The Climate Culture War enters a new phase in Australia

Abbott_Signs

It is telling that one of the very the first acts of the incoming Abbott government was the dismantling of Climate Commission and the sacking of Tim Flannery.

Moves are also under way to wind up the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) and repeal the “carbon tax”. The freshly minted Environment Minister, Greg Hunt has dismissed the CEFC as as a speculative hedge fund:

Mr Hunt labels the corporation a green hedge fund, “borrowed in taxpayers’ name for investing in speculative ventures”

Without doubt this little piece of Orwellian cant is meant to associate investment in renewable energy with risky financial speculation.

As Michelle Grattan noted in The Conversation, a select few high-profile public servants have been the victim of their association with Labor’s carbon price:

“One of the strikes against [Martin] Parkinson was that he headed the then Climate Change department and was at the centre of Labor’s work on a carbon price. This was particularly in the mind of some in the Abbott office.”

Grattan also expressed a fear many in the science community must be feeling:

“The CSIRO comes under the Industry department. The scientists working in the climate area might be getting a little nervous.”

Indeed, however it is not just climate scientists who are nervous.

Cheering on the planet’s destruction: the sceptic response

Of course the denial movement has been in an orgiastic state of schadenfreude in response to these cuts.

The Herald Sun’s Andrew Bolt demands Tim Flannery refund his salary for his “dud predictions”; conspiracy theorist Jo Nova calls it a “win for Australia”; American blogger Anthony Watts gloats in several posts, dismissing Flannery as a “high paid fool”.

There are of course many more examples of such thinly veiled pleasure in the misfortune of others.

Sitting above this scrum of sceptic bloggers and News Corp hacks, presiding over events like a bad caricature of Ann Ryan’s John Galt, is Rupert Murdoch:

RM_Tweet

Abbott, the LNP, Murdoch and the sceptics have turned back time. They desire nothing more than to wipe from Australia’s political and cultural memory the years 2007-2013.

It is as if the last five years didn’t happen: no first woman prime minister; no Labor in power; no price on carbon; no pesky scientists to remind us of the dangers of climate change.

Down the memory hole they go.

A great first day indeed.

Climate change as lighting rod for conservative anxieties in a changing world

The culture war fought over climate science has raged for more than three decades.

During this period the forces of obstruction had the upper hand in Australia, especially during the Howard years. But their ascendancy was broken in Australia in 2007 with Rudd’s election.

For a few brief years it seemed Australia might take substantive action on climate change: the signing of the Kyoto protocol;  the introduction of the carbon price; greater public acceptance of the science and the desire to act.

Thus 2007 represented a wrong in the eyes of the LNP and conservatives that had to be righted. In response we have witnessed five years of rage and fury. 

And while some may think these events are about climate change, they aren’t.

It is about the soul of the nation: it is what Australia could or should be.

Murdoch, Abbott and the gaggle of sceptics looked out at the world and the shift in our culture and feared what they saw. They are of course differences among all these individuals and the groups they represent. But what united and drove them was hatred of the scientific consensus on climate change.

Climate change has become a lighting rod for conservative anxieties and fears about a rapidly changing world. 

What do individuals do when they feel their “culture” is under attack? 

They mount a counter-offensive. 

This is what the 2013 Abbott victory represents, a cultural coup d’etat. 

Conservatives fear the evolution of Australia’s culture: one that embraces sustainability and equality; one that rejects the values of the past; one that places the market second to the needs of society; one that embraces a post-materialist world view. 

Expunging the heresy of climate science: why we should be concerned for science in Australia

Abbott is keen to project an orderly transition to power, but his targets demonstrate a quiet rage and considered preciseness.

As Flannery noted in his press conference following his sacking:

“As global action on climate change deepens, propaganda aimed at misinforming  the public about climate change, and so blunting any action, increases.”

This should send a chill down the collective spine of scientific community. It remains to be seen how this will play out, but the signs are ominous.

When the Canadian conservatives under Stephan Harper’ got into power they began a war on science and withdrew from the Kyoto treaty. A war on science was also a feature of George W. Bush’s Presidency, notably recorded by Chris Mooney in “The Republican War on Science”.

We may see similar events play out under the Abbott government: the heavy hand of Liberal Party apparatchiks in muting or censoring reports; the defunding of climate research programs; obstruction at climate conferences; more sackings; and pressure on the science community to remain silent on climate change.

Of course it will all be done in the name of savings, efficiency and small government. It will be done in the name of a “mandate”.

But the targets make it obvious.

Welcome to a renewed phase of the climate culture wars. 

About these ads

79 thoughts on “The Climate Culture War enters a new phase in Australia

  1. Bernard J. says:

    Just to remind, David Suzuki is appearing as the sole interviewee on tonight’s episode of Q and A:

    http://archive.is/bFNkx

    Should be very interesting…

  2. john byatt says:

    The Australian admitted their mistake and buried it

    photo/1/large

  3. john byatt says:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-23964372

    11 September 2013 Last updated at 10:41 GMT Share this pageEmailPrint
    ShareFacebookTwitter
    Esa’s Cryosat mission observes continuing Arctic winter ice decline

  4. Tony Abbot is just a hopeless populist, easily swayed by opinionated loudmouths such as A Jones and the Murdoch press. All I can see that has happened from the Liberal Party victory is that Australia has gone from a proactive participant in dealing with climate change to a tokenistic responder. Ultimately it will be China, the US and Europe who control the outcome on world action, with Australia dragged along behind. What amazed me is that even with China’s latest statements in cleaning up their emissions, projected coal consumption in Chinia is still projected to increase! I am unaware that India has given any such committment to reducing emissions, rather is very keen to increase power generation, probably through coal fired generators. I see our global response to global warming as a cigarette smoker, ‘… yes I know it’s bad for me and I will give up one day…’ or like a denier, ‘…my friends father smoked forty cigarettes a day and he lived to ninety five…’

    Individually as members of the human race we can be charming and appear quite informed and sensible, on the other hand and collectively, a cursory glance at our history tells another story. I just hope we do not repeat ourselves on this issue.

    • “Tony Abbot is just a hopeless populist”

      Another obvious example is his paid parental leave scheme which is a monumental piece of small business socialism, i.e. small business benefits mightily without having to pay anything, especially if they happen to have highly paid employees.

      • J Giddeon says:

        they don’t pay anything/they don’t receive anything. How do they benefit?

        • They get employees that cost them nothing when they take parental leave.

        • J Giddeon says:

          But small business doesn’t offer or pay maternity leave now. Its generally only available to women working in large organisations and the public service. That’s the whole point of the scheme – to make sure that all women have access.

        • “But small business doesn’t offer or pay maternity leave now.”

          Exactly. They’re going to get something that they don’t get now.

        • J Giddeon says:

          But they don’t get the benefit, its their employee. Currently the employee either leaves to look after the child or takes leave without pay or takes leave as paid holidays. In all cases it costs the employer nothing so they are no better off. Indeed many of the small business employers I know think they’ll be worse off since they’ll have to employ, train etc a temp while the employee is on parent leave.

        • john byatt says:

          But small businesses have embraced the plan, which, they say, will enable them to retain highly skilled staff who would others leave for public service jobs with more generous maternity leave.

          Council of Small Business Australia chief executive Peter Strong. Source: Supplied
          The head of the Council of Small Business of Australia, Peter Strong, says Abbott’s scheme is a win for small business. “The policy means there’s no difference whether you work for the government or for a small business, you get the same,”WITHOUT COST

          Read more: http://www.news.com.au/national-news/federal-election/women-wooed-by-abbott8217s-parental-leave-scheme-8212-but-funding-questions-remain/story-fnho52qo-1226703459911#ixzz2fbLCIGWF

          “Indeed many of the small business employers I know think they’ll be worse off since they’ll have to employ, train etc a temp while the employee is on parent leave.”

          “Currently the employee either leaves to look after the child or takes leave without pay or takes leave as paid holidays BUT THEY DO NOT NEED TO TRAIN A TEMP if LEAVE WITHOUT PAY IS TAKEN OR LEAVE IS TAKEN AS PAID HOLIDAYS ?

        • john byatt says:

          and guess what scams will arise from this with many small business employing their relatives (wives children, parents etc) , whack their salary up the required period before hand and share in the loot from the scheme.

        • “But they don’t get the benefit, its their employee.”

          No, they do get a benefit. It means they can offer an employee who might take maternity leave in the future less than than they would have needed to if there was no maternity pay from the government. At the moment, if a prospective employee knows that she will not get maternity pay, then she would either go to an employer who does offer maternity pay or expect the small business owner to compensate the lack of maternity pay through higher normal pay.

          Either way, the small business operator benefits.

          By the way, I can see that economics is not your strong subject.

        • J Giddeon says:

          So the nett benefit to small business from this “monumental piece of small business socialism” from the “hopeless populist” TA turns out that they might be able to retain good staff. Wow I bet they’re all planning to retire on the back of this unbelievable windfall.

          BTW I seem to recall that the previous government also had a parental leave scheme that offered similar benefits to small business (but less to the parent). I trust you were suitably outraged at that “monumental piece of small business socialism”.

        • “and guess what scams will arise from this”

          This government financed welfare will be totally different from any form of existing welfare, i.e. the more you earn, the more you get. They will need to set up a whole new type of bureaucracy to try to control rorting.

      • john byatt says:

        you need to put a vice on your head conversing with JG

      • “they might be able to retain good staff.”

        No. they’ll pay less for all staff who may want to take parental leave.

        “Wow I bet they’re all planning to retire on the back of this unbelievable windfall.”

        If you can talk TA to put the billions per annum into their retirement funds instead then yes, it should help their retirement plans.

        “the previous government also had a parental leave scheme that offered similar benefits to small business”

        Garbage, the benefit to the business is proportional to the amount paid to the parent.

        BTW, Labor’s scheme costs taxpayers far less and doesn’t indulge in upper class welfare.

        • J Giddeon says:

          If you had a skerrick of evidence that small business pays more for their female staff than big business then your argument might hold some semblance of water. But you don’t have such evidence and therefore your argument is mere cant.

          “BTW, Labor’s scheme costs taxpayers far less….”
          Nup. The ALP scheme came out of general revenue whereas the Lib scheme was paid for by additional taxes. So the Lib scheme costs taxpayers, other than big business, zero. Also under the ALP scheme, there would have been big savings for big business. They were already starting to put in place arrangements to reduce their ppl payments to their staff by the amount that would have been paid by the government.

          “…and doesn’t indulge in upper class welfare.”

          Under the current (ALP) system, public servants receive their ppl payments at their present. So the tea lady in Treasury gets far less than the senior economist, for example. Presumably you’re utterly opposed to that.?

        • Dr No says:

          TA’s scheme is great.
          I will be appealing to all pregnant unemployed women to come work for me for 6 months at a salary of $150k pa
          (a) they must immediately go on maternity leave after starting
          (b) they must resign after 6 months
          (c) they must give me $35K of their benefit for the priveledge
          (d) they can keep the balance (i.e. $40k less tax)
          (e) they do not have to lift a finger
          All legal. All very profitable…..heh heh heh

        • As I pointed out before, economics is not your strong subject and it is now painfully obvious. Not only that, you misrepresent and probably misunderstand what I say.

          I NEVER SAID that small business pays more for their female staff than big business, just that they would have to offer more for normal pay (which mean exclusive of maternity pay) to compensate for the lack of maternity pay. If a woman has a choice of two jobs with the same normal pay but one has maternity pay and the other doesn’t then the financially rational choice is the one with maternity pay. But apparently you are incapable of following an economic argument.

          “Labor’s scheme costs taxpayers far less….”
          Nup. The ALP scheme came out of general revenue whereas the Lib scheme was paid for by additional taxes.”

          You have yet to learn what the word “cost” means.

          “So the Lib scheme COSTS taxpayers, other than big business,”

          i.e. shareholders. You’re right there. It will cost shareholders.

          “Also under the ALP scheme, there would have been big savings for big business.”

          I know logical consistency is of no significance to you but if you’re going to say big business has savings then it would be worthwhile to admit that small business has savings too.

          “So the tea lady in Treasury gets far less than the senior economist, for example. Presumably you’re utterly opposed to that.?”

          They’re not my employees.

  5. john byatt says:

    This was a point that i had made earlier in the year, why has the temperature not cooled more than observations, i thought that we had a problem then but my question went unanswered, possibly that sensitivity is higher than 3.3DegC ?

    anyway found this this evening, worth reading

    http://theconversation.com/is-global-warming-in-a-hiatus-18367

    • john byatt says:

      Is Andy Pitman giving a hint of what may be in IPCC AR5?

      Is CS higher than thought?

      So, the question is, given it did cool several times in the historical period under broadly parallel circumstances in terms of the forcing, why has it not cooled since 1998 by 0.3C or 0.4C, and how come we broke the records for the warmest decade?

      There has been time (its 15 years while previous cooling occurred in 10 years) for cooling of 0.3C or 0.4C to have occurred. There really is a case to argue that we should have cooled to close to the values measured in around 1990 and definitely not broken the record for the warmest decade on record.

      A plausible answer is that we have underestimated the climate sensitivity.

      We know, for certain, that aerosols, natural variability and solar variability have cooled the climate in the past. This time, they have not.

      One way that this makes sense is if climate scientists have underestimated how dominant CO2 and other greenhouse gases are in warming the climate

      only four days

      • john byatt says:

        http://tamino.wordpress.com/2013/09/21/double-standard/

        double standard

        As a matter of fact, there’s a 15-year time span during which the rate is notably different. Fifteen whole years!!! By at least one calculation, the difference is “statistically significant.”

        Does this mean that global warming is wrong? That the computer models are utter junk? That this whole climate science thing is just a hoax, a nefarious scheme to cheat us all out of tax dollars in order to support the lifestyle of gaudy luxury that we all know scientists wallow in? (Science: money for nothin’ and your chicks for free…)

        That 15-year time span covers the years 1992 through 2006, during which the rate of warming was 0.28 deg.C/decade. That’s a lot faster than the warming rate from 1975 to now

        • Bill Jamison says:

          He’s right, there is a double standard. When temperature was warming at the higher rate alarmists like you screamed that it was “proof” that we were doomed. Now that warming has slowed to an imperceptible crawl you’re looking for ways to explain it away.

          We’ve been told for years that natural variability is low and wasn’t part of the warming, that it was all due to CO2 and other manmade causes. Now the lack of warming is due to natural variability.

          And that’s your true double standard. You don’t want to include natural variability and natural cycles as part of the reason for the warming we experienced but your happy to blame those exact things for the lack of warming.

        • Dr No says:

          BJ – stop carping and simply tell us what your estimate is for warming by the end of the century.
          And, to be fair, you can add confidence limits.
          i.e. what are the chances for a 1 degree cooling, no change at all, zero change, a 1 degree warming etc.

          And please note, that predictions need to be couched in probabilities. This also means you can never be wrong since, whatever the outcome, you will (or at least should have) given it a non-zero probability of occurrence.

          You and your denier friends always baulk at this simple request.
          Why is that?

        • Bernard J. says:

          Bill Jamison.

          As an add-on to Dr No’s challenge, I’d be curious to see if you could demonstrate how the rates and periods of cooling in the global temperature record for the last century compare with those of warming.

          Your answer will be anticipated with great interest.

        • Bill Jamison says:

          I always balk at this request? Can you show me where you or anyone else has requested it of me previously?

        • john byatt says:

          Dr No, bill is an attention seeking troll, ignore him and his absurd alternate reality

        • “Now that warming has slowed to an imperceptible crawl”

          An unsupported assertion. The +/-2 sigma confidence interval for the warming rate of the last 15 years is -0.049 to +0.225 degrees C/decade.

          You cannot say it HAS slowed to an imperceptible crawl when it could actually be 0.225 degrees C/decade.

        • “include natural variability and natural cycles as part of the reason for the warming we experienced”

          OK, choose a long enough period that averages out natural variability, e.g. 40 years: http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/from:1973.555/trend/plot/gistemp/from:1973.55

          So your argument now is that 0.17 degrees C/decade from our anthropogenic CO2 is absolutely nothing to worry about?

        • Bill Jamison says:

          Can you provide a cite that shows a 40 year period averages out natural variability?

          What’s the trend over the last 70 years?

        • Nick says:

          Bil Jamison: “We’ve been told for years that natural variability is low”…references please. I’ve never seen such a claim. The GAT metric show that inter-annual variability is high, that decadal variability is high,and the WMO’s comment [about a thirty year period being necessary before a climate trend might be discerned from natural variability] is quite elderly…where are the claims that variability is low? Who made them?

        • Bill Jamison says:

          “Internal variability can only account for ~0.3°C change in average global surface air temperature at most over periods of several decades, and scientific studies have consistently shown that it cannot account for more than a small fraction of the global warming over the past century.”

          http://www.skepticalscience.com/internal-variability.htm

        • “What’s the trend over the last 70 years?”

          I thought you had a problem with 15 years.

          So those goal posts have vanished now, have they?

        • Bill Jamison says:

          I make a comment about the 15 year period I simply commented on the fact that there is indeed a double standard. You’re the one picking specific time periods that are convenient to your argument. I was asking about other time periods.

        • Bill Jamison says:

          Sorry that should have read “I didn’t make a comment about the 15 year period”

        • “I didn’t make a comment about the 15 year period”

          Then what period, pray tell, did you have in mind when you said “Now that warming has slowed to an imperceptible crawl”?

        • “Internal variability can only account for ~0.3°C change in average global surface air temperature at most over periods of several decades”

          And your point is?

        • Bill Jamison says:

          Nick asked “where are the claims that variability is low? Who made them?” and I provided a link and a quote. So you could say my point is to answer Nick’s question.

        • “variability is low”

          Low is a relative term so it’s meaning has to be established by context.

          In this context “Internal variability can only account for ~0.3°C change in average global surface air temperature at most over periods of several decades, and scientific studies have consistently shown that it cannot account for more than a small fraction of the global warming over the past century,” it means relative to “global warming over the past century,” i.e. relative to 0.8°C.

          In this context “Fifteen whole years!!!” it means relative to the average warming per 15 years of the past 4 decades i.e. 15*0.017°C = 0.225°C.

          So context is important but it gets obscured during a “bait and switch”.

        • Bill Jamison says:

          IPCC claims on natural variability:

          “The contribution from natural forcings is likely to be in the range of −0.1°C to 0.1°C, and from internal variability is likely to be in the range of −0.1°C to 0.1°C. ”

          As I said, claims are that natural variability is low.

        • “internal variability is likely to be in the range of −0.1°C to 0.1°C.”

          Of course, this is still easily enough to stop warming over 15 years from being statistically significant or as some people are want to call it “slow to a crawl”.

      • “There has been time (its 15 years while previous cooling occurred in 10 years) for cooling of 0.3C or 0.4C to have occurred.”

        There was a central estimate of cooling of 0.333 degrees C from December 1939 to April 1951: http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/from:1939.9/to:1951.2/trend/plot/gistemp/from:1939.9/to:1951.2

        It was statistically significant cooling, by the way.

        There have been no statistically significant cooling periods since the 1950s, unlike the warming periods of course.

        When are the denialists going to tell us where the cooling periods have gone?

        • “There have been no statistically significant cooling periods since the 1950s, unlike the warming periods of course.”

          i.e. every period since 1963 at least 19 years long has had statistically significant warming according to GISS, AFAIK.

          Where are the stat sig cooling periods?

        • Bill Jamison says:

          Why is 19 the magic number?

        • “Why is 19 the magic number?”

          Nothing magic about it. It’s 19 years by the way. You’ll have to consult a climate scientist to find out why it is 19 years.

          Here’s another “magic” number:

          Number of periods of statistically significant global cooling since 1952: Big Fat Zero.

          Where did they go? Down the back of the couch?

        • Bill Jamison says:

          So 19 years was cherry picked. Got it.

        • No you haven’t got it at all (as usual). Nineteen years just happens to be the minimum period that always has statistical significance since 1963. Anything longer is also always statistically significant since 1963. Is a statistically significant warming period of 163 years (in HadCrut4) long enough for you?

          By the way, have you found those statistically significant cooling periods since 1952 yet?

        • Bill Jamison says:

          So we shouldn’t look at any data before 1952 now? No AGW before then?

          Did someone claim that there were or should be statistically significant cooling periods since 1952?

        • Where did I say not to look at any data before 1952?

          Of course there were statistically significant warming AND cooling periods BEFORE 1952. The whole point is that there have been NO statistically significant cooling periods since 1952 and denialists have no explanation for that. How long does it take to get that point through your skull?

        • john byatt says:

          will he get a round tuit?

          Chris O’Neill says:
          September 24, 2013 at 8:59 am
          “Internal variability can only account for ~0.3°C change in average global surface air temperature at most over periods of several decades”

          And your point is?

        • “should be statistically significant cooling periods since 1952″

          Up until 1952, nature produced statistically significant cooling periods pretty much on its own. Why has nature changed since 1952?

        • Bill Jamison says:

          Can you show proof that nature has ALWAYS created statistically significant cooling periods in every 60 year period? That’s really what you’re claiming here since you said “Up until 1952, nature produced statistically significant cooling periods pretty much on its own. Why has nature changed since 1952?”

          Maybe we’re in the midst of a statistically significant cooling period right now. Only time will tell.

  6. J Giddeon says:

    WtD,

    “Ann Ryan’s John Galt,…”

    The author was Ann Rand . Just for accuracy, you might like to correct it.

    Was it a misspell or is she so evil that, like The Dark Lord, she must not be named? :),

    • Just for accuracy you might note that the author is Ayn Rand.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ayn_Rand

      There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.

  7. John D says:

    Libs + Nats got 45.6% of the vote in the reps, 37.8% in the Senate. Neither is a majority. The rest has the mandate to block the government if they collectively decide.

  8. Murdoch: “and killing carbon tax”

    Whatever happened to “giving the planet the benefit of the doubt”?

  9. Steve says:

    Whatever Mr. Abbot does, and whatever I or anyone else does, the climate will change as it will. Mr. Abbot is taking a politically very dangerous course.
    It only needs a strong El Niño year and people will be blaming Mr. Abbot for reversing the things put in place in an attempt at mitigating global warming.

    • Steve says:

      Sorry, I meant:
      “Whatever Mr. Abbot does, and whatever I or anyone else says, the climate will change as it will. Mr. Abbot is taking a politically very dangerous course.
      It only needs a strong El Niño year and people will be blaming Mr. Abbot for reversing the things put in place in an attempt at mitigating global warming.”

    • Nick says:

      Yes, in the sense of the public perception of CC influenced by pointy ENSO years, he’s taking quite a big gamble. He does not see it as a political gamble? Then he still believes the science is ‘crap’.

      However, while there’s the resolute disinformation of News Ltd at his back, he might tough it out. ENSO-neutral conditions are forecast til end summer, though of course the confidence gets weaker the further out

  10. jasonblog says:

    I think wind turbines are cute! Any way…

    Excellent post. I very much agree with the lines WtD uses:
    “It is about the soul of the nation: it is what Australia could or should be” and that “Conservatives fear the evolution of Australia’s culture”.

    The prominent forces opposed to climate science and evidence based environmental laws tend to be those who could be described as culturally hegemonic fascists. Just like the squatters and ‘free-marketeers’ who ignored the British crown and settled Victoria illegally anyway. They were ‘individuals’ with an immense sense of entitlement and consequent disregard for the rights of others, & other cultural groups, to sustainable land use, etc.

    Murdoch’s gloating is really a mask I think. He knows that his own time is running out. His ability to have power and influence is becoming increasingly limited. His relevance is rapidly disappearing. Likewise when Murdoch says ‘Much more to do yet’, it has a sense of urgency to it because Tony Abbott will only have a limited time to implement the IPA wish list. The majority of the populace won’t accept that sort of extremist and ultimately anti-social agenda.

    As far as Abbott’s mandate is concerned, I think that becomes more a question of did the Coalition win government or did Labor spectacularly lose government. Important distinctions need to be made. I don’t think Abbott will risk a double dissolution. But we will hear a lot of noise coming from his government & News Ltd about the ‘mandate’.

    All of what Abbott did this week had been ‘telegraphed’ during his election campaign so it came as no big surprise. It is disappointing and it is indicative of an ideologically focused Prime Minister rather than an ‘ideas’ curious approach to future issues that may confront Australia’s security and economy. At this stage it is a significant step backwards, but Australian democracy remains strong. If anything it is an opportunity for people to consider the counter offensive & to perhaps get involved in activism in different ways – even if it’s a case of promoting ‘The Conversation’ or other evidence-based, independent media, to friends and family who may not be aware of it, etc.

    Tabloid journalism feeds on the fears and insecurities of some people. These people that the tabloids seek to exploit aren’t necessarily ‘bad’ or ‘stupid’ or ‘bigots’ or anything else. More likely than not they are, if the ones I know are anything to go by, time poor and trying to make ends meet in an increasingly uncertain world.

  11. john byatt says:

    Abbott “There, citizens is the answer to all our problems. It is summed up in a single word, scientist”

  12. Nick says:

    Will Abbott do the Stephen Harper, and remove the position of Chief Scientist at the end of Ian Chubb’s term? A possibility,though the desire for blood-letting may have dissipated a little by then. Then again, they have their obsessions.

  13. I think Abbott shouldn’t have just sacked Flannery, but ever other public official who showed no concern over the harm wind turbines are causing to the environment, human health and rural communities.

    They are noise nuisance creators second to none, and despite installing thousands of them in Australia, we are still a long way off in making any meaningful reductions in CO2 emissions.

    • Nick says:

      George, Abbott doesn’t have the power to sack “every other public official” for whatever. State governments adopted wind power. There is no evidence of wind turbines harming human health,and many farmers are happy to receive the extra income.

      Wind power is making a significant contribution to generation,and renewables are reducing CO2 emissions. Without them our emissions per capita would be even worse than they are.

      Stop your factually challenged alarmism.

Comments are closed.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 769 other followers

%d bloggers like this: