Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Great Pretender: Lord Christopher Monckton

"A character that seems to leap right out of a Monte Python skit, Lord Monckton is the darling of those who wish desperately to believe the fantasy of climate denial. There’s way more than one video can possibly contain, so a two part series was necessary to even begin to deal with the fountain of disinformation that is Lord Christopher Monckton."--Peter Sinclair. debunking Lord Monckton, Part II (Description)

Climate TV has posted links to Peter Sinclair's Climate Denial Crock of the Week series. These videos are about the British climate change denialist Lord Monckton. See Part I, Part II, and a follow-up interview with Peter Sinclair.

Lord Monckton is a classics major and a journalist; he's not a scientist. The disingenuous Lord Monckton has never been a member of the U.K. Parliament (See part II), although he tries to give credulous Americans that impression. When he testified in Congress, Lord Monckton said, "I bring fraternal greetings from the Mother of Parliaments to the Congress of your athletic democracy." (See Part II.)

Monckton gives the impression that he was a science advisor to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, although Peter Sinclair says this is misleading. In Part II, we can see Prime Minister Thatcher giving a speech that confirms that global warming is happening.

Here is a passage on global warming from a text of a 9-27-88 speech Prime Minister thatcher gave before the Royal Society:

In studying the system of the earth and its atmosphere we have no laboratory in which to carry out controlled experiments. We have to rely on observations of natural systems. We need to identify particular areas of research which will help to establish cause and effect. We need to consider in more detail the likely effects of change within precise timescales. And to consider the wider implications for policy—for energy production, for fuel efficiency, for reforestation. This is no small task, for the annual increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide alone is of the order of three billion tonnes. And half the carbon emitted since the Industrial Revolution remains in the atmosphere. We have an extensive research programme at our meteorological office and we provide one of the world's four centres for the study of climatic change. We must ensure that what we do is founded on good science to establish cause and effect.

Sinclair's videos demonstrate how Monckton mischaracterizes scientific papers in order to mislead people. Sinclair characterizes Monckton as a snake oil salesman. He seems to me to be an upper-class British version of the discredited "scholar" Ward Churchill who brings his gullible audience greetings from an Indian tribe as if he were a member.

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