While reading Donna’s book (which is undoubtedly the BEST piece of investigative journalism I've come across in my life), I discovered that the (then) Prime Minister of Australia, Kevin Rudd, gave a pretty vicious kind of speech at the Lowy Institute on 7 November 2009. (Full speech here) in which he abused those who question climate "science".
Attempts … to present what is an overwhelming global scientific consensus as little more than an unfolding debate, with two sides evenly represented in a legitimate scientific argument, are nothing short of intellectually dishonest. They are a political attempt to subvert what is now a longstanding scientific consensus, an attempt to twist the agreed science.
I couldn’t believe that an Australia's prime minister could mouth such foul GARBAGE.
First, let me note that I had praised Kevin Rudd in my book, Breaking Free of Nehru, and so I clearly bear no ill will towards him (or anyone).
But look how arrogant this man had become after he held the position of PM for a while.
He not only purported to have discovered something known as “overwhelming global scientific consensus“ but he viciously attacked those who ask questions. People who ask questions are presumably "intellectually dishonest", "subversive", or mischievous: trying to "twist" SCIENCE! (It would be nice if Kevin Rudd understood the meaning of science, but that's perhaps expecting too much.)
I checked Kevin's training from Wikipedia. He has ZERO understanding of maths, physics, chemistry or biology. He couldn't possibly read, leave alone understand, a scientific paper.
And yet like a TOTALLY empty drum (which makes great noise), he had the temerity and impudence to abuse those who have the calibre to understand – and therefore to ASK QUESTIONS.
I would have had nothing to say on this subject, had Rudd said something on these lines:
"Look, I don't have the intellectual calibre to understand maths, physics, biology, or chemistry, and so I don't understand whether CO2 is a problem or not, but I have a role to act on advice I receive from the government's scientists. These folk are telling me that I must act, and so I will. I do not deny the privilege of understanding the science to those Australians who wish to understand this subject throughly. In fact, I encourage them to question the government's scientists so that they are completely satisfied that official scientists genuinely understand the subject. Truth can only emerge through ongoing debate. There is never a final truth in science."
But such a humble and decent comment is perhaps beyond Kevin. (Would he ever admit his mental incapacity to grasp science? Never!) His view MUST be obeyed else you are dishonest!
I have training in science. I was a National Science Talent Scholar (in biology) – a highly competitive award. I topped my university in the bachelor's degree in science. I took maths for the IAS exam, and did a doctorate with mathematical subjects, securing many global competitive scholarships on the way. That doesn't mean I know everything, but I have the confidence of being able to understand ANYTHING if I put my mind to it.
I have been STEEPED in science from my childhood and continue to read extensively about science, and ask questions. I consider myself a SCIENTIST: one of the many MILLIONS of trained scientists in this world.
I am also an independent thinker, and refuse to accept ANYTHING till I've understood it.
I represent (in this regard) perhaps the ACME of what the education system should aspire to achieve: an active and socially engaged human being and citizen who can think for himself.
And I pay my taxes.
And yet, this ARROGANT FOOL, who can't think for himself but must depend on others' advice, has the temerity to ABUSE those who think for themselves.
Kevin did NOT care to personally understand climate science, or ask hard questions about the science, or question how IPCC works (he should read Donna's book). Nor does he have the slightest clue about the scientific method.
And yet he has the gall to question the INTEGRITY of those who ask questions!
As if asking questions were a crime.
If Rudd has any genuine knowledge of climate science then let him answer my questions. Or ask his government scientist/s to address them. (His government's Climate Change Taskforce member John Quiggin has no clue about the science, though.)
To date, all I know is that there is NOT THE SLIGHTEST shred of evidence that CO2 is causing any problem to this planet. Indeed, I firmly believe (based on the science and data) that CO2 is GOOD for the planet.
Kevin Rudd must not arrogate to himself the mantle of the "saviour" this Earth for our children. Others like me, the citizens, are equally interested. We will act once we are convinced there is a problem.
The difference is that unlike Rudd, who is a mere follower, some of us are SCIENTISTS. We demand PROOF. ALL aspects to be clearly proven.
I trust he understands the concept evidence-based policy. Well, there's NO EVIDENCE of any problem – but only evidence that CO2 is good.
Science is all about questioning. It does NOT rely on authority.
If I (as a common scientist and proud citizen) can’t demand PROOF without the (now ex-) Prime Minister questioning the integrity of people like me, then there is something seriously wrong with the society.
Readers will recall that the moment I asked John Quiggin for proof (about reasons why he thinks he can multiply an annual estimate of temperature reduction by 100) he fled. He knows NOTHING about climate science but “believes” something blindly. Doesn't know what. But he believes. He is a follower. I have no use for followers and blind believers.
Finally, Mr Rudd, whatever else you do, please note that abusing people like me, who ask questions, will only frighten Australian students away from science. It should be obvious even to you (although you perhaps might need an IPCC to pompously announce that to you) that abusing SCIENTISTS (i.e. those who ask questions) is NOT the best way to promote the scientific attitude in Australia.
Remember what Richard Feynman said:
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts".
Challenge your experts to EXPLAIN climate science to the people and to answer ALL questions. Or expect these "experts" to be shunted aside.
We don't need "experts" whose only "expertise" is to quote the "IPCC" – but have no knowledge of the scientific issues and can't explain the science themselves. Sorry. You or your "experts" might believe in gods like IPCC. I don't.
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