Carlo's Corner: Abbott's right, climate change is pretty crap

September 13, 2013
It just goes to show what can be achieved in politics if you have millions of dollars to throw around and are willing to twerk.

Well, turns out some bastards won the federal elections. I knew some bastards would win. I said it beforehand, I said: “Some bastards are going to win this one, you wait and see.”

I was right. I even tried to put some money on some bastards winning, but no bookies would give me odds.

Of course, these are some pretty special bastards, headed as they are by a man who called climate change “absolute crap”. I don't agree with Tony Abbott about much, but when houses are lost in a bush fire emergency in western Sydney in goddamn early September, I am sure we can all agree climate change is pretty crap indeed.

I know “oh crap” was my response when I read that they had to add an extra colour to the temperature maps last summer to deal with the unprecedented extreme heat. As it was when I read that August was the 342nd consecutive month of above-average temperatures.

None of this has any impact on a government that views its role as providing an open-slather for the mining giants. Queensland Premier Campbell Newman wasted no time telling a receptive Abbott to “rush through the biggest coal mining expansion in Australian history”.

Newman told ABC Radio on September 11: “[Abbott] asked me what the blockers were for my government and I said without any hesitation the need to see the massive Galilee Basin coal projects approved as soon as possible.”

The basin “houses potential coalmines that would dwarf anything ever developed in Australia". It is tied to plans, requiring federal approval, to build the world's biggest coal port in the region, which would involve dumping millions of tonnes of mud on the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

The plan has been described by scientists as a likely “straw that will break the camel’s back” for the already dying reef.

Well let's face it, the Great Barrier Reef was always overrated. Who needs the world's largest living ecosystem when we can add a couple of points to BHP's share price? When tourists land in our country, we can just take them straight to the stock exchange to see the glorious sight.

In a sign of what to expect from an Abbott government, WA Liberal MP and proud “climate sceptic” Dennis Jensen put his hand up to be science minister. This is a man who believes “most” of the views of climate denier and pretend Nobel Prize winner Lord Christopher Monckton are “entirely reasonable”.

I suppose we can expect a bid for health minister by a Liberal who questions the scientific consensus on the use of penicillin, and an education ministry run by someone sceptical about the existence of the alphabet. Probably Nick Minchin.

Of course, in an outcome expected to make Question Time the funniest comedy show of 2014, billionaire mining magnate and dinosaur fancier Clive Palmer looks set to enter the lower house after winning the seat of Fairfax. Two Senate seats are also likely to go to his Palmer United Party.

It just goes to show what can be achieved in politics if you have millions of dollars to throw around and are willing to twerk. We might not have the millions, but the left could still learn something from Palmer's campaign.

A lot of discussion has gone into the relative decline of the Greens vote — did they get too close to Labor or is it a sign of lessening support for progressive politics? No one has pointed to the obvious: not once through the entire campaign did Christine Milne twerk.

And is it any wonder the socialist vote stayed more or less the same? The Socialist Alliance advocating the nationalisation of mining to fund policies for environmental sustainability and social justice is one thing, but when not a single candidate was willing to go on Kyle Sandilands’ radio show and shake their arse like Miley Cyrus, it is hard not to question how serious the left really is about electoral politics.

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