View Full Version : Climategate: Climate e-mails topple Australian opposition leader

12-01-2009, 04:10 PM
Climate e-mails topple Australian opposition leader (http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/geoffreylean/100018431/climate-e-mails-topple-australian-opposition-leader/)

Telegraph UK
December 1st, 2009

So the great climate e-mail fiasco has drawn blood – that of an opposition leader, no less, on the other side of the world. Australian Liberal leader Malcolm Turnbull has been replaced by a climate sceptic, Tony Abbott, after ten of its most senior politicians resigned over its support for the Government’s plans for fighting global warming. They were, it seems, fired up by the hacked communications from the University of East Anglia (I really don’t want to call it Climategate, adding to the endless succession of ‘gates’ since the original one – and anyway Mark Steyn’s name, ‘warmergate’ is much wittier.)

As it happens I know Tony Abbott slightly, and once spent a very pleasant morning with him some years ago in his office in Manly, discussing green issues among other things. I even, at his request, gave him a line for a speech he was preparing. So it came as a bit of a surprise a little while ago when I heard that he had called the argument for climate change “absolute crap”. But, then it may have surprised him too, for this morning – in a quote to cherish – he said this “was not my most considered opinion”.

But this is not the end of it. The sceptics coup is likely to lead to a general election before long, fought on climate change. Global warming has been an election issue before – stronger action to combat it featured heavily in the new Japanese Goverment’s campaign which revolutionised the country’s politics, and indeed the Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd used the issue to help unseat John Howard, George W. Bush’s strongest anti-Kyoto ally. But this would be the first climate election per se.

If so Australia is an appropriate place to hold it. Gripped by a 13 year drought, it is thought to be the rich country most vulnerable to global warming. Its climate is already hot and dry. Agriculture, so badly hit by the drought, is central to the economy. And most people and industry are concentrated on coasts, vulnerable to the rising seas and fiercer storms expected to accompany a warming world. On the other side of the coin, it also emits more carbon per person than any other country on earth.

Incidentally – though I have not changed the view I gave when they first came to light that some of the hacked e-mails are deeply reprehensible – I have yet to find anything in them remotely to justify extravagent claims that they reveal the entire edifice of global warming science to be a fraud. But I will go on looking….