Environmental Policy

Two of my letters on the Lima Conference are published below, plus an important commentary on global warming policy by the Menzies Research Centre head, Nick Cater.

My argument, reinforced by Cater’s analysis, is that it is futile for Australia to send ministers to international conferences which seek to agree on a scheme to reduce emissions. No such (meaningful) agreement is going to be reached. Equally, it is futile (both sensibly and politically) for Shorten to maintain a policy that would attempt to reduce Australia’s by taxing emissions.

Although the author of this AFR article claimed Lima was not a disaster, the suggestion made during the conference that it threatened to be a “dead rat” seems a more realistic assessment. Of course, because so many politicians and scientists have locked themselves into believing there is a dangerous warming threat more conferences will be held.

But the opportunity now exists for the Australian government to explain that it will not attend any such conferences unless climate scientists can provide an analysis which overcomes the many uncertainties in the existing dangerous warming thesis. Bob Carter, who is one of many climate scientists questioning the existing analysis, suggests in his letter below that the science and technology council be reconstituted to provide independent advice. Whether or not that is the way to proceed, Cabinet ministers certainly need to spend time assessing “the science” as interpreted by sceptics. This would not only improve their understanding of the uncertainties in the so-called consensus science but might even give them the courage to abandon some of the wasteful expenditures that are adding to the budget deficit

I wait to hear more detail on the Sydney shooting of an Iranian, with the loss of two lives of hostages. But first impressions are that the incident raises serious questions about police strategy, judicial decision making policy and immigration policy. It reinforces the need for a government statement on our values.

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