As Australian PM Scott Morrison attempts to reclaim the political narrative from the firestorm surrounding the 2019-20 bushfire disaster, many rank-and-file Coalition voters have expressed concern that the government is surrendering to climate change alarmism.

As usual, the Greens are ideologically blinded to every obvious cause behind the fires, particularly environmental policies which have largely prevented any meaningful effort to reduce the extraordinary fuel loads piling up in both state-managed forests and private land. No, for the Greens, as with everything, the only cause they can see is climate change. At the height of the fires, with police and emergency services stretched to the limit, the Greens chose to block major cities with protests reminiscent of millenarian flagellants howling and weeping through the ruins of mediaeval Europe.

There were signs that Morrison was catching the green disease, in some sort of anxiety to appease the Gaiaist nutters. Naturally, Coalition voters, who made their feelings about the climate bogeyman clear in no uncertain terms at the ballot box last May, are less than happy.

But the Coalition appears to be reasserting the common-sense approach that won the last election. First, the minor Coalition partners:

New Nationals Deputy Leader David Littleproud has reaffirmed his view that Australia must rely on coal power as part of its energy mix.

A day after he became deputy leader and ahead of the new government ministry being unveiled where he is expected to become Agriculture Minister, Mr Littleproud said Australia is “taking real action” on emissions reductions and that “it’s not just Australia that has to act”.

“Instead of beating ourselves up… we’re one of the few nations that actually met Kyoto, we’re the ones with some credibility in this.” Mr Littleproud told ABC Radio National.

The reaffirmation of climate commonsense is being echoed all the way up to the prime minister’s office. But, once again, a minority of Liberal “wets” are desperate to pander to the green-left elite.

Scott Morrison says he will not “be bullied” into adopting tougher pro-climate action policies, as his own Liberal MPs raise fears they could lose affluent, inner-city seats without a new approach.

The “climate wars” broke out in the first Coalition party room meeting of the year yesterday, with Liberals Katie Allen, Fiona Martin, Tim Wilson and Trent Zimmerman saying the Coalition would lose city seats if they did not take climate change seriously.

Some of those names will be odiously familiar to the Coalition’s conservative base. Wilson and Zimmerman, in particular, were the major agitators behind the putsch to force through 2017’s shonky “Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey” which ultimately lumbered Australia with, not just gay marriage, but its associated slippery-slope nonsense like Tasmania’s ridiculous transgender laws.

Nothing quite shows the new reality of Australian conservative politics than this rag-tag of doctor’s wives and soaking-wet inner-city progressives in blue ties roosting in Melbourne and Sydney’s trendy, rich suburbs, while formerly rusted-on Labor seats across the outer suburbs and rural Queensland and WA swing solidly conservative.

Scott Morrison knows that these “Quiet Australians” are the ones whose support he really needs.

The Prime Minister on Wednesday said he would not just listen to “the inner-city” and would not adopt any climate policies that involved new taxes or punishing industry.

“We listen to Australians right across the country. Not just in the inner-city but the far flung parts of remote Australia, of our bush and regional communities,” he told the Nine Network.

“And it’s important to listen to everybody to take people forward on practical balanced actions that doesn’t write people’s industries off and put taxes on people,” he told the Nine Network.

“Action on climate change does not mean taxing people. It is about technology, not taxation. We won’t be bullied into higher taxes and electricity prices.”

Just as no American politician of any ambition could afford to not pander to the evangelical right during the hey-day of the Theocons, the religious zeal of the green-left today is such that nearly every politician seems to feel obliged to mouth off the appropriate platitudes. Morrison seems to be saying just enough to meet the new religious obligation, while keeping an eye firmly on the reality of just what the Coalition base, not a claque of inner-city “progressives”, really wants.

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