John Howard received a standing ovation from the party faithful when he announced today “that it’s not time for a change in government.” Well, isn’t that surprising? Almost as surprising as this:
We are in danger now of having quite a sensible debate on global warming, simply because only the most determined troglodyte (and Tim) is actually a sceptic now. Marian Wilkinson expresses doubts about the Howard approach and I think rightly points to its prime motivation. Howard does seem to have had a committee charged with delivering the least unacceptable answers, though I really should read the report — and I will. Paul Kelly, on the other hand — and he isn’t a fool — sees it as An emissions blueprint for the world to follow.
I can’t help having the following very unoriginal gut feelings:
- The environment actually exists. It is quite unforgiving of mistakes, though also remarkably resilient in normal circumstances. But the environment, despite the comforting traditional doctrines of Christianity, really doesn’t care two hoots about us. We go, the environment will stay, as it did before we even appeared.
- The economy is a human construct, a way of arranging the distribution of goods. It is a very imperfect way. It will disappear when we do. In that respect, unlike the environment, it has no objective reality.
“It’s the economy, stupid” really must give way to “It’s the environment, stupid.”
But at least we are now having a debate, not the old ostrich tactic the denialists favoured. Why, even George Bush is trying to look green, but the colour doesn’t really suit him. Mind you, surprising things can happen. Look at Arnie!