Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Human rights in Australia - open letter to Barnaby Joyce on saving the planet (the cutting edge human rights issue of our time)

I sent this email to Senator Joyce in August. Nothing has changed really!

"Dear Senator

One cannot fail to notice just how much air time is taken up with your posturing. It would be interesting to measure whether you or Senators Fielding or Xenophon get the most attention. I understand why the latter do what they do, because it’s tough to maintain a public profile in ‘single issue’ land.

I notice you have been trumpeting all the support you are getting in ‘virtual’ space on your position toward the CPRS. It may be so but believe me, in electorates where the demographics really count; you are one of the Rudd government’s biggest electoral assets. So, congratulations on ensuring your side of politics remain in opposition for quite a while to come – as it stands that is probably in the national interest. Your pugnacious smugness may go down well with certain of the private school ‘cockey’ crowd, but some of us find it a tad immature. I know where these attitudes were honed as I also went to one of those private bastions of ‘born to ruledom’!

The minimum temperature in Canberra last night was 12 degrees! It should be below 5 degrees. Plants that never flowered before late September now routinely come out in mid-August. The carbon paradigm (to use a much belaboured term) has to shift. In the end I would be very surprised if agriculture is in the mix as that would preclude a deal with India and China, and they must be brought to the table. If advanced economies like Australia are not prepared to model constructive change then the planet is frankly stuffed. Blind freddy can see climate change is a reality and that carbon emissions are a major component. If we do not get a bi-partisan position on climate change, history will not be kind to our generation.

Your line on a Rudd tax on everything as a reductionist critique of the ETS will no doubt resonate with your supporters, although I note the only government in recent times to put their hands in everyone’s pockets through the introduction of a new tax was Howard’s with his GST. I’m sure you think you are on a political winner with this glib line, but I suggest you spend too much time talking to the credulous converted. We need politicians to rise above sloganeering and to do the hard policy work to wring change."

Amongst all the hyperbole about 'thousands' of emails flooding in support of trashing the ETS, which is not that far removed from the policy the Coalition took to the last federal election, it will come as no surprise that Senator Joyce chose not to reply to this one.