On February 14, readers of the Weekly Times, a local Ryde paper that covers Bennelong, PM John Howard's electorate, couldn't believe their eyes when confronted with the headline: "Global Warming? Climate Change? Bulldust!" The article, written by editor John Booth, dismissed global warming as "scaremonger propaganda" put forward by "Armageddon pedlars".
Booth inferred that there is a "silent majority" of scientists and economists refuting the "outrageous doomsayers".
But where are these people? Even the conservative Al Gore, creator of An Inconvenient Truth, admitted that of the 1000 scientific papers assessed for the film, 100% agreed that global warming was a real and concerning phenomena.
Apparently many readers responded to Booth and, reassuringly, of the 11 letters published, only one seemed to agree with him.
However, this article wasn't to be the end of Booth's attempts to convince his readers that global warming isn't occurring. The following week, he referenced articles from the Daily Telegraph and the Sunday Telegraph, both ultra-conservative Sydney newspapers.
Cardinal George Pell was one of those Booth referenced; he too is a non-believer. According to the Weekly Times, Pell's article in the Sunday Telegraph stated that "global warming doomsayers were out and about in a big way recently, but the rain came in central Queensland, then here in Sydney. January also was unusually cool." Does Pell have environmental qualifications that allow him to infer that global warming isn't occurring, or does he just have divine inspiration?
It appears those who have the most to lose try the hardest to disprove global warming. The biggest losers are those who own and control the polluting industries — the ruling class.
Isn't it ironic then that many of the readers of the Weekly Times live in the Bennelong electorate — Howard's own blue-ribbon Liberal seat. Perhaps it's just those who support the Liberals who need the most convincing?
More than 100 years ago Marx predicted that capitalism would be the cause of enormous environmental devastation. Global warming is one more example of this, a result of capitalist exploitation to satiate greed.
The Earth exists in a delicate balance. By fundamentally changing the environment we are changing that balance. One consequence is global warming, but tomorrow it will be something else.
Too many people are still not convinced that global warming and climate change are real, or they are sitting on the fence, uncertain. These people are Booth and his ilk's biggest audience. Thankfully, we still have Green Left Weekly to put the record straight.