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Pity the Climate Change Denialist

By Ben Clark

I pity Maurice Newman. For one thing, his conspiratorial rants are beginning to have the distinct hysterical tone of delusion, sounding much like an evangelical doomsayer yelling about mankind’s coming reckoning whilst pedestrians avert their eyes to the pavement. Moreover, his entire understanding of the economy, politics and life itself is unravelling before his eyes. Nature is disproving laissez-faire economics.

Newman is Tony Abbott’s chief business adviser who, on Friday, wrote a column in The Australian suggesting that climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the United Nations in order to attain world domination. Yes, you read correctly. A man with near unrivalled access to our nation’s Prime Minister wrote in what is meant to be a respectable broadsheet newspaper views so bewilderingly incoherent, inarticulate and just plain wrong that they make Andrew Bolt look like the thinking man’s columnist.

“This is not about facts or logic,” said Newman, before imploding from irony. “It’s about a new world order under the control of the UN.”

This is not the first ridiculous statement Newman has made about climate change, with another piece in The Australian last year claiming that, whilst we have all been focusing too heavily on the non-issue of global warming, we are inadequately preparing ourselves for the coming “global cooling” catastrophe.

This begs the questions as to why someone who seems otherwise competent could believe things so farcical.

How could a man rise to the positions of chairman of the Australian Stock Exchange, chairperson of the ABC and chancellor of Macquarie University if he so wildly misapprehends scientific consensus?

Newman also fears globalization. In what has been described as the “liberal paradox”, conservatives are willing to embrace globalization in the economic sphere but are worried about its bi-products such as multiculturalism and increasing political interconnectedness. Hence the attacks on the UN.

The UN calls on all nations to stand together to fight climate change and seeks to develop agreements which facilitate this, which undermines traditional concepts of sovereignty in geopolitics.

Furthermore, Newman is seeing the ideology to which his is so heavily wedded, that of free-market neoliberalism, being shattered by the forces of nature.

Neoliberal consensus holds that the market is capable of providing nearly everything (excluding the legal system and military) in the most efficient way, and that state intervention in the market will never do anything that private businesses couldn’t do better themselves.

Yet global warming, potentially the most significant problem human society has encountered in its history, clearly cannot be fixed by the market alone. Private businesses have caused the problem and they are showing few signs of wanting to fix it.

Left to the free market, the world would surely continue to warm and our earth would slowly erode. It is becoming glaringly obvious that measures like carbon pricing, environmental regulation, direct action policies and other state interventions in the market are necessary to combat the threat of global warming.

So what next for the free market? Is it inevitable that liberalism drowns as the sea level rises?

Not by a long shot.

In fact, Adam Smith’s invisible hand may be more relevant today than ever, as few are questioning whether markets themselves should continue to exist but whether they should be oriented towards a greener future. And most of this orientation must use market-based principles, such as the creation of a “carbon market” with an emissions trading scheme.

The state cannot hope to fund enough projects itself to drop emissions, it must engage with the market and affect the forces of private equity to achieve change.

What must cease to exist, or at least cease to exert influence in the Prime Minister’s office, is free-market fundamentalism, the purist view that all state intervention in the economy is bad and all private activity is good.

This view is simply incompatible with the problems faced by human civilization which require collective action organised through the organs of the state.

I imagine Newman reading the news, experiencing a horrible sinking feeling as he reads of how 97% of the world’s scientists resolutely agree that the earth is warming, that states will need to take strong affirmative action to counter the threat, that global cooling isn’t even a thing.

Newman is part of a dying breed of uncompromising political animals, intent on winding back the state regardless of the consequences to the earth around him, or else he is truly delusional. I actually do feel sorry for the man. I can’t imagine what it feels like to be so incredibly wrong.

 

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33 comments

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  1. diannaart

    Poor, poor Newman. His path of persistence has reached the point of no return. Newman is not alone – there is the entire IPA, Heartland Institute and many more will find they are so blatantly wrong as to never be trusted again.

    I am hoping this revelation of wrongness will occur, like, next week, before the proof becomes uncontainable, please.

  2. Jexpat

    Newman is part of a dying breed of uncompromising political animals, intent on winding back the state regardless of the consequences to the earth around him, or else he is truly delusional.

    No reason why he cannot be both.

    As well as unrepentently dishonest.

  3. DanDark

    Newman has a past and its not pretty, one word describes Newman and that’s Pedophile with a capital P…..

  4. kerri

    Note the current neo-con obsession with denigrating the UN! What is so wrong with a united international body that can expose and penalise countries who are out of step with world interests? Nothing! Unless you are the country most out of step?

  5. Rosemary (@RosemaryJ36)

    Our PM should not choose his own advisors. His judgment is too flawed.

  6. silkworm

    Jexpat, I have a brother who is a climate change denier and a psychopath. He is both delusional and dishonest. The two seem to go together with those holding to an ideology.

  7. diannaart

    Hit nail on head, kerri.

    Australia’s stance on human rights (treatment of refugees, first nation people) and lack of action on climate change, places our nation completely out of step with reason and equity and more in a goose-step with those for whom power is all.

  8. silkworm

    The Tesla Powerwall will take care of the climate change deniers!

  9. Pingback: Pity the Climate Change Denialist. #Auspol #Denial101x | jpratt27

  10. Lyle Upson.

    thanks for the good read

  11. Terry2

    Maurice Newman seems to follow the philosophy espoused by Mark Twain :

    “To succeed in life you need two things : ignorance and confidence”

    or perhaps he would be better advised to consider :

    “It is better to keep your mouth shut and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt”

  12. mars08

    Remember… this idiot is on the government payroll! How has such a shameless clown come to occupy such an important position?

  13. Steve Coyne

    The wilful, infantile stubbornness and crazy neediness that drives furiously stupid people to resentfully compound their wrongness is a sure indication that they know they’re idiotic and hate all other life forms for bearing witness to it.

  14. Phil Buckley

    Another crazy Pom who prefers to talk about the weather, rather than the climate.

  15. Denisio Fabuloso

    Most of you are too kind. Classic Dunning Kruger arsehole. I loathe him and his kind with all my being. I wish him and his fellow greedy evil sociopaths malignancy profound. May it be painful and long. But not too long… for all our sakes.

  16. Keith

    By unravelling Newman’s comment; apparently, the United Nations has encouraged thousands of people of different nationalities to study climate science so that the United Nations can then use the research created to use as a lever to create a Universal government.

  17. philgorman2014

    There’s absolutely nothing to worry about children, the adults are in charge. We know because they told us, so just settle down and go back to sleep.

    The adults in charge just happen to be psychopathic ideologues who hand over policy making to the IPA and its corporate backers. Newman is just symptomatic of governance by the unhinged. By encouraging a corporate plutocracy they are sowing the seeds of social division, civil unrest, extremism, violence and revolution.

    Way too many Australian voters have been gulled and lulled into voting for these fascist clowns, just like the rest of the Anglosphere. The electorate has been conditioned to vote against its own interests but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time. Disillusionment with the whole system is already rife and social cohesion is giving way to blaming the “other”, usually lower down the social scale. In a cosmopolitan society this is disastrous.

    If it’s true we get the politicians we deserve then our ignorance and stupidity ratings are in the red zone. We are voting our way into a new feudalism debt, strife and despair. Those with jobs face falling wages and worsening conditions. Those without work or on slave wages will swell the ranks of a huge defeated, angry underclass. The threat of civil unrest will lead to an authoritarian police state which keeps everyone under surveillance and crushes dissent. Is this the Australia we want?

  18. mars08

    If an influential government official had made a similar statement about childhood vaccinations …. they’d be laughed out of the country. But the climate change “debate” takes a softly-softly approach. How odd…

  19. Douglas Evans

    Compassion for Maurice Newman??? What a waste. The man should be locked up.

  20. mars08

    Oh… ha!! Did anyone hear Shorten demolish Newman’s stupid statement?

    Hmmm, no? Well, neither did I….

  21. bobrafto

    that climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the United Nations in order to attain world domination.

    Velly interesting indeed!

    I may be wrong here, confused or perplexed, but how does the collective countries of the UN attain world domination?

  22. kmatilda2013

    Now i’m worried about the ASX, the ABC and Macq U.

  23. diannaart

    Nailed it, Mick – in every sense

  24. eli nes

    christians are safe in their god’s creation and the rabbott is safe in his belief that he speaks his god’s truth.
    Whom so ever quotes 97% of scientists is guessing.
    So sayeth the jesuits!
    ps What school did little billy attend?????

  25. eli nes

    there are 4 jesuit schools in australia and the graduates include abbutt. joyce hockey big bullock(remember him? he replaced a woman of a certain type and advised a close colleague abbutt not to join labor but to go liberal) and little billy with a bevy of brother trained in the second strings.

  26. Douglas Evans

    ‘How could a man rise to the positions of chairman of the Australian Stock Exchange, chairperson of the ABC and chancellor of Macquarie University if he so wildly misapprehends scientific consensus?”

    Nothing strange about adherents of wacky right wing ideas rising to positions of power. If anything they go together. For example Alan Greenspan former chairman of US Federal Reserve Bank was a lifelong friend and ‘disciple’ of the proto-fascist lunatic Ayn Rand.

  27. Zathras

    The first person on record suggesting the UN global warming hoax and One World Government conspiracy also believes that the Queen is at the centre of a world-wide drug cartel.

    Another self-proclaimed expert who was once lauded on radio for his ability to predict earthquakes has a business sideline where he claims to see a cat’s future by reading it’s paws,

    There are once-politically-supported whistleblowers who are turning out to be far more corrupt that their targets.

    There are experts and there are “experts” and some are being funded by the taxpayer but the most outrageous seem to get their views into the mainstream media unchallenged.

    As for the miracle of the Free Market, I’m eager to see how it will fix homelessness, youth suicide and poverty.

  28. Win jeavons

    Cut the waste ! sack Newman and all such “experts” on this government payroll. All consultants should prove their competence to the public.

  29. Pingback: PITY THE CLIMATE DENIALIST | The Cynical Times

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