Australian Books

A revolutionary act

21 October 2017

9:00 AM

21 October 2017

9:00 AM

In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act. Whilst this quote is often attributed to Orwell, my research traces it back to a 1982 book, Partners in Ecocide: Australia’s Complicity in the Uranium Cartel, by Venturino Giorgio Venturini. I haven’t read that book but anything with the words ecocide and uranium cartel are unlikely to be on my bookshelf.

But I can tell you what should be on everyone’s bookshelf: this book. Ian Plimer demonstrates he is one of Australia’s revolutionaries. He is a truth-teller who, inconveniently for alarmists, always lets the facts get in the way of his opinion. After all, isn’t that what scientists are meant to do? To use actual evidence to reach conclusions. Isn’t that what politicians are meant to do? Use credible research to enact evidence-based policy and deliver beneficial outcomes? Unfortunately, Plimer’s book paints a bleak picture of the current state of scientific research and political processes.

Ian Plimer has taken on the climate zeitgeist with gusto and demonstrated a capacity to distil complex matters into bite-sized chunks of memorable fact. He has also shown that even the most scholarly scientist who has spent his adult life studying rocks can have a witty turn of phrase.

Those expecting a dry volume of gigahertz and kilowatts coupled with climate data will instead discover how the Australian people have been conned by those they elected to represent their interests and by a platoon of rent-seekers in industry, science and environment groups.

Who else but Plimer could tell us about the penis and climate change? Yes it’s worth getting this book for that nugget of gold alone. I had no idea that a peer- reviewed ‘scientific’ paper concluded that the male reproductive organ is not in fact a male reproductive organ but merely a social construct that is actually responsible for climate change! It turns out the paper was designed as a hoax but it still made it into a social sciences journal where one peer reviewer praised it as ‘outstanding’.

Much is made of the peer review process in science, particularly climate science, and few have dismantled the credibility of those claims like Plimer has in this book. My personal favourite was his exposure of a medical paper dealing with a terrible-sounding illness called uromysitisis poisoning. Essentially the sufferer needs to urinate almost continually to avoid being poisoned and suffering from kidney failure. The paper concluded ‘people with uromysitisis can be free to urinate, if medically necessary, wherever they need to and not be legally burdened by existing local or state laws against public urination’. That is, they can be free to pee in public on account of their medical condition. This paper was peer-reviewed and published in the Urology and Nephrolology Open Access Journal in 2017.

There was one small problem. The paper was accredited to a mythical author from a mythical research institute dealing with a mythical illness. Uromysitisis is an affliction that only exists in a 1992 episode of Seinfeld. It was completely made up as part of a comedy routine. Next time someone tells you about the validity of peer review you can tell them that only the Seinfeld science is settled.

But what happens when the results aren’t a laughing matter? What happens when these scams and hoaxes actually impact on every one of us? The result can be seen in our electricity industry. There is simply no greater example of how government has become an enemy of the people rather than their ally. We have gone from having among the cheapest and most reliable power in the world to having the most expensive and unreliable.

Over a twenty-year period, the diminishing group of Australian taxpayers will be throwing $60 billion in subsidies at renewable energy companies to ensure our electricity industry continues to be inefficient, expensive, unreliable and uncompetitive. And it’s all being done in the name of saving the planet. Plimer has spent a decade or more debunking climate change alarmism and he again reminds us of the failed models and dud predictions so beloved by eco-extremists and their acolytes. The inconvenient truth is that rain still fills our dams, snow still falls on our alps, tropical storms are not more frequent and the temperature hasn’t changed much for a couple of decades now. Yet green prophets of doom want us to meet the emission targets demanded by the Paris Agreement that our government foolishly signed us up to.

To meet those targets, Australians are paying $60 billion over 20 years in renewable energy subsidies to destroy our electricity sector. Plimer quotes from Orwell: ‘The further society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.’ I regret that it is not just in climate claims and electricity rip-offs that truth becomes a form of hate speech. The ideological agenda of the Left has crept into almost every pocket of public life and is infecting society with a social experiment that engorges government, dissembles biology, redefines the time-honoured meaning of words and bludgeons critics into silence and submission. It is an agenda that is cloaked in green dreams but has an underbelly of crimson Marxism.

As Christine Figuerres, of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change said in 2015: ‘This is the first time in history that we set ourselves the task to intentionally, within a defined period of time, change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years.’

Plimer concludes, your high electricity costs are because greens ultimately want power over everything you do, say and think. He dares to tell the truth in an age of strident intolerance. He is prepared to stand against the vacuous rent-a-celebrities that attach their name to causes they don’t understand and the politicians who cling like limpet mines to the rich and famous hoping to further their political credibility.

Ian Plimer is one of the few publicly prepared to proclaim that Australia cannot survive on sea breezes and sunbeams. Wind and solar generators harvest subsidies rather than provide any meaningful benefit. We need large-scale base-load energy generation such as coal, nuclear, gas or hydro to keep us solvent. South Australia has already taken a step into the darkness and there will be more to come unless we level the playing field for electricity generation.

But to do this, we need politicians to admit they got it wrong. And in the meantime, they are paralysed with indecision because they don’t know what to do. Plimer does: ‘It is now time for the majority to not be silent and to force major structural changes. The choice is yours. You can either keep struggling to pay higher and higher electricity costs or force political change.’

I heartily agree.

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