Climate change denier Lord Christopher Monckton has threatened to sue the ABC and described its chairman Maurice Newman as a “shrimp-like wet little individual”.
Lord Monckton, who is towards the end of a near month-long tour of Australia, told a Melbourne audience he had met with Newman at a breakfast and requested he intervene in the broadcast of the Radio National documentary Background Briefing.
Experienced ABC journalist Wendy Carlisle interviewed Lord Monckton and several of his supporters for the documentary, which first aired on Sunday. The documentary also highlighted links between Lord Monckton and mining magnate and supporter Gina Rinehart, chairman of Hancock Prospecting.
During the program, Lord Monckton was recorded telling an audience: “So to the bogus scientists who have produced the bogus science that invented this bogus scare I say, we are coming after you. We are going to prosecute you, and we are going to lock you up.”
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In the latest outburst on July 20 at a speech in Melbourne, Lord Monckton said: “I have written to the chairman of the ABC who is a shrimp-like wet little individual and I have said to him, right mate, I warned you about this woman [Wendy Carlisle] orally over breakfast.
“I then wrote to you saying she is going about my friends pestering them and then she produces and broadcasts this garbage because you did nothing about it. Now I want the right of reply to these lies by the ABC or I will sue. So watch out ABC.”
ABC corporate affairs director Michael Millett said in a statement to Crikey: “The ABC has received a number of complaints from Lord Monckton about its coverage of him and is working through them. We have no further comment.” Crikey requested a response from Newman but this request was turned down by Millett.
Shortly after Lord Monckton’s previous visit to Australia, Newman told senior ABC staff that some were guilty of “uncritical group think” in accepting that serious climate change was being caused by humans.
Lord Monckton caused controversy before arriving in Australia, when it was revealed he had displayed a quote from Australia’s former climate change policy adviser Professor Ross Garnaut beside a large swastika.
The outburst was widely condemned and prompted Lord Monckton to apologise, only for him to then claim that the term “climate change denier” was a reference to Holocaust denial.
During a speech on climate change last night, Liberal MP Malcolm Turnbull warned the audience: “Do not fall into the trap of thinking that what Lord Monckton says or what some website says is superior to what our leading scientists would say.”
Earlier this week, the House of Lords took an unprecedented step of posting an open “cease and desist”-style letter online saying the Lord should stop referring to himself as a member of UK’s upper house of Parliament.
In a National Press Club debate with Australia Institute executive director Richard Denniss, Lord Monckton repeated his claim to be a member of the House of Lords.
Lord Monckton, whose current tour was part-paid for by the Association of Mining and Exploration Companies, has threatened to sue numerous individuals in recent years who have criticised his long-debunked views on climate science. These include threats to sue US-based scientists John Abraham and Scott Mandia after they critiqued his claims. He also threatened last year to sue The Guardian columnist George Monbiot for libel.
Lord Monckton also failed in a last-ditch UK High Court bid to force a right-to-reply on the BBC over the screening of Meet the Climate Sceptics — a documentary which followed Lord Monckton on his 2010 tour of Australia.
*An edited version of this article first appeared on Graham Readfearn’s blog