The day the climate changed and the glee club went missing – Michmutters

The day the climate changed and the glee club went missing

The gloom settling over the vanquished Liberals and Nationals deepened as history tripped away from their grasp.

They could do nothing but demand a series of doomed divisions – the ringing of bells, the locking of doors, the counting of woes and noes, the inevitable defeat – intended to slow the inevitable.

These remnants of a once-dominant Coalition, having spent the better part of a decade turning themselves inside out to ensure climate action never led, like dancing, to anything too vigorous, were left without an embrace among them.

The Nationals were so bent on opposing everything that they even voted against an amendment by independent Helen Haines of Indi, and moved by fellow Independent Rebekha Sharkie of Mayo – both country electorates – designed to assist rural and regional districts.

The amendments require the Climate Change Authority to ensure any measures to respond to climate change should boost economic, employment and social benefits in rural and regional Australia.

Labor supported the Haines amendments, just as it supported other amendments by crossbenchers, even if the government didn’t need the numbers.

The climate wars.

The climate wars.Credit:David Rowe

Minister for Climate Change Chris Bowen, rubbing it in, described Haines’s ideas as “very sensitive”. Haines rubbed it in further by noting on Twitter (she is in COVID-19 isolation) the Coalition parties, having opposed everything, hadn’t bothered to come up with a single amendment among them.

Independent Zali Steggall grew so expansive she declared: “The climate wars are almost over.”

Given the history, this seemed optimistic.


But it served, surely, an outbreak of celebrating on the floor of the House of Representatives that left the old Abbott government’s “death of the carbon tax” shindig looking lame.

In the end, however, everyone simply trooped away, trailing their wins and their losses.

Exhaustion, after all the years of those climate wars, had swept the day.

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