The Israeli public broadcaster has come under fire from angry listeners after broadcasting an interview with Tony Abbott in which he said the world was “in the grip of a climate cult”.
During the interview, recorded on 15 December while his home state of New South Wales was fighting terrifying bushfires, Abbott denied that carbon dioxide was driving global warming. The interview was broadcast on New Year’s Eve in a special show reviewing key international issues of the decade.
Abbott said: “While we still seem to be in the grip of a climate cult, the climate cult is going to produce policy outcomes that will cause people to wake up to themselves.”
After claiming, incorrectly, that a focus on emissions reduction in Australia had caused blackouts and rising power prices, Abbott said: “Sooner or later, in the end, people get hit over the head by reality.”
The host of the show, Israel Public Broadcasting Corporation foreign editor Eran Mor-Cicurel, interjected part-way through the interview, pointing out Australia had been hit by fires and disasters “happening again and again”.
Mor-Cicurel asked Abbott if he was “denying that fact we are in the process of global warming and global change”.
Abbott responded that while there was “no doubt that climate has changed”, previous warming events had happened before the industrial revolution.
Abbott’s points are contradicted by every major science academy in the world, as well as the expertise of government science agencies in his own country.
His anti-science views on climate change are well known in Australia and have been corrected many times by leading climate scientists but Mor-Cicurel was not aware of his views before the interview.
Mor-Cicurel told Guardian Australia the radio network had been reporting regularly on Australia’s bushfire crisis and was not aware of Abbott’s views before the interview.
He said: “Personally I was surprised [by Abbott’s views on climate change]. I did not expect a former prime minister of Australia to be so blunt about environmental issues in the middle of an environmental crisis in Australia.
“When we put it to air, people were terribly angry at us for airing such extremist views, especially from environmental organisations that were annoyed that we had given the stage to these kinds of views.”
Abbott said changes to climate in the past “makes me think as a matter of simple logic that carbon dioxide emissions, particularly human carbon dioxide, are not the only, or even the main factor here”.
He said that “all things being equal of course we should try and reduce our carbon dioxide emissions”.
But, he said: “The last thing we should do is drive our industries offshore and be putting pressure on household budgets and risk third world-style blackouts all in the name of climate change. We have got to be sensible and balanced and proportionate about these things and I don’t think other policy makers are right now.”
Australia’s bushfire season began in August, much earlier than usual, and has claimed at least 19 lives, destroyed more than 1,600 homes and burned at least 4.6m hectares of land – an area more than double the size of Israel.
Earlier in the interview, Abbott named three key themes for the globe over the past decade: the “challenge of China”, the “climate cult” and the “ongoing Islamist challenge”.
He said: “I think the western world has continued to suffer from serious self-doubt over the last decade and it’s exacerbated by the rise of what are effectively new religions like the climate cult and there is an ongoing Islamist challenge … and it’s been obvious since September 2001.”
Abbott was prime minister from September 2013 to 2015. He lost his Sydney seat of Warringah at the 2019 general election.
Credit: Source link