WE all know both Labor and the Coalition have jettisoned plans to implement an emissions trading scheme to tame climate change.
But Australia is not alone in failing to put a price on carbon. Global warming fatigue is setting in all over the world.
Canada's cap-and-trade legislation is going nowhere. Japan's weak and divided government has temporarily shelved its ETS in parliament. French President Nicolas Sarkozy's carbon tax is blocked by the Constitutional Council. Public opinion polls show higher climate scepticism in Britain than in western Europe, North America and the Antipodes. Even when an ETS has been implemented, as in the case of the European Union, the policy has been a debacle: a collapsed carbon price, higher energy prices, and increased emissions during the first three years in operation.
China's leaders, far from leading the world to a low-carbon future, won't sign a legally binding global deal, because they want to grow their economy and reduce poverty on the back of the cheapest form of (carbon) energy.
Senior Indian politicians, meanwhile, criticise US officials when they push for Delhi to adopt binding emissions targets.
Nowhere is the changing climate more evident than in the US. Last month, congress could not even agree to a climate bill to debate on the Senate floor before a vote. Nor was it simply conservative Republicans who opposed what is called "cap and tax". Democrats from states heavily dependent on coal, oil and manufacturing are overwhelmingly opposed to Al Gore's agenda. When the House passed a climate bill a year ago, one in five Democrats opposed the legislation.