Lord Monckton was Never a Government Science Adviser

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Lord Monckton’s latest open letter in our debate about the validity of the greenhouse gas “theory” is peppered with vituperation, untruths, errors and self-contradictions. Monckton’s reply follows that of his first open letter. These are in rebuttal against John O’Sullivan’s first and second open letter challenges to Monckton about the so-called greenhouse gas ‘theory.’ Below we show how unreliable his lordship is as a supposed authority. Sorry it’s so long but it’s not easy to debunk the sophist arguments in a few words.

Lord Monckton


Let us examine his lordship’s latest diatribe where Monckton takes great umbrage to O’Sullivan’s assertion that his lordship has cultivated an image of himself as the former “science adviser” to Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher. They say a picture speaks a thousand words. In that light, please take a look at this Youtube video where Monckton smiles contentedly as a news interviewer refers to him in those very same terms – no words of correction whatsoever from his lordship.

But while Monckton throws insults at me for daring to describe him that way he seems to have no qualms when such attributions are made by his supporters, including Marc Morano at Climate Depot. Morano explicitly states, “Former Thatcher Science Advisor & UN IPCC Reviewer Lord Christopher Monckton,” and again here, to which Monckton, replied, “The story circulated by the indefatigable Marc Morano is – as one would expect – accurate in every particular.” 

The appellation seemingly thus implicitly approved by Monckton going back at least to 2009 as per UKIP Leader Malcolm Pearson when Pearson announced:

“I am delighted that Lord Monckton has accepted my invitation to join UKIP as our chief spokesman on Climate Change. He was Margaret Thatcher’s Special Adviser in Downing Street on a number of areas, including science.”

Thatcher Minister Mocks Monckton’s Mendacious Claims

Current UKIP leader, Nigel Farage will see that the self styled “Special Adviser” on science to Margaret Thatcher was nothing more than a glorified press officer and odd job. Yes, he has an arts degree but no science qualifications we can find. By contrast, Margaret Thatcher was an Oxford University Chemistry graduate. “It was I [Monckton] who—on the prime minister’s behalf—kept a weather eye on the official science advisers to the government, from the chief scientific adviser downward.” Well, Thatcher’s autobiography makes not one mention of Monckton and attributes all such climate science advice to George Guise and Sir Crispin Tickell.

So, your lordship, since you’ve called me a liar, in my defense I challenge you

If all you claim is true then why do you appear to have done nothing to counter Thatcher’s climate alarmism? You claim you had at that time hard evidence to prove such alarmism wrong. But newspaper reports and your own piece in the Daily Telegraph (Nov 6, 2006) stand at odds with quotes attributed to you elsewhere (The Guardian:June 22, 2010) suggesting you disregarded all those “calculations” you say you performed using the “first computer in Downing St;” calculations you say proved that, at most, CO2 could only cause “some warming.” So why, by your omission to speak out, do you appear complicit in Thatcher’s original greenhouse gas-based global warming alarmism?

Monckton’s other Gaffes and Scientific Self Contradictions

Monckton has contradicted himself in his pronouncements about the science. In his first reply in our exchange he said:

“He [O’Sullivan] says I am wrong to assert that blackbodies have albedo. Here, he confuses two distinct methods of radiative transfer at a surface: absorption/emission (in which the Earth is a near-blackbody, displacing incoming radiance to the near-infrared in accordance with Wien’s law), and reflection (by which clouds and ice reflect the Sun’s radiance without displacing its incoming wavelengths).”

But his lordship is blowing a smoke screen. His comments about “blackbody albedo” even took Jo Nova’s gang by surprise when he published his astonishing claims on her blog.

Monckton then asserts:

  “Interaction of greenhouse gases with photons at certain absorption wavelengths induces a quantum resonance in the gas molecules, emitting heat directly. It is more like turning on a tiny radiator than trapping heat with a blanket.”

To validate your armchair science speculation please cite any peer-reviewed scientific paper that specifically characterizes your “tiny radiators.”

Monckton then asserts:

“He [O’S] says, with characteristic snide offensiveness, that I “crassly” attribute the “heat- trapping properties of latent heat to a trace gas that is a perfect energy emitter”. On the contrary: in its absorption bands, CO2 absorbs the energy of a photon and emits heat by quantum resonance.”

Yes, of course, energy is absorbed and then immediately emitted by CO2. But your GHE “theory” infers CO2 then traps or delays the release of such energy to cause “some warming.” Please cite any peer-reviewed science paper that applies empirically gathered data that proves/quantifies the trapping/delay you say occurs.

Climate Science Policy Adviser for UKIP and SPPI?

As the preferred official climate science adviser of UKIP and SPPI, Christopher Monckton believes that even the atmospheric lapse rate is the result of “radiative forcing” by greenhouse gases. His lordship states:

…because the atmosphere contains greenhouse gases and, therefore, its temperature is not uniform, consequent maintenance of the temperature lapse-rate of about 6.5 K/km of altitude will ensure that the surface warms as a result.” [1]

But NASA disagrees.[2]

Alan Siddons observes, “The lapse rate is entirely due to thermodynamics, gravity, and the ideal gas law. Even mathaphobics will notice that infrared-absorbing gases have nothing to do with it.[emphasis added]. And the modification known as the moist lapse rate owes simply to the release of latent heat by condensing water.”

A statement like, “the atmosphere contains greenhouse gases and, therefore, its temperature is not uniform,” is thus a false statement. As the NASA chart shows, no planet’s atmosphere has a uniform temperature; every planet’s atmosphere has a lapse rate.

Wrong on Wood

Monckton then writes:

“O’Sullivan also mentions in passing a century-old experiment by Wood, which, however, was not conducted under the rigorous conditions of today. In particular, the straightforward containment within the box capped (if Lord Monckton remembers correctly) with sodium chloride glass would cause heat to accumulate at a rate far greater than would arise from near-infrared interactions with very small quantum of CO2 that would be present in so small a space.”

Monckton’s statement on the Robert W. Wood experiment is incorrect and refuted by those peer-reviewed papers of Professor Nasif Nahle of Mexico and Alberto Miatello, Italy. [3,4] Please verify the correctness of their calculations here.

Moreover, Nahle has performed the most rigorous re-construction of the Wood experiment (see here). Nahle proved that Wood was right and there is no “trapping of infra-red radiation” and no significant difference between the heating of the  boxes.

Moreover, Miatello showed that even Professor Pratt from Stanford University, who tried to prove that Wood was wrong (November 2009) by using more up-to-date materials, did not take into account at all the percentage of moisture in the boxes and a 15° C difference between his boxes can easily be explained by that.

Oh lord, where is your skepticism?

You see, we 200+ scientists and other related experts at PSI (select member list here) rely on robust empirical evidence, either by our own experiments or in the scientific literature. Moreover, what we do find in the literature (e.g. as per the Vostok ice core data) is that CO2 impact on climate is probably negligible in effect or is possibly cooling, based on such empirical proofs. The Vostok data shows that when CO2 is high we get ice-ages. Other factors, like water latent heat etc., the sun itself, are orders of magnitude more significant. If CO2 causes ice-ages that’s something that we could be worried about. Despite a near doubling of CO2 since the 1930′s we see current temperatures are the same and even cooler – so much for Monckton’s mantra: “more CO2 causes more warming and the only debate in town is the degree of warming [emphasis added].” [5]

Indeed, eminent solar scientists (including PSI’s recent recruit, Dr. Habibullo Abdussamatov) say we are now in a cooling period (despite that 40% rise in CO2 in recent decades). Again, this affirms the null hypothesis telling us the greenhouse gas effect (GHE) may be shown to be wrong despite those diehard believers in the “theory” claiming CO2 somehow “traps” heat making our planet “warmer than it would otherwise be.”

But Monckton and others don’t even appear to know that even the US Department of Energy has the temerity to defeat the whole idea that greenhouse gases recirculate the energy they release by admitting:

What happens after the GHG molecules absorb infrared radiation? The hot molecules release their energy, usually at lower energy (longer wavelength) radiation than the energy previously absorbed. The molecules cannot absorb energy emitted by other molecules of their own.”

As such, only cooling can be the consequence.

Arrogance, Misunderstandings, Mistakes and Oversights

For over a quarter of a century the GHE has been presented as “settled science” and humans have been blamed for emitting too much CO2 into the atmosphere risking dangerous global warming. But this is political spin and the actual historical record shows that the GHE was not accepted among mainstream scientists before the 1970’s. How do we know this? Because the eminent American Meteorological Society (AMS), among others, tells us so.[6] As does PSI today, the learned members of the AMS, as elsewhere, dismissed the idea that carbon dioxide plays any measurable role in climate.

Indeed, not just the AMS but a benchmark CIA report from 1974 about future climate risks makes no attribution to any GHE. Not once in that important government climate science document will you even see the terms “greenhouse gases” or “greenhouse effect” mentioned. [7]

National Report: Water Cycle, Not CO2 the Climate Key

Instead, we see the U.S. Government put great reliance on the “National Climate Plan” which was the outcome of evidence provided at the national climate conference in San Diego of April 1974 where climatologists “argued, discussed and defended their approaches.” [id] Taking notes were representatives from the National Security Council, NOAA, National Science Foundation and the National Academy of Sciences.

The outcome was that the official report avoided mention of the greenhouse gas theory. Why? Because it was accepted as refuted decades earlier. Instead it was agreed that the water cycle (not CO2) was our climate’s thermostat. The report concluded that the key to climate were clouds and surface albedo causing 25 percent of all solar energy to be reflected directly back into space before it can reach our planet’s surface (p.9). And when cloud cover and albedo are altered “Climate change is sharp and dramatic.”(p.16).

Greenhouse Gas ‘Science’ Founded on Politics not Science

Pointedly, fourteen years later and Thatcher’s alarmist speech of 1988 about the “dangers” of CO2 (See: Rupert Darwall: The Age of Global Warming) refers to no great new scientific discovery overturning what the AMS, NOAA, the National Academy of Sciences said in 1974.Why? Because none had been found. With no cited new found scientific breakthrough to justify, why western governments should switch from attributing no climate change to the greenhouse gas effect to making it the cornerstone of all climate science, Thatcher’s speech was all hot air.

What PSI has identified to explain this evidence-lacking U-turn is the politicization of science in a steady drip-drip effect of low key climatology papers published increasingly since the 1960’s. Such papers distorting inter alia Fourier (1824) and Fourier (1827) which became “The Most Misquoted and Most Misunderstood Science Papers in the Public Domain .“ We see a small cabal of earth scientists, untrained in higher level thermodynamics and off the “hard” science radar, engaging in speculations, compounding errors and forging ever more distortions taking them further down a blind CO2 alley.

But the work of Fourier, Arrhenius, Tyndall, Callender etc. had long been known to all scientists. Based on such knowledge the AMS in 1951 rightly announced that the idea that CO2 could alter the climate “was never widely accepted and was abandoned when it was found that all the long-wave radiation [that would be] absorbed by CO2 is [already] absorbed by water vapor.”[id.]

Lord Monckton is among many who claim to practice skepticism of the claims of those working within the infant science of climatology but he actually does no such thing. Instead, he and other so called “skeptics” gleefully buy into decades of government climate science propaganda that CO2 causes warming. Monckton glosses over the telling AMS statement we presented him above where scientists had known that all the long-wave radiation [that would be] absorbed by CO2 is [already] absorbed by water vapor. Instead, Monckton’s letter to O’Sullivan asserts: “It is now known that, though that is largely true for the lower troposphere, it is often false for the upper.“

But how is it known, your lordship? If you and others cannot offer citation of any peer-reviewed paper from the modern era that proves empirically that CO2 significantly traps/delays the escape of heat energy from our atmosphere then you have nothing of scientific substance to show that the AMS, the U.S. National Plan and mainstream science before Thatcher (1988) were proven wrong.

Politics, not Science, Ignores the Null Hypothesis

What amazes PSI members is how so many “skeptics” ignore the full ramifications of what has been known since 2003 from the Vostok ice cores. Those ice cores proved that for the last 400,000 years rises in atmospheric CO2 levels lagged 800 years behind temperature rises.[8]

As such, compelling empirical evidence suggests CO2 was a symptom, not a cause of the warming. Even Lord Monckton admitted (Daily Telegraph, Nov, 05, 2006) that “the changes in temperature preceded the changes in CO2 levels.”

So, if you agree the Vostok data affirms the null hypothesis then as a skeptic we invite you to take a look at PSI’s peer reviewed papers (under ‘Publications’) that show there are many other greenhouse gas errors. For instance, PSI exposes the key equations used in government climate models that wrongly treat our planet as a flat disk bathed in 24 hours of twilight (a simplistic fudge factor averaging technique).

Lady Thatcher was famously “not for turning” yet she did eventually turn against her alarmist position on CO2.

When will you, Lord Monckton, wise up and accept what an increasing number of scientists are seeing? Global temperatures have been flat-lining for the last 16 years despite levels of atmospheric CO2 rising 40 percent in recent decades. Don’t you agree it is time for a major rethink? Can you not see that perhaps those (non GHE) scientists in the ’70’s who were predicting an ice age were right all along? It’s time to listen to top solar science experts like Dr. Habibullo Abdussamatov; we may already be into a mini ice age that could last 50 years or more and the empirical evidence affirms no greenhouse gas effect. Carbon dioxide is innocent. Embrace the null hypothesis.


[1] Monckton, C.,’On Pulling Planck out of a Hat,‘ (October 5, 2011), ukipscotland.wordpress.com

[2] NASA, Adiabatic Lapse Rate, Dry, PDS: The Planetary Atmospheres Data Node; (accessed online: May 6, 2013)

 [3] Nahle, Nasif S. ‘Repeatability of Professor Robert W. Wood’s 1909 experiment on the Theory of the Greenhouse,’ (June 12, 2011). Biology Cabinet Online, Academic Resources. Monterrey, N. L.

[4] Miatello, A., ‘The Famous Wood’s Experiment Fully Explained,‘ (June 25, 2012), www.slayingtheskydragon.com

[5] Monckton, C., in private email correspondence to Siddons, A., & Schreuder, H.

[6] Brooks, C.E.P. (1951). “Geological and Historical Aspects of Climatic Change.” In Compendium of Meteorology, edited by Thomas F. Malone, pp. 1004-18 (at 1016). Boston: American Meteorological Association.

[7] Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). ‘A Study of Climatological Research as it Pertains to Intelligence Problems’ (1974)

[8] Barnola, Barkov et al. ‘Historical Isotopic Temperature Record from the Vostok Ice Core,'(2003) http://cdiac.ornl.gov; Petit et all 1999 (CO2 lags temps by 1,000’s of years; Fischer et al 1999 (CO2 lag of 600± 400 years); Monnin et al 2001 at Dome Concordia, Antarctica (CO2 to temp lag of 800 ± 600 yrs); Mudelsee (2001) CO2 lags temps. by 1,300 years ± 1000;Caillon et al 2003  CO2 lags temps by  800 ± 200 years.

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