Nov 7, 2012

Pants on Fire

Lord Christopher Walter Monckton, the Third Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, is one of the most visible and vehement voices against climate change. And he may or may not be real. Mother Jones describes his public emergence:

"In 2006, Monckton...burst onto the climate denial scene with a story in the Sunday Telegraph claiming that "politicians, scientists and bureaucrats contrived a threat of Biblical floods, droughts, plagues, and extinctions worthier of St. John the Divine than of science." It received so many hits that the paper's website crashed. Since then, the tweedy personage has been embraced by cranks on both sides of the Atlantic. The Heartland Institute sent him to crash the 2007 UN climate talks in Bali and featured him at its renegade climate change conference in June. He is chief policy adviser to the Virginia-based Science and Public Policy Institute..."

A self-described former special adviser to Margaret Thatcher, he has also claimed to be a member of the House of Lords (he's not), to have been named a Nobel Peace Laureate for correcting the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (he wasn't), and that he'd received an $80,000 libel settlement from the Guardian (he hadn't).  Is he too over the top to be real? Some claim he's really comedian Sacha Baron Cohen. If he's a fake, he's fooling some pretty prominent folks. 

We wonder what effect, if any, this hyper-exaggerated spectre of a climate denier has on our perceptions of deniers overall. Is it a good laugh, a release from the stress of a monumental issue? Or is it detrimental to our ability to take the other side seriously, to find common ground for the sake of progress?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Post a Comment (edited for spam only)