Climate denialism as Mrs. Gump might see it

Stupid is as stupid does.

Climate denialists trumpeted a hearing scheduled for Thursday before a select committee of the U.S. House of Representatives at which the madcap, veracity-challenged Christopher Monckton will carry the banner for denialism:

Also testifying to the panel will be another Briton, Lord Christopher Monckton, a hereditary peer in the House of Lords and prominent critic of the scientific consensus supporting anthropogenic climate change.

Of course, Monckton is not a hereditary peer of the House of Lords.  He has a peerage, but in Britain, they won’t let him near the levers of government.  No one has a hereditary peerage any more, and Monckton has never sat in Lords or Commons.

If Monckton can lie about stuff like that, what won’t he lie about?  If the denialists can be suckered so easily, what makes anyone think they are skeptics, and not gullibles? Bogus history, voodoo history, and voodoo science from the Republican end of the Select Committee.  Astonishing.

At the hearing a letter from 250 scientists, members of the National Academy of Sciences, called on Congress to act wisely and soon to fight human-caused global warming.

Incredibly, Monckton was the sole witness from the Republican side.  Remember the title of Chris Mooney’s book, The Republican War on Science? It’s still a valid title, it appears.

Witnesses at May 6, 2010 hearing before House Select Committee on Global Warming

Monckton squirms among the scientists: From left, Dr. James Hurrell, Dr. James McCarthy, Lord Christopher Monckton, Dr. Chris Field, Dr. Lisa Graumlich; photo from the Select Committee

The hearing was before the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, chaired by Rep. Edward J. Markey, D-Mass.

Written statements from the May 6 hearing:

Statements are in .pdf format.

  • OPENING STATEMENT: Chairman Edward J. Markey
  • Dr. Lisa Graumlich, Director, School of Natural Resources and the Environment, University of Arizona, and member of the “Oxburgh Inquiry” panel
  • Dr. Chris Field, Director, Department of Global Ecology, Carnegie Institution of Washington, and co-chair of “Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability” portion of new IPCC report due in 2014
  • Dr. James McCarthy, Professor of Biological Oceanography, Harvard University, past President and Chair of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, co-chair of “Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability” portion of IPCC report published in 2001
  • Dr. James Hurrell, Senior Scientist, National Center for Atmospheric Research, contributor to IPCC reports
  • Lord Christopher Monckton, Chief Policy Adviser, Science and Public Policy Institute

The hearing got precious little press, but it’s interesting to see the blogs that lead the denialism charge try to ignore most of the hearing.

13 Responses to Climate denialism as Mrs. Gump might see it

  1. ^Monbiot



  2. Hehehe… I’m not usually one to make fun of another’s physical disabilities, but I was just reading that text from the PCC, and I must admit to laughing just a little at Mobiot’s description of Monckton as a “swivel-eyed maniac”.


  3. Ed Darrell says:

    Hattip, you may want to note that Lord Monckton’s official complaint that a reporter erred in noting Monckton is not a member of the House of Lords, was dismissed. Why?

    Because Monckton is not a member of the House of Lords.

    See here:


  4. Impulse control, Nick, impulse control :p


  5. Nick K says:

    My apologies to Mike for misunderstanding where he was going with what he was saying.


  6. Nick K says:

    Mike..what part of “The British Government itself says that Moncton is not a member of the House of Lords” do you not understand?

    The House of Lords says that Moncton is not a member.

    Or did you somehow miss the link I posted?


  7. Ed:

    There was a compromise deal brokered with the Lords at the last minute which allowed an amendment to the Act to be made to let a rump of hereditaries continue to sit.

    It was done out of political expediency, really; while the Lords doesn’t have anything like the same power as the Senate does to screw things for the House, it can disrupt Commons business in a variety of ways, the Parliament Acts 1911 and 1949 and Salisbury convention notwithstanding, such as calling for a division (akin to a very simple oral cloture vote) on every clause of a Bill, for example. This is perfectly legal and within bounds of Parliamentary procedure.

    The gov’t at the time wasn’t willing to have its main agenda disrupted by the Lords’ petty antics, so they allowed a small fraction of the hereditaries to remain as an interim compromise, elected by the group itself.

    Anyway, long explanation over… Tl;dr – there are some hereditaries still in the Lords, but Monckton isn’t one.


  8. Ed Darrell says:

    As I understand it, there are no hereditary seats in the House of Lords. Mike, are you saying a few are left?

    I’d like to get it perfect, of course — but any way it’s sliced, Monckton is not a Member of Lords. He has never been a member, and considering he got zero votes when he stood for election to a seat, it’s unlikely he ever will be.

    With his odd views, ever were he to switch to the English Eccentrics Party, he’d not have a chance of a common sense argument at a denialist party of getting elected.


  9. No one has a hereditary peerage any more, and Monckton has never sat in Lords or Commons.

    Ed, you may wish to edit this for clarity – there are hereditary peers, and 90 or so sit in the Lords, which is a left over, supposedly interim measure from the House of Lords Act 1999. It was due to be reformed to remove them in 2009, but the measure was dropped for lack of support.


  10. Nick K says:

    From wikipedia:
    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.”[3] 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

    One does have to wonder why Hattip thinks he’s accomplishing anything by being such a sociopathic liar.

    Oh, Hattip, before you open your fat mouth and say “Well it’s wikipedia, it can be biased” here is the official website for the British House of Lords. Have fun finding Monckton:

    Because oh look..he isn’t listed. And if he and thus you are lying about his membership in the House of Lords then, using the logic you two engage in, it can safely be assumed that you two are lying about everything else. Ergo I just proved you two complete frauds.


  11. John Mashey says:

    There are hereditary peers in the House of Lords, but Monckton is not and never has been one of them. Hence, he is entittled to be called “Lord” but is nto a member of the House of Lords.

    His father Gilbert was a hereditary member of the House of Lords, but their number was downsized, forcing them to run for election.

    His short platform included:
    “Lord Monckton of Brenchley (Crossbencher, not elected)

    I support:

    Action against cruelty to animals, particularly fishing with rods. All cats to be muzzled outside to stop the agonising torture of mice and small birds.”

    The current Viscount has run for election several times, without success. However, this has left him idle time to pursue mischief elsewhere.


  12. Ed Darrell says:

    Hattip, you’re a fraud. Monckton is not a member of the House of Lords. Don’t take my word for it, call the House of Lords and ask.

    This line of rhetoric you use, that you can try to suggest minor error and that somehow excuses the patent falsehoods of climate denialists, is dishonest and childish.

    Monckton is not a member of the House of Lords. Your wishing for a conspiracy to replace science you either do not understand or refuse to study, does not make the warming go away.

    Here, see the views of another honest guy:

    Click to access 20100409_103701_Monckton_Mystery_Solved.pdf


  13. Hattip says:

    There are hereditary peer in the House of Lords.

    This line of rhetoric that you use, and, o course, it is no more than that, is a complete red herring.

    Once again, all you can muster is straw men arguments and personal attacks.

    Global warming IS a fraud. Wise up. Grow up.


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