In his book, The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the Front Lines, Michael Mann describes the six stages of climate change denial:
- CO2 is not actually increasing.
- Even if it is, the increase has no impact on the climate since there is no convincing evidence of warming.
- Even if there is warming, it is due to natural causes.
- Even if the warming cannot be explained by natural causes, the human impact is small, and the impact of continued greenhouse gas emissions will be minor.
- Even if the current and future projected human effects on Earth’s climate are not negligible, the changes are generally going to be good for us.
- Whether or not the changes are going to be good for us, humans are very adept at adapting to changes; besides, it’s too late to do anything about it, and/or a technological fix is bound to come along when we really need it.
Government rhetoric seems to have progressed to number 6 on the denial ladder, though most members of the Nationals, along with Craig Kelly, are still lagging a good way behind.
Even Andrew Bolt has decided it’s time to move up a rung or two, penning an article last week that began, “We sceptics can’t go on like this. These bushfires demand we all stop pretending and face the facts.”
Oh, so he’s finally realised that his “pretending” has consequences?
Andrew graciously goes on to admit that the planet has warmed, that this warming could affect a lot of people, that man’s emissions probably played some role, and that the Liberals’ response has been hopeless and MUST change.
He then pretentiously informs us that he advised the Prime Minister before the last election that he “desperately needs a new line.”
And that’s where Andrew slides back down the ladder. He’s not looking for more action, just a new line about why we can’t take any and how beneficial warming will be to lots of people.
In 2002, Frank Luntz advised the Republican Party that the there was only a small window of opportunity to challenge the closing window of scientific evidence and urged politicians to double down on their efforts to deny the consensus behind global warming.
With that argument now debunked to all but the most ignorant, they have moved on to the last ditch effort – cast “reasonable doubt” to convince members of the public that it is too expensive to take action.
Andrew Bolt wants a cost/benefit analysis. I’m sure he thinks that sounds clever. And unsurprisingly, Andrew seems to come down on the side of the benefits of doing nothing about global warming.
He asks how many coal power stations must go?
Well the answer is all of them – they have a finite life span – but no-one, not even the Greens, are suggesting they close overnight. No private investor is interested in opening new plants unless they get a lot of government assistance and, even then, no-one has a proposal on the books.
Andrew also wants to know how many people will lose their jobs and how high electricity prices will go, before quoting a flawed paper by Brian Fisher telling us that workers would, on average, be earning $9,000 less a year than we should have been by 2030 if Labor had its way.
Then Bolt asks by how much would the world’s temperature then be cut before telling us the answer is zero.
And if we do limit temperature rise, would we get fewer bushfires and fewer droughts or would we have more cyclones and smaller crops?
Andrew finishes with a certainty that he used to devote to the old argument about there being no consensus.
“See? Suddenly it’s not so clear as warming extremists pretend. That’s why they hate talking like practical adults, not religious zealots.
So for Morrison’s Liberals, it’s confession time: say that global warming is not just about costs but benefits too. Or must hysterics dominate?”
I would kind of prefer the experts to advise us than the “practical adults” on Sky After Dark.
Bolt is just an ordinary person making his name through expressing ignorant opinions loudly. Matt Canavan and Craig Kelly are about the only people who take him seriously. Someone really needs to ram home to these idiots a dollar figure of how much their inaction will cost. If they won’t believe the scientists, perhaps the insurance actuaries should have a word about cost and risk management.
If this country is to survive, we need urgent action and persuasive global leadership on emissions reduction, and we need a government who cares enough to lead us through the transition to a zero carbon economy and the new industries and jobs it will provide.
What we don’t need is pompous pretentious asses “pretending” they know what they are talking about.
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