PRINZ Climate Change Events

28 Jul

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.”

13 Responses to “PRINZ Climate Change Events”

  1. patsi July 29, 2011 at 10:08 am #

    This comment has been edited for legal reasons.

    Oh please, give me a BREAK!

    This is the most pathetic attempt to explain what PRINZ is doing – call yourselves PR experts? that’s almost laughable.

    Do you really, honestly, think that laypeople are going to be less confused after Monckton talks with them?

    Monckton is a right wing politician (who only got 2830 votes in the last UK elections – less than one percent of the vote).

    * He literally makes stuff up, especially on climate science. His presentation to the House of Congress in the US last year has been peer reviewed by 20 climate scientists who have rebutted virtually every word.

    * He has, apparently, invented a cure for AIDS (or so he claims).

    * He continues to claim he’s a member of the House of Lords even though the House has publicly placed a “cease and desist” letter on their website. . (He is a lord, yes, but not a member of the House of Lords).

    * He uses Nazi slurs against, amongst others, Professor Ross Garnaut, the Australian Government’s climate change advisor.

    The language of hate employed on climate change by the likes of Monckton and his good friend Glenn Beck should definitely be the focus of a PRINZ event, but certainly not with Monckton leading it.

    If PRINZ was serious about contributing to this issue (which you should be ) why don’t you get someone who is studying communications issues around climate change (you know, someone who is actually an expert on the subject, rather than an industry-funded, right wing think tank mouthpiece)?

    Shame on PRINZ for hosting this pompous non expert whose very existence as a climate change sceptic and debater is to confuse the public.

  2. Russell Brown July 29, 2011 at 11:37 am #

    given that this is a hotly debated topic that many laypeople are confused about.

    Are you seriously contending that giving Monckton a platform will reduce that confusion?

    He’s been debunked over and over, and essentially relies on rubes like you for airtime. Top work, guys.

  3. Kiri Carter July 29, 2011 at 10:57 pm #

    As a member of PRINZ I’m very disappointed. There’s a very good reason why genuine scientists will not ‘debate’ with this man. The comments above explain why.

  4. Juha Saarinen July 30, 2011 at 2:24 pm #

    Can we look forward to David Irving speaking at the next PRINZ event? He “represents another point of view” too, you know.

  5. scrase August 3, 2011 at 8:58 am #

    Greenpeace also blocked a visit by Richard Lindzen of MIT from coming to NZ. It seems all “marginal” views are now banned.

    This is a policy that has also been endorsed by the BBC in its recent review by Prof Steve Jones.

    Whatever you think of Monckton, this is not how science is done

    • scrase August 3, 2011 at 10:50 am #

      Monckton was in a debate with Prof Barry Brook last year at the Brisbane club, which is available on video somewhere.

      It was a polite and interesting discussion.

      Monckton was also in a debate with economist Dr Richard Denniss quite recently during his Australian tour.

      NZers don’t engage for whatever reason, but it is not correct to say that “no one will debate him”

  6. Juha Saarinen August 3, 2011 at 11:16 am #

    Have to say it’s jolly good of Monckton to take a stand against the formation of the new World Communist Government that’s being formed under the guise of Global Warming and with the help of President Obama. Here’s Monckton being entirely reasonable on that topic:

  7. Richard Christie August 4, 2011 at 10:31 am #

    What? only only one apologist (Scarse) for Christopher Monckton NMHL (Never Member of House of Lords)
    I guess that most of the denierbots must be too busy watching Prisonplanet TV.

  8. prvoice August 4, 2011 at 6:05 pm #

    Public relations and communication management practitioners are routinely required to provide counsel in situations where there are strongly held views. This does not necessitate the practitioner personally supporting or opposing a particular interest or view. (In some ways the role of practitioners in these circumstances is not dissimilar to the situation that journalists face in reporting objectively on topics on which they have a different personal view or interest.)

    Climate change is an issue around which there has been intense debate. This is why PRINZ accepted an offer for its members to hear Lord Monckton’s experience of the communication issues in relation to the climate change.

    As an organisation, PRINZ neither supports nor opposes Monckton’s views, and is not remunerating Lord Monckton, or meeting any of his costs. Our role is supporting and encouraging the up-skilling of practitioners about effective communication, where all stakeholders are able to openly and fairly express their views, and hear and seek clarity regarding the views of others. PRINZ has facilitated this event to further those objectives.

    – Tim Marshall, Chief Executive, PRINZ

    • scrase August 4, 2011 at 10:12 pm #

      I went to Monckton’s talk in Auckland. There wasn’t a lot I hadn’t heard already, and the equations superimposed in the pink portcullis were a bit garish.

      There was a reasonably good turnout, but apparently all of the “sceptical” persuasion. This included a good number of young people, many of whom seemed to be quite knowledgeable,and had been giving our politicians a hard time on YouTube etc.

      Eventually, the media will wake up and realise that the sceptics might actually have some valid points.

  9. Peter Griffin August 4, 2011 at 6:19 pm #

    Tim, whatever way you look at it, this has been a PR disaster for PRINZ. Pulling out of the Auckland Monckton event proves that. As a PRINZ member, I alerted you to the fact this was a terrible idea – PR advice that was obviously ignored.

    It also draws into question just how well the organisation is set up to deal with the whole area of communication around climate science – in a week where a major conference on climate change and business attended by some of the biggest corporates (and PR clients) in the country took place.


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