Peter Taylor’s CHILL: a Reassessment of Global Warming Theory is really two books in one. The first part covers the science of climate change in exhaustive detail and provides an alternative to the orthodox view. Taylor, who has impeccable green credentials, describes “the technocratic and communalist approach” in a masterly analysis of how we arrived at this point through “a combination of zealotry which somehow has managed to portray the science as unequivocal when it’s not”. The second part covers policy, politics and remedies.

A main theme of the first part of the book is that we take too linear a view of
climate-trend projections, without recognising past patterns and cycles
which could include future cooling. I am comfortable with that notion, as any observer of history is provided with clear evidence that climate oscillates in numerous
cycles of warm and cold periods.

Readers who believe Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth, and who consider the IPCC
climate assessments are factual, unbiased and objective, will not like this
book. As Taylor says: “It is clear to me that IPCC has made such a forthright commitment to the standard (Co2 ) policy model, that it has a biased attitude to new data that does not conform to that model.” And:

“It is striking that a small group of men working behind computer screens created a virtual reality in which the future climate became the enemy of mankind. That original cabal was likely innocent of any underhand motivation and genuinely believed mankind faced a threat and that they would sound the alert and potentially stave off disaster. But sociologists will go a little bit further and look at the social environment that pawned the very concepts of the climate game, many of which we take entirely for granted. For example the notion that humanity itself can be under threat or that the planet might need to be saved. These are very recent notions, at least from a societal perspective, and do not bear closer scientific scrutiny. “

This book is a breath of fresh air in pointing out the numerous contradictions in the orthodox climate science camps that believe themselves uniquely exempt to the notion that they should actually prove their scientific hypotheses – that by altering the climate and doubling Co2 emissions, mankind will cause a rise in temperatures of up to 6 degrees C.
The author clinically examines areas of uncertainty, plain misunderstandings, and assertions in the existing ‘consensus’ by reviewing numerous high quality ‘contrarian’ papers that rarely receive much coverage in the science and popular media, which is obsessed with the notion of anthropogenic global warming. Climate science is a very small world with authors frequently peer reviewing each other’s papers, some of which might be based on their own work in the first place (Google US Congress hearing by Wegman). Also, they often pronounce on subjects of which they have little
knowledge. When talking of Solanki – a leading solar scientist – Taylor comments:

“This is another classic example of senior scientists publishing in the peer
reviewed literature and commenting on issues entirely outside of their field,
such as carbon dioxide and atmospheric physics, without reference to other
entire fields of relevant climatology, seriously compromised by
compartmented approach or political correctness in the face of
‘controversial’ science.”

That Taylor – and many other commentators –  believes that even the IPCC’s
lowest Co2/temperature rise scenario exaggerates its case by at least a
factor of three is amply illustrated, and as the author demonstrates, sea
levels and temperatures have obviously not read the IPCC’s script.

Having demolished what currently passes for peer reviewed and settled
science, Taylor moves on to remedies and the consequences of the politics in
the second part of his book. He argues that we are not doing enough to adapt to
inevitable changes, and that in particular we are vulnerable to the climate
cooling, for which there is no ‘Plan B’ whatsoever. The author believes many
of the actions for mitigating the supposed impacts of warming are counter
productive. He stresses the need to create ‘resilient systems’ to cope with
all eventualities. As the author says in examining the ‘collusion of
interests’ he has identified; “I can see how it works to everyone’s interest
to believe in the scary climate story.”

This excellent but lengthy book deals with a difficult subject and therefore
its structure is especially important to ensure accessibility and achieve
the influence it deserves, but in this there are problems. For example,
omitting the chapter number at the head of each page yet referring to
chapter numbers in the text was irritating, as wer the constant references to
papers placed on the author’s web site. As much of the science is complex
and multi-layered, it cannot be read like a novel at one go, so it would be
useful to provide a chapter summary. Also I felt it was missing a chapter on
the IPCC’s politics, rationale and peer review processes, that would
illustrate how they became part of the ‘collusion of interests’ intent on scaring
everyone to death when really we have far more important things to worry
about. Nevertheless, the book remains essential and provocative reading.

Finally, to extract from the major review of the science in the first part
of the book is not easy, given the volume of material covered. But here is a
dip into the section on ocean cycles (page 131), which illustrates the tone
of the message:

“The oceans play a crucial role in the absorption and dissipation of heat
over decadal and millennial timescales and with distinct cyclic patterns.
These patterns are poorly understood and not replicated in global warming
models, and any conclusions drawn with respect to those models being able to
isolate an anthropogenic global warming signal must be regarded as unproven
and unlikely”.

These are brave words from a career environmentalist who has managed to keep his head when all around him are losing theirs.

CHILL: a Reassessment of Global Warming Theory
Peter Taylor
Clairview Books, 2009, 404 pages
£14.99 Pbk  ISBN  978 1 905570 19 5

[or try  –  TonyN]

For a profile of Peter Taylor follow the link;

421 Responses to “Peter Taylor’s CHILL: an environmentalist’s very cool look at global warming”

  1. Seems like such a basic idea for renewable energy but it takes a community to discuss the particulars, thanks, good read, ive added a bookmark for your website.

  2. Can I ask Peter Taylor if he knows about the flaws in Moncktons’s work?
    Can I also ask why he hasn’t sent his book to be peer reviewed? And finally does he still think that homeopathic amounts of plutonium are
    “a preparation for rebirth, an awakener to higher consciousness?” (page 232 of Shiva’s Rainbow)?

  3. In response to Archie (May 29th):

    On Monckton: I am not sure what you mean by Monckton’s work. In my book I refer to his article in the newsletter of the American Physical Society and in particular his questioning of the ‘gain factor’ present in the atmospheric physics equations – of 300%, which remains unproven – i.e. the assumption that the expected contribution of CO2 will be amplified by a water vapour response of this magnitude. As Richard Lindzen argued in the Working Group of the first IPCC meeting, this assumption could be wrong as water vapour could turn to cloud and provide a compensatory feedback. If you have any references for a resolution of this issue I would be interested. In my book I also quote Takmeng Wong, NASA’s leading surface radiation budget analyst, who stated in late 2008 (in their in-house journal) that the issue was not resolved and it was all down to explanations of cloud behaviour – on the one hand, thinning clouds could be caused by warmer oceans which could be warmer because of carbon dioxide; on the other hand, thinner clouds cause warmer oceans and this could be a natural phenomenon.

    So – in this respect I make reference to Lord Monckton raising this issue within the APS – a scientific body for which I have great respect, and it says a lot for Monckton’s grasp of the issue that we was invited to write a subtstantial article.

    Otherwise, I am not aware of what Monckton’s ‘work’ might be because he is not a scientist, but a ‘political’ advisor and journalist who is engaged in the debate. If you would point out the ‘flaws’ in his work, I would be happy to comment.

    On peer-reviewing my book: firstly, the book is a meta-analysis (it relies upon reviewing the peer-reviewed literature) and also puts forward some suggestions for long term climate change mechanisms and suitable research. As such, there are limited forums for ‘peer review’. My approach has been:

    1) to circulate a draft report on climate science (also posted on my website and downloadable) once I had made my analysis – and invite comment. This phase lasted two years from mid-2007 to mid-2009. I received no critical comments.

    2) to write about the report and invite debate in the ecological journal ECOS – of which I am also a commissioning editor – and especially to invite specialists to counter my arguments (Mike Hulme responded with an article but did not tackle my thesis – but I had no take up from the MetOffice’s Vicky Pope, who was too busy). The book was reviewed in ECOS by Tony Brown and so reached the ecological and land use policy community – so far, only Dr Adam Watson, former chief ecologist with Cairngorm National Park has provided detailed feedback – all positive and in agreement with many of my ecological observations – for example, regarding wildlife threatened by ‘warming’.

    3) to send the book to all serious environmental journalists including New Scientist, noting that my previous book on biodiversity strategies (2005) had been reviewed widely including a full page in the Independent. Not a single quality paper reviewed the book – despite many follow ups with journalists who know my previous work – for example in the Sunday Times, Observer and Guardian. The Times online, the Mail and Al Jazeera all asked for an 800 word summary which they published online, but have declined longer articles – as have New Scientist and Independent. This is one way of getting the book to the notice of other reviewers and of course working scientists.

    3. The book was requested for review by the editors of ‘The Holocene’ which is a specialist journal dealing with the last 10,000 years of paleo-ecology and paleo-climate – this was published last month alongside a review of Prof Houghton’s seminal book on climate change. The reviewer recommended that to get the full picture, both books should be read together. I can send you a copy of the review if you wish to see it.

    I have three outstanding requests to publish my main arguments and in particular what i think is driving the natural element of climate change – all in peer-reviewed science journals, and I hope to find the time over this summer (not so easy when you work as an independent and time equals money!).

    4. Finally, I have taken the trouble to visit three research labs and discuss my ideas with the top international specialists – at the MetOffice in 2008, before publication, mainly regarding oceanography and Arctic dynamics, and at NOAA and NCAR in the USA (February 2009) on radiation budgets and heat transfer from ocean to land. In all cases I was received with respect and had lengthy discussions (less so with NCAR because surprisingly they were rather out of touch with much of the latest science). These specialists would not necessarily agree with my conclusions, but at the same time, they thought them worthy of consideration and could not readily gainsay the argument.

    Finally – with regard to Plutonium and homeopathy – there is a valid discussion that could be had. but only under the circumstance that we shared a common understanding of terms. Firstly, with regard to homeopathy itself – which is rarely understood outside of those people who have used it; secondly, the terms ‘rebirth’ and ‘higher consciousness’ would also need to be shared. Shiva’s Rainbow was written true to 1984 – when I myself was only scratching the surface of these concepts. You may recall that five years later, the world had stepped back from MAD doctines of Mutually Assured Destruction and the dangerous posturing of Reagan and Thatcher, with Gorbachov unilaterally dismantling the repressive elements of Communism, followed by the collapse of the Berlin Wall and division of East and West. Some would argue this was an ‘economic’ victory – but they will not have read Gorbachov.

    Of course, none of this is ‘proof’ of a global homeopathic dose of plutonium having an effect – but homeopathy by its nature is not susceptible to scientific methods (a bit like computer predictions of global warming in that regard!).

    And by the way – I have learned to keep an open mind on many things that science institutions pour scorn upon – such as homeopathy. As a well-trained biologist I have seen enough to know it can work (in the treatement of my own children), even though it is beyond our current understanding. And also, in case I am misunderstood – this did not prevent me campaigning over 15 years to shut down plutonium production (successful in Sweden and Germany), dumping in the oceans (global ban) and discharges to the marine environment (clean-up of the Irish Sea pipelines at a cost of £500m).

  4. Just to add and to clarify in relation to the journal ECOS – of which I have been an occasional commissioning editor on energy and biodiversity issues, I have written a regular ‘Climate Watch’ column that has reviewed latest developments in science and data, as well as books – and the journal has regularly sought responses from the orthodox viewpoint with only limited success on the science itself. Perhaps that is because we have sought responses to key scientfic issues, rather than simple restatements of official positions – such as the feedback issues of cloud science, or the contributory role of natural cycles in the Arctic ‘melt-down’.

    My experience is that the orthodox camp do not want to lend credibility to the counter arguments, and hence ignore the criticisms (by not reviewing books like Chill and being ‘too busy’ to write anything for ECOS).

    Also to add – Adam Watson was a former senior research ecologist with the Institute of Terrestrial Ecology and an advisor to the Cairngorms NP – he has written a piece in the latest ECOS on his experience of changes in wildlife. I am sure the journal would welcome any countering views on climate and biodiversity particularly if they offered real data and analysis rather than future predictions based on computer models. There will also be a an online debate on the ECOS website (BANC, British Association of Nature Conservationists) between Alistair McIntosh and myself, where Alistair explains the ‘argument from authority’ – and why we should trust the specialists and their committees in the UN, Royal Society etc. In response, I will be outlining my own experience of those institutions and why they cannot be trusted!

  5. Peter, here is another person taking issue with Monckton’s views, which is an interesting detailed read:

    And another question for you. You wrote:
    “…but homeopathy by its nature is not susceptible to scientific methods (a bit like computer predictions of global warming in that regard!).”

    Why is homeopathy not susceptible to scientific methods?

    There is a lot of cash in it for anyone that shows its effects.

  6. Peter and Babaji

    There are mixed reviews on the scientific accuracy of the arguments made by Monckton, with those who are supporters of the premise (that AGW has been a principal source of the past warming and represents a serious potential problem) finding and pointing out mathematical errors or poor assumptions.

    Then there are other reviews, which do not find fault with Monckton’s arguments.

    It is difficult, indeed, to find a “neutral” observer.

    But Monckon has summarized his conclusions, and these are worth reading:

    We have briefly considered, and treated as intriguing but peripheral, Professor Lindzen’s infrared-iris theory and Dr. Svensmark’s cosmic-ray theory. We have then demonstrated that, if CO2 concentration continues to rise more slowly than the IPCC had predicted, and if climate sensitivity to CO2 concentration is in any event well below the IPCC’s projected range, the likelihood of any “global warming” >2 °C/century to 2100 is vanishingly small.

    This is a very valid point. IPCC “scenarios” for projected CO2 increase are skewed to make future warming appear more serious than it is likely to be. The two extreme cases show more CO2 increase than is available in all the optimistically estimated fossil fuel reserves on our planet, and three others show compounded annual growth rates (CAGR) that are between 50% and 100% higher than the rate for the past 5 (or 50) years. If a reasonable CAGR is used, the projected temperature in year 2100 (even at the somewhat exaggerated 2xCO2 climate sensitivity of 3.2C) is below 2C. So Monckton is right. There are also serious questions concerning the validity of IPCC model assumptions on cloud feedbacks (estimated by IPCC to be strongly positive and account for 1.3C out of the modeled 3.2C 2xCO2 climate sensitivity), with recent improved modeling techniques as well as physical observations both showing independently that net cloud feedback is strongly negative, instead (tending to confirm Lindzen’s infra-red theory, mentioned by Monckton).

    We have also demonstrated that official sources have relied upon questionable and occasionally downright dishonest methods to inflate the observed rate of temperature increase, to create the false impression that the rate of increase is itself rising when an identical argument can be used to demonstrate that it is falling, to diminish earlier and warmer temperatures in this century, to abolish the mediaeval warm period, and to divert attention away from the fact that throughout almost all of the Holocene, and throughout all four previous interglacial periods, surface temperatures were considerably warmer than they are today.

    Monckton makes a good point about efforts “to abolish the mediaeval warm period” (i.e. the Mann hockey stick fiasco and all the ensuing “spaghetti copy-hockey sticks”). He also points out correctly that the surface temperature record has so many “homogenizations”, “variance adjustments”, “ex post facto corrections”, etc. that it is hardly a credible record. The relocation of weather stations, the urbanization and poor siting of others, the shutdown of over two-thirds of all stations around 1990 (at the same time as temperature appeared to increase sharply), also support Monckton’s statement “that official sources have relied upon questionable and occasionally downright dishonest methods to inflate the observed rate of temperature increase”.

    For reasons of length, the present paper cannot consider the numerous and flagrant official as well as unofficial distortions, inflations and exaggerations of the supposed consequences of “global warming”: the present analysis has been confined only to the analysis of its imagined causes. This note should, however, be sufficient to convince the open-minded and diligent reader that, if so many artful steps have been and are being taken to falsify and exaggerate the scientific truth, perhaps the truth is not as those who are so ingeniously and persistently tampering with the science and the data would have us believe.

    Monckton has concentrated on analyzing IPCC AR4 WG1 (causes and projections of global warming) rather than the other reports covering the postulated consequences. Most of the recent revelations of flawed and outright incorrect claims by IPCC cover the “consequences”, which Monckton has not analyzed in detail.

    The arguments of David Hafemeister & Peter Schwartz go into a lot of detail, but are a bit one-sided and leave out many of the points mentioned above, where Monckton’s analysis is spot on. For example, the use of “wind shear” to estimate temperature (when radiosonde measurements do not give the desired or anticipated values) is simply “bad science”, despite the fact that this approach is supported by H+S. The “missing hot spot” is also a serious problem, although it is glossed over.

    Asking for an impartial analysis by Gavin Schmidt is even more foolhardy.

    Monckton’s analysis is not perfect. But, then again, neither are the 3,000+ pages of IPCC reports (and these are supposed to represent today’s “best summary of climate science knowledge”).


  7. manacker said:

    “Then there are other reviews, which do not find fault with Monckton’s arguments.”

    yes, the ones that know what they’re talking about.

    “It is difficult, indeed, to find a “neutral” observer.”

    And what does “neutral” mean? In the face of ignorance and lack of qualified opinion what use is neutrality?
    Monckton is eccentric and unqualified to write about climate science. He is also a known liar. We all have a field day with the climategate e mails and forget to apply our reason to fools like Monckton.
    If we are to show that AGW is not what most scientists claim it to be then we should listen to qualified people, not nutters like Monckton.
    Sorry for the colourful language but far too many of us climate skeptics accept the pap written by raving loons like Monckton. It doesn’t do us any good. We should be using the findings of peer reviewed scientists to support our arguments. Then when we speak
    we won’t be laughed at.

  8. Babaji

    I am inclined to agree with the last paragraph of your #358. I think Monckton writes about many interesting things but I can’t agree with everything he does or says and I am sometimes uncomfortable with the way he expresses himself.

    He has become something of a figure head over the last year but would like to see him backpedal a little on his speeches and produce more written papers-something he is pretty good at.


  9. Babaji

    You wrote:

    If we are to show that AGW is not what most scientists claim it to be then we should listen to qualified people, not nutters like Monckton.

    Should we listen to Lindzen, Pielke or Spencer (or are they also “nutters”)?

    I agree with TonyB that Monckton has come on too strong at times (and that there may be flaws in some of his detailed analyses) but I also agree that his “summary” makes sense and that he is anything but a “nutter”.

    IPCC is guilty of exaggeration and falsehood.

    The difference is that IPCC is supposed to be the “gold standard” of climate science and knowledge (with input from many tax-payer funded studies costing billions of dollars), whereas Monckton is just one (privately funded) individual, who has found some “soft spots” in the IPCC argumentation.

    As a result, IPCC SHOULD and MUST be held to a much higher level of accountability than Monckton.

    Unfortunately, the recent disclosures of “agenda driven science” have shown that IPCC has not lived up to its “gold standard” reputation.

    And Monckton is fully right to point this out.


  10. Babaji

    The one point you miss completely, is that Monckton will meet with any of the climate scientists at any time anywhere to debate the science. All of them have steadfastly refused.

    I have meet Monckton and he is anything but a nutter. His language may leave a few uneasy, and in the context of a rational scientific debate that is how I would feel. However in the absence of any co-operation what so ever from the AGW camp the language has been deliberately changed; the debate is now political. If I were Monckton and had been subjected to all the nonsensical personal attacks and name calling from the AGW camp I would be using far stronger language than he is.

    So when you judge things, you need to understand the full context. As for his science, he is rather more informed than I would say 99.9% of all climate scientists, whom it has to be said study effects and not causes, thus leaving us the public the problem of scratching around for proof of the cause.

  11. Peter Geany,

    You write “…..the problem of scratching around for proof of the cause”

    If you want ‘proof’ you won’t get it. At least not until its too late to be of any use. Science isn’t like mathematics it works on evidence, the balance of probabilities, and theories which best fit the available facts.

    All that scientists can ever do is look at the evidence and say, as they have done, and in their opinion, the problem of AGW is serious, very likely to be caused by human emissions of GH gases and likely to become worse if those emissions are not curtailed.

    Its doesn’t make any sense to ask the question and set an impossible standard of verification for either of the possible answers.

  12. PeterM

    You wrote (362):

    All that scientists can ever do is look at the evidence and say, as they have done, and in their opinion, the problem of AGW is serious, very likely to be caused by human emissions of GH gases and likely to become worse if those emissions are not curtailed.

    Its doesn’t make any sense to ask the question and set an impossible standard of verification for either of the possible answers.

    Empirical data based on actual physical observations.

    That is the scientific evidence (not “proof”) which rational skeptics of the dangerous AGW premise have requested in vain from the supporters of the premise supported by SOME (not all) scientists that AGW is a potential serious threat.

    This is no “impossible standard of verification” as you write, Peter, it is just good science.

    And the supporters of the AGW premise have been unable to provide this evidence in support of their premise.


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  14. tonyb wrote:
    “He has become something of a figure head over the last year but would like to see him backpedal a little on his speeches and produce more written papers-something he is pretty good at.”

    Tonyb Monckton’s so called papers are laughable pieces of ignorance, where he shows that he understands little about climate science.

    Peter geany wrote:

    “The one point you miss completely, is that Monckton will meet with any of the climate scientists at any time anywhere to debate the science. All of them have steadfastly refused.”

    Richard Dawkins was asked why he wouldn’t debate creationists, he replied ” that would look good on their CVs but not on mine.”
    Monckton has been shown by real scientists to be ignorant of the subject he writes about. Google “Monckton debunked” and see the rebuttals real scientists give his amateur climate pseudoscience.

    “So when when you judge things, you need to understand the full context. As for his science, he is rather more informed than I would say 99.9% of all climate scientists, whom it has to be said study effects and not causes, thus leaving us the public the problem of scratching around for proof of the cause.”

    No he isn’t more informed, he is not a scientist. He is a mad crank and makes all of us climate skeptics look like idiots.He regularly gets his ass handed to him by those scientists who know much much more than he’ll ever know. And then Monckton tries to intimidate the person that debunked his crap. Talk about a sore loser.
    The major problem us climate skeptics face is that far too many of us are not skeptical when cranks like Monckton fire off another load of pseudoscientific BS. We need to support our assertions with papers by real scientists, not eccentric British buffoons.

  15. Babaji

    To Christopher Monckton.

    His critique of Al Gore’s “AIT” film is to the point and correct. The 35 errors he has spotted and critiqued are, indeed, errors.

    In his conclusion, Monckton states:

    As many as 35 serious scientific errors or exaggerations, all pointing towards invention of a threat that does not exist at all, or exaggerations of phenomena that do exist, do not reflect credit on the presenter of the movie or on those who advised him. The movie is unsuitable for showing to children, and provides no basis for taking policy decisions. Schools that have shown the movie to children are urged to ensure that the errors listed in this memorandum are drawn to the children’s attention.

    I can find no fault in this analysis.

    Can you? (If so, please be specific.)

    Now, I will admit that a (“cherry-picked”?) portion of Monckton’s scientific reasoning in other statements related to AGW has been criticized by various scientists, who support the premise that AGW represents a serious threat.

    I have not gone through all of these critiques, nor do I defend Monckton’s reasoning on all points, but I find the “ad hominem” bashing of Monckton by AGW supporters, which one also sees on the internet, rather foolish.

    I agree with TonyB that Monckton should

    backpedal a little on his speeches and produce more written papers

    And, at the same time, he should make sure that the research supporting his written papers is vetted by experts in the specific field and backed by solid scientific work, which he can cite.


  16. Al Gore is no scientist is he? Monckton can write whatever he likes about Al gore as far as I’m concerned. But when it comes to real science Monckton is a buffoon, misunderstanding what scientists write. Here is one of Monckton’s lectures being torn apart by a qualified scientist:

    And see how Monckton reacts after he has been criticized by someone with much better qualifications than him. Monckton then replies:

    “Mr. Abraham, and the president of his university, will shortly be receiving a long letter from me asking him a number of questions about his presentation, which appears to have fallen well below the standards of academic probity and honesty that would normally be thought acceptable in civilized society.”

    Monckton threatens Abraham with “running to tell his daddy”. Sore loser or what?

    “Mr. Abraham here admits that he spent several months working on his presentation attacking me personally in the most venomous terms, and also complains that several of the slides that I showed to a lay audience did not have the full academic references on them.”

    “Most venomous terms”..? Abraham is exceedingly polite. Monckton is a liar.

    “Why, then, did he not bother at any stage during his months of preparation to contact me simply to ask for the references?”

    Why didn’t Monckton tell Al Gore that he was about to criticise him? Why should a scientist tell a non scientist that they’re going to debunk the crap a non scientist presented?

    “This is the first of many indications of bad faith on Mr. Abraham’s part that I shall be drawing to the attention of the authorities at the Bible College where he lectures.”

    The bad faith is all Monckton’s, and he threatens Abraham again.

    “The usual practice in academe is that anyone wishing to rebut another’s work notifies that other of his intention and of the rebuttal, before it is published, to give that other the opportunity to prevent needless errors. That usual practice was not followed in the present instance.”

    But Monckton isn’t part of academic circles, he is a crank with pretentions to being a climate change scientist,a job which he is totally unqualified for.

    “A video by me refuting all of Mr. Abraham’s numerous false claims and outright mendacities will be available shortly. – Monckton of Brenchley.”

    Abraham’s main criticism of Monckton is that Monckton has misunderstood the work of scientists. Abraham contacts those scientists and gets replies that Monckton’s view of their work is erroneous. Monckton’s replies don’t adress this criticism.
    We should all be distancing ourselves from Monckton and his crankish ways.

  17. Peter geany wrote:

    “The one point you miss completely, is that Monckton will meet with any of the climate scientists at any time anywhere to debate the science. All of them have steadfastly refused.”

    I looked to see if anyone with the relevant qualifications would debate Monckton, and I found this:

    “38.bpl1960 at 20:44 PM on 7 June, 2010
    My Dear Viscount,

    I was delighted to see a venue in which I might contact you, as it were, directly. I am a pauper, unfortunately, so my opportunities to travel are limited, but perhaps some organization can help. You have been calling, I believe, for open debate on climate change issues? I am willing to debate you, if you or some organization you are associated with would be so kind as to arrange things. If sufficiently far from my home in Pittsburgh, PA, I would require only transportation.

    It is my position that
    *Global Warming is real
    *Global Warming is Anthropogenic
    *Global Warming is the most serious threat human civilization has ever faced outside of nuclear war.

    My credentials in the field are modest, but do include a bachelor’s degree in physics (University of Pittsburgh 1983), past presidency of the Tripoli Science Association, and twelve years writing radiative-convective models of planetary atmospheres. Your degree is, I believe, in journalism? Or classics? So I hope my qualifications will be sufficient.

    I await your reply.

    -Barton Paul Levenson
    Writer, Programmer, Scientist, and Internet Pain in the Ass.”

    So Monckton can make a fool of himself if he wants to, and us climate skeptics will just have to accept more derision over Moncktons inadequacy as a scientist and spokesperson for climate skepticism:(.

  18. Babaji

    You write:

    Al Gore is no scientist is he? Monckton can write whatever he likes about Al gore as far as I’m concerned. But when it comes to real science Monckton is a buffoon, misunderstanding what scientists write.

    Would you classify multi-millionaire Al Gore as a “buffoon” as well, just beacuse he has no notion about “real science”?

    Would you then conclude that his Oscar-winning AIT film should be banned from schools (as Monckton has proposed)?

    Monckton (a private citizen) does not claim to be a climate scientist. Any errors he might make are therefore excusable. The same goes for Al Gore.

    When the (tax-payer funded) IPCC, which has taken on the mantle of gold-standard scientific authority on our planet’s climate, makes stupid errors based on bad science or fudges and exaggerates data to prove its “sales pitch” of dangerous AGW, this is inexcusable, and Monckton is fully right in exposing this (as painful as it may be for the so-called “mainstream” climatologists and the IPCC bureaucrats involved).

    TonyB is right about Monckton. He needs to do more studying and issuing serious papers and less political blah-blah; at the same time he needs to check his sources and get his papers reviewed by an expert before releasing them.

    But don’t just write him off as a “buffoon” any more than you would write off Al Gore as one.


  19. Babaji

    BTW (in case you don’t know this) Barton Paul Levenson is an active AGW-believer and supporter on RealClimate.

    He is an author of science fiction.

    I have seen some of his analyses on RC (for example, a study that purportely shows a good statistical correlation between atmospheric CO2 and GISS global temperature).

    This “study” simply shows that over 130 years both have gone up. (Yawn!)

    What BPL does NOT show is that a closer examination of the records shows a very poor statistical correlation; actually more of a “random walk”, due to the multi-decadal warming and cooling oscillations (half-cycle about 30 years), while there have been no such fluctuations in atmospheric CO2.

    I can show a similar correlation between global temperature and the sale of McDonalds “Big Macs” from 1970 to today (but I wouldn’t be silly enough to post this on the RC site as “evidence of causation”.

    Get a real scientist (like Hansen) to debate with Monckton, and back Monckton up with Lindzen for example, while backing up Hansen with Gore.

    Then you’ve got something worth watching.


  20. Babaji

    As I say Monckton does not speak for me and I am uneasy at his prominence. I liked John Abrahams manner, but could only sit through 30 minutes of his rebuttal-he is not a natural speaker and I found his comparative methodology difficult to follow on a small screen. However I found him pleasant and courteous.

    He did have the habit of highlighting things that did’t actually say what he says they did, and cited various people who actually agreed with Monckton, not disagreed with him.

    In addition, his work on the Hockey stick and sea level rise was sloppy. In fact it would be interesting to see a critique of his critique!

    His even handed method of speaking is a pleasant contrast to Monckton’s overbearing manner, although having said that the latter would send his (normally) lay audience to sleep if he presented like Abrahams.

    They are takling to different audiences and in an actual lecture Hall on climate science I would prefer Abrahams but as an ‘entertainment’ I would prefer to listen to Monckton

    I think neither of them have been 100% correct in what they say.


  21. Max,

    You say that Viscount Monckton “does not claim to be a climate scientist”.

    I think he might well reply that you should speak only for yourself on that point!

    Take a look at this:

    It contains graphs, tables, lots of mathematical equations, diagrams, references even! He’s explaining to us that the IPCC, NASA, the Royal Society, NSIDC, NOAAA, CSIRO and just about every world scientific body you can think of, (apart from Wattsupwiththat of course!) have all got it wrong about AGW.

    Besides claiming to be a member of the House of Lords, which he isn’t, it looks very much like he’s claiming to be a climate scientist too. But that’s easy enough for him. He’s a member of the British aristocracy. They do have the breeding to be able to do this sort of thing you know.

  22. Despite all the graphs and equations, the simple reason why Monckton comes up with a very low figure for climate sensitivity can be seen in his following comment:

    “On the basis of Lindzen (2007), the anthropogenic-ear radiative forcing as established in Eqn. (3) are divided by 3 to take account of the observed failure of the tropical mid-troposphere to warm as projected by the models”

    Well dividing by three is one way of getting a lower answer!

    If he’d done his calculations properly he could have taken his figure of 0.241 deg K /W/ m2 , which is fair enough, for the climate sensitivity without any feedback.

    Everyone agrees (including Max so it must be right!) that a doubling of CO2 will lead to a forcing factor of 3.7W/m2 producing a temperature rise of 0.89 degC.

    Monckton also claims to have deduced a feedback factor of 2.095 (see his equation 29) which would mean that the figure 0.89 deg C would have to be increased to 1.86deg C

    Ok that’s a little lower than most calculations, but not outside the overall IPCC range and on that basis, we can only hope that the good Viscount may be not too far off the mark.

  23. PeterM

    Yeah. Monckton’s calculations are not always “spot on”, as we have both said.

    But Lindzen, who tells us that the IPCC model assumptions give us a climate sensitivity that is 3 times as high as that physically observed, probably makes more sense.

    I’d stick with Lindzen and forget about Monckton (or IPCC models), when it comes to estimates of climate sensitivity.


  24. Max,

    I don’t recall you ever mentioning any reservations about Monckton’s calculations before the subject cropped up on this thread. For instance you both seem to disagree on the question of feedbacks.

    That’s a key difference between scientists and deniers who may be pretending to be scientists. Scientists care about little details like that and will discuss matters until an agreement or consensus is reached.

    You’re totally happy with what Monckton has written – even though he’s arrived at what you consider to be the right answer by a different route. Deniers don’t care about different routes!

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