Oz Blog News Commentary

Unelected experts

September 16, 2020 - 08:59 -- Admin

You may have noticed
in recent years that the use of the epithet ‘unelected experts’ is becoming more
common among the covid-19 deniers and climate change deniers. The apotheosis of
the unelected non-expert, Gina Rinehart’s Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) has
tried to spin a Pew Research Centre survey, which showed that 88% of
Australians believe representative democracy is good, into something supporting
their antipathy to expertise1. The reason they are antipathetic to
expertise can be found in some of their recent and not so recent bovine excremental

In December 2017, IPA’s
John Abbot and Jennifer Marohasy published a paper asserting that climate
change was entirely natural2. It was published in GeoResJ, an open
access journal which was designed for rapid publication of climate change and
other research. That journal was discontinued in January 20183.
While its closure cannot be attributed directly to the paper by Abbot and Marohasy,
it is tempting to think that the publication of that paper was the catalyst for
a decrease in submissions, the usual reason for the discontinuation of a

In April 2020, during
the initial Covid-19 lockdown, the IPA’s idiotic Gideon (‘Gidiot’) Rozner like
many other Covidiots, called for the immediate reversal of the lockdown. While
I have discussed his apparent disregard for Australian lives elsewhere3,
his unspoken implication was that the ‘experts’ (epidemiologists) do not know
what they are talking about.

Of course, Murdoch ‘ruperters’
are pushing the same barrow, with climate change denialism5-8, as
well as covid-19 denialism9-10. Ignoring either of these crises
would lead to catastrophe, with that from Covid-19 paling into insignificance
alongside what is likely to happen with climate change.

It was unelected
experts who detected and analysed the Covid-19 virus, and determined that it
was a coronavirus like that which caused the SARS pandemic. It was unelected
experts who sequenced the genome of the various strains of the virus to help
track the origins of outbreaks. It is unelected experts around the world who
are developing what may turn out to be a successful vaccine. If there is a
vaccine, it will be unelected experts who will work out how to manufacture it
in large quantities. If that happens it will be unelected experts who will
inject it into anyone who wants it. Conversely, It was unelected and elected
non-experts who stated that this disease was no worse than the seasonal flu.

Similarly, it was
unelected experts who determined that the burning of fossil fuels was leading
to an increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and this was causing the
atmosphere to heat up. It was unelected experts who warned that this could
cause the ocean to heat up and to become more acidic, leading to the demise of
coral reefs and much zooplankton. It was unelected experts who warned us that the
summer of 2019-2020 was going to be a dangerous fire season in Australia. It is
unelected experts who have worked out how to ameliorate the worst effects of
climate change. It is unelected experts who have worked out how to generate
electricity using solar cells, wind turbines, and to store it using grid-scale
batteries. It was unelected and elected non-experts who have stated that climate
change is not happening.

The reason Rinehart’s
IPA and Murdoch’s media ‘ruperters’ hate expertise is because it impinges on
their dear leaders’ income from the unbridled capitalism on which they believe
they depend. Who are these people whining about experts? They are unelected
non-experts. Some of the people who parrot to same line as those from the IPA
or Murdoch media are elected non-experts; people like Gerard Rennick11,
Pauline Hanson11,12, and Craig Kelly13. Who would you
rather place your trust in when dealing with a crisis; unelected experts,
unelected non-experts or elected non-experts? This is a similar question to ‘If
you have a problem with your heart, would you seek advice from someone like
Craig Kelly, Adam Creighton or a cardiologist? Expertise is what is needed, not
opinion from ignoramuses.