Lord of Climate Denial’s Epic Fail

It’s been a bad few months for Lord Christopher Monckton, the British viscount who’s become a darling of the Tea Party movement thanks to his denunciations of climate science.

We’ve been following his rise through the ranks of climate denialdom ever since his visit to Regina last year that was sponsored by right-wing think-tank, the Frontier Centre for Public Policy. (Read some of our Monckton-related coverage here, here, here, here and here; and Carle wrote a piece about his visit in a late October issue of the paper that isn’t archived on-line yet.)

Among the most-recent challenges to Monckton’s rather fanciful (read: false) take on climate science, there are the “Debunking Lord Monckton” episodes from Climate Denial Crock of the Week (here’s part 1 and part 2) and then there was his debate in Australia with Deltoid blogger, Tim Lambert, whose opening comments included a serious challenge to the integrity of Monckton’s research skills (the fun bits are near the end of this and at the beginning of this).

The latest blow to Monckton’s credibility (which, if we lived in a rational world, would be the decisive one) comes via an 83-minute slide-show presentation made by mechanical engineering professor, John Abraham. In painstaking detail, Abraham takes apart a speech made by Monckton at Bethel University on October 14, 2009, and thoroughly eviscerates all of the viscount’s scientific claims.

A bit of trivia: This Bethel University presentation came just one week after he spoke here. So those of you who attended Monckton’s talk and debate and found him a compelling character should find Abraham’s presentation especially revealing.

Since Abraham posted his work, Monckton has offered a response (that’s at once pompous, nasty and still kind of funny in a bonkers sort of way) which Abraham has politely countered.

George Monbiot over at the Guardian offers a pretty solid overview of the state of Monckton these days in a piece titled, “Monckton’s climate denial is a gift to those who take the science seriously”.

But the most quotable summary comes from the climate-science-denying London Telegraph, where blogger Tom Chiver (a self-described science nut and defender of climate science despite his employer’s editorial slant) had this to say,

Lord Monckton is a fantasist, a blethering popinjay useful only for amusement. He can be safely ignored in all serious scientific debate. But it reflects badly on those people who want seriously to argue against the science of climate change that this capering jester is among the public figureheads of their movement.

You won’t find this blog post on the Telegraph site any more, mind you. Monckton complained about it and it was taken down. (But not before it was reprinted elsewhere.)

Alarmingly, Monckton’s lunacy is starting to spread beyond climate-science denial; although that does have the advantage of revealing what a nonsense artist he is. Not only has he been embraced by the Teabaggers, he’s also now adding fuel to the Birther’s fire, stoking fears about world government, has been revealed as once advocating for the imprisonment of AIDS patients and wants to do the same now with scientists, and in Copenhagen jumped the Nazi shark by repeatedly calling climate activists the Hitler youth.

And, according to his CV, he has recently entered the world of medical boojum-water salesmanship as he is apparently responsible for developing a “pharmaceutical” called Resurrexi, about which he claims:

Patients have been cured of various infectious diseases, including Graves’ Disease, multiple sclerosis, influenza, and herpes simplex VI.

Wow! Is there nothing this man can’t do?

At this point, you’re probably asking yourselves, “If Monckton is such a certifiable loon, why do you keep going on about him, Dechene? Aren’t you just raising his profile with the half-dozen-or-so people who read this blog? By disputing him, aren’t you just lending his mad ideas credibility?”

Well, first of all, Monckton already has a fair deal of credibility with a certain segment of the population. A lecture of his in Minnesota, for instance, received over two million hits on Youtube. I’d like to think everyone who viewed it was there for a laugh, but I suspect not.

But more importantly, while I find a certain measure of satisfaction in mocking Lord Christopher Monckton of Batshit on the Crazy, by writing all this I’m also obliquely mocking a target that’s closer to home — just two blocks east of me, in fact: the Frontier Centre for Public Policy.

They were the ones who gave the crazed viscount a soapbox here in Regina from which to spout his anti-science blather. But even back in 2009, a fourth-rate journalist with 20 minutes on Google (that’d be me) could see that Monckton was not a competent (or even sane) voice to have speaking on climate change.

And despite this, the FCPP still expects us to consider them a group of competent, unbiased researchers on a range of topics. Didn’t anyone at this “think tank” ever think that maybe it’d be a good idea to check the buffoon from the UK out? Or did they check him out and found his collection of misinformation, misreadings and mistakes convincing?

The FCPP hangs their hat on their ability to analyze data and synthesize academic discourse. If they’ve gotten climate change so wrong that they’d find a preening popinjay like Monckton persuasive, why should we be listening to them on any subject?

I’d find it all laughable if I didn’t find the FCPP’s willful ineptitude so despicable.

Author: Paul Dechene

Paul Dechene is 5'10'' tall and he was born in a place. He's not there now. He's sitting in front of his computer writing his bio for this blog. He has a song stuck in his head. It's "Girl From Ipanema", thanks for asking. You can follow Paul on Twitter at @pauldechene and get live updates during city council meetings and other city events at @PDcityhall.

2 thoughts on “Lord of Climate Denial’s Epic Fail”

  1. Um, so did you go to Monckton’s talk in Regina or are you just griping about him like some old internet crank?

  2. Klem: speaking of Internet cranks, you’re trolling an article from 2010. Well done.

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