Get Set For Evidence-Based Event TV!


HOST: Welcome to another episode of Climate Team, where we assemble the coolest climate-change-bustin’ duo Australia’s ever seen! We apologise for last week’s unexpected cancellation of Refugee Team. Please give a big hand to the never-say-warm Master and Mistress of evidence-based policy — Kevin Rudd and Penny Wong! [Raucous applause.] Cool it down, guys!

RUDD: [Embarrassed.] Um, thanks.

WONG: [Deathly silence.]

HOST: So, ready to give Abbott his painful weekly Climate Change Chinese Burn? Which flamingly combustible rhetorical Molotov cocktail are you lobbing at those dinosaur deniers this week, Kevin?

RUDD: I won’t hesitate to say … it’s complicated. [Siren.]

HOST: Which brings us to our first Physical Challenge! Can you stop the world from becoming scorchingly hot-hot-hotter than Kylie’s hot-hot-hotpants?

RUDD: [Sheepishly.] We have to think of the long-term effects of — [Warning siren #1.]

HOST: Oh no! Doesn’t that involve everyone being burnt to blackened crisps like English sunbathers?

RUDD: [Grudgingly.] The long-to-medium term effects, then. [Warning siren #2.]

HOST: Wipeout! Long-to-medium term effects! Don’t they involve destruction of farmland, severe flooding and droughts, water shortages, millions of refugees and extinct rare dragon lizards? What are YOU going to do about it, Big Kev? Here we go with another Integrity Challenge! [Triumphant siren, flashing lights.] Hit it!

RUDD: Going forward, the medium-range projection has recently been ameliorated by the desire to mitigate the potential political damage caused by the possible shift in voter loyalty derived from the regrettable economic side-effects of the alternative.

HOST: [Confused.] Wow! I’m not sure if we have a siren for that.

RUDD: I believe I’ve made myself clear.

HOST: You’re … copping out of an Integrity Challenge? [Disappointed siren.]

RUDD: The damage that could be inflicted by an economically cautious populace has made us reconsider the physical reality on the ground.

HOST: [Incredulous.] But — how do you reconsider physical reality? Ms Wong, can you — ah — set us straight on the Labor Party’s climate change position by taking a Coherence Challenge?

WONG: [Silence.]

HOST: Ms Wong?

WONG: [To RUDD.] This is humiliating, Kevin. I want to go home.

RUDD: [Between gritted teeth.] Just f**king say it, Penny, if you value your seat.

WONG: [Sighs.] We … remain utterly committed to taking action on climate change. However, a new metric for the decision-making process is now required. The solution to the policy difficulties will only be solved by implementing a three-point-turn and resuming traction.

HOST: In the … opposite direction? I smell a Consistency Challenge coming on, folks! [Cheers.]

WONG: I have to stress that the policy has been altered to deal with the political reality we face. [Loud siren.]

HOST: [To audience.] Woah! Looks like the night’s first Expediency Challenge! [Applause.] Would you like to phone a friend, Penny?

WONG: If you mean "telephone a colleague", I could avail myself of that option, yes. [Picks up phone.] Can I speak to the head of the CSIRO? Thank you. Oh, hello. This is Penny Wong … I see. Well, there’s no need for that kind of language. [Hangs up]. He really liked the idea.

HOST: What about the "greatest moral challenge of our time"? Explanation Challenge, anyone?

RUDD: Let me answer this one. I believe I said: climate change is a moral challenge, but we face many moral challenges. Like choosing the correct brand of coffee.

HOST: Hey-hey! That brings us to Moral Minute! Would you rather: commit an act of craven political expediency or secure humanity’s future? Here’s some thinking music! [Strains of Michael Jackson’s "Earth Song".]

WONG: I find these games arbitrary and slightly degrading. The point is, Tony Abbott has failed the moral challenge. [Sirens, flashing red lights.]

HOST: Wow-ee! "Tony Abbott" is tonight’s Secret Word! Every time you say "Tony Abbott", your credibilitometer drops 10 points! [Audience groans.]

RUDD: Look, the decision’s possible negative contingencies will be mitigated by nascent fringe benefits. [Siren.]

HOST: Woah! Sounds like it’s time for Policy Translator! You know the drill. You say a sentence, and I translate it into human language!

RUDD: I’ll be straight-up-square, OK? Aussies like going to the beach, and I promise to deliver 20 per cent more beach weather by 2020. It’ll be tough. I’m not hiding that. We can only deliver if we continue to combust anthracite.

HOST: Burn coal? [Ding!]

RUDD: I am also committed to delivering a 43 per cent reduction in the Early Morning Goosebumps Coefficient via an incremental program of personal transportation internal combustion utilisation.

HOST: [Excited.] I know this one: more cars, right? [Ding!]

RUDD: Finally, we aim to bolster compartmentalised A-to-B matter body mass shifting methods by degrading collective modes of conveyance while removing their financial benefit for the lumpenproletariat.

HOST: Let the trains go to seed and jack up ticket prices? [Ding!] You both win! [RUDD and WONG showered with confetti and balloons.] The grand prize: a luxurious week in an illegal Amazonian logging camp, flying via chartered Learjet! Well done, Climate Team®! [Audience cheers.]

RUDD: [Relieved.] See you at the beach — but don’t get sand in your sanga! [Laughs.] Coming, Penny?

WONG: [Exiting.] It’s all a dream. It’s all a dream …

HOST: [To audience.] Well, folks, this is the last episode of Climate Team. Stay tuned next week for our exciting suite of new shows: Economic Rationalist Team, Abject Cynicism Team, and Political Gutlessness Team! Goodnight, and thanks for watching!

Launched in 2004, New Matilda is one of Australia's oldest online independent publications. It's focus is on investigative journalism and analysis, with occasional smart arsery thrown in for reasons of sanity. New Matilda is owned and edited by Walkley Award and Human Rights Award winning journalist Chris Graham.