Very quick assertions, not arguments, about the Rudd government’s climate package

16 Dec

1. I am not a climate change skeptic – however you spell it. See my side bar. The science is convincing enough.

2. It is a fact that whatever our per capita is, our real total contribution to the issue is very small, as will be the actual (as distinct from moral) effects of our policies.

3. Current economic turmoil has complicated matters politically. Politics has always been the art of the possible.

4. The Greens were never going to get what they wanted, and knew it.

5. Much depends on Copenhagen.

6. It is also a fact that environmental issues trump economic arrangements, as the second cannot exist without the first being in a sustainable balance.

7. Doing away with capitalism tomorrow wouldn’t make the slightest difference to the environmental problem. Working for change in the kinds of industry we invest in, buy from, consume, depend upon, just might make a difference.

8. What we have is better than what we had pre-2007, but is clearly not enough.

9. We drive the environmental crisis via our lifestyles and demands, even by things like the very computer which enables these assertions.

10. These assertions are open-ended… They are the product of the top of my head, not of research. In common with most people, I haven’t even read the actual proposals as they will be presented to parliament. I have only read blogs and headlines, and heard grabs…


Posted by on December 16, 2008 in Australia, climate change, environment, Kevin Rudd, politics


7 responses to “Very quick assertions, not arguments, about the Rudd government’s climate package

  1. Benjamin Solah

    December 17, 2008 at 10:31 am

    The main point for me is, as you can probably expect, is that we live in a profit-driven system and so the needs of polluting industries always seem to go before the environment. You can see this in the tax breaks for industries as well as the fact that so much of the attention is on ordinary people’s consumption which makes up a fraction of overall consumption. They never talk about reducing industry consumption.

  2. Magik Quilter

    December 17, 2008 at 11:10 am

    Well said…although my son is furious about this. I guess with age comes acceptance of so many things. We need the young to be outraged about these things. Maybe they can have some impact on big business over their lifetimes through lifestyle changes and active participation in the dialogue.

  3. Neil

    December 17, 2008 at 11:30 am

    @ Benjamin. I do respect your viewpoint, but industry consumption goes across the board from China to Russia, from India to Venezuela, from Iran to Saudi Arabia, and just about everywhere else that has, whatever their political systems, aspired to the benefits of the various Industrial Revolutions. All our Things have come at a cost.

    @ Magik Quilter. Indeed we oldies perhaps do have a different attitude.

  4. Benjamin Solah

    December 17, 2008 at 12:28 pm

    That is true, Neil, but I’d argue that all of those systems are capitalist. You make an interesting point about everyone reaping the benefits of the Industrial Revolution. It’s true, and I don’t actually condemn this development.

    Marxists think capitalism a progression from other forms of society, it lays the basis for cooperative means of producing things and certainly society has progressed and has the ability to provide for people many times over. We just argue that society should actually provide all of what it is able, rather than for instance, storing grain in massive silos whilst millions starve – they do this to inflate the price to make more profit, as well as various other things such as dumping grain in the ocean to inflate the price.

    The point about the environment though is that competition and the profit-motive is now hindering development, especially development that could benefit the environment. A good example is how oil companies bought the patents to alternative fuel vehicles and filed them away, so they wouldn’t be developed and take a chunk out of oil profits.

    Not meaning to go all propogandarist on you or anything, though, but bored at work and love to rant.

  5. Neil

    December 17, 2008 at 12:33 pm

    Interesting points, Benjamin, and commendably free from jargon. 😉 I guess it’s too big for comments like these though, as we would have to canvass world history pretty thoroughly in discussing the matter properly…

  6. Benjamin Solah

    December 17, 2008 at 3:25 pm

    Yes, that is true and I’m not as knowledgable as other comrades are so I’ll be honest and say when debates get deeper and more thorough I find it hard to defend myself.

  7. Neil

    December 17, 2008 at 3:35 pm

    Gives you lots of interesting things to read though… And I am old and was a History teacher, but I have just scratched the surface!

%d bloggers like this: