This is how our political troubles have been viewed in the US, at least according to the Crackpot News Network: Why not wreck the planet? It could save your political skin. Although already overtaken by events, there you may read:
(CNN) There is a certain mindset in politics, present the world over and across the political spectrum, which distrusts expertise. That mindset is presently revealing itself in Australia, where this week a small group of conservative-minded members of parliament held the prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, hostage over climate policy.Turnbull’s center-right Liberal party had pledged to reduce emissions from Australia’s energy companies more than a quarter (from 2005 levels) by 2030, a key part of its efforts to meet its international obligations.
But several of his own MPs, led by his predecessor as prime minister and long-term rival Tony Abbott, forced him into a climbdown by threatening to vote against the legislation. Turnbull’s government barely has a majority in the House of Representatives, and losing such a key vote could have led to a leadership challenge. Cowed, he dropped the pledge, and on Tuesday narrowly survived the revolt.
Yet for large parts of the political class here, and the people who vote for them, climate change is seen as a scam perpetrated by liberal, anti-business scientists.
One in five Australians, a poll last year showed, believe that climate change is a “hoax.” Another poll in 2015 declared that Australia was the most climate-skeptical nation on Earth.
Abbott himself has said that the “settled science” of climate change is “absolute crap” and that efforts to reduce its impact are like “killing goats to appease the volcano gods.” Another politician, the anti-immigration populist Malcolm Roberts, has clashed with scientist Brian Cox, claiming that NASA data was “manipulated” to make climate change appear worse than it was, to Cox’s astonishment.
And you can see here the evidence we are ignoring, from that same report.
Australia is a country where environmental damage is obvious, in the form of the hole in the ozone layer over the Antarctic caused by use of CFCs decades ago, the steady bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef from warming, carbon-dioxide-acidified seas, and the ever more prevalent bushfires.
Makes me proud to be an Australian.