Posted by: Barry Bickmore | October 23, 2012

Debate Challenge to Viscount Monckton

October 22, 2012

Dear Viscount Monckton,

I noticed a number of articles in The Gibraltar Chronicle (links here: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5) about your most recent attempts to engage Al Gore in a debate about climate change, and I agree that you deserve an answer, although not necessarily from Gore.  In response, I would like to renew my challenge to debate you about climate change in an online, written format, in which we have time to check our opponent’s sources.  I was never given a satisfactory answer as to why you declined the first time, but I am always willing to give you another chance.

On Jan. 20, 2010, your handler, Science and Public Policy Institute President Bob Ferguson, contacted me and challenged me to debate you in an oral, staged format.  I immediately responded by declining the oral format, but instead suggested that we debate in an online, written format that would allow for source checking.  Ferguson initially responded, “Your suggestion for a written, online debate is worth consideration.”  However, when I asked Ferguson about the possibility of such a debate shortly thereafter, he simply responded, “No.”

Should you accept the challenge, I would be happy to host the debate on my blog, Climate Asylum, or on another site that we could mutually agree upon.  I would also try to be flexible about debate rules and length limitations, although I must insist that we be able to link to outside sources.

I will certainly understand if you consider me too unimportant a figure to debate.  After all, I’m sure that’s what Al Gore thinks of you.  But before you decide, consider how you stated your challenge to Al Gore back in 2009.  “I want you to face me in a debate about global warming, and if you don’t dare, I want you to remain silent about that subject forever, from now on.”


Barry R. Bickmore, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Geological Sciences

Brigham Young University

Provo, Utah  USA


Disclaimer:  The views expressed here are my own, and do not reflect any policy or position of my employer.



  1. I love it!

  2. I think we both know that there’s not a chance in hell that Monckton will accept the challenge, Barry, because this is not a format he can win.

    Monckton needs a stage where he can use his bullying verbosity to shout you down and Gish-gallop his way to victory (in his eyes and those of his uninformed, sycophantic onlookers). And that’s a shame.

    • Well, let’s give him a chance to respond. I mean, at the beginning of almost every talk he tells the audience, “Do not believe a word I say,” because they can all go check his claims. Why would he do that, unless he sincerely wants people to check up on him? Just ask Gary Hart.

      • However, he won’t give you time to check on his claims in a face-to-face meeting.

        Some crowdsourcing could do the same thing, maybe, if you were allowed IT kit that would interface to the projector so you could put up the data on Monkfish’s claims.

        Of course, the other way to do it is just hang it all and gish gallop away yourself. Make multiple claims of error, bias, proof of collusion, etc.

        I.e. don’t play the sucker bet on a Gish. Ride a herd of Gishes yourself.

        If nothing else, it would be a relaxing change and funny to do.

    • I would suggest doing an oral debate with the bug eyed Lord Monckton if he agrees to let it be recorded to video (with nice clean clear audio) and let it be uploaded to YouTube and a few other popular sites. Since it would be recorded, it would be easy to pick out the parts that are full of Monckton’s B.S’ing and do another video that goes back and forth between Monckton’s horse manure and a group of climate scientists yakking about the amazing B.S. that it is and why it is B.S. and upload that video as well. And one more observation. If something isn’t done about the climate deniers on the conservative and conspiracy talk shows, then rabid fans of those talk show hosts will never accept the truth about the reality of climate science truth. The worst thing that ever happened to radio is not dirty radio like Howard Stern airs, but that the fairness doctrine law is gone and over with and not likely to come back. The fairness doctrine said that all sides of a political issue had to be aired. Since the conservatives like Rush Limbaugh consider climate change a political issue, the under the old fairness doctrine law, the conservatives would have to air all points of view on it. I complained to the FCC to no avail. They wrote me back and said that unless speech they consider to be a great evil is aired, they won’t do anything. I wrote back that how can you not call climate change denial for profit a great evil? No response back. I think climate scientists should do a fund raiser to try and buy programming time on a conservative radio network under the pretext that they will air climate denial programming. And then once on the air, screw them and do climate reality programmng.

  3. I would like one of the presidential debates to be in the written format, too…


  4. Nice one, Barry. Were he to accept, I think you would have to give Lord Monckton a word limit on every single contribution he makes. I say this as a consequence of personal experience: Although Monckton has publicly criticised me for “rambling” (and not asking a question), in private, when asked a fairly simple question, he generally tries to wear his opponents down by voluminous responses with copious amounts of Latin. See

    I am surprised he has not called either of us “plebs” yet…

  5. […] with Peter Hadfield (a.k.a Potholer54) when it got a little too hot for him. Monckton has also refused to respond to Dr. Bickmore’s request for a […]

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