General / Off-Topic Recycle or Die! (the elite environmental thread)

Monckton makes it up
Filed under:
— group @ 7 August 2010

Guest commentary by Barry R. Bickmore, Brigham Young University
If you look around the websites dedicated to debunking mainstream climate science, it is very common to find Lord Christopher Monckton, 3rd Viscount of Brenchley, cited profusely. Indeed, he has twice testified about climate change before committees of the U.S. Congress, even though he has no formal scientific training. But if he has no training, why has he become so influential among climate change contrarians? After examining a number of his claims, I have concluded that he is influential because he delivers “silver bullets,” i.e., clear, concise, and persuasive arguments. The trouble is his compelling arguments are often constructed using fabricated facts. In other words, he makes it up. (Click here to see a number of examples by John Abraham, here for a few by myself, and here for some by Tim Lambert).
Anything that can be traced back to Monckton et al. may as well be viewed as "Sea levels can't rise as any excess water would spill over the edge."
 
Last edited:
You are exaggerating the conditions of RCP8.5:

1º "Certain characteristics of individual RCPs may play a role in interpreting their results. Further research is needed to explore sensitivity of results to these characteristics." It is not stated how sensitive each scenario is.
2º No doubling of population growth (or population for that matter) is claimed - As you can see, even in RCP8.5 there is a constant decline in the population growth.
3º Referring to the graph above, we can see that RCP8.5 is indeed on the low side of GDP estimation but I do not consider it massive, as a matter of fact, RCP6 is even lower.
4º Although true, we must not forget that we are handling the scenario with the highest population (out of the 4 RCPs, other scenarios are worse yet). The ratio of fossil fuels to renewables in RCP8.5 is not too different than other scenarios, in the case of RCP6 and the year 2000, it was even higher.
6º I presume that you meant energy intensity (energy per unit of income), if so then I agree, it is at times above the 98th percentile (light gray) of estimations. That however, is not "zero improvement".
7º "The RCP8.5, in contrast, is a highly energy-intensive scenario as a result of high population growth and a lower rate of technology development." Lower rate =! stagnation
8º Although not explicitly stated, the graph of primary energy use does show a high increase in coal usage, 8 fold? That depends on what you compare it.
Who's the Chicken Little now?
Whilst I am indulging in a small amount of hyperbole, it isn't particularly germane to the argument (in that RCP8.5 isn't a viable projection of "Business as Usual"). But before I move on to my reply; good on you for directly consulting the science itself. I really appreciate you taking the time.

Some specific responses to your points, in order;

1. That's true. It's probably best to restate what each of the RCP scenarios actually are - a emissions pathway that could lead to a accumulated forcing (not necessarily purely associated with GHGs) of 2.6, 4.5, 6.0 and 8.5 w/m2 in the year 2100. They are specifically not predictions of the future, nor are they policy prescriptive. They are simply one of many routes to reaching that predetermined level of forcing in order to have climate scientists use a common framework in order to shape and articulate their work.

2. Not quite. The population growth scenario tracks the UN (2003) Long-range world population projection (1950–2300) high growth rate at the 2% confidence limit (which does necessitate doubling of growth beyond the mid-level 95% confidence zone), but still tracks the UN's assumption that growth will naturally tail off and then turn negative.

3. RCP6.0 being lower is irrelevant, remembering that all it's doing is projecting a potential pathway to that forcing. Going back to source, we can see that the pathways being described in RCP8.5 sit in the lower 25% confident limit of Hanaoka et al (with population growth not leading to material growth) and also require an average of 1% annual global GDP growth between 2000 and 2100 (I don't know what confidence can be assigned to that, but I'll bet not much).

4. Yep, we agree here. Specific quote: "The RCP8.5, in contrast, is a highly energy-intensive scenario as a result of high population growth and a lower rate of technology development." All this really reflects is the logical outcome of the previous assumptions. Again though, worth pointing out that that falls outside of the 98% percentile confidence limit.

5. Where did your 5. go? :)

6 and 7. Two elements here; the carbon factor and the energy intensity (as you say). However, RCP8.5 requires that to drop off at a rate of ~ 0.08 per GJ/$ - as you note, outside of the 98% confidence limit and well below historical values (hence my use of the term "stagnation").

8. In source literature, it's actually a ten-fold increase in the use of coal (the assumption being that oil/gas will become too difficult to extract) but the emissions pathway for CO2 and CH4 either breaches the 98% confidence limit or tracks along it (for each GHG). See Fig 9 of the link I gave.

So applying some basic probabilistic maths to this and remembering that a) all of these things must come to pass and b) this scenario is deemed to be the most likely route to the RCP8.5 forcing: 2% population x 25% gdp x 2% energy intensity x 2% GHG emissions = p of 0.000002. (Not really applicable to confidence limits like this, but illustrates my point.)

Even assuming a multi-pathway to RCP8.5 with a myriad of deliberate changes which are designed to maximise emissions, RCP8.5 tracks along the edges of the 98% confidence limit.

Based on it's own logic and build-up that's not very likely, is it? Hence my objection to RCP8.5 being portrayed as a business as usual scenario. It assumes all of the worst must come to pass (and also assumes that we deliberately do absolutely nothing about it).
 
Sorry bro, you just post links with out any arguments. You go straight to ignore list.
If you want to discuss something i am up for it, but if you just post links than there is no point in replying to you.
You're arguing with a group of people who've made up their minds that the sky is falling. Some people are in love with the idea of being afraid, and who doesn't love a good story where you can point your finger at the villains and righteously yell: "It was them! It's all their fault!"
 
Ironic for a group that quotes known unqualified fraudsters, shows cherry picked data sets and can't present any peer reviewed papers demonstrating their own position. It's just like the Golden Crocoducks all over again.
 
Cultist are recruitng with their typical doomsday prophecies - Is the best way i can describe that article. You seem to have already made up your mind , so no point in making an argument, other than have fun being scared and manipulated for the rest of your life
Oh that line of arguement? OK i know where that comes from (if you dig around the 'sides' of the debate you actually find the 'cultists' are the ones that coined the phrase for the vast majority of actual credible scientific study (the majority of this thread is linked to those) that shows the actual truth of where we are and where we are heading in terms of AGW).

No one wants to live 'in fear', be it in a war zone or at the foot of a 'awake' volcano, but really as sentient beings in the 21st century if we are not 'afraid' of what we have been doing (and are doing) in relation to our impact on CO2 output, then we simply are failing our potential and our futures. For what it's worth i don't live 'afraid' about AGW and all the issues in this thread, i live 'informed' and with a decent understanding on why we are heading to the future we are creating, it simply allows me to be as prepared as i can be for when the wheels fall off, and i'd rather have that insight that be caught with my trousers down (and no loo paper in sight), which is what many people are going to be feeling over the next 50-100 years. Lol, sorry for the rough analogy, it's very early in the morning!

--------------------------

This is an interesting article, in part because it sort of tells us 'what' it is we have been doing wrong these last 50 years in particular (it's the economy stupid!):

'Much shorter working weeks needed to tackle climate crisis – study':


People across Europe will need to work drastically fewer hours to avoid disastrous climate heating unless there is a radical decarbonising of the economy, according to a study.

The research, from thinktank Autonomy, shows workers in the UK would need to move to nine-hour weeks to keep the country on track to avoid more than 2C of heating at current carbon intensity levels. Similar reductions were found to be necessary in Sweden and Germany.

The findings are based on OECD and UN data on greenhouse gas emissions per industry in the three countries. It found that at current carbon levels, all three would require a drastic reduction in working hours as well as urgent measures to decarbonise the economy to prevent climate breakdown.

Will Stronge, the director of Autonomy, said the research highlighted the need to include reductions in working hours as part of the efforts to address the climate emergency.

“Becoming a green, sustainable society will require a number of strategies – a shorter working week being just one of them,” he said. “This paper and the other nascent research in the field should give us plenty of food for thought when we consider how urgent a Green New Deal is and what it should look like.”

The paper focuses on the emissions produced per industry in each economy but does not take into account other environmental advantages of reducing working hours, from less commuting to fewer goods produced and resources used.
 
Oh that line of arguement? OK i know where that comes from (if you dig around the 'sides' of the debate you actually find the 'cultists' are the ones that coined the phrase for the vast majority of actual credible scientific study (the majority of this thread is linked to those) that shows the actual truth of where we are and where we are heading in terms of AGW).

No one wants to live 'in fear', be it in a war zone or at the foot of a 'awake' volcano, but really as sentient beings in the 21st century if we are not 'afraid' of what we have been doing (and are doing) in relation to our impact on CO2 output, then we simply are failing our potential and our futures. For what it's worth i don't live 'afraid' about AGW and all the issues in this thread, i live 'informed' and with a decent understanding on why we are heading to the future we are creating, it simply allows me to be as prepared as i can be for when the wheels fall off, and i'd rather have that insight that be caught with my trousers down (and no loo paper in sight), which is what many people are going to be feeling over the next 50-100 years. Lol, sorry for the rough analogy, it's very early in the morning!

--------------------------

This is an interesting article, in part because it sort of tells us 'what' it is we have been doing wrong these last 50 years in particular (it's the economy stupid!):

'Much shorter working weeks needed to tackle climate crisis – study':

That article is a good example of manipulation. It basically saying, you losing your working hours to Automation is good for the environment. :sneaky:
 
That article is a good example of manipulation. It basically saying, you losing your working hours to Automation is good for the environment. :sneaky:
The article may intimate that automation will lead that way, but underlying report doesn't. It draws a linkage between working hours and CO2 emissions but doesn't explore why they're linked. Automated production will still produce the emissions they're trying to abate, so the article is actually saying that the economy (including things like power generation) needs to be shut down 75% of the time in order to meet their proposed targets.

It's an incredibly weak piece of research.
 
Oh that line of arguement? OK i know where that comes from (if you dig around the 'sides' of the debate you actually find the 'cultists' are the ones that coined the phrase for the vast majority of actual credible scientific study (the majority of this thread is linked to those) that shows the actual truth of where we are and where we are heading in terms of AGW).

No one wants to live 'in fear', be it in a war zone or at the foot of a 'awake' volcano, but really as sentient beings in the 21st century if we are not 'afraid' of what we have been doing (and are doing) in relation to our impact on CO2 output, then we simply are failing our potential and our futures. For what it's worth i don't live 'afraid' about AGW and all the issues in this thread, i live 'informed' and with a decent understanding on why we are heading to the future we are creating, it simply allows me to be as prepared as i can be for when the wheels fall off, and i'd rather have that insight that be caught with my trousers down (and no loo paper in sight), which is what many people are going to be feeling over the next 50-100 years. Lol, sorry for the rough analogy, it's very early in the morning!

--------------------------

This is an interesting article, in part because it sort of tells us 'what' it is we have been doing wrong these last 50 years in particular (it's the economy stupid!):

'Much shorter working weeks needed to tackle climate crisis – study':

I notice that the Guardian makes up about 99% of your citations. I wouldn't exactly call that informed. In my opinion (and a lot of other people's for that matter) The Guardian is swill. You might want to at least consider broadening your reading a bit.
 
I notice that the Guardian makes up about 99% of your citations. I wouldn't exactly call that informed. In my opinion (and a lot of other people's for that matter) The Guardian is swill. You might want to at least consider broadening your reading a bit.
While I don't disagree with the sentiment (I've pointed out the relentless propaganda myself) it may perhaps be more constructive to point to specific instances where you disagree or have issue with the cited article/s in question?
 
I eat meat, and I love it, and it’s good for the environment!
And this scientist backs it up, but we always knew that, problem is it’s not political correct.

I've advocated for increased livestock based on the ecology of regions before now (I initially trained as a Zoologist with a focus on Ecology many moons ago) but you will get shouted down by people who don't understand the mechanisms involved point to some large number relating to methane they've seen somewhere or other without realising that the figure is gross not net.
Now of course we're seeing the notion in the US that if you acknowledge the facts regarding climate change you're somehow automatically an
anti-capitalist, anti-conservative, raving socialist, like this woman...
 
I've advocated for increased livestock based on the ecology of regions before now (I initially trained as a Zoologist with a focus on Ecology many moons ago) but you will get shouted down by people who don't understand the mechanisms involved point to some large number relating to methane they've seen somewhere or other without realising that the figure is gross not net.
Now of course we're seeing the notion in the US that if you acknowledge the facts regarding climate change you're somehow automatically an
anti-capitalist, anti-conservative, raving socialist, like this woman...
I know the agenda is not a better environment, if it was a lot more and different solutions would have been used.
My grandfather had a pretty large farm, and he always moved the livestock around, same as he never had the same crop at the same place two years in a row. Regarding the methane, it's not the problem, the problem is desertification, when new plants can't grow, the CO2 will not be converted to O2, and when the plants die all these other components will be contained in the earth. To turn land into productive land you need lots of animals, or mechanically do the same as they do.
 
Indeed but cutting through the gale of half equations seems futile at times. Farmers are being taught to blindly grow according to subsidies which are motivated by lobby groups rather than what actually works. They had the same problem with fisheries which simply led to a race between exaggerations.
 
Burning land release more carbon into the air than millions of cars, it would be better to mechanically prepare for the next crop.
 
I think the problem we'll run into is the political instability of the regions under question. Ironically the instability is in part due to the desertification.

 
Now of course we're seeing the notion in the US that if you acknowledge the facts regarding climate change you're somehow automatically an
anti-capitalist, anti-conservative, raving socialist, like this woman...
I'd hazard a guess that it depends on what you're describing as the facts and what you're proposing to do about them.
 
In this case Facts refer to scientific observations as recorded in scientific papers published in peer reviewed scientific journals by people with relevant qualifications.
Did you have some other method of discerning facts?
I have no patience for cdesign proponentsists.
 
Last edited:
In this case Facts refer to scientific observations as recorded in scientific papers published in peer reviewed scientific journals by people with relevant qualifications.
Did you have some other method of discerning facts?
I have no patience for cdesign proponentsists.
Which observations? Which papers? Which journals? Leading to what conclusions? How have those conclusions translated to you being labelled "an anti-capitalist, anti-conservative, raving socialist"?

I rather suspect you're not talking about facts at all (as in, a thing proven to be true).
 
For starters the observation that CO2 acts a greenhouse gas. Arrhenius 1896
The observation that CO2 has risen to over 415 ppm as previously cited.
The observation that denialists will refer to anyone that contradicts them as socialists or
pinko commies
.
The observation that referring to Guardian articles brings claims of propaganda.
The claims that opinions and anecdotes somehow outweigh verifiable observations and constitute alternative facts and evidence, despite this being a contradiction in terms being the logical fallacy of false equivalence.
 
Top Bottom