Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Al Gore: weak climate change policy better than nothing

If Al Gore endorses it, is it good enough?

That doesn't seem to be the right question.

In Australia at the moment, Gore has endorsed the Australian government's proposed emission trading scheme. His core rationale is that some policy is better than none. He identifies the failure of two leading industrial nations (Australia and USA) to ratify 1997's Kyoto protocol as one of the biggest causes of inertia in action on climate change. And for those two countries to go to the Copenhagen conference with leadership on the issue is a strong signal to the rest of the world, even if the plans are weak (in the case of Australia) or aimed too far into the future (USA).

For comic relief, Senator Steve Fielding [a foolish sceptic who holds balance of power in the Senate] is hoping to persuade Al Gore that he's wrong on global warming - based on a very selective chart which focuses on 1998, which happened to have abnormally high temperatures.

Meanwhile, Crikey has some harsh words to say about this apparent leadership, which they characterise as based far more on hope than action.

An interview with Gore on the 7.30 Report fleshes out very well his position on Australia and the US in the lead-up to Copenhagen.

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