I really hope Julia Gillard wins on 21 August, simply because she is a shade or two less revolting in prospect than Tony Abbott. Sad, eh! Mind you, she did handle herself well on Q&A last night.
But there has been so much just plain dumb about this election. Let’s take three issues.
Alan Moran from the Institute of Public Affairs is right about the profile the issue has had.
Having been feted as the Great Moral Challenge and been the key factor behind the demise of Malcolm Turnbull, climate change policies are nearly invisible in the present election campaign. Aside from the "cash for clunkers" gimmick, both major parties have so far steered clear of giving the matter prominence…
Unfortunately, however, climate change really is the Great Moral Challenge, which for various reasons, most of them shameful, we are squibbing. The rest of Moran’s article is an exercise in fiddling while Moscow burns. You’d have to be a total dolt now not to realise that the science is well and truly in on this matter, and all our politicking and economics are total wastes of space in comparison to the seriousness of the issues. Only the Greens show any brains on this one, but unfortunately the spirit of the age seems to be in denial right now. Let’s hope we wake up soon enough; there’s no doubt our hesitation on this will cost far more in the end.
There’s just one thing to do with so-called climate change sceptics (like Lord Strudel) – reject them. That debate really should be over. (Did you know it’s now 35 years since the case for global warming was first convincingly put?) Sceptics are generally sour grapes wannabes or has beens, or people for whom politics and ideology determine their assessment of the science, or people in thrall to one or other of the big old energy interest groups. Most “scepticism” is merely PR, not climate science. I have yet to find a real exception to my characterisation of “global warming sceptics”.
Even Kevin from Louisiana virtually conceded on this.
August 6, 2010 at 9:04 pm Sadly, if there were no belief in AGW, there would be very little work for climatologists, so they are quite the opposite of ‘disinterested’. The only truly disinterested parties are the scientists paid by neither side of the issue, such as Watts, Morano, McIntyre, etc, and they all seem to be skeptical. There are plenty of non-scientists not being paid to have an opinion who are True Believers, but very few unpaid scientists are alarmists.
Who are these mysterious paymasters turning the world’s top scientists into glove puppets, Kevin? What is the motive of the paymasters? Is it the UN? Why would they want to do this? Or is there a secret cabal of “hippies” somewhere pulling the strings?
The whole point of the progressive movement (a group of which I fear you are a part) is fairness. Everyone should have the same amount of stuff or it’s not ‘fair’. It doesn’t seem to matter how hard they work – it’s just not fair for some people to have better or more stuff than others. And the way to make it fair is to tax the crap out of people who work hard, and spread that money around to people who don’t.
That is the reason most governments support belief in AGW. They want to tax the crap out of us and spread it around. Let’s face it, wealth redistribution is a vote getter. That’s why every ‘solution’ to AGW the governments of the world come up with involve an increase in income for the government.
The UN is the same. Don’t you remember they tried to get the nations of the world to commit ~7% of GDP to the UN to fight AGW and give money to poorer nations? It was only 4 or 5 years ago that they came up with that ‘solution’.
That was the long answer to your questions. The short answer is ‘progressives’, or as I like to call them, ‘hippies’.
August 6, 2010 at 10:23 pm Speak of the devil. And by the devil, I mean the UN.
August 6, 2010 at 11:05 pm Thanks for confirming that your objections to climate change science have nothing to do with science.
August 7, 2010 at 4:22 am Your very welcome. But truth be told, I have no objections to climate change science at all, scientifically or otherwise. I only object to the fact that climatologists don’t seem to practice it.
Instead, all they seem to want to do is steal from the middle class and give (a pittance) to the poor and (a LOT) to the political class. Being that I’m an American and therefore firmly against classes, I find the whole non-scientific ordeal appalling.
So-called boat people
The tragic thing is that this is really a trivial matter which impinges very little on the population of Australia – there is a debate to be had about optimum population in Australia, however. All this fuss about “stopping the boats” is hype and hysteria.
This is an Armada
This is an invasion
…Public support for immigration programs generally has always been tenuous. Electoral support has remained strong for the harshest measures taken by the Coalition government in and after 2001 – the interdiction and ”push back” of unauthorised boat arrivals, and the processing of refugee claims offshore. This is so even though distaste has grown for the excesses of that period during which children and vulnerable individuals were detained for long periods in remote and punitive conditions.
The cost of the policies is easy to articulate. In financial terms, constructing detention facilities in remote locations has been exorbitant. Over $1 billion was spent housing and processing barely 1500 asylum seekers on Nauru and Manus Island between 2001 and 2004; more than $400 million was spent constructing the high-security facility on Christmas Island commissioned by the Labor government in 2008. Even at the height of the global financial crisis, money was no object.
The sometimes appalling conditions in the detention centres have inflicted terrible injuries – both physical and psycho-social – on all those involved. Hundreds of people have died at sea trying to seek asylum in Australia. Between December 1998 and December 2001, it is estimated that 891 boat people lost their lives. These deaths cannot be blamed solely on uncaring people smugglers. At least some of the deaths were related directly to push-back operations.
Conservative politicians have become adept at exploiting the popular (almost acculturated) fear of outsiders as an electoral weapon. Such strategies may come at great cost to the cohesiveness of a multicultural, multiracial society like Australia’s. Electorally, however, they are very effective.
Once out of the bottle, the fear genie seemed to take hold of progressive politics. Kevin Rudd tried to find a balance between compassion and control, but the message was confused. It translated into disastrous opinion polls. Julia Gillard then told those alarmed by ”boat people” that they did not deserve to be demonised as ”rednecks”.
It is clear no one sees the asylum seekers as a direct threat to Australia. If this were the case, the opposition would be working with the government (as Labor did in 2001). Instead, it has sought to score political points by announcing loudly to the world that Australia is now a ”soft touch” country with weak border controls. One might well suggest the opposition’s loose lips have helped to bring the ships which are causing such anxiety. People smugglers seeking clients in troubled countries could not hope for more effective advertising of their product. Having tried a softer and more humane approach, Labor is now running scared of an electorate energised by opposition rhetoric…
Sure, there could be more done, even if most of the legal restrictions on same-sex couples have been removed. But is it up there with climate change and refugees as an issue?