetts


    Do you realise that you have hit us all with about 100,000 characters of contribution, which is characterised by two things:
    * The statement that the pH of the ocean is an impossible -8.5; and
    * An admission to not having progressed beyond matriculation level chemistry (presumably failed)?

    Jesus wept!

    Your support of the fraud, liar and tourist, Loud Monckton, is based upon this demonstration of strong academic achievement and commitment to scientific rigour.

    Well done! I salute you!

    (Pulls pants back over buttocks.)

  176. Papa Pio

    sOh great work Big Julie. You’ve got that *pathetic* (yes the word was the right one) little p***ant J Bennetts brewing over his humiliation for hour after hour until he couldn’t go to sleep unless he discharged his angst in a superb revelation of his pettiness and illiteracy.

    “is characterised by” and he bases that ridiculous exaggeration (amounting to illiteracy) on two very silly examples. One a slip, easily explained, from having misheard Monckton and, like most people, not have had call for quoting ph values for a while, and the other an irrelevant, unsubstantiate and almost certainly untrue jibe about matriculation chemistry.

    What distinguishes this passage of yours? It is all about you. You have read and re-read the one point where you thought you might have come out sounding other than pathetic and that’s all you could come up with.

    Of course like most of your contributions it is peripheral but what do you make of the reality of the pH values as later referred to by Julius? (Peripheral? In case you have forgotten the point, it was about ocean acidification not global warming.)

    On the much more substantial matter of the IPCC’s models are you even capable of forming a view about the criticisms Julius’s interesting mathematician friend has made of the IPCC “formalism” that he says is wrongly accepted on both the IPCC side and that of the main sceptics like Professor Lindzen? Do you have anything to tell us about the importance of water vapour feedback to the major issue of what CO2 emissions are doing to the world? Have you notice that the quoted mathematician has said it is the wrong approach? Do you understand why he says so?

  177. Flower

    Touche John Bennetts but alas, you’d need several tonnes of explosives to gag the jargonistic Julie who never flinches from an opportunity to sow the seeds of deception, no matter how sordid and demeaning!

  178. Flower

    “Do you have anything to tell us about the importance of water vapour feedback to the major issue of what CO2 emissions are doing to the world?”

    Duz yu Papa Pio? (aka Friedrich Gauss Niemeyer)

    Speak up goot Sir for “anyvun zat disagrees viz me vill be arrested und put on trial for high crimes against humanidy und nature.”

    Sieg heil herr kommandant !

    I, Turd Vizcount Muckworm of Bribery iz ya fuhrer!

  179. Mark Duffett

    @realist, I was using ‘investment banker’ in the rhyming slang sense.

  180. Johnfromplanetearth

    Baal: I always found Dark Side Of The Moon an overrated album, much preferred Hawkwind in the space rock stakes. Oh you meant the MOON, sorry about that i thought you actually cared about something there other than your own habitat.
    When it’s all said and done, the IPCC have done a Johnny Rotten on you all by saying “Ha ha haa, did you ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated”

  181. baal

    @Johnfromplanetearth (or should I call you Motorhead), up there whistling on the dark side again, as if Lord Monckton and his churls has done anything but muddy the smoke on the waters. I’d go back to graffiti – but be quick, the CCT cameras are everywhere

  182. realist

    @Julius aka Friedrich Gauss Niemeyer aka Papa Pio

    Academic qualifications are a bit like sex, if you have to talk about them on anonymous website,

    you haven’t got any !

  183. Julius


    I can’t speak for my admirers/embarrassing would-be allies but you seem to be saying something I could agree with.

    (FWIW I was careful to point to the limits on my competences and qualifications in maths and science which of course is not what, if I assume you were being logical, you were referring to).

    There is of course John Bennetts who most obviously raised the question of academic qualifications and I would agree with what may be your point that he may well not have anything that would make him a peer for a peer review.

    But who was it that first raised the academic qualifications question? Those who sneered at Monckton for his qualifications in mathematics, and those who demanded to know where his peer-reviewed articles were.

    Apart from Andrew (Glikson?) and maybe one or two others lost in the mists of common sense (no longer with us: Anthony David?) I detect absolutely no sign of any Crikey blogger, at least on AGW related subjects, giving evidence of any academic qualifications that would qualify him or her as an expert witness.

    A remark I made – not strictly about academic qualifications but academic propriety and personal honesty – was that I couldn’t imagine the CRU emailers gettiing past the scrutiny of an academic appointments committee at a respectable university. That I sat on professorial selection committees isn’t of course an implicit claim to relevant or, indeed, any academic qualifications. I recall a union official who had no degree on one, a student representative (!) on another, and an MP (ex officio I think) and a member of the university’s finance committee from outside, on another.

    So, I’m not sure I’ve grasped your point China (Ron Buswell’s rhyming slang – more respectful and affectionate than “investment banker”).

  184. Eponymous

    Maybe a plebiscite will solve this?

  185. realist


    My point is that approximating yourself close to academia or title, like it or not tends to unfairly lend weight to your argument (esp in the case of our dear Lord M).

    However as an ethical person I believe this is like hitting below the belt ie an unfair advantage.

    Such descriptors should be left out of the argument .

  186. Anthony David


    I am not qualified as an expert witness. My limited understanding of this vast topic of climate change is from my undergraduate studies in earth science and mathematics and my part-time honours research in palaeo-environmental modelling.

  187. Julius

    @ Realist

    I don’t mind people being a bit sloppy if they show they can sharpen up when required! I think with your sense of propriety, and if you are young enough, I might seek you out to be my trustee or, if in greater need, guardian…. I may have known too many politicians to get very fussed about people using unfair tactics in arguments so I probably don’t reach your standards.

    I do really dislike people who should do better putting bad arguments, particularly if they are family. However, I would distinguish a bit of, say, name-dropping or hints at having done very wide reading as if it conveyed depth, which merely invite a bit of a send-up, from crass stupidity, failures of logic, and of course lies.

    As my mathematician friend was at the same long session with Monckton that I attended, I wish he had risked boring many people, or leaving them behind, by tackling Monckton on the criticisms that he has made in correspondence, applied also to the famous Richard Lindzen.

    As he observed (supra) that the positive water vapour feedback issue was one that Monckton had grasped because he could understand it (and, he might have added, convey it to others) I wouldn’t have expected him to be excessively easy-going in his questioning. I have tried to get him to enlarge on his points for a popular audience. For example what it would be to approach the problems as one which asks “what effect CO2 has on climate” rather than whether the positive feedback from water vapour exists and is enough to enhance the effects of CO2 so as to reach the IPCC’s catastrophic outcomes.

    Mind you I am happy enough to stick with such simple models as the IPCC’s postive feedback ones, partly because it is a comprehensible way of understanding the issues, and also because a particle physicist friend originally put me on to feedback when I started getting interested in the science and asked how the IPCC got over the fact that the extra radiative forcing from additional CO2 only rises logarithmically (or inverse exponentially) with the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere. He said the explanation turned on feedback without suggesting any theoretical doubts. But won’t it be fascinating to find out where Shaviv goes with his cloud cover researches and Svensmark with his aspect of, i.e. the thesis in “The Chilling Stars”?

  188. Julius

    @ Anthony David

    I wish more of those with strong opinions were half as well qualified as you to say something about AGW and the science related to it.

    As your comment about the vastness of the topic logically implies, it is open for a lot of intelligent people with bits and pieces of the relevant knowledge and skills to tackle the subject of AGW, including the science. I believe the chap who did in the Hockey Stick was a statistician.

  189. Anthony David


    This is where we are going to disagree.

    The contribution of the statistician was to challenge the “Hockey Stick”. The response from scientists in the field of climate change research was to re-examine the data. The result was a confirmation that the observed trend was correct. Comments such as “Mann-made”, “discredited” or “done in” are not in the climate scientists’ lexicon.

    With regard to your mathematician friend, I found a book titled “Dynamical paleoclimatology: generalized theory of global climate change”
    By Barry Saltzman. Google books has a small part of the introduction material available. Is your friend aware of it? Interestingly it also uses the feedback and forcing terminology which I assume originated in control system theory. Of possible interest also is a short paper published in 2008 “Glacial cycles and carbon dioxide: A conceptual model”describing a simple model to understand how solar inputs to the earth system alone are insufficient to explain both the amplitude and the shape of the saw-tooth cycles of temperature/sea levels observed during the ice age cycles the earth is in.

  190. Flower

    Strewth – who re-wound the troll, aka Costella (“Wall Street” firm manager), aka Julius, aka Friedrich Gauss Niemeyer, aka Papa Pio?

    And how come the troll doesn’t know that hydrocarbons burn to carbon dioxide and WATER?!!

    Just how much more air, sea and terrestrial pollution should take place before we instigate action against the cockeyed rent boy, Turd Viscount, and the fossil fuel cowboys, and charge them with committing human rights’ abuses, crimes against humanity and environmental vandalism?

  191. Julius

    @ Anthony David

    Needless to say I don’t spend a lot of time on the now vast Hockey Stick literature of varying weight and integrity. However, my understanding of what sceptics make most of, apart from what Philip Jones, infelicitously but maybe correctly, called Michael Mann’s “trick” is that he contrived to obscure the Medieval Warm Period. That temperatures have increased since about 1976 (some say after the Great Pacific Climate Shift if I have the terminology right) doesn’t seem to be in doubt although some sceptics seem to hang a lot on whether the trend has been aborted by the relatively stability of the years since the 1998 El Nino, or 2000.

    A valid sceptical point might be that the IPCC modes ought, on their own terms, predict what has happened during the last 10 years, but have failed in that. That point seems to be independent of whatever can be made of the fact that CO2 has continued to accumulate in the atmosphere during those years.

    The sceptics strongest point, if only in a debating sense, seems to be that the CRU emails show considerable consternation in IPCC circles, especially the CRU, about their inability to account for current climatic observations.

    Thank you for the references to Saltsman and the 2008 paper which I shall try to get some qualified sceptic of the right discipline to look at. I note that your reference, by quotation, to solar inputs doesn’t make clear whether the Svensmark thesis is covered at all. Solar radiation certainly must qualify as “solar input” but, unless the Svensmark thesis was expressly being dealt with I wonder if variation in magnetic flux (if that is the word) is also covered. The other thing that strikes me is “simple model”. Also the rather long time frames and huge variations in the oceans that seem to be dealt with. I am not sure how long the data series would have to be to test the Chilling Stars thesis. It could be much less that those dealt with in the 2008 article. I hope to learn more.

  192. Flower

    For those who have a smidgin of respect for the planet (or what’s left of it) spare a thought for the young bloke “when the (US) federal government puts Tim DeChristopher on trial in Salt Lake City. Tim–“Bidder 70”–pulled off one of the most creative protests against our runaway energy policy in years: he bid for the oil and gas leases on several parcels of federal land even though he had no money to pay for them, thus upending the auction.

    “The (US) government calls that “violating the Federal Onshore Oil and Gas Leasing Reform Act” and thinks he should spend ten years in jail for the crime; we call it a noble act, a profound gesture made on behalf of all of us and of the future.”


    Bravo Tim DeChristopher and touche to all that!

    Wake up Australia!

  193. Diana

    This is still going?

    The omniscient Julius and his numerous alter egos have insisted over and over that The Viscount Monkton of Brenchley is a member of the House of Lords. Some of us have insisted that His Lordship is no such thing. Hereditary peer, yes, member of the House of Lords, no. Having the title does not guarantee a spot in the house, that has to be gained by election when there is a vacancy . As I said a few days ago this man has tried a few times to gain a seat, the last was in 2007 where he received no votes at all. Why do I believe this? I believe it because the House of Lords itself has no record of this man being a member. See for yourself –

    So I suppose that, as Julius himself said, ‘without a seat in the House of Lords his title should be going the way of the Polish Prince and French Marquis’.

    As for the Nobel Laureate claim, the Nobel Foundation has no record of Monkton ever being awarded a Nobel Peace Prize or any other Nobel Prize. See for yourself –

  194. Mr Pastry

    Have we reached 200 comments yet?

  195. Eponymous

    You do have a lot to say on this topic Julius. Among it all though I’m not sure if you’re for or against action on climate change? This is and always has been a risk mitigation exercise. Are the risks of not acting greater than the risks of acting?

  196. realist


    I think we should have a wedding of the two trolls Julius and MPM, maybe, just maybe, they will cancel each other out ?

  197. Julius

    @ Eponymous

    I do like your stirring. Someone is bound to get cross with you for your saying to me “you do have a lot to say *on this topic*”. I answer your question below.

    I thought my experiment had finished now that I have won my bet, but you draw me out again. In the bleachers I see Diana. He/She may not know what sex [s]he is because there is something very funny going on between her his/her ears.

    Consider the charge “have insisted over and over that The Viscount Monkton of Brenchley is a member of the House of Lords”. Totally untrue, certainly of me since I have posted references to the truth about the 1999 Act and the voting for hereditaties more than once (maybe on other Crikey blogs as well where the same delusions were entertained). What’s her evidence? That being so it is of no interest whatsoever to cite the same evidence I have myself used to show that Monckton is not a member of the Lords.

    Then the Nobel Prize nonsense on which the only position I have taken is that it appears to have resulted from some joke Monckton told. As I have noted, whatever want of judgment he might display he is not the kind of fool who thinks he can get mileage out of claiming to be a Nobel Prize winner when even people like “Diana” can find out the truth in about 15 seconds.

    To your question Eponymous [?Hero, ?Villain]:

    On the need to take action on climate change I have always thought we (Australians collectively) should do sensible things like investing in research which would give us more energy options including, especially, those which would use what we have plenty of like sun, wave and tide – wind not so good compared with America I note, and, anyway likely to remain v. expensive. Even that, and perhaps even in relation to research which would make us able to continue getting value out of coal, we might rationally take a hard headed approach and see that we are going to be able to use technology developed by countries with the other 98 per cent or whatever of the world’s population. Even if patented for 20 years it is not going to be expensive to licence.

    We should certainly keep up a strong research effort in marine science including the reality or otherwise of damaging acidification, whatever broad brush assurances Ian Plimer can give us about a slight reduction in pH levels.

    Research into energy conservation and the application of taxes on well established negative externalities are appropriate too.

    Equally we should engage in measured diplomacy to make sure we don’t get caught in some conceivable (but now wholly unlikely) punitive backlash from countries that insist on certain rules that don’t suit us.

    Should we make a big effort to persuade the world to stop emitting CO2? My answer is based on the approach on a bigger issue that I share with a lot of senior Labor politicians too disciplined to break ranks and risk losing inner urban seats to Greens. That issue is whether we ought to get out ahead of the world in attempting to reduce our net emissions (after buying ETS certificates from Indonesia or wherever) of CO2 or indeed in attempting a gross reduction.

    My answer on both is that it is patently absurd and irrational. The idea that the rulers of billions of people much poorer than us are going to take the slightest notice of our preaching, or “setting an example” or producing Garnaut or Stern reports is the sheerest fantasy, and has always seemed so at the merest glance.

    As to our actually doing something – a something which will inevitably make our power more expensive and our collective wealth smaller – the killer argument against that has also been as plain as the nose on your face for years because absolutely nothing that Australia does will make the slightest difference to our future cliimate as far ahead as one can envisage. To do any of the things suggested, including those in Abbott’s policy, will make us poorer and less able to look after our elderly, provide first class university education, even build seawalls where the coast is threatened by rising or simply rough seas, and still have something over in case the President of the Maldives fantasies should one day prove to have substance (I refer to the scientist who has been studying the Maldives for over 30 years and has tried to insist that the Pres knew he was talking crap before he spouted it in Copenhagen).

    BTW I like John Brumby’s robust commonsense about using Victoria’s coal. A pity he had to back down about that scheme to reduce its bulk and export to India. If it was a NSW Labor Premier appearing to be so sensible you would ask yourself who was getting paid or bought off, but somehow ALP government in Victoria has never seemed quite as rotten as NSW, Queensland and WA have proven they are likely to be.

    Now tell me: if you are Eponymous (and even if your weren’t) who is the Eponym?

  198. John Bennetts

    198 contributions 44 from you-know who.
    Just under 40% of the total letter count.

    Factual and positive contribution: Certainly not above average.

    Have you considered taking up fishing? Much more resting. Perhaps something gained for your effort. And the fish don’t mind if you endlessly repeat discredited piffle.

    Get used to it – there is a problem with the climate. It is being caused and accelerated by human activities such as burning of fossil fuels and clearing forests.

    And nay-sayers and do-nothings, whether members of British aristocracy or otherwise, will not be the part of the solution.

    That’s it for me.

    This thread is old news and, while I care very much about many things, continuation of this thread is not amongst them.

    So, Julius, take from this message any feeling of victory you choose. I’m done. But not beaten.

  199. Flower

    Ooooohhhhh…..Realist – I’m unsure about that suggestion but I think it has already occurred. You see the reams of empirical evidence above ( 10 February 2010 at 7:03 pm )?

    You know about the unintended consequences of chemical reactions when you mix hazardous waste don’t you? That is correct Realist – the progeny bioaccumulates!


    Realist, ziz for us, I beliv, iz a fate vorse zan death!

  200. Julius

    @ John Bennetts & and Eponymous

    Serendipitously my Junk Filter failed and JB has reminded me of the big gap in my answer to Eponymous.

    Forests, trees, Freeman Dyson. The last mentioned because of his suggestion (in NYRB early last year was where I read it) that genetic engineering will create trees which sequester vast quantities of carbon. (He’s just a famous physicist I know but I daresay he knows a few good biologists, chemists and meteorologists).

    It is many decades since I started planting the thousands of trees I have planted (none for timber or woodchips) and about 3o years since I started campaigning (rather ineffectually) for Debt for Nature as a market mechanism for saving tropical forest and habitat. So I most certainly want to back the best of Turnbull’s innovations as minister, which was the policy of putting money into saving our neighbours’ forests.

    Limiting the further clearing of land in Australia too should be pursued but only after careful calculation of costs and benefits (not all easily measurable in money but most are). Also, it is a very important principle that de facto acquisitions of property rights by forbidding activities which were allowed when the owner committed him or herself to investment of should be the subject of compensation. We can’t expect the average farm owner to be like the Rockefellers who gave huge ranches to extend the area of Yellowstone National Park. Do you agree JB that this is an important principle of justice to individuals? I declare absolutely no personal interest in that but I have had reason to consider the injustice done to others by a lot of state de facto acquisitions and even Commonwealth exercises of power which are not judged to be acquisitions which have to be on “just terms” under the Australian Constitution.

  201. realist

    @ Julius
    Re : your last para

    I’ll tell that to the aborigines !

    Established Terra Nullus have we ?

    Judges talk with forked tongue ?

  202. Johnfromplanetearth

    Aah Baal: Your superiority complex slip is showing, your perspicacity is perpendicular to your pomposity!
    I can’t help noticing that the man in the oval office can’t even go out to buy lunch today in Washington DC!

  203. baal

    @johnfromplanetearth – now there’s a lot of long words for not much. What did the man say in Hitcher’s Guide to the galaxy? Keep banging the rocks together.

  204. John Costella


    I assure you that I’m a real person, and distinct from any of the people posting here.

    It’s a pity you didn’t take the opportunity to shoot me an email (my address is sitting right there on the bottom of my home page) and demand me to show my face to you in person. But then again, ad hominem attacks are much easier when you obfuscate the issue by sending people on wild goose chases across the internet.

    Some of us are still able to talk to people in person, or by telephone, not just hide in their bedrooms behind their keyboards, delicate flower.

  205. baal

    @John Costella – your rejoinder about hiding in the bedroom and firing off sneers really does apply all around. This kind of blog-post is not really an academic discourse, more a testing ground for intellectual shoulder barging (unmoderated mostly) so one has to pick very carefully whom you criticise and in what terms. Sometimes the ad hominem approach is unavoidable due to the way some egomaniacs who invest so much of their personality in their arguments they are inseparable. They turn nasty when their mistakes or false conclusions are noticed. Other times even the most distinguished contributors is prone to the swipe (‘delicate flower’ being your version). But part of the value (and fun) is peeling off a layer or two of these onion-heads.

  206. John Costella


    Too true; and those who can’t withstand such peeling show their true colours.

    Let’s hope they engage me front-on next time, instead of by stealth.

  207. realist

    @ John

    And i’m Barack Obama delighted to meet you, can we go for a drive in your bus ?

  208. Julius

    @ Realist

    I haven’t checked all your posts but I think you justify the “Realist” tag by your underlying implication that “it’s all a lot of hot air and c**p” so let’s have a lend of anyone who takes himself too seriously and see if you can head him off at a tangent. Fair enough.

    But what became of Terra Nullius and Mabo and all that did engage my attention and it is quite a cute point to raise the “just terms” power of the Constitution in the Aboriginal context. Of course the constitution applicable before self-government was the UK’s accumulated, mostly uncodified, jumble heavily influenced in application of the power of the Crown by evangelical Christianity (one of Windschuttle’s valid points) by the official classes. As you probably know Terra Nullius was not a statement of supposed empirical fact but a conclusion of law from the apparent state of government and Aboriginal settlement or absence thereof. And no doubt that was influenced by a pretty well fundamentalist biblical Christianity (don’t start me on what Latin America suggests about the various Catholic approaches, Jesuit, Dominican et al.)

    Remembering too that it was only in the 20th century that it became possible as a matter of course to sue the Crown (republicans please remember that only meant the state in that context) or to make statutes apply routinely to the Crown, it is not surprising that the colonial constitutions had no “just terms” clauses. Indeed it was under the Wran government that NSW appropriated rights to underlying minerals which belonged to the freeholder (or it may have only applied to coal: I forget). Anyway, as you rightly imply, the law wouldn’t have recognised the Aboriginal interests in land as property.

    By 1901 and the “just terms” clause it was too late even if the Aboriginal property rights had been recognised as such.

  209. Julius

    @ John Costella

    Yes I did see you at a Monckton meeting as I see from your photograph. I trust that I have fairly represented your views and work and that of Monckton (and anyone else I have cited for that matter). But do I need to read more than the first 35 per cent of your book of analysis of the emails? Does the rest add anything to the ghastly picture of those second raters portrayed in the emails? (Even if it would be presumption to call their scientific expertise second rate, that clearly applies to their ethics and character).

    BTW, why do you expect some of the emailers to be prosecuted on criminal charges? And, separate question, is there any other offences you have in mind except those under Freedom of Information legislation?

    BTW 2, would you care to enlarge on the deficiencies of statistical method and reasoning of the emailer and colleagues.

  210. John Costella


    Fair point about authentication. Email (or write a letter to) a secret code the real John Costella and see if the result ends up here. The address jpcostella@hotmail.com has been in use since June 1998, so you shouldn’t have much problem believing in its authenticity.

    No: just thought of a better one. Does this satisfy you?



    Mate, I was alerted to this thread so late that I haven’t had time to go through it in detail. For some reason, I’ve been really busy lately. However:

    No, 35% is sample enough. Some like to read it all, though. And it’s good to know that it’s consistent (if not accelerating) all the way through to the end, which was a couple of months ago.

    Criminal charges: I’m not sure how widely you’ve read on the matter, but fraud is generally a crime. (And I doubt that Phil Jones would have twice considered suicide if he didn’t believe that it would be preferable to the life he now faces.)

    Statistical methods: that would take at least three or four beers to discuss, even in person. I’m not sure of your background, and I’m pretty sure it would be off-topic here. However, if you know your stats, or know someone who does, get them to randomly sample the original emails (not my excerpts), and ask them what they think. Don’t trust my opinion that they are completely incompetent.

    HINT (sorry, I used to be a teacher): grep for the first utterance of the elementary term “distribution”, and then move up from second-year maths from there. You’ll get the idea.

  211. realist


    So let me get this right.

    It is Ok to dud the aborigines out of what is rightfully theirs and you then expect us to allow those same people to make important decisions about AGW.

    And you want us to say yes sir, no sir 3 bags full sir ?

  212. realist

    @ John Costella

    After checking supplied information your authenticity is as clear as mud.
    Your pointed website suggests conspiracy theories such as 911 being a hoax.

    The Scamming of America
    How Stanley Kubrick Faked the Apollo Moon

    try again, I still haven’t had a ride in your bus.


    Barack Obama

  213. John Costella


    Sadly, your attention to detail is lacking.

    Let me try this monosyllabically:

    Here is my web site:


    Here is my text to you:


    Here is the web site of Jim Fetzer (sorry, that was two syllables; I’ll ask him to change his name):


    Jim and I are not the same.

    Jim is so left wing that you will find much there to throw at him.

    Try not to throw it at me if you do not think that he is me.

    Time to tie off this thread, I think.

  214. Julius

    @ Realist

    You really have lost me.

    “It is Ok to dud the aborigines out of what is rightfully theirs and you then expect us to allow those same people to make important decisions about AGW.”

    Where do you get anything remotely like that out of what I have said?

    And what could it mean? 19th century squatters? 19th century politicians? All lawyers up to 30 years ago – that is for not having clients who wanted them to challenge the long settled law? Perhaps it is your way of saying that no one should be trusted to make any important decsions about AGW and that would include the decision to treat it as itself important or not.

    I am with you if you don’t trust politicians and bureaucrats not to waste vast amounts of money and believe that government from the judicial, or, worse, quasi-judicial, bench would be no better.


    I haven’t looked, but what does he say about the items you list that suggests he backs crazy ideas?

    I have just read on another Crikey blog some quite rational, though possibly wrong, stuff about the chances the US had to Osam bin Laden out of Afghanistan before 9/11. The same person pointed to evidences of the inadequacy and worse of the official 9/11 inquiry and, inter alia, to a view that O b L had been killed in December 2001….

    Of course Stanley Kubrick did “fake the moon landings” for “2000 A Space Odyssey” did he not? Otherwise of course it does sound crazy.

    And as for the scamming of America! Which time by whom?!

  215. baal

    So, like Fortinbrass with a late entry at the end of Hamlet, Mr Costella the deus ex machina, has terminated proceedings. What cheek. Doesn’t he realise we have nowhere else to go!

  216. John Costella

    Ha ha! Feel free to continue. I’m just not sure that I’ll have the time to respond, when Realist insists on more fantasy than realism.

  217. Johnfromplanetearth

    Baal: Like the climate debate you are running out of steam, now if you take cranberries and stew them in applesauce they taste much more like prunes than rhubarb does. Now you tell me what you know?

  218. baal

    johnfromplanetearth: well aside from the fatuous prattle about the climate ‘debate’ who seem to think you’ve ended, what else is it you need to know?

  219. Mr Pastry

    Can’t believe it, 220 and still going – must say John Costella’s credentials provide a strong trump card but at the end of the day, its all about balls in the back of the net at the final whistle … its still anyones game.

  220. Julius


    I mean John Costella has surely demonstrated – just by pointing to his actual website at


    that he is eminently qualified to do a job on the CRU emails. So no one now has an excuse to go on fulminating about AGW** without reading his book-length analysis “Climategate Analysis”.

    Though I have only read 35% which is perhaps enough to make me look elsewhere than the CRU and friends for data and theory I think I can see John Costella’ point about criminal cases apart from offences against Freedom of Information legislation. Most people do not realise that there is a statutory crime of obtaining pecuniary [sometimes “financial”] advantage by deception. It was created in the UK by the Theft Act 1968. Have you ever applied for lots of shares in an IPO by using made up names? Look out. It could even catch people working for charities who pay them in one form or another if they did some high-minded tricky things for a good cause. It isn’t difficult to see how a crusader might start a prosecution for that offence against the CRU people.

    **It is true that one could go on fulminating without knowing for sure how shonky some of the scientists were, but that would probably be because you, like me, regarded almost everything said, proposed or done by Australian politicians because of alleged AGW to be absolutely futile and wasteful.

  221. sally costella

    @ Julius and John

    Just because I can do home web page 101, still doesn’t mean I’m not a fraud!

  222. Julius

    @ Sally Costella

    Indeed, but Thinking 101A would help you do a bit of very easy checking if you suspected fraud.

  223. sally costella


    Agreed, and Delusions of Grandeur 101B, might also be useful, for those overenthusiastic web designers.

  224. sally costella

    @ Julius

    This could be followed by Quick Self Defence From Insane Stalkers 101C ?

  225. Julius

    @ Sally Costella

    I was thinking of Cryptology (closely related to Cryptography) for puzzled bloggers. But I would also observe that the Sane Stalkers are much more dangerous to the insecure.

  226. Flower

    “It’s a pity you didn’t take the opportunity to shoot me an email (my address is sitting right there on the bottom of my home page) and demand me to show my face to you in person.”

    Behold the resurrection of super dooper egotist, John Costella of Conspiracies and verily I say to you Mr Costella, why would I need to email you when your mug shot is splattered throughout the web along with your extensive bio? The world and its inhabitants know your weight, ethnicity, skin, eye colour and chest width. We know that you are bald and have brown hair too – wot?!

    The world knows all about your wife (wives?) and young children whose photographs you have imprudently displayed on the web. We know the school at which young Matt attends, the location at which his mother works (including her profession). We know that young Matt is in “Grade 6 at Fountain Gate Primary” and wrote (typed) you a very “mature” letter on the serious issues of climate change and the Sceptics’ Party. We know you then concluded that young Matt is in Grade 5 – wot?!

    We know that your tedious 148 page of jabberwanky are the ravings of a malignant narcissist ( Mein Kampf comes to mind) and we know that you resorted to the low down trick of verballing Phil Jones and throughout this stupefying swill, resorted to speculation and hyperbole to dirty things up – “This is unbelievable! The conspirators are so possessive of their own data, Wonderful! You’ve got to be kidding! They don’t even know what this is? So, this is about money. A continuation of the same cunning tactics Ah! In other words, the panel is already “stacked.”’

    How very unprofessional of your Mr Costella. Your rants have as much worth as municipal solid waste and sewage sludge!

    Ad Hominem Tu Quoque!

  227. John Costella

    @ Sally Costella (sic)

    Of course anyone can type in any username they like — but you would really show admirable hacking skill to insert a document onto her web page! Let’s see how you go on that …

    @ Flower

    I’ll take that as your concession. Please take your medication now. 🙂

  228. Johnfromplanetearth

    BAAL: Fatuous Prattle? I’ve read all of your posts and there isn’t one thing you can inform me accurately on. Your use of buzzwords are what dumb people use to sound important. It’s eating you up inside that the science is flawed, the man in the oval office is snowed under currently and the there is no way on Earth the USA $trillions in debt will spend a brass razoo on something that isn’t our fault in the first place. Krudd will follow suit because i doubt he really believes anything the IPCC spin out to him anymore. He has looked decidedly embarrassed of late, he doesn’t know who is telling the truth, 4000 scientists or Peter Garrett. You will have to find something else to prattle on about. So you want to save the planet? We don’t even know how to save ourselves, the planet will brush us off like dandruff on your tweed jacket.
    Ask the people of Haiti how they feel the planet is doing right now, ask them about the ice and snow in Washington DC at the moment? They will be thrilled to know that lefty loons everywhere will be so happy that there are a couple of hundred thousand less people polluting the planet. We haven’t learned how to care for one another let alone be in a position to care for the planet. Mother nature just looks at us as one more failed mutuation, she will deal with us in due course. She is laughing her head off saying “they actually think they are responsible for what happens on Earth ” as i said earlier your perspicacity is perpendicular to your pomposity.

  229. Mr Pastry

    And its still going – can someone tell me who is winning, Johnfromplanetearth has come back into the fray quite refreshed but flower had some impressive spitting

  230. sally costella


    Yes, you may be who you say you are, or just a sad harmless narcissistic pompous egotist.

    But I am not going to engage in criminal activity to prove any of the above.

    It seems flower also has your number (cruncher).

  231. Flower

    I suspect Mr Costella has retreated to headquarters – regrouping to plot against the preliminary findings in the matter of one Dr Michael Mann:

    “One of the scientists (Dr Michael Mann) at the centre of the ‘climategate’ email scandal has been cleared of any wrongdoing, and had allegations of manipulating and hiding data dismissed.”


    Tsk tsk – one hapless Mr Costella! But of course, this is nothing for the subterranean rodents to worry about – those who secrete brown paper bags stuffed with fistfuls of dollars from our oily merchants of death!

  232. Julius

    @ Sally Costella

    Better to shut up than to ruin your case by having such a hopeless last word. What a ridiculous idea that you would need to engage in any criminal activity to follow up a great deal of published information about the John Costella who wrote and compiled “Climategate Analysis” – and please do remember that what is in that book is almost everything that matters: and it speaks for itself.

    You also seem to commit yourself to the idea that a crime involving moral culpability was committed in getting hold of the CRU emails. It is far from clear that any acertainable crime was committed even technically – for example, if the emails were hacked it might well have been done in and from a country where it wasn’t a crime, e.g. in parts of the old USSR. As for the morality of it, I suppose it ranks with the crime for which a couple of Japanese protestors against the iniquities of Japan’s whale-traders engage in have been held in gaol and interrogated for over three weeks….. Certainly the greater criminal activity would have been committed by people at the CRU refusing to comply with FOI law and conspiring to subvert its application.

  233. sally costella

    @ Julius

    Whats that I hear ?

    Feeling guilty are we ?

    Do you have something to confess ?

  234. Julius

    @ Sally Costella

    If I had hacked those emails I would have been very proud to claim I had an make them public, a bit like those who led mildly but actually illegal street marches against the Vietnam War or whatever else someone thought a great cause for protest. Unfortunately I wasn’t, if there was a hacker as opposed to someone disclosing material to which, as an insider, he had legitimate access.

  235. Julius

    @ Flower

    So some of the many moral and legal and academic charges against Michael Mann (famous for the Hockey Stick) have been examined (late in the day because of indisputably valid emails) by his own colleagues at Penn State. As I pointed out by reference to the contemporaneous Los Angeles Times report that I linked his exoneration even of those charges was only partial. And he of course is just one of many actors in the cast.

    Now let’s look at the qualifications claimed by the person that the ABC tapped for a warmist rent-a-quote, Roger Jones of Victoria University (no nothing to do with Canada):

    1984–1996 Director, Victorian Indigenous Nurseries Co-operative Ltd.
    1988–1989 Salinity Education Committee (Government of Victoria)
    1989–1992 Visiting Fellow, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Melbourne
    1991–1993 Vice President, Indigenous Flora and Fauna Association
    1993–1996 Chairman, Victorian Indigenous Nurseries Co-operative Ltd.
    1994–1998 President, Indigenous Flora and Fauna Association
    and then he gets the most amazing reward for presmably towing the party line and being sure to want to hang on to his new distinction and employability:
    1999–2001 Lead Author, IPCC Third Assessment Report
    2001–2009 Associate Editor, Atmospheric Science Letters

    Sorry if I’m sounding unkind about someone who looks like a nice friendly bloke. But I’m not sure that I would even rely on him for a good explanation of the Hockey Stick and the controversy about it. About academic ethics? Maybe. About the value of the Penn State findings? That really would be stretching things.

  236. baal

    @johnfromplanetearth: I think you’d be better employed reading back some of the cockeyed rubbish you’ve posted yourself. And where in any of my posts have I expressed support for the climate change lobby? How can their ‘flawed’ science be eating me up inside? I am of the view that the truth will out. But not necessarily here, where so many rancid pollutants contaminate the flow. I’m interested in giving a bit to people who are stupid and rude, illogical and nasty. If the beanie feels comfortable pull it over your ears. Like most trolls you are arguing with things you hear in your head. You’re just another boneheaded ranter. Which is why I said you should revert to grafitti – less space, succinct message and a sense of deep paranoia. Give it a try. I’ll watch out for your work. But no more free advice, sorry.

  237. Man of Straw

    Well done Sparrow….. over 200 comments, mostly of course faff. Earning your keep you are.

    With so many words already said, time to link to some pictures (I get 1000 for each, yes?)

    Arctic sea ice cover(1870 – 2009):

    Averaged sea level change:

    Mapped localised sea level change:

    Atmospheric CO2 levels (from about 1960):

    Longer term CO2 levels:

    (LOL 5000 easy words in like 10 minutes…… )

    Now, I am not a big proponent of Occam’s Razor (the concept ftw), but I think it is applicable here.

    I really enjoy conspiracy theories. I collect ’em.

    But some conspiracies require collusion on such a vast scale, at all levels, almost to perfection, that I consider it hugely unlikely to actually be the case. I mean, when has any organisation managed to execute a plan so perfectly, hoodwinking so many intelligent and inquiring minds of (relative) integrity all at once?

    Places like Wikileaks (uh oh, are Conroy’s goons going to disconnect me for looking there?) would be crammed full of BIG stuff from the whistleblowers if this were the case (hope I used that term correctly this time). Calling those emails “climategate” seems to be talking it up way too much.
    Here’s a link to the findings of the PSU inquiry for those interested:
    and to the 2006 NAS investigation into the actual science itself:

    The denialist camp seem to only have knee-jerkers, nit-pickers and straw-graspers onside.

    OK that’s my anti-FUD for the day, now to my real points:

    Just say Anthropogenic Global Warming is a crock: the above DATA (admittedly, cleaned up using statistical tools to the point of being visually represented) seems pretty solid with regards to Global Warming at least being a reality.

    So things ARE warming up.
    (If you truly believe things are NOT warming, now is a good time to snap up coastal real-estate while the locals are spooked – you know, money where your mouth is and all that)

    If the Warmists are wrong, we lose some money. Boo-Hoo, get over it, money gets spent on silly things every moment.
    If the Warmists are right, we could be losing so very much more if something is not done about it.

    So responsible (or trying to be) people in power are trying to do something about it.
    To me, that is called Insurance.

    The way that we ensure a (relatively) stable future climate is what we should be debating now. Not the truth or otherwise of what our best scientists say is occurring.

    @Frank: thank you for raising the issue of Change and the Herd. For me the Science is good enough to act upon, and I am unhappy with the efforts of our leaders in marshaling the Agents of Change to get the Job started. As politicians are they not supposed to be experts on moulding mass opinion?

    @JohnFromPlanetEarth: sounds like defeatism, possibly a strange form of nihilism, to suggest that just because to you we are powerless against Nature we should not bother to try. Seriously, I just don’t buy that.

    @Julius: Sorry but I have to agree with some of your detractors with regards to verbosity (I know I deserve some myself for my own Crikey! posts, this one included) – I wish your issues with the underlying maths were not beyond me so I could try to understand how relevant they are. Even so, problems with the models don’t change actual observed physical realities, only what the (modeled) forecasts become. A trend is a trend, most lay-men can pick it, and the trend is not in a direction I like the look of. Also, regardless of where “fossil” fuel originates, it is a finite (on our time scale) resource and does release extra chemicals into our biosphere when burnt – the source is irrelevant.

    @Elan: Unsure whether any of the contributors here have modified their position based on the discussion, but for my part I have tried to keep my mind open to any game-changers and have yet to see any. Like most AGW rant-fests.

    @Mr Pastry: No one wins here….. Unless the author of the article gets a bonus for commentcount.

  238. Julius

    @ Man of Straw

    You have put so much into that post that I feel guilty at not following up the links, but I do take it that they show a tendency over varying periods from about 60 to 140 years for ice cover in the Arctic too diminish, sea level to rise, and of course CO2 to increase a lot, especially in the last 60 years. Then I come up your two big leaps.

    I add in myself the several warming trends that are least disputed. That is the warming that finished off the Little Ice Age and seems to have continued with possibly some regular cycles or just irregualarly ever since 1700 or 1750 or whenever; and the interglacial warming which is finishing off the last Ice Age. (Here I interpolate a confusing memory of Ian Plimer or some simmilar authority on the very long term changes to the earth saying we are still in an Ice Age. I think he may have just been making the point that the earth has usually been a lot warmer and moister than it is today).

    So, we are warming and that is producing some unsurprising effects such as slghtly rising sea levels (though that is in dispute, in part, presumably, because the changes so far have been so small) and melting of Arctic ice. (We should leave glaciers alone, partly because they are such an embarrassing subject for the IPCC which is mostly not made up of actively malevolent people and partly because we know that, well after the conventional dating of the end of the last Ice Age there were no glaciers in, for example, the Swiss Alps where there have been glaciers now for hundreds of years). We also know that CO2 is a relatively minor greenhouse gas which survives in the atmosphere for a much shorter period than commonly suggested – between 8 and 20 years rather than a 100 or more – and that its current rate of increase can only, other things remaining unchanged, produce a modest level of temperature rise as a global average.

    May I suggest that, if we agree on those as fact which are either indisputable or not worth disputing, the need for action only follows from a credible suggestion that there are current physical happenings which will produce a much higher rate of warming than CO2 alone will produce or that we have experienced over the last century or so. Whether or not my mathematician friend’s criticisms of both warmists and named sceptics is right, namely that they are caught up in an oversimplifying formalism which makes the existence and degree of poistive water vapour feedback all important, it is clear that some such multiplying mechanism needs to be actually proven to exist. So far there seems to be no empirical evidence in its favour at all.

    (According to one honest sceptic’s version it was simply introduced into the models as a supposition because increased CO2 obviously wasn’t going to explain or predict whatever the modelers wanted to predict on its own. That’s FWIW: best treat it as something to listen for without detracting from the main question).

    So, have we really got the scientific basis for serious alarm about future heating? You haven’t made a persuasive argument. I am happy for people to be scared into planting more trees, preserving forests, giving Third World people adequate means and incentives to have small families, and so on, but when it comes to GREAT BIG WASTEFUL EXPENDITURES surely we need more.

    Then I have to ask you why you disagree with my and many other people’s reason (summarised by me above) for Australia simply doing research and forestry and making itself rich enough to adapt to whatever happens to the climate and to help others to do so.

    Can you give good links to convincing calculations which actually show that any likely, or even remotely possible, action, even by the big countries that Mr Rudd has preached to, will actually make any appreciable difference to future temperatures? Any which show that anything Australia does aline will have any effect at all on our future climate? Or any reason to suppose the rulers of billions of people are going to be influenced by us?

  239. Flower

    “Now let’s look at the qualifications claimed by the person that the ABC tapped for a warmist rent-a-quote, Roger Jones of Victoria University (no nothing to do with Canada):”


    [Edit – no, you can’t say that] Your [Edit – or that] omissions include:

    1. Principal Research Scientist at CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research

    2. Principal Research Scientist at the Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research

    3. A myriad of refereed papers and reports:


    [Edit – or that]

  240. sally costella

    @ Julius
    So you agree the material you try to use in your spurious argument WAS obtained ILLEGALLY.
    This makes you also culpable along the lines of accessory after the fact.
    Not to mention knowingly spreading possible false or misleading material.

    It seems Julius you also have selective amnesia when it comes to material that doesn’t support your case.
    Why should anyone believe ANYTHING you say, given these undisputed facts ?

  241. Johnfromplanetearth

    BAAL: Don’t call me a troll ! Now you listen here, i am entitled to my opinion, just don’t call me a troll you pompous ass! I have never trolled, once again your slip is showing and yes it is eating you up inside. Alarmists are losing ground so watch your footing.
    “We learn more by looking for the answer to a question and not finding it than we do from learning the answer itself” Lloyd Aleaxander
    The planet is 4.5 billion years old and we have a lot to learn about it, get your head out of the sand, stop guessing and start learning. Narrow, unenlightened self interest doesn’t impress me.

  242. Julius

    @ Sally Costella

    All wrong in a way which disqualifies you from attention.

    “So you agree the material you try to use in your spurious argument WAS obtained ILLEGALLY.”
    No, and your error is of logic, law and language.

    “This makes you also culpable along the lines of accessory after the fact.”
    Would be wrong in law and ethics if relevant. (Test question for yourself. Do you have a problem with the discussion that warmists at the Guardian are engaging in on the material?)

    “Not to mention knowingly spreading possible false or misleading material.”

    As the IPCC’s reports contain “false and misleading material” as we now know for certain (e.g. the Himalayan glaciers and the frequency of extreme weather events just to name two recent admissions) you would be “spreading false [and] misleading material” if you recommended that people read IPCC reports by your criterion. All I have “spread” [unless you care to prove otherwise] is John Costella’s “Climategate Analysis”. If that contains “false or misleading material” you have yet to give any hint of your reasons for suggesting that.

    “It seems Julius you also have selective amnesia when it comes to material that doesn’t support your case”.

    As I normally try to pay particular attention to material that might contradict any case that I might wish to make [I take it that is what you are referring to rather than material which is non-supportive because irrelevant or barely relevant or of v. little weight] that is most unlikely. You are referring to the sort of stuff that happens in domestic barneys or pub arguments.

    You have a bigger problem in view of the fact that some of the more thoughtful bloggers have not been sure what case I was seeking to make, if any, or issues that seemed important enough to inquire about. Now we have the problem that it seems most unlikely that you could specify intelligibly what you could demonstrate was my “case” .

    If you are referring to what you take to be an omission [cf. @ FLOWER] of some matters in Roger Jones’s qualifications that, for some reason you think I should have posted, let me put that straight since you can’t work it out for yourself. I did no more than Cut and Paste what was in what appeared to be his own webpage in the site I was taken to by Google for Roger Jones Victoria University. I omitted nothing after I had reached the point where I saw him as having gone from an extraordinarily light CV to working for the IPCC – which was the point I chose to draw attention to. I knew a distinguished Astrophysicist who had spent quite a long time as a school teacher so I wouldn’t deny that some very good science can be done by people in their maturity after a slight beginning.

    FWIW even if you had struck some blows against my credibility on facts it would have little relevance to nearly all of what I have written. You don’t have to believe me when I say I have read about 35 per cent of “Climategate Analysis” and regard it as having made a strong case for distrusting, on relevant issues, the people whose emails have been reproduced.

    Rhetorical question: are you happy to have shown yourself as someone who condones what has been disclosed by the CRU emails, at least to the point of saying or implying that it would be better if the world didn’t know what was in them? Are you ready to have Phil Jones re-instated in his job before the parliamentary committee has reported? Would you want that parliamentary committee closed down as an accessory after the fact? Rhetorical questions because you are clearly incapable of reasoned and informed response.

  243. Julius

    @ SC and F
    “I omitted nothing after….” is capable of misrepresentation by the stupid and/or malicious or warped so I point out that I was referring to the fact that I included everything that Jones or his amanuensis had listed up to the point where he was given an IPCC position – to make the point that it was, before that, on his own disclosure, a pretty odd CV for becoming an IPCC guru, and that one could well imagine someone getting wedded to the new elevation, a bit like starting with washing up in a Soho nightclub and becoming a footman in the Royal household (though on that analogy one could expect him to be sacked for loose handling of male students or petty cash and then to spill the beans, malevolently remembered, on his former employers. And that would be a bit rough to say the least).

  244. baal

    @johnfromplanetearth. FYI Wipedia says ‘a troll is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room or blog, with the primary intent of provoking other users into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.’

  245. Man of Straw

    @Julius: Come on mate, I clicked on YOUR links…. [sigh]

    I am interested in following up the C02 cycling time, if you have that reference/link for me.

    Fair enough about big wasteful expenditures, but that is part of the issue of what do we do about it, not do we do anything about it.
    You do not seem sure we should be doing anything about it at all. Did I get that bit right?

    “..the need for action only follows from a credible suggestion that there are current physical happenings which will produce a much higher rate of warming than CO2 alone will produce or that we have experienced over the last century or so.”
    I disagree completely – if the RECORDED rate of warming does not increase, merely continues at the same rate, then we have trouble coming. So much in such a short time is almost unprecedented.

    OK if we run with the “CO2 is only a minor greenhouse gas” thingy, would all that methane coming from exposed clathrates and melted permafrost be of concern to you?

    Ever notice how your drink stays cool until nearly all the ice in it has melted?

    If we lose enough polar ice, I would certainly expect things to be changing even faster – along with the oceans they are massive thermal mass stores that buffer the immediate effects. We seem to be running out of that buffer.
    Then there’s the difference between heat energy stored in something and the actual temperature it exhibits – that the temperature has been measured to rise suggests a whole lot of extra energy is being retained that wasn’t before. Solar fluctuations are an order of magnitude out from the required input energy that would lead to our observations – Earth must therefore be retaining more of late, hence the “greenhouse effect”.

    I plant plenty of trees etc anyway.

    We are already rich enough to adapt, canalside McMansion dwellers be damned, they can have a humpy in the hills along with everyone else. We could easily do it with minor redirection of our amazing levels of discretionary luxury spending.

    There is certainly a case for full transparency of work done by and for the IPCC, among the most lucid proponents of this is the site Climate Audit (http://climateaudit.org/ which does fall into the ‘nitpicking’ category for me, but nitpickers do have their place), that rightly points to certain inherant problems with the scientific peer-review process.
    This might be somewhere a good cache of nits can be picked up for your digestion.

    With such a huge issue as global climate, with so many reactionaries and vested-interests wanting a piece of them in the public thought-space, I am of the opinion they do the world and their own work a great disservice by working like most normal scientists have to.

    Unfortunately this would likely DOUBLE the money we spend on science budgets, even more likely we get only half as much science done as half of them will have to be expert-in-the-field auditors (and of all the scientists I have known, none were interested in a career in accounting or beaurocratic arse-covering).

    In this case I think it is worth the effort.

    Personally I will be hoping for the best and planning for the worst.

    It doesn’t have to cost a huge amount – one example is a bloke I met who laughs at everyone spending even one cent on electricity or water, having (cheaply) built his own efficient home (mud and reclaimed timber) with water collection and solar power. He brags about progress on his domestic bio-char reactor for the veggie patch, and has almost repaid the capital investment after less than 10 years on utility savings alone. He’s a bit on the feral side, but pioneers were always a touch odd to the mainstream observer.

    Australia CAN make a huge difference if we leverage our technology to make a lifestyle model that is sustainable and offers real benefit in financial terms – others will see and follow, if only through greed or poverty instead of idealism.

    Good old Aussie laziness is our worst enemy there. Why build algae-farms in the desert when there is still so much coal lying around? Why make a solar-thermal plant next to an aluminium smelter when diesel is so darn cheap?

    The best tipping-point I am hoping for right now is fossil fuels becoming more expensive.
    A (further) tax on them would make everyone demand a hybrid SUV (insane how expensive a Landcruiser is to run, if you can afford that you can afford an improved-efficiency version).

    Julius, Got any good links to convincing calculations which actually show the actions ALREADY UNDERTAKEN by big rich countries have NOT made an appreciable difference to future (and CURRENT) temperature?

    Anyhoos, I have some real work to do now, its been fun, I’ll drop by.

  246. Man of Straw

    (joke alert)

    The best place for a nitpicker is on the back of the elephant in the room……

    Gosh I’m a funny bastard.

  247. Flower

    [Edit – this post is too full of personal attacks for the mods to bother editing the whole thing]

  248. Julius

    @ Man of Straw

    Only had time for a quick glance. I’m all for lots of taxpayer funded spending on science and if it also helped how people round the world how to live less destructively that would be great. Maybe I’m a bit on the pessimistic side of realism but can’t see much result from Australia’s likely or even possible efforts.

    As to factual issues like the CO2 “cycle” time, the likely effects of clathrates and methane emissions from the far north, where existing trends (from when?) are heading (and whether they have any manmade or mancontrollable causes), whether anything already done has had any effect, and no doubt other matters, we seem to disagree, and I don’t hold my (very tentative) positions without sources but it would take me more time than I now have to chase down the evidence which would satisfy me that I had an adequately researched and almost certainly correct answer…. so, my apologies for now. I hope to get back to it.

  249. Flower

    The moderator is unhappy with my posts – “personal attacks” it appears. However, I am merely the messenger and one who can, at all times, substantiate her “personal attacks” (quotations) from well documented evidence. Alas, my endeavours to expose Julius’s spurious attack on Australian scientist, Roger Jones, as seriously flawed, have been thwarted while Julius continues to defame with impunity (albeit in more insidious manner.)

    Denialists on this forum, it appears are at liberty to spread more filth than particulate matter. Similarly when one self-reporting, Australian company alone (name not permitted by moderator even though officially documented by NPI) emitted 25,000,000 kilograms of particulate matter (PM 10um) last year (ranked “low to moderate” by the National Pollutant Inventory) without regulatory restraints or enforcement, then we can safely assume that this nation sleeps with the devil and will continue to do so.

    And so as the sun rises in the West (as do many of the dead on election day) I bid you adieu or as the maniacal Monckton would say: “Auf Wiedersehen!”


  250. Julius

    Oh please not Auf Wiedeersehen. Adieu not Au revoir.

  251. Julius

    No Ididn’t just offer you a spelling mistake to trumpet over delicate Flower. Just try and get to bed at a sensible hour tonight.

  252. Mr Pastry

    Just checking how its going – 252 not bad.

  253. sally costella

    @missed the boat JULIUS

    You just don’t get it do you ?

    Ok well I’ll spell it out for you.

    Both the climate scientists and the denialists such as yourself Julius have missed the oportunity to
    1.) understand climate science and

    2.) help others understand it

    Unfortunately BOTH sides have missed the boat.
    More unfortunately for you Julius is the statement “GREAT BIG WASTEFUL EXPENDITURES”

    sounds like Great Big New Tax to me, and that places you as a political beast rather than a scientfic one, even LESS reason to listen to you !

  254. RedRoses

    @ everone
    I have read most of the comments and note that only one person comments in an intelligent manner AND with a clear knowledge of the subject. Only one person gives us an explanation and some evidence to support his point of view. And only one of the 254 comments tried to address Andrew’s statements, with all of the others just winging about each others silly comments. Please, give us some well-informed comments or say nothing. Andrew, thank you for your interesting posts.

    @Christopher Monckton: As a European citizen, you should be ashamed to describe a scientific debate as Hitler-style genocide. It is an insult to all the millions of victims of a cruel and violent dictator to use this comparison. Such an ignorant and insensitive comment would be enough for me to ignore this man’s statements, but nonetheless I decided to read up on his theory. All of it leads to some sort of conspiracy theory that is more complicated then all of the combined evidence to support global warming.

    Here’s a nice summary of his views:

    Good luck with this ongoing ‘scientific’ debate.

  255. Johnfromplanetearth

    BAAL: It’s at times like this i often say “Here’s Humphrey” “In view of the somewhat nebulous and inexplicit nature of your remit and the arguably marginal and peripheral nature of your influence within the central deliberations and decisions within the political process that there could be a case for re- structuring their action priorities in such a way as to eliminate your liquidation from their immediate agenda” There you go, your exonerated from all blame with regards to Climate Change, you and 6 billion others are not to blame for the Earth’s climate. Is that off topic or on?
    With alarmists it’s almost like there’s a record full of incomprehensible BS playing in your mind 24/7, and you put the needle down randomly and whatever it picks up, you just type it up and post on here. This gives you the impression you are a worthwhile contributer to the argument, all the while believing vehemently that all opposite points of view must be that of trolls. I’m sure this must make sense in your microcosm of an existence when everyone knows what forum or website you’re talking about. But for the rest of us who don’t have a telekinetic link to your brain stem, do us all a favour and choke. Like our mad PM, you treat all less well educated people with contempt, you have the superior intellect so how can you possibly be wrong when it comes to climate change? All i’ve done is the math, the planet is 4.5 billion years old versus human existence of a 150-200,000 give or take a decade. Industrialization 200 years? The Wright Brothers first flight was only 107 years ago and Henry Ford only began mass producing the Model T 102 years ago. I’m betting on the 4.5 billion other years as far as the climate is concerned. Thanks M.

  256. baal

    @johfromlanetearth. Well, far from objecting to your point of view, I can’t find one. It’s your style and prolixity. Keep it simple and you might one day be able to make the point you obscure with so much overstatement and downright cheek.

  257. baal

    @redroses While I sort of agree about most of the contributions here being off topic (although claiming ‘only one person comments in an intelligent manner AND with a clear knowledge of the subject’ is an exaggeration which undermines your point). And I think it’s part of the process to try and correct the manner and style of posts as well as their statistical ruminations. Judging by who’s left it’s a race to the bottom now. I would add to that: quoting Philip Adams as an authority is hardly in keeping with your stricture.

  258. sally costella


    Dear red,

    The link you supplied just proves that you are a compulsive masturbator !

  259. Julius

    @ Sally Costella

    Though my use of GREAT BIG WASTEFUL EXPENDITURES (capitalised) was only intended to help the reader with a long post which didn’t have sub-headings or numbered pars. you are, in a sense right about my points being political rather than scientific. In fact I have more than once tried to be very clear and explicit about the view I have held for a long time, certainly before I gave any intense study to what the scientists are up to or have proved, which is that Australian policy should recognise our impotence, not absolute but pretty close to it.

    My support for the Coalition passing the CPRS legislation before Christmas was entirely political. I wanted Malcolm Turnbull to survive and to be able to fight Rudd on grounds which included pointing out the deficiencies of the legislation he had helped negotiate. But he wouldn’t have done that and my (short term) political judgment couldn’t have been more wrong.

    You and BAAL are astute in your clear understanding of the Phillip Adams position. Despite his intelligence and his fine interviews with many of the world’s very bright people he hasn’t a clue about science but is totally wedded to his great discovery of global warming when he was on the Commission for the Future about 1988. Emotion rules.

  260. Flower

    Dear Redroses

    I suspect that you have not even read the article. While interesting and amusing, it is predominantly about the political shenanigans which prevail in the climate change saga. Therefore, it is not necessarily a “scientific debate” as you infer.

    However “Andrew’s” and John Bennetts’ contributions on the science is extremely valuable and an easy read for the majority of the public who are not scientifically literate! In no way should that exclude the public from debating the issue. Unfortunately that also includes verbose and ineffective posters whose “contributions:” ( Saturday, 6 February 2010 at 7:53 pm), must surely be the longest and most tedious posts in the entire history of the web!

    In the late 1980’s the world’s most powerful corporations launched their “globalization” revolution, incessantly invoking the inevitable beneficence of free trade and, in the process, relegating environmental issues to the trash can.

    In 1988, climate scientists and policy-makers established the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPPC) to keep abreast of climate change observations and to issue periodic reports.

    The following year fifty oil, gas, coal, automobile and chemical manufacturing companies and their trade associations formed the Global Change Coalition (GCC), with the help of public relations giant Burson-Marsteller.

    In 2000, the GCC finally went out of business but other like-minded corporate front organizations were created to carry on the negative campaign, which continues.

    Current heroines and big oil sycophants are recycled cadavers, Monckton and Plimer, however, nothing lasts for ever. Not the good times, nor the bad times!

  261. baal

    For those who claim to think with open minds – the revelation (from the UK Independent) that the famous quote from the scientist who thought he and his colleagues should be exaggerating the effects of climate change was a fake.

    There are contributors to this thread who may not want to read this but here it is all the same –

    Too late? never.

  262. Johnfromplanetearth

    The Climate Change debate is in freefall and the soundtrack is being played loud and clear. Chopin’s Piano Sonata no.2 in B flat minor, op35

  263. Mr Pastry

    264 and its time to stop – its not worth refreshing pixels for.

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