Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Ross Gittins’ apology to grandchildren on Australia’s climate change inaction

climate-changeClimate change: Dear grandchildren, I can only say sorry November 20, 2013 The Age,    The Sydney Morning Herald’s Economics Editor I don’t have grandchildren but I’m hoping for some, someday, so this column is for them. I want you to know that although, in the mid-teens of this century, Australians elected a government that wasn’t genuine in its commitment to combating the effects of climate change, and that even abolished the main instrument economists invented for that purpose, I never accepted this complacency……….

Abbott associated with outright climate-change deniers and said things that seemed to brand him as one of them, while always adding, sotto voce, that he accepted human-caused climate change and the need to do something about it.

Apart from attracting voters away from Labor and its frightening carbon tax, the result of making climate change an issue of party dispute was to give Liberal supporters a licence to stop worrying about climate change – if the leaders of my party aren’t worrying, why should I? – while providing a fig leaf for those Liberals who retained their concern……

economics-falseYou will find this hard to believe, but in the mid-teens, it was still common to think about ”the economy” in isolation from the natural environment which sustained it. Economists, business people and politicians had gone for two centuries largely ignoring the damage economic activity did to the environment.

The idea that, eventually, the environment would hit back and do great damage to the economy was one most people preferred not to think about. At the time, it was fashionable to bewail the lack of action to increase the economy’s productivity.

economics-true Few people joined dots to realise the climate was in the process of dealing a blow to our productivity, one that would significantly reduce the next generation’s living standards.

At the time, we rationalised our selfishness – our willingness to avoid a tiny drop in our standard of living at the expense of a big drop in our offspring’s – by telling ourselves half-truths and untruths about the global nature of climate change…..

Did I ever doubt that climate change represented by far the greatest threat to Australia’s future economic prosperity? Never. Should I have said this more often, rather than chasing a thousand economic will-o’-the-wisps? Yes.
http://www.theage.com.au/comment/climate-change-dear-grandchildren-i-can-only-say-sorry-20131119-2xt90.html#ixzz2lDegPlGQ

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November 19, 2013 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, religion and ethics

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