The deep conservativism of Tony Abbott is becoming increasingly clear. There is a deep-seated fear of change as evidenced in his opposition to same-sex marriage. Add this to the opposition to almost any form of action on climate change and the stubborn defence of the coal industry.
The only possible argument for opposing renewable energy targets is protection of the coal industry other than that converting to 100% renewable energy is a no-brainer. And who wants to protect the coal industry responsible last year four of the major ecological disasters in Victoria? Someone should tell Tony Abbott that a wind farm can’t catch fire and threatened the health of the entire town.
Tony Abbott wants fewer ‘visually awful’ wind farms, wishes Howard government never implemented Renewable Energy Target.
In addition to this, when he went on Alan Jones’ radio program there was this little dazzler:
When questioned by Jones about the potential for wind turbines to affect the health of people living nearby, Mr Abbott said: “I do take your point.”
The link between wind turbines and health problems has recently been examined by the National Health and Medical Research Council, which found no consistent evidence that wind farms cause adverse health effects, but said more research was warranted.
There is no scientific evidence to suggest that wind farms are a health hazard yet the Prime Minister blithely ignores the advice of the NHMRC (the peak Government body in Australia for health and medical research). Not a gang of left-wing pinko tree hugging radicals but the body that oversees all health and medical research in Australia, well credentialed, conservative and qualified. Not enough to convince our Tony though.
The profound irony is that the health (and climate) risks associated with burning coal are clearly established yet Abbott continues to defend the coal industry.
The problem we face in making progress on these issues is that, if Abbott were to be re-elected, it would entrench his conservative attitudes on social change and climate policy where Australia is becoming increasingly out of touch with the rest of the world.
And then lurking in the background is the problem that the Labour Party has elected as leader a man who is probably going to prove to be unelectable as Prime Minister.