Denial Down Under With The Galileo Movement

Denial Down Under With The Galileo Movement
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THERE‘S a new climate denial lobby group on the block – bravely regurgitating previously debunked pseudo-science and making wild unsubstantiated claims that climate scientists are all corrupt.

Not happy with misrepresenting the science on climate change, The Galileo Movement has also misappropriated the name of the father of modern science who was persecuted for his insistance that the Sun, rather than the Earth, was the centre of the universe.

The Galileo Movement, launched in Australia, has stated its prime mission is to stop the Government’s current efforts to introduce a price on greenhouse gas emissions and boasts a list of advisors resembling a who’s who of international climate change denial.

Included on the group’s advisory panel are Professor Fred Singer, Patrick Michaels, Professor Bob Carter, Professor Ian Plimer, Joe D’Aleo, Professor Richard Lindzen and Lord Christopher Monckton.

Galileo has been getting plenty of air-time and online exposure thanks to its patron, popular conservative radio host Alan Jones, and News Ltd blogger Andrew Bolt, who is also listed as an “advisor”. 

Jones, a fierce and fearless host on 2GB who leads radio ratings with his breakfast slot in Sydney, has been on a relentless tirade in recent weeks attacking climate science and the federal government’s plans to tax greenhouse gas emissions.

Since March, Jones has interviewed seven of the Galileo Movement’s advisors and the project’s coordinator. He’s interviewed Professor Carter twice and Lord Monckton three times. Both are advisors at the US-based climate denial “think-tank” the Science and Public Policy Institute (SPPI).

He’s also managed to squeeze in interviews with sceptics Lord Lawson, chairman of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, and Czech Republic President Vaclav Klaus.

During one slot, Jones claimed on-air that “human beings produce 0.001 per cent of the carbon dioxide in the air”, prompting an investigation by the Australian Communications and Media Authority

Yet Jones is also an outspoken critic of the massive expansions to coal mining and coal seam gas development in rural and remote regions of Australia.

Galileo has also brought in the services of JacksonWells, a Sydney-based public relations firm with a client list that you might describe as diverse.

As well as providing PR advice to international brands including computer firm Dell, Warner Bros. Entertainment, British American Tobacco and Imperial Tobacco, JacksonWells also has The Church of Scientology and the closed religious group The Exclusive Brethren on its books.

JacksonWells also lobbies government officials on behalf of many of its clients. The firm appears on the federal government lobby register and similar registers in the states of New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia.

Picking up the Galileo PR work is the well-travelled JacksonWells director Bob Lawrence, who also provided media advice and support to organisers of climate change denier Lord Monckton’s 2010 Australia-wide tour.

In an article last year in the JacksonWells company newsletter, The Well, Lawrence explained how he had helped to gain positive media coverage for Lord Monckton.

He wrote the firm had employees “who agree that climate change is a major global threat and we have our skeptics” but he added “the firm itself takes no corporate position on political issues”.

A political issue?

Disagreeing would be the world’s acidifying oceans, warming climate, changing atmospheric composition, melting Arctic and the vast majority of its working climate scientists.

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