The majority of Australians support action on climate change. Yesterday, a faction of the Liberal party — a slim majority — asserted that it did not agree with that opinion and will likely today move to block action on climate change. Whether this is temporary or a permanent party position remains to be seen. What is clear is that there are enough on that side of politics that have convinced themselves that they do not believe in human caused global warming that they are willing to stake their own political futures on it.
The rhetoric, at the moment, is that the science is unconvincing to these people. But it is curious to me that there appear to be no such people on the left side of the political spectrum. If the science is uncertain and there is a range of views, why are the scientific and political views so correlated? This isn’t an issue like stem cell research that gets clouded with religious views (for which there is a correlation). This is pure climate science. And to prove this point there are plenty of those on the right side of politics that are convinced by the science.
This points to what is really going on here. The Abbotts, Michins, Joyces, Fieldings and their ilk are not climate change denialists. They are environment haters; pure and simple. I conjecture that even if they were presented with what they would consider 100% proof that global warming is human caused, they would still vote against any form of climate change policy because their fundamental view is that no quarter going to the environment is worth any cent of economic cost. They need to be exposed for what they are and not be allowed to hide behind scientific uncertainty (real or imagined).
A decade ago, a majority of Australians wanted a Republic and in a heart breaking manner, a split Liberal party managed to block that hiding behind concerns as to whether an alternative system would be workable (uncertain political science that is). It is happening again and we need to raise the core of the debate to the surface in order to keep it together.