skip to main content

→ Top Stories:
Fracking
Safe Chemicals
Defending the Clean Air Act

Pete Altman’s Blog

U.S. House Committee to Hear from the Lord Haw-Haw of Climate Science

Pete Altman

Posted May 6, 2010 in Solving Global Warming

Tags:
, , , , ,
Share | | |

When the U.S. House of Representatives’ Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming holds a hearing today on the “Foundation of Climate Science,” Chairman Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) will be hearing from leading climate science experts.  The minority on the panel will be hearing from … Lord Christopher Walter Monckton, 3rd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley.

Who exactly is Lord Christopher Walter Monckton?  And why is the 3rd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley a witness?

The independent Politifact gave Monckton a “Pants on Fire” rating for falsely claiming the Copenhagen climate treaty would

sign your freedom, your democracy, and your prosperity away forever — and neither you nor any subsequent government you may elect would have any power whatsoever to take it back again.

Monckton is also on record as calling for leading climate scientists to be put on trial – even though they have been cleared by repeated reviews.

What’s more, Monckton has claimed that NASA blew up a monitoring satellite in order to perpetuate the “myth” of global warming.  

And as our good friend Kevin Grandia from DeSmog Blog points out:

While Monckton's educational background is in journalism, he has recently been touted by many think tanks as an expert in the field of global warming.

Christopher Monckton and the Heartland Institute

Monckton is listed as a "Global Warming" expert for the Heartland Institute, a Chicago-based freemarket think tank. The Heartland Institute frequently attacks the scientific evidence for human-caused climate change. The Heartland Institute has received over $791,000 from oil-giant ExxonMobil since 1998.

The tobacco industry has also been a regular funder to the Heartland Institute, with at least $190,000 coming from Philip Morris since 1993. The Heartland Institute maintains a smoker's rights section on its website called "The Smoker's Lounge."

Christopher Monckton and the Science and Public Policy Institute

Monckton is listed as a "Chief Policy Advisor" for the Science and Public Policy Institute (SPPI). The SPPI was until recently managed under the name "Center for Science and Public Policy Institute" by another freemarket think tank called the Frontiers of Freedom.

The Frontiers of Freedom has received over $1 million in funding from oil-giant ExxonMobil.

More recently, Monckton made headlines for referring to a Jewish climate change activist as “Hitler Youth.”  That might be dismissed as a meaningless “one off” comment  if Monckton had not also that “‘misplaced belief in climate change’ is killing more people than Hitler.”  

But let’s give Monckton the benefit of the doubt here and not dismiss him as some paper-thin caricature from Monty Python.   

(Yes, let’s not do that despite this curious - and actual - photo of Lord Monckton apparently performing “Putting on the Ritz” at his home in Scotland, found on Guardian.co.uk.)

OK.  So he's fudged some climate facts and exhibits an eclectic style of dress. But he's a British Lord, right? That's gotta be worth something.

Ah, no. He ran for the House of Lords. But contrary to his claims, he is not a member of the British House of Lords.

Well, Monckton's website claims  his role correcting a table in the 2007 IPCC report "earned him the status of Nobel Peace Laureate". But his explanation that his Nobel Prize Pin - "made of gold recovered from a physics experiment" -was awarded by "the Emeritus Professor of Physics at the University of Rochester, New York, USA" does seem odd. Last time I checked, the Emeritus Professor of Physics at the University of Rochester, New York, USA was not the one responsible for handing out Nobel Prizes. 

Monckton's claim was rejected in no uncertain terms by Nobel Committee secretary Geir Lundestat who told The Punch:

The claim is ridiculous," said Lundestat. "He is not a laureate - no way, no way.

For the record, Monckton did backtrack on his Nobel claim in January of this year, telling reporters that "it was a joke, a joke." But I guess he hasn't had time to update his websites yet, where the claim still appears.

What's no joke are the outrageous and unfounded claims Mr. Moncton makes about global warming and the platform he is provided by committed denialists. He reminds me of another propagandist - Lord Haw-Haw.  During World War II, the Germans used to broadcast to England a program featuring a posh-sounding announcer whom the Britons dubbed Lord Haw-Haw because they knew his role was to spew misleading and demoralizing propaganda to weaken the Allied war effort.

Perhaps those who invited to today’s House hearing Lord Monckton did not take the time to check him out first.  Or, maybe this is just a concession that when it comes to debunking climate science, “Lord Haw Haw” is the best that they can come up.

Share | | |

Comments

Bart LawsMay 6 2010 12:37 PM

Yes, Monckton is a ludicrous fraud, but if the NRDC wants to have any credibility as a champion of legitimate science, you're going to have to fire the Lord Haw Haw of public health, upper class twit Robert Kennedy Jr. To quote Brian Deer on this lying idiot's latest foray into public space, "What struck me about the Kennedy article was the poor calibre of the person who wrote it. I'd naturally assume that someone with those family connections would have some sense of measure in their language, and a general demeanour of intelligence and professionalism. I believe he may have been to law school, also, and have some sense of the difference between, say, a falsehood and a lie, or between "missing" and "couldn't be contacted". Little things, which you find, for example, in the Philadelphia Inquirer report, which was, plainly, the work of an intelligent professional.

But there was none of that. It was like it was written by a college sophomore. Oozing malice and prejudicial, unsupported assertions, it was just of such poor quality. Like you, I've no idea about this Thorsen guy, who is plainly not a major player in the relevant research, but I was shocked by the hysterical tone of this man Kennedy's contribution. It's plain that neither Olmsted nor Kirby are professional journalists, but I'm just left wondering why the heroes of vaccine-autism believers are all of such meagre talent. It's kind of sad really."

Ed DarrellMay 7 2010 04:08 AM

Monckton also dragged Rachel Carson's and Jackie Kennedy's reputations into his line of fire, arguing that DDT is a wonder drug, and that Jackie Kennedy had it banned by her husband's friends for no good reason.

Never mind that Rachel Carson's science claims are completely verified by then-current and subsequent research, or that Jackie Kennedy's husband was assassinated seven years prior to the EPA's creation . . .

There is no good idea or great person Monckton will not lie about that I have found.

Mark E. GillarMay 7 2010 08:52 AM

Pete,

Nice attempted smear job on Monckton.

Here a few inconvenient facts for you.

The rough draft of the Copenhagen agreement did contain the words "global governance". Gore has used the term himself in a context that many of us were not comfortable with:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m6GgCecikqI

The politifact people can therefore give themselves a "pants on fire" rating for they deserve it more than Monckton does.

So when a skeptic calls for an alarmists to be put on trial that's bad, but when an alarmists calls for skeptics to be put on trials that's good. Please exlain Pete?

Did you publically note disatisfaction when James Hansen made his infamous "high crimes against humanity" comment?

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/06/23/hansen_dc/

Did you suggest, as you're doing with Monckton, that wanting the other side put on trial was cause to completely discredit Hansen? If not, why not Pete? Double standard perhaps?

You also referenced the "repeated reviews" as if they were meaningful and carried out by objective entities that had nothing to lose by a guilty verdict. Nothing could be farther from the truth and you know it. Let's review. The UK said the UK climate boys did nothing wrong and administrators at Pennsylvania State University said their boy did nothing wrong either. Do you have any quotes from O.J.'s mother saying he did nothing wrong too? It would be about as valid.

I have to admit the Monckton quote on the satellite made him sound a bit like a 9-11 truther. With that in mind Pete, why didn't you immediately embrace the statement as being factual? One would think you go in for that sort of thing.

Monckton is a journalist. What a revelation. Al Gore is a guy who flunked out of the seminary and then got into Harvard because daddy pulled a few strings. The UN IPCC's Rejendra Pachauri is a railroad engineer. Bill Nye The Scinece Guy is a mechanical engineer and Ed Begley Jr. isn't a doctor but he played one on tv. If there are rules about what one's background must be before being able to publically comment on the topic of global warming, let's apply it equally to both sides Pete. Is that too much to ask?

I'm still waiting on Grandia to be fair and balanced and make an issue out of Gore's lack of scientific training. Since he wsa trained by Gore who himself has no training, I'm guessing that won't be coming anytime soon. You'll recall that Gore testified too, but was afraid to be challenged by Monckton while doing so. Did you or Grandia complain when Gore, with zero scientific credentials, testified?

As for the money being invested, I'm curious Pete, do you think it would be prudent to track the money on both sides? Do you find it the least bit a conflict of interest that Gore who has made $100 Million off of this nonexistent crises thus far stands to become the world's first green billionaire if cap and trade becomes law. Is it a conflict of interest for him to testify before congress?

Jo Nova has done an excellent job of tracking the money. Here are a couple of reading assignments for anyone who thinks only skeptics should have their funding examined:

http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/images/stories/papers/originals/climate_money.pdf

http://joannenova.com.au/globalwarming/skeptics-handbook-ii/the_skeptics_handbook_II-sml.pdf


As for the laughable claim that Monckton ever sersioulsy tried to pass himself off
as a Nobel Prize winner, I offer the following video which I posted on YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bxnSthHToII

Monckton makes it clear that the Nobel Prize
Pin was a joke.

There is no need for him to edit his bio on the SPPI page. It's an obvious joke. The fact that Monckton said it was awarded to him by "the Emeritus Professor of Physics at the University of Rochester, New York, USA" is proof he never intended to claim to be an actual nobel prize recipient. Of course he deserves one no less than Al Gore whose film was found to have nine errors by a UK court or The UN IPCC which won in part for it's error filled 2007 report or Barack Obama who had been on the job less than two weeks before he was selected. What Monckton's dry joke has become is a litmus test of sorts for stupidity. There was no need for Monckton to "back track", but there apparently was a need for him to explain the obvious for people too stupid to see the slap taken at the IPCC for their sloppy as usual, but somehow award winning work.

The eco-brats who interrupted meetings and placed stickers on Lord Monckton's back in Copenhagen deserve the Hitler Youth comment. Not for the aforementioned activities, but because they've been duped into fighting a battle the true meaning of which they apparently can't comprehend.
Monckton referred to the entire group as Hitler Youth. The fact that one kid thought he had a free pass because he was Jewish
is amusing. I'm personally glad Monckton didn't apologize to him.

The photo of Monckton from his Gilbert and Sullivan days as he's called them, does nothing Pete but demonstrate your willingness to talk about anything but the science. Please don't write me that Gilbert and Sullivan passed away before Monckton was born and offer this as proof that Mockton doesn't tell the truth. I know when it comes to Monckton, alarmists are willing to grasp at straws (see previous paragraph), but you can only push it so far.

As the Third Viscount of Brenchley, Monckton is a hereditary peer and entitled to the title Lord. I'm still looking a written document from the House of Lords stating hereditary peers are not technically non-sitting members of the house. Wikipedia, makes the claim but offers no proof. I've never seen a wikipedia entry on a skeptic that wasn't biased, so I tend to doubt what I see there.

Given the fact that Al Gore has stated that the inside of the earth is millions of degrees and that sea level will rise by 20 feet by the end of the century,it is he and not Monckton who deserves the title of Lord Hee-Haw. Unless you want to bestow it upon yourself Pete.


bielieMay 10 2010 03:26 PM

Instead of showing funny pictures of Monckton in order to discredit him, why don't you report what he says on AGW? Why don't you attack his arguments?

And you prove yourself to be truly moronic for not understanding the irony/humor of his assertion that he is a Nobel laureate.

OK. Maybe you did not read his original statement in this regard, and maybe if you did you would have understood it. But then you are still a moron for believing everything you hear just because it fits your template.

Comments are closed for this post.

About

Switchboard is the staff blog of the Natural Resources Defense Council, the nation’s most effective environmental group. For more about our work, including in-depth policy documents, action alerts and ways you can contribute, visit NRDC.org.

Feeds: Pete Altman’s blog

Feeds: Stay Plugged In