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Monday, January 31, 2011

Pompous Prat Alert! Viscount Monckton: Dangerously Dishonest Climate "Expert" at Large

Pompous Prat Alert! Viscount Monckton on Tour

Dangerously Dishonest Climate "Expert" at Large in Canada

by Richard Littlemore,, October 4, 2009
Christopher Walter, the Third Viscount Monckton of Brenchley is gamboling his way across Canada, acting like a character recently escaped from a Monty Python skit and inflaming the passions of climate change deniers and their favourite newspaper editors (at theNational Post and the Calgary Herald). 
Monckton is being urged on and abetted by the Friends of Science, an oily front group, long derided for  trying to conceal its connections to the Calgary oil and gas community. Right wing think tanks the Fraser Institute and the Frontier Centre for Public Policy are also sponsoring the tour. (Although the Fraser Institute has been a recipient of Exxon Mobil funding in the past, neither organization is acknowledging who is paying Monckton to suggest that we all have "the courage to do nothing" about climate change.)
There are two problems with Monckton. First, he claims to be a science expert, regardless that his paper-thin educational background lies in the Classics and his single academic credit is a diploma in journalism (no sin, but surely not a climatology PhD). The second problem is that despite his track record for apparently intentional inaccuracies, people continue to take him seriously.
What of that track record?
Monckton has been caught out on several occasions indulging in deliberate manipulationof scientific data to understate the effects of climate science. But his petty prevarications are more entertaining.
For example:
Monckton is, of course, entitled to wander around the world saying outragious things - whether they are true or not. It is his right to encourage the ill-informed to stand in front of oncoming buses, on the loose theory that they might survive a likely collision or that any ultimate injuries were inevitable in any case.
The Fraser Institute is also within its rights to sponsor a fall assault on reason, also paying Monckton's soulmate, the dotty former UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Nigel Lawson, to argue that climate science is, mysteriously, no longer valid. But they shouldn't be able to do so without admitting who is paying the bill. If a doctor told a bus crash victim that their broken leg was caused by osteoporosis and not by the accident, you'd be skeptical. But if you found out that the doctor was being paid by the bus driver's insurance company, you would be outraged - justifiably.
We know, in this instance, that we can't trust what Monckton says anyway. Wouldn't it be nice, though, to know who is paying him to spin these yarns.

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