I was the official photographer at the talk given by Lord Monckton (Viscount Monckton of Brenchley) in Hobart on the 21st of February 2013. The Mercury ran an article by former ALP Minister Terry Aulich on Saturday the 30th. This was my response published on Wednesday the 6th of March:
It’s a pity former Labor minister Terry Aulich was so sparing with the truth in his ‘soapbox’ article on Saturday. He claimed that questioners “were cut short” when in fact Lord Monckton entertained questions for over an hour and only stopped when reminded by a security guard of the time. He also graciously answered brief questions during his talk, often saying “you’re quite right to question me about that” or words to that effect. Indeed, the emphasis of his presentation was that science is about questioning and seeking the truth. Terry Aulich, in contrast, seems utterly disdainful of the truth, repeating the anti-Monckton mantra of climate change denial when in fact Monckton began by talking about the ever-present reality of our changing climate. Aulich further claimed that “the audience started drifting away”, which left me flabbergasted as I was the photographer for the event and was astounded most people (over 90%) stayed throughout despite it being a three-hour presentation (and I have the photos to prove it). If only our university lecturers could keep their audiences’ attention the way Lord Monckton did! Aulich also suggested that Monckton wasn’t open enough about who was funding his talk, but all the advertising I saw clearly stated that it was sponsored by the DLP and Senator John Madigan. Aulich, on the other hand, should perhaps be more clear about his agenda in promoting the ALP’s carbon tax, something that did come in for considerable criticism from Lord Monckton based on the principle that if the cost of insuring against a risk is greater than the cost of the risk occurring then one shouldn’t bother with insurance. Terry Aulich talks about “screwing the facts” when he is the one guilty of doing so.
Terry Aulich replied today, suggesting I hadn’t noticed people leaving, despite the fact that I took photos of the audience both at the beginning and the end of the talk, and that a debate would have been a better format. (Of course, with more than an hour of questions, there was quite a bit of debate, and during the talk too, as seen in the photo above.) He also confirmed that he supports the carbon tax and that although he claimed to have an “open mind” he went along because he wanted to explore ways in which climate change could be ameliorated. If that’s an open mind, I’d hate to see a closed one!