Leighton Smith, Monckton melt down over climate

By Peter Griffin 04/08/2011 9

Talkback listeners were in for a rare occurance this morning as Newstalk ZB host Leighton Smith introduced fellow climate change sceptic Christopher Monckton onto his show for a ninety minute discussion on climate change.

Leighton Smith & Christopher Monckton
Leighton Smith & Christopher Monckton

When you take out the incessant commercials and advertorials, which Smith has to voice himself, and the news breaks, it was more like a 45 minute discussion. It didn’t really cover any new ground and was only remarkable for two things – Smith’s extraordinary rant about the media which kicked off proceedings, and Monckton’s insulting and patronising comments towards Balinese women (and climate scientists in general – but the gibes at the latter was to be expected).

First, Leighton Smith’s rant about the media:

Smith: The cowardice of the media in this country is appalling, it is a disgrace. You should all go and hang your heads in shame, hang up your shingle, give up on the media you so, I presume, proudly represent or think you do, because you are not, you are incompetent. You are useless and I make no bones about this. That applies to producers, to reporters, to people I’d have to describe as living in Fantasia, to borrow the phrase and are just plain ignorant.

What was he on about? Well, stories like this and this, which catalogue Monckton’s failures on this trip to New Zealand to use the media to grandstand about his beliefs on climate change. Smith called the Herald story a “hit job” on Monckton. So the media is “living in Fantasia” because it won’t roll out the red carpet for Monckton, who has no climate science credentials whatsoever, and give him swathes of air time like Smith did.

Moving on to the Balinese women and climate scientists. After a bit, Smith opened up the lines for questions, resulting in a a question from talkback listener Tony, who said he believed what Monckton was saying and wanted to know why climate scientists were deceiving the world.

Tony: What is actually driving these guys to actually, um, push this climate change. What…

Monckton: Yep, okay, got you. Money, power, glory. Those three, just as it always is. These people are making fortunes. Al Gore has made, certainly, several hundred million on it, the scientists are getting status, they’re getting trips all round the world to places like Bali to interface in a meaningful way with the ladies in grass skirts. They all have a lovely time doing this…

“Interface in a meaningful way with the ladies in grass skirts”? Monckton’s reputation for being mad as a snake clearly remains intact.

As for jetsetting scientists, I’m sure Monckton was thinking of them as he descended on the ivy-clad Northern Club for lunch with a room full of business people who had paid to see him and those supporters who had shelled out good money to fly him across the world only to be denied the glory he anticipated and the power he expected to wield. Money, power and glory indeed…

9 Responses to “Leighton Smith, Monckton melt down over climate”

  • ‘Mad as a snake’, nice ad hominem… but do you want to respond to the particular points? (Monckton may not be an official scientist, but he’s made fools of enough of them. Doesn’t take a scientist to point out the issues with Climategate, NewZealand gate, Mann’s poor math, Trenberth complaining ‘there’s no heat’, or RealClimate deleting over 50% of postings because they might not fit the dogma.)

    With respect to Monckton and those nasty business people — at least they had a choice, with their own money, to subsidize Monckton. Which is a fraction of the $80B USD spent on climate programs and subsidies, for which money was removed from my wallet without a similar choice.

  • What particular points are those, care to summarise them for me?? As for your own points – Climategate – two enquiries later, scientists involved cleared of wrongdoing, “NewZealand gate” – sorry, what what New Zealand gate? A few sceptic blog posts, threatened legal action – doesn’t make for a national scandal sorry. Trenberth – taken out of context, read all of his stuff – I actually asked him http://www.sciencemediacentre.co.nz/2011/07/14/extreme-weather-and-climate-change/,

    RealClimate – who cares what they do? It’s a blog!

    I’m surprised you didn’t throw in the 30,000 climate scientists myth for good measure 😉

    As for the “$80B USD”. Whatever the figure is, ask yourself who has more to lose – the climate scientists or the legacy industries Monckton serves?

  • hehe Llyons: “it doesn’t take a scientist to point out the issues…”

    Are you telling us that you don’t need to be a scientist to understand climate science? Well I beg to differ – it’s the amateur scientists who take cherrypicked “facts” from Monckton who are the problem here.

    And as for the billions spent on research – what about the money spent on cancer research? Is that a problem? The links between smoking and cancer? Climate deniers complain they don’t get the funding, but they don’t bother doing the research, let alone applying for any funding for it. Richard Black at the BBC discovered that very thing when he was trying to find examples of where sceptic scientists had had applications refused. He could find none. it’s worth a read http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7092614.stm

  • Peter, okay, not 30,000 scientists, just 1,000. Read their comments and credentials here from testimony submitted to the US Senate: http://hwcdn.net/g9z6c6z5/cds/p/b/f/6/bf663fd2376ffeca/2010_Senate_Minority_Report.pdf?sid=480a3e0f5fa9002f9b4e61049a31f611&l_sid=27695&l_eid=&l_mid=2336201&dopqs=1

    Cindy, you didn’t comprehend my point. It doesn’t take a ‘climate’ scientist to understand that models are failing against actual observations. (All 22 IPCC models referenced.) If anything, Michael Mann has proved that being a ‘climate’ scientist doesn’t make you correct if your formulas yield the same hockey stick when fed random numbers from a phone book. You can do physics without climate science, but you can’t do climate science without physics.

    As far as Richard Black and the BBC, er, you are kidding, yes? Why do you think it’s more of recently RETIRED scientists who are willing to stick their necks out? (Hansens’ boss at NASA had to retire before saying he was an embarrassment and a bit of a loon.) Anyone who takes the position that government or university funding is readily available for a non-AGW position is in fantasyland, hasn’t read Climategate emails, nor have they been connected with universities.

  • Why do you think it’s more of recently RETIRED scientists who are willing to stick their necks out?

    If true, I would think it isn’t a matter of sticking their necks out or not, but that most working scientists lack time. If you asked me to be an activist in my own area (computational biology), I’d say that I’d love to – if you could give me a device that granted me more time as and when I wanted it!

    Anyone who takes the position that government or university funding is readily available for a non-AGW position is in fantasyland, hasn’t read Climategate emails, nor have they been connected with universities.

    Climate science isn’t my area of expertise, but even I know of university researchers who hold non-AGW views.

  • I used to like Leighton Smith as the credibility of an objective hard hitting veteran but more as of late he’s become more of a conspiracy nut ranting lunatic with flawed and hypocritical bigotted reguritated political cult of US ultra right wing ideolgy and flawed scientific ideas which seems to be spreading round the world now. It’s disturbing the kind of ignorance he is spreading now and placating to a lunancy fringe group of listeners who are seriously misinformed. I liken him more to likes of David Icke or that Alan guy from Info Wars (forgot his name).