TIM Flannery’s escalation of the carbon dioxide scare campaign targeting western Sydney this week comes right on time and on message.
As the government tries to distance itself from its poisonously unpopular carbon tax, our $180,000 a year part-time Climate Commissioner sees the need to earn his keep. You wouldn’t believe the shameless politicking if you hadn’t seen it with your own eyes
Flannery appeared at a public forum at the Parramatta RSL warning climate change in western Sydney would cause violence and mental illness, as well as the deaths of old people, young children and the chronically ill.
That’s the same western Sydney whose swinging seats Labor needs to save face and its base at the next election. Political, much?
The same western Sydney where former Labor leader Mark Latham laments intelligent, high achieving people don’t believe in climate apocalypse any more.
Yes, the boy has cried wolf too often.
You’d think Flannery might want to keep a low profile for, oh, a century or so after his farcical climate change predictions that our dams would never fill “even when it does rain” (Warragamba is currently 95 per cent full after three weeks of spilling over); that we’d need desalination plants (expensive white elephants) or we’d run out of water; that Perth would become “ the 21st century’s first ghost metropolis”, and sea levels would rise “eight storeys.”
But someone needs to do the dirty work of fear mongering. The government can’t do it because it is running so scared from Julia Gillard’s broken promise on carbon tax that its new $36 million ad campaign spruiking carbon tax compensation doesn’t actually mention … the carbon tax.
Like Harry Potter’s Lord Voldemort, it is the tax Which Must Not Be Named, not even in the Treasurer’s budget speech.
As Christine Milne pointed out yesterday morning on ABC radio, focus groups are telling the government climate alarmism is on the nose.
The Greens leader, of course, has no such reservations, warning: “The world is now on track for four degrees – that’s a climate catastrophe.”
She is not happy that the government has shirked its “leadership role to go out and explain” its policies and she knows exactly whose fault that is.
“Tragically, I blame the Murdoch press. There has been a concerted campaign by the climate sceptics on behalf of the coal sector.” Yeah yeah, sure.
When you can’t answer your critics, demonise them, and invent suspect sources of income. Rule No.1 of the Greens handbook. But you don’t have to silence dissent if you are telling the truth.
What the government and the Greens and hapless Flannery can’t escape is that no one believes them any more – particularly in western Sydney.
When asked why workers at a factory in Smithfield he visited yesterday were yelling out “no carbon tax”, Treasurer Wayne Swan blamed Greece.