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Sunday, January 08, 2006

A political outrage - "Soft-Soaping" climate change

The Bureau of Meteorology has reported that, statistically 2005 was the hottest year on record for Australia. (Click on that link to read the official report.) It was 1.09 degrees Celsius hotter than the long term average temperature.

The Bureau, being a scientific organisation, is cautious in ascribing "reasons" for these record temperatures, but it does acknowledge that:
"Australian temperatures have increased by approximately 0.9ºC since 1910, consistent with global warming trends.
Scientific studies have linked global and Australian temperature increases to the enhanced greenhouse effect."
Global Warming is real. A few extraordinarily hot days like those leading up to New Year's Day, 2006, do not make such records. It is long-term patterns which really mean something. Try this for size: "Since 1979, all but four years have been warmer than average in Australia." That means: 21 of the last 26 years have been above average in temperature.

That is a pattern - one that any responsible Government ought not ignore.
Let's see what the Environment Minister said about it.....

According to a BBC report: Environment Minister Ian Campbell said climate change was the world's "number one environmental challenge". (Good start, Minister. - DJW)

The BBC continued: "These figures add to the weight of evidence that climate change is real, and it's a problem that the world needs to work together to seek to solve," Mr Campbell told ABC News. (Blame-shifting. - DJW)

The BBC said: "But he defended the government's decision not to sign the Kyoto Protocol - saying it was inadequate because it failed to include developing countries. "We need something that includes all countries," he said.
(Pathetic, Minister. Pathetic. - DJW)

The BBC report
concluded: Australia and the US are the only two major industrialised nations to refuse to join the agreement, which calls for a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2012.


My response is: What better way to get something which "includes all countries" than for us to refuse to join in? It is time for a change - of policy, NOW!


As a former Ministerial speech-writer, I wanted to read the "official statement" by the Minister. There was none! This is outrageous.


The announcement on behalf of the Government was made by Greg Hunt MP, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage. Parliamentary Secretaries are not even Assistant Ministers. It is pathetic that such an important announcement should have been made by someone other than the responsible Minister.

Secondly, having read the detailed statement by the Bureau, and then the Press Release by Greg Hunt, MP, it is clear that the Bureau's statement has been "gutted" by Mr Hunt. He makes no mention of Global Warming (the Bureau did).

Worse: the tone of the Press Release is triumphalist:
"The 2005 Australian temperature record eclipses the old record, set in 1998, by a considerable margin." (Mr Hunt). Well done Mr Hunt. Lets hope you can claim another record, next year too, eh?

Did I say the Bureau's statement was gutted? The Bureau's headline said 2005 was the hottest year on record. Mr Hunt said: 2005 was Australia's warmest year on record. Subtle change of language, to "soften" the message.

This is a totally inappropriate way in which to report an undeniably disasterous climatic trend. This Parliamentary Secretary ought be sacked.

The foregoing political comment is my personal opinion.

Denis Wilson.

Lot 4 Missingham Parade, Robertson NSW 2577

Citizen of Australia


ah said...

Good on you, Denis.

Denis Wilson said...

Thanks Anni.

Nice to get some acknowledgement. The "silence" has been deafening!


John Hughes said...

Good to see someone is awake!
The announcement was outrageous ...Eg. "The year had a remarkably warm and dry start, which led to many concerns for those linked to the land" Mr Hunt said. "But the June rains and a beneficial growing season have brought home a good crop in many areas."
There is a huge spin starting on Nuclear energy too

Mim said...

You express my sentiments but I don't have confidence in writing to politicians - look how far Margo Kingston got with "Not Happy John" - nowhere. Clearly they have another planet to go to when they stuff up this one. So my strategy is to try to shame relatives and friends into slightly sustainable thinking and behaviour and try to make an impact this way - and to practice what I preach. Not asleep just tackling things from another angle.

Denis Wilson said...

welcome Mim and John.
Nice to hear other voices of sanity, in this insane world.

Zoe Wilson said...

You enthusiasm reminds me of a dad I used to know...
It's great to have you back and ready for action in 2006.
Go hard Den.
I've sent this link on to my friends, they're always up for some nasty letter writing to polititians (for a good cause).