opinion

"Oh my God." Alan Jones and the arrogance of thinking you know more than all the experts.

On Monday night, the country breathed a sigh of relief as radio broadcaster Alan Jones told us that it’s fine. There’s no such thing as climate change.

“What is climate change?” the 76-year-old rhetorically asked the Q&A audience. “Young people are highly intelligent. They have many platforms from which they can (glean) their information and knowledge. I wonder whether they’re being told all the facts in relation to this.”

Political reporter at The Australian, Alice Workman, buried her head in her hands on the panel beside him.

“Oh my God…” she said, listening to one of the most influential media personalities in the country deny we’re encountering any kind of environmental crisis.

That’s when Jones resorted to his percentages, reciting how much carbon dioxide is created by humans, and by Australia specifically – which to him, personally, isn’t enough to justify changing anything.

Alan Jones on Q&A on Monday night. Post continues below. 

Video by ABC
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Imagine.

Imagine believing you are right and everybody else is wrong.

Imagine thinking you know more than not just one climate scientist, but all the climate scientists. Combined. You! One, single man, with no qualifications in the field.

It is difficult to fully comprehend the arrogance of that position.

Jones thinks he knows more than climate scientists, who have spent their entire lives studying global warming, travelling all over the world, analysing the numbers and putting together peer-reviewed papers.

What could possibly be in it for them? What advantage could there be in finding that the planet is facing an unimaginable crisis; that we must rethink all our industries and the very structure of modern life?

Who are the winners? Who benefits from such a conclusion?

Climate change is not a scientific opinion. It is a scientific consensus, come to by tens of thousands of separate studies, all over the world. At least 97 per cent of scientists agree that global warming is happening, and is human caused.

Based on all the research, last night, it was far more likely that Jones himself would be struck by lightning in front of a live studio audience, than for us to ever discover that the words coming out of his mouth were at all true.

They are the odds we’re playing with.

He might as well have argued that smoking does not cause cancer, or that exercise and eating well have no bearing on our health.

What a different world we might live in, if we listened to the people who had the most information, rather than those with the loudest voices.

Tags: alan-jones , australian-news , news-stories , opinion
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