Monckton has a plan

Monckton tells Glenn Beck how he organised the lawsuit against An Inconvenient Truth:

What happened is that I looked at Al Gore’s movie with mounting horror and I identified three dozen scientific errors in it. So I had a weather mate of mine who takes an interest in these matters and also had the money to pay for a court case and I said I thought this film was rubbish. Two weeks later he rang up and said he wanted to do something to fight back against this tide of unscientific freedom-destroying nonsense, which is what global warming is really all about. And so I said, well, the best thing is that you dish your review, a rather peculiar kind of court case in the high court in London in front of custard faced judges. And he said, right, I’ll do it.

And he wants $2 million to sue Al Gore in the US:

So if any of your listeners out there have got a spare $2 million and you would be willing to take Al Gore on in court, then get in touch with Glenn Beck and he’ll get in touch with me and I’ll put you in touch with the guy who originally fought some of the early environmental cases 30 years ago who’s still in practice. He is now a judge himself. …

This is John Yaniker (ph) who originally represented the Environmental Defense Fund 35 years ago when they managed to get DDT banned. Now, once he won the case for them, he said to the Environmental Defense Fund, look, what you mustn’t do is insist that the ban be applied inside people’s houses in these poorer countries because if you ban it even inside houses, lots of children will die of malaria. And he said, I’ve got scientific papers, I read them all up, which is what will happen. So you mustn’t push this too far. Then fired him on the spot and as he left the room, he heard the then head of the Environmental Defense Fund say we would never again employ a lawyer who knows any science.

That would be Victor Yannacone, fabricator of the infamous Wurster quote. At the time however, Yannacone told a rather different story. Science (Dec 26 1969, p 1603):

Earlier, EDF had rejected as unpromising Yannacone’s proposal to bring a $30-billion damage suit against DDT manufacturers as a “class action” on behalf of all citizens of the United States; Yannacone finally filed this action with his wife as plaintiff. The Long Island Press recently quoted Yannacone as attributing his problems with EDF partly to this suit, which he said some trustees regarded as an embarrassment to EDF in its efforts to obtain a grant from the Ford Foundation. However, according to Reginald C. Smith, an attorney EDF hired several months ago to represent it in its dealings with its general counsel, the suit had nothing to do with the “strained relations” between EDF and Yannacone. The trouble, he said, grew out of Yannacone’s “evident lack of respect [for] the EDF trustees” and his failure to take direction.

Roderick A. Cameron of Stony Brook, an attorney and executive director of EDF, told Science that EDF was getting a “bad deal” and that Yannacone, who, besides representing EDF, has carried on a private law practice of his own, had not been doing enough work for EDF to earn his $5,000-a-month retainer.

Yannacone is a AGW denier, apparently because he doesn’t like wind power.

More Monckton:

There are a number of different ways this can be done, a number of different courts in which it could be tried and obviously once we know that we’ve got somebody who can back us to do this, we will then consult with Judge Yaniker (ph) and find the best forum to do this. Interesting as you know that just this morning John Coleman, who is a veteran forecaster in the U.S. has actually said that Gore should be prosecuted criminally because he is peddling a false prospective in his generation investment management company by talking all this science, pseudoscientific rubbish, which is absolutely in correct, exaggerated all in the direction of alarm. …

I’ve already made that complaint about Gore and James Hansen who has political and financial links with him. James Hansen is a scientist at NASA who has been pushing all sorts of alarmists and again scientifically inaccurate results onto the public. And Hansen made the mistake of issuing a public statement condemning a presentation which I was going to make to both houses of the Kentucky state legislature last year and he hadn’t even seen what I was going to say. But he condemned it anyway.

Now, that’s not scientific. So I wrote to the administrator of NASA and I said, this conduct is not acceptable; I want it investigated and I think there are financial irregularities behind the conduct of your people in this matter and given that they have financial links with Al Gore. And so they are, in fact, now investigating it. It was referred to the inspector general of NASA who is their internal affairs officer, and he is now looking at this. And if they don’t come back to me very soon and say that they have disciplined this man for making unscientific statements when he’s a paid public official against a private citizen — that’s what he did — then I am going to refer this case via diplomatic channels to the U.S. attorney general’s office because they are the only office who are allowed to refer investigations to the Securities & Exchange Commission.

So Monckton thinks that NASA (or maybe the SEC??) should muzzle Hansen. Because that sure worked the last time they tried it..


  1. #1 SpotWeld
    March 7, 2008

    To solicit funds specifically for the purpose of bringing a lawsuit… that’s a new one to me. Is there precedent for that?

    I’ve heard of asking for money to mount a defense, but if you believe yourself to be the harmed party isn’t usually understood that the costs of the process would be asked for as part of the judgment?

    It sounds more like he wants to use an ongoing lawsuit as some form of validation that his arguments have merit. Sort of like an ‘inventor’ of a free energy device who uses his patent application as proof his device works.

  2. #2 _Arthur
    March 7, 2008

    Champerty and Maintenance are no longer a tort in the USA
    So anyone can chip in a lawsuit, if they want to.

  3. #3 bi
    March 7, 2008


    It sounds more like he wants to use an ongoing lawsuit as some form of validation that his arguments have merit.

    Heh, great minds think alike! Then the denialists can point to the ongoing lawsuit and say, “look, the science isn’t settled yet!” I think it’s a stalling tactic. Which also happens to be a good way to create a lot of noise.

    If so, then Gore should find a way to make mincemeat of these people as quickly as possible, then we can all move on. I’m guessing that Gore also has a plan already…

  4. #4 Rob
    March 7, 2008

    He could be held liable for opposing legal costs if his suit is found without merit. So such a lawsuit would likely ruin him if he had to personally undertake it.

    He maybe an idiot but he isn’t stupid.

  5. #5 jon
    March 7, 2008

    Let me see if I have this straight. The guy promoting global warming as “freedom-destroying nonsense” wants to sue Hansen since he doesn’t like Hansen’s right to free speech?

  6. #6 bi
    March 7, 2008


    Gore and Hansen are Leftists. Which means that anything they do is by definition Wrong.

    Gore promotes the AGW hypothesis and owns a private company? Then he’s a greedy con man who wants to grab all the world’s money for himself and usher in a new era of Gore-Gaia Dictatorship.

    Hansen promotes the AGW hypothesis and works for the government? Then he’s a hireling of the evil statist machine.

  7. #7 Boris
    March 7, 2008

    Monckton sure likes to sue people. Maybe we should sue him for being stupid.

  8. #8 d
    March 7, 2008

    Why does the request for cash make me think of this and this?

  9. #9 dhogaza
    March 7, 2008

    I hope Monckton files in a state with strong SLAPP suit protections …

  10. #10 Ian Gould
    March 7, 2008

    Monckton is located in the UK and so is Generation Asset Management.

    In the highly unlikely event that the pathetic old attention-whore really does go ahead with his lawsuit, I hope Gore and GAM bring a counter-action in the British courts for slander and defamation.

    Accusing an investment company of fraud and misrepresentation is definitely actionable.

  11. #11 Mark Shapiro
    March 7, 2008

    Monckton’s case is airtight. Don’t you remember how Congress passed that onerous carbon tax two days after Gore’s alarmist movie came out, crashing oil to $10 a barrel?

    Oh . . . wait . . .

  12. #12 bi
    March 8, 2008

    Ian Gould:

    In the highly unlikely event that the pathetic old attention-whore really does go ahead with his lawsuit, I hope Gore and GAM bring a counter-action in the British courts for slander and defamation.

    Actually I’m wondering, why shouldn’t Gore and GAM simply do that now?

  13. #13 Eli Rabett
    March 8, 2008

    The last clown to try that was called David Irving.

  14. #14 bi
    March 8, 2008

    Now come to think of it…


    such a lawsuit would likely ruin him if he had to personally undertake it.

    Which is probably why Monckton’s trying his hardest to get someone else to front for his hatchet job, while he pulls the strings behind the curtains. Probably the only time he’ll answer directly for himself, is if he’s dragged kicking and screaming into the courtroom.

    Christopher Monckton, the Cloistered Lord.

  15. #15 Barton Paul Levenson
    March 8, 2008

    Eli has gotten the crucial point. I, for one, would LOVE to see Monckton bring suit against Al Gore over global warming. It would be just like David Irving’s suit against Deborah Lipstadt, or the Dover, PA intelligent design case. If the judge wasn’t a complete moron, the deniers would have their ass handed to them. Remember that the guy who laid down the devastating anti-ID decision in Dover was a Bush appointee. But he had a functioning brain.

  16. #16 Ray C.
    March 8, 2008

    So how many millions can I ask for to sue Ben Stein over Expelled?

  17. #17 Steve Reuland
    March 8, 2008

    The case would be a hoot alright, but it would never go to trial. The suit would be quickly dismissed for “failure to state a claim upon which relief can be based.” In other words, the plaintiffs have no basis for claiming they’ve been financially harmed. “I don’t like your movie!” is not a legitimate claim on which to seek damages.

    Now, Gore on the other hand probably has ample grounds on which to sue these jerks for defamation. Not that he should, but if anyone here is guilty of actionable behavior, it’s Monckton and Beck.

  18. #18 John Mashey
    March 8, 2008

    1) On 1/22/08, this story appeared by Monckton. It included the following quote:

    “Schulte (2008: in press) reviewed 539 papers on “global climate change” in the scientific journals.”

    “Schulte (2008: in press)” has propagated to a few other places in the blogosphere, but Monckton’s paper gives no further info.

    2)Jennifer Marohasy writes of the recent Heartland conference:

    “A highlight of The 2008 International Conference on Climate Change for me was meeting Marc Morano.”

    I’m not sure if she met Monckton. I repeat an earlier post that got buried:

    From titangreens via DeSMogBLog, I recommend the delightful 2-minute interview with Singer, Monckton, etc:

    I especially love Monckton’s comment:

    “Most scientists here are retired. That means we are free to say what we think is true.”

    Yes, *we* scientists, just like *we* members of the House of Lords 🙂

  19. #19 Ian Forrester
    March 8, 2008

    Monckton’s opening sentence “I earned my Nobel Peace Prize by making the United Nations fix a deliberate error in its latest climate assessment”. I’m afraid that the truth and Mr. Monckton are not well acquainted.

  20. #20 Brian Schmidt
    March 10, 2008

    Steve R. is right – any case against Gore in the US would be thrown out nearly immediately without examining whether climate change is real, so no Dover PA-style repudiation of the denialists. Might be just as well – Bush and Reagan appointed some fools to the judiciary who could be randomly assigned to a “trial” over climate change.

    A defamation suit by Gore against Beck and Monckton would be tough in the US, though, because as a public figure Gore has to prove they lied about him, not just they lied about climate change. Maybe the more lax British standards for libel can actually have some use for a suit brought there….

  21. #21 bi
    March 10, 2008

    Brian Schmidt:

    as a public figure Gore has to prove they lied about him, not just they lied about climate change.

    Well, Monckton did say that Gore has “political and financial links with” Hansen, That may be a bit too vsgue to be useful though.

  22. #22 James
    March 10, 2008

    Surely that should be “Monckton has a cunning plan”.

  23. #23 Ian Gould
    March 11, 2008

    I suspect that Monckton knows he has no basis for action hence the “if only I had $2 million” line.

  24. #24 John Mashey
    March 11, 2008

    re: #18

    Has anyone seen any trace of Schulte(2008: in press)?

  25. #25 comic
    March 12, 2008

    … freedom-destroying nonsense …


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