Former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott believes climate change policy is doing more harm while climate change is “probably doing good”.
He made the comments in a speech titled ‘Daring to Doubt’ at the annual lecture of the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), which was established by Nigel Lawson, who served as Margaret Thatcher’s treasurer and has been an outspoken critic of climate science.
He said far more people die in cold snaps in most countries than in heat waves “so a gradual lift in global temperatures, especially if it’s accompanies by more prosperity and more capacity to adapt to change, might even be beneficial”.
He added: “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.”
Mr Abbott likened climate scientists to the “thought police” and policies to combat climate change to “primitive people once killing goats to appease the volcano gods”, stating: “We’re more sophisticated now but are still sacrificing our industries and our living standards to the climate gods to little more effect.”
He also said so far the reality has “stubbornly refused” to conform to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s computer modelling and “even the high-priests of climate change now seem to concede that there was a pause in warming” between the 1990s and 2014.
Mr Abbott added there’s evidence that higher concentrations of carbon dioxide are “actually greening the planet and helping to lift agricultural yields”.
He believes renewable energy should “properly” be referred to as “intermittent and unreliable power” as its reliability is low and it always needs capacity from “dependable” coal, gas or nuclear energy, in the absence of industrial scale batteries.
He concluded saying: “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.”