Sunday, June 23, 2019

Watch: Skeptical scientist wins rare New York City climate debate against warmist scientist – Audience flips from warmist views to skeptical after debate

The Soho Forum, Published on May 6, 2019

Resolution: There is little or no rigorous evidence that rising concentrations of carbon dioxide are causing dangerous global warming and threatening life on the planet.

For the affirmative:

Craig Idso is the founder, former president, and currently chairman of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change. The Center was founded in 1998 as a non-profit public charity dedicated to discovering and disseminating scientific information pertaining to the effects of atmospheric carbon dioxide enrichment on climate and the biosphere.

Dr. Idso’s research has appeared many times in peer-reviewed journals, and is the author or coauthor of several books, including The Many Benefits of Atmospheric CO2 Enrichment (Vales Lake Publishing, LLC, 2011), CO2, Global Warming and Coral Reefs (Vales Lake Publishing, LLC, 2009).

Dr. Idso also serves as an adjunct scholar for the Cato Institute and as a policy advisor for the CO2Coalition, the Heartland Institute and the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow.

For the negative:

Jeffrey Bennett is an astrophysicist and educator. He has focused his career on math and science literacy. He is the lead author of bestselling college textbooks in astronomy, astrobiology, mathematics, and statistics, and of critically acclaimed books for the general public on topics including Einstein’s theory of relativity, the search for extraterrestrial life, and the importance of math to our everyday lives.

Other career highlights include serving two years as a Visiting Senior Scientist at NASA Headquarters, proposing and helping to develop the Voyage Scale Model Solar System that resides on the National Mall in Washington, DC, and creating the freeTotality app that has helped tens of thousands of people learn how to view a total solar eclipse.

His book A Global Warming Primeris posted freely online at

Moderator: "We have the final vote. The yes vote on the resolution that there is no evidence that's causing dangerous global warming: It began at 24% (of the skeptical yes vote supporting that position) and it went up to 46% (after the debate). So [skeptical argument] gained 22% points. That's the number to beat (46%).

The no resolution (warmist position) started at 29%. It went up to 41% or up 11 points." The winner of the debate is skeptical scientist Dr. Craig Idso with his resolution asserting that "There is little or no rigorous evidence that rising concentrations of carbon dioxide are causing dangerous global warming and threatening life on the planet."

Flashback 2007: Scientific Smackdown: Skeptics Voted The Clear Winners Against Global Warming Believers in Heated NYC Debate –’s Gavin Schmidt appeared so demoralized that he mused that debates equally split between believers of a climate ‘crisis’ and scientific skeptics are probably not “worthwhile” to ever agree to again.

A Red Team review of climate crisis assertions

Gavin Schmidt’s spat with Steve Koonin underscores why we need to debate climate change

Paul Driessen

Various scientists, politicians and activists have long insisted that the United States and world must end fossil fuel use to prevent dangerous manmade global warming, climate change and extreme weather disasters. They say “the science is settled” and the time to act is now.

Many other experts have pointed out that these dire threats are the product of hypotheses and computer models that are largely contradicted by actual observations and historic records for temperatures, tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, droughts, Arctic and Antarctic ice fluctuations, and rates of sea level rise. They note that Earth and humanity have been through Pleistocene ice ages and a Little Ice Age, Roman and medieval warm periods, prolonged droughts and other events that greenhouse gas theory cannot explain – and so far will not try to explain.

Call these experts “manmade climate crisis skeptics.” They say no drastic measures on energy should be taken unless and until these contradictions are fully addressed by open, robust discussions that climate crisis advocates refuse to have. “If your evidence for a crisis is so solid,” the skeptics argue, “you should be happy to lay it on the table, subject it to scrutiny, question our experts, and let us question your experts – rigorously.”

No debate, no proof of a manmade crisis – then no taxing, shackling or eliminating fossil fuel use.

The impasse has led to calls for a Red Team exercise or Presidential Committee on Climate Science to review and evaluate the climate models, reports, and evidence for and against the hypothesis that human carbon dioxide and methane emissions are responsible for a seemingly endless list of temperature, weather, ice, plant and animal conditions, fluctuations and catastrophes in recent decades.

Steven Koonin is a physicist, New York University’s professor, director of NYU’s Center for Urban Science and Progress, and former Obama Undersecretary for Science at the US Department of Energy. A true scientist who is committed to the scientific method (proving hypotheses with actual evidence and reproducible experiments), he originated the idea of conducting a Red Team exercise.

Dr. Koonin recently gave a videotaped talk at Purdue University on the need for that exercise. He acknowledged that a lot of the government reports on climate issues are correct or accurate. However, he also said he wouldn’t be urging a Red Team exercise if he didn’t think the reports contain “misleading crucial aspects.” Some reports, he suggested, seem to be “written more to persuade than to inform.”

Based on his “thirty years’ experience in providing advice to policy makers about science,” he observed, “that’s not where we want to be. It’s OK to write an advocacy document, but not one bearing the mantle of science. I believe the reports have that problem.”

His Purdue talk focused on “the disconnect between what the reports actually say and the public/political dialog.” A Red Team exercise, on the other hand, would “point out exactly how the reports promote that disconnect” – by failing to provide historical or quantitative context, for example, or ignoring economic impacts of constraining fossil fuel use. His observations make eminent sense.

Gavin Schmidt took issue with Koonin’s comments – and weighed in with a critique on the RealClimate climate crisis website that he launched and manages. Dr. Schmidt is a British climatologist, climate modeler, Director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York, and supporter of manmade climate crisis ideas.

Dr. Koonin has now responded to Dr. Schmidt – in a fascinating point-by-point rebuttal posted on, the internet’s most visited “climate skeptic” website.

Anyone interested in this vitally important debate – over climate change, fossil fuels, a Red Team exercise, and the future of industrialized society and modern living standards – should read and ponder Koonin’s response ... and the hundreds of comments that follow.

These government reports – or at least their executive summaries – are being read, interpreted or misinterpreted, and used by journalists, activists, regulators, educators and politicians to drive the dominant (and dominating) climate chaos narrative ... and justify a drastic overhaul of our energy sector, economy, manufacturing base, living standards, and rights to make our own personal choices about what cars we can drive and how far, whether we can fly for business or pleasure, what kinds of homes we can live in and where, what kinds of food we can eat, and numerous other fundamental issues.

One additional fundamental issue, of course, is that China, India and other rapidly growing economies are building fossil fuel power plants, factories and vehicles at a furious pace – and have no intention of slowing, much less stopping or reversing, their programs. As a result, their CO2 emissions now dwarf US emissions and in fact now total almost 62% of global emissions. So even total elimination of US fossil fuel use and carbon dioxide emissions would have zero effect on atmospheric CO2 levels.

With that much at stake, we darned well better have solid, evidence-based science to support claims that we face ... or are already in the midst of ... an unprecedented climate cataclysm, of our own making, that threatens civilization, wildlife and planet. So far, all we have are fear-inducing computer models, headlines, highly questionable reports from US, EU and UN government agencies, unbending assertions that the science is settled, steadfast refusals to debate any of this – and nothing else.

The NYU professor begins his rebuttal by saying he is “grateful for [Schmidt’s] attention and comments, as I’m always trying to improve my presentations. It seems that I failed to get my points across in some crucial places, so I’ve got work to do.” But he will not let Schmidt’s unwarranted criticism go unchallenged.

As Dr. Koonin points out, his Purdue discussions of “modeling challenges and deficiencies, temperature extremes, sea level rise, hurricanes, economic impacts, and the challenge of effective mitigation were all based upon what’s in the reports themselves, the refereed literature, or widely acknowledged data. So I’m not surprised that [Schmidt] ‘sees absolutely nothing new here.’ However, much of my [student] audience was wide-eyed and, I hope, inspired to investigate further on their own.”

Dr. Schmidt apparently does not agree – and yet tarnishes his rebuttal with nitpicking criticisms and by frequently misquoting or misinterpreting Dr. Koonin’s remarks at Purdue, sometimes with an abundance of snark and, one gets the impression, at other times with intention or even malice aforethought, to make Koonin look bad.

Koonin concludes with the spot-on observation that many of the reports “continue to paint a demonstrably deficient picture of the science [of climate change]. The scientific community needs to fix that, both to better inform the decision makers and also to bolster the integrity of the people and institutions that produce the reports. A Red Team exercise would go a long way toward that end.”

President Trump needs to launch that exercise, via a Climate Change Committee or similar program. If he fails to do so, it will be only a matter of time before our country and lives are shackled by intrusive, intolerant, economically and environmentally destructive Green New Deal regimes.

Read the Koonin commentary, watch the video, and read the comments (such as Tom Abbott, June 17, at 7:00 pm and Geoff Sherrington at 5:18 pm). You’ll learn a lot – more than alarmists want you to know.

Via email

Trump EPA finalizes rollback of key Obama climate rule that targeted coal plants

The Trump administration Wednesday issued a new rule that cuts carbon emissions from power plants by less than half of what experts say is needed to avoid catastrophic global warming.

The Affordable Clean Energy rule, issued by the Environmental Protection Agency, represents the Trump administration’s most significant action to unwind federal regulations aimed at addressing climate change. At the EPA on Wednesday, Trump’s top aides, Republican lawmakers and state business leaders celebrated it as proof that the president had delivered for his constituents in coal country.

“That means cleaner and more affordable energy for the American public,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, addressing a group that included coal miners from Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

Under the Trump rule, utilities are expected to cut emissions 35 percent below 2005 levels by the end of the next decade. But to avoid global average temperatures from rising beyond 2 degrees Celsius, the U.S. electricity sector would need to cut its emissions 74 percent, according to the International Energy Agency.

Unlike the Obama administration’s 2015 Clean Power Plan, the new rule does not set specific greenhouse gas emissions cuts for each state. Instead, it allows state regulators to determine how utilities can improve efficiency and will not force companies to switch from coal to lower-carbon energy sources.

But market forces have already prompted many utilities to cut back on coal.

DTE Chairman and CEO Gerry Anderson, whose Detroit-based utility has pledged to cut its carbon output 80 percent by 2040, said the new regulation won’t affect the decision to shutter 14 of its 18 coal-fired units by the end of the decade. “The industry’s in motion, and it’s got its own life,” Anderson said in an interview. “We’re moving on, and the rest of the industry is in a similar direction.”

Critics of the Trump rule argue that because it doesn’t require a move away from coal, some utilities will leave their plants open for longer, producing more pollution. They also say the new rule will result in even more confusion as states set their own climate agendas.

While liberal states are adopting ambitious climate policies, more conservative ones might not allow power companies to pass on carbon-free investment costs to customers if there’s no federal mandate to cut emissions.

Either way, the U.S. power sector is on track to surpass the Trump emissions projections, which amount to about one-third less than 2005 levels. Last year, utilities had lowered their emissions by 27 percent, and many companies plan to go even further, cutting carbon dioxide in half by 2030.


The Growing Drive To Destroy The Beef Industry

The American beef industry has long been a tasty target of the environmentalists and their allies in the animal rights movement. To understand the reason is to know that protecting the environment is not the goal, rather the excuse in a determined drive for global power. Their selected tactic is to control the land, water, energy, and population of the Earth. To achieve these ends requires, among other things, the destruction of private property rights and elimination of every individual’s ability to make personal lifestyle choices, including personal diet.

Of course, no totalitarian-bound movement would ever put their purpose in such direct terms. That’s where the environmental protection excuse comes in. Instead, American cattle producers are simply assured that no one wants to harm their industry, just make it safer for the environment. The gun industry might recognize that such assurance sounds a bit familiar. Same source, same tactics, same goals.

So the offered solution to “fix” the beef industry is “sustainable certification”. All the cattle growers have to do, they are assured, is follow a few simple rules and all will be fine, peaceful and profitable. Enter the players: the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB), and the U.S, Department of Agriculture.

First, let’s reveal the Sustainablists’ stated problems with the beef industry. What’s not sustainable about raising beef? According to the environmental “experts”, there are ten reasons why the meat industry does not meet sustainable standards:

* Deforestation – the claim is that farm animals require considerably more land than crops to produce food. The World Hunger Program calculated that if the land was used to grow grain and soy instead of cattle the land could provide a vegan diet to 6 billion people. Do you get that – a vegan diet! The fact is, most grazing land in the U.S. cannot be used for growing food crops because the soil wouldn’t sustain crops.

* Fresh Water – they claim that the America diet requires 4,200 gallons of water per day, including animal drinking water, irrigation of crops, processing, washing, etc. Whereas a vegan diet only requires 300 gallons per day. Apparently they don’t plan to irrigate the land to grow wheat or to wash the vegetables.

* Waste Disposal – factory farms house hundreds of thousands of animals that produce waste. They claim these giant livestock farms produce more than 130 times the amount of waste humans do. The interesting thing about this detail is that the actual sustainable policies they are enforcing to fix this problem destroy the small family farms in favor of the very giant corporate factory farms they profess to oppose. In addition, those global corporations which join the Green cabal have the ability to ignore many of the “sustainable” restrictions, unlike the small, family farms that are much better at protecting the environment on their own.

* Energy Consumption - For the steak to end up on your plate, say the Greens, the cow has to consume massive amounts of energy along the way as the cattle are transported thousands of miles to slaughter, market, and refrigerate. And let’s not forget, the meat must then be cooked! Well this transportation argument is a direct result of the existence of a limited few packing companies in cahoots with the Green Lords that dictate the market as they work against a more decentralized, local industry. Meanwhile, last time I checked, Tofurkey – made from soy -- also has to be cooked!

* Food Productivity – say the Greens, food productivity of farmland is falling behind the population and the only option, besides cutting the population, is to cut back on meat consumption and convert grazing lands to food crops. As noted in point 1, most grazing land cannot be converted. Everything dealing with the sustainable argument is based on some unseen crisis. Yet we do not have a world-wide food shortage or pending famine. In fact, the media is persistently reporting “price-depressing crop surpluses.” The only places where such shortages may exist are in totalitarian societies where government is controlling food production and supplies – kind of like the Green’s plan for sustainable beef.

* Global Warming – here we go! Say the Greens, global warming is driven by energy consumption and cows are energy guzzlers. But there’s more to the story. Cow flatulence! A single dairy cow, they claim, produces an average of 75 kilos of methane annually. Meanwhile, environmentalists want to return the rangelands to historic species, including buffalo. And a buffalo, grazing on the same grass on the same lands would emit about the same amount of methane. It’s a non-issue.

* Loss of Biodiversity – What are some of the examples the Greens give for loss of biodiversity? Poaching and black market sale of bushmeat including everything from elephants and chimpanzees to birds??? Please explain what this has to do with the American cattle industry – other than a pure hatred of anyone who eats meat of any kind. And that, of course, is the argument from the animal rights/vegan wing of the Green movement that is leading the assault on cattle.

* Grassland Destruction – apparently this is based on the Green premise that domesticated animals like cows replaced bison and antelope, which, in turn, caused a loss of biodiversity of species. I’ve got two pieces of news for you. First, the Native Americans so revered by the Greens, hunted bison before the white man arrived. Take a trip to Bozeman, Montana and see the cliff where they used to run entire herds to their death, not just selectively choosing a few to eat. Second, the Greens, not the cattle ranchers, forced the reintroduction of wolves, and that has caused a near annihilation of the antelope and elk herds.

*Soil Erosion – the Greens claim that U.S. pastureland is overgrazed, causing soil erosion. In truth, a great many of today’s cattlemen are third and fourth generation on their land. Those ranches could not have existed for over a hundred years if they were so careless in taking care of the land. It is vital to their survival to assure the land stays in good shape. Of course, an environmentalist who has never worked a ranch or farm and rarely comes out of his New York high-rise might not know that.

* Lifestyle Disease – this is my favorite of the reasons why beef is supposedly unsustainable. In short, it’s because of stupid people! This one is blamed on “excessive” consumption of meat, combined with environmental pollution and “lack of exercise” leading to strokes, cancer, diabetes and heart attacks. So it’s the beef industries fault that people eat too much and refuse to exercise. The solution – ban meat consumption. Yet, doctors are now realizing that meat eating is not the problem, carbs are.

So, these are the ten main reasons why it’s charged that beef is unsustainable and must be ruled, regulated and frankly, eliminated. These are charges brought by anti-beef vegans who want all beef consumption stopped. In cahoots, are global Sustainablists who seek to stop the private ownership and use of land, all hiding under the blanket excuse of environmental protection.

To bring the cattle industry into line with this world view the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association has accepted the imposition of the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef, which is heavily influenced, if not controlled, by the World Wildlife Fund, one of the top three most powerful environmental organizations in the world and a leader in the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP), which basically sets the rules for global environmental policy. This is the same World Wildlife Fund that issued a report saying, “Meat consumption is devastating some of the world’s most valuable and vulnerable regions, due to the vast amount of land needed to produce animal feed.” The report went on to say that, to save the Earth, it was vital that we change human consumption habits away from meat. As pointed out earlier, the fact is most land used for grazing isn’t capable of growing crops for food. Further, to have the WWF involved in any part of the beef industry is simply suicidal.

It’s interesting to note that the “Principles for Sustainable Beef Farming,” issued for the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef by the Sustainable Agriculture Initiative Working Group (SAI), follow the exact guidelines originally presented in the United Nations’ Agenda 21/ Sustainable Development blueprint. Agenda 21 divided these into three categories including, Social Equity, Economic Prosperity and Ecological Integrity. Using almost identical terms, the SAI plan for Sustainable Beef uses the following headings for each section of its plan: Economic Sustainability, Social Sustainability, and Environmental Sustainability.

Under Social Sustainability are such items as Human Rights, Worker Environment, Business Integrity, and Worker Competence (that means that workers are required to have the proper, acceptable sustainable attitudes and beliefs). Under the heading Environmental Sustainability are Climate Change, Waste, and Biodiversity, for the reasons already discussed.

Regulations using these principles impose a political agenda that ignores the fact that smaller, independent cattle growers have proven to be the best stewards of their own land and that for decades have produced the highest grade of beef product in the world. Instead, to continue to produce they will be required to submit to centralized control by regulations that will never end and will always increase in costs and needless waste of manpower.

To follow the sustainable rules and be officially certified, the cattle growers must agree to have much of the use of their land reduced to provide for wildlife habitat. There are strict controls over water use and grazing areas. This forces the growers to have smaller herds, making the process more expensive and economically unviable for the industry. In addition, there is a new layer of industry and government inspectors, creating a massive bureaucratic overreach, causing yet more costs for the growers.

The Roundtable rules are now enforced through the packing companies. You see, the cattlemen actually have no direct market. Instead, they first bring their product to feedlots for final preparation. The feedlots then sell the cattle to the packers. The packers are the ones who then have direct contact with stores, restaurants and other entities that actually buy the beef. The packers are a major force in the Roundtable, working side by side with the WWF, and so dictate the rules to the feedlots to comply with sustainable certification for the cattle they will buy from the growers. If the beef they obtain isn’t grown according to the sustainable beef principles then the packers refuse to buy it. That has quickly put smaller feedlots out of business. Consequently, it also destroys the cattle growers who rely on the feedlots to take their product.

There are only four main packing companies in the United States. These are Cargill, Tysons, JBS and Marfrig. These packers have already successfully taken control of the hog and poultry industries. Tysons is now raising its chickens in China to ship here. JBS and Marfrig are both from Brazil. It’s interesting to note that one of their first tactics was to remove the country of origin labeling from the packaging so that consumers have no idea where their product is coming from. So as the packers force their expensive, unnecessary, and unworkable sustainable certification on American cattlemen, they are systematically bringing in cheaper product from other countries that don’t necessarily adhere to strict, sanitary, safe production American producers are known for. As a result, there is a noticeable rise in news reports of recalls of diseased chicken and beef in American grocery stores.

Some cattle growers have tried to fight back by creating new packing companies to compete and provide an honest market. However, the costs to do so are huge, as high as $50 million. One such company called Northern Beef Packers was formed, using all the latest state of the art, high-grade processing. The four established packers reacted by drastically reducing their prices to the grocers, thereby destroying any hope of establishing a market for the new packing company.

This then is the situation that is threatening the American beef industry. If one reads the documents and statements from the World Wildlife Fund, the United Nations Environment Program and others involved, it is not hard to realize that the true goal is not to produce a better grade of beef, but to ban it altogether. The question must then be asked, why is the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association allowing this to happen, and indeed, is joining with the Sustainable Beef Roundtable to force these policies on their members?

The answer is actually quite tragic. American ranchers, farmers and livestock growers have been targets of the environmental and animal rights movements for years. They are beaten down. Like the rest of us they just want to be left alone to work their farms and herds like their forefathers have done for more than a century. But the pressure is growing day by day. So, they have come to believe that if they just go along – put the sustainable label on their product -- then this pressure will stop. In short, they see it as a pressure valve.

The reality is it’s not going to go away because the goal is not environmental protection, rather the destruction of their industry and control through what the UN calls the reorganization of human society. The attack has now grown to major proportions with the Green New Deal. Beef eaters have no place in the sustainable paradise of city apartment dwellers who accept government controls to choose for them what they are permitted to eat.

There are efforts to fight back. A group of cattlemen has organized under the banner of R-CALF (Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund) and they have managed to slow the Sustainable capture of the industry.  But the packers’ control of the industry is a major roadblock if the cattlemen can’t reach their market. R-CALF has filed Abuse of Conduct suits to shed light on the anti-trust activities of the monopoly tactics of the packers.

However, the beef industry cannot recover on its own. There must be outrage from the consumers who are facing higher prices, possible inferior meat, and the danger of disease because of this sustainable tyranny. If you want the right to your own food choices instead of the dictatorship of radical Greens, then get mad. Demand that “Country of Origin” labels be put on all beef products so you know where your food comes from. Demand that the Department of Agriculture rejects this sustainable myth and protects the American free market that has always provided superior products.

The so-called sustainable policy is not a free market. It is a government-sanctioned monopoly that is just short of a criminal enterprise. Stand with American farmers and cattlemen. If Americans don’t fight back now we will lose the freedom to our own dinner plates in the name of sustainable lies.


Climate activists are the establishment, not the underdogs

Comment from Australia

These well-to-do campaigners would happily make ordinary people’s lives harder.

On the eve of the Australian election last month, the righteous anger of modern politics turned to violence when a man was stabbed with a corkscrew.

His assailant, Steven Economides, is a senior 62-year-old partner at KPMG who lives in the Sydney suburb of Balgowlah Heights where the average three-room house costs around £1.5million.

The victim of this white-collar crime was a volunteer campaigner for former prime minister Tony Abbott, who stands accused of indifference to the future of the planet. Abbott was seeking re-election as MP for Warringah. Economides was a supporter of Abbott’s rival, independent Zali Steggall, whose call for real action on climate change is said to have won the seat.

Today’s typical Australian eco-warrior is affluent, educated and smug. These people are to be found in fashionable suburbs, frequently close to the water. They drive European cars, fly north in the winter and despair at the suburban bogans and their seeming indifference to the Greatest Ethical Challenge of Our Time.

The world looks somewhat different from the Galilee Basin in Central Queensland, where a proposal to develop Australia’s largest coal mine has raised hopes of economic activity and jobs.

The Carmichael Mine would be built by the Indian company Adani and would feed the increasing demand for coal-fired electricity generation in the sub-continent, the quickest and cheapest way to provide reliable power to a nation in which 18,000 villages still lack electricity.

The development has been frustrated by the largest and most sophisticated anti-development campaign Australia has seen.

The site of the mine is inherently unlovable, flat scrubby grazing land, plagued by drought, 400km inland on the edge of the outback. The campaigners responded by linking the development to the campaign to save the Great Barrier Reef. A powerful coalition of green groups, including Greenpeace and the World Wildlife Fund, launched deceptive campaigns to persuade the public that the mine was ‘near’ or even ‘in the heart of’ the reef. In reality, the mine will be further from the reef than the North York Moors are from London

In its form, the strategy is little different from the campaign that successfully stopped the development of hydro-electricity in the early 1980s and turned tree-hugging into a professional enterprise in Australia.

The campaign to stop the construction of the Franklin Dam on the Gordon River was led by a young environmental activist named Bob Brown who supplied 16mm movies of pristine wilderness to television stations as a ‘weapon of conservation’ and instructed activists to put on jackets and ties in preparation for media interviews.

Brown turned the Franklin into an internationally recognised icon with the help of the support of David Bellamy. The turning point for the Franklin campaign came when the opposition Labor Party came on board, turning it into an election issue that would help it gain votes in inner-city electorates on the mainland.

Bob Hawke’s victory at the 1983 election came despite a swing against Labor in Tasmania, where the workers were less concerned about the loss of native habitat than they were about the loss of jobs.

It was the start of Labor’s uncomfortable alliance with green politics that hastened its estrangement from working Australians and remains a nagging source of tension between the party’s industrial and intellectual wings.

Some 36 years later, the environmental movement pinned its hopes on a Labor victory in the recent election to stigmatise coal in the same way it had effectively ended the development of hydro-electricity.

Queensland’s state Labor government was caught in a bind. Approving the mine would have risked the loss of inner-Brisbane seats to the Greens. Blocking it would lose it seats in central and far-north Queensland.

Queensland premier Anastasia Palaszczuk decided to stall, relying on the ability of the public service to procrastinate, hoping that an incoming Labor government in Canberra would take the decision from her, or that the backers of the Adani mine might pack up and go home.

Palaszczuk badly underestimated the strength of the popular revolt building in the regions and the suburbs. Nor had she foreseen that the Coalition would grant federal approval for the project days before calling a federal election, thus putting the pressure on Labor.

There was a growing resistance to the sanctimonious campaign driven by activists from the south who put parading their virtue above other people’s jobs.

The arrival of Brown’s Stop Adani protest at Easter served only to cement the anger of local people. The procession of SUVs and well-appointed camper vans arriving from the south was met with a counter protest by local people driving utes and tractors.

The anger expressed at the ballot box was devastating for Labor, which received just 27 per cent of the vote in Queensland, its lowest share of the state vote since the federation in 1901.

It took the state government a matter of days to absorb the message and make a swift about-face. Premier Palaszczuk ordered her bureaucrats to stop stalling, giving them three weeks to make their decision.

Late last week her environment minister announced that the project was approved and preliminary construction began at the weekend.

The Adani approval is a considerable setback for Big Eco, the international coalition of activists which had invested heavily in turning a simple mine approval into the last stand for coal. Tens of millions of dollars was spent on lawfare to stymie the approvals process and shareholder activism aimed at starving the project of funds.

It is becoming harder for Big Eco to pretend that it is the underdog, bravely fighting against bully-boy corporations. It is becoming clear that the very opposite is true.

Increasingly, the activists have the upper hand. They are well-funded, ruthless and professional. They are in cahoots with media professionals who mix in the same circles and adopt the same assumptions, but are estranged from their fellow Australians.

The Adani campaign has sharpened the battle lines. The climate-change debate is not a contest between science and ignorance, belief and denial, or good and evil. It is a clash between those rich enough to enjoy the luxury of projecting their virtue and those who simply want to get on with the job.



For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  

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