Moaning minnie Monckton attacks academic freedom: Support The VUW Three!

by Gareth on April 15, 2013

Christopher, Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, has converted his recent threats against NZ academics and universities into a gloriously idiotic letter of complaint (pdf), sent to the vice chancellor of Victoria University of Wellington, professor Pat Walsh, last Friday. In the letter, Monckton accuses the head of the Institute of Policy Studies, professor Jonathan Boston, of academic fraud, professor Dave Frame, director of the Climate Change Research Institute of committing “a grave libel”, and professor Jim Renwick of “delivering gratuitous, baseless and childish insults”. He accuses all three of dishonesty and breaching the university’s code of conduct for academic staff, and demands letters of apology. The reaction from Wellington? Great amusement, as Stuff reported:

The formal complaint was met with hilarity by the accused academics yesterday, none of whom appeared concerned about disciplinary action.

In support of his complaint, Monckton offers two documents: an unpublished paper (pdf) that purports to demonstrate that mitigation of carbon emissions is not cost-effective, and a critique (pdf) of a graph that featured in the IPCC’s fourth report. Boston’s use of the graph in a 2008 presentation is what Monckton claims is “fraudulent”. He demands:

Professor Boston’s fraudulent graph should be removed forthwith from the university’s website. Otherwise, a complaint of scientific fraud may be made to the police.

Scientific fraud? I wonder who is really guilty of that charge — the head of the Institute of Policy Studies using a graph from a major international report, or a visiting fringe politician who has published nothing on climate in any peer-reviewed journal, who is happy to misrepresent the facts about climate change at every opportunity, and who believes the UN is hell bent on confining Americans to concentration camps?

Monckton’s attack on Boston, Renwick and Frame is just the latest display of a long-established pattern of attention seeking behaviour and threats to sue scientists. Over the last five years, virtually every academic who has had the temerity to criticise Monckton has been on the receiving end of threats and time-wasting complaints.

The most recent example is the whinge he sent to the University of Tasmania about remarks made by Dr Tony Press, the CEO of the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre, calling for his dismissal. Many more are listed by Barry Bickmore at Lord Monckton’s Rap Sheet. The principal objective seems to be gain a little publicity for himself and his propaganda tours, while causing a great deal of time to be wasted as academic institutions go through the motions of investigating his trumped up complaints.

For an insight into the way Monckton’s mind works, take a minute or two to review this clip from a much longer interview he gave to NZ’s Uncensored magazine1, in which he discusses how debate is stifled by “the left”:

In the light of his own behaviour the hypocrisy on show is frankly unbelievable. “That’s how they worked in Nazi Germany … they bully and threaten and jeer at those who do not follow the party line…”, he says. And yet that is exactly how he behaves, calling for police investigations, academics to be fired and making accusations — themselves libellous — about academic fraud. Monckton’s words describe his own actions so well, that we can only assume he acts on his own advice.

  1. He earns their wrath by refusing to accept that chem trails are real and evidence of a global conspiracy to geoengineer the planet. []

{ 54 comments… read them below or add one }

bill April 15, 2013 at 2:56 pm

‘Projection’, they call it.

It’s a great pity indeed if any genuinely competent person going about their allotted tasks in good-faith has to waste any of their time responding to any of this arrant nonsense.

Other than that ‘snort and ignore’ – which is what seems to have been done – is the best reaction.

Will he react similarly to O’Sullivan? ;-)

bill April 15, 2013 at 3:01 pm

Interesting to watch the performance of some of the locals. Genuinely disgraceful! And talk about not being able to see yourselves from the outside…

HarryWiggs April 15, 2013 at 3:36 pm

Lord Bonckers threatens–and has yet EVER to follow through with his empty threats–because Lord Bonckers has *nothing* else: no expertise in the area he critiques, no published work in the field of climatology, and nothing but a desire to continue to prance and dance to the tune of his masters, among them the Koch Brothers.bring it, Bonckers….sue someone. I’d love to see you disassembled in the dock.

Thomas April 15, 2013 at 4:33 pm

…and see him go the way the NZ Climate Science Denier Trust was served what was due to them by the courts, cost and all. Now that would be a show indeed!

Roger Romney-Hughes April 15, 2013 at 4:37 pm

We at FoGT would like to remind the assembled masses of our proud history of Monckton-baiting. As far as we know, he’s still not a member of the House of Lords.

Roger Romney-Hughes April 15, 2013 at 4:40 pm

Or Motorhead.

John Mashey April 15, 2013 at 7:54 pm

Long ago I suggested that a coat of arms be designed for those attacked by Monckton, say a blue dragon rampant on broken pink portcullis. Those who would be pleased to be attacked by him could have a smaller version.
Long ago, I was high on his Bad List, and accused of a heinous crime against the blogosphere, but many others have leapt atop the list, a good one to be on.

Nick April 17, 2013 at 8:25 pm

Ah,yes the “Dr” Mashey exchanges! I liked how Monckton came across as so obviously unhinged other posters were unsure whether it was the real man and not a parody!

bill April 17, 2013 at 9:21 pm

Yes, one can hardly hope to top ‘interfering in an unlawful manner on the blogosphere’, which ranks up there with some of these charges.

Carol Cowan April 15, 2013 at 9:07 pm

The man is obviously mentally unwell. That’s the kindest thing I can say about him.

Macro April 15, 2013 at 10:04 pm

Totally agree Carol. I’ve said so before – I think the saddest factor in this whole sorry affair is the fact that he is obviously being used by unscrupulous people to further their own perverted sense of “truth”

John Mashey April 16, 2013 at 4:09 am

Graves’ Disease.

Rob Taylor April 16, 2013 at 1:41 am

Ah, Monckton, the useful idiot’s useful idiot…

Nick April 17, 2013 at 9:56 am

Rob,it pains me to disagree with you… he is the useful idiot’s useless idiot.

Rob Taylor April 17, 2013 at 10:55 am
RW April 16, 2013 at 7:57 am

The Dominion Post has given pride of place in its Letters section today, to a local – well known for his knowledge-free rants – who is clearly a Monckton admirer. Another example of “balance” in the “debate”?

Carol Stewart April 16, 2013 at 11:23 am

Perhaps Monckton thinks ‘peer review’ refers to himself ;-)
His letter to VUW really is a piece of work. What a vile and pompous bully.
Gareth, how do you suggest supporting the VUW three?

Thomas April 16, 2013 at 2:01 pm

Lord Bonkers has been dishing it up in Taranaki…
http://www.stuff.co.nz/taranaki-daily-news/news/8553782/Global-warming-Its-simply-fraud-sceptic
… and has no problem with the grey haired farmer audience whom he calls ‘intelligent’ as only a handful of the 100 in the audience admitted to ‘believing’ in global warming (stuff).

bill April 16, 2013 at 2:24 pm

The Southland Times editorial re the latest Antarctic revelations is a masterpiece!

bill April 16, 2013 at 2:26 pm

If history has taught us anything – and the jury is still out on that…

Great work!

Thomas April 16, 2013 at 8:42 pm

Oh and then this nugget:

Then there is the highly questionable issue of timing and the assumption that the world is more than 1000 years old. Nowhere in the Old or New Testament will you find references to the terms “BC” or “AD”…..

Arghhh, what do you say to that? What is more astounding is the fact that the Southland Times publishes such mind numbing nonsense without citing the authors name….

Then again, perhaps it is all a clever satire… at the fringes of the human mind things blur…

Carol Cowan April 16, 2013 at 9:10 pm

It sure looks tongue in cheek, to me, Thomas. Having a nice fat file of letters (on climate change) to the editor of the Southland Times over the last six years or so, I can see he’s practically quoting from some of the lesser-abled (to be polite) of his correspondants. I thought the item was very funny.

bill April 16, 2013 at 9:53 pm

The latest outrageous deception is the attempt to ascribe some sort of significance to the “fact” that Antarctic Peninsula is melting in summers at a level not seen for 1000 years. This requires us to take on blind faith the assumption that this so-called continent exists outside the minds of alarmists.

To point to Antarctica’s presence on maps is a fatuous nonsense. When was the last time a scientist came out and acknowledged that Antarctica didn’t feature in the early maps used by some of the world’s most intrepid and admired explorers? Has anyone even asked who first added it, and for what reasons? Certainly not the uncritical mainstream news media. What proof do we have, beyond anecdotal reports from those who claim to have been there – a perfect way for any ne’er-do-well who needs to cover his tracks to disappear from scrutiny for long stretches at a time?

Poe for sure! Carol’s probably bang-on the money…

And that old maps / famous explorers thing is genius; an excellent parody of all those ridiculous ‘Marco Polo sailed right across the North Pole in a raft made of papyrus’ style claims that Deniers are so fond of when it comes to the other end of the world.

Thomas April 16, 2013 at 10:37 pm

Yea, satire it sure is. But after reading THIS the other day, just about anything seems possible from the ‘other side’ these days…. the mind boggles… ;-)

bill April 16, 2013 at 11:18 pm

Yep, both the author and the publication have achieved a kind of auto-parody…

Mike Palin April 16, 2013 at 8:56 pm

Fantastic timing!

“We are also told that our newspapers are irreverent, coarse, vulgar, and ribald. I hope that this irreverence will last for ever; that we shall always show irreverence for royalties and titled creatures born into privilege, and all that class which take their title from anything but merit.” – Mark Twain

Kiwipoet April 16, 2013 at 6:10 pm

We’ve got it all wrong! Hot Topic and maybe Skeptical Science should be quietly funding the Monc! He makes denial look like the circus that it is! Reasonable people must be thinking, if this is the best they can come up with, I’d hate to see their worst! He might even be leading some of his less sycophantic followers to ask some awkward questions. Farmers are not stupid; they are confused, frightened and misinformed; I doubt many of them were reassured by the clearly mad Monc.

Rob Taylor April 17, 2013 at 2:51 am

It’s good to see that journalistic talent survives in the hinterlands of NZ; the Whangarei and Southland papers openly mocked Monckton and his ilk, the Gisborne paper was critical but undecided, whereas the Waikato and Taranaki papers simply regurgitated his nonsense.

IMHO, the Southland editorial is world-class political satire, perfectly executed.

ROFLMAO!

John Mashey April 17, 2013 at 4:56 am

But, in 2007, he was a a sta for James Inhofe and Marc Morano and of course testified for the House in 2010,
Glad to see some of NZ is doing better!.

Nick April 17, 2013 at 9:59 am

Those were his ‘glory days’,John….the sideshow is over now.

Rob Taylor April 17, 2013 at 11:14 am

The real question is, Nick, why wasn’t Lord Monckton invited to Margaret Thatcher’s funeral, given that he was her senior adviser and won the Falklands campaign for her?

If it is just his prior speaking engagements, surely the Brits could have sent a supersonic military aircraft, or rented one from the Yanks for such a special occasion?

Thomas April 17, 2013 at 1:28 pm

Brilliant question. Why would Monckton prefer speaking to a few dozen grey haired farmers in Whaikickamoookau when he could rub shoulders with the rest of the Lords over in London? Perhaps the few friendly locals here are generally more receptive towards the crankster than his old peers one could imagine…..

bill April 17, 2013 at 3:09 pm

You’d think a member of the House of Lords would be automatically invited! ;-)

Nick April 17, 2013 at 8:21 pm

Yes,excellent question. Probably too grief stricken to travel.

Rob Taylor April 17, 2013 at 8:31 pm

Perhaps Monckton is staying away from London because he doesn’t want to upstage Mrs. Thatcher’s final appearance?

Thomas April 18, 2013 at 10:48 am

Brilliant! This is it. A selfless act of restraint. How nice of him. Otherwise the images on the papers front pages of jubilant masses saluting the prime-defender of the people’s right to dismiss inconvenient facts and fabricate as they wish as he steps down the gangway and onto the tarmac, parading past his castle guards, sabers at attention, and returning from conquering the rebellious minds in the antipodal colonies, would have been a bit untimely considering the sad occasion of the passing of the iron lady…

Thomas April 18, 2013 at 7:35 pm

Oh I must take that back. Just now I have to maintain composure and try hard to keep the dinner down as I listen to the very Lord himself being interviewed on National Radio… so that’s why he stayed. He got a radio interview! A chance to speak to the whole nation. Now for any old egomaniac that is an opportunity never to walk away from….. !
I would recommend those who missed it to check out the National Radio sound archives.
I paraphrase below a few interesting statements he is just making:

CO2 stays around in the atmosphere for about 7 years. Methane is much more long lived than that.

I was appointed to be an expert reviewer by the IPCC.

Feedbacks are not known by science, not even their sign…

We had huge changes of the distance of the earth to the sun over the last hundred of thousands of years and the earth climate only changed by 3 degrees.

At the moment natural cooling is offsetting the warming that I would expect to see from what we added in CO2 in the past 17 years.

I came in a bit late to the interview so missed most of it…. Oh dear, what nonsense this man is dishing up to the nation!!

Thomas April 18, 2013 at 8:05 pm

The sound file of Monckton on National Radio tonight is here: http://podcast.radionz.co.nz/ngts/ngts-20130418-1912-calm_on_climate-048.mp3

SimonP April 18, 2013 at 8:25 pm

Hilarious! Poor old Monckton semed to be confusing CO2 with methane. Bryan Crump was clearly becoming increasingly frustrated because he knew Monckton was talking rubbish.

bill April 18, 2013 at 9:21 pm

Good Grief! How much longer can we expect the likes of Monckton to be given this kind of platform?

Love the ‘7 years’, though!

Thomas April 18, 2013 at 9:53 pm

Anybody else up to be ‘appointed’ expert reviewer for the next IPCC report?
Here you can self register for your appointment:
http://www.ipcc-wg3.de/ar5review/registration/
Hurry, it closes April 22nd! ;-)

Thomas April 19, 2013 at 9:48 am

As far as Monckton’s 7 Years of CO2 lifetime in the Atmosphere is concerned, just in case any of those who believe in the Lord’s words are lurking, this is a prime example where he once gain demonstrates that this whole Global Warming thing is well over his head.

The short CO2 lifetime myth is a fundamental flaw in thinking about the cycle of CO2 and has been pointed out to many who have touted the same fallacy many times before.

The truth is: while individual CO2 molecules have an average atmospheric residence time of about 5 years (not 7), by which they will have on average swapped places with another CO2 molecule from the rest of the biosphere, it will take hundreds of years to work off the sizable excess CO2 amount in the atmosphere that we are putting there at the moment.

All this is well explained here and very accessible for lay people like Monckton: http://www.skepticalscience.com/co2-residence-time.htm

Once again, Monckton screws up completely. Luckily he has had his nonsense recorded for posterity in this case and can’t say: I did not say that…

One must wonder why anybody would take the man serious or invite him onto a radio show or allow him to speak for a fee, anywhere! The man’s message is a fraud and he should not be

John Mashey April 17, 2013 at 7:34 pm

Well, yes, for him, but it is not such a bad thing that James Inhofe is on record as having invited him to testify.

RW April 18, 2013 at 9:56 pm

And now RNZ gave the madman a slot this evening! Poor show.

Kiwipoet April 19, 2013 at 1:41 pm

Brian Crump tried to nail him, but Crump is too soft and Monckton too slippery for there to have been real sparks. So, C02 only lasts for seven years! I wonder how we managed to stay warm before we began putting 30 billion megatons of the stuff into the atmosphere every year? Then he tried to say that methane might last up to 150 years! When Crump, who knew the figures, corrected him, Monckton then tried to pretend that it was the IPCC who had it around the wrong way. Crump just didn’t have the killer instinct he needed, I’m afraid.
I take back what I said above (April 16) in what was a sad effort to make a joke. Behind my joke lay an even sadder hope that Monckton makes denial look crazy by being crazy. Nobody should be funding this man. Let’s hope rumours of his retirement turn out to be true.
Not pleasant listening.

Copie April 20, 2013 at 8:00 pm

Typical global warming tactics, attacking the man and not facts! Moncton is clearly exposing the global warming fraud for what it is.

Gareth April 20, 2013 at 9:31 pm

You need to read:

1: the comment policy

2: the original post

… And then try to make a sensible comment. Any more tolling and you’ll be on moderation.

Copie April 24, 2013 at 12:53 pm

Why do you constantly threaten me with moderation just because I do not nessessarily agree with what you write?
Hiding behind threats to anyone who disagrees with you in not particularly democratic!

Gareth April 24, 2013 at 1:12 pm

Because your comments have amounted to little more than sticking your tongue out and saying “nah nah” – if you can do that at the same time. If you want to talk to people here, you have to have a conversation. If you don’t want to do that, then I won’t waste everybody’s time by allowing your posts to appear. Clear?

bill April 24, 2013 at 1:13 pm

RTFR and abide, Sunshine. And stop yer bleatin’…

Kiwipoet April 24, 2013 at 5:18 pm

Copie, if you are still there. I’ve found if you use this blog to ask a serious question you will get an answer. I used this space to ask a question that boiled down to my lack of skill in reading colour-coded graphs. I felt like a bit of an idiot, but I didn’t care because I came away with a much better understanding of how high pressure systems are changing weather patterns within the arctic circle. My query was treated respectfully and answered with care. For me that was a useful conversation. I’m sure you would find the same. And, questioning the credentials of someone who claims to be an expert on something is not the same as attacking the man, it’s just common sense.
As for trolling, Gareth is not kidding. Websites dedicated to global warming get swamped by trolls and sock-puppets. Let us know that I’m not wasting fifteen minutes of my time writing this for you, and join the coversation…

Copie April 25, 2013 at 3:39 pm

Kiwi poet, what you say may have been relevant if you ignored bill, Nick, Rob Taylor, Thomas, Mike Palin, Carol Stewart, RW, etc, who are only interested in slagging off Lord Moncton, not a question from any of them!

bill April 25, 2013 at 5:00 pm

Wow, that’s quite an impressive grasp of the point you’re demonstrating there. (/sarc)

Kiwipoet was suggesting you might even like to ask some questions – you know, ones not containing invective such as the above – and generally display some good-faith behaviour, but since that would be you acting like you really wanted to do something about your level of ignorance, we both know that’s not going to happen…

HINT: it’s self-evident that if you turn up spouting about ‘fraud’ and ‘global warming religion fanatics’ [sic] you’re going to get nowhere. So don’t go feeling all vindicated because of how unkindly the nasty Warmists treated you, will you? ;-)

Kiwipoet April 25, 2013 at 7:16 pm

Hi Copie,
Perhaps what you see with many of the bloggers here, and elsewhere, is a frustration at the fact (not accusation) that the Viscount Monckton continues to repeat things he’s already been called-out on many times.

Take his claim to have been Margaret Thatcher’s advisor on climate change, for example, a claim often thoughtlessly repeated by our media. He’s not mentioned anywhere in Thatcher’s detailed autobiography and there is no record of him holding any official position – so it sounds dodgy, right?

But there is a further twist to this one. Here is a Youtube link to a speech Margaret Thatcher made to UN on climate change, and she’s sounding far more visionary than any politician today:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=77VejUbuFsk&feature=player_embedded

Well worth watching!
Given her clear perception of the dangers of climate change, I think it would be fitting to ask Moncton what kind of advice he was giving her, or if she was listening…
Cowie, there’s more to this than a poor misunderstood, much abused Monckton…check out the video and do some thinking…

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