Sunday, April 11, 2010

Monckton jumps the land shark. Gets eaten


UPDATE: John Nielsen-Gammon drops by to say that he found the same errors in May 2009 and received roughly the same pretentious short shrift from Chris Monckton. Eli rather suspects that you can tell Chris he is wrong, show him in detail, prove it in spades, and what ya wanna bet, Monckton will keep repeating the nonsense ad infinitum till you bite em.
------------------------------------
In this case, the land shark has pretty teeth too, and his name is Barry Bickmore, a professor of geology at Brigham Young University. Utah is a REAL Republican state, and the BYU is an institution of the Church of Latter Day Saints (Mormons). Bickmore is a devout Mormon. As an important sign of the worm turning, the tale first appears under the byline of Judy Fahys, at the Salt Lake City Tribune, a majorUtah newspaper. Bickmore and is soon to appear at Real Climate

"The moral of the story is not that amateurs should stay out of the debate about climate change," writes Bickmore, who noted that he is a geologist rather than a climate scientist.

"Rather, the moral is that when you see a complete amateur raising objections about a highly technical subject, claiming that he or she has blown the lid off several decades of research in the discipline, you should be highly suspicious."

Bickmore has solved two mysteries. The first is where Monckton's claimed IPCC CO2 mixing ratio projections came from. What the IPCC did was feed the A2 emission scenario into a bunch of models and see what they predicted for CO2 mixing ratios. Since this was an emission scenario, and there were a bunch of scenarios of which A2 was among the most extreme, the range of predictions is mostly lower, however, we do appear to be following A2 fairly closely. Monckton also messed up the results of the modeling exercise because he does not understand the difference and relationship between an emissions scenario and a resutling model prediction of mixing ratios. Eli will let Prof. Brickmore explain honor among bloggers and all that.

Even better, as the Salt Lake Tribune explains, Monckton and Bob Ferguson, president of Moncktons fiction publisher, tried to threaten Brickmore.

Monckton did not respond to requests for comment. Nor did Bob Ferguson, president of the Science and Public Policy Institute, which sponsored Monckton's recent appearance at Utah Valley University.

But, in their emails to Bickmore over the past few weeks, Monckton and Ferguson accuse the scientist at LDS Church-owned BYU of personal attacks, and both threaten him.

Ferguson ends a Thursday e-mail by hinting there might be repercussions through their shared faith.

"I trust you are gentleman and Christian enough to not bear such false witness," Ferguson concludes. "If not, I will seek both professional and ecclesiastical redress for 'conduct unbecoming'."

In an exchange a week earlier, Monckton said that Bickmore's "unjustifiable and gratuitous remarks about my habitual mendacity are to be drawn to the attention of the President of the University... to be investigated as a disciplinary matter." Monckton also said he had spoken with "some of the University's leading supporters" about Bickmore's role in the university's decision not to host Monckton's climate-change speech.

"This, too, I understand, is to be referred to the University as a disciplinary matter, since the University prides itself on allowing academic freedom," Monckton wrote.

Bickmore said Friday he is not aware of any investigation or disciplinary action. And university spokesman Michael Smart said none was in the works.

"Barry Bickmore is not and has not been under academic investigation," Smart said. "There is no basis for any accusation that he is."

Emails, Barry got Emails, and Bickmore [corrected] bit back by writing the House of Lords to ask if Monckton was a member and got a succinct reply
"Christopher Monckton is not and has never been a Member of the House of Lords. There is no such thing as a 'non-voting' or 'honorary' member."
As Bickmore told the Salt Lake Tribune
The false claims undermine Monckton's credibility in a way that is easy for anyone to understand, said Bickmore. They open a window onto the skeptic's scientific claims, like his assertion that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is wrong about global warming.
Eli awaits details appearing at Real Climate, but the first bite was scrumptious

40 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Christopher Monckton is not and has never been a Member of the House of Lords. There is no such thing as a 'non-voting' or 'honorary' member."

Supplied by an auto-responder script, doubtless. Paper copies available via mimeograph, the old purple kind.

EliRabett said...

Rexograph is purple, the color of a mimeograph depends on the ink used, usually black

Eli ran them in High School.

Rattus Norvegicus said...

Geez, Eli I always thought the purple ones were mimeograph. But then you are older than I am....

Charles said...

Kudos to Dr. Bickmore. I eagerly await the Realclimate take-down. It is time once again to show that Mr. Monckton's work is bogus. And that he has been fraudulently mis-representing himself.

Former Skeptic said...

I thought this image was more appropriate for this post? Monckton doesn't have a clue about what's gonna hit him...

OT: Landshark's a piss-poor beer, IMO.

Fran said...

Note typo above Eli:

"Emails, Barry got Emails, and Brickmore "

John Mashey said...

I've sent him email congratulating him for joining that elite circle of those threatened by Monckton.

Anonymous said...

So Monckton says:

"...unjustifiable and gratuitous remarks about my habitual mendacity are to be drawn to the attention of the President of the University... to be investigated as a disciplinary matter."

Well, there you have it. Monckton himself admits that he is possessed of "habitual mendacity".

After all, he is a classics major, in Latin no less, and he would know that the correct way to deny that he is wont to lie would be to say:

""unjustifiable and gratuitous remarks about my alleged habitual mendacity are to be drawn to the attention of the President of the University... to be investigated as a disciplinary matter."

so I can only assume that his statement is a frank admission of his guilt.

Long live the memory of the Interweb.

(Bernard J. Anonymouse)

Anonymous said...

Well spotted BernardJ.

MapleLeaf

Anonymous said...

Mocking Mockton has always been really funny and he deserves every bit of it as it shows.

Now, maybe some US citizen could issue a FOI request to the professor (I mean: just politely ask him!) to release the emails he received from Monckton/Ferguson so everyone can see the modus operandi of their propaganda and mendacity of their attacks when someone dares to disagree?

--cynicus

dhogaza said...

"This, too, I understand, is to be referred to the University as a disciplinary matter, since the University prides itself on allowing academic freedom,"

The Discount Viscount's problem being, of course, that he's no more an academic than he his a member of the House of Lords.

Dishonesty and self-delusion on the part of Monckton, who woulda guessed it?

wotsupwiththat said...

Now THAT'S entertainment!

Horatio Algeranon said...

Barry Bickmore: "Are you now or have you ever been a member of the House of Lords?"

Flord Mockedman: "Have you no sense of decency, Sir?

willard said...

So now the Monkton number of Bickmore is 1, as he has now been (somewhat) directly threatened by him.

A puzzle: is the Viscount Discount's own number 0, or is it undefined?

Anonymous said...

Willard said: "A puzzle: is the Viscount Discount's own number 0, or is it undefined?"

I'm afraid we will never know as the eigenvalue of Monckton's complex number is imaginary, also known as 'Lord'.

--cynicus

Anonymous said...

"... Bob Ferguson, president of Moncktons fiction publisher,....

In other words, Ferguson is the "SPPI". Eli assumes everyone with an internet connection knows such things.

Pete Dunkelberg

Hank Roberts said...

Somehow this seemed appropriate:
http://sinfest.net/comikaze/comics/2010-04-12.gif

Those wishing more detail on, erm, older methods of reproduction may refer to this:

http://www.tpub.com/content/religion/14231/index.htm
Chapter 2 Managing The Office Of The Chaplain
... * Mimeograph Operation And Maintenance
* Ditto Master Stencil Preparation ...

Anonymous said...

I emailed Monckton about these graphs too back in May last year. We had a long discussion about how he arrived at them and that I thought some of his assumptions that went into making them were just wrong. Rather than acknowledging any of my points he broke off communication declaring that I was being rude. I was polite throughout our discussion. Quite pointed in explaining how he was wrong, but polite. I must add that all the way through the discussion he interjected with various belittling remarks about Gavin Schmidt and Tim Lambert.

Our email correspondence also contains an open admission that Monckton was pursuing Gavin Schmidt/RealClimate though NASA's administrator.

Horatio Algeranon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Horatio Algeranon said...

"House of Lords Diner"

Christopher Monckton did yak way too long
About theories made up by Will Soon
Posing his questions to Lambert and Gore
As his cred disappeared none too soon.
But he's wandered much further today than he should
and he can't seem to find his way back to the hood.

So, help him if you can he's got to get
Back to the "House of Lords Diner" by one.
You'd be surprised there's so much to be done,
Count all the Bentleys in the drive
Sue all the scientists alive.
Back to the maze of Christopher Monckton and poo.

He has no clue, doesn't know what to do
Got a money jar stuck on his nose.
He came to us offering "expert" advice
And from here no one cares where he goes.
So we sent him to ask of the Snark if he's there,
Just to leave us alone, get him out of our hair.

So, help him if you can he's got to get
Back to the "House of Lords Diner" by one.
You'd be surprised there's so much to be done,
Count all the Bentleys in the drive
Sue all the scientists alive.
Back to the ways of Christopher Monckton and poo.
Back to the ways of Christopher Monckton
Back to the maze of poo.

Philip Machanick said...

As an experiment, I contacted the vice-chancellors (equivalent to president in Australia) of Melbourne and Adelaide universities about whether action could be taken on Ian Plimer's role in attacking climate science (including publishing fiction as fact, and failing to defend himself against a claim of mendacity on national TV). Melbourne could take no action because he's emeritus (retired). Adelaide's response:


The University acknowledges that individual staff members may express their opinions or interpretation of scientific data and research in their area of expertise. The University feels that this issue, which may be perceived as controversial, is an accepted part of the freedom of debate in higher education.


Free speech is highly entrenched in academia, unless someone with a very big stick complains. Like with Phil Jones and Mike Mann.

If you find this unfair, sign my pro-science petition.

Belette said...

Yo, wabbit. O/T: what about the Willie Soon. Is he still going?

Anonymous said...

Can't recall seeing this before at ER's blog:

"Comment deleted
This post has been removed by the author."


One can only imagine how bad it was. Maybe it was by Monckton ;)

Tamino has also joined in on the fun.

Anonymous said...

Our email correspondence also contains an open admission that Monckton was pursuing Gavin Schmidt/RealClimate though NASA's administrator.

As Lord Monckton does not see himself as operating under the same rules of conduct as the rest of us, why not publish that correspondence? Surely nobody in the rejectionist camp can complain about publication of private correspondence?

Anonymous said...

MoncktonGate

MapleLeaf

Hank Roberts said...

Memo to Salt Lake Tribune headline writer: check the facts! Don't just quote the assertion, find out what's true and print the truth.

This sub-headline fails:
BYU » Skeptic is no member of the House of Lords, prof says.

It should read:
BYU » Skeptic is no member of the House of Lords, says House of Lords.

David B. Benson said...

Monckton ought to be beneath a response from RC, but I suppose you'll see...

Anonymous said...

"As Lord Monckton does not see himself as operating under the same rules of conduct as the rest of us, why not publish that correspondence? Surely nobody in the rejectionist camp can complain about publication of private correspondence?"

Why not indeed. Although I think Barry Bickmore has covered the bases. All my emails show is that someone explained to him that his assumptions of linear temperature trends in the A2 scenario is overly simplistic and wrong. In some papers Monckton sent me he assumes that there is a linear trend in temperature from the exponential growth in CO2 concentrations and logarithmic relationship between CO2 concentration and forcing in the A2 scenario. I explained that he was excluding other GHGs and that this causes some of his problem. I didn't touch on the details about the CO2 concentration in the A2 graph, but I did hammer away generally that he should be precisely using the A2 scenario in his calculations rather than making assumptions about it.

Using a linear temperature trend allows him to over estimate the IPCC's A2 warming trend and widen the discrepancies between model and observed temperature. Though, as I pointed out, and as Bickmore explains, he screwed this up too by extrapolating noisy trends, looking at short term variability etc. without comparing to the ensemble of IPCC runs

Interestingly, I think I may have been able to get copies of a couple of Monckton originals in the process. Unpublished Monckton originals. Can anyone find a paper, manuscript, or document called 'Climate Trends Reconsidered' anywhere on the web? I tried quickly and couldn't. I wouldn't be able to make these public. I wouldn't do this under normal academic circumstances so I wouldn't now. Monckton has made enough of the other details available that I can comment freely though.

I can see some new names in the acknowledgements section. Mildly interesting names.

EliRabett said...

Tamino is on the job too

(Eliminated a double comment FWIW)

John Mashey said...

#0535 is wonderful.
it is a "Radical New Hypothesis on the Effect of Greenhouse Gases", and the EPA says that they can't put it up because it's copyrighted.

However, I found it at Jennifer's.

Have fun.

Anonymous said...

"Interestingly, I think I may have been able to get copies of a couple of Monckton originals in the process. Unpublished Monckton originals. "


eBay. You'll either be rich or so notoriously sued that fame and fortune will be sure to follow.

Maybe not. Are those stored on a Windows machine? Is NortonAV complaining about a infection with suppurating sores? Sometimes you can tell by the smell.

Anonymous said...

at 5:30pm:

"Interestingly, I think I may have been able to get copies of a couple of Monckton originals in the process. Unpublished Monckton originals."

A word of warning little Anonymouse... there are Bad People on the Interweb, who sneak around cracking one's computer and stealing one's emails and data.

Beware that your hard drive's contents do not end up routed through a Russian server to be accessed by all around the world. Judging by the slow pace of investigation at UEA, locating such treacherous folk is difficult indeed!

(Bernard J. Hyphen-Anonymous XVII)

Ed Darrell said...

Mashey noted: "I've sent him email congratulating him for joining that elite circle of those threatened by Monckton."

Hmmmph. Monckton still ignores me completely. Or he's just frightened to debate me. I asked for cross-examination style.

BYU is Mormon, but home to some good science. They teach evolution, and they teach honesty.

I can't tell from the the missives -- is Ferguson a Mormon, too?

John Mashey said...

re: BYU is OK

Yes, people may recall Summer Rupper organized a letter from profs at BYU to the Utah legislature, more here.

Here is another letter, re EPA.

Trib author Judy Fahys seems to be getting increasingly more knowledgable in this turf, and I think she's OK, despite argumetns people might have with wording.

n-g said...

I wrote about the same graph and came to the same conclusions in May 2009 here. Monckton's response, along with some additional analysis of my own, is here.
- John Nielsen-Gammon

EliRabett said...

John, many thanks for the note and dropping by. Eli has pushed your link link up to the post in an update

Anonymous said...

No, Mockton is not yet eaten. What a shame, he's still there. Wouldn't it be now, post nauseam, be time to have some fun and play XYgate with him? E.g. about lying to U.S. congress? Me German dunno, but can't anybody over there sue him for this? Or send a complaint to the British to take him back and lock him up with the loonies? No? Perhaps at least the Onion could run some serious article about his Lordship? Please! Time for supper.

- Mars Johann Vomitus Florifulgurator

Barry Bickmore said...

I just posted a web page with a more complete account of my investigation of Monckton's claim to be a member of Parliament. Here it is.

http://home.comcast.net/~bbickmore/Climate/KingOfFantasyland.htm

Nick Barnes said...

By the way, Monckton is "the climate change spokesperson" for UKIP: the UK Independence Party, an anti-European fringe party which will lose in every constituency in today's election. Because it is standing in every seat, and gets enough votes to actually win some seats in the european parliament, the news media feel obliged to treat it semi-seriously. Here he is revealing the breathtaking sophistication of the UKIP's science policy.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2010/apr/27/ukip-science-policy-general-election

Paul said...

I opened the Monckton SPPI document listed above ( linked under IPCC CO2 Mixing Ratio Projections) and on the first page it indicates that sea level has not risen since the beginning of 2006. Not to be habitually mendacious but this link from the University of Colorado Sea Level Change website would appear to indicate something different in the satellite data:
CU Sea Level Rise Data