Mastodon #SeaLevelRise comment engulfs Dutton, Abbott in Pacific #climate storm | Climate Citizen Mastodon

Friday, September 11, 2015

#SeaLevelRise comment engulfs Dutton, Abbott in Pacific #climate storm

Australia's Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has made a joke of Pacific Nations facing rising sea levels due to climate change. The Australian Prime Minister, recently returned from meeting with Pacific Island Nations in Port Moresby, laughed at the joke, before Social Services Minister Scott Morrison pointed out the boom microphone overhead.

Now there are calls for Peter Dutton to resign and Tony Abbott to apologize to the people of the Pacific and the world for the insensitive nature of the comments. The President of Kiribati Anote Tong, Marshall Islands Foreign Minister Tony De Brum and PNG Governor of Oro Province Gary Juffa, among others, have all condemned the comments and called for a public apology.

A lunchtime press conference on Abbott's decision to accept 12,000 Syrian refugees went awry today. As the press conference was running late Immigration Minister Peter Dutton remarked that it was running to "Cape York time". Tony Abbott responded, "we had a bit of that up in Port Moresby".

Dutton then added, "time doesn't mean anything when you're about to have water lapping at your door". to watch the Prime Minister laughed.

Then Social Services Minister Scott Morrison pointed out to both men that there was a microphone overhead. You could see Dutton face change...

It may have been a private conversation but it revealed the disdain that Abbott and Dutton feel for our neighboring countries and their leaders and for the people of the Pacific.

Once the video was published condemnation from all sides was swift.

See: Tony Abbott, Peter Dutton Joke About Flooding Of Small Island Nations

The conversation begins with Peter Dutton insulting Aboriginal people – and ethnic and Muslim leaders who were attending the roundtable summit – about their perceived indifference to punctuality.

DUTTON: It’s Cape York time.

ABBOTT: (laughs) What’s this mate?

DUTTON: It’s Cape York time.

ABBOTT: We had a bit of that up in Port Moresby.

DUTTON: Oh yeah.

ABBOTT: Yeah, yeah.

ABBOTT: Anyway, it was a good meeting. It was a good meeting.

MORRISON: When was… was it in Moresby?

ABBOTT: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

DUTTON: Time doesn’t mean anything when you’re about to be, you know, have water lapping at your door.

ABBOTT: (laughs) Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

Morrison interrupts with a warning.

MORRISON: There’s a boom (microphone) up there.

ABBOTT: Yeah, yeah.

Former Prime Minister Abbott has labeled climate change ‘crap’, and made Australia the only nation on earth to abolish a price on carbon.

Labor and Green political leaders and Environmental leaders such as Greenpeace's CEO Kumi Naidoo have condemned the comments and called for an apology. Pacific Islanders with 350Pacific have called for Minister Dutton to resign over the offensive climate remarks.

Reaction and condemnation by the Twitterati was swift

The Labor Party responded with both Federal Opposition leader Bill Shorten and Richard Marles, Shadow Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, tweeting derogatory comments on the interaction.

The Greens also responded with Richard Di Natale calling for an official apology.

Greens spokeperson on Climate Change Senator Larissa Waters issued the following statement:

“These people are not governing for the good of Australia. They smoke cigars to celebrate their cruel budget, then they laugh about the effect their policies are having on people and our planet,” Senator Waters said.

“It’s disgusting and they know it’s wrong. Why else would they be scared of a boom mic?”

“What else are these clowns saying when the microphones are off? Imagine what Cabinet meetings must be like.

“What we’ve seen today is raw contempt for the survival and safety of our Pacific Island neighbours and our own coastal communities.

“We’re talking about peoples’ lives, and this government is laughing.

“It’s a huge diplomatic blunder that will enrage our Pacific Island neighbours, who have been calling on Australia to save their homes. What an insult for them to now hear the Australian Prime Minister laughing at the prospect of their homes going underwater.

“The mask has absolutely come off today. The government knows what it will cost to deliver for their fossil fuel donors, and they’re intent on doing it anyway.

“It’s now clear to everyone how impossible it will be for Abbott’s Australia to have any credibility at the UN climate talks in Paris later this year.

“This is the man we sent to the UN in Geneva this week to negotiate about refugees’ lives, for goodness sake.

“Abbott and Dutton are clowns, but they’re the only ones laughing,” Senator Waters said.

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