This week Las Vegas will be even weirder than normal; the
oil, gas, tobacco and coal lobbbyists pseudo-sceptics are in town. The 9th International Conference on Climate Change, hosted by The Heartland Institute (cuz you know Vegas is smack dab in the middle of the heartland), will trot out their konspiracy kids for an event that should provide enough quotes to keep environmentalists, progressives, and Democrats busy for months.
And while the line-up is pretty much the same old denier, denier, lobbbyist, denier, pseudo-sceptic, paid-shill, denier, pseudo-sceptic, lobbyist, paid-shill parade of snake-oil salesmen the GOP and Tea Party have come to know and love, I'm crossing my fingers that, perhaps emboldened by the Hobby Lobby decision, we'll see them go public with one of their more ardent aspirations - making scientists have to pass a religious litmus test.
For more on that we must visit the cesspool that is the intellectual home of one Lord Christopher Monckton, Third Viscount of Brenchley. Featured Tea Party speaker and invited multiple times by Republicans to testify before congress. Put your boots on the sh*t gets deep.
The UK's Monckton of Brenchley - the potty peer - is a real piece of work. His audacious lies, false claims, and sleight of hand with the facts is really unsurpassed; and that takes some doing given the competition that exists on the far-right. But while he is well-known for twisting climate facts into contorted shapes until they are unrecognizable, his views on science and religion - though open for all to see - never come under scrutiny. It's time to shed a little light on them.
Perhaps, therefore, no one should be allowed to practice in any of the sciences, particularly in those sciences that have become the mere political footballs of the leading pressure-groups, unless he can certify that he adheres to one of those major religions – Christianity outstanding among them – that preach the necessity of morality, and the reality of the distinction between that which is so and that which is not. For science without the morality that perhaps religion alone can give is nothing. Monckton of Brenchley, What is science without religion?Scientists from Gallileo to Turing have to be shaking their fists at the sky from their graves. Yet from Monckton's Tea Party and GOP friends we hear a resounding silence. One could surmise they're nodding their heads in approval.
Monckton has lied about being a Member of the House of Lords - going so far as to misrepresent himself to US Senators. The Clerk of the Parliaments went so far as to publish a letter on their website telling Monckton in no uncertain terms to STOP! Yet Republicans have asked him four times to testify in Washington DC (and the California GOP had him testify in the State Senate as well).
He is, by his own admission, neither an academic nor a serious researcher. He has zero credentials to pontificate on science in general or climate specifically, but that doesn't stop him. He claims to have been Margaret Thatcher's principal science advisor when he worked at 10 Downing Street, but others recall him merely as a bag boy and in Thatcher's 917 page memoir he is not mentioned once.
For all his talk of morality, Monckton claims to have a cure for Graves disease, malaria, HIV, MS, influenza, and the common cold. What moral man could withhold a cure that could save thousands, millions of lives? Monckton of Brenchley, of course.
And he's just one of the dim-bulb luminaries on display in Vegas this week.
Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 5:12 PM PT: VVatts Up With That:HEARTLAND CONFERENCE 9.0 : WRESTLEMANIA