Great Moments in Politics: Tony Abbott triggers climate change tantrumers

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Former Australian Prime Minister now out to political pasture Tony Abbott suffers from the same general affliction that Donald Trump, Jacob Rees-Mogg and Boris Johnson do: a public persona of awkward boobery, the odd weird personal view they don’t impose on anyone else, and a propensity to speak unpopular common sense.

Abbott, a Rhodes Scholar and holder of three Bachelor degrees and a Masters, attempted to impart some of that unpopular common sense on a Global Warming Policy Forum in London.

If you did not guess that a huge number of hysterical whiners raced to social media and Australian media outlets to announce he was insane without considering any of his points or making factual counterpoints, then I would like to welcome you to our planet.

You can read the full transcript here.  The speech in its entirety was magnificent, not only covering climate change, but the general idiocy of Australia’s governmental structures, public virtue signalling and the widespread dipshittery voiced with the loudest megaphone.

Here’s some highlights:

  • By objective standards, people have never had better lives. Yet our phenomenal wealth and our scientific and technological achievements rest on values and principles that have rarely been more widely challenged.  To a greater or lesser extent, in most Western countries, we can’t keep our borders secure; we can’t keep our industries intact; and we can’t preserve a moral order once taken for granted.

  • In Australia, we’ve had ten years of disappointing government….a churn of prime ministers that now rivals Italy’s….. a Senate where good government can almost never secure a majority. Our businesses campaign for same sex marriage but not for economic reform. BHP lives off the coal industry that it now wants to disown….our oldest university, Sydney, now boasts that its mission is “unlearning”.

  • Everywhere, there’s a breakdown of public trust between voters and their leaders for misdiagnosing problems, for making excuses about who’s to blame, and for denying the damage that’s been done.

  • Climate change is by no means the sole or even the most significant symptom of the changing interests and values of the West. Still, only societies with high levels of cultural amnesia….could have made such a religion out of it.

  • That may not actually bother some green activists whose ideal is an Amish existence….but it should bother anyone and everyone who wants longer, safer, more comfortable and more prosperous lives.

  • Beware the pronouncement, “the science is settled”. It’s the spirit of the thought-police down the ages. Almost as bad is the claim that “99 per cent of scientists believe” as if scientific truth is determined by votes rather than facts.  What the “science is settled” brigade want is to close down investigation by equating questioning with superstition.

  • Physics suggests, all other things being equal, that an increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide would indeed warm the planet. Even so, the atmosphere is an almost infinitely complex mechanism that’s far from fully understood.

  • Over millions of years there have been warmer periods and cooler periods that don’t correlate with carbon dioxide concentrations. The Jurassic warm period and the ice ages occurred without any human contribution at all. The medieval warm period when crops were grown in Greenland and the mini-ice age when the Thames froze over occurred well before industrial activities added to atmospheric carbon dioxide…..factors such as sun spot cycles and oscillations in the Earth’s orbit are at least as important for climate change as this trace gas, which, far from being pollution, is actually essential for life to exist.

  • Contrary to the breathless assertions that climate change is behind every weather event, in Australia, the floods are not bigger, the bushfires are not worse, the droughts are not deeper or longer, and the cyclones are not more severe than they were in the 1800s. Sometimes, they do more damage but that’s because there’s more to destroy, not because their intensity has increased. More than 100 years of photography at Manly Beach in my electorate does not suggest that sea levels have risen despite frequent reports from climate alarmists that this is imminent.

  • So far reality has stubbornly refused to conform to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s computer modelling. High-priests of climate change concede that there was a pause in warming between the 1990s and 2014…..though, there’s no concession that their models might require revision even though unadjusted data suggests that the 1930s were actually the warmest decade in the United States and that temperatures in Australia have only increased by 0.3 degrees over the past century, not the 1 degree usually claimed.

  • There’s the evidence that higher concentrations of carbon dioxide (which is a plant food after all) are actually greening the planet and helping to lift agricultural yields.

  • In most countries, far more people die in cold snaps than in heat waves, so a gradual lift in global temperatures, especially if it’s accompanied by more prosperity and more capacity to adapt to change, might even be beneficial.

  • Climate change itself is probably doing good; or at least, more good than harm.

  • The South Australian state Labor government had been boasting that, on average, almost 50% of its power was wind-generated – although at any moment it could vary from almost zero to almost 100 per cent. Last year, though, the wind blew so hard that the turbines had to shut down. For 24 hours, there was a state wide blackout…..lights were off, cash registers didn’t work, traffic lights went down, lifts stopped, and patients were sent home from hospitals.  Throughout last summer, there were further blackouts and brownouts across eastern Australia requiring hundreds of millions in repairs to the plant of energy-intensive industries.

  • Despite this, in a display of virtue signalling, to flaunt its environmental credentials (and to boost prices for its other coal-fired plants), last March Engie, closed down the giant Hazelwood coal-fired station that had supplied a quarter of Victoria’s power. In yet more virtue-signalling, AGL is still threatening to close the massive Liddell coal-fired power station in NSW and replace it with a subsidised solar farm and a much smaller gas-fired power station relying on gas supplies that don’t currently exist.  Were it not rational behaviour based on irrational government policy, this deliberate elimination of an essential service could only be described as a form of economic self-harm.

  • Hydro aside, renewable energy should properly be referred to as intermittent and unreliable power. When the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine, the power doesn’t flow.

  • A market that’s driven by subsidies rather than by economics always fails. Subsidy begets subsidy until the system collapses into absurdity. In Australia’s case, having subsidised renewables, allegedly to save the planet; we’re now faced with subsidising coal, just to keep the lights on.

  • Environmentalism has managed to combine a post-socialist instinct for big government with a post-Christian nostalgia for making sacrifices in a good cause. Primitive people once killed goats to appease the volcano gods. We’re still sacrificing our industries and our living standards to the climate gods to little more effect.

  • So far, climate change policy has generated new taxes, new subsidies and new restrictions in rich countries; and new demands for more aid from poor countries. But for the really big emitters, China and India, it’s a first world problem. Between them, they’re building or planning more than 800 new coal-fired power stations – often using Australian coal – with emissions, on average, 30 per cent lower than from our own ageing generators.

  • I’m reminded of the story of a man randomly throwing pieces of paper from the window of a train. Eventually his companion asked him why he did it. It keeps the elephants down, he said. “But there are no elephants here”, his companion replied. “Precisely; it’s a very successful method”.

  • A tendency to fear catastrophe is ingrained in the human psyche. Looking at the climate record over millions of years, one day it will probably come; whatever we do today won’t stop it, and when it comes, it will have little to do with the carbon dioxide emissions of mankind.

We’ve only had one current nation leader, and now one former nation leader, talk any common sense over this issue.  Speak to ordinary Australians and they describe Australia’s power and environmental policies as nothing short of standard-of-living-damaging lunacy.  Australian politics is hamstrung by a political structure that, much like Britain this decade, gives the balance of power to a minority of idiots to form government, or face with the horrifying prospect of a virtue signalling, vote-buying, dangerous socialist minority taking power.

Abbott nailed every point in this speech. People will believe any bullshit you tell them, if the result of it not being true sounds catastrophic.   His speech will be ridiculed relentlessly, without any consideration of his arguments – by delusional hysterics with no understanding of climate or economic models, by virtue signalling politicians and Hollywooders, and by people who stand to benefit from allowing the hysteria to continue and subsidies, junk production and funded research pile up.

In the 2010s, a complaint is a fact. Expect many likes.  The loudest autistic screech is usually “they’re destroying the planet!!!!”.  The media term it a “shut down”.  No facts.  No consideration of scale, unintended effects, alternatives, opportunity costs.

One thing for sure, if you want a public life of any form – business, politics, pop culture – its career-killing to speak up against it.  Australia ran Abbott out of town for his public boob persona and unpopular, common sense opinions.  In Britain, they’re keeping Johnson and Rees-Mogg away from the sharp end for the same reasons.  Trump is the only one to sneak through, and he’s the victim of the most character assassinations and autistic screeching in history.  That was because the people got to vote for the leader, not the party.  Don’t expect it to be repeated.

 

 

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