Misleading climate claims from the Australian PM

4 04 2007

Prime Minister John HowardFrom ABC online:

Speaking at a meeting of the United Nations intergovernmental panel on climate change, Mr Dimas urged Australia to sign up to the protocol – a move which he said would boost international efforts to address climate change.

But Mr Howard says 12 of the EU’s member countries are not on track to meet their Kyoto targets, citing Italy, Spain and Portugal as examples.

“You’ve got the spokesman for a group of countries lecturing us about not having signed Kyoto,” he said.

“Yet the great bulk of the countries on whose behalf he speaks are falling well behind their Kyoto targets, and are doing less well than Australia in meeting them…

Let us not forget that:

a) Australia remains the largest emitter of CO2 per capita in the world.

b) Australia’s means of achieving its target has been through ending land clearing, although there is concern by some critics that we are not able to accurately measure the degree to which this continues.

c) Europe (EU) as a whole is emitting less CO2 than it did in 1990, even if it is not much less.  This is not true of Australia.

d) Australia negotitated an 8% INCREASE in greenhouse emissions for the current period over 1990 levels as opposed to the EU’s target of an 8% DECREASE and then…..

e) We pulled out of Kyoto anyway, even after being permitted to increase the rate at which we foul the atmosphere.

It seems that Australia’s leader is happy to just sling mud and do nothing.  “They can’t talk..”……. “If they’re not playing then we’re not playing either.”   This is schoolyard stuff.  Infantile in the extreme.  Let’s see some firm targets and commitments rather than just talk.  Nuclear is a terrible red herring.  We have not the time to sit on our hands.

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7 responses

4 04 2007
Trinifar

We could play a game of “my leader is even worse than your leader” — I’m in the USA. We must face the fact that this is a moral issue, it’s about integrity. Do we teach children that they only need to do the right thing if all the other kids are good too?

I’m hoping we can elect a responible adult in the US at the next opportunity.

5 04 2007
Craig

Verdurous,
You might have noticed that this week the United States Supreme Court found in favor of several states and the Sierra Club in declaring that the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) can, and should, regulate vehicle emissions such as CO2 under the Clean Air Act. This is a rebuke to the Bush administration and the EPA itself – the EPA could suffer further legal action if it now fails to consider greenhouse gas emissions as pollutants, unless they provide scientific evidence that emissions produced by humans do not trap heat in the atmosphere. Stand by…

Read about it here…
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/03/washington/03scotus.html?_r=1&ref=science&oref=slogin

And here is a follow-up on Bush’s oh so predictable “I have my head in the sand” response.
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/04/washington/04climate.html?ref=science

5 04 2007
Verdurous

Craig,

There is a quote by an American wilderness photographer by the name Ansel Adams of which I am reminded:

It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment.

6 04 2007
Trinifar

Ansel Adams was a wise man — and a fairly good photographer too!

14 04 2007
Magne Karlsen

“It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment.”

– —

Indeed! And I’m stupid enough to do just that, with my full name in place and with no disguise, in a very small country like Norway. It only means that I’m eternally fucked. Career opportunities will never come my way. And my written materials never get an opportunity to reach the market.

Oh well. I made this bad choice. It was my own decision, and nobody else’s.

14 04 2007
Verdurous

Magne, I prefer to think of it as brave rather than stupid. Most victories come with some sort of sacrifice. I would like to think that a democratic government, such as Norway’s, would not take revenge on their citizens for speaking up with a critical voice.

“And my written materials…”

I take it then that you’re a writer by profession?

15 04 2007
Magne Karlsen

Profession? No. I’m a social anthropologist by education, but as it’s been long proven to me that my personal views and philosophical ideas are (most probably) too much for any employers of social scientists to cope with. So I tried to become an author of prose, drama, and the occasional chronicle or article. … But okay: I managed to become notorious rather than famous, and (hehh! hehh!) … I guess, by now, there’s way too much at stake here …

Honour, equity, respect. – Ah, never mind.

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