Cli­mate pol­icy is like sac­ri­fices to gods - Ab­bott

Marlborough Express - - WORLD -

BRI­TAIN: For­mer Aus­tralian prime min­is­ter Tony Ab­bott has told Bri­tish cli­mate change scep­tics that a ‘‘grad­ual lift in global tem­per­a­tures’’ may be ben­e­fi­cial, and has likened cli­mate sci­en­tists to the ‘‘thought po­lice’’.

Yes­ter­day in Lon­don, Ab­bott told the Global Warm­ing Pol­icy Foun­da­tion’s an­nual lec­ture that ex­treme weather events were not get­ting worse but did more dam­age be­cause there is ‘‘ more to de­stroy’’.

‘‘Be­ware the pro­nounce­ment, ‘the sci­ence is set­tled’,’’ Ab­bott said, ac­cord­ing to a speech posted on the think tank’s web­site.

‘‘It’s the spirit of the In­qui­si­tion, the thought po­lice down the ages.’’

In the wide-rang­ing speech, in which the for­mer prime min­is­ter warned against wan­ing West­ern moral supremacy and Chris­tian val­ues, Ab­bott warned against what he said was the eco­nomic harm of cli­mate change poli­cies.

‘‘En­vi­ron­men­tal­ism has man­aged to com­bine a post­so­cial­ist in­stinct for big gov­ern­ment with a post-Chris­tian nos­tal­gia for mak­ing sac­ri­fices in a good cause,’’ he said. ‘‘Prim­i­tive peo­ple once killed goats to ap­pease the vol­cano gods.’’

The foun­da­tion was es­tab­lished by cli­mate scep­tic Nigel Law­son, who was a min­is­ter in for­mer Bri­tish prime min­is­ter Mar­garet Thatcher’s Con­ser­va­tive gov­ern­ment.

Ab­bott also touched on Aus­tralian pol­i­tics, say­ing the Lib­eral Party lost seats in the 2016 fed­eral elec­tion be­cause it had not re­sponded to La­bor’s 50 per cent re­new­able en­ergy tar­get prom­ise.

Ab­bott’s speech comes as the Turn­bull gov­ern­ment ap­pears to be aban­don­ing a clean en­ergy tar­get, one of Chief Sci­en­tist Alan

"Be­ware the pro­nounce­ment, 'the sci­ence is set­tled' ... It's the spirit of the In­qui­si­tion, the thought po­lice down the ages." Tony Ab­bott

Finkel’s rec­om­men­da­tions.

En­ergy Min­is­ter Josh Fry­den­berg told an en­ergy sum­mit yes­ter­day the gov­ern­ment was con­sid­er­ing its new pol­icy against a back­drop of the rapidly fall­ing costs of re­new­able en­ergy and power stor­age, greater ef­fi­cien­cies in ther­mal gen­er­a­tion, and the need for suf­fi­cient dis­patch­able power.

In 2013, for­mer Aus­tralian prime min­is­ter John Howard told the foun­da­tion’s an­nual lec­ture that an in­ter­na­tional agree­ment on emis­sions would never be reached, and that Ab­bott’s own elec­tion vic­tory was in part a back­lash against ‘‘overzeal­ous ac­tion’’ on global warm­ing. - AAP

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