Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Who Is Lord Christopher Monckton?

Dear Durango Telegraph Editor,
There’s an exciting brouhaha going on within the Global Warming blogosphere these days. Every bit as heated and implication laden as ClimateGate was a half year ago. Not surprisingly, big media isn’t covering this story. Just as they seem to be ignoring the exposure of the fabricated charges and nonexistent sins scientists supposedly perpetrated in “ClimateGate.”

This saga concerns the lowly academician who dared question the darling of the “Man Made Global Warming Is A Hoax” community.

You see, one John Abraham PhD, a professor of Thermo Sciences sat in on the, by now infamous, September 14th 2009 lecture by Lord Christopher Monckton for the Minnesota Free Market Institute. Professor Abraham came to listen and what he heard so disturbed him that for the next few months he turned all his spare time and energy into investigating specific claims Lord Monckton made and then created a presentation of his own: "Abraham v. Monckton" {or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SjhNVSZmLF4}.

It is a beautiful piece of scientific video debate. Item by item Professor Abraham calmly points out... how should I put it... distortions, misrepresentations, meaningless distractions, fabrications, avoidance of existing contrary evidence in Lord Monckton’s ninety minute presentation. Please, listen to it. I’ll bet you agree “Abraham v Monckton” sounds like a serious professor talking to a class and expecting folks to do some homework.

Lord Monckton, never one to allow criticism ~ and never one for a focused point by point, head to head ~ has retaliated with a withering 48,000 word long missive, containing among other sections, 466 questions for Professor Abraham’s 126 slide presentation, plus a demand for $110,000 in damages. Reading through Monckton’s endless words I kept being reminded of the punch line to some old joke: “baffle ‘em with bullshit.”

Notably, in Lord Monckton’s missive: the man refers to himself “pluralis majestatis,” that is, in the royal third person. Consider the implications of such a conceit. It implies one believes they are ordained by God from up on high... personal like! Historically, that’s how Kings maintained power, they were God’s appointed and anointed and superior to all their subjects. The further unavoidable implication is that Chris Monckton actually believes his own words are “infallible.” That would explain why he’s so livid at Professor Abraham and has so loudly, theatrically even, threatened impossible legal action.

I am not misleading about Monckton’s presumption. To prove it one only needs to look at Lord Monckton’s opening slides. The first one is Monckton’s brand, I guess he’d call it a “royal seal.” In the Viscount of Brenchley Lord Monckton’s case it looks like jail bars bracketed by lengths of chain, over arching all is a regal crown. In this first slide it’s superimposed upon an infrared image of the sun. Orwell couldn’t have made up this stuff, but you only need to look up Monckton’s power point to see it happening.

But, it’s the second slide that really gets my goat. It is Lord Monckton’s brand flanked by crossed American and Canada flags and the good lord’s proclamation: “Christopher Monckton of Brenchley Dominion of Canada and United States of America.” Come on Chris! What the hell! “Dominion over the USA?” Just who do you think you are? Distressingly, during his presentation these salt of the earth Minnesota Republicans are applauding this guy like he’s the second coming. Wouldn’t proud American’s be appalled and demand: “How dare you slather such nonsense in our faces?!”

It makes me despair at how far right wingers will go to avoid looking at the real physical planet we are passengers on. The lord claims he is smarter and more honest than tens of thousands of hard working scientists, yet all Monckton showed his audience was a whole lot of partisan political entertainment with precious little science - all the while ignoring tons of down to earth evidence. And the crowd was eating it up. Why this need to embrace willful ignorance, when there really is new stuff out there that all of us, including right wingers, had better start honestly learning about?

For an exploration of the recent presentation:“A Scientist Replies to Christopher Monckton” please see:

#1 Index for The Unauthorized Notes of Abraham v. Monckton

# 2 A Citizen’s Unauthorized Notes of “Abraham v. Monckton”

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