Thursday, 26 December 2013

Lord Monckton's on morality - glass houses alert (now with free update)

Update  Please see the update at the end

The good Lord, Monckton of Brenchley, has seen fit to deliver upon us this Christmas his sermon.  Well, the Pope does it.  The Archbishop of Canterbury does it.  So why not the admirably upright citizen (though he would prefer subject) of these shores, the 3rd Viscount Monckton.

After all, he knows what he is talking about, being a Catholic and all that.  And since we know precisely how upright and outstanding has been Catholic morality over the years, decades and, indeed, centuries, why should we deny the validity of the scholar's argument. 

Simply put, we shouldn't, because his argument is carried aloft on debatable shoulders at best, wrong ones at worst.  Lest you wonder what I am talking about, read it here yourself (archived of course).  You might want a dictionary with you because Monckton's writing style is akin to that of Lawrence Durrell - thick, treacly, purple prose is his favoured method.  This often means his real argument is buried within the impenetrable language.  Obfuscation indeed.

To begin at the beginning:
To those of us who have dared to question on scientific and economic grounds the official story on global warming, it is a continuing surprise that there is so little concern about whether or not that story is objectively true among the many who have swallowed it hook, Party Line and sinker.
Translation: climate science deniers don't question whether the official story on climate change is true or not.  Not what I see happening, but there you go.  There's plenty of posts over at Watts Up With That proclaiming its the Sun, insects, natural variation, oscillations of various natural processes and so on.  I won't bother linking to them as anyone can go and find out for yourself.  What Monckton is doing here is setting up a straw filled argument about objective truth.  As we shall see, it lacks conviction.
For the true-believers, the Party Line is socially convenient, politically expedient, and financially profitable. Above all, it is the Party Line. For those who think as herds or hives, it is safe. It is a grimy security blanket. It is the dismal safety in numbers that is the hallmark of the unreasoning mob.  
This is a rather grubby second paragraph and I suspect Monckton knew exactly what he was saying.  It pains those that accept anthropogenic global warming as driven by politics or profit and sets up another line, the consensus.  Sadly, of course, it isn't true.  Humans are instinctively conservative, preferring no change over change.  But humans are social animals and will fit into a group.  But they have to feel they belong in advance.
But is it true? The herd and the hive do not care. Or, rather, they do care. They care very much if anyone dares to ask the question “But is it true?” They are offended, shocked, outraged. They vent their venom and their spleen and their fury on those of us who ask, however politely, “But is it true?” 
There are plenty of websites (Skeptical Science for example) where the truth of the matter is patiently explained.  Monckton has again set up a straw filled argument.  Scientists have done the "is it true?" bit time and time again.  There is no real need to ask the question, but that is what deniers do, often just to create some heat but rarely to create light.
They have gotten religion, but they call it science. They have gotten religion, but they do not know they have gotten religion. They have gotten religion, but they have not gotten the point of religion, which, like the point of science, is objective truth.
 Yippee!  Two wrong things in one paragraph.  Firstly, science is not religion and AGW is science.  Secondly, it is highly arguable that the point of religion is objective truth.  Indeed, faith is about subjective truth since it cannot be verified outside of the person's own understanding.  And since Monckton is Catholic, I remember a number of instances of people trying to verify transubstantiation, the idea that the wafer of bread and the red wine of the Eucharist really do turn into the body and blood of Christ and the shock, horror of the Church when they have been found out.  Doesn't sound like interest in objective truth to me.  And that's before we get on to the Index, censorship and Inquisitions.
The question arises: can science function properly or at all in the absence of true religion and of its insistence upon morality? For science, in searching for the truth, is pursuing what is – or very much ought to be – a profoundly moral quest.
Really?  What rubbish.  Science doesn't have to be a "profoundly moral quest".  What was the morality behind the search for the Higgs Boson, for instance?  Or understanding the inner workings of black holes, dark matter, quantum physics, the heliocentric world view?  None of those things rely on morality.  We can, if we wish, bring in the various unethical experiments on humans performed by the Nazis, the Japanese during WW2 or American in the first half of the 20th century. Monckton is applying wishful thinking to his argument which is resembling a sieve.
Yet what if a handful of bad scientists wilfully tamper with data, fabricate results, and demand assent to assertions for which there is no real scientific justification? And what if the vast majority of their colleagues cravenly look the other way and do nothing about their bent colleagues? What you get is the global warming scare.
This paragraph is bordering on libellous.  It is, of course, Monckton's opinion.  You can search RetractionWatch to see which climate change papers have been withdrawn.  The research Monckton is concerned about is not amongst them.  The fact that Monckton states this so baldly and without evidence to support it merely shows the man up for what he is.  Liar or mistaken?  I know which side of that fence I land on.  What you get when a handful of bad scientists tamper with data, etc, is those scientists being found out by all the other scientists who hold them to account.  A few will not be able to prevent their fraud being found out unless their results are part of the noise of science, the little findings that don't really matter.  In the area of climate change, which has a social and economic price to pay, the scrutiny of the science is so much greater.  Monckton again knows this and has allowed personal prejudice to enter his argument.  Hang on, that's all his argument is anyway.
As every theologian knows, the simplest and usually the clearest of all tests for the presence of a moral sense is whether or not the truth is being told. The true-believers in the New Superstition are not telling the truth. On any objective test, they are lying, and are profiteering by lying, and are doing so at your expense and mine, and are bidding fair to bring down the Age of Enlightenment and Reason, flinging us back into the dumb, inspissate cheerlessness of a new Dark Age.
 Inpissate means to thicken.  It's a verb.  Monckton implies that we are heading for another era of ignorance.  Well, we will if we follow his lead but luckily most of the world ignores the stupidity of Monckton and his pals and lets the scientists find out the reality, however ugly that might be.  Just because Monckton would like a different reality, it doesn't mean he will get it.
“The Science Is Settled! There’s A Consensus! A 97.1% Consensus! Doubters Are As Bad As Holocaust Deniers! Global Temperature Is Rising Dangerously! It Is Warmer Now Than For 1400 Years! Well, 400 Years, Anyway! Tree-Rings Reliably Tell Us So! The Rate Of Global Warming Is Getting Ever Faster! Global Warming Caused Superstorm Sandy! And Typhoon Haiyan! And 1000 Other Disasters! Arctic Sea Ice Will All Be Gone By 2013! OK, By 2015! Or Maybe 2030! Santa Claus Will Have Nowhere To Live! Cuddly Polar Bears Are Facing Extinction! Starving Polar Bears Will Start Eating Penguins! Himalayan Glaciers Will All Melt By 2035! Er, Make That 2350! Millions Of Species Will Become Extinct! Well, Dozens, Anyway! Sea Level Is Rising Dangerously! It Will Rise 3 Feet! No, 20 Feet! No, 246 Feet! There Will Be 50 Million Climate Refugees From Rising Seas By 2010! OK, Make That 2020! The Oceans Will Acidify! Corals Will Die! Global Warming Kills! There Is A One In Ten Chance Global Warming Will End The World By 2100! We Know What We’re Talking About! We Know Best! We Are The Experts! You Can Trust Us! Our Computer Models Are Correct! The Science Is Settled! There’s A Consensus!”
 Ah, a sort of reverse Gish Gallop.  It's in quotation marks but I assume Monckton made it up.(Update As every schoolboys knows, polar bears don't eat penguins as they can't get the wrapper off.) 
Every one of those exclamatory, declamatory statements about the climate is in substance untrue. Most were first uttered by scientists working for once-respected universities and government bodies. For instance, the notion that there is a 1 in 10 chance the world will end by 2100 is the fundamentally fatuous assumption in Lord Stern’s 2006 report on climate economics, written by a team at the U.K. Treasury for the then Socialist Government, which got the answer it wanted but did not get the truth, for it did not want the truth.
That's what the last paragraph was for.   The Stern Review didn't give a 1% chance the world will end and the Blair government was not socialist.  One presumes Monckton thinks the current government is socialist.  Well, he is a member of UKIP.
Previously, you could count on getting nothing but the truth from the men in white coats with leaky Biros in the front pocket. Now, particularly if the subject is global warming, you can count on getting little but profitable nonsense from your friendly local university science lab. They make the profits: you get the nonsense.
Really, you could count on the truth and nothing but the truth.  I am less stupid and more versed in the history of science, it would seem, than the peer.  Has he not heard of Blondlot and his N Rays, the endless pointless trips down the PSI route by scientists who should know better?  And then there is Michael Behe, a proper scientist, and Monckton's crony Roy Spencer, fellow denier.  And notice the "profitable nonsense" becomes "profits", a change of sense.
The central reason why what Professor Niklas Mörner has called “the greatest lie ever told” is damaging to civilization arises not from the staggering cost, soon to be $1 billion a day worldwide. Not from the direct threat to the West posed by the avowedly anti-democratic, anti-libertarian policies of the UN, the IPCC, and the costly alphabet-soup of unelected busybody agencies of predatory government that live off the taxpayer’s involuntary generosity. Not from the dire environmental damage caused by windmills and other equally medieval measures intended to make non-existent global warming go away. 
An argument from authority.  My suspicion is that the greatest lie ever told goes back significantly further than Morner would suggest.  A case can be made for fictions in the Old Testament, for instance, or the Protocols Of The Elders Of Zion as a much more damaging lie.  But in the end it is Morner's opinion and not shared by a great many people around the world.  Monckton does not like the idea that people live off taxpayer's money, by the looks of things.  Let's hope he is more generous to the underpaid nurses who will give him care in his final days, or to the people who collect the rubbish from his bins.
The fundamental principle upon which Aristotle built the art and science of Logic is that every individual truth is consistent with every other individual truth. The truth is a seamless robe. Religion – or at any rate the Catholic presentation to which I inadequately subscribe (practising but not perfect) – is also built upon that fundamental principle of the oneness of all truth.
Science, too – or at any rate the classical scientific method adumbrated by Thales of Miletus and Al-Haytham and brought to fruition by Newton, Huxley, Einstein, and Popper – was also rooted in the understanding that there is only one truth, only one physical law, and that, therefore, every truth unearthed by the diligence of the curious and hard-working empiricist or theoretician must, if it be truly true, be consistent at every point and in every particular with every truth that had ever been discovered before, and with every truth yet to be discovered. 
Another short cut to ignorance from Monckton here.  Al-Haytham is a favourite of Monckton, from those inpissated Dark Ages.  But Monckton ought to know about Newton's quest for a spiritual truth divorced from his science and Einstein's fruitless quest for the one truth, a unified theory.  But the Huxley bit is interesting.  Which one?  Thomas Henry, Darwin's bulldog, or Julian, the eugenicist?  Julian would be more like Monckton in that his science became poisoned by a fashionable but dead end idea.
It is in the understanding of that central principle of the remarkable oneness and self-consistency of all truth that men of true religion and of true science ought to have become united. For there is an awesome beauty in the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. As Keats put it, “Beauty is truth, truth beauty – that is all.”
 Stephen Jay Gould struggled with the idea of how to accommodate religion and science and finally decided that there was no overlap, that they inhabited different ways of knowing.  The reason why many, perhaps most, "men" [sic] of science do not feel the need for religion is quite simple: the more we understand about the universe, the less is the need to invoke supernatural explanations.  Religion is not and never has been about seeking a truth that is compatible with the truths uncovered by science. In ever area where science has rubbed away the edges of what religion tells us, religion has had to give way.  The seven days of creation are no longer literal days, not in the eyes and minds of sophisticated theologians, the ones that Monckton co-opts in his defence.
The beauty of the truth is sullied, the seamless robe rent in sunder, if not merely a few individual scientists but the entire classe politique not merely of a single nation but of the planet advantages itself, enriches the already rich and impoverishes the already poor by lying and lying and lying again in the name of Saving The Planet by offering costly and environmentally destructive non-solutions to what is proving to be a non-problem.
The very fabric of the Universe is distorted by so monstrous and so sullenly persistent a lie. Those scientists who have been caught out trampling the truth, and those universities in which it has become near-universally agreed that the best thing to keep the cash flowing is to say nothing about the Great Lie, are by their actions or inactions repudiating the very justification and raison-d’être of science: to seek the truth, to find it, to expound it, to expand it, and so to bring us all closer to answering the greatest of all questions: how came we and all around us to be here?
Now Monckton is a man who likes to think he is educated in areas where he clearly is not.  The very fabric of the Universe is not distorted by anything we do.  By using the proper noun, he means the actual physical universe that we can detect.  Monckton has stuffed this argument so full of straw that it is poking out of the seams.  If I were him, I'd put a fake face on it, mount it on a pole and place it in a field so it can scare the birds off the freshly sewn seeds.  Instead, he is trying to frighten the illiterates at WUWT.
We who are not only men of science but also men of religion believe that the Answer to that question lay 2000 years ago in a manger in Bethlehem. The very human face of the very Divine was “perfectly God and perfectly Man”, as the Council of Chalcedon beautifully put it.
We cannot prove that a Nazarene made the Universe, or that any Divine agency takes the slightest interest in whether we tell the truth. But, for as long as there is no evidence to the contrary, we are free to believe it. And it is in our freedom to believe that which has not been proven false that the value of true religion to true science may yet come to be discerned. For our religion teaches us that truthfulness is right and wilful falsehood wrong. We cannot prove that that is so, but we believe it nonetheless. 
Monckton as man of science?  That's a good joke.  Believe what you want about Jesus but where does that put Jews or Hindus or Buddhists or other followers of other faiths?  Can't they do what Monckton says he does?  It's a bit exclusive, isn't it?  But it doesn't follow that being religious necessarily means that science will benefit.  In fact, in some cases it is a hindrance.
Science, though, is not a matter of belief (unless you belong to Greenpeace or some other Marxist front organization masquerading as an environmental group). It is a matter of disciplined observation, careful theoretical deduction, and cautious expression of results. The true scientist does not say, “I believe”: but he ought, if there is any curiosity and awe in his soul, to say “I wonder …”. Those two words are the foundation of all genuine scientific enquiry.
More prejudice from Monckton.  Like I said earlier, he probably thinks the current UK government is Marxist.  Though he probably doesn't actually know what Marxism is.  Since he describes one form of the scientific method, perhaps he ought to see if that is what climate scientists do (spoiler alert: they do).
Yet the global warming scare has shown how very dangerous is science without morality. The scientist, who takes no one’s word for anything (nullius in verba), does not accept a priori that there is any objectively valuable moral code. He does not necessarily consider himself under any moral obligation either to seek the truth or, once he has found it, to speak it.
Science, therefore, in too carelessly or callously rejecting any value in religion and in the great code of morality in which men of religion believe and which at least they try however stumblingly to follow, contains within itself the seeds of its own destruction. 
It is a bit rich to state that the "global warming scare" is related to "science without morality".  It is very much the other way around - scientists could have just kept quiet about it, published in journals and released their results without much fanfare and no one would have been too bothered.  But James Hansen couldn't accept that - he knew from his careful and cautious science that a looming disaster threatened the world.  He wasn't stupid, so he went public.  After which, of course, the rest is history.  Once again we have that nagging scientists should not be advocates, unless (like some we could name) they are contrarian and therefore totally trustworthy.   Not. 
Yea, truth faileth (Isaiah, 59:15). The Great Lie persists precisely because too many of the scientists who utter it no longer live in accordance with the moral yardstick that Christianity once provided, or any moral yardstick, so that they do not consider they have any moral obligation to tell the truth.
That being so, we should no longer consider ourselves as laboring under any obligation, moral or other, to pay any particular heed to scientists seeking to meddle in politics unless and until they have shown themselves once more willing to be what al-Haytham said they should be: seekers after truth.
The full verse is "Yea, truth faileth; and he that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey: and the LORD saw it, and it displeased him that there was no judgment."  It's ironic that Monckton idolises al-Haytham who never was Christian and never lived by Christian morality, yet seems to believe that scientists should.  Weird.  And the idea that scientists live by no moral yardstick is complete rubbish.  But having set up a scarecrow, he is following it down the rabbit-hole of idiocy.  The idea that we need pay no attention to climate scientists works also for the idea that we pay no attention to the climate science deniers.  Especially since Monckton's seeking after the truth is not the same as mine.

Monckton probably took less time to type this than I did to rebut it.  It certainly took less thought.  Throughout it is thoughtless, ignorant and disconnected from reality.  Typical of Monckton.  Typically Monckton, of course, to ignore truth entirely, and although he mentions that he is not a perfect Catholic, he knows that modern Catholic thought has shown up the pliability of religious minds over the century.  Gone are the ideas of Hell and purgatory, along with the realisation that the Bible is riddled with inconsistencies.  What we know about the birth of Jesus comes from the contradictory stories in the New Testament.  It doesn't take much to get confused as to where Jesus was born and that's just the start.

Anyway, the choir likes it, even if they didn't read it.
Bob Weber says:
Outdid yourself with a moving tribute – very honorable sir.
Tribute to what?  It's not a tribute, it's an evidence free diatribe.
Brent Walker says:
A wonderful Christmas present Lord Monckton. I wish this could be printed in every newspaper in every country. 
 Well, Brent, if you want to stump up the cash it can be.  Newspapers are glad to print anything as long as someone is willing to pay for it - they are called adverts.  As for the editorial pages.  Less lucky there, I'm afraid.  First of all, I suspect an editor or two would get cold feel about some of the less honest parts of the piece.  That and the fact it isn't that well written and certainly isn't of the standard most newspaper editors would want.  But the Daily Mail and the Sunday Telegraph would lap it up, amongst others.
Roger Dewhurst says:
Sadly Lord Monckton morality is not the property of religious belief. Others, without religious belief, can come to a morality essentially that of the major religions simply on rational grounds. Quite simply an educated rational person can accept that the ten commandments, or most of them anyway, should form the basis of the way we behave to others.
 A dose of reality, at last.
James Abbott says:
Another convoluted tirade weaving fantastic imagery from the noble Lord – sent down from his high tower in the land of Nid.
But its Christmas – best time of the year for some nuts.
I know a James Abbott.  I wonder if they are one and the same.  Certainly my James Abbott would agree with this James Abbott.

Enough.  The comments go on and on and I have better things to do than read them all.  Importantly, for one who associates himself with seeking the truth, Monckton has form.  You can read about it here and and and and

You get the point.

Addendum I've covered the AGW as religion thing before, here. I am not a fan of any argument that says an evidence based activity is equivalent to a faith based activity. It is a familiar argument because it makes science easier to argue against. You don't need to understand the science, only criticise the premises, assumptions and biases of the scientists. Lo, you have an argument. The fact that it all rests on a false premise is ignored by the likes of Monckton, conveniently.

Update 29 December 2013
I have taken another archive shot of this thread so you can see the comments that followed Monckton's piece.  Importantly, Monckton himself gets involved, which isn't unusual, and wilfully misstates those he calls "trolls", in other words the people who question him.  Most importantly, he seems to backtrack on what he has said in his main piece (my comments are in brackets and in red):
  1. Many thanks to the numerous commenters who have been kind enough to join in our seasonal philosophical discussion. Some responses, if I may.
    I’m delighted that Paul767 has referred to the philosophy of Ayn Rand, a magnificent author who ought to be compulsory reading for every Socialist.  (Really, Ayn Rand?  Perhaps then we could suggest some compulsory reading for Monckton - Sagan, Randi, Dawkins...)
    I’m also delighted that RoHa meet Anthony Flew. I, too met him and admired him, for he was a genuine seeker after truth, and an always refreshing philosopher. His movement towards the notion that God exists was an illustration of his intellectual honesty (though scientifically one might disagree with him as to whether the Big Bang had a cause at all: that is something we shall never know). (I'm not sure if Flew would have retained his theism, and of course his theism was very different from Monckton's.  Flew renounced atheism because he felt intelligent design ideas were strong enough to require a god figure to explain them.)
    Roha, supported by Mr. Dewhurst, rightly points out that religion is not essential to morality. Be that as it may, morality is essential to science, for otherwise scientists might all behave like the tiny handful who have fabricated the climate scare. (But have you considered, Christopher, that the scare is, 1, not fabricated or, 2, that it was fabricated not by scientists but by journalists looking for a story - think those Ice Age coming stories deniers like to bring up as being the 70s consensus?)
    Roha, supported by Martin A, takes me to task for using the past participle “gotten”. That, like “driven” and “sunken”, is one of our vigorous Germanic strong-verb usages and it is a shame it has become lost in the Old Country.  (Or you could use "gat".)
    “Andud” seems wilfully to misunderstand the head posting by suggesting that I had suggested Jesus the Nazarene had created the universe 2000 years ago. No, I did not put a date on that, though He took human form (as a Nazarene) 2000 years ago. The best science at present seems to suggest that the universe winked into being 13.82 billion years ago. This is deduced from the anisotropy of the cosmic background radiation, though I cannot give a clear account of how it was done or whether the answer is right.
    Then, sadly, we have the trolls.
    The furtively pseudonymous “climateace” lists the nonsense on my Wikipedia bio, complaining that I have said I can cure various diseases. No, I have said I am researching a possible cure for various infectious diseases. I only said that much so that potential patients could come forward. Several of them are now better, so researches continue. Does “climateace” really wish that these cures had not taken place? (Which diseases have you cured?  Are you competent to be doing this research?  Under what licence are you practicing?  How do you know that your patients are better?  This video has evidence that Monckton has made claims for the efficacy of his remedy: (and enjoy again the sight of Delingpole squirming).  Not also that Monckton's own comment firstly say he is researching a possible cure and ends by saying that cures have taken place.  So which is it?
    “Climateace” also parrots Wikipedia’s assertion that I said I had a Nobel Peace Prize (much as Michael Mann said he had one, until the UN told him not to). No, I have not said that. I have told the story of how Professor David Douglass of Rochester University, New York, presented me some years back with a Nobel Prize pin made from gold recovered from a physics experiment 30 years previously, after I had given a lecture on climate sensitivity to his faculty. He said I ought to be recognized because I had had a serious error in the Fourth Assessment Report of the IPCC corrected. This, therefore, was what is known as A Joke – a concept with which most trolls are unfamiliar.
    Mosher, in characteristically unconstructive form, incorrectly accuses me of having misquoted Keats, and adds that “the truth of science is contingent”. Contingent upon what, he does not say. (But Monckton knows perfectly well that contingent here means that evidence is the final arbiter)
    Abbott talks of my “extreme prejudice”: but, by now, it should be clear that I take a scientific and not an aprioristic position. I may be right or wrong, but, unlike the trolls, I do not simply follow the Party Line because I am told there is a “consensus” about it. (It is very difficult to read what Monckton writes in his piece without seeing the language of extreme prejudice.  He does not give evidence for his assertion that data was tampered with and the expected response of the climate gate emails will get the rebuttal of all those investigations that turned up no evidence of conspiracy.)
    Talking of which, “Warren” says 99.8% of scientific papers “support” anthropogenic global warming. Well, I support it myself. If there were more of it, the world would be a more prosperous place. It is cold that is the killer, as we discovered in a recent winter here in the UK, when there were 31,000 excess deaths in a single month because it was so cold. No headlines, of course: deaths from cold don’t fit the Party Line. (Of course there are headlines about deaths from cold, and plenty of advice given to try to prevent them, as well as cold weather payments and the like.  Monckton forgets those.)
    “Warren” is exactly the sort of true-believer at whom the head posting was directed. He has not the slightest regard for what is objectively true., Instead, he cites “Naomi Orestes” as having said there was a “consensus”. One supposes he means “Naomi Oreskes”. However, the most comprehensive survey of scientific papers on climate ever conducted was by Cook et al. (2013), who claimed that 97.1% of 11,944 papers published since 1991 supported the “consensus” that most of the warming since 1950 was manmade. The paper in fact demonstrated that only 0.3% of those 11,944 papers supported the “consensus” thus defined, as Legates et al. (2013) pointed out. (As evidence of Monckton's prejudice, he puts some names in quotation marks.  Why Naomi Oreskes and not Al Gore in the next paragraph?  Childish.)
    “Warren” says he will only take me seriously when I publish a peer-reviewed paper (though, curiously, he and others who say that do not seem to wish to hold Al Gore, for instance, to the same standard). However, if he will read Legates et al. he will find that I was one of the co-authors. It will be interesting to know whether he continues to adhere to his belief system when he realizes that he is not in the company of 99.8% of scientists publishing in the field, but only 0.3%. (Not sure anyone takes the Legates & al paper seriously except the deniers.)
    Likewise “Warren’s” assertion that the IPCC’s “90% confidence” in its findings is impressive displays a fundamental ignorance of statistics on his part. There is no dataset on the basis of which any such confidence interval could have been determined. In short, it is fictitious, as was the previous report’s “65% confidence” and the latest report’s “95% confidence”. (As for the level of confidence, how does Monckton know it is "fictitious"?  He doesn't.  He wants it to be.  Strangely, he says above he is a supporter of AGW: "Talking of which, “Warren” says 99.8% of scientific papers “support” anthropogenic global warming. Well, I support it myself."  You could have fooled me, for one, and, assuming for once he is telling the truth, it would be nice to know what level of confidence Monckton puts on his own support?)
    I have had several peer-reviewed papers published. If “Warren” got his science from the reviewed literature rather than from Greenpeace, he might have come across some of them. He might, for instance, like to read my paper Is CO2 mitigation cost-effective?, published in August this year in one of the world’s most prestigious scientific journals, the Annual Proceedings of the World Federation of Scientists’ Erice Seminars on Planetary Emergencies, where I examine whether he would be justified in taking out precautionary insurance against future global warming. The answer, based on the IPCC’s and Stern’s own mainstream analyses, is that it is 1-2 orders of magnitude costlier to act today than to adapt the day after tomorrow. One cannot, as “Warren” and Stern claim, make global warming go away at an annual cost of 1% of GDP. Most mitigation measures cost 20-80% of GDP, while doing nothing, according to Stern, costs about 1% of GDP (or 3% at most, if the warming this century does not exceed 3 K). Since there has been no warming yet this century, and we are one-seventh of the way through it, we could see as little as 1 K warming by 2100, in which event all efforts at mitigation are infinitely more expensive than the do-nothing option. (If you have nothing better to do, here is Monckton's CO2 mitigation paper.  It was published by the denialist SPPI and I can't say how it was peer reviewed.  My suspicion is that it was probably pal reviewed.)
    He may also like to read my earlier paper for the Annual Proceedings, published in 2011, in which I demonstrated that most of the global warming from 1983-2001 was caused by a naturally-occurring reduction in cloud cover (Pinker et al., 2005). So “Warren’s” statement that most of the warming in the 20th century was manmade may not be true, as several papers in the learned literature (including mine) attest. And there is certainly no scientific basis for his assertion that physics dictates that most of the warming must have been caused by us. That is another instance of the logical fallacy of argumentum ad ignorantiam, arguing from ignorance. We don’t know why the warming occurred, but if Pinker is right (and Dr. Joseph Boston kindly reanalysed her data for me to make sure she was) then most of the warming was probably of natural origin. (Annual Proceedings of what?  Bit vague.)
    Next, “Warren” makes the strange assertion that I had said tens of thousands of peer-reviewed papers were wrong. I had made no such assertion. Far fewer papers than he may realize suggest that global warming may prove catastrophic. Of the 64 papers marked by Cook et al. as supporting the IPCC’s version of “consensus” to the effect that most of the warming since 1950 was manmade, only one said warming might prove catastrophic.
    Finally, “Warren” asserts that I believe in the existence of a global “conspiracy” among scientists. No: I had explicitly stated that there is indeed a small group – we all know who most of them are – who for political and financial motives have been making up bad science and getting it published in acquiescent journals. The real problem is that, once the political class had taken up the issue, the remainder of the scientific community stood by and allowed the lies to continue to be told – again for political and financial reasons. That is not a conspiracy: it is the herd instinct of the hive mind that so much of academe has become – a hive mind of which “Warren” seems to be a part. (Hmm, even a small conspiracy can be global, Lord Monckton?  Of course what you are saying is that you have it in for some climate scientists but you won't name names because even using the best lawyers, you are likely to be found guilty of libel as it would be very difficult to prove that what you are saying is either true, in the public interest or just your opinion.)
    Let us hope “Warren” has learned from his experience here that mere assertions of religious belief in the New Superstition are not enough. He must back his claims with proper, peer-reviewed evidence. That excludes tendentious lecture series, and it excludes the documents of the IPCC, which are not peer-reviewed in the accepted sense. The morality taught by my own religion requires that science be a genuine search for truth, which is why those who have tried to assert that science is “amoral” are not quite right. The search for scientific truth is a moral process, in that it requires scrupulous intellectual honesty of the scientist. Scientists like the small and malevolent band who have made up scientific results and claimed certainty where none can exist are not intellectually honest; their work is immoral; and their conclusions, because their work is immoral, are valueless. (The New Superstition is, of course, a figment of Monckton's fertile imagination.  One thing is true - intellectual honesty is a requirement of good science.  It is not something that can be ascribed to Monckton.)
There is more.
The trolls are hard at it, but their increasing desperation is evident in the increasing stupidity of their argument. Margaret Hardman says she believes in “multiple lines of evidence” for catastrophism, but fails to mange to mention even one. She then wilfully misstates my argument in the head posting. I had not said catastrophism was a religion but a quasi-religious superstition. I had not said that because it was a superstition scientists should be more moral: I said that science in the absence of a commonly-accepted moral yardstick that religion can provide is prone to the corruption that has been evident in the global warming scare. (As Margaret Hardman herself points out in her own comment in response, Monckton has put words into her mouth.  She did not say she believes in multiple lines of evidence for catastrophism.  Apparently, however, there is a tactical withdrawal from Monckton.  He now says he is not equating catastrophism with religion (although he clearly made that comparison) but with a quasi-religious superstition.  What rubbish!  Monckton knows he has been exposed and cannot actually continue the analogy.  Religion is not science and science is not a religion.  Monckton knows that, or at least he should.  What Monckton really means by morals for scientists is a set of rules.  We don't talk about the morals of football or golf, we talk about the rules.  Yes, scientists should, and I hope all of them are, aiming to find the truth.  That is not something I think you can accuse Monckton of doing.  Anyway, his story has changed.)
PJ Clarke refers to a doctored graph in the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report in a desperate attempt to maintain that, as he fatuously puts it, “the models are doing fine” when, self-evidently, they are not. The original graph that I and other expert reviewers were allowed to see showed clearly that global warming was trailing along at the very bottom of the models’ various predictions, and altogether outside some of them. That graph was replaced by the doctored graph, and we were not given any opportunity to review the doctored graph before it was published. This is just one instance of the reasons why there is no basis for any claim that the IPCC is “peer-reviewed” in any accepted sense of that term.  (But don't you go around claiming to have been an expert reviewer of earlier IPCC reports?  Isn't that what peer review actually is? 
PJ Clarke then takes issue with my paper concluding on the basis of an analysis by Dr. Rachel Pinker that most of the radiative forcing from 1983-2001 was attributable to a naturally-occurring diminution in global cloud cover. He says that Dr. Pinker herself had challenged my finding. Actually, she had only challenged a fictitious account of it given to her by a paid publicist. When the BBC subsequently sent her my paper, she was not able to fault its conclusion. He also says several other “scientists” had challenged my paper: but they had not dared to do so in any peer-reviewed journal,, where their nonsense would have been subjected to scrutiny.  (Struggled to find anything that supports Monckton's version of events.)
For good measure, PJ Clarke falsely says the absurd paid propagandists Cook et al. had published a peer-reviewed reply to the criticism by Legates et al. (2013) of their trumped-up conclusion that there was a 97% consensus that most of the global warming of recent decades was manmade. Legates et al had demonstrated by reference to Cook’s own datafile that the consensus was actually 0.3%, not 97%. The document by Bedford & Cook linked to by PJ Clarke was not the answer to our paper proving the consensus to be 0.3%: it was an answer to an earlier paper by Legates, Soon & Briggs (and not by Monckton of Brenchley as well). (Playground name calling of Cook & al which suggests their work has tattled the cages of the deniers.  More childishness from Monckton.)
The trolls have had a more than usually decisive spanking in this thread. If they want anyone to take them seriously, they must step up to the plate and raise their game. They should try doing some real research, publishing some real papers and telling the truth, rather than clinging to whatever handy fabrication has been passed down to them in the form of the Party Line. (Not really, Christopher.  At least they didn't resort to name calling and spurious calls for evidence that cannot possibly exist, wave away evidence when produced because it is "fictitious", "doctored", the result of some non-existent conspiracy.  Monckton knows as well as anyone else that he has had his assertions thoroughly dissected in the past and has been shown to have used scientific papers inappropriately, through ignorance it would appear.)
I think that's enough.  It would have been nice to see an apology for the false analogy from Monckton but I don't think the word sorry is in his vocabulary.  That he is wrong is easily demonstrable.  I can do it myself.  That Abbott's comment about prejudice got the response it did suggests it pricked his thick hide.  The stuff about his "miracle" cure is easily contradicted - Monckton even did it himself in the space of a few sentences.  I think I know enough about colds and flu to know that claiming a cure is like proving you caused the Sun to rise in the morning.

My estimation of this man is still declining.  I hope he has a trick to hide it.

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