Hamilton on Viscount Monckton:

Keith Thomas writes: Re. “Hamilton: Viscount Monckton of Benchley’s over-egged CV” (yesterday, item 2). Clive Hamilton wrote yesterday about the coming visit of Christopher Monckton and fell hook, line and sinker for Monckton’s reframing of the climate change issue from a scientific one into a political one.

Monckton has struck a chord with Australians who have an ideological rather than scientific objection to climate change measures that are consistent with what some American right-wing populists associate with socialism, communism, state planning and anti-individualism. Sections of the Australian right have recently embraced this simplistic American position, attracted by its uncompromising, unsubtle, in-yer-face style.

They have been seduced by brash confidence and find it fun to go along for the ride. For them climate change is a political issue and they are looking to Monckton to “put it up” those they label the “alarmists”. Meanwhile nature continues its course, regardless of our political debates.

Any engagement with Monckton that strays outside the scientific into the ideological is unlikely to get even a single person to reject Monckton’s position. The question is: who from the climate change mainstream will be available to debate with Monckton during his visit? Journalists will question him on topics that enable answers based in ideology, because these will stir the pot and provide headlines.

The fact is, there are ways Australia can induce cooling and can moderate weather extremes while increasing rainfall at the regional level — ways which need not offend the rednecks. These get little attention from the left (who frequently are committed to using climate change to impose their social agenda) or from the right (who have conflated smart a-se debating points with science).

Michael Wolny writes: Dear Clive, I`ve just recieved a copy of your opinion of Lord Monkton and I am very surprised to see that you offer no facts to back global warming, only personal opinion of another mans character. This whole issue is much greater than any of you so called intellectual`s. You all sound like self saucing puddings to me, as you try to justify your worth with opinion.

The truth is that you all cost the planet evertime you speak. The bible tells us that man is defined by his actions. Perhaps all of you who believe you have the rite to power should take a long hard look at yourselves and start to help, instead of points scoring off oneanother everytime someone says something. None of you own the planet, and you WILL all die one day. Enjoying and sharing and helping oneanother is all it really takes, but this can be hard to do while ever our “leaders” worship the created in stead of the creator.

I think it`s time that the world leaders put the people of the world first, ahead of industry and their own personal goals and political agenda, (as this is why they are elected, listen to any of their pre-election dribble). The first leader to do this will surely get the backing of the planet, and perhaps we can all rest peacefully at night with our families, isn`t that the goal?

Adam Coleman writes: Not that I read through all of Clive Hamilton’s personal attack piece about climate change sceptic “high priest” Lord Monckton, but I did see enough of the ugliness to be disappointed that Crikey would publish such indulgent, uncivilised rubbish.

I don’t pay subscription fees to provide Clive Hamilton a soapbox to further his personal grudges.


Jackie French  writes:  Re. “Pakistan’s martyrs and the image problems of suicide bombers” (yesterday, item 10). As I write this, the Taliban are bombing any school where girls are educated. Replace “girls” with a “race” and it becomes genocide.

This is, in effect, what the Taliban are doing: attempting to eradicate any woman who dares to be a person. No, that isn’t why foreign troops are there, but can any person of humanity wish that no action should be taken?


Geoff Russell, Animal Liberation SA, writes: During the recent four consecutive days over 40 degrees, the abattoir bound trucks ran with their usual regularity. Heat stress adding to the terror of transport. I can only imagine the additional suffering from panic and overheating as the animals were herded into crushes and killing boxes.

Now Sam Kekovich wants the trucking and slaughter of lambs at the height  of the Australian summer to be a global symbol of Peace and Goodwill.  It is indeed a symbol. As I watched customers in air conditioned malls choosing their lamb, or chicken, or beef,  I thought how easy it is for people to inflict cruelty at arm’s length for just $7.95.

Sam Kekovich’s call is a symbol of the unthinking viciousness at the heart of the Australian “way of life”. Our barbarous BBQ culture. Sam Kekovich is a symbol and example of the worst of Australia being feted, famed and rewarded for a public lack of compassion.

A sporting note:

Terry Towelling writes: Re. “Richard Farmer’s chunky bits” (yesterday, item 9). Re. Richard Farmer’s snippet regarding the New Zealand lawn bowls team found guilty of match fixing. Clearly the New Zealanders were bowling underarm.


Ralph Brading writes: Hey Viv Forbes (yesterday, comments), your British winter tales reminded me of my last working British winter in the early 1960s. We sat snowbound by the Thames as the totally coal fired British power grid collapsed from north to south, leaving just enough juice for the Minister to go on TV to say ” gas supplies were running out, please do not use your kitchen stove as a heater”. My flat mate beat me to the kitchen, but then he was Welsh. The more things change the more etc. etc.

Tom Cowen writes: Viv Forbes must have short term memory issues. It was Margaret Thatcher who closed down England’s coal industry I believe.

Peter Fray

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