(Image: AAP/Mick Tsikas)

The response of climate denialists to a summer of catastrophe has veered from even more hysterical denialism (Barnaby Joyce and co) to rhetoric about adaptation and transition (News Corp, Scott Morrison) to a sudden reversal and insistence that climate change is not merely real but could be wonderful (Andrew Bolt).

In terms of actual policy outcomes, Morrison has given taxpayer support to one of his fossil fuel donors and $4 million for a study on a new coal-fired power plant. But some journalists continue to write as if the government really is "pivoting".

The return last week of federal parliament for the year provided more material for another reframing of the issue.