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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

Abbott's climate change denialism « Previous | |Next »
October 25, 2013

It is interesting isn't the way public debate shifts its ground. For three years, Abbott dominated the public climate debate with a relentless negative campaign on Labor’s carbon tax. The ground has shifted with the NSW bush fires and climate change.

The link between the two is that climate change is increasing the probability of extreme fire weather days. It is making hot days hotter, and heatwaves more frequent and severe. Although Australia has always had bushfires climate change is increasing the probability of extreme fire weather days and is lengthening the fire season. Climate change will mean that conditions conducive to dangerous bushfires (high temperatures and dry bushland) are more likely in south-east Australia.

PopeDbushfires.jpg David Pope

The conservatives are no long defining the issue. They are on the back foot--denying the link---and in doing so making their climate change denialism ever more explicit. Consider Tony Abbott. He has said that UN climate chief Christiana Figueres was talking through her hat when she stated the above link and claimed that these fires are certainly not a function of climate change - they’re just a function of life in Australia”.

Since then Abbott has dismissed the link between climate change and the New South Wales bush fires as "complete hogwash" and said that those linking the fires to global warming "are desperate to find anything that they think might pass as ammunition for their cause".

When you put those remarks to the conservative base audience in the context of his previous remarks---“that the science isn’t settled”, is “highly contentious” and “not yet proven”, that “it’s cooling” and “it hasn’t warmed since 1998″ and there’s “no correlation between carbon dioxide and temperature”, and "climate change is crap"---- then Abbott's climate denialism is both consistent, explicit and long standing.

This is an important issue because altered fire regimes will have potentially far-reaching implications for life in Australia. The Climate Council warns of increasing days of extreme fire danger in future across south-eastern Australia:

While Australia has always experienced bushfires, climate change is increasing the probability of extreme fire weather days,. Climate change is making hot days hotter, and heatwaves more frequent and severe. Last summer, Australia experienced the hottest summer on record, and now has just had the hottest September on record.'South-eastern Australia is experiencing a long-term drying trend. In NSW, soil moisture levels have been at record low levels now for a number of months. More intense and frequent hot weather, as well as dry conditions, increases the likelihood of extreme fire weather days

Yet the issue has been politicised by the denialists in the Coalition. They have made opposition to it a defining characteristic of Australian conservatism. To downplay the existence of altered fire regimes on the ground that it is a greenie/left issue that has to be opposed is to make the politics of anti-environment advocacy protect corporate, not the public, interests of the safety of the people.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 1:05 PM | | Comments (12)


Apart from the reactionaries, who are too brainles to be more than symptoms rather than the disease, there is International Capital and its Murdoch etc mouthpieces and the ALP deserves censure for creating the conditions for the Abbott Explosion through prevarication tending to utter gormlessness, on issues of principle over six years.

"...they are desperate to find anything that they think might pass as ammunition for their cause..."

What a pathetic, dishonest wanker!!!

The "ammunition" is already there in abundance. The science has been settled. The "cause" is the lives of future generations!

The one's who are "desperate" to make excuses are the right-wing nutbags and corporate douchebags.

Just because you believe something doesn't mean everybody else has to.
Australias input in a charge based system is going to have no impact on a global issue.
Get a hobby.

Tina T
science is more than personal belief or opinion.

Ya know, I reckon we oughta stop having murder as illegal.
After all we can never stop people murdering others nor catch all of those that do, every year there are unsolved murder investigations that drag on for years, even forever.
And that's just here at home in Australia, there is no way we can stop all those murders that occur overseas.
So lets not worry about it - think of all the money we will save on the wasteful government police forces.
To hell with the concept of ethics or concern for murdered people and their friends and families - not our problem.

Thanks for you advice Tina.

So... I believe that asylum seekers arriving by boat are NOT a problem and they have no impact on our national well-being.

Fair enough?

With just a yes no answer.

Is it better to not have asylum seekers coming into australia in boats?

I dont believe that any of you here could say yes to that question and just say nothing else. I believe you are all too far up your bums.

No man is an island,
Entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thy friend's
Or of thine own were:
Any man's death diminishes me,
Because I am involved in mankind,
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
It tolls for thee.

John Donne

ps applies to women too.

Or perhaps-

Gospel of Luke 10.29-37

[Its the good Samaritan story]

I cannot see the connection between climate change and asylum seekers.

Are you implying that they are environmental refuges from those islands that are being inundated by rising sea levels?

Melody you don't set the rules of what people can or can't say. It's just silly and more than a little unfair. For example Melody...

With just a yes no answer.

Is it better to not make the environment more dangerous for home-owners and fire-fighters?

I don't believe that you can say yes to that question and just say nothing else. I believe you are NOT very far up your bum... but that's only because you are so full of shit!

Now... go change your screen name again and come back when you are gonna play nice.

Last comment for the day from me, got work to do, more important than feeding the troll.

Both my wives are refugee 'boat people' [I hasten to add the marriages were consecutive, not simultaneous].
The first was born in a refugee camp in Western Europe after WW2 after fleeing the Red Army.
Her family came here by boat when she was 2 years old. Decades later she had problems getting a passport cos her parents didn't have 'proper documentation' about her birth - post war Europe you understand - life in a camp.
My current wife came out from Europe also, on the "Oransay", a 'ten quid tourist', in fact the "Oransay' returned to the UK and on its next and final trip brought out, among others, a kid named Tony Abbott.
Ironic eh?
There must be millions of Aussies who have similar connections.
Shame some bigoted people have no memory isn't it?