On Anthony Watts' climate conspiracy blog WUWT, Eric Worrall is moaning about Maurice Newman (archived here). In another move showing that he does take climate change seriously (albeit within political constraints), Australia's new Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, will not be re-appointing Maurice to the Prime Minister's Business Advisory Council, which he chaired under Tony Abbott.
Maurice Newman is an uber conspiracy theorist of the Tim Ball kind. I've written about his wacky ideas on a number of occasions. He's not just a denier, he's a hard core conspiracy nutter who thinks, for example, that the sustainability action plan, Agenda 21, is some sort of evil plot. Eric Worrall couldn't be more wrong when he writes:
Releasing outspoken skeptic Maurice Newman from his advisory role seems unlikely to help Turnbull’s credibility on climate issues.
Contrary to what Eric thinks, it will be a relief to almost everyone. I'd say most especially to the other members of the council. And it will lift the PM's credibility in regard to climate.
The National Party in Australia is the coalition partner of the Liberal Party, without which it could not form government. Malcolm Turnbull had to make an agreement with the deniers in the National Party and possibly with the extremists in the Liberal Party to stick to Tony Abbott's Direct Action plan for carbon mitigation. It won't be enough, and might not even be better than nothing at all. Time will tell.
However Malcolm Turnbull has been able to tweak things even while stuck with the Direct Action plan. For example, according to an earlier article in the Guardian, he has:
- Moved the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) from the industry department to the department of the environment. This agency was created by the previous Labor Government to increase the use of renewable energy. Shifting it signals that Turnbull is going to use it, not mothball it.
- Moved the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) from treasury and finance to the environment portfolio. Tony Abbott tried but failed to dismantle this organisation. Again, this signals that Turnbull regards the funding of renewables as important.
- The article in the Guardian also suggests that the current ban on the CEFC investing in wind or small scale solar will be lifted.
The conspiracy theorists at WUWT are up in arms. They didn't like Tony Abbott being ousted by the Liberal Party. You won't see right wing extremists admitting it, but Tony Abbott only got to be leader (over Malcolm Turnbull) by one single vote, back in 2009. In this year's spill, Malcolm Turnbull was elected leader by ten votes (54-44).
Given Turnbull’s track record as a fervent supporter of carbon pricing, this commitment to continue with Abbott’s climate policies, is not considered credible by at least some leading Aussie skeptics.
If Malcolm is still PM after the next election (which is due next year I think), then I am sceptical too. For one thing, international pressure will probably force the Australian government to take stronger action.
From the WUWT comments
The first person to comment wasn't your normal WUWT-er. Svante Callendar said how it was "excellent news".
September 27, 2015 at 11:28 pm
The elected government has the privilege of appointing their own advisors. But no-one wants an advisor who bases his views on pseudoscience.
Ben Palmer doesn't know anything of science history, and wrote plaintively (as if he is still waiting, hoping, for someone, anyone, to overturn 200 years of science):
September 27, 2015 at 11:39 pm
“But no-one wants an advisor who bases his views on pseudoscience” And of course for you, science which is does not toe the mainstream is “pseudoscience”. Remember Galileo, remember Alfred Wegener?
Scottish Sceptic thinks that anyone who accepts well-established mainstream science must be "gullible". Does he think that people who accept physics, chemistry, geology and biology are "gullible"? Is Scottish Sceptic also an evolution denier and a flat earther, I wonder?
September 27, 2015 at 11:57 pm
What amazes me is that people as gullible on the science as Turnbull can get to run a government. Indeed it amazes me that people actually vote for such people. Fortunately, by the shear overwhelming quantity and quality of sceptic voices on the internet these days, people like Turnbull might be able to fire a few employees but they can’t turn the tide which has clearly and unequivocally turned against the climate extremists.
Phill Williams wants to keep things in perspective. Notice how he didn't mention how Tony Abbott got elected by only one vote, whereas Malcolm had 10 votes up his sleeve.
September 28, 2015 at 12:00 am
Let’s keep it in perspective, less than 60 people voted for Malcolm Turnbull.
Patrick can only think of money, which is not unusual for the scientific illiterati at WUWT:
September 28, 2015 at 12:15 am
Turnbull (Turncoat) wants an ETS. He, and his mates at Macquarie Bank, stand to make billions out of any such system. He’s rich enough anyway, so no skin off his nose.
John of Cloverdale, WA, Australia. is no different, and touts another WUWT fan in Australia's Parliament. I've written about Dennis Jensen and his pseudo-science, too:
September 28, 2015 at 12:16 am
The Goldman Sachs man triumphs! Dennis Jensen, the only scientist in the Government, is a climate (AGW) sceptic. Although he supported TurnBULL, he will never get a post in the cabinet.
References and further reading
Climate sceptic Maurice Newman not reappointed as government adviser - article by Lenore Taylor in the Guardian, September 2015
Turnbull government signals new approach to climate policy - article by Lenore Taylor in the Guardian, September 2015
- Maurice Newman: A Self-Portrait of an Utter Nutter Science Denier - January 2014
- Is Maurice Newman telling Tony Abbott he should fire him? - April 2014
- Sack Australia's biggest laughing stock, Maurice Newman! His denier wackiness is resurrected at WUWT - August 2014
- Maurice Newman, the Australian Prime Minister's business adviser and favoured conspiracy nutter - May 2015
- Breaking - Malcolm Turnbull ousts Tony Abbott and will become Australia's new Prime Minister - September 2015
- A science denying fan of Monckton as Science Minister? - September 2013 (about Dennis Jensen)