On Tuesday, 24 July, Melbourne was treated to Brother Tim’s Travelling Salvation Show, aka the Climate Commissioners, calling on the faithful to force carbon sinners to repent.
It was a revivalist meeting, complete with pictures and snake oil.
The elixir from Brother Tim and his brethren offered the solutions to all our ills. It was the remedy to rising temperatures, rising sea levels, the threat of extreme temperatures, drought and lo, it would save the planet for future generations. Glory be!
Like all snake oil, whether the problems truly existed didn’t seem matter for they would be cured. It was cheap too and we were told that happy customers were already seeing the benefits.
But snake oil was all that it was … well, snake oil and hyperbole.
Things didn’t start well. In her opening sentences, compere Tracey Curro showed that she too had caught exaggeration-itis by thanking us for attending “on this chilly winter evening”. Chilly? It was 14 degrees outside on a late July evening. A few degrees warmer and I wouldn’t have needed my light jacket. Not a good start to the evening but a portent none the less.
For the next fifteen minutes we were lectured by three climate commissioners, Brothers Tim and Will, then Sister Lesley (Flannery, Steffen and Hughes respectively), with glib patter worthy of an illusionist.
Talk about smoke and mirrors, and hell-fire and brimstone. We had it all.