Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Monckton Spoke at U. Western Ontario ?!?

I don't know how I missed this.

Believe it or not, the Department of Applied Mathematics at University of Western Ontario, located in London, Ontario, invited the loony Christopher Monckton to give a prestigious invited lecture, the Nerenberg lecture, last March. Previous speakers included Roger Penrose.

In addition to being a pompous twit, Monckton is famous for global warming denial and, in his latest schtick, claiming that Obama's birth certificate is fraudulent.

My source tells me that the invitation to Monckton came from Chris Essex, professor of the department, and another global warming denier. Most of the Department boycotted the talk, I was told.

If anybody attended the talk, I would like to hear about it. This is really a disgrace.


Anonymous said...

Not knowing much about Obama's birth certificate I read the article you linked to and it seems like a reasonable objection to the validity of a birth certificate. I'm not sure therefore why I should conclude outright that Monckton is an extremist?

Tim said...


As local experience reminds us, lecture invitations can be a dodgy business, conferring an institution's imprimatur on a speaker without having been subject to collegial governance processes.

The immediate issue isn't merely having a bad speaker; after all, Monckton is and should be free to go to Western and blather his bullshit for whatever group can book him a room. The problem is using a named lecture to honour a bullshit purveyor. And that really is a disgrace.

Jeffrey Shallit said...


I think you need to work on your powers of discernment.

Obama's citizenship has been examined by reputable people over and over again; there is not a shred of evidence that he was born anywhere but Hawaii.

Tom Harris said...

The birth certificate thing is a logical fallacy to bring up. Who cares what Lord Monckton believes about Obama's birthplace? All that counts is whether or not what Monckton is aying is right or wrong on climate. For example, do you see any mistakes in this analysis of adaptation vs mitigation, the first analysis of its kind ever done:


Tom Harris

Jeffrey Shallit said...

The birth certificate thing is a logical fallacy to bring up. Who cares what Lord Monckton believes about Obama's birthplace?

On the contrary, someone who claims that "the probability that the White House document is genuine ... [is] ... 1 in 75,000,000,000,000,000" based on erroneous reasoning is clearly not someone who should be invited to speak at a mathematics department.

Anonymous said...

Why write global warming 'denier' instead of 'skeptic' ? That seems like a case of political framing...

Anyway, it doesn't seem his recent talk is on youtube but here is Monckton's talk at another university from 2009 - also on the topic of global warming.

Anonymous said...

oops, here's the link https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=4zOXmJ4jd-8&noredirect=1

Mark said...

Fascinating that the mere mention of Monckton brings the crackpots out of the woodwork. Does this guy pay people to search in internet on his behalf? Or are climate cranks simply that desperate for a spokesperson, any spokesperson?

Monckton has been proven to be a liar so many times, on just about every issue that he as spoken about publicly, that I can't even take people who defend him seriously.

Anonymous said...

Mark it's ironic that you accuse Monckton of paying off his supporters while it's the UN that syphons massive amounts of funds from governments to give grants to climatologists and in particular the ones that promote the global warming disaster hypothesis.

I am not defending or attacking Monckton per se I don't know enough about his ideas to do so.

Throughout history, politicians have often found it useful to employ scare tactics and other general fear-mongering towards their goal. It seems that the global warming alarm fits the criteria quite well of what such a fake alarm could be and so naturally I am sceptical of the claims without denying them outright (or accepting them for that matter.) In fact, I am sceptical in general of a great many things.

Monckton refers to Richard Lindzen a atmospheric physicist at MIT who has published several papers calling into question the validity of the models used to predict a catastrophic reactions to CO2 level increase. If nothing else, I think it takes courage for Dr. Lindzen to promote such an unpopular hypothesis despite flak from the global warming community. For the sake of being open-minded i think it's fair to hear him out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-sHg3ZztDAw

Jeffrey Shallit said...

it's the UN that syphons massive amounts of funds from governments to give grants to climatologists

This is utterly insane. Climatologists, like most scientists, get insignificant amounts of money for research compared to the billions in profits of fossil fuel companies.

Like most deniers, you cite Lindzen but refuse to acknowledge that he is viewed -- by most climate scientists -- as wrong and on the fringe.

Oort Cloud said...

The birthers should switch tracks. Instead of trying to prove that Obama was born in Kenya, they should try to prove that he lied and claimed he born in Kenya. It sure seems like he did just that.
For starters, http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/05/17/Obama-pamphlet-in-use-2007

Jeffrey Shallit said...

Oort Cloud:

Old news. You don't have a shred of evidence that that bio is anything more than a mistake made by a publicist.

You're dumber than a bag of hammers, by the way, if you believe anything on breitbart.com.

Oort Cloud said...

When you write a book, and your publicist "accidentally" writes that you were born in Finland, then I'll believe that you're not fooling yourself.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

If you look, you can easily find material on the web that claims I am Canadian, even though I'm not.

You're an utter moron, Oort Cloud, in addition to being a liar and a coward.

Oort Cloud said...

Does this material say you were born in Canada? Is it from your publicist? Are you that gullible to accept the publicist's "explanation"?
Two more things:
1. You say "this is old news." As if that means anything?
2. You also attack the breitbart site as if maybe they made up the news. But you can get the news straight from the publicist's website:

Dr. Shallit, is a case of "you can't handle the truth."

Oort Cloud said...

At the publicist's site, http://www.dystel.com/nonfiction-proposal-guidelines/ ,it describes how the author submits his own bio.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

Oort Cloud:

Too funny! As if the procedure was exactly the same now as it was then. As if Obama has no assistants to prepare bios for such things.

You're a typical birther: so blinded by hatred you invent wild scenarios without evidence, without considering any other plausible explanations.

Oort Cloud said...

"As if Obama has no assistants to prepare bios for such things."
The bio was first written in 1991, when he was either the editor of the Harvard Law review, or after he graduated from college. He wasn't in politics then. If he did have an assistant, which is unlikely, what are the odds that the fellow didn't run the mini-bio by Obama? And that none of his friends who saw the website helped set the record straight?
I think you have more "scenarios" and fewer plausible explanations than I do. Obama's dishonesty in his book, Dreams, has already been established by the sympathetic biographer Maraniss.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

I think you're nuts, and my explanations far more plausible than yours.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

Not to mention you have no proof that (a) Obama wrote the bio or (b) it was written in 1991. You just repeat stuff from right-wing crazy sites without exercising any critical thought.

Oort Cloud said...

Here is what Miriam Goderich wrote to Political Wire (and it's reprinted at Snopes. You know, that "right-wing crazy site".)

"You're undoubtedly aware of the brouhaha stirred up by Breitbart about the erroneous statement in a client list Acton & Dystel published in 1991 (for circulation within the publishing industry only) that Barack Obama was born in Kenya. This was nothing more than a fact checking error by me -- an agency assistant at the time. There was never any information given to us by Obama in any of his correspondence or other communications suggesting in any way that he was born in Kenya and not Hawaii. I hope you can communicate to your readers that this was a simple mistake and nothing more."

A simple mistake, and nothing more. Yep. If you can't think of at least three challenges to that defense, then you're not trying. If some Republican had used that defense, I doubt you'd accept it so blindly.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

So you accept as fact the statement that it was published in 1991, but you don't accept the obvious and plausible explanation in the same paragraph.

You're nuts.

SLC said...

Re Anonymous

Aside from the birth certificate, which the then Rethuglican governor of Hawaii said was entirely correct and accurate and was found in the archives, how about the birth announcements in both Honolulu newspapers shortly after the birth on Aug. 4, 1961.

I will put some credence in the claims of whackjobs like Monckton and Orly
Taitz when they produce some proof that he was born in Kenya, or anywhere else for that matter, other then Hawaii. Thus far, they haven't produced a shred of such evidence.

By the way, among other lies, Monckton has lied about being a member of the British House of Lords. He is not now and has never been a member of that body.

Oort Cloud said...

"but you don't accept the obvious and plausible explanation in the same paragraph."

I wouldn't quite word it like that. I'd say that I can ask several severe questions on the lady's explanation, so I'm seriously skeptical of it. You, on the other hand, have demonstrated that you accept it hook, line, and sinker.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

That's because I'm not nuts, Oort Cloud.

Oort Cloud said...

Just as you probably believe Obama's characterization of his relationship with Bill Ayers, "a guy who lives in my neighborhood."

Anonymous said...

You're just a sucker for punishment aren't ya Oort Cloud?

John said...

Oort C loud:

"If you can't think of at least three challenges to that defense, then you're not trying."

"I'd say that I can ask several severe questions on the lady's explanation, so I'm seriously skeptical of it. "

This is like xian evidence for god/creation.

You claim to have these devastatingly brilliant, unanswerable questions that will slam-dunk your case.

But you never actually say what they are.

Is it because if you never really ask, they can never really be answered?

Oort Cloud said...

C'mon, John, don't be a wimp. You give two questions, and I'll supply the third.

John said...

Oort Cloud:

I find the explanation perfectly reasonable and satisfying. I have no questions to ask. You're still equivocating. Either ask your questions or kindly shut up.

Nerenberg Lecture 2012 said...

But did any of you lot actuall watch this lecture ? I doubt it. The lecture was mostly about mathematics, and indeed Paddy Nerenberg was a distinguised mathematician. The lecture was held in the department of mathematics.

Yes Monckton did go on to discuss "Global Warming" and other matters, but his explanations appeared to be credible.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

But did any of you lot actuall [sic] watch this lecture ?

No, I didn't. I would be happy to. Is there a video available somewhere?

The lecture was mostly about mathematics

But Monckton is not a professional mathematician, and as far as I know, has no advanced training in the subject. He was a very strange choice for this prestigious lectureship.

his explanations appeared to be credible.

Monckton is not a climate scientist and has no credibility whatsoever on the subject of global warming. You can look here and here for some examples of his misrepresentations.