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

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February 5, 2011

There is lots of rhetoric from the ALP on its policy about putting a price on carbon and making the necessary shift to a low carbon economy these days. This rhetoric says that the Gillard Government takes climate change seriously and that it is determined to act on it.

However, there's not much of a need to say more than Alan Moir's cartoon, which really says it all:


We are now in a situation in which unprecedented weather events are to be expected, but for some reason we still don’t expect them. We also know that once-in-a-century weather extremes are now going to become more common. Yet the scenario is one return, rebuild, restart within a a cycle of repetition, with little thought given to mitigation. As Jonathan Nott observed on the ABC's Lateline programme:

We were prepared in terms of the response to the emergency at the time and right now when we're going in and trying to repair things like electricity and make sure that people are safe and sound. We're still not thinking seriously enough about where people should live and how to keep them safe and how to keep them out of the road of danger.

Ross Garnaut has warned that global warming will lead to more severe weather events such as rainfall events and floods, and more extreme bushfires, cyclones and droughts.

When Bob Brown argued that as the planet gets warmer, these rains and floods, droughts and cyclones will become more frequent and more destructive of life and the environment, he was shouted down. Why? Brown connected the turbulent weather conditions to global warming and pointed out that, as this caused by greenhouse gases partly caused by coal fired power stations,then the big miners should contribute to rebuilding the infrastructure damaged caused by extreme weather events.

Though climate change has lost its media mojo in Australia, markets in various countries (eg.,China, Spain and the US) are creating a competitive demand for green technology.

In his Droughts, Floods and Food post at the New York Times Paul Krugman, in arguing for a link between global food shortages and climate change, says that:

As always, you can’t attribute any one weather event to greenhouse gases. But the pattern we’re seeing, with extreme highs and extreme weather in general becoming much more common, is just what you’d expect from climate change.The usual suspects will, of course, go wild over suggestions that global warming has something to do with the food crisis....But the evidence does, in fact, suggest that what we’re getting now is a first taste of the disruption, economic and political, that we’ll face in a warming world. And given our failure to act on greenhouse gases, there will be much more, and much worse, to come.

Both droughts and floods are natural consequences of a warming world: droughts because it’s hotter, floods because warm oceans release more water vapor.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 3:20 PM | | Comments (8)


There's no leadership to be seen anywhere on the horizon...

Gillard, and that shameless knuckle-dragger, Abbott will not propose ANYTHING which might, perhaps, conceivably, possibly, appear to inconvenience a swinging voter... somewhere.

But ...BY GOD!!!!... they're going to put a STOP to those horrid boat-people.

Oh, it's all about priorities you see?

Populism... oh yay for us...

I believe that everywhere else in the world knows that global warming is happening the arguement is about the scope of changes that can be expected.

The cartoon demonstrates the sorry state of the debate in Australia

it is sad for me to say but Gillard Labor has no climate change credentials. They burned them by dumping their commitments to do something constructive about climate change. They have to be regained. I doubt that they will.

I just don't trust them anymore to do the right thing on climate change--putting a price on carbon to begin the shift to a low carbon economy.

Gillard Labor's recent actions can be interpreted as an attack on its own green programs. So what's left of its climate change credibility shrinks even further. Its a policy free zone.

Yairs... that amazing "greenslide" at the last election really has Gillard on the ropes.

Still expect the usual level of hysteria and fear-mongering from "the Australian" and assorted fish-wraps.

The mining companies are gearing up to prevent a big hike in carbon pricing and any reduction in assistance levels for big greenhouse gas emitters.

Their argument? Australia should not step ahead of what is happening internationally. Why? because it would put Australian mine companies at a disadvantage to their international competitors.

What the mining companies don't say with their internationally competitive argument is that it is Australia US and Canada that are dragging the chain on doing anything about putting a price on carbon, whilst China and the EU are moving ahead very strongly.

the anti-climate change lobby is keen to keep Australia's efforts on the pricing of carbon as modest as they can. Limiting the scope and reach of a carbon price as their principal task for the year.