Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The potty peer Christopher Monckton of Brenchley at WUWT goes for the Mann and loses badly

Sou | 3:13 AM Go to the first of 26 comments. Add a comment

WUWT continues to scratch and scrape the bottom of the barrel

Poor little Anthony Watts has not got much to choose from any more when it comes to posting articles to his website.  He's not very good at writing himself and rarely attempts it.  When he does he gets into strife like here and here.  So he has to rely on other people.  Now he's down to just a handful of regulars like Perennially Puzzled Bob Tisdale, Wondering Willis Eschenbach, less often from Tony "b..b..but Central England" Brown and David "funny sunny" Archibald - and, save the worst for last, the potty peer, Christopher Monckton of Brenchley.

But before we start, the question must be asked.  Is it really Monckton on WUWT?

For the sake of the discussion, we'll let him adopt the Monckton persona.  Today Christopher has a go at Professor Michael Mann, one of the world's leading paleoclimatologists.  Christopher doesn't refer to what he is "refuting" but gives a quote from Dr Mann:
NASA found the warming continues unabated, with the past decade the warmest on record.

Michael Mann on Monckton

Luckily there are good search engines around and it wasn't long before I discovered what got Christopher so hot under the collar.  Here is Professor Mann's article, in the Richmond Time Dispatch.  Michael Mann gave Christopher a serve, writing:
Most recently the Viscount Monckton of Brenchley of Edinburgh, Scotland, used offensive personal attacks and completely false statements in another attempt to defend Cuccinelli’s use of state funds to engage in a politically motivated attack on both me and Thomas Jefferson’s University of Virginia. Monckton failed to mention that his qualifications for speaking on climate science include claiming to be a member of the House of Lords despite their continued statements that he is not, and being banned for life from the United Nations climate process for impersonating a delegate from Myanmar during the last round of talks in Doha, Qatar.
Lord Monckton goes after the “hockey stick” work published more than a decade ago showing that recent warming is unusual over at least the past 1,000 years. Despite Monckton’s rambling attack, the hockey stick most certainly has not been disproved. The highest scientific body in the nation, the National Academy of Sciences, affirmed our research findings in an exhaustive independent review published in June 2006. Dozens of independent groups of scientists have independently reproduced and confirmed our findings, and more recent work by other groups summarized in the most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report shows that recent warmth is unusual over an even longer timeframe. There are in fact numerous independent lines of evidence that humans are warming the planet and changing our climate by burning coal and other fossil fuels. And despite Monckton’s and Battig’s claims that global warming stopped 16 years ago, in fact NASA found the warming continues unabated with the past decade the warmest on record.
In what is the most personally offensive part of Monckton’s letter, he says that references to climate “ ‘deniers’ and ‘denialists’ would be illegal in Europe as being anti-Jewish, racialist hate-speech.” This is particularly troubling to me both because I am Jewish and because it does not make any sense. No one is attempting to subpoena or prosecute climate change deniers. We are simply trying to make sure the public understands what the overwhelming majority of scientists believe is happening.
To read the complete article, go here.

Monckton cherry picks RSS

Now for Monckton.  He puts up one of his yucky pink charts showing noise-ridden monthly readings from the RSS data set starting just before 1998.  I dealt with that one earlier today but science deniers wouldn't take any notice of facts.  Here is the RSS chart again.

Data Source: RSS

Michael Mann referred to the last decade being the warmest on record.  This one is shaping up to beat it. Here is a decadal chart of RSS temperature anomalies.  The first and last decade are, of course, incomplete.

Data Source: RSS

What do you think?  Climate trends are much easier to see in years than in months, because months clog up the data with seasonal fluctuations and noise. Longer term climate trends are even easier to see in decades, because years have noise from year to year natural fluctuations, like ENSO.

It's important to note that RSS doesn't monitor temperatures right to the top of the poles.  It only goes as high as 82.5 degrees North and South.  So it misses out on some of the Arctic amplification.  Here is GISTemp showing also the temperature 64 degrees and north (the Arctic).

Data source: NASA

Michael Mann is correct, Christopher Monckton is wrong.  No surprises there!

Monckton cites the disgraced plagiarist Wegman of all people in an attempt to "prove" Michael Mann is wrong.  Sheesh.  He really needs to think about who to call upon.  That "study" has been shown to be very wrong.  Just another bit of denialist rubbish.

Monckton is a Denier according to the Oxford Dictionary

And you'd think that Monckton, being a lord and all that, would know the Queen's English.  He doesn't like being called a science denier.  I don't know what euphemism he'd accept.  A "potty peer"?  A crackpot? A fruitcake?  Here is the Oxford English definition of denier:

Monckton fakes membership of the House of Lords

Monckton is still trying to fake membership of the House of Lords but with a twist.  He's toned it down a little and tries some clever wordplay.  He can't bring himself to admit that he's not and never has been a member of the House of Lords.  Monckton writes:
Mann says the House of Lords says I am not a member when I say I am. Sigh! Mann knows no more of British constitutional practice than he does of elementary statistics. Hansard records that the House has recognized my title to succeed my late beloved father, but does not record the House as saying I am not a member. Facts wrong again, Mike, baby. Try doing science, not invective.
For the record, here is the House of Lords stating quite clearly that Lord Monckton is not a member.

Monckton kicked out of Doha after impersonating a delegate from Myanmar

Monckton then tries to weasel out of getting kicked out of the Doha climate conference when he impersonated a delegate from Myanmar.  He writes:
Finally, Mann says I “impersonated a delegate from Myanmar” at a UN conference. Do I look Burmese? Do I sound Burmese? Did the chairman of the conference say he thought I was Burmese? No. He said he knew I was not from Burma. Facts wrong yet again, Mickey.
This is what happened, from the UK Guardian.  I think "impersonate" is a fair description:
At one of the sessions, Monckton assumed the seat for Burma in place of the real delegate, and addressed the hall from his microphone. He spoke for nearly a minute, before being escorted out.
And h/t to Eli in the comments at WUWT.  Monckton himself has written:
The microphone was just in front of me. All I had to do was press the button. I pressed it. The Chair recognized Myanmar (Burmese for Burma). I was on. 

Global warming isn't real, says Monckton

Monckton finishes with this:
Meanwhile, the world continues to fail to warm as predicted. Not only Attorneys General but also taxpayers will soon, and rightly, be demanding their money back from the grasping profiteers of doom who so monstrously over-egged this particular pudding.

Yeah, right!

Monckton is an expert science denier and entertainer

There is one more tidbit for Monckton fans:
Lord Monckton is an expert reviewer for the IPCC’s forthcoming Fifth Assessment Report. He has lectured worldwide in climate science and economics and has published several papers in the learned literature. Oh, and his passport says he is The Right Honourable Christopher Walter, Viscount Monckton of Brenchley.

Lord Monckton may be an expert reviewer, but Mickey Mouse could be an expert reviewer for the IPCC if he wanted.  Anyone can be an expert reviewer - you just self-nominate.

He's gone on numerous tours as an entertainer, to confirm he is a "drivelling idiot" and "hangs himself out of his own mouth" (at 1 minute 49 secs) - oh, and entertain the oldies and the members of the Flat Earth Society.

He's never published a peer-reviewed paper - his only "several papers" have been in denier rags like SPPI plus one article in an APS newsletter, but the article was not peer-reviewed.  APS were so horrified that anyone could think such a thing that they wrote an introduction:
The following article has not undergone any scientific peer review, since that is not normal procedure for American Physical Society newsletters. The American Physical Society reaffirms the following position on climate change, adopted by its governing body, the APS Council, on November 18, 2007: "Emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities are changing the atmosphere in ways that affect the Earth's climate."

Laws of Monckton

For a more complete run-down on the shenanigans of Christopher Monckton of Brenchley, visit Barry Bickmore.  I particularly like his laws of Monckton and wonder when/if they will apply to Anthony Watts.
Bickmore’s First Law of Monckton
For every person who publicly endorses Lord Monckton’s climate pronouncements for merely irrational reasons, there exists a threshold in Monckton’s behavior which, if crossed, will cause said person to regret their association.
Bickmore’s Second Law of Monckton
Any behavioral threshold posited by Bickmore’s First Law of Monckton will eventually be crossed by Lord Monckton.

From Twitter

I discovered from Foxgoose that Monckton might be standing in upcoming elections.  In Scotland.  Best of luck to the Scottish.  I do hope for your sake he gets no votes.  However those elections have nought to do with me.  Scotland is a long way from my home.

From WUWT comments

Pamela Gray is ever hopeful in her denial and says:
August 26, 2013 at 10:00 am  How much cooling (versus just stalling) would have to have been shown before the AGW crowd would have to say that the present decade was NOT the hottest in the present record? Let’s use their logic. They are obviously using an average from a decade of temperature averages. So let’s put the decade to hypothetical test using only negative slopes. Easily done with linear trend lines between the two decadal points being used by the AGW crowd. One could then easily show how far that crowd would be willing to show up as clowns. And all accomplished by using their decadal start and end points, their use of decadal averages, and their use of linear trend lines. Logic wins most handedly when the oponent side uses the proponent’s logic. Its like having the rival team accidently fail to remember which basket is theirs and score one for the other side. Makes them look stupid but is fun to watch!
For those curious about shifting the start years of the decade, here is the RSS so favoured these days on WUWT, as an animation, replete with the linear trend line Pamela requested.  Excel couldn't produce any negative slopes.  Sorry to disappoint Pamela.

Data Source: RSS

David L. isn't aware that the hockey stick is formed by proxy reconstructions plus instrumental observations, doesn't know that being a Viscount means being called Lord so-and-so but is not the same as being a member of the House of Lords.  He is also another hopeful science denier and writes:
August 26, 2013 at 9:53 am  Can someone produce the hockeystick graph that Mann is talking about? The one I remember has a blade that shoots up dramatically. I don’t remember the version that Mann is obviously refering to that shoots up a little then levels off for 17 years. Even in Al Gore’s fictional movie “Inconvenient Truth” his little platform kept going up and up. I don’t remember it going up and stopping for the rest of the movie.
BTW, what is Mann going to say when the temperatures start dropping for the next 10 years? I’ll tell you what he’ll say in 2023: “Global warming is still happening, most scientists believe this to be true. The late 20th century was the warmest period of the past millenium with 1998 being the all time record. Lord Monckton is not a Lord. Anyone who disagrees with me is a denier”

While the leader of the bunny tribe pops in and puts Monckton in his place. Eli Rabett says:
August 26, 2013 at 9:34 am  Certainly Lord Monckton does not look Burmese. And no one, not even Eli, believes that Lord Monckton sounds Burmese. Even the chairman of the conference was not foolish enough to say he thought Lord Monckton was Myanmarese. Well at least not when someone pointed this out after Lord Monckton talked having been recognized as a speaker from Myanmar
Why Eli even read about that at Watts Up With That, and the happy bunny even saw that Chris wrote that he took the seat of the representative of Myanmar and Chris asked to be recognized as same 
The microphone was just in front of me. All I had to do was press the button. I pressed it. The Chair recognized Myanmar (Burmese for Burma). I was on.

Last  one, because it amuses me on one level and disgusts me on another.  Anthony and his moderators are getting a bit annoyed because even his loyal denialists are trying to post links to yours truly's little blog.  The mod tries to make sure that all the ad homs go in only one direction.  The "subject of this thread" is not HotWhopper nor is it climate science, sez the mod, it's "bash Professor Michael Mann".  dp says (extract):
August 26, 2013 at 12:58 pm  ...this topic at a climate hysteria site that likely would not exist if there were no WUWT to stalk....
[Snip. You have our sympathy, but that link has been posted here so many times it amounts to threadjacking. The subject of the thread is Mann. Please stick to that topic. — mod.]


  1. Nice piece. Remarkable that Watts is publishing this stuff. Must be desperate for content and eyeballs on his website. Maybe you shouldn't bother linking to it, since it seems all he wants is traffic and is willing to post anything to get it.

    1. Thanks, Peter.

      As far as linking goes, I make sure there is a "no follow" on every link so it doesn't get counted in web stats. I've been mulling over whether to link at all. Perhaps someone else will offer some constructive thoughts in that regard as well.

      My thinking is that it helps keep track for posterity of all the silliness and the extent science deniers go to. Hopefully I write enough that it saves people from having to go there to see what they are up to.

      I post for three reasons. One is for people who are interested in learning why WUWT keeps getting it wrong. Another is to let climate hawks know the denier meme of the day. (There are very few new ones. They are mostly recycled.) And the third one is to make deniers work harder at denial.

      I think it's working so far :)

      I'll give more thought to your suggestion.

    2. I recommend webciting WUWT nonsense instead of linking to it. Since Watts uses web traffic to fake credibility, reducing the number of links to his site is a Good Thing. Also, webciting his nonsense provides a permanent record in case he decides to revise history (again).

      If you use the long webcite URL, the original URL can still be gleaned from the webcite URL. I don't use the short webcite URLs because they'd be meaningless if webcitation.org ever stops working. This isn't beyond the realm of possibility, because sometimes webcitation.org is overloaded and gives strange error messages. If there's a more reliable citation service I hope someone will let us know...

    3. Now that's a good idea. I've webcited a couple of his posts in the past because they were so dumb I thought he might delete them. But he didn't :)

    4. On problem with webcite is that they may not be able to continue in operation due to funding problems. Too bad the new Evil Empire (Google) won't pick them up...

    5. Sou, when you say "Hopefully I write enough that it saves people from having to go there to see what they are up to."

      That's exactly my experience. I used to read WUWT daily, since your blog (and the other recent 'spawn' sites) I've not been back.

      I began to read his output in a genuine effort to hear both sides and to learn about the arguments and subject matter. It wasn't long before I realised they didn't really have any substantive arguments to challenge the mainstream science of the IPCC assessment reports and statements of the national academies.

      I never felt too good about him bragging about reader numbers but I was intrigued with the psychology of denial, it was gripping car-crash telly.

      You guys are doing a worthwhile job. Thanks.

    6. First, I completely agree with Anonymous. Thanks, Sou.

      Also, I meant to point out that using some kind of citation system when discussing crackpots can help defuse the advertiser-crackpot complex that has paralyzed the internet and media. Controversy attracts eyeballs just like car crashes do, so crackpots actually make good business sense. Whenever Lord Monckton, Andrew Bolt, James Delingpole, Andrew Watts, etc. spread civilization-paralyzing misinformation, people like us rush over to gawk at their increasingly shameful autobiographies. In the process they make money.

    7. What Dumb Scientist said. Consider webcite or similar. It also documents the really dumb stuff before history gets rewritten.

    8. I was also going to mention archiving sites. Website is currently borked, but lately I've been using http://archive.is with success, and its URLs are tiny!

      Bernard J.

  2. Monckton has already stood for election in Scotland:


    Polled a surprisingly high percentage of the vote, I would say...

    As usual, thanks for trawling through the muck to save the rest of us having to.


  3. I note much comment on the I'm a member of the House Of Lords I am bit from Monckton - the judgement of the Clerk of the Parliaments refers to this case http://cases.iclr.co.uk/nxt/gateway.dll/WLR%20Dailies/WLRD%202011/wlrd2011-217?f=templates&fn=document-frame.htm&vid=PoC:Sum which seems pretty firm - the 1999 Act that changed the status of hereditary peers intended to remove the writ that Monckton claims still entitles him to a place in the Lords. Having been demonstrated in court that he doesn't and been told to shut up about it, I'd give that round the Mann.

    As for the rest, so many untruths (calling someone a denier does not make one a criminal in Europe, rich coming from someone who used the term Hitler Youth to describe some young greens and had a swastika on a presentation while calling a climate scientist a fascist). But he knows that shouting a lie loudly is likely to be believed more than a truth only spoken.

  4. The Ali G video is brilliant. Had never seen that before. Very clever.

  5. I loved The Hamster Wheel video too. It has made me feel all nostalgic for Aussie comedy.

  6. KR

    Some documentation regarding this long-standing opinion of Moncktons - demonstrating that he is apparently deluded in this respect:

    House of Lords 1999, relevant passage - http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1999/34/section/1

    "1 Exclusion of hereditary peers.

    No-one shall be a member of the House of Lords by virtue of a hereditary peerage."

    That seems pretty clear.

    Parlimentary statement on membership and applicability - http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200708/ldhansrd/text/80929w0021.htm#column_WA398 - discussing the separation between Peerage and membership in the House:

    "The Lord President of the Council (Baroness Ashton of Upholland): The effect of Letters Patent creating peerages can he changed by legislation which has that specific effect. [...] Thus, the Peerage Act 1963 allowed Peeresses in their own right to sit in the House of Lords regardless of the terms of any Letters Patent creating the peerage. The House of Lords Act 1999 removed the right of anyone to sit in the House by virtue of a hereditary peerage unless they were specifically excepted from the provisions. Conversely, the House of Lords decided in 1922 in the case of Viscountess Rhondda that the terms of the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act 1919 were not sufficiently specific to allow her to take her seat in the Lords when her Letters Patent allowed her to inherit the peerage, but not the seat in the Lords..."

    In other words those are, according to Parliment, entirely separate questions.

    1. I notice the commenters at WUWT are getting tied up in knots referring to a legal opinion from some lawyer, which was posted on a website and which argues for a technicality. Given Monckton's penchant for going to court (or threatening to), if he had any faith in that opinion or thought a technicality would give him grounds to continue in his lie, he would have tested it in the courts. He hasn't, so he doesn't.

      One of the commenters even referred to "the clerk" in a way that suggests he thought the Clerk of the Parliaments was some junior office boy sitting in the mail room.

      I wonder if all those same people agree with Monckton's birther ideas or other wacky notions? They probably do but won't say it outright on WUWT. Anthony might draw the line at conspiracy theories other than those about climate science.

  7. Is there a single instance of The Lord Monckton actually filing a law suit or being party to one?


    PS. Sou I hope you don't mind a little PR... for those interested recently Anthony claimed:

    The Ten Tests to Determine Whether You Should Be Concerned about Global Warming

    1. The temperature Trend So Far - NOT ALARMING
    2. Amplifications and Feedbacks - NOT EVIDENT
    3. The Role of Aerosols - ISN'T SIGNIFICANT
    4. Arctic Sea Ice Decline - ISN'T GLOBAL. MAY BE SOOT
    5. Failure of the Models to Predict "the pause" - CONFIRMED
    6. Climate Sensitivity - IS LIKELY LOW
    7. Adaptation to Changing Climate - IS POSSIBLE
    8. Climate and Future Generations - MAY NOT NEED OUR HELP
    9. Reducing Emissions _ ISN'T BEING DONE WORLDWIDE
    10. The Integrity of the Surface Record -CREATES ALMOST A DOUBLING OF TEMPERATURE TREND

    If anyone is interested in links to authoritative sources that dispute everyone of those claims, please visit

    1. CC that article of yours is really very good and thorough. Congrats.

      I highly recommend it - and did so on Twitter yesterday :)

      I'm rushing out now but if you don't mind, I'll link to it in the video post I did the other day. I didn't get very far into the video but you have.

    2. Dimmock v Secretary of State for Education and Skills was a case heard in September–October 2007 in the High Court of Justice of England and Wales, concerning the permissibility of the government providing Al Gore's documentary An Inconvenient Truth to English state schools as a teaching aid.

      Mr Justice Burton declared the case a victory for the claimant stating "I conclude that the claimant substantially won this case by virtue of my finding that, but for the new guidance note, the film would have been distributed in breach of sections 406 and 407 of the 1996 Education Act".[29]

  8. share and share alike.

    And thank you for your encouragement.

    I do appreciate it :-)

  9. It is Bob 'Drivel' Tisdale. I think he's an advocate of free speech like Watts, given I got the fastest ban ever from that mr. Drivel :)

  10. It's worth noting that Monckton himself knowingly engaged in behaviour that could be construed as fraudulent, with respect to publicity behind his Eternity puzzle. The story is explained in my links here:


    Bernard J.

  11. "I've been mulling over whether to link at all."

    There's Do Not Link which seems to be a more sophisticated tactic than no-follow on its own.

  12. Is global warming?


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