Meet Malcolm Roberts, Pauline Hanson’s “expert” on climate change.
Roberts is/was the project manager for the climate sceptic group the Galileo Movement. The mission of the Galileo Movement was to see the “carbon tax” repealed and to cast doubt on the science of climate change.
In 2012, in an interview with Journalist Ben Cubby, Roberts claimed a cabal of international bankers were behind the climate change “scam”. He went so over the top with his conspiracy theory that it led to “adviser” Andrew Bolt repudiating both Roberts and the Galileo Movement due to the implied whiff of antisemitism of his claims.
According to Roberts, the CSIRO is a tool of international bankers, who over the past century have also orchestrated every major financial boom and bust since 1913. The United Nations was created at the urging of international bankers, who are using it as a vehicle to usher in a New World Order.
“The objective is global control through global socialist governance by international bankers hiding control behind environmentalism” says Roberts.
Roberts is a former coalface miner and management consultant and in a declaration of interests writes: “For extensive work performed in the mining industry I was paid money by mining companies (including three government-owned coal mining companies)….”
He claims to have foregone more than a million dollars in earnings for his unpaid work researching climate change. Part of that involved him travelling to the US to attend the Heartland Institute’s climate skeptics conference in New York in 2008, co-sponsored by Australian free market think-tank the Institute of Public Affairs.
A quick look at One Nation’s climate change policy shows what we may be in for.
They will oppose any form of carbon pricing and want the Renewable Energy Target abolished. They want all subsidies and financial advantages offered to the renewable energy industry removed to “make them compete on an even playing field with other energy sources” though they seem to be silent about fossil fuel subsidies.
“The wind industry must compensate all residents who have been proven to suffer from Wind Turbine Syndrome and any residents where the presence of wind turbines have negatively effected the price of their home.”
They want to hold a Royal Commission (or similar) into “the corruption of climate science”, review the Bureau of Meteorology and the CSIRO “to ensure independence and accountability “, and to establish an independent Australian science body to replace the UN IPCC.
They also want to “remove from the education system the teaching of a biased and one-sided view of climate science.”
In 2013, Roberts wrote a document titled CSIROh! – Climate of Deception or First Step to Freedom, sent it to everyone he could think of, and challenged them to respond, stating a failure to do so would be taken as endorsement.
This is the response from Ben Cubby, the environment editor at the Sydney Morning Herald
In considering your request that I identify errors in the report you sent to me – CSIROh! Climate of Deception? Or First Step to Freedom? – I find myself confronting an unusual problem: how does one critically analyse a pile of horse shit?
Even by the exceedingly low standards of Australia’s climate skeptic community, your report is dire. You direct me to Appendix 13. It is littered with errors of all kinds: a mish-mash of muddled conjecture, impossible leaps of logic, fundamental misunderstandings of the scientific method, misread and misquoted research that has been poorly cited, internal contradictions, confused dates, spelling mistakes, and strangled grammar. It is, in all respects, a dud.
I am not going to comply with your demand that I ‘‘identify, specify and justify’’ all the errors in your report. There are too many. However, this should not be read as a reluctance on my part to address your complaints. You will recall that, many months ago, you asked me to provide you with some empirical evidence of human-induced climate change, and I immediately sent you a series of peer-reviewed papers that did just that.
You responded, a month later, after lengthy consultation with your science advisor Tim Ball (not ‘‘Tim Tall’’, as you call him in your report). You advanced an unpublished and frankly bizarre theory about underwater volcanoes. Apparently these hidden volcanoes conveniently rumbled to life at just the right rate to mimic both the rise and isotopic signature of human-generated atmospheric CO2. With theories like this, it is not difficult to see why even other climate skeptics have distanced themselves from your work.
Your report tries to allege that there are factual errors in my reporting. If you honestly believe this, there is a fairly simple way to deal with it: request a correction from the newspaper. Your requests will be independently considered on their merits by people other than me. It is remarkable that you allege thousands of errors, spanning a period of several years, yet have not sought to address them in this straightforward, transparent way.
You demand I declare my ‘‘personal financial interests in advocating the claim that human CO2 should be cut’’. First, I’m not advocating anything in particular, apart from fact-based reporting. Second, I have no financial interest in any industry related to emissions cuts. Nor have I worked for coal companies, as you have.
As I’ve made clear in earlier replies to your many emails, I don’t mind a civil discussion about environment reporting or climate change. But until you start to ground your opinions in fact, I will continue to regard your correspondence as amusing spam.
Watching the Deniers, in a 2013 article about Roberts, made what has turned out to be a prescient warning.
“What I fear in coming years is the rise of a vicious form of right-wing populism, with demagogues riding a tide of conspiracies and hatred to positions of power. Our public debates are toxic enough when it comes to refugees and marriage equality. The climate debate is equally toxic, if not more so.
The work of Roberts falls squarely in the tradition of both conspiracy culture and right-wing populism: for this reason I’m neither laughing nor dismissive.”
From serial pest to Senator – the IPA will be well pleased.