Climate Science Glossary

Term Lookup

Enter a term in the search box to find its definition.

Settings

Use the controls in the far right panel to increase or decrease the number of terms automatically displayed (or to completely turn that feature off).

Term Lookup

Settings


All IPCC definitions taken from Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Working Group I Contribution to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Annex I, Glossary, pp. 941-954. Cambridge University Press.

Home Arguments Software Resources Comments The Consensus Project Translations About Donate

Twitter Facebook YouTube Pinterest

RSS Posts RSS Comments Email Subscribe


Climate's changed before
It's the sun
It's not bad
There is no consensus
It's cooling
Models are unreliable
Temp record is unreliable
Animals and plants can adapt
It hasn't warmed since 1998
Antarctica is gaining ice
View All Arguments...



Username
Password
Keep me logged in
New? Register here
Forgot your password?

Latest Posts

Archives

Monckton Misrepresents Scientists' Own Work (Part 1)

Posted on 21 February 2012 by dana1981, Alex C, Tom Curtis

Monckton Myths (200 x 70 pixels) On 19 July 2011, Monckton debated Richard Denniss, a prominent Australian economist, author and public policy commentator.  During that debate, Monckton delivered his usual Gish Gallop, repeating a number of long-debunked myths and misrepresenting climate science research.  A few days later, we at Skeptical Science detailed the various Monckton misrepresentations in the debate.

Monckton has recently responded to our comments, defending his debate arguments.  However, Monckton's defense amounts to little more than additional misrepresentations.  As John Cook recently alluded to, we will proceed to examine the mishmash of Monckton misrepresentations that ensued.

Monckton addresses John Cook throughout his response even though the Skeptical Science post was written by dana1981 (Dana Nuccitelli), as clearly indicated at the top of the post.  Unfortunately as we'll show here, this careless reading of the Skeptical Science post is symptomatic of Monckton's constant problems misreading - and consequently misrepresenting - the climate science literature (as we'll see here in Part 1), specific situations (Part 2), and reality in general (Part 3).

The most interesting responses to Monckton's presentations have involved demonstrations that he has misrepresented climate scientists' work (i.e. by John Abraham and Tim Lambert).  Here we will see that Monckton continues with this unfortunate habit.

Monckton Misrepresents Climate Sensitivity

In his recent blog post on Watts Up With That (linked above), Monckton claims there is no consensus regarding how much warming increased atmospheric CO2 will cause - also known as "climate sensitivity."  This is simply untrue.  Both the 2007 IPCC report and Knutti and Hegerl (2008) included literature reviews, examining climate sensitivity estimates using a wide range of methods, data, and timeframes.  In both literature reviews, the clear consensus was that climate sensitivity is between 2 and 4.5°C for doubled CO2 (Figure 1).

Various estimates of climate sensitivity

Figure 1: Distributions and ranges for climate sensitivity from different lines of evidence. The circle indicates the most likely value. The thin colored bars indicate very likely value (more than 90% probability). The thicker colored bars indicate likely values (more than 66% probability). Dashed lines indicate no robust constraint on an upper bound. The IPCC likely range (2 to 4.5°C) and most likely value (3°C) are indicated by the vertical grey bar and black line, respectively (adapted from Knutti and Hegerl 2008)

In disputing this consensus, Monckton lists a few papers which he purports demonstrate that climate sensitivity is low.  In some cases he has misrepresented the papers, as they make no assertions about climate sensitivity whatsoever.  In other cases, he references papers by the same few "skeptics" which subsequent research has demonstrated are flawed.

Douglass et al. (2004): attempted to estimate the climate sensitivity to changes in solar irradiance, and found a sensitivity parameter of 0.63°C per W/m2.  This equates to 2.3°C warming for a 3.7 W/m2 radiative forcing (the forcing caused by a doubling of atmospheric CO2).  This sensitivity is within the IPCC range (2 to 4.5°C), and thus this paper does not support a low sensitivity argument.

Douglass et al. (2007): deals with tropical troposphere temperatures and does not even discuss climate sensitivity.  Monckton also mischaracterizes the 'hot spot' as a fingerprint of human warming - it is not.  Monckton also fails to mention the statistically flawed methodology in this paper, identified by Santer et al. (2008).

Coleman and Thorne (2005): like Douglass (2007), deals with tropical troposphere temperatures, not climate sensitivity.

Shaviv (2005): has concluded that climate sensitivity is low because galactic cosmic rays have contributed substantially to global temperature changes.  Shaviv's conclusions are contradicted by virtually every other study on the subject of galactic cosmic rays.

Tsonis et al. (2006): fake skeptics frequently misrepresent this paper, claiming, like Monckton, that it attributes much of the recent warming to natural variability.  In reality the paper specifically discussed natural variability superimposed on an anthropogenic warming trend.  Moreover, a paper by co-author Swanson (2009) noted that if the climate is more sensitive to internal variability than currently thought, this would also mean climate is more sensitive to imposed forcings like CO2, and is thus an argument for high climate sensitivity.

 Wentz et al. (2007): dealt with precipitation, not climate sensitivity.  The paper finds that while atmospheric water vapor has increased as expected, precipitation has increased more than predicted by climate models.  Note that   Monckton wrongly claims Wentz et al. concluded evaporation has risen 3 times faster than expected; water vapor was on par with expectations, and it was precipitation that has risen faster than expected.  The potential effects regarding global warming (and implicitly climate sensitivity) are unclear, as stated in the paper (in fact the paper does not even mention climate sensitivity).  Monckton claims that because precipitation has increased roughly 3 times faster than climate models expect, this means climate sensitivity is 3 times lower than expected.  This conclusion is wholly unjustified; even if we knew the implications of increased precipitation on climate sensitivity, the hydrological cycle is quite obviously not the only global warming feedback.

Paltridge et al. (2009): is a paper about specific humidity which draws no conclusions about climate sensitivity.  Paltridge himself also noted that while their paper found decreasing specific humidity, it relied on problematic radiosonde (weather balloon) data.  Subsequent research using satellite data has demonstrated that specific humidity is increasing as expected.

Douglass & Christy (2009): was published in Energy&Environment, which is not considered a legitimate peer-reviewed journal.  The paper attempted to estimate climate sensitivity based on just lower troposphere temperatures in the tropics, which could be described as 'cherry picking' convenient data.  This is also the third Douglass paper referenced by Monckton.

Lindzen and Choi (2009): relied on short-term data with conveniently chosen starting and ending points, using data from only the tropics.  Monckton also failed to mention that several subsequent papers have demonstrated that this paper is flawed and its conclusions regarding low climate sensitivity are unsupported.

Spencer and Braswell (2010):  this paper essentially suggested that cloud cover changes will act as a strong negative feedback and offset global warming.  Monckton neglects to mention that Dessler (2010) found that the global cloud feedback is likely positive, and does not appear to be strongly negative.  A number of other studies have also suggested a positive cloud feedback.

Spencer and Braswell (2011): subsequent research has demonstrated that Spencer and Braswell were not testing climate sensitivity, but rather models' ability to reproduce the El Niño Southern Oscillation.  Monckton also neglecte to metion that Spencer and Braswell omitted inconvenient data from their published results, as shown by Dessler (2011).  Thus like Lindzen and Choi, their conclusions regarding low climate sensitivity are unsupported.

Loehle & Scafetta (2011): this paper used an oversimplified climate model which fails to reproduce past climate changes, overestimated the natural contribution to 20th Century warming, and confused equilibrium with transient climate sensitivity, amongst its numerous fundamental flaws.

Overall, amongst the 12 papers which Monckton claims support low climate sensitivity, 5 do not even discuss climate sensitivity, 1 suggests climate sensitivity falls within the stated IPCC range, 1 tries to blame global warming on galactic cosmic rays, 1 was published in Energy&Environment, and 4 have been debunked by subsequent research and/or are riddled with fundamental flaws. 

Even ignoring the fundamental flaws and subsequent research, Monckton has only identified 6 papers which actually suggest climate sensitivity is low, as compared to the dozens of papers identified in Knutti and Hegerl (2008) which are consistent with the IPCC climate sensitivity range. 

In some of these papers, the implications for climate sensitivity (if any) is unclear (e.g. the 'hot spot' and greater than expected precipitation); however, Monckton is in no position to make those determinations himself.  If the scientists themselves do not draw any conclusions about the implications of their research on climate sensitivity, Monckton should not misrepresent their research by drawing unsupported conclusions.

Monckton Misrepresents Economic Effects of CO2 Limits

In our original post, we pointed out the consensus amongst economists with expertise in climate that CO2 limits will help the economy (Figure 2), because climate mitigation is cheaper than adaption (Figure 3). 

should US reduce emissions

 

Figure 2: New York University survey results of economists with climate expertise when asked under what circumstances the USA should reduce its emissions

Figure 3:  Approximate costs of climate action (green) and inaction (red) in 2100 and 2200. Sources: German Institute for Economic Research and Watkiss et al. 2005

Monckton begs to differ, citing economics reviews by Tol (2009) and Lomborg (2007).  However, Lomborg (2007) appears to be a reference to Lomborg's book rather than a peer-reviewed paper.  Tol (2009) is indeed a peer-reviewed overview of some climate economics research, but contrary to Monckton's claims, it concludes:

"A government that uses the same 3 percent discount rate for climate change as for other decisions should levy a carbon tax of $25 per metric ton of carbon (modal value) to $50/tC (mean value). A higher tax can be justified by an appeal to the high level of risk, especially of very negative outcomes, not captured in the standard estimates (Weitzman, forthcoming)."

"There is a strong case for near-term action on climate change, although prudence may dictate phasing in a higher cost of carbon over time"

Monckton has misrepresented Tol by claiming that his research concludes the costs of climate action will exceed the costs of inaction - Tol quite clearly concludes a carbon tax would be beneficial in this paper.  Tol's review also relies heavily on the work of Nordhaus, who has similarly been misrepresented by the fake skeptics, and who also has concluded that reducing CO2 emissions will save money and benefit the economy.  Note also that Tol and Nordhaus are two of the most conservative economists in their estimates of the costs of climate change, and yet they both support carbon pricing mechanisms; a fact which clearly supports the economic consensus in support of carbon limits.

Monckton Misrepresents Ice Cores and the Met Office

In discussing whether the Earth's climate is generally stable or unstable, Monckton made a number of incorrect claims about the Younger Dryas event.  For example, he referenced Antarctic temperatures, when the event is actually observable in Greenland, not Antarctic ice core records.  The temperature change Monckton refers to also occurred over a span of approximately 40 years, not 3 years, as Monckton asserts.

Regardless, Monckton's original argument that there just can't be a 5°C global surface temperature warming "overnight" (over approximately 250 years, in our case) simply has no basis in reality.  Given a sufficiently large radiative forcing, there is no physical reason why this warming could not occur.  Monckton also misrepresents the UK Met Office, claiming:

"We now have confirmation from the UK Met Office that there has been no “global warming” to speak of for 15 years."

Monckton did not provide a source to support this assertion, but he may refer to the David Rose Daily Mail article which made similar claims.  The UK Met Office responded to that article, saying (emphasis added):

"This article includes numerous errors in the reporting of published peer reviewed science undertaken by the Met Office Hadley Centre and for Mr. Rose to suggest that the latest global temperatures available show no warming in the last 15 years is entirely misleading."

It would seem that Monckton has quite misrepresented the Met Office as well.  The HadCRUT3 data set does show relatively little surface warming over the past 15 years (0.02°C), but that timeframe also just happens to start at the beginning of the largest El Niño in the past century (thus choosing it as a starting point is cherry picking, as illustrated in The Escalator).  Moreover, we know that HadCRUT3 has a cool bias, and will soon be replaced with HadCRUT4, which - among other revisions - will include more temperature data in the Arctic (the fastest-warming region).  Even cherry picking the convenient 1997 starting date, temperature data from NASA GISS shows 0.14°C surface warming despite virtually every non-greenhouse gas temperature influence acting in the cooling direction over that period.

The Met Office also would not say there has been no global warming, because Met Office scientists would not ignore the vast majority of the heat that is going into the oceans (i.e. Figure 4).

don't look here

Figure 4: Total global heat content, data from Church et al 2011. Crossed-out data are ignored by Christopher Monckton, but not by the Met Office scientists.

In Part 2 we will examine further Monckton misrepresentations of scientific research, reports, and other specific situations in his response to our critique of his factually-lacking debate performance.

0 0

Bookmark and Share Printable Version  |  Link to this page | Repost this Article Repost This

Comments

Comments 1 to 33:

  1. The links under "detailed the various Monckton misrepresentations in the debate." and "Church et al 2011." don't work.

    (Delete this post after correction if you want)
    0 0
  2. The link to Church et al 2011 in the last paragraph has a typo, a missing slash before the www.
    0 0
  3. Bless you for having the patience to do this Dana. I also wonder if it's worth pointing out in a summary not only that he is wrong in the particulars, but that his positions are actually often self-contradictory and mutually exclusive. For example, in this case he argues in one breath for low climate sensitivity (by cherry picking tropical data) while invoking other factors (i.e., cosmic rays) that would require extremely high climate sensitivity. His just not arguing a coherent position.
    0 0
  4. Thanks Stephen - Alex and Tom also made substantial contributions to these 3 posts. In one of the remaining two, we'll also see Monckton making the 'MWP was hotter than present' argument, which also contradicts his 'sensitivity is low' position. 'Skeptics' aren't exactly known for their self-consistency, as we all know.
    0 0
  5. Sorry...noticed that Tom and Alex contributed after posting. Kudos for them too! As for self-consistency among 'skeptics', you're right of course. But often you hear inconsistent arguments from different quarters. That makes it harder to get traction with the consistency argument.

    Here, however, we see it in one man because he is trying to embody the cause. It speaks to his personal credibility that he can't even bother to worry about consistency. His disdain for it, along with his causual treatment of the facts, his misrepresentations of the scientists and papers he cites and his inability to ever admit error are all reasons I just won't pay him heed again.
    0 0
  6. Monckton has no credibility whatsoever. The first time I saw a video of him, the gross errors in the first seconds of it had me wonder why people weren't getting up and leaving. It is beyond me why anyone would even pay attention to his ramblings. It is a strange world indeed where such buffoonery as his speeches can gather traction. It reveals how badly some want to believe a certain way.
    0 0
  7. A huge cheer to the work done on this topic. Using a Douglass paper in support of the sensitivity issue ... smooth ... and very cold.

    The radar went off over the Met Office confirmation quote. A comment section on the CBC website (Canada); an article about serious concerns in the science community over government muzzling; that exact phrase was in a comment without source. Maybe it was ripped off the JoNova slogsite in early February. Or it's another Goebbels wannabe.

    One of the best SKS originals. All thumbs go up.
    0 0
  8. Gleick admits he is Heartland Insider, claims he did not fake memo

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/peter-h-gleick/-the-origin-of-the-heartl_b_1289669.html

    Shields up! I predict a flood of deniers here any time now.
    0 0
  9. Set phasers on obliterate.
    0 0
  10. When you read in-depth posts like this and watch the many videos exposing Monckton’s gross misinformation, it also puts the spotlight on the blog site WUWT and the Alex Jones Show because they eagerly host Monckton as a climate commentator. They repeatedly give him a public megaphone to trumpet his bunkum.

    May they continue to do so because it’s then easy for the rationalising public to see just how hollow the whole climate “skeptic” argument really is.

    I look forward to reading the other posts in this series.
    0 0
  11. As unfortunate it is to hear that Peter was the "Heartland Insider," that topic is not pertinent to this thread, and it might not be helpful predicting - and perhaps thus precipitating - a contrarian "flood" where the discussion is not relevant.
    0 0
  12. It struck me that it is possible that Monckton actually believes what he is saying. I suspect that stretches credulity for many here, but keep it in mind. It might make for more effective tactics.
    0 0
  13. I think Monckton almost certainly believes what he's saying. Most denialists do. It's more of a Dunning-Kruger problem than a dishonesty problem, except to the extent that denial causes a person to be dishonest with himself.
    0 0
  14. Chris G @12 and dana1981 @13, while it may be true for some of his claims, in general I disagree.
    0 0
  15. If I were to guess, it would be that 1) he believes the conspiracy stuff, 2) he also believes in his ideological correctness and 3) he believes in himself (i.e., he's arrogant). In him "the ends justify the means" and "D-K effect" bleed together to some degree. He may actually believe that his reinterpretations of the science are more correct. That doesn't excuse him though. It's still negligent.

    In any case, it all makes impossible to have a real substantive conversation with the man about much of anything. Any attempt to engage him really comes down to an attempt to address his audience.
    0 0
  16. Dana,

    Oh, I think I see.

    I read Monckton's reply at WUWT, where he claimed you (although he seems to be confused as to your name) had called him a liar. I gave it a half-hearted look to see where you had said that, failed to find it, and simply guessed that you had gotten fed up and short of temper at some point.

    It appears that Monckton misrepresents again; you said he was mistaken, he claimed you had called him a liar.

    Have to admit it was a bit disheartening to see the crowd congratulating Monckton on his defeat of Cook when it wasn't even John he was engaged with. If that represents the average person, it doesn't bode well.

    Tom, yeah, I know. But, a lot of people believe what he tells them, and that means he is an either extremely evil and skilled liar, or he is self-deluding. What's the saying, something about not attributing to evil what can be explained by incompetence, but don't rule out evil.
    0 0
  17. Aye Stephen, that's what I was alluding to. Address the audience, Monckton will never admit defeat.

    Hah, can we call him the Black Knight?
    He is a Lord after all.

    I suppose that leaves someone here as galloping around with coconuts.
    0 0
  18. With Tom on that one. The pigeon-hole DK reference holds up; but the 'great' pro-pollutionists like Skinner, Idso, and Moncton, first and foremost believe in themselves. Truth v lies is malleable and adjustable - the priority trumps the value of bland truth. Skinner's UHI/Unstoppables; Idso's Petition/Fertilizer; Moncton's Presentation, Lomborg's Cost/Benefits ... every debate and word-joust has the road sign "Caution, Slippery Ahead".

    If you're looking for ones who actually believe in their case - turn right at the corner of McIntyre & McKitrick; head down Barton Street to where it turns into Inhoffe Blvd; and head straight to Christie&Spencer Circle. It's just past Lintzen's Curiosity Shop.

    If it's a contest for artificial supports - how about Moncton's need to be a Lord, versus Lintzen's need for the "of MIT" title?
    0 0
  19. Chris G @16,

    Monckton is far from "self-deluding" and "can be explained by incompetence" type of person. The other characterisation of your: "evil and skilled liar", does fit him much better. Because Monckton's been reminded many times about his mistakes (sometimes very gross and childish as Tom has shown us here) but he never publicly admitted them nor apologised for them. He continues to attack everyone who disagrees with him and even threaten others with court actions.

    About the phenomenon of some crowds (i.e. WUWT) who follow and cherish him: this is really not that strange. We had even stranger cases in history, when the entire nations have been following charismatic speakers, regardless of their objective credibility and their morale.

    I think Monckton likes such modus operandi, because he did even sees his opponents as such, e.g.: here. But in the case of prof Garnaut, he made an exception to his rules and apologized later on.
    0 0
  20. Chris G @16: I present as exhibit A the following sequence of events:

    On June 22nd, 2011 Monckton said of Ross Garnaut's opinions:



    "...that again is a fascist point of view that you merely accept authority without question. Heil Hitler, on we go."


    Later he apologized saying:

    "Let me begin with an unreserved apology. In a recent lecture, I should not have described the opinions of Professor Ross Garnaut, the Australian Government’s climate economist, as 'fascist'. I apologise humbly."


    But later still he qualified that apology by saying:

    " I apologised because even the slightest suggestion that one of his opinions was 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 gone out from there, but somehow it did. And of course, in those circumstances the only thing to do..."


    Now this is very simple. The difference between what Monckton purported to do in the first instance, and what he later claims he did is this:

    In the first instance, he appears to apologize for his saying things that were offensive.

    His later qualification makes it plain that he is apologizing for it becoming known that he made offensive remarks.

    On the very best interpretation, he is apologizing for the offense but not the offensiveness of the remarks, ie, he is apologizing that his remarks caused offense because they became known, but not apologizing for the remarks being offensive, for as he claims, whether or not they are offensive is purely a matter of convention, differing among different groups.

    Assume, for the moment, the best interpretation. In that case the claim to apologize "unreservedly" is a bald faced lie. If you qualify unreservedly, you qualify without reservation, and the claim that his remarks are not offensive per se, but only offensive by perception among some groups is certainly a reservation. So large a reservation as, IMO, to make the apology meaningless.

    What is more, Monckton is not entitled to this generous interpretation of his remarks. If you are sorry for something, you try not to do it again, but shortly after his damning admission of the reservations in his "unreserved apology" he said on a public platform:

    "What we have here is naked, left-wing, political interference in the right of somebody who is invited to your country to speak freely at various venues all round the country. Now when you get that sort of behaviour, let us remember where that sort of behaviour last happened. It happened in the 1930s 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."


    So, far from being regretful of suggesting somebody was a fascist, he now identifies an entire organization as a fascist organization. And if he had no regrets about calling people fascists, then he cannot have sincerely apologized for it. At most, to the extent that his apology was genuine, it was an expression of regret over the inconvenience of being found out.

    And just so that we are fully aware of the true moral depths of this loathsome man, having riled the crowd up against the ABC, and having specifically mentioned by name an ABC reporter who he knew to be in the crowd, saying that she had asked "... deliberately offensive questions", with the consequence that that ABC reporter was jostled and jeered by the crowd, and possibly would have had worse if not for a few honourable people.
    0 0
  21. I concede the point.
    Though, I maybe I should have added a third alternative, both.
    0 0
  22. Chris G @16, we did say in our initial response:
    "Monckton spent almost the entire debate misrepresenting the scientific (and economic) literature at best, lying at worst."
    Because he made a number of demonstrably false claims which were either simply wrong (if he was unaware they were wrong) or lies (if he knew they were wrong). This is of course not the same as calling a liar, but merely pointing out the possibility that his false statements were lies, if the latter case were true. The same is true here - Monckton is either ignorant or lying. That's the reality of the situation, and if he chooses to take offense to that, maybe he should try expending more effort in actually getting one or two arguments correct.
    0 0
  23. Gee,I hope you submitted this article to Monckton before posting it.You know how he insists that all criticisms of him must be vetted by him personally before the are made public (although I doubt that he extends the same courtesy to the targets of his nasty attacks)
    0 0
  24. It's almost comical how Monckton twists and distorts Garnaut's words. Garnaut says in essence that a rational person thinking about the issue in a rational fashion and weighing the probability that scientific maisntream has it righ would come to the conclusion it most likely has it right. This is obviously the description of a careful, well thought out reflexion. In Monckton bizarro world, it becomes "accept authority without question." It is appalling that ther are so many people who do not see the irony but in fact agree with him.


    The Moncktons of this world are extremely dangerous. They believe in their own nonsense. Whenever they manage to gather a following, they get intoxicated with that success and believe even more in it. Then they get crowds excited to the point of inciting them to actually carry on actions. Funny how Monckton projects and at the same time renders the accusation of acting exactly the way he describes moot, just because he used it first. I think Rove inaugurated this method with great success based on Luntz' ideas during the Bush campaign.

    The virulence and toxicity of the mind manipulators in the US has spilled over and reached concerning proportions.
    0 0
  25. tmac57 @23: Monckton's article that he posted to WUWT stated that he requested us to publish his post, and we did receive such a request. It wasn't 24 hours later that he published on WUWT, and as I understand it we were not able to make any sort of communication with him in that time frame to take advantage of that courtesy. If one can even call it a "courtesy," of course - we were requested to publish, not to review and vet.
    0 0
  26. The question of what effect increased cloud cover will have on climate change remains. In that respect, can anyone tell me why Venus which has complete unbroken cloud cover is so hot at the surface. One would make a wild, first approximation guess that despite her nearness to the sun, the cloud would reflect 90% of the incoming solar radiation. What is happening here and is there any relevance to cloud cover on earth. Has it anything to do with the composition of her clouds which, I believe, are sulphuric acid.
    0 0
  27. Adding to Alex C @25, we also wrote to Monckton requesting that he clarify certain points, and he declined to reply. People who have read Monckton's various responses to Abraham and to "John Cook" (sic) will have noticed that he makes a point of saying that his critics need only to have written to him for clarification for detailed citations, and clarification of various arguments. As it turns out, when put to the test that is an empty offer made solely for rhetorical effect.
    0 0
  28. In one episode of Fawlty Towers a guest, who is a psychiatrist, turns to his wife and says of Basil Fawlty: "There's enough material there for a whole week-end conference." I can imagine a real-life psychiatrist saying much the same of Monckton.

    Watching him in various videos, not all of them concerning climate change, I am of the opinion that he has a deep psychological need to be the centre of attention. He compounds this with symptoms of a superiority complex. What I can’t decide is whether he has an inferiority complex presenting as a superiority complex, which is not uncommon, or that he genuinely has a superiority complex. I hope for his sake it is the latter, as it will give him a defence. If it is the former, then all it explains is his motive for what would have to be described as deliberate acts of deception on an issue that threatens a great many human lives.

    I think is he is on borrowed time. When the next El Nino comes along, it will blow all the “It has stopped!” nonsense out of the window. Extreme weather events are not to be wished for as always there are people who suffer, but they do have a silver lining in that they lend weight to the fact that climate change is a danger and that if we carry on as the likes of Monckton would have us do, then it can only get more dangerous, and probably extremely so.

    I don’t know if we are actually there yet, but if we aren’t, we are not far off the time when Monckton and his ilk should be investigated in relation to a charge of committing a crime against humanity. Unless, of course, trying to hinder, and if possible stop, the action that we need to take in order to save large numbers of human lives is not a crime against humanity. It would make sense if any lawyers reading this could explore this matter and advise us accordingly. One thing I do know is that any jury would not consider only 3% of climate scientists supporting their case a ‘reasonable doubt’ when deliberating their verdict, especially when it can be shown that the work of this 3% has been debunked and when it is their own children and grandchildren that are destined to be victims of the crimes of those whose verdicts they will be deliberating.

    I sometimes wonder if Monckton, and those of a similar persuasion, think this is all a game and that there are no consequences for their behaviour. It is about time they were not only disabused of that notion, but also made aware of just how punitive those consequences are likely to be. Perhaps their only salvation is to get on board and help us fight climate change together instead of taking up our time in fighting them instead of it. A big step. And one that will soon be too late for them to make. It will not be long until such a move would be seen as purely cynical.

    Future historians will no doubt look back at this period and be aghast at just how clear the science was regarding the danger and also how urgent the need for action. They will also see just how powerful was the lobby refuting it. I imagine they will be dumbfounded when they see that many members of this lobby were doing so purely for commercial reasons, even in the knowledge that it clearly meant that their own children and grandchildren would suffer. I wonder what a psychiatrist would make of such behaviour. At least Basil Fawlty makes me laugh. Monckton does just the opposite.
    0 0
  29. Typical Moncton - calls someone fascist while displaying the nazi swastica.
    0 0
  30. Alex 25 and Tom 27- Yes, I suspected that his lordship was making his protestations insincerely for the benefit of his audience.It does amaze me though that they never seem to challenge him on any point,regardless how transparent the contradiction,or how offensive the tactic (swastikas...heil Hitler...really!!?)What does this ultimately say about the ethics of these so called 'skeptics'?
    0 0
  31. Funglestrumpet, I am not qualified to diagnoses but I seem to recall that what you describe may be called histrionic personality disorder.
    0 0
  32. Lessons from Past Predictions: Wallace Broecker may help elsa's understanding on this issue.
    0 0
  33. Dana, I think you put above on wrong thread (should be Duped on climate change)
    0 0

You need to be logged in to post a comment. Login via the left margin or if you're new, register here.



The Consensus Project Website

TEXTBOOK

THE ESCALATOR

(free to republish)

THE DEBUNKING HANDBOOK

BOOK NOW AVAILABLE

The Scientific Guide to
Global Warming Skepticism

Smartphone Apps

iPhone
Android
Nokia

© Copyright 2014 John Cook
Home | Links | Translations | About Us | Contact Us