Just when I started thinking how pleasant it is here in New Zealand where the press don’t report everything that the person leading the Liberal Party says – they don’t even report on what the titular head, Turnbuckle, says – the person determining policy pops up in London to explain that just because scientists agree that doesn’t mean that they’re right.
Of course, anybody who knows anything about science will understand that scientists don’t know everything. In fact, science is all about finding out what’s not true in the hope that this brings us closer to understanding what is true. However, there’s a big difference between suggesting that much of what we believe as scientific fact will be found to wrong and saying, as Tony Abbott did at his speech, ‘…in October 2009, I observed that the so-called settled science of climate change was “absolute crap”.’
While the media have picked out some of the more ridiculous things about Abbott’s speech, such as the idea that global warming, like coal, would be good for humanity, the rest of it still makes it one of the strangest speeches of the past year (and I am including Trump in that!) For example, while he argues that anyone should have the right to question the conclusions of scientists, he complains that such people are subject to “the Spanish Inquisition”. Apparently, it’s only scientists who should have their views challenged; the average bloke is being attacked by the “thought police”.
To me the most bizarre part of the speech was his insistence of his own infallibility, while acknowledging that much of what he said until he was dumped by his own party was a complete lie. Compare “In Australia, we’ve had ten years of disappointing government” with the conclusion of his speech, “A tendency to fear catastrophe is ingrained in the human psyche. Looking at the climate record over millions of years, one day it will probably come; whatever we do today won’t stop it, and when it comes, it will have little to do with the carbon dioxide emissions of mankind.”
Didn’t Abbott tell us that he was instituting Direct Action to help combat climate change? Or was it just another way to hand government money to Liberal Party donors?
Whatever, if you want satire read the full transcript.
I’d like to refute the evidence Abbott used just so I’m not accused of trying behave like those Spanish Inquisition people… I know, I know, You didn’t expect me to bring out the soft cushions and next I’ll be shutting down free speech.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any evidence. Just a whole lot of jumbled assertions like the idea that the 2013 election was a referendum on one thing: Labor’s carbon tax, as well as Labor’s complete loss of control over our maritime borders… two things, the 2013 election was a referendum on two things…
I probably should leave the last word to Professor Roger Jones From Victoria University:
“I read the speech in full. Abbott is clearly quite unhinged from reality.
“He tells the GWPF the lesson he has learnt, from being in, then out of government, is to speak his mind. And what a strange, bizarre place it is. Surrounded now by a big fence that clearly refuses the entry of facts and the egress of any sense, just like our Federal Parliament House.”
And for those who didn’t expect them: