Crazy in Copenhagen

Two days before the deadline for an agreement at the 2009 Copenhagen Conference on Climate Change, Mother Nature is demonstrating the same sly sense of humor that Al Gore, el jefe of the global-warming bloviators, often seems to elicit from the old gal. That is to say, it’s snowing like a a sonovabitch and there’s no hiding the decline in temperatures…

While the weather outside is frightful, the prospect inside is delightful: it looks as though the negotiations are going to collapse in a welter of incompatible agendas, mutual finger-pointing, and much talk of high-handedness and betrayal. If we are really lucky, the wreck will cause such lasting bitterness that nothing like this three-ring circus of purblind idiocy will ever be seriously attempted again.

But wait…difficult though it may be to credit from the news coverage, there’s at least one person in Copenhagen today who sounds like neither an unctuous Orwellian gusher of transnational-progressive newspeak nor an outright spluttering loon. And who might that be?

Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to make known to you Christopher yeah-I’m-a-Viscount Monckton, who delivers the smackdown to AGW alarmists better than anyone else I’ve ever seen — specializes in it, the way I do in open-source advocacy. He deftly weaves between devastating facts and figures about what the actual climate has actually been doing and an unflinching catalogue of the AGW promoters’ wrongdoing.

It’s nice to see someone who can get media attention calling out the high crimes and misdemeanors for what they are. The only shot I wish he hadn’t taken is the jibe about a lot of the AGW cabal being of the “stoplight tendency”, that is “calling themselves Greens because they’re too yellow to admit they’re Reds.” I laughed, and it’s true, but it wasn’t necessary to the rest of his argument and it will give a lot of people the excuse they want to ignore him.

I speak from successful experience when I say that the first necessity of a successful propagandist is to know exactly how far you can push your audience. I’ve worked pretty hard at separating my politics from my open-source advocacy – I’m up-front about being a libertarian, and then I explain to my audiences exactly why buying my politics is not necessary to get good use out of my insights about software development.

Lord Monckton still needs to learn better tactics about this. It’s much smarter to let your audience figure out some things for themselves than it is to overstimulate them with truths they’re not yet ready to hear.

But, other than that…go, Viscount baby, go! Freedom needs more advocates with your ability to work an audience. Because, well, I can’t be everywhere at once.

39 thoughts on “Crazy in Copenhagen

  1. esr wrote: “If we are really lucky, the wreck will cause such lasting bitterness that nothing like this three-ring circus of purblind idiocy will ever be seriously attempted again.

    What are you smoking and where can I get some?

    Bureaucrats live for three-ring circuses. Of course it’ll happen again!

    I like Monckton well enough, but he’s sometimes a bit loose with the facts (though his looseness pales in comparison with someone like Al Gore). He seems to be attempting to take your advice, because he used to be even worse.

  2. >Bureaucrats live for three-ring circuses. Of course it’ll happen again!

    I did say we’d have to get really lucky, didn’t I? :-)

    My serious hope is that a failure at Copenhagen, on top of the CRU scandal and (hopefully) resulting criminal trials, will force the international political kleptocracy and the “stoplight-tendency” crowd to abandon AGW as a busted flush. Then we’d at least get a bit of a respite while they invent the next panic.

  3. Monkton’s basically a humorist at this point, but I love him for it. It’s not that what he’s saying isn’t true. It’s not that he doesn’t say a lot of things that are factually less-than-fully-supportable. It’s that his real value isn’t in arguing over the facts, his value is in demonstrating that the eco-fundamentalists who would have you simply believe what you’re told about climate change are ultimately just as absurd in their ever-shriller insistence on belief as any religious-right movement.

    Climate prediction has always ALWAYS been a highly nuanced; incalculable; value-less piece of soothsaying. But for some reason because whole generations of secular adults need a generalized fear to fill a void, and a system of righteousness to make them feel better about what they’re doing, a lot of them simply buy into the propaganda about CO2 driving climate. This melded well with a high-ego, morally-loose group of scientists who practiced more political advocacy than science (James Hansen, et al), a political system that always wants to tax its citizens (cap and tax), and a free-market that always wants to sell you new things at a higher price (have you seen what GE is making on Mercury Vapors?).

    Yet for some reason, if you speak out against this nonsense of some future cataclysm of horrible weather events being caused by my backyard charcoal bar-b-cue sending the earth over a convex tipping point of instability that it we have somehow managed to reside stably in for thousands of years (since the last ice age), then I am some sort of evil monster who clearly gets kickbacks from the dirty oil or coal industry.

    There is no better word for it, it is a mass delusion.

  4. Looks like Eric has a very good chance of getting his wish. Several of the heads of NGOs have said that the mood and organization at the meeting is much, much worse than at Rio or Kyoto or the smaller ‘circuses’ that were in between. The UN and the Danish organizers agreed to accommodate something like 45,000 people at the conference, but have now kicked out (literally) a good number of those who were already given a pass. Not exactly a stroke of PR genius.

  5. Mikhail?

    Decaf.

    Seriously.

    Also, you seem to be quoting and responding to some other post, from some other month, and from all I know some other blog.

  6. > Looks like Eric has a very good chance of getting his wish…

    But what Eric has always wished for is an invasion of bowling-pin shaped space aliens (with the evil intent of eating us with bad salsa) and unlimited crates of .45 hardball and a sharp sword.

  7. The werewolf double posted, once here and once on the thread where it belonged. I only deleted this copy.

  8. >But what Eric has always wished for is an invasion of bowling-pin shaped space aliens (with the evil intent of eating us with bad salsa) and unlimited crates of .45 hardball and a sharp sword.

    You know, I’ve never actually had that fantasy. But it’s such an appealing one that I think I’ll adopt it. Just to make it even more fun, the aliens are Marxists.

  9. > “stoplight tendency”, that is “calling themselves Greens because they’re too yellow to admit they’re Reds.”

    i like! a nice upgrade to the old “watermelon” bit (“green on the outside, red on the inside”)

  10. Does “Mikhail” represent a new fifth column in AGW disinformation? Spam skeptics with horseshit that is even more ludicrous then their catastrophic warming theories.

    And when Warren Gary Strand (or his homunculus, perhaps) posts something infantile like “and the picture on his wikipedia entry is truly priceless,” does this mean he has nothing of substance to say? I just now read a paper he was attached to, entitled “Climate change projections for the 21st century and climate change commitment in the CCSM3(2006).” Suffice it to say, I wish I could have fifteen minutes of my life back. Those “Conclusions” were worth a chuckle, though! You cannot read them and say these people do not have a sense of humor.

    Strand, if you have any (any!) claims that would be testable and falsifiable in the our own lifetime, why not present them here? The free world is preparing to fall on its sword based on the flimsy gibberish in video games like “CCSM3.” And if your forecast turns out to be wrong, does that mean the free world gets to bill you?

  11. I believe Monckton has issued a standing challenge to debate Al Gore on climate change, straight up. Can you imagine if that pusillanimous mass of worthless protoplasm ever accepted?

    I mean, no wonder the climate is warming – there’s a fusion reaction at the Earth’s core.

  12. I take it “jrok” doesn’t like my mocking of Monckton.

    As for CCSM3, go ahead and download it. Find everything wrong with it.

  13. “You know, I’ve never actually had that fantasy. But it’s such an appealing one that I think I’ll adopt it. Just to make it even more fun, the aliens are Marxists.”

    Ahhh, there you go injecting politics! Again!
    But, OK, it IS a fantasy.

    Soooo. What sort of sword? Katana, claymore? And just how do you avoid tennis elbow swinging a sword all day while offing the aliens?

  14. Harsanyi should read Trenberth’s paper, which gives context for his “travesty” remark.

    Why doesn’t he?

  15. > I take it “jrok” doesn’t like my mocking of Monckton.

    Hey, he had a kooky tie! Have at him!

    > As for CCSM3, go ahead and download it. Find everything wrong with it.

    First, I would have to find “something right with it.” I see no evidence it has produced anything meaningful, except nice round numbers suitable for diplomats.

    On the other hand, I don’t suspect there’s anything “wrong” with it, apart from the fact that the variables used to describe climate are grossly oversimplified, and that the output is approximately as useful as rolling a set of dice. I am sure it is a fabulous game. But rather than run the sim, could you just tell me a testable conclusion it demonstrates? Thanks.

  16. > Harsanyi should read Trenberth’s paper, which gives context for his “travesty” remark.

    Perhaps Harsanyi has better things to do:
    “Clip toenails.”
    “Wash hair.”

    You seem to enjoy immersing yourself in their sophistry, but that doesn’t mean someone is going to join the cult after reading their asinine bibles. Frankly, reading this trash will have the opposite effect. I shudder to think how many fellows simply rubber stamped this trash mound without reading a word of it, fearful of being branded a “denialist.” It is doggerel.

  17. “jrok”, what would you qualify as a “testable conclusion”? Have you examined IPCC AR4, WG1, Chapter 8?

  18. > Have you examined IPCC AR4, WG1, Chapter 8?

    Yes! It is rubbish. After the eighth or ninth occurrence of the word “possible” to describe climatic changes, I began to wonder if I would ever come across a positive statement of science. Sadly, this did not happen. This report is not remotely a scientific document, but a crudely political one. If you have located a single positive, specific scientific claim in it, please feel free share it with us. Otherwise, you might consider a career in video game programming. From what I’ve read, that industry can be almost as lucrative as green tech!

  19. >> But what Eric has always wished for is an invasion of bowling-pin shaped space aliens (with the evil intent of eating us with bad salsa) and unlimited crates of .45 hardball and a sharp sword.

    > You know, I’ve never actually had that fantasy. But it’s such an appealing one that I think I’ll adopt it. Just to make it even more fun, the aliens are Marxists.

    You missed the part in which the mothership has landed and established its beachhead in Redmond, WA, and established control over our computers and home appliances by pushing out a virus in the guise of a Windows critical update.

  20. “You missed the part in which the mothership has landed and established its beachhead in Redmond, WA, and established control over our computers and home appliances by pushing out a virus in the guise of a Windows critical update.”

    Some say this has already happened.

    “While the weather outside is frightful, the prospect inside is delightful: it looks as though the negotiations are going to collapse in a welter of incompatible agendas, mutual finger-pointing, and much talk of high-handedness and betrayal. If we are really lucky, the wreck will cause such lasting bitterness that nothing like this three-ring circus of purblind idiocy will ever be seriously attempted again.”

    Ah, what you fail to understand is that this is all Bush’s fault. They’ll try it again after he’s out of office.

  21. Monckton has (had?) Graves disease, which is why his eyes bulge:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graves%27_disease

    Graves is an autoimmune disease. Monckton has learned a great deal about the immune system, in his energetic way. He is active in finding ways to deal with immune diseases, apparently with some success judging by his own recovery a couple of years ago. (Perhaps this gives him insight into aids?)

    Having worked with Monckton a couple of times (such as at COP13 in Bali for two weeks), I can vouch that he is genuine, honest, very articulate, a walking encyclopedia on several of topics, and if he is conceited or arrogant he kept it well-hidden. Trained in the classics, he taught himself calculus so that he could differentiate the Stefan-Boltzman equation and properly understand the basic 1-D climate models. Also, has some fascinating stories stemming for his time as advisor to Thatcher.

    Al Gore is wise to avoid debate with Monckton, although obviously the world is much poorer for having missed out on this spectacle.

  22. >Ah, what you fail to understand is that this is all Bush’s fault. They’ll try it again after he’s out of office.

    Right, and the extended solar minimum is Bush’s fault too. You can tell, because cooler weather means bigger profits for the oil companies and Halliburton. How fiendishly clever of Karl Rove, manipulating the sun’s output from 93,000,000 miles way!

  23. Well, “jrok”, all I can say is that if you’ve truly read the literature on the subject, and are utterly convinced it’s all “doggerel”, then there’s something besides rationality behind your opinions.

  24. It’s not that he doesn’t say a lot of things that are factually less-than-fully-supportable.

    Monckton is a likable guy, but citing Willie Soon is enough to earn him a *plonk* from me on the climate issue.

  25. Monckton is nothing if not entertaining and he certainly puts on a good show for the faithful.

    I particularly enjoyed the wacky libertarian anti-UN conspiracy-speak thrown in for good measure at the end:

    Monckton claims that the “draft Copenhagen treaty” proposes a “world government” (31:53) with taxation powers “equivalent to around half the US defence budget for the US and about the same for everywhere else” (around 32) and “powers to close down all patent rights” (32:04), “powers to close down all free markets and regulate them by public policy and not by freedom” (32:10). And of course this would “bring to an end the prosperity of the West” (32:23).

  26. >I particularly enjoyed the wacky libertarian anti-UN conspiracy-speak thrown in for good measure at the end

    I assume that part was exagerated for rhetorical effect. But given that other, non-libertarian sources have reported approvingly on the draft’s proposals to tax international airline fares and financial transactions, the claim about “taxation powers” seems factual enough, and once any part of the UN apparat acquires the power to tax calling it a “world government” is pretty defensible.

    As for “powers to close down all free markets” – I assumed that was a reference to treaty-mandated carbon taxes. And “bringing to an end the prosperity of the West” is what the deep greens have wanted all along; they think this prosperity is unsustainable and human being are a blight on the planet. We’ve all got to stop eating meat and using toilet paper, don’t you know. (Except for our betters, who are allowed to take private jets to Copenhagen to eat caviar and get free sex from Danish prostitutes, because they care so much.)

    The bit about patents did puzzle me. But Monckton has read the draft and I haven’t. I’ll wait and see on that one.

  27. > The bit about patents did puzzle me.

    Well, the leaked draft doesn’t really say anything about patents. What it does say about technology though:

    “18. Parties commit to enable the accelerated large-scale development, transfer and deployment of environmentally sound and climate friendly technologies across all stages of the technology cycle, respecting IPR regimes including protecting the legitimate interests of public and private innovators. Developed country parties commit to work towards doubling aggregate public investments in climate related research, development and demonstration by 2015 from current levels and quadrupling the efforts by 2020. Parties stress the need for up front finance for inter alia technology capacity building, joint research and development and demonstration projects. Parties endorse the “Technology Mechanism” set forth in decision X5/CP15, containing a technology objective, a UNFCCC technology body, the development of technology action plans, the establishment of six Climate Technology Innovation Centres in developing countries, support to joint RD&D efforts between developed and developing countries, and technology support to nationally appropriate mitigation actions, and adaptation activities, by developing country Parties.”

    So in the text there they certainly claim to be respecting IP. But I couldn’t find anywhere the text of decision X5/CP15 so it very well may be defining IPR in such a way as to completely negate it. However, in looking around I did find quite a bit of debate on IP rights in relation to the UNFCCC. There seems to be a large contingent that believes that IP rights are a barrier to transferring clean energy technologies to the developing world (mostly those countries that want the technologies without having to pay for them or guarantee that they will stay protected), and the countries that actually produce the technology, which sees, correctly in my view, that without IP rights the technologies simply won’t be protected. I suspect that’s what Monckton is talking about.

  28. That without ip rights the technologies simply won’t be created that is.

  29. Well, “jrok”, all I can say is that if you’ve truly read the literature on the subject, and are utterly convinced it’s all “doggerel”, then there’s something besides rationality behind your opinions.

    Well, Gary, your comment I just quoted is irrational nonsense. I don’t see how you could draw such a conclusion from a couple of blog comments. Wait! Have you perfected a mind reading device? Then you may already know I want to hear all about it. Unless my mind is too unpleasant to read. Oh dear. I’m not sure whether I want some sort of mind deodorant to make my mind more pleasant to read, or some sort of mind extra-odorant to make my mind less pleasant to read….

    Yours,
    Tom DeGisi

  30. Melting polar icecaps and retreating glaciers are fairly strong indicators that earth is getting warmer. The evidence that this is happening is extremely hard to fake. If the rise in temperature is man made or is part of regular climatic cycles is extremely hard to determine. The possibility that it is man made and that CO2 is the major agent is quite real, given that we have over a period of a mere 100 years changed the CO2 content of the atmosphere to a significant degree. There is most certainly no conclusive proof that this is the cause of raised temperatures, but it is prudent to accept this as the most likely scenario. Blundering on as if nothing could hurt us would be fatal if we are the cause of the rise in temperatures. Cutting down CO2 emissions will only mildly hurt the economic development, and it would be big deal if it turned out we did it without cause.

  31. > There is most certainly no conclusive proof that this is the cause of raised temperatures, but it is prudent to accept this as the most likely scenario.

    Allow me to correct this statement:

    > There is most certainly no proof whatsoever that raised temperatures are proportional to increased CO2 levels, and it is imprudent and irresponsible to pursue radical economic policies based on the flimsy evidence in hand.

  32. ESR: “That is to say, it’s snowing like a a sonovabitch and there’s no hiding the decline in temperatures…”

    I don’t know about it where you live, but where I live snow is associated with temperatures not that far below freezing. Take it down to 10 deg. F, and there’s less snow than at 28 deg. F.

    As for the decline in the temperatures, let me guess – 1998 again? Or are you noticing that Northerh Hemisphere temps have been declining for several months?

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