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.
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.
Viscount Monckton of Brenchley