It would be preferable to simply ignore Christopher Monckton’s seemingly laughable attempts to undermine climatology, but given the power of the Internet to turn long-discredited arguments into serious threats to academic freedom, such a strategy would not be wise. Monckton has launched a campaign against John Abraham of St. Thomas University for daring to demolish the former’s mendacious presentations on global warming. Abraham’s repost is thorough and devastating. So devastating and damaging to Monckton’s credibility is it that Monckton is asking for his acolytes to flood the university with calls for disciplinary action against Abraham.
George Monbiot sums up the problem thusly:
To give you a flavour of Monckton’s reasoning, here are some examples of what he cites as evidence of Abraham acting out of malice:
- Abraham pointed out that Monckton “has not written a single peer-reviewed science paper on any topic”;
- Abraham stated that Lord Monckton “presented a lot of data with no citations or no explanation”;
- He pointed out that “if you don’t tell us where it’s from we can’t assess the data”;
- He explained that a graph displayed by Lord Monckton was “almost off by 100%”.
All this is accompanied, like so many of Monckton’s responses, with a demand for money (in this case $110,000 to be paid to a charity of Monckton’s choice), an apology and retraction and an insistence that Abraham’s critique be removed from all public places.
Perhaps the university will ignore Monckton’s ravings nonsense. But unwarranted attacks on Michael Mann’s reputation provoked a full-scale inquiry at Pennsylvania State University. Of course, Mann was vindicated, but not until after he received death threats and had his life turned upside down by those who would rather lash out at the experts rather than accept the facts about climate change.
An online petition in support of Abraham is here. If you have time, take in at least some of Abraham’s critique. Then add your name to the growing list of those who care about honesty and integrity in this most critical of public dialogues.