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Submit to peer review Lord Monckton

Written by Dr Cathy Foley, President, Science & Technology Australia.

Lord Christopher Monckton has one thing in common with all scientists, politicians, business leaders, media outlets and the general public: we all wish climate change was not real. I’m willing to bet Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Opposition Leader Tony Abbott wish climate scientists across the globe are wrong, as I’m sure did their predecessors Kevin Rudd and Malcolm Turnbull. I’d wager Green leader Bob Brown and mining company chief Gina Reinhart have also hoped it isn’t really happening.

But it is. And it is beyond reasonable doubt. Scientists can say so with confidence because of the weight of decades of peer-reviewed research behind them – the best and most reliable information available to us.

This week Lord Monckton begins his tour of Australia to share his views on climate science. His views must be treated as just that — his views. They are unsubstantiated and untested opinions. They are views that have never been subjected to the rigorous process of being reviewed by other scientists. Therefore, they are views that be must given a different weight to the base of scientific evidence that he is contesting.

Unlike thousands of scientists across the globe, Lord Monckton has never published a single peer-reviewed paper on any scientific topic in his life. It is, therefore, time for him to go beyond simply disputing the science underpinning climate change. The challenge for him is to test his ideas by submitting them to the robust peer-review process. It’s a method that has operated for hundreds of years providing the community with information that it can trust. He must subject his views to the same level of scrutiny as the climate scientists he so regularly discounts. In doing so – if they pass the test — Lord Monckton’s views will gain legitimacy and credibility and his work can be counted, compared and contrasted with existing climate science. And if he is right, we can all rejoice.

The truth is, Monckton’s ideas have been repeatedly shot down by climate scientists as fabrications, misrepresentations and, at times, sheer nonsense.

Even the scientists whose evidence he holds up to support his arguments claim he that he is misrepresenting their work.

By any standard, his credibility is nil and will remain so until he is willing to subject his views to the rigorous peer review process.

Last month, Science & Technology Australia, an organisation that represents nearly 70,000 scientists across the country, launched a campaign called Respect the Science.

It was done to counter the misleading claims about climate science, which are spilling over into attacks on the vital work of scientists in other disciplines. Commercial radio presenters have used their platform to suggest that science can’t be trusted because recommended medical treatments have changed over the years. This scaremongering is harmful and fails to acknowledge that it is the robust nature of scientific experimentation and the peer review process that allows us to improve our understanding and alter our practices accordingly.

We need to respect the science produced by our best and brightest and the methodology used to produce it more than ever before.

And more than ever we need cool minds and rational thinking. It is high time we reject those who seek to confuse, mislead and cast doubt over the integrity and validity of science.

Science is not a belief system that we can choose to opt in and out of at our leisure. We can’t on the one hand heed the advice of the Bureau of Meteorology when it comes time to preparing for a cyclone about to hit Australian shores, and on the other hand reject the very same bureau’s evidence about climate change.

Counted among some of Australia’s most impressive scientific achievements are the discovery of penicillin, technology that drives WiFi, the development of spray-on skin used to treat burn victims; climate-ready crops so farmers can thrive in difficult circumstances; and new mining techniques that help us find natural resources in remote places.

All these discoveries have been tested and retested using the same scientific method used to test climate science. And when scientists get it wrong, the self-correcting nature of the peer review process has allowed knowledge to be refined, giving us all the confidence to take medication; trust the food we harvest and to dig to greater depths.

Scientists have no harsher critics than other scientists. Before the community agreed that climate change is real, years of research was tested, contested and debated by the best experts, predominately other climate scientists.

We can’t pick and choose the scientific evidence we like or dislike. Inevitably science will present us with problems as it will solutions – some may make us feel uncomfortable and others will save our lives.

What we can do is respect the peer-reviewed science as the best information we have and make decisions about our future accordingly.

Dr Cathy Foley is president of Science & Technology Australia. She has had 82 refereed papers published in international journals.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Keith-Levet/744774601 Keith Levet

    Which claims do you want peer reviewed? It seems that you want the peer review process to be used, as it has been in the past, to prevent publication.
    Are you hoping that if he cannot get anything published you will never have to debate him?
    I think that Monckton has some very good points regarding the costs and benefits of the various schemes being proposed.
    Note, by the way, that he uses facts provided by others for his analysis. eg the cost of the tax to Australians and the estimate of temperature forstalled by each ton of CO2 are numbers provided by independent parties.

    “The truth is, Monckton’s ideas have been repeatedly shot down by climate scientists as fabrications, misrepresentations and, at times, sheer nonsense.”

    So presumably you could provide some examples of this? The last person to try this went to ground when asked to actually substantiate his video.

    As a matter of interest have any of Flanneries ideas been shot down? Why do you not subject his wild claims to any scrutiny?

    To be honest I don’t care who Monckton is, whether he is a lord or not or even whether he has made incorrect claims in the past. I only care about the facts that I see before me and if Monckton happens to be the messenger then so be it.

    It is not Monckton who showed that the planet has not warmed for a decade it was the army of scientists. Monckton just had the audacity to report such an inconvenient fact.

    It was not Monckton who demonstrated the madness of Flanneries claims about rainfall in Queensland – it was REALITY.
    etc

    “We can’t pick and choose the scientific evidence we like or dislike”

    I agree. So how about you examine some of the recent predictions, data and models etc. There is plenty of evidence to show that mankind does NOT have the ability to make any realistic predictions and certainly does NOT have the ability to steer the climate around.

    “What we can do is respect the peer-reviewed science as the best information we have …”

    That sounds to me like a call to ‘Keep quiet and accept what the high priets say’
    I think that what we can to do is subject ALL claims to sceptical analysis and if they come up short take note of the fact.

    There are plenty of falsified claims lying dead on the doorstep of climate science and it is time someone admitted that fact.

    By comparison I have yet to see ANY claim by Monckton that he can predict the future. So again Cathy Foley, which of his claims are you talking about?

  • Anonymous

    Keith says – “So again Cathy Foley, which of his claims are you talking about?”

    but quite obviously, if he would simply read the title of the article,

    “Submit to peer review Lord Monckton”

    It is quite clear and obvious that the author is simply suggesting that any and all of this pretend “lord” clowns claims be subjected to peer review.

    Keith suggests that peer review is used to prevent publication. I guess that explains the plethora of published peer reviewed articles. Get real Keith. You have done a Monkton here, ie; offerred nothing but your baseless, unqualified opinion.

    Are you seriously suggesting that the worlds climate scientists are in collusion to hoodwink the population into something that, if indeed was a hoax, would no doubt be able to be proven to be such, by way of a peer review of contrary claims?

    Perhaps you could convince the worlds scientists to cooperate in some sort of scam, but please explain, how the planet was talked into participation by providing all the measurable data that comprehensively shows Monckton to be quite delusional ….

    Science is your friend Keith, it tells us many things, such as the world being round, and that gravity means things cant fall up, and that there is indeed measurable data that things are not quite right with the planet.

    Now, Im not suggesting that a tax, or any other trading scheme is the best way to solve our problems, ( not when Nikola Tesla had the answers to all our energy needs over 100 years ago ) or that continually pumping fossil fuel pollution into the atmosphere, is the sole cause of all our woes, especially when we have planes spaying chemicals all over the place for decades, ( watch “what in the world are they spraying?” – perhaps Dr Cathy Foley would like to address that issue, but I doubt that… ) and the massive continual deforestation of the planet – but to simply pretend there is no problem, when it is quite obviously observably the case, doesnt help either.

  • Anonymous

    Well Bl4ke, I think that what I wrote all those months ago has been pretty much proven true by events.
    If you read the climategate emails you will see that ‘scientists’ HAVE colluded to prevent articles being published in journals. Do you deny this?

    This is not just my opinion it is fact.

    “Are you seriously suggesting that the worlds climate scientists are in collusion to hoodwink the population into something that, if indeed was a hoax, would no doubt be able to be proven to be such, by way of a peer review of contrary claims?”

    It has been proven to be such by any reasonable scientific standard. The problem is that it has become a religious/political movement and therefore is no longer subject to scientific method. Do you deny that the theory has some major problems or do you really believe that it is 100% solid? Are you not bothered by the fact that none of the predictions actually work?? eg CO2 has increased while temperature has stalled.

    “Perhaps you could convince the worlds scientists to cooperate in some sort of scam, but please explain, how the planet was talked into participation by providing all the measurable data that comprehensively shows Monckton to be quite delusional …. ”

    How about you show where Monckton is delusional? Can YOU produce anything? For example Monckton asserts that the climate is a hugely complex non-linear chaotic system which is impossibe to model. Do you believe this is wrong? Do you know how to prove it wrong? If so please do so.

    “not when Nikola Tesla had the answers to all our energy needs over 100 years ago”

    “we have planes spaying chemicals all over the place for decades, ( watch “what in the world are they spraying?” ”

    This is where I realise I am probably dealing with a crank. What did Tesla answer? What are the details?
    Why is the answer not being implemented?

    “and the massive continual deforestation of the planet ”

    And how is that anything to do with AGW?? You may notice that one of the effect of the AGW scare has been a lurch into biofuels which has had the effect of more deforestation. An own goal I would say.

    It seems to me that you are reallu unable to deal with any of the science. Like the original author you have made a few general smears but have not tackled a single fact. How about you answer some of the questions I have put to you?

    I will also add that the requirement of peer review is ridiculous. ANYONE with a suitable fact can pick a hole in a theory and it does not matter who that person is – only what they say. SO why is Cathy Foley so reluctant to debate Monckton?
    My guess is that the best you and Foley can muster is a drive-by smear campaign. How about tackling some facts, you know, like science is supposed to…

  • Anonymous

    Climategate 2, as big a yawnfest as Climategate 1. Did climategate prove a global conspiracy of the worlds climate scientists? NO.

    How is deforestation related to AGW? Ummm trees store carbon.

    “You may notice that one of the effect of the AGW scare has been a lurch into biofuels which has had the effect of more deforestation. An own goal I would say.”

    Id agree the answer is not with biofuels, as much as it is not with taxes, or other trading schemes. As I said. I also said that the warming may or may not be totally attributable to fossil fuel pollution alone.

    “This is where I realise I am probably dealing with a crank. What did Tesla answer? What are the details?”

    For your edification… http://tinyurl.com/l5hpjq

    You resort to insults and call me a crank because I refer to chemtrails? Heres a tip. Look up. Or is it that Im a crank for suggesting that Nikola Tesla had something to offer? Are you suggesting he didnt? Really?

    “Why is the answer not being implemented?”

    Well… as Im no authority, just let me have a wild guess at that one. Perhaps theres more profit in oil.

    “eg CO2 has increased while temperature has stalled.”

    Oh really? Did Lord Popeye tell you that beauty? Or you just make up these things as you go. If you wish to make such a claim, a reference to a peer reviewed paper would be helpful to support your case, but as it is, peer reviewed science says you couldnt be more wrong.

    http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2010/20100728_stateoftheclimate.html

    “I will also add that the requirement of peer review is ridiculous. ”

    Sigh…. There you go again. Worthless, baseless, unqualified personal opinion. Just because YOU SUPPOSE such a thing to be, doesnt actually make it so. The fact is, one side has scientific peer reviewed data and analysis backing up their case, and you have worthless, baseless, unqualified personal opinion of some nut who thinks hes a Lord.. If you can offer nothing but opinion, then you have nothing.

    “How about you answer some of the questions I have put to you?”

    Well, I did just that in the first four sentences of my answer to you, and while Im not pretending to be a qualified expert, I think Ive answered some more of your questions. As challenging as they were… /sarcasm., though dont expect more of the same. Contrary to your belief, Im not here to be your online sparring partner and I have better things to do than engage in responding to the parroted babble of Moncktons, but, if you really want answers, how about you put on your big boy pants and do some research for yourself.

    “SO why is Cathy Foley so reluctant to debate Monckton? ”

    Well, again, as you didnt provide a source for that accusation, or belief, or supposition, whatever it is.. I dont know that she is indeed reluctant, but wouldnt that be better directed to her? What makes you think I can speak on her behalf?

    Now simply, why is Monckton so reluctant ( as evidenced by his total lack of peer reviewed published papers ) to submit anything to peer review..you know, “like science is supposed to…”

    Wouldnt that be a better way to get real answers than you and I swapping our unqualified opinions? ( as hilarious as yours may be )

  • Anonymous

    It was a yawnfest if you want to ignore what it revealed, which you obviously do.
    In my original post I mentioned that peer review has been used to prevent publication of ‘unwelcome’ articles. Climategate emails show that this is exactly the case. I never claimed it proved any ‘global conspiracy’, that is just your strawman argument. The mails DO however prove that there are cliques of ‘scientists’ who have the ability and desire to prevent publication and that is all I claimed.

    “How is deforestation related to AGW? Ummm trees store carbon.”
    We already know that. What Monckton et al are pointing out that storing or releasing CO2 is pretty much irrelevant to climate. Remember? It is the whole point of the scare campaign.

    Thanks for your link to Google and Tesla…. what is your point? I know who he is but I asked you to tell me what ‘answer’ he had given which solved all our problems. As usual you are incapable of providing anything specific.

    “You resort to insults and call me a crank because I refer to chemtrails? ”
    YES.

    “Well… as Im no authority, just let me have a wild guess at that one. Perhaps theres more profit in oil.”
    Well you haven’t told us what the ‘answer’ is yet. But I notice you are ready with your oil conspircy theory!!!

    “you couldnt be more wrong”
    Even your own source of data shows that over the past 15 years CO2 has risen whereas temperature has stalled. That kind of destroys the assumed correlation. Bad luck.
    By the way, another inconvenient fact, how do you deal with the fact that CO2 lags temperature by about 800 years in the hisotric ice core record?

    “Worthless, baseless, unqualified personal opinion” … which I justified. I will do so again. Refusing to debate someone because they do not have ‘peer reviewed’ publications is a total copout. If Foley is so sure she could beat Monckton in a debate she should do so. In reality it is obvious that no one dares challenge him. They just flounce away claiming that he is not worth debating because he is not ‘peer reviewed’ as if that makes any difference to the points he makes.

    “one side has scientific peer reviewed data and analysis backing up their case, and you have worthless, baseless, unqualified personal opinion of some nut who thinks hes a Lord.. ”
    That is your opinion and it is demonstrably wrong. I suggest you try WUWT for some real science.

    I am still waiting for an answer to the questions I asked earlier. Let me reiterate.
    What is the ‘answer’ that Tesla gave us
    Why is this answer not being implemented if it is so great?
    Can you do specifics? I get the impression not. Or is a google link to Tesla considered an answer? Let me guess, you failed science at school?

    “Now simply, why is Monckton so reluctant ( as evidenced by his total lack of peer reviewed published papers ) to submit anything to peer review”
    He has. In any case as I said before, peer review has become pal review and it has been shown that if you are not part of the clique your stuff does not pass pal review. Climategate showed this….or are you going to tell me that the emails were faked? Funny the culprits never denied that they had written them eh?
    Yet another question you will dodge.

  • Anonymous

    Keith…you say monckton has submitted to peer review?

    put up or shut up.

  • Anonymous

    Yes he has. Google him. In the meantime how about answering my questions.
    Also I suggest you read this http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/01/02/agu-fellowships-are-easy-with-a-little-help-from-my-friends/
    It confirms my point. I suggest you put up or shut up. Nice tinfoil hat, by the way but do you realise it won’t protect you from chemtrails?
    hahahahahaaaaa

  • Anonymous

    Youre full of it… -

    As i said – post a link to this fictitious peer reviewed published paper of moncktons, or shut up.

  • Anonymous

    Do it yourself. I googled tesla you can google Monckton. YOU are the one who is obsessed with peer review despite the fact that you cannot explain the relevance of it.
    In the meantime how about you answer the questions put to you. I have played whackamole with internet trolls before. When you can spell your own name I might respond.

  • Anonymous

    Lol – how lame. Google has zip, nada, nothing. Just like you.