I’ve had my political rant today…

07 Feb

You may see the rants for yourself on Ninglun’s Journalspace.

However, I do refer you in the light of recent discussions to John Howard’s 1997 statement SAFEGUARDING THE FUTURE: AUSTRALIA’S RESPONSE TO CLIMATE CHANGE .

Since its election the Government has addressed the critical issue of global warming in a way that effectively promotes Australia’s national interests.

Those interests lie both in protecting Australian jobs and Australian industry whilst ensuring that Australia plays her part in the world wide effort needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

From the start, we have made it plain that Australia would not accept an unfair share of the burden. We have rejected and will continue to reject mandatory uniform targets which advantage many developed countries to the distinct disadvantage of countries such as Australia.

We have also made it plain that we are not prepared to see Australian jobs sacrificed and efficient Australian industries, particularly in the resources sector, robbed of their hard-earned, competitive advantage.

Moreover, we have persistently stressed the need to involve developing countries as their participation is crucial to any lasting solution to the global warming problem.

These principles have guided our approach.

There is now clear evidence that Australia’s campaign for equity and realism has won wider support and so, far from our country being isolated on the issue, there is growing international support for the view that the approach of, say, the European Union is both unfair and unachievable.

We have an obligation to defend and protect Australian interests, Australian jobs and Australian industry. We also owe it to future generations of Australians to play an effective role in the global reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

The Government’s approach to development and the environment has been balanced and far sighted…

Today I announce the largest and most far-reaching package of measures to address climate change ever undertaken by any government in Australia.

The package carefully preserves a unique environment and lifestyle for our children’s sake, defends wealth creating efficient industries and promotes lasting employment into the future. It provides a durable framework to promote Australia’s national interest towards the year 2010 and beyond.

In a comprehensive manner, it replaces and far exceeds the random, disjointed projects of the previous government.

The world’s climate scientists have provided us with a clear message – that the balance of evidence suggests humans are having a discernible influence on global climate.

What is required is sober, sensible but forward-looking action to reduce greenhouse gases and this is the approach my Government will adopt.

Although Australia contributes only 1.4 per cent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions we want to play our part in meeting this challenge. But pulling our weight doesn’t mean carrying more than our share of the burden…

Almost word-for-word with 2007, isn’t it? That was just before we refused to sign up to Kyoto.

Last November the Sydney Morning Herald reported Just wait for a more convenient truth, urges PM:

The Prime Minister, John Howard, is proposing his own inconvenient truth after finding the movie of that name not to his liking.

An Inconvenient Truth, starring the former US vice-president Al Gore, “showed a degree of the peeved politician [with] the constant jibes at the Bush Administration,” Mr Howard said yesterday. He urged Australians who think nuclear power is a “horrific thought” to consider the forthcoming report which is expected to find that nuclear power will become more economical as the cost of reducing greenhouse emissions makes coal-fired electricity more expensive.

Mr Howard, who is believed to have seen An Inconvenient Truth only recently, said he did not need to be persuaded of the need to reduce greenhouse gases.

But he said “it is not going to overwhelm us tomorrow, we are not going to drown in the sea in a couple of weeks’ time … we have to be sensible and measured and calm in our responses…”

His remarks came as an expert report on uranium found that ill-informed community suspicion of the radioactive mineral has added to the obstacles in development of Australia’s uranium industry…

Alec Marr, of the Wilderness Society, said the intent of the report was to run a massive campaign for the nuclear industry.

See Singing Al’s Song by Alan Kennedy in The Walkely Magazine:

Let’s draw a very long bow here and speculate on the impact Al Gore’s film An Inconvenient Truth has had on the global-warming debate in Australia.


Close followers will have noted the none too subtle shifts occurring in Australia among our leaders. Our poodles in Canberra, who have loyally followed the US approach of turning their backs on Kyoto, have a new songsheet.

Suddenly John Howard is strutting his green credentials, albeit with a nuclear power station in his back pocket. The renewable energy resource budget, which has been chronically under-spent over the past few years, is being cranked up. Wind power, solar power are all fashionable.

Alexander Downer has had his epiphany. Wendy Frew on October 28 reported in The Sydney Morning Herald that “a bloody hot day” in early October at the Port Elliot Show in his electorate near Adelaide crystallised his thinking on the issue.

But of course there’s still no signing of the Kyoto Protocol. For that, Howard must await word from Washington.

Puzzling. Only a few months ago Howard pooh-poohed the Al Gore film, batting away people who “talk theoretically about what might happen to Australia and the planet in 50 years’ time”.

His industry minister, Ian Macfarlane, dismissed the film as “just entertainment” and says he will not take advice from a failed presidential candidate.

The Australian government, while partly bankrolling a visit to Australia by the Canadian right-wing polemicist Mark Steyn, snubbed Gore a former vice president of the United States. How the mood has changed…

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Posted by on February 7, 2007 in Aussie interest, climate change, Current affairs, News and Current Affairs, Politics



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