A Cool Reception

I meant to post this yesterday (and I see Kevin Kim’s on it today): the impertinent global-warmism gadfly Lord Monckton (featured previously in these pages here and here) is taking heavy fire for having pointed out, at a United Nations climate summit, the stupendously inconvenient finding that there has apparently been no global warming for the past 16 years.

What’s waka waka waka‘s editorial position on this highly charged topic? See a brief summary here, and our collection of related posts here.

23 Comments

  1. the one eyed man says

    Monckton did not “take heavy fire” for pointing anything out. He was kicked out of the conference because he had no right to be there: he is a publicity-seeking charlatan who snuck in by impersonating the Burmese representative. No different than someone from the Flat Earth Society breaking into a cartographers’ convention to enlighten the attendees with crackpot ideas.

    The article in the British tabloid which he pounds the table with is rubbish. There was no report which was “quietly released,” as no report was issued at all. The purported sixteen year pause in global warming is asserted by using an unusually warm period for its starting point and an unusually cold period for its end point – similar to using the span from July to February to prove that the world is getting colder. Etc., etc. The Met Office, which the Daily Mail claimed to have issued the non-report, quickly repudiated Monckton’s hokum:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/10/15/the-met-office-responds-to-global-warming-stopped-16-years-ago/

    Instead of carnival barkers like Monckton and the Daily Mail, your website would be vastly improved by referencing discussions of global warming which are based in fact and logic, such as the following piece from this week’s New Yorker:

    http://www.newyorker.com/talk/comment/2012/12/10/121210taco_talk_kolbert

    Posted December 8, 2012 at 8:57 am | Permalink
  2. JK says

    Instead of carnival barkers like Monckton and the Daily Mail, your website would be vastly improved by referencing discussions of global warming which are based in fact and logic…

    Hell Yeah Malcolm! There could well be merit in Ol’ One-Eye’s suggestion – could be too – the mentioned Lord was himself issuing a warning: Monckton the Mongol.

    Based on the best records available—tree-ring sequences read from preserved Siberian pines—higher temperatures and drought on the Mongol’s home steppes coincided with the string of great victories that established Genghis Khan’s magnificent empire. Still thirsting for more fertile land, the Mongols made it to Europe in 1241 and defeated Henry the Bearded in Silesia. Two factors—one human and one climatic—intervened at this moment.

    We should, must keep in mind – Genghis kept a whole lot of horses – and no doubt One-Eye has Science in mind. Science say’s “Horses are well known to be full of all the products fueling a kinda Industrial Revolution. Better known as Horseshit!

    Posted December 8, 2012 at 10:50 am | Permalink
  3. Dom says

    The starting and ending points are important, but so is the length of time in between. Sixteen years is pretty long. In the climategate emails:

    “Bottom line: the ‘no upward trend’ has to continue for a total of 15 years before we get worried.”

    So it’s time to get worried.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/10/15/noaas-15-year-statement-from-2008-puts-a-kibosh-on-the-current-met-office-insignificance-claims-that-global-warming-flatlined-for-16-years/

    Posted December 8, 2012 at 10:50 am | Permalink
  4. JK says

    Oh. Almost forgot:

    http://theamericanscholar.org/drought-and-famine/

    Gotta base in “in fact and logic.”

    Posted December 8, 2012 at 10:53 am | Permalink
  5. JK says

    Question.

    Having read Dom’s provided link – re-read the American Scholar link – Malcolm’s underlined, there has apparently been no global warming for the past 16 years

    I wonder – cutting One-Eye a little slack that “maybe a 16 – 17 year period is, uhm… just a glitch” then hows ’bout that interlude between the “ending around 1300″ until what was it, ‘the beginning of the Industrial Revolution’?

    Does half a millenium or so qualify as a “glitch”?

    Posted December 8, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Permalink
  6. JK says

    And what about between the end of the Cretaceous and the beginning of the Industrial Revolution?

    Posted December 8, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Permalink
  7. Malcolm says

    Well, Peter, Lord M. is taking heavy enough fire from you, it seems: Flat-Earther, carnival barker, etc.

    The method you employ here – to rebut an assertion by mocking the one who makes it – hardly burnishes your claim to our respect.

    Nor does your comparison of using the period from 1997 to the present to using “July to February”. The fact is that we have before us a 16-year period over which no warming has happened.

    It should be no surprise that the official organs of what is lately being called the “Cathedral” won’t mention this sort of thing, so of course it’s up to heretics like Monckton and the Daily Mail to do so.

    People like Monckton are commonly called “deniers”. What other usage of that term comes to mind?

    Holocaust “deniers”.

    Given that the Holocaust is generally considered to be the taxonomic holotype of infinite evil, it’s not hard to see what sentiment the use of the same term for those not particularly affrighted by the horrors of global warming is intended to evoke.

    As I said, my own position on these issues is made clear at the links in the post.

    Posted December 8, 2012 at 12:43 pm | Permalink
  8. the one eyed man says

    I know fuck-all about climate science, so I am not the one to answer JK’s question. Given that there are legions of trained scientists who spend their lives studying this stuff – and who unanimously concur that the earth is warming – I have all I need to know.

    One thing I do know is that if you make a case using anomalous events as your end-points, you have no argument at all. The Daily Mail’s argument is analogous to saying that stock markets are in a state of perpetual decline, using the dot-com boom as your starting point and the 2008 financial collapse as your end point. The global climate, like stock prices, over time moves up and to the right, with higher lows and higher highs along the way.

    If there were a reputable scientist who had actual data to refute global warming, he would go down in history along with Galileo for challenging consensus opinion and changing the course of history. No such scientist exists – just as no scientist exists willing to stake his career on the notion that the sun revolves around the earth – so to fill the void we have cranks, shills, and eccentrics such as Monckton.

    Along related lines, an op-ed in today’s Times asks why only six percent of scientists identify themselves as Republican – and nine percent as conservatives – and suggests that the answer could be that “people who absorb facts easily don’t suffer fools gladly.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/08/opinion/blow-dinosaurs-and-denial.html?ref=opinion

    Posted December 8, 2012 at 12:48 pm | Permalink
  9. the one eyed man says

    The only reason I mock Monckton is that the junk science he espouses is worthy of mockery. If he were a bona fide scientist with actual data, that would be different. But he isn’t.

    Those who deny the Holocaust and those who deny global warming are equally wrong. The fact that they are both called deniers is the proper use of English. I’m not sure what your point is here.

    Posted December 8, 2012 at 12:55 pm | Permalink
  10. the one eyed man says

    Actually, there is another reason why I mock Monckton. Sneaking into a UN conference without credentials, in order to promote a tabloid article about a report which was never issued – and which was quickly repudiated by the organization which purportedly issued it – so that he could engage in a publicity stunt is, by definition, worthy of mockery. What gives him the right to disrupt an assemblage of people striving to solve a serious problem?

    Posted December 8, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Permalink
  11. JK says

    “Funny” that choice of scientist:

    If there were a reputable scientist who had actual data to refute global warming, he would go down in history along with Galileo for challenging consensus opinion…

    Didn’t that Pope-In-Charge when old Galileo challenged mutter something like, “Damned Republican Conservative nutter” or somesuch at the time?

    Posted December 8, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Permalink
  12. In a dynamic universe such as ours, every activity is a function of time, by definition. Moreover, a time dependent activity can be defined to be a sequence of finite duration, time-averaged steps.

    If you consider the activity over any specified period of time, there are three (not just two) criteria that characterize the nominal time-trend of the activity: (1)the time end points, which define the duration or period of the activity being considered; (2)the first derivative of the activity with respect to time, which defines whether the activity is increasing, decreasing, or unchanging; and (3)the second derivative with respect to time of the activity, which identifies whether or not the activity is monotonic throughout the period under consideration. If the second derivative changes sign (i.e., passes through zero) anywhere within the specified period, the activity can not be considered to be monotonic.

    Unless a nominal time-trend is properly defined in terms of all three characteristics, namely the period, the dominant direction of change, and whether or not the dominant direction is monotonic, it is pointless to argue about how any such nominal trend can be characterized.

    Posted December 8, 2012 at 2:25 pm | Permalink
  13. Malcolm says

    To listen to you, Peter, you’d think that there was absolutely no informed, educated, expert dissent as regards a) whether the Earth is currently warming, b) whether such warming, if it exists, is entirely anthropogenic, c) how confidently we can predict future warming, and d) whether we can effectively control it even if we convince ourselves that we must sacrifice everything in order to try.

    This is simply not the case, and leaves out also that there is a very great deal of room for principled disagreement about exactly what the balance of positive and negative effects will be, and based on that, what sacrifices we ought to be willing to make now, as opposed to adaptations we might make later.

    Garth Paltridge, an actual atmospheric physicist, wrote:

    A colleague of mine put it rather well. The IPCC, he said, has developed a highly successful immune system. Its climate scientists have become the equivalent of white blood cells which rush in overwhelming numbers to repel infection by ideas and results which do not support the basic thesis that global warming is perhaps the greatest of the modern threats to mankind.

    Was what Monckton did a stunt? Sure. He’s a flamboyant guy. He felt the need to raise a dissenting voice, and to keep the public’s attention focused.

    Those who deny the Holocaust and those who deny global warming are equally wrong. The fact that they are both called deniers is the proper use of English. I’m not sure what your point is here.

    Really? I doubt that.

    Posted December 8, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Permalink
  14. Dom says

    ” … who unanimously concur that the earth is warming …”

    Hardly true. There is a consensus, but it is getting smaller.

    What happens when the 16 years changes to 20, 25, 30 years? Do you still say it is just from cherry picking the end points? It is true that you can find two points that disprove warming, but it is less likely to do this when the two points are 16 years apart, and less likely still when they are 50 years apart. The climate gate people knew this which is why they said they would worry when it grew to 15 years. Times up.

    Posted December 8, 2012 at 3:59 pm | Permalink
  15. the one eyed man says

    I’m guessing that you are making a convoluted Godwin’s Law argument, positing that because both climate deniers and Holocaust deniers refuse to accept the existence of something which is demonstrably true, therefore Monckton equals Ahmedinejad. Or someting like that. If so, it is the silliest thing I have heard since Dick Morris confidently predicted that President Romney would win in a landslide, and I give you more credit than foisting such pabulum on your readership.

    A survey of bona fide climatologists shows that 98% concur with the statement that the Earth is warming. Hence there is no “informed, educated, expert dissent:” those who are qualified to have an opinion unanimously agree, just as medical scientists agree that smoking can lead to cancer, regardless of what Philip Morris has to say about it. The cause, intensity, and future of global warming are open to question, but its existence is not.

    Moreover, Monckton disrupted the UN conference to hype the disputed article not out of scientific inquiry, but to ensure the solvency of his offspring. His son is working for the Daily Mail. It’s a steady job but he wants to be a paperback writer.

    Posted December 8, 2012 at 4:32 pm | Permalink
  16. Malcolm says

    …Hence there is no “informed, educated, expert dissent:” those who are qualified to have an opinion unanimously agree…

    In other words, all “true Scotsmen” agree.

    But there are nevertheless a few others who like a little sugar in their porridge.

    As for “deniers” and the evocation of moral opprobrium: right, of course, just “proper use of English”.

    “Articulate”, you might even say.

    Posted December 8, 2012 at 5:37 pm | Permalink
  17. the one eyed man says

    Climate Depot, funded by Exxon Mobil, has as much credibility as the sham “medical” outfits funded by tobacco companies so Tareyton smokers would continue to fight and not switch.

    R.I.P., L.S.M.F.T.

    Posted December 8, 2012 at 6:08 pm | Permalink
  18. JK says

    If so, it is the silliest thing I have heard since Dick Morris confidently predicted that President Romney would win in a landslide…

    Uhm, er… Peter?

    Took even the mostest capablest of the likes of me to get TheBigHenry going with the proposition there’s more Presidents than’re in our History books – and that took me getting Henry a phone number.

    Tough stuff that.

    Dick Morris aside – “President Romney?” – nevermind the landslide I’d just ask that you be precise with your use of the keyboard. President Atchison made it into the newspapers – not even me heard of a “President Romney.”

    Rather like Galileo challenging for the Democratic Primary wouldn’t you think?

    And winning the 2012 nomination.

    Posted December 8, 2012 at 8:23 pm | Permalink
  19. JK says

    A survey of bona fide climatologists shows that 98% concur …

    My guess is, a survey of bona fide creationists would probably show near 100% concurrence.

    And that would necessarily mean…

    Posted December 8, 2012 at 8:34 pm | Permalink
  20. Malcolm says

    Is ad hominem hand-waving the best you can do, Peter?

    The link lists a broad array of highly credentialed scientists who think there’s a lot of questionable science being passed off as settled fact. For you to say that the scientific community is “unanimous” on this subject is simply false.

    And can you say with a straight face that there are no vested interests and ulterior motives on the alarmist side of this debate?

    Posted December 9, 2012 at 12:59 am | Permalink
  21. JK says

    And can you say with a straight face…

    You’re replying to “the one-eyed man” Malcolm, were something unlike Nirvana songs I’d think it’s possible.

    But – “straight face” in this context?

    Hard ly.

    Posted December 9, 2012 at 2:09 am | Permalink
  22. Dom says

    Sorry I’m late in getting back. About that 98% figure … It’s a hoax.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/07/18/about-that-overwhelming-98-number-of-scientists-consensus/

    Lets never hear about it again.

    Posted December 10, 2012 at 7:46 am | Permalink
  23. Malcolm says

    Excellent, Dom. Thanks for that.

    Posted December 10, 2012 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

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