Saturday 09 Oct 2021 | 11:19 | SYDNEY
Saturday 09 Oct 2021 | 11:19 | SYDNEY

Conservatism and climate change


Sam Roggeveen


30 June 2010 10:29

Here's a thoroughly depressing sentence from The Australian's Christopher Pearson, describing Lowy Institute Professorial Fellow and Reserve Bank board member Warwick McKibbin:

He is that rarity in domestic political debate, a thoroughly independent economist, and as his contribution on controlling greenhouse gas emissions suggests, he is by no means a conservative.

Warwick McKibbin is a colleague, but I don't know him well enough to say whether his personal politics are 'conservative', 'progressive', 'libertarian' or whatever. Perhaps Pearson is right, and McKibbin is not a conservative.

But Pearson seems to be making a bigger claim — namely, that because McKibbin has made a serious contribution to the policy debate on greenhouse emissions, he cannot be a conservative. Unpacking this a little bit, it implies that anyone who thinks and writes about how to control greenhouse gas emissions has accepted the mainstream scientific position on climate change; therefore, such a person cannot be a conservative.  

Is this really the state contemporary Australian conservatism is in?

Photo by Flickr user jvh33, used under a Creative Commons license.