VUW 3 vindicated, Monckton complaint rejected

by Gareth on May 6, 2013

Potty peer Chris Monckton’s complaint against VUW academics Jonathan Boston, David Frame and Jim Renwick has been roundly rejected by the university. An investigation carried out by a senior member of the academic staff found that Monckton’s allegations of fraud and libel were “not substantiated”. VUW vice chancellor Pat Walsh was unequivocal in his support of the VUW 3:

“I want to state clearly that I have faith in these academic staff. By speaking publicly in their field of expertise, they were doing exactly what we expect.”

It remains to be seen how Monckton will respond, but it will probably involve more empty threats. In a typically tasteless and intemperate article posted at WND last week, he fantasised about reporting VUW to the police:

If I do not receive a reply very soon, police will be asked to investigate not only the “professor” who had posted up the dodgy graph but also the vice-chancellor, the chancellor and the “university” itself as accessories during and after the fact of scientific fraud. Don’t send your child there, and don’t give it any money.

Despite hobnobbing with a High Court judge during his NZ visit1, it appears that Monckton’s grasp of the law is as dodgy as his understanding of climate science and economics.

  1. Or at least claiming to. It would be interesting to know to whom he refers… []

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Thomas May 6, 2013 at 6:07 pm

The viscount is sailing close to the wind. British libel law is harsh. I wonder what would happen if he was sued for libel by the collective interests of the scientists who’s work and statements he constantly derides in public.
Perhaps a generous donor can be found to fund the process of making the viscount shut up via the real threat of the truth prevailing over his despicable lies and his slander at court, of people of high standing in the scientific community and his constant misrepresentation and appropriation of their work for his nefarious claims and wicket conspiracy theories.

Gareth May 6, 2013 at 6:58 pm

I have wondered the same thing, Thomas. Monckton’s allegations are probably more libellous than the libels he complains of (which isn’t difficult, since he treats any and all justifiable criticisms as libellous), so the PP must be relying on the fact that the scientists he attacks are not inclined to bring court actions (for all sorts of reasons – money being among them, obviously). In the US, the climate science defence fund is being reasonably proactive, but US defamation laws are notoriously lax.

bill May 6, 2013 at 7:15 pm

Can the bizarre utterances of Lord Mitty truly damage a reputation in a “reasonable person’s” mind is probably the question here. To my way of thinking they’re more of a badge of honour!

But I’m sure many would be happy to chip in a few quid if anyone thought they could put a case on a sound legal footing… ;-)

bill May 6, 2013 at 7:18 pm

Comments on this one aren’t loading into ‘recent comments’?!

Gareth May 6, 2013 at 7:47 pm

Hmm. Might need to fiddle with the plug in. Watch that space…

Gareth May 7, 2013 at 11:03 am

Fixed. My off-line blog editor (Mars Edit) occasionally fails to post category tags. The recent comments plug requires them…

Rob Taylor May 6, 2013 at 8:45 pm

Clearly, Christopher Monckton is ignorant about climate change, merely parroting long-debunked falsehoods put out by fossil-fuelled “droids” like himself.

If he wants to educate himself, Monckton can go to the web sites of any national or international science organisation (e.g. Royal Society, NASA, NIWA, World Meterological Organisation, NOAA, UK Met. Office, Australian Bureau of Meterology, etc, etc).

Or, he could start here…:
http://www.skepticalscience.com/skeptic_Monckton_Myths.htm

Rob Taylor May 6, 2013 at 8:55 pm

Re hob-nobbing with a “High Court judge”, I suspect this was wishful thinking on the part of either lawyer Barry Brill, or Christopher Monckton – or both?

After all, misery loves company, as does ineptitude – a more oleaginous pair of mediocrities would be hard to find.

bill May 6, 2013 at 9:17 pm

Always pleased to see ‘oleaginous’ put to good use!… ;-)

Thomas May 7, 2013 at 10:21 am

Love it! English being my 2nd language I love the occasional heads up on useful vocab I never heard of before. :-)

In German we can form brand new compound words, mixing nouns, adjectives and verb-fragments into artful clusters of meme and semantic f…wittery at will and as the need arises. This leads to fantastic constructs that can work magic, like verbal bunker busting depths charges… ;-)
I miss this from time to time in my English persona…

SimonP May 6, 2013 at 11:40 pm

Speaking of misery loves company, I can’t help thinking of the Morrissey lyric “Beware, I bear more grudges, than lonely High Court judges”. The More You Ignore Me, The Closer I Get could almost be about Monckton.

Gareth May 7, 2013 at 11:24 am

Morrissey on judges. I prefer Marr myself.

Sou May 7, 2013 at 2:45 pm

“On the advice of a barrister and also of a judge of the New Zealand Supreme Court, police are shortly to be invited to consider whether the continued use of the IPCC’s defective graph by the Victoria University of Wellington on its public website constitutes fraud. ” – thus writes the potty peer on WUWT.

I rarely make it through one of his gish gallops, but I spotted this one. He can’t help himself.

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/05/04/monckton-asks-ipcc-for-correction-to-ar4/

Thomas May 7, 2013 at 7:17 pm

Monckton will go down as the proverbial crank, with just enough knowledge to get him into the thick of science but not enough to enlighten his way through it. Sadly, his disciples follow him blindly on his meandering path deeper and deeper into gaga land as the comment section at WUWT gives testimony too.

Monckton asserts (implied) that temperature data are “stochastic”:

On any curve of a time-series representing stochastic data (from the Greek στόχос, “a guess”, since stochastic data are inherently volatile and unpredictable, following no discernible pattern), an artful choice of endpoints for a set including more than one least-squares linear-regression trend permits fabrication, at will, of any desired spurious acceleration or deceleration in the trend.

Well said actually, but unfortunately for the Viscount, the truth is this: On short terms Earth’s temp data indeed exhibit stochastic characteristics. Hence it is not very meaningful to read much into brief interval trends – unlike the Viscount and his fellowship, who constantly want to read significance into trends of the past decade telling us that GW has stopped (The Viscount’s own argument kills this tactic flat).

But on longer time scales, Earth’s temp data are very obviously anything but stochastic and indeed large scale underlying trends exhibiting well discernible patterns dominate the signal and one needs to look no further than the well known paleo-climate data sets. Thus looking for changes in these trends by examining the evolution of long term trends along the time line is entirely a valid scientific undertaking, as long as the time scales are kept reasonably long. 25 years is a valid suggestion.

The rest of Monckton’s gish gallop is nothing but self evident assertions not logically connected with GW, a Non Sequitur…

bill May 7, 2013 at 10:51 pm

Re the hobnobbing and imminent charges; many would be aware that Monckton’s full name is Christopher Walter. How many know it’s actually Christopher Walter Mitty? ;-)

Thomas May 9, 2013 at 2:23 pm

If Monckton was sued for libel it would be in UK coutrs. UK libel law applies whenever UK subjects are influenced in their oppinion by the libllous act of the perpetrator. In this case this is clearly so as the viscounts words are internationally reverberating and causing significant damage. So US or other international institions and scientists can use the harsh UK law if they wish.

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