Sunday, 18 August 2013

Forget personalities, science is about truth - yeah, right, Lord Monckton

Lord Monckton, definitely not a scientist
Update 20 August 2013:
Obviously the editor doesn't frequent this blog as the Richmond Times-Despatch has put Monckton's drivel on its website . Perhaps a letter pointing out Monckton's mistakes would be in order.  Check the comments though.

Before you think I have let go of my senses, I reproduce the following letter, sent presumably to the editor of the Richmond Times-Dispatch but which isn't on their website as far as I can tell.  Advice to the editor - screw it up and bin it.  I shall interleave Monckton's words with some of my own (in green). The letter that gets Monckton hot under the collar is here.  The Charles Battig letter that started it all is here.
Michael Mann, definitely a scientist

Monckton to Mann: Forget personalities, science is about truth

Source: Christopher Monckton
The Editor, Richmond Times-Dispatch, August 15, 2013.
Charles Battig did a great service to your readers by spreading truth about the now-collapsed climate scare. Michael Mann’s criticisms of him (August 5) were ill-founded. Attorney General Cuccinelli investigated Mr Mann under the Fraud Against Taxpayers Act 2000 because of what I shall delicately call the statistical peculiarities evident in Mr Mann’s “hockey stick” graph that had purported to abolish the medieval warm period and to show – falsely – that today’s quite normal global temperatures were unprecedented in 1300 years. [Well, he did investigate but it was a huge damp squib rather than an exciting outcome for the deniers full story here.  I note that Cuccinelli is himself under unvestigation]
Mr Mann’s graph relied heavily upon the widths of tree-rings from bristlecone pines as a basis for estimating temperatures before we had thermometers, although these pines are unreliable proxies because the tree-rings widen not only when the weather is warmer but also when it is wetter and when there is more CO2 in the air. That kinda musses things up. [You can read Mann's 1998 paper here. These words from the paper are particularly apt in the light of Monckton's criticism: "Potential limitations specific to each type of proxy data series must be carefully taken into account in building an appropriate network." Kinda shows that Mann & al were aware there were limitations to the data.  That's what real scientists do. Talking of which...]

According to real scientists [the heading on the SPPI website is "Forget personalities, science is about truth" - an objective that doesn't last long coming out of Monckton's fingers.  Besides, Mann's list of qualifications is pretty lengthy.  Monckton's less so, and certainly lacking in science.] , the graph also gave extreme weighting to datasets that showed unusual 20th-century warming at the expense of those that did not [are there any datasets that truly show anything different?  After all, they can't all be wrong, surely, Lord M?]. And the program that Mr Mann created to draw the graph would have shown the 20th century as unusually warm even if random red noise rather than real-world data were fed in. There were numerous other statistical curiosities. [That rather accuses Mann of scientific fraud, which the scientific community would have drummed him out for, but they haven't.] Mr Mann’s graph is perhaps the most laughable and widely-discredited object in the history of bad science supporting worse politics. [That's Monckton's choice of colour, that red, not mine. Just saying that sentence you can hear the bile and anger, and also the sheer wrongness of it. I mean, there are plenty of exceptionally better discredited "objects" in science, Piltdown fossils, for example, than Mann's hockey stick graph which, incidently, has been supported by other studies.  Just like real scientists.]
Most learned papers based on real-world data show that the medieval warm period was real, global, and warmer than the present [Don't think they do, Christoper.]. A spate of papers by computer modelers apparently confirming Mr Mann’s contrarian [definition - someone who goes against the prevailing wisdom of the day. That would, aside from being another ad hominem, be a better description of Monckton, not Mann.] conclusion appeared with interesting suddenness after his paper was scientifically discredited. Many of the authors, according to an independent statistical report for the House Energy & Commerce Committee in 2006, were linked to Mr Mann by previous co-authorship. Hmmm. Here is at least part of Mann's testimony. Make of it what you will. The ad hominem "Hmmm" is another of Monckton's rhetorical acts.]

Mr Battig did not criticize Mr Mann for his bad personality [Perhaps not, but Monckton hangs that one there without any evidence besides the following clause, nicely picked out in bold in the original], though Mr Mann’s characteristically malevolent description of his opponents as “deniers” and “denialists” several times in his letter of reply would be illegal in Europe as being anti-Jewish, racialist hate-speech disrespectful of Holocaust victims [Just where to begin.  The use of the word denier is not illegal in Europe.  How can it be?  Holocaust denialism is illegal in some European countriesBut using the word itself, you wouldn't get far pursuing a prosecution for that.  Then, of course, there are those deniers themselves who have compared environmentalists to the Hitler Youth. Who could that be?  Oh, yes, step forward Lord Monckton.] Certainly no real scientist would use such language [Here's a link to the hypocritical Anthony Watts who will allow comments about Nuremburg style crimes against humanity trials but bans the word denier. And who says real scientists cannot use the word?  Not you, Chrissy Boy.]. Mr Battig criticized Mr Mann for his flagrantly bad science, not his flagrantly bad manners. Science is not about personalities. It is about seeking truth. Mr Mann’s graph was not true [Once again the bold is Monckton's and once again what Monckton says is a lie.  Mann's graph has withstood 15 years of fake skepticism and has been supported time and again by other studies]. It was not science [No bold this time but equally wrong. Of course it was science, just read the original paper and you can see how it is cautious not to overstate the case]. It deserved criticism. It got it [and still gets it but hasn't been debunked, as the deniers would like].
 Besides, according to the satellites, notwithstanding record increases in CO2 concentration there has been no global warming at all for 16 years 8 months – and counting [Shout the lie often and loud enough and someone will be gullible enough to believe you. Read this instead. Sober, evidence based and correct.]. That is 200 months without so much as a flicker of global warming. The game is up and the scare is over.

Yours faithfully,
Monckton of Brenchley
Was there any point bothering with this dissection?  In one respect, no, because Monckton will repeat these lies again and again and again.  Monckton has been disingenuous here, he won't really care about what I think. But if no one takes a stand, well, there is that Holocaust sermon. Science deniers often have a deeper agenda.  One world government anyone?
Monckton doesn't care what anyone thinks really. Witness the use of the swastika and the accusation of fascism against one Australian politician.  I've used this blog to call out hypocrisy a number of times recently.  Well, here's another one.  Christopher, 3rd viscount of Monckton, is happy enough to throw in the ad hominems, even under the cloak of arguing that it is the science that matters.  And, of course, he is a science denier.  And so is his chum, Charles Battig, seen below at a Heartland climate conference.  Birds of a feather...

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