Senate debates

Monday, 10 February 2020

Matters of Public Importance

Fossil Fuels

6:56 pm

Photo of Malcolm RobertsMalcolm Roberts (Queensland, Pauline Hanson's One Nation Party) Share this | Hansard source

The Greens are seen as ambulance chasers, using a political stunt and falsities on the back of a natural disaster tragedy. The Greens are making brazenly false statements and they're relying on people suffering climate amnesia and weather amnesia. Let's have some facts. Bushfires are not worsening, no matter how they are measured. In 1939, the loss of life number was 71, while 1,300 homes were lost and 3,700 buildings were lost. In 1974-75, 117 million hectares were burnt, four times the number this year. Lomborg provides graphs of satellite data from the years 1997 to 2020. There's been a one-third decrease in 20 years and a continuing downward trend. He also provides data going back to 1900. Twelve per cent of Australia was burned in 1900. It is now less than four per cent. That is not bushfires worsening.

Secondly on facts, there is no clear link with burning hydrocarbon fuels. Senator Macdonald stood over there in 2016, looked across at me and said, 'I don't always agree with Senator Roberts, but he is the first to start a debate on the climate science in this parliament.' We still haven't had the debate because the Greens will never specify their science. The Chief Scientist has said there will be virtually no impact, virtually nothing will occur, if Australia shuts down 100 per cent of its industry and transport. CSIRO, in cross-examination from me, have told me that temperatures in the last 10,000 years showed that today's temperatures are not unprecedented. CSIRO have admitted that they've never said that there's danger from human use of hydrocarbon fuels—human carbon dioxide.

Temperatures—fact!—in the 1880s and 1890s were warmer than today. Heatwaves were longer, more intense and severe. The medieval warming period a thousand years ago was significantly warmer than today. Ninety-seven per cent of the Holocene period, which is since the end of the last ice age, was warmer than today. The longest temperature trend in the last 140 years was 40 years of cooling at a time when carbon dioxide from human activity increased dramatically. For the last 25 years temperatures have been flat despite massive increases in human production of carbon dioxide. Greenpeace wanted to shut down the Australian Open in Melbourne due to severe temperatures. In 1939, the temperatures were warmer than today.

We've heard the Labor Party and the Greens talk about drought. Rainfall, according to the Bureau of Meteorology, was about 25 per cent higher in the first 20 years of this century than the first 20 years of the last century. The last fifty years show considerably higher rainfall than the previous 60 years. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change shows these is no link to drought.

What we need to do now is consider the Greens. I asked Senator Larissa Waters, the Leader of the Greens, to provide the evidence for her claims—


No comments

Log in or join to post a public comment.