Home > Boneheaded stupidity > Well, we did do the nose … and the hat

Well, we did do the nose … and the hat

February 3rd, 2010

In discussing the loony antics of Lord Monckton with climate delusionists/rightwingers (the two categories are now pretty much coextensive), I’m struck by the frequency with which I get the line (pushed a little while ago by Janet Albrechtsen) “Well he did say that Rudd and Obama were planning a communist world government, and that Jackie Kennedy killed millions of people and that the child of holocaust survivors was a Nazi and that he was a member of House of Lords, but why focus on that stuff … you should be debating him on the science”

I’m not sure whether the appropriate Monty Python reference is the witch sketch in Holy Grail or “What have the Romans ever done for us” in Life of Brian. Certainly, the idea of supposedly hard-headed politicos going to this guy for scientific advice is one that would stretch credulity even for a Python gag.

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  1. Alice
    February 3rd, 2010 at 16:56 | #1

    This is so bizarre…I cant even get my head around it….how do you deal with madness (and manage to get effective policy in place) in the population in the post 2000 year age……

    Madness is madness. Is it in the food chain? Is it the lead in the pipes? Is it the CO2 emmissions? Is it the carcinogens we are exposed to? Is it the autoimmune response to excessive exposure to antibiotics? Is it long term damage to the frontal lobe from exposure to recreational drugs (in the 70s? 80s? 90s? and noughties? They have got worse – much worse…).

    We really dont know do we?… but there is a lot of it about…ie what I would class as madness (a lot of what seems to me to be loss of critical analytical functions and a follower mentality).

  2. Ken N
    February 3rd, 2010 at 17:02 | #2

    JQ I think what you are saying amounts to “dopiness by association”
    Monckton says dopey things (agreed)
    Therefore all climate change sceptics/deniers/delusionists are dopey (previously you have called them evil and venal)
    This category of climate change whatevers is co-extensive with the category of right wingers

    Many on the left say dopey things about many subjects (Pilger a prime example) but it would be equally false logic to damn all on the left with that dopiness.

    I realize that the AGW thing has become a political battle, using (on both sides) many of the misleading and grubby debating tricks of politicians but I’d expect better from you.

    On most aspects of AGW I agree with you. I don’t always agree with your debating techniques.

  3. gerard
    February 3rd, 2010 at 17:03 | #3

    Many on the left say dopey things about many subjects (Pilger a prime example) but it would be equally false logic to damn all on the left with that dopiness.

    Please give some examples of Pilger being as dopey as Monckton

  4. Ken N
  5. nanks
    February 3rd, 2010 at 17:09 | #5

    @Ken N
    How does this support your case?

  6. jquiggin
    February 3rd, 2010 at 17:15 | #6

    Ken, thanks again for your concern. A bit more of it expressed at Catallaxy might do some good.

    I’m not saying that Monckton’s loony views prove that all sceptics are dopey, only the large number who have taken him seriously, and offered defences along the lines set out in this post. That includes quite a few people at Catallaxy, unfortunately.

  7. Ken N
    February 3rd, 2010 at 17:17 | #7

    OK JQ, I’m glad you cleared that up.

  8. Rationalist
    February 3rd, 2010 at 17:30 | #8

    Monckton is really able to articulate arguments well against all of this global warming baloney.

  9. February 3rd, 2010 at 17:40 | #9

    Reminds me of the goat-f***er joke. You f*** one goat….

  10. gerard
    February 3rd, 2010 at 17:45 | #10

    I really don’t see what’s so “dopey” about your link, Ken.

  11. gerard
    February 3rd, 2010 at 17:56 | #11


    Monckton is really able to articulate arguments well against all of this global warming baloney.

    Yes indeed. With his bachelors of arts in classics and a diploma of journalism I’m sure his understanding of climatology and statistical inference is unmatched by any of the professional scientists who actually believe in this stuff. AMIRITE?

    Incidentally, an Arts degree is just the beginning of his qualifications: he’s also a member of the House of Lords, a Nobel peace laureate, the man who won the Falklands War and the inventor of a cure for “Graves’ disease, multiple sclerosis, influenza, food poisoning, and HIV”. Except he’s none of those things, despite having claimed it.

    Brain-damaged imps like Rationalist aside, it is becoming quite clear that for all the good Monckton is doing for the denialist cause, he might as well be a Greenie mole. Thank goodness they can’t find anyone who acutally has an iota of credibility.

  12. Glenn Tamblyn
    February 3rd, 2010 at 18:12 | #12

    They have

    His name’s Bob Carter and he doesn’t go in for theatrics. Rather ‘briefings’ for the opposition party rooms and out on the hustings with Barnaby Joyce

    You didn’t specify that his credibility had to be well justified.

  13. ken n
    February 3rd, 2010 at 18:14 | #13

    “it is becoming quite clear that for all the good Monckton is doing for the denialist cause, he might as well be a Greenie mole.”
    You’ve got to wonder haven’t you?

    “Thank goodness they can’t find anyone who acutally has an iota of credibility.”
    Why do you say that?

  14. paul walter
    February 3rd, 2010 at 18:18 | #14

    Yes, Tim has it-Too much goat sh-gging.
    It’s expressed in the vacant idiot drooling lolling expression on Monckton’s silly face.
    You can have too much of a good thing… even goats!

  15. gerard
    February 3rd, 2010 at 18:36 | #15

    Ken, I am assuming that the prominance given to Pilmer and Monckton by proponents of denialism is an admission that they really are the best that their side has to offer. A guy who wrote a book so full of lies that he doesn’t even bother defending it… and one inbred campy nutjob.

    If there’s anyone out there better (like someone with professional background in climate science), why aren’t they being paid the $100,000 to go touring that was given to Monckton?

    That’s a $20,000 stipend plus $80,000 in expenses by the way. I’m not sure how Monckton managed to spend that much money during his short time here.

    And PS, comparing Pilger to Monckton is an indication that you have no standards of intellectual honesty.

  16. Alice
    February 3rd, 2010 at 18:38 | #16

    @Ken N
    Id like you to name me one “dopey thing” Pilger has said Ken. Id prefer a direct quote.

  17. ken n
    February 3rd, 2010 at 18:44 | #17

    g – I don’t think there is a “side” – those who object to the AGW consensus do so for a range of reasons and to varying degrees. They are not a political party appointing spokesmen.

    And assuming that you read Pilger’s latest NS piece carefully, if you believe that was an intelligent wise description of what the US is doing in Haiti and why, then we are so far apart that there is no point in discussing anything.

  18. Peter T
    February 3rd, 2010 at 18:46 | #18

    Alice – taking your question seriously, I think part of the answer is that much of the population lacks the general education to understand how things connect. The climate denialsts, for instance, show no awareness that global warming is built on well-established bodies of knowledge in quantum physics/chemistry, thermodynamics, statistical mechanics and so on – the general principles of which used to be taught in high school and were part of a number of trades.

    They are like people coming into a conversation that’s been going on for some time, who for lack of background treat each remark as if it were an isolated observation.

    This is increasingly widespread in other areas, including political discourse – you see a lot of arguments that go straight from vague principles to some instance without much surrounding context or awareness that the instance is the product of a history.

    Not sure what produced it, but it does not make for sensible discussion of policy.

    Looking at the comments on this thread, most people are not troubled by this:


  19. February 3rd, 2010 at 18:52 | #19

    It says a lot about the lack of quality of the Australian media that they give this charlatan so much attention.

  20. gerard
    February 3rd, 2010 at 19:09 | #20

    I don’t want to derail this thread Ken, but it is quite obvious that you have little background knowledge as to the role of the United States in Haiti (from Woodrow Wilson’s occupation and imposition of conscripted labor there, to the coup against Aristide in 2004). If you can find any factual errors in Pilger’s piece then point them out. If you really think it is comparable to Monckton’s comedy of outrageous conspiratory theories and bald-faced lies then yes, you are so far from sanity that there is no point in discussing anything with you.

  21. ken n
    February 3rd, 2010 at 19:12 | #21

    “there is no point in discussing anything with you.”
    OK, g, let’s agree on that.

  22. Rationalist
    February 3rd, 2010 at 19:14 | #22

    I just saw a very positive portrayal of Monckton on the 7:30 Report.

  23. nanks
    February 3rd, 2010 at 19:20 | #23

    @ken n

    you stil haven’t responded to the reasonable request made for more detail as to why you consider the pilger article is loony

  24. Alice
    February 3rd, 2010 at 19:22 | #24

    Re Monckton – at this point it is useful to refer to definitions of charlatan
    “a charlatan is being accused of resorting to quackery, pseudoscience, or some knowingly employed bogus means of impressing people in order to swindle his victims by selling them worthless nostrums and similar goods or services that will not deliver on the promises made for them.”

    Now we need to refer to the defintion of “pseudiscience” from which Monckton, the charlatan, makes a very good living….

    Part of a series on Science
    Natural sciences[show]Astronomy: Cosmology • Galactic astronomy • Planetary geology • Planetary science • Stellar astronomyBiology: Anatomy • Astrobiology • Biochemistry • Biological engineering • Biophysics • Behavioral neuroscience • Biotechnology • Botany • Cell biology • Cryobiology • Developmental biology • Ecology • Ethnobiology • Evolutionary biology (Intro) • Genetics (Intro) • Gerontology • Immunology • Limnology • Marine biology • Microbiology • Molecular biology • Neuroscience • Paleontology • Parasitology • Physiology • Radiobiology • Soil biology • Theoretical biology • Toxicology • ZoologyChemistry: Acid-base reaction theories • Alchemy • Analytical chemistry • Astrochemistry • Biochemistry • Crystallography • Chemical engineering • Environmental chemistry • Food science • Geochemistry • Green chemistry • Inorganic chemistry • Materials science • Medicinal chemistry • Metallurgy • Molecular physics • Nuclear chemistry • Organic chemistry • Photochemistry • Physical chemistry • Radiochemistry • Solid-state chemistry • Stereochemistry • Supramolecular chemistry • Surface science • Theoretical chemistryEarth sciences: Atmospheric sciences • Ecology • Environmental science • Geodesy • Geography • Geology • Geomorphology • Geophysics • Glaciology • Hydrology • Limnology • Mineralogy • Oceanography • Paleoclimatology • Palynology • Physical geography • Soil science • Space sciencePhysics: Applied physics • Atomic physics • Computational physics • Condensed matter physics • Experimental physics • Mechanics • Particle physics • Plasma physics • Quantum mechanics (Intro) • Solid mechanics • Theoretical physics • Thermodynamics • Entropy • General relativity • M-theory • Special relativity
    Social and
    behavioral sciences[show]AnthropologyArchaeologyCriminologyDemographyEconomicsGeographyHistoryPolitical sciencePsychologySociology
    Applied sciences[show]Computer scienceEngineering: Agricultural engineering • Biomedical engineering • Chemical engineering • Civil engineering • Computer engineering • Electrical engineering • Fire protection engineering • Genetic engineering • Industrial engineering • Mechanical engineering • Military engineering • Mining engineering • Nuclear engineering • Software engineering • Test EngineeringHealth sciences: Biological engineering • Dentistry • Epidemiology • Health care • Medicine • Nursing • Pharmacy • Veterinary medicineSocial work:
    Related topics[show]Interdisciplinarity: Applied physics • Artificial intelligence • Bioethics • Bioinformatics • Biogeography • Biomedical engineering • Biostatistics • Cognitive science • Computational linguistics • Cultural studies • Cybernetics • Environmental studies • Ethnic studies • Evolutionary psychology • Forestry • Health • Library science • Logic • Mathematical biology • Mathematical physics • Scientific modelling • Neural engineering • Neuroscience • Political economy • Science and technology studies • Science studies • Semiotics • Sociobiology • Systems theory • Transdisciplinarity • Urban planningHistory of sciencePhilosophy of scienceScientific method
    v • d • e

    Pseudoscience is a methodology, belief, or practice that is claimed to be scientific, or that is made to appear to be scientific, but which does not adhere to an appropriate scientific methodology,[1][2][3][4] lacks supporting evidence or plausibility,[5] or otherwise lacks scientific status.[6] ”

    All who choose to subscribe to charlatans and pseudoscience…say aye!

  25. Alice
    February 3rd, 2010 at 19:23 | #25

    oops – sorry – I have no idea how that happened!

  26. Alicia
    February 3rd, 2010 at 19:24 | #26

    I really don’t know why people respond to people such as Ken N. He’s a shallow, glib dilettante and a low-level foot-soldier for you know who. He’s not even a worthy adversary.

    Such people are not serious. They’re deeply cynical, uncaring, and all they are capable of is idiotic nitpicking and baseless challenges to the global AGW scientific consensus because that is their brief and ideological imperative.

    There’s no need on this blog, is there, to endlessly counter them? Why give these spiritual, ideological and political oafs oxygen?

  27. Grim
    February 3rd, 2010 at 19:27 | #27

    @Peter T

    “much of the population lacks the general education to understand how things connect.”

    Hmmm, but this “much of the population” (how much, by the way ? 5% 10% 40% even more ?) comes from a nation that has had compulsory education for over 100 years, and has never had as much and as long ‘education’ (on average) as it has now.

    So what are you saying ?

    1. That our education system has patently faild our nation ?
    2. That we have patently failedour education system ?
    3. Both of the above ?
    4. Something else entirely ?

  28. Alice
    February 3rd, 2010 at 19:30 | #28

    I agree Alicia..Ken is a footsoldier for the extreme right…infantry and cannon fodder for Catalepsy. He is in the wrong battlefield and way out of his depth here.

  29. Alice
    February 3rd, 2010 at 19:33 | #29

    And actually Alicia I agree “why give them air time.”The only reason they get it is because decent people get tired of answering their insane ideas and simply give up…and they take that as a cue to bombard JQs website with ridiculous propaganda that is not even genuine. Id hit the delete key – Ken is a troll but there has been a deluge of them lately and its really annoying. They need to go back to the dark side and hang out with their kind for a change.

  30. Alicia
    February 3rd, 2010 at 19:37 | #30


    It’s as plain as day, Alice.

    Funny thing is these “libertarian” types are so transparently uncaring, principle-less, careless, empathy-less, congenitally unimaginative and intellectually torpid, you tend even to feel very sorry for them.

  31. Rationalist
    February 3rd, 2010 at 19:45 | #31


    Holy moly, there is two of them!

  32. Alice
    February 3rd, 2010 at 19:49 | #32

    I dont feel sorry for them Alicia….I just wondered what happened that they have been so sconded to a fulty view of the world and I wonder what so enslaved them that it simulatenously robbed them of all their critical faculties…is it meetings? Is it girls? Is it a clubby thing? Do they go to political part pep talks and get instructed in the jargon? Are they on a mailing list for “what we think and what you have to repeat blurbs” and “who to criticise list” (because they sure have not read them – I sit here waiting for Ken N to come up with something “dopey” Pilger said and when it comes down to tin tacks Ken is having a hard time finding something – especially when he has likely not ever turned a leaf to read what Pilger has written).

    Dope is as dopey doesnt read…

    Such loneliness that you end up selling your soul…is a terrible thing Alicia.

  33. Alice
    February 3rd, 2010 at 19:50 | #33

    Holy Moly Ratio….there is only one of you and its scarier!

  34. Alicia
    February 3rd, 2010 at 20:04 | #34

    Perhaps you’re reading way too much into them Alice. As individuals they don’t count at all, because they are not individuals, much as this may pain them to know.

    Their potentially autonomous selves have been captured and disemboweled by a rapacious ideology that they do not understand or have any intellectual or personal means of mastering. They’re puppets and like all puppets deeply unhappy and physically and intellectually constrained by that [fully accepted by them] material reality.

  35. Alice
    February 3rd, 2010 at 20:10 | #35

    @Peter T
    Thanks Peter – for taking my question seriously because my question was serious. Sometimes I feel like I am surrounded by madness and empty rhetoric that is very repetitive (eg..there is a communist takeover plot underlying everything from climate science to the most recent train timetables, to the latest exhibition at the Art gallery, to the annual students association fees)..

    Then there is global conference (for fees only) lying on climate science al la the travelling charlatans who happen to be reaping money in..

    Then we get it rehashed in the news…who is Lord Monckton but the grey haired, bug eyed, public school accented Andy Warhol of the Delusionist movement…and come to think of it..his accent isnt quite as refined as it could be…has anyone checked Debretts peerage? He could be faking aristocracy as well – or maybe his family bought his title a mere century ago…

    Oh for a peaceful life…where we just recognised a policy problem and corrected it, instead of denying it and arguing about for years before anything positive was done!

  36. Ken
    February 3rd, 2010 at 20:32 | #36

    Is it true that Tony Abbott attended Monckton’s lecture? I thought I heard that on the 7:30 report but wasn’t sure. If he really prefers what Monckton (and Plimer) have to say about climate over the CSIRO and Australia’s Chief Scientist I think that would make him too gullible to trust to govern anything. It goes beyond mere dismay to think all the best science can be tossed aside so casually. Not that Labor’s acceptance of the science appears to translate into serious policy.

  37. John Coochey
    February 3rd, 2010 at 20:34 | #37

    I have just seen him speak at the Press Club. In questions someone asked him how to respond to alarmist at social occasions. He said try this “The fact that if all the UN models and predictions are correct ( which he had shown they were not) then for how many years would we have to stop, totally, all industrial use of fossil fuels to reduce temperatures by 1C ? The answer is 41 years After you Johno after you. You could of course challenge his mathematics in open debate. You can master blog hiding in a ivory tower for only so long eventually you have to face your nemesis. There now apears to be an international competition for who can find the most worthless source for the “peer reviewed IPCC report” the best so far seems to be a protocol for Antarctic tour operators to encourage tehir clients to clean their boots “showing the fragile nature of the Antarctic to Global Warming” Get real and come out and fight if you have the guts

  38. Ubiquity
    February 3rd, 2010 at 20:36 | #38

    Mockton is a political mouthpice for some of the “denialist” who oppose the idea of AGW. I have to admit I cringe everytime I listen to him (although he can be very funny) as i don’t think he adds anything to the AGW quandry. I could never take him seriously on anything he has to say, especially AGW.

    In fact I liken him to Gore, the political mouthpiece for those on the yes side of the AGW debate. The only thing that makes Gore smarter is that he stands to make huge financial windfall from promoting a carbon mitigation scheme to prevent catastrophic global warming.

    Do we really need propaganda machines the likes of Gore and Mockton talking political mumbo jumbo. They only ever polarise the AGW debate and propagate our democracy into a blackhole. What a waste of time they both are.

  39. Alice
    February 3rd, 2010 at 20:45 | #39

    @John Coochey
    Coochey – you have Tony Gs genetic code obviously – completely impervious…its really time someone hit the eject button if the best you can come out with is

    “Get real and come out and fight if you have the guts”

  40. Alice
    February 3rd, 2010 at 20:47 | #40

    Ubiquity – you do a decent man a great disservice by comparing Al Gore to Monckton…who is just an empty parody of a self aggrandising conference money grubbing crawler.

  41. Doug
    February 3rd, 2010 at 20:52 | #41

    There is in fact a difference between Gore and Monckton which is I think significant:

    Gore as i understand it was seriously trying to convey in a form accessible to the general public the overall consensus of the outcomes and implications of climate science.

    Monckton is representing himself as someone qualified to make strong judgements on the science on his own account. Monckton is claiming to mix it with the scientists and should be judged n that basis while Gore needs to be held to account on the accuracy with which he has reported other people’s scientific work.

  42. Alice
    February 3rd, 2010 at 20:59 | #42

    Monckton is claiming to “mix it with the scientists”????. He has no science to mix with and Monckton is entirely off balance sheet when it comes to being held to account Doug.

  43. gerard
    February 3rd, 2010 at 20:59 | #43

    Typical rightwing idiocy from Ubiquity (same as what Ken N did at the start of the thread) – try to defend an indefensibly crazy rightwing maniac by comparing them to somebody on the left that you personally don’t like but who never has done or said anything remotely comparable in terms of dishonesty or plain insanity. You know the difference between Monckton and Gore? Gore says what all the scientists say. Monckton says the opposite. Ooh, but they’re just the same, and Gore is fat LOL

  44. Alice
    February 3rd, 2010 at 21:04 | #44

    If you ask me – even Monckton’s “aristocratic” accent is fake). But then an Aussie or US bush basher or canyon camper wouldnt know that would they?

  45. jquiggin
    February 3rd, 2010 at 21:09 | #45

    Alice/Alicia, please don’t swamp the thread

  46. TerjeP (say tay-a)
    February 3rd, 2010 at 21:09 | #46

    Monckton from what I have seen (not a lot I must admit) seems to be a salesman. Apparently he is doing his job well. However it’s not as if there isn’t already a high degree of demand for the product.

  47. jquiggin
    February 3rd, 2010 at 21:12 | #47

    Indeed, as you say terje, people on the right really want to believe cranks like Monckton, and disbelieve science. It is a fascinating study in collective self-delusion.

  48. John Coochey
    February 3rd, 2010 at 21:13 | #48

    OK let us cut to the chase. Take the big M on if only on the internet. He is readily available. If you are too incompetent or cowardly I will give you the contacts. Or you could start with his response/ in my view rebuttal of Glikson or his open letter to Rudd. Go for it give it your best shot

  49. Freelander
    February 3rd, 2010 at 21:17 | #49

    Janet Albrechtsen is completely rational. After providing a list of example where Baron Munchausen-Monckton invents ‘facts’ to suit his then current purpose, she implores “but why focus on that stuff … you should be debating him on the science”.

    But for what purpose? Simply to see what ‘facts’ he invents to help him support the unsupportable? His science versus science’s science?

    Maybe if they were giving you $100,000 to do so…

  50. Ubiquity
    February 3rd, 2010 at 21:23 | #50

    John Coochey

    Your funny as well !


    Gore should just shut up and return all the proceeds from his grand AGW schemes, not just the deductible profits, back to those he legally took it from.


    I am sure most here would agree with you but Gore the politician/ AGW mouthpiece has no integrity (politcal and scientific) and that is my biased and totally subjective opinion.


    I wouldn’t defend Mockton, he is an idiot. It also turns out you are as well. I am not on the right or left of anything, unlike yourself.

  51. Freelander
    February 3rd, 2010 at 21:24 | #51

    @TerjeP (say tay-a)

    Those who wish to be deluded, as you would know, have an insatiable appetite. That is why the product that has always had a profit margin greater than Microsoft is organised, and even more so, disorganised religion.

  52. gerard
    February 3rd, 2010 at 21:29 | #52

    I wouldn’t defend Mockton, he is an idiot.

    Comparing him to Gore is defending him. What is the comparison in terms of brazen lies and delusional conspiracy theories? What is the comparison in terms of being 100% opposed to the consensus of modern science? Maybe you don’t consider yourself Rightwing, a dung-beetle doesn’t consider itself dirty either.

  53. TerjeP (say tay-a)
    February 3rd, 2010 at 21:35 | #53

    JQ – in terms of people I personally know there is only one who has been to see Monckton and he hated Howard, voted Rudd, thinks free trade is a conspiracy against the working man and that the rich should pay lots more tax. He also believes the world is run by a private banking cartel. I’d place him as being on the left.

    Personally Monckton isn’t much my cup of tea. I doubt people pay money to see him out of a desire to be intellectually stimulated but rather out of a desire to have their opinions on this matter affirmed and to demonstrate their affiliation with that view point. I can guess at why this view point is popular but I’m a bit miffed as to why it seems to be popular just now. Perhaps it’s the cold weather.

  54. Ubiquity
    February 3rd, 2010 at 21:37 | #54


    You mean the eco friendly scared scarab beetle. A wonderful creature, but I do get what your saying. I still thing Gore is not useful in this debate which was my original point which you clearly decided was a defence of Mockton. I can’t help your left leaning inclinations.

  55. February 3rd, 2010 at 21:45 | #55


    > Funny thing is these “libertarian” types…

    They are not libertarians, they are propertarians. The term libertarian was first used by the left, by an anarchist in 1858. The American right’s appropriation of the term dates from the 1950s (at the earliest). Outside of America the term libertarian still means anti-state socialist. Unfortunately, in English-speaking countries the American use is become more common. This is something everyone should fight. Particularly as these “libertarians” are more concerned about property than liberty:


  56. Richard McGuire
    February 3rd, 2010 at 21:56 | #56

    Irrespective of his “loony antics” these were the headlines in the Courier Mail 30th January “Sceptic warmly received” the piece by Bruce McMahon goes on “Lord Christopher Monckton, won yesterday’s climate change debate in straight sets.” In the debate Lord Monckton and Ian Plimer were pitted against Professsor Barry Brook and Courier Mail environment reporter Grahan Readfearn. As for “the idea of supposedly hard headed politicians going to this guy for advice would stretch credulity” well Tony Abbot is doing just that.

  57. Freelander
    February 3rd, 2010 at 22:24 | #57

    @Richard McGuire

    Tony Abbott is hardly ‘hard headed’ he tends to just make things up as he goes along. He is just another loose cannon in from the same stable as Latham. The Liberal Party is going from bad to worse. Nelson to Turnbull. Turnbull to Abbott. What next?

    Abbott’s new policies rely on a magic pudding. Without access to a magic pudding they make no sense at all. With a magic pudding they still scarcely make sense.

  58. Donald Oats
    February 4th, 2010 at 13:08 | #58

    When interviewed on the ABC’s 7:30 Report last night, the reporter stated unequivocally that Monckton is a mathematician – or at least he claims he is:

    TRACY BOWDEN: You say you are not a scientist, you’re a mathematician. Would it be fair to say you’re also a showman?

    This is the great difficulty with today’s media reporting – it does not have a firm basis in fact because it simply feeds on buzzword friendly X-C-V-able extracts from previous media reporting. And that often comes directly from cheat-sheets provided to the journalists by the self-promoting delusionista. Witness how “mathematician by training” appears in this article on Monckton, at the very end. Does anyone feel that is a reasonable representation of his talents? Within a 24 hour cycle it has been shortened to “mathematician”, which I am irked by, but not surprised by. Surely the ABC could have contested his claim to the title of mathematician. I don’t go around claiming to actually be a mathematician for the simple reason that I don’t publish in the mathematics research literature (so I’m not a mathematician by demonstrated publications) and I don’t have a PhD in maths (so I’m not a mathematician by qualification). What has Monckton done as a mathematician – a regular stream of good quality publications in the mathematics research literature? Or just decided he felt like appropriating that title by letting the media do it for him?

    The cheek of it!

  59. gerard
    February 4th, 2010 at 13:50 | #59

    Mathematician by training? He has no degree in maths let alone has he published in a mathematics journal. He has degrees in classics and journalism, and is a qualified day skipper. Of course you can still learn maths without having a degree in it, but what is Monckton’s “training”? The Whorestralian out-whores itself once more.

  60. Ken
    February 4th, 2010 at 16:57 | #60

    I’m not sure why anyone here needs to debate Monckton – surely Monckton, if he had scientific credibility, would and should publish peer reviewed science. But he won’t because he can’t. He can’t because his arguments fail the basic requirements needed to be considered scientific – he cherry picks data, he misrepresents data, he fails to reference relevant data, his reasoning is faulty, he doesn’t apply scientific methods, he doesn’t apply true scepticism and his conclusions are faulty as a consequence. Monckton doesn’t do science, he does political debate and political spin using sciency sounding arguments and he gets well paid to do so. Monckton, like Plimer, is engaged in that most pure form of free enterprise; parting the gullible from their money by telling them what they want to hear. He may even believe the fundamentals of climate science are faulty but I haven’t seen that he has the scientific and intellectual capacity to make such a judgement. I think that when the going gets complicated it takes expertise and I’d much prefer to put my trust in people who study climate than in someone who has claimed to be a member of the House of Lords (he’s not), has won a Nobel Prize (he hasn’t) and advised Thatcher and the SAS to use biological weapons in the Faulklands War. Anyone who can make such a suggestion without consideration of the consequences of overturning longstanding conventions and treaties prohibiting biological weapons is not a person I would trust to advise on any policy of significance.

  61. Donald Oats
    February 4th, 2010 at 17:06 | #61

    Something else to point out about Monckton and the delusionati crew: now that it is known that the last decade was in fact the (globally) hottest decade of the instrumental record back to 1880, they are trying to do a switcheroo from the claim that “since 1998 we are in a cooling period” to another (recycled) claim that “we are in a warming period that has lasted 300 years”. This latter claim presumably refers back to the conventional end of the Little Ice Age, around 1850 – although if this is the case then the arithmetic is off a bit. And, the LIA seems to have been a regional phenonema rather than global. Perhaps since the start of the industrial revolution, around 1750–1800? Whatever he had in mind, it is a pretty big reversal from we are in a cooling period (therefore nothing to worry about) to 300 years of warming. As for the fact that the “cooling since 1998″ line has been widely circulated even last year (2009), one need go no further than this minority report to congress in the USA to see that the cooling since 1998 line has been trotted out very recently:

    “Earth has cooled since 1998 in defiance of the predictions by the UN-IPCC….The
    global temperature for 2007 was the coldest in a decade and the coldest of the
    millennium…which is why ‘global warming’ is now called ‘climate change.’” -
    Climatologist Dr. Richard Keen of the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at
    the University of Colorado.

    [Page 6, US Senate and Environmental Works Committee Minority Staff Report (Inhofe), update March 16, 2009]

    What I’m waiting for a journalist to do is to dig into what warrants these claims the delusionati make. In the case of the 300 years of warming, well they are relying on the instrumental record and the proxy data prior to that, in order to establish what happened. Therefore, they are using the same data as available to the climate scientists. The same data they keep trash-talking, such as in the Mann et al 1998 article with the principal components analysis of a variety of proxy data derived from tree rings in the USA and Europe IIRC. So was that analysis wrong or was it right? Monckton and others will airily dismiss any such line of questioning but at least journalists should challenge their claims to get at their underlying source of evidence.

  62. wilful
    February 5th, 2010 at 11:39 | #62

    Coldest of a decade AND coldest of the millenium! wow!

    hang on, I see what they’ve done there…

  63. Peter T
    February 5th, 2010 at 15:33 | #63


    As a guess, what basically happened is that education and working life have increasingly drifted away from direct contact with reality. The shift to services is a part (you can talk a client into accepting that the haircut is fashionable – you can’t talk a machine part into fitting if you have made it the the wrong size). So is the competition for status through education, which led to an emphasis on abstract learning over knowledge through doing (PrQ’s book on zombie economic ideas illustrates the power of abstract fictions over reality).

    I am not saying these things in themselves were bad – just that the added up to something that each move did not intend.

  64. John Coochey
    February 5th, 2010 at 17:19 | #64

    So you cannot rebut his arguments, so you are that scared. By the way what does Chikken Quiggin do for a day job?

  65. nanks
    February 5th, 2010 at 18:07 | #65

    @John Coochey
    JQ – why is this guy here?

  66. Freelander
    February 5th, 2010 at 18:51 | #66


    I agree. He has nothing to say that is either constructive or sensible and seems to have no other purpose than to irk.

  67. Freelander
    February 5th, 2010 at 18:57 | #67

    @Peter T

    Very true.

    Sadly, the status given to being able to do things, well, has progressively declined. Hence the need, a generation ago, to turn the CAEs and the TAFEs into psuedo-universities issuing ‘degrees’. And the production of those in recent cohorts who think they can think but in reality can’t do anything, well, at all.

  68. Alice
    February 5th, 2010 at 19:52 | #68

    Freelander…it just isnt their fault…they can think but universities are babying everyone..and soon universitiies will ahve forgotten how to think about anything except export dollars.
    We did it…we raped and pillaged our own knowledge base and soon the foreign students will smell the rot and wonder what they are paying so much for.

  69. Alice
    February 5th, 2010 at 19:56 | #69

    And Freelander..any institution who thinks they can get away with paying level A step 1 fractional associate lecturer 55 measly grand whilst demanding they fund their own phd first…are clearly on another planet. Whats a phd worth now? Jack except years of living like an artist in a garret and givng up money to earn a pittance at the end of it!

    Sad sad days Freelander. A phd student is slave labour to teach mass production lines of students. Thats all they are.

  70. Alice
    February 5th, 2010 at 19:58 | #70

    @John Coochey
    John Coochey – you are a complete pain.

    JQ why dont you delete this annoying troll? I know you like to have freedom of many sides to an argument…but John Coochey is an argument…not even a point of view. He is just in here to spray insults.

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