One of Britain’s most prominent climate change sceptics says Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s plan to introduce an emissions trading scheme will have no effect on the climate.
Lord Christopher Monckton is in Australia on a week-long speaking tour.
The controversial former journalist and political advisor to Margaret Thatcher disputes the UN Climate Panel’s findings that the planet is warming.
He believes the world is cooling, and the Copenhagen Accord to cut global emissions is nonsense.
“It will destroy the economy of Australia and it will do it without the slightest immeasurable [sic] difference on the climate,” he said.
“This is a policy as near to total lunacy as I have ever seen.”
Lord Monckton’s stance has been questioned by climate change scientist and economist Dr Ben McNeil, from the University of New South Wales.
“Behind me there’s virtually every CSIRO climate scientist, the Bureau of Meteorology, the chief scientist, the National Academy of Australia, and every body of science around the world on the ledger that there’s no change in the fundamental science on climate change,” he said.
The UN’s intergovernmental panel on climate change has recently revised a paper published in 2007 because a projection that the Himalayan glaciers would melt by 2035 was wrong.
The UN has acknowledged the grim prediction on the fate of Himalayan glaciers was “poorly substantiated” and was a lapse in standards.
But Lord Monckton says it is not the only mistake.
“The peer reviewers … spotted this at the time before the report was published but it’s not a peer review process – the author said, we want to say that,” he said.
The United Nations says all its publications are peer-reviewed, and the error was not central to the overall findings of the 2007 report.
Today Opposition Senate leader Nick Minchin left the door open for a possible meeting with Lord Monckton.
A spokesman for Senator Minchin said nothing had been arranged but he would be happy to have a meeting.
Senator Minchin has previously voiced doubts about the science of climate change and played a major role in installing Tony Abbott as Liberal leader after a revolt against former leader Malcolm Turnbull’s climate change policy.
However, Liberal MP Kevin Andrews, who has also identified himself as a climate sceptic, has no appointments scheduled with Lord Monckton
Liberal backbencher Dennis Jensen has already met with Lord Monckton when he turned up at a meeting which Dr Jensen was attending.