SPECIAL FEATURE: Academics' venom signals climate scare's end
by Dr Paul Monk
News Weekly, May 11, 2013
The high priest of climate scepticism, Lord Christopher Monckton, recently completed a three-month speaking tour of Australia and New Zealand, where he addressed packed houses at scores of venues but was predictably ignored by the mainstream media. On his return to Britain he wrote the following exclusive article for News Weekly.
As Corporal Jones of Dad’s Army famously put it, “They don’t like it up ’em.”
Christopher Monckton of Brenchley.
On my recent month-long New Zealand speaking tour, “climate scientists” from several “universities” disliked my message.
I told packed houses at 30 venues that global warming stopped 20 years ago, sea level is not rising, warming is not now expected to top 1 Cº this century, and it would be 50 times cheaper to adapt even to the 3 Cº warming the UN’s climate panel absurdly predicts than to spend anything today on futile attempts to stop it.
The academics’ venom in response to these inconvenient truths signals that they know the climate scare from which they have profiteered is at an end. They don’t like the truth up ’em. They were furious.
Their hate campaign — which betrayed features of expensive co-ordination — was directed not so much at my argument as at me personally.
Yet 2350 years ago Aristotle had categorised the argumentum ad hominem — attacking the man and not his argument — as a disfiguring sub-species of ignoratio elenchi, the fundamental logical fallacy of not knowing how to conduct a serious debate seriously.
The first rule of debate is to agree to take part. Yet, despite months of effort by my tour organisers, not one “scientist” would (or could) defend the official story-line.
Professor Jonathan Boston of Victoria University in Wellington produced the silliest response. He said he did not want to give me any credibility by participating.
If he had been confident of victory, he would have agreed with relish. My losing a debate against a mere professor of politics with little scientific knowledge would not give me credibility, so he probably refused because he knew he would lose.
He also refused to book a lecture theatre for one of my talks. His reason, angrily expressed, was that the university did not allow freedom of discussion on climate. Only his viewpoint was permissible. I would not be allowed to set foot on campus.
On Boston’s website I found a slide presentation entitled Energy, Transport and Sustainability — Discovering Pathways to 2040. His first graph is pictured below.
A graph, used by the International Panel on Climate Change
(IPCC), representing the UK Hadley Centre’s record of global
annual changes in surface temperature from 1850 to 2005.
The graph represents the UK Hadley Centre’s record of global annual changes in surface temperature from 1850 to 2005. Overlaid by four separate trend-lines, it appears twice in the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s Fourth Assessment Report of 2007, with statements that, because the yellow trend-line starts more recently than the other three, global warming is accelerating.
The IPCC’s conclusion is unjustifiable. Though each trend-line is correctly placed, one may not deduce from their relative slopes that the world is warming ever faster.
For one can arbitrarily position one’s trend-lines to obtain any desired result. For instance, a sine-wave has a zero trend by definition: yet, by artful positioning of several trend-lines, one can falsely show either acceleration or deceleration.
I could not believe that 1,400 authors and 700 reviewers would commit such scientific fraud. Nor did they. The graph in their final draft showed just one trend-line, correctly showing warming equivalent to just 0.4 Cº/century.
Someone in the bureaucracy got a “scientist” to tamper with the graph. However, in my capacity as an expert reviewer for the IPCC’s forthcoming Fifth Assessment Report, I am requiring the fraudulent version to be corrected.
Four years ago I was due to give testimony before the Ways and Means Committee of the US Congress. The ranking Republican committee member, Rep. John Linder, asked me to give his caucus a pre-briefing. I displayed the IPCC’s fraudulent graph.
John took one look at it and said, “They can’t have done that!” He turned to his colleagues and added, “Gentlemen, we have seen all we need to see about whether we can place any reliance at all on the IPCC or on the ‘science’ it publishes.”
Since that crucial moment, the Republicans in Washington DC have rightly taken a sceptical line on climate. However, Democrat Senators Barbara Boxer and Bernie Sanders have used the false conclusion that we are to blame for “accelerated” warming as a key justification for their recently-tabled carbon-tax bill.
I told Victoria’s vice-chancellor, Professor Pat Walsh, that his university’s website is hosting the fraudulent graph. I also mentioned allegations by Dr James Renwick that I have no scientific training and have “studiously avoided” getting any, and by Professor “Dave” Frame that I have been “going around saying things we know are not true”.
Professor Walsh brushed my complaint aside on the grounds that the university is the “critic and conscience” of society [but not of itself, it seems]; that academic freedom is for academics only [that is not what the law says]; that climate debate “must be rigorous and scientifically based” [sack the three professors, then]; and that the staff “may have been misquoted or taken out of context by the media” [yeah, right: did they complain to the media that they had been “misquoted”?].
On the advice of a New Zealand judge and a Kiwi scientist who has himself been smeared by Victoria University staff for daring to question their New Religion, my complaint is now before the university’s chancellor, with a warning that the fraud will be reported to the police unless the university now shows willingness to police itself.
If neither the chancellor nor (in due course) the police will act, I shall return to New Zealand and lodge a private prosecution.
I have explained the fraud to several audiences. Only one of my listeners voted not to convict for fraud. Nearly all voted to convict.
The accused will not be able to plead ignorance, for I have drawn their attention to the fraud. Yet the bogus graph is still on the website at vuw.ac.nz (last accessed on April 27, 2013).
Since the slide remains, the deception is deliberate. It was a grave mistake for the vice-chancellor not to order it removed.
All three newspapers that printed the professors’ libels were compelled, in the shadow of legal proceedings, to publish comprehensive corrections. One paper had to publish a second correction after attempting to repeat the libels.
I shall be writing to each of the professors to give them the chance to withdraw and apologise, failing which they will stand trial for libel.
Victoria University was the worst but not the only offender. Daniel Kingston, a lecturer in climate “science” at the University of Otago, was interviewed on Dunedin television about my talks there, though I do not recall his having attended.
Kingston said I had stated incorrect facts, misunderstood the basics of science and misrepresented the views of others repeatedly and in public — in short, that I was inaccurate, ignorant and dishonest.
He also presented himself as an expert in peerage law, saying I was not a member of the House of Lords. Though a recalcitrant clerk there says I am not, he and Kingston were wrong. An Opinion from a barrister specialising in constitutional law concludes: “The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley is a member of the House of Lords, and he was and remains fully entitled to say so.”
Kingston also said I had not published any papers in scientific journals. Wrong again. On the strength of my numerous papers, last year the IPCC appointed me as an expert reviewer.
As usual with these personal attacks, neither Kingston nor the program bothered to check any of the facts with me in advance, still less to give me any opportunity to appear on the program or to reply.
Kingston said the world is warming at a rate “unprecedented in human history”. No. The world warmed by 5 Cº in just three years at the end of the last Ice Age 11,400 years ago. It warmed at 4 Cº/century during the 40 years 1695-1735.
Yet since 1950, when we might first have begun to influence climate, it has warmed at little more than 1 Cº/century.
For the past couple of decades, there has been no statistically-significant warming at all: hardly a rate “unprecedented in human history”.
Curiouser and curiouser: a climate-extremist Radio New Zealand reporter, one Bryan Crump, appears to have solicited an email from Professor Ralph Sims of Massey University. Crump secretly tacked it on to a 25-minute interview with me. He did not put Sim’s email to me before broadcasting it.
Crump said Sims wrote: “You apply to the IPCC to become an expert reviewer and then you either do or don’t get approval depending on your professional credentials. Actually, anyone can try and become an expert reviewer.”
The implication was that I had not in fact become an expert reviewer. Well, I had. So Massey University’s vice-chancellor and Radio New Zealand’s complaints department will now be whitewashing (er, make that “investigating”) Crump’s and Sims’ misconduct.
What are we to make of the sad decline in both academic and journalistic standards that allowed the “scientists” and “journalists” named here to pay so little heed to reason, logic, science, balance and truth?
It has been apparent for many years, as devastatingly recorded in Allan Bloom’s Closing of the American Mind, that there is no such thing as academic freedom at today’s universities.
Alhazen (965-c.1039), pictured here on
an Iraqi 10,000-dinar banknote, is also
celebrated on the postage stamps of
four Islamic nations.
In defiance of the scientific method and of the natural law, both of which absolutely require that both sides of an academic dispute be heard in academe itself as well as in the media, on too many subjects too many “scientists” and “journalists” have let prejudice stand in the way of legitimate scientific questioning of the party line.
Their shoddy conduct would have horrified Alhazen (pictured right), the astronomer and philosopher of science in 11th-century Iraq who founded the scientific method.
He wrote: “The seeker after truth does not place his faith in any mere consensus, however venerable. Instead, he checks and checks again. The road to the truth is long and hard, but that is the road we must follow.”
If we follow the road to the truth, the climate scare is over. It has served one useful purpose: to remind us not to trust anyone just because he wears a white coat with Biros sticking out of the front pocket.
Lord Christopher Monckton, 3rd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, is a British journalist and public speaker, a former political adviser to the Thatcher Conservative Party, and currently a spokesman for the eurosceptic UK Independence Party (UKIP).