BRITISH sceptic Lord Christopher Monckton showed why he is a major figure in the international climate change debate, with a consummate performance at Newcastle City Hall yesterday afternoon.
More than 450 people paid a cut-price $2 each to see him the Sydney price was $20 while a lone protester stood outside with a sign saying: "By my calculations, Lord Monckton does not exist."
Inside, the hereditary peer whose tour has been sponsored by Australian businessmen including the Hunter's Jeff McCloy, spoke for about 90 minutes without notes on what has become a globally prominent campaign against the United Nations and its Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Lord Monckton, who describes himself as a classical architect, mathematician and journalist "but not a scientist" said he and other sceptics had forced the IPCC to withdraw some of its more "alarmist" predictions.
With a series of slides that tour organisers promised would soon be available online, Lord Monckton gave examples of what he described as the IPCC's fraudulent climate science.
He said the push for a carbon trading scheme was the wrong response to a problem he said the UN and IPCC had deliberately exaggerated.
He said carbon trading would destroy the Hunter's coal industry and decimate the region's economy and questioned whether coal union leaders supporting the Federal Government's plans were angling for parliamentary careers.
He said introducing carbon trading on the precautionary principle was not necessarily a good thing.
As an example, he cited the banning of DDT in the 1960s because of health concerns, which he said caused huge increases in malaria rates and the deaths of 40 million people until the World Health Organisation "quietly" ended the ban in 2006.
Asked why there would be a conspiracy to exaggerate global warming, Lord Monckton said scientists depended increasingly on governments for funding and politicians liked to make themselves feel important by "saving people from themselves".