"The Australian" supports the ETS because it makes people "feel better"
THE emissions trading scheme, as Kevin Rudd says, is not "political slap and tickle". It is serious legislation that could potentially have a greater impact on productivity, capital flows and jobs than the GST, which was subjected to intense scrutiny and almost cost the Howard government office 11 years ago. We've seen plenty of hot air, but the ETS has received little more than "slap and tickle" coverage from supposedly serious sections of the media, including some in the Canberra gallery. Climate Change Minister Penny Wong's confected October 20 deadline for the opposition to propose legislative amendments led news bulletins this week, even though that was the Coalition timetable anyway. It would have been more helpful to examine the government's failure to unveil the regulations that will largely determine the impact of the scheme.
But what about the government ministers, well known to many in the media, whose scepticism about the ETS and climate change privately rivals that of Mr Tuckey and Barnaby Joyce?
But what about jobs?
But what about the expectations of business?
Then there is the science. The public has not been well-served by scientists' contradictory findings on such basic points as whether the world is warming or cooling. Figures predicting sea level rises fluctuate widely. Some have turned scientific method on its head, no longer proceeding through a process of conjectures and refutations, but rather conjectures and affirmation, crossing the line between inquiry and activism. The science has been politicised.
After all that, it's hard to see how anyone could possibly support the ETS. But The Australian somehow manages it, on the flimsiest of pretexts:
What is not disputed is that Australia's contribution to global emissions is barely 1 per cent and falling. The Weekend Australian supports the government's scheme not because it will achieve much environmentally - it is too small for that - but because, like the scheme John Howard took to the last election, it is cautious and market-driven. Public opinion polls show most Australians feel better that something is being done.
Feel better? This is an almost unbelievably cowardly justification for supporting the worst single piece of legislation since Federation. The Australian is the only news source that is vaguely critical of the ETS, yet even it shies away from the inevitable shrill cries of "denier" that would be hurled its way if it came out and spoke the truth, namely that the ETS is bad law and should not be enacted.
Read it here.