So last weekend Newspoll — allegedly “Australia’s most authoritative poll” — asked people “Under a carbon pollution reduction scheme, the price of energy sources, such as petrol, electricity and gas may become more expensive. Do you think the federal Government should delay or should not delay the introduction of carbon pollution reduction scheme…”

They missed the bit about an ETS also causing the death of all firstborn and heralding the Apocalypse. And whether people were or were not in favour of clobbering themselves repeatedly over the head with a lead pipe.

Addressing climate change is not an indulgence, or some luxury to be enjoyed only in the good times. It is not some left-wing fantasy divorced from the real world. It IS the real world, a world getting warmer and more climatically extreme at an alarming rate. Delaying action on climate change doesn’t make sense environmentally, and doesn’t make sense economically. Inaction means the costs of addressing it keep growing. We had our chance to act during the boom years and failed to. Further delay merely exacerbates that terrible error. No amount of skewed polling and smug reflection on the inevitable result will make it go away.

Peter Fray

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