Monckton – Stung by Abraham, Embarrasses himself further

June 6, 2010

Stung by John Abraham’s devastating takedown, “Lord” Christopher Monckton offered an incoherent, rambling, pointless reply.

Accusing Dr Abraham of being “well funded” (not), presumably by the invisible global communist conspiracy that is at the heart of his lordship’s worldview, Monckton further claims that citing his own website as a peer reviewed source meets the standard in scientific debate. He then goes on, true to form, to make veiled threats, and promises “hundreds” of countering questions to Abraham.  If you haven’t seen Dr. Abraham’s takedown, stop everything now, make popcorn, and go here.

Now Dr Abraham has replied in detail to Monckton’s ravings.

Dear Mr. Monckton,

Thank you for taking the time to comment on my presentation. I encourage people to view both of our arguments and make their own conclusions.  I stand by my work and welcome judgment by the public and the scientific community.  My intention as a professional scientist is to help provide a public disclosure of your scientific methods.  I continue to believe that your work seriously misrepresents the science upon which you rely.

I would like to briefly address some matters which you raised.  First, I will address your comments about my credentials.  To begin, let me identify some of the subjects which are critical to understanding our world’s climate.  Climate processes involve radiation, convection, and conduction heat transfer.  In addition, fluid mechanics governs the flow of the atmosphere and the oceans.  Chemistry is critical to understanding chemical reactions which take place in both the oceans and the atmosphere.  Quantum mechanics deals with the interaction of airborne molecules and photons (radiation).  Geology and its related subjects are important for many reasons, including the study of past climate (paleoclimatology).  Skills in numerical simulation are essential for the creation and operation of models which allow scientists to predict climate change.  There are other subspecialties which are also important; this is only a partial list.

I am a tenured professor at the University of St. Thomas, a private, Catholic university in Minnesota.  I have taught courses in heat transfer, fluid mechanics, numerical simulation, and thermodynamics.  Topics in my courses include radiation, convection, and conduction, the same physical processes which govern energy flows in the climate.  My PhD thesis dealt with combined convection and radiation heat transfer. My thesis is held in the library at the University of Minnesota, it is available to the public.

My published works span many topics including convective heat transfer, radiative heat transfer, fluid mechanics, and numerical simulation.  My work on numerical simulation is at the very forefront of computational fluid dynamic (cfd) modeling.  I am an expert in non-linear fluid simulations. My background does not span the entire range of topics related to climate change (no one is able to claim this), it does cover many of the essential subtopics.

In addition to academic research, I am an active consultant in industry.  I have designed wind turbines, built and tested geothermal cooling systems, studied the potential of biofuels to replace petroleum, and designed and created solar-radiation shields for buildings in desert climates. Taken together, I believe that I have the background required to discuss the issues of energy and the environment.

Next, your written reply to my work focused on a small number of my original points; I will discuss just a few of them here.  Throughout this discussion, it must be recognized that have not addressed the many series scientific lapses which were present in your presentation.

    1. You correctly pointed out that in your presentation, you stated that you were “boring” whereas I stated you were “bored”.  I apologize for misquoting you.  In this regard, the point you were trying to make is that there is no consensus on global warming.  You cited three search words and a range of years (2004-2007).  Since the purpose of my presentation was to show that audience members have the capacity to investigate claims for themselves, I used a publically available academic search engine (GOOGLE SCHOLAR).  I showed that there are many papers that can be found dealing with the dangers of climate change, using your search parameters.  I invite readers to reproduce my search results and read the abstracts of those papers and come to their own conclusion.  Your assertion that these papers existed, but that they did not provide “evidence for catastrophe” was, in my mind, unconvincing.
    2. You suggested that your temperature graphs referencing your own organization were properly cited.  I disagree.  It is the obligation of a scientist to show the original source of data, your work did not meet this standard.  Citing your own organization is, in my view, improper, particularly since your organization was not involved in obtaining the data.
    3. I showed a number of slides which had no attribution.  I note that among the totality of unattributed slides, you agree with me on all but one. You correctly point out that one had the letters “UAH” listed.  I can assure you that I understand UAH refers to University of Alabama Huntsville.  I continue to believe that a proper citation would include a journal in which this data was published with a volume number and pages.

I would like to disclose some new information that I have unearthed.  On your 13th slide (another slide with no attribution), you present a graph showing that the Beaufort Sea Ice is growing.  Your slide gives the impression that since ice in the Beaufort Sea is growing, there is no concern about global warming.  Despite the lack of a citation, I have been able to learn about its origin.  The following citation should be useful in this regard for your records.

H. Melling, D. Riedel, and Ze’ev Gedalof, Trends in Thickness and Extent of Seasonal Pack Ice, Canadian Beaufort Sea, Geophysical Research Letters, 24, 1-5, 2005.

I have written to the lead author and he replied….

“You are correct in your assessment that statements in the paper were nuanced…. The change in atmospheric circulation is attributable to… no one really knows but human influence on the atmosphere emissions either of chloro-fluorocarbons or carbon dioxide is the primary candidate. However, with so much multi-year ice gone, it is easy to understand why we have much more open water in September.”

Finally, I would like to point out the reason for the delay between your October, 2009 presentation until my reply, it was caused by my desire to present a thoughtful, thorough reply.  You have dealt with a small number of very periphery issues.  There remain very severe errors with your presentation that are yet unanswered.  If you have corrected the many errors which I have disclosed, please accept my apologies.

Regards,

Dr. John Abraham

Associate Professor

University of St. Thomas

School of Engineering


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11 Responses to “Monckton – Stung by Abraham, Embarrasses himself further”


  1. [...] a response to that at Monckton – Stung by Abraham, Embarrasses himself further. Stung by John Abraham’s devastating takedown, “Lord” Christopher Monckton offered an [...]


  2. If you want to see more about Monckton’s history of threatening uncooperative academics, see the following:

    http://bbickmore.wordpress.com/2010/06/04/the-monckton-files-more-threats/


  3. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Gina Maranto, Best of Science News. Best of Science News said: Monckton – Stung by Abraham, Embarrasses himself further: He goes on, true to form, to make veiled threats, … http://tinyurl.com/37zrpkw [...]

  4. jaimymoore Says:

    What is that stupid pink portcullis supposed to mean? He plasters that plastic-looking garbage on everything.

  5. indulisb Says:

    If you’d like to see Monckton’s original unedited letter to John Abraham go to http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/monckton-at-last-the-climate-extremists-try-to-debate-us-pjm-exclusive/

    Then for the edited version which has the invective and insults removed and toned down so Monckton appears rational, see

    http://sppiblog.org/news/a-preliminary-response-to-john-abraham-the-extremists-join-the-climate-debate-at-last-2

    Hey, tampering with the evidence that Monckton is irrational, that’s a cover up by SPPI! Viscount-gate, anyone?

    PS note that SPPI block web indexing engines using a “robots.txt” file. If they are so proud of their information, why block search engines (including Wayback Machine)?

  6. villabolo Says:

    I strongly suggest we go on the offensive against Lord Monckton and company instead of just lying still and taking his abuse.

    The obvious has been been brought up on the Support John Abraham site as well as others, namely, that our ‘Lord’ has a Narcissistic Disorder. We should study that disorder.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ Narcissistic_personality_disorder

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/ releases/ 1998/ 07/ 980720081130.htm

    Knowing his weakness is the first step necessary. Then we must think of ways to flip his lid.

    Perhaps an expose video, calculated to irk him at a critical moment, might help? And/or sending him a friendly e-mail X a zillion?

    This is war. It has been war. We need to treat it accordingly.

  7. indulisb Says:

    How many of these does the Lord exhibit?
    (from http://www.healthyplace.com/personality-disorders/malignant-self-love/narcissistic-personality-disorder-npd-definition/menu-id-1471/ )

    Probably better to leave him doing what he is doing, as the champion of the deniers he just does them more harm than good.

    ================================================
    An all-pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behaviour), need for admiration or adulation and lack of empathy, usually beginning by early adulthood and present in various contexts. Five (or more) of the following criteria must be met:

    * Feels grandiose and self-important (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents to the point of lying, demands to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)[Nobel prize, member of House of Lords, exaggerated claims re work as advisor to Thatcher]

    * Is obsessed with fantasies of unlimited success, fame, fearsome power or omnipotence, unequalled brilliance (the cerebral narcissist) [has found major errors in the mathematics of climate scientists despite being an arts major, has invented cure for common cold that also helps with AIDS] , bodily beauty or sexual performance (the somatic narcissist), or ideal, everlasting, all-conquering love or passion

    * Firmly convinced that he or she is unique and, being special, can only be understood by, should only be treated by, or associate with, other special or unique, or high-status people (or institutions)

    * Requires excessive admiration, adulation, attention and affirmation – or, failing that, wishes to be feared and to be notorious (narcissistic supply)

    * Feels entitled. Expects unreasonable or special and favorable priority treatment. Demands automatic and full compliance with his or her expectations

    * Is “interpersonally exploitative”, i.e., uses others to achieve his or her own ends

    * Devoid of empathy. Is unable or unwilling to identify with or acknowledge the feelings and needs of others

    * Constantly envious of others or believes that they feel the same about him or her

    * Arrogant, haughty behaviours or attitudes coupled with rage when frustrated, contradicted, or confronted [see his demands to the Unversity re Abraham rebuttal]

    Some of the language in the criteria above is based on or summarized from:

    American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, fourth edition, Text Revision (DSM IV-TR). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association.

    The text in italics is based on:

    Sam Vaknin. (2003). Malignant Self Love – Narcissism Revisited, fourth, revised, printing. Prague and Skopje: Narcissus Publication.

  8. greenman3610 Says:

    If you’ve seen Monckton’s “response” to Abraham, in light of the above, it’s fascinating.
    There’s a Master’s thesis in there for some student of psycho-pathology.


  9. [...] of one of his presentations expertly carried out by Professor John Abraham; and Monckton’s spectacular failure to respond appropriately and/or effectively to such a devastating critique. Much more recently, he has been taken to task by Potholer54 (a.k.a [...]


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