June 9, 2011

The non-believers

Only seven per cent of voters believe Julia Gillard's claim that little Aussies will be better off with a carbon emissions tax, that is,  after the redistribution of wealth to accompanies the package.

Interestingly, around 50% of Australians do believe the climate situation is so dire that the government must "immediately" do something about emissions.  Clearly, most of those people do not agree that a tax on emissions is the appropriate vehicle for action.  They're right too, but the decision-makers aren't listening.

Meanwhile, right-wing darling, Janet Albrechtsen, offers up some data to illustrate how little the price people are willing to pay for carbon emissions - bugger all, basically, with hardly anyone (mostly corporate fliers, we could guess) being prepared to pay the extra $1.82 or  $1.96 to off-set the carbon emissions of their flying habits.

She also offers some wonderful quotes from Irving Kristol, from forty years ago, which illustrate how little anything changes, no matter how much we think they have (ok, so we now have iPads and an iCloud ... meh ... ):
Irving Kristol, the American writer who died in 2009, knew something about reality principles. The editor of Commentary magazine, Public Interest and National Interest once remarked that bad politics is like bad poetry, which as Oscar Wilde said, doesn't get any better just because it springs from genuine feeling. In 1972 Kristol wrote: "It seems to me that the politics of liberal reform, in recent years, shows many of the same characteristics as amateur poetry. It has been more concerned with the kind of symbolic action that gratifies the passions of the reformer rather than with the efficacy of the reforms themselves."

The insistence, said Kristol, was "revealing, in the public realm, one's intense feelings" . We must care; we must be concerned; we must be committed. Unsurprisingly, this goes along with an immense indifference to consequences, to positive results or the lack thereof.

Yep.  Same old, same old.

Hard time warning to PM

Mind the gap on climate - Janet Albrechtsen


  1. geoffff3:04 AM

    Caz, you're right. I saw that. Nothing's changed. The right are still quoting Kristol. The left are still lionising Chomsky. I respect and admire Kristol. I detest Chomsky. That hasn't changed either. But hey, that's me.

    I'm having a delightful private conversation about Chomsky with my old friend, now of the SPF.

  2. The public debate is all a bit stale, I think Geoff. Empty rhetoric and limp ideology.

    The young 'uns, especially those who are lauded for eschewing "traditional" politics have nothing to contribute either, unless one takes their passionate sobbing over the environment and saving the future seriously.

    Rudd must be feeling pretty chuffed nowadays, being paid to fly all over the world several times a month, and he doesn't have to cop any shit about polls or bad policies or tanties over hair dryers. All the while he gets to bask in the total failure of Gillard & Co. Rudd must be a very happy pig in mud.