Thursday, August 19, 2010

Mr Rabbit Dissembles

Last Monday's episode of Four Corners looked at the current political contest in Australia. At one point, Tony Abbott, the presumptive heir to the throne of Canberra, was questioned about climate change, in the context of leading a party that refused to pass the Labor Party's Emmissions Trading Scheme legislation, and as a man who has previously described climate change as 'crap'.

TONY ABBOTT: I accept that climate change is real. I think government needs to do, ah to take meaningful measures ah, to combat it and that's...

MARIAN WILKINSON: You're dispute is the role of man's intervention is that correct?

TONY ABBOTT: Sure, but, but that's not really relevant at the moment. Ah, we have agreed ah to get a 5 per cent emissions reduction target. That's, that's a bipartisan position. Ah, I think we can get it, ah, by the direct action measures that I've outlined and the interesting thing is that the only major political party with a credible policy in this area is the Coalition. Um, the government says that climate change is ah, the greatest moral challenge of our time, but they don't have serious policy to deal with it.

The human causes of climate change are not really relevant at the moment even though Mr Abbott now has performed a volte face and considers climate change 'real'? Why does he then go on to say his party will reduce emmissions? Isn't that pointless if there's no relevant human causal factor?

MARIAN WILKINSON: Do you still believe that the views of the IPCC scientists are alarmist?

TONY ABBOTT: Um, I, I certainly think that there is a credible scientific counterpoint, but in the end, um, I'm not going to win ah, ah, an argument over the science, I'll leave that to the scientists.

That would be the scientists who are clamouring for your attention? Is that why Mr Abbott considers a scientific argument unwinnable (unlike the political one)?

MARIAN WILKINSON: One last question on that because ah, you have said very publicly ah, before this that you believe the earth is cooling not warming and you have cited the work of ah, Professor Ian Plimer on this. Do you still think there is a credible case for that?

TONY ABBOTT: Um, I, I have pointed out in the past, ah that ah, there was that high year um, a few years ago, ah, and the warming ah, if you believe the various measuring ah, organisations, ah, hasn't increased, but again ah, the the point is not um, um, the science, ah the point is how should government respond and we have a a credible response that will achieve a 5 per cent reduction by 2020 and the government doesn't.

If EoR can interpret this rambling embarassment as Mr Abbott attempts to placate climate deniers and those calling for action on climate change, he seems to be arguing that the earth is cooling, human caused climate change is mistaken, ignore the science (for whatever reason; presumably, because it directly contradicts what he just said), and trust him (and Ian Plimer). This is the sound of a politician trying hard not to get caught up in his own lying disbeliefs.

For the record, the Labor Party's way of dealing with climate change (also included in the Four Corners report) is just as useless.

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