Leading article Australia

Morrison’s climate challenge

20 July 2019

9:00 AM

20 July 2019

9:00 AM

It is unacceptable for the Morrison government to carry on blindly ignoring the mounting evidence that far from being ‘settled’, the science regarding climate, its relation to the severity and frequency of weather events and the role of man’s industrial activities in altering that climate is riddled with inconsistencies.

Although everyone on the Left from the Greens to Kristina Keneally loudly touted May 18 as the ‘climate change election’ (because they assumed they were going to win it), the Coalition government has failed abysmally to capitalise on their ‘surprise’ (no surprise to this magazine) victory by declaring a mandate to query climate change dogma and to not only bring coal back seriously into play but to take a long-overdue sober assessment of the UN’s climate agenda.

Instead, a blind eye is turned to the growing evidence that whatever the science may be, hypotheses of anthropogenic warming, rising sea-levels, sinking islands, increased extreme weather events and dead coral reefs are not supported by sufficient evidence.

For decades, politicians of all persuasions have got away with using the ambiguity of climate and weather science to hoodwink the public. From the Left, the attraction of ‘tackling climate change’ is obvious: climate alarmism offers an easy way to signal a ‘superior morality’ (particularly now that conventional religion has become so tarnished in the public sphere), as well as a justification for assuming economic control over large, if not all, aspects of everyday, hard-working peoples’ lives. That climate change ‘action’ so closely mirrors classic communist and socialist modi operandi is no coincidence. Indeed, Maurice Strong, godfather of the environmental movement back in the 1970s and UN head honcho for many years on global warming, although himself an oil billionaire, desired nothing less than the collapse of the industrialised West in order to redistribute its wealth to the Third World. Arguably, that has remained the (barely-disguised) UN agenda ever since.

Depressingly, most conservative politicians, going back to Margaret Thatcher and John Howard, felt the need to keep the global warming mob at bay not by crushing them – as Donald Trump has realised he must do – but by giving them ideological oxygen in which to thrive. We are now paying a very heavy price for their timidity. Other so-called ‘centre-right’ leaders simply joined the cult.

But absurdities and contradictions keep on piling up. Last week saw a committee of UK MPs take seriously the Malthusian ramblings of celebrity botanist Sir David Attenborough, who conflated disappearing fishing stocks in the North Atlantic with rubbish disposal in Asia with the mining of fossil fuels with over-population in Africa and the extinction of rare species with the need to charge poor people more for their airline tickets. (It is a ‘paradox’, he mused with a baffled expression, that he himself in order to combat climate change must fly all over the globe.) That he was not laughed out of Westminster is a sign of just how tight a grip this ideology has on the feeble imaginations of so many in positions of power.

The jig was up, however, when Sir David was asked to cite the one single worst example of catastrophic climate change that he had encountered in all his travels  and – wait for it – he cited our own Great Barrier Reef. Despite the fact that only four years ago he released a documentary called The Perfect Reef detailing the wonders of our coral kingdom, Sir David launched into a horror story of the devastation climate change has wrought on our greatest tourist attraction. As if on cue, Cathay Pacific pulled up stumps and announced it is now ceasing flying into Cairns. Never before has such a negative advertising campaign been so successful in such a short time, as tourists around the word now shun our Reef, in spite of, according to marine scientist Peter Ridd, this natural wonder being in rude health.

On a visit to the so-called sinking islands of the Pacific, former government minister Concetta Fierravanti-Wells noted that any rise in sea levels was ‘very, very miniscule’. That is to say, non-existent. Proof of which can be found in satellite data that shows our Pacific island neighbours have been expanding their land mass, not shrinking it. Similarly, data that goes back over a century from Sydney Harbour’s own Fort Denison suggests that mean sea levels have fallen, not risen, by up to 6cm in that time.

And as for ‘extreme’ weather events, we know that the frequency of cyclonic activity around the globe has decreased in recent years. Meanwhile, the evidence mounts that rather than being the result of ‘catastrophic climate change’, the severity of Australia’s recent bushfires was partly due to the reluctance by farmers to burn off because of excessive green regulations.

The great tragedy will be if the Morrison government squanders its recent mandate to expose, rather than kowtow to, the abundant and self-evident contradictions within the global warming narrative. That would be a serious failure of national leadership.

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