Monckton Myths

i-01f5c6daab69f75315fcf06630e0b1d8-Monckton_Myths_200.jpg

Christopher Monckton is notable for the way he gets the science wrong over and over again. So the folks at Skeptical Science have created a handy resource listing the arguments he commonly uses and the refutations.

Monckton is in the news again, going to court to try to get prevent a documentary about him from being shown. As usual with Monckton. he lost:

Jo Abbess was (perhaps accidently) CC’d on an email from Monckton where he wrote:

Actually it’s a boorish hatchet job of the traditional BBC kind, but I sued them and made them cut it by half an hour and alter or remove some 16 downright errors and unfairnesses in the programme. Pleasingly, they’re going to have to pay quite a large chunk of the court costs (though I’m going to have to pay some too, because although the Beeb had promised me a right of reply their promise meant nothing either to them or to the High Court). – M of B

Obviously, since this is Monckton, he could be making stuff up again.

Comments

  1. #1 MapleLeaf
    February 1, 2011

    “but I sued them and made them cut it by half an hour and alter or remove some 16 downright errors and unfairnesses in the programme.”

    Malicious so and so isn’t he?

    I think it more likely that those were 16 inconvenient truths about Monckton that he had removed. And since when does someone get to interfere with the content of a documentary to such a large degree?!

  2. #2 pough
    February 1, 2011

    I must say I’m a trifle disappointed in their choice of logo when the now-classic Pink Portcullis of the House of Lord is freely available.

  3. #3 Wow
    February 1, 2011

    re #1

    Does that mean, if Mad Monkfish is right, that he himself has stifled the press?!?!?

    What an authoritarian communist nazi liberal!!!

  4. #4 John Mashey
    February 1, 2011

    re: jo Abbess
    1) As I recall, Morano has been known to post emails addresses.

    2) Monckton either:
    a) Wanted people to see who he was addressing.
    b) OR does not know about BCC:

  5. #5 bobinchiclana
    February 1, 2011

    This would suggest he is lying:

    The Press Association: BBC wins battle over climate show: http://bit.ly/gYCdxO

  6. #6 MapleLeaf
    February 1, 2011

    A list of Monckton’s allies (and enemies):

    “To: Hans Schreuder, Rupert Wyndham, John Gahan
    Cc: Climate Science Google Group, Brice Bosnich, Christopher Booker, James Delingpole,
    John Christy, Nigel Lawson, Paul Reiter, Richard S. Lindzen, S. Fred Singer, BBC Radio Times Editor, Benny Peiser, Gabriel (Gabe) Rychert, Sally Allix, Angela Kelly, jo abbess, Mark Thompson (BBC), Caroline Thompson (BBC), Anthony Bright-Paul, Tony Nicholls, Andrew Montford, Humphrey Morison, David Bellamy, Sonja A. Boehmer-Christiansen, Charles Wyndham, Colin Bradshaw, Piers Corbyn, Peter Sissons, Philip Stott, David Evans, Fred Pearce, CWS, James Naughtie (BBC), John Humphrys (BBC), John Brignall, Kenneth Haapala, Rodney Leach, Physics Services, Melanie Phillips, Andrew Revkin, The Tablet, Andrew Tyrie (UK Parliament), Masters Secretary Trinity College Cambridge, Anthony Watts (Watts Up With That)”

  7. #7 RW
    February 1, 2011

    He is an absurd fantasist. His legal action failed; no changes to the program were made, and nor was its broadcast delayed. He has a track record of dreaming up legal victories that never happened. I’m sure you remember this:

    http://www.monbiot.com/archives/2007/10/03/did-lord-monckton-fabricate-a-claim-on-his-wikipedia-page/

  8. #8 MapleLeaf
    February 1, 2011

    RW @6,

    Do you have anything to support your assertion that:

    “no changes to the program were made, and nor was its broadcast delayed”

    What you say may well be true, but some evidence would be nice.

  9. #9 Jeremy C
    February 1, 2011

    The production company that managed the program is Fresh One Productions. They are based in South London and its evening here and tomorrow I’m going to ring them up to find out if the program was cut by 30 mins as Monckton says (I find that hard to believe because it was made for the Storyville strand on BBC4 which is approx an hour long) plus that 16 errors were removed or altered and finally that the beeb had to pay a large part of the court costs – beyond any costs of representation they may have been obliged to take.

    I’ll come back to you all in 15 hours or so.

  10. #10 J Bowers
    February 1, 2011

    Re. 5 Mapleleaf — “A list of Monckton’s allies…”

    Email group: Climate Cranks Club.

  11. #11 J Bowers
    February 1, 2011

    Hmmm… Andrew Tyrie (UK Parliament)

    http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/mp.php?mpid=40166&dmp=1030

  12. #12 J Bowers
    February 1, 2011

    Ah, Rupert Wyndham…

    Climate Realists: Letter to Royal Society from Rupert Wyndham
    [...]
    …An equally inept and disreputable UK Met Office remains in stubborn but increasingly risible denial. Although it was foreseen by others (for example, unlike the politically inspired Nature, the scientifically rigorous journal, Energy & Environment) this trend, of course, was totally missed by the GCMs so beloved of global warming propagandists.

    http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=3736

  13. #13 chek
    February 1, 2011

    Monckton would be better occupied worrying about the consequences of publicly declaring that John Abraham was under surveillance and that he (Abraham) was not an honest man, rather than doing a James “they cut out the three hours of me being brilliant and fabulous” Delingpole and claiming he was made to look bad.

    Both Monckton and Delingpole look bad because there’s no way their type of stupid can be made to look any better.

    I hope St Thomas’ and Prof. Abraham’s lawyers get the chance to view the show sometime soon.

  14. #14 Bud
    February 1, 2011

    Re MapleLeaf @7

    It is not the case that no changes were made to the film, but rather that no changes were legally enforced.

    See the news article in TL’s post:

    Desmond Browne QC, for the BBC, production company Fresh One Productions Ltd and film maker Rupert Murray, said that changes had been made to the film in the light of Lord Monckton’s concerns about accuracy and bias.

    He told the court that the October 2010 contract provided for absolute editorial control by Fresh One and the BBC, there had been advance publicity for the broadcast and it would be problematic to show it at another time. He said that an injunction should not be granted as, though “dressed up” as a claim in contract, the real complaint was one of defamation.

    The judge refused the application on the basis that the agreement on which Lord Monckton relied lacked the clarity which he submitted it had. The “balance of justice” also favoured its refusal, he added.

  15. #15 greatbear
    February 1, 2011

    That link is a great resource, not only for Monckton’s favorite myths, also 148 of the most popular myths from skeptics in general.

    There are a few more that are popular in the media that I would add, though:

    149. Al Gore is fat.

    150. Al Gore has a big house.

    151. Al Gore flies in airplanes.

    152. Sometimes, it snows. Especially in winter.

    These are especially popular ones among viewers of Fox and Friends.

  16. #16 MapleLeaf
    February 1, 2011

    Chek @11, “…publicly declaring that John Abraham was under surveillance and that he (Abraham) was not an honest man”

    Sounds like harassment and slander to me…wonder what Abraham’s lawyers will think?

  17. #17 Nick Barnes
    February 1, 2011
  18. #18 J Bowers
    February 1, 2011

    Re 15 Nick Barnes

    Nick, thanks. Here’s a corker from Andrew Tyrie…

    The basic science is not in dispute, but there are two questions in that science. First, what temperature increase will result from any given increase in carbon concentrations? The scientists are not unanimous, and dispute is widespread in the scientific community. A Hamburg institute study of opinions, prepared by Professor Storch, is decisive on that point. Furthermore, Professor Lindzen—arguably the father of modern climate science—of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was asked to be the lead author of the 2001 science part of the report by the intergovernmental panel on climate change and has argued vigorously against the so-called consensus.

    In context – http://www.theyworkforyou.com/whall/?id=2008-11-19b.67.0#g78.2
    Direct link – http://www.theyworkforyou.com/whall/?gid=2008-11-19b.76.1

    Birds of a feather really do flock together. Tim, he has something to say about malaria and temp increase, too ;)

  19. #19 Neven
    February 1, 2011

    Did they mix up Jo Abbess with Jo Nova or something?

    Shouldn’t she have collected more of those group mails?

  20. #20 jo abbess
    February 1, 2011

    @Neven,

    I am most certainly not Jo Nova.

    A couple of years ago, I received an avalanche of nasty e-mails from the Climate Sceptics (Skeptics) and it seems my e-mail address has lodged in their computers.

    It seems possible on this occasion that the Climate Sceptics were attempting to get some oxygen for Christopher Monckton’s narrative, and included me in the loop on purpose.

    However, don’t let the fact that I published Christopher Monckton’s rant distract you from your usual aims and objectives – I love your graphs and charts, so keep up the good work !

    The real story here is Climate Change Science, not Christopher Monckton’s legal battles, so let’s keep on with the research, data collection and reporting.

    jo (abbess)

  21. #21 Mike
    February 1, 2011

    @20

    An avalanche of nasty emails from Climate Sceptics?

    ClimateScepticGate?

  22. #22 James Haughton
    February 1, 2011

    Interesting to read Monckton putting down Alan Siddons for his ridiculous pseudo-physics (which long-timers may recall sucked Marohasy into its downward spiral). For one paragraph he almost looked reasonable. But then we learn that his one true calculation of climate sensitivity which shows the IPCC is wrong is “currently under peer review” – presumably this means he slipped it under a bar-stool cushion in the Members Bar of the House of Lords before the security guards ejected him.

  23. #23 Tony Sidaway
    February 1, 2011

    I did have a few minutes to spare today so I checked Monckton’s claim about a negotiated half-hour cut for plausibility. Bear in mind that most of the time I’m too busy or too lazy to use a proper computer so I work with a mobile phone (not even a smartphone) equipped with Opera Mini.

    The upcoming Storyville episode on Ronald Reagan will run for about 100 minutes but this episode on climate sceptics seemed to run for about 60 minutes so this claim is at least plausible.

    On the other hand 60 minutes seemed ample for the subject matter: eccentric British journalist teaches himself climate science and then tells Congress weird stuff that the scientists he cites find risible. You could cover it amply in a ten minute block on BBC2’s NewsNight. What we’re left with is a lovely portrait of the classic batty peer, and that’s always worth an hour.

  24. #24 John
    February 1, 2011

    Update to the post:

    >[ UPDATE : Some of the propagandists of the Climategate non-scandal, an event, you may recall, that involved the purloining and publication of thousands of private e-mails, have complained that I published their private e-mail addresses...Oh, such delicious irony ! ]

    As the kids say: “lol”

  25. #25 John
    February 2, 2011

    I found a torrent for the Monckton film, but at nearly 600mb and needing codecs and Winrar to extract and view it’s a bit much so I’m currently uploading it to Megavideo. Should be ready for you to view in an hour and a half.

    Twelve minutes in myself. Be warned Australians – so far we do not come off well. Not only are there are scores of people slavishly praising Monckton, but one man in particular is of the view that all homosexuals should be “locked up or they should be exterminated”. Classy guy.

    Monckton in particular is shown in a pretty fair light. His “Hitler youth” tirade is shown, as are scenes of him making special arrangements for the elderly and disabled.

  26. #26 John
    February 2, 2011

    Man shouting at Al Gore: “THERE ARE 30,000 SCIENTISTS TRYING TO SUE THIS GUY!”

  27. #27 jakerman
    February 2, 2011

    John, I’ve been looking, where did you find it?

  28. #28 John
    February 2, 2011

    24 minutes in and Monckton is demonstrating his incredible memory by singing the very same Tom Lehrer song I learned by heart when I was 14. I must be a genius.

  29. #29 John
    February 2, 2011

    Jakerman, I found it here after Googling on and off since it was broadcast. You’re certainly welcome to download it, but the streaming version I am currently uploading will be ready in an hour.

  30. #30 jakerman
    February 2, 2011

    Thanks John, 59 minutes to go.

  31. #31 jakerman
    February 2, 2011

    Hopefully Auntie will bring it to Oz so it gets a broad showing.

  32. #32 John
    February 2, 2011

    Finished watching. It was pretty good, although there were some flat bits during the USA section. John Abraham makes an appearance (looking quite handsome, and nothing like an overcooked prawn) and eviscerates Monckton’s arguments. I won’t spoil the ending, but Monckton is left very unhappy and makes some statements that will only serve to aid his destruction.

    A read of the threads at Bishop Hill reveals the retirees there who were once so fond of Monckton are abandoning him and trying to paint him as a fringe player, which is interesting.

    Here’s a good comment though:

    >As it was filmed following CM around Australia, it seemed interesting that Murray did not wheel out an interview with Bob Carter while he was there. Perhaps he feared it would knock his ideas too much.

    Yes Bob. Let’s hear about this global cooling we’re undergoing.

    It’s also interesting to note that almost all the comments were made before the show was aired. After the show was aired, very little noise was made.

  33. #33 John
    February 2, 2011

    Here it is finally.

    Meet The Climate Sceptics

  34. #34 jakerman
    February 2, 2011

    >*As it was filmed following CM around Australia, it seemed interesting that Murray did not wheel out an interview with Bob Carter while he was there. Perhaps he feared it would knock his ideas too much.*

    Its always the one who didn’t get critiqued that would have been a better choice for the deniers.

  35. #35 jakerman
    February 2, 2011

    Something wrong with your link John?

  36. #36 John
    February 2, 2011
  37. #37 jakerman
    February 2, 2011

    Thanks John.

    Did you also get a voice sync problem half way through?

  38. #38 Jeremy C
    February 2, 2011

    I put a call an hour ago into Fresh One Productions setting out Monckton’s claims e.g. 90 to 60 minutes, 16 cuts/alterations, etc, and they said the production manager responsible for the program wil get back to me………. if she is not sicka dn tired of the whole thing (my addition).

    Hope they come back to me.

  39. #39 John
    February 2, 2011

    Jakerman, unfortunately yes. That was in the original video I downloaded.

  40. #40 Peter Hartmann
    February 2, 2011

    @MapleLeaf: the list of contacts seems to have originated from Hans Schreuder, Monckton was just replying to all.

    p.

  41. #41 calum
    February 2, 2011

    I can state with confidence Lord Monckton did not get the programme cut down from 90 minutes to 60 minutes. The QC’s comments are right and Lord Monckton had no editorial control over the programme.

    And James Delingpole is wrong. Rupert really did set out with an open mind as to global warming.

  42. #42 Mark Gillar
    February 2, 2011

    It’s so much fun to watch a pseudo-religous movement built on junk science gasp its final few breaths. Start looking for work now gentleman. Don’t wait till the last minute.

  43. #43 frank -- Decoding SwiftHack
    February 2, 2011

    > It’s so much fun to watch a pseudo-religous movement built on junk science gasp its final few breaths. Start looking for work now gentleman. Don’t wait till the last minute.

    You just described yourself.

    frank

  44. #44 J Bowers
    February 2, 2011

    Re 42 – Wrong blog. Here’s the correct link: http://wattsupwiththat.com/

  45. #45 J Bowers
    February 2, 2011

    Re 42 – Correction: Mark Gillar

  46. #46 frank -- Decoding SwiftHack
    February 2, 2011

    And while we’re talking about mass mailing, here’s an even bigger mailing list (I remember talking about it on Deltoid before):

    http://ijish.livejournal.com/12996.html

  47. #47 J Bowers
    February 2, 2011

    Re 46 Frank

    !

    So, the secret is to just mass email people. Imagine if everyone who disagrees with Monckton and Sullivan were to do the same.

  48. #48 J Bowers
    February 2, 2011

    Re 46 Frank again

    ROFL. David Milliband’s in Sullivan’s list. I wonder what his brother Ed thinks of that. David Cameron, too, in the same list as Pete Ridley. LMAO, but coupled with the Heartland graph you found, a clear insight.

    Blimey; Alastair Darling, Ann Widdecombe, Marc Morano, fruityjanitor….

  49. #49 TrueSceptic
    February 2, 2011

    42 Mark Gillar,

    Ignoring the obvious irony of your claim, what work do you imagine most Deltoid commenters do? We all work in climate science? Or for some imagined warmofascist econazi organisation bent on world domination?

  50. #50 Marco
    February 2, 2011

    I think Mark Gillar slowly sees HIS work fall apart. He’s been carefully building his case around Monckton’s arguments, and now probably realises Monckton is a load of hot air. So, what does he have left himself? Blowing hot air…

  51. #51 Jeremy C
    February 2, 2011

    Gee!

    I went to the Mark Gillar site via the link (thanks J Bowers) and was gratified to see that his website has a section devoted to those of us frequenting Deltoid. That means something.

    BTW on the doco whenthey first mentioned Dr Pinker I sat up in anticipation that Tim’s tangle with Monkers would get an airing and the UK audience could see that wonderful, wonderful moment when after Monkers declaring his close study of all of Dr Pinker’s works and describing to the audience how Pinker was a satellite Nerd thereby envincing his (Monkers) how much close he was to Dr Pinker and then Tim reveals that Dr Pinker is a she and not a he and didn’t agree with Monkers under standing of her own work.

    Unfortunately the doco didn’t include that but for me that rates up there with Plimer’s remark of “illbreeding’ wrt to Monbiot on the lateline interview.

    Ahhhhhh, deniers…the gift that keeps on giving. No wonder Mark gillar has so much comedy material for his website.

  52. #52 jakerman
    February 2, 2011

    Meet the Climate Sceptics

    Act 1

    Monckton: “I have a long nose and I poke it into all kinds of things simply because they amuse me […] I do a bit of medical research, so far promising results. I do a bit of scientific research into this, again with reasonably promising results, rather exciting results. If I’m right the this entire, this problem is going to disappear, it will be lifted off the shoulders of human kind. (@22:30s)

    Act 2

    Monckton: “And all we’ve got to do is to try to keep the latest Senate bill in the United States from actually being passed. And therefore by the time of the Cancun UN conference the Americans have still not effectively done anything much about the Climate. [Then] nobody else is going to do so.” (@33 min)

    Act 3

    Murray: “I repeated the question the scientist had been asking, Had he deliberately misled people on this important political issue?”

    Monckton: “No, and besides, I thought I was addressing a scientific issue.”

    Then discussing Monckton’s claims that:

    >*“They attribute 69% of all the recent global warming to the Sun. Most solar physicists agree, the International Astronomic Union 2004 had a symposium on it, they concluded that that was the case.”*

    Monckton: “So if you like I made a mistake. But when he said that I was deliberately trying to deceive people: No I wasn’t.”(@57m)

    Andy Pittman: “Climate change isn’t like an election… This isn’t like that, this is an attack on the science and that actually doesn’t change the truth… Winning [the Public Relations battle] doesn’t change the trajectory of the Earth Climate… So by winning they win a battle so that we all lose the war. (@39m)

  53. #53 MapleLeaf
    February 2, 2011

    Peter @40,

    Thanks. Still it does show that the “skeptics” are courting the media…very worrisome. Can you imagine the furor had “warmist” been found to be doing the same?

  54. #54 Fran Barlow
    February 2, 2011

    Monkton:I have a longnose

    Perhaps we should call him Pinocchio.His nose-size was commensurate with his lying.

  55. #55 jakerman
    February 2, 2011

    >*His nose-size was commensurate with his lying.*

    You’re being unkind to his physial dimension, and overkind in the other dimension.
    ;)

  56. #56 jakerman
    February 2, 2011

    James Delingpole:

    >*it seems to me at any rate, that the Climate Sceptics’ case is so watertight that once any reasonable person has been exposed to it he will be converted.*

    How deluded do you need to be in order to take that huberistic view while [excising the peer reveiwed science](http://www.wikio.co.uk/video/climate-change-denier-james-delingpole-science-4988364)?

  57. #58 J Bowers
    February 2, 2011

    Eli’s posted Meet the Climate Sceptics.

    http://rabett.blogspot.com/2011/02/anonybunny-brings-popcorn.html

  58. #59 Eli Rabett
    February 2, 2011

    It’s John’s doing

  59. #60 John
    February 2, 2011

    May it spread far and wide, and continue to vex religious nutters like Mark Gillar.

  60. #61 Bernard J.
    February 2, 2011

    Eli.

    I’ve watched the piece already, but I’m curious to know whether your posting has the synchronisation issue that starts just before 40 minutes?

  61. #62 Chris O'Neill
    February 2, 2011

    Mark Gillar:

    Start looking for work now gentleman.

    So do you think we should get a job like yours? i.e. Cherrypicking?

  62. #63 Jeff Harvey
    February 3, 2011

    Don’t be baited by the likes of Gillar – have you seen his website? Its scary – full of comic-book level stuff about evil liberals and support for the nutters in the tea party movement and other far right wingnuts. IMO the guy appears to be living on another planet.

  63. #64 Jeremy C
    February 3, 2011

    I’ve just got off the phone to Fresh One Productions, the producers of Meet the Sceptics. The person I spoke to said they are no longer commenting on the doco. The only further thing was when I said, “well, I guess you have received a lot of calls seeing the program was about Monckton” the person at the other end just laughed.

    I guess the deniers will take this as ‘evidence’ that Monckton’s email was correct though I would be sceptical given Monckton’s continued performance e.g. when during the program he mentioned a medical treatment he came up with was effective against HIV.

    The other thing is that if I could get hold of the email for the editor of the BBC Storyville strand that commissioned the programm then that person might be in a position to be more forthcoming.

  64. #65 Wow
    February 3, 2011

    > So do you think we should get a job like yours? i.e. Cherrypicking?

    Nah, rent boy.

    That guy’s for sale as long as you’ve got the money.

  65. #66 calum
    February 3, 2011

    jeremy,

    as i said in post 41:
    I can state with confidence Lord Monckton did not get the programme cut down from 90 minutes to 60 minutes. The QC’s comments are right and Lord Monckton had no editorial control over the programme.

    And James Delingpole is wrong. Rupert really did set out with an open mind as to global warming.

    the reason i can do that is i worked on the film, i was the associate producer.

    best,

    calum

  66. #67 Bernard J.
    February 3, 2011

    Calum.

    Thanks for clearing that up.

    I must say, I thought that you were actually very gentle on Monckton, given the drubbing that could easily have been served to him!

    Oo, and if you ever do an associate producer’s cut, you should consider including Tim Lambert’s taking down of Monckton with respect to Pinker during their debate last year. It’s just another of those little moments where Monckton demonstrates that he is all hot air, and not fact-checked science.

  67. #68 Jeremy C
    February 3, 2011

    Thanks Callum,

    Hope you guys had fun following Monkers around while making the program.

    Just curious. Do you have any info on the 16 cuts/changes the the finished program and substantial legal costs also claimed by Monkers in his email?

  68. #69 Jeremy C
    February 3, 2011

    Calum,

    Sorry.

  69. #70 calum
    February 3, 2011

    i know that clip well. Whilst it has comic power, that clip was like many things part of Lord Monckton’s journey but not necessarily part of Rupert’s journey with him. There’s a case for including a clip like that and a case against.

    We felt, though Lord Monckton disagreed, that we had tried to be as fair as possible to him, not least in that Rupert and I genuinely like him as a person. This may be controversial on here! ;-)Though there may be major differences of opinion on climate science and concern about some of his methodology, we wanted to reflect a genuine affection for him and still address some part of the science.

    This was a film that was very much Rupert’s personal opinion and journey.

    On the 16 points, i couldn’t remember the exact number, but they were generally small points of factual accuracy from checking IPCC temperature variation estimates and slight script changes to show Lord Monckton that this was not an attempted to be biased, rather an attempt to call it as Rupert (and I) saw it. They did not change the editorial thrust of the film in any way.

    I am surprised by Lord Monckton’s email and some of his comments, but then I am not in his position.

    jeremy – most people put 2 ‘l’s is Callum without thinking, no worries!

  70. #71 Wow
    February 3, 2011

    > not least in that Rupert and I genuinely like him as a person. This may be controversial on here!

    I think it more likely that you’ve not been on his bad side until now.

  71. #72 calum
    February 3, 2011

    I know what you mean, though to be fair, that can be said of many people. I think also Rupert and I share an enjoyment in people’s company who are interesting even though there may arguably be flaws in their character. I know I have plenty of flaws in mine!

    But perhaps greater excoriation by Lord Monckton may change my opinion, though I hope not.

  72. #73 Stu N
    February 3, 2011

    Well Monckton is a flawed character, but the film did show him to be generally very genial. However there were two moments where the documentary showed another side to him; the ‘hitler youth’ incident and his rather creepy statements about John Abraham. I think this may be evidence that he displays sociopathic tendancies and has narcissisistic delusions of grandeur – but that’s just speculation, I’m not a psychologist.

  73. #74 Wow
    February 3, 2011

    Well, it can be a bit like the difference between the weird bloke who always asks how you’re doing vs the weird bloke who follows you everywhere while asking how you’re doing.

    They’re both similarly interesting people. It’s just one of them is a worrying threat.

  74. #75 John Mashey
    February 3, 2011

    Just offhand, Monckton has written
    /helped write letters demanding apologies or resignations, or claimed people were being investigated :

    Senators Olympia Snowe and Jay Rockefeller
    Naomi Oreskes
    Me (in minor way)
    Barry Bickmore
    John P. Abraham

    The 3 academics all had nasty letters written to their administrations, often to President/Chancellor level. I’d guess there are more.

  75. #76 Nick Barnes
    February 3, 2011

    Calum, thanks for this insight into the production process.

  76. #77 J Bowers
    February 3, 2011

    @ calum

    How about a ‘Meet the Climate Scientists’? I suspect it’d be a novel one… quite seriously. ;)

    Big thumbs up for the film. Thanks.

  77. #78 calum
    February 3, 2011

    happy to help Nick.

  78. #79 MapleLeaf
    February 3, 2011

    O/T,

    But have you seen this latest piece by Fred Pearce.

    Unbelievable. Feel free to post comments at NewScientist.

  79. #80 J Bowers
    February 3, 2011

    Just to back up my suggestion – Professor Richard Alley murders Johnny Cash.

  80. #81 J Bowers
    February 3, 2011

    Re 79 ML: Oh yes. I’ve defended Fred in the past, but he’s really jumped the shark and nuked the fridge with that one.

  81. #82 MapleLeaf
    February 3, 2011

    JBowers,

    Care to try and be a voice of sanity over there?

  82. #83 J Bowers
    February 3, 2011

    ML, already dropped by and left my thoughts there.

  83. #84 J Bowers
    February 3, 2011

    Voice of sanity? Thanks (sure others would disagree), but I’m mad as hell, right now ;)

  84. #85 MapleLeaf
    February 3, 2011

    Thanks JBowers. Re being mad as hell, me too.

  85. #86 MarkB
    February 3, 2011

    I’d give the documentary 3 out of 4 stars. The lack of 4 stars is specifically with regards to not enough critique of the pseudoscience Monckton puts forth. I know there could be hours of this but more of that material would have been good.

    Monckton seems to be a generally a polite fellow with British charm towards anyone he thinks can be duped, but appears rather nutty and fanatical towards critics.

    Most disturbing were those U.S. tea party rallies. Monckton praised “fair and balanced” Fox News and got cheered on, while leading the crowd in “global warming is ********” chants. It’s embarrassing that my country has millions of these fanatics, so easily and readily mislead.

  86. #87 Dan L.
    February 3, 2011

    The fact that Monckton can convince people he is a nice fellow when he manifestly is not makes him all the more creepy. That is the mark of a successful sociopath.

  87. #88 jakerman
    February 3, 2011

    Calum, Congratulation of very sound and well made film. I found in enjoyable and believe it will reach people that blogs wont.

    I note that certain “sceptical blogs” acknowledge you gave a sympathetic hearing to Monckton (commenting on the film showing Monckton’s accommodation of elder and sick). Though I note the Lizard men at David Icks don’t approve (except of your inclusion of Alex Jones’ rants) ;)

    I also felt that the scene showing Monckton reading the ‘bad news’ on the scientific report to his Congressional testimony, showed him to be thoughtful rather than a frothing maniac. That was good.
    Bloggers can acknowledge that you don’t need to be an evil genius to do make the errors that misleading statements that Monckton does.

    If you have a chance to make corrections before our ABC run the film, the first time Kevin Rudd in mentioned he is incorrectly named as Premier Rudd. The second time (later in the film showing his toppling) he is correctly named as (then) Prime Minister.

  88. #89 jakerman
    February 3, 2011

    Calum, the mis referencing of Prime Minster as “Premier Rudd” is at about 5 minutes in, straight after the BBC intro clip to the driest inhabited continent.

  89. #90 chek
    February 3, 2011

    I’m loathe to admit, that I found the scenes of His Lordship and Plimer nature-trailing with a bottle of acid(!) in clothes your dad might hesitate to wear, quite endearing.

    If only these two old buffers were only out to interest and entertain themselves, much in the manner of an Outback version of ‘Last of the Summer Wine’ (a light comedy TV show about the mundane – if well observed – “adventures” of three retirees in a remote country village, for the benefit of non-Brits), what a nicer place the world would be!

    Likewise the scene where His Climateship opened the letter in which is opinions on climate science were judged nonsensical by Real, Professional Scientists. A nicely presented scene for which the phrase ‘crestfallen expression’ might have been invented, that any of us who have received an envelope containing less than what we’d hoped for could empathise with.

    Leaving all else aside, as a neutral viewer, it would have been conceivably possible to have been left with the impression that while some might doubt their credentials, basically these were two thoroughly nice, harmless blokes who at worst might be perhaps mistaken. Which of course is the illusion most TV and half-truths provide us with.

    But in the case of this program, we were also allowed to see the Abraham moment, when the veil of civility was lifted and we also got to see the underlying vicious, vindictive and threatening nature of the Climate Denial machine, as expressed through the travelling circus mouthpiece that is the Monckton Denialist Roadshow, no matter how kind he is to cripples.

    That for me was why it was a noteworthy show.
    Congratulations Calum and the team on producing something well worth the time invested in viewing.

  90. #91 jakerman
    February 3, 2011

    Check, seconded from me as well.

    Calum, I hope you don’t get too much hate mail over this, but if you do I hope its as good [as this](http://climatecrocks.com/2011/02/03/funniest-denier-posting-ever/), posted against Greenmans Crock busting videos:

    >Find me a Full professor of Atmospheric science or climatology that thinks global warming is a real Conservative (sic) who also…

    >1) Always votes republican

    >2) Carries a gun.

    >3) Believes in God.

    >4) Has big muscles.

    >5) Eats meat

    >You can’t.

    >All you can find is dwarfed democrats that are womanly.

    >That is because global warming is political and religious and not at all science.

    >There is an attempt to cloak it in science. But it does not fit.

  91. #92 MarkB
    February 3, 2011

    One of the things I liked about the documentary was that it revealed some of the individual motivations of many contrarians. We’re familiar with the fossil fuel and industry influence, but what doesn’t get mentioned enough is the simple drive for personal attention one gets from being contrarian. Monckton comes across as a role of a spiritual leader of a movement, and loves this role, expressing great enthusiasm at the perception that such a movement is growing. It made his references to “Hitler Youth” appear rather ironic.

    Judy Curry might have similar motivations, although with a somewhat different narrative of course (being something like “mainstream science is corrupt, let’s replace it with what I’m doing”). She also feels her arguments are validated/vindicated by perceived growing attention.

    Along the lines of what jakerman and chek said, it was good that the documentary took time to establish the person Monckton. Misinformation doesn’t come simply from raving lunatics (the dude who screamed that 30,000 scientists were suing Al Gore) or soulless shills. It also can come from seemingly polite and sometimes charming people with physical human frailties.

    The “crestfallen” scene can be interpreted in different ways. While it might depict genuine sadness and reflection in discovering he was wrong, is there any evidence that he’s changed his mind on anything? It seems Monckton and other contrarians interpret criticism as meaning the critics are just part of the conspiracy. Admitting any serious errors threatens the whole movement and place as a spiritual leader.

  92. #93 MarkB
    February 3, 2011

    To finish this thought, the film also indicated why many in the denial movement feel the way they do about the science. Many see global warming concern a threat to individual freedoms. Combined with general lack of solid scientific background, this ideology is what makes it very easy for them to believe people like Monckton. Monckton wouldn’t be doing his thing if there weren’t so many people who wanted to believe him.

  93. #94 P. Lewis
    February 3, 2011

    Re MapleLeaf and J Bowers

    I’ve been buying and reading New Scientist almost weekly since the early 70s (being disappointed when I missed buying it at the newsagent because they’d sold out). And I have been a subscriber for most of about the last 10 years or so.

    I used to really enjoy reading it. Now, I wouldn’t say it is without value still, but it has become less enjoyable over time and I’ve now reached my limit with it.

    I almost stopped subscribing this time last year (but since, strictly speaking, my subscription is renewed for me around birthday time, the opportunity was lost because I didn’t make my wish known early enough ;-). And I won’t be buying it regularly (if at all) from the newsagent either now, since I only go into town about 8-10 times a year.

    Why the change? Well, largely because of pieces like the current Fred Pearce nonsense pointed to above, though I hasten to add that it’s not because of that piece alone that I’m not renewing the subscription. I’d already finally come to the decision a couple of months ago.

    IMO there has been a steady “tabloidisation” of NS over the years (I could be wrong, but I think it started shortly after Reed Elsevier divested themselves of IPC Magazines in the late 90s whilst retaining the NS title), and possibly a more recent willingness to employ the (false) journalistic balance on certain issues that has no place in science or its reporting.

    I should probably write about this to NS directly, but I can’t honestly be bothered. Anyway, my money is going elsewhere in future.

  94. #95 P. Lewis
    February 3, 2011

    Oops! That should have read

    I almost stopped subscribing this time last year (but since, strictly speaking, my subscription is renewed for me around birthday time, the opportunity was lost because I didn’t make my wish known early enough ;-). This time around I made my wish to discontinue subscribing known well in advance of renewal time. And I won’t be buying it regularly (if at all) from the newsagent either now, since I only go into town about 8-10 times a year.

  95. #96 jakerman
    February 3, 2011

    One point about the film talked about on “sceptical” blogs is the guy advancing the idea of suspending democracy. That really played into their prejudice views about designs for world government, green totalitarians.

    I’ve not seen this suspention of democarcy discussed much as a method to get policy to mitigate climate change. I think the idea is fringe, and I think its misguided.

    Democracy needs to be strengthened to get through climate mitigation policy. We are in an unbalanced political system where plutocracy challenges and where allowed it displaces democracy.

    The massive spending on elections is one case in point. This combines with consolidation of media ownership, which is bad enough in the print media but worse in USA without the counter balance of a well resourced public broadcaster.

    With the USA’s mitigation inaction being used as an excuse for others to delay action (in a circular feedback argument with a tragic endpoint), the short term profit driven plutocratic displacement of democracy is in US is devastating for the world.

    The recent Supreme Court “Citizen’s United” ruling means that the concentrated power of corporations can spend whatever they want in political campaigns, and have the first amendment rights of a citizen, combined with the cumulative power that comes with immortality.

    We do need political reform; we need better protection of democratic institutions and processes. We need media reform, and we outside the USA need to be examples as much as we can, including with our own reforms to promote more journalism that does not answer to the corporate profit motive.

    Who knows, maybe the if things get bad enough, the US citizen’s might do a Ciaro, and over through the corrupt system.

  96. #97 Stu N
    February 3, 2011

    Oh, and to add to the two points I highlighted above:

    Monckton repeated the lie that Obama was not born in the USA* so he’s either a credulous idiot or a liar telling credulous idiots what they want to hear.

    *Crap, now I have Springsteen stuck in my head

  97. #98 Bernard J.
    February 3, 2011

    Calum.

    The ‘Premier’ glitch has been mentioned, but there was one other niggle that stood out for me.

    When initially discussing climate sensitivity there is mention that it is about 1 degree celcius (excluding feedback), without any reference to the fact that this refers to a doubling of CO2 concentration. Of course, it is very likely that with business as usual a doubling will be easily exceded.

    Although a doubling of CO2 concentration is mentioned a few minutes later, I think that the lack of an immediate connection of temperature rise and CO2 concentration would make the whole issue of warming a little more difficult to understand (and apparently insignificant as well) to those lay folk who are struggling with the very basic science.

    If the documentary is to be broadcast in Australia (or elsewhere), and if it is possible to twiddle the dialogue, it would be good to have a little clarification of this point.

    On the matter of Fred Pierce’s extraordinary nonsense, I submitted a reply myself, but it doesn’t seem to have been released. I thought that I was polite, but perhaps I’ve ruffled the feathers at Non Scientist…

  98. #99 peterd
    February 3, 2011

    #33: Thanks, John. This seems to be well worth a look. How big is the Megavideo clip? I’d like to watch at home, but my downloads at home are limited.

  99. #100 Bernard J.
    February 3, 2011

    [P. Lewis](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2011/02/monckton_myths.php#comment-3210073).

    I seem to have a similar history with NS, and I too recently let my subscription lapse. I said as much in my post on the thread, and I used the word “tabloid” too, which might explain why I’ve been parked in moderation.

    Jakerman’s point about the suspension of democracy is an interesting one. The argument is being used as a contradiction of the science, when in fact it is irrelevant to whether the science is correct or not. It’s politics, not science. If people want to refrain from acting because they want to be free to pollute and modify the biosphere as much as they desire, and in ignorance of the rights of 80% of the population of the planet and of the rights of future generations, then they should be frank about it. They should simply admit that they’d rather trash the place in the face of the best science, than to act on it.

    But using political claims (whether justified or not) to deny the science… well, that’s just bogus.

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