PRINZ was offered Viscount Christopher Monckton as a speaker and our intention is to have him talk about the communications issues around climate change – given that this is a hotly debated topic that many laypeople are confused about.
Incidentally, PRINZ did not bring Monckton to New Zealand, is not organising media interviews for him and does not endorse his views. We are interested in all views and how the arguments on climate change are communicated.
PRINZ Central in Wellington decided to offer members a low cost “bring your own lunch” opportunity to hear Monckton.
PRINZ Northern’s Auckland evening event gave enough time for a speaker from the mainstream anthropogenic climate change side to present – but none of the meteorologists, politicians or environmentalists we contacted were willing to engage.
Viscount Monckton is unquestionably an unusual character whose hereditary title and occasional extreme statements attract attention and criticism. But he does represent a point of view and, as an opinion-leading climate change skeptic, communicators should be interested in what he has to say.
In the end, for the Auckland event we have Auckland University geophysicist Professor Geoff Austin, himself a climate change skeptic who we had lined up to chair a two sided discussion, to put questions to Monckton.
Geoff Austin’s point of view on climate change communication is: “My concern about the present situation is not that we may or may not reasonably expect catastrophic global warming. It is that anyone who has the temerity to try to discuss the issue will be the recipient of ad hominem attacks designed to shut down the debate.”