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I had thought that nobody made wacky national politicians like we do here in the US (see Michelle Bachman).  But Kevin Rudd’s speech on climate change last Friday included some jaw dropping and hilarious quotes from denier and on-the-fence Australian politicians about climate change.

Would-be Liberal leader Tony Abbott said in July this year that “the science … is contentious to say the least”. (27 July 2009)

Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi said:
“I remain unconvinced about the need for an ETS given that carbon dioxide is vital for life on earth”.

Liberal Senator Alan Eggleston said:
“Levels of carbon dioxide have risen in the world, but whether or not this is the sole cause or just a contributor to climate change is, I think, unanswered.”
(11 AUGUST 2009)

Excuse me, but does “liberal” mean something different on the bottom of the world, like maybe, “conservative” or “totally uninformed”?   Is Australia like, opposite world?  I may need to consult my travel guide before I move there in January.

Liberal Senate leader Nick Minchin said this year:
“CO2 is not by any stretch of the imagination a pollutant… This whole extraordinary scheme is based on the as yet unproven assertion that anthropogenic emissions of CO2 are the main driver of global warming.”
(11 AUGUST 2009)

Alternative Liberal leader Joe Hockey – who knows better – has been drawn into the same sort of doublespeak, remarking on the Today Show in August:
“Look, climate change is real Karl, you know whether it is made by human beings or not that is open to dispute.”
(12 AUGUST 2009)

Even the leader of the Opposition, once Minister for the Environment, Malcolm Turnbull, has flirted with this doublespeak, telling Alan Jones on 2GB:
“I think most people have at least some doubts about the science.”
(19 JUNE 2009)

OK.  That is, I admit, an impressive showing.  But we have some nuts leading our government as well. Or as Kevin Rudd mildly put it “Climate sceptics are also a powerful political lobby in the United States”  First take the leader of the national Rebuplican party;

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steel said on 6 March 2009:
“We are cooling. We are not warming. The warming you see out there, the supposed warming, and I am using my finger quotation marks here, is part of the cooling process.”

Ahhh.  That explains it.  Maybe the whole world is now opposite world. Warming leads to cooling.  In fact, warming is the new cooling.  Makes total sense!  (to be fair, this man says stupid things daily and even conservatives loathe and are embarrassed by him).

House Minority Leader John Boehner said on April 19 2009:
“The idea that carbon dioxide is a carcinogen that is harmful to our environment is almost comical. Every time we exhale, we exhale carbon dioxide.”

I am beginning to sense a meme here…

Republican Congressman John Shimkus said on 25 March 2009:
“If we decrease the use of carbon dioxide, are we not taking away plant food from the atmosphere”

John later elaborated:

“…the earth will end only when God declares it’s time to be over. Man will not destroy this earth. This earth will not be destroyed by a flood…. I appreciate having panelists here who are men of faith, and we can get into the theological discourse of that position, but I do believe God’s word is infallible, unchanging, perfect. Today we have about 388 parts per million in the atmosphere. I think in the age of dinosaurs, when we had the most flora and fauna, we were probably at 4,000 parts per million. There is a theological debate that this is a carbon-starved planet — not too much carbon. And the cost of a cap-and-trade on the poor is now being discovered.”

That is a pretty good one.  It may even top the God-and-climate-related rant by rep. Joe Barton, whom I blogged about last month:

Wind is God’s way of balancing heat. Wind is the way you shift heat from areas where it’s hotter to areas where it’s cooler. That’s what wind is. Wouldn’t it be ironic if in the interest of global warming we mandated massive switches to energy, which is a finite resource, which slows the winds down, which causes the temperature to go up? Now, I’m not saying that’s going to happen, Mr. Chairman, but that is definitely something on the massive scale. I mean, it does make some sense. You stop something, you can’t transfer that heat, and the heat goes up. It’s just something to think about.” – Joe Barton, from a March 10 House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing

I don’t know.  It may seem like a draw.  But I haven’t even trotted out our big gun; conservative republican senator James Inhofe.

“much of the debate over global warming is predicated on fear, rather than science.” I called the threat of catastrophic global warming the “greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people,”

And read here for more false statements made by US Politicians regarding climate change and the environment.

 

3 Responses to Who has the nuttiest national politicians?

  1. David Horton says:

    “does “liberal” mean something different on the bottom of the world” um, yes John, afraid it does. Think George Bush “The Healthy Forests Initiative” (more logging) “Clean skies initiative” (more air pollution) “no child left behind” (less money for education) and so on. The Liberal Party of Australia (totally neoconservative) is in the same naming tradition. Yes, you will feel right at home, and that’s before you meet our shock jocks (just like your shock jocks) the Murdoch Press (oh that’s right, you know about that), our evangelical political movements (oh, you too?), La Rouche conspiracy theorists (ditto), gun lobby (not yet as powerful as the NRA, but like the little red engine …), etc. The only difference you will see, in fact, other than a half-way decent health service, is that we all speak perfect Queen’s English, while you, I am guessing, have some form of colonial dialect, so some of our people (Martin Ferguson, Pauline Hanson, Warren Truss) might have a little difficulty understanding what you say.

  2. John B says:

    Several people had told me that Australia was exactly like the US, as it was 20 years ago. I did notice how manly the society was. Your bacon seems more like a slab of raw pork that proper bacon. And good coffee to go and free wireless seem years away. But I noted a few signs of progressive thinking when I was there last year, one being premixed drinks in to go cans! My friends here in the states marveled at the ingenuity of putting the bourbon and the coke together, in a can for convenient consumption. Brilliant!

  3. Scott B says:

    “Excuse me, but does “liberal” mean something different on the bottom of the world, like maybe, “conservative” or “totally uninformed”? Is Australia like, opposite world?”

    It does mean something different due to the long and twisted history of liberalism. Whereas in the US, ‘liberal’ is close in meaning to ‘social progressive’, elsewhere ‘liberal’ stands for ‘economic liberal’. Liberal parties usually argue for unfettered markets, therefore for as little regulations on business and industry as possible, which explains the stance of non-US liberals against GHG emissions controls.

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