In yesterday’s message I referred to the attempts by Fairfax and the ABC to portray Abbott as being behind the ball game on policies for reducing emissions. I also sent letters to three papers drawing attention to an article by Robert Samuelson in the Washington Post exposing the major deficiencies in Obama’s proposal to reduce the use of coal in producing electricity in the US.
Today’s AFR has published my letter and the article by Samuelson (see below). Although neither The Australian nor the Herald Sun (Bolt) have picked up the Samuelson article, both have published articles exposing the errors and exaggerations in articles and comments published by other Fairfax papers and the ABC as well as by Shorten and Plibersek. Both agree that any differences between Australian and US policies on climate change are unlikely to have adverse effects on relations generally (see in particular article below by Greg Sheridan).
Abbott himself has continued to adopt a two-sided approach viz while “strong action” is needed on climate change, nothing should be done to detract from economic growth. In my view he has missed an opportunity to indicate that the increased scientific uncertainties warrant an independent inquiry.
Needless to say, The Age has continued today to attempt to portray Abbott as having a climate change policy which is a “hamper” to building links in the US. It also draws attention to comments by an adviser to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that “we think that climate change should be the No.1 priority for all leaders to consider”. One hesitates to predict the outcome of the UN conference but I suspect that, regardless, the communiqué will say progress is being made. Abbott has indicated that he will not be attending the forthcoming UN “summit” on climate change but he is not the first leader to say this – Merkel did some time ago.
Talking of progress, while there was no report in The Age today on the Royal Cn into union corruption and no mention of it on ABC morning radio news, it seems clear from reports in The Australian and the Herald Sun that yesterday’s proceedings suggest that Gillard will find it difficult to support her previous claims of only being an innocent legal adviser on the establishment of a slush fund. Of particular interest is that documents exist which would appear to contradict Gillard’s claims and that a “new” whistleblower has emerged. As the revelations appear in public, more might come forward, including one or two who might have significance for Shorten.