But she never asked this expert IPCC reviewer about climate change! It was either a lost opportunity or she didn’t know what to do with it.
Today I emailed Michele Hewitson to learn whether she asked Lord Monckton anything about the climate and how he may have annoyed her. I hope she replies, but she may not, especially if she spots these comments, posted before she had a chance to reply to me. But I must comment — her journalistic behaviour was crude, unprofessional, unattractive, unfair and unworthy of Christopher Monckton. To specialise in painting a “personality” in her subject can be admired. A descent into hollow chatter and rambling, malicious gossip cheapens both subject and reader.
There was one question I really wanted to ask Viscount Christopher Monckton, the visiting climate change sceptic, and it wasn’t about climate. It was about … giving those pesky Argies the squits … during the Falklands War…
She refuses to ask intelligent questions about his vast knowledge of climate change, which brings him here, and instead employs a 30-year-old scatalogical yarn to mock him against today’s values. To assert that this spicy question was her most important raises to a virtue either mere vapidity or a taste to scandalise, neither of which empty urges sits well with the formidable tradition of the Herald. And why does she use the inferior phrase “pesky Argies” except to diminish the gravity of the deadly peril the Argentinian cowards had brought upon the British citizens in the Falklands and thereby to diminish Monckton’s own stature?
Which is graceless journalism.
He says that when he began writing about climate change he was “immediately and very savagely attacked … in a manner which seemed to me to be disproportionate and unreasonable and unfair”. He “began talking to others who shared my doubts … and they were being subjected to the same things. So then I tried to see whether we were doing it back. And not really. Not to the same degree.”
Ahem. There was the episode with the youth activists in Copenhagen. He called them members of Hitler Youth. No, he didn’t. I didn’t happen to have the You Tube clip with me, so I amended this: He said they were being like members of Hitler Youth.
Michele strove to avoid the substance of his “writing about climate change,” instead needling him over an altercation during climate talks in Copenhagen in December 2009. I revisited one of the videos. Some youthful environmental protesters, the previous evening, invaded a meeting Monckton attended and disrupted it with chanting, shouting and, according to Monckton, “shrieking.” Which were tactics adopted by the Hitler youth in the 1930s to intimidate the population.
Ben Wessell, an environmental activist, said that the science of global climate change had been “settled” for 20 years, which meant that global temperatures had been rising. Christopher asked him whether they had been rising for the last 15 years. Wessell said that the “agreed trend” was that they had been rising. He had said he “believed” temperatures were rising and made it clear that he had not bothered himself to check the facts in the global datasets.
Tempers frayed, as you might expect, as the exchanges became heated, but not noticeably. Only the petty-minded would still be criticising Christopher over this incident. Michele chose simply to bicker over the precise reference to Hitler youth and again ignored the opportunity to examine Christopher’s position on climate change.
At the very beginning I had asked what was the correct way to address him?
He said: “Well, you go down on one knee, put on your white gloves, touch your forelock, bow a little and you say: ‘My lord, would your lordship be so gracious to allow me to address your lordship?’ It’s really very informal. Ha, ha. Call me Christopher. It’s the easiest thing.”
The forelock tugging was a joke, obviously, but I can’t help thinking his lordship would have preferred a little more of that and a lot less of the pesky asking of questions. It’s only fair to say it was all my fault for mistaking an audience for an interview.
I can’t help thinking Michele prefers a little more that a well-spoken Cambridge graduate proves a vain, empty-headed fop and a lot less that he has a serious and well-intentioned message. It’s only fair to say this is my fault for mistaking a Herald writer for a journalist.
To send this woman to interview Christopher Monckton after botching so badly their introduction of him to the New Zealand public was to add abuse to insult.
Not so well done.