Is the Telegraph censoring criticism of climate-change deniers?


by Sunny Hundal    
2:23 pm - June 16th 2010

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About ten days ago, Telegraph employee and blogger Tom Chivers wrote a blog post titled ‘Viscount Monckton is an embarrassment to global warming sceptics everywhere‘.

In the blog post he wrote:

Entertaining news of the week: high-profile global warming sceptic Viscount (Christopher) Monckton has been caught out in an embarrassing example of (if we’re charitable) utter scientific illiteracy, in one of the most magisterial scientific take-downs on record.

He goes on to explain that Monckton giving a lecture at a university in Minnesota where he made a series of “startling claims”.

that global warming has been ‘disproved’, that the Arctic ice is not melting, that projections of sea level rise are a mere 6cm and the oceans are not warming, that mediaeval times were warmer than today, that the Sun has caused what warming there is, that the whole thing is a conspiracy and a fraud. He gave impressive, scientific-sounding references for each of his statements.

Unluckily for him, an audience member – John Abraham, a professor of mechanical engineering who has published 80 papers on global warming-related topics – was sceptical of his claims. So he checked each of the references.

Abraham published a paper here that has gone everywhere. It is one of the biggest and most devastating take-downs on the issue.

But here is the curious thing. First Tom Chivers updates his blog post to say that Monckton had been in touch and, “in a rather charming fashion, expressed disappointment”. He said he refused to take the blog post down but then abprutly deleted it.

So why did he delete it? You can infact still read the blog post here.

I asked Tom Chivers to respond but he declined.

What’s also interesting about the post is that Tom Chivers attacks two of the Telegraph’s biggest climate-change denying nutjobs: James Delingpole and Christopher Brooker.

Lord Monckton is a fantasist, a blethering popinjay useful only for amusement. He can be safely ignored in all serious scientific debate. But it reflects badly on those people who want seriously to argue against the science of climate change that this capering jester is among the public figureheads of their movement. If I were, for example, m’colleagues James Delingpole or Christopher Booker, I would publically wash my hands of Lord Monckton, and soon.

James Delingpole then writes a blog post expressing his admiration for Monckton and attacking “some other libtard journalist” (presumably referring to Chivers).

Delingpole previously posted the address of an ordinary voter, which led to him being hounded by maniacs.

In the post Delingpole admits:

Do I believe [Monckton]‘s up there with Richard Lindzen and Fred Singer in his perfect grasp of every last scientific detail? No.

Is he given, occasionally, to overegging the pudding – such as when he ended his rousing Heartland conference keynote speech with a sob-choked rendition of the Gettysburg Address? Er, yes… All hail Monckton. I’m proud to call him an ally and a friend.

They deserve each other. Monckton has, in the past, falsely claimed to be a member of the House of Lords and also a Nobel laureate.

He has now been appointed a deputy leader at UKIP. Maybe he could be persuaded to host book launches about the Bilderberg Group?

More on this by George Monbiot and at Greenfyre blog.

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments


Whenever I see people denying climate change is man made I always think they’re missing the point. Surely the specific reasons that global warming is happening matter very little compared with the fact that it is happening?

Accepting that global warming is happening (well, it would be rather silly not to) then regardless of how it is/was caused we need to do something (as a race) to make sure that it doesn’t get to the point where it chokes human life.

Yes the planet has no doubt been warmer (and colder) in the past and will happily survive this current cycle but will we? For me that is the crux of the matter and all this is it/isn’t it happening is just diverting the attention from where it should be and that’s stopping (or at least slowing) it.

Delingpole is like the little weaselly kid who hangs around the genuinely deranged bullies (Monckton and Booker = Gripper Stebson and Imelda Davis) laughing slightly too loudly at their jokes. And George Monbiot is Bullet Baxter, come to sort them all out.

Either that, or he’s Gareth from The Office.

Or Peter Lorre.

A mate of mine, Alex Selby, won a £1m quid bet off Moncton.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eternity_puzzle#Solution

Monckton was rather odd when he was at University, almost 40 years ago, so I’m not surprised at how odd he is now. It does surprise me, though, that anyone takes him seriously.

5. Flowerpower

Guano

It does surprise me, though, that anyone takes him seriously.

Maybe it’s because he had a pretty successful career as a journalist, working as a leader writer for the Yorkshire Post and the Evening Standard, as assistant editor of Today (the tabloid) and managing editor of the Sunday Telegraph?

Or maybe because of his four years in the 10 Downing Street Policy Unit as a special advisor or his time as a policy wonk at the Centre for Policy Studies?

Nah, you’re right. There’s simply no accounting for it.

Thanks for covering this Sunny.

In answer to your question “Is the Telegraph censoring criticism of climate-change deniers?” I would say Yes, as I very much doubt Chivers was so intimidated by Monckton that he removed his own blog posting.

@Flowerpower

How seriously do you take this extract from Monckton’s CV:

“2008-present: RESURREXI Pharmaceutical: Director responsible for invention and development of a broad-spectrum cure for infectious diseases. Patents have now been filed. Patients have been cured of various infectious diseases, including Graves’ Disease, multiple sclerosis, influenza, and herpes simplex VI. Our first HIV patient had his viral titre reduced by 38% in five days, with no side-effects. Tests continue.”

http://www.ukip.org/content/latest-news/1675-christopher-a-man-of-many-talents

7. Nick Cohen is a tory

Flowerpot brain
“Maybe it’s because he had a pretty successful career as a journalist, working as a leader writer for the Yorkshire Post and the Evening Standard, as assistant editor of Today (the tabloid) and managing editor of the Sunday Telegraph?”
Those are things to make him look serios. A useless right wing journo. They are two a penny mate. Although they serve the purpose to re-enforce right wing drivel to tory clowns like yourself

“Or maybe because of his four years in the 10 Downing Street Policy Unit as a special advisor or his time as a policy wonk at the Centre for Policy Studies?”
Right wing think tank. There is job for sad sods who can’t get a job in real world. Yes he must be a right wonk.

Also flower brain why do you troll on a left of centre blog. Your lot won and in power, surely you can calm down now. Start writing letters to Dave to put public service workers out of jobs and bringing in anti muslim laws.

8. Shatterface

‘blethering popinjay’

Just worth repeating.

9. Flowerpower

Paul A

How seriously do you take this extract from Monckton’s CV..?

Either it is evidence of the softening of the brain that frequently afflicts those who desert the Conservatives for UKIP, or it is true – in which case Monckton will have the last laugh…. all the way to the bank.

Having met the man recently (for the first time) I have to say that I’m rather on Chivers side in this.

There’s lots of useful and interesting things that can be said about climate change, doubts about both extent and what we should do about it: M’Lord ain’t saying any of them. Booker does say a number of those interesting things even if not all he says is one of those interesting things.

And as for Deputy Leader, well, I begin to appreciate what Labourites must have felt with first John Prescott and now Harry Harperson….

I love Monckton. And in fact I love that Delingpole is such a big fan. The more climate change deniers are associated with them, the better.

Monckton really is a piece of work. His attempted rebuttal begins “One of the numerous Goebbelian propaganda artifices…”. Then two wo paras later he’s complaining that the perfectly polite critique of his talk is “venomously ad hominem”! What an absolute fool.

Just the latest flat earthers form the reactionary right wing.

Same as it ever was.

They would deny their own mothers if their was cash in it for them.

It does surprise me, though, that anyone takes him seriously.

Not if you look at who it is that does actually take him seriously.

Surely the specific reasons that global warming is happening matter very little compared with the fact that it is happening?

But unless we can understand why it is happening we can’t predict if it will continue and therefore require action, or make a judgement about what we can do to prevent it.

The climate change deniers use unsubstantiated science, limited trends and vague arguments to claim the same is true of the science of climate change. The right wing press is bound to try to gloss over anyone seen losing any credibility they might have managed to gain.

The hardcore nutters will never want to change their minds, as it is a matter of maintaining the lifestyles they are accustomed to, but I think the climate change argument does play into their hands.

The deniers pick at each piece of climate change science to create a vague overall argument, but in this way the pieces can often be compelling to the casual observer.

There needs to be a broader environmental argument, from Governments to grassroots; few can deny that we are living unsustainably, destroying large parts of the environment, while relying on finite resources.

In focusing mainly on climate change, where unfortunately the science is not wholly conclusive and speculative whichever way you look at it, the deniers drag the arguments down to their level.

John, what do you think the broader environmental argument should be?

“John, what do you think the broader environmental argument should be?”

I realise that isn’t aimed at me (the clue being in the “John” bit) but how about “how do we create a cleaner, richer, better world for our descendants?”

Using “richer” in it’s proper meaning, not simply the accumulation of physical goods, but in the highest standard of living possible according to those who will do that living. So, the greatest choices, the least restrictions on what our descendants can do with their three score and ten?

If we agree that bit then there’s some research we can go and look at to guide us on our way. The IPCC reports. They contain a set of economic models in the SRES.

We have four groups of such models. Globalised capitalism, regionalised and localised capitalism, globalised equity and regionalied or localised equity.( Equity standing for an economic system which worries more about the disreibution of incomes rather than the creation of them as under the capitalism models).

In terms of riches globalised capitalism wins hands down: the economy in 2100 is 11 times what it was in 1990.

In terms of emissions (and thus climate change) globalised beats localised in either the capitalist or equity variants. There are also fewer people in the globalised versions: meaning that individuals are much richer in the globalised rather than the localised versions. Indeed, in the globalised capitalism version we manage to abolish global poverty by 2100. Average global living standards reach US 1990 living standards by 2100.

Of all of the 40 different variants within those four familes there are two, a high technology version of globalised capitalism and the globalised equity version which have the lowest emissions (note, all of these models are without any specific actions to reduce emissions) and thus the least climate change. And people in the capitalist version are richer.

So, to get to this richest, cleanest, world for our descendants the IPCC is telling us we need to have globalised capitalism….and onto that we should add specific actions to reduce emissions further. Add a carbon tax and/or cap and trade and we’re there.

How about that for an environmental program?

Tim, ok fair enough, and what about Earth’s various natural resources: oil, gas, rainforest (you’re involved in metal-mining aren’t you?). Should we ensure that there’s some left over for our descendents? (Living on a planet continaining useful things might come under ‘richness’.) Or do we trust that the market will provide… somehow?

“you’re involved in metal-mining aren’t you?”

Indeed I am. Currently I’m running around trying to find a new source of a metal vital for the production of a certain type of fuel cell. The source is absolutely not going to be a mine, a hole in the ground. It’s going to be the waste piles left over from someone else’s mine. How about that for environmental goodness? Creating a renewables energy thingummy by recycling rubbish?

Being a little more serious:

“various natural resources: oil, gas, rainforest (you’re involved in metal-mining aren’t you?). Should we ensure that there’s some left over for our descendents?”

Yes, of course. And what is a “resource” depends upon the level of technology. This is something that economists try and explain all the time but rarely seems to get through. “Resources” are not something which simply exist. They are things that are created by the invention of the technology that can make use of them.

Crude oil wasn’t a resource when it was bubbling up and spoiling the water the animals depended on. When we had a use for it it became a resource.

That red mountain over there is a very nice red mountain: it’s only when you know how to smelt iron that it becomes a resource of millions of tonnes of iron ore on the hoof.

Now we might think that this is all historical but it isn’t. In the 1980s a new process was developed (sorry, can’t remember whether it was SX EW or SX SW) for copper extraction. This allowed an entirely new class of copper ores to move from being interesting dirt to a resource.

Or think of the very work that I’m doing right now. Last year the metal I’m after was a boring contaminant, something you threw away after getting out the tantalum to build mobile phones with. This year (OK, more likely next year) it’s a resource to be exploited to make fuel cells.

What is a “resource” is not something which is fixed. Thus there is no fixed level of “resources”. The level is dependent upon the technologies we have: to extract and to use.

It’s this that allows the IPCC report I mention above to point out that in the globalised capitalist world, the rich one that is on offer, resources become more readily available, not less. Just to give you the actual quote:

“Energy and mineral resources are abundant in this scenario family because of rapid technical progress, which both reduces the resources needed to produce a given level of output and increases the economically recoverable reserves.”

It might be worth actually having a look at these scnearios. The link is here:

http://www.grida.no/publications/other/ipcc_sr/?src=/climate/ipcc/emission/089.htm

That one I’ve linked to, the global capitalism one…..the assumptions are actually the most conservative of all of the different families. Growth in GDP is 3% per annum. Which is roughly what it has been since 1850. Reduction in energy intensity (ie, how much energy you need per unit of output) is 1.3%. Roughly what it has been since 1850….fertility, and thus eventually population, falls as incomes increase….roughly what has been happening since 1850. given that the best prediction about tomorrow is that it’s going to be roughly like today, predicting that the next 150 years will be pretty much like the last 150 is a very conservative estimate.

But I digress.

There are of course other resources that we want to worry about. Fish for example: I agree, current management methods are appalling and need to be changed. So too with rainforests. These are Garret Hardin’s (and Elinor Olstrom’s, to be more recent) Commons Tragedies being played out. Atmosphere, temperature,. CO2 and other pollutants. Sure, we should indeed be managing these as well: thus carbon taxes and or cap and trade.

Oil, well, I tend to think of that as being a resource that will be replaced by technological development, not exhaustion. Perhaps I am a little optimistic here….part and parcel of working in the field I do I suppose…..but I really can see that by about the time I reach my three score and ten (if I reach it of course!) we’ll have the renewable energy thing sorted.

Prices are simply coming down so fast that I just cannot see how they won’t become lower than fossil fuels (especially if we put the correct carbon taxes on them). My bet (and it is my bet as I’m putting my income, my pension and my company on the line to make it) is that a combination of solar PV to generate electricity (we can make solar PV which is 40% efficient right now. We need to be able to make it cheaper, yes, but that’s something we know that capitalism is extremely good at….note that 10% efficient solar PV is falling in price by 4% every three months…we’re already well under a $1 per Watt for the manufacturing (although not installation) of this technology) plus electrolysis of water to make H2 to power fuel cells (that’s the battery part of it) on a local, distributed, model will be the solution.

Well, I very much hope you’re right.

I understand the point about the definition of “resource” depending on current technology. At the same time, technology ain’t magic. There are also naturally imposed limitations around, the remaining energy which is stored down here in fossil fuels, the amount of energy we receive from the Sun every day being an obvious examples, and others which we may not yet even be aware of. My impression is that economists have a tendency to downplay these unforgiving boundaries, and hope (and it is just a hope, nothing more) that capitalism and technology will save us before we run into one of them. It might do, but there’s nothing in capitalism which says that a happy ending is inevitable.

Put it this way: it is certainly a theoretical possibility for a civilization to develop which uses up its current resources too fast, so they run out before its technologists can discover the next generation of resources. What’s more it could get badly stuck: if its current resources are too depleted, its technologists won’t have anything left to work with.

Obviously, we hope we’re not in that position. But just in case, might it not be prudent to rein in the resource usage, to buy some extra time for our technologists?

“the amount of energy we receive from the Sun every day being an obvious examples,”

Sure….lgiven that this is some thousands of times more than human civilisation currently uses this isn’t really a binding limit at present.

“Put it this way: it is certainly a theoretical possibility for a civilization to develop which uses up its current resources too fast, so they run out before its technologists can discover the next generation of resources. What’s more it could get badly stuck: if its current resources are too depleted, its technologists won’t have anything left to work with.”

Entirely true: which is why I’m such a supporter of market based systems. As those resources which our current technology allows us to exploit become rarer their price increases. Thus adding both to the incentives on our technologists to find the new ones and also making some already extant technologies economic.

For example, environmentalists are entirely correct, we do have solar and wind technologies which can replace fossil fuel use. They’re just vastly more expensive. As fossil fuels become rarer, they’ll become more expensive and thus the relative prices of the two methods changes.

Fair enough. I’m just pointing out that there are various horses running at different speeds: the speed at which we’re consuming fossil fuels, the speed at which CO2 is warming the planet, the speed at which new technology is developing, the speed at which the prices change, and so on. Obviously we want the right horses to win, but there are no guarantees. You don’t think it’s worth giving them a helping hand, by perhaps knobbling one or two of the others?

By the way, I could be wrong, but I thought the ratio of the sun’s energy to ours more more in the range of a hundred to one. I’m not suggesting we’re in danger of running into it imminently, but in a situation where things can grow exponentially, that’s less room for manouevre than one might have expected.

“You don’t think it’s worth giving them a helping hand, by perhaps knobbling one or two of the others?”

But I’ve even suggested knobbling….carbon tax and cap and trade.

@ 24

I understand that the global capitalism model is the most efficient way of generating wealth for the future. In an uncontrolled world market, corporations will naturally grow ever bigger, taking advantage of economies of scale to merge with and eliminate competitors and generate excess profits when they have achieved monopoly or oligopoly status in a particular market.

I am not particularly concerned about this in terms of their usage of finite resources or the application of externalities to their activities but I am concerned about the influence of large corporations on governments and the potential consequences for the individual citizen of the inevitable politico/corporate axis. We have seen some of this over the last 13 tears.

Whilst limiting the size of companies by the stringent application of competition law and defining some limitations on multi-national activity may make us marginally poorer over all, it seems to me a much less hazardous strategy than inevitably having our lives controlled from cradle to grave by leaders of super-corporations accountable only to themselves and their shareholders.

If you have the stomach for it, Monckton makes an appearance at WUWT “clarifying” his role in the Thatcher adminstration:

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/06/16/margaret-thatcher-the-world%e2%80%99s-first-climate-realist/

Clearly the man is a genius/fantasist. Decide for yourselves.

@20 Tim Worstall

” Growth in GDP is 3% per annum. Which is roughly what it has been since 1850.”

Isn’t there a point at which this compound growth will reach its limit? It is, after all, exponential?

“Isn’t there a point at which this compound growth will reach its limit?”

GDP is a measure of the value added in the economy. As long as we keep finding new ways to add value (ie, as technology continues to advance) there’s no limit.

@28 Tim Worstall

“GDP is a measure of the value added in the economy. As long as we keep finding new ways to add value (ie, as technology continues to advance) there’s no limit.”

Your faith is touching.

Given that so much recent “growth” has been due to a shared delusion that evaporated in 2008 and in privatising and commodifying things that used to be jointly owned you’ll have to forgive my scepticism.

I get the feeling you don’t fully grasp exponentials either.

@ 17 Fair question Sunny, I was contradictorily vague at the end of my comment…

I mean ‘broader’ in the sense of not focussing solely on climate change, also focussing on more tangible problems, as well as greenhouse gas emissions.

Deforestation, habitat destruction, population pressure, oil dependence and resource depletion, air and ocean pollution, all are the basis for strong arguments for immediate action without even considering the effect on the climate.

I know these problems do get a lot of coverage, but it seems most Government lines and official initiatives are directly related to climate change. With everything linked to the climate science, deniers and sceptics scoff at any evidence or argument and influence many more people.

Climate change has managed to capture public attention in the Developed World and begin some worldwide action, but I think some aspects have given the sceptics ammunition. Sustainable development should be crux of the issue and the need for change is still urgent, we’re very much on the side of the balance between development and population pressure.

While there is still good momentum with the climate change cause, in the recent economic climate the arguments against have gained pace.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying any of it’s simple and I know I’m still talking in general terms, but then I’m not in a position (and certainly not paid) to develop strategies. I’ve got a s**t job at the moment and I get to it on even sh**tier public transport.

And public transport is something that definitely needs more focus outside London, not that I’m holding out much hope for anything with this government. I suppose at least they didn’t leave me hanging on too long, it took them about a week to say they were putting the skids on new train carriages…

31. Nick Cohen is a Tory

Deforestation, habitat destruction, population pressure, oil dependence and resource depletion, air and ocean pollution, all are the basis for strong arguments for immediate action without even considering the effect on the climate.

Very true,
There is a warming of the planet probably due to a combination of natural and manmade factors
Unfortunately there is nothing we can do about that. You cannot tell China or India to slow their economies down, they will just say, with some justification, it is a form of green imperialism
There may be an upcoming problem with CO2 levels but how we solve it I haven’t a clue.
Nor does anyone else
I do remember my school work on the solar system. Although further away from the Sun, Venus has a far higher surface temperature than Mercury. This is due to it’s enhanced CO2 levels.
Or was I taught the wrong science.

NCiaT

Unfortunately there is nothing we can do about that. You cannot tell China or India to slow their economies down, they will just say, with some justification, it is a form of green imperialism

But developing countries are the ones which will, on the whole, be most affected by climate change. Western China is already experiencing large-scale desertification – not mainly due to global warming but that can only make it worse (which is where John’s point about a wider environmental narrative is relevant). Bangladesh is notoriously vulnerable to rising sea levels.
People in the developing world are well aware of the dangers they face from climate change and they want action taken to fight it, but equally they want to continue to develop and enjoy improved living standards. There is nothing wrong with that, they have no less right to decent living standards than we do, but it does create a dilemma and we have to find a way to help them develop while at the same time not adding yet more GHGs to the atmosphere.
This is not impossible, but it is a big challenge and there could be considerable costs involved. And given that climate change is a problem largely created by the West we surely have an obligation to bear a large part of this cost.

33. Nick Cohen is a Tory

I agree AA but these countries have massive populations and would impossible to impose any type of legislation.
The freakonomic guys suggest maybe we need to think of ways to absorb CO2 in large quantities.

Monckton is overblown, but comparatively speaking his level of hyperbole is much less than those who support the AGW-CO2-Catastrophe crusade such as Al Gore, Lord Sterne, etc etc.

The facts of the issue are that AGW-CO2-Catastrophe theory is a series of suppositions starting with the unquestioable: that CO2 is a greenhouse gas, but ending with the unconscionable: that the climate is a large positive feedback.

The reason a real scientific study is needed – i.e. verifiable AND falsifiable theories – is that the requirement being posted in order to avoid AGW-CO2-Catastrophe is extreme.

A 50% reduction in world carbon emissions by 2050 actually means an 86% reduction in carbon emission per person – because the world population is slated to grow about 49% in that period.

I’d like to see how an 86% reduction in carbon emissions can be achieved all across society without major hardship.

This doesn’t mean sticking solar panels on your roof, nor even driving an electric car.

The building of houses and roads, making clothes and other consumer goods, growing of food, transportation of people and goods, and EVERYTHING else you can imagine emits CO2 because everything relies on energy.

Today, energy is generated almost entirely by fossil fuels; in the future energy will STILL be generated largely by fossil fuels. The German, Dutch, and Spanish experiences clearly show that throwing masses of money doesn’t solve the problem – or even begin to reduce it.

Thus merely taxing CO2 isn’t either painful or effective.

Similarly shoddy science purporting catastrophic effects due to CO2 is equally ineffective.

@34

A 50% reduction in world carbon emissions by 2050 actually means an 86% reduction in carbon emission per person – because the world population is slated to grow about 49% in that period.

I’d like to see how an 86% reduction in carbon emissions can be achieved all across society without major hardship.

Well… if they covered the sahara desert with solar panels it would generate 630 terawatts of power. The entire planet currently uses 13.5 terawatts… so…
……….
Meanwhile, back in the real world, we’re all fucked.

“Meanwhile, back in the real world, we’re all fucked.”

Well, no.

The real problem is these ghastly fu**wits who keep saying we’ve got to reduce emissions by 20% by 2018 (or whatever it is), 30% by 2020 and so on.

For the problem is that the technological marvels which will enable us to reduce emissions (and they are coming, honest) just aren’t ready for prime time yet. Which means moving too quickly will lock us into an expensive and low energy future.

Further, all these cries about we must do something now ignore the fact that there is a natural capital stock turnover. In energy generation it last 40-50 years. Moving faster than that just means junking lots of very expensive stuff that we’ve already paid for.

What we want to be doing is replacing, as it wears out (no, not as laws, licences or permits insist that it close) the current generation and transport technologies with the newer low carbon ones. NOT throw everything away right now and build new right now.

The way to get this to work is indeed carbon taxes and cap and trade systems. But the tax starts low right now and then ramps up over the decades. The cap starts high right now but we’ve a road map for it to become very restrictive indeed….in about 30 years.

Work with the natural grain of the replacement of the infrastructure of the economy, not against it…..

37. Ryhs Williams

So Tim
Are we are talking about the fusion of hydrogen atoms into helium ones.
Maybe, the money raised by a carbon tax should be placed into that research.

“Are we are talking about the fusion of hydrogen atoms into helium ones.”

I’m unconvinced by fusion….I would love it to be true that it works, just not sure that it will.

39. Matt Munro

“John Abraham, a professor of mechanical engineering who has published 80 papers on global warming-related topics – was sceptical of his claims. So he checked each of the references.”

A professor of mecanical enginnering is suddenly an expert on global warming ??

40. Matt Munro

@ 1 “Whenever I see people denying climate change is man made I always think they’re missing the point. Surely the specific reasons that global warming is happening matter very little compared with the fact that it is happening?”

Er it’s central to the warmists argument. If global warming is “man made” then the implication is that we should all wallow in guilt and/or do something to “un make” it, like get rid of our cars and replace them with bikes, don’t leave our mobiles recharging, eat only lettuce and recycle our rubbish, because that will er save the planet if we just all do enough of it.

If it’s not man made then we can’t control it, so there’s no point doing anything

Its the old medievil religious debate about freewill vs predetermination, re-writ in a post modern context

@Matt Munro

“A professor of mecanical enginnering is suddenly an expert on global warming ??”

If you had bothered to check you would find Prof Abraham does explain his qualifications:

“I am a tenured professor at the University of St. Thomas, a private, Catholic university in Minnesota. I have taught courses in heat transfer, fluid mechanics, numerical simulation, and thermodynamics. Topics in my courses include radiation, convection, and conduction, the same physical processes which govern energy flows in the climate. My PhD thesis dealt with combined convection and radiation heat transfer. My thesis is held in the library at the University of Minnesota, it is available to the public.

My published works span many topics including convective heat transfer, radiative heat transfer, fluid mechanics, and numerical simulation. My work on numerical simulation is at the very forefront of computational fluid dynamic (cfd) modeling. I am an expert in non-linear fluid simulations. My background does not span the entire range of topics related to climate change (no one is able to claim this), it does cover many of the essential subtopics.”

Monckton has a degree in Classics.

In any case, qualifications aren’t the point. The evidence Monckton cites to support his case has been checked. Virtual none of it actually supports what Moinckton claims. Monckton is wrong.

@c1ue

“Monckton is overblown, but comparatively speaking his level of hyperbole is much less than those who support the AGW-CO2-Catastrophe crusade such as Al Gore, Lord Sterne, etc etc.”

The above is overblown hyperbole. Al Gore might have been guilty of glossing over some of the complexity and ignoring some uncertainties, but his presentation was (to quite the judge) “broadly accurate”. Al Gore on the whole only repeats the scientific judgements of experts in the field. Monckton claims the experts are all wrong, that he knows better, and that he has evidence to prove it – except of course, as Abraham shows, his evidence is largely fabricated.

43. Ryhs Williams

“If it’s not man made then we can’t control it, so there’s no point doing anything”

Most scientists feel it is beacuse of natural and man made factors.
As for free will or pre determination. I am glad your not in charge of cancer research.
I feel Tim has the right idea, money has to look at ways the world can adapt because I doubt we can bring down co2 levels through world wide legislation

The real problem is these ghastly fu**wits who keep saying we’ve got to reduce emissions by 20% by 2018 (or whatever it is), 30% by 2020 and so on.

Don’t be silly, if avoiding severe climate change requires making large cuts in the short term then it is perfectly reasonable to point this out. Of course there are difficulties (maybe insurmountable ones) both practically and politically, but people need to know the consequences of inaction.

Further, all these cries about we must do something now ignore the fact that there is a natural capital stock turnover. In energy generation it last 40-50 years. Moving faster than that just means junking lots of very expensive stuff that we’ve already paid for.

The problem is that we don’t get to set the timetable, the planet does. Junking expensive stuff that still works may not be an attractive option but it may be a neccessary one.

45. Matt Munro

@ 44 “Of course there are difficulties (maybe insurmountable ones) both practically and politically, but people need to know the consequences of inaction”

But the outcomes of taking action aren’t known – so how can you know the consequences of inaction ?

“Junking expensive stuff that still works may not be an attractive option but it may be a neccessary one.”

That makes no sense – from the MMGW perspective, energy is our most precious resource and most “expensive stuff” consumes the most energy in manufacture, not use, therefore junking it is counter productive.
A common example of this is cars – scrapping an old car and replacing it with a newer/more efficient one (as per the car scrappage scheme) is worse for the environment than keeping the old car, because the amount of energy saved in usage is marginal, compared to the energy used in the manufacture of an additional car.

Since the topic is the biased reporting of MMCC, it is worth noting that The Times has just been forced to retract its ‘amazongate’ story:

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/06/leakegate-a-retraction/

I am not sure where to start with this except to say that ‘libtard’ is surely a pretty outdated and offensive term. You might as well say ‘spastic’ or something.

“Either that, or he’s Gareth from The Office.”

He actually really looks like him, now that I think about it…


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  1. antonvowl

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  2. Eleanor Sharman, 15

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  9. Liberal Conspiracy

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  11. sunny hundal

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