New Deputy PM is a climate denier

New Deputy PM Michael McCormack (Mick Mack) is a garden variety climate denier according to Paddy Manning at The Monthly:

    Given he is our new deputy prime minister, it is not surprising that “who is Michael McCormack?” pieces are now popping up everywhere. And yet, they glide over his worst offence: he appears to be just another National Party climate change denier.

He revealed it in his first speech in parliament. More recently:

    So McCormack was quite certain that the devastating Brisbane floods in 2011 were “not climate change”, ditto the floods in his own electorate in 2012. McCormack calls the use of the words “dangerous climate change” hysterical, he cites Bjorn Lomborg and attacks Tim Flannery, he opposed the carbon tax, supported the abolition of ARENA, and complained that schools were teaching climate “doomsday scenarios” to our kids. Speaking on the Clean Energy Future package, McCormack said: “If … the seas are rising due to the catastrophic climate change, why is it that so many of the doomsayers are still happy to live on the ocean’s edge? For every alarmist scientist after their next funding grant who will tell you we are facing ‘dangerous climate change’, I can show you a salt-of-the-earth generational farmer who will be just as convincing with his assurances that the only thing which changes is the weather.”


    Adam Bandt put the question directly to McCormack this afternoon – “are you still a climate change denier?” – but was ruled out of order by Speaker Tony Smith, on the bizarre grounds that climate change has nothing to do with McCormack’s direct portfolio responsibilities. We’ll have to wait for a direct answer to that question. He’ll fudge, he’ll wriggle out of it, but we know the answer.

Maybe he won’t wriggle and fudge, but will be proud of his views. Around five years ago I understood that Federal Nationals were 100% climate sceptics or deniers.I would expect that little has changed. Certainly George Christenson and Barnaby Joyce are quite open about it. In November 2015 Josh Taylor at Crikey identified them, plus Senator Ian Macdonald, Andrew Laming and Cory Benardi, plus two Liberals since departed, Dennis Jensen and Chris Back, as having Turnbull by the short’n’curlies as he was about to commit to the Paris Agreement. In August 2016 climate sceptic Liberal MP was appointed chair of environment and energy committee. That could only be done in a climate of opinion friendly to his views.

So I’m sceptical of Michael J. I. Brown’s view that our top politicians have stopped listening to climate deniers, which he saw as now occupying the political fringe with then One Nation Senator Malcolm Roberts.

When President Trump was about to walk away from the Paris Agreement last June Fairfax reported that five MPs from the Liberal backbench – Ian Goodenough, Eric Abetz, Ian MacDonald, Tony Pasin and environment committee chair Craig Kelly – were urging the Government to think likewise.

They also urged that the Finkel review of climate policy should take account of Trump’s position.

    Taken together, the comments once again underscore the political fault line that has run through the Coalition on how to tackle anthropogenic climate change since 2009.

Of course the Government was not for turning, but it is very noticeable that when Turnbull when talks electricity policy emphasising cost, reliability and emissions reduction, the latter comes a bad last. The National Energy Guarantee (NEG) is being finessed to support old coal power and even to allow new coal power to be built, possibly with taxpayer support.

This, it would appear, conforms with the Coalition Agreement, now signed again unaltered. Who can forget February 2017, when Scott Morrison brought a lump of coal into parliament?

10 thoughts on “New Deputy PM is a climate denier”

  1. Brian,

    Yesterday, posted this piece titled Barnaby’s re-Joyce: New Nationals leader is just another anti-wind climate denier.

    It would be interesting to see what other key pollies are climate deniers.

  2. Brian,

    Of course the Government was not for turning, but it is very noticeable that when Turnbull when talks electricity policy emphasising cost, reliability and emissions reduction, the latter comes a bad last.

    This recent update from IEEFA shows the declining costs of solar. So where are the arguments against renewables? Reliability, perhaps? But the ageing coal-fired generators are becoming increasingly unreliable.

  3. Most farmers don’t want coal mines, fracking or coal fired power stations on their farms so it is a bit hard to work out why the Nationals are so much in favour of fossil fuels.
    On the other hand given the look on Barnaby’s face in the picture above maybe sniffing coal is just as intoxicating as petrol fumes?

  4. Thanks, Geoff, for the links. I should have looked at RenewEconomy, but I’ve been flat chat. Yesterday my pedometer told me I did 34,000 steps.

    I reckon give it five years and these dinosaurs will look pretty irrelevant.

  5. Good comment, JohnD. I had similar thoughts but couldn’t think how to word them. You nailed it, particularly in pointing out that the Nationals cannot possibly represent their constituency who are largely by necessity climate realists. Its happening, Climate Change, and affecting them most specifically.

    I periodically take a look at the blog of that ridiculous woman, Jo Nova (Joanne Codling), not to read but to observe the comment counts. Her audience is steadily slipping away as she is running out of topics with each core climate lie becoming demonstrably false.

    I had a look at the climate position of the Nats before BJ’s demise and concluded that there would be not policy affect from his removal other than an ethical credibility improvement for the party. But there is a much larger issue developing (actually fully developed and engulfing government policy decisions) and that is to do with how the Libs are spending public money. The fact is that they are completely out of touch with the value of money. When government projects went from hundreds of millions to billions in cost, politicians completely lost perspective and now easily over commit future expenditure simply because the terminology is now “is it one billion or two?” We saw this with TurnBull’s Snowy expansion which very quickly went form his “nation building two billion” to the contractor’s seeing a golden opportunity four point five billion. According to the Urbanist this is due to the fact that the government has completely outsourced all levels of quantitative advice and this does the public no service.

  6. Desperate pollies like big projects to demonstrate their vision.
    So now we are looking at spending billions on the wrong energy storage project in the wrong location instead of smaller scale energy storage close to the user or generator and thus avoiding wasting more money on the gold plated network.
    After the stuff up Turnbull has made of the NBN……….

  7. Wonder how he will respond to this year’s World Day Of Prayer where the theme was very much on the irresponsible destruction of God’s Creation and our environment?

  8. In case you were unaware:

    On ABC 4 Corners tonight is the programme Weather Alert, see link here. The webpage includes:

    Across Australia, farmers, small businesses, government planners and major corporations have stopped waiting for politicians to decide whether climate change is real. They’re acting now.

    Will the Nats (claiming to champion rural interests) be watching, and taking notes, or will they see it as conspiracy propaganda and ignore it?

  9. Geoff, unfortunately many farmers say ‘Yes, the climate is changing, it has always changed. We’ve dealt with it before and we will do so again.’ Along with stuff about how during the reign of Henry VIII people were skating on the Thames.

    The insurance companies and the banks are starting to be very realistic, as the program promo says. It will be interesting to see who the ABC has talked to and what they say, but many will say that the ABC are in on the conspiracy.

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