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As Australia Burns, Anger at Prime Minister's Climate Policies Boils

Critics slam Tony Abbott for 'listening to people who are part of the tinfoil hat brigade'

by
Sarah Lazare, staff writer

As Australia closes its hottest year in recorded history, anger at Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s climate change denying policies appears to be reaching a boiling point.

According to findings released January 3 by Australia's Bureau of Meteorology, "2013 was Australia’s warmest year since records began in 1910." The report notes that this warming is directly tied to the greenhouse gas effect that is heating the entire planet.

Labor and Green party members say these numbers emphasize just how dangerous Abbott's efforts to gut Australia's carbon-curbing measures are.

"Tony Abbott's a reckless ideologue who ignores the science and is intent on listening to people who are part of the tinfoil hat brigade," Greens leader Richard di Natale told reporters in Melbourne, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.

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“In fact, the only people that don’t believe that climate change is real are prime minister Abbott, his cabinet and some of his advisers,” Labor leader Penny Wong told reporters in Adelaide, according to The Guardian. “He thinks [the climate science] absolute crap and the policy he has is a con job that you have when you think climate change is absolute crap.”

Last week, Tony Abbott's top business adviser Maurice Newman told the Australian newspaper National Affairs that Australia is "hostage to climate change madness" by being beholden to greenhouse gas-curbing policies driven by "scientific delusion."

Australian clean energy expert Giles Parkinson retorted that Newman's positions are "demonstrably wrong" and representative of the "madness" of climate change denial.

"Disconcertingly," wrote Parkinson, "these [denialist] claims are no longer the province of bloggers, right wing media and talk-back radio. They now have currency in the highest corridors of power in Australia. Indeed, they are forming the basis of critical decisions being made on economic and infrastructure development in this country."

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