Rebecca Le May
(Australian Associated Press)
Ben Elton has expressed exasperation at a “crisis of thinking” around climate change while joining the world’s top surfers at Western Australia’s most famous break to call for action.
As professional surfers including current world champions Gabriel Medina and Stephanie Gilmore prepared for the 12-day Margaret River Pro, the renowned comedian and best-selling author addressed the Climate Action Summit overlooking the Main Break.
“This is as much an environmental crisis as a crisis of thinking: I don’t know at quite what point in the evolution of civilisation we suddenly decided we can deny science,” Elton told AAP on the sidelines of the event on Tuesday.
“The vast, vast majority of scientists claim this is a global emergency facing humankind and indeed all species on this planet.
“Suddenly on this one colossal global issue, apparently evidence is a matter of opinion.
“We have a president in America who genuinely dines out on the idea that you can choose your own facts, alternative facts.”
The outspoken Englishman has previously taken aim at the Australian government for climate change inaction and was reluctant to do so again, saying it was not a party-political issue, as demonstrated by massive divisions in stance within both Labor and Liberal.
Neither side had properly addressed the greatest challenge of our time but it should be top of their agenda, he said.
“These are human issues, they should cross democratic boundaries and I hope very much that the Morrison government will see that.
“Hopefully he’ll able to stand up to the – I’m going to use the word – lunatic fringe of his party who choose to deny science.”
Elton, who has split his time between Fremantle and Margaret River for more than 30 years, said the same summit would have been necessary if Labor had won the recent federal election.