Originally published in Crikey on July 20, 2011

The House of Lords says that Christopher Monckton is not entitled to claim he is a member of that House, but he disputes this. The internet is full of scientists carefully debunking the claims about climate change made by him, but he is similarly impervious to correction. Put simply, Lord Monckton is a case study of the emphasis placed by the media on confidence over content. A harder question for the media, however, is why they have given so much prominence to climate sceptics with no qualifications in science when they pay virtually no attention to immunisation sceptics without qualification in epidemiology or fluoride sceptics with no qualifications in chemistry or biology? So, how do you debate someone who is impervious to evidence? It’s not easy, but here are a few suggestions.

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