A week into his self-described “barnstorming” tour of New Zealand, arch-sceptic Christopher Monckton seems to be quietly licking his wounds after a string of farcical public and media appearances.
The armchair climate change expert has in the past managed to stimulate discussion of climate science on his tours of New Zealand and Australia, even if he has been criticized for manipulating and cherry-picking the science to suit his narrative on climate.
However, after his roasting in the media, his train wreck of a public discussion in Auckland and a falling out with one of his imagined allies, Monckton’s arguments against acting on climate change have received scant attention, overshadowed by his erratic behaviour.
The Weekend Herald lavished the full back page interview on Monckton last Saturday and in the process featured perhaps the best insight yet into the mind of Lord Monckton who abruptly ended the interview. Writes the Weekend Herald’s Michele Hewitson:
“It is very difficult to walk out on an interview when the only place you have to walk out of is the living room in the house where you are staying and into the kitchen where the person you are walking out on has to follow you to get to the front door. We stood about for a bit while he studiously ignored me and while I waited for him to laugh because it was so farcical.“But he didn’t. He wouldn’t even say goodbye, which was quite some feat because it might have been the first time he had ever stopped talking.”
This is by no means the first time Monckton has walked out of an interview, nor the first time he has done it in New Zealand. On his last visit, he lost his cool with Country 99 TV reporter Benedict Collins, marching out of the interview when his credentials to discuss complex climate science were questioned.
It is no wonder Monckton was feeling tetchy when he sat down with Michele Hewitson. Earlier in the week, the Herald revealed the contempt the scientific community has for Monckton, sparking an angry rebuttal rejecting the criticism as “hate speech”. But it got worse for Monckton as the week rolled on.
On Friday morning, Monckton appeared on TV3’s Firstline programme, where he claimed to be in New Zealand as a guest of Federated Farmers. Monckton was still fuming about his treatment by the Herald:
“They made assumptions which were not correct, and one of the universities concerned is going to have the father and mother of all complaints later today, once the lies have been investigated,” he told Firstline.
But untruths were the subject of a press release issued later in the day about Monckton’s TV3 appearance, with Federated Farmers moving to distance themselves from the visiting sceptic:
In an interview on 3News Firstline this morning, in which Lord Christopher Monckton said his tour was being organised and supported by Federated Farmers of New Zealand, but this is incorrect.
Federated Farmers of New Zealand has not invited Lord Monckton to tour. Nor is Federated Farmers of New Zealand sponsoring or organising his tour either directly or indirectly.
Federated Farmers of New Zealand is aware our Marlborough province may be supporting the tour in some capacity and that some farmers may be involved, but the national body is not.
The Federated Farmers rebuke would have been gnawing at Monckton as he took to the stage at a University of Auckland public lecture to enthusiastic applause – from the Flat Earth Society for Climate Realists:
He didn’t seem to like us cheering and applauding his every joke and saw it as a reason to call security, but we managed to persuade security that we were FRIENDS, not foes!
He seemed a bit cross with everyone in the end, which was confusing as we are all about cooperation and collaboration.
Then came this morning’s account in the Northern Advocate of a meeting Monckton spoke at in the Whangarei library. Reporter Lindy Laird admitted she found it hard to take Monckton seriously:
It’s because he reminds me of Spike Milligan. Maybe it’s the eyes, the self-deprecating Englishness, or a delivery that turns a serious subject into the bizarre. I tell myself to get serious, be professional, I’m on a job.
This is not The Goon Show, and although the grass outside is frying in the blazing April sun and people mutter “driest in 70 years” no one looks likely to burst into ludicrous song at any moment. “Ning Nang Nong…”
At least Monckton may be able to drown out his detractors when he comes to Wellington. He is holding his public lecture there in the Bose audio store.
You wonder at this stage whether Monckton wouldn’t be better served just bypassing the despicable mainstream media and accepting an interview with The Civilian. At the very least he’ll share their penchant for bowler hats…