NEWS | John Sandeman
Friday 4 December 2015
After a weekend of climate change marches that attracted thousands of Christians, the Family First political party has called for a Royal Commission into global warming.
Rod McGarvie, the lead senate candidate for the Family First Party in Queensland, believes that Christians who are strong supporters of action to prevent climate change (such as those who marched on the weekend) should support Family First’s Royal Commission. “If it establishes that climate change (caused by human activity) is real it will strengthen their hand. Christians should be in favour of openness and transparency.”
However Family First’s terms of reference for the Royal Commission concentrate on criticism that the case for significant man-made global warming has benefited from bias. Family First proposes to examine:
- “The broad range of scientific data and arguments on the major points of contention;
- Whether the BOM and CSIRO have allowed political agendas to compromise scientific rigour and integrity;
- Whether there was a distorting of scientific enquiry due to government research grant funding application processes;
- Whether the national broadcaster failed to adequately explore and present the full range of scientific arguments in the climate debate;
- Whether organisations (global warming focused) with tax deductibility status in Australia have acted against the national interest.”
Eternity asked if the argument of those sceptical of significant man-made climate change should also be questioned in the terms of reference, and McGarvie made the point that the critics in News Limited papers, for example, are writing in private publications that had the right to their own opinions.
The dropping of an audit of the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) methods of adjusting raw measurements of climate proposed under the Abbott Goverment after the change of Prime Minister is a particular point of contention for McGarvie, who also argues that there has been no increase in atmospheric temperatures measured by satellite remote sensing for 18 years.
“Under Turnbull there has been a move to the left. There is a lot of contention in the Liberal and National parties,” McGarvie tells Eternity. A diagram on the party press release shows the Green, Labor and the Coalition logos on the left hand side of a see-saw. The Family First logo balances the right hand side.
“Restoring the balance to the climate debate is critical,” says McGarvie. “Debate has become unhinged and appears to be driven by a religious fanaticism more than science and common sense. Every Australian wants less choking pollutants going into our atmosphere and our waterways. Environmental spending should be focused on reducing the real toxic pollutants and not on some false CO2 bogeyman.”
The arrival of Malcolm Turnbull as PM offers Family First the opportunity to claim the space some believe the Coalition has opened up on its right. Some conservative Christians will find his analysis that the debate has become unhinged appealing. Depending on what happens at the United Nations Conference on Climate Change in Paris talks, other Christians may also find the debate frustrating but for different reasons.