PRINZ responds: cynicism confirmed

Courtesy of Russell Brown on Twitter, PRINZ has responded on the Monckton issue in glorious marketers’ Technicolor:

PRINZ was offered Viscount Christopher Monckton as a speaker and our intention is to have him talk about the communications issues around climate change – given that this is a hotly debated topic that many laypeople are confused about.

Viscount Monckton is unquestionably an unusual character whose hereditary title and occasional extreme statements attract attention and criticism. But he does represent a point of view and, as an opinion-leading climate change skeptic, communicators should be interested in what he has to say.

Geoff Austin’s point of view on climate change communication is: “My concern about the present situation is not that we may or may not reasonably expect catastrophic global warming. It is that anyone who has the temerity to try to discuss the issue will be the recipient of ad hominem attacks designed to shut down the debate.”

Fuckin’ brilliant, that is.

People are confused about climate change so we want to just have the discussion about how to communicate it!

That confusion totally has nothing to do with the lying and manipulation and basic falsification of any kind of “lack of consensus” about climate change.  It’s not caused at all by the very people PRINZ is hosting.

He’s just there to talk about “communications issues”, like the “ad hominem attacks” which dominate the debate!

Because the people who lie about being members of the House of Lords, who lie about being Nobel Prize winners, are definitely the people to talk about the ad hominem attacks in the debate … like when they accuse climate scientists of being liars and part of a global conspiracy to destroy capitalism and democracy and stuff.

Seriously, PRINZ.  I’d be right there with you on a seminar about “the difficulties of communication complex scientific ideas to the public” or “the dangers of getting involved in arguments with completely dishonest opponents who will say and do anything to “win””.

But basically, like I said: this is why no one likes PR people.  Because this “event” has every hallmark of Absolute Power-esque amoral spin doctoring which puts no limits on what can be done to protect the reputations of the rich and powerful: lying, deception, covering up even the most obvious, ridiculous buffoonery (can I mention lying about being a member of the House of Lords again?) by any means necessary.

And nothing establishes this more that the second paragraph up there:  “he does represent a point of view”.  So does [insert favourite villain here].  It’s basically the grown-up version of a commenter screaming “freedom of speech!!!” on a blog – as though all speech were equally valid and important, and made relevant and worthy of people’s time and attention by nothing more than the fact that it is speech, ergo you have to listen to it.

Great PR move, PRINZ.  You’ve done your industry proud.


The rumour mill has it that Four Winds Communications, the actual sponsors of this event, represent clients including Gas NZ and the Petroleum Exploration and Production Association.  Any links to establish this would be most shiny.


  1. Hugh Rose

    [QoT: Sorry Hugh, I’ve reached my annual quota of tolerating offtopic rambling about climate change, and especially the line that calling out obvious lies and misrepresentations constitutes “abuse”.]

    Monckton is great entertainment value alone so I recommend him to all to hear!

    • Hugh Rose

      The press should be impartial and even handed and public relations the ones to put a spin on things. It is quite clear that this is not the case in fact completely the other way around. A sad day for journalism.

  2. Pingback: Rash Brash and the potty peer’s PR pratfall
  3. Trouble

    There are two totally different world-views operating here. The public relations world view would say that everyone has a point of view that deserves effective public representation (for a modest fee), whereas the scientific world view is that your assertions need to be backed by data and stand up to the critique of your peers, and if they can’t, other ways of influencing the debate aren’t legitimate. It’s like a lawyer being on one side of a court case and a stage magician on the other.

    • QoT

      I see your point, Trouble, but I’d still argue that *good* public relations would involve either counselling one’s client not to make grandiose lies (which only end up ruining his credibility) or, in the case of Four Winds Communications, not associating one’s petrochemical clients with a known liar and crank.

      • Trouble

        If cranks are all I had to choose from, I’d pick the biggest loudest crank I could find and give him an amplifier. I’d be insulting the intelligence of the electorate, but that has a long history of undeserved success.

  4. Monckton of Brenchley

    [QoT: Nope. As has already been stated, this blog is simply not going to be a platform for climate change denial and the continuing avoidance of the point of these posts. Further, it certainly isn’t going to help advertise “Lord” Monckton’s appearances in NZ.

    Anyone, including lying nobility, wishing to “debate” the science are welcome to take it up with any scientists who are willing to dignify them.]