Monday, June 28, 2010

Skeptical - a vital resource

I had a couple paragraphs of introduction written for the Skeptical website, but John Cook, creator of the site, says it best for himself:

Scientific skepticism is healthy. Scientists should always challenge themselves to expand their knowledge and improve their understanding. Yet this isn't what happens in global warming skepticism. Skeptics vigorously criticize any evidence that supports man-made global warming and yet eagerly, even blindly embrace any argument, op-ed piece, blog or study that refutes global warming.

So this website gets skeptical about global warming skepticism. Do their arguments have any scientific basis? What does the peer reviewed scientific literature say?

After that, worth adding is that this is one of the most accessible and clean cut information loaded websites around. For the layperson who wants to seriously investigate the AGW issue, this treasure trove of Q/A belongs at the very top of your list. Politics is kept out of the discussion, it is all about the science and understanding - including all the citations and links needed to allow anyone to dig much deeper.

Also, they have been covering the Abraham v Monckton story from the gitgo.

Watching The Deniers at

I want to introduce another worthy website
Watching the Deniers: holding sceptics to account

Watching The Deniers is a blog put together by an Aussie who like many others has watched the climate debate in the popular press with growing dismay.

Mike considers himself a skeptic: "I believe any claim about the world we live in requires evidence. In my mind, the methodology of “science” is the best way to determine facts about the world we live in”."

On his site he lists six aspects of denial. (Adopted from Sean B. Carroll’s book “The Making of the fittest”.)
I’ll be using this framework to “tag” or categorize the type of arguments used by the denial movement in all future posts. In this I’ll be taking a leaf from the wonderful work that John Cook has done at Skeptical Science.

I hope this framework helps people understands the flawed logic behind many of the arguments used by the denial movement.

1. Doubt the science –
2. Question the motives and integrity of scientists –
3. Magnify disagreements among scientists and cite gadflies –
4. Exaggerate potential harm –
5. Appeal to personal freedom –
6. Acceptance repudiates key philosophy –
Beyond that, I want to bring attention to his posts regarding "Abraham v. Monckton," and various other critiques of Lord Christopher Monckton's dog and pony show,
"The Cautionary Tale of Lord Monckton: from Rising Star to Smoldering Deep Impact Crater"

I'm also proud that Mike has decided to print one of my Abraham v. Monckton essays as a guest blog.

More reviews on Lord Monckton's "science"

Anti-Climate Change Extremism in Utah
A Local Front in a Global Battle

The Monckton Files: Solar Variation
Recently, Prof. John Abraham criticized Lord Christopher Monckton for citing scads of scientific papers to back up his opinions about climate change, but when Abraham actually looked into those papers, it often turned out they didn’t support Monckton’s conclusions, or they even contradicted those conclusions.  

Given his rap sheet (including numerous infractions mentioned on this blog), I thought it would be fun to start examining Lord Monckton’s recent testimony before a committee of the U.S. Congress.  What if I were to scan through the document, randomly pick one of Monckton’s claims that I don’t know much about, and start investigating the literature he cites?  Would I find that he makes reasonable points, or that he has continued his nearly unblemished record of propagating scientific-sounding nonsense?  

Tim Lambert has already shown that Monckton’s testimony was flamboyantly incompetent about three issues (solar brightening, ocean acidification, and Snowball Earth), so I picked another topic that has to do with variations in the radiation output of the Sun.

read on at


Monckton's testimony to Congress
May 9, 2010 by Tim Lambert

The most damning thing about Christopher Monckton's testimony to the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming on global warming science (video here), is the fact that the Republicans could not or would not get a single scientist to testify.

His main argument is based on the same confusion that I dealt with in my debate with him -- the idea that Pinker (2005) which found an increase in short wave radiation at the surface, actually found an increase in radiative forcing. Rachel Pinker herself explained the difference:

The CO2 "radiative forcing" value that Mr. Christopher Monckton is quoting refers to the impact on the Earth's Radiative balance as described above. The numbers that we quote in our paper represent the change in surface SW due to changes in the atmosphere (clouds, water vapor, aerosols). These two numbers cannot be compared at their face value.

But Monckton ignored this correction from Pinker in his testimony:

read on at

A Question of Intellectual Integrity

The following has been printed in the Durango Telegraph letters section.

This winter I encountered yet another vocal global warming “skeptic” who approached me wanting to correct “my illusions” about Anthropogenic Global Warming. Yet, when I called him on his (rehashed and repeatedly proven false) arguments - rather than sending me further information and explaining the flaws in my counter explanations... he turned indignant, saying I was too beneath him for further discussion, then slammed the door in my face so to speak.

What does that say about intellectual integrity? Or about one’s personal desire to explore and learn from new information?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

#1 Index for "Abraham v Monckton"

You can find the presentation at:

I have posted this index separately to allow it and my "Unauthorized Notes" to be opened side by side, thus making navigation through PhD. Abraham's 126 slide presentation easier.

Slide #1-2......Introduction
Slide #3........Who is Professor John Abraham
Slide #4-5......Who is Lord Christopher Monckton
Slide #6........CM:“Unless we announce disasters, no one will listen.”
Slide #7-9......JA looks at evidence for the authenticity of that quote
Slide #10-14....Sea level rise? ~ examined
Slide #15-18....Polar bears threatened? ~ examined
Slide #19-22....Sea ice extent in the Beaufort Sea?
Slide #23-26....Polar bears threatened? ~ examined
Slide #27-38....Medieval Warm Period (MWP) ~ examined
Slide #39-40....CM’s “2500 IPCC scientists lied” claim ~ examined
Slide #41.......Do climate claims really rest on just 4 IPCC reports?
Slide #41-44....Sampling 19 from 100s of "Climate Sensitivity" studies
Slide #45.......Science Policy’s graphs ~ examined
Slide #46.......NASA data: Global Land Ocean Temperature Index
Slide #47.......CM slide #32: “IPCC head is a railroad engineer”
Slide #48.......CM slide #37: “NOAA - it ain’t cooling - lie” ~ examined
Slide #49.......CM slide #38: “lie nailed” claims all data was shifted”
Slide #50.......JA: “Are the predictions wrong? or is it CM’s graphs?"
Slide #51.......NOAA’s “Temperature Anomalies” graph
Slide #52-53....Comparing graphs
Slide #54.......CM slide #43: “The consensus lie: AGW = catastrophe"
Slide #55-58....Examining that claim
Slide #59-61....CM claims “No sea level rise in the Maldives”
Slide #62-66....CM claims "Temperature always leads CO2"
Slide #67-69....CM claims “Ocean acidification is rubbish”
Slide #70.......CM slide #56: Arctic Sea-Ice steady for a decade
Slide #71-75....Examines the question is melting ice related to AGW
Slide #76.......CM says Greenland Ice Sheet OK citing Johannessen
Slide #77-79....Examining Johannessen work and exchanged emails
Slide #80.......Reviews four studies regarding Ice Mass Changes
Slide #81.......CM claims “Himalayan glaciers are not losing ice mass”
Slide #82-84....Reviews 3 studies regarding Himalayan glacier melt
Slide #85-86....CM’s claim that “CO2 is only a trace gas” ~ examined
Slide #87.......CM slide #72 “The oceans are cooling”
Slide #88.......Regarding ARGO an institution or an instrument?
Slide #89-92....CM slide #73 Sea Level has not risen for 4 years?
Slide #93.......CM slide #67 “Grand Minimum to Grand Maximum"
Slide #94-108...Solar forcing examined & review of 12 studies
Slide #109-115..Willie Soon and examining funding patterns
Slide #116-124..JA considers the “Sins of Attribution”
Slide #125......JA asks: “So who can we trust?" ~ ten sources
Slide #126......JA asks: "How is an audience able to discriminate?"

For a complete list of links to studies and publication
used in "Abraham v Monckton" visit:

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

#2 A Citizen’s Unauthorized Notes................. Science on Trial

An exploration of the recent presentation:
“A Scientist Replies to Christopher Monckton”
Abraham v. Monckton

Professor Abraham's presentation can be found at:

Planet Climate also has a complete list of links to studies and publications used in Abraham v. Monckton

Thursday, June 10, 2010

“A Scientist Replies to Christopher Monckton: Abraham v. Monckton.”

Professor Abraham's presentation can be found at:

Over the past couple years I have been carrying on a virtual conversation with various scientifically informed folks who are vocal “skeptics” regarding man-made global warming (AGW). This past winter that conversation flared with a spat of emails offering up ClimateGate tidbits along with a lot of overblown, even slanderous, charges toward the scientists whose personal emails had been stolen from the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit. Having read the full texts of the emails being singled out, I was able to carry on a spirited defense of the scientists integrity.