Friday, October 01, 2004

The Global Warming Olympics

Sometimes Australian sports analogies go a little too far for me.

Today Australia's Environment Minister Ian Campbell defended his party's refusal to sign the Kyoto Treaty, framing it in terms of sporting metaphors:

"A Howard government would not bow to pressure to sign the Kyoto Protocol because it was already on the dais for a medal-winning performance in greenhouse gas reduction...

Senator Campbell said the United Nations-sponsored Kyoto Protocol was a flawed document that would discourage leading greenhouse performers like Australia to export energy to developing countries."

Leading greenhouse performers?? Australia remains the single biggest per capita emittor of greenhouse gases in the world bar none. As the driest continent on earth it will also be one of the first countries to suffer the consequences of global warming.

"All serious greenhouse players around the world, including China, look to Australia as the leader in terms of application of greenhouse policy," Senator Campbell said.

"I get very angry when you see Australians putting down Australian's efforts when in fact we're on the international dais, either gold, silver or bronze, in relation to performance on climate change."
The Howard government is hoping its refusal to sign the treaty will give them energy trading advantages over more environmentally responsible countries. If Campbell wants a sporting analogy here's one: In the Energy Olympics Australia would be the player disqualified for being on steroids.

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