Joyce enjoys hats and metaphors instead of good policy
David Speers is a fine journalist and interviewer but on Sunday’s Insiders he astonishingly let Barnaby Joyce completely off the hook as the interview veered across the path of climate change.
Joyce in his extraordinarily large hat was contemplating lunch at a Walcha Rd café in his New England electorate. He informed us that whether he finally choose to adorn the café with his presence depended on the content of the menu and the indicative price for each offering. He informed “Speerzy” that he understood the climate change debate through this metaphor. Apparently, he will consider the possibility of zero emissions by or before 2050 if someone tells him how it is to be done and what it will cost.
What ‘Speerzy’ neglected to do what to remind the ruddy faced and bucolic deputy Prime Minister that he is the second most powerful politician in the country. He is paid handsomely by the taxpayer to decide what is on the menu and to deploy the skills of the public service at his disposal to work out the price.
The reality is that a price can only be considered when a proposal is presented. In my hometown, there was much debate about a new bridge over the Clyde River. In the end, urgent necessity drove the decision. Only then were alternative possibilities presented and a price determined.
The government needs to make a clear and unambiguous decision that we have no choice, we must join the rest of the world. Together we must reach carbon zero as soon as possible and no later than 2050, the price of not doing so is far too high. Having made that decision, the government should employ the expertise of science and the public service to determine the most efficient and cost-effective manner of achieving the goal. It is not that hard. May I be bold enough to suggest some of the essential items that must appear on the ‘menu’.
The cost of nmot acting takes us into negative territory with accelerating speed. The benefit of acting is so obvious at a multitude of levels that it must be assumed those who oppose action are doing so out of political or personal self-interest
Mr Joyce, you are not paid to ask others to work out the safest and best future for Australia, you are paid to do it yourself. If you do not know the answer to the question of what it would cost for Australia to reach carbon zero compared with the cost of not doing so, you are abdicating your responsibility. Move out of the way and let those who are prepared to take this responsibility to do so.