I often comment on one of our local newspapers (if you can call it that – it is really just a mouthpiece of the editor), and once again I am doing so.
In recent months, probably close to a year, we have had regular contributions from a Viv Forbes who lives in Queensland. This particular person is a member of the climate denialist group “Carbon Sense Pty Ltd”.
Money trails unearthed by journalist Ben Cubby in the Sydney Morning Herald :http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/web-leak-shows-trail-of-climate-sceptic-funding-20120217-1tegk.html demonstrates where the misinformation comes from.
Documents from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission show that a group funded by the Heartland Institute, via a thicket of other foundations and think tanks, provided the vast majority of the cash for an anti-carbon price lobby group in Australia in 2009 and 2010.
The Australian Climate Science Coalition, an offshoot of a conservative lobby group called the Australian Environment Foundation, received virtually all its funding from the International Climate Science Coalition, which has been financially supported by Heartland.
In 2010, the Australian group had an income of $50,920, and $46,343 of that came from the American Climate Science Coalition, an offshoot of the International Climate Science Coalition, the ASIC documents show. The amount of public donations received was nil.
I take particular offence to organisations like this, because they have power, money and influence to drive their own agenda. Viv Forbes is a Coal Miiner, but writes to newspapers all over the country with propaganda suggesting that renewables can never do as good a job as coal, and are too expensive. Hmmm
When Forbes has a bio like this:
Viv Forbes is the Chairman of the [denialist group] Carbon Sense Coalition, is the director at Stanmore Coal , has had 40 years of coal industry – Burton Coal; Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal; South Blackwater Coal Mine; Tahmoor Coal Mine; Newlands/Collinsville Coal Mines;MIM; Utah Goonyella/Saraji and Gold Fields.
He is also associated with the denialist group the International Climate Science Coalition (ICSC) and the Australian Climate Science Coalition (ACSC) [The ACSC doesn’t appear to exist anymore from what I can find].
How can he possibly be taken seriously when he states that Coal will save the world? Perhaps his bias has a little to do with the fact that he is a coal miner?
After a recent tirade to the local newspaper The Weekly Times, a fellow apparent denialist Mitch Geddes of Tennyson Point (near Gladesville in Sydney) wrote that China wasn’t reducing coal to cut emission due to global warming. Mr Geddes appears to runs a business “Glades Bay Project Management and Engineering Services”. Mr Geddes also appears to be heavily involved in the Liberal Party, and helped door knock with John Alexander during the last election. http://www.openaustralia.org/debate/?id=2010-10-28.44.1
It would be interesting to know if Geddes’s company is somehow now associated with property development, as donations from property developers is banned in NSW, (I don’t think it is in the Federal system) as there have been a significant number of Liberal ministers resign after corruption hearings by the ICAC in NSW. These Liberal Party MPs received big donations from property developers.
Anyway a little bit of research on Google found that Mr Geddes might have been a mining engineer in a past life, apart from possibly being associated with White Energy (as an investor) which was involved with Cascade Coal.
Just check out the following submission and who it was signed by.
The submission was signed by Mitchell Geddes TECHNICAL SERVICES MANAGER TAHMOOR COAL PTY LTD. And yes the signature is the same as seen on other signed documents found on the web associated with Glades Bay Project Management and Engineering Services run by guess who “Mitch Geddes” of Glades Bay Project Management and Engineering Services.
Anyway back to the point.
I also found facts that completely contradict Geddes statement that coal consumption is reducing in China due to smog.
According to China’s National Development and Reform Commission, reducing emissions is a priority “In light of the overwhelming scientific consensus on climate change and its worsening impacts, and the related issue of air pollution from burning fossil fuels…”
So we have Mr Viv Forbes – a coal miner (from Queensland), and confirmed denialist, indicating that Coal is the only way forward for the world, and that solar and wind cannot possibly be good for our society; then we have what appears to be an ex coal-mining engineer supporting him (amongst others in the past).
This is not surprising since the organisations that Viv Forbes is involved with or associated with are Denialist groups: Carbon Sense Pty Ltd; International Climate Science Coalition. (links above)
The following article by journalist Ben Cubby in the Sydney Morning Herald is most revealing.
It demonstrates where the money trail leads to and where the misinformation comes from. It also shows the complicity of the coal miners, oil producers and fossil fuel industry in propaganda. This is exactly what the tobacco industry did decades ago.
Prominent financiers of climate denial have come from the IPA in Australia (who founded the Liberal Party, and who John Howard made tax deductible – yep our tax dollars now fund climate denial!) and the Heartland Institute (America’s extremist political group – which also hosts forums where Australian Liberal Politicians attend).
The following paragraphs really sum up where climate denial comes from:
Documents form the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) show a clear link between the Heartland Institute in the US and The Australian Climate Science Coalition!
Over the years, the Heartland Institute has provided significant funding for the Denialist movement. Principally because regulating emissions would influence the activities of the big and powerful companies of the US. These companies FUND the Heartland Institute.
The US Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) – another anti-regulation, free market US think tank has been funded by ExxonMobil in the past, amongst others, to promote anti-science and misinformation on Global Warming. (ExxonMobil has since stopped funding the CEI due to public outcry over its anti Global Warming propaganda – however it is highly possible there is still some dirty funding going on – they have too much to lose.)
The CEI has also provided funding for Denialist conferences in Australia and NZ which have involved some members from the Liberal Party (such as then Deputy Prime Minister Tim Fischer and Environment Minister Robert Hill), along with the NZ and Australian Chambers of Commerce.
I might also point out that the Australian Institute of Public Affairs (IPA), Australia’s extremist free-market think tank, with VERY strong ties to the Liberal Party (instrumental in its formation), has strong connections to the Heartland Institute and the CEI, along with mining giants such as BHP Billiton, the Western Mining Corporation, Shell, Mobil and Woodside Petroleum. They are also funded by, tobacco giants Philip Morris and British American tobacco.
I really like this piece by the ABC. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qZ_Kbiwl2ok
There are many more articles and reports on the IPA if you do some research. It’s a dodgy organisation that meddles with public policy by manipulation and misinformation. It should stop and it must stop if Australia is to become a democracy again!
Anyway back to climate change denialism. From reading the above the constant misinformation in the media, do you think that perhaps this continual propaganda is just away for the fossil fuel industry to maintain their hold on fossil fuel profits?
That’s it for now?