Renfrey Clarke

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is an organisation whose time has passed. It needs to be dismantled.

How to sum up the Liberal Party’s “direct action” scheme to tackle global warming? Well, how about: a fraud wrapped in demagogy inside a delusion?

Climate change deniers, conservative politicians and right-wing newspaper columnists were all but incontinent with delight. Flooding the internet in mid-November were thousands of documents and private emails that had been exchanged over more than a decade by prominent climate scientists.

Adelaide's Central Bus Station is an austere but pleasing building built recently near the middle of town. No longer merely for coach travellers, the structure is now to be Adelaide's version of the New Orleans Superdome — a place of public refuge from what threatens, in time, to be another full-scale natural catastrophe.

Admit it: you’re just a little disturbed when industrialists, fossil-fuel lobbyists and the Liberal and National parties thunder that big, quick cuts to carbon emissions would bankrupt Australian business. Well, aren’t you?

Not in so many words, mind you — frankness has rarely been the strong suit of News Corporation journalists and editors. The editorial in question, published in Rupert Murdoch’s Australian on September 10, argued in support of carbon capture and sequestration (CCS): in other words, “clean coal”.

From desert-fringe villages and drowning atolls, global warming is predicted to set climate refugees on the move. But arguably, the first climate refugees to reach Australia’s major cities are arriving already. And the places from which they have come are not exotic — rural towns like Mildura, Renmark and Griffith.

"Forget ‘alternative’ energy — it can’t work!" That — and in almost those exact words — was among the messages of an article published in the Rupert Murdoch-owned Weekend Australian on August 8 by journalist Terry McCrann.

If combating climate change is left up to the governments of the world’s wealthy nations, much of humanity is likely done for.

In the state that claims to have the greenest energy on the Australian mainland, South Australia’s climate camp will confront two of the country’s dirtiest power stations. The Northern and Playford B plants, fuelled by cheap but low-grade brown coal, are just outside Port Augusta, a four-hour drive north of Adelaide.

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