Sep 30, 2008

Clive Hamilton essay: Politics trumps science in Garnaut report

When it comes to negotiating targets on the world stage, perception is everything. But Garnaut’s subtle negotiating strategy has already foundered on its awful optics, writes Clive Hamilton.

Ross Garnaut’s interim report in February was a remarkable document; unlike all previous official reports on climate change, it recognised the true implications of what the scientists are trying to tell us. For the first time, the analysis of emission reduction targets and the international structures required to achieve them were linked closely to the climate science.

The unusual directness of this link meant that the interim report’s analysis was less clouded by implicit political judgments about "what is feasible" and less attenuated by undue emphasis on scientific uncertainties.

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2 thoughts on “Clive Hamilton essay: Politics trumps science in Garnaut report

  1. Tom McLoughlin

    I’m for breaking the Lab-Lib-gNat political economic monopoly, and their Big Media revolving door. Sustainability must be the goal not arrogant wealth. The truth is there are too many of us and too much consumption. The major parties are liars about this most basic of facts. We need to make a break from the business as usual rubbish. Garnaut sounded like he was a reading the eulogy for the End of western civilisation. If so I think he was about right. Every supermarket is a riot of excess meaningless choice. We don’t NEED all that sh*te.

  2. Tim

    Perhaps you miss the most obvious point mate – the Garnaut Review might be well-reasoned if demonstrably flawed, but it presents very conservative reduction targets to the Rudd Government, which will in all likelihood decide upon an even more conservative target outside of Garnaut’s options.

    Then Rudd will probably claim that Garnaut’s Review was too extreme… sigh

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