Monckton bashing "left" and "right"

Wed, 2010-06-09 15:44Richard Littlemore
Richard Littlemore's picture

Monckton bashing "left" and "right"

Christopher Walter, the Third Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, attracts some pretty colorful criticism, but it’s a bit stunning to see someone at the climate-skeptical Telegraph* call Monckton “a fantasist, a blethering popinjay useful only for amusement.”

Unfortunately, you can’t read that quote on the Telegraph* website where blogger Tom Chivers wrote it in the first place. After a complaint from Monckton’s own noble self, his allies in self-delusion have had it deleted. But the original piece is still available to all at Tenney Naumer’s blog, Climate Change - the Next Generation. (Thank you, Tenney.)

Chiver’s position, convincingly rendered, is that Monckton has made himself a goof, a paragon of “utter scientific illiteracy,” and, as such, has become an embarrassment to the denier community.

That accords perfectly with the stuff that George Monbiot has been writing at the Guardian. Monbiot says,

“Lord Monckton is digging his hole ever deeper, and dragging down into it everyone stupid enough to follow him. Those of us who do battle with climate change deniers can’t inflict one tenth as much damage to their cause that Monckton wreaks every time he opens his mouth.”

This agreement, across what we usually think of as the full spectrum of journalistic opinion in the U.K., is attributable to University of St. Thomas Engineering Professor John Abraham, whose devastating deconstruction of Monckton’s silliness has been the subject of a couple of previous posts, 1, 2.

In pulling down Chiver’s post, the Telegraph* has done the only merciful thing that it could in the circumstance: it has looked away. It’s a good start. The only thing better than a bunch of people all criticizing Monckton at the same time, would be an even larger group ignoring him entirely. Hurry the day.

*This reference corrected - with apologies to the Independent.

Comments

Let’s hope that Abraham’s thorough-going dissection of Monckton’s nonsense will be the prick to the balloon that sends it flying around the room backwards until it splutters to a wrinkled stop and is consigned to the bin.

Here’s an idea: why don’t we pool our collective imagination and come up with a new cause for his Viscountness to take up? Something harmless irrelevent that lends itself to his unique abilities. I throw this out as a challenge! I will offer a Complete Works of Monty Python on DVD to the person who matches up Monckton with his True Calling. Any takers? Fern

That prize is too good to ignore…

How about deploying him in a campaign to check out and make public the credentials of attention-seeking fame-fixated persons of suspect integrity. For example, oh I don’t know, let’s say applicants to reality TV shows.

Marty Feldman, Rodney Dangerfield, and Christopher Monckton:
How 3 googley eyed men made us laugh, 2 without even trying.

Okay, so let’s see the rest of you stump up. Even the most absurd of us has a place in the world, so let’s find one for His Viscountness. Enter now, enter often …

Meanwhile I will put together a Panel of Distinguished Judges, break open the piggy bank and start rolling coins. I look forward to some thoughtful and thought-provoking suggestions. Lord What’s-it is, after all, a man of (ahem!) breeding and refinement.

Fern Mackenzie

Surely you mean the Daily Telegraph, not the Independent

It’s not The Independent, it’s the Daily Telegraph. The Independent is far from denialist, and I almost choked on my coffee. You couldn’t find two more different papers ;)

You may not know that Telegraph regular libertarian denialist commenter James Delingpole’s post defending Monckton has been retained by the Telegraph, whereas they took down Chivers’.

Delingpole was also a guest speaker at the Heartland Conference a couple of weeks ago.

I believe the climate-contrarian newspaper in question is the Telegraph.

The Independent is somewhat more balanced.

Okay, now I follow. Tom Chivers’ article appeared in The Telegraph online (not The Independent).

Now The Daily Telegraph IS a bastion of antiscience nonsense: a right-wing newspaper to which such luminaries as Christopher Booker and James Delingpole contribute. And unlike The Independent, which gives rightwing views an airing, the Telegraph plainly lacks the courage to allow criticism of its heroes. Hence the hasty removal of Chivers’ post.

Following Monckton’s spiraling descent into pathos makes me wonder what his true purpose is.

Could he be one who really believes that the anthropogenic signature in global warming and climate change is both very real and extremely dangerous and has pursued a fifth-columnist’ type infiltration of the denialist camp in order to discredit it by association with his rampages through fantasy land?

However considering the continued denial by the likes of Michaels, Lindzen and Spencer I doubt the above is true because these people push out just enough truth to sound plausible whereas Monckton never gets close, except to those who never bother to study the science.

Snag is, as Monckton’s spat with Abraham’s demonstrates is that such exchanges often descend into the ‘he said/she said’ that only those with persistence and follow the twists and turns of argument.

Monckton and the others are only too well aware of the obfuscatory effects of their tactics as the case of Naomi Oreskes verses Monckton, Shulte and Peiser clearly examined by John Mashey shows. The direction this took was picked up by Tim Lambert on his Deltoid blog:

Monckton declares Mashey’s study “unlawful”

http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2008/03/monckton_declares_masheys_stud.php

We all just have to keep plugging away at blowing throug these deliberate smoke screens.

I have no adequate excuse for the Independent/Telegraph error, but appreciate those who called it - and, as you can see, I have corrected it. Thx, r