Good old Christopher Monckton speaking at the Global Warming Denial Conference

According to Monckton, the movement behind global warming alarmism can be traced to some ugly things, and being wrong about it could have a grave impact on humanity.

“I think the question you’re asking is who’s behind the scare,” Monckton said. “There’s been a long history of scares recently and scientific frauds of various kinds. It began, I suppose, with the eugenics movement in the 1930s which led to Hitler. It followed on with the Lysenko movement in Russia under Stalin. It went on with the great leap back under Chairman Mao which led again to tens of millions of deaths. The point you’re making is that this kills people if you get the science wrong.”

See, it was those rotten scientists who were responsible for Hitler, Stalin and Mao. And now they’ve given us Gore.

Monckton used the banning of DDT, which was linked to the deaths of 40 million children dying from malaria, as an example. The World Health Organization lifted the ban on Sept. 14, 2006, and that was, as Monckton said, “The science standing in front of politics.”

So the sequence is Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Carson, Gore. Got it.

See also this amusing video of Monckton at the conference.

Comments

  1. #1 Martin
    March 6, 2008

    It’s great, because comments like that only restrict the appeal of his cause to more sensible people that might otherwise be persuaded with a slick, well-packaged argument.

    I will never understand this hatred of science as long as I live (which thanks to modern science should be quite long).

    Martin.

  2. #2 bi
    March 6, 2008

    The main take-home message from the denialist conference, well, isn’t about AGW or the lack thereof, or Stalin or Hitler, or Fred Singer’s NIPCC.

    The main message is that John Coleman is going to sue Al Gore.

    … … … … :|

    Well, as Shakespeare might have said, “Though this be Stupid, Yet there is Method in ‘t.”

  3. #3 FhnuZoag
    March 6, 2008

    Can we ignore this little fantasist already now? *I* could probably say more illuminating things about science than him.

  4. #4 guthrie
    March 6, 2008

    FhnuZoag- unfortunately you do not win political wars by ignoring people. Every time they make a public appearance and say stupid things you have to make it clear that they are saying stupid things. This way, very few people will be fooled.

  5. #5 Ian Gould
    March 6, 2008

    “Stalin”, “Hitler” and “Carson” all have six letters.

    666 – what more proof do you need?

  6. #6 Robert L.
    March 6, 2008

    Monckton’s point is that politicians seized upon pseudo-science, eliminated scientific dissent (which is integral to good science), and did so with disastrous consequences. This is not anti-science in any way nor does it say that scientists caused Hitler, Mao, etc. etc. The question being raised is what happens if the green house gas theory of climate change turns out to be wrong and we find that out after we have diverted billions of dollars that could have been spent fighting poverty or disease.

  7. #7 lanwolf
    March 6, 2008

    The “WHO lifted the ban in 2006″ link goes to an article from 2005 that does not show this. What is the real reference link?

    More on topic: why do we never hear, outside of a few blogs, the position that it doesn’t really matter whether or not climate change is influenced by anthropogenic activities – the proposed remedies, almost without exception, are worth doing in and of themselves.

  8. #8 z
    March 6, 2008

    “The question being raised is what happens if the green house gas theory of climate change turns out to be wrong and we find that out after we have diverted billions of dollars that could have been spent fighting poverty or disease.”

    The question being raised right this second in this particular locale where I am typing is why is it assumed we would divert billions of dollars from the fight against poverty or disease, and not ever from the fight against random Iraqis?

  9. #9 z
    March 6, 2008

    “But the more I’ve listened to these speakers, the more I’ve realized that for most of them, it’s not about the science. Panels don’t go five minutes without attacking Al Gore or comparing climate activists to socialists who want to destroy capitalism.”
    http://gristmill.grist.org/story/2008/3/4/155110/4814

    I propose an extension of Gresham’s Law.

  10. #10 Left_Wing_Fox
    March 6, 2008

    Robert L.

    “The question being raised is what happens if the green house gas theory of climate change turns out to be wrong and we find that out after we have diverted billions of dollars that could have been spent fighting poverty or disease.”

    Well for starter, the majority of changes being suggested are on the part of consumers and corporations, not governments. Many of these changes also have significant long-term economic benefit, where the initial costs for green solutions pay for themselves over time through savings in energy bills. That’s in addition to the market benefit of new jobs created retrofitting and creating green technologies.

    The benefits of getting off fossil fuels has benefits beyond greenhouse gas reduction as well. Moving away from fossil fuels means greater domestic security, as we are no longer reliant on foreign nations for our energy supplies. Also, non-renewable finite, by definition. There are strog arguements that we may have passed the peak of oil production. If that’s true, then moving away from oil as the cornerstone of our society is going to happen; moving to renewable energy would reduce the shock of this transition.

    Finally, the TED conference speeches also have a lot of optimism on the front of Africa as well, mostly due to targeted investments in improving the efficiency of the local markets and creating more affordable aid and self-sustaining economic growth. So what may be necessary is not necessarily a great deal more money, but the use of existing money in more efficient ways.

    So no: If global warming is found out to be a big hoax, we’ll probably wind up more like Y2K than Auschwitz: A few businesses will lose some money, some will make money, and a some fringe benefits will be gained. The difference between regulation, voluntary personal action and market incentives being suggested by Al Gore is nowhere near the realm of abuse by violent coercion by a totalitarian dictatorship suggested by Monckton. To conflate the two is laughable, and certainly mock-worthy.

  11. #11 Brian Schmidt
    March 7, 2008

    Monckton: “The point you’re making is that this kills people if you get the science wrong.”

    I agree with that, and he’s got the science wrong. While there’s a downside if the consensus is wrong, the chance of that is small, and it’s still a smaller downside than if the denialists are wrong and we do nothing to stop changing the climate.

  12. #12 Jeff Harvey
    March 7, 2008

    Robert L. said, “The question being raised is what happens if the green house gas theory of climate change turns out to be wrong and we find that out after we have diverted billions of dollars that could have been spent fighting poverty or disease”.

    Only nincompoops raise this question. First of all, by now, despite thr shrill cries of a few primarily on the academic fringe, or those with vested interests in denial, there is pretty strong agreement that humans are the primary forcing agent behind the current warming. Second, since when is fighting poverty and/or disease ever been a priority amongst those with concentrated power and wealth? Given that most of the world’s population is seen as being forever expendable if their interests conflict with the interests of those with power (read the words of political ‘realists’ like Kissinger, Kennan, Nitze, Brezinski etc. and this becomes pretty clear), its plain crazy to believe that eliminating poverty will ever be a priority.

    If a fraction of the world’s wealth was spent on saving people rather than on killing them (the Iraq war being a notable recent example) then I would think something new was afoot. But I don’t see any real concerted effort being made by those in the rich world to create equity and social justice elsewhere in the world. In fact, I see the opposite in the current neoliberal, hair-trigger global economy. Let’s be frank about this: western elites and their counterparts in the south are well aware that there aren’t enough resources to go around, at least if they are to maintain control of concentrated wealth and power. They and the echo chamber forever pontificate, making big noises about the magnanimity of the west, when in reality western policy has always been about plundering the resources of poor countries and of expanding markets amongst elites in the south.

    Thus, when I read heart-wrenching comments like RLs, promulgating the ‘if only we had the money’ question, I cringe. The money is there, but the will isn’t.

  13. #13 Neil
    March 7, 2008

    Re: these “billions of dollars that could have been spent fighting poverty or disease” – I’ve always been led to understand (by economists) that the market is not a zero-sum game. When did the thinking on this change?

  14. #14 mmghosh
    March 7, 2008

    Lord Monckton’s views are part of what might be called the “peer-review” process.

  15. #15 P. Lewis
    March 7, 2008

    Lord Monckton’s views are part of what might be called the “peer-review” process.

    Very droll, mmghosh.

    But my take would be more a sort of “pisser-pore” over the proceedings.

  16. #16 pough
    March 7, 2008

    This is absolute nonsense and I think Mr Gore should grow a big, bushy mustache in protest.

  17. #17 QrazyQat
    March 7, 2008

    Don’t ignore them, FhnuZoag, Spocko them! They thrive in darkness; light destroys them.

  18. #18 Douglas Watts
    March 8, 2008

    Robert L. and has ilk have suddenly discovered the plight of poor children. Only because it offers a strawman to their emotional discomfort with the science of pollution. What a cynical bastard you are, sir.

  19. #19 Barton Paul Levenson
    March 8, 2008

    Robert L. — but if we are right, then doing nothing about global warming will kill millions of people in the Third World and destroy trillions of dollars worth of property. 100 million people in Asia depend on glacier melt for their fresh water. Doing nothing about global warming is what’s going to be devastating for the world’s poor.

  20. #20 John Mashey
    March 8, 2008

    Robert L. seems to live in San Francisco, which among American cities, is among the most liberal, sometimes to an extreme. Being a (neo)libertarian there must be very frustrating.

    Some of us prefer government to be as small and local as it can be, and only as big and intrusive as it has to be. I’m usually happy to have some *smart* libertarians around to keep big-government folks on their toes. For instance, T. J. Rodgers (CEO of Cypress) is a smart, rich vocal libertarian who recognizes the problems and is busy making money from trying to solve them. (Sunpower, SPWR).

    In the case of climate (and peak oil), unfortunately, a lot of libertarians don’t seem to be very smart, because:

    – Unless they happen also to be wealthy owners of fossil energy concerns, they are arguing against their *own*, and especially their descendant’s self-interests. The rich can insulate their descendants from many effects, but average Americans can’t so easily. A lot of libertarians seem to fighting hard in behalf of Charles Koch, the Scaifes, etc. I’m not sure why they think that’s in their own interest.

    – They have helped *lose* us at least 15 years, so the problems will be far worse than they needed to have been. The Hirsch Report says we should work hard on de-oiling 20 years before Peak (oops), and that sure would have gotten our infrastructure going in the right direction, incidentally putting less CO2 in the atmosphere.

    When one defers solving a bad problem [like maintenance], it gets worse, costs more to fix and there tends to be even more government than we should have needed. Inevitably, there will be more dumber mistakes, and more intrusive government when things get desperate.

    – Finally, libertarians who deny the science marginalize themselves right out of even the slightest influence in the political process of attacking problems and solving them. If someone had denied the science for years, and now arrives saying “Well, OK, I guess it’s happening, and now the way we should deal with it is…” they are going to get told [bad words … if you couldn’t bother to understand basic science, why should we listen to anything you say?]
    (That’s too bad. There is plenty of room for policy argument, but people who fight the science with idiocy are going to be cut out of the arguments.)

    Robert L. seems to live in SanFrancisco. That means he lives within an hour’s train ride (Caltrain or BART) of two of the world’s very best universities, Stanford and Berkeley, which are also two of the leading schools regarding climate change and energy.

    Well, OK, as a libertarian, he may not wish to enter Berkeley :-), but Stanford? Home of intense entrepreneurialism? of The Hoover Institution?

    In any case, both schools have frequent free public lectures by world-class climate researchers, Nobel physicists, National Academy of Science members, IPCC authors. These people actually answer questions. It’s very useful to be able to hear a Nobel physicist talk about climate to a 30-person group and be able to ask him questions and talk later.

    Visit UCB Events and put climate change in the search box, for example.

    At Stanford, there’s , the General events page, or the environment page, Woods Institute, or an example of last fall’s Saturday Roundtable, “Courting Disaster: The Fight for Oil, Water and a Healthy Planet”, with John Abizaid, Stephen Breyer, John Hennessy, Pamela Matson, Thomas Friedman and John E. Bryson, whose bios are given there if you don’t know them. This was public, but wasn’t free – cost all of $10.

    Now, not everybody lives within an hour of a cornucopia of world-class resources, but I think Robert L. does, and I doubt it would be that hard to occasionally attend these things, if somebody cared enough to have opinions on a topic on his website.

    But he prefers to quote Monckton.

    Maybe he would be happier in Texas? Please?

  21. #21 JB
    March 8, 2008

    Robert L: said:

    The question being raised is what happens if the green house gas theory of climate change turns out to be wrong and we find that out after we have diverted billions of dollars that could have been spent fighting poverty or disease.

    I was going to answer this, but I see that Jeff Harvey has already done it for me.

    This excuse usually comes from the very same people who just brought us the trillion dollar plus Iraq debacle.

    What a f…ing joke.

  22. #22 Chris O'Neill
    March 10, 2008

    Let’s be frank about this: western elites and their counterparts in the south are well aware that there aren’t enough resources to go around,

    The “resource” in this context being the amount of space around the earth available for dumping carbon dioxide without impact any more adverse than it already is. The first world has seized this resource and now that late-developing countries want to do the same they will find the resource is no longer available.

  23. #23 Major
    March 13, 2008

    Global Warming is a Hoax. It is another way to get money through taxation. This time “Global Taxation” to go directly to the corrupt United Nations. The U.S. will be taxed the most (thanks to the liberal agenda) even though the Chinese are the far worse on the environment than the U.S. could possibly imagine about being. Enough is enough. There is a serious lack of evidence to prove Humans are the cause of any climate change becasue climate change has to do with weather patterns and humans can not affect the weather. Now there is heavy volume of talk about Global Cooling and the liberal idiot sticks who have their heads up the butt of Global Warming are now saying “global cooling is caused by global warming. Are you freggin’ kidding me? I’m not a scientist but I’ve learned enough to know that is a bunch of hooey. I hope Gore is sued. There is enough evidence to prove there has never been enough evidence to blame humans for climate change AND he wants to tax for it AND hand over the sovereignty of The U.S. to the United Nations. No Way! We need to get out of United Nations. It is not place for the U.S. If the U.S. does not support the U.N., it will sink.

  24. #24 sod
    March 13, 2008

    wow. finally we have a new guy named major, showing up with lots of evidence for his claims.

    considered me “cured” of the hoax and firmly in the denialist camp now.

    you sir, have utterly convinced me!

  25. #25 z
    March 13, 2008

    “I’m not a scientist”

    do tell. quite a surprise, really.

  26. #26 z
    March 13, 2008

    “Now there is heavy volume of talk about Global Cooling”

    Yeah, bout that… Feb. 2008 was 0.26 degrees C above the absolute global mean for 1951-1980, or 0.14 degrees warmer than January 2008. Wowee! That’s warming of 16.8 degrees C per decade! (That last bit was for the guys who were so impressed by the temp drop jan 2007 to jan 2008)

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/tabledata/GLB.Ts+dSST.txt

  27. #27 Jeff Harvey
    March 14, 2008

    Re: Major’s comments (#23) above. Kindergarten level analysis. Good for a comic read on a Friday morning.

  28. #28 Barton Paul Levenson
    March 14, 2008

    major —

    There is no proposal for a tax on the US to go to the UN. It doesn’t exist. A carbon tax, if one is imposed, will be imposed on US citizens by US citizens for US citizens. I, personally, think cap-and-trade would be a better policy than a carbon tax, but I could certainly live with a carbon tax, especially if other taxes are reduced to offset it.

    Whoever told you global warming is a plot to tax the US to feed the UN was lying to you.

  29. #29 Dano
    March 14, 2008

    Here in the Merkin Front Range, it is very common to read comments in our two newspapers’ on-line versions that are very similar to Major’s above. The small-minority ideology is quite prolific, of course, but also quite like little goslings who have imprinted on something other than their mother, following it around dutifully and trustingly.

    The prodigious output of these few misled loudly honking goslings have had the profound effect of me no longer bothering to read on-line newspaper comments. Have they influenced decision-makers? Pffffft.

    Best,

    D

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