On many of our apparent disagreements, it seems that Lord Monckton and I sometimes use different terms to explain the same thing. For example, he believes the response to the AIDS sufferers should have been to ‘isolate all carriers as quickly as possible, so as to prevent transmission of the infection.’ I see the same situation, in which AIDS suffers are denied freedom of movement until there is no longer any risk of them transmitting the disease (i.e. until they die), as ‘imprisonment until they die.’ On those sorts of occasions I am happy to agree to disagree with Lord Monckton, and submit them to the court of public opinion.
On other occasions we simply have different viewpoints on debates within the scientific community. For example, Lord Monckton believes that ‘the scientific method operates in such a way that if a hypothesis is disproven it fails.’ By ‘disproven’ here, Monckton means that evidence is found that is inconsistent with the hypothesis. In the philosophy of science this is called ‘naÃ¯ve falsificationism,’ called naÃ¯ve because adopting that position denies that science has essentially any knowledge of the social world there is an exception to basically every rule in economics, psychology, sociology, anthropology, and political science. Does nobody in any of those disciplines actually know anything? That seems a bit harsh. I prefer other, newer views of the scientific process, such as ‘sophisticated falsificationism’ and the epistemology of Imre Lakatos. Again, I am happy to agree to disagree with Monckton on those issues, and to trade put downs on those topics with him if he wishes.
On still other occasions, Lord Monckton seems to take umbrage at having the rhetorical barbs he deploys against others deployed on him instead. If Lord Monckton is going to call Barack Obama a ‘communist,’ call the IPCC ‘liars’ and ‘cheats,’ and so on, then it can hardly surprise or shock him when some of that rhetorical vigor bounces back his way. In the parlance, he ‘put himself in harm’s way.’ For my part (and to avoid any hint of hypocrisy), I am not upset at all when Lord Monckton calls me ‘hapless’ and accuses me of engaging in ‘rants.’ I wear abuse from Lord Monckton as a badge of honor.
There are some occasions, however, where we disagree on things that are directly verifiable. Here are my four favorite examples of Lord Monckton swearing that black is white. In my view, these examples illustrate nicely his lack of integrity and credibility.
Lord Monckton ‘Nobel Peace Prize winner’
Monckton: ‘Salmond says I claim to be a Nobel laureate. I made no such claim.’
View the original Monckton video at around 40:15:
‘ and for that I wear, with pride, my Nobel Peace Prize pin. I too, Al baby, am a Nobel laureate, [applause] but I got it for telling the truth and you got it for telling lies. [Applause]’
[Btw, there doesn’t appear to be any such thing as a real Nobel prize pin. The only person I can find saying they got one is Monckton. Actual recipients get medals. Eddie]
Lord Monckton ‘Legislator’
Monckton: ‘Salmond says I claim to be a member of the House of Lords I do not have, and do not pretend to have, the right to sit or vote in the House: that right was removed from my father and nearly all hereditary peers in 1999.’
‘Finally, you may wonder why it is that a member of the Upper House of the United Kingdom legislature, wholly unconnected with and unpaid by the corporation that is the victim of your lamentable letter, should take the unusual step of calling upon you as members of the Upper House of the United States legislature either to withdraw what you have written or resign your sinecures.’ (Emphasis added. Hat Tip: BLiP)
Lord Monckton ‘Scientist’
Monckton: ‘Salmond says I do not have a peer-reviewed publication in any scientific journal on any topic. Readers may like to visit the website of Physics and Society, which published a peer-reviewed paper by me entitled Climate Sensitivity Reconsidered in July 2008.’
Following Lord Monckton’s advice, I visited his article on the interwebs directly, and found the following note at the top:
‘The following article [by Monckton] has not undergone any scientific peer review, since that is not normal procedure for American Physical Society newsletters.’
Lord Monckton ‘Foreign Policy Analyst’
As I posted originally, there are myriad errors in Monckton’s big finish, but this is the most obvious one. In Monckton’s original presentation, he says: ‘if that treaty [of Copenhagen] is signed, your Constitution says that it takes precedence over your Constitution, and you can’t resile from that treaty unless you get agreement from all the other state’s parties ‘ Of course the US Constitution says no such thing, as I pointed out. So now Lord Monckton’s position has changed to:
‘Salmond says treaties do not supersede the US Constitution. However, by the Vienna Convention on International Treaties, to which the US is a signatory, the terms of a treaty prevail over any domestic law.’
That is, of course, a not at all the same position. At least on this occasion Lord Monckton has attempted to change his story rather than reflexively deny his own words. Kudos to you, Lord Monckton, on that rather modest accomplishment.
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