David Daintree, of the Christopher Dawson Centre, has brought supporters up to date on the latest consequences of inviting Ian Plimer to address a Hobart gathering. Regular readers will recall that he first encountered trouble when the venue originally booked for the event cancelled the reservation on the grounds that Plimer, a geologist, is “a denier”. His expertise, apparently, comes nowhere near that of the Shambles publican, a former teacher, who cancelled the reservation.
David found a new venue and the evening with Plimer went ahead more or less as planned. End of story? Not quite.
Earlier this week the ABC weighed in with a report — the loaded headline is reproduced above — making a very big deal over a very small number of Gaia-oriented Catholics who are giving their bishop a hard time for, presumably, permitting free speech and open discussion. In a note to friends of the Dawson Centre, David writes:
… I am particularly saddened that the ‘Plimer Episode’ has been used as a stick to beat the Archbishop [Porteous], even though the decision to invite Prof Plimer here was not his but mine alone. I accept full responsibility for it, though without regret: Prof Plimer is a distinguished scholar and, in my opinion, a good man. We provided a platform for a speaker who disagrees with the prevailing narrative on climate change. I consider that the invitation to Plimer was not inconsistent with the spirit of the encyclical Laudato Sí. In it the Pope writes:
‘On many concrete questions, the Church has no reason to offer a definitive opinion; she knows that honest debate must be encouraged among experts, while respecting divergent views … There are certain environmental issues where it is not easy to achieve a broad consensus. Here I would state once more that the Church does not presume to settle scientific questions or to replace politics. But I am concerned to encourage an honest and open debate so that particular interests or ideologies will not prejudice the common good.’
The Plimer matter was ‘leaked’ to the ABC and this was the result. The ABC is not remarkable for its kindly indulgence towards Christianity, so it is a shame that its news site should be used as a forum for differences among Christians. Better, surely, to keep these things within ‘the Household of Faith’.
Were David Daintree a weaker reed he might by now have absorbed the intended lesson and buckled, just as his detractors hoped. There is one narrative, and one narrative only — climate catastrophism — and those who stray from the ordained path are to be harassed, misrepresented and, just for good measure, forced to see members of their circle put through the ABC wringer.
Fortunately, David is made of sterner stuff.