I’m greener than you … You’re just a sceptic … Mine’s cleaner than yours … I’m a realist … You’re a Fanatic … Purist …Pragmatist … Scaremonger … Ideologue … Aaarrrgh.

The climate change debate in Australian politics is so hot that it could melt the roof of Parliament House. Almost every day, if not several times a day, another political leader stands up defiantly to demonstrate his environmental credentials and convince a perspiring electorate that his mob has better solutions to save the planet than the other mob.

Labor, says the Prime Minister, is full of “climate change fanatics” who refuse to support nuclear power — “the cleanest and greenest energy source of all”. But how can a government that is “full of climate change sceptics be part of the climate change solution”? asks the Opposition Leader.

This morning the leader of the greenest party, Bob Brown, has seen his political opponents — and raised them. On ABC Radio National, he called for a total ban on Australian coal exports within a single period of a government – three years. “We’re a rich and wealthy country, we can look after the coal miners and we can replace their fortunes with a much more job productive industry,” says Brown.

Phew. It’s only February and the poker game is scheduled to continue until the federal election later this year. If only our scientists could hit on a way to harness that other renewable energy source – the hot air generated by Canberra. 

Peter Fray

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