Monckton’s letter to the Rochester Institute of Technology regarding Assistant Professor Lawrence Torcello

Earlier, I had mentioned Assistant Professor Lawrence Torcello’s despicable climate ugliness and offered some links to addresses on where to complain to. Monckton took the lead on that. I urge others to write such factual and courteous letters.

14 March 2014
The Provost and Senior Vice-President for Academic Affairs
Eastman Hall
Rochester Institute of Technology
New York, New York, United States of America
asenate@rit.edu, stp1031@rit.edu

Sir,

Breaches of Principles of Academic Freedom (Policy E2.0) and of the mission statement of the Institute by Assistant Professor Lawrence Torcello

Principle of public law relied upon

The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States applies to all. It says:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Principles of private law relied upon

The Institute’s policy on academic freedom applies to all faculty members, including Assistant Professor Torcello. The Institute declares that its policy is “guided” by the principles of academic freedom promulgated by the Association of University Professors in 1940, and, in particular, by the third such principle:

“3. College and university teachers are citizens, members of a learned profession, and officers of an educational institution. When they speak or write as citizens, they should be free from institutional censorship or discipline, but their special position in the community imposes special obligations. As scholars and educational officers, they should remember that the public may judge their profession and their institution by their utterances. Hence they should at all times be accurate, should exercise appropriate restraint, should show respect for the opinions of others, and should make every effort to indicate that they are not speaking for the institution.”

The Institute’s mission statement includes the following paragraph:

“Respect, Diversity and Pluralism: Provides a high level of service to fellow members of the RIT community. Treats every person with dignity. Demonstrates inclusion by incorporating diverse perspectives to plan, conduct, and/or evaluate the work of the organization, department, college, or division.”

Alleged breaches of the said principles of law

On 13 March 2014, Assistant Professor Lawrence Torcello published a blog posting[1] entitled Is misinformation about the climate criminally negligent? at a tendentious propaganda website, “The Conversation”. In that posting, he committed the following breaches of the Institute’s policies:

1. Mr Torcello describes himself as “Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Rochester Institute of Technology” and makes no effort to comply with the explicit requirement of the principles on academic freedom by indicating that he writes neither on behalf of the Institute nor in his capacity as an assistant professor there but as a private citizen.

2. Mr Torcello offends against the requirement of accuracy stated in the principles of academic freedom in that his posting falsely said “the majority of scientists clearly agree on a set of facts” about “global warming” on which they do not in fact agree. Mr Torcello links his cited statement to a reference to three papers each claiming a “97% consensus” to the effect that most of the global warming observed since 1950 was manmade. However, as Legates et al. (2013)[2] have demonstrated, a review of 11,944 papers on climate published in the 21 years 1991-2011, the largest such review ever published in the scientific literature, had marked only 64 papers, or 0.5% of the sample, as explicitly endorsing that proposition. Though it may well be that 100% of scientists publishing in relevant fields accept that – all other things being equal – our returning CO2 to the atmosphere from which it once came will be likely to cause some global warming (though the record amounts of CO2 we have emitted recently have not caused any warming at all for up to 17 years 6 months[3]), legitimate scientific doubt remains about the quantum of future global warming that may be expected, with an increasing body of peer-reviewed papers moving towards a climate sensitivity of only 1-2 Celisus degrees per CO2 doubling[4], and the IPCC itself drastically reducing its predictions of global warming over the next 30 years.

3. Mr. Torcello offends not only against the Institute’s requirement to treat every person with dignity, including those persons with whose views he disagrees, but also against the Constitution’s assertion of the right of free speech, which includes the right to fund those who wish to exercise it in opposition to what he falsely regards as the prevailing scientific opinion, when he says: “We have good reason to consider the funding of climate denial to be criminally and morally negligent. The charge of criminal and moral negligence ought to extend all activities of the climate deniers who receive funding as part of a sustained campaign to undermine the public’s understanding of scientific consensus” – a “consensus” which, as the three papers on the subject that Mr Torcello has linked to his posting define it, does not in fact exist.

4. Mr Torcello offends against the requirement of accuracy stated in the principles of academic freedom in that he links the statement in his posting that “public uncertainty regarding climate science, and the resulting failure to respond to climate change, is the intentional aim of politically and financially motivated denialists” to an allegation, long demonstrated to have been fabricated by one Peter Gleick, a climate change campaigner, that the Heartland Institute had circulated memorandum stating that Heartland intended to persuade schoolteachers that “the topic of climate change is controversial and uncertain – two key points that are effective at dissuading teachers from teaching science”. In the interest of accuracy Mr Torcello ought to have made it plain, but did not mention at all, that Gleick had been suspended from his post at an environmental campaign group for several months as a result of this incident, in which he had corruptly posed as a member of Heartland’s board so as to obtain access to its private documents, to which he had added documents of his own when the private documents he had obtained proved to be disappointingly innocent.

5. Mr Torcello shows no respect for Constitutional freedom of speech, or for the principles of academic freedom for those with whom he disagrees, when falsely alleges that all who fund those who dare to question what we are (inaccurately) told is the “consensus” position on global warming are “corrupt”, “deceitful”, and “criminally negligent in their willful disregard for human life”.

6. Mr Torcello, in perpetrating his me-too hate-speech about the alleged “loss of life” from “global warming”, fails yet again to comply with the requirement of accuracy in the principles of academic freedom, in that he departs from the “consensus” to the effect that a global warming of up to 2 Celsius degrees compared with 1750, or 1.1 degrees compared with today, will be not only harmless but net-beneficial to life on Earth. He also ignores the fact that the very heavy additional costs of energy arising from arguably needless subsidies to “renewable” energy systems make it impossible for poorer people to heat their homes. These energy price hikes may, for instance, have contributed to the 31,000 excess deaths in last year’s cold winter in the UK alone – 8000 more than the usual number of excess winter deaths.

7. By looking at only one side of the account, and by threatening scientists who disagree with him with imprisonment for criminal negligence, Mr Torcello offends fundamentally against the principles of academic freedom that he will himself no doubt pray in aid when he is confronted with the present complaint, and against the principle of tolerance of diverse opinions – including, horribile dictu, opinions at variance with his own – that is enjoined upon him by the Institute’s mission statement, and by common sense.

The academic senate will, no doubt, wish to consider whether Mr Torcello is a fit and proper person to hold any academic post at the Institute, and whether to invite him not only to correct at once the errors of fact that he has perpetrated but also to respect in future the academic freedom of those with whom he disagrees as though it were his own freedom – a freedom that, in his shoddy little posting, he has shamefully and ignorantly abused.

Yours faithfully,

Viscount Monckton of Brenchley


[1] https://theconversation.com/is-misinformation-about-the-climate-criminally-negligent-23111

[2] Legates, D.R., W.W.-H. Soon, W. M. Briggs, and C.W. Monckton of Brenchley, 2013, Climate consensus and ‘misinformation’: a rejoinder to ‘Agnotology, scientific consensus, and the teaching and learning of climate change’, Sci. & Educ., August 30, DOI 10.1007/s11191-013-9647-9.

[3] Least-squares linear-regression trend on the RSS monthly global mean lower-troposphere temperature anomaly dataset, September 1996 to February 2014 inclusive.

[4] See e.g. Lindzen, R.S., and Y.-S. Choi, 2011, On the observational determination of climate sensitivity and its implications, Asia-Pacific J. Atmos. Sci., 47:4, 377-390, doi:10.1007/s13143-011-0023-x.

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206 Responses to Monckton’s letter to the Rochester Institute of Technology regarding Assistant Professor Lawrence Torcello

  1. ANTHONY HOLMES says:

    go get him Tiger !!

  2. Alan Robertson says:

    Bravo!

  3. Jimmy Haigh. says:

    Monckton at his best here. Excellent.

  4. Paul Pierett says:

    Dear Lord Monckton,

    Thank you for your letter. I sent in the following last night via email.

    Sincerely,

    Paul Pierett

    Letter is as follows with one edit correction.

    Just read where he thinks I should be in prison “What’s Up With That”. Please inform the Dean, Tarcello and the Staff to get an Education in Ice Age Studies. Please inform the Dean, Tarcello and Staff to get an education in Milankovitch Cycles.  

    To help Tarcello out with his understanding of Global Warming, we are between Ice Ages; CO2 is not a poison but part of the Nitrate, Carbon Cycles; and that it’s all about sunspots right now.

    I am not a skeptic or a denier. I just know more than him‎ when it comes to Global Warming. I have already proved hurricane season strength is tied to strong sunspot activity and it is registered at the Library of Congress.

    For a simple Joe the Plumber education I recommend easy reading get sunspotshurricanesandglaciers.com. Go to the Greek Papers. They outline the next three decades of cold weather and the colder century ahead.

    Finally, having spent thirty years of my life protecting life and liberty for The USA, it reflects on your institution how frail the Bill of Rights is when a Paid Professor wants to jail those he disagrees with. Unfortunately, the damage is done and his flock follows him.

    Most Sincerely ,

    Paul Pierett
    Lt. Colonel, Retired
    U.S. Army

  5. kenw says:

    a most sincere thank you.

  6. Pamela Gray says:

    Lordy Lordy I love how the English write.

  7. Dave says:

    I most certainly do NOT want to get in a war of words with Viscount Monckton of Brenchley.

  8. Bobby Davis says:

    Bravo, Lord Monckton!

  9. John V. Wright says:

    Restrained, factual, to-the-point – well done Christopher Monckton. And thank you, Anthony, for bringing the original ‘hate speech’ to our attention. Assistant Professor of Philosophy, indeed. God help us all.

  10. Mark Bofill says:

    Thank you Lord Monckton.

  11. Resourceguy says:

    Nice

  12. David Johnson says:

    Very good

  13. Bob Diaz says:

    That nails it! It’s also worth poising out that this Professor is in a field that does NOT qualify as being an expert in climate science. So on what grounds can he decide that the science is settled and should not be debated?

  14. viejecita says:

    I Love Monckton . Bravo !!!
    As we say in Spain when we admire someone very much
    ” Es para ponerle un piso ” **

    ** A not very politically correct way of meaning he should be rewarded,

  15. David Harrington says:

    Cracking stuff your Lordship.

  16. Patrict B says:

    As important- RIT graduates need to express their displeasure to the university and make it clear no donations will be made until your concerns are addressed. I stopped all donations to my graduate alma mater when they began to very publicly support discrimination based on race, and made it clear every time the development office contacted me.

  17. kenw says:

    Has the Lord addressed the JDL bigotry?

  18. more soylent green! says:

    That a professor of philosophy should express such opinions is no shock. In Hayek’s “The Road to Serfdom” he highlights the philosophical and academic roots of German fascism. Not all philosophers believe in classic liberalism.

  19. kenw says:

    ^correction: the ADL bigotry.

  20. David L. Hagen says:

    The Provost and Senior Vice-President for Academic Affairs
    Dr. Jeremy Haefner
    Eastman Hall, Rochester Institute of Technology
    New York, New York, United States of America
    jahpro@rit.edu

    Dear Provost Haefner
    I appeal to you to uphold our unalienable rights to speech and religion, respect for the Rule of Law, Academic freedom with civil speech and professional debate, and the Scientific Method including open testing and validation against objective data.
    Accordingly, I second the letter sent you by Christopher Lord Monckton, Viscount of Brenchley, titled: “Breaches of Principles of Academic Freedom (Policy E2.0) and of the mission statement of the Institute by Assistant Professor Lawrence Torcello”
    Yours sincerely
    David L. Hagen, PhD

  21. AlecM says:

    Torcelloed Prose M’Lud.

  22. geek49203 says:

    What next — the professor of poetry will issue a FATWA against those who doubt that zero sodium diets are effective in preventing heart attacks? Will the chair of the art history department demand a pogrom for those who dare point out that we’ve been fracking for 50+ years?

  23. DonnieMac says:

    This is excellent. As Anthony says, “factual and courteous”, compared to the appalling tone of the original posting. Outbursts like Torcello’s are surely yet more evidence of an argument that is rapidly being lost. When so much evidence is pointing more and more to CO2 being only a very minor player in global warming, those who have hung their careers and reputation on it will rapidly resort to abuse and threat to try to sustain an unsustainable position.
    What I have learned over a year of reading WUWT and an number of books by its main contributors is that no-one denies climate change, no-one denies or is sceptical about the late 20th century global warming; but what we do deny and are sceptical about are the on-going claims, in the face of a 17 year pause with CO2 emissions continuing to rise, that burning fossil fuels is sole cause of global warming. It is becoming more apparent that CO2 forcing contributes very little to the natural global warming/cooling cycles and that returning mankind to the middle-ages with expensive and unreliable renewable ‘green’ energy will not make the slightest bit of difference.
    Torcello’s belief that ‘deniers and sceptics’ should be jailed for disagreeing with the approved wisdom, is akin to the recent elections in North Korea, where 100% of the population voted 100% in favour of the ruling status-quo!

  24. JDN says:

    @Monckton
    Corporate and university policy should never be turned into law. Calling a university policy “private law” is absolutely unAmerican. Policies can be changed or ignored for special circumstances. It’s not law.

    Secondly, the first amendment doesn’t “apply to all”, it applys to the federal congress and anything it regulates, which sure as hell isn’t some assistant professor’s speech, unless you are a big fan of dystopian society. Many states have their own bill of rights to make sure that state law reflects the founding principles of the federal government because, if they were not included in state constitutions, those prohibitions do not automatically pass to state law.

    The issue is whether state or federal funds were used in an attempt to suppress free speech contrary to state or federal law. In that case, a law granting money for suppression of free speech would have been passed contrary to a constitutional protection. Otherwise, the guy is free to say whatever foolish thing he wants. As your mentor once said, “There is nothing so ridiculous that some philosopher has not said it.”

  25. Rob Ricket says:

    well done Monckton!

  26. pottereaton says:

    How long before there is a retraction and apology? I’m guessing it will be worked on over the weekend and show up around Monday, if not before.

    Professor Torcello has perpetrated a crime against academic freedom. If the university lets it stand, perhaps its accreditation needs to be looked at.

  27. Chris D. says:

    Bravo on the responses! If you actually get anywhere with these people, then I think that an appropriate remedy would be to demand the opportunity for a rebuttal essay in The Conversation, rather than to try and silence him. Letting nutters spout off and then following up by exposing the false and inhumane nature of their position is often the best way to marginalize them.

  28. Lloyd Martin Hendaye says:

    As an ossified bastion of PCBS extremism, U-Rochester is the absolute last place any disputant would expect even a halfway decent hearing. However much Rochester’s maundering totalitarians deserve recording, does Viscount Monckton of Brenchley not have better uses for his time?

  29. Eustace Cranch says:

    JDN says:
    March 14, 2014 at 8:38 am

    “Secondly, the first amendment doesn’t “apply to all”, it applys to the federal congress and anything it regulates,”

    “Applys’ -Heh.

  30. David L. Hagen says:

    JDN
    Please check your assertions.
    See The Faculty of Rochester Institute of Technology CHARTER OF ACADEMIC GOVERNANCE. i.e., “private law” of a private instution. (not “public”).

    XII. ACADEMIC FREEDOM AND ACADEMIC DUE PROCESS
    12.1 All members of the faculty at the Rochester Institute of Technology are entitled to full freedom in their teaching, studies, creative activities, and research, and in the publication of the results of their research. Likewise, they are entitled to freedom in the classroom in discussing their subjects and material relating to them. It is expected that the aforementioned teaching will be aimed toward achieving the educational objectives agreed upon by the faculty, administration, and the board of trustees.
    As teachers and persons of learning, the faculty are aware that the public may judge their profession and the university by their utterances. They shall, therefore, strive to be accurate and to exhibit appropriate professional conduct. They shall respect the views, opinions and sensibilities of others, give appropriate professional consideration to the body of belief held by their audience, and clearly indicate when they are not speaking on behalf of the university.

    12.2 Academic due process means that all faculty evaluations shall be carried out according to the norms, criteria, and standards expressed in university policies, and that their application shall be substantive at each stage of the evaluation process.

    The Constitution of the State of New York protects rights similar to the US Constitution’s First Amendment. e.g.,

    §3. The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination or preference, shall forever be allowed in this state to all humankind; and no person shall be rendered incompetent to be a witness on account of his or her opinions on matters of religious belief; but the liberty of conscience hereby secured shall not be so construed as to excuse acts of licentiousness, or justify practices inconsistent with the peace or safety of this state. (Amended by vote of the people November 6, 2001.) . . .
    §8. Every citizen may freely speak, write and publish his or her sentiments on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of that right; and no law shall be passed to restrain or abridge the liberty of speech or of the press. In all criminal prosecutions or indictments for libels, the truth may be given in evidence to the jury; and if it shall appear to the jury that the matter charged as libelous is true, and was published with good motives and for justifiable ends, the party shall be acquitted; and the jury shall have the right to determine the law and the fact.

  31. KevinK says:

    The Rochester Institure of Technology is in Rochester, New York. Not; New York, New York. New York, New York is shorthand for New York City, New York. NYC, New York is a bit further East and a lot further Left of Rochester.

    Otherwise a fine letter, but I doubt they will be concerned by the opinions of a few future jailhouse denier’s.

    Cheers, Kevin

  32. eyesonu says:

    Good response by Christopher Monckton

    Monckton’s words are truly mightier that a sword.

    This Lewandowsky look alike / act alike academic clown has some explaining to do.

  33. Eustace Cranch says:

    Torcello = Toast

  34. Timothy Sorenson says:

    This RIT professor’s ‘well-documented’ reference is to an article about Brulle’s paper. Which is nothing more than a conspiracy theory paper. As a professor myself, if that reference shows his diligence and bibliographic strength not only is he a deluded individual but apparently incapable of doing research. So many of these guys are a disgrace to education. If I write, and I think I will, I need to reference the Brulle paper in detail so that he can be shown to be the shoddy researcher he appears to be.

    Hmm… the quote springs to mind:
    “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.”

    Possibly: Lincoln or Twain, but most probably just a reformulation of Proverbs 17
    “Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue.” by some earlier unknown writer.

  35. David L. Hagen says:

    PS Letter also sent to Assistant Professor Lawrence Torcello

  36. jorgekafkazar says:

    “Mr Torcello offends fundamentally against the principles of academic freedom…and against the principle of tolerance of diverse opinions…that is enjoined upon him by the Institute’s mission statement, and by common sense.”

    I doubt if an appeal to common sense will carry any weight. This is academia, where common sense is an outmoded concept and thin on the ground. CAGW’s scientific arguments have long been exposed (via Climategate, et al) as invalid. Since then, the only way forward for CAGW proponents is to increase the quantity and amplitude of what they do have: rhetoric, specious statements, hand-waving, unfounded assertions, fraudulent papers, and, above all, strident personal attacks. I shall be extremely surprised and pleased if the response from RIT amounts to anything other than the usual whitewash dip for Mr. Torcello.

  37. Barry Woods says:

    Torcello seems to have inspired Lewandowsky, with his Sept 2012, UWA talk, which is far WORSE than his Conversation article.here:
    see slides 30:30 and 42:40!!!
    http://prod.lcs.uwa.edu.au:8080/ess/echo/presentation/9b3c06a9-b6d7-4cfe-b22c-eb62db79de3d

    and he goes after Lindzen, Spencer, Christy at 9 minutes

    and he goes after named politicians at the end 47 mins.. calling ‘these people’ wilfully ignorant, completely foolish or corrupt, then goes on to say how to handle that.. to morally condemm them, and to be silent (ie not doing that) is to be complicit.

    Lew:
    http://www.shapingtomorrowsworld.org/values4stw.htm
    “I therefore perceive a moral obligation to conduct research into why people reject well-es
    tablished scientific facts, be it climate change or the utility of vaccinations. This is my personal conviction, which other scholars are free to share or disagree with. To illustrate my position, Dr. Lawrence Torcello, a philosopher at the Rochester Institute of Technology, put it succinctly: “… Some issues are of such ethical magnitude that being on the correct side of history becomes a cipher of moral character for generations to come. Global warming is such an issue. History inevitably recognizes the moral astuteness of those loudly intolerant of ignorance and corruption. Those who offer polite hospitality to injustice must learn from history that they are complicit to the harms they enable.‎”

  38. Quelgeek says:

    Gosh Monkton is tedious. His letter is nothing a good savage editor couldn’t fix.

    If you want to be read keep it brief and make it pointed.

  39. Bernie Hutchins says:

    The Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) is in fact in Rochester NY, not in NY, NY. As a small ENGINEERING school it is outstanding, with its top graduates competitive with those from larger schools. High marks in engineering. Philosophy? Not so much it woulds seem!

  40. Bob says:

    Lord and Dr. Hagan, I see that both of you sent the letter to RIT at a New York, New York address. If I am not mistaken, RIT is in Rochester, NY, which is upstate.
    Rochester Institute of Technology
    1 Lomb Memorial Drive
    Rochester, NY 14623-5603

  41. pottereaton says:

    @JDN @ 8:38: In citing the First amendment, the Viscount is not alleging any violation of law. He’s saying that the principles of free expression in the first amendment have been violated. Nor is it un-American to use the term “private law”, which is shorthand for the University’s internal rules for academic conduct that are written to keep their employees on the straight and narrow. The university no doubt has an academic senate where this will be adjudicated. In other words, there will be a trial of sorts, if it gets that far, which I doubt.

    God forbid that we get lawyers involved in this. Monckton has it right when he writes: “The academic senate will, no doubt, wish to consider whether Mr Torcello is a fit and proper person to hold any academic post at the Institute, and whether to invite him not only to correct at once the errors of fact that he has perpetrated but also to respect in future the academic freedom of those with whom he disagrees as though it were his own freedom – a freedom that, in his shoddy little posting, he has shamefully and ignorantly abused.”

    The university has an obligation to correct Professor Torcello’s errors as well as his hostility to freedom of expression, unless it wants to be seen as tolerating academic fascism within the ranks of its employees.

  42. anonym says:

    Repeating myself from the earlier thread: what’s so bad about bringing “full, true and plain disclosure” standards to climate science? Start with the editors and contributors of papers to the IPCC.

  43. pottereaton says:

    Quelgeek: “Gosh Monkton is tedious.”

    What’s tedious is people focusing on stylistic differences when very important issues are being discussed. You’re in such a hurry, you couldn’t even spell his name right.

  44. Chris B says:

    There must be a reason for the professor to say such foolish things. When my kids were small they occasionally sought quick attention through bad behavior. Fortunately they outgrew it.

    Or, perhaps he’s seeking a Golden Handshake?

  45. John Whitman says:

    I thank Monckton and Watts (among many others) for efforts to widely expose the RIT sourced hate speech against independent thinkers.

    The hate speech against independent climate thinkers by RIT’s troubled faculty member Lawrence Torcello leads us to recall the despicable episode where University of Graz professor Richard Parcutt suggested the idea of death sentences for [CA]GW skeptics (aka independent thinkers).

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/12/23/beyond-bizarre-university-of-graz-music-professor-calls-for-skeptic-death-sentences/

    These people can be considered the inevitable intellectual consequences of the ideas of Naomi Oreskes (formerly of UCSD now at Harvard). Oreskes can be considered an intellectual implementor of the totalitarianism envisioned in the fiction book 1984. She is a radical anti-enlightenment intellectual.

    John

  46. pottereaton says:

    Bernie @ 9:13: it’s not small. It’s has over 18,000 post-graduate and undergraduate students.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rochester_Institute_of_Technology

  47. goldminor says:

    It seems that I stirred the pot over at ‘the conversation’. I went there for the first time about 10 days ago, and got into a good argument. I didn’t realize that I had stepped into a major bastion of CAGW believers. The byline for ‘the conversation’ seemed to indicate a place to come for respectful discussions, and I even left a comment stating “how nice to find a place to hold reasonable discourse”. I have to say that I was completely wrong in that regard. I haven’t been back since last Friday, but I noticed that at least one CAGW believer appeared to have followed me back to here and HenryP ended up engaging with him.

    The incident did spark my thoughts last week. That is what led me to look with renewed vigor into some of the possible connections of climate interactions. That is how I came to consider a radical premise that the Sun is interacting with the oceans to produce cyclical pulses within the oceans. The cyclical pulses are what we end up seeing as climate shifts. I don’t know if this thought will ever bear fruit, but Spring is close by and I am ever hopeful.

  48. davidmhoffer says:

    Letter sent:

    Sir,
    I am writing to you out of concern due to the recent remarks made by Lawrence Torcello.

    I have been following the climate debate with intense interest for over a decade. While I am not a fan of “argument from authority”, I will suggest that my credentials and knowledge in this area of science well exceeds his. In fact, Professor Torcello seems rather unaware that the United Nations expends considerable sums of money to collect and the current state of climate science on a regular basis and to publish same in the IPCC AR reports. These reports are, in fact, the actual consensus scientific opinion, and it is not what Professor Torcello claims it to be.

    IPCC AR5 (most recent), unlike earlier reports, failed to publish a consensus estimate regarding the climate’s sensitivity to CO2. So, the official consensus among the scientists that world governments and the United Nations have entrusted with analyzing the matter is, that there IS no consensus. Further, the consensus expressed by the scientists in that same report was that sensitivity as predicted by the climate models themselves was well above any estimates that could be justified by observational data and that they were universally running “hot” due to unknown factors.

    So, Lawrence Torcello is calling for people to be jailed, not for disagreeing with the consensus science, but for pointing out what it actually says. As to his claims of well documented corporate funding for the denier campaign, I would challenge him to produce evidence of same. If it is in fact “well documented”, then by all means, produce the documentation. Similarly, I would draw your attention to the “97%” consensus surveys frequently referenced and point out that even a cursory examination of any one of them reveals that the vast majority of responses were eliminated on the flimsiest of excuses in a blatant attempt to arrive at a predetermined answer. Had the supposed consensus being claimed actually existed, there would have been no need for such a contrived analysis, and the end result would have been commensurate with the views expressed in UN IPCC AR5. Instead, AR5 refutes any such notion.

    Lawrence Torcello has expressed opinions which are at odds with the actual published consensus science. In brief, he has expressed opinions which are his own, which he cannot substantiate, and calls for those who disagree with him to be jailed. He echoes rhetoric from the darkest episodes of human history. I urge your institution to deal with him accordingly.

    David M Hoffer

  49. goldminor says:

    Paul Pierett says:
    March 14, 2014 at 8:14 am
    ————————————–
    Very nice, concise and to the point.

  50. Jack C says:

    Thank you Lord Monckton.

  51. Greg Roane says:

    Dang it @pottereaton! You beat me to it! “Don’t debate the issues, attack the person instead!” Is this not the playbook?

    Lord Monckton, excellent letter!

    And one more thing, what is a Philosophy Professor doing at RIT, anyway? That sounds as counterintuitive as a Law College at MIT.

  52. TBraunlich says:

    Who cares about this philosophy professor at a small technical college? He is the academic version of a troll. Add his comments to the growing list of heinous things global warming promoters say that can be used against them later, and then forget about it.

  53. Jimbo says:

    There are those who argue that the ‘small’ band of sceptics is able to slow or halt public action on global warming climate change. I disagree, and think that since our voices have been clean swept from the airwaves for over a decade we have only been heard by a few. Yet a recent survey of Americans put global warming climate change second to last in their list of concerns.

    It is their failure to convince and not us sceptics. They are a bunch of failures and need to accept that fact.

  54. George Daddis says:

    Minor correction to one of the comments; RIT is NOT the university of Rochester; two very separate (and competing) entities. Both are academically excellent (Dr. Douglas, who frequently partners with Dr Lindzen is associated with the UofR.) To my knowledge, neither are considered bastions of liberalism, compared to many Northeast institutions.
    (I have an MBA from the UofR, my wife was a director at the university hospital. I also consulted for a year after retirement under the sponsorship of RIT.)

  55. Jim Bo says:

    FYI and convenience…

    The Democrat and Chronicle

    Letters to the Editor
    Democrat and Chronicle
    55 Exchange Blvd.
    Rochester, NY 14614

    Or

    email us at dceditpage@democratandchronicle.com

  56. Jones says:

    My Good Lord Monckton

    It is with a quiver in my hands that I would like to take issue with the following.

    You write

    “7. By looking at only one side of the account, and by threatening scientists who disagree with him with imprisonment for criminal negligence”

    Now, I do not wish to be accused of being a pedant (heaven forbid!) but by a strict interpretation the esteemed Prof seems to actually be saying that deemed subversive individuals SHOULD be threatened with imprisonment. The good chap isn’t in any actual position to make any such threats under the current legal system.
    However much I suspect he would like to be.

    Apologies if one is grossly off-beam with this minor correction.

    Cap doffed and forelock tugged vigorously til bald patch results.

    Luuurve your work.

    Jones.

  57. Bernie Hutchins says:

    pottereaton said in part March 14, 2014 at 9:45 am:
    “Bernie @ 9:13: it’s not small. It’s has over 18,000 post-graduate and undergraduate students.”

    Thank you – quite so. It’s just up the road from me. I was thinking “small” in terms of recognition, as suggested by my own comment about it having graduates of a quality equal to “larger” schools.
    Even Division I Hockey!

  58. Steven Mosher says:

    “Secondly, the first amendment doesn’t “apply to all”, it applys to the federal congress and anything it regulates, which sure as hell isn’t some assistant professor’s speech, unless you are a big fan of dystopian society. ”

    yes the appeal to the first amendment was the weakest part of the letter. Folks should understand that all a reader has to do is find the weakest argument and counter that.

    The second weakest argument is the one that refers to ““Respect, Diversity and Pluralism:”
    The code requires this behavior toward those in the RIT community.

    The best argument

    ““3. College and university teachers are citizens, members of a learned profession, and officers of an educational institution. When they speak or write as citizens, they should be free from institutional censorship or discipline, but their special position in the community imposes special obligations. As scholars and educational officers, they should remember that the public may judge their profession and their institution by their utterances. Hence they should at all times be accurate, should exercise appropriate restraint, should show respect for the opinions of others, and should make every effort to indicate that they are not speaking for the institution.”

    1. criminalizing thought is not “appropriate restraint”
    2. he does not respect the opinions of others
    3. he did not make every effort to indicate that he wasnt speaking for the institution.

    That is the best argument. The other points are the typical piling on weaker arguments.

    The stupid arguments about the first amendment, the stupid arguments about Cook, all distract from the core argument. I would make the argument this way.

    Academics are accorded a special freedom, academic freedom which frees them from institutional censorship or discipline. Unlike a civilian employee who can be terminated for expressing noxious ideas, academics are allowed to, in fact encouraged to, speak freely with no fear of retribution. Unlike politicians who can lose their elected positions for spewing nonsense, an academic is protected from losing his position regardless of what he says or writes.
    However, this protected status imposes certain responsibilities: Requirements to speak accurately, to practice restraint and to respect the opinions of others. Beneath the requirements for accuracy, restraint and tolerance lies this fundamental ethic: the protected status of academics entails that they should never suggest criminalizing speech. In short, there is an inherent limit on the absolute free expression of academics: they are not free to suggest that others be prosecuted for thought crimes.

  59. David L. Hagen says:

    Bob et al. Thanks for the correction from NY NY to Rochester NY

  60. ‘What is Lord Viscount Christopher Monckton’s theory?’

    ‘during his research, Christopher buried himself in the highly technical data from the UN’s climate body the IPCC, {but in among this was a bombshell and it was in figure one of that paper}, Monckton had found a paper from a doctor Rachel Pinker, that he thought proved by measurement not modelling, that change in cloud cover was responsible for the warming over the last 25 years and not our co2. {if this conclusion is correct then this is the silver bullet that shoots down the vampire of GW} this would revolution science if he was right [if you came up with an alternative theory that dis-proved GW you would win a Nobel prize, in my judgement because you would replace a century old theory with something new] now that Christopher had the theory it was time to write it up and publish it in a peer reviewed journal [lets put the dukes up as we say, the real test of science is get out there and publish, if you don‘t you are wasting everybody’s time…and the only reason Monckton and others haven’t done that is because their ideas don’t with stand scrutiny, Monckton publish his stuff…if he is right he gets a Nobel prize, if he is wrong he will be shown to be wrong and that is the appropriate way to conduct science]’

  61. Jimbo says:

    All I’m askin’ for a little R E S P E C T. Tell em Aretha.

    The Climate Conversion
    Community standards
    ………..

    Don’t attack people and don’t respond to attacks – report them and move on
    Keep your posts on topic and constructive
    Take responsibility for the quality of the conversations you take part in
    Above all, respect others and their opinions.
    https://theconversation.com/au/community_standards

  62. Chad Wozniak says:

    The “disregard for human life” that Torcello touts would seem to rest with those who advocate policies, such as carbon taxes or the ethanol program, that kill people. Maybe he’d better look in the mirror.

  63. Ben says:

    Great job Viscount Monckton of Brenchley.

    Note: The following links that are activated when you click on the numbers above, [1], [2], [3] and [4] do not work:

    [1] https://theconversation.com/is-misinformation-about-the-climate-criminally-negligent-23111

    [2] Legates, D.R., W.W.-H. Soon, W. M. Briggs, and C.W. Monckton of Brenchley, 2013, Climate consensus and ‘misinformation’: a rejoinder to ‘Agnotology, scientific consensus, and the teaching and learning of climate change’, Sci. & Educ., August 30, DOI 10.1007/s11191-013-9647-9.

    [3] Least-squares linear-regression trend on the RSS monthly global mean lower-troposphere temperature anomaly dataset, September 1996 to February 2014 inclusive.

    [4] See e.g. Lindzen, R.S., and Y.-S. Choi, 2011, On the observational determination of climate sensitivity and its implications, Asia-Pacific J. Atmos. Sci., 47:4, 377-390, doi:10.1007/s13143-011-0023-x.

  64. David L. says:

    geek49203 says:
    March 14, 2014 at 8:34 am
    What next — the professor of poetry will issue a FATWA against those who doubt that zero sodium diets are effective in preventing heart attacks? Will the chair of the art history department demand a pogrom for those who dare point out that we’ve been fracking for 50+ years?

    ————————–
    My thoughts exaclty. The Warmist crowd accepts any and all credentials when you spout the party line. But if you argue against them, you better have a PhD in Climate Science and peer reviewed 100 papers in Science and Nature or you don’t get respect, and even still you won’t get respect.

  65. Bernie Hutchins says:

    Once again we see here a confusion about the First Amendment. The fact that the Constitution guarantees Free Speech from the specific intrusion of government largely reflects a much more general understanding of its inherent (so-called “God Given”) origin, and the high regard for Free Speech that is so proudly embedded so deeply in the American character.

  66. TG says:

    It seems Assistant Professor of Philosophy Torcello simply repeated (plagiarized?) his previously given talk “Free Speech, Public Discourse, and the Moral Blameworthiness of Suffering Fools”, given in Australia in 2012; see: http://www.ias.uwa.edu.au/lectures/2012_lectures/torcello.

  67. strike says:

    @DavidMHoffer

    “the IPCC AR reports. These reports are, in fact, the actual consensus scientific opinion, and it is not what Professor Torcello claims it to be”

    Maybe that is your oppinion, I don’t agree. I think, It is less than a consensus of the scientist taking part, because politicians write the summary in the end. Additionally the cited studies are “handselected”

  68. davideisenstadt says:

    JDN says:
    March 14, 2014 at 8:38 am
    yeah…but who would be in the position to imprison individuals who dare to deny CAGW? Im thinking that this is where the government would come in, no?

  69. Paul Thomas says:

    Hi Anthony:

    Thanks to Lord Moncton.

    I have made my own contribution as follows:

    Dear Sirs/Madame’s:

    Lawrence Torcello pronounces that anyone not believing in Global Warming should be considered a criminal. There are so many levels of wrong about his statements that there is no satisfactory place to start.

    When did it become a criminal matter to be unconvinced of an argument?

    To begin with, where is the documentation supporting the assertion that unnamed corporate funding supports denial of global warming? Show it or stop advancing that notion.

    By actual measurement, the basis for supporting or falsifying a scientific theory, there has been no warming for over 17 years.

    The behavior of the atmosphere, land, and water bodies is a coupled non-linear system. Any attempt to model it using present technology is doomed to fail. No machine anywhere can provide the computational power to do that. There is no closed solution for the Navier Stokes equations, blocking that route to an answer.

    Travelling through the countryside and cities on a motorcycle is most instructive. There are pockets of rapid change in air temperature everywhere, desert, mountains, ocean shores, wherever I travel. How can “scientists” or “science” hope to model that level of nuance. Tell me, how do we know what the ideal temperature is on earth? There are successful ecosystems in Antarctica at -80C and at the equator at +45 C. There are successful eco systems in the deep oceans near vents that pour out heat and gasses that no surface creature can survive. So I ask again, what is the ideal temperature?

    When we do find out what that ideal temperature is, how will it be regulated? Who will hold the thermostat? Will there be a governing bureaucracy that will allocate temperature norms for each country, state, region, county, city, village?

    What ethical model is applied that considers a person to be acting with criminal intent by being sceptical of a theory that measurements do not support. Richard Feynmann points out that every scientific law started as a theory which began with a guess, was supported by mathematics, then tested by measurement. When the theory and measurement don’t correspond, the theory is falsified and it is time to make a new guess.

    The earth is a massively inertial system, a heat engine driven by a sun that would be even more difficult to model even if the fluid boundaries could be know to the very poor level that we know the earth boundaries. There are many other external influences as well. We live in a very large universe.

    How is it criminal to be sceptical of a theory that cannot survive the average person’s simple look out of the window?

    Regards
    Paul Thomas

  70. The snidely pseudonymous “blackadderthe4th” asks why I have not published the theory that much of the warming from 1983-2001 was attributable to a naturally-occurring but transient reduction in global cloud cover. The basis for my analysis was not in the least complicated: it was that the cumulative forcing from the reduction in cloud cover over 18 years was 2.9 Watts per square meter, while the entire net anthropogenic influence on the climate in the 263 years 1750-2012 was 2.3 Watts per square meter.

    My paper on Global brightening and climate sensitivity was published in 2010 in the Annual Proceedings of the World Federation of Scientists’ Seminars on Planetary Emergencies.

    The Chinese Ambassador to Italy was sitting in the audience when I presented my paper in Erice, Sicily. His scientific counsellor, who was also present, afterwards asked for a copy of the paper so that it could be sent to Peking. I was subsequently invited to visit China to address the leadership.

    And no, there are seldom any Nobel prizes for the definitive paper that refutes a bad idea.

    As to those, like the moaning Minnie Mosher, who think they could have written a better letter than me, let them do it rather than sitting on the sidelines of life and whining. A dreamer should also be a doer, just as a doer should also be a dreamer. But neither should be a whinger.

  71. rogerknights says:

    Wasn’t Christopher involved in a tiff with folks in Rochester a year or two ago?
    ——–

    For a list of 20-plus things that would be happening (but aren’t) if climate contrarians were actually well-organized and well-funded, see my WUWT guest-thread, “Notes from Skull Island” at http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/12/16/notes-from-skull-island-why-skeptics-arent-well-funded-and-well-organized/

  72. Poor Yorek says:

    Assistant Professor of Philosophy, indeed. God help us all.

    The problem is not that Dr. Torcello is a philosophy professor, but that he is a bad one.

    It is also disturbing to read repeated comments here that seem to suggest some necessary irrelevance of philosophy as a academic discipline within a “technical” institute. Again, the “scientists acting badly” that is so excoriated (rightly so) here is due in no small part to very poor philosophical training. Though, one can also point out that this extends to facile use of falsification (e.g. it is one thing to assert that “a proposition cannot be science if is is not falsifiable;” it is quite another (and an error) to assert that “a proposition cannot be true or known to be so if it is not falsifiable.”

  73. Simon says:

    Don’t expect a reply to this letter and if you get one, I suspect it will be a quick sharp “thanks but no thanks.” As you can see from the wiki quote below, Monckton is hardly offered any level of respect from the halls of academia. In fact it, would seem he is a source of amusement to some.

    “Monckton asked to be invited by Victoria University of Wellington to present his views on climate change, but Professor Jonathan Boston declined, thinking that he “would be doing the public and the university a disservice by in any way supporting an event involving Lord Monckton”. Two other professors at Victoria University called Monckton’s views “harmful with no scientific basis”. Monckton made a formal complaint with the university about the three professors, which in April 2013 the university confirmed receipt of, but a spokesperson refused to comment further. The three professors involved reportedly met the complaint “with hilarity”.[57]

  74. Sun Spot says:

    Global Warming, Climate Change alarm-ism is neither scientific or philosophical it is political and ever professor of philosophy should know this or they have not kept up to speed with modernity.

  75. Sun Spot says:

    or post modernity.

  76. juan slayton says:

    Jones: It is with a quiver in my hands that I would like to take issue….

    Jones, old boy, better look around and see if you can find your bow….

    : > )

  77. davidmhoffer says:

    strike
    Maybe that is your oppinion, I don’t agree
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>

    You’ve missed the point. It doesn’t matter what your opinion is, nor what mine is. What matters is that world governments and the UN have funded the IPCC reports, and they do not say what Torcello claims they say. If his institution understands that, and only that, then they can see the absurdity of pressing criminal charges against anyone who disagrees as this would be the IPCC and all their contributors.

  78. juan slayton says:

    Poor Yorek: The problem is not that Dr. Torcello is a philosophy professor, but that he is a bad one.

    Right on. John Gardner’s observation is obliquely relevant:

    The society which scorns excellence in plumbing as a humble activity and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an exalted activity will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy: neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water.

  79. Jones says:

    juan

    “Jones, old boy, better look around and see if you can find your bow….”

    .
    Arf and not a little bit of chortle…:-)

  80. Crispin in Waterloo says:

    @blackadderthe4th, Nobel Prize expert

    In case no one else bothers to respond to your rubbish:

    “…lets put the dukes up as we say, the real test of science is get out there and publish, if you don‘t you are wasting everybody’s time…”

    Why don’t you put up your dukes and publish something here (which is easy enough to do) that conclusively proves CO2 has some net influence on climate and specifically, drives up the average global temperature (however you choose to define it) as the atmospheric concentration increases. Then, you remain here, defend your works and we will peer review it.

    If you succeed in getting past the WUWT gatekeepers, we will support publication in a Journal. Following that you will be nominated for a Nobel Prize because you will have provided the elusive leaven for the AGW-CO2 bread that has for 17.5 years failed to rise. Believe me, the scientific world is waiting, nay praying that someone will rid them of the hair shirt they donned in 1988 by providing a better garment cut from scientific cloth that can render them immune to the raging torrent of disproof that assails them on every side.

    It is worthless ad homs like yours and He Who Shall Remain Nameless at some podunk university in New York State that discredit modern science and engineering in the eyes of the thinking public.

  81. John Whitman says:

    davidmhoffer says:
    March 14, 2014 at 12:23 pm

    strike
    Maybe that is your oppinion, I don’t agree

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>
    You’ve missed the point. It doesn’t matter what your opinion is, nor what mine is. What matters is that world governments and the UN have funded the IPCC reports, and they do not say what Torcello claims they say. If his institution understands that, and only that, then they can see the absurdity of pressing criminal charges against anyone who disagrees as this would be the IPCC and all their contributors.

    - – - – - – - – - -

    davidmhoffer,

    Your point is well articulated.

    Still, I would view it as a supplemental argument against the troubled RIT faculty member. The primary argument against him is the fundamental sovereignty of the concepts of individual thought and speech by all human beings, including all skeptics. By that as a primary argument one concedes nothing. With line of argument you suggest, though valid, I think it can potentially concede ground to the various idealological pre-conditions of the complex IPCC history and its troubling opaqueness; one is most likely to get mired down into minutiae of the beast; the general citizen would wander away dazed from that potential discussion.

    Regards.

    John

  82. “Simon” digs up the bad behavior of a university in New Zealand as though that somehow justifies bad behavior on the part of an institute in the United States. Universities generally try to ignore, suppress or divert complaints against their personnel: however, every time they are reminded of their intolerance and scientific ignorance they retreat a little in the general direction of normal science. After all, the Austrian professor who called for the death penalty for skeptics was induced to back off. And about half the universities where I am asked to speak allow the meetings to proceed. The other half respond to the team of paid propagandists who pester them to prevent me from appearing by backing out, much as they did to those who disagreed with Nazism in the late 1930s.

    To prevent any recurrence of totalitarian brutality, it is necessary to resist, even if one is sneered at or vilified, as all of us who dare to question the Part Line are sneered at or vilified. But the truth will prevail, whether the pseudonymous totalitarians so many of whom blog their hate speech here like it or not. It would be so much more comfortable to look the other way and let the lies of the new High Priests prevail: but that way lies slavery.

  83. Bob says:

    Monckton:
    Although you stated the case eloquently, I am cynical about any treatment or reply you may get. I believe that attitudes at the Rochester Institution of Technology are just like the cover-up mentality at Penn State. Whatever lies are convenient for the staff are automatically approved by their management. So, Torcello is probably just another shallow, miserable copy of his administration.

  84. anticlimactic says:

    Torcello just has to ignore the warming from 1910 to 1940, the general warming since 1800, the Mediaeval, Roman and Bronze Age warm periods, the global temperature of the Earth for much of the past 4 billion years, and the lack of warming for the past 17 years.

    In fact he can only look at the warming from 1976 to 1998, just 22 years! And this is his magnificent and incontravertible evidence for CAGW!!!

    Who wouldn’t be overwhelmed by such evidence?!

  85. Tim Churchill says:

    I suspect the response will be the usual one of a long silence.

  86. Anything is possible says:

    The issue of climate change is no longer about the science (if it ever was) but about politics.

    That means that Professor Torcello, and the many other pseudo-Liberals who spout this kind of rhetoric, are essentially calling for the imprisonment (or worse) of their political opponents.

    That puts them in extremely odious company……..

  87. Crispin in Waterloo says:

    @Anything

    Maybe he is a political philosopher keeping company with others of their historical ilk.

  88. earwig42 says:

    As I learned at Small Dead Animals
    http://smalldeadanimals.com/
    An often used article header.
    What’s the opposite of diversity? University!
    It’s rampant in American educational institutions.
    For example– http://www.smalldeadanimals.com/archives/whats-the-oppos-54.html

  89. Lucky England! They have Lord Monckton, but we in the US have Lady Gaga :(

    I want to puke on her too…

  90. oldspanky says:

    pottereaton: “What’s tedious is people focusing on stylistic differences when very important issues are being discussed.”

    You miss my point which was not about style. It was about wasting his opportunity to make a memorable point forcefully, something he does a lot.

    I won’t read his stuff and I’m “on his side”. Imagine how he is received by the other side.

    I wouldn’t mention it except that we’re all being asked to write with complaints. If we write great prolix screeds modeled on his we’re just gonna get ignored. As you point out these are important issues; we can’t expect our opponents to work at listening to us ‘cos they won’t.

  91. rogerknights says:

    Barry Woods says:
    March 14, 2014 at 9:08 am

    Torcello seems to have inspired Lewandowsky,

    Wackademics!

  92. Rastech says:

    The World seems to have a chronic (and dangerous) shortage of Constitutional Philosophers.

    When I looked recently, I couldn’t find a single course (I was somewhat interested, given the lack of intelligent debate on the subject these days, and the dire need of the application of some common sense in the World).

    So this guy is supposed to be a ‘philosopher’? Of what, exactly? Extremism, despotism, tyranny, and the lawless State?

  93. Walter Allensworth says:

    Lovely your Lordship. Thank you.

    Now if we could all each identify one or more further recipients for this letter and have the name and address suitably changed, perhaps we could get them to back off the vitriol.

    First up could potentially be insulting and threatening Democratic senators who participated in the recent warmist sleepover in the Capitol. They have sworn to uphold the constitution which guarantees our 1st amendment rights to free speech. However, there were dozens of cases where they used the word Denier which is clearly meant to invoke the imagery of Holocaust denial and denigrate and threaten those citizens who would disagree with them.

  94. Lady in Red says:

    Poor Mr. Torcello is simply not a very bright or very scholarly man.

    A sorry little man who looks like Lewandowsky and with the fatuous arrogance of Michael Mann.

    I think that there is a kind of stupidity that cannot, ever, understand itself. …..Lady in Red

  95. Bob K. says:

    Anthony,
    the links in references [2], [3] and [4] are broken – pages not found.

  96. James McClellan says:

    Who breaks a butterfly upon a wheel? I don’t think he’s right, of course, but I DO jibe at the hate-fest generally here apparent. When I was his age, I was probably as stupid as he seems to be now. I got better, I hope! Did you?

  97. kwinterkorn says:

    To JDN, Steven Mosher, and others:

    As a matter of constitutional law, although the 1rst Amendment specifies limits on “Congress”, the “Due Process Clause” of the 14th Amendment extends most Bill of Rights limitations to state and local officials.

    I agree that as a private institution the Bill of Rights cannot be fully applied to actions of RIT’s professors. Yet the law is complicated here, too. For example, the Supreme Court has made clear that academic institutions that accept federal financial aid must comport with federal law with respect to civil rights.

    Freedom of Speech is a strong part of American culture. The intolerant, such as Mr. Torcello, attack it at their peril.

  98. pottereaton says:

    @ oldspanky
    March 14, 2014 at 2:00 pm

    You are obviously in the minority here.

    Why don’t you write your own letter and publish it here. That way we can compare them.

  99. asybot says:

    Earwig 42 says:
    An often used article header.
    What’s the opposite of diversity? University!
    It’s rampant in American educational institutions.
    Thanks you just brightened my Friday.
    @ Gold minor my dialogue with one of them ended when the last answer I got was that I had a comma in the wrong place.

  100. pat says:

    the original academic “Conversation” website in Australia. there are now more than 70 instances of denier/denial etc on this single page (incl comments):

    13 March: The Conversation: Rod Lamberts: Facts won’t beat the climate deniers – using their tactics will
    (Rod Lamberts, Deputy Director, Australian National Centre for Public Awareness of Science at Australian National University
    Disclosure Statement: Rod Lamberts has received funding from the ARC linkage program)
    We can decry climate deniers for their unfair, lowbrow tactics, but their tactics are getting them exactly what they want. Ours are not…
    So, what now?
    There’s no profit in trying to change the position of deniers. Their values and motivations are fundamentally different to those of us who listen to what the weight of scientific evidence tell us. So forget them.
    Forget the Moncktonites, disregard the Boltists, and snub the Abbottsians. Ignore them, step around them, or walk over them. Drown them not just with sensible conversations, but with useful actions. Flood the airwaves and apply tactics advertisers have successfully used for years.
    What we need now is to become comfortable with the idea that the ends will justify the means. We actually need more opinions, appearing more often and expressed more noisily than ever before…
    https://theconversation.com/facts-wont-beat-the-climate-deniers-using-their-tactics-will-24074

    The Conversation – Australia – Partners
    Founding Partners
    Without the support of Founding Partners The Conversation would not have started. So it’s hats off to University of Melbourne, University of Technology, Sydney, CSIRO, Monash University, and University of Western Australia who saw the value of helping us develop a new independent information channel that would also showcase the talent and knowledge of the university and research sector..ETC ETC ETC.
    https://theconversation.com/au/partners

    UK Conversation – Who We Are
    The Conversation launched in Australia in March 2011…
    Now we’ve launched in the UK to bring our brand of trusted, evidence-based journalism to a new audience…
    Sincere thanks go to our Founding Partners who gave initial funding support: University of Aberdeen; University of Birmingham; University of Bradford; Bristol University; Cardiff University; City University London; Durham University; Glasgow Caledonian University; Goldsmiths, University of London; Lancaster University; University of Leeds; University of Liverpool; University of Nottingham; the Open University; Queen’s University Belfast; University of Salford; University of Sheffield; University of Surrey; University College London (UCL) and University of Warwick.
    Thanks also to strategic partners HEFCE (Higher Education Funding Council for England); HEFCW (Higher Education Funding Council for Wales); Scottish Funding Council; Nuffield Foundation; Wellcome Trust, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and Macfarlanes…
    https://theconversation.com/uk/who_we_are

  101. Arno Arrak says:

    Lawrence, reading your penultimate draft of “The Trouble with Pseudo-skepticism” proves that you are entirely ignorant of climate science. That is a shame because there are so many interesting things to learn. But thanks to misinformation from consensusists you think that denialists are pseudo-scientists and climatologists are the true experts who know the climate. And this makes us deniers “pseudo-skeptics” whose opinions are pseudo-scientific in nature. I hate to tell you that the only pseudo-scientists in the climate field are true believers in the existence of AGW, that nefarious anthropogenic global warming. Supposedly it is caused by this greenhouse effect that Hansen told us about in 1988 when he spoke to the Senate. First, it may surprise you, but there has been no warming of any kind for the last 17 years, despite the fact that there is more carbon dioxide in the air than ever before. This immediately tells us that the consensusists’ theory of greenhouse warming simply does not work. If you have heard of IPCC, it was established the same year as Hansen spoke to the Senate. They are all upset now about that “missing heat” and are looking for it everywhere, even in the ocean bottom. Seventeen years is two thirds of IPCC’s existence but they have kept quiet about it as much as they could. Fact is, this lack of warming makes our century entirely greenhouse free. The twentieth century did have warming and records show that it came in two installments. The first twentieth century warming started in 1910 and stopped in 1940. It raised global temperature by half a degree Celsius. The second warming started ion 1999, raised global temperature by a third of a degree Celsius in only three years, and then stopped. This adds up to 0.8 degrees Celsius for the whole century, the same as Hansen is using in his PLoS-One article. But was this natural or greenhouse warming? To tell the difference, you must know the radiation laws of physics. These laws require that in order to start a greenhouse warming you must simultaneously increase the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. That is necessary because the absorbency of a greenhouse gas for infrared radiation is a property of its molecules and cannot be changed. To get more warming, give more molecules. Fortunately we do know what has happened to atmospheric carbon dioxide thanks to the Keeling curve and its extensions by ice cores from Antarctica. Checking these data it turns out that there was no change in atmospheric carbon dioxide either in 1910 or in 1999. Hence, all warming during the entire twentieth century was natural warming, not greenhouse warming. This makes twentieth century also greenhouse free. And with both twentieth and twenty-first centuries greenhouse free it follows that there has been no greenhouse warming since the year 1900, and probably also since before it. Hence, we can state that there has never been any anthropogenic global warming within the last two centuries. And this makes belief in the existence of AGW nothing more than a pseudo-scientific fantasy. You, Lawrence Torcello, have thrown in your lot with these pseudo-scientists by not bothering to learn real climate science. But being an educator as you are you should know that it is never too late to learn. I recommend a book called “What Warming?” available from Amazon that will put you on the road to recovery from your pseudo-scientific delusions.

  102. Claude Harvey says:

    I don’t know about the rest of you, but when I need accurate answers to exquisitely technical and complex scientific questions, I generally high-tail it to the nearest Assistant Professor of Philosophy. Now THERE’S a guy who knows with absolute certainty whether system feedback to CO2 forced warming is positive or negative!

  103. Matthew R Marler says:

    Good for you, Viscount Monckton of Brenchley.

  104. oldspanky says: “If we write great prolix screeds modeled on his we’re just gonna get ignored.”

    In academia, prolix screeds are their most important product. If you speak, you must speak their language.

  105. jorgekafkazar says:

    asybot says: “…my dialogue with one of them ended when the last answer I got was that I had a comma in the wrong place.”

    Oh, the horror! But no surprise; you were in a nest of grammar/climate Nazis.

  106. Chad Wozniak says:

    @Paul Thomas -
    How is it criminal to be skeptical of a theory that cannot survive the average person’s simple look out of the window?

    The answer: For the religious fanatics that are global warming alarmists – heresy is a crime. We skeptics are Galileo, they are the Inquisition.

    We skeptics have to remember that we are dealing with unreasonable and fundamentally mean-spirited people here.

  107. oldspanky says:

    pottereaton: “You are obviously in the minority here.”

    The irony of your comment will be appreciated here more than almost anywhere else.

  108. Krudd Gillard of the Commondebt of Australia says:

    Monckton of Brenchley: as an acronym “MOB.” How ironic: the Mob is after Torcello.

  109. David L. Hagen says:

    Judith Curry observes:

    Philosophy professor on denialists

    Lawrence Torcello, Asst Prof of Philosophy at Rochester Institute of Technology, has a post at the Conversation entitled Is misinformation about climate criminally negligent? The author better hope that such misinformation is NOT criminally negligent, since his article contains plenty of it.

  110. Niff says:

    Christopher, comprehensive, erudite, apposite and heartfelt, as always. Your ability to focus attention on the all of key issues and to do so in the context of your intended audience’s value system is par excellence.

    As for the many whiners and whingers; they remind me of bullies sniggering behind a bike shed. One hopes they will eventually become sensible adults. Their sniggering in the presence of your stuff is beyond ignorance.

  111. Phil Ford says:

    Thank you, Lord Monckton, for taking the time to write the letter and make a formal complaint. As an ‘ordinary person’ (not a climate scientist, not a scientist at all – just a plain old graphic designer) with deeply held misgivings about the entire CAGW phenomenon still running rampant and unchecked across the UK (my home) and the entire EU, I appreciate your continuing efforts to hold to account those who wish to preach the politics of hate against any who dare disagree or take issue with them on the matter of CAGW.

    Even in my unremarkable little efforts to counter the dominant climate narrative I have found myself banned from at least one web forum for having the temerity to take issue with those who insist CAGW is a ‘proven fact’ or that the so-called ‘consensus’ is not only real, but beyond any criticism. Incidentally, I was banned for posting a screenshot of the GISS graph that Lord Monckton recently had posted here, showing the 17.5yr ‘pause’ in global temperatures.

    I was accused of posting ‘a fallacy’ and banned. This is where we have come to: recorded, observable scientific facts are branded ‘a fallacy’ and dismissed out-of-hand because they don’t fit the agenda. It’s just so depressing.

  112. Poor Yorek says:

    The answer: For the religious fanatics that are global warming alarmists – heresy is a crime. We skeptics are Galileo, they are the Inquisition.

    This statement leads me to believe that you know little about either. Can’t we just move on with the topic at hand without a reference to the Galileo canard?

  113. pottereaton says:

    @oldspanky:
    March 14, 2014 at 5:59 pm

    Right. Consensus and all that. Whatever.

    Let’s see your letter. You’re the expert. Show us how it is supposed to be done. You’ve been carrying on now for a while. If you are going to be patronizingly critical, you need to put up or shut up.

    If it’s good, I will tell you it’s good. You might even influence the power that be at RIT.

  114. bushbunny says:

    Who says all academics are absolute. They think they are but the big wide world they operate in sees them as people in Ivory towers, who are not in touch with the rest of humanity. I’ve met some quite weird ones in my time at University. And a few who really took a dislike to me for some unknown reason. Once they put us on online studies, it got worse. I had one lecturer when I was an external student, but went into lectures. He said to me when I changed my status to internal, “Oh I can’t knock you any more?” Thanks, prof?

  115. Thanks, Christopher, Lord Monckton. Good article.
    Assistant Professor Lawrence Torcello certainly appears to have violated the policy on academic freedom of the Rochester Institute of Technology.

  116. pottereaton says:

    For those of you who have sent letters of protest, or are considering sending same, I think that the proper person to send them to is:

    Dr. Jeremy Haefner
    Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs
    7000 George Eastman Hall
    6 Lomb Memorial Drive
    Rochester, NY 14623-5604
    (585)475-6399
    (585)475-2094 TTY
    (585)475-7396 Fax
    jahpro@rit.edu

  117. Chad Wozniak says:

    @Yorek -
    I stick by the analogy of Galileo vs. the Inquisition, unoriginal or not – it expresses the case most appropriately. Having studied both the Inquisition and global warming alarmism at length, I can assure you of the many commonalties of mind, spirit and morals between Torquemada and people like Lawrence Torcello.

    And I’ll take it a step further: it is we skeptics who hold the moral high ground here. Alarmists seek to violate rights and take the fruits of people’s labor for their own perverse purposes; skeptics seek only to slow and stop the new Holocaust that is already underway at the behest of alarmist thinking: carbon taxes and the ethanol program, the greatest killers of innocent people in recent times. Global warming alarmists already have the blood of millions on their hands; skeptics are fighting to top the carnage wrought by carbon policies.

    And nothing can [stop] the hypocrisy of prominent alarmists, with their enormous “carbon footprints,” their profiteering off people’s fears, and their suckling at not only the nipple of Big Oil billionaires seeking to make money off carbon credits, but an even bigger money tit than that – government.
    Whereas we skeptics are mostly just loners acting on our own and paying for out efforts out of our own pockets.

    It is obviously you, Yorek, who does not understand the commonality of religious repression with global warming alarmist repression.

  118. Chad Wozniak says:

    “stop the carnage, not top it – my bad typing

  119. NikFromNYC says:

    A lesson, writ large, for pacifists. Do *not* any longer discourage war against mere posturing wannabee bullies. Attack vector bliss. Win already, fags.

  120. goldminor says:

    jorgekafkazar says:
    March 14, 2014 at 5:46 pm

    asybot says: “…my dialogue with one of them ended when the last answer I got was that I had a comma in the wrong place.”

    Oh, the horror! But no surprise; you were in a nest of grammar/climate Nazis.
    —————————————————————————————————–
    That is a guaranteed 20 years in prison according to their models.

  121. SAMURAI says:

    The wonderful thing about America’s very broad interpretation of 1st Amendment rights to free speech, is that even hate speech is protected (Brandenburg v. Ohio).

    America’s broad protection of free speech in no way condones hateful rhetoric, but rather allows a free, just and open society to quickly expose ignorance, racism, bigotry and tyrants and for these miscreants to suffer the societal consequences for holding such abhorrent ideologies.

    The US Constitution does not protect citizens from being offended, conversely, it assures them that they will be offended and often, which is great.

    In many ways, I’m delighted to see fools like Assistant Professor Torcello practice free speech and expose their ignorance and desperation, because it’s further evidence that CAGW is quickly reaching the beginning of its demise.

    Once CAGW is officially thrown on the trash heap of failed ideas, Torcello’s reputation and academic career will end up in the same trash bin, and rightfully so.

  122. pottereaton says:

    Samurai: Good post. Although I will take issue with this: “The US Constitution does not protect citizens from being offended, conversely, it assures them that they will be offended and often, which is great.”

    Unfortunately, atheists are now being protected from being exposed to Christianity. Apparently they are reduced to quivering, jelly-like masses every time they see a cross or listen to an invocation to God.

    It’s pathetic, but it’s “the law.” Of course the law is now being used to stamp out the free exercise of religion as formerly guaranteed in the 1st amendment, but no matter. The offended must be coddled, protected, indulged, and accorded rights the rest of us are not privy to.

  123. bushbunny says:

    Well just remember being found guilty of being a heretic in 15th – 16th centuries, you were burned at the stake. Yes the various inquisitions had hidden motives anyway, usually greed.
    These idiots who promote aggressive and punitive measures against those who offer their opinions that contradict alarmist predictions are whistling in the wind. Not only very rude and childish especially from an academic who prides him/her self on higher education standards, it is laughable. I pity their poor undergrads. And post grads especially sitting their higher science degrees.

  124. rtj1211 says:

    You’ll be suggesting next that America stop funding the overthrow of governments around the world that it doesn’t like and supporting dictators that kill their own people but are subservient to US interests.

    Dominance dungeon monotheism is the lifeblood of the American Power Centre and it amazes me that anyone expects Americans not to reflect that.

    The whole ethos of American Power is against decency, freedom of expression and democratic self-determination.

    It is about private wealth controlling power absolutely.

  125. Lewis P Buckingham says:

    Steven Mosher says:
    March 14, 2014 at 10:31 am
    ‘The stupid arguments about the first amendment, the stupid arguments about Cook, all distract from the core argument. I would make the argument this way’.

    A really understandable analysis that requires action.
    The best ‘argument’ would be peer pressure.
    It is doubtful that Lord Monkton would be regarded in Rochester as having peer status despite the use of his arguments.
    When putting points of complaint for rectification to University committees in Australia, a bit closer in practice to the Lord’s own country, the committee has to consider each point and answer it, despite a hierarchy of validity.
    Its not the job of a committee to answer an argument and automatically defend a member of staff.
    The committee makes up its ‘mind’ based upon all the arguments presented, weak and strong.
    This leads to solicitors firing a scatter gun of arguments at the committee, which it then delves through.
    That’s what the good Lord has done.
    It would behoove those who consider the actions of this academic to be contrary to free speech, especially if from the US, to personally complain.
    This would ensure both recognizable peer pressure and cultural sensitivity.
    It is only when that is done that the rejection of this Institute of the criminalization of different scientific opinion may be measured.

  126. Roger Sowell says:

    Lord Monckton has several points amiss.

    Firstly, the First Amendment to the United States Constitution does not apply as he seeks to apply it here. The First Amendment prevents the US government from creating laws that abridge (prevent or restrict) the freedom of speech by citizens. The professor at issue is employed at Rochester Institute of Technology, a privately endowed university. It is not government-run. (per the university’s website, http://www.rit.edu). Even if the First Amendment applies, there are several types of speech that can be restricted, and are restricted by various laws. Among these exceptions to Free Speech are defamatory speech, obscenity, child pornography, inciting to riot, death threats, blackmail, solicitation to commit crimes, and perjury. Nothing that professor Torcello wrote on the referenced web-page falls into any of the exceptions, not even the death threat exception.

    It may be that Monckton is offended that Torcello advocates a charge of criminal negligence for those who fund research to show that climate alarmism is unfounded. Merely being offended by another’s speech. actions, or writing is not actionable under the Free Speech clause. Even if Torcello is wrong on the matter of a scientific consensus existing, as Monckton asserts, Torcello has the right to express his views. Those who fund research into climate skepticism also have the right to spend their money on that research. Those who perform the research into climate issues and conclude that alarmism is unwarranted certainly have the right to express their findings, whether in print or by speech.

    Secondly, the alleged violations of the principles of academic freedom by Torcello may be properly reviewed by a board, or academic senate. One hopes that the members of that board will review the facts and determine what, if any, violations occurred. It is likely that the only violation would be a failure to properly state that the opinions voiced are Torcello’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Rochester Institute of Technology.

    Thirdly, Monckton wrongly alleges that Torcello engaged in hate speech. On the evidence presented, there is no hate speech because that is a very specific crime that involves, in California for example, speech or action motivated at least in part by plaintiff’s characteristics such as gender, race, religion, and a few others. One’s views on climate alarmism are not on the list of such characteristics.

    Fourthly, Torcello made no threat of imprisonment for criminal negligence for scientists who disagree with him. A careful reading of the referenced website and the post thereon shows that Torcello wrote “ought to be considered criminally negligent,” and “. . .criminal and moral negligence ought to extend to all activities. . .”, and one more. That last one is “we know them to be not only corrupt and deceitful, but criminally negligent in their willful disregard for human life.”

    [snip: no need to go there. ~ mod.]

  127. Txomin says:

    Torcello speaks of “the well documented corporate funding of global warming denial”. I want to see the documents, please.

  128. dbstealey says:

    Roger Sowell,

    You seem to be advocating for Torcello. Why? Is there not anything you see that is despicable in what he has done?

    If people like Torcello get to set the agenda, then we have a harder time fighting these dishonest vermin.

    Yes, “vermin”. That is what Torcello is IMHO, and I would hold that opinion no matter what LM or anyone else thinks or says. He is a hate-filled denizen of the ivory tower; a reprobate using his position to attack honest people for nothing more than holding opinions different than what he approves of. How is that any different in principle from a Stalin or a Hitler?

    You say that “Torcello has the right to express his views.” But you appear to defend him at Lord Monckton’s expense. Where do you draw the line? These ivoy tower rascals can apparently say anything with impunity, but scientific skeptics are held to the very highest standards — standards that don’t seem to apply to the Torcelli’s of the world.

    But you cannot find anything about Torcelli to criticize??

    Why not?

  129. gnomish says:

    yeah. the school should support their local chapter of the Klimate Katastrophe Klan – in the name of diversity, maybe.
    he can help them learn to embrace their inner torquemada.
    makes a person just want to hug the nearest unabomber.
    torcello akhbar! feel da lurve!

  130. Mr Sowell and a handful of others willfully misunderstand the head posting. Mr Torcello is advocating a change in the law that would be unconstitutional in that it would drastically curtail the freedom of speech that the Constitution guarantees. Given that the “consensus” specifically pleaded by Mr Torcello has been demonstrated not to exist, and that the central proposition around which that imagined “consensus” is said to adhere has been in substance falsified by events, his pretext for imprisoning those with whom whom he inexpertly disagrees does not rank alongside libel and other legitimate exceptions to the Constitutional principle of free speech.

    Finally, I should very much like to thank all of those who have been kind enough to express their appreciation of the fumbling efforts that we questioners of the New Religion have been making to keep the academic and scientific world from descending into a new Dark Age. It is a long and lonely furrow we plow, and it means a great deal to us to be reassured that we do not speak only for ourselves. Ever since I first went public with doubts about the Party Line almost eight years ago, the great kindness of so many who have sent generous notes of support has been a noble demonstration that human nature is at root good, as it was made to be. Thank you all.

  131. Dr. John M. Ware says:

    Quick note: The Book of Proverbs is self-attributed to King Solomon and is sometimes subtitled The Wisdom of Solomon.

  132. Clovis Marcus says:

    I’m crafting something that doesn’t go after the professor, but rather show how it reflects on the institution. I suspect the reputation of an assistant prof is not of much interest to them. Their own reputation might be.

    I’m in the woods today spring cleaning* but I’ll get back on it tomorrow.

    *chainsaw rather than feather dusters ;)

  133. gnomish says:

    Monckton of Brenchley:
    I see what you do and it is good.
    I also remember Maggie giving the debutante ball for Teh Big Lie with the CRU and the launching of the IPCC.
    Because you have mentioned association with her in capacity of science advisor (if i correctly recall), I wonder if you would be so kind as to give the inside scoop on what was going on?
    I have some perceptions that clash which i’d like to reconcile and relish the opportunity to ask you, here at WUWT, where you make yourself accessible on occasion.

  134. oldspanky says:

    pottereaton: “Right. Consensus and all that. Whatever.

    Let’s see your letter. You’re the expert. Show us how it is supposed to be done. You’ve been carrying on now for a while. If you are going to be patronizingly critical, you need to put up or shut up.”

    Does that line of reasoning look familiar to you? I’ll explain: you are saying I am not entitled to point out faults unless I am a domain expert. Really?! You’re going to come here and use that argument?

  135. Nikolai says:

    excellent! One comment: what is the source for this “These energy price hikes may, for instance, have contributed to the 31,000 excess deaths in last year’s cold winter in the UK alone – 8000 more than the usual number of excess winter deaths.”?

  136. In answer to “Gnomish”, I advised Margaret Thatcher on various scientific questions, including the climate question, but science was merely part of my brief as one of her six special advisors.

    However, it was my successor, George Guise, who worked with the Prime Minister on her 1988 speech to the Royal Society in which she announced the funding for what became the Hadley Centre.

    In that speech she predicted that global warming would occur at a rate of 1 Celsius degree every ten years. I should not have allowed her to make any such prediction.

    My advice had been that the scientists were saying there might be a problem and that it would be prudent to work out how much of a problem there might be.

  137. JDN says:

    @Eustace Cranch : Speeling is my worst subject.

    @pottereaton : The whole concept of “private law” is ridiculous. In “real” law, you don’t make exceptions for your friends and relatives, but faculty rules can make such exceptions. Monckton’s letter will be disregarded because it comes from an outsider who has no standing trying to enforce faculty rules, which can be changed or disregarded anyway.

    @ David L Hagen : You are confirming what I said about state constitutions requiring explicit protection of rights. Due process rights can’t apply to rules that exist at the pleasure of an unelected body because the remedy is to leave the group. You won’t win a lawsuit because everyone but you got to do casual Friday. See http://legaltimes.typepad.com/blt/2013/01/judge-dismisses-law-professors-lawsuit-over-tenure-denial.html . Follow the government money, as I recommended, and you have cause. That wasn’t an idle comment. Does anyone know if this guy is using government money to fund “research’ suppressing free speech?

    @kwinterkorn : Torcello isn’t attacking freedom of speech in general. If you have a sinking ship with the crew trying to get people to the lifeboats and someone goes around announcing that the ship isn’t really sinking and that this is just a drill, please return to your staterooms; that isn’t protected speech because it causes a positive harm. This is the sort of argument he’s making. We are free to make the opposite argument, that the corporate shield protecting their alarmist fraud should be stripped and that they, as individuals, should be held financially accountable for the economic damage they have caused, that their universities should not receive state funding while they are employed there and until the effects of their fraud have been compensated, etc. So, I think Monckton’s letter is addressed to the wrong people and takes a legalistic tone that won’t convince anyone. I’m not aware of any of Monckton’s other letters having any effect on a faculty body. How is his track record on that point anyway? Is anyone keeping score?

  138. Alan Robertson says:

    Roger Sowell,
    I am surprised by your remarks. You employed errors in logic to make points and I had not previously observed that you were willing to engage in such behavior.

  139. jeremyp99 says:

    Pamela Gray says:
    March 14, 2014 at 8:16 am
    Lordy Lordy I love how the English write
    =========================================

    That’s the result of a Liberal Classical education. Something which has now more or less disappeared, sadly. Now, schools on the whole produce illiterates. Lord Monckton’s education is now seen as elitist, and despite the fact that it produces the best and most productive citizens, this has been driven out of the state system, and indeed, much of the private sector.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/7857364/BT-boss-attacks-illiterate-job-applicants.html

  140. gnomish says:

    Monckton of Brenchley
    Thank you for typically cogent reply.
    First hand info can’t be beat.

  141. Lance Hilpert says:

    JDN –

    I think you must have gone to a different law school than I did. You are correct in your assertion that the 1st amendment to the US constitution ORIGINALLY applied only to the Federal Government, but in the case of Gitlow v. New York, 268 U.S. 652 (1925) SCOTUS specifically made that amendment applicable to the states and local governments in light of the ratification of the 14th amendment’s ratification following the Civil War.

  142. anticlimactic says:

    As a philosophy professor perhaps he should read Voltaire’s words in his Essay on Tolerance: “Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so too.”

  143. Thisisgettingtiresome says:

    I do so like their aspirational byline at The Conversation
    “Academic rigour, journalistic flair”

    Nothing so plain and factual as Anthony’s straightforward and to the point:
    “The world’s most viewed site on global warming and climate change”
    at Watts Up With That?

    Just have to beware of Academic rigor mortis creeping in and echoing around the chamber with pieces like the offending one in question.
    https://theconversation.com/is-misinformation-about-the-climate-criminally-negligent-23111#comment_333276

  144. It is an exaggeration to say that George Guise, persuaded Margaret Thatcher to speak up about the matter of climate change. Guise may have been the Policy Wonk who drafted the speech, but he himself did not promote these ideas, per se.

    Margaret Thatcher did credit Sir Crispin Tickell for persuading her to make the speech on global climate change to the Royal Society in September 1988 (though the speech was written by Thatcher and George Guise at Chequers as described by Lord Monckton).

    Tickell chaired John Major’s Government Panel on Sustainable Development (1994–2000). He was also British Permanent Representative to the United Nations (1987–1990), and is author of “Climate Change and World Affairs”. So where did Tickell get his ideas from. Well in the introduction to his book, Tickell explains ….

    “This seminal book was first published in 1977, having been written the previous year while the author was on sabbatical from the Foreign Office as a Fellow at the Centre for International Affairs at Harvard University.” Tickell himself oddly includes a graph, which shows the Medieval Warm Period being much warmer than today, and a succession of ice ages. Tickell also states on the graph that it had been cooling from the 1940′s. He then goes on to state that, “all major change must come as a result of the earth’s relationship with the sun”.

    With the second edition of the book, published in 1986, Tickell had radically revised his ideas first founded upon the Harvard research, and first draft of the publication. Tickell now takes a dystopian view of a doomed future for mankind, caused by exploding populations, and extensive damage to the environment, and importantly “man made climate change”.

    In 1979 a panel chaired by Jule Charney concluded that if the quantity of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere should double (in other words, reach around 580 ppm) there would be a global warming of around 3ºC . These conclusions were examined and confirmed by another panel under the chairmanship of Joseph Smagorinsky in 1982. Tickell claimed that, if the annual increase of 4 percent in fossil-fuel consumption in the 1970s had continued, atmospheric carbon dioxide might, other things being equal, have reached 580 ppm by the year 2030.

    Tickell wrote that, “But if the world is not to relapse into anarchy, with states warring over use and abuse of natural resources, some sort of international agreement in this respect – at least a self-denying ordinance and commitment to consult – seems essential ,,,, climatic agreements of the kind suggested would require a central body to manage them”

    Tickell then went on to state that, “The work of the United States Department of Energy on carbon dioxide has far exceeded that of any other organisation anywhere. All work on the climate should be co-ordinated under international auspices, and major decisions which governments singly or together may take in that respect should have the sanction of the world community” and “Climatic problems are at once important, urgent, and long-term.” A code of conduct of Nations was proposed, which “should also recognise the more global threats to climatic stability represented by the increase of carbon dioxide, chlorofluorocarbons, and other industrial pollutants in the atmosphere.”

    Yes, Crispin Tickell had a lot more to do with Margaret Thatcher’s Speech than any other single person. George Guise was naught but an apparatchik of sorts, and does not deserve the blame for diverting Mrs. Thatcher from the true path of the real science of climate change, and what is responsible for that. No doubt Sir Crispin had many long meetings with UN Climate Supremo, Sir Maurice Strong, and therein lies perhaps the real truth of how and why a British Diplomat was brainwashed and corrupted into the Malthusian Doctrine of John P. Holdren and the Ehrlichs.

    Read more on this fascinating evolution of this green prison we now find ourselves in, by clicking on the link to my name above, at the website of The Green Agenda.

    I Thank You.

  145. JohnWho says:

    Mr Torcello is a typical CAGW alarmist, although his position gives him a slightly larger microphone than others.

    Perhaps his microphone will either be turned off or at least turned down a bit now.

    Saying there is a 97% consensus is easy. Proving that there is, is only possible if the consensus is very broad – such as there is a 97% consensus that climate changes.

    Similarly, there may be wide-spread agreement that human CO2 emissions may cause an increase in the atmospheric temperature, but proving that it does and at what level (from barely discernable to dominant), has not be something that has been either observed or measured.

  146. Steve Allen says:

    Mosher says; “In short, there is an inherent limit on the absolute free expression of academics: they are not free to suggest that others be prosecuted for thought crimes.”

    Would you like to reconsider that statement Steve?

  147. Jeff Alberts says:

    So, Torcello thinks it immoral and criminal to disagree with CAGW, but stays mum on whether it is criminal or immoral to withhold scientific evidence which cast doubt the theory (re: Mann and Censored, Phil Jones and Hide the Decline, Briffa and The One Tree, etc, ad nauseum).

    This pretty much sums it up for me:

  148. Alan Robertson says:

    Steve Allen says:
    March 15, 2014 at 6:38 am

    Mosher says; “In short, there is an inherent limit on the absolute free expression of academics: they are not free to suggest that others be prosecuted for thought crimes.”

    Would you like to reconsider that statement Steve?
    ________________________
    Mosh implied, but left unstated, the underlying truth of freedom. Freedom means that we are “free” to live out the consequences of our thoughts and actions. True enough, academics are free to express anything, but they are not free from the repercussions of their speech.

  149. The dishonestly pseudonymous “Thatcher’s Real Climate Guru” says it is an exaggeration to say that George Guise, my successor at 10 Downing Street, persuaded Margaret Thatcher to speak up about climate change.

    That remark is a flagrant breach of the Eschenbach Rule that a commenter should cite and, if so minded, criticize what I actually said, and not what the commenter finds easier to attack than what I actually said.

    What I actually said was: “However, it was my successor, George Guise, who worked with the Prime Minister on her 1988 speech to the Royal Society in which she announced the funding for what became the Hadley Centre.”

    That statement is in all respects true. I was silent on the question of who persuaded the Prime Minister to take the extreme line from which she subsequently resiled.

    Crispin Tickell says it was he, and Margaret admitted to having been influenced by him. However, he and I recently debated the climate issue at a country house somewhere in England, before an audience of almost 100. Though nothing as populist as a vote was taken, by common consent Tickell came second.

    Tickell was also a trustee of a dubious charity run by Railroad Engineer Pachauri, whom he refers to as “Patchy” – not a bad description of Pachauri’s knowledge of climate science, or of Tickell’s, for that matter.

    However, when I told Tickell that I had reported the charity to the Charities Commission for flagrant under-declaration of its income over a three-year period, he swiftly resigned as a trustee, leaving Pachauri – who was safely overseas and could not be touched – to face the music at a distance.

    Patchy was very angry with me and made a couple of testy speeches at the time, asking who was this aristocrat who only got a dozen people at each of his speaker meetings. The previous week I had addressed 100,000 mineworkers and their families and friends, live, from a sound-stage on a mountain-top in West Virginia. Not long thereafter I addressed 40,000 Tea Partiers at the Washington Monument. Well, the IPCC were never very good at getting their quantities right.

  150. Roger Sowell says:

    @ dbstealey, from 11:35 pm March 14,

    “You seem to be advocating for Torcello. Why? Is there not anything you see that is despicable in what he has done?”

    As you know from my writings and previous comments, I am firmly in the climate change skeptics’ camp. I am quite certain that much of the measured warming is due to man’s measurements, UHI, and not much else. I also have a chemical engineering degree and therefore know that gaseous CO2 does absorb and radiate thermal energy. We engineers use that principle to design fired heaters that actually work.

    I do, and will continue to, advocate for Free Speech in the United States. Even speech that is annoying, offensive, bothersome, or despicable must not be suppressed, in my view. The US Supreme Court has explained at great length over many decades why that is so. The problem is, if annoying speech is to be illegal, who gets to decide what is annoying? Who decides what is offensive speech?

    Speech is a valuable and very precious thing. The solution to those who espouse despicable actions based on wrong conclusions is more speech, not less. Shining the spotlight on Torcello may be a good idea, if that spotlight is accompanied by the good data, sound logic, and supportable conclusions employed by good climate warming skeptics. By the way, you are pretty good at providing such data, logic, and conclusions, dbstealey. On the other hand, giving a person like Torcello the spotlight may simply spread his views to a wider audience.

    Next, you ask if what he wrote is despicable to me? He advocates charging supporters of climate research with criminal negligence, but only those whose research shows there is no cause for concern. I see it more as pitiable. First, Torcello argues that climate change inaction will result in human deaths. I see no evidence of CO2-induced human deaths. Even if Torcello can produce human deaths, proving that those deaths were caused by man’s increasing CO2 in the atmosphere will be quite a challenge. Certainly there have been deaths due to storms, and those deaths are indeed cause for regret and sadness. I lived for 25 years in hurricane-prone Houston, Texas. I have seen the destruction and deaths caused by violent storms. But, even alarmist scientists admit there is no causal link between increased atmospheric CO2 and storm severity or frequency.

    “If people like Torcello get to set the agenda, then we have a harder time fighting these dishonest vermin.

    Yes, “vermin”. That is what Torcello is IMHO, and I would hold that opinion no matter what LM or anyone else thinks or says. He is a hate-filled denizen of the ivory tower; a reprobate using his position to attack honest people for nothing more than holding opinions different than what he approves of. How is that any different in principle from a Stalin or a Hitler?”

    I see the difference is that Torcello is a professor in a small university, not the leader of a country with vast military resources. He has a very small pulpit from which to preach his views.

    “You say that “Torcello has the right to express his views.” But you appear to defend him at Lord Monckton’s expense. Where do you draw the line? These ivoy tower rascals can apparently say anything with impunity, but scientific skeptics are held to the very highest standards — standards that don’t seem to apply to the Torcelli’s of the world.”

    I do not defend Torcello’s views on criminalizing climate science research. I defend his right to speak out, even when he is wrong. I also wrote above how Lord Monckton made some errors. This letter of Monckton’s fell short of his usual brilliance. Even the best ball players strike out from time to time. Do I draw a line? Yes, I draw the line where the US Supreme Court has drawn it on Free Speech. Should the Free Speech laws be changed so that what Torcello advocates is criminal? No. I much prefer that he be free to speak within the bounds established by many decades of Supreme Court cases on Free Speech.

    “But you cannot find anything about Torcelli to criticize??

    Why not?”

    I could criticize Torcello’s bad analogy of the Italian earthquake deaths and deaths due to climate change. The one had deaths, provably caused by the earthquake. The other has, to my knowledge, zero deaths. The professor tried to make a case but failed.

    I could criticize his advocacy of extreme measures for an unsettled scientific question. I could criticize his desire to suppress research into areas that differ with his view. I do say it is wrong to criminalize research into climate science.

  151. pottereaton says:

    @ JDN
    March 15, 2014 at 3:27 am

    Academic standards and ethics are not “ridiculous.” That is what you are saying. Professors should be teaching young people not only knowledge, but the virtuous use of that knowledge. What we have here is a professor expressing fascist attitudes toward dissent. “If you can’t get down with the struggle, we will arrest you.” As you correctly note, no laws have been broken here; he cannot be arrested. But he can be disciplined severely, and should be if the university doesn’t want to be justly accused of tolerating fascist ideology in its ranks of instructors. This person, if he is not exposed and disciplined, may, for example, achieve a level of influence in the university that allows him to choose who will be hired in the philosophy department.

    So contrary to your assertions, “private law” is everything here. It’s the only way to correct what is devious behavior by, of all people, a philosopher, whose very existence and effectiveness depends on free expression and the exploration of new metaphysical ideas.

    Lawyers are useless in this case. The professoriat at RIT is the only hope for some form of justice in this case. If the problem is not pointed out to them in the form of letters of protest, how will they know to act?

  152. Steven Mosher says:

    Alan

    “Would you like to reconsider that statement Steve?”

    No, I would stand by it.

    As you write

    “True enough, academics are free to express anything, but they are not free from the repercussions of their speech.”

    To say they are free to say it, but will suffer consequences amounts to the same thing because we have defined academic freedom as the freedom to speak without consequences. And I am arguing that this freedom is necessarily self limiting.

  153. Kirk Hall says:

    As mentioned previously but not corrected the numbered links (1,2,3 etc) are pointing to documents on a local PC and cannot be accessed. I’m interested in reading those documents.

  154. pottereaton says:

    oldspanky says:
    March 15, 2014 at 2:47 am

    Does that line of reasoning look familiar to you? I’ll explain: you are saying I am not entitled to point out faults unless I am a domain expert. Really?! You’re going to come here and use that argument?

    —————————-
    No, you are (purposefully?) misinterpreting what I said. I made no mention of “domain experts” or what you are or are “not entitled” to do. I’m saying that because you have publicly expressed a presumed a level of expertise, that it’s in your interest to share with us that expertise. You are “entitled” to do anything you want. I think it would be enlightening for us all to see what kind of letter you would have written in Viscount Monckton’s stead, regardless of whether you are or are not a person with his kind of public profile.

    How hard can it be? In your original statement you suggest such a letter should be “brief” and “pointed.”

    Quelgeek says:
    March 14, 2014 at 9:11 am

    Gosh Monkton is tedious. His letter is nothing a good savage editor couldn’t fix.

    If you want to be read keep it brief and make it pointed.

    Here’s your chance to show Viscount Monckton how it’s done. If you choose not to, fine. But why deprive all the readers here of your learning and talent? You might even persuade the professoriate at RIT to do the right thing and discipline Assistant Professor Torcello.

  155. John Whitman says:

    Science is merely applied reasoning. Applied reasoning is also used in every other endeavor of humanity, not just science. Science has no special claim to it. The potential of applied reasoning is our fundamental nature that distinguishes our species.

    RIT’s faculty member Lawrence Torcello wants government laws on use of our human nature; that is our application of reason; he wants there to be thought crimes laws.

    Specifically, RIT’s Lawrence Torcello wants to control reasoning (thought) through government coercion (laws) related to the study of climate and also to control the reasoning to interpret / analyze that climate focused applied reasoning.

    It is irrational for RIT staff member Lawrence Torcello to maintain there is any human authority in application of reasoning. Only reality validates our applied reasoning. We are shown the path back to thought control by collectivized society when looking at the irrational ideas of RIT’s Lawrence Torcello.

    Looking back, we see Naomi Oreskes (formerly UCSD now Harvard) has been a long time leader / advocate of the kind of irrationality that we now see emulated by RIT faculty member Lawrence Torcello.

    John

  156. This Torcello character didn’t make the rookie mistake when insulting people of naming individuals directly.
    Professor Parncutt on the other hand fell straight into it, insulting Lord Monckton and His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI directly, for which he was dully called out and forced into a grovelling apology, which Lord Monckton accepted and then much too graciously some might say let the matter lie.
    This weasel otoh. sought to avoid direct and honest confrontation by casting aspersions widely and generally and all who might not concur with his warped thinking.

    What ever did become of Prof, Parncutt ?

  157. Alan Robertson says:

    Steven Mosher says:
    March 15, 2014 at 8:31 am


    To say they are free to say it, but will suffer consequences amounts to the same thing because we have defined academic freedom as the freedom to speak without consequences. And I am arguing that this freedom is necessarily self limiting.
    __________________
    Yes.

  158. dbstealey says:

    Roger Sowell,

    Thanks for your thoughtful response.

  159. John Whitman says:

    Steven Mosher says:
    March 15, 2014 at 8:31 am


    To say they are free to say it, but will suffer consequences amounts to the same thing because we have defined academic freedom as the freedom to speak without consequences. And I am arguing that this freedom is necessarily self limiting

    - – - – - – - – - –

    Steven Mosher,

    Your initiation of a dialog on ‘limits to freedom’ is welcome and important. Thanks.

    You are potentially implying a context suspended in conceptual mid air, if you are arguing intellectual freedom must be actually limited by society or culture or government.

    Intellectual freedom conceptually is derived from epistemological and metaphysical concepts, not moral, social, cultural or political. Logically there is a progression to philosophical ideas like intellectual freedom: what is (metaphysics), how do we know it (epistemology), then create values based on those for living (ethics) and determine optimum rules for men to live together (politics). The later two (ethics and politics) depend on the first two (metaphysics and epistemology).

    Our intellectual freedom is not limited at all in any fundamental sense by reality (metaphysics) or our method of knowing (epistemology). So, it would be inconsistent and arbitrary for ethics and politics to limit intellectual freedom. Therefore my initial sentences about you possibly implying a context suspended in conceptual mid air concerning ‘limits to freedom’.

    Regards.

    John

  160. Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7 says:

    JDN says:
    March 15, 2014 at 3:27 am

    @kwinterkorn : Torcello isn’t attacking freedom of speech in general. If you have a sinking ship with the crew trying to get people to the lifeboats and someone goes around announcing that the ship isn’t really sinking and that this is just a drill, please return to your staterooms; that isn’t protected speech because it causes a positive harm. This is the sort of argument he’s making.

    I have a question for those taking this line (and I think the above is a fair summary of Torcello’s reasoning): what should we have done with all those folks back in the late 1930′s who advocated “constructive engagement” (a phrase from a later era) with Hitler’s Germany? The name Neville Chamberlain is most readily linked with that thinking, but he was hardly alone. In the US Joseph P. Kennedy (ambassador to Great Britain and father of JFK, RFK, Teddy, etc.) was promoting the same line. Those gentlemen and many others were the “consensus view” at the time and they turned out to be absolutely, tragically, and at least to some way of thinking, avoidably wrong. Should they have all been tossed in prison?

    Or is their error excused because it was the “consensus view”? Does being wrong and thereby contributing to massive harm and suffering stop being a crime if there were a bunch of others in it with you? In other words, is being wrong only “criminally negligent” if you hold the “minority” opinion? And how long do we have to wait before we determine which side was right in the question? In the case of Hitler and Germany, it was pretty clear who was wrong in September of 1939 when German troops invaded Poland (I should say rather it was undeniable then; it had been pretty clear for some time before that). In the matter of AGW we don’t have any actual events in evidence to show whether warmists or skeptics are correct. Other than those espousing the “consensus” opinion (who are certain), nobody really knows.

    But it is apparently enough for Mr. Torcello that he believes skeptics are wrong and that he believes great harm will come as a result. On that basis, and the assertion that his views are shared by almost everyone, or almost everyone who really counts, Mr. Torcello is advocating dissenters be subject to criminal prosecution. For those who want to argue he didn’t really say that, please explain the purpose of labelling climate change denial as criminally negligent instead of merely negligent — US law recognizes both kinds and treats them differently. One is a crime and the other is a tort; one is punishable by prison and the other is not. I do not expect a professor of philosophy to be professionally competent in atmospheric physics or advanced statistics, but I do expect him to understand the proper use of language to make meaningful distinctions. If I extend Mr. Torcello the courtesy of assuming he is competent in the English language, I must at the same time infer from his essay that he wants to put people in prison for expressing the wrong (according to him) opinions. If I also extend Mr. Torcello the courtesy of assuming he is aware of the historical company that puts him in, I am entitled to make an even grimmer inference.

    So the bottom line is Christopher Monckton is correct: a professor at a US university is advocating people be imprisoned for their opinions, apparently with tacit approval from the officers and trustees said university.

    There is a reason the standard for criminal conviction is beyond a reasonable doubt; thousands of years of experience have established that people can be wrong, even when they are certain they are right. We are nowhere near beyond a reasonable doubt regarding the effects of human CO2 emissions and climate change; we aren’t even convincingly at the point of preponderance of evidence, which is the standard in civil proceedings. Yet Mr. Torcello and others insist we discard the hard-won experience of centuries in Western law and toss people in prison for their opinions because he and other drones in his particular mind-hive are certain those opinions are wrong and harmful.

    Shameful doesn’t even come close.

  161. Alan Robertson says:

    Philosophical exploration of ideas is quite a different matter than advocacy of a belief system by an individual with power to enforce his agenda, such as a classroom instructor has over students. Such advocacy becomes coercive tyranny.
    It would be one thing for a Professor at Hofstra to be teaching the history of the Third Reich and quite a different thing to be calling for a new Kristallnacht.

  162. Chad Wozniak says:

    [snip - off topic - religion -mod]

  163. Steve Allen says:

    Mosher says; “…they are not free to suggest that others be prosecuted for thought crimes.”

    Ok, I will ask the same question another way.

    In what known universe do “thought crimes” exist?

  164. rogerthesurf says:

    Great stuff Lord M!
    Cheers

    Roger
    http://www.thedemiseofchristchurch.wordpress.com

  165. joeldshore says:

    [snip - off topic - religion -mod]

  166. joeldshore says:

    pottereaston says:

    Professor Torcello has perpetrated a crime against academic freedom. If the university lets it stand, perhaps its accreditation needs to be looked at.

    But he can be disciplined severely, and should be if the university doesn’t want to be justly accused of tolerating fascist ideology in its ranks of instructors.

    Am I the only one who finds these comments pegging my irony meter?

  167. Chad Wozniak says:

    [snip - off topic - religion -mod]

  168. pottereaton says:

    joeldshore says:
    March 15, 2014 at 4:40 pm

    Yes.

  169. Jeff Alberts says:

    [snip - off topic - religion -mod]

  170. Dan in California says:

    It seems that Assistant Professor of Philosophy Torcello does not understand that the Scientific Method includes skepticism as an integral and important part. If it doesn’t include skepticism, it’s not science. It makes me wonder if there is any branch of philosophy that he *does* understand?

  171. Streetcred says:

    [snip - off topic - religion -mod]

  172. Jeff Alberts says:

    Streetcred says:
    March 15, 2014 at 9:51 pm

    Jeesh! You sure hold a grudge for a long time … what’s it to you, you weren’t even there.

    I guess hypocrisy and cherry picking are ok with you.

  173. Chad Wozniak says:

    [snip - off topic - religion -mod]

  174. JDN says:

    @pottereaton
    Academic standards and “ethics” today are ridiculous, and we ridicule them regularly on this website. I don’t think I’m out of line here. Universities are looking to see which side their bread is buttered on, then whitewashing Mr. Mann’s work or bragging about the funding they get for complete nonsense. The few university officials that aren’t cynical at this point are the heros of their universities. Every university I’ve seen is scared not to “go green” for fear they won’t get their fair share of the loot. And so, they are ridiculous, and you’ll look like a fool if you count on them to do the right thing. They chase the carrot of money and fear the stick of things that will harm their political patrons.

    If this guy Torcello controls enough money, he can do whatever he wants. That’s ethics! /sarc /much

    @Lance Hilpert
    Gitlow v. New York is a sad case of both misunderstanding the first amendment (i.e. limiting it) and also federal over-reach. The funny thing is that I could probably use Gitlow v. New York to argue for imprisonment of climate skeptics. After all, now is the time when action is needed, and they through their radical intransigence seek to overthrow government protection and human survival by advocating for burning fossil fuels. Thus, states are within their rights to ban their speech and imprison them. See how that works? You have to read the actual ruling, not the summary. You may want to cite later decisions. :)
    http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/1508178/Gitlow-v-New-York
    IANAL BIPOOTS

  175. joeldshore says:

    [snip - off topic - religion -mod]

  176. Jtom says:

    Criminally negligent? I am tempted to offer this deal to the Torcellos of the world: if CAGW becomes an undeniable fact (i.e., actual data supporting and proving man-made climate change is causing catastrophic events with respect to Man), I will enter prison for five years. However, if CAGW is not proven by such events in the next twenty years, then THEY will report to prison for five years.

    Somehow I doubt anyone would take me up on that deal.

  177. Jeff Alberts says:

    [snip - off topic - religion -mod]

  178. joeldshore says:

    [snip - off topic - religion - upstream deletions as well - mod]

  179. dbstealey says:

    [snip - off topic - religion -mod]

  180. dbstealey says:

    I was typing a response to joelshore’s attack. Apologies for defending America here.

    No, strike that. NO apologies.

    REPLY: To be fair to all upstream deletions of off topic comments going back to yesterday that caused this thread to get out of hand, your response to those also had to be snipped, Anthony

  181. Anthony Watts says:

    OK everybody, listen up. No more diversions on religion. All such diversions and replies to them shall be snipped. It is our site policy not to get into religious debates.

  182. John Whitman says:

    Anthony,

    I assume that the quasi-religious nature of CAGW is still fair game to discuss on this thread? [I hope]

    And thanks again for all that you do.

    John

  183. Just a note to say how grateful I am to the moderators for having gotten this thread back on track.

  184. Jeff Alberts says:

    dbstealey says:
    March 16, 2014 at 10:38 am

    I was typing a response to joelshore’s attack. Apologies for defending America here.

    No, strike that. NO apologies.

    What part of Joel’s post was an attack on America?

    [Close it off, no further comments on those deletions above: The editing is done. Mod]

  185. Bill Schreck says:

    [personal attack - rephrase and resubmit -mod]

  186. Bill Schreck says:

    My apologies to Viscount Monckton. I meant to say Professor Torcello in my previous email

  187. Bill Schreck says:

    Delete the last paragraph of my previous email and then post please

  188. Bill Schreck says:

    Torcello wants us in jail and he attacks us. I write a post that counters or attacks his argument and I am told to rewrite it. You don’t censor Torcello’s attack on global warming deniers but it is ok that you censor my counter attack. Please post my original email. If you do not I will know you too are a lib

    REPLY: your post was removed because it violated site policy the way it was written as a personal attack, and because it was wrong. You made an error conflating two different people. If you want to call me a “lib” feel free, but I’m not obligated to publish angry rants that can’t even get the person right. Feel free to be as upset as you wish – Anthony Watts

  189. Gail Combs says:

    Lloyd Martin Hendaye says:
    March 14, 2014 at 8:48 am

    As an ossified bastion of PCBS extremism, U-Rochester is the absolute last place….
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>
    It was not University of Rochester, it was Rochester Institute of Technology. Different beast entirely. Very different. The instructors were excellent and all had industrial experience. I took a few courses there as did a friend of mine who visited this week. I was surprised to find out the president of RIT was outed as a CIA agent!

    …Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) President M. Richard Rose…

    …When faculty and students became aware of Rose’s choice, many felt he had deceived them. Rose also said that he was “helping to devise new training and educational policies for CIA operatives that will prepare them to deal with the post-Cold War period.”3 But CIA spokespeople stated that “Rose let the Agency know he wanted to take a four-month sabbatical…. We didn’t recruit him … [but] we found his credentials fit.”4 RIT would only say that their president would be away, working on “national policies and procedures.”

    It was in this context of disinformation and misrepresentation that the surface was peeled back layer by layer to reveal a long, complex, and pervasive relationship between RIT and the CIA.….
    http://www.namebase.org/campus/rit.html

    Now doesn’t that add a bit of spice to the discussion of RIT. {:>)

  190. bushbunny says:

    With respect arn’t we giving those an audience to spread these negatives? I suspect they know the more publicity they get the more confident and smug they become. I think Lord Monckton has done something few would dare to do. And I would advise don’t mess with the CIA? They can monitor emails on blogs. That’s back to you Anthony, it is your blog.

  191. Lewis P Buckingham says:

    Gail Combs says:
    March 16, 2014 at 6:29 pm
    Perhaps RIT is developing a new form of electronic eavesdropping that tracks missing jets.
    I doubt they would be interested in Psych majors.

  192. bushbunny says:

    Just a bit about the FBI and CIA. I worked for a federal politician once, my phone and his had been tapped. But since 9/ll our telephone and emails can create an alert to covert listeners. Mention a bomb, and their listening devices record your phone conversations. Lord knows that if they want to hack into computers, they can and one would never know. Look what those schoolboys in the US did back many years, didn’t they hack into either the FBI or CIA?

  193. Bill Schreck says:

    Yup this website would not allow my comments to be posted because they were too provocative and attacked professor Torcelli. I just stated facts.

    It is a fact that if you added more CO2 in the atmosphere the plant life would consume it. There are companies today that buy over 100 tons/day of CO2 to add to their greenhouse atmosphere to makes plants grow faster and increase crop yield.

    Also I pointed out that the scientific methods used to verify CO2 as the cause of global warming were last used when the heat scientists of their time got together to declare the earth is flat!!!

    Those comments did not get posted

    [Reply: It is "Torcello". And there are various reasons why comments might not get posted. Please read the site Policy. Also, WordPress is not always 100% reliable. ~ mod.]

  194. bushbunny says:

    I didn’t mean anyone should become paranoid. But I have had no problems with WordPress, sometimes I am asked to confirm my identity and password before I post to this site and Tory Aardvark blogs.

    Stop press: Opposition Shorten has vowed to take on climate change deniers. Keep the Greens happy I suspect. He’s labor leader and son in law of the outgoing Governor general.

  195. Chad Wozniak says:

    I’m not convinced that religion is irrelevant to this discussion. Often it is what supports the morality that in turn supports integrity in science. Faux science reflects a lack of appropriate values, i.e., values that largely derive from the Judeo-Christian religious tradition,

    AGW is particularly distinguished by a lack of moral values.

  196. bushbunny says:

    Chad, if that is the way you judge AGW supporters, OK? I don’t believe that the majority of lay supporters lack moral values. On the contrary I think they demonstrate a rather extreme, “holier than thou” mentality. Like all fanatical people, they think their stance demonstrates their disapproval of others who don’t approve of their so called higher values and awareness. A defensive mechanism. I am an environmentalist, I practice what I preach,”… only real ‘moo’ pooh non of that chemical shite ..” etc., free range eggs, and meat, etc., etc., Our conventions supported by our various constitutional laws, does allow free speech, unless it incites people to violence and prejudice against others. Or in this case is rewarded by supporting obviously allegedly inaccurate information and data that results in some gaining financial reward and demonizes others who ‘dare’ to say “You are dead wrong, mate!”

  197. Oldspanky says:

    @Pottereaton March 14, 2014 at 5:59 pm “If you are going to be patronizingly critical, you need to put up or shut up.”
    @ pottereaton March 15, 2014 at 8:42 am “No, you are (purposefully?) misinterpreting what I said. I made no mention of “domain experts” or what you are or are “not entitled” to do.”

    Others can decide if I am misinterpreting what you meant by “put up or shut up”.

    The skeptical community needs to keep its act tight. I get that you don’t welcome my message but as you point out, important issues are being discussed—with people who don’t want to listen at the best of times.

  198. JohnWho says:

    Chad Wozniak says:

    March 16, 2014 at 9:28 pm

    AGW is particularly distinguished by a lack of moral values.

    Agreed, proposing “solutions” to a supposed problem when those solutions will result in the death of perhaps millions of people does seem to imply a lack of moral values.

  199. Chad Wozniak says:

    @bushbunny -
    I refer to the purveyors of AGW, not the uninformed sheeple deceived by it. However, I do believe that everyone has an obligation to do two things: (1) recognize and not blindly accept dogma, and (2) be reasonably informed on major issues. If that’s too high a standard for common folk, so be it.

    The German people were ultimately responsible for Hitler, and they should have known better. So should todays’ laypeople when it comes to AGW.

  200. bushbunny says:

    They were conned Chad and you can not compare the Germans in WWII response to Hitler to AGW believers! People believe what they want to hear and they had to have a scape goat for their woes, the idea of a pure race and killing undesireables like the Jews, and final solution, was horrific. There were many who wanted Hitler disposed of certainly later in the war. But history does relate well, Hitler was furious over the reparation payments Germany was to pay, and blamed the Jewish bankers for funding America in WWI and Britain for signing an agreement with them to give them a mandate to rule Israel, that they failed to honor in later years. The main grudge was this, and that Germany never surrendered and was let down by the Kaiser and generals. The truth being the British Royal Navy actually blocked supply to Germany, that hastened the end of the war, as well as the American’s influence too. Certainly WWI this was a war of attrition. They hoped that the allies to surrender from lack of resources until the Americans came along, which they did not despite the terrible conditions in trench warfare.

    Actually Germany Only finished paying reparations for WWI in 2010. I know this because it was a post graduate unit I sat in 2012. Forensic archaeology.

  201. Jim Hendry says:

    I am surprised the noble Lord did not refer to the cover up scandal by pro Global warming scientists at The University of East Anglia. http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2010/feb/01/leaked-emails-climate-jones-chinese. What punishment, I wonder, would Torcello have recommended for Professor Jones and his colleague in China?

  202. bushbunny says:

    Yes, I agree Jim, cherry picking or not. The whole AGM mandate is to control how we live now and in the future. We don’t attack individuals we are desperate that the so called lay persons learn the truth and when they do, and not caught up with capitalist economic strategies, etc., and the Green philosophy of an equal world. (Never was, and never will be) Well why don’t they suggest this to North Korea that must be a crazy place to live in like ancient Rome. And stop people smugglers conning people they will be looked after here in Australia. Oh, I do despair, and I do hope that this will be taken up at the UN, and ask them why
    Tivula never got climate change compensation, as they thought their application was too complex.
    You may remember their crying at the Copenhagen COP meeting, about their island was sinking. Now it appears it is actually growing again?

  203. Steve says:

    I made my position known to the university with an e-mail and a copy of my blog posting, “Lawrence Torcello: A demonstration of academic ignorance and malfeasance on behalf of global warming?” http://www.onecitizenspeaking.com/2014/03/lawrence-torcello-a-demonstration-of-academic-ignorance-and-malfeasance-on-behalf-of-global-warming.html.
    Thank heavens for people like Anthony and Lord Monckton.

  204. Swifty says:

    Unfortunately, the links contained in the letter (hopefully only the one published here) are pointing to the temporary files folder on Lord Moncktons’ computer.

  205. guscost says:

    As an RIT graduate, I’ll be writing a similar (probably not as thoroughly argued or eloquent) letter. Thanks for the idea!

Comments are closed.