- US administration and Tony Abbott have 'meeting of minds' on climate change
- Maurice Newman's opinion piece
The Abbott government's chief business adviser says too much time has been spent focusing on global warming and as a result Australians are "ill prepared" to deal with the prospect of global cooling.
Maurice Newman, who has been vocal in his climate change scepticism, has attacked governments, including the former Labor government, for pursuing "green gesture politics" by introducing carbon price signals in an opinion piece for the Murdoch-owned News Corp publication The Australian.
He likened the measures to "primitive civilisations offering up sacrifices to appease the gods".
Mr Newman warns in the article that global peace, energy and food supply are all at risk if the world does indeed cool. He says the views expressed are his own.
Both Labor and Coalition have publicly said they accept the science behind climate change and have agreed on a 5 per cent emissions target for 2020, despite Prime Minister Tony Abbott saying in 2009 that he thought the science was ''absolute crap''.
Labor says it will take a floating carbon price through an emissions trading scheme to the next election. The Abbott government achieved its long-held ambition last month to repeal the former Rudd/Gillard government's carbon tax, but it is struggling to gain support for the legislation it needs to be able to implement its Direct Action policy.
The government's policy will pay polluters incentives to reduce their carbon emissions in a voluntary scheme.
A spokesman for Environment Minister Greg Hunt said ''the Minister's views on climate change are well known and been placed on the record countless times''.
''He supports the science and believes in taking action to address it. He has always said others have the right to express their views whether he agrees with them or not,'' the spokesman said.
A recent report from the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change found combined land and sea temperatures have risen 0.85 degrees on average since 1880 and each of the past three decades has been warmer than any preceding decade since 1850.
The IPCC says it is at least 95 per cent probable that humans are the main cause of global warming and temperatures are likely to rise by more than 2 degrees by 2100 if carbon emissions remain high.
Mr Newman writes "in times of peace and when government debts and deficits are growing daily, it is hard to persuade voters to trade off immediate benefits for increased defence spending, let alone prepare them, after all the warming propaganda, that global cooling is a possibility".
He argues that current investments in renewable energies to combat the threat of global warming will make it harder to secure energy in a colder climate.
"Cheap electricity in a colder climate will be critical, yet distorted price signals caused by renewable energy policies are driving out reliable base load generators," he says.
"This has inflicted serious damage on economies and diminished the West's standing and effectiveness in world affairs."
While he says "only time will tell" if the planet cools instead of warms, he believes "it is fanciful to believe that it will be business as usual in a colder global climate".
He says "a scenario where nations are desperately competing for available energy and food will bring unpredictable threats, far more testing than anything we have seen in recent history".
But he fears the "political establishment" is deaf to risks of global cooling because "having made science a religion, it bravely persists with its global warming narrative, ignoring at its peril and ours, the clear warnings being given by Mother Nature".
Greens MP Adam Bandt says Maurice Newman's comments border on "deranged" and has called on Mr Abbott to dump his top business advisor.
“Maurice Newman's latest statements are channelling the flat earth commentary of a lunatic fringe,” Mr Bandt said.
"Tony Abbott needs to repudiate these views and dump Mr Newman from his business advisory council," he said in a statement.
with Lisa Cox