Monday, 7 July 2008

The fate of carbon trading in Australia rests with the centre left

The ABC is Australia's government owned broadcasting service. It is similar to the BBC and PBS and, like those two organisations, takes a leftist position on matters political, social and environmental.

Thus, it was something of a surprise to see the ABC's chief political correspondent Chris Uhlmann give his candid view of global warming on Insiders (which, by the way, is the best political talk show in Australia by a country mile).

Here's the segment from the show. Watch from the 3 minute mark: "As a former seminarian..."

The release of the Garnaut Report last Friday, with its clear statement that Australia must slash its greenhouse gas emissions by introducing a carbon trading system in 2010, got all sides of politics worked up.

The loopy left and Big Green, salivating at the prospect of inflicting socialist policies leading to serious economic damage on a 'capitalist' nation, cried that 2010 was too far away.

The conservative side of politics has hardened its resolve that a trading scheme that operates locally while developing nations such as China, Brazil and India are allowed to continue apace is economic suicide given Australia's reliance on energy export markets and brown coal for power.

Interestingly, the climate change battle is going to be waged in the 'sane centre' of the left and the fight will be against their Marxist shipmates.

Leading up to the election those people who could be described as belonging to the centre-left (such as Chris Uhlmann and Barrie Cassidy) used the former government's inaction on climate change as something to beat them over the head with.

Now that Labor is in power it's not the Coalition that these people are worried about; it's those who are prepared to inflict serious damage to Australia's economy in the name of environmental symbolism.

Perhaps, shortly after the election, these people would not have thought that the new government would undertake irresponsible, symbolic courses of action.

However there are now too many examples - from the Sorry to FuelWatch to an attack on plastic shopping bags to Japanese whaling - that those in the centre left must surely be nervous that, in fact, the government may well add another symbolic gesture notch to its political belt.

Thus, the fate of Australia rests in the hands of the sane centre left to recognise the threat to the country and act responsibly by not implementing a carbon trading system in advance of China and India.

Best of luck to them.

(Nothing Follows)


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