Tim Flannery at one point argued that the nation would run out of drinking water two years go, says Andrew Bolt. Source: Herald Sun
Puzzled historians will one day ask how the great global warming scare died so suddenly, in mid scream.
"We're all going to die aaaargh," it gargled.
And it did. Right there, leaving the booga-booga Gillard Government looking like a bride at a wedding with no groom.
What happened? How did we go in just three years from being a country in which "everyone" believed we had to Do Something about terrifying man-made warming, to one in which Labor politicians are now widely reviled as dupes and scam-merchants for peddling such a gimme-cash fraud?
Don't let yourself forget how fast this transformation has been.
I certainly haven't, since it gives me such smug satisfaction to recall that in 2008 the boys from the ABC's Chaser comedy team toured the land with a stage show in which they showed a giant map of Australia with a pink dot to indicate the location of our last global warming sceptic.
That single pink dot in that entire expanse was plonked right over my Southbank office.
To be absolutely specific, it was over this very keyboard on which I'm now so gleefully typing as I cackle.
How I'd love to see Chaser now do an encore. The pink dot factory would have to work double shifts to pump out all the props.
But how to explain how millions abruptly came to their senses, turning global warming from a faith to a joke?
And that's when I drag out Tim Flannery.
No, no, no - I'm not blaming Flannery, the 2007 Alarmist of the Year, for single-handedly destroying the global warming movement that just two elections ago had stampeded both sides of politics into promising an emissions trading system to a public that now wants no bar of any such folly.
Rather, I consider Flannery, now our $180,000-a-year Climate Commissioner, a symbol of all that's made the warming faith incredible and even ridiculous.
I knew the moment the Gillard Government appointed him to sell global warming that it had instead delivered the coup de grace to its carbon dioxide tax. And so it's proved.
See, Flannery, author of The Weather Makers, was already an embarrassing reminder of how much the warmist movement had relied on wild claims of imminent doom that are now proving baseless.
He himself had claimed warming would so dry up the rain that Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide could all run out of drinking water by, er, two years ago.
Most ludicrously, he four years ago claimed this warming had already made our soil so hot that "even the rain that falls isn't actually going to fill our dams and river systems".
Hey, Tim, splashed up to the swollen Murray lately? Did you wade over to the Brisbane River to see it in full spate?
If that wasn't enough, Flannery had also painfully demonstrated how the green schemes he flogged to save the planet tended to crumble in his hands.
He was paid $200,000 to promote Fieldforce, which did environmental audits of homes under the Government's "green loans" scheme, which has since collapsed and been scrapped as useless and grotesquely expensive.
He also invested in Geodynamics, a company trying to exploit geothermal power with what Flannery claimed was "relatively straightforward" technology -- pumping water on to hot rocks deep underground at Innamincka to produce steam for delightfully "green" power.
Straightforward? Geodynamics had to plug three of its shafts after an explosion, has been flooded by rains Flannery didn't predict and is now years behind schedule with its share price in a decline too deep to hide.
The only thing "straightforward" about this troubled project was the $90 million grant Geodynamics extracted from the gullible Rudd government, which must have bought Flannery's spin that geothermal power could be the power of our future.
So far, then, we've got Flannery demonstrating two of the worst failings of the global warming hypesters - their dud predictions of doom and their dud prescriptions for salvation.
But Flannery didn't stop there in rendering the movement ridiculous.
He was also living embodiment of the fact that global warming is the first new world faith led almost entirely by the worst hypocrites.
Flannery may preach how we must save an imperilled planet by burning less coal and petrol, yet he also boasted he'd written his latest book almost all in midair, on one gassy flight after another.
As he confessed in an ad he filmed in exchange for the free use of a Toyota Prius: "I'm always in and out of airports and in and out of planes."
What's more, he even signed up to help friend and entrepreneur Sir Richard Brazen, the "green" evangelist, sell his Virgin Galactic joy rides into space - the most gratuitous blasts of emissions known to man.
People notice this kind of thing, you know. Every Earth Hour they're told to turn off the lights and the TV to sit in the cheerless dark for the sake of the planet, while they see green-preaching Flannery and his billionaire buddy spruik joy rides to the world's richest petrol-heads.
So hiring Flannery was already high risk for the Government. And, sure enough, no sooner was our new $500-a-day Climate Commissioner stumping the land, insisting we take some pain for the planet, than he demonstrated a few more reasons not to take his sort seriously.
First, Flannery was unguarded enough to admit on MTR that whatever Australia did on its own would make close to zero difference to the world's temperature anyway.
Indeed, he added: "If the world as a whole cut all emissions tomorrow, the average temperature of the planet's not going to drop for several hundred years, perhaps over 1000 years."
I don't think that helped the Government a jot. And, if anything, Flannery has made things worse since.
Last week he spectacularly demonstrated just how much this warming movement is actually driven not by science but a new green faith.
Here's Flannery talking to The Guardian: "Today we're on the edge of creating this global super-organism. That will mean there is no outside, there is no other ...
"For the first time, this global super-organism, this global intelligence, will be able to send a single strong and clear signal to the earth and ... we will be a regulating intelligence for the planet and we will do what our brain does for our body, which is help create stability, co-ordination between the parts and lead to a stronger Gaia."
Er, right, Tim. Ommm to you, too.
You may think Flannery must have scooped the pool already in representing all that makes the warming movement so risible: the false scare claims, the gimcrack solutions, the astonishing hypocrisy and the holy-roller sermonising.
But this week he added the last piece in this jigsaw of bug-eyed madness -- the great green dollar that has lured so many warming carpetbaggers.
BE clear: I don't accuse Flannery for an instant of himself being some calculating Profit of Doom. No, there is a guilelessness about even his wilder wide-eyed preaching that makes clear he sincerely believes what he says.
The fact that he's so well rewarded for his apocalyptic predictions and his tick of green approval is, I'm convinced, just lucky for him and his family.
Very lucky, in fact, since it's got him not only his Prius, his two best-selling warming books, his Fieldforce deal, his work with Branson, and his lucrative gig as Climate Commissioner, but a range of other positions, too, including his Panasonic Chair in Environmental Sustainability at Macquarie University.
Wait! Back up a bit. The Panasonic Chair in Environmental Sustainability?
Yes, indeed. And here's Flannery himself, enthusing about being sponsored as a crusader against global warming by, of all things, a maker of stuff that uses electricity:
"I've also been carrying the flag for Panasonic in everything else I do, the books I publish, in the (ABC) television series that I'm making at the moment, and of course in the new position as the chief of the Climate Commission."
Hmm. Tell me, Panasonic Tim, what's your advice on Earth Hour: to switch on or switch off?
Flannery has since issued a clarification, saying he wasn't actually flogging Panasonic on the ABC or as Climate Commissioner, and his comments were made "in the context of describing the work I have been doing on educating young Australians about sustainability".
But of course. Who could doubt him?
And who could resist laughing and laughing, until not only Flannery but the entire global warming circus stands revealed at last as the biggest joke since ... since ... well, since Chaser stuck a pink dot on my lonely head?
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