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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Tim Lambert of Deltoid debates Monckton, basically wiping the floor with him (ah, how wonderful!)

Monckton's McLuhan Moment

from the Deltoid blog (honestly, I do not know how I missed this!)

Posted on: February 12, 2010 12:49 PM, by Tim Lambert

You know that famous scene in Annie Hall where a bore is going on and on about Marshall McLuhan's work and Allen produces McLuhan who tells the bore that he got McLuhan all wrong? Well, that's kind of what happened in my debate with Monckton. Based on what he had identified as his most important argument in previous talks I was pretty sure he would argue that climate sensitivity was low based on his misunderstanding of Pinker et al.'s Do Satellites Detect Trends in Surface Solar Radiation? And sure enough, he did.

If you read the title of Pinker's paper, you'll see that it's about changes in surface solar radiation, not climate forcing as Monckton would have it. In ideal world I could have had Rachel Pinker appear from behind the curtain to tell Monckton that he was wrong about her paper, but I was able to do the next best thing. I first played a recording of Monckton's building up Pinker as good scientist who was not interested in the global warming debate, and where he got her gender wrong again and again. Then I played a recording of a female colleague with an American accent reading out Pinker's message to me on how Monckton had misunderstood her work. It was as if she was there.

I finished off by correcting his climate sensitivity calculation by comparing the current climate with the last Ice Age. The fun bit here was that I got all the information about the Ice Age from "Heaven and Earth". Plimer's book + Monckton's calculation proves climate sensitivity is about 3.

My slides are here and audio of the first part of the debate (our talks and questions to each other) is here.

The only new argument he had was that Snowball Earth proves that climate sensitivity is low because it was really cold despite high CO2 levels. Apparently Plimer had shown some rocks from that period earlier in the week. I think that if you showed Monckton a duck, he would argue that because the duck's quack doesn't echo, climate sensitivity must be low. I wasn't ready for this argument (the Snowball Earth one, not the duck's quack one), so I didn't have the best counter. I pointed out that it didn't make his case because the cooling from the huge ice sheets countered the warming frm the CO2. I should have pointed out that it proved that CO2 must have a strong warming effect, otherwise we would never have escaped from the snowball state.
The second part of the debate, questions from the audience, was, err, less focused. It wasn't until well into it that I realized that answering the questions concisely was not the best tactic and you could get away with a wave at answering the question and then a speech on whatever you could connect with it.

The last part, our closing arguments is also available as video. Monckton went back to Pinker and claimed that her graph showed forcing and solar radiation. Fortunately, we each had a screen that we controlled, so I put up my slide of a direct quote from Pinker contradicting Monckton's claim.

The folks I talked to afterwards (which may, perhaps, be a biased sample) say that I wiped the floor with him. Which is a pretty good result since I've never done anything like this before.
Debate with Monckton
Here's Lotharsson commentry, lifted from comments in previous post

See comments and all here:

And DenialDepot's take (God love 'em!): 

The Honorable Sir Lord Viscount Monckton Wins Another Debate

It was Tuesday when I first heard that The Honorable Sir Lord Viscount Monckton would be debating yet another climate scientist. I had first seen The Honorable Sir Lord Viscount Monckton when I was undercover at Copenhagen, but I didn't approach him at that time as I could not remember the protocol for addressing royalty.

When I discovered that in fact he was to debate a warmist blogger I immediately shot off a series of emails to The Honorable Sir Lord Viscount Monckton's head servant. I instructed him to proceed to the Keep immediately and inform the Lord that it was nothing more than a trap.

There is nothing to be gained from debating a warmist blogger I told him. You'll only lend them credibility. You are a climate scientist after all, a royal one at that, you should surely be seeking out Al Gore or James Hansen. I received no reply of course. The Honorable Sir Lord Monckton will reply if he wishes to.

I watched the debate online using my computer. I had expected a long drawn out affair. So imagine my surprise when The Honorable Sir Lord Viscount Monckton won the debate almost immediately by raising the point that the world renowned skeptical scientist, Dr R. T. Pinker, had in fact already proved that manmade global warming is a fraud and had done so before the debate had even started.

Tim Lambert was left flailing for a response. In desperation he resorted to mere ad hominem, playing a recording of a woman's voice to paint Dr Pinker, the world renowned skeptical scientist, as a mere woman. Most of the audience, like myself, gasped at the sheer sexism inherent in this. Some of the girls in the audience even fainted.

In my frankly unbiased view, The Honorable Sir Lord Monckton can be considered to have won the debate simply because of this turn of events and that his little pictures of crowns are better than James Hansen's little pictures of crowns. 

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