Irony-gate: Viscount Monckton, a British peer, says his paper was peer-reviewed by a scientist.

“The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley” is full of crap himself. Before casting a wary eye on his new ribaldry, however, let me direct you to yet another dismantling of his “thesis” — this one by Deltoid at ScienceBlogs: “Monckton’s triple counting.” [UPDATE: Even more debunking here.]

But I digress. The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, as he prefers to call himself, or TVMOB, as I will call him because, damn, the acronym is just too sweet, has penned an epistle to the president of the American Physical Society, which you can peruse here. [Please note that the picture on the right is not TVMOB nor do I think he would ever participate in this.]


TVMOB is displeased with the new APS disclaimer on his article: “The following article has not undergone any scientific peer review. Its conclusions are in disagreement with the overwhelming opinion of the world scientific community. The Council of the American Physical Society disagrees with this article’s conclusions.”

TVMOB writes, “This seems discourteous.” You see, TVMOB holds the view that peer review occurs if his article gets suggested edits by a co-editor who happens to be a scientist.

Let me not make the obvious point that being edited by an editor ain’t scientific peer review. You can read the editor’s requested edits on page 2 of TVMOB’s letter. Anybody who has actually been peer-reviewed will note that the proposed edits aren’t anything close to what a peer-reviewed set of comments looks like, especially for an analysis as flawed as this one.

Since TVMOB’s letter is straight out of Monty Python, let me rather make the point in kind that a peer is “a person who holds any of the five grades of the British nobility: duke, marquess, earl, viscount, and baron.”


By that definition, I am sure that TVMOB’s paper was not given proper peer review. Indeed, I’m not certain TVMOB has a proper peer on this Earth. Perhaps Senator Inhofe or President Bush.

But pity the poor modern British viscount who whines in his letter, “I had expended considerable labor, without having been offered or having requested any honorarium.” Join the club, buddy. Since when do you think scientific newsletters pay you a nickel? Oh, I forgot. You aren’t a scientist.

I especially love the conclusion to his epistle:

Please either remove the offending red-flag text at once or let me have the name and qualifications of the member of the Council or advisor to it who considered my paper before the Council ordered the offending text to be posted above my paper; a copy of this rapporteur’s findings and ratio decidendi; the date of the Council meeting at which the findings were presented; a copy of the minutes of the discussion; and a copy of the text of the Council’s decision, together with the names of those present at the meeting. If the Council has not scientifically evaluated or formally considered my paper, may I ask with what credible scientific justification, and on whose authority, the offending text asserts primo, that the paper had not been scientifically reviewed when it had; secundo, that its conclusions disagree with what is said (on no evidence) to be the “overwhelming opinion of the world scientific community”; and, tertio, that “The Council of the American Physical Society disagrees with this article’s conclusions”? Which of my conclusions does the Council disagree with, and on what scientific grounds (if any)?

Having regard to the circumstances, surely the Council owes me an apology?


Pistols at dawn, perhaps?

One denier website actually labels this “PeerGate scandal.” But I believe they have missed the irony.

Should you be interested in learning more about TVMOB, go to the Science & Public Policy Institute website where he is Chief Policy Adviser. You will learn he has astonishing scientific credentials such as a “Nobel prize pin,” because he commented on the IPCC Fourth assessment report. This has “earned him the status of Nobel Peace Laureate. His Nobel prize pin, made of gold recovered from a physics experiment, was presented to him by the Emeritus Professor of Physics at the University of Rochester, New York.” Also “his limpid analysis of the climate-feedback factor was published on the famous climate blog of Roger Pielke, Sr.” I kid you not.


Monty Python is alive and well. Oh, and TVMOB knows how to use the words “primo” and “secundo” and “tertio.” Some of us can only dream of such scientific achievements.

Finally, if his writing has made you a fan of TVMOB, you can go to “” and purchase products labeled with the Monckton family crest, including mouse pads.

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