John Howard
John Howard

John Howard dubs climate change crusaders religious zealots

FORMER Prime Minister John Howard has poured scorn on the "alarmist" scientific consensus on global warming, comparing those calling for action on climate change to religious zealots.

Fairfax reports that Mr Howard said he was an "agnostic" on climate science and he preferred to rely on his instinct, which told him that predictions of doom were exaggerated.

He called on politicians not to be browbeaten into surrendering their role in determining economic policy.

Nuclear power - a "very clean source of energy" - shale oil and fracking were solutions to the world's energy needs, Mr Howard said.

Mr Howard gave a speech in London on Tuesday night to the Global Warming Policy Foundation, a think-tank established by Nigel Lawson, one of Britain's most prominent climate change sceptics, former chancellor in the Thatcher government and father of TV chef Nigella.

Mr Howard also criticised "zealous advocates of action of global warming" and "alarmists" for attempting to exploit the NSW bushfires in October.

He pointed out that a big bushfire in Victoria took place 163 years ago, "when the planet was not experiencing any global warming. You might well describe all of this as an inconvenient truth".