AMEC Convention 2011

June 28 – 30
PCO: In-house, Denyse McClements
Venue: Burswood Convention Centre

This was as controversial as it was interesting! In the week leading up to the event, the AMEC office was inundated with calls because of the appearance on the program of Christopher Monckton. The decision to have him on the program was made by a member who thought his views worthy of airing.

It was a serious low point for what was otherwise quite a good conference. Christopher Monckton is the 3rd Viscount of Brenchley and one of the world’s most outspoken climate change deniers. The term “denier” he has taken exception to as he feels the term is associated with holocaust deniers. Go figure!

Monckton has great presence on stage and is a most erudite presenter. It’s just a shame that most of what he says is utter rubbish. The expression “a tree of falsehood from a grain of truth” comes to mind. What he does it takes bits of science and distorts it to tell a story that essentially says climate change is negligible, not anthropogenic and the cost of doing anything about it is too costly.

Pretty much most of what ever he’s said anywhere has been debunked  by peer reviewed scientists and people like Peter Hadfield, a credible science journalist.

He admits to not being a scientist (he’s a former journalist and a thus far failed political candidate) but describes himself as a climate policy maker.

The fact is, he’s a flake.

The worry is that some people, whom you would ordinarily regard as sane, are latching on to this flake and placing value on what he says.

What was of value was at the AMEC conference was hearing Andrew Forrest’s passion for indigenous employment and the wonderful progress being made by the Australian Employment Covenant.

Elsewhere, the mining tax debate was lively but lacked any representation from the government side of the argument. Rob Oakeshott was scheduled to take part but was held up in Canberra.

The quote of the discussion came towards the end when BC Iron‘s Managing Director, the affable Mike Young, described the consultation process as being like “an executioner asking you what colour blindfold you preferred” Nice one, Mike!

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