ABC’s Media Watch…ideological drivel

ABC’s Media Watch have blown all credibility following their attack on Dr Jennifer Marohasy last night. Apparently no climate sceptic should be part of any group with the word ‘Environmental’ in their name. Forget the science, that doesn’t matter according to Holmes.

Well Media Watch, you missed me. My group’s name is Kimberley Environmental Horticulture Incorporated. My group’s income is in the same range as the group that you are trying to bash. I wont be telling you where it comes from. It’s no business of yours either. I do more for the environment than any  so-called government funded green group like the Climate Institute, too.

Oh, and did I tell you, global warming is a crock of s…, a scam, ideological drivel? Yes, and Media Watch is just ideological drivel.

Let’s do a Media Watch on the Climate Institute, Jonathan

Will Media Watch do to the alarmist Climate Institute what it did to sceptical scientist Jennifer Marohasy last night?

But first, the IPA’s Tim Wilson skewers the Climate Institute’s latest report that begs support for the utterly useless carbon dioxide tax:

Yesterday the Climate Institute released its Global Climate Leadership Review that significantly bucked other analyses and concluded Australia’s carbon tax of $23 a tonne of greenhouse gases was modest. The report says Sweden has a $130 equivalent carbon price. Switzerland is up to $60…

The problem with Australia’s $23 carbon tax isn’t just that it is internationally high, it is also applied broadly. That isn’t what is happening in other countries.

As the Climate Institute’s report notes in small print, the Swedish carbon price is “levied primarily on oil, coal, natural gas and petrol”. Switzerland “covers coal, oil and natural gas”. The report is littered with similar caveats for other countries.

That’s why the Productivity Commission highlighted in its Carbon Emission Policies in Key Economies report last May that “most countries have adopted sector-specific policies”.

And “no country currently imposes an economy-wide tax on greenhouse gas emissions or has in place an economy-wide ETS”…

Similarly, the (Climate Institute’s) report doesn’t include data from other large emitters. Carbon price data from key competitor countries such as Chile and China are excluded. So is the carbon price from the carbon-backsliding Canadians. And the carbon price for the US is misrepresented by data from California alone.

Note, Wilson simply argues on the facts.

But let’s remind ourselves of what Media Watch’s Jonathan Holmes says should be done with reports from a sceptic such as Marohasy, and see how it would be applied to a report from the Climate Institute.


Nobody looked at the Australian Environment Foundation (which published Marohasy’s paper)… And yet the history, connections and policies espoused by the AEF, and the report’s author Dr Jennifer Marohasy, might well influence what people think about the science they’re putting forward…According to the website of the free-market think tank, the Institute of Public Affairs, “Jennifer Marohasy was a Senior Fellow … between 2004 and 2009.” And on her own website, Dr Marohasy declares that she is “sceptical of the consensus position on anthropogenic global warming”

Let’s apply this questioning to the Climate Institute:


John Connor, the Climate Institute’s CEO, has his own history – as a Leftist activist and warmist – which might well influence what we think of the “science” he presents now:

John is a lawyer with a diverse background including as a researcher for Dr Peter Macdonald the Independent member for Manly who held the balance of power with the minority NSW Coalition government of the time, as a leader in environment organisations like the Australian Conservation Foundation, and as a co-convenor of the Make Poverty History campaign while working at World Vision.


In 2008, the AEF launched a subsidiary organisation called the Australian Climate Science Coalition… According to accounts filed with ASIC in the 2009 and 2010 financial years, the Australian CSC received almost all its funding – more than $100,000 – from a sister organisation in the United States, the American CSC… AEF’s conference sponsors included Bayer Crop Science, Monsanto…


Let’s apply this questioning to the Climate Institute:

Many journalist actually claim the Climate Institute is “independent” or “independently funded”. In fact, its sponsors include businesses which profit from the global warming scare or have an interest in it being whipped up. They include:

– OgilvyEarth, “a holistic sustainability communications practice” that has “established itself as Australia’s premier communications consultancy in the sustainability space”– Mirvac, the developer of “Australia’s first solar suburb at Newington, a world-leading 6 Star Green Star shopping centre at Orion in QLD, the first 6 Star Green Star education facility at the Mirvac School of Sustainable Development, Bond University in QLD, and the first carbon zero home built by an Australian commercial developer”.

– Better Place, a “global start up company headquartered in Silicon Valley that is dedicated to ending the world’s dependence on oil” by making “driving an electric vehicle not only convenient and affordable for drivers, but scalable for an entire country”.

– GE, “a diversified infrastructure, finance and media company” that sells “integrated product and service solutions in all areas of the energy industry including coal, oil and natural gas; renewable resources such as water, wind, solar and biogas; and other alternative fuels”.

– AGL, “Australia’s largest private owner and operator of renewable energy assets”.

– Jemena, whose “Advanced Meter Infrastructure (AMI) program … will see just on 1 million homes and businesses in Melbourne and the Mornington Peninsula receive a new ‘smart meter’ to help them manage electricity consumption”, and which is part of a consortium “to build a A$100 million plant and pipeline scheme that will provide major industrial customers in western Sydney with recycled water”.

“Independentally funded”? Don’t make me laugh. And we’re talking here about far more substantial support than the usual sceptic – including Marohasy – can even dream of.


On (the AEF’s) Scientific Advisory Panel are some of Australia’s most prominent climate change sceptics..

Let’s apply this questioning to the Climate Institute:

The Climate Institute’s board is stacked with people from the Left, including the Labor party itself, and warming extremists. For instance, its chairman is Mark Wootton:

(Eve Kantor) and her husband, Mark Wootton, have given away at least $50 million in the last 15-20 years to protect Australia’s environment. A big whack of that—around $10 million—has gone to the Australian Conservation Foundation…

An even bigger lump—about $14 million—has gone to the Climate Institute, which Eve and Mark set up from scratch in 2005 to lobby for action on global warming and warn about the consequences of doing nothing to reduce carbon emissions.

According to Wootton, half the $50 million they’ve spent has been matched by other people, so the total is closer to $75 million. Often, Eve’s four brothers and sisters and her mother, Anne Kantor, have put up the rest… (In) 2006,… the Kantor-backed Climate Institute paid $160,000 for a series of ads in the nation’s newspapers—including The Australian—attacking the Howard government for doing nothing about climate change.

(Note: Media Watch questions a $100,000 donation to the Australian Environment Foundation, but has never questioned the $14 million donated by warmists to the Climate Institute. Hello?)

Then there’s Susan Jeanes, who, yes, was once a Liberal MP, but now is on the global warming bandwagon as chief executive of the Australian Geothermal Energy Association, whose members need government grants, carbon taxes and renewable energy targets to thrive.

There’s also Clare Martin, who was the Northern Territory’s first Labor Chief Minister in 2001, and Professor Tony McMichael, a global warming extremist who co-wrote an astonishingly alarmist report warning the man-made warming would lead to “rodents searching for scarce food supplies”.


All of this information is openly available. Yet none of it was conveyed to their readers or listeners by any journalists covering Dr Marohasy’s newest report…We are saying that journalists too easily swallow, and pass on without challenge, highly controversial claims put forward in the name of science, by organisations whose agendas aren’t obvious from their names. 

Let’s apply this questioning to the Climate Institute:

In fact, the Climate Institute’s underlying agenda, connections and donors are very, very rarely mentioned in any media story, even though it is quoted far more often than is the Australian Environment Foundation, and its highly controversial claims swallowed far more easily by journalists.

And guess which media outlet fails to convey this openly avaliable information when touting the Climate Institute?

Why, Media Watch itself.

One rule for sceptics, and another for warmists. Right, Jonathan?


John Connor has a piece today in The Australian. No mention of his associations, donors or past there, either. This is a case for the next Media Watch.


The AEF says donations have been rolling in since Media Watch’s attack. Add yours here.

About Tom Harley

Amateur ecologist and horticulturalist and CEO of Kimberley Environmental Horticulture Inc. (Tom Harley) Kimberley Environmental Horticulture Incorporated Kimberley Environmental Horticulture (KEH) is a small group of committed individuals who promote the use of indigenous plants for the landscaping of parks and gardens. Rehabilitation of Kimberley coast, bushland and pastoral regions are also high on our agenda. This includes planting seedlings, weed control, damage from erosion or any other environmental matter that comes to our attention. We come from all walks of life, from Professionals and Trades oriented occupations, Pensioners and Students, Public Servants and the Unemployed. We have a community plant nursery where we trial many old and new species, with a view to incorporating these into our landscaping trials. Our labour force are mainly volunteers, but with considerable help from the 'work for the dole' program, Indigenous Community Development Employment Program (CDEP) groups and the Ministry of Justice, with their community work orders; in this way we manage to train many people in the horticultural skills needed for indigenous plant growing. We constantly undertake field trips that cover seed and plant collection in the Kimberley. Networking around the Kimberley region and the east Pilbara is a necessary part of promoting our activities. We consult on a range of Environmental and Landscaping matters that deal with our region. Our activities involve improving Broome's residential streetscapes by including 'waterwise' priciples in planting out nature strips. Sustainable environmental horticulture is practised by members of our group. We use existing vegetation as the backbone of any plantings, using these species to advantage when planning to develop tree forms or orchards. The Broome region is sensitive to development. Subsequently many weed species have become dominant in and around developed areas. The use and movement of heavy machinery is the biggest single cause of environmental degradation. We dont live in a 'Tropical Paradise' but on the edge of the Great Sandy Desert. The plants that survive best here, grow in well-drained pindan sand, and are found from the Dampier Peninsular southward to where average rainfall is below 600mm. When we use rainforest species, detail is important when planting, water catchment, sunlight and understorey species are all considered. The use of recycled 'grey' water is an advantage here as well as treated waste-water, although many local species do not fare well with nutrients from this source. We use waterwise planting methods which include harvesting asmuch rainwater as possible, with swales designed to hold up to 200 litres, to help recharge the local groundwater aquifer. There has been a serious decline in this aquifer over the last few years. With the fast expansion of the Broome peninsular, more and more land is being covered by concrete, iron and bitumen so that much less water is available to replenish the aquifer, allowing the salt content to become significantly higher. The small Broome Peninsular is on the south-western corner of the Dampier Peninsular (bound by Broome, Derby and Cape Leveque at the northern tip). Compaction by vehicles also inhibits water retention due to the content of our local pindan sand, hard as concrete in the dry, going to soft and sloppy mud after rain. None of us are botanists, inevitably we have got some names wrong, names changed, or have not gone to sub-species level. If you note a photo or description may be wrong, please e-mail to
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