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Richard di Natale is the parliamentary leader of the Greens, and he is also a trained scientist.
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Di Natale is more hard-headed: evidence is evidence, science is science, and it must be pursued whether convenient or not. And it is that uncompromising rationalism that has brought him into conflict with many of his followers.
Too often the Greens accept science only when it suits them. There is no doubting the science of climate change, for instance: the world is warming, the seas are rising, the glaciers are melting, the weather is getting more extreme. . . .
But the Greens are far more divided about science when it comes to fluoridation, or, far worse, vaccination; and a large majority are firmly against all forms of genetic engineering, which is di Natale’s current problem.
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But food safety has been rigorously and exhaustively tested and has been given the all clear by an overwhelming consensus of research. The science, as they say, is in; which means di Natale is in with it.
He is unwilling to push the issue too hard – he cannot afford an open break. But he is too honest to be comfortably silent – and so, too honest for his party, and perhaps, for the current political system.
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