Climate debate: Lord Monckton vs HRH Prince Charles

Posted: February 5, 2014 by tallbloke in alarmism, Education, humour, People power, Philosophy, Politics

Following HRH Prince Charles intemperate remarks about ‘headless chickens’ reported at the talkshop last week, Lord Monckton has written him an open letter, reproduced below.


His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales,
Clarence House, London.

Candlemas, 2014

Your Royal Highness’ recent remarks describing those who have scientific and economic reason to question the Establishment opinion on climatic apocalypse in uncomplimentary and unroyal terms as “headless chickens” mark the end of our constitutional monarchy and a return to the direct involvement of the Royal Family, in the Person of our future king, no less, in the cut and thrust of partisan politics.

Now that Your Royal Highness has offered Your Person as fair game in the shootout of politics, I am at last free to offer two options. I need no longer hold back, as so many have held back, as Your Royal Highness’ interventions in politics have become more frequent and less acceptable in their manner as well as in their matter.

Option 1. Your Royal Highness will renounce the Throne forthwith and for aye. Those remarks were rankly party-political and were calculated to offend those who still believe, as Your Royal Highness plainly does not, that the United Kingdom should be and remain a free country, where any subject of Her Majesty may study science and economics, may draw his conclusions from his research and may publish the results, however uncongenial the results may be.

The line has been crossed. No one who has intervened thus intemperately in politics may legitimately occupy the Throne. Your Royal Highness’ arrogant and derogatory dismissiveness towards the near-50 percent of your subjects who no longer follow the New Religion is tantamount to premature abdication. Goodnight, sweet prince. No more “Your Royal Highness.”

Hi, there, Chazza! You are a commoner now, just like most of Her Majesty’s subjects. You will find us a cheerfully undeferential lot. Most of us don’t live in palaces, and none of us goes everywhere with his own personalized set of monogrammed white leather lavatory seat covers.

The United Kingdom Independence Party, which until recently I had the honor to represent in Scotland, considers – on the best scientific and economic evidence – that the profiteers of doom are unjustifiably enriching themselves at our expense.

For instance, even the unspeakable Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has accepted advice from me and my fellow expert reviewers that reliance upon ill-constructed and defective computer models to predict climate was a mistake. Between the pre-final and final drafts of the “Fifth Assessment Report,” published late last year, the Panel ditched the models and substituted its own “expert assessment” that in the next 30 years the rate of warming will be half what the models predict.

In fact, the dithering old fossils in white lab coats with leaky Biros sticking out of the front pocket now think the rate of warming over the next 30 years could be less than in the past 30 years, notwithstanding an undiminished increase in the atmospheric concentration of plant food. Next time you talk to the plants, ask them whether they would like more CO2 in the air they breathe. Their answer will be Yes.

The learned journals of economics are near-unanimous in saying it is 10-100 times costlier to mitigate global warming today than to adapt to its supposedly adverse consequences the day after tomorrow.

Besides, in the realm that might have been yours there has been no change – none at all – in mean surface temperature for 25 full years. So if you are tempted to blame last year’s cold winter (which killed 31,000 before their time) or this year’s floods (partly caused by the Environment Agency’s mad policy of returning dozens of square miles of the Somerset Levels to the sea) on global warming, don’t.

You got your science and economics wrong. And you were rude as well. And you took sides in politics. Constitutionally, that’s a no-no. Thronewise, mate, you’ve blown it.

On the other hand, we Brits are sport-mad. So here is option 2. I am going to give you a sporting second chance, Charlie, baby.

You see, squire, you are no longer above politics. You’ve toppled off your gilded perch and now you’re in it up to your once-regal neck. So, to get you used to the idea of debating on equal terms with your fellow countrymen, I’m going to give you a once-in-a-reign opportunity to win back your Throne in a debate about the climate. The motion: “Global warming is a global crisis.” You say it is. I say it isn’t.

We’ll hold the debate at the Cambridge Union, for Cambridge is your alma mater and mine. You get to pick two supporting speakers and so do I. We can use PowerPoint graphs. The Grand Debate will be televised internationally over two commercial hours. We let the world vote by phone, before and after the debate. If the vote swings your way, you keep your Throne. Otherwise, see you down the pub.

Cheers, mate!


Viscount Monckton of Brenchley

  1. tallbloke says:

    So who should Lord Monckton choose as his two supporting speakers?
    I’d nominate Professor Dick Lindzen as one I think. Nice connection to the climate change select committee session the other day.

  2. Wayne Job says:

    Prince Charlie has stuck his head way too far above the parapet. Headless chickens indeed.

  3. Joe Public says:

    Is it wise to publish all the Viscount’s personal details??

  4. M E says:

    At least be civil ,your Lordship , and keep our respect. No wonder The Prince of Wales seems contemptuous from the newsmedia who have an interset in promoting discord.

  5. […] noticed this letter From Lord Monckton to Charlie on Tallbloke. Interestingly we had a discussion in the Scottish Climate & Energy Forum which divided between […]

  6. Lawrence A P Wilson says:

    I have been a life time constitutional monarchist and believe Her Majesty has executed her duties in a most excellent manner, perhaps missing a beat a little, when under immense pressure, on Diana’s demise, for which slip I and all totally forgave her. Regrettably, as, when and if the clown Prince (former prince perhaps, as the Lord has defrocked him) assumes the top role, I will instantly switch to Republican mode.
    The guy has always been a dill and I would be ashamed should I ever have to acknowledge him as our Head of State, nominal as that position is. Adding to his lifetime demonstration of unsuitability for that or any official role, he has now insulted and offended me personally with his recent comments because of the views I hold on the climate topic; views which are based on my deep study over the past 15 years of the science, the economics and the politics of the topic; study for which I am far more adequately equipped academically and from scientific and general business experience than he.


  7. M E Wood says:

    Your Lorship is being betrayed into intemperate language. I must add that I have found the same on other climate blogs. It is similar to the internet troll problem. Who wishes this to happen? I would suggest we look to our news media which are are consistently antiscience anti royalist anti religious and have only a desire of getting a good story.
    I’m sorry if I am not allowed to post here, I’m not a troll ‘’

  8. Brian H says:

    Demonstrating the fatal flaw of royal succession: it’s pot-luck what you get each succeeding generation, and there is some decayed meat in the stewpot.

  9. @tallbloke: the other supporting speaker on Lord Monckton’s side should of course be Steve McIntyre.
    However, if the advisory speakers need to be Brits – what about you and the Bish?

  10. Chaeremon says:

    Is UK monarchy for sale now, really? I’m in contact with many Swiss people who (seriously!) want to sell their country, lot by lot, to the very rich (contact me by email to learn more, seriously). This (sale) can be combined with the commercialization of one of the oldest living monarchy and run as an amusement park (in competition to the boring reality-alienated TV soap operas). The park can benefit if it’d be named prominently as ‘D. Park’ and sell T-shirts to visitors (currently not acceptable due to reverence and respect).

  11. tallbloke says:

    Someone has started a petition on

    CM: Not sure about Steve McIntyre. Someone who can speak with authority on the manipulation of solar data might be more the ticket. Willson or Scafetta maybe. Or John Christie on surface station and UAH satellite data.

    M E Wood: Would you agree that HRH used intemperate language by calling those who challenge the orthodoxy “headless chickens”? I found Lord Monckton’s riposte witty and illustrative rather than intemperate. The monarchy has been on a fairly short leash here since the C17th. They don’t own the crown, it belongs to all of us because we constitute the sovereign nation state. We just lend it to the offspring of the house of Hanover as a stage prop on occasions of pomp.

    Joe: His Lordship asked me to publish his letter to Rasmussen in it’s entirety and that included the same letterhead.

  12. Roger, I think Dr Bob Carter would better than Lindzen, For one he is a better and more entertaining speaker. Then point two he is much more knowledgeable. Look at this and then at his research papers and presentations. Look at some of the subjects- geology, palaeoecology, sedimentology, Barrier Reef, sea-level, climate change. Beside that he was an expert witness in the UK high court case about Al Gore’s film. Another point is that the good Lord knows knows Bob and has shared jokes with him and knows that Bob is a good listener and will research facts in areas he is not familiar (Lindzen is getting on and maybe stuck in his ways). Finally, as an Australian of New Zealand birth Bob would be affected if Charlie ever became the king and head of Australia (Australians and New Zealanders respect the Queen,& William and Kate.)

    [Reply] You make a good case and I concur.

  13. I also am a staunch monarchist and I also felt uncomfortable about the language and style of Viscount Monckton’s letter to HRH the Prince of Wales…

    However, let us not miss the substance because of the style.

    Over the years, HRH has demonstrated by his public statements that he has no intention of conforming to the convention of the British Constitution that the Monarch shall remain above politics.

    Regretfully, I must agree that if HRH enters into a public debate on a contentious public issue with Viscount Monckton or anyone else, abdication would become advisable to preserve the monarchy as an institution.

    I hope and expect that HRH will take counsel not to accept this invitation.

  14. The debate needs those with cool heads and an authoritative and reasoned voice. I would suggest Lindzen and Curry. It’s a pity we have no independent climate researchers in the UK. All those in the UK toe the party line for funding and prestige reasons (which excludes them from being called scientists). Since the topic of the debate is “Global warming is a global crisis”, perhaps the best choice would be Lindzen for the science and somebody such as Tol for the economic implications of a warmer, CO2-enriched world.

  15. A further point watch the video which has Bob Carter and two other scientists on te Andrew Bolt show. Charlie would be a right Charlie in trying to answer the questions put..

  16. c777 says:


    Lindzen and Curry vs Charles Windsor?
    That’d be like Barcelona vs Blythe Spartans

  17. Stephen Richards says:

    Climate debate: Lord Monckton vs HRH Prince Charles ?

    The lord versus the bête du village. No competition.

  18. Stephen Richards says:

    phillipbratby says:

    February 6, 2014 at 7:28 am

    McKitrick au lieu Tol

  19. cornwallwindwatch says:

    Reblogged this on Cornwall Wind Watch.

  20. tallbloke says:

    Phil B: Good suggestions, though I think Lord Monckton himself wouldn’t have a problem demolishing Sternomics.

    Chris M: Lord Monckton’s point is that by pronouncing as he did last week, HRH has ALREADY “entered into a public debate on a contentious public issue”. By denying a right of response in open debate, prince Charles would be further compounding the issue by retreating to aloofness following his intervention. He can’t have it both ways and maintain the respect of the 55% of the population who are described by him as “headless chickens”.

    Look what happened to Broon after he described climate sceptics as “Flat Earrrthers”. Electoral wipeout.

  21. PeterMG says:

    The problem with having a debate on climate change is that it’s not a scientific debate but a political debate. Surely we all can see that. HRH has stuck his head up into politics and as much as I have always supported the Monarchy his interventions are completely unacceptable. He is an idiot for doing it. No one should address him with any reverence for he has called us all headless chickens. I would be happy to sit down and do a head to head IQ test with him anytime.

    If we were to debate the science of climate change then the terms of reference must be firmly set. What would be the subject?

    We could discuss temperature and the nonsense of the notion of “average world temperature” or rotten ice cores, poorly sited surface stations or any number of other examples of lack of rigor in the measurement of temperature, and the danger of using proxies in temperature reconstruction. But this proves or disproves nothing about global warming.

    We could discuss the weather and demonstrate that today’s weather is nothing unusual, but again this proves or disproves nothing.

    We could stick to the crux and discuss CO2 and back radiation, but this risks’ boring most of the audience into a deep coma. But it is the only discussion that is relevant in science to this debate. Is the greenhouse effect real could be the theme.

    But the reality is our physical world sciences are very divided, making things up to explain away observations that don’t comply with old theories, and shooting anyone that dare to challenge any of the orthodoxies. It’s not just climate science in crisis, it’s all science.

    Back to politics it is then for even the issues within science itself are political in nature. This is a debate best held by informed Politians or commentators, because with a few exceptions who we could all name, scientists have let us all down.

  22. tallbloke says:

    Peter: There’s actually a lot of good science being done, as well as potentially good science not getting done. The big problem is at a ‘meta level’. Over-reaching claims fuelled by the need to justify large grants from taxpayer backed funding bodies, vested interests of ‘solutions providers’ and top science institutions with political/activist appointees running them.

    I doubt HRH spends much of his time considering such issues.

  23. PeterMG says:

    TB I agree there is a lot of good science happening now, as perhaps always. I believe we are at the beginning of a great change in science; we just await the trigger that will bring the current mainstream consensus tumbling down. It’s hard to predict what this trigger will be, but it will be some small discovery that appears from nowhere that cannot be ignored and changes everyone lives. The malaise in science is nothing but a reflection of the western malaise in politics.

  24. Kon Dealer says:

    And we wonder why Her Majesty QEII keeps hanging there?

    Charles’ latest intemperate and unconstitutional outburst explains it all.

    Hang in there Your majesty!

  25. tallbloke says:

    Peter: Astute observation. It works the other way too. ‘Settled science’ especially on the all encompassing theories like Big Bang creates a suitable environment for settled political hegemony. The ‘Copernican revolution’ was carefully controlled by the church/state to be a slow burner, so as not to make the natives too restless.

    Because it has been overbilled, the climate question threatens to become a pivotal issue, and our PRP discoveries of the cause of the long term climate cyclicities threatens not only received wisdom on climate but also cosmology/astrophysics. Our theory, which offers a potentially reliable estimate of solar variation in the decadal to centennial timeframe threatens to change the whole dynamic of the climate debate.

    Small wonder IPCC author James Annan & co moved so quickly to try to suppress and denigrate our work, and cast aspersions on the authors integrity.

  26. hunter says:

    Lord Monckton seems to seldom miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. His style is frequently indistinguishable from nails on a chalkboard. This essay of his loses its great points in his inflammatory style.

  27. NikFromNYC says:

    If Britain through the UKIP party soon simply allows nearby Belgium to conquer it, a country that already has a king, then the problem wi be solved, in time too to grab Belgium before US Emperor Donald Trump starts playing board games with Europe.

  28. PeterMG says:

    To those who are critical of Monkton’s style I have some sympathy. However I would qualify this by saying, when the future King of England calls possibly the majority of his informed subject “headless chickens” he forfeits any rights to politeness. HRH lives in such a sanitised bubble that he needs people to be rude to him to shake him out of his complacency. If he actually got out and without his entourage (other than necessary security detail) talked to real people for more than 15 seconds at a time, he may just find the world is a very different place to the one he imagines. I doubt he has the intellect to even think original thoughts about climate change and I bet he is in awe of experts in a way that we mere mortal never are. For me as an engineer I have been on the wrong end of expert opinion far too many times, as I suspect is the case with many who read and post at the talkshop.

  29. Headless Chicken says:

    I am very pleased that Lord Monckton has spoken out on behalf of a section of the community that obviously cannot speak for itself.

  30. michael hart says:

    I think it would be a good idea if one of them was Canadian. A very big (2nd largest after Russia), very cold, very empty country, for the most part. In many ways more representative of the wider world than a small rain-soaked island with some densely-packed small minds. Generally politically sensible and not too “foreign” for the Cambridge Union.

    Several good candidates come to mind. Is Christopher Essex Canadian? He has the heavyweight background. I couldn’t help laughing at his description of a climate modeller explaining his own utility as ‘I solve the closure problem of turbulence regularly for policy-makers.’
    (During the first two minutes of his excellent talk on of the state of climate modelling. Entertaining, informative, and, I would say, mostly not too difficult to follow for non-specialists.)

  31. p.g.sharrow says:

    Two things turned me against CO2 green house gas global warming nearly 50 years ago.

    #1 a few hundred parts per million can have no appreciable effect on the heating of the atmosphere.
    #2 CO2 is The most important fertilizer for plants, after water, and is the most limited.

    The concept of Green House Gas was proved wrong by Max Planck over 100 years ago! Even S.Arrhenius admitted his experiment was poorly done and his conclusions sloppy.
    This has had political undertones from the start. For Arrhenius it was that the coal fired industrial revolution was saving the world from impending doom of Ice Age! For him CO2 increase was a very GOOD THING!
    Global temperature change is a Solar thing. Everyone can feel that when they go outside. Forget the BS (Bad Science) argument, concentrate on the reality that everyone can experience. It is the SUN stupid!
    Carbon is the foundation of all life. Carbon Dioxide is plant fertilizer. It is GOOD. More CO2 means More Food for everyone. Less Expensive Food.
    Time to make the gloom and doomers look foolish. Keep the message simple. Carbon is our friend, It is the SUN that provides our climate changes. 😎 pg

  32. gallopingcamel says:

    Your Lordship,
    Thanks for pointing out the cluelessness of Prince Charles. Your lack of respect for one who aspires to the “Monarchy” does you much credit. How I miss Willie Hamilton!

    What I need is a couple of bookends in the image of Prince Charles and Al Gore to contain my books on hypocrisy. They want us little people to trade in our SUVs for bicycles while they maintain four residences each, flitting from one to another in Royal yachts or Gulfstream IVs.

    Grosvenor House (the primary residence of Charlie) has 54,000 heated square feet. Charlie has several other residences including one in the (sic) Silly Isles. I could cite similar info on the execrable Albert. Don’t expect either of them to emulate Mahatma Ghandi by practising what they preach.

  33. janama says:

    I’m not sure Lindzen is the right guy – I watched him at the UK investigation and I wanted to boot him up the bum and get him to start giving out instead of trying to be laid back intellectual and sophisticated. Donna on the other hand gave them both barrels only to be put down my some arrogant Scotsman,
    It would be very important who Monkton chooses, Carter would be great but I’ve seen McIntyre and he’s a bit like Lindzen.
    May I suggest Topher, who’s not a scientist but made the 50 program for Monkton – he’s interviewed all the sceptics and really knows his stuff AND he’s a great communicator.

  34. tallbloke says:

    Topher still owes me a set of DVD’s. Thanks for the reminder.
    I could give a better performance than Topher on the science. The issue is academic credentials.

  35. janama says:

    Not when it comes to communicating the science and the facts. I couldn’t care a damn whether Topher owes you some DVDs, that’s between you and him. I’m talking about public/science interface and Topher does a pretty good job IMO as does Joanne Nova,

  36. janama says:

    The question is – how do you stand up in the media.

  37. tallbloke says:

    I’m fine in front of the cameras. Been there, done that.
    Topher is an excellent communicator, I’m pretty good at it too.
    I’ve not seen Jo doing any ‘live stuff’, but her written work is terrific.

  38. Annie says:

    I’d like to see Prince Charles in a climate science debate with Christopher, Professor Bob Carter, Anthony Watts, Jo Nova or Dr David Evans. Charles is far too political to be a good King and sometimes his comments are so far off the planet, it makes one shake their head. If anything drives Australia to become a republic, it will be him. Zip it, Charlie and long live Queen Elizabeth II.

  39. janama says:

    Jo spent years hosting a children’s TV science show. She spent five years touring Australia with Shell Questacon Science Circus.

  40. tallbloke says:

    She’d be good at explaining things to prince Charles then! 🙂

  41. janama says:

    Yup – good point


  42. Mike Burston says:

    While Prince Charles believes in AGW and apparently endorses the science Propaganda Machine that drives it, he is also on record as commenting on the “tyranny of science”. Maybe he had homeopathy in mind. A topic dear to his heart but lacks empirical proof, like climate catastrophism.

  43. […] has described climate warming sceptics as ‘headless chickens’ which has prompted this treasonable response from the irrepressible Lord Monckton of Brenchley. Michael Mann the doyen of the alarmists who […]

  44. Kevin says:

    Never could understand why the British public don’t go for a Republic when they have this dill as their future monarch. Let him stick to his weirdo beliefs but off the public purse.