TUMBY BAY - I hate to be the bearer of bad tidings but if the people of the Pacific believe that the Australian government will do anything meaningful about climate change they are sadly mistaken.
Australia currently has a conservative government with an undeclared core of climate change deniers in its ranks.
If that isn’t discouraging enough it is also led by a prime minister who is a committed Pentecostal Christian who believes in miracles and God’s will.
One of those miracles enacted by God was letting him win the last unwinnable federal election. He is now prime minister because God put him there.
Roughly translated this means that he believes that climate change has been imposed on the world by God for unexplained reasons that should not be questioned.
For Morrison and many of his cohorts empirical science is something they view with scepticism.
If you don’t think this is true you should go out and count the number of Pentecostal Christians protesting about inaction on climate change. At last count their activism was zero.
You might also note that Pentecostals are strong supporters of the United States president, Donald Trump. Trump’s view of climate change is exactly the same as Morrison’s predecessor once removed, Tony Abbott. That view is that climate change is crap.
Morrison is so convinced that fossil fuels are a gift from God that he took a piece of coal into parliament to show it off.
Rather than pressing issues like climate change Morrison’s attention is a lot more focused on something he calls religious freedom. He currently has minions in the dungeons of his government beavering away on legislation to that end.
Of course there is religious freedom in Australia, but Morrison wants to elevate to a special place as a special freedom - whatever that's going to mean.
We shouldn’t be surprised by any of this. The writing on the wall has been there ever since Tony Abbott charged into government yelling slogans about carbon tax.
Abbott is also a committed Christian. The Christian view is that the world is divided into those who believe in God and those who don’t. It is a classical “them and us” view.
This is why it was so easy for Morrison to shrug off the inherent cruelty that he inflicted and continues to inflict on asylum seekers. Asylum seekers are “them”, not “us” and treating them badly is fine.
Dividing humanity in this way is one that is easily accepted by right wing governments. Donald Trump is busily demonising Latin American migrants in much the same way that Abbott and Morrison demonised boat people trying to come to Australia.
Believing that God is the ultimate arbiter of what happens on Earth is an incredibly dangerous delusion because it suggests that we are powerless to intervene in things like climate change.
The people of the Pacific are staunch Christians so why should they be worried about climate change?
Perhaps it is the rising sea levels lapping at their feet.