Monckton – not forcibly detaining Aids victims for life a mistake

The right honourable Lord Christopher Monckton, Third Viscount of Brenchley, former advisor to Maggie Thatcher, current the deputy leader of the UK Independence Party and darling of the US Tea Pary climate denialist circuit has done us the great honour of dropping over John Bull’s Other Island.

He’s here to share a platform with, ahem, like minded individuals here, these include Jim Corr, one-time drummer and now campaigner against the Illuminati(!) and the New World Order, an anti-vaccintion propagandist from the US and the editor of the far-right wing, ‘Sovereign Independent’ (typical headline: Two mothers and their toddler children banned from council-funded playgroup – for being BRITISH). This motley crew were lecturing under the banner of ‘The Truth Agenda’ in Cork last night and in Dublin tomorrow.

Monckton is a gifted spoofer. His academic qualifications include a primary degree in the Classics (hence the ad absurdum interjections in Latin) and a diploma in journalism. No primary, doctoral or post-doctoral qualifications in physics or any science whatever. No peer-reviewed paper ever published.  Yet he alone has managed to debunk pretty much the entire ‘global warming scam’. You carefully cherry picking a line or two here, a chart there, and a reference somewhere else, mix them all together, and voila! Out gushes fountain of plausible-sounding bull that his science-illiterate Tea Party audiences lap up.

Monckton is of course himself generously funded by the energy industry, and they certainly get value for money. In fact, when House Republicans were asked to select an ‘expert witness’ to speak before the Select Committe on Energy Independence and Global Warming, they bypassed the hundreds, indeed thousands of physicists, Nobel laureate scientists and atmospheric specialists in favour of the chap with the plummy accent and the diploma in journalism. That’s how accomplished he is at gish-gallop and disinformation.

That’s also a sad testament to how debased and politicised the debate on science in the US – once a world leader – has become that they wheel out a Walter Mitty fantasist, straight from central casting, as their “expert” on the deadly serious business of addressing global warming.

Matt Cooper gave him a good four minutes-plus of an uninterrupted spiel on The Last Word yesterday evening. I was brought in as ballast. The whole 11-minute clip is below. Nothing you wouldn’t expect, including lots of Tolborg economics to prop up specious arguments. Needless to say, we didn’t exactly see eye to eye, but it made for a good scrap, and this is showbiz, let’s never forget.

TodayFM Monckton 20-1-2011

Where it does get a little more interesting is when I challenged His Lordship on his slightly controversial 1987 article in ‘American Spectator’ where he wrote an article under the loaded title, ‘The Myth of Heterosexual Aids’:

“There is only one way to stop AIDS. That is to screen the entire population regularly and to quarantine all carriers of the disease for life. Every member of the population should be blood-tested every month … all those found to be infected with the virus, even if only as carriers, should be isolated compulsorily, immediately, and permanently.”

And since heterosexual AIDS is a ‘myth’, what Monckton was in effect demanding was the mass internment and forced testing of homosexuals. They were to be ‘isolated compulsorily, immediately and permanently’. Permanent concentration camps, in other words. A pogrom against the entire gay community; men, women and children to be “humanely” incarcerated for the rest of their lives.

First off, he furiously, indignantly denied on-air that he had ever demanded internment for AIDS victims, calling me a liar into the bargain. (“I’ve never said anything of that kind. It’s a lie”) .Then things got really, really interesting. Here’s the transcript of the relevant bit. Cooper asked him directly if he had ever advocated locking up AIDS victims:

“No I didn’t. I wrote a very careful article 25 years ago in which I said the standard public health measure which you use if you’re trying to prevent the emergence of a new and fatal infection that can’t be cured is to, eh, isolate the carriers immediately, compulsorily, permanently but humanely. It doesn’t mean locking them up. I never used any such phrase, I never mentioned concentration camps, indeed I explicitly said that the methods could be and should be humane, however, I added at the end of the article, in the West, the sensibilities are such nowadays that any such measure would prove to be in practice impossible and as a result, tens of millions would quite unnecessarily die. And since I wrote that article, 25 million people have died of AIDS, according to UN figures, who arguably most of whom would not have died if the normal public health measures that got rid of smallpox and other such diseases had been put in place in time….by now, if the normal public health measure had been followed, AIDS would have been wiped out…”

Quite how you compulsorily, permanently isolate people without locking them up, he never did get around to explaining. Perhaps because it’s impossible. Sadly, His Lordship got the last word, and I also never got to ask him how you could have ‘wiped out AIDS’ if you are operating under the bigoted misconception that it is a “Gay Plague” that is of no risk to heterosexuals. Monckton’s grasp of medicine and epidemiology is second only to his understanding of climate science. Both appear to be primarily informed by deep-seated bigotry (he is also a fundamentalist Catholic who frequently quotes the Bible in his lectures) and misconceptions.

But back briefly to climate change. Peter Sinclair’s superb online video series, ‘Climate Crock of the Week’ dedicated two full 10-minute clips to exposing and eviscerating the tricks of Monckton’s trade, uncovering the intellectual sleights of hand involved in his “scientific” presentations. It’s worth spending 20 minutes to see this master of misinformation at work – and to enjoy seeing his carapace of falsehoods expertly unpicked. As m’lud himself might say, QED.

Oh, and did I mention that Monckton calls Obama a “monster”, a “Communist” and regularly repeats the vile Tea Party smear that he was not born in the US and is thus a bogus President. And he repeatedly called a group of American college students advocating for clean energy “Hitler youth” and “Nazis”. He denied that, too, but luckily, someone recorded him in full flight. Nice guy. Really nice guy.

Finally, sources tell me the Monckton circus will feature on RTÉ’s flagship ‘Late Late Show’ this evening. If so, shame on all concerned for giving the oxygen of publicity to such an individual.

ThinkOrSwim is a blog focusing on the inter-related crises involving climate change, sustainability, resource depletion, energy and biodiversity loss
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  • Adam Smith

    From Demogblog - http://www.desmogblog.com/christopher-monckton

    Christopher Monckton and the Heartland Institute

    Monckton is listed as a “Global Warming” expert for the Heartland Institute, a Chicago-based freemarket think tank. The Heartland Institute frequently attacks the scientific evidence for human-caused climate change. The Heartland Institute has received over $791,000 from oil-giant ExxonMobil since 1998.

    The tobacco industry has also been a regular funder to the Heartland Institute, with at least $190,000 coming from Philip Morris since 1993. The Heartland Institute maintains a smoker’s rights section on its website called ”The Smoker’s Lounge.”

    Monckton is also a regular speaker at the Heartland Institute’s International Conference on Climate Change which is sponsored by numerous climate change skeptic organizations. 

    DeSmogBlog found that the sponsors Heartland’s 2009 International Conference on Climate Change had collectively received over $47 million from oil companies and right-wing foundations.

    —–
    Christopher Monckton and the Science and Public Policy Institute

    Monckton is listed as a “Chief Policy Advisor” for the Science and Public Policy Institute (SPPI). The SPPI was until recently managed under the name “Center for Science and Public Policy Institute” by another freemarket think tank called the Frontiers of Freedom.

    Frontiers of Freedom has received over $1 million in funding from oil-giant ExxonMobil.

    Monckton’s profile on the Science and Public Policy Institute (SPPI) website includes the following statement:

    “His [Monckton's] contribution to the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report in 2007 – the correction of a table inserted by IPCC bureaucrats that had overstated tenfold the observed contribution of the Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets to sea-level rise – earned him the status of Nobel Peace Laureate. His Nobel prize pin, made of gold recovered from a physics experiment, was presented to him by the Emeritus Professor of Physics at the University of Rochester, New York, USA.”

    Monckton later conceded that it was “it was a joke, a joke” and “never meant to be taken seriously.”  The claim remains on the SPPI website to this day. 

    __________________________________________________________________

    Monckton on the Alex Jones Show, in 2009 in the run up to Copenhagen:

    “The fraudsters and racketeers from Al Gore to the people at the University of East Anglia who have been making their fortune at the expense of taxpayers and the little guy,” should be criminally charged, said Monckton, in response to the climategate scandal.
    “We the people have got to rise up worldwide, found a party in every country which stands for freedom and make sure we fight this bureaucratic communistic world government monster to a standstill – they shall not pass,” he added.
    Monckton said that the United Nations should be “closed down,” 
    Monckton said that the people running the scam had a “deliberate desire to control population by killing people in large numbers deliberately if necessary.”

    http://www.infowars.com/lord-monckton-shut-down-the-un-arrest-al-gore/

    ____________________________________________________________

    From the Alex Jones Website, published November 29, 2009, referring to a video of Monckton’s from October 2009  
    http://www.infowars.com/lord-monckton-prosecute-the-climate-change-criminals/

    As Lord Monckton explained in October, a realized Copenhagen treaty will establish a “one world Marxist government.”
    “The second purpose is the transfer of wealth from the countries of the West to third world countries, in satisfaction of what is called, coyly, ‘climate debt’ – because we’ve been burning CO2 and they haven’t. We’ve been screwing up the climate and they haven’t. And the third purpose of this new entity, this government, is enforcement They are about to impose a communist world government on the world. You have a president who has very strong sympathies with that point of view. He’s going to sign it. He’ll sign anything. He’s a Nobel Peace Prize [winner]; of course he’ll sign it.”
    __________________________________________________________________

  • Adam Smith

    From DeSmogBlog – http://www.desmogblog.com/christopher-monckton

    Christopher Monckton and the Heartland Institute

    Monckton is listed as a “Global Warming” expert for the Heartland Institute, a Chicago-based freemarket think tank. The Heartland Institute frequently attacks the scientific evidence for human-caused climate change. The Heartland Institute has received over $791,000 from oil-giant ExxonMobil since 1998.

    The tobacco industry has also been a regular funder to the Heartland Institute, with at least $190,000 coming from Philip Morris since 1993. The Heartland Institute maintains a smoker’s rights section on its website called “The Smoker’s Lounge.”

    Monckton is also a regular speaker at the Heartland Institute’s International Conference on Climate Change which is sponsored by numerous climate change skeptic organizations.

    DeSmogBlog found that the sponsors Heartland’s 2009 International Conference on Climate Change had collectively received over $47 million from oil companies and right-wing foundations.

    Christopher Monckton and the Science and Public Policy Institute
    Monckton is listed as a “Chief Policy Advisor” for the Science and Public Policy Institute (SPPI). The SPPI was until recently managed under the name “Center for Science and Public Policy Institute” by another freemarket think tank called the Frontiers of Freedom.
    Frontiers of Freedom has received over $1 million in funding from oil-giant ExxonMobil.

    Monckton’s Nobel Prize:
    Monckton’s profile on the Science and Public Policy Institute (SPPI) website includes the following statement:

    “His [Monckton's] contribution to the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report in 2007 – the correction of a table inserted by IPCC bureaucrats that had overstated tenfold the observed contribution of the Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets to sea-level rise – earned him the status of Nobel Peace Laureate. His Nobel prize pin, made of gold recovered from a physics experiment, was presented to him by the Emeritus Professor of Physics at the University of Rochester, New York, USA.”

    Monckton later conceded that it was “it was a joke, a joke” and “never meant to be taken seriously.” The claim remains on the SPPI website to this day.

  • Adam Smith

    __________________________________________________________________

    Monckton on the Alex Jones Show, in 2009 in the run up to Copenhagen:
    “The fraudsters and racketeers from Al Gore to the people at the University of East Anglia who have been making their fortune at the expense of taxpayers and the little guy,” should be criminally charged, said Monckton, in response to the climategate scandal.
    “We the people have got to rise up worldwide, found a party in every country which stands for freedom and make sure we fight this bureaucratic communistic world government monster to a standstill – they shall not pass,” he added.
    Monckton said that the United Nations should be “closed down,”
    Monckton said that the people running the scam had a “deliberate desire to control population by killing people in large numbers deliberately if necessary.”
    http://www.infowars.com/lord-monckton-shut-down-the-un-arrest-al-gore/

    ____________________________________________________________
    From the Alex Jones Website, published November 29, 2009, referring to a video of Monckton’s from October 2009 http://www.infowars.com/lord-monckton-prosecute-the-climate-change-criminals/

    As Lord Monckton explained in October, a realized Copenhagen treaty will establish a “one world Marxist government.”
    “The second purpose is the transfer of wealth from the countries of the West to third world countries, in satisfaction of what is called, coyly, ‘climate debt’ – because we’ve been burning CO2 and they haven’t. We’ve been screwing up the climate and they haven’t. And the third purpose of this new entity, this government, is enforcement They are about to impose a communist world government on the world. You have a president who has very strong sympathies with that point of view. He’s going to sign it. He’ll sign anything. He’s a Nobel Peace Prize [winner]; of course he’ll sign it.”

  • Adam Smith

    Monckton quite clearly tailors his message to his audience – on Matt Cooper yesterday he was not as vehement as when he appears on the right-wing fringe circuit in America. His statements while on the Alex Jones show ( another brave fighter against the New World Order, and other massively unlikely conspiracies) include the following:

    That those running the global warming ‘scam’ had a “deliberate desire to control population by killing people in large numbers deliberately if necessary”, he also called for criminal charges against ‘fraudsters and racketeers’ Al Gore and the University of East Anglia scientists.

    That the agenda behind the global warming movement was to set up a communistic world government which will be run by people who “do not care how many people they kill with their policies” and that their goal is to “do away with democracy forever by stealth using the excuse to save the planet.”

    Also, he would like the shutdown of the United Nations.

    http://www.infowars.com/lord-monckton-shut-down-the-un-arrest-al-gore/
    __
    Monckton has been an advocate of Euroscepticism for many years; as he put it in a 2007 interview, he would have the UK “leave the European Union, close down 90 per cent of government services and shift power away from the atheistic, humanistic government and into the hands of families and individuals.”
    ___

    I really hope my license fee is not being used to pay any of this loons expenses.

  • Toby

    Adam Smith,

    Totally agree about Monckton. I saw a video of him in the US buttering up an audience about “birtherism” (implying Obama was born in Kenya). It went down a bomb (all straight Tea Party audience) and they were eating out ofhis hand from then one.

    Great salesman, lousy science. Unfortunately, his plausible roguery had many people lulled into thinking he is “Mr Science”.

    However, the constant debunking of him by Skeptical Science and John Abrahams, assiduously advertised on the internet, is bearing fruit. I warrant his univerisity appearances have fallen off. The fact he is here to address an obvious lunatic fringe meeting is evidence his stock is lower than it once was.