(Above: a bleak David Rowe celebrates the triumph of the triumphalists, and more Rowe here).
Friends, forelock tuggers, knob polishers, lend me your ears;
I come to bury climate change crap, not to do anything about it.
The evil that men do lives after them;
The good is oft interred with their bones;
And that's about all needs to be done with the carbon in the bones.
So let it be with Tony "climate change is crap" Abbott.
The ignoble big Mal hath told you Abbott was ambitious:
If it were so, it was a grievous fault,
And grievously will Abbott answer for it.
Or some such thing. What's most interesting about the recent success of climate denialist central is the posturing and posing of all the quislings, facilitators, fellow travellers and forelock tuggers along for the ride.
Last night on Lateline, Greg "wiki man" Hunt did his very best to pretend he was doing something, but what a pathetic and tawdry farce it was - you can find it here.
Amongst Hunt's many wheezes and desperate japes, there came at the end this:
TONY JONES: A final question, see if we can actually get an answer on this: If they don't do it, if they don't take your advice, if they reject this: will emissions go up?
GREG HUNT: Well, my view is very clear: that we'll achieve our targets and we won't stop until we do it because it's a deep personal commitment.
TONY JONES: So in actual fact you're saying that emissions won't rise even if you don't have the Direct Action policy in place?
GREG HUNT: Look, I'm just not accepting the option of failure. We never accept the option of failure on this and it pays to be determined.
TONY JONES: Okay, well, I'm glad to see you're determined to the end not to answer the question. Thank you very much, Greg Hunt.
GREG HUNT: It's been a pleasure, Tony.
A deep personal commitment?
Yes it's always a pleasure fucking over the ABC and the planet, but even for a quisling, this was an exceptional effort.
Well today the reptiles have seen the Greg Hunt light, and in the guise of a news story, have decided that all that jibber jabber they editorialised about for years - a market based solution of an ETS kind - was ... so much jibber jabber ...
Who is this amorphous collectivist "business"?
"Business supports", "Business has demanded", as if there's some amorphous mass of woolly-minded wombats in favour of an egregious policy designed to fail and in the process to piss money against the wall, rather like an errant rugby league footballer.
If you can be bothered to get around the paywall to read Sid Maher's Business supports direct action as carbon tax axed, "business" is in fact just the usual round of lobbyists, self-interested groups and panderers who have been as confused and as chaotic as the government in recent months:
The Business Council of Australia, the Australian Industry Group and the Minerals Council of Australia called on the Senate not to frustrate the Coalition’s direct action policy.
They reinforced the importance of the government “now developing and implementing a cost-effective emissions-reduction fund as part of a toolkit of measures to reduce emissions, and of the Senate working with them to achieve this in a timely manner’’.
Uh huh. And what were these mobs saying as recently as April?
The Business Council has joined the Australian Industry Group in calling on the Government to allow businesses to buy carbon permits from overseas. The BCA says it will continue to lobby for access to credible international permits, arguing it is the lowest-cost way of reducing emissions.
The AiGroup has welcomed the release of more details about the Coalition's policy, but warns it will be difficult to achieve the emissions reduction target. (here)
Suddenly they've seen the light? Not really. They want to be able to play:
...it is understood that the Business Council of Australia and the Australian Industry Group wrote to Environment Minister Greg Hunt and Mr Abbott a few months ago urging the government to reconsider.
Environment groups also back the proposal and the expert reference panel for the government's emissions reduction fund recommended international permits as insurance should Direct Action fail to meet the 5 per cent target.
It is understood Mr Hunt privately supports their use, as do a number of other government frontbenchers. But one party source said that Mr Abbott remained the key stumbling block to a change in policy and a backflip on permits would struggle to find support in the party room. (here)
Yes, even as he carries on his obfuscation and nonsense, Hunt is reported as privately supporting playing in the international market, and providing back up to a direct action plan that has a snowball's chance in hell - such is its pitiful size and nature - of meeting the 5%.
But why is "business" urging this sort of back-up plan? Could it be that "business" (and Hunt in private) knows that direct action is a dog of a plan?
Sure, "business" is happy to go along with the boondoggle of direct action - when has "business" ever resisted an opportunity to stick snout in government trough?
And in any case, it turns out that "business" might happen to be whichever business you are talking to at the moment:
“Warming of the climate is unequivocal, the human influence is clear, and physical impacts are unavoidable,” BHP Billiton (BLT) spokesman Paul Hitchens said in a statement yesterday. “An effective, long-term climate change policy framework should use a portfolio of complementary measures to reduce emissions. This should include a price on carbon that addresses competitiveness concerns.” (here)
As for the Mineral Council of Australia? Let's celebrate them and the work of Mitch Hooke, who were named by Crikey as amongst the dirty dozen of Australia's biggest climate foes (may be paywall affected):
The Minerals Council of Australia is by far the largest fossil fuel lobby group, with $35 million to spend each year on keeping the government friendly or scared. Although Hooke has recently stepped down as chief executive of the MCA, in his 12 years at the helm he leaves such a trail of devastation through climate policy in Australia that his influence will live on. For the mining companies that paid his salary he was worth every cent.
Hooke likes to tell people he is a scientist (although if you cut through the bombast he comes across as a bit thick). It’s not his scientific training, however, that turned him into the big polluters’ most effective lobbyist, but his bullying style (though like most bullies, he goes to water when shirt-fronted). He was the perfect front man when the mining industry wanted to spend big destroying Labor’s mining tax and win massive concessions from the carbon price scheme. He was at home telling denialist shock jocks that scientific reports on climate change were “wholemeal sandal-wearing religious stuff”. The thing about Hooke is that, as a paid lobbyist, he doesn’t really believe any of it. Before he got the gig at the Minerals Council he used his talents to promote the interests of big food and agribusiness. Expect him to pop up as some kind of environmentalist next.
The Australian Industry Group got a listing too:
If the Minerals Council decided to replace a hard man (Mitch Hooke) with a persuader (Brendan Pearson), the Australian Industry Group has gone the other way, replacing Heather Ridout with Innes Willox. Willox has made himself into the enforcer of the greenhouse mafia, pushing the hardest line against measures to limit emissions. He is said to draw out the worst in other industry lobbyists, who breathe a sigh of relief when he leaves the room.
And so on and so forth.
Naturally Chris Mitchell, as ruler of denialist central, also scores a mention.
What you won't be reading at denialist headquarters is this sort of story:
If you read The carbon tax is dead and there is nothing credible to take its place, inter alia, you will come across at the very end this tragic reminder:
Perhaps the last word should go to those well-known job-destroying, economy-hating, green-left anarchists in the federal treasury, whose comments in the "blue book" prepared in the event of a Coalition victory in 2010 were released under freedom of information.
Treasury described a carbon-pricing mechanism as "the only realistic way of achieving the deep cuts in emissions that are required".
They went on: ''A market mechanism can achieve the necessary abatement at a cost per tonne of emissions that is far lower than alternative direct-action policies. Moreover, many direct action measures cannot be scaled up, and, for those that can, the cost per tonne of abatement would rise rapidly, imposing further costs on taxpayers and consumers. All of this serves to underscore the conclusion that the sooner an emissions trading scheme can be implemented the better.
"Too much time has already been wasted, for which the Australian community will necessarily pay a high price."
Four years later we are still wasting time, and the cost continues to climb.
As Taylor points out, all sides carry the burden of shame - the Labor party for lacking the courage of its alleged convictions, the Greens for refusing to compromise at the start, and now for failing to admit that they fucked up along the way, but above all, Abbott and cronies who have always acted on the belief that climate science is absolute crap ... and for the facilitators and time servers who have enabled that belief, amongst them Malcolm Turnbull and Greg Hunt, who have abandoned all they previously pretended to believe, in return for a position in the sun ...
So how does Australia fare in the world?
Well if you read Fairfax here, at least we're reminded it that Australia is the world's worst polluter per head of population. And we intend staying at number one for the foreseeable future.
That should be great for business.
(Below: and wouldn't you know it, the blessed Pope adopts a French air about Australie, and more blessed Pope here).