Monckton's Schenectady showdown

Monckton vanquishes Union College “Greens too yellow to admit they’re really Reds”

Guest post by Justin Pulliam

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Attendees listen to Monckton's speech at Union College. Photo by Charlotte Lehman

THE NEWS that Lord Monckton was to give his “Climate of Freedom” lecture at Union College in Schenectady, New York, had thrown the university’s environmentalists into a turmoil. The campus environmentalists set up a Facebook page announcing a counter-meeting of their own immediately following Monckton’s lecture. There is no debate about global warming, they announced. There is a consensus. The science is settled. Their meeting would be addressed by professors and PhDs, the “true” scientists, no less. Sparks, it seemed, were gonna fly.

Traveling with Lord Monckton on the East Coast leg of his current whistle-stop tour of the US and Canada, I was looking forward to documenting the Schenectady showdown. I have had the pleasure of listening to His Lordship at previous campus events. He is at his best when confronted by a hostile audience. The angrier and more indignant they are, the more he seems to like it.

The Union Collegians for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT) sponsored the lecture, which was video streamed by CampusReform.org (where a video recording is available). The afternoon of the event, Lord Monckton appeared on the CFACT leaders’ hour-long weekly show on the Union College radio station. As a result, that evening 200 people packed a campus lecture theater to hear Lord Monckton speak.

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Erin Delman, President of the Environmental Club, debates with Monckton - photo by Charlotte Lehman

As they filed in, Lord Monckton was chatting contentedly to a quaveringly bossy woman with messy blonde hair who was head of the college environmental faction. Her group had set up a table at the door of the auditorium, covered in slogans scribbled on messy bits of recycled burger boxes held together with duct tape (Re-Use Cardboard Now And Save The Planet). “There’s a CONSENSUS!” she shrieked.

“That, Madame, is intellectual baby-talk,” replied Lord Monckton. Had she not heard of Aristotle’s codification of the commonest logical fallacies in human discourse, including that which the medieval schoolmen would later describe as the argumentum ad populum, the headcount fallacy?  From her reddening face and baffled expression, it was possible to deduce that she had not. Nor had she heard of the argumentum ad verecundiam, the fallacy of appealing to the reputation of those in authority.

Lord Monckton was shown a graph demonstrating a superficially close correlation between CO2 concentration and temperature over the past 150,000 years. Mildly, he asked, “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?  Was it CO2 concentration that changed first, or temperature that changed first, driving the changes in CO2 concentration?”

The student clutching the graph mumbled that it was impossible to tell, and nobody really knew.

At Lord Monckton’s elbow, an elderly lady – presumably on faculty at Union College – said, “Perhaps I can help. It was temperature that changed first.”

“Exactly,” said Lord Monckton.

“However,” she continued, “CO2 then acted as a feedback, amplifying the temperature change. That’s one way we know CO2 is a problem today. And what,” she said, turning noticeably acerbic in a twinkling of Lord Monckton’s eye, “caused the changes in temperature?”

“Well,” said Lord Monckton, “we don’t know for certain, but one plausible explanation …”

“… is the Milankovich cycles!” burst in the venerable PhD, anxious not to have her punch-line stolen.

“Yes,” Monckton agreed imperturbably, “the precession of the equinoxes, and variations in the eccentricity of the Earth’s orbit and in the obliquity of its axis with respect to the plane of the ecliptic. Actually, it is arguable that the cycles were first posited by an autodidact university janitor, a Mr. Croll.” The yakking crowd of environmentalists grew more thoughtful. Their propaganda had made him out to be an ignorant nincompoop, and they had begun to realize they had made the mistake of believing it.

Lord Monckton moved into the auditorium and began with his now-famous, exuberantly verbose parody of how the IPCC might describe a spade. This elegantly hilarious gem, delivered from memory, is rumored to be longer than the Gettysburg Address. Then he said that, unlike the IPCC, he was going to speak in plain English. Yet he proposed to begin, in silence, by displaying some slides demonstrating the unhappy consequences of several instances of consensus in the 20th century.

The Versailles consensus of 1918 imposed reparations on the defeated Germany, so that the conference that ended the First World War (15 million dead) sowed the seeds of the Second. The eugenics consensus of the 1920s that led directly to the dismal rail-yards of Oswiecim and Treblinka (6 million dead). The appeasement consensus of the 1930s that provoked Hitler to start World War II (60 million dead). The Lysenko consensus of the 1940s that wrecked 20 successive harvests in the then Soviet Union (20 million dead). The ban-DDT consensus of the 1960s that led to a fatal resurgence of malaria worldwide (40 million children dead and counting, 1.25 million of them last year alone).

You could have heard a pin drop. For the first time, the largely hostile audience (for most of those who attended were environmentalists) realized that the mere fact of a consensus does not in any way inform us of whether the assertion about which there is said to be a consensus is true.

Lord Monckton then startled his audience by saying it was settled science that there is a greenhouse effect, that CO2 adds to it, that CO2 is increasing in the atmosphere, that we are largely to blame, and that some warming can be expected to result. But these facts had been established by easily-replicable and frequently-replicated measurements first performed by John Tyndall in 1859 at the Royal Institution in London, “just down the road from m’ club, don’t y’ know” (laughter). Therefore, these conclusions did not need to be sanctified by consensus.

The audience were startled again when Lord Monckton showed a slide indicating that the rate of warming since 1950 was equivalent to little more than 1 Celsius degree per century, while the rate of warming the IPCC predicts for the 21st century is three times greater. His slide described this difference as the “IPCC credibility gap”.

Next, Lord Monckton baffled his audience, including the professors and PhDs (whose faces were a picture) by displaying a series of equations and graphs demonstrating that, while it was generally accepted that a doubling of CO2 concentration would cause 1 C° of warming in the absence of temperature feedbacks, the real scientific dispute between the skeptics and the believers was that the believers thought that feedbacks triggered by the original warming would triple it to 3.3 C°, while the skeptics thought the warming would stay at around 1 C°.

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A student asks Monckton a question during the Q&A period- photo by Charlotte Lehman

He moved on to show that the principal conclusions of each of the four IPCC “gospels” were questionable at best and downright fraudulent at worst. The 2007 gospel had concluded that the rate of warming was itself accelerating and that we were to blame, but this conclusion had been reached by a bogus statistical technique. By applying the same technique to a sine-wave (which the audience had agreed exhibits a zero trend), it is possible to show either a rapidly-accelerating uptrend or a rapidly-plummeting downtrend, depending on the choice of endpoints for the trend-lines on the data.

The 2001 IPCC gospel had abolished the medieval warm period by another piece of dubious statistical prestidigitation that was now under investigation by the Attorney-General of Virginia under the Fraud against Taxpayers Act 2000 (gasps of gaping astonishment from some of the environmentalists, who seemed not to have been told this before).

The 1995 gospel had been rewritten by just one man, to replace the scientists’ five-times-expressed conclusion that no human influence on global climate was discernible with a single statement flatly (and incorrectly) to the contrary.

The 1990 gospel had claimed to be able to predict temperature changes for 100 years into the future. Yet an entire generation had passed since then, and the warming over that generation had turned out to be below the lowest estimate in the IPCC’s 1990 gospel and well below its central estimate.  For eight years, sea level has been rising at a rate equivalent to just 1.3 inches per century. Worldwide hurricane activity is almost at its least in the 30-year satellite record. Global sea-ice extent has scarcely declined in that time. Here, the message was blunt: “It. Isn’t. Happening.”

Next, Lord Monckton turned to climate economics and demonstrated that the cost of acting to prevent global warming is many times greater than the cost of inaction. The example of Australia’s carbon dioxide tax showed why this was so. Australia accounts for only 1.2% of global CO2 emissions, and the government’s policy was to reduce this percentage by 5% over the ten-year life of the tax. On the generous assumption that the entire reduction would be achieved from year 1 onward, the fraction of global emissions abated would be just 0.06%. Because this fraction was so small, the projected CO2 concentration of 412 ppmv that would otherwise obtain in the atmosphere by 2020 would fall to 411.987 ppmv. Because this reduction in CO2 concentration was so small, the warming abated over the 10-year period of the tax would be just 0.000085 C°, at a discounted cost of $130 billion over the ten-year term.

Therefore, the cost of abating all of the 0.15 C° of warming that the IPCC predicted would occur between 2011 and 2020 by using measures as cost-effective as Australia’s carbon dioxide tax would be $309 trillion, 57.4% of global GDP to 2020, or $44,000 per head of the world’s population. On this basis, the cost of abating 1 C° of global warming would be $1.5 quadrillion. That, said Lord Monckton, is not cheap. In fact, it is 110 times more costly than doing nothing and paying the eventual cost of any damage that might arise from warmer weather this century.

Australia’s carbon dioxide tax is typical of the climate-mitigation measures now being proposed or implemented. All such measures are extravagantly cost-ineffective. No policy to abate global warming by controlling CO2 emissions would prove cost-effective solely on grounds of the welfare benefit from climate mitigation. CO2 mitigation strategies inexpensive enough to be affordable would be ineffective; strategies costly enough to be effective would be unaffordable. Focused adaptation to any adverse consequences of such future global warming as might arise would be many times more cost-effective than doing anything now. “If the cost of the premium exceeds the cost of the risk, don’t insure,” Monckton advised.

In any event, said Lord Monckton, the West is no longer the problem. Its emissions have been rising very slowly, but emissions in the emerging economies are rising many times faster. China, in particular, was opening one or two new coal-fired power stations every week. She was right to do so. The most efficient way to stabilize a growing population was to raise its standard of living above the poverty line, and the cheapest way to do that was to give the population electricity generated by burning fossil fuels.

Lord Monckton ended, devastatingly, by showing that a sufferer from trichiasis, a consequence of trachoma that causes the eyelashes to grow inward, causing piercingly acute pain followed eventually by blindness, can be cured at a cost of just $8. He showed a picture of a lady from Africa, smiling with delight now that she could see again. He said that the diversion of resources away from those who most urgently and immediately needed our help, in the name of addressing a non-problem that could not in any event be cost-effectively dealt with by CO2 mitigation, must be reversed at once for the sake of those who needed our help now.

Both in the Q&A session that followed Monckton’s address and in the counter-meeting held by the environmentalists (in which Lord Monckton sat in the front row taking notes), the questions flew thick and fast. Why, said a professor of environmental sciences in a rambling question apparently designed to prevent anyone else from getting a question in, had Lord Monckton not cited peer-reviewed sources?  He had cited several, but he apologized that the IPCC – which he had cited frequently – was not a peer-reviewed source: indeed, fully one-third of the references its 2007 gospel had cited had not been peer-reviewed.

Why had Lord Monckton said that from 1695-1735 the temperature in central England had risen by 2.2 degrees (implying 0.55 degrees of warming per decade) when he had gone on to say that the warming rate per decade was 0.4 degrees?  He explained that the warming rate was correctly calculated on the basis of the least-squares linear-regression trend, giving 0.39 degrees, which he had rounded for convenience.

Did Lord Monckton not accept that we could quantify the CO2 feedback?  This point came from the professor. “Well,” replied Lord Monckton in one of his most crushing responses, “perhaps the professor can quantify it, but the IPCC can’t: its 2007 gospel gives an exceptionally wide range of answers, from 25 to 225 parts per million by volume per Kelvin – in short, they don’t know.”

Why had Lord Monckton said that we could learn about temperatures in the medieval warm period from the foraminifera on the ocean floor, when the resolution was surely too poor?  Read Pudsey (2006), said Lord Monckton: the paper showed that the Larsen B ice-shelf, which had disintegrated a few years ago and provided a poster-child for global warming in Al Gore’s movie, had not been present during the medieval warm period, indicating that those who said the warm period applied only to the North Atlantic might not be right. He added that Dr. Craig Idso maintains a database of peer-reviewed papers by more than 1000 scientists from more than 400 institutions in more than 40 countries establishing that the medieval warm period was real, was global, and was at least as warm as the present and was probably warmer.

What about the methane from cattle?  Should we give up eating meat to Save The Planet?  The professor thought so. Lord Monckton, as always, had the data to hand. In the past decade, he said, methane concentration had risen by just 20 parts per billion, which might cause 1/350 C° of warming. This was too little to matter. Leave the cows alone.

What about peak fossil fuels?  Should we not start cutting back now?  No, said Lord Monckton. The recent discovery of vast and now-recoverable reserves of shale gas meant that we had several hundred years’ supply of fossil fuel. The professor agreed that shale gas had a contribution to make: it produced more energy per ton of CO2 emitted than oil or coal.

Why had Lord Monckton cherry-picked the Australian carbon dioxide tax as his economic example?  He said that in a short lecture he could only take one example, so he had taken the Australian case because all other mitigation policies were quite similar to it. It was between 10 and 100 times more costly to try to make global warming go away today than to let the warming occur – even if the warming were at the rate predicted by the IPCC, and even if the cost of inaction was as high as the Stern Report had imagined – and to concentrate on focused adaptation when and where and only if and only to the extent that might be necessary.

Was not dendrochronology now so sophisticated that we could distinguish between the broadening of annual tree-rings caused by warmer weather and the broadening caused either by wetter weather or by more CO2 in the air?  The Professor said this was now indeed possible. Lord Monckton replied that it was not possible. From 1960 onwards, the tree-ring series, even after all the complex adjustments made by the dendrochronastrologists, had showed global temperatures plummeting, while the thermometers had showed them soaring. That was why the Climategate emailers had spent so much time discussing how to “hide the decline” in the tree-ring predictions of temperature change from 1960 onward. This precipitate “decline” cast precisely the doubt upon the reliability of tree-ring temperature reconstructions that the IPCC had originally had in mind when it recommended against the use of tree-rings for reconstructing pre-instrumental temperatures. The professor had no answer to that.

The professor said he was emotional about the damage caused by global warming because in Peru and Ecuador he had seen the collapse in the water supply caused by the melting glaciers. Lord Monckton said that in nearly all parts of the world it was not the glaciers but the snow-melt that provided the water supply. Data from the Rutgers University Snow and Ice Lab showed no trend in northern-hemisphere snow cover in 40 years. He added that in the tropical Andes, according to Polissar et al. (2006), the normal state of all but the very highest peaks had been ice-free; therefore, it could not be said for certain that our influence on climate was causing any change that might not have occurred naturally anyway.

Why had Lord Monckton bothered to deal with the science at all, if the economic case against taking any action to address global warming was so overwhelming?  Lord Monckton replied that it was necessary to understand that there was no scientific case for action either, and that it was necessary for policymakers and governments to realize that key elements in the IPCC’s scientific case – such as the supposedly “accelerating” warming that had been arrived at by the bogus statistical technique he had demonstrated with a sine-wave – were downright false.

The professor then asked the students in to raise their hands if they agreed with him that the IPCC’s use of the statistical technique questioned by Lord Monckton was correct. Dutifully, fearfully, about two-thirds of the hands in the room went up. Lord Monckton turned to the professor and told him he should not have done that. He then turned to the students who had raised their hands and asked them how many of them were statisticians. Just one student began to raise his hand and then – apparently realizing that admitting he was a statistician was to admit he had knowingly raised his hand to endorse a manifest statistical falsehood – slowly lowered it again, blushing furiously.

Another student asked, in that shrill tone beloved of environmental extremists everywhere, whether Lord Monckton was a statistician. No, he said, and that was why he had taken care to anonymize the data and send them to a statistician, who had confirmed the obvious: since the same technique, applied to the same data, could produce precisely opposite results depending upon a careful choice of the endpoints for the multiple trend-lines that the IPCC’s bureaucrats had superimposed on the perfectly correct graph of 150 years of temperature changes that the scientists had submitted, the technique must be defective and any results obtained by its use must be meaningless.

Lord Monckton, sternly but sadly, told those who had raised their hands: “You know, from the plain and clear demonstration that I gave during my lecture, that the IPCC’s statistical abuse was just that – an abuse. Yet, perhaps out of misplaced loyalty to your professor, you raised your hands in denial of the truth. Never do that again, even for the sake of appeasing authority. In science, whatever you may personally believe or wish to be so, it is the truth and only the truth that matters.”

That pin, if you had dropped it, could have been heard again. Many young heads were hung in shame. Even their professor looked just a little less arrogant than he had done throughout the proceedings. Quietly they shuffled out into the darkness.

That night, the Gore Effect worked overtime. Temperatures plummeted to 14° F. The following morning, as we drove through the snowy landscape of upstate New York towards the next venue the following morning, I asked Lord Monckton what he had thought of the strange conduct of the professor, particularly when he had abused his authority by asking his students to assent to the correctness of a statistical technique that he and they had known to be plainly false.

Lord Monckton’s reply was moving. Gently, and sadly, he said, “We shall lose the West unless we can restore the use of reason to pre-eminence in our institutions of what was once learning. It was the age of reason that built the West and made it prosperous and free. The age of reason gave you your great Constitution of liberty. It is the power of reason, the second of the three great powers of the soul in Christian theology, that marks our species out from the rest of the visible creation, and makes us closest to the image and likeness of our Creator. I cannot stand by and let the forces of darkness drive us unprotesting into a new Dark Age.”

Justin Pulliam is the Northeast Regional Field Coordinator for CampusReform.org. He graduated Cum Laude with University Honors from Texas A&M University in December 2011, where he led the local Collegians for a Constructive Tomorrow Chapter. He can be reached at justinpulliam@gmail.com.

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A Ustream video recording of the event is available here

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Dr Burns

Who in their right mind would publicly debate Monkton ?

Paul

chortle chortle….lovin it 🙂

Monckton at his best.

CodeTech

Brilliant, really! I wish I could see one of these presentations. I have some young acquaintances that I would like to bring with me.
It has been my experience that kids in the high school to college age are smarter than we sometimes give them credit for. Many are just spouting the party line, and it’s a shame that they are forced to regurgitate the nonsense in order to get passing grades. But demonstrate even ONE of the several MAJOR flaws in the cAGW myth, and they tend to become more skeptical of the rest.
I have many times predicted (not projected) that the wheels WILL eventually fall off of this cart…and when that happens a LOT of people are going to be extremely distrustful of ALL Science. As well they should be.

spence

Justin, I like your writing style, well done.

Congrats to Lord Monckton (although the report is a tad too self-congratulatory). One thing I’d change is, it is meaningless to talk of quadrillions. It’s a number beyond comprehension.
I prefer to convert it into time. For example a single quadrillion $ is equivalent to spending 10 million $ EVERY DAY for 270,000 YEARS, that is longer than the lifespan so far of our own species.

Mr. Alex

Compliments to Justin Pulliam for a superbly written article.

Delightlfully written piece, many thanks.

Brian Johnson uk

Where is Lord Monckton’s ‘Proof’ that there is a Creator?
Is that Scientific Faith or Scientific Proof?

KenB

Stand by for the haters of Monckton to dance around the maypole and burn his wicker, wicked image, while howling their demented message of rage, that these heretics allowed him to speak instead of silencing him in servitude to the cause.
No wonder they avoid like the plague openly debating him!! But, wait for the snide remarks, the sly distortions as they look for one cherry picked word that can be turned against the man to discredit and divert from the very potent message he delivered.
The Australian folly of the carbon tax will live on in the memory of voters for several generations, to the detriment of the political regime that imposed it.
Thanks for the report, I hope that the West wakes up and pulls the rug from under the whole rotten charade, the sooner the better!!.

John

Just brilliant Lord Monckton, it is easy to see why people of the ’cause’ are afraid of you.
Please come back to New Zealand.
Such a well written and entertaining article, thank you so much Justin.

Roger Carr

Justin Pulliam; you have held the attention of this Australian and ably projected Lord Monckton.
“…you raised your hands in denial of the truth. Never do that again,…” has an awesome power.
Thank you.

Excellent write-up- thanks! A reminder of why the warmists run from debate like Superman avoids Kryponite. Normally I don’t read all the way through such long essays, but this one reads like a thriller.
“110 times more costly than doing nothing and paying the eventual cost of any damage that might arise from warmer weather this century.” This calculation is without taking all the benefits of warming into account. I’d say the benefits alone outweigh the costs.

Wow.

William Astley

Atmospheric science is in on the side of the so called “sceptics”. The actual planetary measured warming is lower than the lowest IPCC model predicted warming. All of the warming is it at high latitudes where it was caused the biosphere to expand.
The fact that the actual measured planetary warming is less than the lowest IPCC model prediction warming and is found only at high latitudes (which is not predicted by the IPCC models) logically supports the assertion that the planet’s response to a change in forcing is to resist the change (negative feedback, planetary clouds in the tropics increase reflecting more sunlight in to space) rather than to amplify the change (positive feedback) due increased water vapour in the atmosphere.
Analysis of top of the atmosphere radiation changes Vs changes in planetary temperature also support the assertion that planetary clouds increase in the tropics thereby reflecting more sunlight off into space thereby resisting forcing changes rather than amplifying them.
Trillions of dollars are being proposed to be spent on boondoggle schemes which will not significantly reduction carbon dioxide increases but will have significant negative effects to the environment and to humanity. An example is the EU and US mandated conversion of food to biofuel (which is and will result in a massive loss of tropic forest and unsustainable increase in the cost of food).
Western countries do not have trillions of extra tax payer funds to spend on irrational policy schemes that will damage the environment and will result in starvation and malnutrition in the third world countries.
Carbon dioxide is not a poison. Plants eat CO2. A doubling of CO2 increases cereal yields by 30% to 40%. Plants make more effective use of water when CO2 rises which reduces desertification. The increase in atmospheric CO2 is unequivocally a significant net benefit to the biosphere and to humanity. Crop yields are and will continue to increase. There is and will be increased net precipitation. The biosphere expands when the planet warms with most of the warming occurring at high latitudes. That is a fact.
Science is unequivocally on the side of “sceptics”. No rational person, regardless of their political affiliation would support trillion dollar boondoggle schemes.
The extreme AGW issue is a mania, the madness of crowds.
http://www-eaps.mit.edu/faculty/lindzen/236-Lindzen-Choi-2011.pdf
On the Observational Determination of Climate Sensitivity and Its Implications by Lindzen and Choi 2011
We estimate climate sensitivity from observations, using the deseasonalized fluctuations in sea surface temperatures (SSTs) and the concurrent fluctuations in the top-of-atmosphere (TOA) outgoing radiation from the ERBE (1985-1999) and CERES (2000-2008) satellite instruments. Distinct periods of warming and cooling in the SSTs were used to evaluate feedbacks. An earlier study (Lindzen and Choi, 2009) was subject to significant criticisms. The present paper is an expansion of the earlier paper where the various criticisms are taken into account. The present analysis accounts for the 72 day precession period for the ERBE satellite in a more appropriate manner than in the earlier paper. We develop a method to distinguish noise in the outgoing radiation as well as radiation changes that are forcing SST changes from those radiation changes that constitute feedbacks to changes in SST. We demonstrate that our new method does moderately well in distinguishing positive from negative feedbacks and in quantifying negative feedbacks. In contrast, we show that simple regression methods used by several existing papers generally exaggerate positive feedbacks and even show positive feedbacks when actual feedbacks are negative. We argue that feedbacks are largely concentrated in the tropics, and the tropical feedbacks can be adjusted to account for their impact on the globe as a whole. Indeed, we show that including all CERES data (not just from the tropics) leads to results similar to what are obtained for the tropics alone – though with more noise. We again find that the outgoing radiation resulting from SST fluctuations exceeds the zerofeedback response thus implying negative feedback. In contrast to this, the calculated TOA outgoing radiation fluxes from 11 atmospheric models forced by the observed SST are less than the zerofeedback response, consistent with the positive feedbacks that characterize these models. The results imply that the models are exaggerating climate sensitivity. ….
….However, warming from a doubling of CO2 would only be about 1oC (based on simple calculations where the radiation altitude and the Planck temperature depend on wavelength in accordance with the attenuation coefficients of wellmixed CO2 molecules; a doubling of any concentration in ppmv produces the same warming because of the logarithmic dependence of CO2’s absorption on the amount of CO2) (IPCC, 2007). This modest warming is much less than current climate models suggest for a doubling of CO2. Models predict warming of from 1.5oC to 5oC and even more for a doubling of CO2. Model predictions depend on the ‘feedback’ within models from the more important greenhouse substances, water vapor and clouds. Within all current climate models, water vapor increases with increasing temperature so as to further inhibit infrared cooling. Clouds also change so that their visible reflectivity decreases, causing increased solar absorption and warming of the earth….
http://www.uiweb.uidaho.edu/bioenergy/NewsReleases/Biodiesel%20Energy%20Balance_v2a.pdf
Vast amounts of agricultural land are being diverted from crops for human consumption to biofuel The immediate consequence of this is a dramatic increase in the cost of basic food such as a 140% increase in the price of corn. Due to limited amounts of agricultural land vast regions of virgin forest are being cut down for biofuel production. The problems associate with this practice will become acute as all major Western governments have mandate a percentage of biofuel.
Analysis of the total energy input to produce ethanol from corn show that 29% more fossil fuel input energy is require to produce one energy unit of ethanol. If the fuel input to harvest the corn, to produce the fertilizer, and to boil the water off to distill ethanol/water from 8% ethanol to 99.5% ethanol (three distillation processes) to produce 99.5% ethanol for use in an automobile, produces more green house gas than is produced than the production consumption of conventional gasoline. The cost of corn based ethanol is more than five times the production cost of gasoline, excluding taxes and subsides. Rather than subsiding the production of corn based ethanol the same money can be used to preserve and increase rainforest. The loss of rainforest is the largest cause of the increase in CO2.
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1725975,00.html
The Clean Energy Scam
The U.S. quintupled its production of ethanol–ethyl alcohol, a fuel distilled from plant matter–in the past decade, and Washington has just mandated another fivefold increase in renewable fuels over the next decade. Europe has similarly aggressive biofuel mandates and subsidies, and Brazil’s filling stations no longer even offer plain gasoline. Worldwide investment in biofuels rose from $5 billion in 1995 to $38 billion in 2005 and is expected to top $100 billion by 2010, thanks to investors like Richard Branson and George Soros, GE and BP, Ford and Shell, Cargill and the Carlyle Group.
But several new studies show the biofuel boom is doing exactly the opposite of what its proponents intended: it’s dramatically accelerating global warming, imperiling the planet in the name of saving it. Corn ethanol, always environmentally suspect, turns out to be environmentally disastrous. Even cellulosic ethanol made from switchgrass, which has been promoted by eco-activists and eco-investors as well as by President Bush as the fuel of the future, looks less green than oil-derived gasoline.
Meanwhile, by diverting grain and oilseed crops from dinner plates to fuel tanks, biofuels are jacking up world food prices and endangering the hungry. The grain it takes to fill an SUV tank with ethanol could feed a person for a year. Harvests are being plucked to fuel our cars instead of ourselves. The U.N.’s World Food Program says it needs $500 million in additional funding and supplies, calling the rising costs for food nothing less than a global emergency. Soaring corn prices have sparked tortilla riots in Mexico City, and skyrocketing flour prices have destabilized Pakistan, which wasn’t exactly tranquil when flour was affordable.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2008-04-14/biofuel-production-a-crime-against-humanity/2403402
Biofuels ‘crime against humanity’
Massive production of biofuels is “a crime against humanity” because of its impact on global food prices, a UN official has told German radio. “Producing biofuels today is a crime against humanity,” UN Special Rapporteur for the Right to Food Jean Ziegler told Bayerischer Runfunk radio. Many observers have warned that using arable land to produce crops for biofuels has reduced surfaces available to grow food. Mr Ziegler called on the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to change its policies on agricultural subsidies and to stop supporting only programs aimed at debt reduction. He says agriculture should also be subsidised in regions where it ensures the survival of local populations. Meanwhile, in response to a call by the IMF and World Bank over the weekend to a food crisis that is stoking violence and political instability, German Foreign Minister Peer Steinbrueck gave his tacit backing.
http://news.yahoo.com/prime-indonesian-jungle-cleared-palm-oil-065556710.html
Prime Indonesian jungle to be cleared for palm oil
Their former hero recently gave a palm oil company a permit to develop land in one of the few places on earth where orangutans, tigers and bears still can be found living side-by-side — violating Indonesia’s new moratorium on concessions in primary forests and peatlands.

Brilliant…!

Scottish Sceptic

Lord Monckton’s reply was moving. Gently, and sadly, he said, “We shall lose the West unless we can restore the use of reason to pre-eminence in our institutions of what was once learning. It was the age of reason that built the West and made it prosperous and free.
Not sure I would go as far, but there clearly has been a philosophical change in both science and areas like archaeology. The rational was not evil. It was that science was trying to deal with new areas like the climate which could not be tested in the way required of traditional science.
The “solution” found was to say that “truth” could come from consensus, opinion only loosely tied to experiments. Likewise in archaeology, ideas trying to include more than just the history of the elite which is well recorded, needed to make use of more nebulous data to redress the balance for those who were not so well recorded. However,likewise, this was a move toward opinion-based and not evidence based research.
There clearly is a need to attempt to use scientific-like investigation into areas like climate, and the environment where it isn’t possible (or ethical) to carry out experiments. But the danger is that by suggesting they are “proper” science, it undermines the credibility and utility of real science. Perhaps worse, the ideas that science is flexible and can be moulded by opinion is going to feed back into proper science so that we loose the certainty that this once supplied.
What we really need is for subjects to challenge and define the philosophical basis of their subjects. Better still, we need other subjects to challenge each other.
Unfortunately, where once science was taught as “natural philosophy” and every scientist had the tools to discuss the basis of truth in their subject. These days, even at 50 I’m a rare beast having done science with a module in philosophy. Most people who do science are philosophical illiterates.
The result is that subject like climate “science” is run by people who have absolutely no grasp of where the basis of truth lies in their subject. Unfortunately, the same is true of the scientific societies, and in a real sense science as a subject is deteriorating rapidly as the modern “leadership” utilise the status of the philosophically based successes of the past to sticky tape credibility over the incompetent and politically based pseudo-science and pseudo-truth and PR-led non-science of today.

Dear Lord Monckton,
Great lecture; should be part of any environnmental course!! In that case the audio quality should be of TED level.
Anyway, trying education and reasoning as you do Sir is a great asset of Western Culture.

Obie

Where is the collection to sponsor Lord Monckton on nationwide television. I would give $1,000.00 right now!

Kev-in-Uk

Maurizio Morabito (omnologos) says:
March 10, 2012 at 1:23 am
Quite right!
a quadrillion is 10e15
if we spent that in dollars over a period of 100 years that would be 2.74e11 EVERY DAY
or, for those who like long numbers…..
274,000,000,000 per DAY
if we divide by a population of 7billion (short scale billion = 10e9)
thats 39 dollars for every man woman and child on the planet – EVERY day for 100 years – with a total input from every man woman and child of almost 1 million dollars over the 100 years! LOL
Perhaps if folk realised ‘anti’AGW action could cost them, and everyone they know, 1 million dollars for the next 100 years, they may have a slight rethink!!!
hope the quick math is correct!

Disko Troop

Well, you can’t argue with that! That is probably what a lot of his audience thought as he left.
I am reminded of “Socrates, A Man for Our Time”, for some reason. Can’t think why.

Antonia

Truth is luminous.
The recognition of that was what obviously happened to some young people at Union College in Schenectady, New York. Bravo, Monckton, for dropping scales from people’s eyes, hearts and minds.

Sam Geoghegan

ahhh, Monckton, don’t know about him. Do you really want such an inflammatory and politically motivated character on your team?

David H.

I would love to see a formal meeting in debate between Al Gore and Christopher Monckton. There might be several “inconvenient” truths established.

Snotrocket

Loved the report Justin. The style made me feel I was there with you. However, try as I might, I have searched all over the Campusreform.org site for the video you mentioned and it is nowhere to be found. In fact, a search for Monckton only returns three hits from 2010.
A question I wish somebody would ask of CM is: Why is ‘global warming’ always seen as having disastrous consequences; and are those consequences better or worse compared to ‘global cooling’?

Robert of Ottawa

What is the rest of his itinery. He is heading North; might he be in Ottawa?

Richard Tyndall

Excellent piece. Also since I see John Tyndall mentioned I would like to point out that he is my Great Great Great Great (I think that’s the right number of Greats) Uncle. Like myself he was also (amongst other things) a geologist and a proper scientist – unlike many of the charlatans who work at the institute named in his honour at UEA today.

Peter H

Let me see if I can get the message of this report. It starts ““Greens too yellow to admit they’re really Reds”” – so that’s a good impartial start isn’t it…
Then it goes on like this “Lord Monckton was chatting contentedly to a quaveringly bossy woman with messy blonde hair “, “she shrieked.” – that is one nasty mocking tone with mysogonist overtones. But, there is more….”“That, Madame, is intellectual baby-talk,” replied Lord Monckton. ” wow, that’s so patronising and arrogant it’s breathtaking!
I’ll see if I can stick a bit more of reading this shoddy piece of propagana of a report…”Mildly, he [Monckton]asked” but it’s “The yakking crowd of environmentalists” and then “Next, Lord Monckton baffled his audience,” you bet he did, but do you get why??? But “Another student asked, in that shrill tone beloved of environmental extremists everywhere,” yes yes, YES! I think we get the message – LOL!
That message is clear, Lord Monckton is a man without fault. A debater never outwitted, a truly brilliant man, probably the saviour of the world and the next messia rolled into one. But, environmentalists are, well, it obviously needs to be repeated over an over again as per my quotes.
Sad, really, really sad.

mareeS

Monckton is doing the world a real service by re-introducing the argument of reason vs religion to the climate debate.
That debate is what got the mediaeval Christian world out of its thrall to religious dogma and into the enlightenment, with much pain for people brave enough to lead the debate. It unfortunately didn’t happen in the Islamic world, and there we see a stagnant culture based on dogma and internecine warfare.
If the present era of green dogma isn’t cast aside by reason, then I agree with Lord Monckton that the West is over, and it’s every person for oneself. That it could have got to this point in the space of a few decades…who’d have thought?

Timbo

Excellent article. The last comment about being driven back into the dark ages reminded me of the ending of Planet of the Apes, the Charlton Heston version. Scary stuff.

Goldie

I’m surprised you had to ask why the Professor behaved that way. It’s surely clear that he makes his living from regurgitating the standard AGW line (many do) and hasn’t done any independent research to confirm what he believed to be true. He probably had convinced himself that he was quite an expert in the area. How is he supposed to face his class on Monday with them and him knowing that there is a viable alternative perspective, which he isn’t teaching. The real giveaway in all of this is he actually turned up to debate, like a lamb to the slaughter. The smart ones, the one who really know the truth would have invented a reason not to be present.

Garry

The video recording is here:
http://union.campusreform.org/

James Bull

By not shouting and getting worked up, by calm concise arguments with no you must believe rhetoric, Lord Monckton gives a lesson that many teachers need in how to teach and get people to think.
James Bull

Kasuha

The article does not mention link to the video recording. I hope I found the right one:
http://union.campusreform.org/group/blog/live-webinar-lord-monckton-at-union-college

A very informative event for the glimpse it gives into a group of students, and a professor, clearly out of their depth with the topics and at the same time emotionally comitted to specious views promoted by the IPCC and other promoters of irrational alarm and policies around climate. That is not of course a surprise, but it is still jaw-droppingly awful. But overall, my spirits were greatly lifted by this report. For three main reasons I think: first, Lord Monckton on top form; second, the students seemed to be shamed by their own ignorance and behaviour; and third, the very well-written account by Justin Pulliam which will bring this event vividly to a much larger audience.

John Gf

Zealotry meets reasoned thought. Outstanding article, world class.

Otter

Excellent.

Robinson

An absolutely brilliant essay. Very enjoyable read.

jono1066

WHY may we not have a debate ?
between Lord Monkton and one or two other climate realist of the same genre ? (plimmer et all)
as they say, the output of a team can be greater than the output of the sum of the parts of that team.
Each firing off the other for a real roller coaster of a ride through the subject that would be very, very watchable
regards

Lord Monckton
I’m thanking you from the bottom of my heart. I have not been moved so much for quite a while. Again and again I am in agreement and in awe, that you have chosen your words so well, and taken your stand with such classic honour and intelligence. On this matter of defending integrity, I feel I stand with you shoulder to shoulder, arm to arm, heel to heel, as I did with Alfred when he was defending the realm that became England. This is true even though, as mathematician to mathematician, I still disagree with you over some of the details of the future science.

John Marshall

Certainly on the right lines. but Lord Monckton is not correct to claim that the theory of GHG’s is settled science. That is why it is still a theory. Every day new reports arrive that cast doubt on this theory. Claiming that CO2 is IR reactant in the laboratory, as it is, does not mean that it reacts in exactly the same way in the atmosphere, or even more importantly, the troposphere where the atmospheric CO2 and water molecules are supposed to do the reradiation bit.
The theory tells us that there is a temperature anomaly in the upper troposphere, where this reradiation comes from, but this anomaly has never been found.
The theory tells us that as atmospheric CO2 content increases less heat will escape to space. Only last week came a report that heat loss from Earth has remained the same for the last 30 years despite a large CO2 increase. Along with this claim is the modelled rise of global surface temperature with rise of CO2. Global temperatures have plateaued towards a slight fall.
There is the research that reports that Vostok ice cores, going back 800,000years, clearly shows that temperature rises before a parallel rise of CO2 800-1200 years later.
Not only are observations casting doubt on this theory but we must ask ourselves why do the alarmists produce so much altered data, poor or ignored observation or just plain lie to further their cause. If their science was correct there would be no need for any of this.
And before any physicists, who may have read this far, get on their high horse and claim that surface measurements of inbound LWIR prove the theory I am afraid they do not unless it can be proved that this radiation is from the upper troposphere where the theory predicts. There must be many molecule-molecule energy intereactions in the atmosphere going through many energy levels downward. With the maximum molecule-molecule reactions going on near the surface, because that is where the atmosphere is at its densest, much of the measured LWIR could well come from the lowest 30m instead of the much colder upper troposphere.

Duncan Binks

Excellent as ever. Awesome recall of the facts every time.
Have looked at the campusreform.org site for the video but no luck so far.
However, there was this, squirrelled away in the archive… http://heartland.org/policy-documents/how-i-infiltrated-environmental-protest

Jimbo

Lord Moncton’s lecture illustrates why they DON’T want a debate, contrary to Gleik’s assertions. People have been mislead by the greatest con ever perpetrated on the human race. We have let other scare stories slide by but the CO2 CAGW scare should not be given a free pass. It has caused a vast diversion of resources to address a non-problem while real problems like preventable blindness and malaria receive less attention.
I hope that in future crimes against humanity hearing will be held. This is a scandal that needs addressing right now. / End rant. 😉

“I cannot stand by and let the forces of darkness drive us unprotesting into a new Dark Age.”

What, like North Korea’s nighttime satellite map? 😉
This is why I visit WUWT and other splendid blogs.

Brian Johnson uk says:
March 10, 2012 at 1:36 am
Where is Lord Monckton’s ‘Proof’ that there is a Creator?
Is that Scientific Faith or Scientific Proof?
It’s his Religious Faith. I dont share it, but then I’m not being asked to pay for it. What is you point? Presumably that we can’t trust the opinion of anyone on any subject if they have a religious faith?
I’m sure Aristotle had a lovely phrase to describe that – I have a phrase for it, but this is a family blog so I shan’t share it. Though as a clue Aristotle has some of the makings of an anagram for it.

Mike Spilligan

Many, many, deeply felt thanks Justin, and Anthony, for posting this – a thrilling, spell-binding read – just like an adventure story with surprises, twists and turns, suspense and laugh-out-loud humour; and above all scintillatingly intelligent. Humble congratulations to Lord Monckton, too.

And thanks to Justin Pulliam too, for putting this momentous event so well into words.
Well, we know this has been a momentous speech and event, even if the audience did not realize the presence of the world’s conscience looking over their shoulders, thanks to you and WUWT.
I hope it will be available on U-tube. I hope you polish it. This is the piece that should be shown alongside every school showing of An Inconvenient Untruth.

cohenite

The academics have a lot to answer for. I had LM out to Newcastle Australia on 2 occasions. On both occasions I asked pro-AGW academics to come to his lectures or engage in debate with him. All declined but were happy to give weasel words to the local media about ‘defects’ in LM’s presentations.
In Australia we have an expression for such tactics; they are flat-track bullies and LM has done a great job of exposing them; but, so far, the media has been a willing accomplice to their hypocrisy.

I can’t find the video link on the campusreform.org site. Does anyone have the direct link to it?

What a wonderful account of this event! If only we had video of the whole thing! Is that possible for some event on the tour?