Viscount Monckton of Brenchley opened his debate at the National Press Club in Australia two days ago by reminding his audience that England not only took the Ashes off Australia, but also held on to them in the next rematch. He said: “I just thought I’d rub it in.” Then he proceeded to take his cudgel to his feeble debating opponent.
Economist Richard Deniss must be no intellectual weakling, but he gave the impression of not knowing where he was, so he said the things he normally said. Which usually works, because his normal audience has heard them before and agrees with him. But here, he floundered and had no idea what he was doing.
He definitely didn’t know what we were doing, which was measuring the two men against each other, and he didn’t realise we wanted facts about the climate. He kept reiterating his bewilderment that “sceptics” disagreed about climate change measures, or how important it was to bow to the scientific consensus. The stodgy stratagem was leaden against the sparkling, acrobatic and keenly wielded wit of his opponent Monckton.
He stood no chance. He might as well have spent his time scrawling “cretin” on his forehead and blinking up at the television lights with his tongue hanging out, so ineffective was his delivery. Coming as an adversary to the rapier intellect of Monckton he offered the resistance of damp paper.
Whatever climate facts Christopher Monckton mentioned, Deniss didn’t argue with them; he didn’t even acknowledge them — he just ignored them and talked about the “consensus” or again recited the scientific authorities supporting global warming. He was soporific.
But we got the facts from Lord Monckton — heaps of them. And he still had lots of time to enthrall us, entertain us, inspire us, berate the journalists for not doing their job in relation to global warming and even gloriously reprimand one journalist for bringing up the forbidden topic of Monckton’s dispute over his membership of the House of Lords.
Through it all he never lost his bearing.
You must watch the video. It’s outstanding.