Pauline Hanson’s One Nation colleague Senator-elect Malcolm Roberts says Pauline Hanson is a “highly intelligent” and competent person who will hold One Nation together. I guess it’s all in the eye of the beholder. Malcolm Roberts does not impress as intellectually gifted. The Age online reports on 7 August 2016:
“Speaking on ABC’s Insiders program on Sunday, Senator Roberts, the climate sceptic who secured One Nation’s second Queensland Senate spot last week, also challenged anyone at the national broadcaster to provide “empirical evidence” that proves human production of carbon dioxide is affecting the climate.”
The overwhelming majority of climate scientists (about 97% of them) disagree with him. Here are some actual facts from the Climate Institute in response to Roberts.
If climate scientists are right, we have to take urgent action on climate change. Even Tony Abbott eventually acknowledged that climate change is real and (at least in part) anthropogenic. Even so, it must be noted that his chief business advisor, Maurice Newman, denies climate change as did some members of Abbott’s cabinet.
But let’s assume Roberts is right and climate scientists are wrong. And of course they might be wrong: scientific truth is not decided by majority vote. If they are wrong, and we act quickly as they say, we will spend a lot of money for no advantage. But if they are right and we do nothing…
Suppose there is an 80% chance that all the scientists are wrong (that is, only a 20% chance they are right). If we do nothing about climate change there is only a 20% chance of a catastrophic outcome. A one in five chance of an avoidable, catastrophic outcome.
But that is worse odds than Russian roulette. In Russian roulette, a revolver with 6 chambers has just one bullet in it. When you hold the revolver to your head and pull the trigger, you have a one chance in six of a bad outcome. One in six is better odds than one in five
It may be objected that, in Russian roulette, you hold the gun to your head, and if the one in six chance goes against your child, then the child dies. If climate science is right, we won’t all die. OK, so try playing Russian roulette with your children, but hold the gun to their stomach: if the one in six chance goes against your child, it’s not fatal, just dangerous and very painful.
Other arguments which support taking action on Climate Change just in case include this: if you were told that 97% of engineers predicted that a particular bridge is unsafe and will collapse, will you walk across it? If the airline tells you there is a 97% chance that the plane will crash, will you nevertheless get on board?
Those who would withhold action on Climate Change (by denying it, or by extending the argument about the steps that should be taken, thereby delaying any action at all) are playing Russian roulette with our children’s future.
Among those people are Pauline Hanson and Malcolm Roberts. The tragedy is that if their stupidity results in further delay on Climate Change, they will not live to see the consequences for the next generation.