Malcolm Roberts

Malcolm Roberts

Credentials

  • BE, Engineering, University of Queensland. [1]
  • MBA, Business, University of Chicago. [1]

Background

Malcolm Roberts, based in Brisbane, Queensland, is a former Australian Senator for the far-right fringe political party One Nation. [1], [32]

In 2017, after being found ineligible to sit in federal parliament due to his dual citizenship, Roberts announced that he would be running in the Quenlsand election for the seat of Ipswich. [34]

Roberts, a former coal miner and mining industry consultant, worked as the volunteer project manager for the Australia-based climate science denial organization The Galileo Movement[1]

Stance on Climate Change

September 2017

In his initial parliamentary speech, Roberts declared: [44]

It is clear that climate change is a scam […] changes in the carbon dioxide level [of the atmosphere] are a result of changes in temperature, not a cause.” [44]

August 15, 2016

Roberts appeared on a Q&A program at ABC to discuss “empirical evidence” regarding climate change. He debated Professor Brian Cox. View program and transcript here, and video below: [37], [38]

“We've had a pause in this so-called warming for now 21 years,” Roberts said.

In response, Professor Brian Cox showed a graph clearly illustrating temperature rise and increases in CO2. Roberts responded:

“The data has been corrupted, and we know that the 1930s were warmer than today.”

Cox asked Roberts to clarify what he meant by “corrupted,” to which Roberts responded: 

“Been manipulated by NASA. […] Steve Goddard, he has shown the NASA figures and the graph was originally showing the 1930s were warmer than recent decades and that is correct.”

February 2013

In a review of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) report on climate change, Roberts claimed that “UN IPCC reports are written by junior scientists
and by political activists, ideologues and extremists funded by foundations with close connections to international bankers pushing global governance.” [2]

Roberts also claims in the report:

  • “Logical scientific reasoning and empirical scientific evidence proves human CO2 cannot affect global warming.” [2]
  • “Carbon dioxide levels in air are a consequence of temperature, not a cause.” [2]

July 2011

Roberts wrote a report for the Galileo Movement on “Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Facts”: [3]

“Ironically, burning coal simply returns carbon to carbon dioxide from where it came during formation of massive forests that later formed coal. Burning coal though cannot raise CO2 levels as levels are determined by Nature,” Roberts wrote in the document. [3]

Key Quotes

October 23, 2017

Roberts called for an inquiry into the Bureau of Meteorology, alleging that they had interfered with climate data, The Australian reported: [41]

Given the serious questions about BoM’s interference with temperature data and reports of faulty measurements and recording equipment, why does the government not want a thorough external independent inquiry and audit of BoM?’’ Roberts asked during a Senite Estimates hearing. [41]

The education Minister told Roberts he had no data to back up his claim. [41]

May 2017

Malcolm Roberts brings up a hoax gender studies paper titled “The Conceptual Penis As A Social Construct” in an attempt to discredit the peer review process, and question Australia's CSIRO, despite the Australian science body having no connection to the paper in question. Video below, via Twitter[39], [40]

“In that they claimed that penises caused climate change,” Roberts said in his testimony. “So, the point I'm getting at, is that was published in a social sciences — admitedly — paper, but it has credibility because it's been peer reviewed. So I'm very concerned about some of the peer-reviewed papers.”

September 2016

Roberts used his first speech in parliament to call for Australia to leave the UN and take inspiration from UL's Brexit, BBC News reported: [45]

“We need an OzExit” to escape the “unelected swill” of the UN. “Australia's values and way of life are also at risk from insidious institutions such as the unelected swill that is the United Nations,” he said. [45]

February 2013

The following quotes are taken from a CSIROh! report and its appendix, targeting the country's CSIRO science agency. The report was sent by registered post to every federal member of parliament. 

“Some people say that the claim that human CO2 causes global climate change is the biggest fraud ever perpetrated. It’s not. It’s arguably the third biggest fraud. Investigating the drivers of climate change corruption leads to the same people who are perpetrating the second biggest fraud being creation of money out of nothing and the most destructive fraud being antihumanism. Investigating those scams leads to the international bankers as their perpetrators and primary beneficiaries.” [4]
“The UN IPCC’s unfounded core claim about human CO2 is part of UN Agenda 21 campaign for global governance.” [2]
“The core problem is massive over-government through international bankers seeking to control.” [4]
NGO’s such as WWF and Greenpeace are responsible for corrupting UN IPCC reports. They falsely use and then spread political campaign material as science. Their frequent public claims contradict empirical scientific evidence. WWF is a UN agent pushing global governance and funded by major foundations connected with international bankers. Its antihuman agenda does not protect the environment, it severely damages the environment.” [2]

“We now know WHY they push climate fraud. They’re pushing global control.” [4]

Key Deeds

October 27, 2017

Roberts and four other senators were found ineligible to sit in parliament due to dual citizenship, the high court ruled. Pauline Hanson, leader of the One Nation party, said she was “absolutely devastated at losing” Roberts. She announced that Roberts would run for the state of Ipswitch at the upcoming Queensland election. [33][34]

The decision of the court today is clearly not the outcome we were hoping for, but the business of government goes on,” Malcolm Turnbull said at a press conference in Canberra.

The Guardian noted that while Roberts claimed that he genuinely believed that he had been always eligible to nominate for parliament, and that the court had “confirmed” he was genuine in that belief, the court judgement documents contradicted his claims: [35]

Senator Roberts knew that he did not become an Australian citizen until May 1974 and at the date of his nomination for the Senate Senator Roberts knew that there was at least a real and substantial prospect that prior to May 1974 he had been and that he remained thereafter a citizen of the United Kingdom,” the judgment said. [35]

The Guardian later reported that Roberts, during his time as a senator, had retained an accused rapist as his adviser for five months. Sean Black had been charged with rape and six counts of assault on May 24, however continued working for Roberts until he was found ineligible to sit in parliament on October 27. While Black's arrest had been reported, the rape charge was only made public after he was committed to trial in Queensland district court. Independent candidate Hetty Johnson said it was an “absolutely appalling decision” to keep Black on after he was charged. [36]

September - October, 2017

In a preliminary judgement in September, the High Court Justice Patrick Keane found that Senator Roberts was a citizen of the United Kingdom when he was nominated for Senate last year, SBS World News Australia reported. [31]

For the following reasons, I find that Senator Roberts was a citizen of the United Kingdom by descent at the time of his nomination,” Justice Keane said. 

“Senator Roberts could have made effective inquiries of the British High Commission by which he would have been informed of the steps necessary to renounce his foreign citizenship. He could have obtained and completed a form of renunciation declaration, such as Form RN, and returned it with the required fee to the Home Office as he belatedly did.” [31]

Roberts is one of seven parliamentarians whose political future is being decided by the High Court. The constitution bans dual citizens from sitting in parliament. [31]

April 3, 2017

As DeSmog reported, after the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's (ABC) Four Corners program made One Nation a subject of an investigative documentary, Roberts accused ABC of “Nazi-style mind games.” [28], [29]

What’s your evidence for that,” asked ABC reporter Caro Meldrum-Hanna.

Roberts responded: “Um… for example, carbon dioxide… ah… has been, whenever we talk about carbon dioxide on the ABC… um… you see on the news broadcast billowing steam pouring out, giving people the impression that carbon dioxide is both… um… colourful and it's also huge in volume when it's less than 0.04 per cent.”

March 29, 2017

Malcolm Roberts invited members of parliament to attend a public forum titled ”The Climate Data - Come check for yourself” hosted by One Nation. The event description claimed that Roberts would “deconstruct” the climate data used by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). [42]

In the invitation, Roberts claimed he had invited both CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) to the event, however they both told Buzzfeed News that they had received no such invitation. [42]

March 2017

Roberts was featured in a multi-part interview by David Pellowe posted on YouTube. Pellowe first claims that his program's aim “empowering viewers to be better informed and better involved.” “We want to talk about the data, the facts and the evidence,” says Pellowe. Roberts later says on the program: [43]

“In Australia in the 1880s and 1890s, the temperature was warmer than today. We know that for a fact because the Bureau of Meteorology’s measurements show that. But the Bureau of Meteorology only puts up graphs from 1910 onwards.” [43]

As Graham Readfearn reported at DeSmog, there are numerous reasons for why the Australia Bureau of Meteorology’s (BoM) dataset begins in 1910,  “and they that have nothing to do with the conspiracy that people like Roberts and Jennifer Marohasy of the Institute of Public Affairs like to hint at.” [43]

December 2016

Roberts traveled to Washington D.C for a meeting with several veterans of the climate science denial community, including Myron Ebell, of the Competitive Enterprise Institute. At the time, Ebell had been picked by Donald Trump to help prepare the Environmental Protection Agency for a Trump administration. Roberts said the meeting was a gathering of the Cooler Heads Coalition - a CEI project led by Ebell. [5]

While in D.C, Roberts also visited the Media Research Center where, according to his Facebook entry, he would be learning about “left wing bias” in the media. He would also be meeting Marc Morano to prepare a video, Roberts said. [6]

November 2016

Roberts hosted climate science deniers Dr Tim Ball, from Canada, and Tony Heller (a.k.a Steven Goddard), from U.S.A, for a series of talks in Australia. During the visit, Roberts also released a 42-page report, repeating many of his previus claims that government agencies conducting climate change research were fraudulent. Roberts held a press conference with Ball and Heller in the Australian parliament to launch the report. [8]

Heller also joined Roberts and his party's leader, Senator Pauline Hanson, for champagne outside Parliament House to celebrate the election of Donald Trump. [7]

September 2016

In his maiden speech to the Australian Senate, Roberts called climate change “a scam” and “fraudulent.” He said: [9]

“Here are more undeniable facts proven by data: firstly, changes in the carbon dioxide level are a result of changes in temperature, not a cause. That is the reverse of what we have been told. Secondly, we do not and cannot affect the level of carbon dioxide in air. That too is the reverse of what we have been told. That means we cannot and do not affect global climate. Thirdly, warming is beneficial—after all, science classifies far warmer past periods as climate optimums. Again, that is the reverse of what we are told.” [9]

Several climate scientists reviewed Roberts' speech, and explained the Senator had got several basic facts wrong. Professor Matthew England, of the University of New South Wales, told DeSmog: “This really is high school geography that Malcolm Roberts has messed up here. We have known about the greenhouse effect since about the middle of the 19th century.” [10]

View the full speech below:

August 2016

Roberts was elected as a Senator in the Australian upper-house, representing the far-right group One Nation. [11]

May 2016

Malcolm Roberts was announced as the Senate candidate for the far-right political party, One Nation. His biography set out his work in the coal industry, including as a coalface miner and a coalmine project manager. [12]

One Nation's policy on climate change reflected Roberts' own views. Among the stated policies, One Nation would oppose all charges on carbon dioxide emissions, call for a Royal Commission to investigate climate scientists, and remove any financial help and subsidies for renewable energy. The party also has policies opposing “Agenda 21” - the United Nation's recommendations on sustainable development. [13]

One Nation would also stop “further Muslim Immigration and the intake of Muslim refugees,” “Ban the Burqa and Niquab in public places” and pledged for “surveillance cameras to be installed in all Mosques and schools.” [14]

February 2013

In a report distributed through his own conscious.com.au website, Roberts made a series of claims alleging widespread corruption by key Australian and United Nations science agencies. [2]

The CSIROh! report, targeting the country's CSIRO science agency, was sent by registered post to every federal member of parliament. Roberts also sent letters and emails to media bosses, scientists, science agencies and high profile journalists. The report was promoted on the website of Chicago-based climate denial think tank the Heartland Institute. [15]

In the report appendix, under “Dedication and Acknowledgments,” Roberts lists “scientists, activists, writers, broadcasters and politicians on both sides of the climate debate.” Roberts credits those on the list with helping him learn “much about science” or having  “encouraged, supported and advised” him. Not listed are “federal parliamentarians who supported me yet cannot be named.” Notable examples on the list include climate change deniers Viv Forbes, Tim Ball, S. Fred Singer, Marc Morano, James Inhofe, Christopher Monckton, Benny Peiser, Joanne Nova, David Evans, Nigel Lawson, and many others. View a complete spreadsheet of Malcolm Roberts's list here (.xlsx). [46]

August 2012

High profile News Corp. Australia political columnist and climate science denier Andrew Bolt asked that his name be removed from a list of advisors to the Galileo Movement after engaging in an email exchange with Roberts.

Bolt asked The Galileo Movement for clarification after Roberts was quoted in a Sydney Morning Herald newspaper report saying that climate change science had been captured by ''some of the major banking families in the world.' SMH columnist Mike Carlton wrote this was “code for the Great Jewish Conspiracy.” [16], [17]

In an email to Roberts, Bolt wrote: “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.” [18]

In a statement, The Galileo Movement co-founders John Smeed and Case Smit denied the organization was “anti-Semitic.” Smeed recorded a video message alongside his wife Suzi, a Holocaust survivor who said she had been deeply hurt by the accusations. [19], [20]

April 2011

Roberts was appointed as the project manager for the climate science denial group The Galileo Movement, which has a central aim to fight any measures to place any price on emissions of carbon dioxide. [21]

March 2008

Roberts was listed by the climate sceptic group the International Climate Science Coalition as attending the first International Conference on Climate Change in New York, organized by fossil fuel-funded free market think tank the Heartland Institute. [22], [23]

June 2007

Roberts was listed as a member of the advisory committee of the Carbon Sense Coalition, a climate sceptic group established by Queensland coal industry veteran Viv Forbes. The voluntary group says “we oppose statutory limits on emissions of man-made carbon dioxide because we believe carbon dioxide plays a wholly beneficial role in our atmosphere. It is NOT a pollutant, nor does it drive global warming.” [24]

Affiliations

Social Media

Publications

Roberts has not authored any peer-reviewed articles in science journals about climate change. Roberts has written several reports published on his own website and through The Galileo Movement on climate change and “freedom.” 

In 2005, Roberts wrote a paper for the Australasian Coal Operators' Conference titled: “Understanding Organisational and Personal Behaviours to Sustain High Productivity and Safety.” The paper looked at the importance of understanding human behaviour to improve workplace culture and productivity in mines. [27]

Resources

  1. “Personal declaration of interests” (PDF), conscious, October, 2010.

  2. CSIROh!: Climate Deception? … Or First Step to Freedom?” (PDF), Malcolm-Ieuan: Roberts, February, 2013. Retrieved from climate.conscious.com.au

  3. Malcolm Roberts. FREEDOM’S FOUNDATION Reclaiming our country and our planet using TRUTH: Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Facts” (PDF), The Galileo Movement, July, 2011. Retrieved from consious.com.au.

  4. “Appendix 14: why? Motives Driving Climate Fraud” (PDF), Malcolm-leuan: Roberts, February, 2013. Retrieved from consious.com.au.

  5. Graham Readfearn. “One Nation senator joins new world order of climate change denial,The Guardian, December 15, 2016. Archived April 14, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/G3TeE

  6. Today will be my last day in Washington before driving to Pittsburgh for my mother-in-law's memorial service […]” Malcolm Roberts, via Facebook, December 14, 2016. Archived April 14, 2017. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/gGCSX

  7. Stephen Johnson. “Maybe it got lost in the mail! Malcolm Turnbull did NOT get an invite to Donald Trump's inauguration - but One Nation's leader Pauline Hanson did,” Daily Mail, January 16, 2017. Archived April 14, 2017. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/55Lvi

  8. Scott K. Johnson. “Australian Senator rails against climate conspiracy in 42-page report,” Ars Technica, November 10, 2016. Archived April 14, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/sinOd 

  9. Senate debates: Tuesday, 13 September 2016,OpenAustralia. Archived April 14, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/wXLFa

  10. Graham Readfearn. “Australia's Climate Denialist Senator Malcolm Roberts Fails High School Science in Maiden Speech,” DeSmog, September 15, 2016.

  11. Senator Malcolm Roberts,” Parliament of Australia. Archived December 26, 2016. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/ogdy4

  12. MALCOLM ROBERTS (QLD),” Paul Hanson's One Nation. Archived June 15, 2016. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/h7jni

  13. WHAT IS THE CLIMATE CHANGE AGENDA?“ Paul Hanson's One Nation. Archived April 14, 2017. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/JPXN2

  14. ONE NATION POLICIES: ISLAM,” Paul Hanson's One Nation. Archived April 14, 2017. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/xlrAX

  15. Malcolm Roberts. “CSIROH!: CLIMATE OF DECEPTION? … OR FIRST STEP TO FREEDOM?The Heartland Institute, February 4, 2013. Archived April 14, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/JRnJh 

  16. Ben Cubby. “Climate sceptics unmoved by scientist's about-face,” The Sydney Morning Herald, July 31, 2012. Archived April 14, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/uEFqR

  17. Mike Carlton.”Anthems to stir the common man,”The Sydney Morning Herald, July 31, 2012. Archived April 14, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/RTWKt

  18. Andrew Bolt. “No, of course I don't endorse this stuff,Herald Sun, August 5, 2012. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/9VU0C

  19. “Dear friends and supporters” (PDF), The Galileo Movement, September 14, 2012. Retrieved from galileomovement.com.au.

  20. Fairfax Media call a Holocaust Survivor Anti-semitic!” YouTube video uploaded by user GalileoMovement, August 11, 2013.

  21. Who We Are,” The Galileo Movement. Archived April 14, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/BM3eZ

  22. ENDORSERS OF THE DECLARATION PRESENT AT THE CONFERENCE IN NEW YORK CITY,” International Climate Science Coalition. Archived April 14, 2017. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/PlEn0

  23. “The 2008 International Conference on Climate Change: Can you hear us now? Global Warming is not a crisis!” (PDF), Heartland Institute, February 27, 2008.

  24. “Introducing The Carbon Sense Coalition” (PDF), carbon-sense.com, July, 2007.

  25. John O'Sullivan. “A SELECTION OF MEMBER BIOGRAPHIES,” Principia Scientific International, March 10, 2013. Archived April 14, 2013. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/giWXa 

  26. Climate Change,” MMAA. Archived March 21, 2012. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/UPU2J

  27. M. Roberts. “Understanding Organisational and Personal Behaviours to Sustain High Productivity and Safety” (PDF), University of Wollongong Australia, 2005.

  28. Graham Readfearn. “One Nation's Malcolm Roberts Hits Australian Parliament and Prime Time With Climate Science Denial and Nazi Analogies,” DeSmog, April 6, 2017.

  29. PLEASE EXPLAIN,” Four Corners, April 3, 2017. Archived April 14, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/yiOcm

  30. MALCOLM ROBERTS (QLD SENATE),” Pauline Hanson's One Nation. Archived April 15, 2017. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/tS3eT

  31. One Nation Senator Malcolm Roberts was a dual citizen at time of nomination,” SBS World News Australia, September 22, 2017. Archived September 26, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/d4yad

  32. Nick Wiggins and Chris O'Brien. “Former One Nation senator Malcolm Roberts to run in Queensland election,” ABC News, October 27, 2017. Archived November 1, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/tPAzY

  33. Paul Karp. “High court citizenship case: Barnaby Joyce and four others ruled ineligible,” The Guardian, October 27, 2017. Archived November 1, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/qD4BH

  34. Gareth Hutchens. “Malcolm Roberts to run for Queensland parliament,” The Guardian, October 27, 2017. Archived November 1, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/h8xfq

  35. KIEFEL CJ, BELL, GAGELER, KEANE, NETTLE, GORDON AND EDELMAN JJ” (PDF), High Court of Australia, October 27, 2017.

  36. Malcolm Roberts kept accused rapist Sean Black as adviser for five months,” The Guardian, November 2, 2017. Archived November 2, 2017. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/oJNT2

  37. Experts and Empirical Evidence,” ABC Q&A, August 15, 2016. Archived November 2, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/1K8DP

  38. Professor Brian Cox explains climate science to denier Australian Senator Malcolm Roberts,” YouTube video uploaded by user “Greenshack Dotinfo,” August 15, 2016. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog.

  39. Malcolm Roberts Raises 'Conceptual Penises' To Challenge Climate Science,” HuffPost, June 1, 2017. Archived November 2, 2017. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/bohSe

  40. in which Malcolm Roberts uses 'The Conceptual Penis as a Social Construct' to make a point about climate change & Sinodinos cracks the shits,” Twitter post by user @JoshButler, May 31, 2017.

  41. BoM tinkered with climate data, Senator Malcolm Roberts claims,” The Australian, October 23, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/zXbNN

  42. Alice Workman. “One Nation Plans To ~Check The Receipts~ On Climate Data But Australia's Top Scientists Don't Want To Be Involved,” Buzzfeed News, March 15, 2017. Archived November 2, 2017. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/ISayX

  43. How Australian Climate Science Denier Senator Malcolm Roberts Magically Turned Warmer Into Colder,” DeSmog, May 15, 2017.

  44. Graham Readfearn. “Australia's Climate Denialist Senator Malcolm Roberts Fails High School Science in Maiden Speech,” DeSmog, September 15, 2016.

  45. Malcolm Roberts: Australian senator wants 'OzExit' from UN,” BBC News, September 24, 2016. Archived November 2, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/aHxke

  46. “Appendix 1e: Dedication and Acknowledgments” (PDF), February 6, 2013. Retrieved from climate.conscious.com.

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