Indian PM Manmohan Singh and US President George W Bush
Foreign Affairs commentator, Greg Sheridan, in The Australian today:
There is so much theology in climate change it makes your head spin.
… But I am, like Catholic Archbishop of Sydney George Pell, a modest sceptic, open to evidence.
There isn’t all that much evidence around.
… I think the big developing countries are not going to do anything to cut greenhouse gas emissions. They may cut the rate of growth of emissions, but that is all.
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Earlier this year I had the pleasure of interviewing Kapil Sibal, India’s Science Minister. I asked him about greenhouse gas emissions, which are rising very rapidly in India.
… He pointed out that India’s per capita emissions were much less than those of all Western countries and concluded: “This is really a non-issue for India.”
Recently India has released its own climate change action plan. It contains absolutely no targets or binding actions at all.
Every Indian development paper I’ve seen for many years has talked about the need to increase the energy intensity of India’s economy.
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China is building better than one coal-fired power station a week and every few months adds the equivalent to the entire Australian economy’s emissions.
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Europe’s political leaders, the Elmer Gantrys of public eco-moralising and private pleasuring, have produced a carbon trading scheme that has not resulted in one zot of decrease in greenhouse gases.
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If Australia were serious about this greenhouse business, the first thing we would do is sell uranium to India to encourage it to move from coal to nuclear power.
I have a lot of faith finally in the pragmatism and common sense of the Rudd Government, its senior ministers and the federal bureaucracy. They have no mandate to destroy the Australian economy by moving vastly in advance of the rest of the world, which is going to do very little indeed.
No one, in fact, is acting as if this were really a crisis.
Still, a lot of harm, say in discouraging foreign investment in the Australian energy industry, could be done inadvertently.
I suspect, nonetheless, that we will speak loudly and carry a very small stick. Good thing, too