Charles Gutjahr

Melbourne, Australia

A change in climate?

28 Sep 2019 — a 1 minute read on opinion

I am feeling optimistic about our ability to deal with climate change, thanks to the last few weeks of attention on strikes and Greta Thunberg and all of that. That's because I feel like there was a shift in the opposition: this time around I hardly saw anyone claiming falsely that climate change isn't real or that we shouldn't take action. Some still say that but it feels like opposition has predominately changed to "yes we should take action on climate change but..." followed by some incidental objection.

Amanda Vanstone's piece in The Age last week is the quintessential example: she complained about kids skipping school, words used by Greta Thunberg, people demonstrating instead of planting trees... but did not deny climate change. If anything she said the world should do more on climate change (just that others should do it instead of us Australians 🤦).

That's good! I feel like the culture war is shifting to tangential matters. That leaves more room for governments, bureaucrats, industry etc to quietly take action on climate change without upsetting the opposition. It is a way for the opposition to give up without having to admit they've failed, without losing face. We're not there yet but it feels like that shift is now underway.