They don’t serve Chiko Rolls or pie floaters for dinner at the Business Council of Australia. They prefer to tuck into cold smoked ocean trout and organic chicken ballotine, washed down with a crisp and flinty cold one from Burton McMahon, among the very best of the Yarra Valley’s chardonnays, a wine of focus and purpose according to people who write silly things on the internet about perfectly innocent bottles of plonk.
The bizoids don’t much like being bullshitted over dinner, either, which must have made for some totes awks moments when Clotty from Marketing dropped into the BCA’s annual nosh up at the Fullerton Hotel in Martin Place this week. The Fullerton isn’t some inner-city wine bar slinging carafe’s of Blue Nun for $12.99. It’s much nicer and hella more expensive than that.
It would have left some seriously ugly stretch marks on Clotty’s sense of ironic detachment: this cotton-headed arse-muppet standing in front a thousand wealthy big city wankers to talk, over dinner and wine, about how to get the economy to net zero carbon emissions. A process which would never be achieved, Clotty sneered, by wealthy big city wankers getting together over dinner to talk about how to get the economy to net zero carbon emissions.
No wonder they turned off his fucking mic at Joe Biden’s Online Climate Superfriends Ambition Summit this morning. He had nothing to say worth listening to, which is probably why Biden left the chat room before Clotty started trolling him.
Morrison’s coal fetish didn’t matter while Donald Trump was taking a four year dump in the Oval Office. It’s going to be increasingly difficult, and eventually impossible for Morrison or whoever comes after him, to get away with that shit now.
Biden’s enforcers are already leaning on Canberra. After the leaning comes the arm twisting, and it that doesn’t work out, the knee capping.
The problem for Smoko is that dealing with the White House, or the EU, or even the UN won’t be as easy as gaslighting enough mug punters at home to squeak through another daily news cycle.
Rupert Murdoch won’t be able to help him out when the EU imposes tariffs on imports from countries that don’t price carbon. That’s coming in 2023, and to be clear, it won’t just be imposed on lumps of coal or supertankers full of liquid natural gas. Roughly twenty billion dollars worth of goods and services that Australia sells into the European market will suddenly jump in price, even if they come from carbon neutral suppliers.
The Australian will fulminate. The Daily Telegraph will blame brown people. But as his Rupeness once complained, nobody listens to him in Brussels.
The US won’t rush into sanctions as quickly as Europe, but they will get there, and with a speed that will break a few necks in Canberra. The US Trade Representative, Katherine Tai is already prepping the ground, saying this week that, “For too long, the traditional trade community has resisted the view that trade policy is a legitimate tool in helping to solve the climate crisis.”
Translation: Your choice Scotty. Either emissions go down, or the tariffs go up.
Morrison will try to deal the way he always does. He’ll lie, he’ll distract, he’ll try bullying if he can.
But he’s fucked three ways from Sunday on this one. The people he’s lying to, know that he’s lying. They won’t be distracted because they have accepted the existential threat of the climate crisis is upon us. And he has zero leverage, so he can’t bully them.
Even the Chinese are moving as fast as they can to decarbonise their economy, and they really don’t need any more encouragement to impose punitive economic sanctions on Australia.
The hell of it is, if we had a government that wasn’t utterly submissive to the interests of one wrinkled media baron and a handful of coal miners, we’d be almost perfectly positioned to ride the multi-trillion dollar wave of investment in green energy and industry that’s already building. The solar, hydrogen and green steel projects already underway in WA and the Territory could dwarf the dirty, carbon intensive industries they are destined to replace.
That’s what most people in the audience at the Business Council’s annual dinner would have preferred to hear about. Instead they got Clotty’s terrible stand up routine.