Climate debate - Nov 14
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Climate chaos? Don't believe it
Christopher Monckton, Sunday Telegraph
The Stern report last week predicted dire economic and social effects of unchecked global warming. In what many will see as a highly controversial polemic, Christopher Monckton disputes the 'facts' of this impending apocalypse and accuses the UN and its scientists of distorting the truth
(5 Nov 2006)
Rebuttals from Monbiot and RealClimate below.
Monbiot: Belive it!
George Monbiot, Guardian
This is a dazzling debunking of climate change science. It is also wildly wrong
Deniers are cock-a-hoop at an aristocrat's claims that global warming is a UN hoax. But the physics is bafflingly bad
For the past nine days my inbox has been filling up with messages labelled "Your scam exposed", "The great fraud unravels" and "How do you feel now, asshole?". They are referring to a new "scientific paper", which proves that the "climate change scare" is a tale "worthier of St John the Divine than of science".
Published in two parts on consecutive Sundays, it runs to a total of 52 pages, containing graphs, tables and references. To my correspondents, to a good many journalists and to thousands of delighted bloggers, this paper clinches it: climate change is a hoax perpetrated by a leftwing conspiracy coordinated by the United Nations.
So which was the august journal that published it? Science? Nature? Geophysical Research Letters? Not quite. It was the Sunday Telegraph. In keeping with most of the articles about climate change in that publication, it is a mixture of cherry-picking, downright misrepresentation and pseudo-scientific gibberish. But it has the virtue of being incomprehensible to anyone who is not an atmospheric physicist.
The author of this "research article" is Christopher Monckton, otherwise known as Viscount Monckton of Brenchley. He has a degree in classics and a diploma in journalism and, as far as I can tell, no further qualifications. But he is confident enough to maintain that - by contrast to all those charlatans and amateurs who wrote the reports produced by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change - he is publishing "the truth".
The warming effects of carbon dioxide, Lord Monckton claims, have been exaggerated, distorted and made up altogether.
(14 Nov 2006)
UPDATE: Viscount Monckton replies: This wasn't gibberish. I got my facts right on global warming.
Sometimes on Realclimate we discuss important scientific uncertainties, and sometimes we try and clarify some subtle point or context, but at other times, we have a little fun in pointing out some of the absurdities that occasionally pass for serious 'science' on the web and in the media. These pieces look scientific to the layperson (they have equations! references to 19th Century physicists!), but like cuckoo eggs in a nest, they are only designed to look real enough to fool onlookers and crowd out the real science. A cursory glance from anyone knowledgeable is usually enough to see that concepts are being mangled, logic is being thrown to the winds, and completetly unjustified conclusions are being drawn - but the tricks being used are sometimes a little subtle.
Two pieces that have recently drawn some attention fit this mould exactly. One by Christopher Monckton (a viscount, no less, with obviously too much time on his hands) which comes complete with supplematary 'calculations' using his own 'M' model of climate, and one on JunkScience.com ('What Watt is what'). Junk Science is a front end for Steve Milloy, long time tobacco, drug and oil industry lobbyist, and who has been a reliable source for these 'cuckoo science' pieces for years. Curiously enough, both pieces use some of the same sleight-of-hand to fool the unwary (coincidence?).
But never fear, RealClimate is here!
(9 Nov 2006)
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