Why do I care what Christopher Monckton says?

I’ve just notice (via Stoat) that Christopher Monckton has spent a lot of time trying to refute the claims made by John Abraham in this long document. Abraham had produced a talk debunking the points that Monckton made in a talk last year, which I guess upset Monckton.

Most of Monckton’s points are not very interesting (I only looked at 50 or so of the 500ish, yawn) and he still feels the need to defend the IPCC First Assessment Report “Hockey Stick” type graph (see his page 16), which is misguided at best. I also don’t know where he gets the idea that the central England temperature is “regarded as a reasonable proxy for global temperatures”. I’m sure that there are other equally wrong things in there.

But after spending 20 minutes or so reading it, I started to wonder “why am I bothering?” Monckton has never demonstrated himself to be a reliable source of information on climate science (or other things) yet he’s managed to get into a position where people listen to him.

Should we just ignore him? Or do people still have to show that most of what he says on this subject is not reliable?

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5 Responses to “Why do I care what Christopher Monckton says?”

  1. Tony Sidaway Says:

    I’ve said this before. Debunking this kind of nonsense doesn’t work because firstly he’s preaching to the choir, secondly he’ll just bounce back with more stupid lies. But he is vulnerable precisely because he is such an outrageous fantasist. He has been caught misrepresenting himself as a member of the House of Lords and to this end and without authorization he has adapted the portcullis device used by Parliament for use in presentations. His latest set of nonsense gives highly fanciful representations of his influence on Thatcher’s science policy (Thatcher’s own memoir of the period apparently doesn’t even mention his name) . He’s a liar and he should be ruthlessly branded as one at every opportunity.

    • andyrussell Says:

      I guess you’re right. I do find it a little unsatisfying to just dismiss someone as a liar, though, even if it is true! Here is a relevant passage from Monbiot’s piece on this:

      “One of the characteristics of the foot-soldiers of climate change denial seems to be their startling inability to spot a wrong ‘un. As well as publishing a long series of falsehoods about climate change, Monckton has falsely claimed to be a member of the House of Lords (although you can read his explanation here); falsely claimed to be a Nobel laureate; falsely claimed to have won the Falklands war (by suggesting to Margaret Thatcher that the SAS introduce a mild bacillus into the water supply in Port Stanley); maintained that he has invented a cure for HIV, multiple sclerosis, influenza and other diseases; and grossly exaggerated his role in shaping Margaret Thatcher’s views. Yet none of this seems to have discouraged his disciples one jot.”

      It’s also remarkable how seriously he is taken over at WUWT.

  2. Ignoring Monckton was not a good suggestion… « Our Clouded Hills Says:

    […] Our Clouded Hills Andy Russell's weather and climate blog « Why do I care what Christopher Monckton says? […]

  3. David Watt Says:

    Why can’t Andy and Tony take the innuendo and slander as read . Can’t they manage to tell us something even vaguely interesting about the science?

    They need to attack him more skilfully giving the impression that they have read, understood and could just possibly take account of what he is saying.

    These kind of posts damage their reputation more than Monckton’s and will leave any independents who happen to stray in seriously unimpressed. They really aren’t worth doing.

    • andyrussell Says:

      Hi David

      I didn’t think it was worth going through all of Monckton’s points because it would take ages and Abraham had already done it.

      My more general point was why do people (including me) care what Monckton says when he has no relevant qualifications and has shown himself to be, at best, deluded in the past about several issues. Yet he still has influence…

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