Wednesday, August 25, 2010

{#6} Examining Lord Monckton's Rhetoric

This is the sixth email in my series examining Lord Monckton's 10/14/9 presentation to the MFMI in Minnesota. The talk can be found here.

Lord Christopher Monckton,
Early in your 10/14/9 Minnesota Free Market Institute presentation you make the following promises to your audience:

“But, one point I do want to make, is that you must not believe a word I say.
... I am not gonna to tell you what the truth about the climate is.
I am simply going to tell you a series of facts from the science and the data and the peer reviewed literature...
“And that is what we are going to do tonight, there won’t be rhetoric, there will just be boring fact after fascinating fact.”

~ ~ ~
In this sixth segment of our correspondence and my examination of your 10/14/9 MFMI presentation, allow us to examine how well your actual words live up to your promise. Early in your presentation you did give us your word that you would present the latest science facts sans “rhetoric.”

So, in this letter I would like to focus on the rhetoric that leaked out. That is, the manipulation of words in order to evoke gut level reactions rather than facilitating a thoughtful examination of evidence that leads to a genuine learning experience.
{I shall continue our practice of highlighting your words in red.}
~ ~ ~
“A horse goes into a bar, and the barmen says: Why the long face? Because it’s a horse you idiot.” Most of the points I’m going to be making to you today will be as blindingly obvious as that. Because one of the curious features of this debate, which you would have noticed yourselves, is that the forces of darkness, I call them the bed wetters for convenience. Have managed to make the absurd seem obvious and the obvious seem absurd. So we are going to turn that back and make the obvious obvious once again.”

“Therefore, it is important that we do not waste money, effort, time or resources on non problems such as Global Warming.”

But one point I do want to make, is that you must not believe a word I say. I am not Al Gore, I am not going to tell you what the truth about the climate is. I am simply going to tell you a series of facts from the science and the data and the peer reviewed literature and I am going to allow you to draw the conclusion for yourselves, that there is no problem with the climate. I am not here to proselytize or preach, I do not expect you to believe me. Because science is not a belief system, science is a rigorous process of inquiry, and I’m going to work you quite hard tonight. We’re going to get through a lot of slides a lot of data, a lot of facts, I make no apology for that because I want to show you just how strong the case is against the sudo-scientific gibberish ........”
{ You know, Lord Monckton, twice I started going through your ninety minute presentation wanting to count how many times you used the words “truth” and “lies,” twice I was overwhelmed before giving up.
Do you actual believe that this much personal opining has a rightful place in any actual serious scientific lecture? }

{ This sentence I found most incredible: }
“I am going to allow you to draw the conclusion for yourselves, that there is no problem with the climate.” { How do you defend this sentence? The first and last part simply do not fit together. }

“...And I’m going to show you the latest science, which now doesn’t leave the question unsettled anymore this is now settled science, it is now settled science that there is not a problem with our influence over Climate. The science is in, the truth is out and the scare is over.”

“I’m gonna start by talking about why the truth really matters...”
{ What is that all about? An Appeal to Your Own Authority?
Then, you go on about “truth” for a couple more minutes. Then, instead of climate, you are into DDT for a couple more minutes. Here is just one highlight: }

“But, the left, the environmental left, the intolerant, communistic, narrow minded faction that does not care how many children it kills is campaigning once again for DDT to be banned... ”
{ Your words get even harsher! Do you actually believe what you say about these people? Why do have this need to paint liberal thinking people into such nightmarish caricatures?
Then, you are on to living standards and your economic theories. }

“... and we make them healthy and we make them wealthy, because if we make them wealthy then their populations will stabilize, this is something every demographer knows perfectly well.”
{ Sounds like you’ve been reading too much Ayn Rand. Your straight faced cynicism is incredible. Then, your off talking about your HIV story, and your still simmering anger at having your timely final solution ignored by all the world’s powers.
But, I thought you were going to talk about global warming? }

“Everybody who got it should be identified and isolated immediately, compulsorily and permanently, but of course, humanely.... That policy advice was rejected under pressure from various, once again, factions on the left who did not care how many people died...”

“That is why I am here today. Because I want now to talk through with you how we get the science and the economics of this global warming scare right, for good and all.”
{ Now, you are off talking about the miseries of Africa’s poor.
The irony of your alligator tears for the destitute Third World masses, is that the free wheeling, free market system which you champion rests on the tenet of maximizing extraction and profits while minimizing reimbursement and liabilities, thus having over decades created those very conflict ravaged, teaming starving hopeless masses that you now profess concerned for. Where were you when it could have made a difference? This is perhaps the most detestable and morally repugnant part of your 10/14/9 performance Sir Monckton. }

“That is the fate which those who believe in the climate scare would, not only like to remain in Africa - But, they would like to inflict that upon us as well. It is as crazy and as wicked as that.”

“So now we come on to what I’m going to flash through very, very quickly because there are just so many of the lies being told by those peddling this scare. You will be able to determine very easily that they are lies. I’m going to show you that they are lies, and you’re going to be then able to check.....” {Well I’m checking and asking you questions, why hide if the truth is on your side? Or, is it perhaps, that the “truth” is not on your side?}
~ ~ ~
{ At this point I thought, over 20 minutes in and finally we are going to get to the climate science. But, no. Instead, another couple minutes of slandering “opposing” scientists and politicians, deliberately trying to whip up prejudice, before you even touch on climate issues.

Then, instead of the state of the climate science you’re off attacking An Inconvenient Truth, which was a private documentary about the implications of Global Warming. It was a documentary, not the science!

I easily admit that it is right and good to point out the failures of that documentary, but it is dishonest not to acknowledge it’s correct points. It is even more dishonest trying to conflate this documentary with the science of climate change. And a pure politically driven stunt, implying that by damaging the movie’s voracity, you’ve demolished the Global Warming Science, which is what your presentation clearly implies. {also see email #4 Lord Monckton & UK Court’s AIT Ruling}

OK, Lord Monckton, finally we get to 27:30 and some actual climate science talk. But, we must save that for another email. Here I intend to continue focusing on proving how often you betrayed your own opening promises of: no rhetorical games and presenting just the facts. }
~ ~ ~

“Here then is my message to Al. I’m still waiting Al baby! You wanna debate me, no you don’t, but if you don’t debate me, you’re a coward
Right back at you, big guy! ;-) cc
What has happened to this interest in a honest level playing field debate? Or don’t you like level playing fields? Incidentally, I to am waiting. }

“... now some lies from the UN panel itself.”
“(according to David Deming in 2005): “We have to get rid of the Medieval Warm Period”
{ This was another low point, an anecdotal meeting, a wild claim, not a shred of corroborating evidence. Actually, on second thought you do that a bunch. }

“... the double lie in the graph, one no medieval warm period, when everyone knows it exists and science is clear on that, two they were able to exaggerate by 50% the warming of the 20th century.”
“They said to themselves, ah, we’ll give that 390 times as much weighting as we will give to those data sets that show the inconvenient truth that there wasn’t this huge surge.”
So they actually lied in print.”
36:50 That is the length to which the UN has been going actually to tamper with the data available to us.
“And now here is the truth about the MWP.”
{ “Now here is the truth”? But, but, around 7:15 you promised us: “I am not going to tell you what the truth about the climate is.” What’s going on? It is stuff like this that leads people to claim you are pure showman? How are we to make sense of the difference between your promises and your performance? }

“So they will lie, and lie and cheat. Even when they are caught out they will continue to lie and cheat.”
{ Very ironic, that one! }

“... but being dim as well as dishonest they failed to add up the four new figures correctly. So I spotted that the total on the bottom wasn’t right, it wasn’t even within a factor of two of what it should have been.”
“So I got onto four different UN officials on the day of publication and I said this is unacceptable, you are to correct it. So very furtively they moved the table corrected it, relabeled it, called it something else, put it somewhere else in the report and furtively posted it up on their website, without issuing any statement that they had made any correction to the final published draft. That’s how dodgy these people are even when they are caught at it.”
{ Lord Monckton, Very curious story, care to supply some substantiating evidence for this - or are we supposed to take your word for it? Beyond that, do you actually believe that everyone who sees the world differently than you is detestable? Listen to the torrent of insults you spew! How do you justify it? }

“Now we come on to a lie in the written into the 1995 report. This is one of the most extraordinary lies in the lot.”
“Here is what the bureaucrats did, they rewrote the final draft, yet again... to say the complete opposite”
“Here is the latest lie in the 2007 report, the iconic lie ...”
“... the statistical lie ...”
“...It is a disgrace that a public authority in receipt of tax payer money from around the world should dare to produce a graph like that one we have just seen. That should never have been done, it is a clear, continuing instance of deliberate bad faith.”
{ Another charge I turn back on you Sir Lord Monckton! }

“And now here is the truth.” {again?}
“So now just a few lies from the scientific community ...”
“So we go on then to a lie told which was told by the director general of the National Climatic Data Center Tom Carl ...”
“The consensus lie ...”
“And here is another lie ...”
(#79) “And they’re lying to children as well... they lie even to children....”
“... the amusing thing about that, you hear about ocean acidification, which is another complete nonsense, it’s their fall back. They’ve gone from Global Warming to Climate Change, they’ve gone from Climate Change to Energy Security and they can’t go quite from Energy Security to absolute rubbish, so they are going to go via Ocean Acidification.
“... it’s absolute rubbish. “So we then go on to the truth about today’s climate ...
The curious thing about these truths is that you will not have seen them in almost any major news media.” { Here you go telling us the “truth” again! }

“The UN’s reports, all four of them, even if they were true, and you’ve seen how often they’ve lied, and therefore you suspect, rightly, that they’re not gonna be true. Even if they were true they are now entirely out of date.”
{ I’m struck at how low your opinion of other people is. You protested in an earlier email to me that you never claimed thousands of scientists were liars, but read this statement of yours. Tell me you are not broad-stroking thousands of scientists who have participated or analyzed and concurred with UN’s IPCC’s reports? }

“argumentum et ignoratium, We don’t know what’s causing warming so we’re gonna blame it on anything we like. That is not a rational or logical argument.”
“So the UN says the opposite would happen... and there is no scientific basis for that conclusion at all...”
(#127) The Stefan-Boltzmann Equation F=ℇσT4
“It’s the only equation that can do for them the job of answering the question we need the answer to and they do not mention it once. Because they know what it shows, any mathematician looking at that can immediate see we don’t have a problem with climate.”
{ This is an interesting one, and eventually I hope to get to the bottom of it and understand it better. But, you know, somehow, considering my track record with investigating your claims, I got the feeling there is an awful lot of the picture you are not sharing in your claim. Why do you never share ‘the rest of the story’ with your audiences? }

“Not there, its all gone off, its absent, why is it absent, because there is no theoretical reason why it should be there. It’s an invention, it’s a fiction of those who are trying to make out that CO2 has a huge effect on temperature. How do they get to this fiction?”
{ This is another wild unsubstantiated claim, but we shall save it for another email. }

“This is the result that brings the climate debate to an end!”
{ “Brings the climate debate to an end.”? But, but, around 7:15 you promised us: “I am not going to tell you what the truth about the climate is.” What’s going on? It is stuff like this that leads people to claim you are pure showman? How are we to make sense of the difference between your promises and your performance? }

“Well, that’s the traffic light tendency, they call them self’s green, because they’re too yellow to admit that they’re really red.” {To rafter rattling applause and hoots}
{ Lord Monckton why do you have this need to demonize your “opponents”? Sounds like what tyrants do, most always resulting in the eventual destruction of their own empires. }

“There’s no point in doing anything whatsoever about it, except to adapt as and if necessary, which we now know we don’t even need to do, that’s the end of the debate on economics.”
“Here is the amount of money that’s been spent in the last twenty years by your government,
“... your tax payers, your money on totally unnecessary climate research in to the global warming... Totally unnecessary, totally wasted.”
“So at last the communists who piled out of the Berlin Wall and into the environmental movement and took over Greenpeace, so that my friends who founded it left within a year, because they’d captured it. Now the apotheosis is at hand, they are about to impose a communist world government on the world.”
{ Lord Monckton, if your science is so solid why all this distraction of endlessly demonizing your “opponents”? }

“The trouble is this. If that (Copenhagen) treaty is signed, your Constitution says it takes precedence over your Constitution. And you can’t resign from that treaty ...”
{ Where the heck do you get such a notion or make such a statement? How pray tell, would our USA Constitution have allowed the Copenhagen Treaty to overrule itself? Can you explain it in detail, rather than your usual opinionated fact starved sound bites. }
~ ~ ~

Lord Monckton,
You’re last few minutes are, even for you, so over the top vile politically motivated, myopic emotion tugging nonsense that I won’t even dignify it by repeating it or commenting on it.

As for the previous eighty some minutes, you make so many wild, unsubstantiated claims, then you drift into political extremist topics that don’t relate to climate science -> How is such a performance supposed to lend you “intellectual authority?” This talk comes across as the act of an extremist politician. If you care to see examples of what real science lectures look like why not visit, or any number of other universe websites. You might learn something there, but only if your mind is receptive to new information. Lord Monckton, are you receptive to learning?

In closing, Lord Monckton, early in your presentation you gave us your word:
“that is what we are going to do tonight, there won’t be rhetoric, there will just be boring fact after fascinating fact.” (9:05)
Then, how do you justify the above list of polemics that came from your own lips in total disregard to your own proclaimed promises of early in your talk?

You also said: “But, one point I do want to make, is that you must not believe a word I say ... science is not a belief system, science is a rigorous process of inquiry." (7:10)

Well, I took you up on your assurance that it was OK to be skeptical of your words and to do my own research and to contact you. Now that I am asking you about the findings of my personal journey through your lecture and your SPPI’s website postings - you refuse to continue replying to my emails. In fact, this morning I received what amounted to a cease and desist demand from Robert Ferguson of your own Science and Public Policy Institute. The irony of this coming from people who advertise themselves as interested in honest science is astounding.

How can people be expected to learn if they demand the right to ignore most of the available information/data? I would call such an attitude encouraging Willful Ignorance, something we should not be doing considering what is going on the real world around us.


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