Chris Monckton is to environmental science what Andre Rieu is to classical music. Both play to packed houses of elderly fans around Australia, both give the genre a bad name. Actually, the comparison is a little unkind to Monsieur Rieu. While Belford Parrott is besotted with both, Viscount Monckton goes well beyond bad into the realm of crackpot.
I wouldn't normally pay attention to a charlatan like Monckton, whose climate change denial raises some absurd conspiracy theories, the "one world government" among them. Few of his stories are more entertaining than his claim that NASA deliberately crashed a geoscience satellite rather than let it collect data that would have disproved all evidence of global warming.
Just as outrageous, however, is the claim on his think tank's website that Monckton is a Nobel Peace Prize laureate. Monckton has himself repeated the claim, including on radio to an adoring Parrott, only to state later that it was a joke.
But then, mate, everything about you appears to be a joke.
Why do I write about Monckton? Only because the Australian media has given the Third Viscount Monckton of Brenchley the level of attention that almost equals that given to another redundant member of British aristocracy who visited these shores last month.
Why is this? Perhaps the media is attempting to put some balance on the "debate" over climate change. But is this really necessary any more? Wouldn't it be like giving airtime to, say, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to debate the existence of the Holocaust?
The debate over the existence of anthropomorphic climate change should be over, at least to the point where we cannot ignore the risks attached to continued denial. Rare and isolated errors of fact, academic procedure and professional conduct do not invalidate the overwhelming body of evidence and scientific consensus.
Monckton, and his fellow climatological shyster, Aussie Ian Plimer, will continue to be heard by those who want to hear, and by those with vested interests in pushing their ignorant, reckless messages.
I just hope, for their sake, that they don't deny the historical evidence of dinosaurs.