( – promoted by buhdydharma )
Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd spoke at the Lowy Institute. Entitled Check Against Delivery, this is one of the strongest statements seen from a Head of Government of a ‘developed’ nation on climate change and, more specifically, contains very strong denunciation of those deniers and delayers and self-proclaimed “skeptics” who are obstructing movement to mitigate climate change in Australia … and, even more so, the United States.
The full speech is highly (HIGHLY) recommended reading. This is one of those cases where each read drives one to differing ideas as to which part to quote, which item merits the most attention.
But, as is sometimes best, let us start with the end and what might be termed as a beginning toward strong governmental confrontation of those so ready to mislead and deceive:
My message to the climate change skeptics, to the big betters and the big risk takers is this:
You are betting our children’s future and the future of our grandchildren.
You are betting our jobs, our houses, our farms, our reefs, our economy and our future on an intuition – on a gut feeling; on a political prejudice you have about science.
That is too big a risk, too radical a departure from the basic conservative principles of public policy.
Malcolm, Barnaby, Andrew, Janet – stop gambling with our future.
You’ve got to know when to fold ’em – and for the skeptics, that time has come.
The Government I lead will act.
Rudd has chosen a quite direct challenge to those fighting against action, ready and willing to disseminate falsehoods and deception in their efforts to guard their current fiscal and other interests even at the cost of creating grave risks for all humanity.
The Prime Minister lays down a very “stark choice”:
When you strip away all the political rhetoric, all the political excuses, there are two stark choices – action or inaction. The resolve of the Australian Government is clear – we choose action, and we do so because Australia’s fundamental economic and environmental interests lie in action.
Action now. Not action delayed.
To achieve that “action now” faces a serious challenge:
The challenge we face, and others around the world face, is to build momentum and overcome domestic political constraints.
The truth is this is hard, because the climate change skeptics, the climate change deniers, the opponents of climate change action are active in every country.
They are a minority. They are powerful. And invariably they are driven by vested interests.
They are a “constitute a powerful global force for inaction” and Rudd directly identifies where these minorities reside:
they are particularly entrenched in a range of conservative parties around the world.
Rudd calls out deniers and delayers by name. And, he didn’t hesitate to point to Americans, prominent leaders of the Republican Party, who are continuing to distort debate.
Climate sceptics are also a powerful political lobby in the United States.
Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steel said on 6 March 2009:
“We are cooling. We are not warming. The warming you see out there, the supposed warming, and I am using my finger quotation marks here, is part of the cooling process.”
House Minority Leader John Boehner said on April 19 2009:
“The idea that carbon dioxide is a carcinogen that is harmful to our environment is almost comical. Every time we exhale, we exhale carbon dioxide.”
Republican Congressman John Shimkus said on 25 March 2009:
“If we decrease the use of carbon dioxide, are we not taking away plant food from the atmosphere?”
These people, Rudd says, “happily play with our children’s future.”
The clock is ticking for the planet, but the climate change skeptics simply do not care. The vested interests at work are simply too great.
Those interests are too great to ignore, to stand idly by and allow them to deceive and inhibit action through their deceit.
Kevin Rudd has directly challenged these deceivers in a powerful speech (below the fold) that merits reading in entirety.
And, it is a speech that merits echoing and repeating from political and other leaders around the world.
<!–more–>Full speech here.