Monckton: the final slapdown

by Gareth on September 22, 2010

Britain’s most bumptious climate crank, Christopher, Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, deputy leader of the UK Independence Party (a party so fringe it probably has a surrey underneath) and inventor of a cure for AIDS, multiple sclerosis, influenza, and herpes simplex VI, gave evidence to a US Congressional committee last May at the invitation of the Republican party. As Monckton watchers might recall, his testimony was riddled with errors, and now a team of top scientists (including the one he threatened to sue, John Abraham) have submitted a detailed rebuttal [Response to Monckton (PDF)] to Congress. Skeptical Science has all the details, and Leo Hickman at the Guardian covers the story here, but for connoisseurs of the potty peer, his email to Hickman responding to the rebuttal is a minor classic:

The scientists were unaware of my letter to Congress because they did not have the good sense or courtesy to contact me – or even to contact the vast majority of the scientists whose conclusions I had cited – before circulating to friendly news media their prolix, turgid, repetitive, erroneous and inadequate response to my testimony. From their calculatedly furtive approach, it is legitimate to infer that their exercise was motivated more by politics than by science. One of the lead authors is currently under criminal investigation for alleged fabrication of results: another has been caught out in repeated lies: a third admits to suffering a mental disability: and many of the scientists whom these lead authors invited to contribute are among the long-discredited clique of Climategate emailers. Accordingly, it is unlikely that Congress will pay much attention to their political rant, which displays a lamentable absence of quantitative detail and a pathetic reliance on fashionable but questionable forecasting techniques that have long been compellingly contradicted by hard data.

I’ve highlighted the best bits. Perhaps he was upset that the scientists point out that his testimony that ocean acidification could not be caused by CO2 provides “a compelling example of his lack of understanding of ocean chemistry”. I await his 400 page response with interest… In the meantime, let’s just revel in the breathtaking hypocrisy that has become the good Lord’s hallmark.

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

John D September 22, 2010 at 2:39 pm

I am interested to know why you see the UKIP as “fringe”

The UKIP is primarily a single issue party – namely to enable a referendum on the Lisbon treaty, and British exit from the EU.

This is what the UK conservatives promised the electorate, and did not deliver on.

Naturally, in today’s global political climate, lying is now considered mainstream, and sticking to your principles is fringe.

Richard T September 22, 2010 at 3:14 pm

I laughed when I looked up the meaning of prolix.
Truly a case of the pot calling the kettle black.

tomfarmer September 22, 2010 at 3:37 pm

in today’s global political climate, lying is now considered mainstream, and sticking to your principles is fringe.

Hickman @theguardian concludes, as if in direct response:—

Monckton.. was mocked.. in April (2010) .. for claiming that he was a member of the House of Lords during a previous [ congressional ] committee hearing appearance in 2009. Last month, the clerk of the parliaments, wrote to Monckton, a hereditary peer, stressing that he should stop referring to himself as a member of the House of Lords.


John D September 22, 2010 at 3:43 pm

I was referring to the UKIP vs the Conservatives, nothing to do with Monckton.

David Cameron and Nick Clegg have proven to be total frauds in their time in office.

But as I say, we have come to expect this

NZ is no different.

Nick Barnes September 22, 2010 at 7:33 pm

In this year’s general election, UKIP fielded 572 candidates, lost in every seat, and got 3.1% of the vote. They’re fringe, all right.

John D September 22, 2010 at 7:49 pm

In this year’s general election, UKIP fielded 572 candidates, lost in every seat, and got 3.1% of the vote. They’re fringe, all right.

and between them and the BNP, they got nearly a million votes.

With the rise of the right in Sweden etc, I think the fringe will become the mainstream in the not too distant future. Possibly something to do with the complete disenfranchisement of the populace with government in general.

Thomas September 22, 2010 at 10:30 pm

I share your concern about the current rise of the right. The same thing happened in the times of the great depression and we ended up with right wing governments in Germany (Nazis), Italy (Mussolini) and Spain (Franco) and with similar lesser notorious movements in Greece, Portugal and Austria. Did I forget some?
I guess its time to remind people where self righteous bigot organizations lead their followers….

Doug September 23, 2010 at 12:28 pm


However, according to the neo-conservatives the Nazis where actually socialists (they had it in the name), just like those horrible greenie/liberals. Apparently they have never heard of false advertising.

John D September 22, 2010 at 7:57 pm

Nick, what percentage of votes did the Greens get in the last UK election?

And how many seats, exactly??

(Hint, it’s less than 1)

John D September 22, 2010 at 8:43 pm

My mistake, the Greens got one seat in the last election.

(Caroline Lucas)

So, I guess they got “infinitely more” seats than the UKIP

Not sure about %age though

Turboblocke September 23, 2010 at 12:07 am

Greens stood for 310 seats and won one. UKIP stood for 539 and won zero.

However it’s not a fair comparison as the Greens are not the only party to acknowledge science, whereas UKIP seems to stand alone as the anti-science party.

Bob Bingham September 23, 2010 at 7:56 am

Monckton is a publicity machine and videos of him explaining the wonders of climate science to an amazed and appreciation group of senators will be spread around the world.
He will play to packed audiences all round America, just as he did in Australia.
No doubt he will get a fat cheque from the Heartland Institute for his efforts and the coal industry will get a few more years of profit.

Richard C September 23, 2010 at 7:10 pm

We British have a long tradition of Music Hall, it is just unfortunate that somebody left the theatre door open and Monckton got out.

Previous post:

Next post: