Lord Monckton: Bring out your Dead! « Climate Denial Crock of the Week

As far as I can tell, a “Climate Denier” is a person who is certain that global climate disruption (climate change, global warming, etc) is not happening. Climate Denial seems to have become an ideology, impervious to additional information or logical discussion.

For many years now Peter Sinclair and his Greenman Studio LLC have been providing clear, well researched counters to the sometimes outrageous statements made by these climate deniers, along with those who foster climate denial as a way to continue doing “business as usual”.

Lord Monckton in Washington, D.C.

Image via Wikipedia

In this video, Peter has again focused on a recurring subject, once a darling of the climate denial organizations, Lord Christopher Monckton, 3rd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley. Lord Monckton is a hereditary peer, meaning that he comes by his titles mostly by way of birth. He often claims to be a member of the House of Lords, a situation that does not obtain, and was formally ended by Parliament in 1999. Lord Monckton likes to style himself an honorary member of the House of Lords, but the House of Lords does not agree are stepping up their efforts to stop Monckton’s false claims, saying “he is not and never has been a member and that there is no such thing as a non-voting or honorary member.”

Monckton is no stranger to controversy. In 1987 he proposed that AIDS victims be effectively placed in internment camps. In an article in The American Spectator he stated that, “there is only one way to stop AIDS. That is to screen the entire population regularly and to quarantine all carriers of the disease for life.Every member of the population should be blood-tested every month … all those found to be infected with the virus, even if only as carriers, should be isolated compulsorily, immediately, and permanently.” This would involve isolating between 1.5 and 3 million people in the United States (“not altogether impossible”) and another 30,000 people in the UK (“not insuperably difficult”). (Emphasis mine.) In other venues this man styles himself a conservative and what we would now call a Libertarian. *sigh*

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was a music...

Image via Wikipedia

For those who are like me, of a slightly older generation, or even better, have grown up in Missouri along the Mississippi River just below Hannibal, Lord Monckton’s antics seem very familiar. For any of you who remember Mark Twain‘s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn you may recall the characters The Duke and the King. Unfortunately the 3rd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley does not seem to have enjoyed a ride out of town on a rail, or perhaps tarring and feathering. It seems overdue to me.

It may be that his Lordship is running out of juice. Over the course of the last two years Lord Monckton has begun publicly referring to anyone who disagrees with his climate denial positions as being “Nazis” or “Hitler Youth”. Also, he has begun promoting his cure for all sorts of diseases, from including Graves’ Disease, multiple sclerosis, influenza, and herpes simplex. Somewhat ironically his PR people are also claiming that the therapy works on AIDS as well. I visualize a medicine show from a wagon in Lord Monckton’s future.

Please take a peek at Peter’s video, where not only do we get to see the Lord’s tour of Australia begin, but also get to hear a UK journalist experience “ambush” interviewing with “gotcha” questions by a member of the UK Royal Science Society.

June 27, 2011

I took a break from my new solutions video, which will be out soon. I just had to say something in regard to His Immaculate and Beneficent Highness Lord Christopher Monckton’s current tour of Australia.   We’re already hearing lots of exciting news, and I’ll cover it here as it happens.

For now, it turns out that The August and Exalted Lord Monckton ‘s scientific expertise is not limited to being the world’s foremost climate expert — he is also a medical practitioner of the highest caliber.

Bring out your Dead!!

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Loveland Fire Video from 12 Sep 2010

As we continue to keep an eye on the Loveland “Reservoir Road” fire, the twisty world of the InterTubes has brought a video forth… an excellent effort done by 15 year old young man named Payton Peterson. Payton indicates this video was the product of being “in the moment” and I agree, there was a definite creative spark involved!

Take a look at it, either here or on the original posting at YouTube.

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The Common Link with Climate Change, Peak Oil, Limits To Growth, Etc. – Belief Systems | Energy Bulletin

DENIAL/COGNITIVE DISSONANCE

Leon Festinger, seminal theorist in the area o...

Leon Festinger

Denial is a defense mechanism where a person is faced with a fact that is too painful to accept and rejects it instead, insisting that it is not true despite what may be overwhelming evidence. A related psychological concept is that of cognitive dissonance, originally coined by social psychologist Leon Festinger. Cognitive dissonance describes the negative tension that results from having two conflicting thoughts at the same time, or from engaging in behavior that conflicts with one’s beliefs.

From Wikipedia,

A diagram of cognitive dissonance theory

Image via Wikipedia

The theory of cognitive dissonance states that contradicting cognitions serve as a driving force that compels the mind to acquire or invent new thoughts or beliefs, or to modify existing beliefs, so as to reduce the amount of dissonance (conflict) between cognitions. Experiments have attempted to quantify this hypothetical drive. Some of these have examined how beliefs often change to match behavior when beliefs and behavior are in conflict.”

Jared Diamond, in “Collapse” quotes the behaviour of people living below a dam that may break:

“Consider a narrow river valley below a high dam, such that if the dam burst, the resulting flood of water would drown people for a considerable distance downstream. When attitude pollsters ask people downstream of the dam how concerned they are about the dam’s bursting, it’s not surprising that fear of a dam burst is lowest far downstream, and increases among residents increasingly close to the dam. Surprisingly, though, after you get to just a few miles below the dam, where fear of the dam’s breaking is found to be the highest, the concern then falls off to zero as you approach closer to the dam! That is, the people living immediately under the dam, the ones most certain to be drowned in a dam burst, profess unconcern. That’s because of psychological denial: the only way of preserving one’s sanity while looking up every day at the dam is to deny the possibility that it could burst. If something that you perceive arouses in you a painful emotion, you may subconsciously suppress or deny your perception in order to avoid the unbearable pain, even though the practical results of ignoring your perception may prove ultimately disastrous. The emotions most often responsible are terror, anxiety, and grief.”

Reaching social limits to growth is potentially a world-sized dam break. It’s no wonder initial reactions to hearing how the world we know might change are met with skepticism. (Note: interestingly, and something I intend to explore on a subsequent post, is the concept of denial is related to the study of addiction.)

COGNITIVE LOAD THEORY

“Chocolate Cake?” “or Fruit Salad?”

Cognitive load theory suggests humans have a maximum capacity of working memory. At around 7 ‘chunks’ of information, our working memory maxes out and we can’t accept anything else without losing some of the previous ‘chunks’. Try remembering the following numbers 1-9-1-4-7-6-7-5-9-5-9. Its quite hard to do. But if they are rearranged in chunks 1-914-767-5959, it becomes much more manageable. Numerous studies have measured this phenomenon – a notable study by Shiv and Fedhorkhin asked a group of people to memorize a two digit number, walk down a corridor and at the end choose a dessert – either chocolate cake or fruit salad. A different sample of people were then asked to memorize a 7 digit number and walk down the corridor (while internally reciting this 7 digit number) and also choose a dessert. When required to memorize the 7 digit number, almost twice as many people chose the chocolate cake as in the sample only memorizing the 2 digit number – the implication being – ‘my short term memory is full – I cant access my rational, long term decision-making hardware – just give me the damn cake’.

Of course, in a society with cell phones, taxi-cabs, internet, coffee, soccer practice, Grays Anatomy, corporate ladders and a plethora of other chocolate cake-like stimuli, meaningful contemplation and education about energy depletion and our planet’s environment usually represents the fruit salad. Many people are just too cognitively taxed to take on much more.

Particularly useful way to sort things out… whether all aspects of the theory are correct, this works well when modeling the American People.