It is difficult to know where to start with such a bumptious buffoon as archetypal combover Maurice Newman. He is completely out of his depth with climate science, and is from the idiotic end of the denialist spectrum (it’s all a conspiracy!)1. Not only doesn’t he understand science, let alone climate science, but he also doesn’t understand the implications of it for the future of his children or their children, if indeed he has any. In his latest piece in the Murdoch ‘newspaper’ The Australian, he is bemoaning the fact that children are striking for the climate, claiming that these children are pawns in a bid to undermine capitalism. He believes it is all a plot to undermine the west, and that their activities are consistent with “Vladimir Lenin’s communist teachings”2. This ‘reds under the bed’ drivel is what one would have expected from the early to middle 1950s which, given Newman’s combover, is unsurprising. It is from that era.
Newman writes that these children “have little concern for the damaging practical consequences of an ever-increasing dependence on renewable energy, which has pushed up real Australian electricity prices by 76 per cent in a decade”2. This is a barefaced lie. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) found that the predominant factor leading to the increase in electricity prices was a lack of competition, with the power generation market highly concentrated and with substantial levels of vertical integration between generation and retail. The ACCC also noted that uncertainty in the electricity sector led to insufficient investment. Ageing coal power stations are closing and not being replaced by sufficient new capacity. Much of the uncertainty has come from the toxic political debate which has been mostly within the Coalition parties. While there are perhaps some overly generous environmental schemes (e.g. rebates for rooftop solar), it is not renewables which are the main problem as the ACCC discovered3.
Newman, adding to his lie, then stated that these children show no compassion for the poor households with large families. That is rich coming from a supporter of the Coalition parties, who have decreased some penalty rates, on which many low-income earners depend. Then he says that these children have no compassion for the 109,000 Australian households which had their electricity disconnected in the past financial year2. Given that electricity generation from renewables (wind and solar) is now on a par with that from coal, and is likely to continue to decrease4, Newman’s drivel beggars belief. It is Newman who shows no compassion; no compassion for the next generation and their future; no compassion for those nations which are beginning to be swamped by rising sea levels; no compassion for those farmers whose livelihoods are going to suffer even more than currently; no compassion for all the people displaced by climate change. Not only does Newman show no compassion, he also shows little intelligence; like many other Murdoch hacks. I just hope they live long enough to suffer the justice they are due, and that their children understand what these deniers have done to their world.
- Newman, M. 2019. Climate kids mere pawns in a bid to undermine capitalism. The Australian, March 14.