The UN Climate Change Conference will open in Glasgow on Sunday, and Scott Morrison will be there, with the grunts, farts and oinks of the National Party ringing in his ears.
It was a gamble whether he could go or not, and before he could lift off with his woolly socks and Hillsong hymnbook, some weighty right-wing baggage had to fall away.
For example, the Business Council of Australia completely reversed itself, discovering that cutting carbon emissions would be good for business, while all the News Corp papers, which pretend to operate independently, announced in unison that they had always accepted the science, and the non-stop gabble of climate denial tosspots had just been ironic teasing of the humourless Greens.
Only the acquiescence of the National Party to a bare minimum policy was needed to save his face in Glasgow when he will be led to his stool at the back of the big people’s meeting.
Naturally an agreement so desperately needed by the PM enables the party of thugs and stand-over merchants to divert the maximum amount of tax dollars from our pockets into theirs.
However, the smell of pork is so delicious that the Nationals are lingering over opening the barrel; so at the time of writing, we do not know how much ransom will need to be paid.
Nevertheless, we are going to get the high-level, albeit embarrassed, representation of Morrison at COP26.
So what is the purpose of the conference?
The number one goal is to ‘secure global net zero by mid-century and keep 1.5 degrees within reach.’ (Keeping under 1.5 degrees of planetary warming is thus implicitly abandoned: we must keep it ‘within reach.’)
The 2050 target is a given; the real need at the conference is to get countries to adopt ambitious emission reduction targets by 2030.
For Australians, this has already been ruled out by the National Clown Party, but Morrison will still get some credit in Glasgow.
This is because the organisers of the conference have realised that to create a plan to combat climate change all they need to do is study Australia, and then do the exact opposite.
So the agenda reads: ‘accelerate the phase-out of coal; curtail deforestation; speed up the switch to electric vehicles; and encourage investment in renewables.’
This is, of course, a precise reverse image of the climate policy initiatives undertaken by the Liberal-Nationals government over the past eight years.
It’s good that we could contribute something.
Will the conference achieve its aim? Existentially it must.
However, we should remember that whatever decisions come out of the next two weeks, they will have to be implemented within the limits of the same system that caused the catastrophe in the first place.
We have seen over the last eight years how difficult it is to rein in destructive forces when they get control of a national government.
We can only hope for more success at the global level.
David Lovejoy, Echo co-founder