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Climate Change: The Looney Lord Responds

Written By: - Date published: 9:38 am, November 10th, 2009 - 37 comments
Categories: climate change - Tags:

On many of our apparent disagreements, it seems that Lord Monckton and I sometimes use different terms to explain the same thing. For example, he believes the response to the AIDS sufferers should have been to ‘isolate all carriers as quickly as possible, so as to prevent transmission of the infection.’ I see the same situation, in which AIDS suffers are denied freedom of movement until there is no longer any risk of them transmitting the disease (i.e. until they die), as ‘imprisonment until they die.’ On those sorts of occasions I am happy to agree to disagree with Lord Monckton, and submit them to the court of public opinion.

On other occasions we simply have different viewpoints on debates within the scientific community. For example, Lord Monckton believes that ‘the scientific method operates in such a way that if a hypothesis is disproven it fails.’ By ‘disproven’ here, Monckton means that evidence is found that is inconsistent with the hypothesis. In the philosophy of science this is called ‘naïve falsificationism,’ called naïve because adopting that position denies that science has essentially any knowledge of the social world there is an exception to basically every rule in economics, psychology, sociology, anthropology, and political science. Does nobody in any of those disciplines actually know anything? That seems a bit harsh. I prefer other, newer views of the scientific process, such as ‘sophisticated falsificationism’ and the epistemology of Imre Lakatos. Again, I am happy to agree to disagree with Monckton on those issues, and to trade put downs on those topics with him if he wishes.

On still other occasions, Lord Monckton seems to take umbrage at having the rhetorical barbs he deploys against others deployed on him instead. If Lord Monckton is going to call Barack Obama a ‘communist,’ call the IPCC ‘liars’ and ‘cheats,’ and so on, then it can hardly surprise or shock him when some of that rhetorical vigor bounces back his way. In the parlance, he ‘put himself in harm’s way.’ For my part (and to avoid any hint of hypocrisy), I am not upset at all when Lord Monckton calls me ‘hapless’ and accuses me of engaging in ‘rants.’ I wear abuse from Lord Monckton as a badge of honor.

There are some occasions, however, where we disagree on things that are directly verifiable. Here are my four favorite examples of Lord Monckton swearing that black is white. In my view, these examples illustrate nicely his lack of integrity and credibility.

Lord Monckton ‘Nobel Peace Prize winner’

Monckton: ‘Salmond says I claim to be a Nobel laureate. I made no such claim.’

View the original Monckton video at around 40:15:

‘ and for that I wear, with pride, my Nobel Peace Prize pin. I too, Al baby, am a Nobel laureate, [applause] but I got it for telling the truth and you got it for telling lies. [Applause]’

[Btw, there doesn’t appear to be any such thing as a real Nobel prize pin. The only person I can find saying they got one is Monckton. Actual recipients get medals. Eddie]

Lord Monckton ‘Legislator’

Monckton: ‘Salmond says I claim to be a member of the House of Lords I do not have, and do not pretend to have, the right to sit or vote in the House: that right was removed from my father and nearly all hereditary peers in 1999.’

Here is Monckton, in 2006, referring unambiguously to himself:

‘Finally, you may wonder why it is that a member of the Upper House of the United Kingdom legislature, wholly unconnected with and unpaid by the corporation that is the victim of your lamentable letter, should take the unusual step of calling upon you as members of the Upper House of the United States legislature either to withdraw what you have written or resign your sinecures.’ (Emphasis added. Hat Tip: BLiP)

Lord Monckton ‘Scientist’

Monckton: ‘Salmond says I do not have a peer-reviewed publication in any scientific journal on any topic. Readers may like to visit the website of Physics and Society, which published a peer-reviewed paper by me entitled Climate Sensitivity Reconsidered in July 2008.’

Following Lord Monckton’s advice, I visited his article on the interwebs directly, and found the following note at the top:

‘The following article [by Monckton] has not undergone any scientific peer review, since that is not normal procedure for American Physical Society newsletters.’

Lord Monckton ‘Foreign Policy Analyst’

As I posted originally, there are myriad errors in Monckton’s big finish, but this is the most obvious one. In Monckton’s original presentation, he says: ‘if that treaty [of Copenhagen] is signed, your Constitution says that it takes precedence over your Constitution, and you can’t resile from that treaty unless you get agreement from all the other state’s parties ‘ Of course the US Constitution says no such thing, as I pointed out. So now Lord Monckton’s position has changed to:

‘Salmond says treaties do not supersede the US Constitution. However, by the Vienna Convention on International Treaties, to which the US is a signatory, the terms of a treaty prevail over any domestic law.’

That is, of course, a not at all the same position. At least on this occasion Lord Monckton has attempted to change his story rather than reflexively deny his own words. Kudos to you, Lord Monckton, on that rather modest accomplishment.

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37 comments on “Climate Change: The Looney Lord Responds ”

  1. For example, Lord Monckton believes that “the scientific method operates in such a way that if a hypothesis is disproven it fails.’ By “disproven’ here, Monckton means that evidence is found that is inconsistent with the hypothesis.

    Now, I’m no big city philosopher-scientist, but I’m okay with Monckton’s view on this one. If evidence is found that is inconsistent with a hypothesis, then either:

    1. the evidence isn’t true; or
    2. the evidence isn’t actually inconsistent with the hypothesis; or
    3. the hypothesis is wrong

    That’s not to say that any evidence against global warming proves it is BS – e.g. this winter was colder than last year’s for much of the planet – just that option 2 is usually correct (just because 1 winter was colder than a previous year doesn’t mean the globe isn’t warming, or won’t warm).

    The alternative is option 3 but that will not always mean that the hypothesis is completely wrong, rather that needs to change in some respect.

    • Rob Salmond 1.1

      Graeme

      I’m no great philosopher either, but I do teach a little of this stuff, so…

      You can think of the difference between the naive and sophisticated versions of falsificationism this way: one is about “dismissing incorrect theories”; while the other is about “making theories less bad through evidence.”

      For my money, the two biggest problems with the naive view are (1) that is is totally destructive; and (2) that it presupposes that the evidence is correct. It becomes incumbent on the proponent of a theory to actively undermine the contradictory evidence – kind of like that old school debating addage that an unrebutted argument stands, regardless of how good or bad it is. I would rather operate on the premise that I am / we are not always smart enough to know which evidence is true and which is false, and so instead of having a strict bright-line test I would rather we look at “the preponderance of the available evidence.” And it this substantive case, I – as a layperson – am still persuaded that the preponderance of the evidence points towards anthropogenic climate change that needs to be addressed.

      • zelda 1.1.1

        Rob , you ‘teach and publish’ in Politics. I wouldn’t dignify it with the word science

        • Bright Red 1.1.1.1

          grow up zelda.

          political science is taught at every decent university in the world. It’s one of social sciences

    • lprent 1.2

      Graeme: You’re referring to the usual cyclic background effects? In that case look at decade(s) so you can measure equivalent points. Doing year to year comparisons is as useless looking at climate change as doing quarterly ones during a year.

      But the key words are “Climate Change”. When you pump more energy into a system the effects are going to go all over the place. The most extreme example would be if the north atlantic conveyor currents wound up with too much fresh water from higher precipitation north of florida. Then the gulf stream stops (as it has many times before) and there is a rapid glaciation in northern europe and america. That is a case where global climate changes have caused a regional cooling in the past.

      Or the alternate. Glaciation in the north typically causes desertification in africa in the geological history through decreased precipitation. You get a localised hotter dryer climate during periods of average global cooling. Although to my mind this could be from the counter current down that Atlantic coast also stopping because the Gulf stream isn’t providing it with a volume imbalance (not enough data yet).

      Which of course is why Lord Moron prefers to look at temperatures around the Atlantic. That piddly little ocean has more strange climate change effects than almost anywhere else in the world, because it is so narrow and dependent on constrained ocean currents redistributing the heat between the tropics and the arctic. But of course as someone ‘knowledgeable’ about climate change, Lord Moron must know this. So presumably he is cherry picking his facts for some other ulterior purpose?

      • I wasn’t really referring to anything in particular. Mostly I was talking in the abstract about what the scientific method is. But yes, that’s a good example.

        That a particular year is cold because of cyclical effects is evidence that is not inconsistent with climate change.

    • Zorr 1.3

      Or there is a 4th option

      4) The evidence is correct and verifiable through repeat experiments by different researchers. At which point the hypothesis is amended to take in to account the new experimental evidence to produce a new, more correct, hypothesis. This is then tested for any flaws. Repeat ad infitum until hypothesis is sound enough to become a fully fledged scientific theory.

      If all hypotheses got thrown out the moment there was the slightest inaccuracy, there would be the single universal sound of scientists the world over commiting suicide. A hypothesis is meant to be tested rigorously to find any errors in it but that doesn’t mean it becomes useless the moment evidence is found to disprove one of its points. A hypothesis based on the 99% proven one is more useful than a hypothesis based on the 1% or one that just starts over from the starting line as your thought seems to state.

      • That was basically what I was saying. I said “The alternative is option 3 but that will not always mean that the hypothesis is completely wrong, rather that needs to change in some respect.”

        A particular hypothesis is thrown out. But it is replaced by a similar hypothesis that differs in some small respect.

  2. Rob Salmond 2

    Addendum: Even better evidence of Lord Monckton’s fake Nobel claims comes from his own article in the Jarkarta Post in December 2007. The first sentence is:

    “As a contributor to the IPCC’s 2007 report, I share the Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore.”

    http://mclean.ch/climate/Monckton_Jakarta_Post.pdf

    • zelda 2.1

      IRONY.

      Didnt Al Gore claim he ‘took the initiative in creating the internet’.

      • zelda 2.1.1

        The Nobel Committee said: for the the other half of the prize.

        Through the scientific reports it has issued over the past two decades, the IPCC has created an ever-broader informed consensus about the connection between human activities and global warming. Thousands of scientists and officials from over one hundred countries have collaborated to achieve greater certainty as to the scale of the warming.

        Thousands of scientists and officials… I wonder who they could be.

      • Pascal's bookie 2.1.2

        Didn’t Al Gore claim he ‘took the initiative in creating the internet’.

        Yep, and in the context of his claim that he did so as a legislator he was quite correct:

        http://www.snopes.com/quotes/internet.asp

  3. Like Lord Monckton, Dr Michael Coffman has exposed what the world’s elite have got riding on the man-made global warming hoax. Dr Coffman, the CEO of Sovereignty International, headed a multi-million dollar research effort in the early-1990’s, which investigated the effects of global warming on ecosystems in the US. While he says he could not find any evidence of man-made global warming whatsoever, he did establish that there were plans to use the artifice to justify reorganizing the world around socialist, command and control regulation.

    He described Lord Monckton as a leading light.

    He advised that the Cap-and-Trade legislation, which is pending in the US Senate at the moment, will redefine the basis of the US Constitution of the whole free market system to one of socialistic fascism, where the US government is in control of the economy. “It is so bad, it will literally transform the United States of America into a fascist state,’ Dr Coffman said.

    The global warming scam is being used to try and justify the need for the Cap-and-Trade law that will cripple the US economy and make the US dollar more worthless than it is already. It will cause the cost of living to skyrocket and only the “green economy’ will be allowed to prosper, he contends.
    To hear what he had to say in a recent interview regarding these matters, go here:
    [audio src="http://podcast.gcnlive.com/podcast/nutri_med/1104091.mp3" /]

    • Zorr 3.1

      Nice to see good conspiracy theories are still alive and well.

      Firstly, try reading any of Matt Tiabbis articles for the Rolling Stone. He is a very competent researcher and entertaining writer. He wrote an article a few months back discussing the whole Cap ‘n’ Trade deal. Basically, it is a new market for the Goldman Sachs of the world to speculate in and it will be interesting to see how it unfolds. Given how your quoted resources here have never, in their history, seemed to have gotten anything right despite having a lot to say on everything, I think I will be safely correct that the US has very little to fear from socialism. Heck, it might have a LOT to gain from it, especially in their health care. At least then the taxpayers get something for their money rather than just the lemon capitalism they have at the moment where in both cases, the banks win.

    • Man those communists are good. Imagine melting all of the North Pole just so they can manufacture a crisis that may just may cause them to take over the world Government.

      They are really determined. I wonder how they do it. Maybe they go out at night under the cover of dark with blow torches and spend their time melting ice. Or maybe they hand out packets of matches to penguins.

      Um has anyone seen a soviet on the north pole with a blow torch or a penguin with matches?

  4. zelda 4

    Is that the jist of it ?
    He had a letter in a Scientific Publication, so what it wasnt peer reviewed.
    And your publication history is ?

    • Bright Red 4.1

      You probably should have checked out Rob Salmond’s publication history before writing something like that and making a fool of yourself http://www-personal.umich.edu/~rsalmond/publications.html

      The guy’s an assistant professor. A few publications to his name..

      … honestly zelda, I can’t stop laughing at you.

      anyway, the issue is that Monckton claimed to have written peer-reviwed papers and has not. If I, someone who has not written a peer-reviewed paper, had pointed that out would you have come back with ‘so, what have you done?’. It’s not relevant, Monckton’s the one making the claim, Monckton’s the liar.

      • zelda 4.1.1

        I just asked what were Salmonds publications,
        Were you presuming that to mean something else?
        An assistant professor , nice .. Thats a lecturer equivalent in our system.

        • Bright Red 4.1.1.1

          bizarre strain of personal attack on Salmond here. It’s totally irrelevant to Monck’s self-professed credentials on climate change issues.

          • zelda 4.1.1.1.1

            Hello … Salmond has made a point of a personal attack on the …looney lord !! What a dispstick

            [lprent: If you look at the origional post, it was actually targeted on John Ansell and others from the sewer holding the Lord Moron up as credible speaker on climate change. The mere fact that it was possible to tear the Lord Moron’s claims to pieces was a by-product. It wasn’t targeted at him. BTW: Have you found the edit button yet. Mis-spelling doesn’t help your credibility. ]

            • Bright Red 4.1.1.1.1.1

              the looney lord is holding himself up as an expert on climate change matters. Salmond has ripped his credibility to shreds with the facts.

              The issue is about Monck, not Salmond but you want to make it about Salmond because you’re a climate change denier who sees Monck as a hero and you can’t defend him against the facts Salmond has exposed.

            • zelda 4.1.1.1.1.2

              If you looked at this weeks publication of ‘Nature’ you would see a list of errors and ommisions made in published articles ( and a story about an published paper that was complete bullshit).
              It happens.
              Does it mean that Nature is a fabrication because they have small errors and their ‘facts’ arent ironclad ?

  5. BLiP 5

    The Lord also claims to have won the Falklands War single handedly, that he would have prevented the AIDS crisis, and saved the UK from the poll tax.

    At least he’s modest about his feats in the Olympics.

    • zelda 5.1

      Careful, you are taking someones elses words and then saying they are those of Monckton.

      But this seems to be a direct quote.
      “‘Well,’ he says, breezily, ‘for a few years, the temperature will continue to rise, but nowhere near as fast as the alarmists would wish it to rise. ”

      Temperatures continue to rise !!. Doesnt sound like a denier to me

      • BLiP 5.1.1

        Mate, the only thing Monckton is denying is reality.

        • zelda 5.1.1.1

          So if he made a prediction 20 years ago like Hansen did, and was out by a factor from 100 to 1000, he would be out of touch from reality then.

          Its a double standard, Gore gets ( some ) his facts wrong but gets ( half) a Nobel Prize.
          Hansen makes alarmist comments 20 years ago which are wrong and is a prophet

          Monckton doesnt get all his claims perfectly lined up and is ‘looney’

  6. Rich 6

    I wonder if he was responsible for some of Thatcher’s increasingly foam-flecked attacks on Germany and its leaders around the time of German reunification.

  7. zelda 7

    Just when you thought it was all settled.

    [deleted]

    http://masterresource.org/?p=4307

    [deleted]

    [lprent: One of my troll signatures is someone who copies and pastes stuff from the net without bothering to indicate what is quoted (use blockquote – see the FAQ on quoting ) and what is their comment. In this case you didn’t even bother to make any substantive comment on the topic. This site is here to debate. It isn’t a copy paste area. Take a week off for being stupid and reflect on how to contribute. Oh and read the policy of this site.
    For anyone interested, I’ve left the link in and zelda’s ‘contribution’. However this is plastered over the CCD net’s at present. ]

    • Zorr 7.1

      zelda, if you had just bothered to read the comments section there has already been a commenter who has
      a) brought up some serious issues with the data in the paper
      and
      b) posted links to more fully worded write-ups of the errors in the paper with both the data and the findings

      I will repost the link to the latter here:
      http://www.drroyspencer.com/2009/11/some-comments-on-the-lindzen-and-choi-2009-feedback-study/

      Do me a favor, and stop leaving me to tidy up after your messes.

    • ha ha ha (I'm stupid) 7.2

      God you are an obnoxious hypocritrical wanker Lyn, why don’t you pull your head out of your arse ; at your age you should know better.

      [lprent: Why can’t you learn to write rational comments? I’ve just had a look at the ones you’ve written previously. They don’t show any signs of being able to discourse on any of the topics you’ve discussed.

      Are you really as stupid as your comments suggest? Why should I care about your opinion?

      Ummm I’ll demonstrate my opinion of you. Name amendment coming up…]

  8. gomango 8

    Slightly off topic but there are some very interesting developments going on right now re ETS in Europe. And before anyone attacks me personally let me acknowledge up front I believe in the need for reducing greenhouse emissions, but I’m not sure a flawed ETS will actually do what people expect. In fact it is probably a worse outcome than doing nothing as a flawed scheme has no effect but also takes away the imperative to do something.

    I’ve long believed that the way the European ETS is set up is close to corrupt. Exclusion of certain French and German industries on employment grounds, careful selection of base line date to advantage Europe, and the lack of verification of emissions levels particularly in eastern Europe and Russia are all problematic. Imagine Russia, home of the most concentrated polluting industries in the world on a per capita basis being a net seller of credits! Its just like money – you can invent as many credits as you need. This time though the oligarchs will be stealing off other countries rather than their own.

    Anyway, back on point, recently Poland and Estonia won a court case which essentially said the European Commission does not have the right to impose caps on member states. So at least for the next 3 years Euopean states essentially have the right to set their own cap levels – voila they are all net carbon absorbers rather than emitters. And whatever emissions countries dont use in the next 3 years can be carried forward into the 2013-20 period. And you can be sure there’ll be plenty of other fiddles once 2013 rolls around.

    Credits are now trading at EUR15 a tonne – well down and going lower. There is plenty of research around that values carbon on a “no cheating” basis of 25 to 40 EUR a tonne. The discrepancy is the amount of cheating going on.

  9. Everyone knows that preventing climate change, or at least the worst consequences of it, is not going to be easy. While the task required is large and difficult, there are some simple, quick, and easy fixes that can make a real difference, and perhaps even buy us more time. But they are being ignored.

    http://www.selfdestructivebastards.com/2009/11/low-hanging-fruit.html

  10. ben 10

    Rob, assuming it is you who is responsible for this post – it is pathetic. You do yourself no credit whatsoever by attacking the personal foibles of your critics and so studiously avoiding the topic at hand. In fact I almost can’t believe that a learned individual such as yourself would either knowingly stoop to such a level or fail to recognise the age-old fallacy that is the ad hominem. Monckton wins this argument hands down merely by being willing to engage the issue.

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