Malcolm Roberts is the volunteer project manager for the Galileo Movement - a climate science denial organisation whose patron is popular Sydney radio shock-jock Alan Jones who himself thinks human-caused climate change is a "hoax" and "witchcraft".
"For some time now I have been receiving a barrage of your unsolicited emails about climate change and your analysis of IPCC flaws," wrote Austin, who attached a copy of a CSIRO report on climate change and suggested Roberts respond. Austin promises he'll send that response to the CSIRO and provide any feedback he gets.
Roberts is a former coal miner and management consultant and in a declaration of interests writes: "For extensive work performed in the mining industry I was paid money by mining companies (including three government-owned coal mining companies)...." He claims to have foregone more than a million dollars in earnings for his unpaid work researching climate change.
IF the world's conspiratorial blogosphere was broken up into food items on a wedding buffet table, then an eclectic array of plate-fillers would surely be on offer.
There would be canapés topped with faked moon landings and hors d'oeuvres of Government-backed plots to assassinate civil rights leaders.
Sandwich fillings would come from US military staff at Roswell in New Mexico (cheese and alien, anyone?). The alcoholic punch would be of the same vintage as that which the British Royal family gave Princess Diana's chauffeur, as part of their plot to kill her. All of the catering would be provided by the New World Order.
Then there's the salad of human-caused climate change being a hoax, with the world's climate scientists, national academies and the declining Arctic sea-ice all in on the conspiracy.
Professor Stephan Lewandowsky, a cognitive psychologist at the University of Western Australia (UWA), is about to publish research which shows that a strong indicator of the rejection of climate science is a willingness to accept conspiracy theories.
ANDREW Bolt is Australia's loudest and most popular climate science doubt-spreader who just loves to stoke the fires of environmental conspiracy theorists with his daily splurge of blog posts and his weekly radio and TV shows.
The blogger and columnist in the Murdoch-owned News Ltd press describes climate change as a "religious movement" and says climate scientists are part of a global conspiracy.
But there is at least one conspiracy theory which Andrew Bolt isn't happy to endorse. Up until last week, Bolt was listed as an adviser to one of Australia's most active climate denialist organisations the Galileo Movement. But then what happened?
In a report late last month in the Sydney Morning Herald, the Galileo Movement's project manager Malcolm Roberts, a former mining industry consultant, was asked if recent research led by US physicist Professor Richard Muller had swayed the group's thinking on human-caused climate change. The SMH report read
Mr Roberts said climate change science had been captured by ''some of the major banking families in the world'' who form a ''tight-knit cabal''. He said he understood that the group's views might sound strange, but claimed they were becoming increasingly popular.
''It does sound outlandish,'' Mr Roberts said. ''I, like you, was reluctant to believe it [but] there are significant things going on in Australia that people are waking up to. The UN's climate front is just a part of the overall UN 'Agenda 21', which is the sustainability program and the biodiversity program … But the biggest one's the UN agenda for global governance.''
The bit about "banking families" made its way to Bolt, who was apparently spooked and wrote Roberts an email saying his words "sounded very much like one of those Jewish world conspiracy theories that I despise". After getting a reply, Bolt wrote:
Your conspiracy theory seemed utterly stupid even before I knew which families you meant. Now checking the list of banking families you’ve given me, your theory becomes terribly, shamefully familiar.
Two of the three most prominent and current banking families you’ve mentioned are Jewish, and the third is sometimes falsely assumed to be. Yes, this smacks too much of the Jewish world conspiracy theorising I’ve always loathed.
Bolt then asked to be removed from the list of the Galileo Movement's advisers, which is a veritable who's who of climate science denial, listing the likes of Lord Christopher Monckton, Richard Lindzen, Fred Singer, Bob Carter, Ian Plimer and the Cato Institute's Pat Michaels. Popular Sydney radio host Alan Jones is Galileo's patron. Will any of them feel the need to follow Bolt?
Climate conspriricists pounced at the opportunity yesterday to draw grandiose conclusions from the illegal hacking of private emails from the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit.
They wasted no time declaring global warming a vast science-wing conspiracy, orchestrated by a powerful handful of white-coats who, when not publishing in reputable peer-reviewed science journals, were (gasp) emailing each other to talk shop and vent about climate skeptic “idiots” (how un-PC).
The scandalistas say little about the fact that this breach of security and publishing of private communications is a crime, content to enjoy the opportunity to cherry-pick a few lines from these internal emails to push the skeptic theory of a sinister master plan by mainstream scientists to warn humanity that man has altered the climate in dangerous ways.
The Telegraph’s resident skeptic blogger, James Delingpole, immediately labeled this episode “Climategate,” pondering whether this is “the final nail in the coffin of 'Anthropogenic Global Warming.’”
Democracy is utterly dependent upon an electorate that is accurately informed. In promoting climate change denial (and often denying their responsibility for doing so) industry has done more than endanger the environment. It has undermined democracy.
There is a vast difference between putting forth a point of view, honestly held, and intentionally sowing the seeds of confusion. Free speech does not include the right to deceive. Deception is not a point of view. And the right to disagree does not include a right to intentionally subvert the public awareness.