Malcolm Turnbull on, I think, The Drum last week, called Abbott an "intelligent skeptic" on climate change.
No: Abbott is not smart enough to take sensible policies to reduce CO2 seriously. He is the triumph of political opportunism and shallowness over making a genuine attempt to deal with an important issue in a sensible way.
Turnbull should be appalled at this, but there is a possibility, I suppose, that he could still be leader if Abbott implodes. His keeping quiet might therefore be good in the long run. At least, I hope so.
Update: I had forgotten how outspoken Turnbull used to be on this issue. From 2009:
....the fact is that Tony and the people who put him in his job do not want to do anything about climate change. They do not believe in human caused global warming. As Tony observed on one occasion "climate change is crap" or if you consider his mentor, Senator Minchin, the world is not warming, its cooling and the climate change issue is part of a vast left wing conspiracy to deindustrialise the world.Yes, that's the pathetic political calibre of the man about to be PM, apparently.
Now politics is about conviction and a commitment to carry out those convictions. The Liberal Party is currently led by people whose conviction on climate change is that it is "crap" and you don't need to do anything about it. Any policy that is announced will simply be a con, an environmental figleaf to cover a determination to do nothing. After all, as Nick Minchin observed, in his view the majority of the Party Room do not believe in human caused global warming at all. I disagree with that assessment, but many people in the community will be excused for thinking the leadership ballot proved him right.
Remember Nick Minchin's defense of the Howard Government's ETS was that the Government was panicked by the polls and therefore didn't really mean it.
Tony himself has in just four or five months publicly advocated the blocking of the ETS, the passing of the ETS, the amending of the ETS and if the amendments were satisfactory passing it, and now the blocking of it.
His only redeeming virtue in this remarkable lack of conviction is that every time he announced a new position to me he would preface it with "Mate, mate, I know I am a bit of a weather vane on this, but....."