Via a speech made by Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, Mr Abbott stated that the use of the term “environment” was inappropriate and unnecessary, and often a “knee-jerk reaction” when natural things were involved in an issue.
When Ms Bishop took to the stage to deliver her speech on Friday evening, she began with the disclaimer that she had not written the speech herself as she was only a woman, and that it had instead been eloquently penned by Mr Abbott himself.
“The Australian government believes the term is often used as a distraction,” said Ms Bishop in her speech, “to avoid addressing specific points or to make things sound more important than they are. What is the environment? It apparently involves Cod, twigs, clouds, Bonobo monkeys and other random things. But what is it? No-one really knows.”
Trade Minister Andrew Robb, chaperoning Ms Bishop at the talks to prevent her buying more shoes than she really needs, made notes on a pad throughout the speech, apparently grading her performance for later correction.
Australia announced earlier this month that it would be slashing its funding of the United Nations Environment Program by 80% over the next four years, causing many to fear that the Abbott government was again abandoning the so-called “environment”.
However, after overhearing Gina Rinehart mention that she thought trees were “kind of OK”, they have since allocated $200 million dollars for the UN Green Climate fund.
At an impromptu press conference in Canberra, Mr Abbott defended the viewpoint, despite evidence that more than 99.9% of scientists agree the environment is real.
“I’m well aware there’s stuff out there that is, for lack of a better word, ‘natural’, but I wouldn’t go so far as to call it an ‘environment’,” he said.
“I mean, why do we need such a fancy term to describe these things? There’s the sky, plants and… And other things. Coal. Silk ties. But how is that an ‘environment’?”
“Really, we see it as Labor and in particular The Greens attempting to make it sound more important than it actually is.”
“You can’t get more funding just by using big words, guys,” he chortled expeditiously.
Greg Hunt, the (apparently misnamed) Minister for the Environment, said that his office would be renamed in line with the Liberal party’s new angle on the issue.
It’s understood that the portfolio will henceforth assume the name “Minister for Things No-One Made”.
“What is climate change?” asked Mr Hunt, rhetorically. “What is global warming? What is the atmosphere? No-one can adequately explain these things.”
“It’s all just a lot of hot air.”