MUCH has been said and written recently of our government's failure to promise adequate emissions reductions at the just-ended COP26 climate meeting in Glasgow.
Lord Deben, chair of the UK's climate change committee, which advises the UK government on emissions reductions, said in a recent interview, "When Scott Morrison tried to explain what he was going to do between now and 2030, it was just a whole series of words."
He went on to say, "You cannot go forward without signing up to eliminating coal. We can't go on using coal, and Australia has to come to terms with the fact it's changing my climate and the climate of the rest of the world."
Dozens of countries signed up at COP26 to phase out coal fired power.
China and India watered this down to "phase down," a far vaguer phrase with no specific commitment. But Scomo and Barnaby Joyce seem pretty happy with this!
You cannot go forward without signing up to eliminating coal.Lord Deben
Lord Deben said: "What was so disappointing for us is the way it appeared your prime minister really doesn't understand the urgency of what we have to do ... As it gets worse for everyone else, people are simply not going to be prepared to trade with countries that don't meet the same standards."
If this is the kind of pressure that might get the government to do something positive rather than using the smoke and mirrors of offsets and technologies that don't yet exist, then bring it on.
Australia's Resources Minister Keith Pitt predictably rejected this criticism.
"Sounds like his lordship's got plenty of advice for the colonies. Well I've got some advice for his lordship. We need to stick to the facts," he said.
"Australia produces just four per cent of the world's thermal coal. It's some of the world's highest quality... And if they're buying, we're selling. If we aren't filling that market, somebody else will."
This is akin to a drug dealer saying, "If I don't sell drugs, someone else will, so I'll keep doing it."
Not once in this whole debate has our government given any indication that it understands the causes and consequences of climate change.
They talk about the economy and jobs.
But how many jobs will be lost if other nations do stop dealing with us because of our obstinacy?