Another right wing trojan horse – Australian Environment Foundation

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It’s a fucking outrage.

The more you learn, the more outrageous it becomes. Fresh from this recent burst which drew attention to the US right wing think tank which is funding climate change denial across the globe, this week’s Media Watch (episode of 19th March) has alerted us to the AEF – the Australian Environment Foundation, which is just such a think tank.

The show pointed out how the AEF was established by the dreaded Institute of Public Affairs, which is the most rabid and conscience-free right wing organisation since the Tea Party (at this point, their collective chests will be swelling with pride).  The IPA practice policy development by spreadsheet – whatever position makes the most money for private individuals, becomes their position. And they are fronted by some truly awful individuals, whom I won’t mention by name, since that’s inviting the opportunity to enhance someone’s personal wealth. Just look at the AEF About page in the link above, and look at the media releases on the right-hand side; they include:

  • MD Basin plan based on junk science
  • CSIRO report on wind farms not credible
  • Get Up campaigns against the environment
  • IPCC exposed
  • Poor want climate policies that work
  • The crumbling edifice of the IPCC.
These headlines are absolutely predictable, given the nature of this organisation, especially relying on the old ‘speaking for the poor’ gambit, which is ironic and hilarious at the same time as being pathetic.

Oh boy. Talk about dark forces.

However the connection of the AEF with the IPA was highlighted by some recent work by one of the members of the AEF, Dr. Jennifer Marohasey, who was formerly  a senior fellow of the IPA (2004-2009). Seems that Dr. Marohasey is is a climate denier of the highest order – she admits to this on her own website. She is the author of the report which claims that the MD basin plan is based on ‘junk science’. Has the report been peer reviewed? Oh yes, of course. By a Professor Peter Ridd. And oh, my, look at that – he’s a director of the AEF! That’s handy. When challenged to provide additional evidence of review, Dr. Marohasey provided a few names, most of which rubbished her work comprehensively, with comments such as:

The paper appears to be a crusade against the barrages, and the scientists who have actually carried out their unbiased science there, rather than a sound scientific paper.


Science should not be twisted to support a poorly supported and dangerous policy option.

And her cohorts at the AEF include the usual suspects. The AEF subsequently launched another organisation called the Australian Climate Science Coalition, the ‘expert panel’ of which is a who’s-who of climate denialists, including Bob Carter and Ian Plimer. You’ll recall from my earlier piece that Bob Carter is already on the payroll of a US climate denial ‘think tank’, the Heartland Institute.

And guess what. The ACSC received almost all of its funding from the American Climate Science Coalition. Seems the yanks are pulling some strings. The Tea Party connection is not that far away really.

This is all pretty grubby really. Basically, these people are hiding behind a name, to push commercial interests above all else – not even the truth gets in the way.

The real issue is the dishonesty and deceptive behaviour of some of these groups and individuals, who are hell-bent on sowing doubt among the population to further their own ideology. They try desperately to sell us the message that it’s the evil scientists who are distorting the truth, especially that most evil of organisations, the CSIRO, but ultimately they are just con-men in a cheap suit.

In her letter to Media Watch, Dr. Marohasey challenged them to say that she was doing this for personal financial gain, which they backed off from doing. Rather, Media Watch focused on the credulous reporting around the whole issue. I don’t think she’s doing it for personal financial gain either, but I think she’s crafted those words cunningly. No, it’s not financial gain, but it’s certainly to push a particular ideology – squash anything that limits profits. Simple. Why don’t they just own up to that, and spare us all the environmental posturing?

You only need to read the first line of their About page to understand their mind-set. They are cunning, but their bias is clear.

The Australian Environment Foundation (AEF) is a not-for-profit, membership-based environmental organisation having no political affiliation.  We take an evidence-based, solution focused approach to environmental issues.

As for their claim of  ‘evidence-based’, if not an outright lie, then this statement is at least highly delusional.

I’m afraid the only ‘evidence’ I see is of an elaborate and shameless scam being perpetrated on the Australian public by some right wing nutters, who drape themselves in the fine cloth of science and environmentalism only to disguise their duplicity with a thin veneer of respectability.

See! Now they’ve forced me into a mangled metaphor – now I’m really angry.


4 thoughts on “Another right wing trojan horse – Australian Environment Foundation

    @blamer said:
    March 21, 2012 at 11:42 am


    I don’t think word means what they think it means…

    The preponderance of evidence towers against them, they reject it and instead turn to academic radicals and non-experts.

      rationalbrain said:
      March 21, 2012 at 12:57 pm

      I think you’re right.
      Perhaps we need to distinguish between reality-based-evidence, and fictitious evidence. Obviously they go for the latter, in which their subjective opinion equates to evidence.
      Depressing, isn’t it?

    […] you had any doubts about the mission of the Heartland Institute after my recent articles here and here, then they will evaporate after you read of their latest exploits, […]

    […] by  the Heartland Institute, about which I’ve written before, for example here, here and here. Here’s an excellent article by Michael Brown of Monash University providing more background […]

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