A well-known British climate skeptic writes an extensive essay laying out his disagreements with climatologist Scott Denning’s recent Yale Forum posting.
British climate skeptic Christopher Monckton is having none of Colorado State University climate scientist Scott Denning’s recent posting calling for a change in the culture of climate change dialogues.
Denning in that piece singled-out Monckton and two other climate science skeptics as unlikely to have been swayed by Denning’s 2010 and 2011 presentations before skeptical Heartland Institute annual meeting audiences. He was right on that point, Monckton confirmed in a 10-page 4,547-word essay he submitted for posting.
Given the length of that response, The Yale Forum has decided not to post it as either a feature or as a comment, as it vastly exceeds the length of all but a few previous postings. The full Monckton commentary is available here.
Among points Monckton makes in his response to Denning:
- He argues that “consensus will not do as the basis for policy-making” and rejects Denning’s citations to work pointing to widespread agreement among climate scientists.
- He claims there is “much heat, little literature, and no consensus” on the question of how much global warming actually will occur, and argues that numerical methods based on “big computer models” about the climate’s long-term evolution amount to no more than “expensive guesswork.”
- He argues that climate sensitivity analysis “openly questions whether we shall see more than about 1 Celsius degree of global warming this century” and says much of that warming “would be beneficial, not harmful.”
- He says “the true difference between [what he calls] the true-believers and the skeptics” is found in temperature feedbacks, which he concludes will be “somewhat net-negative, attenuating rather than amplifying the direct warming and removing the climate problem altogether.” This leads him to conclude that “this century’s CO2–driven warming will be just 0.5 Celsius,” about .8 F.
- “CO2 mitigation measures inexpensive enough to be affordable will be ineffective,” Monckton argues, and “measures expensive enough to be effective will be unaffordable. Since the premium exceeds the cost of the risk, don’t insure.”
- He accuses Denning of setting up “a number of straw men” and maintains that the actual consensus is that “a degree or two [Celsius] of warming would indeed be good for us.”
- He criticizes Denning for providing “not a single quantitative argument,” but rather for providing a commentary “full of politics and polemics and emotion and a startling number of fallacies.” “This does not impress,” he writes.
- “Skeptics use reason. True-believers don’t,” Monckton concludes. “The general public — not half as dim as academe imagines — can tell the difference.”
Monckton’s views are unlikely to come as news either to those who accept or those who reject them and who have followed his frequent public presentations over the past few years in the U.S. and overseas. They are views that the scientific establishment by and large has repeatedly evaluated and found unconvincing based on the broad understanding of relevant scientific evidence.