You might think that someone who has had a single ‘scientific’ article exposed as having no less than 125 errors in it might spend some time licking his wounds and seeing where he went wrong, wouldn’t you?
Not if it’s Christopher Monckton, not if he’s one of the Climate Change Denier Undead he won’t.
Now this could easily just be about a man who is so hopelessly full of himself and clueless that it staggers the imagination, but that’s not very interesting. Funny and sad perhaps, but not interesting.
What makes it interesting is the response of some of the media and the Denier mob, and what we can learn about educating the public about climate change. There are several important lessons to be learned here and I would like to run through them quickly.
For those who don’t know it the Monckton/APS story is summarized here, with a fuller version here. For our purposes it is enough to say that Monckton published a piece of Climate Change Denierism that was shown to be riddled with errors, just like all of his earlier work (here and here as well) actually. Not said to be, shown to be. Arthur Smith patiently guides one through the whole abomination in excruciating detail, fully explained and properly referenced. Case closed.
Not quite. Monckton goulishly rises from his metaphorical coffin to err again. Why would anyone care? Because keeping Monckton shambling about also keeps the corpse of Denierism going (it feeds on confusion and fear), so more than a few people are very keen that he be revived.
So today we get this “BBC investigated after peer says climate change programme was biased ‘one-sided polemic’” in the Mail Online (Daily Mail) and “BBC investigated over climate change documentary” at the Telegraph. Quite the headlines, aren’t they? Sure sounds serious, except:
– there is no investigation in any official sense other than Ofcom looking into the complaint as it is required to do for every complaint, no matter how absurd or irrational;
– the fair and balanced media doing a story on lack of balance did not contact anyone to give a balanced story.
So we get an unbalanced non-story presented in a way that gives the appearance that Monckton has some shred of credibility which he most certainly does not. Pure sensationalism perhaps? or more “Media as Climate Change Deniers?” (Hint, The Telegraph again)
in no case are they interested in the fact that Monckton is hopelessly wrong. He is the martyr crucified on the cross of Climate Dogma, a fearless truth seeker being crushed beneath the iron heel of the communist controled BBC.
Think I’m kidding? Go read the comments on the news stories, the Denier sites, and whatever you find searching ‘Monckton potty peer’ As Poe’s Law implies. you can’t create a parody of the radical right that is more ridiculous than the reality.
At the news sharing site Digg.com you can see that I posted the stories problems shortly after it appeared, yet the Deniers simply ignore that and approve the story. The Deniers are simple not interested; facts and evidence won’t stop them.
So why bother arguing with them?
My comments are not for the Deniers. I am well aware that a percentage of the population will always remain willfully ignorant (and here). Even so it is critically important to challange and refute them at every opportunity – it is a critical aspect of educating the broader public and the topic of my next blog.
 As I discuss here I do not use the term “Denier” to refer to all climate change doubters. Those who thoughtfully and intelligently address the facts I call ’skeptics’.
Those who irrationally deny the existence of the science and instead propagate the lies and distortions such as those discussed here and linked to the right under “Debunking Denier Nonsense” are “Deniers”.
The choice of the correct term is based on their actions, not their conclusions.
 Lest any find the ‘Undead’ comparison cheap and distasteful, all I can claim in my defence is bad influences