It’s of no surprise to learn that the Australian Financial Review interviewed Chris Monckton, for his message is surely the sweetest lullaby to many of its readers. In the interview, titled, Lunch with the AFR | Christopher Monckton, Chris Short recorded an illuminating interview.
At least in this interview, Monckton made it clear; his is purely a political fight. Thank you very much for that.
It’s of course interesting that Monckton has taken a fondness to Chinese philosophy – a country overrun by his worst nightmare, Communists… I must actually look up on these philosophical principles to learn if this topic, unlike so many others he waxes lyrical upon, is represented correctly.
On that, Monckton makes the point that his was the last generation taught not to be credulous… Please, dear Lord, muse through my offerings on New Anthro. As a bloke half your age, I’m certain you will find many examples of a young man with a nasty habit for fact checking.
However, I’m often accused of being blind or simple… Typically by those who themselves are too blind and/or simple to actually find error in my analysis. (Anti-fluoride crusaders, I’m giving each and every one of you a high-five right now!)
He offered this little gem of irony,
“You fall into the type of errors that not just individuals, but whole societies, particularly the government classes, are falling. You have to start with logic to recognise an argument that is fallacious . . . otherwise you can be so easily led into error, as so many have.”
Indeed… He employs this understanding on numerous subjects from climate change to DDT, clearly recognising that those primed for his message will accept it at face value. Others, not primed, have proven his arguments wrong only to be called an overcooked prawn (John Abraham) or openly ignored (Peter Hadfield). In my last video on Chris, I quickly demonstrate him wrong on cooling since 1998 and to fail on basic reasoning (he honestly thinks 1°C above pre-industrial average temperatures is half way back to an Ice Age… mental, I know).
Yes, one needs to be vigilant with incoming information. Especially when misinformation is actually paid to hop around the globe to enjoy lunches with credulous journalists and perform plays of conspiracy, death and communism at ones local hall… So much for the Enlightenment.
In all, what needs most to be said about this highly amusing interview is in reply to Monckton’s only real attack on science; that of the relevance of scientific consensus.
I’ve created a video explaining what it is and how it is relevant, but for the sake of the fickle fan of Monckton whom may, purely by accident, find themselves to be reading this post and amazingly read this far before the shutters came down, I will explain it here. All scientific consensus is, is an admission by the expert community that, with all the countless research hours spent and hard won removal of all known errors subtracted, the only explanation our species can currently find draws us to a certain conclusion. That isn’t to say it’s right, only that it is the most right that our collective pool of understanding can attest to.
Revision is certainly on the cards; and this done through the critical debate by experts in the field, trained with the various formulae, background laws and theories. These trained individuals argue and critically test as part of their daily duties as researchers. This is a process generally called, “peer review.”
If, as Monckton continues to claim, he has credible, empirical evidence demonstrating fundamental flaws in our understanding in climate science and in the formulae behind our climate models, why on Earth talk to journalists and dance around on stage when this information would be of immense value within the peer reviewed science literature?
That he by-passes this process and pretends his information is of the same quality isn’t simply an unfair shortcut, but surely also an admission to its obvious weakness. The ball is in his court and the science community waits for his serve.
Lastly, Michael Mann said it best when he stated,
“ice sheets are not Republicans or Democrats – they don’t have a political agenda as they disappear”
The reality of anthropogenic climate change is not political. What we do about it is. Chris Monckton has good reason for mixing up the two.
Chris Short puts Monckton’s preference for individualism and small government as;
He acknowledges society needs some rules, as basic as the side of the road on which one should drive.
In other words, regulating the freedom of the individual so as each individual has the maximum freedom obtainable within large, complex societies made up of people with personal goals and aspirations. One could ask if an individual has the right to defecate in a river that passes through his land before becoming a major fresh water supply for a city downstream.
Clearly the answer is “no” and this relies upon an understanding of a temporal and spatial separation between cause and effect. The story is no different with anthropogenic climate change.
Until Christopher Monckton presents his arguments within the scientific literature, we can safely ignore its scientific validity and address it how he largely does himself; as a social dilemma. The science stands that increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere will amplify the greenhouse effect (a no brainer, really). A shift more than 4°C above the average of the Holocene is placing the global climate into another regime that is likely to be as different to the Holocene as the previous Ice Age was, which itself was around 5°C cooler than the Holocene.
Thus, we have a known cause, a fairly obvious effect (with quantified uncertainties – yet none regarding the fundamental situation) all with temporal and spatial separation. The only difference from the example I gave above is the scale.
We therefore have a need to develop regulations so that industry can maximise its prosperity within boundaries to ensure it does not encroach upon the freedom and prosperity of others (fundamentally no different to lines on a road, so that everyone can get from A to B as quickly as possible). This is not a problem with an inherent political slant, but only a question of human rights and justice. Anthropogenic climate change is akin to defecating in someone else’s water supply.
This is why Christopher Monckton’s message hums and sooths the tender heart of self-interest. He tells them to continue as they do because no-one can see those whom would be forced to drink that cocktail downstream, so nobody can prove they will in fact do so.
He is the master of happy fiction.