Jun 012007

Stealthy moves of the predator
I can’t really say that Peter Hartcher’s Op Ed in today’s SMH has anything new to say, or even portrays an objective position.

I think it would be pretty well understood that Hartcher is anti-Howard in his political view. At least that’s the distinct impression I gained listening to him on Radio National this morning. His Op Ed is, of course, on the issue of the moment. John Howard’s newly discovered urgency to do something about climate change. Actually, that’s not quite accurate. Howard has a newly found urgency to do something about the fact that the electorate seriously believes he hasn’t done enough re: climate change. To be quite frank, he hasn’t done anything. He’s stonewalled and obfuscated the issue for the past eleven years, and now, when Sir Nicholas Stern’s report on Climate Change keeps cropping up and the polls are against him on this issue, among others, he perceives that suddenly announcing the impending release of a report on the subject from the head of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Doctor Peter Shergold is going to solve his political woes.
Now, consider this, dear reader. Is it mere coincidence that this report finally makes an appearance on the scene on the very same day that George W. Bush also makes a ‘momentous’ announcement on climate change? Is it mere coincidence that neither Bush nor Howard are prepared to set emissions targets? Is it mere coincidence that Howard’s report is reputed to put a buffer period prior to introduction of any form of emissions targets in the future of at least four years? Is it mere coincidence that the Kyoto Protocol Agreement expires shortly before that point in time? Is it also mere coincidence that the stated position of the US through her ambassador to the European Union, is that the US wishes to control the global approach to any address of the global warming challenge?(ABC Newsradio this morning)
We, the people, are not likely to see the crux of the Shergold Report any time soon. What has appeared in the media thus far is little more than speculation and rumour-mongering, however, it is important to note that what has ‘leaked’ is simple reiteration of the Howardian doctrine.Shergold Report available here. How very coincidental. Politics is all about wheels within wheels and I for one see nothing more in this latest ploy by Howard than the introduction of yet another wheel in his battle to preserve his own political life. To my mind, if Howard were in any way serious about addressing the electorate’s concerns, he’d have released the details of the Shergold Report to the media, inclusive of the economic modelling which must, by rights, have been done in support of the reports conclusions. I’m willing to bet good money that no serious modelling has been undertaken. Why? because all of our problems could be solved through a blanket adoption of the nuclear option. So we’re constantly told.
It’s a furphy, folks. Another one, and one that’s not even at best translucent. This one is completely transparent. It’s another foil which the government hopes to use against Labor’s stated policy of a 60% reduction in carbon emissions by 2050. How they plan to use something which the public will have trouble validating in their own minds, after eleven years of heel-dragging denial, in order to show up Labor’s policy as flawed and the government’s as an imperative, escapes me.
Peter Hartcher may be a tad frothy-mouthed in his article, but for mine, his focus is correct.

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