One of his better encounters was with Erin Delman, president of the Environmental Club at the college and one of the unthinking indoctrinated.
As they filed in, Lord Monckton was chatting contentedly to a quaveringly bossy woman with messy blonde hair who was head of the college environmental faction. Her group had set up a table at the door of the auditorium, covered in slogans scribbled on messy bits of recycled burger boxes held together with duct tape (Re-Use Cardboard Now And Save The Planet). “There’s a CONSENSUS!” she shrieked.Ah, yes. The ever popular appeal to authority, the usual device of those who know their argument is a losing one. It's certainly one of the more used tactics of the warmist camp – if the facts don't support your beliefs, then make the appeal to authority as if that's all one needs to do to prove the unsubstantiated claims.
“That, Madame, is intellectual baby-talk,” replied Lord Monckton. Had she not heard of Aristotle’s codification of the commonest logical fallacies in human discourse, including that which the medieval schoolmen would later describe as the argumentum ad populum, the headcount fallacy? From her reddening face and baffled expression, it was possible to deduce that she had not. Nor had she heard of the argumentum ad verecundiam, the fallacy of appealing to the reputation of those in authority.
But for the moment let us return to to Erin Delman's refrain - “There’s a CONSENSUS!” Monckton blew the consensus argument out of the water with a few examples of consensus that were anything but proof.
[Monckton] said that, unlike the IPCC, he was going to speak in plain English. Yet he proposed to begin, in silence, by displaying some slides demonstrating the unhappy consequences of several instances of consensus in the 20th century.And there is the crux of the argument. Consensus, particularly when the term is applied to science, means absolutely nothing. It is merely a tool used to push unsubstantiated and, in some cases, wholly unprovable “scientific” gobbledygook. Consensus means nothing in regards to the validity of a scientific hypothesis. All it takes is one person outside the consensus to prove it wrong.
The Versailles consensus of 1918 imposed reparations on the defeated Germany, so that the conference that ended the First World War (15 million dead) sowed the seeds of the Second. The eugenics consensus of the 1920s that led directly to the dismal rail-yards of Oswiecim and Treblinka (6 million dead). The appeasement consensus of the 1930s that provoked Hitler to start World War II (60 million dead). The Lysenko consensus of the 1940s that wrecked 20 successive harvests in the then Soviet Union (20 million dead). The ban-DDT consensus of the 1960s that led to a fatal resurgence of malaria worldwide (40 million children dead and counting, 1.25 million of them last year alone).
You could have heard a pin drop. For the first time, the largely hostile audience (for most of those who attended were environmentalists) realized that the mere fact of a consensus does not in any way inform us of whether the assertion about which there is said to be a consensus is true.
What made Monckton's lecture even more eye opening was using the IPCC's own data and conclusions to prove them as nonsense. As Monckton stated, the IPCC's reports were not peer reviewed, something the warmists claim ad nauseum is the only thing that is the measure of whether something is true or not. (Never mind that the only peers the AGW folks want reviewing anything are those who are firmly in the warmist camp. The open-minded need not apply.)
In the comments to the post linked above, Lord Monckton replies personally to some of the warmist trolls who tried to discredit his claims by making strawman arguments, misrepresenting what he stated, or trying to attack his data. Ironically, much of the data he used came from the IPCC itself, which he goes to great lengths to explain in his reply. Using their data he shows a number of faulty or unsubstantiated assumptions made by the IPCC to make their grossly overestimated projections about AGW. He shreds every one of the trolls' accusations and shows them for the indoctrinated and unthinking drones they are.
As more than one commenter opined, they'd love to see Lord Monckton debate Al Gore about AGW. Too bad we'll never see that happen. Monckton would bury him.