Leading article Australia

Teal zeal

18 June 2022

9:00 AM

18 June 2022

9:00 AM

A tweet doing the rounds this week is surely satire? Apparently not. Writing from Sydney’s oceanside suburb of Manly, the spiritual and political heartland of the Teal independents, the writer says: ‘Many houses on the northern beaches were without power this morning and there will be more blackouts to come. I know it’s a bit cold but it’s a very small price to pay as we finally take real action on climate change (the words ‘climate change’ are highlighted in a suitably reverent greeny/teal colour) and ensure we never have bush fires (sic), floods or earthquakes ever again.’

And there in a nutshell (the emphasis being on the word nut) we see the monumental and frightening stupidity that an entire generation of young Australians and arguably (if the recent election is anything to go on) a majority of the population has decided to embrace.

In this brave new teal-coloured world, it is now a virtue to freeze your socks off and to go without the basics of warmth, light and energy (and food?) in order to, er, ensure that we tame nature. The religious zealotry with which the author appropriates traditional religious concepts of suffering and self-denial in order to appease the gods of nature is startling. In that one tweet, centuries of enlightened thinking, science, philosophy, physics and theology are turfed out the window.


The new religion, or Teal zeal as it should be known, is in serious denial about a number of indisputable and rather pertinent facts. Firstly, the current cold snap, which has seen record snow falls, record early snow and snow reported on beaches in south-eastern Australia, not to mention tumbling cold records from Queensland to Tasmania, is in flagrant contradiction to the climate models and predictions from the early 2000s that were themselves built sturdily on the IPCC-sponsored theory of anthropogenic global warming. Indeed, even our most prestigious scientific body joined in the hoop-la best summed up in the media reports at the turn of the century hysterically claiming that children would never again experience snow. In a mark of how idiotic those predictions were, kids pulling on their mittens and beanies to go frolicking in the freezing white stuff this weekend weren’t even born when the climate change cult was already predicting they would never know what snow was.

The refusal to deal in observable realities continues with the ludicrous pronouncement that by cutting down on energy use Australia will never again experience bushfires, floods or earthquakes. This comment is so dopey and irrational but, alas, is something that many a passionate climate academic or eco-warrior today genuinely believes – frequently suggesting that even natural geological events such as tsunamis are somehow brought on by ‘climate change’). As crazy as this sounds, it is at heart nonetheless no sillier from a philosophical point of view than any of the net zero commitments embraced by all our major political parties. Put simply, do we seriously believe that by partially or even totally reversing the 3 to 4 per cent of man-made emissions that make up the earth’s atmosphere that we are suddenly going to usher in a magical world where no cyclones, hurricanes, bushfires, high tides or floods ever occur? Or are we so vain that despite any serious scientific proof we simply cross our fingers and trust that spending trillions of dollars decarbonising our industrialised world will have a blissful, harmonious and beneficial impact upon the climate patterns of our planet, returning us to some imagined Club Med-style Garden of Eden of endless blue skies and balmy breezes?

Apparently so. For nowadays pretty much every type of weather other than Noosa-blue is swiftly categorised by the media as an ‘extreme weather event’. Sadly, adults who should know better are happy to play along with this conceit, tut-tutting about how ‘it never used to be like this’, forgetting of course that weather patterns are by definition changeable. Here in Australia our history is defined by extremes of weather, and always will be.

The real tragedy facing us now is that by embracing this nonsense we have squandered our natural and God-given advantages of cheap, abundant and reliable energy. And we have traded them in for an abundance of environmental zeal and overt stupidity that will cost us dearly indeed.

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