Australia Takes First Step to Curb Carbon Emissions

posted by Jael Ever @ 14:12 PM
November 29, 2010

The Prime Minister of Australia, Julia Gillard, announced this week that her nation will start charging polluters for excess gas emissions in the coming year. She made the announcement just in time to get ahead of the United Nations climate change summit on the Kyoto Protocol that also takes place this week in Mexico. Some 15,000 attendees from governments, environmental organizations and news reporters will attend the summit in Cancun. At the last Kyoto Summit in 2007, the United States and Australia were the only industrialized countries that did not sign the Kyoto Treaty.

The Prime Minister said “2011 is the year Australia decides on carbon pricing.” Gillard, the country’s first female leader, added, “A carbon price will create an incentive to reduce emissions, drive investment in renewable and low emissions technologies, create certainty for business investment and begin the adjustment of our economy to a cleaner energy future.” Because the nation’s energy systems almost entirely depend on coal, Australia is the world’s largest per capita polluter. And it is also the top exporter of coal. However, just as they resisted charging polluters in 2007, Australia’s conservative politicians insist that only consumers would pay such charges, and they vow to fight such government imposition on carbon pollution. But environmental problems were the major reasons that Australia’s conservatives were swept out of office. For over ten years, the nation’s farmers had been fighting drought. Then in 2009, a huge bush fire caused a chocking dust storm over Sydney, its capital and major city.

The urgency of these pollution problems––as well as the fact that rising sea levels are eroding cliffs and beaches to such an extent that property ownership is threatened––also swept the Greens Party to a place a prominence. Some liberal parties also demand that the country’s reliance on coal must be broken. Otherwise, they say, Global Warming, air pollution, and do-nothing corporate business interests would destroy the nation they love.

Australia can be but a bell-weather to the United States. In both countries, those against any controls on carbon emissions argue that these charges would hurt economies and cut jobs. However, that argument is of little comfort to property owners watching rising seas swallow their estates, or people who can’t breath in polluted air, or farmers fighting drought caused by Global Warming. Those who think that the U.S. doesn’t face the same threats must do more to learn the truth about Global Warming. John 8: 32 in wholesale Christian Bibles says, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” But God’s “knowing” includes acceptance of fact, continuing faith in its truthfulness, and, above all, the acting upon that truth. The U.S. may have a little more time to act upon the truth about Global Warming and carbon emissions, but not that much more time!

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