It’s a pleasure to respond to this motion on climate change, because we need to dispel one of the worst entrenched myths and accept a fundamental truth. The myth of a 97 per cent consensus was widely and thoroughly debunked long ago. The figure came from a research paper so discredited that it should stand as an example for how science should not be conducted. The paper classified published research according to alleged support for anthropogenic global warming. But, when contacted, researchers confirmed their papers did not support the warming theory and were falsely classified. Associate Professor Dr Nir J Shaviv, of the Racah Institute of Physics, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, said:

Nope … it is not an accurate representation.

He also said, and this is particularly telling:

Science is not a democracy, even if the majority of scientists think one thing (and it translates to more papers saying so), they aren’t necessarily correct.

There was once a consensus that the Earth was flat. More recently, the consensus around cholesterol and heart disease was forced to change. Many parents would know that consensus on the treatment of nosebleeds changed. When confronted with data refuting their theory, some climate scientists have failed to change that theory—beyond changing its name from global warming to climate change.

That brings me to the second point of this motion, that ‘the case for real and immediate action on climate change has never been stronger’. We are told by activist scientists that we have 10 years to act to avoid catastrophic climate change. But, actually, we were being told 10 years ago that we only had 10 years to act. In 2009, Australia’s then Chief Scientist, Professor Penny Sackett, infamously warned that the planet had just five years to avoid disastrous global warming. Ten years before that, we were told we had only 10 years to act to avoid catastrophic global warming. And nearly 30 years before that, we were being warned of an impending ice age.

The difference is this: when scientists in the 1970s were confronted with data that did not support their impending ice age theory, they changed their theory. The drive to protect a false theory was evident in the ‘climategate’ emails where scientists were advised to fudge results to ensure they complied with the acceptable way of thinking. And that is not an isolated case. Dr Judith Curry, a world-renowned and academically honoured climatologist and former chair of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology, described how she had been the subject of attack by climate alarmists because she questioned the consensus and its use as a tool. Dr Curry says she was ‘thrown out of the tribe’ for suggesting climate science needed greater transparency. She said:

On balance, I don’t see any particular dangers from greenhouse warming. {Humans do} influence climate to some extent, what we do with land-use changes and what we put into the atmosphere. But I don’t think it’s a large enough impact to dominate over natural climate variability.

That balance is prohibited from the discussion while the railroaded science of alarmism is driving much of public policy around the world. The result is the false belief that, if some nations, in particular, butchered their own economy to meet the Paris agreement, everything would be all right.

Dr Curry and many others have recently pointed out the folly of staying in the Paris agreement. Even if every country met its Paris commitment, the difference would be negligible. But the economic damage would be a major setback for humanity. Two of the most highly respected economic reformers in Australia also advised pulling out of Paris last week. Keating government advisor, Fred Hilmer, and the inaugural Productivity Commission chairman, Gary Banks, advised dumping the Paris agreement and offered a sobering assessment of renewables. Professor Banks was quoted as sympathising with Australians who were ‘bemused’ about rising power bills amid claims of a low-cost, renewable-energy future. He offered this reminder of a fundamental truth:

The notion that there’s a trade-off, that we can’t have it all, that there’s no free lunch, that’s not been made clear to the public. In fact when you look at it, we’ve ruled out all the least-cost ways of transitioning to a low-emission economy … we’ve ruled out nuclear and essentially ruled out gas too.

It’s time that we as a nation accept that climate science has been railroaded and is far from settled. It’s time that we accepted that renewable energies do come at a cost, at a real cost—a cost that actually costs jobs and a cost that impacts on the poorest of Australians through rising electricity prices. If that real cost of renewables became transparent, I guarantee you one thing: that people would be demanding an exit from the Paris agreement.

Chamber Federation Chamber on 16/10/2017 Item Federation Chamber – PRIVATE MEMBERS’ BUSINESS – Climate Change Speaker: Christensen, George, MP / Parliamentary Transcript used for reporting news