On this day 11 years ago Australian climate scientist Barrie Pittock had an opinion piece in the Melbourne Age newspaper. In the piece, titled “In global warming war, may market forces be with you“, Pittock observes that
“The Institute of Public Affairs supports, as far as I know, road rules and safety standards, for example for automotive design, medical procedures and drugs. Sensible regulation, with carrots and sticks for people to do the right thing, is necessary in an imperfect world. The same must apply to environmental damage caused by human activities that threatens future human health and welfare.”
Pittock, B. 2006 “In global warming war, may market forces be with you“, The Age, January 14.
The IPA, for those not in the know, is a ‘think’ tank that has been around since the early 1940s. It used to be conservative, but has now gone full-libertarian. By its own admission (as in, boast) it has played a key role in denial of climate change in Australia.
Also on this day-
WWF Australia released a report tying global warming to the 2002 drought (which continued until the late 2000s, but more on that another time…
SYDNEY, Australia, January 15, 2003 (ENS) – Human-induced global warming was a key factor in the severity of the 2002 drought in Australia, the worst in the country’s history, according to a report issued Tuesday [14 january] by WWF Australia. The report is part of an effort by Australian environmental organizations to convince the Liberal Government of John Howard to reverse its policy and sign the Kyoto climate protocol.
newswire. 2003. Human Actions Blamed for Worst Australian Drought. Jan 15.
On 1 July 1983, in a landmark decision, the High Court on circuit in Brisbane ruled by a vote of 4 to 3 in the federal government’s favour. Judges Mason, Murphy, Brennan and Deane were in the majority and justices Wilson and Dawson with Chief Justice Gibbs were in the minority. [wikipedia] This was a major turning point. The Hawke government talked about biodiversity/conservation and then did nowt. It was only in 1988/9 that it was forced to up its game.
2004: Taming the Panda: The relationship between WWF Australia and Howard Government
Also on this day
International Geophysical year held between 1 July 1957 and 31 December 1958. The year was sponsored jointly by WMO and the International Council for Scientific Unions (ICSU) and 30,000 scientists from more than 1000 research stations in sixty-six countries participated. [And that’s where we get the Keeling Curve from…]
Page 22 Paterson, M (1996)
1981 Buckminster Fuller dies
1996 Australian Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Renewable Energy established. Killed off at the end of 2003
1999 GEODISC commenced on July 1, 1999 after extensive consultation with industry regarding the issues, priorities, and available data. Wherever possible international research and development experience is being applied and modified to suit the conditions that prevail in Australia.
2012 Australian carbon tax comes into effect
On this day in 2006 the then Australian Federal Environment Minister Ian Campbell vetoed a Victorian windfarm on the extremely spurious grounds that it would harm an endangered species, the Orange-bellied parrot, that hadn’t been spotted within 10km of the proposed site.
He used a controversial Biodiversity Act that had been opposed by most of the big Green groups (with the exception of WWF). The decision was later overturned, but it contributed to the sense that the Howard government was taking the mickey.
The conservative hate-affair with wind energy continues down unto this day, for reasons that we might come back to…
Also on this day
On April 5, 2010, an explosion at another Massey Energy facility in Raleigh County killed 29 out of the 31 miners onsite, the worst mining accident in the U.S. since 1970. An investigation found Massey Energy’s negligent safety practices directly