Andrew L. Urban.
Oh nooo! We’re doomed! Again. The US Global Change Research Program has this past Friday issued yet another alarming climate change report, filled with a prophesy of “devastating” impacts. Needless to say, CNN’s terrified online report on it is illustrated by an image of a chimney billowing dirty looking grey smoke (or water vapour). It’s a dead give away: CO2 is colourless, folks.
Apparently, “the economy could lose hundreds of billions of dollars — or, in the worst-case scenario, more than 10% of its GDP — by the end of the century.” That’s over 80 years away; safe from fact checking.
Scaremongering overdrive aside, the CNN report also slips in a political swipe: The federally mandated study was supposed to come out in December but was released by the Trump administration on Friday, at a time when many Americans are on a long holiday weekend, distracted by family and shopping. That’s an interesting point to make while indeed covering the release both online and with a 3 minute comment-report on television … on the very Friday CNN says nobody is paying attention.
the electorate who have been indoctrinated
But with such alarmist reports coming out with comedic frequency, managing the politics of climate change is complicated and difficult. But not impossible …
If you rewind the tape, you’ll see what I mean when I say Scott Morrison is not just the Prime Minister of Australia; he is Prince Machiavelli of the Paris climate agreement. The tape to which I refer is his face to face interview with Paul Murray on Sky News recently, when Murray, a self confessed sceptic about anthropogenic global warming, asked the PM if he would ‘pull out of Paris.’
The shirt sleeved PM smiled with Santa-like jolliness and said, “I’ll tell you what I’ll do: I’ll lower electricity prices. How’s that?” It was all over in a flash as Murray moved on to other topics, himself beaming. Maybe Murray had picked it, or maybe he was just happy to bask in the Prime Ministerial banter. But students of Machiavellian politics might have detected the subtext.
It goes like this inside Machiovorrison’s head: “With the endless propaganda about climate change, if I announce that Australia is pulling out of its commitment to the Paris climate accord, Labour, GetUp! and every greenie lefty will howl in protest at how we are a) sacrificing the planet, our children and all the polar bears, b) abandoning our international treaty obligations and c) delivering the wrong message to the rest of the world – laughable, but they’ll say it. I’d be demonised, and busy battling the optics of it instead of getting things done. On the quiet.
“Worst of all, some of my Liberal colleagues will fear the electoral danger and fight me over it, while some of the gullible and uninformed in the electorate who have been indoctrinated and cling to the climate faith will recoil in horror.
“Sooooo, I maintain the smiling Paris facade and pay lip service to the treaty, while behind the scenes, with unlabelled policies, we try to rein in the downsides of cutting carbon dioxide emissions. As soon as prices drop, we’re out of the headlock. Nobody will be squealing ‘get out of Paris, ScoMo’ any more.
“The other benefit of this silent running is that the conservative commentariat, from Paul Murray and Rowan Dean (the loudest) to Peta Credlin and Alan Jones to Andrew Bolt and a handful of others, will provide me surface cover. The lefties will be misled and confused. Well, more confused…
“As Prince Niccolo Machavelli once said, “Everyone sees what you appear to be, few experience what you really are.” Oh, and he also said “Never attempt to win by force what can be won by deception.”