Jennifer Marohasey, environmental fellow for Liberal Party think tank the Institute of Public Affairs, has been ringing in the New Year with her list of climate change sceptics – the “400 dissenting scientists”. “If 2007 was the Year of Al Gore, with his movie, Academy Award and Nobel Prize, 2008 just might be the year the so-called scientific consensus that man is causing the Earth to warm begins to crack.”
Marohasey has small coterie of loyal fans on her website eager to battle with any who dissent from her campaign to prove that global warming is not caused by human activity and to argue that climate change is a plot by leftist academics and others keen to milk the tax payer’s purse to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in an evil attempt to destroy our entire way of life and the future well-being of our grand children’s grand children. Long time contributor Luke, Jennifer’s token greenie who owns an ecotourism property in the Daintree, appears to have departed with a scathing assessment of Marohasey’s blog site.
It strikes me as incredulous that Marohasey could have a PhD, conducted field research for more than a decade and yet is now happy to push a denialist agenda in the employ of the IPA. I guess it pays better than field biology.
The IPA receives support from corporations and corporate interest groups (including Gunns Limited, Monsanto and tobacco, mining and oil companies) and provides regular op-ed fodder for the MSM pushing the Liberal Party line. As the Liberal Party struggles to establish what it stands for I’d argue that the IPA also needs to look at what it believes in. Corporate Australia wants action on climate change, if for no other reason than needing to stay competitive in a changing global political economy. Yet the IPA is still pushing the denialist agenda, as if they can somehow reverse overwhelming global political sentiment. They would server their masters better, and advance the quality of public debate, by turning its attention to how Australian businesses and corporations might best respond the forthcoming carbon emission limitation mechanisms.
Regardless of the dissenting opinions of climate sceptics there is no sound scientific argument for continuing increasing global CO2 emissions at an exponential rate into a closed system. Sceptics are simply motivated by the desire to avoid the financial inconvenience that curbing CO2 emissions might entail. If, as the sceptics would argue, the science is far from clear, then the precautionary principle should apply. Curbing CO2 emissions is sensible and prudent precisely because we don’t exactly what the long term ramifications might be. In the meantime, it will encourage more efficient and sustainable energy usage and consumption which will have real long-term benefits for our grand-children’s grand-children.
Filed under: Big Picture, Environment, Media, Politics, Science, Technology, Wingnuttery