After the riveting TV that was Nick Minchin assembling his crew of climate deni... ah, sceptics to take on the stifling orthodoxy that is the mere theory of human-caused global warming, the ABC is going to continue its dedication to balance with a new show called “I can change your mind on the Holocaust”.
A Holocaust believer will travel the world with a Holocaust sceptic, assembling arguments for and against, in a bid to change the other one's mind on the theory that millions of people perished in a Nazi-organised genocide.
The producers have a series of episodes in the works, including “I can change your mind on the solar system”, in which a sceptic takes on a believer to argue against this new scientific dogma that the Earth goes round the sun, rather than vice versa.
Then “I can change your mind on gravity”, in which, hopefully, someone tries to disprove a gravity believer by throwing Clive Palmer off a tall building.
Many people argued the ABC’s climate show was absurd, dangerous and offensive, because it implies there is some sort of serious debate to be had on actually occurring global warming, with two sides backed by scientific evidence that deserve equal weight.
Some have pointed out there is actually no real debate, that among climate scientists, any debate ended long ago, and that the disturbing evidence of shrinking ice caps, growing numbers of extreme weather events and tumbling climate records is an urgent wake up call for serious action.
But actually, the biggest problem I can see with the ABC's show, which pitted far-right Liberal politician Minchin against climate activist Anna Rose, is it screened only in Australia.
It seems a major shame that the people of Pacific nation Kiribati didn't get a chance to see it. You see, the March 9 Sydney Morning Herald explained they are in the process of relocating the entire population due to rising waters increasingly making the 32 flat coral atolls on which they have lived for thousands of years uninhabitable.
Surely they have the right to hear the other side in the debate, so they can decide for themselves whether or not to ignore the rising waters and receding farm land, and employ their free choice to stay on their traditional lands and drown.
The irony is a far more important discussion took place the next night at New South Wales Parliament. Titled “Beyond the carbon price”, rather than the futile exercise of debating a settled question, the forum dealt with what action we needed to take to deal with the crisis.
Involving former Liberal leader John Hewson, Australian Council of Trade Unions president Ged Kearney, ALP national president Jenny McAllister, Australian Greens leader Christine Milne and Green Left Weekly editor Simon Butler, this was the big debate that needs to take place. It was not screened on TV.
However, I do have eyewitness testimony that, during his contribution, the GLW editor nicked one of my jokes from a past column. Which just goes to show, you can argue for radical action to deal with the dire threat of climate change and still be a bastard.