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UKIP debate report

Mike Haseler has written a report on the UKIP Glasgow debate the other night. It can be seen here.

At the Glasgow debate on Catastrophic Global warming, despite the presence of Jim Sillars, Lord Monckton and Andrew Montford, not one MSP had the guts to attend. Given the quality of the speakers we can understand why. But even so, for not one of dozens of politicians, NGOs & quangos who have profited from this nonsense in the past, to be willing to stand up for it now, speaks more volume than their silence at the debate. The sole representative of the doomsday cult was a one brave individual from the wind industry who did a valiant job making the case which all those others now aren't prepared to do.


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Reader Comments (75)

"Doomsday cult" he wrote. That's a darn good label for it. Let's all try and get that 'meme' into the vocab.

Nov 2, 2012 at 11:23 AM | Unregistered CommenterBrent Hargreaves

The more I think about it, the more it seems probable that the failure of all but a single green or renewable voice to speak up at this conference was less concern at being shown up and publicly embarrassed, more a complacent certainty, inculcated over many years, almost always at public expense, that skeptics, more properly known as deniers, are the foam-flecked, swivel-eyed nutters of green, bien-pensant legend.

You could no more have a rational conversation with anyone so far removed from what they consider not just mainstream opinion but the only true opinion (ie their own) than you could with an actual lunatic.

Nov 2, 2012 at 11:37 AM | Unregistered CommenterAgouts

Ex-Penn State president charged in Sandusky case

HARRISBURG — Former Penn State president Graham Spanier led a “conspiracy of silence” that allowed the university’s long-time defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky to continue abusing boys for more than a decade, the state attorney general’s office said.

The office charged Spanier, today with perjury, endangering the welfare of children, obstruction of justice and conspiracy.

If convicted on all charges, he faces a maximum 39 years in prison.


Spanier also presided over the Climategate whitewashinvestigation that "exonerated" Mann of wrongdoing.

Nov 2, 2012 at 11:38 AM | Unregistered Commenterjoe

joe wrote: Spanier also presided over the Climategate whitewash investigation that "exonerated" Mann of wrongdoing.

From Scholars and Rogues:

[T]he documentary evidence demonstrates that Spanier was not involved in the Mann investigation – the inquiry committee was composed of William Easterling (Dean of the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences), Alan Scaroni (Ass. Dean for Graduate Education and Research in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences), Candice Yekel (Director of the Office for Research Protections), William Brune (Head of the Department of Meteorology), Eva J. Pell (then Senior Vice President for Research), and Henry C. Foley (Vice President for Research and Dean of the Graduate School). The investigation committee was composed of Sarah M. Assmann (Professor in the Dept. of Biology), Welford Castleman (Evan Pugh Professor and Eberly Distinguished Chair in Science in the Depts. of Chemistry and Physics), Mary Jane Irwin (Evan Pugh Professor in the Dept. of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering), Nina G. Jablonski (Department Head of the Dept. of Anthropology), Fred W. Vondracek (Professor in the Dept of Human Development and Family Studies), and the aforementioned Candice Yekel as the Research Integrity Officer.

None of these individuals has been compromised by the Sandusky scandal.

Nov 2, 2012 at 12:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark S

Mark S, you're missing the point. Spanier was in charge at Penn State when Mann was "exonerated". That makes him responsible for any "investigation" carried out on Mann while he was president of Penn State. And if Spanier covered up for Mann, did he also tell the committee "investigating" Mann to cover up Mann's wrongdoings as well?

Nov 2, 2012 at 12:10 PM | Unregistered Commenterjoe

No doubt they preferred the comfort of the Scottish mutual admiration conference on renewables. Why debate when you can lobby?

Nov 2, 2012 at 12:17 PM | Unregistered Commenterssat

Joe: if Spanier covered up for Mann, did he also tell the committee "investigating" Mann to cover up Mann's wrongdoings as well?

Yes, he offered each panel member a lifetime supply of Pepsi Cola. They jumped at the offer.

Perhaps you should familiarise yourself with some opposing view points.

Nov 2, 2012 at 12:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark S

I can't wait for the Scots to become independent - perhaps then we won't have to go through the annual lunacdy of plunging ourselves into mid-afternoon darkness for six months of the year, with its attendant increase in road deaths and the extra 2% it automatically adds to our energy bills...

Nov 2, 2012 at 12:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid

Mark S: perhaps you should familiarise yourself with the facts.

Fact: Who's responsible for everything that goes on in a university? It's president.

Fact: Who was the president of Penn State when Jerry Sandusky was busy raping little boys? Graham Spanier.

Fact: Who was the president of Penn State when Michael Mann was "investigated" and "exonerated" for "Hiding the Decline"? Graham Spanier.

Question: If Graham Spanier is willing to cover up wrong-doing in the Sandusky case, is it also not likely that he did the same for Mann?

Mark S, are you Michael Mann in disguise? :) I understand Mann's favourite drink is Pepsi Cola.

Nov 2, 2012 at 12:31 PM | Unregistered Commenterjoe

They don't debate and I suspect they never will either.


Nov 2, 2012 at 12:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterPointman

'I understand Mann's favourite drink is Pepsi Cola'

With the CO2 removed and sequestered of course.

Nov 2, 2012 at 12:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterSteve Y

@Steve Y: LOL.

You know what, I think Mark S *really* was Mann. We know he visits Bishop Hill and Climate Audit when he's not busy deleting comments/banning people on his Facebook page.

Nov 2, 2012 at 1:02 PM | Unregistered Commenterjoe

One of the nation’s most respected and recognized university presidents, Graham Spanier, was charged Thursday with obstructing justice, lying under oath, and endangering children — all in the name of a conspiracy to stay silent.

“This was not a mistake by these men. This was not an oversight. It was not misjudgment on their part,” said State Attorney General Linda Kelly. “This was a conspiracy of silence by top officials to actively conceal the truth.”

Mann, if you're reading this: YOU'RE NEXT.

Nov 2, 2012 at 1:09 PM | Unregistered Commenterjoe

Sound familiar?:


And when Sandusky’s facade began to unravel, the grand jury found that the trio worked hard to keep investigators from finding the truth.

Normal Penn State procedures weren’t followed when subpoenas arrived in December 2010. The IT department was never told to search for emails, according to court documents.

Spanier refused to tell the board of trustees what he knew and what was happening, the report states.

The pages of hand-written notes from Schultz’s secret file, and the emails uncovered once Spanier was fired, and the testimony that came once the alleged culture of silence ended, all takes some of that pressure off McQueary.


Can't wait for discovery in Mann's trial, especially once Spanier is sent to jail.

Nov 2, 2012 at 1:20 PM | Unregistered Commenterjoe

I think Mark may have a point about Spanier. If, as is clear, he presided over a defensive and secretive culture at Penn State, there would be no need for him to intervene directly in the exoneration of Mann - it would be a given. And his list of the dramatis personae is also interesting - Mann's $4.2 million would be of much greater interest to his colleagues in Earth Sciences than at a university-wide level. Pity about the link to Brian Angliss's feeble posts, though.

Nov 2, 2012 at 1:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid S

David S = Mark S = apologists for Mann = clueless CAGW cult followers.

Just the facts, spare us the rhetoric.

Nov 2, 2012 at 1:58 PM | Unregistered Commenterjoe

Is anyone really surprised that nobody wanted to debate with that serial fantasist, Lord Monckton?

Nov 2, 2012 at 2:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterBitBucket

I would guess that the greens will come out with a statement like; "The skeptic's position is so ludicrous that we dare not give it a voice". Although in reality they probably didn't want to get defeated as they did in 2007 at the IQ2 debate in New York.

"Is anyone really surprised that nobody wanted to debate with that serial fantasist, Lord Monckton?"

I don't know the history behind Monckton, but I have heard him speak and he is quite good. Why the ad hom?


Nov 2, 2012 at 2:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterEric H.

I would bet, if challenged, the MSPs and 'Windys' would take the moral high ground and dismiss these speakers and debate as an irrelevance. That's their tactic now. Just about everyone I've challenged with facts and logical argument has responded with the "debate is over" / "won't debate" / "Consensus" line, never with fact based counter argument.

The prosecution of Michael Mann and the Penn State 'characters' is now an imperative, as is the support for John Haynes to win out over Ed Davey at DECC. When they won;t engage with rational debate (that they can't win), the 'authority' pillars that underpin them have to be removed.

As an aside, one of the major alarmist environmentalists, Bill McKiben, is finally going to debate Alex Epstein on Monday (5th Nov) at Duke University (Durham, NC). Alex is part of the Center for Industrial Progress, and will be making the case that “fossil fuels improve the planet" vs. McKibben's line of "fossil fuels are a risk to the planet”. It will be a riveting debate.

Nov 2, 2012 at 3:11 PM | Unregistered Commenterilma630

This recent blog post details Spanier's lifelong career in sexuality, including wife-swapping (PH.D. thesis).

There is also the following quote re the Michael Mann cover-up:

"I know they have taken the time and spent hundreds of hours studying documents and interviewing people and looking at issues from all sides."

They actually interviewed (briefly) two friends of Mann and also Lindzen of MIT, who expressed disbelief that they could not see what was in front of their faces, but stated that they "did not respond to him".

Nov 2, 2012 at 3:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterLance Wallace

"I would guess that the greens will come out with a statement like; "The skeptic's position is so ludicrous that we dare not give it a voice". Although in reality they probably didn't want to get defeated as they did in 2007 at the IQ2 debate in New York. "

What national organisations do is stick together & rise above the "debate", using the "We are a serious scientific organisation & will not stoop to the gutter level by indugling in trading insults" or words to that effect. This one reason why the Met Office refuse to enter into any wager on the accuracy of their forecasts, whether for weather (sorry), or climate, against say WeatherAction! That way they keep the silence going whilst at the same time dishing out the propaganda all the time! If you dare mention the very name Piers Corbyn you will looked down upon with great scorn & distaste as if you have gushed out a veritable plethora of foul swear words in public!

Nov 2, 2012 at 4:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan the Brit

Come on BitBucket. You've had all afternoon to answer the question. "Why the ad hom?"
Have you ever heard Monckton speak? Read anything he has written? Been to any of his lectures?
Or are you, as usual, just trying to derail the thread by getting up people's noses?

Nov 2, 2012 at 4:38 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

I don't know the history behind Monckton, but I have heard him speak and he is quite good. Why the ad hom?


Nov 2, 2012 at 2:58 PM | Eric H

Because he is an disciple of the AGWsphere. No brain, no facts no argument.

Nov 2, 2012 at 4:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterStephen richards

This is Lord Monckton, the illustrious member of the House of Lords; Nobel prize winner; curer of the diseased; treater of the HIV afflicted etc? Except he isn't. Doesn't this serial distorter of the truth embarrass you guys and gals just a little?

Any lurkers unfamiliar with the noble Lord should go over to SkepticalScience where they will find a glowing tribute to the man, entitled "Monckton Myths". Or just Google for "Monckton Lies".

Nov 2, 2012 at 5:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterBitBucket

I have seen several videos of Monckton and read stuff by him. He's entertaining, certainly, but he oversimplifies and exaggerates for effect, and personally I can't take him seriously.

Always remember that just because SkepticalScience dislikes Monckton doesn't make him right. And always remember that just because SkepticalScience is right about him doesn't make them right (or indeed skeptical or scientific) about anything else.

Nov 2, 2012 at 5:36 PM | Registered CommenterJonathan Jones

The only way we will ever get these miscreants to defend their case is in a public enquiry. Carthago delenda est.

Nov 2, 2012 at 5:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterDolphinhead

Actually I'm with BitBucket on this. Monckton's not an asset to the skeptical position IMO due to other claims he makes (e.g. HIV cures etc.) which rather sets him up for ridicule.

Nov 2, 2012 at 6:12 PM | Unregistered Commentertimheyes

Jonathon Jones:

Always remember that just because SkepticalScience dislikes Monckton doesn't make him right. And always remember that just because SkepticalScience is right about him doesn't make them right (or indeed skeptical or scientific) about anything else.

Nicely put. But readers might wonder how much credence they should give to the opinions of those who support the noble Lord.

Nov 2, 2012 at 6:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterBitBucket

Time to sprinkle some troll bane around the joint ...


Nov 2, 2012 at 6:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterPointman

Or perhaps bb they might act like adults, or for that matter scientists, and assess people's arguments on their own merits rather than through a prism of prejudice.
(sorry pointman)

Nov 2, 2012 at 6:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid S

The problem with the noble Lord M of Brenchley is that he accepts the basis of the 'consensus' then argues about the finer points of IR absorption by GHGs. In reality, standard heat transfer physics shows GHG band IR cannot be emitted from the surface because it is neutralised by atmospheric IR!

Nov 2, 2012 at 6:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlecM

For those struggling with BitBucket being agreed with and the agreeing with Professor Jones can I recommend my little Discussion Channelling dogginess and this thought within it about pseudonyms that we find annoying:

Whenever a critic is banned outright there is a potential loss, because we all need criticism, particularly of our deepest held convictions.

What BB quotes JJ as saying is importantly right. As for Monckton, I would bring people's attention to the work he has done to read drafts of proposed agreements at the big climate shindigs like Copenhagen and Cancun. Some of the provisions there he has found frightening. By giving them oxygen as early as possible he has rendered, for me, a profound service to our freedom. We can be grateful for that even if we find his scientific understanding or expressions thereof lacking.

Nov 2, 2012 at 6:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

Oh yes, I forgot, Monckton's only mistake has been not to adopt the science of AlecM. If he had agreed to be mentored by this genius, wherever he is to be found, his problems would be over. I'm sure we can all leave this thread as a happy throng in the knowledge of that.

Nov 2, 2012 at 6:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake


But it is a favourite tactic of the alarmists to smear people who support opposing points of view - eg Plimer and water-diving, Spencer's religious views, etc. All irrelevant to the point at hand. The alarmists who have debated with Monckton have all come out very badly.

Nov 2, 2012 at 6:43 PM | Unregistered Commenterdiogenes

Did anyone watch question time last night, it appears that Miliband senior now considers natural gas and FRACKING an important part of the energy mix and that it should replace coal, that seems at odds with the greens below, no mention of nuclear though, he also stated twice that the recent windmill argument is only about 1% of that mix, all that cost for just 1% of unreliable energy.

It’s Time for the Green Cloak to Come Off of Natural Gas.

Nov 2, 2012 at 6:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterRob

I met monckton once, and put it this way I think he is a hindrance now, he got up my nose so much, I felt like defecting. A total hindrance in persuading those on the fence getting involved in any debate.

Nov 2, 2012 at 6:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

hi Richard: for Monckton to appear mad, there has to be a valid comparison, and its clearly me! To confirm, I've worked out that when pyrgeometers are exposed to GHG band IR, their calibration [against a cavity black body] goes seriously awry, part of the reason for the energy imbalance BOA vs TOA. Monckton wouldn't know any of this so it's my craziness at work - it explains everything!

Nov 2, 2012 at 7:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlecM

diogenes: of course. But we still have to attend to the detail of everything. I actually like Chris Monckton. I call him that as if I've met him but I haven't. I admit I only recently read his testimony about his old boss, from June 2010, including this (I thoroughly recommend taking in all of it):

Thirdly, Margaret Thatcher was never vindictive: it simply was not in her nature. If any of us ever suggested taking any action that would unfairly disadvantage any of her political opponents, she would give us the Gazillion-Gigawatt Glare and say, very firmly and quietly, “Prime Ministers don’t, dear!”

I found that moving. It's not what a lot of people have been taught but as I've always thought it, this testimony was at once adopted by me. That's not confirmation bias in my case but it would be in yours :) It's that kind of thing that is the reason we need critics on sceptic blogs and everywhere else. Sadly many of them here seem to come in pseudonymous package only with shall-we-say limited social skills. But we have been known to treat real name critics not so well. (And that has often been a problem of them being attacked by nyms, as Hilary Ostrov neatly calls them. Such are the limits to nirvana on blogs.)

Barry: I know your view and I respect it. But we don't have to be black or white about this person or about any other. By his account he could be sloppy and obnoxious in his days under Thatcher and she put him right. We might well be worth listening to on that. It doesn't mean his grasp of atmospheric physics is at the level of Isaac Held.

AlecM: Not every thread on Bishop Hill should be about your theories. I would include this one.

Rob: I did see Miliband say that and I was thinking of mentioning it today. Thanks for the reminder. Fracking is on its way onto the Labour agenda, I fully assume.

Nov 2, 2012 at 7:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake


Monckton has said his claim to be a Nobel Laureate was a joke. Has Michael Mann said has much? Has SkS commented on Mann's claim?

That said, I have little time for Monckton, but he doesn't embarrass me.

Nov 2, 2012 at 7:23 PM | Registered CommenterDreadnought


My recollection of Question Time is that David Miliband said replacing coal generation by gas would have a far bigger impact on CO2 emissions than building wind turbines. He also said there was plenty of cheap gas available worldwide, including novel forms like shale gas. (I can't access iPlayer here in France to check.)

Nov 2, 2012 at 7:38 PM | Registered CommenterDreadnought

My problem with Monckton is that he went to America, made a lot of money and tried to achieve celebrity by making an idiot of himself. He appeared on Glenn Beck's show. Glenn Beck is a clown. So was Monckton by that point.

Nov 2, 2012 at 7:44 PM | Unregistered CommentereSmiff

Indeed, Dreadnought, that was the context and importantly so. It was a highly intelligent contribution to the discussion, assuming of course that there is any need to reduce carbon emissions given the flatlining of globally averaged temperature anomaly.

David Miliband once told me that he'd just read Nigel Lawson's An Appeal to Reason. (That was on the Newsnight blog, not in person, despite my years living round the corner from Primrose Hill and the brother's old school on Haverstock Hill, that featured so prominently in Ed's big speech to the Labour Conference.) Maybe some sense has actually percolated through by now.

Nov 2, 2012 at 7:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

Pointman, I don't consider BitBucket a troll. Sure he's annoying, but no more so than AlecM, and unlike AlecM he is sometimes right. Of course if our host decides to anathematise him that's different, but until then I will feel free to discuss with him on those occasions when he has something worthwhile to say.

BitBucket, as you might guess I am unimpressed that so many sceptics are taken in by Monckton. But I am far less impressed that so many consensus supporters are taken in by Mann. And I feel particularly strongly about consensus scientists who still publicly support Mann when, to be quite frank, they have no excuse whatsoever for such credulous behaviour.

Nov 2, 2012 at 7:58 PM | Registered CommenterJonathan Jones

yesterday it was "free market" Mayor Michael Bloomberg (who owns the CAGW-CO2 trading advocacy rag Bloomberg/Businessweek) endorsing Obama because of "climate change" and today it's "free market" Economist doing likewise (as indeed they did in 2008):

3 Nov: The Economist: Our American endorsement
America could do better than Barack Obama; sadly, Mitt Romney does not fit the bill
Mr Obama came into office promising to end “our chronic avoidance of tough decisions” on reforming its finances—and then retreated fast, as he did on climate change and on immigration…
This newspaper yearns for the more tolerant conservatism of Ronald Reagan, where “small government” meant keeping the state out of people’s bedrooms as well as out of their businesses. Mr Romney shows no sign of wanting to revive it…
And for all his shortcomings, Mr Obama has dragged America’s economy back from the brink of disaster, and has made a decent fist of foreign policy. So this newspaper would stick with the devil it knows, and re-elect him.

hansen with his dice says - if u r PERCEPTIVE, u will have come to recognise the truth of CAGW a decade or more ago, and will understand the need to put an ever-rising price on carbon dioxide:

VIDEO: 16 Aug: The Economist: James Hansen on climate change
Hot, dry or flooded
HOT summers, wildfires and drought are anomalies no longer. They are the visible products of climate change, and more can be expected, says James Hansen. One solution may appeal to conservatives…

once we recognise the falsity of the left/right paradigm, we might be able to come together to prevent carbon dioxide becoming one financial bubble too far. for me, it's extraordinary that the leftist CAGW-ers are still convinced they are fighting the free-marketers!

Nov 2, 2012 at 8:30 PM | Unregistered Commenterpat

Hello JonathanJ. I don't recall mentioning BitBucket as a troll, but reviewing his comments, I can see why you might consider him to be one. I think it's better manners to discuss our host's post, rather than deconstructing Christopher Monckton, with whom he's just shared a platfrorm.


Nov 2, 2012 at 8:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterPointman

the usual attempt to place this at the feet of "environmental activists" when, in fact, the architecture has been building for decades, the debate is over and, as even Fox declares, the execution of the plan is inevitable, regardless of who wins the election. Brits should have realised as much when your Govt changed hands. i'm in this fight for the sake of the scientific method, and to prevent the entire wealth of the public, especially the baby boomers, being subsumed in a carbon dioxide financial bubble:

1 Nov: Fox News: George Russell: Eco-Taxes? Study Financed by U.S. Treasury Will Link Tax Code to Carbon Emissions
Coming soon: a green tax code for American businesses and individual taxpayers alike?
A major tax study currently being sponsored by the U.S. Treasury will give environmental activists a powerful new weapon in their campaign to alter the entire American economic and social landscape in the name of halting “climate change”—including the possible levying of new carbon taxes…
***(REGARDLESS)That campaign is bound to intensify in the aftermath of Nov. 6’s presidential election, regardless of who wins the race, as the nation faces the challenge of deficit reduction and tax reform that will be required to overhaul the country’s over-strained finances…

Nov 2, 2012 at 8:39 PM | Unregistered Commenterpat

Monckton pointed out the bleeding obvious - that the IPCC used a fraudulent graph in its synthesis report.

Nov 2, 2012 at 8:42 PM | Registered Commentershub

This thread has gone rather obviously and nastily off-topic, veering from the original subject (Greens/MSPs not debating) via Penn State, Sandusky and, apparently by extension, Mann, to whether or not Monckton is an effective as opposed to self-agrgandising spokesman for the sceptic position. Somewhere in the middle of this increasingly unseemly mess, a troll or two has also intruded.

To put it mildly, not only has the point of the original post been lost in this growing incoherence, the tone has been lowered in ways that do no favours to anyone.

The Bish convinces because he is so consistently reasonable. So, please, can hobby horses, megaphones and mounting hysteria all be be abandoned? In the end, you win because you are right, not because you make more noise – or are more rude.

Nov 2, 2012 at 8:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterAgouts

Back on topic. I doubt that any MSP would be seen dead at a UKIP meeting about anything.

Nov 2, 2012 at 9:01 PM | Unregistered CommentereSmiff

Pointman, apologies I was interpreting your "troll bane" comment as referring to BB, but I guess you were referring to somebody higher up the thread. As you say this is all off topic so I'll stop there.

Nov 2, 2012 at 9:08 PM | Registered CommenterJonathan Jones

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