Monckton responds to Skeptical Science

Cooking the books

By Christopher Monckton of Brenchley

Mr. John Cook, who runs a website puzzlingly entitled Skeptical Science” (for he is not in the least sceptical of the “official” position) seems annoyed that I won the 2011 televised debate with Dr. Denniss of the Australia Institute, and has published a commentary on what I said. It has been suggested that I should reply to the commentary. So, seriatim, I shall consider the points made. Mr. Cook’s comments are in Roman face: my replies are in bold face. Since Mr. Cook accuses me of lying, I have asked him to be good enough to make sure that this reply to his commentary is posted on his website in the interest of balance.

Chaotic climate

Cook: “Monckton launched his Gish Gallop by arguing that climate cannot be predicted in the long-term because it’s too chaotic because, [Monckton says],

‘the climate is chaotic…it is not predictable in the long-term…they [the IPCC] say that the climate is a coupled, non-linear, chaotic object, and that therefore the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible.’

… It’s really quite self-evident that Monckton’s statement here is incorrect.”

Reply: Paragraph 5 section  14.2.2.2 of the IPCC’s 2007 AR4 TAR report says:

In sum, a strategy must recognise what is possible. In climate research and modelling, we should recognise that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible.” 

My quotation from the IPCC, given from memory, was in substance accurate. Here and throughout, I shall ignore Mr. Cook’s numerous, disfiguring, ad-hominem comments.

Consensus

Cook: “Monckton proceeds to demonstrate his confusion about the causal relationship between science and consensus: [he says: ‘the idea that you decide any scientific question by mere consensus [is incorrect].’ … He suggests that somehow climate science is done by first creating a consensus when in reality the consensus exists because the scientific evidence supporting the anthropogenic global warming theory is so strong.”

Reply: This seems a quibble. Dr. Denniss had said he was satisfied with the science because there was a consensus. He had appealed repeatedly to consensus. Yet in the Aristotelian canon the argumentum ad populum, or headcount fallacy, is rightly regarded as unacceptable because the consensus view – and whatever “science” the consensus opinion is founded upon – may or may not be correct, and the mere fact that there is a consensus tells us nothing about the correctness of the consensus opinion or of the rationale behind that opinion.

Adding carbon dioxide to an atmosphere will cause warming, but we need not (and should not) plead “consensus” in aid of that notion: for it is a result long proven by experiment, and has no need of “consensus” to sanctify it. However, the real scientific debate is about how much warming extra CO2 in the air will cause. There is no “consensus” on that; and, even if there were, science is not done by consensus.

Mediaeval warm period

Cook: “Every single peer-reviewed millennial temperature reconstruction agrees that current temperatures are hotter than during the peak of the [Mediaeval Warm Period]. …

Reply: At www.co2science.org, Dr. Craig Idso maintains a database of papers by more than 1000 scientists from more than 400 institutions in more than 40 countries providing evidence that the medieval warm period was real, was global, and was generally warmer than the present, sometimes by as much as 3-4 C°. Many of these papers provide millennial reconstructions.

Cook: “The climate scientists involved in creating those first millennial proxy temperature reconstructions are not under criminal investigation.”

Reply: The Attorney-General of the Commonwealth of Virginia, Mr. Cuccinelli, issued a press statement on May 28, 2010, repeating an earlier statement that –

The revelations of Climategate indicate that some climate data may have been deliberately manipulated to arrive at pre-set conclusions. The use of manipulated data to apply for taxpayer-funded research grants in Virginia is potentially fraud. … This is a fraud investigation.”

Fraud, in the Commonwealth of Virginia as in most jurisdictions, is a criminal offence. The Attorney-General’s investigation is being conducted in terms of the Fraud Against Taxpayers Act 2000.

Is there a human fingerprint?

Cook: “The scientific literature at the time [of the 1995 Second Assessment Report of the IPCC] clearly demonstrated a number of ‘fingerprints’ of human-caused global warming.”

Reply: The scientists’ final draft of the 1995 Report said plainly, on five separate occasions, that no evidence of an anthropogenic influence on global climate was detectable, and that it was not known when such an influence would become evident.

However, a single scientist, Dr. Ben Santer of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, rewrote the draft at the IPCC’s request, deleting all five statements, replacing them with a single statement to the effect that a human influence on global climate was now discernible, and making some 200 consequential amendments.

These changes were considered by a political contact group, but they were not referred back to the vast majority of the authors whose texts Dr. Santer had tampered with, and whose five-times-stated principal conclusion he had single-handedly and unjustifiably negated.

We now have the evidence of Prof. “Phil” Jones of the University of East Anglia, in one of the recently-released Climategate emails, that the warming of the past century falls well within the natural variability of the climate – consistent with the conclusion that Dr. Santer had negated.

The IPCC’s fraudulent statistical technique

Cook: “Monckton proceeds to make another bizarre claim about the IPCC reports which we’ve never heard before: that they use a ‘fraudulent statistical technique’ to inflate global warming’ … As long as the claim sounds like it could be true, the audience likely cannot determine the difference between a fact and a lie.”

Reply: Mr. Cook is here accusing me of lying. Yet my email address is well enough known and Mr. Cook could have asked me for my evidence for the fraudulent statistical technique before he decided to call me a liar. He did not do so. Like the hapless Professor Abraham, he did not bother to check the facts with me before making his malevolent and, as I shall now show, baseless accusation.

The IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report, 2007, carries in three places a graph in which the Hadley Center’s global mean surface temperature anomaly dataset from 1850-2005 is displayed with four arbitrarily-chosen trend-lines overlaid upon it. At each place where the altered graph is displayed, the incorrect conclusion is drawn that because trend-lines starting closer to the present have a steeper slope than those starting farther back, the rate of warming is accelerating and that we are to blame.

I wrote both to Railroad Engineer Pachauri (in 2009) and to a lead author of the 2007 report (in 2011), and visited both of them in person, to report this defective graph. They both refused to have it corrected, though neither was able to argue that the technique was appropriate. I have now had the data anonymized and reviewed by a statistician, who has confirmed that the technique is unacceptable. In the circumstances, the refusal of the two senior IPCC figures to correct the error constitutes fraud and, when the statistician has been shown the context of the data that he saw in an anonymized form, the police authorities in the relevant nations will be notified and prosecution sought.

Climate sensitivity

Cook: “Where Monckton gets this claim that the Australian government’s central climate sensitivity estimate to doubled CO2 is 5.1 C° is a complete mystery.

Reply: The “mystery” could and should have been cleared up by Mr. Cook simply asking me. The estimate is that of Professor Ross Garnaut, the Australian Government’s economic adviser on climate questions. It is on that figure that his economic analysis – accepted by the Australian Government – centres.

Cook: “Monckton also repeats a myth … that most climate sensitivity estimates are based on models, and those few which are based on observations arrive at lower estimates. The only study which matches Monckton’s description is the immensely-flawed Lindzen and Choi (2009).”

Reply: I am not sure what qualifications Mr. Cook has to find Professor Lindzen’s work “immensely flawed”. However, among the numerous papers that find climate sensitivity low are Douglass et al. (2004, 2007) and Coleman & Thorne (2005), who reported the absence of the projected fingerprint of anthropogenic greenhouse-gas warming in the tropical mid-troposphere; Douglass & Christy (2009), who found the overall feedback gain in the climate system to be somewhat net-negative; Wentz et al. (2007), who found that the rate of evaporation from the Earth’s surface with warming rose thrice as fast as the models predicted, implying climate-sensitivity is overstated threefold in the models; Shaviv (2005, 2011), who found that if the cosmic-ray influence on climate were factored into palaeoclimate reconstructions the climate sensitivities cohered at 1-1.7 C° per CO2 doubling, one-half to one-third of the IPCC’s central estimate; Paltridge et al. (2009), who found that additional water vapor at altitude (caused by warming) tends to subside to lower altitudes, allowing radiation to escape to space much as before and greatly reducing the water vapor feedback implicit in a naïve application of the Clausius-Clapeyron relation; Spencer and Braswell (2010, 2011), who found the cloud feedback as strongly negative as the IPCC finds it positive, explicitly confirming Lindzen & Choi’s estimated climate sensitivity; Loehle & Scafetta (2011), who followed Tsonis et al. (2006) in finding that much of the warming of the period 1976-2001 was caused not by us but by the natural cycles in the climate system, notably the great ocean oscillations; etc., etc.

Cook: “Monckton at various times has claimed that climate sensitivity to doubled CO2 is anywhere between 0.2 and 1.6 C°.”

Reply: I have indeed done climate sensitivity estimates by a variety of methods, and those methods tend to cohere at a low sensitivity. The IPCC at various times has claimed that a central estimate of climate sensitivity is 3.8 C° (1995); 3.5 C° (2001); and 3.26 C° (2007); and its range of estimates of 21st-century warming in the 2007 report is 1.1-6.4 C°. Ranges of estimates are usual where it is not possible to derive an exact value.

Carbon pricing economics

Cook: “Monckton employs the common ‘skeptic’ trick of focusing on the costs of carbon pricing while completely ignoring the benefits.”

Reply: On the contrary: my analysis, presented in detail at the Los Alamos Santa Fe climate conference in 2011, explicitly calculates the costs of taxing, trading, regulating, reducing, or replacing CO2 and sets against the costs the cost of not preventing the quantum of “global warming” that will be reduced this century as a result of the “investment”. Yet again, if Mr. Cook had bothered to check I could have sent him my slides and the underlying paper.

Cook: “Economic studies consistently predict that the benefits [of carbon dioxide control] will outweigh the costs several times over.”

Reply: No, they don’t. True, the Stern and Garnaut reports – neither of them peer-reviewed – came to this conclusion by questionable methods, including the use of an absurdly low inter-temporal discount rate. However, if one were permitted to use the word “consensus”, one would have to point out that the overwhelming majority of economic studies on the subject (which are summarized in my paper) find the cost of climate action greatly exceeds the cost of inaction. Indeed, two review papers – Lomborg (2007) and Tol (2009) – found near-unanimity on this point in the peer-reviewed literature. Cook is here forced back on to the argument from consensus, citing only an opinion survey of “economists with climate expertise”. However, he does not say how many were interviewed, how they were selected, what weightings and other methods were used: and, in any event, the study was not peer-reviewed. Science is not, repeat not, repeat not done by opinion surveys or any form of head-count.

Abrupt warming

Cook: “Monckton proceeds to claim that abrupt climate change simply does not happen:

‘Ask the question how in science there could be any chance that the rate of just roughly 1 C° per century of warming that has been occurring could suddenly become roughly 5 C° per century as it were overnight. There is no physical basis in science for any such sudden lurch in what has proven to be an immensely stable climate.’

The paleoclimate record begs to differ. A stable climate is the exception, not the norm, at least over long timescales.”

Reply: Mr. Cook displays a graph of temperature changes over the past 450,000 years. At the resolution of the graph, and at the resolution of the proxy reconstructions on which it was based, it would be quite impossible to detect or display a 5 C° warming over a period of as little as a century.

Global temperatures have indeed remained stable over the past 100 million years, varying by just 3% either side of the long-term mean. That 3% is around 8 C° up or down compared with today, and it is enough to give us a hothouse Earth at the high end and an ice age at the low end.

However, very extreme temperature change can only happen in a very short time when conditions are very different from what they are today. For instance, at the end of the Younger Dryas cooling event, 11,400 years ago, temperature in Antarctica rose by 5 C° in just three years, according to the ice cores (which, over that recent period, still have sufficient resolution to allow determination of annual temperatures). No such lurch in temperatures has happened since, and none is reasonably foreseeable.

We now have confirmation from the UK Met Office that there has been no “global warming” to speak of for 15 years. That is hardly the profile of an imminent 5 C° increase in global temperature. Bottom line: a stable climate is the rule, not the exception: and nothing that we can do to alter the climate can cause a major change such as that which terminates ice ages. Remember Canute: our power is limited.

Human influence on the climate

Cook: “There has never before been a large human influence on the climate, so why should we expect it to behave exactly as it has in the past when only natural effects were at work?”

Reply: I did not say that the climate will behave “exactly” as it has in the past. We are capable of exerting some influence over it, but not very much. The notion that we can exercise a large influence is based on the mistaken idea that the initial warming from a doubling of CO2 concentration (which might be about 1 K) will be tripled by net-positive temperature feedbacks. This unfortunate assumption is what truly separates the IPCC from scientific reality. The IPCC makes the mistake of assuming that the feedback mathematics that apply to an electronic circuit (Bode, 1945) are also applicable to the climate. In two very important respects that the models are tuned to overlook, this is not so. First, precisely because the climate has proven temperature-stable, we may legitimately infer that major amplifications or attenuations caused by feedbacks have simply not been occurring.

Secondly, the Bode equation for mutual amplification of feedbacks in an electronic circuit has a singularity (just above the maximum temperature predicted by the Stern report, for instance, or by Murphy et al., 2009) at which the very strongly net-positive feedbacks that reinforce warming suddenly become just as strongly net-negative, dampening it. I have not yet heard of a convincing physical explanation for any such proposed behaviour as applied to the climate. But if we must use the Bode equation then it necessarily follows from the climate’s formidable temperature-stability that the feedback loop gain in the climate system is either zero or somewhat net-negative. A climate subject to the very strongly net-positive feedbacks imagined by the IPCC simply would not have remained as stable as it has.

Has Earth warmed as expected?

Cook: “Monckton … repeats … that Earth hasn’t warmed as much as expected … [He says} ‘If we go back to 1750 … using the Central England Temperature Record as a proxy for global temperatures … we’ve had 0.9 C° of warming …’. It should go without saying that the temperature record for a single geographic location cannot be an accurate proxy for average global temperature.”

Reply: Central England is at a latitude suitable to take the long-run temperature record as a fair proxy for global temperatures. However, if Mr. Cook were unhappy with that, he could and should have contacted me to ask for an independent verification of the 0.9 C° warming since 1750. Hansen (1984) found 0.5 C° of warming had occurred until that year, and there has been 0.4 C° of warming since, making 0.9 C°. Indeed, in another article on Mr. Cook’s website he himself uses a value of 0.8 C° in the context of a discussion of warming since 1970.

The significance, of course, is that the radiative forcings we have caused since 1750 are equivalent to those from a doubling of CO2 concentration, suggesting that the transient sensitivity to CO2 doubling is around 1 C°.

Cook: “… Human aerosol emissions, which have a cooling effect, have also increased over this period. And while 3 C° is the IPCC’s best estimate for equilibrium climate sensitivity, the climate system is not yet in equilibrium. Neglecting these two factors (aerosols and thermal inertia of the global climate), as Monckton and Lindzen have done, will certainly give you an underestimate of equilibrium sensitivity, by a large margin. This is how Monckton supports his lowball climate sensitivity claim – by neglecting two important climate factors.”

Reply: Once again, Mr. Cook has failed to check his facts with me. Of course my calculations include the effect of aerosols (which, however, is by no means as certain in its magnitude as Mr. Cook seems to think). And of course I have not ignored temperature feedbacks (which Mr. Cook mistakenly confuses with “the thermal inertia of the global climate”: actually, it is I who have been arguing that there is considerable homoeostasis in global temperatures, and he who had earlier been arguing that global climate was not stable). If I am right about temperature feedbacks (see above), then the equilibrium sensitivity will be about the same as the transient sensitivity – around 1 C°. And that, on most analyses, would actually be beneficial.

Cook: “The warming over the past 60 years is consistent with the IPCC climate sensitivity range and inconsistent with Lindzen and Monckton’s lowball climate sensitivity claims. Monckton claims the observational data supports his low sensitivity claims – reality is that observational data contradicts them.”

Reply: Warming from 1950 to date was 0.7 C°. Net forcings since 1950 were 1.8 Watts per square meter, using the functions given in Myhre (1998) for the major greenhouse gases and making due allowance for aerosols and other negative anthropogenic forcings. The transient climate-sensitivity parameter over the period was thus 0.4 Celsius degrees per Watt per square meter, consistent with the 0.5 derivable from Table 10.26 on page 803 of IPCC (2007) on each of the IPCC’s six emissions scenarios. In that event, the transient warming in response to a doubling of CO2 concentration over the present century would be 0.4(5.35 ln 2) = 1 C°, again using a function from Myhre (1998). Interestingly, the IPCC’s implicit central estimate of warming from CO2 this century is only 50% above this estimate, at 1.5 C°.

In short, even if the IPCC is right about the warming this century from CO2, that warming is simply not going to be enough to cause damage.

Lying

Cook: “Monckton spent almost the entire debate misrepresenting the scientific (and economic) literature at best, lying at worst.”

Reply: Now that readers have had a chance to hear both sides, they will be able to form a view on who was lying and who was not.

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And the walls came tumbling down…I have always enjoyed your blog. Why? You counter accusations with logic and noise with actual facts and numbers. Is it any wonder why you won in 2011? Keep it up!!!

John

Anthony – I think it is time you provide some examples about the nature of consensus.
For example you could ask the following questions –
To prisoners – ask if they think they should be allowed to leave prison regardless of their crime?
To a class of High schoolers as them if they think the school day/week should be shorter?
To a class of 1st graders ask them if they would like candy for lunch everyday.
etc. I am sure you could acheive a 97% consesus on those questions…Just a matter of who you ask and what the vested interests are.

WRT the graph claiming to show acceleration; by coincidence, George Monbiot has been shilling an “Escalator” graph which claims to show the “skeptical” viewpoint:
http://www.skepticalscience.com/graphics.php?g=47
I have challenged him to show where any noted (or minor) skeptic has created that graph which is, I’m certain, a strawman created for the purpose of misleading people about claims that skeptics actually make,
However I presume the graph CM refers to is this one beauty that I had cause to search out in my reply to George :
http://blogs.ei.columbia.edu/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/graph-2-600×422.jpg
IPCC, Fourth Assessment Report, FAQ 3.1, Figure 1 (WG1, Ch 3, p. 253

Cristopher, you were multi-slandered, no doubt.

Mr. Cook appears to have brought a table knife to a gun fight. 🙂

Who is lying ???
Easy to tell !!!
Anyone citing “IPCC”
Nice work again Lord M.

Wonderful rebuttal! I do enjoy lord Monckton’s writing style.

Well said! Please, Lord Monckton, take some of these guys to court. There is surely a limit to overlooking the sins of others.

R Barker

QED

Henry Galt

Pearls before swine.
Under normal circumstances I would warn off anyone from visiting SS and especially recommend that anything read there be taken at face value or, Heaven forfend, quoted elsewhere.
But, accused of lying? I would do as Christopher did, at least. If I had a budget I would sue also.

BargHumer

Surely this questions the guys competence to debate in the first place. Rather than lying it looks as though he was just incompetent and should not have been attempting such a debate.

If it weren’t for argumentum ad hominem, argumentum ad populum and argumentum ad verecundiam.they’d have no argumentum at all.

Bob B

Thank you Lord Monckton,
You are providing a tremendous service to humanity by keeping the pressure up CAGW alarmists ,and you are quite good at listing the facts, knowns and unknowns of climate science. My hope is that the continued pressure from all sources will eventually be able to turn the tide and stop the insanity of regulations and of spending useless billions of dollars on a non-problem. We can then turn to providing low cost “carbon” based energy to humanity which will benifit all of mankind.

Steve Richards

A good argument as always!
Thank you Christopher M.

richard verney

Having read the response but having not considered it at length, my immediate impression is that it sets out good justification of the reasons why Lord Monckton expresses the views that he so eloquently expresses. That said, many of his remarks refer to ‘evidence’ / ‘authority; not clearly cited. It would be preferable for links to the underlying authority are provided.
I have not read all the Climategate emails but I am unaware of the particular email referred to below and I would certainly like to read it and consider its comments and context:
” We now have the evidence of Prof. “Phil” Jones of the University of East Anglia, in one of the recently-released Climategate emails, that the warming of the past century falls well within the natural variability of the climate…”

Jack DuBrul

Bravo, sir!

Owen in GA

But obviously you listened only to those heretical scientists that don’t believe in CAGW, you know people like Hansen. Wait that isn’t right…now to get my tongue out from my cheek…I think it may be stuck.
Good rebuttal

David L

Wow. Monckton schools. What’s sad is the warmists don’t even seem to recognize that they lose all debates, especially with Monckton. If they did learn they might actually get better at the debate and maybe increase their chances of winning rather than whining. However, since they are trying to defend a false proposition, they should lose the debate every time.

Bloke down the pub

A pity my Lord that you do not currently occupy a seat in the other place. Earlier on today there was a job going in Government that would suit you down to the ground.

Doug Danhoff

It’s very obvious that Cook has proven that he is not familiar with the actual data presented by the alarmists, or that presented by skeptics of the IPCC process. Or could it be that he is intentionally obfuscating this debate? Tell me thats not true John!

Climate Watcher

I liked to engage ‘Skeptical Science’, sometimes more than the fine WUWT because I like the challenge of my beliefs and to avoid the modern ‘echo chamber’ phenomenon of seeking out only info which supports one’s beliefs.
I saw the ‘unreliable’ label (and agreed) but only recently came to the Orwellian world of the SS ‘mods’ (censors).
When I posted there recently, in a civil manner, information which contradicts the dogma, I engaged a number of other posters there.
Upon re-viewing the site a day later, not only were all the posts I had made removed ( and the post counts re-numbered ) any post that other posters had made which quoted or referred to my posts ( all in opposition ) were also removed – as if they had never existed!
Evidently I am now banned from SS.
While the blog can do as they choose, clearly it is not a place for free expression, nor a venue for the exchange of ideas and data. It is an echo chamber of the worst kind with an active filter to remove undesired echoes.
I highly recommend that WUWT remove ‘Skeptical Science’ from its blog roll – SS adds nothing to honest education about climate and the effect of radiative gasses.
BTW, the offending posts at SS were simply this observation that observed trends are all lower than the IPCC:
http://climatewatcher.blogspot.com/2012_02_01_archive.html#4077815931340751130

Bill Marsh

Very interesting. I’m surprised he didn’t roll out the ‘Monckton’ isn’t a Lord as well.
Do you have an estimate of the probability that Mr. Cook will post your reply?

Colin Porter

The very title “Skeptical Science” of Cook’s web site is designed to deceive and is itself a lie.

Ed Reid says:
February 3, 2012 at 5:22 am
Mr. Cook appears to have brought a table knife to a gun fight. 🙂

And, he backed into it at that!
🙂

John Marshall

This man stood no chance.
But we are still confused about the science. Claims that doubling atmospheric CO2 will cause any temperature rise is confounded by all the ice core research which plainly demonstrates that temperature rises cause parallel rises in atmospheric CO2 as the oceans degas due to the higher temperatures. The delay between max temperature and the later max CO2 is 800-1500 years.
There are also the problems with the theory of the Greenhouse Effect. It is again claimed that radiated IR from the surface is adsorbed by the atmospheric CO2 which stores this heat and then re-radiates it from its place in the mid troposphere. Firstly heat cannot be stored. Any heat gained must be simultaneously be shared with the surroundings, ie, the CO2 will share its new heat with the other molecules it shares the atmosphere with. The re-radiated heat that increases surface heat is a problem insofar as the mid/upper troposphere is far colder than the surface and heat cannot flow up gradient, or from cold to hot,otherwise you could make a Perpetual Motion Machine. The 2nd law of thermodynamics is quite explicit in this, entropy must increase. If heat did flow up gradient then entropy would decrease. So presuming that the use of the Black Body SB equation is correct, another problem, then another mechanism for the extra heat must be found and adiabatic compression would fit the bill and certainly does not conflict with any thermodynamics laws and is clearly demonstrated by planetary atmospheres of the gas giants down to the running of a diesel engine.

Good, show the world what John Cook is.

mark wagner

What’s the … uhm… “consensus” on whether or not Mr. Cook will actually publish this rebuttal, in full, on his website?

David

What puzzles me is this. Cook et al are very fond of saying: ‘Lord Monckton says this and that..’ to which you, your Lordship, equally frequently have to respond: ‘If they wanted the answer they only have to e-mail me…’
Surely these critics are simply ‘afraid’ of the response – because it would demolish their argument. Much better (in their view) to get the accusation out in the public domain. To quote the analogy: ‘A lie can travel round the world before the truth has got its boots on..’
Time for some meaty slander charges…

Kelvin Vaughan

If CO2 backradiated infrared there would not be a hole in the earthbound electromagnetic spectrum where that infrared should be!
If you can’t see it it is not there!

Agnostic

Very impressive rebuttal. Even tempered and with an appropriate tone.

nofreewind

>>>“Monckton employs the common ‘skeptic’ trick of focusing on the costs of carbon pricing while completely ignoring the benefits.”
Cost is a definitive factor. It costs what it costs. The reason alternative energy costs more is because it take more energy to create that energy, meaning it is inefficient and wasteful of resources. For instance, most solar plants cost out at about 40 cents/kWhr (minimum) over their lifetime when compared to about 8 cents/kWhr generation costs in the US. Sure, there is no oil/coal/gas at a solar plant, but multiples of that 8 cents was use to create the solar panels. When creating “energy”, the cost to create that energy is the defining factor of whether it is green or not. These people have it all backward!

Patrick Davis

It’s late, not sure if already been mentioned however, you should check out the Skeptical Science facebook page. A real hoot if you ask me!

Scott Covert

Very well argued Sir. M=1 C=-1

“Since Mr. Cook accuses me of lying, I have asked him to be good enough to make sure that this reply to his commentary is posted on his website in the interest of balance.”
Not a chance in hell! I’ve just been on Cook’s site and his slanderous comments have already been forgotten. He is currently using the latest NASA GISS (alias Jim Hansen) STA plot that shows the Arctic is on fire. Not surprising, considering that the “data” is based on only 3 sites inside/near the Arctic Circle! He also fails to point out that the increase in Arctic temperature anomalies demonstrate that the GLOBE is not warming, especially in the light of the latest data from satellites: UAH Global Temperature Update for January 2012: -0.09 deg. C

Richard M

There are two kinds of “smarts”. One is based on more or less on memory skills and the other is based on logical/critical thinking. In most Western education systems the former type is rewarded with higher grades on average.
My feeling is the memory based group are generally CAGW followers. Their learning skills have been based on reading and memorizing authority based material (e.g. IPCC, peer review, etc.). They really don’t have the ability to think through the issues.
You could see this in spades in Cook’s poor attempt to respond to Lord Monckton. Now, he gets to pay for his inability to think logically.

alan

Sadly, rational argument and facts will not change the minds of CAGW enthusiasts. They believe through Faith alone!

BargHumer

In time the thruth will prevail, but what of these deluded experts and billionaires galavanting in the same cause? When the truth is out, how will they excuse themselves? – they will blame someone else and pass the buck. Will there be international forgiveness for the UN and all these fear mongers?
Is there anyone tracking these villains so that there can be a war crimes tribuneral for crimes against humanity? I propose that such a tribuneral could also make it a crime to deny that this crime ever took place.

Dave

Was the rebuttal posted on Skeptical Science? I suspect the proprieter of that blog is still licking his wounds…
Could you imagine watching a debate between Lord Monckton and Al Gore? Gore would be eaten alive! But of course, he’s a coward and wouldn’t allow such an event to occur.

GregO

In reading though the arguments, I started to lose track of which particular logical fallacy was being employed by John Cook. If anyone else had that problem:
http://www.fallacyfiles.org/taxonomy.html
Bravo Lord Monckton! Thank you for keeping up the fight for truth.

SteveE

@Monckton
I couldn’t find Paragraph 14.2.2.2 in the 2007 report. Perhaps you could link to it?
I did find a similar paragraph in the Glossary though under “P”:
“Since knowledge of the climate system’s past and current states is generally imperfect, as are the models that utilise this knowledge to produce a climate prediction, and since the climate system is inherently nonlinear and chaotic, predictability of the climate system is inherently limited. Even with arbitrarily accurate models and observations, there may still be limits to the predictability of such a nonlinear system (AMS, 2000)”
http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/annexessglossary-p-z.html
That’s a different conclusion to your quotation:
“In sum, a strategy must recognise what is possible. In climate research and modelling, we should recognise that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible.”
If you could link to your quotation that would be clear this up.
Thanks

Baron Blimey

Did Cook write any of that??
Isn’t it normal to target a rebuttal at the correct author?

Dyrewulf

They refuse to admit that the possibility of a debate exists. I’ve said this countless times – AGW is a RELIGION, not a science. Anytime we point out anything that contradicts the AGW crowd, they start screaming “BLASPHEMY!” (DENIER) and start chanting “Al… Gore… Al… Gore…” I gave the boot to an author I had friended on FaceBook earlier today, because she was repeating something she saw yesterday about how “the kind of people who deny climate change rely on a rodent for weather prediction” (appx.) I don’t have time for zealots. Period.

Chance N

@SteveE
Here you go – http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/tar/wg1/505.htm. 5th paragraph.

FrankK

John says:
February 3, 2012 at 5:14 am
Anthony – I think it is time you provide some examples about the nature of consensus.
For example you could ask the following questions –
To prisoners – ask if they think they should be allowed to leave prison regardless of their crime?
To a class of High schoolers as them if they think the school day/week should be shorter?
To a class of 1st graders ask them if they would like candy for lunch everyday.
etc. I am sure you could acheive a 97% consesus on those questions…Just a matter of who you ask and what the vested interests are.
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John,
Your arguments are not valid because they are not scientific questions based on a theory,

“Since Mr. Cook accuses me of lying, I have asked him to be good enough to make sure that this reply to his commentary is posted on his website in the interest of balance.”
No sign of it yet at the SS… Am I dipping my toe in the Reductio-ad-Hitlerum fallacy by using “the SS” in place of Skeptical Science???? :-).

Gary Hladik

John Marshall says (February 3, 2012 at 6:16 am): “The re-radiated heat that increases surface heat is a problem insofar as the mid/upper troposphere is far colder than the surface and heat cannot flow up gradient, or from cold to hot,otherwise you could make a Perpetual Motion Machine. The 2nd law of thermodynamics is quite explicit in this…”
The 2nd Law says only that the net flow is from warm to cool, which doesn’t preclude a bi-directional flow. A photon of infrared light doesn’t know if it came from a body warmer or colder than its destination; it will transfer its energy to the target regardless of the target’s temperature.
For a good overview of the so-called “greenhouse effect” from a self-described climate heretic, I recommend two articles by Willis Eschenbach:
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/11/17/the-steel-greenhouse/
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/11/27/people-living-in-glass-planets/

SteveE

@Chance N
Thanks for that!
I think the next sentence puts Moncktons statement in context though:
“The most we can expect to achieve is the prediction of the probability distribution of the system’s future possible states by the generation of ensembles of model solutions.”
I think that this shows that Monckton’s quotation of the IPCC report was taking it out of context.

NK

Chance N. — Thanks for the link. SteveE– here’s the full paragraph from the IPCC working group that Moncton correctly quoted. The first 3 Working Group sentences are refreshingly candid in the limitations of trying to model the inherently chaotic climatic system. (BTW you’ll never hear the alarmist mongers like Hansen, Gore and Pachuri quote this admission of the limits of models). But the important part of the paragraph is the last 2 sentences that give away the plot– SEND US MORE MONEY FOR FURTHER STUDY. IPCC is like anything else– It’s all about the money boys! The quote from the IPCC Working Group :
” In sum, a strategy must recognise what is possible. In climate research and modelling, we should recognise that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible. The most we can expect to achieve is the prediction of the probability distribution of the system�s future possible states by the generation of ensembles of model solutions. This reduces climate change to the discernment of significant differences in the statistics of such ensembles. The generation of such model ensembles will require the dedication of greatly increased computer resources and the application of new methods of model diagnosis. Addressing adequately the statistical nature of climate is computationally intensive, but such statistical information is essential.”

@SteveE and Chance N –
Uh, it appears the IPCC doesn’t agree with itself.
Although neither statement brings a high level of confidence to predictions of future climate.

Wrestling…pigs in mud…
I think most Americans know the concept.
You get dirty, pig likes it.
Enough said.
MAX
PS: Doesn’t detract from Lord M’s validity!