Tuesday, 10 June 2014



Author, Paul Coelho, observed “People see the world, not as it is, but as they are.” Our perceptions and our ‘knowing’ are both biased and distorted and what we see as ‘real’ isn’t actual reality, but is skewed by what we believe, or want to believe.

   So, from a political perspective, the views of the right are invariably the opposite of those on the left side of politics and vice-versa.

   Perhaps this helps us to understand why Tony Abbott, who leads the conservative government (the Liberal/National Party Coalition) in Australia and Stephen Harper, the Canadian Prime Minister who leads the Conservative Party there, talk the same talk and are prepared to walk the same walk with regard to climate change.

   Before his party won the election, Abbott had dismissed the entire notion of climate change as ‘crap’. To underline this view, when recently outlining the first budget of his government, big cuts to climate change research and renewable energy spending were announced – down from $5.75 billion in the current year to $500 million in 2017-18.

   Yesterday in Canada, in a statesman-like speech, he said ''We think that climate change is a significant problem, it’s not the only or even the most important problem the world faces but it is a significant problem and it’s important every country should take the action that it thinks is best to address emissions.” – which is fair enough, you would think, except his qualifier was that it was important that programs introduced to reduce carbon emissions output did not “clobber the economy”. Duh!

   If Abbott (hitherto a climate change denier/sceptic) is now saying that climate change is true (at last acknowledging the overwhelming scientific evidence), surely the economic impact of not acting to quickly reduce emissions, will have severe economic repercussions as a result of the growing number of catastrophic natural disasters as our weather increasingly goes bananas?    

   Call me a political sceptic if you will, but methinks our PM is posturing on the world stage and indulging in double-speak. He meets President Obama later this week. I hope Obama questions Abbott as to why climate change isn’t on the agenda of the G20 Summit to be held in Australia in November.

   Before he left on his world tour, the PM played down the significance of climate change as part of the G20 program and said the Summit was primarily an “economic meeting” to discuss finance and trade. Silly me, I entertained the absurd notion that natural disasters can impact significantly on finance and trade!

   Wonder if Tony Abbott will try to pull that one on Barack Obama?

   Anyway, I’m glad the PM has found a like-minded chum in Stephen Harper. The polls here in Australia suggest he’s rapidly running out of chums here. Gobbledygook can only go so far.



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