Could Australia Blow Apart the Great Global Warming Scare?

By Robert Tracinski & Tom Minchin

capitolmoneyAs the US Congress considers the Waxman-Markey “Cap-and-Trade” bill, the Australian Senate is on the verge of rejecting its own version of “cap-and-trade”.

The story of this legislation’s collapse offers advance notice for what might happen to similar legislation in the US—and to the whole global warming hysteria.

Since the Australian government first introduced its Emission Trading Scheme (ETS) legislation—the Australian version of cap-and-trade energy rationing—there has been a sharp shift in public opinion and political momentum against the global warming crusade. This is a story that offers hope to defenders of industrial civilization—and a warning to American environmentalists that the climate change they should be afraid of just might be a shift in the intellectual climate.

An April 29 article in The Australian described the general trend—and its leading cause.

There is rising recognition that introduction of a carbon tax under the guise of “cap and trade” will be personally costly, economically disruptive to society and tend to shift classes of jobs offshore. Moreover, despite rising carbon dioxide concentrations, global warming seems to have taken a holiday….

With public perceptions changing so dramatically and quickly it is little wonder Ian Plimer’s latest book, Heaven and Earth, Global Warming: The Missing Science, has been received with such enthusiasm and is into its third print run in as many weeks. [It’s now up to the fifth printing.]

The public is receptive to an exposé of the many mythologies and false claims associated with anthropogenic global warming and are welcoming an authoritative description of planet Earth and its ever-changing climate in readable language.

One of the most remarkable changes occurred on April 13, when leading global warming hysteric Paul Sheehan—who writes for the main Sydney newspaper, the Sydney Morning Herald, which has done as much to hype the threat of global warming as any Australian newspaper—reviewed Plimer’s book and admitted he was taken aback. He describes Plimer, correctly, as “one of Australia’s foremost Earth scientists,” and praised the book as “brilliantly argued” and “the product of 40 years’ research and breadth of scholarship.”

What does Plimer’s book say? Here is Sheehan’s summary:

Much of what we have read about climate change, [Plimer] argues, is rubbish, especially the computer modeling on which much current scientific opinion is based, which he describes as “primitive.”…

The Earth’s climate is driven by the receipt and redistribution of solar energy. Despite this crucial relationship, the sun tends to be brushed aside as the most important driver of climate. Calculations on supercomputers are primitive compared with the complex dynamism of the Earth’s climate and ignore the crucial relationship between climate and solar energy.

To reduce modern climate change to one variable, CO2, or a small proportion of one variable—human-induced CO2—is not science. To try to predict the future based on just one variable (CO2) in extraordinarily complex natural systems is folly.

In response, this is Sheehan’s conclusion: “Heaven and Earth is an evidence-based attack on conformity and orthodoxy, including my own, and a reminder to respect informed dissent and beware of ideology subverting evidence.” This cannot be interpreted as anything but a capitulation. It cedes to the global warming rejectionists the high ground of being “evidence-based,” and it accepts the characterization of the global warming promoters as dogmatic conformists.

The political impact has been manifested in a series of climb-downs as Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s government has been forced to delay its plans for cap-and-trade controls. On May 4, the government announced it would postpone the onset of the scheme until mid-2011, a year later than originally planned.

On June 4, this delayed emission trading scheme passed the House of Representatives despite a vote against it by the opposition. But it now faces almost certain defeat in the Australian Senate. Whereas the Labor government controls 32 votes in the Senate, the opposition Liberal-National coalition controls 37 and is committed to vote against it if the Rudd government will not grant more time to consider the outcome of the Copenhagen climate conference in December and US Senate deliberations. This itself is a compromise position, because many of the coalition parliamentarians now want to vote unconditionally against an ETS in any form.

There are 7 other votes in the Senate: five Greens who say the scheme doesn’t go far enough but who could be induced to go along; one independent, Nick Xenophon, who has pledged to vote against the bill unless the government waits till after Copenhagen; and one other, Senator Steve Fielding of the Family First Party, who has decided to investigate the whole thing first hand. Fielding could turn out to be the single deciding vote.

His story is particularly interesting. Andrew Bolt, who has been leading the charge against the global warming hysteria for years, notes that Fielding’s investigation “could blow apart the great global warming scare.”

Fielding went to the US to assess the American evidence for global warming at close quarters. As Melbourne’s Age reported on June 4:

Senator Fielding said he was impressed by some of the data presented at the [US Heartland Institute’s] climate change skeptics’ conference: namely that, although carbon emissions had increased in the last 10 years, global temperature had not.

He said scientists at the conference had advanced other explanations, such as the relationship between solar activity and solar energy hitting the Earth to explain climate change.

Fielding has issued a challenge to the Obama White House to rebut the data. It will be a novel experience for them, as Fielding is an engineer and has an Australian’s disregard for self-important government officials. Here is how The Age described his challenge:

Senator Fielding emailed graphs that claim the globe had not warmed for a decade to Joseph Aldy, US President Barack Obama’s special assistant on energy and the environment, after a meeting on Thursday…. Senator Fielding said he found that Dr. Aldy and other Obama administration officials were not interested in discussing the legitimacy of climate science.

Telling an Australian you’re not interested in the legitimacy of your position is a red rag to a bull. So here is what Fielding concluded:

Until recently I, like most Australians, simply accepted without question the notion that global warming was a result of increased carbon emissions. However, after speaking to a cross-section of noted scientists, including Ian Plimer, a professor at the University of Adelaide and author of Heaven and Earth, I quickly began to understand that the science on this issue was by no means conclusive….

As a federal senator, I would be derelict in my duty to the Australian people if I did not even consider whether or not the scientific assumptions underpinning this debate were in fact correct.

What Fielding’s questioning represents is just the tip of the kangaroo’s tail. He speaks for a growing number of Australians who will no longer take green propaganda on trust.

And that’s what makes Plimer so influential—not just his credibility as a scientist, but the righteous certainty with which he dismisses man-made global warming as an unscientific dogma. He writes: “The Emissions Trading Scheme legislation poises Australia to make the biggest economic decision in its history”—Australia generates 80% of its electricity from coal, which would essentially be outlawed—”yet there has been no scientific due diligence. There has never been a climate change debate in Australia. Only dogma.”

Plimer is not a “skeptic,” a term which would imply that he merely has a few doubts about the global warming claims. Instead, he rejects the whole myth outright, and this seems to have emboldened and liberated a great many Australians who were already chafing under global warming conformity. As Plimer puts it:

[T]here are a large number of punters [Australian for “customers” or “gamblers”—in this case, skeptical customers who may or may not buy what the government’s selling] who object to being treated dismissively as stupid, who do not like being told what to think, who value independence, who revile from personal attacks and have life experiences very different from the urban environmental atheists attempting to impose a new fundamentalist religion. Green politics have taken the place of failed socialism and Western Christianity and impose fear, guilt, penance, and indulgences onto a society with little scientific literacy.

Australia is not that different from America. If a shift in public opinion against the global warming dogma can happen on one side of the earth, it can happen on the other—especially when the US edition of Plimer’s book, scheduled for July 1, hits the stands.

His role, Plimer says, is to show “that the emperor has no clothes.” After three decades of relentless global warming propaganda, it’s about time.

Robert Tracinski writes daily commentary at He is the editor of The Intellectual Activist and Tom Minchin is a writer, researcher, and businessman in Melbourne, Australia.


  1. “Close” votes in Congress are a charade, a sham, and a cruel joke. Every Republican who voted “Yes” gave Madame Pelosi the luxury of allowing a Demmi with a shaky seat to vote “No.” The outcome was never in any doubt. It is easy for good people to suppose that Legislators are voting their convictions, their consciences, or even as their constituents wish because that is what WE would do. It is not what poiticians do.

    We can’t go to Australia to escape socialism, and the lovely citizens there gave up their guns, to boot. As always, crime has shot upwards.

    Excellent article, though..

  2. Maybe Australia will be the place to go when the healthcare goes into rationing.

  3. I would be ecstatic if this book resulted in a change in our government’s drive to pass a carbon tax bill (absolute failure in the Senate). But there have been at least 3 or 4 books produced in the US over the past 5 or 10 years with exactly the same message, similar credentials for the author, and the same position on the Global Warming scam. How much impact have those books had?

    I’m not sure exactly why one book has made such a difference in Australia. Maybe the timing of the books production, or maybe just that Australian schools produce graduates who are able to read?

  4. So what’s new, we refuse to learn from others, so continue our trek to the edge of the cliff.

  5. Remember Australia was a penal colony…………………………….the BRITISH EMPIRE send their Criminals to the ISLAND hoping they would DIE. Of course many of these “CRIMINALS” were those who would not bend to the authority of the crown.
    AMERICA has never had a better ally than the AUSSIES………………who would not only fight beside you but share the beer that was part of the daily ration every Aussie solider received.
    They are fiercly INDEPENDENT and despite the bad influence of the URBAN areas still KNOW TRUE from BS.
    LET US THIS TIME LEARN FROM THEM and beat these dirty rotten scondrels BY getting POLITICALLY ACTIVE and LETTING your voice be HEAR.
    •Cuellar, Henry, Texas, 28th
    •Doggett, Lloyd, Texas, 25th
    •Gonzalez, Charlie A., Texas, 20th
    •Green, Al, Texas, 9th
    •Green, Gene, Texas, 29th
    •Hinojosa, Rubén, Texas, 15th
    •Jackson Lee, Sheila, Texas, 18th
    •Johnson, Eddie Bernice, Texas 30th
    •Reyes, Silvestre, Texas, 16th
    Especially remember Lloyd Dogget whose lame excuse was if the bill passes he would have a seat at the table…………………………………..WELL Lloyd this DOG bites not

  6. It really does not matter what political party one favors, IT SHOULD BE CLEAR TO EVERYONE IN AMERICA, …….when 300+ pages are added to a major bill affecting every American, at 3 am, and a vote will be taken before 5 pm that same day, (not to mention the other 1,000 pages or the original bill)……that this Democrat run Congress dictated by Queen Polosi, is a purely, absolute joke.

    To read and digest the material within those pages is totally impossible for any representative, and the idea a vote would be called later in the day clearly signifies only something bad, deceitful, perhaps criminal is going through on that bill, and the democrats don’t want it discovered.

    The same thing happened with the stimulus bill passed earlier in the spring….Hussein said if it was not passed by the end of the week, there would be ‘catastrophic damage to the economy’…..well, it was passed, and sure enough it was catastrophic damage to all of us……..if they do thngs in triple time, there is something up!!!! They hope to not be discovered……

    I hope everyone watched the Hannity show last night, (whether you like his style or not)….he had the 101 worst earmarks within that bill……the worst for me being the 8 million $ + airport in Pennsylvania for the almost exclusive use of John Murtha…..20 passengera a day, and a new runway was built to accommodate a 747 aircraft……..NOW THAT WAS NOT NEEDED NOW OR IN THE FUTURE….THERE IS NOTHING ELSE THERE REALLY. These people are just consumed by their own greed, and false sense of importance, God’s gift to women, etc……those 101 uses of monies was a big eyeopener, all within the time frame of a 1 hour show……maybe there will be a rerun……if so, don’t miss it.

  7. How do you expect those idiots to read this when they haven’t read any of the bills they have passed! They don’t care what the bills say or what they do to their constuents or their country! Just hurry up and pass them—doesn’t matter what they say, who they hurt, or if it is the total destruction of their country as long as it doesn’t affect them! All those who voted for this Cap and Trade bill need to go!!!

  8. Too bad the slow learners in the House of Representatives didn’t read and understand the book mentioned before voting on Cap & Tax.

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