Monckton and the big waka

Monckton tried to blink. His eyes were gritty and he could barely focus on the scribbled formulae on the pad before him — his crucial contribution to the redesign of Britain’s nuclear deterrent. The tiny screen of his Osborne transportable computer blinked lazily at him. His back was sore. The air in No 10 was very dry, and there was a racket going on outside the Cabinet Room. It sounded as if the functionaries were running every vacuum cleaner in Whitehall over the new dark blue carpets the blessed Margaret had installed. The scruffy red shagpile left by Callaghan was in a skip in Downing Street, and the Laird was glad to see the back of it. He was rather pleased with the shade he’d chosen, and even happier that Margaret had liked it. The shining light of modern conservatism entered the room, her bright halo and blue crimplene dress throwing a magical illumination onto the oak panelling. She strode to Monckton’s side and put her hand on his shoulder. A frisson of almost erotic excitement coursed down his spine and disappeared down a trouser leg. He dressed to the right.

“Chris. Wake up.” He opened his eyes and the recurring dream turned into the stuff of nightmare. The whiskery face of Bryan “British” Leyland, his devoted minder on this barnstorming tour of New Zealand, leered beerily into his face. Every bump of the ageing Toyota ute brought Leyland’s face ever closer to the Laird’s nose. He recoiled, elegantly.

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Thin Ice: the inside story of climate science

Now showing at an Antarctic base near you (and quite a few places elsewhere), a documentary about climate science, filmed and put together by VUW geophysics professor Simon Lamb. The idea for Thin Ice – the inside story of climate science was born over a cup of tea in Wellington in 2006, when Peter Barrett of VUW suggested that Lamb, then at Oxford, make the film. Lamb went on to visit many parts of the world, and talk to a who’s who of climate scientists. Should be well worth a couple of hours of anyone’s time — especially those prone to accusing climate scientists of fraud.

Thin Ice is a joint effort between VUW, Oxford University and DOX Productions, and there are screenings in Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin and Wellington today and tomorrow, as well as in Australia, Canada, the UK and USA and many other places. You can also download or stream the film to your PC or tablet. I’ll be watching on my iPad this evening. Reviews etc welcome in comments to this post…

Monckton misfires on Radio New Zealand: a baker’s dozen of errors and deception

Last night Radio New Zealand’s Nights programme — a show with a long-standing commitment to excellent coverage of science and scientists — for some strange reason decided to broadcast an interview with Christopher, Viscount Monckton of Brenchley. Quite why they bothered to give him a platform remains to be seen, but as you might expect, the discount Viscount gave a peerless performance — a veritable Gish gallop of untruths, misdirections, and straightforward misrepresentations of climate science and economics. At various points you could hear presenter Bryan Crump struggling with his disbelief at what Monckton was asserting — but Monckton is such a polished performer that he was able to brazen his way through even the most arrant nonsense.

Here’s the RNZ podcast of the interview (which can also be downloaded here):

I’ve gone through the interview with a fine tooth comb (so you don’t have to), and some of the more egregious errors, misdirections and deceptions are outlined below.

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TDB today: Watching the ice melt

My column at The Daily Blog this week is all about ice — specifically the start of the melt season in the Arctic, and what that means for the climate of the northern hemisphere.

What’s going on in the Arctic is rapid climate change, and it’s happening now. It’s changing the weather that most of the world experiences. It’s the most important and most visible of the multitude of climate impacts we’re forcing on the planet, and it’s worth watching every day. Will this year set a new record summer low for sea ice? It’s too early to call, but one thing is certain. Northern hemisphere climate has already changed, and will continue to change in ways we’re only beginning to fathom.

The continuing Arctic melt gives the lie to the “no warming since (pick a date)” meme being pushed by the usual suspects. In fact it does more than show Monckton and his sad supporters to be wrong — it shows them to be burying their heads so far into the septic sand that their arses are disappearing. I shall be returning to this theme as the Arctic summer progresses…

Climate lulz: Rings around Antarctica

Two things made me laugh out loud today — great gusts of guffaws enough to wake the trufflehound from her slumbers. The first was a perfectly pitched piece of satire in the Southland Times, the second a reinvention of the ocean atmosphere interface by astrological long range weather forecaster Ken Ring. Both are worth your time, but do not drink hot fluids while reading…

Here’s the Southland Times, asking for proof of Antarctica’s existence:

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