Features Australia

An ill wind

On climate ‘denialism’ and the renewables industry

24 January 2020

10:00 PM

24 January 2020

10:00 PM

They’re like coastal scavengers of the eighteenth century, plundering the cargoes of wrecked ships. Or looters after an earthquake, pillaging supermarket shelves. For climate catastrophists the appalling disaster of the bushfires has been an opportunity for cynical exploitation. The worse the tragedy, the louder they have blared their condemnation of ‘climate deniers’. The hot summer winds that have helped spread the flames have not been ill winds for the ideologues and chancers of the climate change conspiracy and their commercial hangers-on, the pedlars of ‘renewable’ energy. Rather, they have blown in their direction, at full blast, a bumper business opportunity.

To get their sales message across, renewables obsessives have to discredit anyone who suggests that the fires have been caused or fueled by anything other than human abuse of the planet. The term ‘denier’ with its cynical echo of the Holocaust is intended to brand any argument that excludes climate change as principally responsible for the tragedy as a lie – a deliberate and wicked lie, since according to climate alarmists, the scientific evidence for global warming and its destructive powers in the form of  ‘extreme weather events’ is incontrovertible. Yet there is evidence in public opinion polls that climate change has been falling away as a matter of popular concern, and that’s not what the renewables pushers want at all.

Renewable energy – as we are seeing in, of all places, a country as rich in non-renewable resources as our own – is expensive and in order to foist it on the public people must be frightened into accepting it as the only alternative to the destruction of our way of life in, well, the estimates vary – ten years, a hundred? (Indeed, according to the predictions of various early climbers onto the climate bandwagon such as Prince Charles, the planet should be too hot, the seas too high and the lakes and rivers too dry for normal life to continue by about now.)

‘Denialists’ are an obstacle to climate panic so must be silenced and the bushfires have been just the thing to shut them up. In the face of so much suffering, lost lives, incinerated houses, who is going to risk the public opprobrium of pointing out that many fires have been deliberately lit, or that they burn with greater ferocity because of idiot Green policies thought up by ignorant urban-dwellers that prevent traditional fire-prevention practices in the name of conservation, or even that the greater destruction of property is partly caused by there being more property to destroy, as prosperity has given more people a second home in the bush? But just to make sure that here and there some squeak of denialism doesn’t get listened to, a key element of the leftist media has snapped into action to tell us how horrible ‘deniers’ are.

‘Something else is out of control in Australia: climate disaster denialism’ reads a headline last week in the Guardian, nowadays probably the principal supplier of robotic groupthink to the armchair leftist in Australia as well as Britain. (The desperate wordplay linking fearful suffering with an ideological target is instructive in what it reveals of leftist taste.) In the polemic that follows we learn that Australia is actually ‘pioneering the denial of climate disaster’. Not only that, but ‘research’ shows that ‘climate scepticism gets substantial favourable exposure in mainstream Australian media’. I don’t know what mainstream media that would be; it must be the one that excludes the ABC, the Age, the Sydney Morning Herald, the Saturday Paper and of course the Guardian itself. You might as well say that the mainstream media was generally supportive of Cardinal Pell.

Then there’s a lot more about ‘research’ and what it tells us about ‘deniers’: ‘Researchers have essentially discovered a strong political divide when it comes to climate science: progressives are much more likely to accept it as fact than conservatives.’ In other words, it’s nasty, uncaring selfish ‘conservatives’ who keep denialism going and are therefore, by implication, guilty of provoking and intensifying national disaster. Being ‘conservatives’, climate ‘deniers’ are ipso facto beyond the pale for leftists; ‘deplorables’ of the kind who voted for Trump and Brexit. But in the absence of a Guardian-administered police state, how do you stop them carrying on denying? Here the article betrays the mental infertility of the Left. Its only answer is to damn them as public pariahs.

Then there’s the statutory snipe at Scott Morrison. He ‘always teeters on the edges of… disaster denialism, using coded digs that suggest there is nothing unusual about what’s going on. “We have faced these disasters before”,’ he is quoted as saying, as though that too were a lie (for the Guardian, it would seem, ‘deniers’ aren’t content to deny the horrors of climate change; they deny history itself). The PM can no doubt look after himself, but right from the start of the present fires leftists have been trying to paint him as somehow responsible, to start with just by being out of the country on holiday when the emergency began. One wonders if they’d be shoveling out as much blame if Julia had still been in charge (to the extent that she ever was, given her chronic ineptitude) or even creepy Malcolm. Talk about politicising a national tragedy.

We have of course faced these disasters before. And destruction has been as bad or worse before – in Victoria alone, there was Black Friday in 1939 when a whole township, Noojee, was swallowed up in the flames, Ash Wednesday in 1983 and the terrible fires of 2009 which destroyed another (and larger) town, Marysville. What we haven’t faced is the ideological and political carping, the vicious demonisation of whole sections of the population for being sceptical of the alleged causative connection between our industrial and domestic way of life and natural disaster. But at the time of those earlier fires climate hysteria and the renewables industry were hardly into their stride.

And it is renewables spruikers whose voice is heard in the Guardian article, although its author, one Ketan Joshi, is described simply as ‘an Australian energy and climate science communicator’. But lo and behold, he is also, according to a contributor profile elsewhere, ‘a freelance communications consultant for the renewable energy industry’, something the paper omitted to mention in connection with his denialism rant.

It also forgot to say that he lives in Norway, up there near Greta-land, from which far-off vantage point, presumably, he gained his close insights into Australian ‘denialism’.

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