Very few Murdoch ‘journalists’
are real journalists; many are just Liberal Party fundament osculators. One of
the few who is a real journalist is Malcolm Farr, but he has not done himself
any favours this week in publishing an article in which he stated that “the
public debate on the existence of climate change is over and we are owed an
apology”1. To be blunt, this is equine ordure. The debate was over
long ago. It is just that the halfwit deniers in parliament2 and in
the Murdoch media, either think they are superior climate scientists to all the
climate scientists employed in this nation or that all those climate scientists
are involved in a massive conspiracy. Given the lack of intelligence of many
parliamentarians3,4,5, the former assertion is clearly beyond the
realms of possibility. And, as a scientist myself, I know that only small
conspiracies are possible in science, and to believe large ones are possible
simply demonstrates people’s ignorance of science and how it works.
The ‘debate’ about
climate change to which Farr refers, was over almost thirty years ago when the
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published its first report in
1990. Anybody who thinks these were radical reports is deluding themselves.
Scientific consensus documents such as these are by their very nature
conservative and cautious. In that first report, the IPCC predicted that global
mean surface air temperature would rise by about 0.3 degrees C per decade and
that it will likely see a global increase of 1.0 degrees C by 20256.
We passed that mark in 20187. They predicted that high northern
latitudes will warm more than the global mean in Winter6. That has
also come to pass8. They predicted a 20 cm global mean sea level rise
by 20306. Since 1990, global mean sea level has risen about 9 cm and
the pace of change is increasing9.
While Malcolm Farr
states that ‘we are owed an apology’, this is grossly understating the case.
These climate change deniers need to be held to account more severely than
simply forcing them give a grudging apology. Solely from stupidity or in the
interests of keeping their donations from fossil fuel corporations and
denialist organisations, including those from overseas, they have denied
reality. They have denied the fact of climate change and in so doing, they have
delayed action to mitigate it, such that we are very unlikely to keep the
global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees, and are at risk of having runaway
temperature increases of much more. At best they have put off action such that
the current younger generation and those to come will be lumbered with an
extraordinary cost to mitigate the most dangerous effects. At worst they have
given those young people a planet, parts of which may be uninhabitable, and in
which millions may die. That is a crime against humanity that would make the
depredations of any murderous dictator pale by comparison, and they should pay
dearly for it.
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