Tim Lambert: How I "wiped the floor" with Monckton


I have just watched the meat of the Monckton v Lambert debate: the initial presentations, the questions to each other, and the five minute summing up. The Sky News version did not include the Q & A session from the audience (no great loss, I would expect, given it was a lay audience).

Monckton was far the better presenter, confidently and forcefully making his points. Lambert, on the other hand, looked edgy and uncomfortable. Admittedly, with Alan Jones as a moderator, it was always going to be difficult for Lambert, but I feel it makes up for the thousands of Lateline interviews conducted by another Jones, Tony, and of course Kerry O’Brien on the 7.30 Report, where any number of sceptics were battling the presenter before they even started.

Lambert, who lacked confidence in his presentation, nonetheless swaggers back to the comfort of his own blog, Deltoid:

You know that famous scene in Annie Hall where a bore is going on and on about Marshall McLuhan’s work and Allen produces McLuhan who tells the bore that he got McLuhan all wrong? Well, that’s kind of what happened in my debate with Monckton. Based on what he had identified as his most important argument in previous talks I was pretty sure he would argue that climate sensitivity was low based on his misunderstanding of Pinker et al Do Satellites Detect Trends in Surface Solar Radiation?. And sure enough, he did.

You remember how I called Lambert’s blog “smug”? It must be great to be him – arrogant, cocksure, and of course, always right, never conceding anything – the antithesis of a proper scientist, of course, who should be always cautious, questioning, doubting, dare I say it, sceptical. And his adoring warmist fans in the comments reassured him he’d done a great job and he’d won comfortably and Monckton was a charlatan. As he modestly puts it himself:

The folks I talked to afterwards (which may, perhaps, be a biased sample [Really? – Ed]) say that I wiped the floor with him. Which is a pretty good result since I’ve never done anything like this before. (source)

“Wiped the floor”? I am amazed that Lambert is ungracious enough to crow about such things on his blog, even if it was said by others. I imagine many more of the audience said similar things to Monckton, but I cannot for a minute see him gloating publicly about it.

Certainly on the Pinker paper, Lambert appeared to have a point that needed further investigation. But Monckton will go away and look at the paper again and no doubt come back with a response (which I will post), because that is the way in which scientific discourse progresses. Elsewhere in the debate, Lambert was unconvincing, recycling the usual warm-mongering rhetoric that we’re so used to, relying heavily on GISS data and temperature sets to show warming, when the satellite record shows stasis since 2001. It was a shame the satellite/surface dichotomy was not explored further.

[UPDATE: I should also add that Lambert’s five minute sum up at the end was particularly weak (actually lasting about two minutes), allowing Monckton really to cash in with a far more powerful conclusion. You can watch them here and make up your own mind – Ed]

If the science is so settled and Lambert was so right and Monckton so wrong, it certainly didn’t show. The debate isn’t over.

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