Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The adventures of Christopher Monckton in the real world (Episode two)

What a proper education can do for you

The Telegraph have replaced the blatantly warmist propaganda piece that was so horribly out of place on their website which insinuated that the Lord of the Dance Climate Skeptics agreed climate was warming due to anthropogenic causes, with a much cosier rant from the man himself, in which the Loony Lord, who so detests the vile ad hominens thrown at him by the alarmist brigade in lieu of any actual science, refers in the first line to a "bearded, staring enviro-zomb with the regrettable T-shirt". EoR doesn't know why the T-shirt was 'regrettable' since the Illogical Lord fails to give a reason.

Monckton laments the loss of:

Perspective, the Olympian capacity to see events as they affect not just us and our mates but everyone, and not just in the excitement of the present but sub specie aeternitatis, in the long, calm, kindly shadow of eternity: this has gone from what passes for education in the West.

Are we, then, to assume that Monckton considers himself one of the Olympians, possessing, as he does, a transcendent vision of humanity, the world and existence that far outstrips the average mortal schmuck? Monckton has always evidenced a grandiosity complex, but it grows worse every day.

The global warming scam has been so successful, he claims, for three reasons.

The climate bugaboo, the strangest intellectual aberration of our age, rampages because in the me and now we have cast aside three once-universal [sic] forms of learning that gave us perspective: a Classical education, to remind us that in reason and logic there is a difference between true and false; a scientific education, to show us which is which; and a religious education, to teach us why the distinction matters.

Which does rather expose the real agenda of the deniers: godlessness and atheism are the heathen evils to be fought. If we were only more godly (presumably, worshipping Olympians like Monckton himself) then we wouldn't be so stupid. And the Flying Spaghetti Monster could just magic away global warming.

Monckton also neglects to mention that part of a Classical education was the art of rhetoric. EoR does agree that a classical education would be helpful, since it would make more people knowledgeable about the Sophists, those who would argue a cause whether it was true or false, or whether they believed in it or not. Indeed, the description of Sophists could be applied directly to Monckton without any difficulty at all:

[The Sophists] wandered about Greece from place to place, gave lectures, took pupils, and entered into disputations. For these services they exacted large fees, and were, in fact, the first in Greece to take fees for teaching wisdom.


The most popular career of a Greek of ability at the time was politics; hence the sophists largely concentrated on teaching rhetoric. The aims of the young politicians whom they trained were to persuade the multitude of whatever they wished them to believed. The search for truth was not top priority. Consequently the sophists undertook to provide a stock of arguments on any subject, or to prove any position. They boasted of their ability to make the worse appear the better reason, to prove that black is white. Some, like Gorgias, asserted that it was not necessary to have any knowledge of a subject to give satisfactory replies as regards it. Thus, Gorgias ostentatiously answered any question on any subject instantly and without consideration. To attain these ends mere quibbling, and the scoring of verbal points were employed. In this way, the sophists tried to entangle, entrap, and confuse their opponents, and even, if this were not possible, to beat them down by mere violence and noise. They sought also to dazzle by means of strange or flowery metaphors, by unusual figures of speech, by epigrams and paradoxes, and in general by being clever and smart, rather than earnest and truthful. Hence our word “sophistry”: the use of fallacious arguments knowing them to be such.

Monckton's education in grammar and debate also seem to be failing. At times, he refers to himself in the article in the third person, and at others in the first person. It seems he is dissociated from himself in an almost Freudian way.

Monckton attacks "another headline last week [that] shrieked" he had admitted global warming was real and human caused. Monckton (in whatever person) doesn't mention it was in the same paper. His argument that the claim is wrong? He admitted four years ago that global warming was real and it was human caused. So much for your "Classical" logic and reason.

Would someone please tuck the good Lord into bed, give him a warm drink, turn the lights out, and gently steal away.

Meanwhile, for those with an interest in the actual science, rather than schoolboy rhetorical exercises, Miloslav Nic has created a wonderful online searchable database for the IPCC Fourth Assessement Report.

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