Oct 12, 2017

Rundle: Howard and Abbott are delusional, self-indulgent, climate-denying throwbacks

When you imagine the level of rage that Tony Abbott must be living with, the "climate change is good" speech makes perfect sense.

Guy Rundle — Correspondent-at-large

Guy Rundle


Don’t the Australian denialist right just love the Global Warming Policy Forum, the venue for Tony Abbott’s now notorious “climate change is good” speech. The private body, spun off from UK “charity” the Global Warming Policy Foundation, after the latter nearly lost its tax-deduction status, was founded by former UK Tory chancellor Nigel Lawson, whose discredited book on climate change has become a black bible for the denialists. John Howard spoke to the GWPF four years ago, and it was there that he revealed that he’d been lying about his beliefs about climate change while in politics. The Rodent had announced “significant measures” on climate change, in 2007, as the election loomed. In 2013, he “recanted”:

“Mr Howard said his government proposed a carbon emissions trading scheme in 2006 in the face of a political ‘perfect storm’ on the issue.

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72 thoughts on “Rundle: Howard and Abbott are delusional, self-indulgent, climate-denying throwbacks

  1. Duncan Gilbey

    “They are just fucking liars.”

    Some of us have been saying that for the last 20 years.

  2. Mike M

    Abbott is little more than a failed politician. He is incapable of anything more than wrecking….and he would happy to wreck us all in his futile mission to become relevant. His current project is to wreck the government and party that deeply regretted making him their leader. All I can say, is thank goodness Latham never got elected PM!

  3. zut alors

    ‘God is Love, but God is also an Arsehole Boyfriend.’

    The most profound line of the week, thanks Rundle.

    It’s curious how the sackcloth Abbott mind believes the fantasy concept of drinking Christ’s blood…. but cannot give credence to 97% of scientific opinions.

  4. BlackRR

    An excellent article, Guy.
    Just. Fucking . Liars.
    Hear, hear.

  5. Dog's Breakfast

    “when one hears Howard speak like that, you get a real flash of Norman Bates”, Yep.
    “John Howard is Dame Edna in drag”. Yep, just without the punch lines. Was he even born last century? He is testimony to how far things have moved on from his very little world.

    As for Tony, I don’t doubt that in the back of his mind he harbours the thought of the second coming, after the four horsemen of the climate change apocalypse ride in. It is not beyond reason to think he might see himself as a latter day Knight Templar, helping to safeguard ‘the truth’ and bring about the end. This would give him reason to go on implacably, unstintingly, in pursuit of anything other than recognising that he didn’t make it as a Pope, and was an utter failure as Prime Minister. Perhaps he should have tethered his ambitions to reality a little, so he could have aimed to become a suburban solicitor, like his god-father, John Howard, although that too may have been overreach.

    At base though, what connects them is their utter inability to grow, to move beyond ideas that were formed and cemented at the age of what, 13, their utter unreconstructed forms.

    And their couldn’t-give-a-shittedness. “You can burn in hell, as long as I don’t have to say the greens were right.”

    Thanks Guy, although you have stirred up a nascent rage in me that I had been holding back (but not denying).

  6. PaulM

    While I have no time for Tony Abbott, lots of us Catholics would appreciate it, Guy, if you didn’t lump us in with his view of the world. Even John Paul II, widely regarded as the most conservative Pope in many a generation, would have thought Abbott’s view of the world, and their common faith, a little reactionary. As for the intellectual Benedict XVI, another conservative, I can see his German lips pursing at the very thought of what Abbott spouts.

    1. Awkward

      Sorry PaulM but I think faith is the problem. It is an idea. Of the mind. It is not real, nor can it ever be. Nothing of the mind is real. How can it be? Faith, belief, gets in the way of spirituality, the absence of the self.

      Just saying.

      1. Will

        I like the cut of your jib, Awkward. True spirituality can never be an otherworldly thing. It can only exist in real life, in real problems, and real selflessness (and certainly never in centuries-old, fundamentally corrupt, multinational regimes such as the Catholic church). But still, don’t exclude the possibility that some things of the mind can be real. Some beliefs are fantasies: but some are possibilities, worth pursuing.

    2. MAC TEZ

      To “Hell” with your pleas PaulM & Mikeb.
      Despite the good intentions of many, all god-botherers can easily be lumped into the same group.
      Religion is a human construct designed as a crowd-control tool.

  7. John Newton

    Every now and then, an article comes along that justifies the subscription I pay for Crikey. This is one such. Bloody corker Mr Rundle.
    I do hope, in some way, Abbott reads this (Howard would never bother) But Abbott, just might. And then he’ll know that…
    They are fucking liars

  8. edwin coleman

    Spot on Guy.
    All together now: they are just fucking liars.

  9. mikeb

    Howard is old (so we’ll give him a grudging benefit of the doubt that he is affected by senility), but Abbott is younger than me and has some intelligence. Surely he is just playing a spoiler here because it makes him feel good about himself in a Jesuit sort of way? Andrew Bolt’s rim-job of an article today regarding TA’s wise musings nearly made me puke. Bolt is like the altar boy who really really wants to kiss the priest and so fawns over him and everything he says. He could be stupid, or infatuated, or most likely both. Blech.

    1. Yclept

      That must mean that Howard’s senility set in at about age 15!

      1. AR

        There was a radio clip often played (Jack Davey’s ‘Dulux Show”?) of the Rodent as a teenager floundering in a quiz show and arguing & splitting hairs about his wildly wrong answer.
        As the twig is bent, so grows the tree.

    2. heavylambs

      Bolt loves Abbott because he’s the example of how far monomania, ignorance and incompetence can get you in this fair land.

    3. Tigger

      Really, Mikeb, I’m sympathetic, but saying you felt nauseated after reading any of Bolt’s admiring drivel on this is a bit like saying your hand hurts every time you slam it in a drawer. I have to confess a grudging admiration if you actually got through the thing, though.

      1. mikeb

        Mea culpa. I don’t usually but it sucked me in like a wildebeest caught in deep mud.

  10. Nudiefish

    I loved this so much.

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