A few years ago, the conventional wisdom down under held that Tony Abbott and his centre-right Liberal Party were crazy to oppose the notion of carbon pricing. The view was so commonplace among Canberra press gallery pundits that it seemed reckless to contradict it.
Those were the days, remember, when global warming alarmism was all the rage around the western world. From Sydney to Southampton, Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth was a blockbuster. An Australian prime minister, Kevin Rudd, had declared that climate change was the world’s ‘greatest moral challenge.’ Nigel Lawson’s book, An Appeal to Reason, was rejected by every British publisher, to whom it was submitted. As one rejection letter told the former chancellor: ‘My fear, with this cogently argued book, is that it flies so much in the face of the prevailing orthodoxy that it would be very difficult to find a wide market.