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Quality of sources matters

A quick look at One Nation Senator Malcolm Roberts’ Facebook page is both disturbing and revealing.

One thing is clear – the Senator is very much against renewable energy which he describes as “green guilt” driven by “Socialists masquerading as Environmentalists.”

Today he “called on the Federal Government to halt the ratification of the Paris Agreement.”

Quoting a Facebook poll, the Senator claimed that an overwhelming majority of Australians were supportive of his proposal that Australia leave the United Nations, and said, “This type of terrible Treaty is why people want to leave the UN and are voting against the major parties at elections”.

I will point out that the Senator has blocked me from his facebook page and I am sure I am not the only person he got sick of providing him with “empirical evidence.”  His poll respondents may be more of an echo chamber than representative of the majority of Australians.

After reading way too much of what the Senator has to say, the question became where is this guy getting his info from?

Totally unsurprisingly, Roberts is linking to Jo Nova articles.

Joanne Nova is listed as a “Founding Member” of a group named Climate Exit (Clexit) led by climate change denier Christopher Monckton.

According to Clexit’s founding statement, “If the Paris climate accord is ratified, or enforced locally by compliant governments, it will strangle the leading economies of the world with pointless carbon taxes and costly climate and energy policies, all with no sound basis in evidence or science.  The world must abandon this suicidal Global Warming crusade. Man does not and cannot control the climate.”

A key member of Clexit’s “60 well-informed science, business and economic leaders” is Hugh Morgan, a former board member of the Reserve Bank of Australia and former CEO of Western Mining Corporation with close ties to Australia’s Liberal party.

Jo Nova was also a contributor to the book Climate Change: The Facts published by the Institute of Public Affairs.

The blackout in South Australia sent Roberts into overdrive but, once again, his sources are as predictable as they are unreliable.

Roberts warns “The case against damaging renewable energy builds, hopefully in time to save the remaining States of Australia from the South Australian Greens experiment,” and then links to a story by that intrepid avoider of the truth, Chris Kenny, whose own son will tell you that his father is “a staunchly neo-conservative, anti-progress, anti-worker defender of the status quo… an unrelenting apologist for the Liberal Party” who has “been known to argue for stubborn, sightless inaction on climate change.”

George Christensen is also on the case, linking to that totally ‘independent’ site Stop These Things whose headline is “We’re not here to debate the wind industry, we’re here to DESTROY IT!”

Roberts also directs readers to articles on The Galileo Movement’s page, many of which were posted by him.

In April 2011, Roberts was appointed as the project manager for the climate science denial group The Galileo Movement, which has a central aim to fight any measures to place any price on emissions of carbon dioxide.  Their message to readers is this:

Good people need to do three things:

  • Demand their federal MP vote against any action on Nature’s essential trace gas, CO2.
  • Donate to the non-profit Galileo Movement so real scientists can be heard in the media to pressure politicians. We need this to counter climate propaganda being spread by millions of dollars of taxpayer funded false advertising and billions of taxpayer dollars promoting pseudo-environmental programs and Climate Commission contrivances.
  • Speak up and speak out. Tell your friends about the scientific untruths and the scientific facts, and about The Galileo Movement
  • Print and distribute the flyer

That seemed like 4 to me but hey, numbers aren’t their strong point.

Roberts and Christensen are dupes, whether naïve or complicit I cannot say, but Nova and Monckton must be rejoicing at having parliamentarians promoting their rubbish which has been refuted and rejected by anyone with an ounce of integrity.

Check the quality of your sources Malcolm and George!




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  1. John L

    Check out some his regulars on his FB page……that’ll make your eyes water….

  2. Carol Taylor

    And I still don’t get it. If people want to deny that climate change exists and/or it is the result of human activity against all valid scientific research, then that is their prerogative but why one earth would they want to stifle innovation and jobs creation, why don’t these people want a cleaner world, cleaner air, cleaner oceans. Why do they lump climate change and clean, sustainable technologies into the same basket? And what could be their motivation? Or is it simply power-tripping by a bunch of loonies, intend on proving themselves right and every piece of research wrong?

  3. Matters Not

    Senator Roberts must be given more media exposure. And then even some more. Should be a regular on Q&A, The Drum and the like.

    Yes there’s the real danger there will be more ‘converts’, but I am of the view that when you have people who argue that 2 + 2 = 5 (or its equivalent) then the average punter will see through his nonsense. As the words of the song aver: Silence like a cancer grows.

    Give him a voice. Wherever possible.

  4. Kaye Lee

    Who can ever tell how people will react MN. Exposure doesn’t seem to be hurting George Christensen at the moment and the stuff he links to is every bit as weird as Roberts.

  5. Marcus

    The great irony is that, just minutes before the blackout in SA, all of SA’s wind farms were operating at maximum capacity (according to the regulator, about 350MW worth). However, when over 20 transmission towers collapsed across the north of SA, an attempt was made to shunt all of SA’s power production capacity over to the Victorian Interlink. This caused the overload that led to the grid getting shut down. Not the source of power, but insufficient capacity to transmit the available power.

    All this proves is that we need a 21st century transmission grid, one which incorporates elements of distributed generation & long term excess energy storage.

  6. Matters Not

    Who can ever tell how people will react

    Yep. George won, while Jones to his north didn’t. (BTW Jones was far more worthy than George). Why people behave as they do when it comes to voting behaviour is best validated ‘retrospectively’ rather than ‘predictively’. After all, social science isn’t like mathematics or logic which are about ‘truth’ (given certain assumptions).

    Perhaps, I am too much of an optimist – a believer that ‘in the long run’ – bullsh#t will reap its own rewards.

  7. Kaye Lee

    “Professional speaker” Jo Nova wrote a book called “The Skeptics Handbook.” This is what Desmogblog has to say about it,

    “The Climate Skeptic’s Handbook itself is hilariously illogical. It coaches “skeptics” to avoid talking about the evidence of changing climate (for obvious reasons presumably). According to them, something may be heating things up, it’s just not carbon dioxide. Independent thinkers are instead counseled to follow these four points:

    The greenhouse signature is missing
    Ice Cores do not support carbon as a driver of climate change
    Temperatures are not rising
    Carbon dioxide is doing almost all the warming it can do.

    All of these points are either entirely wrong or grossly misleading.”


    “Nova is an Australian climate denialist and author of “The Skeptic’s Handbook,” a crash course in false science claiming global warming isn’t happening and isn’t human-caused. The book has been translated into 16 languages. Nova and her husband, fellow climate denialist David Evans also run Science Speak, a “scientific modeling and mathematical research company” that challenges evidence the world is warming.”

    Leaked Email Reveals Who’s Who List of Climate Denialists

    Nova and Monckton have built their careers on climate change denial. Roberts has devoted the last 8 years of his life to it. They CAN’T give it up – no amount of evidence will convince them because it would destroy their careers. The irony of them suggesting that climate scientists are just in it for the money is laughable. How much would the fossil fuel industry give to someone who could prove AGW doesn’t exist.

  8. Kaye Lee

    Professor Naomi Oreskes says actions of climate denialists are laying the foundations for the government interventions they fear the most

    Q: So you worked in Australia as a geologist, toured here to promote Merchants of Doubt and had an academic role at the University of Western Australia, so you’ve seen a bit of how things have played out. How do you think Australia has been influenced by organised climate science denial?

    “Clearly. One sees all the same strategies and tactics being used there, plus a few additional ones (trotting out geologists to claim there are hidden underwater volcanoes that are responsible for the extra atmospheric CO2.) The Institute of Public Affairs in Australia has been very active trotting out skeptical and denialist claims with little or no basis in evidence. If you go to their web site, they link back to many of the very same groups whose activities we documented in Merchants of Doubt : the Cato Institute, the American Enterprise Institute, Competitive Enterprise institute, the Heritage Foundation.

    It’s the same old, same old: defend the free market, deny the reality of market failure, block action that could actually address those failures. And of course, that is the point of the new book: by denying the reality of market failure, and blocking corrective action, these folks are actually undermining our economies, and laying the foundations for kinds of government interventions that will make them pine for the good old days of a carbon tax.”

    Q: Is there something you think should have happened, that didn’t, that might have helped to combat that misinformation?

    “Well, it certainly would have helped if political leaders had not repeated that disinformation!”


  9. Zathras

    The last I heard from Monckton was his deep involvement with the Obama “Birther conspiracy”.
    I wonder how he feels about Trump now leaving him out on a limb.

    Now that Roberts is a paid employee of taxpayers it’s time that he substantiates his claims and and for the media to report on them accurately. After all, the media shares much of the responsibility for giving their views a hint of legitimacy.

    Drag these crazies away from their keyboards and out into the light of day.

  10. Kaye Lee

    Monckton has also been buying into the marriage equality debate saying homosexuals sleep with up to 20,000 people in their “short, miserable lives” and that they are to blame for AIDS.

    “Why have homosexuals – most of whose partners last as little as a few hours – been so keen to promote the lifetime promises of so-called ‘gay’ so-called ‘marriage’? The reason, of course, is that they cannot produce children, so they want to adopt them. Is this fair to the children? The answer is no,” he said.

    According to the former Ukipper, “official survey after official survey had shown that homosexuals had an average of 500-1,000 partners in their sexually active lifetime, and that some had as many as 20,000.


    Why the hell is this lunatic interfering in our society? I would suggest that the rest of the world has rejected him and that only here can he find people ignorant enough to believe his bullshit.

  11. olWomBat

    Man-made intervention in the climate occurred with the hole in hte ozone layer, of particular concern to Austalia. The science showed the widespread use of CFC’s caused this hole to increase. Finally the world took action stopping the use of CFC’s and the hole began to reduce. Sadly the rate of reduction is slow. I’m sure that Senator Roberts will have a fully empirical explanation of what occurred – it just won’t have anything to do with scientific fact.

  12. Geoffrey England

    This moron got just 77 votes. Think about it….77 votes. Some people have more friends than that. Say no more.

  13. Kaye Lee

    John Cook, of the University of Queensland, said:

    “Beneath the public attacks on climate science, scientists are also subject to a more insidious campaign of intimidation, otherwise known as the subterranean war on science. This takes the form of complaints to universities to get scientists fired, complaints to journals to get papers retracted and FOI requests to pick through scientists’ emails.

    Malcolm Roberts was prolific in emailing complaints to The University of Queensland about my research and our course on climate science denial. As a researcher studying denialist attacks on science, I used the experience as a teachable moment – recording a video about the nature of attacks on science as well as interviewing the world’s leading scientists who described their own experiences of harassment which were eerily similar to my own experiences.

    It’s crucially important that we shine daylight on this kind of behaviour. The public, universities and academic journals need to understand the techniques denialists employ to impinge on scientists’ academic freedom, in order to reduce their damaging impact on science.”

    Climate scientists Professor Matt England and Professor Andy Pitman, both at the University of New South Wales, have also been targeted by Roberts.

    In one response, Pitman wrote: “If you have already made up your mind that the climate scientists, physicists, oceanographers, most geologists, biologists, hydrologists have just made this all up, then I do not think I can help.”

    Read about Roberts’ harrassment campaign here.


  14. Mark Needham

    “”Check out some his regulars on his FB page……that’ll make your eyes water….””

    Check out some on any page, anywhere, anytime.
    The whole world cries.

    We are not all as clever as “ME”. It is them idiots, morons, knuckle draggers…et al.
    Also High Allmightily,
    Mark Needham
    edit. It’s crucially important that we shine daylight on this kind of behaviour.

  15. Michael Taylor

    He might have only got 77 votes, but he gets 77 times more airtime than politicians who received 777 more votes.

  16. Elvis Lives In My Attic

    77 votes? I thought that was the guy’s IQ.

  17. Zathras


    I doubt that Roberts will challenge the science behind the ozone problem.

    The difference between it and global warming is that the chemical industry that caused the problem in the first place also provided the solution so they suffered no real financial impact.

    Therefore there was no need to create a science-blurring doubt industry to protect financial interests.

  18. totaram

    ” The reason, of course, is that they cannot produce children, so they want to adopt them. ”
    This Monckton fool is apparently unaware that women can also be homosexual, and they can have children by various means too easy to imagine.

  19. jimhaz

    @ MN

    [Perhaps, I am too much of an optimist – a believer that ‘in the long run’ – bullsh#t will reap its own rewards]

    Yep, you are.

    “All advertising is good advertising” – works for so many from the Kardasians or Trump to sound people like Waleed Aly.
    Also the bullshit of religion has not ceased after many centuries.

  20. lawrencewinder

    It would seem the that The One Notion Ning-Nong is intent to have us all join him at the Eighth and Ninth Circles of Hell….

  21. Mark Needham

    Miriam…It takes a very special kind of stupid.
    A twisted conundrum, to suit.
    If an argument goes bad, introduce a reducing agent. Works every time.
    Truly amazed at the distortion in Life,
    Mark Needham

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