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Back to climate change is crap

In case you were wondering, Australia still loves coal.

Or so it would appear from an astonishing outburst from Senator Ian Macdonald yesterday.

“The children of Australia have been brainwashed into thinking if you turn off a light in Australia, somehow that is going to stop climate change,” the Queensland senator told parliament on Wednesday.

“This is a puerile debate in its extreme. We have to bring some sense into the debate.”

Thank goodness we have Senator Macdonald to set those childishly silly scientists straight.

“As I repeatedly say, Australia was once covered in ice,” he said. “Of course the climate changes.”

But he challenged the theory that humans were contributing to this. “This new theory, I refer to it often as a fad or a farce or a hoax, that suddenly since man started the industrial age, a change of climate has happened is just farcical and fanciful.”

Even Tony wouldn’t go that far. Do the deniers feel so empowered under Malcolm that we are back to ‘climate change is crap’?

The argument that mining fossil fuels provide jobs and taxes is the same argument that the smoking lobby uses – ignore the fatal consequences and show me the money, the science isn’t conclusive, yada yada yada.

Macdonald used the old argument that because our total emissions are comparatively small (even though they are the highest per capita in the world), that any action we might take would be “nonsensical”, and who better placed to judge nonsense than him. Macdonald conveniently ignores the emissions caused by our exports – not our fault, not our problem.

We may be the little guy in this tug o’ war but it is us that will be dragged into the mud first if we lose.

Turnbull has to rein the deniers in now or face the disapprobation of the world and, hopefully, the citizens of Australia.

Australia must do its bit on climate change, and every one of us must raise our voices to make sure our government listens.

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27 comments

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  1. Kaye Lee

    For those who don’t know, Judy Small is an Australian singer/songwriter who is also a judge of the Federal Magistrates Court of Australia.

    Her songs are inspirational and our politicians should pay heed.

    Many times I have linked to “You don’t speak for me”

    Could I also recommend “mothers daughters wives” – one that our presumably ex Minister for Women should have listened to as he eagerly sent us back to war.

  2. Adrianne Haddow

    Thank you, Kaye, for introducing me to the work of Judy Small. An excellent voice and words that make my heart glad. Reminded me of the voices of protest of the 60’s and 70’s, and the feeling of empowerment that goes with voices raised in protest.

    On the other hand, the voices of the likes of senator McDonald, he of the shiny orange vest, just so you don’t confuse where his true allegiance lies, make me feel angry. More than angry, enraged.
    Particularly when my region is living with the consequences of his, and his mentor’s, rabid greed for coal and profits. Independent studies, which show the dismal quality of the air and the health consequences of this industry impact heavily on the people of this region, are dismissed by the EPA experts,
    Wall to wall open cut coal mines ( don’t need to be filled in when they leave), CSG exploratory wells being drilled into fine farming land, pushing out sustainable industries like wineries, horse studs and food.

    So it’s business as usual for the polluters and propagandists. Doesn’t matter who heads the Libs, the message doesn’t change

  3. corvus boreus

    “The children of Australia have been brainwashed into thinking if you turn off a light in Australia, somehow that is going to stop climate change,”
    “This is a puerile debate in its extreme”.

    Perhaps Senator MacDonald was, in a semi-schizophrenic display, making a dissociative alter-analysis of his own previous statement, which was indeed, an extremely puerile form of debate.
    Mental dysfunction might also explain his otherwise inexplicable decision to wear hi-vis protective gear over his business suit in order to make his (extremely puerile) contributions to debate in the relatively safe environment of the senate chambers.
    Perhaps he should also wear a hard-hat coated in tin-foil, just to be on the safe side.

  4. Terry2

    I was about to say that Ian Macdonald is a dinosaur but that maligns a species that at least evolved before becoming extinct.

    Macdonald is an embarrassment to the state of Queensland and our Senate and I believe that under a Turnbull administration he will not prosper ; hopefully he will soon be consigned to Abbottsville.

  5. Kaye Lee

    I’m glad you like Judy. Her songs gladden my heart too.

    This is one of my favourites – a song to sing to children. With all the talk about the children of gay parents supposedly suffering, I would like Cory Bernardi and Erica Betz and George Christensen to listen to this

  6. Adrianne Haddow

    Don’t you just love Scott Ludlum, sitting behind McDonald with his flashcard ‘SRSLY !’

    Sadly, McDonald does think he’s being SRS.

  7. Keith

    In 2013 and 2014 there were 24,000 papers on climate change published according to Powell in peer reviewed Journals, only 5 articles were by skeptics.Just two years represents an incredible volume, yet, deniers claim they know better than the authors of climate change papers who have spent in excess of 10 years to gain a PhD.

    Something that is quite notable is that when natural impacts of climate change are mentioned deniers do not try to debunk those examples. Some examples being, flooding of the Atacama Desert in Chile earlier in the year; Barrow in Alaska being inundated by 10-13 foot waves about 3 weeks ago as there was no sea ice to curb the fetch; and permafrost thawing at a fast rate causing damage to infrastructure.

    Till so far Turnbull is a huge disappointment in relation to climate change.

  8. diannaart

    Indeed the Earth’s climate has changed frequently during the previous millennia and is doing so again right now as we release greenhouse gases equivalent to the atmospheres of past climates – of which many were hostile to mammalian life.

    What is so difficult for the coal-munchers to understand?

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070813162438.htm

  9. Ella Miller

    Kay Lee, thank you. …”Turnbull has to reign in the deniers”
    I only wish he could. I think we have a VERY smooth talking salesman. From having listened to him the only thing that will change is the salesman. The policies will remain the same. With all his intelligence the new PM will have tow the party political line. ….Which means same old same old. I had such high hopes …how silly am I

  10. Kaye Lee

    Let’s not forget, it was Turnbull as Environment Minister that approved the Gunn’s pulp mill in Tasmania. Hodgman said he would like the plan to go ahead. No doubt the Premiers will all be asking for something from Malcolm as well.

  11. kerri

    For the life of me I will never understand how the capitalists can convince themselves that an earth with no roads, electricty generators, trains, air conditioners, planes, factories, asphalt, concrete, bombs, HIMANS could in any way resemble the earth we now live on where there is barely a place that has not been altered by humans? Do they think their houses would be the same over the same period with no one in them as they would with a crowd and no external garbage disposal?

  12. Matters Not

    Yes Macdonald is a fossil. Was even dropped by Abbott to the backbench when elected to government.

    even though they are the highest per capita in the world

    Certainly they are high but that claim might need to be revisited. According to the latest annual per-capita carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by country, from the United Nations Millenium Development Goals Indicators, Australia emits 16.75 tonnes per capita which is somewhat below some of the Gulf Oil States. Qatar, for example, emits 40.1 while Kuwait emits 34.24. Australia’s emissions per capita are also below the United states @17.5.

    Of course, there’s all sorts of ‘methodological’ issues involved but I don’t think that claim can be justified. Not that a drop below the ‘top’ is anything to be proud of, particularly when we have so much sunlight, wind power, tidal movement and the like that could be utilised.

    If kids were taught that one light made no difference, then that would be a problem, assuming the source was coal.

    The Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu wrote in the Tao Te Ching, The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. It is time for us, each and every person, to take that step. Don’t leave it to the other.

    – See more at: http://cotap.org/per-capita-carbon-co2-emissions-by-country/?gclid=CjwKEAjwpuSvBRDSkaes4OasuEESJACfwIc_PbDPT4bP8tuDK3J0F_VhsItc-bJXNflJ3bQs3ZINBRoCQKbw_wcB#sthash.Pw0G5FBS.dpuf

  13. silkworm

    Turnbull could at least make a pro-science gesture by restoring the CSIRO to its former glory.

  14. Paddy Forsayeth

    Let me say it again. The per capita emission level of Australians is irrelevant. This country attained its high standard of living through the sale of coal and iron ore. The fact that most of the coal was not used by us is meaningless. We dug the stuff up and others burned it. Where is our responsibility? A drug manufacturer would not be let off the hook by claiming that he never used the stuff. We got where we are on the back of coal. Guilty as charged!

  15. totaram

    “If kids were taught that one light made no difference, then that would be a problem, assuming the source was coal.”

    As someone pointed out, one vote in millions makes no difference. So, should one not vote?

    This is the stupidest of arguments and can be demolished again and again by a hundred examples of anything we do collectively to make a difference, where individual action will not. If this fool of a Senator, actually thinks people are stupid enough to fall for this argument, he is showing contempt for the electorate, and they should repay him in kind. Vote below the line for the senate and make sure you don’t get some known wierdo like him.

    I think the Hi-Vis he is wearing in the pic actually had a Coal Company name on it. Isn’t that a clear display of a conflict of interest?
    Or maybe, they should all wear the logos of their “sponsors” on their suits, like footy teams.

  16. Christine Farmer

    How puerile is Macdonald in his remarks about children being taught to turn off lights. Of course they should be trained to be frugal with resources of all kinds, just as my generation was taught, being raised by parents who went through the depression.

    As well as encouraging wastefulness his remarks suggest that one person’s contribution is valueless, so don’t bother. And how stupid is that? It’s to be deplored that he has the forum of parliament to broadcast his unhelpful views.

  17. Kaye Lee

    totaram,

    The vest, emblazoned with “australiansforcoal.com.au” and Macdonald’s name, was kindly provided to Macdonald by the Minerals Council of Australia. The Council sent a shirt to each member of Parliament

  18. guest

    Paddy Forsayeth says an interesting thing. He says we got where we are by burning coal. By “got where we are” he means “a high standard of living”. What he does not say is how much that is costing us and will continue to cost us. He does not say what the limits are.

    So it is interesting to see Turnbull now supports a plan to reduce carbon emissions which he once told us would not work. It is interesting to see that both Rudd and Gillard were severely criticised for changing their minds about Climate Change in some way. Political expediency rules, OK, but it depends on who is changing and when.

    What is annoying is that when people make daft comments about Climate Change no one challenges them. Does that mean that few people know what questions to ask? Has the debate been so befuddled that all is fog and confusion? Are we really to believe that pumping millions of tonnes of carbon emissions into the atmosphere has no effect on anything – that it just makes us richer?

    Turnbull is the cuckoo in the nest. As Bolt has pointed out, the problem for Turnbull is not so much dealing with the Opposition, but with dealing with his own Party.

    Is Turnbull, as Conroy said, just Abbott with elocution?

  19. Kaye Lee

    I had an interesting conversation with an ABC journalist today. She feels that Malcolm will have to win an election before he can make any change but my comeback was can he win without making change? Are we really that shallow that lipstick will be enough?

  20. i have a nugget of pure green

    simple, declare climate change denial a psychological illness that interferes with the sufferes ability to perceive reality and make rational decisions, thereby making the sufferer ineligible to operate heavy machinery or sit in parliament.

  21. John Sheldon

    This ignorant fool needs to watch the excellent BBC documentary titled ‘ CRUDE ‘
    A few years old now however this film explains very clearly the whole issue of human enhanced climate change

  22. corvus boreus

    Another outstanding offering from Senator MacDonald this week was his heckling interjection to Senator Doug Cameron (who speaks with a residual Scots brogue) that he should “learn to speak Australian”.
    Ian MacDonald’s puerile contributions to parliamentary debate suggest that he is a bigoted extremist without a scrap of intelligence or decency.

  23. Kaye Lee

    It astonishes me how stupid some of these people are. To think that my fate is in the hands of people like Macdonald and Christensen, and that they are getting paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for their stupidity, really burns. I studied for many years to get my qualifications and have continued with ongoing study all my life. Having morons make foolish decisions that affect my life really pisses me off.

  24. Murray Smith

    “Turnbull has to rein the deniers in now or face the approbation of the world and, hopefully, the citizens of Australia.”

    I agree with the article as a whole, but better editing is needed. Mistakes like this will be quoted.

  25. Kaye Lee

    Thanks Murray. Fixed 🙂 It’s amazing how your mind reads what you meant instead of what you wrote.

  26. Kaye Lee

    Malcolm must have promised the Nats that he won’t do anything on climate change ….

    “We will work together as clearly there were some issues where there were policy differences between the Nationals and Malcolm that’s part of the reason why we needed to settle those sorts of things before a decision was made to enter into a coalition agreement,” Mr Truss said.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-09-19/warren-truss-wants-to-start-afresh-with-malcolm-turnbull/6788364

  27. Kaye Lee

    Yup….

    the Nationals announced this week they had received a written commitment from Turnbull that there would be no push for an emissions trading scheme or carbon tax during the life of his prime ministership

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