Trying to fight climate change with policy is like killing goats to appease volcano gods, Australia’s climate-denying former prime minister, Tony Abbott, told an audience of his peers in London earlier this week.
“At least so far, it is climate change policy that is doing harm,” Abbott claimed, in a statement that apparently sidestepped everything from typhoons in the South Pacific, to devastating hurricanes in the Caribbean and the southern United States, to chronic and crushing drought in north Africa, to this week’s wildfires in California. “Climate change itself is probably doing good—or at least more good than harm.”
He added that, “in most countries, far more people die in cold snaps than in heat waves, 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.”
Describing the venue for Abbott’s speech, the Global Warming Policy Foundation, as “the temple of climate denial in the UK,” RenewEconomy Editor Gilles Parkinson says the appearance points to the former PM’s continuing, pernicious influence on his country’s climate policies, or lack thereof.
“Abbott might have been ousted from Australia’s top office by [current Prime Minister Malcolm] Turnbull, but his continuing impact on Australia’s climate policy is undeniable,” Parkinson writes. “It is simply not plausible to wish him away or ignore him. He and his followers present a massive and deliberate roadblock, even where his justifications are barking mad.”