( CNN) There is a certain mindset in politics, present countries around the world over and across the political range, which doubts expertise. That mindset is currently disclosing itself in Australia, where this week a small group of conservative-minded members of parliament maintain the prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, hostage over climate policy.

But several of his own MPs, led by his predecessor as “ministers ” and long-term rival Tony Abbott, pressured him into a climbdown by threatening to vote against the legislation. Turnbull’s government scarcely has a majority in the House of Representative, and losing such a key vote could have led to a leadership challenge. Cowed, he removed the assurance, and on Tuesday narrowly endured a leader challenge.

Internal Liberal party politics are one thing. But the symbolism of the gesture is recounting. Australia is a country where environmental damage is obvious, in accordance with the arrangements of the hole in the ozone layer over the Antarcticcaused by implement of CFCs decades ago, the steady bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef from warming, carbon-dioxide-acidified seas, and the ever more prevalent bushfires.

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