By Vinay Kolhatkar
“It seems to me that the widespread acceptance of the global warming dogma has become one of the main, most costly and most undemocratic public policy mistakes in generations. The previous one was communism.”Vaclav Klaus, October 19, 2010
Klaus was the president of the Czech Republic from March 2003 to March 2013. This was perhaps the only time a head of government, while in power, was openly defying a narrative that has become so entrenched in culture as a scientifically proven fact that no other head of government has been able to confront it head on—to call it openly a dogma.
In this essay, we assume that the reader is already aware of the logic and evidence opposing the climate change narrative. If you are, however, convinced of the climate change narrative’s scientific credentials, please refer to the Editor’s Note at the end of the essay about what the movement actually claims, then read Watts Up With That, the Galileo Movement, or the U.S. Senate Minority Report, and then make up your own mind.
Scientific truths are not gleaned by a majority vote but by theory and evidence.
The Australian Suicide
On Saturday, May 21, 2022, Australia held its triannual federal election. As with most democracies, Australia’s politics, too, has been dominated by two major parties—typically, one, a left-leaning, union-backed party that has steadily increased its support of legislative climate activism, free trade agreements, and woke issues—the Australian Labor Party, and equally typically, the other—a religious (in Australia, Christian leaning) conservative party, the “Liberal Party,” which has progressively deviated from the classical liberal principles still expressed as foundational on its website. The Liberals have been in a coalition with the National Party, a strong regional party, which has remained conservative and somewhat protectionist and has constrained the Liberals from overcommitting on legislative climate activism, to save rural jobs. Together, they are the Liberal National Coalition (the Coalition).
The electoral result confounded even the most seasoned of political pundits. Even as poll booths closed at 6pm on the eastern coast, no one predicted what was about to transpire. By 9pm, it was all over. The climate change narrative had won, decimating the party in governance. Independent candidates stole votes even from the left-leaning Labor Party, but their steal from the Liberals was far bigger and ubiquitous, and voters’ second and third preferences sealed the election for Labor, which won less than 33% of the primary vote, a historic low. Independent and minor party candidates won over 30% of the primary vote, a historic high well above their trend line.
The new Prime Minister Anthony Albanese (pronounced al-bah-nay–see, but the anglicized version ending in nee-zee is ubiquitous in Australia) was sworn in on Monday morning, less than 48 hours after poll booths closed. We don’t need about 12 weeks of procedures like in the U.S. to let a new head of government take office after an election that isn’t disputed.
Albanese grew up in a housing commission flat, raised by a single mother who was on a disability pension. Like when the U.S. populace elected a person of color to the presidency, this was worth at least noting, if not celebrating. He is also the first person of a non-anglicized surname to assume the highest office in the land. His new Foreign Minister, Penny Wong, is a very articulate and intelligent long-term Labor warrior, half-Asian by descent, and openly gay. Tick a few more boxes. The two are close friends. She, too, was sworn in on Monday morning.
Within hours, Albanese and Wong were on a plane bound for Tokyo, to meet Fumio Kishida, Joe Biden, and Narendra Modi for a Quad meet, a forum of four democracies (Japan, the U.S., India, and Australia) to discuss “security matters” in the Pacific—specifically, China’s unbridled ambition and dominance of trade.
But, on election night itself, in his acceptance speech, rising above the shouts of “Albo, Albo,” as he’s popularly known, Albanese announced his first policy initiative—that he will end “the climate wars.” Will he? Can he?
The Climate Wars and the “Net Zero Emissions” Game
Net zero emissions refers to achieving an overall balance between greenhouse gas emissions produced and greenhouse gas emissions taken out of the atmosphere.
We already have the technology we need to accelerate towards net zero emissions, including replacing coal- and gas-fired power stations with cheap, clean and reliable renewable energy backed by storage technologies.
The Coalition did promise net zero emissions by the year 2050. But, within the Coalition, there are three cadres of politicians:
- Those who have discovered and are prepared to say openly that human activity does not cause global warming, that human beings cannot control Earth’s surface temperature, and that current trends are not alarming.
- Those who have discovered the truth but will pretend, for political purposes, that they accept “the science”—meaning actually that they accept the real science, not climate alarmism, but let the conversation meander in a way that it can be taken as though they accept the alarmist assertions as real science. This group will enact minimal measures so as not to derail the economy while pretending “action on climate.”
- Those who truly believe everything the mainstream media says of human emissions and global warming.
Prominent Liberal and a former prime minister, Tony Abbott, was amongst the second lot. Only when he was out of politics, Abbott came out of the closet and started speaking truth to power. It appears to me that it’s likely that Scott Morrison, who, as Treasurer, made a speech celebrating coal in Parliament, was playing the same game. But, some of the prominent Liberals, including former PM Malcolm Turnbull and former leader John Hewson, appear to be genuinely convinced by the mainstream narrative.
But, as we said in our open letter to Scott Morrison in April 2019, the public isn’t fooled when actions do not match the rhetoric.
Craig Kelly, a former liberal MP was in the thinly populated first group. He became stridently forthright and vocal, setting out detailed charts, facts, and arguments. He garnered a huge following on Facebook. He was banned by Facebook for … you guessed it, “misleading information.” He was thrown out of the Liberal Party. Wikipedia labelled him a “conspiracy theorist.” He was silenced. But the whispers kept growing louder.
Leading up to the election, the internal conflict was too obvious. The pro-Left media made the most of it. Some National Party colleagues openly contradicted the “net zero by 2050” stance, which Morrison committed Australia to at the 26th climate conference in Glasgow in 2021 (COP26). During the campaign, one Coalition candidate said there was “wiggle room” in the commitment to net zero, calling it a “flexible plan” that was not legislated.
Later, Senator Matt Canavan, a former Minister of Resources, bluntly told the state-owned ABC that the Morrison government had not set a formal emissions reduction trajectory and had no intention of “following a linear path like the Labor party” and further, that:
The other thing to say is the net zero thing is all sort of dead anyway. Boris Johnson said he is pausing the net zero commitment, Germany is building coal and gas infrastructure, Italy’s reopening coal-fired power plants. It’s all over bar the shouting here.
We’re talking about something that is 28 years away. What will happen in 28 years’ time, or the policies that will happen in 10 or 20 years, I think, should be up to the Australian people in 10 or 20 years, some of who might not even be voting [now].
Meanwhile, Morrison announced a $70m hydrogen hub for Townsville, Queensland, and kept contradicting his forthright colleagues in the hope of winning over both sides of the climate war.
Labor’s policy, however, besides innumerable subsidies and grand plans, was to see Australia re-join key trading partners in their ambition to 2030, like Canada (with its similar economic base) at 40 – 45%, South Korea at 40% and Japan at 46%. These are the reduction targets, to keep Australia on track for zero by 2050.
The Coalition’s plan was to “kick the ball down the road” long enough to buy time. But without explicit confrontation, indeed, appeasement of the global warming narrative, the facts had no unsilenced champion and more people got converted to the falsehood.
The Greens are known as the third largest political party in Australia (counting the Coalition as one, albeit technically they are two parties with an agreement to contest as one). The utopian but misguided Greens are fully committed to subsidizing inefficient, unreliable energy sources and heavily penalizing, and eventually banning, fossil fuels.
They explicitly say so (emphasis mine):
Net zero by 2050 is not a climate target, it’s a death sentence.
We need to dramatically reduce emissions by 2030, or it’s too late.
That’s why we’re calling on Scott Morrison to put in place a formal legislated plan to reduce Australia’s emissions by 75% by 2030 and phase out coal and gas. Our future depends on it.
In the 2022 election, the Greens’ primary vote increased nationally by 1.9% to 12.3%.
The Teals and the “Daddy’s Money Businessman”
In the Australian political map, the leftist Labor is shown red (how apt). The Liberals (the Coalition) are shown in blue, but they have long given up on classical liberalism.
Teal is a color halfway between green and blue. 22 new independents stood for the lower house, calling themselves “small l” liberals with a climate agenda, wearing teal outfits and jewelry (19 of the 22 were women, calling out Morrison’s insensitivity to victims of sexual misconduct, and expressing support for “gender equity”).
But the Teals were not conservative. Teal Zoe Daniels was accused of anti-Semitism after she signed the “do better on Palestine” letter. Simon Holmes à Court, who funded her, was also accused of Holocaust slurs.
Seems to me that the cloak was teal, but they were Green Lite in their philosophy.
These independents were funded in the millions by a businessman invested in renewables. Simon Holmes à Court is the son (and one of four children who each inherited part of the estate) of Australia’s first billionaire Robert Holmes à Court, a self-made entrepreneur who died of a heart attack at 53, in 1990.
In 2022, Simon Holmes à Court relaunched Climate 200, the fundraising group he founded just before the May 2019 federal election with support from 35 investors, including tech billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes (who is also committed to undermining fossil fuels).
More on Holmes à Court and his strategy is here.
Wow—it must be a thrilling ride for non-celebrity political virgins—Billionaires will help you unseat long-established political careers and become an MP … a senator even.
A Win for the Billionaires