Bronze-level articleChristopher Monckton

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A smug creature with enormous sums of money.
You won't see them flashing past, as they scuttle down to their noisome lairs—there to snivel in the darkness.
—on the Climategate scientists,[1] who were completely exonerated shortly after

Christopher Monckton, 3rd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley (born 1952) is "a caricature English peer",[2] sacked former deputy leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP)[3] and a climate change denier. He constitutes an excellent argument in favour of revolutionary socialism.

One Guardian commenter said "If he didn't exist you really would have to invent him." It's not entirely clear the amusement gained would be worth it... wait, Sacha? Is that you?


[edit] Science

In his role as UKIP science spokesman, Monckton said that they would cut funding for climate science unless there arose "sufficient evidence" to change his mind. He also said that health risks associated with excessive salt consumption are merely "unjustifiable fears" and compared embryonic stem cell research to "the killing of very small children."[4] Monckton is a big promoter of the global warming conspiracy theory in which Barack Obama will cede US sovereignty to the United Nations, which will then enact a communist world government.[5]

His views on disease aren't much better. He wrote an article entitled The Myth of Heterosexual AIDS for a 1987 edition of American Spectator, stating quite clearly:[6]

There is only one way to stop AIDS. That is to screen the entire population regularly and to quarantine all carriers of the disease for life. Every member of the population should be blood-tested every month ... all those found to be infected with the virus, even if only as carriers, should be isolated compulsorily, immediately, and permanently.

He has since conceded that this would presently be unfeasible, but not that it would in any way have been a bad idea.

At least he considers alternative medicine should only be NHS-funded after it has been proven clinically.[4]

According to him, scientists "perhaps" should be required to certify that they are Christian belong to a religion before they are allowed to practice. No kidding:

[edit] It's peer-reviewed!

Monckton likes to claim he has "peer-reviewed" publications under his belt. What he's usually referring to when he says this is an article he had published in the American Physical Society's "Forum on Physics and Society" issue of its newsletter. In fact, the first sentence of the article is part of an editor's note reading "The following article has not undergone any scientific peer review since that is not normal procedure for American Physical Society newsletters."[8] Not that it would have gotten past peer review,[9] as just about every sentence contained an error.[10]

In an October 2012 opinion column on World Net Daily in which he insists climate change had nothing to do with Hurricane Sandy, he claimed to be "an appointed expert reviewer for the forthcoming 'Fifth Assessment Report' to be published by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change."[11] Blogger Graham Readfearn contacted the IPCC secretariat on how one is "appointed" to be an "expert reviewer." The reply he received follows:

Anyone can register as an expert reviewer on the open online registration systems set up by the working groups. All registrants that provide the information requested and confirm their scientific expertise via a self-declaration of expertise are accepted for participation in the review. They are invited to list publications, but that is not a requirement and the section can be left blank when registering. There is no appointment.[12]

[edit] I'm a Lord really, m'Lord

Nice to see the two logos side by side: one can see that in Monckton's version the chains are unhinged and there is empty space beneath the crown. Can anyone explain the symbolism?
Left: the House of Lords insignia. Right: Viscount Monckton's insignia. Monckton's is clearly completely original and not mimicking the Lords insignia in any way.

Monckton's father Gilbert was one of those kicked out in 1999 when the hereditary complement of the House of Lords was cut to 92, thus leaving Christopher's status as Viscount of Brenchley a matter only of interest to the aristocracy nerd contingent on Wikipedia. Since Christopher inherited the title in 2006, he has consistently misrepresented himself as being a member of the House of Lords. He has various pseudolegal theories as to why this is the case, usually revolving around the notion that a hereditary peerage can only be withdrawn by the Crown on an individual basis, as the letter patent was granted on an individual basis.[13] This may well be true, but has nothing to do with whether said hereditary peer gets an automatic seat in the upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom.[14] The main point appears to be to represent himself in other countries as having governmental power and status that he does not when talking up climate change denial.

The House has asked that he desist in his frequent habit of implying, or outright claiming, to be a member in any way whatsoever. They have also requested, rather forcefully, that he stop using a personal insignia closely resembling the portcullis insignia of the House of Lords, and are presently '"taking steps with a view to ensuring that Lord Monckton does not in future either claim to be a member of the House or use the parliamentary emblem or any variant thereof."[15] Buckingham Palace (who control use of the insignia) did not directly comment on the claims, but just happened to point an enquiring journalist at the relevant trademark laws and the possible penalties for their violation.[16]

The House finally got fed up and wrote an open letter to Monckton in July 2011, telling him in unusually blunt language that "you are not and have never been a Member of the House of Lords."[17]

It should be noted that while Monckton is not a member of the House of Lords, he's still a hereditary peer and "Lord Monckton" is one of the correct ways to address him.[18]

[edit] Monckton vs academia

It is particularly hard [to challenge climate scientists], if like me, you have no scientific qualification to do so.[19]

[edit] Monckton vs Rachel Pinker

Before Tim Lambert of Deltoid fame appeared at a live debate with Monckton, he noticed that Monckton had been quote mining a paper by atmospheric scientist Rachel Pinker and her colleagues by using a figure they calculated for surface solar radiation to stand in for total climate sensitivity. Lambert then played a recording of her letter explaining Monckton's misuse of her work during the debate.[20] However, that didn't stop Monckton from quote mining the paper again in Congressional testimony, which prompted another response from Pinker and co-author Ellsworth Dutton.[21]

[edit] Monckton vs John Abraham

John Abraham, a professor of thermal engineering at the University of St. Thomas, Minnesota, created and published on-line a presentation[22] debunking a talk delivered by Monckton in October 2009 at Bethel University in Minnesota. When the rebuttal gained attention, Monckton wrote a hilariously lengthy and pompous reply (466 questions!),[23][24] accusing Abraham of libel (among other things) and demanding a retraction, an apology and large donations to a charity. To top it off, in an interview with Alex Jones (yes, that one!), Monckton kept it classy by calling the university a "half-arsed Catholic Bible college" and its president a "creep."[25]

Abraham's laconic reply makes the whole thing reminiscent of the Lenski affair. In its entirety:

I am replying to your letter of June 10, 2010, on behalf of myself and, at his request Fr. Dennis Dease, President of the University of St. Thomas. I stand by my original position. Point and counterpoint are the standard in academic discourse.
—John Abraham[26]

[edit] Monckton vs Peter Hadfield

In February 2011, Peter Hadfield debunked Monckton's presentation's misrepresentations point by point in a series of YouTube videos under his account potholer54. Monckton replied on Watts Up With That (WUWT) to a comment by a WUWT reader briefly summarizing some of Hadfield's points. Peter Hadfield approached the owner of WUWT, Anthony Watts, about having a debate on the website, and Watts agreed. Monckton was given the opening statement[27]. Hadfield's response was published under the same article in an update. Monckton, despite promising to Watts that he would respond, never did. After a few months, Hadfield and others began calling out Monckton on his rather obvious retreat from the debate. Watts conjured up a reason to pull the plug on the debate, conveniently excusing Monckton from having to reply. A comment moderator at WUWT then announced a policy that any comments mentioning Hadfield would be deleted[28].

[edit] Monckton vs Lawrence Torcello

Lawrence Torcello, an assistant professor of philosophy at the Rochester Institute of Technology, wrote an article addressing climate change denialists as "criminally and morally negligent."[29] Many conservative outlets including Breitbart and Infowars misrepresented his article, instead saying that he had called for climate change denialists to be Jailed. Monckton wrote a letter to the Provost of the university asking if he was "fit and proper person to hold any academic post at the Institute" and calling for action to be taken against the professor.[30][31]

[edit] Monckton: The last refuge for the deniers

With the Climategate brouhaha debunked and plagiarized "research" like the Wegman Report discredited, Republicans got really desperate. In 2010, Monckton was called as the only witness for the GOP at a subcommittee hearing on climate science. During Monckton's pathetic testimony, Rep. Jay Inslee (D-Badass) issued a definitive smackdown right in front of the entire committee, saying:

And I would note there is a dispute over whether we actually landed on the moon, and there is a dispute about whether the Earth is round, and there is a dispute about gravity in some places.

Inslee went on later in the testimony:

You come here, you call yourself a Lord to try to convince the world to ignore something that threatens our grandkids, and you're not even a Lord.[32]

On top of that, twenty-one climate scientists issued a lengthy rebuttal to Monckton's testimony.[33]

[edit] Miscellaneous

[edit] Homophobe

Monckton, who married in middle age and has no children, and whose coat of arms features a camp pink portcullis, has made a series of inflammatory homophobic statements about gay people.

  1. He claimed that gay men have up to 20,000 sexual partners over their "short, miserable lives" (surveys show that they have the same number of sexual partners, on average, as straight people, viz. six)[34]
  2. He called AIDS and other diseases the "wages" of gay promiscuity
  3. He called for the regular screening of the population for AIDS and the life-long quarantine of all carriers.[35]
  4. He dismissively referred to LGBT people as "QWERTYs" after the letters on the keyboard.
  5. He claimed that gays only want to get married so that they can adopt children, which is unfair to children.
  6. Despite gays only wanting to marry to adopt children, gay rights are actually a communist plot to destroy families. Monkton believes Obama devised this dastardly plot on the plane trip to Hawaii, following his birth in Mombasa, Kenya.[36]

[edit] Uninvited spokesman for Burma at Doha

Monckton's behavior and pronouncements have earned him the nickname "potty peer" in various corners of the blogosphere. Consider the episode in which Monckton found himself booted from the Doha Climate Change talks for taking the unoccupied Burmese delegate's chair and addressing the speaker for a minute from the microphone. Earlier he had been seen dressed in traditional Arab garb handing out climate change denial leaflets.[37]

[edit] Web 2.0

Monckton is a keen user of the Internet, an IP address geolocating to just near him having added all manner of strange claims (e.g., that the Guardian had paid him £50,000 in settlement of a defamation claim) to the Christopher Monckton and George Monbiot articles on Wikipedia.[38] Monbiot, a long-term critic of Monckton, asked him what was up with that and got a series of nonsensical evasions in response.[39]

He is also a fan of using sock puppets.[40]

[edit] And a Nobel

Monckton has claimed since 2007 to be a Nobel Peace Prize winner. When cornered, he said he was merely joking, although he had claimed several hours before to be a Nobel laureate in apparent seriousness;[41] the claim is still present on the staff page of the Science and Public Policy Institute.[42]

[edit] Birther

The probability that the “birth certificate” and other Obama identity documents are genuine is just 1 in 75 sextillion.[43]

Monckton also is a Birther,[44] though he claims not to be.[45] Monkton has since dropped all pretenses and now states that Barack Obama was born in Mombasa, Kenya.[46]

[edit] Maggie's bag-man

In the 1980s Monckton somehow squeezed his way into Margaret Thatcher's Number 10 Policy Unit[wp] and has claimed that he was her scientific advisor. That claim was shot down by John Selwyn Gummer, Environment Minister in Thatcher's cabinet, who referred to Monckton as a "bag carrier" whose views were taken seriously by nobody. [47] His name was also conspicuously absent from Thatcher's memoirs, The Downing Street Years. [48]

[edit] Ban the Quran

Lord Monckton proposed banning public recitations of portions of the Qu'ran under Anglo-American jurisprudence which criminalizes incite to murder.[49]

[edit] Eternity puzzle

Apart from being a repellent bog creature with buckets of cash, Monckton is also an amateur mathematician. He invented a puzzle called The Eternity Puzzle and challenged anyone to solve it, offering a £500,000 prize and expecting it would take many years to solve, if ever. Embarrassingly only a year later had to pay the prize money out of his own funds to two mathematicians who solved it using a computer program. Monckton claimed that the earlier-than-expected solution had forced him to sell his 67-room house, Crimonmogate, to pay the prize — a true Pyrrhic victory.

A new version of the puzzle has since been released, called Eternity II. This new version was designed with the help of the mathematicians who scooped up the prize for the first version, and with the assurance that the new version cannot be solved with a simple computer program.

[edit] So, what's with his eyes?

Graves' disease,[wp] the same thing Marty Feldman had. There are a lot of reasons for which Monckton should be mocked, but his physical appearance is not among them.

[edit] External links

[edit] Footnotes

  1. YouTube clip, blog post
  2. In the words of the late Christopher Hitchens: "... at the first Tea Party rally I attended, at the Washington Monument earlier this year, the crowd—bristling with placards about the Second Amendment’s being the correction—was treated to an arm-waving speech by a caricature English peer named Lord Monckton, who led them in the edifying call-and-response: “All together. Global warming is?” “Bullshit.” “Obama cannot hear you. Global warming is?” “bullshit.” “That’s bettah.” I don’t remember ever seeing grown-ups behave less seriously, at least in an election season." (Tea’d Off, Vanity Fair, January 2011)
  4. 4.0 4.1 Ukip answers questions about its science policy
  5. Lord Monckton warns of a world government!
  7. What is science without religion?img, The Science and Public Policy Institute Blog, attributed to "The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley"
  8. Monckton's Climate Sensitivity Reconsidered
  9. Okay, maybe at Energy & Environment[wp].
  10. A detailed list of the errors in Monckton's July 2008 Physics and Society article, Arthur Smith. For more fun, see also Eli Rabett: The biter bit, Lord Voldemort bleats
  14. "No-one shall be a member of the House of Lords by virtue of a hereditary peerage." (House of Lords Act, 1999). Assented to by the Crown. The same Crown that issues the letters patent granting hereditary peerages.
  16. Lords distance themselves from climate sceptic Christopher Monckton (Leo Hickman, Guardian, Wed 11 Aug 2010)
  19. Monckton, at the Heartland Institute's 7th International Conference on Climate Change
  20. Monckton's McLuhan Moment, Deltoid
  21. Rachel Pinker on Monckton's Testimony to Congress, Deltoid
  22. A Scientist Replies to Christopher Monckton: Abraham v. Monckton
  24. The Guardian - Monckton's response to John Abraham is magnificently bonkers
  25. Lord Christopher Monckton: Real Data Disproves Al Gore's Global Warming Theory - Alex Jones's House of Comedy
  32. The entire hearing can be seen here and Inslee's remarks can be seen here
  33. 'Chemical nonsense': Leading scientists refute Lord Monckton's attack on climate science, The Guardian
  34. "Do gay people REALLY have 20,000 sexual partners? A former UKIP deputy leader thinks so". The Mirror. Retrieved 2015-01-18. 
  35. "Nigel Farage: UKIP isn’t homophobic, we have a ‘great big screaming poof’ MEP". Pink News. Retrieved 2015-01-18. 
  36. Obama lectures his fellow Kenyans on 'Gay rights'
  37. [1]
  40. Monckton uses a sock puppet
  43. Win or lose, Obama was not and is not the president!
  44. A sad farewell to the U.S. Constitution!
  45. Daily Caller: Lord Monckton: 'I’m no birther,’ but Obama birth certificate ‘plainly a forgery’
  47. British MP calls for a carbon tax
  48. Thatcher becomes latest recruit in Monckton's climate sceptic campaign.
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