This week and next week, prominent climate sceptic blogger Anthony Watts is touring Australia to help promote the country’s newest political party, the Climate Sceptics party. Single issue parties are not unusual in Australia, and the Sceptics have been working to create a “new centrist party” to push for a “truthful, common-sense approach to [climate change] and all issues.”
The Climate Sceptics turned heads in January when they had to beg their members for an extra $20,000 to pay Christopher Monckton’s stipend as part of $100,000 in tour fees. This begs the question: where does the cash come from to pay for the speaking tours of Australia?
DeSmogBlog asked the Australian Electoral Commission if the party had registered itself yet and reported on any income. Unfortunately, as a new party, they do not need to file their finances until October. Furthermore, the sceptics party website clearly lists all the rules about what donations need to be disclosed and which ones do not (donations less than $11,200 can be anonymous under Australian law.)
Watts’ tour is being billed as a tool to fight the Australian government’s weak and industry-friendly Emissions Trading Scheme, which it recently put on hold for about 3 years. Leon Ashby, the president of the Sceptics party, says “these presentations will make you think hard about the gap between the facts, public perception and where our political leaders want to take us.”