On Friday, you sent me a list of questions from the Select Committee. Here are the answers. I have taken the liberty of conflating questions 8 and 12. I shall do my best to supply any additional information on request.
1. In an open letter from you to two members of the United States Senate, you described yourself as “a member of the Upper House of the United Kingdom legislature.” How do you reconcile this representation to elected members of the Senate with your more recent statement to the Select Committee that “I have never sat or voted in The House of Lords, nor have I pretended otherwise”?
The House of Lords Act 1999 debarred all but 92 of the 650 Hereditary Peers, including my father, from sitting or voting, and purported to – but did not – remove membership of the Upper House. Letters Patent granting peerages, and consequently membership, are the personal gift of the Monarch. Only a specific law can annul a grant. The 1999 Act was a general law. The then Government, realizing this defect, took three maladroit steps: it wrote asking expelled Peers to return their Letters Patent (though that does not annul them); in 2009 it withdrew the passes admitting expelled Peers to the House (and implying they were members); and it told the enquiry clerks to deny they were members: but a written Parliamentary Answer by the Lord President of the Council admits that general legislation cannot annul Letters Patent, so I am The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley (as my passport shows), a member of the Upper House but without the right to sit or vote, and I have never pretended otherwise.
2. In your testimony to the House Energy and Commerce Committee, you claimed that “there has been global cooling for seven years” on the basis of a temperature trend calculated over the selected period January 2002 to January 2009.1 In a review of your testimony, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration concluded that your “calculation of a trend over the last seven years is a gross mischaracterization of the longer term trend.”2 How do you reconcile your approach to trend calculation with your recent statement: “if you choose your starting and ending points carefully enough, you can make it go in any direction you want”3?
In my testimony of 25 May 2009, I produced a graph of which an updated version is reproduced below, showing that for what is now nine and a half years there has been a global cooling trend, notwithstanding continuing increases in atmospheric CO2 concentration. I note that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration no longer seeks to avoid admitting that there has indeed been a global cooling trend over the period.