Thursday, July 21, 2011

Tony Abbott: Carbon dioxide 'weightless'

When I read this artcile by Barry Jones in The Age this morning, it seemed worth checking the quote. Not that you can't trust journalists to be accurate, of course:

People are better educated than ever yet debate is dumbed down.

AN ARTICLE by The Age's Michael Gordon titled 'He says She says' last week, included a disturbing paragraph in which he quoted Tony Abbott, in South Dandenong, answering a question about how CO2 emissions are calculated: ''It's actually pretty hard to do this because carbon dioxide is invisible and it's weightless (my emphasis) and you can't smell it.''

This striking observation probably reflects his understanding. If carbon dioxide is invisible, odourless and weightless, in a world outside measurement or analysis, then attempting to control or limit it is pointless.

He appears to take a mediaeval scholastic view of how the universe works. He has forgotten that legislation setting strict standards for emission accounting was passed under the Howard government, in which he was a senior minister.

Intelligent discussion all but extinct

Found quick corroboration but at an unlikely source:

On the Liberal Party's website:

And imagine the administration costs of doing that? What’s the point of it if you take it away with one hand and give it back with the other?

Exactly right. Even if they were trying to give it all back to you, there would still be the deadweight costs, all the extra bureaucrats. See, one of the things that people haven’t quite twigged to is that carbon dioxide is invisible, it’s weightless and it’s odourless. How are we going to police these emissions…

I don’t know.

…I mean, how are we going to police these emissions? This carbon cop is going to be an extraordinarily intrusive instrumentality, running around trying to make sure that all these businesses aren’t actually emitting given that you can’t actually see, smell or touch what’s going on.

Well, I just don’t know how it can be measured.

Well, it can be measured but it’s a very difficult process.

Tony Abbott interview with John Laws - Julia Gillard’s carbon tax; live cattle export ban

It's great to know that Party Headquarters are so proud of their Tony's Science homework, even the mistakes. It gives extra meaning to 'snollygoster' when applied to Abbott.


  1. Thanks, Kevin, I had run out of pejoritives with which to describe Abbott - snollygoster opens up new possibilities!


  2. Weightless: Tony Abbott is thinking of himself. Not on the odourless bit though :(

  3. Ahhh. And here I was thinking this was only a recent espousal. And no-one in all these years attempted to correct him on his factual inaccuracy?