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We've written before about George Monbiot, the journalist, environmental campaigner and pompous knowall. He's been sounding off again this week, about Viscount Monckton's articles in the Sunday Telegraph explaining why the Great Hot Air Debate is by no means over.
The Moonbat doesn't like that. He really objects to people who aren't either scientists or famous environmental campaigners actually having the cheek to express an opinion about something that he wants us to think is cut-and-dried. In his Guardian column he described Monckton's articles as "a mixture of cherry-picking, downright misrepresentation and pseudo-scientific gibberish", whose only virtue was that it was "incomprehensible to anyone who is not an atmospheric physicist" (or, of course, a famous environmental campaigner like Moonbat).
What gets right up Moonbat's nose is that Monckton doesn't have a science degree, and must therefore be a complete simpleton. He says "I think I know what the problem is. At a meeting of 150 senior journalists last year, who had gathered to discuss climate change, the chairman asked how many people in the audience had a science degree. Three of us raised our hands."
Three of us, you notice. Well, whoop-de-do, aren't we impressed. My goodness, Moonbat's got a science degree, he must be jolly clever.
Actually, Moonbat's degree from Brasenose College, Oxford, is in Zoology - you know, the study of living organisms? Not a study of the sun, space, the earth, physics, chemistry, the atmosphere, meteorology or anything else vaguely connected with the world's climate, just you know girly science animals, insects and stuff. Slightly less impressive, then.
Something else that's got Moonbat's goat is that the internet enables lots of people to express their opinions - he'd much rather it was only those who can command a regular column in a major newspaper who got to say what they think. "For the past nine days", he complains, "my inbox has been filling up with messages labelled 'Your scam exposed', 'The great fraud unravels' and 'How do you feel now, asshole?'" He makes scathing reference to people like The GOS who run websites and venture to question the Holy Writ According to Moonbat.
Learning about Moonbat's girly degree started us thinking, and we searched Google for the most famous and influential proponents of Hot Air on both sides of the Atlantic. One is Al Gore, former Vice President, maker of two films about global warming and self-appointed mouthpiece for the green lobby both in the US and over here (he funky, he cool, he got algorithm). And David Miliband, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (he not funky, he not cool, he got no rhythm at all, really).
Trouble is, George Moonbat, your mate Algorithm doesn't have a science degree either. He has a BA degree from Harvard University, and subsequently studied Religion and Law. And although Mr.Millipede has a first class degree for being frightfully clever as well as winsomely handsome, it was in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, and he then took a Master's degree in Political Science at MIT. So Viscount Monckton's sin isn't really not having a science degree, is it? What he's done wrong is disagree with you and your loony doom-monger friends.
To be fair, Algorithm and Millipede aren't just loony doom-mongers. They also have an angle, an axe to grind. Algorithm is Chairman of Generation Investment Management, a London-based investment firm which has been set up to "tap growing demand for an investment style that blends traditional equity research with a focus on other factors such as social and environmental responsibility". So he's going to make us all feel guilty and panicky about what we're doing to the planet, and then sell us nice cosy green investments to make us feel better, and him feel richer. Good, the man's a crook. We can all respect that.
And the Millipede, what's in it for him? Well, he's big buddies with the man who runs Soveriegn Strategy, a lobbying firm that works for Fluor, one of the largest US nuclear manufacturers who hope to secure a major stake in Britain's 70 billion nuclear waste industry - see here. So when Tony Bleeagh or whichever satrap he picks to succeed him drags the remains of his party to wrack and ruin, there'll be a handy seat on the board to cushion Millipede's fall. Fine, that's just your normal political corruption - we can relate to that all right. I mean, we'd do the same, wouldn't we, if we had the chance?
I'm not sure Moonbat has the same excuse. One suspects that he's not in it for the money so much. To him, it's much more important to massage his own ego by slagging off anyone who doesn't agree with him. Unfortunately Monckton is a wily old bird and has managed to hold the high ground by refuting Moonbat with dignity, restraint and a few well-chosen facts.
It's obvious that this one is going to run and run, and that the argument will continue at least until the entire world evaporates. On the one hand we have James Lovelock, who invented the Gaia Theory which sees the Earth as a single living organism which can get sick, a hypothesis that appeals mostly to hippies, tree-huggers and the people who run those shops that sell everything mauve and smelly. He reckons that we shall soon see Siberia as the bread-basket of the world, that China will be incapable of supporting life and Great Britain will be one of the most desirable places in the world because it's an island, can feed itself and will remain relatively cool. If anything sounds like girly science, this does.
On the other hand we have people like the sixty Canadian scientists expert in climate and related fields, writing to the Canadian Prime Minister earlier this year that "observational evidence does not support today's computer climate models, so there is little reason to trust model predictions of the future." I bet they all had proper science degrees, as well. I expect some of them had two.

The GOS says: If you feel up to it, have a look at Real Climate, a very authoritative award-winning website. It's basically on the side of the Hot Air Brigade, but it's fair, and an enormous forum for scientists from both sides of the dispute. Follow some of the many links down the right hand side of the page. Allow several days, and have lots of black coffee on hand. Many of the contributors have science degrees, so that's all right.


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