Last October, the “Coalition Environment Committee” invited 5 people to address them before a Parliamentary Information Session sponsored by the Global Change Institute and the University of Queensland was to be held the next day.
One was Ove Hoegh-Guldberg whose expertise is coral reefs under thermal stress. Another was John Church who is a leading authority on sea-level rise caused by global warming whose crucial research became a casualty of the funding cuts to the CSIRO in May this year. They were joined by Mark Howden, vice chair of the International Panel on Climate Change whose specialty is impacts of climate variability and change on agricultural and urban systems and the development of innovative and sustainable farming systems.
Also invited were Bob Carter and Jennifer Marohasy. Both of these people are sceptics who have been funded/employed by the IPA. Carter also received $1,667 a month from the Heartland Institute.
In an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald, IPA Executive Director John Roskam confirmed the IPA’s key role in supporting Australian climate sceptics. “Of all the serious sceptics in Australia, we have helped and supported just about all of them in their work one way or another,” he says, listing some prominent figures on the local circuit. “Ian Plimer – we launched his book – Bob Carter, Jo Nova, William Kininmonth.”
Marohasy began working for the IPA in 2003 to work on Murray River issues. In June 2004 it was revealed that Australia’s largest irrigation company, Murray Irrigation Limited, contributed $40,000 to the IPA. The IPA’s environment unit director Jennifer Marohasy played a critical role in persuading a government committee to overturn recommendations to increase the volume of water released into the Murray River.
However, Marohasy did not disclose the donation to the committee.
In 2008, the IPA facilitated a donation of $350,000 by Dr G. Bryant Macfie, a climate change sceptic, to the University of Queensland for environmental research. The money was to fund three environmental doctoral projects with the IPA suggesting two of the three agreed topics. George Bryant Macfie was described as a “medical doctor and philanthropist” and a “long-standing IPA member.” Announcing the grant, Macfie complained that “environmental activism” was akin to a new religion infecting science. “The crucifix has been replaced by the wind turbine,” he said.
At the time Macfie held 634,846 shares in Strike Resources Limited, making him one of the top 20 shareholders. By 2010, Macfie had increased his shareholding to 800,000 shares. Strike Resources is a Perth-based mineral exploration company which is seeking to develop an iron project in Peru and the Berau Thermal Coal Project in Indonesia.
Jennifer Marohasy states on her website:
“In September 2015, I was appointed a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA). This followed the termination of my adjunct position at Central Queensland University (CQU) on 1st July 2015 because my work was ‘not well integrated into emerging research clusters’.
My work at CQU was wholly funded by the B. Macfie Family Foundation, and this will continue to be the source of funding for my employment at the IPA.”
So the Coalition was to be advised by three world renowned experts on the effects of global warming and two IPA stooges who have no qualifications in climate science and who are funded by vested interests.
I will leave is to Ms Morahasy to explain how the meeting went.
“At the meeting on Monday night Professor Carter stressed the need to pay attention to the scientific method, and in particular the importance of testing the null hypothesis. Meanwhile Ove Hoegh-Guldberg continually pointed to a thick tome which apparently represented the consensus of all IPCC scientists. Of course, this consensus is all about politics, not evidence or science.
My presentation focused on surface temperature data from Rutherglen, and how the Bureau of Meteorology has remodeled the observational temperature series, showing sustained cooling over the 20th Century, to show an apparent dramatic warming trend.
There was some discussion of the satellite data at the request of the committee chair, Craig Kelly MP. Luckily, I had a supplementary slide showing the last 17 years of data for Australia to September 2015, that I had downloaded the day before from Ken Stewart’s blog, https://kenskingdom.wordpress.com/2015/10/16/the-pause-september-update/
(Ken Stewart is a blogger and retired teacher with no science qualifications at all – KL)
I mentioned that it was a travesty that Minister Greg Hunt had prevented a proper inquiry into the Bureau last year, and suggested that the senators and members in the room needed to ‘wake-up’ and do something. Public policy, I suggested, needed to be based on real data/real evidence, not contrived temperature series.
After my presentation, Professor Howden began with slides indicating that because of climate change there had been a decline in crop yields. He was interrupted by one of the MPs who asked whether the charts on display represented actual real historical data, or output from a computer model. The Professor acknowledged that he was showing computer output.
At that point, I really wanted to applaud when several of the MPs promptly got up and walked out.
You might consider sending a note of thanks to one or more the following members and senators for attending. Craig Kelly MP, in particular, should be congratulated for organizing the meeting, and facilitating the discussion.
- Senator Eric Abetz, Liberal, TAS
- Dr Peter Hendy MP, Liberal, NSW
- Senator Zed Seselja, Liberal, ACT
- Craig Kelly MP, Liberal, NSW
- Warren Entsch, LNP, QLD
- Dr Denis Jensen MP, Liberal, WA
- Bert van Manen MP, LNP, QLD
- Nola Marino MP, Liberal, WA
- Andrew Broad, National, VIC
- Tony Pasin, Liberal, SA
- Brett Whitely, Liberal, SA
- Rick Wilson, Liberal, WA
- George Christensen, LNP, QLD
- Eric Hutchison, Liberal, TAS
- Sharman Stone, Liberal, VIC
- Mark Coulton MP, National, NSW”
Thanks for the list, Jennifer. It is handy to know who the drivers behind this criminal negligence are. They are either extraordinarily stupid or complicit in the IPA’s deliberate campaign of misinformation paid for by vested interests.
I will indeed be dropping them a note but it won’t be of thanks.
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