The Corner

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Ask Not for Whom the Tree Rings . . .


. . . it rings for thee. These are interesting times for those right-of-center leaders who’ve got with the climate-panic program in the way Republican “reformers” often recommend.

Malcolm Turnbull has just been toppled as leader of the Aussie Liberal party (ie, “liberal” in the classical sense rather than the leftie control-freak statist sense) and successor to John Howard over his bipartisan support for the Labor Government’s ETS — that’s “emissions trading scheme” or, as the new party leader Tony Abbott calls it, “energy taxation scheme.” I sat next to Mr. Turnbull at a conference Down Under a couple of years back and found him very agreeable. Like me, he’s a demography junkie and, during my presentation, was passing me various napkin doodles of inverted pyramids showing projected population declines for different fertility rates. On most other things, we don’t agree. Signing on to the climate hooey in effect deprived the Australian people of any choice on the most pressing issue of the day. (By “pressing,” I don’t mean the impending ecopalypse but the gazillion-dollar shakedown of taxpayers allegedly required to prevent it.)

Meanwhile, at Westminster, the wearyingly modish David Cameron, leader of the British Conservatives, is still hot for Copenhagen, but you don’t get much sense from the comments on his latest effusions that rank-and-file Tories are with him — other than Mr. Ross J. Warren who suggests:

Perhaps we might consider making climate change denial a criminal matter.

I think he’s essaying a joke, but it’s an unwise jest, given that most of the House of Commons, the European Parliament, the European Court of Justice, and the U.N. would gladly take him up on it.