The Member for Gippsland: another Climate Change Dinosaur

head in sand

Our local member Darren Chester MHR is a ‘climate change denier’ and a ‘brown coal champion’ and as such is just another ‘climate dinosaur’ in Federal parliament. In 2011 when he spoke against the Labor government’s ‘Carbon Credits Bill’ he railed against “so called dangerous climate change” and argued that Labor was conducting a scare campaign. The biggest polluters he claimed were also “some of the biggest employers in this nation”. His full speech is here.

From 2010 to 2013 he was part of the Abbott opposition campaigning against the ‘carbon tax’ which could only be called a ‘scare campaign’ of mammoth proportions and based on a lie. Since 2013 he has been a member of the Abbott/Turnbull government whose main claim to fame has been the abolition of the ‘carbon tax’– one wonders how many people there are in Gippsland who got back the promised $550 per annum on their electricity bills after the ‘tax’ was abolished (I’ve yet to meet one). Of equal importance has been Abbott government’s attempt to crush the renewable energy industry.

Mr Chester clearly does not understand the basic physics of the ‘greenhouse effect’ – the direct association of warming with CO2 and other greenhouse gases – and appears happy to repeat the misleading information supplied by climate sceptics and vested interests. For instance he confuses, and fails to discern between, weather and climate. He talks of “long term change” not acknowledging that it is something that it is happening now. In fact the planet has been gradually warming all our lifetime following the increasing amounts of CO2 put into the atmosphere since the industrial revolution. The human caused climate change fingerprint has now been identified on extreme weather events as early the 1930s.

Mr Chester claims “that coal will play an important part in our nation’s energy needs for decades into the future.” And that “there are 500 years worth of brown coal. It is a reliable natural resource. It provides a cheap form of energy, and our challenge is to use it in the most environmentally friendly way possible. There have been some remarkable efforts over the past decade by companies that are exploring ways to reduce the moisture content and export brown coal.”

Some prominent scientists are now calling the recent warming a climate emergency. By championing coal Mr Chester does his heartland a huge disservice for they (and we) are the ones who will suffer the various effects of climate change now and in the near future. And it is our grandchildren who will suffer much sooner than 100 years.