Monday, 14 December 2009

Hang down your head, Copenhagen, in shame!

I am prepared to make a personal contribution to reducing carbon pollution, if it will help reduce the looming global crisis.

But I object to the much vaunted "Copenhagen" conference being used as a cosmetic exercise by the Rudd Government.

The words "Sham", "Scam", "Fraud" have been used by people much better placed than me, to describe what they understand the Government is up to inside the conference room and dark, private negotiating rooms in Copenhagen.

Today's Sydney Morning Herald tells the full story. I urge you to read it , and get mad as hell, as I did.

Here are some brief extracts:

"The row comes as latest figures show that Australia's greenhouse gas emissions have soared 82 per cent since 1990.
The overall jump - reported to the United Nations in September -
has been caused by a blow-out of 657 per cent in Australian land use emissions between 1990 and 2007.

"But in an effort to unlock the huge potential for ''carbon sinks''
in agricultural and grazing lands as part of any new Copenhagen climate deal, Australia has driven controversial rule changes that would exclude the impact of ''extraordinary events or circumstances'' such as bushfires and drought.

This would then make it easier for developed countries to claim offsets or carbon credits from agricultural and grazing lands."

"Paul Winn from Greenpeace International, who has closely followed negotiations over ''Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry'' at recent climate negotiations, said the push to get the land use rule changes
into a new deal might mean the ''greenwashing of Copenhagen''.

"These are basically accounting frauds, they're shuffling the cards …
it's just a changing of the figures and the atmosphere doesn't see any difference to the emissions or removals that occur."

"Dr Payal Parekh, a climate scientist for International Rivers, said: "The effect that these loopholes will have on the targets is that it will water them down.

"It essentially means that developed countries including Australia could actually increase their emissions in the next few years … it is a total scam. It appears as if something is [being] done,
but it is not. The best way to sum it up is that it is a get-out-of-jail- free card."

"This source said there were huge problems trying to account for carbon in rural landscapes.
"This is all about paper shuffling. It's not about reducing emissions.
It's about being seen to be complying [with targets] for political reasons.

"Whatever the outcome, I would not be confident it will be effective in doing what it's meant to do - cutting emissions".

DJW comments.

One thing the expert commentators have not picked up on is that bushfires and droughts have been excluded on the basis that they are "extraordinary events".
They are not.
They are part of the reality of Australia's new climate.

The people who have drafted that exemption are cynical bureaucrats and politicians with no understanding of the reality of Australia's natural environment.

Yes, the Black Tuesday bushfires in Victoria were bad, but they were not unprecedented. Nor were they unable to be predicted, much less, not able to be anticipated. Such events are entirely to be expected.

So the idea of "sequestering carbon" (for the purposes of gaining "carbon credits") in a Victorian Eucalypt plantation or a western districts grassland environment is a total absurdity - for it will burn - over the span of a human lifetime. There is nothing surer. So the sequestration is only a temporary holding of carbon, at best.

This is an exercise in Environmental hypocrisy.

I repudiate the work of the Rudd Government in this regard, and in particular, Senator Wong, who I have always held in high regard, personally.

Signed - in regret:

Denis Wilson

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