Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Tombstone Blues

Sou has the full story but there is still fun to be had.  Chrissy Boy Monckton is throwing another snit.  He got his name inscribed on a mock memorial of deniers that won an art prize.  Hence the snit.

And so is James Delingpole.  Well, who'da thought it?  Delingpole and Monckton seem to be on one continuous, never ending, snit.  Nanny must be chucking toys in their prams at an immense rate because the pair of them chuck them back out constantly. 
Calm down, he's not a scientist

Jimmy's best writing is reserved for those moments when his bile runneth over, as it does in this Shakespearean paragraph (I realise it would have been better in Iambic pentameter but the blessed Jim was probably a bit pushed for time and the editor of the Spectator was tapping his watch):

I wonder what deep background research led him to form this considered view. Actually, no I don’t, because it’s obvious. He’ll have got it from his science and geography teachers at school; from BBC nature documentaries and news reports; from comedians like Dara Ó Briain and Marcus Brigstocke; from celebrity mathematician Simon Singh, whispery-voiced gorilla-hugger David Attenborough and pouty-mouthed astronomer Brian Cox; from every other article in the Guardian; from the Science Museum in London; from Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth; from his fellow students and university professors; from the ‘97 per cent’ of scientists who, so legend has it, say the science on global warming is settled… .
So let's just examine this paragraph shall we.  First, Delingpole's credentials: English Literature, Christchurch College, Oxford.

Ian Wolter, the art student in question, may have got his climate science from those people.  His science and geography teachers will all have had relevant degrees.  And of the others...
This man can do more complicated sums than James Delingpole can, and he can read posh books by dead, white, male writers

 Dara O Briain has a degree in mathematics and theoretical physics.

 Marcus Brigstocke studied drama but did not complete his degree (he's in the list not so much for his climate science claims but for his left wing comedy).
This man has proper science qualifications

Simon Singh has a PhD in particle physics.  He's here because he helped to change the libel laws which were being used to threaten scientific criticism of quacks and frauds.

David Attenborough has a degree in natural sciences (including geology) from Clare College, Cambridge.
This man is a scientist as well

Professor Brian Cox has a PhD in high energy particle physics from the University of Manchester.  He's in the list because Delingpole once sat and watched a programme Prof Cox made.

There is some hefty science learning here.  Perhaps an Eng Lit graduate could learn something.  But, alas, Delingpole, famously an interpreter of interpretations, prefers to go to see a bunch of, well, non-experts with some out of date qualifications at the Heartland Institute on their jolly to Rome to persuade the Pope that he is, after all, infallible:

At the Heartland event, on the other hand, a series of fascinating, erudite mini-lectures was delivered by a team including a meteorologist, a physicist, an ex-Nasa man who’d helped devise the landing gear for the Apollo project, and a theologian.

Wow, just wow.  Here's a list of the participants:
E. Calvin Beisner, Ph.D., national spokesman for the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation
Hal Doiron, former NASA Skylab and Space Shuttle engineer
Richard Keen, Ph.D., meteorology instructor at the University of Colorado
Christopher Monckton, chief policy advisor to the Science and Public Policy Institute (SPPI)
Marc Morano, executive editor and chief correspondent,
Tom Sheahen, Ph.D., vice chairman of the Science and Environmental Policy Project Board of Directors
Elizabeth Yore, J.D., former General Counsel at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in Virginia
I leave it to you to work out the weatherman, the physicist, the man who worked on the landing gear for the Apollo project (note, Skylab didn't land and the Space Shuttle wasn't Apollo but you can't expect Delingpole to get everything anything right), and I think we can be certain that the theologian is of the distinctly unsophisticated kind (TM Jerry Coyne).  You can't be surprised that journalists had better things to do.

I'm guessing Delingpole will be attending the Heartland non-science event in June.  Here is the schedule.  Spot the non-denier competition has been cancelled.

Other people interested in real science will, of course, find something better to do.  Here's an example:

And this:

Hat tip to Jerry Coyne for alerting me to Philomena.

And if you think the title is familiar:

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