Friday, April 27, 2007

Trading carbon for votes

I never fail to be amazed by just how shallow people can be, in their view of the world. Australia’s Prime Minister Howard is never surprised. I think his motto is never underestimate the stupidity of the masses.

Under intense electoral pressure for the first time in a decade, Howard has reached deep into his bag of tricks and pulled out the ultimate lowest common denominator.

“Maintaining economic prosperity — rather than climate change — was Australia's great moral challenge,” according to the PM.

"The moral challenge of our time is not vastly different from the challenge earlier generations faced, It's to build a prosperous, secure and fair Australia — a confident nation at ease with the world and with itself. It's to give every generation of Australians the chance of social mobility."

Any economic prosperity which ignores the threat of climate change will be little more than a dancing mirage at the edges of our bone dry landscape.

Economics focused on money alone is not economics. To ignore the wider setting, in Australia that includes the dwindling availability of water, is hardly likely to enhance our lives in any way.

So Howard is setting out to dupe 20 million or so with the false hope of abundant riches. I wonder what the rest of the world must think of that. Greed usually wins out and simplistic argument seems to be a winner.

I wrote recently of the endless shiploads of coal being shipped out of Australia: Trade at the coalface Great for national prosperity perhaps, though I doubt that, the trade is feeding the rapidly growing Asian markets with dirty energy.

Australian of the Year and science commentator, Tim Flannery , recently offered to hand his honour back because the Howard government refuses to engage on climate change issues. I expect it was Howard’s latest comments (above) that riled Tim.

Tim can put a simple case, but of course he can’t make a politicians promise of bags of cash. Dreams of wealth are sexy, the nightmare of what we are doing to our planet just does not rate.


reality-based educator said...

James Inhofe says global warming doesn't exist. It's just a commie pinko trick to get America to give up her sovereignty and join the Godless ONE WORLD that will be run out of the United Nations.

Inhofe, btw, was chair of the Environmental and Public Works committee until Dems mercifully took back power in the Senate.

Praguetwin said...

Well put Cartledge,

I love it when you put words to vague ideas I have running around in my head. How exactly do you do that?

Cartledge said...

RBE, please not the ONE WORLD! As to climate change, regardless of cause it is a reality. There is rejoicing across eastern and southern Australia today as many places receive their first rain for some years. We are yet to see if this is the drought finally breaking.

PT, funny thing is, I think I write crap and often fail to express my ideas clearly. It is always gratifying to find I say something useful.