Tuesday 19th Dec, 2017

Abbott compares climate action to trying to ‘appease volcano gods’

Tony Abbott. Photo: Creative Commons / Nick-D
Photo: Creative Commons / Nick-D

Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott has expressed his scepticism for climate change action, saying policies to tackle climate change could do more harm than climate change itself.

The Federal Member for Warringah spoke at the Global Warming Policy Foundation in Westminster this week, laying out his view of the climate change debate, and raising a few eyebrows along the way.

“In most countries far more people die in cold snaps than in heatwaves, so a gradual lift in global temperatures, especially if it is accompanied by more prosperity and more capacity to adapt to change, might even be beneficial,” he said.

“Primitive people once killed goats to appease the volcano gods, we are more sophisticated now but are still sacrificing our industries and our living standards to the climate gods to little more effect.”

The former PM also took the opportunity to highlight a decade of “disappointing government” in Australia, including “the churn of prime ministers that now rivals Italy’s”.

He also criticised the business sector, and education.

“Our businesses campaign for same sex marriage but not for economic reform,” he said. “Our biggest company, BHP, the world’s premier miner, lives off the coal industry that it now wants to disown. And our oldest university, Sydney, now boasts that its mission is ‘unlearning’.”

While he admitted “to be an Australian is still to have won the lottery of life,” he added “there’s a nagging sense that we’re letting ourselves down and failing to reach anything like our full potential”.