Leading article Australia

Abandon ‘net zero’ and win

12 March 2022

9:00 AM

12 March 2022

9:00 AM

The path to electoral victory is crystal clear. Scott Morrison must abandon net zero to win the next election.

Much has changed since those halcyon Glasgow days back in October, when reaching net zero carbon emissions was all the rage. This week, the great climate warrior himself, Boris Johnson, recognised the inevitable and declared Britain and the rest of the West must ‘give a climate pass’ to natural gas and ramp up gas production. Net zero in the UK, following a Tory backbench revolt, a freezing winter of power cuts, spiralling energy costs and now the Ukrainian war, is almost certainly dead. Leaders in the capitals of the West, faced with Russian military aggression driven by and financed by Europe’s reliance on Russian fossil fuels, are rapidly waking up to the fact that, to put it in a simplistic but irrefutable equation: fossil fuels equal peace, ‘net zero’ equals war.

That this grim equation has for many years been both predicted and feared by many conservative-leaning thinkers, from Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan to, of course, Donald Trump, comes as no solace.

Unfortunately for the likes of Greta Thunberg and Extinction Rebellion, even the most fanciful extremist climate change ‘rising sea levels’ and ‘Biblical floods’ doomsday scenarios pale into insignificance compared to the very real ‘Armageddon for mankind’ that nuclear conflict would deliver.

As has long been recognised by conservatives, peace lies in the preparation for war. Credible military deterrence is the ultimate guarantor of freedom. Since the end of the second world war, the West has kept the rapacious communists at bay through superior military weaponry and leaders who proclaimed they were prepared to use them. Up until the hapless Joe Biden stumbled into the White House, the events unravelling in Ukraine were unimaginable.

But the last decade has seen a headlong rush by a plethora of weak Western leaders and institutions to focus primarily on juvenile, trite and idiotic concepts such as ‘diversity and inclusion’, ‘gender fluidity’, critical race theory and climate change and in doing so advertise our impotence.

Perhaps our church-going Prime Minister might like to recall the lines from Corinthians 13.11: ‘When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.’ Climate change is a child’s obsession – both metaphorically and literally – but in an age of potential nuclear war and totalitarian ambitions we need adult, indeed manly, leadership.

Scott Morrison has talked tough on both Russia and China. So he should. And as he and his focus group handlers –sorry, typo, his political advisers – are obviously aware, the way to beat Labor at the forthcoming election is to play the national security card for all it’s worth. In times of strife, the average Aussie family man and woman will always feel more comfortable with a right-leaning politician running the show than a starry-eyed eco-luvvy or some class-obsessed union hack. Again, so they should.

The Prime Minister points out that Labor can never be trusted to protect our borders and to guarantee our national security. And he is right. But unless he backs up his own tough talk with genuine action, the sad truth is that neither can he be trusted. You cannot protect a  nation while agreeing to ‘de-growth’ and ‘net zero emissions’. And you cannot protect Australia if your future source of energy is a fantasy like Twiggy’s green hydrogen.

It’s time to grow up, abandon net zero, and deliver a Coalition victory.

Albo, you’re no Hawke or Howard

Could there be anything more pathetic than the politician with nothing to offer who relies instead on piggy-backing off the reputation of others who have gone before him, even from the other side of the political spectrum? It was of course Senator Lloyd Bentsen who came up with the career-ending retort to Dan Quayle who had tried to compare himself to JFK: ‘I knew Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you are no Jack Kennedy.’ So on behalf of all Australians, allow us to tell opposition leader Anthony Albanese, who this week hilariously tried to compare himself to both Bob Hawke and John Howard: ‘Albo, you are no Bob Hawke – and you are certainly no John Howard’.

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