COVER STORY: Global-warming sceptic Lord Monckton visits Australia
by Peter Westmore
News Weekly, February 6, 2010
As News Weekly goes to press, one of Britain's leading critics of global warming and of the recent Copenhagen Summit on climate change, Lord Christopher Monckton, is conducting a speaking tour of most capital cities around Australia with Australia's Professor Ian Plimer, author of the widely-reviewed critique of human-induced global warming, Heaven and Earth.
The visit is highly relevant to the Rudd Government's forthcoming re-submission of its emissions trading scheme legislation in the Senate. The Senate twice rejected the legislation in 2009, giving the government a trigger for a double-dissolution.
Christopher Monckton worked for a leading British conservative think-tank, the Centre for Policy Studies, in the 1980s, before becoming a prime ministerial adviser to Margaret Thatcher on scientific and domestic policy.
He has been a leader-writer and managing editor of some of Britain's most important newspapers, including the Sunday Telegraph and the Evening Standard.
A man of many talents, he was the inventor of the Eternity Puzzle, a geometric puzzle which involved putting together 209 pieces to make up an almost perfect dodecagon (12-sided figure). A prize of £1 ($2 million) was set aside for the person who solved it.
The problem was solved only by two Cambridge mathematicians, who used computers to conduct a brute force search for solutions. It still took them seven months.
In recent years, he has been heavily involved in countering the avalanche of media reports on global warming, and played a leading role in putting forward a credible alternative to former US Vice-President, Al Gore.
He responded to Gore's film, An Inconvenient Truth, with challenges to public debates (which Gore refused), and later published a powerful DVD, Apocalypse? No!, which is available from Freedom Publishing.
He was an outspoken critic of the report commissioned by the British Government into the economics of climate change (the Stern Report), which uncritically adopted the alarmist conclusions of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and recommended that 1 per cent of global output be devoted to mitigating the effects of rising CO2 levels.
He argued that the Stern Report was based on faulty science, and that its proposed tax on CO2 emissions would undermine economies around the world, particularly in developing nations.
When the British Government tried to put Al Gore's film into schools, Lord Monckton helped finance a successful legal challenge (Dimmock v. Secretary of State for Education and Skills) which found that An Inconvenient Truth had such a degree of political bias that teachers would be required to explain the context via guidance notes issued to schools along with the film. The court identified nine errors of fact in the film, and ruled that the guidance notes must address these errors specifically.
These involved claims by Al Gore of massive increases in sea levels around the world, already occurring evacuation of Pacific Islanders, and the Gulf Stream being shut down by global warming. Gore further claimed that there was an "exact fit" between CO2 levels in the atmosphere and the earth's temperature, and that global warming was causing the disappearance of snows from Mount Kilimanjaro and of waters from Lake Chad in Africa, Hurricane Katrina in the US, and the drowning of polar bears in waters off Alaska.
Last year, Lord Monckton spoke widely against ratification of a binding climate treaty in Copenhagen, winning support from figures such as the Czech President, Vaclav Klaus.
In the event, despite repeated demands from the UN and leaders from many countries (including US President Barack Obama, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Australia's PM Kevin Rudd and Environment Minister Penny Wong), the Copenhagen Climate Change Summit was a complete failure, when leaders of the developing world, particularly China and India, thwarted attempts by the UN, the European Union and the United States to impose mandatory greenhouse gas targets on developing nations.
Itinerary for Lord Monckton's visit
Except in Adelaide, where booking is essential, people are being asked to make a $20 donation to hear Lord Monckton and Professor Ian Plimer, on a first-come, first-served basis.
Sydney: Wednesday, January 27, Sheraton on the Park, 5:30pm.
Newcastle: Thursday, January 28, Banquet Room, City Hall, 12:30pm.
Brisbane: Friday, January 29, Irish Club, 3:00pm.
Noosa: Saturday, January 30, The J, 2:00pm.
Melbourne: Monday, February 1, Sofitel Hotel, 5:30pm.
Canberra: Wednesday, February 3. National Press Club: 3:00 pm.
Adelaide: Thursday, February 4, Intercontinental Hotel, 7:30pm.
(E-mail booking for Adelaide required through thomasmore_at_chariot.net.au)
Perth: Monday, February 8, Parmelia Hilton, 5:30pm.