Anyone following the news on climate policy might well incline to despair. Not only is the Turnbull government continuing to promote the idea that coal is the energy source of the future as well as the past, but many of its backbenchers also think that the best alternative is nuclear power.
Of course, in the grand scheme of things, what Australia does or doesn’t do counts for little. That’s not a justification for doing nothing or doing the wrong thing – with a couple of exceptions, no single country counts for much. The biggest exception to this rule is the United States, of course, followed by China and India. So the real concern is that the Trump administration is adopting a similarly retrograde position.
The good news is that it’s almost certainly too late for Trump and Turnbull to derail the progress that’s being made towards a decarbonised and sustainable global economy. They are engaged in gesture politics designed to appeal to culture warriors on the right, not a serious strategy to revive coal and nuclear power.