2011-01-24 23:55:29Monckton Myths: summary page
John Cook


I've whipped up a "first draft" of our Monckton Myths summary page:


My thoughts, I want this page to be the one-stop-shop for anyone who encounters Monckton disinformation. It should be the go-to place. So currently, I'm including:

  • all arguments Monckton uses (the list isn't comprehensive yet, still a work in progress)
  • all of our blog posts on Monckton
  • external links to other websites who blog about Monckton (I'm hoping this will catch interest of other bloggers who might then promote this page)
  • search form - if the list of arguments/blog posts gets large, it might get hard to find info
  • request rebuttal - I thought we should provide an option for people to notify us of any new Monckton articles

So feedback? Any other features it should have? Suggested wording for the preamble at the top of the page? Any suggestions to help make this the killer Monckton resource is very welcome.

And of course, this template can easily be applied to any and every other skeptic so over time we can build up a Skeptic Spotters Guide (I just came up with that, quite like the sound of it :-)

2011-01-25 01:59:55Don't forget Climategate
James Wight


You can add all the Climategate arguments to the list of Monckton’s arguments:


2011-01-25 02:01:52Old posts
James Wight

Oh, and don't forget to add all our old posts on Monckton to this page.
2011-01-25 02:07:40Disinformation vs misinformation
James Wight


I would also recommend changing "disinformation" to "misinformation". According to Wiktionary:

"Disinformation" = "The dissemination of intentionally false information to deliberately confuse or mislead."

"Misinformation" = "Information that is incorrect."

We wouldn't want to imply any alleged intentionality behind the incorrect information.

2011-01-25 03:12:44looks good
Dana Nuccitelli
Looks good to me.  For the preamble, I'd suggest noting that Monckton is one of the most frequently-cited global warming "skeptics" despite having no scientific training.
2011-01-25 07:21:09Some feedback
Julian Brimelow

Hi John,

Nice job, I like Neal's idea too (see other thread).

I like the Table format--might I suggest the following changes?

"Net positive feedback is confirmed by many different lines of evidence."
How about..."multiple, independent lines of evidence do not support low climate sensitivity, but a most likely warming of +3 C for doubling CO2."

"Lindzen and Choi’s paper is viewed as unacceptably flawed by other climatologists."
Replace "climatologist" with "climate scientists"

"The most recent [published] ocean measurements show consistent warming."
Maybe also mention 0-2000 m?


All for now.

2011-01-25 07:26:17neal's ideas
Dana Nuccitelli

As Albatross mentioned, neal had some really good ideas in this other thread

"there seems to be a repertoire of logical misdeeds that Monckton applies again and again: cherry-picking time frames; attributing a general increase to a cyclical cause; misquoting the data or results from a reference; down to "just makin' it up." It seems to me that there is a fairly small set of tactics that he uses again and again and again."

Neal suggests that we list which of these tactics Monckton uses in each of his myths - maybe this could even be a column in the table.  But it might be worth summarizing these tactics in the preamble.

2011-01-25 07:41:44

Neal beat me, I was going to suggest to highlight Monckton tactic.
2011-01-25 10:05:28Updated
John Cook


Thanks for the feedback so far.

Have added all the Climategate arguments. James, thanks for the link to that climategate article by Monckton. Happily, it had already been added to the database so the Firefox add-on gave me a list of all the arguments used. A whole heap of them too! Phew, this is gonna be a long list - Monckton may end up having all 140+ arguments!

Changed 'disinformation' to 'misinformation'

Went through old blog posts and found Monckton related ones, added them to the list - let me know if I missed any.

I've added a summary of Neal's 'Monckton techniques' in my preamble but it will need finessing - I just wanted to get something up there to build on (plus to get it up to a certain level so I can show it around to a few parties).

2011-01-25 10:51:34Starting to add new arguments from recent Monckton Myths
John Cook


I've just added a 143rd argument:

Arctic sea ice loss is matched by Antarctic sea ice gain

James, feel free to tweak it if you think it needs changing as a rebuttal rather than a blog post. Will continue to go through the blog posts and add new arguments that I can then add to the MM page.

2011-01-25 12:05:34


Hi John,

I wouldn't go live on this with the summary of "Monckton's techniques" unattached to specific examples: Ideally, one would list the specific techniques used with each individual myth.

Otherwise, there is the concern that you would be making an accusatory statement not supported by an immediate example - and we want to avoid that, with Monckton; as he has the reputation of being litigatiously trigger-happy.

2011-01-25 12:26:10You can add to the list of Monckton's techniques...
James Wight


"multiplying together a string of dubious statistics to get a meaningless result".

He's also co-opted the "Gish gallop" and turned it into the "Monckton meander" or whatever.

2011-01-25 12:41:01Global sea ice rebuttal
James Wight


I was going to turn my post into a rebuttal of “Global sea ice is increasing” which we don’t yet have a rebuttal for. I think this is basically the same argument as “Arctic sea ice loss is matched by Antarctic sea ice gain”. Maybe you should merge the two arguments?