Monckton: the final slapdown

By Gareth Renowden 22/09/2010


Britain’s most bumptious climate crank, Christopher, Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, deputy leader of the UK Independence Party (a party so fringe it probably has a surrey underneath) and inventor of a cure for AIDS, multiple sclerosis, influenza, and herpes simplex VI, gave evidence to a US Congressional committee last May at the invitation of the Republican party. As Monckton watchers might recall, his testimony was riddled with errors, and now a team of top scientists (including the one he threatened to sue, John Abraham) have submitted a detailed rebuttal [Response to Monckton (PDF)] to Congress. Skeptical Science has all the details, and Leo Hickman at the Guardian covers the story here, but for connoisseurs of the potty peer, his email to Hickman responding to the rebuttal is a minor classic:

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.

I’ve highlighted the best bits. Perhaps he was upset that the scientists point out that his testimony that ocean acidification could not be caused by CO2 provides “a compelling example of his lack of understanding of ocean chemistry”. I await his 400 page response with interest… In the meantime, let’s just revel in the breathtaking hypocrisy that has become the good Lord’s hallmark.