Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Harper and Abbott United in their Love for Fossil Fuels and Opposition to Emissions Reduction

On Monday June 9, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott held a love fest in which they lauded each others support for dirty energy. Harper and Abbott's mutual admiration is grounded in fossil fuel powered economic growth and disdain for progressive positions on climate change. Neither Harper nor Abbott appeared to be aware of the plethora of scientific evidence warning us to divest from dirty energy, in fact the two men seemed to revel in their shared ignorance.

During their meeting in Ottawa, these two powerful fossil fuel advocates made it abundantly clear that they will use their respective offices to resist efforts to reign in climate change causing emissions.

Their mutual admiration can be traced to virtually identical policy positions which are focused on economic growth and jobs. At the center of this strategy they both see fossil fuels as the catalyst to supply jobs and grow their economies. Canada's dirty energy empire is grounded in the tar sands while under Abbott Australia is banking on coal. They both appear committed to expanding their development of fossil fuel resources even if that pushes the world beyond irreversible tipping points.

Harper tried to suggest that all leaders are as belligerent as he is when it comes to combating climate change. Harper explained that he is simply more "frank" than others when it comes to articulating his country's position on climate change. Given what Obama is doing to combat climate change in the US, this statement is less than credible.

While it appears that Harper is somewhat deluded, it is hard to argue that Abbott is any smarter. Both leaders seem hopelessly out of step with the mountains of climate science that urges us to act now.

Harper praised Abbott for ending Australia's "job killing carbon tax." However, Abbott's climate denial is unlikely to get a warm reception from President Barack Obama when he arrives in the US later this week.

© 2014, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.

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