The threat was made repeatedly during the election that unless Australia ratified Kyoto we would have no seat at the Bali table. This was completely untrue. The US played the crucial role in passing the “roadmap,” and the US has not and will not ratify Kyoto.
Perhaps it was worth the mainline media keeping the truth from the Australian people during the election. Otherwise we might not have had the astounding result the Sunday Telegraph succinctly described as: “KEV NAILS GREEN DEAL.”
But while Glenn Milne spent pages praising Mr Rudd’s extraordinary coup in securing the Bali deal, the BBC, CNN, Reuters, and the other media somehow missed this story. Is it that with Peter Costello’s door closing to Mr Milne, Kevin Rudd’s has opened? Plus ça change…
Amy Brooke, who runs the New Zealand Summer Sounds Symposium, sent me a Canadian report about a parallel meeting of sceptical scientists at Bali. Although the Australian media are usually excited about contrary views on even arcane issues, apart from a brief column in the next day’s The Australian, the dissenters were ignored.
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Wanting to present scientific research casting serious doubts on the orthodoxy that man made emissions are the principal cause of global warming, the Canadian report revealed that the UN had refused even to accredit these scientists. And as David Evans, an Australian scientist said, it was unlike any scientific conference he had ever attended.
First, they are never so lavish. Al Gore is an egregious example of the legendary excesses of those who inhabit the global warming industry, responsible personally for emissions vastly exceeding those of your typical “working family”.
But the second and more disturbing thing at Bali was that the participants were dependent for their generous incomes on promoting only one viewpoint –anthropogenic global warming. Apart from some thespian excesses, particularly the chairman fleeing one session in a vale of tears, Bali resembled more a Soviet party congress than a scientific meeting. The delegates even took to booing and jeering the American delegation.
The sceptics bravely argued outside of the conference hall that the world should “have the courage to do nothing at Bali.” Which is essentially what happened, but without the ingredient of courage and with a volume of impenetrable verbiage that would do the most verbose lawyer proud.
The overall impression the mainline media presents about global warming is that scientists are unanimous, stable climate is the norm, no other factors affect climate and above all, disaster is around the corner. Not long ago, the Sydney media reported without question the NSW environment minister Phil Koperberg telling us Fort Dennison was sinking.
As they did when the recent candidate for Wentworth, George Newhouse, announced Bondi Beach could disappear by 2100. The front page of the Sydney Morning Herald one morning not so long ago featured photographs and maps showing how Sydney’s harbourfront suburbs would be soon doomed.
It is difficult not to be concerned about the Prime Minister’s inconsistent approach to our obligations under Kyoto 2. One minute he seems all for taking extreme measures against man made emissions; the next, he is as restrained as John Howard commendably was.
This happened famously during the space of a few hours one day during the election campaign. It happened again just before he went to Bali.
Both Peter Garrett, who seems to be the only person to believe that the 2050 targets are seriously intended, and Australia’s diplomats, have been publically humiliated for taking him at his word. But when Brendan Nelson justifiably warned that the Prime Minister must not be carried away at Bali and enter into commitments which will impose unacceptable burdens on Australian “working families” , Fairfax’s Peter Hartcher condemned Nelson for “just scoring juvenile political points.”
Hartcher heaped praise on Kevin Rudd because he, unlike John Howard, “is working to make Australia a part of the solution, rather than part of the problem.”
The election campaign is well and truly over, so isn’t it high time to draw Mr. Rudd’s media dream run to a close?
With the mainline media behaving like Pravda over global warming, it is little wonder that a Greenpeace commissioned Newspoll says that 86% of Australians support Mr Rudd introducing policies to ensure Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions begin to decrease within the next three years. Also, 77% say the government should begin phasing out existing coal-fired power stations and replacing them with renewable energy generation by 2010.
They won’t be having candle lit dinners at Balmain only during Earth Hour – the lights will off most of the time. And our trading competitors will be absolutely delighted. China will be buying coal from them at higher prices, not us.
When asked about Australia’s export coal industry, 73% said coal exports should be capped or reduced.
We could add, but most in the media won’t: at what cost and for what benefit?