Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

Tim, Meet Wayne

By Simon Grose

Frustrated climate change activist Tim Flannery could benefit from the counsel of a rugby league mentor.

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The legendary rugby coach of the Brisbane Broncos, Wayne Bennett, has a terse line for petulant young men in his charge who punch a wall when they are dropped from the team.

“Don’t get bitter, get better,” old Wayne says drily, perhaps with a pat on the shoulder and a manly dart of eye contact. Five words to convey tough love and a path to redemption.

Climate Council supremo Tim Flannery could do worse than take a session with Coach Wayne.

A former Australian of the Year, our Tim went right off when the University of WA got $4 million over 4 years from the Department of Education & Training to fund a branch of Bjorn Lomborg’s Copenhagen Consensus Centre.

This was “an insult to the Australian scientific community,” the Climate Council said online, miffed that its former funding of $1.5 million per year as the Climate Commission was withdrawn and now “the money has become available to import a politically-motivated think tank to work in the same space”. Even worse, “Mr Lomborg’s views have no credibility in the scientific community… and he still believes we shouldn’t take any steps to mitigate climate change”.

Telling blows, but it’s a shame they were aimed at a straw Bjorn. First, the new centre’s focus is on economic development, not climate change. UWA said it will have three main projects: global development goals for the United...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.