Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Two admissions by Penny Wong

Reading the entrails on Penny Wong's statements on 4 Corners last night is instructive:

She said two things about the prospect of soil carbon offsets: "We need more research on that. And we need it to be counted in the international accounting rules so that it counts towards Australia's target."

"We need more research on that" is the classic filibuster strategy. Politicians know it well. If you have a live issue that has supporters and you want to slow it down or kill it, refer it to a subcommittee where it can die from lack of oxygen. Or bury it in 'research' - 3 year trials that take a further 2 years to see the light of day. By which time who will notice?

Penny Wong fails to feel the urgency. Science fails to feel the urgency.
By putting off a decision on Agriculture til 2013, she is prepared to wait 4 years while Climate Change gets worse and soil carbon could be hard at work slowing it down.

Another way to strangle an unwanted initiative is to demand thad it meet impossible standards. It is clear that the international community have condemned the Kyoto Protocols as irrelevant for Agriculture. why continue to refer to them - bring out your dead: additionality, permanence, measurement...

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