Posted by Jim on May 9, 2010
Having heard the science and having heard the sceptics, what do I do as the first Greens member of parliament in the House of Representatives?
Let’s assume that – like Senator Fielding in the Senate – I hold the balance of power between Labor and the Coalition. And there is before the House of Representatives a Bill that aims to reduce the production of carbon dioxide in Australia. The Bill has been controversial because it places a significant impost on industry and it will mean that costs inevitably will be passed onto the consumer. The Bill also contains provisions that will require renewable energy targets to be met by power companies and households to cut back significantly on the production of carbon dioxide by coal-fired power stations.
I am not a scientist. Whom do I go to? Do I listen to what the scientific community is saying about global warming, or do I ask myself whether I should turn to the few scientists who claim that the science is faulty, that any carbon dioxide produced by factories, aeroplanes and vehicles in the past two hundred years is too small to have made a significant impact on global temperatures, that the current rise in temperatures is part of a long, natural climate cycle?
I am struck, first of all, that there is no single science that can give me the answers. There are climatologists, atmospheric scientists, cosmologists, geologists, biologists, historians. No single source. But the United Nations has pulled together the relevant research reported in thousands of papers that have gone through the greater or lesser rigours of peer review. That should help me? WAIT! There is more to read… read on »by