“G’day mate, would you like fries with that? G’day mate, would you like fries with that? G’day mate, would you like fries with that?”
Oh to be a fly on the wall at Tim Flannery’s waterside property as he practises in the mirror for a job more suited to his talents. This time last week he was Australia’s Climate Commissioner, on an A$180,000 a year salary which required him to work just three days a week. But incoming premier Tony Abbott’s night of the green knives has put paid to that. Flannery’s Mickey Mouse job has gone; so too has Australia’s Climate Commission, a multi-million dollar, allegedly “independent”, propaganda outlet set up by Julia Gillard to help give her climate alarmist policies – such as the hated carbon tax, which Abbott is also abolishing – a veneer of scientific credibility.
As Jo Nova notes, while it may be a good day for the Australian taxpayer, it is far too late now to recoup the billions which have already been wasted on the “expert” advice of Flannery and his alarmist chums David Karoly and Will Steffen.
This agency propped up billions of dollars in pointless futile government spending trying to change the weather. Nothing will bring back money spent on desal plants that were mothballed when the floods came that real scientists predicted. Likewise the money burned on solar panels and windfarms is gone for good too, and still going.
As you’ll see at this website, one of the few things that Flannery is indisputably brilliant at is making idiotic statements and alarmist, pseudo-scientific predictions which seem to bear no relationship whatsoever to observed reality. So what, exactly, were his qualifications for taking on this supremely well-paid gig?
We-e-ll, Flannery is that most dangerous of things – an English literature graduate. Yes, I know I’m an English literature graduate too, but I’m the exception to the rule: on the whole, it would not be unfair to say, English literature graduates have done more to promote the cause of climate alarmism than any other category with the possible exception of “University” of East Anglia environmental “science” graduates.
Reflect, for a moment, on this grotesque rogues’ gallery, every one of them an English Literature graduate.
Tamsin Omond (Westminster-educated cutie; baronet’s grand-daughter; dumper of manure on Clarkson’s doorstep; embracer of every loony climate activist cause going with her Trustafarian mates)
Caroline Lucas (Malvern-Girls-College-educated nightmare; Green MP; watermelon)
Roger Harrabin (BBC alarmist-in-chief)
Bryony Worthington (Friends of the Earth Activist; inspiration for Dave’s “greenest government ever”; architect of the Climate Change Act)
Now, as it happens, I consider the cult of credentialism one of the curses of our age. Just because you’ve got some initials after your name doesn’t mean you’re not a pillock. And as we saw with the Climategate emails, being a qualified “climate scientist” is no guarantee of expertise on – or even entry-level understanding of – the science of climate. So I’m certainly not suggesting that Flannery’s possession of an English literature degree should automatically have ruled him out of contention for the massively influential Climate Commissioner job. What I am definitely suggesting, though, is that if you’re going to entrust the tenderest parts of your national economy to some random beardie bloke’s sweaty grasp, the very least you owe all the millions of people who are going to be affected by his announcements is to do some due diligence, ask some basic questions like: “Does anything this random beardie bloke has ever said or done in his entire life render him suitable to comment definitively on an issue as complex, uncertain and contentious as climate change?”
To which the bleedingly obvious short answer is: “No.”
After his English degree, Flannery managed to land (H/T Philip Bradley at Watts Up With That) a taxpayer-funded gig digging up kangaroo bones, which got him that impressive-sounding and all-important science PhD (palaeontology) before landing a job as a museum bureaucrat cum author of bestselling environmental alarmist books like The Future Eaters. (Sir David Attenborough once described him as ‘in the league of the all-time great explorers like Dr David Livingstone’ – which tells you rather more about the erratic judgement of David Attenborough than it does about the achievements of Tim Flannery).
Flannery, in other words, is a green activist who, like many of his kind – see Bryony Worthington; Roger Harrabin, above – has learned how to play the political system very much to his advantage. It is utterly inconceivable that anyone in the free market would ever pay someone so effectively useless so much money to do so little work for a job so utterly pointless as the one Flannery had as A$180,000 a year (for a three day week) Climate Commissioner.
If he were some weird aberration we could all, no doubt, have a jolly good laugh at the patent stupidity of it all and move on. Unfortunately, though we can’t because Flannery is not some weird aberration. He is just one of the more egregiously idiotic examples of a phenomenon which is rife throughout the Western world: environmental activists being paid eyewatering sums of money to promote junk science, ramp up green taxes and regulations, hamstring free markets, enrich rent-seeking scumballs, drive up energy prices and spout scaremongering drivel, all courtesy of the taxpayer who benefits from one jot.
Consider, for example, The Carbon Trust – a quango to which the taxpayer forks out more than £127 million a year, so as to benefit from its expertise on “low carbon issues and strategies, carbon footprinting and low carbon technology development and deployment.”
But hang on a second. Isn’t all that “low carbon” nonsense starting to look a bit overtaken by events? Aren’t we now fast reaching the stage where all the arguments in favour of committing suicide via “low carbon” have been torpedoed below the waterline? We know – as even the forthcoming IPCC report admits – that climate sensitivity has been overrated, thus making a mockery of all the doomsday scenarios fingering CO2 as a major threat. We also know – what with shale gas, shale oil, clathrates and thorium – that the fallback defence about “scarce resources” has been overdone too.
What we know, in other words, is that every penny of that £127 million we pay James Smith and his pals at The Carbon Trust to keep bigging up renewable energy and talking nonsense about climate change is money utterly and totally wasted. The same goes for the Department of Energy and Climate Change which could safely scrapped in its entirety tomorrow, without the slightest detrimental effect to anyone but the activists who staff it. The same goes for the £3.8 billion green investment bank. The same goes for much of the Met Office, the Royal Society, the British Antarctic Survey and the Science Museum, to name but a few of the once reputable publicly funded institutions which have been hijacked by political activists in order to further the cause of environmental alarmism.
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