Fake news: an open letter to the Editor of the Washington Post

By Christopher Monckton of Brenchley

Ø Yet again, the hard-Left Washington Post has libeled Dr Willie Soon, whom many of us know to be one of the most dedicated scientists in single-minded pursuit of the objective truth about global warming. If you agree with the following Letter to the Editor, please write your own letter and send it in to the Washpot.


The Post’s inaccurate and malicious personal attack on Dr. Willie Soon

Mr Thacker’s personal attack on Dr Willie Soon (Why we shouldn’t take peer review as the ‘gold standard’: August 1, 2019) was uncalled-for, inaccurate, and demonstrably malicious. The strapline at the head of the piece said it was “too easy for bad actors”, implicitly including Dr Soon, the only individual scientist named by Mr Thacker as having acted improperly, “to exploit the process” of peer review “and mislead the public”. Dr Soon is an award-winning solar astrophysicist, though Mr Thacker neglected to mention that his employer, the Harvard-Smithsonian Observatory, had given him an award for the high quality of his research.

The body of the piece said “shoddy work”, implicitly including learned papers by Dr Soon, “often makes it past peer reviewers”, who “often fail to detect … conflicts of interest”, again implicitly referring inter alios to Dr. Soon. The article, so heavily promoted by the Post that a link to it remained prominently displayed on the newspaper’s homepage two days after its original publication, said “bad actors exploit the process” of peer review “for professional or financial gain, leveraging peer review to mislead decision-makers”. Again, these words were an implicit attack on Dr Soon.

The article went on to say that “… fossil fuel industry interests have tried to distort the public debate on climate change by sponsoring research and exploiting the prestige of peer review, undermining the overwhelming scientific consensus on the topic”. Mr Thacker neglected to admit that approximately 5000 times as much money is spent by governments, campaign groups and other vested interests promoting their own wildly exaggerated distortions of climate science as is spent by skeptical groups or coal, oil and gas interests, who, in a free country, are fully entitled to correct the numerous errors, inconsistencies, contradictions and inflations of the true scientific position perpetrated by these assorted profiteers of doom in the name of “official” climatology for reasons of political expediency, social convenience, scientific ignorance and financial profit – defects that were carefully omitted from Mr Thacker’s article and are, as far as I can detect, almost wholly absent from the pages of the Post, notwithstanding the pietistic cliché Democracy dies in darkness that is prominently and, in the circumstances, more than somewhat Pharisaically displayed on its website.

As it happens, Dr Soon and I were co-authors of a learned paper (Legates et al. 2015) which demonstrated that the authors of only 0.3% of scientific papers published after peer review in the learned journals of climate and related topics over the 21 years 1991-2011 were even prepared to go so far as to state their support for the proposition that recent global warming was chiefly manmade, or words to that effect. Yet that proposition is the official “consensus” proposition as defined in the documents of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Since even that milquetoast proposition – for good scientific reasons – has almost no support in the peer-reviewed journals of climate science, a fortiori the notion that global warming is what Mr Obama’s Twitteratus once described as “real, manmade and dangerous” is almost entirely unsupported in the journals. Mr Thacker, however, culpably omitted these facts from his article.

Mr Thacker, having thus craftily set up and contextualized Dr Soon as a blackguard by his sedulously-fabricated foofaraw of flatulent whigmaleeries, wrote the following paragraph specifically naming Dr Soon. Mr Thacker either knew, at the time when he wrote the offending paragraph, that it was wholly or in substance false and misleading or was reckless as to whether it was false and misleading. I say “reckless” because at no time did Mr Thacker take the trouble to contact Dr Soon to obtain his account of events before he wrote it:

A few years ago, it emerged that Willie Soon, a scientist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, had accepted $1.2 million from fossil fuel interests to publish studies, which he described as “deliverables,” in academic journals. (Much of his research has argued that variations in the sun’s energy can explain most recent global warming and that humans have had little effect on climate change, a thesis rejected by the majority of experts.) Peer review did not uncover these vested relationships: The editor of the Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics told a reporter that it relied on authors to be truthful about conflicts of interest.

Mr Thacker’s statement that Dr Soon had “accepted $1.2 million from fossil fuel interests” is false, incomplete and materially misleading. The Harvard-Smithsonian Observatory had accepted various donations in respect of Dr Soon’s research and had itself negotiated the contracts with the donors. Mr Thacker culpably neglects to state that the money was paid not to Mr Soon but to the Observatory; that it was paid over a period of ten years; that the Observatory had deducted 30% for its “overhead”; that approximately a further 30% went on Dr Soon’s costs in conducting research; and that, therefore, Dr Soon personally received less income per year than a district manager at Burger King. The false impression that Dr Soon had been lavishly bought and paid for, calculated to convey a mendacious and damaging impression of Dr Soon. It was fake news of the shoddiest kind.

Mr Thacker’s statement that Dr Soon had described the studies that he proposed to publish as “deliverables” is false. Dr Soon himself had not used that word. The contracts in which the word “deliverables” appeared were negotiated by the Observatory qua Dr Soon’s employer in respect of his ground-breaking research.

Mr Thacker’s statement to the effect that “the majority of experts” reject Dr Soon’s conclusion to the effect that solar variability is a more significant cause of global warming than our sins of emission has no foundation in fact and is, again calculated unfairly and mendaciously to cast Dr Soon in an unfavourable light in the eyes of the Post’s readers. As already noted supra, there subsists no scientific consensus to the effect that global warming is chiefly anthropogenic, wherefore it necessarily follows that there is no scientific consensus to the effect that the Sun is not the principal cause of recent global warming. Indeed, had it not been for systematic tampering with the record of total solar irradiance by a handful of ill-intentioned scientists, it would be apparent to all that at least half of the warming of recent decades – if not all of it – is attributable to increased solar activity.

Had Mr Thacker bothered to contact Dr Soon before libelling him, Dr Soon would have been in a position to draw his attention to numerous peer-reviewed papers, such as Pinker 2005, demonstrating that most of the warming of recent decades was attributable to causes other than Man, such as the naturally-occurring reduction in cloud cover between 1984 and 2001, which exercised a radiative forcing that exceeded the entire net anthropogenic forcing over the period.

In any event, consensus has no place in science, and the notion that scientific results are reached or decided by the vote of “the majority of experts” is an unhappy and characteristically scientifically illiterate conflation on Mr Thacker’s part of the reputation and headcount fallacies (the argumentum ad verecundiam and the argumentum ad populum), which were justifiably excoriated by Aristotle almost two and a half millennia ago.

Mr Thacker’s description of Dr Soon’s funding as “vested relationships” is inaccurate and calculated to be unfairly damaging to Dr Soon. It was the Observatory, not Dr Soon, that had the negotiating and contractual relationship with Dr Soon’s funders, and it was the Observatory that had negotiated with some of those funders a contractual obligation upon Dr Soon not to disclose them as sources of the funding the Observatory had received for his research. Dr Soon, if he had disclosed the source of his funding, would have been acting unlawfully in breach of the contractual obligation of confidentiality – a common stipulation in commercial contracts – into which the Observatory had entered. As a member of the Observatory staff, Dr Soon was obliged by law to honour the terms of the contract that the Observatory had negotiated. If Mr Thacker were to criticize anyone for having failed to disclose Dr Soon’s imagined (and imaginary) conflict of interest, then his criticism should have been directed not at Dr Soon, who was manifestly blameless in these circumstances, but at the Observatory itself.

In this context, Mr Thacker’s quoting a journal editor as stating that he expected authors to be truthful in declaring their conflicts of interest was a false and baseless allegation that Dr Soon had been deliberately untruthful – an allegation calculated to cause further grave harm to Dr Soon’s reputation.

The only individual named in Mr Thacker’s article as having abused the peer review process was Dr Soon. It is arguable, therefore, that the entire article was a pretext for Mr Thacker’s deeply unpleasant, profoundly inaccurate, grossly misleading, manifestly unfair and deliberately malicious assault upon the personal reputation of Dr Soon, no doubt because those behind Mr Thacker, alarmed at the news that Dr Soon is shortly to publish a series of papers demonstrating beyond doubt and on multiple grounds that the notion of large and dangerous global warming arose from several elementary but significant scientific errors perpetrated by careless or prejudiced climatologists, are bent on doing all they can to tarnish his reputation in the hope of deterring learned journals from accepting any such papers with his name on them as an author.

Perhaps you would be kind enough to inform me of the steps the Post proposes to take to undo the damage caused by Mr Thacker’s lying article, and of whether it proposes to dispense with this liar’s services hereafter. I should like to be allowed to write an op-ed piece setting the record straight. Yours faithfully, – Monckton of Brenchley

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Dan Cody
August 5, 2019 10:28 pm

I use the editorial sections of both the Washington Post and the N.Y.Times as pooper scoopers for my pet dogs.

Reply to  Dan Cody
August 6, 2019 3:45 am

But why are you in possession of these scurrilous publications, in the first place?

Dan Cody
Reply to  Old Goat
August 6, 2019 4:41 am

So I can show others what fake news really looks like after the dogs have done their duty.

Johann Wundersamer
Reply to  Dan Cody
August 6, 2019 4:20 am

Smart, Dan Cody. So this fish wrappings get used 2 times before recycling.

Dan Cody
Reply to  Johann Wundersamer
August 6, 2019 4:43 am

what’s the difference between a piano and a fish? You can’t tune a fish.

Reply to  Dan Cody
August 6, 2019 9:19 am

REO Speedwagon. Good LP. “You can Tune a piano but you can’t Tuna fish”

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  Geo
August 6, 2019 4:11 pm

But you can fish an atoms

old white guy
Reply to  Dan Cody
August 6, 2019 4:30 am

WAPO is a left wing rag that I avoid with a passion. They haven’t come close to the truth in decades.

Reply to  old white guy
August 6, 2019 6:56 am

The only relationship The Washington Post has to the truth is the equivalent of a 5th cousin, twice removed. WaPo isn’t even invited to family reunions of the truth.

Reply to  H.R.
August 6, 2019 2:42 pm


I am so stealing that! Priceless!

Reply to  Dan Cody
August 6, 2019 2:40 pm

Just the Editorial Sections? Why not their entire papers? 🙂

Reply to  Dan Cody
August 7, 2019 7:27 am

The Washington Post is no hard left publication. It regularly publishes content from all over the political spectrum. Its editorial policy is clearly centrist, not leftist.

The Post also happens to be owned by the world’s wealthiest and most successful capitalist – Jeff Bezos. Unlike Trump he actually built something, did not inherit his wealth, he built the world’s most successful retailing business when everyone else in the rest of the business world told him he was nuts, that the internet would never amount to anything and could not possibly replace brick and mortar stores.

To take issue with one particular post or column by a guest writer and use it to condemn the world’s best news organization – vastlly better than either the Fox (Fake) News Channel, or the New York Times – is ridiculous.

Reply to  Duane
August 7, 2019 11:09 am


That assessment of the WAPO isn’t even just wrong. That assessment’s relation to the truth is on the order of a 5th cousin twice removed, and will never be invited to any family reunions of the truth.

Respectable Historical accounts put the invention of pathological lying at the doorstep of the WAPO.

Reply to  Duane
August 9, 2019 5:06 am

The Washington Post is well-known as a hard-left publication. Not sure what world you’re living in.

Reply to  Duane
August 9, 2019 12:06 pm

A comedic interlude?

Michael 2
Reply to  Dan Cody
August 7, 2019 8:47 am

When I lived in Maryland its nickname was “Pravda on the Potomac” 🙂

Deloss McKnight
August 5, 2019 11:06 pm

It’s always a pleasure to read Christopher Monckton’s writings. Unfortunately, I’m afraid his eloquence will fall on deaf ears at the Post.

Reply to  Deloss McKnight
August 6, 2019 4:51 am

They might read it, doubtful. They won’t understand it though. Too many big words with more than two syllables. Worse, it could be screened out by a teenage intern as a crank letter.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Deloss McKnight
August 6, 2019 4:57 am

Yeah, Chris is going to confuse a lot of the Washington Post’s readers. But, I guess most of them have access to the internet, so they can do what we do here, and look it up! 🙂

Excellent letter to the Editor, Chris.

Brian Bellefeuille
Reply to  Tom Abbott
August 6, 2019 8:30 am

That’s what I did. Plus how can you not like a letter that uses “…sedulously-fabricated foofaraw of flatulent whigmaleeries..”

Reply to  Brian Bellefeuille
August 6, 2019 1:30 pm

Agreed, Tom and Brian!

Outside of the crass evil Washpoo pretends is news, writing a critical letter to the Washpoo is akin to flogging fetid fusty long dead fish.
That is; one risks contamination even through distant association.

Excellent post Lord Monckton!

Reply to  ATheoK
August 6, 2019 2:47 pm

I once wrote a Letter to the Guardian pointing out, with cites, glaring errors and misrepresentations in an article they wrote. It was a very inflammatory article about Israel, security cameras and mosques which, of course, could get people killed if believed.
They did respond to my complaint with, basically, an FU.
Lesson learned. Their errors are by design and they don’t care about the truth, not even when their lies could get people killed.

dodgy geezer
August 5, 2019 11:36 pm

Response from the Washington Post:

“Why should we care about open letters you write? The Climate Change scare is now too big to fail, and we are going to ride it for all it’s worth. ..”

JR Ft Laud
Reply to  dodgy geezer
August 6, 2019 9:25 am

That might be the first honest thing the Post would write in many a moon!

Reply to  dodgy geezer
August 6, 2019 2:50 pm

They are just following their Leaders.
The U.N.’s Global Warming War On Capitalism: An Important History Lesson

…Former U.S. Senator Timothy Wirth (D-CO), then representing the Clinton-Gore administration as U.S undersecretary of state for global issues, joined Maurice Strong in addressing the Climate Summit audience. He said: “We have got to ride the global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing in terms of economic policy and environmental policy.” (Wirth now heads the U.N. Foundation which lobbies for hundreds of billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars to help underdeveloped countries fight climate change.)
Also speaking at the Rio conference, Deputy Assistant of State Richard Benedick, who then headed the policy divisions of the U.S. State Department, agreed that the Kyoto Protocol should be approved whether it had anything to do with climate change or not: “A global warming treaty must be implemented even if there is no scientific evidence to back the [enhanced] greenhouse effect….”

August 5, 2019 11:36 pm

Remember that the Washington Post’s defence in the Covington Catholic High School case is that they do not publish facts, they publish opinions which are not required to be correct.

So the Washington Post itself is telling everybody not to believe what is printed in the Washington Post.

Reply to  BillP
August 6, 2019 4:03 am

Well said, sir!

Tom Halla
Reply to  BillP
August 6, 2019 6:04 am

Exactly! Everyone should know they publish partisan spin, and should not regard anything they publish as bearing any resemblance to reality. So libel laws do not apply.

August 5, 2019 11:52 pm


Divestiture of media ownership part of settlement


Mark - Helsinki
August 6, 2019 12:46 am

WAPO is now anathema to actual journalism as is NYT on issues of import.

The media are the single most socially destructive element today, because they no longer report objective truth.

Since Vietnam, the media have been for every war, think about that, every single one.

Reply to  Mark - Helsinki
August 6, 2019 1:07 am

Until Trump came along, the media literally decided which politicians would get in.

The “washington swamp” is the media … they were the gatekeepers keeping out the politicians they did not like. So, they effectively decided who got into Washington. They effectively decided the policies, and when the country went to war and when it did not.

Likewise, they used to decide what “science” (or politics dressed as science) the public heard about.

They were the most powerful group of people in the country … and then along came the internet and people like Trump started getting elected. Of course the media are angry … they are the dinosaurs of who used to rule the world and who are now being beaten by what they see as “the rats”.

Andy in Epsom
Reply to  Mike Haseler (Scottish Sceptic)
August 6, 2019 2:10 am

I think that has been highlighted so perfectly with Tulsi Gabbard now being called a Putin stooge. Yet Kamala Harris walks on water.

Mark - Helsinki
August 6, 2019 12:47 am

So the WAPO piece got factual information wrong, there is a legal footing there.

Dr Soon should demand a correction, retraction or sue WAPO due to incorrect statements of fact

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Mark - Helsinki
August 6, 2019 5:01 am

I vote for Willie to sue the Washington Post.

Dan Cody
Reply to  Tom Abbott
August 6, 2019 5:04 am

What did the lawyer name his daughter? Sue.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
August 6, 2019 7:53 pm

Litigation is both expensive and wearing on the psyche. I’d advise otherwise unless the litigation is paid for by others.

August 6, 2019 2:42 am


excellent as usual.

I have a favour to ask though. I had a three page reply from Chris Skidmore MP, Minister for Energy and Clean growth this week, responding to my complaint that Theresa May saddled the taxpayer with the £1tn cost for her personal legacy.

The letter is, as one might expect, full of obfuscatory rubbish. Mr. Skidmore even cites the fact that the IPCC admit they don’t know how clouds work as one justification for this waste of money.

Whilst I can stumble through a reply, my grasp on the subject is not nearly as comprehensive as yours and I wondered if you might like to have a look at the correspondence and make some suggestions.

Reply to  HotScot
August 6, 2019 5:39 am


I am just writing to the head of the Dartmoor authority who have declared a ‘climate emergency’ citing the IPCC claims of a cliff edge and that ‘we have 12 years to save the planet’. Unfortunately of course the IPCC never said anything remotely like this and ironically upland Dartmoor is a perfect laboratory for showing climate change throughout the holocene and actually mentions the past was warmer than today on their web site.

In view of the need to fight the growing clamour and hysteria to declare climate emergencies (the National Trust are at it now) I think it would be very useful if you could publish the letter here so we can read the official thinking for the way they act, which must filter down to other govt organisations and councils


Reply to  tonyb
August 6, 2019 8:43 am


I would be delighted to, but no idea how.

I guess I could run it through character recognition and post it here, I’ll have a go.

Believe it or not, some government bright spark thought it a good idea to print off an email, complete with hyperlinks from Chris Skidmore, before badly photocopying it (deleting some footnote hyperlinks) and attaching it to a covering letter from my MP.

I complained, so another bright spark scanned in the copy of the email, then emailed it to me as a *.pdf. Scruffy just about describes it.

This is our 21st Century government. No wonder they have problems with Twitter!

Reply to  tonyb
August 6, 2019 11:28 am


Right, here we go. I’ll post me letter to my MP first then I’ll follow with the reply from Chris Skidmore.

Dear MP,

I am livid that our Prime Minister Theresa May and the rest of the House of Commons waved through legislation committing the country to net Zero CO2 emissions by 2050. Nor am I alone.
It is the most monumentally stupid decision taken by any Prime Minister and parliament, ever, anywhere on the planet.

Her statement, reported by Sky News, “Just as a small example of why this is important, as you know , Philip and I go walking, not just in Wales but also in Switzerland, and there’s a particular place we go to where over the last decade you see the glacier retreating quickly. This has brought home to me the issue of climate change.” has no foundation in science; it is anecdotal assumptions from someone unqualified to make judgements on glaciers, global climate change, or Brexit!
It betrays her desperation to claim a legacy following the disastrous fiasco of Brexit. Which would be fine were she spending her own £1 trillion, but she isn’t, she’s damned the taxpayer to pay for her vanity driven, virtue signalling attempt to sell her memoirs presenting herself as a successful PM.

As Lord Ridley pointed out in the House of Lords, this has been passed through the House of Commons with insufficient scrutiny.

Our only hope is that the HoL will stop it.

“The net zero emissions target is likely to do enormous harm to the poorest people in society, who will be asked to pay relatively more for their energy and could be priced out of activities such as driving cars and flying abroad. Not a single MP spoke out against the proposal, instead they all congratulated themselves on how Britain was ‘leading the world’.” (GWPF) [My emphasis]

“On Monday, MPs were happy to nod through the measure in less than 90 minutes. As a Statutory Instrument, it only required minimal scrutiny and no impact assessment had to be prepared.” ( GWPF) [My emphasis]

I assume you were one of those MP’s.

Who in their right mind commits taxpayers to £1Tn of spending, based on a casual walk past a Swiss glacier, with no impact assessment and no full debate?

It represents a commitment of £1.3 billion pounds of taxpayers money every week until 2050, yet the claim on the side of Boris’s battle bus of £350 million a week saved by leaving the EU was forensically scrutinised by MP’s, the media, the public, and almost became the subject of a court case.

There are some facts you should be aware of about the environment:

1. No one in the history of mankind has demonstrated by empirical means that atmospheric CO2 causes the planet to warm. The last attempt was by Berkeley Earth in 2015/16, an American organisation, which failed, again.

2. The ONLY observable manifestation of the direct effect of atmospheric CO2 on the planet is that it has greened by 14% over 35 years of satellite observations. According to one of the NASA scientists contributing to the study, this is the equivalent of two continents the size of mainland USA of extra, virgin vegetation. A summary is available here https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2016/carbon-dioxide-fertilization-greening-earth

3. After 40 years of hysterical claims of climatic disaster, not one single prediction has come true, yet our country which contributes only ~1.5% of the world’s man‐made CO2 to the atmosphere, is now committed to spending £1 trillion to defeat a phenomenon that is entirely natural.

4. Man‐made CO2 is ~0.001% of our atmosphere. Total atmospheric CO2 is ~0.04%.

5. John Tyndall identified in the 1850’s that water vapour, ~95% of all greenhouse gases, is by far the most dominant.

6. £1 trillion represents the salaries of 314,000 NHS nurses for a century. 7. There is no scientific consensus on climate change despite what you may have heard. You might refer to the attached report from Robin Guenier in December 2013 to the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee’s inquiry for confirmation of that. http://data.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/committeeevidence.svc/evidencedocument/energy-and-climate-change-committee/ipcc-5th-assessment-review/written/4191.html

8. 100% of scientists agree they do not know how clouds work, a vital component of the so called ‘feedback’ used in all computer predictions of climate change.

9. 100% of computer‐generated global temperature predictions are 100% wrong, please see point 8.comment image

10. The following is, in fact, the state of our planet’s temperature on a representative scale.comment image

And should you be under any illusion that £1Tn would cover the cost of net Zero by 2050, please let me avail you of some facts.

The desire/intention of our government is to eliminate the use of gas for heating in households. Instead we are to use, amongst others, Ground source heat pump (GSHP) and Air source heat pumps (ASHP). Impossible in most cases, which I will come to, but for the moment, assume it were possible.

Both GSHP’s and ASHP’s require electricity to operate, they are not magical perpetual machines!
I have investigated the cost of installing both in my house in Wilmington. We are fortunate we have a large garden that could be used however, we would be forced to excavate 20 – 30 metres x 6 metres of it, to a depth of around 1 metre to install a labyrinth of pipework which draws heat from the ground which is fairly consistent @ ~14°C year round. The alternative is to have pipework drilled vertically into the ground going down tens of metres.

You may notice that 14°C is an uncomfortable temperature to live at so that must be multiplied by the GSHP which, although good, achieves that very slowly.

ASHP’s are a little different in that even in freezing conditions there is always a tiny amount of heat in the surrounding air which they capitalise on, the process thereafter is little different.
Now, a heat pump alone will cost in excess of £10,000 to retro fit to every house in the UK. I have had my 3 bedroomed house survey for one and the cost was nearer £20,000 for the heat pump alone, I had to arrange for the groundwork.

However, there is a vital component everyone forgets, well, more than one but let’s start with this one.

Heat pumps rely one ‘heat sinks’ to be fully effective. A heat sink in this case would be a concrete floor which stores the heat delivered by the heat pump, gradually warming to a comfortable temperature (which might take a day or two from cold).

They do not work well with wooden floors.

So now there is another expense. If there is a concrete floor in a house, it must be dug up for the pipework to be installed. That’s probably another £10,000 in most houses. It cost a friend £15,000 recently.

If there is a wooden floor, adaptation by way of specialist insulation would probably be another £10, 000

So, to convert the ground floor in most houses would now cost around £30,000. A second floor might be similar, so likely £40,000 per average 3 bedroomed domestic dwelling in the UK.
Costs would undoubtedly fall thanks to economies of scale, but it also introduces the concept of cowboy outfits fitting substandard systems. However, forgetting that for a moment, we are now talking a cost of at least £40,000 per household to convert to GSHP or ASHP.

Unfortunately, we are not finished.

Ground Source and Air Source heat pumps are sensitive to heat leakage i.e. the loss of heat to the environment from the house itself which we all, regrettably suffer.

The ONLY way for either system to be effective, is for the house to be fully insulated to almost air tight standards. Were that even possible, and I guess technically it is, with the Victorian building stock we have in the UK, the cost would be prohibitive.

However, for arguments sake, say with technology and economies of scale it could be done (which includes fully lining every wall in the house with specialist insulation) at a price of another £10,000, the cost of this project is now getting scary.

Sadly, were still not finished.

To insulate any house to those standards means they will suffer from dampness with lots of moist warm air unable to escape. So ventilation is required. Not just trickle vents in windows but whole house mechanical ventilation. In most cases this can add another £10,000 to the bill, were it even possible.

So far, I think we’re up to £60,000 are we not?

Oh, I almost forgot. We could of course run GSHP’s and ASHP’s from solar panels (unless it’s nighttime, or clouds restrict sunlight, or it’s dark for 16 hours a day in winter) which will add another £10, 000 to our Theresa May conversion bill. And then there’s batteries, to store all the abundant energy we get from the sunlight in winter. Where do I put those?

But this isn’t a government bill, this is a householder bill and frankly, I have no idea how many people, not just the poorest, can afford another £70,000 to their lifetime expenditure. Now were into the realms of “Oh sod it, I’ll chop down trees and get the open fire going again”.

Yet still we are not finished.

There is that pledge of £1Tn of taxpayer’s money to achieving net Zero. So, does the government subsidise all those household conversions?

Say they did and allowed £20,000 per household, times 27.2m households. That’s 544,000,000,000, or half the entire 1Tn budget. And that’s not including the extra government departments necessary to administer the entire project.

But there’s more, and I’ll just gloss over this because the numbers get silly. We are all to have electric, or plug in electric hybrid cars by 2040, or 2035 by some demands.

Around 40% of all households in the country do not have off road parking facilities. Now we have the government problem of providing facilities to charge cars reasonably close to home. On our street, there are probably 20 vehicles with no access to off road charging.

Lamp posts have been presented as a solution but there are only three or four lamp posts (if that) on our street suitable for that purpose. Each one runs off a modest voltage, perhaps even three phase ( which I doubt) so each one must be upgraded.

The national cost of that again, runs into hundreds of billions of pounds. But of course, it will be private companies like EDF who will do it, in which case we pay for it all on our bills which will be ludicrous if we are to absorb billions of pounds of investment over the next 30 years.

And we’re still not finished.

The wholesale conversion to electricity, whilst outlawing gas, will place a burden on the national grid that is simply unsustainable. Some are discussing smart meters and charge sharing of smart appliances, cars etc. but none of this has been tried and both the concept and the entire infrastructure must be changed wholesale in 30 years.

We simply do not have the electricity capacity available to achieve this objective, no matter what anyone says. The country will be forced to pay for new coal/gas/nuclear power stations.

And if your answer is renewables, think again, I have attached Matt Ridley’s assessment of wind turbine use to address these issues. The facts are simply mind boggling. http://www.rationaloptimist.com/blog/wind-still-making-zero-energy/

To even contemplate the 2% growth per year global consumption of energy until 2050 would require a land mass half the size of Russia covered in wind turbines simply to keep up. Which does not deal with the existing energy use, that would be the rest of Russia, or almost the entire continent of USA and Canada, entirely devoted to wind turbines.

As we speak, China is planning, building or financing some 1,200 coal fired power stations across the planet. Australia has authorised the mining for coal over an area the size of the UK to supply China’s demands.

And Mrs. May’s virtue signalling is supposed to do anything but subject the UK to abject poverty? Have you and your governmental colleagues collectively lost your minds?

Yours faithfully,


Reply to  tonyb
August 6, 2019 11:53 am


And the reply from Chris Skidmore is as follows.

Dear xxxxxxx

Thank you for your letter dated 28 June, enclosing correspondence from your constituent, Mr xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, regarding the net zero emissions target,
The fact that the climate is changing largely as a result of human activity is agreed upon by an overwhelming majority of scientists. Many major scientific institutions and societies, such as the Royal Society. have released statements confirming this (1) . Human activity has released an estimated 2240 billion tonnes of CO2 between 1750 and 2016, resulting an increase of atmospheric CO2 concentrations of 45% since 1750. During this period the Earth’s mean global surface temperature rose by about 1°C, largely due to a strengthening greenhouse effect(2) caused by the C02 increase.

It is true that human C02 emissions are indeed a small fraction of natural emissions, but they add up because they are being emitted at a faster rate than the ability of the land and ocean to absorb them. The land and ocean emit large quantities of carbon into the atmosphere; however, they also remove large quantities of carbon from the atmosphere. This is a natural cycle that kept the atmospheric C02 concentration roughly constant prior to the onset of industrialisation in about 1750(3), when it started to rise. We know this because we can measure historic levels of atmospheric C02 in ice cores extracted from ice sheets.

Our confidence in climate models comes from many independent Sources. They are based on fundamental physical principles that have been established for many decades, even centuries. The models are rigorously tested by comparing their outputs with real-world observations – they have been shown to be able to recreate the main features of our current climate as well as of the climate of the past, The strength of the cloud feedback is indeed uncertain, but it seems likely it will amplify global warming(4). The other major feedback that amplifies warming is from changes in water vapour.


(1) royalsociety.org/topics-policy/publications/2015/climate-communique/
(2) An explanation of how the greenhouse effect works can be found online at: https://wg1.ipcc.ch/publications/wg1-ar4/faq/wg1_faq-1.3.html
(3) See figure 6.11 in chapter 6 of the IPCC 5th Assessment Report on the physical science basis of climate change.
(4) See FAQ 7.1 in chapter 7 Of the IPCC 5th Assessment Report on the physical science basis of climate change.

With every extra degree of warming the atmosphere can retain about 7% more water vapour. This can amplify any initial C02 forcing by a factor of between 2 and 3(5). Unlike the cloud feedback, that from water vapour is well understood. Climate models are continually assessed and evaluated with their peers through intercomparison projects. which also form the basis of the projections of the IPCC. These projects allow scientists to work collaboratively to improve their models.

Without significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, global mean surface temperatures are likely to rise by more than 3°C above pre-industrial temperatures by the end of this century With the small possibility of a rise of over 6°C in a high emission scenario, relative to 1850 – 1900(6). The International Paris agreement of December 2015 set out a global action plan to put the world on track to avoid these damaging temperature rises by limiting global warming to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts towards 1.5°C. Every country must therefore drastically reduce its emissions, including the UK.

Taking into account the latest science, we are convinced of the urgency of action on climate change. It is one of the most pressing challenges we face today, and the UK is committed to tackling it.

I am therefore pleased that on 27 June, having given careful consideration to the Committee on Climate Change’s (CCC’s) independent and analytically rigorous advice, the UK Government set a legally binding target to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions from across the UK economy by 2050. This ambitious target will bring to an end our contribution to climate change.
Mr xxxxxxxx highlights a number of areas of concern in his letter, which I have addressed below.

1. Cost of reaching net zero

The CCC estimates that the annual cost of delivering a net zero target is now within the same range as the 80% target was at the time that target was sat in 2008 – equivalent to 1-2% of GDP in 2050. This does not factor in the benefits to the UK economy of transitioning to a net zero economy, which could partly or completely offset costs, including green collar jobs, reduced air pollution, and reduced risks of catastrophic climate change.

A crucial issue, as the CCC their report, is how we meet the costs of the transition in a fair and balanced way. That is why we have announced that HM Treasury Will be taking forward a review on how to achieve this transition in a way that works for households, businesses and public finances – which will also consider the implications for UK competitiveness.


(5) See FAQ 8.1 in chapter 8 of the IPCC 5th Assessment Report on the physical science basis of climate change
(6) IPCC, 2013: Section TS5.5. Technical summary, Climate Change 2013: The Physical science Basis. Contribution of Working Group 1 to the 5th Assessment Report Of the IPCC.

We have set out strong frameworks for delivery in the Clean Growth Strategy and our modern Industrial Strategy, and the transition to a net zero economy presents opportunities to build on the strengths we have already developed in areas such as Offshore Wind, smart systems and green finance, creating high-value green jobs and new business opportunities across the country.
Already, low carbon technology and clean energy contribute more than £44 billion to Our economy every year and we have almost 400,000 jobs in the low carbon economy and its supply chains. By our estimate this could grow to 2 million jobs in 2030. More details about the Clean Growth Strategy can be found online at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/clean-growth-strategy.

Government carries out full impact assessments when we set carbon budgets. which place legally binding caps on UK emissions over successive five yearly periods on a path to reaching our 2050 emissions reductions target. Carbon budgets 1 through to 5 (covering the period of 2008 to 2032) have already been set through secondary legislation with accompanying impact assessments. The sixth carbon budget (which will cover the period 2033-37) must be set by June 2021 and we will produce a full impact assessment ahead of introducing any legislation to set it.

2. Heating homes

To meet our legally binding emissions targets, analysis suggests that we need to decarbonise nearly all heat in buildings by 2050. Given the diversity of property types and heat demand, no one solution can provide the best options for everyone. The Government’s priority is ensuring that there are a mix of technologies and customer options available to decarbonise heat across the UK. However, heat pumps are currently the only commercially available low-carbon heating technology that can be deployed at scale.

You raise an important point about the cost Of heat pumps, and we are working with industry to reduce costs and address the barriers to consumers, We recognise that the upfront cost Of a heat pump is higher than that of an equivalent fossil fuel boiler, so Government is providing support for heat pumps through the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme. Through this scheme. Government will spend an estimated £2.8 billion between 2018 and 2021 to support low-carbon heating technologies; the policy framework beyond 2021 is currently being considered. Doing so will also help bring down technology costs through economies of scale and mass deployment
According to analysis commissioned by Government, heat pump costs are expected to fall by at least 20% in a mass market scenario.

Your calculation of the estimated costs involved with installing a heat pump includes the need to make extensive changes to the fabric of a home, such as increasing the levels of insulation and changing to under-floor heating throughout. Work we have commissioned Suggests that most homes in the UK are suitable for a heat pump with little or no changes to levels of insulation. However, not acting to improve insulation will likely increase energy bills and the cost and disruption associated with installation of insulation and/or changes to heat emitters (larger radiators for example) represent a key barrier to deployment of heat pumps. We are currently developing plans for an electrification of heat demonstration project, expected to launch in 2019, which will look at the costs involved with installing heat pumps and investigate how these might be reduced through a better understanding of the performance of heat pumps in a wide variety of housing archetypes with limited energy efficiency improvements.

3. Charging electric vehicles

Regarding electric vehicle charging infrastructure, the UK now has over 20,000 publicly accessible charge-points, Which includes more than 2,000 rapid devices and represents one of the largest networks in Europe. We want to encourage and leverage private sector investment to build and operate a self-sustaining public network that is affordable, reliable and accessible. Already, the private sector is installing the vast majority of public infrastructure. The new £400 million electric vehicle Charging Infrastructure Investment Fund Will help catalyse the investment required.

As mentioned in our Road to Zero Strategy, to future-proof our streets, we want to encourage all new street lighting columns to include charging points, where appropriately located, in residential areas without off-street parking provision. Lamppost chargers typically provide up to a maximum of 5kW which is well suited to longer dwell times and overnight charging. In recent years we have seen the emergence of charging solutions Which make use of a lampposts’ spare electrical capacity and provide a cost-effective way for residents that lack off-street parking to charge their electric vehicles. There are a number of different lamppost solutions that are now available to the market and are being installed by local authorities. More details about the Road to Zero Strategy can be found online at the following link:

4. The electricity markets

We will work across the Oil, gas and electricity sectors to make sure the UK has a well-functioning, competitive and resilient energy system.

In July 2017, the Government and Ofgem jointly published our Smart Systems & Flexibility Plan, which can be viewed online at: http://www.gov.uk/government/publications/upgrading-our-energy-system-smart-systems-and-flexibility-plan. This plan Outlines the underlying principles of our approach to enable the transition to a smart and flexible energy system, followed by 29 actions for the Government, Ofgem and/or industry to lead on to realise this. The actions are split across three core themes:

– removing barriers to smart technologies, such as electricity storage;
– enabling the use of smart solutions in homes and businesses; and
– ensuring markets provide the right incentives for flexibility and smart solutions.

Renewables are a part of a range of measures that will be necessary to meet our net zero target. Renewables provided 33.3% Of all UK electricity generation in 2018, while 10.2% of total energy consumption came from renewable sources in 2017. The latest figures indicate we now have 13.8 GW of onshore Wind capacity installed in the UK, enough to power over 7.6 million UK homes, and 8.2 GW of offshore wind capacity, which is the largest in the world.

5. Global efforts

We will continue to support global efforts to tackle climate change and, having set a UK net zero target, we are calling on other countries to similarly increase their ambition.

At the global level, to present UK leadership and international action as alternatives is to give a false choice, as action at home is the foundation of our international influence. China is taking substantial action – it is the world’s largest investor in renewable energy, and the largest manufacturer of electric vehicles. We are supporting China’s transition by working closely together in areas such as power sector reform, green finance, and climate change risk assessment. China has reduced the share of coal in the power mix from 81% 2007 to below 60% in 2018, a decrease that is attributable to the growth of hydro, nuclear, natural gas, Wind and solar PV resources.
Thank you again for taking the time to write, I hope you and Mr xxxxxxxx find this information useful.

Yours ever,

Chris Skidmore.

Reply to  HotScot
August 6, 2019 3:30 pm

Thank you for posting your letter and their (idiotic, canned) response.
To take just one point in their response.

* Date: 23/04/19

So, if the point is to reduce CO2, they won’t. I suspect this fact will be ignored as Inconvenient and, besides, reducing CO2 is not their goal anyway so, whether it works or, not doesn’t matter to them.
From Forbes.
The U.N.’s Global Warming War On Capitalism: An Important History Lesson

Reply to  KcTaz
August 7, 2019 7:47 am


Thanks for the German study. I’ll have a look and hopefully include it in a response.

Reply to  HotScot
August 6, 2019 4:02 pm

Sorry everyone. There are some formatting hiccups but I rushed all this through from an OCR conversion of Skidmore’s letter which was a nightmare to virtually retype, including the hypertext links, in a couple of hours so it even resembled the original.

Reply to  tonyb
August 6, 2019 11:54 am


Posted the whole lot but gone into moderation.

Reply to  HotScot
August 6, 2019 3:09 pm


It’s just turned 10pm on tuesday and I have just seen the two letters. I have relatives here at present but will have a proper look on Thursday .

we are off to dartmoor tomorrow, the relative is inclined to believe in climate change and thinks wind farms are good so have my work cut out!

Will hope to post some comments on Thursday or Friday when I see you out and about on a thread


Reply to  HotScot
August 6, 2019 3:56 pm

Thank you MODS for making this available rapidly.

This is the type of abject ignorance and dishonesty all of us in the western world are up against.

It shouldn’t be extinction rebellion demonstrating in the streets, it should be we conservatives; the moderates and Libertarians objecting to this raid on our pockets, our culture and our lives.

Why are we allowing our governments to impose these measures on us? It’s not their choice, it’s ours. And if you’re reading this thinking it’ll never happen to, or affect you, think again. If the UK government, the worlds seat of Parliamentary Democracy, can ram all this through without challenge, then don’t imagine you have a hope in hell of resisting.

I hope it helps people.

Reply to  HotScot
August 6, 2019 4:53 pm

The problem is, HotScot, “we” don’t have donors and organizers supported and funded by some of the richest people in the world who all have serious connections to many despicable, greedy and/or scientifically ignorant politicians.

Soros on List of Mega-Rich Extinction Rebellion Backers

Soros and their other funders should be made to pay for the damages they do and inconveniences they cause. Well, I can dream, can’t I?

Reply to  HotScot
August 8, 2019 7:02 am


are you still tracking this thread? If not I will post my reply when I next see you comment


August 6, 2019 3:04 am

The very purpose, the entire function, the sole raison de etre, of the War Post’s existence is to maintain the fiction that you (Americans) live in a functioning democracy, a government of the demos, by the demos, for the demos.

This is, as stated, a fiction, and not a polite one.

There IS a democratic process at work in the political structure of the United States of America; the wealthy are accurately polled on their preferences and these preferences directly translate into legislation and policy at the state and federal levels.

Government of the people, by the (rich) people, for the (rich) people is the once, present, and future reality. Everything else is either deluded fantasy or deliberate fraud … sometimes both.

cf. also https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5tu32CCA_Ig

Clive Dawson
August 6, 2019 3:24 am

“… by his sedulously-fabricated foofaraw of flatulent whigmaleeries…”

You go, Christopher!

Reply to  Clive Dawson
August 6, 2019 4:06 am

Wasn’t that just GREAT?!

Gunga Din
Reply to  Clive Dawson
August 6, 2019 8:36 am

Say that while waving a little stick in air and a pile of poop will appear!

Joe Bastardi
August 6, 2019 3:55 am

Dr Soon should sue them as the Covington kids are This krap has got to stop

old construction worker
August 6, 2019 4:30 am

Peer review; I think Climategate says it all.

August 6, 2019 4:32 am

Whilst I do enjoy Mr Monckton’s contributions, might I be so bold as to recommend George Orwell’s essay Politics and the English Language.
In it he makes some recommendations about writing style:

Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.
Never use a long word where a short one will do.
If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
Never use the passive where you can use the active.
Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.

George Daddis
Reply to  sonofametman
August 6, 2019 7:16 am

With due respect to Lord Monckton’s scientific and literary abilities, that note came across as pompous and patronizing. If I were an editor of any publication, my first inclination would be to toss that submission into the circular file.

The rebuttal contained excellent points which a more concise note would have been able to highlight.

In addition to Orwell’s essay, I’d also recommend Strunk and White’s original Elements of Style.

Michael 2
Reply to  George Daddis
August 7, 2019 8:55 am

“Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.”

Exactly so. Knowing when to break a literary rule is “literary”.

Reply to  sonofametman
August 6, 2019 3:45 pm

In general, I agree with you but, this case is an exception. I found his letter to be eminently readable and not in the least laborious to read.
I have a short fuse for gobbledygook. His letter did not meet that criterion. He expressed himself well and used the English language to enlighten and inform. Few have his talent. To condemn him for other’s failures in writing is not justified in my opinion.
It was a superb response, albeit, one probably beyond the ability of the staff of the WaPo who read letters or, report the news or write editorials (assuming there is a difference among them). It is highly unlikely they would understand, agree with or publish his letter even if written at first grade level. There must be the will to correct mistakes and false impressions made by the WaPo and others. They write to misinform so, nothing will convince them to apologize for achieving their goals.

John Bell
August 6, 2019 5:01 am

Anyone ever listen to NPR and how they talk about climate change? It is weird.

Reply to  John Bell
August 6, 2019 6:07 am

I try to listen to NPR occasionally. It has become weirder and weirder. Seems to always be about some odd, strange or just weird fringe group, or extreme left-wing propaganda, delivered with a smug, smarmy presentation.

Dave Miller
Reply to  John Bell
August 6, 2019 9:54 am

Have you noticed how the NPR knuckleheads are always incorrectly using double is’s in their speech?

“The fact of the matter is is that I ….”

I believe its become a “woke shibboleth”.

August 6, 2019 5:35 am

Sue the bastards. Expecting an apology or retraction from journalists without the threat of litigation is very naive.

Russell Robles-Thome
August 6, 2019 6:22 am

Good grief Christopher! Excellent substance, but how about joining the 20th century and trimming the annoying verbal encrustations? This letter could have been 40% shorter, 75% more likely to be read, and 100% more menacing, if it had been cast in a direct modern style.

2 cents, no reply expected.

David Yaussy
Reply to  Russell Robles-Thome
August 6, 2019 7:16 am

Agree on all counts.

Richard Patton
Reply to  Russell Robles-Thome
August 6, 2019 1:51 pm

On the other hand, I love to see someone with such a command of the English language that they can insult another person and the other person is clueless as to what just happened.

Mark Broderick
Reply to  Russell Robles-Thome
August 6, 2019 3:29 pm

…Want some cheese to go with that whine ? Personally, I love Lord Moncton’s olde english verbiage ! Keeps my Spellcheck busy..lol

Mark Broderick
Reply to  Russell Robles-Thome
August 6, 2019 3:31 pm

….Lord Monckton….stupid spellcheck….lol

Michael 2
Reply to  Russell Robles-Thome
August 7, 2019 8:58 am

It’s the British version of Saul Alinsky and extremely well done. Excellent pacing, a blizzard of facts and refreshingly different insults.

Coeur de Lion
August 6, 2019 7:31 am

Surely we’ve seen this attack on Soon before? As well
as being a nasty liar , isn’t Thacker just a garbage recycler? With nothing new to say and a cuttings book?

August 6, 2019 7:38 am

Alarmist constantly bash skeptics over the head with the essential requirement of papers passing peer review and now the WP is warning us against relying on peer review.

Tell the world, peer review is not a gold standard.

Reply to  Sam Grove
August 6, 2019 4:41 pm

Sam, what you say is true but, if we must play their stupid game, there is this.

February 12, 2014
1350+ Peer-Reviewed Papers Supporting Skeptic Arguments Against ACC/AGW Alarmism


As to how valuable peer review is.
Most scientists ‘can’t replicate studies by their peers’
* 22 February 2017
* https://bbc.in/2KlqUlt


Read the Wegman Report which describes the clusters of mutually reviewing authors. It’s called “pal review”.

One of my favorites.
Sham Journal Accepts Totally Absurd But Completely Appropriate Paper

Robbie Gonzalez

EdA the New Yorker
August 6, 2019 7:57 am

It’s too bad that Fred Friendly is no longer with us. I would enjoy watching the lawyer/judge roundtable discuss how the Covington kid’s lawsuit for libel against WAPO could be dismissed at warp speed, essentially through the claim that some people incorrectly thought that the young victims acted inappropriately, while Mann v. Steyn continues through the decade over a short opinion piece.

Reply to  EdA the New Yorker
August 6, 2019 4:47 pm

At least, it has been a source of great satire and comedy for Stein, though, I’m sure he would vastly prefer he didn’t have it to use.
It has made for strange bedfellows as organizations from the ACLU to the WaPo have joined Stein in his defense. If Mann wins, their defense for their Fake News would go poof and next time they pull a Covington or what they did here to Soon, they’d lose.
Hmmm. This almost makes one want to wish Stein does lose, for the good of the nation, of course. 🙂

August 6, 2019 8:06 am

Dan Cody- I can tuna fish, but I prefer glass jars.

Eric H.
August 6, 2019 8:25 am

If a large word is worth $.50, I will need to set up a payment plan for this: “Mr Thacker, having thus craftily set up and contextualized Dr Soon as a blackguard by his sedulously-fabricated foofaraw of flatulent whigmaleeries…”

M__ S__
August 6, 2019 8:41 am

Did they print it?

The problem with these papers is that they are taken seriously by many.

August 6, 2019 9:17 am

I’ll add to the growing chorus…

I stopped reading posts by this author a while ago specifically for the superfluous writing style that comes off pompous.

It is such a shame, too, because I am sure the content itself has gems but I cannot get past the distraction of having to mine the intended message from the flowery language.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  PSU-EMS-Alum
August 6, 2019 10:52 am

You mean to say you can’t ignore the flowery phrases to the point that you can’t concentrate on the substance?

Now me, I can skip over something flowery faster than greased lightning! And it doesn’t phase me a bit. I guess I’m lucky that way. 🙂

Reply to  PSU-EMS-Alum
August 6, 2019 11:32 am

Yes… I call it phrasal flatulence. Kinda funny at first, but in the end it just smells bad.

Reply to  Simon
August 6, 2019 1:32 pm

Don’t whine. Write your own letter to the editor, and use baby language if that’s what you speak.

Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
August 6, 2019 2:28 pm

Baby language? I assume you mean infantile articulate.

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  Simon
August 6, 2019 4:09 pm

No: I mean baby language. “Articulate” is not a noun.

Reply to  Simon
August 6, 2019 5:29 pm

Used as a noun the meaning is clear.

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  Simon
August 6, 2019 8:33 pm

Back to the main point. Write your own letter to the Washpot.

Reply to  Simon
August 7, 2019 6:04 pm

Yes, glad you made the effort.

Soon Soon, eh?

Mark Pawelek
August 6, 2019 10:28 am

I’m torn. It’s important to question the so-called gold-standard of peer review. I saw rock bottom peer review when an article was published in 2016 with primary school level maths errors. Someone close to the journal sent me a message implying the name of one of the reviewers who, based on her published work, was no better to qualified to review it than me. I personally think it’s more important to have diligent and skeptical peer reviewers than so-called peers; especially when they are probably pals.

August 6, 2019 11:25 am

The letter seems too nice — way too much stylish intelligence wasted on the … “Washpot” (I like that characterization).

Another Scott
August 6, 2019 11:31 am

The Washington Post complains about “sponsoring research and exploiting the prestige of peer review”? Talk about the kettle calling the pot black! The left always accuses the other guy of doing the thing they are guilty of….

Kerry Eubanks
August 6, 2019 12:24 pm

RE: “…Dr Soon is shortly to publish a series of papers demonstrating beyond doubt and on multiple grounds that the notion of large and dangerous global warming arose from several elementary but significant scientific errors perpetrated by careless or prejudiced climatologists…”

Does anyone else expect that the climate research community tipped off the Washington Post and Mr. Thacker that they desperately needed a preemptive strike against Dr. Soon? Not that feeding the MSM with talking points hasn’t been going on with the MSM for quite some time.

Reply to  Kerry Eubanks
August 6, 2019 4:58 pm

Kerry, I hadn’t thought about that before but, now that you mention it, yes, it does seem extremely probable, like 100%.

August 6, 2019 1:01 pm

the ad hominem/political attack in this article is detrimental to countering the points made by the writer of the original OPED (who is not an employee of the Washington Post).

There are many issues with using claims of peer review as a gold standard for the veracity of research findings:

– peers are typically drawn from experts in the subject matter area. When the subject matter area is dubious due to lack of a significant body of good studies – accupuncture is an example – then the peers may be blind to the problems with the experimental method as long as the conclusions conform to their positions.
– peer reviewers are overworked and unpaid. So they sometimes do not have the inclination or time to look deeply into details of the experiment being reported.

and so on.

monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  chris
August 6, 2019 1:31 pm

Write your own letter to the editor in defense of Dr Soon, and do it in whatever style you like.

Reply to  monckton of Brenchley
August 6, 2019 2:20 pm

Perhaps Chris would like to practice with a post at WUWT.

August 6, 2019 1:34 pm

Unless ppl start really really seriously considering that “the Sun is doing it” is the worst failure in approaching climate and climatology, then all is just a silly whack a mole insulting game there.

For once, in consideration of all data and evidence in climatology, there is not even a consideration or indication of the RF being detectable, let alone measured or considered as with
a given potential in climate variation in the realm of natural… not even detectable.
Aka for the lack of better consideration it happens to be a constant in nature,
Regardless of the radiation potential variation there… either due to the Sun or the CO2 concentration variation.

Under this clause, which the AGWers never have actually contradicted or perverted, the claim or the approach;
“the Sun is doing it”, happens to be the most silly approach in consideration.

No matter what the Sun does or has done over the ages towards of effecting Radiation Potential, for as long as RF a “constant”, regardless of any other variation there, the explanation offered vie Sun is just a silly dud.

At this stage I think concerned ppl about climate have to start really considering seriously that
RF in natural term happens to be a “constant” with no any detectable potential there.

Funny enough that remains still the same even at this latest point in time regardless of AGW or ACC, still not changed.

Even the GCM simulations, the experiment, show that still even there this condition still holds true… the beauty of GCMs…
with all the GCMs do, RF there still a “constant” and with no any potential… still even there CO2 follows temps… not the other way around, the natural way, no AGW there either.

No doubt that the above will not make much sense for many there.
Still not sorry… 🙂


August 6, 2019 1:36 pm

Lord Monckton’s writings should only be judged on whether they are accurate, effective, and attract attention. If he followed Orwell’s or others stylistic recommendations, he would be just another voice in the crowd; which he clearly is not. I follow Orwell’s recommendations only because I do not have the talent to be a Monckton.

Reply to  PMHinSC
August 6, 2019 5:03 pm

+1, PM!

Rudolf Huber
August 6, 2019 3:27 pm

Christopher Moncktons writings (and the contained eloquence) are always worth a read and while we are at it, just throw his name onto Youtube and watch one of his many speeches. besides being incredibly well-read and researched on everything he says, he is also a blast to watch. Worth every minute. Now stop reading me and go listen to Christopher Monckton.

Ted Meyer
Reply to  Rudolf Huber
August 7, 2019 3:57 am

Lord Monckton is one of just a few truly worthwhile experts on climate that are worth your time. He has a scholar’s encyclopedic understanding of the issues and a beautiful Old-World style. I enjoy his lectures immensely. Ignore Lord Monckton at your peril.

August 6, 2019 6:27 pm

While the letter contains gems, it is extremely difficult to read.

As an example, paragraph 3 has a sentence containing 139 words. Walls of text, with terms which are understood by a tiny fraction of people (“Pharisaically”) form a barrier to effective communication.

Simple, clear and concise language is the gold standard when dealing with the general public. Especially if you are trying to win a debating point. Write for the audience you are trying to impact, not as a vehicle to demonstrate how obtusely you can present an argument.

As a simple test of basic readability, read the letter out loud. A pause is where a comma belongs. A breath is a full stop.

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  Dean
August 6, 2019 8:29 pm

Don’t whine. Concentrate on the main point, which is the outrageous libel to the detriment of Dr Soon.. Write your own letter, and do it with tiny words and short sentences. But make it forceful.

Michael 2
Reply to  Dean
August 7, 2019 9:23 am

For beautiful writing and incredibly long sentences, try reading Thomas More’s “Utopia”. It takes a bit of getting used to but I find it elegant and information rich.

Or not; depending on your skill at this sort of thing.


One sentence from “Utopia” and its an essay all by itself: “Therefore I must say that, as I hope for mercy, I can have no other notion of all the other governments that I see or know, than that they are a conspiracy of the rich, who, on pretence of managing the public, only pursue their private ends, and devise all the ways and arts they can find out; first, that they may, without danger, preserve all that they have so ill-acquired, and then, that they may engage the poor to toil and labour for them at as low rates as possible, and oppress them as much as they please; and if they can but prevail to get these contrivances established by the show of public authority, which is considered as the representative of the whole people, then they are accounted laws; yet these wicked men, after they have, by a most insatiable covetousness, divided that among themselves with which all the rest might have been well supplied, are far from that happiness that is enjoyed among the Utopians; for the use as well as the desire of money being extinguished, much anxiety and great occasions of mischief is cut off with it, and who does not see that the frauds, thefts, robberies, quarrels, tumults, contentions, seditions, murders, treacheries, and witchcrafts, which are, indeed, rather punished than restrained by the severities of law, would all fall off, if money were not any more valued by the world?”


August 6, 2019 8:03 pm

According to Office Word,
Lord Monckton’s letter above has the following score
Flesch Reading Ease = 22.9
Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level = 18.8
Passive Sentences = 0%
Words per Sentence = 38.7
I do not know if this is country sensitive.

David Blenkinsop
August 6, 2019 9:15 pm

Just three weeks ago, I came across something like this on my Facebook timeline (an article ‘share’ from someone on my friends list), from a web site called “democracynow dot org”. This was to the effect that Dr. Soon got some funding from an ExxonMobil foundation, this somehow compromised him, etc. you know the drill.

I responded by posting the link to following web article rebutting this stuff:


I also made a couple of direct quotes from the rebuttal, including the following:

” [David] Hasemyer [of the controversial Rockefeller-funded InsideClimateNews] also neglected to note that even if Donors Trust’s “dark” grant came from ExxonMobil Foundation, the fossil-fuel philanthropy also gave universities $64,674,989; museums $2,771,150; the Red Cross $2,549,434; the Conservation Fund, Nature Conservancy and similar groups $1,210,000; Habitat for Humanity $798,000, Ducks Unlimited, $402,000 and many more from 1998 to 2014 according to IRS records. Will they be demonized as shills too?”

The Facebook contact I mentioned then removed the original share pretty quickly — I’m pretty sure the removal was faster than the usual retirement of items from the Facebook timeline.

Ed Zuiderwijk
August 7, 2019 1:34 am

The two things climate activists fear most of all: Truth and Integrity. Willie Soon embodies them both. Therefore he is the enemy and must be destroyed.

Solomon Green
August 8, 2019 11:05 am

Lord Monckton

The Washington Post also appears in London where, as you know libel is more strictly judged and punished than in the USA.

Is it not possible for dr. Dr. Soon to sue for defamation? Provided that a reputable barrister (there are some!) is prepared to state that he has a high chance of winning there must be several specialist firms of solicitors willing to take a case such as this on a no win no fee basis.

Caveat I am not a lawyer and my suggestion may not be sound.

Alan Tomalty
August 8, 2019 2:26 pm

systematic tampering with the record of total solar irradiance by a handful of ill-intentioned scientists,”

First I have heard of this. Could you elaborate please?

Reply to  Alan Tomalty
August 17, 2019 8:49 pm

In response to Mr Tomalty, I was recently given a copy of a quote from one of the nest of vipers who keep the official sunspot record, who said that the record had been altered so as to prevent skeptics from saying that the Sun had caused much of the recent global warming. That remark led a team connected with ours to investigate, and the team has discovered that the record was indeed tampered with. After correction, all – and they mean all – of the global warming of recent decades is actually attributable to that increase in solar irradiance. In a few years, though, temperatures will begin to fall, because solar irradiance has been declining since about 1995, and after 30 year or so the effect will become apparent on Earth.

August 8, 2019 3:03 pm

Skill testing question :
What will be extinct first The NYT , Washington Post and LA Times OR
the earth ? Hmm….
The cash burn and circulation crashes will ensure these tree killing papers will be gone
in under 10 years . This has all the makings of a a planned attempt to get rid of pension obligations .
Let’s see their financial statements .

August 8, 2019 4:09 pm

Isn’t it great Trump now gets blamed for EVERYTHING . Remember the good old days when global warming
was the scape goat .
Has there ever been a President so relentlessly pounded on ? Yet he gets stronger and the left goes Full
Monty socialist giving up all middle ground .
Another Trump term and scary global warming will disappear just as some MSM bite the dust .
Bye bye NYT and friends … you can only lie for so long .

August 8, 2019 6:19 pm

Mr Thacker’s statement that Dr Soon had “accepted $1.2 million from fossil fuel interests” is false, incomplete and materially misleading. The Harvard-Smithsonian Observatory had accepted various donations in respect of Dr Soon’s research and had itself negotiated the contracts with the donors. Mr Thacker culpably neglects to state that the money was paid not to Mr Soon but to the Observatory; that it was paid over a period of ten years; that the Observatory had deducted 30% for its “overhead”; that approximately a further 30% went on Dr Soon’s costs in conducting research; and that, therefore, Dr Soon personally received less income per year than a district manager at Burger King.

You are wrong, the statement “accepted $1.2 million from fossil fuel interests” is correct. Soon used the standard operating procedure when applying for research funding by an academic. As a PI you negotiate with a potential sponsor for funding and then write a proposal, you then submit it via the sponsored research office of your institution. They read it to ensure that it complies with regulations and the relevant officer will then sign it on behalf of the institution and submit it. If successful the funding is awarded to the institution and the sponsored research office will open an account on behalf of the faculty member. Typically overheads are charged at the agreed institutional rate (30% would be a rather low rate, Harvard charges 60%+), and benefit rates are charged on any salary portions (usually for a salary you need to bring in double the amount to be paid to allow for the overhead/benefits).
So Soon did receive funding from those various sources and they were subject to disclosure.

Reply to  Phil.
August 10, 2019 12:58 am

The contemptible “Phil.” uses a favourite trick of the trolls who infest sites that question the climate Communist party line: he omits the central point of the argument and fabricates a case against the blameless Dr Soon that ought to have been directed at the ghastly Harvard-Smithsonian’s dismal director (who was very lucky to keep his job after his mistreatment of Dr Soon).

The truth, as is made plain in the head posting, is that the Smithsonian, which negotiated all details of the contract between it and Dr Soon’s funders, who had agreed to a stipulation in that contract that the identity of the funders was not to be disclosed under any circumstances. Dr Soon, as an employee of the Smithsonian, was bound in law by that contract. His alleged “non-disclosure” was, therefore, entirely attributable to his employers, who were entirely and solely to blame for having agreed to the confidentiality clause in the contract. Dr Soon was in all respects blameless.

Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
August 12, 2019 5:36 am

Again the pompous Monckton seeks to completely mischaracterize the manner in which research contracts are negotiated between researchers and their sponsors and the rôle of the institutions in the process. Not surprising since it’s not a process in which he has been involved. The suggestion that Soon’s non-disclosure was the result of the confidentiality clause in the contract is ludicrous, it is not necessary to explicitly identify the sponsor in order to comply with disclosure requirements, all that is required is to indicate that such a funding relationship exists. For example Nature makes the following statement in their guide to authors:
We recognize that some authors may be bound by confidentiality agreements. In such cases, in place of itemized disclosures, we require authors to state: “The authors declare that they are bound by confidentiality agreements that prevent them from disclosing their competing interests in this work.”

Reply to  Phil.
August 17, 2019 8:41 pm

Again the pompous, parti-pris party-pooper Party-Line “Phil.” does his worst to find fault with everyone but himself. The paper that Willie Soon co-wrote with me and others that led to the vicious campaign against him was not written as part of his funded output: it was done on his spare time. The journal in question, when the climate Communists shrieked about his alleged non-disclosure, accepted the position without complaint, realizing that the attacks on Dr Soon were political rather than substantial. Dr Soon, like it or not, was bound by the confidentiality agreement which had been negotiated between his funders and his institution – a negotiation in which he played no part. But he was not bound to declare any conflict of interest when working on an independent paper that did not form part of his funded work. “Phil.” may not like that, but the journal in question was content with the position, and that is that.

Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
August 19, 2019 1:05 pm

Monckton reveals his ignorance of the subject again. Like it or not, if you have a financial interest in the subject of the paper it does not matter that the paper was not part of the funded work, you still have to declare an interest. As pointed out above the confidentiality agreement has no relevance.
Also it’s not true that Soon played no part in the negotiation, he initiated the application and will have signed on to the agreement, if you don’t like some of the terms you can ask for them to be renegotiated. Soon did not publish his conflict of interest in his J. Climate paper in contravention of the journal’s policy, whereas his coauthors did. Subsequently the journal amended the paper to show Soon’s funding. In that case Soon listed the paper as a deliverable in reports to his funding source.
The paper which Monckton coauthored with Soon in ‘Science Bulletin’ was subject to the following: “Authors must disclose all relationships or interests that could influence or bias the work”, “In addition, interests that go beyond financial interests and compensation (non-financial interests) that may be important to readers should be disclosed. These may include but are not limited to personal relationships or competing interests directly or indirectly tied to this research, or professional interests or personal beliefs that may influence your research”.

Stable Genius
August 10, 2019 6:02 am

Such ignorant opinions on this subject. But I don’t feel sorry for all you white male (and any other) Trump supporters who have posted comments here. I hope you all live in the south, preferably Florida and the Gulf coast, where even deniers like you will soon see the truth!

August 17, 2019 8:46 pm

Mere yah-boo from the climate-Communist troll “stable Genius” – a misnomer if ever there was one. Put aside the Party Manual for a bit and listen to the facts. After deducting isostatic displacements, which vary from place to place depending upon the local geology, sea level is rising everywhere at a mean annual rate of 1.1 millimeters a year, or about 4 inches a century. The usual suspects, however, multiply this value by 3 to allow for what they call a “glacial isostatic adjustment”. Whatever else that may be, and whether or not it is justified (probably not), it does not constitute an actual sea-level rise.

And don’t use hate-speech words like “deniers”. And don’t talk about white males – that’s naked racism.

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