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Lord Monckton debating Sheep

Climate group keen on stormy debate

Plans are under way to pit outspoken climate sceptic Christopher Monckton against top New Zealand scientists in a debate designed to stir up controversy.

A climate change sceptics group is trying to arrange a visit by the high-profile British peer on the back of his trip to Australia.

Richard Treadgold, of the Climate Conversation Group, said there was support from within the group and other climate sceptic groups to bring Lord Monckton to New Zealand in the first week of August.

During the visit, a "high-profile" debate would hopefully be held, seeing Lord Monckton go head-to-head with a climate scientist. "We have not had that debate on global warming and the necessity for action in this country. We've just not had it."

In a post on the society's website, Mr Treadgold called for help in getting the visit under way and for support with its costs and logistics.

"Lord Monckton can also do board lunches for enviro-lawyer firms and mining companies, etc, which is an extra chance to offset costs, so if you have any contacts in these areas please let us know."

The National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research principal scientist James Renwick said he had been approached to take part in a debate with Lord Monckton during the visit.

Although he would be overseas at the time, Dr Renwick said he was unsure whether he would want to participate even if he was available as it would simply give publicity to Lord Monckton. "Sure we can debate things, but the evidence and observations that are out there, there's nothing to debate. To debate the whole idea of climate change is long past."

Last month, Lord Monckton sparked outrage in Australia for calling the government's chief climate adviser a fascist.

Climate scientists say his views are not founded in science, but Mr Treadgold said he still wanted to see the visit go ahead.

"He's well known for his debating skills, thinking on his feet and entertainment. He's got news value and makes people listen."

- The Dominion Post