When Tony Abbott addressed the Global Warming Policy Foundation in London in October last year, he pontificated that climate change was doing “more good than harm”, and suggested policies to combat it were akin to “primitive people once killing goats to appease the volcano gods”.
Ever the victim, Abbott likened criticism of deniers to the persecution of the Inquisition and “thought police down the ages.”
The speech was classic denial, not informed by any credible scientific evidence.
Oh, wait. Tony did suggest that his research of looking at old photos on the wall at the surf club at Manly proved there had be no rise in sea levels.
Abbott’s speech was rightly met with ridicule and contempt.
Professor Roger Jones. a Professorial Research Fellow at the Victoria Institute of Strategic Economic Studies at Victoria University and a Research Leader at Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, described Abbott as “clearly quite unhinged from reality” as he did “an interpretive dance through every denialist talking point he can muster”.
Professor Steven Sherwood, an ARC Laureate Fellow and the former Director of the Climate Change Research Centre at The University of New South Wales, described Abbott’s comments as “the usual mix of misdirection, falsehoods, and tirades.”
Professor John Quiggin. an Australian Laureate Fellow (Economics) at The University of Queensland, said Abbott’s “talking points are drawn from the same parallel universe that gave us denial on the harms of smoking and asbestos, while promoting absurd fears about wind turbines, vaccination etc.”
Referring back to Abbott’s 2011 characterisation of emissions reduction legislation as “chasing an invisible, odourless, weightless, tasteless substance,” Dr Paul Read from Melbourne University had a suggestion for Tony.
“Perhaps Mr Abbott would have taken less than six years to realise the power of such a substance had he simply held his breath. At least long enough to stop speaking and start listening enough to realise that there are indeed other ‘invisible forces’ capable of affecting us other than God.”
But when Andrew Probyn reported on the speech on the ABC news, leading with “Tony Abbott – already the most destructive politician of his generation – now intends waging war on what he calls ‘environmental theology’,” a complaint was lodged with the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) who found the ABC breached its impartiality obligations by using the “pejorative” term “destructive”.
The Murdoch press are allowed to accuse the world’s climate scientists of falsifying evidence and colluding for personal gain or notoriety, but we can’t describe Tony Abbott’s on-the-record actions to derail emissions reduction as ‘destructive’.
Can we call him an attention-seeking fuckwit suffering from relevance deprivation who likened his own ever-changing stance on climate change to a cock blown about by the prevailing winds of vested interests?
No wonder Macron told Turnbull to lift his game and be a “real leader”.