Four Corners has aired a story “The Greenhouse Mafia”. Guy Pearse relates how industry lobbyists boasted how they wrote ministerial briefings, costings and cabinet submissions for the government, even though this is an obvious conflict of interest. And several scientists told how they were forbidden from commenting on certain climate change issues. The Age has a summary here, the transcript of the show is here, and more transcripts and forums on the show are here. There is also discussion at Larvatus Prodeo. Guy Pearse’s full interview has this on our old friends, the Lavoisier Group:
Q. Can you tell me about the climate change sceptics, the scientists that put out messages very different to yours.
A. I think it’s an important part of the influence of this group that we’re talking about is that they have been able to capitalise on a relatively small number of scientists who really make a living of debating the fact whether climate change is a real phenomenon. There’s a very small number of them out there and their work is obviously seized upon by those with an interest in blocking greenhouse policy and ah delaying action.
Q. What’s the role of the Institute of Public Affairs as far as climate change goes?
A. I think the Institute of Public Affairs is one of a number of organisations which the group we’re talking about has used to underpin their arguments to government to give them more authority and the IPA has close links with the Liberal Party going back many years and they’re closely affiliated with other sceptic organisations such as the Lavoisier Institute for example.
Q. What is that institute?
A. You can take a look at their website but they’re a fairly small organisation of formerly quite senior people in government and industry who have decided that a part of their mission in retirement is to undermine ah Australia’s greenhouse policy and to delay efforts to reduce greenhouse emissions as long as they possibly can, I believe, and they spend a lot of time arguing the science.
Q. Even today?
A. Well and truly, yeah. They haven’t given up the fight and one thing I found interesting about looking at the Lavoisier Group is that they accused the green movement and those that want something done about climate change as acting as if it was a new religion, that environmentalism is some kind of religion and yet they pursue the debate over the science with a an almost religious zeal themselves.
Q. And these groups are inter-linked?
A. They are, in fact if you look at the Lavoisier Group for example, they have the same postal address as the HR Nichol Society, which is another association with close links to the IPA; you see these common threads permeating through this whole group.