Last November I wrote a piece on the successful passage of the carbon price legislation through the senate here in Australia. That particular piece of legislation has caused howls of protest amongst the deluded, the dishonest and the easily-led. The sky was going to fall in.
Well, true to all predictions of those with any common sense, the carbon price has come in, and guess what? Barely a ripple. Apart from a few unscrupulous traders trying to jack their prices up and blame the carbon tax, it’s been all quiet (well done ACCC on naming and shaming those businesses). Alas, the nay-sayers continue to bleat – reminiscent of the two old hecklers in the Muppet Show.
In that article, I also referred to one Richard Muller, a sceptical climate scientist, who had changed his mind and now believed in man-made climate change, since confirming a 1.5C rise in average global temperatures since the 50′s.
Well, Muller has continued his work, and has done a bigger, better study which has not only confirmed his earlier findings, but he has now concluded that the predicted temperature rises will be more than those predicted by the IPCC report. Key quotes from this article are:
Our results show that the average temperature of the earth’s land has risen by 2½ degrees Fahrenheit over the past 250 years, including an increase of 1½ degrees over the most recent 50 years. Moreover, it appears likely that essentially all of this increase results from the human emission of greenhouse gases,” Professor Muller wrote in an opinion piece for The New York Times.
The team of scientists based at the University of California, Berkeley, gathered and merged 14.4 million land temperature observations from 44,455 sites across the world dating back to 1753. Previous datasets created by NASA, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Britain’s Meteorological Office and the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit had gone back only to the mid-1800s and used five times fewer weather station records.
Needless to say, confirmed denialists continue to nit-pick and try to find flaws in the work. But they’re just body-surfing in tidal wave of science. They will grasp any flimsy argument to bolster their ideology – their certainty that they’re right. What they don’t seem to realise is that it is not a battle of ideologies. It is not a philosophical discussion. The findings from the science are not an ideological outcome – they are simply a reflection of reality, to the extent that we can describe it.
This trenchant refusal to budge is emphasised in this article which quotes some sceptic as saying:
“I’m not convinced that he [Muller] was ever a sceptic although, of people I respect, there is a couple who do have a decent opinion of him”
While giving Muller some grudging support, it seems they want to disown him now. Funny about that. It’s a lot like the christian community wanting to disown Anders Breivik – “he was never a real christian”. How convenient.
However, what’s new in this second article is reference to the ‘Galileo Movement‘. This tawdry little group is basically a right-wing ‘axe-the-tax’ mob, featuring all the usual suspects, most of whom I’ve had a crack at on this blog over the journey – for example, Andrew Bolt, Alan Jones, Monckton (I refuse to call him a Lord), Bob Carter, Ian Plimer, Jennifer Marohasy so on and so forth. And I must say I object to them appropriating the name Galileo for their slimy purposes. Yes, yes, I know he was persecuted for his views. But there are 2 key differences between the big G and this little kindergarten playgroup. Firstly, Galileo was doing SCIENCE and was sticking up for the facts (“and yet, it moves”). Secondly, these fools are not persecuted in any sense. Ridiculed, yes, persecuted, no. It is they who accuse scientists of being dishonest. In fact, if we are drawing parallels, this movement is much closer to the Catholic Church of the time – driven by ideology, and unwilling to be persuaded that their beliefs may be false – choosing to remain ignorant of the fact that the earth does move around the sun. The irony in that choice of name is therefore obvious.
Just going to the main page of this site is instructive – front and centre is ‘Beat the Deceit’. Yes, they’re still bleating about the manner in which the carbon price was introduced. They go on to deploy every trick in the book to denigrate the science and pump up their ideology. These are the truly deluded; blinded by their ideology in a big way.
However the biggest surprise (or maybe not) was at the end of that article which quoted a Malcolm Roberts, the manager of the movement as saying:
” .. climate change science had been captured by “some of the major banking families in the world” who form a “tight-knit cabal”.
Mr Roberts said he understood that the group’s views might sound strange, but claimed they were increasingly popular. “It does sound outlandish,” he said. “I, like you, was reluctant to believe it [but] there are significant things going on in Australia that people are waking up to”.
So what do we have here? Oh boy! It’s the New World Order conspiracy! Is that what these people are waiting for?
Although I’ve not written too much about it, I’m aware of this sub-genus of nutters who believe that a new world order is coming, as a group of powerful bankers (led by the Rothschild family) and the ‘Illuminati‘ take over the world, for some purpose. It seems the Galileo Movement is a member of this species, at least according to its manager.
Apart from the obvious nuttiness in maintaining this position, the hypocrisy is breathtaking. Here is a bunch of right-wing mouthpieces, who will yell from the roof tops about making government smaller, and allowing big business to do its thing, and yet, if a big banking enterprise is trying to get bigger (for the good of employment and prosperity of the little guy of course), they suddenly accuse it of all sorts of nefarious purposes. I say, all power to the Illuminati if it supports continued economic growth, right?
But seriously, how typical is this whole scene? To use a mathematical expression:
RW = f (immovable ideology, religion, denialism, economic rationalism, conspiracy, …).
What this means is that right-wing is usually a function of immovable ideology, religion, denialism and so forth.
We see it time and again, and I suspect it is just human nature. Perhaps we should round them all up and put them in prison camps. That way, they would have a real conspiracy and tangible persecution to talk about, rather than a manufactured enemy.