If you believe the Sydney Morning Herald, the Australian government has had a sudden change of heart on climate change. According to the Herald’s political editor, this has happened over the past couple of weeks, specifically due to Foreign Minister Downer being persuaded. The triggers were a) the parliamentary undersecretary for the Environment nutting it out with him; b) A number of comments about the unusual weather at an agricultural show in Downer’s home State.
It sounds rather like a bunch of dominoes, doesn’t it? Ready to fall.
Still, don’t expect this to result in sensible policy change. After all, the government had set aside $1 billion on global warming issues, but didn’t even spend $360m of it.
Why was that money set aside at all? My only guess is that it was committed through the political process (either an election promise or parliamentary horse-trading) by a bunch of people who had no interest in doing anything.
Now is not the time for triumphalism. (however, I will refer you to a previous post.)
We need to see useful action, but it's easy to imagine that the government's first moves will fall far short of idea.
Because the Prime Minister remains uncomfortably wedded to nuclear power to this day (see the first article). Why? Now that, I can’t answer.