A detailed rebuttal to Abraham from Monckton

UPDATE: The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley thanks readers and responds to some critics of his title in an update posted below. – Anthony

UPDATE2: A new condensed version of Monckton’s rebuttal is available below

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I don’t have a dog in this fight, as this is between two people with opposing viewpoints, but I’m happy to pass on this rebuttal from Christopher Monckton, who writes:

Professor Abraham, who had widely circulated a serially mendacious 83-minute personal attack on me on the internet, has had a month to reply to my questions.

I now attach a) a press statement; b) a copy of the long letter in which I ask the Professor almost 500 questions about his unprovoked attack on me; and c) the full subsequent correspondence. I’d be most grateful if you would circulate all this material as widely as you can. The other side has had much fun at my expense: without you, I can’t get my side heard, so I’d be most grateful if you would publicize this material.

Links to both Abraham’s and Monckton’s presentations follow.

I’ll let readers be the judge.

Abraham: http://www.stthomas.edu/engineering/jpabraham/

(NOTE: He uses Adobe presenter – may not work on all browsers)

Monckton: monckton-warm-abra-qq2 (PDF)

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UPDATE: 7/13/10 6:40PM PST  In comments, the Viscount Monckton of Brenchley thanks readers and responds to some critics of his title in an update posted below. – Anthony

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From: The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley

I am most grateful to Anthony Watts for having allowed my letter asking Professor Abraham some questions to be circulated, and to so many of you for having taken the trouble to comment. I have asked a good firm of MN libel lawyers to give me a hard-headed assessment of whether I have a libel case against Abraham and his university, or whether I’m taking this too seriously.

I am charmed that so many of you are fascinated by the question whether I am a member of the House of Lords. Perhaps this is because your own Constitution denies you any orders or titles of nobility. Here is the answer I recently gave to the US House of Representatives’ Global Warming Committee on that subject:

“The House of Lords Act 1999 debarred all but 92 of the 650 Hereditary Peers, including my father, from sitting or voting, and purported to – but did not – remove membership of the Upper House. Letters Patent granting peerages, and consequently membership, are the personal gift of the Monarch. Only a specific law can annul a grant. The 1999 Act was a general law. The then Government, realizing this defect, took three maladroit steps: it wrote asking expelled Peers to return their Letters Patent (though that does not annul them); in 2009 it withdrew the passes admitting expelled Peers to the House (and implying they were members); and it told the enquiry clerks to deny they were members: but a written Parliamentary Answer by the Lord President of the Council admits that general legislation cannot annul Letters Patent, so I am The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley (as my passport shows), a member of the Upper House but without the right to sit or vote, and I have never pretended otherwise.”

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UPDATE2: A new condensed rebuttal for easier reading is here

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michaeljgardner

I don’t think I’d want Chris Monckton mad at me.

Brian D Finch

Lord Monckton is one of the finest bestowers of the literary Glasgow Kiss I have had the pleasure of reading since Hugh MacDiarmid shuffled off his mortal coil.
This is pure joy.

ZT

“A man cannot be too careful in the choice of his enemies.”

JustAddWater

I would give my [snip! – consider it given] to have even half of the flair and insight of Christopher Monckton, although that might prove problematic as he seems to have many more than two! Rebuttal? – more like a blitzkrieg, and deservedly so!

P.F.

It doesn’t appear to be happening globally, but it feels like the temperature is rising between the two camps.

Sean Peake

Did Professor Abraham just bring a knife to a gun fight?

Crispin in Waterloo

Right from the beginning, he describes Chris ‘denying that the climate is changing’. Good grief. Are we all back in kindergarten now?
Having so completely mis-characterised Chris and the skeptic community in general I knew it was going to be slanted,but I was not prepared for the deluge of misrepresentations and obfuscations that followed.
I have now listened to enough of Abraham’s comments to make me feel ill at the sound of his voice. What is clearly noticeable is the tendency to ‘mix and match’ any available quote as a ‘rebuttal’ to something Chris has said, most of the while (not all the time of course) avoiding addressing the points being made as much as possible – or simply puffing.
One has to think about the reasoning behind the attack on Chris: he must be scaring the hell out of them. That is the only conclusion I can come to. Why go to so much trouble creating such a bilge bucket of half-responses. And do not expect him to engage Chris on response. An open debate is avoided at all costs – that much is clear already from the CRU investigations. On the excuse of ‘it will give them a platform to spread misinformation’ deny all open debate.
Chris’ peer reviewed scientific paper in the American Physical Society Journal 2008 makes Abraham’s claims dubious from the start. His ‘stuff’ about the Antarctic ice sheet sweeping into the sea is by now urban legend not believe even in blue collar bars in Dixie. Any regular reader of WUWT is much better informed and able to give a more balanced report on global ice.
The word ‘hack’ was invented to describe Abraham’s type of article. It’s a hat that fits.

Steve Mucci

A wonderful rebuttal, one that will fall, Lord Monckton knows, on deaf ears.

Euan Hoosearmy

Where’s “c) the full subsequent correspondence”? Or is ” ” another copy of it?

In the very first sentence of his hit piece, John Abraham refers to himself a “Professor”.
That appears to be a deliberate misrepresentation; Abraham is listed by the university as only an associate professor.
There is a big difference between the two. Ask any real Professor.

JDN

I’ll answer one of the questions: 17)
American associate and adjunct professors are also addressed as professor. So, there is no relevance to the question.

JDN,
Which is the more accurate statement from an Associate Professor:
“I am an Associate Professor…”
“I am a Professor…”
“The question goes to the defendant’s credibility, your Honor.”

Robert

Im actually not a big fan of monckton’s response. I find it sounds a bit whiney sometimes. He should of just put together a slideshow refuting every piece of the evidence rather than complaining about being picked on and called names.

Sun Spot

@Crispin in Waterloo : I Concur (in Kitchener)

jack morrow

Another Minnesota liberal. I think some have migrated to Penn State and to Boulder Colorado.

Sean Peake: July 12, 2010 at 12:00 pm
Did Professor Abraham just bring a knife to a gun fight?
Worse. He brought a plastic spoon.

Robert

“Any regular reader of WUWT is much better informed and able to give a more balanced report on global ice.”
Lets hear your “report” on global ice then? I would be especially interested to find out about what’s going on with Pine Island Glacier, Totten Glacier, Cook Glacier, Thwaites Glacier etc… ? I think WUWT readers are able to converse pretty well with regards to sea ice, but land ice is not a specialty of the proprietors of this site so there’s no need to make false statements. I think Goddard’s completely refuted attempt to discern Grace mass trends was evidence of that.

Enneagram

I think Lord Christopher Monckton is too condescendent to dig in such abyss of ignorance where global warming believers inhabit; such an imaginary realm it is only a product of a strange opposition of planets, which alter the concience, if any, of hideous creatures.
Though he deserves our admiration, he is surely stirring a killer bee hive, in a kind of surrealistic dive into a nightmare world of cataclysms and armageddons or into the horrendous smell of anaerobic creatures living in sewages.

Enneagram

To put it in a sentence:
What nature does not give, Salamanca does not lend
Translated: What you don’t have at birth, no university can lend it to you.

JDN

Answer to question 456) Ice can accumulate at the top of an ice sheet and melt at the bottom even with a net loss of ice. I’m not saying this happened, but, it could. The answer may not prove anything.

Christoph

“I don’t have a dog in this fight.”

Very wise, Andrew.

Bill Tuttle says at 12:21 pm:
“Worse. He brought a plastic spoon.”
I have it on good authority that Assistant Professors are allowed to use sporks.

JDN

Smokey says:
July 12, 2010 at 12:19 pm
Seriously, we call them all professors around here and only worry about the variations when they have to serve on committees, produce a CV, or ask for tenure. Associate professors frequently outproduce tenured full professors because of their desire for tenure. I’m saying that Monckton is beating him up over nothing.

Curt

Smokey, JDN:
In American colleges and universities, the full-time faculty consists of assistant, associate, and (full) professors. The big step is from assistant to associate professor, becuase assistant professors are not tenured, and associate professors are. The step from associate to full professor, if it comes at all, comes much later, and at most colleges, the decision on this promotion is a mystery to anyone outside the Faculty Senate. But outside of the faculty itself, no one cares about the distinction between associate and full professor.

Liam

Weird, on paper I have similar education and qualifications to Prof Abraham, both PhDs, both Engineers specialising in energy/thermodynamics. Somehow he is a true believer and crusading for AGW, while I am still looking for convincing evidence.

richard telford

Is it not slightly ironic that Monckton is so keen that Abraham follows his version of standard academic practice, and demands $10,000 from Abraham. This is definitely a novel interpretation of standard academic practice, and might appear as an attempt to intimidate a critic into silence. Not that a Peer of the Realm would stoop so low of course.

Enneagram

Those who lack a sense of humour usually die in unpleasant ways.
Those who consider themselves as sages usually die as donkeys.
It is a very, very curious fact, that all GWrs. lack the sense of humour.

JDN,
If that is the rule, then why is Abraham listed as “Associate Professor,” rather than as “Professor”? In casual conversation you may be right. But Abraham’s hit piece was anything but casual, and he began right off by misrepresenting his own position.
Face it, Abraham is self-aggrandizing. Besides, Monckton only asked him the question; he made no assertion and drew no conclusion. It is up to Abraham to set the record straight. Do you think he will man-up and make the necessary correction?
The central problem is that before he published, Abraham should have done some fact checking with Lord Monckton. Instead, he made a lot of provably wrong assumptions — and now Monckton is making a monkey out of him.
I call for a public debate at the university between Lord Monckton and Associate Professor John Abraham. Do you think Abraham has the stones to accept such a challenge?
I don’t.
REPLY: The issue of associate/full professor is a side issue. Concentrate on the content – Anthony

Jason Bair

I can say I listened to and read both of these. I certainly hope that Abraham will comply, but I’m doubtful he will.

Fred

So some unknown Professor from an unheralded Faculty at a backwater university tries to earn his progressive chops with the ohhhh soooo progressive crowd and in actuality gets a giant new bung whole the size of an Al Gore eco-grifter’s bank account ripped into him as a result.
Professor Abraham is a prime example of what is wrong with modern university educators who substitute their religious/belief system of dogma into the curriculum and call it science.
One can only hope the good professor will slink back into the hole he came from. One can also hope his students take him to task for his juvenile diatribe and further expand the gaping bung hole “Chris” ripped into him already.
And wait until the lawyers get on him . . . his career is toast.
Do you prefer butter or jam Professor Abraham?

richard telford

“359: Had I not made it explicit earlier in my talk that sea level was rising at about 1 ft/year?”
Run for the hills!

jeef

Handbags at dawn.

Christoph

The first 3 pages are good. Still reading.
But I question whether putting 500 or so back to back questions was the best way to format this. Anyway, when I get to the all important “last” question, I may revise my position on that.
So far, and obviously I’ve just started, the most damning thing to me from a social, not scientific, perspective is Abraham behaved like a weaselly little worm by not contacting Monckton first. I’m sure Monckton’s questions will cover more than this.
I’m hoping they go behind challenging Abraham on his varying points of weasel-like behaviour, and get into defending the science, and addressing any serious questions or criticisms Abraham brought up.
I was somewhat impressed by Abraham’s presentation, but not by Abraham’s failure to give Monckton a timely chance to respond to this attack on his reputation in advance. That, of course, undermines my confidence in Abraham’s presentation.

Richard

Has someone got a link to the original presentation from Lord Monckton that “Professor” Abraham was commenting on?

Breckite

Logic is dead. Long live logic!

Christoph

Weird, on paper I have similar education and qualifications to Prof Abraham,”

I know two people who, on paper, are chefs, and one can cook and the other can’t. Not well, anyway.

David, UK

Jeeeeeeez!!!!! I started out willing to give Abraham a fair hearing – but he even starts his presentation with the baseless assertion that CM is a (quote) “denier of climate change”! Whenever anyone uses such a STUPID term, I find it very hard to have any respect for them. When a person calling themselves a “scientist” or a “professor” uses such terminology, I find it almost impossible to see any credibility in them.
The degree to which Abraham’s assertions are UNSCIENTIFIC beggars belief. How he lamely thinks he can counter CM’s evidence with – ahem – predictions! So we see, according to Abraham, CM was somehow wrong to cite the established fact that those four dead Polar Bears were not victims of “climate change” – apparently CM was wrong simply because it is predicted that there will be more Polar Bear deaths in the future due to climate change! What sort of remedial non-argument is that?!!!
And the equally lame attempt at countering Monckton’s assertion that ice in that particular area had grown very slightly in the last 20+ years. Abraham’s response was to cite a single anecdotal observation of melted ice!!! Dirr??!!! This man calls himself a professor?
And all that cheap talk about not being able to find CM’s sources – but not actually bothering to even request them? Anyone with any sense knows that is the very first thing you should do – request it (you know, Prof Abraham, like the Steve McIntyre requesting data from the CRU).
I could go on. If my blood is boiling, then Lord CM’s blood must be evaporating through his ears. Surely there are grounds for suing Abraham, for misrepresentation of CM’s views and defamation of character?
Lord Monckton, I am sure you are reading these comments. You have my total and unreserved respect.

Smokey says:
July 12, 2010 at 12:13 pm
Just as the commander of any floating craft is a “captain”, even if his rank is ensign, a teacher in a college or university is entitled to the honorific “professor”. My rank, for pay and other purposes is “Adjunct Instructor”. The accounting department can call me what they like… for all other purposes, I can, and will, be addressed as “Professor”.

Phil Clarke

It is a very, very curious fact, that all GWrs. lack the sense of humour.
Oh, I dunno. Only read a few pages and already in stitches. So far my fave is the bit where, to refute the allegation that he left his audience with the idea that the world was cooling Monckton says the world has been cooling since 2001, second fave – to refute the idea that he might have hinted that sea levels are not rising he says that er, there had been little or no sea-level rise for four years.
And black is really white. ROFL!

Scott Basinger

TL:DR. 🙂

John McManus

If the good professer just answered NO 488 times he would be correct within the 95% that Phil Jones adheres to.

pat

revkin has lots of (anxious) links in his updates below, relating to this IPCC attempt to control the message. btw, having just read the first link, which simply directed u to the revkin page, but had plenty of sceptic response in the comments, i find the first link now shows up nothing except the url:
11 July: NYT: Climate Panel Urges “Distance” from Reporters
http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/07/11/climate-panel-urges-distance-from-reporters/
10 July: NYT DotEarth: Andrew C. Revkin: Climate Panel Struggles With Media Plan
[July 12, 1:01 p.m. | Updated There are nice posts on the panel’s communication efforts by Bryan Walsh at Time Magazine and Kate Mackenzie at the Financial Times.][3:37 p.m. | Updated At the bottom of this post I’ve linked to a three-page “media backgrounder” that the climate panel sent to assessment authors on Saturday. It’s fascinating reading.] …
But any instinct to pull back after being burned by the news process is mistaken, to my mind….
When I was sent a copy of the letter Friday morning by another climate researcher, I immediately forwarded it to Rajendra K. Pachauri…
Friday night, Pachauri sent this response (ascribing the delay to the time different in India, where he lives):
My advice to the authors on responding to the media is only in respect of queries regarding the I.P.C.C. Some of them are new to the I.P.C.C., and we would not want them to provide uninformed responses or opinions. We now have in place a structure and a system in the I.P.C.C. for outreach and communications with the outside world.
The I.P.C.C. authors are not employed by the I.P.C.C., and hence they are free to deal with the media on their own avocations and the organizations they are employed by. But they should desist at this stage on speaking on behalf of the I.P.C.C.
I sent this followup question (e-mail shorthand is cleaned up a bit): ….
I sent Pachauri’s response to Edward Carr to get his reaction, and here it is:…
3:37 p.m. | Updated Here’s a link to the “Background and Tips for Responding to Media” sheet sent to climate assessment authors. It was produced for the intergovernmental panel by Resource Media, a nonprofit communication consultancy that in 2007 created a Web site explaining the panel’s last set of reports.
http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/07/10/climate-panel-struggles-with-media-plan/?emc=eta1

Enneagram

So, perhaps he took it too seriously, perhaps imagining he was descending from Mount Tabor with The Ten Commandments….and found such a lot of non believers 🙂

Enneagram

…Descending from Mount UN with its Agenda 21 🙂

Phillip Bratby

Liam says:
July 12, 2010 at 12:45 pm
“Weird, on paper I have similar education and qualifications to Prof Abraham, both PhDs, both Engineers specialising in energy/thermodynamics. Somehow he is a true believer and crusading for AGW, while I am still looking for convincing evidence.”
Almost the same for me:
On paper I have similar education and qualifications to Prof Abraham, both PhDs, but I’m a physicist rather than an engineer specialising in energy/thermodynamics. Somehow he is a true believer and crusading for AGW, while I am still looking for convincing evidence.

jaypan

Almost exactly one year ago was the day I’ve found WUWT. Still have the “Real Climate gives reason to cheer…” post as bookmark.
This year was so educating and entertaining … and now this piece.
WUWT is my preferred reading, more than once daily, and I am checking links to the “dark side” as well, what I did some weeks ago with Abraham. But nor fo long, because from the beginning it was just primitive and cheap.
So the more I had a lot, and I mean A LOT, of fun today.
Very appropriate response to a most inappropriate acting individual.
Anthony, Lord Monckton et al, keep going and thank you.

David, UK

richard telford says:
July 12, 2010 at 12:48 pm
Is it not slightly ironic that Monckton is so keen that Abraham follows his version of standard academic practice, and demands $10,000 from Abraham. This is definitely a novel interpretation of standard academic practice, and might appear as an attempt to intimidate a critic into silence.

Into silence: no. Into sticking to the verifiable facts: YES.

David T. Bronzich

Sean Peake says:
July 12, 2010 at 12:00 pm
Did Professor Abraham just bring a knife to a gun fight?
No, it actually was a gun, quite large as well. It would been a little more impressive if it hadn’t been bright orange, with lime green trim and half filled with water, but still, personal decisions being as they are….

trbixler

A mealy mouthed hatchet job just got blown out of the water. I hope Lord Monckton follows up on the monetary side as these AGWrs need to return some of the money that has been misappropriated from tax payers.

Can’t we just ask for the Al Gore Warm CO2 blanket to be pointed out? In a sane world, it’s absence would be the end of the hoaxers argument. They have yet to produce one GCM which does not reference the need for this non-existent feature of the equatorial atmosphere.
I assume it would be too much for people to ask for proof that doesn’t involve arm waving and name calling.