Lord Monckton: Letter to Martin Rasmussen of Copernicus Publications

Posted: January 29, 2014 by tallbloke in Accountability, Astrophysics, Big Brother, Celestial Mechanics, climate, Incompetence, Kindness, Legal, Philosophy, Politics, solar system dynamics

A week ago,  Christopher Monckton wrote a letter to Martin Rasmussen at Copernicus Publishing, to protest the preremptory closure of journal ‘Pattern Recognition in Physics’, following its publication of our special issue on ‘Pattern in solar variability, their planetary origin and terrestrial impacts’. No reply has been received, and so true to the timeline set out in the latter, he has asked me to publish it here at the talkshop. This document pulls no punches in highlighting the hypocrisy of those who seek to control scientific debate through censorship. Considering the publishers name, and the fact that our research was initiated by Johannes Kepler four centuries ago, a rich irony is in play here.

UPDATE 30-1-2014: Jo Nova has posted an article on the relaunch of PRP proposed by Lord Monckton

lordm-head
Dear Mr. Rasmussen,

Closure and reopening of the learned journal Pattern Recognition in Physics

My kind friend Professor Niklas Mörner of Stockholm, who in close to 50 years has
published approaching 600 papers in the reviewed and general scientific literature, is an
internationally-renowned expert on sea level and is one of the most gifted instructors of
students I have ever had the pleasure to work with, has copied me in on your sad and,
indeed, bizarre decision to bring to an end the excellent learned journal Pattern Recognition
in Physics, less than a year after its first publication in March 2013.

Professor Mörner, who is usually the most genial and even-tempered of scientists, is plainly
furious not so much at your decision to axe this promising journal, which was already
galloping towards the forward frontiers of research in the physical sciences, as at the
extraordinary reason you have given for your decision.

The Professor, who is highly active in the worldwide scientific community, attended the Fifth
Space Climate Conference in Oulu in June 2013 and realized that the hypothesis that the
relative positions of the major planets of the solar system influence solar activity in
accordance with a detectable pattern was now ready to be elevated to a theory. In his own
specialism, sea-level rise, the question was of more than purely academic significance, since
the influence of the major planets not only influences the Sun but causes perceptible
variations in the period of the Earth’s rotation (i.e. the length of the day) and hence, via the
Coriolis force over time, in global sea level.

Accordingly, Professor Mörner, on learning that the hypothesis about the connection
between variations in the positions of the major planets and in solar activity was gaining
recognition, realized that the topic was an ideal instance of pattern recognition in
astrophysics. He proposed to the editor of the new Copernicus journal Pattern Recognition
in Physics that a special issue should be devoted to the subject so that a collection of papers
could examine the issue from every angle and, as the ancient Chinese philosophers used to
say, “in the round”. The editor, understandably, leapt at the opportunity with expressions of
delight, and invited Professor Mörner to edit the special issue. No one more competent or
suitable guest editor could have been chosen.

The Professor considered that a 2013 publication date would be valuable, though that would
leave him just a few months to produce the special issue. What he describes as “a very, very
intensive editorial work” started at once. To save time, the 19 authors of the 12 papers – all of
them pre-eminent in their various fields – reviewed each other’s contributions, though
additional reviewers were also consulted. The process of peer review was thorough and
meticulous.

The special issue, justifiably described by the Professor as a “breakthrough”, was published
by Copernicus in 2013. An image of the front cover is below. In the Professor’s view – and he
has had more experience than almost anyone – the quality of the 12 papers was excellent.
Professor Mörner tells me that the key general conclusion, co-authored by the 19 researchers
of undoubted eminence, was to the effect that the planetary beat indeed influences solar
variability, whereupon two further conclusions followed: first, the central conclusion that the
long-considered hypothesis had now been elevated to a firm theory and perhaps even to a
paradigm, and secondly, a subsidiary conclusion that extrapolation of the thus-explained
pattern of solar variability over the coming century “sheds serious doubts on the issue of a
continued, even accelerated, warming as claimed by the IPCC project”.

Professor Mörner’s professional opinion – with which one may legitimately agree or
disagree, but only on scientific grounds – is that this last conclusion is a logical, necessary
and scientific result properly following from all 12 papers published in the special issue,
though in the context of the overall finding it was a subsidiary conclusion, and was expressed
as such.

With this necessary background, I now turn to your stated reasons for attempting to bring
Pattern Recognition in Physics to an end. Aside from your suggestion that inviting as many
as 19 pre-eminent researchers with varying opinions and in widely different fields to review
each other’s papers was “nepotism” (which is such obvious, desperate nonsense that I shall
speak no more of it), the reasons you give for your shameful decision are merely
restatements of a single, monstrous pretext in varying forms.

I quote you verbatim, enumerating six passages selected from your two emails of 17 January
2014 to Professor Mörner, arranged in accordance with the sequence of events you describe:

1. “Copernicus Publications started publishing the journal Pattern Recognition in
Physics (PRP) in March 2013. The journal idea was brought to Copernicus’ attention
and was taken rather critically in the beginning, since the designated
Editors-in-Chief were mentioned in the context of the debates of climate
skeptics.” And why should taking part in scientific debate debar an editor?

2. “Before the journal was launched, we had a long discussion regarding its topics. The
aim of the journal was to publish articles about patterns recognized in the full
spectrum of physical disciplines. PRP was never meant to be a platform for
climate sceptics.” It should be a platform for science, wherever it leads.

3. “Recently, a special issue was compiled entitled “Pattern in solar variability, their
planetary origin and terrestrial impacts”. Besides papers dealing with the observed
patterns in the heliosphere, the special issue editors ultimately submitted their
conclusions in which they “doubt the continued, even accelerated, warming
as claimed by the IPCC project” (Pattern Recogn. Phys., 1, 205–206, 2013).” On
what scientific ground, if any, do you dare to dispute their scientific conclusion?

4. “While processing the press release for the special issue “Patterns in solar variability,
their planetary origin and terrestrial impacts”, we read through the general
conclusions paper published on 16 December 2013. We were alarmed by the
authors’ second implication stating “This sheds serious doubts on the
issue of a continued, even accelerated, warming as claimed by the IPCC
project”. And why were you alarmed? What scientific reason for alarm was there?

5. “Of course, scientific dispute is controversial and should allow contradictory opinions
which can then be discussed within the scientific community. However, the recent
developments including the expressed implications (see above) have led us to
this drastic decision.” How dare you censor a legitimate scientific conclusion?

6. “We therefore wish to distance ourselves from the apparent misuse of the
originally agreed aims & scope of PRP and decided today to cease the
publication. This decision must come as a surprise for you, but under the given
circumstances we were forced to react.” On what scientific ground do you “distance
yourselves” from the scientific conclusion that the IPCC’s predictions should be
doubted? What scientific reviewers did you consult? Did you put your reviewers’
concerns to the authors of the conclusion you presume to dispute? If not, why not?

There is only one reasonable conclusion to be drawn from the above passages, all taken from
your two emails of 17 January 2014 to Professor Mörner.
It must be concluded that personally you have – for whatever reason – adopted so fervent a
position on the catastrophist side of the climate science debate that you (or, more probably,
the shadowy figures behind you) are regrettably intolerant even of the mildest, passing
question – however well supported scientifically by the very latest evidence from outside the
climate sciences – as to whether the IPCC’s previous predictions of very rapid and potentially
catastrophic global warming may perhaps be incorrect.

You must appreciate the gravity of what you have done. You have killed a learned journal in a
field only peripherally connected with the climate because you have decided – or you have
cravenly obeyed others unknown who have decided – to take a lamentably unscientific and
aprioristic stance on the global warming question, a stance so uncompromising that you will
not countenance even a single, passing question about whether the IPCC’s previous
predictions are likely to prove correct, and you will not – indeed, cannot – offer a single
shred of scientific justification for your viewpoint.

Your challenge to a surely temperately-expressed but serious and by no means illegitimate
doubt about the IPCC’s predictions is not itself expressed in the usual scientific manner by a
reviewed paper or comment responding to the scientific conclusion that – on no stated
ground – you purport to dispute, but by a petulant decision to shut the entire journal down.
This decision of yours, taken without the slightest regard for the scientific method or for the
usual canons of disciplined enquiry, logical discourse or peer review, is one too many of its
kind. It is not acceptable. I do not propose to accept it or to tolerate it.

Let me tell you, therefore, what will happen next.

First, I shall give Copernicus seven days to reconsider its ludicrous decision to abort the
journal for a nakedly political reason and without offering anything that even makes a
serious pretense at being a scientific justification.

Secondly, if after seven days I shall not have heard from you that the journal is to continue, I
shall invite all of the contributors to the special edition to participate with me in a relaunch
of Pattern Recognition in Physics, to take effect immediately. If you or Copernicus object to
this course of action on copyright or any other ground, you will no doubt be sure to let me
know within the next seven days. Otherwise, you will be presumed to have forfeited all
interest in producing scientific journals and you will leave the journal to me. I shall invite
Professor Mörner to be the lead editor. The journal will be published online and, I hope, will
also be taken under the wing of one of the scientific publishing houses with which I have
connections. For the sake of avoiding a public humiliation of you until you have had an
opportunity to rethink your position, I am not contacting any other scientific publishing
houses until the seven days have passed.

Thirdly, the first editorial in the relaunched journal will perforce have to address the reasons
why Copernicus decided to try (unsuccessfully, as you will by now have realized) to kill the
journal. You will come in for some justifiably severe personal criticism in this editorial, for
on any view you have not behaved as a senior executive of a reputable scientific publishing
house should have behaved. You have taken a corrupt, anti-scientific decision.

Fourthly, as the editorial and the press release relaunching the journal will have to point out,
you have also, through ignorance, put yourself outside the emerging mainstream of climate
science. For that mainstream is now flowing in a far less catastrophist direction than ever
before.

The IPCC itself, after many strongly-worded representations from expert reviewers such as
me, has been forced to abandon its former naïve and imprudent faith in the expensive
computer models that have so relentlessly failed to predict global temperature with sufficient
conservatism since the 1980s.

Between the pre-final draft reviewed by us and the final draft, the IPCC cut its best estimate
of global warming by almost half, from 0.7 Cº over the next 30 years to about 0.4 Cº. That
rate is equivalent to 0.13 Cº/decade, or little more than a third of the 0.3 Cº/decade near-
term warming predicted by the IPCC in 1990.

In the past 30 years, 0.14 Cº global warming per decade was measured, so the IPCC’s new
prediction of 0.13 Cº/decade entails no acceleration in global warming over the next 30
years. And that, as you will no doubt realize, is in line with the scientific conclusion to which
you object so strongly on partisan grounds that you have attempted (and failed) to shut down
this promising new journal of rational thought.

That blameless conclusion expressed “serious doubts on the issue of a continued, even
accelerated, warming as claimed by the IPCC project”. The IPCC itself, though it still predicts
a “continued” warming, is now, in effect, no longer predicting an “accelerated” warming for
at least the next 30 years.

lordmfig1

lordmfig2

The IPCC’s graph from the pre-final draft of the Fifth Assessment Report comparing its
predictions with those of the models is shown above, together with its heavily-revised graph
from the final, published draft, where you will see that it has abjectly climbed down and
substituted its “expert judgment” for the models’ extravagant and discredited predictions.
You will see just how drastic has been the IPCC’s downward revision of its previous
projections: indeed, its current best estimate of near-term warming, at 0.13 Cº/decade, is its
lowest ever, by a comfortable margin. Inch by inch, the skeptics against whom you show such
hateful prejudice are being shown to have been correct all along. For they, unlike the canting
profiteers of doom, have no financial or other vested interest in maintaining and peddling a
lie.

Fifthly, if you are determined to allow a disgracefully narrow-minded and rankly partisan
political view to dominate the editorial decision-making at Copernicus, I shall send out
worldwide a warning that Copernicus is not henceforth to be regarded as a scientific
publishing house at all, but merely as a malodorous joke: a putrid arm of the international
political and environmental-extremist academic cabal, unworthy to be considered a truly
scientific publishing house at all. Copernicus will henceforth be boycotted by all serious
scientists, who will snigger at it behind their hands, and will regard it as a publisher not of
science but of children’s comics.

Sixthly, if within seven days you have not notified Professor Mörner that your decision to
attempt to stop the journal – a decision that is the modern equivalent of book-burning – has
been rethought and withdrawn, copies of this letter will be circulated widely. This is not the
early Middle Ages: it is the 21st century. Your failed attempt at shoddy, Soviet-era scientific
censorship will, therefore, be widely publicized and universally condemned.

For the time being, to spare your blushes, I am not circulating this letter beyond the
recipients of Professor Mörner’s email to me. After seven days, however, I shall without
hesitation circulate it widely. Furthermore, I shall then be entitled to assume that neither
you nor Copernicus have any objection to my taking over the journal without fee, whereupon
it will be administered and edited on scientific principles only, and not on the basis of any
mere superstitious, anti-scientific, catastrophist, Druidical credo.

Whether you like it or not, this is not the Dark Ages: it is the Age of Enlightenment and
Reason. Get used to it, and withdraw your silly and intellectually immature decision to shut
down Pattern Recognition in Physics on the most fatuously insubstantial ground ever
advanced by even the most vicious of dictators for suppressing the freedom to think.
You should be thoroughly ashamed of yourself.

Yours faithfully,

lordmsig
Viscount Monckton of Brenchley

Comments
  1. AlecM says:

    What Monckton is doing is to repel those attempting to reverse the Enlightenment.

    Have no doubt; the use of the IPCC ‘consensus’ to prevent publication of objective science is a repeat of the actions of the Holy Catholic Church when it destroyed Galileo for his role in promoting the Copernican hypothesis over the preferred Catholic approach, the Earth-centric model with all those bloody ellipses.

    Since PRP’s special edition is about the same science, it is an exact repeat, 500 years’ later, of the same battle.

  2. Euan Mearns says:

    Rog, hopefully some interesting stuff here:

    Solar influence on glaciation in Greenland

    In the GISP2 ice core, Greenland summit, Dansgaard – Oescheger (D-O) warm events 2 to 8 [1] are all associated with low 10Be events most likely caused by active solar magnetic activity. The simplest explanation is that warm D-O events are caused by an active Sun.

  3. hunter says:

    Reading the stated rational of the Copernicus actors is rather chilling and straight forward. They are out to suppress science in the name of defending the climate consensus.

  4. Konrad. says:

    Viscount Monckton gave Martin Rasmussen and Copernicus Publishing a fair grace period to re-consider their position. Martin Rasmussen has obviously chosen the “full stupid ahead” option.

    Viscount Monckton correctly points out –
    “This is not the early Middle Ages: it is the 21st century. Your failed attempt at shoddy, Soviet-era scientific censorship will, therefore, be widely publicised and universally condemned.”

    Martin Rasmussen has foolishly chosen to publicly support a dying pseudo scientific hoax in the age of the Internet.

    Sceptics will never forgive and the Internet will never forget. It will never be forgotten that Rasmussen first used climate scepticism as his claimed motivation before trying “nepotism” as a frantic “fix” to his original shameful claim. That type of “fix” only worked in the age of lame stream media, not in the age of the Internet. What this fool has done is forever.

    Global warming has been in effect a global IQ test with results permanently recorded on the Internet. Martin Rasmussen has failed badly and his shame can never be erased.

  5. tallbloke says:

    Konrad: So true. Perhaps Rasmussen has never heard of WebCitation.org. If he had, I doubt he’d have been so stupid as to change the text he posted on the home page of the PRP website.
    Then:
    The PRP website home page captured by webcitation.org on 18 Jan 2014 http://www.webcitation.org/6Mhpi0uiZ

    Now:
    http://www.pattern-recognition-in-physics.net/

  6. Bob Weber says:

    Christopher Monckton, demonstrating badly needed leadership. Bravo!

  7. p.g.sharrow says:

    Konrad. says:
    January 29, 2014 at 12:20 pm
    “Sceptics will never forgive and the Internet will never forget.”

    True scientists are “Skeptics” We must examine and reach our own conclusions. In the “old days” we had to join the club or be shunned, out in the wilderness alone. Now, thanks to the Internet we travel in packs! and share concepts, build on common insight, and cannot be stifled.

    “The new age begins with a net that covers the world” Old Hopi prophecy.
    Publish on the World Wide Web for real peer review, pg

  8. Larry Ledwick (hotrod) says:

    Bravo!
    Well stated and I concur completely with your comments Lord Monckton!
    It is high time that we repeatedly state that to be a scientist you Must be a skeptic!
    It is a prerequisite for proper application of the scientific method. Anyone who asserts that a skeptic is “unscientific” is clearly advertising to the world that they intentionally do not practice the scientific method or they do not understand it.

    Dogma and absolute declarations that the science are settled are plain and simple statements that the user is a zealot or a follower of a fad not a scientist.

  9. Guidot says:

    Let the Enlightenment continue and PRP be its banner in Climatology and Astrophysics!

  10. NikFromNYC says:

    Hot!

  11. tallbloke says:

    UPDATE 30-1-2014: Jo Nova has posted an article on the relaunch of PRP proposed by Lord Monckton
    http://joannenova.com.au/2014/01/pattern-recognition-journal-to-be-relaunched/

  12. Bill McIntyre says:

    Awesome!! Lord Monckton

  13. vukcevic says:

    Here is something on pattern recognition:
    Steinhilber et al latest paper (2011) contains two graphs of the long term Power spectra of Total solar irradiance TSI and δ18O and climate data periodicities.
    I compared these to the spectrum of the GeoPolar magnetic field
    Results
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/Stein-Vuk.htm
    points out at number of spectral coincidences, which can be explained by one of two or both possibilities:
    – Solar and the Earth’s magnetic oscillations have a common cause
    – The effect is simply geomagnetic and has not been eliminated from the data.

  14. Roger,
    why do you say that Rasmussen changed the motivation on the web-site? What did he changed?
    Do you have a copy of the fist page?

    It is true that Morner receiver an email with different motivations.

    In any case the papers were downloaded quite a bit.

    My first paper received more than 2000 views and downloads.

    http://www.pattern-recogn-phys.net/2/1/2014/prp-2-1-2014.html

    The other papers received at least 1000 views and downloads.

  15. tallbloke says:

    Hi Nicola. The statement about the IPCC was removed for a few days. It’s back now. I couldn’t see a counter on the abstract page you linked. Where did you get the information on the number of downloads?

  16. To see the downloads go to “metrics.”

  17. tallbloke says:

    Thanks Nicola, the webcitation I made of the original Rasmussen message on the front page of PRP is here
    http://www.webcitation.org/6Mhpi0uiZ
    It does look like he has re-edited the front page again in the last few days. Unfortunately, I didn’t make a webcitation of the page while it had the IPCC part removed.

  18. […] at Verity Jones, Digging in the Clay. The earlier part of the comment regarding the politics of the PRP censorship are recommended […]