Former PM Malcolm Turnbull has launched a vicious spray against a controversial group of Australians.
Former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has unleashed a vicious spray on Australia’s climate change deniers, with conspiracy theorists labeling “crackers” and “crazy”.
Speaking at the Australian National University on Wednesday, Mr Turnbull warned that while controversial approaches were no longer a punchline, those who denied the environmental impacts of fossil fuels now have real power over Australia’s future.
“There was a time when we used to say that 17 percent of people believe the world is flat, that Elvis is still alive, and martyrs exist and are living among us,” he said.
“And you’ll pass it off as being mildly amusing.”
“But when you have disbelieving facts… you don’t have cynical perspectives, but places that have real consequences.”
Former prime minister draws attention to his political rivals, taking a subtle dig at John Howard and Tony Abbott As he recounted “an example of insanity” about climate change.
Mr Turnbull said he had tried to convince prominent conspiracy theorist and Sydney businessman Maurice Newman that climate change was real, but Mr Newman was too crazy to listen.
“I was spending some time with Maurice Newman – a good friend of John Howard and Tony Abbotts,” he said.
“I told Maurice: ‘What if I asked one of my top climate scientists to summarize, in one page, what the major (climate) points are, basically a demonstration of atmospheric physics’.”
But when Mr Turnbull presented Mr Newman with evidence of global warming, he said the powerful businessman responded with a rant that Australia’s universities, media and government organizations were all in the same evil plot about fake climate change.
“It sounds like crackers, but we are operating in an era where there is a lot of madness,” Mr. Turnbull said.
Mr Turnbull urged the Morrison government to rein in its own conspiracy theorist lawmakers, insisting Australia is now running out of time to avoid climate catastrophe.
“We are caught up in this toxic political troika, which has plagued climate policy in Australia for so long,” he said.
“We have a long-term problem, but we don’t have a lot of time to solve it.
“We have to crack between now and 2030.”