Tag Archives: Christopher Monckton 3rd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley

Potty Peer in Waikato

Well, Christopher Monckton’s “Freedom Tour” totters on. Peter Griffins has given an initial summary in his blog post Monckton’s nightmare week in New Zealand. This has links to some of the press coverage – which, as we might expect with the Potty Peer, is rather humorous.

Flate-earthers-2

Percy the Astrologer and Mavis the Comely Wench representing the NZ Flat Earth Society came to support Lord Monckton’s Waikato meetings

The good Lord was in the Waikato yesterday. He “wowed” a largely passive, and I suspect largely apathetic, “crowd’ of a couple of dozen people at his  lunchtime presentation to a student forum at the Waikato University. A high point (for me) was the applause and speeches from members of the NZ Flat Earth Society, who are, apparently, the Lord’s most enthusiastic supporters.

While Monckton was challenged on some of his cherry picking he seemed to want to hide his political message about the international conspiracy which is using climate change and scientists to impose a one world government and preparing concentration camps. I thought this was meant to be the main message of his “Freedom Tour.” But he really overdid his claim that, despite his lack of a scientific education, he was well skilled in science and had the support of most scientists. There was something about classical architecture (his education is in classics) and his skill with differential equations. People from all over the world contract him as a consultant. Bloody hell, wonder he has time for all the travelling and talking tours.

He assured us that he gets on well with scientists, works well with them, gives advice to them, and is even himself publishing peer-reviewed papers. There were just one or two individuals he seemed angry with – scientists who were “controversial” and unsupported by their colleagues. Hmm.

Poor guy, though. He wouldn’t just modestly accept the flattery from Percy the Astrologer (see photo), who listed some of Mockton’s immense achievements. He felt the need to respond in detail, repeating and describing these achievements himself. This impressed one of the bystanders who commented that the man suffered from narcissism. Had to look up that word when I got home – it describes “a generalized personality trait characterized by egotism, vanity, pride, or selfishness.” Hmm, actually seems quite correct.

A very low-key forum. Students seemed not to have heard of the guy before (except a suspicious few elderly types who heckled scientists) – one student even referred to him as “that man in the suit.” Don’t know if that is just modern student apathy, or a healthy disregard of minority personalities. Perhaps these students have a fuller life than I do.

Later in the evening Monckton spoke to a meeting sponsored by the NZ Institute of International Affairs (Waikato Branch). I think their support is just local, and I wonder if their political orientation is somewhat unrepresentative.

I didn’t bother with that meeting but followed it on Twitter. It sounded rather humorous. I have put together below some of the tweets using Storify (see Potty peer in the Waikato or follow the hashtag #MoncktonLive).

Wish I had gone now!


Some of Joshua Drummond’s tweets from Monckton’s Monday Night Waikato meeting. This was sponsored by the NZ Institute of International Affairs (Waikato Branch) – I think the support was purely local.

Of course, there was the usual cherry picking and misinformation

cakeburgerJoshua Drummond@cakeburger Drought’s nothing to worry about. That’s good. I think he should tell that to Waikato farmers. They’d laugh. #MoncktonLive
cakeburger Joshua Drummond@cakeburger Antarctic glaciers aren’t retreating, therefore glaciers aren’t retreating. #MoncktonLive

Is he still claiming he is a member of the House of Lords?

cakeburger Joshua Drummond@cakeburger I read the letter from the House of Lords at him. Audience: When did you write that? #MoncktonLive

cakeburger Joshua Drummond@cakeburger That was interesting. He didn’t like being told he wasn’t a member of the House of Lords. He says he is. #MoncktonLive

cakeburger Joshua Drummond@cakeburger .@ImperatorFish When I pressed him after event he refused to give yes or no, just repeated “learned opinion is that I am” #MoncktonLive

Seems much of the audience was pretty much in awe of the Potty Peer.What does this say about the members of the NZ Institute of International Affairs (Waikato Branch)? Is this a local libertarian coven?

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Joshua Drummond@cakeburger Monkton on biofuels = mass death. Guy behind mutters “That’s the agenda. That’s the agenda.” #MoncktonLive

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Joshua Drummond@cakeburger Audience member to me, after #MoncktonLive “I was very disappointed with your disrespect towards Lord Monckton.”

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Joshua Drummond@cakeburger Things just got VERY shouty. At me, again. Now I know how poor Richard Prosser feels #MoncktonLive

This final drama sounds intriguing. Would love to see a video. or perhaps a circus presentation by clowns.

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Joshua Drummond@cakeburger #MoncktonLive Got a brief 1-on-1 with the man himself. Ended with him grabbing my laptop, me saying “No, MY laptop. Mine. Mine.” #TrueStory

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Joshua Drummond@cakeburger Final #MoncktonLive: Monckton says to security guard “Please escort this man [me] from the premises”.

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I was wrong about Lord Monckton

I must admit I was wrong about Lord Monckton. I thought his speaking tour of New Zealand, which started on April Fools day, would be a huge yawn. Local climate scientists have learned that debating the man may be a huge plus for Monckton’s CV, but it was a negative for their own. So what interest could there be in a speaking tour where the audiences were basically fellow climate change deniers, conspiracy theorists and extreme political libertarians – all singing from the same hymn sheet.

After all, even his own publicity makes clear that his message is political, not scientific. That he is here to tell us all about the international conspiracy of greenies, fascists, communists, capitalists, imperialists and the United Nations to impose a single world government, put us in concentration camps, etc. Those horrible climate scientists are only a small part of Monckton’s international conspiracy.

Monckton-posters

But I should have learned from Monckton’s Australian tour. His antics there managed to keep his name in the public eye – and give Australians something to laugh at. He threatened climate scientists with court action and called prominent Australians Nazis!

Well, he seems set to do the same for us. He’s only been here a few days and he is threatening (“in the first instance”) a complaint to the New Zealand Press Council (yes he is not happy with the way his beliefs are reported). He expects the press Council to investigate not only a recent Herald article about his tour but also “whether the Herald has given balanced coverage to both sides of the debate on the climate, having regard not only to the present article but to its previous record of publication on the climate “science” issue.” He expects (or demands) a lot, doesn’t he?

Monckton  also promises to invite “authorities in the United Kingdom to remove the name of one of [our] universities . . .from the list of academic institutions whose degrees are recognized in Britain.” No, he is not happy with what our climate scientists tell us about their findings (or indeed the findings themselves), or what they think of his scientific credibility. So we are all going to be punished.

It’s enough to make us shiver in our boots – he must be such a powerful man. Our scientist’s degrees won’t be recognised in the UK in future.

I think we are shivering – but out of laughter, not fear.

The man is certainly good for a laugh. I look forward to more of this humour as his speaking tour, and threats against our media, scientists and educational institutes, progresses over the next few weeks.

If you want to read his letters and threats they are recorded at VISCOUNT MONCKTON’S RESPONSE TO DENIGRATORY ARTICLE IN NZ HERALD). Looks like they will also be faithfully repeated at the Climate Conversation Group’s blog (see, for example  Herald, APNZ find Monckton no easy target).

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April Fools and Agenda 21

denialA few readers may already be aware that April Fool’s Day marks the launch of Christopher Monckton‘s speaking tour of New Zealand. It’s not arousing much interest in the media – probably because his declared attention is to propagate his conspiracy theory of a corrupt plan to form a world government initiated by fascists, greenies, communists, imperialists and capitalists. Hard to take this seriously, but it’s all outlined in the Agenda 21.

Not much sense is expected – and the public attending Monckton’s talks are generally extreme libertarians or conspiracy theorists of one sort or another – Chemtrail alarmists, Truthers, 9/11 conspiracies, etc.

But it could be fun – some of Monckton’s fans love to dress up. Here’s the latest press release from the NZ Flat earth Society, who are supporting Monckton’s tour.


HEAR YE, HEAR YE, HEAR YE!

The Grand Wizard of the NZ Flat Earth Society, Nathaniel Pipe-Blower, has called on his flock and their friends to give Lord Monckton a rousing welcome to Auckland at Monckton’s public lecture at the University Business School, 7 – 9 pm on April 5th.

As we Flat Earthers have endured centuries of oppression and ridicule from scientists with their so-called “evidence” that the Earth is round, we sympathise with Lord Monckton’s struggle, and wish to offer our support and friendship.

Just to be clear, we want to be FRIENDS with Lord Monckton and WORK TOGETHER TO BATTLE THE CONSPIRACY between the Bad Scientists and the Evil Greens.

We will be handing out a scroll with our message, engaging in courtly conversation with members of the public, and expressing fulsome admiration for the Great Man himself – after all, he claims to a Nobel laureate who has found the cure for AIDS!

Now for the fun part: Flat Earthers often dress in medieval garb, e.g. as damsels, knights, lords & ladies, priests, peasants, jesters, wizards and wenches.

Flat Earthers also love music and entertainment, so it would be great to have pipers / minstrels / jugglers or clowns.

Most of all, Flat Earthers know how to MAKE MERRY! Feel free to let your hair down.

We will be meeting in the quad outside the Fisher and Paykel Lecture Theatre at 6.30 pm (or in the foyer, if wet).

The (free) lecture starts at 7 pm; Flat Earthers will likely be so impressed by Monckton’s total awesomeness that they will clap and cheer the brilliance of his thought!


Perhaps the media will turn up to this talk after all.

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The political alarmism behind climate change denial

They are quick to accuse scientists of alarmism but I have always maintained that those who are most actively denying climate change are the real alarmists. It’s just that their motivations are political -  and their political beliefs alarmist (see Alarmist con).

This short video illustrates this for the case of Christopher Monckton -  an idol of the militant climate change denial movement.

The Terrifying World From Monckton’s Mind – YouTube.

Thanks to New AnthropoceneThe Terrifying World From Monckton’s Mind

Meanwhile, the remaining militant climate change denialists in New Zealand are eagerly awaiting the next local visit from Christopher Monckton. It starts (appropriately) on April 1st.

I understand some of the local media people are also vying for the opportunity to interview the guy. Last time his visit produced some rather entertaining videos. As you can see from the video above, he is good for a laugh.

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Monckton messes own nest

Ever get the impression the Christopher Monckton may have reached his use-by date? Maybe even well past it?

Looks like this might be the case as the climate change denier/sceptic/contrarian groups trying to organise a programme for him in New Zealand are having problems. Their hero has become so repugnant that dreams of huge publicity for their cause seems to facing the harsh truth of reality.

Apparently, TV programmes Q&A and Close-up are no longer interested. And the host for their Auckland event, Public Relations Institute of New Zealand (PRINZ), has pulled out and left the mess to The Climate Realists – a rather nasty little conspiracy group.

Avoiding reality

Of course this groups is unwilling to face up to the fact that Monckton has been caught out so many times telling outright lies, misrepresenting climate science, attacking scientists and their science, that he no longer has any appeal; except to the committed climate change denier or contrarian. After all, Monckton often compares his debate partners to Nazis, he argues that climate scientists should be prosecuted and imprisoned. And even that perhaps “. . . no one should be allowed to practice in any of the sciences, particularly in those sciences that have become the mere political footballs of the leading pressure-groups, unless he can certify that he adheres to one of those major religions – Christianity outstanding among them – that preach the necessity of morality . . .”. (see Monckton requires religious certification for scientists?)

Consequently, most serious legitimate scientists now refuse to debate with this guy. After all, such debates do far more for Mockton’s CV than they  for the climate scientist. The media is coming to see that he is so far out that without the appearance of a real controversy he is not worth interviewing.

But, true to form, these Climate realists must explain the problem as a conspiracy. As “things that have been going on behind the scene”. They explain the negative reaction of PRINZ members to their organisation being used in this way as conspiring to prevent “someone whose opinions are perceived as being ‘outside the politically correct mantra’ from speaking in public.”  (Of course no one has taken away that right from Monckton. he is still going ahead with a meeting but has lost endorsement of the PRINZ).

They see their inability to find someone reputable to debate with Monckton as another conspiracy. But again, what they have really lost is the opportunity to use such a scientist to provide credibility to the concept of a scientific controversy where none really exists. The same old tactic that creationists always attempt to use.

There is no conspiracy. This is just the result of Monckton’s own behaviour. He has made a mess in his own nest and is now facing the consequences.

Breivik’s terrorism and science

People gather around a makeshift memorial outside the Domkirken church in Oslo on July 25, 2011 where a minute of silence was observed. Photographer: Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP

OK, the connection between the Norwegian terrorism and science may not be immediately obvious. And I don’t refer here to the chemistry of his bomb manufacture (which he relates at length in his compendium).

No, I refer to his attitude towards science as demonstrated by the little tirade in the compendium about climate change (see Chapter 2.72: Green is the new red – Stop Enviro-communism.)

Here he presents climate science as having an agenda “to contribute to create as world government lead by the UN or in other ways increase the transfer of resources (redistribute resources) from the developed Western world to the third world.” He calls it the “Anthropogenic Global Warming scam.” He recommends a video starring our old friend Christopher Monckton. And presents the classical denier rave about “climategate.”

It’s all stuff we had heard before – and actually local climate change denier Ian Wishart presents this very same conspiracy in his book Air Con (which I reviewed in Alarmist con).

And that is the thing about his compendium. it mostly reads like a cut-and-paste from conservative websites, blogs and forums. Sure, he may have added a little in terms of a programme to assassinate many people throughout Europe, listing organisations and political parties he targets. And the explicit threat or programme of violence is not usually articulated in those conservative sources. But his whole justification is based on that conservatism and the conservative issues like anti-communism, climate change denial, promotion of patriarchy and theocracy and opposition to liberalism and feminism. These conservative issues have fed his hatred, advocacy of violence and assassination programme.

I am actually intrigued that almost all the local blogs who have in the past promoted the ideas covered by this compendium have been strangely silent on the terror in Norway. There hasn’t (so far) been a squeak of condemnation or comment from the usual list of climate change denier and conservative Christian blogs. It must be embarrassing for them to see such an inhuman terrorist advocating for the same issues they have in the past.

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Background Briefing for Mockton’s NZ visit

Christopher Monckton speaking in Melbourne last year. (Photo: Australian Conservative.)

Apparently Christopher Monckton will visit New Zealand for a few days (August 4 – 7) at the end of his Australian tour. His fanboys in the local climate change denier/contrarian/sceptic groups will obviously do their best to make as much publicity out of the visit as possible.

Others who want a more balanced assessment of Monckton might like to listen to the Backgrounder prepared by the Australian ABC (see Background Briefing – 17 July 2011 – The Lord Monckton roadshow). It includes extensive recordings of Monckton’s statements plus checking of many of his claims (he is often completely wrong and misrepresents science and scientists). There is also information on his mining industry financial backers.

The backgrounder illustrates how Monckton is attempting to whip up an anti-science and anti-scientists campaign (listen to him present his aim to prosecute and imprison scientists). The experience of the reporter who was exposed to the hysterical anti-media campaign at one of his meetings is also enlightening.

Download Audio – 17072011
Listen Now – 2011-07-17

See also:
Background Briefing on Monckton
Monckton’s Nazi jibe over the top: Abbott
A letter to Viscount Monckton of Brenchley from the Clerk of the Parliaments
Astroturfing works, and it’s a major challenge to climate change
Monckton requires religious certification for scientists?

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Science has the real debate

Christopher Monckton - Credit: abc

Stephan Lewandowsky from the University of Western Australia has a very topical opinion piece in The Drum (see  The difference between scientific debate and phoney talkfests). Topical here as well as Australia because some local climate change deniers/contrarians/sceptics are attempting to finance a visit from Lord Monckton at the end of his current Australian tour. That may not come off (they are currently attempting to find a few donors willing to put in large amounts of cash) but the article is still relevant.

Stephan compares two events:

1: “The International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG) General Assembly, which attracted 3,200 of the world’s leading experts to Melbourne earlier this month to debate the state of the planet and its future,” and

2: The Australian visit of Vaudevillian climate “sceptic” Lord Monckton, who is currently scouring Australia for venues for his theatrical performances but has given wide berth to the IUGG meeting.”

And we should keep this comparison in mind when these local organisers demand that scientists debate Monckton at public venues. We should recognise this is just their way of attempting to get credibility for minority ideas be getting a place on stage with the real experts. After all, aren’t we justified to ask – if Monckton has any credible point to make why did he not attend, and contribute to, the IUGG General Assembly?

As Stephan says; “For scientists, there is no reason to engage with individuals in an academic setting who refuse scientific debate and accountability, and who demonstrably have nothing to bring to a debate.”

But Stephan finishes with an excellent point:

“Does this mean no debate is ever possible?

No, of course not.

Science is debate.

And the door to scientific debate, on climate or HIV/AIDS or Prospect Theory, is wide open to anyone, even occasional travel photographers: all they have to do is to become knowledgeable in a field and subject their ideas to scrutiny by publishing in the peer-reviewed literature.

If their ideas survive scrutiny, they are then worthy of the public recognition that deniers so crave but which they cannot responsibly be given until then.”

See also:
A letter to Viscount Monckton of Brenchley from the Clerk of the Parliaments
Astroturfing works, and it’s a major challenge to climate change

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Suzan does a mini- Monckton

The journalist Suzan Mazur seems to be taking a leaf out of Christopher Monckton’s silly book.

A while back I reviewed Suzan Mazur’s book The Altenberg 16: An Exposé of the Evolution Industry (see Self-exposure – a journalist out of depth). I didn’t like it. My conclusion was that she had no real knowledge of evolutionary science. She approached the issue like a political journalist, believing the worst of the scientists she interviewed and thinking she had a “story” when she didn’t. The title of the book says it all. As does the fact that it was promoted by intelligent design/creationist websites and blogs.

Since then Mazur has had a few other digs at scientists particularly on the issue of peer review (see The Peer Review Prison). It is just so easy to get quotes from disgruntled authors to support a conspiracy theory of the “scientific establishment” censoring honest scientific work and new ideas. Nothing new there. And it is not honest reporting.

Now she has been called out by the scientist/philosopher Massimo Pigluicci. He described his experience with her work on The Altenberg 16 in his recent book Nonsense on Stilts: How to Tell Science from Bunk.* The discrepancy between the material he provided in his interview and the article she wrote allowed, according the Pigluicci, “a rare glimpse from the inside of a journalist’s behaviour once she thought (mistakenly) that she was on to something big.” Pigluicci said it revealed “how thin the boundary is between not only science and pseudoscience, but journalism and pseudo-journalism.”

This didn’t please Mazur at all. And like a mini-Monckton she climbed out of her tree, attacked Pigluicci, his employer (Lehman College) and Publisher (University of Chicago press). She describes Pigluicci’s comments as a “malicious attack,” “twisted,”  disingenuous” and “libelous trash.” She questions whether Pigluicci “is competent to teach with regard to moral and ethics at Lehman College.”

And she demands that the publishers removed Pigliucci’s book from circulation, cancel scheduled readings and “advise Massimo Pigluicci to cease and desist from further derogatory public statements with regard to me and my work.”

This is the sort of thing we have come to expect from lord Christopher Monckton when his claims are subjected to calm, reason, scientific critique (see Support John Abraham against Monckton’s bullying).

Two weeks after making her demands the University of Chicago Press and their legal counsel have advised Mazur they stand by  Massimo Pigliucci, won’t be removing his  book from circulation or stop public readings from it. Se has released the letter she sent to the publishers (see Pigliucci Deceit Drags Publisher Into Big Muddy) but no copy of their response.

Strangely, this little storm in a teacup was reported, as far as I can find, only at New Zealand’s Scoop (which was also involved in publishing her book).

*See Pseudoscience and anti-science nonsense for a review of Pigluicci’s book Nonsense on Stilts

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Climategate, Lord Monckton and Monty Python

Christopher Monckton is held in awe by some of the more naive climate change deniers. For a more objective assessment of his abilities and reliability have a look at these videos.

Debunking Lord Monckton Part 1.

Debunking Lord Monckton Part 2

See also: Monckton requires religious certification for scientists?

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