Australian prime minister Tony Abbott visited Ottawa on Monday. He and Stephen Harper got along famously. Abbott called Harper, "an “exemplar” and a “beacon for centre-right parties around the world”.
Why? Because the prime minister is a climate change denier. Nothing will prevent Harper from developing the oil sands, just as nothing will prevent Abbott from developing Australia's coal industry. Paul Adams writes:
More than anything, Abbott admires Harper because he sees him as a world leader in the fight against doing anything meaningful to contain global warming.
Like Harper, at one time Abbott was close to being an outright climate change skeptic. “The argument (behind climate change) is absolute crap,” he once remarked.
Like Canada, whose economic dependence on dirty tar sands oil has grown under Harper, Australia has an emissions problem. In fact, Abbott seems bent on increasing the growth of his country’s coal industry, which is closely linked to China’s economic expansion.That’s why Abbott is joining Harper in forming a cabal of nations trying to slow efforts to contain emissions. He is trying to repeal the carbon tax imposed by [Julia] Gillard. And he has been an outspoken critic of President Obama’s recent climate-change initiative.
Abbott is a Rhodes Scholar. But, like George W. Bush, he is also a Master of Malapropism. In an effort to sound wise, he once proclaimed that, “No one, however smart, however well educated, however experienced, is the suppository of all wisdom.”