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FROM NO TO DENIAL October 22, 2013

Posted by wmmbb in Australian Politics, CLIMATE CHANGE.

Officially, in the process from Leader of the Opposition to Prime Minister, Tony Abbott and prominent Cabinet “spokes things”, are continuing to be the “nattering nabobs of negativism”.

Who knew that the Election was a mandate for climate science denial, or that elections were ever designed to adjudicate on scientific questions in secret. The outcome doubtless will come as a surprise, if not a shock, to many Liberal voters. And who knows what farmers must be thinking when faced with the prospect of declined agricultural productivity. Still what is good for fossil fuel industries is good for civilization never mind climate system feedbacks and tipping points of no return. The intelligent way forward is to blunder on blindly and belligerently.

The “spokes things” – Tony’s coinage or close (not William Safire) – we are hearing from in this manipulated, scripted government of secrecy and lack of accountability are the Ministers for Immigration and Environment. Tony remains in hiding, except to pose publicly in costume. Scott Morrison might have had a starring role in the Pirates of Penzance. Laughable as a caricature as the defender of the borders of the Island Continent, yet vicious in application of policy, which of all people seeks to dehumanize refugees and asylum seekers. Let’s be careful about bullying. The action is in the reaction -and that as often goes unnoticed. This is a refinement of the existing policy. At such times civilized human values are to be defended.

The Environment Minister, Greg Hunt, who may warrant considering keeping his environment to himself. He was indignant that the unnamed Adam Brandt should suggest the obvious relationship between Climate Change with the increased frequency and intensity of bushfires, especially given the record of high temperatures across Australia. To do that, was to politicize the tragedy the fires represent for people and to the ecosystem. This seems to represent climate change delusion,or political expediency. At such times, truth is more important than personal advantage. The best approximation of truth and contingency is rely on the uncertainties of system science, even as the most recent IPCC is prepared to be “unequivocal”.

Adam Bandt told his side of the story in New Matilda:

In the face of global warming, every MP should be doing everything they can to stop more bushfires from happening. Fundamentally, as I have argued elsewhere, Tony Abbott is failing to protect the country’s people, which conservatives claim should be the first duty of any government. Pointing this out obviously cuts too close to the bone.

If Tony Abbott can pick the week of high NSW temperatures to urge the dismantling of climate change action that has already seen pollution fall, he shouldn’t be able to duck the ensuing debate by hiding behind a uniform.

Michael Mann identifies the Six Stages of Climate Denial:

The constituencies for Climate Change non-belief depend on the refusal to accept reality other than that asserted by political ideology, impeding constructive and common action in the face of a predictable emerging global crisis. The common good cannot be seen for the imperatives of self interest. We ignore the cultural and political ingredients of Climate Change denial at our peril.

Denial is counter-productive when confronting the issue in plain view. It would be better to recognize the global problem and adopt the best local initiatives and share them widely. The reason this cannot be done can be attributed to corporate power. So change cannot happen unless the landscape of political and economic power is radically reshaped. Sydney Morning Herald editorials to the contrary, this is not going to happen anytime soon. Far better to imagine, it is possible to continue on the same road in the same vehicle over the hill to the point there is no turning back. The bushfires are merely smoke in the rear vision mirror.

Postscript: 23/10/2013

I find it difficult to quite really the PM holds to climate change denial. According to ABC News. Tony Abbott said:

“Climate change is real, as I’ve often said, and we should take strong action against it.

“But these fires are certainly not a function of climate change – they’re just a function of life in Australia.”

It is clear that Climate Change mitigation by reducing atmospheric carbon pollution is not a priority of the Federal Government. Bushfires are not unusual for summer, but it is unusual for summer to have begun so early. We don’t seem to be in an El Nina year, although it may be the worst experience of Bushfires tend to follow La Nina years. The characteristic of this year have been the highest recorded temperatures on record.

The sacking of the Climate Commission makes it possible to engage in “political correctness” so that Climate Change cannot be discussed in the mass media.



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