Apr 29, 2012

Vested Interests in the Climate Debate

A personal response by Viv Forbes to several attacks in the media.

By: Viv Forbes, Chairman,

It seems that whenever global warming alarmists have no supporting evidence or logic, they resort to name calling using terms such as "vested interests".

Warmists claim that earth's climate is controlled by man-made carbon dioxide, mainly from coal and oil. A huge climate industry has been constructed on this flimsy foundation. Is Australia best served if we base energy policies solely on uninformed or emotional opinions from rock stars, lawyers, economists, union leaders and the climate industry? Surely it is sensible to also listen to scientists and engineers with training and experience in the origin, history, chemistry, geology, physics, extraction, utilisation and waste products of coal and oil and the behaviour and role of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere? Why is all government industry "pure" and all real industry "suspect"? There are venal people and those promoting vested interests everywhere.

Another tedious slur is that those who opposes climatism are supporters of big coal and "lobbyists are paid by multinationals to produce this stuff". In my case this is very easy to refute. Just look at what I have said and written and check that against policies supported by coal industry lobbyists such as the Queensland Resources Council (QRC). 
(It can be found here:

The QRC people ARE paid to promote the views of the coal industry – I am not. They promote three key policy pillars – a global agreement to ration and tax carbon, emissions permit trading, and subsidies for green power.

Never have I or the Carbon Sense Coalition ever supported any of these shaky pillars. We have repeatedly urged rejection of the Kyoto agreement; we have been consistent critics of emissions trading and the carbon tax; and we oppose money wasted in subsidising green energy toys and silly schemes like Carbon Capture and Burial.

Other superficial critics gleefully report that anything I say is merely promoting my vested interests in Stanmore Coal, a small Australian owned and managed explorer in which I hold shares. The reverse is true – Stanmore will be less harmed by the carbon tax than many other Australian businesses and may even derive some benefits. Stanmore's main asset is an open cut thermal coal deposit planning to export coal, probably to Asia for power generation. The carbon tax in Australia will fall more heavily on gassy underground coal mines and will also drive our power intensive industries overseas, probably to Asia, thus increasing Asian demand for coal from projects such as Stanmore.

Naturally the snipers never reveal my long and continuing interest and experience in pasture management, grassland conservation, sustainable soils and the carbon cycle. I do not condone pollution or environmental degradation.

Every Australian has a vested interest in the outcome of this suicidal war on carbon – some will get unearned benefits, most will be lumbered with hidden costs. So instead of smearing, name calling and name dropping, it's time for the green side to put up some relevant facts and logical arguments.

Or find a real problem to solve.

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