Is Bevan Shields stupid?

By November 9, 2019Media

Environment Editor at Guardian Australia, Adam Morton tweeted the following on Friday (8/11/2019):

“Just to recap

Today’s fires are ‘unprecedented’

The fires in Queensland earlier this year were ‘unprecedented’

The Townsville flood was ‘unprecedented’

The inland flood afterwards was ‘unprecedented’

The central Queensland fires last year were ‘unprecedented’

The drought is ‘unprecedented’”

Believe it or not, in response, Sydney Morning Herald and Age journalist Bevan Shields has tweeted the following:

“Climate change debate is important but maybe while people are running for their lives during an emergency it’s best to just stick to the unfolding details and leave the preaching for later.”

While it is possible that Shields has such a limited purview that he believes everyone, like him, is concentrating on the events ‘unfolding’ in Queensland and New South Wales. There are 25 million of us, and only a few thousand people are involved in evacuations, firefighting, or reporting on them. The remainder of us are not hanging about with bated breath, waiting to read his latest column or watch the latest apocalyptic video or photos from places under threat. Nations can multi-task. This current Coalition government is at the same time grinding down the economy by continuing the policies which caused it, while holding Royal Commissions into aged care and disability services, and increasing greenhouse gas emissions, and at the same time denying there is a climate emergency, as well as dismantling democracy.

This ‘it’s too soon’ argument is precisely the same sort of argument the National Rifle Association (NRA) uses in the United States after every mass shooting to try to damp down demands for action on gun control. While the religious nutters send “thoughts and prayers” as an excuse for doing nothing of consequence, the NRA uses the ‘too soon’ argument to try to prevent anyone doing anything to try to stem the carnage. As a consequence, people continue to die; men, women and, worst of all, children in schools2. The fact that either of these responses to such tragedies is even contemplated, demonstrates a complete lack of political leadership. Scott Morrison has just sent ‘thoughts and prayers’ to those suffering during the current fire emergency. I rest my case.

Beyond the ‘it’s too soon’ stupidity of Shields’ response to Morton, there are another couple of aspects which need to be highlighted. Firstly; there is no debate about climate change. There are only facts and the denial of them by people like Shields. The ‘debate’ was over at least 30 years ago when the first report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was compiled3. Climate change is happening now. It is here, and as Morton said, its effects are unprecedented. To indicate that there is a debate demonstrates that Shields is either exceptionally limited in his abilities, or is paid to deny the reality of climate change. Given that he does not work for the Murdoch media, where climate change denial is standard practice, the latter is unlikely. So, one must assume that Shields is indeed limited. Secondly, one does not need to ‘preach’ reality. It is there for all to see. It is also in the numerous IPCC reports, and in the data from numerous meteorological, and other scientific organisations. On his Twitter profile, Shields states that he is ‘Soon to be Europe correspondent for the Sydney Morning Herald and the Age’1. One can only hope that he doesn’t tweet equally stupid content on events in Europe when he does get there.




  • Mark Dougall says:

    It seems to be a standard response of a lot of pathetic idiots to say “now, as this latest disaster (exacerbated, or directly caused by, climate change) unfolds, or is still in our recent memory, is not the time to discuss it’s relationship to climate change.” Well it is very hard to imagine when the right time may be because we are constantly having disasters related to climate change and it will only get worse. I have to swear, friend Blot, because I simply cannot believe how fucking stupid these really stupid people are. And if they don’t want to be called stupid they need to stop being stupid. Idiots.

  • Jessica says:

    No, I don’t think he is stupid. Perhaps just considerate of those quite literally “running for their lives”. I do wonder where you get the idea that Mr Shields is a denier of climate change as I am yet to see a denial from him?

    • admin says:


      he uses the same argument that climate change deniers use: ‘now is not the time’. This argument has been used by the National Rifle Association after almost every massacre in the US, and it is the same drivel used by Morrison and sundry of his halfwit colleagues. In addition, Shields calls it a climate change debate. That is a lie in itself. The debate was over 30 years ago. We are now seeing what was predicted then, only worse.

      • Jessica says:

        I think he was simply saying we should focus on stopping the fires now, save as many people, homes, wildlife and then discuss climate change. Maybe take a further read through Mr Shields’ SMH articles, you will notice he most certainly is not a climate change denier. In fact, quite the opposite.

        • admin says:

          Not really. He used the same drivel the climate change deniers do: the ‘not now’ silliness. Most countries seem to be able to do more than one thing at a time. While he may not be a denier in the mould of halfwits like Craig Kelly and George Christensen, he uses the phrase ‘climate change debate’. This is a phrase which really gives me the jimmies, as there is no debate. There is only climate science and the denial of it, just like there is no debate between evolution and creation; vaccination and disease; spheroidal earth and flat earth. There is only science and the denial of it. Thinking there is a debate is stupid.

        • Breanna 1 says:

          Climate change yeah right
          There have been BAD BAD fires years ago in Australia long before climate change
          GOD is in control NOT climate change

  • Right Wing says:

    So these “children in schools” dying of incredibly rare one in a million mass shootings. You are aware, aren’t you, that if a 12 year old gets murdered in a mass shooting that your side of politics is perfectly fine if their mother had have killed them 12.5 years ago in an abortion clinic. Your side supports a genocide against the unborn. Don’t you ever expect us to believe you care about children when you murder them by the million.

    • admin says:

      Right Wing,
      Wrong article sport; this was about climate change. I’d believe you were genuine if you cared more about the many millions who will die from the coming catastrophe of climate change. However, we all know that for people like you, your religious beliefs trump everything, and given the great overlap between the religious and the denial of climate change, I expect you do not ‘believe’ in the latter, despite it coming at us at a much faster rate than many have expected. By the way, a foetus is not a child.

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