Feb 282011
 

I spotted the following comment attached to this article today.

Much as I detest Gillard and would NOT vote for her I cannot find anything that would persuade me to vote for Abbott, and the Greens are a definite NO. I’m in an odd place as I have always regarded myself as left leaning and generally voted ALP, since the Rudd execution I have become an informal voter,and it would appear that given the choices I will remain in limbo without a sensible HONEST option.

I would say this sentiment is reflected among a great number of Labor voters or former Labor voters nationwide. The party really doesn’t seem to have any concept of the self-inflicted damage & fallout from the axing of Kevin Rudd. Clearly, the forging ahead with a climate change initiative in the introduction of a carbon price and thence on to a cap and trade system was always a Labor party agenda item, despite the abandonment of the former ETS by Rudd this time last year. That abandonment I understand, as the political reality at the time was that Abbott would always oppose the ETS and the Senate would do likewise. Three attempts at having the legislation approved were fruitless, due solely to the hostility of the Senate.

That hostility ends on July 1 this year, as the Senate structure changes to something more amenable to government actions in favour of climate change. So, despite whatever ‘lies’ Julia Gillard is reputed to have uttered or whatever ‘promises’ she is said to have broken, the climate change agenda remains unaltered from the Labor platform. Certainly, she could have handled the re-introduction of the ETS agenda via a carbon price, moving on to a cap & trade model within five years, much better than she did, which again demonstrates the lack of public awareness within the Labor party machine presently. The party is not engaging with the people, it is operating in a vacuum of its own creation.

For myself, I have never voted for a personality, only ever for the social ethos. I have never, and cannot ever see myself voting any other way than as a social democrat. I don’t agree with all Labor policies, but find the conservative ethos anathema to my world view. I can’t vote Green because that ethos is too radical for my liking. I support the Carbon Price imposition because of what it is, not for what it’s reputed by the denialists not to do. A carbon price is not intended to, and never could be expected to do:

  • nothing whatsoever for climate
  • nothing whatsoever for global temperatures
  • nothing whatsoever for local temperatures
  • nothing whatsoever for the Arctic
  • nothing whatsoever for polar bears
  • nothing whatsoever for the drought or floods or clyclones
  • nothing whatsoever for the Great Barrier Reef
  • nothing whatsoever for Kakadu
  • nothing whatsoever for Tuvalu and all the other sinking islands
  • nothing whatsoever for the ringtail possum and other cuddly creatures
  • nothing whatsoever for bushfires and heatwaves
  • in fact, nothing whatsoever for anything even remotely related to the climate

Equally and opposingly, a carbon price will not do:

  • everything to damage Australia’s economy
  • everything to damage Australia’s competitiveness
  • everything to increase the cost of living for ordinary Australians
  • everything to make the poorest in society worse off
  • everything to damage emissions intensive industries
  • everything to ensure that our industries move offshore
  • everything to create more unemployment
  • everything to raise electricity, gas and food prices
  • everything to assist a pointless global "deal"
  • everything to advance the cause of global government and global wealth distribution

and why is this set of ludicrous statements not worthy of printing on a bog roll? Because it’s simple rhetorical absurdity. This excuse for an argument does not take into account:

  • compensation derived directly from the carbon price revenue
  • business desire for certainty
  • business desire for investment opportunities in alternate energy research
  • positive example of responsible action being taken by the one economy in the world capable of doing so

and that’s just for the carbon pricing portion of the longer term plan, which naturally Bolt (yes, that’s where it comes from, as if you didn’t already know) clumsily avoids addressing. It’s a collection of strawman and argumentum ad absurdum arguments. If there’s one thing Bolt is good at, it’s constructing absurd arguments. One need only watch and pay attention to sources of information OTHER THAN denialist sources to hear, see & read the alternative arguments. This is the problem with denialists in that none will assess or evaluate opposing arguments. I’ve looked at them all. Solar activity, ‘climate has always changed’, volcanic action, ‘what about the abrupt change 8,200 years ago’?’ and so on, ad infinitum. Not one argument EVER addresses the one unavoidable fact. That humanity has been industrialised and rapidly increased that industrialisation exponentially for 300 years. The planet is 4.5 billion years old. Human life has existed as Homo sapiens sapiens for 0.00444 percent of that time. 200,000 years. Over that time climate has changed. Ice ages have come & gone and will do so again in the normal course of orbital changes and solar fluctuations. However, to claim that atmospheric concentrations of greenhouses gases over the past 300 years is NOT due to humanity but to some millennia-long planetary climate fluctuation or the result of 11 to 15 year solar cycle fluctuations simply beggars belief.

Yes, measurement of climate change within the existence of human existence is next to impossible. This planet we inhabit, which just happens to be the ONLY place in the entire Universe that we currently know about capable of supporting not just human life, but ALL forms of carbon-based life as we know it, is all we have. The balance of life on this world is fragile. So fragile that cow farts and aluminium smelter emissions can change the PH level of the planet’s oceans. It’s those oceans which drive the weather patterns, warm or cool the continents, provide breeding grounds for bottom_of_the_ladder life forms like plankton and generate weather patterns across the globe. To ignore our impacts is to flirt with a deadly force we will never see coming until it rides right over us, and every other life form on the globe. To simply ignore the remotest possibility that human industrialisation might just be a contributing factor to greenhouse initiated climate change is the extreme of human arrogance and ignorance.

I’m happy to pay for whatever action is required to  begin to address unrepentant human industrialisation. I value this planet as the ONLY place human kind can survive. If we continue in the vein we have over the past 300 years without address of our impacts on the ecosphere, human kind will eventually reach the realisation that changes in climate globally are too extreme to counter. That time is running out. I believe that by the turn of the next millennium, the damage being done today will be overwhelming for not just our species, but for every other species on the planet. The planet will go on. The ecosphere will rebalance itself and life will renew itself as some changed form, but humanity will have passed into history. Dinosaurs existed for 230 million years. Humanity won’t make it to 210,000 years.

It’s innate human nature to ignore change. We like the way things are and we don’t like to accept that we might be the causal factor in change. We can’t handle the guilt, so we ignore the accusations. That ignorance will be our undoing as a species. Probably the shortest lived species to have
ever arisen on the planet we called Earth. That’s why I support the Gillard government carbon price. That’s why I welcome the as yet undefined cap and trade model to come. We, in Australia may only be 23 million in number. We ARE the world’s most polluting society per head of capita, so we owe a sense of responsibility to not only the rest of the planetary population, but to generations of our kind and all other living animal & plant species as yet unborn, unseeded or even unimagined. I’m happy to pay. How many others are willing to say the same?