Guest essay by Eric Worrall
Scratch a climate activist, find a … ; Guardian author Katharine Murphy fantasising about the possibility a Biden administration would use America’s economic might to dictate climate policy to the freely elected government of Australia, and to the rest of the world.
A Joe Biden victory could push Scott Morrison – and the world – on climate change
Sat 31 Oct 2020 06.00 AEDT
International action on emissions reduction will get a huge shot in the arm if the US election goes to the Democratic leader
I’m a deeply superstitious person, so I can barely bring myself to utter the words “if Joe Biden wins the American presidency next week”, but for the purposes of where we are going this weekend, I need to utter those words, because that’s our starting point for unpacking a few things.
If Biden wins, obviously that’s the end of the Trump administration, which would be a boon on so many fronts. So, so many fronts. The compendium of boon would span many volumes, and we haven’t got all weekend, so let’s just hone in on one critical issue that impacts Australia, and that’s climate change.
If we take the former vice-president at his word (and if you want a recent interview that dives right in, have a look here), a Biden victory would be a massive shot in the arm for international action on emissions reduction.
Let’s whip through this quickly. Biden will bring America back into the Paris agreement. America will sign up to a net-zero emissions pledge by 2050, with an enforcement mechanism.
Assuming Biden wins (and while I know what the polls say, I’m really not convinced he will – seriously, I will only believe that when I see it) – but assuming he and the Democratic machine can carry the day against a demagogue and a digital ecosystem flooding the zone with misinformation, and assuming he delivers on his pre-election commitments (which would be aided by the Democrats taking back the Senate), the world is in different territory on climate action.
A Biden victory, and the global reset that heralds, would help.
It would help the people in the Coalition who understand that things need to change make a case for change. At a political level, if Labor can stop punching itself in the head post-election, if it can manage to get its own climate policy story straight and stop the self-indulgent navel gazing about who loves blue-collar workers and who is about as useless as a vegan in a butcher shop, a Biden victory also creates the opportunity to apply some productive political pressure on the Coalition.
Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/oct/31/a-joe-biden-victory-could-push-scott-morrison-and-the-world-on-climate-change
To hope that a politician in another country could restrict the freedom of her own Australian people, to choose a climate policy course the Guardian doesn’t like – shame on you Guardian author Katharine Murphy.
But this is what heartfelt belief in the fake climate crisis does to people. Catastrophism is a moral slippery slope. Belief in the imminent end of the world is a license to do the unthinkable.
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