A tale of two cries for help
By Barry Tucker
A Philippines delegate to the UN’s climate change conference breaks down in tears while a Liberal party executive asks for donations to fight carbon pollution legislation.
It’s hard to think of a more startling contrast between the reality of the human damage that can result from climate change and the Australian Liberal Party’s indifference to that reality.
Typhoon Haiyan, which struck The Philippines two days ago, may have left as many as 10,000 dead in one small region of the island nation alone. It went on to cause further devastation in Vietnam. Scientists are saying the Typhoon, one of the most powerful on record, was caused by rising sea levels and temperatures, known effects of carbon pollution leading to global warming.
At the UN sponsored Climate Change Conference 2013 in Warsaw, Poland, Philippine delegate Naderev “Yeb” Saño broke down in tears as he appealed to the conference for action.
Saño also made a heartfelt appeal to the climate convention at Doha last year, after The Philippines was hit by Typhoon Bopha. “It is not about what our political masters want, it is about what is demanded of us by 7 million people,” he said at that time. “Please, no more delays, no more excuses.”
The Australian Liberal-National Party Coalition government (which has cancelled its foreign aid program) initially provided some $300,000 for The Philippines relief effort and subsequently pledged $10 million.
Yesterday, on the eve of the first reading of the L-NP’s carbon tax abolition Bills in the House of Representatives, federal Liberal party director Brian Loughnane issued the email newsletter reproduced below.
Tomorrow morning, shortly after 9am, Prime Minister Tony Abbott will introduce the Carbon Tax Repeal Bill into the Parliament.
Repealing the Carbon Tax is an important part of the Government’s Plan to build a stronger economy and help reduce cost of living pressures on families.
But Labor, under Bill Shorten, will oppose removing the Carbon Tax.
We urgently need your support for the Coalition’s campaign to remove the Carbon Tax.
Please donate to directly support our campaign.
Liberal Party of Australia
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The Liberal party’s campaign for the abolition of the previous Labor government’s carbon “tax” (or price on carbon pollution) is deceitful. The new Liberal government has consistently claimed the tax increases the cost of electricity bills. The former government used some of the proceeds from the “tax” to over-compensate some households for the CT element of electricity bills. Government leader Tony Abbott has declared his government will leave the compensation in place after the “tax” is removed. This is in spite of him having declared a “Budget Emergency” towards the end of the term of the previous government. While nothing has yet been done by his government to overcome this “emergency”, his Treasurer, Joe Hockey, wants the Labor Opposition to agree to an increase in the nation’s debt ceiling from $300 billion to $500 billion. While not stating why the 66% increase is necessary, the new government has made it clear it will go all out to reduce the national debt piled up under Labor — with the goal of a small surplus by the end of the first three-year term.
The L-NP government (or, more specifically, its leader) proposes a campaign of Direct Action to replace Labor’s preference for a carbon price, leading to a carbon trading scheme. Direct Action includes planting trees, soil sequestration of carbon (that technology is not yet fully developed) and compensating polluters for action taken to reduce pollution. It has not been revealed how Direct Action will be paid for; if not by taxation, it will be at the expense of spending elsewhere. The L-NP’s opposition to carbon pricing (which it favoured in the past Howard government era) is purely designed to allow polluters to avoid paying a price for pollution. There may be some justification for this while the rest of the world’s governments fail to take action against polluters. However, it seems that one by one governments are recognising that climate change is a reality (and Tony Abbott now professes to accept it too) and at some time in the future the L-NP government will have to take some serious, positive action to significantly reduce carbon pollution.
This new Liberal-National Party government is the most lying, deceitful, incompetent and, frankly, scary government that I have encountered in my 47 years experience of reporting on State and federal governments and the effects of their policies. See other reports in this blog and in my TruthinNewsMedia Resource Centre for further evidence of this government’s approach, especially in regard to secrecy surrounding its Stop the Boats policy and the news media’s complicity, generally, in covering the government’s backside.
In a related matter, the federal Environment Minister, Greg Hunt, on ABC Radio National’s Breakfast show this morning repeated the misleading information that carbon emissions have increased since the introduction of the carbon “tax”. The show’s presenter, Fran Kelly, allowed the remark to go unchallenged. This occurred in spite of the ABC’s FactChecker website stating on 4 October, 2013 that Mr Hunt’s earlier use of the same figures was “misleading”. What is the point of having an ABC FactCheck website if the ABC’s journalists ignore its findings?