Ignoring Monckton was not a good suggestion…

A couple of days ago I wrote a post suggesting that Christopher Monckton’s awful musings on climate change should just be ignored.

I was wrong.

Monckton is now encouraging readers of WUWT to email the President of John Abraham’s university (St. Thomas University) to take down his criticisms of a talk Monckton gave.

Firstly, this is not how science should be done.

Secondly, this is just the kind of mob mentality that led to the break down in relations between the “sceptic” bloggers and the UEA scientists that reached a climax with the climategate media non-event. It seems that Monckton and WUWT have learnt absolutely nothing from all this and are continuing with the same tactics that they employed in the past.

In response, the Hot Topic blog has started a petition in support of Abraham to send to the President of St. Thomas University. Whilst I wish we didn’t have to waste time on things like this, I think it’s important to make it clear that this type of action is not acceptable.

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12 Responses to “Ignoring Monckton was not a good suggestion…”

  1. Peter Risdon Says:

    Have you noticed that Abraham is back-pedalling? He has re-recorded his presentation, dropping a lot of the things Monckton objected to, losing ten minutes in the process.

    You might be backing the wrong horse here.

    • andyrussell Says:

      I think with the whiff of legal action in the air, Abraham is justified in covering his back.

      If Monckton had a real scientific contribution to make then there should be no need to try and close down the debate in this way.

  2. Peter Risdon Says:

    I wish Monckton hadn’t threatened libel action against Abraham, there’s no place for that in scientific disputes.

    But there’s also no place for Abraham’s ad hominems and misrepresentations. If he has scored any points against Monckton, they’re now buried under the weight of dozens of inaccurate assertions.

    (Yes, I have bothered to read both sides in full. Abraham’s misrepresentations are extraordinary.)

    • andyrussell Says:

      The comparison to “an overcooked prawn” by Monckton was a bit lame as well, especially as he was complaining about ad homs!

    • J Bowers Says:

      Attacking a person is not an ad hom provided it is to the point of the argument. Ad hominem is one of the most abused and misused phrases in the blogosphere.

      Andy, any thoughts on the IoP disbanding the Energy Sub-Group? I think it reflects highly on the IoP, but it was a shame it wasn’t given the boot before that dreadful Commons submission which was entirely unwarranted in its accusations, but still gave much fodder to contrarians and outright denialists.

      • andyrussell Says:

        Might have to update my post on IoP now that the Energy group has gone – I’ve not had time to look at the details yet though.

        It seems like a good thing but I’m still disappointed that they never acknowledged that the submission was inappropriate.

  3. John Mashey Says:

    Monckton has a multi-year history of threatening people, demanding apologies.

    John has recently joined the small circle of people explicitly threatened with legal action or from whom apologies have been demanded, merely for doing a careful job of debunking complete nonsense. He even did it politely, more so than most of us would have the patience for.

    Offhand, a few of the attackees include:

    1) US Senators Olympia Snowe and Jay Rockefeller, 2006 ” Either withdraw that monstrous comparison forthwith, or resign so as not to pollute the office you hold.”
    http://www.ff.org/centers/csspp/pdf/20061212_monckton.pdf

    2) Naomi Oreskes, UCSD professor attacked in 2007
    Monckton had his endocrinologist write a (very poor) article attempting to attack Naomi’s famous 2004 piece in Science; they wrote a very nasty letter to Naomi, copying her Chancellor, demanding apologies or resignation, and putting this out on BusinessWire within a day….
    UCSD’s reaction: ho-hum … and promoted Naomi to Provost.

    3) Myself, for the piece I wrote describing that attack, 2008 http://www.desmogblog.com/skeptics-journal-publishes-plagiarized-paper (PDF attached)
    The disucssion is amusing, as the Viscount appears, and feels the need to put “Dr” Mashey in quotes everywhere. I especially liked:
    “”Dr.” Mashey is now himself under investigation for circulating his complaint publicly, in a form in which which inter alia he breaches doctor-patient confidentiality. For this reason, please remove all links to “Dr.” Mashey’s document….
    Perhaps it would be better if “Dr.” Mashey were to write a peer-reviewed rebuttal of Mr. Schulte’s paper, rather than interfering in an unlawful manner on the blogosphere, which is not the best place for serious scientific discourse.”

    Not being an MD but a PhD, I explained later in that thread how I couldn’t possibly have breached any confidentiality, but was pleased to see confirmation of the inferred connection with Schulte. I offered a starting point for the investigation, but sadly, never heard from any investigators. I’ve been very keen to learn what “unlawful manner on the blogosphere” could possibly mean.
    The last I heard, “serious scientific discourse” occurs in peer-reviewed journals, venues in which the Viscount is not found. [And I would not advise trying to claim APS FPS.]

    4) Barry Bickmore, Assoc. Prof @ Brigham Young U, 2010 http://bbickmore.wordpress.com
    Hhe tangled with Monckton, who immediately started making demands and threats of legal action, quite similar to those against John.

    5) John Abraham is merely the latest to be attacked.

    However, if it wasn’t already obvious that there is a serious problem with reality, John P. Abraham’s original talk is still up, alongside the revised one.

    http://courseweb.stthomas.edu/jpabraham/

    It has not been withdrawn, disappeared or disavowed.
    Presentations often grow, get a bit long. People get feedback, revise, and usually can make presentations shorter and punchier. I’ve given ~500 public talks, of which some were revised dozens of times this way way, and ~1000 sales pitches, likewise.

    AS for ad homs, I suggestion comparison of:
    http://rabett.blogspot.com/2010/07/humble-suggestion.html
    and
    http://rabett.blogspot.com/2010/07/gold-amongst-dross.html

    to pick a few.

    Civilized behavior is not created merely by sprinkling erudite Latin phrases on junk.

  4. Tony Sidaway Says:

    Beware of the concern trolls. Fortunately in this instance their lies are so distant from the facts that they can do no harm.

    I still say Monckton should be ignored, except to point out how blatantly he misrepresents himself.

  5. dorlomin Says:

    Chris Monckton is a blight on all those who have reservations about the IPCC conclusions for climate sensitivity but can at least understand science. “Walter Mitty does climate science”.

    On the other hand he is an absolute gift to me as a AGW blog warrior. Its fish in a barrel tearing him to pieces.

  6. JMurphy Says:

    Peter Risdon, could you list the Abraham ‘ad-homs’ against Monckton ?

  7. J Bowers Says:

    And a new debunking of Monckton is out and about. A very clear and very thorough exposing of his critique of the IPCC projections at Fooled Me Once.

    http://www.fool-me-once.com/2010/09/temperatures-are-below-projections.html

  8. bounty hunter Says:

    Interesting that Peter Risdon writes about ‘misrepresentations.’

    The man is a petty criminal and notorious police informer.

    See:

    http://www.nobodylikesagrass.com

    For some truly hilarious misrepresentations see for example Exhibits 48 and 49.

    No wonder he doesn’t like libel suits: see Exhibit 53, for example, where he is successfully sued for libel.

    [...SNIP, now I'm pretty sure those were ad homs! - AR]

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