Unless you’ve either been living under a massive rock or in Mars-like isolation, you would have struggled to miss the recent exploits of Malcolm Roberts.
But if you have, here’s a very brief summary.
Roberts is a climate science denialist from Queensland who has been elected to the Australian Senate to represent the far-right One Nation party, led by Pauline Hanson.
He thinks climate science is a fraud being pushed by the United Nations, which wants to instill a world government.
His odd views have been irresistible to media outlets around the world and back home in Australia.
He had an argument with British Professor Brian Cox on Q&A that made international headlines.
He seems to be enjoying all the attention.
But back when Roberts was regarded by some as little more than a serial pest — haranguing politicians, journalists, scientists and government agencies for their endorsement of “climate fraud” — Roberts made a list.
The list, from February 2013, was an appendix to one of his many reports that “proved” human-caused climate change was a scam.
“I have learned much about science from many people internationally. You have encouraged, supported and advised,” wrote Roberts, before naming a bunch of people.
“You define the reality of being human through your love, care, respect for humanity and freedom,” he said.
So who’s on Roberts’ list?
In short, you have a bunch of conspiracy theorists, so called “sovereign citizens”, fellow climate science denialists, ambassadors and 9/11 truthers. It is a whole cart load of odd.
There’s Hereward Fenton, a “9/11 truther” who thinks the terrorist attack on New York was carried out by the “military industrial complex” and that the reason the Twin Towers collapsed is because they were blown up by explosives, rather than because they were hit by planes.
There’s Leon Pittard, the host of Fairdinkum Radio – an actual thing.
“Each week we monitor the progress and the development of the New World Order, known in the Bible as the Kingdom of Babylon,” Leon tells his listeners.
He says Fairdinkum is “the only radio show in Australia exposing the New World Order”, and that’s not a claim I’d challenge.
Leon has interviewed Roberts about climate change many times, as recently as a few weeks ago.
Pittard also supports the views of anti-vaccination campaigner Meryl Dorey and aired her support of the bogus and dangerous “black salve” cancer treatments without apparently knowing what it was.
So maybe black salve isn’t part of Pittard’s suite of “real practical solutions for everyday life and salvation through faith in Yahshua the Messiah.”
Also on Roberts’ list is “Gregory-John: Tudehope” who reliably informs anyone interested that he is “no longer one of the people of New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Queensland, and Tasmania, or any Commonwealth territory humbly relying on the blessings of Almighty God”.
This is an example of the language and grammatical quirks typical of the “sovereign citizen” movement – a group who claim immunity from laws and will routinely challenge the legitimacy of courts they might find themselves in front of.
Another on Roberts’ list is “Romley—Stewart:Stover”, who is embroiled in some legal issues currently up in north Queensland. Sharp-eyed observers of a December 2015 segment on the ABC’s 7.30 Report into the potential terror threat of the “sovereign citizen” movement will have heard Romley arguing with police.
Romley has given dozens of interviews on conspiracy YouTube channels. If you really want to, you can. He also claims evidence that Australia is a literal corporation owned by the U.S Federal Reserve, or something.
Roberts himself made headlines when it emerged he’d used this sovereign citizen style in a letter to former Prime Minister Julia Gillard. He has since said he’s “not a sovereign man”.
Who else is on Roberts’ list of people who guided him to “learn much about science”?
There’s a “Vivienne Skeen” who, when she isn’t ranting on Facebook about how climate change is a cover for communism, she’s sharing material from conspiracy theorist David Icke that “vaccines” are “devastating [children’s] immune systems for life.”
Who else? There’s climate science denial bloggers JoNova and David Evans. There’s Australia’s current New York Consul-General, Nick Minchin, a climate “sceptic” and former Liberal Party powerbroker.
There’s former Thatcher-era chancellor Nigel Lawson, founder of the similarly “sceptical” Global Warming Policy Foundation. Also on the list is Benny Peiser, who runs the GWPF. US Republican politicians Ron Paul and James “global warming is the greatest hoax ever” Inhofe also make Roberts’ honour roll.
Special mentions on Roberts’ list also go to Australian radio personalities Alan Jones and Grant Goldman, who are thanked for “giving science a public voice”. Jones is the patron of the Galileo Movement – the climate science denial group that Robert’s managed for a few years before he was elected.
Now let’s be clear.
I am not saying that just because Malcolm Roberts thanked a bunch of conspiracy theorists, that he therefore shares their views.
Roberts is entirely free to hang around with anyone he wants which now includes fellow Senators in Australia’s upper house of elected government.
Good luck with that.