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The IPA’s influence on climate change policy is a far greater threat than terrorism

As talk of terrorist grooming and foreign influence in elections and policy making resounds throughout the media, not enough attention is paid to the political influence, grooming and propaganda being used by environmental vandals and their lobbyists.

The success of the IPA in influencing the climate change debate will likely kill far more people than any terrorist organisation.

First they got to Nick Minchin.

In 2007, one month after the IPCC delivered its strongest warning yet that humans were causing global warming, finance minister Senator Minchin publicly expressed serious doubts global warming was influenced by humans.

He quoted some columns written in a Canadian newspaper and a critique written by Bob Carter.  According to an article published by the SMH at the time:

Professor Carter, whose background is in marine geology, appears to have little, if any, standing in the Australian climate science community. He is on the research committee at the Institute of Public Affairs, a think tank that has received funding from oil and tobacco companies, and whose directors sit on the boards of companies in the fossil fuel sector.

Professor Carter told the Herald yesterday the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change had uncovered no evidence the warming of the planet was caused by human activity. He said the role of peer review in scientific literature was overstressed, and whether or not a scientist had been funded by the fossil fuel industry was irrelevant to the validity of research.

“I don’t think it is the point whether or not you are paid by the coal or petroleum industry,” said Professor Carter. “I will address the evidence.”

A former CSIRO climate scientist, and now head of a new sustainability institute at Monash University, Graeme Pearman, said Professor Carter was not a credible source on climate change. “If he has any evidence that [global warming over the past 100 years] is a natural variability he should publish through the peer review process,” Dr Pearman said. “That is what the rest of us have to do.” He said he was letting the fossil fuel industry off the hook.

Of Senator Minchin’s letter, he said: “I am worried that a federal minister would believe this crap.”

A couple of years later, powerbroker Minchin, dismayed with Turnbull’s acceptance that climate change was real, organised his overthrow, installing a more compliant Tony Abbott as ‘leader’, or should I say follower of the IPA’s agenda.

Abbott loved to quote Ian Plimer, a mining geologist who has been a director of numerous mining companies and is on the board of Gina Rinehart’s iron ore and coal mining companies and who has written a couple of denialist books.

In February 2014, Plimer sent out an email asking for donations to continue the IPA’s campaign.

Today, you and I are winning. Kevin Rudd’s ETS is gone. Julia Gillard’s carbon tax is about to be repealed.

None of this would have happened without the Institute of Public Affairs and its members. But more needs to be done. Australia is still suffering under bad policies (like the renewable energy target) based on bad science.

I want the IPA to continue winning the climate change debate in this country. That’s why I’m asking you to make a tax-deductible donation to the IPA today so they can bring together the world’s biggest names on climate change.

The IPA needs your tax-deductible donation to publish a new book of research, Climate Change: The Facts 2014 featuring Andrew Bolt, Professor Bob Carter, James Delingpole, Donna Laframboise, Lord Nigel Lawson, Professor Richard Lindzen, Joanne Nova, Dr Patrick Michaels, Mark Steyn and Anthony Watts. I’ll be writing a chapter too.

John Roskam has told me he’ll send a copy of Climate Change: The Facts 2014 to every federal member of parliament.

A couple of months before the Paris climate change talks in 2015, University of Queensland’s Global Change Institute made the offer to brief representatives from all parties on climate science.

Greg Hunt, Mark Butler and Larissa Waters all backed the effort and the briefings by the experts were, by all reports, informative and well received.

Until they met the Kelly gang – the Coalition’s backbench committee on the environment chaired by Liberal MP Craig Kelly.

The experts who were to give the briefing were the Global Change Institute director and marine biologist and coral reef expert Prof Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, Dr John Church, a world-leading scientist on sea level rise from the CSIRO and Prof Mark Howden, a chief research scientist at CSIRO and also the director of the Climate Change Institute at Australian National University.

Instead of listening and learning, Kelly invited three lobbyists from the IPA to also make presentations. This was, apparently, to provide “balance” though the scientists said it descended into ill-informed shouting in an “anti-intellectual environment” where “the loudest and shrillest voice was what prevailed.”

The ubiquitous Heartland Institute misinformer, Bob Carter, was there again along with Jennifer Marohasy.

Marohasy is behind the conspiracy theory, embraced by PHON Senator Malcolm Roberts, that the BoM has “corrupted the official temperature record so it more closely accords with the theory of anthropogenic global warming”.

Marohasy spent many years working at the Institute of Public Affairs before becoming the chair of the Australian Environment Foundation, a spin-off from the IPA.

In 2008, Bryant Macfie, a Perth-based climate science sceptic, gifted $350,000 to the University of Queensland in a donation facilitated by the IPA to pay for environmental research scholarships which then funded Ms Marohasy’s research.

In July 2014, Marohasy travelled to Las Vegas to speak at the Heartland Institute’s gathering of climate science denialists and assorted contrarians.  Also speaking at the conference was federal MP, George Christensen, who appeared on a panel alongside Marohasy.

The third IPA representative present at the briefing was Brett Hogan.  According to the IPA site, Brett is a former Senior Adviser and Chief of Staff to a Victorian Government Cabinet Minister, and was previously the Director of Communications for the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Hogan wrote a report titled “The life saving potential of coal: How Australian coal could help 82 million Indians access electricity,” which was distributed to Australian MPs.

He is the man behind the con, “The morality of seeking to deny people in other countries the privileges that we enjoy here, when we have to ability to help out, is deeply suspect.”

As the IPA want to abolish all foreign aid I find that statement “deeply suspect.”

So these are the ‘experts’ that advise the Coalition backbench – three unqualified IPA mouthpieces, paid by fossil fuel lobbyists,  who have many articles published in the Murdoch press but no peer-reviewed work.

Craig Kelly’s facebook page is littered with praise for Trump for pulling out of the Paris agreement and reneging on commitments for the UN Green Energy Fund and with exhortations for us to do likewise.

Will the IPA win another round in this madness?

With people like Kelly, Abbott, Abetz, Andrews, Goodenough, Sukkar, Taylor, Seselja and Christensen threatening Turnbull and Frydenberg from behind, the unthinkable is all too possible.


53 comments

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  1. OPPOSE THE MAJOUR PARTIES

    science is of minor significance to climate change policies. what matters is the precautionary principle in international law and which is part of australian domestic law. by insisting upon scientific certainty in relation to the affects on climate of an activity gov decision makers are breaking the law and breaching the principle of the rule of law which principle they are so fond of touting when it is convenient for them to do so.

  2. OPPOSE THE MAJOUR PARTIES

    scientific certainty is not necessary to the adoption of environmental protection policies. what the IPA and LNP cronies are doing is trying to shift the onus of proof requiring a buiness seeking to undertake a potentially environmentally damaging activity that its planned activity will not negatively affect the environment onto those seeking to prevent the activity in order to have them prove that it will. this is contrary to the precautionary principle and to international and domestic law

  3. OPPOSE THE MAJOUR PARTIES

    two more points. the conflicts of interest of 5 of the 7 NAIF board members means first that 5 of the board members will need to abtstain from voting on the funding to the adani project. only two will be able to legitimately vote. Second that this project is a criminal conspiracy to defraud Commonwealth funds. typical of the LNP criminal organisation.

  4. Keith

    “Institute” is suggestive of a place of knowledge; the odious IPA makes a mockery of any form of knowledge.
    More than a year ago I saw a film clip of a “debate” between Monbiot a well known journalist and Plimer. Monbiot cut Plimer to pieces.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dAQ7RzoI_Ns

    Since that encounter there have been an incredible number of instances displaying climate change.

    For example, PIOMAS has indicated that the volume of sea ice in the Arctic is at a record low level at present. With the amount of multi year ice being lost it is most likely that official figures for sea ice volume measured in August will be at a record or near record level.

    Also currently:
    satellite photos displaying fracturing of sea ice all the way to the North Pole
    in Antarctica Larson C is about to abort a 5,000 kilometer square section
    Taiwan having received 600 ml of rainfall in 12 hours
    and a temperature of 56C being recorded in Iran

    would suggest lunacy on the part of those who deny climate change.

  5. diannaart

    Completely agree with your article Kaye Lee.

    He (eminent former surgeon and the chair of Doctors for the Environment Australia, Prof Kingsley Faulkner) wrote that the Carmichael mine posed a “grave danger to public health both in Australia and globally”, given coalmines leading to a resurgence among mine workers of a chronic, irreversible and previously eradicated lung condition known as black lung disease.

    The pollution from coal also causes childhood asthma, heart and lung disease, and some cancers, he added.

    “Going ahead with it will send a terrible message to the world – [that] we in Australia really don’t care about the planet, or its inhabitants,” Faulkner wrote.

    “Additionally, it will create an infrastructure for the potential development of up to eight other coalmines in the region.”…

    **Faulkner said an estimated 3,000 people died in Australia due to air pollution annually.**

    “It’s irresponsible financially for the Australian government, through the Naif, to fund this venture at a time when many countries are moving well away from coal, and at a time when renewable are becoming more cost-efficient,” he said.

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jun/06/medical-experts-say-lending-to-adani-is-the-same-as-supporting-big-tobacco

    …and Labor supports this danger!

  6. freefall852

    Years ago, we purchased a bush block out near Yookamurra Sanctuary. Some of it was regrowth, but there were stands of original mallee forest. After we purchased it we went for an “explore”. We walked down a track, on one side the evidence of regrowth, with its scattering of jagged limestone clusters, on the other much more dense and uniform mallee trees with the burnished silvered leaf-litter spread away under the trees.
    Something caught my eye and I turned off the track onto the leaf-litter. I had only gone about five steps in when I became aware of walking on a deep, soft bed of what must be undisturbed litter. Self-consciously, I back-tracked to the hard ground and looked where I had stepped.
    My footprints had left an indelible impression on the litter, so soft and fragile was the organic makeup. On close examination, I could see the structure and substance of that delicate fabric spread wide over the forest floor. While the ground at my feet was dry and hard, the soil under the litter was moist, easily friable and composed of numerous tiny and minute insects feeding, no doubt, on many more decomposing insect, leaf-matter and fungi etc. Truly, the whole intricate composition of that sub-environment and the intertwined relationship with the insect kingdom had to be acknowledged as a natural work of art!
    I stood up and stepped back to see the picture as a whole.
    There above was the cloudy sky, then the mallee canopy down, down the silky branches to the scaly trunk and knobbly bole to the multilayered litter there on the forest floor. Each part there named adhered by an invisible tendon to the next and , as if in contractual agreement, one supplying the other with the necessities of life itself..take one away and break the link, the next will surely falter and, eventually, fail.
    So that is what climate change most probably will do to such a specialised, interlinked environment. Especially now that it is already far stretched by the culled resources and erratic weather conditions experienced in the mallee.
    Let us consider the poetical metaphor effect first promulgated by Edward Lorenz..that the infinitesimal movement of air from the flapping of a butterfly’s wing may create a “ripple effect” much like a pebble dropped into a pond, whose link doth cause a hurricane a thousand miles away!….We need to “see” the biodiversity in the environment as a poet “sees” life in the stanzas he composes, and then indeed, will we be mesmerised by nature’s song!

  7. Vikingduk

    What is a person’s/entities thought processes, when they consider denigrating those that believe the science and scientists. Why do they (IPA) etc., so fervantly deny the science? Why has this danger, this farking major farking catastrophe, this extreme threat to life on earth become such an us and them issue. Why would any thinking person act so wilfully ignorant, be so farking set in their ways, refuse to consider that yes, quite possibly we are in deep shit. To never consider a little research, consider valid scientific evidence over Andy effing blot, that repulsive rupert and his rags and all other deniers.

    Perhaps we all are, in our own unique ways, barking f*cking mad, that we are, in varying degrees, insane.

    Don’t know, I care though, as do our children and grandchildren.

  8. Freethinker

    freefall852, there are the simple things in life that people forgot to observe or just take it for granted.
    For many, if a local law is in place to stop 4WD vehicles drive above those soils they will be protesting that their rights are removed
    .

  9. Graham Parton

    The Australian sunk to a new low today with an “opinion” piece from Clive James (yes the writer / comedian) which repeated almost all of the long since debunked denialist nonsense. He’s essentially back at the starting point saying that climate change isn’t even happening and it’s only a matter of time before everyone discovers this. I hate to say it but I fear he may have lost some of his critical faculties.

  10. helvityni

    Vikingduk, I’m certainly not mad, but the dismal quality of the leaders here in Oz and in USA, makes me feel rather sad.

    Where are the confident, fearless, progressive , and likeable leaders; where are today’s Whitlams and Kennedies….

    I’d be happy to have Gillard and Obama back…Sigh.

  11. helvityni

    …I can’t say I was impressed with one of the IPA girls, Downer’s Daughter, on the Drum; the apple has not fallen far from the tree…

  12. guest

    It is interesting to see how Getup! is criticised by the Right for being a Left-wing lobby while the IPA is regarded by the Right as not a lobby for the Right but as a “think-tank” – and course there are many Right-wing “think tanks” sucking on the government teat. Getup! is seen as having vested interests which deny it the right to sit on boards. Ho hum!

    So we come to others who do have vested interests, such as economic people. Judith Sloan in The Australian today laments the power energy as an “impasse” and a “train wreck”. What she wants is smaller emissions targets to save our industries.

    Never mind the reality of Climate Change. For economists it is all about the money, not the science. Australia emits only 1.3% of carbon emissions. I am never sure if that includes all our coal burnt overseas as well as at home.

    She goes on to lament China’s projected use of coal, but ignores China’s moves to increase renewables. She points out that Africa, for example, is building many coal-fired power stations – but ignores the increasing decline in the use of coal world wide.

    The really interesting word in all of this lament is “impasse”. It is a word which suggests (in my dictionary) “Blind alley; position from which there is no escape.”

    This is very sad – that she thinks the status quo is the end of everything – no escape. It is a narrow, short-sighted view, denying any possibility of change, of progress. And why? Because it is not how she wants it to be.

    I would politely suggest to her – and people of her ilk such as the IPA – that she needs to better acquaint herself with the science of Climate Change (which she never mentions).

    And instead of lamenting the price of energy, she should be asking herself: “What is the cost of cooking the planet?”

  13. Matters Not

    bobrafto, California will secede? Then they could have a war on their own turf. Given our history, we could send troops – to support both sides. Just to be sure. And we badly need some type of victory.

    Joyce on TV this morning was belting Get Up – gave the IPA a complete miss.

  14. guest

    Graham Parton,

    and you will have noticed that Clive James’ essay “Mass Death Dies Hard” (essay = “an attempt; a literary composition on any subject” – suggests fantasy) is to be published not only in The Australian, but also by the IPA, edited by Jennifer Marohasy. The usual suspects!

  15. economicreform

    Minchin, Abbott, Abetz and others within the coalition parties were unthinking (and in some respects anti-science) ministers who seem to have been led up the garden path by propagandists and spin doctors for the industries mentioned. The fact that 98 percent of world’s climate scientists share the same conclusions about the causes of climate change and the prognosis for its future effects apparently cuts no ice with these cowboys, who think they know more about the subject than do the qualified experts. They have far more in common with the world’s best known climate change skeptic, British Viscount Monckton, than they do with any real scientists.

  16. Kaye Lee

    Grooming politicians to support climate change denial should be a crime. Those who financially support climate change denial should be treated like those who support terrorism and the politicians who give their propaganda a platform should be charged with offences similar to those who promote terrorism. They are literally killing people and destroying current and future industry. It wasn’t the carbon price that killed manufacturing in Australia…it was the high Aussie dollar caused by the mining boom.

    The number of ex-politicians and staffers from both sides who have gone on to be employed by the fossil fuel industry is staggering.

    ISIS is certainly a worry…..the mining lobby is a far greater one.

    http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/csg-industry-hires-wellconnected-staffers-20150515-gh2rg3.html

  17. 192.168.1.1

    None of this would have happened without the Institute of Public Affairs and its members. But more needs to be done

  18. Matters Not

    When we talk about the IPA, we should not forget Nick Cater and the Menzies Research Centre which also employs Daisy Cousens That is, when Daisy’s not writing for The Spectator. The Menzies Research Centre is on the public payroll to the tune of $240 00.00 per year – to help with research. Nick and Rebecca (Weisser) specialise in bagging those who suckle on the public teat. The irony, that they are ongoing beneficiaries of public funds, seems to escape them.

    Cater is a climate change denier into the bargain.. Rebecca is probably as well. But she always appears bewildered. Not that it slows her down.

  19. totaram

    I have long since stopped speculating on what are the thought processes of these deniers and propagandists. I know what they are. They are the same as the thought processes of criminals, who are only interested in carrying out their criminal enterprise to make their money. Why would they worry about the effect of their crimes on the rest of society etc. ? Do criminals think about such things? I don’t think so. It would be a waste of thinking time that could be better used for planning and executing the criminal enterprise.

    So that is what these people are – simple criminals. Of course, to avoid being branded as such, they trot out these denialist tropes, no matter how old and discredited, as a “defence” of their actions. And the sole purpose of the IPA is to manufacture, recycle, and defend these arguments, and basically repeat them ad infinitum in the hope that some easily fooled people will believe them, but mostly to keep the fog of ignorance swirling while the crimes are committed.

    The IPA and similar “institutes” need to have their tax-free status revoked, and be forced into greater transparency of their funding. It’s really a disgrace the way money can distort our democracy and make a mockery of it. Just making it work at all is so hard, and then we have all these impediments.

  20. Freethinker

    Kaye Lee, it cannot be done because people vote for politicians that put money first and the environment second, people vote to repel a tax to carbon.
    It is time for people (the minority) to star accepting the wishes and priorities of the majority.
    Do not be blind, the politicians know well about climate change as also those non believers, the reality it is that they put money, greed for consumerism and protecting their life style first.
    The politicians know that, they will be reelected perhaps by pretending changing something or just giving few dollars here and there.
    The polls have shown that people put first low energy costs before the environment.
    Politicians and the rich minority know well that the majority it is not united that they will keep consuming more and more and even purchasing goods from that corporations that are poison the environment.
    People will not sacrifice or change their life style until go trough a tragedy.
    If we keep pretending that the corrupted governments world wide and the rich are ignorant and non believers we are going to lose the battle.
    The only way is educating the masses, the young and most important changing the education in the universities at all levels but specially in economics where are teaching the wrong models.

  21. lawrencewinder

    We need legislation to enable the jailing of these climate-change deniers so that they never cloud any debate again with their stupid stalling.

  22. Matters Not

    Do certain Politicians, Cater, Bolt, Roskam et al proceed on the basis of ignorance or mala fides? A mixture of same – in some instances? What can be effectively done? (Outside the ballot box.) Apart from howling at the moon.

  23. Kaye Lee

    In their 2015 annual report, the IPA boast of 81 mentions in federal parliament, 762 appearances in the print media, 411 appearances on radio and 184 appearances on TV.

    The IPA’s executive director John Roskam appears almost every Wednesday at 10am on the Jon Faine program, Chris Berg is a regular columnist for the Sunday Age, and the IPA is, not unexpectedly, well represented in the Murdoch Press. Others have appeared on the Drum and Q&A.

    Occasional media appearances might be understandable but their continuing presence, especially on the ABC, suggests they have successfully mainstreamed themselves.

    Bob Day and David Leyonhjelm are both members of the IPA. IPA employees Tim Wilson and James Patterson have both been elected.

    On his elevation to the senate Victorian Senator Paterson emailed a letter to all IPA members in which he said,

    “I want you to know that I’m going to the Senate to fight for exactly the same things I have in my time at the IPA. I know if I ever fail to do so that IPA members will be the first to let me know where I have gone wrong!”

  24. Johno

    Kaye.. This is classic ‘Merchant of Doubt’ by Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway.

    Merchants of Doubt: A non-fiction book about how a handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming. It identifies parallels between the global warming controversy and earlier controversies over tobacco smoking, acid rain, DDT, and the hole in the ozone layer. Oreskes and Conway write that in each case “keeping the controversy alive” by spreading doubt and confusion after a scientific consensus had been reached, was the basic strategy of those opposing action. In particular, they say that Fred Seitz, Fred Singer, and a few other contrarian scientists joined forces with conservative think tanks and private corporations to challenge the scientific consensus on many contemporary issues.

    It was a tough read but worth it.

  25. Matters Not

    suggests they have successfully mainstreamed themselves.

    Indeed they have! Why even George Pell is a convert. Apparently they now even have God on their side.

    The IPA becomes the training ground for future parliamentary candidates. Take Ms Downer as a good example (sort of re the ‘good’). Then there’s the Paterson the boy child. Not only into parliament but the march into universities is also well underway. Witness Sinclair Davidson (IPA member) and his sponsorship of Chris Berg into RMIT as a particular example.

    They are in plague proportions. A culture war on many and varied fronts. Yep they are a coming. And most people don’t appreciate they have a philosophical rationale.

  26. helvityni

    Matters Not, please do not remind me of Nick and Rebecca, seeing them sours my mood…

    To be fair, Guest mentioning Judith Sloan earlier on must have started the lowering of my happiness levels…

  27. Matters Not

    helvityni Nick and Rebecca’s union was made in heaven – made for each other. Who else could we blame? A pair that would ruin any social gathering. And quickly.

    Then again, who said life was about happiness?

    “It is better to be a human being dissatisfied than a pig satisfied’

  28. diannaart

    Agree MN

    Sophie Mirabella replaced John Roskam on FRIDAY’s (Kaye Lee) The Wrap, but frequently missed her fortnightly appointment, later claiming she was “too busy” working to reclaim ‘her’ seat of Indi – we all know how well that went.

    Mirabella was replaced in 2017 by daddy’s l’il darling, Georgina Downer who has proved far more reliable fronting up every alternate Friday and very adept at regurgitating IPA and LNP mantra.

    Another ABC IPA implant, Tom Switzer, who was literally shoehorned into replacing the excellent Jonathan Greene on ABC RN’s Sunday Extra, has been offered a leadership appointment for another RW-think tank; Sydney-based Centre for Independent Studies. I can only hope this means he will be “too busy” to continue ruining Sunday mornings on ABC RN.

    We all remember Tim Wilson and his remarkable feat of leaping from IPA to Human Rights Commission into a safe Liberal seat.

    I like to look in on the following Facebook page, IPA Exposed: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1526709060692613/

    Useful source which follows these odious parasites.

  29. Matters Not

    Yes diannaart – I loved listening to Jonathan Greene and his program on Sundays as I pedal my bike (now slowly). Now it’s still Switzer, I believe, because I no longer tune in. Not part of My ABC. Where’s the dislike button on a radio?

    Re Ms Downer – a living example of how thickness genes are transmitted in families.

  30. Kaye Lee

    Let’s not forget the 2014 budget from hell where then arts minister Brandis found $1 million for a mansion for ballerinas.

    “On the board of the Australian Ballet School is Daniele Kemp, the high-profile wife of former Liberal arts minister Rod Kemp, a predecessor of George Brandis as arts minister. Mr Kemp is now the chairman of the Institute of Public Affairs, a right-wing lobby group.”

    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/budget-help-for-ballet-australian-ballet-schools-new-47m-mansion-20140603-39h29.html

    Charles Kemp, father of the aforementioned Rod and David Kemp (the latter being the member for Tim Wilson’s seat of Goldstein from 1990 to 2004), became economic adviser to the council of the IPA and in 1948 director of the institute.

    In 2013 the IPA celebrated its 70th anniversary. Notable in attendance at the celebrations were:

    Gina Rinehart
    Rupert Murdoch
    Tony Abbott
    George Pell – Australian Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church
    Michael Kroger – President of the Victorian division of the Liberal Party of Australia
    Mitch Fifield – Australian Senator
    George Brandis – Australian Senator
    Andrew Bolt – MC

    oh and Georgie’s wonder boys – Wilson and Patterson.

  31. diannaart

    OK, I try to be very sceptical of conspiracy theories… but…

  32. Kaye Lee

    In October 2010, the Senate’s Environment and Communications Legislation Committee agreed to table a letter from Cardinal Pell which quoted heavily from Ian Plimer’s book Heaven and Earth to claim there were “good reasons for doubting that carbon dioxide causes warmer temperatures”.

    Director of Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology Dr Greg Ayers said “At one stage [Cardinal Pell] lists greenhouse gases. Included in the list is the gas nitrogen. That is not a greenhouse gas; it is 78 per cent of the atmosphere. You cannot have people out there telling the public that nitrogen is a greenhouse gas, because it is not.”

    Science according to Pell….

    “Radical environmentalists are more than up to the task of moralising their own agenda and imposing it on people through fear. They don’t need church leaders to help them with this, although it is a very effective way of further muting Christian witness. Church leaders in particular should be allergic to nonsense….. I am certainly sceptical about extravagant claims of impending man-made climatic catastrophes. Uncertainties on climate change abound … my task as a Christian leader is to engage with reality, to contribute to debate on important issues, to open people’s minds, and to point out when the emperor is wearing few or no clothes.”

    https://theaimn.com/tin-foil-mitre/

  33. Matters Not

    But KL, George has God on his side. Besides he’s an expert when it comes to FEAR. It’s his raison d’être. Look at how it also helps Abbott and Hanson. Why even Malcolm is getting the message.

    As every good Gambler knows /You’ve got to know when to hold ’em/ Know when to fold ’em/ And know when to scare the shit out of ’em.

    Now is the time apparently.

  34. guest

    The problem with talking about Climate Change and carbon emissions is that these deniers are determined to continue with business-as-usual because that is how they make their money.

    The problem with religious people is that they believe that God is in his heaven and all is well with the world. As well, they have a teleological view of the world which sees all heading towards the Second Coming and Armageddon when good defeats evil. Humans are for them under the will of God – and Anthropogenic Global Warming is a nonsense. Humans are less than the power of God, who has blessed us with coal for use and profit.

    What needs to be done is to question these people about what the IPCC is saying. That is, what it is they are opposing. If they cannot do that, then their denial of AGW is false because they do not know what they are opposing. Their denials then become blatant garble, which it is. Think conspiracy theories about the UN and China – just utter rubbish.

    Too often we hear or read absolute nonsense from these deniers which goes unchallenged. They are laughing up their sleeves that they get away with it.

  35. Miriam English

    It is worrying. It looks like the denialists were learning how to work their disease in the early days with cigarettes, acid rain, the ozone layer, and DDT, but they appear to have honed their art now. Scarily, unless future governments scuttle them they will keep getting better and better at infecting the public view.

    We really need an effective way to nail the bastards. GetUp, 350.org, SumOfUs, Greenpeace, and others certainly help to hold the line against them, but the brain-dead politicians seem to keep coming like zombies in one of those shlocky horror flicks. Knock one down and he just gets up again and keeps coming. They want to eat our brains. Scary bastards.

    On the subject of coal, I have a more optimistic view. It will all go broke soon, so Adani will get nowhere. They’ll steal the land from the traditional owners, make a complete mess of many, many acres, take our billion dollars then piss off. Renewables are taking over at a great rate. I expect almost all electricity generation will have renewable sources in a decade or two. That is a remarkably short time. Coal will simply die.

    I hope we can make coal stick to the LNP and Labor politicians and the IPA. If we do a good job of pinning it to them in the public mind then maybe they will lose any skerrick of credibility along with it. They certainly deserve that fate.

  36. Kaye Lee

    And just to make sure the debate is “balanced”, Speaker Tony Smith is an IPA boy.

    “After completing his education, Smith was a research assistant at the Institute of Public Affairs, a conservative think-tank, before becoming first a media adviser and then a senior political adviser to Peter Costello, the then-Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party and Treasurer.”

    Smith was supposed to be Abbott’s running mate in the 2009 leadership challenge but ended up not doing so – Julie enjoys “living the dream” and has cultivated enough admirers to maintain her status.

    They can’t afford to have a woman boss but they also can’t afford to lose a woman minister.

  37. Zathras

    The IPA simply doesn’t care about Climate Change.

    Their sole purpose is to create a completely deregulated environment for free market Capitalism to exist and “prosper” plus the transfer of public assets into private hands. That’s all. Everything they do is a means toward that end, including the Liberal Party which they essentially control.

    They believe “the market” will fix anything and everything – from poverty and homelessness to what they see as “the environment”, which is just another asset to be stripped of its value.

    They are a visionless group of self-interested individuals united by dreams of personal greed and avarice. In spite of all the evidence against it, they believe that some wealth will “trickle down” to the undeserving poor and will accept nothing short of a return to Serfdom for the working class.

    At least we know who they are but they won’t be around when things really get bad. Not that they care but history may not be very kind to them.

  38. Judith W

    Freefall852 I purchased a similar sounding property in east Gippsland 12 years ago. Since then the have been “controlled” fuel reduction burns and a horrendous wildfire which lasted 9 weeks and devastated forests that had not seen fire in recorded history but got a foothold in logging coupes and were promoted by back burning. Enjoy your patch of heaven.

  39. helvityni

    Matters Not, my very learned friend told me once: Happiness is vastly over-rated.

    (At the time his missus was packing her bags and leaving, because she wasn’t happy anymore…)

  40. surfeagle

    I think people are mixed up about clean air, water and local damage to the land to where we live.
    Global warming is a different topic compared to local smog, cities air quality, power plants, and letting detrimental chemicals / poisons in the water ways are things that should be done locally.

    Talking about global warming and were in a whole nother ball park. It’s something else completely out of our hands. How can we stop volcanic actively, Wild Fires, meteors & meteorites, sun’s magnetic cycles, and magnetic pole reversals, as these are the things that cause Climate Change!

  41. townsvilleblog

    Terrorism from Islamic fundamentalists is evil, but then so is the IPA.

  42. townsvilleblog

    Also, both topics are in the same category as both topic affect our quality of life, climate change with hotter temperatures every year and terrorism because people are reluctant to venture into crowded places and tend to stay home more for fear of being stabbed, shot or blown to pieces. Islamic terrorism is very nasty because it brings the whole Muslim population into suspicion even though there may only be a cell of a dozen fundamentalists, the hundreds of thousands of Australian Muslims get the blame.

  43. darrel nay

    plants love CO2 – the more the better

    Cheers

  44. Johno

    surfeagle….

    Global Emissions
    Year Total Fossil Fuel & Cement
    2014 9.795 GtC
    2013 9.735 GtC
    2012 9.575 GtC

    I am not mixed up regarding what is causing climate change. We/humans are.
    Cheers

  45. darrel nay

    Hey Johnno,

    if you are really worried then turn off your mains power.

    Cheers

  46. Kaye Lee

    surfeagle,

    There have been changes to climate in the past but never this rapidly. The earth’s carbon cycle had millenia to adapt to previous changes. The huge increase in greenhouse gas emission in such a short space of time has pushed us past equilibrium and the pace has outstripped the earth’s ability to adapt.

    And please understand, humans emit 100 times more CO2 than volcanoes do. That is a furphy.

  47. Miriam English

    surfeagle, of the things you listed only two cause climate change — wild fires (mostly lit by humans) and to a tiny extent volcanoes (they actually cause a lot of cooling because of all the dust and sulphur ejected). Humans are now the biggest causes of climate change. We have been since the industrial revolution.

    Local smog and power plants do actually affect global climate. That’s pretty amazing considering how small we are and how big the climatic systems are. The thing is the climate is very sensitive to small changes.

    darrel nay, you say such abysmally stupid things. Yes, plants love CO2. So what? Dung beetles love shit. Do you want more of that? Plants don’t like the climatic conditions they’re suited to, to change. Neither do dung beetles. I expect you won’t be very happy when it will be virtually impossible to step outside in large areas of the planet for much of the day during summer when deadly heatwaves will become common… as they are already beginning to. Idiots like you cheering climate change onward and sneering at efforts to contain the damage will be largely responsible. Do you have kids, darrel nay?

  48. Keith

    surfeagle

    Where did you get your information from?

    Nobody argues that there are not natural cycles.
    There have been previous extinctions created by volcanic action; and in one case volcanic action along with a hit by a meteor.
    Currently volcanic action as measured is displaying nothing startling … it is not impacting on climate.
    Likewise, with the sun, if anything, we should be going into an ice age due to minute dimming.

    Without greenhouse gases Earth would be an icy orb. The troposphere at the equator extends about 20 kilometres, while at the Poles about 6 kilometres. The point being that there is not that much space in the atmosphere to take in extra greenhouse gases.The Poles are warming much faster than other parts of Earth.
    CO2 is the usual greenhouse gas discussed, there are a number of others. Scientists began to identify greenhouse gases in the early 1800s (Fourier), Eunice Foote conducted experiments in the 1850s showing the relationship between radiated warmth and CO2s capacity to hold such warmth. Experimentation has become much more sophisticted since showing how CO2 retains warmth.
    CO2 levels have increased from about 280ppm in pre- Industrial times to over 400 ppm currently.

    Of interest, on Baffin Island an ice sheet has been intact for over 2 million years, there has been melting about 4 times in that time frame; including right now. The significance being that it makes a nonsense of the denier argument about temperatures being as high if not higher in the past 10,000 years.

    surf eagle, you have recycled denier comments that have been disproved ages ago.

    You might find this interesting, an increase in ph being measured off West Coast of US. In 2015 and 2016 it had been high temperatures of the Pacific Ocean that had caused problems for the fishing industry.

    http://www.climatecentral.org/news/ocean-acidification-hotspots-west-coast-21517

  49. Keith

    darrel nay

    White gums do not cope well when temperature increases; they start oozing sap and eventually die.
    In the US millions of trees have died through warmth and insect infestation in non forestry areas.
    The impact of CO2 on the growth of trees is being researched, it is a very heroic statement to suggest that extra CO2 is beneficial.

  50. Kyran

    Hmmm.
    “The success of the IPA in influencing the climate change debate will likely kill far more people than any terrorist organisation.”

    The IPA like Adani. That’s a given.

    Hence the governments will like them too. That’s a given.

    One of the IPA benefactors is Gina, who has mines in competition with Adani. Thank goodness she now has cattle stations, in partnership with the Chinese. It’s not like she is a politician. Some of them have to answer for Chinese affiliations. No, not bishop, or the LNP. That dastardly dastyari.
    The original Adani proposal was two open cut mines and five underground mines producing 60mill tonnes of coal. All of which was based on the ‘drug dealers’ defence. ‘If we don’t sell it to them, someone else will’.
    Now, let’s get back to basics. At its optimum output, 60mill tonnes, with (arguably) 10,000 jobs, and with governmental subsidy of $1bill for a railway, it’s a bargain. Notwithstanding the $1.5bill repatriation bill for the site, it’s an absolute bargain.

    Here’s the thing. Without them guaranteeing jobs, or outcomes, they require we guarantee them $2.5bill. That’s before we guarantee them royalty discounts. It worked so well for Palmer’s ‘Queensland Nickel’, didn’t it? He sought a ‘carbon capture’ rebate to resuscitate an unsustainable business model. ‘Queensland Nickel’ still has not repatriated the site they relied upon for income, going back to Alan Bond.

    Imagine, for a second, we have lawyers, accountants, business people and politicians lying to us. It’s hard to believe, I know. They have qualifications, easily brought into disrepute.

    Then you have the IPA. Impervious to disrepute, by virtue of their disrepute. We can only expect the IPA to lie. That is all they have got.
    When we have no greater expectation of their apparatchiks, the lawyers, accountants, business people, politicians, we have a way to go.

    For what it’s worth, it’s a good read.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-06-06/questions-raised-by-adanis-green-light-on-carmichael-coal-mine/8594060

    The IPA, even with their apparatchicks, have got nothing. The very business models they extol, devoid of oversight or scrutiny, let alone accountability, are bankrupt business models. Morally, financially, any way you want to call it.
    Bankrupt.
    Thank you, Ms Lee. Grateful as always, AIMN and commenters. Take care

  51. Freethinker

    I just reading in the news about Tony Abbott and his “constructive” inputs about the low energy emissions
    “Tony Abbott has fired a public warning shot ahead of Friday’s release of the Finkel review, declaring it would be a “big mistake” for the government to adopt a low emissions target which knocked out new high-efficiency coal-fired power stations.”

    He is doing a “good job” in sabotaging the “stability” of the government.
    Who need opposition with Tony and Bernardi very active in the media.

    On the other news it appears that after all the noise Bill Shorten is looking into in now supporting LET

  52. helvityni

    “Some of them have to answer for Chinese affiliations. No, not bishop, or the LNP. That dastardly dastyari.”

    Yes, Kyran, the Liberal mind moves in the most mysterious way; watch those small men with weird names and kiss the big girl with money….

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