Why did those Senators reject Rudd’s scheme, despite their prolonged drought and their bush fires? Well some - the green ones - did so because they didn’t think its emissions cutting targets went far enough. But the majority did so - duh - because they didn’t want their coal-dependent heavy industry hamstrung by still more pointless taxation and regulation, their consumers fleeced and their economy ruined in the middle of a thwacking great global recession. And, in at least the case of Senator Steve Fielding, because they’d done their research and discovered that Anthropogenic Global Warming is a figment of Al Gore’s imagination.We may add that the bush fires have been known to be caused by arsonists and have often spread fast because in many places control of the wilderness had been abandoned in response to Green demands.
Having consulted scientific experts including Ian Plimer [whom I interviewed in the Spectator a few weeks back and whose views are neatly summarised here] Sen Fielding was inspired to visit the US to assess at first hand what evidence the Obama administration was using to justify its radical Waxman Markey cap and trade measures. He was not impressed and issued a challenge, emailing graphs to one of the US president’s energy advisers showing that, despite rising CO2 levels the globe has not warmed in over a decade.
He concluded: “Until recently I, like most Australians, simply accepted without question the notion that global warming was a result of increased carbon emissions. However, after speaking to a cross-section of noted scientists, including Ian Plimer… I quickly began to understand that the science on this issue was by no means conclusive….As a federal senator, I would be derelict in my duty to the Australian people if I did not even consider whether or not the scientific assumptions underpinning this debate were in fact correct.”
Bloomberg points out that this is not the end of the story.
Rudd, who needs support from seven senators outside the government to pass laws through the upper house, can resubmit the bill after making amendments. A second rejection after a three-month span would give him a trigger to call an election.I can't help being pleased that someone called Xenophon should emulate his namesake and approach matters with an open and enquiring mind.
“We may lose this fight, but this issue will not go away,” Climate Change Minister Penny Wong told the Senate in Canberra. “Australia cannot afford for climate change to be unfinished business.”
Five members from the Australian Greens party sought bigger cuts to emissions while the opposition coalition and independent Senator Nick Xenophon wanted to wait for further studies on the plan’s impact on the economy.
AND TALKING of Clogs or Corporate Blogs, I shall be spending a good deal of today and tomorrow writing about them for the Total Politics Guide to Political Blogging. There's glory for you.