There are, of course, lots of differences between conservatives and progressives (I hesitate to say “liberals”, because most are, in fact, thoroughgoing authoritarians), otherwise, they wouldn’t be in opposition to one another. But one of the big differences, some argue, is that progressives are more focussed on emotions than practicalities. Hence, conservatives characterise progressives as emotional children. In their turn, progressives see conservatives as cold-hearted plodders.
Nowhere is this more evident, perhaps, than in the “climate wars”. Progressives literally weep and scream at the sky and glue themselves to roads, demanding action NOW. Conservatives cock a sceptical eyebrow and ask what all this hysteria is going to cost.
In Australia, the Coalition government largely follows former prime minister Tony Abbott’s philosophy of “direct action”. Rather than signing up to emotionally satisfying pledges and “commitments”, the government claims to be vesting its energy into what works. That its approach seems to be paying off (“denialist” Australia’s emission have reduced, while “progressive” New Zealand’s have increased) does nothing to satisfy the progressive champions of dramatic climate “action” – mostly, it seems, because the Morrison government refuses to parrot the emotional “climate emergency” script.
Scott Morrison is expected to adopt a technology target to avoid Australia signing up to an internationally imposed requirement for net zero emissions by 2050, with the new climate change plan to be presented at this year’s UN summit in Glasgow[…arguing] that its technology target is the best way to meet the net zero goal that countries signed up to in the 2015 Paris Agreement.
While Jacinda Ardern captured headlines at last years Pacific Island Forum, castigating the Morrison government for not saying the right things on climate, Morrison was quietly fostering technologies to tackle very real problems like ocean plastic pollution. Morrison is continuing the same plodding, practical approach.
As the climate change debate intensified within the Coalition, the Prime Minister on Monday remained steadfast over the government’s refusal to sign up to an international target without being able to tell Australians the cost.
“I don’t sign up to anything when I can’t look Australians in the eye and tell them what it costs,” Mr Morrison said. “None of that information is before me that would enable me to give any such commitment.”
Mr Morrison on Tuesday would not confirm he would set a technology target, but said he would be pushing technology over taxes to tackle climate change.
“You want to get global emissions down? That’s what you need. You need technology that can be accessed and put in place, not just here in Australia, but all around the world,” he said in Melbourne.
“Meetings won’t achieve that, technology does. And I can tell you taxes won’t achieve it either.”
It doesn’t help that vested interests seem to have spied a government-funded golden goose and are lining up with their hands out.
The Business Council of Australia, which has backed a target of net zero emissions by 2050, released a scoping study for members this month that suggested, based on calculations produced by Europe on the scale of investment required, that Australia would need to spend “at least” $22bn a year on new investment in technology to reach the target.
Investing in new technology is a great idea – so long as it’s their own money. Too often, business in Australia has been too short-sighted to invest in new technology, either leaving it to the public sector or worse, letting it be sold overseas.
Speaking of greenwashing cronies, there’s no show without bitter, unloved Punch.
Former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull accused the government of being “dangerous and idiotic” for not taking stronger action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.theaustralian.com.au/business/business-council-of-australia-issues-climate-challenge-to-both-sides-of-politics/
Of course, the fact that Turnbull has massive investments in greenwashing schemes, not to mention an axe to grind against the party which so unceremoniously dumped him, has nothing to do with it.
If the Morrison government has any sense, it will ignore the bleating, screeching and bodice-ripping of the climate alarmists and keep plodding on with what is so far delivering results, not words.
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