Friday, July 23, 2010

Moncton - Climate Change Denialist

Demonstrates a New Rhetorical Low...

Wow! From today's Strib:

A University of St. Thomas professor's online rebuttal to a well-known British climate change skeptic has touched off a cyberspace heat storm and activated the university's legal team.
Monckton* has fired back in a YouTube interview clip, calling Abraham "a wretched little man," the University of St. Thomas "a half-assed Catholic bible college," and its president, the Rev. Dennis Dease, "a creep."

[Ah those classics scholars from Cambridge, such a way with words...]


*Moncton is described by the Strib as:

"Lord Christopher Monckton, a journalist, classics scholar, politician and hereditary peer also known as 3rd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley. Monckton's critique of climate change science led him to testify before the U.S. Congress."
Others are not so sanguine (or gullible?):

From Wiki, check references!

Although he has asserted that as an hereditary peer he is "a member of the House of Lords, though without the right to sit or vote", and in a letter to US Senators (Olympia Snowe and Senator John D. Rockefeller) he asserted that he was "a member of the Upper House of the United Kingdom legislature."[4], the House of Lords has stated that "Christopher Monckton is not and has never been a Member of the House of Lords. There is no such thing as a 'non-voting' or 'honorary' member."[5]

He was an unsuccessful candidate for a Conservative seat in the House of Lords in a March 2007 by-election caused by the death of Lord Mowbray and Stourton. Of the 43 candidates, 31 – including Monckton – received no votes in the election.[6]

He was educated at Harrow School, Harrow, London; Churchill College, Cambridge, where he received a BA (Honours) in classics in 1973, and an MA in 1974; and University College, Cardiff, where he obtained a diploma in Journalism Studies. In 1990, he married Juliet Mary Anne Malherbe Jensen. Monckton is a Roman Catholic Christian. [sic]

His credentials as a commentator on climate change have been questioned. James Hoggan and Richard Littlemore note in their book Climate Cover-Up: The Crusade to Deny Global Warming that Monckton has "no training whatsoever in science" and criticise his asserted credentials as "unfounded self-promotion."[16]

Editorial writer for The Guardian George Monbiot has criticised Monckton's arguments, labelling them "cherry-picking, downright misrepresentation and pseudo-scientific gibberish".[18]

In July 2008 Monckton wrote an article about climate sensitivity for the American Physical Society's Forum on Physics and Society,[35][36]

The APS reaffirmed its unchanged position on climate change and pointed out that the newsletter of the APS Forum on Physics and Society "carries the statement that 'Opinions expressed are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the APS or of the Forum.' This newsletter is not a journal of the APS and it is not peer reviewed."[38]

In a response, Monckton called the APS "red flag" "discourteous" and claimed his paper had been "scientifically reviewed in meticulous detail".[40]
Summary: I'm disappointed the Strib wasn't a little more curious and then forthcoming about the lack of credibility of Moncton on climate change issues.


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