Of Doric columns and climate change

By Christopher Monckton of Brenchley

I am designing a cottage orné in the high Classical manner, to be built on our little patch of the Scottish Highlands. The Doric Order, the earliest of the three orders of Grecian architecture that have been so influential throughout the Western world, has always impressed me by its elegant solidity. If there is an architectural embodiment of the virtue of honesty, it is the Doric.

Here is the principal front of our little cottage.

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A Doric building is a formalization in stone of what must once have been a much-loved timber building. The tree-trunks became stone columns; the vertical emphasis of the bark was represented by the 20 vertical channels or flutes; the stone triglyphs in the frieze above the colonnade represent purlin-ends; the acroteria are stylizations of the palmette. My own take on the acroterion is art-deco.

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Does the thickness of the tree-trunk plus all branches therefrom remain constant? Is that why tree-trunks become narrower as they ascend? Leonardo da Vinci considered this question in one of his notebooks, in the age when science was more about enquiring than proclaiming, learning than preaching.

He carefully drew a formalized tree as a heuristic, ensuring that the combined thickness at every bifurcation remained constant. The result looks uncommonly like a real tree.

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Be that as it may, the Greeks, like the Persians, Hindus, Arabs and Egyptians before them and the Romans after them, were enthusiastic mathematicians. Dr. Hugh Plommer, the eminent scholar who taught me Classical architecture at Cambridge, used to theorize that the gently convex curvature of the stylobate in a Doric temple, designed to overcome the optical illusion that a colonnaded temple sags in the middle, was a shallow parabola.

He also considered that the echinus, the cushion on which the abacus and, above it, the entablature rests, was a hyperbola. But where, I asked him, was the third conic section, the ellipse?

Dr. Plommer left that question unanswered. He liked to set a hare running and watch his students gallop after it under their own steam. I galloped to the faculty library and rootled about among the Classical journals.

I found what I had expected to find. There were two schools of thought about the extent to which the architects of noble temples such as the Parthenon, the archetype of the Doric, had consciously deployed the conic sections and other elements of mathematics in their designs.

Most scholars thought that there was so much variation from one temple to another, and that the correspondence between the actual curves as carved by the stonemasons and the pure theoretical forms was so approximate, that it was mere coincidence.

However, a substantial and not uninfluential minority, which I shall dub the Plommerian school in honor of the great man, maintained that the architects of the Doric Order had deliberately adopted the conic sections in their designs. For one thing, it was necessary for them to brief the stonemasons on the curvature they desired. Using established curve-generating functions would have made that easier.

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In the learned literature the debate on this charming but arcane question had raged – or, rather, delightfully maundered on – for years, without ever becoming so vulgar as to reach a conclusion in one direction or another.

By now you will be gagging to know where the missing ellipse was in Doric buildings. My answer, well supported in the literature, is that the architects of ancient Greece achieved the startling combination of diminution (tapering towards the top) and entasis (bulging on the way up) that is the most instantly recognizable and distinctive feature of the Doric column by constructing it as a truncated semi-ellipse.

The minor axis of the ellipse, so the Plommerian theory goes, corresponded to the diameter of the column at its foot. The semi-major axis, of unit length, extended from the center of the foot all the way to the geison (cornice). The resultant semi-ellipse was truncated approximately 0.618, or (1 + √5) / 2, units above the stylobate (the stone floor).

The distinctive profile of the Doric column, then, was an ellipse whose semi-major axis stood in the golden ratio to the height of the column.

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I once explained the Plommerian theory to the parish priest of Paestum, which has some fine Doric temples. Startled, he gave me a postcard and asked me to use my architectural drawing program to overlay semi-ellipses on a couple of the columns. He was fascinated to see how close the fit was.

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What, you may wonder, has any of this got to do with climate change? The answer is this. The polite debate in the Classical journals about the origin of the Doric column’s form is in one crucial respect similar to the viciously angry debate about global warming.

Both debates are about matters that are in essence quantitative, not qualitative. Yet it is the propensity of academics, followed by politicians and environmental lobbyists and even short term loans UK companies, to argue qualitatively about climate change (and, for that matter, about Doric columns) when they should really get out into the field and do some measurements, and then get back to the pub and do the math.

By now it ought to be obvious to all who are not already blinded by politics, prejudice or passion that there is no definitive method of determining the sensitivity of the climate to carbon dioxide. The extravagant guesses of the global warming profiteers are just that – guesses – and no more. Guesswork is not a sound basis for policy-making.

So we are going to have to wait and see. This is where the measurements come in.

History will crown Anthony Watts as one of the great heroes who defended the freedom to do science rationally against the political forces that would have flung us into a new Dark Age by their Marxian insistence that science should conform to the party line (excitingly rebranded “consensus”) rather than vice versa.

The Climate Reference Nursing Homes Network  – has only been in existence for a short time. Already, though, its results are strongly suggesting that much of the imagined “global warming” of the past 60 years may have been not just imagined but imaginary.

Before we spend any more trillions on making putative “global warming” go away, it would surely be wise to find out whether and to what extent it is occurring. At present, the measurement uncertainty in the global instrumental temperature record is a twentieth of a Celsius degree.

Given that the climate debate is about minuscule fractions of a degree, that measurement uncertainty is too large for comfort. It is one reason why we are able to say that over the past couple of decades the measured global warming is statistically indistinguishable from zero.

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.

So we now need to extend the Climate Reference Network from the United States to the rest of the world. The cost would be a small fraction of the vast sums being squandered on windmills, solar panels and suchlike fooleries.

As far as possible, the Climate Reference Network should be independently supervised by experts in instrumentation and in statistics. Climatologists should be allowed nowhere near it: they have proven themselves untrustworthy. Their role will be to receive the results from their betters with appropriate humility and gratitude.

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The same applies to sea level, where the NOAA has recently had to confirm what the Envisat satellite had long and clearly showed: sea level is rising at a rate equivalent to two or three inches per century, or less than a quarter of the rate reported by the climatologists who have been tampering inappropriately with the raw data from the laser-altimetry and gravitational-anomaly satellites.

While we’re about it, we should also establish a new network of bathytelemetry buoys to take repeated, worldwide measurements of the acid-base balance of the oceans. Are the oceans becoming less alkaline or not? I suspect the answer is “not a lot”, but we shall not know unless and until someone stops giving money to the 50-odd climate models that now cost us a purposeless fortune and redirects it towards actual measurement.

So it is with the Doric columns. When I retire, in about half a century, I shall bumble around Greece, Asia Minor and the Italian littoral taking careful measurements of the circumference of each drum of a typical Doric column. Then I shall do some curve-fitting to see how close the results come to the shape of an ellipse.

There will be uncertainties, of course: the stones have been around for a long time, and they are well worn by the weather, the Turks and the restorers. At the end of it, though, I shall have a clearer answer to the ellipse question than anything now available in the scientific literature.

In the meantime, I have asked Anthony to post up a link to a PowerPoint presentation that shows my design for our little cottage in Rannoch. Here is its East Front, which faces the long view down Loch Rannoch to the snowy hills.

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It looks big, but it is small (just 26 ft high). It looks expensive, but, like the original Doric temple, its ornamentation, including the columns, will be of timber, carved by a trainee craftsman as his apprentice-piece. It is a simple building and will not cost much.

The profile of each column is a truncated semi-ellipse. The apprentice will have no difficulty in reproducing it accurately.

Finally, the wreaths in the metopes are taken from the Choragic Monument of Thrasyllus on the flank of the Acropolis in Athens. The Turks blew it up in 1820, but it had been much admired and sketched by then, and its influence on architecture – especially in the United States – is out of all proportion to its size.

I am a devoted admirer of the United States, so I wanted to incorporate in my cottage one detail from the Capitol in Washington DC. Next time you visit the Capitol, take your binoculars into the Rotunda and train them on the frieze high above you. There you will see the Thrasyllean wreaths. If you visit us in Rannoch, you will see them there too, but you will not need binoculars.

Let me know what you think of the Plommerian theory, and of my designs for the cottage in Rannoch. If climatologists were half as systematic in their approach to their subject as the architects of ancient Greece, there would be no climate scare.

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Footnote: In case one or two of the architectural terms are unfamiliar, here is a glossary of the ornamentation characteristic of the Doric order.

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See the plans here in this PowerPoint: doric (pptx)

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115 thoughts on “Of Doric columns and climate change

  1. “History will crown Anthony Watts as one of the great heroes who defended the freedom to do science rationally against the political forces that would have flung us into a new Dark Age by their Marxian insistence that science should conform to the party line (excitingly rebranded “consensus”) rather than vice versa”.

    Well said, Christopher. And thank you for this column – indeed, all the columns. Eh up lad, you can’t get this over at Joe Romm’s place…

  2. ” ….. In the learned literature the debate on this charming but arcane question had raged – or, rather, delightfully maundered on – for years, without ever becoming so vulgar as to reach a conclusion in one direction or another. ……..”

    More succinctly, the heat of this debate had reached the maundering minimum.

  3. Christopher, you write “By now it ought to be obvious to all who are not already blinded by politics, prejudice or passion that there is no definitive method of determining the sensitivity of the climate to carbon dioxide”

    There is a half-arsed way of trying to calculate climate sensitivity from the measured data, which I invented. Beenstock et al have used advanced statistical techniques to see whether there is a CO2 signal in any modern temperature/time data. They failed to find a CO2 signal. I have eyeballed all the data I can find, and I can find no CO2 signal.

    If we are allowed to conclude that there is no CO2 signal that can be measured against the background noise of natural variations, then we can conclude that the climate sensitivity of CO2 must be indistinguishable from zero.

    What do you think?

  4. I’ll add Lord Christopher Monckton to that list of illumanaries that have dealt death blows to overblown and incidious Marxian science some fondly refer to as “Anthropogenic Global Warming”.

    It would only be fitting.

  5. Like global-warming, I think it might look a little out-of-place on Rannoch Moor, Christopher. But there’s space there for a bit of character.

  6. Clearly, the Climate Reference Network “strongly suggest[s[ that much of the imagined “global warming” of the past 60 years may have been not just imagined but imaginary”. But, Christopher, if you had actually taken the time to, say, compare the Climate Reference Network to its older counterpart, the Historical Climatological Network (USHCN), you may have reached a slightly different conclusion:

  7. Wonderful. And what pray, will Your Lordship be doing when the Loons in the Scottish Gubberment do when they litter your front garden with bird mincers? One hopes you’ll take a cannon to them.

  8. By Christopher Monckton of Brenchley

    Be that as it may, the Greeks, like the Persians, Hindus, Arabs and Egyptians before them and the Romans after them, were enthusiastic mathematicians. Dr. Hugh Plommer, the eminent scholar who taught me Classical architecture at Cambridge, used to theorize that the gently convex curvature of the stylobate in a Doric temple, designed to overcome the optical illusion that a colonnaded temple sags in the middle, was a shallow parabola.

    My Lord,

    Sitting on the floor in an old open cylinder building in summer of 2164 B.C.E. at midnight, one can measure the full moon on a most low height over the southern horizon all 19 years.

    This gives the positions of Rahu and Ketu, who are ‘eating the moon’.
    There are people in India, who have such cylinder building to measure the moon cycle of 19 years:

    It seems that people have measured the moon’s position for a longer time near Stonehenge in a similar simple precise open cylinder:

    There was fun, dance, and music the whole night as Diodor has told.

    Thank you for good basics.

    Best

    V.

  9. Cool!

    On trees: wrt tapering trunks while branches grow, maintaining a total cross-sectional area constant.

    Struck me that the cube-square rule for surface area vs volume (mass), if the trunks taper as the branches grow, the weight/unit area stays constant above the start of branches, but results in a top-heavy tree (even if mass radially distributed equally). A co-created significant strengthening of the lower trunk would be required as the tree grew, especially as foliage would add mass.

    I would EXPECT a reduced mass/h relationship so that less strain would be added to the lowest area. Plus some strengthening mechanism. The heartwood, however, may be lighter than the main, living wood, so a lightening mechanism may be occurring in the lower section to reduce the total weight on the lowest trunk.

    As to the Turks blowing it up: didn’t the Turks store their explosives there and an accident/enemy action blow it up? That was Lord Byron’s war, wasn’t it?+

  10. “””””…..Jim Cripwell says:

    January 24, 2013 at 9:56 am

    Christopher, you write “By now it ought to be obvious to all who are not already blinded by politics, prejudice or passion that there is no definitive method of determining the sensitivity of the climate to carbon dioxide”

    There is a half-arsed way of trying to calculate climate sensitivity from the measured data, which I invented. Beenstock et al have used advanced statistical techniques to see whether there is a CO2 signal in any modern temperature/time data. They failed to find a CO2 signal. I have eyeballed all the data I can find, and I can find no CO2 signal…..”””””

    Well Jim, you make the same mistake that they all make.

    “Advanced statistical methods” can only recover a “signal” when they are applied to data which actually contains a signal.

    You can apply the methods, to the numbers you find on a couple of randomly chosen pages in your local telephone directory. The statistical answers are equally valid for almost any set of numbers; they just don’t mean anything if the set of numbers are actually not valid data from some real system. Since virtually all real experimental data gathering systems are sampled data systems, the numbers one gets are not valid samples unless they conform to the Nyquist sampling theorem,

    So statisticate to your hearts content; but that will not make a signal where there is none.

    You only need to undersample a band limited signal by a factor of two (one sample per full cycle of the band limit frequency) to have the corrupted reconstructed spectrum fold back to zero frequency, and the zero frequency signal is the average value of that signal.

    So even if you have no need to reconstruct the original continuous signal from the samples, you can’t get the average correct if you undersample by just a factor of two.

    Climate “data” undersample the earth surface by orders of magnitude; not by factors of two.

    Even the time variable is undersampled by the commonly employed daily min and max sampling method, which would only be valid when the time signal is purely sinusoidal containing no higher frequency overtone components, than one cycle per 24 hours.

    That’s why GISSTemp or HADCrut are records only of GISSTemp and HADCrut, and are not related to the earth’s surface Temperature.

  11. Nice paper; but I will be interested to see what the planning department in Perth have to say when you apply for planning permission. And will it be up to standard regarding insulation?

  12. Oh no…please don’t mix a Doric temple with a Palladian villa, doesn’t work, y’see.

    But then, there are other examples just as bad; as a 14-year old I saw Blenheim castle for the first time, and decided that it was a monster, camouflaged rather poorly as French Classicism. I kept a good distance.

  13. Um… I don’t suppose anyone wants to see pictures of the shed I put up at the bottom of my garden? It combines elements of Modernism and ‘Neues Bauen’….

  14. “Does the thickness of the tree-trunk plus all branches therefrom remain constant? Is that why tree-trunks become narrower as they ascend?”

    Do the sap-carrying capillaries under the bark every split in two? If not, then there is a good reason to tend to keep the same total circumference all the way out to the leaves. The leaves are sucking moisture out of the roots, and if the pathway between rarely splits, then we’re seeing the effect of a cylinder of suction straws which has some straws bent off along branches occasionally.

  15. But Zeke, if you had actually taken the time to, say, show us a 60-year comparison in your graph rather than just 8, you may have reached a slightly different conclusion.

  16. Christopher Monckton, as always an interesting read. Perhaps it is the classical education combined with the inquiring and skeptic mind. You will have to make a sacrifice to Pallas Athene to consecrate your cottage when completed. Amongst other virtues, she was the goddess of wisdom. I suppose it will be alleged by the usual suspects that your “temple” will be paid for by the contributions of “big oil”.

  17. Your Lordship’s eloquence brings a tear to my eye and reminds me of Richard Feynman’s Lost Lecture. In it, Feynman derived Newton’s model of planetary motion using conic sections, the mathematics of Infinitesimals not yet being fully developed by either himself, or Liebnitz.

    Your proposed cottage is a delight: “As above, so below…”

  18. Tut tut Lord Christopher; I am surprised by your lack of completeness.

    Well as to the conic sections of course. You have completely expunged two very important ones; well three actually.

    If your intersecting plane passes through the exact point where the two halves of the cone meet, then you will get that singular point itself as one special conic section; but only if the plane intersects the cones at no other point.

    If your parabola “plane” happens to also intersect the cones at that singular point, then you will get a single straight line that is tangential to the cones, and presumably is a degenerate parabola having zero polar radius of curvature.
    I will leave it to your Lordship to explain why that parabola now seems to be on both sides of the center, as that is far above my pay grade.

    Then if your hyperbola plane also passes through the singular central point, you will get two straight lines at an angle, which is a degenerate hyperbola that is identical to its asymptotes.

    That case will also make it apparent that your hyperbola plane does not have to be restricted to be parallel to the axis of the cones.

    Any angle with the axis, that is less than the cone half angle, must eventually cut both halves of the cone, and give a hyperbola.

    But I will cut you some slack Lord Monckton, as you are no doubt thinking about more important issues; like maybe figuring out how you are going to drop in and take over some future meeting of the Security Council of the United Nations.

    In any case, your house is looking rather nice, and deserving of a classicist tenant such as yourself.

  19. More English aristocrats moving into the highlands! After all the crimes of the English in Scotland! He should be ashamed to announce this ludicrous exploitation. Bring back the Crofters!

  20. While I can appreciate your interest in math and classical architecture, I can’t think of a design that would look more out of place in a natural setting. I’d go for more of an alpine architecture with other mathematical features (bifurcated tree trunks as structural elements would be interesting). Something built into the hills and hardly noticeable would be an even higher level concept, but could still employ extremely cool math elements. (CNC milled helical cedar columns with an exponentially varying diameter and helix, with underlying doric formula elements driving the other equations, for example). Doric / modern hybrid concepts could make unique interior elements. You could have exhibits inside explaining how all of the math ties together with the ancient stuff…

    Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. Doric is simple but not functional.

  21. Give this man a crown.

    From mathematical puzzles to skydiving… Isn’t there anything your can’t do Lord Monckton?

  22. “At present, the measurement uncertainty in the global instrumental temperature record is a twentieth of a Celsius degree.”
    You have got to be kidding ?

  23. Al Sharpton or Lord Monckton? guess who I’d trust to teach me about the realty of Global/Climate/Anthropomorphic/Wierd/Extreme what ever…
    Either Al (Gore or Sharpton) stand and deliver?

  24. One ought to have a pied a terre. I started by looking up cottages but found cottaging by mistake. Turns out to be something entirely different.

  25. I quote: ‘ Before we spend any more trillions on making putative “global warming” go away, it would surely be wise to find out whether and to what extent it is occurring….’

    Agreed. Already done by Ferenc Miskolczi. It’s extent is zero. In 2010 he used NOAA database of weather balloon observations to measure the absorption of long-wave radiation by the atmosphere and discovered that it had been constant for 61 years. At the same time, the amount of carbon dioxide in air increased by 21.6 percent. Greenhouse theory tells us that absorption of long-wave radiation by carbon dioxide is the energy source of global warming. But Miskolczi has proved that the added carbon dioxide had no effect whatsoever on the absorption of long-wave radiation by the atmosphere. This is an empirical observation, not derived from any theory, and it overrides any predictions from theory. Greenhouse theory is incapable of explaining it but Miskolczi shows that its cause is negative water vapor feedback. With it, the greenhouse effect is dead. And the theory of anthropogenic global warming likewise is dead. While Miskolczi is the first to use this particular database to study long-wave absorption by the atmosphere, the same analysis could have been performed even before IPCC got started. That is because in 1988, the year IPCC was established, it already contained forty years worth of observations. That would have been enough for the same analysis that Miskolczi performed in 2010. It would have proved that anthropogenic global warming does not exist and that there was no justification for starting up the IPCC. Miskolczi has been vilified and called a crackpot by true believers in the blogosphere, to the extent that opponents of global warming have been afraid to cite his work. That avoidance of Miskolczi should stop because it proves without a doubt that the so-called global warming “science” is nothing but a pseudoscience.

  26. You Know this is so much easier to see at Paestum. Is there anywhere else in the Ancient World you can get so close to miniature replicas of the Parthenon? For those who have not been, there are 3 temples there and it was literally forgotten after a malerial outbreak left it abandoned. Covered over in weeds for centuries and worth heading south if you ever find yourself on the Amalfi Coast.

    The reasond for the Global Warming scare become much clearer after reading what Ulrich Beck and Anthony Gibbens wrote in the book Reflexive Modernization published by the Stanford Press in 1994. It also fits perfectly with all the Ehrlichs ecological catastrophe hyping then and now. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/we-are-at-the-historical-stage-for-the-emergence-of-one-particular-new-kind-of-person/

    It also fits with the National Science Foundation’s new math and science curricula of the 90s that provoked the math wars. And therir Cyberlearning and USGCRP pushes now.

    There’s a lot of consistency once we locate the political theories this is all founded upon.

    I still remember my son ordering pizza just outside the gates to Paestum for lunch right after the cafe opened. They brought the wood for the pizza oven into the cafe in a wheel barrow. Ahh, and the Buffalo Mozzarella in that region.

  27. Give it a rest Zeke . After the use of so many scare tactics and overemphasis by so many of your fellow warmists and lukewarmests , with no rebuttal from you or any other agw proponent , your voice and your opinion mean very little . Chrisopher Monckton , you are always interesting .

  28. Its 7 am in Tasmania as I read this article, my first sips of espresso coffee ( black with one), the brain has now had a run around the block with the dogs on a leash and I am ready for the day.

    I knew Doric columns were tapered in some way, but elliptical! Cooool! Oh those Greeks were good. How is it that our universities, 2500 years later, now turn out such intellectual dross as the AGW alarmists who just cannot do measurement and maths properly? How in the %#@& is that possible? Are we still even a civilisation?

    Thankyou Christopher.

  29. “Does the thickness of the tree-trunk plus all branches therefrom remain constant?”

    As far as I recall, your lordship, Constructal theory confirms that this is the case. Constructal theory, which I think may be the only physical law covering both the inanimate and animate, might well also show (okay I am speculating somewhat) that evolution is a slow-motion flow system maximising energy capture into animation. If so, opting to shrink energy usage would doom those who try to extinction, while others who don’t follow this path will inherit the future.

  30. RockyRoad,

    It is rather difficult to show 60 years of CRN data when the network has only been around since 2004. However, if you extend the HCN line backwards from the graph I posted you get this:

  31. Loved the Leonardo reference! It just so happens I have spent a lot of hours during the last few week trimming fruit trees. As I still have the trimmings in various piles I think it might be kind of interesting to see how the rings change at different heights up the truck, major limbs and branches.

    I am very glad that it’s been a bit warmer, and dry, in my neck of the woods recently. The microclimates in my area are really tricky for the local weatherman to predict future conditions due to all the elevation changes in such short distances. The rather odd heat exchange that happens when the wind and pressures are just right to bring the colder air down from the mountains must drive them nuts.

    I 100% in favor of better measurement capabilities and hopefully better models to predict when I have to address (adapt to) a few temperature related tipping points. Blowing out 2″ winter lines at a pressure tank due to low temperatures for many hours when the the wind is from the north or east is a tipping point I would rather not repeat.

    I am glad that someone better at math then me will be incorporating the heat flows in my microclimate. Actually, it’s rather amazing that the weatherman can predict a few days out at all given the variables they have to deal with:

    http://phys.org/news/2013-01-x-factor-weatherman-wrong.html

    I hope your local building codes don’t infringe to much on your building design.

  32. What, you may wonder, has any of this got to do with climate change?

    My lord.
    according to a legend Dorus (forebear of Dorians one the two most politically important ancient Greek ethnic groups) and Magnes (forebear of Magnetes, a prosperous ethnic group of Thessaly) were cousins and grandchildren of Zeus.
    What, you may wonder, has any of this got to do with climate change?
    Well, my calculations show that the climate natural change is most likely result of the interaction between the solar and Earth’s magneticvariability:

    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/EarthNV.htm

  33. Ray said @ January 24, 2013 at 11:34 am

    Give this man a crown.

    From mathematical puzzles to skydiving… Isn’t there anything your can’t do Lord Monckton?

    One suspects his Lordship might have some difficulty in becoming pregnant…

  34. Does this make Monckton a Doric columnist? I’m not saying you have to call your place Bruce Wayne Manor, but Dork Cottage (just ask the Scots how they intend to pronounce it)? What about Entasis Place? I would come up with a new name.

    And don’t worry Christopher, we’ve always known.

  35. Old Dog said,
    “Nice paper; but I will be interested to see what the planning department in Perth have to say when you apply for planning permission. And will it be up to standard regarding insulation?”

    Call it an agricultural building (ie a temple to, say, Silenus) and you don’t need planning permission.

    My father erected a doric folly in his garden (he too being an architect). He cast the columns in three main sections in white concrete, making the molds himself (we still have the molds as well as the columns), fully replete with entesis etc. It was dedicated to the god of wine with an inscription from Horace:
    Dulce periculum est, O Lenaee sequi deum cingentem uiridi tempora pampino – ‘sweet is the peril, O Lenaeus, to follow the god who entwines his temple with the green vine’
    Never got planning permission on the basis it was an agricultural building!
    Sorry, a bit off thread.. but what the heck.

  36. Zeke Hausfather says:
    January 24, 2013 at 12:19 pm
    “It is rather difficult to show 60 years of CRN data when the network has only been around since 2004. However, if you extend the HCN line backwards from the graph I posted you get this:”

    8 years, is that climate?

  37. Great art and fine science can co-exist quite profitably. My favourite painter of the last many decades, and perhaps the most influential, is Anthony Watts.
    I particularly appreciate his White Period.

  38. You missed a bit of the house off….
    No Tunnel !
    traditional, hand dug, stone lined, human sized tunnel, containing all those nice curves including the circle, from base to apex, a good place to keep the wine and to escape the heat of the mid-day sun

  39. DirkH,

    8 years is not climate. And CRN does not “strongly suggesting that much of the imagined “global warming” of the past 60 years may have been not just imagined but imaginary” because it a) only has an 8-year history to-date and b) aligns pretty well with existing records (USHCN) over those 8 years.

  40. To those who do not understand British aristocracy:
    If you are a Lord, you erect a ‘cottage orné in the high Classical manner’ on your land.
    If you aren’t, you spend years battling the local Planning Department for permission to erect a garden shed to keep the lawnmower in.

    Meanwhile, if you are Lord Monckton … and if you’d like a ‘tenant orné’ to look after that rather fine new cottage … Anthony has my email address. :-)

  41. Precision: according to CNES/LEGOS etc… the record of Envisat had orbital errors in the last few years of operation, a reason that prompted to virtually “suicide” the inconvenient satellite. I recall Steven Goddard wrote about that http://www.real-science.com/sea-level-data-corruption-worse-than-it-seems
    However, even if we take at face value the problems suddenly discovered that affected the last few years of Envisat, it does not change the measurements during the first 5 years, indeed an inconvenience for the rabbid sea level risers…

  42. We are blessed to have your thoughts. Thank you.

    …without ever becoming so vulgar as to reach a conclusion in one direction or another.

    Well CAGW was “settled science” before there was even any data….how vulgar is that?

  43. “By now it ought to be obvious to all who are not already blinded by politics, prejudice or passion that there is no definitive method of determining the sensitivity of the climate to carbon dioxide.”

    I find this misleading. There is a very simple method to understanding the role of radiative gases in our atmosphere.

    Step 1 – Ask the right question. Not “what happens to the atmosphere if we add a tiny amount of CO2 to the atmosphere?” but “what happens if the atmosphere lost all its radiative properties?”

    Step 2 – Model the atmosphere correctly. Do not model the earth and atmosphere as a single composite body. Do not model the atmosphere as a single body or mathematical layer. Do not model a constant solar input. Model an atmosphere with depth, gravity and moving gases and a diurnal cycle. Linear flux equations will not solve this, unless they are applied iterative to many discrete MOVING air masses in intermittent contact with a surface with a diurnal temperature fluctuation.

    Ask the right question and model the atmosphere correctly and you will find –

    1. Radiative gases are critical for continued convective circulation below the tropopause.
    2. Without convective circulation, the atmosphere heats.
    3. Conductively cooling the atmosphere at the surface cannot offset conductive heating of the atmosphere during a diurnal cycle.
    4. Radiative gases act to cool our atmosphere at all concentrations above 0ppm.

    So how much cooling will occur if we add more CO2 to the atmosphere? Convection may speed up slightly but this would be too small to measure. The atmosphere already has enough H2O to drive convective circulation and pump heat to space. Climate temperature sensitivity to CO2 at this point is 0.0C for all practical purposes.

    Public sensitivity to CO2 induced fraud is however another matter. Most measurements indicate a rapid increase which could lead to the extinction of the Greater Western Spittle-Flecked Doom-Screecher.

  44. “Be that as it may, the Greeks, like the Persians, Hindus, Arabs and Egyptians before them and the Romans after them, were enthusiastic mathematicians.”

    Nope. Persians & Arabs came after the Greeks, not before. Babylonians, mentors of Greece were neither. However, the most important ingredient of math, genuine mathematical proof is a unique Greek invention, was never ever dreamt of by anyone else before and not arrived at independently anywhere else. Therefore, in the strict sense of the word, Egyptian, Babylonian, early Indian or Chinese math is not even that, but something else.

    On the other hand, as soon as Euclid’s Elements were disseminated to the wider world, first by the Hellenistic empires, then Arabs (from Europe to India), later by Jesuits to China & Japan, everyone was captivated eventually by this enormous system of intricate logical constructs, even if the road was not always easy. Curiously enough, Romans were never great fans of this highest achievement of ancient Greek culture (it was not even translated to Latin until the fifth or sixth century), there was not a single great Roman mathematician and they have not passed on much of it to medieval Europe either.

    See Xu Guangqi and the Chinese Translation of Euclid’s Elements (1607) for how hard it was to transplant purely deductive reasoning into another highly evolved cultural milieu.

    Even Europe had to wait until the 19th century to have the full depth of Euclid revealed (by Bolyai and Lobachevsky).

    I am particularly fond of Bolyai’s contribution, who has shown that paracycles on a parasphere behave exactly like straight lines on a (Euclidean) plane. With this single result all pre-existing theorems of Euclidean geometry (many thousands of them) could readily be translated to an entirely new context. One of the most beautiful moments of science, surely.

  45. Andywest2012: “If so, opting to shrink energy usage would doom those who try to extinction, while others who don’t follow this path will inherit the future.”

    Unfortunately they don’t shrink their own energy use. They just try to shrink the use of everybody else while taxing away what we have left and if we die off, oh well! Somehow I just can’t picture big Al, herr Ehrlich or any others of the elitist mentality living minimally while we move toward extinction.

    Things should level out somewhat with the economic collapse of the fiat money systems but the mentality will still be there. They just won’t have props to back it up. What can they really produce that is of value to others? “I’ll trade you a sandwich for a Krugerand.”

    It will be interesting times, indeed!

    Davet

  46. It’s a miniature Villa Rotunda (without the rotunda — pity about that); a charming bit of fun in the best tradition of British follies. I’m a bit baffled though as to where the entrance appears on plan, I would expect an impressive lobby and stair.
    The ancient Greek temples, particularly the Parthenon, are a bit overanalysed (IMO) as to supposed optical corrections and refinements like the swelling base (stylobate) columns, slightly sloping architraves, abacuses etc. considering they have stood for two and half thousand years on somewhat inadequate footings by modern standards — the Parthenon was almost blown apart.
    Interesting article as always Lord Monckton

  47. Christopher, Thank you for all you do.
    Pommerian theory is interesting.
    The center of the ellipse is at the line of widest entasis?
    And is that line on the column, at the golden mean measurement above the stylobate?
    All being a natural outcome of the conic factors?
    Lovely.

  48. God is up against the same barriers, and between the cracks exist our lives.

    “I understood that I was to be the savior of modern painting. It all became clear and evident: form is a reaction of matter under inquisitorial coercion on all sides by hard space. Freedom is what is shapeless. Beauty is the final spasm of a rigorous process. Every rose grows in a prison.” – Salvador Dali (Dali on Modern Art 1957)

  49. I suppose that few American readers will realise just how, um, eccentric it is to build an ornate cottage on Rannoch Moor. I have driven across the moor all too often – a harsh, dreich bloody place, if you ask me.

  50. Would I be right in thinking that your cottage is 42ft long, given your liking of the golden ratio? Excellent posting, yet again. I never made the connection between the cross-section of a trunk and its branches. Please keep the Tories feet to the fire. If I still lived in London, I’d be voting UKIP.

  51. Lord Monckton, we worship your actions on CAGW and your dedication to the truth, but that design for the Cottage Ornee at Rannoch is truly awful. Please spend some time looking at the marvelous work of Alexander ‘Greek’ Thomson and Charles Rennie MacIntosh north of the border and even have a look at the masterpieces of house design by Andrea Palladio and John Nash before you start work on site. You would live to regret this kitschy pastiche shown above.

  52. Konrad says January 24, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    4. Radiative gases act to cool our atmosphere at all concentrations above 0ppm.

    I’m thinking, not-so-much on any of your points; If what you’re intimating is that the planet’s surface is cooled by other than radiation from the surface, you’ve crossed over into ‘nut’ territory …

    Are you familiar with the meteorological axiom that says ‘air masses acquire the thermal and moisture characteristics of the region over which it has passed’?

    .

  53. The good Lord Monckton has put some excellent planning in his design. I would have liked to hear some of his thoughts about how he would make the design energy efficient. Things like insulation, recycling heat, orientation of building to minimise/maximise solar input. Once built it is difficult to retrofit a dwelling. Also a few simple changes (like double glazing) is very cost effective at building stage rather than replacing single pane glass later on.

  54. The Pompous Git says: January 24, 2013 at 12:35 pm
    ——————————————————
    >>Ray said @ January 24, 2013 at 11:34 am
    >>Give this man a crown.
    >>From mathematical puzzles to skydiving… Isn’t there anything your can’t do Lord Monckton?
    ————————————————————————————————————–
    One suspects his Lordship might have some difficulty in becoming pregnant…
    ================================

    Maybe not … http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/04/thomas-beatie-pregnant-man-fourth-child_n_1855318.html

  55. _Jim says:
    January 24, 2013 at 5:02 pm
    “I’m thinking, not-so-much on any of your points; If what you’re intimating is that the planet’s surface is cooled by other than radiation from the surface, you’ve crossed over into ‘nut’ territory …”
    ——————————————————————————————————————–
    Jim,
    Nuts? not at all. I don’t believe in AGW ;)

    The land and ocean surface of the planet can be cooled in the following ways –
    – Evaporation and transpiration into the atmosphere
    – Conduction of energy into the atmosphere
    – IR radiation directly to space
    – IR radiation into the atmosphere

    The atmosphere can be cooled in the following ways –
    – IR radiation directly to space from the mid to upper troposphere
    – Conduction of energy to the surface

    Jim, if you are intimating that the “planets surface” is the atmosphere, land and oceans combined, then that is truly nuts. The three main forms of energy exchange are conduction, convection and radiation. Model the earth as the AGW pseudo scientists do and you would be failing to calculate the role of radiative gases in convection below the tropopause.

    If you fail to properly model the role of convective circulation on atmospheric temperatures you could end up believing the AGW nonsense. Check your definition of surface. If your definition of “surface” is the land surface, ocean surface and atmosphere combined then all your calculations will give the wrong answer. The right answer depends on not doing all the wrong things –

    – Do not model the “earth” as a combined land/ocean/gas “thingy”
    – Do not model the atmosphere as a single body or layer
    – Do not model the sun as a ¼ power constant source without diurnal cycle
    – Do not model conductive flux to and from the surface and atmosphere based on surface Tav
    – Do not model a static atmosphere without moving gases
    – Do not model a moving atmosphere without Gravity

    Do it right and you will end up with the correct answer. Adding radiative gases to the atmosphere will not reduce the radiative cooling ability of the atmosphere. The net effect of radiative gases in our atmosphere is cooling at all concentrations above 0ppm.

  56. Nobody could predict the future and this is the problem with modelers. They got so involved in their computer models that they believe in its capability to predict the future even if the math has shown the phenomena could not be modeled as it is chaotic by nature. As nobody could predict the future, all decisions are really based on guesswork or one may say intuition. A rational decision maker insures the risk of making the wrong decision. On this aspect, one could say that all decision makers on AGW ( except for Al Gore) are completely irrational. If the political bodies have made a decision to go for the guesswork that there is AGW, then all the research funding should be directed to show there is no AGW so that the rational decision maker could change his decision the moment his guess work has been proven wrong or exaggerated. Putting all of the research funds will only magnify the damage from the wrong decision. I am just wondering how many of the scientific bodies and scientist supporting AGW would be on the other side of the debate.

  57. Chris,
    I don’t speak Pretentious, so I ran your post through Google Translate. Here’s what I got:

    I am self-important.

    Really, that’s what it said. Well, repeated about 100 times. You should be careful. You can go blind or grow hair on your palms, doing it that much.
    I’m glad you like Washington! We like it too. It is named after a revolutionary, did you know that? After you finish enjoying the Capitol, you might toddle over to the National Archives to check out a document we have there called the Declaration of Independence. It’s not written in Pretentious, so I’ll give you a precis.

    No kings.

    I think it applies to fauxbility also.

    Ah, da Vinci. The age of enquiry, not preaching. So, how did da Vinci go about answering the question? He went into the forest and measured 100 trees of different species? What’s that you say, bunky? He drew a picture? It ‘looked close enough’? P’shaw, that’s just modeling!

    Here’s some help on the tree topic, Chris.

    http://keisan.casio.com/has10/SpecExec.cgi

    Each part of the tree can be thought of as a truncated cone. Using the default numbers on that site’s calculator (bottom radius 2, top radius 1, height 3) one section of the tree has about 22 cubic units of volume. That section will support two branches.

    Now repeat the calculation, substituting 1 for the bottom radius (because the bottom radius of the next section has to equal the top radius of the previous section) same height, and new top radius of 0.5. Each of these new sections has a volume of about 5.5 cubic units, and since you have two of them, the total volume for the new section is about 11 cubic units. That is being generous, since the two branches are overlapping at the bottom, and are usually shorter to preserve the scaling.

    So at each branching, the volume drops by half. It might not look like that is happening in da Vinci’s sketch, but the sketch is a 2D projection, and we are notoriously bad at estimating volumes from areas.

    Ah, the age of enquiry. BTW, Chris, if you’d like to enquire about how to write an essay, ask Willis. He’s got it nailed.

  58. Zeke Hausfather says:

    “compare the Climate Reference Network”

    Zeke, what exactly are you plotting when you say USCRN in your image?

    Isn’t USCRN a collection of stations, not a single value? I don’t see anything on their site that produces a single US value, so you must be applying some algorithm to obtain that value. Is that considered part of USCRN, approved by NOAA? Is the algorithm described anywhere, or is it a simple averaging of stations?

    How does this algorithm handle the increase in online stations (nearly 3x) from 2004 to 2012?

  59. No, no, no, Christopher! Build in in Greece, where it belongs! Much larger and absolutely no wood. That’s where you’ll be spending your time anyway. Build it right in the middle of a large olive plantation. With an olive press. Hire a local foreman and some household staff. Start a small business and private brand your olive oil. The illustration above would make a great label, “Monckton” “Extra virgin olive oil” “Product of (some small town in the Peloponnese). With your name recognition, you will never be able to fill all of your orders. I’ll bet you already speak pidgin Greek.

  60. Life can only reproduce if it grows in a manner that does not kill it before it can reproduce.
    Simply put, trees grow following a randomly selected heuristic which results in the least destruction due to outside forces and its own growth. The tree didn’t sit around planning for a decade while doing load and torsion studies before it grew…

    You might as well ask rice why it isn’t asparagus.

    This is identity theorem at its most literal.

    The Doric column is based on vertical stress loading of a compressible rock which can suffer surface damage that leads to sundering of the inner mass of the stones.

    There’s even a reason why the ones with fluting down the side last longer than the smooth ones.

    So, the correct answer to both your posed conundrums is: “Both sides have their heads up their backsides and are wrong.”

  61. Robert Austin says: “I suppose it will be alleged by the usual suspects that your “temple” will be paid for by the contributions of ‘big oil’.”

    Since it’s a religious sort of building, I think it more appropriate if it’s paid for by “Big ChrisM.”

    Here’s what I want in the bottom of my garden:

  62. “…
    Finally, the wreaths in the metopes are taken from the Choragic Monument of Thrasyllus on the flank of the Acropolis in Athens.
    …”
    Oh sure, that’s easy for you to say. :>)

  63. I am very much looking forward to your visit to New Zealand. I will be there. I am I awe of the number of talks and events you have packed into your schedule. Where do you find the energy? Anyway thank you for being crazy enough to undertake this thankless task.

  64. Architecture can make statements. When a bank uses a the stout, robust, Doric order it is saying ‘your money is safe with us’. However, Roman styles were more commonly used for buildings intended for commerce or administration. Greek styles were associated with learning so were popular for libraries and universities. But this was all a bit pretentious and meant nothing to the average Joe.

    What, you may wonder, has any of this got to do with climate change?

    First, climate, without the “change”. Classical temple forms work best in the high strong Mediterranean sunlight where their mathematical refinements can best be discerned. I’m not sure they work under the grey skies of Rannoch Moor.

    Their low roof pitches worked fine with terracotta tiles and the dry Mediterranean climate. Alexander Thomson’s (h/t ntesdorf) Greek styled buildings looked great but their slate roofs (not normally pitched so low) leaked like sieves under the onslaught of the Scottish weather. Building technology has advanced but the important lesson is: don’t let dogma trump common sense or, to put it another way, don’t let theory overrule observation.

    Second, climate change: the precedent of the politics of architecture.

    The Greeks and Romans taught us the importance of scale and proportion. The Parthenon is a “symphony is stone” because each part works harmoniously with every other. [If you think this is so much academic babble I suggest you google the “Golden Section” and see how often that proportion recurs in human endeavour. It is not by chance].

    Renaissance thinkers like Leon Battista Alberti were much more explicit in linking the mathematical principals that underpin good music and good architecture. Appropriate use of those principals is more important than slavishly copying individual classical motifs.

    However, in the 20th century, the architect Charles-Édouard Jeanneret (who rather pompously styled himself as “Le Corbusier”) devised his own system of proportion called the Modulor.

    Unfortunately, it was such a smorgasbord that (somewhat like certain paleoclimate reconstructions) you could make almost any proportion fit the preconceived scheme with a little tweaking.

    You may never have heard of Le Corbusier, but you have almost certainly witnessed his legacy, which is more to do with public housing (where all common sense, as well as sense of proportion was lost). He designed the Unité d’Habitation, which became the archetype of much of the Soviet style housing that has blighted our modern cities.

    The bureaucrats enthusiastically adopted these “machines for living” as part of their grand social engineering plans through public housing. Asking people what they actually wanted, never occurred to them. Empirical observation wasn’t going to stand in the way of “progress”. These vertical slums (known as “projects” in the U.S., “schemes” in the U.K. and “banlieues” in France) were an unmitigated disaster.

    Those that haven’t been torn down are sinkholes for public funds, lingering on only because of expensive and regular renovations. You can see an example of a Le Corbusier clone (Marlboro Houses, Brooklyn) towards the end of the 2007 movie American Gangster, starring Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe, where it is set as the centre of a major drug-dealing operation amidst 70’s squalor. Conveniently, for the filmmakers, it was being renovated at the time.

    For decades the “progressives” denied the lack of social “progress” resulting from their attempts at “social engineering” and just marched on regardless. The politicians, town planners and architects who had attained “class consciousness” didn’t actually live in their creations, preferring, for example, gentile Georgian townhouses or cottages in the Cotswalds. Likewise, the rigours of the new carbon puritanism do not apply to many of those who now preach it. Apparently, there are special dispensations for those engaged in saving the planet.

  65. You’ll never get Planning Permission for it!
    No mention of it being “Carbon Neutral”, “Sustainable” or “Low Cost”.
    Also, you’re an English Toff, so no chance of a Commie Jock passing it! ;-)

  66. Wonderful article this, took me back to my own college lectures, and as a reasonably proficient mathematician, I had always wondered about the shape of the doric column. Now I know it was an ellipse, truncated to the golden ratio. Made my day!

  67. David Ross:

    You make some good points in your interesting post at January 24, 2013 at 11:29 pm. But you decry upgrading shoddy buildings saying

    The politicians, town planners and architects who had attained “class consciousness” didn’t actually live in their creations, preferring, for example, gentile Georgian townhouses or cottages in the Cotswalds.

    Genteel Georgian townhouses and cottages in the Cotswolds are now desirable residences but they were rubbish when they were built.

    The long terraces and sweeping crescents of Regency architecture result from a rapid construction method based on use of the cheap and available standard Admiralty log (used for ships’ masts). They were ‘thrown-up’ and their glorious frontages hid the poor buildings.

    The wonderful terraces and sweeping Crescents of Bath are said to be “Queen Anne at the front and Sally Anne at the back”. And they were built for then then version of ‘time-share’ during the winter ‘Season’ when the rich ‘took rooms’ in Bath. The Regency buildings are similar in Bath and Cheltenham (then a competing Spa with Bath and now ‘the Center of the Cotswolds’) but Cheltenham has many more of them. I lived for a time in Lansdown Crescent, Cheltenham, and it certainly was ‘Sally Anne at the back’.

    Cotswold cottages are very pretty but were built as the homes of labourers.

    Genteel Georgian townhouses and cottages in the Cotswolds are now desirable residences because they have been developed, upgraded and improved by the methods you decry.

    Richard

  68. David vun Kannon:

    Your post at January 24, 2013 at 7:04 pm begins saying

    Chris,
    I don’t speak Pretentious, so I ran your post through Google Translate. Here’s what I got:
    I am self-important.

    I don’t speak Snivelling Fool, so I ran your post through my brain. Here’s what I got.
    David vun Kannon feels so unsure of himself that he tries to demean others in attempt to obtain a feeling of self-worth.

    Richard

  69. ConTrari says:
    January 24, 2013 at 10:56 am
    Oh no…please don’t mix a Doric temple with a Palladian villa, doesn’t work, y’see.

    I am afraid I agree. I know this is a folly and as such impressionistic rather than informative but to the purist your roof line is all wrong. You could save it (up to a point) by imitating the peripteral style with an extra column at each corner. Extend the main pediment (and roof, obviously) to overlap the edges of the resulting extended entablature on your principle face and remove the pediment altogether on the “sides”. Finally, include columns in place of the anta as these would have been obscured by the columns in a true peripteral style build.

    Think about doubling the height of your door. Oh and rectangular windows (if windows you must have – the cella often didn’t). It would be fun to frame these very simply and engrave the exterior of the (single sheet of) glass to look like carved panels.

    Pedantry aside, you are to be congratulated for creating a little something worthwhile.

  70. Your Lordship will need Planning Permission for that. You will not get it, the planners will say ‘it introduces an incongruous element into the landscape’. The Planners, for all non Brits, are mostly youngish female bureaucrats who are just about to disappear on maternity leave and make decisions based on god knows what.

  71. More to the point,when a civilization collapses, its technology becomes forgotten for many centuries. Great civilizations which collapse tend to NEVER regain their former glory. The relevance is that the evil behind the Global Warming Hoax seeks actively to destroy our current society and start again with the ashes and mould it to their insane Fabian Utopia which cannot possibly work. I have found 3 fundamental flaws in their implementation already. Perhaps the readers can add to the list.
    1) UNIDO states that nothing shall interfere with national sovereignty, yet Agenda 21 calls for the end of nation states with a One World Government(with unelected leaders, no less.)
    2) UNIDO calls for the world to be divided in to discrete economic activities and be dependant on the rest of the world for essential inputs.Most nations , especially Australia, are designated for NO agriculture. This explains the Murray-Darling insanity(40% of our food supply sacrificed to turn a salt water lake in to a fresh water lake and for “environmental flows”) and allowing CSG exploration on prime agricultural land. Australia is designated for mining and technology ONLY. On the other hand,ICLEI (aka local Agenda 21) states that food should be sourced only from within 100 miles (within the little human enclave within nature.) Nice one, starved by bureaucratic decree.
    3) In the Western world, women get far more rights than men. Rights which many males feel to be heavily abused and exploited.On the other hand, there is a distinct bias towards Islam- notice how they bow down to them? UN resolution (I think) 1878-someone will correct me, states that nothing shall be done to harm a Muslim, which includes verbal harm. Well there goes freedom of speech. And they do not have the best reputation for treating women.
    These 3 conundrums contain complete opposites. Bit like the Nazi tactic-“make the lie BIG, tell it often enough and people will start to believe it” How can their all so structured Fabian Utopia, all so carefully planned in great detail actually work with these total opposite aspects within the thought train ? It will be one horrendous FAIL. Remember, most of the original Fabians were writers of FICTION .
    On a better note, us Antipodeans eagerly await your tour down under.

  72. ‘History will crown Anthony Watts as one of the great heroes who defended the freedom to do science rationally against the political forces that would have flung us into a new Dark Age by their Marxian insistence that science should conform to the party line (excitingly rebranded “consensus”) rather than vice versa.’

    You don’t think this applies to both right and left wing politics? If not it may be worth while reading the posting regarding warming and beliefs.

  73. I like the bit where you say “vast sums being squandered on windmills, solar panels and suchlike fooleries”.

    The Penny Catechism inveighed against belief in “charms, omens, dreams, and suchlike fooleries”. I don’t suppose they had Global Warming in mind when writing it, but there were equivalent grotesqueries around at the time…

    I wouldn’t like to spend Christmas on the moors at your cottage ornee – the cold, the wind, the darkness – but it might be splendid in the near permanent light of midsummer. A Midsummer’s Night Dream?

  74. As far as possible, the Climate Reference Network should be independently supervised by experts in instrumentation and in statistics. Climatologists should be allowed nowhere near it: they have proven themselves untrustworthy. Their role will be to receive the results from their betters with appropriate humility and gratitude.

    If this rule was in place 20 years ago, it would have saved us all a lot of wasted resources over the CAGW swindle.

  75. Very impressive architectural design. BTW, with such low ceilings of ~7ft where you are you going to hang the chandeliers?

  76. Dear Chris, you say
    “By now it ought to be obvious to all who are not already blinded by politics, prejudice or passion that there is no definitive method of determining the sensitivity of the climate to carbon dioxide. The extravagant guesses of the global warming profiteers are just that – guesses – and no more. Guesswork is not a sound basis for policy-making.”

    This indeed is so, but the problem is that the “guesswork” has been converted and buried into complex computer programs to confuse and befuddle laymen who don’t understand that a compter program can be contrived to report whatever the contrivers have designed it to do.

    That said, thanks for the beautiful photo of the Greek Temple at Paestum — in Italy just north of Salerno, if I remember correctly from my many visits there when living in Rome and working at the U.S. Embassy during the early 1950’s. The temple at Paestum is one of the world’s best-preserved examples of beautiful Greek Doric arcitecture, although I prefer Corinthian. The columns were shaped with a bulge to make them appear to be straight.

  77. Lord Monckton I just noticed a resemblance to the World Forestry Center in Portland, Oregon.
    note the use of wood columns though not nearly so formal.

  78. “The extravagant guesses of the global warming profiteers are just that-guesses.” Reminds me of one of the best takes on Climate Science of all time (in my opinion); namely the Author’s Message at the conclusion of Micheal Crichton’s “State of Fear”…”Nobody knows how much warming will occur in the next century. The computer models vary by 400 percent, de facto proof that nobody knows. But if I had to guess—the only thing anybody is doing, really—I would guess the increase will be 0.8123436 degrees C. there is no evidence that my guess about the state of the world one hundred years from now is any better or worse than anyone else’s. We can’t “assess” the future, nor can we “predict” it. These are euphemisms. We can only guess. An informed guess is just a guess.” After stating the need for ” a nonpartisan, blinded funding mechanism to conduct research to determine appropriate policy”… he concludes “Everybody has an agenda. Except me.” Bravo Lord Monckton! And greetings from Alaska, where the fish are no more fooled by Climate Alarmists than the trees, wheat and vinyards of the past. For your cottage, I would suggest you follow Keat’s design and go with “mud and wooden wattles” to enjoy the “Celtic Twilight” of summer and “snowbird” to Majorca for the short months. Cheers!

  79. The minor axis of the ellipse, so the Plommerian theory goes, corresponded to the diameter of the column at its foot. The semi-major axis, of unit length, extended from the center of the foot all the way to the geison (cornice). The resultant semi-ellipse was truncated approximately 0.618, or (1 + √5) / 2, units above the stylobate (the stone floor).

    The distinctive profile of the Doric column, then, was an ellipse whose semi-major axis stood in the golden ratio to the height of the column.

    The distinction is that the golden ratio is what gives the structure STABILITY.
    The ratio of the major to the whole (0.618/1 = 0.618) is the same as the ratio of the minor to the major (0.382/0.618 = 0.618).
    This stability is found all over nature, hence…

    What, you may wonder, has any of this got to do with climate change?

    Dr Theodor Landscheidt explains this best

    http://www.john-daly.com/solar/solar.htm

  80. Berényi Péter says:
    January 24, 2013 at 3:30 pm

    ““Be that as it may, the Greeks, like the Persians, Hindus, Arabs and Egyptians before them and the Romans after them, were enthusiastic mathematicians.”

    Nope. Persians & Arabs came after the Greeks, not before. Babylonians, mentors of Greece were neither. However, the most important ingredient of math, genuine mathematical proof is a unique Greek invention, was never ever dreamt of by anyone else before and not arrived at independently anywhere else. Therefore, in the strict sense of the word, Egyptian, Babylonian, early Indian or Chinese math is not even that, but something else.”

    That’s pretty nitpicky and does the Babylonians (invented the sexagesimal system still in use) and Egyptians (pyramids etc) injustice… Mathematics today is defined as being based on axioms but this was not the definition during Gauss’ lifetime – so by that definition Gauss was not a mathematician. Which would be preposterous to say.

  81. Arno Arrak says:
    January 24, 2013 at 12:00 pm (Edit)
    I quote: ‘ Before we spend any more trillions on making putative “global warming” go away, it would surely be wise to find out whether and to what extent it is occurring….’
    ———————————————————–

    Surely this is extremely important. Why is it not more generally known?

  82. Fascinating. Love the ancient Greek architecture.

    Will the wood columns be carved from monolithic tree-trunks, or some kind of composite-wood construction? Sitka spruce trunks grown in UK forestry plantations could serve…

  83. Excuse me moderator, but there was absolutely nothing in my comments in violation of the site’s rules. Also, my name is not “I am Incredulous,” but Anton. Your program keeps putting this false name on my posts.

  84. How about a large croft instead of a small Doric temple? Too greenish?

    To each his own, I guess, as long as minimal property rights survive.

  85. (1+√5) / 2 = 1.618033989
    (√5-1) / 2 = 0.618033988

    Cantilevered beams and free standing columns achored at their base can have their section modulus reduced progressively without reducing their load carrying capacity. Trees are living organisms with feedback mechanisms which allow them to most efficiently control their section modulus throughout the entire tree to support the average/typical loads encountered. Trees taper because mechanically they can and still withstand wind, snow and other environmental loads. It is a more efficient use of energy and materials, whereas adding section modulus to areas where it is not needed is a waste of energy and materials, which in turn works against survival.

    A quick 5 minutes with a tape measure revealed that Sugar Maple, Spruce and White Birch all increase the sum of the diameters at a bifurcation by 15% to 41% compared to the diameter of the trunk at or just below the bifurcation.

  86. This ellipse has its center on the y’ -axis a distance r from the origin, a semi-axis parallel to the x’ -axis equal to a, and a semi-axis along the y’ -axis equal to b.

  87. You lost me in the first paragraph when you said:
    “If there is an architectural embodiment of the virtue of honesty, it is the Doric.”

    A 21st century Scottish house dressed up as an Ancient Greek temple is not honest. Not even a little.

  88. Ryan Townsend says:

    “A 21st century Scottish house dressed up as an Ancient Greek temple is not honest. Not even a little.”

    Ridiculous. By that reasoning, no one could use any prior architecture. And who is the arbiter of what someone else would like to build on their property?

    [Funny link, though.]

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