Saturday, March 10, 2012

Lord Monckton Does Schenectady

Video streaming by Ustream
Video via Watts Up With That (Some sound problems)

Lord Monckton moved into the auditorium and began with his now-famous, exuberantly verbose parody of how the IPCC might describe a spade. This elegantly hilarious gem, delivered from memory, is rumored to be longer than the Gettysburg Address. Then he said that, unlike the IPCC, he was going to speak in plain English. Yet he proposed to begin, in silence, by displaying some slides demonstrating the unhappy consequences of several instances of consensus in the 20th century.

The Versailles consensus of 1918 imposed reparations on the defeated Germany, so that the conference that ended the First World War (15 million dead) sowed the seeds of the Second. The eugenics consensus of the 1920s that led directly to the dismal rail-yards of Oswiecim and Treblinka (6 million dead). The appeasement consensus of the 1930s that provoked Hitler to start World War II (60 million dead). The Lysenko consensus of the 1940s that wrecked 20 successive harvests in the then Soviet Union (20 million dead). The ban-DDT consensus of the 1960s that led to a fatal resurgence of malaria worldwide (40 million children dead and counting, 1.25 million of them last year alone).

You could have heard a pin drop. For the first time, the largely hostile audience (for most of those who attended were environmentalists) realized that the mere fact of a consensus does not in any way inform us of whether the assertion about which there is said to be a consensus is true.
Watts Up With That

Lord Monckton then startled his audience by saying it was settled science that there is a greenhouse effect, that CO2 adds to it, that CO2 is increasing in the atmosphere, that we are largely to blame, and that some warming can be expected to result. But these facts had been established by easily-replicable and frequently-replicated measurements first performed by John Tyndall in 1859 at the Royal Institution in London, “just down the road from m’ club, don’t y’ know” (laughter). Therefore, these conclusions did not need to be sanctified by consensus.

The audience were startled again when Lord Monckton showed a slide indicating that the rate of warming since 1950 was equivalent to little more than 1 Celsius degree per century, while the rate of warming the IPCC predicts for the 21st century is three times greater. His slide described this difference as the “IPCC credibility gap”.

Next, Lord Monckton baffled his audience, including the professors and PhDs (whose faces were a picture) by displaying a series of equations and graphs demonstrating that, while it was generally accepted that a doubling of CO2 concentration would cause 1 C° of warming in the absence of temperature feedbacks, the real scientific dispute between the skeptics and the believers was that the believers thought that feedbacks triggered by the original warming would triple it to 3.3 C°, while the skeptics thought the warming would stay at around 1 C°. _Much more description of Monckton's talk and aftermath at WUWT
Lord Monckton's Union College audience in Schenectady was far more polite than a typical academically lobotomised university audience for such an informative and not-PC talk.

When authority commits abuses -- as with the climate catastrophe orthodoxy -- it is up to responsible and thinking persons to disabuse students of their dysfunctional belief in and obedience to authority.

Human societies are faced with enormous problems, chief among them the twin threats of debt and demographic decline. Both problems are caused by government policy. Bad governments are chosen by an irresponsible electorate. It is in the interest of bad governments to keep the electorate uninformed and irresponsible.

This process of electoral decline inevitably results in idiocracy, unless something extreme happens. Hint: Something extreme frequently happens.

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