Howard govt tries to shift to climate-friendly stance while pretending it always thought this way: compromises credibility on current and future initiatives
The Howard Government has changed direction on climate change, while pretending that they haven’t changed direction on the issue compromising its credibility on current and future initiatives, argued Mathew Warren in The Australian (16/5/07, p. 6). Warren asked what would result from 400 future leaders of Australia in a room for two days, talking and thinking about the future?
Climate change dominates summit: His answer was climate change. The issue wasn’t just prominent over the two days of the Australian Davos Connection’s Future Summit; it dominated proceedings for the cross-section of aspiring corporate, government, university and community leaders. Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Downer at second-day lunch speech which he used to proudly showcase the greatest hits of the Howard Government policy on climate change.
Downer challenged on true greenhouse cost of nuclear: Every time Downer mentioned the word nuclear, he was hissed. The first question he faced was whether he agreed with the proposal that politicians who told lies should he imprisoned. The second was a challenge on the true greenhouse cost of nuclear energy by anti-nuclear campaigner Helen Caldicott. Next he was asked how he could claim to be helping to save rainforests in Asia when he handed out a brochure on the Government’s climate change record. It was a tough room.
Now Downer thinks the mad scientists are right: Downer heckled questioners from the podium and appeared uneasy trying to explain to what extent he accepted the mainstream science of climate change, which had been so openly challenged by senior government ministers only a year ago.