With FA Minister Julie Bishop calling for “really, like heaps more” direct action over climate change, TBS Editor Paul Bugeja wonders what the hell is going on?
Climate change and the policy around it have played a significant role in the downfall of a series of Australian politicians.
Malcolm Turnbull, Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard must all scratch their heads and wonder wistfully when they’re all alone late at night how things might have been different had it not been for the woes climate change policy brought to their respective leaderships.
And, as we all know too well, the last period of Labor government saw climate change policy slung, albatross-like, around the Gillard/Rudd government’s neck by Tony Abbott’s “No Carbon Tax” mantra…although, let’s face it, the Gillard-Rudd internal party warfare was also largely to blame for the 2013 electoral spanking.
Now it appears the climate change albatross is back (not that it ever went away), plonking itself firmly around the neck of the PM Abbott. Call it karma, call it justice, or just call it deliciously ironic, but climate change could also help bring about the end of the reign of King Tone, either soon, if his colleagues move against him due to his unpopularity, or in 2016 if the electorate decides to consign him to the small pile of one-term Prime Ministers.
Yes, it’s that serious.
A media-fuelled tsunami rages around Abbott and his direct (in)action policy. Both in Australia and abroad, Abbott’s poor performance around climate change is increasingly seen as one of the principal failings of the government. Not only has Australia been ranked by the Climate Action Network Europe and Germanwatch as the worst developed nation for dealing with climate change (at No 58, just one up from Saudi Arabia on 59) even as polling shows that 57 percent of voters believe the government is doing too little about climate change, but there are also now seemingly serious ructions within the Coalition about how to handle the issue.
The most curious aspect of all of this brouhaha is the sudden emergence of a climate change “White Knight-ess”.
Enter Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop who, if the chattering classes (Ok, I’m one of them, shhhhh) are to be believed, is crying out publicly for more substantial commitments at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Lima, and also agitating behind closed doors with her fellow MPs around climate change policy.
This sudden turnaround would come as a surprise to most observers given that just two months ago Bishop was rejecting any UN advances on strengthening climate targets.
So, why the change?
Has Bishop had a climate change epiphany that none of us, including her leaking fellow MPs, have any idea about?
(Doubtful – her death stare alone increases Australia’s carbon emissions by at least 8 percent each time she casts it in the direction of anything and anyone.)
Is JB getting all climate friendly, at least on the surface, because she is jockeying for the top job and pushing for a #libspil?
(Doubly doubtful – Bishop wouldn’t be foolish enough to think that the electorate has so soon forgotten the horror of the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd #leadershit tug of war and the Coalition’s constant rubbishing of what a rabble Labor was during that period.)
Still on the #libspill thing, has Ms Bishop jumped into bed with Malcolm Turnbull (no visuals please) and are they planning a joint coup?
(Triply doubtful – It’s fairly common knowledge that as much as the electorate apparently loves MT, his party doesn’t trust him as far as they could, well, drive him in a ute…#malcolmnotsointhemiddle.)
Or, call me a conspiracy theorist, is this all some carefully Coalition-orchestrated ruse, with Bishop taking a (pretend) stand against the more right-wing components of the party r0om to show the government is listening and does care about the environment?
(Maybe...just maybe…oh what a tangled web Peta weaves…)