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Bluster comes back to Bite Rudd

Rudd the Bully

Sigh. Time to party right? Heigh Ho and ra ha ha and all that. Yes, forgive me for not cracking open the champagne. Rudd (Australia’s PM) has finally admitted what skeptics have known for two months, that he doesn’t have the courage of his “convictions” and that all the pious rhetoric was a bluff.

A week before the National Budget comes out, he’s announced he’s shelving the Emissions Trading Scheme that was a defining part of his election campaign for Kevin ’07. It shocked some of the pundits.

Naturally, it’s not bad news, but let’s face it, a green tax is still on the agenda, literally billions of dollars is still being wasted in government programs, we’re still “signed up” for UN agreements worth gadzillions, and to top that off, we have a Prime Minister who’s so unprincipled that in his own words he’s a donothing delayer, an inactivist, a man who gambles recklessly with our childrens future. He’s a political coward, and a failure as a leader, and he’s acting against what he believes is Australia’s best economic interests. He said all that, and all the quotes of his faux anger (see below) come from just one speech.

He’s not going to push for a double dissolution, he’s not trying to negotiate, and he’s not going to even try to defend his passionately favored scheme at the next election, but he still “wants it”, and still thinks it’s the right thing to do.

He howled that the skeptics were only acting for the money–holding the world to ransom, and so now he what, stoically… caves in? If skeptics are “too dangerous to be ignored” and this is all the response he can muster, what chance does the country have against a real enemy? (Skeptics toss unauthorised emails, but enemies toss nukes.)

The answer of course, is that Rudd was never that convinced–not in a “save my grandchildren” kind of way. He just took the easy option of bluff and bluster. He tried to bully the nation into helping him pass the legislation that would make him look like a hero to the UN.

But the price of the big bluff is steep and the cost is measured in credibility. Paul Kelly in The Australian describes just how big the back flip is. If Rudd were a statesman he would have sought out the skeptics and asked what they were searching for and why they felt so strongly. If he had researched the contrary opinions he would have been so much the wiser–forewarned about the weak science and informed about the motivations and the money. He would never have painted himself into the Corner of Abject Derision. Nor would he have risked signing Australia over to Goldman Sachs and co. for so little benefit. How stupid would Australia look if that one vote had gone the other way last December? We would have nobbled our sovereign economy in a “symbolic display” of national gullibility.

Kevin Rudd, November 2009, Lowy Institute (selected lines from a 6000 word speech)

“The resolve of the Australian Government is clear we choose action, and we do so because Australia’s fundamental economic and environmental interests lie in action.”

“The challenge we face, and others around the world face, is to build momentum and overcome domestic political constraints. The truth is this is hard, because the climate change skeptics, the climate change deniers, the opponents of climate change action are active in every country. They are a minority. They are powerful. And invariably they are driven by vested interests. Powerful enough to so far block domestic legislation in Australia…”

…these three groups of climate skeptics are quite literally holding the world to ransom, provoking fear campaigns in every country they can, blocking or delaying domestic legislation.

“It is time to be totally blunt about the agenda of the climate change skeptics … It is to destroy the CPRS at home, and it is to destroy agreed global action on climate change abroad, and our children’s fate and our grandchildren’s fate will lie entirely with them. It’s time to remove any polite veneer from this debate. The stakes are that high.”

The clock is ticking for the planet, but the climate change skeptics simply do not care. The vested interests at work are simply too great.  …these donothing climate change skeptics are prepared to destroy our children’s future.

What absolute political cowardice.
What an absolute failure of leadership.
What an absolute failure of logic.

Climate change deniers are small in number, but they are too dangerous to be ignored.

They are reckless gamblers who are betting all our futures on their arrogant assumption that their intuitions should triumph over the evidence. The logic of these skeptics belongs in a casino, not a science lab, and not in the ranks of any responsible government.

Malcolm, Barnaby, Andrew, Janet, even Lord Monckton shouldn’t even bother with the pretence of science and just admit the currency of their prescription for inaction has all the legitimacy of a roulette wheel.

The Government I lead will act.

I wrote one of my most passionate polemics against that same Rudd Lowy speech.

I’ll just go back to my roulette wheel…

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