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Taking Politics Out Of Climate Change Research – Twiggy Forrest To The Rescue

The politics of envy has been raising its ugly head again. Some of the poorer sporting clubs who didn’t get grants are complaining about various well-off clubs being given large sums to complete various works. I’m sick of these poor types complaining just because they haven’t got enough money to buy their own politicians.

And, as for Bridget McKenzie and the shooting club, the media are portraying her giving a grant to a club where she was a member, but from what was reported yesterday, that’s inaccurate. She arranged for the grant and then they gifted her a membership. What’s wrong with that? If a person makes a donation and then the politician receiving the donation shows their gratitude by doing a quid pro quo, then that’s corrupt. However, if the politicians were to do something nice upfront – like say, rezoning land or vastly overpaying for a good or service – and then the person shows their gratitude by arranging a trip to Disneyland, then that’s just politics as usual.

Anyway, I’m sure you’re all sick of this storm in a teacup when we’ve got more important things to be concerned about.

I’m, of course, talking about the recent bushfires. Just to recap the main talking points:

  1. The bushfires, while bad, are nothing new because we’ve always had them.
  2. These bushfires are not unprecedented. We’ve had worse.
  3. They should not be politicised by talking about climate change.
  4. They are the result of “greenie” influence and a lack of fuel reduction burns.
  5. They are unprecedented because, in the past, we used to do fuel reduction burning.
  6. They are not the result of climate change because a hotter climate doesn’t cause fires.
  7. Don’t talk about climate change and try to politicise the issue.
  8. Have we mentioned arson?
  9. It’s all the states’ fault for not doing fuel reduction burning because that used to enable the fires to be put out before they’d got out of control.
  10. We’ve always had droughts and fires and floods, so this is nothing new.
  11. Of course, we believe in climate change, but, of course, some people will want more evidence before we do anything like… well, before we do anything.
  12. Who is Matt Kean and why should we listen to someone who’s NSW Environment Minister?

So in spite of the clear signals that Scott Morrison is considering that he’s prepared to change Coalition policy on climate change as long as it doesn’t involve anything which will affect jobs… In particular, his job. And so long as somebody can guarantee that this action won’t affect the Surplus, coal exports and ensure that his daughters get to ride on a unicorn, then he’s prepared to take it to the party room.

Fortunately, mining magnate Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest has decided that we need to “take it out of this football field of politics and have peer-reviewed science … and lay it out on the table”. And he intends to do this by raising $500 million so that it can be done properly by scientists working for his foundation.

All of which is rather strange, given that he also told us that fuel loads were the main thing responsible for the fires at the same time as telling us that it needs to be studied.

Now let’s just all take a deep breath here and look at this objectively. Someone who makes their money from mining and has already told us that he knows the main cause of bushfires is setting up a fund to look at “the science” because even though a large majority of scientists acknowledge a link between fossil fuels and climate change, according to Twiggy, “the science is incomplete”, and it’s only by setting up his own foundation that we can get the answers. Only then shall we got proper “peer-reviewed” stuff. You know, letting Lord Monckton check it, because he’s peer..,

Yep, seems legit. Just like when “HelloWorld” forgot to charge Mathias Cormann and he didn’t notice that he hadn’t paid.

The whole hazard reduction argument is a bit of a sideshow. No, I’m not saying that it mightn’t help someone defend their property if they’ve cleared as much potential fuel as possible. However, I am saying that when you’re looking at fires started by lightning in places that are inaccessible nothing short of cutting down every forest in Australia will make us safe from some fires.

But I guess that might be the plan. Log all the trees and anyone who objects is just one of those difficult greenies whose responsible for the whole thing anyway.

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  1. Andy56

    Yep, its clear that the people on the front line have been saying for ages ” its coming”.
    Yep, its clear that Morrison wont do anything except jump onto something thats already been discredited.
    Yep, its clear that the science is not all “in”, a durrr !!
    Yep, its clear most australians now have a better understanding. It was reported today that more than 50% of the population have been directly affected.
    Yep its clear the gov spent $158m on a show on manus, yet pissy amounts , so far, for people in urgent need. Notice all the hoo haa about charities not giving the money out quickly enough. WTF has the government been doing? Has that all been outsourced?
    yep, its clear we will spend over $1B to house a few hundred refugees, probably a few more over the years past, but only $2B over 2 years and in pidling amounts for fire assistance
    yep, its clear, very clear where the priorities are.
    Yep, its very clear, the ALP is in hiding. Where are the shock adds , they should be drilling into the heart of the libs. The only way forward is to send these dark angels back to hell. Abbott had no hesitation. Your not going to kill the devil by kissing him.

  2. Baby Jewels

    Twiggy’s working hard for Australia, trying to save our surplus. News today that he’s put up notices (via his Mindaroo Foundation) in Cambodia’s PP airport, begging for donations for bushfires. A hard task considering the average wage in Cambodia is about $30 a week and we’ve cut our aid to Cambodia to the bone.

  3. Kaye Lee

    “Hazard reduction is as important as emissions reduction and many would argue, I think, even more so because it has even more direct practical impact on the safety of a person going into a bushfire season,” Morrison said in an interview with Peta Credlin on Sky News.

    “There’s been plenty of chat about emissions reduction, and that’s fine. Hazard reduction, though, is the thing that is going to take a more practical effect on how safe people are in future fire seasons.”

    Climate and fire experts have slammed prime minister Scott Morrison’s claims that hazard reduction burns carry equal importance to that of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, saying it shows Morrison still does not understand the link between bushfires and climate change.

    Experts slam Morrison’s false equivalence between emissions targets and hazard reduction

  4. Vikingduk

    I’ve always maintained you can never have too much concrete and given forests are inherently dangerous places, including the ones with trees, what with drop bears, savage wombats, marauding possums, slithery snakes and humongous spiders and, of course fires, clear felling is the answer. Concrete the lot. All those forests, including the ones with trees, would, I am sure, give us all a much cleaner experience.

    Will be starting an online petition and a go fund me page to implement my grand plan of a 4 lane highway through Noosa National Park out to A Bay ultimately connecting to Sunshine Beach.

    And we all know this global warming is just some perverted religious experience, not even acceptable under the religious discrimination bill, I will be petitioning the sanctimonious smirker to outlaw any mention of this heretical message. Trust me, I have my fellow braindead to protect.

  5. Kaye Lee

    They took all the trees
    Put ’em in a tree museum *
    And they charged the people
    A dollar and a half just to see ’em

    Don’t it always seem to go
    That you don’t know what you’ve got
    Till it’s gone
    They paved paradise
    And put up a parking lot

  6. Kerri

    Andrew Forrest never donates. He always has strict caveats that allow him to control whatever he is proposing and he treats those of lesser wealth as minions who don’t understand and need to be parented.
    Read this.
    Andy56 and don’t forget the war memorial or the funds spent on re-enacting the cruise that Captain Coke never made?

  7. Jack sprat

    We should be rubbing salt into the rind of the blatant pork barreling by Bridget Mckenzie ,so that she starts crackling under the pressure .

  8. Andy56

    Kerri, there is so much more i could put in but it loses impact if i go over 5 pages.
    As for asking for donations in cambodia, it smells like a scam. God knows these asian countries dont need a western scammer.
    Look i dont really have too many bad things to say about Twiggy’s ramblings but you have to question his motives and what exactly he means. Is he just a rich boy playing for respect? The fact that he has designed
    His scheme and money allocations suggest he has made up his mind, lets burn everything standing.
    Surely , the biggest bank /buck is in humiliating the LNP into action.

  9. Ken Fabian

    Rossleigh, you nailed it. You only have to list the talking points from our conservative right to see how devoid of facts, logic and reason they are but still worth the insight you add. No.7 “Don’t talk about climate change and try to politicise the issue”, with added greenie blaming.

    Environmentalists; the universal LibNatLab scapegoat. … “anyone who objects is just one of those difficult greenies whose responsible for the whole thing anyway.”

    Take a nation that is susceptible to severe droughts and bushfires. Add 3 to 5 degrees C. And that isn’t properly alarming? I really struggle with the extraordinary reasoning that can interpret that vulnerability as reason to be unconcerned!

    As First Dog on The Moon says “I find the poetry of Dorothea Mackellar to be of great comfort in these difficult times.”

  10. Lambchop Simcard

    Rather than realise they are part of the problem people like Twiggy Forrest hide behind his hubris and ignorance. He wouldn’t know anything. Watch this space when Alan Jones and Andrew Bolt comes back on deck next week. It will all about the same mantra. All of these sociopaths and psychopaths just can’t help themselves. The fair minded but slack Australians have to get out of their slumber and realise we are fighting against these powerful peoples mental illnesses. And they don’t care who or what they they take down with them. As long as they win. Winning is everything to them.

  11. Lambchop Simnel

    Simcard, this becomes a copyright issue. Tread very carefully.

    I will litigate or perish. Perhaps both.

  12. Lambchop Simcard

    Bring it on pal. And Make My Day!

  13. wam

    Corruption can be so confusing,
    In joh’s day a paper bag arrived and the pollie did a favour. Bridget gave the gun club a paper bag abd they gave her the favour of membership. Smirko did better he got a shirt??. Wonder what hunt got? Come to think of it what did lambe get?

    My research skills are not up to referencing: But memory tells me.
    It is easy to mistrust a retired policeman who has amassed a $30m fortune.
    It is easier to distrust a miner who was a millionaire when he first appeared as a ‘philanthropist’ towards Aborigines and quickly became a billionaire??

  14. Ken Fabian

    Rossleigh – “- mining magnate Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest has decided that we need to “take it out of this football field of politics and have peer-reviewed science … and lay it out on the table”. And he intends to do this by raising $500 million so that it can be done properly by scientists working for his foundation.”

    Is this his way of saying the science that the CSIRO does, and the BoM, and The Royal Society, and US National Academy of Sciences and NASA and NOOA and Hadley CRU and…. etc (list every top science institution in the world and the IPCC as well) cannot be trusted? Haven’t we been around the “but that doesn’t sound right, lets find some other scientists who can give us results we like better” roundabout so many times ordinary conservative leaning people don’t know what to think? And isn’t confusing the public to the point of paralysis almost certainly the intention?

    We should never lose sight of the peculiar inversion of “action” versus “inaction” in the rhetoric of climate change – doing “nothing” (which is so neatly presented as “just making sure before taking precipitous economy wrecking action”) is actually continuing to do irreversible global climate changing actions (which be precipitously economy wrecking at a scale beyond anything in human experience) without constraint.

  15. Kaye Lee

    Who needs experts? Forrest stated that while carbon was “partially responsible for the slowly warming planet which has an impact on fires,” it was actually arsonists who had a “horrible impact,” and that “the fuel load has probably had the greatest impact.”

  16. Rossleigh

    Ken, I remember being on a job interview panel where the person leading the panel just kept saying what a difficult decision it was and how hard it was to make a decision even though both the other person and I were clearly saying that we thought that one of the non-incumbent candidates had given a better interview. It was very obvious that we were never going to reach a “final” conclusion until we decided on the correct candidate.
    Forrest could take out the politics by simply aggregating the research like the Climate Commission was established to do. It’s just like the Royal Commission into the bushfires which will probably find that what we need to do is implement the recommendations from the previous inquiries.

  17. Kaye Lee

    The Auditor-General made four recommendations after the sports rort affair. Three were directed at Sports Australia who agreed to implement them.

    One was directed at the government:

    Entities not subject to the CGRGs can benefit from basing their grants administration framework and practices on those Rules and Guidelines.
    An important element in designing a robust governance framework for a grant program is clearly identifying who will be deciding which applicants will receive a grant and ensuring that this person has the necessary legal authority to make those decisions.
    Decision-making in competitive grants programs is best supported by entity advice that prioritises applications on the basis of their assessed merit against each of the published criteria. The highest ranked applications should be those recommended for funding approval.
    Potential applicants and other stakeholders have a right to expect that program funding decisions will be made in a manner and on a basis consistent with the published program guidelines.
    It is poor practice for entities to be instructed what their advice should recommend, or for entities to recommend what they understand to be a preferred approach rather than providing their own recommendations that are developed through an evidence-based approach.
    The reasons for decisions to award or not award grant funding should be recorded in a manner that promotes transparency and accountability. Where the guidelines allow consideration of factors in addition to the published criteria to be taken into account, those factors should be identified in the decision-making records and their impact on the success or otherwise of individual candidate projects recorded.”

    The government response was:

    “The Department of Finance notes Recommendation No. 4, which is a legislative and policy matter for consideration by Government.”

    Which sounds a lot like ‘you can’t tell us what to do!’

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