Clive Hamilton, the Australian “public intellectual”, and failed Greens candidate is a busy man: leave no ad hominem unsaid, no law of logic unbroken. The man has a predictable formula. Rule one: Make an unsubstantiated claim; cast aspersions on all who so much as question it — dig deep for an attempted character assassination if possible; then top it off with feigned moral indignation mixed with grandiose generalizations. It helps to toss in some strawman conspiracies, and confound it with unrelated topics. Rule two: never discuss the evidence.
The Australian newspaper: MP’s obligation is to the planet
Hamilton was trying to guilt trip and intimidate the independent parliamentarians in Australia (who will probably announce their decision tomorrow about who will form government). Almost everything he says is based on a bluff.
The danger of climate change towers over all other influences on the security and health of future generations, yet the Liberal Party and the Nationals are run by people who reject the vast body of scientific evidence that proves it.
Can’t one journalist just ask Hamilton to name the scientific paper that we “deniers” deny? Something that shows carbon dioxide has a major effect on our climate (ie. more than 1.2 degrees?) [See this post for more info on the kind of paper that Clive can't name.]
The Coalition stands in the way of what must be done if we are to have a chance of avoiding, or even being ready for, a world less sympathetic to the flourishing of life.
Hamilton’s target is Tony Abbott (leader of the opposition), but Hamilton can’t really do the character assassination attempt on Abbott, so he goes for the assassination-by-association, and derides Abbott for even meeting a skeptic. Imagine the sin. Tony Abbott actually was in the same room as Christopher Monckton.
…Tony Abbott who, alone among the world’s political leaders, agreed to meet eccentric sceptic Christopher Monckton. Abbott gave a sympathetic hearing to a fantasist…
I’ll let Christopher Monckton answer that himself below. (Thanks to reader Malcolm H who wrote to Monckton and shared his reply to The Australian, which as far as I can tell, they chose not to publish.)
Christopher Monckton writes:
Clive Hamilton in the Weekend Australian (28 August) seeks to justify his apocalyptic vision of manmade climate catastrophe by a malevolent personal attack on me. The science behind his “facts” is incorrect.
He foresees “a sea-level rise of nearly 1 m”: yet the IPCC, which had previously taken 1 m as its high-end estimate of sea-level rise by 2100, has cut it to 59 cm (central estimate just 43 cm). Sea level is rising at only 20-30 cm/century. There has been no appreciable acceleration in 150 years.
He talks of Australia’s forest fires and “dwindling water supplies”, but avoids mentioning the recent heavy rains or Australia’s desert climate. A former governor-general whom I met in Canberra has one solution to that: reverse the 50,000 years of deforestation in Australia, moistening the climate.
Mr. Hamilton says that in 20 years the world will be “dominated by the appalling consequences of ‘global warming’”. James Hansen told the US Congress just that 20 years ago, but his lurid forecast of extreme warming did not prove accurate. There has been little “global warming” this millennium.
Last week, at the World Federation of Scientists’ annual seminar on planetary emergencies in Sicily, I heard presentations from several researchers – each using different methods –showing that the warming from doubling atmospheric CO2 concentration will be just 1 °C, not the 3.3 °C the IPCC imagines.
Professor Richard Lindzen of MIT, who knows more about the atmosphere than anyone, showed that the IPCC’s computer models incorrectly predict 1-3% more evaporation in response to 1 °C warming. Measured increase in evaporation is 5.7%. The IPCC has thus tripled true “climate sensitivity” – the warming to be expected from any radiative forcing, such as more CO2.
Dr. Nir Shaviv studied the extensive scientific literature indicating that fluctuations in the radiation from the Sun are 5-6 times more influential than the IPCC had thought. He, too, concluded that a CO2 doubling would cause a harmless 1 C° of warming.
I reported that the IPCC’s methods “predicted” that measured radiative forcings from all major greenhouse gases should have caused 1.5 °C warming from 1950-2005. Only 0.6 °C happened. Whichever way you look at it, the IPCC has greatly over-egged the pudding. Without the exaggeration, there is no problem.
Finally, no true scientist would attack the man rather than his argument. Mr. Hamilton says the only political leader who will meet me is Tony Abbott. Last week I met the Italian Defence Minister, who received a standing ovation from the world’s scientists in Sicily after a fine speech advocating a return to scientific rigour. He said spending on “global warming” was pointless.
Vaclav Klaus, president of the Czech Republic, regularly quotes my climate research with approval. Margaret Thatcher, whom I had originally advised that “global warming” needed to be watched, has changed her mind, as have I.
Mr. Hamilton accuses me of “a conspiracy theory about the imminent imposition of a communist world government”. Yet the (fortunately-defeated) September 15 2009 draft of what was to have been the Treaty of Copenhagen proposed an unelected world “government”, with sweeping powers to end the free market and to impose worldwide taxation without representation as well as centralized environmental and economic controls. See Annex 1, paras. 36-38, at www.scienceandpublicpolicy.org.
Mr. Hamilton adds that, in saying I have invented a potential broad-spectrum cure for infectious diseases, I am a “fantasist”. It is a pity that he devoted no more care to checking his facts about me than about climate. Search for “Monckton” at the UK Patent Office, www.ipo.gov.uk. Patents have indeed been lodged. Our researches continue. It is not I but Mr. Hamilton who is a fantasist. “Global warming” is a non-problem, and the correct solution to a non-problem is to have the courage to do nothing, and address the real environmental problems of the world instead.
The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley
The only problem with Christopher’s well informed reply is that it almost looks like Hamilton was discussing evidence, but the one paragraph about sea-level rise and bush-fires was it.
So what can poor Clive do when he doesn’t actually know much about the science he so passionately, devoutly endorses? He can get breathlessly excited with wild speculation about how all his favored authorities couldn’t possibly be wrong in a kind of proof-by-sheer-unbelievability:
The Monckton-Minchin conspiracy must have been joined by thousands of scientists in universities and research bodies across the world, including CSIRO and our Bureau of Meteorology, who must be systematically falsifying their research results. And every scientific academy, along with dozens of Nobel laureates, has been sucked in. The Pentagon, which has been warning of the grave threat to security posed by global warming, must have joined the conspiracy. And so must our defence forces, which are making plans for a world affected by climate change.
His naivety is quaint. No one needs a conspiracy to explain the modern version of a scare-the-masses-to-get-rich scheme. It’s been going on for millenia. Anything that isn’t explained by greed can be put down to incompetence, especially by the kind of people who fawningly “believe” in authority and assume that some scientists are Gods.
The biggest fear of all Greens — to be mocked
Hamilton saved his most convincing reasoning for last. Basically, the truly devastating outcome is not about the climate at all; it’s not that people might go hungry, or marmots have smaller families, or sea shells might break, but something far far worse. If the Coalition won … the skeptics would rejoice (holy mother of g…) and, wait for it, Australia would be laughed at (by Clive’s friends overseas). UN-thinkable!
It is inconceivable that they could install the first government in the Western world run by climate deniers, a development that climate-change sceptics across the world would greet as a great victory.
In the US, Tea Party activists who reject climate science and believe Barack Obama is a Muslim or the devil would rejoice. Republican senator James Inhofe, who wants criminal charges laid against climate scientists, would find friends in Canberra. The army of cyber-bullies* who send abuse and death threats to esteemed scientists would feel vindicated. Monckton would become our prime minister’s favourite adviser.
Are the three independents willing to take responsibility for making Australia a laughing-stock?
Other posts mentioning Clive Hamilton:
*The global gullibles shift to high gear smear (My reply to his cyber bullies rant earlier this year).
Thanks to Christopher Monckton and reader Malcolm H.
H/t to Axel for spotting the patent office URL was incorrect.