Former Prime Minister John Howard has delivered a speech on climate change in which he calls for a “sense of proportion” in the global warming debate and says that “first principles tell us never to accept that all of the science is in on any proposition”.
Howard said: “In the past five years, the dynamic of the global warming debate has shifted away from exaggerated acceptance of the worst possible implications of what a majority of climate scientists tell us, towards a more balanced and questioning approach.” He warned against use of “offensive language” such as the term “denier”.
Howard said it is “highly unlikely” there will ever be a worldwide agreement on global warming. He said he had “always been something of an agnostic on global warming” and suggested his support for an emissions trading scheme in 2007 was purely political and occurred at a time when it was expedient to be seen to be “doing something”.
Nuclear energy must be part of any long term response to global warming, Howard said.
- Watch SBS report (2m)
Transcript of John Howard’s speech to the Global Warming Policy Foundation in London.
One religion is Enough
I thank Nigel Lawson and his colleagues for their invitation to be here tonight. When he asked me to deliver this lecture Lord Lawson said that I could talk about what I chose. I think that was not meant quite as literally as it might seem. I am sure he had in mind that I might share with you my views on the contemporary state of the debate on global warming, especially from an Australian perspective. That has special relevance; Australia has a new PM, and integral to his successful campaign was sustained opposition to a carbon tax.