Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Global Warming Denialist Lord Monckton on the Kremlin's Russia Today Satellite T.V.

"An English-language satellite channel, Russia Today, was launched in late 2005. The news-based station is funded by the Kremlin and aims to present 'global news from a Russian perspective.'"---BBC, Russia Country Profile--Media

"From a besieged civil society to shrinking media independence to rampant official corruption, [Freedom House's director of studies, Christopher Walker] says Russia has experienced a decade-long retreat from democratic standards."---RFE/RL ("'Decade Of Decline' For Democratic Institutions In Former Soviet States," 6-29-10)

Lord Monckton (above) is a British global warming denialist. A so-called "scientific" presentation (10-14-09) he gave at Bethel University in St. Paul Minnesota has been debunked by Dr. John Abraham who noted:

I wrote to these authors [Monckton cited] and I read their papers. It turned out that none of the authors or papers made the claims that Monckton attributed to them. This pattern of misinterpretation was becoming chronic.

Before the Copenhagen Summit (12/7-12/18 2009) on controlling green house gasses and right after the so-called "Climategate" scandal, Lord Monckton appeared on the Kremlin-controlled satellite channel Russia Today and dismissed global warming, which is overwelmingly accepted by climate scientists, as a scientific hoax.
See Lord Monckton Disscusses ClimateGate On Russia Today Part 1 of 2.

Near the end of his Russia Today presentation (Part II), Monckton made the incredible claim that Russia was twenty times more democratic than Britain because Russia is ruled by a Duma (the lower house of Russia's Federal Assembly) and Britain is ruled by commissars from the European Union.

It is pretty obvious that Lord Monckton provides the official Kremlin view on global warming and "democracy" in Russia. As noted above, Russia Today "is funded by the Kremlin and aims to present 'global news from a Russian perspective.'"

Monckton's views do not represent the views of climate scientists but advance the interests of the Russian government and powerful fossil fuel interests. The Russians use him as a mouthpiece for their disinformation because he is an articulate, non-Russian, English-speaking British nobleman.

Monckton's claims about Russia's democratic government, do not reflect the opinion of Russian experts, either. The BBC's Russia Country Profile (updated 7-7-10) notes a very important fact:

Russia's economic power lies in its key natural resources - oil and gas. The energy giant Gazprom is controversially close to the Russian state and critics say it is little more than an economic and political tool of the Kremlin.

The Media section explains how Russia's media is controlled and lists the ownership of some of the major outlets and links to the Russian media outlets.

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty ("Erosion of Independent Media a Key Feature of Russia's Democratic Decline," 6-29-10) observes:

According to a new Freedom House report unveiled at RFE/RL's Washington, D.C. office today, independent media have declined significantly across the former Soviet Union during the past decade.

"What good is a protest if there's nobody to cover it?" asked
Oleg Kozlovsky, a popular Russian blogger and human rights activist who participated in a panel to discuss the release of Freedom House's Nations in Transit 2010. The report documents a deterioration of democratic institutions in the former Soviet Union and Central and Eastern Europe in 2009. The findings cap a decade in which all of the former Soviet countries (except the Baltic states) suffered declines in democratic accountability, with the steepest drop occurring in Russia. [See full text.]

RFE/RL ("'Decade Of Decline' For Democratic Institutions In Former Soviet States," 6-29-10) notes:

[The latest edition of "Nations in Transit," an annual report compiled by U.S.-based watchdog Freedom House] concludes that nearly 80 percent of residents of the former USSR -- some 220 million people -- continue to live under entrenched authoritarian governments. Moreover, those governments are in most cases tightening their grip.

Monitoring 29 former countries in Europe and Eurasia, the report tracks democratic progress and setbacks in local and national governance, civil society, the media, the electoral process, judicial framework and independence, and corruption. This year's report also considers decade-long trends.

Foremost among them is Russia's precipitous decline -- the sharpest in the region, according to Freedom House's director of studies, Christopher Walker. From a besieged civil society to shrinking media independence to rampant official corruption, Walker says Russia has experienced a decade-long retreat from democratic standards.

"Over the course of the decade, it [the report] tracks what you might describe as the 'Putin-Medvedev era,' and clearly, this has been an era where democratic institutions -- institutions that ensure accountability and transparency -- have suffered," Walker says. "This has occurred during periods of economic growth, as well as during periods of economic downturn. The common thread, and the common pattern, has been pressure on and erosion of all of these critical institutions."

Out of a worst possible score of 7.0, Russia's electoral process score was a grim 6.75 last year, deteriorating from a 4.0 in 1999. The setback reflects what analysts describe as the ruling United Russia party's stranglehold on power and silencing of political opposition.


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