Christopher Monckton

CC

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Christopher Monckton is joint deputy leader of the UK Independence Party, a journalist and a former Number 10 Policy Unit researcher. He retains the title of 3rd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, but his claim to be a member of the Upper House has been rejected by the House of Lords.

Monckton describes global warming as the " largest fraud of all time" and claimed a proposed UN treaty on climate change was a bid to "impose a communist world government on the world." Hundreds of thousands of people have watched YouTube videos of his climate change lectures.

Monckton published a two-part essay in the Sunday Telegraph in November 2006 in which he described climate change as a "Sci-Fi panic". He has given evidence to the United States Senate on the subject and lectured at universities in the US. He produced a short film, 'Apocalypse No!' which he said he would send to schools along with an edited version of the widely criticised Channel Four documentary, the Great Global Warming Swindle. Monckton claims to have read all 928 peer reviewed papers referencing global climate change identified in Professor Naomi Oreskes' study of the field. During the 2009 conference in Copenhagen, Monckton described a Jewish climate change activist as "Hitler Youth."

Scientific claims about climate

Monckton's scientific claims have been comprehensively challenged by climate change scientists. Following his appearance at the US senate, five climate scientists including Professor Michael Mann and Professor John Abraham produced a 48 page report which included responses from 21 specialists. Different specialists identified Monckton's claims on global average temperature as "very misleading"; on the relationship between rising CO2 and ocean acidification as "profoundly wrong"; his argument that concern is focused on whether the current temperature rise is unprecedented as "simply false"; and his claims that rising carbon dioxide cannot and will not lead to rising ocean acidity as "chemical nonsense."

Monckton's lecture given at Bethel University in St Paul, Minnesota in October 2009 has been refuted in exacting detail by Professor John Abraham of the University of St Thomas, Minnesota, who documents Monckton "misrepresenting the science." Monckton responded by issuing a 99-page response, in which he accuses Professor Abraham of bad faith, malice, appealing to a false authority, academic dishonesty, and lying. He concludes with a demand that the university remove the document from its servers and pay $110,000 compensation to a charity of Monckton's choice. The university has not complied. Monckton's response was characterised by George Monbiot at the Guardian as "magnificently bonkers". In another article Monckton referred to Abraham's work as "Goebbelian propoganda" and "venomously ad hominem" before comparing Abraham to "an overcooked prawn".

Tom Chivers, a blogger at the Daily Telegraph, wrote in a blog post that was quickly removed from the Telegraph website: "Lord Monckton is a fantasist, a blethering popinjay useful only for amusement. He can be safely ignored in all serious scientific debate. But it reflects badly on those people who want seriously to argue against the science of climate change that this capering jester is among the public figureheads of their movement. If I were, for example, m'colleagues James Delingpole or Christopher Booker, I would publically wash my hands of Lord Monckton, and soon."

Links to other sceptics

Monckton spoke at the International Conference on Climate Change in New York in March 2009, organised by the conservative thinktank the Heartland Institute.

In 2006, he authored a letter from the Center for Science and Public Policy to two US senators. The senators had written to ExxonMobil asking it to stop funding climate change sceptics. Monckton wrote: "That great corporation has exercised its right of free speech - and with good reason - in openly providing support for scientists and groups that dare to question how much the increased concentration of CO2 in the air may warm the world. You must honour the Constitution, withdraw your letter and apologize to ExxonMobil, or resign as Senators." He stated in the Sunday Telegraph essays that he had not received " a red cent from Exxon".

Monckton is an advisor to the conservative Washington-based thinktank Science and Policy Institute. His sister Rosa is the daughter-in-law of Lord Lawson, the former Conservative chancellor and founder of the Global Warming Policy Foundation.

Biography

Monckton worked at Conservative Central Office as a press officer from 1977 to 1978 before becoming editor of The Universe and then managing editor of the Sunday Telegraph magazine. Monckton was invited to join the Number 10 Policy Unit in 1982 with responsibility for housing and parliamentary affairs. He has been credited with Margaret Thatcher's "right to buy" council house scheme.

Of the six members of the policy unit, Monckton claims, he was "the only one who knew any science", and he states: "I gave her advice on science as well as other policy from 1982-1986, two years before the IPCC was founded." In her autobiography Margaret Thatcher: The Downing Street Years, Mrs Thatcher states that George Guise was the member of the policy unit who advised her on science. Her autobiography does not mention Monckton.

After four years Monckton returned to journalism, as assistant editor of the Today newspaper and then consulting editor of the Evening Standard.

According to his biography on the UKIP website, Monckton is Director of a company called Resurrexi Pharmaceutical, which seeks "broad spectrum cures for infectious diseases." Monckton's profile states that : "Patients have been cured of various infectious diseases, including Graves' Disease, multiple sclerosis, influenza, and herpes simplex VI" and that patents have been filed. Monckton wrote an article for American Spectator in 1987 titled The Myth of Heterosexual AIDS in which he stated: "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."

Monckton invented the geometric puzzle known as the "Eternity Puzzle," with a £1 million cash prize offered to anyone who could solve it within four years. The puzzle was completed within 18 months by two Cambridge mathematicians. At the time Monckton stated that he would have to sell his house to fund the prize, but later admitted he had said this for publicity purposes. Monckton had claimed to have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 as a contributor to the IPCC process, and stated that he has the status of 'Nobel Peace Laureate' for his contribution to the IPCC process, but when challenged later said that these claims were a joke.

Monckton has frequently sued or threatened libel action. He has threatened legal action against Scott Mandia, a professor at Suffolk County College in Seldon, New York as well as against Professor Abraham and against George Monbiot at the Guardian.

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