Material below is provided in reverse chronology, from most recent development to initial correspondence.
October 13, 2008:
Christopher (Lord) Monckton's letter to Professor Joseph Serene, APS:
- American Physical Society (APS) Abandons Science for Theology.
July 29, 2008:
APS Fellow writes to APS in support of Christopher (Lord) Monckton's position:
- Read letter to APS supporting Lord Monckton's position on AGW.
July 24, 2008: (updated July 30)
Christopher (Lord) Monckton responds to critiques of his paper (2):
Several critiques of Lord Monckton's paper appeared shortly after its publication. One from a member of the APS took issue with a number of Lord Monckton's points, including his conclusions. Lord Monckton's response to this critique thoroughly exhonerates his original paper and clearly reveals the errors of Dr. Arthur Smith, APS member, who continued the ad hominen tone set by the original APS disclaimer. [Do prospective APS members have to pass a "sneer" exam to test their proficiency at ad hominen insult?]
Dr. Smith's critique is followed immediately by Lord Monckton's rebuttal in these documents:
A second assault on Lord Monckton's paper arose from a blogger at FalseClimate, a site whose comment board does not allow comments from anyone who does not espouse the AGW theory of the IPCC. It is a site that is both forgettable and lacks credibiity, as it was co-founded by two co-authors
of the completely discredited "hockey-stick" curve.
July 22, 2008:
APS responds by changing disclaimer:
As of this moment it appears that the only response to Lord Monckton's latest communication to the APS concerning their offensive disclaimer comes in the form of a revised, much toned-down, disclaimer in normal text color (rather than the bright red of the original highly discourteous posting):
Considering that a full professor of Physics chosen by the APS did review the paper and through various communications with Lord Monckton suggested changes that resulted in more than 3000 additional words to the paper, the claim that the paper has not undergone "any scientific peer review" is debatable. It is absurd for the APS to claim that it is necessary to post a disclaimer at the head of each article not specifically identified as being reflective of the APS membership's opinion. Claims of consensus of opinions regarding scientific matters are generally inappropriate and not conducive to a healthy atmosphere for scientific inquiry.
- Original disclaimer:
The following article has not undergone any scientific peer review. Its conclusions are in
disagreement with the overwhelming opinion of the world scientific community. The
Council of the American Physical Society disagrees with this article's conclusions.
The following article has not undergone any scientific peer review, since that is not normal procedure for American Physical Society newsletters. The American Physical Society reaffirms the following position on climate change, adopted by its governing body, the APS Council, on November 18, 2007: "Emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities are changing the atmosphere in ways that affect the Earth's climate."
[This same disclaimer now also appears above the pro-IPCC paper in the same issue of the APS newsletter].
The essence of scientific research is the quest for better "truth" in scientific knowledge. Those who believe that human emissions of carbon dioxide (or any other greenhouse gas) have a significant (or even detectible) effect on climate (the anthropogenic global warming, AGW, theory) have consistently attempted to silence opposing views on the peculiar basis that they do not represent "consensus." However, scientific truth is not determined by consensus -- it is determined by sound scientific research based on realistic assumptions and confirmed by observation. The AGW theory (as Monckton's paper demonstrates) not only fails the valid assumption test, it is completely discredited by a host of observational data (uncooperative polar temperatures, missing tropical mid-troposphere fingerprint, downturn in global temperature, cooling oceans, etc.) and new research that clearly demonstrates the claimed scientific bases upon which the AGW theory rests are fatally flawed. Humans are not capable of significantly altering climate. Greenhouse gases are not a signficant climate change force (and never have been in Earth's climate history over the past few billion years).
There is no longer any valid scientific basis for the claim endorsed by the APS Council that "emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities are changing the atmosphere in ways that affect the Earth's climate."
It appears that the APS membership would be well-served to step forward and elect a new Council to represent a more scientific approach to opinionating for the Society.
This entire episode raises more than a few questions that bear on the credibility of whether the views of the APS "governing body" represent the majority of APS members.
There is little doubt that Lord Monckton's paper will be peer reviewed. We can hope that any competent reviewing process will either establish the paper's validity or lead to modifications that will give us an even better paper with an improved understanding of the feedback processes involved with increased atmospheric CO2.
- What process did the APS Council use to evaluate all aspects of the global warming theory espoused by the IPCC before endorsing it? It is particularly odd that the endorsement came as recently as November 2007 when emerging new research and observations (climate stability/cooling, projected multi-decadal cooling, shifts in PDO & ADO, increasing evidence supporting solar/cosmic link, lack of historic precedent for the AGW climate change mechanism, weakness of underlying IPCC assumptions exposed, lack of corroborating evidence predicted to appear by IPCC AGW theory, and not the least, the shattered basis for IPCC estimates of CO2 climate change forcing mechanism) have been devastating to the AGW theory.
- On what basis does the APS Council believe that the IPCC AGW theory is supported by "the overwhelming opinion of the world scientific community" as stated in the original disclaimer? Where is the evidence for that statement?
- What role does "consensus" of scientific opinion play in real scientific discourse?
- What compelled the APS to divert from its very civil original approach to this issue by adding the original, highly offensive disclaimer to Monckton's paper?
- On what basis has the APS Council determined that the conclusions of Lord Monckton's paper are in "disagreement with the overwhelming opinion of the world scientific community" as claimed in the original disclaimer? (by what method has the Council determined the "opinion" of "the world scientific community"?)
- What has the APS Council done to provide future contributors assurance that they will not receive the same discourteous treatment given Lord Monckton's paper?
It is remarkable to witness how any questioning of the IPCC's AGW theory's key underpinning receives such hostile treatment prior to wide scientific scrutiny. Such reaction strongly confirms the growing belief that the AGW theory stands upon a crumbling foundation.
For more on this issue, see this excellent piece at The American Thinker: Unrepentant APS softens but doesn't remove offensive Monckton disclaimer.
July 21, 2008:
Lord Monckton's response to Bienenstock's reply (21 July):
- The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley
- Carie, Rannoch, PH17 2QJ
- Arthur Bienenstock, Esq., Ph.D.,
- President, American Physical Society,
- Wallenberg Hall, 450 Serra Mall, Bldg 160, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA 94305.
- By email to email@example.com
- 21 July 2008
- Dear Dr. Bienenstock,
- Physics and Society
- I have had your notice of refusal to remove your regrettable disclaimer
from my paper Climate Sensitivity Reconsidered. Since you have not had
the courtesy to remove and apologize for the unacceptable red-flag text
that, on your orders, in effect invites readers of Physics and Society
to disregard the paper that one of your editors had invited me to
submit, and which I had submitted in good faith, and which I had revised
in good faith after it had been meticulously reviewed by a Professor of
Physics who was more than competent to review it, I must now require you
to answer the questions that I had asked in my previous letter,
- Please provide the name and qualifications of the member of the
Council or advisor to it (if any) who considered my paper (if anyone
considered it) before the Council ordered the offending text to be
posted above my paper;
- Please provide a copy of this rapporteur's findings (if any) and
ratio decidendi (if any);
- Please provide the date of the Council meeting (if there was one) at
which the report (if any) was presented;
- Please provide a copy of the minutes (if any) of the discussion (if
there was one);
- Please provide a copy of the text (if any) of the Council's decision
(if there was one);
- Please provide a list of the names of those present (if any) at that
Council meeting (if there was one);
- If, as your silence on these points implies, the Council has not
scientifically evaluated or formally considered my paper, please explain
with what credible scientific justification, and on whose authority, the
offending text asserts -
- primo, that the paper had not been scientifically reviewed, when it had
(let us have no more semantic quibbles about the meaning of "scientific
- secundo, that its conclusions disagree with what is said (on no
evidence) to be the "overwhelming opinion of the world scientific
- tertio, that "The Council of the American Physical Society disagrees
with this article's conclusions"? Which of my conclusions does the
Council disagree with, and on what scientific grounds (if any)? And, if
the Council has not in fact met to consider my paper as your red-flag
text above my paper implies, how dare you state (on no evidence) that
the Council disagrees with my conclusions?
- Please provide the requested apology without any further mendacity,
prevarication, evasion, excuse, or delay.
- Finally, was the Council's own policy statement on "global warming"
peer-reviewed? Or is it a mere regurgitation of some of the opinions of
the UN's climate panel? If the latter, why was the mere repetition
- Yours truly,
- THE VISCOUNT MONCKTON OF BRENCHLEY
July 20, 2008:
APS Response to Lord Monckton's letter (20 July):
- Artie Bienenstock [firstname.lastname@example.org]
- 20 July 2008
- Thank you for your message concerning the American Physical Society's
treatment of the article by Lord Monckton in the Newsletter of the Forum
on Physics and Society. I am writing to discuss issues raised by some of
- Some of those writing to me have claimed that the American Physical
Society is censoring Lord Monckton's article in the Newsletter of the
APS' Forum on Physics and Society. That is far from the case. The
article has been presented and retained in the form agreed upon by him
and the Newsletter's editor. You will find it readily available on the
APS' website in that form.
- Indeed, there was absolutely no censoring. The APS did not even do a
scientific evaluation or peer review of the article. Lord Moncton's
presentation of the interaction between him and the editor indicates
clearly that the editor's review was aimed at ensuring the clarity and
readability of the article by the intended audience. As Lord Monckton
points out in his covering letter to me, "Most revisions were intended
to clarify for physicists who were not climatologists the method by
which the IPCC evaluates climate sensitivity - a method which the IPCC
does not itself clearly or fully explain."
- That is, the review was an editorial review for a newsletter, and not
the substantive scientific peer review required for publication in our
journals. No attempt was made to analyze the scientific substance of the
article and no censoring was performed. As indicated above and in Lord
Monckton's letter to me, the article appears in the form agreed upon by
- Some people and news services misinterpreted the Newsletter publication
of one editor's comments and Lord Monckton's article as a retreat by the
American Physical Society from its official position on the contribution
of human activities to global warming. Consequently, the APS felt it
necessary to ensure that its official position was known both to those
who logged on to the APS website and those who had followed a link to
Lord Monckton's article on our website and were unaware of the context
in which it appears. That is the origin of the comment that appears at
the top of the article on the website. I am sure that you would not want
the Society's position to be misunderstood in this important matter.
- I hope that this clarifies matters for you. Let me thank you again for
your interest in the American Physical Society's activities.
- Arthur Bienenstock, President
- American Physical Society
- Arthur Bienenstock
- Special Assistant to the President for Federal Research Policy
- Director, Wallenberg Research Link
- Stanford University
- Building 160, Room 223
- Stanford, CA 94305
July 19, 2008:
At the invitation of the American Physical Society (APS), The Viscount (Christopher) Monckton of Brenchley prepared a paper for publication in the APS July 2008 newsletter, Physics and Society (P&S). The paper detailed why Lord Monckton "considered that the warming that might be expected from anthropogenic enrichment of the atmosphere with carbon dioxide might be significantly less than the IPCC imagines." Prior to publication, the paper was extensively reviewed in June 2008 by an APS member, Professor Alvin Saperstein, Professor of Physics, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan. Lord Monckton carefully and thoroughly responded to changes suggested/requested by the APS reviewer.
Subsequently, the paper was published online at the P&S website. However, within days of online publication a statement appeared at the top of the web edition (in red) that both disgraces the APS and insults the paper's author.
The details of that incident are included within the author's email response to the APS, and are shown below. First, is the email Lord Monckton sent to the APS. Second, is a summary of the changes that were made to the paper to satisfy the questions and comments of the APS reviewer.
A clearer version of the original MS Word document prepared by Lord Monckton is available here as an Adobe PDF file.
Original email (19 July) from The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley to the APS concerning their website's treatment of his paper:
Summary of changes made to comply with requests from APS reviewer (Professor Alvin Saperstein, Professor of Physics, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan) prior to publication:
Adobe PDF document containing both email and summary.
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