Australian news, and some related international items

Scott Morrison probably intransigent on climate policy

If the bushfires won’t force climate policy change, we need to circumvent Scott Morrison. Guardian,  Lenore Taylor  The cabal of Coalition denialists calling the shots are still impervious to facts. But it’s not yet time to despair @lenoretaylor, Fri 17 Jan 202  It’s time to face a dreadful truth. If this bushfire crisis, this nation-wide trauma, can’t loosen the denialists’ grip on Coalition climate policy, then maybe nothing will.

That would mean everyone sifting through Scott Morrison’s verbiage for signs that he might really be intending to change direction is searching in vain, because he’s just trying to talk himself out of political trouble.

It would mean everyone patiently pointing out that the prime minister could quite easily “evolve” his current policies into something that actually reduced Australia’s greenhouse emissions could save their breath, because that isn’t the kind of evolution he is considering.

And it would mean there’s no point reprising the facts, that Australia’s emissions are flatlining, not falling, that we could seize an economic advantage in a low-carbon world and at the same time help the globe avoid the all too obvious costs of inaction. The Coalition cabal who apparently still call the shots thinks climate science is “voodoo”. They’re impervious to facts. They are already threatening, via anonymous quotes to the Australian, to “blow the place up”. Again. Just like they’ve been blowing up national climate action for more than a decade.

And as this week’s Guardian Essential poll showed, despite the widespread sense that the fires are a tipping point, despite global outrage at the self-defeating stupidity of our policies, despite the world’s largest fund manager ditching thermal coal, despite the wave of grief and anger from around the world – even from James Murdoch – it’s still not clear that Australian public opinion will force this government to change.

Sure, Morrison’s mishandling of this crisis has cost him. His overall approval ratings have dived but his numbers have held fairly steady in his base. The strategists – who always pay more heed to those numbers than to other benchmarks, like, say, a country in ashes – no doubt believe that, with enough confusing obfuscation about “meeting and beating” targets, enough revising of the figures, enough serious practical efforts to help burnt-out communities, and just enough rhetoric conceding the reality of global heating, all will be well in time, without promising to do anything about it. All will be well for the poll numbers that is. Not for the nation.

This is not, repeat not, an argument for abandoning the arguments in favour of climate action. It is not a counsel to cop out in despair. …………

Maybe, under the current political pressure, something will give. But we’ve been fooled before and there’s no time to be fooled again. So that means it’s time to think of ways around the federal Coalition’s intransigence, because those deniers will never be swayed, and we can’t allow them to dictate our future.

January 18, 2020 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics

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