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Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Its The Climate, Stupid!

For years now I’ve sat silent while Al Gore, the United Nations, a passel of Australian politicians and journalists, plus various others who thrive on making relatively happy people feel guilty, peddled their prophecies of doom.
And what prophecies! Dead polar bears, desert – and deserted – cities, the Opera House under water, the Himalayas shrinking to the size of mole hills, Pacific islands drowning, millions of gasping and exhausted climate refugees finally making landfall on the tip of the Opera House sail still visible.
I had my doubts back then, especially with Al Gore – a perfect example of just why vice-presidents aren’t given the nuclear codes - playing the role of chief merchant of doom, but I was prepared to suspend judgement and see how things unfolded.
And where has my patience got me?
In the middle of a pretty normal, climate refugee-free, polar bear-replete world complete with swaying palms on very much still afloat Pacific island beaches.
But that doesn’t mean we can be complacent, which I have finally realised is exactly what I have been all this time.
I have finally become convinced that the climate is something that all of us need to think about. We can’t leave it all to Tim Flannery.
(I have heard many people protest that Flannery is a palaeontologist and not a climate scientist and therefore is not qualified to lecture the populace on the doom awaiting us and I’d like, on his behalf, to put that to bed here and now.
Palaeontologists study fossils, we use fossil fuels. Game, set and match to Tim, I think).
As I have decided to shoulder some of the burden of dealing with this issue, I have come up with an 8 point Climate Change Action Plan.
I admit that none of my suggestions are a magic formula and some, on the surface may seem silly, but we all have to do our bit and I’m prepared to be laughed at for the sake of the planet.

1: Enact legislation immediately to outlaw all forms of domestic motor racing and the Australian round of the Formula One grand prix.

I realise that this would deprive many thousands of the joy of watching cars go around and around and around in circles waiting for the little man in the cap to wave his tablecloth, but the benefits of this move are immediately apparent.
For a start it instantly eradicates the enormous carbon footprint of this particular ‘sport’ and it also sends a very clear message to those who would trash the planet.
My investigations have produced strong evidence that all of those cars and motorbikes that do the round and round in a circle thing are sponsored mostly by “big oil” – except for Red Bull, which is sponsored by “big caffeine” – and I think its about time we put “big oil” (and “big caffeine”) in its place.
The move would be job neutral because racing car drivers can get jobs as taxi drivers and motorbike riders can get jobs as bike couriers; the fans can better utilise the countless hours they used to waste watching motor racing by spending it with their families, or at least visiting them in prison and all of the racing tracks can be ripped up and replaced with trees.
In the case of Formula One, the ban just might encourage a slew of feckless rich European and Brazilian playboys to stop mucking about and get real jobs – and it would give Julia the opportunity to stick it up the Victorian Liberal Government, which would make her feel better.
Some compensation would need to be found for manufacturers of tee-shirts with catchy ‘Ford Shits on Holden’ or ‘Holdens Fuck Fords For Breakfast’ and the liquor industry for the catastrophic drop in sales of Jacks, Beam, Bundy and VB but this would be a small price to pay.
* If this proves difficult to get through the Senate I am nothing if not flexible. As a compromise deal I’d be prepared to allow motor racing to continue, but on proviso that all vehicles were solar powered; the treasured bogan element of this great country could then still count down the days to the Bathurst 1000 Hours.

2: Ban Horse racing.

The carbon savings from this are debatable because the science isn’t yet ‘in’ as to whether horses fart more when they are running than standing still, but isn’t it better to act now and be safe rather than sorry?
The primary benefits of this move would be that I, sorry we, would never have to be stuck behind some tosser in a Range Rover dragging a horse float at 80kph in a 110 zone and it would release horses to do the more meaningful labour like pulling taxis and delivery vans that is going to be a feature of our brave new non-carbon world.
Again, this would be job-neutral because the jockeys could get jobs as weight loss consultants, the bookies could get jobs in what is sure to be a burgeoning used horse retail market and the stable hands would get to sleep in.
Ancillary benefits would include turning the nice big fields that the horses run around and around in into tree farms and we could send a message to “Big Beer” that sponsoring the Melbourne Cup doesn’t give it the right to use the planet to slake its rapaciously fell desires.
Of course as with motor racing there would be losers and compensation would need to be found for manufacturers of dinky little silk hats, very small batteries and very large doses – about horse size – of amphetamines.

3: Enact a law requiring anybody elected to the Federal parliament to move to Canberra and stay there for the duration of their parliamentary career.

This a no-brainer (at least it is in Wayne Swan’s case) on many levels because a; the carbon footprint of hundreds of politicians and their staff flying back and forth across the country virtually every weekend is enormous and b; even when they are back in their electorate they may as well be in Canberra for all the chance you have of actually seeing them, unless you are lucky enough to attend the opening of anything paid for by the Government down to and including an envelope.
The economic benefits to the country would be substantial with the taxpayer saving on thousands of business class flights each year, productivity improvements can be expected from the many friends and relatives employed as electorate officers who will be able to get on with their work instead of stocking up the bar fridge next to the photocopier.
Compassionate ALP members will also finally be able to hand control of their interstate homes to the Immigration Department for illegal immigrant housing, saving the taxpayer millions in detention centre costs.
Canberra will benefit enormously because hundreds of politicians will spend their travel allowance in the city’s bars and restaurants instead of wasting it on travel and the housing market will boom as the pollies seek to buy properties in the style to which they hope to become accustomed.
3b: Require Kevin Rudd to take a beginner’s course in Skype 101: Why Fly When You Can Skype?

4: Require the Australian Football League to play all games on Saturday afternoons with bounce-down at 2.20pm, Collingwood to travel interstate by bus, Port Adelaide to be expelled from the competition immediately.

The carbon footprint of night games is horrendous, what with the stadium lighting and the extra trains, trams and buses needed to transport fans to and from the game.
Expelling Port Adelaide would also have great environmental benefit because Port fans who go to games leave every light, television and radio on in their homes in the forlorn hope it will protect them from being burgled by their fellow residents while they are cheering on their crappy team to another soul-stirring defeat.
Apart from that I detest Port Adelaide as a football club and a suburb and Chad Cornes as a person, and Andy Demetriou has fucked up the game enough and it would be nice to get back to basics, have a pie and just watch the boys go at it.
The Collingwood interstate by bus rule is just a sop to the rest of the competition. Collingwood travel interstate so rarely it will only affect them once every couple of years.

5: Outlaw rugby league effectively immediately.

No real environmental benefits here. It is just a stupid game played by stupid people and frankly we’d all be better off without it. The police wouldn’t have to waste their time arresting maggotted footballers for crapping in plant pots, trashing hotel rooms, beating up girlfriends and playing other character building team games like ‘lets gangbang the pissed chick’.

6: Sell a State.

Obvious benefits as this would reduce our greenhouse carbons by a huge amount (with the exception of Tasmania of course, which doesn’t have any industry and therefore doesn’t emit anything apart from begging letters to the Commonwealth).
I have taken the liberty of putting together a few brief advertisements for inclusion in the weekend papers’ real estate supplements and for the website as part of a four week ‘blitz’ advertising campaign.
South Australia: Renovator’s delight. Bring your tool kit to this one. Has all the charm of yesteryear yet plenty of potential to modernise. Sure, its on bore water, but there are grape vines out the back and tuna in the fish pond so the potential is there for the energetic owner to develop a home-based business. Contact Rann Realty on 1800 WASTELAND
New South Wales: Recently changed hands, but the new owners have run into finance problems and would consider a quick sale. Harbour glimpses.
Contact Kristina at Bitar and Arbib Realty (via the Public Trustee) on 1300 BLACKHOLE.
Victoria: Withdrawn from market until after Grand Final.
Queensland: Be quick because this one’s got the lot! Close to the beach, a coalmine in the backyard and more indoor swimming pools than you can poke a stick at. The bonus with this one is that the current owners are in the process of selling everything that isn’t nailed down so you can start with a clean canvas. Contact Anna at Bligh and Fraser Auctioneers on 1300 WE SELL ANYTHING.
Western Australia: It may be off the beaten track but this sprawling property has plenty to offer the discerning buyer; waterless gardens, heaps of room for the kids to play out back and massive jetty off the annexe if the neighbours want to drop in by boat. Make a cast iron offer on this solid gold real estate today. Contact Colin on 1800 STUFF THE FEDS.  
Tasmania: Pretty cottage with enough space in the garden to grow your own greens. Would suit retirees or terminally stupid looking for some invigorating country air away from the hustle and bustle of industrial era living. Guaranteed peace and quiet here as council by-laws already prohibit any activity that involves making money. Contact Lara at ALP Realty on 1300 MORE GST PLEASE or Nick at McKim and O’Connor RE on 1800 SOULS FOR SALE.

7: Institute a one-child policy in Australia.

The environmental benefits here are obvious. As economists, people concerned about the environment and The Greens keep telling us, the world simply cannot accommodate billions more humans.
For a start, as many Greens members/voters have pointed out, if there are more people claiming a share of the world’s resources the wait for service at inner city cafes would become intolerable. Computer models developed by the Inner-city Panel on Culling Children (IPCC) have proved that if action to curb Australia’s birth rate is not taken immediately, by 2050 97% of inner city cafĂ© customers will finish reading The Age before their latte arrives. Rising customer levels will also see 58% of tables at beachside cafes inundated by 9am.
A one-child policy will also reduce our environmental impact by eliminating 72.4% of Sunday morning car trips to junior sporting events, cutting the number of idling vehicles waiting in the drive-thru at Maccas by 86.3% and reducing electricity usage for powering game consoles by an estimated 6 zillion megawatts per annum.
Such a policy would also have a profound effect on Government expenditure with IPCC models predicting that if the current trend of strict adherence to politically correct practices continues, every child ever born will be in the care of the Department of Community Services by 2037.
A purely incidental side-benefit would be to reduce the number of snotty nosed little parasites throwing their rubbish into my garden as they walk to and from the school next door.
Get behind this. Think of the Children.

8: Suspend democracy, appoint Clive Hamilton President for Life, hang his portrait in the National Gallery and make Tim Flannery a Knight of the Order of the Garter.

Nah, just kidding. That should read ‘Hang Clive Hamilton by the ankles from a gallery, using suspenders and a garter ordered by Tim Flannery from an boutique in Knightsbridge.
Not a whole lot of environmental savings here, but the ticket sales alone would pay for an awful lot of R&D into renewable energy generation.