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Vote No Because Climate Science Isn’t Settled And Greta Isn’t An Expert…

One of the things that’s always interested me is how people can sometimes use a perfectly reasonable line of argument and then suddenly leap to: “And therefore, you must agree with me on the next fifty points because otherwise you’re just not being reasonable!”

For example, I remember reading a book put out by a religious organisation… I have a tendency to read most things before I totally dismiss them. I know, I know, I should be like the people on social media who read the headline and then immediately start attacking the article because they already know that there’s no other possibility than what they already believe and that there’s certainly no possibility that the headline could be misleading. Anyway, the book made some perfectly reasonable points about the inconsistencies of certain Christian churches when it came to the Bible and how they were just ignoring the bits that they didn’t like. Then suddenly they’d jump from that to: And therefore our church is correct about everything because the others are wrong!”

Conspiracy theories work like that too. I mean if you start from the premises that politicians lie and that you can’t trust the media, you’re starting on pretty solid ground. The trouble with conspiracy theorists is that they overlook the fact that politicians don’t lie about everything and occasionally even mainstream media is accurate. The challenge for the sane people is maintaining a healthy cynicism while not chasing Alice down the rabbit-hole.

Over the past few years, we’ve had conspiracy theories about all aspects of the Covid pandemic. Of course, one of the major problems with dealing with a conspiracy theory is that the lack of evidence is often further proof of how they are stifling all the evidence. it’s possible to derail all possibility of agreement by asking a group of conspiracists to define who they is. (No, it shouldn’t be “who they are” because they in this case is a singular group acting in concert.)

When people talk about taking the blue pill or the red pill and either go on living in a fantasy or waking up to reality, I can’t help but wonder if they get the irony that they’re in fact using a metaphor that comes from a film that was a work of fiction… at least I think it was. Perhaps I’ve taken the wrong pill…

The trouble with so much of the Covid stuff is that it’s possible to find statistics to back up any theory you want to advance. For example, I’m pretty sure that you’d find that more vaccinated people died in a car crash in the past six months. Mainly because over ninety percent of the population has been vaccinated. Similarly, you’d probably find that more vaccinated people contracted an STI or won the lottery. There is not necessarily a correlation but if you want to go around looking, you’ll find something that matches your confirmation bias.

So putting all the confirmation bias aside, I was intrigued to read something accurate from Cory Bernardi. He pointed out that, when it comes to climate change, we shouldn’t be saying that the science is settled because science is the contest of ideas and it’s a matter of challenging them and building knowledge through these challenges. So far so good. The problem with this is that the same people who say that then turn around and say, “So this is why I’m right and we shouldn’t trust the scientists and there’s no such thing as climate change and the climate is always changing and besides CO2 is good for us.” It’s sort of like when climate deniers attack Greta Thunberg because she has no expertise after years of listening to Alan Jones.

Which brings me to Peter Dutton and the Liberal Party who aren’t opposed to the Voice they just have some questions. They want more detail. Ok, there’s several hundred pages of detail but that’s too much detail for busy people like them to read. They just want enough detail that they can find something to ask about and say that there isn’t enough detail on this particularly point so could we focus on this until there’s so much detail that people get sick of it and we move onto something more interesting like “The Bachelor”…

It would be wrong to suggest that the Liberal Party is racist. Ok, they’re being led by Peter Dutton who did walk out on the Apology, but he acknowledged that he shouldn’t have done that because people keep bringing it up and he has to argue that it’s only the African gangs who are calling him racist. And it was the Liberal Party who argued that the Apology wouldn’t solve the practical issues and wouldn’t help to close the gap and that practical solutions like sending in the Army is the way to improve the lives of the ordinary Indigenous man and by helping men you’re also helping women so don’t you dare say that we’re sexist.

Obviously when you see that the Liberals opposed the Apology and now are questioning the Voice to Parliament on the grounds that they would do nothing to actually improve things and that they’re largely hollow gestures, you have to ask why the Coalition haven’t done a lot more about improve things.

To be fair, the Coalition has only been in power for twenty of the past twenty-six years.

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  1. Terence Mills

    The Shovel has drawn our attention to alarming images of Scott Morrison supporters storming Parliament House and demanding his reinstatement following the stolen May election :

  2. Keitha Granville

    If you don’t have absolutely irrefutable photographic evidence, some people will never believe anything.
    Except these same people believe ABSOLUTELY in god.

  3. Clakka

    C’mon Rossleigh,

    Y’know it’s true:

    Over 20 of the last 26 years, whilst busy with pork-barreling and organising jobs for the boys (and a few home girls), little time is left for LNP MPs to listen to a staffer’s scrape-down of the opposition, the news, and proposed bills, let alone read anything or contemplate ethics, the big picture or conscience (if one has one). And what the heck is ‘confirmation bias’?

    And of course the fundamental objective is to get on the piss, and dine with donors, potential donors, corporatised evangelists, and the big end of town. All who so generously help draft policy and legislation. And of course, they know there’s no room for racism there.

    And don’t forget an MP’s private life, and their family duty to get rich quick, to shoe into shareholdings, buy more property and wrangle blind trusts.

    They surely oughtn’t apologise whilst being so busy serving the people, and as for voices, they’re hearing strange voices all the time and have to bury their heads or drug-up to get relief. More voices is the last thing they need.

    How can an LNP MP be all ears, when they’re engaged to be all mouth?

    And to repeat, “What the heck is confirmation bias?”

  4. Phil Pryor

    Who would believe political paid perverts and nohoper average “joes” over proper science, investigation, evidence and logic? Actually, forget all the world’s superstitious boofheads, lovers of old normality, pressing profiteers, business bastards, media maggots, cashin now merchants of deviation and despair, all sorts ot “other” ridiculous unbelievable types. Dutton and loyal followers cannot count, calculate, learn or change.., dogshit dithering drips and drongos. Do NOT believe Fantasy, Fraud, Fiction, Froth, Falsehoods…

  5. Max Gross

    Yes, indeedy, the malignant, corrupt, blood-sucking LNP has been in government for 20 of the past 26 years because why? Because Aussie voters have the attention spans and political comprehension of goldfish going in circles in a bowl.

  6. Harry Lime

    You wonder when the Lying Nasty Party realises that their so called ‘leaders’ are both lemons.Dud Dutton, a one trick pony,with not one ounce of imagination, and the other bloke a shallow provincial dill a country mile out of his depth.The ‘new, cuddly Pete’ turns out to be the same old one dimensional nay saying hyena.

  7. pierre wilkinson

    for shame Rossleigh, have you forgotten those wonderful caring policies, lovingly embraced by all indigenous people who vote for the Nationals, happily endorsed by Jacinta (I am aboriginal y’know, so I can talk for all aboriginals everywhere) Price:
    they gave us the thoughtful “Intervention Policy”, which subsequently developed into an extraordinary level of control of people’s lives including regulation of residence, employment, marriage, social life and other aspects of daily life,
    but wait, there’s more…
    consider the concern and kindness behind the introduction of the “Cashless Welfare Card”, not just a license for Liberal Party donors to make loads of money. but an opportunity to ingratiate themselves into the well being of welfare recipients unable to adequately manage their own lives…
    and they had planned on more solicitous attention to facilitate selling off that bothersome burden of native title to friendly charitable mining companies that would treasure the heritage and provide for the poor and their families for evermore…
    and that was just the beginning, all spoilt by an ungrateful populace who foolishly voted for the communist baby eaters just because they didn’t like ScoMo

  8. Michael Taylor

    Clakka, if Labor were only in power 20 minutes of the last 26 years the Libs would still be blaming them for everything.

  9. B Sullivan

    “science is the contest of ideas and it’s a matter of challenging them and building knowledge through these challenges”

    No, Cory Bernardi, science is knowledge. That is what the word means. Science is what we know. The contest of ideas is a way we can build science, but only if those ideas stand up to rigorous examination. The ideas challenging what we already know about climate change fail to reveal that climate change isn’t happening, nor that the climate change isn’t man-made and is instead due to natural causes. We are stuck with the knowledge that human behavior is the only plausible explanation for this rapid change in the world’s climate. No other explanation stands up to scrutiny, while the evidence that humans are responsible just gets clearer and clearer. I suspect that Bernardi might be more amenable to the idea that climate change is a divine punishment for human wickedness.


    A conspiracy theory is any theory that postulates the collaboration of at least two perpetrators. The word is meant to convey plurality not implausibility. A conspiracy theory can be a very reasonable, extremely plausible theory. When discussing crackpot theories it makes more sense to call them crackpot theories so that nobody is in any doubt about their absurdity.

    Sometimes I wonder if there is media conspiracy to deliberately debase the language through the repeated misuse of words in order to diminish its effectiveness as a tool for communicating dissent. Now that would be crackpot theory. Yet so many people eagerly collaborate in redefining the meanings of words used to express dissent. Just look how quickly the recently coined term ‘woke’ went from meaning ‘aware’ to meaning ‘deluded’. It is now useless currency. It took more than one person to achieve that end.

  10. Clakka

    Michael Taylor,

    Indeed. The LNP’s shouty m.o. and blame game seems to come in 20 minute bursts. Behind the scenes, these legendary 60 minute men farnarkel their dream. A 20 minute huddle to contrive a ‘clever’ reaction to anything Labor. 20 minutes of self congratulation. And 20 minutes to blow it off. Legendary, fundamental and a sexy way to wipe the opposition. Such depth. What else could one want?

    Which brings me to a point. On principle, I am all for ‘The Voice’, especially the recognition and embedment in the Constitution, and will be voting ‘Yes’. Having done plenty of on-the-ground research, the usual negative catch-cries of divisive racism and 3rd chamber matters predominate and can be readily addressed.

    However there are other matters raised that will be harder to counter. Many, especially in the First Nations circle, look over their shoulders at ATSIC (and its issues), and the post-Native Title / Mining boom scenarios of divide and conquer. The reality of tyrannies of clannish / familial strangleholds on power (and money and jobs) and the proposed process of ‘appointment’ to the body of ‘The Voice’. Many remain highly sceptical, and see ‘The Voice’ as a ‘puff’ as opposed to the ‘real’ issue of treaty. It seems that no discussion of the normalcy of years of democratic embedment, and ongoing concomitant legislation will assuage that scepticism and negativity.

    The LNP having for decades, hacked away at First Nations people and institutions, they again are already divisively worming their way into an accumulation of undermining matters, preying on the past and ongoing negative experiences in First Nations circles, whilst at the same time, like all supremacists, avoiding the importance and sophistication of the over-arching principles of ‘The Voice” – an important Constitutional change.

    It’s one thing for First Nations academics and commentators such as Langton, Foley, Wyatt et al to produce reams of rationale, ways and means, but it remains mostly inaccessible and indigestible by the vast majority who will vote. Although not my favourite guy, Noel Pearson’s Boyer Lecture oration was excellent and psychologically accessible, but no doubt, still not enough. Undermining via shock-jocks and vested interests usually happens out there on the ground via bush telegraph. And if it could be promulgated that a significance of First Nations folk are agin it, it will be a body blow.

    The proponents had better get their skates on.

    B Sullivan,

    Being a lover of absurdity and word-play to make a point, I have to fess up that I rail at the embedded common use of ‘anti-discrimination’, eg; Anti-Discrimination Act. Discrimination is fundamental to the process of thinking, a process of differentiation. The term should probably be more correctly, ‘anti-prejudice’.

  11. leefe


    Labor could have not been in power at any time during the existence of the nation and the LNP would still blame them (and the Greens) for everything.

  12. totaram

    leefe: I dips me lid!!

  13. Canguro

    Clakka, dictionaries are useful tools, hence their popularity, and hopefully seen as such even by absurdists and lovers of word play.

    The software pgm WordWeb – a Princeton Uni product, gives discrimination the following unpacking:

    Unfair treatment of a person or group on the basis of prejudice
    The cognitive process whereby two or more stimuli are distinguished

    Similarly, my desktop version of the OED gives the following:

    1 the action of discriminating against people.
    2 recognition and understanding of the difference between one thing and another. Good judgement or taste.

    So yes, you’re correct, but not entirely, and its method of use that you rail against would seem to be entirely accurate, and, sorry old chap, your railing, inaccurate.

    My 1140 page copy of Roget’s Thesaurus suggests the following as alternatives to this now more-closely examined object of attention:

    selectivity, fastidiousness, taste, elegance, partiality, differentiation, judiciousness, critical discernment, discriminateness, judgement, social discrimination … which when looked at more closely by digging into the bowels of this august work offer literally hundreds of related alternatives.

    Words, expressions, views, opinions… we humans are saddled and to all practical purposes incapable of existing without these lexical devices,wherever we find ourselves geographically or at what point along the timeline of our planetary existence; their beauty of course being their totally egalitarian nature; equally suited to dolts, fools, vulgarians as well as the prejudiced, opinionated, didactic, and all the way through to the philosophic, poetic, storytellers, narrators, authors, and into the arcane and esoteric realms of the mystics, saints & sages & seers, from the tongue-tied who struggle to articulate more than a few monosyllabic grunts to the lyrical and sublime; language is truly man’s most useful tool. A pity though, that so often it seems to be used for sinister means, an aid for corruption and malevolence and to cloak the truths that we need to hear and digest in these challenging times. If, (a big if, admittedly) men had awakened consciences, I don’t think we’d behave so recklessly with our use of language. But given the state of psychological sleep that is mans’ common lot, that’s what we’ve got, and put up with it we must.

  14. andy56

    i am getting blow back now from a ” friend”. He said its people like me who are screwing australia.
    Personally, its almost too impossible to image the referendum will make any material difference to me. For aboriginals, it could make a very significant difference. image that, politicians have to listen and justify their policies. Personally, i would put a baseball bat in there, but lets see how it works ( assuming the referendum passes).
    As for my friend, the liberals have a lot to answer for being obstinate bastards, he is just parroting liberal attempts to shout down labor again. Worked for tony abbot, why wont it work for dutton?
    I politely told my friend that i care and if he wasnt happy, he could always leave………….i dont take too kindly to people who think they are totally right and everyone else is an idiot, especially with no facts to back up their assertions.

  15. New England Cocky

    Another Rossleigh gem about ”conspiracy theories” that I have followed since reading Gary Allen (1971) ”None Dare Call it Conspiracy” in 1975. Many so-called ”conspiracy theories” are merely the forward planning of corporations naturally operating 1,2, 5,10, 20 year plans that are revised every year to take account of recent changes. Being profit orientated, these plans for independent corporations may have common strategies and consider joint operations with other corporations that by-standers consider to be ”conspiracies”.

  16. Florence nee Fedup

    Greta, for many years, has directly sought the views of experts. Communicates directly with many.

  17. wam

    good headline, Rossleigh, I thought it was about thorpe?
    herr dominic and biden’s classified have popped up with a couple of terribly sorry and hypocrit respe4ctively.

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