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Barnaby Joyce nails Abbott govt climate scepticism to the mast

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Yet another senior Abbott government minister has nailed the Coalition’s climate colours to the mast, with Nationals Senator Barnaby Joyce declaring himself “always sceptical” of the human influence on global warming on the weekend.

In an interview with conservative commentator and noted climate denier Andrew Bolt, Joyce described the University of Western Australia’s decision to back out of plans to establish the “Australia consensus centre” with so-called climate contrarian Bjørn Lomborg as a “disgrace” and suggested it was part of a climate consultancy conspiracy.

“Apparently, you’re not allowed to have fascists, Isis or Bjørn Lomborg speaking at the University of Western Australia. Obviously, they don’t believe in debate,” he said.abbott-joyce

“Don’t stand between a bureaucrat and hundreds of millions of dollars worth of consultancy fees, and that’s the biggest threat that Bjørn Lomborg is to them, that he might actually question this unparalleled commitment to reporting about reporting about reporting for reporters’ sake.”

The Guardian reports that the government has vowed to find another university to host the Lombørg-backed thinktank, whose unorthodox views on climate change have angered the academic and scientific community, with education minister Christopher Pyne reportedly seeking legal advice about the UWA contract.

Later in the same interview, Joyce also questioned the link between humans, climate change and the weather.

“Look….I just – I’m always sceptical of the idea that the way that anybody’s going to change the climate – and I’m driving in this morning and we’re driving through a frost – is with bureaucrats and taxes.

“All that does is….it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. I make you feel guilty so I can get your money and put it in my pocket and send reports backwards and forth to one another,” he said.

Asked whether the drought being experienced in parts of Queensland were linked to climate, the agriculture minister had this to say:

“No. This just – this is part and parcel of it … since Dorothea Mackellar talked about, you know, droughts and flooding rains … It will rain. It will rain again and those people will be back in production.

“We’ve got record prices in beef and sheep for them to enjoy. We’ve got to look after them until they get to that point because then they’ll deliver bucket-loads of money back into our economy,” he said.

“There’s a logic behind this. It’s not a permanent removal of rain … You’ll have wet periods. You’ll have dry periods. Our job is to look after people, to make sure that they get back into production and we’re doing that.”

Joyce’s comments follow the publication of yet another climate denying op-ed from Abbott’s senior business advisor, Maurice Newman, in The Australian.

Meanwhile, the results of a new Ipsos survey have shown that a clear majority of Australians view climate change as already causing weather extremes, including droughts.

The Age reports that just over 60 per cent of 1063 respondents viewed climate change as behind extreme events, with similar numbers also linking the destruction of the Great Barrier Reef and rising sea levels to warming global temperatures.

The survey also found that around 40 per cent of respondents viewed climate change as either entirely or mainly caused by human activity, while another 43 per cent said both human and natural forces are at play. Just 3 per cent dismissed climate change altogether and another 4 per cent viewed changes as entirely naturally.  

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  • Chris Fraser

    Just Great ! Barnaby’s assiduous reflection of humans impacting climate is while driving through a frost !Maybe he becomes more sympathetic in and around November …

  • disqus_3PLIicDhUu

    Another amateur with his professional opinion.
    Unswayed by partisan loyalties to fossil fuel interests.

  • Ian

    Crap in, crap out….
    That is the situation with the conservatives, as the coal producers and other vested interests swarm around the Coalition, who are willing to lend them an ear…. not much room left for reasonable and rational advice.
    Not a rational brain cell apparent among them
    The new Greens leader brings some much needed scientific understanding into the parliament

  • Rob G

    We are well beyond hearing more opinions about whether climate change is man made. Like the BBC, we (our media) should give these guys no floor time.

    BTW. Good luck finding a university stupid enough to take on Lomborg!

  • Ken Dyer

    Of course Barnaby and Andrew agree that BOM and CSIRO are part of a conspiracy. Not only is the Pacific Ocean warming up, but the Indian Ocean is too. It sort of reminds me of the boiling frog syndrome. The smart people are figuratively jumping out of the pot. The Bolts and Joyces of this world (and the Abbotts) are happily sitting in the pot as the temperature rises because they are too dumb to climb out.
    http://migzing.com/article/104/The-Boiling-Frog-Syndrome

  • Chirps

    LOLz The Bolt report is our answer to FOX’s O’Reilly Factor except Bolt only has 5 viewers. I wish i could be on the line when the other Group of 8 unis laugh hysterically as Julie and Barnaby call to try and park their Lomborg think tank on their reputations.

  • John McKeon

    So, Joyce reckons that “Apparently, you’re not allowed to have fascists, Isis or Bjørn Lomborg speaking at the University of Western Australia.”

    My response – of course we should not give Lomborg a free kick. He’s an idiot, a mouth for fossil fuel interests. A merchant of doubt.

    But “Isis”?? The fanatics in Syria and Iran??

    Stay focussed, Barnaby. You are losing it.

  • Jasen Anderson

    Barnaby is an idiot just like the rest of the denying bunch. Thousands of scientists research this phenomenon, yet people like this continue to think there’s some kind of debate as to whether it’s true or a hoax. If they got cancer and went to a doctor and had scientists test their blood for evidence of a disease, I bet they’re gonna listen quick smart. What’s the difference? One expert tells you you have cancer, you listen. Another tells you your lifestyle affects the planet, you don’t. Grow up, wise up and listen. Politicians are an incredulous bunch who think they know it all and are all contrarian to the knowledge provided by science. I certainly know who is more likely closer to the truth in this case…I’m a scientist myself.

  • Pete

    It’s quite funny (in a way) that the LNP are promoting Lomborg who doesn’t deny the climate is changing nor that humans are causing it, he just doesn’t think it’s very serious. Also, Barnaby can’t believe that we’re changing the atmosphere; does he really not know that the oxygen we breathe was generated by cyanobacteria over millions of years?

    “Just 3 per cent dismissed climate change altogether.” I read the letters and comments in The Australian and that 3 per cent must represent the entire readership of that rag!

  • Tommyk82 .

    I don’t see why the LNP would bother trying to install Lomborg anywhere in Australia now. The whole exercise was a spectacular flop, they wanted to be able to quote a professor from a reputable university to make themselves seem credible but they’ll be unable to use Lomborg’s quotes now because the torch has shone so brightly upon him and his work. As a reference he has to be considered discredited and unusable based on this complete rejection from the academic community.

  • Chris Turnbull

    When the lower house is lost to the COAL-ition at the next election, I hope they mandate compulsory Year 11 physics and chemistry for all MPs. Of course, they could overhaul the donation model and just provide taxpayer funds to parties to level the playing field and get corporate farmers to stop filling the troughs with such exquisite swill.

  • JustThink4Once

    The coalition do realize of course that they are pinning their future electability to the notion that 97% of climate scientists are wrong. I personally would like to thank them for their selfless dedication to providing appropriate soundbites and video for the opposition parties. Thus perpetually reminding the public of what they represent and ensuring electoral defeat for decades to come.

  • seao2

    Barnaby Joyce is an idiot and the media would serve us well to stop reporting the idiot noise that comes out of head.

  • Alan S

    The discussion should focus on whether emissions due to human activities have an adverse effect on the planet and if so, should be minimised.

  • Leigh Ryan

    YES minister 🙂