WHEN it comes to climate change science, as with most things in life, it pays to listen to actual experts with a solid background in their field.
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.
EVER heard the one about climate scientists being a bunch of rent-seekers just out to chase taxpayers money, or the one where climate change scientists are just part of an elite left-wing conspiracy out to trample on the heretics?
ON November 24 in Melbourne, Professor Ian Plimer launched his new book which aims to spread doubt and uncertainty on the science of climate change.
Targeting school children and teachers (at least superficially) with his book, Professor Plimer told the audience: “These children are being fed environmental propaganda and these children are too young to be fed ideology”
Not only that, but Professor Plimer, a geologist at the University of Adelaide, was actively fundraising for the IPA just last month when the Federal Government’s carbon price legislation was passed.
The executive director of the IPA John Roskam, former corporate affairs manager for mining giant Rio Tinto, is on the editorial board of the book’s publisher, Connor Court.
During his 20-minute launch speech on YouTube, Professor Plimer criticised climate scientists for being allegedly part of a “political movement”. Yet in virtually the next breath, he told the audience “one of the aims of this book is to maintain the rage, because we have an election coming.”
So much for spreading ideology and taking the politics out of science?
CLIMATE science denial think-tank the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow is flying a four-strong delegation to next week’s UN climate conference in South Africa, with a promise to engage in a “balanced, civil and genuine” dialogue.
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.
A UK-based climate change denial think-tank has been caught making serious misrepresentations on climate policy which go against the guidelines of the UK's charity regulator.
The Global Warming Policy Foundation, set up as a charitable organisation by former UK Conservative finance minister Lord Nigel Lawson, has been gaining traction in some media outlets who are turning to the foundation in an apparent attempt to “balance” their stories on climate change.
But in providing balance, Bob Ward, policy and communications director at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics and Political Science, shows those media outlets are also helping to spread mistruths.
Writing in The Guardian, Ward looked back on public statements and media interviews given by Lord Lawson since his foundation was launched in November 2009 and found at least five examples where the public had been misled.
YO - check this out.
Jet-setting climate change denier Lord Christopher Monckton has been revealed on Australian television as a fictional character created by comedy genius Sasha Baron Cohen, who also gave the world Borat, Ali G and Bruno.
Actually, that's not quite true.
But Australia's leading TV satire show has screened an interview with Lord Monckton where his interrogator, comedian Craig Reucassel, continually hinted that he thought the British hereditary peer was an alter-ego of Baron Cohen's.
THEY paid millions of dollars for adverts on television, in newspapers and online. They flew in climate change deniers from across the globe. They held rallies, engaged prominent right-wing media personalities, threatened scientists and turned the cold non-partisan findings of peer-reviewed science into some kind of blood sport.
But despite what was surely the dirtiest and most dishonest campaign ever waged before the Australian public, from next July major industrial emitters of greenhouse gases (about 500 of them) will have to pay $23 for every tonne of their pollution under laws passed earlier today.
The torrent of self-interest, archaic so-called “free-market” ideology and unmitigated greenhouse gas pollution, will give way to modest payments for the right to continue to pollute, while placing billions into funds to finance clean energy projects.
Away from the propaganda, the bare facts read like this. The laws now pass to the Senate for a vote in early November.
The previous Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme legislation also got this far but was voted down twice in 2009 before it was deferred permanently by then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.
This time though, the Greens who helped forge the bills which make up the Clean Energy Future package hold the balance of power in the upper house. Barring something extraordinary, which noone - not even the Opposition - is able to envisage, the laws will pass.
From 1 July 2012, Australia's largest emitters of greenhouse gas emissions will have to pay a fixed price of $23 per tonne of pollution produced here. The price will rise to $25.40 per tonne in 2014/15. From 1 July 2015, an emissions trading scheme will be introduced where the government releases a fixed number of permits which major emitters will need to purchase through auctions. In the early stages, major industries will be given permits for free, but the assistance gets scaled back. The number of permits released by the government will be capped to enable Australia to cut its emissions by five per cent by 2020, based on 2000 levels.