Also, a few more snippets on how Monckton’s article ended up in Physics and Society. Lawrence Krauss (outgoing chair of the American Physical Society’s Forum on Physics and Society (FPS)) wrote:
Earlier this year, the editors ran a piece submitted by Gerald Marsh, a frequent contributor to FPS, in which he questioned the accuracy of climate change predictions and estimations of anthropogenic contributions to it. The article gave the editors the idea of devoting an issue to debate about the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s statements regarding human-induced global warming.
Being unfamiliar with the field, they asked Marsh to suggest authors on both sides of the argument, and sent out requests. Physicists David Hafemeister and Peter Schwartz kindly contributed a tutorial on the physics of global warming. Marsh also suggested “Christopher Monckton of Brenchley”, who the editors assumed was a climate scientist. Monckton submitted what appeared to be a highly technical piece refuting the notion that global warming is occurring, much less induced by human activity.
The editors ran both articles, and encouraged feedback. They also prefaced the issue with an unfortunate editorial stating that there is “considerable” debate within the scientific community about the IPCC statement that global warming is anthropogenic.
Within hours of the issue appearing on the web, an angry physics community responded. The editors then learned that Viscount Monckton – who they had addressed as “Dr Monckton” in their correspondence, a misconception he did not correct – was actually a British journalist and global-warming sceptic. His article presented claims that he has been circulating for years and that climate scientists say they have debunked.
Marsh replied with this:
Lawrence Krauss’s commentary on the appearance of Christopher Monckton’s piece on global warming in the newsletter of the American Physical Society’s Forum on Physics and Society (16 August, p 46) could be read as implying that I should have warned the editors that Monckton is a controversial figure.
To clarify the record, here is what I wrote to the editors about recommendations for those who could contribute to the debate on the side of those who do not see global warming as a threat: “I have had direct contact with only three people. I would recommend you contact: Willie Soon at Harvard, Christopher Monckton, and Freeman Dyson at the Institute for Advanced Study. Willie is an astronomer and Christopher has a background in science. He is a bit of a controversial figure (challenges Al Gore to debate him in ads in The New York Times and other major media) and is also known as Viscount Monckton of Brenchley. He is a serious participant in the debate and has done some good scientific critiques of the IPCC. Dyson needs no introduction.
“A few more that I have not had any contact with who have done excellent work in the area are Sally Baliunas, H. Svensmark, E. Friis-Christensen, and Judith Lean. There are many more, and I am sure these folks can put you into contact with them.”
I think this makes it clear that I did not suggest that Monckton is a climate scientist or holds a doctorate, nor is this relevant to the merits of his arguments.
But Marsh did mislead the editors by saying that Monckton had a “scientific background” when Monckton has no scientific qualifications or publications. And of course, Monckton has not done any good scientific critques of the IPCC.