It’s like clockwork, folks: the moment the world’s scientists issue a damning statement about the inexorable progress of devastating climate change, the stupidest people in Australian politics and media instantly tumble out of their toilet cubicles (where they live) and say the most incorrect things imaginable. In the wake of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change‘s report that the world must drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions basically ASAP to avoid the most destructive impacts of climate change, our resident deniers have responded in turn.

A lot of it is media bluster – like Judith Sloan‘s incredibly lame column over at The Australian in which she argues that global climate apocalypse will be worth it if she doesn’t have to read any more news about the climate apocalypse – but some of it is extremely ill-advised commentary from people in our government. Like Federal Environment Minister Melissa Price, who told the ABC that climate scientists are literally just wrong when they say we should phase out coal power.

“To say that it’s got to be phased out by 2050 is drawing a very long bow,” Price told the ABC AM program, offering absolutely no evidence to back up her claim.

“We make no apology for the fact that our focus at the moment is getting electricity prices down,” she said. “Every year, there’s new technology with respect to coal and what its contribution is to emissions.”

She went on to argue – again, without much in the way of evidence – that it’s entirely possible we might invent some insane new technology by 2050 which completely eliminates greenhouse gas emissions in the coal-burning process:

I just don’t know how you could say by 2050 that you’re not going to have technology that’s going to enable good, clean technology when it comes to coal. That would be irresponsible of us to be able to commit to that.

Oh, okay. This might be a good point to mention that Melissa Price is 56 years old, and is therefore not likely to be here by the time the most extreme impacts of climate change are actually felt. Something to contemplate when weighing up the truth value of what she’s saying! Maybe I should also mention that Price worked in the mining industry prior to entering Parliament – again, could be relevant!

Despite the fact Australia’s carbon pollution is at its highest levels since 2011, Price believes we have the right policy mix to address the problem.

“I don’t accept that we don’t have the right mix of policies, and I don’t accept that we’re not going to meet our targets,” she said.

This will make for fascinating retrospective reading when Australia is a blasted out desert hellzone ruled by a confederacy of biker warlords who constantly battle over dwindling fresh water supplies. Thanks, Melissa Price!

Image: AAP