ABC Insiders, Vic Skeptics on Climate Change

Your Shout: Skeptics question climate policies

Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Broadcast: 14/02/2010

Reporter: Barrie Cassidy

Phil Kafcaloudes from Radio Australia Today talks to Australian Skeptics in Melbourne about scepticism of Government and the Opposition.

PHIL KAFCALOUDES: Hi, I’m Phil Kafcaloudes, host of Radio Australia Today.

Well we certainly had a week for the sceptics here in Australia. We’ve got the Prime Minister and the Opposition Leader both trying to sell their climate change policies. And we’ve just said farewell to the world’s best climate change sceptic Lord Christopher Monckton.

So what a week to sit down and have a coffee here in Melbourne with members of the group Australian Skeptics to see if they’re sceptical.

Okay, what is a sceptic?

SCEPTIC 1: The sceptics try to examine the evidence before making up their mind about something.

SCEPTIC 2: As sceptics we want to reclaim the word sceptic from those people who don’t believe in climate change.

SCEPTIC 3: People who tend to deny climate change, we tend to call them deniers. So I mean they’re not going with the evidence. They’re going, they’re usually cherry picking evidence.

PHIL KAFCALOUDES: Did Tony Abbott change his mind about climate change simply because he became Opposition Leader?

SCEPTIC 3: Well I think you should always be sceptical of politicians and their beliefs, always, no matter what.

SCEPTIC 1: I don’t think Abbott understands the scientific debate much better than the average person in the street.

SCEPTIC 3: He’s definitely gone for the simple every day sort of person approach. He wants people to understand his policy.

SCEPTIC 2: Simple words like great big tax.

SCEPTIC 3: And so Kevin Rudd, he’s got a very detailed… I’m not a supporter of Kevin Rudd by the way but his policy is very detailed and complex, whereas Abbott is going for the more simplistic approach.

SCEPTIC 2: Well I don’t understand why Abbott all of a sudden has back-flipped on the issue. How is he someone who thought that climate change was absolute crap and now he’s introducing a policy to counteract Rudd’s policy to tackle climate change? It doesn’t make any sense to me really.

SCEPTIC 3: Well people are allowed to change their opinion. Maybe someone presented some evidence to him and it affected his change of opinion.

SCEPTIC 2: Do you really think so?

SCEPTIC 3: Well no, but maybe it did happen. That’s what would happen with me.

PHIL KAFCALOUDES: The Government has taken a bit of a hit in the polls. Do you think that people are becoming more sceptical of Kevin Rudd’s Government?

SCEPTIC 2: It’s less about maybe Abbott catching up to Rudd as opposed to people just becoming generally more confused about the issues.

SCEPTIC 1: It’s like helter skelter at the moment in politics. It’s like chaos.

PHIL KAFCALOUDES: Are you climate sceptics?

SCEPTIC 3: Well I’m initially sceptical of any claim that’s brought to the table. But in regards to climate change there is a mountain of evidence that goes for it rather than against it.

SCEPTIC 1: It seems as though most of the scientists are saying that it is happening and it is being caused by humans.

SCEPTIC 2: I think that a problem that we have in Australia and the rest of the world is the lack of respect for the scientific method and for the scientific bodies that are basically coming out and warning us of the dangers of manmade climate change.

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