So who’s afraid of an eccentric man wearing a kilt? Evidently, California Democrats who believe that humans are causing global warming.
Christopher Monckton, the Viscount of Brenchley, a special advisor to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher for global warming and climate change issues in the 1980s, is a fairly controversial figure in the global warming debate. He seems to attract a great many vituperative insults and snide putdowns from global warming fanboys. And that’s when he’s not wearing kilts.
Yes, he’s definitely odd in that pleasant, charming way Brits have of being peculiar and graciously polite at the same time — he claims that he’s a member of the House of Lords, letters from the House of Lords to stop claiming such notwithstanding.
It seems the Viscount is, in fact, a peer by whatever calculus is used to determine such titles, nobody’s arguing that, and until 1999 such folk were, in fact, pretty much by default members of the House of Lords, sort of like how Kennedys are by default members of Congress in the United States. The House of Lords is the fusty upper chamber of the British government whose most powerful political muscle is to send a bill back to the House of Commons to think about it for a while before passing it over their heads.
No, He’s Not In Parliament. So There.
But Prime Minister Tony Blair revoked much of the membership of the House of Lords in the name of updating, and the final word on the matter seems to be that the dear old chap Monckton is not, in fact, a member of the House of Lords. Monckton’s argument is that he should be under the old system. Which may be true, in the way that the old guy living in the trailer down the street could, in fact, be a genuine illegitimate descendant of King George III, but that doesn’t give him claim to the throne.
So there’s that. The warmenistas also claim Monckton to be a purveyor of “hate speech,” but they say that about anybody who disagrees with what they want to believe, and usually accompany the charge with bitter volleys of hate speech themselves, so let’s call that one a wash.
Yes, the bekilted Monckton does seem like a casting extra for Monty Python’s classic “Upper Class Twit Of The Year” sketch, but if somebody who claims to be Joan of Arc walks up to you and tells you that the sky is blue, well, he’s 100 percent right about that, his imminent firing notwithstanding.
And just because Albert Einstein believed in a static universe doesn’t mean everything else he said was wrong. Nobody bats 1.000. Or .000. Who happens to have said something isn’t important if what we’re trying to do is determine whether the aforesaid statement is correct or not.
Science Doesn’t Care If You Wear A Kilt.
So, while the venerable Lord Monckton — a classically trained architect by way of Cambridge University, FWIW, so while smack dab in the middle of Britain’s famous tradition of eccentricity possessed of some smarts — does make a fat target for the the left, what about his actual claims? Those of us who read The Little Prince know that just because somebody dresses funny is no reason to dismiss their scientific claims for having discovered Asteroid B-612.
After all, isn’t that supposed to be the wonderful thing about science? Personal appearance, shibboleths, slogans, claims to be this or that and sexual or political orientation don’t matter, only the data does? Isn’t that how it’s supposed to work?
So Let’s See.
The Viscount, who’s become something of a standard-bearer for global warming skeptics, partly for his impressive arguments and facts and partly because he cuts a fine figure in a double-breasted suit and many Americans go ga-ga over anything Britishly noble, was in California recently to give a presentation to the State Legislature, upon the invitation of Assemblywoman Shannon Grove from Bakersfield, on global warming.
According to reporter Katy Grimes in an (overblown) article in CalWatchdog.com, Grove offered a debate with Lord Monckton to fellow Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner of Berkeley, a self-proclaimed “expert” on climate change, who declined the invitation. In fact, no Democrats attended Lord Monckton’s presentation.
So what did he say?
According to one summary of the Viscount’s presentation, these are the facts as they have been scientifically established, free from cant and political spin. If it still bothers one to hear them from a man who claims to be in the House of Lords and wears kilts, then perhaps one can imagine the gentleman in this picture as one reads the claims:
“In the six decades since 1950 the world has warmed at a rate equivalent to 2 F°/century. The IPCC’s central estimate is that in the 9 decades to 2100 the rate will be 6 F°/century, three times the observed rate.”
One wonders why the IPCC has estimated a temperature rise three times what is observed, other than the fact that it supports the conclusions they would like to reach. Especially since…
“Two-thirds of the warming predicted by the IPCC’s (non-peer-reviewed) models is supposed to arise from temperature feedbacks. None of these feedbacks can be measured.”
Evidently you’re just supposed to take their word for it since none of the IPCC’s other claims, such as rising sea levels, have been retracted by the IPCC once they’ve been scientifically proven to be complete garbage, of course.
And there’s the credibility of IPCC projections at all. In 1990, as Monckton pointed out, the inconvenient truth is that the IPCC predicted rapid warming. “A generation has passed and the predicted warming has not happened,” he says. Certainly that would give one pause before accepting anything else the IPCC claims just on their say-so.
“Just The Facts, Sir.”
Global temperature is rising more slowly than IPCC’s least estimate.
Sea level has been rising for eight years at just 1.3 inches/century.
Ocean heat content has barely risen in 6 years.
Hurricanes and tropical cyclones are quieter than for 30 years.
Global sea-ice extent has changed little in 30 years.
The tropical hot-spot the IPCC predicts as our footprint is absent.
Now, whether one finds these facts supporting or attacking one’s preferred position on global warming, there they are. If one knows them to be in error, that’s one thing. If one simply doesn’t like them and finds them inconvenient to the conclusions one would like to reach, then as they say in the technical jargon used in the world of science, “Tough beans, pal.”
Lord Monckton then addressed the steps California is taking in the name of ameliorating anthropogenic global warming, a strategy including “environmental over-regulation, cap-and-tax, ‘renewable’ energy mandates and a 40-year ban on most offshore drilling,” which Monckton said are “crippling California… 11 percent are jobless in California, second only to Nevada in the US,” and “the 2012/13 State deficit is $6 billion; unfunded pension liabilities are $250 billion,” and making matters worse, “50,000 rich Californians (one-third of them) fled in 2007-2009, taking their businesses and jobs with them.”
According to Monckton, “Intel says it will never build another plant here; Globalstar, Trizetto, and eEye fled in just one month; Boeing, Toyota, Apple, Facebook, and DirecTV have all fled. The wagons are heading East.”
Golden Apples to Idealistic Oranges
Of course, here’s where the warmenistas’ eyes glaze over and they lose interest in the debate. To their way of thinking, the threat of global warming to polar bears and Kiribatians is so dire, so imminent and so desperate that we shouldn’t be thinking of putting any price tag on it, financial considerations shouldn’t be raised at all — complaining about how much cutting emissions is hurting the economy, in their eyes, is like bickering with the guy selling lifeboats on the Titanic — “It doesn’t matter how much it costs! If we don’t do this we’ll die!”
Trying to dissuade global warmenistas from their goals on economic grounds is a futile effort, since they don’t think in terms of economic cost, they think in terms of apocalyptic earthly catastrophe, of dollar bills floating on the ocean above what was once Denver, of people sinking into the inexorably rising seas, weighted down by the gold bullion they were too stingy and short-minded to spend to cut carbon emissions back when there was still time.
No, what would seriously dent the warmenistas’ cause, what has, in fact, caused them to lose credibility with the public, is being shown that the facts they’re using are wrong. That they don’t support the catastrophic conclusions they would like you to believe to scare you into handing over all your money and political control to them to do with as they wish.
Which is why they’re afraid of men wearing kilts.