Christopher Monckton — the Clown Prince of Climate Science Denial — has finally released his response to John Abrahams devastating dissection of his Bethel University talk from last October — the one that’s likely identical to the FCPP-sponsored talk he gave here around the same time. (Abraham’s critique can be found here. Some of our Monckton coverage can be found here and here.)
Apparently, it comes in at a whopping 99 pages. Apparently, it’s jam packed with Monckton’s particular brand of bloviation. Apparently, beyond that, it contains little substance.
I say “apparently” because I haven’t read it. No, I have not. And I do not intend to. Not unless someone decides to start paying me to squander more time on Monckton. While I have my reasons for enjoying pointing out that the man is unreliable on any subject and a total nutter besides, I think I’ve waded through enough of his crap and it’s now safe to dismiss his ravings outright and spare myself more tedium.
Instead, I’ll be trusting the analysis of others. Braver, more dedicated souls. Richard Littlemore over at Desmog Blog, for instance, is worth a read. Here’s a good bit that sums things up nicely:
Monckton says something, he offers a vague source to back up his position, but when you check the source, you find that he has said something that is quite incorrect. If you didn’t already know Monckton – which is to say, if you hadn’t come to expect this performance – you might be surprised that someone who is calling someone else a “liar” would be so cavalier with the evidence.
Meanwhile, over at the Guardian, George Monbiot is the most eloquent in tearing Monckton apart. His take:
As far as I can see, he fails to provide a straight or convincing refutation of any of Abraham’s criticisms, and succeeds only in throwing a great deal of dust into the air.
Reading through all this, what’s striking is how confidently Monckton has constructed his web of nit-wittery. In fact, I suspect he’s more than just a cynical opportunist riding the science-denial shortbus to fame and glory. He’s a true believer.
And that reminds me of this bit I just read in the God Delusion where Dawkin’s quotes from Robert Trivers’ Social Evolution:
[Self-deception is] hiding the truth from the conscious mind the better to hide it from others. In our own species we recognize that shifty eyes, sweaty palms and croaky voices may indicate the stress that accompanies conscious knowledge of attempted deception. By becoming unconscious of its deception, the deceiver hides these signs from the observer. He or she can lie without the nervousness that accompanies deception.
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