“The Weekend Australian” – off the mark once more

11 02 2007

Just who is motivating our only national broadsheet to write drivel like the editorial in the Weekend Australian?

A few clangers:

1)  calling Tim Flannery’s views (scientist and Australian of the Year 2007) extreme.

2)  “The Weekend Australian acknowledged a year ago that climate change was a reality”.

I think even George Bush beat them to that admission.  That’s embarrassing.

3)  “We believe the best way to guarantee some mitigation lies in prosperity.”

If prosperity means pumping out more carbon, cutting down more forests and buying more consumer goods then we’re in deep, deep trouble.  This is yesterday’s solution to tomorrow’s problems.  Clearly the problem is too big for the small minded folk at this newspaper.

4)  The assertion that the consensus is for small sea level rises is not entirely fair.  The IPCC may talk about likely 100 year forecasts for sea level rises, but it is entirely likely that we may set in place unstoppable melting.  The gradual melting of the greenland ice sheet and West Antarctic ice mass may take several hundred years to play out but we can’t be certain about this.  It may also happen much faster than that.  Large ice shifts slipping into the sea can cause quite sudden rises in sea level.

I do get quite irritated by this kind of do-nothing approach to climate change.  But I’m also heartened by the incredible upsurge in interest the topic has generated.  It is quite incredible that the issue is being bandied about as a key election decider, given the lack of interest twelve months ago.  Hurray!

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