Dec 122007

Apropos of yesterday’s post on the Howard Huggers desperate to cuddle Kevin, is Dennis Shanahan’s piece today in which he praises the PM for appearing to imitate the previous incumbent, while desperately attempting to draw a parallel between the current Labor position and the previous stubbornly negative conservative position on climate change.

A very long bow, say I. Kevin Rudd is most definitely not a climate doubter, at least hasn’t given that impression to date. His predecessor was. The two ideologies cannot be compared. Rudd has always accepted the symbology of Kyoto, but Howard never would. Where they come closer is in the prudency with which proposed carbon penalty schemes and hard short to medium term emission targets are assessed. It appears that the UN and its IPCC organ are adopting a similar approach to that which framed Kyoto, in that guilt and international peer pressure are being brought to bear on nations which appear recalcitrant on the overall bonhomie of the Bali conference. It didn’t work well for Kyoto, and won’t work in it’s wake either.
As I heard it stated on Radio National earlier today, the climate change guilt trip is not the way forward if consensus is to be gained between developed and developing nations of the world. Climate change is not an issue of great political debate of who was right and who wasn’t because such comparisons deal only with the past. Rudd is right to look to the future, but prudently from an economic perspective so that when we do engage in globally agreed targets, we can do so sustainably in order to ensure that developing nations like China may continue to move to join developed nations like Australia and all join in combatting climate change from a levelling playing field. I believe it’s disingenuous of Shanahan and his ilk to make statements such as…

“What it also shows – and what has surprised some people – is that the Labor Government’s outlook and attitude, which is correctly based on waiting for Ross Garnaut’s assessment of the economic cost of new targets, now appears little different to that of John Howard.”

There simply is no comparison, regardless of how desperately the former Howard Huggers would like to retain their positions in support of anti-Labor causes. Eleven years the Howardians had to produce their equivilent to the pending Garnaut report. We never did see it, nor were we likely to. We will see Labor’s sponsored version and soon, which is why Rudd will not blithely sign away, to a substitute to Kyoto, Australia’s future prosperity. Climate change is going to make things tougher on all concerned, but why make things tougher than they need to be, before we know just how tough they need to be.
In terms of my life’s motto, all things do come to those who wait. Patience is, after all, a virtue.

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