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Jul 29, 2011

Sceptics on the menu at Rinehart's

Billionaire mining magnate Gina Rinehart hosted a lunch with WA Premier Colin Barnett with a presentation from a prominent Australian climate-change sceptic, writes Graham Readfearn.

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Billionaire mining magnate Gina Rinehart hosted a lunch with Western Australia Premier Colin Barnett and the Chinese Ambassador Chen Yuming to hear a presentation from one of Australia’s most prominent sceptics of human-caused climate change on the same day that the government was launching the details of its carbon tax proposal.

The lunch, on Sunday July 10 at Rinehart’s Perth home, was billed as a welcome to delegates at the high-level two-day Boao Forum for Asia conference, which started the following day.

Rinehart, Australia’s richest person with wealth estimated at more than $10 billion, told the audience that climate sceptic Professor Ian Plimer, of the University of Adelaide, was a “reasoned source” of information on climate change.

Geologist Professor Plimer, a director of several mining companies, has not published any peer-reviewed research on contemporary climate change. His 2009 book Heaven & Earth was heavily criticised by climate scientists.

Speech notes from the lunch released on the website of Rinehart’s lobby group Australians for Northern Development and Economic Vision (ANDEV) reveal former Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, who is now the Boao chairman, was also in attendance.

The chairman of Hancock Prospecting, Rinehart told the lunch crowd, thought to be about 85-strong: “Today, dark clouds are gathering. In Canberra (thousands of kilometres away), the minority federal government is announcing today the details of its new carbon tax, which will increase the costs of commodities we export and costs in Australia’s economy.

“This is such an important problem for Australia I have asked one of the leading sources of reasoned and factual information in Australia on global warming and climate change to address us, Professor Ian Plimer.”

Referring to her fears over a carbon price, Rinehart urged the high-powered  lunch crowd: “Warnings or reminders from yourselves would be welcome!”

A spokeswoman for WA environment minister Bill Marmion confirmed to Crikey he had attended the lunch, but declined to comment on Professor Plimer’s views on climate change.

Cheryl Edwardes, a former WA environment minister, is Hancock Prospecting’s executive general manager responsible for external affairs, government relations and approvals.

This is the second time in recent months that Rinehart has personally hosted senior politicians and personally provided a forum to climate sceptics.

In June, it was revealed she had flown two members of federal parliament to India on a private jet to attend the wedding of Mallika Reddy.

Nationals senate leader Barnaby Joyce and Liberal deputy leader Julie Bishop were flown to Hyderabad for part of the extravagant three-day wedding.

Mallika Reddy’s grandfather is GV Krishna Reddy, whose GVK company is looking to negotiate a reported $2.4 billion deal to buy large stakes in two of Rinehart’s major coal projects.

Rinehart helped finance controversial climate change sceptic Lord Christopher Monckton’s 2010 Australia tour. She also arranged for Lord Monckton to speak to an invited audience at Notre Dame Unversity in Perth on June 30 as part of his 2011 Australia tour.

The Boao lunch event, in a marquee at Rinehart’s Dalkeith home on the banks of the Swan River, did not appear on the official program of the Boao Forum for Asia Energy, Resources and Sustainable Development Conference.

As detailed in the Boao conference program, Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd was an opening speaker at the conference. A spokesperson for Rudd confirmed he did not attend the lunch.

Barnett and Minister for Trade Craig Emerson were also speakers at the conference.

Business leaders included Andrew Forrest, of Fortescue Metals Group, Ryan and Kerry Stokes, directors of Seven Group Holdings, and senior representatives from BC Iron, CSIRO, Rio Tinto and BP China. Senior Chinese government officials were also speakers and panelists.

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274 thoughts on “Sceptics on the menu at Rinehart’s

  1. Jimmy Nightingale

    Why not Lord Monckton?

    I’m guessing that it was more a horses for courses kind of event and even Ms Rinehart understood that she couldn’t expect Monckton to be taken seriously by that audience. Plimer has the veneer of respectability, yet if you scratch through the surface, as many have done after publication of his fictional tome, old ‘Iron Sun’ Plimer fails the credibility test just as abysmally. Still, a fool and his/her money are soon parted and it is easy to sell something if it reinforces one’s world view.

    I guess that is a sign of the strength of the science. That the only people the so-called sceptics can trot out to these kind of gatherings are those with no relevant expertise who need to distort and deflect from the science. Not only that, but the likes of Plimer and Monckton (and the rest of their merry band – Evans, Nova, Carter etc) often hold conflicting or contradictory positions (there is no evidence, climate change is real but it won’t be as bad as the scientists say, through to we can’t do anything about it and can only adapt) and are only united on the Abbott summation that ‘climate change is crap’.

    Meanwhile, as the cries of doom and gloom from this bunch grow ever louder, investment plans in the coal and other mineral extraction industries continue to expand. It’s about time someone, say ASIC, started holding these people to account. Surely, if this is going to be as bad as the miners are saying, we would read about these potentially material adverse events in their published Annual Reports. I am happy to be corrected, however I’m not aware of a single one mention of this.

  2. Spectator

    Barnaby Joyce and Julie bishop who have already accepted handouts from Gina may be sceptics but they, as well as others who were at the Reinhart table, are possibly naive as well. Surely they, or their advisers, brief them on the Hancock-Reinhart tendency to flirt with unusual people – or ‘nutters’ as some have described them. Just look back to the infamous Nicolae Ceausescu who was ultimately executed by his own people after brutalising Romania for years. Who was involved in bringing him to Perth? Lang Hancock of course assisted by then Premier Brian Burke who arranged accomodation for the esteemed visitor in Government House. Then Dr Edward Teller, one of the inventors of both A & H bombs, had meaningful discussions with Lang Hancock about using nuclear fission to blast a new deep sea port for the Pilbara. After Hancock’s death Gina invited and sponsored Teller’s visit to Australia during which he gave a Peter Sellers like performance at the Press Club. Cabaret? Perhaps- but as few could understand a word that was said – of little use to anyone. And no-one can forget the close relationship with Joe Bjelke Petersen.Then – the best choice of all: Christopher “I’m really a Lord” Monckton. A Toff in the real old fashioned style and magnificent entertainment value. Vaudeville? For sure. Gina Reinhart, as is her right,selectively supports politicians in Perth – including Federal ones. Discreet but consistent. Is Julie Bishop one of those? Who knows?

  3. Pinklefty

    “Plimer … insinuates that the debate has been hijacked by ‘unquestioning mantra’, ‘political dogma’, ‘religious zeal’ from extreme environmentalists and climate scientists, with the ‘demonising of dissent’.”
    Quote from Professor Colin Goodroffe as referenced in the above article (“heavily criticised by climate scientists”)
    It is interesting to read the above article and associated comments in the light of the above quote. Professor Plimer (if accurately quoted) appears to have a point.
    Ad hominem attacks, wealth jealousy, guilt by association: all the boxes are ticked with evident relish.
    I’ll assume that this thread is not contaminated with sock puppets, but the uniformly low standard of comments has to make one wonder if science has any relevance here at all. It certainly doesn’t rate a serious mention.
    Even if Plimer is as bent as a paperclip, the “affirmers”(?) can hardly claim the mantle of spotless integrity for themselves — or do we forget about the East Anglia hockey stick (Philip Jones, Michael Mann, etc.) and other incidents that should be known to anyone who cares to look? The whole business of climate change — anthropogenic or otherwise — needs to be viewed with cautious scepticism from both sides. However, I suspect that a call for sober assessment is out of place here.
    One final note to Venise Alstergren: Suzanne Blake may have her faults but, as criticised by you, she was merely trying — evidently with too much subtlety — to point out that what is sauce for the goose is also sauce for the gander. Did you really fail to notice Graham Redfearn’s implied criticism of Gina Rinehart for being wealthy and of Ian Plimer for associating himself with filthy lucre?

  4. Captain Planet

    As to the content of the article – Thank you Mr. Readfearn for a more factual and less speculative article than your recent effort contriving to establish causality between Monckton and the Norwegian Massacre.

    It is indeed extremely concerning to observe the extent to which Ms. Reinhart is willing to go in order to influence the business and political spheres to stifle action to mitigate climate change.

    I expect that international business leaders from China and Japan, taking as they are renowned for doing, the long view, will be publicly inscrutable but privately gobsmacked that such a powerful Australian business leader could be so wilfully ignorant and obtuse about such an important issue – where the vast weight of a considerable body of scientific evidence directly contradicts Ms Reinhart’s position.

    It is one thing to push the “climate change isn’t real” line on the disinterested and disengaged Australian Public, as a disingenuous propoganda exercise designed to further the interests of the rich and powerful, at the long term expense of the health and wellbeing of the bulk of the populace. The Chinese are quite adept at such dishonest message management for an ulterior agenda, and probably respect the tactic.

    It is quite another thing to actually attempt to convince very well informed and educated business leaders and politicians of such a proposition. It indicates to this astute audience, that Gina Reinhart, and by implication and association, possibly a large segment of the Australian business and political world, actually believes that AGW is not really happening.

    These guys are going to take this as confirmation that we are every bit as gullible, naive and stupid as they have always thought we are, and proceed to trample all over us for the next few centuries. They will play along with the global warming scepticism line for as long as it suits their immediate business interests, all the while investing heavily in renewable energy, alternatives to oil, and climate change adaptation measures such as…. buying up and controlling for the long term future, as much of the world’s arable farmland and productive resources as they can get their hands on.

    Thanks Gina, you have made us all look like dimwitted hicks, and the rapacious asian business community will not waste the opportunity to treat us accordingly.

  5. jeebus

    Industrial powerhouse Germany is reducing their C02 emissions by 40% from their 1990 levels by 2020, even while phasing out nuclear energy.

    Australia’s government proposes a 5% cut, provoking the mother of hysterical fear campaigns from Abbott and his merry men of corporatists.

    Germany has the kind of spirit and national ambition that drives R&D and creates new industries. Something America had when it declared it would put a man on the moon. A focus that is only possible when you have long term, coordinated thinking by both government and industry.

    Business leaders in Germany see themselves as working to create a stronger country. Last year a group of them wrote to the Prime Minister volunteering to give up 10% of their income in the form of a ‘rich tax’ for ten years to consolidate the national budget!

    Granted there are some patriots in Australia’s (and America’s) corporate landscape, but the majority of public discourse is being poisoned by the self-serving ones. The Ayn Rand devotees who view any form of government (democratic or not) as illegitimate, and any form of taxation as thieving from their wealth.

    Whether it’s Murdoch, Reinhart, Fortescue, or the Koch brothers, these corporatists are traitors to the Anglosphere. They use their influence to attack and corrupt our democratic institutions, they evade paying taxes but benefit from government subsidies and infrastructure, and their only allegiance is to the money they are trying to bleed out of Australia while giving as little as possible back.

    The carbon tax debate here, and the budget fiasco in America are but symptoms of this civil war being waged by the corporate elite on both of our countries.

    Meanwhile, China is showered by the trillions our corporate traitors have funnelled over there, and is investing it in the technology and infrastructure that it is using to conquer our economies.

  6. Frank Campbell

    Jeebus: “the burden of proof is not on the man who cites the scientific consensus. It is on the man trying to debunk the scientific consensus.”

    This strangely ideological notion of science is at the core of climate millenarianism. The burden of proof is of course on all scientists.

    The sleight of mind on which the “consensus” rests conflates basic science (CO2 is a greehouse gas, known for a century) with the hypotheses and predictions constructed on top of it. The sensitivity of climate to CO2, feedbacks, impacts etc range from the likely to the speculative to pure guesswork. In this sense, AGW is an immature hypothesis.

    This is why forward projections are so variable- from imminent catastrophe (eg Kevin Anderson, virtual extinction in a few decades time) to modest.

    If either side of the climate cult (Believers and Deniers) were sincere, they’d be debating (for instance) the current defensive hypotheses explaining the plateau in global average temps advanced by the initiators of climate extremism- Michael Mann, Trenberth et al. It was Trenberth after all who famously bemoaned the apparent lack of warming a few years ago. The hockey stick is history- so they think maybe the flat-lining is caused by (for example) Chinese sulphur emissions- or some other masking agent. They would say that, wouldn’t they? For AGW to shrink to a marginal, variable effect would result in ridicule. Their careers and reputation ride on the result.

    No one can possibly know the outcome. Empirical science, as always, trumps computer modelling.

    Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the central fraud of “carbon policy” is not Abbott the Denier vs Gillard the Believer (neither are true believers- only Brown is) but the prurient dishonesty of all sides regarding “renewable energy”. They all subscribe to the MRET (Mandatory Renewable Energy Target). But renewables are nowhere near ready- no baseload renewable exists. The candidates are either unproven, too expensive or by definition incapable (eg wind, solar). Geothermal in Australia has been a one billion dollar farce. (You’ll never see geothermal analysed on Crikey.)
    The Productivity Commission is scathing about renewables. And current renewables guarantee fossil fuel expansion- because back-up is essential. No wonder Gillard says “coal has a fantastic future”.

    The carbon tax is touted as driving renewables invention and scaling-up. At $23 it will have no effect at all, and it’s not likely that higher tax will do anything useful. Lomborg may be a media tart and a dubious recent convert from Denialism, but he’s finally woken up to the fact that direct state investment in renewables research is inevitable. But given the inherent difficulties and limitations of renewables, we’re certainly decades away from anything functional. Just look at the last decade of geothermal in Australia- a true Flannery Farce. A wonderfully elegant model (water down the hole, steam up, unlimited resource), but fiendishly difficult in practice. So far, abject failure.

  7. Sancho

    Firstly, what you’re saying is that the entire worldwide scientific endeavour is corrupt, yet the “skeptics” are only upset about the climate science part. If you really believe that the reliability of scientific research comes down “entirely…to research grants and their value”, tell us why you’ve never kicked up a fuss about this corruption in, for example, the medical and engineering fields, which we rely on daily.

    You can’t really expect to be taken seriously when you claim that science is completely corrupt, but that it only matters when it produces results that threaten the profits of the industry lobby.

    Secondly, the claims that the science is corrupt come overwhelmingly from people who either support or work for carbon-intensive industries. Which side is more likely to be telling porkies: the one that represents independent scientists worldwide who have come to the same results via the scientific method, or the one that is funded, sourced and driven entirely by a small number of organisations within the industry lobby, and which constantly reverses its claims? Such as…

    Thirdly, which bits of the science are correct this year? As recently as 2008, you guys were telling us that climate change is a complete hoax. Then, without any announcement or discussion, the “skeptical” argument suddenly accepted the scientific data and and began waffling about whether it actually affects climate. Now, hilariously, the “skeptics” accept that the science is real, accept that CO2 is altering the climate, but complain that nothing we do will stop it.

    How can we believe anything you say when your argument is in constant retreat?

  8. Frank Campbell

    Listen carefully TruthHurts: you say

    “What really annoys me about the left is that they try and impose their minority ideas on people, but then expect EVERYONE else to pay for it. This Carbon Tax is no different… high income earners will be paying for it while dole bludging Greens voters get even more taxpayer money. It’s the Greenies way though… piss and moan about something but then expect someone else to pay.”

    You’re so busy playing Punch ‘n Judy with the Crikey Knitting Circle you’ve missed the point.

    Firstly I’ll remind you that I’ve been a Greens voter since they were founded in 1992. (Ok, true, no way I’ll be voting Green next time around…but you all know why- because climate extremism has distracted them from the environment).

    Forget about Green voters being dole bludgers. Your right-wing prejudice blinds you to the sociologically obvious: where do most Greens live? Yup, the most expensive inner-city suburbs. Did they get there on the dole? No. Inner city Greens belong to the professional classes. Sure, they may have fetched up in FitzGlebe in the 80s and 90s when prices were rock-bottom for these ex-slums, but this cohort (now running the party) have been the inadvertent beneficiaries of three property booms (1988, 2000 and 2009), each followed by recessions which had least effect on the inner cities. Little pain, much gain. They’re also the incidental beneficiaries of bad urban planning in Sydney, Melb and Brisbane (the others are too small or too stagnant to count). Kennett, Bracks et al spent huge sums on state infrastucture in the inner cities. Transport remains good to excellent, while the middle and outer subs have suffered grievously through neglect of transport etc. Any wonder Greens like bikes? It’s a piece of piss to ride from St Kilda to the CBD…Try Frankston…

    So property values have rocketed. This is why the current Green party has so little understanding or empathy with the lower middle class. Greens are asset-rich, disproportionately privileged by state goods, and comfortably employed. Hence we hear so much class-myopic crap from Greens about the “selfishness” of poorer people dismayed at paying “just a bit more” for electricity etc. The Greens are already milking subsidies from their solar panels (a rort which the ALP etc are belatedly trying to kill off)- the poor are paying to line Green pockets AND massage their oily carbon consciences. In fact, as Bob Brown revealingly said, “we Greens are very mobile”. He wasn’t referring to bikes. Inner suburban Greens are carbon Yetis. Planes, planes and automobiles. The bikes are in the shed- used for ostentatious Sunday Lycra outings, toddlers cutely towed along behind. A promenade of smug. A hyper bowl of hypocrisy.

    And your assertion that this mentality is a “minority” one- well, watch out Truthie. You underestimate false consciousness (look it up), the insidious ability of ideology to penetrate far beyond its origin. The Turnbull Liberals for instance. Inner city again. For them, wilderness begins at the last tram stop. Or anywhere west of Balmain if you’re condemned to live in Sydney. And you forget the entire power of the state is now employed to one end: a carbon tax. All the residual loyalty of the Labour movement will be invoked. The ALP is severely degraded, but what’s the alterative? That illiberal band of chancers, oncers and corporate whores known as the Liberal Party. Run by a hormonal failed priest and a runty lawyer enriched by the most toxic Lehmann Bros clone, Macquarie Bank…

    So you see Truthie, the truth really does hurt. Getting rid of Gillard is no lay-down misere…

  9. jeebus

    @TheTruthHurts – Yes, it would be an interesting point if it were not completely false.

    Copernicus was attacked by the religious establishment that controlled the state and all of its institutions during what we now refer to as the “Dark Ages”.

    “In March 1616, in connection with the Galileo affair, the Roman Catholic Church’s Congregation of the Index issued a decree suspending Copernicus’ De revolutionibus until it could be “corrected,” on the grounds that the supposedly Pythagorean doctrine that the Earth moves and the Sun does not was “false and altogether opposed to Holy Scripture.” The same decree also prohibited any work that defended the mobility of the Earth or the immobility of the Sun, or that attempted to reconcile these assertions with Scripture.”

    And this shows an interesting point about you. You don’t question information when it’s something you want to believe. Even though the truth about Copernicus was one Google search away, it didn’t cross your mind to fact check your story first.

    And not only did you spread a false tale, you then used it to draw a false conclusion about the peer review process of modern science. As though it’s even possible to compare some medieval panel of clerics in Rome to the many varied scientific organisations around the world (including our own CSIRO) who have reviewed the evidence of AGW and support the conclusions.

    When basic facts are a few clicks away, a person can only assume that you are either wilfully ignorant or just plain lazy. I fear that the truth may hurt, mate.

  10. Sancho

    All of those things are present in the other sciences, Pete50.

    The Perth Group maintains that HIV does not cause AIDS. The doctors there have been criticised harshly and labeled “a considerable scientific embarrassment” by Gus Nossal.

    According to your requirements, that demonstrates that the HIV/AIDS link – and by extension germ theory in total – is the product of a conspiracy.

    Quite a number of religious fundamentalists maintain that the entire universe orbits the earth, and are taken seriously by no one in the scientific community. Surely this is “the usual sign” that heliocentrism is a scientific conspiracy to garner research grants and suppress the truth.

    I particularly like that you cite flat earthism and denial of the tobacco-cancer link as evidence for a conspiracy, because both of those were claims made by wealthy and powerful institutions to repress the scientific evidence against them, just as the industry lobby is doing with climate science today.

    As for not being “heeded and their advice followed and money paid accordingly the world will end as we know it”, isn’t that a perfect summary of what the mining industry has been screaming since the carbon price was announced?

    Now, back to the questions you’ve avoided answering:
    1. Why is the industry lobby and its supporters the source of climate change “skepticism”? The heat-trapping qualities of CO2 have been known for nearly two centuries. Why wasn’t anyone challenging the consensus before it became a share price issue for industry?

    2. If scientists are in it for the money, why are almost all of them scraping for grants when industry will pay them far more to fight the lies of the IPCC?

    3. The “skeptics'” argument has gone from “climate change is a hoax” to “climate change is happening but it’s natural” to “climate change is man-made but happening too slowly to matter” to “okay, it’s man-made and happening fast, but reducing our output won’t affect it”, all in just fifteen years. Would you take anyone seriously on a topic if their argument had been in constant retreat like that?

  11. rhwombat

    In the 19C West African kingdoms (eg Dahomey) became grotesque places dominated by slave-taking warlords who rounded up the local populations and sold them to European slavers, generating and perpetuating much of the ‘dark continent’ mythos. Essential to a slaver warlord was the ‘Praise Singer’, the interface between each monstrous autocrat and the world around them, part fool, part vizier, part diplomat and wholly a willing propagandist.

    The role was not, of course limited to 19C West Africa – It has been refined and reinforced by most ruling oligarchies, to reach it’s apotheosis in the likes of Goebbels, Hurst and the Murdocrats. Now it’s called Public Relations, and generates such largesse that its practitioners are part of the plutocracy. It is only after the regimes that spawned them have safely passed that the term propagandists is applied, ’cause the practitioners of spin hate the use of the raw title. Perhaps the term Praise Singers might elide around their delicate sensibilities, at least until the provenance of the word is explained.

    These days only science, the open generation and scrutiny of data and analysis by peer reviewed publication, is mostly free from the diktat of plutocrats – at least until commercial funding or political bias gets involved (vide the cold warrior Physicists like Fred Singer, as documented by Oreskes and Conway). Law, Commerce, Economics, History, Media, Finance, Politics, Planning, Design, Marketing and most other “arts” are all ruled by opinion, and thus, ultimately, money. Opinions can be bought and sold, and are then defended fiercely by those involved in the transaction out of fear or guilt . The “technical arts” like Engineering, Medicine, Agricultural and the ‘Social Sciences’, like Education may be based on peer reviewed science, but their practitioners are also likely to have options more constrained by somebodies profit. Whether we like it or not Medical Practitioners (like me) are beholden to Big Pharma (Vioxx, anyone?), Geologists to Big Oil (even ex-academics like Plimer), and Engineers of various ilks infest most denialist blogs. Our problem is that the Praise Singers have so dominated our conversation that we are almost incapable of perceiving the partisan spin unless it is pointed out to us.

    It is entirely predictable that an article pointing out the orgiastic perversion of science practiced by bloated plutocrats like Rinehart will be defended by the usual jackal chorus of Praise Singers, like Suzanne Blake, Khan and Pete50. The fact that they are joined by the infamously rabid Rabbott-worshiper TTH should make even them blanch a little – but probably won’t. Flannery has a PhD, a very impressive publishing record, both in the peer-reviewed literature and in the popular press and a public record of open, honest and well informed intelligence. Ian Plimer had these too, until he was bought by Rinehart and her ilk. Blake, Khan and Pete50 are obvious propagandists who haven’t the wit or honesty to admit it. Truthy is a sick little bunny.

  12. heavylambs

    Khan, Flannery’s not trying to reinvent the wheel. He’s conveying the science as he is briefed by the CSIRO,BOM and others. Plimer opposes it by pushing erroneous claims. For instance his claims for the CO2 contribution from volcanoes are unsupported by evidence,or fellow geologists and bodies like the USGS. They are false claims,and until he corrects this and similar,he cannot be taken seriously.

    Flannery’s eight metres was possible over a thousand or “hundreds of years” according to the transcript of an interview with Andrew Bolt.In a more recent interview with the WWF he made it seem more pressing,but still never put a figure to it. Yes,he is trying to stimulate action. We’ve been tooling around with emission controls since Toronto in the late 1980s,since which time we’ve seen a quarter of all fossil fuel use so far. This sort of realisation informs the actions of advocates for change.

    The reason for the scary imagery is because every year of BAU with emissions makes the likelihood greater and the date move forward,Hansen and Sato at NASA GISS have been claiming that the 2C target is too high to avert Greenland’s exponential meltdown,and abundant geological evidence shows how fast this can happen. 10cm to 40cm/decade are observed for the climb out of the last glacial maximum..

    And I’ll repeat that Flannery has owned property on the tidal Berowra Creek for at least 14 years,so claims that he recently purchased there are fanciful,and simply pettily destructive.

  13. Sancho

    Crikey seriously needs to update its moderation filter. Unless there’s some sort of ongoing spam assault, there’s no reason to delay posts that contain links, since the lack of moderators means posts can lie around in the ether for days. I’ll repost from 7.12 last night without the link:

    All of those things are present in the other sciences, Pete50.

    The Perth Group maintains that HIV does not cause AIDS. The doctors there have been criticised harshly and labeled “a considerable scientific embarrassment” by Gus Nossal.

    According to your requirements, that demonstrates that the HIV/AIDS link – and by extension germ theory in total – is the product of a conspiracy.

    Quite a number of religious fundamentalists maintain that the entire universe orbits the earth, and are taken seriously by no one in the scientific community. Surely this is “the usual sign” that heliocentrism is a scientific conspiracy to garner research grants and suppress the truth.

    I particularly like that you cite flat earthism and denial of the tobacco-cancer link as evidence for a conspiracy, because both of those were claims made by wealthy and powerful institutions to repress the scientific evidence against them, just as the industry lobby is doing with climate science today.

    As for not being “heeded and their advice followed and money paid accordingly the world will end as we know it”, isn’t that a perfect summary of what the mining industry has been screaming since the carbon price was announced?

    Now, back to the questions you’ve avoided answering:
    1. Why is the industry lobby and its supporters the source of climate change “skepticism”? The heat-trapping qualities of CO2 have been known for nearly two centuries. Why wasn’t anyone challenging the consensus before it became a share price issue for industry?

    2. If scientists are in it for the money, why are almost all of them scraping for grants when industry will pay them far more to fight the lies of the IPCC?

    3. The “skeptics’” argument has gone from “climate change is a hoax” to “climate change is happening but it’s natural” to “climate change is man-made but happening too slowly to matter” to “okay, it’s man-made and happening fast, but reducing our output won’t affect it”, all in just fifteen years. Would you take anyone seriously on a topic if their argument had been in constant retreat like that?

  14. Flower

    WA’s Premier, Colin Corleone has established the Ostrich Act and voila! WA Inc resurrected! Eat ya heart out Burkie.

    1. Cheryl Edwardes who had more portfolios in the Court government than cattle had cuts in Indonesia is now Director of External Affairs at Hancock Prospecting
    2. Mister Cheryl Edwardes – now Chief of Staff to Environment Minister, Bill Marmion.

    Environmental Impact Assessments for Quarry WA? A done deal! No feckin’ vorries Frau Rhinehart.

    Cheryl Edwardes, former environment minister is proficient at getting rid of hazardous waste – dump it on the community! Her criminal neglect in failing to shut down a toxic dump in Bellevue in surburban Perth saw the dump explode into a massive fireball over the city – the worst chemical fire in Australian history.

    Stored on the premises were 500,000 litres of dangerous chemicals and solvents – two thousand two hundred rusty 205 litre drums of hazardous chemicals dating back up to ten years. This stuff even failed the waste acceptance criteria for burial at the Class IV hazardous landfill at Red Hill! Example: Class I benign. Class IV – hazardous!

    The parliamentary inquiry found the Department of Environmental Protection (aka Edwardes) and the Department of Minerals and Energy failed in its duty to protect the public and the environment and that the Bellevue hazardous waste dump’s proprietor, at no time over the past decade, complied with the licence.

    Now the massive groundwater plume has invaded the Helena River, a major tributary to the Swan. So far in excess of $20 million of public funds used to halt the carnage.

    WA is so toxic even the birds are leaving – what’s left of them.

    Thanks for nothing Cheryl Edwardes – former Minister for bugger all.

  15. Sancho

    Very selective in your replies, Pete50.

    You’re partially correct, of course. In the 80s the data indicated that the planet was warming, so that’s what the phenomenon was called. In the 90s it became apparent that the temperature fluctuations weren’t uniform despite a net increase in global temperatures, so the name was changed to acknowledge that and prevent the scientifically illiterate from complaining that climate change must be fake because it still gets cold in winter. As we’ve seen, that didn’t overcome the determination of the ignorant.

    The climate hasn’t begun to change back and I’ve never encountered the term “climate disruption”. A Google search only lists it on denialist blogs, which picked it up from a speech made in 2007 by a guy who would go on to be a science adviser to the Obama administration. The term has never caught on, so I suspect both of those ideas exist only in the denial-o-sphere of the internet, just as “microevolution” was invented by creationists to justify the weakness of their arguments.

    So, having completely ignored the ignominious retreat of the denialist argument from day one, you’ve triumphantly declared that after rigorously investigating conflicting data, the climate scientists were right all along. Killer argument against climate change, that.

    I’ll explain how broken your comparison is in a moment, but first I’m very interested in the idea of “climate theology”, because if you’ve ever taken an interest in the creationist movement via ‘Intelligent Design’, you’ll realise that the central denialist arguments and strategies have simply been recycled from the creationists. Check it out:

    * “[Evolution][climate change] is a hoax being perpetrated by communists who want to enslave us!” – Check.

    * [Biologists][climatologists] are driven by greed and have no regard for scientific evidence! We know this because representatives of an enormously wealthy lobby group said so” – Check.

    * “Any uncertainties in the data of [evolution][climate change] undermine the entire field and negate any amount of confirmed evidence in their favour!” – Check.

    * “Teach the controversy!”, as though the opinions of a handful of ideologue opposed to a scientific theory deserve respect equal to the findings of thousands of scientists. – Check.

    * The opinion of any denialist/creationist with a PhD is equal to the opinion of an actual climatologist/biologist (see The Oregon Petition). – Check.

    * Generously citing relevant scientists as being opposed to the theory when they actually believe the opposite, and hoping they won’t notice (see The Oregon Petition again). – Check.

    * Rampant quote-mining (exhibit A: has Khan returned with a link to the full text of Flannery’s statements about sea level increases? Of course not). – Check

    The entire climate change “skeptic” movement is simply rebranded creationism, and we’re expected to take it seriously? Some realism, please.

    Now, back to your comparison of “climate change”/”global warming” and the farcical, constant retreat of denialism.

    The entire basis of science is testable data, and science changes in response to the data. As John Maynard Keanes said, “When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?”

    As you explained in your previous post, the planet continues to warm. Not consistently, as first thought, but steadily and predictably. This is what climatologists were saying in the 80s, even though the finer details have changed.

    The denialist argument, meanwhile, has lurched between precarious positions, holding fast until the evidence forced them back a step, then trying again. That was the process right up until about 2008 when, almost overnight, the entire “skeptic” movement accepted that CO2 was driving climate change.

    Remember when News Ltd used to publish articles arguing against the science? Not any more. Now it’s all economists predicting the implosion of the economy as mining corporations take all the ore and go overseas.

    How about the blogs? You’ll know more than me about the denial-o-sphere. Is anyone still arguing against the actual science, or have Watts et al all signed up to the “sssh! No one mention the decade of total denial!” pact?

    In case you don’t yet realise what an incomprehensible wreck the denialist argument has become, and how obvious it is, try to imagine that Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, PZ Myers, AC Grayling and all of the other New Atheists, their publishers and supporters, overnight and without any sort of public debate, self-examination or explanation, began claiming that they’d never, ever denied the existence of god.

    Imagine they tried to argue that they’d only ever disputed the accuracy of the bible, while fully accepting the existence of god, and began getting quite peeved if anyone suggested they’d once been atheists.

    Would you take them seriously ever again? Because that’s exactly what the “skeptics” did between 2006 and 2008. Do you have some sort of explanation for that other than admitting that the entire “skeptical” movement is wrong and knows it?

    Now let’s have a look at the other questions you’ve avoided:
    1. I provided examples of “the usual signs” you cited as proof of corruption in geology and medical science. Why are you only upset about climate science if the entire scientific endeavour is fraudulent? Isn’t climate the least of our worries?

    2. Why is the industry lobby and its supporters the source of climate change “skepticism”? The heat-trapping qualities of CO2 have been known for nearly two centuries. Why wasn’t anyone challenging the consensus before it became a share price issue for industry?

    3. If scientists are in it for the money, why are almost all of them scraping for grants when industry will pay them far more to fight the lies of the IPCC?

    Any takers?

  16. Flower

    @Pete50: “ My question is simple: How do you tell a conspiracy from a consensus, when all the opinion-holders claim to believe the same story? How can one tell the difference?”

    I’ve had forty years experience making confidence men, charlatans, whore boys and other assorted swindlers of the general public look bad in public but surely the ill-read Pete50 would be the most naïve, spruiking for a one party state – a rogue state of transnational environmental bludgers?

    Now listen up Pete50. Your infatuation with polluters puts you in the dunces’ corner. Obviously you are too dim to understand that pollution in this nation is regulated by the EPAs and departments of environment. WA’s EPA was legislated in 1971, Victoria in 1970 etc etc:

    “An Act to provide for an Environmental Protection Authority for the prevention, control and abatement of pollution and environmental harm, for the conservation, preservation, protection, enhancement and management of the environment and for matters incidental to or connected.”

    The Environmental Protection Acts have been abused, corrupted and manipulated for forty years. The mining industry makes a mockery of the Acts, puts the finger up to society and commits crimes against humanity.

    CEO’s of regulatory agencies and Ministers of the Crown have the legal capacity to refuse a licence to a rogue company. Get it Pete50? There’s more than one way to lawfully skin a rat and reduce CO2 and the accompanying lethal pollutants.

    In fact word is out that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has vetoed the Spruce Mine, the largest single coal removal permit in West Virginia’s history.

    The move is aimed at reducing the effects of coal-mining on the environment and on coalfield communities in Appalachian — impacts that are pervasive and irreversible and that’s scientific.

    Joe Lovett, director of the Appalachian Center for the Economy and the Environment, said:

    “It is a relief after all of these years that at least one agency has shown the will to follow the law and the science by stopping the destruction of Pigeonroost Hollow and Oldhouse Branch.

    “ Although we are grateful for the EPA’s action today, EPA must follow through by vetoing the scores of other permits that violate the Clean Water Act and that would allow mountaintop mines to lay waste to our mountains and streams.”

    Stay tuned Pete50. You ain’t seen nuthin’ yet in the lands down under. Go educate yourself and take your fake democracy with you.

  17. pete50

    Dear o dear FLOWER, you have got yourself in a knot. What’s all this about polluters? I haven’t said anything about pollution – certainly not anything in favour of it.

    BTW, why don’t take a look at a proper dictionary and see if you can find the word ‘pollutant’? That’s what our Government keeps telling us that CO2 is. If you can, perhaps you could tell us what the dictionary says it means. I’ll give you a clue – it’s not there, because there is no such word. It is one of the Newwords that is now part of the language of Warmistan.

    Did you know that there is carbon in some of the items that Coles and Woolies sell. They must be selling pollution. But it will all be okay when the carbon tax comes in – then we’ll be able to pay for their pollution and we can all have a nice warm feeling as global temperature begin to fall, as we eat the pollution.

    I don’t know nothing about non-existant mines in Whoop Whoop, USA, or anywhere else; I’ve never claimed to. My point is simply that: “How do you tell a conspiracy from a consensus, when all the opinion-holders claim to believe the same story?” SANCHO tried but failed.

    Ah HEAVYLAMBS. The IPCC is your source of authority, I see. That would be the same organisation that predicted 2000 50 to 200 million climate refugees by 2010, due to rising sea levels. And when there were no such refugees, they simply changed the date to 2020. I think we know far too much about that tin-pot outfit.

  18. Jimmy Nightingale

    @ Pete50 at 1:03pm

    For starters, you are talking about Myers paper which was published in 1995, not 2000. It stated that there were 25 million environmental refugees (not climate refugees).

    The factors underpinning this number included food shortages and agricultural failures, water shortages, deforestation, desertification, population pressures, urbanisation and mega-cities, unemployment, extreme poverty and extreme weather events. The paper mentioned global warming as an amplifier, that will make the issue worse. It was never noted as ‘climate refugees’.

    Going back to Myers original research, he was estimating, not forecasting. He estimated that this 25 million figure (from 1995), could rise to around 50 million by 2010, with a whole lot of caveats around this. The caveats are important, but then again taking those into consideration wouldn’t make much of a story.

    As far as I am aware, there has been no similar attempt to quantify the issue of environmental refugees since. So, it would be impossible to prove or disprove that estimate without undertaking the work.

    As Myers himself said: “These estimates constitute no more and no less than a first cut assessment. They are advanced with the sole purpose of enabling those to ‘get a handle’, however preliminary and exploratory, on an emergent problem of exceptional significance.”

    In short, it wasn’t a prediction by the IPCC, it was an estimate based on UNEP reports of environmental refugees, as opposed to climate (there is a huge difference), and the only work of its kind.

  19. Flower

    Pete50’s ignorance on fossil fuel chemicals is exceeded only by his stupidity.

    Those who fail to pursue knowledge are a danger to society.

    1. Hydrocarbons are ‘prescribed’ pollutants. All hydrocarbons burn to CO2.

    a) Benzene is a Class I carcinogen and a ‘ prescribed’ pollutant. Benzene emissions burn to CO2. Benzene that escapes the burning process, through incomplete combustion, contaminates air, soil, rivers, oceans, animals and humans.

    b) Carbon monoxide is a ‘prescribed’ pollutant. Carbon monoxide elevates methane and tropospheric ozone before oxidising to CO2.

    c) Enforcing permissible levels of fossil fuel emissions mitigates CO2 emissions. Catch on Pete50? No? Mitigating stack emissions of fossil fuels chemicals mitigates stack emissions of mercury, lead, chromium, formaldehyde, nickel, dioxins, SO2, particulate matter, NOx, hydrochloric acid, etc etc. ‘Huh?’ says Pete50.

    2. Fossil fuel emissions of CO2 are waste gases that harm marine life. Carbon dioxide, when dissolved in sea water, is deadly to shell-building micro-organisms that form an important part of the food chain. The extra CO2 lowers the pH and makes the water too acidic for these organisms to build their shells.

    3. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on 2 April 2007 that CO2 is a pollutant and that the Clean Air Act gives the EPA the authority to regulate emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. (No doubt ‘rocket scientist’ Pete50 knows better?)

    4. Definition of Pollutant: In general, substance or energy introduced into the environment that has undesired effects, or adversely affects the usefulness of a resource. A pollutant may cause long- or short-term damage by changing the growth rate of plant or animal species, or by interfering with human amenities, comfort, health, or property values. Pollutants may be classified by various criteria: (1) By the origin: whether they are natural or man-made (synthetic). (2) By the effect: on an organ, specie, or an entire ecosystem. (3) By the properties: mobility, persistence, toxicity. (4) By the controllability: ease or difficulty of removal. (Source Businessdictionary.com)

    Pete50 is either pimping for polluters or he’s a chronic aliterate. Which is it?

    Definition of an aliterate person: Able to read but too feckin’ lazy to do so.

  20. TheTruthHurts

    [She has stopped shopping centre visits, cause of the anger, and now does highly scripted ones with “friends”]

    Yeah she did a Labor love-in stop with some old Labor voter in hospital. Poor bugger looked bed ridden so couldn’t even escape her nails down chalkboard voice, I actually felt sorry for him.

    [TTH – “Howard got less votes than Labor at the GST election” which is exactly my point, Suzanee believes the “voters” are right because polls are against the Carbon tax, but the polls were against the GST and more people voted against it than for it (I voted for it by the way) and yet it has been a success so how could you argue the voters got it right?]

    Well it could be argued that the voters didn’t want a GST without really knowing what it was about, and once they had it couldn’t care less.

    I don’t think the Carbon Tax will be like that. I think the punters will be absolutely furious once the tax is introduced for these following reasons:

    1. Gillard has NO mandate to introduce a Carbon Tax. Howard could claim he won a mandate(even if he didn’t get the most votes) because he won the election promising a GST, Gillard on the other hand went specifically to an election promising NO carbon tax. Australians therefore see this Carbon Tax as an attack on democracy and an attack on Aussies views and values. It’s like saying thanks for voting for me, now shut up i’m doing whatever the hell I want.

    2. The Carbon Tax is NOT real tax reform. It could be argued that the GST was a major tax reform to reduce tax avoidance, simplify the tax system and significantly reduce income taxes. The Carbon Tax makes the tax system much more complicated, the tax cuts seem to be mainly for people who don’t pay taxes and the whole idea of the tax is to increase costs on Australians. Thats NOT tax reform.. thats a socialist tax grab.

    3. Gillard does not believe in a Carbon Tax. This is a point that the Labor supporters just can’t get around. 12 Months ago this same woman got Rudd to dump the ETS. 12 Months ago this same woman wanted to take the Abbott direct action route. 12 Months ago this same woman said there would be no Carbon Tax under her government. She doesn’t believe in a Carbon Tax, never has… never will. The ONLY reason she wants one now is to save her job. Thats it. No conviction. No vision. No nation building, just a desperate little gutless wonder trying to keep her gutless wonder arse in the lodge.

    How can you fight for something you don’t even believe in?

    And thats really where Gillard fails and what ultimately will be the death knell for the Carbon Tax.

  21. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)


    I think that you are right that Gillard (& Rudd and Wong, etc) never believed in taking action on climate change.

    But what does Abbott believe? And, more importantly, what would he do if he became PM?

    Would he implement Coalition policy and tweak Direct Action so that it met the Coalition’s commitment to cut emissions by 5% by 2020?

    Or does the fact that many in the Coalition publicly question climate change science, Abbott had done so himself, and that Abbott has said that the 5% cut is “pointless” suggest that the Coalition is deliberately lying.

    Gillard did not deliberately lie. We both agree that she is not committed to action. So I think we would both agree that if she had won a majority in her own right she would not have introduced a tax/ETS etc during this term.

    But of course things changed. And as Abbott seems to care about nothing except winning power, can Liberal supporters really blame Gillard for deciding to work with the Greens and independents to become PM? And after all, the carbon tax is probably not enough to reduce emissions by the 5% by 2020 that Labor has promised. So introducing the carbon tax is not too high a price for Labor to win power.

    For Gillard the situation changed. So she never deliberately lied.

    But Abbott is lying now. Either his climate change questioning is a lie to win support from the deniers, and he intends to take real action (albeit at much greater cost to the community than the Gillard plan) and reduce our emissions by 5% by 2002 (the same as Gillard). Or he is lying by pretending that he is still committed to reduce emissions yet he knows that when he gets into power things will change.

    The real scandal is that with all the debate between those who accept climate change and the deniers, and the endless circus of Labor vs Liberal vs vested interests, the real science is being ignored. If the world meets it current commitments (including Australia meeting the 5% cut) we are on the way to 4 degree warming by 2100. Most people, even those who ready Crikey, probably don’t know that.

  22. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)


    The alternative is for at least some of the major environmental groups to accept that speaking up properly will get them into Labor’s bad books.

    Imagine holding a referendum on climate change and not one major environmental group speaking up?

    Well it happened.

    The Higgins by-election (when Costello quit) was probably the closest we will ever get to a vote on climate change. On one side we had Clive Hamilton wanting real action, and on the other Kelly O’Dwyer for the Liberals (at the time when Abbott had just won the leadership).

    Not one major environmental group become involved in this by-election. Not one.

    The Rudd/Wong ETS is another example. Even most Crikey readers could not say why some thought that the environment was better off without it because the ETS would have locked in failure. I’m not suggesting that everyone should agree with that position, but if people were informed then they would at least be able to give an accurate summary of the opposing position.

    Of course The Greens failed to get this across, but in the political debate it was an almost impossible task. But the environmental groups failed to explain it to their members or to the general public.

    The only way I think we may have got some real action on climate change would be if enough people moved their intention to vote to The Greens (or anyone else that came along that was committed to real action). Of course I don’t think that this would have meant that The Greens would have gained power and fixed things (I wish). But what would have happened is that Labor would have realised that to stay in power they would need to take action on climate change seriously.

    When future generations look back to try to work out why we failed to tackle climate change, I believe that one component of our failure will be seen to be the failure of the environment groups (especially ACF, but even Greenpeace and Beyond Zero have been next to useless).

  23. Venise Alstergren

    FAILURE OF TRUTH: “”How am I meant to support something our Prime Minister doesn’t believe in?””

    This is just about as vacuous a question as I have ever read. Politicians lie; get over it. All you do is loll around in the bleachers and make pie-eyed, and cock-eyed pot shots at a politician who is working her guts out to steer the great land-mass of twenty-one million apathetic, die-hard conservative voters whose only ambition is to remain fixed in the previous century. Voters who are influenced by little men with loud voices, called shock jocks, and whose knowledge of the world begins and ends with th’ fouttee. Th’ sportz paiges end th’ commicks.

    I trust you were equally as outraged by John Howard’s lies. Please provide links to the fervid protests you wrote when the Oz public was asked to believe that asylum seekers were throwing their children overboard to drown. You were forthright in your condemnation of the continual lies John Howard told Peter Costello when he told him he would inherit the leadership of the Liberal Party. (He actually had the poor fool believing leadership of a political party was by inheritanc) You were speechless about John Howard’s rigging the vote on the issue of the Republic. As for Tony Abbott…he didn’t say that AGW was crap before doing a complete volte face on the issue in order to make his supporters and the voters happy. Great indeed are your protests against Tony Rabbo††’s denialist tactics.

    How do you justify your own lies in order to get back at Julia Gillard? God alone knows what she did to you, or is it because she’s a woman who attained the top job despite people like you? The smoothest piece of political lying I’ve ever seen was when Malcolm Turnbull was the leader of the Liberals. There he was on Channel Two giving a speech about the latest political development and why he was in favour of it. Suddenly one of his minders leant over and whispered something into Turnbull’s ear. Without missing a beat Malcolm Turnbull changed horses mid-stream and explained why he was against the scheme. It turned out that another of Turnbull’s minders had given him the wrong notes.

    All the above mentioned outright lies are forgiveable provided they come from the right-wing conservative parties. Lady, you are full of cr^ap.

  24. Frank Campbell

    MWH wants:
    “significant and cost-effective action on climate change”

    That’s what all this tangled, futile mess is all about. Most people think that AGW has some merit (though few are Armageddonists). I’m with them, the majority. (Armageddonists are slowly losing the scientific argument- even the perpertrators are busy trying to explain why temps have plateaued.)

    There have been three stages of policy thus far:

    (i) MRET, mandatory renewable energy target- this came in when people had no idea about the technology or economics of solar and wind, the only two serious candidates here. The productivity commission has now said what was obvious to anyone interested from the start: both wind and domestic solar are an economic and technological joke. But both parties want (and wanted) to be seen to be doing something, as you said.

    Many people are now aware that MRET is a class-biased subsidy which wastes huge sums on useless technology.

    (ii) The raft of subsidiary “climate” schemes, from pink batts to cash for clunkers. These have been dumped. Mostly for economic reasons, and because they would make little diff. or make things worse.

    (iii) Carbon tax: truly god-awful public policy. Unilateral, can’t effect global temps, the revenue given in bribes to households and “polluters”, the remnant $13bn mostly will end up in the hands of wind spivs, solar rorters and geothermal fantasists. Plus the (eventually) sharp increases in power and other costs- pain for no gain. And pain for the poorest, not inner city Greens and Turnbulls.

    You’ll never see anything on Crikey which analyses the performance or prospects of any of these technologies. Check out geothermal for instance, which looks like a really bad bet in this country (for geological reasons). Flannery’s Geodynamics, Petratherm etc for example. Yet the carbon tax hangs on shifting to renewables. The sickening cant about “transitioning” to a “clean green energy future” will turn everyone off when they see what happens in practice (if it ever happens). This is why I saw climate extremists are the worst enemies of rational climate action.

    What are you all going to do if Abbott wins the next election?(as I predicted in Dec 2009 when you all thought he was a dud) A decade of the Right. Where will that leave climate impropagandists like Hamilton et al? Not to mention Crikey itself, the worst single example of cult extremism in this country. What are you going to talk about, Crikey? Booming coal exports? The gas bonanza? The state of nature strips in Malvern? Come out to the bush to help fight the redneck scourge? Picket the cane toad (Alan Jones) or the geriatric boys club at “The Australian” for “causing” the collapse of the Left?

    First remove the beam in your own eye.

  25. Frank Campbell

    Planet: “until now you have been quite definite that AGW is a complete hoax and an utter fabrication”

    Absolute lie. I’ve said many times that I expect the AGW hypothesis to be weakly confirmed.

    I don’t know whether you’re a deliberate verballer, or just obtuse.

    MWH: Armageddonists define themselves: everyone’s favourite is Kevin Anderson (virtual extinction in a few decades from now). Is that sufficiently Neolithic for you?

    Anderson is no Lord Planckton (i.e. fringe nutter…incidentally no one seems to think the Lord’s description of creepy new Senator Madigan as a “great man” is worthy of comment. Planckton actually wore a DLP tie for his Press Club address)

    Anderson runs the Tyndall Centre. This was a creation of the Climategate computer modellers (all from East Bumcrack universities, you’ll recall- Annabel Crabb inadvertently nailed it. University of East Anglia, as you can see from the Climategate emails which none of you have read )

    As I’m writing this, a certain Murry Salby is droning on APAC TV. I watched his lecture- haven’t investigated his provenance yet, but he’s essentially saying modellers have failed to realise just what drives CO2 vs climate. His bottom line is that temps drive CO2, and that human emissions are a minor part of the story.

    I kept thinking of the wretched Penny Wong as climate change minister under Rudd, endlessly muttering “the science is settled, the science is settled”, like a depressed cockatoo…No doubt you’ve noticed how much happier she is in her new portfolio.

  26. Frank Campbell

    Here’s the blurb on Salby. Be interesting to see the Crikey trolls scramble to the Spitfires…Maybe A. Crabb, the ASBC’s resident unintellectual, wll interview him…

    “Professor Murry Salby

    Chair of Climate, Macquarie University

    Atmospheric Science, Climate Change and Carbon – Some Facts

    Carbon dioxide is emitted by human activities as well as a host of natural processes. The satellite record, in concert with instrumental observations, is now long enough to have collected a population of climate perturbations, wherein the Earth-atmosphere system was disturbed from equilibrium. Introduced naturally, those perturbations reveal that net global emission of CO2 (combined from all sources, human and natural) is controlled by properties of the general circulation – properties internal to the climate system that regulate emission from natural sources. The strong dependence on internal properties indicates that emission of CO2 from natural sources, which accounts for 96 per cent of its overall emission, plays a major role in observed changes of CO2. Independent of human emission, this contribution to atmospheric carbon dioxide is only marginally predictable and not controllable.

    Professor Murry Salby holds the Climate Chair at Macquarie University and has had a lengthy career as a world-recognised researcher and academic in the field of Atmospheric Physics. He has held positions at leading research institutions, including the US National Center for Atmospheric Research, Princeton University, and the University of Colorado, with invited professorships at universities in Europe and Asia. At Macquarie University, Professor Salby uses satellite data and supercomputing to explore issues surrounding changes of global climate and climate variability over Australia. Professor Salby is the author of Fundamentals of Atmospheric Physics, and Physics of the Atmosphere and Climate due out in 2011. Professor Salby’s latest research makes a timely and highly-relevant contribution to the current discourse on climate.”

  27. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)


    So if your definition of Armageddonists is far beyond what the IPCC say, and far beyond what most supporters of climate change, what is the relevance of talking about them here?

    Your house is on fire, and you run out shouting “call the fire brigade”. (This is the rational response to a real crisis).

    A child from next door screams “The whole city will burn down” (This is the Armageddonists).

    So do you now decide that because a ridiculous claim has been made that you will not bother calling the fire brigade?

    I’ve just googled “Murry Salby” and the first thing I came up with is an article written today by Andrew Bolt. Not a good starting point. As what Salby is saying is so recent, there are not the usual google results putting things into perspective.

    As for the science being settled, it all depend on what you mean.

    You run out of your burning house, flames are obvious, the fire is growing. The ‘science’ of your situation is settled.

    In a similar way the big picture of climate change is settled – we know it is very likely that is is happening, why it is happening, we have a good idea that very bad things will happen if we don’t stop it, so we should take action to prevent it.

    But how exactly is the house burning. If left alone, will the roof cave in in 30 minutes or 60 minutes. What is causing the green flecks in the flames? What started the fire? Clearly there is still lots to learn. So now the science is not settled.

    In a similar way we still have lots to find out about climate change (which is why lots of science is still being done).

    As for temperature driving CO2, that is what the fully informed all fear.

    It is thought that many warnings of the past were started by other means, and the increase in temperature from other means then led to a large increase in CO2, which then drove much higher warming.

    What we are doing now is starting the increase in temperature by emitting CO2. But this little warming may then start other large emissions of CO2 (such as major methane emission) which lead to much greater warming.

    Note that major tipping point events are NOT fully taken into account in predictions by the IPCC because we don’t have good data on how likely this is to happen and when it might happen.

    I feel that I can safely make one prediction: the climate change deniers will all jump on what Salby has said, as reported by Bolt, but none of them will continue to investigate to find out how other climate change researchers respond.

  28. Flower

    MWH and @ Ian: “ I find it hard to understand your seeming reluctance to point a finger at conservation groups for their silence re the inadequacies of the proposed legislation…..”

    Gentlemen – There is no reluctance on my part and we must agree to disagree about the suggestion that environmental groups have rolled over. I believe it’s premature to say that these groups have remained silent, considering their very limited resources, the complexity of the proposal and the limited period since the release of Gillard’s paper.

    The point is nobody has responded to my question: “What is the alternative?” Abbott and his whore boys?

    I do agree that Gillard’s proposal is flawed but it’s the best on offer and opportunities remain to hold the Labor government to account before the proposal is passed. And no Ian I do not believe Gillard would ‘voluntarily’ reduce emissions – none of the ignorant bastards would but remember she’s now on trial to commit to that in the longer term.

    We don’t have time to fluff around. Grim reapers like the maniacal Premier Barnett are wrecking the environment at an incredible speed and other states are running amok. The carbon price is at least a start so let’s keep working on it.

    1) ACF: The starting price of $23 per tonne of carbon pollution from 1 July 2012, rising by 2.5 per cent every year for three years, is less than ACF proposed, but we welcome a legislated 2050 target of 80 per cent to set the long term tone for Australia’s emissions reduction effort….

    ACF opposes taxpayers supporting coal-fired electricity generators. However the use of scheme revenue to accelerate the closure of up to 2000 megawatts of brown coal generators guarantees a level of emissions reduction that will help to drive the transition to a clean future.

    2) BZE holds some reservations regarding how the scheme will play out once it is implemented. These reservations predominantly concern the role the carbon price package will assign fossil gas-fired power, and the amount of faith Labor places in the market to bring about the mass deployment of large-scale renewable power..”

    ‘While the carbon price package is a step forward, hard yards remain,’ said BZE director Matthew Wright.

    3) Mark Diesendorf: “Can a carbon price cut greenhouse gas emissions – Why a carbon price is not sufficient”

    4) Greenpeace: The let-downs:

    A price of $23/will not drive all the change needed across our economy, other climate policy measures must be introduced by the parliament,

    There is too much compensation for the polluting industries. High emissions intensive companies, like Bluescope, will receive 94.5% of their carbon tax compensated.

    There was no Emissions Performance Standard included in the package – it is essential that the parliament set pollution standards for new power stations to rule out new dirty coal power .

  29. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)


    My view that the environmental organisations are party to blame for Australia’s dismal lack of action on climate change is based on much more than what they say about the carbon tax.

    As I said before, imagine having a referendum on climate change and all the environment groups keeping quiet. It happened, the Higgins by-election with Green vs Liberal.

    The ACF in particular seems more concerned with keeping its supporters feeling good, and staying relevant to Labor, than lobbying for the environment.

    A few weeks ago I travel on a peak hour train out of the city in Melbourne (I work from home now, so train travel at this time was a rare event for me). The train before was cancelled, and the train I was on was so full that when it got to the last city station people could not get on.

    Melbourne’s train service is not that different from what it was in the 1950’s (some lines may even have has MORE trains than currently run).

    How has this occurred?

    Very simple really. We live in a democracy, and for the last forty years the vast majority of voters (and people on that crowded train) had voted for a party that was committed to no significant improvements in service.

    On climate change, for the last decade, the vast majority of voters have voted for parties not committed to doing anything (I very much include Labor in this).

    Telling Gillard that she should do better is a waste of time. How much time do you think she has spent with environment groups compared to polluters?

    The only way to change is for people to vote for those who are committed to change. Thus the environmental groups should have been educating anyone who will listened about the reality, and urge them to vote for the climate.

    Of course The Greens are one party that they should urge people to vote for, but an environmental group should also just as strongly support any other party that is committed to real action.

    Even when Labor was not standing, none of them were brave enough to strongly support The Greens at the Higgins by-election. Rather than p*ss off Labor, they kept out of it.

  30. Flower

    @MWH: ” My view that the environmental organisations are party to blame for Australia’s dismal lack of action on climate change is based on much more than what they say about the carbon tax. ……….Even when Labor was not standing, none of them were brave enough to strongly support The Greens at the Higgins by-election. Rather than p*ss off Labor, they kept out of it’

    That’s a load of old cobblers MWH. The carbon proposal is a result of pressure from environmental groups, not the lack of it. Know your history.

    Just how many environmentalists do you think reside in the blue-ribbon Liberal seat of Higgins? And did you hand out how to vote cards for the Greens? The swing to Hamilton was outstanding considering the Australian Greens did not achieve full political party status until 2007.

    Rather than beat up on environmentalists we should thank them for no longer being force-fed DDT, dieldrin and PCBs on our dinner plates every day. And be grateful for those environmental group members, here and abroad who have worked their butts off for zero dollars, have been gaoled, abused, ridiculed, bashed, shot or blown up defending humanity and Momma Nature.

    In 1976, Australia’s Friends of the Earth (FoE) published “Alternative Technology Australia”:

    1976 FoE: “ATA is a source of ideas, information and inspiration to all those who have an interest in alternative technology (solar housing, power from wind and sun to waste disposal and methane). It is a guide to energy self-sufficiency and technology which works in harmony with the environment rather than destroying it.”

    Thirty five years hence, the arse has been chewed out of the environment, the schizoid corporate polluters scheme and plot, no matter how sordid; Australia’s bogan community rejoices and refers to environmentalists as “nutters.”

  31. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)


    I do know my history. No major environmental group took part in the Higgins by-election. Why not?

    I don’t think that the major environment groups can take any credit for the current situation either – there was not strong push by any of them for voters to vote Green.

    We have a carbon tax on the table now because the Liberals gave preferences to The Greens in the lower house seat of Melbourne, and enough voters changed their vote to Liberal so that Labor did not have enough lower house members to form government on their own!

    Certainly many people have worked very hard over the years on environment issues. Certainly there are many major achievements to be very proud of. But what about on climate change action in Australia?

    What I am saying is that the policies of the major environmental groups in Australia are (in a small part) responsible for Australia’s complete lack of significant progress so far (we are on the way to a 24% increase). Hopefully the carbon tax will change that.

    As Ian said above, where is the pubic hearing what cut is needed by 2020 for Australia to play its fair part in limiting climate change to 2 degrees?

    Why am I the only one saying that the evidence shows that Labor never really wanted to take any action on climate change? Instead the environmental groups seem to be praising Labor.

    Higgins is my seat, and in the election before the by-election I was the Greens candidate (I now speak only for myself and I am no longer a Greens member and have not been to a Greens meeting for several years).

    I have handed out Greens election material at booths in the area at every election for I think over ten years, and I spent about a month in the streets of Higgins when I was candidate.

    People talk about having to make compromises in politics, and I agree. The Greens are clear about what action they want on climate change, and the carbon tax is very far from what they want. But (unlike the ETS) it is a step in the right direction, one reached by compromise.

    But the Greens have never compromised on what they believe should be done.

    Apparently we are at the stage now where if the world meets its current reduction commitments (which includes Australia cutting its emissions by 5% by 2020) we will get to about 4 degree warming. The Age had a report on a conference held in Melbourne looking at what the effects of 4 degree warming may be. VERY scary stuff.

  32. Frank Campbell

    Flower: Good question. I’ve got no idea-been far too busy lately to give a stuff. Perhaps Colorado was/is a hotbed of heresy against the climate cult. (The Pielkes I’m familar with- bona fide scientists, correct?)

    Your question does underscore the intensity with which the hill-fort of the climate cult is defended. You’re looking for the mark of Satan on Salby, who you’d never heard of ’til I mentioned him….clue: his upper left arm, faint tattoo (666).

    Flower is one of the very few posters here who has any serious knowledge of environmental degradation in Australia. I look forward to the time when the burden of climate hysteria is lifted (won’t be long now) so he can concentrate entirely on the brutality of extractive capitalism.

    I caught some of the coal seam gas/coal victims conference on APAC TV yestderday…it’s sickening that Alan Jones ran the show and took the credit. A vulgar peformance- he comes across as an unctuous, hyperbolic, patronising priest consoling a sobbing peasantry. They’d have kissed the hem of his shirt if he’d been in drag…

    He even took time out to praise the sublime righteousness of…Murdoch.

    This is now a common pattern: the cane toads of the Right standing up for victims of feral capitalism. We can now add the creepy new DLP Senator Madigan to that list- he is an ally in the fight against corporate rapacity, while my party, the Greens, ram industrial wind down the throats of the rural poor.

    What clearer example of the debility of the Left and the hypocrisy of the Greens could one want? (though at least Drew Hutton was at the meeting). The Left is now the party of extractive capitalism, trashing basic human rights, crushing defenceless victims.

  33. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)


    I’ll assume that you missed my main point, and so it is not a waste of my time clarifying.

    The compromise that The Greens have done is in the negotiations for a carbon tax. Without reaching a compromise there would have been no price on carbon this term. And this time (unlike the ETS) the deal reached is a step in the right direction.

    The Greens have not compromised on what they think needs to be done. (But though they have publicly said it is not all that they want, they are not shouting from the rooftops that if action on climate change is meant to minimise future warming, then the carbon tax is such a small step forward that Australia’s contribute to global warming will be for temperatures closer to 4 degree warming, and only 2 degree warming is probably now unachievable.)

    The environment groups have sold out because they should be shouting from the rooftops that real action is needed. The EEC I think is still cutting its emissions by 20% from 1990 levels. They are on track to meet this, and if it was not for the conservatives in the European parliament a few weeks ago, the target would have moved to 30% on 1990 levels by 2020.

    Australia is still only aiming for 5% cut, but this is on 2000 levels. At the moment our emissions are rising about 2% a year, so the cut we talk about, if the base year was 1990, is either about a 1% increase or decrease from 1990 levels, i.e. maybe not even a cut.

    The environment groups achieved many great things in the past by lobbying the major two parties.

    On climate change both Liberal and Labor have moved so far against taking action that it is not surprising that on this issue the strategy of ‘remaining friends’ with the major parties has failed.

    Rudd never intended to do anything much, and this was clear before he won office (I know because as a candidate I followed the debate closer than most). The environment groups all supported Labor. At the Higgins by-election climate change was the biggest issue, and as Labor did not run, it was between Green and Liberal. NO MAJOR ENVIRONMENT GROUP TOOK PART.

    At the last election Labor had promised no price on carbon during this term. And Labor had a track record of not doing all the other things needed for climate change action which were budget issues and not ETS / Carbon Tax. And the ETS Labor had tried to push through would have locked in failure.

    Instead of strong criticism of Labor (and educating the public about this) the last election still had the environmental groups giving Labor a “sort of good, but could do better” approval, and no major environment group came out strongly against Labor (and Liberal) and none strongly urged people to vote for candidates promising real action (Greens and there could have been other independents deserving support).

    Of course we will never know what would have happened if the major environment groups had lobbied against Labor’s inaction and spin, and strongly urged people to vote Green.

    But the result of them all trying to remain friends with Labor is clear – just now our emissions are INCREASING 2% per year, most of the public fears that the carbon tax will have us ‘leading the world on action’, and most of those who accept climate change and want action think that the carbon tax is somewhere close to us doing our share. It is hard to imagine how what has happened over the last ten years could be worse.

    At one stage Labor looked like a more compassionate party on how we would treat boat people. Most who wanted compassion thus supported Labor. Look at the result! So climate change is not the only issue where Labor have moved to the looney right (is there any other OECD country which is as bad on boat people? is there any comparable country worse than us on lack of action on climate change?).

    And of course I’m not suggesting that the major environment groups be politically biased. They should be speaking out on the true environmental policies and track record of all candidates, and supporting those who support the environment, and saying why the others do not deserve a vote.

    If things had been different, I don’t think action would have happened because The Greens would have won power. But if enough people had changed their vote from Liberal to Green, and Labor to Green, the major parties would have go the message.

    If you care about the environment, and voted 1 Labor or 1 Liberal, then you are part of why we are in this current mess.

    The environment groups should have been making this clear. They didn’t. Greens votes changed little. And the current lack of action is the result.

  34. Flower

    Tell you what MWH. The environmental groups have many important environmental matters to attend to and are not just concerned about their own backsides or the jingle in their pockets like most Crikey punters.

    Rest assured, Gillard’s skating on thin ice when she talks about a carbon price but lifts the ban on live exports. The stinking ships that fly the flags of convenience to evade regulatory enforcement in other nations are exporting some 5 million animals each year from Australia and dumping millions of tonnes of drug-laced animal waste into the oceans and feeding diseased livestock to marine life. The filthy bunker fuel is polluting the atmosphere , humans, animals, ports and oceans with CO2 and lethal fossil fuel chemicals.

    Snigger all you like when I predict that the Gillard government will not lose the next election by selling us the carbon price. She will lose government by selling cruelty. Constituents (particularly the young) are far more au fait with cruelty than they are on the science of CO2.




    Perth: The Esplanade, Fremantle from 12pm. Speakers include Senator Rachel Siewert and Lynn McLaren (WA Greens MLC)

    Sydney: City Recital Hall, Angel Place, 2.30pm. Speakers include Senator Lee Rhiannon

    Melbourne: Steps of Parliament House, 10.30am. Speakers include Adam Bandt, MP

    Adelaide: Around the Rotunda – Elder Park, 12pm. Speakers include Mark Parnell (SA Greens MLC)

    Hobart: Parliament House, 12pm

    Canberra: Lawn of Parliament House, 11am

    Brisbane: King George Square, 2pm

    Speakers are not limited to those listed above.

    http:// www.


  35. Frank Campbell

    ‘The stinking ships that fly the flags of convenience to evade regulatory enforcement in other nations are exporting some 5 million animals each year from Australia and dumping millions of tonnes of drug-laced animal waste into the oceans and feeding diseased livestock to marine life. The filthy bunker fuel is polluting the atmosphere , humans, animals, ports and oceans with CO2 and lethal fossil fuel chemicals.’

    As usual, Flower knows what he is talking about. Why then is his conclusion wrong- that Gillard will lose not because of the carbon tax but because she ‘sells cruelty’?

    1. Revulsion at cruelty depends entirely on vision, literally. Reading about slaughter (animal or human) is no subsitute for moving pictures. Without more video this issue, like many others, will slide down the agenda-pole. Most “issues” never get up the pole because they aren’t or can’t be turned into vision.

    2. Hypocrisy: there’s rage in the bush about routine cruelty to animals (“stock”, a revealing word). The rage comes not from the thinly-scattered Greens but mainly from farmers’ wives. They understand. They see it every day. Sheep left in the roasting sun without shade. No protection from cold, wet windy weather. Fly-strike and starvation…note the rare prosecution last week- the Mayor of some rural shire in WA nailed for appalling cruelty.

    Our place had 400 dead sheep on it when we took over. He’d shoved the corpses under cypress trees to hide them from the road. The RSPCA made feeble efforts to pursue the previous owner, but he’d bought a bigger place interstate.

    3. People want a concession on live export- they’ve already got it. Vague, unenforceable- but a concession. We wait for the cameras to record the result…

    4. General ignorance, as Stephen Fry would say. General knowledge should be booming (google), but you have to ask the question first. Bunker fuel? What’s that? Does a “flag of convenience” signal a mobile toilet?

    The “knowledge” of urban progressives is so limited they cannot even ask the right questions. Their ignorance is no match for the insistent demands of their ideology. Likewise many farmers and graziers: most are driven by the engine of industrial and chemical production, debt and desperation. Others are just slovenly. For most, the environment comes last.

    Whether you’re a lizard, a roo or a sheep- Australian agriculture is a grim existence.

    5. Cleaning up Indonesian cruelty? What about Egypt, Iraq and Bangladesh? They’ve all been filmed in recent years…

    Gillard will have no trouble ducking the live export ishoo.

  36. Flower

    Spot on Venise. The live export industry has perpetrated the greatest rort ever on the Australian people. The abominable revelations of Australia’s live exports, to the lands of the barbarians, went viral as early as 2003.

    Graphic footage continued to show the unspeakable cruelty that the industry and the Howard, Rudd and Gillard government knowingly permitted to be inflicted on defenceless animals, in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and in 2011 with the Indonesian atrocities. In 2005, shocking treatment of our animals was documented and filmed in Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman and Egypt including in the infamous Bassateen abattoir in Cairo:



    Despite the Indonesian revelations, MLA recently brought two Dakota cattle ranchers, the Hadricks, to Australia to advise the livestock industry on how to cyber attack any company that donates to animal welfare agencies (to the orgasmic applause of Queensland’s beef producers.)

    You can view this on last Sunday’s Landline where the cowboy and his partner Charlotte – um Stacy, boasts of their triumphant win over Australian wine exporter, Yellow Tails whom Hadrick states made a huge mistake in donating $100,000 to the Humane Society of the United States.

    Cowpoke Hadrick made it his business to ensure through the social media that Yellow Tails was heavily accosted from all sectors of the agriculture community in the U.S and the firestorm that fell on Yellow Tails induced the company to abandon any future donations to HSUS. Hadrick then went for HSUS’ jugular. The filth that’s been propagated across the web about HSUS is nothing short of despicable.

    To add insult to injury, Australia’s savagely sadistic influential graziers and pastoralists rank with the mining industry as the largest saboteurs of climate change action in Australia. The heinous MLA, up to its dirty tricks, has, to the delight of the remorseless livestock industry, sponsored two cowpokes from the largest meat consuming country per capita on the planet, with the fattest slobs in the world, with the most intensive factory farms (which gave the world swine flu) and the worst polluters in the history of human existence.

    You reading me Frank? Will you forget about your wind farms for now and concentrate on this abomination, the outrageous lies, the propaganda? Wind farms are a mere peccadillo in comparison to what these thugs have done and continue to do to Australia’s fragile landscape, its precious resources and its defenceless animals.

  37. Flower

    @ Ian: “or the weeping and helpless wife of an innocent victim of our occupations in Afghanistan being interviewed.”

    Yes good try at throwing in the red herring Ian. Nevertheless, you are free to lobby against human rights abuses while we are free to lobby against humans who abuse voiceless, weak and defenceless critters. The grim reality is that it is humans abusing humans, humans abusing animals, rich humans abusing animals, poor humans abusing animals, Australian, Afghans, Egyptians, Kuwaitis, Jordanians, Indonesians humans abusing animals (and each other.) And who was that famous person who said?: “The more I learn about men and women, the more I prefer the company of dogs.” Touche!

    Frank – Wind farms have everything to do with location and proximity. Wind farms have operated in my state for decades and not a peep out of the locals who do not reside within cooee of these operations. Locals can’t hear the wind farms nor can they see them. However, I’m not going to be sidetracked at the moment as there are pressing and urgent actions required.

    Last Sunday, an overwhelming 20,000 supporters lined the streets and spoke up for the victims of the live export trade at rallies across Australia. Animals Australia is asking everyone who has a heart to contact their Federal representative tomorrow and request that they support the legislation on Thursday to ban the brutal trade of live exports. If Gillard allows a conscience vote we could see a smidgin of justice for these brutalised and tortured critters:


    Thank you Frank – good lad.

  38. Flower

    Frank – The Salmon Beach farm in WA was commissioned in 1987 and operated efficiently until 2002 when it was decommissioned due to urban encroachment. The Ten Mile lagoon wind farm, a more cost effective technology, has been operating successfully since 1993 and the Nine Mile beach wind farm since 2003. These operations supply some 20% of Esperance’s energy requirements and are a great tourist attraction and nobody’s complaining least of all the locals.

    The Collgar wind farm, 25 kilometres southeast of Merredin in the wheat belt was connected to the main power grid around April this year and is set to supply power to 125,000 homes. It’s the largest wind farm and the largest single stage wind construction in the southern hemisphere and, to the best of my knowledge, everybody’s delighted.

    Wind farm opponents – a collection of ideologues, including nuclear proponents and fossil fuel greed merchants should try living 200 metres from a poppet head where the cages clang-banged 24 hours a day 365 days a year. Strewth Frank we couldn’t even hang our stockings on the clothesline for fear the sulphur would gobble them up. And the cyanide and mercury? Tell ya what Frank. It’s a miracle I’m still standing upright.

    Now Frank, enough of the side-shuffle quickstep. Have you contacted Julia’s office and your federal member about a conscience vote and a vote to ban live exports? Today is the deadline for such action. Life’s not all about schizoid man’s “I, me, myself” that demands a merciful life and a merciful death for himself but not for the “inferior” species.

    2.5 million “inferior” species dumped overboard by this evil trade while a billion humans go hungry every year. Think occasionally of the suffering Frank for which we cowardly homo-saps are responsible but spare ourselves the agony.

  39. Flower

    Dear Prime Minister

    Today’s rejection of the live export bills exposed the criminal intent of the gutless wonders strutting our halls of parliament. “For the politicians, by the politicians” immune from prosecution. Here the people of this nation witnessed a repugnant assortment of arrogant pettifoggers elevated above human morality – an assortment of animal abusers, breaching the nation’s animal welfare laws with impunity – sycophants to a corrupt and brutal industry.

    Today we learnt that Malaysia has banned live exports due to the Hendra virus. Karma acts in mysterious ways Prime Minister and industry sycophants will not stand in the way of the great wave of compassion that sweeps this shamed nation.

    Our children are our future leaders and similar to Tommy the trembling black steer at the Indonesian abattoir, we will now permit our children to witness the abominable torture of their animal friends at the abattoir in Turkey, the footage released only this morning. Offending children’s sensibilities is a small sacrifice to pay for the millions of livestock you send to be brutalised and hacked up live in the lands of the barbarians.

    http:// www.


    The people are calling for a strike on meat. The people are banishing meat from their diets in protest of your refusal to permit your politicians a conscience vote to ban live exports. And cowards do not cross the floor, do they Prime Minister? When the producers, the butchers, the restaurants, the supermarkets, the fund-raisers, the abattoirs, the treasury suffer heavy financial losses, only then may we witness a smidgin of justice for the voiceless and helpless critters you send offshore with cold-blooded ruthlessness.

    Lest we forget Prime Minister.

  40. Flower

    It seems Ian’s gorn orf Venise. Pity since I wanted to ask if his ideological leaning was towards anthropocentrism or speciesism. That is humans are the most important entities in the universe, the most powerful species where morality ends at the point of a gun or in this case, a blunt knife in a primordial abattoir. That’s it – might makes right. All together now: “We are the champions………”

    Naturally if we go with the “what is born of woman” argument then we can trace all animal life back down the evolutionary ladder to common ancestry. And you can often witness throwbacks in ‘civilised’ society mimicking our ancestors like those with their “snouts in the trough – oink oink?”

    The bottom line of an anthropocentric view is that the “people” in charge have proven to care for other people like a snake cares for a frog. And the speciesist has as much respect for animals as Jack the Ripper had for the reproductive organs of a prostitute.

    Considering the wrecked planet for which we humans are responsible, I would say elevating humans over all other species amounts to chauvinism.

    Of course live exporters – those sheep and cattle barons would be incensed if someone tortured their working dogs wouldn’t they ? I mean you could risk prosecution or perhaps thrown in the slammer for committing such a despicably cruel act on a valuable and profitable animal.

    Conversely the trafficking of food animals by the live exporters – animals that are tormented and tortured with impunity, have a similar (if not superior) IQ than a human infant or a mentally retarded person, therefore are we not entitled to torture them too?

    All of the aforesaid animals are of such a kind that it is impossible for them, in principle, to give or withhold voluntary consent or to make a moral choice. And human infants, many mentally retarded, shockingly deformed people and animals don’t even speak our lingo. No speaka da English, Bahasa Indonesia, Arabic, Swahili or Double Dutch? Is that it? What about equal rights for torture eh?

    After all, Mark Latham did claim that our blood-thirsty speciesist, the Prime Minister asked him to “stand by for emails explaining George Bush is a great statesman, torture is justified in many circumstances and those Iraqi insurgents should just get over it.”

    The snake and the frog………….?

  41. Flower

    @ Ian: ” Surely it doesn’t have to be one or the other?” Precisely my point Ian in case you didn’t get it. Human abuse – bad. Animal abuse – good. And that my good fellow is the message the Commonwealth has conveyed to an outraged international community.

    If you want confirmation of human abuses, look no further than Australia, a “first world” nation with a rampant free market ideology and a fake democracy. A merry band of greedy, ignorant and unregulated cowboys that have not only trashed our arid lands and resources without remorse (and with impunity) but are joyfully destroying the livelihoods of the Indonesian peasantry through graft, corruption and a compliant Australian government at taxpayers’ expense:

    An open letter to all Australians. “The Live Cattle Row and Food Sovereignty: the perspective from Indonesian farmers” by Henry Saragih the Chairperson of Indonesian Peasant Union (SPI) and also the General Coordinator of International Peasant Movement (400 million) La Via Campesina.


    “Indonesia has 4.6 million cattle producers; of these 43.5% raise two or less cattle per year. Those two million small producers do not abuse their animals; the cattle are treated as highly valued contributors to family and community well-being, and the cattle’s own health is paramount.

    “Indonesia currently imports approximately 35% of our beef requirements, around 135,000 tonnes, of which two-thirds are supplied by Australia. This import-dependency places Indonesia at the mercy of the international beef commodities market, of which Australia is a major player and beneficiary.

    “Why do Indonesians eat Australian beef, why don’t we all prefer Indonesian beef? The short answer is that Australian beef is cheaper than the local produce. Indonesians consume on average approximately 2.4 kilograms of beef per annum, less than a tenth of the average per capita consumption in Australians.

    “Indonesian cattle farmers were already suffering through the live cattle trade by before the current ban. The numbers of commercial-scale Indonesian producers have fallen by a third since 2003, with many unable to compete with the big Australian producer’s comparative advantage of scale.

    “The live trade exists due to the economic imperative to make a profit wherever legally possible – regardless of the consequences to either the animals or local producers and their communities in Indonesia. Successive governments, within the framework of a global ‘free trade’ ideology, have encouraged Australian farmers to participate in this trade.

    ” Australia has encouraged us Indonesian farmers to press our own government to support the domestic industry, and raise our capacity to meet our own food needs. We ask Australian farmers to step out of the current agribusiness and commodity trade paradigm, and to look at these issues at the human scale, for the benefit of the animals, and for small producers and their communities.”

    “Don’t be stupid Flower and pick on someone to insult who is a real enemy.” Oh no problem Ian. What if I pick on the wealthiest man in the world, the Sultan of Brunei, the hit and run grazier who owns six cattle stations in Australia with a controlling interest in a live export company? I mean would he give a fig about Australia’s ignominious carbon budget, the Indonesian peasantry, dumb animals or Australia’s workforce that’s been robbed by live exporters?”

    Ed: Post edited – name-calling is unnecessary.

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