Graham Readfearn is very shouty in his latest climate peroration
Graham lives in Australia and makes part of his living by writing articles in support of global warming. So he is not an impartial commentator. He is well-funded for his puerile efforts. But he has clearly run out of ideas. What he writes below is just a shouting match -- a stream of abuse. It's totally "ad hominem", which is the antithesis of science.
He mentions not a single climate statistic. No mention, for instance, that after all the El Nino excitement, the global temperature has returned to its 21st century plateau level. I guess that would be too awkward altogether.
All he was able to do in his article below was to summon up a host of boogeymen. You are just supposed to agree with him without any benefit of facts and rational argument. He comes across as a would-be ecofascist Dr. Goebbels, a propagandist for hire. If he ever knew any science, he seems to have long since forgotten it
For well over a decade now, Australia’s climate policy has been battered, torn and held back by climate science denial and a broader antipathy towards environmentalism. The same interests and ideologies that have worked for decades to reach the current crescendo in the US have been doing the same thing here.
Neatly connecting Australia and the US is the One Nation senator Malcolm Roberts, who earlier this week met with a who’s who of the climate science denial industry in Washington DC, including Ebell.
Think we’re immune to the Trump denialism? You haven’t been paying attention.
When Malcolm Turnbull lost the Liberal party leadership to Tony Abbott in 2009, it was Turnbull’s then refusal to back away from pricing greenhouse gas emissions that turned the party room against him. From that point onward, pricing carbon became a no-go zone for the Liberal party.
A chief architect of that leadership coup was the then South Australian senator Nick Minchin, who, a month earlier, told ABC’s Four Corners he didn’t accept that humans caused climate change. Rather, Minchin considered the issue a plot by the “extreme left” to “deindustrialise the world”.
After the ABC program aired, the journalist Sarah Ferguson said Turnbull had refused interview requests because he “didn’t want to face the sceptics”.
You might think Turnbull would have learned his lesson. But, from his latest meek surrender to the deniers in his party, it seems not. He still won’t take them on.
Earlier this month, the energy minister, Josh Frydenberg, said a review of Australia’s climate change policy would include a look at an emissions trading scheme for the electricity sector – the biggest single source of greenhouse gas emissions in the Australia.
Within 24 hours, Frydenberg backed down and, soon after, Turnbull said carbon pricing was not party policy and this would not be considered – even though all the expert advice tells him that it would be the cheapest way to cut emissions and would likely deliver billions of dollars in savings on power prices in coming years.
That capitulation was another example of Turnbull giving in to the deniers in the right of the party – in particular, another South Australian senator in the form of Cory Bernardi.
Bernardi, too, refuses to accept the mountains of evidence that burning fossil fuels is causing climate change.
The recently appointed chairman of the Coalition’s backbench environment committee is the Liberal MP Craig Kelly – another climate science denier.
Going further back, Abbott’s position on climate science was heavily influenced by the mining industry figure and geologist Ian Plimer’s book Heaven and Earth – a tome packed with contradictory arguments, dodgy citations and errors too numerous to count (actually, celebrated mathematical physicist Dr Ian Enting did count them and found at least 126).
Cardinal George Pell, Australia’s most senior Roman Catholic, also took his lead from Plimer’s book.
And who can forget Abbott’s business adviser Maurice Newman and his claims that climate science is fraudulent and acting as cover for the UN to install a one-world government – the exact same position taken by Roberts and other fake freedom fighters.
Another Coalition MP seen as influential is the Queensland Nationals MP George Christensen.
Like Roberts and Bernardi before him, Christensen has attended US conferences of anti-climate science activists hosted by the Heartland Institute (that group has been heavily funded by the family foundation of Robert Mercer, the ultrarich conservative hedge fund manager whose millions helped get Trump elected and whose daughter Rebekah is a pivotal member of Trump’s transition team).
Just like the US, Australia too has its own “free market” conservative groups pushing climate science denial. Look no further than Melbourne’s Institute of Public Affairs (which only last year was called in to “balance” a climate science briefing to Kelly’s committee).
How about the media? Rupert Murdoch’s outlets the Wall Street Journal and Fox News help to push themes that climate scientists are frauds, that action to cut greenhouse gas emissions will wreck the economy and that renewable energy can’t keep the lights on.
The stable of flagship commentators working on Murdoch’s News Corp Australia, led by the likes of Andrew Bolt, Miranda Devine, Chris Kenny and Terry McCrann, are all happy to repeat and embellish those same talking points.
On the radio, the US has popular conservatives such as Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh pushing climate science denial. In Australia, we have Alan Jones and his stable of shouty Macquarie Radio colleagues.
At this point, some will argue Australia and the rest of the world is investing heavily in renewables. The US, like Australia, is seeing strong growth in the renewable energy sector. That’s all true.
Also true is the progress made through the international agreements made in Paris, even though the climate pledges that make up the deal still fall well short of averting dangerous climate change.
But there’s little doubt that climate science denial is on the march, backed by a conspiracy culture that’s rapidly gaining audiences online.
Trump is climate science denial’s greatest propaganda victory so far. Australia is not immune.