Chief Policy Adviser: Lord Monckton, UK: -- Christopher, Third Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, was Special Advisor to Margaret Thatcher as UK Prime Minister from 1982 to 1986, and gave policy advice on technical issues such as warship hydrodynamics (his work led to his appointment as the youngest Trustee of the Hales Trophy for the Blue Riband of the Atlantic), psephological modeling (predicting the result of the 1983 General Election to within one seat), embryological research, hydrogeology (leading to the award of major financial assistance to a Commonwealth country for the construction of a very successful hydroelectric scheme), public-service investment analysis (leading to savings of tens of billions of pounds), public welfare modeling (his model of the UK tax and benefit system was, at the time, more detailed than the Treasury's economic model, and led to a major simplification of the housing benefit system), and epidemiological analysis. On leaving 10 Downing Street, he established a successful specialist consultancy company, giving technical advice to corporations and governments. His two articles in the Sunday Telegraph late in 2006 debunking the climate-change "consensus" received more hits to the newspaper's website than any other in the paper's history: the volume of hits caused the link to crash. His 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. He has lectured at university physics departments on the quantification of climate sensitivity, on which he is widely recognized as an expert, and his limpid analysis of the climate-feedback factor was published on the famous climate blog of Roger Pielke, Sr. His lecture to undergraduates at the Cambridge Union Society on climate change has been released by SPPI as Apocalypse? NO!, a full-length feature movie on high-definition DVD (available from www.greatswindle.com). Apocalypse? NO! been described by Professor Larry Gould of the University of Hartford, Connecticut, as the best film ever made on climate change.Interestingly, this bio does not list his qualifications, but that can be solved by looking at Wikipedia:
Monckton was educated at Harrow School and Churchill College, Cambridge, where he received an BA/MA(Cambs.) in classics in 1974, and at University College, Cardiff, where he obtained a diploma in journalism studies. He is also a qualified Day Skipper with the Royal Yachting AssociationA Day Skipper, no less! Well, at least we have that in common.
Let's examine his bio item by item.
Third Viscount Monckton of Brenchley: Indeed, he is. To quote Wikipedia:
Although Monckton inherited a peerage, he did so after the passing of the House of Lords Act 1999, which provided that hereditary peers would no longer have an automatic right to sit and vote in the House of Lords. Monckton asserts that the Act is flawed and unconstitutional, and has referred to himself as "a member of the Upper House of the United Kingdom legislature" in a letter to US Senators and also as "a member of the Upper House but without the right to sit or vote."Nevertheless, he has been using a portcullis device, on his letterheads and on slides during his lectures, that looks remarkably like the House of Lords device. I found the following image at Barry Bickmore's blog:
The House of Lords authorities have said Monckton is not and never has been a member and that there is no such thing as a non-voting or honorary member of the House. In July 2011 the House took the "unprecedented step" of publishing online a cease and desist letter to Monckton from the Clerk of the Parliaments, which concluded, "I am publishing this letter on the parliamentary website so that anybody who wishes to check whether you are a Member of the House of Lords can view this official confirmation that you are not."
The House of Lords device is described on Wikipedia as:
The principal emblem of the House is the Crowned Portcullis. It is a royal badge and its use by the House has been formally authorised by licence granted by Her Majesty the Queen. The designs and symbols of the House should not be used for purposes to which such authentication is inappropriate, or where there is a risk that their use might wrongly be regarded, or represented, as having the authority of the House.Monckton reckons that he is not attempting to mislead anyone, according to The Guardian:
Monckton argues his use of the portcullis emblem, which has appeared on his letterheads and lecture presentations, does not breach any rules: "My logo is not a registered badge of parliament, and is plainly distinct from parliament's badge in numerous material respects. The Lords do not use the portcullis at all on their notepaper: they use the Royal Arms within an elliptical cartouche."Our redoubtable Barry Bickmore seems to have caught m'Lud telling porkies, in that case:
A House of Lords spokeswoman said: "The emblem is property of the Queen, and Parliament has a Royal Licence granted for its use. Any misuse of the emblem by either members or non-members breaches this licence, and if a person refuses to stop using it the matter is drawn to the attention of the Lord Chamberlain, who is an Officer of the Royal Household. The Lord Chamberlain has been contacted regarding Lord Monckton's use of the emblem, and it will fall to him to follow up on any misuse of the emblem."
Well, I was going through some video footage of Monckton and noted that when Monckton testified before a committee of the U.S. Congress in 2009, one congressman asked Monckton whether his logo was some kind of coat of arms. Monckton replied,I leave it to you to judge whether Lord Monckton is being as transparently honest as one might wish, when he uses his "plainly distinct" logo. On his notepaper, no less?
No sir, that is the portcullis, the symbol of the House of Lords….
Special Advisor to Margaret Thatcher as UK Prime Minister from 1982 to 1986, and gave policy advice on technical issues such as warship hydrodynamics: Curiously, his Wikipedia page is much less fulsome:
He wrote a paper on the privatisation of council housing by means of a rent-to-mortgages scheme that brought him to the attention of Downing Street. Ferdinand Mount, the head of the Number 10 Policy Unit and a former CPS director, brought Monckton into the Policy Unit in 1982. He was recruited as a domestic specialist with responsibilities for housing and parliamentary affairs, working alongside Mount and Peter Shipley on projects such as the phasing out of council housing. He left the unit in 1986 to become assistant editor of the newly established, and now defunct, tabloid newspaper Today.No mention there of being a "Special Advisor to Margaret Thatcher", or giving "policy advice on technical issues such as warship hydrodynamics". Oh, well, perhaps Wikipedia is just following m'Lud's example of excessive modesty.
Trustee of the Hales Trophy for the Blue Riband of the Atlantic: His Wikipedia page tells us that he:
has been a trustee of the Hales Trophy for the Blue Riband of the Atlantic since 1986.His SPPI bio entry, above, says that his "policy advice on technical issues such as warship hydrodynamics ... led to his appointment as the youngest Trustee of the Hales Trophy", but Wikipedia fails to explain this linkage of cause and effect. Oh, well, more modesty probably. One does wonder what possible policy advice he could give in a field where he is patently lacking in qualification, but that does not seem to be an impediment to his achievements in this sphere,or in the sphere of the science of Climate Change.
... psephological modeling (predicting the result of the 1983 General Election to within one seat), embryological research, hydrogeology (leading to the award of major financial assistance to a Commonwealth country for the construction of a very successful hydroelectric scheme), public-service investment analysis (leading to savings of tens of billions of pounds), public welfare modeling (his model of the UK tax and benefit system was, at the time, more detailed than the Treasury's economic model, and led to a major simplification of the housing benefit system), and epidemiological analysis: This is a veritable gallop through the roses of his career, but I have found no supporting evidence for most of it. He was, indeed, a member of the Number 10 Policy Unit, as described above, with special focus on housing, but his litany of achievements there seems not to have made it to Wikipedia, or anywhere else that I have discovered.
The nearest I can find to leadership in the fields of embryological research and epidemiological analysis is his world-leading medical breakthrough, which has not (yet) earned him a Nobel Prize. I am sure the award is in the mail as I write. What breakthrough is that? Why, his cure for some dreadful human afflictions, of course:
Resurrexi Pharmaceutical is stated on the UK Independence Party (UKIP) web site to be a company of which Monckton is a director. In the BBC documentary, "Meet the Sceptics" (2011), Monckton, said he had cured himself of Graves' disease an auto-immune disease thought to have been triggered either by a one-time virus or bacterial infection, and said he was researching a "broad-spectrum cure" for infectious diseases. UKIP's CV for Monckton states that "patients have been cured of various infectious diseases, including Graves' Disease, multiple sclerosis, influenza, and herpes simplex 6. Our first HIV patient had his viral titre reduced by 38% in five days, with no side-effects. Tests continue."Test continue. What an understatement. Perhaps Resurrexi Pharmaceutical is doing the embryological research and epidemiological analysis on his behalf, or perhaps his directorship entitles him to wear a lab coat, which, no doubt, has a pink portcullis embroidered on the breast pocket. Imagine that: a man with a classics degree, diploma in journalism and a Day Skipper qualification doing actual, hands-on, down-and-dirty embryological research. One can only stand in awe of such gifts.
Of course, there is always his television appearance on the subject. Peter Sinclair, at Climate Denial Crock Of The Week posted an amusing little piece about 4 minutes long. Check it out at around the 3 minute mark:
On leaving 10 Downing Street, he established a successful specialist consultancy company, giving technical advice to corporations and governments: Surprisingly, under the heading of 'Entrepreneurship', Wikipedia notes only that
In 1995, Monckton and his wife opened Monckton's, a shirt shop in King's Road, Chelsea.Perhaps he offered technical advice to corporations and governments from a small room out the back, next to the fitting room.
His 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: Wikipedia makes no mention of this, which one would really think would be of the utmost moment to such a biographical entry.
When Monckton was in Australia, he was interviewed by Adam Spencer and the following exchange took place:
Spencer: Are you a Nobel Laureate as is claimed on many websites?Interestingly, Australian journalist Hugh Riminton did some real research into this claim:
Monckton: I don’t know what websites… there is no website that I control that says any such thing.
For some time - Google “Monckton” and “Nobel Prize” and see for yourself - the great sceptic-in-chief has been passing himself off as a Nobel Laureate.Curiouser and curiouser.
Cornered last month by the Sydney Morning Herald, he reportedly said it was “a joke, a joke.”
Yet the website of his organisation, the Science and Public Policy Institute - as of yesterday - continues to press the claim (see page 2).
The site is extremely specific. Lord Monckton “earned the status of Nobel Peace Laureate (through) his contribution to the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report in 2007.”
That contribution itself is detailed. Furthermore, the website continues, “his Nobel Prize pin…was presented to him by the Emeritus Professor of Physics at the University of Rochester, New York.”
What credible person would not correct the error immediately - if it is indeed an error.
To be sure, I rang the Nobel Committee that administers the Peace Prize.
Committee secretary Geir Lundestat had never heard of Lord Monckton. I emailed him the Monckton website.
“The claim is ridiculous,” said Lundestat. “He is not a laureate - no way, no way.”
Thousands of people, he said, participated in the program of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which shared the 2007 prize with Al Gore.
“But the organisation won the prize. Not even Dr Rajendra Pachauri (the chair of the IPCC) is an individual laureate.”
No individual, no matter what their involvement with the IPCC, can pass themselves off an a Nobel Laureate.
As for Lord Monckton’s Nobel Prize pin?
“It certainly wasn’t issued by us,” said Lundestat. “We have no pin.”
The Science And Public Policy Institute was certainly making this claim, as can be seen from the archived copy of his biographical note. The current version of that note does not include the claim, but the letter to McCain is still available there.
The current version of his bio at SPPI makes other claims:
Lord Monckton’s knowledge of the science and politics behind “global warming” is noted for its breadth and depth. He has given speeches, lectures, and university seminars in the US and all over the world, is widely consulted by governments, corporations, and professors, and has authored numerous papers on the climate issue for the layman, as well as for the scientific journals.Yes, that's right: His Lordship's knowledge of the science and politics behind global warming is noted for its breadth and depth. They obviously meant to include the highth as well, but couldn't figure out how to spell it. To quote an appropriate source, The Goon Show, he must be known "through the length and longth of the land" for his remarkable scientific mind. I have no doubt he has special skills in the politics side of things, but the science? With no education in the field?
What about the claim that he "has authored numerous papers on the climate issue for the layman, as well as for the scientific journals"? Sadly, I could not find a relevant scientific paper authored by CW Monckton when I used Google Scholar. I did find a reference to “Shoe-fit”-a computerised shoe print database at IEEE (could there be another CW Monckton doing shoe research?), a commentary entitled "Free speech about climate change" (in the abstract to which he is described as follows: "3rd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, is a member of the British House of Lords." - I thought we had dealt with that, but it keeps popping up), a Guest Column called Uncertainty in Climate Modeling ostensibly by S. Fred Singer (a noted Climate Change "skeptic") but for which CW Monckton is given co-author status by Google Scholar; but of scientific papers published in reputable scientific journals there seem to be none.
The clue must be in their next sentence:
Many of his papers are published at www.scienceandpublicpolicy.org.Ah - now I see! He is Chief Policy Adviser at SPPI. SPPI publish his papers. Ergo, SPPI is a scientific journal. The reference to scientific journals plural must be an accidental typo.
I must admit to being a teensy bit concerned that the SPPI has been indulging in a tad of astroturfing. Perhaps I am being unkind.
To continue examining his bio at SPPI:
He has lectured at university physics departments on the quantification of climate sensitivity, on which he is widely recognized as an expert: This claim in his bio is unsupported by any references. The claim of "widely recognised" is obscure: exactly who recognises him as an expert? We are left wondering.
and his limpid analysis of the climate-feedback factor was published on the famous climate blog of Roger Pielke, Sr.: Roger Pielke, Sr. is widely recognised as one of the few scientists going against the concensus scientific position on Climate Change. For Monckton to be published on Pielke's blog may be more an indication of Pielke's scientific rigour these days than an accolade for Monckton. Pielke has been criticised for inaccurate teaching of climate science in the past, so Monckton may do well to dissociate himself from the possible whiff of junk science there.
His lecture to undergraduates at the Cambridge Union Society on climate change has been released by SPPI as Apocalypse? NO!, a full-length feature movie on high-definition DVD (available from www.greatswindle.com): Monckton is Chief Policy Adviser at SPPI. SPPI publish his lecture as a feature-length movie. Another circular reference. Perhaps it is appropriate that it is available from www.greatswindle.com.
Apocalypse? NO! been described by Professor Larry Gould of the University of Hartford, Connecticut, as the best film ever made on climate change: Wow! A film critic and a Professor, no less! But who is Larry Gould? Once again, we are indebted to the SPPI. On a page labelled Proved: There is No Climate Crisis is this quote:
Larry Gould, Professor of Physics at the University of Hartford and Chair (2004) of the New England Section of the American Physical Society (APS), has been studying climate-change science for four years.As much as four years! Fancy that! Well, perhaps he is an unbiased witness, so let's see what he said:
“I was impressed by an hour-long academic lecture which criticized claims about ‘global warming’ and explained the implications of the physics of radiative transfer for climate change. I was pleased that the audience responded to the informative presentation with a prolonged, standing ovation. That is what happened when, at the invitation of the President of our University, Christopher Monckton lectured here in Hartford this spring. I am delighted that Physics and Society, an APS journal, has published his detailed paper refining and reporting his important and revealing results.‘
“To me the value of this paper lies in its dispassionate but ruthlessly clear exposition – or, rather, exposé – of the IPCC’s method of evaluating climate sensitivity. The detailed arguments in this paper, and, indeed, in a large number of other scientific papers, point up extensive errors, including numerous projection errors of climate models, as well as misleading statements by the IPCC. Consequently, there are no rational grounds for believing either the IPCC or any other claims of dangerous anthropogenic ‘global warming’.”Ah! Did you spot that? He refers to Monckton having been published in "Physics and Society, an APS journal". Sadly, I could find no record of 'Physics and Society' being a scientific, peer-reviewed journal. Perhaps it is and I have been looking in all the wrong places. From the tenor of the second paragraph, I infer that Professor Gould is a Climate Change "skeptic", just like Pielke Sr. and Monckton. Perhaps it is no surprise that what must seem such a gushingly fulsome piece of sycophancy should be published on the SPPI web site, where the "dispassionate but ruthless" Monckton holds court.
So, what have we learned here? About all that I have learned in doing this research is
- Lord Monckton is good at promoting himself
- He must have a sense of humour, as evidenced in his response to the question about his Nobel Prize: "a joke, a joke.”
A joke. That sums it up for me.