Editor's note: Assemblyman Brian Jones has issued the following response to Ms. Disenhouse's editorial: “To give a small group of people a monopoly over deciding what is true or false does a great disservice to public debate in this country. Those who believe Lord Monckton has his facts wrong are welcome to continue in that belief, but he is still entitled to participate in this critical debate. As someone who does not blindly accept conclusions arrived at without conclusive evidence, I am more than happy to accommodate Mr. Monckton sharing his point of view.”
By Masada Disenhouse
March 23, 2012 (San Diego)--It is ironic that freshman Assemblyman Brian Jones has chosen this Saturday, March 24 to emcee one of the world’s most egregious actors on the climate denial stage – after a winter of broken heat records. Regardless of your opinions on climate change, sponsoring an inflammatory charlatan such as self-titled Lord Christopher Monckton is offensive to many in San Diego County.
Monckton is not a climate scientist but rather a writer and politician. He reportedly misrepresented himself to Congress as a member of Britain’s House of Lords.
He has presented arguments in support of denialism proven untrue by many scientists. Monckton has never worked in a scientific capacity or written a single peer-reviewed paper on climate or any other topic. His funding has reportedly included groups backed by the oil industry. Moreover, he has a long history of incivility and downright nastiness in confronting those who disagree with him, including vile Nazi references in reference to respected climate scientists and young activists. His remarks have provoked outrage and cancellation of sponsorships elsewhere in the world.
At a time when the tone of our national discourse is front and center, and we are in serious need of civil, honest, fact-based debate on key issues, it is disconcerting that Mr. Jones is providing Monckton with yet another platform from which to spew his lies and misinformation.
The basic science of climate change is settled, even if the nuances, timing, and scale are often fiercely debated. Mr. Jones need look no further than our esteemed climate science community at Scripps Institute of Oceanography. We would be pleased to make the introduction.
Californians recognize the threats of climate change, polls show. We know that prolonged drought, sea level rise, and increased wildfires, to name a few, will have severe impacts on our region. Polls have shown a large majority of Californians favors climate change policy and cutting greenhouse gases, and believes that the effects of global warming are already apparent. Many local residents support California’s leading role in this effort. Our group, SanDiego350.org, an all-volunteer San Diego County organization, is concerned about climate change and its very real effects on our livelihoods, well-being, and the future for our children. We’re San Diegans from different communities, of different ages, who have come together to say, “Enough is enough. Global climate change is real. We must have a clean energy future. We must start NOW.”
We appreciate political leadership and elected officials who work on behalf of the interest of their constituents. If Mr. Jones is truly interested in understanding climate change and what it portends for people and our ecosystem, he should meet with our organization, Scripps climatologists, and leaders within our high-tech community, to learn and appreciate the science, impacts, and possible solutions.
It is truly shocking and disturbing that Mr. Jones is hosting a thoroughly discredited climate denier who has no scientific background and has no problem comparing climate activists like ourselves with Hitler Youth. While an informative debate could highlight different viewpoints on some of the more nuanced concerns of climate scientists, bringing the equivalent of a smooth-tongued snake oil salesman who repeats outright lies about the content of scientific papers and spouts disproved notions as “facts” - is misleading, dishonest, and harmful.
We call on Assemblyman Jones to disavow and cancel this event and his sponsorship of it. It would be encouraging if he were open to meeting with local climatologists and our organization to discuss real concerns. If he is open-minded, he might be surprised with what he learns. In that case, we could look forward to what he might do as a new member of the State Assembly.
Masada Disenhouse is a member of SanDiego350.org, a resident of La Mesa, and a constituent of Assemblyman Jones. The views expressed in this editorial reflect the views of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of East County Magazine.
Editor’s Note: The Heartland Institute, a climate-denial organization linked to Monckton, has absolutely no relationship to Heartland Coalition, publisher of ECM and founder of UnitedGREEN.
Reading / references
Polls on climate change
Capitol Weekly article 3/21
Guardian article on debunking Monckton’s “facts”
Article on Australia’s reactions to their Chief Climate Change Adviser being called a fascist by Monckton
Article & video of the “Hitler Youth” incident
San Diego Event Invitation (see partial screen shot above)
More information regarding Lord Monckton’s questionable behavior
The opinions in this editorial reflect the views of its author and do not necessarily reflect the views of East County Magazine. To submit an editorial, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.