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2011-07-21 #1

Created by michaelwever. Last edited by michaelwever, 3 years and 90 days ago. Viewed 960 times. #2
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A return of the Clever Country through leadership and the promotion of innovation

Australia's new Carbon Tax legislation is fascinating. The international community is now looking at what was one of the last countries to sign the Kyoto Protocol stepping forward as a leader in addressing climate change. If Australia, a country with a heavy dependence on fossil fuel industries, can turn around and make action then surely it must be time for the world to follow. Now i'm no left-winger or right-winger - I think the whole "two party control-the-media" political system is corrupt well beyond any definition of a fair-dinkum democracy, and despite all of Tony Abbot's non-stop whining and lack of constructive debate, I don't believe that Julia Gillard or her stagnate caucus deserves any credit. This came into play because Australia's voters were fed up with both parties and we ended up with a hung parliament allowing independents and greens to finally have their say. Both Julia Gillard and Tony Abbot promised to introduce the Carbon Tax during negotiations with Bob Brown, and so the political bickering now going on is but nonsense and posturing. Australians through their own actions have been given a glimpse of multi-party politics where our nations direction is no longer limited to a one-dimensional "left" or "right" tug of war. Politics after all is not one dimensional and it is time for our political system to reflect it.

But with the joy of seeing my home country show intelligence, initiative, and leadership, comes the disappointment with being reminded of the mindless games of fear and negativity the major parties encourage and the isolated sensationalist media dominating every agenda and drowning the country in yellow journalism. With big fossil fuel industries against this legislation is it any surprise this is Big Tobacco all over again? When confronted with blatant pessimism, and uneducated and twisted propaganda, isn't it obvious what we are going through again? History repeats itself. How many times must climate sceptics shift their argument: it doesn't exist, it's not man-made, it's man-made but there's nothing we can do, there's a lot we can do but it's now a conspiracy theory for them to make more money… Even on their best days you can call most climate sceptics morons, if only we could send them all to their own planet where they can pollute themselves all they like.

One example of such tripe was posted in "The Australian" opinion section from Bjørn Lomborg, a danish engaged in the climate change debate, is known for his inaccuracies, and when it suits his own agenda promotes Carbon Tax. Reading through his opinion it's obvious how he twists facts to push his own agenda of pessimism and confusion. Take for example his quote of Germany's renewable energy sector accounting for 1.5% where in fact it is 17%. He should know this living next door to Germany, and what about the country to the north of him, Norway, which is 100% clean renewable energy. An opinion is one thing, so is scientific questioning of anything and everything, but manipulation and lies in seeking to create more confusion and uncertainly in the public so to enable more inaction is not what we need.

Bellona, a Norwegian solution-orientated environment group renown for working successfully with business and industry, has a great and refreshing website 101 solutions which describes plenty of existing and pragmatic technologies to solve climate change. If we each cut our emissions ~20% we've largely solved the problem, and we can do this in ways industry ready. There is no need to wait for new "magic" technology. The pessimism presented here from a foreigner really is nothing more than uneducated propaganda.

Think back to the CFC issue. There wasn't any shortage of people whining and it certainly took time from the initial research in the 1970s to final legislation (the Montreal Protocol) in 1990. Yet most of us think now of it as a successful achievement. It was as soon as that legislation was made we felt the problem was tackled, the hardest part done, and all the whiners were just ignored, even though it still took another ten years to phase CFC production out of the developed world's industries, and a further twenty years to phase it out of developing countries.

Evident in the article trying to oversell propaganda is the twist of Oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens stance. Because a businessman believes in what he preaches, he puts his money where his mouth is, all of a sudden we shouldn't believe him because he has an invested interest… Bizarre when you're talking about an oil-and-gas magnate who's donated millions of dollars to American Republican politicians/parties. By this own argument we shouldn't believe the article's author because he is only trying to sell more copies of his own book.

Bjørn Lomborg would have also written that the CFC legislation, the Montreal Protocol, was just a big "bootleggers" conspiracy too. Or maybe the Romans inventing the ancient sewage system in Rome was another silly "bootleggers" environmental conspiracy. In any area where our human impact begins to influence our environment we need to assume an active role so that the impact continues in a sustainable way. This isn't any protect-cuddly-animals trendy fad, nor is it any conspiracy about money. It is the simple cause-and-effect law and our need to be responsible in the long term for our own health and our own economy. This will be a challenge that will always be difficult when in opposition to established industries.

The Carbon Tax in Australia is important legislation that moves the world forward in the right direction.

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