Thursday, April 26, 2007

LETTERS: Seeing through Howard's denial of climate change

Three interesting letters in The Age on Thursday 26 April 2007 are below. It seems that many people see through John Howard's convoluted denials of climate and his increasingly extremist position of refusing to seriously address it causes and his blind and unwavering support for fossil fuel industries and the "Greenhouse mafia".

Just who is 'crazy and irresponsible'?
Graeme Scarlett, East Malvern

JOHN Howard says "it is crazy and irresponsible … to commit to a target when you don't know the impact of the target" (The Age, 25/4). Yet he has committed to short-term targets re jobs and economic growth with no understanding or acceptance of the long-term and irreversible impact his policies have on the ability of our global environment to cope. Nor does he have any understanding of the detrimental impact his policies will have on future jobs and economic stability.

Does this make him crazy and irresponsible? You bet. But as the 18th-century philosopher David Hume might have said in defence of such self-interest: "T'is not unreasonable for me to prefer the destruction of the whole world to the loss of my job!"

Opportunity knocks
Author: Rowan Dowland, Wonga Park

WHAT'S the point the PM and Opposition Leader arguing whether climate change is Australia's overwhelming moral challenge? It's both a moral and economic challenge, but most importantly it's an economic opportunity.

Solving the climate change crisis with the use of new technologies is something we have control over, can participate in at an international level and generate overwhelming levels of new business, income and jobs for Australians. Get on with it, gentlemen. Business is waiting for a clear vision of your policy framework.

Moral imperatives
Author: Peter Hanley, Townsville, Qld

IN HIS "Australia Rising" speech on Monday, Mr Howard was reported as saying that "maintaining economic prosperity was Australia's greatest moral challenge" (The Age, 24/4).

In our world today, between 400 and 500 million people in Africa exist on less than one dollar a day, while in the European Union every cow is subsidised two dollars a day. Our top climate scientists have warned us that unless decisive action is taken now to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, global warming will be out of control. And in Australia the health statistics of indigenous people are worse than those in many Third World countries.

The Concise Oxford Dictionary defines "moral" as "concerned with the distinction between right and wrong". I wonder which dictionary Mr Howard uses — the same one that says "greed is good"?"


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