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Shouting Down Your Critics – Pyne, Lomborg And Why $4 Million Is Worth Every Cent!

Pyne accused the UWA academics of “shouting down” views with which they disagreed.

“We are disappointed that the university has indicated it cannot effectively deliver against the contract and is seeking to return $4 million in research funds. The Government is awaiting legal advice on the status of the contract,” Pyne said after the university’s announcement.

“The government is committed to establishing the consensus methodology in Australia and to ensuring a wide range of views on issues are aired publicly. An Australian consensus centre will be established in an alternative location.

“It is surprising that individuals at an institution of higher learning claiming to embrace the notion of academic and intellectual freedom would display intolerance and shout down a voice in the debate they simply don’t agree with,” Pyne said through a spokesman.

“A society which thrives on debate and a diversity of views should be a priority for all regardless of how fervently they oppose those views.”

The Guardian, May 2015

Mm, I wonder how Mr Pyne would feel if Labor had given a spare million or two to a university to set up a centre to study whether unions made a positive contribution to this country. Particularly if Steve Bracks were asked to head it.

Or what would his reaction be if The Greens had negotiated with the Labor minority government for Bob Brown to be in charge of a department in the university which studied the facts on climate change and tried to establish a consensus. You know, something like the Climate Council…

Oh wait, they shut that down!

Anyway, Pyne thinks Lomborg’s work is very important. And he’s not alone in that. Why Lomborg himself said his work was far too important “to let fall victim to toxic politics”. And Lomborg’s the sort of person that it’s worth spending $4 million to give a home to. Unlike the homeless, who don’t deserve anything.

Lomborg also thinks his work has been the victim of misinformed attacks. And he’s right there, because some people have been calling him a “climate denier” which is unfair because, like Andrew Bolt, he’s never denied the climate exists. Compared to Bolt, Lomborg is a lefty because he believes in the existence of man-made climate change, he just doesn’t think that we should be spending so much money on it, because, well, the money could be better spent getting coal to Africa, Or Consensus Centres.

We could spend all that money on developing solar energy, but what’ll we do when the sun runs out?

And while Lomborg is not a climate scientist, it’s important to get a range of views on these and other issues. The Consensus Centre wasn’t going to be discussing climate science. In fact, it was to be looking at economics, so there’s no reason to bring up Lomborg’s lack of climate science credentials. It would be more relevant to point out that he’s not an economist either, but he does have a Ph.D in political science, so that means he’s the ideal man to bring out to Australia to tell us how to best spend our money.

But I particularly liked Pyne’s response to the fact that the University have told him that they won’t be continuing with the centre and returning the money. He’s seeking legal advice! I’m wondering what he’s hoping the lawyers can tell him. Yes, Mr Pyne, you can force the university to be connected to this man and his centre, and yes, you can force them to say that you’re a very good education minister and very sexy because that was in the fine print of the contract.

I also liked that he said it “through a spokesman”. Perhaps, while drinking a glass of water.

But the part of what the Pyne/spokesmen said that really tickled me was the idea that the Australian government being committed to a consensus methodology no matter how much opposition it faced. We will decide what consensus comes to this country and the circumstances in which it comes.

Yep, we’ll have Consensus whether we like it or not.

Of course, I’m sure that Andrew Bolt and others will bleat about this being another shut down of free speech, completely overlooking the fact that none of the academics have actually said that Lomborg should be silenced. The main objections were to him receiving such a generous grant with no formal process, at a time when the government has been knocking out much of the money available for academic research in this country.

 

21 comments

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  1. David

    Pyne thinks his ability to breathe is important. Tens of thousands of Aussies would disagree

  2. tet02

    I recently emailed Warren Entch (sorry, the honourable….) about my concerns over the super trawler The Geelong Star.
    His reply was the usual generic government garbage but the final paragraph floored me…

    “Australia’s fisheries are world class, sustainably managed and decisions are made using the best available science – and this will continue under this Government’s watch.”

    Yea right, then you pissed the bed and woke up.

  3. iggy648

    There’s already one in Denmark. What’s the point of another in Australia? Anyone know?

  4. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    For the LNP menagerie to fund a nutter like Lomborg, another Climate Change denier, does this mean Pyne and his mates are loonies or lying cheats to the Australian and international community?

    Either way, they are a toxic, dangerous government.

  5. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Bravo UWA, on taking a principled stand!

    I feel sorry for the academics and students of any other university that succumbs to Pyne’s seductive $4mill.

  6. kerri

    Pyne is intelectually challenged! We all know it! Let’s tell it like it is? His nasty prefect routine is utterly pathetic.
    Full marks to UWA for exposing this federally funded BS campaign.
    Thought you were a “fixer” Chrissie”?

  7. diannaart

    A “diversity of views” – is that climate denier speak for lies now?

  8. Wally

    Definitely an oxygen thief in more than one way.

  9. Jexpat

    Dan:

    You may have meant to say: common grifter.

    Mr. Newman, on the other hand, is somewhat less than “common” -and yet, still very much the run of the mill grifter.

    Pyne, people can speculate about among themselves.

  10. DanDark

    Jexpat excuse me for my ignorance I had no idea what a “grifter” was.
    Soooo I went to the dictionary and had a look, yep perfect word for those two blokes
    and well yeah as for Pyne, if I believed in Aliens I would say he was dropped here from a space ship
    because he is not human, he is an android of some sort 🙂

  11. Rossleigh

    Apology:
    While doing a re-read of what I’d written, I noticed the sentence: “Particularly, if Steve Bracks was asked to head it.”
    I have since changed this to the correct: Particularly, if Steve Bracks were asked to head it.”
    As we all know, when using the conditional tense, one should always use the subjunctive form of the verb. Sorry, for any upset that my serious error may have caused!

  12. Rossleigh

    Well, someone was upset because an inappropriate use of an apostrophe.
    O apostrophe, I know where you should be put…

  13. Ross

    Had to laugh when some wag seeing Mr Fixit needs somewhere else to park his Bjon Lomberg Centre suggested the Whitehouse Fashion School could do with the 4 Mil.
    Should be called “The Whitehouse Institute De Beautea and Climate Thingee” with one of Abbotts daughters payed a shirt load to be VP.
    Some people are just cruel.

  14. mark delmege

    UWA is considered the top Uni in WA and I guess they could do without the embarrassment/ridicule/dishonesty.

  15. babyjewels10

    Christopher Pyne, Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey et al are just too silly for words. That in 2015 we are infested with politicians of this ilk is a shame on us all, as voters.

  16. Phi

    Pyne can dress up his pig of an idea in a tutu with frills for all he wants, but it is still a pig of an idea and it’s plainly obvious his intent was to use the consensus centre to sow the seeds of doubt on climate action, and thus muddy the waters to keep the coalition’s voter base from deserting their sinking (stinking?) ship with its mad captain and deluded crew.

  17. paul walter

    Sorry, it is money that could be spent on hospital beds or schoolbooks. Tax payers money is not there to be used to prop up bullshit, or aggravate adults.

  18. Bronte ALLAN

    Poor old prissy Pyne, someone took his bat & ball & now he has to go home! Sadly, with incompetent liars like him & Abbot trying to run this country, along with Hockey etc, we will never get any sensible dialogue about Climate change! After all, they all belong to the right wing, tea party, conservative, flat earth party, not one “sensible” person among them! They are all a bunch of inept liars as well! the “they” waste “our” monies to employ this useless lying Lombog, who knows nothing about Climate change anyway. But all must be ok, because Abbot & co reassure us constantly! Bastards, the lot of them! Good on the UWA for at least having the sense to have nothing to do with this obscene farcical waste of money.

  19. philgorman2014

    One doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry. Even as a kid I thought there was something sinister about clowns. Time to get rid of them before they pull the tent down.

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