“Day 2 of the #carbonprice and the sky hasn’t fallen.”

Julia Gillard’s tweet this morning was the second of many more to come. But few of her 244,708 followers will believe her.

The Chicken Littles just won’t be told. As Bernard Keane writes today:

“We’re decreasingly willing to let facts influence our views of public policy. We regard the economy through a lens of our partisan beliefs, so that Liberal voters see only economic misery and financial hardship. We think we’re doing it tough financially even as we travel overseas. We’re convinced many multiples of asylum seekers are arriving than ever set foot here. We refuse to accept the copious evidence that our incomes have risen far more quickly than prices in recent years. We filter information out that doesn’t accord with our views. If that leaves us with no information at all, that’s no problem.”

We’ll spend more on chocolate bars, ciggies and pet food this week than the government will collect from us in carbon tax-related price hikes. But nobody is putting down the pitchforks.

A wilful irrationality pervades this debate. You can argue — quite legitimately — that this scheme is poorly designed and premature. You can blame a leader for breaking a promise and a government for persisting with unpopular policy. You just can’t argue it’s going to send anyone broke. There’s simply no evidence to suggest it.

What are we so afraid of?