(Above: yes it had to be David Pope, Canberra Times 28th April 2010, found here).
Peter Hartcher has just discovered climate change, as you can read in Canary isle shows climate change is real.
Even more amazing, he's discovered that maybe the opposition might be more of a problem than a solution:
The record does show that about a quarter of the Coalition's federal MPs have, at some point, expressed disbelief or outright denial that man-made climate change is real. Among them is Tony Abbott, who, before becoming Opposition Leader, said he was "hugely unconvinced by the so-called settled science on climate change", and famously called it "absolute crap".
What's amazing about all this?
Well there's not one mention of Kevin Rudd, which brings to mind Mark Latham's crack back in 2010:
A defining feature of Rudd's prime ministership was his constant briefing of Hartcher on the behind-the-scenes processes behind big decisions, invariably to glorify his own contribution. As one caucus wag told me earlier this year, "Kevin doesn't change his underpants these days without telling Hartcher about it." It would have been obvious to his colleagues (Gillard in particular) that the Herald's story came from the PM's office, a stunning valedictory to Rudd's misreading of his colleagues and his ineptitude as a caucus tactician. (here, may be paywall affected)
Stories about the changing of the Ruddster's underpants have gone on being an interminable, insufferable irritating part of Hartcher's limited repertoire of stories since the long absent lord knows when ...
Hartcher's delving into the underpants over and over again, even attracted the mockery of media rivals, as noted here (may be paywall affected):
Peter Hartcher of The Sydney Morning Herald was the main driver of the narrative. Target firmly in his sights, "The evidence of the last month is that, as a campaigner, Gillard is ineffectual," Hartcher said of the Prime Minister's attempts to win over voters in Sydney's west. "So if Gillard can't do it for Labor, who can?"
The following day Hartcher doubled up with Fairfax's new political correspondent Mark Kenny to deliver perhaps the key story of the week.
"Ministers turn on PM" the headline said, the exclusive report detailing how Foreign Minister Bob Carr and a key Labor Left faction member Mark Butler had voiced their lack of support for the Prime Minister. "Both are understood to have developed grave doubts about the Prime Minister's political judgment and her ability to campaign," the story said, again upping the mood for change among those in the Rudd camp.
Hartcher's analysis that day was even more to the point, declaring the government to be in the grip of a full-blown "crisis of confidence in its leader".
"The dam of Gillard support has now been breached," he told Fairfax readers.
And so on and so forth.
Now sure that version of the yarn is from the reptiles at the lizard Oz, but the truth is Hartcher has rarely had his nose out of the underpants these past few years, and has been the source of much mischief and mayhem. Dams breached and damn the torpedoes and so on and so forth ...
What to do when the Ruddster takes his underclothes to the dry cleaners rather than use Hartcher's washing machine?
Why suddenly Hartcher discovers climate change.
Wasn't that the "greatest moral, economic and social challenge of our time"?
Didn't the greatest challenge somehow get lost in contemplation of underpants?
Seems like it's back on the agenda:
The topic of what to do about climate change is returning to the centre of the agenda for the world's two biggest economies and biggest carbon emitters, the US and China. It's one of the half dozen top issues at their coming California summit.
The problem will not go away for the planet, even after the Australian election, even if some would prefer to ignore it, although it's probably too late for Kiribati.
Perversely that's almost a relief.
Now things haven't been much better under Gillard when it came to climate change or the mining tax, though it's a dead cert to get a lot worse under Tony Abbott, but at last and at least Hartcher seems to have discovered that there's more to life than the Ruddster's underpants ...