Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Cory Bernardi spouts the climate denialism of American right-wing “think tanks”

Australia’s richest woman, the mining magnate Gina Rinehart, is also reportedly backing Bernardi and joined him in meetings in New York in late 2016 with key figures from the Donald Trump camp.

Rinehart has previously supported speaking tours by Lord Christopher Monckton, the British climate science denier once described as a “vaudeville artist” by a former version of Malcolm Turnbull (the one that claimed to care deeply about climate change).

bernardi-coryHow Cory Bernardi was inspired to push climate denial from US conservative groups, Guardian,  Graham Readfearn, 7 Feb 17  Climate science denial group the Heartland Institute helped inspire Cory Bernardi and Malcolm Roberts to push back against policies to cut emissions   I

If the dissident conservative senator Cory Bernardi’s new political party shares the views of its founder, then we can chalk up it up as another fringe party firmly in the climate science denial camp.

Ignoring mountains of evidence from multiple lines of inquiry carried out over many decades, Bernardi has for a long time chosen to listen instead to fake experts pushing talking points that walk like zombies through barbecue conversations across Australia.

A Bernardi-led party would join One NationFamily First, the Liberal Democratsand Rise Up Australia in rejecting the evidence for action on cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

Many of the climate change talking points pushed individually and collectively by these political groups perfectly match the propagandised science pushed by conservative “free market” thinktanks in the US.

Like Bernardi, the likes of One Nation and Family First have taken their cues and inspiration from that US network of ideological “thinktanks”that push climate science denial as if their lives, or their salaries, depended on it.

 Let me explain.

Bernardi has been much more than just an outspoken politician who thinks human-caused climate change is mostly a fraud and that carbon prices are just “a form of socialism”.

Bernardi has been a funder and an organiser of the opposition to action on climate change in Australia for years.

When Bernardi launched his Conservative Leadership Foundation (CLF) in 2009, one of the first action items of the groups the CLF helped to establish was to go after policies that put a price on greenhouse gas emissions.

Bernardi’s inspiration for forming the CLF, at least in part, came from a reported trip to the Leadership Institute in the US a year or two earlier. The Leadership Institute trains young people to be conservative activists and “freedom fighters” that will go out into the world to “defeat the radical left.”

The CLF helped to fund and establish a network of conservative websites, including stopgillardscarbontax.com, which had another US-based global warming sceptic, the Cato Institute’s Patrick Michaels, as a science adviser.

Bernardi himself has spoken twice at climate conferences organised by the US climate science denial group the Heartland Institute – once in Chicago in May 2010 and then again in Sydney in October that same year. Each time, Heartland paid Bernardi’s expenses…….

A couple of years after Bernardi’s courting of Heartland, the institute ran a billboard campaign comparing people who accepted the evidence of human-caused climate change to the values of terrorist Ted Kaczynski.

The Nationals MP George Christensen, who for now has ruled out joining Bernardi, has also spoken at a Heartland climate event.

Australia’s richest woman, the mining magnate Gina Rinehart, is also reportedly backing Bernardi and joined him in meetings in New York in late 2016 with key figures from the Donald Trump camp.

Rinehart has previously supported speaking tours by Lord Christopher Monckton, the British climate science denier once described as a “vaudeville artist” by a former version of Malcolm Turnbull (the one that claimed to care deeply about climate change).

Monckton helped to launch minor party Rise Up Australia, fronted by young Earth creationist pastor Daniel Nalliah.

Monckton is also the “chief policy adviser” to the Science and Public Policy Institute (not an actual institute) – another of those US-based “thinktanks” that push discredited climate science talking points.

As recently as December 2016, One Nation senator Malcolm Roberts was rubbing shoulders in Washington DC with a who’s who of climate science deniers from this web of groups.

After quitting the coal industry, Roberts became a voluntary project manager for the Galileo Movement.

But a couple of years earlier, Roberts was in New York for the first of Heartland’s conferences for climate science deniers (also there was David Archibald, a current One Nation candidate in Western Australia who recently labeled single mothers as being too lazy to get partners).

Roberts drew on US-based deniers for his “advisory panel” at the Galileo Movement, including Monckton and Michaels.

One Nation’s climate policy is a literal cut and paste of the Galileo Movement’s wish list on climate change policy.

The former Family First senator Steve Fielding is another to have returned from a Heartland Institute conference with dodgy talking points under his arm. Fielding is long gone, but Family First’s rejection of hard evidence on climate science remains.

Groups like the Heartland Institute have been galvanised by the election of Donald Trump and, as I’ve argued before, the impact of that web of organisations goes well beyond the US borderhttps://www.theguardian.com/environment/planet-oz/2017/feb/07/how-cory-bernardi-was-inspired-to-push-climate-denial-from-us-conservative-groups

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February 8, 2017 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics

1 Comment »

  1. Reblogged this on GarryRogers Nature Conservation and commented:
    It spreads.

    Comment by GarryRogers | February 9, 2017 | Reply


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