The real reason the Greens chickened out of debating Monckton

You may have heard the Greens trumpeting their principled decision not to debate global warming sceptic Lord Monckton. 

You may not have heard that they discovered their principles only after seeing this video of Monckton debating scientist Tim Lambert in a more tolerant land called Australia:

Before they saw this video, they were happy for their climate spokesman, Kennedy Graham, to accept Monckton’s challenge.

After they saw it, they were not. They pulled out.

Not because they didn’t want to dignify him. (Ever heard of a politician turning down a chance to humiliate a high-value opponent – especially one so supposedly inept?)

No. They pulled out because they knew they weren’t going to win. They were either going to lose or — just as damaging to their claim that the science is settled — draw.

It wasn’t his showmanship they were afraid of. It was his facts. 

And what was the fact they were most scared of exposing to the light? What was the truth they were terrified of the public finding out?

That Monckton is clearly not the nutter they’ve been pretending he is.

When you see the debate, you’ll see that his grasp of the science is every bit as credible as that of the scientist he’s debating. You might even think moreso.

But the point is, to make his point he doesn’t have to be more credible. Only as credible.

The proposition before us is that the science is settled.

Settled in favour of global warming being a huge crisis that we need to rectify immediately by diverting trillions of dollars from otherwise productive activities.

That’s the line we’ve been fed. That’s what the Greens would have us believe. That’s why we’re saddled with an ETS.

And that’s why the poor are struggling to cope with higher food prices and higher petrol prices and higher most other prices.

That’s the sacred gospel of the Church of Climate Scientology that gets non-believers branded deniers or denialists — modern-day heretics.

And that, I think you’ll agree after watching this debate, is a myth. One that Monckton, among others, has busted.

I suggest you watch it from start to finish. It’s 1 hour 53 minutes — 15 You Tube videos — but worth it.

The moderator is sceptic and former Wallaby coach Alan Jones. He occasionally makes his bias clear, but is otherwise fair.

I think it’s a good scrap. Lambert is less polished than Monckton. (Aren’t we all?). But after a nervous start, he makes his points well.

Monckton, when challenged, is assured in his rebuttals, and both men answer each others’ probing questions pretty well.

It’s a debate everyone should see. It’s just a shame that New Zealand’s red-green-yellow politicians, scientists and journalists do not possess the courage of their convictions to allow the public to examine both sides of this supposedly crucial issue.

How disgraceful that a government would steal people’s money to avert what they claim is a crisis, then refuse to debate its reasons in public. 

Not only that, but it empowers its employees to brand anyone who asks it to do so as the modern equivalent of a witch.

(Thank Gaia for the blogosphere!)

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Published in: on August 9, 2011 at 1:40 pm  Comments (13)  

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  1. You may not have heard that they discovered their principles only after seeing a video of Monckton debating scientist Tim Lambert in a more tolerant land called Australia [citation needed]

    JA: This is a blog, David, not a thesis. I can’t supply citations for comments passed on to me verbally, and I don’t expect you to believe me because it’s not in your interests to. But does it not at least ring true?

  2. He can’t provide a citation, he made it up. It’s the Monckton way.

  3. John Key is responsible for the ETS that we labour under now.
    Why didn’t he debate Monckton?

    Well, I don’t suppose that would be entirely fair, Robert, given that John’s got a bit on. But why didn’t his Chief Science Advisor? Or his Climate Change Minister? Or one of the legion of state-sponsored academics who are happy to front up to one-sided debates, but never two-sided ones?

  4. Or even the mad Nick Smith?

  5. “I can’t supply citations for comments passed on to me verbally”

    Yes you can. Anyway, if that’s your standard for establishing “facts” it’s little wonder Monckon can fool you into thinking he knows about climate change, and is a Member of the House of Lords, and a former Science Advisor to Thatcher and on and on. I thought you were a skeptic?

  6. http://www.skepticalscience.com/Examples-Monckton-contradicting-scientific-sources.html#.Tjt1M4vnEgw.facebook

    Monckton IS a nutjob when it comes to science. He has no formal training and makes crap up. Good on the Greens for not dignifying his lies. Now if he wanted to debate math that’d be a different matter, he actually KNOWS about that

  7. To all the Yellow-Red-Greens who waste my time with their relentless nitpicking and overweaning planetary pessimism:

    Whether you like it or not (and I know you don’t), you are members of a species with a stellar record of problem-solving that just keeps making things better and better.

    Despite the best efforts of communism and socialism (which I called applied pessimism), not to mention eco-exaggerationism, things are getting better on this planet all the time.

    A lot of it is the result of the evil Industrial Revolution and the flourishing of that nasty capitalism you so love to hate. As we speak, capitalism is lifting millions out of poverty.

    It’s been doing that now for 200 years.

    You can’t stand the idea of that, can you? But society advances regardless of your wishes.

    So how about dropping your absurd addiction to pessimism and celebrate the good times (ie the last 200 years)?

    Instead of parroting the party lies about Monckton, how about doing the unthinkable and thinking for yourselves?

    Yes I know it sounds an odd concept. But how about actually watching his debate with Tim Lambert and making up your own mind?

    You don’t have to worry that Tim doesn’t hold your end up, because he does. He does well.

    So have a look. Assess them both on their merits. With eyepatches off.

    Think you can do that?

  8. Well, call me crazy but I there is a middle ground between a scholarly work and declaring facts then spinning an entire narrative about motives and the evidence for climate change from what amounts to “some guy told me”.

    The origin of this post does, however, go someway to explaining how end up with a blog like this one.

    (another of my comments is being held in moderation in the other thread)

    David, this is my blog and if someone tells me something in confidence I’m under no obligation to you or anyone else to out them.

    The price I pay for protecting my sources is that a few lefty malcontents will think they don’t exist. That’s a price I’m happy to pay, as readers who know me know I don’t lie.

    Thanks for telling me about the other comment. Again, I have no idea how that other comment got impounded. I do not want comments to be moderated here, as all the vile abuse I allow surely indicates.

    But WordPress is doing some strange things and I don’t know why. A WordPress specialist has now contacted me and I’ll be asking her about this and other quirks.

    Anyway, that comment – and my response (about you having no time to investigate a two-sided debate, but plenty of time to peddle a one-sided one) – are now in the thread.http://johnansell.wordpress.com/2011/08/05/state-mouthpiece-muzzles-monckton-is-tvnz-the-new-bbc/#comments. (August 9, 8.48pm.) Let’s know if it happens again.

  9. John,

    They are almost certainly getting held up because they have links in them. There will be a button to push in the wordpress dashboard to turn this behavior off, but you can just approve them one by one if you’d rather (it’s meant to be an anti-spam measure).

    As to you latest comment. I don’t want you to reveal your source. I just think when you base an entire post, written with absolute certainity which calls peoples motives and actually defames science and scientists then you might want to base it on a more tangible line of evidence than “some guy told me”.

    All this sort of grandstanding does is further divide the camps – those that stand opposed to the consensus will happily believe whatever you write and the rest of us are left wondering why we should bother to take you seriously. I’ve not been given a reason to yet.

    JA: Thanks for the tip, David — and for not automatically assuming I was tricking you.

    I’m not an authority on climate science, and nor am I an academic or a journalist. So there’s no reason for anyone to believe me unless, by chance, what I write makes sense.

    On the debatable issue of whether to divert trillions of dollars into trying to change the climate, what makes sense to me is to watch the debate.

  10. The reason why they chicken out is that the Greens and infact all the pro dooms dayers do not have any valid scientific arguments except “the science is settled”.

    That’s their problem.

    Oh I think they have plausible-sounding arguments. They’re just not as sure of them as they pretend to be. Otherwise they’d be happy to front up to two-sided debates, not just one-sided ones.

    Damn cheek the way they expect us to pay through the nose fortune and just take their word for it. Criminal, really. There should be a court case to sort the thing out once and for all.

  11. John. I’ve enjoyed many of your posts and some of your other work. Much of it is great theatre but nothing you’ve done to date comes anywhere near the magnificentness of your post @10.01. That’s splendiferous! It’s High, High Theatre and completely bonkers and I mean that most sincere! There’s magic in there for everyone (that’s the beauty of your work) but my moment came with this pure diamond of a sentence,
    “things are getting better on this planet all the time.”
    That’s just stunning – so up-beat, so positive, so visionary – quite mad really, certifiable but someone had to say it and it was you who had the courage to tell it like it ain’t. I’m retiring early to savour your words, flip them like a pancake, coddle them like and egg, preen them like a single chin-hair. No post has ever made me feel so darn good!
    Thank you John.
    You’re a champ.

  12. The Bilderberg eilte have tried to role out the Global Warming hoax to frighten the populations of sovereign countries into funding a central global dictatorship. It is refreshing to see how many people are not falling for it.

  13. your comment that starts of”to all the yellow-red-greens” is mind boggling,you speak of mankind being a species of stellar problem solvers that just keeps making things better and better on this planet all the time,well I don’t know what delightful rosy planet you live on but it doesn’t sound like the one I live on,your further comment that “capitalism is lifting millions out of poverty as we speak”,beggars belief,i dont know wether you were simply having a bad hair day or wether based on your comments your clearly not to be taken seriously,….kind regards,Ross Hemi.

    JA: Spoken like a true socialist pessimist, Ross. On Planet Gloom, I’m sure things are as dire as you imply.

    But here on Earth, we have places like China, whose people have become immeasurably wealthier since Deng Xiao Ping threw off the communist shackles. And India, which used to be newsworthy only for its famines, but is now a major computer centre. The rich are getting richer, and so are the poor. It’s been that way for the last 200 years.

    Go to http://www.gapminder.com and see a wonderful animated progression of all countries’ average life expectancies and incomes since 1800. You may not want to believe it, and it may not apply to you, but overall things are getting better all the time.


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