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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

screams no yawn « Previous | |Next »
July 5, 2008

This cartoon accurately describes the public reaction to the policy side of climate change. Only the policy wonks are really interested in the design of an emissions trading scheme. But the last frame is dead wrong. Industry is going to pay for their pollution, and they don't like it, even though they know that the public will bear the costs of their having to pay for their destruction of the environment from greenhouse gases.

Garnaut.jpg Moir

Hence their campaign against, even even though those generating power for the domestic market will pass their costs of emitting greenhouse in the atmosphere onto consumers. It's the loss of the asset value of their power stations that causes them to scream---'they' refers to the Victorian brown coal generators.

And the Coalition is now in retreat on supporting reform. Shaun Carrney says in the SMH that:

Politically, the Coalition's key objective on emissions trading is to inflict the maximum amount of damage on the Government. Hunt's job is to fashion an intellectual and policy package that conforms to that objective, while simultaneously giving the impression that the Coalition subscribes to the reality of climate change and the need for action.

They are anti-reform but trying to disguise it.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 7:28 AM | | Comments (4)


Victoria is the state that is most reliant on dirty brown coal and its bargain power has underpinned the state's manufacturing sector. So "clean coal" is the state's saviour.

An emissions trading scheme will push some of Victoria's brown coal generators to the wall. Hazelwood should go rather than be retrofitted.

the contradiction is amazing. Consider the recent event of Rudd trudging across the dried lake-mud of lake Alexandrina with Environment Minister Penny Wong. Rudd said, afterwards, that the situation facing the Murray-Darling Basin illustrated the perils of society burying its head in the sand.So true.

Then we have this comment by Rudd:

If you want to see an example of stress from climate change and where it could go over time, look at what's behind us here in terms of the Murray-Darling system. Therefore, the challenge for us is not to bury our heads in the sand and pretend this problem will just go away."

But he and Wong undermined their case by doing for the lower Murray-Darling Basin. They are going to let it's ecology collapse whilst looking after the irrigators. Are they not burying their heads in the sand?

you do need someone to adopt a contrary position in the climate change debate if we ar eto have a deabtge or even a conversation. That is the role of the federal Opposition is it not?

okay. The Opposition can question the Government’s key argument head on – that the costs of inaction are greater than the costs of action.

But what I find annoying is the way the anti-reformers characterize the reformers as religious fanatics crushing dissent. Thus we have Chris Uhlmann on ABC Insiders saying that:

as a former seminarian…one of things that strikes me most strongly about this debate is its theological nature – and that’s essentially that we have sinned against the environment, that we are now being punished and that the only way we can escape that punishment is to wear a hair shirt for the rest of our lives

It's a misleading to characterize Garnaut--an economist---as religious.