As this is an election year here in Australia, I believe the time has come to start highlighting a few of our politicians…. the really stupid ones. These are the politicians that leave me scratching my head wondering who the hell voted for them and what the hell they were thinking when they did? Hopefully within the next four weeks or so I will posting the full list of incumbent federal members and their stance on human-induced climate change and global warming. For each I will quote statements (some of them are fantastically stupid) they have made that support my assertion that they are either climate science acceptors or idiots. Some will make you laugh, some will make you cry, some will make you want to throw your computer out the window in a fit of rage, and I can guarantee there will be more than a few facepalm moments. So without further ado let me introduce our first idiot, John Forrest.
Johnno is a long time member of the conservative National Party. “The Nats” as they are affectionately called by many Australians can be considered to be the party for the farmers. Johnno’s Akubra hat is a definite clue. When you see a hat like that on a pollie, you just know he’s from the bush. A bit about his electorate, Mallee. This comes from Johnno’s website
First proclaimed in 1948/49 the Mallee Electorate is 70,694 square kilometres. It is the largest geographical electorate in Victoria with only 11 larger electorates Nation wide.
The region is noted for a variety of industries including tourism, services, manufacturing, dried fruit, citrus, stone fruit, almonds, olives, pistachio and other nuts, bee-keeping and pollination, wheat and other cereals, wool, sheep, vegetables, forestry, wine grapes, table grapes, dairying, beef cattle, meat works and sand mining.
To give an idea of the size of Mallee, the total area of England, Scotland and Wales is 219,000 square kilometres, or equivalent to just 2.8 Mallee electorates.
England at 130,395 sq kms is 1.67 times the size of Mallee; Scotland 78,772 sq kms is about the same size, and Mallee is 3.75 times bigger than Wales.
The electorate stretches from the South Australian border in the west to Campaspe in the east, from Sunraysia and the Murray River in the North, and the Wimmera, Grampians and Western District in the south.
In other words, it s a big electorate in the bush. Now, don’t let Johnno’s laid back country looks and hat fool you. He is a bona fide scientist, fully equipped to make informed decisions about climate science. I kid you not. He says so himself.
“There are several positions about climate change. One is that the climate of this fragile planet has always been changing, and there is plenty of evidence of that. In some instances this climate change has been quite dramatic, even cataclysmic. The second position is that the current phase of change is caused by human activity and therefore we can have an impact on it if we change our ways, particularly our prolific consumption of energy. I believe that a realistic position is somewhere between these two propositions. Then there is debate in the scientific community about what is causing these changes. This is where the debate gets much more controversial. Every day my office is bombarded with positions from both points of view about carbon… Thankfully, I have a masters degree in science…”
Well there you go. A masters in science. Hang on……what kind of science? Well, according to his website he has a Master of Science and his undergrad degree is a Bachelor of Engineering. Apparently he also has a Diploma of Civil Engineering, and published some “professional papers”. What is it with deniers and their failure to recognise expertise (or lack thereof)? So Johnno, the country pollie with the engineering degree, considers himself suitably qualified to dissect climate science. Hang on, I’ll be right back. The plumber has just arrived to rewire my house! Well, maybe we should have a look at just how scientific Johnno is. I stumbled onto the following hilarious exchange between Johnno and someone called Peter, at the Atheist Foundation of Australia Inc forum. Peter had emailed all of our Liberal and National Party politicians asking them to consider climate change, and in his words “the reversal of hundreds of millions of years of carbon sequestration carried out by the decay of plant life and our reversal of this process which can not continue.” he received the following reply from Johnno.
Do you know what the specific gravity of CO2 is?
Look it up in an old school physics book.
It’s heavier than air.
Get some dry ice which is actually frozen CO2.
Tell me what the vapour does when it thaws.
It drops to the floor.
If this is the case, can you tell me how it gets up several kms to become a greenhouse gas?
We have been duped.
Thankfully, more and more Australians are waking up to it.
Climate change is real but we are being led up the garden path as to the causes.
I will remain resolutely opposed to this Bill which crucifies our economy for no global gain.
Malcolm forgot his basic grade 6 primary school physics and should never have taken us to these embarrassing circumstances.
I’m with the Nationals and will have no say in what happens from here in respect to leadership for the Libs. I am praying for the greatest of wisdom to fall on my Liberal friends including Malcolm.
I hope they read your Email
John Forrest MP
BE(Civil), MSc, FIEAust, MASCE
Federal Member for Mallee
John Forrest, MP
Federal Member for Mallee
How fantastic is that? Rather than pull this apart myself. Let’s just see how Peter responded.
Thank you for your prompt reply Mr. Forrest.
When you use the term “air” what gasses which comprise air are you talking about?
Because air comprises 3 major gasses.
Nitrogen (N2) forms the bulk of our atmosphere it has a specific gravity of 0.9723.
Next comes oxygen (O2) which has a SG of 1.1044.
Lastly comes CO2. This has a SG of 1.5189.
As you will notice nitrogen is the lightest gas followed by oxygen and then carbon dioxide.
Are you suggesting that our atmosphere is layered? Each layer containing only one gas?
So we, at sea level have to breath CO2, unless we can place ourselves at an altitude where we can breath pure oxygen?
And above these layers lies the bulk of our air made from nitrogen?
No, sir, the continual air movements make our “air” more-or-less a homogeneous mixture of all three of these gasses along with other, rarer, ones.
Now this is where it gets really (insert any emotion here). Johnno replied with the following.
You forget that CO2 is utilised by all vegetation to extract the carbon and release the oxygen.
Part of the designers plan I happen to think
What I am expressing is my serious reservations that CO2 is the great villain being made out
Methane and the other nitrous oxides and nasties yes but not CO2
The modelling upon which this whole premise is based is progressively being discredited.
What’s the hell bent rush all about?
Because of my engineering and scientific background, I am a stickler for proper process. Let’s wait to see what occurs at Copenhagen and a full enquiry in to recent world wide questioning of the science.
We have time. The rest is haste for blatant political purposes to create an illusion about who is more climate change conscious.
Of course the atmosphere (air) is amorphous. Wind and sheer are great mixers but not greater than the law of gravity
John Forrest, MP
Federal Member for Mallee
So there you go… I think I can paraphrase this quite nicely. Let me know if I’m on the right track here. Johnno is effectively saying, “Because I am scientist, I know this is true. God made plants low to the ground. Because he designed them to consume CO2 and because he invented gravity he had to make CO2 heavier than other gases so that gravity would pull it to the ground where the plants are. People and animals don’t die from the CO2 because the plants consume it. The air is mixed , but it isn’t.” It actually makes perfect sense… if you’re a child or a moron.
Now, I could go all sciency here and get into fluid dynamics and atmospheric physics and relativity and various other disciplines but I think, given the Inhofesque comment about the “designer” I think I’ll just run with a picture that sums it up.