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Its a tragedy that the climate change debate is being used to pull the Coalition apart and to possibly bring on a double dissolution, because the political skirmish is obscuring significant events that have occurred since the current set of policies were framed.

This week the change really came home to me when I discussed the latest developments with a state environment minister who seemed tantalised by the possibilities created by the new events. But with all policies virtually locked in, and the opposition in disarray, the widened debate is left to media commentators.

In todays commentary I am ignoring the rising number of climate change sceptics which are a hidden force bubbling below the surface. A majority of Australians want to slash our use of carbon in a way that creates the least disruption to the economy. If we are not very careful, the present track will lead us to a carbon reduction policy that does the economy great harm.

As I have explained many time before, the discovery of huge reserves of gas

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