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How not to take on climate change deniers

When asked to debate global warming at St Andrews, I was delighted. Unfortunately, my opponents turned me into a bug-eyed fanatic

Perhaps I ought not to have accepted the invitation to debate climate change deniers. I’m a novelist and writer by trade. But I’m also passionate about the environment, so when the University of St Andrews invited me to speak for the motion “This House Believes Global Warming is a Global Crisis” earlier this year I accepted. I had never taken part in a university debate before—shouting at the radio was scarcely adequate training.

In the debate, Richard Courtney spoke first for the opposition. A lifelong “big coal” man, he appears to have modelled his public speaking on end-of-the-pier comedians. He…

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