Morrison’s refusal to move on climate, and the “prosperity doctrine”

AAP Image(Mick Tsikas)

How do you explain a prime minister who says he accepts the science of climate change, acknowledges the link between it and the devastating bushfires, and then chooses to do nothing about it?

Morrison insists Australia is doing more than most, which is patently not true; that emissions are falling, when that is only the result only of accounting tricks; and refuses to increase Australia’s emissions targets.

Why? Some blame lies with the influence of far-right climate-denying Liberal and National Party MPs who seem to have a vice-like hold over Coalition numbers. And then there is the powerful fossil fuel lobby, which appears to have a financial hold over the Coalition, and a mortgage over some of the PM’s key advisory positions.

But we must also consider the influence of Morrison’s Christian faith and, in particular, the “prosperity doctrine” or “prosperity gospel” to which his Horizon church subscribes? This belief holds that the world’s resources are there to be exploited, that Christians have a duty to do so, and that only Jesus can have an influence over climate.

One of the key functions of the “prosperity doctrine” was to remove any impediment to personal gain and prosperity from traditional Christian ideals. On the issue of climate change, it is what helps deliver “traditional conservatives”, if that is who Morrison claims he is, into the embrace of the radical right.

This could explain why Morrison is so keen to promote the coal sector, why he brought a lump of coal into parliament and declared “don’t be afraid”, why he mocks new clean technologies, and why his only tangible response to the bushfires has been to try to force the states to open up Australia’s gas reserves – a polluting fossil fuel, of course – for more exploitation.

Meanwhile, there is no such waiver for climate change; even when the plummeting cost of wind, solar and storage are making the transition to a zero-carbon economy affordable and most likely profitable because of the opportunities they present. Instead, the government is back to embracing the “Lomborg doctrine”, which deliberately ignores existing renewable and storage technologies and lays all hope in more R&D.


  1. Many of the attitudes held by modern so=-called ” Christians” actually come from the Old Testament, eg the ‘go forth and multiply’ exhortation to a small tribe surrounded by lots of enemies, not an appropriate mantra for our time.
    There are three major Old Testament groups in the World, Jews, Moslems and right wing “christians”, and the teachings of Christ were quite explicit, eg he said, – “it used to be an eye for an eye, etc, but now it is forgive 7 times 7, – turn the other cheek etc, he shooed the money lenders out of the temple, and even in Shakespeares time it was accepted to not commit usury, hence they had to borrow money from the Jews.
    Now of course we are surrounded by rent seeking usurists, so the teachings of Christ have been swallowed up by Old Testament Authoritarian, female dominating/hating, smiting root and branch genocidal OT fanatics, all of whom believe they will be rewarded in heaven, – quite soon, so don’t have to worry about Climate change.
    Yes, there are genuine Christians, unfortunately only a small percentage, and I don’t have a strong conviction that there will be a genuine Christian revival, perhaps when things get really really bad, but by then our society will probably be defunct
    I have no shame in calling out these monsters masquerading as Christians, they are no different to the Moslem extremists who blow up a bus full of children so that they can go to heaven and get x numbers of virgins, unfortunately they have a stranglehold on the Liberal Party, and a great deal of pernicious influence everywhere, and in their what substitutes for a human heart, they long for Armageddon

  2. I agree with you John McBratney. Criticism of Prime Minister is ridiculous. Imagine if we do what the alarmists think we should do and then the cost. This country would be broke and we all suffer the consequences. Let’s be sensible pleaaase

  3. Re your criticism of the PM, the easiest hing in the world to do is criticize! Any fool can do so. It is MUCH harder to offer VIABLE alternative and you do not do so. You quote solar and wind as alternatives without costing of the associated infrastructure , ie transmission line from large arrays, very large batteries. Steel to hold the lines up, Aluminum smelted to make the wires, disposal of old batteries – all types, manufacture of LI–ion, components are TOXIC and are mined by children,. Wind turbines are an environmental disasters, noise bird kills and they only generate small amounts – when the wind blows! You do not address the whole question by yelling “Solar and Wind” all the time.
    How about the large percentage of people that live in apartments – there is no viable cost effective way to share solar roof top outputs – your own article states so. Cost for domestic roof-tops and batteries – who will pay? The average person cannot afford it. You put yourself out there as te experts BUT you do NOT address the whole technical and cost problem, I think you are biased. I do not suggest for an instant that Australia should not reduce its emissions. What I do suggest is that research should be applied post hast to clean coal burning – advantages np new transmission of distribution facilities. We can still export coal – very bif earner, AND we could sell our expertise tp others, win all round, instead pf wasting money on solar and wind systems that can NEVER take over from 24 hours a day genration. OK you tell me how it can be done, you have not so far

    1. and the second easiest thing in the world to do is nothing. Which is more or less what this government has chosen to do.

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