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The Forum > Article Comments > Copenhagen's reality check > Comments

Copenhagen's reality check : Comments

By Michael Hitchens, published 6/1/2010

Copenhagen demonstrated that Australia’s emissions pledges have no influence on the world’s advanced countries.

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Michael Hitchins' claimed 'reality' above would be disputed by many. His misleadingly named organisation actually represents Australia's major carbon emitters. Of course they would argue for abandonment of the ETS targets altogether. It is in their interest to misrepresent Copenhagen as a failed conference.

Copenhagen was a partial success - an early step on the road to global CO2 emissions reductions agreement. I have argued elsewhere (my December 2009 essay on the Copenhagen outcome, in Eureka Street) that the Copenhagen outcome suggests the Rudd government should move to the intermediate 15% ETS bills target, which would clearly distinguish it as having a real policy in contrast with the coalition's illusory no-sacrifice 'direct action' policy.

The Rudd government should also abandon coal CCS, and move to a serious direct public action renewable energy program. Then it would be able to show up the Abbott plan for the sham that it is.

On a 5% ETS and with continued half-hearted pursuit of phoney CCS solutions and no vigorous non-carbon energy direct policy action (where are the promised renewable energy flagship programs now?), the Rudd government will have a real fight on their hands to convince voters that they have better environmental credentials than Abbott.

But maybe they think that voters don't care about the environment any more, after Copenhagen? I think they might be wrong here. They should ignore the siren songs of carbon industry lobbyists like Hitchins. Voters know the truth of what is happening, and what Australia needs to do irrespective of what is happening elsewhere in the world.

By the way, it is a myth that China is not pulling its weight. China's unconditionally pledged 45% reduction in emissions intensity by 2020 is extremely important and to be praised. For a country that produces a major share of the world's traded manufactured goods, it's a major promise.
Posted by tonykevin 1, Wednesday, 6 January 2010 9:59:50 AM
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A visit to the AIGN website reveals that, despite its green-sounding name, this is an association of Australia's main polluters.

No details are given of the Access Economics study, but we can be sure this is a typical example of mainstream economics' bias towards business as usual and of the squealing of special interests. These interests are already receiving huge subsidies and special considerations, which is why the Rudd Government's Continue Polluting Regardless Scheme is such a pathetic failure.

There are many examples and studies showing that Australia's greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced for very modest cost. It is plausible that we can reduce emissions by 20% by 2020 at little or no net cost to the economy. Of course the current big polluters might lose and new clean industries might win. That is something most politicians are too gutless to contemplate.

A more informed and optimistic view is given in my blog post
Posted by Geoff Davies, Wednesday, 6 January 2010 10:02:13 AM
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“Copenhagen demonstrated, as if it were ever needed, that Australia’s pledges have no influence whatsoever on the level of commitment the world’s advanced countries are prepared to offer.”

Australia has little influence on anything globally. It’s all in the mind of Red Rudd, who likes to think he is in there with the big boys; he is not, and never will be. Australia should be minding its own business and doing what is best for Australia and Australians. To hell with the United Nations, which is trying to get any country which isn’t broke to hand money over to tin pot dictatorships which are broke. The idea of China being a ‘developing’ country should also be put to rest.

Australia cannot even protect its borders from illegal immigrants any more; its politicians are foolishly trying to increase the already too high population with unneeded immigrants while infrastructure to handle the increases is falling apart. We are in dire financial straits because of Rudd’s idiotic stimulus package. We are about to face massive increases in taxation following the Henry report.

Moaning about the first baby boomers wanting age pensions has already started in the media, but the morons in Canberra continue to allow in economic migrants (posing as refugees) who will have to be paid pensions because they will never work – they don’t even speak intelligible English.

The good times in Australia have well and truly gone, thanks to the only two political parties Australia’s apathetic voters have allowed to run the country. Many British migrants and others from once civilised countries have come to Australia to escape open slather on inappropriate immigration and over-population, mismanaged economies and increasing totalitarianism from politicians. Now there is nowhere else to escape to because Australia is going the same way.

Of course Australia has no influence globally; it doesn’t have the right to even attempt to tell others what to do
Posted by Leigh, Wednesday, 6 January 2010 10:02:43 AM
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Dominic Lawson, UK Sunday Times - I've changed the focus from UK to Australian government, it's still relevant and apt.

“Hence (the Australian Government’s) long-standing obsession with being the “leader in the battle against climate change” — a presumption that met a devastating rebuff in Copenhagen last month, when it was brought home to the government what a colossal exercise in vanity and hubris this was on its part: surprise! China, India, Brazil, South Africa — make your own list — will not be lectured on their responsibilities to their own generations as yet unborn by affluent, middle-class eco-moralists from (Canberra).”

Those words "a colossal exercise in vanity and hubris" describe our government and their cronies perfectly.

All the threats, all the hyperbole and the rant that PM Rudd came out with, endangering our children's future indeed.

So what now Kev, Penny, that other guy the whale botherer who thinks a hot year proves man is fiddling with the climate, no mate, it's just the climate on it's way ever changing, as it does. There remains no smoking gun, no hotspot no direct link from CO2 contributing to the climate changing, it's just coincidence, unless PROVED otherwise.
Posted by odo, Wednesday, 6 January 2010 11:00:47 AM
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I clearly remember Rudd promising that "we" would do no more or less than the other industrialised countries.

Considering that nearly all these countries are intending to deliver much less than our ETS, and even then with ramped up nuclear generation, the question is whether Rudd will again convieniently classify this as a "non core" promise and try again to ram through the ETS legislation.
Posted by Shadow Minister, Wednesday, 6 January 2010 1:14:45 PM
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The problem today is that we do a lot of talking about politics rather than reality.

This industry influenced pap is no exception.

What is missing is a meaningful discussion on what to do..By implication he want to do nothing. Why? because industry wants to keep their cash cows and power intact.
Business is an artificial, amoral, inanimate entity and as such issues like the word progressively becoming uninhabitable it not it's concern, but it is people's.
Logically when all is said and done business is a tool to man. Would you sacrifice your life and that of future generation for a hammer? or simply find another way.
Business' are adept at using human emotions against us with such nonsense like "jobs will go we'll all be living in the 1700 again".

Some businesses will close( like wig powder manufacturers) and more will open. Show me where in modern history has business in general has permanently gone backwards. Take for example there is more paper sold today than before the paperless office. There are more jobs in textile related industries than before the spinning Jenny mechanization.

What we see is specific selfish business/industries interests fearful of losing their privileged position(s) at the expense of people.
Likewise with political parties that trade a reality for opportunity of power Visa vie Liberals, where is their basic science and scientifically measurable observation and factors? they're non existent.

In its place is the nonsense argument that science can provide a hypothesis that is so *absolute* that any error/difference in interpretation renders the whole a 'con' job.

Politics is like milking a fibreglass cow and demanding a wage for it. All show and no useful result other than for the 'milker'.
Posted by examinator, Wednesday, 6 January 2010 2:14:51 PM
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