COVID crisis in Sydney and the continuing climate change wars

This is one of the worst public health and economic disasters ever in Sydney but what is even worse, is the entire crisis could have been avoided. Why would the NSW Government avoid implementing the plans that were so successful in every other state and territory across Australia – hard, fast and early lockdowns – when it was obvious that this is what was needed to avert the Delta outbreak?

Does the NSW Government have health officers and epidemiologists who have trained at unusually different universities? Or is the Delta virus behaving differently within the borders of NSW?

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When governments act in a way that’s different to the prevailing orthodoxy, it’s best to look behind the scenes to see what’s really going on. The NSW Premier, Gladys Berejiklian, was going to be rolled by her Liberal Party Cabinet if she implemented a hard lockdown – it’s a divided Cabinet comprising a relatively palatable right wing, and a hard-right wing religious faction that wants to flex it’s muscle and show the Premier who’s really got all the control.

So, a factional backroom brawl manifests itself in public in the worst way possible: an out-of -control Delta outbreak with a record 390 cases daily, deaths and economic chaos. Politics played in a way that damages the public and the economy.

The climate change wars continue and the Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, repeated his three-word slogan – technology, not taxes – and thundered that he’s not prepared to sign a blank cheque for unknown targets in 2050. It’s in response to the latest climate change report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which is no longer a “wake-up call”: it’s too late for that, this is a red code for humanity.

And the federal government’s response to the IPCC report? Gas, more gas, and even more gas. Gas is the solution to everything for this government – the pandemic? Gas. The economy? Gas. Climate change? Again, it’s gas. There have been climate change solutions on offer for well over 50 years; even US President Richard Nixon was considering radical climate change options in 1968. UK Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher also wanted to adopt climate change remediation in 1987. And the rejection of all of these solutions over the past 50 years makes for depressing reading.

And the wrap of the week in federal politics. But at a time when a Delta strain is ruining the state of NSW, and a planet that’s warming so far so it might be uninhabitable by the end of this century, perhaps it’s not such a critical time to report on these matters…

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