Rudd let slip a line in his frustration this week that reveals how little he knows about the topic he holds so dear. He has so completely swallowed the PR on climate science, that when poked, he reflexively fires back exaggerated scientific claims that would make even the IPCC blush. In 2007 the IPCC and Gore et al offered Rudd the perfect Election-Wedge-on-a-Platter. They’d primed the audience with propaganda; trained the crowd to recite: Carbon is pollution. It looked like a no-brainer. Yet having based his leadership and campaign on it, it’s obvious he had not done even the most basic of checks (and still apparently hasn’t).
It’s an abject lesson in the importance of doing some homework before rewriting a nation’s economy.
Last week Tony Abbott (the Australian opposition leader) told school children that it was warmer ”at the time of Julius Caesar and Jesus of Nazareth”. This banal line set off a flurry of denial and bluster.
Rudd was incredulous in the Parliamentary Hansard record to the opposition members last week:
…how is it that, in the 21st century, you could support this Leader of the Opposition, who says that the world was hotter in Jesus’ time? How could you actually hold to a belief, in defiance of total science around the world, that somehow in the last 2000 years the world has become cooler, not warmer? How could you stand behind a leader who says that the industrial revolution, in effect, did not happen?
In defiance of “total science”? Or totalitarian science?
It’s true it’s difficult to know the exact temperature of the globe in the year one (it’s difficult to know the exact global temperature in 1975, too), but there are scientists reporting in journals from all over the world that back up Mr Abbott. We know it really must have been warmer in Europe thanks to written historical records and artefacts that pop out of melting glaciers. As William Kinninmonth points out, Hannibal took an army of elephants across the Alps in winter in 200 BC. And we all know that the Romans are not known for wearing fur coats.
Rudd is apoplectic with the non-sequiteur about the industrial revolution: If temperatures were warmer in 10BC, somehow that nullifies the steam engine 1800 years later? In Rudd-land, no one can even imagine the parallel universe where carbon might not control the climate.
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