Politicians, Environment Protection Authority Hoist by Their Own Petard

August 29, 2021 Updated: September 11, 2021

Commentary

The New South Wales government has only itself to blame if it does not like the ruling from the state’s Land and Environment Court, which has ordered the state’s Environment Protection Authority (EPA) to develop goals and policies to ensure the environment is protected from climate change.

The landmark ruling came after a challenge by the Bushfire Survivors for Climate Action, a community organisation founded in the ashes of a devastating bushfire that swept through Tathra in 2018.

They argued the EPA had a duty to protect the environment from significant threats and that climate change was a “grave” and “existential” threat.

The key to the decision was when the justice, Chief Judge Brian Preston, said that the threat to the environment by climate change was of “sufficiently great magnitude” and “sufficiently great impact” so that the environment would need “to be protected.”

That conclusion comes from the only evidence presented to the court and no doubt what the judge would regard as general knowledge.

Epoch Times Photo
A burnt-out vehicle is seen on Thompsons Drive in Tathra, New South Wales, on Mar. 25, 2018. (Brook Mitchell/Getty Images)

However, there are plenty of scientific arguments against the theory of anthropogenic—manmade—”global warming,” or as it is now called “climate change.”

Evidence to the contrary could easily have been called, for example, individuals like Professor Ian Plimer and a host of highly qualified scientists who question whether the science around climate change was settled or not.

But no such evidence was called.

As the judge noted, the need to protect the environment against climate change had been “recognised by the EPA.”

Now whether members of the NSW government truly believe in climate change that they would endorse a doctrine so far against their conservative philosophy demonstrates how little control political parties nowadays have over candidate selection and over the public’s influence on their decision-making.

In any event, the NSW government and its entity, the EPA, have been, as Shakespeare noted, “hoist with their own petard.”

The judge has effectively told the EPA and thus the government to practice what they preach.

If the defendant had taken the point to argue that the manmade global warming theory could not be accepted as fact, they surely would have also objected to the chief judge hearing the case due to a conflict of interest.

Before becoming Chief Judge, Preston was involved in founding the NSW Environmental Defenders Office.

As a judge, he was involved in an international movement called Climate Change Justice and was one of the experts consulted, and referred to, in the 2014 report of the International Bar Association, Achieving Justice and Human Rights in an Era of Climate Disruption—which accepts without qualification the theory behind manmade global warming.

The judge is, in brief, a believer—to which he is entitled.

climate change protesters
Protesters calling for action on climate change at Melbourne Central in Melbourne, Australia, on Sept. 6, 2019. (Graham Denholm/Getty Images)

The case, however, is yet another example of the costs society must pay for a scientific theory—which can still be legitimately challenged—that is believed by politicians, the media, and endorsed by an educational system under the influence of leftist ideas.

Mark Levin, leading American political commentator, argued that this religiosity has its basis in American Marxism, the name of his recently authored book.

He believes, rightly, that it will seriously damage Western economies and that the major beneficiary will be the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), who continues to pay lip service to the theory, but instead practices the opposite.

And not all global warmists believe in the strong measures which some Western countries, including Australia, are imposing on themselves, including increasing the cost of electricity by a factor of almost three.

Bjørn Lomborg, president of the Danish think tank, the Copenhagen Consensus Center, argues that many of the measures adopted by policymakers to counter global warming will have minimal impact and are an unnecessary burden.

In the meantime, who can blame the judge, personally committed as he is to the truth of climate change, applying the only evidence presented to him and delivering a judgement when no objection was made about this.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

David Flint
David Flint
contributor
David Flint is an emeritus professor of law, known for his leadership of Australians for Constitutional Monarchy and for his tenure as head of the Australian Broadcasting Authority. He is also a former chairman of the Australian Press Council and the World Association of Press Councils.