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July 16th 2009 print

David Flint

Rudd’s dangerous obsession

Why do the elites so fervently pray for an ETS? What happened to common sense?

Why do so many of our leaders ignore the obvious?  Is it not a fact that the climate has always changed? If the theory of anthropogenic global warming is correct, it cannot explain the massive climate changes which have occurred since the creation of the world. It can only explain a tiny sliver of that time.  

But let us first assume that the theory correctly explains global warming, and secondly that the world is indeed warming. Let us then make a third assumption, that an international agreement significantly reducing emissions is achievable.

The Prime Minister and Senator Wong may think that will seal the deal. It will not. We must also assume that all major emitters will actually observe it. The fact is the number of countries which regard their international promises as binding is quite small.

If all nations become law abiding there is still a fifth and crucial premise before we can be secure against climate change.

This is that all of the other factors which have caused climate change over millions of years will thereafter  be in a state of suspense.

Of course that fifth assumption just cannot be made. Even if we closed down every coal fired power station and stopped using oil.

So why have our leaders endorsed the line that we must limit carbon emissions in order to stop global warming? Of course we should limit the way we pollute our environment and waste our resources, but that is an entirely different issue, one which has nothing to do with carbon emissions.

And incidentally, how is it that the hero of the ETS movement, Al Gore, enjoys any credibility with the political and media elites? He is after all a voracious user of scarce resources with an exceptionally large carbon footprint.

It is of course understandable that those who would profit from an ETS are supportive.  But why is our government proceeding with an extremely damaging ETS when the Prime Minister himself admits that no agreement is likely at Copenhagen? That is in our five stage model he can’t even get to stage three.  

We must assume that the two politicians actually believe that Australia going alone with a brutal ETS will do the good they claim. They say it will set an example which others will follow. How extraordinarily naïve this is. Surely even Mr. Rudd no longer thinks the Chinese government follows his every word.  

Mr. Rudd and Senator Wong are demonstrating the same blind faith as the Bolsheviks did on collectivization, which was imposed at massive cost on the Soviet Union. It ruined the nation’s agriculture and was even responsible for the outbreak of famine. Like collectivization, the ETS is a dangerous and damaging obsession.

The public are not being told the truth about this, and this is reflected at the moment in the polls.(This will change; The Spectator has already run a feature article on Professor Plimer whose book is a best seller.)

But most of our media is still reporting this issue as the Soviet media did over collectivization.  The Sydney Morning Herald on 5 July was typical. Page five  was dedicated to  “News” and “The environment”.  

The reports on the page follow  the government line  on global warming.  The headlines tell the story –  “Poor face disaster from global warming”, “Al Gore mines a new source of climate change messengers” and   “See you later, winter – Brisbane climes ahead for Sydney.”  There was also a photo of a young man, one of an army of campaigners  to be trained by Al Gore.

This page is consistent with, for example, the Herald’s front page photographs  of Earth Hour which were touched up to create the impression that all of Sydney had actually complied with that stunt. On another occasion the front page was used to demonstrate how many suburbs would be under water with the predicted rising seas.

As Professor Plimer reminds us, TV news reports about carbon emission are routinely accompanied by scenes of power stations emitting steam. And as Mark Henderson reported on the Australian Conservative site, the recent TV interview with Al Gore was as soft as it gets on the ABC’s 7.30 Report.

So why do our political and media elites endorse attaining an ETS with the passion with which the Bolsheviks endorsed collectivization? You get the impression that when Senator Wong coldly speaks of “deniers”, she is looking at them as if they were class enemies, some sort of antipodean kulaks. The effect is chilling.

The explanation for this religious fervor among our political and media elites is likely to be found in those immortal words attributed to Chesterton.  And it may explain why people as diverse in belief as Cardinal Pell and Senator Steve Fielding  have not jumped on the global warming bandwagon.  They already have a religion.

As Chesterton put it,  when a man stops believing in God it is not that he believes in nothing; it’s that he will believe in anything.