The irrationality, stupidity and stubbornness over global warming by the Australian and American governments just got a lot more embarrassing. Entrepreneur Richard Branson this morning pledged $3.9 billion from the profits of his airline and rail companies over the next ten years (or from other sources if their profits are not enough) to combat global warming.

$3.9 billion. From one businessman. To combat global warming. That amount contrasts with the $2 billion invested by the Australian government in climate change measures across all sectors of the economy since the creation of the Australian Greenhouse Office in 1998. And with the current US Budget measures of around $5 billion in tax incentives to encourage the use of clean, renewable energy and energy-efficient technologies to improve the environmental performance of coal power plants.

When it comes to acting like a leader on what is now the zeitgeist issue of the current era, John Howard is looking more like a goose by the day.