By Grace Jones | posted on September 19, 2019
SHIRE of Denmark councillor Ian Osborne compared studies on climate change to alchemy and witchcraft during a council meeting this week in response to Cr Kingsley Gibson moving to declare a state of climate emergency.
Denmark’s council chambers were packed to the rafters on Tuesday night to support or oppose Cr Gibson’s motion and had all manner of residents speaking on the issue.
Cr Gibson moved his motion with Cr Mark Allen showing his support and seconding.
Cr Gibson said everyone could see the signs the climate was changing and it was time to not just declare it an issue but to also take action.
“I don’t want to argue the science,” he said.
“By 2090 our weather in Denmark will be just like Perth. Some people think that wouldn’t be a bad thing.
“But it’s not a good thing for our tingle trees and karri trees that are holding on by the skin of their teeth.”
Cr Allen said the state and federal governments would only go so far in combating climate change.
“If we don’t start somewhere, the changes won’t happen,” he said.
Cr Osborne started his speech in opposition to the motion by stating he originally wasn’t going to say anything as he felt it was “pointless to try and reason someone out of a perspective, when they didn’t reason themselves into it to start with”.
“The problem I have with this motion is that the word science is used,” he said.
“The term science in this context isn’t used in a fixed sort of way, it’s a continuum.
“Climate change is comparable to alchemy, witchcraft, diet science and arguments from anti-vaccination people.”
Denmark local and historically vocal proponent for climate change and the harms created by prescribed burning, Tony Pedro, was heard trying to speak over the top of Cr Osborne’s speech and was forcibly reminded by Cr Gearon that if he continued his behaviour he would be ejected from the chambers.
“Tony, I think you’re great. I really do. But I’m speaking the truth and you can’t stand it,” Cr Osborne continued.
“The climate is changing, it always will. We live on a dynamic planet that is always changing.”
Cr Osborne said Australia was on track to meet greenhouse gas reduction targets set out by the 2016 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s Paris Agreement.
“Australia’s emissions are hardly a threat in comparison to across the globe,” he said.
“If Australia completely decarbonised tomorrow it would not make a shred of difference.”
The motion was passed seven to one despite Cr Osborne’s impassioned speech against climate change and Mr Pedro’s insistence to argue the point with the Town Ward councillor.