Commonwealth Business Council Picks In-house Denier To Chair Climate Forum

Sat, 2011-11-05 16:22Graham Readfearn
Graham Readfearn's picture

Commonwealth Business Council Picks In-house Denier To Chair Climate Forum

IF you were going to have a serious high-level discussion about, say, improving science teaching in schools, then who would you invite to chair the meeting?

How about an astrologer? Perhaps a purveyor of crystal healing would be a good choice? Maybe a creationist, a fortune teller or a spiritual healer?

Well of course not. This would be ridiculous. But just hold that thought for a minute.

A few days ago, the Commonwealth Business Council brought its high-level bi-annual forum –hosted in Perth, Western Australia – to a close.

The CBC boasts membership from 54 countries, across five continents with more than 100 member companies. Among its goals, the CBC aims to “provide leadership in increasing international trade” and to promote “good governance and corporate social responsibility”.

Among those in attendance at the CBC forum were the Australian Prime Minister, senior Australian cabinet members, ministers from South Africa, the UK, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Rawanda and the Caribbean.

There were senior representatives from international energy and mining companies, including BP, Woodside, RioTinto, Shell and Hancock Prospecting.
 
With all of that power and influence in the one place, organisers promised that the meeting would likely spawn many multi-million dollar international business deals.
 
But the meeting also broke-up with the news that, among other things, it had failed to reach any kind of agreement on tackling climate change.
 
According to a report in The Australian, the London-based council’s director-general Mohan Kaul said this lack of an agreement was down to the “diverse views” of those businesses in attendance.
 
Mark Barnaba, the forum’s steering committee co-chairman, said the lack of consensus was “unsurprising”.
 
Indeed, this lack of agreement was unsurprising. Even an astrologer could have correctly predicted it, given the person they asked to chair the forum's climate change session.
 
Titled, “Tackling Climate Change and Energy Challenges: A Government Business Partnership” the session’s contributors included Australia’s Climate Change Minister Greg Combet and ministers from the UK, South Africa and Bangladesh.
 
I now ask you to recall those astrologers and fortune tellers, because they're my analogy for the chair of the session - businessman Hugh Morgan, a denier of the science of human-caused climate change.
 
Quite how, or why, he was given this gig is almost as unfathomable in its stupidity as the idea the motion of a distant planet can influence whether or not I’m going to win at the lottery (which I’m not, because I don’t enter, and I know not if this is a Sagittarian trait).
 
Morgan, who is on the CBC's board of directors, is a founder member and current president of the Lavoisier Group, launched in Victoria in 2000. The group was set-up chiefly to oppose any regulation on greenhouse gases.
 
In his latest “President’s Report” on the Lavoisier Group’s website, Morgan concludes: “We have been doing everything possible in recent years to destroy our coal-fired electricity industry in the superstitious belief that carbon dioxide is a pollutant.”
 
Also on the website, you can enjoy articles such as “Is the Western Climate Establishment Corrupt” and “Nine Lies About Global Warming”.
 
Hugh Morgan, 71, is also a former director at the Institute for Public Affairs, a free-market think-tank which promotes climate science denial and consistently attacks the efficacy of the renewable energy industry.
 
Commenting on Morgan's role at the CBC, Australian Senator Christine Milne told The Power Index news website
I think Australians deserve to know who made the decision to invite one of the country's most aggressive and thoroughly debunked climate deniers to chair a Commonwealth meeting on climate action. Given his long-standing public campaigning against climate action, what role did Mr Morgan play in this meeting?
Morgan is also a member of the lobby group Australians for Northern Development and Economic Vision, which wants to create a separate economic zone in the north of Australia with low-tax and low-regulation to promote mining industry development.He was also the boss of the Western Mining Corporation and includes on his CV stints on the board of Australia's Reserve Bank and the Presidency of the Business Council of Australia.
 
ANDEV was established by Australia’s richest person Gina Rinehart, chairman of Hancock Prospecting, promoter of climate science denial and speaker at the CBC forum. Rinehart has twice supported tours of climate “sceptic” Lord Christopher Monckton.
 
Also an ANDEV member is climate sceptic and mining entrepreneur Professor Ian Plimer, who Rinehart passed-off as a climate expert in front of another influential audience earlier this year.
 
Morgan is also on the advisory board of the Tony Abbott-led Australian Opposition’s climate policy advisory board.
 
Putting a man like Hugh Morgan in a position of influence on climate change is a bit like.. well.. asking an astrologer how we should teach science to kids.
 
The act is irresponsible and the result will be highly predictable.
 

Previous Comments

How is this story any different than the recent outing of the IPCC for using a GreenPeace activist as a lead author on it’s ‘Special Report on Renewable Energy’?

http://www.economist.com/node/21522103

That’s the thing about advocates. There’s always a double standard. Of course this applies to advocates on both sides of any discussion. Partly explains why I’m such a cynic.

How is this story any different than the recent outing of the IPCC for using a GreenPeace activist as a lead author on it’s ‘Special Report on Renewable Energy’?

http://www.economist.com/node/21522103

Good article.  Yup… It smells wrong to me.

Do the professional activists employed by Desmogblog have anything other than the ad hominem argument?  It really is quite played-out.

It also doesn’t enhance your credibility when all you can do is make personal attacks against your ideological enemies, yet never once address their arguments.  It leads me to conclude you are actually unable to answer their arguments substantively, and so you resort to this kind of cheap mud-slinging.

It is not an ad hominem attack to point out that someone who is incapable of grasping the science of climate change should not be appointed to head an organisation that purports to address climate change.

The CBC appointment is for a person that has a history of opposing the science and the facts, based on no expertise. And a history of working for organisations with a preconception of what is “acceptable science” (i.e. science that does not impact their vested interests).

By your logic that it is OK to put someone unsuitable in charge of Climate Change policy, it would be fine for a hospital to put a homeopathy practitioner in charge of epidemiology, or a government to puts an HIV denier in charge of their AIDS prevention program.

The difference between this case and the IPCC using someone from Greanpeace is that the Greanpeace contribution is in line with known science and draws on expertise in the field. I can- with complete confidence- summarise and repeat the opinions of the world’s experts in any field.  I also know that if I want to contradict them, I would need to have equivalent or better expertise AND overwhelming evidence. What a pity that business people think they can “pick their own reality”.

When the current thinking in science is opposed, it is done through peer review and the processes of science, and by clear overwhelming evidence. Neither of these exist right now to contradict the observations and the science of CO2-caused climate change. All there is, is vested interests spinning a few crank “it is not CO2, it might be superheated pixies” speculations.

No matter, as organisations use the ever dwindling number of semi-credible mouthpieces in their desperate last attempts to fight reality, they will find that these mouthpieces destroy their credibility, just as reality is destroying the credibility of the climate denial industry.

 

“It is not an ad hominem attack to point out that someone who is incapable of grasping the science of climate change should not be appointed to head an organisation that purports to address climate change.”

The article doesn’t even bother to attempt to show he doesn’t grasp the science (such as it is) of climate change.  It merely calls him names.  That’s pretty much the defintion of an ad-hominem attack.

“The CBC appointment is for a person that has a history of opposing the science and the facts, based on no expertise.”

Disagreeing with wild assertions and dubious opinions is not the same as “opposing the facts” (since climate alarmists seldom deal in facts), nor is it opposing The Science(tm).

“By your logic that it is OK to put someone unsuitable in charge of Climate Change policy”

The CBC is a private organisation.  They are not responsible for “Climate Change policy”.

“it would be fine for a hospital to put a homeopathy practitioner in charge of epidemiology, or a government to puts an HIV denier in charge of their AIDS prevention program.

Why not?  The IPCC lets political activists like Greenpeace and WWF write its reports for them?

“The difference between this case and the IPCC using someone from Greanpeace (sic) is that the Greanpeace (sic) contribution is in line with known science and draws on expertise in the field.”

Translation: The Greenpeace activists’ position is conveniently in line with the IPCC’s political agenda.

 

The article doesn’t even bother to attempt to show he doesn’t grasp the science (such as it is) of climate change.

The science of climate change is the science. It is the overwhelming evidence and expert opinion. It is up against unreliable and poor evidence, and tenuous hypotheses.  Therefore, it is a valid observation that an unqualified person who takes a contrarian/denier stand against the best available science does not grasp the science.

The CBC is a private organisation.  They are not responsible for “Climate Change policy”.

They are an organisation which lobbies and seeks to influence government. They are responsible for climate change policy for their organisation, and I’d presume their member organisations.

You, like creationists, think that established science is “wild assertions” and “dubious opinions”. Whereas of course your “facts” com from the likes of Monckton, Plimer, and the other un-experts and un-scientists, plus the ranks of the professional climate deniers (freshly rolled, lit up, fuming, and on loan from their tobacco lobbying work).

…since climate alarmists seldom deal in facts

I’d love to see your “facts”, it seems that the “climate alarmists” include almost all of the the peak science bodies in the world, the vast majority of climate scientists, as well as a raft of domain experts from other scientific fields. The facts are there online at NASA, the Polar Science Center, NOAA, and many other scientific institutions, plus scientific papers in the most reputable science journals. Plus the latest BEST study by Muller- at least we can put the denier “the planet is really cooling” claim out with the rest of the rubbish now. Or is this another inconvenient fact to rail against and deny?

“”Doubt is our product since it is the best means of competing with the “body of fact” that exists in the mind of the general public. It is also the means of establishing a controversy.”

Internal tobacco industry memo, http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/wjh13f00

While there’s a buck to be made from denying and spreading doubt about science, there’ll be people to make that buck. And you’re just another person spreading that doubt. I’d like to think because you are misled or stubborn, and not for another reason.

Please tell us what “established science” exists, which conclusively proves:

  1. Human beings have altered the climate of an entire planet?
  2. The climate can be changed back again, at will, to some undefined, hypothetical “ideal”, by means of increased taxation and the elimination of the free market system?

And please make sure you include the details of the reproducable experiments which were used to establish this.

Invariably, this is what climate hysterics are pushing.

That’s a tough one. I believe the thinking is that there could be a golden age of renewables over the next 100 years or so and that’s best accomplished by government. As the human contribution of ghg is diminished, nature will lock more carbon away in plant life. Reduced ghg will gradually adjust the climate back to the 16th century when there were few storms, lots of polar bears and no beetles to speak of. Could happen and while we can’t be sure, it seems like a popular idea. All the smart people believe so I guess we have to go with the flow.

Yes, makes perfect sense.  The same people that run the DMV and sell weapons to violent Mexican drug gangs is going to usher in a new “Golden Age” and control the weather.

Yeah, sure, that’ll happen …  Let me get my cheque book.

While I disagree with a lot of what you have stated here, I will give you credit for not flashing the dreaded ‘C’ word (Consensus).

But you’re wrong about the IPCC/Greenpeace collaboration in this instance. Not only did the IPCC really too heavily on Greenpeace biased assessment of renewables, it wrongly chose to place those exagerated assessnents right at the front of their many press releases, stating that the world could get 80% of its energy from renewables by 2050. That wasn’t the ‘consensus’, that was the very high end of all the estimates.

This is the kind of exageration that invites incredulity in many areas of the science of global warming.  And you wonder why people don’t take it seriously?






 

unreliable renewals can energize a relaible, on demand elextricity grid.  Nobody has demonstrated that, using actual data, to my satisfaction.  Note I didn’t set a price; it might be that by exorbatant expenditues such might be possible.

I doubt that the Bulgarians, say, will be buying.

You are upset about a paragraph?

Did you even read they other 900 pages?

This is the kind of exageration that invites incredulity in many areas of the science of global warming.  And you wonder why people don’t take it seriously?

The issue of how to deal with what is happening is different from what is happening. The what is the first priority to settle on, and in this case the best arbiter is the current best science. Not quakery, bluster, “public debates”, or industry PR propaganda.

Most climate change realists accept the science that man-made CO2 is causing global warming and just want the discussion to move on to what we do about it as quickly as possible.

The deniers want to stop this, and argue black and blue that “it isn’t happening”, “it isn’t CO2”, “it won’t be that bad anyway”, “it’ll be good for plants”. From an industry point of view, if you have interests in CO2 producing substances or industries, it is easy to see why you’d pay lobbyists and PR companies, and “guns for hire” to try to delay any action as long as possible.

an astrologer might do a better job of it.

What’s the difference between an astrologer and a climate scientist? One makes predictions about future events through the murky examination of secret mystical charts …. and the other tries to read the stars.

It’s a joke! It’s a joke!

For it read this committee or council or whatever (supposedly) under discussion.

For those finding the ‘CBC Forum’ link in the above slow try this to see the list of ‘the great’ and ‘the good’ (irony):

http://www.cbf2011.com/speakers.aspx

Where is the guy with the cream pie when you need him eh?

The carbon tax passed the Senate today:

http://www.news.com.au/business/government-sticking-to-23-carbon-price/story-e6frfm1i-1226188450227

That’s both houses & it’s full steam ahead now.

It seems that you too are having trouble getting links to be active as one would expect from the utility one comes across in the tool bar.

Also, most other places I visit one can include a title which becomes the active link with the URL hidden within.

Maybe I am missing something here. I have tried adding ‘a =href’ type tags and delimiters to aid this process but that does not work either.

” It seems that you too are having trouble getting links to be active as one would expect from the utility one comes across in the tool bar.

Also, most other places I visit one can include a title which becomes the active link with the URL hidden within.”

It seems that most of the features on the formatting bar don’t work Lionel. I’ve tried to use blockquotes, highlighting, embedded pictures & clickable hyperlinks. None of those work. I really only use the italics & bold & now the spell check as my firefox has stopped doing auto spell check on this site for some reason. Works on other sites.

“Maybe I am missing something here. I have tried adding ‘a =href’ ”

No html tags don’t work either. Not sure if the developers are still working on it, or what?

 

Many bloggers use an option in their blog software to disable use of certain (or all) html tags because sometimes html can be abused by people to spam or otherwise mess with a blog in the comment section.

Unfortunately, that leaves us to copy and paste url’s =\

Edit

cuffy and Rick are both either very ignorant or disingenuous to claim that anyone thinks we could make the climate cooler.  Our bad choices now are between slowing the rate of warming as much as we can by cutting GHG emissions, or to let ‘er rip and by our actions make the global warming much worse, thus causing more bad weather, crop failures and human deaths.

could cool the climate.  It would be quite expen$ive.  Think about 60% of current US DoD budget for many, many decades.

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