Yesterday the Rudd government announced the Emission Trading Scheme (ETS) would be put on hold until “at least 2013”. ABC reports:
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd says he has been forced to put his emissions trading scheme (ETS) on ice because of the Coalition’s opposition and the slow pace of international climate change action.
Mr Rudd has confirmed the ETS has been shelved until at least 2013 so the Government can consider what the rest of the world will do beyond the expiration of the Kyoto protocol.
He says the Government remains committed to implementing the scheme but the Opposition’s refusal to back it and the lack of international progress in the wake of the Copenhagen talks meant it had to be delayed.
Kevin Rudd, our PM blames others for this failure:
“The Liberal Party have executed a complete backflip in their historical position in support of an ETS,” he said.
“The rest of the world is being slower to act on appropriate action on climate change.
“It’s very plain that the correct course of action is to extend the implementation date.
“What we need to make a judgment of is what happens post-2012 and what the rest of the world is doing, because the rest of the world and what they do is pretty important in terms of Australia’s future actions as well.
The tragedy of the commons continues to play itself out.
Of course, it was all just a scheme to introduce a “great big tax on everything”. Says leader of the Liberals, Tony Abbot:
“It seems the Government has dropped its policy to deal with climate change, namely an ETS, because it is frightened the public think that this really is just a great big new tax on everything,” he said.
“I’m quite happy for the next election to be a referendum on Mr Rudd’s great big new tax on everything, and he’s frightened of that.”
Tony stays on message about the “great big tax on everything”.
This from a man who served in a government that actually introduced a “great big tax on everything”, the Goods and Services Tax (GST – or general consumption tax on all goods and services).
Obviously the deniers crow. Andrew Bolt’s take:
Has any Prime Minister had to reverse, delay or repair so many of his own disastrous policies in just three weeks?
While The Australian’s Denis Shanahan notes (with some truth):
Today’s declaration has hollowed out Rudd’s climate change conviction and adopted the Coalition’s “wait-and-see” approach which meets none of the demands Rudd made before Copenhagen last year.
We are going to lose another four or five years.
One can understand realpolitik, but the science will not wait for us to play catch up.
My prediction: by 2010 geoengineering will become mainstream, as political parties on both sides start to promote carbon capture technology, “planet hacking” and other wild schemes in order to ally the public’s growing concerns.
We’ve just witnessed record temperatures these past three months. The electorate is presently disconnected from the issue. However over the coming years, as the effects of climate change become more apparent, the public will begin to look for “action”.
However, we will have to wait as our politics and society catches up.
What can you do today?
Start small. If you are an Australian resident, write to you local member for Parliament, expressing your concern. Believe it not, this makes a difference.
A sufficient number of emails and letters will be noted.
[Hat tip Sou for picking this up]