Senate debates

Wednesday, 7 October 2020


Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation

7:30 pm

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

As a servant to the people of Queensland and Australia, I see and note that Australian politics has been seduced and sometimes conned into endorsing policies aimed at decarbonising and consequently deindustrialising our whole economy by 2050. Climate claims now push policies to cut the human use of vital hydrocarbon fuels like natural gas, coal and oil. At the core is the claim that carbon dioxide from burning those fuels is warming our planet and that warming is a danger to humans and to our planet.

Politicians have the highest duty of care to base all policies on rigorous scientific evidence—especially policies that bring about radical change with severe consequences for people's livelihoods and lifestyles. Expensive policies need justification, with impacts specified and quantified before implementation. This can only be achieved when based on solid data as scientific evidence and which proves causation. Climate policies are decimating our nation's productive capacity, economic sovereignty and economic resilience, and we are on the slide from independence to dependence on other nations. Climate policies and renewables subsidies are already costing households an extra $13 billion per year in excess of electricity charges. That's an extra $1,300 per Australian household. Higher electricity prices are dismantling our productive economy and are exporting jobs overseas. Ridiculous electricity prices are suffocating manufacturing, agriculture and small and large businesses. Energy-intensive industries and value-adding processing of food and minerals are moving to countries with cheap energy.

The CSIRO is Australia's national research institution and, as the people's representatives, we need to have unequivocal confidence in the quality of its research, scientific processes and scientific evidence. I cross-examined the CSIRO and held them accountable. We need to know that the CSIRO is deeply committed to due diligence, knowing that its work forms the basis of wideranging policy decisions. With more than a decade of research and analysis, and of questioning experts worldwide, I questioned the CSIRO. I found that, in terms of climate research, the CSIRO did not meet the high standards we expect of what was our premier research institution. I shared the CSIRO's presentations, my conclusions and my observations with 17 international climate scientists. They concluded that the CSIRO lacked the evidence necessary to justify any government policy.

During our examination of CSIRO on its so-called evidence, used politically to justify current climate policies, the following key climate themes emerged. The CSIRO admitted that it has never stated that carbon dioxide from human activity is dangerous. 'Who did?' we asked them. 'Well, you'll have to ask the politicians.' 'So why do we have the policies that we have?' 'There is no basis—no danger.'

Secondly, the CSIRO admitted that temperatures today are not unprecedented. That means that we didn't cause them. Thirdly, the CSIRO relies upon invalidated models that give unverified and erroneous projections as evidence, confirming that it lacks empirical scientific evidence. They have no evidence for this. The CSIRO has never quantified any specific impact of carbon dioxide from human activity, so there is no basis for policy. The CSIRO admits to not doing due diligence on reports and data from external agencies. They just swallow it. The CSIRO relied on discredited and poor-quality papers on temperature and carbon dioxide. The CSIRO withdrew discredited papers that it gave to us which it had cited as evidence of an unprecedented rate of temperature change and then failed to provide supporting empirical evidence. The CSIRO revealed little understanding of the papers it cited as evidence. It even cited papers that contradict each other. The CSIRO allows politicians and journalists to misrepresent CSIRO science without correction. The CSIRO misled parliament. Therefore, the onus is now on the federal parliament to scrap climate policies unless and until the CSIRO can provide accurate, repeatable and verifiable empirical scientific evidence within a logical scientific framework that proves carbon dioxide from human activity detrimentally affects climate variability and needs to be cut.

Further, the proposed cuts need to be specified in the amount, the impact and the effects, together with the costs of making and of not making those cuts. How else can we justify these severe costly cuts that people in this chamber are inflicting upon everyday Australians right around the country and on their futures? How else can we measure progress? How else can we ensure effectiveness?