It is increasingly difficult to articulate a sceptical perspective on catastrophic human-caused climate change and other such issues. Not only with colleagues, but also within extended families. This is especially the case at Christmas time when there is an expectation, we will all be agreeable, and get on with each other. The spirit of bonhomie and all that stuff.
In 2022, to be sceptical of the climate catastrophe is to be a social outcast, and this extends to wanting to celebrate the health of the Great Barrier Reef. We are meant to be crying over everything. Yet Christmas should be a joyous time.
According to clinical psychologist Mattias Desmet, the type of totalitarianism that insists we only speak of catastrophe does not form in a vacuum. It arises from a collective psychosis when members of a community share an underlying anxiety and lack a common purpose. It is a form of group hypnosis that destroys an individuals’ ethical self-awareness and robs them of their ability to think critically.
In his recent interview with Tucker Carlson, Prof Desmet suggests that it is incumbent upon each of us who can see through the soul-destroying propaganda to continue to speak out. That to be silent is not an option.
In my very first film, Beige Reef, I finish with comment that:
Filming corals at Beige Reef is a form of resistance – our purpose is very simple, to acknowledge Beige Reef. To be acknowledged is to be admitted and accepted as true.
As I explain in the film, the experts claimed that this coral reef had been destroyed by climate change. But it hadn’t.
If they can deny the existence of a fair-sized coral reef at the entrance to Bowen harbour with that false claim published by prestigious scientific journal Nature, what other mischief can they get up to?
Poet Dorothea McKellar was loving Australian as a land of drought and flooding rains at the beginning of the twentieth century – back more than 100 years ago. In 1908 she wrote:
I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror –
The wide brown land for me!
A stark white ring-barked forest
All tragic to the moon,
The sapphire-misted mountains,
The hot gold hush of noon.
Green tangle of the brushes,
Where lithe lianas coil,
And orchids deck the tree-tops
And ferns the warm dark soil.
Core of my heart, my country!
Her pitiless blue sky,
When sick at heart, around us,
We see the cattle die –
But then the grey clouds gather,
And we can bless again
The drumming of an army,
The steady, soaking rain.
Core of my heart, my country!
Land of the Rainbow Gold,
For flood and fire and famine,
She pays us back threefold –
These same natural climate phenomena are now touted as proof of recent human-caused catastrophe.
American Naomi Oreskes was given a whole hour on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Science Show (21st December 2022) to absurdly claimed that droughts and floods in Australia are proof of human-caused catastrophic climate change and that worldwide there are no peer-reviewed studies – that is right, not even one – that contradict the consensus position that climate change is entirely human caused.
These claims, and much of the rest of what Professor Oreskes said, are misinformation. Propaganda. And they need to be resisted.
As I document in my submission (co-authored with Chris Gillham) to the NSW Flood Inquiry, there has been no overall increase in the intensity or frequency of extremely wet days.
Once upon a time, presenter Robyn Williams, who has controlled the science show for decades, may have invited me on to put the alternative perspective. Afterall, I have even published in a peer-reviewed journal (GeoResJ Vol 14, Pgs 36-46) estimating the contribution of human-caused versus natural climate change to recent warming. My study (co-authored with John Abbot) suggests, that without the industrial revolution, there would have been a period of warming through the twentieth century. We estimate the human contribution to current warming as at most 0.2 °C. That is miniscule. And the mere presence of our published paper disproves Prof Oreskes claim that such studies do not exist.
It took an enormous effort, supported by the B. Macfie Family Foundation through the Institute of Public Affairs, for such research to emerge despite the gate keepers. That it is denied by Naomi Oreskes and Robyn Williams is disappointing. But not a reason to give up.
You may get cancelled this Christmas for having the type of opinion now denied on the Science Show, or it could be simply that you laugh inappropriately, or choose to point out a logical inconsistency in your favourite progressives’ argument or, worse, that you show them up to be bias.
I made a very short film earlier this year with my dear friend Jared, entitled Washed Away. It is how I feel sometimes. But, like the rocks that form the platform below Boiling Point Lookout in Noosa National Park, we can resist.
We can even be disagreeable at Christmas and explain that sea levels used to be 120 metres lower than they are today.
You read that correctly: sea levels used to be 120 metres lower. There is a chart, with a citation, in the film. I dare you to invite your most ‘progressive’ relative to watch it with you, this Christmas.
Best wishes, and more power to you.