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Glaciers, graziers, glaziers, and the strangler fig

By Gabriel Moens and John McRobert - posted Friday, 31 May 2024

A perfunctory search on Wikipedia informs that the Strangler Fig, Ficus watkinsiana, 'grows on another tree, using it as physical support, while also stealing sunlight, nutrients, space, etc. from it, which eventually kills the host plant'. When considering the current avalanche of UN/IPCC/COP 'climate change' diktats that are strangling industry and commerce, the analogy with the natural strangler fig parasite is apposite. Net Zero emissions targets and their related legislation, aimed at regulating and controlling the very air we breathe, are fantasy-land confabulations, destined for recognition as the greatest of all delusions. In this context, Charles Mackay, who authored Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds in 1841, prophetically declared:

In reading The History of Nations, we find that, like individuals, they have their whims and their peculiarities, their seasons of excitement and recklessness, when they care not what they do. We find that whole communities suddenly fix their minds upon one object and go mad in its pursuit; that millions of people become simultaneously impressed with one delusion, and run after it, till their attention is caught by some new folly more captivating than the first.

Strangler Figs epitomise the creeping constraints growing around Western economies as fossil fuels are unjustly demonised, and dependable power plants are closed. A literally breathtaking vision of proposed future landscapes can also be seen in a proliferation of brain-numbing documents, released by the federal government's Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water under the heading of Pathways to Net Zero supported by beneficiaries of taxpayer-funded largesse in truly pathetic attempts to justify impossible targets.


The latest strangler fig has taken root with the enforcement of the International Financial Reporting Standards, IFRS S1 & S2, which are mandatory accounting measures for the very air we breathe. The document, entitled Applying IFRS – IFRS sustainability disclosure standards – Introduction to IFRS S1 and IFRS S2, is a turgid and incomprehensible document now in force in Australia as of January 1, 2024. As a brain-challenging script for a computer game of pure fantasy, this would be a winner, but as a compulsory demand for companies to account for their recycling of a tiny component of the air in which we live, it shows that peak stupidity has attained new heights.

An unlikely confluence of homophones – words pronounced alike but different in meaning, derivation, or spelling – Glaciers, Graziers, and Glaziers – sums up a convergence of interest that succinctly headlines the story of human life on Planet Earth as it unfolds. Planet Earth has often experienced the formation and melting of Glaciers – rivers of ice. During Glacial melts, walls of ice – sometimes 600 metres high – burst, with rapid impact on downstream topography, destroying any animal or plant life in the path of the deluge. During the last major Ice Age, vast areas of arable land were sterilised under glacial ice. Today, the croplands of the prairies, the steppes of Ukraine and elsewhere across the world, freed of glacial ice, produce the food needed for humankind, and Graziers began their ascendancy. But today a new, man-made plague threatens not only the pasture and crop lands, but natural habitats are being destroyed under the false flag of 'saving the planet.' In a real-life Chicken-Little episode of mass hysteria, arable land and nature reserves are being clad with glass panels, and Glaziers pave the pathway to a future choked with rules and regulations promoted by charlatans selling a snake-oil promise that they can control the climate by regulating and taxing the very air we breathe.

In the mists of antiquity, mankind established a foothold on this beautiful but challenging planet, a globular blue lagoon bursting with carbon-based life. Above the surface, the Urey Reaction describes how carbon dioxide is continually extracted from the atmosphere to be locked up in marble, limestone, and other rocks, underpinning the crustal surface foundations on which both interdependent flora and fauna life-forms survive, but carbon dioxide is the essential ingredient allowing those life forms to exist. Over millions of years, this trace component of the atmosphere has been gradually depleted as it is absorbed back into the Earth's crust but, fortunately, vast amounts have been stored in fossil deposits that can be recycled back into the air to nourish the plants that humans need to survive.

But now, Earth is entering a period of a carbon dioxide famine, and it is demonstrable that carbon dioxide levels do not control surface temperatures. Original research by an independent Australian scientist, Ian LK McNaughton is one of many recent studies attesting to this fundamental fact. Another relevant study is by two retired scientists in the United States, Michael Nelson, and David B Nelson, Decoupling CO2 from Climate Change. Work by other leading scientists such as Professor William Happer, Dr Patrick Moore, and others have systematically demolished the CO2 myths. The film Climate: The Movie should be compulsory viewing in all schools and universities.

Fortuitously, recyclable carbon dioxide contained in fossil fuels is something over which mankind can have some measure of control, beginning with ability to regulate temperatures within enclosures such as vehicles, homes, hospitals, and shopping centres that depend on a dependable, affordable electrical power source that has hitherto been primarily supplied by coal-fired power stations. Greenhouses where plant growth is promoted by increasing carbon dioxide levels by three or four times that of outside the enclosure, are well below levels within conference rooms of delegates decrying carbon dioxide as a dangerous pollutant.

This planet continues to roll around the Sun, and the Sun and its dependent planets continue their galactic journey through the cosmos, independent of whatever happens on the surface of this most beautiful of the Sun's planets – and independent of the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.


With civilisation came written language, and documentation of those regular cycles of feast and famine that enabled myths of storytelling around the campfire to be challenged by factual documentation and rational debate. Stories about great floods such as described in the Bible are now better understood. Geological evidence of massive floods in North America in the closing stages of the last Ice Age, 15,000 years ago when ice sheets covered Canada and the northern part of the United States, reveals the story of the largest flood that has ever been documented and geologically analysed.

In the transition to so-called 'clean energy', vast areas of land are being devastated and sterilised, destroying natural habitat and good farmland, covered with devices that will be junk within one or two decades. One study estimated the arable land to be covered by glass solar panels as over 18 per cent of Australia's agricultural land, or an area equivalent to ten time the size of Tasmania. Many of these installations will never produce any power as the grid needed to connect them requires total duplication of the grid to 'firm' these intermittent power sources. In the United States, thousands of solar and wind installations are in lockdown and their investors' investments frozen because the existing grid needs major upgrades to deliver dispersed, intermittent power to the consumers. The mirage of Net Zero emissions continues to dominate the thinking of political strategists concerned only with the next election. 'Whatever it takes' is leading the democratic world into inconceivable depths of debt, an energy-starved miserable future, and paradoxically a planet that will be less green than when mankind began restoring carbon dioxide to an atmosphere that is at historic lows of this life-supporting trace gas.

Unless the Strangler Fig, variation IFRS S1 & 2, is strangled at birth, this futile attempt at measuring, monitoring and mitigating the essential ingredient of the very air we breathe will destroy Western economies and will go down in history as the downfall of a once prosperous society built on the successful utilisation of the vast and virtually inexhaustible energy stored in fossil fuels that have an energy density still far surpassing that of any man-made batteries. After scrubbing out the nasties of soot particulates and toxic gasses, the byproducts of coal-fired energy are the plant nutrients of water vapour and carbon dioxide. Indeed, plants need the recycled carbon dioxide from our utilisation of fossil fuels – we need the power.

When is the popular and government-fuelled delusion and madness, associated with the 'climate change' religion going to end?


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This article was first published in The Spectator.

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About the Authors

Gabriel Moens is an emeritus professor at the University of Queensland. He served as Pro Vice Chancellor and as a Dean at Murdoch University. He also served as Head, Graduate School of Law, The University of Notre Dame Australia.

John McRobert BE (Civ) is the Managing Director of CopyRight Publishing. He is the author of A Diet of 2%.

Other articles by these Authors

All articles by Gabriel Moens
All articles by John McRobert

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

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