John Kerry is relying on as yet uninvented technologies to achieve the mirage of net-zero emissions by 2050. Risible but better than relying on wind turbines. Scott Morrison is also relying on technology yet to be invented. He gets away with it by describing it in terms of green hydrogen and carbon capture.
John Kerry is enlisting the Pope. The dope with the Pope is the way Andrew Bolt put it. Not too bad. Morrison is just a little less dopey than Kerry. His only point of difference is in not committing to net-zero emissions for fear of losing support in mining electorates. He wants to, he’s said so; his fear is being asked how.
Morrison has Groucho’s principles. If voters don’t like them, he has others. That’s why he brought a lump of coal into parliament when it suited. Don’t think for a moment that he thinks independently of his electoral ambitions. Take some recent books: False Alarm by Bjorn Lomborg, Apocalypse Never by Michael Shellenberger and Unsettled by Steven Koonin. All undercut the received wisdom.
Has our leader read them? Any of them? What does he think of them? We are in stage of societal evolution which has produced delinquent political leaders of little learning and little merit.
After months of zero cases, just five people here, where I live, in Sydney, in early May, all connected to hotel quarantine, tested positive for COVID. Not one was sick. However, Kerry Chant, the terribly earnest New South Wales chief health officer, could not find the source of the infection; the missing link, as she called it. Indeed. What is the missing link between leaders of yore and the current crop?
Gladys Berejiklian reacted by reimposing numbers of restrictions. For example, masks on public transport and in some indoor settings were brought back. Singing in church was re-banned. Asked about the need for her actions she defended them by saying that other state premiers would have gone much further; been more insane in other words.
She is right of course. The record speaks for itself. She basks in the glow of being less hysterically panic prone than her peers.
Virgin Australia chief executive Jayne Hrdlicka made a perfectly reasonable and sensible call for international borders to be reopened as soon as practicable. She conceded the possibility that this could lead to some infections and deaths. “Some people may die but it will be way smaller than the flu,” she reportedly said.
Imagine a time of political leaders of character. Best not to, we are not in that time. This is Morrison, responding.
“You know 910 Australians lost their lives, and every one of those lives was a terrible tragedy … and no, I find it very difficult to have any truck with what was said there.”
It is hard, is it not, to get your mind around the sheer vote-harvesting unctuousness of this response. Since the so-called pandemic began in January 2020 more than 200,000 Australians have died of old age and various illnesses and accidents. Some have been tragic. Children killed in road accidents for example. Most not. No child has been killed by COVID. Ninety-four percent of Covid-related deaths have been among those over seventy years of age.
Why doesn’t Morrison give an adult perspective, instead of pandering to juvenile fancies of being “kept safe”? He thinks it might lose him votes. End of analysis. (My fancy, Morrison’s alter ego talking: “Your all gonna die, get used to it!”)
Don’t think that mediocrity doesn’t go right down the line, from national to state to local government. The North Sydney Sun was in my letterbox. Reportedly, councillor Kathy Brodie, obviously with time on her hands, wants to change the name of my street (Ben Boyd Road). Apparently, according to some historian or other, Ben Boyd was a rotter who used Pacific Islanders to work on his sheep stations.
Now you can’t imagine how little I care about the character and activities of Mr Boyd. I don’t want my address changed by council fiat. It will be inconvenient and, unless Ms Brodie envisages reparations to the Islanders’ descendants, will redress none of the supposed wrongs of Mr Boyd. I want the council to concentrate its efforts on maintaining parks, filling pot holes, collecting garbage and the like. Is this terribly insensitive of me?
What did we all do out here in voter land to deserve this, I ask myself? Was it ever thus? I don’t recall that it was.