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23 responses to “Gary Gray and Climate Change Denialism: From the LP archives”

  1. Fran Barlow

    On the Gary Gray appointment and his alleged links to Lavoisier, Grahame Readfearn who is most unlikely to provide cover for Gray if he were currently a denier writes:

    Just minutes after Prime Minister Julie Gillard announced Gray’s appointment, a handful of people I follow on Twitter were pointing to claims that Gray had been a founder member of the Lavoisier Group. On Climate Spectator, Tristan Edis also reported that Gray was a founder member of the “Lavoisier Institute [sic]“.

    But after looking into the Lavoisier archives and reviewing some documents sent to me by journalist Bob Burton, it’s pretty clear that Gray wasn’t even a member, never mind a founder member.


    Gary Gray did speak at the launch of the Lavoisier Group in Melbourne in May 2000. At the time Gray was billed as the former national secretary of the ALP – he had recently resigned from that position which he had held for seven years.

    Perhaps a reason Gray agreed to speak was that his father-in-law Peter Walsh, a former ALP finance minister, was a Lavoisier founder member and was president of the organisation for many years.

  2. faustusnotes

    It’s worth noting that skeptics have been changing their minds recently as reality catches up with them. Usually the famous ones cling on for dear life, but he could be a genuine convert …

  3. Roger Jones

    And climate change has followed Combet into Industry and Innovation. Not a bad thing and a smaller target for the LNP when they sashay in post S14. The jargon is mainstreaming – instead of special policy, let’s make it part of everyday concerns and get on with it.

    I’d be out there trying to get the Business Council of Australia to sign on to adaptation. That would get the recalcitrants used to working with climate, mitigation ain’t such a big step from there …

  4. Terry

    Gary Gray said that he supports the Prime Minister. Whatever it was that the Prime Minister said.

  5. Paul Norton

    Terry, does that mean that like Bill Shorten you havent read the Prime Minister’s statement but of course you agree with it?

  6. Terry

    Gary Gray received his training in the bowels of the ALP machine. His view is whatever the Prime Minister’s is. At least until September 15, after which time it may no longer matter, unless he becomes a SKY News/ABC 24 pundit.

    Interested to read that Peter Walsh is his father-in-law. The thought of Walsh as Finance Minister to Swan as Treasurer made me smile. Worth noting, however, that Peter Walsh successfully implemented a Petroleum Resources Rent Tax as Resources and Energy Minister in the 1980s that now raises a lot of money. That task has eluded Rudd, Gillard and Swan.

  7. Sam

    What Gary Gray thinks now is of little relevance, as he is just the caretaker Resources Minister until the election.

    But after the election, the first thing PM Abbott will want to do is repeal to carbon tax legislation. Assuming he won’t have a majority in the Senate (and he might, but he assume he won’t) then he will need Labor Party support.

    There will be a huge fight in the Labor Party over this. Those who will want to agree to repealing the carbon tax will argue:

    1. The carbon tax was a huge vote loser and will continue to be a huge loser until they give it up. Block its repeal and the Senate and Abbott will go a double dissolution where the Labor Party will be (even more) destroyed, Abbott will win a majority in the Senate and the carbon tax will end up repealed anyway.

    2. Labor was annihilated because it was too close to the Greens and greenery generally and the only way it can rebuild and reclaim its lost voters, especially the lost ‘base’ is by denouncing its green past and green policies. What better, more symbolic, way of doing this than to give up on the carbon tax?

    3. Labor needs to reclaim the mantle of being the party of growth. What better, more symbolic, way of doing this than to give up on the carbon tax?

    Which side of the argument do you think Gary Gray will be on?

  8. Martin B

    House of Representatives, 10 Feb 2010

    Mr GRAY (Parliamentary Secretary for Western and Northern Australia):

    Over the years, I have been a critic of the carbon pollution debate. Indeed, in 1990 I described climate change science as ‘pop science’. I regret that I said that. Climate change is real.

    Make of that what you will – and here are plenty of ways of construing it – but as it goes, he said three years ago that he changed his mind.

  9. Martin B

    Actually his first such statement in the HoR was in 2008:

    There is a current debate—it has been taking place for 20 years—about climate change and its origins. Almost 20 years ago I was stupid enough to describe climate change as ‘pop science’. I was wrong. Climate change is real.

    I note again that this is in the interests of fact-checking, not of defending Gray. While acknowledging that people can change their minds, personally I’d be suspicious of a founder of Lavoisier.

  10. faustusnotes

    Sam, it’s a carbon price, not a tax.

  11. Sam

    Yes, faustusnotes, we all know that, but in the popular mind it’s a tax, and in the post election debate it will be labelled a tax.

  12. leinad

    HEATHER EWART: With this carbon tax – you do concede it’s a carbon tax, do you not?

    JULIA GILLARD: Oh, look, I’m happy to use the word tax, Heather. I understand some silly little collateral debate has broken out today. I mean, how ridiculous. This is a market-based mechanism to price carbon.

  13. leinad

    24/02/2011, for reference.

  14. Martin B

    One of the stupidest things Gillard ever said.

    My theory (expounded elsewhere) is that because Gillard knew that the fixed-price component was being legislatively treated as a tax for reasons of constitutional law, she couldn’t in good faith get up and say that it wasn’t a tax. In short she was being a lawyer about it.

    The other option is that she had decided to try the “no oxygen” approach to a negative, as tried and tested in the Qld privatisation row. Genius.

    Either way she (and the government) should have come out guns blazing on the claim, and let Abbott try and argue the legal technicalities of it.

  15. Martin B

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but in all of the kilometres and kilometres of column space devoted to discussing the original CPRS under Rudd, did anyone ever criticise it on the basis that the 1 year fixed price component was going to be a Carbon Tax?

  16. Hoa Minh Truong

    Climate change has became the global problem, Australia just is a small part of dioxide releases. The world have to act together that may save our planet, while the most carbon releasing country as China, US, Russia, India ignore, but Australia acts alone, it doesn’t work. However, the carbon tax that harms than good, people have to pay more for cost living by the bill hike and company should move to offshore to avoid the tax, but the product in the cheap laborer country release the dioxide as the same in Australia, the Labor climate change for nothing, therefore people lost job, than Union taken action, it is funny the union struck for jobless occurring some liberals state hold, indeed the key of joblessness comes from the federal government.

  17. faustusnotes

    Martin B: and did they ever even refer to it as a tax when discussing it?

    Hoa Minh Truong: everyone is acting slowly, and Australia needs to act as part of it. The US is considering a carbon tax and possibly even import tariffs. There’s no reason for us not to act.

  18. Peter Murphy

    The world have to act together that may save our planet, while the most carbon releasing country as China, US, Russia, India ignore, but Australia acts alone, it doesn’t work.

    Bloody hell, Mr. Hoa. Haven’t you ever heard of prisoner’s dilemma?

  19. Martin B

    That’s kind of funny, Peter.

  20. Russell

    Sam wrote: “What Gary Gray thinks now is of little relevance, as he is just the caretaker Resources Minister until the election.”

    Perhaps not. He made the news over here recently for suggesting that it might be a good thing for Shell to process gas on floating patforms (as they hope to) rather than pipe it to James Price Point for processing.

    Let’s see what Colin Barnett makes of that come the election. Because Western Australians would just love to see the jobs and investment disappear offshore.

    I would never in a million years vote for Gary Gray.