I’m in Melbourne today with Tom Blees, and tomorrow we’re heading to Sydney to visit ANSTO. Whilst there, Tom will give a talk; I’m delighted to see that some of the regular commenters on BNC will be there (look forward to meeting you John D. Morgan, Ewen Laver and perhaps some others). Details here.
Whilst in Adelaide, Tom Blees gave two talks. His Q&A session at the Royal Institution of Australia was a great success. Head over here to listen to the audio of his chat with Prof. Mike Young, and the subsequent question time. The 2nd event was the ‘nuclear debate’, when Tom and I went head-to-head with Mark Diesendorf (UNSW) and David Noonan (ACF). We (the Environment Institute) recorded this debate in audio format, and Slow TV videoed it (although disappointingly, they missed most of the Q&A, which was where the sparks flew). I’ll post back here when the Slow TV video is up (UPDATE: It’s here).
The nuclear debate was pretty entertaining, although the format really didn’t allow for many important issues to be thrashed out in convincing detail. As others have noted in comments on BNC, Diesendorf took to personally attacking my credentials, which I thought was unprofessional and totally uncalled for. I said as much on the night, but the crowd seemed to be predominantly anti-nuclear, so I guess they were willing to overlook this most dubious of debating ‘tactics’. Still, my opinion of Diesendorf has now hit rock bottom, and I want nothing more to do with him, professionally or otherwise. At least David Noonan stuck to the topic rather than playing the man, even if he basically ignored what Tom and I were saying on the matter of proliferation, availability of weapons-grade plutonium, etc. with IFRs, and instead hammered out his pre-prepared script. Read here for one independent write-up of the debate. If you find others, post links in the comments below.
Then there was the debate I had with Lord Monckton, in Brisbane on Friday 29 January. This was performed in front of 500 suits-and-ties at the Hilton Hotel; needless to say, I was up against a tough crowd! Ian Plimer was a panel member with Monckton, and Graham Readfearn (formerly of the Courier Mail) was my fellow panellist. I took the position of explaining how science deals with uncertainties, and why climate change was a serious risk management challenge (no, I wasn’t arguing for the precautionary principle, despite what Monckton concluded). Readfearn took the line of attacking the credentials of Monckton/Plimer, which was much the same tactic used by Diesendorf in the nuclear debate, and, quite rightly, it didn’t got down well.
You can now judge for yourself how this debate went, because the ABC filmed it and have now posted it on the Big Ideas show, here. You listen to the audio, or watch the full video (which includes the PowerPoint slidecasts of the two main talks by Monckton and Brook [we spoke for 15 minutes each, before the 1 hour Q&A session]). I’d recommend you watch the video, “Lord Monckton On The “Conspiracy” Of Climate Change“. Following the debate, I was interviewed on 4BC radio Brisbane. The interviewer, Greg Cary, was at the debate, and his judgement of the outcome is quite interesting. Listen here for that one (15 minute audio).
Tim Lambert from Deltoid is debating Monckton in Sydney on Friday. I’ll be interested to see how that one goes — Alan Jones is the moderator…