Sunday, July 13, 2008

Winds of (climate) change blow

The hilarious Annabel Crabb succumbs to the denialist notion that climate science is a religion.

It used to be that anybody advocating unilateral Australian action on climate change, unmatched by corresponding efforts in the developing world, was immediately set upon, denounced, beaten, and cast out into the wilderness.

Just ask the Environment Minister, Peter the Exile, who was nearly stoned to death during last year's election campaign when he said that a Rudd Government would sign up to emissions reductions with or without the rest of the world

The Australian political scene is positioned for an upheaval over our response to climate change. Rising petrol prices are pressuring the bipartizan approach to an EMT. The opposition Liberal party is considering abandoning a long term approach to play short term petrol politics.

This week, Bendy Nelson back-flipped his party's official position, without telling his front bench. Or Doubting Brendan, as Annabel dubs him.

At home, Doubting Brendan piped up with something of a contemporary heresy, insisting that there is no use being pure of heart when the rest of the world is still yet to repent.

Why rush to install an emissions trading scheme, he argued on the steps of the temple, before other nations have done the same?

Doubting Brendan's disciples were quick to claim that he had meant nothing of the kind.

Several people - Malcolm the Inevitable, Greg the Usurped and Julie the Long-Suffering - lined up to explain that Brendan had actually been massively misreported, and was now resting quietly in his tent.

But Doubting Brendan could not be silenced; he kept sneaking out to do press conferences and to confer with his Senate leader, Nick Minchin, the Desert State Denialist.

Minchin is a pale-eyed David Koresh type, a rogue prophet who lives and preaches amid the parched rubble that used to be known as South Australia.

He is not the official environment spokesman for the Coalition - a fact of which we were reedily reminded on Wednesday by Greg the Usurped, who is.

But Minchin bought Doubting Brendan for a fair price late last year - three crucial votes - and he is determined to make his investment work.

This relationship may account for the circularity and tortuousness for which the teachings of Doubting Brendan have quickly become known. To the goat-herders, he says one thing, to the money-changers another.

Read her whole piece.

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