2011-02-25 16:38:52Formally inviting Monckton to comment on our rebuttals
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
121.223.91.161

Someone has emailed me the following suggestion. While I think the odds of actually eliciting a response are slim, welcome people's thoughts on the matter, whether its worth pursuing:


Lord Monckton should be formally invited, both publicly and privately, to respond to the rebuttal of each of his individual myths. When sufficient time has elapsed for The Lord Monckton to have responded (3 months?), one last round of rebuttals is commissioned regarding his responses. This would be fair in that both sides will have had two opportunities to give their view on each item. Then any organisation that provides his lordship with an audience should be made aware of your site, preferably in the form of a specific email covering the whole of the Monckton Myths section, drawing attention to any refusal or failure on The Lord Monckton’s part to counter the rebuttals of his myths, plus the statements regarding misuse of material.

Attendees at his presentations would be able to publicly question his lordship from an authoritive perspective quoting directly from your site while brandishing their Ipads etc. open at the Skeptical Science website. The only counter that his lordship could mount would be to correct his talks in line with the science. If he did that, he would cease to be classed as a denier and cease to have a talk to give for that matter.

You could extend the process to any person or group that behaves in a similar manner as The Lord Monckton.

2011-02-25 16:50:50Invitation in the Guardian
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
121.223.91.161
Had a thought - Monckton ignores any criticism unless he considers them a real threat to his reputation. He ignored John Abraham until it went viral and the Guardian covered his lecture. Then Monckton went on the attack. So the only way I can see of actually getting Monckton to respond would be to issue an invitation in the Guardian. I'd have to ask the Guardian editor if he'd be interested in posting that. But before I do that, is this worth doing?
2011-02-25 17:26:12Beware of the rant
Robert Way

robert_way19@hotmail...
142.162.23.66
Hey John,
beware of the Monckton Rant... remember how he responded to abraham with a huge document that we would feel obliged to respond to again. If you want to issue the challenge then you had better be prepared for a he-said-she said kinda battle because Monckton will never give up.
2011-02-26 00:24:13
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey
yooper49855@hotmail...
97.83.150.102
He's a more cunning version of Poptech, with a podium.
2011-02-26 05:23:29go for it
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
38.223.231.252
I think it's only fair that we invite Monckton to respond.  I'd love to see his attempts to defend his errors.  As it stands, he may think MM isn't worth responding to, and potentially may not even be aware of it.  I think an invitation is a good idea.  We'll be giving him an audience, but the audience will also see his weak responses.
2011-02-26 10:49:39
funglestrumpet

meltisdale@yahoo.co...
213.77.92.108

We have to do something about The Lord Monckton. As things stand he is being invited to present his erroneous view of the science to all and sundry, including the House of Lords and US Congress. His nonsense sounds plausible, so I imagine he must persuade at least some of those who are not scientific by nature.

A Monckton rant would only serve to belittle him, If the response was 'off topic' it would not take too much effort on our part to reply with those two words and would reinforce his lack of scientific method. Anyway, in the invitation to respond we should spell out the rules. He has led the way with his talks. We have responded with the rebuttals. He is invited to respond to them and we have the right to produce any rebuttal to those responses. Discussion closed. Its our party and we will choose the music.

It might be worth including a 'further information' section for the opinions of those scientists whose work his lordship has misused and thus reached a conclusion opposite to the one originally intended.

We know he has presented to the House of Lords and the US Congress. We could mail/email members of those institutions with the final Monckton Myths including Moncktons responses and our rebuttals to them. Perhaps the most important part would actually be the covering letter, which should explain how concerned we are that his lordship is attempting to influence the addressee by the use of science that is so flawed it leads his lordship to recommend a course of action that would lead to great harm to future generations. The more heavy-weight scientist we can get to sign that letter the less it will be ignored.

Finally, it would be courteous to offer to answer any queries that the addressees might have. They could be in an open forum (i.e. visible to all) but only addressees allowed to post queries and only selected scientists allowed to answer them. Any input from his lordship could be in an ajacent column that showed the original invitation to his lordship and the rules of rebuttal and response. His input could then be quietly ignored by us, but noted by the public

2011-02-26 22:09:35
MarkR
Mark Richardson
m.t.richardson2@gmail...
89.242.39.132

There would have to be solid ground rules that he would have to agree to abide by.

 

 

The problem is, I don't think he's acting like a scientist. He tries to portray himself as being a proper skeptic, but he's not. I emailed him with some questions and whilst he accepted that he was wrong in one of his statements (which he has made many times, incidentally. And he seemed to already know this, which suggests he's knowingly lying to the public), he answered the rest of them like a politician... avoiding the point and saying what he wanted to. It was very difficult to keep it on topic and he's exceptional at rhetoric.

 

He's not playing the scientific game by the rules of science. Be very careful.

2011-02-27 04:05:58good point
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
69.230.107.233

Good point Mark.  The invitation could be phrased that we're not obligated to post his response.  That we're not going to give him a bully pulpit to make political statements, but if he wants to give scientific responses to the MMs, we will post them.

Maybe if he answers like a politician, we could publish the relevant scientific answers in a blog post, then link to his full response in a separate document so he can't claim we're misrepresenting or censoring him.

2011-02-28 00:09:20
funglestrumpet

meltisdale@yahoo.co...
213.77.92.209

Good points MarkR and Dana1981. Yes, he plays a political game, but so should we. If his response does not invalidate the particular myth, then we simply post his response with the statement that it does not prove that the science of our rebuttal is in error. One ploy he might adopt is to refer to peer reviewed papers that have been published in dubious publications, such as The Beige Sock Collectors’ Weekly. Any thoughts?

 

I find MarkR’s comment about Monckton’s evasiveness very interesting. Perhaps it would be worthwhile compiling a central file of instances of his evasiveness. It might prove useful. Also useful would be any instances of his admitting that he was wrong. That, combined with any failure to invalidate our rebuttals of his myths, would be an excellent basis on which to publicly expose the errors in his lordship’s talks.

 

I really don’t think that simply publishing the Monckton Myths will sway many of those who are influenced by what his lordship says, if for no other reason than the fact that his presentations are accessible to the average person who is not scientific. I am an engineer, so have scientific leanings, but I have to admit I find it a struggle to follow some of the science on this site. I suspect that the average citizen would find it beyond them. (A covering letter/note that simply states that his lordship’s talks are seriously flawed would carry a lot of weight, even if the accompanying material was very scientific.) If we don’t challenge him via the rebuttals, then I hope that some other form of exposing him in an accessible way can be found. If we don’t, this site will continue to convince scientists while The Lord Monckton convinces the legislators. Who has more influence on decisions regarding the action that is so obviously needed? I would just state the blindingly obvious: that legal opinion should be sought so that we do not slander him.