Turnbull versus LaRouche
In this context I must mention the courage shown in Malcolm Turnbull’s speech in Sydney July 21. He tackled what I define as right-wing Liberal attempts to drum environmentalism out of the agenda of conservative politics. He said:
If Margaret Thatcher took climate change seriously and believed we should take action to reduce global greenhouse emissions, then taking action and supporting and accepting the science can hardly be the mark of incipient Bolshevism.
Turnbull is in there right up against the hardline right-wingers. He is aware of people in the Coalition ranks who have opted to align themselves with the lunatic fringe. Here’s what he said on that front:
In an age where the Internet gives everyone the opportunity to be a broadcaster, you can find an opinion to support any proposition. If it doesn’t suit your interests to reduce the use of fossil fuels, there are plenty of blogs and articles online to support your self interest.
Some of this material online can be very embarrassing to rely on. A good friend of mine recently contended that the CSIRO were utterly wrong on climate change and he sent me a paper from what he understood was “a leading scientist in a leading journal”. As it turned out the paper was in journal published by the Lyndon LaRouche Movement and was written by a man who had recently served time in gaol for securities fraud. The only peer review to which his work had been subjected was, in fact, a criminal jury.
I might note for those unfamiliar with it, that the local wing of the LaRouche movement is the Citizens’ Electoral Council (CEC) an extreme, rightwing, racist organisation…
Therefore it is logical for him to add that those who believe in the reality of climate change and that serious scientists are not subversives must speak out. As he has done, to his credit.
I thought the most cunning observation he made was about the hardliners’ argument that all money spent to rein in carbon emissions is “pointless” and “wasteful.” Well, said Turnbull:
…[R]emember too that if we form a Government in Canberra and then seek to meet that 5 per cent target through purchases of carbon offsets from farmers and payments to polluting industry to cut their emissions, the opponents of the science of climate change will be criticising that expenditure too as “pointless” and “wasteful” with as much vehemence as they are currently denouncing Julia Gillard’s carbon tax.