Maurice Newman, the former chairman of the ABC and the ASX who will be the chair of Tony Abbott’s Business Advisory Council, has launched an attack against the CSIRO, the weather bureau and the “myth” of anthropological climate change.
In an opinion piece written for the Australian Financial Review, Newman said much of the public service infrastructure would be resistant to change because of their “vested interests” in the status quo.
“The CSIRO, for example, has 27 scientists dedicated to climate change,” Newman wrote. “It and the weather bureau continue to propagate the myth of anthropological climate change and are likely to be background critics of the Coalition’s Direct Action policies.”
Given Newman’s dismissal of climate science, one wonders why he sees the need for Direct Action of any type. The answer possibly lies in the government’s updated policy position: Abbott has conceded that the government will no longer seek to reach even the minimum 5 per cent emission reduction target if its reduced budget of $3 billion falls short of requirements.
Newman’s comments came a day after it was revealed that Abbott’s mentor John Howard would address one of the world’s most prominent climate skeptics think tanks, and the portfolios of science and climate change had been subsumed into other ministries.
Newman said money spent on pursuing the myths of climate change and global action was wasted, because they misallocate capital and add to unemployment.
He said all such agencies should be abolished or reviewed. He is likely to be granted his wish, because among the first priorities of the Abbott government will be to close the Climate Commission, which gave independent advice on the science, dismantle the Climate Change Authority, which gave independent advice on appropriate policy measures, and abolish the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, an independent body which is looking to finance clean energy projects.
The shout-out from Abbott’s closest advisors to climate skeptics comes just over a week before the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change releases the first volume of its first report since 2007.
Conservative tabloids in the UK have been running with a “leak” that purported to say that the IPCC had admitted its modeling was wrong, and global warming had hardly moved in recent decades. This was a theme picked up and given prominence by The Australian, and the talk-back radio networks that were vocal supporters of Abbott in the recent election campaign.
Meanwhile, 12 members of a newly established group of prominent climate scientists have published a statement that says the body of evidence indicating that our civilisation has already caused significant global warming is overwhelming.
The scientists, members of the Earth League, repeated warnings from the World Bank, the IEA and elsewhere that the world is on track to enter into a 4-degrees warmer world this century. “Moreover, powerful feedback processes that very likely will push the warming even higher could be set into irreversible operation.”