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Monday, October 21, 2013

Australian climate science witch hunt proposed by Liberal Party in Western Australia

While New South Wales could soon be seeing a "mega" fire due to drought and ever increasing land surface temperatures, Liberals, i.e., conservatives (because Down Under things are upside down), want a "judicial" inquiry into climate science:

WA Liberals to vote on royal commission into climate change science

Federal Liberal MP seeks ballot on judicial inquiry citing concerns of 'distortions in climate science' 

by Oliver Milman, The Guardian, October 21, 2013     Jump to comments (38)
climate change
Liberal MP Dennis Jensen says within the party there are a lot of people sceptical about the theory of human-made climate change. Photograph: Dean Lewins/AAP
There are calls from within the Liberal party for a royal commission into the science of climate change, with the party's Western Australian division set to vote next month amid backing from the federal MP Dennis Jensen.
The proposal has been put forward by the WA Liberal party's rural policy committee, an eight-person panel of party members with a specialist interest in rural issues.
It will be voted on at the party's state conference in Perth next month, although the policy motion will not be binding if accepted.
Ben Morton, state director of the WA Liberal party, told Guardian Australia that the proposal has been listed as a low priority by the party executive, adding that it "won't necessarily pass."
The support for an inquiry within WA is replicated at a federal level, with Jensen claiming that a number of Coalition MPs are keen on the idea.
Jensen, federal MP for the WA seat of Tangney, said growing support for a royal commission could sway more of his parliamentary colleagues.
"Within the party there are a lot of people very sceptical about [the theory of human-made climate change]," he said. "Labor is the same. It's a vexed question.
"I'd say there is plenty of support for a royal commission in the grassroots lay-party, but less so in the parliamentary party. But the momentum is certainly swinging and people are starting to question things that wouldn't have been questioned five or six years ago.
"It would be fair to say that the minority support a royal commission but if the grassroots party starts pushing for it strongly, it will certainly give MPs something to think about. These things can start small and build up."
Jensen said he was keen on a royal commission, a judicial inquiry normally used to uncover deep-seated corruption or abuse, because of concerns about "distortions in climate science."
"If you look at the previous IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] report, there were dozens of mistakes, which doesn't concern me per se as humans make mistakes," he said.
"But what worries me is that an unbiased organisation would include mistakes where there were understatements and overstatements. The fact they were all overstatements [how can one person be so completely wrong?] is very concerning.
"A royal commission is very good at digging down into the issues and hearing all sides of the argument. The issue has become way too emotive and anyone who has dared challenge scientists is called a denialist.
"It will be helpful to have someone outside the scientific community look into this, someone who wasn't caught up in institutionalised groupthink. Science is about the search for truth, but the problem is when funding gets involved it can be distorted."
The latest IPCC report, which included research from more than 800 climate scientists from around the world, warned that Australia could face a 6 C rise in temperature on its hottest days by 2100.
The report stated that humans were "unequivocally" the cause of the majority of the global warming to date – 0.89 C since the start of the 20th century – through the burning of carbon-intensive fuels.
Scott Ludlam, Greens senator for WA, told Guardian Australia that he initially thought the call for a royal commission was a "prank."
"Serious people can't possibly be calling for this," he said. "They seem to be profoundly confused about climate science.
"They've compounded this with confusion over what a judicial inquiry is, which is used to investigate widespread corruption and wrongdoing."
Ludlam said Jensen's claims of scientific distortion were a "juvenile and unhinged conspiracy theory."
"Let's grow up people, seriously," he added. "These views need to be set aside as counterproductive for a serious debate. I'd say that the climate sceptics are weak but extremely vocal and provide people like Dennis Jensen with a platform.
"The most significant concern is that views from the far fringes influence the prime minister, who is known as a climate-change denier."

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