Has Australian Politics Gone Green?

With the release of Al Gore’s movie on Global Warming painting a very clear picture of a shocking future many Australian politicians have got on the political bandwagon.

Leading the charge – somewhat surprisingly seems to be John Howard the Prime Minister of Australia. He is at least admitting now that Global Warming is a possibility, after years of questioning the science, and it now talking about possible solutions to the problem – championing nuclear power as Australia’s answer to reducing its greenhouse gas contributions (only 1% of the world total despite a heavy reliance on coal). He has also proposed that the Murray-Darling River system which represents 70% of Australia’s water be placed under Federal control and ten billion dollars invested in protecting and improving the vital waterway. At least in the media John Howard sounds good. Most people will think he’s born again green. Of course this is not the case, John Howard is a clever politician (as Julia Gillard, another clever politician put it) and knows what will win him votes. With Kevin Rudd the new leader of Labour having a surge in the polls little Johnny is worried. So worried he trying to even appeal to his environmental side.

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not tree hugger – in fact I can’t stand those tree camping hippies who would do more good for the environment if they stopped protesting and smoking green and instead spent their time planting trees. However I am a realist. I can see the world is heating up – I mean how often do icebergs float past Dunedin! Because of this we must all make changes or start investing in mountain real estate. However if the Australian politicians were really green why have they not set a target for increasing the use of ethanol in cars, greater tax breaks for friendly fuels, etc. Queensland Premier Peter Beattie smiles and says ‘I’m green, I’ve made it possible to put 10% blend of ethanol into petrol’. NOT GOOD ENOUGH. A decade and more later than other states and its not even compulsory for the fuel companies. Australia needs to have a timeline for 50% blend. It is just a case of giving the car companies the notice, the tax breaks and time to modify their production plants. Brazil has a 100% biofuel. Australia has no excuse.

So to the Aussie politicians before you claim to be really green – have you set up a timeline to increase bio-fuel use – if not your not born again green, your born again yellow!