This week provides a sad counterpoint on climate change. Scientists and researchers are gathering for the International Congress on Climate Change in Copenhagen to put together the most current data on what the build-up of greenhouse gases is doing to the planet. The result will, unfortunately, most likely be a significant revision upwards of the identified rate of climate change and its consequences across the globe.

But while scientists are making clear the accelerating impact of our carbon addiction, the Australian Government will be unveiling legislation for an emissions trading scheme that, in its design and stated target, will have minimal effect on Australia’s carbon emissions and in fact reward our largest polluters. It will delay, rather than encourage, the necessary transition to the low-carbon industries that will employ Australians in the future.

Moreover, they’re doing so in the middle of a prolonged drought in southern Australia, catastrophic flooding in Far North Queensland and after the most destructive bushfire season in history.

Climate change sceptics are at least honest in their refusal to accept the evidence. The really damaging denialism is that of our political leaders who talk of the need for action but keep finding excuses not to take it.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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