Wednesday, October 17, 2012

And so to a brief tour of the denialists ...

(Above: the empire holds, but for how long?)

It seems there are so few Australian cricketers deserving of a gong that the Australian government has been forced to import a decent Indian player to bolster the numbers.

This is an exceptionally promising move.  If applied to Australian politicians, the pernicious tendency to give them a going for ruining things, getting things wrong and lowering the tone of the debate would end overnight. Instead we could look to world political figures to make up an OA eleven.

Naturally independent Rob Oakeshott is troubled by the move, but it's painfully easy to see how self-interest is involved. If we were to offer a gong for say, ingratiating down-under political fop, Boris Johnson would cream Oakeshott, or as they say in colloquial parlance, knock him for six.

Meanwhile, is there anywhere in the world that still pays the slightest attention to the thoughts of Bjorn Lomborg?

Of course there is, you can always find him at the top of the digital page in the lizard Oz, and to add insult to injury, they want a gold bar to access his musings (no link, screen cap):

Misleading information and scare tactics? Isn't that a little rich, coming from a man who made a career out of climate science denialism, and then ostensibly switched camps to extend his public career by spouting endless scepticism in relation to any possible solutions?

Never mind, an even bigger point for anxious punters fooled into forking over a gold brick is that you can, if you wish, read Lomborg's piece under the header Scary Pictures, where it hit the digital presses some seven days ago.

Not only does The Australian want you to buy Lomborg, it wants you to buy re-heated, re-hashed, slightly greasy and used fish and chips showing signs of mould and age.

Actually it turns out that the piece is all over the full to overflowing intertubes like a rash or a plague, and naturally it made it into message boards, with accompanying messages like Pro-Global Warming scientists make up more bullshit and skewed data.

Should Lomborg be blamed for his acolytes and their determined reading of his text? Well if the shoe of misleading information and harm and scare tactics and tarnishing fits, perhaps Lomborg and the lizard Oz should wear it.

The pond looks forward to an active campaign from The Australian in support of the figure of $100 billion a year that Lomborg conjured up as the amount needed to fight the impact of climate change (Bjørn Lomborg: $100bn a year needed to fight climate change). 

Not likely is it? You see, this is how the lizard Oz presents the Lomborg piece:

Yep, there it is, handily tucked beneath a piece about a major brown out, and production being cut, and oh woe is me what will happen to all the dirty, filthy brown coal, and once again The Australian maintains its crude, unsubtle campaign to subvert the climate of climate science, by the most simplistic, devious and blatant of editorial devices ...

Speaking of editorial tricks, let's pause to admire another one. Here's the report regarding Tony Abbott's return from talks in Indonesia, as published in another arm of the News Ltd octopus under the header Tony Abbott returns from talks in Indonesia:

Tony Abbott is returning from Jakarta after a second time declining to raise his controversial turn-round-the-boats policy with Indonesia's President. 
 The Opposition Leader held 30 minutes of talks with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono - on what he said was "a broad range of issues" - last night. 
 But he didn't mention the policy to intercept asylum seeker boats and where safe turn them back to Indonesia. 
 The Indonesians believe this is putting all the responsibly back on them. 
 Mr Abbott had not raised the matter when he met President Yudhoyono in Darwin in July.

There's more, but that opening seems pretty definitive. Why it almost sounds like an excuse for a sound bite from Julia Gillard.

How to deal with this affront?

How to spin, to skew, to tweak? In short, how to do a Lomborg?

Why it's easy enough, just call on that old political and cultural warrior, Dennis "the tie" Shanahan, the impeccably dressed conservative can-do pounder of the keyboard, and you'll end up with this nice splash (no links, screen cap):

Yes that's the trick. It seems Tony Abbott did raise the Coalition's border-protection policies, which proves several things, depending how you value relativism in reporting:

Either is totally up itself, or Dennis Shanahan and The Australian is.

Of course it could be both, but the only credible thing in the lizard Oz's headline is "Truth lost" when you read News Ltd reporting ...

Spin, and spin again, said the walrus to the oyster.

Sad to say you can replicate this experience on any page of the crusading Oz - naturally Greg Sheridan is on hand to contribute to the festering diatribes - as the rag maintains the rage.

What a waste of reading time, especially when you can read Miranda the Devine, and can get yourself transformed into an epic bout of persecuted heterosexualist rage, as she explains how important it is to be intolerant of any signs of tolerance: The thought police telling kids heterosexuality's not the norm.

Even for the Devine, it's a shameless trawl in the gutter of extreme hostility to gays and the notion of gender diversity, and it's guaranteed to send the pond's transexual friends into a frenzy.

According to the Devine, there's simply not a problem in NSW schools, there's no bullying of gays or those with different sexual inclinations, and instead heterosexuality is being demonised.

Yep, it's just another form of denialism.

And, it has to be said, one more manifestation of the intolerance of homosexuality cultivated in Catholic circles by the Pellists, which achieved new levels of strangeness when Catholic schools decided on a "hate the sin, love the sinner" approach to combating homophobic bullying. (Catholic schools reject homophobic bullying).

At the time Greens MP John Kaye made an interesting point:

(he) ... challenged the Commission on how Catholic schools could be safe for same-sex attracted students when Archbishop George Pell said the normalisation of homosexuality was eroding the moral ecology of society and was a greater health hazard than smoking.

Well the Devine takes that denialism to a new, epic Lomborgian level:

... the fact (is) that there is no evidence that homophobic bullying is a big problem in NSW schools

Of course if you happened to be a child subject to homophobic bullying, with no way to escape or no way to turn, thinking of suicide, tormented and hurt, you might well take a different view on what's a problem.

Whatever, don't expect any empathy from the vicious Devine, always ready to sink in the steel-tipped slipper, and turn a plea for tolerance of homosexuality into an intolerance of heterosexuality.

It's at moments like this that the pond likes to indulge in a fantasy, of Catholics being bashed and bullied and pummelled and pounded and brutalised for their views in the playground toilet, or behind the bushes out of sight of teachers.

An incredible fantasy no?

But what a wonderful column it would produce from an indignant, righteous, totally up herself Devine.

Sadly, it's never the bullies that are bullied, and they just keep on their bullying ways, thanks to News Ltd providing space for them ...

(Below: give the Devine a gong).


  1. I wonder if it ever penetrates the dim, dark cavern that is Miranda Devine's mind, that she and her ilk are as much responsible for the decline in Catholicism in Australia as pedo priests?

  2. It's always amazing to see ostensible Christians maintain the hate, the rage and the fear and the loathing, GlenH. The pity is that some have a pulpit to spread the venom and the poison, and an even greater pity that one of them is Miranda the not so divine.


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