On the 19th of July in 2011 the National Press Club of Australia held a debate on climate change. In this video I will be analysing the claims Monckton made during the debate and if they are correct or not.
The reason I’m doing this is that Monckton challenges his critics to check his sources, or like he put it in this debate “to do your homework”. I’m going to follow him up on this to see if the scientific literature, and other available sources, corroborate what he’s saying.
On the 19th of July in 2011 the National Press Club of Australia held a debate on climate change. I will be analysing the claims Monckton made during the debate and if they are correct or not.
In this particular section of the debate Monckton makes the claim that he has studied and lectured at faculty level in the determination of climate sensitivity.
Ladies and gentlemen, we now turn to questions from our journalists from the audience. First question today is from Christian Kerr.
Christian Kerr from The Australian. A question to both our participants.
Gentlemen, neither of you, as you have said, are scientists. Both of you have worked for very different politicians of very different philosophies. Today aren't you just engaging in that old battle between laissez-faire and the central planners and the centrally controlled economy?
Well, thank you very much indeed for that fascinating question, Christian. And indeed you could say that I am by inclination a non-interventionist. However, let it be very clear, if anyone convinces me that the science points to an alarming and dangerous rate of global warming, then I will change my tune and I will say that perhaps we should try to do something about it, provided that it is cheaper to do something about it than to take the consequences of not doing something about it.
One has to ask two questions here. One: is it going to warm at anything like the predicted rate? That is the only scientific question that really needs to be answered. And I have studied and indeed lectured at faculty level in the determination of climate sensitivity. I have written papers in the reviewed literature on the subject, so I do have some knowledge of it as a reasonably competent mathematician who has profited enormously by the use of mathematics over the years. The Eternity Puzzle that I launched here in Australia 12 years ago became puzzle of the year in Australia. I'm glad you all enjoyed it so much.
But the central point here is that that's the first question: how much warming are we going to get? It is now blindingly obvious if you look at the data and the evidence that the rate of warming simply isn't enough to be sufficient, and even if were enough to be sufficient, it is blindingly obvious that it is far, far cheaper - and this is the important point - far cheaper, in fact something like 30 or 40 times cheaper, to do nothing about it now than to try to forestall it by the vastly expensive method that your government currently proposes.
Most of what Monckton said here are claims I have addressed earlier. So I won't be going over them again. However he does make two new claims in this section, which are:
- That he has studied and lectured at faculty level on the determination of climate sensitivity.
- That he has published research
In the first claim it looks like he's implying that he received some sort of official education on the subject of climate sensitivity. He doesn't say this explicitly, and it might just be an accidental suggestion. According to his own resume he never received any official degree or education on the matter.
If he meant personally studied the subject, outside an official education, then yes this is true. He has been commenting and reading on the science for years. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he meant personal studies.
However it is not true that he has lectured on the subject of climate sensitivity. As lectured implies that he has lectured undergraduates (and possibly postgraduates) in a degree-course lecture series. This is something that he never has done, and is the reason he never mentions this on his resume.
His resume also states that he has a degree in Classics and a journalism diploma. This means he's not even qualified to lecture on the subject as he lacks the necessary degrees.
But it's not unusual for universities to host guest lectures that present a new, different or controversial viewpoint. This is what he has done, and probably is the source of this claim. However how he said it doesn't convey this. But, I'll give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he meant guest lectures.
There's also the second claim made by him that he has published research. This gives the impression that he has published peer-reviewed papers in the scientific literature, something he hasn't done. Currently he has zero peer-reviewed papers under his name; he does have several un-reviewed publications, but nothing in the scientific literature.
He does expand on the basis for this peer-reviewed claim, but as he mentions it later in the debate I'll be talking about it then.
- CHRISTOPHER: A MAN OF MANY TALENTS (page is no longer available, an archived copy can be found here)
- Global Warming Skeptic to Challenge Climate Change Claims at the University of Hartford