Thursday, September 18, 2008

An open challenge to Martin Ferguson on climate

Following a recent comment at Larvatus Prodeo, I have decided to issue a challenge to Martin Ferguson, Federal MP for Batman, to publicly answer for his retrograde stance on Australia's climate policy. Are his constituents too small-picture for the big-picture Minister for Resources and Energy? Only time will tell. Here's my email:

Dear Martin,

I understand that the Rudd Government recently refused to comply with its obligation to table in Parliament documents related to the Wilkins Review on climate policy and a proposal from your office advocating a softened ETS to industry. I further note that your proposal to industry has failed to make its way to the page on your website featuring your recent media releases. Why the lack of transparency on the part of the Rudd Government and yourself, especially at a time when submissions on the CPRS have recently been invited from the public?

It seems to me, as one of your constituents, that there is the public consultation, and another submerged, secret channel of influence open only to industry and beyond the scrutiny of voters. Industry may lobby you on the supposedly dire impacts of a transition to low-carbon practices, but I assure you, Martin, there is only one test of an ETS - its efficacy in helping to restrict global warming below levels where tipping points will be irreversibly triggered. Your industry stakeholders have had more than enough time to change their high-emitting behaviour - in fact, since the Rio Earth Summit in 1992 - so please let us not have a soft start to the ETS for the sake of continuing the concentration of wealth in the hands of the few. By all means compensate the workers, not the owners, but things must change.

Finally, I know you like a bit of a stoush, so I am happy to argue this issue in person at your convenience. Maybe you'd like to hold a public meeting to discuss your views with the Batman electorate, and why you're willing to argue for climate inaction that will condemn their children, and particularly the world's poor, to the impacts of unconstrained emissions in our atmosphere. Come on, Martin, with all your resources and minders you should be able to take on all comers. Maybe you can distribute copies of your proposal at the meeting and answer questions about it?

Cheers etc.
(Contact details supplied)

If you'd like Martin to answer some questions on this issue, why not contact him and let him know. Put the heat on him, before he puts it on us.

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