The basic failing of the climate debate has been the at times overwhelming attempt to make the issue a political issue when it is not, and certainly shouldn't be.
Climate is not a "left" or "right" issue. It is not a "conservatives" vs "progressives" issue. It is not ideological, despite the, at times, desperate attempts to make it so.
It is a moral issue, especially in terms of the responsibilities of the current generation, with respect to the consequences for future generations, with very significant economic and social dimensions. So, while it should not be cast as a political issue, it can, and is having, significant political consequences. The basis of the issue is in science. Almost all climate scientists, supported by other scientists, agree. The fact is that our planet is warming, and now at an alarming pace. The evidence is now irrefutable that human activity, in particular the way we have developed and exploited the industrial revolution, has been the major contributor. The consequences are increasingly evident, especially and most noticeably, more extreme weather events, occurring with greater frequency and intensity.
The appropriate responses are matters of commonsense, of business sense, and of technological development. Our behaviour has to change, as individuals, businesses, and right across civil society, if we are to meet the imperative to make an effective transition to a low carbon economy and society by mid-century.
Our behaviour has to change, as individuals, businesses, and right across civil society ...
In these terms, the failure of informed, responsible, and decisive political leadership has compounded the magnitude and urgency of the challenge, wasted crucial time, squandered countless opportunities, and already cost society dearly.
Although the Paris Agreement on emissions reductions falls well short of what will be required for an effective global transition, and is already falling behind in terms of its modest objectives of containing global warming, it is fundamentally important in that it emphasises collective responsibility, and the necessity of co-ordinated global responses.
The real trouble, the real failing in governance, the currently significant global impasse, is that governments generally recognise what needs to be done to meet the climate challenge but, for a host of reasons, they operate as if they can play with the issue for their perceived short-term political advantage against their political opponents.
This position is becoming more difficult for governments to sustain, as the global climate movements and demonstrations gather momentum. How many were "caught short" by a mere child, Greta Thunberg, acting like an "adult", exposing them as acting like "children"?
Governments are under increasing pressure to accelerate their responses. Even here, in Australia, the tide may be beginning to turn. This week, Morrison announced some additional funding for the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, essentially to ensure the resilience of our electricity grid, and is apparently also recognising the significance of regenerative agriculture to make us more drought resistant, and is about to support it.
Perhaps most significant was his reported "stoush" with Resources Minister Canavan who, along with his National Party mates, has been claiming a mandate from the recent election to build a new, coal-fired power plant in North Queensland.
While there is zero business case for such a project - with no net power demand there, with no banks willing to fund it, or insurers willing to insure it, and with solar now significantly cheaper - Morrison was apparently most concerned, as a "marketing type", with the potential electoral reaction if he were to support it.
Morrison must also be aware of just how successful other coal-dependent governments, such as the UK and Germany, have been in their transition away from coal.
It was most revealing when, on the very day that Theresa May, as a parting gesture, declared a "climate emergency" in the UK, our governments announced the final approvals for the Adani coal mine.
While the UK position has been bipartisan, just focus on the significance of the transition from the ugly and divisive mining strikes against the Thatcher government of the 80s, and where they stand today - Boris Johnson aside.
Maybe, just maybe, Morrison will start to lead on climate, and begin to get the short-term politics out of it.
John Hewson is a professor at the Crawford School of Public Policy, ANU, and a former Liberal opposition leader.