Josh Frydenberg is the Australian government's Minister for the Environment and Energy. A member of the Australian parliament, Adam Bandt, asked him five questions in relation to the threat of global warming. David Spratt is puzzled about the delay in answers to Bandt's questions.
There has been much talk in ruling class circles about imposing carbon taxes on industrial companies that emit carbon into the air, and many capitalist countries see this as a way toward a "market" or capitalist solution to global warming (see this and this). The author noticed that there was a marked delay in the minister's answers to the questions posed by Bandt, which, in turn evoked some of his own questions contained in the last paragraph.
So what's the problem? Perhaps the minister does not want say “no”, climate change is not an existential risk, because the evidence is to the contrary, and he does not want to say “yes”, because that would imply a duty of care that his government has chosen not to exercise?I will supply my own answer to Spratt's questions. The Australian minister knows that there is no solution to the impending climate crisis that capitalists will go along with. Carbon taxes interfere with profits and power.
The issue is much like the practice of slavery in the 18th and 19th centuries. The leading capitalist nation, England, made the practice illegal in England in 1772 simply because the ruling class had their own labor supply to exploit as indentured servants or those that ended up in workhouses, but they would never interfere with the practice in their colonies (until 1834) where the colonial ruling classes depended largely on slave labor. Both members of England's and America's ruling classes, despite their fervent affirmations of the liberties of liberalism (the ideology of capitalism) engaged in numerous circumlocutions and hypocrisy in order to continue the practice in the colonies. (Read especially Liberalism by Domenico Losurdo for numerous, well-documented illustrations.)
Thus, the capitalist nations of the world, especially under the US Empire, will pretend to take actions against the impending climate destabilization, but will not do anything serious that might interfere with their pursuit of profits and power.