One Nation senator Malcolm Roberts is the parliament's biggest climate change sceptic, but when he attempted to use a Twitter poll to heap scorn on the green energy sector, it backfired spectacularly after opponents hijacked it.
Roberts is a former coal executive and mine manager, and a vocal critic of action on climate change. He has also been a project leader of the Galileo Movement, a climate sceptic group which aims "to expose misrepresentations pushing a price on carbon dioxide". In his maiden speech to parliament, he called climate change a "scam", refutes scientific modelling that global temperatures are rising and has even taken aim at NASA, claiming that the space agency's climate data has "been corrupted".
He also received just 77 personal votes to his name at the 2016 election.
But in his short time in the Senate, Roberts has continually attacked and denied the idea of climate change, taking aim at clean energy and opposing environmental measures. On Twitter on Thursday, the senator posted a poll on Twitter, asking his followers what they think should be done with "$5 billion of taxpayer money currently used on green energy". He was clearly hoping for an overwhelming result against green energy. It did not go well for the senator.
At time of writing, 81 percent of the 5100 votes have been for green energy.
The senator was not happy, claiming his poll had been "rigged".
He then took aim at activist organisation GetUp!, who asked their followers to "tell [Roberts] exactly what you think".
Roberts then posted yet another poll, more tongue-in-cheek this time, taking aim at his opponents. As of time of publication, 90 percent of people have responded with "I'm a socialist". 'Socialist' has become conservatives' favourite insult recently, as we reported yesterday.
The senator's parliamentary colleagues saw the funny side of things.
It's all going very well.
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