Welcome to Quadrant Online | Login/ Register Cart (0) $0 View Cart
October 17th 2017 print

Peter O'Brien

Meet ‘Climate Girl’ and Abandon Hope

As the Coalition attempts to soften the economy-wrecking absurdities of the renewables it has assiduously promoted it faces a problem of its own making. Once you've fired up a generation that finds it easier to care than think, how to cool that activist ardour?

climate kids IIMy wife listens to ABC Illawarra radio in the mornings (much to my irritation) but sometimes it pays a perverse dividend.  Without a recent broadcast broadcast I would not have known that we, in the Illawarra, are blessed with our own superhero.  Let me introduce you to – drumroll please – Climate Girl, aka Parrys (pronounced Paris) Raines. A law student (environmental law, naturally) at Wollongong University.  Her ambition,  she tells us, is:

…to become a world leader in Environmental Law and an environmental entrepreneur. I plan to use my law degree and environment knowledge to develop Climate Girl into world class sustainable business. The primary focus is to educate young people, to inspire and motivate them to take action locally on sustainable issues that ultimately benefits the communities they live in. Benefits gained from these sustainable actions will ensure a healthy planet, healthy people and a sustainable future.

As very few Quadrant Online readers will have caught this young woman’s insights at the time, let me refer you to the video clip below, which amounts to a neat self-portrait.

I caught only the tail end of Climate Girl’s ABC feting of its guest, in which she lamented with all the certainty of her 22 years that her Third World counterparts are hard hit by climate change because it is foiling their educations, but that was enough to pique a degree. I discovered she has impeccable credentials for a life in her chosen field, having boarded the UN gravy train earlier than most.

In Climate Girl’s own words, she has been a three-time keynote speaker for the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) in Norway, South Korea and Java.  A little research determines that these were children’s conference she attended at ages 13, 14 and 16.  She’s also the recipient of a grant from the Layne Beachley Foundation.  When she was 14 she launched her website Climate Girl, with the aim of educating fellow youngsters in the articles of her green faith.

She certainly has accomplished a lot in her short life:

I have travelled extensively through my environmental work.  I have seen the planets natural capital being misused and not replaced. I have seen shrinking glaciers, I have seen vast amounts of precious rainforest cut down, I have seen animals that are on the brink of extinction, and I have seen extreme poverty. I have heard firsthand from children I have met from around the world about issues they are facing everyday due to environmental impacts.

Just what we need, I hear you say, another earnest young undergrad educating us about climate change.  But fear not.  Her climate change credentials are built on very solid foundations.  Here she is explaining when she started:

I have had two defining moments where I have learnt how humans are having a negative impact on our planet. The first was when I was about six years old, I was at the beach and questioned why I had to wear sunscreen. I was told that the planet was changing and we needed to protect our skin.

The second moment was when I was ice climbing in New Zealand when I was 11. I noticed a red line in the ice and I was told it was red dust from central Australia that had blown across the South Pacific. I learnt about impact and how our actions impact on people and places elsewhere but because we don’t see what our actions have contributed to, we are unaware of the problems we have caused.

Who knew that CO2 causes ultra violet radiation?

Recently, Tony Abbott opined that climate change might be doing more good than harm.  For Climate Girl and her seminar-addressing ilk that is certainly true, certainly as far as opportunities for travel and self-promotion are concerned.  Could one of such tender years and so little actual learning be treated to an ABC profile if her predilection was opining about, say, phrenology or the physics of phlogiston, each in its dubiousness still more credible than grant-fed climate science and its endless string of dud predictions.

But I’m being cruel, surely. Is not a little ambition tempered by youthful idealism a good thing?  So why am I picking on this moppet?  Well, mainly I admit, because the smug sanctimony and puerile prattle of so many like her really gets on my wick.  But also because of what she represents. Would Australia’s electricity be so costly and so increasingly unreliable if our political class had not spent so long and so much of other people’s money attempting to ingratiate itself with the voting cadre Climate Girl represents?

More than that, there is the damage climate cult is doing in fostering a generation of cosseted university graduates who learn what to think, not how to think.

By 2030 there will be millions of Parrys Raines clones around the world and they will render even the  climate scientists irrelevant. Why would you need scientists to tell you, in terms you can’t understand, what some globetrotting intellectual nonentity can explain with breathtaking clarity simply having seen a shrinking glacier?

Comments [38]

  1. ianl says:

    > ” … the smug sanctimony and puerile prattle of so many like her really gets on my wick”

    For what it’s worth, Peter, that response only encourages them, as does actually voting encourage politicians. Smugly patronising the hated “baby boomers” is regarded as legitimate street theatre.

    Abbott accurately pointed out that opinion polls, as deliberately loaded and biased as they are, have persistently recorded about 80% of the responses as insisting that something be done about “climate change”. Not at any cost to the responders, of course. As a geologist, the ignorant and widespread notion that climate only changes due to anthropogenic activities causes me enormous despair. There is no way to ameliorate this – not even generational change will do that. In fact, it will become worse, progressively (there, the leftoids have achieved something).

    Disenlightenment indeed. A decade ago, I did not think that such wanton destruction could occur. I had completely underestimated the propaganda power of greeniness.

    • en passant says:

      Enter the Resident Troll to repeat his lack of wisdom ad nauseum

      • Jon R says:

        Funny really, a Troll calling out the Trolls! The models are as accurate as the BOM, who can’t accurately tell you what is going to happen today, never mind a hundred years in the future. Just for the record I believe in climate change, it will, and always will change. My question has become, who would you trust to put in charge if we could change the climate? More than one Bond villain had that dream.

  2. Ian MacDougall says:

    My wife listens to ABC Illawarra radio in the mornings (much to my irritation) but sometimes it pays a perverse dividend. Without a recent broadcast broadcast I would not have known that we, in the Illawarra, are blessed with our own superhero….

    Peter, you have my authority to put your foot down and your wife in her place. It says in the Bible that the husband is head of the house and has final say therein. And to that you can add the above rightoid testimony of none other than ianl, short I assume for Ian Leftscourge.

  3. Doubting Thomas says:

    As I progress even further into my doddering dotage, it is difficult to recall all those gems of wisdom that were passed on by our elders, particularly our grandparents, as they shared the duties of raising the kids in the extended families. You know the ones. A stitch in time…, a watched pot…, and dozens of others. Perhaps, for me, the most memorable and valuable was the one that said that children should be seen but not heard.

  4. ianl says:

    > “For what it’s worth, Peter, that response only encourages them …”

    The boorish, leaden, stupid response from the trollster demonstrates the point, n’est ca pas ?

    • Ian MacDougall says:

      DT & ianl (or whatever your real names are):
      No comment placed on this curate’s egg of a site is compulsory reading, nor even has the status even of a TV commercial. If you don’t like any particular one, you can just use the key marked ‘page down’ to scroll past it.
      I do it quite often.
      I am surprised that you both seem unaware of it.

      • en passant says:

        Are we still the only friends you have (apart from the Archangel Gabriel {the voice you hear in your head in the paddock} and your methane spewing cattle)?

        Today it was 30+C in Victoria – we are doomed!

        But this morning when I woke up it was 7C – and foggy – in the middle of OCTOBER – we are doomed!

        • Jody says:

          Oh dear. I contribute to classical music message-boards and have found myself on the receiving end of an abusive troll whose only alternative ‘argument’ is rank insults. One in particular has followed me around the boards for 5 or more years solely to take me down in front of others. In doing so he reveals his own industrial-strength insecurity. And he’d often use the same kinds of expressions you use when talking about Ian. None of these things constitute an argument. It is difficult when you don’t sit opposite the person you’re ‘talking’ to and the opportunity for insult is only increased when you sit at a keyboard. It’s very dispiriting, but I’ve learned to speak my piece and then let the disinterested ‘third party’ reader decide for him/herself. Perhaps that’s something you ought to consider.

          • Doubting Thomas says:

            Jody, just upthread you will notice how Ian Mac has included me (DT) and ianl in his patronising advice about ignoring posts we don’t like. Now, I admit that I have responded in an exasperated fashion to his posts about climate change, but that has been in threads other than this one. In this thread, I think it is simply perverse for him to interpret my comment about children being seen but not heard as somehow being about him instead of about the “child” (“Climate Girl”) the subject of Peter’s essay. And you wonder why people treat him with the same evident contempt he displays for others’ opinion.

          • Ian MacDougall says:

            Well said, Jody and thanks.
            My initial guess is that they each keep a damp cloth handy to sponge the flecks of foam off their keyboards, though in Eyn’s case that task probably falls to a modestly remunerated servant he employs for such tasks in his beach-front house a couple or so feet above the level of the gently rising South China Sea.
            While waiting for the next typhoon.

          • Keith Kennelly says:


            An old adage

            We recognise our own worst faults in others.


  5. Turtle of WA says:

    “Climate Yasmin”.

    • Keith Kennelly says:

      Ian the last 3 years NASA data shows sea levels falling.

      Haven’t you checked their website yet?

      • Ian MacDougall says:

        Check their graph of sea level vs time. It is a rising sawtooth pattern. No big deal.

        • Keith Kennelly says:

          The saw tooth is trending down, and the rise was a big deal to you when it was trending up, at a decelerating rate and nothing outside the usual annual rise for the past 60 years.
          And the rate was not going to raise sea levels to the hopes and deceit of you catastrafarians.

          And you now think it no big deal when for three years with undisputable data it now reverses the trend of at least the last 60 years.

          That is significant Ian.
          ‘Ian the denier’ now has more than a ring of truth about it.

          You head is stuck in somewhere it shouldn’t be stuck in Ian … and that isn’t the sand, Ian.

  6. Peter says:

    Interesting Peter. Why, when I read this kind of thing, do I keep getting that sinking feeling. It’s like watching Q&A, I know what’s coming so why does it affect me so? Well it doesn’t anymore cos I don’t watch, but you know what I mean. We seem to be doomed. A collective insanity is abroad in all Western countries.(Will Austria possibly save us by showing the way out?). If anyone can see light at the end of this tunnel please let me and others similarly depressed know. It’s a damn good job I have red wine to drown my sorrows.

  7. Turtle of WA says:

    So what. Tim Flannery was a ‘climate girl’ before she was born. A total climate girl.

  8. Warty says:

    Sanctimony is part of the Left’s armoury, in their efforts to discredit global warming sceptics. Take George Brandis for example (yes, do indeed take him somewhere far from here). He told us he hadn’t read the transcript of Tony Abbott’s London address, nor would he do so, but he’d criticise him anyway. We can leave aside Di Natale and Mark Butler because we’d expect explosively snide comments from them, but those who have shown the greatest interest in his speech are the vey people Turnbull ought to be attempting to entice back into the Liberal Party.
    The energy policy announcement today has been too little too late, and vague enough not to convince anyone, yet pointed enough (supposedly) to get Labor and the Greens crying ‘foul’. No mention of the half dozen clean energy elephants in the room, of course. One for Queensland, one for NSW, another for Victoria, the fourth going to Tasmania, a desperately needed one for SA, and perhaps one for WA, unless they secede before hand.

    • Jody says:

      You paint a very pessimistic picture!! It seems self-evident that the “boomers” would be left behind in all this climate change politics. I think that’s reasonable if we represent the past and there are not enough of us voting for an alternative position. And we are responsible for all the world’s ill, apparently. These are the sentiments of a child and one of the consequences of infantilising the society is that they’re going to be looking for somebody to blame, just as you would see in any school playground. I’ve said it before and will say it again; there WILL be an opportunity cost to this new politics of blame, hysteria and entitlement and one of them IS NOT going to be my money!! I may have to endure the sniping, the bankrupting of this country and the ascendency of grievance and identity but I’m NOT GOING TO PAY FOR IT. In short, the state cannot have my money to indulge itself in lunatic politics. That’s my bottom line (as it were)!!

      • Warty says:

        I don’t know how pessimistic the picture is, because the canvas is only part covered to date. The Libs have been dragged kicking to the position they’re presenting at present (though the Paul Murray show indicates that there is a hidden CEP lurking in the swamp somewhere, and Peta Credlin states unequivocally that there is indeed. No mention of clean energy coal powered stations, not even with the Queensland election looming and the Nats crying out for one and One Nation demanding one. The new coal fired technology is the elephant in the room and China is using this technology in the two hundred plus coal fired stations it is currently building, as are Japan, India, Indonesia etc.. We know this, but the global warmists look the other way.
        The other bit of information to come to light in the last few days is that several countries in Europe are not meeting their Paris targets, nor is Japan, though we do know that the biggest polluters (China and India) have put off doing anything about emission targets till after 2030.
        But Turnbull and Frydenberg pride themselves on keeping to their agreements (hoping that the traditional ‘my word is my bond’ will resonate with voters). The truth is that voluntarily putting one’s head in a noose is rank stupidity, but dragging one’s country along too is criminal.
        But as mentioned above, the canvas is a work in progress, when there are votes to be won or lost on an issue as volatile as this one.
        Labor is playing a brinkmanship game with regards to climate change and emission targets, perhaps hoping their rhetoric will gain traction.
        The Coalition is resisting change, but is beginning to realise the electorate is not listening to platitudes. Why I regard myself as more a half glass full sort of guy on this issue, is because I feel the momentum is moving against the global warming narrative. I also feel that there is a gradual shift towards conservatism.
        Just one last point, and you may not like it, but in a way you are inadvertently ‘paying’ for the lunatic energy policies by adopting the austerity measures you spoke about, was it a week or so ago, by switching off heaters and rugging up as a way of dealing with the cold. My feeling is that this shows you are indeed ‘paying’ for it, unless I misunderstood what you were saying.
        If you continue to support or vote for either state or federal Liberal Parties you are again ‘paying for it’ because they indulge in pretty much the same level of identity politics as Labor and the Greens, though they still have a dwindling few conservatives in their ranks. So, my feeling is I’m not quite sure what you, yourself, meant by ‘I’m not going to pay for it’, though I applaud your resilience in the face of ‘sniping’. My personal experience is that teaching at a secondary school level equips one to deal with personal attacks.

  9. Jody says:

    @Doubting Thomas: Yes, I see your point but, as they say, two wrongs…. It’s just that I’m over abuse/insult/condescension etc. Here is the latest salvo I got just this morning from a man who is decent at heart but naive and misguided (a rusted on Democrat!): and this was after a long, well-considered and respectful argument about the extent to which musical academics and biographers often get it wrong – deifying their subjects, explaining away their faults rather than looking more objectively at them as human beings!! Talk about a ‘tanty’:

    “Belle, it simply won’t do to dismiss all expert knowledge and opinion merely because what you believe doesn’t agree with it. I’m certainly not going to trust your incomplete and evidently imperfect memory more than reading Mozart’s actual letters and their interpretation by every serious biographer known to me. Why can’t you acknowledge that you could be wrong? Since you are wrong, that’s the least you should do. End of discussion, or my part of it; I’ve been wasting my time.”

  10. Keith Kennelly says:


    Someone else, besides me, reckons you think you can’t be wrong.

    Now that can’t be right… or … is that left?

    • Jody says:

      Some people are fearful of hearing another opinion. That’s the problem. This same man thinks Trump is the worst evil since Satan. I won’t even go there with that discussion!!

      • Jody says:

        PS: And he’s the type of man who reads what others think WITHOUT formulating his own, personal opinion. Sounds like a typical lefty to me, which is what he is.

  11. Richard H says:

    Raines says one of her ambitions is to “raise the environmental intelligence of young people”.

    Perhaps the easiest way for her to move towards that goal (albeit only slightly) would be to take advantage of Victoria’s impending waste-the-wrinklies legislation. Though lacking common sense, she seems quite enterprising, so finding a compliant doctor to sign the paperwork shouldn’t be beyond her.

    • Jody says:

      And now, apparently, there’s a climate catastrophist in (is it?) Missy Higgins (now there’s a name that’ll go down in history!). Will the song tell young people that Australia’s contribution to AGW is ‘minimal’ by world standards and that destroying our 13th biggest economy for that reason is insanity on steroids? Or will her songs tell the people over the road who have a house the size of a school and who run their lights 24/7 and who have under-floor heating, a heated pool, several cars and air-conditioning running much of the time that they have a personal responsibility to use power wisely in order to save the planet? That personal responsibility (what a dreadful term of abuse!) is part of the way to solve ‘environmental problems’. (We just got our electricity bill for this last winter: $280!!! We’re doing our bit!)

      • Warty says:

        Ours was about the same, but we cheat: we have a wood burner and gleefully pour choking clouds down through the valley. The bloke living opposite is a signed-up Green, who of course doesn’t have a wood burner, has covered his roof with subsidised solar panels, and uses a hand push mower to cut his lawns, at the end of which he feels spiritually uplifted, having duly appeased Gaia.

        • Ian MacDougall says:

          As fossil carbon gets around $4 billion in taxpayer subsidies per year, his win on the subsidised solar panels is not negated by a subsidised spluttering Victa mower. So it’s win-win.

          • Warty says:

            I’m afraid you’ll have to explain the $4 billion in taxpayer subsidies for coal, Ian. My understanding is that when the sun is shining and all those solar panels (their very existence courtesy of tax payer subsidies) are pouring their variable loads into the grid, then coal is unable to compete on the same terms. The Greens clap their hands in unrestrained glee and say ‘you see, coal is uncompetitive ‘old’ technology) and when the wind is blowing below storm levels they come up with an equivalent, but equally triumphant mantra, and coal is given a poor wrap. But when the sun ain’t shining and the optimal conditions are absent for wind, then base load power is desperately needed, because battery storage is more dream than actuality, and gas has been sold off to carpet baggers returning peanuts for our precious liquified gas.
            My limited understanding is that previous governments along with an equally incompetent Coalition one have been selling us a series of pigs in pokes and to scramble a metaphor, we are now in a veritable pickle.
            To cut a long lament short, my understanding is that there is an appearance of ‘fossil carbon’ subsidy when the already subsidised wind and solar are fully ramped up, overloading the grid, making the coal fired power appear uncompetitive and even seemingly redundant. The truth is we haven’t come up with an alternative to reliable base load power, and demonising coal is akin to chopping off one’s fingers because they fail to wiggle when you’re asleep: you’ll need them when it is time to dress for work.
            I’d love to suggest nuclear power, but the Left would go ballistic, resurrecting spectres of Chernobyls, Long Islands and Fukushimas, despite the fact that countless plants have been operating seamlessly around the world for decades. BUt where are zero emissions when you need them?
            Now correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought consumers were going to be charged extra for two stroke technology, in an ‘clean energy’ plan to phase the endearing Victas out. I thought that was a Turnbull Government initiative. I didn’t think there was any plan to subsidise them.

  12. Ian MacDougall says:

    It is by no means a level playing field. We must always bear in mind that we operate in a selectively deregulated economy.
    82% of subsidies is concentrated in the Australian Government’s so-called ‘Clean Coal Technology’, with the remaining 18% of funds allocated to the renewable energy ‘Project Solar Systems Australia’ $75 million. There is a new subsidy scheme called the LETDF aimed at fossil fuel energy production started in 2007.
    - Energy policy of Australia – Wikipedia
    Where the Russian Tsarist court had the monk Rasputin, the Australian Parliament has the ex-monk Tony ’the future is coal’ Abbott.

    Former prime minister Tony Abbott has told Sky News he will cross the floor of parliament and vote against any attempt by the government to legislate a clean energy target – threatening the Coalition’s one seat majority.
    ‘It would be unconscionable, I underline that word unconscionable, for a government that was originally elected promising to abolish the carbon tax and to end Labor’s climate change obsessions to go further down this renewable path.’ he said.
    In a bid to stop further subsidies for renewable energy, Mr Abbott argued Australia’s energy policies will make no significant difference to the reduction of global emissions.

    Trouble is, renewables (particularly solar) are ideal here in the bush. So the chief coal shill Abbott is dead set to get us cockies, rural householders and country towns steadily and increasingly offside.
    Links next.

    • en passant says:

      Let’s say you closed your eyes and threw a dart and that just this once you are right and that coal is getting 82% of the subsidies. That means that ‘spasmodics’ are getting 18% for producing less than 18% on an unreliable basis.

      Well done that man! You have rewritten the laws of elementary economic arithmetic.

  13. Keith Kennelly says:

    I thought you had gone Ian.

    You are like all the catastrafarians. As soon as the evidence challenges or debunks your theories you turn abusive and turn tail and head for the hills.

    You have no credibility nor intergrity Ian the Denier.


  14. Ian MacDougall says:

    Have a look at https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/oct/26/sea-levels-to-rise-13m-unless-coal-power-ends-by-2050-report-says#comment-107384438
    Can’t possibly, not with a shred of the slightest chance be true. Not in a million years. Not in a hundred million years. No way.
    Just keep repeating that; every time you need some reassurance that CO2 does not lead on to amplifying effects like increased methane release via permafrost melt, etc, etc, etc; that the IPCC reports are delusional, etc, etc, etc; We can burn as much coal as we like as fast as we like, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc, and pigs will fly etc, etc, etc.
    WARNING: Though not published in a reliable denialist journal, the report was NOT written by journos of that journal. Then google up what you can on the Totten Glacier, Antarctica.
    Then go back to sleep.