Readfearn’s quiz is one of the most trashy-teenage-smears I’ve seen in print. (Where else but The Guardian?). Monckton responds to Graham Readfearn’s vacuous attacks on Dennis Jensen M.P. with his trademark withering style. Readfearn had tried to be withering, in a 12 year old kind of way, but petty snark-by-association only proves how incapable he is. Readfearn (journalist) scorns Dr Jensen — PhD in materials engineering, CSIRO researcher, Analyst – Defence Science and Technology Organisation. But Readfearn has nothing at all on Jensen, not a single tiny point, the best he can do is try to paint Jensen with things other people said. It is scorn by proxy — Readfearn is really attacking Monckton. That the Guardian editors thought this worth reproducing says a lot about the intellectual caliber there. – Jo
A journalist with a grudge is a mere propagandist
By Christopher Monckton of Brenchley
A journalist with a grudge is a mere propagandist. Graham Readfearn, described as “a journalist”, heavily lost a public debate on the climate against me some years ago and has borne a steaming grudge ever since. Readfearn is no seeker after truth. He is an unthinking propagandist for the New Religion of ThermageddonTM.
This sad figure, furious at his fell0w-Socialists’ recent electoral drubbing, now snipes futilely at Dennis Jensen, perhaps the most scientifically-qualified member of either House, and certainly better qualified than the militantly ignorant Readfearn.
Dennis Jensen’s crime, in Readfearn’s eyes, is that “he doesn’t accept the position of the world’s science academies and Australia’s CSIRO that climate change is caused mainly by humans burning fossil fuels and chopping down trees and that this might be bad.”
Stop right there, Graham, baby. Let’s just take a peek at the peer-reviewed literature on this notion that there is some sort of a scientific consensus that Man can claim credit for most of the 0.7° C global warming since 1950.
As Readfearn may know, in May 2013 a comic called Environment Research Letters, which was set up in 2006 precisely to preach the New Religion, published a fairy-tale by five polemical blograts at Queensland Kindergarten and a clutch of their studenty friends at various real universities. These children’s story was that 97.1% of abstracts of almost 12,000 scientific papers published worldwide between 1991 and 2012 endorsed the supposed “scientific consensus” that most post-1950 global warming was down to us. Trouble was, this “once-upon-a-time” fable did not end “happily ever after” for the Queensland kiddiwinks. Legates et al. (2013), in a grown-up, peer-reviewed paper in the long-established Science and Education journal, devastatingly revealed that the Queensland Quixotes themselves had only marked 64 out of 11,944 abstracts as actually saying that most post-1950 warming was manmade. Oops!
One realizes you’re arithmetically challenged, Graham, old fruit, so one’s large and able staff have determined that 64 out of 11,944 is not 97.1%. It’s 0.5%. Oops2!
But Legates et al. went further. They read all 64 abstracts. A third of them – 23, in fact – did not say most post-1950 warming was manmade. Only 41 did so. Oops3!
One’s l. and a. s. have done the math for you again, Grazza. The true length and breadth and with of your imagined “scientific consensus” is not 97.1%. It’s 0.3%. Oops4!
So, when you say “97% of research papers published in scientific journals agree that humans are causing climate change”, you’re either using a definition of “scientific consensus” that is not the same as the papers you’re citing or exaggerating about 300-fold. Oops5!
And when you take Dennis Jensen to task for saying “The argument from consensus is a flawed argument,” it’s Dennis and not you that is correct. Oops6!
You see, Grabbikins, real scientists from Thales of Miletus and Aristotle via Abu Ali Ibn al-Haytham, Galilei and Newton to Huxley, Einstein, Popper and Feynman don’t consider consensus is science, not even if it’s a consensus of soi-disant “experts” or even of “academies” or of grand-sounding “Commonwealth Institutes”.
The late Michael Crichton, no mean scientist himself, put it best: “If it’s consensus, it isn’t science. If it’s science, it isn’t consensus.”
One appreciates that the constituents of the Socialist hive mind hate thinking for themselves, and are largely incapable of doing so. But science and Socialism are clean different things, Graham, my old son, and this particular attempt by the latter to take over the former has already failed abjectly. Time to wake up and smell the coffee.
But Jensen’s capital crime, in Redfearn’s eyes, is that he once said most of my work is “entirely reasonable”. Jensen had said: “Some of it I don’t agree with, but on the whole a lot of what he says is in my view correct.”
Readfearn then takes a dozen assertions of mine, rips them out of context like a good little propagandist, distorts them just a tad to make them look as silly as possible, and then challenges Dennis Jensen to say whether he agrees with the Readfearn version, asking with tedious repetitiveness, “Yes or No?”
Altogether not a very grown-up carry-on, but very much in the Readfearn tradition of putting Socialism before everything, and especially before the truth.
Just for fun, though, let’s have a look at each of Readfearn’s out-of-context parodies of statements by me.
1. Science should only be practised by people who adhere to a religion, preferably of the Christian variety. Yes or no?
Sigh! In context, I said that some climate scientists had acted dishonestly and even fraudulently; that many more, under peer pressure, had looked the other way; that science was a moral process; that the duty of the scientist was to be what al-Haytham beautifully called a “seeker after truth”; that science was indeed a moral process; and that scientists who were Christians already had a moral outlook, which is why it was beneficial that scientists should be Christians.
2. The former ABC chairman, Maurice Newman, is “shrimp-like”. Yes or no?
Oh brother! One had no idea that the Australian parliamentary tradition is one of never passing any form of adverse comment. Newman had failed to stop the ABC rampaging against me or anyone who dared to oppose the 0.3% viewpoint on climate science that it has so long and fervently espoused. I called him a name. Tough titty.
3. The “expert reviewers” for the IPCC are “appointed” to carry out that role by someone other than the person himself. Yes or no?
My oh my! The Socialists have never forgiven the IPCC for having appointed me as an expert reviewer. I applied for it, and, having satisfied it of my publication record (which continues to grow) was appointed. My name appears on the IPCC’s register of expert reviewers. My 80 pages of comments are at scienceandpublicpolicy.org under “Monckton papers”. Go read it, Graham, and you may learn something.
4. The world’s climate scientists and advocates for action are just trying to “stamp out democracy”. Yes or no?
Well, well! Socialists are often careless with their quantifiers. Two such are recognized in logic: “There exists” and “All”. I have never said that all climate scientist or all advocates and propagandists such as Readfearn himself are trying to “stamp out democracy”. However, it is undeniable that some of the absurdly extreme measures advocated by a very small band of climate scientists and a larger crowd of lobbyists and fanatics such as Readfearn would indeed have the effect of stamping out democracy. James Hansen, for instance, said those who disagreed with him about the climate should be “tried for high crimes against humanity”, for which the penalty is death, and the dead can’t vote. Shortly before my second speaking tour of Australia, a prominent Australian journalist said all climate “deniers” (a nasty word, with overtones of Holocaust denial) should be branded with cattle-irons, and another said they should be gassed. Not a squeak out of Readfearn about those, of course.
5. The cleanest form of energy is “coal”. Yes or no?
Oh, no, not again! What I have said, time and again, is that one needs reliable, base-load energy that will keep the lights on even at night when the wind is not blowing. Modern, circulating fluidized-bed or pelletized supercritical coal combustion is highly energy-efficient; and, with fly-ash trapping and flue-gas scrubbing, a modern coal plant is about as clean, per MWh of output, as gas or nuclear power. CO2, Graham, me lad, is not a pollutant but a naturally-occurring trace gas essential to all life on Earth. Coal emits quite a bit more CO2 per MWh than gas, and that makes it twice as good for trees and plants as gas: for CO2 is plant food. It is not dirty.
6. Lord Monckton is a Nobel Peace Laureate. Yes or no?
And another one! Here, puir wee Graham begins to wander from the climate a little, as well as getting his facts wrong. I have never called myself a “Nobel Peace Laureate”, though Michael Mann, who, like me, contributed to the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report, has called himself one without any complaint from Readfearn.
However, after I had given a lecture on climate sensitivity to the Physics Faculty at Rochester University, NY, the Professor of Physics there, Dr. David Douglass, produced a presentation box and gave me a Nobel Prize pin that he had made out of gold he had recovered from a physics experiment 35 years previously. I wear it from time to time in gratitude for his kind recognition of my contribution, which helped to correct an error in the report. What I suspect has happened here is that others – such as those who post up my writings on climate from time to time – may have described me in jest as a “Nobel Peace Laureate”; though I cannot say, since life is short and eternity long, so that I spend very little time reading about myself on the web.
7. The BBC once had an Argentinian service and Lord Monckton used this to help the UK win the Falklands war. Yes or no?
Off topic again, and still more obviously. The BBC, in case Readfearn is unaware of this, maintains a World Service. On the leader-page of the Daily Telegraph at the time when the fleet sailed to recapture the islands for democracy and freedom, I wrote at the request of the editor an article explaining the reasons in international law why the Falklands are British. The article was drawn to the attention of the Prime Minister. Some of the transmitters available to us were retasked to broadcast messages into Argentina during the Falklands conflict – a practice that is almost as old as radio itself. Among the material that was regularly broadcast throughout the war – though I did not find out about it until afterwards – was my article. Shortly thereafter, I was invited to join the Prime Minister’s policy unit at 10 Downing Street.
8. Some “super-rich” sceptics should be encouraged to buy into media organizations so that climate sceptics can get more coverage. Yes or no?
Now we’re back to climate, though not to climate science, of which Readfearn has remarkably little knowledge. I gave a talk a couple of years ago to the Mannkal Foundation in Perth, WA, in which I said that the inbuilt hard-Left Socialist prejudice in the Australian media was as bad as in the UK or the US; that in the US Fox News was making $2 million a day by broadcasting straight, unbiased news surrounded by centre-Right commentary; and that a centre-Right entrepreneur in Australia setting up a non-Left TV news channel would also make a fortune. Someone videoed my talk and put it up on the Web. Then a Socialist site picked it up and, nervous of having the hard-Left stranglehold over the electronic media broken, whinged about what I had said. As a result, several months after my talk the video became the most-watched video in Australia on any subject.
9. The number of people being killed by a misplaced belief in climate change is, if anything, greater than the number of people killed by Hitler. Yes or no?
Hurrah! Readfearn is getting the point at last. Policies have consequences. Expensive policies have expensive consequences. Cruel policies have cruel consequences. Tens of millions die needlessly of starvation and disease every year. The opportunity loss from diverting trillions from where the money could do some good to CO2 mitigation, where it cannot do any good at all, is a real cost. And that cost is measured not only in treasure but in tens of millions of lives. Socialists have been banging on for years about how capitalism kills. The truth, of course, is that Socialism kills far more, and the cruel diversion of funds that has prevented the entirely affordable eradication of infectious diseases in the world’s poorer countries and has hindered them from getting access to the cheap fossil-fuelled electricity we have long enjoyed continues to have consequences as murderous as they are real.
10. President Barack Obama’s birth certificate published on the White House website is a fake. Yes or no?
Oh, come off it, Graham! Don’t be a baby. What on Earth has Mr Obama’s mickey-mouse “birth certificate” got to do with global warming policy in Australia? Lawyers acting for a Hawaiian citizen whom the State had denied his right in law to obtain a copy of his deceased sister’s birth certificate approached me in 2012 and invited me to review the evidence collected by a much-decorated Sheriff and his team of investigators, and to prepare a report on the mathematical probability that, in the light of that evidence, the document on the White House website was genuine. I visited the Sheriff in Arizona, went to Hawaii, and submitted my report in the form of an affidavit, which was duly lodged with the court. With the client’s permission, the affidavit was published, whereupon a Professor of Mathematics came forward ex proprio motu and provided a further affidavit to the effect that the method I had used and the conclusion I had reached were legitimate and proportionate. My conclusion was that the document on the White House website was indeed a poor forgery that bore signs of having been fabricated in very great haste.
11. The chances of President Obama being born in the United States are “no better than 1 in 62.5 quadrillion”. Yes or no?
Way off the point again, Graham! As far as I know, Dennis Jensen has not made any pronouncement on Mr Obama’s birth certificate, and his endorsement of my remarks on climate change cannot be presumed to be an endorsement of my researches into Mr Obama’s birth certificate. Unlike me, Dennis Jensen has not reviewed the evidence, and nor – for that matter – have you, Graham, old sport.
12. Hospital staff who perform abortions are “butchers”. Yes or no?
Once again, way off the point. Dennis Jensen’s endorsement of my stance on the climate, which has so far proven closer to reality than that of Mr. Readfearn, was manifestly not intended to extend to endorsement of all my views on everything else. I declare an interest: I am Catholic – practising but not perfect. But why do we not ask Graham Readfearn, whether he has sympathy with the little child, killed in its mother’s womb without an anaesthetic, whose short autobiography I give below?
A short autobiography
The Hippocratic Oath is graven in Greek and English on a stone pillar outside the University of Toronto Medical School. Doctors no longer take that Oath, for it condemns abortion.
In silent, sad, unheeded admonition
The graven finger stands. They pass it by.
It speaks his tongue, his ancient erudition;
It speaks their tongue, yet now they pass it by.
“None will I harm. I will not kill a child” –
They spake his wisdom: now they speak it not,
And I was killed, before I ever smiled.
In pain I died. These healers had forgot
My soul could mourn, my body sense, my end.
I must forgive their heartlessness perverse;
I must believe that they did not intend
To try the patience of the Universe:
The Lord of Life did not mean this – not He –
Who said, “Let little children come to Me!”!
13. Young climate change campaigners are like “Hitler Youth”. Yes or No?
That old chestnut again! What has this got to do with climate science, or with Dennis Jensen’s endorsement of my opinions on climate science? Nothing, that’s what. At Copenhagen, I was at a meeting when 50 preppy thugs paid for by profiteers of doom marched in, grabbed the microphone, menaced anyone who tried to resist them and broke up the meeting. My lovely wife and I were sitting next to a German in his 80s who had been in Copenhagen at the time of the Nazi occupation. He burst into tears and said that the last time anyone had broken up a meeting like that in Copenhagen had been when the Hitler Youth had done so. He was horrified to see it happening again. I told the story on German television that night. The yapping yuppies whined to me next morning, and filmed my unsympathetic response. I told them that if they behaved like the Hitler Youth than that is what I’d call them. They filmed the exchange and put it up on YouTube, where several hundred comments ran 11 to 1 in my favour. Bought-and-paid-for hard-Left totalitarian Socialist activists should in future take great care to distinguish themselves from, and not act in the same brutal fashion as, the hard-Left totalitarian activists of the Hitler Youth and the National Socialist Workers’ Party of Germany.
14. Professor Ross Garnaut’s views on climate change are “fascist”. Yes or No?
Another piece of ancient history out of context. In a thoughtful address to Zionists in California some years ago, I had shown the ideological roots of the Green movement by citing Hitler’s Mein Kampf, marked with a swastika. I then gave several further quotes from hard-Left climate scientists. There was also a quote from Professor Garnaut. I did not say that his views were fascist, but I did say that he had expressed “a fascist opinion”. Readfearn, as malevolently desperate then as now to claw back something from his earlier crushing defeat in debate at my hands, broadcast my remark – ripped out of context and distorted in his usual repellent fashion – without the slightest regard for the feelings of Professor Garnaut, who found himself shouted about on both sides of the Despatch-Box in Canberra. Readfern never apologized to Professor Garnaut for the hurt he caused him by unreasonably exploiting my remark out of its context. But I apologized to the Professor, without reserve.
15. Climate change scientists should be prosecuted and locked up. Yes or No?
The last time I looked at Australia’s statutes, I did not see that there was one law for climate scientists and one for everyone else. Climate scientists who perpetrate scientific frauds to gain status and profit by giving governments the specious justifications for the totalitarian intervention too many despots crave are not, and in my opinion should not be, immune from prosecution. The Attorney General of Virginia has already opened an investigation into the conduct of scientists who had abolished the medieval warm period by using methods that were, to put it mildly, questionable, and his investigation is under the Fraud Against Taxpayers Act 2000. I have said that, given the sullen, irredentist prejudice displayed by the hard Left on the climate question in the teeth of the mounting evidence that their belief system is wrong, the quickest way to bring the climate nonsense to an end is to prosecute not “climate change scientists” in general, as Readfearn has with characteristic inaccuracy and inattention to quantifiers suggested, but one or two of the worst offenders. A couple of convictions for making up or tampering with or withholding or destroying data or results would lift the academic peer-pressure on scientists to conform to what they have been told is the “scientific” consensus but is in reality a political consensus on the hard Left – a consensus which is now rapidly collapsing in the face of the ever-more-serious failure of the “consensus” computer predictions.
16. NASA blew up their own emissions-monitoring satellite. Yes or No?
What on earth can Readfearn be talking about here? And, even then, what does it have to do with Dennis Jensen endorsing my views on climate science? I recall once saying what a pity it was that a $280 million NASA satellite that would have had the capacity to reveal whether Lindzen & Choi (2009, 2011) were right about equilibrium climate sensitivity being below 1°C per CO2 doubling had not made it into orbit. I had pointed out that it would indeed have been very expensive for NASA, now a climate monitoring agency, if the satellite had shown what I expected it to show. But what I said fell a long way short of asserting that NASA had blown it up.
Conclusion: spite doesn’t pay, Graham
Readfearn ought to know that his posting, which was pure spite, does not reflect well upon him or upon the shoddy Socialist cause he and so many like him unthinkingly but comfortably and profitably espouse.
Governments are increasingly turning to me and others with real expertise in dealing with the climate question because they see the unreasoning savagery of the relentless and organized attempts at character assassination to which the likes of Readfearn subject us, and they realize that (as here) there is either no true science in these attacks, or, when science is attempted, it is done hilariously badly (see, for instance, my utter demolition of the hapless “Professor” Abraham’s attempt to deconstruct one of my talks: www.scienceandpublicpolicy.org).
Let us end by doing what Readfearn is incapable of doing: some science. As far as I know, he has not had any of his absurdities peer-reviewed. However, I have had several papers published after peer review – including the paper (Legates et al., 2013), in which my distinguished co-authors and I reveal that the imagined “97.1% scientific consensus” chanted like a mantra by Readfearn of Borg and the rest of the hive mind of international Socialism is indeed imaginary.
Think 0.3% consensus, Graham. And that means the scare is over. Move along!
Footnote: Railroad Engineer Pachauri, who for some unfathomable reason is the climate-science chairman of the IPCC, admitted in Melbourne six months ago that there had been no global warming for 17 years. He was doing no more than to echo the words of the temporary delegate from Myanmar at the United Nations’ Doha climate conference, who had told his fellow delegates that there had been no global warming at all for 16 years. The delegates were furious. They behaved like a gaggle of teenagers at a pop concert on learning that Justin Dribbler would not after all be appearing. They behaved, in fact, just like Readfearn.
Grazza, me boy, you need to raise your game if you want to play in the big leagues with the grown-ups. Science is not done by hurling off-the-point, out-of-context insults of the sort you specialize in. It is done by meticulous observation, by meticulous measurement of what is observed, and by the meticulous application of established theory to the results, so as to inch the theory meticulously forward.
Perhaps you find it easier to think in pictures than in words of many syl-la-bles. Well, here’s a picture for you. It shows that for once Pachauri is just about right:
Yup. No global warming for 16 years 10 months. Not one of the wretched “consensus” computer models predicted that. Not one.
And if there is one member of either House who actually understands the elements of climate science, just as I do and just as the incapable Readfearn never will, it is Dennis Jensen. He would make a first-class choice as minister of science, and Readfearn’s childish attack on him for endorsing some of the scientific conclusions I have reached will perhaps be the clincher that ensures he gets the job.
You see, Graham, anyone as ill-informed and calculatedly unpleasant as you are will tend to achieve the precise opposite of what he had, however malevolently, intended.