DeSmog profiles Christopher Monckton, a man Nigel Farage believed was unfit for UKIP, who’s now in the business of telling scientists they’re making it all up
By Helen Nianias
Shrewd Lord Lawson is desperate to remain the respectable face of British climate denial while his inlaw Viscount Christopher Monckton entertains the contrarian troops despite having little political influence.
The two men present the same arguments – saying there is a conspiracy of ideologically motivated scientists to exaggerate the risk of climate change – but are rarely if ever seen in the same room at the same time.
Yesterday, DeSmog UK reported how Dr Benny Peiser, speaking on behalf of Lawson’s Global Warming Policy Foundation, said the charity had “zero” involvement with Lord Monckton. So why is Lawson’s spokesman so keen to create clear blue water between the two men, who are after all related by marriage?
Monckton has taken the centre stage of the climate debate in the United States and Australia. Yet he is a classics scholar and former journalist with literally no scientific credentials whatsoever. He argues that there has been no global warming “for 16 years” and describes anybody who thinks otherwise as a “climate change extremist”.
This somewhat fruity set of calculations saw him kicked out of the COP 18 Climate Change Conference in Doha in December 2012, after he took to the stage to disparage the views of assembled scientists by saying that the planet hadn’t got warmer in 16 years – at least – and nobody was doing a good enough job of keeping tabs on these silly science-type people and their so-called CO2 stats.
He was immediately stripped of his UN credentials. Most of us would have been too embarrassed to leave the house again, but causing a scene didn’t prevent the unstoppable Monckton touring the world to lecture on the “myth” of global warming.
His various tours, the most recent being the Climate of Freedom tour in 2013, saw Monckton take the stage in different venues across the world, including New Zealand and Australia, explaining something about CO2 levels increasing but that not making the planet warmer but there is more ice in the arctic, or something along those lines.
But, as ever, there were vested interests aplenty – one of his backers was a super-wealthy Australian coal mine owner for example – but Monckton never seems to be far from controversial, wealthy supporters.
His tour was sponsored by the Galileo movement, a small Australian group who believe that global warming is created by the likes of Indonesian volcanoes. Galileo are represented by Sydney-based PR firm Jackson Wells, who also represent British American Tobacco and The Church of Scientology.
As a free-market capitalist, the issue of finance is at the very core of Monckton’s eye-catching opinions. DeSmog may have revealed that Margaret Thatcher’s esteemed Chancellor said: “There are huge benefits from a warming planet… What is important is that you will be able to pocket all the benefits,” but he’s not alone.
He has claimed that “if we were to take action to try to prevent global warming the cost of that would be many times greater than the cost of taking adaptive measures later.” The bottom line is very much the thing that underlines Monckton’s view of climate change.
Monckton also told the ideacity Conference in Toronto this June that “the new menace to liberty is groupthink gone global. The globalization of groupthink is guilefully disguised under the green fig leaf of pietistic environmentalism. From behind that fig leaf, emerges today’s tumescent totem of totalitarian tyranny: climate change.”
What we can take away from all of this is that Monckton doesn’t bally well want anybody telling him what to do with his time or his money. Which is probably for the best, because there are a great many people who might think that his work as director of RESURREXI Pharmaceutical has been a spectacular waste of both.
Cure Your Ills
In the 2011 BBC documentary “Meet The Sceptics”, Monckton claimed he’d cured his own Graves disease, an autoimmune disease that can kill you if you don’t treat it. Even more sensationally, Monckton told the BBC that his company was curing HIV, malaria, MS as well as the flu.
It’s amazing what a classics degree from Cambridge can really teach you. In a radio interview given after the programme aired, however, he declined to repeat his claims.
The ambiguity around Monckton’s exact qualifications to do anything – medical, environmental or even political – has been a sore sticking point during his career.
Monckton’s got loads of great stuff in the pipeline – including bothering Australia more with a fun-sounding new right-wing creationist party alongside a man who believes that Australian bushfires are a way of punishing people for abortion.
We can be grateful though, for Monckton. As long as it is this calibre of man telling us it’s all going to be OK, more and more people will continue to sit up and take notice of the science behind global warming.