This year has seen a massive turning of the political tide on climate change. This time last year, the government had been forced to dump its plans for a carbon tax in the face of opposition from its new coalition partners. Now, thanks to some bad weather and Al Gore, climate change is common sense. And so even United Future - a party which went into the last election opposed to any action on climate change and promising to withdraw from the Kyoto Protocol on the grounds that it was "based on debatable science" - now has a climate change policy.
Media reaction has focused on the somewhat kooky idea of getting householders to stick another five grand on the mortgage for insulation - something which is unlikely to be effective in the absence of a solid regulatory regime (and currently United Future is only proposing compulsory ratings, not higher insulation standards). But the real news here, overlooked in the TV and radio reports I've seen, is that United Future now supports emissions trading. They also support biofuels and deforestation liabilities, so it looks as if the government is going to get its policy agenda through. And if the cost of that is substantially boosting funding to EECA for "a comprehensive nationwide programme of retro-fitting existing homes with energy saving improvements" (something which should have happened long ago), then who am I to complain?