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The Forum > Article Comments > Power shift, power change > Comments

Power shift, power change : Comments

By Lucy Manne, published 8/7/2010

Climate change is a defining issue for many members of Generation Y. Politicians will ignore them at their peril.

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A good piece, Lucy. But the overall gist of your argument does not apply exclusively to Gen Y. The big gap between sentiment and action occurs in every generation.

The stock phrase "somebody should do something about it" has been around a long time and applied to every major challenge faced by the human race . It's simply a demand that somebody else, rather than oneself, does whatever is being proposed. My baby boomer generation has long been guilty of that in spades. Your generation is too.

The debate over carbon emissions is illustrative. The whole intention of putting a price on carbon (which has overwhelming support) is to push up the price of carbon-creating energy (which has near universal opposition). When power prices, or fuel prices or food prices (driven by higher energy costs) go up, we all whinge. We want the government to fix the problem in a way that leaves us out of it.

In my view, the appeal of an ETS mechanism to politicians is that it makes it look as though the big end of town will pay and the rest of us won't. And that's why the concept of a carbon tax, which makes much more sense than an ETS on all fronts except the PR angle, is being left on the shelf.

It galls me that the media use the term "activist" for people who go on demos and shout a lot. There are real activists out there and they are too busy to go on demos. There are folk out there burning the midnight oil to work on energy alternatives, farmers who spend their own money and time on landcare, ordinary people who give up their own time to do bushcare, rivercare etc and so on. There are baby boomers, Gen X and Gen Y out there doing all that sort of real activism. Unfortunately, each of our generations still has far too many who can't go beyond the "somebody should do something" cop out.
Posted by huonian, Thursday, 8 July 2010 10:31:26 AM
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Rudd's change of 'morals' and Copenhagen should be enough to show anybody that climate change, particularly the human-cause con, is merely a political ruse to gain more money and power.
Posted by Leigh, Thursday, 8 July 2010 11:03:24 AM
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Lucy - its nice that you defend Harry Potter, but one of the reasons that younger people are more concerned with climate change is that they know less than their elders. Crucially, they will not have seen so many scare stories come and go. Being nearer the far end of the age spectrum than the youthful end I can think of at least four or five off the top of my head. In no particular order these are Y2K, acid rain, the ice age scare of the 1970s, AIDS in Australia (all Australians should have been infected by now, if we believed the stories of the 1980s), Japan taking over the world economy, nuclear holocaust plus a range of entertaining disease scares.
all of those had a similar anatomy to the climate change story in that they were all endorsed by the industry experts of the time, with a few dissenters, and those experts held to their forecasts until they were completely disproved by events.
About the only difference between those scares and the global warming fuss of recent years is more shouting, and its appeal to the innate beliefs of activists (who are also mostly youthful).
So you'll have to forgive us old fogies for failing to become enthusiastic over yet another scare story. We have seen it all before.
Posted by Curmudgeon, Thursday, 8 July 2010 11:34:08 AM
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Well you go Lucy girl because only a few of my generation have been fighting successive governments since the 70s on air pollution. And while society sets its peepers on the federal government and its failure on climate change performance, state governments are handing out licences to pollute like toffee apples no more evident than in the state of WA, governed by megalomaniac, Colin Barnett. The WA EPA has advised Mr Barnett that carbon emissions will rise by more than 70% in just a few years but Barnett is notorious for overriding EPA environmental impact assessments.

Federal governments in Australia do not regulate on air pollution the states do and society remains asleep at the wheel. Australia is coming second last on climate performance, out of all the OECD countries pipped only by Canada as the worst performer.

The Environmental Protection Acts in Australia (most implemented in the 70s) have been abused and corrupted to appease the polluters and ramp up the economy, sacrificing human health and the environment.

Successive governments are very adept at omitting conditions in licences to pollute therefore, the lack of conditions in a specific licence renders EPA enforcement impotent since legally, the polluter has had not had a condition of licence to breach. Licences to pollute are public documents.

Environmental matters are hotting up in the good old United States of America where environmental groups are successfully suing polluters and those same polluters are polluting this nation with impunity. Successive governments in the US have been as corrupt as those in Australia but a discerning public in the US has put them on notice.

Greed merchants rule and only people power in vast numbers will alter the status quo. The collective powers of Generation Y have that opportunity go for it, if only to ensure the survival of your own generation and those who follow.

http://www.publicintegrity.org/articles/entry/2215/

http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/-/world/7540381/groups-say-exxon-violates-us-air-laws/
Posted by Protagoras, Thursday, 8 July 2010 11:46:30 AM
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Lucy it's not about younger generation versus older, it's not about left versus right and it's not about environmentalists versus energy corporations. The climate debate should purely be about the science. Sadly science has been hijacked by politics.
Next time you hear any speaker on climate, please consider their background, funding and potential motives. We all know climate change has happened since the beginning of time, but this is the first time in history that we have contemplated paying a carbon tax on it. Just think, if the earth warms and cools naturally what is the tax meant to achieve.
I don't believe you have you seen the latest satellite temperature data. Young Australian's certainly have the most at stake in this debate and I would urge you to spend a little less time at the AYCC, who are basically supporters of the not very youthful and not very truthful IPCC. Your future is very much at stake and you are your own worst enemy. Every green job created in Spain cost 2.2 traditional jobs, they now have 19% unemployment and 100% increases in electricity prices.
Your landlord might start looking like an angel once you realise what the IPCC has planned for your future. They were trying to get you pronounced guilty of climate crimes in Copenhagen. I understand it's free ice cream locally for participating in their promotional events. It's a bit like the story of the Pied Piper of Hamlyn.
I suggest you look at the other side of the debate before it's too late. I'm not aware of anyone that wants more pollution in the world, so we have agreement on that point. 'Doing something' about CO2 which is not a pollutant would have to be one the greatest hoaxes ever tried upon humanity. Why not start your re-education with the following link http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/images/stories/papers/originals/climate_money.pdf
If you don't care about your own living standards please consider how expensive energy and food will affect the poor souls of the third world.
Posted by CO2, Thursday, 8 July 2010 12:35:18 PM
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To summarise Gen X feels that action should be taken by someone else?
Posted by Shadow Minister, Thursday, 8 July 2010 1:31:29 PM
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