Should we welcome a Royal Commission into climate science?

Recently Lawrie, a member of the Ballarat Climate Action group, wrote a letter to the editor after reacting to the news of Pauline Hanson’s election to the Senate. In it he raises the spectre of Royal Commission into climate science, something that Hanson is pushing and asks the question perhaps it’s what is needed to break the deadlock once and for all in science wars.

The truth will out

With her wish for a Royal Commission into climate science, Pauline Hanson has completed the Holy Trinity of requirements for recognition as a raving conservative. Having excelled in xenophobia and homophobia she now proudly adds climate change denial. No doubt Hanson imagines a like-minded group of anti-science Royal Commissioners including George Christensen, Cory Bernadi, Alan Jones and Andrew Bolt. However, as Malcolm Turnbull found, trying to clear the Senate of obstructionist ratbags, you must be careful what you wish for.  In reality, a properly constituted public Royal Commission would include the world’s best climate scientists with experience in the physics, chemistry and biology of the atmosphere, land and oceans.

Evidence from irrefutable peer-reviewed research would tell us what Australian governments already know: the earth is warming dangerously, it’s because of fossil fuel emissions, and we face catastrophe unless most of the world’s fossil fuels, including Australia’s massive reserve, stay in the ground. A Royal Commission appears unlikely though, because as Australia strives to become the world’s fossil fuel export superpower, Labor and the Coalition are as much in denial as Hanson.  Absurd as it may seem, all Australians must press for a Climate Science Royal Commission. It’s the only way to reveal the truth and prevent catastrophe.

Lawrie Wilson, Ballarat

Published as a Letter to the Editor in Ballarat’s Courier.

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