EDITORIAL: Sceptics of the role that humans play in altering the quality of air, ground and water have tended to dominate Australia’s political response to climate change.
Loud objections to parliament doing anything about pollution have been effective, especially when high-profile politicians like Tony Abbott plump for slow progress as opposed to a pollution penalty system like a price on carbon.
But it’s getting very late in the day for arguing to keep the world’s energy consumption linked to polluting industries like fossil fuel extraction.
What sceptics need to produce are some solid excuses for being big fans of dirty energy, because demanding that we do nothing means they’re supporting pollution on a mass scale.
The arguments about climate science go over most people’s heads, no doubt because we are not scientists and have come to rely on those among us who are.
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Scientists are skilled at what they do and should probably be left to do it, instead of being pilloried by pollies with agendas, but it doesn’t take a scientist to see there’s rising concern about the visible effects of our pollution.
Who really likes to go to the beach and sit in rubbish washing in on the surf? Does anyone actually appreciate a blast of petrol fumes while standing by the road? Who would really enjoy digging in their backyard, only to uncover an oil spill left there by someone years ago?
Yet routinely we see an increasing number of Australians doing what we can about these problems.
Instead of arguing against climate change, it’s time for the hard-line parliamentary sceptics to come out proudly with a few really convincing reasons why their constituents should accept their plan for an irreversible amount of pollution on the planet.
It’s either that, or they stop the political squabbling and start doing their job.