Mar 19, 2007

Liberals’ plan for climate change is just plain “shady”

Liberals’ plan for climate change is just plain “shady”


19 March 2007

Federal Labor has challenged Federal Environment Minister, Malcolm Turnbull to reject a plan by a WA Liberal MP to place an adjustable giant shade cloth in outer space to combat global warming.

Last month (February 15, 2007) WA Liberal MP for Tangney, Dr Dennis Jensen in an “early morning” wide-ranging speech to Federal parliament spoke at length on his views on global warming.

Dr Jensen proposed "some sort of shade cloth" in "orbit" in outer space was the way to fight global warming. See (page 30)

In addition, he attacked Australian of the Year, Dr Tim Flannery for his views on climate change.

Dr Jensen said in the Commonwealth Parliament:

After all, we have heard about aerosols and global dimming. Or what about some sort of shade cloth put in orbit? In that way we could actually tailor the area of the shade cloth and adjust it according to the energy balance. (Source: Hansard – February 15, 2007, page 30)

When I first heard of this plan I had to be convinced it came from Dr Jensen – not George Jetsen or his boy, Elroy!

Put simply, the WA Liberal MP wants to put a giant inter-galactic shade cloth into outer space to deal with climate change.

This stuff is completely wacky. It is similar to an idea floated in June 2005. (see below)

However, it would cost up $200 trillion (US), according to US estimates.

The Howard Government have failed to provide leadership for infrastructure in Australia, but this idea from a prominent Government MP is simply wacky infrastructure.

Labor knows there is an enormous infrastructure deficit in Australia and we should fix that before we promote infrastructure in outer space.

The plan for a giant inter-galactic shade cloth into outer space does not constitute serious scientific discussion on climate change.

If you want an example of the Howard Government being full of climate change sceptics – you could not find any better example than Dr Jensen.

In November, Federal Tourism Minister Fran Bailey also proposed “shade cloth” on giant pontoons over parts of the Great Barrier Reef to protect it

For the last 10 years, the Howard Government has been denying climate change – and now they expect the community to believe them.

Now a prominent Howard government backbencher has come up with his own hare-brained scheme to cover the planet with shade cloth.

For the record, Dr Jensen is one of the Liberal party’s most enthusiastic supporters of nuclear reactors in the national parliament.

Federal Labor has a comprehensive approach to dealing with climate change, which includes:

· Ratifying the Kyoto Protocol;

· Cutting Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions by 60 per cent by 2050;

· Setting up a national emission trading scheme;

· Setting up the $500 million national clean coal fund;

· Setting up a $500 million “Green Car Innovation Fund” designed to generate $2 billion in investment to secure jobs in the automotive industry and tackle climate change by manufacturing low emission vehicles in Australia;

· Substantially increasing the mandatory renewable energy target; and

· Convening a National Climate Change Summit.