Sean Kelly’s Saturday article (“Cowardice: What Morrison and Albanese have in common on climate”) in The Age/Sydney Morning-Herald is the epitome of charged concision. Beyond Kelly’s major (and obvious to me) point that Morrison is not seizing the the climate emergency gauntlet in any shape or form, and that Albanese won’t rock Morrison’s boat because he sees that as a way to winning the next election, Kelly also chats to Will Steffen about the numbers.
Steffen’s picture is as clear as can be and I’ll lay it out even more brutally. The Paris Agreement is meant to keep us well under +2C (we’re at +1 now). +2C will slam humanity. The countries that signed Paris then volunteered emissions reduction plans that total up lower than necessary; if they meet these plans, we’ll be at +3C. These countries are not on target, no, no, no, and Australia is one of the worst; if everyone behaves like Australia, we’ll hit +4C … catastrophic. Looking at Australia, yes Morrison is correct that gas is better than coal and is a useful bridge, but that’s only using existing gas, not extracting more. Pumping up more gas from the ground will make +2C impossible. Ergo, Morrison and Albanese are both cowards.