Friday, August 5, 2016

A red sky in the morning...is a denier's warning

Sou | 1:58 AM Go to the first of 28 comments. Add a comment
If you are looking for something to bore you senseless for two days, you can trot along to Conway Hall in London to what is being marketed as "New Dawn of Truth" (see Christopher Monckton's WUWT article archived here). The title alone should be enough to put any sane person off. (Think sandwich boards in Hyde Park's Speakers' Corner.) However if the title isn't enough, take a look at the promo image which, as you'll guess, was produced by Christopher himself using materials filched from elsewhere.

I don't know if Christopher got permission from IT engineer Jason Pope to use his photo of Tower Bridge. He didn't give him credit, that's for sure. And I couldn't say whether or not Mr Pope would appreciate the monstrosity of a pink sword slashed through his photograph.

The program for the denier festival (if you could call it that) is a list of mostly little-known pseudo-scientists who are probably feeling left out now that nature has been giving us a taste of what's to come with global warming. By my count there are 39 authors of articles in the "New Dawn of Truth Conference Volume". There is no consistent theme, though "it's the sun" and "it's not CO2" are the most common forms of science denial. The denier memes in order of popularity are:

You can see the memes by authors in a pdf file here. (Page 2 has the list of authors.) The papers themselves range from boringly stupid to tediously dull so that's enough on that subject. (You've seen it all before at WUWT and elsewhere. The only thing missing is a prediction of an ice age from Denier Don Easterbrook.)

The conference was organised by a bunch of science deniers who call themselves the Independent Committee on Geoethics. The main person behind it seems to be Nils-Axel Morner, who has awarded himself the grand sounding title of Secretary General.

An International Fly by Night: Clexit

As well as this "Independent Committee on Geoethics" the brochure announces another group. It's not really an organisation, it's three people who've called themselves the "founding leaders". They are being grandiosely touted as a "new international organisation" but it's actually only three dim deniers:
  • Christopher Monckton (UK), 
  • Marc Marano (USA) (sic) and 
  • Viv Forbes (Australia). 

I admit I cannot see those three chaps hitting it off and I fully expect this to be the one and only time their names are linked in this manner. If I didn't know better I'd say it was a send-up of conspiracy wackos because they've called themselves what some have thought sounds vaguely obscene: "Clexit".

The text is straight out of conspiracy nuttery 101. Here are some examples:
Nations do not need UN and EU bureaucrats manipulating science in order to justify their dreams to redistribute wealth and revert to the central planning that enslaved and impoverished the old communist economies. This vicious and relentless war on carbon dioxide will be seen by future generations as the most misguided mass delusion that the world has ever seen. 
They've written about the magic of carbon dioxide, too. This trace gas is too trace to affect climate, however it's not too trace to totally transform plant life.
Carbon dioxide is NOT a dangerous pollutant – it is a natural, non-toxic and beneficial gas which feeds all life on earth. Its increasing concentration is improving the environment not harming it.

Carbon dioxide is also an insignificant player in global warming – it was unable to prevent the big ice ages or the Little Ice Age, and there was no human industry to create the Medieval Warming.  
I wonder does this trio know that CO2 was rather low when ice sheets were much larger? I wonder do they know that the planet as a whole is so much warmer than it was in medieval times.

And I wonder do they realise that if the world fails to do enough to curb global warming now, then in the future their alarmist fears of "global control" may end up happening - either that or total chaos:
The EU is a driving force promoting green energy, environmental extremism, world carbon taxes and global control by unelected bureaucrats. BREXIT was Britain’s answer to the growing EU over-reach. If the UN/EU persists in this climate mania, the rest of the world must support “CLEXIT”. 

You can read more courtesy of Anthony Watts, who hosted the "papers" on his website. He didn't support the program, however. He wrote a disclaimer at the bottom of Christopher Monckton's article. I suspect that was only because of what Anthony calls "barycentrism" articles, plus the personal peccadilloes of one of the other authors:
Note: While I carry this story on WUWT for informational purposes, that should in no way imply that I endorse the topics of the conference itself or the speakers – Anthony Watts 
His disclaimer didn't extend to "Clexit". He has another article on that (archived here), from coal miner Viv Forbes, whose fortunes may have taken a dive lately. This time Anthony touted the silliness, leading in with "Harmful, Costly, Unscientific Climate Treaties should be torn up". Yawn.

From the WUWT comments

Christopher Monckton's article was another over-the-top complaint that the University College London didn't want him and his ragtag bunch of quacks besmirching the name of that venerable institution. As Victor Venema pointed out, the folk at Conway Hall are probably a bit uncomfortable, too. I guess they are just renting out a tiny room. They haven't mentioned it in the list of events.

Tom Halla is very confused about what constitutes censorship. He seems to think that any and all venues ought to host anything and everything, from Lizard Men worshipers to Flat Earthers.
August 1, 2016 at 11:45 am
Censorship is a sign the censors have no good argument for their side.

A number of people were puzzled by Anthony saying he didn't endorse this particular denier fest. janets wrote:
August 2, 2016 at 10:38 am
I had exactly the same impression. I was enjoying Lord Monckton’s always erudite discourse (inspissate is my new favourite word today :D) and was brought up short by that rather jarring note at the end. I’m sure Anthony didn’t intend it, but it really felt as though he doesn’t agree with the conference in some way, and permitted the post only in a spirit of disapproving tolerance. A little the way I feel when I have to dispose of one of the semi-dismembered and partially disembowled rodents which my cats are so fond of leaving on the hall carpet. 

Some of them couldn't accept Anthony's disendorsement, so they rationalised it away. DonM wrote:
August 2, 2016 at 12:57 pm
Lack of endorsement is just that, it doesn’t imply disagreement or condemnation.
Maybe the reasoning behind the notation at the end of the article is a fear of such incorrect inferences by some…. 

Graham told Anthony off and said he should have written it as a comment, not at the end of the article:
August 2, 2016 at 9:45 pm
Unexpected, unnecessary, jolting, bizarre. All of the above describe my take on AW’s “disclaimer”. Is it the first time? Readers habitually take such a disclaimer for granted. Indeed, many articles posted here are contentious to say the least. Fair enough, too. That’s why it’s a respected blog. The comments section is the place for opinion and that’s where the “disclaimer” belongs. That way, AW would be free to be forthright in expressing what to me appears to be implicit rejection. 

philjourdan has it about right:
August 2, 2016 at 8:25 am
An observation. Providing disclaimers may apply to the topic at hand, but if not done with every topic (pro or con), then the contra implication is that when they are not provided, the topic and/or author is endorsed. 

ptolemy2 doesn't think much of the program:
August 1, 2016 at 3:39 pm
I’m a supporter of Chris Monkton and passionate skeptic of CAGW. However I took a look at the program of this conference and its horrible. I’m afraid Butterworth is right that this is fringe science. Discredited ideas about strong forcing of climate by planetary orbits are given prominence. Worse, there is a platform for electric universe quasi-religious nonsense.
Worst of all is the oral presentation by Oliver Manuel, an obsessive thread-bomber and pseudoscientific charlatan. The subject of his scepticism is not CO2 and global warming, but the – apparently flawed – notion that the bright yellow thing in the sky is a sun. Oh no – Dr Manuel corrects this myth for us by explaining that it is instead a “clothed neutron star”. The delusional Oliver has been repeatedly banned from WUWT. Now he is preaching his neutron gospel in this climate anti-conference. This is an appalling misjudgment by tallbloke and the conference committee. It would be less damaging to credibility to headline Rupert Sheldrake and the conscious universe, than Manuel’s wretched drivel.
And the name “New Dawn of Truth” and accompanying logo would make me if I attended feel very uneasy as if I were being lured into a religious cult.
Sorry but count me out, go Butterworth!

Jim Watson said something about religion. He doesn't know the difference between science and blind faith, though I'm guessing that, like most at WUWT, he favours the latter and discards the former:
August 1, 2016 at 11:52 am
The global warming crowd is doing to Science in a few short years what the Church couldn’t accomplish in centuries. 

Solomon Green is cheerily optimistic and absurdly unrealistic:
August 1, 2016 at 12:17 pm
Is there any likelihood of the press covering all or part of the conference? Have invitations gone to Monbiot, Harrabin, Shukman etc. and, if so, have any replied or asked to send alternates? 

robert_g  thinks the list of people is "impressive". I've never heard of most of them and the ones I've heard of I would put in the distinctly unimpressive category.
August 1, 2016 at 12:40 pm
Congratulations on going forth with the conference. The list of presenters is impressive. I am sure the event will amazingly interesting and productive.
All the best in pursuing the professional misconduct charge as to the craven actions and extraordinarily ignorant statements of Professor B. 

Andrew D Burnette thinks it's an act of cowardice to suggest, ever so politely, that the bunch of idiots take their idiocy elsewhere:
August 1, 2016 at 12:57 pm
I really like your approach to calling out the coward Mr. Monckton. It makes them seem all the more cowardly when they don’t respond. Bravo.

ntesdorf is living a fantasy:
August 2, 2016 at 11:29 am
Nothing drives the Warmistas into a greater Fury than having someone even vaguely suggest that there could be another explanation for all the unexplained facts. Their censorship of ideas is a sure sign the Warmistas have no good arguments to put. 

Stuart M can do whatever he likes with the raw data. A lot has been freely available for years (some still isn't). Remember all those FOI requests? No denier did a thing with all the data made available (much of which was already available anyway).
August 3, 2016 at 11:10 am
Release of the raw data which has been publicly funded across the globe would allow crowd analysis. The geniuses with statistics, models and code did not join the climatology department.


  1. I engaged Monckton once, pointing out his flawed articles and arguments. But what really got him to shut up was to attempt to discuss his sources of funding, at which point he went silent. Since then it was revealed that he is indeed in the pocket of business and industry, paid to spew out his ridiculous nonsense to any ear that will listen.

    A true prophet for hire, where filthy lucre continues to dictates the level of deception and insanity these people embrace and attempt to foist on others. Others are not bought off, but have drank the connedspiracy laced kool-aid of the "true believers" (versus science and fact) and are more then willing to spread their lies for free. This is actually a component of being one of the 'converted' class of fools who go on pretending that only 'they' know the truth, while ignoring experts, evidence, science and facts. If this reminds you of how religion works, you’d be right.

    We live in the age of denial and in an escalating age of death. They're literally 'dying' to prove themselves right while embracing the real causation of global death. The irony of their indifference and ignorance is difficult to stomach.

    They feel threatened and rightly so, but they've identified the wrong causes and deny the right ones because this inconveniently doesn’t fit their narrative and agenda. At their core they refuse responsibility in a desperate bid to draw any attention away from their own contribution and complicity and the realization that they offer nobody nothing but fear and distraction from the unfolding reality which doesn’t prescribe to their doctrine.

    These 'gatherings' on and offline are feeble attempts to find solace in their numbers, which are dwindling faster and faster as reality always speaks the real truth. There they can claim they are 'united and a dissident force to be reckoned with' but the truth is this shrinking gathering of fools is a shameful revealing of how stupid humans can really be in the face of stark truth. The growing horror in the world isn't something anyone can wish away, no matter how tasty the kool-aid may have been.

    You're admirable Sou, quite amazing really. You're continued exposing of this shipwreck of fools in the gathering storm is very commendable.

  2. I got this far before I gave up reading Monckton's article:

    Now, who are the members of this “rather fringe group” that might have caused the “UCL community” to go into the corner, turn its back to the room, suck its thumb and blub?

    They include not only Professor Alsabti but also Professor Nils-Axel Mörner, who has published more refereed papers on sea-level rise than Professor Butterworth has had hot dinners; Professor Ole Humlum of the University of Oslo, who publishes a widely-circulated monthly data update on global temperatures and related matters...

    Monckton, Mörner, Humlum, and I also see from the comments that the 'iron sun' clown Oliver K. Manuel will be speaking too. That's Crank Central right there. Let me guess... in order to qualify as a speaker, they had to score high enough on this test:

    The Crackpot Index

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. But carbon dioxide is toxic. That's one reason we have to get rid of it.

    1. Err sorry to post twice. Should have said we need to get rid of from our bloodstream where the acidification caused lowers pH, just as it does in the sea.

      If these muppets know so little... just breathing in and out an equal number of times must tax their tiny brains.

  5. Ooh. More on this "Clexit" clown car (actually, it's big enough to be a clown bus already with 60+ members) from DeSmogBlog:


    Looks like another climate science denial popcorn moment approaching...

  6. Oh, there's a pearl in the comments where Monckton (comment at August 2, 2016 at 5:48 pm) claims to have converted the mayor of Freemantle to the dark side. The next commenter is so unkind as to provide evidence that, in that case, the good mayor must have have strayed back again.

    1. The fabulist found-out? What the hell, I'm going to transcribe that priceless exchange:

      Monckton of Brenchley
      August 2, 2016 at 5:48 pm

      That was an interesting meeting. The Mayor of Fremantle issued a press statement saying I was wrong about the climate. He came to hear my lecture and ended up agreeing wth me(sic). There are still open minds around, to the totalitarians’ exasperation.

      August 3, 2016 at 3:07 am

      Monckton of Brenchley: “The Mayor of Fremantle issued a press statement saying I was wrong about the climate. He came to hear my lecture and ended up agreeing wth me.”

      Hm, is that so? Do you have any proof, because he certainly doesn’t seem to agree with you now!

      “…Turnbull should focus on what the overwhelming majority of Australians agree on (which is ironically largely what Turnbull previously stood for) including more stronger action on climate change…”
      6 July 2016

      “I was proud to have my name (on behalf of the City of Fremantle) added to a group of mayors that have called for divestment from fossil fuels and a shift in finance will support transition to 100% renewable energy at the Paris climate talks.”
      7 Dec 2015

      “A group of Mayors (including Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt ) around the world issued a letter today calling on other cities to divest from fossil fuels in order to support the transition away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energy.”
      4 Dec 2015

      Oh, I know – he was forced to change under pressure from the Liberal/Marxist/UN conspiracy?

      Great work JMurphy! + Bonus points for the sarcy closing line!...

  7. "The title alone should be enough to put any sane person off. (Think sandwich boards in Hyde Park's Speakers' Corner.)"

    The first item I found searching for "new dawn of truth" was a facebook site that is full of articles on chemtrails, 911, aliens and UFOs.

  8. One of my favorite deniers is Jim Steele. I haven't looked through the people at this Deny-o-thon to see if he's going to be there. His idea is that Arctic sea ice is vanishing because the water below it is melting it, and winds are pushing ancient ice into the Atlantic. Neither the winds nor the warming Arctic ocean are due to human activity. In fact, he says, the Arctic ocean is cooling because of all the heat it is giving up in the process of melting the ice.

    When asked why none of this happened before now, he says it did happen before now. We just never knew about it, because we weren't watching. Arctic ice, he says, comes and goes, and it's nothing new.

    1. No Jim Steele listed I'm afraid, but my own favorite Piers Corbyn is giving a speech on "The total failure of the ManMade Climate Change story".

      This is accompanied with an editors note saying:

      "By July 31, I had note yet received the Extended Abstract of this paper. When Piers will give his lecture on September the 9th, I am sure we will all be impressed by all the facts presented, and amused by all the humour with which they are presented."

      I could almost think the editor was being sarcastic.

    2. We might construct a Denier Hall of Shame and list our favorite personages and give for each of them their primary claim to shame. Maybe provide an annual award, a statute of a guy with four hands so he can cover his eyes and his ears, and call it a Wattie ("Tony" is already taken).

  9. These loons are simply beyond parody

    And invoking the "simple sword of truth" meme, I mean what could possibly go wrong with that

    1. Ha ha yes. The last time I remember somebody appealing to the "British sword of truth and the British shield of justice" was a well known politician in a trial. Unfortunately for him the Guardian miraculously found a small scrap of paper that showed him as a complete liar. Two years!

      It always sticks in my mind as the best example of using patriotism and humbug in a most hypocritical way.

    2. that's the one

      Deniers in general and Monkton in particular have the self awareness of Alan Partridge

      (apologies to non UK contributors - Alan Partridge is a spoof radio presenter)

  10. Re:

    "...the monstrosity of a pink sword slashed through his photograph."

    With the handle of said sword closely resembling the famous Maltese Cross.

    Christopher is a "Knight of Honour and Devotion of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta". It's an RC organisation for military and 'noble' lay Catholics. I think the Monck gets in via the 'noble' entitlement, rather than the military one.

    I'm sure they're proud.

    1. Amazing how many things come together, just found this from the Independent in 1996 on the Referendum Party -

      "The idea for a referendum on Europe was first hatched seven years ago over a bowl of pasta in the home of Christopher Monckton, a former member of Margaret Thatcher's policy unit. Among those around the table in the tiny living room dominated by a life-size portrait of Monckton dressed as a Knight of the Roman Catholic order of the Knights of Malta , was Patrick Robertson, the enfant terrible founder of the Bruges Group. It was a good wheeze but not timely, they decided."


    2. Is Monckton a master of Kenjutsu or Kendo or Iaido? The 'sword', if it is a sword, is displayed in the welcoming position. On the other hand, the 'sword' looks like it could be a shooting Maltese Cross travelling from right to left across Tower Bridge.
      As pointed out by DavidR, it’s likely a stylised Maltese Cross being the symbol associated with the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta. A symbol that is grand enough for 'is lordship's ego but totally inappropriate for someone lacking a chivalrous, noble nature.

  11. I didn't see any commenters mentioning the contradictions. Global warming is a hoax, but it is the sun making things warmer except of course there is an ice age coming, but warming is all natural (or cooling is all natural) except warming isn't making the oceans rise.

  12. It is odd that it has never occurred to Monckton that the fossil fuel industry also owns the odd room or two, and would be certain to make them available for climate change deniers.

  13. Lord Monckton was somewhat economical with the truth.

    The full email of Prof Jon Butterworth.

    1. It looks to me like the real issue here was that this bunch of 'luminaries' were trying to gain some level of credibility by using the UCL's reputation. Which indicates that, at least on some level, they recognise their own collective reputation has little value.

    2. Thanks for a pleasant read, Victor. :-)

  14. Sou

    Sorry to be off topic but a few weeks ago you ran an interesting piece on the oz election. I understand that four senators have now been elected from One nation party.

    What does this all mean as regards the final composition of the government, it's position on renewables and such elements as ratifying the Paris agreement?



    1. Tony, Malcolm Turnbull might choose to deal with One Nation on some issues, though it won't be easy. The Greens will probably be easier to deal with overall. There are other independents, too, so Turnbull will only have to deal with One Nation when the Greens don't support a piece of legislation *and* other independents *do support* it, *and* when One Nation will swing the vote.

      Most legislation isn't all that controversial in government, so it will only matter when it's something the Greens (and Labor Party) don't agree with.

      Here's the take
      from one journo at SMH.

  15. Ah, speaking of One Nation, Senator Elect The Entity Roberts: Malcolm-Ieuian, 'Project Leader'* of the Galileo Movement has been making quite the splash.

    Satirist stocks have sunk to new record lows in the face of such efforts as these:

    "I, Malcolm-Ieuian: Roberts., the living soul has not seen or been presented with any material facts or evidence that the Commonwealth of Australia CIK# 000805157 is not a corporation registered on the United States of America securities exchange, is not a society and is not a trustee in the public trust, and believe that none exist." (sic throughout)

    (This from a letter directed to The Human Female, Gillard: Julia-Eileen)

    'We just can't hope to compete with that' one distraught cartoonist was heard to sob.

    Bear in mind, this is the gentleman whose ravings / considered opinions (strike out whichever does not apply) on behalf of the Galileos Andrew Bolt publicly denounced a couple of years ago, when even he became uncomfortable at the many colourful references to the 'banking families'.

    This Senate is going to be a wild ride. Lucky thing that there's never any real-world consequences in electing such people, particularly into the balance of power.

    *I understand for their 'On the Wings of Freedom' Astral Projection Expedition to reclaim Ayn Rand's Soul Body from Neptune.


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