Mr. “Climate Hysteria” a Bit of a Hype Himself?

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“Lord” Monckton weighing in on green concerns

Here’s a little piece of the climate debate that deserves more attention: One of the world’s leading climate change “skeptics” – who by implication contends that almost all the scientists in the world are involved in fraud—enjoys pulling a fast one himself.

The British “Lord” Anthony Monckton likes to use his “rank” to great effect, including aristocratic insignias on his powerpoint presentations—as if we’re better off trusting our betters than our scientists on the future of life.

But as reported by The Guardian, Monckton has been ordered to stop claiming to be a member of the UK’s House of Lords.

Presumably, commoners paid extra attention to Monckton’s controversial pronouncements because of his title. But now, the clerk of the parliaments has written Monckton to warn him off. Published on the House of Lords’ website (wow—even the Lords have gone high-tech), it reads: “You are not and have never been a member of the House of Lords. Your assertion that you are a member, but without the right to sit or vote, is a contradiction in terms.”

The clerk goes on to confirm that Monckton cannot be stopped from calling himself “Lord Monckton” because, having inherited the title from his late father, he is “the Right Honourable Viscount Monckton of Brenchley.” But he may not claim to be a member of parliament.

So, if anyone from Brenchley or anywhere else in this star-struck world wants to genuflect for this fellow, go right ahead. But please note that his use of the title does not somehow give him or his global warming position credibility.

It’s quite a position, to be sure. Recently, as part of a global speaking tour, he told the National Press club in Australia that the government there should halt a plan to cut carbon emissions “because there is no need to take any action about carbon dioxide at all.” Monckton doesn’t dispute some warming, but claims that human activities play almost no role.

This, of course, plays well with those who have a strong disincentive to change their own behavior, including, notably, companies in or dependent on the fossil fuels industry. And, to be sure, Monckton is a confident and lively articulator of a position that can find few star advocates.

A former newspaper editor and Thatcher government leader in privatizing public housing, he’s been a featured speaker at climate conferences around the world, and in debates in distinguished settings like Oxford University. (Here’s a paper he did for the Virginia-based Science & Public Policy Institute—itself an important-sounding but obscure entity that advances climate skepticism and whose funding warrants further inquiry—see this for more on that.) Monckton has appeared at events sponsored by so-called free market institutes aligned with the now-infamous oil and chemical magnates the Koch brothers and their allies.

Monckton, incidentally, is a member of the Knights of Malta, another “highly interesting” outfit obsessed with titles and ranks—that has labored throughout the centuries for conservative establishment interests and notions, including the most reactionary Vatican elements. (We wrote about the Knights recently—see this.)

Now, one would not want to take this matter of personal exaggeration and lord it over Viscount Monckton. But it would make sense to try and do more, concretely, about global warming. Also, to be a little more skeptical—of hot air from non-experts on this complex and urgent (no, way-beyond-urgent) issue.

GRAPHIC:   http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/culture/files/2010/06/monckton.jpg

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9 responses to “Mr. “Climate Hysteria” a Bit of a Hype Himself?”

  1. AaronK says:

    Wait… This site is supposed to be all about REAL and HONEST journalism yet I am reading a hit piece on Monckton; attacking his name and not the information that he is contributing to the argument.

    Man-Made Climate change is a farse… I am not sure how independent journalism cannot come to that conclusion. Climate-gate proved that the numbers the scientists are using for the temperatures are rigged. Did any of your journalists investigate the scientists themselves, their ties with the government and actually FOLLOW THE MONEY?

    This site has already lost credit with me. Great idea but:
    1) This story killed it for me
    2) The design of this site sucks (im a web designer/developer)
    3) Remove all indications of WordPress from your site. Do not promote it or you will get hacked very easily. Common sense.

  2. Ghost says:

    I find Lord Monckton’s qualifications are at least as impressive as Al Gore’s.

  3. Guest says:

    you put lord in quotation marks below his picture but you admit that he is a lord because of his inbreeding ancestors….  So he is in fact a Lord just not a member of parliament… So what’s with the quotes around the word Lord?

    I don’t have any love for an inbred descendant of nobles, but he is what he is.

    • Russ says:

      Lord is usually used to signify member of House of Lords…. that’s obviously his purpose in citing it–and claiming to be a member of that House

  4. Rob says:

    What about what Zbigniew Jaworowski has to say about what is the cornerstone of the Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) argument?
    read here: http://www.warwickhughes.com/icecore/zjmar07.pdf

    Basically, he is saying that ice core data on CO2 is inaccurate at best, and has been heavily manipulated to achieve the desired findings at worst.

    I understand that there are those out there who want to muddy the waters on this debate but I don’t get the impression that this man is being disingenuous. If he is, I’d like to know about it.

    I’ve been looking at this subject for 20 years now, and I find the argument for AGW very unconvincing. If the science for AGW is so strong, then why are so many of the leading scientists promoting it being so evasive when it comes to sharing their data and their findings?

    I normally feel like I’m learning a lot from what you have to say and write about, but whenever the subject of climate comes up, I find myself rolling my eyes and hoping the subject changes soon.

    I’m sorry, but AGW has scam written all over it. If someone can prove otherwise, I’m all ears…

    • Good1 says:

      so – by implication you contend that almost all the scientists in the world are involved in fraud.

      prove it, big ears.

    • Rob says:

      The cornerstone of the argument is that CO2 levels are higher now than they’ve ever been. If this is in fact wrong, then the argument falls apart. This is exactly what Dr Jaworowki and many other scientists are saying.
      According to CO2 measurements taken from non-ice core data, in recent times we’ve twice peaked at about 440 ppm. We’re currently at roughly 380 ppm. The recent peak was in 1940, then prior to this in 1824!
      The problem with ice core sampling is that CO2 slowly degrades over time for about 70-80 years, before it stabilizes. This gives readings that are lower than they should be.
      Now I can’t prove that the numbers we’ve been shown are incorrect but I’ve yet to see an honest refutation of findings such as what Dr Jaworoski has done. More to the point, if the ice core samples are giving the correct data, then why not just corroborate it with other data?
      To the degree that scientists are supporting conclusions based on bad data and faulty assumptions, then yes, they are perpetuating a fraud. Whether they like it or not.

      One other thing. I know that there is a huge conflict of interest in the kind of information that the fossil fuel industry is promoting which muddies the waters here. There’s two sides to this coin however as there is also a conflict of interest on the part of scientists whose funding depends on man made climate change being a reality. No man made climate change, no government funding. So regular joes like us are caught in the middle not knowing who to believe because both sides are conflicted.

      The whole thing could be resolved so easily if we could just get honest, reliable information on what CO2 levels have been over time. Yet in all this time, the ICCP and others seem to show very little interest in pursuing this. Can’t help but wonder why.

      Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to check my ears…

    • Mr Spock says:

      Just came across this blog. Sorry, but Jaworowski is one of the biggest frauds out there – but he’s a cunning one. Read this article:

      http://web.archive.org/web/20090104033735/http://www.someareboojums.org/blog/?p=7

      This prompted me to examine some of the references Jaworowksi cites myself. In the case of Fonselius and Slocum, these old papers are no longer behind paywalls, and yes, they were deliberately misrepresented. As were every other paper I checked (though I had the advantage of working in an institute with subscriptions to various scientific publishers).

      It’s also worth wondering about #6 – contamination with drilling fluids. Jaworowski provides no reason why this problem affects gas measurements in ice cores, but not his own work. I have not examined every single accusation leveled at Jaworowski, but the ones I have scrutinised have raised valid objections (though sometimes a little extreme in their representation).

      I wasn’t exactly taken by this mocking article at first, but when I examined it in detail, I was furious that Jaworowski so perverted the science and appeals to his own authority to present such a dishonest piece of work. I cannot convey in the “Queen’s English” the contempt I have for him.

  5. Psyop vet says:

    I found this video making fun of lord manckton by the juice media. If you haven’t seen it, it is very halarious.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KBzR0-j0O0o
    The rest of the videos made by these guys are really intelligent and funny.
    Keep up the good work.  I read “Family of Secrets” while in the national guard after 4 years active duty, and I did like bush, got the heck out of there.