Thursday, December 6, 2012

WUWT: ‘Skeptical’ ‘Science’ gets it all wrong – yet again...


I know people who seriously claim that Watts Up With That is a scientifically informative website.  
So why then does Anthony Watts post stuff like this thing?  It's authored by none other than the grand Lord of contrarian political performance artists Lord C. Monckton of Benchley.

What he wrote was so plainly deceptive I felt compelled to reprint it along with appropriate informational links to help clear through his smoke and mirrors.

As for Monckton's over the top complaints about SkepticalScience.com, why shouldn't people try to gather as much information as possible?  SkepticalScience is a repository for the growing body of climate related science publications.  It's there for easy public access.  And those folks certainly don't deserve the kind of attacks they have been enduring lately.



Visit their website in the spirit of honest curiosity and desire to learn about our planet's Global Heat Distribution Engine, I guarantee you'll come away more informed... rather than feeling conned the way Monckton does.

These are strong words, but I've studied Monckton and his claims and found only a trail of deception and lies that led to over a dozen open letters, detailing various Monckton Deceptions.  This was the start of it:


#2 A Citizen’s Unauthorized Notes................. Science on Trial
An exploration of the recent presentation:

“A Scientist Replies to Christopher Monckton”
Abraham v. Monckton
Professor Abraham's presentation can be found at: http://www.stthomas.edu/engineering/jpabraham/ 

Planet Climate also has a complete list of links to studies and publications used in Abraham v. Monckton http://planet-climate.org/wiki/index.php?~title=Abraham_presentation 
 In August/September of 2010 I was downright prolific, the journey starts here:
AN UNAUTHORIZED SORTING OF LORD CHRIS MONCKTON’S (9/14/2009) POWER POINT PRESENTATION
http://citizenschallenge.blogspot.com/2010/08/unauthorized-sorting-of-lord-chris.html

And now a critical review of the good Lord Monckton's various claims:
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
Watts Up With That feature on December 4, 2012 by Anthony Watts 
‘Skeptical’ ‘Science’ gets it all wrong – yet again
Guest post by Christopher Monckton of Brenchley
 
Even the name of the “Skeptical” “Science” blog is a lie. The blog is neither skeptical nor scientific. It is a malicious, paid propaganda platform for rude, infantile, untruthful, and often libelous attacks on anyone who dares to question whether global warming is a global crisis. 
That poisonous blog has recently attacked 129 climate researchers, of whom I am one, for having dared to write an open letter to the U.N. Secretary-General asking him not to attribute tropical storm Sandy to global warming that has not occurred for 16 years. 
The following are among the blog’s numerous falsehoods and libels:
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LM 1. On at least four occasions we are referred to as climate “denialists” – a term as unscientific as it is malevolent. We do not deny that there is a climate, or that it changes, or that the greenhouse effect exists, or that Man’s emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases enhance that effect and may cause some warming. 
We raise legitimate scientific questions about how much warming Man may cause, and about whether attempted mitigation can ever be cost-effective.
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Unfortunately the Lord did not raise "legitimate scientific questions."

He presents an advocates sales pitch.  His science is cherry picked and distorted with a fiction writer's zeal.  The Lord has even been caught lying on numerous occasions.

As for his alleged "legitimate scientific questions"
Here's a review of the good Lord's claims vs. facts.


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LM 2. It is claimed that our “preferred route” to air our “grievances about global warming is via “opinion letters published in the mainstream media” rather than via peer review. Yet most of the signatories named by the blog as having “no climate expertise” have published papers in the reviewed literature. To take one example named by the blog, Professor Nils-Axel Mörner of the University of Stockholm has published some 550 papers, nearly all of them in the reviewed literature, and nearly all of them on sea-level rise, which he has been studying for 40 years.
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The Lord picks an interesting poster child, Nils-Axel Mörner  "Among his claims to fame are that he possesses paranormal abilities to find water and metal using a dowsing rod, and that he has discovered "the Hong Kong of the [ancient] Greeks" in Sweden."*

"The Spectator runs false sea-level claims on its cover"
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/georgemonbiot/2011/dec/02/spectator-sea-level-claims
~ ~ ~ 

FACTSHEET: NILS-AXEL MORNER
~ ~ ~ 

James Randi *
"I've described here previously how a ... "dowsing expert" named Nils-Axel Morner, associate professor of geology from Stockholm University, has consistently refused to be tested for the Pigasus Prize. A helpful correspondent in Sweden referred me to . . ."
http://www.randi.org/hotline/1998/0012.html

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LM 3. It is claimed that our arguments are “unsubstantiated”. Yet our letter offered a great deal of substantiation, as will become evident.
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This simply is not true.  The letter is a rehash of empty talking points !
All of which have been thoroughly examined by many different scientists.  SkepticalScience.com has collected the claims of skeptics and reviewed them on the basis of the scientific literature.  

Give them a good faith viewing, you'll notice they support their claims by including links and references back to the science upon which it was based.
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"Climate Myths sorted by taxonomy"

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LM 4. Tom Harris of the Climate Science Coalition, one of the letter’s organizers, is described as “best known for grossly misinforming … university students about climate change in a Climate and Earth Science class he should never have been teaching”. The only sources given for this grave libel are a farrago of childish falsehoods on the “Skeptical” “Science” blog and its sole citation, an error-ridden screed circulated by the dishonestly-names “Canadian Committee for the Advancement of Scientific Skepticism”.
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The Lord is crying about how science has been undermined and his poster child number two is another example of a passionate partisan.  One of the folks responsible for that malicious undermining.

~ ~ ~ 
"There has been renewed scrutiny of climate contrarian PR specialist Tom Harris in the wake of a highly critical report on a controversial course Harris taught at Carleton University, most recently in 2011. Much of the current interest in Harris has naturally focused on his involvement with the Heartland Institute, itself very much in the news following the leak of detailed budget and fundraising plans (accompanied by a suspect two-page strategy memo)."

~ ~ ~ 

Tom Harris
~ ~ ~ 

"In the Classroom"
Posted on May 9, 2012 
"The Committee for the Advancment of Scientific Skepticism (CASS) has issued a report on a course supposed to be about climate change, taught by Tom Harris at Carleton University in Canada. Harris is associated with the International Climate Science Coalition, and is a confirmed speaker for the upcoming climate conference to be hosted by the so-called “Heartland Institute“.

CASS reviewed video of Harris’s lectures, and found a bounty of errors as well as a consistently false portrayal of climate science. Let’s take a look at an example in which Harris indulges in one of the many ways that fake skeptics make fake arguments about global warming."
~ ~ ~ 

As for your "International Climate Science Coalition" do you realize it's a virtual website, no address.

"From website: "An international association of scientists, economists and energy and policy experts working to promote better public understanding of climate change science and policy worldwide. ICSC is committed to providing a highly credible alternative to the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) thereby fostering a more rational, open discussion about climate issues."   Set up in 2007."


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LM 5. The fact that there has been no statistically-significant global warming for 16 years is described as a “myth”. Yet the least-squares linear-regression trend on the Hadley Centre/CRU dataset favoured by the IPCC indeed shows no statistically-significant warming for 16 years. The minuscule warming over the period is within the margin of uncertainty in the measurements and is, therefore, statistically indistinguishable from zero.
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This is a mendacious misrepresent of what's happening within our global heat distribution engine.  Here are some sources for learning about the claim and what's actually being observed on our globe:

Misleading Daily Mail Article Pre-Bunked by Nuccitelli et al. (2012)
Posted on 17 October 2012 by dana1981
http://www.skepticalscience.com/news.php?n=1668
~ ~ ~ 

The Mail on Sunday gives David Rose space to repeat old (and wrong) claims that “global warming has stopped”.
October 15, 2012, 16:00 ~ Roz Pidcock
~ ~ ~ 

Fox Falls For Tabloid "Science"
Research October 15, 2012  ››› Max Greenberg
http://mediamatters.org/research/2012/10/15/fox-falls-for-tabloid-science/190630
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NO, GLOBAL WARMING HASN'T 'STOPPED'  -  Kieran Mulvaney 
http://news.discovery.com/earth/no-global-warming-hasnt-stopped-121017.html

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LM 6. It is claimed that we were wrong to say there has been no statistically-significant global warming because the oceans have warmed. However, the standard definition of “global warming” is warming of the near-surface atmosphere. Also, measurements to date are inadequate to tell us reliably how much – if at all – the oceans have warmed in recent years.
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This isn't some smoking room debate where performance and rhetorical skills win the argument!  This is about our real four dimensional planet, the oceans, land masses, cryosphere, atmosphere and the changes our grand geophysical experiment are having.

As for "inadequate measurements" of our oceans that's nonsense.  We are learning plenty.  There are uncertainties but we still know plenty enough to draw some serious conclusions.  Uncertainties do not equal not knowing.
~ ~ ~

Record Ocean Temperatures Recorded Off New England Coast
by Bob Berwyn -  Sep 22, 2012
http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2012/09/22/891751/record-ocean-temperatures-recorded-off-new-england-coast/
~ ~ ~

New Comparison of Ocean Temperatures Reveals Rise Over the Last Century
ScienceDaily (Apr. 1, 2012) — A new study contrasting ocean temperature readings of the 1870s with temperatures of the modern seas reveals an upward trend of global ocean warming spanning at least 100 years
Journal Reference:
  1. Dean Roemmich, W. John Gould, John Gilson. 135 years of global ocean warming between the Challenger expedition and the Argo Programme. Nature Climate Change, 2012; DOI: 10.1038/nclimate1461
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120401135345.htm
~ ~ ~ 

Here's a good lecture:
"135 Years of Global Ocean Warming - Perspectives on Ocean Science"

"(Visit: http://www.uctv.tv/) A new study comparing past and present ocean temperatures reveals the global ocean has been warming for more than a century. Join Dean Roemmich, Scripps physical oceanographer and study co-author, as he describes how warm our oceans are getting, where all that heat is going, and how this knowledge will help scientists better understand the earth's climate. Learn how scientists measured ocean temperature during the historic voyage of the HMS Challenger (1872-76) and how today's network of ocean-probing robots is changing the way scientists study the seas. Series: "Perspectives on Ocean Science" [9/2012] [Science] [Show ID: 23999]"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aIayxdrX17g
~ ~ ~ 

Summary of Conditions of the Northeast Shelf Ecosystem
http://www.nefsc.noaa.gov/ecosys/advisory/current/advisory.html

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LM 7. It is claimed that we were wrong to say that computer models are now proven to exaggerate warming and its effects. Yet we had pointed out, correctly, that a paper by leading climate modelers, published in the NOAA’s State of the Climate report in 2008, had said that 15 years or more without global warming would indicate a discrepancy between the models’ projections and real-world observations and that, therefore, the models were proven incorrect by their creators’ own criterion.
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Basically the Lord is maintaining that models need to be 99.99% accurate or they are of no use.  That is a blatant lie and misrepresentation of the state of climate models.
 Furthermore, it distorts the place of the models in the overall scientific endeavor.
~ ~ ~

National Academy of Sciences - Climate modeling 101
~ ~ ~

Are Climate Models Accurate?
~ ~ ~

Open Climate 101 brings the experience of University of Chicago class PHSC13400, part of our "core" science curriculum for non-science major undergraduates based on this text, to the internet at large. You can watch video lectures followed by quizzes to stimulate your understanding, and work your way through tutorial exercises letting you get hands-on with interactive models and simple mathematical ideas.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

LM 8. It is claimed that we were wrong to state that some scientists point out that near-term natural cooling, linked to variations in solar output, is a distinct possibility. Yet some scientists have indeed pointed out what we said they had pointed out, though our use of the word “some” fairly implies there is evidence in both directions in the literature.
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Being the wordsmith he is, it's difficult figuring out just what he is claiming here.
The take away message regarding the solar output is that our planet is retain more of the sun's radiant energy.  CO2 and other greenhouse gases have repeatedly been shown to overwhelm traditional natural drivers of our climate.

The amount of available information explaining various aspects of GHGs is quite astounding.  Since the Lord has singled out SkepticalScience.com why not take a look at what the Lord wants to ban.

Here's a search result for "CO2" over at SkS:

It's amazing the thing you can learn from within these informative articles and even more importantly the science underlying the portrait 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

LM 9. It is claimed that we used “careful wording” in saying that there is an absence of an attributable climate change signal in trends in extreme weather losses to date. Yet we were merely citing the IPCC itself on this point.
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Here again, the Lord reveals himself to be an advocate.  His tactical lawyerly arguing is appropriate for smoking rooms and discussions of no consequence.  But when it comes to these questions of global warming - society is taking the gamble of it's existence...  and we should be concerned with gathering as much information as possible.

But all the Lord offers is very selective and outdated snippet and presumes on us to trust his word.
~ ~ ~ 

Extreme Weather of Last Decade Part of Larger Pattern Linked to Global Warming
ScienceDaily (Mar. 25, 2012) — The past decade has been one of unprecedented weather extremes. Scientists of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) in Germany argue that the high incidence of extremes is not merely accidental
Journal Reference:
  1. Dim Coumou, Stefan Rahmstorf. A decade of weather extremes. Nature Climate Change, 2012; DOI: 10.1038/NCLIMATE1452
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120325173206.htm
~ ~ ~ 

Extreme Weather and Climate Change
The evidence is in: global warming has caused severe floods, droughts and storms. We present a three-part series by John Carey, who was funded by the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, and other selections from the editors - June 30, 2011 |
http://www.scientificamerican.com/report.cfm?id=extreme-weather-and-climate-change
~ ~ ~ 

Extreme Weather
~ ~ ~ 

Climate Communication - Science and Outreach
~ ~ ~

Extreme Weather - More extreme weather events
Department of Ecology - State of Washington
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LM 10. It is claimed that we were wrong to state that the incidence and severity of extreme weather has not increased. Though it is trivially true that temperature maxima have increased with warming, there has been no trend in land-falling Atlantic hurricanes in 150 years, and there has been a decline in severe tropical cyclones and typhoons during the satellite era.
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The Lord lies yet again.

http://www.ucsusa.org/global_warming/science_and_impacts/science/hurricanes-and-climate-change.html

The Effect of Global Warming
"Two factors that contribute to more intense tropical cyclones-ocean heat content and water vapor-have both increased over the past several decades. This is primarily due to human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels and the clearing of forests, which have significantly elevated carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in the atmosphere. CO2 and other heat-trapping gases act like an insulating blanket that warms the land and ocean and increases evaporation. (7)..."
~ ~ ~ 

“Identifying human influences on atmospheric temperature”
published in Proceedings of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences Online
http://citizenschallenge.blogspot.com/2012/11/identifying-human-influences-on.html
~ ~ ~

What is the link between hurricanes and global warming?
http://www.skepticalscience.com/hurricanes-global-warming-intermediate.htm

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LM 11. It is claimed that we “falsely” accuse the U.N. Secretary General of “making unsupportable claims that human influences caused” tropical storm Sandy, and that “in reality, Ban Ki-Moon did not say climate change caused Hurricane (sic) Sandy”. Yet he had said: “Two weeks ago, Hurricane (sic) Sandy struck the eastern seaboard of the United States. A nation saw the reality of climate change. The recovery will cost tens of billions of dollars. The cost of inaction will be even higher. We must reduce our dependence on carbon emissions.” We had rightly written: “We ask that you desist from exploiting the misery of the families of those who lost their lives or properties in tropical storm Sandy by making unsupportable claims that human influences caused that storm. They did not.”
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The Lord is a political entertainer.  Manipulating words and audiences is his stock and trade.  No one claims global warming "caused" Hurricane Sandy - They do claim there is a connection, but one would have to make a good faith effort to learn about the science and the full spectrum of observations to know about all of that.

Notice that the Lord makes no attempt to explain why scientists are drawing the Hurricane Sandy, Global Warming connection.  The thing is there are some very straightforward physics involved.  To willfully ignore all of that while artfully misleading people is contemptible.

~ ~ ~
It's Global Warming, Stupid
By Paul M. Barrett on November 01, 2012
~ ~ ~

How Global Warming Made Hurricane Sandy Worse
~ ~ ~

WSJ, Sandy, and Global Warming - Asking the Right Questions
November 6, 2012 by dana1981
http://www.skepticalscience.com/wsj-sandy-global-warming-asking-right-questions.html

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LM 12a. It is claimed that we are “a list of non-experts”. Yet half of the 129 signatories are Professors; two-thirds are PhDs, and several are Expert Reviewers for the IPCC’s forthcoming Fifth Assessment Report.
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Yes but what climatology science have they been active in?  
How old are they as a group, why that I mean how many are old cold warriors?  
How many are rabid free-corporate-marketers?

I'll take my bets with serious professionals,  you know, the climatological establishment folks.

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LM 12b. One day, the useless “Skeptical” “Science” blog may perhaps have a curiosity value to historians studying the relentless, lavishly-funded deviousness and malice of the tiny clique who briefly fooled the world by presenting themselves as a near-unanimous “consensus” (as if consensus had anything to do with science) and mercilessly bullied anyone with the courage and independence of mind to question their barmy but transiently fashionable beliefs. The blog’s falsehoods have made no serious contribution to the scientific debate that we who are genuinely skeptical and truly scientific have by our patient endurance now largely won.
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Are those words over the top paranoia or what?  
The Lord is shining at his theatrical best, demonizing the volunteers over at SkepticalScience.com with all he's got.  All intended to convince folks never to look at their thoroughly supported articles.  The Lord doesn't want people to expose themselves to the full spectrum of the Earth Observations and available climate science.  Why?

If honest curiosity about our planet is what you want, give SkS a try.  A serious visit over there offers a world of authoritative information and directions for further investigation.  To demonize them and the site they have put together simply underscores Lord Monckton's own villainy and hatred for serious science.
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1 comment:

pendantry said...

Thanks for taking the time out to do this. That anyone still takes the prevaricating peer seriously proves -- if there was any doubt -- that there's still a long way to go.