Steve Watson

 

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22/02/2008

I Will if You Will (Save the World)

 

In the Age today we read of the results of Ross Garnaut’s interim report on what Australia can do to stop Global Warming. According to the article, “AUSTRALIA may need to slash its greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 90% by 2050 as part of a massive global effort to avert the most devastating effects of climate change, the Rudd Government has been warned.”

  

This would be rather alarming if it wasn’t for the recommendation that any action by Australia needs to be coordinated with equivalent actions by all other countries: i.e America, China, and India. Since none of those countries will set targets to decrease their emissions - and indeed, I am sure that ‘the feelings of the Chinese people’ would be hurt by the very idea that they should keep their population in poverty to fix a problem caused by the West - the effect of the recommendation is to commit Australia to nothing at all.

 

I’m sure the government knows this, which is why it will be happy to embrace the results and recommendations of that report when it is issued in its final form. Doesn’t this indicate, however, that at its most senior levels the government does not take the Global Warming problem quite as seriously as they claim to do?