A bit more analysis and a bit less panic would help us all when it comes to ‘climate change’.
AS has been stressed previously in this column, political autobiographies can so often be self-serving and must be treated with caution.
It’s advisable to confirm claims in autobiographies against primary sources, since some seek to convey erroneous impressions.
Half-truths, wishful thinking, refashioning the past, and ambiguous wording are too often resorted to by auto-biographers to boost their standing.
American academic political commentator Thomas Sowell wisely classifies autobiographies as just another form of fiction.
All this came to mind as I recently browsed John Howard’s bestselling autobiography, Lazarus Rising.
This week, a cheaper paperback edition was released.
When scanning the hardcover edition I turned to Chapter 41, ‘Our Warm Dry Land’, to see how Mr Howard justified implementing so many Greens policies regarding the CO2 global heating hoax.
“Australian politics has had some perfect storms,” he began.
“In my time, none exceeded the perfect storm which crashed on to the environmental debate in October-November 2006, dramatically recasting politics of global warming within Australia.”
Mr Howard later claimed that, over a few weeks, four events coincided to reinforce climate concerns.
These were: Victoria’s bushfire season began early; eastern Australia’s drought lingered; Al Gore’s film, ‘An Inconvenient Truth’, described as a “slick production”, terrified millions of movie goers; and Blair government economist Nicholas Stern, released a report alleging global heating threatened humanity.
“Because of this I concluded that the government would need to shift its position on climate change,” Mr Howard continued.
But not stated were his moves between 1998 and 2006, which compelled state electricity commissions to subsidise high-cost unreliable windmill and rooftop solar panel-generated power.
He’d also established the costly Australian Greenhouse Office.
Also ignored was that his government adopted, in 1998, the Kyoto Protocol, which demonised CO2.
Even though he abided by Kyoto’s terms, his government never ratified the treaty.
All this came before October-November 2006, when, according to Mr Howard’s version of history, a ‘perfect storm’ prompted him to dramatically recast policies.
He didn’t actually change his position in 2006, however. He instead accelerated things along his already adopted path of appeasing the Greens.
In fact Mr Howard had set about blazing the trail by announcing he’d impose an emissions trading scheme (ETS) if he won the 2007 election.
Remember also, he was writing his book while former environment minister (and then party leader) Malcolm Turnbull struck difficulties cajoling MPs and rank-and-file Liberals to continue treading down the already well-worn Howard-Greens path.
Soon after came that unprecedented party policy back flip, which resulted in Mr Turnbull losing the leadership and then announcing he’d be leaving politics.
No prizes for guessing who talked him into staying.
True, all this is history, and has been largely recounted in this column.
Let’s therefore consider more recent developments that could embarrass others within Liberal ranks who still embrace the global heating fraud.
At last month’s WA Liberal Party state conference, former state Liberal MP Murray Nixon moved this solidly backed motion; “The Liberal Party of Australia (WA Division) supports a royal commission into the science of climate change, headed by an eminent judge.”
One delegate spoke against but only to say passing it might take the focus off the coming Gillard-Greens CO2 tax.
His exhortation was rejected.
Not widely known is that the Nixon motion was to have been proposed at the party’s 2009 conference, when Mr Turnbull was leader.
But considerable backroom arm-twisting ensured it was dropped, since true believer Mr Turnbull would be embarrassed, given his support for the introduction of an ETS.
Mr Nixon backed his call for a royal commission into the science by stressing he wasn’t an expert, but remained open-minded, and feared maybe Labor and the Greens were behaving like Chicken Little.
For those unfamiliar with Chicken Little, here are some lines from ‘The Sky Is Falling’, Rick Walton’s adaptation of a traditional fable.
“Once upon a time there was a tiny, tiny chicken named Chicken Little.
“One day Chicken Little was scratching in the garden when something fell on her head.
“Oh,” cried Chicken Little, “the sky is falling. I must go tell the king.”
“So Chicken Little ran and ran, and she met Henny Penny.
“Where do you travel so fast, Chicken Little?” asked Henny Penny.
“Ah, Henny Penny,” said Chicken Little, “the sky is falling, and I must go and tell the king.”
“How do you know that the sky is falling, Chicken Little?” asked Henny Penny.
“I saw it with my eyes, I heard it with my ears, and a bit of it fell on my head,” said Chicken Little ...”
Didn’t anyone ever tell Mr Howard bushfires have recurred throughout Australian history, even before Europeans arrived?
Didn’t anyone tell him previous droughts were often far worse than that of 2006?
Why didn’t Mr Howard, who had the massive resources of Australia’s government, do what the humble Mr Nixon moved for two years ago but was only able to do now that Mr Turnbull was no longer leader?
Yes, why didn’t Mr Howard, when struck by what he called a ‘perfect storm’, say ‘I give in, this question is too complex for me; we’ll have a open scientific inquiry so all views get a fair airing, under oath, to help reach nothing but the truth.’
Why be panicked, like Chicken Little, by a cheap F-grade Hollywood movie into making grave decisions like taxing energy usage?
Was it perhaps because he, like Chicken Little, was already fixated on the path he’d begun treading from back in 1998, which isn’t highlighted in his chapter 41?
Interestingly, in 2007 English school governor Stewart Dimmock challenged Al Gore’s ‘slick production’ in court, which ruled it as being ‘one-sided’ and ‘would breach education rules unless accompanied by a warning’.
Justice Burton, who found it contained nine scientific errors, ruled it could be shown in schools as part of the climate change resource pack but warned it must be accompanied by new guidance notes to balance Mr Gore’s partisan views.
Mr Dimmock sought an order to ban the film after Britain’s government opted to distribute it to schools.
“The film contains blatant inaccuracies,” Mr Dimmock said. “It’s a political shockumentary, it’s not a scientific documentary.”
Here are a few lines from American physicist Hal Lewis, who last year resigned from the American Physical Society for its kowtowing to the hoax.
“[T]he global warming scam, with the (literally) trillions of dollars driving it ... is the greatest and most successful fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist,” he wrote.
More reason for a stringent judicial inquiry under oath.
Don’t assume Messrs Howard and Turnbull are Robinson Crusoe when it comes to Liberal leaders in their distain for scientific inquiries, preferring instead Chicken Little’s approach.
When Colin Barnett was asked before conference day to comment on Mr Nixon’s motion he dismissed it as being “not sensible”.
Shame on you Mr Barnett.