The Morrison government's refusal to commit to zero net emissions by 2050 is as inherently absurd as Donald Trump's insistence he didn't lose the presidential election. Both epitomise the proverb "there are none so blind as those who will not see".
But while Trump's delusions are both pathetic and tragicomic, their impact is limited. The Coalition's flawed belief it can continue to put off hard decisions on energy policy and climate change is a major cause of embarrassment for Australia on the world stage and it will have dire consequences.
That is why Christiana Figueres, the former executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, singled Australia out this week.
When an individual of Figueres' stature tells the world your record on climate is "suicidal", that your policy making has been "unstable, volatile and unpredictable", and that elements of your approach to meeting the Paris Agreement targets (by using "carry over credits" from Kyoto) display "a total lack of integrity and [are] not something that does Australia proud" people are going to listen. The fact governments have been invited to present more ambitious plans to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees at United Nations meeting on December 12 shows how far out of step Australia is.
US President-elect Joe Biden's commitment to zero net emissions by 2050 and his appointment of John Kerry as a climate change envoy marks a shift in America's position, while Britain's Conservative government has just committed to a broad-ranging $21.8 billion 10-point plan to combat the crisis and rebuild the economy.
Contrast this to Australia, where governments are still arguing over how to tax vehicles that aren't subject to the fuel excise and where the uptake of electric vehicles is among the lowest in the developed world.
Transport contributes to almost 20 per cent of Australia's emissions and with reports melting ice sheets on Greenland and Antarctica continues to accelerate, and that 400 million people could be at risk of inundation by the end of the century if the temperature increase isn't held below 2 degrees, time to act is running out.