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Beware of the climate change mind police

By Chris James - posted Thursday, 18 March 2010

Congratulations to the mining and resources industries and their cohorts for a successful campaign in mind control. They have managed to change public opinion on global warming. How do these executives sleep at night knowing that millions of people across the world are going to lose their homes and possibly their lives to climate change and rising sea levels? Well, our corporate executives don’t have to deal with it, they have the money and power to choose where they live; and as for the rest of us; denial is a powerful tool of false consciousness.

According to the UK Guardian (March 11, 2010), “Nearly half of Americans believe climate change threat is exaggerated”. Belief in climate science in America is at its lowest since polling began “13 years ago, with only 31 per cent saying the threat is 'definitely' a reality”. Such a fast turn around could only come from organised propaganda.

In Australia the story is much the same. The Minister assisting the Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, Greg Combet stated:


The election of Tony Abbott as Leader of the Liberal Party and therefore as Leader of the Opposition means that the extremists have gained control of the Liberal Party. Tony Abbott and those who support him do not believe in climate change.

In this respect Tony Abbott lines up well with Sarah Palin who is busy undermining the Obama legislation in the US: “the Obama administration faces lawsuits from Virginia, Texas, Alabama and a dozen business lobbies challenging its authority to act on greenhouse gas emissions through the Environmental Protection Agency.” Across the Internet there are accusations of Obama attempting to bankrupt the coal industry with Palin seemingly at the helm of the furor. In contrast Sarah Palin calls herself a “coal booster”, which could have grave implications for the rest of the world including Australia if she ever wins the leadership.

The Wentworth Group, call themselves “a group of concerned scientists” and who advise the government on climate change issues, also appear to be “coal boosters”. They have advocated the use of high yield renewables such as so called clean coal, otherwise known as sequestrated coal after it has had the CO2s removed. It is termed “renewable” on the basis that when it is made into biochar [a fertiliser] and spread on the ground it will, in time, generate more coal, but this does not make it “clean” or “renewable”. However, The Wentworth Group found themselves slightly compromised recently when one of their leading scientists admitted on the ABC television program Insight that mining gas, oil, coal and increased water extraction would exacerbate the problems of coastal subsidence and sea level rises leaving coastal residents vulnerable.

Similar problems are already being experienced by residents along the coast of New South Wales at Byron Bay. Residents of Byron are locked in a battle with their local council because they have been refused permission to build sea walls in order to protect their homes from the elements. Sea walls can cause other problems, but what are these residents supposed to do, haul their homes to the top of a hill?

Questions of liability in the face of climate change are going to be a huge issue with governments turning every which way they can to avoid litigation. It is the courts and the lawyers who will benefit from this scenario.

Nonetheless, against the increasing threats of environmental damage and social upheaval governments remain complacent in their aims to push forward with their plans for a massive mining boom regardless of the human and environmental costs.


Coastal residents in the Gippsland regions are understandably worried about property values. Real estate agents try to tell the public climate change is not impacting on coastal properties, but in many small seaside towns every second property is on the market at rock bottom prices. No one is buying because of the uncertainty. Ironically, it is pushing prices up in the surrounding areas because of the shortage of secure houses.

Many people who are in denial of climate change seem to think it is something that is going to happen in the future. It is happening now. King tides are causing flooding in coastal towns; fisherman and coastal residents proffer anecdotal evidence to suggest that sea water is coming further inshore. Storm surges appear to be much bigger than they used to be. One can only put a limited number of these stories down to imagination.

The Gippsland Coastal Board has released its modelling of anticipated sea level rises, which shows significant possible inundation, with sections of the South Gippsland Highway likely to be under water.

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About the Author

Dr Chris James is an artist, writer, researcher and psychotherapist. She lives on a property in regional Victoria and lectures on psychotherapeutic communities and eco-development. Her web site is

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