Prat Watch #8: Monckton’s folly, Carterist crap

by Gareth on January 31, 2013

I do — sometimes — enjoy a trip over to the other side, those dark corners of the web where people pretend that climate change isn’t a real and pressing problem. I looked in at µWatts this morning, and passed a most amusing breakfast perusing the latest offerings there from potty peer Christopher, Lord Monckton of Brenchley, and Robert, “Bob” Carter. When I say amusing, I mean that I found it almost impossible to get past the first paragraph of Monckton’s extended paean to Greek architecture without collapsing into my toast laughing.

It appears the good Lord is planning to build what he describes as a cottage orné, and the rest of us might think of as a folly, on his Scottish estate. This cottage will be a Greek-style pavilion, as the little image above shows. Quite why Anthony Watts thinks his blog is an appropriate place for this folie du grandeur remains obscure until very late in the piece, but Monckton never fails his loyal climate crank fans:

To make matters worse, there is now overwhelming evidence that climatologists all over the world have been tampering with temperature data, sea-level data, paleoclimate data, etc., etc.. The tampering always seems to be in the direction of making it appear, artificially, that there is more of a problem than there is.

Remember this when he turns up in Australia and New Zealand this year. Monckton expects to be able to libel every climate scientist in the world, and still be taken seriously. I hope he brings a model of his cottage, and displays it at every opportunity.

Not to be outshone by the verbose viscount, Bob Carter, Australia’s master of pompous prose, offers µWatts a classic example of his normal nonsense…

Carter begins by claiming comparable credibility to real climate scientist Katherine Hayhoe1, and therefore falls at the first hurdle. Carter is a well-published and somewhat respected geologist, but when it comes to climate science his credibility has been shot by twenty years of daft denial on behalf of US and Australian fossil fuel interests, not to mention by taking money from the Heartland Institute.

Carter attempts to show that a self-posed hypothesis — that CO2 induced warming is dangerous — doesn’t stand up to the evidence. Here’s his last “test”:

(v) The same computer models predict that a fingerprint of greenhouse-gas-induced warming will be the creation of an atmospheric hot spot at heights of 8-10 km in equatorial regions, and enhanced warming also near both poles.

Given that we already know that the models are faulty, it shouldn’t surprise us to discover that direct measurements by both weather balloon radiosondes and satellite sensors show the absence of surface warming in Antarctica, and a complete absence of the predicted low latitude atmospheric hot spot. Hypothesis fails, twice.

Nope. Because that’s a false test. If you were a credible climate scientist, Bob, you would know that a tropospheric “hot spot” is a “fingerprint” that would result from warming from all sources, not just greenhouse gases. And I wonder why you fail to mention the remarkable warming in the Arctic or the Antarctic Peninsula? Rhetorical question. We all know why Carter is misrepresenting the facts. It’s because he’s happy to misrepresent the truth on behalf of his paymasters.

More interesting than Carter’s arguments are where his piece first appeared — the web site of the “American Institute for Technology and Science Education“, a creationist lobby group based in California. Monckton is a birther and supporter of all sorts of wacky conspiracy theories (see above). Now we have Carter making common cause with creationists. How are the mighty fallen. Tell it not in µWatts, publish it not in the pages of Morano; lest the daughters of the warmists rejoice…

  1. The piece appears to be an attempt at a rebuttal of an earlier article by Hayhoe. []

{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Rob Taylor February 1, 2013 at 4:11 am

As Bob Carter’s home state of Queensland reels under the lash of AGW-intensified drought, fire and flood, Hekia Perata should have a word to him about karma.

After all, their coal industry gives the banana-benders one of the highest per capita GHG emission rates on the planet…

Gareth February 1, 2013 at 10:06 am

I think we may assume that Carter’s a karma chameleon.

Rob Taylor February 1, 2013 at 10:41 am

Gareth, there are some things in this world that are best left unseen, and that video is one of them

Gareth February 1, 2013 at 10:59 am

Ah, Rob, but that telling first verse…

If I listened to your lies would you say
I’m a man (a man) without conviction,
I’m a man (a man) who doesn’t know
How to sell (to sell) a contradiction.

Rob Taylor February 1, 2013 at 11:45 am

Do you remember how the prison superintendent tormented Hannibal Lecter with fundamentalist TV in “Silence of the Lambs”?

Perhaps, after the Climate Trials next decade, convicted professional deniers such as Monckton and Carter can have Bieber piped into their cells…

bill February 1, 2013 at 12:53 pm

I’m pleased to announce that I have seen precisely zero reporting of the PP’s meet and greet with journalists that was to have been held in Sydney yesterday, nor has there been a peep regarding the Press Conference to be held here in Adelaide today, according to his ‘Foundation’ website.

He’s been available for interviews since the 28th – result: zip.

Long may this trend continue!

(And, you know, what with the fires and the floods the Australian media are pretty preoccupied; not to mention the arrest on 150 fraud charges of a Federal Labor MP – any of whom is a key component of a fairly shaky minority government – the day after the PM announced an election nearly 230 days out!)

Nick February 3, 2013 at 4:49 pm

Zip media interest. That’s excellent news [!] …Monckton may have had some novelty for the callow media last year [or was it the year before?],but no longer. It’s a thin act,and even distractable journalists have some standards.

He was linked to Gina Reinhart,another wealthy dullard who has proven to be unworthy of enduring attention. Her much trumpeted media excursions have proven disastrous investments,her judgement is flawed,her opinion of little worth, and thus his.

andyS February 3, 2013 at 6:50 pm

Zip media interest, except for SciBlogs bloggers who keep me up to date on the movements of Brenchley.

Gareth February 3, 2013 at 10:24 pm

Barring tectonic activity that hasn’t yet been reported by the BBC, Brenchley remains a village in Kent that has a good pub.

bill February 1, 2013 at 1:24 pm

Interesting, isn’t it, how similar the Creationi… sorry, ‘Intelligent Designers’ arguments are to those of AGW Deniers.

The ringing claims of the heroic pursuit of Freedom™ and the heroic resistance of malign Persecution (i.e. people keep pointing out we’re, um, wrong) are virtually identical.

For instance, if we just make a few substitutions of the endorsements of the book they’re plugging over at the AITSE website –

“The more deeply we explore using good science, the less plausible appear the tenants of faith in [AGW] as the explanation for [recent warming]. This is most evident in my own working fields of life sciences, where [natural variation] is the reasonable mechanism above all others. [Dr. X] has written a critical documentary for our time, painful though it is, and the cry for real academic freedom should ring out from American students, teachers, scientists and legislators across our land.”

“Although doubts about [AGW] are rife within the [climate science] community, it’s not often that we see a professional [climate scientist] come out of the closet to question [AGW]. In this explosive book, [scientist Dr X] details the inquisition she faced from the scientific establishment for questioning [Warmist] orthodoxy. But this is not just a book about persecution. More importantly, [Dr X] charts a path for freeing science from its ideological captivity to [Warmism].“

“Articulate, beautiful, intelligent and possessing a soft-spoken confidence that truth prevails in the end, [Dr. X] exhibits those qualities that [Warmist] educrats have reason to fear. And she’s now written a compelling expose of duplicitous discrimination that was imposed on her by “Big Science” [warmists] as she encouraged intellectual honesty among her university-level science students. It was my privilege to meet [Dr. X] when she addressed the Louisiana Legislature in support of the 2008 Louisiana Science Education [Academic Freedom] Act. I instantly became one of her biggest fans and predict that her fascinating new book, ['Global Warming Either Doesn't Exist Or It's All Natural, No, Really'] will hasten that day when even the halls of academia must acknowledge, as one philosopher long ago put it, “there goes another beautiful theory about to be murdered by a brutal gang of facts.”

(Yes, the irony of that last quote really doesn’t seem to have crossed the reviewers mind!)

These don’t even have to be modified –

“This is the story of a dedicated teacher who pulls out all the stops to help her students learn and understand, and is crushed by factions that don’t want students to understand too much about certain topics. Guaranteed to make your blood boil.“

“Despite a demonstrated record of achievement, [Dr X] became persona non grata in academia for doing what institutions of higher learning are supposed to do best–questioning. Her work shows why she should be welcomed by inquiring minds everywhere.”

Thomas February 2, 2013 at 10:40 am

Yep its amazing how these two narratives (AGW denial and Evolution Denial) overlap. In the bigger picture of it all I think a large number of people live in a mental world that is entirely self made and controlled. For them allowing facts to drive their thinking and from time to time rattle the foundations of their mental world map is way to scary.
So they anchor their inner model of the real world in a foundation of beliefs that remain immutable and are placed there by their design and decision, or by sly manipulation of marketeers from all works of life (religious and otherwise). They support each other by affirming their barbie world of fantasy mutually and cement the doors shut to connect with what’s actually going on. Sadly about half of America is living in such a mental closet. A huge market for feel good meme peddlers and snake oil merchants…

And interestingly like the massive tax subsidies for the fossil fuel industry, the faith seller industry in the USA receives billions annually in tax subsidies from every taxpayer plus of cause billions from “givers”, many of them troubled to put a decent meal on the table at home….

Denial of reality and the support of the same is big business with entrenched networks through government, education and all layers of society.

David Lewis February 2, 2013 at 4:57 am

I think you can add West Antarctica to your list of places where “remarkable warming” has been taking place.

Nature Geoscience published Central West Antarctica among the most rapidly warming regions on Earth about a month ago.

Eric Steig of RealClimate, UW, etc., who has been studying Antarctic temperature records for years now, says this latest study does “more than back up our results” that his group first published in 2009. The NYTimes quotes Steig: “I think their results are better than ours and should be adopted as the best estimate”.

“A lot of our fellow scientists, it seems, had trouble getting over their long-held view (based only on absence of evidence) that the only place in Antarctica that was warming up was the Antarctic Peninsula”.

Steig discusses the warming Antarctic in this RealClimate post.

bill February 3, 2013 at 12:51 pm

It is with a sustained sense of vivacity that I announce that the Peer’s perorations and perambulations continue to be studiously ignored by the local purveyors of novel information printed and electronique.

The City of Churches, Sister of Christchurch, has now been made fecund by both a media tête-à-tête on Friday, and a double blessing of Matinee and Evening performances of His Lordship’s esteemed Dog and Pony Show yesterday in one of the great halls of the fair city, and yet not a whisp of these events can I find in the global intertubular databases of the Socio-Fascist ABC or the gallant Free Presses™ of his quondam comrade-in-arms, Prince Rupert of Mordor.

I’m confident the peasants and yeomanry alike of the vinelands of Clare and Berri, the Ports of Augusta and Pirie, the Bridge of Murray, and the Mount of Gambier, will feel an even greater frisson of pleasure and piquant surprise upon his retinue’s arrival with the event having been heralded in such a ‘low key’, as we say in the vernacular…

Macro February 3, 2013 at 1:45 pm
Nick February 3, 2013 at 3:53 pm

God,I am so sick of reading about these f***wits and their repetitious witterings. Some narcissists are at least amusing and desperately inventive,but these two are dull,predictable and of no consequence.

bill February 3, 2013 at 7:39 pm

May I just point out that His Lordship’s proposed cottage is truly awful, rather like the dreaded purple portcullis itself; the apparent link between reactionary politics and a staggering inability to perceive the kitsch is an interesting one.

And that thread at WTFUWT is similarly astonishing – who knew that so many connoisseurs of architectural form clustered around Willard Anthony’s humble [*cough*] blog? And such learned repartee – only the churlish could mention bluff, pointlessness or pretention. I was reminded of Disraeli’s list of topics on which Thomas Aquinas might happily beguile the hours – and enrage his fellows – debating; how many angels may dance upon the point [yes, the point] of a pin being only the most famous: here I am put more in mind of a more profoundly vexing question; whether there are indeed excrements in Paradise.

(PS Will the hair and fingernails grow following the Resurrection? That’s what I want to know…)

Macro February 4, 2013 at 8:14 pm

“whether there are indeed excrements in Paradise’

Well certainly NOT on Planet Key!

“On Planet Key there are no toilets. Natural body processes are considered irrelevant and nature only exists in the highly tamed and controlled form of a golf course.”

http://thestandard.org.nz/the-rhythms-of-life/

bill February 5, 2013 at 4:02 pm

Of course, we also know there are no toilets in hell, because it’s damnation without relief.

andyS February 7, 2013 at 11:04 am

Now that Matt Ridley has been voted into the House of Lords, we have a real Lord (and Viscount too, by way of birth) to add to those dissenting voices in the UK.

Thomas February 7, 2013 at 7:58 pm

…and Viscount too, by way of birth
Is there another way of becoming one in the world of heritable status… ?

Oh well, that makes him nigh infallible then? To bad about Northern Rock eh? Ah, well, even die hard libertarians like him sometimes need to good will of The People to bail their failed businesses out…
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nationalisation_of_Northern_Rock

Rob Taylor February 7, 2013 at 6:18 pm

OK, so the House of Lords gains a fantasist with a limited grasp of reality; hardly a new event…

http://www.desmogblog.com/matt-ridley

Macro February 7, 2013 at 7:13 pm

Just shows what a travesty the place is doesn’t it! It becomes less and less connected to reality day by day. What a way to run a country….

andyS February 7, 2013 at 9:30 pm

At least he is likely to be awake during the sessions, unlike the mainly Octogenarians sleeping off the gin.

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