Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Fact Checking Monckton's Claims

As I said before, Christopher Monckton has decided to attack me in the press. I did a posting showing how little credibility he has (i.e., none at all). His response was to threaten me with a libel lawsuit unless I withdrew the posting an made a public apology (not going to happen). Now let's address the particulars of his claims and do our fact checking of the deceptive Lord Denier.

Monckton states, “Keating says coal is the chief source of sulfur and nitrogen compounds, radioactive particles and soot in the air and arsenic in the water. He does not say that modern coal-fired power stations produce negligible quantities of these trace pollutants. Nor does he say that coal, the cheapest source of reliable, base-load power, has done more to lift Man from poverty, disease and death than anything else. A true scientist weighs both sides.”

This paragraph is a completely false argument. Monckton is claiming it is okay to pollute air, water, and land because the amount of pollution today is less than it used to be. So what? They made progress, but coal-fired plants are still enormous sources of pollution in the world today. This is particularly bad considering there are energy sources that are so much cleaner and even more affordable. His claim that coal has done more to “lift Man” is totally false. It isn’t coal that lifted civilization, it’s energy. The source is irrelevant. If we can replace coal with a cleaner source it would improve the world even more. Then, factor in these alternative sources are even cheaper and the deal gets even better. Monckton's claim is like claiming someone should be excused for murder because they are also a philanthropist. And, considering the number of dead resulting from the pollution of coal-fired power plants, the analogy is apt. As Monckton said, weigh both sides.

He goes on to say, “The true reason for the campaign against coal-owners is that they were once among the biggest supporters of the Republican party. Keating claims, however, that coal is damaging the climate by emitting carbon dioxide, but is careful not to put that claim into scientific perspective. Despite almost a third of a millennium of industry, to the nearest tenth of one per cent there is no CO2 in the air at all. Therefore, mainstream climate science leads us to expect just 0.5 C° global warming by 2100.”

Again, all false arguments, one of the deniers favorite tools. The interesting thing about his first statement is that the coal industry and coal workers have been long-time supporters of the Democratic Party and many Democratic politicians. Hmmm. And, I wonder if Monckton would be willing to drink a glass of water with the same percentage of cyanide poison in it. I'm betting not. (Please don't try that at home - it will kill you.) The amount isn't as important as what it does. Even a small percentage of your body weight in alcohol will make you drunk. By the way, if you get arrested for drunk driving, try telling the arresting officer that, to the nearest tenth of a percent of your body weight, there is no alcohol in your system and see what happens. (Note: .08% blood alcohol is less than .004% of your body weight, or less than current levels of carbon dioxide in the air.)

As for putting the CO2 emissions into scientific perspective, let’s do that. The amount of CO2 in the air today is the greatest it has been in over 800,000 years and is causing significant change to the climate. His claim of 0.5 Co warming is already proven false. We have already experienced .81 Co of warming compared to the 20th century average. Mainstream climate science is saying we have already passed the point where we can limit the warming to 2 Co. More likely, we will experience over 3 Co. If Monckton would know this if he were the expert he claims to be. That indicates he is either lying about the warming or about his expertise. Take your pick. I chose to believe he’s lying about both.

One of Monckton’s continued lies is that there has been no warming for xxx years (insert the time span of your choice). He stated in his editorial “the least-squares linear-regression trends on the UAH and RSS satellite records show no global warming for 18 years 5 months and 18 years 7 months respectively.” I have covered this in depth. The irony is when you examine his claim it actually shows the warming continued. See my postings on this:

WUWT? and Monckton Caught Lying

The Great "Warming Pause" Lie Revealed

He continues with the statement, “According to the global Accumulated Cyclone Energy Index compiled by Dr Ryan Maue at Florida State University, the combined frequency, intensity and duration of all hurricanes, cyclones and typhoons has been at or close to a satellite-era low for five years.” Pretty specific. Let’s check it out.

In fact, Dr. Maue states, “Therefore, it is expected that there will be a large variation in the total ACE from year to year. This will make it difficult to make definitive conclusions about trends.” This site here states, “There is no evidence of a systematic increasing or decreasing trend in ACE for the years 1970-2012.” Hmmm. It doesn’t look good for Monckton.

Next up. “In fact, the linear trend on the tornado series, too, has been downward in recent years. As with typhoons, so with tornadoes, Keating cherry-picks by taking individual years or regions rather than doing what real climate scientists do: calculating least-squares trends on global data.” Again, we see the typical false argument. Monckton wants to cherry pick ‘recent years’ and ignore the total data base. I cited the years of high activity to highlight his cherry picking. He purposefully selected the years that would support his claims while ignoring the rest of the data. If his claims are true, how does he explain the data he skipped? In fact, recent studies have shown the total number of tornadoes remains about the same from year to year, but a recent study has shown a possible change in the pattern of formation. While the total number remains roughly the same, they are occurring on fewer days and arriving in larger clusters.

There is a curious thing about these claims by Monckton and others. Monckton claims there are changes in the tropical cyclones (record lows) and tornadoes (record lows) and then claims there is no change in the climate. What? Did I read that correctly? His proof the climate isn’t changing is that the climate is changing. Does he even bother to read his own claims?

Then, he goes into land ice. I’ve covered this in depth with these posts:

Meanwhile, In Greenland

But, What About Antarctica?

Clearly, the evidence shows Monckton was deceptive in his statements.

One more false argument, “95% of land-based ice is in Antarctica and Greenland, which show minuscule percentage declines in ice volume.” He reveals himself with this statement. He admits the land ice is decreasing, proving his claims of no warming to be false. The only way the ice can be melting is if the climate is warming. At the same time, he reveals his methods of deceit. No one is claiming the amount of annual melting in Antarctica and Greenland is a large percentage. Fortunately, it is a small percentage of the total or we would be inundated. The problem is the amount of melting is not only large enough to drown the coastal areas (and already is), but the rate is accelerating.
As for his claim of the Himalayas, that is only partly true and is a totally false argument. Warming ice melts only when its temperature gets above freezing. Ice that warms from twenty below zero to ten below is warming, but won’t melt. The high levels of the Himalayas, though warming, are still below freezing. However, the lower levels are retreating. This is a very deceptive claim on his part. But, as we have seen, this is par for Monckton.

He can’t let it go with all of that deceit, he has to throw in one more. “The overwhelming majority of the authorities in the peer-reviewed journals of economics conclude that, even at the exaggerated warming rates predicted by the failed computer models of climate, it is many times costlier to attempt to prevent global warming today than to let it happen.”

Every study I have read has shown the cost of climate change is much higher than doing nothing. Take a look here, here ("The most expensive thing we can do is nothing."), and here. And, if it is more expensive to address the problem, why is the insurance industry encouraging governments worldwide to address it? In other words, Monckton is lying one more time.

But, as we have seen, we already knew that.

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