| It doesn't stop|
at the water's edge
| It's gettin' hot in here|
|—Motto of Roberts' green ink website[note 1]|
"Malcolm-Ieuan: Roberts., the living soul", representing a corporate entity called MALCOLM IEUAN ROBERTS was an Australian Senator for Queensland for the One Nation party. He was elected to the Australian Senate in the 2016 election and assumed office on July 2nd, 2016. He presented the nation with the horrifying spectre of Pauline Hanson being the most grounded-in-reality elected member of the party.
Apart from talking like a huge antisemite (though he's convinced he isn't one), Roberts, a former coal mine manager, also co-founded the global warming denialist organisation actually known as the "Galileo Movement" and appears to be into sovereign citizen and freeman on the land-type pseudolaw. His personal website is innocently titled "Climate Conscious".[note 2] And he really does write his name "Malcolm-Ieuan: Roberts".
Roberts also believes that section 18c of the Racial Discrimination Act 2014 needs to be repealed, so he can
really get stuck into the Muzzles "talk about the real issues — tax, Islam, terrorism, the economy."
Further media coverage was sparse as he stated that "we are only doing live interviews that can't be edited" until September 2017, when the High Court threw him out of the Senate because at the time of his election he was still a dual-citizen of the United Kingdom.
Though Roberts has specifically denied being a "sovereign citizen", he did notably send a freeman-style Affidavit of Notice of Standing and Further and Better Particulars and Proof of Claim in 2011 to Julia Gillard (or, in strawman theory form, "The Woman, Julia-Eileen: Gillard., acting as The Honourable JULIA EILEEN GILLARD"), the Prime Minister at the time, including a schedule of payments to be made to him if she attempted to enforce the carbon tax or failed to prove global warming to his satisfaction.
He also has a tendency to title letters to politicians as "LAWFUL NOTICE BY REGISTERED POST WITH DELIVERY CONFIRMATION WITHOUT PREJUDICE AND IN GOOD FAITH". When critics stop debating with him over correspondence, he sends them a letter, again via registered post and with a delivery confirmation, in which he states that they have "defaulted" (much like a loan payment) on responding to him - this letter starts with the words "LAWFUL NOTICE OF DEFAULT". He then gives them another fortnight to respond, when they don't he sends a final letter to them entitled "LAWFUL NOTICE OF ACCEPTANCE, PUBLICATION AND UTTERANCE", where he then states that he has won the argument ("By way of judgment of default you have accepted my claims to be true.").
Climate conspiracy (but totally not Jews)
As an engineer with an MBA, Roberts is confident in his understanding of the nature of evidence. He has claimed at length that climate change is an international conspiracy, furthered by international bankers and the United Nations in order to impose a socialist New World Order.
He has a habit of citing anti-Semitic conspiracy theorists, including notorious holocaust denier Eustace Mullins, and says that "international bankers aim to dumb-down children through state-controlled education". The antisemitism was too much even for Andrew Bolt, who proceeded to disassociate himself from the Galileo Movement. Roberts reiterated his United Nations claim after his election, though he denied that by the notorious dog whistle term "international bankers" he meant "Jews". After receiving emails from Roberts, biologist Ove Hoegh-Guldberg had to seriously ask him if he believed in a "Jewish conspiracy to take over the world", to which Roberts replied with the friend argument.
He wants the CSIRO (the federal science research organisation) and the Bureau of Meteorology (the federal weather service) to be investigated for their "corrupt" evidence supporting climate change. He also thinks Agenda 21 is involved.
Labouring the point
Roberts has a history of harassing climate scientists and academics, deciding in 2013 to compose reams of letters and emails to scientists' employers, copying in long lists of politicians, journalists and fellow denialists. As he puts it, referring to himself in the third person:
In February Malcolm Roberts sent letters by Registered Post with Delivery Confirmation to all Members of federal Parliament; CSIRO executives; Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) Director; ten of the most prominent academics advocating cutting human production of carbon dioxide (CO2); ABC directors, executive management, Executive Producers and journalists; Fairfax Media Chairman, directors, executive management and journalists; Australian Academy of Science; Freedom of Information units in CSIRO and BOM; various other agencies and people. All letters were personally signed and almost all were sent by Registered Post with Delivery Confirmation.
Malcolm Roberts vs Brian Cox
Also in on the conspiracy is NASA, as Roberts revealed to Brian Cox on ABC TV Q&A, 15 August 2016, after Roberts said data did not exist and Cox proceeded to produce a graph of it he'd brought with him for the occasion:
Roberts: I'm saying two things. First of all, that the data has been corrupted and we know-…
Cox: What do you mean by "corrupted"? What do you mean?
Roberts: Been manipulated.
Cox: By who?
Roberts: By NASA.
Cox: NASA?Audience: [laughter]
Roberts claimed the data had been manipulated by multiple agencies:
Roberts: Steve Goddard has shown the NASA figures and the graph was originally showing the 1930s were warmer than recent decades and that is correct. People have recognised that for many years. In the recent years they've been reversed so that the 1930s were reduced in temperature and the later periods were inflated in temperature. That's a fact. The Bureau of Meteorology is exactly the same. Greg Hunt squashed an investigation of the Bureau of Meteorology earlier this year.
Roberts then tried to say that this somehow did not constitute claiming they had conspired:
Cox: The accusation that NASA, the Australian, the Met Office in the UK, everybody is collaborating to manipulate global temperature data...
Roberts: Are you accusing me of saying they're collaborating?Cox: What, they've all manipulated it in the same way and accidentally got to the same answer? Is that what you're saying?
Malcolm Roberts vs Ben Cubby
In February 2013 Roberts started to write to Ben Cubby, Environment Editor for The Sydney Morning Herald and one of many reporters who Roberts sent correspondence to starting with the lines:
LAWFUL NOTICE BY REGISTERED POST WITH DELIVERY CONFIRMATION
WITHOUT PREJUDICE AND IN GOOD FAITH
He demanded that Cubby "withdraw your past such claims and associated articles. If you continue making such claims and fail to retract past claims you will be knowingly misleading the public and parliament. Please stop advocating policies harming humanity and/or the environment." In response to Robert's email, Cubby wrote:
In considering your request that I identify errors in the report you sent to me – CSIROh! Climate of Deception? Or First Step to Freedom? – I find myself confronting an unusual problem: how does one critically analyse a pile of horseshit?
He refused to comment on all the errors in Roberts' report, but did mention that he couldn't quite fathom how Roberts found a whole raft of underwater volcanos that only Roberts seemed to know about, that his co-author was Tim Ball, not Tim Hall, as he misspelled it, and that he had in fact provided the evidence demanded and that until Roberts could ground his beliefs in reality he would consider any further emails as "amusing spam".
Roberts responded by sending an unhinged letter "by registered post with delivery confirmation" revealing that he had made an official complaint to the Fairfax board and CEO, and accusing Cubby of responding with "false derogatory comments, misrepresentations and lies", that Cubby was doing "incalculable damage" to himself and demanding a retraction. He then followed this up with a demand for a response and that "though not required to do so, I now give you a further fourteen days to rebut this notice of default. Failure to do so by Friday, April 12th, 2013 will render my claims as factual." Apparently, in Robert's mind, facts are decided on whether the one you are writing to bothers to reply to your batshit insanity. Cubby was not impressed and duly ignored Roberts, after which Roberts sent him a threatening, but legally impotent, "lawful notice of default". It seems to be a construct in Robert's own mind that if he sends a letter by registered post with a delivery receipt and demand, in what he believes to be legal language, that he get a response, then if no response is received he wins the argument.
Cubby later interviewed Roberts, and at one point Roberts voluntarily revealed that he pursues his claims "voluntarily by the way and I’ve been selling some of our own, my own family’s assets … my wife’s starting to get a bit pissed off about it, which is understandable". When Cubby pressed him to understand why he was a climate sceptic, he explained that when he was a mine manager, "I was responsible statutorily for hundreds of people’s lives at any one time. And those lives depended upon my knowledge of atmospheric gases, so my basic antenna went up and said, “hang on, what’s going on?” when I started hearing these claims."  His final correspondence to Cubby was a claim that he won his argument because he did not receive a response from Cubby.
Valuable political advice
“”I’d be pleased to meet with you to discuss my letter to Greg Combet. I can show you how to use the climate and tax millstone around your party's neck to reclaim the moral high ground.
|—Roberts unsuccessfully enticing senator John Faulkner to come hang out with him by offering to share his secret kung-fu grip on the electorate|
Roberts' offer to show various people of much greater political stature how to "regain the moral high ground" was thoughtfully extended to several politicians in addition to Faulkner, including the aforementioned Greg Combet and Chris Bowen. Sadly, none of them took the bait.
In the batch of letters harassing climate scientists, Roberts also sent copies of well-known crank tomes They Own it All (Including You) by Means of Toxic Currency by Ron
ald MacDonald and Web Of Debt by alt-med woomeister Ellen Hodgson Brown (Alex Jones' favorite authors!) to Faulkner, among others.
In his second letter to Faulkner, Roberts emphasised the following important information:
Please note the Chicago Climate Exchange's collapse during President Obama's first term despite his prior involvement in establishing that exchange as a Joyce Foundation Director. Please note the collapse despite Al Gore’s company being the fifth largest shareholder and despite the large shareholding of arguably the world’s most powerful bank: Goldman Sachs.The connections will likely intrigue you when reading books given you in my package dated February 4th, 2013. Corruption is documented as rife in the EU's so-called "trading" scheme. It's inherent in these non-market schemes.
Roberts also sent a 20-page Gish gallop to Greg Combet, in which he claims to offer up "empirical evidence" debunking climate change, i.e. asks a lot of questions, trips on almost every step of the denialist staircase and accuses Labor then-senator Penny Wong of having "misled her party".
On the 4th of February 2013, Roberts decided to send letters to ten prominent Australian politicians, demanding that they either "provide empirical scientific evidence and logical scientific reasoning showing human carbon dioxide controls climate" or — if unable to do so — that they promptly resign. The targets of his purge were:
- Greg Combet
- Craig Emerson
- Julia Gillard
- Greg Hunt
- Rob Oakeshott
- Kevin Rudd (then Prime Minister)
- Malcolm Turnbull (the current Prime Minister)
- Tony Windsor
- Christine Milne (then Senator)
- Penny Wong (then Senator)
All remaining Senators and Members of Parliament also received copies of his 29-page report on the CSIRO/Bureau of Meteorology/international bankers/UN conspiracy, CSIROh! Climate of Deception? ... or First Step to Freedom?, accompanied by a plaintive plea to repeal the carbon tax.
Roberts' Senatorial career
During his time in the Senate, then-Senator Roberts made himself busy by asking chief scientist Dr Alan Kinkel to yet again explain why human-induced carbon emissions have been rising since the start of the Industrial Age and if so, why this causes warming and thus produces climate change. He stated that he wanted it given to him "Like me — short and simple." With great patience, Dr Finkel explained climate change in as simple language as possible. Roberts had already been briefed; in early 2016 he had demanded a briefing by the CSIRO on scientific evidence of climate change, which he fairly promptly rejected with a written response in the form of a 42-page report titled "On Climate, CSIRO Lacks Empirical Proof", which he co-wrote with climate change deniers Tony Heller and Tim Ball. It is interesting to note that Roberts is not particularly discriminating in who he asks for evidence of climate change, because he also gave his business card to the somewhat surprised political journalist Barry Cassidy in the middle of a live interview and asked him or anyone else at the ABC to find "empirical evidence" of climate change. Cassidy responded by sending him a detailed report from the Climate Institute with all of this already published and widely disseminated data in it.
He also caused a dilemma for Hansard scribes by clucking like a chicken whilst debating a bill around the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC), which they solved by quoting him as "bwok bwok bekerk!". Hansard now reads as:
We heard all about the Chicken Littles—bwok bwok bekerk!—all the scratching and running around in this house last night, all the pecking, pecking, pecking, the Chicken Littles. I do not know which bill Senator Cameron was reading, but I—
The TEMPORARY CHAIR ( Senator Back ): Senator Roberts, resume your seat. Senator McKim, a point of order?
Senator McKim: Yes, the point of order is that the Senate is a workplace for a number of people, such as people in Hansard, who listen very carefully to the contributions. I think that deliberately tapping the microphone should be ruled out of order.The TEMPORARY CHAIR: Thank you, Senator McKim, you have made your point. Please resume your seat.
Whilst a Senator, he also stood up for those who wolf-whistle at women, took to Twitter to ask the populace how the government should "spend $5 billion of taxpayer money currently used on green energy" (the poll overwhelmingly chose the option "Green Energy" at 86%), claimed at a Brisbane rally that "we are now becoming prey to an external force, and that is the United Nations... this abortion push is part of that anti-life agenda", proposed that the date of Labour Day be changed because he believed it was related to the Australian Labor Party (it is not) and in an ABC Lateline interview told interviewer Emma Alberici that the burqua was "an affront to ... homosexuals" because "the Islamic people throw homosexuals off the roofs of buildings".
Mr. to Senator to Mr.
Roberts was made an Australian Senator in 2016. In 2017 he went back to just a Mr. after his own party leader, Pauline Hanson, referred him to the High Court because it was unclear if he was a dual-citizen at the time he stood as a candidate for the Senate. Then-Senator Roberts appeared before an increasingly bemused judge, who found that:
Senator Roberts could have made effective inquiries of the British High Commission by which he would have been informed of the steps necessary to renounce his foreign citizenship. He could have obtained and completed a form of renunciation declaration, such as Form RN, and returned it with the required fee to the Home Office as he belatedly did.
During the trial, it emerged that Roberts believed that he was not a British citizen because his father, had he known, would have used his "pleasantly sarcastic" humour and teased him about it, which he apparently never did. Nevertheless, Roberts thought he had better do a spot of research anyway, and eventually sent an email to both email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject "Am I still a British citizen?". He apparently believed that he was emailing the UK Consulate in Brisbane.
Surprisingly, he never received a response, but submitted his Nomination Form for the Senate anyway, three days after which he followed up with another email to email@example.comSydney (sic) stating that he hadn't heard back from anyone, but whilst he knew he wasn't a British citizen he was renouncing it anyway. His wife later realised that, despite his complete and utter confidence in his abilities as a researcher, this wasn't actually sufficient and according to Roberts "did extensive Internet searches over the next few days and eventually tracked down the UK Home Office". On the 10 September 2016 he then sent an annoyed email to the Home Office, accusing them of ignoring his previous two emails and asking for clarification whether he had any claim to British citizenship. This time the email address was to the actual Home Office, who replied and advised that in fact he probably was a British citizen and provided a form to renounce his citizenship, which he did.
In his own defence, then-Senator Roberts stated that:
"Had the Australian-based British authorities I initially emailed (twice) responded to my enquiry in the same way as the UK Home Office eventually did or at all, namely, by informing me of the RN form, I would have completed that form and sent it prior to nominating. Their failure to respond delayed the process."
In his judgement, Justice Keane stated that:
During the course of his cross-examination, Senator Roberts referred on several occasions to this evidence [that he had grown up in Australia, his family never told him otherwise, and that he only had an Australian passport] as the foundation of his claim to be, and always to have been, an Australian and only an Australian. This evidence is the clearest statement of the basis for Senator Roberts' claim that he was not a British citizen at the date of his nomination. Several points may be made here. First, Senator Roberts equates feelings of Australian self-identification with citizenship, and so confuses notions of how a person sees oneself with an understanding of how one's national community sees an individual who claims to be legally entitled to be accepted as a member of that community. The extent to which Senator Roberts' subjective beliefs and objective reality diverge became apparent when Senator Roberts, pressed by Mr Lloyd SC as to whether "believing that you are an Australian citizen by reason of what is said amongst family members is actually the test for Australian citizenship", answered: "Knowing my father I certainly do."
...As I have said, I am not persuaded that Senator Roberts was not sincere in his tenacious advocacy of the position to which he committed himself by signing his nomination to the Senate on 3 June 2016; but the difficulties in his position to which I have referred test credulity too far to accept his evidence that he was confident that he was not a British citizen at the date of his nomination.
This is the judicial equivalent of "you are a deluded fool, I find judgement against you".
- Climate Conscious — The Work of Malcolm Roberts (personal website)
- Galileo Movement
- Malcolm Roberts (Qld) (official One Nation party page)
- Affidavit of Notice of Standing and Further and Better Particulars and Proof of Claim.
- "Senators elected - AEC tally room", Australian Electoral Commission
- CSIROh! Climate of Deception? … or First Step to Freedom?
- "Malcolm Roberts: One Nation senator-elect says UN trying to impose global government through climate chance policy" (Stephanie Anderson and Matthew Doran, ABC News, 4 August 2016)
- "One Nation senator Malcolm Roberts wrote bizarre 'sovereign citizen' letter to Julia Gillard" (Michael Koziol, Canberra Times, 6 August 2016)
- Why? Motives Driving Climate Fraud, a 135-page crank .pdf written by Roberts in February, 2013.
- "Australia senator Malcolm Roberts calls climate change a UN conspiracy" (BBC, 5 August 2016)
- "Australia’s newest senator is a seasoned climate denier" (Bianca Soldani, SBS, 4 August 2016)
- 7. The Restoration of Freedom, Democracy, Sovereignty & Scientific Truth in Australia — Identifying The Failings And Moving Forward
- "Australia's New Climate Science Denialist Senator Malcolm Roberts Has A History of Harassing Academics" (Graham Readfearn, Desmog, 11 August 2016)
- Q&A: Professor Brian Cox takes on Senator Malcolm Roberts in climate change stoush (ABC News, 15 August 2016 — includes video)
- Readfearn, Graham (February 28th, 2013). "Climate Change Conspiracy Theorist's Report "A Pile Of Horse Shit" Writes Environment Editor". Desmog Blog. https://www.desmogblog.com/2013/02/28/climate-change-conspiracy-theorist-s-report-pile-horse-shit-writes-environment-editor.
- YouTube: Author Ron MacDonald: They Own it All (Including You) by Means of Toxic Currency - Alex Jones Tv 1/2
- InfoWars: "“Web of Debt”: The Inner Workings of the Monetary System"
- "One Nation's Malcolm Roberts asks chief scientist for proof humans cause climate change". Sydney Morning Herald. October 21, 2016. http://www.smh.com.au/environment/global-warming/one-nations-malcolm-roberts-asks-chief-scientist-for-proof-humans-cause-climate-change-20161020-gs7d5f.html.
- Johnson, Scott K. (10 November 2016). "Australian senator rails against climate conspiracy in 42-page report". http://arstechnica.co.uk/science/2016/11/australian-senator-rails-against-climate-conspiracy-in-42-page-report/. Retrieved 11 November 2016.
- "Malcolm Roberts clucks like a chicken in the Senate". Crikey. November 30, 2016. https://www.crikey.com.au/2016/11/30/malcolm-roberts-clucks-like-a-chicken-in-the-senate/.
- ""'Some girls think it's wonderful': Senator savaged over wolf-whistle claims"". Yahoo7 News. March 21st, 2017. https://au.news.yahoo.com/a/34733461/one-nation-senator-malcolm-roberts-savaged-over-wolf-whistle-claims/.
- Tyeson, Cam (February 17, 2017). "One Nation's Malcolm Roberts Got Gloriously Rumbled By His Own Twitter Poll". Pedestrian. https://www.pedestrian.tv/news/one-nations-malcolm-roberts-got-gloriously-rumbled-by-his-own-twitter-poll/.
- Atfield, Cameron (February 11th, 2017). "One Nation senator claims United Nations abortion agenda at Brisbane rally". Sydney Morning Herald. http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/one-nation-senator-claims-united-nations-abortion-agenda-at-brisbane-rally-20170211-guatia.html.
- "Malcolm Roberts Wants To Change The Date Of Labour Day Because He Thinks It's About The Labor Party". HuffPost. January 27th, 2017. http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/2017/01/26/malcolm-roberts-wants-to-change-the-date-of-labour-day-because-h_a_21667656/.
- MacSmith, James (August 18th, 2017). "Malcolm Roberts calls burqa an 'affront to homosexuals'". Daily Mercury. https://www.dailymercury.com.au/news/malcolm-roberts-calls-burqa-affront-homosexuals/3213770/.
- Re Roberts (2017) HCA 39