FOR ONCE it doesn’t really matter whether you subscribe to the mad theories of man-made climate change, or if you’re what proponents of the so-called “settled science” peddled by those who do would call “a denier:” Australia’s non-attendance at a UN talkfest in Poland next week is inconsequential.
If Kevin Rudd were still Prime Minister (as he was in 2009, when a similar non-event was held in Copenhagen), the Australian government would be sending a “delegation” consisting of the Prime Minister, a number of senior cabinet ministers, and a small army of advisers, bureaucrats and quasi-official hangers-on — all at taxpayers’ expense.
Too often, governments and international forums that are convened and/or dominated by the Left pay more attention to the appearance of “doing something” on given issues instead of actually knuckling under and doing it.
When that issue is climate change, considerations of domestic and international prestige take precedence over the formulation of practical, workable solutions.
What was once boldly proclaimed by Rudd as “the greatest moral challenge of our time” has evolved into little more than a political football, laying bare the lie that urgency is paramount in addressing it.
Each year for at least the past ten years, one globally renowned authority on climate change or another has decreed that if “we” fail to act by the end of next year (insert year here), it will be “too late.”
Taken at their word, these supposed experts have already told us the damage is done.
Of course, the reality is somewhat more straightforward; the so-called “settled science” surrounding climate change and its causes is nothing of the sort.
In fact — depending on to whom you listen — there is growing evidence that the global climate has ceased to warm and, in fact, has resumed a phase of cooling.
I have little doubt that the Earth’s climate is changing, and as readers have heard me say on multiple occasions, I believe changes in the global climate are part of a natural cycle that has continued, through warming and cooling, for millennia.
Even so, world forums conducted by the United Nations on the question of climate change have never resolved a thing (although the 2009 session in Copenhagen could arguably be seen as the point Kevin Rudd’s leadership of the ALP was rendered terminal, and in converse that Tony Abbott would likely end up as Prime Minister of Australia).
My point is that whether you’re a “believer” or a “denier” on climate change there’s nothing for you at the Poland forum, so what’s the point of sending a delegation to it?
This is a fraught issue; politically speaking it costs votes — a lot of votes.
To date, it is beyond question that three Prime Ministers and two opposition leaders — across both the major parties — have been destroyed by the politics of climate change.
But prancing and posturing at a United Nations talkfest is an utter waste of time.
It’s pleasing to note that the freshly minted Abbott government is sending nobody on behalf of Australia: not the Prime Minister, nor his Environment minister, nor some lackey rustled up from the civil service to push paper and take notes.
The issue of climate change needs to be excised from the question of the management of the environment, with the latter given precedence; after all, if the phenomenon is a natural occurrence (as I believe it to be) then “adaptation” is the premise that must underpin any response, for management and prevention are obviously meaningless objectives.
In that context, there are options for governments to consider. But carbon taxes, emissions trading schemes and the like should be seen for what they are — instruments of revenue generation, not climate management — and the obsession with inefficient, unreliable and colossally expensive “renewables” should be abandoned.
Until those changes occur, and until the climate change debate is shoved onto a less ideological and fanatical basis in spite of its most ardent proponents, there is little point wasting good money sending elected representatives and their minions to talk about it.
To this end, Australia’s non-attendance at the latest UN forum is to be applauded: and aside from the obvious reasons for doing so, the government is also saving the overstretched taxpayers of this country a little money in the process.