PM Rudd has just announced Australia's climate change targets, and no one is very happy. Environmentalists have rightly pointed out that the actual targets are far too low. The climate change denial brigade have declared global warming doesn't exist anyway. As usual, the most lively "debate" is to be found on the Daily Telegraph website. Witness this cherishable missive from "Benny Hill of Cessnock":
ITS A MYTH!!. The planet is cooling not heating and has been since at least 2000. Carbon dioxide is NOT a greenhouse gas, but an essential gas for plant growth. The more CO2 there is; the more plants grow. If KRudd was able to remove every skerrick of CO2 from the atmosphere - all plant life would cease. The biggest cause of heating in the atmosphere is water vapour; not CO2.
(Does he lie awake at night worrying people will try to steal his water by drinking it all from his garden hose?)
This blogger is not happy because, as usual, as a childless middle income earner I'll be having to pay more. I wouldn't mind doing so if it actually achieved some good, but the package includes $4 billion of subsidies to the coal industry. I don't understand these subsidisations. Did the government of the day subsidise the whaling industry when it was being phased out in this country? Why can't coal miners, and loggers, steel workers etc go get other jobs? Oh, I know there's an economic crisis and all, but this seems like a particularly poor argument, unless people think at least if the sea levels do rise they'll have more time to enjoy their newly waterfront homes.
A five percent cut in carbon emissions is ridiculous. It's weak. It helps nothing. Europe is aiming for a 20% cut by 2020 and surely U.S. President Obama will be similarly ambitious. Once the initial euphoria had passed, the Rudd Government have done little to impress in 2008; and they seem determined to doom us all.