One of the Coalition’s more vocal climate change sceptics – and a supporter of the ‘reasonable views’ of Lord Monckton – MP Dennis Jensen has called on Tony Abbott to appoint him as federal science minister. With a master’s degree in physics and a PhD in material science, the member for Tangney, WA, believes his is the right man for job – a job currently earmarked for Sophie Mirabella, whose grasp on the seat of Indi still hangs in the balance.
“I think that I’ve got a lot to offer,” Jensen told Fairfax Media. “I’ve got some unique attributes.” One such ‘unique attribute’ might be his repeated questioning of the scientific consensus that humans are contributing to global warming.
As Fairfax reports, Jensen does not believe man-made carbon dioxide emissions are contributing to changing global temperatures as much as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change suggests. Nor does he think governments should be taking urgent action to cut those emissions.
“In the climate area there is appeal to authority and appeal to consensus, neither of which is scientific at all,” Jensen told Fairfax Media on Thursday. “Scientific reality doesn’t give a damn who said it and it doesn’t give a damn how many say it.” Thus, says Jensen, the “argument of consensus” – the view that 97 per cent of climate scientists agree that climate-warming trends over the past century are very likely caused by human activities – “is a flawed argument.”
Closer to the truth, he argues, are the utterances of Lord Christopher Monckton, the infamous British climate denier who has toured the world, including Australia, to debunk the “bogus” science of global warming. “Most of the stuff [Lord Monckton] says is entirely reasonable,” Jensen said.
As an aide-mémoire – to borrow a phrase from Graham Readfearn – of where Lord Monckton sits on the denier scale, he once (just weeks before his 2011 tour of Australia) described the views of Australian government climate policy advisor Professor Ross Garnaut as “fascist”. And during a Californian conference talk (where he shared the platform with ‘intelligent design’ advocates) he used a two-metre high picture of a swastika next to a quote from Professor Garnaut.
More recently, Monckton’s support of the Rise Up Australia party – which believes that only God can control the climate (and that Victoria’s fatal 2007 Black Saturday bushfires were divine punishment for Victoria’s laws allowing abortion) – even had Andrew Bolt questioning his thinking.
“Why on earth was Christopher Monckton endorsing the nationalist Rise Up Australia Party? Great chance for warmists to paint climate sceptics as fringe dwellers,” the climate science mangling News Ltd columnist wrote on his blog. And he was right.
On other matters, Jensen told Fairfax that, if he were appointed science minister, his vision for science in Australia would centre on encouraging more young people to study science, and on fixing up the funding model of the Australian Research Council to encourage more innovation.