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‘In an interview with Fairfax Media in Boston, Dr Lomborg confirmed he had met the Prime Minister and Mr Pyne, Julie Bishop and Andrew Robb, but he dismissed as “internet conspiracies” questions on his attendance at international forums at which he might have crossed paths with the ministers.

“It’s part of my job to raise funds, so I make proposals to whoever I meet,” he said. “But there’s no way I can have conversations with these people and then reveal what was said.

“There’s nothing unbecoming, but it’s a part of my job not to talk about this.” ‘

24th April, 2015, The Sydney Morning Herald

Dr Lomborg, as many of you are now aware, is responsible for setting up a “Consensus Centre” at the University of Western Australia. I think that just about everyone can agree on that. Once we move away from that basic statement, there seems to be less of a consensus.

For example, a few days ago we were told that it was the University’s idea to invite Mr Lomborg, and that the Federal Government was contributing part of the cost to set it up. A mere $4 million, and that the university would stump up another few million, and then people who believe that consensus is important would be putting in the rest. However, there have been reports that it was all Tony Abbott’s idea and that the university wasn’t going to put in any money. Not only that, people donating to make this a reality, only like consensus when everyone agrees with them. So, it looks like there’s already a lack of consensus around The Consensus Centre, and it hasn’t even been created yet!

But it was good to read that part of Dr Lomborg’s job is “not to talk about this”. And by “this”, he means the conversations he has with people about raising funds. After all, people who contribute funds to things wouldn’t want this known because it might lead to criticism if The Consensus Centre finds itself in consensus with the people supplying the funds.

This sits very well with the Abbott government who have have taken the Liberal philosophy of not talking about things to a whole new level. A few years ago, if was just “commercial in confidence” deals where the public wasn’t allowed to know how much of their money was being spent. Of course, both parties reasonably argued that Cabinet should be exempted from Freedom of Information because they had a right to discuss things without the fear that their deliberations would be revealed. (Although the Abbott Government decided that the previous Labor Government shouldn’t be given this protection.)

Now, of course, we have “Operational Matters”. Which means that it’s part of Peter Dutton’s job not to talk about anything happening on water, while another important part of his job is not talking about what’s happening in detention centres because it would be breaching the human rights of the asylum seekers if we given information about how many times their human rights had been breached. It’s also part of his job to assure us that the government is doing a wonderful job stopping boats from coming here. Or rather, stopping boats from arriving here, which is only slightly different, but it’s something about which I’m sure that there isn’t a consensus and worth discussing. But not with someone, like Mr Dutton, whose job is mainly not talking about things.

Dutton was a natural choice to be Minister for Stopping the Boats, as he’s shown that he is a master of not talking about things. While Shadow Minister for Health, he asked a grand total of seven questions about Health, but as all of these were to his doctor, and none were in Parliament this didn’t disqualify him from becoming a Cabinet Minister.

So the Liberals have found $4 million to establish a Consensus Centre. Will Dr Lomborg’s “not talking about things” extend to the following:

  1. Who funded him after the plug was pulled by that left wing government who decided that Lomborg suggesting that while climate change was real there were better things to spend money on (like getting fossil fuels to third world countries) had some worthwhile parts to it. The most worthwhile being that the government itself could find better things to spend their money on than Lomborg.
  2. Does he refuse to accept the concept of “peer review” because he doesn’t wan’t to run the risk that someone will spoil his consensus by pointing out that he’s not actually using scientific methodology?
  3. What the $4million is being spent on.
  4. How his “Consensus Centre” came up with their conclusions and what was the ratio of scientists to economists in his centre.
  5. Whether he believes that the idea that economists are better qualified than scientists to judge what we should do about climate change.
  6. Whether he thinks that economists are better qualified than doctors to judge whether smoking is a good idea
  7. Whether economists are the best qualified to predict the future and warn us what we should have done to prevent things like the Global Financial Crisis.
  8. Whether the reason Christopher Pyne talks funny is so that blind people can laugh at him too.

Of course, when it comes to Christopher Pyne, he too qualifies for a position as one of the Liberal Party’s elite because, he not only doesn’t talk about things, but he often doesn’t remember them, as in the case of his dealings with James Ashby or whether he did or didn’t say that the states would get the Gonski funding in full. Not only does Mr Pyne not discuss things but as many you will remember from that wonderful interview, he won’t tell us what his plan is because, he wants to “surprise us”.

But that Malcolm Turnbull. He’s not a true Liberal because insists on talking about things. Most often to journalists, which is fine because many Liberal politicians do that on the condition that they’re reported as “someone important in the Liberal Party”, which gives them confirmation that they’re “someone important in the Liberal Party”. But Malcolm isn’t content with that. He insists on talking about things in public. And doesn’t acknowledge that the only reason for Cabinet Ministers to make statements in public is to talk about the Labor Party.

Take Joe Hockey and the Budget Deficit. Please! (Ok, it’s a silly joke, but so is the Abbott Government.) We were told that they’d get back in surplus. Now that it’s not happening, the Liberal response is to say that it’s harder than they thought because although they said that Labor had plunged the country into enormous debt, they weren’t aware that Labor weren’t telling the truth when they said things weren’t as bad as all that, and they were expecting to inherit an economy where iron ore was at historically high levels, so the financial position was so bad that now all they can promise is to reduce the size of the deficit. Or, as Joe Hockey clarified in a tweet, to reduce the size of the deficit relative to GDP. After the next Budget, the plan is to not talk about it, so Mr Hockey’s interviews will go something like this:

“Mr Hockey, you promised to bring the Budget back to surplus…”

Now, hang on, it was Labor and Wayne Swan who did that. We only ever promised to be responsible economic managers.”

“But didn’t you say that you’d reduce the size of the deficit?”

“And we have, The deficit is much smaller than if Labor were still in power, because they don’t know how to manage an economy, but I’d rather not talk about the past.”

“So what do you see as the government’s priorities for the next twelve months?”

“Look, it’s not my job to talk about that. I’m here to convince you on the need for change. And to remind you that every time you tax something, you’re taking someone else’s money and when you do that it’s called stealing and stealing is wrong, so we don’t believe in taxation because it’s only by reducing taxes that we’ll get the economy strong again and then we’ll have a Budget surplus at some future date, but not if Labor get back in power.”

“Won’t reduced tax make the Budget position even worse?”

“Look, I’ve already said too much about our Plan, but if you’re just going nitpick over the finer details of how things will work and not look at the bigger picture, then maybe we should just send you to Dr Lomborg’s Consensus Centre, so you can get on board and not be so negative.”

But I think the man really going places in the Liberal Party is the Minister for Not Talking About the TPP, Andrew Robb. He told that he believed a deal was likely to be struck by mid-March, but when it came to the detail, he reached a whole new level of Liberalspeak when he said that while he was opposed to an increase in medical patents, he couldn’t rule it out, adding: “As soon as I rule one thing in or out then we get into – there’s thousands of decisions to be taken.”

Still Tony Abbott’s long silence in that infamous Channel 7 interview after being asked about his “shit happens” response to the death of a soldier is what qualifies him as the Leader of The Government whose philosophy can be best summed up in three points:

  • We’re the adults
  • Adults know best
  • Adults don’t need to explain things because children wouldn’t understand.


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  1. tet02

    I wrote a bit of a nasty email to Paul Johnson, the Vice Chancellor of the UWA, upon hearing about Dr Lomborgs’ appointment to his ‘adjunct position, (little wonder in all the photos of him he’s grinning fit to burst, the ‘Smiling Assassin’ has just been gifted 4 million or our dollars).
    Didn’t expect a reply but lo and behold, today in my inbox…., (not sure if what follows is a generic reply sent out to the hopefully thousands of emails he received or not). I have yet to reply but am open to suggestions.

    Thank you for your email commenting on the establishment of the Australian Consensus Centre in the UWA Business School and the appointment of Dr Lomborg to an adjunct position with UWA.

    The Centre’s purpose is to apply the principles of cost-benefit analysis to a range of global development issues as well as to specifically Australian issues. As I am sure you know, cost-benefit analysis is a powerful methodology which attempts to identify the full-life return on investment of different policy options so that they can be evaluated against each other in economic terms, even though the policy options may pertain to very different areas of social and economic activity. This form of analysis is transparent, and so encourages frank discussion – something to which this University is deeply committed.

    With respect to Dr Lomborg’s views on the carbon economy he is on the record as saying that climate change is real – it is man-made and an important problem. He challenges how best to tackle and prioritise the problem, given limited resources and competing humanitarian causes. In his work with a large number of researchers and policy experts who have been undertaking cost-benefit analysis on the next phase of the UN Development Goals (Lomborg, The Smartest Targets for the World 2016-2030), the two top energy related recommendations are that the fossil fuel energy subsidies should be phased out, and that energy related R&D should be doubled.

    Thank you for your interest in the work of this university.

    Paul Johnson

    Paul Johnson l Vice-Chancellor
    Vice-Chancellery I M464 l The University of Western Australia l 35 Stirling Highway l Crawley WA 6009

    Achieve International Excellence

  2. diannaart

    Lest we Forget

    Tony explains all

    (acknowledgement to late lamented Malcolm Fraser who opens this video)

  3. Kaye Lee


    perhaps you could question him about the points raised in this excellent article from the Guardian…

    There is no broadly ethical case that can be made for present generations to be so selfish to say that we will not invest in mitigating climate change because the benefits of our investment today will accrue to future generations and not to us.

    How do you price, for example, the loss of a Pacific island nation and what that would mean for the cultures that have thrived there? What’s the price losing multiple species of flora and fauna or the Great Barrier Reef?

    Climate change is exceptional because it has all of these dimensions that go beyond the practical capability of cost benefit analysis.

  4. stephentardrew

    The guy is a straight out charlatan.

    Political science yeah right. The term itself is an oxymoron. Politics is so loaded with subjective opinion and prejudice it does not warrant the term empirical science.

    Political sociology can use scientific methodology however the results are wide open to opinion. This does not mean politics is not a legitimate academic pursuit what it does mean is that it cannot lay claim to the exact methodologies and standards demanded of an empirically proof based science.

    Political opinion should change with evidence however it can be clearly demonstrated empirical facts can be manipulated to meet subjective opinion and prejudices in the political domain.

    This type of false equivalence comes from of physics envy in which political academics wish to gain the same level of proof as the hard sciences when that is not possible.

    So called political science is a part of sociology and psychology with all of the presenting difficulties and variabilities.

  5. stephentardrew

    Kaye I don’ see anyone asking Tony why our super hero never volunteered to fight for his country.

    Just another lame hypocrite.

    That would certainly look good on his concocted facebook grovel.

    A blog with all positives is a dead giveaway demonstrating his propensity for manufactured consent otherwise known as lying.

  6. Terry2

    I had never heard of Bjorn Lomborg until a few days ago but now I see he is all over the place ; he even got $4 million federal funding to open up a Consensus Centre at UWA. Evidently PM Abbott is mightily impressed with Mr Lomborg’s views on climate change and fossil fuel economies, then I read what Lomborg had said in the New York Times :

    ” What those living in energy poverty need are reliable, low-cost fossil fuels, at least until we can make a global transition to a greener energy future. This is not just about powering stoves and refrigerators to improve billions of lives but about powering agriculture and industry that will improve lives.”

    Fits nicely into the ‘coal is good for humanity’ doctrine.

    So we have an interesting dichotomy from those who favour coal fired power stations and expensive grid transmission systems – which rarely get to those “living in energy poverty” – versus those who say that we can get solar power cheaply and effectively into remote communities without the need for extensive power lines transmitting over many hundreds of kilometres.

    My own observation is that the world seems to already have moved on beyond the Abbott/Lomborg thinking.

  7. Kyran

    There is an old adage. “Better to keep your mouth shut and have people think you are a fool, than say something, and remove all doubt.”
    These clown’s provide a most compelling argument for compulsory removal of the larynx when elected to this alleged government. Thank you Rossleigh. I can accept solace in the fact that we won’t need the added expense of lobotomies. Oh, wait a minute. In their case, such a procedure would be exploratory. We can call it ‘Research and Development’! Maybe only ‘Research’ as the prospect’s of ‘Development’ are unlikely. Feck it, we better call it mining. Drilling down with no prospect of finding anything of substance. Take care

  8. crypt0

    Stephen … If someone asked abbott that question, he would only lie about it anyway …
    So I’ll ask the question, and answer it as truthfully as I can …
    Being an industrial strength military groupie, abbott obviously finds Gallipoli irresistible. … So …
    Q. Why didn’t abbott and his mates sign up, anyway?
    A They were too busy … planning a bloody political career of course.
    I believe in the US they are referred to as “chicken hawks”

  9. eli nes

    what we think is pretty well irrelevant.
    what little billy arms his slow supporters with to counter the slogans selects the winner

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