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In support of his complaint, Monckton offers two documents: an unpublished paper (pdf) that purports to demonstrate that mitigation of carbon emissions is not cost-effective, and a critique (pdf) of a graph that featured in the IPCC’s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 magazine ((He earns their wrath by refusing to accept that chem trails are real and evidence of a global conspiracy to geoengineer the planet.)), 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.