Wednesday, 7 February 2007
Matters of Urgency
One cannot let Senator Marshall’s last comments go unanswered. To say that the Howard government is reacting to the polls of the day in addressing climate change does not stand up to any kind of examination whatsoever. Way back in 1996, Senator Marshall, the Howard government established the world’s first government Greenhouse Office. That means that 10½ years ago, when this government came to office, it recognised that the greenhouse gas problem was a problem and set up an agency in the government to deal with it. So your claim that the Prime Minister in particular but also the government in general is just driven by polls in addressing the greenhouse issue is really quite fatuous. The runs are on the board. This government has been concerned about greenhouse problems since it came to office and has put in place a lot of programs to promote renewable energy and deal with the general issue of the environment.
Senator Milne’s motion refers to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report which was released on 2 February. That is a United Nations report. Just out of curiosity I thought I would look it up on the net today. In the New York Times there was an article which says:
In Paris today the panel will issue its fourth assessment, and people familiar with its deliberations say it will moderate its gloom on sea level rise, lowering its worst-case estimate.
In other words, this panel is obviously a group of people who were doing some scaremongering, shall we say, about the impact of climate change on the world. They in fact modified their earlier predictions.