Christopher Monckton

Christopher Monckton

Credentials  

According to George Monbiot at The Guardian, Monckton “has a degree in classics and a diploma in journalism and, as far as I can tell, no further qualifications.” [1]

 Background

Christopher Walter Monckton, the third Viscount Monckton of Brenchely, is a British politician affiliated with the UK Independence Party. He was a former advisor to UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and was a “special advisor to Thatcher's Downing Street policy unit” in the 1980s.

Monckton's first claim to fame was his creation of the “eternity puzzle,” a board game that Monckton believed was so challenging that he offered 1 million euros to the first person to solve it. To his surprise, the eternity puzzle was solved in 16 months.

While Monckton's educational background is in journalism, he has recently been credited by many think tanks as an expert in the field of global warming. [2]

For example, his profile on the Science and Public Policy Institute (SPPI) states: [3]

“His [Monckton's] contribution to the IPCC's Fourth Assessment Report in 2007 - the correction of a table inserted by IPCC bureaucrats that had overstated tenfold the observed contribution of the Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets to sea-level rise - earned him the status of Nobel Peace Laureate. His Nobel prize pin, made of gold recovered from a physics experiment, was presented to him by the Emeritus Professor of Physics at the University of Rochester, New York, USA.”

Monckton later conceded that claiming to be a Nobel Peace Laureate was “a joke, a joke” and “never meant to be taken seriously.” But the above claim remains on the SPPI website to this day (as of Oct, 2011).

Stance on Climate Change

“Yes, there is a greenhouse effect. Yes, CO2 contributes to it. Yes, it causes warming. Yes, we emit CO2. Yes, warming will result. But not a lot.” [4]

“Why haven't air or sea temperatures turned out as the UN's models predicted? Because the science is bad, the 'consensus' is wrong, and Herr Professor Ludwig Boltzmann, FRS, was as right about energy-to-temperature as he was about atoms.” [5]

Key Quotes

June 18, 2014

Lord Christopher Monckton speaks at an ideacity Conference in Toronto, Canada with a talk entitled, “Global Warming is a Hoax by Lord Christopher Monckton,” Monckton states:

2:35-3:00 “Now, part of the problem with the climate debate is that so much gas board language like that [the IPCC's language] has been used and there’s been too little plain, scientific, and economic thinking. And so, the entire political class has been captured by an idea, which as always with the best bad ideas has a grain of truth in it, which is then exaggerated beyond all reason. This has happened before—one thinks of the Dreyfus case, for instance.” [29]

5:56-6:24 “The breaching of the Berlin Wall and the melting down of the Iron Curtain marked not the end of totalitarianism, but the end of its confinement. The new menace to liberty is groupthink gone global. The globalization of groupthink is guilefully disguised under the green fig leaf of pietistic environmentalism. From behind that fig leaf, emerges today’s tumescent totem of totalitarian tyranny: climate change.” [29]

March 1, 2013

“The only scientists who are capable of coming to a conclusion as barking mad as that [that climate change is man-made] are computer modelists. And these are typically zitty teenagers sitting in dark rooms with a can of Coca-Cola and too many doughnuts and playing on their Xbox 360.” [24]

March 26, 2009

“The right response to the non-problem of global warming is to have the courage to do nothing.” [20]

” [T]here 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.” [6]

Key Deeds

September 18, 2014

Christopher Monckton and Willie Soon co-author an opinion piece in The Washington Times titled, “Boycotting the U.N. climate summit; Awareness grows that faulty science would keep millions in the dark.” 

Soon and Monckton state Narendra Modi, India's Prime Minister, “is right to have no more to do with such murderous nonsense. It is time to put an end to climate summits,” also noting the President of China and the Chancellor of Germany “likewise intend to skip the event”: [31]

“The spiritual yet down-to-earth Mr. Modi knows that 300 million Indians still have no electricity. His priority is to turn on the lights all over India. In Bihar, four homes in five are still lit by kerosene … The world’s governing elites, however, no longer care about poverty. Climate change is their new focus.” [31]

July 7 - 9, 2014

Christopher Monckton was a speaker at the Heartland Institute’s Ninth International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC9) in Las Vegas, Nevada. [30]

DeSmogBlog has done in-depth research on the other speakers and sponsors from Heartland's ICCC9, which can be found here.

April, 2013

In early April, Monckton arrived in New Zealand for a speaking tour sponsored by the Climate Realists Network titled the “Climate of Freedom Tour.” According to the event description, Monckton will speak on “Climate Change and its underlying idealogical framework, the United Nations Agenda 21 and the threat this is to freedom.” Agenda 21 (PDF available here) is a plan created by the United Nations with the primary purpose of promoting sustainable development. A full list of Monckton's tour venues and dates is available online.

An article in The New Zealand Herald published near the start of his tour questioned Monckton's motives and qualifications to speak on climate science. The article suggests that Monckton's views are not based on science: James Renwick, associate professor of physical geography at Victoria University, told the paper that “[Monckton] has no training and has studiously avoided learning anything about science[…]” [21]

Monckton responded to the letter and threatened the New Zealand Herald, saying that he would send a complaint to the Press Council if the Herald did not publish his email or correct the article's “factual inaccuracies.” He also claims that the scientists quoted in the original article were being “malevolently inaccurate about climate 'science'.” While Monckton's letter was published by the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition on April 3, it does not appear the Herald has responded. [22]

Michele Hewitson interviewed Monckton in a separate article for the New Zealand Herald on April 6 where, she reported, that he “He had got the huff and walked out of the interview” after she brought up the episode when Monckton called youth activists in Copenhagen members of the “Hitler Youth.”

Early on in his tour, Monckton also appeared on ZBTV's Leighton Smith Show to talk about “climate change and public interest in it.” According to Monckton:

“The direct effect of putting CO2 into the atmosphere is not really going to be much more than 1 degree celsius of warming per doubling of CO2 concentration. And that is the generally accepted figure, of which only half, or about 0.5 or 0.6C would come through in the first 100 or 150 years. During which you're doubling the CO2 concentration.”

Monckton also made a number of other claims recording article sea ice during the recording, all of which are discussed and reviewed here. According to Monckton: [23]
  

  • There was less sea ice in the 1920s and 1930s than now.
  • Arctic sea ice has only declined for a few weeks in summer.
  • Water can't get underneath the Antarctic ice sheet.
  • Increases in Antarctic sea ice make up for half of the losses in the Arctic
  • Arctic sea ice set a new record high in March, 2013

May 21 - 23, 2012

Christopher Monckton was a speaker at the Heartland Institute's 7th International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC7).

DeSmogBlog researched the co-sponsors behind Heartland's ICCC7 and found that they had collectively received over $67 million from ExxonMobil, the Koch Brothers and the conservative Scaife family foundations.

July, 2011

The House of Lords have had an ongoing dispute with Monckton over his membership, as authorities have said Monckton is not and never has been a member and that there is no such thing as a non-voting or honorary member of the House. [7]

In July 2011 the House took the “unprecedented step[8] of publishing online a cease and desist letter (PDF) to Monckton from the Clerk of the Parliaments, which concluded: [9]

“I am publishing this letter on the parliamentary website so that anybody who wishes to check whether you are a Member of the House of Lords can view this official confirmation that you are not.”

June, 2010

John P. Abraham, an associate professor at the University of St. Thomas, made an online presentation thoroughly refuting Monckton's Oct 14th, 2009 presentation at Bethel University. [10]

Monckton's response was to personally attack Abraham, calling him “snake-like”, saying he had the face of “an overcooked prawn” while speaking in an “irritatingly nasal tone” and having arguments that are “venomously ad-hominem.”  He further describes Abraham as belonging to a “Bible college.” [11]

In an interview on the Alex Jones Show, Monckton described Abraham as “a wretched little man.” [12]

December, 2009

When a group of 50 young activists stormed Monckton's stage during his conference at Copenhagen (with, according to SustainUS, a “paltry audience of five conference attendees” [13]), Monckton exploded on live webcast, calling the students “Hitler Youth” and “Nazis.”

The clean energy activists still managed to get their message through on the Americans for Prosperity sponsored video feed, chanting “Real Americans for Prosperity are Americans for Clean Energy.”

After this incident, Monckton later visited the SustainUs booth at the UN climate investigations and proceeded to lecture those present on his skeptical views on climate change, claiming that “there hasn't been any global warming for fifteen years and you know it.” [14]

When a representative from SustainUs responded to Monckton, saying that she would appreciate if he “stopped calling us Nazis,” Monckton told her that “you are killing millions by starvation in the third world,” and that “until you start caring, I will call you the Hitler Youth.”

June 2, 2009

Monckton presented at the Heartland Institute's Third International Conference on Climate Change. [15]

DeSmogBlog found that the sponsors Heartland's 2009 International Conference on Climate Change had collectively received over $47 million from oil companies and right-wing foundations.

March, 2009

In a speech at the Energy & Commerce Hearing on Climate Change Adaptation, Monckton agreed that reducing carbon dioxide emissions would be “taking away plant food from the atmosphere.”

Monckton also cites the Cambrian Period as proof plants love carbon dioxide, although it was a time period where there were no land plants.

October 8, 2008

Monckton wrote an open letter to Senator John McCain that asserts numerous scientific “facts” as interpreted by Monckton. [16]

These include how polar bears are in no danger from global warming, that global warming will have a positive impact on crops, that carbon dioxide doesn't significantly affect the climate, and that global warming is the result of solar activity. Monckton summarizes his responses to John McCain's statements on climate change as follows (Monckton's responses are on the right):

  1. “The scientists, politicians, and media behind ‘global warming' are honest”: They are not;
  2. “The debate is over and all credible climate scientists are agreed”: They are not;
  3. “Temperature today has risen exceptionally fast, above natural variability”: It has not;
  4. “Changes in solar activity do not much impact today's global warming”: They do;
  5. “Greenhouse-gas increases are the main reason why it is getting warmer”: They are not;
  6. “The fingerprint of anthropogenic greenhouse warming is clearly present”: It is absent;
  7. “Computer models are accurate enough to predict the climate reliably”: They cannot be;
  8. “Global warming is to blame for present and future climate disasters”: It is not;
  9. “Mitigating climate change will be cost-effective”: It will not;
  10. “Taking precautions, just in case, would be the responsible course”: It would not be.

Monckton, however, did not include peer-reviewed climate research to back up the above responses and his points have now been debunked on numerous occasions.

March, 2008

Monckton endorsed of the Manhattan declaration on climate change and was also present at the Heartland Institute's 2008 International Conference on Climate Change. [17]

The Manhattan Declaration asserts that “human-caused climate change is not a global crisis,” that CO2 “is not a pollutant but rather a necessity for all life,” that industrial carbon dioxide emissions do not affect climate change, and that “warmer weather is generally less harmful to life on Earth than colder.”  Its recommendation is “that world leaders reject the views expressed by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.”    

The Manhattan Declaration was conceived by the International Climate Science Coalition (ICSC). The ICSC, Directed by Tom Harris, is affiliated with several high-profile climate skeptic organizations and websites including the Science and Public Policy Institute (SPPI), Climate Audit and the Friends of Science (FoS).

Affiliations  

  • Senator James InhofeMonckton is on Senator Inhofe's list of “prominent climate scientists.” He is one of 70 with no background in climate science.
  • Margaret Thatcher “Chief Policy Advisor”

Christopher Monckton worked for the British government between 1982-1986, and has previously claimed to be a “chief policy advisor” to former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher.

Christopher Monckton has been quoted as saying “I gave her advice on science as well as other policy from 1982-1986, two years before the IPCC Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was founded”, that he was “the only one who knew any science” and that “it was I who – on the prime minister's behalf – kept a weather eye on the official science advisers to the government, from the chief scientific adviser downward.” He has also said that he “advised Margaret Thatcher, FRS, on scientific scams and scares.” [5]

Bob Ward at The Guardian investigated these claims and found them to be false. Interestingly, in Margaret Thatcher's autobiography, she makes no mention of Monckton's role as policy advisor. When she describes the issue of climate change, she refers only to “George Guise, who advised me on science in the policy unit.” [18]

Monckton had also claimed to have brought in “the first computer they had ever seen in Downing Street,” but Ward noted “that this novel and important innovation by Viscount Monckton was not recognized by the current minister for science and universities, David Willetts, who was also a member of the prime minister's policy unit between 1984 and 1986.”

 Publications

Monckton's articles on global warming were once published in Nexus magazine, alongside articles featuring conspiracy theories about government UFOs and a 9/11 “terrorist plot.”

According to a search of Google Scholar, Monckton has never published peer-reviewed research in any journal at any time.

Movies

SPPI has released a DVD titled “Apocalypse? No!” based on Monckton's lecture on climate change at the Cambridge Union Society.

Apart from starring in the Great Global Warming Swindle as a bona fide climate change expert, Monckton has also funded its distribution in schools across the country as part of a campaign to counter what he considers the propaganda presented by Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth. [19]

The Great Global Warming Swindle has received critical responses from the scientific community, including a complaint to ABC signed by thirty-seven British Scientists that claimed “the misrepresentations of facts and views, both of which occur in your programme, are so serious that repeat broadcasts of the programme, without amendment, are not in the public interest. In view of the seriousness of climate change as an issue, it is crucial that public debate about it is balanced and well-informed.” 

In an interview between ABC Australia’s Tony Jones and the film’s director Martin Durkin the film’s validity and scientific accuracy were also put into question.

 Resources

  1. George Monbiot. “This is a dazzling debunking of climate change science. It is also wildly wrong,” The Guardian, November 14, 2006.

  2. Greenhouse Warming? What Greenhouse Warming?,” Science and Public Policy Institute. Archived November 17, 2007.

  3. SPPI Personnel 2012,” Science & Public Policy Institute. Accessed January, 2012.

  4. Christopher Monckton. “The climate bugaboo is the strangest intellectual aberration of our age,” The Telegraph, Dec 17, 2010.

  5. Christopher Monckton. “Climate chaos? Don't believe it.” The Telegraph, November 5, 2006.

  6. “Background Information: Lord Monckton” (PDF), Kentuckians for the Commonwealth (kftc.org).

  7. Leo Hickman. “Lords distance themselves from climate sceptic Christopher Monckton,” The Guardian, August 11, 2010.

  8. Leo Hickman. “Climate sceptic Lord Monckton told he's not member of House of Lords,” The Guardian, July 18, 2011.

  9. David Beamish. Letter to Viscount Monckton (PDF), July 15, 2011. Accessed January, 2012, from parliament.uk.

  10. “A Scientist Replies to Christopher Monckton”, interactive presentation by John Abraham at the University of St. Thomas, Minnesota.

  11. Christopher Monckton. “Monckton: At Last, the Climate Extremists Try to Debate Us! (PJM Exclusive),” PJ Media, June 4, 2010.

  12. Lord Christopher Monckton: Real Data Disproves Al Gore's Global Warming Theory - Alex Jones Tv 5/6,” YouTube Video. Uploaded by TheAlexJonesChannel, June 24, 2010.

  13. US Youth Crash Climate Denier Live Webcast in Copenhagen” (Press Release), Sustain Us, December 9, 2009.

  14. “Lord Monckton Invades SustainUS Booth - Calls U.S. students 'Hitler Youth',” YouTube Video. Uploaded by SustainUs on December 10, 2009.

  15. Climate Change: Scientific Debate and Economic Analysis,” International Conference on Climate Change (climateconference.heartland.org). Accessed January, 2012.

  16. Viscount Monckton of Brenchley. “An open letter from The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley to Senator John McCain about Climate Science and Policy (2),” American Thinker, July 28, 2011.

  17. ENDORSERS OF THE DECLARATION PRESENT AT THE CONFERENCE IN NEW YORK CITY,” International Climate Science Coalition. Accessed January, 2012.

  18. Bob Ward. “Thatcher becomes latest recruit in Monckton's climate sceptic campaign,” The Guardian, June 22, 2010.

  19. Jonathan Leake. “Please, sir - Gore's got warming wrong,” The Times, October 14, 2007. Archived May 10, 2011.

  20. US Congress told 'climate change is not real',” ABC News, March 26, 2009.

  21. Kiwi scientists rally against climate change sceptic,” The New Zealand Herald, April 2, 2013. Archived with WebCite.

  22. VISCOUNT MONCKTON'S RESPONSE TO DENIGRATORY ARTICLE IN NZ HERALD,” The New Zealand Climate Science Coalition, April 3, 2013.

  23. MONCKTON IN NZ: TELLS LIES ON RADIO, THREATENS ACADEMICS AND JOURNALISTS,” Hot Topic, April 4, 2013.

  24. “Christopher Monckton - climate change denier from the film “Greedy Lying Bastards,” Youtube video uploaded by user 7thGenerationMovie, March 1, 2013. http://youtu.be/wWggYR0D5sU

  25. Christopher Monckton,” SourceWatch profile.

  26. ExxonSecrets Factsheet: Christopher Monckton.

  27. Key Party Roles,” UK Independence Party.

  28. Leo Hickman. “Lord Monckton throws his safari helmet in the ring as Ukip candidate,” The Guardian, April 20, 2010.

  29. Lord Christopher Monckton. ”Global Warming is a Hoax by Lord Christopher Monckton,” ideacity, June 18, 2014. Archived June 25, 2014.

  30. Return of Climate Denial-a-Palooza: Heartland Institute Hitches Anti-Science Wagon to Vegas FreedomFest,” DeSmogBlog, July 7, 2014. Archived July 14, 2014.

  31. Willie Soon and Christopher Monckton. “Boycotting the U.N. climate summit; Awareness grows that faulty science would keep millions in the dark,” The Washington Times, September 18, 2014. Archived September 23, 2014.

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