Science fail

Apparently one of the world’s foremost experts on global warming – as far as the denialist camp is concerned – is Viscount Monckton of Brenchley. The sum total of his qualifications appear to be his propensity to comment on the subject. A google search turned up the Heartland Institute’s take on Monckton.

Observe the ad on the left of the page: “Why Does Gore Refuse To Debate His Critics? CLIMATE CHANGE IS NOT A CRISIS”. It looks like something straight out of a political campaign, which ought to be enough to toss it aside without further contemplation. But let’s contemplate for a second. The ad shows Al Gore’s face above four people who – we presume – are “his critics” (one of whom is our esteemed Viscount Monckton). How much tomfoolery can you squeeze into something so small?

  1. The one-versus-four theme makes Al Gore look like he’s on his own, which couldn’t be further from the truth.
  2. The ad conjures up images of public debates of the sort that have nothing to do with science. One does not resolve anything, least of all matters of scientific enquiry and public policy, by having proponents of each view point stand up on a stage and hurl sound bites at each other.
  3. If anyone did need to be involved in a debate, it would be the hundreds of scientists who contribute to the IPCC’s reports, not Al Gore, who is after all just the messenger.

Science. We’ve heard of it.