Monday, June 16, 2008

Governments Environmental Spin

Mark Twain once said, “Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.”

I’m confused and I’m not alone" writes a former minister.

Barry Cohen, environment minister in the Hawke ministry presents a creditable argument in relation to the Governments green contradictions.

“For eons environmentalists have been rabbiting on about our dependence on coal, oil and the carbon emissions they produce. “Let's go solar," was their cry, for the one thing Australia was not short of was sun. And we have the skin cancers to prove it. With our engineers and scientists in the vanguard of solar technology it appeared the way to go. I was convinced to go solar many years ago.”

Not that I am sold on climate change! I believe that the cost of “doing something” substantial about global warming will in due course cause us to reexamine the science. Just how certain are we that recent warming really has been caused by 4WDs spewing carbon dioxide. The science of global warming is vague, mostly because it is a whole lot easier to make scientific measurements than it is to figure out what those measurements are telling us about how the natural world works. Mark Twain once said, “Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.” As

As I wrote at American Interests, "the problem is, in some measure, man made. However, and I want to be quite unequivocal about this point, I will promptly dismiss the doomsday predictions put forward from greens and leftist quarters. The environment and the mystery surround it is a classic liberal temptation, and I can both hear and picture them writing off solutions consistent with those proposed by the Bush administration or any other related proposals in preference for, binding Kyoto style caps.” Secondly, in relation to Kyoto, and for the benefit of those familiar with my earlier writings. I was initially drawn to the convention, arguing that in spite of its obvious flaws, it represented a foundation point for addressing the problem and, whilst I remain loyal to its aims and values, I now see it as little more than a symbolic expression of Governments concern; one that ultimately fails as an instrument for achieving emission reductions. In addition, some recent writings by European experts convinced me beyond doubt, that it was time to authenticate the U.S. position in relation to technology based solutions. "

Back to the Cohen piece; so what does the Government do?

“The dream ended when the budget restricted rebates to those with incomes of under $100,000. Overnight, 90 per cent of orders were cancelled. The industry, unable to sustain that level of cuts was, to put it mildly, thoroughly pissed off while environmentalists are having difficulty recognising the Government that received a standing ovation in Bali.”

And Garrett’s response …

“He told the house that the program, "was oversubscribed and would have overheated and produced, in the solar industry, demand fluctuations such that it would have made this industry very difficult to be sustainable. Compressing the plan for five years to three years the industry would have greater sustainability."

If that went over your head it did so here too .... If anyone can interpret that in relation to the budget decision please email me...

To say I was perplexed by the Governments decision is to put it mildly.

“The decision, we were told, was an exercise in cutting down on middle-class welfare. However, the rebate was not welfare but an incentive to encourage as many people as possible to go solar to cut carbon emissions. What difference does it make if those that do are rich, poor or middle class? The result is the same. If anything, the more affluent are likely to use more electricity and produce more carbon emissions.”

Cohen also raises questions about the Government decision to boost immigration to record levels at a time when supposedly individual demand is fuelling global warming and climate change. Read the rest here

Deep down I suspect Cohen is only attempting to stir the Rudd Government into more credible action but in doing so, he has enlightened us all …

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