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We can’t let Morrison get away with it

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After 25 failed UN-led attempts to do something about global warming, a revolutionary new concept was put forward by the Australian government at Number 26.

The idea is dazzlingly simple and could take the world by storm, so to speak: Just predict that the private sector will deal with climate change.

A voluntary carbon price (no tax, mind you) plus private sector innovations will be net zero by 2050, work done.

Governments hardly have to do anything.

We’ll never be sure if Australia’s breathtaking breakthrough contributed to the Glasgow fighting, but it probably did.

As suggested here two weeks ago, Australia is outpacing on these matters as other countries are looking for an easy way out. The Australian way looks appealing.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison made his idea clearest in a speech to the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry last week: “[Climate change] Meticulously determined step by step by entrepreneurs, scientists, technologists, innovators, industrialists, financiers and risk takers. This is the Australian way. “

The modeling published on Friday didn’t even pretend that this approach would achieve net zero emissions: it brings us to 85 percent, after which the great spirit of technology will carry us the rest of the way to 100 percent net zero a golden staircase of innovation.

In fact, it is clear from the modeling that the Morrison Plan even exists to prevent a rise in Australia’s cost of capital caused by the world’s banks and investment houses avoiding it.

Net zero spin

The sheer audacity of what Morrison does is breathtaking: to say it’s a plan when it’s a forecast; to say that it will achieve net zero emissions by 2050 if the document itself says it does not; to say it is “technology, not taxes” when it relies on voluntary carbon prices between $ 24 and $ 400 per tonne passed on to consumers; to say that Australia leads the world when we are actually in last place.

It seems to come from a combination of the Prime Minister’s character so brilliantly described in Sean Kelly’s book The Game – a portrait of Scott Morrison – and an extreme version of the actual game played by both main parties.

In his book, Kelly writes: “When Scott Morrison said he believed in miracles on election night, he meant it literally.”

And: “The more sensible way to think about the impact of Morrison’s beliefs on his political career is to see a sensitivity in it. Instead of offering him a doctrine, its elements have structured the way he perceives the world.

“The first element is a lasting optimism …”

“This is closely related to a second element: the feeling of certainty that can come from believing that God has you in His hands – that He has a plan …”

When it comes to something that affects the whole planet and humanity, not less all of creation, how can one who believes in the primacy of God’s plan for each of us think that human beings should, or even can, interfere? it.

So it makes perfect sense to leave it to the private sector and technology that is overseen by God.

Work in a bind

The policy of the Morrison Plan, meanwhile, looks shocking – for Labor.

The Prime Minister will now advocate doing next to nothing about climate change because the private sector will do well – it will basically take care of itself.

So whatever the Labor Party proposes about climate change has to be something, not nothing, that means it can be attacked as a cost, a tax, or a dictation.

ALP leader Anthony Albanese is now in a difficult position.

He must either go bankrupt, boldly announce the exit from coal, a new emissions trading system and a ban on vehicles with internal combustion engines by 2040, for example, and try to win the cities with it, or Morrison’s nothing plan and adapt his campaign for something different.

Half a thing will not please anyone.

Both strategies are hugely risky – unless Morrison falters, which seems unlikely at the moment.

Therefore, the media must now become actors in this drama.

The role of the media

The reason Scott Morrison knows he’s pretty safe with an obvious non-politics is that most of the mainstream media tries to be politically impartial and tends to show respect to a prime minister.

But most media company directors and journalists also know that we are actually facing an emergency because of global warming, and that it may not be true that private technology takes care of it or that disaster prevention is free – it just will be cheaper than the disaster.

So we have to keep calling him every day and applying the truth in advertising standards to election advertising as well.

Climate change is not just politics and shouldn’t be reported just as politics.

Alan Kohler writes for The New Daily twice a week. He is also editor-in-chief of Eureka Report and a financial presenter at ABC News

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