Gaza; Copenhagen

Stephen Shalom writes about Gaza.

Naomi Klein writes about protesters. Mark Steel writes about climate change too – this guy is seriously hilarious.

It must drive you mad being a climatologist. You spend your life measuring carbon emissions, and monitoring glaciers and studying lumps of moss from Siberia, and then you hear someone on a radio phone-in yelling, “How can they say the world’s getting hotter? I mean at night, it’s colder than what it was in the day, so it’s got colder, not hotter. They must think we’re mugs.”

Or there’ll be letters in the Daily Telegraph that go “Dear Sir: May I recall the carefree days when one would enjoy the sport of sailing to Greenland to melt icebergs with a blowtorch. Alas, these days I fear this too would be frowned upon by the climate change fascists. One dreads to think what these paragons of political correctness will try to ban next.”

G77 takes on Australia. Right on brothers.

The chief negotiator for China and the small African nations at Copenhagen has accused Prime Minister Kevin Rudd of lying to the Australian people about his position on climate change.

Lumumba Di-Aping, who represents China and the G77 group of small countries, was speaking as the talks remained deadlocked and world leaders, including Mr Rudd, began arriving in the Danish capital.

Mr Di-Aping said he had high expectations of Mr Rudd, but claimed that throughout the negotiations the Australian Government has not matched its actions with its rhetoric.

“The message Kevin Rudd is giving to his people, his citizens, is a fabrication, it’s fiction,” he said.

“It does not relate to the facts because his actions are climate change scepticism in action.

“All that Australia has done so far is simply not good enough.

“It’s puzzling in the sense that here is a Prime Minister who actually won the elections because of his commitment to climate change,” he added.

“He was the only Prime Minister who came and clearly said we have to do something, we have to join Kyoto protocol and all the rest.

“And within a very short period of time he changes his mind, changes his position, he starts acting as if he has been converted into climate change scepticism. All what Australia has done so far is simply not good enough.

The G77 and China claim that the talks have broken down, degenerating into a fight between the developed and the developing world.

Mr Di-Aping accused Mr Rudd of trying to gain a strategic economic advantage by siding with the United States and the European Union at Copenhagen.

“Australia is committed to killing Kyoto,” he said.

“All the actions of Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is basically a move away and a killing of Kyoto Protocol.”

Johann Hari writes about this well too.

Meanwhile, the perfect illustration of what I can’t stand about segments of Australia’s progressive intelligentsia. Robert Manne – in the middle of Copenhagen – blasts the right for its beliefs and behaviour on climate change.

If anything, the failure of the contemporary Right is more astonishing to me. The overwhelming consensus of the climate scientists is that the continued emission of greenhouse gases is imperilling the Earth. Since the Kyoto conference of 1997 these emissions have greatly increased. Yet the worse the situation becomes, the more aggressive and apparently confident do the voices of those who deny the conclusions of the climate scientists become.

The denialists do not merely believe that it is possible the scientists are wrong. Despite their obvious ignorance — if Andrew Bolt or George Pell were required to take an examination in climate science 101 both would comprehensively fail — it must be the case that they are absolutely certain this is so. For surely if they believed there was a 50 per cent or even a 25 per cent chance that the Earth is, as the climate scientists claim, on a path to catastrophe, the denialists could not possibly in conscience advocate a do-nothing response.

Apparently, Manne is so busy printing enormous essays by his hero Rudd that he hasn’t noticed Rudd’s abject failure to do anything on climate change either. In fact, Rudd and Turnbull tried to reach an agreement that would have locked in Australia to something like 5% emissions reductions (with permanent exclusion of agriculture from being addressed, which makes up something like 25% of our emissions, I don’t have the stats at hand right now), with huge handouts for big polluters, and practically nothing for renewable energy, which DOES need investment. But Manne exhausts his political courage in attacking Andrew Bolt, apparently not noticing that our current prime minister is one of the leading figures in the struggle to destroy the planet at Copenhagen. Whilst India and the G77 spokesperson is denouncing us for our disgraceful government, Manne can only criticise… the Liberals. It’s funny that he considers himself an admirer of Orwell. Orwell was never bound by party loyalty, and was most fiercely critical of those with similar ideological views to him. Manne, on the other hand, is a vulgar polemicist. On the right, he wrote scurrilous attacks on leftists. On the left, he writes scurrilous attacks on radical leftists now and then, but usually devotes his energies to the right (which in my view he’s never treated with the same contempt), which has become simply service to power now that Labor’s in government. If Manne cared about climate change, he’d direct his fire at Rudd. However, Rudd belongs to the same area of centre-leftism that Manne has staked out for himself.


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