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Archive for December, 2007

A colourful apology

Caroline Overington and The Australian try to put the past behind them:

The apology, published in today’s Australian, states: “On Saturday morning, November 24, 2007, Caroline Overington had an encounter with the Labor candidate for Wentworth, Mr George Newhouse, in circumstances that she sincerely regrets. She hopes that she and Mr Newhouse can put this incident behind them and she wishes him all the best. The Australian regrets any embarrassment Mr Newhouse has endured and also wishes him well.”

Formal and public apologies can make for an interesting exercise in semantics, as our beloved former PM can attest. In this case, Ms Overington regrets the “circumstances” in which the “encounter” occurred – both words that relate to the situation and the nature of the interaction, rather than having anything to do with her own individual behaviour. And both Overington and the GG “regret” rather than apologise for the events.

It’s an apology from Overington without indicating any ownership of her own behaviour, and without any admission that the event occurred as it had been reported by those present (who weren’t Ms Overington). The language tends toward the “past exonerative” – a culpa without the mea.

It’s a shame to see the journalist who did such great work in uncovering the wrongdoing associated with the AWB’s oil-for-food kickbacks reduced to this type of dissembling to escape her own personal scandal.

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Andrew Bolt thinks Kevin Rudd is throwing money away for no good reason:

Kevin Rudd is determined to ratify the Kyoto Protocol despite knowing it will probably cost us billions

In fact, by ratifying Kyoto, Rudd will instantly commit us to paying a $1.6 billion fine in carbon credits (correction: $160 million. See Update 3 below) unless we manage to get back under our target. That’s based on the European price last week of $26.85 for carbon credits for each tonne of CO2.

So why is Rudd signing away our cash?

Of course, Bolt believes global warming is not occurring, so he can see no reason at all to risk any fines or to attempt to reduce greenhouse emissions. Which means that he continues to question why Rudd has ratified Kyoto, despite the fact that he gave the answer himself:

In fact, by ratifying Kyoto, Rudd will instantly commit us to paying a $1.6 billion fine in carbon credits (correction: $160 million. See Update 3 below) unless we manage to get back under our target.

If you start from an assumption that global warming is not happening, then what Rudd has done is the equivalent of putting a few thousand dollars on a horse at 200-to-1 – but without the possibility of winning back hundreds of thousands of dollars.

But if you start from the position that the preponderance of scientific evidence supports the notion that global warming is occurring and that a proximate cause is the production of greenhouse gases by human activities, then things look a bit different. Rudd is tying our financial well-being to our effectiveness in contributing to the well-being of the environment. He is moving toward ensuring that Australia, including its householders and its corporations, have a vested interest in reducing our impact on the world. And he is making up for lost time.

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Action!

Let’s get this party started.

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A Sunday Night Song

Here’s a little something to put you in the mood for the United Nations Climate Change Conference, starting this week in Bali:

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