Lord Monckton wins global warming debate at Oxford Union

I’m waiting for actual photos of the event from the official photographer, but for now I’ll make do with what can be found on the Internet. For those who don’t know, the Oxford Union is the top of the food chain for scholarly debate. This is a significant win.

File:OxfordUnionTwo20040228CopyrightKaihsuTai.png

The Oxford Union Debate Chamber - image from Wikimedia

Founded in 1823 at the University of Oxford, but maintaining a separate charter from the University, The Oxford Union is host to some of the most skillful debates in the world. Many eminent scholars and personalities have come and either debated or delivered speeches in the chamber. Monckton was invited as part of the formal Thursday debate.

It is described as follows:

The Union is the world’s most prestigious debating society, with an unparalleled reputation for bringing international guests and speakers to Oxford. It has been established for 182 years, aiming to promote debate and discussion not just in Oxford University, but across the globe.

Here is a view inside from a previous debate:

http://mba.sbsblogs.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/06-the-oxford-union-debating-chamber-pic-courtesy-rajiv-dabas-2.jpg

The Debate Chamber - Photo by: Rajiv Dabas

From the SPPI Blog, an account of the debate:

Oxford Union Debate on Climate Catastrophe

Source:  SPPI

Army of Light and Truth 135, Forces of Darkness 110

For what is believed to be the first time ever in England, an audience of university undergraduates has decisively rejected the notion that “global warming” is or could become a global crisis. The only previous defeat for climate extremism among an undergraduate audience was at St. Andrew’s University, Scotland, in the spring of 2009, when the climate extremists were defeated by three votes.

Last week, members of the historic Oxford Union Society, the world’s premier debating society, carried the motion “That this House would put economic growth before combating climate change” by 135 votes to 110. The debate was sponsored by the Science and Public Policy Institute, Washington DC.

Serious observers are interpreting this shock result as a sign that students are now impatiently rejecting the relentless extremist propaganda taught under the guise of compulsory environmental-studies classes in British schools, confirming opinion-poll findings that the voters are no longer frightened by “global warming” scare stories, if they ever were.

When the Union’s president, Laura Winwood, announced the result in the Victorian-Gothich Gladstone Room, three peers cheered with the undergraduates, and one peer drowned his sorrows in beer.

Lord Lawson of Blaby, Margaret Thatcher’s former finance minister, opened the case for the proposition by saying that the economic proposals put forward by the UN’s climate panel and its supporters did not add up. It would be better to wait and see whether the scientists had gotten it right. It was not sensible to make expensive spending commitments, particularly at a time of great economic hardship, when the effectiveness of the spending was gravely in doubt and when it might do more harm than good.

At one point, Lord Lawson was interrupted by a US student, who demanded to know what was his connection with the Science and Public Policy Institute, and what were the Institute’s sources of funding. Lord Lawson was cheered when he said he neither knew nor cared who funded the Institute.

Ms. Zara McGlone, Secretary of the Oxford Union, opposed the motion, saying that greenhouse gases had an effect [they do, but it is very small]; that the precautionary principle required immediate action, just in case and regardless of expense [but one must also bear in mind the cost of the precautions themselves, which can and often do easily exceed the cost of inaction]; that Bangladesh was sinking beneath the waves [a recent study by Prof. Niklas Moerner shows that sea level in Bangladesh has actually fallen]; that the majority of scientists believed “global warming” was a problem [she offered no evidence for this]; and that “irreversible natural destruction” would occur if we did nothing [but she did not offer any evidence].

Mr. James Delingpole, a blogger for the leading British conservative national newspaper The Daily Telegraph, seconded the proposition, saying that – politically speaking – the climate extremists had long since lost the argument. The general public simply did not buy the scare stories any more. The endless tales of Biblical disasters peddled by the alarmist faction were an unwelcome and now fortunately failed recrudescence of dull, gray Puritanism. Instead of hand-wringing and bed-wetting, we should celebrate the considerable achievements of the human race and start having fun.

Lord Whitty, a Labor peer from the trades union movement and, until recently, Labor’s Environment Minister in the Upper House, said that the world’s oil supplies were rapidly running out [in fact, record new finds have been made in the past five years]; that we needed to change our definition of economic growth to take into account the value lost when we damaged the environment [it is artificial accounting of this kind that has left Britain as bankrupt as Greece after 13 years of Labor government]; that green jobs created by governments would help to end unemployment [but Milton Friedman won his Nobel Prize for economics by demonstrating that every artificial job created at taxpayers’ expense destroys two real jobs in the wealth-producing private sector]; that humans were the cause of most of the past century’s warming [there is no evidence for that: the case is built on speculation by programmers of computer models]; that temperature today was at its highest in at least 40 million years [in fact, it was higher than today by at least 12.5 F° for most of the past 550 million years]; and that 95% of scientists believed our influence on the climate was catastrophic [no one has asked them].

Lord Monckton repeatedly interrupted Lord Whitty to ask him to give a reference in the scientific literature for his suggestion that 95% of scientists believed our influence on the climate was catastrophic. Lord Whitty was unable to provide the source for his figure, but said that everyone knew it was true. Under further pressure from Lord Monckton, Lord Whitty conceded that the figure should perhaps be 92%. Lord Monckton asked: “And your reference is?” Lord Whitty was unable to reply. Hon. Members began to join in, jeering “Your reference? Your reference?” Lord Whitty sat down looking baffled.

Lord Leach of Fairford, whom Margaret Thatcher appointed a Life Peer for his educational work, spoke third for the proposition. He said that we no longer knew whether or not there had been much “global warming” over the 20th century, because the Climategate emails had exposed the terrestrial temperature records as defective. In any event, he said, throwing good money after bad on various alternative-energy boondoggles was unlikely to prove profitable in the long term and would ultimately do harm.

Mr. Rajesh Makwana, executive director of “Share The World’s Resources”, speaking third for the opposition, said that climate change was manmade [but he did not produce any evidence for that assertion]; that CO2 emissions were growing at 3% a year [but it is concentrations, not emissions, that may in theory affect climate, and concentrations are rising at a harmless 0.5% a year]; that the UN’s climate panel had forecast a 7 F° “global warming” for the 21st century [it’s gotten off to a bad start, with a cooling of 0.2 F° so far]; and that the consequences of “global warming” would be dire [yet, in the audience, sat Mr. Klaus-Martin Schulte, whose landmark paper of 2008 had established that not one of 539 scientific papers on “global climate change” provided any evidence whatsoever that “global warming” would be catastrophic].

Lord Monckton, a former science advisor to Margaret Thatcher during her years as Prime Minister of the UK, concluded the case for the proposition. He drew immediate laughter and cheers when he described himself as “Christopher Walter, Third Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, scholar, philanthropist, wit, man about town, and former chairman of the Wines and Spirits Committee of this honourable Society”. At that point his cummerbund came undone. He held it up to the audience and said, “If I asked this House how long this cummerbund is, you might telephone around all the manufacturers and ask them how many cummerbunds they made, and how long each type of cummerbund was, and put the data into a computer model run by a zitty teenager eating too many doughnuts, and the computer would make an expensive guess. Or you could take a tape-measure and” – glaring at the opposition across the despatch-box – “measure it!” [cheers].

Lord Monckton said that real-world measurements, as opposed to models, showed that the warming effect of CO2 was a tiny fraction of the estimates peddled by the UN’s climate panel. He said that he would take his lead from Lord Lawson, however, in concentrating on the economics rather than the science. He glared at the opposition again and demanded whether, since they had declared themselves to be so worried about “global warming”, they would care to tell him – to two places of decimals and one standard deviation – the UN’s central estimate of the “global warming” that might result from a doubling of atmospheric CO2 concentration. The opposition were unable to reply. Lord Monckton told them the answer was 3.26 plus or minus 0.69 Kelvin or Celsius degrees. An Hon. Member interrupted: “And your reference is?” Lord Monckton replied: “IPCC, 2007, chapter 10, box 10.2.” [cheers]. He concluded that shutting down the entire global economy for a whole year, with all the death, destruction, disaster, disease and distress that that would cause, would forestall just 4.7 ln(390/388) = 0.024 Kelvin or Celsius degrees of “global warming”, so that total economic shutdown for 41 years would prevent just 1 K of warming. Adaptation as and if necessary would be orders of magnitude cheaper and more cost-effective.

Mr. Mike Mason, founder and managing director of “Climate Care”, concluded for the opposition. He said that the proposition were peculiar people, and that Lord Monckton was more peculiar than most, in that he was not a real Lord. Lord Monckton, on a point of order, told Mr. Mason that the proposition had avoided personalities and that if Mr. Mason were unable to argue other than ad hominem he should “get out”. [cheers] Mr. Mason then said that we had to prepare for climate risks [yes, in both directions, towards cooler as well as warmer]; and that there was a “scientific consensus” [but he offered no evidence for the existence of any such consensus, still less for the notion that science is done by consensus].

The President thanked the speakers and expressed the Society’s gratitude to the Science and Public Policy Institute for sponsoring the debate. Hon. Members filed out of the Debating Chamber, built to resemble the interior of the House of Commons, and passed either side of the brass division-pole at the main door – Ayes to the right 135, Noes to the left 110. Motion carried.


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The Met Office can take credit for this, by consistently mis-predicting their seasonal forecasts on the high side. Anyone in the UK with an IQ greater than 50 should understand by now that the models are nearly useless at making predictions more than three days out.

geo

That was a Question for Moncton.

Milwaukee Bob

Hear! Hear! Three cheers for Lord Monckton!

kim

Sorceror’s please.
==========

theduke

I love the Brits. Bloody well done.

PJB

I wonder how many warmists he can “Brench” press….;-)

James Sexton

Turning the corner. It is still going to be a long haul. Stay stubborn. stay relentless.

Mike

To bad there were no scientists or economists in the debate. See: http://www.oxford-union.org/term_events/economic_growth_debate
Were the debaters allowed to use Google? Here is one survey on what scientists think:
http://stats.org/stories/2008/global_warming_survey_apr23_08.html
Scientists agree that humans cause global warming
Ninety-seven percent of the climate scientists surveyed believe “global average temperatures have increased” during the past century.
Eighty-four percent say they personally believe human-induced warming is occurring, and 74% agree that “currently available scientific evidence” substantiates its occurrence. Only 5% believe that that human activity does not contribute to greenhouse warming; the rest are unsure.

crosspatch

Sincere congratulations to Mr. Monckton (his lordship apparently brought into question and I have no specific knowledge one way or the other).
The one thing that distresses me, however, in the larger global warming debate being carried out in the various countries around the world is what has been the result of climategate. It would seem to me that the voices on the side of raising the warming alarm have learned that it is ok to say whatever they want. So far nothing has really come of climategate. I see a trend toward simply ignoring that it ever happened and to continue on with the same arguments they were using before. And they are getting away with it.
The strategy seems to be remain quiet, allow the storm to blow over, and then continue on. And while discoveries are made concerning the accuracy of the data or the lack thereof, the rank and file citizens are kept in the dark. Yes, there are places like this where one can find such information if they go looking for it, but the “push” media, the information that simply appears on your car radio or on your television or your doorstep set hasn’t changed and never seems to inform the population about the realities of the situation. An example would be an article in the paper that I read yesterday about a man who swam across a glacial lake at the foot of Mt. Everest. The final paragraph was all about how the glaciers were melting away and he had to do this while he still could in order to “raise awareness” of the problem. It didn’t matter that the entire notion that the Himalayan glaciers were in danger of disappearing has been completely debunked. Most people are completely unaware that the glaciers are, in fact, quite healthy.
This disinformation is spread in articles that have nothing at all to do with climate and such articles are more beats on the drum in a constant cadence that is heard in schoolhouses, in the media, in popular culture, and in higher education. Yet the debunking of it gets no exposure.
We need more than just sites like this one (good as it is). We need more awareness in the push media to get the word out to people that it just isn’t so.

duncan binks

Outstanding! Thought Milord had been off the radar for a while but clearly not!
Prepare for complete ignorance from the MSM.

John Q Public

Monckton is one wicked debator. Climategate was the turning point against AGW fear-mongering, and the snowball is just growing in size.
In 20 years, AGW will equal The Red Scare in terms of silliness. Mr. Gore was right – the debate is over, and his side lost.

William Gray

The result is about right as far as the general public, but I thought intellectuals were more brainwashed than that. Great stuff ‘and measure it.’

latitude

“”Mike says:
May 24, 2010 at 4:53 pm
To bad there were no scientists or economists in the debate. See: http://www.oxford-union.org/term_events/economic_growth_debate
Were the debaters allowed to use Google?”‘
Trix are for kids.
Scientists, economists, and Google can’t answer those questions either, that’s the point…………

Andrew Zalotocky

The real significance of this result is that the Oxford Union (and its Cambridge counterpart) are where many ambitious young politicians hone their debating skills. It suggests that the next generation of British politicians will contain a considerable number of people who reject global warming alarmism.

eo

It seems that Ms. McGlone was citing the Precautionary principle without reading the the internationally accepted meaning as given in the Rio declaration principle 17. The precautionary principle as stated in the rio declaration ” where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reasoning for postpoing COST EFFECTIVE measures to prevent environmental degradation”. It is not irregardless of the cost as reported in this blog. Are the measures in place today cost effective?

Douglas DC

Things like this give me hope for Western Civilization….
But not this:-actually happened to me today.
This AM I was confronted with a Goreist Co-Worker who boldly
stated:”the reason it has been so cold is due to the unstable nature of the atmosphere
that hot and cold cycles are reversed! and the current cold snap in the west is due to that HUGE El Nino in the Pacific!” “That is a function of Global Warming.” I retorted-“Where did you get _that_, Dude?” “Why AlGore’s Books!” “He uses real science!”
I said “Ok Nino just croaked in the Pacific. The North Pacific appears to be cooling off
and a possible LaNina later on.” Dude retorted” Well that’s a part of it! it’s all interrelated!” I said” So sayeth the Profit?”
“Yes. AL’s a Modern Prophet!” “We need to heed his words!”
When this is all over Dude’s gonna need reprogramming and a Counselor…

ck

Mike it’s no wonder that 84% of grant getters would like to keep getting their grants.That solves it for me, like the Monkees, “I’m a believer”.

William Gray

From STATS Scientists surveyed;
Only 29% express a “great deal of confidence” that scientists understand the size and extent of anthropogenic [human] sources of greenhouse gases,” and only 32% are confident about our understanding of the archeological climate evidence.

The fact that 1000 scientists think “A” is right and 10 scientists think “B” is right is a mentally challenge reason to believe “A” is right.
Lysenkoism is a perfect example of the bandwagon effect run amuck just as Catastrophic Anthropomorphic Global Warming [CAGW] has.
Lysenkoism was a scientific concept that acquired traits could be passed from parent to child. We now know this cannot be true but all scientific societies in Russia at one time endorsed this flawed concept.
Learned papers were written and awards given for those that favored Lysenkoism and writing a paper or doing an experiment that might disprove Lysenkoism was a way to end a career.
A list of a dozen learned societies which endorsed Lysenkoism would be easy to compile since they all depended upon the government for funding and the government was in love with the theory.
The head of Russia [Stalin] was behind it 100 % and since the state was the main source of funds for research studies were done that validated the theory. Those that were skeptical of the theory were “branded deniers” or tools of the capitalists [big oil].
Since only studies which validated the theory were done and since all studies showed what was wanted lysenkoism became more and more accepted.
The parallels between lysenkoism and global warming are so obvious that only the blind cannot see them. The scientific process can be and has been bent to the will of the politicians by the simple use of money and fame.

Gail Combs

The Army of Light and Truth won 245, to Forces of Darkness 0 for wit and sense of humor too. ROTFLMAO

Tom in Texas

Mike says: May 24, 2010 at 4:53 pm “Eighty-four percent say they personally believe human-induced warming is occurring, and 74% agree that “currently available scientific evidence” substantiates its occurrence.”
Mike, how many believe “…the notion that “global warming” is or could become a global crisis.” ?

Jbar

I have yet to see an economic justification of trying to halt AGW that didn’t require a very low return on investment to justify it (like 1%), and a lot of moralistic argument trying to justify why 1% is a GOOD rate of return.

Stephan

Someone needs to look at this blatant discrepancy immediately and report it
http://weather.unisys.com/surface/sst_anom.html
and this
http://www.osdpd.noaa.gov/data/sst/anomaly/2010/anomnight.5.24.2010.gif
whio is right or who is lying/manipulating this?
Just look at Europe’s SST!!!
Please!!!

The (unrelated) claim in this post that Peak Oil has been postponed by massive discoveries is wrong. We’re still burning much more than we’re finding (quite apart from the recently graphically illustrated difficulties associated with recent finds). The public is also losing patience with plans to cover the countryside with renewable energy industry. Nuclear power is the only answer that will work. I recommend Dr David MacKay’s talks, e.g. http://today.caltech.edu/theater/item?story_id=44542 (note that he isn’t explicitly pronuclear, but he sure makes the difficulty of renewables obvious).

George E. Smith

“”” Mike says:
May 24, 2010 at 4:53 pm
To bad there were no scientists or economists in the debate. See: http://www.oxford-union.org/term_events/economic_growth_debate
Were the debaters allowed to use Google? Here is one survey on what scientists think:
http://stats.org/stories/2008/global_warming_survey_apr23_08.html
Scientists agree that humans cause global warming
Ninety-seven percent of the climate scientists surveyed believe “global average temperatures have increased” during the past century.
Eighty-four percent say they personally believe human-induced warming is occurring, and 74% agree that “currently available scientific evidence” substantiates its occurrence. Only 5% believe that that human activity does not contribute to greenhouse warming; the rest are unsure. “””
Well the issue is not whether global average temperatures are warming (how would we know since it is impossible to measure); but whether such observations of global temperature anomalies are outside the bounds of natural variability.
And as for human effects; well Heisenberg tells us that simply trying to observe the state; results in changing that state; so what else is new. The more important issue is whether it is possible for the earth temperature system to go into runaway heating that leads to a hot Venus State. The last 600 million years of proxy data on Temperature, and CO2 says that it is not possible (based on observations to date) that earth’s (average) Temperature can exceed 22 deg C; let alone reach anything like the 450 deg C of Venus’ surface.. I’ll go out on a limb (or thin ice) and say it is not possible for earth mean global temperature to even reach 100 deg C; let alone 450. If the entire earth surface was an ideal black body; you might get to 72 deg C higher than the present +15 deg C; that is if nothing triued to stop you.
That projection is based on the assumption that the present earth is an isothermal surface at +15 deg C, and that it uniformly radiates at a constant 390 W/m^2 (Trenberth’s Number) and the BB total emittance for a +15 deg C black body.
If instead the average emittance of the surface were to be increased to 1000 W/m^2 matching the present AM-1 surface solar insolation max; which is exactly 2.56 times Trenberth’s number; well the square root of that is 1.6 and the square root of 1.6 is 1.25; so the temperature would increase by 25% (of 288K) which is 72 deg C increase.
Oops we only get 1000 W/m^2 in the hottest places and for a part of the day.
Good luck on getting to 87 deg C global average; no matter how much CO2 you have.
Besides that CO2 by itself cannot push your through the short wavelength edge of the CO2 15 micron absorption band, and get you over to the 4.0 micron CO2 band which is active on Venus.

This was a hugely entertaining write-up. I’d love to see a video of the entire event.
The Brits are damned funny, especially when they’re not trying to be. Good on us, and great for our side — by that I mean the rational side.

Dr. Dave

One should never engage in a battle of wits unarmed.
Monckton can slice and dice virtually all comers. It’s actually quite easy when you have the facts and truth on your side. Still…I worry about the 110 who voted the other way.

George E. Smith

“”” crosspatch says:
May 24, 2010 at 4:56 pm
Sincere congratulations to Mr. Monckton (his lordship apparently brought into question and I have no specific knowledge one way or the other). “””
Well ignorance is no excuse for attacking any debater. Not all Lords are members of the House of Lords. But Viscounts most certainly are Lords (in the British scheme of things) and Christopher Monckton most certainly is the Third Viscount Monckton of Brenchley; and his title is; or at least was a hereditary title; earned by his grandfathter the First Viscount Monckton of Brenchley. And the hair stands up on the back of my neck any time I think about what this world would be like today; absent the contribution to history of Lord Cristopher Monckton’s Grandfather. We should all (‘mercans too) be thankful ; not only for Christopher Monckton’s contributions today; and for those of his illustrious ancestors.

ImranCan

As an earth science graduate of St. Andrews I am extremely proud that this was the first undergraduate debate (last year) to reject the AGW hypothesis. And it is absolutely fantastic to see the loss of control of the politically correct brigade in important fora such as the Oxford Union. The tide has truly turned.
I am currently busy reading Andrew Montfords (another St. Andrews grad) new book – The Hockey Stick Illusion. As well as being a damning piece of writing, it is amazing that this story makes such totally compulsive reading. It is impossible to put down …. bizarre since its a story about a graph ! I recommed anyone who hasn’t read it to get it !!!

James Sexton

@ Mike
Wow, there really must be a lot of scientists out there. If those numbers are correct and the current 31,000 scientists that signed the Oregon petition is anywhere close to being right, then there must be about 620,000 “scientists” in the U.S. alone that we’d take at their word without thinking critically. I don’t know about you, but me, I don’t believe there was a comprehensive polling of the “scientists”. You should read the methodology section at the bottom of your “poll”. 489 respondents. Could it be, that real scientists are more engaged with conducting science and less concerned about a show of hands by people that think the science is “settled”? I certainly hope so. They didn’t state how many questionnaires they sent.
Here’s something you conveniently left out of the article.
“The proportion of scientists who have a great deal of confidence in our understanding of the human-induced sources of global climate change rose from 22% in 1991 to 29% in 2007. Similarly, the proportion voicing confidence in our understanding of the archeological climate evidence rose from 20% to 32%.” …………….Uhmm,?,??,,?? Care to explain the converse? Probably not. Just sit and type, THERE’S A CONSENSUS!!!! As we starve mankind from energy and food: A man’s gotta feel good about that. “I’m helping save the world!!!!!” How many of our infirm and elderly in the U.S. alone have to die every summer and winter (having to chose between the increased cost of food and energy) before you say the cost is too high?

chris1958

The Oxford Union has an interesting record. Possibly O/T but here goes:
From Wikipedia: ‘The King and Country debate was a discussion at the Oxford Union debating society on 9 February, 1933 of the resolution: “That this House will in no circumstances fight for its King and Country”. It was passed by 275 votes to 153, and became one of the most well-known and notorious debates conducted in the Union.’
Six years later, WWII broke out,
Mother Nature is the ultimate adjudicator – Lord Monckton’s debating form will not determine whether we will get CAGW, lukewarming, or another ice age.

R. de Haan
David Davidovics

Some one PLEASE tell me this was recored on video.

chris1958,
You are making a serious error in presuming that this debate was about science. It was not. It is about politics and public perception. And the omens are not good for the purveyors of the CAGW scam.

Matt O

“Scientists agree that humans cause global warming
Ninety-seven percent of the climate scientists surveyed believe “global average temperatures have increased” during the past century.
Eighty-four percent say they personally believe human-induced warming is occurring, and 74% agree that “currently available scientific evidence” substantiates its occurrence. Only 5% believe that that human activity does not contribute to greenhouse warming; the rest are unsure.”
And any scientist would also agree that when a match has been struck in the basement of a home in Minneapolis in January that it does, in fact, warm the house. However, there is no need to dismantle the furnace…

geo

Well, as I said above, the Question was friendly to the pro-skeptic side, particularly at this point in history with a 2+ year economic crisis that is at least in the neighborhood (and is not over yet) of the Great Depression.
One could wonder how a question like “Resolved: Global Warming will be a serious threat to humanity before the end of the current century” would have come out.
One suspects that would have required entirely too much science for the audience. Also, any question that poses addressing an immediate thread vs addressing a longer-term threat inherently favors the side that wants to address the immediate threat first.
I do not mean in any way to take Lord Moncton’s laurels away –but he was probably purring like a tiger who’d just had a tummy rub over the form the Question took.

kim

Oops. I mean ‘Referees, please’.
==============

James Sexton

chris1958 says: “…….Mother Nature is the ultimate adjudicator – Lord Monckton’s debating form will not determine whether we will get CAGW, lukewarming, or another ice age.”
Neither will a computer model or an alleged show of hands by the apparent 489 scientists Mike represented as a truism. The most laughable prospect of this entire CAGW “debate” is the premise that mankind won’t be able to adapt. In my perspective, that doesn’t sit well with Darwin’s model nor with the history of mankind. Maybe he was FOS after all.

artwest

Human Person Jr says:
“The Brits are damned funny, especially when they’re not trying to be. ”
Not sure that everyone else knows exactly when we are trying to be funny.

Bill Marsh

LOL< ICECAP carried it as "Forces of Goodness and Light" 135, "Forces of Darkness'" 110
That's appropriate, I think.

artwest

To clarify, in most cultures it seems usual to signal, unconsciously or not, that you are trying to be funny, especially if you are being ironic, understated, surreal or self-deprecating and there is the possibility that you might be taken seriously. I think that’s largely true of the US, for example.
In Britain, irony, understatement, surreality and self-deprecation are just taken for granted, often not signalled, and someone not very familiar with the culture could easily be mistaken about what is or isn’t intended to be serious.

Evan Jones

Mike says:
Scientists agree that humans cause global warming
Ninety-seven percent of the climate scientists surveyed believe “global average temperatures have increased” during the past century.
Eighty-four percent say they personally believe human-induced warming is occurring, and 74% agree that “currently available scientific evidence” substantiates its occurrence. Only 5% believe that that human activity does not contribute to greenhouse warming; the rest are unsure.

Yeah, and . . . ?
Well, gosh. I believe every one of those things. So does Anthony. And so does Lord Monckton! So do the great majority of all skeptics, for that matter.

Amino Acids in Meteorites

At one point, Lord Lawson was interrupted by a US student
Had to be an American. Thanks a lot!

Amino Acids in Meteorites

….the majority of scientists believed “global warming” was a problem [she offered no evidence for this]…
They never do.

Amino Acids in Meteorites

“irreversible natural destruction” would occur if we did nothing [but she did not offer any evidence]
They never do. Unless it’s a climate model.

Michael

Moncton Rules! So does the Sun.

Amino Acids in Meteorites

….the world’s oil supplies were rapidly running out [in fact, record new finds have been made in the past five years]
And there’s plenty in Alaska.

DirkH

“netdr says:
[…]
Lysenkoism was a scientific concept that acquired traits could be passed from parent to child. We now know this cannot be true but all scientific societies in Russia at one time endorsed this flawed concept.[…]”
The funny thing is that sometimes it can, see Methylation, Paramutation, Epigenetics:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epigenetic_inheritance

Amino Acids in Meteorites

Lord Whitty sat down looking baffled.
As he should have.

Amino Acids in Meteorites

Lord Monckton, a former science advisor to Margaret Thatcher during her years as Prime Minister of the UK, concluded the case for the proposition. He drew immediate laughter and cheers when he described himself as “Christopher Walter, Third Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, scholar, philanthropist, wit, man about town, and former chairman of the Wines and Spirits Committee of this honourable Society”. At that point his cummerbund came undone. He held it up to the audience and said, “If I asked this House how long this cummerbund is, you might telephone around all the manufacturers and ask them how many cummerbunds they made, and how long each type of cummerbund was, and put the data into a computer model run by a zitty teenager eating too many doughnuts, and the computer would make an expensive guess. Or you could take a tape-measure and” – glaring at the opposition across the despatch-box – “measure it!” [cheers].
……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
He was in his element!