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the final showdown « Previous | |Next »
June 3, 2009

In Australia and the US the final showdown over climate change has shifted to the policy area with the cap and trade legislation going through Parliament and Congress. Those deniers who see climate change as a relic from the past---- "Global warming: was it ever really a crisis? --have lost the battle. They are not sceptics, as they are more akin to "flat-earthers", since they have a fixed position, ignore evidence that does not fit their case and cherry-pick shreds of data that do appear to back them up.

Now the conflict is more naked and out in the open: the old energy companies just opposing reform defending their interests. They see in the economic recession new potential to re-open - and possibly win - the battle on global warming---its all about jobs jobs jobs jobs. The Liberal Party, those sturdy defenders of free market capitalism who distrust government interference, is speaking on their behalf. Many of them have a deep distrust of the key messengers on climate change: the liberal media, lefty politicians and green campaign groups. Their denial of climate change--and that of the libertarian right's various think tanks in the denialosphere-- has been deliberately constructed as a tactic of an business elite-driven counter-movement designed to combat environmentalism.

In Australia the Rudd Government is just going through the motions of defending its legislation in the face of the entrenched opposition to the idea of reducing carbon emissions in the energy industry that sees the emissions trading scheme as effectively a tax on energy. They reject what they claim are knee-jerk government policies in response to activist campaigning that will have far-reaching economic implications while achieving no environmental benefit.

The best interpretation that can be given of the Rudd Government is that they want to get the cap andtrade scheme started and so shouldn't be too aggressive on the early targets and on the early timescales as that would draw considerable opposition and would delay the process for several years. So softly softly is the strategy adopted, even that means more money for the coal fired power stations that oppose any change, allowing state governments to build more coal-fired power stations and pushing solar power to one side because it is still far too expensive to compete with conventional power plants.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 12:15 PM | | Comments (1)


If the United States does get on board with something meaningful, the deniers will have nowhere to hide. It must be getting lonely over there.