One of Australia’s premier economic policy bodies, the Committee for Economic Development of Australia, is giving a platform to climate denialist William Kininmonth in December as part of what it calls a “climate change debate”, despite the absence of anyone to challenge Kininmonth’s rejection of mainstream climate science.

Kininmonth styles himself a “consulting climatologist” but is a retired meteorologist who has published no peer-reviewed work on climate science. He argues that greenhouse emissions make a trivial contribution to global warming and instead natural variability is to blame for rising temperatures.

A CEDA spokeswoman told Crikey today:

We have received a number of requests from members to hear more about the scientific debate on climate change and so we elected to deliver this members’ only event. Our intention was to organise this discussion as a genuine debate between a speaker who could advance the view of the IPCC and a speaker who would advance the contrary position. We made several invitations to scientists who endorse the IPCC position (or indeed are currently lead IPCC authors). For various reasons, unfortunately, none were able to accept our invitation. As for the contrary position, we originally invited Ian Plimer who was unavailable. Mr Kininmonth had accepted our invitation to speak.

We feel that it is better to offer the opportunity for our members to hear his perspective directly and make their own minds up about the validity or otherwise of his arguments. The session will be moderated and there will be ample opportunity for attendees to pose questions and comments.

We have already hosted speakers who would represent the IPCC view at past events. We plan to schedule another opportunity for our members to hear from scientists who endorses the IPCC position and can outline why the IPCC regards the science as “settled”.

CEDA, which states that it is committed to “engaging the brightest minds in the search for the best policy ideas” will charge guests over $100 to hear Kininmonth speak unchallenged for two hours on 4 December in Melbourne.

Peter Fray

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