Greenhouse Mafia

Victory declared for the climate denialists

A victory has been declared in the field of climate change, but the lap of honour is not being run by research scientists or renewable energy bosses, or by coral reefs, drought-stricken farmers or the citizens of low-lying countries.

Rather, if you accept as valid this declaration of victory from one of Australia's leading thinkers, then those popping the champagne corks are the fossil fuel lobbyists.

Standing by the track cheering this triumph are the conservative think tanks and the free market ideologues that believe the world should be run on their terms.

To follow the analogy through to the bitter end, the losers are everyone else.

Professor Robert Manne, a political philosopher at La Trobe University, is making this declaration in a 7,000-word essay published on Friday in The Monthly magazine – its cover screaming "Victory of the Denialists: How Climate Science Was Vanquished".

Manne's essay charts the decades-long effort to spread doubt and confusion about the science of human-caused climate change, focusing on the think tanks and corporations that created and backed a "relentless" campaign in the United States which has infected other parts of the Western world, including Australia.

Manne draws on already published books and research papers about the climate denial industry, and so in that respect close watchers won't find anything new. But it is his declaration that climate science denialists have won which will stick in the throat of many climate change campaigners and science communicators.

Milne's ascension is good for electricity consumers

The rise of Senator Christine Milne to the leadership of the Australian Greens is good news for electricity consumers. Senator Milne has bravely challenged the big electricity companies over allegations that they are operating an energy oligopoly, driving our electricity prices up artificially to maximise profits.

Beyond Zero Emissions, a renewable energy think tank, has claimed that the relentless rise in the cost of electricity is partly due to 'price gaming' by the big polluters.

Entrenching Energy Interests: Ferguson’s Energy White Paper

Arena reports: During the prime ministership of John Howard, the term ‘greenhouse mafia’ was coined to describe the fossil fuel industry representatives who were so influential they were literally writing the Federal Government’s climate and energy policies. With Martin Ferguson as Labor’s Minister for Resources and Energy, it seems very little has changed. The draft Energy White Paper (EWP), released in December 2011, provides as clear an indication as ever of the access and esteem granted to the organisations and individuals whose profits depend on Australia maintaining its fossil fuel-dependent status quo.

The EWP addresses questions central to the supply and use of energy in Australia and points to strategic priorities for the government in the face of expected challenges over the period to 2030. The answers it comes up with are as strikingly beneficial to fossil fuel industry interests as they are disdainful of the growing importance of renewable energy and the reality of responding to global warming.

Manufacturing a scientific scandal - climate change deniers exposed

This is part four of Clive Hamilton's searing exposé of climate change deniers published on the ABC website. We also highly recommend parts 1, 2, 3 and 5.

 

Although sceptics have been gnawing away at the credibility of climate science for years, over the last five months they have made enormous leaps owing to the hacking of emails from the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia and the discovery of a number of alleged mistakes in the benchmark reports of the IPCC.

While the "revelations" have been milked for all they are worth, and a lot more, the science remains rock solid. If instead of cherry-picking two or three that lend themselves to spin, you read the 1000 or so emails that were posted on a Russian server the picture that emerges is one of an enormously dedicated group of men and women doing their best to carry out research of the highest quality.

China warns Australia on world pact

A KEY Chinese adviser believes the world will forge a new climate change pact at
Copenhagen in part because China is recognising it can lead the world on clean technology.

But Jiang Kejun, who leads a climate change modelling team affiliated with the National
Development and Reform Commission, has some advice for Australia's Climate Change
Minister Penny Wong, who was due to fly into Beijing overnight.

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