Thursday, August 17, 2006

States action on greenhouse gases exposes Howard's failure

I think what the State governments are proposing – a carbon 'tax' on industries linked to their greenhouse gas emissions – is a big step forward in Australia dealing with its impact on global warming.

For one, it is certainly a
direct challenge to the failure of the Howard federal government to seriously tackle global warming.

It is also
a step in making industry take responsibility for their role in global warming.

While it strikes me as somewhat repulsive that industry could trading, and possibly make a profit out of, their carbon impact on our environment. Nonetheless,
we need action – Australia produces the highest per capita carbon emissions compared to the rest of the world. And the green groups seem prepared to back carbon trading.

What is unfortunate is that we can only convince industry to do something about their greenhouse gas emissions by convincing them that
they could make a buck out of it.

I think that all people must do what they can to examine the way their lives and actions affect our planet. Am I prepared to pay for it?
You bet. The predictions are a rise of $30 a year in electricity bils – that's about the cost of one new-release CD, or a book, or a take-away meal with a little extra something for my family. Not much, compared to costing the earth. I want to give my kids a fighting chance.

Update: with a little more digging around, I've foundthat not all environmental groups are supporting the State's carbon trading approach to reducing greenhouse gasses. Friends of the Earth yesterday condemned the initiative:
Friends of the Earth Australia spokesperson, Emma Brindal says “The adoption of greenhouse gas emissions trading as a solution for climate change entrenches the idea that markets can solve environmental problems, but it is in fact the market-based approach that has been largely responsible for environmental degradation and global climate change.”

Strangely, in all hoo-ha over the plans,
the media nicely overlooked the people who cried out, 'you can't fix the problem by using the thing that made the problem in the first place!' [Updated 17 Aug, 3:55 pm]

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