BACK in July last year in a boardroom of a western Australian free-market think tank, the extrovert British climate change sceptic Lord Christopher Monckton was holding court.
The topic for discussion? How to better capture the Australian media to help push a right wing, free-market and climate sceptic agenda. At the time, Lord Monckton was in Australia at the behest of a mining association and Gina Rinehart to deliver a series of talks on climate change and spread his conspiracy theories that human-caused climate change is a left-wing plot to bring down the West.
At one point during the tour, Monckton told a boisterous partisan crowd: “So to the bogus scientists who have produced the bogus science that invented this bogus scare I say, we are coming after you. We are going to prosecute you, and we are going to lock you up.”
Lord Monckton had been invited to Australia by the iron and coal mining boss Rinehart, the country’s richest woman with a rising personal fortune in the region of $20 billion.
Hosting the meeting was the Mannkal Economic Education Foundation, a group chaired by mining “Hall of Fame” member Ron Manners to promote free-market ideals and low government intervention.
Manners is also a member of Gina Rinehart’s lobby group ANDEV, which has been joined by the Institute for Public Affairs to lobby for a separate low-tax low regulation economic zone for the north of Australia to make mining projects easier to develop.
It would be safe to presume, given Manner’s background in mining and the make-up of his staff, that this aim to lower government intervention would include any regulations and taxes on mining.
Despite the anti-environmental rants typically emanating from the right wing’s favorite media darlings Beck and Limbaugh, the new ad campaign launched by Republicans for Environmental Protection (REP) seeks to remind conservatives that stewardship, including action to address climate change, is consistent with true conservative values.
The ads feature a Reagan quote that few Republicans would likely recognize as coming from the mouth of the Gipper: “If we’ve learned any lessons during the past few decades, perhaps the most important is that preservation of our environment is not a partisan challenge; it’s common sense. Our physical health, our social happiness, and our economic well-being will be sustained only by all of us working in partnership as thoughtful, effective stewards of our natural resources.” - Ronald Reagan, July 11, 1984
The ads started running in New Hampshire last week and will run in other states in the coming weeks as REP takes the issue straight into the lion’s den by targeting the audiences of the two well-recognized mouthpieces of the Right in the U.S.