Monckton has a gold Nobel prize pin

I think the funniest part of Monckton’s open letter to John McCain is his description of himself at the beginning:

His contribution to the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report in 2007 – the correction of a table
inserted by IPCC bureaucrats that had overstated tenfold the observed contribution of the
Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets to sea-level rise – earned him the status of Nobel Peace
Laureate. His Nobel prize pin, made of gold recovered from a physics experiment, was presented
to him by the Emeritus Professor of Physics at the University of Rochester, New York, USA. He
has lectured at university physics departments on the quantification of climate sensitivity, on
which he is widely recognized as an expert, and his limpid analysis of the climate-feedback
factor was published on the famous climate blog of Roger Pielke, Sr.

I don’t know which person is nuttier. Monckton, for saying that he is a Nobel laureate, or the guy (presumably Robert Sproull) who gave him the fake Nobel prize pin. And while there was an error in that table, others noticed it first.

Monckton’s open letter basically rehashes his erroneus claims about the science, but there have been some embellishments:


The very body that invented the “cap-and-trade” scam that you now propose to sanctify as a policy of the
Republican party in government would have the deaths of 50 million children — for it is children who are nearly
always the victims of malaria — on its conscience. If, that is, it had a conscience. And, lest its apologists and spin-doctors
dare to challenge my presentation here of its murderous role in the DDT ban, I shall recount a past event.

During the final stages of the case that led to the ban on DDT, the Board of the Environmental Defense Fund met
with its lawyer. He said to the Chairman: “Sir, I beg you not to press for a total ban on DDT. If you succeed in
getting it banned altogether, tens of millions of children will die of malaria. My advice is that, for pressing scientific
reasons, you should allow it to be used indoors, so that children will not be bitten at home.”

The lawyer carefully put before the Board the scientific evidence he had accumulated, and just as carefully — for he
was scientifically literate and competent — he spelled out exactly why and how a total ban on DDT would kill tens of
millions, and undo a malaria eradication program that had almost succeeded in wiping this curse from the Earth.

And what was the reaction of the Board of the Environmental Defense Fund — your allies in introducing yet another
mad scheme based on a policy that is already killing people of starvation in the worldâs poorest countries? They
dismissed their Counsel on the spot. As he left the room, he heard the Chairman say to the Board, “That’s the last
time we ever again employ a lawyer who knows anything about science.”

Monckton’s story is entirely fictional. About the only true thing is that the EDF did fire its lawyer, Victor Yannacone (the fabricator of the infamous Wurster quote). But far from arguing that the EDF was going too far, Yannacone’ dispute with the EDF was that it wasn’t going far enough. 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.

Oh, and did you know that the EU is a dictatorship? Monckton:

The world needs the United States to continue as the engine-house of prosperity,
the wellspring of invention, the hope of freedom, the guarantor of peace. You must
not transform your great nation into merely another stifling, inept, corrupt,
bureaucratic-centralist dictatorship such as China, Russia, or the European Union.

Comments

  1. #1 Boris
    October 22, 2008

    Ack, Tim, you should put a warning on the link to Monckton’s letter. I didn’t need to see him in a skirt.

  2. #2 Ben
    October 22, 2008

    This guy is clearly dellusional.

  3. #3 pough
    October 22, 2008

    “There’s a Lord Monckton on line one. He wants a divorce from reality, citing irreconcilable differences.”

    This is clearly a case for Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law!

  4. #4 Gavin
    October 22, 2008

    “limpid analysis “? “limp” would be a more appropriate adjective.

  5. #5 DavidONE
    October 22, 2008

    I’m actually warming to Discount Monckton now. He’s becoming so unhinged, it’s like reading an elaborate (and funny) version of The Onion.

    There’s so much irrelevant piffle I was half expecting to read something like “I later had the cook prepare me lightly poached quail eggs for my early supper before successfully constructing a room temperature fusion unit”.

  6. #6 Boris
    October 22, 2008

    I’m actually warming to Discount Monckton now.

    Are you should Monckton is the cause of this warming? Monckton warming is obviously a leftist scam, and even if were true, we’d all benefit. In summary, further study is needed.

  7. #7 TrueSceptic
    October 22, 2008

    Know that old line about something being so insane that no one could have made it up? No one has the imagination so it must be true.

    Lord Munchkin is such an example. Actually there have been a few who could create such a character. The late Peter Cook was one; Chris Morris is another. :D

  8. #8 ChrisC
    October 22, 2008

    “He has lectured at university physics departments on the quantification of climate sensitivity, on which he is widely recognized as an expert”

    Recognised as an expert? By whom? How can one be an expert in climate sensitivity while not knowing the first thing about climatology?

    “…his limpid analysis of the climate-feedback factor was published on the famous climate blog of Roger Pielke, Sr.”

    He had a paper published on a blog? A BLOG! Of course such a revolutionary paper could have been published within the pages of Nature or Science. Hell, even the more specialised literature (such as Geophysical Research Letters or Journal of Climate) would have been pleased to publish such ground breaking research. But no, Viscount Monckton chose to publish via a blog. (head-desk).

    Were it not for people like Viscount Monckton, we would be forced to invent them.

  9. #9 Barton Paul Levenson
    October 22, 2008

    For those of you who do not know me, I am the 3rd Viscount of Branchsquirrely, Lord Christopher Munchhausen. You are probably unaware of the Nobel Prize I was awarded for demonstrating the fatal problems of so-called relativity theory. All I needed to do was point out that it was just a theory. Within minutes, I had been forcibly flown to Stockholm where I was given a golden pinprick in an unmentionable place. I quivered deliciously for hours.

  10. #10 pough
    October 22, 2008

    I quivered deliciously for hours.

    See? This is why I respect your comments, in spite of your obviously fake name. :-p

  11. #11 Chris O'Neill
    October 22, 2008

    Also from Monckton’s autobigoraphy;

    His lecture to undergraduates at the Cambridge Union Society on climate change has been released by SPPI as Apocalypse? NO!, a full-length feature movie on high-definition DVD.

    Oh dear, HD DVD players aren’t in the shops here anymore. What a shame.

  12. #12 Dano
    October 22, 2008

    I think we all here need to consider the likelihood that the Lord Viscount queen’s identity has been taken over by a Hollywood comedy writer. One that was on strike and needed a paycheck. The writer did it so well it is now a full-time job, making parody characters of the contrascientists.

    Think about it.

    Best,

    D

  13. #13 Lars
    October 22, 2008

    …the likelihood that the Lord Viscount queen’s identity has been taken over by a Hollywood comedy writer…

    Quite possibly, Dano, but inspection of the [pictorial evidence](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2008/09/monckton_demands_that_mann_bra.php) suggests that Lord Monckton is actually the re-animated cadaver of Graham Chapman. Nice to see that Chapman’s penchant for satire has not been etiolated by death.

  14. #14 EWI
    October 22, 2008

    His Nobel prize pin, made of gold recovered from a physics experiment

    A typo, surely. One would imagine that Monckton’s “gold” pin was produced by the fantastical transformation of lead into gold by his friend Alvin the Alchemist, thereby yet again proving those biased Communist “scientists” wrong…

  15. #15 WotWot
    October 22, 2008

    Completely barking.

  16. #16 ben
    October 23, 2008

    If only Al Gore would write a letter to Obama about how we’re all going to end up living in adobe huts like his brother due to global warming. Hasn’t Gore been knighted yet? He has a real Nobel lefty backslap prize doesn’t he?

  17. #17 BobClip
    October 23, 2008

    In the recent TV documentary ‘Climate Wars’, the presenter, Ian Stewart, interviewed several people, including Monckton, at the recent sceptics conference in New York.

    He also interviewed a stand up comedian at one of the evening bashes who said he was ‘lonely’ being the only climate change comedian.

    Perhaps Ian Stewart should have introduced him to Monckton.

  18. #18 TrueSceptic
    October 23, 2008

    16 Ben,

    “Nobel lefty backslap”. More parody of the rabid right, clearly. ;)

  19. #19 Nick
    October 23, 2008

    The poor demented dear…it’s a cry for help.

  20. #20 El Cid
    October 23, 2008

    I once held an Academy Award in my hand. I would now like to thank you all, all of you little people who supported me in my victory.

  21. #21 crust
    October 23, 2008

    Tell me this is a parody, right? FWIW, the PDF describes itself as a reprint from the American Thinker. The original version is perhaps somewhat less insane. It looks like that version does not mention his imaginary Nobel peace prize although it does e.g. still characterize the European Union as a dictatorship.

  22. #22 bi -- IJI
    October 23, 2008

    ben: If only? If only. Bleh.

    OK, so Viscount Monckton can get an imaginary Nobel Prize. I wonder if I can get an imaginary Viscountship too?

    (No, I don’t mean those “British Lordship for Quick Sale” things, unless the Lordship can be bought with imaginary money.)

  23. #23 Mike Kaulbars (greenfyre)
    October 23, 2008

    I think VoldeMonckton has confused the Nobel pin with the one that he won as Upper Class Twit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_p5rjX7gMWo

    “Limpid”? I should have thought he meant ‘turgid’ if accuracy meant anything to him, but it’s obviously not a priority.

  24. #24 dhogaza
    October 23, 2008

    Poor Ben, he’ll be spending the next eight years in a state of supreme bitterness…

  25. #25 Dano
    October 23, 2008

    What would happen to wingnuttia if somehow the phrases Algore, socialist and tax and spend liberals were eliminated from the language?

    Best,

    D

  26. #26 Nick
    October 23, 2008

    D @ 25, The failed state of Wingnuttia would be left with Monckton’s new collective term for his opponents: a ‘murderous foolishness of climate alarmists’

  27. #27 Steve L
    October 23, 2008

    Having never really educating myself on the whole DDT thing, this question might be nonsensical (but that hasn’t stopped me before):
    In ten years are these same kinds of people going to say something like, “10 years ago the ecofascists/ecocommunists [or whatever] facilitated the greatest economic collapse of our generation, resulting in millions of deaths, due to their callous attempts to reduce CO2 emissions”?

  28. #28 guthrie
    October 23, 2008

    Steve L- of course.
    They will also blame us for the collapse of fish stocks, plagues of insecticide resistant insects, and eclipses.

    Which makes me wonder- Given the fisheries that have already collapsed, eg the Canadian Grand banks, who did they blame for the collapse? Or did they quietly act as if it didn’t happen whilst scrapping the boats?
    Somehow they never manage to blame the right people for problems- cities filling up with poor people because thier livelihoods have been destroyed by overfarming or cutting down forests? Nothing to do with us, guv. ASthma, infections, breathing difficulties etc, nope, can’t be to do with cars and lorries and suchlike. Long term stress exacerbated by the noise of modern living, nope, doesn’t exist, honest.
    And so on.

  29. #29 Eli Rabett`
    October 23, 2008

    Somehow the words bullshit artist occur.

  30. #30 Marion Delgado
    October 23, 2008

    I have a PLATINUM Nobel Peace Prize for Medicine in Physics presented by the Swedish Academy of Economics … and I say the man’s a damned fraud!

  31. #31 szqc
    October 24, 2008

    guthrie@28: Many here in Canada blamed… the seals (and the First Nations and the lousy Spaniards – who didn’t expect we’d foment some kind of inquisition…)

    For those here who follow other blogs like PZ’s, I’d like to see the Visediscount hisself in a dialogue with the ever pedantic John A Davison who “loves it so” – now there’s a recipe for real overlapping dialogue (or is that overlapping soliloquies of delusion?)

  32. #32 Ian Gould
    October 24, 2008

    Steve L @ 27

    Monckton’s ALREADY doing that – claiming the current spike
    in fuel prices is directly and exclusively caused by greenhouse-inspired biofuel subsidies.

  33. #33 Steve L
    October 24, 2008

    Wow, Ian, that’s fantastic. I guess I should search it, but I’m strangely hesitant to read any of his own words because I’m scared somehow it’s contagious or like looking directly at the Medusa. Can you tell me if there’s any word-eating going on since fuel prices have dropped despite no change in those biofuel subsidies?

  34. #34 (((Billy))) The Atheist
    October 24, 2008

    Just an odd question from an American: Did Moncton, by any chance, ever work as a script writer for the Monty Python comedy troupe? If not, he appears to have missed his calling.

  35. #35 Interrobang
    October 24, 2008

    Can you tell me if there’s any word-eating going on since fuel prices have dropped despite no change in those biofuel subsidies?

    No, they’ll never eat their words for that one — it’s entirely too much fun to blame “hippies” and “leftists” for global food shortages (because it’s not so much fun to blame monoculture farming, agribusiness, blight, and plagues of insects), and there’s entirely too much money in getting people to believe that “biofuels” is synonymous with “corn ethanol” and only “corn ethanol.”

  36. #36 bi -- IJI
    October 24, 2008

    > If not, he appears to have missed his calling.

    Well, we can try to get Something Awful to do a “Letters From the Internet” thing. What’ll be even better is if someone can imitate his pompous speech register.

  37. #37 bi -- IJI
    October 24, 2008

    > Can you tell me if there’s any word-eating going on since fuel prices have dropped despite no change in those biofuel subsidies?

    If fuel prices are low, then it means God Is Great.

    If fuel prices are high, then it means The Liberals Are Up To No Good.

    These are legitimate facts.

  38. #38 ben
    October 24, 2008

    Off topic, but -1 for Tim for believing government officials.

    Poor Ben, he’ll be spending the next eight years in a state of supreme bitterness…

    True! And that’s independent of Obama or McCain winning the election! I’ll be happy if Rossi wins for Governor of Washington though. I even traded my inconsequential vote for president to a buddy (I’m voting Obama, and he’s got a lock on Washington State already) for a consequential vote for Rossi! Woot!

  39. #39 Tim Lambert
    October 24, 2008

    Umm, Ben, I don’t think you were paying attention in the discussion on British Crime stats — my position has always been that the police recorded numbers are less reliable than those from the BCS.

  40. #40 papa zita
    October 24, 2008

    Billy, if Monckton was a Python writer, he’d have to have performed on the show, too. Graham Chapman did what Monckton does, and was much funnier. If Monckton wants to start his own comedy troupe, he can write himself in as the silly ass titled Brit in a number of sketches. Who to team him with, though? I’m sure there’s a number of Wodehouse characters he could play as well.

  41. #41 ben
    October 24, 2008

    Umm, Ben, I don’t think you were paying attention in the discussion on British Crime stats — my position has always been that the police recorded numbers are less reliable than those from the BCS.

    Er, right, it’s been a while. What was the whole point then? I thought you basically were arguing that things weren’t as bad as they seemed, and Kevin would argue that they were worse. I remember that those discussions didn’t go anywhere.

  42. #42 bi -- IJI
    October 25, 2008

    Shorter ben: Why can’t all of you just let me fulfil my “regurgitation of talking points” quota? Why? Why?

  43. #43 Ian Gould
    October 26, 2008

    “What was the whole point then?”

    From memory, someone – Lott?- claimed UK murder rates rose after gun laws were tightened.

    They didn’t.

  44. #44 ben
    October 27, 2008

    Ah, but there it is Ian. Based on the government data that has been shown to be badly flawed?

  45. #45 Ian Gould
    October 28, 2008

    The police records – which have now been shown to be inaccurate – showed the violent crime rate increasing.

    The Crime Survey showed the rate of violent crime was essentially flat.

    Tim’s argument that the survey was more accurate is vindicated.

  46. #46 Marion Delgado
    October 29, 2008

    I STILL get no respect in these comments, do I?

    Did I mention that my Nobel is also a Peabody?

  47. #47 JB
    October 29, 2008

    So, the same guy who trashes the IPCC report, the IPCC and the UN brags about his part of the Nobel Prize (presumably awarded to the IPCC for their “trashy” report).

    IMHO, people like Monckton are the very reason the British, possessing a highly trained army and far superior fire power, lost the war to thirteen upstart American colonies, possessing little more than a ragtag army of squirrel hunters with BB guns.

    Monckton is one of the guys marching out in the open in brilliant military attire in perfect formation as the American colonists take pot shots at him from behind the trees.

  48. #48 Bernard J.
    October 29, 2008

    Monckton is one of the guys marching out in the open in brilliant military attire in perfect formation as the American colonists take pot shots at him from behind the trees.

    Monty Python would be proud. I can just imagine it slotting perfectly into the war scene in ‘The Meaning of Life’.

  49. #49 Mike Kaulbars
    November 9, 2008

    Does anyone know if someone has deconstructed the latest of Monckton’s unprovoked assaults on windmills? [link](http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/images/stories/papers/monckton/monckton_what_hockey_stick.pdf)

    Did anyone know it existed?

    I know no one cares, but like painful rectal itch …

  50. #50 John Philip
    November 14, 2008

    THE VISCOUNT: I am your Nobel Laureate!

    PEASANT Nobel? How’d you get that then? I never voted for you …

    MONCKTON You don’t vote for Nobels!

    PEASANT How did you become a Laureate then?

    BARON MUNCHHAUSEN: An Emeritus Profssor of Physics, arm clad in purest ermine, held aloft from the bosom of the Senior Common Room a shimmering Golden Prize Pin cunningly fashioned from the purest gold conjured from an mystical alchemic Physics Experiment, signifying that I, Christopher Walter, and diviner of minor typographical screwups, was to carry the Ancient Laurels of Nobel. That is why am your Laureate!

    PEASANT: Listen mate, strange Emeritii sitting in common rooms distributing pins is no basis for a system of academic recognition. Academic recognition derives from a mandate from the prize Committee, not from some farcical quasi-scholarly ceremony!

    VISCOUNT: BE QUIET!

    PEASANT: You can’t expect to claim supreme academic recognition just because some superannuted pedagogue threw a pin at you!

    LORD MONCKTON Shut *UP*!

    PEASANT : I mean, if I went ’round, saying I was a Nobel Laureate, just because I was one of many who noticed an arithmetic error, they’d put me away!

    VISCOUNT: Shut Up! If you don’t be quiet I will hit you with a libel suit!

    PEASANT Ah-ha! Now we see the violence inherent in the system!

    With apologies to the Pythons.

  51. #51 Barton Paul Levenson
    November 14, 2008

    JP — wonderful! I love it!

  52. #52 trane
    December 1, 2008

    Monckton has gone to Indonesia to save the planet from the alarmists.

    http://www.indonesiamatters.com/3189/saving-the-planet/

  53. #53 bi -- IJI
    December 1, 2008

    trane:

    Your talking point is late. The conference thang happened in Nov 24–26.

  54. […] (Viscount Monckton) claimed to have won the Nobel Prize (or to have cured cancer, incidentally). Monckton has a gold Nobel prize pin – Deltoid Sign in or Register Now to […]

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