Insights from Quadrant

Free speech.
Shock! Horror!

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. 

1 comment
  • Lewis P Buckingham

    The Catholic Church is at the crossroads.
    The present discernment process means people have to choose between the deposit of faith and something else.
    So the ABC walks into this process like a blunderbuss, when an Archbishop has the temerity to let Prof Plimer speak.
    The CC has already had its Galileo moment.
    Yet the Plimer narrative is along the lines that the earth has been cooling for 12000 years and the present warming is a natural rebound from the LIA.
    This is welcome and CO2 is feeding the poor.
    Our efforts won’t mitigate the warming and we are best to adapt.
    The last argument I heard two days ago from a Monash Professor of Climate was along the lines that if you accept the science of the iPhone and aircraft flight then its a simple step to accept the science of Anthropogenic Global Climate Change.
    However aircraft are tested by models and seen to fly.
    The Climate models run too hot and fail to predict the future or hindcast when run backwards.
    In this context the CC needs discernment for its own future and a willingness to avoid the mistakes of the past.
    The ABC, through its Milliganesque approach to reality, fails us all by not being able or willing to allow debate
    Random crucifixion be it George Pell or Archbishop Porteous is the tenor of the attack.
    For if our own populace, be they managers of Pubs or the reptiles of the media don’t publish the debate then no good will come.
    This is an old problem to be confronted by a new generation.

    ‘If the soul is left in darkness, sins will be committed.
    The guilty one is not he who commits the sin,
    but the one who causes the darkness.
    Victor Hugo, Les Miserables

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