Climate Change Policy in Australia

By Eco Guy 11:02pm 22nd July 2010
With an election just around the corner the politically sensitive issue of how Labour is to deal with Climate Change has been presented as policy today.

According to the this article it looks like we are in for a few days coverage on exactly what both parties want to do about Climate Change in Australia.

Labour looks to be proposing a 'Citizens Assembly' consisting of about 150 individuals to work out what is an acceptable response to Climate Change, as a well as a committee of scientists and academics to work out the fine details.

What really worries about this is the following:

What guarantees are there going to be that this assembly and committee will have a balanced mix of people to ensure a fully informed debate?

The trouble is with these sort of ideas is that they can often become a way of 'short circuiting' the debating process and allow the supposed majority point of view to hold sway over what gets discussed and finally decided upon.

The media at the moment is awash with ill conceived polls and reports that on the face of it look to indicate a strong wish for people to do something about climate change. Yet, when you try and dig into the polls and reports to get to the facts, you get met with a stone wall (for instance regarding the recent poll saying "81% of people agree with strong or moderate action on climate change" I emailed those running the survey to provide raw figures, no response as of yet and its been quite a few days).

As regarding what I think on Climate Change:

First off, we humans have of course impacted on the climate, the real question one needs to ask is how that impact compares to the scale of natural processes in the climate system? From what I have read this seems to have been totally oversold on the global scale. Rather we have a dramatic 'local' impact on an environment, but from a global perspective our impact is very difficult to separate out from background measurement error.

Secondly, I think the focus on Co2 is misguided - there is plenty of peer reviewed research out there questioning the view that Co2 is the driver of climate change. Also if one thinks literally, why would our environment use and generate such a 'dangerous' gas as concerns climate stability as part of the primary cycle of life? Life on earth cannot function without it...

Thirdly, if Co2 is so dangerous, then why does all the legislation proposed intend to just tax and regulate it?  if its so bad for us, why not make excessive generation of it just illegal and be done with it? The reason is simple, carbon taxation is seen as a massive way of raising revenue for governments globally.

Basically, please learn to see beyond the front of the policies as presented and try to always get to the bottom of the discussion and discover the facts for yourself. Do try to ensure to see this issue from an information balanced perspective (i.e. try to seek out the alternative view and see if thats as valid as well). I think if you do that, you will come to a similar conclusion that I have, namely:

"Climate change caused by humans is a global 'none event'; rather the real danger is the money being misspent on a problem that doesn't exist and all the other real problems that money could have dealt with being left to fester and multiply."

There is globally trillions of dollars of money planned on being diverted through Climate Change and that money will only get spent once - lets make sure the problem is actually real and proven before we spend any more of your real money.


Julia Gillard has just presented the Labour climate change policy. These are the main points as reported:
  • ban new coal-fired power stations that use "dirty" technology and require that any power station built can be retro-fitted with developing clean coal technology;
  • committed $1 billion over 10 years to create an “efficient and strongly regulated” national renewable energy market;
  • pledged $100 million to fund market-based projects designed to develop renewable energy technology.
  • next phase of her policy, to be announced within days, would involve new ways in which average Australians could make their own contributions to reducing emissions.
  • Australians wanted action on climate change but also wanted a national debate. But in the meantime her government would take genuine action to begin the transition to a low-carbon economy.
Basically, Co2 trading is still in there, but surrounded by a whole lot of renewable spin. Nothing wrong with renewable tech BTW, just need to make sure that people do not confuse adopting renewable technologies with a carbon tax and climate change - these issues need to be kept apart and separately discussed.

Related Content Tags: climate change, australia, election

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