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Lindzen's response to Hoskins et al

Richard Lindzen's response to the critique of his presentation at the House of Commons last month has been posted at GWPF.


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Reader Comments (52)

He is a credit to science in general, and climate science in particular. We could have done with more of his calibre. Had they lived long enough, I think Lamb and Ludlam would have been on his side as voices of calm reason, and of high respect for data and the scientific method.

Apr 12, 2012 at 9:10 PM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

The models focus on aerosols and solar variability, and generally assume that natural internal variability is accurately included and accounted for. That models each use different assumptions for aerosols and solar variability makes clear that these are simply adjustable parameters. I was hardly arguing that solar variability, per se, leads to higher estimates of sensitivity. Rather, I was arguing that the adjustable parameters allow modelers to adjust the behavior of their models to simulate observations regardless of the model sensitivity. As to natural internal variability, the inability of these models to reasonably reproduce ENSO, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, and the Quasi-biennial Oscillation shows that the assumption that the models adequately represent natural internal variability is seriously mistaken.

As I read this, I kept having to forcibly remind myself that these are just the senile ramblings of a drooling old has-been.

For some bizarre reason it seemed to make sense.

Weird, I know.

Apr 12, 2012 at 9:18 PM | Registered CommenterFoxgoose

Lindzen versus a team of five.

Result: Lindzen 5, Team 0.

Game set and match to Lindzen.

Apr 12, 2012 at 10:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Judith Curry posts on this reply to Hoskin's critique:

Apr 13, 2012 at 1:40 AM | Unregistered CommenterDon B

It seems to me that Lindzen has taken Hoskins et al to the proverbial woodshed.

Apr 13, 2012 at 4:26 AM | Unregistered CommenterBernie

"The critique’s introduction ends by agreeing that there may be uncertainty, but that our ignorance is not total. They argue that “Contemporary science suggests unambiguously that there is a substantial risk that these feedbacks will lead to human-induced surface temperature change considerably larger than 1 degree C in global average this century and beyond.” Drilling through the peculiar syntax of this statement suggests that the only thing that is unambiguous is precisely the claimed large measure of ignorance needed to maintain the possibility of risk."


Apr 13, 2012 at 7:01 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Reed

Indeed, the reductionist approach to modeling described by the critics could ultimately lead climate modeling back to ‘theory,’ and traditional methods of testing and progressive improvement. Instead, comparisons with observations are currently referred to as validation studies, and, to an uncomfortable extent, seem to lead to modifications of conflicting data, rather than adjustment of models.

Brilliant. The great man is leading the world back to 'traditional methods of testing and progressive improvement'. But it's not a foregone conclusion - the mockery of validation that has come to mean modifying real world data to fit the models is hugely deserved. Sock it to 'em professor.

Apr 13, 2012 at 7:59 AM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

The main problem with Lindzen is that he believes in an intrinsic CO2 climate sensitivity of ~1 K. This appears to be unravelling fast.....

Apr 13, 2012 at 8:08 AM | Unregistered Commentermydogsgotnonose

Lindzen says near the beginning:

The critics are, for the most part, scientists for whom I have considerable respect.

Even so, he's seen off Hoskins, Mitchell, Palmer, Shine and Wolff. But Dick Lindzen now has another, much greater public critic to contend with, who goes by the name of mydogsgotnonose. I'm sure he's worried. (And why hasn't mdgnn made his devastating points where they belong, in Jonathan Jones's discussion thread on radiative transfer, and has to try to take this thread off course, like so many others before it? One can only speculate.)

I actually came back here to highlight another weakness in traditional sceptical arguments. Lindzen writes, not for the first time, but perhaps in greater details than I've seen before:

Both the critics and I agree that there is something wrong with the data that fail to show the ‘hot spot’ required by the moist adiabat. Therefore, in my lecture, I suggested (rather than claimed) that the surface data might be at fault.

Again, note the brilliance with which the man disposes of the claim that he's claimed something, when he hasn't. In this case theory trumps data - but Lindzen does the right thing in considering which data set is most likely to be at fault.

But this also means, for me, that Jo Nova needs to change her introduction to climate change, which argues, as many have before her, that the lack of a hot spot shows that GCMs are not to be trusted. It's another example of not latching too fast on an argument that seems to help the anti-warmist cause but in the end just sows more confusion. As almost all the critiques of basic greenhouse theory also do, in my humble (or arrogant) view.

Apr 13, 2012 at 8:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

Ricard Drake: Richard I believe you'll find RSL is in agreement with Jo Nova. What he's saying is that the lack of tropisferic hot spot can only be caused by the tropical temperature data being too high. Ergo the hot spot isn't there because there is no significant warming in the tropics, in other words human emissions aren't having as significant effect on temperatures as we've been led to believe, which I believe is JN's point.

Apr 13, 2012 at 9:33 AM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo


What he's saying is that the lack of tropisferic hot spot can only be caused by the tropical temperature data being too high.

The 'surface' temperature data, not the satellite data, and that's the key point. If Lindzen is right in his suggestion then the surface temperature will be adjusted downwards and the hot spot will reappear.

I can't speak for the absolutely latest version of Jo Nova's introduction to the issues - or how to talk to someone who's a warmist or whatever it's called - but the last time I looked it cited the lack of hot spot in the data (combination of satellite and surface) as evidence that a key signature of anthropogenic global warming predicted in all the models wasn't there ergo AGW wasn't there. Lindzen is saying, inter alia, that this isn't right. Many other sceptics have argued this way - I think Tim Ball did exactly this in The Great Global Warming Swindle back in March 2007. I think my point stands.

Apr 13, 2012 at 9:40 AM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

I seem to recall the warmists went to great lengths to discredit radiosonde and invent some spurious wind effects which 'proved' there was indeed a hot spot. Why was another episode of epicycles necessary if the absence of the hot spot doesn't matter?

And why can't they measure it? One square metre, one day.

Apr 13, 2012 at 9:42 AM | Unregistered CommenterRhoda

Rhoda, I don't disagree that the results of radiosonde were very unwelcome and all kinds of such tricks have been tried. But Lindzen is pointing to the real reason for this: the intelligent scientist knows that this means that the surface temperature has been significantly overestimated during the satellite. OK, knows is too strong but it's far the most likely explanation. The hot spot isn't our enemy, it's our friend, if we have to be really tribal about it :)

Apr 13, 2012 at 9:45 AM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

'during the satellire era' that should have been.

Apr 13, 2012 at 9:46 AM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

Apr 13, 2012 at 8:52 AM | Richard Drake

(And why hasn't mdgnn made his devastating points where they belong, in Jonathan Jones's discussion thread on radiative transfer, and has to try to take this thread off course, like so many others before it? One can only speculate.)

Why speculate, see this statement by JJ on his discussion thread:

As the title implies I set this up as a "private" thread - so while you are very welcome to listen in, and indeed to butt in, I feel under no obligation to answer any questions! - Apr 10, 2012 at 4:25 PM | Jonathan Jones

Did you not see that restriction? After all, you popped up on Apr 11, 2012 at 10:37 PM on the JJ discussion thread.

Apr 13, 2012 at 10:07 AM | Unregistered CommenterBrownedoff

That's pettifoggery Brownedoff. Jonathan felt under no obligation to answer but he sure has answered a lot of extremely interesting comment, as he was obviously free to do. It was the perfect opportunity for mdgnn to show a discipline that has been sadly lacking and clarify some key points. Maybe he still will.

Apr 13, 2012 at 10:27 AM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

Foxgoose, I agree, clearly senile ramblings - Lindzen apparently hasn't even heard that the AMO doesn't really exist!

Apr 13, 2012 at 10:56 AM | Registered Commentersteve ta


You've asked about the 1 square metre thing several times in different places and I guess you haven't had many answers. You can of course do experiments in which you monitor the state of a region of the earth's surface that large. Essentially, that's what a miniature weather station does: pressure, temperature, wind speed measurements. You can also model what happens there: incoming heat from the sun; radiation of heat into the air above the square metre; convective cooling by air; evaporation, etc. A model is quite complicated, but should describe the behaviour of that region reasonably well.

But it won't help you much, either in experimental or modelling term. It is the larger-scale measurements that Lindzen talks about that have more value. One square metre can't tell you about all the features of the climate system that are known to be important: e.g. the polar regions get much less incoming energy than the tropics, but winds and ocean currents transport heat to the poles from the equator. These features are described (roughly) in global climate models.

Apr 13, 2012 at 11:06 AM | Registered CommenterJeremy Harvey

Still trundling through, in between other things. Here's another classic:

To isolate feedbacks, one must consider the behavior of lagged regressions. The claim that the results ‘from climate models which include a detailed representation of the oceans’ are ‘consistent’ with observations stretches the word ‘consistent’ beyond its normally highly elastic definition.

It's the way he tells 'em. But one has in fairness to acknowledge the MIT professor's debt here to his five 'straight men', who set up the gag with such high-sounding, yet hollow, talk of consistency. It we're going to see more of this in the climate game, as Lindzen suggests, we're in for a real treat.

Apr 13, 2012 at 11:53 AM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

Jeremy, I do not expect that a one metre model will scale. What I intend is that measurements, actual measurements, be taken. Meanwhile a model limited to one square metre would be made from first principles. Run the model to cover 24 hours. Compare with the measurements. Do you think they will match? I don't, because that modelling task is too hard. But using the measurements to refine the model, see if you can make it work on day 2. In the meanwhile, let's see the heat flows. Radiative, convective, evaporative. Do they match the model? Do they make sense of Trenberth, or cause one to ask further questions? I describe a process whereby the theory of climate change may be furthered. I cannot see why nobody is doing this, or something like this. instead of using dodgy paleo and impossible chaos models to skip all the hard work and push an unproven hypothesis.

Apr 13, 2012 at 11:53 AM | Unregistered CommenterRhoda

Richard, the theory is that if the land surface warms the lapse rate slows and a warm spot appears in the atmoshphere between 8 and 12 kilos. The absence of the warm spot indicates that the temperatures at the surface must be overstated. The atmosphere cannot tell the difference between AW and natural warming, so Jo's assertion that the hot spot is an indication of AGW is, to my mind at least, wrong. Having said that it is an indication of warming, and if it's not there then there can have been on warming at the surface, which brings us to Prof Lindzen's point about the only reasonable explanation being that the surface temperatures are being exaggerated in tropics. But they are everywhere aren't they.

Apr 13, 2012 at 12:00 PM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo


The absence of the warm spot indicates that the temperatures at the surface must be overstated.

Or the temperature readings at the putative warm spot location are erroneous?

Or all?

Apr 13, 2012 at 12:09 PM | Registered Commenterjferguson

geronimo, I've seen it mooted that the tropics can't get any hotter because of convection. And the thermometers seem to agree, where it is humid there is a limit to temperature increase before it all heads skyward on a cu-nim and gets dumped to space. Where there is water and heat, that mechanism dwarfs all others. That is why I recoil from the average it first approach I have sometimes seen in climate theory. Nothing averages out when you have latent heat in the mix.

Apr 13, 2012 at 12:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterRhoda

Geronimo, can't disagree with that. Well I suppose I could - I have a feeling that once you include the time dimension temperatures haven't been exaggerated everywhere, just around a puny slice at t = 4 billion years or so, where t is now only restricted by the presence of a planet on which to measure, with a climate stable enough to allow the evolution of beings to do the measuring :)

Meantime I made it to the end of Lindzen's wonderful response.

In their concluding comments, the critics accuse me of doing a disservice to the scientific method. I would suggest that in questioning the views of the critics and subjecting them to specific tests, I am holding to the scientific method, while they, in exploiting speculations to support the possibility of large climate change, are subverting the method. As one begins to develop more careful tests, there is, contrary to the claims of the critics, ample reason to cast doubt on the likelihood of large risk. While the critics do not wish to comment on policy, they do a disservice to both science and the society upon whose support they depend, when they fail to explain the true basis for their assertions.

I gather Lindzen, despite his growing friendship with the devout Catholic Christopher Monckton (another interesting development on show at the House of Commons not yet been dissected on climate blogs that I've seen), is not a great one for the 'revelations' of organised religion but it's hard to suppress a hearty 'Amen'. So be it.

Apr 13, 2012 at 12:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

Apr 13, 2012 at 10:27 AM | Richard Drake

Pettifog - quibble or wrangle about trivial points.

Here is what Prof. Jones wrote when JS sought to include real as opposed to thought experiments:

As the title implies I set this up as a "private" thread [ .......... ]

@JS Thanks, but this thread is sticking ruthlessly to naive theory.

Apr 10, 2012 at 4:25 PM | Jonathan Jones

My comment was neither a quibble nor a wrangle, merely pointing out to you that Prof. Jones had declared a "private thread" about "naive theory". No opening for speculation there, surely.

I am sure that you did not really intend to imply that Prof. Jones' stated restrictions were trivial?

Never mind, it seems that the thread has dropped the intention to stick ruthlessly to naive theory, nay, even exploding distilleries have been discussed.

Apr 13, 2012 at 12:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterBrownedoff

"despite his growing friendship with the devout Catholic Christopher Monckton "

Still playing the man?

Apr 13, 2012 at 12:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterRhoda

Brownedoff, I think you're playing mydog's game in taking this thread off course. I'm not saying I know that either of you are doing so for evil reasons, such as to prevent decent discussion of the very important points Professor Lindzen has made. But the effect is the same. This is not an appropriate place for discussion of mydog's apparent theories, if indeed they deserve to be dignified by that title. I agree that it would take discipline we've not seen from mydog for him to take part in the Jonathan Jones thread and that he may not be capable of this. All I do know is that an enormous amount of time has been wasted and some really important Bishop Hill threads, including those about Lindzen at the House of Commons and its sequels, have been far more difficult to read and take part in than they should have been. Again, accident or design I know not. But wittingly or not you are playing the same game.

Apr 13, 2012 at 1:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

Rhoda, you found me out but you failed to mention the kicker - I was playing both men and not the ball (whatever you define the ball as, of which I have no idea). I was pointing out that Lindzen and Monckton have very different worldviews but are working increasingly closely together. I think this is a significant development indeed.

And here's my reason to 'play the men' as you call it: I am extremely concerned that those with significant differences form alliances to save us from the madness that is climate policy and all that international power seekers wish it to become.

So I'm really sorry to play the man and not the ball. And what was the ball again?

Apr 13, 2012 at 1:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

The ball is the science, but the other side took it home ages ago. Said the result was settled.

Apr 13, 2012 at 1:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterRhoda

Rhoda: a witty and profound comment. But did we have to consider the science only as the ball? The comment of mine you were objecting to (though your own comment was cryptic enough to provide yourself later with half-plausible deniability I suppose, should you want to play the game that way) was in the context of this from Lindzen:

While the critics do not wish to comment on policy, they do a disservice to both science and the society upon whose support they depend, when they fail to explain the true basis for their assertions.

Emphasis mine - and that's why my own net was cast wider, just for a moment. Do you think that my point about enabling and encouraging, in everything we say and do, the formation of alliances to fight the worst abominations of climate policy, like biofuel subsidies, is a valid one? It's a major motivation for me on another subject under Discussion here, so to speak, of which I guess I'm not supposed to speak here - though I think in saying "still playing the man" you were alluding to that very thread. Am I right?

Apr 13, 2012 at 1:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

Playing the man is only a reference to what I consider a superfluous mention of his religious affiliation. You took it no further, and you had your reasons, but I bridled at it, because it is what warmists do. Don't we have a prominent lukewarm scientist who is always said to be a creationist as if this negated his work?

Apr 13, 2012 at 2:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterRhoda

If you refer to brainless attacks on Roy Spencer's science because he, like any other Christian, believes in a personal creator, though not in equally brainless young-earth creationism, I 100% agree with you. (I thought long and hard about the 'equally brainless' there but I think it's fair comments. Careless words cost lives but so on occasions do lack of courage and candour. May I err on the side of wisdom, Lord. That's irony in prayer by the way.)

You considered it a superfluous mention of his religious affiliation but as you now know it wasn't superfluous to me - because it illustrated very nicely this crying need for us to form alliances with others with whom we disagree on matters of great significance to both parties. I've made mention of James Lovelock, who hates biofuel subsidies, carbon trading and wind farms every bit as much as anyone on Bishop Hill. We need to form alliances and we need to do so fast. Some of what passes for culture on blogs like Bishop Hill doesn't help. But Richard Lindzen does help. Enormously.

Apr 13, 2012 at 2:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

And Rhoda you did write:

Still playing the man?

Didn't the still imply that you thought I had in the past? And hadn't someone calling themselves Rhoda written this about me three days ago:

Playing the man. That is why I use a pseudonym ...

Was I wrong to link the two in my mind? Was I wrong to think you intended me to?

Apr 13, 2012 at 2:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

Apr 13, 2012 at 1:13 PM | Richard Drake

Now, who is wasting time?

Apr 13, 2012 at 3:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterBrownedoff

Brownedoff, the way to solve that is for you to speak of RIchard Lindzen's response at the GWPF. You haven't done that in one of your posts yet and I have in ten of mine. I assume your intention is to take this thread off track and that you are annoyed that the normal solution of deploying mydog hasn't worked this time. But that's all very boring - let me finish by quoting this pearl from Lindzen in the notes:

For over thirty years, the ‘evidence’ for positive feedback has essentially been that models display it. However, numerous attempts to evaluate feedbacks independent of models have arrived at the conclusion that these feedbacks are small or even negative.

The first climate sceptic I met - a Rio Tinto exploration geologist twenty years ago - didn't as far as I remember mention this point. What I remember for sure is that he was concerned - furious would be closer - about misunderstandings of the carbon cycle in the CAGW science of the day. But the moment I looked into the area for myself, as a software engineer, this point about the models leapt out at me as far more devastating than any other. If this is the biggest evidence put forward for positive feedbacks then clearly there ain't any evidence. You'd never mention it otherwise. Science had gone badly off course. I've not resiled from that view - though I've learned a lot of other things from others in the meantime, most of all from Richard Lindzen himself.

That's a bit of my personal history. I thought I'd play the man, as they say. But underneath the man - or above him, depending where you think the world of platonic realities sits - there is something else that we can share. Once again, thanks to Richard Lindzen for allowing his profound intuitions, as Christopher Monckton put it in his introduction at the House of Commons, as well as his commitment to the scientific method, to enlighten each of us so much.

Apr 13, 2012 at 3:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

Parenthetically, right in both cases. And the link is that the use of a real identity exposes one to the use of found information as adhomunition.

I was there too, you know. But I was not aware Monckton is a catholic, nor do I regard it as worth mentioning now I know. Or in fact I don't know, for sure. Don't know where we are going with this, It is o/t, and I quit.

Apr 13, 2012 at 4:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterRhoda

Rhoda, that strikes me as very synthetic despair. Whatever your own choices in posting to Bishop Hill anonymously Monckton is a known person who has made a point of linking his faith in a Lord of Life with the fight against CAGW. Lindzen as far as I know is a firm atheist or at least agnostic. But these two men seem to be getting on famously of late. I think it's a dull world if we can't point out such anomalies. You called it playing the man which is ridiculous. That is I agree going nowhere.

Apr 13, 2012 at 5:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

If there was an expert bookie, he would give very long odds on Lindzen's rebuttal getting an article in the Guardian.

Apr 13, 2012 at 5:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterManicBeancounter

Wouldn't it be nice to fast forward 100, 1000, 100,000 years and find out what really happened. For certain Nature holds the trump cards. I suspect Lindzen is a great deal more relaxed with every passing year about his legacy reputation in the annals of 'climatology' than most of his clamourous critics. But the relentless passage of time will tell.

Apr 13, 2012 at 9:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterPharos

Richard Drake, you accuse others of time-wasting, but you are a brilliant practitioner of that art! Why on earth are the religious views of anybody being dragged onto this thread. For what it's worth, I am an agnostic, but was a convinced Christian of the Anglican-tending-to High Church variety in my younger days. And accusing Rhoda of 'synthetic despair' is a bit over the top when you said you actually groaned at a comment I made on another thread.
In my view, you are being vaporously silly and derailing the discussion more thoroughly than any obvious troll could.

Apr 13, 2012 at 11:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlexander K

Alexander K: you seem to have taken against me. That's fine. I remind you though that I have made ten posts here dealing with the details of what Richard Lindzen wrote. At the end I want to shout out "Hallelujah!" if you really want to know. I think it's superb. I agree with Pharos about the verdict of history on this guy. Don't get sidetracked. But there are other important points about how close it seems Lindzen and Monckton have become. One is that Monckton is receiving the finest education of the finer points of atmospheric physics he possibly could. Maybe not such a lightweight as the warmists have tried to make out after all? Even if he used to get some details wrong, that's a good example to many - to keep pursuing the truth. Another point of interest is Monckton's forthright explanations and denunciations of plans for global government arising out of this corruption of science. Not many can paint Dick Lindzen as a gullible idiot. If he takes Monckton seriously on this, then maybe there are a few billion others that should do the same.

But don't worry if the whole of your point was to pull down Richard Drake. My own reputation really doesn't matter that much to me. What I've written out just now and on this thread - that does.

Apr 14, 2012 at 9:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

Richard Drake: I have not taken against you and admire the quality of much of your comment BUT you do tend to be very judgemental of others in what appears to be a random fashion which tends to derail threads and I felt that someone should point it out to you. Rhoda is frequently both clever and funny, but, like me, sees no point in some of your deviations and says so.
My criticisms of those parts of your comment that seem to be irrelevant to the thread are kindly meant.

Apr 14, 2012 at 11:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlexander K

Alexander, this thread is about Lindzen's response to some 'heavyweight critics' of his House of Commons presentation on 22nd February, at which he was introduced by Christopher Monckton. I have stuck to that subject and at the end I've commented favourably on the developing relationship between the two men. To call one my comments 'playing the man' was foolish and diversionary but I'm glad you feel the person concerned has made other good contributions on this blog. I'm not the subject of this thread and I can't see how you both trying to make me the subject doesn't 'derail the thread' - but that's your call.

An important indication of the closeness of Lindzen and Monckton in February was the "I know Chris agrees with this" as Lindzen explains why the greenhouse "slayers" might as well be being paid by the warmist side for the great damage they do to our public credibility as critics of alarmism. I too am judgmental and suspicious of such diversionary tactics - I'm glad you noticed that.

Apr 15, 2012 at 4:23 AM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

Richard Drake, for a bloke who has such a good grasp of the detail in the picture we are all looking at and who writes so fluently and well, you seem to have missed the point I was attempting to make; religion is irrelevant on this thread. For the almost-decade I recently spent in the UK, the person I spent the most time with except for my wife, and with whom we shared a number of sorties into various parts of Europe and who became my closest friend there is a convinced and practicing Roman Catholic and a fellow sceptic in the matter of AGW, but we never once found our wildly differing religious views in any way relevant to anything else we were interested in.

Apr 15, 2012 at 5:13 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlexander K

AK, you've now made the point a number of times that I shouldn't have mentioned a certain subject and that you and Rhoda strongly objected to me mentioning it and that this was very good of you both. I did what I did because I wanted to talk about the very interesting relationship between Lindzen and Monckton, as well as say 'Amen' as I got the end of Lindzen's piece. So let's rephrase that part. I thought this response to Hoskins was stonkingly good. Thanks Professor.

Meanwhile you're the one that keeps harking back to a subject that you say was terrible for me to mention. And then you give more and more details about your own views and experience of that subject, without any reference at all to Lindzen and his paper! If you're so interested in that other subject, great, feel free to go to a blog dedicated to it. I don't want to talk further about it on this thread and you seem desperate to do so. I'll leave others to draw their conclusions.

Apr 15, 2012 at 5:57 AM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

RD, I do get annoyed by very intelligent people who react badly to being crircised when the criticism is kindly and constructively meant. I cannot be bothered going around in endless circles, so I will not raise this topic again as I think you know full well what my point is but you refuse to adress it and use your very considerable writing skills to turn my criticism back on me.
All rather pointless, really.

Apr 16, 2012 at 1:13 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlexander K

AK, do you agree that there was a striking unity between Lindzen and Monckton on 22nd Feb? That was my point. I could have said Tory toff embraces traditional Democrat. The unity was my focus. If we could agree on that then you and I could also perhaps know the start of a wonderful friendship - and this thread could finish closer to its place of embarkation.

Apr 16, 2012 at 7:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

Sorry, RD, I missed the point you were making about a developing friendship between two individuals of differing class and personal belief systems. As an Antipodean unused to the eternal fascination that inhabitants of the Old World have for class and social status, the fact that English-speaking peoples north of the Equator see everything through a different social lens from us former Colonials still catches me out.

Apr 17, 2012 at 6:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlexander K

AK, my mother was born in Auckland and brought up in acute poverty in a bay off the Manakau. I agreed fervently with Andrew Boyle in 1979 after Margaret Thatcher unmasked Anthony Blunt as the fifth Soviet spy from the higher echelons of UK society, the subject of Boyle's book The Climate of Treason. When Boyle was asked in a BBC interview what he thought of the 'Old Boy Network' Blunt had been nurtured and protected by he said "I abhor it." What makes life worth living are the relationships formed which do not depend on such transient factors - and witnessing their power in history. Marx was not an obvious partner for Engels. Thatcher owed an enormous debt to Keith Joseph and to various ex-Marxists. The odder the couple the more the ability to affect things? I hope so in this case.

Apr 17, 2012 at 1:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

Thanks, Richard. Your knowledge of history is encyclopaedic and I defer to that, but knowing your mother's early circumstances tells me nothing about your views or your perspectives. I know that sounds a little tart but it is not meant to be - discussing anything with you always leaves me with the feeling that we are talking past each other. I, at least, am trying to address points as they arise.

Apr 17, 2012 at 10:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlexander K

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