Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s exact position on climate change has been the source of some conjecture ever since his infamous “climate science is crap” comments, made to a regional Victorian audience back in September 2009.
The government – despite its scrapping of the carbon tax, its refusal to send a minister to the Warsaw climate talks, its continued efforts to slash the renewable energy target, its closure of the Climate Council, its attempts to close the Climate Change Authority, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, its initial refusal to invest in the Green Climate Fund, the virtual eradication of the words “climate change” from the Intergenerational Report, the effective banning of the words “cleantech” and the cutting back of climate research – insists it does accept the science of climate change.
But not the PM, according to the now notoriously conspiratorial Maurice Newman; former head of the ASX and the ABC who now chairs Abbott’s business advisory council.
In his latest piece in The Australian, blaming the left for seeking to have Abbott removed from power (whoever would have thought?!), Newman lists many of the things that the Left dislike about Abbott.
These include his views on private education, private health, fiscal policy, migration, welfare, and taxes. “He’s a monarchist, a Catholic and, worse, not of the global warming faith,” Newman writes.
Abbott, remember, was thrust to leadership of the Liberal Party by the hard-right wing of the party, led by former Senator and avowed climate denier Nick Minchin who, with others, was appalled by Malcolm Turnbull’s striking of a deal with the then Labor government on carbon pricing.
Since his election in 2013, Abbott has been keen to reward the climate denier community – he knows them as “practical environmentalists” – with key positions.
Apart from Newman, who continues to write extraordinary tirades about climate science in The Australian, Abbott appointed climate denier Dick Warburton to head the review of the renewable energy target, and put those with similar views in charge of reviews of the banking industry (David Murray), and the commission of audit (Tony Shepherd).