Leading article Australia

Facing extinction

19 October 2019

9:00 AM

19 October 2019

9:00 AM

It’s not only the crazies from Extinction Rebellion who have deliberately buried their heads in the sand lately. So, too, have Anthony Albanese and the leadership of what was once the great hope of the working people of Australia, the Labor party.

As has been pointed out, the stunt that saw a bunch of climate change cultists stick their heads into the sands of Manly’s iconic beach was laced with delicious irony. Whilst protesting that climate ‘deniers’ (including, laughably, the government) aren’t doing enough to ‘tackle’ climate change and are ignoring the UN’s ‘settled science’, these hysterical activists have themselves chosen to ignore the ever-mounting evidence worldwide that the climate doomsday scenarios of ‘billions of deaths’ and ‘mass-extinctions’ have no basis whatsoever in, er, science.

Yet remove these hyperbolic claims and suddenly the need for dramatic ‘action’ to reduce carbon emissions and thereby cripple economic growth disappears as swiftly as the morning mists over Manly beach.

With 500 eminent scientists recently attesting to the UN that ‘there is no climate emergency’, as David Flint writes this week, and with every major climate scare fairly easily challenged or debunked, the reasonable, non-ideological voter (aka the ‘quiet Australian’) has made it clear that he or she will tolerate us ‘doing our bit’ to the extent that we have already committed to in order to lower emissions – but no more than that.

Looking ahead, only one of two scenarios can possibly play out. Firstly, that the climate activists are indeed correct and civilisation as we know it will be swept away before the end of the century in a deluge of floods, fire and rising waters of biblical proportions, in which case we will need all the cheap energy we can get our hands on in order to survive. Alternatively, and far more likely, is that satellite evidence and the passage of time will prove the doomsayers wrong, that it’s business-as-usual for Mother Earth, and that the entire climate scare has been fraudulently exaggerated and has done enormous, pointless economic damage. (Not to mention, in another sad irony, having ruined, through unrelenting propaganda, the childhoods of a generation of terrified schoolkids.)

When the time comes – as is the case now with, for example, the National Broadband Network – that those of us who voiced our scepticism are proved to have been correct all along, who will stand up and apologise?

Will the ABC acknowledge their role in traumatising a generation of gullible and vulnerable children? Will our universities apologise for tormenting (and even sacking) academics who were brave enough to put academic integrity in front of political ideology and money?

And, above all, what about the Labor party? Has it not occurred to Mr Albanese and his colleagues that once the climate hysteria evaporates, what will they have to show for their unhinged reaction to it? They have abandoned their own ‘base’, the working people of Australia; abandoned the coal-miners and manufacturing workers; abandoned the elderly, the sick and the vulnerable to ever-increasing energy costs; abandoned small businesses; and abandoned common sense and pragmatism (surely the benchmark of any major political party) in favour of unproven fear-mongering and extremist ideology.

Last week, Hunter Valley Labor MP Joel Fitzgibbon bravely attempted to introduce a skerrick of common sense into Labor thinking, urging his colleagues to simply adopt the Coalition’s emissions targets. But of course it was to no avail, and he was immediately savaged from all sides.

Anthony Albanese presides over a party that has lost its way on border protection, has zero economic credibility with the electorate following insane tax policies it took to the last election, is mired in corruption allegations surrounding its apparent Chinese paymasters and chooses to side with the freaks and fantasists of Extinction Rebellion and the Greens on climate and energy policy rather than the attitudes of the voters it needs to win over.

It’s all too easy to underestimate the survival capabilities of the ALP, and history shows it is foolish to do so.

But if the jovial ‘Albo’ doesn’t pull his head out of the sand soon, the only existential emergency he’ll be facing will be that of his own party.

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