overcome climate change and global warming?
Well yes we must go down that road. It will allow Australia to influence by example. We will become a major world player because of our initiatives - perhaps.
Now please do not misunderstand me. I believe we should be taking care of our home - planet Earth. I also believe we could do far more in that respect than we do.
The proposed ETS, carbon price etc will make no positive impact on the world's climate woes. The idea that it might somehow put Australia in a position where it can influence the rest of the world is as ridiculous as it is arrogant.
There is also another problem. It is going to cost a lot of money. That money has to be found somewhere. In this morning's paper there are some suggestions about how that money might be found.
There is the tax on pollution of course - that will flow down so that everyone pays for it through increased prices. Will we use less of the world's resources because of it? No, we will demand pay increases and inflation will go up.
There will also be cuts to government expenditure. The price we pay for some medicines is going to go up.
Now I suspect that some doctors over-prescribe. It is easier to offer a pill than to say we must change our life style. I doubt however that a rise in the cost of prescriptions is going to change that. It may mean that some people will not take what is prescribed for them. They may end up costing the community more because they become chronically or critically ill - or they may go on much as before. Medication for conditions like diabetes should not be hit. There is no suggestion that they will be but anything might happen in the future. It is still not good to asking health to pay.
What is even worse however is that there is a plan to cut research funding in health. The National Health and Medical Research Council is looking at a massive budget cut. Australia already spends only a miniscule amount on health research - and an even more miniscule amount comes directly from the government. Much of the money is raised by drug companies through the cost of prescriptions.
Now of couse drug companies have been known to do poor research, shonky research and plain stupid research. They try to solve one problem and create others. They make problems where problems should not exist etc etc. They also do other essential research which has dramatically improved the quality of life of some people.
They are going to get hit with a double whammy. The price of prescriptions is going to rise but they will not see the benefit. Less people may take prescription drugs if the price goes too high. They will be no better off. (Neither will the government but governments do not think that far ahead.)
They will also get less research funding. That means less time spent on a wide range of research. It means young people with inquiring minds will not get posts in research. Progress will slow.
In the end we will be worse off.
If savings have to come from somewhere I suggest they start by cutting the government cars in Canberra and vehicle use everywhere, that the young chronic unemployed are given jobs replanting our forests and that we start to grow more in our gardens (instead of importing food).
I know though that this is not a solution to the real problem - keeping a government in power and pretending we are world players.