Christopher Monckton was so annoying when interviewed by Adam Spencer that Spencer hung up on him before finishing the interview later on. The Australian was so impressed by Monckton’s performance that they posted a partial transcript. Moth at New Anthropocene corrects many of Monckton’s misrepresentations, so I’ll just cover what was in the transcript posted by The Australian — presumably they think those are his strongest points.

Spencer: Can I just clarify sir, are you a member of the House of Lords?

Monckton: Yes, but without the right to sit or vote.

Spencer: Because the House of Lords, when you’ve made that claim before, have repeatedly asked you to stop calling yourself as such, haven’t they?

Monckton: No they haven’t because they have not yet repealed the letters patent creating the peerage and until they do I am a member of the House as my passport records. It says I’m the Right Honourable Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, so get used to it.

Christopher Monckton told to stop claiming he is a member of the Lords:

The House of Lords has stepped up its efforts to make Lord Monckton – climate sceptic and deputy leader of the UK Independence party – desist in his repeated claims that he is a member of the upper house.

The push comes as Buckingham Palace has also been drawn into the affair, over his use of a logo similar to parliament’s famous portcullis emblem.

Last month Michael Pownall, clerk of the parliaments, wrote to Lord Monckton, a hereditary peer, stressing that he should not refer to himself as a member of the House of Lords, nor should he use any emblem representing the portcullis. …

The House of Lords said today it strongly rejects Monckton’s interpretation. A spokeswoman said: “Lord Monckton is not and never has been a member of the House of Lords. The clerk of the parliaments has written to Lord Monckton, confirming that he has no association with the House and advising him to stop branding himself as such.”

Back to the interview:

Spencer: Are you a Nobel Laureate as is claimed on many websites?

Monckton: No website that I control says any such thing. It is, however, quite clear that after a seminar that I had given, Professor of Physics David Douglas kindly presented me with a little prize pin which I wear from time to time.

That’s what we on the centre-Right would call “a joke”. It is something you on the Left at the ABC might not fully understand.

Later in the interview Monckton directs listeners to scienceandpublicypolicy.org where it states that he is the Chief Policy Advisor and that

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.

Now it is possible that is a joke, but only if the rest of Monckton’s biography there is a joke, along with all his writings on climate science. If so, I think it’s time he let us in on the jape. Update: Barry Bickmore adds:

In April of last year, I personally informed Bob Ferguson (president of SPPI) about his organization’s complicity in Monckton’s résumé padding in an e-mail conversation.

Spencer: J. P. Abraham presented to you a list of dozens of them, including Dr [Ola] Johannessen for example.

Monckton: Right. Now can you please tell me what I got wrong in Dr Johannessen’s paper?

Allow me. See slide 76 of Abraham’s presentation. Monckton put up a slide asserting “Greenland ice sheet is just fine” citing Johannessen et al 2005 and said:

Here is a paper by Johannessen et al, a very diligent Danish researcher using laser altimetry and what he found was that from 1992 to 2003 the average thickness of Greenland’s ice sheet increased by 2 inches a year.

Johannessen is Norwegian, not Danish. His study used radar altimetry, not laser altimetry. And most importantly, the area studied did not cover the entire ice sheet so you cannot conclude from the study that the ice sheet is “just fine”. Johannessen et al clearly state:

First, we cannot make an integrated assessment of elevation
changes–let alone ice volume and its equivalent sea-level change–for
the whole Greenland Ice Sheet, including its outlet glaciers, from
these observations alone, because the marginal areas are not measured
completely using ERS-1/ERS-2 altimetry (see Fig. 1).

Monckton was just repeating a misrepresentation of Johannessen’s work made by the CEI and refuted back in 2006.

In the interview Monckton offered this defence:

What so-called Professor Abraham had said was that I had not mentioned a paper published by Ola Johannessen in 2009 — that’s a different paper — in which 273 billion tons, he said, had gone from the Greenland ice sheet into the ocean. I didn’t because that paper hadn’t reached me, partly because it hadn’t been published at the time I gave the talk because he made his criticism of me eight months later.

The paper referred to was not published by Johannessen but rather was sent to Abraham by Johannessen when Abraham asked Johannessen if Monckton had accurately presented Johannessen’s work. While it was published after Monckton’s talk, Abraham cited four more papers, all published before Monckton’s talk and all showing Greenland losing ice. Monckton continued with:

I calculated that was 6 inches of the two feet of ice that had accumulated had gone back over the next few years, swings and roundabouts, into the ocean and that would have caused sea level to rise globally by exactly 0.7 mm. And that is the point Abraham held against me. Had he talked to Professor Johannessen? Not as far as I know.

The paper did not say that the total ice loss was 273 gigatons, but that the total from 2000-2008 was 1500 gigatons and the rate after 2006 was 273 gigatons per year. And again, Johannessen’s earlier paper did not cover the entire ice sheet so you cannot say that 2 feet of ice had accumulated on average over the whole sheet. Abraham had contacted Johannessen — the email form Johannessen was even included in his presentation.

The Conversation has created a Monckton Watch page to correct Monckton’s misinformation.

Comments

  1. #1 daedalus4u
    July 9, 2011

    The problem, and it is a gigantic problem is that the height of the Greenland ice sheet could be increasing as it is losing mass.

    Ice expands as it warms. The bottom of the Greenland ice sheet is at the melting point with the geothermal heat being conducted up through the ice sheet. The only reason that heat can conduct through the ice is because of a temperature gradient, the ice sheet is coldest at the top, kept cold by exposure to space during the long Greenland winter.

    When the top of the ice sheet warms enough, it melts and melt water drops down through the ice (because water is denser than ice), until it reaches ice that is cold enough to freeze it. Then the water freezes, depositing its heat of fusion and raising the temperature of that ice to the melting point.

    This raises the temperature of the ice sheet, warmer ice expands, the ice sheet becomes a little bit higher but with no change in mass. This continues to happen until the ice sheet is all at the melting point. Then there is no temperature gradient to keep the ice at the bottom frozen, so geothermal heat melts it. Then you don’t have an ice sheet 3,000 meters thick, you have a river a few meters deep with 3,000 meters of ice on it, a river a thousand km wide. Then it starts flowing to the sea, the gravitational energy of 3,000 meters of ice liberating heat at the ice/water/bedrock interface.

  2. #2 Vagueofgodalming
    July 9, 2011

    OT – but interesting the speechette by Stephen Brooks (media editor at The Australian) at the link: very concerned to say News of the World style hacking could never happen in Australia, no sir, totally different. They’re clearly rattled.

    It would be good if the NOTW scandal brought the whole edifice crashing down: News International, Fox, The Australian, Sky TV…

    Murdoch wants results, he fosters a culture and employs people and directs them to that end. In the UK it’s phone hacking anyone and everyone, in Australia it’s pushing global warming denialism, in America it’s subverting the democratic process: but everywhere it’s the same person, the same motives and the same ruthless dedication to getting what he wants and damn the consequences for the rest of us.

  3. #3 bratisla
    July 9, 2011

    Interesting. It shows that, no matter who debunks with how much length delirious claims by deniers, they just go on parroting them.

    Maybe debunkers should work in specialised teams, just like in MMORPGs : a “tanker” dealing with long scientific rebuttals and a “damage dealer” cornering the denier with quick yet precise questions (“you say the sea ice is fine but data show otherwise. Why are you saying such bullcrap yet ?” – get the idea) – X number of teams backing up each other (maybe with an IRC channel to separate tasks).
    The idea would be to overflow the denier to make him inaudible, since what he says was already parotted an humpfteen times.

    Just a guess.

  4. #4 Jeffrey Davis
    July 9, 2011

    He’s just a tiresome, self-dramatizing jerk.

  5. #5 David Horton
    July 9, 2011

    Time to stop with the Lord/House of Lords Nobel Prize nonsense. I know it’s amusing, and I know it relates to credibility issues, but it really doesn’t matter. There are more important issues of qualification.

    Let’s see, you are going to have someone on ABC radio to talk about climate change. How do you decide who to have?

    You might consider:
    (a) someone with extensive research experience in climate science.
    (b) someone with an extensive peer-reviewed publication record in climate science.
    (c) someone with a PhD in an important field of climate science
    (d) someone who, though lacking formal qualifications, has visited all the sites of significance related to global warming – the Arctic circle, glaciers, rainforests, drought-affected areas, mountains, Greenland, natural disasters, coral reefs, Antarctica – in the company of scientists knowledgeable about those sites.
    (e) someone who, though lacking formal scientific qualifications, has compiling and writing skills and has put together, based on the literature, a thorough account for the layman of where climate science is up to.
    (f) someone who once did an undergraduate degree in science that included one unit of physics which they passed.

    Well, no, I was joking about the last one.

    But what I was wondering is where Lord Monckton fits into those criteria. And if he doesn’t meet any of them (including f), why was he being interviewed about climate change on the ABC? If he does, then other posters might enlighten me.

  6. #6 Robert Murphy
    July 9, 2011

    He’s quite literally a congenital liar. I mean that seriously. After repeatedly being told by the House of Lords to stop calling himself a member, that being a “Lord” does not make one a member of the House of Lords, that there is no such thing as an “honorary member” or “non-voting member”(which he claimed at one point), he turns right around and says he’s a member. The man is certifiable.

  7. #7 bill
    July 9, 2011

    What I want to know is why Lavoisier, IPA, AMEC, Galileo and all don’t bring out Sir Walter Mitty as a support act…

  8. #8 Boobialla
    July 9, 2011

    Monckton also deviously misrepresents his alleged expertise. For instance, on

    this

    YouTube clip from a NZ television interview (uploaded by his own UK independence Party):

    He alleges that the AGW “scam” is based on a miscalculation of climate sensitivity. He says the scientists have got their sums wrong. Why?
    From 1m:06s to 1m:25s on this clip he claims that only 40 to 50 scientists worldwide are involved in calculating climate sensitivity. And that:
    “It’s a very narrow, very specialist field in which I have actually published work in the reviewed literature and there are not many people who have done that.”

    Note that he doesn’t actually say “peer” reviewed. If he asked Lord Lawson to look over a newspaper opinion piece before it was published, would that make it “Peer-reviewed”?

  9. #9 Nick
    July 9, 2011

    I was very disappointed to hear Spencer apologise.Totally puzzled as to why,really. Probably some craven managerial decision.

  10. #10 Mick
    July 9, 2011

    Monckton – is not an acedemic, has no quals and who’s visit was paid for by the Aust Mining Council – and is now rubbing shoulders with Abbott. He has no merit to gain an audience as he is being given. I heard his ABC interview and his naive arguments and legendary pomptus pom tirades. I cheered when he was hung-up on as he has dangerous and unsubstantiated views. In my view he should be charges with unregistered prostitution.

  11. #11 John
    July 9, 2011

    Monckton’s tour has been a PR disaster. The bitter old right wing men and News Ltd hacks who make up his audience are eating it up, but the negative attention has been overwhelming.

    If Monckton has indeed been telling the truth that he’s been meeting with politicians (doubtful) the fact they are too embarrassed to admit it publicly says everything.

  12. #12 Michael
    July 9, 2011

    This will be another mildly interesting footnote in the sociological study of the history of climate change denial.

    Though most of those gullible enough to buy into Moncktons’ circus won’t be around to be embarrassed by it.

  13. #13 Tristan
    July 9, 2011

    O/T, but I’ve just been reading some of the screeds in the Australian responding to the carbon tax. They don’t even pretend to be objective these days, do they?

  14. #14 ken n
    July 9, 2011

    A small, and really irrelevant, point: Monckton’s description of his peerage in the interview is correct. He is a lord but not entitled to sit in the House. I refuse to call him Lord, but then I dislike all prenominals -I won’t use professor, doctor or general either.
    And I have not seen where he has seriously claimed to have received a Nobel Prize.
    No argument about any of the rest of it.

  15. #15 Jeffrey Davis
    July 9, 2011

    As for Monckton’s claim that his title makes him a member of the House of Lords, it’s ridiculous. Are “commoners” members of the House of Commons? The number of members of the House of Lords has been circumscribed by law for over 10 years.

  16. #16 John Brookes
    July 10, 2011

    Tristan, what were you thinking? You know that you shouldn’t read the Australian!

  17. #17 himThere
    July 10, 2011

    Is Monckton really a Lord?

    I thought he was actually a count, you know, the type with the silent “o”.

  18. #18 Tristan
    July 10, 2011

    @16: Well, y’know… morbid curiosity…

  19. #19 Bernard J.
    July 10, 2011

    So Monckton feels it necessary to refer to the “so-called Professor Abraham”.

    I guess that makes Monckton a “so-called” lord… Fair enough; I can live with that. Hereafter will be referring to him as the “so-called” Lord, or as the “so-called” Viscount.

    Suits me fine.

  20. #20 Rick Bradford
    July 10, 2011

    > He’s just a tiresome, self-dramatizing jerk.

    He sure is — and Monckton pwned him, big-time.

    To see the Leftie ABC grovelling on air is always refreshing.

  21. #21 John
    July 10, 2011

    Good one Rick!

    Ha ha!

    Send it into “In Black & White” in the Herald Sun and see if they print it.

    Perhaps now you could explain the concept of “joke” to the so-called lord because he seems to think a “joke” is just an excuse you pull out when you’ve been caught lying about your achievements on your own website.

  22. Rick Bradford:

    > To see the Leftie ABC grovelling on air is always refreshing.

    It’s always refreshing to see supposed ‘freedom-loving’ rightists talk about grovelling before British noblemen. Perhaps, deep in their hearts of hearts, that’s what they themselves would like to do. ‘Yes, m’lord'; ‘if you please, m’lord'; ‘your wish is my command, m’lord'; …

  23. #23 John
    July 10, 2011

    Of course it was grovelling Frank. Certainly not calculated niceness to make Monckton’s rudeness look worse.

  24. #24 Byron Smith
    July 10, 2011

    daedalus4u – An interesting thesis. Do you have any published papers that investigate or suggest such a mechanism?

  25. #25 Paul D
    July 10, 2011

    Monckton lives in his own fantasy world in which he dreams of dictating what is correct and what is not.

    This includes his right to be a member of the House of Lords. He is incapable of change or moving on.

  26. #26 daedalus4u
    July 10, 2011

    Byron, no, I don’t, but I don’t see any way how it could be otherwise. Ice expands when it warms up, the ice sheet has to have a temperature gradient to conduct geothermal heat out, that temperature gradient is only sustained by conduction to still lower temperatures at some times of year.

    Any model of ice sheet stability with thickness has to assume an ice density which assumes a temperature gradient. The thermal coefficient of linear expansion of ice is in the range of 5×10-5/degree C.

    3,000 meters raised 20 C is an expansion of 3 meters. That expansion would be in addition to any deposition and any loss by melting.

  27. #27 Watching the Deniers
    July 10, 2011

    The first mistake was giving Monckton a platform.

    Lord Munchausen’s style is to Gish Gallop: I was appalled and amazed to here him rattle falsehood, after falsehood.

  28. #28 Jimmy Nightingale
    July 10, 2011

    Watching the Channel 10 Early News this morning and it was mentioned that Jim Waley is going to interview the potty peer tomorrow morning (12th July).

  29. #29 Russell
    July 11, 2011

    The irony of his claim to an hereditary seat is compounded by the antiquity of his title, which is almost as old as Tupperware.

    TVMOB, like his father before him , was born just plain mister Monckton- his grandpa, having helped win WWII , was very decently created Viscount in 1956!

  30. #30 Wow
    July 11, 2011

    > Time to stop with the Lord/House of Lords Nobel Prize nonsense. I know it’s amusing, and I know it relates to credibility issues, but it really doesn’t matter.

    If it doesn’t matter, why do denialists keep wittering on about it?

    If it doesn’t matter, why does Monckton keep talking about it?

  31. #31 David Horton
    July 11, 2011

    Doesn’t matter to those of us in the rational world I meant Wow. I think of far more significance is his apparent total lack of any relevant qualification. While Alan Jones might think a purported membership of the House of Lords and a purported Nobel Prize are sufficient qualifications to overrule the world’s scientists, the ABC shouldn’t be adopting that approach. I think if we keep poking fun at his claimed status we lose sight of his apparent lack of actual real qualifications of any kind.

  32. #32 Wow
    July 11, 2011

    However, it DOES mean a lot in the world where politicians get their votes from. Or where they get their ideas from to stymie efforts to do something (anything) about our problems.

  33. #33 Robin Levett
    July 11, 2011

    @David Horton #31:

    How dare you suggest that the noble Lord has no qualifications; I’ll have you know that he has a BA in classics from Cambridge University and a diploma in jounalism from Cardiff University. (He also bought an MA to go with his BA, as so many Oxbridgemen do; but seems to neglect adding the “(Cantab)” which alerts one to the fact that the MA is purchased, not examined – purely an oversight, I’m sure).

    @ken n:

    Monckton is indeed a Lord; he is indeed not entitled to sit in the House. But he is not a “member of the House of Lords”, which is the nit being picked.

  34. #34 David Horton
    July 11, 2011

    Thanks Robin I am in awe – he seems almost overqualified for commenting on, um, Greek life in 300BC say. But I was rather hinting at the possibility, unless the BA in classics has greatly changed, that he wasn’t qualified to be asked to speak on the ABC on climate change, as per my suggestions in #5.

    Certainly anyone, including the good Lord, is entitled to his opinion on anything, and could, for example, happily contribute to threads on The Drum like Mr Graeme Bird does, or indeed a thread here. But being asked to be an expert witness, as it were, on climate change on the national broadcaster surely demands some, well, expertise on the subject in question.

  35. #35 Rick Bradford
    July 11, 2011

    > If it doesn’t matter, why does Monckton keep talking about it?

    Because sappy dweebs like Adam Spencer keep asking him about it. Ditto the Nobel Prize thing.

    Anything to keep him off subjects such as the parlous state of mainstream climate science, the utter folly of emission reduction policies, and the brittle arrogance of those who believe they alone know how the world must conduct itself, even down to the humble light-bulb.

  36. #36 bill
    July 11, 2011

    Worried we might be getting rid of all the dim-bulbs, huh, Rick?

  37. #37 paul
    July 11, 2011

    It’s hard to win an argument with Monckton he is quite happy to lie his way out of any corner. Most people don’t check his facts and when they do it’s too late, he’s is on the next interview, spinning the same line to another audience.

    His main goals seems to be to get noticed, get column inches and air time, and so making stupid, outrageous and unproven statements works fine for him.

    Having got an audience in this way he can throw in a few pseudo scientific lines about climate change spreading a little doubt and confusion about the place.

    Lastly, having done all this he collects his pay check.

  38. #38 John
    July 11, 2011

    I agree Rick. Monckton shouldn’t have to defend lies he has told in the past. He should be allowed to talk over the top of interviewers and make up facts at will. These crazy left-wing ABC interviewers and their “fact checking”!

  39. #39 Wow
    July 11, 2011

    > Because sappy dweebs like Adam Spencer keep asking him about it.

    So why does he keep lying about it?

  40. Rick Bradford:

    > the brittle arrogance of those who believe they alone know how the world must conduct itself, even down to the humble light-bulb.

    WTF? News flash for Rick Bradford: in the real world, big things actually do depend on little things. Notice how the overall conduct of a war depends (partly) on the discipline of each individual soldier? Or how financial fraud investigations depend (partly) on getting the arithmetic correct down to the very last digit? And so on?

    So your ‘oh noes AGW alarmists want to control everything including the humble light bulb’ talking point doesn’t even begin to make sense. In what world do you live in where you can get the big thing right by getting all the little things wrong?

    — frank

  41. #41 RW
    July 11, 2011

    The man is a compulsive liar, without any doubt. Yet again in this interview he claims that someone he doesn’t like is facing some kind of criminal investigation. He really loves this old canard and I seem to recall numerous occasions on which he has claimed that someone is facing imminent prosecution, or a libel suit, or an academic investigation, or any number of things along those lines. None of the supposed actions has ever happened as far as I know.

  42. #42 Lotharsson
    July 11, 2011

    > …I seem to recall numerous occasions on which he has claimed that someone is facing imminent prosecution, or a libel suit, or an academic investigation, or any number of things along those lines.

    I’ve also seen him in an online (non-science) forum make claims about intellectual property laws that are (ahem) patently false, and persist with almost the entirety of the claim after being called on it.

  43. So instead of threatening to sue people he doesn’t like or get them fired, Monckton now simply pretends to himself that the people he doesn’t like are being sued or investigated. I see his mastery of the dark art of psychopseudokinesis has advanced by yet another level…

    — frank

  44. #44 bill
    July 11, 2011

    Turns out that with the light-bulbs Rick’s just chumming the latest mouthbreather talking point. Quelle surprise!

  45. #45 Rick Bradford
    July 12, 2011

    @bill: More Lefty missing-the-point — who cares if it “would save consumers $12 billion a year”? That should be the consumers’ own choice, just as spending money on eating out in a nice restaurant or buying decent clothes or a good hi-fi should be.

    These are not decisions that governments should be making.

    Or shall we demonize consumption of all kinds and create a Year Zero, where fanatical Left/Greens won’t be happy until we’re all living in yurts powered by tallow candles, and they can sublimate their own emotional failings by making everyone else feel as miserable as they are?

  46. #46 Wow
    July 12, 2011

    > That should be the consumers’ own choice

    Why?

    That isn’t the REASON for the change. That’s a benefit of the change.

    The reason for the change is to reduce energy waste.

    > These are not decisions that governments should be making.

    They most definitely are. Energy efficiency requirements, safety laws, and so on are ALL decisions that governments should be making.

    > Or shall we demonize consumption of all kinds

    Why not?

    Consuming FOR THE SAKE OF CONSUMPTION is why we’re deep in the cack now.

    Plus it’s rather funny you’re whinging about demonising after your opening:

    > More Lefty missing-the-point

    I guess it’s OK if you demonise lefties, huh.

  47. #47 John
    July 12, 2011

    No Rick, it’s a hatred of anything “green” and the conservatives’ laughable fear of inevitable progress disguised as a demand for a right to choose. In the past people like you used to go around destroying looms.

    I shouldn’t be surprised that someone who is up in arms about the carbon tax has no qualms about pissing away money on lightbulbs in a futile attempt to protest against science. What a sad life you lead.

  48. Ah, Rick Bradford does the glibertarian schtick: use the “personal responsibility” argument to justify personal irresponsibility.

    — frank

  49. #49 lord_sidcup
    July 14, 2011

    read John Abraham’s latest take down of the congenital liar:

    [Hear ye, hear ye – Monckton’s medieval warming tale is climate heresy](http://theconversation.edu.au/hear-ye-hear-ye-moncktons-medieval-warming-tale-is-climate-heresy-2326)

    Typically, denialists rush to the comments section to ignore the issue of whether Monckton misrepresents the scientists he cites.

  50. #50 Rick Bradford
    July 14, 2011

    @wow: Thanks for confirming your essentially Marxist, totalitarian and anti-development stance, dressed up as a Greenie ‘concern for the planet’.

    It’s precisely that attitude that is turning everyone off the Green/Left’s desperate efforts to manufacture a ‘global climate crisis’.

    @John: Where did you get the idea that I was “up in arms about the carbon tax”? I think it’s an excellent idea. It’s going to bury Labor and the Greens for many years so deep you couldn’t find them at the bottom of the Kola Superdeep Borehole.

  51. #51 Wow
    July 14, 2011

    Ah, look, another response with no answer.

    Tell me, Rick, how does “Marxist” mean “wrong”? I mean, apart from your incorrect attribution, by what alchemy is it that if someone were a Marxist, that is all the proof needed to prove them wrong?

  52. Rick Bradford, still trying to defend personal irresponsibility?

    — frank

  53. #53 Lotharsson
    July 14, 2011

    So Rick apparently argues that advocating government making efficiency standards and safety laws is an:

    > …essentially Marxist, totalitarian and anti-development stance…

    Best laugh I’ve had all day, that :-) I think with a bit more practice he could become an apprentice clown troll.

  54. #54 Bernard J.
    July 17, 2011

    [Background briefing](http://www.abc.net.au/rn/backgroundbriefing/), another Australian ABC program that covers a wide range of subject matter, had a [very interesting piece this morning on Monckton, his Australian tour, and the machinations of denialism more generally](http://www.abc.net.au/rn/backgroundbriefing/stories/2011/3268730.htm). There are a few of the usual moronic denialist commenters that always appear when global warming is mentioned, and one really really cannot but despair at the impoverished state of intellectual capacity that seems to pervade the Australian lay public.

    Just a few hours later, The National Interest aired [an interview with Hans Schellnhuber
    ](http://www.abc.net.au/rn/nationalinterest/stories/2011/3270544.htm).

    For 8 cents per Australian per day, the ABC is delivering mighty fine reporting on the important issues of our time. Of course Gina Rinehart will probably disagree, which is why she bought into Channel 10 and gave Andrew Bolt a gig, no doubt…

  55. #55 Bernard J.
    July 17, 2011

    Further to the Background Briefing episode [I mentioned above](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2011/07/monckton_interviewed_by_adam_s.php#comment-4475719), have a listen to some of the outrageous things that various denialists come out with.

    For example, Joanne Codling thinks that increasing Antarctic ice balances melting Arctic ice, rendering the idea of global warming invalid. David Archibald of coal-to-oil involvement babbles about his solar cycles ‘theory’ and his notions that the “forces of darkness” (opponents of carbon economies) are running science. Tim Ball insists again that there was a “Department of Climatology” at the University of Winnipeg, in contradiction of the University’s declaration to the contrary, provided to Background Briefing specifically for this program.

    Wes Allen, a GP who thinks that science is a “casualty of alarmism”, doesn’t think that we should act on the science of climatology. He has a particular antipathy for Tim Flannery because Flannery advocates caution about changing the climate – apparently as a GP he has a better understanding of ecology than does a scientist with a background in evolutionary mammalogy and paleontology.

    Fred Singer pops up, and Monckton of course misrepresents science, time and time again. He also has a bash at Adam Spencer, and at Wendy Carlisle who put together this program. In fact, Wendy cops quite a bit of flack from one of Monckton’s crowds at one point, reminiscent of Declan Stephson’s harrassment of Vicki Kasidis at an Abbott public appearance last week.

    There’s much more, but I’ll avoid spoilers at this stage – it’s worth a mascochistic dive into denialist madness… if one is brave!

  56. #56 Rick Bradford
    July 17, 2011

    > Tell me, Rick, how does “Marxist” mean “wrong”?

    Have you ever heard of the Holodomor? The Great Purge? The Great Chinese Famine? The Vietnamese Collectivist Famine? Cambodia’s Year Zero and the Killing Fields?

    Hundreds of millions of people killed for a failed ideology.

    Still, I understand that hard Left/Greens would approve those ‘grossaktions’ as being ‘good for the planet’.

  57. #57 John
    July 17, 2011

    >Still, I understand that hard Left/Greens would approve those ‘grossaktions’ as being ‘good for the planet’.

    It goes without saying.

  58. #58 Bernard J.
    July 18, 2011

    One more comment about the Monckton interview, as it has just come up on Open Mind.

    Tamino [noted in one of his comments](http://tamino.wordpress.com/2011/07/13/bob-carter-does-his-business/#comment-52383) that:

    You can fool some of the people all of the time…

    Coincidentally, Monckton said exactly the same thing in Australia recently when Wendy Carlisle (the journalist who compiled the excellent [Background Briefing episode](http://www.abc.net.au/rn/backgroundbriefing/stories/2011/3268730.htm)) pointed out that some people were attending, for the second time, his public snake-oil selling. It can only be concluded that Monckton explicitly admits that he is fooling his audiences…

    The comment is at 13 minutes 10 seconds here.

  59. #59 Wow
    July 18, 2011

    “Have you ever heard of the Holodomor?”

    So you have no causal link as to why Marxism == wrong. Just hate.

    “The Vietnamese Collectivist Famine?”

    1920’s dustbowl and depression?

    Seems like according to your “logic”, the USA is wrong.

    Why do you hate america so much?

  60. #60 Bernard J.
    July 18, 2011

    Heh.

    Hot off the press…

    Climate sceptic Lord Monckton told he’s not member of House of Lords


    Clerk of parliaments publishes letter on Lords’ site saying peer is not and has ‘never been a member of the House of Lords’

    Can’t wait to hear of Monckton’s response.

  61. #61 J Bowers
    July 18, 2011

    ROFLMAO. It doesn’t get any more official than that, bar HRH herself instructing lawyers to tell him to stop using the portcullis trademark.

  62. #62 Richard Dale
    November 21, 2011

    “Christopher Monckton told to stop claiming he is a member of the Lords:”

    Problem is, of course, that he is a member of the House of Lords, and that the spokesman for the House is entirely wrong in saying he is not a member. If you quote fools, you will look an idiot yourself.

  63. #63 chek
    November 21, 2011

    You’re wrong Richard Dale. Despite his childish attempts to muddy the waters, Monckton is a hereditary peer and all but 92 hereditaries, voted for by their peers, were debarred from the House of Lords by the 1999 Act. Monckton was not voted for.

    Monckton remains a peer in the sense that he still maintains a title, but he has no membership implied or otherwise of the British legislature.

    That he believes leading others to believe he is in an attempt to confer some imagined authority to his equally fr@udulent ‘science’ for the benefit of the drooling and credulous is the mark of the man.

  64. #64 Wow
    November 21, 2011

    > and that the spokesman for the House is entirely wrong in saying he is not a member

    The Crown itself says Monckton isn’t a member of the HoL.

  65. #65 lord_sidcup
    November 21, 2011

    It is most ungracious of the Lords to prevent Monckton from exercising his inherited and undemocratic right to rule over the rest of us, do you agree [Richard Dale](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2011/07/monckton_interviewed_by_adam_s.php#comment-5911019)?

  66. #66 Bernard J.
    November 21, 2011

    For those who haven’t yet heard, the latest fuss about Monckton and his House membership stems from the fact that the Lords’ decision has apparently been [challenged by a lawyer](http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/11/20/dont-mock-the-monck/).

  67. #67 chek
    November 21, 2011

    Hilarious how Monckton’s storm in a tinpot tame lawyer’s ‘opinion’ (hopefully a ruinously expensive lawyer)is being prematurely taken as a legal ‘victory’ by the Watts numpties.

  68. #68 Richard Dale
    November 21, 2011

    Right, so do I believe idiots who believe in the myth of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming (sorry, it’s not warming any more; climate change then) and for all I know believe government debt stimulates the economy and that fairies live at the bottom of their gardens? Or do I believe a British constitutional lawyer? Difficult one, that.

  69. #69 chek
    November 21, 2011

    Dale, lawyers’ ‘opinions’ are ten-a-penny.
    And given your other freely supplied idiocies, yours worth even less.

  70. #70 bill
    November 21, 2011

    It’s amazingly consistent isn’t it?

    The House of Lords itself doesn’t know what it’s talking about; but one constitutional lawyer is right beyond doubt.

    The IPCC and the world’s scientific establishment don’t know what they’re talking about, but a couple of blogscientists are right beyond doubt.

    Among the Deniers confirmation bias has drifted beyond parody…

  71. #71 Rattus Norvegicus
    November 21, 2011

    Let’s see, who should I believe here? The word of the House of Lords itself, as represented by the office of the Clerk, or that of a shyster paid for by Monckton? Hmm, that’s a real hard one.

  72. #72 ianam
    November 22, 2011

    so do I believe idiots

    Wrong.

    who believe in the myth

    Wrong.

    of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming (sorry, it’s not warming any more

    Wrong.

    ; climate change then

    That shift was due to your boys, specifically Frank Luntz.

    ) and for all I know believe government debt stimulates the economy

    Government spending stimulates the economy.

    and that fairies live at the bottom of their gardens?

    No, that was Arthur Conan Doyle.

    Or do I believe a British constitutional lawyer? Difficult one, that.

    An ignorant idiot like you can be expected to believe the lawyer over the House of Lords itself.

  73. #73 ianam
    November 22, 2011

    Richard Dale at his blog:

    I doubt because science has shown that many obvious facts turn out, under scrutiny, to be wrong. My doubts extend far and wide, and because of that I am free to believe what evidence tells me. Too many people cling to opinions and beliefs despite all reason, because they never did doubt that they were right. If I ever do so, please point it out, as I even doubt that I doubt enough.

    Ok, we’re pointing it out, you pathetic hypocrite.

  74. #74 Lotharsson
    November 22, 2011

    > If you quote fools, you will look an idiot yourself.

    Ah, look, a self-referential post! How lovely!

  75. #75 ianam
    November 22, 2011

    Richard Dale on his blog: “I am a right social libertarian”.

    What a surprise. His rants about GW, his absurd appeals to Carl Sagan to brand it a pseudo-science, are driven by ideology and are nearly completely devoid of scientific fact. This doubt-lacking ignoramus, so intellectually dishonest that he can seriously fancy himself a “sceptic” while writing

    I am convinced by these sections that Sagan would have seen today’s climate “science” as more akin to pseudo-science that to science.

    is so secure in his beliefs that he can’t be bothered to find out what Sagan himself said on the subject. Of course a fool like Dale will just see this as Sagan as drinking the CAGW Koolaid, rather than that Sagan, unlike Dale, familiarized himself with the science. Selectively perceptive ideologues like Dale think that they do know the science because they’ve read Bishop Hill and the like.

  76. #76 ianam
    November 22, 2011

    Richard, oh sceptic, who is the fool being quoted and what, exactly, makes him a fool other than that you hold a contrary belief to the quoted statement?

    You call yourself a sceptic but you don’t write like one. Rather, you write like a rather stupid, rigid, ideologue.

  77. #77 ianam
    November 22, 2011

    do I believe idiots

    Yes, Richard, you do believe idiots like Monckton over scientists and science:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/sep/21/climate-scientists-christopher-monckton

  78. #78 Wow
    November 22, 2011

    Tell me, Richard, if Monckton really IS a member of the HoL, why hasn’t he sued them for defamation?

  79. #79 lord_sidcup (non-voting and not really a Lord)
    November 22, 2011

    Speaking as someone inside England this, from the WUWT article, is not an accurate representation of English attitudes toward hereditary titles:

    …in England, such things are considered very important and are a tradition of position that affects families and reputations going back centuries.

    However, this is:

    [Upper Class Twit of the Year](http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TSqkdcT25ss)

  80. #80 P. Lewis
    November 22, 2011

    Factoid meme alert!

    (sorry, it’s not warming any more; climate change then)

    IPCC = Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, was established in 1988 by the WMO and UNEP.

  81. #81 Lotharsson
    November 22, 2011

    > IPCC = Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, was established in 1988 by the WMO and UNEP.

    And concerns about CO2 causing *climatic change* were expressed in the literature at least as far back as the ’50’s, if not even earlier.

  82. #82 chek
    November 22, 2011

    Wattbots talking shite (again) lord_s?
    Shurely shome mishtake!

    I do however dearly hope that Monckton’s constitutional lawyer is hideously expensive and takes the extremely vain and stupid young master Christopher for everything he can get. For years and years and years; by the hour.

  83. #83 P. Lewis
    November 22, 2011

    And also speaking as someone from inside England (who is not English), and noting the raised hackles such English-centric statements usually make with the Welsh, Scots and NIish , such an anachronistic tradition is also largely held to be an anathema amongst the other nationalities within the UK of GB&NI (except amongst a rump who would not wish to give up their hereditary conferments to sit and vote in the Lords under any circumstances).

    Monckton’s family only has ~50 years’ tradition anyway, the 1st Lord Monckton having only been granted that title in 1957. And it’s entirely possible that a year later he would only have been handed a life peerage (courtesy of the new Life Peerages Act 1958) rather than a hereditary one (though I’d readily concede this might not be the case, considering his aid to the Royals during the 30s). Still, one must start somewhere.

    And lest all you former colonials may be under the misapprehension that doing away with hereditary peers is a recent innovation, the abolition of the hereditary aspect of the House of Lords has been on the political agenda since at least the 1911 Parliament Act:

    …whereas it is intended to substitute for the House of Lords as it at present exists a Second Chamber constituted on a popular instead of hereditary basis, but such substitution cannot be immediately brought into operation

    And then there were numerous dilutions to the Lords’ influence throughout the C20th.

    One day, accident of birth will have no place in our parliamentary system at all (at least on the hereditary Lords aspect, and I would hope on the monarchy aspect). Still, one must start somewhere!

  84. #84 Fran Barlow
    November 22, 2011

    Richard Dale apparently uttered as follows:

    Too many people cling to opinions and beliefs despite all reason, because they never did doubt that they were right. If I ever do so, please point it out, as I even doubt that I doubt enough.

    The untenability of this ‘skeptofundy’ fetish is on unadorned display here. This is a form of intellectual nihilism.

    One doubt though that Dale actually lives any important part of his life this way. Does he doubt that his income will arrive each week and if it fails to arrive, will he complain? Does he doubt that the cash he holds will be legal tender or that his dentist knows what he is doing when operating? How does he know for certain that there are no fairies at the bottom of the garden anyway? If one can doubt scientists can rely on their rejection of fairy life?

    What a prattling fool this chap is!

  85. #85 Fran Barlow
    November 22, 2011

    oops:

    If one can doubt scientists can rely on their rejection of fairy life?

    Should read:

    If one can doubt the professional work of saliently qualified scientists can one rely on their rejection of fairy life?

  86. #86 Bernard J.
    November 22, 2011

    [Wow](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2011/07/monckton_interviewed_by_adam_s.php#comment-5921499):

    >…if Monckton really IS a member of the HoL, why hasn’t he sued them for defamation?

    To paraphrase Groucho, I’m surprised that Monckton is so keen to be a member of a club that doesn’t seem to want him as one.

    And if the inner sanctum of the Lords is indeed as incompetent as Monckton’s new lawyer suggests, why is Monckton so keen to be a member in the first place?

    There’s a glaring internal inconsistency in Monckton’s narrative that seems to escape him totally.

    Ohhh…

  87. #87 ligne
    November 22, 2011

    > And if the inner sanctum of the Lords is indeed as incompetent as Monckton’s new lawyer suggests, why is Monckton so keen to be a member in the first place?

    didn’t approximately half of Congress collectively wet themselves with excitement when a REAL LIFE LORD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD came to bloviate at them a few years back? i think that might be the reason.

    and as another brit, i can confirm that people who view hereditary peers as anything other than an anachronistic embarrassment (viz. said peers, people who write letters to the Telegraph in green ink, and “reasonably good friend of David Cameron while at Oxford” libertarian blogger James Delingpenis) are a rapidly dying breed.

Current ye@r *