Thursday, 27 February 2014

News from Oz: Laugh or Cry?

I haven't posted much this year, as I've been busy finishing off a paper (done now, yay us!)  But there've been a number of stories I've seen from the new Australian government that remind me of the type of things I saw from the American right when I was living there.  That's not a favourable comparison, BTW.

Today's news item isn't that bad, indeed by itself provoked a chuckle:
Tony Abbott’s top scientific and business advisers are at odds over the science of climate change with the chief scientist, Ian Chubb, strongly rejecting assertions that climate science is a “delusion” or a result of “groupthink”.
Or, in other words, guy in charge of science accepts science, guy in charge of making money believes in making money at any cost.

Unfortunately, go a little further into the article and you see the less pleasant context:
Among those who have used the phrase “groupthink” in relation to the debate about climate science are the head of the prime minister’s business advisory group, Maurice Newman, and the man chosen by the prime minister to head the review of the renewable energy target, businessman Dick Warburton. Two months ago Newman wrote a newspaper article describing climate science as a “scientific delusion”.
Chubb, who as chief scientist is supposed to provide high-level independent advice to the prime minister and other ministers, was speaking at the launch of the final report on Australia’s greenhouse gas reduction efforts by the independent climate change authority, a body the Abbott government is seeking to abolish.
(Emphasis mine.)  You know, I want to believe that right-wing politicians are not intrinsically evil, that the US is just an aberration, but people like Abbott in Australia or Harper in Canada really make that hard sometimes.  It almost makes me feel proud that we have Cameron back home, almost.

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