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A mishmash of Monckton misrepresentation

Posted on 19 February 2012 by John Cook

In 2010, John Abraham presented a lecture featuring an extensive examination of the arguments of Christopher Monckton. Abraham laboriously tracked down the references that Monckton cited and contacted the scientists who produced the research. The result was a litany of direct quotes from the scientists who in their own words explained how Monckton misrepresented their own work. St. Thomas University published a great background article on the whole history of Abraham's lecture just this week. Since that time, Abraham has added to the list of quotes from misrepresented scientists. Last July, Skeptical Science published a summary of quotes where scientists in their own words explain how Monckton has misrepresented their own work. I've now made these quotes available as a printable PDF so feel free to download and share with all your friends :-)

In July 2011 (yes, that long ago), Monckton debated Richard Denniss from The Australia Institute. Here at Skeptical Science, Dana Nuccitelli rigorously examined the many Monckton misrepresentations from the debate and critiqued them in several blog posts (see Part 1 and Part 2).

Recently, Monckton has responded to Dana's critique. A close examination of his critique reveals a mishmash of Monckton misrepresentations. There are some old classics, exposed and debunked long ago. But he's not resting on his laurels: there are a number of new misrepresentations also. Over the next week, Skeptical Science will be examining in close detail the many instances of misrepresentation by Monckton in his response to our critique. For example:

  • Monckton misprepresents scientists' and economists' own work. 
  • Monckton misprepresents situations such as how the IPCC functions and slanders swathes of scientists. 
  • Monckton misrepresents the reality of IPCC projections, of how runaway warming works and transient warming.
  • Monckton misrepresents me! He repeatedly refers to me as the author of the Skeptical Science critique. While I would be happy to put my name on those posts, they were actually written by Dana Nuccitelli (dana1981). But then you just don't get the same wordplay options with the name Nuccitelli.

Stay tuned over the next week as we unpack Monckton's misrepresentations.

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Comments 1 to 50 out of 104:

  1. John Cook, why do you not reference Monckton's extremely detailed reply to Abraham. Abraham has not been able to answer any of the points that Monckton brought up, and he himself has actually surrendered to Monckton, as he has been forced to significantly edit his original video.

    'Response to John Abraham' by Christopher Monckton

    Abraham surrenders to Monckton. Uni of St Thomas endorses untruths.
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  2. #1 Adam, Monckton's Gish Gallops are absolutely enormous, and it takes time to analyse all of his claims. This is an introductory post, and as you can see, there are clear misrepresentations in what he's presented before.

    The Monckton reply you link to, for example, fabricates IPCC projections in order to make them look bad.

    Sure, he's excellent rhetorically, and can lead an audience on a merry dance with his debating skills, he seems completely unphased by repeatedly misrepresenting scientists. But SkS is about the evidence, and that's why we're comparing Monckton's claims with scientific evidence here.

    And you can see clearly, Monckton misrepresents. It's that simple.
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  3. Oh, please, for the love of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, both of those links are so riddled with errors that it would take a brave individual hours to catalog and rebut them all.

    Having said that though, Codling's last gasp:

    It's a bore listening to the endless triumphant claims that Monckton is not a Lord (as if it makes much difference to the climate), but for the record, here's his full explanation (from the Watts Up page) of how he does qualify, as he has always explained, as a non-voting hereditary member of the Upper House.


    [snip]


    is worth some scrutiny, if only because it's been completely stripped bare by those who should know:

    I must repeat my predecessor's statement that you are not and have never been a Member of the House of Lords. Your assertion that you are a Member, but without the right to sit or vote, is a contradiction in terms.
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  4. Adam, a "84-page letter and 466 questions", sounds very much like a Gish Gallop to me, which is a well known rhetorical device that is intended to evade topics that one does not want to discuss by presenting a profusion of other topics in the hopes that said opponent will either be distracted by one of them or not have the energy to address them all and as a result not bother to reply.

    In science, we have found over the years that depth of discussion is generally preferable to breadth of discussion, as it is more likely to result in the truth. The depth of the discussion is often a good indicator of whether it is scientific or rehtorical; if someone obstructs in depth discussion of a particular topic, there is often a very good reason why.

    It is good that you mention Moncktons' reply, but it doesn't necessarily present him an a good light. Note also that if Abraham has retracted statements that he couldn't substantiate, then that doesn't necessarily present him in a bad light. One of Monckton's greatest problems is an inability to concede when he is in error, again this is something associated with rhetoric rather than science.
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  5. Adam, I should add that if you want to discuss any of Moncktons questions here at SkS, just pick an appropriate article (use the search facility) and I am sure there will be someone willing to discuss it with you (if it has to do with the carbon cycle, statistics or GCMs, I would probably be one of them). However, I would suggest you discuss one question at a time in depth.
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  6. To the 'skeptics', any response counts as worthy. The important thing is to keep a safe distance from actually understanding the science, so that they can say "he responded and won!"

    Even if the 'skeptic' in question has in front of himself the juxtaposition of Monckton's crocks and the very scientists he cites contradicting him.

    I sometimes question the ability of human kind as a species to tackle this problem.
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  7. Adam @1, John Abraham has explicitly responded to Monckton's critique of his presentation here at Skeptical Science. In it he acknowledges just three errors in his original presentation:

    1) He admits that Monckton says he was "bored" at one time in his speach, where as Abrahams originally quoted him as saying he was "boring".

    2) He admits that some of Monckton's slides noted as containing information without reference are marked as being from the SPPI (of which Monckton is the Policy Director). However, he correctly notes that the SPPI was not the original source of the data so that that does not constitute a proper scientific reference (nor a reasonable aid in checking the veracity of the information).

    3) He admits that just one slide of Monckton's containing information without reference was marked as data from the University of Alabama Hunstville. However he correctly maintains that that is not a proper scientific reference, which would include the papers name, journal and date of publication. At a minimum it should specify the channel, and version number of the UAH satellite temperature series, and the date on which the data was accessed. As we are now on (at least) version 5.2 of the UAH record, that is not a trivial issue:



    Abraham also notes an additional error in Monckton's speach.

    I quote from the second of your sources:

    "Abraham and the university are half-heartedly attempting to characterize the issue as a mere “academic dispute”, as if telling lies is what academics do. However Abraham has put up a new version and taken out the worst of the outrageously libelous errors, which amounts to a full ten minutes of lies removed!

    Abrahams original version. Newer, tamer, but still incorrect version.

    As Monckton points out on Watts Up, this is an admission on their part that the first version was libellous, but with many errors still remaining:"

    (My emphasis)

    I note that the underlined sentence is a direct lie.

    The University of St Thomas' lawyers had written to Monckton expressly stating that:

    "It is the University's position that Professor Abraham has done nothing improper or illegal in expressing his ideas and opinions on this matter and that Professor Abraham has not engaged in any academic or professional misconduct."


    Inferring an opinion in direct contradiction of a stated opinion that has not been retracted is not justifiable, and Monckton is certainly intelligent enough to know so.

    What is more, John Abraham continues to maintain both both his original and his revised presentations on his faculty website. As he continues to publish the original presentation, the implication that he has resiled from that is obviously ungrounded. Again, Monckton is in a position and intelligent enough to know this. Unfortunately he is also intelligent enough to know that his accolytes will not care for such matters of consistency, and unscrupulous enough to exploit that gullibility in his followers.

    Again quoting from your second link:

    "Plenty of libels indeed remain in the new version of Abraham’s talk: he has even been imprudent enough to add quite a new and serious early in his talk, having failed yet again to check his facts with me. In the new version of Abraham’s talk, every remaining libel will be regarded by the courts as malice, because he was told exactly what libels he had perpetrated, and was given a fair chance to retract and apologize, but he has wilfully chosen to persist in and repeat many of the libels. And when the courts find that his talk was and remains malicious, then he will have thrown away the one defense that might otherwise have worked for him – that in US law a public figure who sues for libel must be able to prove malice. I can prove it, in spades."


    The claim that Abraham has "willfully chosen to persist in and repeat many of the libels [sic]" directly contradicts the claim that Abraham and/or the University of St Thomas which continues to host both of his presentations, has surrendered. Therefore that claim is also deceptive. As the claim is made by Jonovva rather than by Monckton, I cannot attest sufficiently to he intelligence to know that it was deliberate deception (aka, a lie), or whether she was simply first deceived by Monckton.

    Finally, I have a friend who tells me to never attribute to dishonesty what you can attribute to stupidity. Therefore I cannot comment on the ethical basis of your regurgitation of Monckton's deceits.
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  8. Thanks for this post. It was very interesting to see scientists explaining how their work has been misrepresented. I especially enjoyed the quote from Tad Pfeffer.

    Adam: I followed the first link provided in your comment. The expectation that Dr. Abraham should respond to 466 questions is comical. And, for what it's worth, the assertion that Abraham is somehow "surrendering" to Monckton immediately reminded me of Charlie Sheen insisting that he is "winning."
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  9. Good grief. I'd like someone to explain to me how anyone can take Monckton seriously after what Abraham and Hadfield have revealed? It's clear as day he is willing do engage in any misrepresentation or fabrication as long as its suits his purpose. How can anyone trust an iota of what the guy says?

    BTW John and Dana, that graphic is cool. It's too bad the scientists are faceless however.
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    Response: [JC] Stephen, help me track down photos of all the scientists and I'll happily update it. There are only so many hours in the day.
  10. Tom Curtis@7
    This Monkton quote makes me chuckle:

    "he has even been imprudent enough to add quite a new and serious early in his talk, having failed yet again to check his facts with me."

    As though he were the ultimate authority rather than the peer reviewed scientific literature.
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  11. pbjamm - worse yet, this time we did specifically email Monckton asking for clarification about a number of his comments (he's very bad about making his sources clear and seems to expect his audience to simply trust him, even though that trust has obviously not been earned, given his history of misrepresentations); Monckton did not reply to our request.

    Moreover, it's a sad excuse because his audience isn't going to email him asking for his sources. If somebody has to contact you to ask where you got information from in a presentation, the presentation is incomplete and unsatisfactory.

    Besides which, when he finally provides the sources for his comments, they still don't say what Monckton claims they do.
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  12. Mark R, Bernard J, Dikran, Alexandre, Enginerd, Stephen Baines, pbjam

    Have any of you actually read Monckton's reply to Abraham?

    He clearly went through point by point every single one of Abraham's claims and showed they were wrong. If Abraham's presentation was entirely correct, then he should have engaged with Monckton on the points he raised.

    Dikran

    "Adam, a "84-page letter and 466 questions", sounds very much like a Gish Gallop to me, which is a well known rhetorical device that is intended to evade topics that one does not want to discuss by presenting a profusion of other topics in the hopes that said opponent will either be distracted by one of them or not have the energy to address them all and as a result not bother to reply."

    I'm sorry Dikran, but that's a strawman argument. You can't simply 'assume' that Monckton is wrong, simply because of that statement. If you genuinely believe that Abraham was correct and that Monckton was wrong, please give specific examples of where Monckton is wrong in his reply.

    "Note also that if Abraham has retracted statements that he couldn't substantiate, then that doesn't necessarily present him in a bad light. One of Monckton's greatest problems is an inability to concede when he is in error, again this is something associated with rhetoric rather than science. "

    First of all, there is no "if". Abraham cut his whole presenation by 10 minutes this is basically acknowledging that Monckton was right about those issues. And you can't just claim that Abraham is 'good' simply because he acknowledged the errors. Many times in his talk Abraham knew full well he was wrong, yet stated it in anyway. He didn't really have any choice, but to admit he was wrong after Monckton's reply.

    Alexandre, how about actually confronting the arguments, rather than just saying demeaning insults.

    Tom Curtis Abraham's reply was not in response to the link I gave above, but to this article here
    http://cfact.eu/2010/06/04/climate-the-extremists-join-the-debate-at-last/

    The link I gave above was a much more detailed and extremely thorough critique of Abraham's presentation. Abraham has not responded (or even acknowledged) Monckton's 84 page letter.

    It's not good enough that he simply acknowledged those particular errors. Abraham has never explicitly acknowledged the numerous major errors pointed out to him in Monckton's reply.

    "The expectation that Dr. Abraham should respond to 466 questions is comical."

    Enginerd, Abraham has had nearly two years to respond to Monckton, yet he has not done so. When Abraham did his presentation, he had the responsibility to reply to any critique. He stated himself at the beginning of the video that if anybody had any questions regarding his presentation they should contact him.

    But moderators thanks for letting my comment stay, as this hasn't always been the case for SkS
    http://nigguraths.wordpress.com/2011/10/10/skepticalscience-rewriting-history/
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    Moderator Response: [Dikran Marsupial] Please do not try to provoke the moderators into deleting your post, as you did in the last paragraph. Comments directed towards the moderators are off-topic and as such are deleted (after being read). Please acquaint yourself with the comments policy.
  13. Adam - I've looked through both Abraham's and Monckton's presentations. I'll admit I did not go line-by-line, as I have a Real Life (TM) outside the blogs, but I looked over a representative sampling of each.

    From my reading and research:

    Abraham clearly found multiple misquotes, misinterpretations, and misrepresentations in Monckton's work, as supported by asking the scientists who Monckton quoted.

    Monckton's replies and Gish Gallop of questions shifted the goalposts (in almost every question), presented yet more myths, misrepresentations, and other 'm's, many along the "when did you stop beating your wife" lines. In addition, while claiming Abraham had engaged in ad hominen's (which he did not), Monckton's verbiage is littered with them (as in "he looks like an overcooked prawn"). And that is for every single Monckton response and question I looked at.

    ---

    Abraham supported his arguments and criticisms - Monckton did not. Abraham is a scientist, and approached the matter in that fashion, Monckton is a rhetoritician depending on verbal tricks. It's as plain as that.
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  14. Adam, I didn't say that Monckton is wrong, I just pointed out that he was using rhetorical devices. Now if you want to discuss his questions, then as I said, pick a thread and I will happily discuss them with you.
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  15. Adam @12, SkS has a strict comments policy in order to keep discussions on topic. As part of policy, moderation complaints are deleted so that discussion does not become bogged down debating the merits of moderators decisions. Consequently, your last paragraph is of topic and is likely to be snipped (and the post is likely to be deleted on the same grounds). However, when you make a post and then include of topic discussion, you place it entirely within the moderators discretion as to whether the take the trouble to snip the offending section, or the much easier path (as it involves just one mouse click) of deleting the whole post. The do not owe it to you to take the more onerous route. Therefore, a word to the wise, do not give them reason to make that decision. Keep the snarky remarks and out, and keep the comment on moderation policy of any sort out unless you are happy to have your post deleted.

    Alternatively put, if you include such comments, it is reasonable to assume you want your post deleted and you should not complain about it.
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  16. Adam - Monckton is making some extraordinary claims, namely that all of the data and conclusions of climate science are incorrect. Extraordinary claims require, if not extraordinary evidence, at least some evidence.

    The burden of proof therefore rests with Monckton.

    So: can you point to a Monckton claim that you feel is actually supported? If so, I for one would be more than willing to discuss it - although I haven't seen a Monckton claim of that nature so far. But I'm certainly not going to waste my time chasing 400+ throw-away questions lacking evidential support.
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  17. If Monckton's claims held any water he'd be published and win the Nobel.
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  18. "Monckton's replies and Gish Gallop of questions shifted the goalposts (in almost every question), presented yet more myths, misrepresentations, and other 'm's, many along the "when did you stop beating your wife" lines.....And that is for every single Monckton response and question I looked at."

    Please give direct examples of this.
    And might I once again point out that it has been nearly two years, and Abraham has still not replied to any of the points Monckton raised in his letter.

    "Monckton's verbiage is littered with them (as in "he looks like an overcooked prawn")"

    Monckton apologised for that statement in his letter.
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  19. Adam @12, if you think Abraham has not adequately responded to Monckton's criticisms, may I suggest you to Abraham's response, so that there is no question that it is on topic, and go through the criticisms one at a time, and one slide at a time. If you just drop a gish gallop on us, I will take that as clear evidence that you do not want to discuss the merits of the case, but only to create a false impression that Monckton has valid points. So, again I specify, one supposed misrepresentation or factual error by Abraham at a time.

    It will be very entertaining exposing Monckton's squidding* maneuvers when they are exposed step by step so that there is nowhere to hide.

    *squidding = disappearing in a cloud of ink, ie, spouting so much empty verbiage that your debate opponents do not have time to discuss and rebut all your comments. Monckton's original lecture was a Gish Gallop. His various responses to Abraham have been squidding in that he is trying to cover his tracks.
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  20. Adam @18, we know exactly how much Monckton's apology is worth from his ignoble performance just prior to, and during his last trip to Australia. The answer is nothing because it is never sincere.
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    Moderator Response: [Dikran Marsupial] Please can everybody involved keep the discussion to the science and avoid the topic of motives. We can have a productive discussion of whether the claims and counter claims are correct, but any discussion of the latter will inevitably be speculative and probably not very productive.
  21. Adam - have to say I find it astonishing that anyone reading Monckton's appallingly non-scientific and unpleasant mish-mash (the thing you linked to) would consider it a valid response to Professor Abraham's lecture.

    I decided to have a look at the first thing that Abraham said in his lecture. He pointed out that Monckton's third slide showed a picture of Sir John Houghton wth the bold statement "We're all going to lie" (i.e. a direct implication that Houghton tells lies or promotes lies or advocates lies or is otherwise associated with lying).

    This is accompanied with a fabricated quotation that Monckton ascribes to Sir Houghton.

    Abraham very straightforwardly highlights the fact that Monckton's nasty and false insinuation about lying is based on a fabricated quotation. That could hardly be clearer.

    Adam, please show me where (in the Monckton thing you linked to) Abrahams's straightforward setting of the record straight is "rebutted". If you give us the page number of the pdf that would do fine...
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  22. "if you think Abraham has not adequately responded to Monckton's criticisms, may I suggest you to Abraham's response, so that there is no question that it is on topic "

    Tom Curtis you seem to have missed what I said in my previous comment. Abraham's reply was in response to Monckton's CFACT article
    http://cfact.eu/2010/06/04/climate-the-extremists-join-the-debate-at-last/
    not his 84 page rebuttal

    Abraham has never even acknowledged Monckton's letter (unless you can give me a link to where he does)

    "go through the criticisms one at a time, and one slide at a time."
    "So, again I specify, one supposed misrepresentation or factual error by Abraham at a time."

    Well, as one example of the errors in the video there is Abraham's claim regarding sea level rise. He basically claims that Al Gore was correct regarding his claim of a 6m sea level rise in AIT. But, as Monckton pointed out in his reply, the IPCC don't expect the Greenland ice sheet to disappear for a millenia yet Abraham made no reference to this in his presentation.

    There are many more errors and misrepresentations like this in Abraham's presenation. Once again, I suggest that you actually read Monckton's reply.
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  23. chris the example you state has nothing to do with the science presented in Monckton's rebuttal. Therefore it is irrelevant to the issue at hand.
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  24. Adam, a lot of the stuff that Monckton states in his presentations are deliberately vague with cherrypicking of tiny bits of a subject or citing old papers that have subsequently been shown to be wrong or incorrectly interpreted (even by the authors themselves).

    However the direct accusation by Monckton of lying and presentation of a fabricated quotation by Monckton in the example I gave just above, is quite typical of Monckton's style of misrepresentation and is a rather blatant falsehood.

    I can see why Monckton would be unable to "rebut" this! However can we assume that you condone Monckton's false accusations? It would be helpful to understand you're odd support of a clearly deficient presentation if you could be clear on this...
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  25. the only think to debunk all those myths - be them from whoever - is to kind of attack each individual personally. this requires a lot of investigation ... from the scientific community ...

    here in Germany there is a new article in the "Süddeutsche Zeitung" about financial support of IDSO (http://www.sueddeutsche.de/wissen/vertrauliche-akten-veroeffentlicht-die-geldquellen-der-klimaskeptiker-1.1287309) by some US-companies ... even Microsoft is amongst them, however they said they only gave a piece of software and are fully aware of AGW ... therefore possibly a misfortune ... :)
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  26. Adam @ 18.

    Take a look at point 154 for example. What Monckton labels the 'IPCC' projection with suggested errors is not, in fact, the IPCC projection. It's one he made up. Would you call making up a projection and attributing it to someone a straw man, fraud, or is this justified if Chris does it?


    Around that point is full of moved goalposts and the classic hoofprints of a gish gallop. In 149-150, for example, he swaps between global trends, and central England. The entire section from 150-158 is just desperate skipping around trying to avoid physics and statistics.

    And that's just a page worth. We see in this SkS post that Monckton also regularly misrepresents elsewhere.
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  27. Adam

    I have just read this post and the thread down to this point.

    It appears that you tried to change the subject of this thread starting at your first comment, #1. The post is about specific examples of where C.Monckton has misrepresented the science; and what the science actually says. It's not about what you seem to want it to be about: C.Monckton's attempts to create a smokescreen in order to divert attention away from what John Abraham had uncovered in 2010.

    Two years before John Abraham first rebutted a lecture, I too went through the start of a lecture by C.Monckton which had been posted on You Tube. Every one of his slides -- which he races through at a hell of a lick -- I froze and transcribed his spoken words. I then hunted through the literature to find the facts for myself. In every case Monckton had either misunderstood the science, or cherry-picked data in order to prove that there was no warming; sea ice was not melting; CO2 was plant food; it was the sun... or any number of denialist memes, many of them even being contradictory; most being the opposite of reality.

    After about ten slides I gave up because I'd proved the point to myself and to the friend who'd sent me the original link to convince me that my concern for global warming was misplaced.

    Can I suggest that rather than hero-worship this charismatic speaker, you take what he's said in one of the recordings of his lectures and investigate it with a truly sceptical mindset. If you can do that I think you'll surprise yourself.
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  28. Adam does not get to decide what the subject at hand is. The OP determines that. It includes mention of Monckton saying the opposite or different from the sources he quotes, it mentions Abraham, Dennis, Dana, and calls on future posts with more details. All of this is the subject at hand.

    Since Mr Hadfield summed up quite well numerous instances of Monckton contradicting his sources and himself on quite a few occasions, I will repost here links to Hadfield's excellent presentations, which are very much on topic. I'm sure a casual reader wondering about that Mr Monckton will find them enlightening. The part where Monckton talks about Dr Pinker as if he knew "him" well is especially enjoyable.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9K74fzNAUq4&feature=player_embedded

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=1xx5h1KNMAA
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  29. Adam, I'm curious about your thoughts on Monckton's slide #24 (a selection of 9 assorted graphs purportedly suggesting a warmer Medieval Warm Period (MWP) compared to now). Monckton asserts (with zero evidence) that 700 scientists agree that the MWP was real (no one disputes this by the way) and that it was warmer than now. Abraham has contacted several of the authors who point out that Monckton's presentaton is a misrepresentation of their work.

    The graph in the top left corner of Monckton's slide which Monckton erroneously labels Huang 1998 (it's actually Huang et al 1997) is known not to include any 20th century temperature data since Huang et al did not use the top 100 metres of borehole data to avoid non-climatic artefacts. Therefore this work clearly has nothing to say about temperatures in the MWP compared to now since it omits the entire warming of the 20th century and beyond.

    In fact if one reads Huang et al.'s later work, they not only reiterate this explicitly but also present their full borehore data that indicates that current temperatures are warmer than temperatures during the MWP.

    That's pretty straightforward isn't it Adam? Monckton is using as one of his pet examples of a supposed evidence base for a "warmer-than-now" MWP, a piece of data that says no such thing.

    There's no getting away from that reality. Monckton says a lot of irrelevant stuff about his incorrect slide without at any point rebutting this very simple and straightforward reality.
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  30. Adam wrote:

    "the IPCC don't expect the Greenland ice sheet to disappear for a millenia "

    'the IPCC doesn't (gr sic) expect' ... is vague misrepresentation, and misdirected. The forecast for Greenland was the responsibility of the scientists contributing to the Projections Section of AR4.

    What is a 'a millenia'? Do you mean 'a millenium' or 'millennia? Or is that "irrelevent" as well?

    In fact, AR4 makes no timeframe statement, or even a projection of complete disappearance.

    "If a negative surface mass balance were sustained for millennia, that would lead to virtually complete elimination of the Greenland Ice Sheet and a resulting contribution to sea level rise of about 7 m."

    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/spmsspm-projections-of.html

    Additionally, AR4's shortcomings on an evaluation of the stability of both the Greenland icecap and the Antarctica shelves was and is a major source of uncertainty.

    Not only do you miss the actual statements and conclusion, you falsely attribute claims to the wrong group. And like the criticism A made of M, you threw down a bogus accusation without a valid source for that claim.
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  31. Adam:

    "Well, as one example of the errors in the video there is Abraham's claim regarding sea level rise. He basically claims that Al Gore was correct regarding his claim of a 6m sea level rise in AIT. But, as Monckton pointed out in his reply, the IPCC don't expect the Greenland ice sheet to disappear for a millenia yet Abraham made no reference to this in his presentation."

    Of course Abraham didn't, because Al Gore in AIT didn't give a timeframe. How does Monckton's claim that the Greenland ice sheet won't disappear for a long time refute AIT when AIT didn't give a timeframe?

    AIT: "If the greenland ice sheet melts, sea levels will rise 6m"

    Monckton: "The greenland ice sheet won't melt for a long time, therefore AIT is wrong".

    DIsconnect.

    This is typical of Monckton's technique of lying by refuting something not actually said by the person he claims was wrong. Strawman, in other words.
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  32. Having dragged my way through the first 40 'questions' in Adam's WUWT Monckton link, I'm astounded by the waffle, self-regard and posturing of the man. The only real substance there is word-play over things he actually said, but which he is now trying to backtrack from by delineating his meaning to a highly specific interpretation.

    For example :
    (In all the following, where Monckton states what he is being of accused of, the actuality is that Abrahams stated that if you were to believe Monckton you would have to accept that...)

    Monckton says he has been accused of saying "The world’s not warming".
    Monckton prevaricates by now saying said although he had actually said that the world had been cooling since 2001...he displayed a graph showing a longer-term warming.
    I.E. Monckton DID say "The world’s not warming".

    Monckton says he has been accused of saying "Sea levels are not rising at all".
    Monckton prevaricates by now saying said although he had actually said that there had been little or no sea-level rise for four years...he displayed a graph showing a longer-term rising.
    I.E. Monckton DID say "Sea levels are not rising at all".

    Monckton says he has been accused of saying "Ice is not melting".
    Monckton prevaricates by now saying said although he had actually said that stated that Arctic sea-ice had reached a 30-year low in 2007, from which it is recovering...well, he displayed some picture with a title stating that Arctic Summer sea ice area was "just fine".
    I.E. Monckton DID say "Ice is not melting".

    Monckton says he has been accused of saying "polar bears are not threatened".
    Monckton prevaricates by now saying that he said they "are doing fine".
    I.E. Monckton DID say "polar bears are not threatened".

    Next up comes his definition of what he actually meant by "no such thing as ocean acidification" but I lost the will to carry on...
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  33. I'd better qualify my accusations against Monckton above (just to counter any wriggle-room for his fans) by stating that when I state what "Monckton DID say", I am backing Abraham (no 's', unlike what I wrote above, unfortunately) in his statement that if you were to believe Monckton, you would have to accept that "the world is not warming", "sea levels are not rising", etc. Monckton's 'arguments' DO claim all of these and more.
    (Hope that makes sense !)
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  34. A troubling addendum to my post just above that illustrates some of the misrepresentation of "data" presented by Monckton.

    In Monckton's mish-mash response to Abraham's lecture (see link in Adam's first post on this thread), Monckton redisplays the side that Abraham's calls CM #24, and which contains a series of pictures that Monckton uses to misrepresent current understanding of historical global temperatures (the slide is on p 18 of Monckton's mish-mash).

    The top left hand corner picture is labeled (Huang et al 1998). Further on in Monckton's mish-mash (page 20) the Huang et al picture is presented in a full figure, and this time it's labelled (Huang et al, 2004).

    However that picture that Monckton continually mis-cites, isn't from any of Shaopeng Huang's papers. It's a made-up figure, and I suspect that's why Monckton is careful not to properly reference it. The paper from which the data is supposedly taken is Huang et al (2007) which contains no data for the 20th century (see my post linked to in top of this post). Someone has rather arbitrarily made up an x-axis with made-up dates to make it appear that the data extend to 1990.
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  35. whoops, now I'm doing it! I meant to say:

    "The paper from which the data is supposedly taken is Huang et al (1997) which contains no data for the 20th century".
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  36. Please note that while Adam has now posted to this thread five times he has yet to cite even one specific issue where Monckton was correct... nor respond to any of the numerous issues cited by others to demonstrate otherwise.

    Further, the 'meta' issues that Adam has raised (e.g. 'Abraham has surrendered') are absurd on their face given, for example, the previously cited 'John Abrahams takes a stand' article from St. Thomas just last week.

    This would seem to constitute a tacit admission that Abraham, in fact, was correct. Otherwise Adam would be able to talk about actual instances to the contrary... rather than metaphorically sticking his fingers in his ears and repeating, 'I cannot hear you! Monckton is always right! He has never made any mistakes! All hail the one and true non-voting member of the House of Lords!'.

    The only person I've ever seen provide more evasive and 'fact challenged' answers than Adam's performance here is Monckton himself. Though Monckton at least provides specific falsehoods.
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  37. Adding to JMurphy and chris - from Moncton's reply:

    "We now have confirmation from the UK Met Office that there has been no “global warming” to speak of for 15 years."
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  38. Monckton has most definitely stated in writing: "global warming has stopped". His stand on that point could not be more clear.
    http://icecap.us/images/uploads/monckton-global_warming_has_stopped.pdf
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  39. I find this “introductory” post interesting because the author, John Cook, was recently subjected to a slur by a WUWT blogsite “moderator” as a receiver of money from a WW2 Nazi collaborator.

    This style of attack is Monckton’s par excellence because the Viscount either evokes the Nazi symbolism, as he did with Professor Ross Garnaut and lots of others, or he’s calling them communists; now there’s a contradiction in terms.

    This “debating” style has become the climate denier’s hallmark, and a common chorus emanating from the ranks of climate conspiracy theorists.

    But without it, they really don’t have much to talk about, and certainly not when it comes to the peer-reviewed science.
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  40. John Russell

    "C.Monckton's attempts to create a smokescreen in order to divert attention away from what John Abraham had uncovered in 2010."

    Once again might I ask, why if Monckton was completely wrong in his rebuttal, why Abraham did not respond to any of Monckton's questions?
    And why did he edit out his video by 10 minutes?

    I cannot comment on the personal research that you have done on Monckton's presentations, since you did not give specific examples.

    But might I point you to this list of 900+ peer reviewed papers supporting skeptics arguments The arguments made by skeptics (including Monckton) are indeed supported by hundreds of studies in the peer reviewed literature.

    chris

    "Abraham has contacted several of the authors who point out that Monckton's presentaton is a misrepresentation of their work. "

    Chris if you read all of Monckton's rebuttal you will realize that what Abraham asked was most likely a strawman designed to mislead the authors.

    I'm not familiar with Huang's work, so cannot comment on it, but might I point out that is just one study. Co2 science has gathered hundreds of studies supporting the existence of the MWP
    http://www.co2science.org/data/mwp/mwpp.php

    Owl905

    Millenia or Milenia is the plural of a Millennium meaning 1,000 years.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Millenia

    Yes, the IPCC didn't give an exact time frame, but the science is clear that the ice sheets are not going to disappear any time in the near future.

    dhogaza

    "Of course Abraham didn't, because Al Gore in AIT didn't give a timeframe. How does Monckton's claim that the Greenland ice sheet won't disappear for a long time refute AIT when AIT didn't give a timeframe?"

    Have you seen 'An Inconvenient Truth'? He shows these expensive computer generated images of all these major cities getting flooded by his supposed 6 metre sea level rise. No, he didn't give an exact timeframe, but he clearly implied that this was going to be happening in the near future.

    CBDunkerson

    "he has yet to cite even one specific issue where Monckton was correct."
    "nor respond to any of the numerous issues cited by others to demonstrate otherwise."

    If you can point out with direct quotes from Monckton's reply where any of his major claims were wrong please do so. I do not believe anyone on this thread has made any credible argument against Monckton's reply to Abraham.

    And you also keep avoiding my question of why, if you are so sure that Monckton is wrong, why Abraham has not responded or even acknowledged Monckton's letter.

    All I wanted was to simply point out that John Cook was being unfair in his article by citing Abraham 's presentation, but ignoring Monckton's repsonse.But it seems we're getting nowhere on this thread. All of you have obviously made up your minds that everything Monckton says is wrong. We're never going to resolve this discussion, so therefore there doesn't seem to be any reason to continue with it.
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    Moderator Response: [Dikran Marsupial] You asked for specific examples where Abraham was correct and Monckton was wrong. More than one was provided for you, your ignorance of the work of Huang is not an adequate response, nor does pointing out that it is one of many studies. Asking questions and not treating the answers seriously is clearly trolling.

    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.

  41. Talk about hijacking the thread with outrageous claims...
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  42. Adam @40 asks:

    "Once again might I ask, why if Monckton was completely wrong in his rebuttal, why Abraham did not respond to any of Monckton's questions?"


    Because an adequate rebuttal already existed in the form of his pre-existing presentation (duh).

    "And why did he edit out his video by 10 minutes?"


    I don't know. However it is certainly not as an admission of error. He still promotes the original presentation on his page with not caveats or other admission of error. Therefore the most natural interpretation is that he still stands by what he said therein (except for misquoting Monckton as saying he was boring).
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  43. Adam @ 40 says:

    "I'm not familiar with Huang's work, so cannot comment on it, but might I point out that is just one study. Co2 science has gathered hundreds of studies supporting the existence of the MWP
    http://www.co2science.org/data/mwp/mwpp.php"


    How dreary... You're playing the same game of evasion and redirection as Monckton.

    The fact is that Abraham pointed out a clear misrepresentation in Monckton's presentation of paleo data including that of Huang. Never mind not rebutting this in his mish-mash, Monckton compounds his misrepresentation by further misrepresenting Huang's data.

    Rather than engage with this, or ponder why Monckton is presenting a fabricated graph and pretending it belongs to Huang, you simply evade the issue by pointing to some unrelated website.

    Monckton made very explicit false claims - he insinuated that Sir John Houghton supported lies...he attributed a fabricated quote to Sir Houghton...he asserted (with zero evidence) that 700 scientists supported the interpretation that the MWP was warmer than current temperatures. The pictures he showed to accompany this assertion turn out not to support it at all. In fact in the case of Huang's borehole data that include much of the 20th century, the latter indicate that that current temperatures are warmer than during the MWP.

    Do you get the point Adam? Abraham highlighted these misrepresentations in his lecture, and Monckton is unable to rebut them since they're unrebuttable. You feel compelled to defend Monckton's disgraceful falsehoods and misrepresentations, yet don't seem to have any factual basis for doing so.....and so you evade the issue by directing us to some irrelevant website that has nothing to do with Abraham's lecture, nor Monckton's mish-mash...
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  44. Adam wrote : "Chris if you read all of Monckton's rebuttal you will realize that what Abraham asked was most likely a strawman designed to mislead the authors."

    That is a disgraceful, cheap accusation with no basis whatsoever in reality. You have shown your true colours and I'm sure Monckton would be proud of your dissembling.
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  45. Adam:

    "But might I point you to this list of 900+ peer reviewed papers supporting skeptics arguments The arguments made by skeptics (including Monckton) are indeed supported by hundreds of studies in the peer reviewed literature."

    Oh, we know all about poptech, alright:

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/search.php?Search=poptech&x=0&y=0

    Monckton. Poptech. Barrel meet bottom.

    "Have you seen 'An Inconvenient Truth'? He shows these expensive computer generated images of all these major cities getting flooded by his supposed 6 metre sea level rise. No, he didn't give an exact timeframe..."

    Right, he didn't give a timeframe, therefore Monckton's lying when he suggest he did.
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  46. Adam, you might also note that CO2Science is well known for misrepresenting hunderds of legitimate papers (I should know, it's misrepresented one of mine). Using papers that identify any old warm period between about 800AD and 1400AD as indicating the Medieval Warm Period was global is stupid. Different places experienced particular warmth at different times, and when you add all those signals together it means the overall average is not one of exceptional warmth. That some places experienced notable Medieval warmth has never been in doubt. A good place to start is Hughes and Diaz (1994) "Was there a Medieval Warm Period and if so, where and when?", where even in the early 1990s, it was thought most likely that the MWP was not a global, synchronous event. That research led to the initial hemispheric and global reconstructions, which the skeptics love to hate, and even now, nearly two decades later, the most complete evidence indicates the MWP was globally at the very most a relatively modest event.

    Adam, you should do well to remember the caveat I've been trying to help Burt Rutan with in his struggles to understand climate science at Scholars and Rogues is this:

    A strong Medieval Warm Period = HIGH climate sensitivity.

    If skeptics really actually understood this point we'd hear a lot less about the MWP and the Hockey Stick!
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  47. I noticed that on Adam's link in @1 "Abraham surrenders to Moncton" that Adam highlights a statement by Moncton "And when the courts find that his talk was and remains malicious, then he will have thrown away the one defense that might otherwise have worked for him – that in US law a public figure who sues for libel must be able to prove malice. I can prove it, in spades." How's that court case coming?
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  48. I have this fantasy of Monckton bringing a lawsuit against Abraham,and Abraham's lawyers having every one of those scientists that Monckton has misrepresented sitting in court prepared to take the stand.I would love to see the wind deflating from his well puffed up ego as he realizes that his game is over.Sort of like the Marshall Mcluhan scene in 'Annie Hall' (Google it if you are not familiar)
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  49. Adam @40,

    Thanks Adam for pointing me at the Monckton's response to JA. This voluminus, gishgallop document is too big to describe, let alone answer to any of its arguments, as it fits perfectly the GG definition here and could be added to the listed examples.
    It's only possible to dispute it one point at a time, as many commenters here are trying to do, provided that the opposite side tries to focus on the actual point until the point reaches the logical conclusion, as stated in the rationalwiki link above. That's unfortunately not the case with lord Monckton, as his famous evasive actions - "monckton maneuvers" - have been documented on the web. Sadly, it appears also not to be the case with you on this thread, as several commenters tried to narrow the focus to some specific points but you, in response, are trying to dillute the focus. For example, in your comment above, you are saying:

    "Chris if you read all of Monckton's rebuttal you will realize that what Abraham asked was most likely a strawman designed to mislead the authors"

    You are clearly dilluting any depth of arguments here and running into Monckton gish-gallop, as emphasized text indicates.

    As a classical gishgalloper, Monckton wants JA to engage into the debate of "responding to every question" raised, even if that question is irrellevant.

    You want to engage SkS readers into the same. This is physically impossible. I condone JA for his silece about Monckton's "biblical response" and suggest to SkS moderators to curtail this threat as we don't have time to read it all.

    But I'm looking forward to the detailed critique of "Monckton's bible" in coming posts. We will see what Adam will have to say there. Hopefully the moderators wil keep it on topic. Thanks guys for good work!
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  50. Adam,instead of playing these games, pick ONE argument you think is strong and well supported by papers from CO2 Science. Now actually read the papers that CO2"Science" quotes. Their modus operandi depends on people not doing that. If you still think there is a case (and are not disgusted by their tactics), then look up the argument here, and lets examine that evidence that you find so compelling.
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