Dr Glenn Albrecht, an environmental philosopher from the University of Newcastle, has started a new blog on ethics and climate change, which according to its byline is: “A Blog devoted to critical evaluation and analysis of the ‘values’ that are implicit in global warming and climate change articles in the media”.
Of particular interest to Brave New Climate readers is that he’s done an analysis of the Dr Jennifer Marohasy piece from The Australian, “A case of the warm and fuzzy“, which I also dissected a few weeks back when it first came out. My comments were largely focused on what elements of the published climate science were ignored in the sweeping statements contained within that editorial. Glenn goes over some of this same ground, but in addition delves more deeply into the underlying motivations behind the piece. It makes for a really interesting perceptive. To quote Glenn’s conclusion:
The article, in Australia’s only national newspaper, reveals much about the motivation of Jennifer Marohasy. At first glance, one could be forgiven for thinking that her ‘line’ is a form of religious faith or zealotry erected as a defence against all the evidence to the contrary. Like flat earthers and the Church at the time of Copernicus and Galileo in the face of evidence of a heliocentric solar system and imperfect heavenly spheres, a closed system of belief is created where all counter-evidence is reinterpreted as proof of the truth of her own position. Data is then manipulated to defend the indefensible. Graphs are produced to show misleading and erroneous ‘trends’ and advocacy misrepresented as science.
However, like the many climate change sceptics she relies on for her data and graphs, JM is intimately associated with a privately funded think tank. She is an employee of the Institute for Public Affairs, a think tank funded by commercial enterprise. As such, she is expected to provide value for money and deliver messages that are supportive of the corporate interests. She is not a dispassionate or disinterested commentator on global warming and climate change; she is an advocate for the interests of those who fund the IPA. It should come as no surprise that the major bodies funding the work of JM include BHP-Billiton, the Western Mining Corporation, Monsanto, Clough Engineering, News Limited (publisher of the Australian Newspaper), Caltex, Esso, Shell, Gunns and companies in the electricity generation industry.
The evidence for the long-term warming of the planet is now overwhelming and that JM has resorted to the use of distraction with irrelevant issues such as salinity, over-reliance on dodgy satellite data and short term changes in recent weather patterns (not trends in long-term climate) in order to make her case is revealing.
The argument that Australia should not implement a greenhouse gas reduction scheme because of a lack of evidence has empirical and ethical faults. I hope the scientific community can further take her to task on the lack of scientific credibility of her case.
On the ethical front, the hypocrisy of arguing that Australians are scientifically illiterate and easily manipulated by vested interests and then, in a calculated manner, contributing to that illiteracy and deliberately manipulating them with poor data, misleading graphs and confusing argumentation is unforgivable.
The issue of global warming and climate change is far too important to leave to paid representatives of a particular set of vested interests in Australia or elsewhere. If, because of the ‘work’ of sceptics such as JM, individuals, businesses and governments delay action to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and halt global warming, then these people must be held especially responsible for the hugely negative changes that are now taking place to the foundations of all life, agriculture and economies.
We must resist the anti-global warming zealots and corporate lackeys and put our trust in those who, without vested interest, are telling us that we must act now to avoid a very nasty future.