Category Archives: Birthers

Scepticism damaging the conservative political brand: Aussie media becoming alert to the paranoid style of climate sceptics

One of the better sites focussed on the economic and business aspects of climate change is Climate Spectator. Apart from some great coverage on business, climate change policy and the energy industry, they also publish thought provoking opinion pieces.

Thus I’d like to point readers to a great piece by Tristan Edis titled The Mad Monk and Monckton’s mates. To my mind it is indicative of mainstream media (MSM) now understand the fact that Monckton and many climate sceptics are – to put it ever so politely – barking mad.

Edis notes in somewhat amazed fashion Monckton’s connection to the political fringe: 

“So why was a person who made their name questioning global warming invited to launch such a party?  Because Monckton dreams up many of the stories that feed these people’s sense of paranoia and victim hood. Monckton’s beef is not so much with the science of global warming; it’s with the liberal-left agenda more generally. In a January article in WND Weekly, he labels Obama a communist that will bankrupt America within a matter of a few years, claims he has faked his birthplace and confidently predicts will be jailed in five years time. He rails against Obama for allowing “unfettered immigration”, “baby-butchering”, gay marriage, and being “soft on Islam” (whatever that means – presumably nothing to do with executing Osama Bin Laden).”

For many of us, this isn’t new. More importantly, Edis notes by associating itself with Monckton, the conservative Liberal National Party (LNP) have hurt their brand:

“A number of individuals and groups that are influential within the Liberal Party and its membership have embraced and championed Monckton’s views on climate change.  These include the Institute of Public Affairs, Andrew Bolt, Hugh Morgan, and Gina Rinehart.  Cory Bernardi, who was one of the key backers of the coup against Malcolm Turnbull that installed Tony Abbott, expresses views and is involved in organisations which are closely linked to Monckton and websites like WND Weekly.

The Liberal Party needs to guard themselves against being infiltrated by this kind of extremist nonsense. Abbott was persuaded to meet Monckton back in 2010 just a day after releasing their climate change policy. This was a mistake…”

Let me reiterate that point: climate change scepticism is damaging the conservative “brand”. It may have had a political utility at one point, but no longer. Let’s not forget the cash thrown at conservative politicians by the fossil fuel industry – one wonders if that influenced their views on the science:

Fossil fuel lobby: Campaign donations anyone?

Conservative politician/s: Oh, that’s lovely innit! Thanks, but is there a catch?

During the last American election the Republicans ran on a platform that included the explicit denial of climate change. Readers may recall the events of November 2012 and how that strategy worked out… hint it didn’t go well for the Republicans.

Still, I can appreciate why those in the MSM may have baulked on reporting the actual world view climate change deniers – who are neither sceptical or dispassionate on climate change, but fringe dwelling conspiracy theorists.

Firstly, News Limited owns 70% of the news print market in Australia and has been championing the views of extremists like Monckton for years. Not many journalists, in an industry in considerable turmoil and declining job security, are going to take on editors such as Chris Mitchell at The Australian – or the Sun King himself, Murdoch – who push the sceptic agenda.

Secondly, if my experience is anything to go by, once you start pointing out the obvious connection to conspiracy culture and start criticising said beliefs it brings out an army of angry, embittered trolls. Your inbox and article/website comes under sustained assault.

Fun? Well suffice to say over the years I’ve developed a very thick skin.

Thirdly, much of the activities of these climate sceptics and conspiracy theorists happen on the fringe: you have to know where to look in the very dark corners of the internet. Sites such as World Net Daily (heck even Jo Nova’s blog) aren’t exactly choice online destinations for mainstream Australia.

But crucially it takes time to become attuned to what sceptics are saying – as in what they are really saying.  

When deniers like Monckton reference “Agenda 21” the phrase and its connotations will go over the heads of the MSM and average punter. But to those attuned to the world views of conspiracy culture, the phrase “Agenda 21” is a reference to the “sceptics” belief in a coming New World Order, black helicopters, death camps for pensioners and micro-chips embedded into the skulls of every living person on the planet.

At this point it is safe to say Monckton’s down under tour is a damp squib, fizzing out like firecracker under a torrent of indifference. In previous years he enjoyed far more attention, getting gigs on the ABC, Channel 7, televised debates at the National Press Club, radio chats with disgraced shock-jock Alan Jones and huge support from conservative columnists and News Limited. All of which seems to have evaporated.

If you want a picture of Monckton 2013 Australian tour, imagine a doddery, elderly crank standing in an empty lecture theatre muttering aloud “Good lord, where did all my good friends go?”

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Even Andrew Bolt has had enough of Monckton: yes Andrew, climate sceptics are cranks

Even for the most hard-core climate sceptics, the penny can sometimes drop. In this case a discus-sized-penny has dropped on the head of conservative News Limited columnist Andrew Bolt (aka “The Bolta”).

Over the years Bolt has championed both Lord Christopher Monckton and his brand of conspiracy infused climate scepticism – indeed he once referred to him as a mathematician, when he is no such thing.

Now even Bolt thinks Monckton has gone to far:

Why on earth was Christopher Monckton endorsing the nationalist Rise Up Australia Party? Great chance for warmists to paint climate sceptics as fringe dwellers.

Why on earth indeed?

Does Andrew really need to ask himself why Monckton is associating himself with a radical, right-wing, homophobic, anti-immigration, anti-Muslim, fundamentalist Christian sect with aspirations to create a Taliban-style theocracy down under? 

Andrew – climate sceptics are fringe dwellers.

The core narrative of the climate sceptic movement is conspiratorial: “climate change is not real, it is a hoax  created by scientists and their NWO puppet masters”. 

Recall Perth sceptics Jo Nova and David Evans who believe in a centuries long conspiracy involving international bankers and climate scientists. According to this dynamic duo, said bankers may – or may not – have been behind the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Yes, you read that correctly: they’ve actually made that argument.

I’d also remind readers to take a look at the recent paper Recursive Fury (Lewandowsky et.al) which further demonstrates how conspiracy ideation permeates the climate sceptic movement.

I’m not sure why Andrew is surprised – the evidence has been overwhelming and in the public domain for years.

All you need to do is look. I’ve been writing about climate sceptics and their conspiratorial world view for three years. The amount of evidence supporting this assertion is overwhelming. 

Where to begin?

Well, in this 2010 video we see Alan Jones and Ian Plimer sharing the stage with Monckton as he explains what the New World Order is, suggesting it goes all the way back to the FreemasonsMonckton states the New World Order “was one of the things the Freemasons used to advocate three or four centuries ago…”

There is this 2012 video in which Monckton explains how Obama’s birth certificate was most likely faked.

Monckton has also been a regular guest on the Alex Jones show:

If further evidence is needed to support to the contention that many climate sceptics have embraced a cluster of conspiracy theories, look no further than Lord Christopher Monckton. 

The prominent climate sceptic – who has been feted by figures such as Gina Rinehart, Andrew Bolt, Alan Jones and Australia’s climate change “sceptics” – now claims the birth certificate on the White House is a forgery (which many of us know, he has been for some time). 

Monckton has been spending time in Hawaii “investigating” Obama’s birth certificate and detailing the results of his investigation in a series of ongoing interviews with Alex Jones, host of InfoWars. 

Jones is known for his support for New World Order conspiracy theories and that the U.S. government was behind the 9/11 attacks… 

Alex Jones is a 9/11 Truther and is one of the most high-profile conspiracy theory peddlers in the United States. Monckton and Jones have been pushing the “Birther narrative” for some time now…

“Why on earth is Monckton associating…”

Does Bolt really have to ask that question?

Now Andrew – if you’d care to stop by the WtD blog I’ll happily share the vast amount of material clearly indicating the link between conspiracy culture and climate scepticism.

Get ready for the lumps if you do: the pennies will fall hard, and fast.

See also Loon Pond for an amusing take.

[Hat tip reader EoR]

Monckton Enjoys Lunch and Sings a Pretty Song for the Australian Financial Review (Reprint)

Lord Monckton, the climate denier who believes Obama’s birth certificate was faked and likes to associate with the wilder fringes of conspiracy culture (he is a regular on a  show hosted by 9/11 Truther, Alex Jones) recently scored an interview with The Australian Financial Review.

Tim at New Anthropocene takes the article apart in a great post: Monckton Enjoys Lunch and Sings a Pretty Song for the AFR.

“It’s of no surprise to learn that the Australian Financial Review interviewed Chris Monckton, for his message is surely the sweetest lullaby to many of its readers. In the interview, titled, Lunch with the AFR | Christopher Monckton, Chris Short recorded an illuminating interview.

At least in this interview, Monckton made it clear; his is purely a political fight. Thank you very much for that.

It’s of course interesting that Monckton has taken a fondness to Chinese philosophy – a country overrun by his worst nightmare, Communists… I must actually look up on these philosophical principles to learn if this topic, unlike so many others he waxes lyrical upon, is represented correctly.

On that, Monckton makes the point that his was the last generation taught not to be credulous… Please, dear Lord, muse through my offerings on New Anthro. As a bloke half your age, I’m certain you will find many examples of a young man with a nasty habit for fact checking.”

Enjoy.

via Monckton Enjoys Lunch and Sings a Pretty Song for the Australian Financial Review (Reprint).

Climate deniers object to being called conspiracy theorists: propose conspiracy to explain why labelled such

 The Lewandowsky paper – NASA faked the moon landing – Therefore (Climate) Science is a Hoax – that proposes a strong link between free market ideology and conspiracy beliefs is starting to get coverage in the media.

Surprisingly it has been reported in The Telegraph, a publication noted for promoting climate scepticism:

An Australian study says avid climate change deniers tend to be either extreme free marketeers or conspiracy theorists who believe the moon landing was faked or Princess Diana was murdered.

The study, to be published in the journal Psychological Science, also found that those who reject the scientific consensus on the human contribution to climate change are more likely to reject other scientific findings such as the linkage between tobacco and lung cancer or between HIV and Aids. 

The paper, titled “NASA faked the moon landing – Therefore (Climate) Science is a Hoax: An Anatomy of the Motivated Rejection of Science”, was based on a survey of more than 1000 visitors to blogs dedicated to discussion of climate change.

I find it encouraging that mainstream media is now starting to pick up on what many of us have been saying for some time. However, as one would expect of any article on climate change the denial brigade is out in full force – and they’re not happy about being labelled conspiracy theorists.

Indeed, they see it all as part of a conspiracy against them. And that the science is really a conspiracy as well. A selection of quotes from the comments:

The best defense is offence. So it appears, Lewandowsky, being a “shrink” no less, has been charged with leading the troops to pimp more grant money to keep graduate students sucking on the public tit. 

There is only one answer to the question – who profits most from what is looking every day more like a scam. Those who oppose the theory or those who support it…………cui bono……..always the answer to those questions which produce two sides in which there can never be agreement. So far there is clear indication that many politicians have personal financial interests in keeping the ‘debate’ going for as long as possible. Cui Bono……….. 

Such a shame that the University of East Anglia showed scientists, at the heart of research which suggested that global warming was true, to have the moral compass (and professional standards) of a bunch of traders on the Barclays LIBOR desk. That set back the credibility of the global warming community by a decade or two, despite what happened and the scandalous, unscientific actions of key people being clearly beyond debate.

Monckton questions Obama’s status as President: states there is enough to cast doubt on POTUS place of birth

Monckton now believes there is “compelling evidence” to cast doubt on where Obama was born. No, really he does…

If further evidence is needed to support to the contention that many climate sceptics have embraced a cluster of conspiracy theories, look no further than Lord Christopher Monckton.

The prominent climate sceptic – who has been feted by figures such as Gina Rinehart, Andrew Bolt, Alan Jones and Australia’s climate change “sceptics” – now claims the birth certificate on the White House is a forgery (which many of us know, he has been for some time).

Monckton has been spending time in Hawaii “investigating” Obama’s birth certificate and detailing the results of his investigation in a series of ongoing interviews with Alex Jones, host of InfoWars.

Jones is known for his  support for New World Order conspiracy theories and that the U.S. government was behind the 9/11 attacks:

Six weeks later, on the day the Twin Towers fell, Jones began his broadcast by declaring that, as he had predicted, the Bush administration had taken part in a staged terror attack. “I’ll tell you the bottom line,” Jones said. “98 percent chance this was a government-orchestrated controlled bombing.”

Monckton’s claims: yes, he really is a Birther

On a recent InforWars show (8 June 2012) Monckton makes some incredible claims. The segment goes for over 2 hours, but Monckton’s discussion of Obama’s birth certificate begins at 1:33:40 onward:

Here are some direct quotes:

Alex Jones: “…what’s the latest you’ve got breaking from Hawaii?”

Monckton: “Well its very clear now… that somebody in the Hawaiian Health Department knew the document that now appears on the White Hose website is a forgery… it is clear it is a forgery…” 

He then goes onto say:

“…there must be an opening up of the official record of Mr Obama’s birth to independent forensic scrutiny… there is now sufficient doubt as to where he was born…”

See also here on the InfoWars site.

Monckton paper that questions the President’s legitimacy: end results of his “investigation”

The end result of Monckton’s investigation is a paper titled “Is the President the President? A Hereditary Peers’ Briefing Paper“.

He even uses that logo that his own variation of the House of Lords logo which potentially breaks copyright:

In the paper Monckton outlines an incredible theory the that birth certificate on the White House web site is a forgery.

Citing the work of “bither” Sheriff Joseph Arpaio of Arizona,  Monckton goes at great pains to demonstrate “anomalies” with the birth certificate.

From there he questions the legitimacy of Obama as President of the United States.

Monckton even links his climate change scepticism to his support of “birther” claims:

Does the issue matter? An eminent constitutional lawyer has given advice that it does. He says: “We amend the Constitution, or we abide by it.” Judge Parker of the Alabama Supreme Court in the McInnish case also considers the issue important, in that it raises “serious questions about the authenticity of both the ‘short form’ and the ‘long form’ birth certificates”. Mr. Obama’s legitimacy is now materially in doubt. Though his political supporters dismiss questioners of his birth certificate as “birthers”, much as they brand questioners of Man’s influence on the weather as “deniers” or questioners of the European Union as “xenophobes”, the subject will move up the political agenda in the coming months, notwithstanding the studied indifference of the media and of both parties to it.

At the end of the paper Monckton launches into a rhetorical flight of fancy that leaves little doubt that the man is a fantasist:

The implications of this affair for Her Majesty’s Government are considerable. The apparent forgeries, with the failure of Mr. Obama and of the State of Hawaii to ensure access to the original long-form birth certificate of which the document on the White House website is said to be a copy, have cast legitimate and growing doubt upon Mr. Obama’s fitness to hold office. His hostility to the United Kingdom, evidenced by his removal of the bust of Churchill from the White House, may have been somewhat assuaged by his relationship with the present UK Prime Minister: however, almost any other foreseeable candidate for his office would be less inimical to the United Kingdom.

If any successful moves are made against Mr. Obama or his key supporters, whether via ballot challenges in the civil courts, or via the exercise of Brady rights by a defendant accused of a crime signed into law by Mr. Obama, or via a disqualification from office under the 25th Amendment to the Constitution, a dislocation considerably more severe than the fall of Nixon may be anticipated, leaving the free world leaderless at a time of great financial uncertainty. Therefore the issue, peripheral though it may at first seem, is not only of central importance to the United States, whose Constitution may have been flouted and circumvented in a material respect, but is also potentially of great consequence to Britain and to the West.

Apparently Obama has a hatred for the United Kingdom, evident from removing a bust of Churchill. Monckton also believes the fate of “the west” is in the balance.

There can be little doubt this provides support to the the recent research by Lewandowsky et.al.

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