John Howard: Global warming cause is adopted as a 'substitute religion'
Former Australian Prime Minister says climate change claims are exaggerated
People who believe that climate change will be catastrophic for the world have adopted the issue as a "substitute religion", according to John Howard, Australia's former Prime Minister.
His comments came before he was due to deliver the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) lecture in London yesterday evening.
Speaking to reporters in London before his address, he criticised the "alarmist conclusions" reached on global warming and said: “I've always been agnostic about it (climate change). I don't completely dismiss the more dire warnings but I instinctively feel that some of the claims are exaggerated."
In his speech, entitled 'One Religion is Enough', the former leader claimed Tony Abbott, the current Australian Prime Minister emerged victorious in elections because "a little under four years ago he challenged what seemed to be a political consensus on global warming", and described Mr Abbott's stance as "courageous".
He described those who advocated climate change and the dangerous consequences were “zealots” for whom “the cause has become a substitute religion”.
He said policy makers were faced with attempts to "intimidate them" with the manta of "follow science". "But parliaments", he argued, "are the experts at policymaking and neither expressly or impliedly should they ever surrender that role to others”.
The GWPF was established by Nigel Lawson, a former Conservative minister in the Thatcher Government and one of the leading climate change sceptics.
Mr Howard continued: “The high tide of public support for over-zealous action on global warming has passed. My suspicion is that most people in countries like ours have settled into a state of sustained agnosticism on the issue. Of course the climate is changing. It always has.
"There are mixed views not only about how sustained that warming is, seemingly it has not warmed for the last 15 years, and also the relative contributions of mankind and natural causes.”
Despite leading the conference on climate change, Mr Howard said he had only ever read one book about the issue: Mr Lawson's An Appeal to Reason: A Cool Look at Global Warming.
Greenpeace comes to the aid of Britain's small fishing vessels
Backbench rebellion threat sees fracking regulations toughened
Frilled shark: Australian fishermen capture terrifying shark from the deep
Keep off the grass: Research confirms that highly manicured lawns produce more greenhouse gases than they soak up
The ugliest animals on earth: Blobfish, axolotl and proboscis monkey battle it out to be named least attractive beast
- 1 The BBC has just done more to eradicate ‘terrorism’ than all our wars since 9/11
- 2 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 3 Mystery man who gave mum heart-warming note on train 'wanted to put a smile on her face'
- 4 Michelle Obama highlights harsh restrictions faced by Saudi women after meeting King Salman without wearing a headscarf
- 5 Grumpy Roald Dahl letter warning student to 'eschew beastly adjectives' rediscovered after 35 years
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
£120 - £150 per annum: Tradewind Recruitment: I am recruiting on instruction o...
£70000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Controller - Fina...
£24000 - £28000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Executive - Wim...
£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Front End Web Developer is re...