Jul 102008

Radio National Breakfast has a segment between 7:30am and 8:00am where politican editor for the Melbourne Age makes comment on isues of the moment. The intro to this mornings five minute segemnt was something like " another day and another position within the coalition onthe proposed Emissions Trading Scheme". Then comment on the coalition’s achilles heel openly identifying what everyone must surely know by now.

Brendan Nelson is playing attention politics. First he supported the government’s stance on an ETS, now he’s back-flipping to the Howardian stand-point of considering an ETS, but not until the date identified by Howardian appointee, Dr Peter Shergold, 2012. I’m sure that two years added onto the starting date of a bureaucratic, arbitrary anti-carbon structure to be run by bureaucrats, is hardly likely to make any difference to how the scheme runs, or even if it runs in any way beneficial to the mitigation of climate change. That said, the science clearly dictates that the sooner we start doing something … anything for that matter … the sooner we’re going to know whether humanity can slow the change we’re enacting on the planet’s environment through industrialisation. It’s the science which those like Nelson and Abbott aren’t addressing. It’s the science which they, and any other so-called sceptic, can’t address without tripping over their own arguments.

It’s worth identifying that Professor Ross Garnaut doesn’t identify those refuting the claims of climate change science, as sceptics. As he states in his report to government, sceptic infers a belief of a form, just not the same belief as those who accept the science as proffered. Those who make claims like Abbott, Nelson and NSW Treasurer Michael Costa who attacked Ross Garnaut’s work in Monday’s Oz, are deniers. Refuting the science entirely, using ad hominem tactics to play the man and not the ball. I fail to understand the use of terms like ‘zealot’ and ‘religious fervour’ and ‘crusade’ being used by climate change deniers to describe those who choose to accept the science, rather than ignore it. To my mind, it’s exactly the same type of senseless denigration of ideological opposites by Andrew Bolt and Tim Blair in their use of the term ‘leftie’. It doesn’t mean anything, nor does it describe anything. Describing those who accept climate change science for it’s irrefutable evidence and logic as ‘religious crusaders’ merely creates a mental image of eleventh century sword and pike combat between muslim and christian warriors. Doing so certainly doesn’t identify the philosophical differences, nor does it inject any rationality into the deniers arguments. If anything, Costa’s tirade makes mountains out of molehills which don’t yet exist, and may never exist. Who is indulging in "chicken-little" politics?

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