Graham Readfearn's blog

The Climate Science Denial Promoters Behind Queensland's Energy Scare Election Headlines

In the final week before an election, the biggest-selling newspaper in the Australian state of Queensland screamed a front-page headline that cut into one of the poll’s most divisive issues.

Nervous Energy” read the headline, claiming an “Exclusive” on a “Dire warning of power station closures, blackout.”

According to the Courier-Mail, a just-published report had warned that the center-left Labor Party’s target of 50 percent renewable energy by 2030 would cause “statewide blackouts” for “up to 15 percent of the year.”

According to the report, the policy would also cut dividends to the state’s treasury and push power prices up even further. Labor rejected the claims, saying the state owned the coal power stations and it had no plans to close any prematurely.

The report was from the Australian Institute for Progress (AiP) and provided a perfect echo of the center-right Liberal National Party’s (LNP) warnings to prospective voters in the state poll. But this is not surprising, when you learn who is behind the AiP.

How Climate Science Deniers Manufacture Quotes to Convince You the United Nations Is One Big Socialist Plot

United Nations climate negotiators

We’re at that time of year when delegations from countries around the world gather for the latest round of United Nations climate negotiations — this time in Bonn, Germany.

For climate science deniers, this is also the time of year to polish up their dodgy climate science talking points and those mythical conspiracy theories about the UN, new world orders, secretive global government plans, and other such illuminati activities.

One recurring feature of these efforts is what's known as quote mining, where lines are taken out of context to try and discredit people associated with climate science or the UN. If that doesn't work, then just make up words that people never said.

Shark Tank's Steve Baxter Joins Climate Science Deniers and Islamophobes for Australian LibertyFest

What do you get when you bring together some of Australia’s most fervent climate science deniers with anti-Islam activists, fledgling right-wing political groups, and an American “free market” Libertarian?

The answer, apparently, is the one-day conference titled LibertyFest scheduled for Brisbane this Saturday.

Two mainstays of Australia’s “fever swamp” of climate science denial, Professor Ian Plimer and Jennifer Marohasy, are set to kick-off the proceedings on Friday evening.

Climate Scientists Attack Tony Abbott's 'Misleading' Speech to Global Warming Policy Foundation

Tony Abbott

Australian climate scientists have hit back at their former Prime Minister Tony Abbott, describing his speech to a London think tank as being laced with distortions, falsehoods, misrepresentations, and misdirection.

Abbott told the contrarian Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) that rising carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel burning could be “beneficial” and compared acceptance of human-caused climate change to religion.

The GWPF, founded by former Thatcher government treasurer Lord Nigel Lawson, consistently pushes positions on climate change that fall well outside the established science.

How Australia's 'Fever Swamp' of Climate Science Denial Is Pushing a Non-Scandal About Temperatures

Temperature map of Australia

The tentacles of the global warming hoax are everywhere,” said a foaming Sydney shock-jock Alan Jones on his high-ratings radio show.

I don’t know why it’s not on the front page of the newspapers,” replied Jennifer Marohasy.

The subject of the pair’s wrath is the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) — the Australian government’s weather bureau.

Specifically, it’s the way the bureau collects and records temperatures. 

Marohasy works for the Institute of Public Affairs which, if you want to talk about tentacles, is firmly attached to the body of conservative “free market” groups around the world that deny the risks of human-caused climate change.

Last week, I interviewed former BoM director Rob Vertessy, who described the attacks from a “fever swamp” of climate science denial as being baseless, a waste of time, and dangerous, especially when they’re amplified by Rupert Murdoch’s newspaper The Australian.

As the costs of climate change accumulate in the years ahead,” Vertessy said, “I can see that leaders of this climate change denial movement will really be seen as culpable.”

Future Historians Will Look Back in Horror at Koch Network's Attacks on Climate Policy, says Author Nancy MacLean

Nancy MacLean

For the first few weeks after publishing, all was going pretty well.

Nancy MacLean’s book, Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America, was “deeply important” and a “feat of American intellectual and political history,” said a review in Publishers Weekly.

The New York Times said the book joined an emerging corpus of important work of scholars and journalists that was “documenting the systematic, organized effort to undermine democracy and change the rules.”

But it didn’t take long for the apparatus of the “radical right” to swing into action, with attacks coming from many of the same individuals and institutions that the Duke University history professor documents in her book.

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