Update: Roy Green and Christopher Monckton’s have accepted
The debate airs on Sunday, Aug 17, 2008, at 3:05 EDT on the Corus Entertainment radio network
The tireless British nobleman, Christopher Walter, Third Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, has been ever on the hunt for debating partners, triggering Roy Green, (host of the Roy Green Show, heard on the Corus Radio Network, Saturdays and Sundays, 2-5pm Eastern) to ask David Suzuki to join Monckton for an on-air confab.
Well, David Suzuki has better things to do. But I don’t. I’d love to chat with Chris about the public relations of climate change. Accordingly, I have responded to the Roy Green challenge, per the letter below:
Dear Mr. Green,It’s come to my attention that Christopher Walter, the Third Viscount Monckton of Brenchley is looking for a debating partner for an upcoming show, and I would like to confirm that I am available.I know that the Viscount Monckton has been trying to line up an argument with Al Gore or, in a pinch, David Suzuki – and I personally would rather debate Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper – but I think you’ll have to agree that Monckton and I are a more appropriate match.Monckton is a journalist with political aspirations and a smattering of scientific knowledge. I spent 20 years in the Canadian newspaper business, ending by writing editorials and editing the Opinion and, for a time, Editorial pages of the Vancouver Sun. Politically, I was an elected member of the Metro Vancouver Board of Directors. I was vice-chair of its Air Quality Committee and was delegated by the Metro Vancouver Board to sit on the Chretien government’s (laughably entitled) Kyoto Implementation Process. (In that role, I suppose you could call me a one-time science adviser to Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien, but I’d rather you didn’t.) I also wrote the Suzuki Foundation’s first public education package on climate change in 1996 and have been an avid fan ever since of the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.As to my scientific credentials, they are pretty similar to Monckton’s (which is to say, I haven’t any). I won a national magazine award from the Canadian Science Writers’ Association (for a piece on prostate cancer, not climate change), but for the most part, my expertise (like Monckton’s) is in communications and public relations. In particular, I am Editor of DeSmogBlog.com, a climate change website that specializes in covering the “debate” about global warming, and which endeavors to sort out which parts of that debate are rooted in science and which parts are rooted in PR.The Viscount Monckton has made much in the last year or so of the refusal of people like Al Gore or James Hansen to debate him. I suggest that this is mostly self-promotion, that Monckton’s principal goal is to be seen on the same stage as these, rather-more-accomplished individuals. If I am wrong, if Monckton sincerely wants a debate, if he believes that he can go toe-to-toe with someone of a similar background and put a superior argument before your listeners, well, again, I’d be happy to accommodate.Sincerely,