Monckton Testimony at US Congress: Ignorance or Perjury?
Update (July 18, 2011): Monckton told he’s not member of House of Lords. Clerk of parliaments publishes letter on Lords’ site saying peer is not and has ‘never been a member of the House of Lords’.
On May 6, 2010, Mr. Christopher Monckton testified by invitation to the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming of the U.S. House of Representatives. Mr. Monckton, who is not a scientist, gave testimony that was in stark contrast to that of the scientists who were present at the hearing as well as the many official statements produced by the world’s premiere scientific organizations, about the growing dangers of climate change. Here, a number of top climate scientists have thoroughly refuted all of Mr. Monckton’s major assertions, clearly demonstrating a number of obvious and elementary errors. We encourage the U.S. Congress to give careful consideration to the implications this document has for the care that should be exercised in choosing expert witnesses to inform the legislative process.
The authors of the report state:
Mr. Monckton makes a number of scientific assertions about (1) the efficacy of warming from CO2, (2) the benefits of elevated CO2, (3) the relationship between CO2 and ocean acidification, (4) recent global temperature trends, (5) and the sensitivity of the climate to CO2. He has also claimed that (6) there is no need to take quick action to address the changing climate. In all cases, Mr. Monckton’s assertions are shown to be without merit – they are based on a thorough misunderstanding of the science of climate change.
We believe the responses contained here strongly refute the statements made by Mr. Monckton. It is our hope that this document will be of use to members of Congress and their staffs as further hearings and debates on climate change and energy policy take place. We would be pleased to respond to any inquiries and offer necessary clarifications.
Dr. Ray Weymann, Director Emeritus and Staff Member Emeritus, Carnegie Observatories, Pasadena, California; Member, National Academy of Sciences.
Dr. Barry Bickmore, Associate Professor of Geological Sciences, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.
Dr. John Abraham, Associate Professor of Engineering, University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minnesota.
Dr. Michael Mann, Professor of Meteorology with a Joint Appointment with the Department of Geosciences and Director, Earth System Science Center, Penn State University, University Park, Pennsylvania.
Dr. Winslow Briggs, Director Emeritus and Staff Member Emeritus, Department of Plant Biology, Carnegie Institution for Science, Palo Alto, California; Member, National Academy of Sciences.
As mentioned in a previous blog post, Monckton has been wrong about climate science many times and has been repeatedly shown the errors of his ways. In fact, Monckton has quite a long rap sheet. What makes this latest report so damning for Monckton is that he gave his testimony under oath in front of a United States Congressional panel.
Monckton must now decide how to respond. He essentially has two options:
- Admit that he is ignorant about the science and that he made an honest mistake.
- Claim that the world’s experts are lying.
If he chooses #1, he should immediately issue a public statement to that effect that includes an apology to the United States public, to their elected leaders, and to the scientists that he has essentially called liars. Unfortunately, Monckton’s track record reveals that he will choose #2.
If so, it is time for our elected leaders to respond. From lectlaw.com:
When a person, having taken an oath before a competent tribunal, officer, or person, in any case in which a law of the U.S. authorizes an oath to be administered, that he will testify, declare, depose, or certify truly, or that any written testimony, declaration, deposition, or certificate by him subscribed, is true, willfully and contrary to such oath states or subscribes any material matter which he does not believe to be true; or in any declaration, certificate, verification, or statement under penalty of perjury, willfully subscribes as true any material matter which he does not believe to be true; 18 USC
In order for a person to be found guilty of perjury the government must prove: the person testified under oath before [e.g., the grand jury]; at least one particular statement was false; and the person knew at the time the testimony was false.
The testimony of one witness is not enough to support a finding that the testimony was false. There must be additional evidence, either the testimony of another person or other evidence, which tends to support the testimony of falsity. The other evidence, standing alone, need not convince that the testimony was false, but all the evidence on the subject must do so.
To my U.S. readers:
If Monckton does not issue a public statement admitting he was wrong that includes an apology to the United States public, to their elected leaders, and to the scientists that he has essentially called liars, I urge you to write your elected leaders and demand that they take action. Write to them and point to the .pdf file. Ask them to investigate Monckton to see if they believe he committed perjury.
You may locate your senators and representatives by visiting: USA.gov
Update 9/21/10: Monckton has responded. As expected, he has chosen option #2. In his published comments at The Guardian, Monckton states: “One of the lead authors is currently under criminal investigation for alleged fabrication of results: another has been caught out in repeated lies: a third admits to suffering a mental disability: and many of the scientists whom these lead authors invited to contribute are among the long-discredited clique of Climategate emailers.”
It is time for you to take action. Please visit USA.gov and ask your elected representatives to investigate Monckton. I also encourage you to send letters to the various media sources that I have listed in the previous blog post Turn the Tables on Monckton. Please make your voices heard.