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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

11/5/2013 (10 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Former Prime Minister addresses London think tank, compares alarmism to religion.

Former Australian Prime Minister John Howard slammed global climate change proponents during a speech in London. Howard said, "I am unconvinced that catastrophe is around the corner."

Former Australian Prime Minister John Howard explained that he was unconvinced that catastrophe is approaching.

Former Australian Prime Minister John Howard explained that he was unconvinced that catastrophe is approaching.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

11/5/2013 (10 months ago)

Published in Green

Keywords: John Howard, global warming, climate change, London, Australia, skeptics, debate, religion, alarmism


LONDON, UK (Catholic Online) - Former Australian Prime Minister, John Howard, made his feelings clear on the climate change debate, saying "I am unconvinced that catastrophe is around the corner" during a speech he gave to the Global Warming Policy Foundation.

The GWPF is a skeptical think-tank that continues to challenge the supposed "consensus" on global warming.

Howard said he was "agnostic" about the topic and compared global warming alarmism to religion. In fact, his talk was titled, "One Religion is Enough."

He continued by reminding politicians that they set economic policy, not scientists and called for the use of shale oil, fracking, and nuclear energy as solutions to world energy needs. Renewable energy should be considered in places where its use would not harm the people or their economy.

Howard did admit that his coaching on the subject came from reading a book, Nigel Lawson's "An Appeal to Reason," published in 2008. Howard said he read the book twice and that it is the only book he has read on the subject.

Climate scientists have criticized the book for being simplistic and misleading. Bob Ward, policy director at the London School of Economics said the book used "sleight of hand and faulty logic."

Howard also pointed out that public support for dramatic changes in energy policy was on the wane as consumers take exception to the enormous price tag scientists say must be paid to avert crisis. Finally, he pointed out that the expansion of the fracking and natural gas industry in the United States would make that country energy independent within years and that the profits from such independence would impact U.S. policy for some time to come.

Howard may be arguably wrong with regards to the finality and significance of global climate change, but that some treat the cause as a religion is a well-pointed criticism. Environmentalism and respect for the planet and its natural systems is very important, but it should not trump all other concerns to the point of militant extremism.

Just as people should be protected from the harms of global climate change, so too should they be protected from the harms of environmental extremism. For example, people deserve access to energy and other natural resources available to them. Responsible management of resources is the right of every nation.

Every nation is entitled to use its resources to improve the condition of its people, and no nation or international body should oppose the responsible use of natural resources for the improvement of the human condition.

As Howard correctly assessed, there are plenty of energy options available to the world. Nuclear power is among them, and can provide cheap, non-carbon-based energy to entire countries. In Australia, he said, nuclear power should be "kept on the table," and developed, as it becomes a better value for the country.

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