Tuesday, December 14, 2004


Global warming has become the obsession of our time. From governments and campaigners meeting for the climate summit in Buenos Aires right now we hear the incessant admonition: making global warming our first priority is the moral test of our age.

Yet they are wrong. Global warming is real and caused by CO2. The trouble is that the climate models show we can do very little about the warming. Even if everyone (including the United States) did Kyoto and stuck to it throughout the century, the change would be almost immeasurable, postponing warming by just six years in 2100.

Likewise, the economic models tell us that the cost is substantial. The cost of Kyoto compliance is at least $150billion a year. For comparison, the UN estimates that half that amount could permanently solve the most pressing humanitarian problems in the world: it could buy clean drinking water, sanitation, basic health care and education to every single person in the world.

Global warming will mainly harm the developing countries, because they are poorer and therefore less able to handle climate changes. However, even the most pessimistic forecasts from the UN expect the average person in the developing countries to be richer in 2100 than we are now. So action on global warming is basically a very costly way of doing very little for much richer people far into the future. We need to ask ourselves if this indeed should be our first priority.

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Comment on the move of a prominent Greenie, Peter Garrett, into the Australian Labor party and a Federal parliamentary seat

The environment is merely a flag of convenience for a large faction of the [Green] party, a mother-earth issue onto which they have parasited their real agenda. That's why Brown and several hectorers on the Green Senate tickets spent so much time talking about everything but the environment during the election campaign. They couldn't help themselves. They fought the election on the Iraq war. Why? Because while many Greens are dedicated environmentalists, the party is basically a branding exercise, a new package around an old product that most political consumers will never buy.

Take Lee Rhiannon, a Greens member of the upper house in NSW. Her mother was Freda Brown, for many years the head of the Union of Australian Women, a communist front in the 1940s, '50s and '60s. Rhiannon also started in politics through a communist front, the Eureka Youth League. She came to notice during a campaign in support of the Moscow Olympics in 1980, working for another communist-dominated organisation, the Seamans Union of Australia, which raised funds, of questionable origin, to help send a remnant Australian team to Moscow in defiance of the federal government's boycott.

Or take Sylvia Hale, another Green in the NSW upper house. Her political career began as a Trotskyite at Sydney University in the mid-'60s, where she and Hall Greenland ran a front called the ALP Club, which had nothing to do with the ALP. She later morphed into the Greens and was elected to Parliament last year.

Garrett learnt the hard way about how Trots operate when he made his first tilt at parliament 20 years ago as a Senate candidate for the Nuclear Disarmament Party. He thought he could control the Trots, but the Socialist Workers Party took over the NDP and Garrett was gone by 1985. Like most hosts invaded by the Trot virus, the party died.

There are many reasons why Garrett didn't join the Greens, but given the party's power structure there was no guarantee he could parachute into the No.1 spot on the Senate ticket in NSW. It was also obvious that the excessive influence of the post-Trots meant the party was dominated by a brand of politics that was self-ghettoising.

This should have been the breakthrough year for the Greens. The Democrats were disintegrating. Iraq had gone bad. Drought and climate change were ravaging the environment. Labor had abandoned the left. Yet the Greens got 7.4 per cent of the Senate vote and 732,000 votes, an increase of 163,000, but a very modest harvest considering the 1.2 million votes for progressive parties three years earlier. And they did not win control of the Senate.

The progressive vote sank this year. Down the Dunnybowl. And Peter Garrett walked into Parliament, knowing the environmental crisis was too important to be left to the Greens.

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Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

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