YOUNG fellows like Andrew Bolt, they live in hope of a better world. A bit of activism here, a little light on some dark corners there and their expectation is that sweet reason will see things set right. Ah, such innocence, which in one specific matter seems certain to scuttle one of the columnist’s current lofty hopes.
As visitors to his blog will know, Andrew has been sending his readers to the OurSay website, where they can raise questions about climate change and have the Sunday Age address the most popular. One suspects it was all put-up job until Andrew got involved – kiddies from the Australian Children’s Climate Crusade and similar organizations would type in Dorothy Dixers, which the paper could then refer to authoritative sources like David Karoly and Stephan Lewandowsky. Now that the votes of Andrew’s readers have elevated a bit of a ticklish query to the top of the list, he no doubt believes the warmists will be obliged to hold their own feet to the fire of truth.
Live a little longer, Andrew, observe the base and venal motives that drive so much of human behaviour, and you will understand that even if the preferred question -- how much will the Gillard Gouge reduce global temperatures? -- wins the ballot, it is never going to get a straight answer.
The first option in the Sunday Age’s arsenal of obfuscation will be the old bait-and-switch. Yes, it will concede, Australia’s emission are tiny and reducing them will not achieve very much of anything at all, but we must all play our part, just as larger nations are doing. Expect the rest of the response to detail the splendid work China is doing to reduce its CO2 contribution, how the Europeans have been trading carbon for an age and why economic powerhouses like California (try not to laugh at that one) are imposing their own climate taxes.
The second example of wiggle room could invoke the rule book, which may well have been written after the invitation to lodge questions was posted. The poll has been “freeped”, the Sunday Age will announce, and cannot be seen as an accurate reflection of genuine public sentiment. Therefore, Andrew’s question must be discarded, and a sensible, honest one elevated in its stead.
And there is a third option, an approach a member of Victoria’s Legislative Council detailed at some length on the floor of the chamber earlier this year, when addressing the Phage’s methods of slanting coverage of another environmental issue.
That speech is worth a post in itself, so there will be more a little later because, well, the golf course beckons.