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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

HotWhoppers, Monckton and His Scaredy Cat Prey

MobyT | 10:23 PM Feel free to comment!
Today an email was circulated inviting the recipient, as a "concerned and productive citizen of Western Australia", to attend one (or more) sessions with Lord Monckton.  

The Professional Clown Down Under

If you haven't heard of Monckton before, he is probably the only Viscount from England who earns his living as a professional clown (with apologies to honest clowns).  He appears in front of audiences in Australia and the USA promoting disinformation about climate and threatening to sue any scientist who crosses his path, particularly but not necessarily if they are a climate scientist.  

Most people regard Monckton as a rather unsavoury idiot or worse.  However, to a small (and shrinking) minority, he has been raised to God-like status.  

I present the email here so you can see for yourself the type of person Monckton and his promoters deliberately, and quite possibly with malice, prey upon and what that says about the 'leaders' of this anti-science movement.

Monckton targets people who are naturally inclined to be scared shitless about nearly everything in the world, under-educated, extremely gullible, willing to believe anything even completely contradictory ideas as long as it fits their world view, prone to conspiracy theories, believing 'they' are out to get them, and looking for a new 'saviour'.

Scared shitless

The first sentence in the body of the email is:
The end is NOT nigh.
From this attempt at reassurance and comfort, we can deduce that Monckton's prey is by nature very scared (about almost everything in the world outside its own tiny habitat).   It fears the "end", the object of which the writer leaves to the imagination of the reader.  It could be the end of the world, its own death (with or without the end of the world) or the end of a way of life.

Whatever the "end" refers to, it is undoubtedly ominous.

Gullible and lacking education

The next sentence indicates Monckton's prey is extremely gullible.  It will accept any statement, no matter how big the lie, as long as it comforts them and fits with what they want to believe.
It’s official; according to the Head of the UN Climate Change Panel (UN IPCC) there has been NO GLOBAL WARMING for 17 YEARS.


Conspiracy theorists

Monckton's prey is also susceptible to trigger words evoking evil conspiracies. "UN" and "IPCC" feature prominently in the paranoid conspiracy that climate scientists and governments all around the world have been secretly engaged in a gigantic hoax with the aim of taking over the world.

Scared, gullible, under-educated conspiracy theorists

The next two sentences (plus the overall email) show Monckton's prey is of limited intelligence and low education.  There is a lot of repetition, large typeface, capitalization, bolding and exclamation points.
When people hear this wonderful news there will be dancing in the streets.
The climate models were wrong and THE WORLD IS NOT GOING TO END!
According to official UN IPCC global temperature datasets, the length of time WITHOUT ANY MEASURABLE WARMING has been 16 Years, 18 Years, 19 Years or in the case of the most accurate satellite dataset, 23 Years (depending which official UN IPCC dataset is used).

The imagery of 'dancing in the streets' to the tune of a potty peer would seem way over the top to all but a very few.  The following sentence, presented in bold font and using capital letters, is to make sure that, despite the reader's limited cognitive ability, the prey gets the message that they are not about to die/see the world end/lose their way of life tomorrow.  It aims once again to comfort them.

The third sentence suggests that the writer accepts that the dreaded "UN/IPCC" is accurate about global warming and that his prey is gullible enough to accept the lies about 'measurable warming'.

Here is a chart of global surface temperatures from the Bureau of Meteorology, with arrows marking the surface temperature between 16 and 23 years ago.  Which cherry picked date will Monckton end up settling upon to decide his 'measurable warming'? (Click image to enlarge.)




Monckton's mob can have a free lesson from Tamino on how to cherry pick dates to show the trend you want.  Then they might be able to pick a date and stick to it.  The easiest one is "it's been cooling since 2010!" which was the most recent 'hottest year on record' according to NASA, as illustrated here - with arrows pointing to when Monckton apparently thinks it stopped warming.


Then more paranoid conspiracy ideation - the government is hiding the real facts, "economic shackles", "loss of property and other rights", "Climate Scam" and "UN Agenda 21 program", more "economic costs" and "loss of rights".

Fear not, I am your Saviour

Lord Monckton comes riding in to rescue us from our evil governments (especially the UN):
Lord Monckton will present the Due Diligence on Global Warming for the people of Perth because our governments won’t.
Learn how the latest Climate Commission report was produced, and why.
He is here to inform the people of Perth on the economic shackles and loss of property and other rights occurring under the Carbon Tax; the Climate Scam and the UN Agenda 21 program and how it is so much less in terms of economic costs and loss of rights, to adapt than to try to stop any global warming.

Immune to inconsistencies

A quick diversion to point out the inconsistency, to which Monckton's prey will be completely oblivious (see attributes of the 'prey' below).

First, the false claim that warming has stopped.  The (evil UN/IPCC) climate models were wrong but the evil UN/IPCC is right (that warming has stopped).  It's not warming and it is better to adapt to the warming that is happening at the same time as it is not happening than try to stop the warming that both is and is not happening.

Scum-bucket to the Rescue

Seems a classic example of a "dirt-bag" (see below) preying on the gullible and fearful.  Unlikeable and rather ugly prey to be sure.  IMO the bigger crooks are the "scum-buckets" who deliberately set out to get the gullible 'riled up' enough to arm themselves with their walking frames and form a mindless lynch mob.

Monckton's Prey

I've been reading Dr Altemeyer's The Authoritarians.  A simplified description of attributes of 'right wing authoritarians' (high RWAs) is: under-educated, extremely fearful, gullible, bigoted,  largely incapable of using logic and dogmatic (their is nothing, no amount of facts, that will shake their 'belief' and they will often say so out loud).   Their minds are highly compartmentalised ("authoritarians can stupify you with the inconsistency of their ideas").  They rarely move beyond their tiny zone of comfort.  They are completely blind to themselves and any of their failings.  Despite being only a small minority of the general population, they believe the majority of people think and acts as they do.

Looks just like the target audience of that email, don't you think?

The Scum-buckets

Thinking about who is behind the email, seems like a text book case of figures of authority (a Viscount, almost Royalty, from Mother England, no less) deliberately setting out to scam the 'right wing authoritarians' (high RWA's as defined by Bob Altemeyer in his book).  Of the scammers, Altemeyer writes (on page 90):
...suppose you are a completely unethical, dishonest, power-hungry, dirt-bag, scum-bucket politician entertainer who will say whatever he has to say to get elected get people to his gigs. Whom are you going to try to lead, high RWAs or low RWAs? Isn’t it obvious? The easy-sell high RWAs will open up their arms and wallets to you if you just sing their song, however poor your credibility.

I substituted "entertainer" for politician and "get people to his gigs" for "get elected".

Is Monckton a deliberate "scum-bucket" or just a right wing nutter who has found his niche?  I honestly don't know.  I wonder if Monckton himself even knows.

Note: If you are a high RWA or are otherwise uninformed about the state of the climate, welcome.  (I'd love to know how you happened to stray here.)

Be aware that all evidence shows the earth is warming, and dangerously so.

Monckton is telling big fibs.

[Added links to email. Sou 28 July 2014]

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AGU Fall Meeting 2014



Click here for instructions on how to view the 2014 AGU Fall Meeting sessions, how to navigate the program, plus more. (This notice will remain as a sticky until after AGU14 finishes.)