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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,, 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, 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

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Assemblyman Jones silent also on smart meters, plays politics

I am also (sadly) a constituent of Assemblyman Jones. He refuses to discuss or take a stand on smart meters, occupying an office filled with SDG&E materials. I have spent hours calling, writing, and presenting to his staffer there. Nothing but silence. Same for our County Supervisor, Diane Jacobs. What a contrast with the northern Californian politicians who actually seem to care and take time to learn more, then take a stand on the side of their constituents, when residents report harm from smart meters. It would appear that industry is represented here, not environment or public interests. Very disturbing.

Teora as Assemblyman will not be silent on smart meters

As an electrical engineer who has worked on microwave related projects, I can tell you that people selling the systems will always tell you they are 100% safe. But they are not. For example, non-biased (hard to find) studies show that long term cell phone exposure to electromagnetic radiation over time can cause some people cancer. These studies show cause/effect. I personally would not want a pulsed radiation Smart Meter next to my bedroom or area where children are playing. But for SDG&E, these systems save people time in that they don't need to drive to your home to check the meter. I think they need to be redesigned to reduce the risk. You do at least have a choice to have them replaced with the older meters (I did). I'm also personally concerned about the invasion of privacy and the ability to hack into smart meters. Smart meters collect detailed information on when you cook, have a light on, off, etc. This data can tell people when you are home or not. Some people who got on smart meters also had their bills increase via installation mistakes. I like the concept of using new technology to cut business costs, but I think we need legislation to protect our privacy and further studies to ensure that smart meters are accurate and do not adversely affect the health of our families. If elected to State Assembly I promise to look into these issues.

Masada Disenhouse contacts Assemblyman Jones re: his response

Dear Assemblyman Jones,

I wanted to contact you regarding your response to my editorial in East County Magazine, “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.”

To begin with, I’m not sure which “small group of people” you are referencing – a very large majority of all scientists agree that climate change is real, man-made, and happening now. Among climate scientists it is nearly 100%. And, among the general population, here in California polling has shown repeatedly that most residents strongly support action on climate change, believe it is happening now and due to human activity. This is why California has a number of state-wide laws, starting with AB32, which are addressing climate change. As you may recall, Californians soundly defeated Proposition 23 which attempted to reverse AB32, and this was the majority opinion here in San Diego County as well. So which small group of people are you referring to?

I would also like you to clarify whether you support Lord Monckton’s points? While there are some disagreements among scientists on the details of climate change, this science has been settled. Of course, Lord Monckton is not a scientist, has never published anything on climate science, and has had his presentations repeatedly debunked and discredited by scientists. He has repeatedly lied publicly about the content and conclusions of published scientific papers. Additionally, he has the appalling habit of calling people he disagrees with (like me) Nazis. As someone who personally had many family members perish at the hands of the actual Nazis, I find that type of gratuitously offensive language simply unacceptable. Would you clarify whether you at least distance yourself from this behavior?

Did you get a chance to see the United Nations report on this topic today? World Meteorological Organization Secretary-General Michel Jarraud stated clearly that "The world is warming because of human activities and this is resulting in far-reaching and potentially irreversible impact on our Earth, atmosphere and oceans."

I would argue that the small group of people doing a disservice to public debate - and the public - are climate deniers who refuse accept that the science is settled and prevent the majority of us from moving forward on implementing solutions. There is no real debate, only a false debate generated by funds from fossil fuel companies who are holding a move to clean energy hostage because of their own financial interests. A move to clean energy would benefit our health, our economy, and our job outlook – especially here in Southern California.

I repeat my invitation to meet with our local climate change group,, to honestly discuss some of these points and see where we can find agreement; we’d be happy to bring climate experts from our region. I believe you owe it to your constituents.

Masada Disenhouse
La Mesa, CA