Climate change is 'good' for humanity: Abbott

What the the former Prime Minister said in his now infamous speech
Tony Abbott

Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott has said that climate change “is probably doing good” because heat kills fewer people than the cold.

In a high-profile speech in London overnight, the man who was employed as Federal Minister for Health for four years also said declarations that the science on climate change was settled was being propagated by “thought police” in “the spirit of the Inquisition”.

“There’s the evidence that higher concentrations of carbon dioxide – which is a plant food after all – are actually greening the planet and helping to lift agricultural yields. In most countries, far more people die in cold snaps than in heat waves, so a gradual lift in global temperatures, especially if it’s accompanied by more prosperity and more capacity to adapt to change, might even be beneficial,” he said, according to a transcript posted to his official website.

“At least so far,” he added, “it’s climate change policy that’s doing harm. Climate change itself is probably doing good; or at least, more good than harm.”

Mr Abbott made his observations during an address to the Global Warming Policy Foundation, a climate sceptic group founded by Nigel Lawson, a retired Conservative MP and father of celebrity chef Nigella Lawson.

“Primitive people once killed goats to appease the volcano gods,” Mr Abbott said. “We’re more sophisticated now, but are still sacrificing our industries and our living standards to the climate gods to little more effect.”

He continued: “The tendency to fear catastrophe is ingrained in the human psyche. Looking at the climate record over millions of years, one day it will probably come; whatever we do today won’t stop it, and when it comes, it will have little to do with the carbon dioxide emissions of mankind.”