While the climate agreement in Paris is being hailed as the beginning of the end of fossil fuels, the Turnbull government is having none of it. "Coal-fired power generation is here to stay," Foreign Minister Julie Bishop defiantly declared last week. "Fossil fuels will remain critical to promoting prosperity, growing economies, alleviating hunger for years to come." And the weekend outcome in Paris didn't faze her. "It doesn't matter how one achieves the outcomes in the targets," she said yesterday when asked about the final agreement's significance for fossil fuel industries.

Last week, alleged environment minister Greg Hunt went further in the course of defending the vast white elephant Carmichael coal mine, saying it would be an act of "neo-colonialism" not to support the mine, because Australian coal would "bring people out of poverty".