Greens in Britain may be a bit nervous about our new Conservative government, but spare a thought for environmentalists in Australia who have to put up with Tony Abbot.
The Australian prime minister has apparently been boasting about all of the regressive steps he has taken to stop the construction of wind farms. The Independent reports that he called them "visually awful" and that he has recently struck a deal to reduce greenhouse emission targets by 20 per cent.
But I guess hey, who can blame him? I mean, when I see a wind farm I'm filled with hope for a habitable future and see them as beacons of human progress. But I guess Tony Abbot must see differently; he must experience the same feeling of hope whenever he sees smoke stacks belching carbon into the atmosphere, because he apparently called coal "good for humanity".
I mean, Abbot has a point. It isn't like there's plenty of room for wind farms in Australia: the country only has 1.3 million square kilometres of flat, lifeless desert, and a mere 35,000km of coastline. There's simply no room. Sure, Australia is one of the least densely populated countries in the world, but compared to Namibia and Mongolia it is basically downtown Manhattan.
What's particularly bizarre is that even ignoring the reality of man-made climate change, it doesn't even make business sense. The dropping of targets has knocked the wind (pun intended) out of the Aussie renewable energy industry.
According to ABC News, he called wind farms "ugly and noisy", leaving an open goal for his critics to respond with a childish "takes one to know one".
Understandably, the Australian Labor Party has said that Abbot is "so short-sighted and so out of touch". But I can't help but wonder if Abbot is the real visionary here. Perhaps he just wants to give everyone a waterfront home? [The Independent]