A threat from University College, London over a climate skeptic conference.

Guest opinion by Christopher Monckton of Brenchley

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University College, London, one of the constituent colleges of what was once a respectable and serious academic institution, has declared open, vicious war on academic freedom. In doing so, it has forfeited the right to be taken seriously as a seat of learning.

Last month Professor John Butterworth, the useless bureaucrat in charge of the College’s department of Physics and Astronomy, learned – no doubt via the coven of paid hacks who routinely menace vice-chancellors and heads of department at any university at which those of us who ask questions about “settled” science are scheduled to speak – that one of his faculty, Profess Athem Alsabti, had booked a lecture theatre for a conference on the forbidden topic of climate change on 8-9 September.

Did Professor Butterworth react as the Vice-Chancellor of Louisiana State University had reacted a couple of years ago when the Professor of Economics there had invited me to give a lecture to his faculty on mitigation economics, whereupon he, the Dean of his Faculty and the Vice-Chancellor had been subjected to weeks of threatening letters and phone calls from this poisonous, over-funded PR machine?

The Vice-Chancellor, after receiving one nasty threat too many, called in the Professor of Economics and said, “The last time I looked, this university was committed to academic freedom. The lecture is to go ahead. No doubt those on campus who disagree with Lord Monckton will feel free to attend his lecture and raise questions. That is how science advances. We hear both sides. We are proud to do so. Come one, come all!”

When I arrived down south to give my lecture, the Professor of Economics, hopping nervously from one foot to the other, said he had had the worst few weeks of his academic career. Yet he was delighted that his university was still one of the few that heard both sides of an academic discussion and not just the currently fashionable dogma. He was proud of his Vice-Chancellor, and rightly so.

The true-believers and freedom-haters, as they increasingly do, simply stayed away. None dared to turn up and ask what they hoped might be difficult questions. They now know they are in the wrong scientifically and still more in the wrong economically. Instead, those who came (it was a packed house) wanted to learn, and there were several intelligent and constructive questions after my lecture. Everyone had a good time.

Did Professor Butterworth stand up to the totalitarian bullies when they tried to do to his university what they had tried to do to Louisiana State and countless others? Um, no. This is what – to his eternal shame – he wrote to his distinguished academic colleague Professor Alsabti:

“It has been brought to my attention that you have booked a room at University College, London, for an external conference in September for a rather fringe group discussing aspects of climate science.

“If this event were to go ahead at UCL, it would generate a great deal of strong feeling, indeed it already has, as members of the UCL community are expressing concern to me that we are giving a platform to speakers who deny anthropogenic climate change while flying in the face of accepted scientific methods. I am sure you have no desire to bring UCL into disrepute, or to cause dissension in the UCL community, and I would encourage you to think about moving the event to a different venue, not on UCL premises.”

The same day, Professor Alsabti, who felt menaced and degraded by this shameless and unprincipled bullying and harassment on the part of a senior academic who should have known better, canceled the booking.

Now, who are the members of this “rather fringe group” that might have caused the “UCL community” to go into the corner, turn its back to the room, suck its thumb and blub?

They include not only Professor Alsabti but also Professor Nils-Axel Mörner, who has published more refereed papers on sea-level rise than Professor Butterworth has had hot dinners; Professor Ole Humlum of the University of Oslo, who publishes a widely-circulated monthly data update on global temperatures and related matters; Professor Jan-Erik Solheim of Norway; members of the Swedish Polar Institute, of the Asociacion Rural de Paraguay; of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, of the U.S. Geological Survey; of the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration; the former president of the Italian National Research Council; the Professor of Paleobotany at the Sapienza University, Rome; a world-leading physicist from the François Rabelais University in Tours; an analytical expert from the Laboratoire Analyse at the University of Paris; the brother of the leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition in the House of Commons; dozens of doctors of science; and a sprinkling of IPCC expert reviewers, including your humble servant.

If this is a “rather fringe group”, then the academic mainstream must – as many of us have long suspected – have been reduced to a thin, dreich, terrified, narrow, narrow-minded, insignificant trickle, confined deep within the gloomy and inspissate canyon of its own no doubt profitable but increasingly discredited prejudice.

Will Professor Butterworth ever pay heed to the inexorably-growing evidence that the world is warming at a rate many times below the central estimate predicted with “substantial confidence” by IPCC in 1990? That temperature feedbacks are net-negative? That the CO2 radiative forcing has been overestimated? That the Sun has something to do with the climate, while CO2 has little to do with it? That sea level is barely rising? That global ice loss is barely significant? That hurricanes hardly ever happen? That droughts are declining? That the cost of mitigation today is orders of magnitude greater than that of adaptation the day after tomorrow? That tens if not hundreds of millions have died because the billions of dollars that could and should have been spent on building coal-fired power stations to give them life-saving electricity have instead been squandered on lavish taxpayer subsidies to ineffectual, muddle-minded, academic profiteers of doom, and to the installation of over-priced 13th-century solutions to an overstated 21st-century non-problem?

For as long as places like University College, London, are allowed to gobble up taxpayers’ largesse unsupervised and unscrutinized, they will continue to think it acceptable to bully and harass innocent colleagues. Professor Butterworth owes Professor Alsabti an abject apology.

Well, the London Climate Conference is going ahead notwithstanding Professor Butterworth’s intolerant and menacing attempt to stop us. It will begin at 9.00 am sharp on 8 September and 9 September 2016. Come to the Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL. This will be the most high-powered academic conference on the climate question ever to have been held in Britain, and arguably in Europe too.

Will you hear some things you are likely to disagree with? Almost certainly. Though my own presentations will be concerned strictly with mainstream science, as will nearly all of the presentations by the distinguished contributors to the conference, there will of course be some ideas that are not yet accepted, for they are too new.

How much more valuable is our open-minded approach than that of a recent climate conference that I attended in the Mathematics Department at Cambridge University, my alma mater? Nothing but regurgitated pap from IPCC. None of those present, except the handful of skeptics who got in, raised any of the scientific questions that would have been raised by active, enquiring minds in my day at the university.

Fortunately, I had the opportunity of giving a blackboard seminar on the mathematics of climate sensitivity to two of the world’s foremost mathematical logicians the following day. One found the seminar “extremely interesting”. The other, as I was reaching for the duster to wipe off the equations with which I had covered the blackboard, said, “No, no: please leave them. I want to think about this, and I want the president of the faculty to see it.”

Despite all that the totalitarians have tried to do, there are still some open minds in powerful academic positions. It is they, not the likes of the forgettable Professor Butterworth, who will carry the torch of truth to coming generations, whether the current establishment likes it or not.

The more of you come to the conference, the more you will send a clear message to academe that the money is about to run out. I have already written to the Universities Funding Council and to the official scrutineering body for universities to invite them to investigate this serious incident of professional misconduct, and to invite them to remove the Provost of the college for failing to reply to correspondence from us. No doubt he was too embarrassed.

They will do nothing, of course. But in the end, if we keep the pressure up, as the ever-widening discrepancy between prediction and observation becomes impossible to conceal, they will eventually realize that money spent on making global warming go away is money entirely wasted, and they will find something else to waste it on.

It will be an excellent conference. Be there or be square!

The conference volume of extended abstracts is available at:

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/305754503_New_Dawn_of_Truth_-_The_London_2016_Conference_on_Climate_Change_Science_Geoethics_-_Conference_Volume_of_Extended_Abstracts_Commentary_Notes

Update: Link expired, here is a direct download link: london-conference-volume (PDF)

Note: While I carry this story on WUWT for informational purposes, that should in no way imply that I endorse the topics of the conference itself or the speakers – Anthony Watts

UPDATE: Professor Butterworth has penned a response here: https://lifeandphysics.wordpress.com/2016/08/05/for-the-record/

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244 thoughts on “A threat from University College, London over a climate skeptic conference.

    • Secrecy is the keystone to all tyranny. Not force, but secrecy and censorship. When any government or church for that matter, undertakes to say to its subjects, “This you may not read, this you must not know,” the end result is tyranny and oppression, no matter how holy the motives. Mighty little force is needed to control a man who has been hoodwinked in this fashion; contrariwise, no amount of force can control a free man, whose mind is free. No, not the rack nor the atomic bomb, not anything. You can’t conquer a free man; the most you can do is kill him.” ? Robert A. Heinlein

      • DD More

        That is a bit too idealistic. There are things we should not read and always will be. When the world decides to ‘study war no more’ in order to prevent it, people should not ‘study war some more’ as a way to prevent tyranny. At present the military industrial complex has gained the levers of power and is implementing a policy of pointless perpetual war. The only effective way to eliminate this threat and cost of war is to stop studying it.

        You don’t prevent war by arming everyone to the teeth. We definitely deserve to unlearn some things, little by little. I hope you agree.

      • Crispin, that is incredibly naive, and ironic that you consider the previous too idealistic given what you wrote. You advocate peace through tyranny – he who is willing to continue oppression through force wins, when those who choose “peace” over freedom refuse to fight, or to study how to and make ready.

      • What? Speak plainly, please, Crispin . . I’ve got a problem with people who slander resistance to tyranny . . and call freedom too idealistic . .

      • Guys, thanks for the comments and I will ignore the insults. I am no pacifist, but you cannot prevent war by arming everyone to the teeth. Any country needs a police force and to be able to maintain order. The days of the ‘balance of terror’ will soon be over. They are partly over already. The major problem is the lack of democracy at the international level, as anyone can see.

        Do not accept that the world has to be as you find it. Just because there are lots of problems doesn’t mean you not only accept that there ‘should be problems’ but plan for even more problems. It means you have a duty to eliminate problems. It is like planning to build a lot more prisons. Why do that? Are we expecting there will be a lot more prisoners? Why are so many people going to prison that we need many more huge prisons? Is there no change we can make to society so far fewer people, almost no one, has to be imprisoned?

        When you see the idiocy that is the Middle East, is there no change we can make to society to eliminate that craziness? None at all? Only building up more weapons? How is that working out so far?

      • Freedom is not something given to us by an allegedly benevolent state. Freedom is something we must take from the state, sometimes by force.

        What was it that Patrick Henry famously spoke, about those who cry “Peace!” when there is no peace?

      • Crispin,

        “I am no pacifist, but you cannot prevent war by arming everyone to the teeth.”

        Who said anything about arming everyone to the teeth? (I mean other than you)

        The quote DD gave seems to me to be about secrecy and censorship . .

      • PS~ “When you see the idiocy that is the Middle East, is there no change we can make to society to eliminate that craziness?”

        Answer that question yourself, please. Tell us what “change we can make to society to eliminate that craziness”, in your opinion.

        It sure looks like magical thinking to me, to suggest you or I or DD can make changes to “society” that will somehow effect that stuff . . You appear to me to be subtly championing the New World Order crappola . . or some sort of occultism . .

    • Well that’s right, and as Anthony explained. he carried the story because he wanted to ensure that people had the information about the conference, and how its organisers had been treated so shabbily by the College Authorities. I do take issue with the dogma of Anthony’s disclaimer though, and in fact it is really not the case that :

      Note: While I carry this story on WUWT for informational purposes, that should in no way imply that I endorse the topics of the conference itself or the speakers – Anthony Watts

      I had previously imagined that in fact ALL of the stories on these pages were carried for “informational purposes”. Anthony has in fact in the past endorsed some of these topics, and their speakers. For example one of the topics is Christopher Monckton’s Global Warming Speedometer, which was in fact debuted in these pages here, and the various updates as time has passed. I would humbly suggest that the disclaimer, if one is really required, would be better framed in terms of a more open credo rather than outright dogma.

      For example :

      “Note: While I carry all stories on WUWT for informational purposes, that should not necessarily imply that I endorse every topic, or all the views of every speaker, or of every conference that appears in these pages.”

      Perhaps you need to add this disclaimer to every story published on these pages, but I would have thought that this is a “given” for any publisher worth his salt. That he or she would publish in the public interest, stories which even the Editor does not necessarily personally agree with. Another less confrontational approach might be to instead place the onus on the disclaimer, if one is required, on the author of the article itself.

      For example :

      “The information in the above article, and the views expressed, are entirely those of the Authors themselves, and WUWT publishes such informative articles in the interest of truth, light, and open debate, though we do not necessarily endorse all the views of those attending any such conferences, or all of the presentations themselves. Readers must make up their own minds, having done some diligence on the matters discussed.”

      As it stands, it seems as though Anthony actually disagrees about one or more of those presentations, or scheduled speakers, and we are left wondering which is the person or theories that he disagreed with.

      Am I wrong?

      • Yes you are wrong and I believe deliberately so. The article was a non-scientific editorial, which everyone else seems to have picked up on. It is and has been the understand that the article present is the topic of discussion. Reiterating Anthony’s neutrality is appropriate.

      • Let me see if I understand your argument correctly.

        You say that “the article was a non-scientific editorial”,and then introduce some irrelevant factoids, as though this then is some reasonable explanation for Anthony’s dogmatic disclaimer. I adumbrated that this disclaimer is biased against this Geoethics Conference and not actually neutral as you assert.

        It should not matter what the subject matter of the published article is about, and indeed Anthony has stated on the “About” page at this website that though it does contain largely material of a science based nature, this is not exclusive of other subjects which may interest him from time to time. The definitive statement :
        “About Watts Up With That? News and commentary on puzzling things in life, nature, science, weather, climate change, technology, and recent news by Anthony Watts.”

        Certainly this article about the forthcoming conference in London, must fall into one of those categories, as described by Anthony. What concerns me, if you care to carefully read my original post, is the timbre of the disclaimer, which rather gives the impression that there is something wrong about this conference, which Anthony disagrees with. It’s quite clear to me from the language, which is not neutral, but rather it is disapproving, even if it is put politely.

        Again, this is the remark that I find to be critical, and not correct :
        “should in no way imply that I endorse the
        topics of the conference itself or the speakers”

        It is a fact that Anthony has endorsed some topics
        and some speakers that will appear at this conference,
        and I gave an irrefutable example.
        https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/05/25/introducing-the-global-warming-speedometer/

        Plainly it is daft for Anthony to then claim that he does not endorse Christopher Monckton or his Global Warming Speedometer now, but that is effectively what he has stated, Here is a direct quotation
        from page 6 of the Conference program and summary, and see if you notice any slight similarity between that presentation, and the WUWT url above.

        “Introducing the global warming speedometer
        A single devastating graph shows climate panic was unfounded
        By Christopher Monckton of Brenchley
        A single devastating graph – the new global warming speedometer – shows just how badly the model-based predictions made by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have failed….”

        I did suggest some more neutral wording,
        though Anthony may come up with some
        other phraseology of his own. In the end
        it is up to Anthony what he publishes, but
        making contradictory disclaimers is illogical.

        QED

      • I had exactly the same impression. I was enjoying Lord Monckton’s always erudite discourse (inspissate is my new favourite word today :D) and was brought up short by that rather jarring note at the end. I’m sure Anthony didn’t intend it, but it really felt as though he doesn’t agree with the conference in some way, and permitted the post only in a spirit of disapproving tolerance. A little the way I feel when I have to dispose of one of the semi-dismembered and partially disembowled rodents which my cats are so fond of leaving on the hall carpet.

      • Lack of endorsement is just that, it doesn’t imply disagreement or condemnation.

        Maybe the reasoning behind the notation at the end of the article is a fear of such incorrect inferences by some….

      • Actually, Anthony probably DOES disagree with all or at least most of the ideas advanced. There is for instance the argument for a planetary-solar interaction that could affect solar out and thus earth’s climate, though I don’t know of many empirical measurements that support any variance in solar out put that would back up such an idea. Dr. Svalgaard would know if there were any such measures I believe. There is a basic substitution of GH theory that certainly Dr. Spencer would disagree with. So, Anthony’s note is basically simple reassurance to some that he has not walked off what might the deep end.

        But, climate models really aren’t working well and clearly some ground up rethinking seems to be called for. Whether there are any better approaches presented is a different question. The reality is that if a better approach is not allowed exposure, we will never see better climate models. So – like panning for gold – you toss a shovel of gravel in, swirl the pan and look for a shining tail behind the black sand. The one way guaranteed not to yield gold is refuse to look among the gravel for the real gold. That is the approach being taken by AGW alarmists.

      • Unexpected, unnecessary, jolting, bizarre. All of the above describe my take on AW’s “disclaimer”. Is it the first time? Readers habitually take such a disclaimer for granted. Indeed, many articles posted here are contentious to say the least. Fair enough, too. That’s why it’s a respected blog. The comments section is the place for opinion and that’s where the “disclaimer” belongs. That way, AW would be free to be forthright in expressing what to me appears to be implicit rejection.

      • I think Anthony has put in this disclaimer because Lief and his little band of sycophants don’t like the fact that some of the speakers will be discussing solar activity and how it affects our climate. That’s science for you!

  1. I recall that Columbia Univ. allowed Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to speak when he was visiting NY for a UN meeting. I doubt he has any publications to his name, other than some death warrants and some AGW-style dogma rants.

    • He has done much more than that. He brings into question whether he has the character to hold his position. No doubt he is academically qualified, or is he a man who just regurgitated the party line? None of these absurd things like microaggression could take root if the Deans had character and told them go away and study and if you don’t like that suffer in your jocks.
      It is common knowledge that there are twitter gangs that try to bully the majority into their way of thinking. A way that has no consequences ever thought out.
      I know religion is unfashionable and it has had plenty of time servers, but it also strengthens character in times of adversity.
      Good luck with your conference Lord Monckton.

  2. The global warming crowd is doing to Science in a few short years what the Church couldn’t accomplish in centuries.

    • As far as I can tell, Christianity has been an overwhelmingly positive influence on the development of the scientific method and western thought. Please help me understand your position that it has not.

      • Roger Bacon, who was a monk, was one of the first, if not the first person in Europe to set down the scientific method in his “Opus Majus” commissioned by Pope Clement iV. The Church has had a spotty history in science, but not all of it is bad.

      • Positive influence is a stretch, I would suggest that Christians have done a reasonably good job reconciling science with the religion. There are still a few that consider the bible as a literal interpretation.

      • Duncan: first you need to define “science”. There’s modern, empirical science. Then there’s also post-modern science based more on theory and mathematical models than observation.

        Modern climate science is a good example of post-modern science.

        Christians, especially those who had a literal reading of the Bible, were at the forefront in the development of modern science. They mainly oppose other examples of post-modern science.

      • John Harmsworth,

        Perhaps you have studied the relevant history by listening to zealous atheists wail or something … Fermi, Mendel, Eddington, Planck, Bohr, Dalton, Maxwell, Newton, Gauss, Schrodinger … Just a few of the (unburned) followers of Jesus Christ who dabbled in science.

        What’s in your wallet? ; )

      • Duncan,

        “There are still a few that consider the bible as a literal interpretation.”

        What does that mean?

        The Book is positively brimming with metaphors, symbolism, parables, allegory of every conceivable sort . . which no “believer” I ever heard of didn’t recognize as non-literal communication . .

        What does it mean; “a literal interpretation”? Interpretation of what?

      • Duncan,

        (Quoting myself from several months ago, because I’m kinda lazy ; )

        *I’m living in a world where scientific investigation has led to the conclusion that the universe I find myself in just popped into existence, and is so unthinkably conducive to my existence, that the best scientists can come up with is mega-gazillions of universes (for which there is zero observed evidence), to render ours “plausibly” not designed.

        And, scientific investigation has led to the conclusion that even the simplest theoretically possible life (billions of hyper organized molecules) is so unthinkably unlikely to just come together by chance, that the best explanation for how it first came into existence is; Who knows? (but it wasn’t designed, that’s fer sure)

        And, scientific investigation has led to the conclusion that at the quantum level, there are strict “rules” governing all events, which make no sense at all to the best minds on the planet.

        I can go on, with the large scale symmetry of matter in the known universe (detected by three different satellite missions because the first and second just had to be wrong) which is called the “axis of evil” by some cosmologists/astrophysicists, ’cause we’re sitting at the center of it, and that don’t jive with the random chance alone world-view . . With an “explosion” of body designs that appear suddenly in the fossil record, fully “evolved” with zero observed evidence they existed in less “evolved” states before that . . With virtually every planet and moon in the solar system being anomalous according to the best “understanding” of what ought to be here . . etc.etc . . but why bother? if I’m speaking to hyper-dogmatic thinkers who will accept any explanation for what exists in reality-land, no matter how unfounded/illogical, as long as it keeps the God hypothesis at bay . . while calling those who don’t belong to their anti-god religion; superstitious.*

        Strange as this may sound, it seems to me that it has by no stretch of the imagination been proven scientifically that we are not inhabiting a Created universe, sir. And I respectfully suggest you remain at least skeptical of the idea that we are not . .

      • John, so you and I both agree that the Bible is not a literal interpretation. Thanks for reaferming, we’re both in agreement.

      • Consider please, as but one example; The book says (2 Peter 3:8)

        *But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.*

        That one sentence, renders it perfectly questionable what exactly is meant by a day, our time wise, in the Creation story that appears first in a Bible. It does not limit the possibilities to a thousand years even, it’s a saying, which detaches our sense of the passing of time, from His. Within the lingo of the Book, it could be one day each, or many thousands of years each, to us, if we were there, so to speak.

        And, the opening verse; *In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.* . . does not place those Actions on the first day, necessarily . . (as I read the text). It is possible to my mind, that what we are seeing is an account of what might be called a restoration of a world somehow ruined/rendered chaotic.

        But even further, If one thinks in terms of a “world” human’s might create, like a computer simulation sort of affair, it is not necessary that all objects begin in a single spot . . or “evolve” in any particular order before any “entity” could be introduced into it.

        If we had the power to generate self aware entities in such a virtual world, and those entities at some point took up trying to figure out their space-time continuum (scientific investigation), they might come to realize they were in a created universe . . but they might get all sorts of erroneous ideas about their “deep-time” past . . if they assume there was a deep-time past at all.

        Anyway, my point is that the Book is far from simple in what it presents, and what the ramifications of what it presents might be. Everything would be up to the Creator, just as it would be in a man-made world. And the Book makes no bones at all about this, and He does just as He pleases, not as we might assume or imagine He did, based on what we can detect in our limited view, with an assumption that everything was generated and progressed in a ricocheting pool-ball sort of fashion our physicists are essentially compelled to imagine it has unfolded. He could have literally made it in six literal days, to appear just as He wanted us to perceive . . so we would be having this very discussion at this very moment of time . .

        Just sayin’ ; )

      • John, so we agree again, your interpretation is very different from other peoples literal interpretation. As my original post stated, Christians have intertwined (“reconciled”) their beliefs with science successfully without detracting from their beliefs. Can we all just go to bed?

      • Duncan, I never agreed to your previous supposed agreement . . to me, (for reasons having to do with what I experienced in reality-land about eighteen years ago), that Book is an actual communication from an actual Creator . . but of course I agree there are many ways to interpret many aspects of such an thing as that Book.

        “As my original post stated, Christians have intertwined (“reconciled”) their beliefs with science successfully without detracting from their beliefs.”

        Sure, this was the part I responded to; “There are still a few that consider the bible as a literal interpretation.”

        It still makes little sense to me, but hopefully you can see why, now . .

        (It’s 9:30 here, and I won’t be going to bed for at least a few hours, but do sleep well my patient friend ; )

  3. Proffessor Butterworth add another crony to Cameron,s honours list

    • Fear not, because the entire conference will be recorded, and the lectures & etc shall appear in due course on YouTube shortly afterwards. With their previous conference in Paris last year, they actually uploaded videos to a WordPress site as MP4s which can be viewed directly or downloaded. Later on some YouTube users independently made those into YouTube videos, and they received thousands of views subsequently.

      The “Paris Climate Challenge 2015” featured some of the same people, and readers may view those lectures in video at the official website of that particular conference. We expect that there will be a similar website for the London Conference put up on the Web in due course.

      see : https://pcc15.org/about/
      for Original Paris Conference Videos.

      Alternatively search YouTube for
      Paris PCC15
      if that’s what you prefer.

  4. Is there any likelihood of the press covering all or part of the conference? Have invitations gone to Monbiot, Harrabin, Shukman etc. and, if so, have any replied or asked to send alternates?

  5. …and, of course, the cameras panned in close to make a small group of screaming animals look larger

    It’s all about who can scream the loudest and longest

  6. Boy, I knew Mr. Monckton was good at words, but he’s really, really good when he’s a bit pissed off.

      • Just watch their (British) politicians in action. They can insult you with the best of elegance and make you feel they are agreeing with you. Puts our North American politicians to shame. Monckton is cut from the same cloth.

      • “The word of the day is….”

        inspissate:
        verb (used with or without object), inspissated, inspissating.
        1.
        to thicken, as by evaporation; make or become dense.

    • Perhaps His Lordship obtained his title by birth, but more than many others, he honorably distinguishes it by merit!

  7. Congratulations on going forth with the conference. The list of presenters is impressive. I am sure the event will amazingly interesting and productive.
    All the best in pursuing the professional misconduct charge as to the craven actions and extraordinarily ignorant statements of Professor B.

  8. Somebody please tell me the difference between the average tenured professor and a prostitute. Seems to me both are f…ng other people for money. Well, actually, the prostitute seems to be the honest about it.

    • “Somebody please tell me the difference between the average tenured professor and a prostitute.”

      While I understand your sentiment, I’d be reluctant to tar so many with the same brush. I am in fact married to one of those “prostitutes”, and she’s generally pretty level-headed. Not that I agree with the concept of tenure, but not all tenured professors are “useful idiots” like the villains of Lord Monckton’s article. I wouldn’t want CAGW skeptics like us to turn into Democrats, who view people only as members of groups, rather than individuals.

      (And I just did it myself, didn’t I? Dang!) :-)

      • Academic tenure is noble in concept. The agreement is that academics will tell the politically indifferent and dispassionate truth about the results of their studies and scholarship. Their teaching would also and likewise be indifferent to politics. In return the University would not fire them upon any pressure applied by politically partisan groups that objected on ideological grounds (or any other political grounds).

        The faculty side of the agreement went by the boards starting in the 1970s, when outright political partisans were hired into academic positions. They were hired in response to fierce accusations that the universities accommodated genocide (i.e., the Vietnam War) and racism (i.e., Jim Crow and slavery) because their faculties gave no indications of passionate opposition.

        The studies of the newly hired politicized faculties took the form of tendentious partisan elaborations, in which their “theory” assumed their partisan conclusions, and their “research” was always confirmatory. The most blatant of these are the ‘cultural studies’ departments, which were designed for people lacking the mental acuity for true scholarship.

        The ruination became complete when the University deans, provosts, and presidents signally and virtually universally, did not display the moral courage to enforce their side of the tenure agreement. They stood by as partisan faculty published passionate and partisan nonsense, and partisan search committees hired only political fellow-travelers, radicalizing entire departments.

        For nearly two generations now, this double failure has dominated American universities, pretty much destroying them as sources of knowledge, apart from the hard sciences and engineering. Climate science has brought the rot very close to the sciences, though.

        The only way to reverse the corruption is if the tenure agreement is again enforced. Partisan faculty would then be required either to depoliticize their teaching and research (hardly likely), or the politicized departments closed, or irredeemably political faculty invited to leave, all no matter the screams of partisan outrage.

        Don’t hold your breath.

      • Pat Frank August 1, 2016 at 4:13 pm

        Rather than hold your breath, it would be easier to remove the accreditation of that department or indeed the university. Then the tenure ceases to be useful as there will be no students to indoctrinate.

      • Pat,
        When you said: “They stood by as partisan faculty published passionate and partisan nonsense, and partisan search committees hired only political fellow-travelers, radicalizing entire departments” you were describing just one of the methods the wing-nuts have use to engineer an almost complete takeover of Academia. Starting in the early ’70s when they first let them in to solve a perceived problem, Universities have become one of the best examples of Conquest’s Second Law:

        Any organization not explicitly right-wing sooner or later becomes left-wing

      • “I wouldn’t want CAGW skeptics like us to turn into Democrats, who view people only as members of groups, rather than individuals.

        (And I just did it myself, didn’t I? Dang!) :-)”

        It’s a perfectly human reaction. A survival instinct. Everybody does it to one extent or another. The problem is, stereotyping can cause our minds to become rigid or unaccepting of all the other information available to us that might contradict that stereotype, so we must fight our own biases continually, if we want to get as close to the truth as we can, and not delude ourselves by taking the easy route of stereotyping.

    • The problem is not tenure, but that it is too difficult to fire someone who has tenure. Tenure should provide a measure of protection; it should not be a blank check so that a person is virtually untouchable. If you lose the ability or desire to fire people, many will become lazy and corrupt. Much like anonymous message board trolls who use the cloak of anonymity to cause trouble; there is little fear of repercussion so they do whatever they want.

    • Without tenure it would be easy for university administrators to get rid of any academics who did not hold the “correct” views on climate change or any other subject.

      • From what I’ve read on this site, academics have found alternative ways to “silence” those who do not hold “correct views”. If you can’t publish, you perish.
        Tenure, both at the university level, and in the US at the secondary level, needs a major revision, if not elimination.

  9. The paymasters are the problem. They see the provision of funding as their only responsibility. After that they simply announce ‘we are funding ‘world leading’ science’ because that is what the recipients tell them.

    Time to send in the Red Teams!

  10. I really like your approach to calling out the coward Mr. Monckton. It makes them seem all the more cowardly when they don’t respond. Bravo.

    • I’m not sure if it’s still true, but we used to boast that Trinity had more Nobel prizes than France and only one of them was a peace prize. There were some giants of the hard sciences and it was exciting to be associated with them. Newton is hard to beat :-) I suppose that the traitors of the cold war should have prepared me, but the current lot don’t inspire me.

      • Not quite true alas (may need some updating).

        Trinity 32 (5 present in College in 2012) [30]
        Cambridge 89 [84]
        Oxford 58 [48]
        USA 338 [305]
        UK 119 [94]
        Germany 103 [87]
        France 59 [35]
        Sweden 29 [16]
        Switzerland 25 [20]
        Italy 20 [13]

        Square brackets ‘proper Nobels’ excluding Literature and Peace.

  11. Doncha know…. Jonathon Butterworth can say ATLAS and LHC and .. wait for it… Higgs field.

    So naturally that makes him an expert in climate sensitivity analysis and beyond reproach so he can look down his nose at Lord Chris with contempt. You see, when you play with the big toys, YOU ARE A GOD!!!

    Except he isn’t. He, because he is in large collaborative big science, has to make the appearance that he is a socialist money spreading internationalist diversity elite. Even if he isn’t.

    Hard to get along in a big science lab if you don’t have some UN street cred.

    Well he is a wh0re who sold his dedication to learning “hard things” and objective debate for the big science gravy train.

    He is a forgettable man trying to fit into his lab of group think wealth redistributors, albeit awkwardly. He is nobody we need to remember.

    Butterworth, you didn’t buy a single bit of respect. They all still think you are a dick and they still snicker about you when you leave the conversation.

      • This is an issue to do with Windows XP principally, and the fact that the site uses a deprecated protocol and cipher. Google Chrome now turns all http requests into https for so called “security” reasons, and no new security updates are available for Windows XP users of Google Chrome. This is Google’s decision not to update XP users beyond Version 49.0.2623.112 but XP Users can view such pages in Internet Explorer, and Microsoft have no plans to kill off XP functionality, and even though XP is now officially unsupported, there are millions of XP systems worldwide, installed on old hardware, and this won’t change anytime soon. My opinion is that Google have blundered in not continuing to support those users, and will have lost revenue as a result.

        Still users can still have Google Chrome and its useful plugins, and still use Ye Olde Internet Explorer for http requests. You can’t please all of the people all of the time, but Google might at least try harder.

      • Another part to the issue of Error 403 and such at these links, is the fact that sites which use “Cloudflare” DNS nameservers can not then even resolve sites which have the deprecated cipher suite. However this does not affect users whose ISP also use particular DNS Nameservers.

        UNIVERSAL SOLUTION IF YOU GET THIS ERROR

        Use an online “Web Proxy” to access such sites.
        Such Proxy server networks, have their own DNS
        arrangements, and furthermore Chrome / Firefox &etc,
        cannot tell, or even care that the ultimate target site
        has the “wrong” cipher or unsecured servers & etc.
        Proxy server will connect to target site even if its
        cipher and protocols are outdated and uncertified.
        Your local browser and ISP see only the Proxy Site
        webservers, and they are not using Windows XP,
        and do not have deprecated cipher suite. HMA does

        For example see this encrypted URL to Conway Hall
        Which will work whatever your O/S or Browser type.
        https://5.hidemyass.com/ip-1/encrypted/c8zN4tcsDbtVXdsVsepVtmquhFv85fJsOAeE7Rc_Hfk9

        Other Web Proxies are available, but HMA
        is well known and trusted by many millions.

        Even after all that, it is the case that Conway Hall
        still does not list this event on their official pages.

    • The link to the conference webpage works fine with Google Chrome,a PC and old MS software.
      https://geoethic.com/london-conference-2016/

      For those with a problematic connection, here’s the program:

      Thursday 8 September: Natural drivers of climate changes
      Session 1: Planet Earth in the cosmos
      09.00 Athem Alsabti: Effects of Nearby Supernovae on Atmosphere and Climate
      09.20 Oliver Manuel: Neutron Repulsion *
      Session 2: Influence of the Sun and the major planets on the Earth’s climate
      10.00 Nils-Axel Mörner: An introduction to planetary-solar-terrestrial interaction
      10.10 Roger Tattersall & Richard Salvador: Does solar system orbital motion and resonance synchronize solar variation, LOD and ENSO?
      10.20 Ned Nikolov & Karl Zeller: A new planetary temperature model and its implication for the Greenhouse theory
      10.40 Nicola Scafetta: Multi-frequency spectral coherence between planetary and global surface temperature oscillations
      11.00 Jan-Erik Solheim: Ice margins, the Sun and the planets
      11.20 Per Strandberg: Drivers of ENSO variability
      Session 3: Ocean variability
      13.00 Fred Goldberg: Are the ocean currents affecting our climate?
      13.10 Martin Hovland: Documented pH and temperature anomalies in the deep ocean *
      13.30 Wyss Yim: Sub-aerial and submarine volcanic eruptions and climatic variability
      Session 4: Natural influences on climate
      15.00 Peter Ward: Ozone depletion, not greenhouse warming, caused recent warming *
      15.20 Hans Jelbring: The dominant physical processes that cause climate change
      15.40 Alex Pope: Ice on land
      16.20 Fabio Pistella and Leonello Serva: The CHIC project of ICG

      Friday 9 September: The temperature plot and its consequences
      Session 5: The greenhouse effect and anthropogenic global warming
      09.00 Jan-Erik Solheim: Result of a greenhouse experiment
      09.20 Francois Gervais: Tiny CO2 warming challenged by Earth greening
      09.40 Fred Goldberg: Does human CO2 emission change the climate? Faith vs. facts
      10.20 Albrecht Glatzle: Reconsidering livestock’s role in climate change *
      10.40 Pamela Klein: Is climate science serious?
      11.00 Benoît Rittaud: Epistemology of Climate Change
      11.20 Piers Corbyn: The total failure of the ManMade Climate Change story
      13.00 Thomas Wysmuller: Sea-level rise and CO2
      13.20 Maria Araujo: Sea level data in the Iberian Peninsula
      13.40 Nils-Axel Mörner: Modelled vs observed sea-level changes
      Session 6: Implications of the catastrophist anthropogenic global warming hypothesis
      14.10 Madhav Khandekar: Climate change and extreme weather: projection, perception and reality *
      14.30 Philip Foster: Climate policy, geoethics and the developing nations
      14.50 Christopher Monckton of Brenchley: Genocidal climate science *

  12. Congratulations to Louisiana State. University College, London, my old college, disgusts me and fills me with contempt.

    Prime Suspect for this McCarthyism must be Chris Rapley, professor of climate science and professional bootlicker to the powerful. When head of the London Science Museum he was asked by then Environment Minister Ed Milliband to put on a quick and dirty global warming exhibition to further Ed’s political career, which Rapley did, hiring out the work to a PR firm.The disastrous result was ridiculed here at WUWT.

    Two years ago he put on a (state subsidised) one man show at the Royal Court theatre, London, in which he burbled about ice cores and his grandchildren like a man possessed (of his own importance). When I published a transcript he put the lawyers on me.

    If anyone has any ideas how UCL can be shamed about their Stalinist behaviour I’d be pleased to hear from them.

  13. Link to the conference Extended Abstracts failed on my system (I use Firefox). Have you a solution?
    Thanks, Robin

  14. I realize that the loss of fundamental values such as honesty, honor and above all, curiosity at our universities give me no hope for the future of western civilization. I believe that we have lost our foundation. That was our only defense against superstition. I guess I am lucky to be able to teach my children all they need to know in math and physics but what about those kids who’s parents don’t have the extra decade of education but would like to give their kids a chance to move up in life?

  15. G’gld Butterworth, U.C. and got this:

    Department Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience & Dept. Psychology
    Institution University College London
    Address 17 Queen Square, London, WC1N 3AR
    Telephone 020-7679-1150
    Home Page
    Email

    Centre of Educational Neuroscience

    Current Research and Interests
    Cognitive psychology and neuropsychology of numbers and arithmetic. Neural network models of reading and arithmetic. Reading and acquired dyslexia in English, Japanese and Chinese.

    WTF does he know about the Science in question? What right to even open his mouth on same? What right to reject space for a Conference centred on another Professor’s Science?
    If I had my druthers, I’d fire this wanker pronto.
    What wd you say, Professor, if the positions were reversed?
    Another dismal blight against the principles of open, honest, collaborative debate in fields of Scientific endeavour.
    Sir, you are a blight.

  16. Try this again…. (language moderated)
    G’gld Butterworth, U.C. and got this:

    Department Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience & Dept. Psychology
    Institution University College London
    Address 17 Queen Square, London, WC1N 3AR
    Telephone 020-7679-1150
    Home Page
    Email

    Centre of Educational Neuroscience

    Current Research and Interests
    Cognitive psychology and neuropsychology of numbers and arithmetic. Neural network models of reading and arithmetic. Reading and acquired dyslexia in English, Japanese and Chinese.

    What does he know about the Science in question? What right to even open his mouth on same? What right to reject space for a Conference centred on another Professor’s Science?
    If I had my druthers, I’d fire this interfering busybody pronto.
    What wd you say, Professor, if the positions were reversed?
    Another dismal blight against the principles of open, honest, collaborative debate in fields of Scientific endeavour.
    Sir, shame on you!

    • Tit for tat! Many qualified physical scientists are now wondering what is wrong with the neurology professor’s brain.

  17. …it would generate a great deal of strong feeling…

    Good grief, we can’t have that, now can we? But perhaps if enough of this so-generated “strong feeling” were to be bottled and used to heat our homes and power our cars, the carbon foot print of the seminar would be reduced?
    (snark)

  18. Their mistake was putting a big fat target on their foreheads from the get-go.
    We have to be smarter people!
    They should have named the group something innocuous like “Students for Atmospheric Studies” and called the meeting something undecipherable like “The impact of rare atmospheric gasses on rates of change of quantitative thermodynamic measurements.”
    Then they should have picked a date for the meeting, and publicly announced it would happen two weeks later than scheduled, and change the meeting date three times. Before anyone caught on, the meeting will have been had.

    This is how the Democratic lawmakers in Annapolis, MD ply their dirty craft, so why not take a page from their playbook?

  19. “… members of the UCL community are expressing concern to me that we are giving a platform to speakers who deny anthropogenic climate change while flying in the face of accepted scientific methods.”

    Last I heard the scientific community was expressing 95% confidence in the existence of anthropogenic climate change. Professor Butterworth thinks the 5% of doubt shouldn’t be expressed on University premises.Yet UCL staff members worked on the very IPCC report which admitted a 5% doubt. Should they be sacked?

  20. Chris: I read part of your noble friend Matt Ridley’s piece in the GWPF today. I had a great deal of difficulty thinking of him as ‘one of us’. Please, can you persuade him NOT to talk about CO2 as ‘carbon’; NOT to talk about bending the knee to AGW/Climate Change; and NOT to talk about ‘carbon budgets’ as a means of defining the benefits of gas (fracked? I hope) over Nuclear?
    As far as I am concerned the hypothesis that the trace gas of miniscule man-made CO2 is causing the globe to fry has NOT been proven. Matt gives comfort to the enemy by playing on their ground. Far better to make them come to your ground to fight. Sounds like you might have achieved this by telling UCL where to get off (I much prefer Steyn’s response to Mann – and that should have been the response to Butterworth) so I hope the conference at Conway Hall is a success. But let there be no talk of ‘Carbon’.

    • Harry Passfield says: August 1, 2016 at 2:24 pm

      … As far as I am concerned the hypothesis that the trace gas of miniscule man-made CO2 is causing the globe to fry has NOT been proven.

      I would go one further. The chances of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming are miniscule.

      If we say the CAGW case is not proven, we are admitting that it could possibly happen. We shouldn’t do that.

  21. Ok this might be an entirely American response to a bully; but the words ‘sod off’ are English aren’t they?

    So a bully has decided what is right and fair….hmmm…how does that play into his psychology research?

  22. The Vice-Chancellor, after receiving one nasty threat too many …

    One of my friends refused to rent a university facility to a group. This was before Facebook and Twitter. He received phoned death threats from all over the continent. I would say that he still bears the scars. As far as I can tell, it was the nastiest thing that ever happened to him. Some of these so-called social justice warriors are really really vile. I feel sorry for anyone who becomes their target.

  23. As an alumnus of UCL I am surprised and disappointed. The founder of UCL Jeremy Bentham – whose mummified body is kept on the premises – was a famous rationalist who would not have liked to be linked with this no-platforming nonsense. No science is “settled” for all time, especially when its key predictions are not replicated by what actually happens. Why that has happened to climate science is a legitimate area for serious enquiry. Bad decision, UCL

  24. I see an academic bearing the smouldering torch of ignorance and trying to set fire to piles of books written by famous skeptics.

  25. I’m a supporter of Chris Monkton and passionate skeptic of CAGW. However I took a look at the program of this conference and its horrible. I’m afraid Butterworth is right that this is fringe science. Discredited ideas about strong forcing of climate by planetary orbits are given prominence. Worse, there is a platform for electric universe quasi-religious nonsense.

    Worst of all is the oral presentation by Oliver Manuel, an obsessive thread-bomber and pseudoscientific charlatan. The subject of his scepticism is not CO2 and global warming, but the – apparently flawed – notion that the bright yellow thing in the sky is a sun. Oh no – Dr Manuel corrects this myth for us by explaining that it is instead a “clothed neutron star”. The delusional Oliver has been repeatedly banned from WUWT. Now he is preaching his neutron gospel in this climate anti-conference. This is an appalling misjudgment by tallbloke and the conference committee. It would be less damaging to credibility to headline Rupert Sheldrake and the conscious universe, than Manuel’s wretched drivel.

    And the name “New Dawn of Truth” and accompanying logo would make me if I attended feel very uneasy as if I were being lured into a religious cult.

    Sorry but count me out, go Butterworth!

    • The issue with Oliver K. Manuel goes far beyond thread bombing (for which he was banned at WUWT). I’m surprised anyone speaking there would not have noticed this as it has been public knowledge for quite some time.

      I’ve added a note to the body of the post stating that carrying this story at WUWT does not equate to my endorsement of the conference topics or the speakers.

      • What an incendiary revelation!

        Surely the organisers of this event cannot allow the current line-up to stand without prompt action. They would be leaving themselves wide open to ridicule – something to be avoided at all costs.

      • Mr Manuel will not, of course, be attending the conference in person.

        As the head posting makes clear, there will be some ideas presented at the conference that are not mainstream, though my own presentation will be mainstream science, as will the presentations of the overwhelming majority of participants. But Professor Moerner, the organizer, and a world authority on sea level, believes that the ever more elaborate intolerant filtering of ideas before they are given a chance to be fairly heard is dangerous, so he has invited some who, though not in the mainstream, should in his opinion be given the chance to have their ideas tested before an eminent academic audience.

        I think it likely that some of these ideas, on being exposed to a properly qualified audience giving them a fair hearing for the first time, will be finally disposed of as being unacceptably bad. Others, perhaps not. But most of us will be presenting science that fully respects the scientific method, and on this topic to do such a thing in the England of today, which possesses the most scientifically illiterate establishment since the Middle Ages, takes more than a little courage.

      • All he seems to do is thread bomb is own blog as well. I won’t post the link, people can find it if they want.

      • it’s too late, luc- the damage is done.
        hotwhopper won’t have to spin this one at all.
        but it could be worse – somebody might try to peddle excuses.
        i fear the rule of holes is about to get shredded.

      • Thanks Anthony. I should clarify that several of the presentations are first class, but some really should not have been included. There must be rigorous scrutiny of all climate theories, CO2 or otherwise. Perhaps a better name for the conference would have been “The good, the bad and the ugly” /sarc

      • It’s important that the papers presented should be first class, but excluding the ones we don’t agree with is getting into dangerous territory. That’s what the other side does. Don’t we believe in freedom of ideas and debate? If someone presents something that is flawed, then the questions after the presentation will expose the problems. We should be open to any ideas. It’s science.

      • Richard – you write:
        “If someone presents something that is flawed, then the questions after the presentation will expose the problems. We should be open to any ideas. It’s science”

        Well, lots of people have exposed the flaws in previous presentations by all the speakers at this conference…

        In the interests of open ideas and science, here are just 2 examples:

        http://www.skepticalscience.com/Nils-Axel-Morner-wrong-about-sea-level-rise.html
        http://www.skepticalscience.com/simply-wrong-solheim-hansen-88.html

        and if you are going to have a pop at the source, I can find other citations of the problems – I merely pick a source with short summary of the issues

      • Monckton of Brenchley August 1, 2016 at 10:21 pm
        Mr Manuel will not, of course, be attending the conference in person.

        … Professor Moerner, the organizer, and a world authority on sea level, believes that the ever more elaborate intolerant filtering of ideas before they are given a chance to be fairly heard is dangerous, ….

        Precisely. We put up – somewhat – with obsessives like Dr. Manuel because even a stopped clock is sometimes right.

    • wow.
      butterworth has reason.
      i fell for monckton’s line cuz of his good rep.
      thanks, ptolemy2, for disabusing me of that false notion.

      • Professor Butterworth has no reason for threatening his academic colleague other than a totalitarian desire to suppress scientific research on the climate question with which his paymasters disagree.

        The great majority of the presentations at the conference will be mainstream science, but Professor Moerner is not as intolerant of free speech as the true-believers. He will allow a small number of alternative voices to be heard. By doing so, he is demonstrating that, on our side of the debate, academic freedom still thrives. That freedom has always included the freedom to put forward bad hypotheses. Some of those hypotheses will die a well-deserved death at the London conference, but at least those offering them will have know that they have had a fair hearing from a learned audience of open minds.

        Like it or not, that is how science should be done. If even the sceptical side of the debate will not give a platform to new ideas, good or bad, what hope is there for a restoration of the scientific method? That method works not by rejecting uncongenial hypotheses a priori, but by letting them be heard and then, and only then, dismissing them if they are found wanting.

      • Monckton said: “That method works not by rejecting uncongenial hypotheses a priori, but by letting them be heard and then, and only then, dismissing them if they are found wanting.”

        Well, if you end up having to remove Manuel from the lineup, I can fill his spot with my report on the physical properties of unicorns and their effect on climate.

      • “I would encourage you to think about moving the event to a different venue, not on UCL premises.””
        i honestly do not understand how this can be characterized as
        “threatening his academic colleague ”

        as for the motive ‘a totalitarian desire to suppress scientific research on the climate question with which his paymasters disagree.”
        that is not self evident nor is evidence adduced in the the jeremiad to support the attribution of this intention.
        regardless, intentions are not a legitimate basis for any claim of damage and there certainly appears to be ample valid justification for wanting to avoid association with the event.

        it looks like somebody failed to perform due diligence.
        the proper thing is to acknowledge the error and rectify it.
        (to deny or persist in error is a separate error and may be worse than the original error.)
        ask macgregor about his goat. reputation is what you make it.

        this is just how it looks to me, without full knowledge of the matter. i’m not prosecuting a case; but everybody forms a judgement. anybody with a system of values does that.

      • The question of academic interference still remains. Would Butterworth ban showings of “An Inconvienient Truth” on campus, or worse, an appearance by Al Gore himself who can inform us of the benefits of geothermal heat since the interior of the earth is several million degrees “hot”?
        Academic freedom applies even if you think the ideas are preposterous.

    • If people are going to challenge the standard model of CAGW then they need to have a science based approach

      Posting articles on every theory which contradicts that standard model is not good enough – you have to eliminate the contradictory, plain impossible and frankly nutty. They can’t all be right.

      when there’s (for example) a Steve Goddard posting nonsense, you need to point it out…

      You need not to associate with fringe, non-mainstream or (as I call it) made up science.

      Mockton’s credibility has gone down another notch – and his rather over emotional response to venue change doesn’t help.

      • That’s a more reasonable wording of things than I could manage for this situation.

      • At present I am writing a paper on the philosophy of science. I am taking pointy-headed theories about a flat Earth, about alien gods building the Great Pyramid and about the climate as illustrations of what I call extramural or off-the-wall hypotheses that flourish precisely because small minds reject them a priori without ever troubling to argue against their nionsense.

        No doubt Griff will say, Oh, look at Monckton, he’s examining flat-earth theories now. His credibility has gone down another notch.

        But it is precisely because bad ideas have been driven underground by rejection a priori rather than by pointing out their fatal defects that so many people, in what is supposed to be an age of science, will believe six impossible things before breakfast, creating an environment of goofiness in which ludicrous ideas such as global warming extremism can flourish because we have got out of the habit of bothering to listen to nonsense and then oppose it.

      • Monckton of Brenchley says:

        “But it is precisely because bad ideas have been driven underground by rejection a priori rather than by pointing out their fatal defects that so many people, in what is supposed to be an age of science, will believe six impossible things before breakfast, creating an environment of goofiness in which ludicrous ideas such as global warming extremism can flourish because we have got out of the habit of bothering to listen to nonsense and then oppose it.”

        Amen

      • I confess that your current theories do seem to me to be the equivalent of flat earth theories….

        In that like ‘flat earthers’ you are driven first by conviction/belief that the world works in a particular way, then set out to prove it so, rather than proceeding from observation.

      • “If people are going to challenge the standard model of CAGW then they need to have a science based approach”

        Child, you wouldn’t recognise a science-based approach if it scuttled under your noisome, slimy bridge, leapt up, and sank its teeth into your snout.

        Stick to Cook the (failed) cartoonist and Loopy Lew Lewandowsky’s UnSkeptical NonScience, that’s about your level.

    • @ptolemy2:

      “I should clarify that several of the presentations are first class, but some really should not have been included. There must be rigorous scrutiny of all climate theories, CO2 or otherwise. ”

      I’m sorry but that is nothing more than a form of censorship.

      We’ve all been to conferences that have outliers. I’m going to one next week and there are a few lectures and discussions that I don’t feel belong in this particular conference–but that is my opinion. I may choose to not attend those, but I don’t rate my willingness to go based upon the few lectures and discussions I won’t be attending anyway. There are also some questionable speakers that have been known to be absolutely wrong–but they are there as well and have a platform upon which they can expand on their wrongness if they so desire. This conference being held in a free society means I can choose to not listen to them and move on with my day of activities. Or I can choose to listen to them and congratulate myself on how right I am and how wrong they are…the point is I have an opportunity to do either because they are allowed to be there.

      Blanket censorship like what you describe is a slippery slope.

      • Mockton’s credibility has gone up yet another notch for encouraging new or wacky ideas to be scrutinized; that’s how science advances.

  26. The word “skeptic” implies that we’re uneducated and unlettered with no bearing or value.

    I believe we need a new name.

    • I can’t imagine any valid reason for that implication. What evidence do you have for it? The first definition is “a person who questions the validity or authenticity of something purporting to be factual.” No definition of skeptic implies lack of education in any way.

    • I don’t think so. It is a good name, an accurate name. (So good, in fact, that the alarmists have tried to appropriate it for themselves.)

    • The “Other Side”, increasingly desperate — in the PR & Mktg Wars — to portray *Us* in the most -ve light, will seize on anything to advantage their cause. If I were on of *Them*, I’d seize on “Skeptic” so as to portray it in THE MOST PEJORATIVE TERMS, as in “Skeptics = Neanderthals”
      No surprise that *they* have presented *us* as ‘uneducated and unlettered with no bearing or value’.
      The best response I can think of — after a coupla glasses of wine! — is: For every finger you point at us, 3 fingers are pointing at you!
      Reinforced by the quality of WUWT opinion, I reckon we have nothing but good to bring to the debate, and let;’s fly “SKEPTIC!” RIGHT IN THEIR FACES until reason prevails.

    • I always considered myself a “climate realist”. When data of sufficient quality to not need “adjustments” and of long enough duration (if they start now that will be one hundred years after I’m gone! – and I plan on living for a good while yet.) that all the natural ocean cycles can be fully characterized, then I will believe what the data tells me. What we have now is conjecture and political power plays clothed in a thin veneer of sciency-sounding gibberish.

    • The Lord is right to include these fringe elements after all that’s what we are to the likes of Mann and co .

  27. Hold your conference, make your presentation and win the arguments. Not by shutting down opposite views but by placing the facts before the world and letting them speak louder than any baying mob. You’re winning Lord M.

  28. Butterworth deserves an Astronomy lesson on climate change driven by the planetary ordering of solar activity, but sadly Mörner, Scafetta, and Tattersall et al have nothing empirical or definitive to offer.

    • Don’t underestimate the scientific credentials of such giants as Professor Moerner. And don’t be intolerant of implausible-sounding ideas a priori. Tharpt is the hallmark of the small mind.

      • “And don’t be intolerant of implausible-sounding ideas a priori.”

        Very presumptive, being my field I have given their work intense scrutiny.

        “Don’t underestimate the scientific credentials of such giants as Professor Moerner.”

        Well pardon me your Lordship, but I grew up with a Mother who often had more common sense and reason than the credentialed giant of my Father who was head of UK guided weapons in the 1960’s, he loved theorising, but observations always trump theories.
        So lets have a look at Mörner’s theory:

        “By about 2030-2040, the Sun will experience a new grand solar minimum. This is evident from multiple studies of quite different characteristics: the phasing of sunspot cycles, the cyclic observations of North Atlantic behaviour over the past millennium..”
        http://file.scirp.org/pdf/NS_2015111916552083.pdf

        Well blow me down, he simply failed to notice that the AMO was warm during the last solar minimum in the late 1800’s, the Gleissberg Minimum. You see, during solar minima, negative North Atlantic Oscillation states increase, and that can only mean a warm AMO. So Mörner has the phase relationship between the AMO and solar activity the complete reverse of what is observed.
        The error arises from the assumption that a smaller sunspot cycle in the 1970’s was related to the 1970’s surface cooling. When the rational explanation is that stronger solar wind forced a positive North Atlantic Oscillation regime, driving a cold a AMO and Arctic, and increased La Nina, and that also explains the AMO and Arctic warming since the mid 1990’s, i.e. since the solar wind has weakened.
        As for the 2030-2040 date for a new grand solar minimum, it makes no sense from the normal periodicity of solar minima, let alone that we have already entered a solar minimum, and it is obviously based on his misunderstanding of what drives a cold North Atlantic.

        I think backslapping due to credentials is the hallmark of the small mind.

      • ‘That is the hallmark of the small mind’. Hear, hear. Sadly, there are many small minds on this site.

  29. I love this Shakespeare quote (from King Lear)

    Through tattered robes small vices do appear;
    Robes and furred gowns hides all.

  30. I am sorry that I will not be able to attend this excellent conference.

    By the way I think you made a spelling mistake: “Nothing but regurgitated pap from IPCC”.

    I think it should be cr@p

    • “I am sorry that I will not be able to attend this excellent conference.”

      But if you don’t go, how will you learn about the electric universe, and how our sun is a clothed neutron star, and a bunch of other brilliant ideas that are just too “new” to be accepted!

      • I was interested in that last one. Apparently the sun’s rocky mantle is hiding a neutron star
        according to a “keynote speaker”. Not to mention the fact that looking at the presentations
        there appears to be multiple contradictory explanations of climate variability, El Niño etc.
        El Niño is apparently cause by either changes in the length of the day of the order of milliseconds
        or by lunar gravitational pulses.

        If you wanted to gather together a group of fools to make climate sceptics look bad you would have to look hard to find a better bunch.

      • Geronimo displays the true-believer’s lamentable ignorance of mainstream planetary physics in imagining that small variations in the Earth’s rate of rotation cannot have major effects on climate. After all, an alteration of 1 part in 10,000 in the atmospheric composition is supposed to make the planet fry. He may care to read any standard textbook on sea level, or on chaos theory.

  31. I worry what else Prof Butternut tries to silence at a ?
    Skeptic is just another name for those that believe in the scientific method .
    Butternut tries to use his little perch and unnamed reference to others as a means to discourage legitimate discussion by people who are not afraid to acknowledge the complex uncertainties within a developing branch of science .
    Better to be part of a ” rather fringe group ” than being a close minded chicken shit academic .

  32. And, what exactly was the threat from UCL? Can’t seem to find that bit in Moncktons rant. Who was threatened, and with what?

    • The threat was to cancel his speaking engagement, because they weren’t going to give charlatans a platform.

      • “As others here have pointed out, in other jurisdictions he would have been found guilty of hate speech.”

        Lol, that was one guy, who didn’t even get the web address of the organization he belongs to right.

        Regardless, if there was a threat made, you should be able to explain what consequences the person was threatened with. Should only take a couple of words to explain.

      • ” in other jurisdictions he would have been found guilty of hate speech”
        omfg – are you freakin serial?
        so that lavender image is the terrible swift sword of the social justice worrier?
        fatuous! fatuous! fatuous!
        gonna cry about ‘fatuous shaming’ next?
        the hole you dug is past 6 ft deep now and more than adequate.
        gonna add caitlyn to the roster of speakers next? or are you subtly nanogressing the gender fluid explanation of global worming?
        david icke? shouldn’t you shame a university into supporting a convention of reptilian climate change scientists?
        how about lobsang rampa?
        ooh! you gotta get carlos castaneda – he’s got a real degree, even.

        this has now gone beyond farce into indefensible regions of character definition.
        epic fail.

        [???? Perhaps others can figure this one out. .mod]

  33. Academia and much of government at every level is choke full of Pinocchios and there is nothing that can be done about it.
    However it came to be doesn’t matter much now.
    The lying pigs have taken over too many things.

  34. “over-priced 13th-century solutions to an overstated 21st-century non-problem?”

    Nice description. Of course, windmills are far more ancient than 13th Century (Hero of Alexandria, Middle East) but vertical windmills do seem to have come into operation around the 12th or 13th Centuries.

  35. “…they will eventually realize that money spent on making global warming go away is money entirely wasted…”

    I beg to differ. They will do what politicos do, which is to note the drop in temperature that stares us in the blank solar face then declare that the policies worked, that the temperature is starting to ‘rise at a reduced rate’ and that the expenditures must continue for another one hundred years to ensure a complete remission of sins.

    ++++++++++

    What would have been a far better response from the College is what Columbia University did when it was challenged (strongly) over giving the then Iranian President Ahmadinejad a platform to speak at their institution. Not so well known is that when younger, he was a leader in a government sponsored secret society formed solely to commit the genocidal extermination of Iran’s largest religious minority – something he may have omitted from his CV – you know how it is when you are applying to be president.

    Even in that case, when that intolerant (and by all reports vicious in the prosecution of his responsibilities to exterminate elements of the Iranian population) president of the day was invited to speak, the event was allowed on the grounds that Columbia had a right to hold the event and people had a right to attend and put questions to him. The protests were effective in that the introduction to the speaker was scathing and set the scene for what was considered to be a pretty good attempt at balance. While the introduction mentioned his denial of a former genocide, it made no mention of his personal involvement in assisting and for a while managing the ongoing genocide that government is still conducting, even today, 2016, against Iran’s largest religious minority. For the record, there were 4700 instances of hate speech published by the government-controlled media in 2014 against that minority group (the latest year for which I have a firm figure).

    Now, if the venerable Columbia University can host a speech by Ahmadinejad I think the venerable University College London can host a group of scientists talking about the climate, climate science and the details of how the physical world actually works. I note that the event was accepted (the hall was booked) and the demand was to cancel the booking. The booking was therefore legitimate.

    For the record, I note that the reasons given by Prof Butterworth for requesting that the venue be changed easily qualify as hate speech according to current understanding in Waterloo under the laws of Ontario and both at the Universities of Laurier and Waterloo. The scale starts at micro-aggressions, then aggressions, hate speech and hate crimes. At the universities sanctions can be applied for the first two. The other two can involve the police and criminal charges. The Waterloo Regional Police Service has a dedicated hate crimes investigator.

    The nature of the letter also qualifies for an investigation on a an attempt at ‘othering’ which is a process that usually precedes a genocide (Rwanda 1990’s, Iran now, the former Yugoslavia etc). This involves defining the ‘other’ as less than fully human and therefore not deserving of normal rights, privileges and equality under the law. The intolerance appears based on the attitude, to be institutional, systematic, coordinated and directed by authority. The request, nay demand, from Butterworth shows an extreme intolerance for an entire group of scientists he clearly defined in a manner linked to their thoughts, beliefs and professional opinions. He calls for sanctions to be applied against them as a group on the basis of what he thinks they think. It demonstrates an appalling level of prejudice (whether in ignorance or not) and in my view constitutes the exercise of real authority against a group he feels are guilty of a ‘thought crime’.

    Hate speech expressed from a position of authority is treated more seriously than hate speech per se. Butterworth has demanded, with menaces plainly given in writing, that a junior implement an action based on intolerance for an opinion which he (Butterworth) does not hold.

    That the demand was successful defines it as undermining the integrity of the College as an institution of higher learning. The College will have to discipline him to restore it.

    Crispin
    Member, Hate Speech Committee
    Interfaith Grand River http://www.igr.org
    Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

    • What a bunch of pseudo legal nonsense. Not to mention that you didn’t even get your own website address right….

    • “Now, if the venerable Columbia University can host a speech by Ahmadinejad I think the venerable University College London can host a group of scientists talking about the climate, climate science and the details of how the physical world actually works.”

      What on earth gave you that radical idea?

  36. This is part of a bigger problem, pressure groups. Loud mouth militant advocacy groups are chipping away at society.

  37. For the record, I don’t think it was “the coven of paid hacks” who made Jon Butterworth aware of this meeting; I think the origin was actually a tweet from me which then made others at UCL aware of the meeting, and they then spoke with Jon Butterworth.

    Christopher Monckton’s description of things is also not strictly correct. With all due respect to Athem Alsabti, he is actually a Visiting Research Fellow at UCL Observatory, which means he isn’t really one of the faculty, and isn’t a Professor at UCL (although he appears to have been a Professor at his previous institution). Also, as far as I can tell, his research has no obvious connection to the topic of the meeting.

    If UCL were preventing a faculty member whose research aligned with the topic of the meeting from organising and holding it at UCL, that would indeed – IMO – be an infringement of academic freedom and would reflect very poorly on UCL. However, objecting to a Visiting Research Fellow, whose research appears to have no connection with the topic of the meeting, from doing so is – IMO – not and does not.

    Even if people disagree (which, of course, is allowed) it would be good if the author of this post could at least get the basic facts straight.

    • “it would be good if the author of this post could at least get the basic facts straight.”

      Good luck with that.

      • Yeah, because after all who really cares about the truth. It’s the feeling, and pulling with the team that really matters.

    • …and Then There’s Physics: Perhaps you would further clarify what impropriety is implicit in a visiting fellow staging an open conference, rally or debate for skeptics to mull the topic, versus such a forum set up by a full professor of physics or university speaker’s committee. Regardless of one’s point of view on AGW, uncertainties should be debated, and according to the IPCC there are still uncertainties about CO2 sensitivities and Earth’s behavior as a “greenhouse”. I don’t think you can get around this. Granting such freedom of speech to a dissenting opinion is a sign of your confidence in your position, your largess. Denying it is a sign of weakness.

      No doubt your department chair has a right to preclude some presenters, perhaps because space is not available, or their views are morally reprehensible to the humankind, or who, because they lack a pulse, would simply not be a good speaker (a view, by the way, intelligent audiences might be capable of determining for themselves). What interests do you have in discouraging such debate? His qualifications, you say? Your link presents Dr. Alsabti as a distinguished Astrophysicist, fully credentialed, and eminently capable of addressing his topic with panache. I do not see one laurel that might give him an edge: “World’s Sexiest Astrophysicist”. But then that title is currently assigned to pop-cult-figure and global warming hobbyist, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, who currently resides in the U.S., and who vents his human-caused global warming opinions at colleges and universities in multiple countries. If he wanted to speak to the physics department at the University College London, your department chair would give him a pass and a personal introduction. And he should.

      I’m not against “science popularizers”, nor should you be. Your professors have this bug, or they are boring pedants. Other than the Guardian, people don’t seem to object to the lurid frame of Hawking’s “Think Like a Genius” series. It has an obvious, strange appeal that is deserved. Give any prof kudos for trying to engage the public on the poplular level, and let them live with the consequences of their success or failure.

      • ATTP Clarification:

        “…a tweet from me which then made others at UCL aware of the meeting.”

        What is clear is that you are bragging about some of the wrong things. Hard to do that from an anonymous profile. Why don’t you step out of the shadows?

      • Bill,
        I’m not anonymous, just pseudonymous. Read the comments below. I wasn’t actually bragging, I was simply clarifying where I think the information came from. Also my tweet simply highlighted the existence of the meeting; the rest happened without any input from me.

    • And Then There’s Physics uses a curious excuse for turning away the climate conference from UCL. Well, now we have confirmation that he intolerantly opposes academic freedom. That is characteristically repellent. UCL has gravely damaged its reputation. Forgive me for not understanding that a Fellow of the UCL Observatory is debarred from exercising academic freedom at UCL.

      • Technically, I was presenting an argument as to why this doesn’t really qualify as an Academic Freedom issue. You, of course, are free to disagree, but might want to consider the irony of regarding what I’ve said as repellant and intolerant, while accusing me of opposing academic freedom.

      • And Then There’s Physics seems too prejudiced to understand how serious is the threat to academic freedom posed by the unspeakable Butterworth and his ilk, and he smugly lays claim to having induced Butterworth to write his freedom-menacing email. Shame on him.

      • I think “Butterworth and his ilk” – as you so charmingly put it – are perfectly aware of when Academic Freedom applies and when it does not. As far as I can tell, your meeting is still taking place. You’re simply holding it somewhere else; your freedom has certainly not be impinged in the slightest. You might have to pay a little more to hold it, but that probably means you’re paying the right price, rather than being subsidised by an organisation to which you have little formal affiliation.

        You also appear to have some trouble interpreting what others have said. I was certainly not laying claim to having induced Butterworth to take action. I was simply pointing out that it probably wasn’t “paid hacks” who made him aware of the meeting (as you suggested) but a tweet from me that highlighted it taking place. Others took it from there.

      • FWFW, Prof. Butterworth published the whole email here https://lifeandphysics.wordpress.com/2016/08/05/for-the-record/

        It is very clear that the visiting research fellow was no more than asked to move the meeting elsewhere and definitely wasn’t banned from holding the meeting at UCL, from the last paragraph:

        “I am sure you have no desire to bring UCL into disrepute, or to cause dissension in the UCL community, and I would encourage you to think about moving the event to a different venue, not on UCL premises. If it is going to proceed as planned I must insist that the website and other publicity is amended to make clear that the event has no connection to UCL or this department in particular, and that you are not a UCL Professor.

        Note that as this was obviously sent before the meeting was moved, “If it is going to proceed as planned” can only mean “If it is going to proceed as planned at UCL” as that was the planned venue at that time.

      • Full text of the email:

        “Dear Prof [redacted]

        Although you have been an honorary research associate with the department since before I became head, I don’t believe we have ever met, which is a shame. I understand you have made contributions to outreach at the observatory on occasion, for which thanks.

        It has been brought to my attention that you have booked a room at UCL for an external conference in September for a rather fringe group discussing aspects of climate science. This is apparently an area well beyond your expertise as an astronomer, and this group is also one which many scientists at UCL have had negative interactions. The publicity gives the impression that you are a professor of astronomy at UCL, which is inaccurate, and some of the publicity could be interpreted as implying that UCL, and the department of Physics & Astronomy in particular, are hosting the event, rather than it being an external event booked by you in a personal capacity.

        If this event were to go ahead at UCL, it would generate a great deal of strong feeling, indeed it already has, as members of the UCL community are expressing concern to me that we are giving a platform to speakers who deny anthropogenic climate change while flying in the face of accepted scientific methods. I am sure you have no desire to bring UCL into disrepute, or to cause dissension in the UCL community, and I would encourage you to think about moving the event to a different venue, not on UCL premises. If it is going to proceed as planned I must insist that the website and other publicity is amended to make clear that the event has no connection to UCL or this department in particular, and that you are not a UCL Professor.

        Best wishes,
        Jon”

        https://lifeandphysics.wordpress.com/2016/08/05/for-the-record/

      • also this, from the response from Butterworth (link in post above):

        “After receiving this, the person concerned expressed frustration at the impression given by the meeting publicity, and decided to cancel the room booking. I understand the meeting was successfully rebooked at Conway Hall, which seems like a decent solution to me. As you can see in the full letter, the meeting wasn’t in any sense banned.

        Free speech and debate are good things, though the quality that I’ve experienced during this episode hasn’t much impressed me. As far as I’m concerned, people are welcome to have meetings like this to their hearts’ content, so long as they don’t appropriate spurious endorsement from the place in which they have booked a room.

        I have since met the honorary research fellow concerned, and while mildly embarrassed by the whole episode (which is why I haven’t mentioned his name here, though it’s easy to find it if you really care), he did not seem at all upset or intimidated, and we had a friendly and interesting discussion about his scientific work and other matters.

        Bit of a storm in a teacup, really, I think, though I’m sure James Delingpole was glad of the opportunity to deploy the Eng. Lit. skills of which he seems so proud.”

        I think this sentence gets to the heart of the matter:

        “As far as I’m concerned, people are welcome to have meetings like this to their hearts’ content, so long as they don’t appropriate spurious endorsement from the place in which they have booked a room.”

        I think the reason Monckton is so upset about this is because he wanted to be able to talk about the conference “held at the prestigious (insert name of institution here)”, and now it’s just at a hall somewhere.

    • Wow. This is what I call parsing it finely. ATTP has the Best Sophistry of the Week award nailed down for this week. (And you haven’t actually shown that the phrase “coven of paid hacks” was an incorrect designation.)

  38. There’s really a very simple way to get around all of this.

    Every HEI must have some kind of legal contract with every student, which includes some kind of statement that:

    ‘Every Higher Education Institution is an Institution of Education, a discipline which involves seeking the truth through subjecting hypotheses of truth to disputatious argument. As a consequence of that, there will inevitably be times when viewpoints are expressed which are neither popular nor agreeable to many listeners. Our HEI exists with the United Kingdom, one of whose cornerstones is the right to free speech. As a result, any student wishing to study here must sign a declaration that they respect the right to free speech and that, as a result of that, they may protest about someone being invited to speak, they may refuse to attend any speech given by someone whose views they disagree with and they may express views strongly disagreeing with such people. What they may not do, however, is to deny to others, whose views they disagree with, the right to free speech, nor may they challenge the concept that the way to win arguments is to engage, not to repress.

    In other words, by signing up to becoming a student of this institution, every student agrees to be adult-like in behaviour.’

  39. I recall, Lord Monckton, when you came to speak at the University of Notre Dame in Fremantle. Pressure was brought to bear on the vice chancellor. But to her credit, the speech went on with protesters wallowing in their ignorance outside. Thank you for brining this to our attention. Thank you for fighting the good fight.

  40. An observation. Providing disclaimers may apply to the topic at hand, but if not done with every topic (pro or con), then the contra implication is that when they are not provided, the topic and/or author is endorsed.

  41. …while flying in the face of accepted scientific methods.

    Of course these “scientific methods” do not include The Scientific Method.
    This is a disgrace.

  42. I particularly liked, tossed into the mix of highly qualified academics, the phrase “the brother of the leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition in the House of Commons”

    It makes that wild-haired individual with the wild ideas sound almost like a mainstream politician, illustrating that it’s not what you say, but how you say it, that’s important.

    • ..So you prefer people like Prince Phillip ?

      Printed in The American Almanac, August 25, 1997.

      His Royal Virus

      Reported by Deutsche Press Agentur (DPA), August, 1988.

      In the event that I am reincarnated, I would like to return as a deadly virus, in order to contribute something to solve overpopulation.

      Prince Philip, in his Forward to…. “If I Were an Animal” ; United Kingdom, Robin Clark Ltd., 1986.

      “I just wonder what it would be like to be reincarnated in an animal whose species had been so reduced in numbers than it was in danger of extinction. What would be its feelings toward the human species whose population explosion had denied it somewhere to exist…. I must confess that I am tempted to ask for reincarnation as a particularly deadly virus.”

      So, Richard Barraclough, are you and your family willing to be one of the “Surplus Population” that needs to be “culled” “…today ??

      • What a weird response to a slightly tongue-in-cheek comment about referring to Piers Corbyn in a roundabout semi-political way.

        I’d be inclined to respond to someone who seems to think it’s appropriate to suggest than my family and I should be culled, but your ramblings are so incoherent that it’s impossible to know where to begin.

        Mods – is this sort of vilification and veiled threat tolerated on this blog nowadays? I presume the laws on hate speech apply?

  43. In his essay, Lord Monckton raises “the climate sensitivity” as an issue. He seems to feel that the magnitude of “the climate sensitivity” is an apt topic for discussion at a scientific conference. I disagree, for the argument that there is “the climate sensitivity” can be shown to be an application of the reification fallacy. Thus, “the climate sensitivity” is an illogical concept.

    In this case the abstract object is a version of the Earth that possesses the equilibrium surface air temperature as a feature. The concrete Earth on which we live does not possess this feature.

    For avoidance of application of the reification fallacy one must distinguish between an abstract and a concrete objecs in making an argument. In the book entitled “The Enigma of Probability and Physics” the physicist Lazar Mayants provides details on how to do so.

      • Monckton of Brenchley
        Your claim that I am “unfamiliar with the concept of climate sensitivity” is an application of the proof by assertion fallacy. Under this fallacy, the conclusion of an argument is true regardless of contradictions.

      • The evidence that Mr Oldberg is unfamiliar with the concept of climate sensitivity lies in his assertion that climate sensitivity is not a fit subject for a scientific conference. He is plainly ignorant of the debate among scientists about how much warming our sins of emission may cause. Since there is a debate among scientists about climate sensitivity, and since it is a scientific question, it is self-evidently a fit subject for a scientific conference, which is why so many conferences are devoted to it, whether Mr Oldberg likes it or not.

        Science works by observation, measurement, testing of hypotheses and calculation, again whether Mr Oldberg likes it or not. If he disagrees that the determination of climate sensitivity is not of scientific interest, no doubt he will do us the courtesy of staying away. There are plenty of lavishly-funded conferences of true-believers where he will perhaps be much more at home with his waffle about the “deification” fallacy.

      • Deification, schmeification. The iPad spell checker changed it. But Mr Oldberg is talking his usual tedious nonsense. He needs to read a good textbook of climatological,physics (Murry Salby’s is excellent).

      • Is it possible that Mr. Oldberg is referring to the colloquial use of “climate sensitivity” as being the equilibrium temperature change in response to the doubling of CO2 in the atmosphere, whereas the basic definition refers to the equilibrium temperature change in response to changes in all radiative forcings?

        The latter is certainly worth a whole conference, whereas the former is only worth a discussion as to whether it exists outside laboratory conditions and, if it does, whether it is exists in isolation or as part of a cohort with other, possibly more important forcings.

  44. Nothing drives the Warmistas into a greater Fury than having someone even vaguely suggest that there could be another explanation for all the unexplained facts. Their censorship of ideas is a sure sign the Warmistas have no good arguments to put.

    • Well said. The arguments of the Warmistas are exclusively bad (illogical) ones. For balance it should be admitted that some of the arguments of the skeptics are also bad ones. Global warming climatology has yet to develop a mechanism for distinguishing the bad arguments from the good ones. For this field of study peer review does not work as it is supposed to do.

  45. Another unsurprising snark-filled rant by the self-anointed inventor of cures for AIDS and the common cold, “Lord” Monckton, whose credentials in Journalism and the classics lead a few gullible non scientists to nod in agreement while he claims that he, the eminent Monckton (denied a lordship by the real House of Lords) can explain why hundreds of PhD Researchers around the world are wrong, and he is right, that we have nothing to fear from an impotent Greenhouse Effect, in Spite of what the data shows.
    It seems Charlatans will always find their market.

  46. Sunrise, sunset
    Swiftly flow the days

    Sunrise/sunset issues are almost traditional in depictions of the London River, Turner’s ‘Fighting Temeraire’ is an example. She is being towed up to Rotherhithe to be broken up but the sun is setting behind her. The illustration at the top of this post shows sunset at Tower Bridge, it includes the silhouette of the Tower (north bank) and cleverly avoids the hideous Tower Hotel.

    Say not the struggle nought availeth,
    The labour and the wounds are vain,
    The enemy faints not, nor faileth,
    And as things have been they remain.

    If hopes were dupes, fears may be liars;
    It may be, in yon smoke concealed,
    Your comrades chase e’en now the fliers,
    And, but for you, possess the field.

    For while the tired waves, vainly breaking
    Seem here no painful inch to gain,
    Far back through creeks and inlets making,
    Comes silent, flooding in, the main.

    And not by eastern windows only,
    When daylight comes, comes in the light,
    In front the sun climbs slow, how slowly,
    But westward, look, the land is bright.

  47. What I find perplexing is the behavior of these people. Have these people learned nothing from the history of science? when this comes down, the public activists in the media, will claim ignorance and will blame the more publically facing people. Then the likes of Gore and his celebrity cronies will simply blame the scientists. It is the likes of Butterworth that will be asked, given he is a scientists, what scientific acumen did he bring to the subject? They day this comes down will be a great day, when another group of sophists will refuted. The question to be asked is then, can a scientist be a sophist? The answer should always be no.

  48. …and Then There’s Physics (AKA Ken Rice) is at it again!

    What is the difference between a fellow, research fellow and a visiting research fellow at UCL?

    Does it impact on their research undertaken?

    Can you really say that someone who gets grants/expenses/email account/desk space etc is not a ‘proper researcher’? if so, why would UCL and most other universities grant the title and benefits to visiting research fellows?

    I note that although Dr Athem Alsabti only has a PhD in Astrophysics from Manchester University, he is the lead editor of “Handbook of Supernovae” which will be the starting point for any astrophysical research in the future. His details from the publisher: “Born in Iraq in 1945, Dr. Alsabti moved to the UK on a scholarship to the University of Manchester. He obtained his BSc in Mathematical Physics in 1967, his MSc in 1968 (Astrophysics, Supernovae) and his PhD in 1970 (“Investigating very faint nebulosities associated with non-thermal galactic radio sources”). He now works at University College London, in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. Dr. Alsabti’s research interests are in the origin and evolution of supernovae and interstellar matter. Dr. Alsabti was also a Professor of Physics at Baghdad University and founded the Baghdad Planetarium and Iraqi National Observatory.
    He has been an active member of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) since 1973, and is a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS). In the IAU, he is a member of the Advanced Development Projects Group. Dr. Alsabti is also a member of the World Space Observatory Committee, and a consultant to the Cornwall Observatory and Planetarium Project. “

    I think Dr Alsabti CV is a little bit better than that of ‘Ken Rice’ AKA …and Then There’s Physics

    • Can you really say that someone who gets grants/expenses/email account/desk space etc is not a ‘proper researcher’?

      No, and I didn’t.

      I think Dr Alsabti CV is a little bit better than that of ‘Ken Rice’ AKA …and Then There’s Physics

      Possibly, but it’s not relevant to the point being made.

    • Dr Alsabti looks at least as well qualified on this topic as the Astronomer Royal and former President of Royal Society.

    • “Can you really say that someone who gets grants/expenses/email account/desk space etc is…”

      I think you may have the wrong idea about visiting research fellows. I didn’t find anything for the observatory at UCL, but from a different department it appears that the visiting research fellow pays the university fees for deskspace, email account etc. rather than being paid expenses:

      “Upon approval of your application with the Institute, you will be conferred Affiliate Academic status by UCL. The fee for 2016/17 is £4,770 per annum, pro-rata. This is for access to UCL and Institute facilities, such as the library, photocopying, use of space and other resources. Regrettably there are no funding schemes currently available. ”

      http://www.ucl.ac.uk/americas/fellowships/visiting-fellows

      I’m not sure a visiting research fellow would be eligible for research council funding.

  49. Release of the raw data which has been publicly funded across the globe would allow crowd analysis. The geniuses with statistics, models and code did not join the climatology department.

  50. @-Stuart M
    “Release of the raw data which has been publicly funded across the globe would allow crowd analysis.”

    Unfortunately some governments regard the raw data as a commercial product despite the public funding, or a national security issue.
    However most of the raw data on surface temperature is here –

    ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/ghcn/v2

  51. It sounds like Professor Jobsworth has scored an Own Goal. His intervention has given publicity and airtime that might not have occurred had it let things progress unremarked.
    Sad

  52. “New dawn of truth”.

    In the end here is only one enduring truth, and that is physical reality. This truth is outside the human mind. It is more of an experience, an encounter.

    Truth as a concept in the human mind is fluid and changes all the time. Also scientific theories do change. Science may be the best effort to grasp physical reality, but science by its very nature can only produce “hard evidence” by strictly limiting itself to well defined phenomena and well-defined and independently reproducible methods. That means in practical terms science can only tell us that much when we look at all the phenomena that are important in our life that define the “truth of our existence” – whether we understand that existential truth or not. For most of these phenomena science does not give an answer and cannot by its very nature.

    So I think the concept of “truth” is too broad and fluid to be a central topic for a scientific conference. I do guess it is chosen as a topic because the conference will try to steer science back to focus on physical reality.

    Science creates a body of knowledge that gives partial insight into the phenomena in our lives, and also this body of knowledge and the insights are in the abstract realm, they are basically ideas, mental constructs. So by the definition of truth given at the start of this comment this knowledge cannot be truth itself. At best it can give useful insight and tools in dealing with some aspects of physical reality. Let us hope this conference will help in that respect.

    • Anthony, as you have chosen to give Monckton space on your front page to publish his attack on Butterworth, how about an article with Butterworth’s response? If this issue is indeed newsworthy, then surely the actual text of the email, not just Monckton’s edited version, and Butterworth’s response are just as important to understanding the issue as Moncton’s initial attack, and should be given equal prominence.

      What say you?

      • I say that if Butterwirth wants to pen a response, Ill run it. However just because you say you want something, means nothing to me since you exist here only to attack yourself.

      • To be fair, my last comment may be unfair, because I was assuming that Anthony had already read Butterworths reply, as the reply and link appear above in the comments, and he may not have when he posted his reply to me.

      • That’s exactly right. The moderation panel does not show all comments on the thread, and with typically 800-1200 comments per day, I have better things to do than try to figure out such twists.

        I’m posted a link to Butterworth’s reply in the head post.

        No further whining.

    • Further to my last comment: I suppose that as the article hasn’t disappeared off the front page yet, that an update to the article with Butterworth’s response would also be fair.

  53. @dikranmarsupial August 5, 2016 at 7:56 am

    However, when I search UCL, I find reference to :-
    “Annex 4 – Visiting Research Fellows Subsistence Payments”
    Whereby visiting research fellows can claim expenses under certain conditions……
    and: Complete a Visiting Research Fellow Subsistence Form (excel).
    and: Complete a Foreign Bank Visiting Research Fellow Subsistence Form (excel)

    However, the visiting fellow is usually paid by their ‘own’ institution unless the host has grants on offer.

    I do not know a single Fellow, visiting or direct who ‘pays their own way’…..

    • @steverichards1984

      In this case I don’t think that there is an “own” institution, and Prof. Butterworth’s account for the record confirms that he was unpaid. My interpretation of what little information is available is that it is an honorary appointment made because he is a “good egg” (in the sense that he does a fair bit of outreach and engagement activities and organization work for the research community) rather than for research output or grant getting. I suspect if there were any “bench fees” that they were probably waived in this case.

      Prof. Butterworths account also gives the full email, which shows that he was not actually prevented from booking the room at UCL, just asked to move it elsewhere. The only instruction was to remove the spurious association with UCL from the advertising material, which seems pretty reasonable to me.

  54. @dikranmarsupial: I am referring to the visiting research fellow – Dr Athem Alsabti, who I assume Ken is referring to.
    Prof Butterworth is the full time head of department, and paid accordingly.

    • I was also referring to Alsabti as the one that was unpaid (I think he may be retired, it is not uncommon for academic to continue some of their activities in emeritus or honorary positions), and that was confirmed by Butterworth’s account (which is well worth reading and comparing with the partial quotes from the email given in the article above).

  55. Wonder if we’ll hear any more from Monckton about this now that it has been shown that he only produced an edited version of the communications in question?

  56. Well, it seems as if neither James Delingpole or Mr Monckton are willing to acknowledge that they presented an edited version Butterworth’s email, let alone make a correction and quote what he actually said in whole. (I’ve contacted James, and Mr Monckton can read what has been posted here)

    I thank Anthony for putting a link to Butterworth’s reply at the bottom of the article, but really it is Monckton who should be acknowledging that he withheld relevant information that paints things in a very different light. I won’t hold my breath waiting for that though.

    I think it is a shame that Butterworth’s character and reputation have been trashed publicly on the basis of an incomplete version of what he actually said, but it seems that this discussion is now dead, and that’s the end of it.

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