Malcolm Turnbull blames Coalition climate deniers for his downfall as PM

Climate change in Australia has been hijacked by a “toxic” alliance of right-wing politics and Murdoch-owned media, according to the 29th Prime Minister of Australia, Malcolm Turnbull.

Writing in Time, the former Liberal leader, who was toppled by Scott Morrison in August 2018, said the current bushfire situation in Australia was unprecedented in its scale of destruction.

“This wicked, self-destructive idiocy of climate denialism must stop,” he wrote in the opinion piece, published on Thursday.

Turnbull said the world was scratching its head over why this country was not a leader in action against global warming.

“In most countries, asking people whether they believe in the science of climate change is like asking them whether they believe in gravity,” he wrote.

“It is a simple matter of physics. The more greenhouse gases are in the atmosphere, the hotter our climate will become.

“But in Australia, as in the US, this issue has been hijacked by a toxic, climate-denying alliance of right-wing politics and media (much of it owned by Rupert Murdoch), as well as vested business interests, especially in the coal industry.”

Turnbull said when he was prime minister he attempted to use engineering and economics to inform the government’s environmental and energy policies.

Instead, “ideology and idiocy” had dominated the Coalitions’ climate change stance.

Right-wing minority

“I led the coalition twice … and both times, my efforts to take concerted action on climate change were followed by my losing my job,” he said, citing his National Energy Guarantee (NEG) as an example.

The NEG sought to transition to a lower-emissions electricity sector while maintaining reliability of supply, Turnbull said.

It was supported by business and unions as well as bipartisan state governments and a majority of coalition legislators, he said.

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