Christopher Monckton exposes motives

On 27 April 2015 there was held, in Rome, what was called a ‘prebuttal’ to the Vatican’s Climate Summit on the following day. A substantial collection of leading independent scientific experts was assembled to convey a simple message. All the empirical data show that there is no climate crisis.

In my previous posting we covered a speech by E Calvin Beisner, addressing the theological arguments in general and in particular how the world’s most poor were the biggest losers as a consequence of the policies being pursued by the proponents of this fictional crisis. Today we look at a speech by Christopher Monckton at that same conference. He is addressing the motives behind those policies.

Monckton opens with a tribute to other speakers at this conference. If you wish to see them go here.

Because he can use humour well, Monckton is often tempted to play the Court Jester. Being good at humour is not the same as being a stand-up comic, and too often he dies. This conference deals with very serious matters. Monckton plays it dead straight and my word but he is a good speaker!

I first became interested in this subject very many years ago. What grabbed my attention was that only one party in the argument actually argued. The sceptics always showed their workings, drawing attention to the data. The alarmists too often merely made unsubstantiated assertions and indulged in name-calling (argumentum ad hominem). The sceptics regularly challenged the alarmists to debates; and the alarmists ran away and hid behind argumentum ad verecundiam or argumentum ad populum. This last intrigued me quite early. The level of persecution meted out to dissent, called into question the genuineness of consent. I dug behind the ‘97% consensus’ claim and looked at the original survey. The ‘consensus’ was phony: a shameless piece of data manipulation. The same data that claimed 97% support could make an equally strong case for 97% against.

I am not a scientist, but I quickly developed a system for myself whereby I checked what data I was able to understand, went and found credible scientists who were saying what I had found, then I followed them. They were the ones showing their workings and they weren’t calling the opposition names. They were the sceptics, and what they said has shown to be correct. I learned that yes, carbon dioxide has a greenhouse effect but it is minuscule. The ‘crisis’ was based on what was never more than a tenuous theory which has collapsed. None of the alarmists’ projections has materialized. You could have been born since there was any measurable warming and now be old enough to vote. Alarmists’ assertions can today withstand not even cursory scrutiny. It’s so easy that I was puzzled that more didn’t do it. Or did they? Not everyone could be fools: some had to be knaves who were authors of the fiction or went along with it for base motives. And were those motives actually base? It took me time to get answers that I could check, and what I found chilled the blood.

And that is what this speech is about.  We don’t see Monckton’s slides, but I am not sure we need to.

I think we need to be afraid.

E.Calvin Beisner speaks on behalf of the world’s poor

On 27 April 2015 there was held, in Rome, what was called a ‘prebuttal’ to the Vatican’s Climate Summit on the following day. A substantial collection of leading independent scientific experts was assembled to convey a simple message. All the empirical data show that there is no climate crisis.

As the summit the following day was concerned with the role of Christianity in this fictional crisis, one of the speakers at the prebuttal was a theologian, E. Calvin Beisner.

Beisner kicks off uncompromisingly with a bald statement to the effect that his having read fifty books on the science and more than 30 on the economics of climate change, and hundreds of articles and peer-reviewed papers, he can state categorically that the computer models have been shown to be wrong. He gives a few examples of real-world data, but stresses that he will leave the science to the scientists that are speaking at this conference. His concern is with ethics.

He narrates an ethos-laden account of his childhood in Calcutta, leaving us in no doubt that he has seen grinding poverty up close.

He then tells us that there is no empirical evidence that fossil fuels are driving dangerous warming (only empirical evidence is relevant: theoretical projections from computer models are not empirical), but there is overwhelming empirical evidence that the use of fossil fuels to supply abundant cheap energy is crucial for lifting the world’s remaining four billion poor out of the miseries of poverty. There is also overwhelming evidence that our use of fossil fuels enhances plant-life globally by adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.

It is a very telling speech. and leaves us with an uncomfortable conclusion. In the face of all that, you have to question either the diligence of fact-checking or (somewhat alarmingly) the motives of anyone who takes any steps to deprive the world’s poor of access to fossil-fuel energy. It is a shameful list that belongs in that category. including the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of England. The issue of those motives was addressed in another speech that we shall examine shortly.

Dada Gunamuktananda and lessons in humour

At TEDx Noosa, Queensland, Australia, on 30 January 2014, Dada Gunamuktananda delivered a talk entitled Consciousness — the final frontier.

Once the initial surprise, at the apparent mismatch of the gentle antipodean vowel sounds and the speaker’s appearance, has worn off this is a fascinating talk and I commend it. The subject matter is one that I constantly hunger to explore more.

This blog though concentrates chiefly on speakers, their triumphs and disasters, so I feel compelled to make two technical observations. If that aspect of life does not interest you by all means cut to the chase and simply watch the talk.

He is nervous. There is a telling symptom to which I will draw your attention in a short while. Yet something, perhaps his yogic self-discipline, enables him to stand still with his hands hanging at his sides as if completely relaxed. This is very impressive. I usually advise trainees against hanging their arms at their sides because it invites their nerves to show themselves through the finger-tips fiddling with each other – a very conspicuous nerve-symptom. Yet his hands are still.

So what is it that tells me, beyond doubt, that contrary to appearance he is very nervous? He is suffering from dry-mouth. Listen, and you will hear the tell-tale clicking caused by saliva that is abnormally viscous. I could give him an absurdly easy and rapid solution to the problem – in fact he could learn it through my book. By the way, it does not involve water.

The other observation concerns humour. I always tell trainees to avoid overt gags, as they are not stand-up comics nor would they want to put themselves through the hell that is the comics’ apprenticeship. Instead, any humour that they elect to use should be applied incidentally as throw-away lines in the narrative. In this talk he illustrates both points very clearly.

He gets good laughter, even applause, with incidental,.throw-away lines at 0:46 – 0:57, 1:45 – 2:00, 9:45 – 10:00, 10:17 – 10:21 and 10:58 – 11:03. Some of these fly by so fast that they are easy to miss, but still they get laughs.

On the other hand, beginning at 7:15 there is a “funny story” that he actually trails as such. It bombs. There is an important lesson there.

Tom Slater being a slave to paper

After I had posted my previous post here I reflected that I really should see the other guy. Wearing big boots I had waded into the arguments deployed by Aaron Porter when speaking at an Oxford Union debate in opposition to the motion, This House Believes Popular Support is Enough to Justify a Platform. Though conceding that Porter was a good speaker, I had given his arguments a kicking.

It takes two to tango, so how had the proposition performed? I selected Tom Slater to be its representative on this blog. As Assistant Editor of Spiked, which sponsors Free Speech Now, he was likely to be on the side of the saints. How well did he put his arguments?

He spends his first minute setting out his stall. He refers to a (then) very recent example at King’s College London where some speech had been disallowed. The story will have been familiar with his audience, but does not concern us here. What does concern me is that he shoots this section from the hip.

For that first minute we see the real, live, spontaneous Tom Slater. Here and there the delivery stumbles slightly but the stumbling reinforces the appearance of spontaneity.

At 1:10 he turns to a script, and the delivery of the speech immediately suffers. The content is sound enough, and well argued, but now there is paper representing a metaphorical screen between him and his audience. I find it interesting and encouraging that he is obviously aware of this. Unlike some, he does not bury his face in the script but lifts his face to the audience as often and for as long as he dares.  Sometimes he succeeds for quite sustained periods, and always the quality of delivery lifts. His efforts to escape from the script tell me that if he could be shown how to discard paper for ever he would be much happier. If I am right he should contact me.

He is a very able debater. At 5:18 there is an interjection which lasts a quarter of a minute. With a single throw-away word he dismisses it so crushingly that he draws a considerable laugh from the audience.

At 4:35 Slater says that his editor, Brendan O’Neill, should have been present. Immediately my ears prick up. Does he mean that O’Neill should have been merely present? – or speaking in the debate? – or that O’Neill should have been making this actual speech?  If the last is the case, and Slater is a last-minute stand-in for his boss, perhaps he is reading O’Neill’s script. If that is the case then I have not only to forgive him but actually congratulate him on doing it remarkably well. I have seen people reading their own speeches far less coherently than this.

Brendan O’Neill has been covered in this blog several times, most recently here. On that latest occasion I noted with satisfaction how he had evidently worked at writing his script in spoken, as distinct from written, English. I also observed that he employed camouflage devices to hide that he was reading the script. (I didn’t bother at the time with the technical detail that O’Neill was not actually using paper, but reading from a tablet.) And here now I see O’Neill’s assistant editor struggling to not read a script which may be his own but just might be O’Neill’s.

My frustration builds. The evidence points to two blokes with hugely important things to say, both conscious that the saying is hampered by the reading, but not realising how quickly they could be set free. People believe that paperless speaking is some sort of magical circus trick. In a sense it is; but, as any magician will tell you, many of the best illusions are ridiculously easy to perform. This is one such,

Contact me, guys.