Posted by: Barry Bickmore | September 21, 2010

Monckton Responds: We’re a Bunch of Crazy Felons

Leo Hickman at The Guardian was the first to cover the story about the response some of us organized to Monckton’s most recent Congressional testimony.  Now, Monckton has responded to Leo, and Leo posted that response in the comments section of the online article.  Here’s what he said:

In a lengthy letter to Congress some months ago, in which I addressed questions from Congressmen about my testimony before the global warming committee, I had already refuted in detail the points now belatedly raised again by the scientists who have written to Congress. The scientists were unaware of my letter to Congress because they did not have the good sense or courtesy to contact me – or even to contact the vast majority of the scientists whose conclusions I had cited – before circulating to friendly news media their prolix, turgid, repetitive, erroneous and inadequate response to my testimony. From their calculatedly furtive approach, it is legitimate to infer that their exercise was motivated more by politics than by science. One of the lead authors is currently under criminal investigation for alleged fabrication of results: another has been caught out in repeated lies: a third admits to suffering a mental disability: and many of the scientists whom these lead authors invited to contribute are among the long-discredited clique of Climategate emailers. Accordingly, it is unlikely that Congress will pay much attention to their political rant, which displays a lamentable absence of quantitative detail and a pathetic reliance on fashionable but questionable forecasting techniques that have long been compellingly contradicted by hard data.

Lord Monckton is right that he had already published a response to some questions about his testimony.  My favorite part was where he justified his false claim to being a member of Parliament by saying that the House of Lords Act 1999 was defective.  In support of this rather strange thesis, he cited a statement of Baroness Ashton (Lord President of the Council) which says pretty much exactly the opposite.

You see, this is the problem with responding to Lord Monckton.  He will never, ever admit he was wrong.  If you point out an error, he will always respond with some longwinded explanation about why he’s really right.  I.e., he mostly just repeats himself, and maybe throws in a couple more references… that also don’t end up supporting his case.  No matter how much the British government denies that Monckton is a member of Parliament, he will never admit it.  No matter how clearly he is shown that he incorrectly plotted IPCC projections for atmospheric CO2 concentrations and temperatures, he will never admit he was wrong.  In that case, he actually pooh-poohed the idea that he should just reproduce what the IPCC says are its projections when claiming to plot their projections.  No, he says the scientific thing to do is to recalculate them himself (using a method very different from the one the IPCC used, of course!)

So if anyone wants to prolong the agony by responding to Monckton’s response, and then his response to the response to the response, and so on, more power to them.  My main concern is simply to provide enough information that it should be completely obvious to reasonable people that Monckton should not be a trusted source of information.  A certain law of diminishing returns does operate here.

Speaking of that, I note that Monckton wants to dismiss the responses to his testimony because of the supposed shortcomings of the organizers and respondents.  As for the climate scientists who actually took apart Monckton’s testimony, all he can say is that some of them are “Climategate e-mailers.”  Ok, so what did any of them say in those e-mails that is so damning?  I can’t speak for the other organizers or respondents when it comes to any “political motivations,” but as for myself, I’m a Republican who doesn’t particularly like cap-and-trade.

Let’s look at the other charges brings against the organizers.

1.  One of the lead authors is currently under criminal investigation for alleged fabrication of results….

This must refer to Mike Mann, because the Virginia Attorney General, Ken Cuccinelli was recently trying to get access to all kinds of info at the University of Virginia looking for evidence of fraud on Mann’s part.  But a judge recently rejected Cuccinelli’s bid, because he couldn’t produce any evidence that Mann had done anything wrong, so it was clearly just a fishing expedition.

2. … another has been caught out in repeated lies…

I think this must refer to John Abraham, who thoroughly debunked a presentation by Monckton.  Monckton quickly produced an enormous response, and of course threatened to sue Abraham for libel.  The libel case has never materialized, in case you were wondering.

3. a third admits to suffering a mental disability….

This is the really strange one, because I’m fairly certain he is referring to me!  A few weeks ago, Monckton e-mailed the president of my university asking him to check on my mental health, because I had been publishing all kinds of lies about him and sending him hate mail!  (Nothing came of it, in case you were wondering, and I’m still working at the old day job.)  In Monckton’s mind, perhaps his accusation constitutes an admission on my part.

FULL DISCLOSURE:  A couple years ago I was diagnosed with Inattentive Type Attention Deficit Disorder.  But I have never heard that being an absent-minded professor amounted to a “mental disability.”  I graduated magna cum laude from college, got an NSF graduate fellowship, and earned a PhD before I even knew I had it!


Responses

  1. That’s like the pot calling the kettle black. The only thing Monckton needs is a sidekick like Sancho Panza!

  2. I have a web page on Monckton ( http://www.durangobill.com/GwdLiars/GwdLiarsChristopherMonckton.html ) that contains a definition (http://www.ehow.com/about_5117545_definition-pathological-liar.html ) that may explain why Monckton behaves the way he does.

    “Pathological liars often confuse truth and falsehoods and, during a structured interview, are inconsistent in their responses. Pathological liars may believe their lies are the truth. Pathological liars are intelligent, manipulative and may be self-centered. It is unknown if pathological lying is controllable by the individual. It is possible that a pathological liar may believe his lies to the point that he is delusional.”

    Also, near the bottom of the page, I’ve included the “Hare Psychopathy Checklist” for “Aggressive narcissism” which also seems to fit Monckton.

    “Glibness/superficial charm
    Grandiose sense of self-worth
    Pathological lying
    Cunning/manipulative
    Lack of remorse or guilt
    Shallow affect
    Callous/lack of empathy
    Failure to accept responsibility for own actions”

    There is no way that anyone with a “Grandiose sense of self-worth” (e.g. Monckton) is ever going to understand that he is wrong. However, if you keep publicizing what Monckton says vs. reality, perhaps the wingnuts will eventually give up using Monckton as a reference source.

    • Monckton making accusations of mental instability is rich. Look up the symptoms of Graves Disease.

  3. I just have to say I laughed when I read the absent minded professor remark.

  4. [...] 9/21/10: Monckton has responded.  As expected, he has chosen option #2.  In his published comments at The Guardian, Monckton [...]

  5. Letters are going out to my elected officials and about 60 media contacts. I encourage others to do the same.

    http://profmandia.wordpress.com/2010/09/21/monckton-testimony-at-us-congress-ignorance-or-perjury/

  6. Thank you, Barry.

    You and the others organising this have done a great job.

  7. “A third has admitted to suffering from a mental disability”…that’s even lower than I thought Monckton would go.

    Implying that having a mental disorder somehow discredits one’s scientific work is not only insulting but just plain wrong. As you correctly stated, attention deficit disorders do not impair the quality of a scientist’s work. Asperger’s syndrome can even help it. A sizable portion of the population, which doubtlessly includes many scientists, will suffer from depression, anxiety, and OCD at some point in their lives. And don’t forget that John Nash, a Nobel Prize winning mathematician, is schizophrenic.

    Usually the ridiculousness of Monckton’s statements just makes me laugh (look at it as satire – it’s absolutely priceless), but this time he has got me mad.

    Kate
    http://climatesight.org

  8. In what way is your group response “calculatedly furtive”,if,as Monckton claims,your response was ” motivated more by politics than science”? If that was your motivation how could being so thoroughly public about it be construed as ‘furtive’? Oh,I see..because you didn’t clear it with His bleeding Lordship first!

    From his calculatedly bellicose response,it’s obvious he is devastated.

  9. [...] emails stolen in Climategate (good to see he still eschews ad hominem attacks). Barry Bickmore responds to Monckton's response. Personal prediction: Monckton will follow this up in a few weeks with another Monckton Gallop of [...]

  10. On an ultra pedantic point I would just remark that Monkton’s non membership of the House of Lords, created by the Act which removed from Hereditary Peers the right to sit in the House of Lords and be members of it was not asserted by the Government as you say (tho’ no doubt they would if they were asked) but by the Clerk of the Parliaments who is a very senior officer of the crown, and is not a politician but is bound to act on matters relating to the House of Lords, of which he is clerk.

    Needless to say the notion of a British Act of Parliament passed by both houses and assented to by the Queen not really counting because it is “defective” is absurd. Americans reading this would wish to note that there is no written constitution in the UK and following that no provision for the Supreme court to declare a law unconstitutional. Once an act is passed, it is law.

  11. [...] Monckton responded in his typical fashion, calling the scientist’s response “prolix, turgid, repetitive, erroneous [...]

  12. [...] And for what reason would they do this? Yes, there’s the old Communist-overthrow-of-the-world argument that Fox News pundits argue would somehow result from using capitalist market strategies to put a price on carbon…but many scientists who fully accept the reality of climate change are self-proclaimed Independents and Republicans. [...]

  13. […] talking about Gavin Schmidt’s piece at the Realclimate site.  If he wants to threaten me, it won’t be the first time.  I am now opening a betting pool in the comments, so my readers can weigh in about 1) whether […]


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