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Dr Mark Imisides, a serious skeptic candidate for the WA Senate

This is such a change. It used to be that the best a skeptic could hope for was a politician who “believes the science” but spoke in a code about wanting more evidence.  But here’s a candidate openly wooing skeptics — no pandering to political correctness. Imisides is equipped with a PhD in chemistry and he wants a debate: Look at me as a type of scientific Dirty Harry, he says. He explains why lawyer-politicians use the wrong reasoning and we need scientist politicians (like him, obviously). His points are not just about Australian politics but all Western governments.  He skips the scientific details here (we all know them), but I can vouch that from his past emails he’s not only done the homework on aerosols, hotspots, ice cores, and different IPCC reports, he’s even familiar with the devastating Thompson’s case (skeptical farming family).  This man is a serious skeptic. Well informed, and he understands how to reason. In a double dissolution election, he’s tackling a big vacant niche so he has a real chance (and with a lucky #1 spot on the ticket to boot). I wish there were more like him in every state — scientifically aware and unapologetic skeptics.

There are a million odd “Delcons” voters out there  — many of whom are skeptics in this election, and almost no one is speaking to them in this Australian election. A turning point? Looks like. If you don’t live in WA, but you like the looks of this candidate, you can still help him by sending this info to your West Australian friends.  I’ll be posting more info on other parties climate stances in the next day or two. I figure skeptics would want to know this kind of candidate exists.   —   Jo

Guest post:  Dr Mark Imisides — Senate Candidate for WA

Christian Democratic party

Despite the fact that there is increasing mistrust of the increasingly shrill warnings about climate induced disasters of every kind, it seems that none of this scepticism has made its way into the Federal Parliament.

Federal politicians seem unaware of the fact that the more recent the survey of the public, the lower down the list of priorities “taking action on climate change” is.   There is a reason for this, and it is explained by the type of people who make up our Parliament.

Overwhelmingly, the most common profession on both sides of the house is law.  It makes sense that lawyers would become involved in the lawmaking process, so a career in politics is an understandable progression.  But on any scientific issue, however, and there is none bigger than this at the moment, they are the people least qualified to deal with it and make sensible decisions.

There are essentially two reasons why we know everything to be the true – two reasons why we believe everything that we do.  Either we have seen evidence for it ourselves, or we trust the opinion of an authority on the matter.  The first of these is known as “argument by evidence” and the second is “argument by authority.”  For most people, our opinions are a cocktail of the two.  We may like a particular car because we drove it (argument by evidence) or because we read a review of it (argument by authority).  Usually, we have done both.

But there are two professions that operate at either ends of this spectrum.  Science works exclusively by “argument by evidence” and law works exclusively by “argument by authority”.  For scientists, precedent is nothing and evidence is everything.  For lawyers, precedent is everything, and evidence – well, in a case like this, they never even get as far as looking for it.

So that, for example, when we look at a Will Steffen – someone that is paid to believe in climate change – we view his opinions with a great deal of mistrust.  We understand that his employment is dependent upon the climate change thing being true, and he is not free to voice an opposing opinion.  When we hear him being interviewed and making increasingly shrill predictions, we never hear him providing any evidence for these predictions.  The lawyer, however, sees none of this.  All they see is that an eminent professor has expressed an opinion, and it doesn’t enter into their head that he may be wrong.  This is exactly how the law works.  If a particular legal case comes up, they will scour the books for a similar case in the past.  If they find one, they quote the outcome in this case as gospel truth.  It never even occurs to them, even for a moment, that the judgement may be seen to be wrong if it were subject to re-examination.  It is accepted without question, without scrutiny, and with no shred of doubt.

So when the lawyers in Parliament read the latest report from the IPCC or BOM or CSIRO they swallow it whole.  And given the nature of the profession, not only do they not question it, they make sure no one else does.  I discovered this recently when I tried to have a chat with Linda Reynolds (Lib WA) about it at a branch meeting.  I didn’t even get to finish asking my question before she cut me off with “oh, I think we all accept the science.”

And the tragedy of this is that there are a number of sceptics in Federal Parliament, on both sides of the chamber, but they are unable to speak their mind because of party discipline.  They feel that they must toe the “climate change” line.

So what do we do about it?  Well for a start, get me into Parliament.  I am standing for the WA Senate for the Christian Democratic Party (CDP).  I chose this party because it was unashamedly Conservative, has a deep mistrust of the Greens, and allowed me to run my campaign as I wished.  To this point, it has had a very rural focus.  As a chemical consultant to the farming sector  I am attempting to champion myself as someone who can overturn the influence of Canberra bureaucrats and departments (like the APVMA) on their farming practices – banning pesticides and herbicides without good science.  This has involved a number of circulars to farmers in which these issues are discussed.  I haven’t said much (although I’ve said a bit) about climate change scepticism, simply because given the current political climate, a lot of well-meaning people may have been duped by the propaganda on this and this might turn them off.

But not on this blog.  On this blog I can let rip.  And let rip I will if I get into Parliament.  I have a Ph.D. in chemistry and have studied the art of the polemic for years.  I would walk in there knowing that I was the most qualified and knowledgeable person on the topic by a country mile.  And I know how to use it too.  Also, as part of a minor party, I am able to do and say whatever I want.  And I can place this front and centre on the national agenda.  And I am hoping that this will encourage other politicians to come out of the closet, and we can begin to change the national dialogue on this.  Indeed, one possibility is that I may be part of a group of Conservative senators holding the balance of power.

One idea that I have is to announce a national summit on this just like Kevin Rudd did – except it won’t be about bright ideas, it will be about the science behind climate change.  It would be an open event, speakers will be invited from both sides, and the media, of course, will cover the event.

But I think we all know what would happen.  The believers wouldn’t front.  It would be some lame excuse about not wanting to give scepticism oxygen or something like that.  If I had a national voice, this is the exact kind of situation that I am very, very good at.  I am very good at exposing motives and motivations and calling these self-conflicted frauds to account.  I would make sure that their unwillingness to front would have the very opposite effect – it would most certainly give the topic more oxygen.

This is a once in a generation chance to get a serious climate sceptic into Federal Parliament, and one with the cojones to make it stick.  Look at me as a type of scientific Dirty Harry (I’d love to say “a man’s got to know his limitations” to Adam Bandt or Richard Di Natalie).

Anyhow, as luck would have it, I am number one on the Senate ballot paper so I’m easy to find.  So at this election please vote one Christian Democratic party. And tell lots of people.

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