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The chief troupier: the follies of Mr Monckton

Posted on 23 June 2011 by John Cook

Reposted from The Conversation. This is the ninth part in a two-week series Clearing up the Climate Debate.

CLEARING UP THE CLIMATE DEBATE: Associate Professor John Abraham puts Christopher Monckton’s climate claims to the test.

This summer, the people of Australia will yet again be treated to a circus tour. It will make light of one of the most pressing problems facing this planet.

That problem, climate change, will not go away even though an orchestrated group of contrarians wishes it would.

The most outspoken leader of this troupe is Christopher Monckton, a person with excellent credentials in speaking but no credentials in real science (he has not published a single peer-reviewed paper on any scientific topic).

Christopher Monckton presents himself as a fair and accurate interpreter of the science, but a careful examination of his views shows that he is anything but fair and accurate.

He was most recently seen comparing Ross Garnaut, the Australian government’s climate change adviser (and author for this series) to a Nazi.

Monckton nazi
Monckton succumbs to “Godwin’s Law” and compares Ross Garnaut to a Nazi.

Real scientists have never taken Mr. Monckton seriously. This hasn’t stopped him from traveling the world, presenting his views on science to anyone who will listen.

Mr. Monckton has been shown to have his science wrong on many occasions. Many real scientists have spent untold hours of effort to carefully document his scientific nonsense.

The documentation is critically important because in Mr. Monckton’s speeches, he cites study after study which give the impression that either climate change is not happening, or if it is, we don’t need to worry about it.

Mr. Monckton artfully mixes self-deprecation and humour among slides laden with graphs and scientific images that seem convincing to his audience.

I wondered, what does Mr. Monckton know that 97% of the world’s leading climate scientists don’t?

Is he some Galileo shouting truth from the rooftops?

I had to find out. Last year, I performed a little investigation. I actually read the articles that Mr. Monckton used as evidence against the concerns of climate change.

What I discovered was astonishing.

None of the articles I read supported the claims or inferences that Mr. Monckton was promoting. Just to be sure, I began to write to the authors of the papers. Of the 16 authors I wrote to, all of them agreed with me: Mr. Monckton had misrepresented or misunderstood their work.

So, where does Mr. Monckton’s science go astray? Nearly everywhere.

Here are a few highlights of his mistaken understanding:

  • Mr. Monckton claimed that the International Astronomical Union (IAU) had a symposium wherein they declared that recent warming was caused by the sun. I wrote to officials at the IAU and they stated that they made no such declaration. Mr. Monckton has twice admitted that he was in error on this claim.

  • Mr. Monckton claimed that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) uses canvas buckets to measure ocean temperatures because more accurate methods are “not convenient, they go the wrong way”. I wrote to Sydney Levitus at NOAA and asked if this was true. He wrote back, “Mr. Monckton’s statement to the effect that NOAA uses temperature measurements gathered by dragging canvas buckets through the ocean are completely false. In fact, I know of no scientific group that would even think such a technique could supply useful measurements.”

  • Mr. Monckton claimed that “the medieval warm period was real, global, and warmer than today”. He showed a number of papers which reportedly support his claim. Well, I wrote to a number of these authors and they all agreed that Mr. Monckton had not accurately presented their work. For instance, Dr. Anil Gupta told me, “You are right, we never said the medieval warm period was warmer than today". Another researcher, Dr. David Anderson, stated, “Your interpretation (of our work) is more correct”. Dr. Lloyd Kiegwin said that I was “absolutely right,” and Dr. David Frank stated, “temperatures now, are indeed much warmer than during medieval times”.

  • Mr. Monckton also wrote that Arctic sea ice is fine, it has been steady for a decade. Monckton used information from a research group called IARC-JAXA. I wrote to two scientists there, Dr. Larry Hinzman and Dr. John Walsh. They both agreed that Monckton had not correctly presented that data. Just to be sure, I wrote to Dr. Mark Serreze from the National Snow and Ice Data Center. He emphatically stated, “Monckton is wrong”.

I could go on and on … but we get the picture. Monckton’s science is wrong and Monckton’s interpretation of others’ work does not agree with the originators of the data.

He makes mistakes on polar bears, claims that the ocean is cooling, claims that the planet is cooling, claims that ocean rises will not be significant, claims that ocean acidification is not a concern, claims that recent global warming is caused by cloud changes, and so on.

It would be one thing if Mr. Monckton just gave speeches to partisan audiences.

It is an entirely different matter when he testified to the US Congress as an “expert” on climate change.

That testimony, in May 2010, presented nine key assertions that were without merit. Mr. Monckton’s assertions were so misleading that a group of 26 scientists (myself included) wrote a detailed, point-by-point rebuttal.

Scientists are generally a reserved group.

Despite this reservation, statements used to describe Mr. Monckton’s testimony included, “Mr. Monckton’s assertions on acidification are remarkable … the basics of this subject have been understood for a long time”.

Another scientist stated, “Monckton’s reasoning and calculation is incorrect … the remainder of his statement is simply chemical nonsense”.

Still another reported, “The submission from Monckton … is profoundly wrong … This is simply a red herring”.

What motivates scientists like myself to spend untold hours of time, without pay, to carefully document Monckton’s false claims?

The reason is simple.

We have a serious problem facing us. In order to make wise and informed decisions, we need accurate information.

Only with good information can we decide which pathway offers us the cheapest and most effective means to deal with climate change.

This is why CSIRO recently dropped sponsorship from an Australian conference at which Monckton will be speaking later this month. It’s also why Monckton was dumped from a private school networking event on the Gold Coast.

When people like Christopher Monckton misrepresent science, with an obvious agenda to delay action, they make our decisions more difficult and more expensive.

Instead of making light of the issue of climate change, instead of vilifying people who are genuinely concerned, instead of presenting inaccurate science, we should find ways to work together in a civil manner to collectively choose a path forward.

What Mr. Monckton doesn’t tell people is that the technology to deal with this problem is available right now. Enacting solutions now would provide many benefits.

Aside from addressing climate change, it would create jobs, improve national security and diversify our energy supply. Who can be against that?

Instead of fighting science and demeaning climate scientists, we should focus on solutions.

We really don’t need more Moncktons in this debate.

We need people who are respectful, scientifically literate and focused on solutions.

We need people who are not afraid of trusting in our own ingenuity to solve this problem.

We need people who have the courage to take action now for the sake of our future generations.

Wouldn’t that be a breath of fresh air?

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Comments

Comments 1 to 36:

  1. [moderator trolling deleted]

    Monckton's Nazi reference to Ross Garnaut is quite outrageous [gratuitous insult snipped]

    There is an extreme 'denier' position which I do not support - and which does the sensible sceptic position some harm.

    Of course outrageous claims and distortions afflict both sides of the debate - Robyn (100m of sea level rise) Williams, Tim (rivers will never run again) Flannery and Al (hockeystick) Gore come to mind on the AGW side.
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    Moderator Response: [Dikran Marsupial] Ken, if you dont want your comments deleted, do not deliberately provoke the moderators by challenging them to delete your posts. You ought to know by now that such complaints about moderation are off-topic and are deleted as such (after reading). I have been generous in editing your post rather than deleting it, I will cease to be as generous if you continue in the same vein.
  2. @Ken. Well, maybe your comments are deleted because you don't participate to the discussion via arguments. If you use the Monckton method (give no reference at all or -even more popular- quote it in a complete apropriate way) those comments will be deleted I think.
    If you give studies that support your point of view, you will be welcomed to join the debate for sure.
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  3. What "outrageous claims and distortions" has "Al (hockeystick) Gore" made ?
    Why the specific link between Gore and the 'hockeystick' ?
    Are the "claims and distortions" only outrageous in the minds of so-called skeptics or those in denial ?
    Is Gore one of those "AGW proponents" some see everywhere ?
    What, actually, is an "AGW proponent" ?

    Finally, can anyone name any "sensible sceptics" ?

    With regard to Robyn Williams, of whom I knew nothing until he was just mentioned, I presume this is in reference to his comment to that very rational commentator (ahem) Andrew Bolt ?
    This is what Williams has to say about that :

    "So, what to make of this encounter? I draw two conclusions. The first is that the handful of 'climate sceptics' are politically driven and exploit the same trademark clutch of factoids and phrases. They ignore published, peer-reviewed scientific papers containing evidence that shatters their case, vanishingly small as it is.

    The noise they make is out of all proportion to their puny numbers, and they protest furiously that all they are doing is trying to save us from unnecessary paralysing angst – rather than inconvenient truth."



    Hear, hear.
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  4. Good article. I like your video too. Have you seen Peter Hadfield's latest (Monckton Bunkum #5), out this week?

    This sentence bothered me slightly: None of the articles I read supported the claims or inferences that Mr. Monckton was promoting. While it is no doubt accurate, I guess there is a little cherry-picking in the assertion? e.g. Monckton cites at least Soon and Lindzen: I'm presuming you didn't bother to read those, but if you had they would require a different refutation.
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  5. I notice Monckton is speaking to the mining industry, but also at Morgan Research in Collins St., Melbourne, to the "Institute for Private Enterprise". Morgan research also have listed a paper by "The Fair Farming Group" which someone with more knowledge than me should review. it says things like...
    "5. In the Carboniferous Age when fossil fuels were formed was there dangerous
    global warming?

    When carbon dioxide levels were between 2,000 and 3,000ppm this was a very good time for life on Earth and for growth of the vegetation which subsequently formed fossil fuels. The eminent scientist Professor Richard Dawkins described the period as supporting abundant plant and animal life. At that time carbon dioxide levels were between 5 and 8 times the present level and the evidence shows that these conditions were favourable for life on Earth. These levels are far in excess of danger levels predicted by the IPCC. "
    Any comments?
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  6. @Beastie,

    You can read more about that on the "carbon was higher in the past"-argument
    By the way, in no way R. Dawkins used this argument in any connection with AGW!
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  7. beastie,
    CO2 is not the only driver of climate.
    Most if not all species extant have never seen such high levels of CO2 that you refer to.

    Pseudo-scepticism - Ignorance is the new knowledge. Rising trends mean decreases. Falling trends mean increases. Uncertainty means confidence.
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  8. beastie@5:
    The solar irradiance at that point was probably at least 3% lower. That's about -7.5W/m^2 of forcing, which would need to be offset by two CO2 doublings (at least 1100ppm) even to produce global temperatures equivalent to today.

    Ironically this is another Monckton myth. For the lowdown, watch the first half of this video.
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  9. Ken wrote: "Of course outrageous claims and distortions afflict both sides of the debate - Robyn (100m of sea level rise) Williams, Tim (rivers will never run again) Flannery and Al (hockeystick) Gore come to mind on the AGW side."

    Actually, I'd put those all down as distortions on the denier side.

    Robyn Williams - Contrary to denier claims, he never 'predicted' that sea levels would rise 100 meters this century. Andrew Bolt (a vocal denier) asked him if it was possible and Williams, a non-scientist, started to reply, "Yes, but...". At which point Bolt cut him off... classic attack 'journalism'. Williams later said that the 'but' part was that it was very unlikely and could only happen as a temporary localized surge if a large volume of ice broke off and slid into the ocean from Antarctica.

    Tim Flannery - Again, he didn't say that 'rivers will never run again'. Rather, he said that increased heat and evaporation were resulting in drier soils and normal rainfall patterns being unable to fill reservoirs and river systems. Basically, 'water supplies have dropped because it has gotten hotter'. Hardly controversial, until distorted beyond all recognition... by Andrew Bolt again I believe.

    As to Gore... the hockey stick has been confirmed to be accurate by roughly a dozen subsequent studies, including at least two by vocal 'skeptics'.

    Outrageous claims and distortions are indeed the problem at hand, but if you actually go back to first sources you will find that the supposed 'outrageous claims' from AGW 'alarmists' usually fall somewhere between gross distortion and complete fabrication.
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  10. Beastie - in addition to the responses you have already received: the ancient periods referred to were steady states that changed slowly over millions of years, therefore life was able to adapt. Today the rate of change is so rapid, it is probably only exceeded in speed by the asteroid impact induced changes that wiped out the dinosaurs.

    Secondly: Greenhouse periods may have been times of lower global biodiversity.

    Now, why do you think Monckton neglects to mention such relevant information?
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  11. Ken, it is a shame that you were unwilling to follow the advice I gave in response to your post earlier in the thread. If you insist on adding snarks at the moderators, your posts will be deleted, regardless of its remaining content, as I have just done to your most recent submission.

    Warning #1

    Please note that posting comments here at SkS is a privilege, not a right. This privilege can be rescinded if the posting individual treats adherence to the Comments Policy as optional, rather than the mandatory condition of participating in this online forum.

    Please take the time to review the policy and ensure future comments are in full compliance with it. Thanks for your understanding and compliance in this matter.
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  12. I love the way the phrase 'hockey stick' is used by some as if it's a demeaning term. The 'hockey stick' is an excellent, well-validated result of some very thorough research. I suppose that makes it incompatible with the anti-science crowd? 'Hockey sticks' turn up all over the place not just in temperature records. I'd be very happy to be associated with the hockey stick, and even though Gore is by no means the originator of the research, I'm sure he's happy too...

    People like Monckton make me sick. They have been informed time and again by good people such as Abraham that what they spout is rubbish, yet they continue to knowingly spout disinformation. Having seen him on TV in Scotland in his UKIP guise spouting similar rubbish against renewable energy projects, it seems to be a nasty habit of his. I'm glad to hear that at least some in Oz are waking up to Monckton's misinformation.
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  13. "Is he some Galileo shouting truth from the rooftops?

    Many use Galileo to justify their being alone against the scientific consensus. My impression is that none of them know history, otherwise they couldn't do such a baseless comparison. Those who make the comparison only prove their ignorance of the facts of history, together with the facts of science.
    A suggestion to the skeptics, name Alfred Wegener, a much more pertinent analog, and not Galileo. But also keep in mind that Wegener intuition just happened to be right, he couldn't prove his theory of continental drift in any reasonable way. It took several decades for the now accepted plate tectonics theory to develop.
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  14. 13 - Riccardo ...
    If anyone is interested in a good read which makes this point about Galileo very nicely, may I recommend The Sky's Dark Labyrinth, a novel by Stuart Clark.
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  15. DM #11

    Happy to comply with your rules as long as they are applied fairly to both sides of the debate.

    My "gratuitous insult snipped" was a commment about Monckton - not Garnaut as could be implied by your edit.

    "People like Monckton make me sick" and "nasty habit of his" is OK but my suggesting that he is 'barking mad' is not OK?

    BTW - I first carried on a correspondence with Robyn Williams over 30 years ago - and occasionally still do.

    I pointed him to the scepticism of Prof Don Aitken which resulted in a two part ABC Ockham's Razor broadcast here:

    http://www.abc.net.au/rn/ockhamsrazor/stories/2008/2226464.htm

    Robyn can take anything I have to say about him - he is someone we all treasure despite his eccentricities on climate change.
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    Response:

    [DB] Note:  You have been counselled repeatedly over your failure to comply with the Comments Policy.  So be it.  The next personal attack or gratuitous insult will result in a revocation of your participation privileges in this forum.  When your comments are formulated to comply with the Comments Policy, they definitely add to the discussion here.  Others reading this: no baiting.

  16. 9, CBDunkerson,

    And that, in a nutshell, is the problem with so many deniers.

    Every single time, without fail, that I go back to a source, I find what seems to be an eye-opening argument to be totally and completely devoid of any substance whatsoever, so much so that one has to stop and ask "who the heck took the time to even make this stuff up? Who was this mind bogglingly stupid (or evil) to kick off this misrepresentation (to put it kindly)?"

    There is no counter-response to something like what you posted in response in response to lame, whining allegations, and I doubt you'll see one. I would hope, though, that it would teach whomever uncritically believes that sort of thing to be just a little more skeptical, and go to the sources themselves, rather than having an "ah ha, I knew it" sort of moment, and stopping their investigations (and their own critical thinking) right there.
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  17. 15, Ken,
    Robyn ... despite his eccentricities on climate change.
    Citations, please. Your first statement about him has been demonstrated to be 100% false. Do you have any others to support the repetition of your classification of his statements and position?

    Do you have any defensible examples of "outrageous claims and distortions" from anyone on the scientific side of the debate?
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  18. Riccardo, Michael Crichton used to make the Wegener connection... though he incorrectly credited Wegener with the theory of plate tectonics.

    However, even that isn't really a good comparison. Wegener's ideas were not accepted because his suggested mechanisms for 'continental drift' (e.g. centrifugal force from the Earth's rotation) could be proven false. Once plate tectonics was worked out, and shown to match the available evidence, it was quickly accepted.

    Indeed, the acceptance of AGW is actually a much better analog to plate tectonics than its rejection would be. Arrhenius's (in place of Wegener) AGW theory was initially rejected for various reasons (e.g. poor measurement of CO2 absorption spectra, incorrect ideas about ocean uptake of CO2, et cetera) until sufficient evidence and new understandings of the mechanisms involved were developed.

    For AGW to be rejected now would be the equivalent of overturning the theory of plate tectonics... actually, it'd be even more remarkable given that there is much more evidence accumulated and confirmed over a longer timeframe.
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  19. So Ken miraculously somehow manages to conflate Monckton's latest Nazi stunt (he has done it before, also watch this if you can stomach it) with Al Gore. The mind boggles.

    And as others have pointed out Ken's gratuitous and fallacious statements that he has attributed to some prominent figures who realize the seriousness of what lies before us.

    And Ken forgets that there are many Hockey Sticks out there, derived form independent data and data analysis techniques. The fact that he has to resort to this sort of BS just speaks to the vacuity of his 'arguments'.

    It would have been quite simple for Ken to unequivocally dismiss Monckton's latest BS. Telling that he could not bring himself to do that.

    And last but not least, note the venue at which Monckton was delivering his propaganda and slurs, the American Freedom Alliance. This is the same group that Lindzen has recently associated himself with. And these guys have the audacity and gall to accuse scientists of making AGW political.
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  20. 19, Albatross,

    Oh, my goodness. I didn't take your warning to heart, and watched both videos. Now I have to go shower.

    Really, this is a champion of the denial movement? How is his behavior not disowned by every rational person on the planet? How is a quick and remorseless apology in any way acceptable considering this is his third such (taped) offense?

    (I say remorseless because while he throws the words "unreserved apology" in there, he immediately goes on to the attack, as if he and his are the victims of a crime even more heinous... his words were "[those] who say we should be tattooed with our opinions, or imprisoned, or barred from Australia, or tried for ‘high crimes against humanity’?”

    At the same time, he repeatedly accuses "greenies" of killing millions through pushing renewable energy policies, while ignoring the deluge of science that says the drought and other aspects of climate change really could do just that, and more, if left unchecked for too long.)

    Who here, or anywhere, considers themselves to be rationally skeptical and yet can listen to his stuff and not simply be embarrassed to be even remotely associated with his positions?

    [Waiting for the usual suspects to eagerly raise their hands... or to have the courage to do the right thing.]
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  21. Albatross... Ken's comments are pretty indicative of the comments taking place over at WUWT. They're essentially castigating him for stooping to such a level but then in the very next breath saying, "...but what Monckton is trying to say is correct." In general everyone seems to be complaining about using the swastika image as a powerpoint slide but saying that the fascism analogy is correct.

    It's freaking surreal.
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  22. Rob and Sphaerica, agreed.

    Who would have thought that,in the very distant past, Fourier and Arrhenius were plotting to use the radiative trapping properties of CO2 in forward their agenda establish world governance and fascism? ;)

    Unless Anthony Watts unequivocally condemns Monckton, I think it safe to assume that Watts agrees with Monckton's position. In short:

    MONCKTON = AFA = WATTS = LINDZEN

    Remember too that Watts in the past has on a couple of occasions allowed Monckton to use his site to launch vitriolic attacks and threats against scientists.
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  23. Albatross... It's interesting because initially Watts condemns Monckton for what he's doing here. But as you read down into the comments you realize that that condemnation is very thin at best. Lubos Motl has a long comment on how Monckton is actually correct in his statements, which Anthony follows up to confirm.
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  24. Thanks Rob, I do not know how you stomach those vile forums.

    That is interesting-- you see, they try and maintain this nano thin veneer of integrity up front, but the longer they "talk" the more apparent their true leanings (which are contrary to their initial condemnation).
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  25. Rob Honeycutt @23, Lubos Motl is very full on, actively endorsing both the Nazi comparison and the use of imagery, which he attempts to emulate. Interestingly he cites Tony Abott as making the same points as making the same points as Monckton, though presumably without the direct reference to Nazism.

    Anthony Watts position is more subtle. He approves the Nazi comparison, but disapproves the use of the image of the swastika and saying "Heil Hitler". In other words, make as odious a comparison as you like - just don't give people adverse talking points.

    Of the two opinions there is little to be said in their favour. The most that can be said is that at least Motl retains the virtue of honesty.
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  26. Albatross... I actually avoid them most of the time but sometimes my curiosity gets the better of me.
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  27. 22, Albatross,
    Who would have thought that,in the very distant past, Fourier and Arrhenius were plotting to use the radiative trapping properties of CO2 in forward their agenda establish world governance and fascism? ;)
    You have no idea how closely you have struck to the truth!

    The following quote from a biography of Arrhenius was posted in a comment on Nova's site:
    “Svante Arrhenius was also actively engaged in the process leading to the creation in 1922 of The State Institute for Racial Biology in Uppsala, Sweden, which had originally been planned as a Nobel Institute. Arrhenius was a member of the institute’s board, as he had been in The Swedish Society for Racial Hygiene (Eugenics), founded in 1909. Swedish racial biology was world-leading at this time, and the results formed the scientific basis for the Compulsory sterilization program in Sweden, as well as inspiring the Nazi eugenics in Germany.”
    I actually think poor Jo Nova is discovering the reality behind the saying "Lie down with dogs, get up with fleas." She tried a while ago to convince her bleating followers that GHG theory does not violate the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics, and that arguing otherwise makes deniers skeptics look silly. The barrage of 1000+ comments refuting her stance was laughable.

    Now, in trying to take a mature and balanced view of Monckton (even, laudably, going so far as to find fault with his two faced "apology"), she's encountering more of the same (as evidenced above) -- a bevy of anti-climate crusaders who think that Monckton's only mistake was in not going far enough with his parallels.
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  28. Professor Garnaut can express his own views on being dubbed a Nazi because of his acceptance of consensus science on global warming. The kindest thing that can be said of Monckton, who makes this disgraceful slur is that he displays the same inexcusable ignorance of history as he does of science.

    Monckton was not even born during the fascist regime so, unlike me, has no first hand knowledge of what it stood for or the terror it inflicted on those who fell foul of it. Possibly that is why he so carelessly smears those who do not agree with his false beliefs on matters of climate science.

    While I defend the right to freedom of speech, even when abused to express repugnant views, I do question whether we need to welcome a foreigner to Australia to repeat the litany of lies, misrepresentations and distortions of climate science for which Monckton is so well known.
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  29. Well said, Agnostic!

    Monckton, like many of the hard-core deniers, is very quick to resort to ad hominem attacks when his flimsy 'scientific' argument is shredded and proven to be false.

    'Skeptics' like Ken Lambert in post #1 are quick to repeat the ad hom attacks and slurs on integrity, while also struggling to present any substantive criticism of the science. I do find it amusing, though, that 2 out of the 3 ad hom slurs in post #1 were fabricated by Andrew Bolt. Even just a few minutes spent googling will turn up enough evidence to demonstrate that.
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  30. Thanks to Albatross @ 19 for the links; I feel I have to quote here this particular gem -

    Yes, we are now probably seeing more deaths rising from the behaviour of the Hitler Youth, and, more sinisterly, the people who are behind them and paying for them and indoctrinating them - those are the ones we really need to track down and root-out and shove in gaol for the rest of their nasty little lives - because we are killing people probably in larger numbers now than Hitler did when he killed the Jews.


    This from 2009. Shortly before his first tilt around Australia, as heavily promoted by... Jo Nova!

    So it's not like he's only recently descended to this; during the intervening period he's been a darling of the deniers, feted at WUWT, flown all over the world on some 'interesting' expense accounts, met by Abbott in full dog-whistling-for-the-maddies mode, etc..

    And, yes, what many - perhaps most - of them are now condemning is his lapse in taste!

    Truly, satire is redundant.
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  31. Albatross @ 19
    After viewing those 2 files you linked to I'm almost tempted to use one of Monkton's own tactics against him and say, "Mr Monkton might be on record for spreading lies, mistruths and personal attacks against those he cannot overcome by means of scientific argument but has privately indicated that he has changed his position and regrets his past performances".
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  32. beastie @ 5: The majority of the world's coal deposits were formed during the Late Carboniferous (Pennsylvanian) and Early Permian. During these periods the atmospheric CO2 content was about what it is today, and the world was in the longest Ice Age of the Phanerozoic. How does that reconcile with the assertion that during high CO2 times plant productivity will be higher, when we have this geological evidence that appears to indicated the opposite is true (there are more factors than CO2 involved, obviously).

    Petroleum on the other hand often comes from source rocks that were laid down in Greenhouse climates; but these are all marine sediments, and the organic content preserved so well because the oceans were stagnant and huge dead zones covered the ocean floor allowing the carbon to accumulate (but that's not a happy ocean from our perspective).
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  33. Ken wrote: "Al Gore's movie "An Inconvenient Truth" was found unfit for use as an educational tool..."

    More fiction.

    An Inconvenient Truth continues to be distributed in the UK as educational material. The judge in the Dimmock case (which you presumably refer to) found that it was "substantially founded upon scientific research and fact" and thus allowed for use in schools. The judge did require that a 'guidance' document accompany showing of the film to inform students that a few parts of the film expressed views which were still disputed by some skeptical scientists.

    Seriously, don't you ever get tired of being lied to?

    As to Williams... you now argue that he has a closed mind because he didn't read the 'Climategate' letters. That's arguable... but very different from your assertion that he (among others) is guilty of outrageous claims and distortions. For which you have still provided no examples that are not demonstrably false.
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  34. Thank you to all posters who replied to my comment, your answers were very informative,
    Did anyone check "The fair farming group"? A reply to their screed on the ether by someone knowledgeable could be handy. The members are farmers, but you would have to say that has been their hobby, one is a stockbroker, one a banker etc. . That is really beside the point, but they do have the ear of numerous pollies and ex pollies. Their wacko petition to parliament perhaps should be countered.
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  35. From the ABC's "Background Briefing" we have more of Monckton's enlightening views from a speech in Hyde Park, Sydney last week:

    "What we have here is naked left-wing political interference in the right of somebody who was invited to your country to speak freely at various venues all round the country. Now when you get that sort of behavior, let us remember where that sort of behavior last happened. It happened in the 1930's in central and western Europe in a country called Germany. That kind of breaking up of meetings, silencing of opponents for prevention of free speech, that is a hallmark of - and I am proud to use the word loud and clear - Fascism! And that is what your ABC now represents!"


    Just in case you didn't get that, the ABC now represents Fascism, at least according to Monckton.

    But the real concern is his dedicated concern for the free speech of scientists, shown when he declares:


    "So to the bogus scientists who have produced the bogus science that invented this bogus scare I say, we are coming after you, we are going to prosecute you and we are going to lock you up!"


    This in a nation in which it is currently in the news that scientists are being subject to death threats. Such death threats are of course, not to be considered as representing a fascist point of view, and certainly threats of a show trial and incarceration for scientists doing their job.

    Finally, for those who think Lord Monckton is such a sincere person, we have this comment on his apology to Ross Garnaut:

    "I apologized because even the slightest suggestion that one of his opinions is a Fascist opinion is these days regarded as intolerable in circles other than the particular circle to which I addressed it; and it shouldn't have got out from there, but somehow it did."


    So the offensive thing about his remarks, in the opinion of Monckton, was not the content of the remarks, but that they became known outside of the intended target audience. In his twisted mind, apologizing for his slanders becoming know, rather than for the slander itself is "sincere".

    (H/T to the Skeptical Science facebook page)
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  36. Sphaerica @27, your sympathy for Jo Nova is entirely misplaced. She is sharing the platform with Monckton on his tour. She cannot be in any doubt as to the nature of the beast she is lying down with now.
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