Former chief of the Australian Defence Force Peter Cosgrove is a good exemplar of such a discussion.
…The climate change debate is probably more rigorously based than the usual military intelligence estimate because the forward projections are based on some widely agreed formulas whereas military intelligence estimates have to try to get into the mind of the potential adversary (always very tough: think about Saddam Hussein and the weapons of mass destruction).
We are left with a preponderance of scientific opinion pointing to dire outcomes and presently a minority of climate change sceptics. So you and I have to balance what we have been told and decide if and how we will pay it forward.
I come at this from the viewpoint that while I really don’t know if all that I have been told is true, if we are at risk of quite catastrophic climate change outcomes, say during the life of grandkids who might come along for my wife and I, then I am very uneasy about dicing with their future. I am very conscious of the huge change in direction and the expense and the turmoil and the impact on jobs entailed in a radical move to non-carbon energy for Australia.
But if we don’t do it, a country with our values, a country in the top 20 wealthiest countries in the world, a country depended on by millions of powerless friends and neighbours, how can we expect other nations to act and thus offset our lack of action?
So let’s not muck about any more, let’s start now to solve the problems that we own…
On the other hand there is Piers Akerman.
Since so much seems to depend on “Climategate” here are a few more resources for you:
I must say I was amused by Laurie Oakes: Liberal dose of alliens leading us to insanity.
…Nick Minchin obviously comes from another planet – one where there is no global warming caused by human activity. Eric Abetz, the hardliner’s hardliner, is a political Dalek. “Exterminate! Exterminate!”
Film buffs will recall the 1985 movie Cocoon, about elderly people revived by aliens. It is the only plausible explanation for the resurrection of Bronwyn Bishop, Philip Ruddock and Kevin Andrews.
Climate spokesman Greg Hunt must have been taken over by some kind of shape-shifting organism similar to The Thing From Outer Space. How else to explain how a strong believer in putting a price on carbon (he wrote his university thesis on it) can become a harsh critic of the whole idea overnight?
And then there’s National Party Senate leader Barnaby Joyce. His first few days as shadow finance minister convinced quite a few of his Liberal colleagues – those wanting to preserve the economic legacy of John Howard and Peter Costello – that he is definitely an alien life form…
There is of course a very sensible debate to be had about policy in response to climate change and I am happy to see Jim Belshaw addressing the issue, even if today he is taking a break from it.
Because some of my recent entries have leaned away from the ETS, I am today balancing that by including Ross Garnaut’s arguments in favour of it: garnaut1109 pdf