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The Forum > Article Comments > The 2020 Summit - more hallucination than clear vision > Comments

The 2020 Summit - more hallucination than clear vision : Comments

By Michael Lardelli, published 17/3/2008

By the year 2020 we will look back on the summit and the reports it produces as a lost opportunity.

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Yes! The Rudd government has been seduced by the same enlightenment myths as prevailed under Howard, at the heart of which is the notion that our future prosperity depends on continuous and unchecked economic growth. By starting with this proposition they are effectively suggesting that the problems that we face can be fixed by making some minor adjustments. If the challenge of the 2020 vision had been that of creating a zero carbon economy, one that enables us to enjoy most of the benefits of 21st century living without compromising the opportunities for future generations then there would have been some chance that some really progress could have been made. Regrettably it looks as if this talk fest will be set up for the sort of incestuous amplification that allows the politicians to feel that they are justified in pursuing their myopic views of what is possible.
Posted by BAYGON, Monday, 17 March 2008 11:07:03 AM
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It is not so much as being seduced by the growth syndrome but being
politicians they cannot say anything that suggests anything other than
business as usual.

As far as I have acertained there is no group at the conference that is
going to consider peak oil and coal.
Everything discussed at this conference will be on the assumption that
the energy will be there to undertake all the future dreams that they
can come up with.

Even $110 oil has no stirred their dreaming of a good week end away.
I wonder how many committees Nero had in Rome.
I'll bet he did not have one on fire safety either.
Posted by Bazz, Monday, 17 March 2008 3:15:14 PM
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I'm looking forward to the reexamination and update of 'small is beautiful' to 'smaller is smarter' economics. In the future we may look back and appraise the last 50 years and realise we had a better, more relaxed lifestyle and greater happiness when we enjoyed negative population growth.

Worshipping this intrinsally limited concept, economic growth, by producing ever more workers ever hungrier for consumer goods touted to them by those who flog the growth myth the hardest is a self-defeating spiral towards the edge of the petri dish.

Preservation of the reactionary holy cow assumption that more population always means higher 'growth' is convenient for those who are its primary beneficiaries and acolytes, but means our descendants will curse us for our shortsighted selfishness and greed.
Posted by Fringe, Monday, 17 March 2008 9:44:22 PM
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What ought one to suppose from a meeting arranged by a top academician of Melbourne University-a known cancerous conservatory of Jurassic Park Anglo-racism and tautology of inherited their professorsí posts?
Posted by MichaelK., Tuesday, 18 March 2008 4:52:06 PM
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Rudd's Australia 2020 is an Impractical Reality Show

The vision splendid. 1,000 of "the nations brightest and best" minds in Canberra to "produce summary documents" to help form policies for Australia to 2020.

To receive qualified data in a meaningful format is not just logistically challenging, but outright impossible in the time available.

10 groups each comprising 100 contributors over two 8 hour days and allowing for 3 breaks translates into just 14 hours of actual forum session time. 16 minutes and 48 seconds for each contributor gross. That window will be seriously eroded by the Chairman to outline proceedings, introduce each of the 100 contributors and peer review during Q&A time. Q&A time alone would be extremely restrictive.

In simple terms, Mr Rudd's over simplistic statement says it all -

"Our policy direction is clear cut."

"What we want is for this gathering of the nation's brightest and best to put forward options for the nation's future (and) to produce summary documents which we will then consider in the second half of the year." Mr Rudd said.

"We will then provide a considered response to those options papers by the year's end.

"Those that we accept will form part of the government's long-term planning for 2009 and beyond and those that we reject, we will make plain our reasons why that's occurred as well."

Mr Rudd is seeking a major data dump without adequate time for peer review.

The task of the summit is enormous and if it is indeed meant to produce a meaningful contribution and to be taken seriously then the time frame is unrealistic.

Mr Rudd has presented an oversimplified solution for a complex problem, so let us also stay with simplicity.

Abandon the theatrics and save the taxpayer the expense of this "reality show."

Invite each "of the nation's brightest and best" to make the most of their time and commit their ideas to paper and e-mail it to Canberra.

If this reality show is to continue, then the ten chairpersons have my sympathy for the task ahead in producing something meaningful.

Arthur Thomas
Posted by Arthur T, Wednesday, 19 March 2008 10:39:38 AM
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If this 2020 vision is really a serious attempt to critically engage the wider public in a discusssion of the issues that we face then the email idea provides a realistic starting point. It is not as if there is no such model already out there. The Global Ideas Bank has been operating for about 10 years. As with any open forum it has its share of crackpot ideas but equally it has produced some genuinely clever ideas; ideas that can contribute to a better future.
Perhaps this could be an additional role for this Forum - An Australian Ideas bank - as ideas are posted they can be discussed and at every twelve months publish the ideas that the readership feels are worthy of thorough investigation.
The other point that needs to be made is that there is a need to undertake forward planning - this conference is window dressing to suggest that this may be the exercise in which we are engaged. However, serious forward planning is an ongoing process and needs to be conducted outside of the sphere of partisan politics.
Posted by BAYGON, Wednesday, 19 March 2008 1:29:42 PM
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