Monday, July 28, 2008

Maybe the first shall be last?

According to Brendan Nelson, Australia should not rush into an Emission Trading System before the rest of the world does. Which is just as well, because it seems like the rest of the world is already doing it.

Last week the Western Climate Initiativerevealed a framework yesterday for a broad cap-and-trade program to reduce polluting greenhouse-gas emissions”. Now I have to admit the Western Climate Initiative sounds like the cookiest bunch of tree-hugging, let’s sit around the campfire in our hemp pants and sing a few versus of Kumbaya, greenies going. Obviously it must be a group consisting of people with names like Waterfall and Deer Blossom who have decided to band together and form a collective or something.

Actually no.

The WCI consists of the US states Arizona, California, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and the Canadian provinces, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec. Not exactly small time then.

California is of course the 8th biggest economy in the world; and those seven US states combined would be the 6th biggest economy (or about 20% of the US Economy, and a mere 202% bigger than Australia’s). And just in case you think they have gone rogue, fourteen more U.S. and Mexican states and Canadian provinces are officially tracking the process.

So it’s all a bit odd when you read that Nelson thinks: "Our priority in deciding our policy is to act in Australia's best interest and for Australia not to get too far out in front of the 'big guys' of greenhouse gas emissions, such as India and China”.

So I guess while the biggest economy in the US thinks it’s time to act, the Liberals think Rudd doing the same thing in Australia will cripple our economy. Apparently our economy is now determined by the decisions of those in Beijing and New Delhi.

I don’t know about you, but if in the past we had waited for China and India to do something before we did anything I’d hazard a guess and say our quality of life would not be quite so luxurious.

Though I guess now things have changed, after all Miranda Devine thinks the ETS will “wreck the economy”. Any evidence of this Miranda? Of course not.

Even more bizarre is when Nelson says: “Australia cannot in itself solve the problem of climate change, but we can destroy jobs and industries in our country and we can do enormous damage to our own environment if we act in isolation from the rest of the world." (by the way I’m pretty sure he meant to say “damage to our economy”, but with Nelson you never know for sure).

So I guess the European Union, Japan, California, Canada, and New Zealand don’t count. Obviously they are all “isolated from the rest of the world”.

Here’s a quote to go out with, it’s from Arnold Schwarzengger (who was elected basically because California’s economy was in the toilet – so not exactly desirous of wrecking the economy):
"Like California, Ontario is leading the way in recognizing that we must take action now to fight global warming and to reduce our dependence on fossil fuel. Instead of waiting for our federal governments to act, our states and provinces are working together to find solutions that both protect the environment and grow our economy. Working with our partners, California can achieve nearly double the reductions in global warming pollution than if we go at the problem alone.”

Geez, I’m now quoting Arnold Schwarzenegger; wonders will never cease. At this rate the Liberals will get some logic to their Climate Change policy, but I think that may be a verse of Kumbaya too many.

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