Last year the Australian Prime Minister said, “Coal is good for humanity”! He went on to say
Coal is essential for the prosperity of the world. Energy is what sustains our prosperity, and coal is the world’s principal energy source and it will be for many decades to come.
Our Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, took over the leadership of the Liberal Party in a move that ousted Malcolm Turnbull after Turnbull made a deal with the then Labor government on carbon pricing, and has continued to demonstrate he essentially believes that the science of climate change is “crap”. Since becoming Prime Minister, Abbott has, amongst other things:
- Removed a price on carbon (which he said was the “best thing” he did as Minister for Women)
- Abolished the Climate Commission (which was established by the previous government to provide “reliable and authoritative information” about climate change in Australia)
- Refused to attend a major United Nations climate summit in New York (despite being in the city the following day) and
- Attempted to keep climate change off the agenda of the G20 meeting in Australia in November last year (because he did not want to “clutter” the agenda).
He does not seem to understand the significance of climate change and appears to prefer the voices of climate change sceptics and deniers over the voices of science. Last year he appointed a businessman who is sceptical that climate change is being caused by humans to undertake a review of the renewable energy target; his chief business advisor has claimed that climate change is a hoax and that it is being used to help introduce “new world order under the control of the UN” and didn’t include a Minister for Science in the cabinet in 2013.
As well as supporting coal, last week he made it clear that he does not support wind farms. In a radio interview he said:
When I’ve been up close to these wind farms, there’s no doubt, not only are they visually awful, they make a lot of noise… What we did recently in the Senate was reduce, Alan, reduce, capital R-E-D-U-C-E the number of these things [wind farms] that we are going to get in the future. Now I would frankly have liked to have reduced the number a lot more.
Coal is on a terminal decline internationally (as demonstrated in an excellent 4Corners program last night), but the Australian Government does not seem to understand that we need to transition to a future that does not rely on fossil fuels. The Prime Minister and his Government must listen to the message about coal from both science and the international marketplace: our future cannot lie with coal.
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