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The government does what it can to keep temperatures rising

Crikey readers respond to the government's burying of emissions figures.

As was to be expected, Crikey readers responded strongly to the news that the government had taken advantage of the grand finals weekend to bury some heinous carbon emissions figures (written by Chris Woods). There was anger, too, in readers’ responses to the banking royal commission’s implication of John Howard and Peter Costello’s complacency in the framework that allowed the financial services industry to run rampant (as written by Bernard Keane).

On the government’s smothering of emissions numbers

Desmond Bellamy, Special Projects Coordinator at PETA Australia writes: The news that the government has released its latest national greenhouse gas inventory report on the eve of the football grand finals was met in the press with some cynicism. The report showed that our emissions had risen yet again, making it unlikely that we will be able to meet the Paris Agreement targets.

What’s most concerning isn’t the timing of the release but the devastating impact of  agriculture, which it says represents 14% of Australia’s emissions, and has risen to 73.7 million tonnes, an increase of 2.1% over the same period the previous year. This figure doesn’t even take into account the contribution of animal agriculture to transport, electricity, processing and waste emissions. The United Nations has stated that there needs to be a global shift towards vegan eating to alleviate the worst impacts of climate change, and these numbers confirm it.

William Chandler writes: Thank you for the statistics provided in Chris Wood’s article. They provide an antidote for PM Morrison’s fast talking but not-credible commentary of Australia’s emissions, and climate change inaction generally. In the face of increasing emissions under the Howard/Credlin/Abbott/Turnbull/Morrison government, a frequent fact-check is vital.

Australia used crass politics to achieve a low Kyoto target by not counting land clearing. That’s working out well, isn’t it, as we give our precious and limited water in the middle of a drought to Adani’s proposal for the Galilee for free. Morrison only mentions the 26% target, not 28%, as if that figure is the only item of relevance in the Paris Agreement, and disingenuously takes credit for the inexorable increase of renewables anyway. Has he read the Paris Agreement? With Labor still jumping from one foot to another on the practical outcomes of climate change and increasing emissions, perhaps prayer is the safest bet for our children and grandchildren in our rapidly warming world.

On Howard and Costello’s complacency in financial services misery

Ng JGB writes: I am hopeful that the current government feels so vulnerable that they are prepared to throw their financial services benefactors under the bus to retain a chance at winning the election — a massive overhaul that decreases the power of banks & financial services to dictate terms to voters is the Libs only chance of retaining government; and isn’t that all that political parties aspire too? I certainly think Haynes and Co are smart enough to know when and what type of pressure this RC’s findings can apply to government that ultimately would be useful in redressing the imbalance between consumers and financial services legislation.

Bob Weis writes: It’s taken a while to sheet home the causes of these disasters. While you are at it you also need to credit the Teflon Two with the structural deficit they left for future generations to deal with. The fiction that the LNP continues to peddle is that they are the only ones that can be trusted with the economy when the opposite is demonstrably true.

Send your comments, corrections, clarifications and cock-ups to [email protected]. We reserve the right to edit comments for length and clarity. Please include your full name.

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