Howard, quoted in today's Age, responding to an online poll suggesting the public is worried about climate change:
"...it is natural, with all the focus of the last few days on climate change, everybody says 'oh yes, we've got to do more'.
"We are doing a lot and it's very important that we don't overreact to the Stern report."
"I agree that the science says that the globe is getting warmer, I agree that over time we've got to take measures in order to tackle that problem..."
"I respect Professor McKibbin a great deal but the difficulty as I see it with that approach [a carbon emissions trading scheme] is that, in order to preserve our comparative advantage, we'd have to in some way exempt our coal exports and our other resource exports," he said.
"If we did that we might run the risk of imposing a disproportionately heavy burden on our domestic consumers, which could result in even higher electricity prices."
Aaaagh! I find it very difficult to not throw things at computer screens, etc., when I hear Howard consistently framing anxiety about climate change as a fad, and then presenting his own non-solutions as practical, real-world steps. And then this rhetoric of "practical" steps comes up, with H. using the example of his "practical" handling of reconciliation -- we know what that means.
1. Bull-shitty little $8 million dollars here, $5 million dollars there solutions are not solutions. eg Reducing the emissions of 1 Hazelwood generator by something like 1/3 is doing the environment no favours. What it does do is present the illusion that the government is interested in climate change.
2. "Competitive advantage" should be considered, but is not really the point, and not an excuse for inaction. Surely our romp with carbon-energy over the last century has given us a slight competitive advantage against emerging industrial nations?
3. Is all this talk of putting our minds towards the "New Kyoto" just a deferral technique?