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Climategate – the reversing of the burden of proof

I’ve just been watching this video, of Lord Monkton laying into the Climategate gang. What makes it so potent is that he is quite bluntly calling them crooks, and calling anyone who still follows their fraudulent prophecies dupes and fools. He names names, and crimes. Yes, crimes. And yes, criminals. Criminals with names. Monkton does all this in his posh British public school voice. Nevertheless, you can almost see him doing that thing that fist fighters do, but with their beckoning hands rather than with their mouths, and pointing at their own chins. Come and get me! Give me your best shot! I say you are a pack of scoundrels. Prove me wrong! I say that the logical thing to do about “climate change” is: nothing. Nothing. Why on earth do you still have the damned nerve to think anything else? Such pugilistic vulgarities are not to be found in the text of the talk. Monkton is too canny, too cool, to get that excited. But that is the subtext.

Here is some other evidence that those with the job of chasing crooks are now getting interested in this.

I agree with Johnathan Pearce in the previous posting that the old-school media are definitely, albeit belatedly and with much embarrassment and confusion, starting to notice all this. You can feel that most crucial of propaganda processes happening with Climategate: the reversing of the burden of proof. Unfair to all the fraud detectives (Watts, McIntyre, and the rest of them, including Monkton himself) though it undoubtedly was, those noble toilers, until the Climategate revelations erupted, had to prove everything, in defiance of the default position. Their every tiny blemish was jumped upon. Their major claims were ignored. Now the default position is slowly mutating into: It’s all made-up nonsense. And the burden of proof is shifting onto the shoulders of all those who want to go on believing in such ever more discredited alarmism. In short, our side is winning this argument, big time.

And it turns out that the rich countries do indeed wish to remain rich, as I merely hoped was the case a week ago. The underlying point being: nobody is actually as scared about climate change as they were a few months back. Doubters who feared that there might have been “something in it”, “no smoke without fire”, etc., now doubt far more completely. All but the craziest warmists are now going rather quieter. The people who matter no longer feel deep in their guts, those of them who ever did, that there has to be a deal, or the earth will fry. All potential parties to it are now more willing than they were to walk away from Copenhagen with no deal, because the fear of being blamed for not reaching a deal is now (in the nick of time) being replaced by the fear of being accused of having reached a bad deal.

In other good news: Gordon Brown is backing the Copenhagen Conference to be a success.

And yes, I know, a huge amount of institutional infrastructure remains in place, created partly by means of these climatic lies, before people had to justify believing in them and when critics of that apparent scientific consensus (Monkton has interesting things to say about that) had to justify believing in anything else. The Copenhagen Conference, for all that it now looks like being a huge disappointment to the more incurable of the AGW alarmists, will still do quite a lot of harm. The war isn’t over, to put it mildly.

But winning arguments is no small thing. During the 1980s I vividly recall being told, by people whose pessimism about the Cold War was so profound that they might as well have been Soviet agents of influence for all the use they were to the side they claimed to be on, that merely proving that despotic state centralism was an economic disaster would make no difference. Those wicked Soviet Communists – who were, they claimed, so very much cleverer than any of us – would still eat us all alive, and all the more horribly on account of having run out of stuff to eat in Russia and surrounding parts. Well, it turned out that winning that argument counted for quite a lot. And winning this one will count for a lot too.

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56 comments to Climategate – the reversing of the burden of proof

  • Another point: many good scientists in other fields are enraged by what the Hockey team has done to the name of science. They have been speaking up sotto voice for years, but fewer punches are going to be pulled going forward.

  • Frank S

    Lord Monckton is an international treasure. Now that the Nobel has been debased beyond recovery, what would be suitable for this great campaigner for all humanity?

  • Brian, follower of Deornoth

    Liars, crooks, wretches, charlatans! There’s no need to be polite, Chris, just say what you think.

    I would think that if they don’t sue him for this, and win, it’s pretty much game over.

  • RW

    Wonderful speech. Brilliant presentation as well as content. This’ll go viral in the climategate watching community.

    Hope you’re right Brian.

  • RW

    And it may be that your “other evidence” relates to the prosecution that Monkton referred to.

  • Alice

    Wish you were right, Brian. But I am not so sure.

    Most blogs tend to be Believers or Non-Believers telling each other how right they are. I have been following a (very) few blogs where there appears to be a genuine back & forth between individuals with different views.

    Sad thing is — it does not look like many minds are being changed. Yes, the more honest Believers admit, the surface temperature data may have been fudged, but the glaciers are still melting, etc.

    To continue with Brian’s boxing analogy, maybe this is time for a one-two punch aproach.

    First punch was scientific — the undeniable evidence that the IPCC crowd have fudged the temperature data.

    Second punch should be the economic argument — cutting CO2 will definitely impoverish us. No more holidays in the sun for rain-soaked northern Europeans. No more expensive medical treatment for cancer victims. Unemployment everywhere. We need to exploit the doubt — Is it worth YOU personally suffering real pain now for a rather dubious end?

  • Dom

    What point is he making in the opening — “I will not say ‘Ich bin ein Berliner’, but I will say ‘Ich bin Berlinerisch'” ?

  • RW

    Dom, it refers to a speech by JFK in Berlin who famously said “Ich bin ein Berliner” meaning “I am a sausage” instead of “ich bin Berliner”. A local joke.

  • RAB

    Dom he was referencing JFKs speech in Berlin back in 1962. when he thought he was saying I am a Berliner, but what he was actually saying was that he was a hot dog or a hamburger, whichever the word relates to in German.
    Monckton got it right.

    I would love to see the bastards sue him, but I bet they wont.

  • John K

    It is clear to me that the whole global warming scam is based on the money to be made from “carbon trading”. It has enabled governments to establish what is, in effect, a tax on the very air we breathe, which has surely been the dream of every despot since the dawn of time. Follow the money, this whole thing is dirty from top to bottom.

  • Dom

    RW and RAB: That’s what I thought he meant. But no, he’s wrong. ‘Ich bin ein Berliner’ is correct. ‘Ich bin Berliner’ without the ‘ein’ is only said by a current resident of Berlin.

    There is a plaque on the site to commemorate those same words, and no on at the time mentioned any mistake in JFK’s speach. Wiki even has a page on this urban legend:

    As far as I know, this legend only has currency in England.

  • Wolfie

    I have long believed hat the Government is leading us into a War on Prosperity, using as an excuse the imminent threat of WMD (Warming of Mass Destruction).

    How come the same crowd who were so sceptical that the Government was telling the truth about WMD in Iraq are so trusting over the climate claims?

  • llamas

    Thoughts in no order of meaning:

    – Monckton of Brenchley is is a good example of one of the occasional positive results of a heriditary aristocracy – a man born into a certain position who does not depend on that position for his livelihood. A taste for risk-taking, together with a certain moral code (in public at least) when coupled with an excellent education and modicum of innate talent, can take such a man a long way.

    The miserable pecksniffs that he so effectively excoriates were made slaves (financially and professionally) to the political monster that they themselves created. Having once launched their modelled madness into the political arena, they found themselves suddenly harnessed to their own Juggernaut, and any questions or doubts they may have had would tend to be squashed in its inexorable progress.

    Mockton suffers from no such entanglements, and so is free to observe the emperor’s lack of raiments.

    – I like Glenn Reynolds’ formulation – I’ll believe it’s a crisis when those who tell me it’s a crisis start acting like they believe it’s a crisis. Jetting 30,000 people from all around the world to a most-pleasant couple of weeks in Copenhagen, almost-all at the expense of others – sorry. Not the act of those who believe it’s a crisis. Let’s call the next conference at a specially-built venue in the Black Rock Desert, where all participants will have to live in ‘sustainable and ‘carbon-neutral’ shelter, using one gallon of water and 1 kWh of electricity per day. In July. Make them pay their own way to get there. Then we’ll see who comes.



  • Stephen Willmer

    “But winning arguments is no small thing. During the 1980s I vividly recall being told, by people …. that merely proving that despotic state centralism was an economic disaster would make no difference. Those wicked Soviet Communists …would still eat us all alive,… Well, it turned out that winning that argument counted for quite a lot. And winning this one will count for a lot too.”

    I wish I could share your optimism, but surely one of the lessons of the 1980s and the fall of the Wall is that even when the statists and collectivists lose, they still end up winning: 20 years ago they were meant to have failed definitively; instead they regrouped, moved from state ownership to state control as their proximal goal and have carried all before them as if the USSR had never happened.

    They never fucking die out, but like zombies just keep on coming, unabashed by their monstrous failures and more lustful of power than you or I could ever comprehend.

    P.S. Haven’t had a chance yet to watch Lord Monckton, but wasn’t he the geezer who lost a packet betting the gaming public that no one could solve a riddle he formulated?

    P.P.S. I think he is also Walter Monckton’s son. Without wishing to condemn by association, those interested might do worse than read Andrew Roberts’ essay in Eminent Churchillians on Monckton pere.

  • It is true that very few people have changed their minds, but that’s not the point. AGW hasn’t been sustained by the believers, it’s been sustained by those who go along with what they’re told, while only a few fanatics (us) publicly disagreed. The change is that the silent ones are now able to speak up in public, without being ignored or intimidated. That might be enough.

  • Laird

    “instead they regrouped, moved from state ownership to state control as their proximal goal . . .”

    In other words, they changed from being communists to being fascists. We need to start calling these people by their proper name, and not allowing them to get away with mislabelling anyone with whom they disagree “fascists”. They’re so ignorant they don’t even know what the word means.

  • steve

    “They never fucking die out, but like zombies just keep on coming, unabashed by their monstrous failures and more lustful of power than you or I could ever comprehend.”

    It has always been so, and always will be. Whether God and King, or Globe and Democracy. Hence the need for eternal vigilence. On the plus side, enslaved people always yearn to be free. So even when the enslavers appear to win, it is only temporary.

  • Clay Barham

    A huge number, 2,500 scientists, still believe in global warming. A mere 31,000 scientists signed a petition saying they don’t accept global warming. The 2,500 is a consensus. The 31,000 are just misled and confused. Ed Begley Jr., mentions peer review many times, one of their main talking points. Climategate reveals the whole peer review process is slanted in favor of global warming to the 2,500. The “Peers” won’t allow any dissenting voices, certainly not from that small 31,000 number. So it remains, that power determines scientific reality, not reality itself. Actually, what really defines reality is the purpose of that use of power, i.e., what do they expect to get as their reward for lying. Claysamerica.com

  • I blog on this, and I think its analysis is spot on. Interesting too, is the analogy with the Soviet sponsored “peace movement” of the 70’s and 80’s. I believe the greens are peaceniks in drag, same regiment, different uniforms. The peace movement metamorphysis is a desperate last throw of the dice for the green left, and their defeat will throw them into political irrelevance for a generation. Now is the time to keep the pressure on… the individuals behind the climategate leaks have achieved the tipping point we have worked for for so long. One day perhaps, we may be able to honour them…

  • There was a great visionary of the early 20th century who detailed, in rather succinct one liners, a great number of truisms we are seeing play out in the early 21st.

    Vladimir Lenin.

    Lenin re-iterated the Marxist view that ‘religion is the opiate of the masses’ – and in this case, the issue has been framed and image-managed in the form of a religion, with the AGW believers becoming the ideological jihadis of the movement.

    Lenin said – give me the children for 4 years, and the seeds I have planted will never be uprooted. Well, the Green/socialist conjunction has had much. much longer than 4 years to inculcate the AGW religion into a generation’s worth of young minds.

    The co-incidence that Lenin’s words are applicable in this case is not really too much of a co-incidence at all – for in the issue of AGW, we are seeing what amounts to a “hail Mary” by those adherents to a Socialist/Marxist worldview, using the fear of the climate in a manner described by Cloward and Pivin, summed up by current White House chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel – “let no crisis go to waste”.

    Make no mistake, this is a war. The extension of the same war that saw Kerensky and company as its first casualties. It is the same ideological war which supposedly ended with the ‘fall’ of Communism 20 years ago. There struggle has, we now find out, continued in other forms, and other venues, now bursting into our consciousness via the spectacle of Copenhagen.

    No quarter. None will be offered, so it should not be offered. These people, and their designs must be defeated, as surely as those that carried the standard for their cause in previous campaigns against freedom, liberty, and Classical Western Liberal existence.

    illigitami non carborundum.

  • Douglas

    One of my friends likes to make outlandish accusations (deliberately) and follow up with “you can’t prove to me that gravity isn’t because of rainbows and deep thought so screw you.”

    Or some variation of the such.

    He used that to change topics when he didn’t want to drag everyone down with serious discussion.

    This makes me think of that, only some people apparently believe that gravity is caused by rainbows and deep thoughts.”

  • Laird

    “Make no mistake, this is a war.”

    Indeed. Regulation is the continuation of war by other means.

  • The war has been raging for 2600 years. Either:

    – man’s mind is fit to know of what is and what is not, and that he can discover and make judgement this for himself, ultimately leading to the proposition that the whole of him ought be free and that deviations from this are an injustice


    – man’s mind is not fit to know, that he should submit to authority and that he has no business asserting his own judgement, ultimately leading to the proposition that no part of him ought be free and what freedoms exist are mere dispensations without permanence.

    AGW/Climategate is one battle among many. The war will continue even after this battle is all over, and will do so for a long time to come.


  • James Waterton

    In short, our side is winning this argument, big time.

    I think this is, unfortunately, rather optimistic. Certainly, the skeptical camp is getting a bit more airtime now – prior to Climategate, they received practically none – however, it seems that many pundits are perceiving this slight shift as the turning of the tide. I think this is an over-reaction. As someone mentioned above, I don’t think a great deal of minds have been changed. Certainly, the skeptic camp has been galvanised, and a few anonymous skeptics have come out of the closet, but I don’t detect any great shift in the mainstream status quo, which is really the only game in town if this nonsense wants to really be laid to rest. If the “warmists” (as they’re now known) continue to rubbish the data leak – “quotes taken out of context” etc – without going into specifics, this approach could very well work. Climategate could simply run out of steam. Remember that it is still very much an internet phenomenon. The informed punditry is excited, but we are in something of an echo chamber. We visit the blogs and news sources we like, read the one or two op-ed pieces that have been run in a couple of major dailies, and are becoming convinced that a critical mass is being reached. I keep a fairly close eye on the mainstream news, and can’t agree. I see little mention of Climategate, let alone a shift in reporting of climate change – it’s still all doom and gloom.

    We also make up a tiny fraction of the voting majority, which is largely ignorant of the scandal. And they’re likely to remain so, as many of the arguments that really get to the nub of the deception of the climate scientists are relatively detailed, complicated and not that easy to understand (ie. they should be digestible for the masses, like a Sun editorial).

    Overall, I agree that the skeptics have gained *some* traction in the debate. They’re certainly being listened to a bit more respectfully these days. However, I think it’s way too soon to be declaring that they’re anything like being in the ascendancy on the issue. I for one am still nowhere near the point of optimism.

  • James Waterton

    As a parting thought, I’ll paraphrase a quote from (I think) some old-school Australian Labor Party powerbroker from the party’s halcyon days – “You can have all the logic you want, brother; just give me the numbers”. I think the skeptics increasingly have the logic, but they’re a long, long way off from having the numbers, which is the only factor that will generate policy shifts.

  • Stephen Willmer writes:

    P.S. Haven’t had a chance yet to watch Lord Monckton, but wasn’t he the geezer who lost a packet betting the gaming public that no one could solve a riddle he formulated?

    My reading is that it was a marketing stunt that worked. Total product sales of Eternity exceeded £17million. Noting that the funders are almost bound to call success on their schemes, no matter how they turn out, I rely most on the fact that Monckton has, in 2007, promoted Eternity II with a £2million prize.

    And he writes:

    P.P.S. I think he is also Walter Monckton’s son. Without wishing to condemn by association, those interested might do worse than read Andrew Roberts’ essay in Eminent Churchillians on Monckton pere.

    Well, first I find (very quickly and in the usual place) the fact that Walter is the grandfather and not the father. Then there is the opinion: if Stephen Willmer is not condemning by association, just what is he doing? And unto how many generations should any little Willmers be reminded?

    Best regards

  • James Waterton

    A quick check on Wikipedia adds credence to Nigel’s assertion about Monckton’s Eternity puzzle –

    A £1m prize was won after 18 months by two Cambridge mathematicians. By that time, 500,000 puzzles had been sold. Monckton claimed that he had to sell his home, Crimonmogate, to pay the prize; he later said the story was a publicity stunt.

    Pretty astute publicity stunt, and no doubt effective – the public loves to hear about a toff losing his shirt. On the contrary, it sounds like he made a packet out of it. Good for him.

  • Hmmmm.

    Whoever it was that released the Climategate emails deserves a medal and a round of applause from everyone on planet Earth. No idea who it is, might even be someone we’re pillorying now, but the oncoming carbon trainwreck might be averted.

    So to whoever you are out there responsible for releasing those emails: It’s Miller time!

  • JFP

    One change is that it seems that the true believers are much less likely to try to argue their case on blogs like this. I used to get into lots of arguments with them when they would drop by, but now they don’t seem to be doing that anymore.

    Also, while minds aren’t being changed at the extremes, those in the middle might be shifting in our direction. I don’t know how one would measure this, though. Also, we really need to aim at the young, whose minds are more flexible.

    Finally, why is no one on our side protesting in Cooenhagen? If I had the money, I’d be over there with a sign saying, “There is no global warming.”

  • Strick

    Second punch should be the economic argument — cutting CO2 will definitely impoverish us. No more holidays in the sun for rain-soaked northern Europeans. No more expensive medical treatment for cancer victims. Unemployment everywhere. We need to exploit the doubt — Is it worth YOU personally suffering real pain now for a rather dubious end?

    Unfortunately, like the talking points on the science, plenty of sources are telling believers they can eliminate CO2 and it will only cost them a couple of hundred dollars a year. Absurd, of course, but they cling to what the high priests of warming tell them.

    This argument’s going to be a tough one, too.

  • Stephen Willmer

    Yes, I recalled that he had had to sell his home. But not that that had been a publicity stunt. If it was, then my concerns about betting the farm on Lord Monckton’s reliability were unfounded.

    As regards damning by association, it genuinely wasn’t my point. I was more interested in the extent to which the father (or, as it turns out, the grandfather) had formed Lord Monckton; Roberts’ essay on Walter Monckton is highly critical and I wonder to what extent the present Monckton is, perhaps, a reaction against the flaws identified by Roberts.

  • The hydra-headed Left will soon tire of losing this game and I would think they already have five more fronts on which to assail Truth and rationality. We should be more proactive in trotting out things for the Left to worry about, things that will work to our advantage.

    I mean, the earth’s molten core can’t stay molten forever. Let’s make homogenize *koff* some data that shows the entropic cooling at our very center that will behoove us to create more nuclear energy before it’s too late to warm ourselves . . .

  • Jamie

    I heard what I thought was a brilliantly obvious observation the other day: if the AGW side were really basing their convictions on the science, they’d be – at WORST – interested in contradictory data and opinions; if they were really pro-human-society, they’d be – at WORST – cautiously optimistic at news that perhaps the !!Great Crisis!! isn’t as serious as previously believed.

    But instead, they’d not just dismissive but abusively dismissive, publicly, of contradicting data and opinions, and as Climategate clearly demonstrates, are also privately committed to the debasement and permanent obscuring of such data and opinions. And instead, they’re furious at the prospect that maybe we’re not all going to die of heatstroke, up to our waists in seawater.

    My husband further points out that why WOULDN’T Europe be pro-AGW? Everywhere else in the world (Africa excepted, at present, but they’re not an economic powerhouse of any stripe at the moment) has hydrocarbons; Europe alone is poor in that area.

  • geoffgo

    Biggest ripoff in history, so far, while aggressively prepping the battlefield. What’s not to like?

    Raising the CAFE standards to ruinous levels to destroy the US auto industry, while seeking every means to prohibit exploitation of local energy resources in the name of “conservation,” while imposing crippling green regulation on every type of manufacturing enterprise to force it offshore, while intentionally bankrupting the US economy during wartime. How would our worst enemy do different?

  • Alice

    “… why WOULDN’T Europe be pro-AGW?”

    The irony, Jamie, is that reportedly the EU is actually (and by a big margin) the world’s largest fossil fuel importer.

    The EU imports about as much oil as the USA; and it imports huge amounts of natural gas and coal.

    Of course, EU countries have fallen far short of meeting the targets they adopted in Kyoto. But that is not a subject of discussion in polite company.

    The behavior of European elites can be better explained by hypocrisy than logic.

  • Stan

    Ask an AGW disciple to explain how the proposed Copenhagen treaty will reduce pollution and all you get is blank looks.

    Chinese industry already pollutes more per unit of production than ours does.
    Chinese industry won’t be required to reduce emissions, but ours will.
    So our already cleaner industry will be even less competitive with the dirty Chinese industry.
    So more production will move to the dirty factories there.
    So more pollution, not less.

    I dunno about you, but I was expecting a treaty supposedly aimed at reducing pollution to reduce pollution, not increase it.
    Am I asking too much?

  • RebeccaH

    The best outcome of all would be if the sane part of the world finally decides it has had enough of the UN.

  • Abe Froman

    I enjoyed reading this piece. … first time on this site.

    If I might add just that freedom must be jealously guarded and we must be ever vigilant. Ir seems this gets forgotten in good times.

    This most recent assault on freedom and prosperity by scoundrels like Al Gore, G Soros, the MSM … many of whom actually believe the AGW big lie should have been stopped long ago.

    Kudos to all the warriors on talk radio, the blogs, Fox News, McIntyre, Monckton, SDA, Green, Ball, Watts, etc etc. for their work to fight this green oppression.

    And as mentioned by another, someday, perhaps we can honor the person or persons behind the climate gate Email and code leak. That was the weapon needed to help turn the tide.

    Also, to the millions of readers and commenters who are supporting the efforts of those on the front lines taking on the monsters who would eat us. We have enough with the Islamic Jihad, never mind the Gaia gang and their tyrannical leaders.

    It is a bit early in the battle to declare outright victory, but I agree that we are winning.

    To the Warmist crowd, I quote the late great Jimi Hendrix – ” Castles made of sand slips into the sea, eventually “

  • geoffgo

    Eutopia is green. Another question for the climate poseurs:

    Won’t the destruction of capitalism cause mass starvation worldwide, and thereby cause most all those creatures on the”endangered spieces” list to be eaten into extinction?

  • I contend that we must begin to put unrelenting pressure upon politicians to repeal all laws and regulations that were based on this now-proven hoax, immediately and with the same zeal that was used to draft them. Rapid action in this regard is the only apology necessary.

    And in the future, we should employ a test to prevent us from considering the intellectually weak for public office: “Do you believe in man-made climate change?”
    If the answer is yes, they have confirmed that they’re unfit to hold office.

  • steve-roberts

    “..my concerns about betting the farm on Lord Monckton’s reliability..”

    Monckton isn’t asking you to substitute faith in Mann with faith in Monckton. He’s asking you to form your views on data and logic rather by deferring to authority. In the clip he says to his audience “Don’t believe a word I say” – very much in the spirit of the Royal society “Nullius in verbo”.

  • Dyspeptic Curmudgeon

    I really liked one of Lord Monckton’s comments in the video. He referred to the All-Gaia-Worshippers, as ‘stoplight’ protestors: the claim to be green, but are too yellow to describe themselves as they actually are: red!.

  • astonerii

    It is too bad that there is just not enough time to get into more details with each of the perps. I am sure that as there were dozens more from the emails that Monkton could have shown to have been criminals, there were many more crimes each of the ones he did show committed.

  • Stonyground

    When you consider that the general public don’t really think that deeply about these issues, even a short period of really cold weather would give the warmists quite a headache. If the post 1998 graph is accurate, I would suggest that this is fairly likely to happen, if not this year then quite soon.

    “They said there’d be snow at Christmas, they said there’d be peace on earth, but instead it just kept on raining…” these words were written by Peter Sinfield in the early seventies. Thirty five years later, not much has changed really has it?

  • Stephen Willmer

    “Monckton isn’t asking you to substitute faith in Mann with faith in Monckton”.

    No, indeed. But insofar as he was laying down a slanderous gauntlet – ‘if you’re not crooks, then sue me’ – he was playing to a risky strategy. If I am wrong, and I appear to be, that he lost his house over the bet he made that no one could solve his riddle Eternity, then nothing turns on the prior history of his reliability.

    Had I been right, I would have been less inclined to rate with confidence the force with which he threw down the gauntlet in this case.

    Otherwise, yes, I agree, it is up to us as individuals to decide for ourselves based on facts, evidence, logic whether climate change is manmade.

    For what it’s worth I concluded some time ago that even if the warming alarmists are right on the facts, I would still be indifferent because it is up to us to evolve, to adapt and survive rather than to crawl back into our caves begging the sun god for forgiveness. Our success in evolving out of the caves in the first place is nothing to apologise for, it is one of our defining characteristics as humans.

    And, actually, isn’t that really the point? how many ‘denialists’ would change their stance if manmade climate change could be definitively proven?

    And how many alarmists would change theirs if it was definitively disproven?

    I think perhaps that is the real battle.

  • Dom B

    Finally, why is no one on our side protesting in Cooenhagen?

    To paraphrase P J O’Rourke, it’s because we have jobs.

  • Laird

    “If I am wrong, and I appear to be, that he lost his house over the bet he made that no one could solve his riddle Eternity, then nothing turns on the prior history of his reliability.”

    Frankly, I don’t see what mis-guessing the amount of time it would take for the public to solve a difficult puzzle has to do with Monckton’s analysis of the fraudulent climate-warming data. Especially when it turns out that (1) he made a large profit on the endeavor, and (2) he was selling the house anyway, for his own reasons which had nothing to do with the “bet”, and merely allowed his publicists to make up the tale that it was to cover part of the prize money. If anything, that makes him appear even smarter.

  • steve

    Anyone want to start a pool for when the first conviction resulting from the climate gate emails occurs.

  • Laird

    Steve, do you mean convictions over the contents of these e-mails (i.e., for the crimes detailed by Lord Monckton), or convictions over the leak itself (which undoubtedly violated some law or other)? Because if we’re starting a pool my money would be on the latter occurring first.

  • steve

    I was thinking of the former, for my part I would gladly donate to the defense of the later, buy a copy of the autobiography, whatever to help a true hero.

  • Rockstone

    Recently at work the climate change issue came up in a group of about 10 people. As a “denier” I usually avoid the issue since I live in a very liberal area. I was blown away that everyone involved (most solid lefties based on previous conversations) had heard of climategate and were VERY upset that they had been lied to. I was keeping my mouth shut and just listening. When I opined that we should look into the millions that Al Gore had made from his pronouncements, it was met with complete support from those who spoke up (some probably didn’t say anything).

    Trust me, this has made a difference. Everyday, non-activist liberals are doubting global warming now. Now I’ll grant you I work with mostly men in an IT company and they may be less emotionally involved and more inclined to listen to cold logic. But some of them are borderline hippies. The new religion is losing converts.

  • pedant

    Berliner is a kind of doughnut.

    Just saying, as is my want.

  • Stephen Willmer

    Laird, look at it this way: imagine one of the CRU gang tried to sue Monkton for slander, either letting the press know that was intention (before quietly dropping it, relying on the press not to report that), possibly believing in the merits of an action for slander (crooks often persuade themselves of their innocence), or neither of the above but hoping that sympathy for an alarmist scientist would trump that for a slightly toffish former Thatcher adviser.

    In those circumstances, how much of the case would be played out in the press? And how long before the gatekeeper journalists began using the ‘failure’ of Eternity as a stick with which to beat the hapless toff? And in any case, wouldn’t there be a risk, based on his previous history of unsuccessful risk-taking, that they might turn out to be right, that he would lose the action for slander?

    It’s all academic, anyway; if I am wrong about his losing the farm on Eternity, then none of these concerns matters.

  • James Waterton

    You are wrong about that, Stephen – he didn’t lose a bet. He “lost” the half the 1 million pound prize money that he put up – a prize that was instrumental in the success of his profit-making venture. He claimed he had to sell his place to pay his share. I have a feeling his ancestral home was worth rather more than half a million quid, and he could have borrowed against it if necessary. And of course I haven’t taken into account the substantial multi-million pound profits he must have made from the game, which was very successful at the time. No, his claim that he had to sell his home to pay the debt was clearly a publicity stunt, and he said as much later.

    Any journalist who tries to smear him by posing “Eternity was a failure, so what else is he wrong about?”, is going to be made to look rather stupid.

  • EnquiringMind

    @Brian Micklethwait: Thanks. Great post. I have learned something more about the GW conspiracy from here (and associated links) – and especially since the Climategate emails were published.

    I hadn’t known about Lord Monckton’s speeches and other utterances. He seems simply splendid – peels things right back to first/basic principles. I like his advice – definitely “Nullius in verbo”.

    Climategate daily becomes more redolent of the Screwtape letters.

    There is some interesting thinking and comment/discussion in this forum too.