Last week, after all the sound and fury from the Nationals, the Prime Minister announced that his government would move to net zero emissions in 2050 by printing glossy pamphlets and making PowerPoint presentations.
It’s called ‘the Australian Way.’
Most readers will have seen the outline of Morrison’s ‘plan’ for net zero already.
The trouble is, the plan is all outline and no substance. It consists of spending public money in the next decade on technologies which are either already being developed, or which have been shown to be worthless.
The following decade will see private money inventing further technologies to tackle emissions, and in the final decade before 2050, God will intervene and make the whole meshuggah work by magic.
Of course, he had no plan. Up until a few weeks ago most of Morrison’s side of politics did not even accept the scientific evidence of climate change.
The coincidence of Morrison, Murdoch and the Business Council, all staunch climate change deniers, suddenly discovering that something must be done is not surprising.
The PM needed an emissions policy, however ludicrous, to take to the Glasgow conference, and all his right-wing allies want to neutralise the issue before the coming election.
The sheer gall of Morrison’s ‘plan’ got him through the week, but it won’t avoid him being humiliated by hard-headed analysts in Glasgow. In fact, he has already been humiliated by French President Emmanuel Macron, saying before the conference, ‘I don’t think, I know’ when asked if Morrison lied to him. No amount of sham outrage can obscure the fact that on the world stage, the Australian prime minister has been called out as a liar.
Surely Morrison’s luck has now run out, despite all his lies and desperate political squirming.
Even if electors forget his incompetence in procuring and distributing covid vaccine, his indifference to the safety of women both in the home and workplace, his misuse of public funds over and over again for his party’s benefit, his protection of the slush fund thug Christian Porter, his insistence on blanket secrecy for even the most trivial of government procedures – they surely cannot forgive him playing stupid games with the future of the planet for the financial gain of his political backers.
It is hard to see how he comes back from this, but Morrison has survived this far, despite scandals and crimes in his government that would have sunk any other leader.
His belief that God has chosen him for Australia makes him incapable of introspection or shame, and he will bluster on.
Moreover, now that the government has produced its emissions plan, a plan so flimsy you can’t see it if you look sideways, it is free to concentrate on the Labor Party’s forthcoming policy, which will inevitably contain detail it will be able to attack. The echo chambers of the 60 per cent of our media controlled by Murdoch will reverberate with lies, half truths, cherry-picked statistics and downright conspiracy theories.
The noise will be immense.
But from here on in, all Morrison has is noise.
David Lovejoy, Echo co-founder