An irony of the climate change debate is that just as Nixon was the only president who could have gone to China, Scott Morrison is the only Prime Minister who can go to Glasgow with a net zero by 2050 carbon target.
If a Democrat president had floated the idea of diplomatic relations with communist China at the height of the Cold War Republicans would have fought it tooth and nail.
Nixon, whose impeccable credentials as a hard-line anti-communist dated back to the McCarthy era, united his followers behind one of the boldest and most world-changing diplomatic initiatives in history.
If Labor had won the 2019 election with a paper-thin majority Scott Morrison, and the rest of the Coalition, would be pushing back against a net zero by 2050 target using every trick they could muster.
If, for example, Bill Shorten was PM and about to leave for Glasgow he would leave behind a fractured nation and an Opposition committed to trashing any commitments the moment they got back into office. It has happened before. Remember what Tony Abbott did to Labor's carbon price.
So, despite the intransigence of the Nationals who are determined to use any concessions on net zero as an opportunity for pork-barrelling in regional electorates on an unheard of scale, things aren't that bad.
Unless Barnaby Joyce is crazy-brave enough to actually believe the nonsense he has been spruiking he will corral the Nationals on board for net zero next week.
This would end what has been a long and arduous journey for the PM since he first announced his support for net zero "as soon as possible, preferably by 2050" earlier this year.
While not quite an epiphany on the road to Damascus that was the moment he first publicly acknowledged the Coalition had to change tack in order to stay in step with public opinion and prevailing sentiment within the business community.
His elbow was also being jogged by the realisation the economic dynamics of the debate had shifted and that unless Australia fell into line the cost of not acting would far outweigh any savings.
Just in the last week the National Farmers Federation and the Australian Business Council have backed net zero by 2050 and the Australia Institute's annual poll on climate change has found 75 per cent of us are "concerned" and that 40 per cent "are very concerned".
This comes on top of Wednesday's adverse Climate Council report and Victoria University modelling which warns of a $4 billion hit to GDP, a $12.5 billion hit to national income, and the loss of more than 80,000 jobs in NSW and Queensland if Australia sticks to its current trajectory.
That's why in his landmark speech to the Australian Industry Group on September 24 Josh Frydenberg bent over backwards to make the economic case for climate change action.
On the plus side the IMF is saying net zero will be a "bonanza" for Australia because we have so much of so many of the minerals that make carbon neutral technologies possible.
These include nickel, copper, lithium and cobalt. All of these are expected to increase in price by hundreds of per cent over the next decade.
Having squandered the proceeds of the last commodities boom rather than use it to secure the country's future, it would be very foolish for a Coalition government to miss the bus a second time round.
Instead of focusing on the alleged costs of transition the climate change recalcitrants need to understand the opportunities a zero carbon economy represents.
This is an opportunity to set Australia up for the next century and beyond.
Let's not waste it.
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