Stand Up For Science – the science petition


The science of climate change is being attacked at all levels of government both here and abroad. It sometimes seems as though those governing us have gone completely insane – attacking and rejecting the overwhelming evidence. How are decisions and laws to be made if they are not made on best evidence available? Currently the power of wealth and ignorance is in the ascendancy, as exampled by Gina Rinehart’s Lakes Oil decision to sue the Victorian state government for billions because of their fracking ban. A ban supported by local communities across the region including the East Gippsland Shire.

In the Bairnsdale Advertiser (10/12) propaganda from the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) has joined in calling the ‘fracking’ ban ‘anti science’- a good example of Orwellian ‘doublespeak’ considering their relentless promotion of the fossil fuel industry. On 5 April I presented a brief outline to the Shire of East Gippsland on how any unconventional gas mining and development will add dangerous greenhouse gases to the atmosphere and gave a brief summary of the physics of the greenhouse effect. More recently during council elections I circulated a ‘Science Pledge’ lifted from Shawn Otto’s War on Science (Milkweed Editions, 2016) to all 39 candidates. Six of them signed the pledge but unfortunately none of the signatories were elected.

As Shawn Otto noted “Science builds on the latest recorded knowledge…and makes and tests bold predictions. Science is our very best tool against prejudice and unexamined attitudes… (p.185) Instead the lies and propaganda of vested interests hold sway. In terms of eventualities it makes no difference, whatever delaying and other criminal activities succeed in the short term, for physics will triumph over politics including the politics of greed and ignorance. In the meantime all life on planet earth suffers.

I certainly could not let the MCA propaganda escape without criticism and so have penned a letter to the Advertiser. I have also signed an American petition by Climate here. Although I rarely sign online petitions (I get overwhelmed there are so many of them) especially without local content, I have made an exception here and I would urge you also to sign the Stand Up For Science petition. It is also beholden upon us to enlighten those who are sometimes persuaded by the denialists, conspiracy theorists, reactionary elements in both the main stream media and legislative bodies, and the fossil fuel vested interests, whenever we are able.