Prawngate: Monckton tries to censor critics

[UPDATE: I recommend everyone sign the petition supporting John Abraham, and join the Facebook group]

Monckton may have tried to delete his original response to John Abraham’s presentation in which he completely dismantles Monckton’s claims, but thanks to the power of the internet it has been preserved:

So unusual is this attempt actually to meet us in argument, and so venomously ad hominem are Abraham’s artful puerilities, delivered in a nasal and irritatingly matey tone (at least we are spared his face — he looks like an overcooked prawn), that climate-extremist bloggers everywhere have circulated them and praised them to the warming skies.

Which of course begs the question, on what planet must one live in order accuse someone of ad hominem while lunching into ad hominem in the same sentence!

But that was only the start.

Monckton recently published a longer reply to Abraham. A much longer reply that goes on for almost 100 pages, and asks Abraham 446 questions. It is of course absurd. There are lies, upon lies, and it would take months to fully explore them all. But some intrepid bloggers have started this daunting task.

Richard Littlemore at DeSmogBlog looks at the Monckton’s misrepresentation of Abraham’s insistence that Monckton never published anything:

In context, Abraham’s reference – an accurate one – held that Monckton has never published anything in the peer-reviewed scientific literature. Monckton’s riposte cites abulletin in a Welsh business school – not a particularly impressive standard for scientific peer review. Monckton also points to a feature that he wrote for an APS newsletter. This, again is NOT a peer-reviewed journal and Monckton has been scolded by people, including the then-president of the American Physical Society, Arthur Biensenstock, for misrepresenting this fact.

So, per Abraham’s criticism, 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.

Gareth over at Hot Topic looks at Monckton’s claims of expertise, and finds them lacking. Eli Rabett finds some rather basic ice errors, and digs to find the shocking fact that despite what Monckton might say, temperature records from the 17th century might not be as reliable as we would like.

And in perhaps the clearest example of dishonesty, Tim Lambert finds that Monckton is still misusing Pinker’s work, even after being told by Pinker herself that his representation of her work was wrong, and vowing to correct the manner in which he represents her work.

And then it gets worse.

Monckton is now trying to censor Abraham by trying to flood the inboxes of the administrators of St. Thomas University, with requests that disciplinary action be taken against Abraham. And worse threatening a lawsuit against Abraham and the University.

George Monbiot notices this irony in this:

Reading these ravings, I’m struck by two thoughts. The first is how frequently climate change deniers resort to demands for censorship or threats of litigation to try to shut down criticism of their views. Martin Durkin has done it, Richard North has done it, Monckton has done it many times before. They claim to want a debate, but as soon as it turns against them they try to stifle it by intimidating their opponents. To me it suggests that these people can give it out, but they can’t take it.

Deniers love to claim they are censored (though can never seem to provide any convincing evidence), but do not hesitate to attempt to censor, and otherwise harass and bully their critics.

But there is real danger in what Monckton is doing, that is if he goes through with this lawsuit. A few years ago Canadian denier Tim Ball was exposed to have severally padded his resume. Dan Johnson exposed some easy verifiable lies in Ball’s resume and got sued.  And while Tim Ball eventually dropped the suit (he had no leg to stand on) the whole process cost Dan Johnson significantly.

While Monckton, and his ilk should not be taken seriously, their attempts to silence critics and infringe on their academic freedom must be.

3 thoughts on “Prawngate: Monckton tries to censor critics

Add yours

  1. Monckton’s response contains more bluster than I ever thought possible in one human being. I am reminded of the desperate student thinking quantity makes up for quality.

  2. One thing (among many) that’s odd about the June 4th Monckton comment is the remark:

    Monbiot made the mistake of pretending that he understood the fundamental equation of radiative transfer, of which he had plainly not previously heard.

    Here it was I who had the advantage: before writing the article in the Telegraph I had spent three months tracking the equation down…

    but later:

    Why has it taken Abraham so long [eight months] to cobble together his ramblings?

    The equation is, of course, the Stefan-Boltzmann equation, which can be found with a ten second Google/Wikipedia search.

    So, taking three months to find an equation that has been common knowledge among physicists since the late nineteenth century is a point of pride for Monckton, whereas eight months to prepare a carefully researched 126 slide rebuttal (by somebody who has a day job) is an indication that Abraham’s work is an “ingenious fiction”.

    I suppose the Good Lord knows a thing or two about cobbling together a work of fiction.

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