“Gallipoli was a splendid failure; the Western Front was a terrible success and we should recall our victories as much as our defeats.” Tony Abbott, 26th April, 2015
“It doesn’t make much sense, though, to impose certain and substantial costs on the economy now in order to avoid unknown and perhaps even benign changes in the future. As Bjorn Lomborg has said: ‘Natural science has undeniably shown us that global warming is man-made and real. But just as undeniable is the economic science, which makes it clear that a narrow focus on reducing carbon emissions could leave future generations lumbered with major costs, without major cuts in temperatures’.” Tony Abbott Battlelines
So even before he became Leader of The Opposition, Tony was qutoing Bjorn Lomborg. This, of course, has been pointed out by several people lately, so I thought I’d check my copy of “Battlelines” (Yes, I bought a copy, and, no, I don’t know who bought the other one!) to find out exactly what he said when quoting Lomborg.
Well, I guess it’s not so much his Lomborg quote that interests me as his suggestion that we shouldn’t be imposing costs to the economy to “avoid unknown and perhaps even benign changes in the future”.
Yep, for all we know, this climate change may be good for us. The future’s uncertain, so why worry, eh?
But I do have to give Abbott points for an original argument. I haven’t heard anyone else argue that extreme climate change may be good for us. Similarly, Lomborg’s idea that a narrow focus on reducing carbon emissions may leave future generations with “major costs”. And not only that they won’t lead to MAJOR reductions in temperature.
Mm, now I didn’t think that we were actually after MAJOR reductions in temperature and that we were just trying to slow the rate of warming to something manageable. But, hey, what would I know about climate change – I’m not a political scientist or an economist.
Tony doesn’t go on to explain how Lomborg thinks that not reducing emissions will prevent future generations from being hit with major costs. Perhaps the concept is that if we do enough damage, there won’t be any future generations. Which, of course, as any economist will be able to tell you, is a massive cost saver.
But Abbott is not all about saving costs. Apparently, the French are going to build a $100 million Sir John Monash Centre at the Australian National Memorial in France. I mean, I’m presuming that the French are building it, because there’s no way that we can afford that sort of money, so I just like to thank the French for their generosity.
And as Abbott said at its opening yesterday:
“Although we marked one hundred years since the Gallipoli landing yesterday, the centenary of Anzac has not passed. Later this year, we will remember the Battle of Lone Pine and the Gallipoli evacuation, which was the only really successful part of that fraught campaign.
“Over the next three years, we will remember the achievement of the Australian light horse in Sinai, at Beersheba and in the capture of Jerusalem and Damascus.
But increasingly our attention will turn here, to the Western Front, the main focus of the war, where almost 300,000 Australians fought and 46,000 died.
“Gallipoli has dominated our imagination but the Western Front was where Australia’s main war was fought.
This is where our thoughts must dwell if we are truly to remember our forebears, pay homage to their sacrifice and honour their achievements.
“Gallipoli was a splendid failure; the Western Front was a terrible success and we should recall our victories as much as our defeats.”
So, we’re going to keep on celebrating the centennary of Anzac day for the next three years. Excellent! Because as Mr Abbott said later in his speech, “Australians should congregate here, every April 25th, no less than at Anzac Cove”.
Now, I’m sure some on the Left will suggest that’s because he’d rather a trip to France next year, but they should be ashamed of themselves for attempting to politicise Anzac day.
Because politicising Anzac Day would be one of the last things that Tony would ever do.
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