David Attenborough slams Australian PM on climate record
New coal mines and lack of action on climate change
Posted on 27.09.2019
Sir David Attenborough has slammed Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s support for new coal mines and lack of action on climate change, in his most damning assessment yet of Australia’s environmental record.
In an interview with Hack, the world’s most renowned natural historian said previous governments had been “saying all the right things” but this had suddenly changed.
“You are the keepers of an extraordinary section of the surface of this planet, including the Barrier Reef, and what you say, what you do, really, really matters.”
“And then you suddenly say, ‘No it doesn’t matter … it doesn’t matter how much coal we burn … we don’t give a damn what it does to the rest of the world.'”
The veteran conservationist responded to Scott Morrison bringing a lump of coal into Question Time in February 2017, when he was Treasurer.
“I don’t think it was a joke,” he said.
“If you weren’t opening a coal mine okay I would agree, it’s a joke. But you are opening a coal mine.”
He also commented on the recent federal election, which Mr Morrison won with a platform of support for new coal mines, including the proposed large Adani mine in Queensland, as well as a less ambitious emissions reduction target than Labor.
Asked how politicians can carry the public with them on taking action on climate change, he said politicians had “to appeal to what people think is right.”
“Do you think it’s right that we go on destroying the natural world?” he said.
On the global climate strike and mass protest “Young people see things very clearly. And they are speaking very clearly to politicians,” he said. “They may not have the vote … but it’s their world that’s coming along and they want to make it clear to the politicians that they know that.”S
On climate denialism: “The world is sick, we really have to do things about it. And there’s no more time for argument.”
On a sustainable diet: “Maybe everybody when they get into their 70s 80s or 90s loses their taste for meat. I’ve certainly lost mine.”
On population: “All the evidence is that wherever women are educated and literate, and have the vote, and are able to determine what they do, and when they have children, and they have medical advice to help them, then the birth rate falls.”
On plastic: “I can’t help feeling we invented the stuff; surely, for heavens, we are clever enough to think of a way of disposing of it.”
On his least favourite animal: “I don’t hate many things but I do hate rats.”
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