Lord Christopher Monckton Defends Himself Against False Allegations!

There comes a point …

By Christopher Monckton of Brenchley

Those of us who have raised questions about the magnitude of Man’s influence on climate have become used to the expensively funded, often carefully co-ordinated campaigns of personal vilification organized by adherents of the Climatist Party Line. Occasionally we growl a little. More often we refuse to be distracted. We carry on.

The purpose of these relentless attacks on us is not only to do us down but also to frighten off third parties who might otherwise find the courage to speak out and express their own doubts about the Party Line.

But there comes a point when it is necessary to take action. I hope no one will disagree that that point is reached when allegations of lying or fabrication are made; when the allegations are unquestionably false; when they are persisted in despite requests to cease and desist; and when they are widely disseminated in a manner calculated baselessly to cause maximum reputational damage.

Recently a commenter at Jo Nova’s blog posted several comments to the effect that I had “faked” a graph. I quickly asked Jo to replace them with a note to say legal proceedings were in train. Enough, I had decided, was enough.

Here is the diagram I was supposed to have “faked”:

clip_image001

This surely blameless diagram appeared alongside an article I had written for the Sunday Telegraph on 5 November 2006, the first time I ever went public on the climate question. The article went live on the internet at midnight on a Saturday night. Two hours later theTelegraph’s website crashed, for 127,000 people had tried to access the article.

Now, it is not the custom of UK newspapers to ask their contributors to illustrate their articles. As usual, I was not consulted and offered no advice on the matter, and had no hand in their production and no foreknowledge that they were to be used. The graphs are not labeled as having been sourced from the IPCC (indeed, one of the graphs has the shadow of a hockey stick overlaid on it and marked as the “IPCC ‘hockey stick’”, making it blindingly obvious that it is not an official IPCC’s graph).

The Telegraph’s graphs are simple and, it seems to me, harmless schematics illustrating the difference between the representations of 1000 years’ global temperatures as they appeared in the IPCC’s 2001 (top) and 1990 (bottom) reports.

The graph from p. 202 of the IPCC’s 1990 report now looks like this:

clip_image003

With the article I supplied some background material for Telegraph readers on its website. In that material, the IPCC’s 1990 graph also appeared, mistakenly captioned as 1996 rather than 1990. The graph as I reproduced it looked like this:

clip_image005

What I had not realized until very recently was that for several years allegations had been circulated all over the place to the effect that I had fabricated the graphs that had appeared in the Sunday Telegraph article. Yet not one of those who had made these allegations had ever contacted me to verify the facts. And not one of them had said what was wrong with the Telegraph’s graphs anyway.

Perhaps the worst of the many allegations of dishonesty against me appeared on a “science education” website, where an entire section under the bold heading “Misuse of scientific images” was devoted to the Telegraph’s graphs.

The offending section contained the following untruths:

  • Ø that in that article I had “disputed the concept of climate change” (Not that old chestnut again! I had accepted the concept but queried its likely magnitude);
  • Ø that the Telegraph’s graphs were instances of “poor use of graphical displays” that “can confuse and obscure data” (No, they neatly showed the main point: in 1990 the medieval warm period and little ice age were shown clearly, but by 2001 both had gone, and a sharp uptick in the 20th century had been added);
  • Ø that I had “created the [1990] graph on the bottom using different calculations that did not take into account all of the variables that climate scientists used to create the top graph” (No, I had not created either graph or done any calculations for such a graph);
  • Ø that I had deployed “common techniques used to distort visual forms of data – manipulating axes, changing one of the variables in a comparison, changing calculations without full explanation – that can obscure a true comparison” (No, none of the above); and
  • Ø that the article had been published in the Daily Telegraph (No, the Sunday Telegraph, and that suggests the website had never seen the original article but had picked up the libel from somewhere else).

I only discovered that this spectacularly inaccurate and profoundly damaging infestation of allegations when the commenter at Jo Nova’s site who had accused me of “faking” the graph mentioned on his own blog that I had not objected to the libel as it appeared on the science-education website. I had not objected because I had not known about it. No one at that website had thought to check any of the facts with me, or, as far as one can tell, with anyone else.

In short order a letter before action was sent to the website, which promptly did the right thing and took out the entire section, though there are indications that attempts are being made in some quarters – unsuccessfully so far – to get them to put it back up again.

I gave the commenter at Jo Nova’s website who had accused me of “faking” the graphs several chances to retract and apologize. Instead, he and several others sneeringly doubled down by accusing me of “lying” when I had said the graphs at the Telegraph website had not purported to be, and had not been labeled as, IPCC graphs.

They also alleged that the graph in my background materials accompanying the Telegrapharticle was “not the same graph” as that from the IPCC’s 1990 report: in effect, that I had “faked” that one as well. Judge that for yourselves from the two monochrome versions of the graph above. There seem to me to be no material differences, and I think it would be hard for the defendants to convince a court that there were any.

So I am going to court. My lawyers say the libels are plain and indefensible. They comment additionally that no judge would regard the schematics in the Telegraph (whoever had drawn them) as significantly misrepresenting the difference between the 1990 and 2001 reports’ images of the past millennium’s global temperature anomalies. As far as they can see, there is not a lot wrong with the graphs in any event.

I have told this story not only because some commenters here have been unwise enough to repeat in threads here the allegations they have made elsewhere but also because I thought it might be time to reveal the steps we have to take on an almost weekly basis to try to stem the tide of false allegations directed at us.

Nor am I by any means the only victim. For years, this shadowy Propagandaamt has been tampering with Fred Singer’s Wikipedia page to allege that he believes in Martians.

Niklas Mörner, the sea-level expert, has had his page got at on the ground that he sometimes dowses for water or other underground treasure. My late father once did that for the Maltese Government, and found three lost Punic tombs and a fine marble head of Seneca from the first century AD. My drawing of it (in the day before digital cameras) is probably still to be found somewhere in the Museum of Classical Archaeology at Cambridge. But I never had the knack for dowsing myself.

A pressure-group founded and funded by Prince Charles is prone to intervene to try (unsuccessfully, the last time they tried it on me) to prevent the publication of skeptical scientific papers in British learned journals.

A team of paid hacks telephones the Chancellor and the Dean of the Faculty at every university at which skeptics are invited to speak. About half the time, they succeed in getting us disinvited.

Journal editors are sacked for printing papers by skeptics.

However much one might hope that scientific discourse can be conducted in an open atmosphere of sensible dialog, the truth is that on the climate it can’t, because the extremists won’t play fair. The Politburo are determined to keep the scare going for just a little longer, till they can get the Treaty of Paris safely signed by all nations in December 2015.

So I am going to court to defend myself and, in so doing against the constant barrage of falsehoods told in support of the Party Line. We went to court against Al Gore because his movie was poisonous political propaganda dressed up as science.

We won. Nothing else but a court case would have worked. It was only when the department of education in London were confronted with 80 pages of scientific testimony, and knew that that testimony would stand up in court against all their falsehoods and evasions, that they caved in and settled, paying $400,000 to the plaintiffs and undertaking to circulate 77 pages of corrective guidance to every school in England.

In the present case, the other side has blinked thrice. On the website of my defamer, there is a nervous little note that he will not give me his name and address unless I answer various impertinent questions of his. The court will have no patience with any nonsense of that sort.

And there are now various postings at the same blog, again rather nervous, saying that perhaps they could plead that I don’t have a reputation and they can accuse me of whatever they like.

They will be unwise to take that line. For if they say I have no reputation they have to be able to come up with evidence that any material detrimental to my reputation on which they may try to rely is true. And most of it is no more accurate than their accusations that I “faked” a graph that I had plainly not faked. If they waste the court’s time with point after point that has nothing to do with the case at hand, they will merely aggravate the damages they will have to pay.

Finally, the perp has been unwise enough to admit that at the time when he made his allegation of “fakery” he did not know whether I had “faked” the graph or not. In the courts, to make a damaging and untrue allegation not knowing whether or not it is true is as culpable as making it when one knows it is not true. And there is no defense once that admission has been made. It has been made.

There is a curious and touching notion among some skeptics that, since the truth will of course prevail in the end, we should persevere with the scientific argument but not take the defamers and the scamsters to court. The feeling is that using the courts somehow isn’t cricket.

Sometimes, though, it’s necessary to play hardball. Being Valiant for Truth is not for wimps.

Those with Nothing to Hide….Hide Nothing, and Then There’s the Gov’t!

Breaking EPA’s climate sciences secrecy barriers

FOIA request seeks hidden data and analyses that agency claims back up its climate rulings

milloy-v-epa

Can you imagine telling the IRS you don’t need to complete all their forms or provide records to back up your claim for a tax refund? Or saying your company’s assurances that its medical products are safe and effective should satisfy the FDA? Especially if some of your data don’t actually support your claims – or you “can’t find” key data, research and other records, because your hard drive conveniently crashed? But, you tell them, people you paid to review your information said it’s accurate, so there’s no problem.

Do you suppose the government would accept your assurance that there’s “not a smidgen” of corruption, error or doubt – perhaps because 97% of your close colleagues agree with you? Or that your actions affect only a small amount of tax money, or a small number of customers – so the agencies shouldn’t worry?

If you were the Environmental Protection Agency, White House-operated US Global Change Research Program and their participating agencies (NOAA, NASA, NSF, etc.), you’d get away with all of that.

Using billions of our tax dollars, these government entities fund the research they use, select research that supports their regulatory agenda (while ignoring studies that do not), and handpick the “independent” experts who peer-review the research. As a recent analysis reveals, the agencies also give “significant financial support” to United Nations and other organizations that prepare computer models and other assessments. They then use the results to justify regulations that will cost countless billions of dollars and affect the lives, livelihoods, liberties, living standards, health, welfare and life spans of every American.

EPA utilized this clever maneuver to determine that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases “endanger” public health and welfare. It then devised devious reports, including national climate change assessments – and expensive, punitive regulations to control emissions of those gases from vehicles, electrical generating plants and countless other sources.

At the very least, you would expect that this supposedly “scientific” review process – and the data and studies involved in it – should be subject to rigorous, least-discretionary standards designed to ensure their quality, integrity, credibility and reliability, as well as truly independent expert review. Indeed they are.

The Information Quality Act of 2000 and subsequent Office of Management and Budget guidelines require that all federal agencies ensure and maximize “the quality, objectivity, utility and integrity of information disseminated by Federal agencies.” The rules also call for proper peer review of all “influential scientific information” and “highly influential scientific assessments,” particularly if they could be used as the basis for regulatory action. Finally, they direct federal agencies to provide adequate administrative mechanisms enabling affected parties to review agency failures to respond to requests for correction or reconsideration of the scientific information.

EPA and other agencies apparently think these rules are burdensome, inconvenient, and a threat to their independence and regulatory agenda. They routinely ignore the rules, and resist attempts by outside experts to gain access to data and studies. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy has said she intends to “protect” them from people and organizations she decides “are not qualified to analyze” the materials.

Thus EPA’s Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee reviews the agency’s CO2 and pollution data, studies and conclusions – for which EPA has paid CASAC’s 15 members $180.8 million since 2000. The American Lung Association has received $24.7 million in EPA grants over the past 15 years and $43 million overall via a total of 591 federal grants, for applauding and promoting government agency decisions. Big Green foundations bankrolled the ALA with an additional $76 million, under 2,806 grants.

These payoffs raise serious questions about EPA, CASAC and ALA integrity and credibility.

Meanwhile, real stakeholders – families and companies that will be severely impacted by the rules, and organizations and experts trying to protect their interests – are systematically denied access to data, studies, scientific assessments and other information. CASAC excludes from its ranks industry and other experts who might question EPA findings. EPA stonewalls and slow-walks FOIA requests and denies requests for correction and reconsideration. One lawyer who’s filed FOIA cases since 1978 says the Obama Administration is bar-none “the worst” in history on transparency. Even members of Congress get nowhere, resulting in testy confrontations with Ms. McCarthy and other EPA officials.

The stakes are high, particularly in view of the Obama EPA’s war on coal mining, coal-fired power plants, businesses and industries that require reliable, affordable electricity – and families, communities and entire states whose jobs, health and welfare will suffer under this anti-fossil fuel agenda. States that mine and use coal will be bludgeoned. Because they pay a larger portion of their incomes on energy and food, elderly, minority and poor families are especially vulnerable and will suffer greatly.

That is why the House of Representatives is moving forward on the Secret Science Reform Act. It is why the Institute for Trade, Standards and Sustainable Development is again filing new FOIA requests with EPA and other agencies that are hiding their junk science, manipulating laws and strangling our economy.

The agencies’ benefit-cost analyses are equally deceptive. EPA claims its latest coal-fueled power plant rules (requiring an impossible 30% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by 2030) would bring $30 billion in “climate benefits” versus $7.3 billion in costs. Even the left-leaning Brookings Institution has trashed the agency’s analysis – pointing out that the low-balled costs will be paid by American taxpayers, consumers, businesses and workers, whereas the highly conjectural benefits will be accrued globally.

That violates President Clinton’s 1993 Executive Order 12688, which requires that agencies “assess both the costs and benefits” of a proposed regulation, and adopt it “only upon a reasoned determination that the benefits … justify its costs.” EO 12866 specifies that only benefits to US citizens be counted. Once that’s done, the EPA benefits plummet to between $2.1 billion and $6.9 billion. That means its kill-coal rules costAmericans $400 million to $4.8 billion more than the clearly inflated benefits, using EPA’s own numbers.

Moreover, the US Chamber of Commerce calculates that the regulations will actually penalize the United States $51 billion. Energy analyst Roger Bezdek estimates that the benefits of using carbon-based fuels outweigh any hypothesized “social costs of carbon” by orders of magnitude: 50-to-1 (using the inflated SCC of $36/ton of CO2 concocted by EPA and other federal agencies in 2013) – and 500-to-1 (using the equally arbitrary $22/ton estimate that they cooked up in 2010).

Even more intolerable, these punitive EPA rules will have virtually no effect on atmospheric CO2 levels, because China, India, Germany and other countries will continue to burn coal and other fossil fuels. They will likewise have no effect on global temperatures, even accepting the Obama/EPA/IPCC notion that carbon dioxide is now the primary cause of climate change. Even EPA models acknowledge that its rules will prevent an undetectable 0.018 degrees Celsius (0.032 deg F) of total global warming in 100 years!

Fortunately, the Supreme Court recently ruled that EPA does not have the authority to rewrite federal laws to serve its power-grabbing agendas. FOIA requests seeking disclosure of EPA records that could reveal a rigged climate science peer review process – and legal actions under the Information Quality Act seeking correction of resultant data corruption – could compel courts to reconsider their all-too-common practice of deferring to “agency discretion” on scientific and regulatory matters. That clearly scares these federales.

The feds have become accustomed to saying “We don’t need no stinkin’ badges.” The prospect of having to share their data, methodologies and research with experts outside their closed circle of regulators, collaborators and eco-activists almost makes them soil their shorts.

Bright sunlight has always been the best disinfectant for mold, slime and corruption. With America’s economy, international competitiveness, jobs, health and welfare at stake, we need that sunlight now.

Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.cfact.org) and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power – Black death. Lawrence Kogan is CEO of the Institute for Trade, Standards and Sustainable Development (www.ITSSD.org).

Only Wind Weasels Support the Turbines, for this reason $$$$$$$$.

Row blows up over Shropshire wind turbines ‘support’

A row has erupted over claims made about the number of supporters who backed plans to build two wind turbines.

turbine

The turbines had been recommended for refusal by Shropshire Council officers and were due to go before councillors.

Shropshire Council had received more than 820 public comments about the plans, put forward by Sharenergy, which were set to go before the south planning committee in Shirehall.

Sharenergy Co-operative and Sustainable Bridgnorth, which were behind the plans, claimed 300 local people had supported the plans.

But campaigners have vehemently denied those claims and said just two people within a two-kilometre radius had backed the proposals.

William Cash, chairman of Stop Bridgnorth Wind Farm campaign, said: “Almost all the support came from outside Shropshire, with email blasts to renewable energy activists in the north of England and Scotland providing much of the so called ‘support’.

“It was disingenuous of Sharenergy to claim that this was local support when the very opposite was the case.

“In no way were the turbines a ‘community’ backed project’.

“It was also not accurate for Sharenergy to claim the council had no issues relating to road, bats, transport, ecology and access.

“A road and transport survey conducted by the UK’s leading transport planning consultant, Phil Jones Associates, found there were major issues with access and transport that should have meant the project being refused permission on transport and access grounds.”

Sharenergy has said it may decide to resubmit the planning application but Mr Cash said the campaign group would be using lawyers to seek much more detailed new surveys if such a move was made.

He said: “The surveys would not just be on heritage, which English Heritage and other bodies are not going to change their mind over, but also ecology, road transport and access and bats, all of which were not dealt with satisfactorily in the submitted reports.

“We will be ensuring the council planning officers concerned are given copies of our full and comprehensive reports on each area.

“We will be asking them to comment in detail on the expert reports which have been compiled not by “desk top” technicians on the internet, but by leading experts in their field, often by firms who work for government in advising them on planning matters.”

Eithne George, from Sharenergy, said: “We stand by our original comments about local support for this project.

“Some of that is from across the county, as were some of the objections, but that shows that renewable energy is a broader issue, which many people in Shropshire are keen to see happen.

“There is plenty of support from the immediate local area too.

“We know from the public events we ran and feed back forms that people provided, but not everyone wants to take on the force of the objectors’ campaign and many people are busy with families and work.”