Order in the House (climate change)

I watched Order in the House late last night on the ABC. This is a show that every Australian should watch at least once. If only to see how juvenile our politicians can be.

The major topics of debate were water and climate change. I was particularly interested by the climate change debate. It’s an argument that is increasingly visible and the debate pitted Rudd (Leader of the Opposition) against Howard (Prime Minister) and Garret (Shadow Environment Minister) against Turnbull (Environment Minister).

The Opposition detailed the dire ramifications of climate change and asserted that Australia should do everything possible to combat it. The Government asserted that whatever actions we take would have negligible effect because we make an insignificant impact compared to larger countries such as China (oddly enough, they didn’t mention the United States).

Both parties arguments contain merit. The Opposition argues that we should lead by example and do whatever we can. If most countries did this, it would have a significant effect on climate change. The Government argues that whatever we do won’t make a difference to climate change, but it will affect the economy. Why should we unnecessarily sacrifice the economy?

I liken the Government’s approach to just mouthing the words (instead of singing) in a choir, or not bothering to vote in an election (because just one missing vote won’t count). Let’s just hope that other world governments don’t all feel the same…

4 thoughts on “Order in the House (climate change)”

  1. Sounds like analysis paralysis. The fact is, economies will survive, but I doubt the environment will at this rate, so we should make all efforts to help clean the environment up for future generations.

  2. I’ve been reading The Weather Makers by Tim Flannery. There’s a section where he discusses the Montreal Protocol which initiated the phasing out of CFCs, and was supposedly going to cost a fortune – according to the book, it actually ended up saving companies a lot of money. This climate change thing might not necessarily be doom and gloom for the almighty economy.

    Interesting to note that Peter Garrett’s website lists him as the “Shadow Minister for Climate Change, Enviroment and Heritage” whereas Turnbull has no climate change to be seen in his portfolio name.

  3. Oddly enough Heidi mentioned the other day that this all reminds her of CFCs. The general public got wind of it, companies started doing things about it, and soon even items that never contained CFCs advertised the fact that they were CFC-free.

    Sadly, it seems that the public is more complancent when it comes to driving their car less or using less power. It’s much easier to just demand that companies do something about their products. The most recent similar consumer backlash is much more self-serving. Notice how many candies now advertise that they are 99% fat free?

  4. Yeah – companies jump on the bandwagon of whatever is “good” or “bad”. You literally have to bludgeon a company into doing the right thing these days, especially if they perceive it to cost them money. If you’ve seen “The Corporation” you would know that companies by default will try to spread their costs out to as many areas as possible without taking responsibility. This typically means the environment, 3rd world countries, ex-employees, and so on.

    Most advertising of this nature like “fat free”, “sugar free”, “low gi” is mere laxative/placebo for the consumer mind. It’s up to consumers to really investigate.

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